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Rhea
08-03-2007, 01:16 PM
Good morning!

I've been lurking around all morning and I noticed a few christian-centric knitting threads. I think knitting is the PERFECT thing to incorporate into any spirituality. Recently I have been using knitting in my pagan (wicca-based, but largely personal) path. I find it helps to ground and center myself and is a great way to clear my mind before a meditation sitting. I also find that hand-knitted altar cloths or ritual garments add a lot of personal energy.

I also had the idea of making a shawl, and making sure that as I knit it, I focus calming or protective energies into it, so that when I wear it I can feel those benefits.

Are there any other pagan knitters here? In what ways do you incorporate your craft into your religion?

willowangel
08-03-2007, 02:25 PM
I am :-) I also use it as a meditative practice, and I see any act of creation as a way to honour the divine. I also make a range of stitch markers out of gemstones, to add another level of feeling to gifts - rose quartz markers for something made for comfort or support, tiger eye for protection etc.

Rhea
08-03-2007, 02:27 PM
OOoooo

rose quartz is my FAVORITE stone. My pendulum is rose quartz =]

DoulaLyndsey
08-03-2007, 07:40 PM
I'm a pagan knitter! I find knitting to be relaxing. I've got a pattern for a Celtic knot shawl I want to make as soon as I find the perfect yarn, and the bravery to attempt it lol.

StefannyJo
08-03-2007, 08:28 PM
I am so out of practice for Wicca and so new to knitting I didn't even think of the possiblities! I love the meditation and the gemstone markers. I wish I would have thought of that before I finished this baby blanket. I will do that for the booties.

Thanks for the ideas!

geekgolightly
08-03-2007, 09:29 PM
not a pagan, but wanted to give mad props to you ladies. every pagan i've met has been good hearted and thoughtful. <3

i'm naive enough to think that there isn;t discrimination against witchcraft, but i ran into it at work the other week. from an unexpected source to boot. i was caught very off guard when she said that the tarot was the devil's work and that witches deserved to burn. i laughed because i thought she was kidding and was very sad when i realised she wasn't.

misha rf
08-03-2007, 10:38 PM
Me too!!

It's usually a calming, centering thing for me. Unless it's something new or complex---then there's lots of swearing. :rofl:

Geekgolightly, thank you! And sadly, yes, that attitude is still very much present. I see it in letters to the editor in my local paper, in comments overheard in public places, etc. There was a story tonight on the local news about a group of Wiccans performing a ceremony around a majestic magnolia that may well be cut down for some sort of building. I'm grateful they sent their best reporter to cover the story (he tends to be quite fair), but he seemed a little uncomfortable with it.

Ayla
08-03-2007, 11:54 PM
I am a Pagan knitter! I was going to post something like this but then I found this..Funny how that works anyway I use my knitting as a grounding and centering in my practice. I find I ground and center allot faster then doing it the old fashioned way( Sorry to those of you who are more taditional) Anyway I currently have an idea for a saining blanket it is not on the needles yet as I am still working out the details I know what colors I want to use it is now figuring out the technical things like the finished size. I am raising my 4 month old as a pagan and I am going to have a handfasting and I was wondering if there was anyone who had an idea for making the cords for said handfasting. Well I guess I will go hope things are well with all!

Rhea
08-04-2007, 01:55 AM
It's great that there are so many of you! I thought I was alone. =[

And yes, there is still a lot of false conceptions about pagans circling around. For that reason, I was kind of afraid to make this thread. Glad to see everyone here is above that =]


Ayla: first off, congrats on the handfasting! Can't think of how to do the cords? I-cord it! You can even pick different colors for the i-cord based on their correspondances and knit them together. A hand-made one will bring a lot of energy to it.

Yarnlady
08-04-2007, 08:51 AM
:woot: I am! Glad to see this started. I'd like to see a continuing thread of information, support, and community here!

Thanks for taking the initiative to start this thread!:woot::woot::woot::woot::woot::woot:

:star: BB

Rhea
08-04-2007, 11:23 AM
Out of curiosity... Are any of you guys members on Mysticwicks.com?

Secondly, do your beliefs have an affect on the yarn you choose to knit with. I am short on money these days so I mostly knit with acrylic, but do you think knitting with natural fibers would make a difference?

LilHuskiesFootBallMom
08-04-2007, 12:05 PM
yes, i started as wiccan, moved to eclectic pagan and am now Norman... the website for our tribe is at http://www.normannii.org

Every time i knit, i think about my relationship with Frigga, my patron Goddess, Viking Goddess of hearth and home... during the third round of Symbel (pronounced Sum-bell) the items i gift to varous people in the tribe are usually ones that I have made... last yule I gifted the lord and lady of our tribe with an afghan (that came in handy that night as it was very cold)

Rhea
08-04-2007, 12:19 PM
That's cool! I've never been in a coven/tribe/group of any kind. But...I practically live inthe bible belt so... gotta be hush hush about myself unfortunately.

Are you french/ of french ancestery? Well.. from normandy. I think the celts used to or are still inhabitants of that reigon, right?

LilHuskiesFootBallMom
08-04-2007, 12:31 PM
I'm irish... the normans (which include denmark, norway, sweeden, finland, and germany as well... the tribe is of the ancient germanic traditions) and the irish are pretty much one in the same if you look back at history and the invasions and such.

I love being part of the tribe. MiLady Cynthia (the Lady of the tribe) is sweet and wonderful, the wives of the Thanes (second highest ranking in the tribe) are great, i'm really good friends with one of them. and....

You don't have to become part of the tribe to be accepted. One of the wives of the Thanes is Catholic... there are others who are friends (called Good Folk) that are more than welcome at our gatherings.

aineepooh1
08-04-2007, 12:34 PM
Well.. first of all I am NOT a pagan. But I was very suprised to find that what I THOUGHT was pagan beliefs wasn't at all. In college I took a Religion, sociology, and culture class and we had individuals from numerous faiths. I was very (pleasantly) :thumbsup: suprrised to find out from an actual pagan in our class who explained to us that pagan does NOT = devil worshipper/ baby killer etc..
I am glad you guys feel comfortable discussing your beliefs here on KH. I think this proves again that KH is a diverse but ~ tolerant~ community.

BTW: If I remember right.... a handfasting is a marriage ceremony~ and if that is the case ~ Congratulations~!!!:clink:
ainee

Rhea
08-04-2007, 12:48 PM
YEah! I cen't believe there are people who *actually* believe that we kill babies and stuff.

*rolls eyes*

Seriously..How gullible can you get?

Rhea
08-04-2007, 12:50 PM
I'm irish... the normans (which include denmark, norway, sweeden, finland, and germany as well... the tribe is of the ancient germanic traditions) and the irish are pretty much one in the same if you look back at history and the invasions and such.

I love being part of the tribe. MiLady Cynthia (the Lady of the tribe) is sweet and wonderful, the wives of the Thanes (second highest ranking in the tribe) are great, i'm really good friends with one of them. and....

You don't have to become part of the tribe to be accepted. One of the wives of the Thanes is Catholic... there are others who are friends (called Good Folk) that are more than welcome at our gatherings.

So where ARE the gatherings? You don't have to travel to europe to gather do you?

LilHuskiesFootBallMom
08-04-2007, 01:01 PM
typically in the new york/pennsylvania area. different members of the tribe host or if it's going to be a huge gathering (like yule we had over 60 people attend) we rent a place out. The next one (someone's getting handfasted/married) is in Pennsylvania... the gathering before that (last january, yule) was just over the NY/PA border just ouside of Port Jervis, NY.

if you ever want to talk, my yahoo and aim are ladykrowyn79 :)

Yarnlady
08-04-2007, 01:12 PM
Secondly, do your beliefs have an affect on the yarn you choose to knit with. I am short on money these days so I mostly knit with acrylic, but do you think knitting with natural fibers would make a difference?Being a kitchen witch more than anything else, I think the practice of doing what you can with what you have where you are is very spiritual. :star:

One of the things that annoyed me with the "New Age" movement was the amount of money one "needed" to spend in order to have the "trappings of the trade." Yes, I know it was a business, but like a lot of business it set about convincing people that spirituality was in the dollar, not in the heart.

I think, above and beyond the type of fiber is the intent of the knitter. (Which also allows for the mistakes we make in the knitting. We are doing the best we can with what we have. And "what we have" includes skill level and practice as much as the type of fiber.) I think natural fibers can help one connect with the Great Mother, but the meditation of movement also facilitates the connection.

Kitchen witches use wooden spoons for wands just as easily as one "of holly with a phoenix feather in the center." :teehee:

BinkyKat
08-04-2007, 01:14 PM
Not a Pagan here...but I have a friend at my new job that is. It's been such stress for me in my first year and several months ago she gave me a necklace she made with rose quartz and tiger eye as a gift to help me out. How sweet is that?:hug:I'm glad she's my friend because I can ask her about her beliefs and like a Jehovah's witness friend of mine...neither try to "recruit." I think it's great when folks can be content to talk about their beliefs in a "hey, tell me about that" kinda way.
Glad to see you all start this thread...again, I'm not a "member" (heck, I don't go to the Catholic church I belong to like I should...:oops:) but it's super...threads of all kinds make this a wonderfully diverse community:cheering::heart:

Ayla
08-04-2007, 04:37 PM
Yes it is sad that allot of people are misinformed. But I believe that overtime hopefully people will become more informed. Yes a handfasting is a wiccan/pagan marriage. Good idea on the i cord I never thought of that.
I also think that you should use whatever type of yarn you can afford after all it is the thought and intent you put into whatever you are making that counts. I would really like to start a group where we can knit and also discuss paganism(kinda like a study group)although I live also in the biblebelt of arizona so....yeah here you also have to be hush hush about your alternative religion.Anyhoo I gtg(got to go) my little one just woke up. Hope things are well!
~Ayla

Yarnlady
08-04-2007, 07:15 PM
Arizona has a Bible belt?:shrug:

spectorkitty
08-04-2007, 08:49 PM
I'm not a pagan, but consider myself a heathen. :)

We are Asatru, we celebrate the Nordic Gods. I love Elsebeth Lavolds designs and so want to learn how to knit Runes.

Hi to my fellow pagans and Heathens!

ecb
08-04-2007, 09:29 PM
as a Pagan, and a Mother, and a Nurse
I try to find a way to incorporate my beliefs into my day to day life, in the smallest, Quietest ways possible

then, every once in a while, I YELL from the tree tops
I knit pocket Goddesses to sell in local shops, they come with a small inspirational Scroll.
when I make them as gifts, I use maplewood needles annointed with Healing, or Blessing Oil
I try to make them with the fibers tha wil give me the best effect, and these tend to be at least 50% Natural Fibers, the ones that have the most acrylic are baby and pet friendly, and they can survive machine washing.
One day here was the mom trying to get her two boys to eat, and they were bored, and grumpy. They ended up playing hockey with coffee stirrers, and a Bottle cap, after my kids and I had finished OUR lunch, e left the shop and saw her go into a shop next door with the kids begging for this and that. I went to the car, got my bag of finished Goddesses, and took out 4, and followed her into the shop, and offered her one, telling her what they symbolized. She thanked me, and as i walked out, she explained to one of her kids, that it was a little Goddess for her to keep close and remind her of how blessed she was, and she pronounced it, "Bless-ed"
made me smile
BIG time

spectorkitty
08-04-2007, 09:42 PM
ECB, that was a really nice story. I consider blessed to mean so many things, since I do not believe in God, or one god. Being blessed, no matter how you look at it, is a nice thing. :)

aineepooh1
08-05-2007, 02:12 PM
ecb~ can you post pics of your goddessess? or is that probhibited.....:?? b/c I sure am curious what they look :happydance:like~

willowangel
08-05-2007, 06:04 PM
I'm really glad someone posted this thread, thanks Rhea. Over the last couple of weeks, after months on the forum, I'd started getting a little braver about mentioning Paganism (particularly in the Chiggers thread - I'm a bad pagan, being outdoors gets me bitten and infected so I mostly have to avoid woods :wall:). Until now though, as everywhere else, I've been very circumspect about mentioning it because of the abuse I've had in the past (I used to get crosses scrawled on my door, bibles left outside, shouted at, doors slammed in my face etc). I've been through enough where I don't want to have to keep defending this perfectly natural, peaceful, mature belief. If people hate me after knowing what it is, fair enough, but I've got no time anymore for the ones who hate me because of the word witch.

I've gone through a number of things in my past - I started off eclectic, then became a chaos witch (really not what it sounds like), and now am in a position after some life events where my beliefs about nature and the laws of the universe are infused in everything I do and say, but I no longer specifically 'practice'. My life is my practice.

I recently attended the Pagan Federation Conference in Edinburgh, and it was wonderful - the first time I'd felt a community in a while. Up here, sadly, the 'alternative' community drives me mad - they're mostly either charlatans, manipulative, viscious or using their practices as a way to avoid reality and taking responsibility for their own lives. I stopped going to any meets about 6 years ago cause they pissed me off so much. So the conference was a leap of faith for me, and one I'm really glad I took - it was a revelation. The leader was wearing jeans and a purple polo shirt with the logo on it, running around with a clipboard. It was fantastic - there were all kinds of people, dressed up, not dressed up, following all different paths, but all with the quiet peace that comes from knowing what path you're on and happily discussing it without feeling the need to 'fix' everyone else or tell them what they're doing wrong. People actually listened to each other instead of just waiting for a break in the conversation so they could talk again. We had discussions, rituals, workshops, lunch, comedy, music. It was one of the best days I've had in recent years. Coming so soon after the Beltane Fire Festival in Edinburgh it made for a good start to the year :-)

Beltane's worth going to if you ever get a chance. 15 000 people crammed onto a hill in the centre of Edinburgh, while the story of Beltane is enacted in perfect choreography - the white women, the red men, the blue men, the May Queen, the Green Man, the drummers, the fire dancers. And the atmosphere is electric - whether people are there as Pagans or not, they're celebrating the turning of the seasons, and it's beautiful. It lasts till about 2 in the morning, with huge bonfires, the most incredible firedancing, and the white women are so eerie to watch. They move perfectly in tune with each other (one of my oldest friends is their coordinator :-)).

