The Round Table (Rational Pagans Forum)

Discussion on "Paganism" and beliefs
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Author:  Tao of Pooh [ 25 Jan 2009, 23:42 ]
Post subject:  Re: Discussion on "Paganism" and beliefs

From a PM I wrote to jess:

I really don't know what to classify my religious beliefs as anymore. I think that there are forces in nature / the universe that we anthropomorphize as deities that can influence & be influenced by us. I don't think these are necessarily intelligent forces, maybe more like tides or pools of energy?

And just to mess with your head a little bit more :evil2: Don't confuse "ritual" with "magic".

Author:  Brianna [ 26 Jan 2009, 00:39 ]
Post subject:  Re: Discussion on "Paganism" and beliefs

Some tell me who is Taliesin and Do i know him/her? :D

Author:  Tao of Pooh [ 26 Jan 2009, 00:57 ]
Post subject:  Re: Discussion on "Paganism" and beliefs

Brianna wrote:
Some tell me who is Taliesin and Do i know him/her? :D

Author:  Taliesin [ 26 Jan 2009, 07:52 ]
Post subject:  Re: Discussion on "Paganism" and beliefs

Hello, Brianna.
I don't believe we have met before online, but if you have heard of Avalon Isle, then I am the HP of that coven.
My ladywife is the almost famous Lady Amythyst.


There are more 'conventional' forms of paganism or magic, some of which are called 'Wicca'.
In Wicca, we treat the deities as if they are a pantheon of external entities.
While we do not worship these deities in the same sense as the Christians do theirs, we do offer them respect and inclusion in our lives and our decision-making.

Most working Wiccans have a hand copied book of rituals and ethical guidelines called a Book of Shadows.
The contents of these books varies depending upon the tradition of the given coven.
There are a large number of traditions including Gardnerian, Alexandrian, New Forest, Faerie and others.

There are a number of excellent books on the subject.

Gavin and Yvonne Frost wrote a rather extensive and controversial book called "Good Witch's Bible" and that might be a good place to start.
Also, "A Witches' Bible: The Complete Witches Handbook" by Stewart and Janet Farrar is a classic.
I have met all of these folks and my bullshit detector did not ping, and their writing is very accessible.

I do hope this helps.

Author:  sidhe [ 26 Jan 2009, 17:52 ]
Post subject:  Re: Discussion on "Paganism" and beliefs

Pendaric wrote:
Ok then, it's all down to the individual.

What do you, jess, individually believe to be true?

Not Jess, but I'll answer this, too. ;)

Do you believe in the literal existence of gods and godesses, either in the past or here and now? Do you believe they possess/possessed supernatural powers and that you can get them to intercede for you in some way?

I believe that they literally exist inside my head, and possibly outside it, too.

Define "supernatural," please. If something exists, it's natural, and cannot have supernatural powers, only those not understood.

I primarily get non-physical entities to return people's keys/rings/pendants/coins. ;)

Do you believe that you can carry out a ritual of some sort and have it cause an effect which cannot be explained by normal science? Specifics?

Oh, certainly. Except it's one of those things where it can be explained, but wouldn't make sense to someone without the technical terms. It's like telling someone how WiFi can be explained, but most people zone out around the explanation of IP packets. ;)

For instance: I can do a spirit quest in order to make a deal with Maeve to get her to order one of her underlings to return my wife's keys, which were stolen due to being extremely shiny. Under the terms of the bargain, I have to repay all debts at Samhain.

Or, for the complex QBL version:

Acting as God, I instruct the archangels of a particular sephirah to instruct their angels to instruct the spirits to instruct the demons to perform my Will. Otherwise - a Qabalistic evocation. Or, skip the middle men and go Goetic and directly instruct the demons. ;)

Whilst I'm not enamored of 99% of what Crowley wrote, the definition of magic(k) as "the art and science of causing a change in accordance with will" is a good place to start from.

What are your beliefs regarding an afterlife?

There is one, possibly. Or maybe not. I'm not dead yet.

What are your beliefs regarding the creation of the universe?

Big Bang, possibly guided by external powers, otherwise not out of line with scientific observation.

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