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Home > Chat Logs > Ask Anything To Pagan Clergy (1 Jul 2003) Search

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Ask Anything To Pagan Clergy


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This is the log of The Cauldron's July 1, 2003 chat, which was an opportunity to ask all the questions you've ever wanted to ask a Pagan Clergyperson about being clergy and to learn more about what it's like to serve as Pagan clergy in this world.. This log may have been edited to remove extraneous comments.

Koi: well, for starters ... In what capacity are you a clergyperson? (part-time, full-time,

Koi: on call, etc.)

katcarlin11: what religion or denomination, shadow?

Mari: I'm a full-time clergy and full-time teacher

Koi: (and lets have the panel raise their hands with a brief identifier!)

Sanacrow: On call, I guess would be the best description.

NjAnxSxmt: On call, but also full time.

Mari: I'm a Gwyddon Elder

macnacailli: #Part time# / #on call#: I don#t keep regular office hours, but I do attend chaplaincy meetings in which we decide which projects, as a group or individually, we want to participate in, or even sponsor. Then there are those projects themselves, which can vary a great deal in the amount of time and effort required.

Sine: I'm on-call, I suppose; Gardnerian Wicca doesn't lend itself to conventional definitions of this

Sanacrow: I work a "real job" to pay the bills, but I've chosen work that keeps me available when my folks need me.

Shadow: I'm sorry, I don't understand the question, Kat?

NjAnxSxmt: I'm a Kemetic reconstructionist, and a priest in training to the Goddess Sekhmet.

macnacailli: I also participate in all the events sponsored by the UofT pagan group and occasional do a ritual or class for them. But mostly its about participating and giving suggestions # then are primarily student run.On a more one on one level with the students, I#m #on call# should they need me # which doesn#t come up too frequently, maybe four times last year.

Sanacrow: I'm a Wiccan Priestess and legal clergy.

Phouka_Da_Mare__Da_S: Entered room.

Shadow: hey, Phouka

phouka: Hi folks.

Sine: Hi, Phouka

empire10001: Heya, Phouka!

Koi: U of T = University of Toronto?

katcarlin11: sorry, what's a kemetic reconstructionist?

phouka: Lots of Hammers heree tonight.

Tristan2006: woah highlighted

macnacailli: Yes, sorry :)

NjAnxSxmt: The religion of ancient Egypt.

Koi: (in Koi's world UofT = Univ. of Texas :) )

NjAnxSxmt: reconstructionist meaning that I am trying to practice it as closely as possible to the way it was actually practiced in ancient times.

macnacailli: What's a hammer mean? I see them on the side.

Sanacrow: LOL - around here UT = University of Tennessee!

Celeste621: chat mods

Shadow: it means we can moderat the chat. :)

Tristan2006: Mike, I read in your profile on the forum that you were initiated in Egypt, how did that go, and by that I mean how did that happen

Mari: yeah that's what i thought too - university of tennessee ;-)

phouka: I thought University of Tuscon.

Tristan2006: and Mac, I forgot what clergy you are again, sorry :(

macnacailli: We had a student from Tennessee in the UofT pagan society last year. She was very nice, a Gaian.

NjAnxSxmt: I went to Egypt with an Egyptian spiritual group. The main reason I went on the trip was for the initiation. It occured in Karnak, where there is an actual ancient Chapel of Sekhmet.

Sanacrow: There are quite a few of those around - especially in Memphis

Tristan2006: sounds very interesting, did you have the temple to yourselves?

macnacailli: My trad is Cil Sdhe, But I serve at Uof T for all the Celtic and Recons (like x and y axis on a bagan grid)

katcarlin11: zaaaaazzz

Mari: huh?

Sanacrow: I've known of folks - and have - travelled for training, but that's the most amazing I'e heard.

macnacailli: Ceili Sidhe this machine didn;t take the letters with accents

NjAnxSxmt: Yes. We work through an Egytian travel service that gets special privilages. They specialize in catering to the needs of spiritual tourists.

Koi: Mac, how many pagans are there at U of T, do you estimate?

Mari: oh wow! thats wonderful!

Shadow: wow. didn't know such things existed.

Tristan2006: wow!

macnacailli: 50 active on the mailing list. 5-40 at meetings

Celeste621: That would be quite an experience I bet, how neat

katcarlin11: Left room.

Shadow: are there really that many Celtics and Recons to need their own clergyperson? or do you do other things as well?

Koi: wow

macnacailli: There will be when I'm done ;)

NjAnxSxmt: Yes. The Egyptian government is quite good about it. Because we actually believe in the religion, and believe the temples and statues are sacred, they trust us a lot more than the average tourist. They know that we won't place our hands all over the statues and such.

Shadow: ohho! going converting, I take it?

Sanacrow: I can understand that.

Celeste621: Nice.

macnacailli: Actually almost half lean that way

Mari: makes sense mike. that must really be awesome

Shadow: that's really cool. I wouldn't expect them to be so nice about it

Koi: so, how did all of you decide to become clergy?

macnacailli: No converting :)

Sine: LOL didn't have a choice, Koi

Mari: In my case, I didn't. It just sorta happened! It definitely wasn't something I aspired to!

Sanacrow: I didn't decide so much as accept the clue-by-four up side the head.

Mari: that too

Koi: heh

macnacailli: Good catholic upbringing - the leap to celtic paganism is small that way

Sine: technically, in Gardnerian, we are ALL clergy

NjAnxSxmt: I started out as a pretty non-serious dabbler. But I soon found that this lion headed Goddess, who turned out to be Sekhmet was communicating with me. I didn't really chose to be clergy. She pretty much drafted me.

Mari: In our tradition, it's an elected position. In my case, I wasn't elected. I was drafted.

macnacailli: I wanted to do clergy work before I even know what my faith would actually look like

Sine: in practice, obviously, some of us are better at pastoral tasks than others, and so we are the ones who do them


Sanacrow: Technically, so are we.

Sanacrow: But as much as all are "clergy" some are also tour guides for others.

Sine: :D

Sine: clergy sometimes means being an ambassador to those outside one's faith, too.

Tristan2006: ok, I have to go be the good son (not the psycho one in the movie) and help my mother annoy me. I see this in the log I suppose

KATNIPP59: What kind of services do you all offer?

Sanacrow: Plus - someone's gotta do the legal marrying and burrying.

Tristan2006: #ACTION crying on his way out#

Mari: In the Gwyddoniad, a third degree isn't automatically a priest/priestess/ clergyperson

Mari: that all depends on what he or she wants to do or is drafted into

Tristan2006: Left room.

KATNIPP59: By Tris

Mari: Services?

Sanacrow: We have clergy as a step beyond 3rd degree.

KATNIPP59: counseling stuff like that

Sanacrow: Teaching - formal Craft training as well as mentorship, workshops and informal assistance...

Sanacrow: Counseling - crisis, spiritual/path-related and personal-issue-related (short-term, non-clinical)

Mari: 90% of the stuff I do is within my Tradition. The bulk is taken up by teaching. but I also do counseling as needed

macnacailli: Counselling, Ritual, Teaching (in my private group), Weddings, Just being an active part of the community

Sanacrow: Group facilitation. Officiating at rites of passage as needed.

Koi: So ...

macnacailli: Referee-ing pub nights

Sine: because I work mundanely in social services, I do a lot of liaison work; helping the members find the help they need. I don't have any counseling qualifications (yet!) beyond my own life experience

Koi: do you feel that clergy is mainly acting as a bridge between people and gods, or as a service to people?

NjAnxSxmt: Counceling, ritual, teaching, occasional weddings (I'm very selective when it comes to who I will marry.

Sine: Koi: yes! :)

Koi: ... IOW, is it a ministerial or priestly function in your trad?