Anyway... Thanks to the non-pagans who've responded with such support on this thread - it means a lot to me, I'm sure to all of us, to have people understand. Everyone follows a different path, and to me, any connection to life, whether through religion, friends, work, craft or otherwise, is a path worth following. We can walk alongside each other for bits of our paths, and that's what makes us strong. My favourite quotes from any pagan literature - 'let there be mirth and reverence', and 'all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals'.

It's hard enough being alive these days, there's no need to make life difficult for those who are trying to find a way through and still trying to do some good in the world, and for me - as I tried to explain to one of the guys who was drawing on my door etc, I am a much better person as a pagan than I ever was as a Christian. That's me - my path, no-one else's. But I believe I honour the divine much more through making my life a good one, doing good things, being a good person, than by following any specific creed or book.

Anyway, that's a few months worth of posts in one, I think, so I'll leave it there :-)

Take care all,
Fi xxx

P.S. I totally agree about the fibers - while I prefer to knit with bamboo because I love the feel of it, it is in the intent behind it. If all you can afford is acrylic, or the only yarn that's right for that pattern is acrylic, or you just really like the yarn - no big deal - as my bloke pointed out the other day - it was all natural matter a few million years ago. I have lots of acrylic - I'm allergic to animal based fibers, but also love the feel of some of them and the colours. If you are making with love and creation, then that's all that matters.

stitchwitch
08-05-2007, 07:26 PM
I've been leaning towards paganism for a few years now ever since a good friend of mine declared me one after I explained some of my beliefs to her. I did some research and kind of fell into an area that I'm comfortable with. Oddly, each day I feel more and more grounded and the more I read about pagans the more I feel like part of the group.

suzeeq
08-05-2007, 07:30 PM
I dunno if I'm pagan or what... looked into it and wicca, too, but have also read some on Native American beliefs, buddhism and taoism. So I guess my spirituality is a blend of all that. Definitely more of a nature based belief than gods, godesses and what have you...

stitchwitch
08-05-2007, 07:34 PM
I dunno if I'm pagan or what... looked into it and wicca, too, but have also read some on Native American beliefs, buddhism and taoism. So I guess my spirituality is a blend of all that. Definitely more of a nature based belief than gods, godesses and what have you...

Thanks, you just summed it up for me! I'm in the same mode you are.

lulu2
08-06-2007, 03:35 PM
Thanks, you just summed it up for me! I'm in the same mode you are.

I dunno if I'm pagan or what... looked into it and wicca, too, but have also read some on Native American beliefs, buddhism and taoism. So I guess my spirituality is a blend of all that. Definitely more of a nature based belief than gods, godesses and what have you...

Yes, that describes my beliefs too - but actually, most beliefs or religions have the same basic tenets/commandments.
To the original poster : have you seen the books by Tara Jon Manning, "Mindful Knitting" and "Compassionate Knitting" - they have wonderful tips on knitting and meditating (with patterns).
Please let's start a mindful knitting group :grphug:... I would definitely join!!
lotsa love
lulu

aineepooh1
08-06-2007, 03:44 PM
Paganknitters
I just wanted to ask if it would be alright if I occasionally post on your thread here since I am not a pagan.. I especially would love to drop in when it turns into the fall season. I :heart::heart::heart: all the festivities around the fall season. I would :heart: to find out from you guys firsthand ( by lurking on this thread) about the differnet observances around the fall holidays... and get a little edumucated ... about your traditons.. if that would be ok..
I

Rhea
08-06-2007, 03:51 PM
lulu, We SHOULD start a mindful knitting group! How does one go about doing that?

aineepooh1, That is fine by me.

willowangel
08-06-2007, 03:57 PM
That would be great ainee, love to have you :-)

One of the things I'm liking about ravelry is there's a few mindful knitting groups, but I hadn't seen the books - am going to have to go track them down now *grin*

I'm also more nature/element based than gods and goddesses. I was for a while, a few years ago, but now I have a path I'm really comfortable with, and feel a deep peace from. It's a long and quite complex story, which I won't go into now, but my beliefs have always come from being a physicist.

Once you get past normal Newtonian physics, what else is out there, and in here, is radically different from what we think of as reality. I never, ever though there was something supernatural about magic - it's totally natural, just stuff we don't understand yet, and the more physics comes up with, the more the two align. It's awe-inspiring and beautiful, and I loved studying theoretical Physics, and still read everything I can get my hands on. Science and magic are the same thing, to me. They always have been, and there are so many wonders the universe has yet to show us.

Fi xxx

willowangel
08-06-2007, 04:02 PM
By the way - I love the idea of the group - was thinking of ways to do it and I thought maybe I could set up a small Yahoo group for KH mindful knitters? I know there's a few out there, but I often get a bit swamped by how big they are, so it may be a good idea for us to get to know each other as a small group and welcome other people into our midst as they join KH?

Any takers? :-)
Fi xxx

lulu2
08-06-2007, 04:05 PM
lulu, We SHOULD start a mindful knitting group! How does one go about doing that?


Rhea,
You will notice by the small number of posts under my name that I am very much a newbee on this board ... but ... what about we start a Knit Along ? Mmmm let's think about this .........:oo:

Rhea
08-06-2007, 04:06 PM
My path is a blend of pantheism and what I have retained from my years as a wiccan. A lot of my beliefs are science-based and I view my path as more of a philosophy than a religion because I don't follow a particular Dogma or Diety. I honor the Universe and nature the way some people honor Gods. I find that, for my purposes, putting a name or label on the Divine limits it. I think that there is an energy in every living and non-living thing. I think that this energy has been around since the dawn of time ane before it. Personally, I see this energy in myself as that little sensation of radiance that seems to come from my chest when I am meditating or, in fact, any time that i take the time to notice it. You could call it life-force or energy or spirit or whatever. I don't call it anything, really. It's just there, and it's in and around everything. That is what I worship.

Rhea
08-06-2007, 04:07 PM
By the way - I love the idea of the group - was thinking of ways to do it and I thought maybe I could set up a small Yahoo group for KH mindful knitters? I know there's a few out there, but I often get a bit swamped by how big they are, so it may be a good idea for us to get to know each other as a small group and welcome other people into our midst as they join KH?

Any takers? :-)
Fi xxx

That's a GREAT idea. I could start setting it up now if you guys want.

LilHuskiesFootBallMom
08-06-2007, 04:08 PM
ainee, ask away :)

I love halloween, it's my favorite holiday (obviously LOL). the weekend before, my tribe gets together to celebrate Winternights....

willowangel
08-06-2007, 04:14 PM
Oops, sorry Rhea - only just noticed your post - I've gone and made a group, figuring may as well and see if anyone wants to join, if you want to make a different one or something then that's ok :-)

Here's the one I made, just in case :
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/KHMindfulKnitters/

Rhea
08-06-2007, 04:17 PM
Hey, less work for me =]

iza
08-06-2007, 04:18 PM
I'm glad you asked ainee, I would be very interested to follow that thread too. :teehee: I'm not pagan, and I don't know much about it. But I definitely admire and respect your beliefs. :hug:

willowangel, I am a physicist too, and I think your point of view is really interesting! When I was doing my undergrad, I had a prof who was convinced it was impossible to be a physicist and believe in God. For him, your job as a scientist is to explain the universe without any involvement from a god or any supernatural force. And if you believe in "something", you will automatically be biased. I think his point of view is rather extreme, many physicists are religious and can do a very good job!

This being said, I would LOVE to see you two have a conversation about that! :teehee: And your explanation gives me a lot to think about. I totally see how you can link magic and physics! :hug:

Rhea
08-06-2007, 04:21 PM
It's great that so many non-pagans here are so curious and cool.

I joined the yahoo group! I'm aleamilr

lulu2
08-06-2007, 04:22 PM
Oops, sorry Rhea - only just noticed your post - I've gone and made a group, figuring may as well and see if anyone wants to join, if you want to make a different one or something then that's ok :-)

Here's the one I made, just in case :
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/KHMindfulKnitters/

Wow! You are a fast worker!!!:out:

willowangel
08-06-2007, 04:38 PM
Iza - it's something that has always been a pet issue of mine - to me, being a scientist is about keeping a completely open mind about any possibility. You're supposed to go into experiments and research with an idea of what you're looking for, but open to whatever causes it - if your mind is closed, then you're risking missing major discoveries. So, from the same point of view, then closing your mind to a huge possibility, that we can't disprove, then you're not being scientific.

From my point of view, getting hung up on proving or disproving divine involvement isn't going to get anywhere in science. Working out what the laws of our universe are is what's important. My image of the divine is not as a 'the earth popped into existence fully created' idea, but that there is some intelligence, way beyond the comprehension of a human brain, that permeates the universe. It is the energy that is within and all around us - all matter is energy at a slow vibration, it is all energy. That's what I think is the divine. That whatever it is set up the universe and its laws, and set it in motion. I think that science and belief easily coexist, because they're about the same thing. I just think that science is about analysing the universe, however it came into being in the first place. I totally agree that science and new-earth creationism can't coexist, but there are many, many more beliefs and religions that work easily with science.

I've actually known quite a few scientists who were atheists growing up cause they thought that was the proper scientific viewpoint. Once they got into university level physics, though, they found that they couldn't not believe in an intelligent force, seeing the beauty of how perfect it all was, and that there are things that are *so* unlikely that, scientifically, intelligence is the most likely reason. So they don't believe in a man on a cloud pointing at things, but do believe in an incomprehensible force behind things.

Lol, sorry, babbling again ;-)

Rhea
08-06-2007, 04:45 PM
WillowAngel, You sound like me. Or I sound like you. or we sound like each other.

mrs desert rain
08-06-2007, 04:47 PM
I'm pagan, and I'm a knitter!

Specifically, I celebrate the wheel of the year (per Wiccan traditions), though I don't celebrate specific deities. I practice alone, I hand-make my incense, candles (when I have the time/inclination), and write my own rituals. It's a constant project, and I love every minute of it.

Years ago, I tried to substantiate my beliefs by being an initiate of a traditional Dianic coven, but couldn't wrap my head around goddess worship. So, back to solitary, undefined heathen-land for me! (Also, practicing skyclad wasn't my thing...)

It's so nice to belong to a community of many faiths -- knitting folks are the best!

PaperGirl
08-06-2007, 04:52 PM
I am.

Been one for nearly 15 years.

I never really was one for any kind of organized church religion practices...they just didnt "feel" right to me...you know?

After high school, I went through a rough patch, and found myself drawn to paganism, and its nature loving, gentleness..and its acceptance. I never felt that way with other places I tried to fit it. Not saying that everyone feels that way, Im just saying that was my personal experience.

Ive only had one bad experience with someone insulting my choice of spiritual path...and it hurt me tremendously.

She is my sisters friend, and when she found out about my, via a small graphic on my Myspace page, she immediately told my sister I was going to hell, and my children would burn with me. :doh: Her ignorance shocked and upset me terribly.

And shes a devout Christian who claims to love all, and respect all because that is what she was taught.

But she will not respect me...she condemns me.

She even condemns me for talking about Stitch and Bitch. How its an AWFUL thing to be a part of, and she could NEVER be in a group with such a terrible name.

Yet she writes fan fiction that involves worse things than the words Stitch and Bitch. (very horrible things done to fictional characters that would have real people hospitalized, and arrested)

And *I* am the horrible person.

I dont understand it at all. But I digress.

I truely try to follow the rule of three...and realize that everything I do in my life will have effects and consequences..and I better be ready to reap what I sow.

I dont conjur up magic potions, or change shapes, but I do practice gem and candle magic, and believe in dreams and such.

For the longest time, Ive considered myself a solitary eclectic, just because Im not comfortable enough to join people at this stage in my life.

mrs desert rain
08-06-2007, 05:02 PM
she immediately told my sister I was going to hell, and my children would burn with me.

that's really, really awful. :shock:

i've known folks from all faiths respond to other beliefs with such despicable judgments. but then i remember that they're on a journey, too; one that will (hopefully) foster acceptance for all walks of life.

Yarnlady
08-06-2007, 05:06 PM
:waving:Just joined the Yahoo group! Come on, the rest of y'all! :happydance:

LilHuskiesFootBallMom
08-06-2007, 05:08 PM
i just joined as well, i'll do my intro post in a second... need to go add more duct tape so my kids'll stay on the wall (just kidding LOL)

PaperGirl
08-06-2007, 05:34 PM
that's really, really awful. :shock:

i've known folks from all faiths respond to other beliefs with such despicable judgments. but then i remember that they're on a journey, too; one that will (hopefully) foster acceptance for all walks of life.



I just keep reminding myself that eventually, she will become as accepting as she claims to be. That all her words are just that, words...

Untill then, I just avoid her, and if my sister has questions, I answer them as honestly as I can. :heart:

mks22300
08-06-2007, 06:49 PM
This is all so interesting, I never really understood Paganism before. Thanks for posting this thread!

