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  1. #51
    half mystic, half skeksis jenocyde's Avatar
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    Amar - Thanks for being so candid! I would love to ask you more questions about this, if you don't mind. Score 1000 points for you today for giving me so much to ponder! You don't have to answer any of it, if you don't feel it necessary or if they are too personal...

    Are you afraid to work with the gods if you don't actively worship them? Aren't you afraid that they may lead you down the wrong path due to insolence?

    Do you believe in the existence of all these unique gods, or do you feel that they are the same across all traditions, just using different names? I find this to be the way in voodoo vs. santeria vs candomble.

    I am endlessly fascinated with religious texts and I consume them, but from an outside perspective. Since you are a believer, do you feel that at some point you would (or should) become more of a servant to the gods? As a priestess or something else like that? I mean, do you feel ok to wade in the water without immersing?

    I have many more but I will leave it at that for now...

  2. #52
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amargith View Post
    Shapeshifting is taking the energy of an animal, a rock, a plant, a tree (but usually an animal), and making it your own. It involves visualization, and a lot of practice. Often it's also done during journeying. It means you transform yourself into an animal which has attributes that you find useful at this particular time. It's one step further than working with guides, basically.
    Hmmm, interesting. I know how to absorb chi from things [plants, trees, bushes, rocks, mntns, etc], and it can be interesting feeling how chi or chi fields are different form place to place. Pine trees in particular are noted for the good quality of the chi that they give off.

  3. #53
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    I remember when I was doing shamanic journeying I'd have people and symbols and imagery and some of it would be Native American, and some of it would be celtic. Man, those celtic women that I saw, let's just say that I would potentially be willing to make babies with them... Note to self, find attractive spiritual, perhaps celtic, woman in real life and make babies with her, someday, down the road, not anytime soon...

    Does that [these spiritual presumably-celtic woman are hot] mean anything in particular? In something like journeying its not really clear how much to me is actual and how much is symbolic. I would imagine that as you get better things become more actual and less symbolic.

    And on the subject of finding someone to make babies with, do most people who practice nature/pagan religions find partners that do so as well, and if not how open are people usually to someone who practices something else, for example me and practicing eastern things?
    Journeying is extremely personal, so it is up to you to find the links, sorry to say. It's not so much that thigns become more accurate, but you do become better at building up your 'journey dictionary' aka, you learn to interpret your journeys better, from what I've heard. Don't have that much journey-experience myself.

    There's a vast Pagan community out there yes, but even in there squabbles and differences arise as no Path is the same. I know Christianity is already very much personal and different, but paganism is ten times worse. I personally have a partner who very much doesn't want to go near this stuff, though he doesn't consider it complete bull either. He just leaves that part up to me
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  4. #54
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingfisher View Post
    anyway, i am interested to hear what other people have to say about animal and spirit guides. jump in if this is something you know much about, or have an interest in.
    I'd never gotten into this before you mentioned it... but after you mentioned it, I got overwhelmed with an image immediately.

    There were 12 animals.

    A cat, panther, parrot, snake, jaguar, and squirrel were on my side... it was almost like they were standing by to defend me.

    On the opposite side of us, I saw a dog, pelican, dove, peregrin falcon, pig, and rat that looked like they wanted to attack us... and they seemed to be defending a shadowy figure with glowing red eyes that was obscured in darkness, pointing a spear that was pitch black (like itself) at me and laughing.

    Does this mean anything to you?

  5. #55
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    I know this question was NOT addressed to me, but I would like to add my two cents... Feel free, as always, to ignore anything that I write and know that anybody else could write want they want, which may or may not have anything to do with that I say

    Not all groups/traditions work with gods/deities. I practice several things, but none of them involve dealing with deities in any way shape or form. Though there are subsets, for example of taoism, that do "deal" with deities, usually in some sort of visualization manner. Further, from my understanding, when this is done it is about qualities of that deity, and identifying/developing those qualities more strongly within yourself. Tibetan Buddhism has quite a bit of this, [white tara, green tara, avalokitesvara, mahakala, various bodhisattvas, etc] and even there its about seeing this deity as an archetype and then identifying with that archetype and developing the qualities of that archetype within yourself. It's not like we "placate" these deities or whatever. I'm not even sure these deities are supposed to have an independent existence, but from my understanding are representations of qualities or attributes that one wishes to further develop. With that said, I'm under the impression that the various Hindu deities are considered to independently exist. Reexpressed, you can become avalokitesvara, you don't become Rama, though you can attain the same mind ground/level of consciousness as Rama, Shiva, etc. I know that a lot of the hindu deities and practitioners are considered to still exist, but on the subtle levels/planes, not physically. The idea is that they can "work more effectively" while not "burdened with a physical body."

