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earthmuffin

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pagan views poll
« on: August 29, 2012, 04:04:30 PM »

I’m making this poll to better understand the range of beliefs among pagans (as well as my own beliefs) and to generate (hopefully) some interesting discussion among our members.

1)   Do you believe in karma, destiny or fate? If so, how to do envision them working?

2)   What is your view of spirit/the soul? Who has one?

3)   Do you believe in reincarnation or an afterlife?

4)   In your view of deity, is your deity (or deities) responsible for judging your actions? Do they mete out justice in any way? If not does karma or something else result in justice or is there no justice?

5)   How important are the ancestors to your path and how do you incorporate them if at all? Do they mete out justice in your view?

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vordan

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Re: pagan views poll
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2012, 09:43:22 PM »

I’m making this poll to better understand the range of beliefs among pagans (as well as my own beliefs) and to generate (hopefully) some interesting discussion among our members.

1)   Do you believe in karma, destiny or fate? If so, how to do envision them working?

 Obviously I do, you have read several true life stories of fate like in how my father was pushed toward my mother and how I was drawn by fate toward my wife. I think it plays into relationships because love is about the future while our pain is about our past.

2)   What is your view of spirit/the soul? Who has one?

My first job was at a veternarians in highschool I had to hold the dogs while they put them to sleep. You could feel the energy drain from them until they became dead meat, an object, they were more then just a collection of parts there was that which was essential within them that left when they died. I believe very strongly in the soul. I have seen ghosts and not just the replay ones, something remains.

3)   Do you believe in reincarnation or an afterlife?

I believe the soul is eternal, when I die it will be a journey into the final mystery.

4)   In your view of deity, is your deity (or deities) responsible for judging your actions? Do they mete out justice in any way? If not does karma or something else result in justice or is there no justice?

I don't believe in fairness it is a myth but I do believe what you do comes back to you. We bless and curse ourselves with our own actions in many cases. There is also just random chance, there is a certain cruelity in the universe. I also think that there are things greater then man in this universe and sometimes they take notice and have their own justice. The justice of the divine plays out over a long period of time.

5)   How important are the ancestors to your path and how do you incorporate them if at all? Do they mete out justice in your view?

The ancestors are us for everything is fluid, for reality is like a river flowing carrying all that came before into a new place and form.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2012, 10:19:37 PM by vordan »
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FairyQueen

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Re: pagan views poll
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2012, 10:38:07 PM »

I’m making this poll to better understand the range of beliefs among pagans (as well as my own beliefs) and to generate (hopefully) some interesting discussion among our members.

1)   Do you believe in karma, destiny or fate? If so, how to do envision them working?

I believe in something like Karma, I guess. I believe negative thoughts and actions snow ball into bigger nastiness. Its like working with energy. Nasty energy = nasty results.
I have a harder time knowing what to believe when it comes to fate and destiny. My obsessive self doesn't like to think everything is happening all willy nilly without any predetermined order. I'd like to think our actions create waves, which carve out our paths. Does that make sense?

2)   What is your view of spirit/the soul? Who has one?

I rename "soul" to "consciousness". Everyone has one. Perhaps, even everything, but since I've never been able to communicate with a tree or my cat effectively, I can't be sure.

3)   Do you believe in reincarnation or an afterlife?

I believe something happens to our consciousness after we die. I just don't know what. I also don't dwell on it. We should treat this life like it is our only, because we can't be sure it isn't.

4)   In your view of deity, is your deity (or deities) responsible for judging your actions? Do they mete out justice in any way? If not does karma or something else result in justice or is there no justice?

The karma I laid out above results in justice, whatever that is. Its like those waves hit a wall and come back at us. The more negative the action/thought the larger the wave that comes back at us.
Deity is energy, the collective energy from everything in the universe, the same energy we manipulate in magic. It manifests in very personal ways and differently to each person, based on their needs.

5)   How important are the ancestors to your path and how do you incorporate them if at all? Do they mete out justice in your view?

Because I believe something happens to our consciousness, even if I don't know what that something is, I think it is important to respect the ancestors and to call on them for wisdom or advice in times of need. If you were still present around your family even after you died, wouldn't you be a little peeved that you weren't getting any recognition anymore? *shrug* Better safe than sorry.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2012, 10:50:02 PM by FairyQueen »
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earthmuffin

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Re: pagan views poll
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2012, 12:21:44 AM »

1)    Do you believe in karma, destiny or fate? If so, how to do envision them working?