Chel
08-06-2007, 07:57 PM
:oo:*wonders who else will be popping out of the broom closet*

misha rf
08-06-2007, 09:34 PM
:oo:*wonders who else will be popping out of the broom closet*

:teehee:

*runs off to join the yahoo group*

LilHuskiesFootBallMom
08-06-2007, 09:38 PM
lmbo

I've been out of the broom closet for many years... When i told my biological mother she called me a satanist and thenwhen i told her about the tribe she said "oh, more of your freak **** " My adoptive mom (i've made a family from my friends) is the Anbethuzyle (basically advisor) of the tribe and also has an Asatru background :)

misha rf
08-06-2007, 09:46 PM
I've been very careful with what I tell my family. I think that most of the ones who know think it's a "phase" (that's lasted 10+ years). The others...I just don't see it as any of their business. The family's pretty well divided between catholics, agnostics & aethists anyway.

debinoz
08-06-2007, 10:33 PM
I find this thread very interresting.... I'm very glad that you are able to discuss your beliefs here with being attacked. I guess I'm sort-of without a religion/belief. The closest I come is believing in the scientific reason for our being here. For a while I had my own little religion, I called it "biblical evolution." I was brought up in a Christian household, but got so sick and tired of being told I was a sinner and I wasn't good enough to go to heaven. No matter what you do, you're still a bad person. My oldest and youngest both claim to be atheists but the youngest does believe in magic and self spirit. My second oldest doesn't really think about it, and oldest dd used to attend youth group at the Baptist church with her friends until one night a counsellor(sp?) told her that no one loved her but God and that if she died right then, no one would care but God. That upset her so much that she's not been back. Thanks for giving me some more paths to try.

willowangel
08-06-2007, 10:33 PM
Just wanted to say thanks again to all the KH people who've been so accepting - it's always a risk for us to put something like this up, so thanks for being your usual selves and lovely about it :-)

I'm mostly solitary too - I have some friends that I work with sometimes, we have parties to celebrate the seasons and do some rituals together, but it's a very organic process where we all do what feels right, rather than sticking to specific rituals. I never felt a coven was right for me, or any organised group that had a hierarchal structure (I get that groups need to be organised but having a pyramid system wasn't for me). I've seen way too much infighting and power struggles which kind of negates what it's supposed to be about. I'm really happy with how it is for me now, and it's nice to be going out with a pagan again - my previous partners were understanding but uninvolved in it, which was fine but kinda lonely sometimes, but bloke is very much the same as me in his beliefs and so we work quite well alongside each other :-)

Fi xxx

jeanius80
08-06-2007, 10:39 PM
i'll be reading with interest too. i am christian, but a lot of what i know about paganism and nature worship (which isn't a lot, so sorry if i use the wrong terms) seems very forgiving and .... soothing? hmm. i have always been interested in it, i am not a practicing christian in that i don't go to or participate in any church or services. just personal prayer. i think i am at a growing point in my life. thanks for sharing with us here! :hug:

misstialouise
08-06-2007, 10:55 PM
Undefined Pagan here!

Much more elemental than godess based here too..

I've not yet thought about combining my knitting with my craft (yes, I get the pun).. But will definitely look at it more, once I get to a place where I can take time to get back into my pagan 'stuff'.. :D

aineepooh1
08-06-2007, 11:13 PM
Lil' Huskies~~ ..out of the broom closet~!:passedout::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:: rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:

LilHuskiesFootBallMom
08-06-2007, 11:45 PM
that's what my witchy friends on a religious forum call it.. it's fun, they're a bunch of nut balls (in the good way)...

Rorshach
08-07-2007, 01:01 AM
Nothing wrong with being pagan in my book. A lot of people distrust what they don't understand, and unfortunately most of the english speaking world is Christianity, but then it's only because at one point Christianity was forced onto people, and over time became the "normal" thing. Much like Windows, but that's a whole other topic and I won't get into it here.

Truthfully, I can't say that I'm wholly pagan, or wholly Christian, but let's just say that over my years of study, I've seen a whole lot of things older than Christianity being practiced. So for the most part I'm a big believer in a higher consciousness, but won't actually give that consciousness a name. To say that you're Pagan, or Christian, or anything else for that matter changes nothing. The fact that you are all knitters and tolerant of each other is really the only thing that matters.

KnittingNat
08-07-2007, 02:00 AM
I must admit i'm really enjoying this thread! I myself am Jewish, though i'm not practicing any of the rituals (except for our wedding, but in Israel you hardly have a choice, because the religious institute has almost a monopol on the life rituals - weddings, burials etc.). I know my way through the Bible and i'm not taking it literally, i always like to compare it with the region's mythology and look at it that way. I do try to live my way by the commandments, like all of us - just trying to be a good person. I don't know much about Paganism, could any of you give some links to informative sites? It seems to me as a very natural thing - to be in touch with nature... And i'd love to know more :teehee: When i think of it, it's more comfortable for me to be just a person who believes in some higher power, be it God or Nature...

LilHuskiesFootBallMom
08-07-2007, 02:30 AM
http://www.witchvox.org
http://www.religioustolerance.org

HTH.
and Aaron, i take it you upgraded to vista too :)

Rorshach
08-07-2007, 02:32 AM
hehe, Heck no, I'm running on Ubuntu Linux myself. But at one point I was supporting Vista.

LilHuskiesFootBallMom
08-07-2007, 02:35 AM
we have vista on 4 of the 7 computers here in the house.. the one i use primarily still has xp.

so to keep this on topic...

Anyone know of some good software i could buy so that I can turn the image for our tribe into a graph so i could make Mi Lord and Mi Lady a really nice afghan or of some sweedish/finnish/norman traditional knitting patterns?

Carrie218
08-07-2007, 07:01 AM
I discovered Wicca over 25 years ago. At that time there were something like five whole books on the subject (Janet & Stewart Farrar's, Spiral Dance, Drawing Down the Moon, Gardner's book, etc.) I was heavily involved in what was a very large community in San Diego that included many notable members who ultimately become authors; Ray Buckland, Don Michael Kraig, and the late Scott Cunningham. I was a media witch in that on Halloween, I was a special guest on the radio station, 91X - trying to dispel the myths that we were Satan worshippers. I got a lot of grief and death threats ("Suffer not the witch to live."). I also ultimately lost my civil servant's job when someone I worked with recognized my voice and reported me to my "Christian" supervisor. Yes, lawsuits ensued and I actually received a settlement for the discrimination. Remember, this was over 25 years ago.

In the intervening years, I continued studying various traditions, getting a Master's degree in art which utilized the study of occult Kabbalah. I went "to the dark side" in studying the writings of Aleister Crowley and ritual magick and was estranged from my family for years in their mis-understanding of my beliefs.

I'm still a blacksheep and no longer participate with any groups. But I took up knitting as part of my meditative spiritual practices and am pleased that others have brought this topic to the forefront.

aineepooh1
08-07-2007, 12:05 PM
again.. as I have said before.. I TOO am really enjoying this thread b/c it is very interesting to understand how other think/ believe/ interpret the world around them.. like someone else said.. we really do FEAR what we don't understand... thanks pagans for dispelling a lot of fallacies and confusion~:thumbsup:

Rorshach
08-07-2007, 06:51 PM
Well there are several ways to go about that. you could get a program designed for that, or just as easy, Use Photoshop or The Gimp to overlay a graph on your image, 1 stitch equals 1 block on the graph, generally. btw, The Gimp is free open source software, where if you decide to go the photoshop route, it will cost some bucks to get it.

Friskums
08-07-2007, 07:43 PM
we have vista on 4 of the 7 computers here in the house.. the one i use primarily still has xp.

so to keep this on topic...

Anyone know of some good software i could buy so that I can turn the image for our tribe into a graph so i could make Mi Lord and Mi Lady a really nice afghan or of some sweedish/finnish/norman traditional knitting patterns?
You could try this (http://www.microrevolt.org/knitPro/). Or, there's a knitty article about making your own charts in photoshop or something.

LilHuskiesFootBallMom
08-07-2007, 10:19 PM
thanks to both of you :)

I already have the full versions of adobe photoshop and paint shop pro... I use PSP to make the letter graphs for the weasley sweaters (i had to go download the font called "All Star"... i just use the center of the letters)

geekgolightly
08-08-2007, 05:40 AM
I went "to the dark side" in studying the writings of Aleister Crowley and ritual magick and was estranged from my family for years in their mis-understanding of my beliefs.
.

I spent time with The Book of Lies for a while, but I didn't get it. I really enjoy his tarot deck though. I see lots with it, and it changes over the years. I don't practice, but I've taken it up and played with it a bit here and there, and I prefer his deck over any others.

I also have read Gurdjieff but, like with Buddhism, I can't divorce myself from my body like that. I can't renounce fantasy or the power of sexuality.

I don't have any real belief system, although what a relief to be able to find one, I imagine. I want that. It's just hard for me because my first precept in my own system is that everyone is right within themselves if they are following their path. And much religion forces you to believe that only your path is acceptable.

suzeeq
08-08-2007, 10:43 AM
I think it's the Buddhists who have a saying `there are many ways to the top of the mountain'. The mountain being enlightenment or being one with the creator, whatever your belief. They're right, I believe.

newamy
08-08-2007, 12:51 PM
Okay, after reading this thread for a few days I'll just jump in. I admit it, I'm something of a neo-pagan. I started learning about Pganism/Wicca about 15 years ago. I came to it by looking for the feminine influence in religion and specifically reading the Chalace and the Blade. I read a lot, I like history, Religious study/analysis. About 12 years ago I took a few classes based on the Reclaiming tradition. Read a lot of Starhawk. I've been to some great community rituals. But when we moved to my current location some of that changed a bit. I know there are many people of pagan and alternative beleifs in my area- I've just never fouund anything organized. I do not have any personal daily or seasonal practice. But I have little goddesses on my shelf in my room. I get real excited about Halloween. I tell my daughter mythical goddess stories and present bible based stories-if she hears of them in the same light- as a way of explaining lessons and ideas. To me the daily act of recycling is a spiritual practice.

As time passes I have evolved a bit- as this is a path and now, as my schedule and whim permits attend a Unitarian Universalist fellowship. UU's honer all faiths, including earth based paths. They have services and rituals specific to the wheel of the year and I have attened a few of those. The Sunday services really vary from week to week but every so often there is a really earth based theme and I am always so happy and moved.There is always an element about caring for the earth and the environment. And actually since I started attending I have learned more about Christianity than I ever did as a child and can see it's merits a bit better. So it certainly is a place of learning and acceptance. At this point my personal out look is more of a secular humanist. I don't really beleive in higher power female or male looking down on us but I do beleive that the earth is sacred and alive that we can learn to be aware of our connection which is really a huge sacred thing-if people would just stop and think about it. I beleive that unless we change our ways and practices in regards to earth we are all in big toruble. I think each person is sacred and far too often people don't see that in themselves they make poor choices. And if I am in a mind set, so to speak, to want to call on a higher power- who might actually be there afterall- it is always female.

Have I figured out how to incorporate all this into knitting? Not really, but a general preference for natural fibers when possible and the desire to knit for charity are spiritually motivated. The act of creating is just generally a way to tap into our sacredness. We are all co-creators in this world whether we know it or not.

geekgolightly
08-08-2007, 10:14 PM
I think it's the Buddhists who have a saying `there are many ways to the top of the mountain'. The mountain being enlightenment or being one with the creator, whatever your belief. They're right, I believe.

They also believe that suffering is attachment. If you don't account for the four noble truths, you are not buddhist. I don't. And am not. And depending on the sect of Buddhism, they are more or less forgiving of other paths.

GinnyG
08-09-2007, 07:40 AM
What an interesting and informative thread. THANKS!!

Yarnlady
08-09-2007, 07:57 AM
And depending on the sect of Buddhism, they are more or less forgiving of other paths.Isn't every group? Only individuals, IMO, can be tolerant. Groups are judged, generally, on the few that make the most noise.

My local pagan group that "represents" the pagan community to the larger community spends an enormous amount of time at the informal monthly meetings bashing Christians. Needless to say, I don't support them. I much prefer solitary practice. Me, Myself and I.... :teehee:

willowangel
08-09-2007, 10:49 AM
On a slightly different note - is anyone else having problems posting to the KH Mindful Knitters group? I've tried sending a message three times and it doesn't seem to be registering.... has anyone got the messages or is something really wrong with the group mechanics?

And I agree, Yarnlady, unfortunately it's the ones who act stupid who get the press and make people think we're all mental. I'm very much of the opinion that I've experienced being judged for my religion, I won't do it to anyone else. While I have my own, personal issues with certain paths and the way people treat other people, I won't judge a whole group of people based on the actions of a few.

Rhea
08-09-2007, 10:57 AM
I'm not having trouble with the yahoo group. Are you trying to post from the group website or from your e-mail?

stitchwitch
08-09-2007, 10:59 AM
On a slightly different note - is anyone else having problems posting to the KH Mindful Knitters group? I've tried sending a message three times and it doesn't seem to be registering.... has anyone got the messages or is something really wrong with the group mechanics?



No but I wish that group was private. I registered, posted and then somehow my email address got bombed by someone thinking they were doing me a favor by trying to convert me. :verysad:

Rhea
08-09-2007, 11:10 AM
Stitchwitch, seriously? When did that happen?

stitchwitch
08-09-2007, 11:16 AM
Stitchwitch, seriously? When did that happen?

