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Author Topic: Questions, Questions, and more Questions...  (Read 7032 times)

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The Divine Mrs.H

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Questions, Questions, and more Questions...
« on: January 18, 2012, 11:57:55 AM »

I mentioned before that I would have questions, so, here they are:

1.)  Where do I start? I have read through a couple threads, but am still confused as to where to start.

2.)  Can you cast a circle if you're solitary?

3.)  Do you guys believe in these dieties? Or do you suspend disbelief when "performing"?  As I stated in my intro, my husband is a satanist, and when performing a ritual he calls upon these dieties. However, it's almost like he's giving a name to an emotion.
      For example; When he does a compassion ritual, he would probably call upon Bast, but not because he believes Bast is going to fill him with love and happiness. It's like instead of saying "Hail compassion"!, he says "Hail Bast"!, like he's giving a name to an emotion or feeling. It's very theatrical, and when he's done and leaves his chamber, he steps back into "reality" (for lack of a better word). He calls it "suspending disbelief".  Is it the same here?
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vordan

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Re: Questions, Questions, and more Questions...
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2012, 12:10:40 PM »

1.Everybody starts where they will, but the first place to start in my coven is to start think about what you believe and what you hope to achieve on this path. Try to connect to the cycles of nature, the world around you, the Wheel of the Year and the phases of the moon. This phase will last until you are about 80 or so.
2. Yes a solitary can cast a circle.
3. Yes I believe in the dieties, how I percieve their reality may differ from someone else and is subject to change. There is no suspension of disbelief there is simply expression of belief.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2012, 12:12:29 PM by vordan »
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dragonspring

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Re: Questions, Questions, and more Questions...
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2012, 12:50:08 PM »

1.  I would agree with vordan on this.  Connecting with nature is a very good way to start.  Some of my first work involved greeting the Sun and Moon everyday with a short meditiation.

2. Yes.

3.  I believe in the dieties.  Some people view them in an archetypal manner which would be similar to what you described with your husband. I would point out that you said that your husband was LHP and did not specify that he was Satanist in your intro.  Satanism is not the only LHP. ;)
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Re: Questions, Questions, and more Questions...
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2012, 03:52:53 PM »

1} Vordan has a fair answer. Connections and goals are important. Other than that: READ. I usually tell people to read mythology that appeals to them.

2} But of course. I used to all the time, when I was starting on a Wiccan path. Actually, while more energy may be found in greater numbers, it is easier to have only one director.

3} Yes,  I believe in the existance of the dieties. I may not work with all of them, since my loyalty is to specific ones, but I do know they are real.
Interesting side note, but if I were naming a deity for compasion, Quan Yin would come to mind a lot faster than Bast.
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Re: Questions, Questions, and more Questions...
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2012, 05:23:16 PM »

1. In my opinion, you should find whatever gives you strength - spirit, deities - to get the needed answer on where to start. I find it best to learn from higher powers than humans.

2. In my practice, solitary is the only way to go.

3. I also believe in all deities, but do serve only two of them. I don't have a shred of doubt in my heart about that, I know I draw my power from something. I ask of you this - if you do not believe in deities, how do you think you will have the energy to do what you want? Because my experience has lead me to believe that those of us who have the potential to do something don't possess it just because they are born this way, but because it is given to them. And I find it impossible to believe in them only when performing, but not out of that; it is simply out of the question. Then again, I walk a straight RHP, situations are probably way different.

Also, you can be as theatrical as you like, hehehe. Found that remark to be funny.

@BronwynWolf - not familiar with satanist rituals, but I myself find Bast to kind of be closer to what I imagine the practice of that group would involve. Quan Yin is more... straight-forward compassionate, I'd say, as you said yourself.
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The Divine Mrs.H

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Re: Questions, Questions, and more Questions...
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2012, 07:57:17 PM »

Quote
I would point out that you said that your husband was LHP and did not specify that he was Satanist in your intro.  Satanism is not the only LHP. 
Hehe...true that! Sorry, I should have specified.

Quote
not familiar with satanist rituals, but I myself find Bast to kind of be closer to what I imagine the practice of that group would involve

You're right! That IS who they use.  :cheer:

Thank you all for answering so quickly! I do have one more question though, if I may?  What if one was more nature oriented and not so much into dieties? For example, if I were to believe in the power of Mother Nature, and look to the Sun as a sort of God and the Moon as a Goddess.
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earthmuffin

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Re: Questions, Questions, and more Questions...
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2012, 08:07:52 PM »


Thank you all for answering so quickly! I do have one more question though, if I may?  What if one was more nature oriented and not so much into dieties? For example, if I were to believe in the power of Mother Nature, and look to the Sun as a sort of God and the Moon as a Goddess.