My own beliefs relating to destiny and karma have evolved since somewhat starting upon this path a few years ago. Originally, I did not believe in destiny or fate, i.e., that certain events will inevitably befall us, rather I believed our lives are what we make of them through our choices/free will, with random chance also dictating certain events because there are many things over which we have no control. I did believe in a simple form of something akin to karma in which those who do “bad” things would have a greater chance of having bad things happen to them, i.e., of experiencing negative repercussions of their actions, while those who do good have a greater probability of experiencing good or pleasant consequences. This would occur through natural consequences, such as acknowledgement and reciprocity by others in the case of actions that result in good for others, or the opposite in the case of actions that result in harm, and is a compelling reason to follow the Golden Rule. I think my version differed slightly from the idea of karma as a law of cause and effect in which every action we take or thought we have is repaid to us in kind; my version aimed to fit with my observations that some people still seem to get away with heck and others are really good people but have experienced a lot of unfortunate events in their lives.

In recent years though, looking back on my life, I began to realize that I was bound in certain respects to make the choices I have made in life due to my upbringing and inherent temperament (genetics) and while I might make different choices with the knowledge I have now, those choices were basically unavailable to me earlier because I would need to learn lessons from certain choices I had already made in order to choose any differently. In that respect, I think we are subject to a type of destiny or fate. We still have freedom of choice but within narrower windows of opportunity limited by the constraints of who we are (genetics) and who we were raised to be (genetics plus environment). I believe we also determine our own universe to a great extent through our thoughts and perceptions so if we are constantly generating negative thoughts and emotions, our world necessarily becomes a place filled with negativity and discord, whereas if we keep a positive outlook, our life becomes positive.

Looking back at my life so far, it is easy to see how my negative or hurtful actions resulted in or were followed by negative things of the same or similar nature happening to me. I am quite sure that sometimes good things have happened following actions of merit on my part, though generally when this happens it has been less memorable than the painful lessons so is maybe more difficult to correlate.  These experiences seem to be the result of karma, though I have entertained the notion that they simply seem to be karmic because I have chosen to view them as a lesson I needed to learn and have grown as a person as a consequence.

2)   What is your view of spirit/the soul? Who has one?

I believe that all things, including inanimate objects, have spirit consciousness, which is basically energy, so by that definition I am an animist. I see no reason to believe that one type of matter would be any different than any other type of matter in this regard.

3)   Do you believe in reincarnation or an ‘afterlife’?

At this point in time, I am open to the possibilities but prefer to live with the idea that this life is all there is so I’d better make the best of it.


4)   In your view of deity, is your deity (or deities) responsible for judging your actions? Do they mete out justice in any way?

My view of deity is primarily archetypal at present and I do not believe that deities judge my actions or mete out justice. Some people see karma as an instrument of divine justice, but at present I see karma as a phenomenon without any higher or intended purpose, though the result of karma for those who pay attention to it can be spiritual growth.

5)   How important are the ancestors to your path and how do you incorporate them if at all? Do they mete out justice?

I admit in the past I paid little thought or attention to my ancestors. I know some very basic information about who my ancestors are and do not seem to retain it in my memory well. However, since undertaking a shamanic path, I have come to view that a relationship with one’s ancestors is advantageous and important. In the shamanic view, all things are connected and part of the ALL (the oneness or source) and all disease is viewed as having a spiritual basis. Disease is basically the loss of power due to a spiritual disconnection from the source in one form or another. As we carry the DNA of our ancestors, we also carry their predilection for certain diseases/spiritual disharmonies. I also think that we carry the latent potential to experience the same or similar karma as our ancestors. Here’s an example to illustrate what I mean.

