Healthy Challenge–Spring 2015

It’s been a while since we’ve done this, and with the punishing winter in the East of North America keeping many of us indoors and inactive, as spring finally arrives I thought now might be a good time to see who wants to commit to a healthy challenge for Spring 2015.

The idea is:

to announce a health and/or fitness goal in this thread, so that we can all hold each other’s feet to the fire and offer tips and encouragement

HINT: Pick a goal that’s specific, measurable, and attainable
beginning with the impending equinox, strive for achieve your goal by the solstice on June 21
update us here in this thread periodically on your progress

I think we pagans sometimes don’t spend enough time keeping ourselves in better shape; we’d rather curl up with a good esoteric tome than do dumbbell curls. So let’s buck the trend–and no, everyone doesn’t have to turn into gym rats (though if that’s your calling, as it is for me, then cool); just pick a goal that’s appropriate for you and your lifestyle and what you want to achieve health wise.

Who’s with me?

If You Were Making a Portable Magic Kit …

… what would you put in it?

I don’t do much magic, so my portable kit is pretty much my only kit. The contents so far:

– a copper burner
– charcoal disks for it
– a candle
– salt
– some edible paper
– a regular pencil
– a red china-marking pencil
– a small folding knife (for practical, not ritual, use)
– soap
– a white cloth
– a small notebook with correspondences, symbols etc

I can think of a few things I’d like to add, like matches , string, and colored origami paper.

What would your kit contain?

Church of All Worlds?

I tried to use the search function but “Church of All Worlds” isn’t a searchable term(too common, the engine told me).

So I’ll ask here.

Does anyone have experience with the Church of All Worlds?

I had something like experience with them when I lived in the deep south, but nothing that would make me say that I am any type of authority.

Are there any CAW members? Are there any threads where people talked CAW to death that I couldn’t find? Is it heretical and awful to bring up CAW because of *insert reason here*?

God Attachment?

Has anyone ever gotten the feeling like you’re Gods are attached to you, as much as you are to them? I say this, because lately I feel like if I don’t pay attention to them or try something else, they always seem to get back in my mind and I always return to them. It feels like I’m destined to honor these 4 deities and no matter how much I try to maybe distance myself from them at time, they won’t let me! Has any of you experienced this and any shape or form?

Let’s Talk About Patron Deities

An ever-common topic in the Paganism for Beginners subforum (and others) is ‘Help me find my patron deity’. Just right now, there are at least four of them out there on the front page. And they all seem to follow the same script: Newer pagan doesn’t have a patron deity, needs one badly. Is looking everywhere, can’t find one. Wants suggestions. More experienced pagan comes in and tells them that not everyone has a patron and they don’t need to keep looking. Newer pagan rejects this idea and keeps looking, to varying degrees of success. But why?

There have been numerous articles about Facebook having a negative effect on your mood; the theory is that since people only post the highlights of their life on their page, you start to see that as normal. It looks like everyone else is having more fun than you, doing more things, and often just being a better and more interesting person in general.

I’m seeing this same effect in internet paganism. We only talk about our most noteworthy experiences because everything else is, well, kinda mundane. And it’s created an atmosphere where it seems like every experience has to be mind-blowing and if not, it’s a failure. This causes newbie pagans to develop false expectations of what their spiritual experience should be like.

When the experienced pagan tells them that they don’t need a patron, it goes against everything they’ve read before. Everyone who has a patron is talking about their patron, and anyone who doesn’t have one is either lamenting their lack of one or just not talking. Even the person telling them they don’t need a patron has one! To the newbie, paganism without a patron is like many people’s idea of a vegetarian meal: a plate with an unfilled space where the meat should be.

Any thoughts?

Ceridwen: Potential Thwap?

A little over two years ago, when I first started down the Pagan path, I Googled “writers patron deities,” hoping to find someone I would connect with. I came across Taliesin, and in turn, Ceridwen. I thought the story interesting, but didn’t really feel much of anything besides passing interest.

