Articles/Essays From Pagans
March 9th. 2014 ...
Healing the Witch Within
Discovering Wicca as a Young Child
March Pisces Energy: Pre-natal Memories and Standing Upright
March 2nd. 2014 ...
Lessons of Ostara: Six Ways to Move Forward
The Wiccan Priest - The Misunderstood Role
Which is Which? Am I a Warlock or a Witch?
The Secret Teaching: Selected Aspects
February 23rd. 2014 ...
Wicca or Traditional Witchcraft: Some Differences
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The Wonders and Gifts of Paganism and Community
What Makes Us What We Are
February 16th. 2014 ...
Death, Grief, and Psychopomp Work in Shamanic Healing
The Stones of Fear: Anxiety Relief
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February 9th. 2014 ...
Words of Power!
The Allure of Glamour in the Apocolypse
Lunar Insight Planetary Preponderances: Year of the Horse, Imbolc and Mercury Grazings
February 2nd. 2014 ...
The Magick of Jewelry and Metals
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The Golden Bough: a Study Guide (Part 2)
January 26th. 2014 ...
Love of Self: The Hardest Thing To Do
The Golden Bough as a Seminal Work in the Neo Pagan Movement (Part 1)
13 Keys: The Mercy of Chesed
Lightworking In The Screen Age: Staying Connected
January 19th. 2014 ...
Open Letter to the Goddess
A Southern Girl's Guide to Hospitality
Social Conventions and the Pagan World
January 12th. 2014 ...
Never Once Was There a An Athame Near My Chalice: My Very Sheltered Occultist Upbringing
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January 5th. 2014 ...
Religion vs Practice: Defining Witchcraft in a Modern Age
Traditional Apprenticeships: Training in the Modern Pagan Abbey
2014's Magickal Magnificent Manifestations!
Lunar Insight Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances: Wise and Wild
December 29th. 2013 ...
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 3)
13 Keys: The Might of Geburah
Beyond The Season of Greed
December 22nd. 2013 ...
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 2)
December 15th. 2013 ...
The Hex Murder of 1928
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 1)
Lady of the Forest Mist (A Story of the Woods)
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Hunting, Fires and Parting Shots
December 8th. 2013 ...
Help and Thoughts for Pagans New to the Journey
Using Your Wand in Reverse
Leaving a Group - Part 2: Leaving, Healing and Moving Forward
The Cry of the Soul
December 1st. 2013 ...
The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness
A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism
Leaving a Pagan Group – Part 1: To Leave or to Stay?
November 24th. 2013 ...
The Pagan and the Papacy
The Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective
November 17th. 2013 ...
For Love of the God
Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca
A Threat to Religious Liberties?
November 10th. 2013 ...
Where did Aleister Crowley’s Influence on Wicca Go?
Thoughts on the Threefold Law/Law of Return
The Celtic Tree Calendar
Nine Creeds: A Statement and Explanation of My Beliefs
November 3rd. 2013 ...
The Mundane/Spiritual Mirror: What Does it Say About Your Life?
October 27th. 2013 ...
Thoughts On a Miley-Cyrus/ Robin-Thicke Society
On Being Wiccan: Some Unsolicited Advice
Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them
Banishing, Invocation and the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram
October 20th. 2013 ...
Bottle Spells and Magick in Hoodoo Tradition
Weather Magick: Who is Responsible for the Weather?
Broom Closet: In or Out?
On Coven and Claws
October 13th. 2013 ...
Destroying to Create: A Lesson from the Dead
Consume the Scorpion- Scorpion Energy Revisited
October 6th. 2013 ...
UPG and U: A Breakdown and Building Up of Unverified and Unsubstantiated Personal Gnosis
Answering The Call from Spirit
Coping with the Loss of a Familiar
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 2 (The South)
September 29th. 2013 ...
Six Reasons Why Covens are Here to Stay
Priestessing and Titles: What's the Point?
Truth or Convenience? Questioning Motives for Spiritual Advancement
Speaking Up: The Conflict Between the Spiritualist and Our Human Experience
September 22nd. 2013 ...
Death of a Friendship within the Craft
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
An Honest to God (dess) Filter
Article ID: 13688
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 1,480
Times Read: 4,162
RSS Views: 14,250
Author: Fire Lyte
Posted: February 21st. 2010
Times Viewed: 4,162
This article’s purpose is, as I say often, to light a fire under comfortable thinking. Comfortable thinking, to me, is complacency, when we get complacent in our search for knowledge; when we get to the 102 level or the 103 level, or maybe just continue to swirl around the 101 level, and decide that’s good enough. My challenge to you, the readers, is to never accept anything blindly and to continue to learn everything you possibly can, to be captains of your own experience.
Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of one of my favorite books Eat, Pray, Love, said we must “Look for God like a man with his head on fire looks for water.” She also said, “You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestation of your own blessings.” I believe this with my whole heart and being.
This is why, when I am discussing a topic such as the nature of the Divine or the definition of Paganism, I try and stress to you all that the information I present is simply how I’ve come to understand things to be. I know for a fact that my worldview will change several times over the course of my life, and I look forward to each change with the same fervor and invention that Siddhartha did when he was studying the divine. (I recommend you read that book. You’ll never look at a river the same way again. Or, maybe you will.)