You will find quite a few pagans with similar views/beliefs. That is much how I practice as the moment.
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"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion." The Dalai Lama

earthmuffin

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Re: Questions, Questions, and more Questions...
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2012, 08:46:58 PM »

I mentioned before that I would have questions, so, here they are:

1.)  Where do I start? I have read through a couple threads, but am still confused as to where to start.


FairyQueen recently asked a similar question and I think got some good answers in case you haven't seen it yet.

http://www.paganjourneys.com/index.php?topic=1758.msg25801#msg25801
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The Divine Mrs.H

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Re: Questions, Questions, and more Questions...
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2012, 11:07:12 PM »

Yes, Muffin, I did see that. I guess what I should've asked was not so much "where to start", but how? With so much available, it's easy to get flustered and intimidated.   :hairpull: haha!

As a side note, I think I have a problem with the "serving" of anything, which is why I look to Mother Nature, the Sun, and the Moon. Not serving them, but more like friends, where we all kind of work together. Does that make sense or am I totally missing the point?

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Re: Questions, Questions, and more Questions...
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2012, 12:28:26 AM »

It makes sense to me, but really the only person it needs to make sense to is you. ;)  You develop your personal conception of and relationship with the Divine as you see it. That's all that is really important, I think, and is a good starting place. Follow your heart.
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Crystal Dragon

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Re: Questions, Questions, and more Questions...
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2012, 12:56:03 AM »

The reason you hear folks talk about serving deity is because many of us are chosen by our deities, not the other way around.  When you are chosen, you are told what you must do, you don't get to pick and choose what you want.  If you're not ready for that sort of commitment, it's likely you won't be chosen. ;)
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Re: Questions, Questions, and more Questions...
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2012, 01:32:00 AM »

The reason you hear folks talk about serving deity is because many of us are chosen by our deities, not the other way around.  When you are chosen, you are told what you must do, you don't get to pick and choose what you want.  If you're not ready for that sort of commitment, it's likely you won't be chosen. ;)

QFT, what can I say.

Still, The Divine Mrs. H - coolish nickname-, to answer your question myself - when you don't want to commit yourself, there is the option of drawing energy from elements. Water, fire, earth, air, and, well, if we count it, spirit - they all have certain energy involved around them. If you learn how to channel it, you can draw small portion of energy from those. Which would mean maybe starting a fire in your circle. Try not to set yourself on fire, though, that won't be fun. You must know, though, elements are often more lively than you would believe; it is unlikely that they will just "obey" what you ask of them, and they would certain not help you in thing that goes about their own nature, if we may say so. But this is long and complex topic; understanding the elements is one of the hardest things, and I certainly no human can do it completely, I myself don't know how to explain to you the few things I've understood. So, if you don't want to draw power from specific deities, try with the elements, but you should definitely try to learn as much as possible of what they truly are before you begin.
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Re: Questions, Questions, and more Questions...
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2012, 08:08:14 AM »

The reason you hear folks talk about serving deity is because many of us are chosen by our deities, not the other way around.  When you are chosen, you are told what you must do, you don't get to pick and choose what you want.  If you're not ready for that sort of commitment, it's likely you won't be chosen. ;)
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The Divine Mrs.H

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Re: Questions, Questions, and more Questions...
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2012, 09:53:50 AM »

Quote
when you don't want to commit yourself,

Quote
If you're not ready for that sort of commitment, it's likely you won't be chosen.


I understand what you're saying, but it's not that I don't want to commit or I'm not ready to, it's that my scientific mind wont allow me to believe in deities. I can only believe in nature and science because both are fact and both are proven.
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Re: Questions, Questions, and more Questions...
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2012, 11:05:25 AM »

You're going to have to get over that.
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Re: Questions, Questions, and more Questions...
« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2012, 11:14:17 AM »

You do believe your husband and his things, don't you? How come you cannot believe all the other things?

