What would your temple look like?

I may have asked this a while ago, but since I’ve been stomping around Mexico City today looking at and thinking about mesoamerican temples, it’s top of my mind, so:

If you had unlimited resources to build the temple of your dreams for your gods (or any one god)/your religion, what would it look like?

For myself, I’m torn; part of my tree-hugging pagan-ness says any place outside in nature is my temple.

But my “go highfalutin!” impulse, no small part of me, has been fueled by imagining the grandeur of what the ancients did, so here goes:

Mine would be a large circular hard-floored space open to the sky, with the symbol at the bottom of my posts as its floor plan. Gates–torii-like twin posts with a top crossing beam–would stand at the points of the triangle for entering/leaving the space; the remaining 9 stations around the circle’s perimeter would be marked with posts–free-standing columns or monoliths–so that the whole effect would be rather like Stonehenge.

The inner side of each monolith would have a statue or relief carving depicting that god or divine entity, or some defining aspect of that deity and its associated concepts; the visual should be at least abstract enough to make it race-neutral. These would each form a shrine within the larger temple to a particular god. (At the gates, perhaps the carving could rest atop the crossing beam.)

Finally–and this is where the whole thing falls apart!–a giant head with 3 faces would somehow float in the middle of the circle, high enough above to look down on the congregants. How this miracle of engineering would be accomplished, I have no idea. (I originally thought a tree could support them in the center, but I like the idea of the middle being open, so that those gathered can face each other in circle.)

Ideally this would be located on a bluff, with the top of the triangle pointing out to the cliff drop and the horizon. Directly opposite that, at the bottom of the circle, there would be a secret entrance to an underground passage (that is no longer secret since I just mentioned it).

Not that I’ve thought about this at all.

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Review: King of the Witches by June Johns

Title: King of the Witches: The World of Alex Sanders
Author: June Johns
Publisher: Peter Davies : London
Publication Date: 1969 (First Edition)
Length: 155 pages
ISBN-10: 0432076751

“King of the Witches” is a hugely entertaining, if pretty fantastical, biography of one of the leading figures of modern pagan witchcraft, Alex Sanders. Published in 1969 by June Johns, an author described as having “made a living from writing sensationalist, poorly-researched and somewhat titillating books in the late 60s/early 70s”1, and using photographs allegedly taken by her photographer husband without the permission of at least one of the major participants2, this slim book is a wild romp through Alex Sanders’ early life with a focus on exploring his interest in all things magical.

Sanders was the consummate showman and trickster, and a grain of salt is required when reading this biography. It’s hard to say whether Johns believed everything Sanders told her, or whether she was simply writing in the vein of the sensationalist journalism so prevalent at the time, but nonetheless she does a good job of making some extraordinary events seem plausible. It’s likely that the exact details of Sanders’ life will never be fully revealed, but this book certainly covers many of his most interesting stories (at least, up until the publication date – Sanders went on to live for almost another 20 years).

To begin with, Johns covers Sanders’ version of the “grandmother” story; Sanders claimed that in 1933, after stumbling upon his grandmother performing a rite in her kitchen, he was initiated by her as a hereditary witch. The whole thing seems wildly unlikely, especially considering that even Sanders himself would give contradictory accounts of his introduction to witchcraft, but it does make for a fun read.

Johns covers much of Sanders’ childhood, spent training as a witch and seer, before moving on to his expanding interest in the occult, including a foray into spiritualism and, later, black magic. Sanders eventually receives his comeuppance, and returns to the “white witchcraft” fold following the suicide of a lover, and then the terminal illness of his closest sibling.

A lot of the subsequent stories, where Sanders is an adult (and expert witch), are weird and wonderful snippets featuring sex and the supernatural, and the effects of both on the people in Sanders’ life. It is also about this point that Jack Smith’s photographs are used to illustrate the book: pictures of Alex and his then wife Maxine, either robed or nude, leading their coven in rites, surrounded by the exotic regalia of the witch. These rare photos are truly magical.

The book covers Sanders’ tumultuous relationships with several of his apprentices and coven members, his marriage to Maxine Morris and the birth of their daughter Maya, and the party where five covens’ worth of his initiates crowned him King of the Witches.

A direct interview with Sanders rounds off the biography, before a series of appendices offer a brief glimpse at exactly what practicing witchcraft actually involves.