I want this generation of pagans to be captains of our own education. I want you to seek out God (dess) with the same passion and need that a man on fire seeks water. I want my voice to be one of hundreds of voices you listen to that you use to help formulate your own worldview. Even, if only to know that everything I say doesn’t jive with what you believe. That’s great! As other people say, it means you’re thinking for yourself. With that said, I want to talk for a quick moment about honesty.
I hope that the message you take from this article is that we need to be honest with one another. Never should you accept what people, including myself, say as fact on face value alone. In your search for the divine, hopefully you’ll do some studying, and then you’ll do some more studying. You might very well start off in the New Age/Wicca/Paganism 101 section, and that’s ok, everyone needs a start. My first book on paganism was a Cunningham, and though I don’t agree with much he says now, I still treasure that book dearly. But, I hope that you’ll also move into philosophy, religion, psychology, history, physics and all the rest that life has to offer.
Learn the mythologies of the world to find out what Gods and Goddesses speak to you. Learn the religions of the world to find out what parts of them you like and which parts you don’t. Maybe you’ll find that paganism wasn’t for you, but that you’re more Buddhist in leaning or at the very least you’ll have a healthy respect and understanding for the beliefs of the rest of the world’s population.
Once you’ve done this research, you’ll develop a filter. This filter will be comprised of your own sound research, your beliefs, your intuition, your heart and your brain working in conjunction with one another. In short, your filter will be your worldview. This filter should be applied to everything you hear, everything you read, and everything you say.
When you read a new book on paganism or magical theory, you should pass the information through your filter. What jives with your well-researched worldview can be added to your worldview, expanding it by that amount of wisdom. However, what does not fit with what you’ve come to know as truth can be discarded. One of my best friends will buy a book because it has a great section about tools or a well-written essay concerning a particular figure in occult history like Doreen Valiente. She might think the rest of the book is complete hogwash, but she wants to add that bit of good information to her worldview.
Furthermore, when you share your personal experiences with others, you should keep your words in good order. You need to speak without attempting to put one over on other people, especially in order to further your own ego. If you did not have a specific magical experience, or you honestly do not possess one of the many popular pagan superpowers, then please do not pretend to do so. This causes a cloud of incongruous misinformation in the pagan community; it fosters an air of confusion for newcomers to the path and frustration for members that have been on the path for years.
It’s unnecessary to tell others falsehoods about something so basic and so varying as religion and spirituality. Now, you should most definitely share something if you firmly believe it to be true. If you pass your experience or belief through your well-researched filter and it comes out the other side in tact, then by all means let people know about it, should you feel called to do so.
In conjunction with this, you should pass what others say through your filter as well. If someone is telling you something that goes against what you’ve come to know as your truth, your worldview, then you shouldn’t let it through your filter. However, if what someone has to say fits and expands upon your worldview, your body of knowledge, by all means allow it to pass through your filter and expand your understanding of the world, the universe, and the divine.
There are times, however, when you will come upon someone who is not trying to enhance the collective education. These individuals are simply trying to gain attention where they could not get it otherwise. These people may put themselves in false positions of authority or market their supposed information for a price, masquerading untruth with mystery. If it comes with a dollar sign, it must be factual, right?
In situations where you find someone is claiming falsities or pretending to be a teacher of magical practices when they clearly go against historical fact and the laws of physics (such as being able to physically fly or claim to be an expert on the subject of the Burning Times…did you know 9 million women died? *sigh*) , then you should take them aside, privately, and question them. Ask how they came to this information, why they would tell other people this information should it not be backed up by research, and perhaps try to educate them on what the facts have to say on the subject. Or, at least, how you have come to interpret the facts.
Remember, though, that many people are simply telling others what they believe to be the truth. A great article Feithline Stuart of SpiritsCast directed her blog readers to deals with folks that read only 101 texts on paganism and never go deeper into the various subjects dealing with a pagan worldview. You will meet a great many people like this, and while it is not your place to tell someone else how much education they should have, this may be an opportunity for you to act as teacher to them.
However, should this person not be receptive to sound research, don’t beat a dead horse. Just smile and nod, and please don’t denigrate them to the rest of the pagan community; it’s in bad taste. Although, you may just open some eyes and expand someone else’s worldview.
This is what I hope to inspire in you, the readers: a desire to gain this filter, and to constantly add to your body of knowledge. Your beliefs should be based on something more than instinct. You should attempt to ground your worldview in as much education as you can, but as I’ve said before there are some things that no science book or academic text could ever prove. These are where you take leaps of faith… Just, please, try and make them educated leaps of faith.
I’ll say it again: Seek God (dess) like a burning man seeks water. Make it a passion. Make your well of knowledge endless, and fervently try and fill it up.
I will facilitate with knowledge and beliefs and opinions gleaned from my research and worldview. However, if something I say goes completely against your truth, then by all means discard it. I am not preaching any gospel here. This is why I say paganism is a buffet religion. It is one of the few spiritual modalities that allows individuals to create their own worldview instead of being tied to one limited perspective of the divine.
And, when you hit someone who is spouting grade A, high quality B.S., and they’re trying to bowl one over on a new walker to the path or yourself, take either the seeker or the supposed teacher aside, privately, and let them know the truth. Or, at least, that you know a really good book on the subject.
Copyright: (c) Fire Lyte - Inciting A Riot 2009
Location: Chicago, Illinois
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