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Author Topic: Pagan Musings  (Read 9925 times)

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Offline RhedynTopic starter

Pagan Musings
« on: March 20, 2011, 05:50:15 PM »
I have considered myself Pagan for a very long time and sometimes I have profound and not so profound moments of enlightenment or just thoughtfulness concerning my rather eclectic and changeable life philosophy. Being a Pagan for me is not a religious endeavour, it is a lifestyle choice that helps me to see and appreciate the natural world and all of its facets and paradoxes in a purposeful way. My belief system is very unique to me, it's evolved over the 28 years of my life and will continue evolving until and beyond the day I die. I find wisdom and guidance from a lot of different paths and ideas, drawing from them and working with them to create my way of thinking.

I thought I would create this blog to share with you some of my musings on such a big and inspiring part of my life and I hope you all enjoy what I add and find something to take away and think about on some level.



As always comments, questions and feedback are welcome  :-)

Offline RhedynTopic starter

Re: Pagan Musings
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2011, 05:53:29 AM »
I donít like labels. I dislike using them to describe what I believe and how I live and yet they are in some measure necessary. Part of the reason I dislike them is because I do not want to be associated with any form of religion. I do not particularly agree with organised religion and though I donít begrudge anyone else who finds it works for them, on my own journey I have realised that I hate being told what to believe and how to practice that belief. Iím the sort of person that questions things and when I am told that the conclusions I have drawn (and that feelright to me) are wrong because of some preordained system of faith it automatically sets me off.

I like to think of myself as spiritual, rather than religious. This is one of the reasons I like being Pagan, a term I use because it is broad enough to encompass me and my ways without pigeonholing me into a set belief system. In fact I class myself as a Pagan Witch, neither of which rely on the other and yet they work beautifully well together for me in my lifestyle. ĎWitchí is a term that is often misunderstood and fraught with negative stereotypes, though I do not shy away from it. It is not a religion, it is in very simple terms like a prayer system whereby the practitioner consciously draws on the universal energy all around us to encourage things to happen, through chants, spells and prayer workings. I have met witches of all different religions, it is not a practice particular to paganism or any other belief system.

As a Pagan I try to live as naturally and with as much forethought towards the natural world as I can given my circumstances. As a witch I create and develop ways to celebrate this, making incenses and candles, chants and blessings out of whatever I can lay my hands on. I try to be aware of the changes around me, the turning of the seasonal wheel and the power in each point on it. The duality I view in the world is incredibly important to me, the need for male and female, light and dark, good and evil, it is a rich tapestry very intricately balanced and very beautiful. I do believe in Deities though it is a little more complicated than thoughts of God or such that are often perceived. As such I wonít bore you all to death with attempting to explain how I view it, though I will do so happily if you want to know. For now I will put it like this. I see Deity as being both God and Goddess, two facets of the same whole and within them there is everything, they are everything, a part of everything and are the essence of everything. Therefore everything in the world that we perceive on any level is part of the Divine spark/the Universal energy.

Perhaps I am going off on a tangent here. I am not trying to preach or change peopleís beliefs, merely give a very generalised description of what I believe before I start talking about things that may seem a little odd without the introduction. Above all else, as a Pagan, I hold respect for life and death and everything in between including other peopleís views and their own spiritual beliefs or lack thereof. No single way is right for everyone. We all have to find our own ways through life in order to learn and grow, this I truly believe, but we are surrounded by billions of other people who help us in some way as we go, forcing us to learn lifeís lessons and further ourselves whether we want it or not.

Offline Jagerin

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Re: Pagan Musings
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2011, 10:26:42 AM »
Wonderful post, Rhedyn. I don't think you went off on a tangent at all. I think you nailed it pretty well for a description of what it means to be so called Pagan without identifying with any specific religion.

Offline RhedynTopic starter

Re: Pagan Musings
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2011, 10:32:44 AM »
Thanks Michi, I'm glad you think so.

Offline RhedynTopic starter

Re: Pagan Musings
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2011, 11:16:49 AM »
For me, spring begins when I see the first crocuses of the year sprouting through the softening earth and darting colour onto an otherwise bleak looking ground, which is usually around mid-February...though it has been a little late in coming this year. Winter always feels like it has been very long, this last year particularly so as here it settled in earlier than normal and was so bitterly cold. Itís not long before the rest of the plants follow suit and begin sprouting little green buds and shoots and then the daffodils begin to spring their cheerful heads above ground.

It is such a wonderful time for new beginnings and new life, the start of new cycles and a vivid reminder that after dark times there is light. Iíve been thinking about this a lot at the moment and trying to keep a firm grasp on the positivity that comes with this time of the year. Like the plants themselves I hope that I will grow and bloom and realise my full potential for another year.

As such I get rather proactive at this time of the year. I try to do a full spring clean and clear out of the house and find my mind working overtime trying to sort and tame the ideas that start popping into my head. Sometimes I find myself in a bit of a muddle, with too many ideas floating around trying to make themselves heard, but eventually I manage to get a grip on them and sort them out.

