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  3. Yes. The casinos. What do people chant before rolling the dice? "C'mon Seven. Daddy needs a new pair of shoes!" This sort of makes sense -- if the chant is directed towards Hermes, Messenger of the gods. Nobody appreciates good footwear like a messenger. Just look at his winged sandals. Speaking of the old gods. On Valentine's day -- who do we see flying around with his bow and arrows? It's Cupid. Not even a change of name or form. It's CUPID. Don't forget the Fates. Every Christmas, Nat King Cole sings -- "if the Fates allow". I almost forgot the obvious. Today is Thor's Day. Tomorrow is Frey Day. As in -- Thank God for Frey Day.
  4. Tykhe/Fortuna is still “Lady Luck” in casinos, and the goddess Dike is still Justice personified in the courthouses of modern law. Artists still speak of their Muse, and buildings where art is kept are still called by their ancient name: Museums - the temple of the Muses. The Rod of Asklepios, though often mistakenly replaced by the caduceus, is still the symbol of modern medicine. In the English speaking world, the days of the week still bear the names of Germanic gods, and in the Romance languages, they still bear the Roman names of gods. Venus and Mars can be seen in the night sky. The gods of the various polytheisms have never truly left the minds of mortals.
  5. Here we are in August. The heat is on. It's time to start thinking about December. It's time to start thinking about Santa Claus. What do we know about Santa? It's all in the children's songs. "He's making a list. Checking it twice. He always knows who's naughty or nice. Santa Claus is coming to town." "He knows when you are sleeping. He knows when you're awake. He knows when you've been bad or good, So be good for goodness sake." Where does this leave us? An old man with a beard. Watching everything that we do. He keeps lists. He flies around the night sky, in the company of magical creatures. He rewards the good and punishes the bad. This is God Lite. Santa isn't alone. There is also Old Man Winter. He's on television. He sells snow tires. Jack Frost is also still around. A relative of Frosty the Snowman. The old gods have changes in form and name. They never quite go away.
  6. I hope that your vacation was fulfilling, and look forward to your further questions.
  7. Thanks guys! We were on vacation the last couple of weeks so I will pick up my research from here and will return with further questions or follow-up questions...
  8. Have we all seen the Statue of Liberty? She stands in New York Harbor, looking very much like a Greek goddess. She is the personification of "Liberty". She is known as "Lady Liberty". I find myself thinking. We need only install an altar -- and a priesthood. Then we can actually worship at Liberty's feet.
  9. I too have been seriously looking at starting an online ministry, but don't feel that I am qualified, or have any experience in starting one. I am also seriously looking at also doing an officiating service/business. Just feel like I need more education or training. Hope your ministry is up and running!
  10. Earlier
  11. The thing about the article that got me, was the broad sweeping classifications. It listed Pantheism as a subgroup of Paganism. Seriously? Someone can't tell the difference between Pan and Polly -? Some distinctions are worth making. Just because we have a religious designation, outside of Monotheism, does not make it Pagan. It's a small thing. Like a mosquito bite. Still, it irritates me.
  12. The thing is that Wiccans are the most widely publicized sect of the Pagan multiverse, and therefore are assumed by many to be Paganism as a whole. Nothing could be farther from the truth, despite the fact that many Pagans (myself included) got a start BECAUSE of Wicca. Simply because it is more available than other varieties of Paganism. Also, there is a big difference between "pagan" (little P) and "Pagan" (big P) that is often ignored. Just the same as witchcraft and Witch are not interchangeable. Both of the first terms (little letters) are more of a "what one does" rather than "who one is." I read the post you shared, Jonathan, and it seems that the author is pissed about people who are plainly ignorant. The fact of the matter is that there are ALWAYS people who are ignorant.. The author is a Witch, so I would expect her writing to be largely about Wicca, just like I expect John Beckett to be more Druid and UU, or Cyndi Brennan to be heavy on Hekate. That's who they are, they write from their worldview. So does Starlight Witch, which is perfectly fine. It sounds like she's suffering from a common thing that authors get hit with: Fans who are under the mistaken impression that the author belongs to the fans, rather than the fans and author existing in a symbiosis. The fact of the matter is that the author's writings come from the author, full stop. The author is under no obligation to write what fans want or expect. After all, the fans' expectations are theirs, not the authors. Pagans are people too, including often being ignorant twats. It seems that the author in this case is fed up with those.
