Hello NFP. I thought this book was really interesting, so I wrote a review.
Alain de Benoist, Comment peut-on être païen? (1981)
English translation On Being A Pagan (2004)
The book was written in 1981, but only published in English in 2004, and a number of Anglophone reviewers on Amazon and in blogs have complained about the proportion devoted to discussing the Judeo-Christian tradition (about 80%) rather than paganism. This is surely a reflection of the state of affairs at the time: the neo-pagan revival was pretty obscure, so perhaps those with pagan-ish inclinations, those more likely to be interested in the book, would be more likely to be then struggling with a surrounding Christian culture.
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I've recently been discussing a question with some of the local Elders, and have received some very interesting and divergent opinions. I am curious to learn what the membership of this group might have to say on the matter. What is the distinction (if any) between a 'craft' and a 'tradition,' and what is the relationship between the two?
Since the last thread in this community, I have realised more than ever that many people seem to have different ideas and opinions regarding what actually constitutes being fluffy. I'll cite a few examples (feel free to bring up your own examples) and ask "WDYT":
Is it neccesarily fluffy to be open about being pagan, or are only some public behaviours considered fluffy (like saying "blessed be" or "merry meet" in inappropriate social contexts)? Or is it fluffy to stay "in the broom closet" (that term makes me cringe) because we should all be putting ourselves out there and fighting the good fight to make paganism more publicly accepted?
Is it always fluffy to have "new age" interests? Or is it acceptable to have a few interests in things like astrology and crystals, while certain other interests (indigo kids, channelling messages from dolphins) cross the line into fluffy territory?
And finally, are all eclectic pagans neccesarily fluffy? Or is it only fluffy to pick and choose deities like you are eating at a buffet without putting any thought into it? Is there a way of being eclectic and non-fluffy? On the other hand, is only acceptable to follow just the one tradition down to the letter, or can this be fluffy in itself (as you might as well be a Christian being told when to stand, sit and kneel)?
Thanks in advance for all responses. :)
A while back I started posting on the controversial subjects board (mostly politics and religion) of a hobby site. Something to do when LJ was down, but I've become strangely fond of the place. It's majority atheist, with a healthy dollop of Christians and a couple of Jewish members. There are other Pagans, but they rarely post unless someone posts a "so, is anyone Pagan?" post. The only other active Pagan, besides myself, is a 17-year-old boy going through one mother of a fluffy phase.
My dealings with him started when he posted a thread about how his (quite conservative) Christian family members didn't accept his Paganism, and got mad at him when he insulted their religion and forced him to go to church. I responded the way I think most people here would, with a bit of a whack upside the head and a "their house, keep your head down until you're out of there, and consider it a good time to visit the library and learn as much as you can-- and for fuck's sake stop insulting their religion if you ever expect them to respect yours". To my surprise, he seemed to listen to my criticism, and over the last few months has come to view me as, basically, that helpful old lady who knows shit and who will give him advice. Most of my advice has been finding various resources to point him at and say "go read that". He takes to being told to do homework about as well as I'd expect from a fluffy teenager, but some of what I say clearly does manage to lodge in his brain.
I don't ever laugh at him or tell him he's full of shit, even when he is, because he looks up to me, trusts me at least somewhat, and I want to encourage him to learn to think critically and analyze his UPG without saying "no! what you're doing is wrong!" and scaring him off. But damn, does he come up with some doozies. He mixes pantheons like a frat boy mixes drinks, his patron god is a Japanese thunder demon who (coincidentally! I'm sure!) was in a video game, and now he's decided that he's Otherkin. To wit, that he's a reincarnated kobold in a human body. (Which are also coincidentally in video games! Detecting a pattern here?)
I'm officially out of my depth. I'm not much for the woo to begin with, I don't have the first idea how to answer this confession other than "you no take candle!" or "you just want to be special, hopefully you'll grow out of it", and that'd be a violation of his trust. He seems to take pointed questions reasonably well if he thinks they're well-meaning, but I just don't know what the hell to ask him, or what to point him at to stop the slide into "I like this, so therefore it's my soul". He's got a repressive home environment, has been bullied, is fantasy-prone, and I think it's important that he has someone who will neither rubber-stamp every stray fantasy he has nor make a joke of him. What would you do with this if you were in my position?
I hope I'm not annoying anyone with such a basic question, but it's nagging me for a long time now. (I even googled this, but no success.)
