Help me explain something...

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Help me explain something...

Post by Ever-Pagan » Sun May 01, 2005 7:48 pm

I'm a complete novice in Paganism, so I want to get the opinion of those of you who have more wisdom and experience that I do.

Many years ago in my fundie days I had an experience that I then chalked up as God working on my behalf. Now that I have moved away from those fundamental Christian beliefs towards Pagan spirituality, I'm trying to reconcile this occurrence with my current spiritual world view. Please bear with me; here's the story.

I was working in a textiles mill as the front desk receptionist. This position gave me a great view of the wide outdoors and the comings and goings of our southern summer storms. Well, one of those days there were dark gray clouds overhead and constant rainfall. My wife had dropped me off at work so I was without a vehicle. About 1/2 mile down the street were 2 restaurants where I could eat lunch, but I would have to walk to them or be hungry.

At about noon, an hour before my lunch break, I started praying - "OK, god. You know I have to eat. Stop that rain so I can walk down the street and get my lunch. Then you can let it rain as much as you want after that." At about 12:30, there was still a good hard rain falling. I said the prayer again. At about 12:55 or so, the rain stopped, the clouds parted and the sun came out. My relief arrived and I walked to the restaurant without so much as a drop of rain hitting my head.

Once I got to the restaurant, the skies blackened and the clouds opened in a great deluge. I was sitting near the window looking out. I prayed again: "Ok, god. You know I have to get back to work, and I'd like to get there in a dry way. Stop the rain long enough to get me back to the office, and after that you can let it rain as much as you want." About 20 minutes later, my waitress came over and asked my name. I told her, and she informed me that I had a call. I answered the call and it was my boss's secretary. She was wondering if I wanted her to come get me. I told her no, that the rain would let up in time for me to get back. She was dubious to say the least (it was really pouring), but she took me at my word.

I got back to my table and repeated the prayer. Sure enough, at about 12:50, the clouds broke, the sun came out and I walked back to the office without a single drop of rain hitting the ground. At about 1:15 after I had been back in the office for a little while, the skies turned very dark and it rained continuously for the rest of the day.

Help me understand, in light of my recent 'conversion' from fundamental Christianity to Paganism, how something like that could have happened. Is there a name for 'bending' nature into working with me as it seemed to do on this day? Is there a way to replicate (or similarly re-perform) the occurrence in future situations regarding nature?

Thanks in advance for your input. :-)
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Post by Stormy » Sun May 01, 2005 8:02 pm

Well, even though Christianity has sort of twisted the idea of Deity somewhat and religion a lot, the truth is that even the Christian God is an aspect of the greater Whole or One or Unity - just as Bast is, just as Set is, just as Sussistanako is. The Universe heard your call and answered it.
Of course, there is also the possibility that you possess some inherent, very strong abilities to use your own energy to affect the energy around you so that it does what you want (the very basis of "magick"). You believed that it would stop raining, and belief is one of the big parts of making "magick" work.
And then, it could have very well been a combination of BOTH ;)

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Post by Rain ForestMoon » Mon May 02, 2005 2:12 am

In my view, you need to seriously consider the possibility that it was all just a chance event/events.

Do you really think that if your lunchtime had been 30 minutes earlier, and you had started praying 30 minutes earlier, that the whole weather pattern (and not just in your local area, but worldwide - because it is all interconnected) would have been different?

What is some other person had been praying 30 minutes earlier or later for the same thing as you? Why were your wishes granted and not theirs?

Consider this: In the middle ages it was customary for armies to pray for victory before battle. Two armies, same God, same Religion (assume this was pre-reformation) praying in the same language (church latin). One army wins, the other not.....


There is no doubt that praying, or direction of energy can affect the spiritual (and psychological) world around us (and through that also the physical aspect of our bodies). But the physical world outside that is a different matter altogether, I believe.

For many thousands of years priests of all sorts of religions have been making a good living by pretending (or even also believing it themselves) that they can affect weather, harvests, wars, etc. But I don't think any of them ever have.

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Post by Ever-Pagan » Mon May 02, 2005 4:39 am

I had considered the possibility that it was just "chance," but I had to dismiss that option on the basis that the weather obeyed not once but twice. If the weather had cleared up for just my walk to the restaurant but not back to work, I would have given the event over to chance occurrence. But for the weather to do exactly what I needed it to do at the exact time I needed it and for the exact duration necessary (about 15-30 minutes per occurrence) is a little difficult to swallow as just being chance.

All systems are interconnected, are they not? The Source that sustains all life is also in control of the planet (a planet, BTW, which has been proven to be self regulating to sustain life) is it not? If the same Source that gives me life is the same Source that directs the rains to fall or cease, why would specific intent on my (or anyone else's part) not directly affect the weather.

