ADF or BDO: Unsure Which Would be Better Suited to Me?

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(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For a while now, I’ve been considering what type of Druid organization I’d like to join. I’ve narrowed it down to the British Druid Order (BDO) and Ár nDraíocht Féin (ADF). The OBOD didn’t appeal to me and neither did the AODA.

I’m very interested in Germanic paganism but Heathenry has never felt quite right to me for reason’s I cannot explain. I’m also interested in Kemeticism. I’d like a very earth based, animistic practice. I know that my Germanic tendencies would be welcomed among the ADF but my Kemetic practices would not. The BDO however seems very earth based but draws a lot from Celtic mythology and practices (Celtic deities have never appealed to me). Not to mention the cost of their courses varies considerably, the ADF is quite cheap whilst the BDO is very expensive. There are pros and cons to both.

I’m unsure of which direction to take. What would you recommend for somebody like me? I value any advice you could give me.

The Religious Cul-de-sac

Dead End

Dead End (Photo credit: windy_sydney)

So, I’ve been slowly backing myself into a religious corner by ignoring (I know, smart me!) the hints that I need to do some specific religious work. Over the weekend, I got “shoved” in the direction of Nut and basically told to do the work I’m meant to do with Her before I do anything else.

I’m now stuck in what I’m calling a religious cul-de-sac, knowing what I need to do, but wanting to do anything but…and I am, of course, unable to focus on anything except the Nut work. Clearly, I’m meant to

and the hell with everything else on my spiritual plate.

Is anyone else currently parked near me? If so, how are you coping?

For those that have successfully moved out of a cul-de-sac in the past, how did you do it?

How Do You Recognize the Presense of Deities?

detail of an image stone with Thor, Odin and Freyr

Stone with Thor, Odin and Freyr (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How do you recognize, or rather experience, the presence or attention of deities and their likes?

Now, I know this is a rather tricky question and that if I were to ask ten people, I’d get eleven different answers but I still found it worth asking. T’is something I’ve been trying to get my mind around. As it stands, I probably wouldn’t recognize anything even if it hit me. Repeatedly. In the face. With a chair.

Okay, well maybe I’d notice the chair… But you get the point, right?

Litha / Midsummer – How to do You Honor/Celebrate the Day?

English: Danes celebrating Midsummer by singin...

Danes celebrating Midsummer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Litha/Midsummer is coming up at the end of this week. Last year was my first year acknowledging and working within the wheel of the year, so once again, this is a new one for me.

What special (big or little) rituals or ceremonies do you do to acknowledge the day?

Creating Your Own Divination Deck

2013 Divination

Divination (Photo credit: Morag.Spinner)

I’m actually working on my second divination deck and I was wondering if anybody else has experience doing this sort of thing and wants to weigh in with thoughts or advice.

My first deck was what I called a Calvincard deck – it’s made up of a variety of cards from various collectible card games (I was working in a games shop when I made it) and it got its name because I originally played it like Calvinball, except with cards. When they’re all slipped into TCG sleeves they’re fairly identical and I got in the habit of reading with them when I didn’t have my tarot cards. Mostly I just went by the obvious suggestions of the card names for those.

My current project is a divination deck that exists inside my massive fiction project. I’m still getting a feel for it. I made the deck via an online printer and chose the art based on intuition and pictures I’d saved because they reminded me of specific aspects of the universe. For the most part they represent archetypes or powers that are relevant to that specific universe, but I’m reading almost entirely on intuition when I use them. I’d like to figure out a way to be more methodical with them.

Any suggestions? I’ve thought about meditation on one card at a time, but I feel like there might be an easier or a more… I dunno, elegant solution? So I’m open to hearing whatever you guys might have to suggest.

Which Goddess Has Strong Moon Connections?

Cat

Cat (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

And is connected to Cats, Magic, Witches, herbal healing, altered states through herb or plant use, the colors purple and green, water especially waterfalls, small creeks and springs, long hair, sexuality, and whose presence is comforting and even motherly, also has associations with dragons and fairies, Spring especially the time around Ostara and I am probably forgetting some other things she likes or is associated with. Maybe I am simply not hearing or getting who she is cause I am confusing myself, maybe it is more than one being who I am describing.

This Thing, is it Right? How do I Tell?

Information

(Photo credit: heathbrandon)

We’ve had several threads around here recently that got me thinking about a subject near and dear my heart: how we evaluate information. Especially information about Pagan ‘stuff’, where we’re talking about a mix of personal experience, academic research, shared knowledge (and sometimes all three in the same sentence.)

So. How do you sort the useful from the problematic?

Do you do things differently depending on the source? (I certainly handle, say, a book from a known source differently than, say, an entirely unknown new poster on this forum.)

I have lots of ideas on this, but I want to sit on my hands and let other people get started and ask questions about stuff for a bit first.

Being Pagan and Dating

P-icon for Pagan topics

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m curious about those who have made relationships work while practicing a small minority religion that the general public thinks is strange and doesn’t take very seriously. I don’t have much experience with this myself, though the person I dated the longest practiced neo-Wicca with some friends in high school, followed Egyptian gods, but by the time I knew him, he had gone back to his birth religion of Hinduism, so my devotion to ancient deities wasn’t really an issue. I haven’t really had serious relationships since then, but I don’t usually bring my religious practices up on casual dates, especially since many of the educated young people these days that I come in contact with don’t really care about religion in general, and think it’s kind of outdated. If they think even Christianity is outdated, my devotion to Egyptian and Greek deities would probably seem a little cuckoo to regular people. I don’t really even tell my friends f they are not familiar with paganism already. Some of them know I have weird religious interests, and don’t really know what being “pagan” really means.

Has being pagan affected your romantic and social life? And do you try to stay within your own religious community, or do you involve yourself with all kinds of people? It seems like a lot of pagans meet each other online, and get together, even if they live a long distance from each other. I’m not sure if I would be into that, personally, as I don’t really care about significant others with the same religion as long as we had compatible values. I always say I would rather marry for money and security rather than some elusive emotional “connection,” but that doesn’t make me very popular.

Black Magic: Such Dedication?

Magia Negra

Magia Negra (Photo credit: Anuska Sampedro)

I was reading through the Black Magic section on another forum (I am not subscribed there). Some of the people doing this kind of stuff seem to spend years going after ‘difficult’ targets or building up a focus of malice for years before releasing it at the intended target.

Whilst there are some situations were I suppose this degree of effort might be called for, frankly the issues that are identified as motivators by the posters are often rather trivial in my opinion.

Where I live the people who seem enthusiastic about this kind of thing, well those I know about, were very badly bullied at school to the point of suicide attempts and self-harming.

I wonder if a lot of this cursing and black magic stuff is about having been ‘broken’ by bullies at school and unable to directly face down issues with other people. What I mean is that if there is a problem with someone, I will look them in the eye and tell them about it. This usually resolves the situation whoever was in the wrong, and never with violence. The people who I have met who do all this hexing will never disagree with you to your face and as I mention some of them I know were very badly bullied at school.

One final thing: I have done magic to cause harm to others twice in my life, only one working each time and they both had effect although one was not as much as I would have preferred, that is they only experienced suicidal thoughts rather then going through with it.

So questions from the above.

Are most people who do loads of cursing and hexing doing it because they were bullied and broken by this at school; so unable to directly assert themselves and having strong inferiority feelings turn to ‘black magic’?

Are such people also so inept at the ‘dark arts’ that they must build up for months or even years to achieve an effect?