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#1 of 32 Old 10-29-2002, 07:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DH was raised Christian, and though he still believes the Christ, and the Bible, he no longer wants to use the name Chirstian.
I think he feels that he is so much more than that.

What little we know of Paganism interests us, and we feel it could be compatible with our beliefes, but we know so very little!

Could you Pagans out there tell us about your beliefes??
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#2 of 32 Old 10-29-2002, 08:46 PM
 
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Hi MarsupialMama :-)

I bumped the pagan path poll thread. We did it a couple months ago and many of us shared our personal beliefs.

I started out believing just in a universal force, and that we are all connected and part of the All. But the Goddess I have been working with has set me straight. She wants to be worshipped in a certain way. So I have been learning more so that I can follow her direction. The statement below pretty much covers what I am striving for, but I'm not there yet. Still learning.

Hellenic polytheists worship the ancient Greek gods—the Olympians, nature divinities, underworld deities—and heroes. We honor our ancestors, both physical and spiritual. Ours is primarily a devotional or votive religion, based on the exchange of gifts (offerings) for the gods' blessings. Hellenismos has a highly developed ethical system based on the principles of reciprocity, hospitality, and moderation.
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#3 of 32 Old 10-30-2002, 04:33 AM
 
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Hi, MM,

I don't know how long ago this was posted about, but I wanted to add my two cents.

I became Pagan about 4 years ago. I was raised Christian. However, my mom was kind enough to let us choose our own ways but did ask that we participate in hers as well.

The reason I am pagan is I got tired of the idea that I was going to Hell for being human basically. All my children were born out of wedlock, I don't believe that baptism is necessary to wash sin away...as children are innocents in all ways. AND I don't believe that is right to Ask a God to give me things. I ask to be guided by the very thing that I came from. God is, and that's all I know as far as god goes. I beleive in the duality of God. Anyone ever seen Dogma? That movie really is a good one for the argument of the Duality of God. God is not a thing...or a tangible being. God is everything..and nothing. God is what you believe he/she/ it is.

I do use ritual to empower myself to do things. I have abilities that I cultivate. (I am empathetic..I see auras, and I also can do some animalspeak) Btw...Animal Speak is not what you might be thinking..I don't sit and bark at the dog or anything...its all in pictures and thru eye contact only. I have a half wolf dog that is very communicative with me and my family.

I also beleive in reincarnation. I believe that we are who we are by choice..not by fate. I don't believe in fate much. I do believe in destiny...but only thru our own power do we reach our destiny. I believe in Karma, and I follow the Wiccan Rede that reads

"Bide the Wiccan Law We Must
In Perfect Love and Perfect trust!
Eight Words the Wiccan Rede Fullfill
'An Ye Harm None Do What Ye Will"
Everything comes back to thee
So ever mind the law of three
Follow this with mind and Heart
Merry Ye Meet and Merry Ye Part.

I believe in the law of three rule, that everything comes back to you three times, and harming no one with what I do say and think. I use my energies to will my needs, dreams and desires to happen. I don't ask "God" for a new house. I know it won't happen until I can make it happen. I don't ask God to get me a car. I don't ask god to help me find the money to pay the bills. I ask the forces that be to give me strength, wisdome and courage to find what I need for myself, or to find someone that can help me when I need help. I also follow the idea that the body can heal. Everyone has abilities they don't know about. Some people are telepathic and don't even know it because they have been raised to believe that it is wrong to practice such things. I have known about my abilities since I was little. Even my mom has to admit that her and I spoke to each other when I was at school, and she was at home. (and I was sitting in Math at the time)

I do invoke names when I do ritual. I call upon Mercury, the winged footed God of the wind to speed my requests to four corners of the universe. I call upon my guides to protect me, and I call up the guardians of the elements (air earth fire water and spirit (the 5 points on the pentacle) to guide me. My nickname is AriesFlame because I chose that (or it chose me) as my Magickal name. It is the name I use in rituals to indentify myself to the spirits I ask for guidance.