One grandmother of mine suffered from chronic neck pain. She was a giving person who often worried more about others than herself and didn’t speak up for her needs. I think she also stuffed her anger because she had a spouse who vented his anger freely. Her personality illustrates the link between the physical ailment and a spiritual imbalance related to the throat chakra. You could say she experienced karma (neck pain plus the continuation of relationship patterns generating the neck pain) related to the inability to express her negative emotions constructively. She died while I was still a teenager so I never knew her well, but I find now in later life that I seem to have inherited her propensity for neck problems. I struggle with the same sort of neck pain she had. And my personality is similar in certain ways—I even married someone who vents anger while I take pains to hold it in. How funny that I wrote that just now. I “take pains” to hold it in-- and those pains are in my neck! Things I view as a symbolic “pain in the neck” become the actual pain in my neck when I don’t speak up about them assertively and fairly. So, I believe there is a spiritual lesson in my neck pain, one which my grandmother was unable to solve for herself before she passed. But through shamanic journeying, I might enlist her help to unravel further and eventually cure for myself. If I don’t manage to cure it, however, my daughter (the one very much like me in temperament) will not learn from me how to overcome her inherited propensity for stuffing feelings and pleasing others and the likelihood she will experience physical ailments from it and karma related to it is increased. So, while I don’t believe in ancestors meting out justice upon their descendents, I do think spiritual/karmic problems can get passed on from one generation to the next and knowledge of ancestors and a good relationship with them can aid in spiritual development and physical healing.

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diniesaur

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Re: pagan views poll
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2012, 07:50:30 AM »

I’m making this poll to better understand the range of beliefs among pagans (as well as my own beliefs) and to generate (hopefully) some interesting discussion among our members.

1)   Do you believe in karma, destiny or fate? If so, how to do envision them working?

Some sort of destiny or fate. I believe that while we are very capable of affecting our own futures with the choices we make, the Divine is able to control "chance" and is generally responsible for "coincidences." That doesn't mean that they always do; I think sometimes people just have bad luck. It's a telling sign, or an answer to a prayer, or a crazy coincidence that is probably the work of a deity. I also believe that there can be "foreshadowing" and "omens." There were a lot of these about me before and during my birth that seem ironically relevant to my current personality.

2)   What is your view of spirit/the soul? Who has one?

All living creatures have souls. I'm not certain about this yet, but I'm leaning towards the idea that all nonliving "things" have souls as well. I believe that a soul isn't a finite, individualized thing, and that all individuality is both an illusion and true...it's hard to explain. I see the souls of non-deities the same way I see the Divine (which I sort of see as comprised of "giant souls" or something, but not really)--although it looks like we're separate because of our bodies, there really is no distinction between any of us. It's much stronger than the idea of just being "connected."

I visualize it like a table with many legs (and this isn't a perfect metaphor). If we look at the table in the plane of the floor, we see a bunch of individual circles or squares or whatever shape the legs are...they look completely separate. That's what living creatures are like. Traveling up the legs, legs we see our bodies, our minds, our emotions, our spirits...and then we get to the table, where we realize that there's really no distinction. My only problem with the table is that the legs still seem a little too separate from the table. Another way to think of it is a bumpy surface--if you look at it in the plane of the bumps, you see individual shapes, but move down just a little and you get to the true source, where it's impossible to distinguish between the different bumps.


3)   Do you believe in reincarnation or an afterlife?

Reincarnation, I think, and possibly unification with deity if there's an end, although I'm fuzzy on that. Since I last posted in that thread about reincarnation (which I can't find), my beliefs have changed somewhat due to a different view of the Universe...I'm sure they will change again...but I agree more closely with what someone else said about souls not staying as one person. I see them as fluid, so...no words.

4)   In your view of deity, is your deity (or deities) responsible for judging your actions? Do they mete out justice in any way? If not does karma or something else result in justice or is there no justice?

I don't think deities are responsible for judging, but that doesn't mean I don't think they'll do it anyway!  ;) This goes back to my idea of them affecting chance. I've noticed that a lot of times things seem to work out "the way they need to" when things seem like they can't get any worse. It's like the song "Gold in Them Hills" says--

Every now and then life says
"Where do you think you're going so fast?"
We're apt to think it cruel but sometimes
It's a case of cruel to be kind.


I don't know about punishment, though. Maybe a small jab during life, but not "eternal damnation" or anything. I think a lot of times when people do stupid (or bad) things they punish themselves. And just because someone has a bad life doesn't mean that whoever it is was "bad" in a previous life.


5)   How important are the ancestors to your path and how do you incorporate them if at all? Do they mete out justice in your view?

I don't really incorporate my ancestors into my path with ritual or anything, but I believe that ancestors are important to everyone to an extent and can have an effect on how people live, occasionally with "ancestral memories." An example that my grandmother pointed out is that a lot of people in my family hate getting water on their faces. Apparently, at least three or four of my ancestors are known to have died from drowning. Normally, it would seem inconsequential, but this instinct saved my life in that hotel.