Also, mind is sometimes the weakest part of a person; it makes you try and find reason where you cannot see obvious one. Also, just 50 years ago science thought  there isn't any other planet like ours. Science is developed by humans; its factology /yes, I just invented this word, bear with me/ is ever-changing. Nature existed long before that.

Also, no excuses. You are either believing, your aren't. Miracles start happening once you start believing in them, they rarely happen to make you believe.

Simple as that.
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Re: Questions, Questions, and more Questions...
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2012, 12:20:48 PM »

I understand what you're saying, but it's not that I don't want to commit or I'm not ready to, it's that my scientific mind wont allow me to believe in deities. I can only believe in nature and science because both are fact and both are proven.

That's an excuse the logical brain offers up when the emotional side fears something. ;)

I find that my knowledge of nature and science enhance my understanding of how energies work ... including deity and beings that in habit the "other worlds".
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Re: Questions, Questions, and more Questions...
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2012, 02:05:30 PM »

If you want the beginnings of a scientific outlook, try looking into basic quantum/string theory and the multiverse theorem.
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Re: Questions, Questions, and more Questions...
« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2012, 06:29:55 PM »

I know where you are coming from, Divine Mrs. H. I respectfully disagree with the others that you need to believe in deity to qualify as pagan or to "correctly" follow a pagan path.  Many shamans and shamanic practitioners fit well under the umbrella term, pagan, and identify with the label, yet don't have a belief in deity or deities. Those who adhere to the World Panentheist Movement could also qualify as pagans, IMO, and do not believe in deity, only that the cosmos and the planet are in and of themselves divine. A belief in Divinity does not require a belief in a specific deity or deities. I also disagree that if you don't believe, you cannot or will not be "chosen" by or have information revealed to you by said divinity. If that were the case, there would be no such thing as a spiritual revelation or epiphanies.

You may find, however, that you do have to believe in some things as yet unvalidated by science to follow a pagan path or spiritual path of any kind (or that maybe you already do), and you may find yourself engaging in certain practices that do require some suspension of disbelief on your part in order to make those practices effective. I would also encourage you to do some thinking about what your beliefs are, the judgements you make, and how much scientific proof and personal proof is actually requisite to those beliefs and judgements. I've spent many years in science and have found that many members of the scientific community like to believe that they are completely objective because they are scientists, when they are biased toward science and hold just as many unfounded beliefs as anyone else.

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Re: Questions, Questions, and more Questions...
« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2012, 07:14:35 PM »

I didn't see anyone saying that one cannot be Pagan if they do not believe in specific deities.  Did I miss something?   :confused:

Some belief in Divinity is required for a religious practice in order for it to be a religious practice.  Generally, religion has an element of faith. 
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Re: Questions, Questions, and more Questions...
« Reply #20 on: January 19, 2012, 07:33:48 PM »

I don't think I misinterpreted anyone.


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Re: Questions, Questions, and more Questions...
« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2012, 08:03:27 PM »

I'm a bit confused too ... I also don't see where anyone said specifically that one must follow deity to be pagan.  We were merely answering questions the OP asked about deity and the belief in them or why one might feel the need to say they "serve" the gods as opposed to just honoring them.
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Re: Questions, Questions, and more Questions...
« Reply #22 on: January 19, 2012, 11:09:01 PM »

1.)  Where do I start?

Wherever is most comfortable for you. A lot of solitary Wiccans start with the Scott Cunningham books if they're called by Wicca. It was where I got my start. But I usually like to suggest to a new person starting out that reading, reading, and even more reading is the best starting place. If you find some source that feels right then by all means use it. No sense reinventing the wheel as it were. But if your calling is not neatly pigeon-holed into an existing path then you may have to look at your self and your beliefs and see what feels right from each of what you read and mix it in with your own rituals you create using some of the ideas contained in the books.

2.)  Can you cast a circle if you're solitary?

Casting a circle is not something that is reserved for the big shingdig with the ful coven and a High Priest and Pristess. Casting a circle is something that you do to create sacred space or at least as a way to isolate yourself from the influences of the mundane world while communing with the Divine, spell work, or many find that just casting the circle before meditating helps them get into the proper mindset and helps them relax.

I've even been known to cast a circle before going to sleep if I just can't escape the waking world around me. Sleeping days can be hard sometimes.

So by all means if you want to cast a circle then feel free to do so.

3.)  Do you guys believe in these dieties? Or do you suspend disbelief when "performing"?  

