Divine Punishment in the Afterlife?

deitys at altar
Deities at altar (Photo credit: xjanix)

Something that I am not used to when encountering many Pagans is the disassociation of divine punishment in regards to the afterlife. Dharmic metaphysical concepts like samsara(rebirth) are added into very odd folk traditions such as Nordic based mythology for example. Being a Muslim before becoming a pagan did not feel weird to me as scholarly examined research has provided that the historicity of an afterlife was common for pagans regardless the extent of it. Reincarnation in the general context it is used now is not though.

I am not criticizing the believe on reincarnation but I am criticizing the dislike towards divine retribution. Perhaps my Islamic frame of mind is still present and this is debatable but I feel as if many modern pagans are reforming paganism into something it never was.

I am not against reincarnation as I do believe you have the right to worship what you want and choose your own ‘afterlife’ but it should not become a social rule amongst the many that the few must live up to something without objective basis. If you are familiar with any mythology at all you should know that deities have no issues with retribution or divine punishment. Being a Semitic Pagan this is more applicable for me you could say.

So why do some of you reject the afterlife in favor of annihilation or reincarnation? Are you afraid that if you applied yourself to a deities’ standards you would fail? I myself have no issues letting a deity know that I am completely under his/her whims.

I should mention that I truly believe that death is the end of limitations for consciousness so in this sense the continuation of consciousness you choose is entirely up to you as divinity and humanity is very much associated with a medium(the human mind) and a dual reflection of both states.

Seed Catalog Time!!!

The front cover of a 1901 Burpee Seed-Sense ca...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anyone else excited by this? The catalogs are arriving, and I’m going overboard planning my garden. So far, I have Cook’s Garden and Seed Savers Exchange. Burpee and Richter’s should be here any day now.

So, what will you grow? I’m eyeing up lemon cukes and purple pod peas.

Drawing Down the Moon/Contacting the Goddess — Questions

The crescent as a neo-pagan symbol of the Trip...
The crescent as a Neo-Pagan symbol of the Triple Goddess. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was introduced to this by a friend, but I fear the terminology is incorrect. When I research ‘drawing down the moon’ I see a lot about big group rituals and invoking the goddess through oneself. The way I was taught, it was simply a way to connect with the goddess during a full moon, to draw down Her essence into your life. Has anyone heard of this being ‘drawing down the moon’ or should I quit calling it that?

I’m a solitary witch, and I’ve done this ritual only once. What I basically did was, set aside a time around midnight during a full moon and lit a candle in the name of the goddess and some incense, and focused. I wrote a little introduction paragraph which I read, in order to introduce myself to the goddess and to declare my path. I asked her to come to me in whichever way she saw fit, and that night she actually did appear in a dream of mine (although it was a solar goddess as opposed to a lunar one).

My question is, I really want to connect with the goddess again. I can’t find a whole lot of information on moon rites like this, at least not solitary ones. I want to do the same kind of thing again, but I didn’t know whether or not it was only meant as an introduction sort of thing, because that’s how I originally did it.

Can anyone offer insight on this topic?

Charities by Deity

English: A mosaic of Tethys from the Antakya M...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I found this site some time back, but I think it is good to take a look at. It is about various charities that could match up with deities. It is listed by several pantheons: Gaelic, Greek, Norse, Roman, and Egyptian.

I personally think this is an awesome idea. As Hospitality is very important in my path, this is another way of providing an offering IMO for one of the deities I honor.

What do others think of this?

Goddesses or Not?

The Head of Medusa by Peter Paul Rubens, circa...
The Head of Medusa by Peter Paul Rubens, circa 1618. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Out and about on the interwebs, I’ve come across a few tidbits of information that I’d like to get your take on. I’m just a little curious about a few mythic figures. Namely, Medusa, Lilith, and Boudicca.