That being said, I don't think that ancestors are all-important, but neither is anything else in life. And I feel like we can sometimes feel the presence of deceased loved ones before they depart to new lives and become parts of new souls. My mom's family has a history of prophetic dreams (my dad's family doesn't talk about their dreams), and once, several years after my mom's great uncle died, she dreamed that he came to visit her. After a while, he left, saying that he had a lot of other places to go. It turns out that several other relatives had had similar dreams about him that night as well. This was before I was born.

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dragonspring

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Re: pagan views poll
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2012, 07:26:18 PM »

I’m making this poll to better understand the range of beliefs among pagans (as well as my own beliefs) and to generate (hopefully) some interesting discussion among our members.

1)   Do you believe in karma, destiny or fate? If so, how to do envision them working?
I believe in karma - not so much in destiny or fate because I believe strongly in free will.  I think that choosing to do harm (or good) affects the karma balance of one's soul and plays a major role in the soul's evolution as it strives to join with the Divine.
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2)   What is your view of spirit/the soul? Who has one?
I think that any being capable of love has a soul.  That may leave out some humans.
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3)   Do you believe in reincarnation or an afterlife?
I believe in both reincarnation and an afterlife.  I think that the Summerlands is where souls go to rest between incarnations.  It is during the time of passing from this plane to the Summerlands that the soul undergoes an introspective review and accepts the ultimate responsibility for the karmic debts accrued.  I would think that in our pure soul form of perfect love, this might be a very painful time if we have done harm unnecessarily. 
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4)   In your view of deity, is your deity (or deities) responsible for judging your actions? Do they mete out justice in any way? If not does karma or something else result in justice or is there no justice?
I believe that our souls are at least partially Divine and that we judge our own actions in the karmic review.
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5)   How important are the ancestors to your path and how do you incorporate them if at all? Do they mete out justice in your view?
I have great respect for my ancestors but I don't think they have any authority to judge.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2012, 07:29:14 PM by dragonspring »
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Re: pagan views poll
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2012, 08:29:39 PM »

I’m making this poll to better understand the range of beliefs among pagans (as well as my own beliefs) and to generate (hopefully) some interesting discussion among our members.

1)   Do you believe in karma, destiny or fate? If so, how to do envision them working?

I don't believe there is any "grand plan for the universe" or that anyone's path is predetermined. I think that you can attract positive things by being a good person and attract bad things by being a bad person, and I think that you are responsible for your own actions and their consequences.

I also firmly believe that sometimes things "just happen" and it's not the result of any sort of karma, destiny, fate, or anything that you did. The fact that my husband died at age 47, my dad died at age 43, and his dad died in his early 40s is a huge factor in this - I have to believe that "sometimes sh*t just happens", because if me, my mom, and my grandmother all being widowed in our late 30s is intentional on Someone's behalf, then Someone is a sadistic asswipe. I don't think there's anything that anyone in our lineage could have done to justify that sort of "karma" or "fate" or that there's some sort of "lesson" that somehow we're just not learning.

Sorry - raw nerve.

2)   What is your view of spirit/the soul? Who has one?

I think all living things have a unique energy. Whether you want to call it a soul or spirit is up to you. I think it comes from the collective Universe, and when we die that energy is returned to the Universe.

3)   Do you believe in reincarnation or an afterlife?

I think the energy that makes me "me" doesn't necessarily retain cohesion or consciousness after I die, but I do believe that my energy - or at least parts of it - will be reused by another living being down the road. I think this explains why you can feel like you know someone you just met, and why many different people can feel that they were the same person in a past life. As far as an afterlife, I don't think there is one in the sense that souls or spirits recognize they're there, I think the energy diffuses back out into the Universe.

4)   In your view of deity, is your deity (or deities) responsible for judging your actions? Do they mete out justice in any way? If not does karma or something else result in justice or is there no justice?

I think they judge intent more than actions, and I do think that they mete out justice even if we don't recognize it as such. But that doesn't mean that everything that happens is the result of "Divine Justice", or that every evil/bad action will result in "Divine Justice".  I don't think there's a Cosmic Scorecard out there.

5)   How important are the ancestors to your path and how do you incorporate them if at all? Do they mete out justice in your view?

I don't really incorporate my ancestors in my path at all.

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Re: pagan views poll
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2012, 10:18:56 PM »

1
Yes I believe in all three.

Karma is simply the law of cause and effect. If I do something bad I will feel guilty or be retaliated against. If I do something good I will feel happy or gain the respect/love of others.

