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    Default What is Paganism? (Links & information)-UPDATED

    I hope you will all start adding to this. I apologize for how long it took me to create one little thread. While I do have TONS to contribute to it myself, I'll be honest & say I just don't have the time or energy right now. But, one of these days...

    Rhonda, I know you said you brought those old links over, but I've never found them (I guess my preggo brain just keeps overlooking the thread). Please add them here or point me in the right direction so that I can do so. Many, many thanks!!!!!!!

    Bright Blessings!!

    Ryn
    Renee, Homeschooling Hippy Homebirthing BoobyMama to:
    Fionna (7/00), Grady (7/03) and Baby Girl (coming soon)

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    The Green Man and His Ways
    by Abby Willowroot

    Deep in the ancient forests and field of Europe, the Green Man has long
    roamed, free and splendid. The ways of the Green Man are the ways of
    wild nature and the seasons of the Earth. He is present wherever crops
    are grown and harvested. He is there when animals mate and give birth.
    He is there when the seasons change and the Sun shines. Recognition of
    and reverence for him, and for the energy of vegetation and nature, was
    universal.

    During the Middle Ages, stone masons carved the Green Man's likeness
    into the walls and arches of the finest cathedrals; there are thousands
    of Green Man heads carved across Europe. By the time of the Renaissance,
    European indigenous religions were under constant attack by the newly
    powerful Catholic Church. This was also an attack on the Green Man and
    his magic. Still, their cathedral presence of the Green Man was a
    constant source of strength to the people. The Green Man's image
    silently echoed the spirit of nature. His vigorous masculine energy was
    at once mysterious and familiar. As the dying and returning god of
    vegetation, he was similar to Jesus. In his way the people of the Middle
    Ages blended their traditional folk beliefs with the new religion of
    Christian Catholicism.

    The Green Man's wisdom is that of the eternal truths, cycles, and
    passages. We all are born, grow, age, and die, each in our own time. It
    is this deep and sacred truth that is echoed in the figure of the Green
    Man. The Green Man is a magical bridge between nature and us Human in
    form, he is also vegetable and animal at the same time. His mysteries
    are the secrets of all growing things. He is present in all natural
    foods _ vegetables, salads, broccoli, corn and the grains and fruits
    of the Earth. He lives in all crops and in all things green and growing.
    The Green Man is as much a part of us as we are of him. His energy fills
    the trees that make the oxygen we breathe. The Green Man gives us the
    breath of life. At harvest, he surrenders his essence at the height of
    his magnificence. Though he dies as a plant, he is born anew in the
    cells and tissues of animals and humans. Here he nourishes us and grows,
    until in time, we cease to be and his energy is released again into the
    earth. There it springs forth again as crops or plants in the
    never-ending cycle of death and rebirth.

    A Green Man Ritual
    Practicing the ways of the Green Man means living in harmony with nature
    and living according to the seasons. It means looking for the blessings
    and gifts that are unique to each time of year. Without winter, there is
    no Spring; without Summer there is no harvest. Rituals of the Green Man
    can be done for many purposes - to heal the environment, to restore
    balance, or to ensure abundance and the success of new ventures. Green
    Man rituals should be performed with green, white, or light blue and
    yellow candles. Green candles for growth, health, and vegetation. White
    or blue candles represent air. Yellow candles shine with the light of
    the Sun and its vital energy and warmth.

    Symbols used in Green Man Rituals may include: a growing plant, a
    branch, fruit, dried grains, a small bowl of Earth, leaves, berries and
    acorns or other nuts.

    A Green Man Invocation
    'I call to you now, spirit of nature, strong and free
    Come and teach me, I am ready to honour you
    I celebrate your gifts; I am ready to learn your truths,
    As my ancestors did before me,
    I see your power and your pain, beneath the green mantle
    Of the scars on your body and the great sadness in your eyes.
    You are no longer abandoned, we hear you again;
    We are ready, to honour your ways.
    Reveal yourself, Green Man,
    Weave your spells of green magic.
    Teach me and I will listen for your voice;
    I will celebrate your sacred wisdom ways.'

    It is best to do a Green Man ritual outside, and if possible in a wooded
    place. Take your shoes off, sink your toes into the cool earth, and feel
    the energy of the Green Man move up through your body. Before you begin
    your ritual, take a few moments to listen to the trees, notice how they
    rustle, creak, and groan as the wind passes through them. Breathe in
    the oxygen they have produced for you, and know this is miracle of the
    Green Man's magic.

    In earlier times peasants knew the ways of the fields and forests, and
    gave back to the Earth with the sacrifice of the Green Man. Today we
    still have opportunities to make sacrifices and give back to the Earth,
    but the sacrifices we are making are those of care, moderation, and
    awareness. Recycling and conservation are contemporary Green Man
    sacrifices.
    Today the Green Man is re-emerging into our consciousness. His presence
    brings balance and energy to the reclaiming of our ancient heritage. For
    men, the Green Man is especially important, as he is a guide to
    accessing balanced male power. In our time, the Green Man is emerging
    with a clear, strong voice, guiding us toward a healthier and more
    stable balance with nature.