  13. I too have had many "running away in a panic" dreams which can be pretty frightening but a great relief when you wake up at the moment of being caught! That's a heavenly expereince too. I've also had the strange experience of telling myself jokes during a dream (jokes I've never heard before) and then woke up laughing at the punch-line!! That can be a little embarresssing at 3-00am when the house is as quiet as a mouse! I have a vivid imagination. I keep notebooks by my bed so that should I wake up in the night with an inspirational idea, a line for a poem, words for a song, or a subject for a talk I'm giving somewhere I get out of bedd and write it down. It's good practise which I highly recommend. The brain is alert and inventive while we sleep. Some of the best material I've ever written was set down in the small hours by the light of the moon.
  14. "Music is the language of the soul." Your dream sounds beautiful, and even if you couldn't remember the exact score the next day, if the harmonious vibrations of what you heard were soothing to your soul, just be thankful for the experience.
  15. I went to my inbox and found a blog from Starlight Witch. She seems to think that Wiccans are not welcome under the "Pagan Umbrella". I don't want to take sides. Or inflame anything. To me, this looks like a cultural divide. As divides go -- not that bad. I look at a real divide, say -- between Catholic and Protestant -- or Sunni and Shia -- Really. Not that bad. Real divides have body counts. People will have disagreements. https://www.patheos.com/blogs/starlight/2019/08/the-big-pagan-umbrella-witchcraft/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Pagan+News+and+Views&utm_content=37
  16. I've never written down what I dream, but have never heard music in my dreams.. I'm usually running for my life in my dreams, so its usually a feeling of delight to wake-up from that I believe that everything we can see and touch will be gone one day, but music is one thing that will transcend into the new world. Perhaps that's why music touches our souls, we knew it before we were born.
  17. I am a ULC Minister in Boone, NC. Sence 8/10/2012. A Volunteer at the Hunger and Health Coalition. Sence 11/2026.
  18. In my limited experience -- some of the people that I met -- who said that they were Pagan -- had no idea of what a Pagan is. Some were frauds. Some were delusional. Most were simply silly. A few were real.
  19. That makes what you have to say, all the more interesting. I hope you will stick around.
  20. When I was pagan, specifically druid, the best resources to follow for me were histories. The others were by and large hokey mumbo jumbo.
  21. It’s been my experience that the loudest voices in the pagan community speak for and to a specific audience. Namely adherents of the myriad traditions that derive from Wicca or are at least similar enough to speak the same ritual and theological “language”. Many of the reconstructionist polytheists, myself included, or followers of indigenous polytheisms tend to keep to our own smaller communities. We don’t have that same shared language for the most part that the greater pagan community has. Which again is due to its origins in a specific religion (Wicca), or an eclectic pagan mix so derived from it that they at least share the same Western occult-based ritual stylings and eight holidays.
  22. I keep a dream-diary and have done so for many years. When I have a particularly vivid dream I write it down as soon as possible. If I wake up in the middle of a dream I try to write it down straight away not leaving it till morning when the details of it will almost certainly be lost forever. One night while sleeping I was also aware that I was dreaming. During the dream I heard some of the most beautiful choral singing I have ever heard. It was literally divine so that I didn't want it to end. While still dreaming I thought to myself: "I'll write this tremendously uplifting and inspirational music down when I wake up." Sadly, that was not to be. For when I awoke the next morning the only thing I could remember was the "feeling" of delight and fulfilment I got from the music - but not one note of the music remained in consciousness. It was a truly heavenly experience too such that I often wonder if I did actually visit heaven that night! Does anyone else keep a dream-diary?