I know its all confusing. You probably don't know much more from my post than you did before. There are so many ways, paths, traditions. I think the main principle of being a pagan for me is taking total responsibility for my existance. I chose to be here. I chose to come here and live the life I am leading right now. Would I make changes if I could? Well, sometimes. However if I changed them from the start, I would not have met my soulmate. When I stopped blaming things on others, and on a God I never truly believed in, and realized I was in control of my destiny, it really was the only way to go for me (being pagan that is) No other religions allow such freedom. Its not organized either. There are groups, but pretty much everyone deals with being pagan in a different way. Where one might follow the laws of a certain tradition to a point, we all mold it to our own needs. We don't follow commandments set in stone. We follow ideas that make sense, and rearrange them to fit our beliefs. Yes, that sounds a little wierd at first, but there is no such thing as Black Magick. Its all Magick in my opinion. I look outside and know that a powerful force is blowing thru the branches of a tree. Its not just air, its power. I believe in the balance that should exist between man and the elements, and respect the elements for being more than I can understand. I don't claim to know anything more than what I believe...and that is what makes me Pagan. I don't know for sure where I am going when I die. I will decide that when I get to that path in my life. I know, I am rambling. I tend to do that on these boards. Its nice to talk about things with open minded people though

Love and Light,
Merry Part
AriesFlame
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#4 of 32 Old 10-30-2002, 09:51 AM
 
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Hi! I was not raised Christian & have been choosing my own spiritual path for as long as I can remember. I believe in a universal life force that manifests its splendor in each of us, and in nature. I celebrate many pagan holidays--primarily as a means of celebrating the season. I'm also drawn to a few Hindu deities--after studying yoga for many years. I also am interested in Taoism as it is very compatible with my core beliefs.
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#5 of 32 Old 10-30-2002, 10:42 AM
 
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MM--

I was going to refer you to the cross religions thread, but I see you started that one too! LOL!

It's nice your dh is honest enough to say, some things in the bible ring true for him, but not all, so he can't feel right calling himself a christian any more. Some here have said, they have trouble with lots in the bible, but still want to call themselves christians, out of fear of offending god or something.

As Stevie Wonder sings: "when you believe in things that you don't understand, then you suffer--superstition is the way."

I would think, when you are looking for answers in several places, you would be naturally eclectic, and eventually you may settle on one established system, "hard" polytheism being one. Or pick one path, Hinduism, Sikh, Judaism, etc. But while searching, just keep an open mind, read, talk, ask questions, don't worry about labels. I now ID as (celtic) pagan, but spent so much time studying Buddhism and Hinduism, I still say or visualize OM when I pray. I have heard there is danger in traveling too many paths, using rituals or images from too many faiths, but haven't experienced and myself. I filter it all thru my instincts/heart.

BTW, I think paganism and xianity can be combined, I think the Catholic Church does it! no offense to Catholics. the cult of Mary seems so goddesslike. Of course, most big xian religions are set on pagan holy days--solstices and equinoxes.

edited for typos
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#6 of 32 Old 10-30-2002, 12:41 PM
 
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well nm, i'm not sure what you ment exactly by saying christianity and paganism are "exact opposites"..... but it did raise some hackles for me... i'm sure you didn't mean to imply that christianity is about "good" and paganism "evil" or any such nonesense as that, but to someone who is unclear about paganism, comming from a christian perspective it could be interpreted that way.... could you clarify your position on "exact opposites" for those who are posing the question?

personally, i think there can me much crossover between christianity and paganism - if your form of chirstianity is not of the fundementalist path. there are many ways to be a christian, just as there are many ways to be "pagan" (about as many ways as pagans i'd say - since by nature we're fairly indepent in thought)...
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#7 of 32 Old 10-30-2002, 02:31 PM
 
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respectfully, would you guys mind starting a new thread for the debate of "exact opposites"?

That way anyone who wants to debate such statements can, and we won't be highjacking this thread. The OP did request that pagans share their beliefs with her. She didn't request a debate over Christianity and Paganism and if you can combine them.
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#8 of 32 Old 10-30-2002, 02:58 PM
 
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Some people follow a path which they refer to as Christopaganism- which keeps some of the Christian teachings intact. I do not have time to type now (nor do I know a whoel lot about it), but that may warrant some investigation for you and your husband. Good luck!
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#9 of 32 Old 10-31-2002, 10:27 AM
 
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Here's a whole 'nother way to look at Christianity--Gnostic Christianity! Do a search, read the Gospel of Thomas. It is the underlying secret theme of xianity, that ties it in to paganism and the myth of the Old Testament and eastern thought. Very interesting.
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#10 of 32 Old 10-31-2002, 03:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ladylee, I liked what you said, dh & I feel very much that way, I think.