NjAnxSxmt: Both.

Mari: no, it's more of a service to people

macnacailli: Koi both, at least til they can do the bridge thing on their own

Sanacrow: Service to the people. We don't see that folks need a bridge to the gods.

Mari: people find their own way to the gods.

Sanacrow: What Mari said.

Phouka: Left room.

Sine: nothing stands between people and their gods... but sometimes the person has to be assisted in realizing that

NjAnxSxmt: My duties can be divided into two general categories. The first is my prescribed duties to the Goddess I am dedicated to. That includes daily ritual and offerings, and so on. These are the things I can be taught by teachers.

Sanacrow: We help and heal. And play tour guide while folks learn the lay of the land.

NjAnxSxmt: The second category is more intuitive. And cannot be taught. That is upholding Maat. And part of upholding Maat means serving my fellow human beings, in whatever way the require.

Mari: i like that sana. the idea of a "tour guide"

NjAnxSxmt: That's something that can't really be taught.

Shadow: what makes one qualified to "guide"?

Sine: by NYS law I'm not qualified to do weddings because I'm not a leader of our congregation; I'm just an elder.

Koi: Maat = Berit in Hebrew :)

s_Johnson_2: Entered room.

Sanacrow: Think of what you'd look for if you were visiting a new land...

Shadow: hello

Sine: #ACTION waves#

Mari: In Kentucky, anybody can do a wedding. the only real requirements you ahve to have to have a legal wedding are five people -

Celeste621: Hi, Johnson

Mari: the couple getting married, the officiant, and two witnesses

s_Johnson_2: hello

Sanacrow: you'd want someone who knew their way around and could help you avoid mishaps... maybe make the trip a bit easier and more interesting/informative...

Sine: that's neat, Mari; in NYS you have to have a congregation that meets regularly and they can't all be relatives. :)

NjAnxSxmt: As far as a bridge between the gods and man. On one hand, I think that people don't really need a bridge to the gods. But on the other hand, I recognize that there are deities, that many people aren't comfortable approaching, and would rather have an experienced priest or priestess intercede for them.

Mari: wow. ky's marriage laws are really kinda lax. LOL

Koi: the beauty of a federal system :)

Mari: amen

macnacailli: but some laity show up with the assumption that one book has made them an expert and the experience of others is somehow inferior to theirs - think of 'bad tourists'

Mari: LOL

Sine: Mari, those are *friendly* marriage laws!

KATNIPP59: I hear that Mac

Mari: a bit too friendly, imho. anybody can marry anybody - and anybody who wants to BE married can. :-(

Sanacrow: Yah. It's hard for some folks to get used to the idea that looking for teachers/groups/clergy is a "buyer beware" situation!

Mari: amen to taht sana

Sine: ditto, Sana

NjAnxSxmt: It's fairly easy here too. To be able to get licensed to perform a legal marriage.

NjAnxSxmt: Minnesota that is.

Sanacrow: The gods ask a lot of us - but they never ask us to check our brains at the door.

macnacailli: Canadian marriage laws are very strict - I can marry in Ontario becasue I joined a small denomination (not mine) that has wedding officiants. On the plus side Canada has same-sex marriage rights now

Sine: I'm Gardnerian because they were the first 'real' group I found

Sine: and I liked the HPS & HP

Mari: Heh. I'm a Gwyddon because Wicca makes no sense to me LOL

Sine: and, obviously, they liked me.

s_Johnson_2: Left room.

Sanacrow: That's kinda how I ended up with my first teacher - she's the first witch I met who was sane!

Sine: LOL

NjAnxSxmt: I'm an Ancient Egyptian because Sekhmet so. LOL

NjAnxSxmt: Sekhmet said so even. LOL

Sine: the first witch I met was a paperback strega who refused to teach me

Sine: now I am VERY glad!

macnacailli: It was Lugh, for me. :)

Phouka_Da_Mare__Da_S: Entered room.

Shadow: wb

Sine: oh, she's back

Mari: wb!

Sine: :)

Shadow: if you could give it up, would you?

Mari: In a heartbeat

macnacailli: Never

Shadow: no consequences, just walk away?

phouka: sorry, I was downloading and got kicked off when it was done...I HATE aol.

Sanacrow: I don't think I could. When I ry to go underground, people still call... even people who don't know who I am!

Sine: couldn't walk; it's part of my blood and bone, now

Mari: If another person came along who was qualified to do what I do and wanted it, I would step down

phouka: give what up? being clergy?

Shadow: yep

Koi: yes

Mari: My term of office is up in two years, and I hope like hell someone else is voted into my position

NjAnxSxmt: No. Not ever. My devotion to the Goddess I serve is too strong.

phouka: what happens if no one is Mari?

macnacailli: If another could do it and was ready, we could double our work :)

Mari: then i'm stuck for another 9 years

Sine: can't give up the title; the role can be shared

phouka: Do you have to stay another term.

phouka: Yuck.

NjAnxSxmt: 9 years? Wow, that's a long term.

mariazstuff: Entered room.

Mari: very long and very exhausting


Sine: #ACTION waves hello#

Mari: Nine Years LOL

Shadow: hello

macnacailli: life sentence here LOL

Koi: Mac, what else do you do with your time?

Sanacrow: I can give up the titles, the formal roles and the legal bits... but the rest is oathed.

Shadow: topic: pagan clergy. feel free to ask questions!

phouka: I have niether the patience nor the ...ummmm... 'caring' is the best I can come up with to be clergy.

mariazstuff: Hello

Koi: i mean ... where does the $ come from. Actually, that's a question for all.

Sine: there isn't any

Shadow: I'd like to be clergy .. but I belong to a religion of one. ;)

NjAnxSxmt: Me too. I am bound by oath for life. So I cannot give it up. Not that I would ever want to though.

Mari: My husband works, so I don't have to

Mari: :snort:

macnacailli: work full time, run a circle, have a struggling coaching practice, give Celtic Spirituality lectures, and that's all outside the chaplaincy

Mari: No actually, we made an agreement that if he was making enough to support us both, I wouldn't have to unless I wanted to

Sanacrow: I work a "real job" to pay the bills. I've chosen a job that doesn't stand in the way of my "real work".

Sine: I work mundanely to support myself and my parents. That's separate from my religious roles

phouka: lucky you...hmmm a pro for marriage there.

NjAnxSxmt: Well, right now my $ comes from working campus jobs. I'm a student at the University of Minnesota.

Mari: so now I'm able to teach full time.

Koi: so, Mac, you are a full-time, nothing-else chaplain?

NjAnxSxmt: However, I am hoping that after I complete college, I will be able to work full time as an author on ancient Egyptian philosophy and such. I fully realize, of course, that the market is so small that this is unlikely.

NjAnxSxmt: I will probably always have to have an "outside" job.

macnacailli: NO the chaplaincy is volenteer - I'm the sole provider in my household so I have a 45hr/wk day job too

Sanacrow: I'd like to do something that's more related to my path, but I always want to work in some fashon...

Sine: I'd love to be able to stay home and write... but that'll have to wait till I retire or hit the lottery

Sanacrow: If I didn't have a job and wasn't juggling family life, I'd have a hard time understanding the people I counsel who have that as a major part of their lives.

Mari: i simply dont have enough time to do everything i do *and* work

macnacailli: I've done it ;)

Koi: #ACTION tries to picture her college with a pagan full-time campus minister!#

mariazstuff: I have to work full time, the pagan stuff is part time

Mari: i've done it too - and been a mom and a homemaker and everything else rolled into one. it's too exhausting

PaigeM7: Entered room.

