boreal: (Twilight)
I never seem to get to these on Friday. Who cares about alliteration, anyway?

At any rate, the questions:

1) What places do you think are holy?
Everywhere is sacred (a word I prefer over holy for some reason), though some places leave me more awe-struck than others, and yet other places just give me a feeling of being special.  Admittedly, it's often easier for me to sense the divine in natural places which are more or less untouched by man.

2) How do you deal with children who want to learn your religion?
It hasn't really come up.  I've had children curious about whether or not I personally am religious, and given that keep my faith closely guarded, I've not been very open to discuss it with them. 

3) If you could appoint a public spokesperson for your religion, who would it be?
Given how eclectic I am, it would be difficult to find a person who could speak for my religion.

4) What one to three books helped shape your religion?
I can't say any one book has shaped my religion.  There are books I'm fond of, books with which I relate, but my faith comes from my own beliefs after having weighed all sorts of information drawn not only from books, but conversations and my own thoughts and experiences.  There's no specific source of written dogma upon which my beliefs have been formed.

5) How would you explain your religion to someone who's never heard of it?
I believe what I feel to be right, after much reflection based upon my time in this world, my observations, and my dealings with others.  I'm perhaps best described as a panentheistic monist, an animist, whose faith is actually quite grounded in science (much as that might sound contradictory).  I celebrate holidays tied to the solstices and equinoxes and the midpoints between them, eight evenly-spaced days on which I set aside more time than usual to reflect on the state of things.  I find beauty and comfort and guidance through ritual and mediation.  That's a short summary, though there's lots of nuance to explain if you have the time and interest in hearing it, such as why my faith requires respect for natural processes and tolerance of those who are different from myself.
boreal: (Polar)
I've recently discovered the Pagan Census. I'm not sure if it's still active. The link is valid, and you can still take the survey, but the link I followed to find it was posted in 2009. Regardless, I completed it, and I would be very interested in reading the collective results. I've e-mailed the researchers to ask for more information.

There were a few questions that were open-ended and I thought I might post my responses here for posterity:

Please list any books that have been particularly influential
Magical Meditations: Guided Imagery for the Pagan Path by Yasmine Galenorn
The Body Sacred by Dianne Sylvan
The Earth Path by Starhawk
The Druidry Handbook by John Michael Greer
Paganism: An Introduction to Earth-Centered Religions by Joyce and River Higgenbotham
Celebrating the Pagan Soul edited by Laura Wildman
A Woman's Guide to the Earth Traditions by Vivian Crowley

Please list any Pagan Websites, Blogs, or Internet groups that have been particularly influential for you.
The Wild Hunt (Jason Pitzl-Waters) Paganism & Wicca (Patti Wiggington)
Druidcast podcast (Damh the Bard)

Please describe the most important or one of your most important spiritual experiences.
On a few select occasions I feel as if I have truly been touched by the divine. Visited, reassured, sometimes brought to feel extreme joy in times when I most needed it. Such events are rare, and, in retrospect, a bit addictive. Once experienced, you want that same experience again, and from desire comes longing, and from longing often comes disappointment, even when everything else is going well.

Do you practice magic?
I practice what some would call magic. I don't consider it magic so much as symbolic practices during ritual, or transitive meditation. I don't feel I'm tapping into some higher source of energy outside myself when I do these things.

Can you describe a particularly effective or meaningful magical working that you have done?
To help rid myself of negative thought, or lay something to rest, I will often write it down and burn the paper on which the thought or issue is written. When something is particularly difficult, I may go to a bit of extra effort and write it in the sand at low tide for the ocean to wash away.

Have you ever experienced discrimination because of your spiritual path? If yes please elaborate.
Disapproval, but never out and out discrimination.

Please describe how and why you became involved in Paganism.
My beliefs have not changed since coming to the point where I began identifying myself as Pagan. I believe what I have always believed, and came across Paganism while searching for a label for my beliefs. I've been a Pagan in actual name for perhaps five years, but in reality considerably longer. I came to embrace the term Paganism because of its inclusive, non-dogmatic nature, and its tolerance for diverse beliefs. I'm also very fond of the Wheel of the Year, and the way that it allows me to evaluate my spiritual life on a regular basis.


boreal: (Default)

October 2010

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