    Alright, enough of my two cents. [Other people seem to follow these threads but not enter into them, so I wanted to address this topic in a more general way for them.]

  6. #56
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenocyde View Post
    Amar - Thanks for being so candid! I would love to ask you more questions about this, if you don't mind. Score 1000 points for you today for giving me so much to ponder! You don't have to answer any of it, if you don't feel it necessary or if they are too personal...

    Are you afraid to work with the gods if you don't actively worship them? Aren't you afraid that they may lead you down the wrong path due to insolence?

    Do you believe in the existence of all these unique gods, or do you feel that they are the same across all traditions, just using different names? I find this to be the way in voodoo vs. santeria vs candomble.

    I am endlessly fascinated with religious texts and I consume them, but from an outside perspective. Since you are a believer, do you feel that at some point you would (or should) become more of a servant to the gods? As a priestess or something else like that? I mean, do you feel ok to wade in the water without immersing?

    I have many more but I will leave it at that for now...
    No, I don't mind, as long as people don't get annoyed at this topic. I know it makes many people uneasy

    I worried for a while..and still sometimes do about insolence. I tried the worshipping-thing, like a good little pagan. But it *just* isn't me. And although I did go out looking for deities as part of my Wiccan phase (you need a god and a goddess), I never found a God that answered my call, but I did have three goddesses knocking at my door. So I figure that they know what kind of person I am and how I do things and if they don't like it, they'll let me know. They do throw hard life lessons on my path, but I'm fairly certain that being led down the wrong path would be rather hard with those three watching me

    Goddesses to me are often rolemodels to me, people I look up to, and I get inspiration from, so in a way that's worship in its own, I guess?

    Wicca teaches that all gods and goddesses are aspects of the Goddess and God. Personally..I find that one goddess definitely aint the other, though some have crossed borders and cultures (Mother Earth, anyone), and have gotten their own 'couleur locale' that way in each culture. But Freyja is in no way comparable to Aphrodite, whereas Nerthus, Gaia and Mati Syra Zemlya do bear a lot of resemblance, imo. I used to break my head over this (I spent a lot of time with the purists/historians who love to figure out this stuff), but I've gotten to the realisation it doesn't matter. The way a Goddess shows herself to me, is going to be very different from how someone else experiences her, as with any relationship. To me, only my own path matters. The rest, I leave to the Gythia/scholars

    I've tried Priesthood..it just isnt' for me. I don't do dogma. And that's fine. It's not only priests are useful to them. I work with them and they teach me and inspire me. I want to learn those things under their guidance that they are known for, that is their specialty. For instance, Freyja is the Goddess of Love and Lust, of shamanic Witchcraft, even of Death. So much knowledge is to be gained from her. But it's more than that. To me, she's the perfect woman. When reading stories and mythology about her, I feel inspired to follow in her footsteps despite differences in society, cultural stuff etc etc. The lessons in those stories are still valuable today.
    ★ڿڰۣ✿ℒoѵℯ✿ڿڰۣ★





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  7. #57
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    About the practitioners and what their partners do or don't believe/practice. There are soem very big and real eastern/western differences. Coming out of chi gung and some other practices, I do have direct experience with the types of things that I've heard pagans and others talk about doing. A part of me is concerned with things like "Will she always want to bless my food and cast spells at things? Seriously, I'm from a background that says to accept things as they are without generally trying to consciously change them. And how come every time I ask a question she's like 'why don't you talk with your spirit guides about it?" Meanwhile she's thinking "you eastern-oriented people are wold and body-denying and harsh and whats all this babling about a lack of self. I follow the wiccan rede, why do I need to be blabbed out about yamas and niyamas and higher morality, I don't want to be a saint! And he keeps not listening to me when I tell him that he should really go talk with his spirit guides! and why doesn't he like crystals and psychic healing as much as I do?" Do you get the idea? And less anyone think I'm making this up or exaggerating, I've had some of these kind of issues with my more new-agey friends. Amargith, have you had any of those kind of issues, or others, that your willing to share with us?

  8. #58
    half mystic, half skeksis jenocyde's Avatar
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    Thank you Scott and Amar for opening up about something so personal.

    You have both answered my questions, for the most part. I lived in Cuba for a while and the slave tradition of hiding their gods in the catholic saint system still holds true today. So many practicing catholics worship the virgin mary by day and erzulie by night, and to them, she is one and the same. But the point I guess you are trying to make is that all energy exists all over the world and will appear to you in the form where you feel most comfortable and open to receive them. This makes sense.

    I, of course, have other questions, but I'll take some time to give a little bit of breathing room to you both first. Thanks again.

