boreal: (Winter)
Slacktivist has this morning made a post that, in full, reads as follows:

Happy Birthday Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. And thank you for giving us this:

Seven Deadly Sins
* Wealth without work
* Pleasure without conscience
* Science without humanity
* Knowledge without character
* Politics without principle
* Commerce without morality
* Worship without sacrifice

I found my reaction to this list to be very interesting, in that I could nod my head in agreement on all but the last one. Clicking through to the comment thread, a great deal of the discussion at the blog entry swarms around this last bullet as well. One of the commenters (MadGastronomer) thoughtfully states:

A sacrifice* is anything you give to your god(s). A sacrifice of time, of money, of energy, of material things. If you don't give something -- give it up unto god(s) -- then in what way are you worshipping?

*From the Latin for "to make sacred" or "to set aside."

Perhaps it's my panentheistic leanings, but the last one really doesn't click with me. I try to live with intention and balance, to be present in each moment and conscious of how each decision I make affects others, and to speak to the Divine often—more than daily, usually—to give thanks for my circumstances, to comment on beauty, to send energy to others who need it, to look for new ways of approaching issues, etc.

In my particular path, there's no need to sacrifice. The term sacrifice, to me, implies loss. Others see my actions as overly idealistic and think that I'm sacrificing my time or my money or my energy, but for me that's just part of doing what's right. It simply is. And it brings me contentment and joy.
boreal: (Moon)
I had a truly wonderful Mabon. I spent the day before, the day of, and the day after in a tiny one room cabin with no power, water, or electricity. It was just me, the boreal forest, a star-scattered sky, a nearly full harvest moon, Jupiter and Uranus shining brightly, the sound of the nearby stream, a light wind rustling the needles of the white spruce. Bright sunny days, surprisingly warm evenings, crisp mornings with a light frost. One of the evenings the moon was so bright that I easily navigated the trails without aid of a headlamp. Yes, a truly wonderful Mabon.

As I've been without Internet for a bit, I've not address the recent Pagan Friday Fives that were posted over at [community profile] the_thinking_pagan , so I'll do ten questions at once ).
boreal: (Twilight)
From a recent post at [community profile] the_thinking_pagan:

1) Do you believe in the concept of "sin?"
I believe that people can behave in a manner that is unnecessarily or thoughtlessly harmful (to themselves, others, or the planet), but the term 'sin' connotes a transgression that may in fact harm no one at all, a tactic used in some faiths to control followers and, in many instances, create unnecessary psychological harm.

2) What non-pagan person influenced your religious identity?
Myself.

3) How do you keep religion an active part of your daily life?
I try my best to live with intention, to be present in each moment, and to consider whether or not the decisions I make honor my Higher Self. I try to be grateful for the multitude of blessings I have in my life, and to ask for guidance and strength when I'm faced with difficulty.

4) Who knows you're pagan, and who doesn't?
My husband, many of my friends, at least one (perhaps both) of my parents. Very few people with whom I work. No one outside my home in the town in which I live.

5) When did you first identify as Pagan?
I always find this to be a very difficult question. I've been Pagan a great many years, since late elementary or early high school, but I only really learned of Paganism in graduate school (and then only when I met a Wiccan, and I don't identify as Wiccan), and didn't start to apply the term Pagan to myself until about five years ago. I'm still struggling for the exact labels for my beliefs... what is it about us that we feel we must label everything? But it is pleasant to be part of something larger and to have a way of winnowing out others of similar (if not generally like) mind.

Others' responses can be found here.

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Boreal

October 2010

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