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 21 
 on: November 24, 2016, 02:55:29 PM 
Started by DragonsFriend - Last post by DragonsFriend
Today is a civic holiday, unless you are in the food or retail business. I am in the process of fixing the dinner that we will have tonight.
The turkey is stuff with a sage dressing and in the oven, to make it the kind of meal I grew up with it will have the common side dishes of whipped potatoes and turkey gravy, sweet potato casserole, green beans and corn. Desert will be apple pie with whipped cream or French vanilla ice cream on top.

OH! I just remembered what didn't feel right about it. I need to make some rolls!

 22 
 on: August 15, 2016, 11:09:43 AM 
Started by earthmuffin - Last post by earthmuffin
Hi EM, ES and DS! Thank you so much for the replies!

I understand this a lot better now. If part of being a good Christian is being generous, a supposedly good christian would be generous....but you don't necessarily have to be a Christian to be generous. Conversely, a generous person doesn't get to call himself a Christian unless they're initiated into the Christian tradition.

How far would you guys agree that the various trads (Gardnerian, Alexandrian, Celtic, Druidic and so on) are cultural labels more than spiritual ones?

:)

Edited to add: This somewhat ties in with the original question/issue posed in this topic. Would you say that Wicca is a cultural term whereas shamanism is more of a highly specialised skill-set?

Re. your first comparison, I view it more as a difference in training than any inherent quality a person may possess. I went to school and was trained (i.e., earned degrees) by experts in my field to become a wildlife biologist, whereas there are some people who may, out of their own interest in the subject, pursue learning about various wildlife species and ecology. They could attain a high level of knowledge on their own as a lay person but, without my same training, they would not call themselves a "wildlife biologist" or be recognized by others as that particular label or employed as one--- until they went through a similar degree program to earn the degree.

Re. the second point, Wicca is a religion in which certain skills and knowledge are passed down (talking traditional forms of Wicca here and not solitary path) whereas shamanism is a cultural and spiritual practice and is not tied to any religion in particular, though those who practice shamanism all share an animistic worldview. Like in Wicca, certain skills and knowledge may be passed down among shamans but there may also be acquired directly through experience with the spirit world.



 23 
 on: August 15, 2016, 10:24:28 AM 
Started by earthmuffin - Last post by Tinevisce
Hi EM, ES and DS! Thank you so much for the replies!

I understand this a lot better now. If part of being a good Christian is being generous, a supposedly good christian would be generous....but you don't necessarily have to be a Christian to be generous. Conversely, a generous person doesn't get to call himself a Christian unless they're initiated into the Christian tradition.

How far would you guys agree that the various trads (Gardnerian, Alexandrian, Celtic, Druidic and so on) are cultural labels more than spiritual ones?

:)

Edited to add: This somewhat ties in with the original question/issue posed in this topic. Would you say that Wicca is a cultural term whereas shamanism is more of a highly specialised skill-set?

 24 
 on: August 11, 2016, 05:33:31 PM 
Started by earthmuffin - Last post by DragonsFriend
I have been initiated into two formal paths. Initiation is the work you do to learn about a specific path and remake yourself as a spiritually practicing human. The ritual is a celebration of what you have already done. It provides a reason for further training and a hope that you will learn the mysteries of that path. I didn't have access to the covens BoS until I reached the third degree but I had learned a great deal about the path and the way to practice. As for energy work, it is taught as you progress in your own growth. An initiate does very little energy work outside the circle or other group work. Learning to recognize energy and manipulate it are lessons given at the latter stages of the second degree work.

The above was true in the mystery tradition I first initiated into. It was not a Wiccan path but I believe that in Wicca the mysteries are revealed slowly throughout your learning process culminating in your third degree ceremony.

 25 
 on: August 09, 2016, 07:19:42 PM 
Started by earthmuffin - Last post by Eternal Seeker

Yes, there would be a difference in *GARDENERIAN* skill sets, or whichever tradition the initiation is in. Not necessarily in magic skills, or or meditation skills, or any other such specific instance- but if you're not initiated into the mysteries, you're not a (fill in the blank).

peace,
ES


 26 
 on: August 09, 2016, 05:17:06 PM 
Started by earthmuffin - Last post by earthmuffin
Hi, T! Wow, you have dredged up an old one here.  :whistle:  I think the only people who could answer this would be those initiated into a traditional Wiccan coven and I am not sure there are very many here who can lay that claim.

But I would hazard a guess that yes, there would be a difference in the skill set because the traditional Wiccan initiate would have access to specific training the solitary would not. That's not to say the solitary could not get possibly comparable energetic training or experience through different sources such as study with a tai chi, reiki master, yogi, or other such mentor, or even just through their own experience of trying different things. I think that in any discipline, secular or spiritual, it is quite possible for some to achieve very high levels of competency through years of self-teaching. Having an experience person or group of people to train you, of course, takes a more direct route to the same end.




 27 
 on: August 09, 2016, 01:02:58 PM 
Started by earthmuffin - Last post by Tinevisce
An initiation is a passing down of lineage. That is why one can not self initiate.