At the moment my garden is looking neat but in a rather sorrowful state. My landlords came round at the beginning of the week to have a clean-up and prune out which resulted in half of the plants being hacked down and pulled up. While this is unfortunate I do at least know that they will grow back in due course and with relative speed as spring progresses and the days get longer and warmer. Still it is looking a little bare compared with what Iím used to and I have a vast array of terracotta pots sitting around that need to be planted up.

Today however, spring seems to be taking a break here. It is a rather overcast and cool day compared to what we have been used to this past week or so. It could just be that it seems that way because the sky is dull and the garden is bare, or perhaps nature is pondering what to put its energy into growing next? Either way spring is here and bringing colour and light back into life.

Offline Jagerin

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Re: Pagan Musings
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2011, 12:09:05 PM »
I'm so excited for spring. ^^ Not just so I can gather stuff for homemade teas, but just for the break from the cold and to see all the green. I really love spring. *shakes her fist at the dreary cold that is still outside her house*

Did you take that picture? Those look like the flowers that are slowly trying to bloom by the tree in our front yard. ^^

Offline RhedynTopic starter

Re: Pagan Musings
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2011, 12:31:23 PM »
I love spring too! I can start collecting herbs and plants for my store cupboard soon! Yay! Winter gets so bland and dull after a while.

I did indeed take that photo - though technically it was one I took last year in Glastonbury. They would be a cluster of white crocuses, whenever I see them coming through I know it's spring. We get lovely purple and yellow ones around here too.

I should probably make the effort to go out and find some more spring stuff to take pictures of... *ponders* ...perhaps on the next nice day we have I will venture out with the camera and see what I can find (since today was bleak and rainy and just kind of blergh)

Offline RhedynTopic starter

Re: Pagan Musings
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2011, 08:45:52 AM »
   

Yesterday was the first sunny, spring day weíve had in a while and quite typically I woke with a massive headache, which happens a lot when the temperature changes, not to mention the fact I didnít sleep well that night either. Despite this and the fact that the light has a tendency to make it worse it was lovely to really see the spring changes going on in my garden.

Granted, I appear to have missed the crocuses and daffodils since they decided they would sprout regardless of the ridiculously low temperatures and poor lighting, but I did manage to get out and take a few snaps in the garden of what little there was. What I love the most is the surge of green that comes to the fore all of a sudden.

Below is a picture of the new leaves and blossoms beginning to appear on the tree in my garden. I love to see the little flowers coming through and opening turning into a pale pinkish white before they litter the garden with their confetti.


I know that a lot of you havenít really had a taste of spring yet so I wanted to share a few pictures to remind everyone whatís on the way and, hopefully, help you all to get into the spring spirit as nature starts waking up again, albeit rather slowly at times. If thereís one thing that can be said itís that she does not like to be rushed.

Offline Jagerin

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Re: Pagan Musings
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2011, 08:48:48 AM »
Those are beautiful pictures, Rhedyn! We're finally beginning to see Spring here too. Do you know what type of tree that is in your last picture? It's really pretty.

Offline RhedynTopic starter

Re: Pagan Musings
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2011, 08:54:21 AM »
Unfortunately I have no idea, all I can say for sure is that it blossoms every spring and doesn't bear any fruit afterwards. I've been trying to work out what it is since I moved in 5 years ago...still no answer though :/ 

Offline Jagerin

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Re: Pagan Musings
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2011, 08:58:29 AM »
I can't really tell from just the buds, but if you get some pictures of it in full bloom and some close ups of one of the flowers I might be able to figure it out. ^^ If it's used for any kind of home remedies or medical purposes (whether now or in the past), I should be able to locate it.

Offline RhedynTopic starter

Re: Pagan Musings
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2011, 09:19:34 AM »
Sure, thanks! I'll take some close up pictures of the blossoms when they open and the leaves once they've grown out a bit more for you to take a look at :)

Between me and my grandad we can usually tell but this one has had us both stumped.

Offline RhedynTopic starter

Re: Pagan Musings
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2011, 09:11:42 AM »
This weekend I have decided to have a good clean out of the house. I try to do this twice a year, once in the spring and once in the autumn and it always amazes me how much stuff we seem to accumulate over the course of six months and how suspiciously things I could have sworn I threw out the last time are hidden away in some corner of the house.

It comes as little surprise I suppose, with two kids running around the place you sort of get used to it and the sheer volume of stuff they have and mess they make and yet whenever I feel the house is cluttered and the cupboards are disorganised and hiding a whole host of things we no longer use or need my mind feels cluttered too. What canít find a new home or use I throw away/recycle and what can I bag up and take down to one of the charity shops we have in town so that someone else can make use of it.

This weekend is the start of the Easter Holidays here. My daughter broke up from school today for two weeks and I know if I donít get this done this weekend it just wonít happen while both the kids are whizzing round like little tornados. With this in mind I also thought I would share a recipe for a natural household cleaner that I make and use which has no harmful chemicals in it, smells nice and cleans well without leaving any residue or stringent fumes.