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    Paganism is a very broad and inclusive path. Within it lie many, many different traditions. Here are some brief summaries of some of the more commonly known:

    Dianic: This is a feminist Wiccan religion. Some Dianic covens choose to only work with women and their view is that patriarchal religion has had its stronghold for long enough and they choose to focus on the matriarchal religion of the goddess. There is more emphasis on the Goddess while the God is viewed as her consort and equal. It's origins come from Italy and probably Greece. A high priestess must preside over Dianic circles in order to represent the Goddess. They are politically feminist groups, usually very supportive, personal and emotionally intimate. There is a strong lesbian presence in the movement, though most covens are open to women of all orientations.
    Celtic: The Celtic tradition consists of trying to reconstruct the beliefs and practices of the original Celtic people. As opposed to Druidic teachings the Celtic tradition focuses more on the beliefs of the average Celtic person. There are many different Celtic traditions such as: Witta, Faery Wicca, Pecti-Wicca (Scottish--see below), Druidic, Dryad, and Shamanic. In the Celtic tradition a god and a goddess were observed as well as the 8 sabbats. The pantheon is extensive with its many gods and goddesses. They are very in tune with nature and believe in animism, which means that everything has a spirit. Celtic heavily stresses the elements, nature and the Ancient Ones. They had a vast knowledge of and respect for the healing and magickal qualities of plants and stones, flowers, trees, elemental spirits, the little people, gnomes and fairies.

    Egyptian: Egyptian religion was based on polytheism, which means the worship of many deities. This went on until the reign of Akenaton. The Egyptians had as many as 2000 gods and goddesses. Some, such as Amun, were worshipped throughout the whole country, while others had only a local following. Sometimes gods and goddesses were represented as part human and part animal, such as Bast. The Egyptians were sun worshippers. A god and a goddess were observed, and like the Celts they also had a large pantheon. They definitely believed in reincarnation. One could see this by the care they took to preserve their dead for the afterlife.

    Ceremonial Magick: Ceremonial magick works with the Kabbalah (Judaic mysticism), angels, arc-angels, talismans, alchemy, sound resonance in chanting, and sex magick. Supposedly, there is more emphasis on a god rather than a goddess, although the feminine aspect in the universe is observed. There is more magick involved in this than a religious consciousness.

    Alexandrian: Was founded by Alex Sanders in England. Rituals are basically Gardnerian, but have been modified w/ many Judeo-Christian and ceremonial magick elements. Information about Gardnerian or Alexandrian is very difficult to find, since the information is secret.

    Gardenarian/Seax-Wicca: This tradition was started by Gerald Gardner in England when witchcraft was still illegal to practice. It was one of the first denominations of witchcraft to make itself known publicly (1950's) and therefore since it was the first PUBLIC tradition, many people mistake it to be the one true correct way of practicing witchcraft. This tradition places more emphasis on the Goddess than the God, although it sees both as equals. All 8 sabbats are observed. This is where the degree system of advancement came from (1st - 3rd), covens work skyclad, and it does not allow for self-initiation. Covens try to have an equal number of males and females in order to attain balance of the masculine and feminine energies.

    Strega: Strega or Stregheria is Italian witchcraft. It's main focus is on spells, omens and natural objects. A lot of what Strega is, is "hereditary" (if you are familiar with my site, you know my point of view on so called "hereditary" witchcraft) witchcraft, but it is also non-hereditary as well. There is a concentration of moon worship with Diana and Aradia as its main Goddesses. It also has a pantheon of gods and goddesses. The practices of the gypsies remind one of some practices of Strega. One interesting fact about Strega witches is that they believe they cannot die and move on to their next incarnation without passing their knowledge to at least one other person. The Strega believe in beings called Lasa which are the collective unconscious of other Strega who have already passed on, as well as their ancestors.

    Shamanism: When we think of Shamanism we think of Native Americans, but many of the other traditions also have the element of Shamanism. Shamanism is basically the practice of communing with nature and being at one with it and the animals in it. Shamans believe in animism, they work with herbs, heal, protect, astral travel into different worlds, shapeshift, and work with weather. Native American Shamans were like the Celtic Druids in that they both took care of their tribe by protecting it from evil, healing, performing rites of passage for the members of the tribe, mediating in legal matters, contacting the dead, etc. Being on the Shamanic path is being environmentally conscious and respecting mother nature while continually striving to be spiritually conscious.