We beleive in a great power; a creator. It doesn't matter to me what you want to call it, we've been useing the name Creator. We feel that there is a part of that power in everything, even in us. We believe also that their are other spirits, powers, or energies.

We believe that the Creator intrusted us with the care of mother earth and the animals, and children. That is what is most important to me.

We feel that the earth was created to act a certain way, and to do certain things. We want to celebrate that! We feel that everything, and everyone has power within themselves, healing powers, telpathic powers, intuitive powers, ect,.

We want our children to apreaciate this also. We want some tridtions, or rituals, or holidays, or something to celebrate all of this.

Any good ideas? Or any idea of what we "Are"?
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#11 of 32 Old 10-31-2002, 11:06 PM
 
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May I recommend reading any of Sylvia Brownes books? She is Gnostic Christian (which best describes me at this time) and that sounds llike what you are leaning towards. Check out http://www.sylvia.org/home/aboutnovus.cfm

Also, check out my Santeria thread fro info. on onemFaith that
commonly intertwines Christianity and Paganism.
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#12 of 32 Old 11-01-2002, 09:17 AM
 
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Here's a link to the books on Gnostic Christianity that I am reading now.

jesus mysteries

And an excerpt:

To anyone who is not familiar with historical and biblical scholarship of the last half-century or so, The Jesus Mysteries will come as something of a shock. Believing Christians will find it disturbing; Evangelicals will be horrified by it; Fundamentalists will no doubt ascribe it to the devil. And yet much in the book will be familiar to scholars. Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy demonstrate clearly and unambiguously that much of Christian belief and practice, rather than being (as the Church has always claimed) a vast contrast with the Pagan ideas of Greece and the Middle East 2,000 years ago, actually draws on those traditions. This controversial thesis will be dismissed by many readers, but the meticulous footnoting of sources, both ancient and modern, will cause others to wonder if this book ought to be taken more seriously than many recent rewritings of history.'
Amazon.co.uk

'Jesus Christ - man or myth? Freke and Gandy believe the latter, and in this weighty yet accessible tome, they set out to prove it. The Jesus Mysteries traces the traditional symbols and stories of Christianity back to their original sources, which the authors believe belong in Paganism. The comparisons laid out between the two religions are startling in their similarity; the three wise men, virgin birth, crucifixion, resurrection. Even the traditional dates associated with Christianity can all be found in the Pagan myth of Osiris-Dionysus, who was also the Son of God. Exhaustively researched, it is hard to dismiss this as yet another attention-seeking popular non-fiction work with little in the way of substantial content. However, it does raise more questions than it answers, so don't be surprised if a sequel is already in the making.
'The List' ******* and Edinburgh 13 May 1999
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#13 of 32 Old 11-01-2002, 04:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That does sound interesting, DaryLLL. However, we do believe strongly in the Christ, and the Bible.

It is all very confusing, but I suppose everyone feels that way. I just want to have an open mind. Though, it would be nice to be able to say I'm a so-and-so.

We would like to celebrate pagan holidays, but we don't really know all of them, or how to celebrate, not to mention when they are!
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#14 of 32 Old 11-01-2002, 04:48 PM
 
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Hi MM--here's a nice site:

http://www.spiralgoddess.com/Pagan101.html
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#15 of 32 Old 11-01-2002, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ladylee, thank you so much for that link!!!!
It really answered my questions; it was extreamly helpful for me!
It kind of told me what I already knew: we are Pagans, and we always have been, we just didn't know what it was called.

Thank you all for your help! I really appreciate that everyone is so open minded and respectful of others' beliefes - you don't find that often.

I'd like to know about holidays and rituals, preferably simple ones, but I would like to hear how all of you celebrate! Especaly having to do with the moon - I love her, I always have! This is very exciting!
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#16 of 32 Old 11-01-2002, 06:48 PM
 
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Hi MM,

There are lots and lots of ways to celebrate the sabbats..simple and private or public and grandiose.

I am a solitary Witch, so I tend to do mine in private with my oil lamps, candles and my computer altar. (I make wallpapers that serve as visual altars for people that don't have room for whole set up). (I sell custom designed ones, but I don't want to gratuitously advertise :

Anyway, celebrating the moon can be as simple and going outside and taking a walk in the moonlight, or it is the best of times to perform rituals. (I do a simple balance ritual every fullmoon. It helps me get things in perspective for the month ahead.) On fullmoons I try real hard to get out and see her at least once before she turns again.