Destiny is the final goal of our life. It is the overall impact that we leave here.

I'll use an analogy for fate. Think of life like a coloring book. No matter what color you choose to use the overall picture remains the same. Fate is the overall picture and the colors are our personal choices.


2
I believe that everything has a spirit but only humans have a soul. Soul are reincarnated after death whereas spirits are recycled into the physical universe. Spirits are our energetic presence and souls are our spiritual/psychic presence. When it comes to human souls I adhere to the principles of Orphism. Souls are perfect because they come from the divine. Overtime though they become flawed and return to the cycle of reincarnation to fix those flaws. Enlightenment is fixing the flaws.


3
I believe in both. Elysium is for those who have attained enlightenment. The Asphodel Meadows is for pretty much everyone else and lastly Tartarus is for those who do especially heinous things in life without feeling grief or remorse. After the soul has served its time or becomes flawed again in the case of Elysium it returns to the cycle.


4
The Gods don't sit around and judge every action committed by mortals. Things done to Their temples, groves, altars etc are the only actions that They personally judge. We can invoke the Gods to pass judgement on us or others if we want. Once we die it is the job of the Three Judges (Minos Radamanthus and Aeacus) to judge us and place us in our proper area.


5
I have two altars in my home. One is dedicated to the Lares and Penates which are the household gods, gods of the earth, and the ancestors. The second altar is dedicated to Dii (Theoi). Each night I pray at both and leave and offering.

I don't include the ancestors in any rituals except those specifically dedicated to them. These rituals are usually in thanks for their protection.
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Re: pagan views poll
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2012, 11:34:52 PM »

I had to think about this...because I had to figure out how to word everything so it makes sense.


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1)   Do you believe in karma, destiny or fate? If so, how to do envision them working?
I don't use the term karma, but the concept...what you give out determines what you get back somewhere along the line; that I believe in. Fate... not so much, although I do believe certain people come into our lives for a reason. As Claude said, Destiny is the final outcome... we make our own destinies by the choices we make.

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2)   What is your view of spirit/the soul? Who has one?
To me, "spirit" is the tone of the soul... and every living creature has some sort of soul. If it can reason, learn and communicate, it has a soul.

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3)   Do you believe in reincarnation or an afterlife?
Both. Tir na Gog is a place of rest and reflection between lives. You take a look at what you learned, what you didn't, and what it all means on your journey to rejoin the Divine.

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4)   In your view of deity, is your deity (or deities) responsible for judging your actions? Do they mete out justice in any way? If not does karma or something else result in justice or is there no justice?
Only if I did something deliberately to piss them off!  :whistle: Sometimes I really wonder if there is any justice, because of all the crap I see happening all around us. Usually, what goes around comes around, and if I screw up spectacularly, it will come back to bite me in the toushie.

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5)   How important are the ancestors to your path and how do you incorporate them if at all? Do they mete out justice in your view?
My ancestors are my guides, sources of inspiration and wisdom. They don't hand down the justice per se, but if I've done something I think they probably would have disapproved of, there will be guilt and shame on my part... but that's my doing, not theirs.
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wellpriestess

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Re: pagan views poll
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2012, 05:07:42 PM »

I’m making this poll to better understand the range of beliefs among pagans (as well as my own beliefs) and to generate (hopefully) some interesting discussion among our members.

1)   Do you believe in karma, destiny or fate? If so, how to do envision them working?

Yes, I absolutely believe in these three things. I believe karma def exists and that everyone is responsible for their own actions and attitudes towards themselves and other people (whether magically or otherwise.)  Fate and destiny is something that I believed was absolute for a long time, but my beliefs have changed. I think there are certain major events we are destined to go through, certain people we are meant to meet, etc that are unavoidable.  But at the same time I think there are other things that we have control over and create for ourselves as free beings.

2)   What is your view of spirit/the soul? Who has one?

This one's tough for me to answer. I believe that all humans have a soul, as well as animals. 

3)   Do you believe in reincarnation or an afterlife?

Yes, I have had several visions of past lives and I believe in reincarnation.  Others told me that I am an "old soul," because my palms have many, many lines on them.  As for an afterlife, I am not really sure about that at all. I'd like to think that there is such a place where the soul goes to be happy, but I have never had an experience with such a thing so its a gray area for me.

