“Up All Night” 2016 is coming! (Night of December 20/21)

“Up All Night” 2016 is coming! A Cauldron Holiday Tradition

The night straddling Tuesday, December 20/Wednesday, December 21 marks the 2016 solstice: the summer solstice (longest day of the year) in the southern hemisphere, and the winter solstice (longest night of the year) in the north. At the Cauldron we have a habit of celebrating the December solstice with a cyber party that starts at sunset (wherever you are) and ends at sunrise (wherever you are), during which time we “gather” electronically in this space–posting anything and everything (but still within forum rules, of course) in a special Up All Night thread that opens on the solstice, and talking relentlessly to help each other stay up all night—or simply for as long as one wants to stay awake and participate. Northern hemisphere or south, pagan or not, staying up all night long or just dropping in while you’re awake…it doesn’t matter, because everyone is welcome at Up All Night: A Technopagan Solstice Celebration!

The festivities will begin at sunset on Tuesday evening, December 20. We have a non-theme each year—an idea that can serve as an inspiration/organizing thought for posts, but that can be completely ignored (which is why we call it a “non-theme”). This year’s non-theme is:

Making it through the dark times

(Seasonal, political, personal,…interpret that as you will, or turn a blind eye to the non-theme and post/chat about whatever you want)

So let’s use this space to start warming up: Who’s going to join in on the fun this year? And (regardless of whether or not you plan to pull the full all-nighter) what are your top suggestions for staying awake?

How does the Pagan Concept of God/dess differ from the Christian Concept of God?

As a new Pagan that was a Fundamentalist Christian for most of my life I am really interested in knowing the differences. God and even Satan was thought to be able to know our thoughts, be everywhere at once, be all powerful etc. He demanded absolute obedience and gave in return his love and blessings like meeting your basic needs. Not very much in return I think…

What are the fundamentals of the concept of god/dess as it relates to your relationship to your gods and goddesses?

What do your gods and godesses expect from you?

What do you do for your god/desses and what do they do for you?

What are the ways in which you worship? serve your god/desses?

I don’t only want to know the basics, but include those and what a more advanced path would entail.

These are probably repetitive, sorry, I don’t know anything.

Deity Contact Experiences

deity photoMostly I wanted to say: do other people feel that contact with deity/spirits feels more real with your eyes closed? Or is that just me?

But also after being atheist/agnostic for a year, I’m trying to get back into the swing of things & learn about other deities so does anyone have advice? Or rituals, or funny stories, or anything really? [I don’t really follow a tradition, I’m more a make-it-up-as-I-go sort of person.]

Tradition-Founding 101: Suggestions and Advice?

In short: if you find yourself interested in making your personal eclectic practice (or some aspect of it) into a tradition accessible to others, how would you go about it in a practical sense?

To be a little more lengthy…I’m naturally a creative person and inclined to share my ideas and work. I have a small but reasonably stable personal practice, and I’m slowly trying to create from this something I can share with others with mystic inclinations.

If you were in my shoes, how would you go about this work? What kind of groundwork would you lay? What questions do you think you’d need to answer? What sort of plan would you make?

Incense Offerings

incense photoSo I was wondering what types of incense offerings people here like to use.

I do not have a particular kind I use as long as I think it has a nice scent. I do not have a lot of money either. Usually I have used incense sticks, but in my rituals there are two places to offer incense and it can be a hassle because I do not need it to be burning the entire time in between.

I just need to waft a little incense and that is it. With the sticks I either have to light it and then put it right out, and it can be sort of messy with the ashes and distracting, or let it burn, and then I might have to use two sticks to make both the offerings.

I have thought about purchasing one of those incense burners used in the church to swing over my altar or table, but I haven’t decided yet. I do not have any experience with it.

Daily Practices as a “Stay At Home” Parent?

Parenting photoSpinning off a topic in “Faith in Everyday Life”, for those of you who specifically parent at home full-time, what kind of things do you do to integrate your beliefs into your average day? Does your practice/spiritually influence your parenting process or rhythm? How do you find time to engage with your concept of deity while driving the proverbial minivan?