Brightest Blessings,
AriesFlame,
(aka Heidi)
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#17 of 32 Old 11-01-2002, 09:22 PM
 
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Well, if you believe strongly in the Christ, but are also pagan, what are you? I think those books will open your eyes. They sure did mine. I feel so much less confused since I've found them. By "believing strongly in the christ," i guess you mean as a real historical man, and not just for the symbolism of underlying mysteries and knowlege/enlightenment? Or what? I guess this is
T
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#18 of 32 Old 11-01-2002, 10:21 PM
 
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This is such an interesting thread for me. I go to a UU church and in my feminist group we do some pagan rituals. I wondered what the history behind some of them was, and whether it was wrong for me to participate in some of the rituals because I didn't identify myself as a pagan (or anything, for that matter). The website was really informative, ladylee. I didn't realize how diverse paganism was. I feel much more enlightened.
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#19 of 32 Old 11-01-2002, 10:27 PM
 
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You're welcome MM--your excitement is so beautiful . I try to find the moon every night and I just empty my mind and absorb its energy, just as I do with the morning sun. I can feel the energy going through my chakras & aligning them as they should be aligned. As far as sabbats go, I celebrate the changes in nature each season with Beltane, summer solstice, the three harvest sabbats, and the winter solstice, and perform various rituals for each that are meaningful to me. Best of luck to you in finding/creating your way...

caleb's mommy-I didn't see your post before . How interesting that you had these experiences in your feminist group--I had similar experiences in mine which also inspired me to dig deeper.
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#20 of 32 Old 11-01-2002, 10:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ladylee, you are so wonderful, you make everything sound beautiful & meaningful. You spark such enlightenment, as well as curiosity in me. I thank you for it!

DarLLL, What I mean by "believing strongly in the Christ" is simply that it is very important to our lives, but I do think your books would be interesting.
I suppose, as I said before, I don't know what I am, I'm still finding my path. But I think that aspects of Paganism, as well as the Bible are part of that path.
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#21 of 32 Old 11-02-2002, 01:46 AM
 
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You might want to take some of the religion quizes at www.selectsmart.com they are really just for fun, but they have some great questions. On the homepage just look for the religion selector quizes. They have a pagan path selector, wiccan tradition, eclectic selector, gnostic christian and a bunch of others. Also at the end of the quizes they have links to more info about your top results.
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#22 of 32 Old 11-02-2002, 11:31 PM
 
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MM another avenue to look at might be the writings of Rudolf Steiner and Androsophy(sp?: ). I took a look at it because I wanted to know if Waldorf schooling would be right for my family.
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#23 of 32 Old 11-04-2002, 06:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Are there other terms one could use? How do you define what kind of Pagan you are?
Are there any books that talk about Pagan holidays and rituals to celebrate them?

Are there any books that you could recommend about any of this?
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#24 of 32 Old 11-04-2002, 07:37 PM
 
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Hi MarsupialMamma:

Defining your path takes time. I can say I am Wiccan, however its not entirely true. I follow a wiccan, Druidic, Greek, Roman and Celtic path. I even delve into Egyptian areas at times, and its really hard to say exactly what I am. I am what most call eclectic Solitary. I call myself a witch, but sometimes I wonder if that is right too lol. Anyway, take your time. Don't worry about "labels". You and your family have a lot of 'sploring to do on the paths that are available and interesting to you. Its important to remember that no matter what path you choose, there are many forks in the road ahead. Sometimes a path may have several different types of traditions in it. Wicca is not just one path, Druidry is not just one path, Christianity is not just one path. We all have to come to our own paths, and define them when we are certain it is something we want. I still refuse to call myslef anything but Pagan for the time being. It is simpler to define my faith that way than to explain, all about what I believe (That could literally take years!)

Brightest Blessings,
AriesFlame
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#25 of 32 Old 11-04-2002, 08:32 PM
 
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You might want to check out the pagan resources thread we have in this folder.

It can seem confusing as paganism is a very broad term. And can mean something different to each person you ask. Generally it refers to a belief in more than the one god of the bible. Our Gods typically come from the polytheistic religions of the past. The greek, roman, norse, celtic, hawaiian, etruscan ect pantheons of gods and goddesses. Some people focus on honoring them as the Lord and Lady.

