Monday, July 22, 2013

Beginning in Paganism

When it comes to practicing a religion it can be tough starting out, especially if you do not have prior knowledge on the religion. When it comes to paganism, it can be quite a hectic experience starting out due to many factors to which can be considered for practice such as statues, incense, altars and altar pieces, tools and anything else that may pop up in relation.

When starting out in the world of paganism, do not be shy seeking out knowledge that peaks your interest. If you take an interest in Kemeticism, do not shy from studying about it and the same can be said about any other path. There shouldn't be a need to be shy about learning what takes your interest.
The internet itself is great for searching up information, the only issue lies in that misinformation or unnoticed mistakes can slide in so it is an idea to try to make certain of information read. Books are also a powerful tool to learn from, so remember to pick those up whenever possible.

As paganism has been picking up in regards of people practising the many forms of it, there are some stores that are dedicated to paganism in particular. These stores are havens for divination tools, books, incenses and the like. This is useful as it makes it easier to find particular items in person. While stores dedicated to such things is great, other stores are also an idea to go to.
If it is possible to go to a candle store locally, it is a great idea to check out the store as it might be best to buy candles there. The same can be said for books in relation to religion itself, as more pagan focused stores tend to have books in relation to paganism. Not very useful for people like me as I focus a lot on Daoism and Buddhism, where a book store dedicated to all religions allows for more choice in relation to texts of a certain path or paths.

Looking at stores in general can be helpful. Some stores can be quite generalized in what they sell but this can be useful for a practising pagan as some sell either candles or incense. Perhaps even both, which can be convenient depending on where you live. Some stores that could easily be brushed off in relation to anything pagan may even sell statues of deities

Amazon is helpful for buying things online, as sadly not everywhere in the world sells what a newcomer to paganism may be after or interested in. Books are going to be a useful thing that a pagan can get from Amazon. A certain book that cannot be found in person will have a chance being on Amazon and the same can be said about whatever else may be wanted.

Basics

When it comes to practising anything, one thing rules over all crafts and that is the basics. It can be in relation to pretty much anything; cooking, witchcraft, divination, martial arts, meditation. Everyone starts at nothing and have to build up from there, with the basics being at the bottom supporting everything that is built upon it. To start from beginner and to end at adept it is like building a house, foundations need to be placed down and a house built upon it. Basics are important for this reason and should stay fresh in the mind.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Altars

When it comes to altars, people have ideas how it should and shouldn't be done. In reality, all they need to be is simple. Nothing truly fancy is needed, a statue, tablet or image/photo of the deity, buddha, bodhisattva or ancestor(s), two candles, an incense holder and if needed a vase with flowers and/or food. If you are making an altar, just remember that all that is needed is these basics which does keep it simple. If something is wanted to be added, it can always be done.

What I don't see a lot of people considering even if it would be helpful is the use of spirit tablets. If you cannot find a statue or image of a deity, buddha, bodhisattva or ancestors to use on the altar, using a spirit tablet instead is a good idea. All that is required is a small but thick block of wood to act as support and a thinner but longer block. Just write the name(s) of the deity, buddha, bodhisattva or ansestor(s) on the longer block and then glue it to the thicker piece.

For offerings, it is always good to light up two candles and light some incense. As I view it, this is truly all that is needed for offerings. It doesn't have to be but can be. Depending on whom is being worshipped or venerated it is always important to consider what is proper to offer and what is best to avoid offering. It can be flowers, water or some sort of easily gotten or prepared food. It doesn't always have to be such, as depending on whom is being worshipped or venerated it may be an idea to offer tobacco or some sort of alcohol. It is a matter of learning what is best to offer and what should be avoided offering.

As for altar placement, I have heard on a number of occasions that the bedroom is to be avoided at all cost. This isn't always the case. With some deities it is probably best to keep the altars to them out of the bedroom. But for many I have noticed that it doesn't matter, for two deities in particular it is actually best to put the altar for this husband and wife duo in the bedroom. They are Chuang Mu and Chuang Kong. These two deities are a pair whose duties involve the bedroom and what goes on in there, and as such their altars should be in the bedroom. It could be the same for other deities which I am simply unaware of.

The altar of some deities is best placed in a certain place of the house and should be considered, where altar placement for most deities seem to not matter that much. From personal experience, the bedroom is one of the best places to put an altar. It also comes down to the amount of space in the house and what can be done.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Gods And Goddesses: Votan

Votan is a Mayan god whom is also known as the Old Black God and also referred to as “God L”. He is the god of war, death and drums. Little is known about this god, so much about him lies in mystery. Even with the black on his body it is uncertain if it black paint or his actual skin colour. He is thought to be married to the moon goddess Ixchel. He is thought to be toothless.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Gods And Goddesses: Chac

Chac is the Mayan god of agriculture, fertility, rain and lightning. He name is also spelt Chaac and Chaahk. He was one and many, representing the four directions; the red Chac is of the east, the black Chac is of the west, the white Chac is of the north and the yellow Chac is of the south.
Chac has a more human form where he at times appears toothless but also has a more reptilian form where he has fangs, cat like whiskers and a snout. He also wields an axe.

It is said that Chac taught how to grow vegetables and is a protector of crops. The animal associated with Chac is the frog as it is said that the sound of a croaking frog signals the coming of rain.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Gods And Goddesses: Don


Don is the Welsh mother goddess. Goddess of both sea and air and is the Queen of the Heavens.
 She is the wife of Beli, sister of Math Mathonwy and mother of Amathon, Aranrhod, Gilvaethwy, Govannon, Gwydyon and Nudd. Her daughters represented the deities of light while the children of Llyr represented the deities of darkness.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Short Meditation


Of all the information gathered on a daily basis, ranging from the people around us, the internet, television and magazines, the mind is to fill and clutter. A short five to ten minute meditation a day can help greatly with emptying the mind.