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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in belief

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Kinds of Knowledge

Different kinds of knowing, each having their own veracity and value, are to be cultivated and used appropriately. However, there is one kind of knowing we should avoid as much as possible: belief.

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Webster, Thanks for another really interesting post. That is a bit of a trick, trying to unlearn the notion of 'belief' in th

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Knowing You're Right

More drama has surfaced within wider Pagan community within recent weeks, particularly within the blogosphere between “polytheists” and “humanists”. I put those terms in quotes to blanket a lot of people under them, and because after all I’ve read regarding either camp, I’m not sure I understand what those terms really mean anymore.

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  • Peter Beckley
    Peter Beckley says #
    Sorry it took me so longer to reply, thank you all for your comments. I'm not sure what the path ahead looks like, but one thing s
  • aought
    aought says #
    I've always thought of myself as Heathen. Pagan works too, though I do get tired of explaining that I do not consider myself a Wit
  • aought
    aought says #
    It is sad to see the Pagan community aping the Abrahamic sects. Per the dictionary definition, Pagan or Heathen refers to those wh

Posted by on in Studies Blogs

It's probably no surprise that I'm a huge fan of parodies and satire, or the various "-ifications" on the net (yes, I know that's not a word, I'm using it anyway).

I really enjoy it when people get creative about their interpretations of things- the creative world is too broad and vast for us to get terribly proprietary over our ideas.  Copyright infringement and patent laws and such really bug me.  Of course, I like the reversal of such things, like Repo: the Genetic Opera, which is not even terribly tongue in cheek in its commentary on commercialism in health care.

The reason I enjoy these things, far beyond the satirical and political commentary holding people accountable through mockery, is the actual creative genius of world-building.  Taking a simple trope or theme, like maybe a memorable scene from a movie or book, and recreating it as a sitcom episode with the cast of Friends, for example.

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  • Joseph Bloch
    Joseph Bloch says #
    It's only suggested by the title of your post, but have you seen this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54VJWHL2K3I (I'm a gamer
  • S. Rune Emerson
    S. Rune Emerson says #
    Actually, I put that link in the post, although apparently the video is having a problem. *chuckles* But yes, I felt it was ter
  • Laine
    Laine says #
    It's nice to see that others have witnessed the interplay between story and world and spirit wherein it concerns roleplaying games

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
My Pagan Theology

Yesterday was Walpurgisnacht, the night in which German witches are said to fly around on broomsticks and revel. Today is Beltane and my birthday. I was born in the early morning hours between Walpurgisnacht and Beltane, to a German mother and an Irish-German-American father  in the birth town of the Grim brothers. It makes me think that magic runs in my blood, and yet this is the first year in which I will dance the may pole.

It haven't even walked this pagan path for a full year and a day. I am still a new witchlet and yet I am practically watching my theology come together - like pieces rising from the ashes of a puzzle destroyed in the fire. When my previous Christian theology went up in flames I thought agnosticism was the best the world could offer me. The resurrection of belief has been more than an intellectual delight, it has been a breath of new life. To not only disbelieve the old things but to believe in new things. I believe again!

But what exactly do I believe? Teo Bishop put together a great list of pagan beliefs in his post Crowdsourcing Pagan Theology.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

• Isa •

Old English Rune Poem
Is (Ice) is over-cold, extremely slippery;
It glistens glass-clear, most like gems;
It is a floor wrought by frost, fair to look upon

Old Icelandic Rune Poem
Iss (Ice) is a river’s bark
And a wave’s thatch
And doomed men’s downfall

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

In 2013 I plan to write more than I have in 2012, which was certainly more than in 2011. There is a growing interest in what one does on a "Pagan homestead", and what makes it magickal or Pagan. Today, however, I want to steer away from that to something I think many are very guilty of, even if you don't want to admit it. I'm definitely guilty of it, and this is my public proclamation to be better, to understand my worth and limits.

There is an often overlooked component to Paganism, it’s propagation, and the fostering of a tolerant environment in which it can, in its many forms, be fostered and actively encouraged to grow and flourish. That part isn’t the expected tolerance from others, it’s not the guaranteed, yet often unrealized, equality and freedom for those who have ‘alternative’ spiritual paths. It’s something closer to home.