I quit monotheistic religion because the idea of one right god, one right path and all the others are false feels like it wouldn't even fit into my head - square peg, round hole. I've been studying and reading for years now, mostly pretty basic stuff like Drawing Down the Moon and Witch Crafting (Phyllis Curot) but also Where Magic And Science Meet. Lots of reading on the internet on Asatru, Wicca and so on.
And I'm not sure where I belong.
I know that stories have a huge impact on me, always had. (Does that even indicate a spiritual affiliation?) I feel drawn to some deities but they can be from very different reactions. Some statues of deities just give me a strong impulse to kneel in front of them (complicated when happening in a museum, BTW).
I'm skeptic even about deities or principles I believe in or want to believe in, which makes things difficult. I tend to feel awkward when trying to use a spell or chant or invocation from a book because I immediately ask myself questions like "so why this one? how do I know the author didn't just make it up to fill half a page? Is any chant/invocation using line from a tv show, even a good one, automatically Silver Rabidwolf territory?"
Please help me out here; I'm really disorientated about whether there's something wrong with my mindset or I'm just manipulating myself or what.
I decided to grow some white sage this season and I ended up with a HUGE plant. I would very much like to make it into sticks to give to friends and use for myself. Has anyone harvested/wrapped fresh ones before and if you have any tips to share (best time to harvest, types of cord to use, etc.). Any websites would also be a big help.
Crossposted to naturalliving
Someone I care about committed suicide and was found last week. In the two weeks she went missing before we knew for sure what had happened, I had a lucid dream with her in it. In my dream, she appeared before me and I recognized that I was dreaming. I reached out to touch her, thinking that if I did so, it would make me wake up. I didn't. Instead, I felt her face when I touched it. I can still remember vivid detail of how her skin felt, the texture, the roughness. I remember calling out for her not to go. I think I may have even cried this out loud and not just in my dream. Then something came between us (like a thin wall of white, almost like a sheet or sheetrock), and once it passed, she was moving backwards very rapidly until she just disappeared. The dream continued for one more "scene" not involving her before I was able to wake myself up.
I've had dreams before where I knew I was dreaming (usually nightmares that I manipulate to bring them to an end), but I never feel pressure in my dreams when I touch something. Another unusual factor was that she was always a rather vibrant bottle blonde until very recently, when she dyed her hair brown. In my dream, she had the brown hair I was just starting to become accustomed to seeing rather than the blonde I've seen for the past 7 years.
The part of me that needs comforting thinks this may have been her reaching out to me, but the non-fluffy part of me is telling me that my subconscious was very consumed with worry for her at the time. I have no knowledge of exactly when she died so I'm not making any supposition like she came to me at the moment she died or anything ridiculous (pretty sure her family would take precedent).
Lucid dreaming is not my norm, but I have experienced dreams like this one before when I was younger where my great aunt, who was like a grandmother to me and died when I was 10, would come to me to lend comfort. However, they've never included an active sense of touch.
Has anyone had experiences like this? Thoughts?
Hey all, long time reader, somehow first time poster, and I'm looking for a recommendation. Short backstory, a few years back I started feeling a very strong call toward Santeria, and did some digging. I found, and became a student at a house in south Atlanta, but for various reasons, things didn't work out. Its been a while, and I'm starting to feel that call again. Unfortunately I'm not really sure where to start looking. I'm going to continue digging myself, but I thought it would be worth a shot to ask y'all. Thanks in advance :)
Can of worms, anyone?
Short version: Dianics at PantheaCon refuse to allow transwomen into their Lilith ritual, the event is dutifully reported on, Z Budapest spews a bunch of transphobic nonsense, hilarity ensues.
What do you think, dear NFP?
Personally, I do not support gender separatism at all; people are people, at core, and sharing is caring, y'all. Genital configuration and social gender presentation aren't enough of a difference for me to suggest that another person cannot understand my own experience. Not to suggest that understanding vastly different experiences is always a walk in the park, but certainly not impossible as some suggest.
As pointed out by jadeserenity
has released a statement
about the event, clearing up their stance on gender inclusiveness.
- Tags:abject douchebaggery, beyond 101, drama, gender trouble, more than 50 comments, more than 75 comments, over 100 comments, rituals, women's rights issues, worldview, you just don't understand me, zomg u r sew meen
Oops. Lol. That post yesterday got me (and all of you) yelled at on that dude's 'radio show' last night.http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hexeducation
(Notice how the keywords about witchcraft and warlocks trigger the banner ads for Rift and WoW on the page LOL)
I have only listened to the first fifteen minutes so far, but it's pretty funny (seriously, sit through the bad stuff, it is way too funny).
