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Pagan Practices 101


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#16    Simbi Laveau

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 11:21 AM

View Postkarmakazi, on 07 September 2012 - 11:02 AM, said:



Technically Hindus would be considered pagan, because paganism technically includes any polytheistic (or atheistic, I feel) religion.

Paganism (from Latin paganus, meaning "country dweller", "rustic"[1]) is a blanket term, typically used to refer to religious traditions which are polytheistic or indigenous.

It's pretty loose on definition, and I think it's one that a lot of people don't really understand.






I have to go to work now but later perhaps I'll work on a bit of a glossary for this thread, may be helpful :)

Yes,but even catholics have saints ,and the virgin Mary .
So its a bit of semantics I think .

And who would be calling it pagan ? The catholic church ....so its a matter of perspective as well .
So many people are Buddhists,and it is organized ,granted ,its not like they have something like the Vatican.

I actually always thought there were more Buddhists ,worldwide,than any other religion ,given you have indian,japanese and china,all predominantly some form of buddhist ......
I was very wrong,its catholics .


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#17    karmakazi

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 12:04 PM

View PostSimbi Laveau, on 07 September 2012 - 11:21 AM, said:

Yes,but even catholics have saints ,and the virgin Mary .
So its a bit of semantics I think .


I agree, in my understanding pagan was a term early christians had for pretty much any non-christians they came across, excepting the Jews of course.

Quote

And who would be calling it pagan ? The catholic church ....so its a matter of perspective as well .
So many people are Buddhists,and it is organized ,granted ,its not like they have something like the Vatican.

I have heard christians refer to buddhists as pagans :D

Quote

I actually always thought there were more Buddhists ,worldwide,than any other religion ,given you have indian,japanese and china,all predominantly some form of buddhist ......
I was very wrong,its catholics .

Hrm.  My guess would have been either Hindus or Christians (incl catholics)

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#18    camochick

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 01:27 PM

Hi,
I started reading about Wicca a few years ago and I can communicate with spirits as well. I've tried  to cast a few simple spells, like protection ones and I can't figure out why they're not working as well as they should. Any advise?

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#19    karmakazi

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 01:41 PM

As Paganism is an umbrella that encompasses quite a number of concepts and practices, I pulled some information from wiki here that explains further some of what falls under Paganism (or is associated with it in some way).   I noticed wiki doesn't mention things that could be considered paganism so I added those from other sources as well.  This is not comprehensive and parts could be inaccurate, feel free to add to it and discuss :D

Neo-paganism describes what I tend to think of when I hear "pagan".


Polytheism: the belief of multiple deities also usually assembled into a pantheon of gods and goddesses, along with their own mythologies and rituals.  The deities of polytheism are often portrayed as complex personages of greater or lesser status, with individual skills, needs, desires and histories; in many ways similar to humans (anthropomorphic) in their personality traits, but with additional individual powers, abilities, knowledge or perceptions. Polytheism cannot be cleanly separated from the animist beliefs prevalent in most folk religions. The gods of polytheism are in many cases the highest order of a continuum of supernatural beings or spirits, which may include ancestors, demons, wights and others. In some cases these spirits are divided into celestial or chthonic classes, and belief in the existence of all these beings does not imply that all are worshipped.
May include: Ancient Greece, Buddhism, Shintoism, Christianity, Hinduism, Serer, Wicca, Reconstructionism

Shamanism: a practice that involve a practitioner reaching altered states of consciousness in order to encounter and interact with the spirit world. A shaman is a person regarded as having access to, and influence in, the world of benevolent and malevolent spirits, who typically enters a trance state during a ritual, and practices divination and healing.

Pantheism: the view that everything is part of an all-encompassing immanent God, or that the Universe (or Nature) and God (or divinity) are identical. Pantheists thus do not believe in a personal, or anthropomorphic god. Pantheism denotes the idea that every single thing is a part of one Being ("God") and that all forms of reality are either modes of that Being or identical with it.
May include: Taoism, Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, Sufism, Judaism, Gnosticism, Neopaganism, Theosophy

Animism: is a set of beliefs based on the existence of non-human "spiritual beings" or similar kinds of embodied principles.  Animism encompasses the beliefs that there is no separation between the spiritual and physical (or material) world, and souls or spirits exist, not only in humans, but also in all other animals, plants, rocks, geographic features such as mountains or rivers, or other entities of the natural environment. Animism may further attribute souls to abstract concepts such as words, true names, or metaphors in mythology.