Do any of you consider Medusa a Goddess? I realize she was originally mortal in the myths, turned into a “monster” by Athena. A few places I’ve visited seem to see Medusa as the shadow aspect of Athena in an archetypal sense. Others seem to think she was originally a goddess demoted by the patriarchy. Of course, I don’t know if I buy the pre-patriarchal matriarchy myth. However, lurking around, I know people have worked with her as a deity. Has anyone here done so? If you don’t mind sharing, what was your experience like?

I have the same questions about Boudicca. I know she was a historical queen and somewhat (ok, no. Definitely) a badass. I’ve seen people mention her as a Goddess also. What is your take? Has anyone worked with Boudicca as a spirit/guide/deity?

And finally, Lilith. I know she’s probably a pure demon and not a Goddess at all. Though, again, people seem to invoke her as a deity in ritual, especially in women-centered circles. These are braver souls than me. That is for sure. Because as far as I can tell, there is precious little in her mythology that would make her more than a storm demon.

Of course, I guess the underlying question is at what point do you think a mythic figure becomes a Deity?

Like, in the Christian scriptures, there is little on the surface of the texts to make Mary anything but a young Jewish woman. However, with all of the devotion and love from her followers, the titles She’s accrued over time (Queen of Heaven?), I have no doubt She is a goddess. The same thing with Kwannon/Quan Yin. They both function as Goddesses.

So…again, what do ya’ll think?

Feminism and the “Wussyfication” of Men

English: One of the symbols of German Women's ...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From the Huffington Post:

Elisabeth Hasselbeck asked a guest on Thursday whether he believes that feminism is hurting American’s national security.

Nick Adams argued in his new book “American Boomerang” that men around the world are no longer allowed to be “manly.” In an appearance on Thursday’s “Fox and Friends,” he said it was a “dangerous” phenomenon, claiming, “American men are of course very susceptible to it. It’s really important particularly in America given the leadership role that America has in the world that American men be allowed to be men.”

“Is this in direct relation to feminism on the rise?” Hasselbeck asked. “Is it a result just sort of society seeing men that are not as masculine and men that are as masculine being kind of demonized?”

Thoughts? In the meantime, my head will be meeting the desk…repeatedly.

Help identifying a Deity?

Jan 3: Ringtail Possum
Ringtail Possum (Photo credit: debtony)

So for the past month and a bit Ringtail Possums have been flocking to me, in the rain, in the heat, during the day and night; after asking around I found that this was possibly a sign of a Deity taking interest in me. After much G

oogling (and reading through terribly scanned documents) I discerned that there is only one Deity associated with possums, apparently the Mayan God Mam, however according to different sources this is either one God and a God of evil, or the name for one of three possible Gods.

I was wondering if anyone here had any knowledge of this or could point me in the right research direction? I know nothing of Mayan Gods as my faith has mainly centred around cultures I descend from.

Magical Work: Burning Paper – Reasons and Alternatives

English: This "Burning Paper" was cr...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I did some work this morning involving burning paper, and have decided that this is at best impractical* in my current living situation.

I’m now thinking about the different reasons one might burn papers in magical work, and how one might choose alternatives based on the intended purpose. I can think of lots of practical alternatives (need to destroy it? cut it into tiny bits; need to mix it in a liquid? just let it dissolve), but I’m curious about how the symbolic or energetic purpose of the burning might make one choose a different substitute action, or perhaps decide that there is no appropriate substitute.

So, why might you burn a paper? What purpose does the fire serve? What would you do instead if you couldn’t use fire?

*This may or may not have involved me sitting in the bathtub with the window open and the air cleaner on. Thank goodness for a January thaw.

Pheremones (Love Potion Magickal Perfumerie)

English: It's a perfume by Giorgio Armani. The...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I recently learned about Love Potions Magkical Perfumerie ( http://www.lovepotionperfume.com/). The whole idea of intentionally using pheromones to achieve various goals (mood elevation, popularity, encouraging openness, love, sex, etc.) fascinates me. Though I can also see how it could be used in a creepy way, too.

Just wondering if anyone here has used any of their products or any similar products — magically or not — and what you thought about them.