This blog does not represent the views, beliefs, traditions, etc. of all Pagans. This blog does not claim to be 100% correct, nor does it claim to have every answer. This blog represents the personal views, beliefs, and morals of one Pagan. This blog represents the belief system and spiritual journey of one Pagan. The blogger in charge of this blog is not looking for followers or others with the same outlook on life. The blogger believes that every individual is exactly that, an "individual;" with individual beliefs, individual paths, and individual outlooks on life. The blogger stresses how important it is for people to discover their own spiritual paths, their own system of beliefs, and their own morals.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Pagan Experience - March Week 4

E and F

  • Earth
  • Earthing 
  • Earth Magic
  • Eclectic
  • Element
  • Elder
  • Elixer
  • Empowerment
  • Enchantment
  • Essential Oil
  • Esbat
  • Evoking
  • Familiar
  • Fate
  • Fascination
  • Five-fold Kiss
  • Full moon
  • Fire
  • Fern
  • Futhark
  • Family
  • Fantasy

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Ostara: New Life

Ostara. The midpoint spring. Where day and night are once again equal, and the days will soon outweigh the nights. Where flowers are bursting from the Earth, and new life is literally popping up all around us. 

Here, we celebrated Ostara with a trip to the park! The wind was still a bit cold, but the sun was shining and there was no snow! All in all, it was a successful adventure.

As usual, I've created an infographic for Ostara, and am sharing photos of my altar! Check it out, and I hope it inspires you in your Ostara celebrations! Remember, it's never too late to celebrate!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Pagan Experience - March Week 3

Building A Connection With Deity

Instead of talking about my Deities, and those whom I worship, I'd like to actually talk about how to build a connection with a deity. This would have definitely come in handy when I struggled with building a relationship with my newest Deity, Achilles, whom I will discuss next month (stay tuned)!

This is also part of my Pagan Journal Prompts, and is week 13.

Building A Connection With Deity

  • Establish a home base.
    • Your home base is where you start from; in other words, where you are right now in your beliefs. It is also where you will return as you explore other ideas about Deity. As your ideas change, so will your home base. Ask yourself: what do you believe about Deity right now? Take some time to identify your ideas and express them. Make a list of your ideas about Deity and see if you can identify their connecting themes. Begin where you are currently. Study, learn, and experience all you can about your current beliefs.
  • Make a connection.
    • After you've studied and learned for a while, give it a rest. Let all that knowledge and theory percolate awhile. In the mean time, focus on opening yourself to connecting with your concept of Deity. This is the point where you and the Divine intersect. Go find it. 
  • Develop a relationship. 
    • Once you have a connection with your concept of Deity, you need to being forming a relationship with it. How does Deity interact with you, and how do you interact with it?
  • Flex your ethics muscles.
    • Allow your Deity concepts and your ethics to develop together. Your ideas about Deity and your philosophy of life should be in harmony with each other. There is no reason for your ethics and your Deity images to conflict. If they do conflict, something is wrong and you need to take a hard look at both of them. There is no need to do anything you believe to be unethical in your religious practice. Keep your ethical muscles healthy by working them for yourself and insist that your Deity beliefs and your ethics support each other.
  • Keep exploring.
    • When you feel ready, venture away from your home base and explore as many other perspectives for which you have time and interest. Being an explorer is a lifetime process, so pace yourself. Don't let your other responsibilities slide because you're going a hundred miles an hour in your studies. Keep all aspects of yourself in balance. Don't form your opinions on a perspective until you've tried it on. It's even ok to try on an idea you don't agree with. Be open to learning from unexpected sources. Good ideas and insights can come from anywhere. It's ok to agree with an idea originating from someone no one has heard of or who is unpopular, and it's ok to disagree with an idea even though it comes from someone famous. Evaluate an idea based on its substance, not it's source.
  • Be respectful.
    • You are going to encounter a lot of different ideas about Deity throughout your life. Be respectful of what works for others, even if you disagree with them. Sometimes we learn the most from what makes us uncomfortable. While you're respecting the views of others, don't forget to include yourself. Don't bash where you came from or what you used to believe. For whatever reason, you needed to be there then, and where you came from got you where you are today.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Pagan Experience - March Week 2

As Above, So Below

This week's topic is all about what you seek from the Divine. How is it reflected in the mundane? Where do I find my place of synthesis.