Animism is not the same as Pantheism, although the two are sometimes confused. Some faiths and religions are even both pantheistic and animistic. One of the main differences is that while animists believe everything to be spiritual in nature, they do not necessarily see the spiritual nature of everything in existence as being united (monism), the way pantheists do. As a result, animism puts more emphasis on the uniqueness of each individual soul. In Pantheism, everything shares the same spiritual essence, rather than having distinct spirits and/or souls.
May include: Shintoism, Serer, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Neopaganism

Contemporary Paganism, Modern Paganism, or Neopaganism: refers to a variety of modern religious movements, particularly those influenced by or claiming to be derived from the various historical pagan beliefs of pre-modern Europe.Although they do share commonalities, contemporary Pagan religious movements are diverse and no single set of beliefs, practices, or texts are shared by them all.
Contemporary Paganism has been characterized as "a synthesis of historical inspiration and present-day creativity", in this manner drawing influences from pre-Christian, folkloric and ethnographic sources in order to fashion new religious movements. The extent to which contemporary Pagans use these sources differs; many follow a spirituality which they accept is entirely modern, whilst others attempt to reconstruct or revive indigenous, ethnic religions as found in historical and folkloric sources as accurately as possible.
May include:  Goddess Movement, Heathenry, Neo-Druidism, New Age Syncretism, Eco-Paganism, Occultism, Reconstructionism, Queer Paganism, Wicca

Santeria, Voodoo, Vodoun, Umbanda: Beliefs and practices vary widely from sect to sect and tend to be very complex, but all share some or all of the following traits: Syncretism or associations between traditional Yoruban or Bantu religion and Roman Catholicism, the practice of Animal sacrifice and trance possession, spirit mediumship, sympathetic magic, and elements of medieval Goetic magic and kabbalah. All of the sects are Monolatrous, believing that the Gods are all aspects of an unknowable Supreme God.

Asatru (Odinism): Asatruar tend to be Pantheistic, believing in a multitude of Gods. Most Asatru believers choose to identify with one God in particular, and to a tribe, as the Asatru pantheon is divided into two groups, the Aesir and the Vanir. (Odin is an Aesir, Loki a Vanir.) The Asatru pantheon includes traditional Norse Gods and Goddesses, elemental spirits, and Guardian spirits. Ancestors are venerated as well. Politically, Asatruar tend to be conservative and family oriented. The Asatru afterlife is tripartite;warriors slain in battle go to Valhalla, and the good and evil are sorted into Hel (paradise) and Hifhel, respectively.

Kemetism (ancient egyptian revival): Egyptian neopaganism, i.e. neopagan revivals of Ancient Egyptian religion which developed in the United States from the 1970s onwards. There are several main groups, each of which take a different approach to their beliefs, ranging from eclectic to polytheistic reconstructionist.

Hellenismos (greek revival): a modern faith reconstructing the rich religious traditions of Ancient Greece.

Ceremonial Magik: It is nearly impossible to define a set of beliefs that is common to all Ritual Magicians. However, most accept Aleister Crowley’s definition of magick as “the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will.” Ritual Magicians are primarily concerned with “transcendental” magick (conciousness raising) rather than natural or sympathetic magick (folk magic designed to achieve worldly ends).

Romuva (lithuanian revival): a polytheistic pagan faith which asserts the sanctity of nature as well as the practice of ancestor veneration. Adherents of Romuva believe that the souls of those who die continue to exist in the afterlife and stay with the living family and descendants, prior to reincarnation. Confession is based on preserved Lithuanian pagan customs and archaic pre-Christian folklore.

Druidism: Druid Revivial groups focus more or less on personal interpretation of Druidry, leading to a wide variety of beliefs within the Recon community. Among the attitudes held in common is a deep reverence and respect for nature, and an affinity for woodlands. Ancient Celtic runes, and a divination system based on the Celtic Ogham alphabet are also commonly used by modern Druids.

“When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.” – Abraham Lincoln

“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.” – Unknown

#20    Spiral staircase

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 03:19 PM

For those interested in a different path but one that might be more authentic to them I recommend the following books:

ChristoPaganism: An Inclusive Path by Joyce and River Higginbotham

Postmodern Magic: The Art of Magic in the Information Age by Patrick Dunn.

Dunn's view is also more academic since he is a college instructor so check out his blog: http://pomomagic.wordpress.com/

I am a Christian witch. There are not many of us and those who exist are so varied in approach so it is understood there is no single way to be a Christian witch.

My preference is for low and folk magic which can help me as a modern person living in a city. Spells are simple and based on need and are usually devised by myself although I can borrow some ideas from others but the end product is highly customized and personal while still being simple.

For the very few who might possibly be interested in networking PM me. No questions about this path, you either understand and accept, or not. There is no need to convince anyone. I also speak very normal without the need for merry meet and the like. Keep it ordinary.


