Questions about Demons

A woodcut from 1598 shows an exorcism performe...

A woodcut from 1598 shows an exorcism performed on a woman by a priest and his assistant, with a demon emerging from her mouth (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I watched the movie The Conjuring. It was, of course, about demon possession. It is supposedly based on a true story although I have not verified this yet.

So as with all demon possessions that are televised, they call for it to be approved by the Vatican and whatnot. So like all exorcisms the priest reads from the Bible, saying in the name of God, throwing holy water and waving a cross. Demon possessed person talks in demon voice and says and does awful and weird things but then they scream as the priest keeps talking then disappear.

So if demons are a “Christian thing” is that why the priest and Bible words exorcise it? Would praying to a pagan Deity work too? If not, why? Why would only an Abrahamic religion work to exorcise the demon? (I said that in my Ace Ventura voice) also I heard that demons are (can’t remember the word now. I’m sorry I’m sick and fuzzy headed) but it means they never walked the earth in any form as a human. They’re not of this “earth” I guess?

I ask because I’m terrified of demon possession since it apparently happens to believers and non believers alike. I’m not a Christian so would I be “unsavable” because of this? I mean would a demon say “eh the Morrighan will kick my ass if I touch that one” or “Set would rip my head off” etc you get the point. I have a need to know this so I know whether or not my paranoia is founded. If all of this is untrue then where do the counts of possession come from? They do. Strange inhuman things and speak dead languages. So how would this happen if it’s not real?

Elementals

English: Water Elementals.

Water Elementals. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was wondering if y’all could give me some information on Elementals. Any information. I’ve always been fascinated by them. I’d like some good books but also some websites that are trustworthy (books are expensive). I would like information like how to contact them, have you had experiences with them, is it a “real” experience as in you physically saw or heard them as opposed to deity contact where you get… Feelings — I don’t know how to explain what I mean. Do they like offerings, do they help you, what do you offer them if they help you, what kind of help do they give? How can I make them happy, feel welcome, part of the family, etc. And is all that even safe?

Deities in the Media?

Video game station

Video game station (Photo credit: niallkennedy)

Over the years there have been quite a few movies, comics and video games featuring pagan deities as characters. Often they are not really depicted as they are in myth and lore.

I am curious as to the general thoughts people have on this. Do you find it offensive? amusing? Do you think that its great because it keeps their names out there and may inspire someone to do some research or do you think its a disgraceful appropriation?

The Sounds of Magic

Abracadabra

Abracadabra (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Poof!
Presto!
Alakazam!
Abracadabra!
[Open/close] Sesame!

Over the last week I’ve found myself fascinated by these words/sounds; it started with “poof,” when I realized that for nearly everyone, it immediately denotes one and only one thing: a puff of smoke associated with some sudden mystical occurrence. (Aside from the derogatory slang for a gay man, that is.)

These terms have been debased by overuse in tawdry showmanship…but do they have deeper origins? What are those origins? Did they ever have real meaning or real power? And what connotations do they have for you?

For example, I have newfound respect for “abracadabra” after reading the Wikipedia entry:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abracadabra

…and I’ve fallen in love with the proposed Hebrew etymology and how it translates.

Suggestions For Storybooks

Neo-Paganism

Neo-Paganism (Photo credit: Rainbow Gryphon)

I’d like to buy my little girl some books based on mythologies, Paganism and other such subjects so that her entire library doesn’t just consist of ‘The Gruffalo’ and similar books! She’s just about to turn 3 and i’d love any suggestions of things to buy her for birthday and Christmas. Many thanks!

Oh and as an aside and on the subject of presents, anyone got any ideas of what 3 year olds like? I’m trying to make a list to prepare but I’m stumped!

Magick in the Kitchen?

English: What is cooking : a scene in a Indian...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was just curious how many of you use magick and/or prayer work in your cooking, daily routine, etc.

Personally, I tend to send out little prayers doing even the simplest things, like while stirring my tea, wiping the crumbs off the counter or even making a pan of brownies. Usually, I am asking that my family be kept safe, healthy, and happy.

Sometimes if we’re experiencing particular family or personal issues I’ll contemplate those while cooking or cleaning and recite a spell or pray while asking for guidance and wisdom. I might even add a certain spice or seasoning to a meal in hopes it might help the “cause” I am working on.

I guess what I do is considered to be on the folksy side of spell work.

I just wondered if anyone else does anything similar.

Modern Applications of Seasonal Festivals

English: Wheel of the Year with Fire Festivals...

