Pondering

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Arcanum Owl
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Pondering

Post by Arcanum Owl » Sun Sep 27, 2009 3:16 am

Is the concept of paganism, a pagan life, following pagan principals, or any esoteric practice for that matter flyaway: be considered a hobby, way of life or spiritual ideal?

I'm really just thinking out loud, pondering a few things really. If you go back 10yrs and viewed me then I would have been an argumentative, anti-Catholicism little <expletive deleted>, I mean teenager.
Go back 5yrs, and I was neck deep in spirituality, energetics and things that go bump in the night... to put it simply.

Now, I'm "lucky?" to do energetics, etc. (limited vocabulary tonight) once every quarter. Is it that I find myself in a position where actual practice is unnecessarily, or do I find myself having seemingly more "important" things to do? To be brutality honest :ANAL: , just to use it as an example I don't really come onto this board much any more, I usually get the commentary summarised by WH.

Food for thought or is that boiled egg I just ate sitting funny?
"Project what you are and what you feel, not what you think!" - quoted from yours trully.

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Re: Pondering

Post by Kitsune » Sun Sep 27, 2009 9:08 am

Personally, I've found that what I like to call "Armchair" Paganism" is a vey insidious thing.

Since there is no one but myself to disappoint, I found that many of my yearly devotions became "meditations" on the new year. And yet, afterwards I always felt vaguely unsatisfied a few days later.

Personally, I recently decided to get off the couch and start doing things for my faith again. Otherwise it really is nothing more than a hobby.

I'll be heading out just after the 15th of October (the next time I have money, pretty much) and I'll be buying myself new altar cloths and changing them to match the time of year we're in.

I'm also working to create a full ritual for each celebration and then actually doing it. It's also very nice to go out and sit in my ritual circle just to think and meditate on things that have been bothered me.

For me, I may not need to follow the motions, but spiritually, I still find it a comfort to do.
Trying to create a world, even in words, is good occupational therapy for lunatics who think they're God, and an excellent argument for Polytheism. -S.M. Stirling

http://www.bamatthews.comThe Writings and Musings of B.A. Matthews

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Re: Pondering

Post by Kystar » Sun Sep 27, 2009 9:27 am

I agree, Kitsune, the almost-an-afterthought practice is a problem.

I have noticed, in myself, that practice waxes and wanes. I have even noted it in my one journal...how I have to not just say I follow a path, but I should DO as well.

Though, before we were keeping things low-key b/c of the landlord issue. Didn't want to give the jerk a reason to evict us. Now, however, it's a matter of energy, focus, and occasionally, time and money.

My s-i-s thinks that my focus and energy will improve if I improve my physical condition...which will enable me to feel what I'm overlooking now.

Don't know...I still hold the beliefs, but I don't follow the actions as much. Then again, I never really did big rituals or anything. I was more low-key stuff to begin with.
You say "Witch" like it's a bad thing!

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Re: Pondering

Post by forgotten oceans » Sun Sep 27, 2009 8:39 pm

It is what you make it. You're just experiencing what happens when the shiny wears off. It only seems like it's not there because it's such a part of you. Like breathing, you don't tell yourself to breath you just do it, and like breathing eventually you take it for granted. It happens, life happens, you prioritize, that's all. The only way I know of to keep the cool and exciting feelings of being a pagan is to have the IQ of a ferret.

But I'll admit, ever since I left Tx. I've slacked off on my pagan-y-ness too, but I chose to, not consciously, but I saw it and did nothing about it. You just get so caught up in everything, something has to go on the back burner, so what do you pick? Boyfriend? Job? Rent? Kids? It seems so small at the time. "Oh, it's just my spirituality, it's not like I'm ditching it, just..." And the excuses start and then snowball, and before you know it you're right here, asking this very question.