What I liked: Fairly non-judgmental discussion of Sanders’ bisexuality, and use of sex magic. Appendices including information on “The Law” (a.k.a. the Old Laws or the Ardanes in other forms of Wicca), the witches’ calendar (eight sabbats), the Charge of the Goddess, the Witches’ Rune, initiation, magical correspondences – all of which make this one of the first Wiccan books to include actual information on how to practice.

What I disliked: Racist nonsense about “priests of Kali” coming over from India to hire Sanders to return with them and dedicate a temple to Kali by committing murder (human sacrifice), before training them in European ways of raising and using magical power. More racist nonsense about voodoo being for “the seduction of women or the destruction of men by death or insanity.” The absolute lack of mention of Gerald Gardner, the founder of Wicca, and just exactly how Alex Sanders came to have a Book of Shadows!

Conclusion: This book is worth reading because it provides a look inside the head of a storyteller, magician, and founder of one of the earliest traditions of Wicca – Alex Sanders. Seekers and practitioners of Wicca alike will find something of interest in these pages, provided they’re willing to read critically and separate the wheat from the chaff. At the very least, it will be helpful to familiarise oneself with the stories and experiences discussed here. My recommendation is to relax and enjoy the ride!

1: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/amberandjet/conversations/messages/86640
2: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/amberandjet/conversations/messages/86658

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Pariacaca

Hello all,

I’m searching for others who have or who do work alongside Pariacaca the Ican God of water and rainstorms. Since I was a wee lad I have always have had a connect to water and more specifically to rain. I just recently started my journey down the Wiccan path and I’m looking for a starting point as to how to honor him.

If anyone has experience with him or if there has already been a thread about him please point me in the right direction.

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Benevolent Gods

So I was raised Catholic and the main characteristics of Christ I was taught is that He is merciful, compassionate, and benevolent. I am wondering if there are particular non-Christian/Pagan Gods and Goddesses whose main attribute is compassion and benevolence.

From what I have seen, some Gods and Goddesses are not so much benevolent as complex. It also brings a question to my mind which is- what do Humans get from various Gods and Goddesses? Why interact with them? How does it benefit us and what do the Gods and Goddesses get out of it?

I still maintain a streak of that feeling of Christ as compassionate and it colors how I look at non-Christian deities. Anyway, I was wondering if anyone had some thoughts on this topic.

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Seeking anti-snoring recommendations

This may be a long shot, but here goes nonetheless…

I’m seeking recommendations for anti-snoring devices.  I actually speculate that I may possibly suffer from sleep apnoea, but it’s not diagnosed.  So devices which may help with both snoring and with sleep apnoea would be ideal.

There’s obviously lots on Amazon but (as is usually the way) the reviews vary greatly, and some of the devices can be very pricey so I’d love to have something recommended before I make a purchase.

Here’s hoping some of you have tried such devices and can make a recommendation (feel free to PM me if you’d rather not share info about your snoring issues publicly!)

Cheers.

Edit: fixed a missing letter typo.

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Unknown religions

Most religions I’ve encountered I know nothing about them. For example, celtic religion is a mystery to me. But what I find wrong in my thinking is that I misjudge religions I know little about. Satanism is one case. I thought Satanism is a religion where people want a patron to cause harm and misery to others. But I don’t have a clue what Satanism is, actually. I think that I jump to conclusions easily and without knowledge, so my point to this post is that jumping to conclusions isn’t very bright.  :o

Have you ever misjudged a religion?

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Merry Meet!

Hello, my name is Terra, or at least it will be but that is a long story. Im a wiccan solo practitioner from florida though due to the nature of my job i end up living in different states at any given year. I have been a practicing wiccan for 13 years and though looking back i only started fully living by The Rede 5 years ago, its been a rough path.

I live by the Great Mother Goddess and the Horned God, and my practice is nature and energy, though recently i started getting in to tarot reading and it was an experience with that that convinced me that i needed to seek out this forum.

Well met, and may you path be guided by gentle breezes

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Life’s To Do List 2019 – Season 1

I suspect I’m not the only one who struggles with staying on top of goals, so I’m resurrecting this idea.

It’s been a few years (2012) since we’ve done one of these threads.  The idea is simple – post a list of goals for the first season of 2019.  Check back regularly to post updates, celebrate successes and kvetch when things aren’t going well.

List as many or few goal as you like, organized in whatever way works for you.  Keep in mind that goals are more likely to be achieved if they are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic/relevant, time-bound).

Ready? Set?  Post those goals!

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