Sine: #ACTION waves hello#

NjAnxSxmt: I think it will always be that way. But I wouldn't want to be paid for my services anyway. I am of the belief that religion should not be for sale. It should be something I give freely to those who want it.

Mari: amen to that!

macnacailli: I treat both as full time - but I worked full time through my undergrad and Master - in banking (still do)

Shadow: hello. current discussion: ask anything to Pagan clergy

PaigeM7: hello all

mariazstuff: That's why I'm usually too tired for the pagan stuff. I don't think you should do it if you're tired.

macnacailli: Now kids are whole other hand full - no kids here

Shadow: how do you think Pagan clergy compares to more mainstream clergy positions? Is the difference bad? Good? temporary/permanent?

Sanacrow: Exactly. Having something else take care of the bills means I can gift where I'm led to.

macnacailli: sleep is for the dead :)

Mari: exactly sana

mariazstuff: Do you get a lot of calls for pagan clergy?

phouka: NjAn: why do you think you shouldn't be paid for services you administer? Like marriage and burial.

Sine: mainstream clergy get more formalized training than most of us

Sanacrow: I think the standards are much more lax for pagan clergy.

macnacailli: given the liberal leaning of the other campus chaplains I think a conservitive pagan fits in

Sanacrow: (in general - some folks don't even like the *idea* of standards!)

NjAnxSxmt: There is some good and some bad. The good is that most pagan clergy aren't doing it "for the money". That's not the case of some mainstream clergy. Pagan clergy are usually doing it out of love for their religion, and a desire to serve their fellow human beings.

phouka: I agree Sana

Mari: i hear that Sana

macnacailli: Some books say just reading one book and saying I'm a priestess is all it takes grrrr

Shadow: but clergy isn't usually a high-paying position .. how how could one do it "for the $$"?

Mari: aye and that's a problem where the gwyddoniad is concerned. there are no books about what we do

Celeste621: Which is a shame because I think that idea has led to a poor view of pagan clergy in some folks' eyes.

NjAnxSxmt: The bad part is what Sanacrow touched on. The standards are very lax. For example, the average Christian minister has training in counceling and psychology so that they can deal with people who are in crisis. The average pagan clergy probably does not have such training.

Sanacrow: Too many are into it for power and prestige....

NjAnxSxmt: Shadow: With some of the mega-churches out there today, it isa high paying position.

Shadow: true. I forget about those

Sine: Nj, and we don't generally even have access to that kind of training

NjAnxSxmt: I'm not saying all christian clergy are in it for the money. Most of them aren't. But some of them are.

macnacailli: Resources for work is not a bad thing in a community that is large enough - a rabbi isn't init for the money or he'd be an accountant - he's in it for his faith!

Sanacrow: Depends on the Trad. It's required for our clergy.

Phouka: but those are not the norm...are they?

macnacailli: I 've never met one myself

NjAnxSxmt: Sine: True. And I think it is a shortfall.

Mari: See, to be a clergyperson in the gwyddoniad, all a person has to do is prove proficiency with/in the Core of the Tradition.

Shadow: the problem with never getting compensated for time is that some people will take advantage, though, isn'ti t?

Sanacrow: I don't think most clergy - of any faith - are in it for the money. The televangelists are the only ones who get rich!

Koi_brb: act has not yet met a minister in it for the money, in the christian trad

NjAnxSxmt: I used to be a christian, and I attended Bible school for a year. So I have some training in counceling.

Mari: yes, they take BIG time advantage and it SUCKS

Sine: on the flip side, we're such a small population that my pastoral congregation would all fit in one room... at some level, it's easier and harder to 'minister' to a personal friend...

Shadow: how does one cope with those that *need* incessantly?

PaigeM7: Left room.

Sanacrow: Yes. You do have to get very good at saying "no" and drawing boundries. And it's *always* hard.

Mari: i'm going through that with a student right now. i'm about to rip my hair out and cut her a new ... well anyway.

Mari: it's hard :-(

mariazstuff: For me, it's easier to be a solitary wiccan.

Koi_brb: I have some interesting questions about clergy/penitent privilege when it comes to pagan clergy, but I suppose only the courts can answer THOSE :)

NjAnxSxmt: I think it is a major issue. Because counceling is an area where someone can get themselves in serious trouble, even criminal trouble, if they don't know when they are over their head and need to escalate it.

Macnacailli: give. counsel. set clear boundries

Sanacrow: yah. I believe that *all* clergy should have training on their legal rights and responsibilities.

Sine: report criminal activity to the police and child abuse to the hotline

Mari: exactly

Sanacrow: Emphasis on responsiblities.

macnacailli: that's why training is in order - from a secular instituation that is accreditied

Sine: absolutely

NjAnxSxmt: Yes. And especially if you are counceling a child, never ever promise that you will keep it a secret. Because there are certain things that one is required by law to report, and that one can be held criminally responsible for if they do not.

mariazstuff: Who to believe?

Mari: but with everyone coming from different traditions and backgrounds, how is that even possible?

Shadow: should there be Pagan scholarships, or the like, that would encourage such training?

Mari: unless it's done somehow nondenominationally ??

Sine: in re child abuse, you don't have to *know* -- you just have to fear that the child is at risk

Sine: in NYS all counselors, even religious ones, are mandated sources

Sanacrow: Some skills can come from secular institutions/groups/systems...

NjAnxSxmt: Mari: I think that when it comes to basic counceling, the tradition is unimportant. Because there are basic counceling techniques that apply to all counceling.

Sine: that means law requires them to call

NjAnxSxmt: You are also required to report threats of suicide.

macnacailli: Pagan scolarship is vital I think - but I'm an academic so my bias is showing

Sanacrow: but too much of what we do is based in our spiritual path for secular training to do enough.

mariazstuff: Left room.

Koi_brb: a agreen that scholarship is vital, Mac :)

NjAnxSxmt: I'm an academic too. That's probably why I'm a reconstructionist.

Koi_brb: er, I agree

Koi_brb: lol

Shadow: scholarship in what? there's a difference between ancient history and modern psychology, after all!

Mari: okay. yeah. that aspect of it, i can accept and understand - training for counselling

Sine: I think that secular counseling training would be a great help to all of us

Koi_brb: (clearly not the spelling kind of scholarship, lol)

Sine: we can adapt what we'd learn to fit the faith, but people are people, no matter what faith

phouka: what, we should all go to shrinks?

macnacailli: But its a start - most pagans don't have a clear grounding in their material to derive its couselling principles on the fly

NjAnxSxmt: Everyone who is serving as pagan clergy should at the very minimum read some books on counceling.

Shadow: actually, I seriously DISAGREE with that.

phouka: I don't think that's really enough Nj.

Sanacrow: I agree - and I have had secular training. But it takes a *lot* of religious training as well, because we don't deal with the same things that secular counselors do.

Mari: judy harrow has a wonderful segment on pagan counseling on her website. i think it's judy. anyway. i have the materials all saved. they're a good resourse

Mari: resource

Shadow: I think there should be a class, but NOT a book. books are too ... it's too easy to get messed up

Celeste621: Classes and seminars would be helpful I bet.

Shadow: because if you don't actually TALK to someone about it, counselling is *squishy* enough to be quite the mess if you don't understand the boundaries

Mari: most pagans don't have a good grounding in their material to do what?

NjAnxSxmt: Shadow: True. But classes aren't accessable to most people. And I think knowledge you can get from a book is better than nothing.

macnacailli: I'm not talking flakes, but really earnest practitioners - I like her book but it not derived from our god, but rather from the counter culture movement weseem to be a part of

Mari: that scroolled by too quickly

Sanacrow: Judy Harrow's material is wonderful. And she does workshops and other programs as well.

phouka: yep, I agree shadow...

phouka: with hands on training in situations.