It is very simple to make, just part fill a spray bottle (the kind you get for misting plants and garden work, thereís usually loads coming into the shops at this time of year) with warm water, add a large tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda and a few drops of lavender or tea tree essential oil and gently mix up. I usually put in around 10 drops of oil but around 5 would also work if you donít want it to smell too strong. Both lavender and tea tree are antibacterial and pretty much interchangeable for household cleaning, I tend to follow my nose when picking and choose the one I want to smell around the house.

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Re: Pagan Musings
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2011, 02:03:16 PM »
Sure, thanks! I'll take some close up pictures of the blossoms when they open and the leaves once they've grown out a bit more for you to take a look at :)

Between me and my grandad we can usually tell but this one has had us both stumped.

Does it look anything like this when it's in full bloom?

Offline RhedynTopic starter

Re: Pagan Musings
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2011, 05:04:57 PM »
No, I don't think so... The blossoms are less tightly grouped and a lot lighter, more white than the pink that the buds appear as.

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Re: Pagan Musings
« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2011, 05:16:09 PM »
I'll wait for the pictures then :-)  I have a fair eye for plants as well.

Offline RhedynTopic starter

Re: Pagan Musings
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2011, 11:24:25 AM »
Thanks Oniya  :-)

Because I love this guy and his music and this one is just spring for me:

The Greenwood Grove by Damh the Bard
« Last Edit: April 14, 2011, 11:39:12 AM by Rhedyn »

Offline loki

Re: Pagan Musings
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2011, 01:52:28 PM »
I have some questions if you don't mind answering them.

Okay, I seen that you said that you spiritual. I was wondering what you meant by that. Do you just believe in the energies of the world or the energies of the spirits in this world? Also you said that you call yourself a witch. What would make you different than all the others that practice Wicca or are you along the same line? I'm just curious and have never really gotten to talk with anyone about this kind of thing so please don't think my questions as rude. I just want knowledge on things that most won't speak of.

Offline RhedynTopic starter

Re: Pagan Musings
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2011, 02:33:10 PM »
I don't think your questions are rude at all and I have no problem answering them.

By spiritual I suppose I mean that I hold beliefs that relate to the existence of deities, karma and the like as well as energies though I do not fall into a religion. I believe in energies in the world and energies of spirits etc. To me they are all one in the same thing as all energy comes from the same source and therefore everything is connected. The distinction between Wicca and witchcraft for me and many other Pagans that I have come to know over the years is that Wicca is a more organised system of beliefs with a code of conduct, more formalized practices and rituals and is generally a coven based affair, not least because technically it requires initiation. It also has a hierachy of sorts in coven work.

I make the distinction because witchcraft is a practice of prayer and spell work without the belief in gods and goddesses etc. It uses energy but does not rely on specific beliefs and as such can be practiced by people of any belief system. Wicca uses witchcraft techniques but has it's own belief system that it runs along side this to enhance and give meaning to it.

I hope that makes sense and has answered your questions. Feel free to PM me if you want me to try to go into more depth for you  :-)

Offline RhedynTopic starter

Re: Pagan Musings
« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2011, 11:32:29 AM »
Here are the pictures of the blossom and leaves on my tree, I can take more if needed:





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Re: Pagan Musings
« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2011, 11:37:06 AM »
http://www.lawyernursery.com/May07.html  Bottom center image, maybe?

Offline Jagerin

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Re: Pagan Musings
« Reply #21 on: April 19, 2011, 11:41:03 AM »
First off, awesome answer to Loki's question. ^^

Secondly...that looks almost exactly like the tree in our back yard...therefore I haven't a clue what it is. :P I've been trying to figure it out since I first moved here. I was thinking maybe a Redbud Tree or a variation of a Shadblow. Or even an ornamental flowering plum. The petals look too far spread apart to be any kind of peach blossom. Or some kind of Sugar Tyme (crabapple) tree.

Offline RhedynTopic starter

Re: Pagan Musings
« Reply #22 on: April 19, 2011, 11:45:56 AM »
Thanks Michi  :-) 

It could well be Oniya. My first thought was also a type of crabapple though what confused me was the fact it has never grown any kind of fruit, it seems to be the closest match though. Perhaps there is some other reason that it doesn't...

Offline Jagerin

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Re: Pagan Musings
« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2011, 11:52:19 AM »
We had a crabapple tree when I lived in TN, but it never bore any fruit. I've seen a lot of reasons why that happens. One big one is that it was pruned wrong. Another is that there are sprays out there that claim they can stop a fruit tree from fruiting (cause some people actually don't like the mess it can make). Only problem with those sprays is that they can do three things. One, do as they state. Two, completely kill the tree's ability to have fruit (but still flower). Or, Three, kill the tree.

Do you know how long the tree has been there? Maybe someone who lived there before you all had it sprayed. *shrugs*

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Re: Pagan Musings
« Reply #24 on: April 19, 2011, 11:53:40 AM »
Or possibly it's not able to fertilize with itself, and there's no other one nearby.