#21    GreenmansGod

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 04:51 PM

Sigh..... Every time we do Paganism we get off on the definition of Paganism.   How for the purposes of the thread it is Neo-Paganism and it one of the many Earth based mystery religions.  Mystery religion means it is non-revealed without a single source.  No sacred text (Bible, Quran, Vedas) or guru (Jesus, Buddha, or Mohammad) like person.

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#22    White Crane Feather

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 05:00 PM

Hmmm I guessing pagan then.... I'll help with shamanic practices :)

"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
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#23    White Crane Feather

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 05:01 PM

I'm very interested in how say wiccans interact with their deities/spirits? Is it indirectly through lore and ritual or is it face to face some how?

"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
Bruce Lee-

#24    Arbitran

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 06:07 PM

View Postkarmakazi, on 07 September 2012 - 12:04 PM, said:

I agree, in my understanding pagan was a term early christians had for pretty much any non-christians they came across, excepting the Jews of course.



I have heard christians refer to buddhists as pagans :D



Hrm.  My guess would have been either Hindus or Christians (incl catholics)

Christians have the monopoly on sheer numbers, with about 2 billion followers.

Muslims have around 1 1/2 billion, give or take.

Hindus have about a billion (most of whom are in India).

And beyond those three the numbers start to get smaller (for instance I think Buddhists are something like 375,000,000, most of whom are in China).

And atheists/agnostics comprise more than Hindus, with around 1.12 billion if I recall. But then, they don't count as a religion.

Edited by Arbitran, 07 September 2012 - 06:07 PM.

Try to realize it's all within yourself / No-one else can make you change / And to see you're really only very small / And life flows on within you and without you. / We were talking about the love that's gone so cold and the people / Who gain the world and lose their soul / They don't know they can't see are you one of them? / When you've seen beyond yourself then you may find peace of mind / Is waiting there / And the time will come / when you see we're all one and life flows on within you and without you. ~ George Harrison

#25    Arbitran

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 06:11 PM

View PostChasingtherabbit, on 07 September 2012 - 03:19 PM, said:

For those interested in a different path but one that might be more authentic to them I recommend the following books:

ChristoPaganism: An Inclusive Path by Joyce and River Higginbotham

Postmodern Magic: The Art of Magic in the Information Age by Patrick Dunn.

Dunn's view is also more academic since he is a college instructor so check out his blog: http://pomomagic.wordpress.com/

I am a Christian witch. There are not many of us and those who exist are so varied in approach so it is understood there is no single way to be a Christian witch.

My preference is for low and folk magic which can help me as a modern person living in a city. Spells are simple and based on need and are usually devised by myself although I can borrow some ideas from others but the end product is highly customized and personal while still being simple.

For the very few who might possibly be interested in networking PM me. No questions about this path, you either understand and accept, or not. There is no need to convince anyone. I also speak very normal without the need for merry meet and the like. Keep it ordinary.

Interesting combination, a Christian witch. Rather like a "gay Conservative", you don't hear it very often. I take it that all the places in the Bible condemning witches aren't important then?

Edited by Arbitran, 07 September 2012 - 06:45 PM.

Try to realize it's all within yourself / No-one else can make you change / And to see you're really only very small / And life flows on within you and without you. / We were talking about the love that's gone so cold and the people / Who gain the world and lose their soul / They don't know they can't see are you one of them? / When you've seen beyond yourself then you may find peace of mind / Is waiting there / And the time will come / when you see we're all one and life flows on within you and without you. ~ George Harrison

#26    Simbi Laveau

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 06:43 PM

View PostChasingtherabbit, on 07 September 2012 - 03:19 PM, said:

For those interested in a different path but one that might be more authentic to them I recommend the following books:

ChristoPaganism: An Inclusive Path by Joyce and River Higginbotham

Postmodern Magic: The Art of Magic in the Information Age by Patrick Dunn.
I
Dunn's view is also more academic since he is a college instructor so check out his blog: http://pomomagic.wordpress.com/

I am a Christian witch. There are not many of us and those who exist are so varied in approach so it is understood there is no single way to be a Christian witch.

My preference is for low and folk magic which can help me as a modern person living in a city. Spells are simple and based on need and are usually devised by myself although I can borrow some ideas from others but the end product is highly customized and personal while still being simple.

For the very few who might possibly be interested in networking PM me. No questions about this path, you either understand and accept, or not. There is no need to convince anyone. I also speak very normal without the need for merry meet and the like. Keep it ordinary.

View Postkarmakazi, on 07 September 2012 - 12:04 PM, said:



I agree, in my understanding pagan was a term early christians had for pretty much any non-christians they came across, excepting the Jews of course.