The day before yesterday. I woke up yesterday and my email box was full. I think it was some random person searching through groups to harrass people. Someone who doesn't have anything better to do. I think I got targeted because I was the last person to post that day and the first person at the top of the message list.

Rhea
08-09-2007, 11:17 AM
What'd they say? I'm just a mod so I don't know if I can switch it to private, but i'll try.

stitchwitch
08-09-2007, 11:22 AM
It wasn't nasty stuff, just stuff to get me interested in another religion.

Rhea
08-09-2007, 11:25 AM
I changed it so that the group isn't listed in the yahoo groups directory. That should be fine, right?

aineepooh1
08-09-2007, 12:37 PM
stitchwitch.. sorry your being bombarded with unwanted emails... :wall:.. but ( to change back to the previous topic)... I don't know how this relates to the god/goddess but I do believe there is something spriritual, empowering, and magical about creating .... whether it be knitting, crochet, woodworking, spinning.. I think there is just something that was put IN us to want to Make, create, or build.. Maybe it's b/c we spend so much of our lives consuming maybe it's the divine's way of helping us balance out our consumption.. but I always feel peaceful, serene, and happy when I am knitting for a period of time.:think::think::think: KWIM???

ChristinaKnits
08-09-2007, 01:48 PM
I am so excited to find this thread!!! I've been Pagan for almost 4 years...actually my whole life, just didn't realize it:shrug:solitary mostly, although I did meet some local girls to hang out with, but no one knits :(
I am reading the book "Zen and the Art of Knitting", right now...anyone read it?
I'm going to join the Yahoo group also.
Oh! I also wanted to add, that I"ve been on MysticWicks since 2004, although knitting and this place and Ravelry have greatly reduced my time there:pout:
~Tina

willowangel
08-09-2007, 02:37 PM
Thanks Rhea - and so sorry stitchwitch for your experience, should be private now.

Tina - great to have you, hope to see you on the group :-)

Ainee - your post reminds me of one of my favourite lines from Rent - 'the opposite of war isn't peace, it's creation'. I think creating and bringing something beautiful to the world is a perfect way to try to redress the balance away from destruction.

P.S. email working now, post made it through

Knitting_Guy
08-09-2007, 05:25 PM
Any Pagan Knitters?

How exactly does one go about knitting a Pagan anyway? :shrug:

letah75
08-09-2007, 05:50 PM
Love this topic! I'm born and raised Episcopal/Christian, father's a priest the whole shebang.

Anywho, I was raised not to follow my parent's belief system, but to find my own. My own happens to have somewhat mirrored my parents, but not fully. I definitely don't alway agree with my church, and have some person spiritual beliefs that differ from the dogma of the organized religion that I'm a member of.

My neighbor is a knitter, and is pagan. Personally, as long as you are living a happy life, and not hurting others, your person spiritual beliefs are just fine with me, fascinating as well sometimes.

I'll be interested in following this thread, who knows something might strike a cord, a few things mentioned already have. I've also referred my neighbor to the thread, she'll find it interesting!

Rhea
08-09-2007, 06:12 PM
I can't believe you just quoted RENT.

I've been a renthead for 3 years =]

frostywolf
08-09-2007, 11:52 PM
*waves*

Heeeere's another one. Eclectic, leaning a bit towards Wiccan, here. I haven't incorporated knitting into my grounding/meditations, but now that I think about it, it makes so much sense.

I am still a pokey knitter, I used to knit at work (small community bank, when there aren't customers in the bank, it's dead!) but some newer tellers weren't being the best about putting things aside when customers came in, so our manager banned reading when it's slow (she didn't mention knitting, but I'm not going to cause waves). I can't knit with my dog around, either, since he thinks it is more fun to play tug with the yarn. Anyway, even though I still have to pay attention and concentrate when knitting, it really is naturally grounding, isn't it? I am going to have to contemplate this some more.

It's really great to see this thread. I am a very private person, and my spiritual beliefs are not shared unless someone specifically asks me. I think I will go join the yahoo group, sounds like a great idea (other than those nasty emails - hopefully that doesn't happen to anyone else!)

Rorshach
08-10-2007, 03:24 AM
How exactly does one go about knitting a Pagan anyway? :shrug:

Well I would think you need to buy LOTS of Yarn "looks around" okay that's done. next it helps to have a model, and in the absence of one, just guess. I would suppose it helps to have lots of time on your hands too.:angelgrin::clink:

knitncook
08-10-2007, 08:54 AM
I consider myself UU (Unitarian Universalist) with Kitchen Witch tendencies. Definitely the feminine sacred and of all the characters from Harry Potter I connected with Molly Weasley the most. (Maybe it's my homemaker homeschooling spiritually aware children place I'm in right now). I find knitting very spiritual. I am a fiber snob and can't stand to knit with acrylic, but I think it is more a tactile thing than anything else. The fibers have to feel good in my fingers. I did one scarf made from acrylic (a Gryffindor scarf at that) and hated the whole process. Not because I considered the fibers synthetic, but because I didn't like the way they felt in my hands. So if you aren't having an issue with the way that fibers feel in your hands, then I wouldn't 'worry right now about whether they are natural or not. Buy that which you can afford and which brings you joy.

Yarnlady
08-10-2007, 10:06 AM
I did one scarf made from acrylic (a Gryffindor scarf at that) and hated the whole process. Not because I considered the fibers synthetic, but because I didn't like the way they felt in my hands.A cure for that is to put the skein of yarn in a nylon stocking and tie it up on both ends so the skein is held tightly. Throw it in the washer and dryer with other items (NOT towels) so it doesn't get too hot and kill the yarn.

Then knit with it. All the sizing they use to help the yarn keep it's shape is removed then and the yarn is much softer and nicer to work with.

ddincolo
08-10-2007, 10:14 AM
And then there is the 'zen of socks'.........the circular stitching that gives one calmness as in meditation......the raising of awareness when you get to the heel........the quiet circular calmness again as you get back into the foot........again, a hightened awareness when you get to the toe........there is such a gentle spirituality to knitting socks........

Rhea
08-10-2007, 02:05 PM
A cure for that is to put the skein of yarn in a nylon stocking and tie it up on both ends so the skein is held tightly. Throw it in the washer and dryer with other items (NOT towels) so it doesn't get too hot and kill the yarn.

Then knit with it. All the sizing they use to help the yarn keep it's shape is removed then and the yarn is much softer and nicer to work with.

O_O

I did not know that.

You rock.

aineepooh1
08-10-2007, 05:07 PM
that makes TWO of us who didn't know that~!:waving:

newamy
08-11-2007, 01:07 AM
How exactly does one go about knitting a Pagan anyway? :shrug:

:roflhard: Very funny! Lets see...On a full moon using yarn from an organic sheep sheared at Beltane, and needles hand made from a rowan tree you would cast a circle then cast on three stitches....

Okay, sorry.. couldn't help myself. If you search through this thread I chimed in as a neo pagan of sorts so I am laughing at myself and with you all, not at anyone... and it was starting to sound like a pretty good ritual anyway:think:... thus reminding me that humor is a sacred and the Goddess inspires us to be full of joy and laughter. But it's Masons fault, him and his wicked sense of humor.... He started it:poke:

Ayla
08-12-2007, 11:01 PM
I know that this is off subject but I thought I would express my excitement. I finally told my mom that I am Wiccan and she didn't get mad at me or anything! I have been waiting a long long time for the right time to tell her and I finally was given the opportunity to. Also to whoever makes the goddess bags( I am sorry I didn't catch your name I did notice that you make the bags) if I could possibly find a way to get one of the goddess bags let me know how I would be able to.
Blessed Be!
~Ayla

Rhea
08-13-2007, 12:54 AM
Good for you Ayla!

*hug*

millyandnans
08-13-2007, 12:56 AM
I'm Pagan, but I'm not religious or ritualistic at all. I just *have beliefs*!

*Looking for a simple smiley on here.. lol*

Yes, I'm new. :-)

Luvmyrottnboy
08-13-2007, 02:53 PM
I don't know a whole lot about Paganism but I am fascinated with religions and spiritual beliefs.

I find it very interesting that the Christian holidays of Christmas and Easter are rooted in Paganism.

The date of the Christian Easter is determined thusly: It is the first Sunday, after the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox.

Interesting stuff!

Rhea
08-14-2007, 03:31 AM
Yeah, you can't really tell when exact dates in christianity are (it is said that jesus was probably bornin the spring, not in december, as shepherd don't "watch their sheep by night" in the dead of winter)

Because of that, early christians were trying their hardest to get other to convert so to make the transition easier for potential converts, thay made the holidays on the same days or around the same times as the pagan ones.

It just stuck since then.

aineepooh1
08-18-2007, 12:43 AM
where did everybody go??:shrug:
I have really enjoyed this thread~!:thumbsup: m
I am learning oodles and oodles... :hug:

Ayla
08-18-2007, 11:44 AM
I am glad that you are learning allot. I am still here I have been very busy trying to plan our handfasting. Yesterday my little one finally laughed out loud! She also sat up all on her own and drank from her cup! I am so proud of her. Anyway was thinking of making the high priestess a shawl. Any suggestions?? Hope things are well!
Blessed Be!
~Ayla

aineepooh1
08-24-2007, 12:56 AM
Again~ Where did everybody go... I :heart: this thread~!:heart: A shawl... what colors does she wear... You know my GF went to the LYS about a month ago and she found a LOVELY cotton chenille yarn ( that had EVERY color that you would see in nature in fall ) .. It is BEAUTIFUL~!
that would make a lovely shawl.

chillawilla
08-24-2007, 08:51 AM
Nothing new to add to this thread, just saying Hi from another Pagan knitter/spinner.

:waving:

A good deal of my practice ends up in my knitting. Healing spells in the form of chemo caps and preemie hats, comfort spells sometimes happen to look like scarves, shawls, and mittens, love spells occasionally resemble socks. ;)

I have yet to find a counter-spell for the pre-ring boyfriend sweater curse, but I'm still looking. That one might require some Vodoun intervention.:teehee:

LilHuskiesFootBallMom
08-24-2007, 11:22 AM
still around, just not as much since my classes started.

cds11
08-25-2007, 03:37 AM
I've just read through this whole thread... I've found it very interesting, and encouraging that everyone is "playing nice". I really hope one day everyone will be like this, where people can talk about things like religion without starting huge debates, fights, and whatever. I hate people pushing religion on me, I don't see why they do it, if I want to learn about their religion, I'll ask them, or look up information myself... Which is why I started reading this thread. To learn.

I don't really practice any religion myself. I was baptized in a United church I believe, but my family stopped attending services when I was in elementary school. My parents have always let my brother and myself follow whatever religious path we wanted, so we have both attended a few different youth groups when we were younger..

I don't know what I would be classifed as... I don't necessarily believe in a god, especially in the sense of Christians, where isn't the god supposed to watch over everyone and look after them? But if he's doing that, then why are there so many bad things (and people) in the world? I do believe in trying to do the right thing, and being a good person, and I think that writings like the Bible are just something that some random guy wrote down a long time ago, and just decided that "hey, these are some neat ideas.. wouldn't it be great if everyone kind of followed this ideas, and then our societies would be more organized, and better places to live?" and then just to make the rules more interesting, a few stories were tossed in or something..
I don't have anything against people who believe in the Bible or anything, I just don't really buy into it. I think it's great that people have a way they are modelling their life after, and the community of churches seems like a great way to build friendships. It's just not for me...

Sorry, this got really long....

willowangel
08-25-2007, 08:48 AM
I'm still around - just been in Edinburgh for a while, got back yesterday :-) I'm exhausted, but we went to the Fringe festival and it was great!

Yarnlady
08-25-2007, 09:51 AM
where isn't the god supposed to watch over everyone and look after them? But if he's doing that, then why are there so many bad things (and people) in the world? Because there is free will. Each human being is "allowed" to choose what s/he will do, not do, believe, not believe, etc. If a Supreme Being prevents people from doing that, we all become puppets and have no choice in our destiny or responsiblity for our actions.

KnittingNat
08-26-2007, 04:32 PM
Yeah, you can't really tell when exact dates in christianity are (it is said that jesus was probably bornin the spring, not in december, as shepherd don't "watch their sheep by night" in the dead of winter)

Because of that, early christians were trying their hardest to get other to convert so to make the transition easier for potential converts, thay made the holidays on the same days or around the same times as the pagan ones.

It just stuck since then.

I just wanted to mention that the earliest christians practiced Judaism before they got converted or joined Jesus/Jeshua, so the holidays they knew were the Jewish ones, that were linked to the seasons of the year, except Passover (the last supper of Jesus and his pupils was on the eve of Passover, that's why Easter is a week later than Passover). When christian movement went to convert the rest of the world, they indeed turned many pagan celebrations into christian holidays (Russian orthodox church has many such holidays). And the dead of winter in the land of Israel is not what it was in Europe, so maybe it is possible to go around with sheep :teehee:.
Anyway, this thread is very educating :)

Rhea
08-27-2007, 08:42 AM
Good to see this thread back on the first page.

