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grim789
Ok so i would like to apologize if this is in the wrong spot. Ok well to start off by giving you some background information on what i believe i grew up christian and about a year or so ago i started to wonder why i belive blindly on something i know nothing of so i figured it was do to the fact thats what i have grown up around and my general community is mostly christian. But i have been studying diffrent religions and i know the media makes pagans to be satanist "not to insult anyone who practicess this". But there is something higher than myself telling me to study pagan it has been burning at me for a few months to study it i just have been to lazy honestly. I sayed higher than myself because i meditated on it and have had some thoughts that just says study so im listening to those thoughts. But i need a place to start i have never studyed there teachings dont know any resources to read for them so any help would be GREAT.

Thank you in advance to any post all are welcome.
Dancing Coyote
QUOTE(grim789 @ Jan 13 2010, 09:04 PM) *

Ok so i would like to apologize if this is in the wrong spot. Ok well to start off by giving you some background information on what i believe i grew up christian and about a year or so ago i started to wonder why i belive blindly on something i know nothing of so i figured it was do to the fact thats what i have grown up around and my general community is mostly christian. But i have been studying diffrent religions and i know the media makes pagans to be satanist "not to insult anyone who practicess this". But there is something higher than myself telling me to study pagan it has been burning at me for a few months to study it i just have been to lazy honestly. I sayed higher than myself because i meditated on it and have had some thoughts that just says study so im listening to those thoughts. But i need a place to start i have never studyed there teachings dont know any resources to read for them so any help would be GREAT.

Thank you in advance to any post all are welcome.


Not to sound harsh but in my mind Satan was the guy who got the worst deal out of the whole 'christianity' thing. I was raised christian too, I went to the pagan philosophy around your age then finally decided I didn't care what I labeled myself, labels were for other people. If you objectively look at the stories of the christian god (which is difficult because of the vast grain of society tells you this god is loving and caring), it's really amazing to find how silly this being truly is. There are some older jewish myths, dating before that of christianity, and the story goes: God thinks about creating man, God asks angels if this is a good idea, angels say "no we really don't think so", so god banishes them to hell (especially lucifer because of his/her nagging). Interestingly the contradictions are blatantly bizarre:

For 'god' there is no time.
Well, if god knew his right hand would disagree with him and become 'an evil overlord influencing his poor creations' then why did he build him in the first place? Furthermore, why is Lucifer so evil if s/he was god's right hand? How could such an inanely 'evil' being be created by pure 'good'?

Secondly, why would god punish adam and eve for eating the forbidden fruit? Especially if this god knew this would happen, and let it happen (it's as if god made it happen) and here we are to feel guilty about it.

Thirdly the lesser known 'lilith' was adam's first wife, she was made to be his wife. Lilith did not like this, nor would she allow adam to seduce her. Because she didn't submit to adam's and god's wishes Lilith was sent to hell. How very sexist.

These I've handpicked, blind faith is blind period. There are several others if one learns to look objectively it becomes more and more easy. I would suggest going the way of science, learning to become very skeptical. I'm personally very skeptical, especially when it comes to magick and the supernatural. Otherwise I would be learning nothing. It's very good for the practitioner to believe in something s/he later finds to be false, I do this a lot and I find it's experience enlightening. I wrote you a poem earlier, you may not remember it. It was a poem to Lucifer, thanking him/her for enlightening the human race, if it were not for her/him in the mythos of christianity we would still be apes (the similarities between evolution from the forests and genisis are striking).


Mephistopheles,
breaker of veils.
Lamb of man.

Mephistopheles is basically the devil from the play Faust (a german play by Goethe). The devil (in genesis) is very much like the modern day Prometheus, s/he went out of his way to aid humanity, (s/he was the first true humanist, making man like god) thus "lamb of man". For it s/he got punished severely, even today we look at this being as an intrinsic evil. Though when we look at the books of paul, john, etc. the devil in this sense is an act of the subconscious which we must rid ourselves, for instance when jesus is out in the barren wastes with "lucifer" he is 'tempted' to use his powers to create bread to eat, also he is tempted to use his powers for great monetary value (which every true magician must face from time to time.)

