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Thread: Ask a Pagan.

  1. #31
    Senior Member tinker683's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vala Faye View Post
    Experience has taught me that spells work like much of the rest of life. It's not infallible, nor is it supernatural. I usually cast spells when I need it and I have energy to spare for it. I can go months without casting, but when I have something important in the works, and I've actually *done* the legwork or am doing the legwork, I sometimes use a little boost to help guide things in the right direction.

    What kind? That's a very open question. Purely technically speaking, I tend to be a fan of candle magic, which consists of infusing a candle with the energy required for the spell, and then naturally releasing it through burning the candle.
    Would you mind elaborating a little bit on spells? How do they work? What are the requirements to cast a spell, and what it is about those requirements that make it work?

    Also, if they are not supernatural then are they...natural???
    "The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it."
    ― Woodrow Wilson

  2. #32
    Ginkgo
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    Do you ever attend any services or gatherings?

  3. #33
    FigerPuppet
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    Do you float in water, witch?


  4. #34
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Are your spells instructive like "do this" or more of a prayer like "if god-etc wills it to be so, I'd like this"?

    How often do they work? When they don't work, what do you think is going on? Does it discourage you from "casting" more spells?
    -end of thread-

  5. #35
    Senior Member swordpath's Avatar
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    Did you get into Paganism, initially, through lengthy sessions of World of Warcraft? No offense, but that's the category I lump most pagans/wiccans into... People that spent too much time reading fantasy and playing role playing games. Partially living in an alternate reality.

    Tell me you're an exception!

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    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vala Faye View Post
    Define 'personal cosmos'?
    Do you see the universe with the great tree Yggdrasil growing through it? Are there heavens and underworlds? Of what import is your soul?

  7. #37
    Ginkgo
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    If I rub you, will I get three wishes?

  8. #38
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Oh I have no doubts you think you could.
    You're just waiting for me to say 'Try me!' , aren't you

    Quote Originally Posted by MacGuffin View Post
    I'm not sure because I don't think I could adequately identify what is actually "pagan".

    I suppose the ones easiest to identify for me are the ones associated with various holidays, like Xmas. The evergreen Xmas tree for example.
    Correct. Many of the holidays still hold many of the old pagan traditions. But also many of the old superstitions hold pagan symbolism. Our mythology and folk lore...all part of pagan traditions. It's more present in our lives than you'd think

    Quote Originally Posted by tinker683 View Post
    Would you mind elaborating a little bit on spells? How do they work? What are the requirements to cast a spell, and what it is about those requirements that make it work?

    Also, if they are not supernatural then are they...natural???
    There's a disconnect between what is considered 'magic' in the pagan world and in fantasy/sci-fi world. Per definition, magic *is* natural, as the very source of it is Nature or the Universe itself. Therefore it cannot be 'supernatural'. That means that spells are bound by the same laws of the universe as we all are. But it also holds some of the power that 'science' hasn't been able to figure out yet, things we don't fully understand yet.

    The only solid requirement for a spell is the intense desire for something. However, it is easier on the mind to focus on said desire if it has had proper training (exercises in meditation, visualization, energy work and grounding), and if you tap in to the natural associations the mind makes.

    Say I wanted to cast a spell to make something disappear from my life, a bad influence of sorts. What I could do is write the undesirable thing down on a piece of paper, visualize it while I write it down, charge a candle with destruction (fire purifies and destroys), and then burn the piece of paper while visualizing the thing to disappear from my life. You wanna watch out though coz if you want some person to disappear, they might just die a fiery death

    In this case you employ visualization, focus, energy work and the association you have with Fire to get what you want. Any strong association can help you a looong way. Fire, especially candle light also allows for an easier trance/meditation which is preferable in spell casting.

    Technically (and those that are well trained can do so), you can cast a spell with no objects whatsoever and just use the power of your mind while, say, standing in the middle of a completely hectic intersection. It's not recommended, as distractions are kinda at the very least going to make your spell less powerful (lack of focus) and at the very worst, imprint the 'energy' with things you really really don't want associated with the spell.

    Some objects are believed to hold power themselves. I myself am particularly fond of crystals,, for instance, as they're like a battery/extra powerboost and are imprintable with all kinds of energy. It's been scientifically proven, I believe, that different stones send out different vibrations, and potentially those vibrations do have an effect on us. Ime, they very much do, though it could be the power of association again. Ime, all living things (including humans, animals, plants and rocks/minerals) hold 'energy', hold a vibration that you can connect to and utilize if you know how to manipulate energy.

    Quote Originally Posted by SmileyMan View Post
    Do you float in water, witch?
    Don't you? Or have you finally attained Lich state?

    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    Are your spells instructive like "do this" or more of a prayer like "if god-etc wills it to be so, I'd like this"?

    How often do they work? When they don't work, what do you think is going on? Does it discourage you from "casting" more spells?
    See above for the how. Typically the spells are as individual as the practitioner themselves. Priests are likely to 'pray' more and ask for things from their gods. Magicians are more likely to use the process described above, though they too work with spirits and gods whose help they may invoke. Personally I see those spirits as guides/rolemodels, even the god-ones. They inspire me due to their energy/personality, which helps the association bit of my mind. Otoh, if gods do come alive due to the belief people have in them, I give them power, and they in exchange help me out, I guess. I find though that although their help is welcomed during spell casting, its the life lessons they impart and inspire that are the most valuable of all.

    I've had spells fizzle and backfire on me. We all have. I've found that pure intent goes a long way. Selfishly crafted spells from a place of ego and want tend to burn you hard. Spells cast with doubt and insecurity in mind tend to fizzle. Spells carefully crafted with wisdom and calm steadfastness are the ones that pack the biggest punch, I've found.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ignite View Post
    Did you get into Paganism, initially, through lengthy sessions of World of Warcraft? No offense, but that's the category I lump most pagans/wiccans into... People that spent too much time reading fantasy and playing role playing games.

