Pagan interest thread

(621 Posts)
MoonFaceMama Sat 04-Sep-10 08:38:38

Hello,

As a pagan who practices alone i sometimes find it difficult to mark the passing of the wheel of the year in a secular society which largely ignores there things (ie, i sometimes forget special days blush ) I get the feeling there might be others on here who feel the same, or who do remember, and that maybe we could support each other in reminders and suggestions for celebrations...

Personally i tend to mark the seasons in ways that feel appropriate and are informal, i'm not big into ritual (but willing to discuss this with those who are). Now that i have a ds i think i'm more concious of helping him to have structure to his year (when i was little i had this through the church) and am considering joining a local pagan group so that i have a community of support in this, which might, in time, be available to him should he wish to access it.

So...a place to discuss pagan celebrations, ideas etc... Any takers?

smile

MoonFaceMama Sat 11-Sep-10 20:04:50

Ooh the folklore society sounds interesting!

It is a lovely time of year isn't it. We've had a few of those misty mornings that burn out to hot afternoons lately, a sure sign it's the end of summer. Your wedding cake sounds lovely! We got married at beltain in a tiny ancient disused chapel and had jars of spring flowers that we picked. Was very cheep seasonal. grin

nemofish Sat 11-Sep-10 22:17:11

We got married on summer solstice! We met at the summer solstice too. Ooh I'm going all misty eyed thinking about it...

I went on holiday to Glastonbury this year, and while we didn't get to visit the spiritual sites, I got a real feel for the place and we are planning to go back next year. That kind of spurred me on to do something about my spiritual feelings.

But I am still a bit scared blush

PricklyThistle Sun 12-Sep-10 03:12:11

I'm not an 'anything' religious wise. I am currently reading DD and DS a Bedtime Book of Buddha which they love, and lets me reinforce certain messages I want them to get....work hard, be nice to others, share etc etc.

I'm really wary of calling myself or DC any religion (including pagan) because I don't believe in organised religion. But I do try to mark festive days related to the seasons -so will bookmark this thread!

Hazeyjane Sun 12-Sep-10 06:52:59

hello, can i join in?

i am paganish, try to mark special days and sometimes do little spells/charms with our dds.

we tried to get married at samhain - my favourite time of year, but the registry office was booked, so it was the week before.

we live just near avebury, a place which has a lot of resonance for me. have any of you with an interest in ancient sites read about the recent discoveries at marden henge? There is an article about it here, and lots more stuff if you google. dh, who is a history buff, went there recently to watch some of the dig. Also the modern antiquarian website is very interesting.

hope we can share some ideas of things to do to celebrate festivals, ours usually revolves around making and eating cake!

PortBlacksand Sun 12-Sep-10 12:22:49

Ooh thanks for reminding me about TMA website grin - i have the book - tis a hefty tome.

I will look at that article - the site of Stonehenge was much ruined (the road for a start - wtf were they thinking) before anyone listened to the fact that the whole area was a sacred site (Durrington Walls etc.) - madness!

Interesting too to hear what your DHs and family make of your beliefs. DH is a lapsed Catholic and a general sceptic on most things - but he puts up with me bless him. DCs think i'm a witch grin wink When we didn't get DCs christened we had the debate with DHs family - who thought it was because we couldn't agree between Catholic or CofE (as i was christened) - so we explained it was a bit more fundmental than that.

Like the idea of cake! I know next to nothing about plant / herb / kitchen lore and all that side of things. It is something i would like to know more about especially if it involves cake.

nemofish Sun 12-Sep-10 14:23:58

Hi PortBlackSand

Originally my dh was very sceptical of my beliefs with regard to nature spirits / spiritualism, however as I went further down that road he changed his mind gradually. Also I do Reiki and at first he was very hmm until he had a session with me and then it was more shock smile

But he is fairly well studied in paganism and majickal theory, he just never really believed before. When I first met him I would have said he had all the psychic sensitiveness of a piece of plasticine, however, now I think a bit of 'me' has rubbed off on him, from recent experiences.

Luckily we have no family really to disapprove of our weirdness!

Earthymama Mon 13-Sep-10 10:11:18

Hi everyone, I had a MN break as I was in Glastonbury last week, meditating in the landscape and defining how I feel at the moment with regard to my spirituality.
This thread seems appropriate and I'll pop back if thet's ok?

By the way I honour the Goddess, who I see as Gaia, embodiment of the Spirit of Life in this glorious Earth. I don't make herinto a person really but it's handy to do so sometimes to have a hook to hang my thoughts on.

We sing We all come from the Goddess and collect lots of natural masterials to honours the changing seasons and festivals.