I also heard from someone that he posted a link to the post all over his facebook and all his thousands of facebook friends are now stalking my personal journal, youtube account, etc. Wicked funny.
No doubt he will see this post, too. Sorry Christian! Wasn't trying to "vilify" you!
But really, to clarify, I posted that to get a debate/discussion going on about the warlock thing, but everyone was just talking shit, and as I said in the comments some were pretty funny, but not the ultimate goal of the post. Just to clear that up. I'm actually interested in opinions. XD
- Tags:abject douchebaggery, asshats, big-ego pagans, broad brush much?, chaos_current has nice tits, don't embarass the rest of us please, drama, equally valid, ferret is a snufflupagus!, kids today eh?, more pagany than thou, omg the stupid it burns, ppl here r meen, teh people here are meen, waaaambulance!
Pick a debated subject, word, idea - anything - and RUN with it.
After getting the people at The Travel Channel to refer to him as a warlock on a recent episode of Ghost Adventures (my write-up here: salemwitchwiles.blogspot.com/2011/02/brief-critique-on-ghost-adventures-in.html ), Christian Day, who has described himself as both the "Most controversial witch in Salem" and "The Howard Stern of witchcraft",has successfully trolled a large percentage of the pagan community into giving him free plugs.
A few bloggers and fauxlebrity witches have come to his defense:http://amethjera.blogspot.com/2011/02/if-you-smell-something.htmlhttp://onewitchsway.com/2011/02/warlock-isnt-a-dirty-word-pt-1/( This oneCollapse )
This was posted as a public Facebook note so I copied and pasted it here.
And here is an excerpt from ( Christian's upcoming book that he keeps posting everywhereCollapse )
So, the guy is surrounded by 'yes men' and I need more perspective on this subject. /wave How does this whole thing make you feel? On the one hand I am kind of bothered, but on the other I really couldn't give a damn.
- Tags:abject douchebaggery, burning times, cartoon, don't embarass the rest of us please, drama, dysfunctional, ferret is a snufflupagus!, kwanzaa, mental health, more than 50 comments, omg the stupid it burns, this post is a fish, you just don't understand me
In general, we don't give new members posting access to give them time to read some of the historical posts and get a feel for the community, and to cut down on the amount of spam. The end result is a lot of members who don't have posting access. So, as long as I'm having a crap day at work and need a distraction, here's your chance to ask. If you want posting access and don't currently have it, feel free to leave a comment asking for it.
However, since the point of this is to amuse and distract me, all requests must be (i) written in haiku; (ii) accompanied by a cat macro; or (iii) posted with a fandom icon.
Why is the internet suddenly abuzz today with the "news" of sidereal astrology? It's giving me a headache to hear so much blather from so many people who don't actually even care what they're talking about.
I'm going through a difficult time in my life right now and I have been trying to make my will known to the Universe in an effort to affect a big change in my own life....I've read various books and sites suggesting to "ask for help from the Universe" or to "put your will out there", etc.
Thing is...aside from just talking aloud and literally asking for help and/or describing what I need/want, I'm not sure exactly what I need to do or how to go about "making my will known".
-Could anyone explain/suggest how to go about this?
I've even gone so far as to write it all down and burn the paper while fanning the cold ashes into the night sky on the wind...
Further, I'm also trying some "visualizing" in an effort to attract/bring what I desire most into my life. I'm an artist so visualizing isn't difficult for me, but I'm honestly having some problems in visualizing what I'm wanting even though I know exactly what it is that I want.
Is daydreaming not a form of visualizing? I tend to end up 'accidentally' visualizing more clearly through daydreaming rather than when I'm intentionally trying to do it.
I'm also doing a Honeyjar Spell and I burn certain candles atop the jar during every full-moon as this is a long-term goal and burning candles 'every' day/night is not realistic for me. I dress the candles in "come to me" oil before I burn them and I'm selecting certain colored candles for their meanings and what they mean to me in relation to what I'm wanting to attract back into my life.
I've also added some menstrual blood during a full moon to the jar to help strengthen the energy being put into it as well as, some crystals.
Are there any books or sites you all could recommend to me?
