Beyond the Basic (Ancestral-Oriented)

I’ve already started building a relationship with the spirits, ancestors, and my recently deceased family for a good couple of years now. My extended family practices “folk magic” which they don’t talk about but in short stories my mother would blab once in a blue moon. I try to pick things up but a lot of it is mixed with Christianity. I am not a christian.

But beyond the looking at genealogy, giving offerings, altar placement, and daily prayers, are there other practices that are a bit, can’t think of another word, a step-up beyond the basics?

What I mean is, when we talk to our family alive and have a connection, we really don’t need to try to hard because family is family. I don’t have that type of connection with living family; so, it’s hard to understand what that means to go beyond setting up foundations to know about my spiritual family. I feel that when I learn about my spiritual family and more intensely experience how they help me, I can get more of a sense of what live is about.

The spirits help, especially those of our environment-sun, moon, wind, etc but I feel I’m ready for something more intense.

I visited a shop where I met a couple of Santeras there. If the religion wasn’t so expensive, I would learn more about it. I got a divination reading and was told to make a relationship with my ancestors first as I don’t need divination through a Babalow or Santera to build a relationship with them first.

I can write a novel about my experiences and questions. Have you guys realized you “got it” and ready to go to that next step?

I am not interested in European religions, but are there other pagan religions or practices that are ancestral oriented?

Beginning Worship

I have just recently became a Eclectic Pagan. Last night I performed a rite to find my patron deity. After I completed the rite I felt like I had hellfire in my body but yet I was not sweating, I was then compelled to grab my ancient Greek coins, I was also compelled to speak with my girlfriend about pouring wine into the ground when I get married. I believe that this was Hades speaking to me. I am looking for some prayers to Hades that I can perform. Please help!

Hang ups about Hoodoo

I’m interested in incorporating Hoodoo into my practise but I have some reservations.

From what I’ve read the practise is steeped in Catholicism, which is a branch of Christianity I don’t feel particularly at home in. However, I don’t feel right taking Hoodoo out of its religious framework. It feels like I’m cherry picking the parts that interest me, and discarding the rest.

I mean I already feel bad as I don’t have African ancestry; I already feel like I’m treading somewhere off-limits.

I’m not sure what to do. I’d love to know my fellow Cauldronites’ thoughts and opinions.

Exploring “low” magic and could use some suggestions on resources

spell photoI finally picked up a book on witchcraft, the Hedge Witch Book of Days, and it has all kinds of fun stuff in it (recipes!). However, since it’s basically a “through the year” kind of a book, it’s a little light on practical stuff and I’d love more information.

First off, a little about me. I’m 30 years old as exploring a new path. I’ve been sort of on this journey for maybe nine months. Publicly, I’m an Episcopal Christian with Celtic leanings, but I’m also extremely drawn to druidry, pagan ideas, and recently, witchcraft. I feel like Brigid, who kind of straddles the pagan and Christian world, keeps elbowing me, as well.

I have my own place and live well away from family, which is good since I cannot imagine them being supportive of anything even mildly witchy or pagan. I grew up fundamental-lite Christian, so yeah. They love me, but “going to hell” would be a very real concern for them.

Anyway, I’m not particularly interested in ceremonial magic at the moment, although I do like ceremony (hence the Episcopal thing), ritual, etc. I want practicality, and I’m curious about the Green/Hedge/Kitchen Witch path–I’ve dabbled in herbs since I was in my teens and kept a nature journal for almost as long, so being connected to nature and working with plants isn’t entirely new.

Also, I love physical books, so “go check out this website” is probably not something I’m going to do on a regular basis. I’d much rather hold a book in my hand that I can read, take notes in, mark, etc.

I’m eyeing Grimoire for the Green Witch. It has tons of high reviews on Amazon (and keep in mind I’m a BEGINNNER as in I have barely actually done anything yet–I’m also staying with my parents for a bit due to a break from work and family circumstances–so books that absolutely spell out the basics are totally fine). I’m not particularly interested in Wicca as a religion although I like the god/goddess concept, etc.

I guess what I’m really looking for is basic books on magic, but not so much ceremonial magic as practical magic.