I started school again, so i wont be here as much as I was before, but i'll still be here as much as possible!

iza
08-27-2007, 10:15 AM
You're right KnittingNat, I think many of the conversions of Pagan celebrations into Christian rites came during the conversion of Europe. It seems to me the links between Judaism and Christianity are not very surprising to most Christians, this makes total sense historically after all. I know many Christians who study the Jewish scriptures and traditions (in particular the "old testament"). But unfortunately, a lot of Christians are absolutely unaware of the Pagan roots of many traditions and I would suspect many would be shocked. :shrug:

Here in Quebec, for instance, our "national" day is "Saint-Jean-Baptiste" (June 24), which used to be a Pagan celebration for the summer solstice. One of the traditions is to have a bonfire on the night of June 23rd. We still do it to this day. If I told my very catholic grandmother that this tradition was Pagan I think she would deny it vigorously. :teehee:

Ayla
09-23-2007, 01:09 AM
I am still here. I am just going to college and taking care of my little one full time now and have not had much time to be on. Also I have some exciting news...The place where I live finally got a coven here I am so excited. I emailed the person in charge and asked if she has a studygroup and she does so I asked if I could meet eith her and we had our first "meeting" a few weeks ago. She actually invited me to a Mabon ritual. I am so excited to meet other like minded people. Anyway I thought that I would let everyone know that I am still alive. I will post when I can. Hope things are well!

chillawilla
09-23-2007, 12:56 PM
Happy Mabon all!

My favorite of all seasons. Now, time to get started on those Samhain plans.:woohoo:

LilHuskiesFootBallMom
09-23-2007, 01:42 PM
i see it this way: the gods are like parents. They give us guidelines (rules) and such, they're there when we ask for their help... however, like parents, sometimes you gotta let your kids mess up so they can learn from their mistakes.

nadja la claire
09-23-2007, 03:38 PM
I'm not a pagan, I'm a Skeptic as was my late husband. We did however follow the Quaker philosophy of non-violence and acceptance and respect for all peoples and spiritual beliefs that are based in peace. I wish I could be sure that there is a (are) benevolent power(s) in charge but the death of my sweet husband has made me even more skeptical.

:muah: :hug:

Nadja :knitting:

jeanius80
09-23-2007, 03:46 PM
whats Mabon? (and hi nadja :waving: )

Jenn_Knitter
09-23-2007, 11:32 PM
I'm a Wiccan knitter :) Nice to see I'm in good company here. Last month I knitted a "sock" to put my Tarot deck in using Incredible ribbon yarn. Oh, and the Witch's Almanac has an entire section about incorporating knitting into your religious practices. It was a really good read. Just popping in to say Merry Meet and Happy Mabon!

aineepooh1
09-24-2007, 12:56 AM
Glad to see this thread is back up again~!:aww:

Hey nadja~:hug::hug::hug: ( good to see ya back):waving:

I can't wait to start lurking on this thread again~!:happydance::happydance::happydance:

Yep~ What's Mabon... fill in the nonpagans here~ PPPllease~!!!!!!!!

DragonsChest
09-24-2007, 03:02 PM
I am not Pagan, but what I call an eclectic Christian. I give thanks to God, and to the Lady. I believe that there is only one law: The Golden Rule. The basic tenets behind this Rule can be found in almost every religion/path. Do unto other, the threefold law, play nice with each other, etc....

I do not attend church, because I am not religious. I am spiritual. I believe that there are many paths to the truth, and you take the one that leaves the world a better place than when you found it. There is Good and Evil in the world, and you have to choose which you want to follow.

I celebrate the Christian holidays, because I was raised that way, and I'm comfortable with them. But I believe that Jesus is one in a line of Holy People, and He is our latest incarnation of Good. There is so much about the God, the Divine, that we simply cannot wrap our little minds around, and to try and cope with this limitation, humans create labels and afix them to their deities. When we really do transcend, we'll understand the next step. Till then, I honor God and the Lady, keep Jesus and His teachings of love and tolerance in mind, and practice the Golden Rule.

You can find me at MysticWicks as DragonsChest -- actually, I'm DragonsChest wherever I go. Makes it easier. :grphug:

knitncook
09-24-2007, 03:21 PM
whats Mabon? (and hi nadja :waving: )

Mabon is the first day of Autumn. The Autumnal Equinox. It's a harvest day for some places making the end, height or beginning of the harvest (depending on lattitude and temperature - for my area it is the beginning of harvest). Our next big holiday is Samhain or better known by most as Hallowe'en or All Hallow's Eve.

We had a wet and soggy Mabon so we are celebrating today with a bit more sun and working on some wood working projects.

photolady
03-31-2008, 03:44 PM
I am glad that you are learning allot. I am still here I have been very busy trying to plan our handfasting. Yesterday my little one finally laughed out loud! She also sat up all on her own and drank from her cup! I am so proud of her. Anyway was thinking of making the high priestess a shawl. Any suggestions?? Hope things are well!
Blessed Be!
~Ayla

This is a new thread to me, and I'm learning a lot too.
I have a lot of questions:
why is a shawl called a high priestess shawl?
What does a high priestess do?
what is the difference between a pagan and a wiccan?
what's the difference between a wiccan and a Christian?
I've heard wiccan-ism is a religion.
Is that true?
I think it may be true, since there are quite a few people who call themselves witches, wiccans, and pagans, and they meet every week at a local Unitarian church.

I know someone who is a wiccan, and she uses a lot of herbs and
rocks, to cast spells and to try to manipulate the spirits in her vicinity. I think that's how she explained it. She also uses runes, whatever that is.
Is the Ouija board a credible device, used by wiccans?
What are tarot cards and runes, and what are they used for?

So, will you all answer my questions?

photolady
03-31-2008, 03:45 PM
Our next big holiday is Samhain or better known by most as Hallowe'en or All Hallow's Eve.



Why is Samhain called a holiday by wiccans?
What is the reason for Samhain?

photolady
03-31-2008, 03:47 PM
I'm a Wiccan knitter :) the Witch's Almanac has an entire section about incorporating knitting into your religious practices.

What religious practices?
I am seeking knowledge. I know very little about this subject.

photolady
03-31-2008, 03:49 PM
Because there is free will. Each human being is "allowed" to choose what s/he will do, not do, believe, not believe, etc.

I agree. We are ALL responsible for our choices.

Do pagans, et al believe in rewards or punishments for right and wrong choices?

photolady
03-31-2008, 03:51 PM
My path is a blend of pantheism and what I have retained from my years as a wiccan. ...That is what I worship.

Is your worship different from biblical worship in the New Testament?

Eccie
03-31-2008, 04:47 PM
Wow that is a lot of questions Some of the answers depend on the various paths people take so there is no one 'right' answer for some of your questions but i'll share my answers to some of them.

why is a shawl called a high priestess shawl? I think she just meant that she was making a shawl for the high priestess.
What does a high priestess do?The priest and priestess are the members of clergy, they do some of the same things priests and preachers do, lead the service, welcome new members, preform handfastings, etc.
what is the difference between a pagan and a wiccan?To me Wicca is more structured than paganism. But that's my opinion others will vary.
what's the difference between a wiccan and a Christian?Having never been a Christian I'm not sure how best to explain this one so I'll leave it for someone else.
I've heard wiccan-ism is a religion. Is that true? Yes, it's recognized by several government agencies as a valid religion in the US, not sure about other countries.

Why is Samhain called a holiday by wiccans?Hey, any excuse for a feast day! :P
What is the reason for Samhain?Samhain is the time when the crops all all finished for the year, the Earth is going to sleep for the year and things quiet down, it's darker earlier etc. In Wicca it's the time of the God's death, he's reborn at Yule, and is considered a good time for divinations and honoring those that have passed over. There is more to it than that but that's the jist.

Do pagans, et al believe in rewards or punishments for right and wrong choices? Yes, I think most believe in the principles of Karma, you do something bad something bad befalls you and vice versa with the good you do. I find that most pagans believe you're punished or rewarded in the here and now rather than after you've died in a heaven/hell kinda thing.

These are just my opinions of course, others may believe differently.

photolady
03-31-2008, 06:25 PM
Wow that is a lot of questions Some of the answers depend on the various paths people take so there is no one 'right' answer for some of your questions but i'll share my answers to some of them.

why is a shawl called a high priestess shawl? I think she just meant that she was making a shawl for the high priestess.
What does a high priestess do?The priest and priestess are the members of clergy, they do some of the same things priests and preachers do, lead the service, welcome new members, preform handfastings, etc.
what is the difference between a pagan and a wiccan?To me Wicca is more structured than paganism. But that's my opinion others will vary.
what's the difference between a wiccan and a Christian?Having never been a Christian I'm not sure how best to explain this one so I'll leave it for someone else.
I've heard wiccan-ism is a religion. Is that true? Yes, it's recognized by several government agencies as a valid religion in the US, not sure about other countries.

Why is Samhain called a holiday by wiccans?Hey, any excuse for a feast day! :P
What is the reason for Samhain?Samhain is the time when the crops all all finished for the year, the Earth is going to sleep for the year and things quiet down, it's darker earlier etc. In Wicca it's the time of the God's death, he's reborn at Yule, and is considered a good time for divinations and honoring those that have passed over. There is more to it than that but that's the jist.

Do pagans, et al believe in rewards or punishments for right and wrong choices? Yes, I think most believe in the principles of Karma, you do something bad something bad befalls you and vice versa with the good you do. I find that most pagans believe you're punished or rewarded in the here and now rather than after you've died in a heaven/hell kinda thing.

These are just my opinions of course, others may believe differently.

Interesting answers, but, some are too vague for this old dummy to figure out the subtle nuances. Remember, I don't know.
RE: The priest and priestess are the members of clergy, they do some of the same things priests and preachers do, lead the service, welcome new members, preform handfastings, etc.

OK, so, let me understand this: there IS an official body of worship leaders. Do they have to go through training, like preachers and priests in churches, do?
What day or night of the week do these meetings take place?
Is it a structured meeting, like those in churches?
What is handfasting, and where did it originate from?

wildirish
03-31-2008, 08:34 PM
OK, so, let me understand this: there IS an official body of worship leaders. Do they have to go through training, like preachers and priests in churches, do?
What day or night of the week do these meetings take place?
Is it a structured meeting, like those in churches?
What is handfasting, and where did it originate from?


There is a High Priestess who is the official leader, when you are in a group called a coven. There are some, like myself you simply choose to be what is called a Solitare. Yes they go through training, since I have always studied on my own I don't know a lot about this part of it.

Meetings are scheduled, but the day or night really would depend on the coven group. And yes they are structured. Teachings and reading, etc.

Handfasting is a marriage ceremony, that seems to have been the way most marriages were performed before the Roman Catholoics, I only found one date which was 1556. Go about halfway down the page: http://medievalscotland.org/history/handfasting.shtml

The differences of Pagann vs Wicca are varied, pagan has been around for a very long time and is nature based, while Wicca has only been around for about 50 years or so.

You can be Pagan and not Wiccan. In other words:
Pagan to Wiccan is as Christian would be to Baptist. All Pagans are not Wiccans, there are many varieties of Pagans. All Wiccans would be classified as Pagans.

"Wicca" and "Witchcraft" are not the same thing, Wicca refers to the religion. This can be a reference to both the initiatory tradition, where initiates are assigned a degree and generally work in covens, and to Solitary Wicca, where practitioners self-dedicate themselves to the tradition and generally practice on their own. Both Initiates and Solitary Wiccans worship the Goddess, with most also choosing to worship the God, and both celebrate the Sabbats and Esbats.

The basis behind Wicca is the Rede which basically state "harm ye none, do what ye will" and that anything you put out good or bad comes back threefold.

I am somewhere between Wicca ad Pagan. Leaning more towards Pagan. Never dawned on me there would be so many on knitting boards LOL!

I am in NC which is called "The bible belt" yet is very pagan and Wiccan as well, there are huge get togethers in Asheville and tons of stores and covens around here, I have met more here than I did in FL.

Mike
04-01-2008, 12:46 AM
what is the difference between a pagan and a wiccan?
What is the difference between a Christian and a Lutheran? Same thing.
Wicca is a religion in (Neo-)Paganism. A Wiccan is a Pagan but a Pagan isn't necessarily a Wiccan.
Although Pagan has come to mean has multiple gods, pagan was used for anyone who wasn't a Christian or a Jew (and later Muslim).

I agree with Eccie. In my experience Wiccans seek more structure than those who simply call themselves Pagans.

And BTW, if you care to show some respect, "Pagan" is capitalized in this instance. "Wiccan" is always capitalized.

what's the difference between a wiccan and a Christian?
A very basic theological explanation is,

Wiccan are often Polytheists, but sometimes Duotheists and Pantheists.
Christians say they are Monotheists (but in reality share the triune godhead that they roll into one and a pantheon of deities in angels and devils).

Wiccans believe in punishment/reward in this life for their actions in this life.
Christians believe in reward/forgiveness in an afterlife for their actions in this life.

I've heard wiccan-ism is a religion.
Is that true?
Yes, Wicca is a religion.

For your other questions in that post, I'm a solitary by choice so I don't know firsthand what a Priestess does and I've never heard of a shawl. I used to talk to a High Priestess, Priest and a handful of their members but I never went to one of their rituals.
Anything can be a valid divination means as long as it works for you. The powers that be are what is doing it not the toys, the toys are just the eye candy to distract your mind so you can hear the All.

Why is Samhain called a holiday by wiccans?
What is the reason for Samhain?
Because it is a holiday. Pagan holidays tend to run around the solstices (quarters) and cross-quarters.
It's a new year's holiday, a time to say goodbye to the loved ones you've lost and give thanks for your harvest. The original meaning is still hidden in the Christian holiday, All Saints Day/All Hallows Eve.

A more practical explanation is that life was hard way back when and you didn't have time to slow down during the year. Late October was the first you had to slow down and say you miss your departed.

What religious practices?
That would require an answer that is too large and varied. There's many different sects of Wicca and many different levels of commitment, just like any other religion.
Personally I'm a "backslider" for the religious practices stuff.