    Tell me you're an exception!
    Hehe, I believe I am! Ironically, the same year I started investigating Wicca (it had been on my list for 2 years though and I did do this shit without realizing it already since I was 13), my INFP friend dragged me into Dnd and LARP. I always enjoyed those kinda games coz they gave me the freedom to be 'myself' without people looking at me like I was from Venus or something. So yes, I have an overactive imagination, but no, my lifestyle choice was not inspired by my discovery of 'fantasy' (though wait a minute..do fantasy books count? No wait, wait, I only started reading those when I was 15, and this shit has been around from at least my 13th birthday, so I'm good!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Qlippoth View Post
    Do you see the universe with the great tree Yggdrasil growing through it? Are there heavens and underworlds? Of what import is your soul?
    I honestly don't know. And I've accepted that I won't know, nor that it matters, really. I like the concept of the Yggdrasil, as much as I enjoy the concept of the Fey in the celtic lore. In essence, what I believe is that we *are* the Universe trying to figure itself out (paraphrase from Delenn in Babylon 5). I believe that the planet is a living organism, and that we are but fleas on her back. Is she a goddess? I dunno, I guess to me she is. But then I imagine that the dog is perhaps also to some fleas a god (and to some an organism to exploit and ransack...mmm, looks familiar, I'd say ). I believe that the Yggdrasil was a way to represent the Universe in an understandable way for our forefathers and that there is probably some truth to it. It just is viewed through a cultural lens, as is the case with all the cultural traditions and their belief systems. But they all hold the same core Truths, so there's potentially something to it. I'd like to believe that all Life is circular, and that I get to parttake in this Universe-life cycle again, once I die. The truth is that I just don't know. Imo, all that matters is the journey. The destination is kinda fixed for everyone anyways, so why worry about it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ginkgo View Post
    If I rub you, will I get three wishes?
    I'm a witch, not a genie. Though I'll see what I can do for you, depending on the quality of rubbing

    Edit: and no, I don't go to gatherings as I consider my practice very individualistic. As they say in our world, I walk this Path alone.
    ★ڿڰۣ✿ℒoѵℯ✿ڿڰۣ★





    "Harm none, do as ye will”

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vala Faye View Post
    You're just waiting for me to say 'Try me!' , aren't you
    We've already had this discussion several times before.

  10. #40
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwakar View Post
    Are these nature-based philosophies arguably just practiced celebrations of life via nature appreciation?
    This perspective seems a bit limited, or trivializing. In my experience, nature-based spirituality goes beyond this to include much more depth -- specifically a spiritual dimension, and a drive to act upon what one is appreciating.

    To elaborate on Vala's comments:

    1. Many of what we think of as secular holiday traditions come straight from Pagan practices of one sort or another. Yes, "Christmas" trees are a big one, as are the Easter Bunny and Easter eggs, many Halloween customs, Maypole dances/baskets, and even Groundhog day. These and others originated from a calendar based upon the solstices and equinoxes, and the 4 "cross-quarters", or points in between.

    As for what parts of Paganism are most accepted by the mainstream, I would also include the growing sensitivity to the environment, and the practice of meditation. This last is not universal among Pagans, but most that I know practice some form of it.

    2. Yes, there are many misconceptions about spellwork and magic. A significant one is that the purpose of spells is to effect change in the world around us. While this may be what we say we want, the most effective and worthwhile spells seek principally to change ourselves. Whether one follows the Wiccan Rede or not, there is disrespect if not outright danger in attempting to control or subvert the will of another, but working on ourselves is usually enough to reach our goal. (My quote below from Jim comes close to encapsulating spell work.)

    3. In working spells, some appeal to a Deity, while others focus on the energy and symbols involved. For me, the two overlap in that I see Deity in a way as an embodiment of that universal energy. Invoking a specific form of Deity is one way to visualize the kind of energy desired for the particular working.

    4. About Paganism and "things": anyone who spends time around Pagans will notice the use of lots of things - crystals, candles, papers with runes, wood, robes, flowers, bread, God and Goddess statues, etc. etc. Vala correctly observes that none of this is needed for the practice of Pagan spirituality or magical workings. We have been created with physical forms in a material world, however. It is part of our reality, and one which most Pagans try to appreciate integrated with the mental, emotional, and spiritual, rather than to segregate, suppress, and denigrate as some religions do. Things appeal to our five senses in a way that can help with both visualization and the channeling of energy (which are in fact related), and can also add beauty and even fun to the experience. This is not worshipping things, it is worshipping with things.

    5. As for RPGs and Paganism, I played RPGs for several years before discovering Pagan spirituality. I knew there was some connection, and was rather disturbed until I could discover what it is. It is imagination. It takes imagination to hold a game character and a fictitous world in your mind, to visualize how that person thinks and feels and acts and speaks. As Vala wrote, visualization is a key aspect of spellwork, and an active imagination also helps in the productive use of tools and symbols.

    6. I discovered Paganism through a series of books, starting with Marion Zimmer Bradley's "The Mists of Avalon". Each led to the next like clues in a scavenger hunt, answering questions and suggesting new ones.

    7. While individiual practice is important to every Pagan I know, many also appreciate the opportunity to gather in groups with like-minded spiritual seekers. Some groups are large and open enough to host public rituals, often in a park or Unitarian church hall. I have been to several of these, and sampled the style of several different traditions as I found my own way. In recent years, I gather for circle with a small group of local friends. We try to meet for each of the 8 holidays, and occasionally in between for coming-of-age, wedding, or other occasions. As solitary as I tend to be in most respects, these gatherings nourish something that just cannot be fed in any other way.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

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