Questions for Gnostics, Pagans, and anyone else - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 09-24-2002, 01:30 PM - Thread Starter
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WOW> I have learned SO much from the Spirituality part of MDC- up until now I have been mainly in the Pregnancy Loss part. I have to warn you, this question may be very jumbled. I was born and raised Catholic, although in my adult years I was a very liberal Catholic, praying mostly to a femaile "God" (Sophia) and disagreeing with alot of the church's teaching. However, in January 2001, my old best friend and former fiance was killed do to medical error (his heart was punctured during a lung biopsy). That very same day, my 21 year old siter in law was hit and killed by a car. In March, my Grandpa died, and in November I miscarried in my 13 week when things finally looked like they were going to get better (I had a septate uterus, but the placenta was due to take over supplying nutrition). In Feb I had another miscarriage, and this past July I had a third. Needless to say, each loss caused a bit more of my faith to crumble and I felt prayers to be more and more of a waste of time. I came to the point where I just considered myself Agnostic. SO- here are my questions (And thank youf or ALL of the sharing the has taken place on all od the threads here). In the Gnostic and Pagan faiths, what are the beliefs on death, praying, "God's" power, etc. I am really feeling drawn to learn more. I miss havign a faith- but looking back now, there was so much the the Catholic Church that NEVER made sense to me. Is there a website I can go to to learn some of the foundational beliefs of Pagan and Gnostic faiths?
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#2 of 9 Old 09-24-2002, 01:51 PM
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A good website is the Pagan, I believe. I found so much there and they are always adding articles. They have links and a place to do a search.

As far as beliefs, they vary from person to person. That is what I love about Paganism, is that there is no set way, one can decide for themselves what they believe.

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#3 of 9 Old 09-24-2002, 01:52 PM
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Paganism envelopes many separate religious faiths (Wiccan, Druid, Shamanic, Nordic, etc) but generally speaking, Paganistic faiths are geared towards the individual ,making changes themselves, rather than asking someone else to do it. We od this withinthe help of our dieties, and it is what our rituals are all about. Many Pagans believe in reincarnation, almost all believe in some kind of life after death and conncectin between this world and the afterworld. You might want to read a book like Paganism for Dummies (or maybe it was the Total Idiot's Guide to Paganism?) to get a better understanding of the Pagan faith and get some answers to your questions. Hoep this helps.
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#4 of 9 Old 09-24-2002, 02:26 PM
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what are the beliefs on death, praying, "God's" power, etc.

It varies by group and individual.

Regarding death, all the pagans I know (personally) believe in reincarnation. Some believe that they are reincarnated into their same family. While others don't believe that.

Praying and "Gods Power": Their are varying beliefs regarding God. Some are "hard polytheists" and believe that each God/Goddess is a seperate entity. Some a "soft polytheists" which typically means that God/Goddesses are manifestations or parts of the one or two (depending on the person or group). They tend to see each God/Goddess as representing (warrior, mother) parts of the whole. I hope that makes sense. Still others believe that their is no God/Goddess and that their is just a force/power/energy and that we are all one and connected to each other. In that way prayer is a way of creating your own reality verses asking someone (God/Goddess) to bestow your desire.

JMO, but regarding bad things happening. Many pagans I know do not see the God/Goddess as a ruler on high that is allowing or controlling events in peoples lives. They often see events as a result of Karma, which actually is not if your bad you'll get yours, but actually just consequences of your actions, at least in the (short) original Hindu definition. As a result we don't doubt our faith, because our spirituality isn't based on faith. It is based on truth, our truth. So if you think you'd be better off if you were dead, you will make yourself sick, or become so careless you get in a bad accident. God didn't make it happen. You weren't a victum of some deities "divine" plan. You created your reality. And that occures by the contact that your spirit/soul/Atman/Life force has with all others.

Hope that made sense.
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#5 of 9 Old 09-24-2002, 04:51 PM
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To say you've had a rough last 2 years would be incredible understatement. Just one or two such events would have any person seriously questioning. Even a Pagan!

For me, Goddess is the divine within all of life and nature. Not a controlling entity, but a presence, a sacredness in all. I taken comfort in an adaptation of the 23rd Psalm, that I found in my calendar book years ago, when life is rough for me.

The Earth is my mother.
I shall not want.
Her hand brings forth the green pastures.
She tarries within the still waters.
She sustains my body.
She leads me in fields of fruitfulness for my glory,
Yea, as I walk through the summer of life
Unto death,
I will not be afraid, for You are with me.
Your womb in the earth will enfold me.
You prepare a harvest before me,
and bless my home with children.
You fill me with milk and honey.
My cup overflows.
Surely, goodness and beauty will nurture me all the days of my life,
And I will become part of the Earth Forever.

~~~Karen Dzubur~~~

The more I think about this the more I realize that this may well be the core of my beliefs. The rest is form and practice and a quest for historical accuracy.

Another good site for info on basic beliefs and various paths is, look for "The Little Witch" stories. There are two, and they are very informative.

"What will you do once you know?"
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#6 of 9 Old 09-24-2002, 09:17 PM - Thread Starter
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You are Beautiful Women. Thank you for sharing.
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#7 of 9 Old 09-25-2002, 10:14 AM
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So sorry for all you losses.

Goddess bless you, your family and your little spirit babies, as you try to heal and go on.

I had a friend lose a full term and healthy baby at birth this past Feb. I attended her funeral, and it was christian, dry and uncomforting to me. As I talked to her in the following weeks, she admitted being on the fence about the christian church, and also admitted the service was no help at all to her. I just barely mentioned my pagan beliefs to her, and theories she may not have been exposed to, about what may have happened to her baby after she died, and why she died. She was hungry for more info, so I lent her Spiral Dance by Starhawk. She loved it and proudly told me, a few weeks later, her sister was trying to talk about her baby form a christain perspective, and she said, save your breath, I'm a witch! We had a good laugh about that, which was also healing for both of us.

I like Spiral Dance, it is informative, full of facts and ideas. Meiri warns it is not historically accurate, tho. It's a great beginner's book, I think.

Good luck sweetie,
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#8 of 9 Old 09-25-2002, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
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I felt your energy (and everyone else's too). Thank you- I will definitely be looking that book up.
Michelle (Maureen)
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#9 of 9 Old 09-26-2002, 12:04 AM
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Check out Click on God Talk and Novus Spiritus, the yare Gnostic Christians. I too grew up Catholic but have definately related to Gnosticism. Also check out some of Sylvia browne's books!
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