Do pagans, et al believe in rewards or punishments for right and wrong choices?
Pagan is a bigger group than Wiccan. That would be impossible to answer. Some do, some don't.

That would be hard enough to cover for just Wiccans.
Generally Wiccans believe in what you do gets returned in some manner in this life. Some believe what you do gets returned but not necessarily to you. Some believe it's returned to you X3 or even X5. There is no deathbed confession to save you from a horrible life.

For those who believe in reincarnation it is often to retake lessons you failed to learn the previous times.

Interesting answers, but, some are too vague for this old dummy to figure out the subtle nuances.
Unless you're asking a specific individual about their specific beliefs "vague" is all you can get.
Basically what you are asking is like asking a Baptist to speak for a Catholic and a Lutheran to speak for a Methodist and answer what do all Christians or Monotheists do.

OK, so, let me understand this: there IS an official body of worship leaders.
Only some sects have official bodies of leaders. A coven would but they sometimes rotate leadership roles.

There isn't an official body for Christians or Hindus either. Only when you get down into the individual sects and sometimes even smaller to the local churches do you find a governing body for the different sects in Christianity (I don't know about Hinduism).

Do they have to go through training, like preachers and priests in churches, do?
Depending on the sect, yes.

What day or night of the week do these meetings take place?
Is it a structured meeting, like those in churches?
The weekly holy day is Monday. For some covens they are more structured than many Christian churches (which leads many people to assume most are converted Catholics, which isn't the case).

Other days can be used for prayer meetings and teachings.

Spikey
04-01-2008, 12:53 AM
Fascinating thread! Thanks so much to all of you for sharing your stories and your beliefs.

willowangel
04-01-2008, 06:20 AM
Yay for the thread being up and running again :-)

There are many different types of Paganism, and many different types of Wicca, too. They're called 'Traditions', and each has different priorities in their worship. I am not a Wiccan - I have found that, while I miss the community of sometimes, that the structure of organised religion in any sense doesn't work for me. I am far more at home with a group of like-minded people, working out a ritual or a blessing where there's no-one 'in charge'.

As for the recognition - we're really lucky in Scotland now. I'm getting married next year, and our celebrant is going to be the woman who campaigned for Pagan weddings to be recognised as 'religious'. While Paganism had been recognised for a long time as an official religion, handfastings still had to be attended by a separate registrar. Now there's a whole group of people who have been granted the rights according to religious officials. You have to be a member of the Pagan Federation, I believe, but they also work in hospital chaplaincy, prison outreach etc. They do have to have training for these tasks, but we're treated as equals.

I think one of the main differences from Christianity is that most Pagans believe there are many ways to the Divine, and that whatever allows you to be the best person you can be is the one that's right for you. While there are fundamentalist Pagans, as there are fundamentalist anythings, most people believe in respecting other people's choices, and in not telling anyone else their belief is 'wrong', even within Paganism (given that the term incorporates Witches, Druids, Shamans and so on, there's risk of infighting ;-)). We acknowledge that our beliefs are our beliefs, and not a 'Universal Truth'.

In general, we believe strongly that our actions, thoughts and words have consequences - so we must choose them carefully. I believe in not standing by while seeing people hurt, and standing up for those who have no voices. Especially for those of us who don't believe in the Rule of Three and so on, doing the right thing is a choice to be made. We do it because it's the right thing to do, not because we're afraid of some cosmic punishment or in pursuit of an eternal reward. We help people and care for people because that's what life is about, not because we're trying to show ourselves to be 'the good guys'. We hope that living our lives as examples in understanding, compassion, knowledge and wonder that people will be inspired to also live like that, however they choose to do it, and whatever path they choose to follow.

As a scientist, I've found that Paganism and science go perfectly together. The universe in all its glory is incredible. I believe that there's a force behind it, but that force created the laws of Physics and the Big Bang and so on. I believe the Divine is within everyone and everything - it *is* the Universe, and so that is what I honour in my religious practice.

Right, off to knitting group!

msoebel
04-01-2008, 01:10 PM
Thank you all for being so open about your beliefs. :muah:

I have found that IRL, as soon as someone of another belief finds out that my dh is a minister (and it seems they always ask early in conversation, sadly) that a wall comes up and I am treated with suspiscion. I love open conversation about beliefs...comparisons, differences, similarities. I won't be changing where I stand spiritually, but I really like to know why others do what they do.

Thank you so much for answering these questions honestly and with so much patience. I really appreciate it!

CountryKitty
04-01-2008, 05:29 PM
Awesome thread! I too love learning about other beliefs (doesn't hurt that I'm more comfortable with natural than human creation).

knitncook
04-01-2008, 07:04 PM
I agree. We are ALL responsible for our choices.

Do pagans, et al believe in rewards or punishments for right and wrong choices?

Hmm, rewards and punishments? Depends on the Pagan. Some believe in karma - that is what goes around comes around. Some believe in the "rule of three" Whatever you put out will return to you three-fold (or a thousand-fold) This goes both for good and bad. Treat people with kindness and respect and you will recieve that back. Treat people with hatredness and rudeness that is what will reflect back to you. Some believe that what happens in this life will reflect the kind of life you live next time. If you are meanspirited in this life your next life you may meet people who are mean to you. Be helpful and considerate and in your next life might be a bit easier. Most Pagans don't believe in an after life like the Abrahamic religions (Christianity, Judaism and Islam) There is no hell or heaven, no bosom of Abraham no vestel virgins. There is a waiting or resting place, sometimes referred to as Summerland. It is a stopping off point to reflect on your past lives before embarking on a new one. It is said that during the time in Summerland you have full recollection of all your past lives which help you build your character for your next.

Is your worship different from biblical worship in the New Testament?

Worship as in the actual religious ceremony or worship as in adoration of a diety? Again depends. I've been to some Pagan worship services that quite reflected the old Baptist meeting houses I would attend with my grandmother growing up, except no mention of Jesus and no songs from a hymnal. But some music, a worship leader speaking, and a time of "prayer/meditation." I've been to a few Pagan handfastings (weddings) that also looked quite traditional in appearance.

How each person "worships" their diety can be quite unique. Some people talk/pray/meditate to their diety. Some immulate the qualities that they admire of that diety. Some just acknowledge them as being present in their lives. I, personally, wear a silver charm of Cerridwen on a chain much like my Christian friends wear a cross or my Jewish friends wear a Star of David. It is a touchstone or physical reminder of my faith. She helps me stay centered and grounded (focused).

I'm an ordained Pagan priestess and my training was probably quite different from the seminary studies of Abrahamic ministers, yet similar in some aspects. I did a lot of reading of other religions, including their texts. My acceptance of priestess was my own doing, not a course of study that ended in ordination. It was something I had to claim and accept. The final end was not ordination, but a better understanding of myself. I can see the parallels and disimilarities between my ordination and studies and those of my mother (an ordained Episcopal priest - who is actually rather cool about her daughter's faith.)

I think that there are more things in common with how people celebrate their religions than not. For instance a Christian family who buys a new home may pray before entering their new home or they may have a house blessing ceremony. A Jewish family may keep the mitzvah by affixing a Mezuzah to their door. A Pagan family may preform a cleansing ritual and usher out any bad spirits that they feel lurking around. It's all fairly the same thing. A blessing of a new home in some ritualistic manner. Same with a new baby. Christians may have a Christening or baptism. Jews will have a bris (for a boy) or a naming ceremony. And a Pagan family may have a naming ceremony or a welcoming ceremony.

We celebrate in much the same way the joys and sadnesses of our lives.

ecb
04-01-2008, 07:46 PM
Hmm, rewards and punishments? Depends on the Pagan. Some believe in the "rule of three" Whatever you put out will return to you three-fold (or a thousand-fold) Treat people with kindness and respect and you will recieve that back. Treat people with hatredness and rudeness that is what will reflect back to you. Some believe that what happens in this life will reflect the kind of life you live next time. If you are meanspirited in this life your next life you may meet people who are mean to you.
This is along the lines of how I believe, When I get cut of in traffic, or done wrong, I send a blessing to the person for them to recieve the intention back times 3, if it was an accident, then no boiggie, if they were being a jerk, oh well. When my daughter told me her school friend who practiced a wiccan type religion was sending me a hex, i got a Fire gate. she was MORTIFIED I would be so CRUEL to her friend. It is not cruel to send back in kind, with a strong shield. If her "friend" did not mean harm, it would cause no harm, would not have her get caught cheeting on her final exams, and kicked out of school (again). I did nothing to harm anyone who did not maen me harm
Worship as in the actual religious ceremony or worship as in adoration of a diety? Again depends. I've been to a few Pagan handfastings (weddings) that also looked quite traditional in appearance.
the worls et al is my worship, everytime I see a symbole of the tripple goddess, I thank her for being in my life, same with the god, but I M not so in tuned with his influence in my life (just prejudges that way I guess) although I did reval in the sight of a male dear with a full rack this late in the season a week ago.

How each person "worships" their diety can be quite unique. Some people talk/pray/meditate to their diety. Some immulate the qualities that they admire of that diety. Some just acknowledge them as being present in their lives. I, personally, wear a silver charm of Cerridwen on a chain much like my Christian friends wear a cross or my Jewish friends wear a Star of David. It is a touchstone or physical reminder of my faith. She helps me stay centered and grounded (focused).
I thank for all acts of kindness, I burn candles as I live, and need (one every night, and specially anointed ones for prayers or spells)
I wear a Crescent moon and a mother with children pendant as well as a labarys (head DOWN of course) to show the things I value in my world (the goddess, the warrior ready to fight but at rest, and family at the heart of it all)
I think that there are more things in common with how people celebrate their religions than not. For instance a Christian family who buys a new home may pray before entering their new home or they may have a house blessing ceremony. A Jewish family may keep the mitzvah by affixing a Mezuzah to their door. A Pagan family may preform a cleansing ritual and usher out any bad spirits that they feel lurking around. It's all fairly the same thing. A blessing of a new home in some ritualistic manner. Same with a new baby. Christians may have a Christening or baptism. Jews will have a bris (for a boy) or a naming ceremony. And a Pagan family may have a naming ceremony or a welcoming ceremony.

We celebrate in much the same way the joys and sadnesses of our lives.

I have black salt in all window sills, I burn candles for safety every night, I keep my basic oils and herbs on hand (as well as salts) for making magic. I honor all religions, but follow my own faith. I would never disrespect a church a friend worshiped at, and have been known to sit quietly in catholic, baptist, and even episcopalian services that postulated how EVIL I was,despite me being a part of their service.

I choose not to follow any faith that tells me my family is less than some other through hypocrisy.


I have read the bible, and the Tamude (2 of them actually) as well as the Koran, and the Torah (yes hands off, translated version)

My faith does not have to belittle other peoples choices of faith, or nullify peoples lives for not honoring the Gods and Goddesses in a way I might do myself. as is written in a Fictional book of min; 'good done in the name of evil is still good, and evil done in the name of good, is still evil'
I do good in the name of good, I do it to people who believe as i do as well as to people who might do me harm with their beliefs. The only time I hold back is for some people who actively want to do harm to my kids or my family (and then i do my best)

this is WAY MORE than any of you might want to know about me, so I will stop

blessed be to all who take time to read my views
and most of those who read only to fuel their own hate, that they might learn some respect and/or compassion and/or forgiveness

sorry if I offended anyone, sometimes I just need to speak up
I try to hold my tongue, i REALLY do


ecb

Jenn_Knitter
04-02-2008, 02:55 AM
OK, so, let me understand this: there IS an official body of worship leaders. Do they have to go through training, like preachers and priests in churches, do?

It depends on the tradition. Most of the traditional sects of Wicca (Alexandrian, Gardnerian, etc.) require that in order to become a High Priestess or Priest of a coven they must be a third-degree practioner which requires a set number years of coven participation, adequate training and the rite being performed by an established elder of the tradition. There are other requirements that must be met in order for an individual or couple to start their own sect rather than hiving off of their original coven.

What day or night of the week do these meetings take place?

It depends on the coven, but most covens meet for the Sabbats (holidays) and Esbats (typically full moon, but some covens also hold ritual for the new moon as well).

Is it a structured meeting, like those in churches?

Each tradition/coven has its own set of rituals for the Sabbats and Esbats and they are usually carefully guarded as they are unique to each coven or tradition.

What is handfasting, and where did it originate from?

A handfasting is a Pagan marriage ceremony that originated in Scotland and Ireland. The term "handfasting" comes from the ritual where the bride and groom's wrists are bound together with a braided cord, symbolizing their unity. Nowadays the ceremony can be performed legally by an ordained member of the clergy or a non-official commitment ceremony. Traditionally handfastings were meant to last a year and a day, at which point the couple could either part ways or rededicate themselves to one another. In today's Neopagan handfastings the commitment to one another for "all eternity" or "a lifetime" is the norm. Some Neopagans, during a divorce, have a handparting ceremony performed in which the couple jumps backwards over a broom to symbolize the reversal of their marriage vows.

msoebel
04-02-2008, 11:02 AM
A handfasting is a Pagan marriage ceremony that originated in Scotland and Ireland. The term "handfasting" comes from the ritual where the bride and groom's wrists are bound together with a braided cord, symbolizing their unity. Nowadays the ceremony can be performed legally by an ordained member of the clergy or a non-official commitment ceremony. Traditionally handfastings were meant to last a year and a day, at which point the couple could either part ways or rededicate themselves to one another. In today's Neopagan handfastings the commitment to one another for "all eternity" or "a lifetime" is the norm. Some Neopagans, during a divorce, have a handparting ceremony performed in which the couple jumps backwards over a broom to symbolize the reversal of their marriage vows.