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  • Kyrja
    Kyrja says #
    I am going to keep working every minute of every day to bring Rupert's Tales and their messages to the world. I am going to keep
  • Joy
    Joy says #
    Well said. We definitely need to reach outside our own tribe, so to speak, and notice the community around us and the world we all


O, yes, it is nearly Samhain. Oya is crashing north- and westward, Her winds clearing the path, driving the waters ahead of Her. And I am composing an invocation of the Morrighan and have purchased a perfect, fat pomegranate. It is so tempting to tear it open and taste the sweet wild seed-fruits, to quench my thirst as Persephone did and doom myself to a dual-life. 

The lore surrounding Persephone's descent into the underworld has come down to us in some interesting ways. One is the abduction scenario--Hades rises from a great cleft in the Earth and pulls her into his black chariot. She leaves her mother Demeter behind, bereft at the disappearance of her only child. Persephone serves as Queen of the Underworld and in the course of her time below, she eats six seeds from a pomegranate. These doom her to a bi-coastal existence--six months above ground with Mummy, six below with her husband, the Dark King.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Better than Belief

In our culture belief is the sine qua non of religion. We talk of ‘beliefs’, and ‘believers’, and ‘other beliefs’, as synonyms for religious doctrines, adherents and other religions. The problem with this is that only one religion on the planet actually cares about what you believe: Christianity. Most other religions relate to their doctrines or practices in very different and sometimes contradictory ways, such as having several unresolved and conflicting opinions in one person. For them, this is not a problem, but for Christianity it is. The history of Christianity is mostly about disagreements in doctrine and who had to flee, hide, fight, be killed, or submit to whom, about it. It is true that across human history religion has been an excuse for war or plunder, but that was usually about resources or dominance and not about technical points of theology. Christianity is different.

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  • Henry Buchy
    Henry Buchy says #
    heh, the old 'faith vs works' debate...
  • Peggy Andreas
    Peggy Andreas says #
    That was a very interesting read, thanks. My own take on this is something I've understood since reading Starhawk's "Spiral Dance
  • T. Thorn Coyle
    T. Thorn Coyle says #
    Sam, this was nicely written. Thank you. There are two quotes that I return to again and again on this matter: Joseph Campbell's:

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Chosen Belief

One of the things that I value about being a Pagan, is that my religion welcomes knowledge that comes from science. The research of astronomers and of archaeologists figures in my meditations and in my spiritual and magickal practice. I'm also happy that we have been called the people of the library rather than the people of the book. I have access to the myths, the stories, and doctrines of more cultures and ages than my spiritual ancestors could have imagined. I'm extremely grateful for the abundance of teachings that this represents as it gives great depth and breadth to whatever spiritual, magical, or religious work that I undertake. However there is a cost and a challenge that comes with every gift. With greater knowledge comes the possibility of greater doubt. Without a single book or body of teachings identified as the preeminent source of truth, there can be a weakening of the power of belief.


On the longest night of the year, science tells me the Sun will rise again and that the days will grow longer. On the longest night of the year, the myths that I hold true tell me that our actions determine our relationship to the Sun. When I see the glorious Moon shining in its fullness, I see a Divine light and I see a large rock held in the dance of gravity. When I look at the attributes and stories of a Deity across the lines of cultures and time periods, I see the lines of soft and hard polytheism grow blurry in a syncretic mist. I think you can find your own examples for the experience this dynamic in your life. This is not a blog about faith in the normal sense of the word. Nor is it a blog about belief in the normal sense of the word. The concern that I'd like to raise, is that one of the primary fuels of magick is belief.  The knowledge that we have in the modern world can interfere with the process by which we create the power of belief. As it is, we live in a culture that discourages a belief in the power of magick so we already have one obstacle to overcome. And though I believe that more knowledge can result in more power and more effective practices, I also know that it can create emotional, cognitive, and spiritual dissonance.

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  • Maggi Setti
    Maggi Setti says #
    The dissonance and paradox here of meaning being multi-fold is both the bane and beauty of our religion. It holds the wonder and

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