4)   In your view of deity, is your deity (or deities) responsible for judging your actions? Do they mete out justice in any way? If not does karma or something else result in justice or is there no justice?

There is def justice, I believe.  I have seen it both happen to me and to others. As for, deities, I'm not so sure. I have never really encountered "judgment" from any of the ones I've worked with. It's usually left up to karma for me.

5)   How important are the ancestors to your path and how do you incorporate them if at all? Do they mete out justice in your view?
I have never worked with ancestors before. Something I've always found interesting though.
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Re: pagan views poll
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2012, 03:12:43 AM »

1)   Do you believe in karma, destiny or fate? If so, how to do envision them working?

I guess I first need to understand whether we're talking about karma as originally defined or as defined in the Western world.  I do not subscribe to the Westernization of karma (as in do good and good is returned and vice versa) but I do somewhat agree with the original definition of karma in that we each have a general path to follow in this life but if we haven't figured out what that path is, or if we fight it, we will keep having similar lessons put before us until we recognize our true path and begin following it.

Destiny or fate?  I'm still debating those.  But at this time in my life I don't think there is such a thing as fate or destiny.  Though we can set ourselves up for success or failure that may appear to be fated yet is merely a manifestation of the choices we've made or the energy we send out.


2)   What is your view of spirit/the soul? Who has one?

Who ... or what?  Spirit is all.  Even crystals are part of Spirit.  But a soul?  I think (though I'm still pondering this one as well) that any person or animal has a soul.  I think what we call "the soul" is the manner in which Spirit expresses itself through our energetic body and our brain.


3)   Do you believe in reincarnation or an afterlife?

Yes, and yes.  I've been able to identify a number of past lives I've had and most of them have themes similar to those I have going on in this life.  I don't know what any afterlife might be like but I do believe one exists.  Regardless of where we go after death, I know without a doubt that the essence of who we are as a person survives the death process ... I've had too many experiences with pets, friends, and family who've passed on and to believe otherwise would be deluding myself.


4)   In your view of deity, is your deity (or deities) responsible for judging your actions? Do they mete out justice in any way? If not does karma or something else result in justice or is there no justice?

I don't know that they so much judge as teach.  They help us learn the life lessons we need to get through this lifetime we're living.  As far as justice, to me that is an ideal that we as humans strive for.  But I'm not so sure that there is anything in the Universe that compares.  The overall energies in the Universe tend toward unconditional love ... the energies or actions that we place value judgements on (good or bad, calm or chaotic, black or white) just are and are needed to create the balance necessary.


5)   How important are the ancestors to your path and how do you incorporate them if at all? Do they mete out justice in your view?

Any of my direct ancestors aren't really important to my path, mainly because they wouldn't have had anything to do with my path.  Now, if we're talking "ancestors" as in those who have traveled this path before, or have been described in the mythology of those who are of the pantheon I follow, then I'd have to say I haven't yet given that a lot of thought yet.
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bluefire

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Re: pagan views poll
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2012, 12:57:38 PM »


1)   Do you believe in karma, destiny or fate? If so, how to do envision them working?

I believe that we have great impact on our own lives, but that other forces are also in action. I do not think of karma, destiny or fate in any of the traditional ways. I believe that there is energy in each of us that connects us to everyone else and that that energy extends beyond the earth into the universe. Our own energy impacts us directly, but the sum of all the competing energies also impacts us. I believe that the flow of the wheel of the year and the monthly moon phases and the daily turn from day to night is the even playing field. What we think, say, and do nudges us most directly and ripples out less directly to all. I do not see this as punishment or reward, or what is or is not meant to be. I see it as neutral, just what is.

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2)   What is your view of spirit/the soul? Who has one?

Spirit is energy. It is the life force of us all and the glue that holds us all together. Living things -- people, animals, plants all have it. Natural elements -- earth, air, water, fire and its products have it.

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3)   Do you believe in reincarnation or an afterlife?

I used to be more sure about this one than I am as I get older. Not sure. I live as well as I can. I am open to the presence of those who have passed. I recognize that different people have different "starting points" in life, for one reason or another. Just not sure about the whys here.

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4)   In your view of deity, is your deity (or deities) responsible for judging your actions? Do they mete out justice in any way? If not does karma or something else result in justice or is there no justice?

I do not believe that the Divine mete out justice. I actually do not believe in justice in a universal way. I think energy flows and just is.

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5)   How important are the ancestors to your path and how do you incorporate them if at all? Do they mete out justice in your view?