  23. I have a lot of dim memories, which have fused. Memories of people being accused of being witches -- so of course, they were unfit parents. Or public officials. Or what ever. At minimum, they were subject to public ridicule and suspicion. Have things really changed? I'm not in a position to know. My perception lingers.
  24. A lot of that has to do with the fact that Paganism generally looks down on proselytizing. Many of us see that as trying to push one variety of religion on someone who doesn't necessarily want or need it. That's not to say that there aren't paid classes, etc that are not valuable, because I know that there are some that are very good. Those tend to be specialized for a particular topic or audience. There has been a big debate for YEARS over whether it is "ethical" to charge for teaching in the Pagan community. Personally, I think there is a LOT of reason to charge for exchange of knowledge, similar to how you pay to take your car to a mechanic, call a plumber in to fix a leak, or a doctor when you are ill. They have spent the time and expense to become specialists in their fields, and they deserve to be compensated for their expertise. IMO, it's actually easier to come out as Pagan than it is Atheist, these days. Atheists are usually attacked en masse by the monotheists, because everybody "knows" that it's not possible to be moral and not be afraid of an eternity in a lake of fire. I mean, come on. You have to be afraid in order to not commit murder, right? Seriously, though, it used to be extremely bad to be a public Pagan. Loss of parental rights, loss of career, forced indoctrination, etc. Those were significant and real risks for Pagans not too many years ago. For us, it's gotten a lot better. For a large part, we're just kind of ignored right now.
  25. I would like to throw in a few words of caution. By and large, real Pagans are not advertising to the outside world. That makes Pagan priests, high priests, schools of ancient wisdom and seminaries etc. -- who are advertising -- to be suspect. They don't have to be frauds, but I would be suspicious. It's an old bit of practical wisdom. "The people who know, are not talking. The people who are talking, don't know." Seriously. It's hard enough coming out as Atheist. I don't have to tell you. Coming out as Pagan, can't be easy.
  26. This also falls into the "Talking to Pagans is like herding cats" category. There are so very many different kinds and paths of Pagans, that almost the only universal truth is that no two Pagans are alike. I don't know of any Dutch resources, unfortunately, but you might be able to find something useful at the CUUPS main website: http://www.cuups.org or the CUUPS main Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/CUUPS/ As Johnathan said, the best way to learn about Paganism is to roll up your sleeves and start DOING. Most Pagans that I know are more interested in DOING than reading about doing. There is no way to learn all about Paganism. There is always something else to learn, some other way to encounter the world. What I would suggest is do some on-line research about the various types and ways of Paganism, then just picking an area to investigate with her, based on her abilities. I identify as Druid, Buddhist, and devotional hard polytheist. That's a fancy way of saying that I do certain things to honor one of the divine entities, which I view and encounter as distinct and separate from other divine entities. As opposed to a "soft" polytheist who would tend to view all divine entities as different aspects or faces of the same greater, central divine entity. My wife considers herself to be a "hedge witch" which would be similar to a historical wise woman who lived outside the village and people visited for various potions, ointments, teas, etc to make their lives easier. I could be more help if you could let me know what some of her interests and abilities (and capabilities) are. My knowledge is yours.
  27. Patheos Pagan has some really great authors. Some are more hard-line, some are very Universalist, but all of the ones that I've come across are all typically higher quality. Random pagan websites are a mish-mash. Some utter rubbish, some fantastic, and the vast majority somewhere in between. I invite you to to look up our CUUPS (Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans) group on the Book of Faces here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/whiteoakgrovecuups/ We're a conglomeration of a LOT of different Pagan paths, and while there are only a few of us who post regularly, there are a lot of people who hand around in the background. You can also PM me here, though I'm on intermittantly... Life happens, doesn't it? I'd be glad to help!
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