That depends on how you define belief. Unlike many Wiccans (or pagans in general) my God and Goddess have never revealed their names to me. I can see them, they have made themselves known to me, but never given me a name to attach to them. At first it bothered me but as I progressed in my path and have talked to others on their paths I came to realize that there is only one divine. A divine spirit that has many facets. These facets we have given names to. The facet that governs cats we frequently ascribe to Bastet as an example. We seek out a facet or a set of facets that calls to us. That we have some connection with. It is through those facets that we serve the Divine and the multiverse at large.

So I do believe that there is an Isis, an Apollo, an Odin, a Bastet. They are not the ones that call to me as my patrons (although my affinity to cats does have me connected to Bastet, she's just not my patron...we just work well together), but I do believe in them as facets of a greater being.
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Re: Questions, Questions, and more Questions...
« Reply #23 on: January 19, 2012, 11:27:03 PM »

I'm a bit confused too ... I also don't see where anyone said specifically that one must follow deity to be pagan.  We were merely answering questions the OP asked about deity and the belief in them or why one might feel the need to say they "serve" the gods as opposed to just honoring them.

I must apologize for my haste earlier. I was interrupted and had to run out the door to an evening thing we were going to and should have made a more thoughtful reply. You are both right, DS and CD; no one specifically said you have to follow deity to be pagan. I felt it was implied in some of the responses though, which may have been my own interpretation knowing that they came from folks who do believe in deities, and wanted to clarify for the OP since she was asking about the necessity of a belief in deity. DS suggested that faith is required for a spiritual path and I'm not sure if I agree or not. I think it might be possible to believe entirely in what is seen and known about the natural world as real through science and still revere or worship that as a religion. That is very similar to the World Panentheist Movement as I understand it. That's more of the idea I was trying to get across and that if the OP or anyone else wants to hold a belief like that, no one should make them feel that they are less correct than others that believe otherwise. I think the comments about having to believe in order to find miracles and having to show commitment to be chosen by deity coupled with GW's comment about "needing to get over" her current viewpoint set me off in that direction.  Again, my apologies.
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Re: Questions, Questions, and more Questions...
« Reply #24 on: January 19, 2012, 11:29:50 PM »

I understand what you're saying, but it's not that I don't want to commit or I'm not ready to, it's that my scientific mind wont allow me to believe in deities. I can only believe in nature and science because both are fact and both are proven.

But not everything in science is proven. A lot of science is faith. Until we actually found the darn things, black holes were something that we believed in based on the faith in our understanding in science and the faith in our mathmatics.

And even when we did find one we found that a lot of our theories we held such great faith in was a bit off of reality.

We had faith in the fact that the speed of light was a constant. There has been recent evidence that it may not be the case. If the results can be duplicated, we have found photons that travelled faster than light. That's light going faster than it should be travelling. Something like that shakes our faith in our science and mathmatics to the very foundation.

So if you can have faith in things that are not proven, are theories and in some cases just plain outright guesses...why can you not have faith in something else that is not proven.

Besides, Religion and Science do not have to be mutually exclusive. There is no reason that The Divine (God, Goddess, Flying Spaghetti Monster, etc) can't be the "Why" of the multiverse while Science is the "How". We may eventually discover that science is simply the tools of the Divine and through our connection to the Divine can use these self same tools for ourselves.

Another way to look at it. The Divine is omnipotent. It can control the flow of everything down to the subatomic particles. But why does it have to? Would it really like to micromanage things to that level? If I were an omnipotent entity I'd put in place rules and laws and scientific whatevers to allow for the universe to govern itself and toddle off and have some "Me Time".

The real trick here is to realize that nothing that we do requires us to change our beliefs or requires us to be anything other than what we are. Look at me. I'm a science geek, amateur astronomer, armchair astrophysist, computer nerd, gamer, gun enthuasist, avid researcher into WWII military technology (I could wax poetic about the F6F Hellcat for hours)...and many many more. But when I stopped being an agnostic and started down my Wiccan path...I had to give none of that up. I could be a Pagan believing in the Divine and the facets that have called to me and *still* play World of Warcraft while watching "The Universe" on the History Channel and no one minds.

All you are doing is opening your mind to the larger picture. You stop looking at the trees and start seeing the forest.
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“There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea's asleep and the rivers dream, people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice and somewhere else the tea is getting cold. Come on, Ace, we've got work to do.” - Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor.
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