Hmmn...interestingly, I just attended a Christian ceremony in December in which the couple chose handfasting as part of their ceremony. I'm not sure they realized it's origins, but I thought it was very beautiful, none the less.

Sweet
04-02-2008, 11:28 AM
I am :-) I also use it as a meditative practice, and I see any act of creation as a way to honour the divine. I also make a range of stitch markers out of gemstones, to add another level of feeling to gifts - rose quartz markers for something made for comfort or support, tiger eye for protection etc.

Are gemstones a particularly valued part of pagan/wiccan rituals?

Sweet
04-02-2008, 11:29 AM
Hmmn...interestingly, I just attended a Christian ceremony in December in which the couple chose handfasting as part of their ceremony. I'm not sure they realized it's origins, but I thought it was very beautiful, none the less.

That is interesting!

Eccie
04-02-2008, 12:31 PM
May Day is coming up. Is anyone doing anything to celebrate? If you're in or near NC there is the Beltane Brouhaha (http://www.churchofwicca.org/beltane/). We've been going for the last few years.

scout52
04-02-2008, 01:05 PM
The handfasting idea sounds really beautiful. I also like the way the divorce happens sounds so civilized and a beautiful way to get closure.

Mike
04-02-2008, 01:12 PM
May Day is coming up. Is anyone doing anything to celebrate? If you're in or near NC there is the Beltane Brouhaha (http://www.churchofwicca.org/beltane/). We've been going for the last few years.

I remember May Day celebrations complete with May Poles in grade school. I wonder why that fell out of favor.

evona
04-02-2008, 01:56 PM
The handfasting ceremony does sound beautiful! I would like to incorporate that idea into my wedding, should that ever occur :wink:

Mike, interestingly there is an all girl private school near my office and every year they have a Maypole. Its very pretty!

Pagan Princess
04-02-2008, 02:17 PM
Yup Pagan and Proud. I love my faith to bits. I've had the prejudice too. I was once told that my Soul was black. I just ignore it. I'm comfortable as I am.

Nice one for posting this!

B*B

Krystal
04-02-2008, 04:32 PM
This thread is bringing back so many memories for me. When I was 13 - 16 I was studying Wicca/Paganism. I was planning to dedicate myself and adopt it as my religion on my 18th birthday. So for 3 yrs I was reading anything and everything I could. Learning about the different aspects, and options available. I wanted to have a solid belief and a thorough knowledge when I did my pledge.

I remember telling my mom, (who was raised Catholic, but is a non practicing Christian -esque spirtual type. lol) And she didn't know anything about it, so I am trying to explain and she said "Can't you just plant a tree and believe in Jesus under it?" :rofl:

She was ok with it as long as it wasn't Devil Worship tho.

However, I never did do that pledge. I decided that the structure of an actual religion was not something that made me happy, it made me feel more guilty than anything. Which was the same reason I was no longer an active Christian like I was when I was 12. I wasn't getting the fulfillment that I think you should get from a religion.

I really loved the basics of the Pagan religion however, just as I love aspects of Christianity, and Buddhism, and even a smidgen of Judaism. So I find that instead of practicing one, I practice none, but incorporate my favourite things of each into my life.

I pray to whomever listens, I believe in the universe, the power of love, and myself. I incorporate aspects from everything into my everyday life.

It's amazing when you really listen to all sides if a religion. You can find how similar they really are. The root of all the religions I have learned about, is be a good person, and do no harm. What's more wonderful than that?

I found my fulfillment by my own personal combination. I don't think I would have that if I hadn't found Paganism. It was the missing piece for me.

I love seeing how diverse everyone's practice is. From coven's to solitaires, kitchen witch's to dabblers... It's amazing how we can interpret one thing to mean so many different things.

:heart:

jacquiw
04-07-2008, 01:22 AM
I am not a follwer of any belief but I like paganism and tend to lean that way. But I am a crocheter not a knitter either so does that count lol.

eladine
04-07-2008, 05:54 AM
I do not attend church, because I am not religious. I am spiritual. I believe that there are many paths to the truth, and you take the one that leaves the world a better place than when you found it. There is Good and Evil in the world, and you have to choose which you want to follow.


I can't believe I just found this thread!!

DragonsChest, I completely agree with your sentiment, and feel very much the same way - I am not religious, but I am spiritual.

In fact both me and my other half are.

I am very much into crystal healing, I practise Reiki, and think there are far too many complex paths than can be nicely packaged up into "one" religion.

Amongst other things, am trying to find an appropriate marriage ceremony for me and my partner that suits our beliefs... not having all that much luck yet though! The handfasting sounds quite interesting though - how would you go about finding someone to perform one though?! #heads to google...#

Anyway, just wanted to say Hi!

Love and light,

Eladine.

suzeeq
04-07-2008, 11:13 AM
Eladine, check for a minister in the Universal Life Church in your area. Many of them are licensed to perform marriages, and you may be able to find someone to work with on developing your own ceremony.

Raeknitsnwa
04-07-2008, 11:37 AM
I am new to learning Wicca I have been reading books about it off & on I am quite interested in learning more I have listened to a few podcasts & I am wondering where online I can learn more about it I would love to hear from any of you..I knit I can't crochet to save my life lol..


Rae

Carol_OH
04-08-2008, 12:17 PM
May Day is coming up. Is anyone doing anything to celebrate? If you're in or near NC there is the Beltane Brouhaha (http://www.churchofwicca.org/beltane/). We've been going for the last few years.

Thanks for posting! May Day is my fav holiday of the year; I have to start planning this year's celebration!:woot:

Jenn_Knitter
04-10-2008, 12:30 AM
I am new to learning Wicca I have been reading books about it off & on I am quite interested in learning more I have listened to a few podcasts & I am wondering where online I can learn more about it I would love to hear from any of you..I knit I can't crochet to save my life lol..


Rae

Hello, Rae! Some great sources online are:

www.witchvox.com
www.bewitchingways.com
www.ecauldron.com (just be forewarned, this is not a Wicca-specific site and some of the people there are a bit full of themselves; however, it's a great resource if you just browse through the topics on the forums.)

Raeknitsnwa
04-13-2008, 03:59 PM
I finished To Ride A Silver Broomstick & I am now reading To Stir A Magick Cauldron by Silver Raven Wolf I would have been further in the book but you know I have to get in some knitting time..I am really enjoying these book has anyone else read them ?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
OTN-Baby Blanket for Neice & Second Fingerless Mitt :knitting:

Carol_OH
04-14-2008, 11:52 AM
I haven't read those yet - but I can recommend
"The Sabbats: A New Approach to Living the Old Ways " by Edain_McCoy and "Wheel of the Year" by Pauline Campanelli.

Jenn_Knitter
04-21-2008, 12:54 AM
I finished To Ride A Silver Broomstick & I am now reading To Stir A Magick Cauldron by Silver Raven Wolf I would have been further in the book but you know I have to get in some knitting time..I am really enjoying these book has anyone else read them ?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
OTN-Baby Blanket for Neice & Second Fingerless Mitt :knitting:

Read them and, honestly, do not agree with them. I prefer the more "traditional Wicca" authors such as Doreen Valiente and Janet and Stewart Farrar.

Raeknitsnwa
04-22-2008, 03:22 PM
I hope this isnt a dumb question but what do you mean by more traditional Wicca ???

Mike
04-22-2008, 08:37 PM
I hope this isnt a dumb question but what do you mean by more traditional Wicca ???

Probably not the modern fluff.

Silver Ravenwolf kind of went off the deep end and doesn't have much respect.

Jenn_Knitter
04-23-2008, 10:37 AM
I hope this isnt a dumb question but what do you mean by more traditional Wicca ???

It's not a dumb question at all! A lot of Wiccans have a preference for certain authors. The only "modern-day" (if I can really call it that, since Wicca was started in the late 1940's-early 1950's.) author I enjoy is Scott Cunningham. There are quite a few popular Wiccan authors whose works I find a bit questionable - Fiona Horne, Edain McCoy, Silver Ravenwolf, D.J. Conway and Raven Grimassi.

By "traditional" I mean some of the authors who have been around since around the time of Wicca's inception. Doreen Valiente was a member of Gerald Gardner's coven (the first coven of the Wiccan religion) and co-wrote much of the Gardnerian Book of Shadows as well as "The Charge of the Goddess". Janet and Stewart Farrar were initiated into the Alexandrian coven by Alex and Maxine Sanders, who founded the Alexandrian Tradition which was founded in the 1960's.

I have many issues with Silver Ravenwolf, not only as an author and her methods of practicing the Craft, but also as a person. One of my closest friends got to meet her in person at a Pagan pride festival and apparently Silver is a rather sloppy, messy drunk. Which is unfortunate. As far as her writing, my biggest issue is that most of her books are tirades against Christianity rather than focusing on Wicca. There are quite a few bitter sentiments in her books about Christianity. The dealbreaker for me was the several times she has encouraged teenagers to sneak and practice Wicca behind their parents' backs. Many covens do not initiate minors in the first place for this very reason, so to be deceitful flies in the face of some of the core tenets of Wicca, especially the Rede.

There is a really good article about Ravenwolf at Wicca for the Rest of Us. It's worth giving a look over. And please understand that I am not implying that anyone who enjoys reading books by these authors aren't "real" Wiccans or are being led astray. I just have a preference for the authors that came from the Traditional covens.

Wicca for the Res of Us (http://wicca.timerift.net/ravenwolf.shtml)

Cynamar
04-23-2008, 10:44 AM
"The dealbreaker for me was the several times she has encouraged teenagers to sneak and practice Wicca behind their parents' backs."

That's not cool.

Jenn_Knitter
04-23-2008, 10:48 AM
"The dealbreaker for me was the several times she has encouraged teenagers to sneak and practice Wicca behind their parents' backs."

That's not cool.

No, it isn't, and it goes against what we believe in. We understand when we choose this path that there will be many who don't understand, who may disagree with it (sometimes vehemently), but we also understand that we need to be completely comfortable with our decision to practice Wicca. If you are having to hide your tools under the mattress and lie to your parents, it breeds negative energy and will be a detriment to practicing the Craft.

Mike
04-23-2008, 11:08 AM
No, it isn't, and it goes against what we believe in. We understand when we choose this path that there will be many who don't understand, who may disagree with it (sometimes vehemently), but we also understand that we need to be completely comfortable with our decision to practice Wicca. If you are having to hide your tools under the mattress and lie to your parents, it breeds negative energy and will be a detriment to practicing the Craft.
Isn't there a complete section of Gardeners Ardanes about keeping secret?
In that aspect she was in line with Gardner. Plus it could be dangerous for some people to "come out". I probably would've been sent to some cult deprogrammers even though I have never been in with anyone else.

"But in these unhappy times we must celebrate our sacred mysteries in secret"

Agree or not, those are part of his rules. (Personally I don't agree with much of Gardner.)

Jenn_Knitter
04-23-2008, 06:34 PM
Isn't there a complete section of Gardeners Ardanes about keeping secret?
In that aspect she was in line with Gardner. Plus it could be dangerous for some people to "come out". I probably would've been sent to some cult deprogrammers even though I have never been in with anyone else.

"But in these unhappy times we must celebrate our sacred mysteries in secret"

Agree or not, those are part of his rules. (Personally I don't agree with much of Gardner.)

When you are initiated into a coven, you take an oath of secrecy - that you will not reveal the contents of the coven's Books of Shadows with those outside the coven. That is to protect the mysteries that make the coven unique.

At the time Gerald Gardner started Wicca, it was not safe to be an "out of the closet" Witch, hence why you needed to be discreet. I don't have a problem with a tradition wanting to keep its Book of Shadows hidden from outsiders and I understand all too well that you can't always be completely open about your religion; however, it's a slippery slope to encourage young people, who are still legally under their parents' care, to lie about practicing Wicca. It's a bit different than consenting to being initiated into a coven and taking an oath of secrecy. Many covens won't initiate minors in the first place.

Cynamar
04-23-2008, 07:09 PM
I am not Wicca but I get the secrecy. No problem. It's the kids hiding it from parents that I don't like.

Carrie218
04-23-2008, 10:40 PM
By "traditional" I mean some of the authors who have been around since around the time of Wicca's inception. Doreen Valiente was a member of Gerald Gardner's coven (the first coven of the Wiccan religion) and co-wrote much of the Gardnerian Book of Shadows as well as "The Charge of the Goddess".
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It is fairly well documented in multiple letters that Aleister Crowley wanted Gardner to head the O.'.T.'.O.'. before Crowley went to Chefalu in Italy, but Gardner was too interested in branching off on his own. Despite that, they parted friends and it was CROWLEY who helped Gardner write the rituals and initiations that are ascribed to Gardner and Valiente.

BTW, I was a good friend of Scotty Cunningham (when he was living with Don Michael Kraig and three blocks from me in San Diego some 30 years ago)... We were all part of the same group that involved Marliee Bigelow, Don, Scotty, members of Church of the Eternal Source, and many more of the "old guard." I've got a lot of that inside dirt...

Mike
04-23-2008, 10:59 PM
Gardner's Ardanes show that not telling really isn't against what we believe in. It harms no one to not tell them what your personal beliefs are, even if you are a minor and the people you're not telling are your parents.
In my case it saved both my mother and me mental harm by not telling her. She threw a big enough fit when she found out I avoided being baptized my whole life and that was after she knew I was agnostic. Nobody had to tell me not to tell her.