The only advise I have is 'do what you do'. If what you do isn't working for you, doesn't make you happy, do something different. In the end it's just you. You have to take care of you, you can't rely on anyone else to know what's best for you, what makes you happy, what makes you tick, what makes you sing. :idea:

I think it's about time to get outta the chair. See you under the moon light. :smt077
Maybe now you're starting to understand that while I may have been born predispositioned to be pretty batty, my parents saw to it that it was a certainty and completely unavoidable. -Me

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Re: Pondering

Post by Hytegia » Mon Sep 28, 2009 2:42 pm

Lol...
I want to make my age-old comparison that I use for Paganism-

Think of it as, when you dove into the Paganistic Lifestyle, it was as if you had decided to remove a Veil from your eyes. You saw the world for the Wonder that was held within it, and basked in the Magick and Glory that it had to offer... But, ofcourse, eventually the glamourous shock wears off after awhile - practices grow old, and the initial Awe that was so wonderful to you years ago has faded.

Ironically, I have found myself in this position sometimes. It gets old, and begins to feel normal. I don't know where you are, but I usually (on the whim of this happening once more) leap out of my window, climb down the fence (atleast in my old house), and went running beneath the moonlight however I was.
It was a Forest. A Wonderland that sealed me off from the world and left me only with myself and my mind. I would wade through waters barefoot and push through thorns without a shirt (not reccomended) but I basically wandered and wandered untill I felt the Earth pull on me, and I simply crashed wherever.
Meditate, Nap, w/e I did, it always helped. The Land knew that I was seeking something, and somehow when I ended up trailing back I always felt that "oneness" I found 7 years ago.

------------

I believe that it's more than any of those that you said, though. It's too broad to be a Religion (It has no central cornerstone of beliefs), and too unique to be any Lifestyle (it could be argued that everyone is effected by what they Believe).
It is a Belief. Simply that. Your Heart decided this, and it feels absolutely right. Trust your Heart, and it will never fail you.
"Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink."

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Re: Pondering

Post by Ragnar » Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:38 am

Heathenism/Paganism should be like breathing. It is something that "IS".

When you reach the satge where you do not have to "think" about it, but do it naturaly, then the NEED and PURPOSE of ritual is no longer there.

I remember as kids we used to play Dr Who and Daleks.

Those playing Daleks would wander around for the whole game saying out loud "I am a Dalek, I am a Dalek", sort of like robots with an identity crisis.

THAT is what ritual is.

Celebration, however, is not the same. I STILL pour half my first bottle of beer on the Earth and hail the Gods. That is not the same as spending three hours prepering a circle, and a cermony.

Ask yourselves "Do the Gods CARE about the ritual"? My answer is, as we ALL have "Gods within us" (Heathenism is about FINDING that part of us, and feeding it), and my Gods part sais, "A shut up with all that ritual crap, I want BEER!!... Hope Loké hasn't hidden the bloody bottle opener again...!".

The Gods can be easily pleased....SOMETIMES.

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Re: Pondering

Post by Willow » Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:47 am

I think some people find comfort in ritual and that is OK, however I guess like with any faith tradition it is important not to get caught up in the ritual and forget the higher purpose.

Personally, I have had to find a balance, a part of me is still Christian though I don't practice that way at all any more, and the rest of the time, the way I approach life and view the universe seem very pagan. There are things I just do and ways I behave that are a part of me. I honor my ancestors and thank spirits without a ritual really, it just sort of happens.

And some things I do because they are fun. Decorating, putting holly on the front door, burning a yule log, making certain foods at certain times of year.

Anyway, long story short, I think you need to do what makes you feel best. Some people like a lot of ritual, some people, like my husband only like ritual at certain times of year because of the familiarity it gives them.

As for hobby, knitting is a hobby, but I can do it for a higher purpose (I belong to a group that makes baby clothes for premies), I think at some point, your religious beliefs just start to take over parts of your life inherently.
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
Dr. Seuss (1904 - 1991)

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Re: Pondering

Post by Ragnar » Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:53 am

"Premies"....?