  9. #59
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    About the practitioners and what their partners do or don't believe/practice. There are soem very big and real eastern/western differences. Coming out of chi gung and some other practices, I do have direct experience with the types of things that I've heard pagans and others talk about doing. A part of me is concerned with things like "Will she always want to bless my food and cast spells at things? Seriously, I'm from a background that says to accept things as they are without generally trying to consciously change them. And how come every time I ask a question she's like 'why don't you talk with your spirit guides about it?" Meanwhile she's thinking "you eastern-oriented people are wold and body-denying and harsh and whats all this babling about a lack of self. I follow the wiccan rede, why do I need to be blabbed out about yamas and niyamas and higher morality, I don't want to be a saint! And he keeps not listening to me when I tell him that he should really go talk with his spirit guides! and why doesn't he like crystals and psychic healing as much as I do?" Do you get the idea? And less anyone think I'm making this up or exaggerating, I've had some of these kind of issues with my more new-agey friends. Amargith, have you had any of those kind of issues, or others, that your willing to share with us?

    I have found in my many years as a Pagan that pagans are just people like anyone else , and can sometimes be somewhat judgemental and not so understanding towards others. Ironic, as paganism first and foremost teaches that everyone's path is unique and should be respected as such. People will be people, I guess. On the other hand, paganism does provide at least a greater chance at finding someone who is openminded enough to respect your practices as long as you respect hers. After my experiences, I've gone at it alone. I've found a fellow ENFP witch that I do share stories with now and again, but her path and mine are so different, and it doesn't feel right mixing them. Then again, there are those that find strength in covens and organizations and like to unify stuff. Not me. To me this is so personal, that I go at it alone. I think I would do this even, if my partner was pagan, though I would very much enjoy him to share my path as well. To be that in sync would be..utter bliss. But if he were to walk a different path, which is very likely, I would wish him all the best and give him the space he needed and demand mine.

    As for blessing food constantly, that's something that becomes so routine, you won't even notice it, especially as it doesn't even have to be noticable that she does that. Also, constantly casting spells is somethign you learn really quickly not to do, trust me

    Quote Originally Posted by jenocyde View Post
    Thank you Scott and Amar for opening up about something so personal.

    You have both answered my questions, for the most part. I lived in Cuba for a while and the slave tradition of hiding their gods in the catholic saint system still holds true today. So many practicing catholics worship the virgin mary by day and erzulie by night, and to them, she is one and the same. But the point I guess you are trying to make is that all energy exists all over the world and will appear to you in the form where you feel most comfortable and open to receive them. This makes sense.

    I, of course, have other questions, but I'll take some time to give a little bit of breathing room to you both first. Thanks again.
    The Slavic and Celtic tradition do this as well, for a large part. And yes, it very much is an instinctual thing. As stated before, each path is unique and imo, you should never let anyone tell you that what you feel in your gut is right, is in fact not correct. I've wasted a lot of time struggling with this and to no avail. Being a serious student of spirituality doesn't require you to follow their rules. It just requires you to be honest with yourself. Self-reflection will teach you more than others ever can.

    Thanks Jeno, for going about this so gently. I do enjoy talking about this part of my life, but it's such a personal thing that it feels a bit unnerving at times to do so. Don't let that stop you from asking questions though. I honestly don't mind
    ★ڿڰۣ✿ℒoѵℯ✿ڿڰۣ★





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  10. #60
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Oh, I just remembered...
    So I was at a spiritual healing about a month ago, and I think the lady was working on my crown center at that point [its always interesting cuz I can usually feel where they are working at, some of them have commented on that too. One lady asked if I could "see" it [note: seeing is generally much harder to do than general feeling], and I said "kinda" or "somewhat" or something, and then she gave me this look like 'quit being modest and just say yes!"]. Anyways, I saw some semi-detailed images of a couple of Tibetan Buddhist deities. Note: as noted in my two cents contribution above, I "understand"/relate to TB deities in a symbolic way. I thought that was pretty cool, "yay for my developed crown center or something!" but I was also slightly miffed that they were Tibetan Buddhist deities. I don't practice TB [zen and TB have been described as opposites, I do practice zen/chan], and I feel affinity with several other cultures but not tibetan culture per se. Maybe I just don't know enough about deities from other cultures that I could have taken meaningful images from them??? I do keep wanting to have an impression of a 1000 headed on-fire mahakala though! If you look at my books, or at my posters at home, those posters are like various tibetan buddhist deities or yantras [ooh! there's fire-headed mahakala right behind me!], and my books that includes segments on deities are almost all TB ones.

    Long story short, I was at this spiritual healing and during it saw images of TB deities. It was pretty cool!

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