    Green Witches: 'Green' is a generic term for the elements that can be found in herbal, natural, traditional, or family/ traditional Witchcraft. The Green elements can be adapted to those Ceremonial aspects above that you find appealing. It forms the foundation level of the Odinist tradition (which is very restrictive on what elements are acceptable - Kabbalah and Tarot not being used) The key to Green Withccraft is to be attuned to nature and the natural forces surrounding you.

    Wicca: It is a modern religion, based upon the ancient Western European, pre-Christian pagan traditions. It is fertility, earth-based and nature oriented; Wiccans recognize and worship during the change of the seasons and the full and new moons. Wicca is a pagan religion, which means it is not Judeo-Christian in origin. Individuality is an honored trait for Wiccans. One can practice either with a coven or as a solitary, and they can worship in their own individual way. Also, some people who belong to covens may branch out and form their own coven. This is totally acceptable and it allows for a greater sharing of beliefs and of the establishment of new ideas and practices. Although Wiccan practices are unique to the individual or coven, most Wiccans have more in common with other Wiccans than they do differences. Such as: wiccans live, worship and celebrate by the changing seasons and lunar cycles, for example. Most of the books and websites out there are about Wicca.

    Pecti-Wita: This is the solitary path of the pre-Celtic people known as the Picts. They inhabited mostly Scotland and were at war with the Irish and Welsh Celtics before they were eventually absorbed. Information is difficult to find on this tradition. Your best luck would be to find someone living in Scotland, Ireland or England and ask if they know of the history.

    Witta: This is an eclectic Irish path which strives to keep the very old traditions of the Irish and combines it with the Norse influences. Witta values strongly the Irish-pagan history. Long ago, things were more strict, but today Witta covens accept self-initiation and the solitary life.

    Eclectic Wicca/Paganism: Although this isn't exactly an "official" tradition there are many Wiccans and Pagans that call themselves Eclectic. In fact most solitary Wiccans consider themselves eclectic. Basically, this means is that they have combined elements from several different traditions into one they feel comfortable with. Many of the newer traditions started out as Eclectic. I personally combine many elements from Celtic/Dianic with Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism into my own "blend" of paganism, so to speak.

    Asatru: This is the modern rebirth of the pre-Christian indigenous faith of the Norse peoples (ancestors of the Norwegians, Danes, Swedes, and Icelanders). This faith honored many Gods and Godesses, some of whose names are still familiar to us today, such as Thor, Odin and Freyja.

    Odinism: Some Odinists consider themselves to be Ásatrú (see above), while others do not. Ásatrú is a polytheistic religion and the gods and/or goddesses that one chooses to worship or dedicate to among the Elder gods is a matter of individual choice and conscience. Odinism is included in the presentation of Ásatrú although not considered to be exactly the same thing. It refers to religious groups which are based on Northern European pre-Christian Pagan beliefs while Paganism is an even more general term.

    Environmental Paganism: Many Pagans today do not follow a specific tradition. Instead, they actively work to save the Earth from further desecration, and honor the land upon which we live as a sacred representation of the Earth Mother. This style of religion often has no formal rites or methods of worship, but encourages each individual to honor divinity by caring for the Earth and all its creatures.

    Ethnic Paganism: Many modern Pagan traditions are based upon the practices of a particular ethnic group; some of these modern, some ancient. In this category would come traditions such as Hellenic, Roman or Egyptian Paganism, as well as modern traditions continued by their ethnic groups; for example, voodoo, Santeria and Native American Indian traditions. This would also include the native Pagan traditions of the Pacific, and Australia's Aboriginal people. Unfortunately a great many myths and traditions, and tribal lore, has been lost as a result of the uncompromising practices of missionaries and settlers. (The Aztec's documents on their religious beliefs and practices were burned by missionaries, thus leaving archeologists to guess on their practices.)
    Renee, Homeschooling Hippy Homebirthing BoobyMama to:
    Fionna (7/00), Grady (7/03) and Baby Girl (coming soon)

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    Posting Addict Chimmy's Avatar
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    This is BEAUTIFUL in my opinion

    The Wiccan Rede our words of truth

    Bide the Wiccan Law ye must,
    In perfect love, in perfect trust.
    Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill:
    An ye harm none, do what ye will.
    What ye send forth comes back to thee,
    So ever mind the rule of Three.
    Follow this with mind and heart,
    And merry ye meet and merry ye part.

    -- Traditional


    To learn what this means with more depth & udnerstand please click here

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    THE PENTAGRAM


    By Mike Nichols


    The pentagram, or five-pointed star, may be the most misunderstood religious symbol around these days. Being the most common symbol of Neo-Pagan Witchcraft, it has nevertheless been denigrated by movie and publishing industries which seem 'hell-bent' on connecting it with Satanism and other malevolent practices. However, like the Roman Cross or Crucifix, it is only when the symbol is INVERTED that it alludes to negativity. And even then, there are exceptions, as we shall see.


