Pagan or Neo-Pagan

Discussions of all things pagan and neo-pagan.
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Ragnar
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Post by Ragnar » Mon Oct 17, 2005 9:14 am

Runewulf wrote;
"i.e. things like street, building, car, etc. Personally, I get into a part of that, but not fully. Often it has to do more with place spirit than actual totem. There are a lot of spirits out there and more created/empowered all the time. But just as each individual elemental being wasn't considered a totem, neither do I consider the place spirits that have evolved with urbanization to be totems."

I think you are correct with "place spirit". I know from going to sea that the ship most deffinately had it's own spirit, and to some degree acted in a "totem like way". But to me that was the ship looking after it'self, or having it's own totem. The protection of the crew being an important part in the protection of the ship.
But whether that could be considered the totem of the crew is an interesting point for thought.

As to buildings, places have allways had spirits. They are not neccessarily totems. Not to the users of the building. May be to the building its'self?
My wife, for instance, will recieve the protection of my totems, because it is good for me, and by extention, for my totems. but they are not her totems. She has her own, which in a like wise manner, hopefully, look after me on her behalf.

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Post by runewulf » Wed Oct 19, 2005 12:06 am

Exactly... places have spirits and most anything can devlop one, a lot of modern animism is like that, but that doesn't make it a totem per se, nor modern, just a natural evolution of where so much energy, emotion, life, belief, etc. is invested into.

Of course, totems can be a tricky thing, depending on the discipline, practice, belief system. But we've always had the whole "build up of spirit and essence of inanimate objects over time from those in contact with them and where they are/spend the most time". That's natural and there's nothing truly "new" about it.

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Post by Silver Spider » Thu Oct 20, 2005 12:32 am

runewulf wrote:Nope, I would call you a shamanic practitioner something along those lines. If you've read the post that Rag and I had going, you'd realize that I don't call anyone a shaman who hasn't gone through a shamanic initiation. As far as the word "shaman" goes, I reserve that title to the root meaning of that word, the tungus and other shamans who went through a rebirth initiation that wasn't of their choice.
Ok Runewulf, one night last February I performed a solitary ritual. To be brief, during the ritual I eliminated my religious center by replacing it with a spiritual one. Would you say this counts as an initiation? Does it have to be shamanic? One spider showed up that night, and then two crows the next morning. Would you still say, "shamanic practitioner" or something else?
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Post by Ragnar » Thu Oct 20, 2005 8:30 am

Sounds like a normal ritual to me.
It depends on your background.
What have you done since?
Finding a spider is not unusual. Nor is seeing two crows. I saw 30 today on the way to college, and that is in the center of Berlin.
What did they SHOW you? Did you wake up in hospital after five days of inexplicable coma?

Do you know how to set up a smoke hut?

One rain drop does not make a storm, four hours between episodes of spongebob does not constitute a valid training period.

You must tell more about your background. We can only communicate if the information goes both ways. At the moment it does not appear to be doing.
I can assure you that no one on this site is trying to trick you, or rob you of something. It is a site where we talk, share and grow from each others experiences.
Please feel free to join in.

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Post by Crazy Healer Lady » Thu Oct 20, 2005 10:56 am

Something I'd like to share about Shamanism:
True Shamans do not call themselves Shamans.

You can go through the initiation, you can Journey and live with one foot in this world, one foot in the Spirit World, and still not be a Shaman. Mind, you can be on the Shamanic Path, or have Shamanistic qualities about your practice. I have been through my own initiation, something I would really not like to go in to right now, but I am not a Shaman.

A bit of a rant there, but I seem to rant a lot here.

This is not to criticize you, Silver Spider. This is an effort to hopefully put the point across that a Shaman is not the same as a witch or a Bhuddist or a Christian. A Shaman is above being a member of a specific religion, above priesthood, above everything. Granted, you have some pretty bad ones in the world that lose their way and attack people spiritually, and also a LOT of people running around calling themselves Shamans just like Harry Potter fanatics saying they have studied from the internet Hogwart school. (I do not watch Harry Potter, so excuse me if the name of the school is wrong, lol.) I only consider people Shamans when they have practiced for years, when they have that unidentifyable power about them that makes you comfortable and uncomfortable at the same time. They have true wisdom in their words, but are always humble and know that they are never as knowledgable as they can be, that they have so much more to learn and in comparison, they have the mind of an ant.
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Post by Ragnar » Thu Oct 20, 2005 11:59 am

I do not think I can add any more to that.

Well observed.

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Post by runewulf » Fri Oct 21, 2005 8:41 am

As a brief answer to the question of initiation, non... shamanic initiation is something that tends to be "shoved down your throat without conscious volition", it's something that just happens, usually during a traumatic experience. This doesn't mean that the shamanic practices can not be practiced, just that initiation isn't a choice or an active ritual or some such.

I agree with Ragnar and CHL, btw.