Write yourself a code of Ethics (not morals, for morals are for the general populous) and follow them. Mine are as follows:
1. Do not steal private property.
2. Do not kill under the act of cruelty
3. Do not cheat with thy lover.
4. Do not waste time (romantically) with people in a relationship.
5. Weigh all actions thoughtfully, to the best of ability.

The reason why I put these down are for an example. To be an experienced magician you must know and stick to your ethical background, they are yours personally and shouldn't be shared with others for fear of scrutiny, I post mine because I don't care what others think and I feel it is necessary in this situation. Find out who you are, get a feel for your ethics and feelings and once you can do that you are ready to practice magick. Without a solid feeling of who you are, your will becomes as fluid as the chaos around you. Find something solid to hold on to before you give yourself a Cosmic-Swirlie.

Fortune Favors Fools,
Dancin' Coyote.
VitalWinds
I definitely like where Dancing Coyote was going with that. If you're going to be Pagan, you need to set your own philosophy on life. Not to say you couldn't change it later, but Paganism in general is about spiritual development. All religions, really, are about that, but Paganism a broad term for those who do not believe in a set religion. Pagans are those who decide for themselves what is "true". Look into all the religions of the world, find what you hold to be good, and stick to it. I say "good", because the realization of "truths" takes time, and, of course, spiritual development. So, you need to basically examine other religions and their "truths" philosophically, until you can decide for yourself entirely what to believe without other religious influences. But for a start, if you're going to practice magick, I would suggest looking into the Laws of Magick, Wicca, Buddhism (for religious aesthetics), and some basic occult ideas, such as evocation, invocation, energy manipulation, and telekinesis(for the hell of it. Who knows, maybe you'll bend a spoon or two. Also helps develop focus.). If you really want to get into Magick, work on opening up your chakras. Meditate. Don't eat meat. I mean, I do, but I'm sure it would help. Haha....

Good luck on your spiritual journey! biggrin.gif
Goibniu
Greetings Grim
What you are asking for depends a lot on which direction you want to go. Paganism has become an umbrella term for anything not Christian, not Jewish or Islamic, but still religious. Generally neo-pagans tend to gravitate towards beliefs based in the pre-Christian European religions, but some lean towards Buddhism or Hinduism or some other indigenous religion. There are the Reconstructionists who are trying to reconstruct the religion of their ancestors--say the ancient Germanic beliefs or the ancient Greek religion. Others draw on the pre-Christian beliefs a bit less directly such as Wiccans or neo-wiccans. Then there are the Ceremonial Magicians who use a mixture of pagan and Christian motifs. The list goes on and on.

There a few site you might be interested in besides this one. Witchvox is a huge, well organized resource. Mystic Wicks is another huge site, although I don't personally like it. Then there are things called books that you should read. Before the internet books were found in libraries and bookstores. This site mentions in different threads the names of suggested books on Ceremonial Magic, Chaos Magic, etc. If you have the resources then read the books that are by recommended authors. But it may be that you are dependant on what is contained in your local library or bookstore. There are a number of books for free in PDF form if your eyes don't get tired reading them on the computer screen. In any case, read whatever you can. Become well read on the topics that interest you and even some you aren't.

You are likely to want to try to perform magic. Before doing so, learn the basic skills. Practice regular meditation as this will pay off for you big time eventually. Do the research and don't jump into something unprepared. Star small. Try to understand the whole basic system before doing anything. What you don't know tends to come back and bite you on the ass.
grim789
Ok i would like to thank you all for your help on this topic i will be doing more research on the subject biggrin.gif .
Xenomancer
Don't Shoot, Coyote, I come in peace!! fie.gif

QUOTE
4. Do not waste time (romantically) with people in a relationship.


Do you mean, "Do not waste time (romantically) with people already romantically involved" OR do you mean, "Do not waste time (romantically) with people for sake of a relationship, at all?" Just to tag it ahead of time, no, it's not obvious what you meant to me because I have heard the same pattern of speech used for either interpretation (First case being "before the fact," second case being "at all"). Then again, I blame the poor language skills of the people from around where I live, because I constantly have to ask them what they mean... I paid dearly for it when I made assumptions on what people say.