I'm not a Witch nor a Wiccan, I just consider myself a Pagan, and this Honeyjar spell is my first spell-work that I can ever recall doing. I'm excited by it, but at the same time...I'm not sure if it's enough for my needs. I've been 'reading' (so, an "arm-chair Pagan") for many years with the desire to start practicing when I was finally ready to.
I know I've not really given any info. as to what it is I'm trying to achieve, I'd prefer not to divulge that as it's private, but I just need some help/advice when it comes to visualizing and putting forth my Will.
-And what could I offer as thanks to the Universe/Goddess?... a friend said I should just try to better myself on my journey and that that should be good enough, but I'm not sure..
Thanks so much, I appreciate any and all help/suggestions.
I don't know about you guys, but every time something comes on the news about witches or paganism, it always seems to take a turn for the worst. At least that's how it is around here, in NJ. Local news involving pagans usually paints us all under a bad light and the term "Satanist" seems to be synonymous with "Witch", at least for the sake of the media. Recently, I was talking to a friend about the differences between "Pagan" and "Witch" as well as, particularly, "Wiccan" versus "Witchcraft." I thought the below-linked youtube video really explained it well, at least the way I consider things to be.
But I digress. This morning, I was checking my yahoo e-mail when I see the headline "Witchcaft comments from the past haunt Christine O'Donnell."
For the link-o-phobes, the article talks about a Republican Senate-Seat nominee who has, in the past, admitted to dabbling in witchcraft, but having never joined a coven. She states that "One of my first dates with a witch was on a satanic altar, and I didn't know it. I mean, there's a little blood there and stuff like that."
What do you guys think about this? Do you know anyone who directly associates witchcraft with satanic practices? How do you feel about this sort of thing hitting headlines? Do you think witchcraft will ever get to clear its name despite such negative coverage?
I thought this was facinating so I'm sharing ^^
A post from Witchful Thinking
Psychologists use a variety of Racial Identity Development models to describe the stages someone goes through with regard to their race. They are general descriptions of a person as they develop identity in relationship with the new and old group, and not everyone goes through all the stages. While Helms Racial Identity Model doesn’t quite work precisely as one would like, you can apply this model to the joining of any social group which relates to identity, particularly LGBTQ identity and, I believe, Pagan religious identity. So, here’s my modification of it:
The Pagan Religious Identity Development
Dissillusion: The individual becomes disillusioned or dissatisfied with their previous upbringing or religious traditions. They focus on the negative aspects of it and may actively despise their old religion or way they were raised.
Preencounter: The individual begins to actively seek new religious experience. This phase is characterized by far and wide exploration. Still critical of their old ways, they swing to the other extreme, seeking experiences that are totally unlike their upbringing. The individual still judges their new religious encounters from the theology of the old religion, but may try a religion that they would have defined as “sinful” or “evil” in their old perspective.
Encounter: In their exploration, the individual finds a religion that truly speaks to them. This encounter is characterized by a religious experience that goes above and beyond the individual’s expectations and touches them deeply. There is a sense of homecoming, which brings a deep desire to find out more and a fervor for the new religion. Although they have very little information, they decide that, based upon the emotions present, that this is the religion they have been seeking. There may be a recognition, based upon their old theology, that they are delving into something scary or taboo, however these preconceived stereotypes are romanticized.
Pseudo-independent: The individual begins to actively look for expressions of their new chosen path. Information is gobbled up and regurgitated almost as quickly. The individual is keen to express their new identity to others, and may declare themselves to be a member of a group they have not yet dedicated to or know much about. They struggle to describe what their beliefs are. For example, a new Pagan claims to be an Eclectic fam-trad gothic Wiccan, without actually belonging to a family tradition or being initiated in any tradition at all. For another example, they are claiming to be a White Wicca, while not recognizing that there is no “black and white” from a true Pagan perspective. Additionally, folks at this level may experience discrimination as they are so “out” with their new identity, yet cannot adequately explain to others what that identity means. There continues to be criticism of the old identifying religion in an effort to differentiate the two. At this stage, there is inadequate guidance for direction and growth, especially in a moral sense.
Immersion/Emersion: Uncomfortable with their novice status, the individual works to better themselves in the eyes of the people they admire. They may read fervently, take classes, claim priesthood, indulge in festival and, in general, seek community. The individual begins to seriously consider the norms of their new community with the theological framework of the old, and more and more aligns themselves with the new religion. This may manifest in an individual joining the first group they find, not being able to fully grasp polytheism and approaching the Gods in a monotheistic way, or having a bookish know-it-all-ism without actually doing much. Ideas in this framework tend to be concrete, but they become tempered and deepened by experience.