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Post by Silver Spider » Sat Oct 22, 2005 2:25 pm

Ragnar wrote:Sounds like a normal ritual to me.
It depends on your background.
What have you done since?
Hm? There are "normal" rituals and "special ones?" In either case, my thoughts and feelings say that the ritual I mentioned isn't shamanic, although it was spiritual. I know what it meant that night, and what I've done since–I'd have to tell you that the spiritual things I've done since weren't rituals. So I may not have experienced a "shamanic initiation."
Ragnar wrote:Finding a spider is not unusual. Nor is seeing two crows. I saw 30 today on the way to college, and that is in the center of Berlin.
True, neither spiders nor crows are unusual. I don't know what 30 means in numerology yet, but I do know that if add those two digits you'd get the number 3. Spirituality, Truth, and Respect. You might have experienced something spiritual. Past experience has taught me that crows mean spiritual activity. Perhaps some spiritual activity was going on in your life before, during, or after you saw those birds within a 24 hour period.
Ragnar wrote:What did they SHOW you?
I know what they showed me. I just need to know difference is between initiation and shamanic initiation. Does shamanic initiation require a/any animal experience?
Ragnar wrote:Did you wake up in hospital after five days of inexplicable coma?
So does a shamanic initiation require some kind of extreme experience as well?
Ragnar wrote:Do you know how to set up a smoke hut?
Different images come to mind when read that. I don't know what exactly that is, but it sounds potentially poor and dirty. Poverty is unethical; I seek wealth that is within my means.
Ragnar wrote:One rain drop does not make a storm,...
True.
Ragnar wrote:...four hours between episodes of spongebob does not constitute a valid training period.
I don't know if you were trying to make a joke or insult me, or both. I can't always tell the tone of voice through the written word. Not to mention I don't know what the hell is meant by that. I'm a 31 year old man who is above any such insults. If it was not an insult, then I don't know what you’re getting at there. I'm neither naive(dumb) nor stupid, but I can't always indentify someone's feelings through the written word.
Ragnar wrote:You must tell more about your background. We can only communicate if the information goes both ways. At the moment it does not appear to be doing.
I can assure you that no one on this site is trying to trick you, or rob you of something.
That's very naive. You may not have experienced some of the negative intellectual things I have experienced, so I can understand how you'd say that. There are many forms and techniques of communication. I share what I’d like to share, and I “must” or “mustn’t” do as I please.
Ragnar wrote:It is a site where we talk, share and grow from each others experiences.
That's absolutely true.
Crazy Healer Lady wrote:This is an effort to hopefully put the point across that a Shaman is not the same as a witch or a Bhuddist or a Christian.

I understand that a Shaman is not the same as Bhuddist or a christian since those are religions. However, Witches are spiritual and so are Shamans. I know that they're different paths, but there are some commonalities, aren’t there?
Crazy Healer Lady wrote:A Shaman is above being a member of a specific religion, above priesthood, above everything.
I’ve been there, done that.
Crazy Healer Lady wrote:They have true wisdom in their words, but are always humble and know that they are never as knowledgable as they can be, that they have so much more to learn…
True.
Runewulf wrote:As a brief answer to the question of initiation, non... shamanic initiation is something that tends to be "shoved down your throat without conscious volition", it's something that just happens, usually during a traumatic experience.
I don’t remember if I’ve had any traumatic experiences when I was young.
Runewulf wrote: This doesn't mean that the shamanic practices can not be practiced, just that initiation isn't a choice or an active ritual or some such.
I’m not so certain of that…if I require an initiation, I start it myself if I have to, the Gods approving or not.


As far as this Spiritualist (Pagan)/NeoSpiritualist (NeoPagan) is concerned, I think your right Runewulf. I think I’ll simply refer to myself as a Spiritualist–no Neo-.

By the way, it is not to insult those who misuse the word “pagan.” I understand people describe themselves with that word out of respect. I describe myself as a Spiritualist out of correctness.

I must return to some spiritual activities. Good bye.
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Post by Kystar » Sat Oct 22, 2005 2:59 pm

Silver Spider wrote:I’m not so certain of that…if I require an initiation, I start it myself if I have to, the Gods approving or not.
Yes, but that won't garner you the respect and the connection with the Spirits and Guides that are the backbone of this type of work. If the Divine doesn't accept your gesture, then you will gain no noticable good from it.

As for the question about a Smoke Hut, it's not a poverty thing. A smoke hut was a structure that a shaman or shamantic inititate would spend a certain amount of fasting time in, usually in a loincloth or naked with a fire that had armoatic and halucingentic herbs burning in it. The hut would have limited ventilation, so that the smoke could help the shaman or initiate travel to spirit worlds to converse, or commune with the spirits that were needed for guidance right then.