OK, so I have a question here that I'm a little hesitant to ask: no matter which way I'm trying to phrase it, it's coming across as rude or confrontational, yikes!  :hairpull:

I'm just going to go ahead and ask it, and heavily disclaim that I only ask out of honest curiosity. It isn't meant to hurt or rile anyone up- incredibly sorry if that's what I end up doing anyway.

From what I know, an initiation into a Wiccan coven is about lineage, like GW points out: so in very practical terms, being initiated into a Gardnerian coven (for example) would mean getting access to the Gardnerian way of doing things, the BoS's and rituals and so on....outsiders would not have access to the same materials or training. (In fact, a time honoured way of making sure that only initiates knew the full details of a ritual or system was to deliberately mess up a few details in publications meant for the general masses)

So from this specific knowledge, the initiate would get the privilege to call himself/herself a "Gardnerian Wiccan".

My question is this:  would you say there are observable differences between the "skill sets" of people who are initiated properly into a wiccan trad versus the ones who come from a wiccan-like path but aren't actually initiated. In the context of energy work, I mean.

Edited to add: I realised while typing this that I'm making the basic mistake a lot of folks make, in that I'm assuming all wiccans necessarily practice Wicca for the witchcraft.  :whistle: Regardless, I'll let my post stand anyway. :)

I guess what GW said corresponds exactly with the sacred thread ceremony of Bramhin hindus; so I'm trying to make sense of that through this context.

 28 
 on: July 18, 2016, 08:31:13 AM 
Started by Tinevisce - Last post by Ghost Wolf
"Only a Sith deals in absolutes." ;)

 29 
 on: July 17, 2016, 04:48:54 PM 
Started by Tinevisce - Last post by DragonsFriend
I do not so much worship deities, rather I am a partner with them. In my communion with them and in circle we meet as near equals. We all have the same potential but humans are more or less limited by their narrow view of themselves. We tend to extend our narrow view to the gods as well. (gods being both genders, either or none all at the same time)
My relationship with deity has grown as I experience glimpses of my true potential through their eyes. As far as the dichotomy of right and left hand paths it brings up the same old argument of good and evil. The concept is a million shades of gray that centers on the reason behind and the intended results of the work performed. Left hand magik would be the injury of another or even one's self for the sake of showing that one could do so or with malicious intent. There is a difference in stepping on an ant as you are walking down the street absentmindedly and going out of your way to kill an ant knowingly and maliciously.
If the bulk of ones works are based on ego and the desire to be stronger then it could be termed a left hand path. If you were a theistic satanist who worked toward being a better person and improving the lives of others you could be practicing a right hand path.
I don't believe that any pantheon, type of ritual, or expression of faith is necessarily right or left handed. It is up to the individuals use of his or her potential that is the determining factor. The unseen reasons and intent govern the "good" and "evil" of an individual's path and not the perceived results.

 30 
 on: July 16, 2016, 10:48:23 AM 
Started by Tinevisce - Last post by Athena
Thanks for the responses, ES and DS!

Quote
I am not really sure what would constitute a Left Hand Path.  The terms Left Hand and Right Hand are somewhat subjective in my opinion.  I know that in dealing with some in the local Pagan community, I have heard accusations that this or that person was following a Left Hand path.  Always seemed to be gossip intended to discredit a perceived rival to me.  Maybe it is in the eye of the beholder and just another way to divide ourselves.

Oh, they're definitely very subjective! For an Indian, all forms of witchery would be considered Left Hand (for the layman because it's witchcraft and you aren't worshipping in quite the same way as the others are, and for a more discerning person because you aren't renouncing worldly life in the pursuit of spiritual power), whereas for me, an Indian who considers himself a witch, my practices seem on the rather "right" side of the spectrum. In my head, folks who do more spirit work and come from traditional folkloric magic traditions come across as more towards the left hand paths- but that's my impression, who knows what it would like from the inside?  :rolleye:

Quote
I agree with DS. I think left hand/right hand is a false dichotomy. I once read that a marriage only averages 50/50; at any given moment it's 80/20 one way or the other; I think the same rule applies to any concept of left or right hand path- any one given act/moment may seem left or right hand, but over a lifetime, they average out.

peace,
ES

But what, according to you, would be the difference between the left and right hand approaches? :)

I stand somewhere on the neutral ground on this discussion of left and right hand paths. Binding to Hindu mythology, Shiva and Shakti have been the prime deities I associate myself with. Even when I started learning about witchcraft, I discovered the parallels between our traditional and socially acceptable forms of worship and wiccan rituals. Mantra, for example, is one thing that I rely on most of the times in my rituals. Isn't it the same as affirmations and chanting and raising vibrations as per your will? May be, people don't get suspicious about it, because there's no physical form attached to mantras.

Tantra, on the other hand, uses other elements that are more solid in nature. Crystals, metals, potions, charms, etc. - something that is very visible and hence creating a perception of being more effective / faster. May be it's also about combining more than one element in a ritual that makes tantric rituals so powerful and fast. As for me, no matter what elements or rituals you're using, it all comes down to the kind of energy you're setting out with your intentions. Accordingly, a dexterous path would be the one which produces sinister results. Again, I am not going by the books but just sharing my opinion.

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