Shadow: dunno .. with counselling, I'm honestly not sure about that.

empire10001: Sorry, gang, gotta head out. See you on the boards.

Sanacrow: I've done her workshops, and presented based on her material.

macnacailli: Devoted to you fixes a bit of that but its not about counselling

NjAnxSxmt: At least a book can teach you your legal obligations and responsibilities.

Shadow: I've seen too many armchair psychologists

Shadow: byes, Ann!

Sine: bye, Ann

macnacailli: for the usa

empire10001: Left room.

NjAnxSxmt: That is one good benefit of being involved with a University pagan group.

macnacailli: my chair has no armes ;)

Mari: ugh. you can't scroll up in this chat. :-(

Shadow: and when you're dealing with someone that's your *clergy* and doing armchair psychology .. you trust the person, perhaps, more than you should

phouka: not really Nj, cause those responsibilities change depending on your state, and country.

NjAnxSxmt: You can often get professors to come in and give seminars. For example, in my group, I could probably get a professor from the psychology department to talk to us about such things.

Sanacrow: The *best* training is shadowing an elder for a while!

Mari: there you go!

Sanacrow: There are too many things that you just *can't* learn from books or workshops or talking about it.

macnacailli: given the authoity issue endemic in NA society, I doubt it

macnacailli: Books are data - community is living it

Mari: there are no gwyddon books

Koi: NA society?

NjAnxSxmt: Shadow: As a general rule, as clergy, if you are dealing with depression, sucidal thoughts, drug abuse, alcoholism, physical abuse, or marital probles, you are probably over your head. and need to call in a professional.

Mari: i'm lost :-(

Mari: LOL

NjAnxSxmt: That's a good rule of thumb I think.

Sanacrow: The general professional psychology approach doesn't work well for some paths...

macnacailli: but a community with bad books is doomed 'to ride a silver what'?!

Shadow: I agree .. but what about spousal domination? what about feelings of losing control? what about *voices*

Mari: community with bad books?

Shadow: heck, a LOT of Pagans claim we hear voices .. of our Gods ..... what do we do about those who hear voices?

macnacailli: What do the gods of your people have to say about such issues?

Sanacrow: That's one of the reasons why you need to know your system well. In our path, there are certain crises that are part of the development...

Sine: depends on what the voices are saying...

NjAnxSxmt: S"Voices" are where discernment comes in. We have to be able to discern whether someone really is hearing from the Gods or not.

Shadow: my voices talk about chocolate. ;)

phouka: you have a list of therapists that are somewhat knowledgable about paganism in general...

Sanacrow: we need to know what to expect, and when things are well beyond the limits of what is 'normal' for the changes we work with.

Mari: gods of whose people about what issues?

Sine: I'd probably recommend a physical and evaluation, but if the voices are saying, "Go to ritual. Pray more. Be kind!" I'd not be worrying much...

macnacailli: You can't tell who they are hearing if you don't know the myths and a bit of ones source culture

Mari: well, if you don't know the background of the path you're trying ot teach, you're already over your head

Shadow: um .. if the voices are talking about chocolate, I think I'm talking to myself. ;)

NjAnxSxmt: Well, if one is not of the same tradition as the clergy they are asking for counceling, and it has to to specifically with Gods from a specific pantheon, they should probably talk to a different clergy person.

macnacailli: That's why eclectics end up with special needs. How can you run without ground? YMMV alot

Sanacrow: Sometimes it's more than the background or the material. I know a lot of folks who know the *material*...

Mari: that's why i don't do much outside the boundaries of my tradition

Sanacrow: but don't know the changes to watch for, or how to deal with certain student crisis that *will* come up...

macnacailli: That's why I persue two Celtic studies degrees outseide my pagan training

Sine: maybe I have an unfair advantage over some; I work in child protection, and I have supervisors who know I'm Wiccan. I can always ask advice.

macnacailli: There are good books on brief pastoral counselling - when you are in too deep is alway a primary issue

Sanacrow: That's one reason for knowing at least basic information about other paths... as well as general spritual development guides...

Sine: i have a HPS&HP and a group of elders that I can consult

Shadow: do you think, in time, clergy will come to be a more formal position, with standards, like Christianity or Judaism or the like?

Mari: my problem is that most othe paths are over my head. but i DO have and know people i can refer folks to if someone comes to me for help

Sine: name a couple of those books?

Sanacrow: I also have a large pool of resources - both in the Craft, and in various mundane fields.

Mari: that helps

NjAnxSxmt: I used to do volunteer counceling at a youth center when I was in Bible school. I mostly counceled troubled teenagers, some of whom were given the choice to either go to the youth center and complete the program, or go to jail.

phouka: that's the kind of background I'd look for in a clergy person actually Sine.

Mari: our tradition is already set up for that shadow

macnacailli: Understanding other paths is important too, your right

Shadow: what sorts of things are standards?

Sine: :) that's why my HPS sends me out on the home visits...

phouka: I think it would have to Shadow, at least with the larger traditions.

Shadow: given a perfect world (within SOMETHING resembling reason!) what would you require of new clergy?

phouka: you'll always have folks like me and others, who are solitary by choice, not following a specific tradition (like Gardnerian) and so don't HAVE clergy.

Sine: time in grade; time in the world

Sanacrow: I have a list.

Sine: you could come to me, phouka; we'd make it work!

Mari: we have certain requirements

NjAnxSxmt: I would require minimal standards in training. Example, they should be trained in pastoral counceling, and also have some training in marriage counceling.

Sine: professional training would be wonderful...

phouka: a minimum of 2 years training in pastoral care and the logistics of being clergy.

NjAnxSxmt: Of course, they should also be able to demonstrate proficiency in ritual and beliefs of the tradition. But that's already required by most pagan organizations.

Sine: y'all are motivating me to hunt some down...

phouka: yeah, I think I fact, I'd come to you to help me find someone in my own area.

Sine: :)

macnacailli: In a perfect world an academic background in their source culture, a bit of the language, some counselling, and to be well versed in the practices, standards, ethics, and theology of thier trad - with some experience of other faiths

Mari: if you can't pass proficiency, you can't pass your degrees in our tradition

Mari: and you have to have those in order to be able to do what i do.

Sine: that's the advantage of a trad that has degrees

Mari: amen

macnacailli: That would be the grad-able stuff. there is a personal factor as well

Mari: ;-)

NjAnxSxmt: There are some who will say it is none of the clergy's business when it comes to marriage. But I very much disagree. As a clergy person conducting a legal marriage, one has a very strong moral and ethical responsibility.

Sine: yes!

Mari: mac i don't understand what you're saying?

NjAnxSxmt: If you think a marriage is not a good match, you should decline to perform the marriage.

Sanacrow: Our clergy are required to have made it through our degree system, and have training in counseling, group work, legal issues and public speaking.

Shadow: if you're asking clergy to solemnize the marriage, they have every right to put restrictions on it

macnacailli: That varies by culture - greek recons bless a wedding but the action is political/civil

Shadow: wow! good for you, Sana!

Sine: our trad puts similar beyond-this-life ties in initiation, adoption and marriage; they a ll overlap

Sanacrow: Plus you have to have a number of Elders agree that you'd make good clergy.

Sine: we won't marry people who aren't ready for that committment to another

NjAnxSxmt: My personal requirements for marriage are pretty high.

Sanacrow: I've declined a lot more marriages than I've done.

phouka: well, that's something I'm never going to qualify for either...marriage and clergy...sounds about right.

macnacailli: Celts had 10 kind of marriage - the cliche of til death(or beyond) is not present in most of them

Koi: 10 kinds??? seriously?

