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TexasMadness Profile
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Exploring the Pagan Path: General Discussion


Thanks everyone for bearing with the extended time it took to read this book. I think it was worth the extra wait and effort! I'll start off with just some general things about the book and we can go from there.

I guess I hadn't realized that this was quite so much a '101' book. For some reason, I'm guessing the use of the word "explore" and "elders", I figured it was going to be on advanced topics. However, I'm glad to have read it. In fact, I would greatly recommend this book to anyone who is new to paganism and either just wants to know what it is or wants to pursue it as a path.

Also, I felt it was very heavy on Wicca. The book description made it sound like it evenly dealt with Norse, Druid and other paths but they were either 'honorable mentions' or entirely missing. I'm not faulting the authors - I do think Wicca is the strongest influence in the pagan community, but not being Wiccan, I always appreciate more about other paths. One of the reasons I felt it was so heavy on Wicca was because several authors spoke of the Rede as a pagan UNIVERSAL law - it most certainly is not (Heathenism being a notable exception). I tend to have certain issues with the Rede. Perhaps this could be a topic of discussion for this book.

I also found the use of the word 'neopagan' interesting. For some reason it stuck out to me as being used more than usual compared to other books. This could be an interesting topic - pagan vs. neopagan.

I have a few notes about each individual chapter but, of course, I left those at home and I'm at work. I do recall two things though that were chapter specific.

First, I thought chapter 2, "Making a Personal Connection with Divinity", was utter crap. I'd be happy to go into details when I have my book and notes in front of me. Could be a lively debate if anyone found that chapter enlightening!

Second, I had issues with some of the broad concept of chapter 5, "Magical Manifestations of Energy Work." While I thought the chapter was actually rather good, I found myself annoyed about the issue of consent. What I mean is, he speaks about how you should only perform magic on those who have consented. But lists as an example that magic can be used for broad purposes like helping the general population have more religious tolerance. I find these two statements at odds. And it got me thinking a lot about consent and magic and what it all really means. I don't think I follow the standard Wiccan rules here.

And finally, I wrote down two quotes from the book that I adore (I actually have those in my work notebook since it was the only thing on hand! emoticon).


Native Americans have no word for religion, their view of spirituality being inseparable from thought, philosophy and everyday activities.




We humans do far too much talking and noisemaking and we don't spend enough time just listening.



---------------

So those are my initial thoughts. If you'd like to discuss any of my comments further, just say so in this thread and I'll break off a discussion. Or please feel free to bring up your own topics in this thread and see if we get any 'bites' for further discussion!
4/30/2012, 4:14 pm Link to this post Send Email to TexasMadness   Send PM to TexasMadness
 
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Re: Exploring the Pagan Path: General Discussion


Totally love the Native American [sign in to see URL] tend to lean in that direction on many of my ways, thanks to my Spirit [sign in to see URL] believe at one time she was a Native [sign in to see URL] not gotten out of her if she was a maiden or warrior or wise woman. emoticon

---

✴ Birthplace: Earth ✴ Race: Human ✴ Politics: Freedom ✴ Religion: Love♥

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Saijen SilverWolf1 Profile
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Re: Exploring the Pagan Path: General Discussion


Texas, you bring up some good points. I also felt the book was extremely heavy on Wicca. Most of the authors, I believe are of the Wiccan path, so stands to reason. Still, the book description did lead one to believe it was more evenly divided between that and other Pagan paths. I thought it was a book more about path descriptions, and helping one figure out what path they are on, or would like to follow, than an extreme basic..."this is this, and that is that" type book.

 Chapter 2 was written, apparenlty, with the expressed feeling that ALL who seek a Pagan path must also seek a diety of some [sign in to see URL] God/dess or some such. I felt that was a bit presumptious on the parts of the contributors to that chapter.

I, personally, use the Rede (With Harm to None)...in the way I choose to live (Do unto others as you would have them do unto you? Which is a the Christian version).
[sign in to see URL]

I don't think it means if someone is coming after you, physically, psychically, emotionally, [sign in to see URL] you're NOT supposed to protect yourself. I just think it means not going out of your way to harm something/one, just because you can.
Also, on the consent [sign in to see URL] has to be some leeway there as well. I won't do a love spell to bring a specific person to my 'client' (for lack of a better word), because, to me, that's messing with someone's free will. I don't want people messing with mine, so I don't mess with others. However, to do something to help open a person's eyes to a [sign in to see URL] may not be MY truth they end up seeing, so in that respect, I'm not messing with someone's free will. I'm not FORCING someone to see things how I see them. I'm simply asking for a truth to be revealed. The spell is on the revelation of the truth, not on the person/people.
Keeping in mind that you only want to do things that are not harmful (using how I explained that above), then asking for religious [sign in to see URL] spell should be put on the religious tolerance, and not on the people.
I'm not sure if I'm making much sense (kind of out of it today)...so, if I'm not, and you're not sure what I'm trying to say, please ask, and I'll try to explain further.

I think a discussion on the difference between Pagan and Neo-Pagan may be good.

I know I had other things about the book, but, unlike you, Texas, I wasn't smart enough to think to write things down. You can bet I will on the next [sign in to see URL].

---
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"
~~@Saijen@~~
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Re: Exploring the Pagan Path: General Discussion


I didn't think chapter 2 was overly presumptuous about finding a personal deity. I know I'm in the tiny minority not having that. In fact, I usually *like* to read descriptions of how to connect with deity because it gives me ideas of things to try. I think it was more that the author set out "in stone" the way a deity is perceived, interacts with the physical realm and should be worshipped/connected with. I didn't feel there was much leeway on doing things in the usual free-form spirit of paganism. Also, I thought the style/message was kind of metaphysical mumbo-jumbo in general. emoticon

Tonight or tomorrow, i'll break off some other topics for discussion. Don't have time right now as the toddler is just walking in the door from preschool. Gotta go get some squeezes in!
5/1/2012, 11:14 pm Link to this post Send Email to TexasMadness   Send PM to TexasMadness
 
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Re: Exploring the Pagan Path: General Discussion


Please continue any conversation about chapter 2 in ]this thread.

And the topic of pagan ethics (the Rede and consent) has been posted in ]this thread.

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Re: Exploring the Pagan Path: General Discussion


Done, and [sign in to see URL] thank you for setting those up! emoticon

---
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"
~~@Saijen@~~
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