Face it, after a certain age you no longer have total control over your kids and it doesn't take an outside influence to create that. Think back to when you were young.

If you happen to have that type of relationship I think you would know not to follow that suggestion and you would probably already have talked about it with your parents before you even picked up a book.
My great niece sure did, then it went to my sister and then to me who suggested some books.
But my niece wasn't raise on "suffer a witch" and fire and brimstone like my mother was so my great niece was able to talk to her about it.

My uncle was murdered by someone who claimed to be Wiccan and the murder was part of some spell she came up with to break up (now THAT is against what we believe in).
I would be harming that part of my family if I "came out" to them and I would be bringing harm to myself by doing so. If I still talked to my parents I doubt if I would tell them even now, only my siblings know.

I think the secrecy of "Coven Secrets" does more harm to Wicca than not going around telling your family that you've decided to dump their religion and pick up the one their religion says to kill.
Once you've outed yourself keeping secrets allows lies like "Wicca Moon Dance" or "Wiccan orgies" to flow unchecked (I've been fending off both on another forum, I still can't figure out what a Wicca Moon Dance is, but as long as their are "Coven Secrets" it's possible and it can be used to say kids should be taken away from Wiccan families).

Jenn_Knitter
04-24-2008, 12:20 AM
I think the secrecy of "Coven Secrets" does more harm to Wicca than not going around telling your family that you've decided to dump their religion and pick up the one their religion says to kill.
Once you've outed yourself keeping secrets allows lies like "Wicca Moon Dance" or "Wiccan orgies" to flow unchecked (I've been fending off both on another forum, I still can't figure out what a Wicca Moon Dance is, but as long as their are "Coven Secrets" it's possible and it can be used to say kids should be taken away from Wiccan families).

First of all, I'm sorry about your uncle and I can understand why you are not comfortable "outing" yourself to your family. I oftentimes take for granted the fact that my mother is also Wiccan, so I've always been able to be open with my family about it. My husband, on the other hand, his mother has Alzheimer's Disease and was raised by a Baptist Preacher. To this day she still holds to the belief that her son is a Christian. My husband doesn't have the heart to tell her, because he doesn't want his mother's last days spent worrying that her son will "burn in hell".

And from a personal standpoint, I agree with you on the secrecy issue. I am not a member of a coven. While I prefer some of the less "fluffy" resources on Wicca (even though I've been accused of being fluffy because I love Scott Cunningham's works), I am not comfortable with the notion that one must be initiated into a Trad coven in order to be a "real" Wiccan. That aside, I have other reasons for not particularly caring for Silver Ravenwolf's books, but I don't have a problem with people who use them as a point of reference. I would just always caution anyone in the learning stages to read as many books as they can, from various authors, and glean a little knowledge from each source.

Raeknitsnwa
04-24-2008, 01:03 AM
I want to thank you al for your help with suggeting authors & things I really don't know many people who know alot about this stuff & the few people I have talked to seem to be just acting like they know it all..I am glad you guys are here to suggest books,websites & articles thank you very much it is all much appreciated

Mike
04-24-2008, 10:23 AM
I would just always caution anyone in the learning stages to read as many books as they can, from various authors, and glean a little knowledge from each source.
That's my suggestion.
My issues around Ravenwolf are more because of the Teen Witch Kit. The book was one thing, the kit was going over the line.

I only own To Ride a Silver Broomstick by her and I recall her writing style not being for me but thumbing through that one again I really don't see much of the problems I hear about.

I had to laugh at some of the "secrets" I've been told. So far every one has been some form of Ceremonial Majick. Nothing worth blowing out of proportion with the claim it's a secret that only 3rd Degree Extra Exalted Grand Poobah is worthy of knowing.

IMO too many covens freely mix too much Ceremonial Majick in and act like it is the religion. It's the main reason I avoid working with others.
Being a jeweler and a knife maker I don't know if I'd qualify as a Kitchen Witch, I use nothing from the kitchen drawer, but I've gone to great lengths to remove CM from my rituals (on the rare times I actually do anything that could be called a ritual).

I oftentimes take for granted the fact that my mother is also Wiccan
I guess thinking back to when you were young doesn't do much good :)

I've wondered what it would be like growing up in a Pagan family. The closest I have as physical reference is my sister being very open to all religions.

Carrie218
04-24-2008, 11:43 AM
I want to thank you al for your help with suggeting authors & things I really don't know many people who know alot about this stuff & the few people I have talked to seem to be just acting like they know it all..I am glad you guys are here to suggest books,websites & articles thank you very much it is all much appreciated

Like others have suggested, I would go back to the beginning. Somehow, everything written in the past ten and twenty years is more-or-less based on what was written prior by the following authors:

Starhawk's - Spiral Dance
Janet & Stewart Farrar - Anything they wrote
Scott Cunningham - Anything he wrote
Margot Adler - Drawing Down the Moon

kyrolakatz
04-24-2008, 05:13 PM
Well I have to say I was happily suprised to come across this thread while searching for a way to not poke myself in the eye with my #2DPNs (first ever pair of socks).

I am just beginning on the Wiccan path and I have to admit I bought most of Ravenwolf's books before I knew better....I find myself going back to Scott Cunningham time and time again though. I do find her books helpful as a reference but not as a practice. ;)

I have a question for everyone - did you just jump right in and start practicing ritual or did you ease into it? I am kind of not sure where to start.

willowangel
04-24-2008, 08:27 PM
I started out with Ravenwolf's Silver Broomstick, and it was a good general introduction for me. I have the urge to read everything I can get my hands on when it comes to things I'm interested in, so it was natural to me to then go and find more information from more sources. I've read a lot of books that inspired me, but a lot more that left me with a 'meh' feeling. It depends on what you're looking for, though. I am not a Wiccan - I started out thinking I was one, but I'm not. I'm not and can't ever see myself being in a coven, or any other tiered and ranked system. I feel that anything that brings in ranks or 'I'm more important than you' positions makes for a decrease in learning - people become more inclined to act like they know more, and people lower down the ranks think their experiences are not as valid. It would be nice to think Pagans are beyond such silliness, but they're not - any look at the history of modern coverns, particuarly in the US, will show that.

I like working with people, but in a more organic way - when someone knows something other people don't, knowledge can be shared, and that's great. Everyone being on an equal footing means that everyone has something to offer. I've unfortunately had to distance myself from the local Pagan community, after being quite active and central in it for a few years. It's moved to a slightly more sinister power struggle, and most of the people I met seemed to be using whatever their particular system was as a means of escaping reality. It had become just another way of avoiding responsibility for their lives, which, as far as I can see, is kind of the point of being a Pagan. They used their beliefs in the, 'if it's meant to happen it will, I don't have to do anything, bad stuff happened because someone is attacking me, etc'. There was also a lot of 'I'm the ninth Gatekeeper of whatever and am the only one who can hold back the Apocalpyse, oh the drama' stuff going on. Which essentially meant she couldn't hold down a job *and* be a gatekeeper, because it was too much stress, which is why she kept being fired. Stuff like that got to me, so I extricated myself, and have been much happier since.

There are a lot of people who act like they know a lot, but don't. As far as I can tell from my experiences - the more rigid they are about the 'rules' and 'how it has to be', the less experience they have. They may have read a lot (but probably not widely), but either haven't experienced much, or haven't paid attention to what they have experienced. Time and life seem to even out the fundamentalism, as you see more and understand more, you'll find that your 'rules' don't always apply, and you become more tolerant of other paths, other systems, other ways of thinking. I'd listen more to the people who start off with 'in my experience' or 'so far I've seen... but that's just me and your path may be different', than the people who preach and tell you how it *is*.

The two things I can recommend are these : If you are interested in a structured system of learning that is still very relaxed and understanding, where ranks are strictly a measure of *your* progress and nothing to do with anyone else, then the Fellowship of Isis is worth joining. There are a number of 'Lyceums' which offer a kind of training, and each one focusses on something different. From the number of them, there seems to be something for everyone, but if not then just the community is worth it. The training isn't to prove your worth to others but to help you further understand your beliefs.

The other thing is the book 'Hedge Witch' by Rae Beth. It remains the most beautiful book I've read on the Old Ways, it's very gentle and inspiring and teaches you about the divinity in the ordinary, everyday things. That you don't have to be channeling gods every day to get somewhere, just to be quietly thankful and aware of the beauty of the Earth. It has small, everyday ritual ideas, as well as bigger ones for the Sabbats, and there's a gentle humour in it. Once, I had an experience that I couldn't understand, and took a chance on writing to the author to see if she could shed any light on it, but never expected a reply. I was stunned when she replied a few days later, having meditated on it and asked her guides for advice.

As for the where to start question, it's worth reading a few things and starting off slow, with meditations, small candle rituals, circle casting, stuff like that. You can build up to the bigger stuff as you gain confidence, and you'll get a taste of what ritual can be like for you. It's an incredible feeling, and well worth it. It's worth remembering, too, what I was told in my very first ritual by the Divine - that if I ever felt that this path wasn't right for me, then I could step off it for a while. It's just a path. If it starts making you more unhappy than happy, then walk away - dedications and so on don't commit your soul for all eternity. I stepped off for a while, and am now in a much better place, somewhere else on the path. But it's just a path.

Sorry for the looooong reply - just a lot of things to say about it all ;-) If you ever have any questions, feel free to PM me and I'll do what I can :-)

Fi xxx

Carrie218
04-24-2008, 10:00 PM
I am just beginning on the Wiccan path and I have to admit I bought most of Ravenwolf's books before I knew better....I find myself going back to Scott Cunningham time and time again though. I do find her books helpful as a reference but not as a practice. ;)


I'm assuming the "her" you are referring to is Ravenwolf. Scott was a man (who actually made his living writing under a pseudonym and penning cheesy romance novels; those made money where New Age books do not).


I have a question for everyone - did you just jump right in and start practicing ritual or did you ease into it? I am kind of not sure where to start.

I jumped right in; established an altar in my room (I was living with my parents then) and doing daily exercises (banishings and building circles). Like anything else, it takes practice and the more you do it, the more comfortable you are doing it.

Mike
04-24-2008, 10:27 PM
I have a question for everyone - did you just jump right in and start practicing ritual or did you ease into it? I am kind of not sure where to start.
I read for a year, comparing what I was reading from Wiccan authors to other religions. Then I practiced along the lines of out of a book for a year. Then I created what worked for me (very little ritual along the lines of Buckland's Pictish invention).

Carrie218
04-24-2008, 11:05 PM
along the lines of Buckland's Pictish invention).


Inner chuckle; Ray Buckland was part of the San Diego group that included Cunningham, Kraig, et al...


Those really *were* the golden years for me. There were a total of THREE New Age bookstores in San Diego; we would put a sign in each one that we were holding a public Beltane ceremony in Balboa park and 200 people showed up. We could do things like that back then!

Eccie
04-25-2008, 10:37 AM
First, I'm not Wiccan, I don't like much organization in my spirituality, but that's just me, some people crave it and that's ok for them too. I read alot of things. I'm an info junkie and will read anything you give me :) I based my first rituals on things I liked from various books and such. I'm a very loose and free form person. Nowadays I don't use many tools or write scripts, I just do what feels right. Sometimes that's as simple as sitting in the grass and grounding and having a little chat with diety, and sometimes it's more organized with 'calling the corners' and such.

kyrolakatz
04-26-2008, 07:14 PM
Thanks for the advice everyone! Some of the stuff I have read makes it seem like if you don't do a ritual/spell at the perfect cycle of the moon at the right time that it would be VERY bad. Makes me kind of leery to start doing rituals...but then I remember that the Wiccan Rede is "An it harm none, do what ye will" so if my intention is not to harm, why would it be horrible if I did a ritual when the moon is waxing instead of waning?

Willowangel - I hear you about not wanting to join a coven because of politics. I live in a smaller metro area and haven't actually been able to find a coven locally, so I have joined an online community, but I plan to be a solitary practitioner for the most part. I believe in the concept of Wicca/Earth-based religion, but any form of organized religion completely makes me back away. I truly believe that if there was a Christ, that the Gospel of Thomas is true - "I am the light that shines over all things. I am everywhere. From me all came forth, and to me all return. Split a piece of wood, and I am there. Lift a stone, and you will find me there..." Religion is a personal, solitary path, not an orgainization.

Mike
04-27-2008, 12:52 PM
why would it be horrible if I did a ritual when the moon is waxing instead of waning?

It's not horrible, it's just not effective.
It's like picking lettuce in the morning before the bitter juices rise vs picking it in the hot sun after bitter juices rise.

All you have to do is think differently. Say you wanted money to pay off some debt.
When the moon is waxing you work to increase your income. When the moon is waning you work to decrease your debt.
Same end results but you approach it from a different angle.

Carol_OH
04-30-2008, 03:47 PM
First, I'm not Wiccan, I don't like much organization in my spirituality, but that's just me, some people crave it and that's ok for them too. I read alot of things. I'm an info junkie and will read anything you give me :) I based my first rituals on things I liked from various books and such. I'm a very loose and free form person. Nowadays I don't use many tools or write scripts, I just do what feels right. Sometimes that's as simple as sitting in the grass and grounding and having a little chat with diety, and sometimes it's more organized with 'calling the corners' and such.
me too! :)

jeanius80
08-07-2008, 07:54 PM
any Pagan knitters near tacoma/lakewood/puyallup WA? Looking for some local advice and guidance

Thanks!