NjAnxSxmt: I will usually require that they undergo premarital counceling and then give me permission to talk to the councelor about it. I will also require that a pre-nup be in place in case there is a divorce in the future.

macnacailli: most of them look more like family law than romance

Shadow: man. I'd NEVER allow myself to be married by someone that requires a prenup

Sine: we're not postulating soul-mates, but the bond continues in some form or another for more than one lifetime.

Sanacrow: I won't do a beyond-death bond outside of our trad... and we believe that we have karmic ties to those we bond, which makes me really picky... so most folks end up looking elsewhere.

Shadow: just .. can't imagine going into marriage with that laid on the table.

NjAnxSxmt: Shadow: Prenups seem to be fairly standard procedure around here for pagan clergy.

NjAnxSxmt: Sha

phouka: I've always hated the term pre nup...I prefer marriage contract.

Mari: yuck

Mari: lol

macnacailli: fatherhood is a legal matter not a spermy issue - the children of my wife are mine. period. I've given her enough cows to make it so LOL

Sanacrow: I don't do prenups, but I do require premarital counseling... plus several interviews with me.

Shadow: we weren't even asked about a prenup when we got married.

NjAnxSxmt: Shadow: If someone wants me to wave the prenup, my next statement will be. "I will wave it, if you can demonstrate evidence to me that 25 years from now, you are still going to be married to this person".

phouka: I've always been partial to putting everything in writing...I've seen too many really messy divorces.

macnacailli: how about a post-nup?

Mari: 25 years?

Koi: you mean "waive"

NjAnxSxmt: More than 50% of marriages today end in divorce.

Shadow: *giggle* my answer would be "in twenty-five years, our assets will be even more confusingly different and tangled than now that any contract we make will be out-of-date and I'd RATHER fight it in court!"

Mari: wave your hand if you're divorced LOL

NjAnxSxmt: Divorce is hell for both the husband and wife. It's even worse for the children.

Sanacrow: Having a prenup doesn't mean there won't be a messy divorce. It just makes the arguments different.

macnacailli: wave

Mari: amen

Mari: in our case a prenup would have made it worse

Sanacrow: #ACTION waves#

KATNIPP59: wave

NjAnxSxmt: Sanacrow: It makes it less messy though. Because there is a legal contract in place that states who is going to get what, etc.

Shadow: I've heard too many "screwed by prenup" stories. if one person has family assets, that might be different .. but for normal people? it bugs me.

Mari: agreed shadow

Shadow: other people can have one if they want .. I don't.

Sanacrow: Depends on the prenup, what's happened in the marriage, and how old the agreement is.

Shadow: besides, my hubby knows he doesn't get away. :)

Mari: if the boys' father and i had had one - it would have been a disaster

macnacailli: but then you'll never know how many cows you owe her...

Mari: what?

phouka: that's why I like the marriage contract thing better. If you look at some of the royal contracts or contracts between great houses in the 13-1500s, you can see that they are VERY detailed and take just about everything (except divorce) into account/

Shadow: why are you obsessed with cows?

NjAnxSxmt: But with more than 50% of marriages ending in divorce, I'm not willing to play the odds unless I am very convinced that two people are going to stay together for life. Just about everyone who gets divorced thought they would be together for life. So that is hard to convince me of.

KATNIPP59: Mine and my hubby's agreement is who ever makes it to the 38 first lol

macnacailli: celtic humour - the man gave her cows inseval kinds of marriage

Koi: mjanxsxmt, have you been married?

Koi: er njaxsxmt (the spelling gods are unkind to me tonight)

NjAnxSxmt: Koi: No. And I don't see myself ever getting married.

Sanacrow: Do you think marriage always has to be for life?

NjAnxSxmt: Koi: That's ok. It's not a nice thing to spell.

Mari: nope. iu think that's suicide in most cases

macnacailli: No.

Koi: then what do you feel gives you the right to decide on the validity of others' marriages?

NjAnxSxmt: Sanacrow: It depends. Once a couple has had children? I think they better have very very good reasons for getting a divorce.

SWYankee: Entered room.

Shadow: I think one shouldn't go into marriage with blinders on .. but the divorce rate, last i heard, is going DOWN, not up

Shadow: hello

macnacailli: even monogomy is suspect in the whole history of marriage as an institution

Mari: yeah, i've heard that it's actually gone down since the 70s

Mari: heard that recently

Shadow: um .. I suspect monogamy's been common?

Shadow: current topic: Ask Anything to Pagan Clergy

phouka: hi SW

Sine: #ACTION waves hello#

NjAnxSxmt: Koi: It's not a right. It's a responsibility as pagan clergy. If I legally marry two people, I incur a huge ethical responsibility. It is my moral duty to decline to perform the marriage if I don't think it is a good match.

Shadow: if monogamy wasn't common, people wouldn't notice those relationships that AREN'T>

SWYankee: Hello all

macnacailli: not as common as pop culture tells us

phouka: and you decide this in how much time Nj?

Mari: As a Gwyddon, I'm supposed to sit on the fence and not pass moral judgments on others

macnacailli: FYI I'm monogamous, but not politically so

Sanacrow: I'd rather be confident that the two folks are right for each other right now, and that they are capable of being good for each other during the relationship - and if it breaks up... than in whether it will be forever or not.

Koi: but having never been married, and not expecting to be married, and being 20ish years old, what gives you the power to decide on those marriages?

NjAnxSxmt: phouka: As a general rule of thumb, three to six months.

Shadow: um .. if you're choosing your relationships based on your politics, isn't that a worse problem?

Shadow: that makes sense, Sana

Mari: agreed

macnacailli: Monogamy: your right if you mean here and now with anglo-culture

Mari: what?

Shadow: You're STILL not making sense

NjAnxSxmt: Koi: What gives me the power is the piece of paper that says I have the right to conduct a legal marriage. No where on that piece of paper does it say I am REQUIRED to conduct legal marriages. That gives me the power to decide who I will marry, and who I will not.

macnacailli: I'm not I'm just saying that just I like momgamy doesn't mean others can be poly- or that my souce culture did not have arrangements like that

Mari: i don't understand what that has to do with the topic?

Koi: right, but at 20 and unmarried, what do you feel gives you the ability to decide who is right and who is not?

NjAnxSxmt: Koi: The Gods also give me the power, but more importantly, the responsibility, to decide.

NjAnxSxmt: Koi: Remember that I stated I generally require pre-marital counceling. So I am not basing the decision purely on my own perceptions.

macnacailli: Ya, I think we might be OT - but don't the gods give us precedent as well as choice and responsiblity

Mari: I can't wait to read this chatlog

Sanacrow: Considering his positions, I don't think he'd be doing too many, anyways... so it's probably irrelevent.

Mari: give us precendent for what?

Shadow: what's the biggest let-down you've had as clergypeople?

Mari: can i make out a list, shadow?? LOL

Sanacrow: Not being able to help people I care about deeply.

NjAnxSxmt: The single biggest let down...

macnacailli: For decissions like mono- vs poly or marriage for life vs shorter contracts etc

Sanacrow: Watching people do stupid things and not be able to say anything.

SWYankee: Can I get a super quick crash course on the Pagan religion, or is that too far off?

Mari: My biggest let down is doing tons of work and it going totally unused and/or unappreciated. I don't do the things I do for *myself* - I do them for the College overall, and to have those things not be taken advantage of is a real downer

NjAnxSxmt: That would have to be a research project I had to leave because it was taking up to much time, and interfering with my duties as clergy.

Sine: which pagan religion, SWY?

Mari: there is no THE pagan religion

NjAnxSxmt: And I was in love with that research project.