So, I have to ask. 13.gif Sorry.
SororZSD23
Hey Grim. Pagan is an umbrella term for a wide range of beliefs and there is a lot of misunderstanding among outsiders and self-styled Pagans about what Paganism is. The terms “witchcraft” and “paganism” in ages past meant something quite different than what they mean today (outside of fundamentalist Christian circles at least). Today these words are increasingly being used as self-identifiers and terms of inclusion; in the past, they were terms of exclusion. Today, they identify those persons who are in sympathy with certain aspects of Old World folk culture (not “religion”). This culture included natural and sympathetic magic, folk medicine, and metaphorical as well as animistic belief about the cycles of nature in agrarian environments.

"Paganism" actually began against the backdrop of disenchantment with the Industrial Revolution-in the 19th century. The vision of the Romanticists was of an idyllic country life full of magic and mystery in which people lived naturally, worshipped nature spirits, and especially revered the minor Greek deity Pan and Mother Nature. Rural folk magic was thus romantically equated with witchcraft even though most folk magic was practiced to protect against witches when it wasn’t being used to cast love spells or find treasure (and Pan and horned gods and nature gods were actually secondary deities in pre and non Christian societies before this time.) People began to form small occult enclaves and covens, with some claiming initiatic hereditary know-how, but who were probably simply exposed to the habits of folk relatives. In tandem with this, the Naturalist movement developed, which encouraged sympathy with folk, Native, and earth-based spirituality and stewardship. This all became Wicca and Paganism in the 20th and 21st centuries.


I recommend reading the work of Ronald Hutton -- a university professor who has written a lot on the history of modern Paganism. Besides witchvox, look into Prof. Catherine Nobel's site Wicca for the Rest of Us at http://wicca.timerift.net/ Also -John Michael Greer. The New Encyclopedia of the Occult. St Paul: Llewellyn Publications. 2005. Also look up Isaac Bonewits

PM me if you want other reading material or reference on Paganism.
Dancing Coyote
QUOTE(Xenomancer @ Jan 14 2010, 11:40 AM) *

Don't Shoot, Coyote, I come in peace!! fie.gif
Do you mean, "Do not waste time (romantically) with people already romantically involved" OR do you mean, "Do not waste time (romantically) with people for sake of a relationship, at all?" Just to tag it ahead of time, no, it's not obvious what you meant to me because I have heard the same pattern of speech used for either interpretation (First case being "before the fact," second case being "at all"). Then again, I blame the poor language skills of the people from around where I live, because I constantly have to ask them what they mean... I paid dearly for it when I made assumptions on what people say.

So, I have to ask. 13.gif Sorry.


Basically don't try and f%*! around with someone who is already in a relationship, and by f%*! around I mean have sex with/kiss or whatever. No need to worry, I have a weird syntax.
Masery
Here is an article I wrote a long time ago. I've been a Pagan since 1995. Let me know if you have any specific questions.

Who are these Pagans?

by Tara Miller

We are not evil. We don't harm or seduce people. We are not dangerous. We are ordinary people like you. We have families, jobs, hopes, and dreams. We are not a cult. This religion is not a joke. We are not what you think we are from looking at TV. We are real. We laugh, we cry. We are serious. We have a sense of humor. You don't have to be afraid of us. We don't want to convert you. And please don't try to convert us. Just give us the same right we give you -- to live in peace. We are much more similar to you than you think.

-- Margot Adler, Drawing Down the Moon, p.453.

As Americans continue the ancient quest for the meaning of life, Pagan and Mystical religions are experiencing a resurgence. It has been called the fastest growing religion in the West. Most Pagan religions/traditions are a blend of non-Abrahamic, ecstatic, and esoteric religions of Europe and indigenous cultures from around the world. They accept and encourage personal growth and beliefs and are concerned about religious institutionalization. Paganism is often called Neo-Paganism to emphasize the blending of ancient religions with modern ideas.