Wheel of the Year with Fire Festivals and Quarter Festivals (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been thinking for a while about having part of my seasonal observances be tied to modern-stuff-that’s-useful.

For example, my birthday falls at the fall equinox, and that would be a *very* sensible time for me to decide, say, to check all of my online profiles and make sure they’re current and saying useful things.

Likewise, at Samhain, it would be a good time for me to review the ‘what happens if I die’ stuff (will, disposition of intellectual property rights, who to tell online if something happens to me, etc.)

Those are things that fit into the cycle of the year, either fairly generally (the Samhain bit) or in an obvious personal way (the fact my birthday falls on the equinox makes the timing a bit simpler.)

But I’m contemplating spreading things out a bit more, too, and I’m curious if anyone does anything like this, has thought of doing anything like, has ideas for useful things along those lines, etc. (I also note I’m working on an 8 Sabbat model, but I’m more interested in ‘stuff and reason for particular association’ than where it ends up falling on the calendar, because some of this is going to be fairly arbitrary.)

Other things I’ve considered:
– reshelving my books in the right places.
– prepping my closet for seasonal changes (which is hard to do precisely, hello, New England, where we have very clear seasons, but when they feel like they’ve changed can vary by 6 weeks.)
– reviewing online privacy settings and related things like that (which I do as an ongoing thing, but where stuff can change without my realising it, or there’s more nuanced options than there used to be, etc.)
– cleaning out my hardrive/online bookmarks/etc. for better usability.
– cleaning out iTunes and my accumulated music and making it easier to sort.
– ditto on the ebooks.
– reviewing my long-term financial planning (retirement, etc. which is mostly automated, but it’s nice to look at it.)

Some of these things are a once a year thing. Some of them are a twice a year thing. Some of them are a ‘do more than that’ (links!) but looking at them closely at least once a year is probably smart.

Devotional Hair Practices?

English: Girl getting her hair done

English: Girl getting her hair done (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you cut, style, colour, cover etc. your hair for devotional reasons?

What do you do and why do you do it?

For the past year or so I’ve had niggling push to cut my hair. This isn’t a small thing, my hair is around 30 inches long. At first I thought I’d sell it, then decided I might try to donate it… More recently I’ve realised it’s needed as some sort of offering. The impression I get is that my cut plait will need to be kept as an offering/bargain/contract for a period of time. I don’t know how long that will be, or if I’ll be keeping the hair short during that, or what I’ll do with the plait after said period. It’s all still a bit fuzzy.

Divination Sets and Their Personalities/Characteristics

Ogham alphabet (non-IPA)

Ogham alphabet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve seen a lot of Pagans talk about divination sets and their personalities, which often seem to be independent of things like whether the set/symbols were hewn out of a rare tree or scribbled on the back of bits of paper. I’m relatively new to divination, but I’m learning this about tarot and Ogham sets myself. My DruidCraft tarot deck likes to push me to get practical things done, while my symbols-on-the-‘right’-trees Ogham set likes to be a bit ironic and ‘told you so’ about things, and my Wild Wood tarot seems to be deeply mystical. Some of this is based on the imagery of the set in question – the Wild Wood tarot was never going to be highly practical, with all those inner-world archetypes, for example. But some of it seems to be about the particular set – I have a set of Ogham cards that seems fairly neutral in comparison, even though they both use the same basic symbols.

So, a couple of questions come out of this:

1) Do you have a divination set with a particularly interesting ‘personality’? What kinds of experiences have clued you into this?

2) Do you think the ‘personality’ of a set has more to do with the type of divination it’s set up to do, or is it more about the character of a specific set? Is the Thoth tarot destined to be weird and dark, or could you conceive of a cheerful Thoth deck?

3) Or do you think it’s not possible for a set of printed cards or factory-etched runes to have any kind of personality? In that case, would you be more willing to ascribe one to a hand-made set?

Runes: Making vs Buying

Picture of Runes used in Fortune Telling

Runes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am reading up on using runes on the fabulous website previously mentioned someone on the board (I am sorry but I can’t remember who posted it). I was wondering whether buying runes in person or online would be better.

I have found posts regarding buying various tools (cards, stones, pendulums, etc.) where it was recommended to hold the object in your hand and see if it speaks to you in some way. I definitely get this, especially for divination tools since their use is so personal. I don’t know where to find runes in person, though, and don’t even know what keywords to use in searching for a local store that may carry them.

I found this http://www.sunnyway.com/runes/runeset.html on making runes on the site I have been reading. Has anyone made runes this way?