Black Energy?

English: Energy Arc, central electrode of a Pl...
Energy Arc (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been wondering about black energy. My friends around my area who practice energy work have tried to use black energy and found it to be very uncomfortable, and almost damaging at times. I’ve been able to safely use it from early on and was wondering if its possible for the body to adjust to ‘negative’ energies or if black energy may not be a negative energy at all, or if I might be naturally grounded against it? I think it could be helpful to get a new perspective, because if I can I wan’t to teach them how to safely manage black energy.

What are your Bible Equivalents?

Books
Books (Photo credit: henry…)

Every time I move, I have a few books that I stuff into my backpack and bring with me, along with the most important of my currently active notebooks. When my backpack is packed it’s the last thing to leave the place except for the cleaning supplies — and it stays with me no matter what.

The books I put in it are the equivalent of the Christian Bible for me. Around the time that I put them together, I always wonder what other people’s are.

They can be books that you just really, really like a lot, I guess. But what I mean are what books are meaningful for you, or say something profound to you about the way to live life? Or have a spiritual message that applies to you, even if they aren’t necessarily spiritual in nature? They can be pagan books or not, or fiction, nonfiction, poetry, whatever.

Mine are:

Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach (this one was the first book I made sure I always had with me)

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

Lost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite (Billy Martin)

The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo (this is the latest one to make the grade for me — it’s been with the others for about the past five or six years)

There are a few others: The collected Poe, Millay, and Yeats. Best Loved Poems of the American People. The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry, and The Awakening by Kate Chopin. But they aren’t in my absolute, last to leave group.

I hope this makes sense, I’m really tired but having an insomnia fit.

So what about you?

Egalitarian Magical Organizations?

Eliphas Levi's Pentagram, figure of the microc...
Eliphas Levi’s Pentagram (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I follow a non-hierarchical magical path and have a group of friends with whom I work on an egalitarian basis (there is no formal coven or other group structure, and we take turns in first-among-equals roles in order to share our knowledge with each other).

Does anyone know of an organization that practices egalitarian magic? Thanks in advance for your input.

Funerals and Burial

Garnisons Kirke (Garrison Church), Copenhagen,...
Headstone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How do your religious beliefs affect how you would ideally like to be buried? Does your religion have an already existing set of funerary practices? If so, do you plan to follow them? If you’re a recon: how would you adapt ancient funerary procedures that aren’t viable in the modern world? Do you ever worry that, even if you set out your wishes in writing, non-pagan family and friends will ignore them and carry out your funeral according to their religion? Or do you view funerals as primarily for the benefit of the bereaved anyway?

I’ve been thinking a lot about how you could adapt Kemetic burials for the modern world. You can hardly state in your will that you want to be mummified, and modern embalming isn’t really the same thing, but I don’t think it actually matters that much. I have however been thinking about requesting to be buried with an amulet, probably the Eye of Heru.

Magic In Ancient Greece

Parthenon from west
Parthenon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay, I read in A Handbook To Life In Ancient Greece that the Classical Hellenic period there were no magicians. Now what I would like to know is what was the view of the Hellenists about magic, witchcraft, stuff like that? I read that it wasn’t considered okay to practice witchcraft. So what is your take on this?

Making Tarot Cards

Tarot cards.
Tarot cards. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many people make their own runes. Makes sense, since you get much more of a connection with something you made yourself as opposed to something mass-produced you purchased. I’m quite sure the act and spent time creating something adds a lot to its spiritual value, so to say.

So I want to make my own tarot deck as well. Partly because I just cannot afford it, partly because I don’t even trust store-sold decks. What connection do I have to it? None. I would feel much more comfortable with my own cards made from scratch.

I’ve got the bases made, 78 cards, a quite comfortable size; I painted their backsides all the same colour and cut round the corners, etc. Now I am at the fun part – designing.

I have no problems with drawing, it’s something I do a lot. The thing is – all guides to understanding and reading tarot cards are very directly related to the scenes pictured on each card. Most minuscule of the details all seem to be of utmost importance. Am I supposed to just look at a classical deck and redraw all the 78 scenes exactly? I would much prefer using my own symbols and style while still reflecting the message each card is meant to carry. Would this mess the reading up a lot? How important is it really to adhere to all of the symbolic nuances?

Believing in Multiple Gods/Goddesses?

English: Egyptian gods and goddesses. These st...
Egyptian gods and goddesses. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m just kind of going off of what I read on various sites over the internet…so bear with me. From my understanding, Pagans generally believe in multiple gods/goddesses (which is called polytheism, right?), but they don’t HAVE to… correct?

Are there certain paths of Paganism (is that the word?) that usually only believe in one god/goddess/other entity or being?

Are there certain paths that don’t believe in any gods/goddesses/other related?

Sorry… I know next to nothing about Pagan beliefs, so I’m just trying to sort it out little by little.

Scented Candles/Incense for Those who Cannot Smell?

Incense smoke
Incense smoke (Photo credit: Lomacar)

So, I have a sort of issue. I have something called anosmia, which means that I don’t have a sense of smell. I can’t smell anything, anything at all. I’ve never been able to and almost certainly never will be able to.

This makes using scented candles/oils/incense really confusing. Because, really, the lavender candle in front of me could smell like burnt diapers and I wouldn’t even notice the difference.

I guess my biggest question is that, is it really important to have certain scents in a ritual? Like, are those scents there to put the person into the right frame of mind to perform whatever ritual or meditation they are aiming to do? Or, are these things vital in summoning/contacting/aligning with whatever spirit or energy that you are working with?

If it’s to get the person in the right frame of mind… well then having a special fragrant candle isn’t going to make me feel any different than a normal candle by scent alone so it would be kind of pointless. If it’s appealing to some outside force, then I could understand that they wouldn’t solely be for me, but as a tool.

I would love to hear some opinions on this, it’s probably a pretty personalized issue, but I definitely thing it’s a relevant topic. It would be great not to have to go out and buy specially scented candles (and also have to ask someone what each candle smells like if they aren’t labeled ). So yes, I would really love some input on this!

Native Language in Ritual?

spine detail
(Photo credit: Burns Library, Boston College)

I’ve recently decided I want to include more Irish in my practice since I feel it has a greater connection to the Irish pantheon I work with. My grasp of Irish isn’t particularly good (‘learned’ it in school, but my first language is English) so it will be a challenge.

Does anyone else use the language native to where ever the region your deities are from and do you feel it is important to the core of your practice or just something to add to or enhance it but not necessarily vitally important to it?

Also if you do, how much do you use, just a few terms or for the entirety of the ritual/practice, etc?

Hope to spark an interesting discussion.

Native language in ritual?

Stones as charms?

English: A metaphorical visualization of the w...
English: A metaphorical visualization of the word Anger. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was thinking about having a stone charm to absorb anger. You see, I get annoyed very easily and getting rid of the anger energy before it’s released in the form of yelling and would be a very good thing for me. How might I charm a stone to absorb anger?

I have polished river and stream rocks, can get unpolished river and stream rocks very easily, and the only stone I can recognize and name is white quartz.