And does anyone find the veneration of a deity associated with hearth and home helpful? If so, what does that look like for you?

Pentagram, Triquetra, or both on your altar?

For those of you who work with an altar or set up a sacred space for worship or divination; do you prefer using a pentagram or a triquetra to draw energy/represent earth/whatever else you choose to use it for.
I found a small pane of glass, a perfect little rectangle, and I want to make it into an altar piece. I’ve never placed either symbols on my altar before and I was considering both.

What do you prefer?

Why?

Do you choose both/neither?

Channeling Energy

English: A description of the major chakras an...

. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been working on my energy work was wondering what is the best way to channel energy to get the desired effects other than using wands, rings, gemstones, necklace’s, bracelets and amulets.
Is it better to channel the energy through:

Your physical body.

Your energy body (I don’t know the real name for that)

Your aura.

Or perhaps all at once.

Depending on the type of energy you can access and work with the best.

I am open to ideas and suggestions.

Is Kemeticism “Pagan”

Priests of Anubis, The guide of the dead and t...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been recently getting back into Kemeticism. Now I’m aware that in general, Kemeticism is considered “Capital-P Pagan” (religions that self-identify as Pagan as opposed to “lowercase-p Pagan”, which just means any religion that’s not Christian/Jewish/Islamic”). For example, religions like Druidry, Wicca, Hellenismos, Religio Romana, Celtic Paganism and Heathenry (in most cases, although I have seen Heathens online who don’t consider themselves Pagan). I used to think that Kemeticism was Pagan as well. However, I have recently seen materials written by Kemetics that state that Kemeticism is not Pagan. These are the arguements:

Kemeticism is NOT Pagan

1. Pagan has historically been a European term. The ancient Egyptian religion, being African, would not have been historically considered Pagan.

2. Even the modern Pagan moment has historically been European. The God and the Goddess of Wicca were originally considered to be Cernunnos (Celtic) and Diana (Roman). Asatru was the second Pagan religion. The term “Pagan” became more European-based.

3. Many definitions of “Pagan” I’ve come across require that for a religion to be Pagan, it has to be polytheistic. Kemeticism is not necessarily polytheistic, at least not in the traditional sense, as some interpretations of it are monolatrous, where there is one god with many different aspects.

Kemeticism is Pagan

1. Most Pagans and even many Kemetic practicioners do view Kemeticism as being part of the umbrella of Paganism.

2. Even though Paganism started out European, words can change and grow to encompass more things.

3. There are polytheistic interpretations of Kemeticism. Also, many definitions of “Pagan” don’t require the religion in question to be polytheistic.

I’m not really sure where I stand on this issue. What do you think? Is Kemeticism Pagan or not?

How do people choose their deities?

So I’m extremely new to paganism, haven’t really definitely decided what’s happening with that, but I’m curious as to how people figure out which deities they’re going to honor/worship/believe in?

I ask this because I had an experience… I think?

I was looking into figures for my fledgeling sacred space/altar/shrine/meditation focal point I’m working on in my house, and I chose a lovely little figure of Ceridwen (the aspect of paganism that draws me most is druidry, but that wasn’t a factor; I didn’t realize she was important in druidry… as I said, VERY new at this) mainly because she is related to knowledge and wisdom, and I like that.

Anyway, I was doing some visualization work where I was trying to visualize an ancient druid just in general (idea from a book I’m reading), and what unexpectedly and rather decidedly appeared was a crone figure with a cauldron (I’d been preparing to do this particular visualization for a couple of days, and I really thought I was going to see more of a maiden figure).

I connected the two later when I realized that Ceridwen is a crone figure with a cauldron, and got this “whoaaaa” kind of a feeling that I don’t really know what to do with.

So thoughts, ideas, etc., would be much appreciated. I don’t want to make too much out of a coincidence.