On Discouragement

I had a discussion with a friend about a particular prospect who is currently considering dedicating himself to religious path that's at least very similar to the one I've chosen. Without having any real information on said prospect's level of commitment, to me this person seems to have an incomplete understanding of what this particular deity entails, or what the dedication may end up involving lifestyle-wise, given said deity. My gut reaction was to try to dissuade the prospect because the dedication may not actually be in alignment with what he actually wants out of the process, and my friend's gut reaction is to attempt to dissuade any new person just to make certain s/he is serious.

I know several other people here have mentioned the idea at least in passing, so I figured I'd ask more broadly of the people who have actually discouraged persons from participating in their particular path/group, which I realise is probably at best a subset of this entire community:

Do you attempt to discourage each new person who approaches you, or just certain individuals (e.g. potential converts but not experienced transplants)?
What form does your discouraging take ("I want you to learn more about Jeff the god of biscuits first" versus "I just don't think you're a good fit")?
Do you use it as a tool to gauge commitment?
For what reasons do you discourage persons who approach you (I figure we're all trying to avoid Nutjobs, but are you trying to keep a particular group dynamic)?
rainbow fairy

Pagan ethics statement project

In response to a couple of recent abuse cases, some Pagans are working to make a "Pagans against sexual abuse" statement, either for the media or for the internal Pagan community or both. Background info is available at The Wild Hunt blog.

Author Brendan Myers volunteered to host the discussion and created a subforum for related topics. The current draft discussion has 30 or so replies, and I'd like it to get a lot more input. I'd like it to avoid the concept that all Paganism is Wicca, or Wicca-and-Druids (which it seems to be okay about, but it hasn't been vetted by many people of other paths to check what unconscious assumptions might be included).

The original draft was over 1200 words; my condensed version is a bit more than 500; the current version is less than 250 and probably close to actually useful. It could use some tweaking, especially some tiny-bits-of-phrasing editing; it should be as close as possible to perfect if it's going to be useful. (Useful for *what*, exactly, is another issue--one that's certainly open for discussion.)

I use OpenID to comment over there. And I'll go ahead and Collapse )

(no subject)

There are times when i'm doing certain meditations; most often just sitting in front of my altar lighting candles and reflecting, when my upper body kind of starts a rocking motion, moving back and forth, without any conscious thought on my part.

Has anyone else experienced this or have any thoughts on it or what causes this?
Illuminated S

Daily Devotional

Once upon a time I lit a candle and recited a prayer I had written inviting the divine into my day to help me focus on my duties every morning as I stood alone in my primary workspace before my co-workers and clients arrived. It was one of the simplest and most effective rituals I have ever designed, and I miss that feeling of connection to the divine terribly.

Life has changed since then and I'm taking steps to create a new daily ritual. Do any of you have any resources or techniques that you have found particularly meaningful? Any verses that have been uniquely resonant or other things that have helped you connect with the everyday divine?

(X-posted to [info]graycub , [info]nonfluffypagans , and my Facebook.)

Things you can and can't control

There are two concepts I've been trying to reconcile in my religious practice: the belief in the capacity for humans to take an active role in influencing supernatural entities or the forces of nature through an act of will (i.e. magic), and the belief that a member of the faithful should accept the workings either of the natural order or a divine personality (i.e. submission). The latter is mostly an external pressure, as I've previously mentioned dissatisfaction with results of a given project, and I've been told to just let go and let things happen.

How do you balance active will with submission to the natural order in your own practice?

As an additional question, for those of you with recon practices, do you feel your balance adequately reflects the practices of the historical populations whose belief structure you follow?
noir et blanc

Haitian Earthquake Relief

I asked the moderators ahead of time if it would be ok for me to post this, as it is essentially off-topic.

News of the terrible earthquake in Haiti has been spread all over the media. Up to 3 million people have been affected by this and the death toll is estimated by some to be inbetween 100,000 and 500,000. The capital city is in ruins and the surrounding areas have all been badly affected as well. Haitians and relief workers are working around the clock to bring order back to their country, but in an already poverty-stricken area, this is next to impossible.

As a vodouisant, I feel helpless. Powerless. I've always wanted to visit the country where my religion was born in fire, blood, and revolution, but I've never been able to. I desperately want to help those who are suffering, but the only thing I am able to do is donate what little extra money I have. If any of you are of the means to make any type of donation, please- do so. Prayers are wonderful, but they are just not enough.

You can text “HAITI” to 90999 to donate $10.00 to American Red Cross relief for Haiti. The donation will be charged to your cell phone and show up on your next bill. Please, please, please help if you can.


You can also text YELE to 501501. This is a $5.00 donation and I believe it's Wyclef Jean's organization.

This is a list of reportedly reputable organizations to donate to.

Spread this far and wide.

Thank you.
  • helsha

Please don't let her become the "new face" of anything...

While watching "Models of the Runway" this evening (Go ahead, judge me. I deserve it.) we meet one of the models who claims:
"My religion is Witchcraft... but white magic, not black magic."

Guh! You're. not. helping.

... at which point did "witchcraft" become a religion? That's like saying "My religion is Sacraments, but only communions, not that end of life stuff."

Then again, she is on reality tv so I suppose my expectation of basic enough competence about her supposed faith to name it correctly was unrealistic.

Or am I wrong? Have people started referring to witchcraft as a religion instead of a practice now?

Pagan Music Survey...

Alfred is a friend of mine who is a HP and also has a PhD in Musical composition.
Can you help him out?

Greetings all,
I am currently working on a paper on the Sustainability of Music in Paganism. This project is part of my work in Pagan Music that I have been doing for the past five years. I will be presenting this paper at the Pagan Conference in Claremont at the end of January 2010, and perhaps part of a future book on Pagan Music. In order to understand more on Pagan Music it is the community that would have answers and input. For this reason I reach out and ask members of the Pagan Community for some answers. I have put together a small survey of 10 questions, mostly short answers. If you have some time would you be able to take my survey on Pagan Music. It will not take more than ten minuates of your time and the answers will help me further my research on the ever evolving and growing of the music of our community. The link to the questions is just below this paragraph.


Thank you for your time and many blessings
Alfred Surenyan