Integration: The individual has learned the new ways, and has begun integrating them into their life. There is some discomfort when the old ideas and traditions clash, for example, when the individual declines an invite to the annual family Nativity play at the local church so they can go celebrate the Winter Solstice instead. The individual comes to terms with their old religion by gaining distance from it, yet this stage lacks the zeal for the new religion as it comes to see its mores as normal.
Autonomy: The individual has gained significant knowledge and has begun to apply it to their own life and practice. They begin to “walk the walk and talk the talk”. Their identity is enmeshed with the new religion to the point where there is little need to talk about it with outsiders, because the individual is busy living their values. At this point, an individual might disagree with their immersion group and choose to go their separate way by seeking another group, choosing solitary practice, or creating their own coven. The old theology and religion are thought about more academically with little or no emotional reactivity. Friends and relatives tend to understand the individuals religion as “something they are”, rather than something they believe or do.
I'm currently in early talks with a Seeker who is asking typical questions but would like not only conversations but also to be pointed to some reading material and I'm having a harder time than normal finding anything appropriate for one specific question.
The Seeker's question (or at the least one I'm asking for help with):"If you know of any articles that focus on [magical] reality, illusion, and imagination. I have that problem where I don't like trusting my own senses because I want to see empirical evidence of everything, and all of my experiences with magic so far have been entirely subjective, and therefore, from my perspective, untrustworthy. I think I need to learn about what's safe to trust and what isn't. I'm more likely to call BS on my own experiences than just believe everything I see and hear and feel and so on.
I'm used to having this conversation as a conversation and so far have only found two partially usable references. So far I've found:- A Glimpse Into Magic
- With some reservations: Magic, doubt and negative emotions . I’m not big on ‘Thoth Channeling’ or some of her other beliefs, but see if what she says about doubting strikes a chord with you.
Thanks.[edit. Thanks for the suggestions so far. To clarify, this is not for a long-term assignment; this is something they can read between now and Sunday.]
Since it's been quiet lately, particularly from the moderators' corner, newcomers might not realize that our user info
contains some helpful info about joining our not-so-exclusive community. Specifically, it is there that you will learn our primary-- indeed, our only-- reason for requiring people to e-mail us before seeking membership, and who would be excused from such a requirement. Seriously, folks, the bar ain't set all that high... no offense to the 2,000-odd folks who've already become members. Thanks for reading, and thanks for making nonfluffypagans
your resource for Pagan information on LiveJournal. (It's like an elite cocktail party, except we let everyone in with a pulse, and the only ones perpetually drunk are the hosts. Okay, so it's not the hoity toity affair you've been led to believe.)
- Tags:an alan smithee production, another newbie reinvents the wheel, answer to moron, asshats, chaos_current has nice tits, da rulz, dead horses aren't much fun, fallacies, ferret is a snufflupagus!, flying squirrels, fnord, general information post, i didn't read the user info, kids today eh?, mod post, mods are drinking through the crisis, more than 50 comments, more than 75 comments, no mr. fluff we expect you to drown, nonfluffier than thou, over 100 comments, ppl here r meen, someone else can tag this stupid, tags gone wild, teh people here are meen, teh stoopid mod, the mod loves me, the mods know best, the mods love me, the mods must be crazy, this post is a fish, thwack, tweaking modnose, wtf, zomg u r sew meen
Does anyone know the origin of the "9 million women" estimate for the "burning times?" I recall reading somewhere that it was first used in a speech at an early Take Back the Night rally, but I can't find a reference.
EDIT: I found the answer here
I know this is off topic and I apologize if it offends, but I trust this community to give me thoughtful answers. I'm writing a fan fic and I need the villain to be able to hide his actions from clairvoyants. He only has a trace of innate talent, but great deal of will and patience to learn thaumaturgy. I never really worry about hiding what I'm doing that beyond basic wards I don't know what he would do. What gods to invoke or herbs, minerals or materials to use.
What would you do if you were trying to sneak up on a clairvoyant?
- Tags:advice, answer to moron, books and pagans, constructive snarking?!, cultural "borrowing", hail eris, please do my homework for me, psychics, secret spell barbie, tags gone wild, this post is a fish