Meditation by gazing at a candle flame

It’s occurred to me that I can only perform this type of meditation in company, and I wondered whether anyone might have any thoughts as to why this might be the case?

I’m not the best at meditation, still very much a beginner — honestly, I really need a guided meditation to follow else my mind just wanders immediately and repeatedly, until I just give up.  Even then, with the recording of a guided meditation, it’s hit or miss — I have to be in the right frame of mind to begin with, and there are still times when I just give up after a few minutes because I just can’t keep my mind from going all over the place no matter how I try.

But it just strikes me as odd that I can get into a really relaxed, meditative state while gazing at the candle flame whenever my eclectic Wiccan friend and I do this at her place during our meet ups (not done for many months now, as you can imagine, due to the lockdown).  It’s the closest I can get to being in any kind of a trance.  But not when I attempt it at home by myself, it doesn’t work.  You’d think the reverse would be true, since you’d think I’d be more self-conscious at my friends place, and less so by myself.

Maybe it’s just as simple as my knowing that husband could walk in at any minute and disturb me, whereas when my friend and I do this activity it’s always just the two of us, plus we have also set out to do our semi-regular “something pagan-y” as we have come to refer to it.  (My husband is not very good at respecting my meditation time; it’s not deliberate but he just tends to forget and when he’s gaming he loses track of the passage of time, too, so he possibly just assumes that I must be done by now or something.)

Does anyone else do (or previously tried) this form of meditation, and if so how do you feel about this form?  Have you ever experienced anything similar to the above?  If so, did you find a way to get past it and have you any tips for me as to how I might do the same?

Tl;dr — anyone hit any snags while trying this activity, and if so what did you do when that happened?

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A Return to a Path and Learning

Good evening (here at least),

I’m glad to have been lead to all of you here. You all can call me Clockwell. (He/Him)

My pagan path started in my teen years around 06 or so with an interest in Wicca and Neo-Druidism as I’m sure is true of most of us. Do to some familial issues and the growing stressors of life,  my spirituality fell on the back burner. I continued an interest from a scholarly point of view and recently with the world, especially the US, in a relatively tumultuous time, Ive felt a yearning for some type of spirituality and magic in my life and found myself turning to my scholarly interest in paganism in a more spiritual way.

I’ve always been more of a material realist while allowing others to have their faiths and beliefs and asking they’d respect mine in turn, so a shift toward spirituality comes with a bit of effort to climb out of my rut. Currently I exist somewhere in a gray zone between Agnoticism and Polytheism or Pantheism.

I’m originally from California and didn’t have any pagans in my cohort growing up or through college. A few years ago my wife and I moved to Wisconsin for her to attend grad school and here we’ve become friends with some Heathens which has definitely had a positive influence on pushing me back toward paganism.

My main interests have settled around Celtic Pantheons, mostly Irish Celtic. I’ve done some reading and research on Celtic Reconstruction and moved on from that as a base with an effort to build my own personal practice.

I’m looking forward to growing alongside all of you!

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Sacred Circumvolution

Our ancient family appeared
during the first great explosion of diversity,
as the Oceans drew their first breath.
Yet the salt within every tear
most often brings us only death.
Hard without, tender within
we crawl across the moonlit lands
quietly singing Wisdom.

Is it time to withdraw,
or come out of our shells?
Spiraling from double helix to galaxies,
Inward or Outward
like the shell of your ear;
although I may not hear you;
I see you
And can easily scent
that which feeds me best.
Grasping firmly with my tongue
before I feast
upon my chosen vegetation.

Respect
Be Aware
Be Patient
Be Humble

Persistence without haste
may be perceived by some as sloth.
Remember
bravery does not require a spine.
Time is relative
Life moves at its own pace
Slooow Dooown
and the World will spread out
its possibilities for your perusal.

Perfectly poised
twixt trust and self-preservation
Creating Sacred Space
for the Spirits that protect us.
We teach that there is a time for all things.
Allow them to unfold
Explore their textures
Go with the flow
Dance until the rains begin
Best foot forward,
sliding along my glistening trail
will reduce friction
helping to ease the way
allowing you to defy gravity
while protecting you from life’s rougher edges.

Stronger than appearance suggests
Self-Reliant and steadily progressing.
We can help you balance duality,
becoming either Mother or Father at will.
We need both to leave each other fecund,
carrying the future forward.

We show you
how to pay attention to the small details,
the importance of staying properly hydrated,
or how to safely seal your threshold
in times of trouble, as needed.
Will you read our history or future
from the patterns found upon our carapace?
Expand your consciousness, my dears,
but stay grounded
Because no matter where you go
there you are
taking your home with you,
building as you grow.

For those new to the game, each poem is inspired by a Teacher found in Nature; a star, stone, animal, plant etc that holds lessons of Wisdom for those that listen. Can you guess who is singing today?