Shadow: SWY, there really isn't *A* Pagan religion .. if you check out the website connected to this forum, you'll get some overview ideas, however

SWYankee: Sorry. I just saw Clergy, and honestly wasn't aware that you have clergy

Shadow: :) a whole roomful of them!

macnacailli: Most faiths have clergy

Sine: :) learn something new every day!

macnacailli: except certain Protestants I supose

NjAnxSxmt: Koi: Question for you. Is it better to say "I'm not comfortable with this. So I am not going to marry these people."? Or is it better to say "I

Sine: Quakers, maybe?

NjAnxSxmt: Koi: "I'm not qualifed to say whether this is a good match, so I am just going to marry anyone who asks me to marry them."?

KATNIPP59: Mormons don't have clergy

SWYankee: How about this...Is it fair to say that Pagan is a general worship of the earth and nature??

Sine: nope

NjAnxSxmt: After all, if I refuse to perform a marriage, I'm not preventing them from getting married. They can always find another clergy person that will do it, or they can go to a justice of the peace.

Sanacrow: I generally just say "I'm not able to do that for you".... and I say that a *lot*!

Shadow: not really , sorry

Sine: :) SWY, there's really just too much to summarize here. Ask more questions, though!

NjAnxSxmt: SWYankee: No. Not really.

SWYankee: Trying to understand physics when I haven't yet completed addition and subtraction eh?

Shadow: What would you say is a sign of a bad clergyperson, then?

Sine: LOL sure; go for it.

NjAnxSxmt: If I had to define pagan, I think I would define it as this "Pagan: Any religion which recognizes the presence of the divine in nature"

Shadow: Yankee .. I really suggest for an overview, you check out the website .. and we'll have a non-topiced chat Thurday night you can ask questions at, too! :)

phouka: The one and only time I thought of getting married, it was interfaith...I was 18/Catholic he was 20/Jewish. We could NOT find one clergyperson who would marry us. They just said 'we can't do that'. Simple. Didn't waste our time either.

Mari: that leaves me straight out then mike

NjAnxSxmt: That doesn't mean they worship nature (although some do). It only means they recognize that the divine is intrinsiclly present in nature.

Shadow: me too. I don't see nature as *divine*

Sanacrow: Not all pagan paths do.

Mari: What makes a bad pagan clergyperson? Well ....

Sine: LOL I'm getting confused with the number of parellel discussions...

SWYankee: Fair enough Shadow. Thanks all

Shadow: I recognize the divinity of HUMANITY, though

phouka: Yep, I'm left out too.

NjAnxSxmt: Mari: Why does it leave you out?

Mari: a number of things ... ego?

Shadow: okay! the question is "What makes a bad clergyperson?"

NjAnxSxmt: What makesa bad clergy p[erson?

NjAnxSxmt: Hmmm...

Sanacrow: Someone who does not do well with personal responsibility...

Mari: because my path doesnt' see the earth as a deity

phouka: hubris.

SWYankee: Left room.

Sine: #ACTION applauds#

Sine: ooops; that was to phouka

Mari: lets see

NjAnxSxmt: Someone who is in it for the power. Or the recognition. Someone who's need for personal recognition is greater than their love for the God or Goddess they are serving.

Mari: bad clergy? someone who doesn't walk the talk

Sanacrow: Someone who has undealt-with large personal issues.

phouka: thinking they have ALL the answers

Mari: AMEN!

Sine: someone unwilling to ask for help

macnacailli: anyone without Piety, Courage, and Generousity

NjAnxSxmt: Mari: Neither does mine.

Sanacrow: Someone who has read a book, but has no real training.

Mari: yeah that too. someone who touts themselves as something they're NOT

macnacailli: Anyone to proud to keep learning

Sine: you have your own set of noble virtues in Celtic Recon?

Sanacrow: Someone who thinks they *Know How It Should Be Done*

Sine: someone inflexible

macnacailli: 3 :)

Sanacrow: Someone who is not very secure in themselves and their path.

Sine: :)

NjAnxSxmt: I think I disagree a bit with that.

phouka: Uses their position to tell people how to live their lives.

Mari: i offer up my 2nd teacher as a prime example of bad clergy

Mari: in any path

macnacailli: someone too flexable - :0

NjAnxSxmt: There are some things that we have to be inflexible on.

Mari: hear hear

Shadow: what needs to be inflexible?

Sine: certainly there are; but you have to be willing to tailor what you say/do to the listener

Sanacrow: Agreed. But that's different from telling everyone else how to do it!

Sine: or HOW you say/do it'\

macnacailli: Gods, I hope bad spelling doesn't come up - I'd be doomed

gracecham: Entered room.

Shadow: other than, say, people wanting you to believe the Divine is a popsicle stick

Shadow: hello

Sine: hello

Shadow: current topic: Ask Anything to Pagan Clergy

phouka: hi grace

gracecham: Hello to all

Koi: hello Grace Cham

NjAnxSxmt: Shadow: In Kemetic religion, we have the 42 Precepts of Maat. You can think of them sort of as "the 10 commandments", but there are 42 of them. Those are where I have to be inflexible. I cannot perform any action that would violate those precepts. Every time I do perform an action that violates those precepts, I have failed to serve my Goddess.

Mari: anybody else thirsty?

gracecham: thanks

Mari: #ACTION sends tray around again#

Sanacrow: My ethics are inflexable. My standards are inflexable.

macnacailli: Though folk who insist Lugh is a sun god make me pretty inflexible sometimes

Koi: #ACTION is thirsty#

phouka: grabs a Guinness

phouka: thanks Mari, you always know what I like.

Sine: #ACTION takes more Tully and less tea#

macnacailli: mmmm Guinness ^_^

Mari: tell people lugh is more a lunar god and watch their eyes roll around on the carpet

Mari: you're welcome!

Sine: thanks Mari.

Sanacrow: My oaths are inflexable. My methods sometimes are quite limber!

NjAnxSxmt: Do you think it might be safe to say that this is one major difference between neopaganism and reconstructionism? Neopagans tend to be a lot more flexible?

Sanacrow: Anybody want a Harp?

macnacailli: just a sec, I need to pick up my eyes

Shadow: mmm, and we all know ALL Goddesses are Lunar Goddesses .. including, oh, Ameratsu and Freyja, both associated with the sun .....

macnacailli: wait til I finish the guiness

Mari: and bridget

Shadow: no, I wouldn't say that at all, Nj.

Mari: ;-)

Sine: I don't think you can generalize that much, Nj; there's too much variety in neopaganism

Mari: no, me either

NjAnxSxmt: I suppose.

Shadow: I know many NeoPagans that have inflexible rules .. and some Recons that'll believe ANYthing in a book

Mari: wait. how are we defining dneopaganism

Sine: any faith that started after the Bahai is my favorite

Mari: :snort:

Sine: it's arbitrary, but hey. we're using 'neo-'

macnacailli: neo- vs recon : no not more flexible, less focused, *culturally speaking*, thus more a-la-carte (though I'm sure there are exceptions)

gracecham: inflexible neopagans-isn't that eclectic

Sanacrow: There's lots of paths that fit in the large grey space between the categories, as well.

NjAnxSxmt: I know a lot of very focused neopagans though.

macnacailli: sine LOL

Mari: that's us sana. we're neither revivalist nor recon

Sanacrow: Us, too. We've got elements of "all the above".

Sine: we like to think that GBG wanted to reconstruct the pre-Roman faith of Britain, but there wasn't enough left, so he had to improvise. Result: Gardnerian Wicca

gracecham: which is?

NjAnxSxmt: I think I would define "neopagan" as someone who is not to concerned with the ancient ways of actually doing things.

Sanacrow: Depends on the version of history...

phouka: Sana, you getting rid of a Harp?:

Shadow: why doesn't Recon fall into that?