Ancestors definitely have an impact on how we begin our lives. I respect my ancestors because they gave me life. I do not believe they have an active role in determining rewards or punishments.
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Re: pagan views poll
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2012, 03:14:00 AM »

1)   Do you believe in karma, destiny or fate? If so, how to do envision them working?

I do believe in Karma. I've seen far too many instances where someone faced the consequences of their actions. Both rewards for beneficial actions and punishments for negative ones.

Fate and Destiny... I sort of do. My daughter nearly died as an infant. She had about a 12% chance of survival unless the doctors tried a Hail Mary play. A treatment that could kill her because it was a medication that was only for adults and for a different condition but had as an effect something that could help her.

It did. That medication was (if not still is) the standard treatment for whooping cough in infants. In fact another child came in with the disease and they hit her with the meds straight away. She was out of the hospital in 7 days and never went into the ICU (as opposed to my daughter who was there for the better part of a month and coded three times in the ICU).

She was put on this planet for a reason. Her trials have helped an unknown number of other children and infants who have been exposed to the disease before they can be safely vaccinated. Also, as she grew up she discovered that she has a gift. There are developmentally disabled children that she can reach and make contact with. Children who in many cases barely make contact with their own parents. So to me she was destined to survive, she was destined grow into the woman that she is (going to college to become a teacher for special needs children).

But just because someone is fated, does that mean that they're going to become that person? Given a lot of genetic factors and my family, I should have grown up into a blue-collar farm worker with anger management issues and severe alcoholism.

I lost two uncles to it in fact. One was so drunk that he honked off someone at a bar to the point that they followed him home and killed him and the other simply drank his liver to death and quickly followed it.

So with it all around me and the genetic predisposition to it in my family...the fact that I'm a sober, white collared IT Professional and all-around geek...makes me wonder if fate is something that is a possible. That if unchanged, my fate would have been [blank] but because I made choices I became something else.

I don't like the concept of predestination really. I like having free will to do as I please and face the rewards and punishments of my actions. That's a lot more comforting to me than being pawns in someone else's chess board. As Lord Melchit once said in Blackadder the Second "As private parts to the gods are we. They play with us for their sport."

2)   What is your view of spirit/the soul? Who has one?

Everyone has one. It is the part of me that is me. Technically there is no part of my body that was there when I was a child. Every cell in my body has died several times over and has been replaced. Yet I am still me. That part of me that is me has remained unchanged even though my body wears out cell by cell and is replaced. So to me, I am my soul and I just happen to reside in this walking pile of meat for a while.

3)   Do you believe in reincarnation or an afterlife?

Yes I do. There are too many people who have had experiences where they have left their bodies and can describe events that happen in the operating room. In 2001 a movie about Pearl Harbor came out. There was a scene where a nurse took a hit from a plane through the chest and died right there. My wife felt the pain as if she herself was shot. Now I watch a lot of violent movies. I've watched James Bond and other films where women get shot and she doesn't react. But this time she did.

And I swear we have been around before. When we met it was like two friends picking up where we left off. I've been identified as an old soul by several sensitives.

So I do believe in an afterlife where we go when we die, hang around and catch our breath and then jump back into the game when we're ready.

4)   In your view of deity, is your deity (or deities) responsible for judging your actions? Do they mete out justice in any way? If not does karma or something else result in justice or is there no justice?

God I hope not. I've a long list of stupid mistakes that Karma has already had me pay for. I'd hate to have to face some deity looking at me and pointing out all the things I've already learned my lessons from. My second and final time I've shoplifted as a child comes to mind.

5)   How important are the ancestors to your path and how do you incorporate them if at all? Do they mete out justice in your view?

Not all that much for me. Mostly because I don't know who they are. Coming from a divorce as a child meant that I barely knew my father (only met him once and I barely remember that) and had no idea at all about that side of the family. That and the side I did know was so tight-lipped about their ancestors...that I only know about three generations of my family. Maternal Grandparents, Mother and her brothers and sisters and my own sibling.

Ok, make that 4 generations as my sister has an adorable little baby boy.

So I'm cut off from my ancestry apart from the drips and drabs of what I've been able to research. And even those do not help with telling me who they were, just who history remembers them as.

Such as John Kenlon, Former NYC Fire Chief. http://www.archive.org/stream/firesfirefighter00kenlrich/firesfirefighter00kenlrich_djvu.txt
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