I have heard christians refer to buddhists as pagans :D



Hrm.  My guess would have been either Hindus or Christians (incl catholics)
I was watching some docu on religions,only because AMMA was on it,and it said,more catholics than any other religion,anei fell on the floor.
The vatican has a lot of power....
At least they don't assassinate people anymore,or do they .....
:)
I found the whole :CONVERT TO OUR GOD YOU HEATHENS ,OR WE WILL KILL YOU ,so distasteful  as a child,I refused to go to church.
When I got older ,and learned about Vatican assassins,I was appalled.
No offense to any catholics . I've even been baptised as a baby,but I find Catholicism the most hypocritical religion on the planet .

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#27    Simbi Laveau

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 06:46 PM

View PostArbitran, on 07 September 2012 - 06:11 PM, said:



Interesting combination, a Christian witch. Rather like a "gay Conservative", you don't heard it very often. I take it that all the places in the Bible condemning witches aren't important then?

There are many Christian and Jewish witches.
They are of one religion ,but are drawn to another path,and find a way to mesh the two .
In voodoo and Santeria,many are devout catholics ! They go to church on Sundays,and go out to the woods for the calling down of the Lwa,the other days of the week.


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#28    Arbitran

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 06:51 PM

View PostSimbi Laveau, on 07 September 2012 - 06:46 PM, said:

There are many Christian and Jewish witches.
They are of one religion ,but are drawn to another path,and find a way to mesh the two .
In voodoo and Santeria,many are devout catholics ! They go to church on Sundays,and go out to the woods for the calling down of the Lwa,the other days of the week.

I know, I'm just struck by the oddness of the combination. Because it seems to me that a witch can't fully embrace that path with all the restrictions the Bible place on practice, and a Christian can't embrace witchcraft... really at all, without violating the Bible's commands. It just strikes me as an untenable mixture. But that's just me...

Try to realize it's all within yourself / No-one else can make you change / And to see you're really only very small / And life flows on within you and without you. / We were talking about the love that's gone so cold and the people / Who gain the world and lose their soul / They don't know they can't see are you one of them? / When you've seen beyond yourself then you may find peace of mind / Is waiting there / And the time will come / when you see we're all one and life flows on within you and without you. ~ George Harrison

#29    Simbi Laveau

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 06:58 PM

View PostSeeker79, on 07 September 2012 - 05:01 PM, said:

I'm very interested in how say wiccans interact with their deities/spirits? Is it indirectly through lore and ritual or is it face to face some how?
Wiccans ,for the most part ,do it with ritual.
Samhain is the most important ritual of the year,for most wiccans anyway,and that's when we call the horned god to come,to bless the new year with abundance,but it is the goddess we worship .Nothing happens without the goddess,and devotion to her is constant .
Depending upon individual beliefs,some wiccans like to call other earth dieties ,ffrom various pantheons .Artemis ,Bacchus,Athena ,Isis,are used frequently .

In religions like Santeria and voodoo,we call the deity down ,and it is alleged to possess its initiate ,so its much more face to face.
Also ,people who practice ceremonial magick,which is the basis of most OTO and Golden Dawn practices,the magician does a protective circle,and summon the demon of their choosing ,listed in the Goetia .
So I guess that's face to face ?
I am not a fan of that kind of summoning .I have used goetia in my works,but I don't "summon" them.
I use them in the same way I would use an orisha of Santeria . It's more of a request ,so ,I have no idea if anyone has ever come face to face with a goetia demon .
I am going to have to ask about this now,as I've never given it any thought before .

Edited by Simbi Laveau, 07 September 2012 - 06:59 PM.

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#30    Simbi Laveau

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 07:08 PM

View Postcamochick, on 07 September 2012 - 01:27 PM, said:

Hi,
I started reading about Wicca a few years ago and I can communicate with spirits as well. I've tried  to cast a few simple spells, like protection ones and I can't figure out why they're not working as well as they should. Any advise?
When you first start,your energies are not yet focused.You only get out of it,what you put into it.
Intent ,concentration,and energy are required .
What kind of spells are you doing ? Candle,herbal ?

And what kind are we talking about .From and ex boyfriend,from evil eye,from other worldly entities,from the tax man ?
For all protection,you must envision white light engulfing you,just as a mental exercise .
Burning white hot light . I also put mirrors up,so that anyone sending something bad my way,it gets reflected back to them.No harm,so karma is clean ,but if you just send their own bad thoughts back to them,its on them,not you .

Edited by Simbi Laveau, 07 September 2012 - 07:09 PM.

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