Minoan Culture of Crete and How It Might be Relevant Today?

English: Archaeological Museum in Herakleion. ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I posted a little while ago about wanting to write a book, and now that I am emotionally committed, I was curious what other pagans would want to know about the ancient Minoan culture of Crete and how it might be relevant today.

So here is a thread to ask any questions you may have, and in the process help me pin down topics to cover while I am writing! I am not tied to the Minoan Brotherhood/Sisterhood in any way. What I do follow is a patchwork based on UPG, and what research is out there about one of the cultures that majorly influenced the ancient Greeks.

If I cannot answer your question right away, I will do research and get back to you, but it may take a little while. Questions about personal experiences and UPG are welcome as well!

Work with One Goddess, or Reach Out to More?

Gundestrupkarret (the Gundestrup Cauldron). Th...

Gundestrupkarret (the Gundestrup Cauldron).  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m quite new to polytheism. Even when I was still following Christianity I acknowledged the existence of other gods, though what form they took and other related questions I didn’t delve in to. But several months ago I had an experience that tipped me over to the other side. This is about to get long, apologies!

I had picked up my left-off studies of Druidry and was wading through my OBOD lessons again. I skimmed through the story of Taliesin and related lessons–although I could appreciate the symbolism and its relationship to modern Druidry, the story never really clicked with me. I went through it all as quickly as I could.

There’s a part in the lessons where they ask you to visualise a Druid. I had in mind a woman (and a man, more on that later) whom I had a pretty clear image of. But her purpose wasn’t very clear to me, she was just an image really. But one night I was doing a meditation and I saw this woman, and this time she invited me back to her cabin in the woods. I won’t go into all the details, but by the end of this I had a very strong impression that this nameless woman was none other than the goddess Ceridwen.

It’s not the vision itself that was so surprising, given that I’d been studying the story of Taliesin recently, but the feeling that it left me with. I felt welcomed, like someone had left the door open for me. That feeling stayed with me for days, this bright positive glow. Somehow I knew then that this goddess was real and someone I wanted to work with and learn from. I have since reached out to her in ritual, and although I haven’t had any experiences as strong as the first one I feel like I’ve had a response. I’ve even set up a small shrine to Ceridwen in the form of a cauldron on the windowsill.

Finally getting around to my question: should I be attempting to reach out to other gods and goddesses, or do I just wait for another tap on the shoulder? Apart from honouring Brigit at Imbolc I have only named Ceridwen so far. I do make a point of honouring “all the goddesses and gods” during my rituals, but that’s as far as it goes. I am curious to find out who the male Druid in my visions was, if he was a god or not. I’m quite happy working with just Ceridwen for now but I just don’t really know how all this works. Does anyone else work with one god or goddess exclusively?

Organ Donation and Druidism

Symbol of Druidism, golden version.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here is my issue that I am having about organ donation.

On my more personal side I just do not like the thought of my organs being removed. Part of the reason is because frankly I just would feel bad if because of this or that my body couldn’t be used, yes I know I’m dead and shouldn’t care, but it is something I care about now. The other part is that I just want to be whole when I decompose[or be cremated, which is another issue all on its own].

On the flip side I do feel somewhat selfish/guilty over my decision and I have no way to justify it except because of that I start to feel ill when I think of my body being separated. Yet on the other side I get almost just as ill thinking about the waste not using my body can do. So this is where I need a little help, as I am trying to get back into druidism I just want a little guidance to either say which side of the coin or which of Gods/Goddesses/spirits I should ask to get their advice on.

The only argument that makes “logical” sense towards that I should go through with organ donation is that I can use my body to help nature in terms of helping my local man, but part of the issue is I would feel horrible if the person I save hurts or destroys nature in some way shape or form. The only way were I kind of figured a workaround all of these where I feel okay on both fronts is that I could donate my body to a body farm [aka anthropological/criminology studies on how a body decomposes] which does allows me to further nature both in my fellow man and nature especially if I do their trauma program which could help in saving soldiers/police/high risk occupation lives.

I just don’t know and don’t know where to ask.

Wanting Help to Understand Celtic Pagan Tradition

Three Celtic goddesses, as depicted at Coventi...

Three Celtic goddesses, as depicted at Coventina’s well. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Participating in this forum has had a significant affect on how I view what I believe in. More than anything else I have critically looked at what I believe in and in the process lost much of the certainty I thought I had (not necessarily bad). The problem is you can sometimes get lost when you question every thing and need to start over so I reconsidered everything and feel I best identify with a Celtic paganism even thought that is still a diverse group. I have learned that to general a subject does not work well wanted I wanted to present some of the things I have come across with respect for Celtic paganism and see what others in the forum know or think (again I know there is still much variation but I wanted to start somewhere).