Fast forward to about a week ago, when I stumbled upon Taliesin and Ceridwen again; I had forgotten about them. I read more about Ceridwen (as there is sadly a lack of information about Taliesin as a god), and her correspondences, almost obsessively, soaking in everything I could. Then, I started to notice things on my walk to work. **Live hens for sale, and pecking at ears of corn. Butchered pigs for sale, with the heads proudly displayed on vendor’s tables. And, two or three large, brown rabbits, which, while I know aren’t sacred to Ceridwen, still made me stop and go, “Huh.”

I don’t know if this is “thwapping,” or gentle nudging, or I’m reading into something that isn’t really there, but any advice would be great–whether it’s about Ceridwen, thwapping, whatever. My Tarot cards say it would be a positive and enlightening relationship to pursue, but I would still appreciate other’s opinions.

Structuring a Ritual

What are some of the ways you structure your rituals? I’m mostly informal in my practice, which works well for me, but I feel like it might be a good idea to incorporate some structure there.

Do you write your own? What are some of the things you find to be important during ritual?

Deities for Pets (and Familiars/Livestock)

English: Idols of Indian deities
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The short of it is that I keep pets and I’d like to ask a deity to work with me in maintaining their health.

The long of it is that I’ve had a couple vet trips this year, a big move, and I’m not feeling super confident even though I know logically that I’ve got everything matching or better than the ‘ideal condition’ for each pet, and I’d like a bit of well, help. The deities I regularly work with do, but it’s not their forte, so to speak, and long term work in that niche isn’t going to be ideal. I’d also like to build a relationship so that the occasional more heavy or specific petitioning was not out of place.

Specifically, I have rodents and reptiles, and should I find one I feel a bit of a pull to working with a snake deity, though I’m not aware of any other than general nagas. I don’t work with any specific pantheon.

To be very clear, all mundane things are covered, everyone has food, water, shelter, health care, cleanliness, etc.

Familiars/Livestock is mainly to cast a wider net, they are less ideal, but at the same time I think that since what animals people keep for what reason has evolved, at least some of these deities will be willing to work on a wider purpose than their label, and in any case, suggestions will give me a jumping point.

Scott Cunningham

Cover of Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Pract...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While I wouldn’t put him on the same level as fluffy authors like Gerina Dunwich, Patricia Telesco, and DJ Conway, he did write in a way that whitewashed Wicca and made it politically correct, rejecting the word “witch” and advancing Wicca as a religion of love and light. That said, he also captured the beauty of it, as well as integrating its shamanistic and magical characteristics into the more devotional religious aspects that not many authors and teachers are able to do.

The problem is that Wicca in his books, and those of similar authors influenced him such as Silver Ravenwolf, just seems rather generic. He also really emphasized the “harm none” rede, which is problematic for some people, and I have heard from BTW traditionalists that it was not originally part of Wicca, and is still not a significant aspect of traditional Wicca, as it is a pretty vague and unrealistic guideline.

What are your thoughts on Cunningham’s books?

Christian Trinity and Gaelic Polytheism?

English: a Venn diagram-like symbol for the Ch...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is it possible to honor and believe in the christian trinity and still be a Gaelic Polytheist? Or can one blend the two paths?

For a little background info; I consider myself a seeker again. I’ve gone through some major ‘me’ changes that shook loose my loose foundations in Kemeticism and Flamekeeping. It loosened it up enough that I’m back to square one. I’ve got this indescribable pull towards the christian Trinity, with a lot of focus on the Holy Spirit and St. Mary. That would be simple enough, if I didn’t also have the draw to Gaelic polytheism. So, I’m trying to balance those two pulls and find some common ground between the two. I’m not sure if I’m making much sense, but I’m trying.

Does anybody have any input or thoughts on what I’m trying to grasp at? Any suggested directions I should head?