NjAnxSxmt: An example: A neopagan would have no problem invoking Isis in a wiccan ceremony. A reconstructionist would have a serious problem with invoking Isis using wiccan techniques.

Sanacrow: I've still got a couple left.... and some Bushmills, as well.

Mari: eeeeeeeeeeuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuwwwwwwwwwwwwww LOL

macnacailli: concern for anceint ways however, should not be confused with 'not living in the now' faith myst be relevent.

Shadow: I guess I'm asking, why Recon and NeoPagan .. that seems like an artificial division

phouka: ahhh, the beer, not the instrument...sorry.

Sine: Nj; wouldn't that imply that the neo-pagan is addressing gods that the recons know? That's not necessarily true

Shadow: lots of people straddle the lines

phouka: I've got a harp I'm trying to sell.

gracecham: what kind of harp?

NjAnxSxmt: Sine: Isis is Isis is Isis.

Sanacrow: #ACTION twitches at the thought that some would consider that a Wiccan ceremony.#

NjAnxSxmt: Sine: If they aren't addressing Gods that the recons know, then they did not invoke Isis.

phouka: Large lapharp.

gracecham: oh

macnacailli: There a certain amount of narcisism of difference -ewwww we're not like THEM! It can be a maturity problem or just too much frustration.

Sine: Nj, that's my point.

Shadow: that depends on the definition. According to Asclepecius(sp) all Goddesses are Isis.

Shadow: and he's ancient!

NjAnxSxmt: Shad

Sine: we *don't* address your gods, so how can we be considered to be ignoring the old ways?

NjAnxSxmt: Shadow: True. But an Egyptian reconstructionist would never accept that.

NjAnxSxmt: Sine: What do you mean?

Shadow: but a Roman might

Mari: when in rome??

Sine: NJI dont understand the question.

Shadow: it was written in the time period that Roman Recons would look in, I believe

phouka: And it seems the romans worshipped from multiple pantheons too. So a recon of latter roman eras would still be a recon.

macnacailli: A Roman Isian in the 3rd C would

Sanacrow: Our gods are our gods. We may play with some of the same gods you do on occasion, but our core dieties are *very* different.

NjAnxSxmt: Sine: You said "We don't adress your gods". What do you mean by that?

Mari: agreed sana

Sine: What about the statement isn't clear?

NjAnxSxmt: Sine: I mean, if you call on Isis, who are you adressing? If not the Goddess from Egypt?

Sine: why would I call on Isis?

macnacailli: Sana. to whom do you pray?

NjAnxSxmt: Sine: I'm not saying you do.

Sine: she's not a Wiccan goddess

Sanacrow: We don't pray, in the commonly accepted use of the term.

NjAnxSxmt: Sine: But many neopagans do call on Isis using wiccan ceremonies.

phouka: A tradtional Wiccan, right Sine?

Mari: why are you assuming that neopagan = wiccan

Sine: and I don't suspect Isis minds that they do, Nj

Mari: i'm lost

Mari: lol

macnacailli: Sine. Some Wiccan think all goddesses are fair game

Sine: Phouka: yes

Shadow: Nj .. I think you've a very different definition of "Pagan" than many others here.

NjAnxSxmt: Ok. I'm going to name names. Do you know who Ellen Cannon Reed is?

Sanacrow: And some don't think those folks are Wiccan. But that's another argument.

NjAnxSxmt: She's a good example. She founded a wiccan tradition based on the Egyptian deities.

Shadow: and I don't think an argument over whether Isis likes to be called by different people is a good thing right now

Sine: Mac: I understand that; but some also believe that all goddesses are One Goddess.. so the name is irrelevant.

Mari: ECR called my Path's ethics a cop out once ... :sigh: Other than that, she's a wondrful person LOL

macnacailli: Sana, with whom do you interact? - I don't know your words, but you know what I'm pointing at

PNP2: Entered room.

Sine: I've heard of ECR but not read any of her work

gracecham: I thought that wiccan began with the Celts

Sanacrow: She did not found Isian Wicca. And it's not BTW - what's generally considered "Trad Wicca". It is traditional, but not Traditional.

phouka: Left room.

Shadow: hello. current discussion: Ask Anything to Pagan Clergy

macnacailli: No, wicca is anglo

Shadow: no, Wicca started with Gerald Gardner

NjAnxSxmt: Shadow: But that's not really the point. The point was the difference between neopaganism and reconstructionism. A neopagan has no problem with invoking Isis using a wiccan ceremony. A reconstructionist would have a real problem with doing that.

Phouka_Da_Mare__Da_S: Entered room.

NjAnxSxmt: Sna

Mari: wicca isn't celtic as far as i understand

PNP2: Left room.

Mari: WB!

Sanacrow: We work with our Gods. They are not your gods.

NjAnxSxmt: Sanacrow: No. She founded a coven.

Shadow: well, *I* wouldn't invoke Isis in a Wiccan ceremony .. because I'm NOT WICCAN.

Sine: Wicca started with Gerald, who used some Celticstuff and some other stuff, too

Shadow: Wicca isn't the same thing as neopaganism

Mari: amen to that shadow

Mari: on both statements

Sine: :)

Sanacrow: Some of us also work with other dieties, but our path serves the gods of the Wica.

macnacailli: Do they have names?

Mari: whaaa??

Sine: sure; but I can't tell you

phouka: But she's not considered Wiccan by the Traditional Wiccans, Nj.

Sine: :) oathbound

NjAnxSxmt: Sanacrow: Who are the gods of wicca though?

phouka: That's oathbound Nj

Shadow: let's get away from oathbound discussions, shall we?

Shadow: what's the most rewarding part of being clergy?

Mari: well

Mari: that's simple

Mari: I have an example!! :D

Sine: Shadow; I'm not offended; it gets asked!

gracecham: usually by me

Sine: lol

Mari: Just this evening before chat, in another forum, someone paid me a very high complement. That makes it all worth it

Sanacrow: Making a difference...

Mari: watching seekers grow into their own

Sine: knowing that my intervention actually helped someone better themselves is wonderful

phouka: would think when someone gets it....

Sanacrow: seeing the glint in someone's eyes when they "get it"... being able to help someone through a crisis...

NjAnxSxmt: Sine: That's fine. No problem.

Sanacrow: or serving as an official witness to some of the most cherished moments in life.

NjAnxSxmt: Anyway... The most rewarding part...

macnacailli: Both at the school and in my closed group, the biggest highpoint is the friends I have made and the generosity of spirit which comes with build community.

gracecham: it seems thats the point -helping others

NjAnxSxmt: I suppose the personal satisfaction that comes from helping others.

Sine: then I can take that person's story (with the identifying serial numbers rubbed off!) and use it to inspire others

Mari: :D

phouka: LOL

Shadow: *giggle*

NjAnxSxmt: The personal satisfaction that comes from knowing you served something higher than yourself, even when your instinct tells you to serve yourself.

gracecham: beating society's odds

Mari: ?

Mari: how so?

Shadow: society's odds? Huh?

Shadow: admittedly, society IS pretty odd .....

Mari: WHOOHOO!! ;-)

gracecham: sometimes it's like every person for theirself so it's beating the odds to help another

Shadow: OTOH, humanity is both competetive ANY cooperative

Sanacrow: I dunno. I like to think the best of everyone... more often than not, I'm right.

Shadow: it's in our nature to help, as long as it doesn't go AGAINST our percieved best interests

phouka: yep...

NjAnxSxmt: True.

Shadow: sometimes the quesiton is more "why don't we help" not "why do we help"

gracecham: which is the hard part

Shadow: or we'd never have friends! :)

NjAnxSxmt: There are some who would argue that we can't truely do anything that isn't selfish.

phouka: I've found that by expecting the best of folks, you'll usually get what you expect.