Lovely to think of MerryMumsMeet smile

MoonFaceMama Mon 13-Sep-10 17:37:00

Hi all! So great to read your posts. Much to say but visiting my folks at the mo so will have to wait a couple of days till i get home to the computer. smile

Mumi Mon 13-Sep-10 20:57:08

"the walk from Avebury to West Kennet and Castlerigg for atmosphere" - for a second I thought you meant doing all three in one go, PortSandblack! shock grin

I'm lucky enough to be able to usually celebrate the wheel of the year in lots of company, but need to dedicate more time to my own reading and solitary practice. Will be watching thread with interest

PortBlacksand Tue 14-Sep-10 07:53:00

grin - yes that would be some walk!!!

mamatilly Tue 14-Sep-10 19:32:22

hello.
this is a lovely inspiring thread and please may i pop in and say hello...
i am not a pagan but i would love to embrace more ritual/ ceremony/ honoring of the seasons in my life.
i am seeing that the autumn solstice is nearby and wondering how this might be celebrated....

blessings to all x

spiritmum Wed 15-Sep-10 09:51:22

Morning! So much going on here and I've hardly had time to reply properly.

I think that part of the reason that East Anglia is so short of 'sacred sites' is actually the lack of big stone in the area. Weren't lots of sites made from timber? Still, there's not much in the way of burial mounds either. But I suspect that the sacred sites are still there, you just have to be tuned into their energies to recognise them.

Our village church has some very interesting gargoyle type things as well as a rather gruesome wall painting which I think is the seven deadly sins. It's called St. Michael the Archangel and I did read somewhere that this is a relatively unusual church name (using the Archangel bit) and indicates an earlier site that has been Christianised.

But yes, I agree about Cromwell. I love the Lady Chapel at Ely and wonder what it must have looked like in its glory.

Last week we noticed that Autumn had come to our neck of the woods, so dd1 and I had a long nature walk looking for signs of Autumn. We then came home and made a big display of things collected from our garden; seeds, nuts and berries, leaves that are just turning, and a few last flowers. Then dd2 and ds joined us for making apple, pear and blackberry crumble and butternut squash and apple soup. We'll add to the display over the coming weeks with the conkers and acorns and beech mast, and maybe even a few hazelnuts if I can beat the squirrels to them.

For the equinox I think I will do something in relation to having a white candle and a black candle. I'd also like to bid farewell to the light out of doors but I'm not sure if those lantern things that float up to the sky are eco or not.

I can feel my energies drawing inwards. It feels like it's time to take stock of what my year's harvest has been. I also think it might be time to find a course in the craft and really have a good look to see if this is for me at the moment.

Blessings.

teameric Wed 15-Sep-10 09:59:48

Hi can I join in please? I am very interested in the Pagan/Wiccan way, it just feels "right" to me iykwim. Its nice to meet like minded people! smile

MoonFaceMama Sun 19-Sep-10 12:42:44

Hello all! Special hellos to teameric , mamatilly , hazeyjane , earthymama , and mumi who i think are all new since i've been away! grin

my computer has fallen out with the mouse hmm so i'm stuck on my phone and haven't been able to properly explore the links people have kindly posted but i hope to soon, though this may mean a trip to the library.

I too practice a cake based belief wink and am planning a spiced plum number to mark madron. smile

Nemo i am blush to admit i know nothing about reiki! Do you have any links or a bluffers guide or anything?

Earthymama i think our beliefs are fairly similar. smile i'm interested in the song you mention. Could you tell me more? I love singing and think one of the things (more) organised religion has going for it is communal singing, which i miss (i know some pagan practice is quite "organised" but i don't quite consider it an organised religion iyswim)

spiritmum i hope you are well. smile. What a wonderful inspiring post. smile

Where to start!? Re east anglia and monuments. I think you could be on to something re wooden structures. Also i have heard that as it is such an agricultural area stones may have been removed to make way for ploughs, which then ploughed out the traces. I don't know how true this is, but i know that in yorkshire the smaller stones are well preserved on the moors, with pretty much only sheep for company. In the more intensively farmed areas such as the wolds there are ploughed out features (there,s some stuff about this in the modern antiquarian book, esp a sight called the gypsey race.) Though there are some huge monoliths that they have had to go round, like the devils arrows near borougbridge.

Portblacksand i'm fascinated by the christianisation of pagan sites too! I've seen some great ones in scotland and wales. Things like stone circles and barrows encompased in churchyards. Also the rudston monolith, the biggest in britain is in a church yard.

Anyway, back to spiritmums post... smile. I love gargoiles etc too. The imagination and the way they bring together the profane and the sacred is amazing. Plus i admire the craftsmanship. Have you been watching the how to read churches programme on bbc3 or 4 lately? Very interesting. I went to devon over the summer and stayed in a village called chagford. The village church has a three hares ceiling boss which was lovely to see. I love hares and am fascinated by (though pretty ignorant of) the mythology around them.

I'm going to post this and then continue in another post as i'm a bit worried it might crash my phone and be lost...

wukter Sun 19-Sep-10 12:54:28

May I join in?
I don't know about 'belief' as such, I'm still very much looking for my path, but I have an interest in these things.

Re 'Churches and How to Read Them', last week was about the first wave of Christian churches in Britain, and all the pagan symbolism and borrowings in them. Very interesting, it's probably on the website.