Sory Willow, for us English speakers you are going to have to translate. :-?

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Re: Pondering

Post by Willow » Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:54 am

Sorry, premature babies. Very little ones.
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
Dr. Seuss (1904 - 1991)

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Re: Pondering

Post by Ragnar » Wed Sep 30, 2009 7:03 am

Ahh!

The wonders of "Cross Atlantic English"!!

Thanks!!

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Re: Pondering

Post by Kitsune » Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:49 am

I can attest to what Willow says here. I do cross stitching as a hobby, and I've gotten to the point where I "weave a prayer" into every stitch. Even if I'm only doing for me I still use "Intent As Offering".

I can offer candles and other things, but at one point I realized that I was truly only buying these things as offerings. And that to me was no longer a suitable offering. So I got into the habit of trying to make anything that I was working on an offering, from laundry, or cleaning the house to artistic matters.

My Goddess seems well pleased with the offerings (although, she and I prefer the cross stitching more :lol: ).
Trying to create a world, even in words, is good occupational therapy for lunatics who think they're God, and an excellent argument for Polytheism. -S.M. Stirling

http://www.bamatthews.comThe Writings and Musings of B.A. Matthews

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Re: Pondering

Post by Ragnar » Thu Oct 01, 2009 2:46 am

Kitsune wrote:I can attest to what Willow says here. I do cross stitching as a hobby, and I've gotten to the point where I "weave a prayer" into every stitch.
http://members.shaw.ca/nambuworld/senninbari.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senninbari

By any chance? ;) :-D

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Re: Pondering

Post by Crazy Healer Lady » Thu Oct 01, 2009 4:50 am

I think ritual can be a marvellous way of bypassing the rational and limiting mind to allow your full potential and power to shine through when you can't seem to connect to the God-self. It has proved very useful when working with someone who has forgotten who they are.
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The purpose of a relationship is not to have another who might complete you, but to have another with whom you might share your completeness. -CWG

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Re: Pondering

Post by Willow » Thu Oct 01, 2009 5:54 am

CHL, that reminds me of an interesting discussion we had in my Judaism class last year. The Prof and I were teaching about how Orthodox Jews will always read a prayer even when they have it memorized because you don't want to have to focus on remembering the words, you want to focus on the prayer itself. The Catholic church (at least post vatican II) ritual serves a similar purpose where it is meant (a) to bring familiarity, anyone anywhere in the world can participate in their local catholic service and (b) if you have the ritual memorized you can concentrate on the higher things.

There was a pentecostal girl who insisted that only through spontaneity you could reach God, that ritual was dry and empty. I showed her all the ways that a pentecostal service is done the same way every week and how the spontaneity is actually derived from a series of social cues. It was definitely an interesting discussion.

Anyway, I think it is interesting how much we vary on our understanding on the purpose of ritual. yet how ingrained ritual can become in our life to the point where we no longer see it as such.
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
Dr. Seuss (1904 - 1991)

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Re: Pondering

Post by Hytegia » Thu Oct 01, 2009 6:24 am

The Ritual is only necessary when you need it to be-
:]
This is in prose of my Book (as I have pondered over for many sleepless nights) the effect of a Ritual (spacifically in the Matters of Magick) is to forge Reality, and (based on your spacific Beliefs on the matter) to meld things to happen in a certain order (to yourself or others - for better or worse).
It's not the Ritual... The Ritual is a Symbol by which you concentrate the energies of the Universe and channel them toward a goal, and it can be argued that it would be more potent to use a Ritual to achieve a goal.

However - there is a POINT you reach (I have in a few instances) where the Ritual is no longer needed. In these instances, it has come "Naturally" to yourself, and could be argued to be just as good to the Ritual!
An example would be Konstantinos' Banishing, which calls for a complex concentration and heavy balance of energies and drawing forth from "A silver, crackling light" and passing it to the Earth, I just draw, and pulsate. And I know it works.
"Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink."

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