    In its usual upright position (one point uppermost), the pentagram is an ancient symbol of protection from evil. Also called 'the endless knot' (in its interlaced form), the pentagram was often displayed on doors, windows, and hearths of houses throughout pre-Christian Europe. It can be traced back to Egyptian and Sumerian cultures, and has even been found on Native American medicine tools. Sometimes mistakenly confused with the Star of David, or hexagram (a six-pointed star emblematic of Judaism), the pentagram is sometimes called the Star of Solomon, especially by ceremonial magicians.


    To many, the lower four points represent the classical elements of earth, air, fire, and water, while the fifth point, surmounting the others, represents spirit, the fifth element or quintessence. Thus, the pentagram symbolizes the four elements of the material world connected with, but ruled by, the spirit. When the pentagram is placed within a circle (symbol of unity and wholeness), it stresses our connection with the universe as a whole.


    Another interpretation is that there is not one point upward -- but three! In numerology, three is the number of harmony, best expressed in the classical formula: thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. In other words, it is the middle point that harmonizes the opposing outer points. The Celtic love of triads (the most common form of their 'wisdom literature') has its roots in this model. The upper three points are thus placed above the lower two points, which represents dualistic opposites that cannot be integrated or harmonized (seeing everything in black and white).


    Yet another interpretation of the upright pentagram is that it symbolizes the most common view of deity in Witchcraft. The upper three points represent the Goddess in her threefold aspect of Maiden, Mother, and Crone. The lower two points represent her consort God, in his twin aspects of God of Light and God of Darkness. However, in all these interpretations, it is important to remember that all the points are connected -- each an aspect of the other, all part of the same whole.


    But when the pentagram is inverted, so is its meaning. Thus, an inverted pentagram may represent the physical world (four material elements) in domination of the world of spirit (the fifth element). (This may be why Satanists and other 'demonistic' groups use this symbol.) With two points uppermost, it may also express a Neo-Platonic dualism (the old 'war in heaven', good vs. evil theme) -- as opposed to the Pagan monistic view of reality ('the Force') seen in the single point upward. The most common exception to this rule is that some traditions of Witchcraft (chiefly British) employ the inverted pentagram as a POSITIVE symbol of advanced degree. In this case, the two points uppermost represent the horns of light, symbol of 'the Horned God', consort to the Great Goddess (like the Greek god Pan).


    The word 'pentacle', sometimes mistakenly substituted for pentagram, really refers to a shallow dish (usually inscribed with a pentagram) and used as an altar tool by modern Witches, serving a purpose similar to the 'patten' at a Roman Catholic Mass. Common variations of this tool include a dish of earth, a disk of copper, a dish of silver, or a disk of wax.


    The suit of pentacles (or 'coins') in the Tarot deck, the Stone of Fal (coronation stone of kings) in ancient Ireland, the sangreal of the Holy Grail processions, and the 'Universal Man' of Leonardo da Vinci, are all related to the pentagram, stressing its ties to the earth and nature, making it a symbol par excellence of an earth or nature religion. The five points also represent the five physical senses and allude to approaching the spiritual realm THROUGH the sensual -- in fact, the meaning of the Ace of Pentacles in Tarot. In numerology, 5 is the number of sexuality, combining the feminine 2 with the masculine 3. Thus, the pentagram also represents the opposite of asceticism.


    But wherever the pentagram is displayed, one message is clear: evil has no power there.

    Click here for more information about this article.
    Mama to 7 curious, wild & wonderful little ones



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    Posting Addict Chimmy's Avatar
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    This article is really interesting, but due to how the page is formatted I thought I'd just let you click the url & go look/read for yourself instead of putting some of the info here

    What is Paganism, a factual overview

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    This is information gathered about petnacles/pentagrams from the religious tolerance site. I always enjoy reading what this website has to say

    PENTACLES
    AND PENTAGRAMS

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    Thanks for all this info. I have been looking for some things of the such.
    Marya~host of Multi-Racial/Cutural bb

    Muny age 14, Katie age 10, Kendyl age 8, ^Korionna Jolie 1998^ Korbyn age 3, & ^Kathryn Devine October 15 2004^

    James Carl Shelby 1930-12/27/04 RIP my precious grandfather....I will always love you!
    James Carlton Plum 1922-4/20/04 RIP my precious grandfather (adopted)....I will always love you!

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    Wow...girlz, this is brutally interesting! Lots of good info...I'll have to come visit later to see if ya'll put up anything else.
    Luv, Angie
    Luv, Angie
    Angie ♥ Ryan 7/10/2009
    Grace Rose "Gracie" 7/10/2011
    Jeanne Claire "Clara" 6/30/04


  10. #10
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    Welcome angie!!!

    Is there anything specific your looking for?
    Mama to 7 curious, wild & wonderful little ones



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