Can I conjure up storms on sunny days? As far as I know, I cannot (though Native American rain dances seem to indicate that affecting the weather in such a way is possible). However, something happened on that day that was, IMO, supernatural and beyond my current understanding.
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Post by dragonflydrummer » Tue May 03, 2005 10:16 pm

I'm thinking it was just one of the many worldly occurrences you'll have to accept as anomalies beyond anyone's understanding. Now -- if they had said the meal was "on the house" at the restaurant, I'd have to say it was irrefutable proof of divine intervention.... :smt037
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Post by Rain ForestMoon » Fri May 06, 2005 4:10 am

Whilst I am not statistician I have done some statistics - even though that was years ago.
If the chance of weather seemingly being influenced by payer is (say) 100 to 1, it means that ON AVERAGE the chance event will take place once every hundred times. But it is quite possible (and also quite common) that there would be two or three such events one after another, and then not again for a loooong time.
I know that it would be nice to be able to think that such events can be influenced by direction of spiritual energy, but I don't think so.

Also, consider this:
Yesterday afternoon I went out into one of my fields to finish installing some irrigation lines. It had been fine all day long. Within 10 minutes of me having started the work, there was a very strong shower of rain, that forced me to abandon the work.
Then, today, exactly the very same thing happened.
Was this some neighbour who wishes me ill doing some magick just to make my life difficult? I don't think so.

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"Excess of anything is bad, but especially the excess of Moderation"

"AQUILA NON CAPIT MUSCAS'

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Post by Ragnar » Mon May 09, 2005 11:48 pm

I have just spent a whole weekend on Napoleonic re-enactment event near Leipzig. From Thursday night to Sunday morning it rained SOLIDLY. The tent has no floor to it, pure 1813 grass and straw bags. We had a puddle 8cm deep throughout the whole tent, which we woke up in. The fire wood was unburnable, so we could not cook, or warm up. BELIEVE ME it does NOT work (all the time) to pray, shout or even curse. The more you do that the more funny the Gods think it is to get you wet. Wicked sense of humour our Norse Gods/esses.

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Post by Rain ForestMoon » Tue May 10, 2005 1:17 am

Ragnar:

You think that was bad?

Just wait till you do a re-enactment of the battle of Stalingrad.....

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Post by Ragnar » Tue May 10, 2005 3:24 am

I've done Leipzig in October in 2 feet of snow, Borodino (just out side Moscow) in December 3feet of snow, and Bourtange (Holland) in May when we had a hurricane and lost 86 tents in an hour. GREAT fun. extreem camping. Then we have to keep the black powder dry as well.

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Post by Kystar » Tue May 10, 2005 10:11 am

I went to a medieval/fantasy battle game years ago...my first camp-out event. We had wicked thunderstorms, and tornadoes touching down within 3 miles that night. The campground people made everyone huddle in the only solid buildings, the bath houses.

Just when we thought it was over, some idiot went out and called for the gods to give them a sign if "Ragnarok 13" was going to feature it's Armageddon Battle. No joke, the sky erupted into a SPIDERWEB of lightning...from horizon to horizon...scared the bejiggers out of me!

I don't remember there being an Armageddon battle...just some little pick up fights the next day!
You say "Witch" like it's a bad thing!

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Post by Ragnar » Tue May 10, 2005 11:39 pm

Sounds a bit like Bourtange. But there we could not go into the solid building because it was the powder store. 1,500lb of black powder does not take kindly to a full regiment of chain smoking Black Watch. To say nothing of the Dutch military police guard.
I do think though, that this just goes to prove that if the weather is going to "do it" it will just that. Ie the Gods just get on with it. They have more at interest than my black powder, or the state of my tent.

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Ain't no such thing as a free lunch...

Post by dragonflydrummer » Wed May 11, 2005 11:59 am

Mannnnnnnnnn... I thought I had some bad weather camping stories. I'm thinking Spider-Web lightning and a hurricane during a battle re-enactment take the prize ... :lol:
The spirit abides immovable; it beholds the infernal monsters swarm down upon it, and does not fear. (Eliphas Levi -- The Sixth Hour)

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Post by Ragnar » Wed May 11, 2005 12:18 pm

Aye, I did not believe, or did not understand my then girlfriend, now my wife, when she described it as "extreem camping". But hey, it brings us closer to the Gods... closer than you may wish.[/i]

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Post by scoia » Wed May 11, 2005 10:06 pm

Occasionally much closer than you wish.

Sometimes I wish my gods had a greater affinity for heating and quilts.
:lol: Maybe it's time for some 'hearth-goddess' training.

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Post by Ragnar » Wed May 11, 2005 11:23 pm

Some "ever dry wood" Godess training would do me.
So long as theres dry wood I can put up with the rest.
The main trick with this kind of camping is to go to bed warm. If you go cold, you wake up cold and stay that way all day. Also keep your black powder box in the sleeping bag with you, and DON'T smoke in bed! Allthough it would keep you warm, the effect is only fleeting.

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