Truly powerful Initiations can only be instigated by the Divine...or Guide Spirits. A person must be tested and judged before they are givin power. Yes, you can approach the Divine, and say "Test me, judge me, for I am ready!" but if they don't accept you or that you're ready, it doesn't do anything.
Last edited by Kystar on Sun Oct 23, 2005 7:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Crazy Healer Lady » Sat Oct 22, 2005 8:21 pm

Right. If the Divine does not approve, you will not get far.
I just need to know difference is between initiation and shamanic initiation. Does shamanic initiation require a/any animal experience?
A Shamanic initiation involves total dismemberment, total destruction of the individual, and then they are put back together. Through extreme illness this has occurred. One of my favourite tales of initiation is of a man who was critically ill for 7 years, refusing to follow the Shamanic calling. One night he gave in, and he was chopped up and boiled, and then ritually eaten. His bones were assembled accordingly, and the Shamans around who consumed his flesh looked through them, looking. They found the extra bone which constitutes the Shaman, with a hole in it, to see into the other Realms. This was a fever dream, I believe, and if he had refused still to follow his path, he would have died.

Some people are struck by lightning. Others have illnesses, and accidents. What characterizes the Shamanic initiation is the break-down of what you once were. Your former self dies, and this is often very dramatic. Even people who are born into Shamanism and are taught the ways are put through an initiation, either by Spirit, or by the Shaman teaching him who is guided by Spirit. And it almost always is very extreme.
That's very naive. You may not have experienced some of the negative intellectual things I have experienced, so I can understand how you'd say that. There are many forms and techniques of communication. I share what I’d like to share, and I “must” or “mustn’t” do as I please.
I don't think Ragnar was trying to force you into sharing your experiences, but assure you that it is all right. Of course you have the right to share or not share, as we all do. If you look at the topic "Slashes in the Sky" you will see that I have chosen not to comment more on a particular subject. No one has asked me to tell them. I have not met one person on this board, thankfully, who does not respect privacy ^__^ There have been a few more subjects where one will not comment, and they are left alone. After all, if we go blabbing on about the intimate details of our practice, it loses its meaning.

Also, how would you say a witch and a Shaman are similar? I would compare a monk to Buddhism as witch to Wiccanism. That may just be my baffled, completely awe-struck reverence for Shamans talking, though. I think that a witch is a witch, a monk is a monk. As is a person on the shamanic path just a person on the shamanic path. When a priestess reaches a point of extreme knowledge and walks in different worlds, she will be called more Shamanic. That is the big thing to me, to walk in the other worlds with clear sight, because once you can see these things and move flawlessly between worlds and get information directly from Spirit, I see you as above anything. Also, Shamans have to have many many powerful spiritual allies.
Maybe it all comes down to power. I don't know. Enough ramblings.
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Post by Ragnar » Sun Oct 23, 2005 12:35 am

"Hm? There are "normal" rituals and "special ones?""

NOW who is being "naive"?

"I don't know what 30 means in numerology yet,"

You DO surprise me.

" Perhaps some spiritual activity was going on in your life before, during, or after you saw those birds within a 24 hour period."

You really are having problems understanding the shaman aren't you?

"Past experience has taught me that crows mean spiritual activity."

Crows mean that the Kebab shop was busy last night, and the road sweeper is not at work yet.

" So does a shamanic initiation require some kind of extreme experience as well?"

Do you actually read our answers to you, or just file them B.I.N ?

" I don't know what exactly that is, but it sounds potentially poor and dirty. Poverty is unethical; I seek wealth that is within my means."

Are you quite sure you do not want our bank account details before deeming to talk to us "unethically poor" people? I can also assure you that I washed my hands before typing this, so unfortunately you are not likely to catch anything fatal.

"I don't know if you were trying to make a joke or insult me"
:roll: ](*,) WOULD I ???

"I can't always tell the tone of voice through the written word.......I can't always indentify someone's feelings through the written word."

NOW it's either a typological mistake. Or.....
Do tell, which is it?

"That's very naive."

I am not the one worshiping cold storage units.

"Ragnar wrote:
It is a site where we talk, share and grow from each others experiences.

That's absolutely true."

But truer for some than it is for others.
I do not know if you have ever read Crowley, but I must say I had never read such pig headed arrogance as I did in Crowley. Compared to him even the most aspirring are amateure.

DOES the fridge light come on when the door is open?
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Post by Ragnar » Tue Oct 25, 2005 10:12 am

Gone quiet in here hasn't it? [-o<

Stormy, you really must control that mouse. Especialy when t comes to spiders of any sort.:lol:

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Post by Stormy » Tue Oct 25, 2005 10:25 am

Bad Ragnar, bad :lol:
Stormy ~~}~}-:>
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Post by BeigeAllen » Wed Nov 16, 2005 12:58 am

pokes head in, was going to answer the pagan/neopagan question, saw the topic had mutated and promptly sat down, mildly confused.

Hi, I'm Beige :-D
Come visit me at WorldWide Pagan Network
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Ragnar
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Post by Ragnar » Wed Nov 16, 2005 1:33 am

Hi Biege, and welcome.

As to mutating topics :lol: I like to see it as proof that evolution is alive and well.

Please feel free to put us older ones back on the right path.

What did you have to say? We will all be interested to hear a fresh perspective. :-D

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