Wicca is one branch of paganism. It's heavily influenced by ceremonial magic and eastern philosophy. Was started in the mid 20th century by Gerald Gardner. It includes a belief in the Wiccan Rede (short version) of harming none and the three fold law that what you do comes back to you three fold. The pagans I know believe that if you don't follow the Rede or the Rule of three you aren't Wiccan as it is a core belief. Wiccans celebrate the 8 Sabbats that make up the wheel of the year.

Eclectic paganism is sort of a catch all term used by many people who are finding their own way, are polytheistic but aren't wiccan. They often (not always) honor Gods and Goddesses of more than one pantheon. Usually celebrate the Sabbats.

Another branch is reconstructionism (although they don't use the term neo pagan some do use pagan ) They honor the Gods/Goddesses of one pantheon in a culturally specific way. Typically Norse (Asatru), Egyption (Kemetic), Celtic (by various terms), Greek (Hellenismos). They rely on historic materials to honor their gods. Each has their own holidays that were traditionally honored in that culture. They are seperate religions in their own right. Some use the term Traditionalist instead of reconstructionst.

Druidry can be a reconstructionist or neopagan religion depending on who you ask and how much they rely of history.

You then have the basic witches. Witchcraft can be practiced as a religion or not. It often overlaps some of the other groups mentioned. Some people use the term kitchen witch (magical cooking) , hedgewitch or green witch (herbal) ect.

These aren't specifically my personal views but what I've picked up as being the most common opinons of the pagans I know.

HTH
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#26 of 32 Old 11-04-2002, 08:35 PM
 
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Hi MM--I don't really use anything to describe myself other than not Christian .
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#27 of 32 Old 11-05-2002, 08:21 PM
 
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Here are some books that I've found to be very imformative & helpful:

"The Sabbats, a new approach to living the old ways" by Edain McCoy (a book that explains each sabbat, or pagan holiday, a chapter for each one)

"Pagans & Christians, the personal spiritual experience" by Gus DiZerega, PHD (a *wonderful* comparison of the religions)

"Circle Round, raising children in goddess traditions" by Starhawk, Diane Baker & Anne Hill

"Spiral Dance" by Starhawk (a superb description of the goddess religion)

And a good message board, with fabulous links (check the sticky in the Covenstead forum for linkys):
http://www.mothersmagic.net/forums/index.php

I was overjoyed when I discovered neo paganism about 2 yrs. ago. There's *so* much to learn & understand (as with any religion I suppose), but I'm loving studying it!

Have fun & good luck!

North Idaho rural living treehugger.gif mama to: 22 yo DD, 15 yo DS, 8 yo DS, 6 yo DS, 4 yr old DS, 2 yo DD, and 1 yo DS. stillheart.gif And someone new coming this Christmas! stillheart.gif

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#28 of 32 Old 11-06-2002, 10:57 AM
 
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I use the term Pagan to describe myself because I'm not strictly Wiccan.

I believe in an all-encompassing sacred force.. a sort of "Great Spirit" if you will.
And I believe that the Great God and Goddess.. or the Lord and Lady.. emanate from that.

I believe all the lesser Gods and Goddesses in the different pantheons represent aspects of the Great ones. I work with those different Gods and Goddesses when I want to tap into a certain energy or aspect.

I do celebrate the Sabbats with a circle of Pagan friends. We have all sorts of leanings.. a couple Wiccans, a couple neo-Druids.. a Santerian.. and me with my cursory (too lazy and not enough time to do it right) study of Kaballah.. so we are extremely eclectic and non-dogmatic.

What we have in common is Goddess worship, Polytheism of various sorts and earth worship.

We use ritual to honor the wheel of the seasons, to heal, to increase personal awareness and insight, to meditate and to get closer to the Lord and Lady.

Some of us believe in reincarnation, others believe in the Wiccan Summerland.

Some were originally Christian.. I am of Jewish heritage.

Anway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
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#29 of 32 Old 11-06-2002, 02:19 PM
 
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Arduinna-- your definitaions were really helpful. Thank you!
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#30 of 32 Old 11-09-2002, 11:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello again, (or is it merry meet?)

First of all I wanted to thank whomever it was that recommended the book "Pagans & Christians" !!!
Dh, and I are loving it! It is really enlightening, and in depth; it has really answered our questions.

As of now we are Pantheists/Panentheists (more Panenthists, though.) Anyone else feel this way?

Does any one want to talk about the Sabbats?
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