It's funny, I just posted a journal topic not long ago about writing a letter to the Divine (Week 12 Journal Prompt). In the letter, it is suggested to ask questions and express feelings.

This topic seems very similar to the prompt.

What I, personally, seek from the Divine is acceptance, love, and a place to call home. I seek the acceptance for my beliefs and values that I have never received from others. I seek the pure, unquestionable and unconditioned love I will never received from others. And I seek a place to entrust my faith and beliefs and values in one place; a shelter or home for them.

In my daily routine, through the boring repetitive actions and the dull tasks required each day, the acceptance, love, and shelter I receive from my Divine is what keeps me going. I know that despite what others think, say, or feel about me, my Divine loves and accepts me for who I am, and offers me a place to come and relax spiritually.

My synthesis with my Divine is through meditation, music, and nature. Even now, in the cold winter, I still feel my Divine in all living things. Through meditation, my Divine allows me ask questions, seek answers, and converse. And through music, I release emotions that my Divine accepts and soothes.

My Divine loves me for me.
My Divine accepts me for me.
My Divine offers me spiritual shelter.
My Divine listens and comforts.

My Divine never judges me.
My Divine never questions me.
My Divine never turns away from me.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Pagan Experience - March Week 1

Knowledge, Wisdom, and Gnosis

When it comes to things such as knowledge, wisdom, and gnosis is my everyday pagan living, it can sometimes be hard to differentiate them. They are three very separate and individual things, but they very much go hand in hand.

Let's define them.

Knowledge is to understand something; to know the facts/truths about a given subject. When we gain knowledge, we are gaining an understanding of a given subject, based on information, facts, and even opinions. We seek to understand, usually with the potential to use the understanding for a specific purpose. Knowledge allows for change, in response to new information. The hunger for knowledge is the hunger to seek improvement. We gain knowledge by learning, education, science, reflection, reasoning and logical thought.

Wisdom is the ability to make correct judgments and decisions based on our knowledge. It is an intangible quality gained through life experiences. Wisdom governs choices, the pursuit of knowledge, communication, and relationships. Wisdom is a timeless process, as it is based on our experiences throughout our lives. Wisdom defines and redefines our character. 

To put these two simply: Knowledge is understanding the facts. Wisdom is knowing what to do with those facts.

In my opinion, the greatest example of Knowledge vs Wisdom is:

"Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad."

Now, when it comes to Gnosis, it is a bit harder to define.

The simplest way to define gnosis is this: spiritual knowledge or mystical enlightenment. Like wisdom, gnosis is gained through experience; specifically divine experience, or experience that goes beyond the five senses. It is not simply based off of personal experiences, but rather experiences that defy conceptualizations and beliefs. Gnosis is not based on what we are told or what we believe in. Rather, gnosis is conscious, experiential knowledge. It is not confined to intellectual knowledge, conceptual knowledge, beliefs or theories. It implies a knowledge that encompasses the whole person, and is not confined to a concept, dogma, or theory. It embodies the core wisdom and knowledge of humanity.

To sum it up:

"To understand it, one must experience it."

So how do these three things fit into my daily spirituality? These three concepts seem so drawn out, so large that they are hard to grasp. How could one possibly cram all of them into daily spirituality?! 

The strain is maddening...

It's quite simple actually. Every day, I gain knowledge about my personal views, morals, and spirituality. Gaining this knowledge feeds my wisdom, because let's face it, this is a spiritual journey. And no spiritual journey is traveled without a growing amount of wisdom. As for gnosis, well, it is gained from the growing wisdom and knowledge. Without one, I would not have the others.

Follow me for a second:

When I first started my path towards Paganism, I gained knowledge of what religions and faiths were out there. When I found a few that seemed to fit me, I researched them, and gained more detailed knowledge about them. That allowed me to narrow it down to Paganism. Learning all this knowledge allowed me to gain some wisdom about myself. I discovered my core beliefs, values, and morals. Using my wisdom gained through the process of researching religions/faiths, I defined my own faith was able to connect with others who shared similar views or similar paths. This wisdom was gnosis. My knowledge and my wisdom engulfed me in the divine truths that I needed. My own truths.

Granted this example was across more than one day, but you get where I coming from.

"Spirituality is based on one's own effort to experience the truth, and the method to reach that experience is primarily practical."