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Apotheosis

So I am wondering if humans can attain godhood. In Christian terms, man/woman are made in God’s image and have immortal souls, but mortal bodies. So a kind of small godhood and form of immortality. I wonder if there is something similar anywhere in various Paganisms.

I think some occult systems are designed to develp the magician into a more god-like being. So can human beings become gods, or is there a permanent demarcation between humans and the gods? Is apotheosis a thing, and how prevalent?

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The Irish God of the Dead

So I have been dwelling on life, death, mortality, and ancestors. As a result I have been drawn to the Irish God Donn (“dark one”) believed to be the God of Death. I have for a long time been focused on Welsh Gods, mainly Gwydion and Cerridwen, as guides to spiritual transformation.

I have lately been looking towards Irish Deities, not limited to Donn, but also Brigid as a multi-faceted Goddess of hearth, poetry and healing. I mention Donn here because he seems more mysterious and unknown and I am thinking about life, death, and afterlife. So I am wondering if anyone has interacted with Donn, or know any good resources about him.

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Hello everyone

Well I’m back after a few years.   ;D lol So much has went on in my life lately. Anyways I’m in the broom closet mostly in real life. I was lucky to even get to know some local Pagans in my area (a Hibernian Pagan and a lady who worships Lilith). I’ve considered myself a Classical Pagan since about 2016. Lately I’ve rejected the belief that the Gods intervene in our lives. It’s hard coming out to people in real life; not just cause of what happened to my grandfather in 2013 but also because of what happened to me in Toronto a year later while coming back from the UK. I used to be Wiccan when I was a teen and still hold on to some elements of Witchcraft I learned from those years. My hobbies are primarily C++(still learning) and poetry(been doing that for a long time). I write a lot of my grimoire in Latin, albeit terribly lol. I’m also a little bit of a history buff.

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Paranormal or a Delusion?

I’m incredibly unsure on the subject of this thread as it’s a bit of a doozy.  I’m struggling with this concept and have been for several years and finally am seeking advice. 

Trigger Warning – manipulation, sexual assault, physical abuse.

Since my childhood I’ve been fascinated with the supernatural and paranormal.  It’s shaped who I am today, however I feel as though that belief may have gotten me into a dangerous situation.  I’ve been with my husband for a decade and since the beginning, he’s held firm that he’s deeply connected to the demonic world.  Naturally, being a teen very interested in the paranormal, there were no doubts in my mind. 

** Before I continue I want to say that my husband is incredibly sweet, will do anything for me, and is nonviolent towards me on a normal basis.  While he is sometimes financially irresponsible, he has literally given me the shirt off his back and supports me in pretty much whatever adventure I want to partake.  He has his own interests and friends, I have mine, and we have some together.  He encourages me to pursue my passions and has opened his heart to my interests and protecting them (wildlife, the dangers of litter and how recycling and proper disposal is imperative (beach cleanup really opened his eyes), the importance of our natural world, etc). **

As the years went by, his claim of his connection never waivered – neither did my belief.  I witnessed first-hand incredibly unusual and often frightening incidents.  He would have episodes (unsure of what else to call them) where his voice would change, his eyes would change, and his personality would radically change.  During these episodes, there was often physical abuse (shoving, roughly grabbing), sexual abuse (a rape incident from years ago that has left me severely scarred), and mental abuse. 

It truly appeared as though there were 2 beings inside of his body – the ‘darker one(s)’ would claim that the ‘normal’ side was trapped and would be killed and his body would be utilized to wreak havoc on the world.  There would be struggles as though each side was literally fighting inside for dominance.  There would be physical signs of this struggle left behind – scratches and bruises, vomiting – sometimes blood.  Periodically when the darker side would appear, it would claim to be different beings (various names I don’t remember, except Belial).  I would be threated, made to believe that he would be killed, offer my safety in exchange for carrying demonic spawn, among other things. 

My husband says this started in childhood when he befriended someone who offered companionship and a solution to his problems.  Throughout his life he’s claimed he’s seen demons and other supernatural being inside of people or using their body as a skin.  He’s always said that he can have the power to ruin a lot of lives – all he has to do is say yes to their calls.  It seems he knows tons about every paranormal and supernatural creature out there – very specific things I’ve never heard of until I research it.  He knows of dark magickal practices (as well as lighter practices) and incredibly obscure things that, after research, seem to be true. 

I’ll be the first to admit that strange things always seem to happen.  For example, I’m 100% convinced one of my dogs had gotten possessed by something – he’s the gentlest soul and is a big teddy bear.  One night I heard my husband call my name from the other side of the house.  I walked down the hall and was blocked by my (large) dog who was standing in a very aggressive stance with a wild look in his eyes.  He never blinked as he stared me down and took a step towards me, teeth bared.  I immediately feared him.  I’ve never been fearful of a dog before, but I am very convinced this was not my dog looking at me.  I called for my husband, but he had been outside the entire time and never called my name.  I don’t exactly remember what happened next, but my big fuzzy doggo boy was back to being my cuddle bug shortly after.  Maybe there’s another logical reason for this, but this was in the middle of other weird things happening. 