As Americans continue the ancient quest for the meaning of life, Pagan and Mystical religions are experiencing a resurgence. It has been called the fastest growing religion in the West. Most Pagan religions/traditions are a blend of non-Abrahamic, ecstatic, and esoteric religions of Europe and indigenous cultures from around the world. They accept and encourage personal growth and beliefs and are concerned about religious institutionalization. Paganism is often called Neo-Paganism to emphasize the blending of ancient religions with modern ideas.

Why is there a resurgence of such religions? In the introduction to "Paganism Today", Charlotte Hardman says, "The interest in Paganism today in the UK and USA may be interpreted as a response to an increased dissatisfaction with the way the world is going ecologically, spiritually and materially; people are disillusioned by mainstream religion and the realization that materialism leaves an internal emptiness."

Forget the "Craft" and "Witches of Eastwick." Pagans dress in jeans, T-shirts or any other typical attire. They don't go around hexing people either.

It is difficult to fit Pagans into one category because they are of all ages, creeds, races, and classes and they don't fit the cult-member stereotypes. The word "occult" has acquired a very nasty meaning and has almost become taboo. People hear "occult" and they associate it with followers of Charles Man-son, the Branch Dividians or Heaven's Gate. These groups are analogous to murder or suicide and brainwashing.

Like any group, the occult has fanatics and conservatives. Un-fortunately, immoral fanatics have made the biggest impression on society. The majority of pagans and mystics don't fit this horrible stereotype. Pagans do not acknowledge the existence of Satan or any evil deities. The definition of occult is in-volvement in the unseen, mysterious, and supernatural. It is a search for understanding of those universal powers of God, or the human consciousness and nature, which human beings haven't deciphered yet. To some Paganism is the peaceful search for God through nature, to others it is a path of personal responsibility and growth.

Pagans feel they are the caretakers and not the dominate force of the earth. “Part of this rethinking goes along with the resur-gence of Goddess-worship, which is widespread in the Pagan movement. Many Pagans look to the fertility Goddesses of old and vibrant, dynamic models for ecological balance,” states the Pagan Educational Network. They revere the earth because of the common view that the God/dess resides in all things, hu-man and natural. Pagans do have different ideas on who or what God is and if there are Gods. To damage the earth is sacrilege. Many Pagan rituals celebrate and mark transitions in the natural world (such as the four seasons, lunar phases, birth, and death or re-birth into the afterlife) as well as personal milestones (such as marriage, graduation, or a new home).

Pagan rituals and beliefs are as diverse as the different branches of Christianity. There are many different traditions within Pa-ganism: nature religions, Druidism, and Wicca are just a few. Some Pagans do not belong to a single tradition. Instead they explore the world and find their own unique path. To know what a Pagan believes you must ask that person. People can not be easily labeled and neatly organized into categories. Per-sonality types and philosophies among Pagans are as diverse as the different people of the world. Pagans are united by the idea that people should live by their conscious and not a strict dogma and that every person has the right to worship and live as they please as long as they are not harming others.

Pagans and mystics thirst for knowledge. They believe God's mind or life’s mysteries are revealed through the intricate bal-ances of chemistry, biology and physics that allow all life to exist. Pagans tend to be avid readers with interests in art, sci-ence, social service, personal growth and creativity.

Pagans emphasize the use of holistic medicine, meditation and ritual as a form of prayer or enlightenment, the natural energy fields that surround the human body (chakras or auras), and stones and crystals. These tools are used to learn about this world and beyond. According to PEN, “While some Pagan religions can be quite esoteric, most Pagan beliefs and practices are rooted in everyday, natural experience. Myths, rituals, and techniques are adapted to meet particular needs.”

We are lucky that our world isn’t homogenous and we can learn from many different cultures and beliefs.

Copyright © 1998 Tara Miller - Co-Publisher of Earth Spirit Newsletter

This article appeared in the May 1997 issue of Earth Spirit Newsletter and the Capaha Arrow at Southeast Missouri State University. Revised on July 6, 1999.
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