I would really like to know how others in the form know or think about some aspects of Celtic paganism. The gods and goddesses of the Celtic (here I mainly mean Irish because we have more information about them) seem more connected with the land with a large variation between different tribe tribes who honored them. How does this relationship with the land affect the way we see the Celtic Gods and Goddesses as compared to other patterns – Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Christian?

Ideas about Repurposing Images for Altars and Shrines?

Muerte Blanca

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So my husband is catholic so I have a lot of Mother Mary Icons and female saint images around well we have a Kitchen Madonna as its called and the story behind it that it has a place in the kitchen, kinda makes me think I could repurpose it as a shrine to Hestia maybe? Incognito so the husband doesn’t start in on me? I’ve already repurposed a Guadalupe and Santa Muerte statues to Diana and Hecate is repurposing a no no? I’ve kind of used in the past just vague images like the spiral goddess but I figure there must be some feminine energy in these icons why not use them right?

Anyone attending Paganicon?

Researching your Ancestors presentation at Pag...

Researching your Ancestors presentation at Paganicon. (Photo credit: HeatherBie)

Paganicon is a convention (like Pantheacon but smaller and (to me) possible to get to). It is put on by the Twin Cities Pagan Pride so they can have “201” on up programming, whereas the Pagan Pride itself is more Paganism 101 for the public.

It is at the St Louis Park Doubletree Inn Friday March 14th thru Sunday the 16th.

I figured out I’m working that weekend (I get every 3rd weekend off) but will try to switch with someone. Will post here once I get that figured out. Also for the geeks among us, I’m also hoping to go to Minicon (science fiction/fantasy) but same situation.

Anyway- I thought it would be a fun chance to meet people here- I believe I met HeartShadow a couple years ago at Paganicon? Kinda surreal meeting someone you’ve known online for a long time!

Divine Punishment in the Afterlife?

deitys at altar

Deities at altar (Photo credit: xjanix)

Something that I am not used to when encountering many Pagans is the disassociation of divine punishment in regards to the afterlife. Dharmic metaphysical concepts like samsara(rebirth) are added into very odd folk traditions such as Nordic based mythology for example. Being a Muslim before becoming a pagan did not feel weird to me as scholarly examined research has provided that the historicity of an afterlife was common for pagans regardless the extent of it. Reincarnation in the general context it is used now is not though.

I am not criticizing the believe on reincarnation but I am criticizing the dislike towards divine retribution. Perhaps my Islamic frame of mind is still present and this is debatable but I feel as if many modern pagans are reforming paganism into something it never was.

I am not against reincarnation as I do believe you have the right to worship what you want and choose your own ‘afterlife’ but it should not become a social rule amongst the many that the few must live up to something without objective basis. If you are familiar with any mythology at all you should know that deities have no issues with retribution or divine punishment. Being a Semitic Pagan this is more applicable for me you could say.

So why do some of you reject the afterlife in favor of annihilation or reincarnation? Are you afraid that if you applied yourself to a deities’ standards you would fail? I myself have no issues letting a deity know that I am completely under his/her whims.

I should mention that I truly believe that death is the end of limitations for consciousness so in this sense the continuation of consciousness you choose is entirely up to you as divinity and humanity is very much associated with a medium(the human mind) and a dual reflection of both states.

Seed Catalog Time!!!

The front cover of a 1901 Burpee Seed-Sense ca...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anyone else excited by this? The catalogs are arriving, and I’m going overboard planning my garden. So far, I have Cook’s Garden and Seed Savers Exchange. Burpee and Richter’s should be here any day now.

So, what will you grow? I’m eyeing up lemon cukes and purple pod peas.

Drawing Down the Moon/Contacting the Goddess — Questions

The crescent as a neo-pagan symbol of the Trip...

The crescent as a Neo-Pagan symbol of the Triple Goddess. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was introduced to this by a friend, but I fear the terminology is incorrect. When I research ‘drawing down the moon’ I see a lot about big group rituals and invoking the goddess through oneself. The way I was taught, it was simply a way to connect with the goddess during a full moon, to draw down Her essence into your life. Has anyone heard of this being ‘drawing down the moon’ or should I quit calling it that?

I’m a solitary witch, and I’ve done this ritual only once. What I basically did was, set aside a time around midnight during a full moon and lit a candle in the name of the goddess and some incense, and focused. I wrote a little introduction paragraph which I read, in order to introduce myself to the goddess and to declare my path. I asked her to come to me in whichever way she saw fit, and that night she actually did appear in a dream of mine (although it was a solar goddess as opposed to a lunar one).

My question is, I really want to connect with the goddess again. I can’t find a whole lot of information on moon rites like this, at least not solitary ones. I want to do the same kind of thing again, but I didn’t know whether or not it was only meant as an introduction sort of thing, because that’s how I originally did it.

Can anyone offer insight on this topic?