MoonFaceMama Sun 19-Sep-10 13:47:26

Right, where was i! grin

Spiritmum your display sounds wonderful envy grin I'm forever picking up bits and bobs and leaving on the mantle place. At the moment there is a pile of shells and sea washed pebbles with holes in (which are a goddess symbol for me. I've felt a strong connection and draw to the sea lately). Also a st brides cross made of corn at lammas, tucked behind the carved green man above the fire.

Re the floating chinese lanterns i'm afraid it's bad news. On farming today (up early with ds) there have been reports of animals ingesting the wire bit and dying. Also of horses being scared by them, bolting and getting fatally injured. sad I wonder if there are any available that don't use wire?

Thank you spiritmum for sharing your equinox plans. When are you planning on celebrating? I believe the actuall equinox falls on the 23rd this year, which is thursday. As it happens dh is taking ds for the afternoon that day (first time i've been apart from him in preparation for going back to work next month [nervous emoticon] ) so i'm thinking i'll take myself off for a meditative walk. Then we can all have a seasonal and celebratory meal together. What that will be might depend on the garden!

I love that phrase you use spiritmum "take stock of my years harvest" and i plan to do the same. I have a lot to be thankfull for this year. smile In the evening i think i'll light the first fire of (this end of) the year and will burn lammas's corn st brides cross on it. To symbolise the turning of the wheel iyswim. Your candle idea is am interesting one too. I read in one of my pagan/wicca books t'other day that in the past this time of year would have seen the release of prisoners. They would have made their way home before the real cold set in, and the captors would have had one less mouth to feed over the lean winter months. The book raised the idea of releasing our own prisoners by burning slips of paper with negative thoughts written on. An alternative is writting them on leaves and setting them in a stream.

Any way. I've whittered on for long enough now! grin

MoonFaceMama Sun 19-Sep-10 14:20:02

hi wukter! Welcome! Yes, i've found that programme fascinating. I loved the angel church, though i'm not in to angels much myself, i found them very charming.

Do you plan on doing anything to celebrate the equinox? smile

HappyHome Sun 19-Sep-10 20:52:08

Hello,
May I join? I'm not sure if I would call myself a Pagan however it is the belief with which I can identify the most - it just feels right iyswim.

I'm looking forward to hearing how you all plan to celebrate the autumn equinoxsmile

wukter Sun 19-Sep-10 21:14:52

Thanks MoonFaceMama smile

Like Happy Home I am looking forward to hearing abour Equinox plans.

MoonFaceMama Sun 19-Sep-10 21:45:38

Hi happyhome don't worry too much about the pagan tag. I'm considering asking tech to change the thread title to "not quite sure but by closest approximation pagan interest thread" as we're nearly all a bit unsure wink grin

Yes, wukter and happy home. I know i've kind of laid my plans out above but i may well borrow some ideas from the others. smile

wukter Sun 19-Sep-10 21:49:39

What I love at this time of year is gathering conkers.
It's a little ritual to mark the turn of the year.

Hazeyjane Sun 19-Sep-10 22:06:43

Hello

For the Equinox we will probably go to Avebury, eat cake (I was thinking something plummy too, Moonfacemama), toast the equinox with a glass of apple juice, leave a little offering of thanks and let the dds run around like lunatics. Dh and dds are building a fairy house at the moment (inspired by 'Tinkerbell and the agreat Fairy Rescue' film!) which I thought would make a lovely Autumn-y altar, it is nice because it is something that the dds can do and love because it is fairy related, but also a way we can talk about the Equinox with them.

The churches programme was fascinating wasn't it.

Re the East Anglia thing, does anyone know about the Gog Magog chalk figures?

MoonFaceMama Sun 19-Sep-10 22:31:30

I love gathering conkers too. smile i have three at the moment that i picked up around some lovely old trees that are about to be felled due to infection sad I'd really like to propogate them but i'm not sure how. Maybe i'll just stick them in a pot and see what happens.

Your day sounds lovely hazeyjane. I bet your dd's fairy house will be gorgeous. Our plums needed eating so i've stewed them so no plum cake here after all! There was a blackberry cake in the paper yesterday so i might do that. Have just started a batch of elderberry wine but that might be ready for next year!

Gog magog rings a bell but no images are springing to mind... Could you remind me? grin

Earthymama Sun 19-Sep-10 22:40:54

Hi, I think wukter is right, I love the informal rituals that we all develop that mark the seasons.

I gradually change the kitchen shrine by adding berries, seeds, conkers and then I burn, compost or throw into the river the previous offerings.

Will you think I'm crazy if I tell you the kitchen shrine has two empty ale bottles on either side, Hobgoblin and Wychcraft!! I've hung them with crystals and they hold twigs etc. They make me smile and I love Wychwood Ales. blush

MoonFaceMama Mon 20-Sep-10 01:13:25

I love an ale earthymama so i can completely understand! What is your kitchen shrine if you don't mind me asking? A shelf? Little table? I'd like to develope something a little more purposeful than the mantle piece, though i do like putting things there. But there,s often a lot of other crap stuff there too. Actually maybe i should just clear that lot away instead. Sorry...random. confused grin

Do you have anything planned for madron/equinox?

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