Changes in the atmosphere of the room/house, looming figures, the episodes my husband had, locked (literally with extra precautions taken) animal cages opening when no one is home  setting predators and prey free, doors slamming open or closed in an empty room, things falling and breaking without explanation, etc.  He’s said a few times I’ve had demons inside me, but I’m unsure how to feel about these claims since I never questioned anything when it happened.  During these times I know my head would be in a dark place, I felt different, and I wasn’t completely in my right mind – often hearing voices urging me to do things – but is that demonic or mental?  (ps – I am currently medicated for anxiety)

His immediate family is aware of his demonic claims.  His father and brother think he’s a lunatic, but his mother believes him wholeheartedly and preaches Christianity to him, saying that Jesus will keep him safe.  His mother has seen the physical changes in him just as I have and has been attacked and had mental games played as well – often with claims that her son is dead, her God can’t save him, he’s evil, etc.  When I would reach out to her for help, she never questioned anything happening.  She would tell the voice speaking things like she knows and loves her son, the darkness can’t take him, he isn’t what they’re saying he is, that love and light will protect him, and some things relating to her beliefs and religion.  This is going to sound cliché, but it almost reminded me of the scene in The Exorcist where the priest(?) was arguing with the possessed little girl. 

This mostly slowed down for the last couple of years with small occurrences happening, but not nearly as frequently as before.   There has been no physical or sexual attacks.  Until recently.  A couple of days ago, I woke to the feeling of being watched (I had gone to bed several hours before him as I had work the next day).   I cracked open my eyes and once I saw he was in the room, I shut them, assuming he was just coming to bed like normal.  A minute or so later I heard him gasp and sat up to see him clutching his head backing away towards the door, sounding almost like he was about to cry.  He was freaking out and it took a while, but I finally got him to tell me what was wrong – he was watching TV across the house then came to in our bedroom and saw his hands reaching for my throat.  He did not sleep in bed with me that night, opting to sleep on the other side of the house, afraid of what had happened.  I didn’t quite process what he said until I asked about it the next morning and was actually awake (I had drowsy medication in my system, which I’m super sensitive to, so I was barely conscious). 

Lately he’s felt what he almost describes as a calling.  He says he knows he’s going to be sucked into the darkness and they’ll take over.  He’s often having dreams of being helpless to save his friends or family until he hears voices offering him the power to save them.  He describes, to me, what sounds like what I envision as the antichrist taking over if he allows them inside.  He told me that if he sinks into it, he plans to put an end to his body so it won’t be able to be used.  He called his mother to warn of the same thing, to which she actually accepted without a fight…

I truly do not know what to believe. 

A part of me is saying there’s absolutely no way and he’s got to have a mental disorder.  A god complex of sorts.  A manipulative, narcissistic personality.  He refuses to speak to anyone else about this (no therapists or anything), claiming they’ll send him to the nut house. 

So here I am asking for guidance.  For anyone who’s worked with the supernatural, does any of this sound legitimate?  I feel as though my beliefs were preyed upon and I’ve been spun into a web of..well..crazy.  I 100% believe in the supernatural and paranormal, however, I’m unsure if any of what I’ve been led to believe as truth is real or has been a massive manipulative plot.

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Introduction from the Bayou

Hi!  I’m Cypress and I’m from the Deep South USA.  I’m a Virgo and am nearing 30.  I started on my path about 15 years ago with Wicca, which turned into a more relaxed Pagan path. 

I’m a nature nut and my property backs up to a 25,000 acre wildlife reserve!  While I work a standard 9-5 desk job, my true passion is nature and wildlife.  I rehabilitate wildlife, work with exotic animals, and participate in as many nature related projects as I can.  I feel more relaxed during the Spring and Summer seasons due to Daylight Savings time – the sunlight fuels me for sure!  I tend to fall into a depression during Fall and Winter due to the longer nights and shorter days. 

I initially found this forum while seeking guidance for a particularly strange situation I’ve found myself in regarding the more paranormal and supernatural side of things.  I look forward to meeting like-minded people and learning as much as I can from this wonderful place!

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Cecropia moths

Yesterday I had the good fortune to encounter a cecropia moth caterpillar in my parent’s garden. This is only the second time in my whole life I’ve seen a live one of these. We gave it a stick and by the end of the evening it was starting its cocoon, so with any luck we will get to see a huge moth next spring  ;D

I was gushing to my coworkers this morning and one of them said, ‘You have to take those out of the gadren because they’ll eat the lilacs.’ I was like, are you serious? A few eaten lilac leaves would be worth it to see more cool insects.

(Anyway, I looked it up and this particular caterpillar was probably living on the maple tree in my parents’ yard, not the lilacs.)

Anyone else have a cool insect story?

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