Saturday, May 01, 2010

The Magickal Woo

Reading a few Merkan blogs lately has renewed my fascination with their state of religious being (or not). Their argument for and against organised religion reminds me that England has become very laid back about your God/Goddess and you can worship at the altar of Small Pixies as long as you don't interfere with Sunday lunch! Labels don't matter much any more - you be be who you want to be as long as you leave the gun at home!

I feel the same. You have a free mind - you can think/do/say what you like especially if you are at peace with who you are.

So, my personal woo, my belief system - it frightens the shit out of some people. When you mention Paganism (especially to the two sweet little Mormons at me door) they imagine spells, magick, nekkid dancing and sex with horny devils. Are they wrong?

Yes, and a definite no!

I don't like labels, let alone false ones, but Paganism is so misunderstood - so can I put you straight?

Right from our cave days men went out and bonked the meat on the head and the women (generally) looked after the brood. Women had the knowledge of herbs and healing and were revered as the mothers of all life.
Life was hard and revolved around the seasons building into a belief system based on what they could see around them - sun, stars, weather etc.

The Sabbats mark eight festivals through the year, four that mark each solstice and four that celebrate the land.
For instance Litha (21st June) is summer solstice, the middle of the year when night and day are equal and Imbolg (pronounced 'imolk') on the 2nd of Feb celebrates the coming of new life after winter - a sort of 'thank fuck we survived' kind of thing!

Paganism celebrates the male and female in all of us, interpreted as a God and Goddess, and the Calender of Being also represents the death and renewed life in the land each year.
When Christianity came into being it was male based replacing the sabbats to fit with the teachings in the bible.
No one is right, no one is wrong - the bible fitted its time and was a good manual for living peacefully (what happened there then?) but like all ancient documents it was open for interpretation.
Propaganda attacked the roots of Paganism - the male side of paganism is often depicted as a stag and he became a 'horned devil' . The female side (Hecate) is depicted at the end of the year before winter as an old woman, a hag, and it was easy to use this image as typical of a witch (wise woman).

Some terms explained...

Spells = wishes= prayers

Magick = a meditation to focus on your prayer

Ritual = symbolic focus to meditation

Witch = a wise woman with knowledge of herbs and healing

Pentacle - a five side star representing 'never ending light and good'

So, in essence, Paganism is as natural as it gets. Based in love and light and getting on with your fellow humans. We like eating, dancing, getting together and a bit of drinking!

Paganism is not stuck in the past or glued to some ancient manual - it is fluid and it is NOT a religion - it is a way of living.

Hope that explains a bit - any other questions can be fought over in The Inner Sanctum below!


Reading the Signs said...

I have the sense early (celtic) christianity was not so out of step with the pagan way of celebrating and honouring the festivals? Some of the old poems and rhymes seem to effortlessly incorporate the two strands.

Unknown said...

Everything began in the same place, Signs, but a war was never started in the of Paganism!

Pagans are happy to add a shindig to their calender - all beliefs being one, after all!

Yodood said...

"The Xian evil (d'evil) opposed the good (God) and so was demonized version of the goat god, Pan, with cloven hooves and horns, just to wedge Xianity into the minds of the pagans.

I'm not religious, it just makes sense to have nature as one's guide.

Unknown said...

I thought the cavemen bonked the women then went out hunting! Much the same as today!

Unknown said...

No, I'm not religious either, Yodood. I don't see Paganism as a religion - just a way of life. The three-fold law is as good as the ten commandments - a sensible way to live your life. And yes, nature shows us the way because in essence we are nature.

So true, John G, so very true!!!

mac said...

I left a comment when I saw you over at SBTG's yesterday. In essence....

I know a Pagan woman who lives local to me (odd in the Bible Belt!).
From my interactions with her, and some from the innerwebs, I have deduced that Pagans can be as spiritual as I have seen.
Yes, that includes christians. They ain't got nuthin on you .

laughingwolf said...

blessed beltane, to one and all...

Unknown said...

We often have bad press, Mac, but like all organised religions it is open to interpretation and so therefore open to the twats as well!
I have a magnet on me fridge that says 'CRONE - Creative Researcher of New Experiences'- I like that one.

Hi LW, Happy, Happy Beltane to you as well.
For those that don't know - Beltane is May Day which celebrates the fertility of the earth and is once again an excuse to have a shindig (my head hurts!).

Unknown said...

Mac, the Bible Belt fascinates me - we have no real comparison over here, every area is a religious soup.
Weird documentaries have only served to to prove that the people in this area are often fire and brimstone, polygamous, money-stealing nut cases. See, bad press again - or are you going to put me straight????

rita said...

Paganism is not something I have have any experience with, except for a couple of people I know that claim to be pagans. I haven't discerned any "spells, magick, nekkid dancing and sex with horny devils with either one of them, they seem to make an attempt to be in tune with the physical earth & try to have a more circular sense of time, as apposed to linear. It also seems to be a open minded kind of philosophy, which is a definite + with me.

Unknown said...

Yay, open minded, Rita, that is the key!
Circles play a big part in the natural world, don't they? Circles of life, wheel of the year etc but would hate to think that we never venture out of it!!

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Actually, speaking as a Merkin, religion is really taking a nose dive over here.

Fewer and fewer people are interested in it anymore. It's our culture (she says with a shudder) that dictates faith and people are less interested in serving a deity than in money, sex, politics and themselves.

It's a changing of the tide that makes me wonder what we will next.

While I disagree with all the cruel rules and regulations that go with just about every religion, I *do* believe we need to reinforce values, morals, peace and compassion and I am concerned that those things might be lost without some sort of religion to remind people that they need to be good.

In short; if there isn't anyone to answer to, then there is no end to free reign.

Tricky stuff.

Love you Minx.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Unknown said...

Scarlett, certain Gods have wars and atrocities done in their name, all to further the power of their so-called followers. In times of lesser knowledge the rules were there to keep the population safe but somewhere along the line we grew out of ritualistic sacrifice in favour of mass murder!

Fear is what keeps the sheep in the pen, that, and the blind following of ancient document(s) that haven't moved with the times.
The Bible, The Quran, The Torah, The Vedas, were not meant to be used as tools of war - merely there to act as a manual for living in times when the majority of the population was illiterate. Surely we have evolved from that!

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

We have evolved, but I don't like much of what we've evolved into, and Minx, you are spot on.


Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Unknown said...

I am spot on for me, Scarlett, and very comfortable in how I view my world.
Following a faith, or no faith, blindly (atheists can be as zealous as the religious nuts!) can halt your own personal development.

mac said...

No, they're not polygamists here.
What they are is Fire and Brimstone Fundies.

They don't accept much else. You Pagans are on the same footing as us atheists and agnostics. That is, we are all the Devils tools.

Unknown said...

The only tool that I would accept being is a screwdriver, Mac! A bit saucy and not very Christian-like.

mac said...

Yes, Ma'am, you are!

I'm not sure what kind of tool I am. Maybe a rusty hammer ;-)

Unknown said...

It is good to check yer toolbox every now and again, I find!!

Debi said...

Nice one, Minxling.

Unknown said...

Thanks, Debi, your opinion is valued as always.

kid Shoes said...

It's an amazing blog.This was a very well-written and enjoyable post to read.Thanks for the info sharing with us.The way you have described all the things are superb.Keep it up.Keep blogging.

Unknown said...

Worshipping Lucifer is eeevil.
Turn around 180°