As a sort of somewhat related question, I was listening to a podcast and somebody was saying that the idea of a “power animal” is–off? Wrong? I hadn’t really heard the term “power animal” before, but I got the idea that it’s sort of what other people call a “spirit animal”. The book I have refers to them as “power animals”. Is this wrong? What were they talking about? Help? (I’m so lost… if something I’ve said doesn’t make sense or needs clarification just ask… I may have said it weird since I’m extremely new to this and paganism and magic is sort of a foreign language; I’m still getting over my fundie “magic is devil worship” and “using crystals sounds so hokey even though I can see why you would” hangups in some areas.)

Making Deity Figures

Has anybody ever made their own figures of deities for their altar? I ask because I’m having a REALLY hard time finding representations of the gods that draw me that I like. I have a little Cerridwen that I’m extraordinarily fond of and recently picked up a Bast figure (she doesn’t fit into my personal practice, but I have cats, and honoring Bast peripherally seemed right somehow), but I can’t find a Brigid that I like and the Horned God is even more difficult.

Ideas? Brilliant sources for statuary? “I made my own and it worked out well” stories? All would be welcome.

And while I know some people have success with representative objects that aren’t actually figures, I’m a very visual person and would like actual figures.

(And the ideas don’t have to be specifically related to Brigid or the Horned God; I’m still hashing out what this all looks like so any experience would be fine.)

Some questions about Norse Goddesses

I have a few questions about the ladies of the Norse pantheon. Rather than spam the board with topics I figured I’d consolidate them into one handy post.

1. Would Skadi or Eir be able to help in matters of the heart? I know Freyja’s the go-to for love-related stuff. But I get some great vibes off the other two. Skadi’s got a strong ‘I don’t need no man’ thing going. As for Eir, I know she’s related to medical matters. So I wonder if her role as a healer could extend to emotional pain as well.

2. How are Norse Goddesses with sharing an altar? I have little space but want to erect an altar for the female deities I feel drawn towards. I think it should be ok. I don’t remember there being much friction in the stories. But I’d love to know people’s experiences/opinions.

3. Any tips for altar set-ups. Associated colours, flowers, animals and the like.

Afterlife

I’m still a beginner to all of this and have been recently researching the norse and celtic side of things.

The problem I have especially with norse mythology is I don’t believe in the concept of valhalla or any equivalent.

I believe that after someone has died that they continue to exist on this earth i.e similar to a ghost and they can choose to reveal or not reveal themselves at will. I beieve that such spirit doesn’t go into a new body but remains in this form indefinitely.

I have had experiences which I believe has been from deceased family and to me it makes much more sense that they are close by than in some unknown place.

I find that to me this is how the celtic side appeals to me much more as Samhain makes perfect sense and the thin veil is what allows us to see/contact the spirits much easier because if they were somewhere else i.e valhalla or an equivalent then they would not be able to visit so easily.

The question I have is, is it possible to be a celtic polytheist and hold the views I have?

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Help choosing which polytheism to pursue

I have recently become interested in. My ancestry is Germanic and Celtic.

The problem is, I am finding it really hard to choose what to do. I feel a very strong connection with the God Thor, yet at the same time i feel a stronger connection with the celtic gods overall.

All of this is making me feel really confused and I’m scared to do anything wrong in case I offend some gods that I have no intended to.

Reviving / Reinvigorating Your Practice

pagan practice photoWe call go through times when our connection to our god(s) feels off or wrong or distant, and our spiritual practice feels stale or rote. I’m in that place right now.

In my case, I think it’s largely because I’ve been so overwhelmed with family issues and some other stuff over the last few months that I’ve unintentionally “unplugged” somewhat from my own spiritual life. I’m still doing my nightly ritual (candles and prayers), but, right now, I just don’t feel that deep connection with Brighid that I used to feel — and that I cherish.

What do you do when you hit that point where your practice is mechanical and you need to rebuild or deepen your relationship with the Divine? What kind of inspiration do you seek and where do you look for it?

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Almost here! Up All Night, the Cauldron’s solstice celebration

Just a reminder for everyone that 2016’s edition of Up All Night: A Technopagan Solstice Celebration will happen on the night beginning on Tuesday, December 20th, and ending the morning of Wednesday, December 21st! And I mean everyoneall are welcome, whether you’re popping in for a few minutes or going the distance for the entire night.

Not sure what Up All Night is? It’s an excuse for us to have a cyberparty–find out more here.

Local sunset and sunrise times for some Cauldronite locations to follow…