Mari: you get the same when you expect the worst

macnacailli: Sometime our best interests are not personal, but belong to our ethics, or our faith.

phouka: yep, so I'd rather expect the's easier.

gracecham: what about people who don't know the difference

Shadow: hence why I say percieved best interests.

Sanacrow: Yah. People are quite handy that way - they'll stretch, or stoop, to fit in.

Shadow: it's what we see, not reality

Sanacrow: How do we know that *this* won't be the interaction that helps them see?

macnacailli: Always act as though it will be

gracecham: ? regarding "harm none" what if it harms or changes what is someone elses reality

Shadow: I don't believe in harm none, so the question doesn't make sense. ;

gracecham: is it the intent that makes the difference

Shadow: bah. ;)

NjAnxSxmt: I don't either.

Mari: we dont' have a harm none

Sine: helping others to whom you have a social bond (co-religionist, neighbor, friend, relative...) IS in your best interest because the more competant and functional people there are around you, the more peaceful and pleasant your life will be

macnacailli: not every faith has a "harm none" clause

NjAnxSxmt: Because I think something you have to harm in order to do the right thing.

gracecham: sorry

Sanacrow: Even Wicca doesn't have a "harm none" clause. That's a misreading of the Rede.

Shadow: it's not a problem.

Sine: We believe in the Rede, but we consider it to be advice: it's an instruction to consider the repercussions of what you do...

gracecham: I am new so please bear withme

Sine: :) not a problem, Grace

Mari: we have a "lesser of two evils" clause

Sine: everyone starts somewhere

Shadow: we can't know everything ahead of time .. we have to make the best guess and DO. because doing nothing is just as much a choice as doing something

KATNIPP59: Bye all it's nite nite time

Shadow: night!

Sine: night!

phouka: nite

gracecham: bye

Sanacrow: G'night!

KATNIPP59: It's been interesting Thanks

KATNIPP59: Left room.

Sine: Rush: If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice!

Mari: or as i call it "the lesser of two weevils"

Shadow: *giggle* I love that group

Sine: :)

Shadow: but that's a major tenant in my religion, yes

Sine: I always heear that line in Geddy Lee's voice, too

Shadow: now I've got that in my head!

Shadow: evil wench!

Sine: LOL

Mari: you're welcome

NjAnxSxmt: I think another one is the idea that it is wrong to manipulate someone elses free will.

NjAnxSxmt: That's something I don't subscribe too either. Sometimes, other people need their free will manipulated.

Mari: another one what?

Koi: #ACTION wants the lesser of two weevils#

Mari: oh

Sanacrow: In general, I'd agree... but what if their free will is to hurt others?

Shadow: #ACTION gives Koi a cute little weevil#

Sine: #ACTION can't stop giggling#

Mari: #ACTION uploads the smallest weevil to koi#

phouka: don't like weevils...they's ugly bugs.

Koi: lol

NjAnxSxmt: Sanacrow: That's when they need their free will manipulated.

Koi: better upload me some hair extensions!

Shadow: I think the problem is, we believe that Will is something we don't manipulate anyway

phouka: we do it everyday without thinking.

Mari: i'll braid you some koi!!

Shadow: it's a fact of life .. I say something to make you think *this* way, instead of *that* way, so you do what I want .. is there really a difference if I use psychology or magic?

Shadow: not to me!

Celeste621: Have a good night everyone. :)

gracecham: i thought Will Is

Celeste621: Left room.

Shadow: g'night!

phouka: nit celeste

gracecham: bye

Mari: is it manipulation if my husband wanted hamburger helper for dinner and i made fried chickeN??

Sine: if he wanted it that bad he could have cooked dinner for you, instead

Mari: AMEN

phouka: yep, you manipulated him into accepting what you put in front of him.

NjAnxSxmt: Shadow: I think the difference might be that if you are using magic, you are doing it without the other person knowing you are doing it, or being able to stop you from doing it (in many cases). That might be the difference.

Mari: totally and some people would say that's wrong, phouka

gracecham: no he made the choice

Sine: it still needs to be done, sometimes

Shadow: but if I'm good with manipulating people with psychology, then they STILL don't know what I"m doing.

phouka: excactly Shadow.

Shadow: and they STILL can't stop me. If you're good, it all goes by right under the radar

Sanacrow: #ACTION agrees with shadow#

NjAnxSxmt: True. But they do know that you are trying to convince them of something.

Shadow: not necessarily

Mari: sometimes people need manipulated "for their own good"

phouka: I don't agree Mari...think of all the starving children in Rowanda..

Mari: in order to keep them from doing harm to themselves

Sanacrow: ohhh... I *hate* that phrase...

Sine: that's one of the advantages of a coven, IMHO: major decisions like who to manipulate out of doing bad things and how isn't on one person's conscience; we all agree

Mari: phouka! LMAO

NjAnxSxmt: I think that's a really touchy one. I can't say I agree with it.

Sanacrow: When someone says "it's for your own good".... RUN!

Sine: sometimes people need to make their own mistakes.

Shadow: I don't think we can help but manipulate, is what i'm saying. it's life.

NjAnxSxmt: But sometimes people need to be manipulated for the good of others in society.

macnacailli: Or a circle, or a grove, or a thing...

phouka: I know...when I was a kid it was China...and I have a wt problem due in part to that phrase.

Sine: Mac: yes

Shadow: but of COURSE it's for your own good! when you all worship ME, I'll make everything okey-dokey .....

gracecham: what if there is no grove etc. how does one decide?

Sanacrow: That's a bit difference from "for their OWN good"!

Mari: well, for your own good is the only phrase i could think of

Shadow: with prayer, and hope, and faith, and being willing to FIX it if/when one screws up

Sine: yes

Sanacrow: Hopefully you'd have folks you trust and can discuss things with...

Sine: that's when the Rede pops up: you have to consider the possible repercussions and decide which ones you're willing to accept/deal iwht

Shadow: at the same time .. I don't believe one can interact with humanity at all and not manipulate. one never knows when something one says will trigger a cascade of thought

gracecham: basing someone's behavior on your values

NjAnxSxmt: Sine

macnacailli: for their own good is a loaded judgement anyway, based on your values

NjAnxSxmt: Sine: Can the repurcussions of doing nothing be worse than the repurcussions of magically manipulating someone?

Mari: it was just a phrase i tossed out. poor judgment on my part. i retract what i said.

Shadow: of course it is. but would you use the values of the person you already think is wrong?

Mari: can we move forward? :D

Sanacrow: Sometimes.

Shadow: and YES, the repercussions of nothing can be worse

Sine: we bound a man once: he was playing evil games with pre-teen kids; we found out when 2 suicided and the police came to me re some paraphrenalia they found

Sine: yes, doing nothing is sometimes the worst choice

NjAnxSxmt: Yes.

Shadow: okay, it's about tennish, and I'm falling asleep at the keyboard.

NjAnxSxmt: I have done magical workings against child kidnappers and such.

Sanacrow: Even if your decision is to do nothing, you're still responsible for the consequences of that decision.

Shadow: so I'll thank y'all for coming, and you can continue without me, but I'm going off to beddy-bye! :)

Sine: absolutely

gracecham: true

phouka: but it would need to be a considered choice...with all the facts (not just rumors or hearsay) available.

Mari: night shadow!!

gracecham: nite

Sanacrow: G'night Shadow!

NjAnxSxmt: Night Shadow

Sine: night, Shadow!

phouka: nite shadow

macnacailli: good night

Sanacrow: And there isn't a different set of ethics for magical and mundane work... the same rules apply to both.

Sine: correct

macnacailli: yes

Shadow: Left room.

Mari: agreed

NjAnxSxmt: Me too.

NjAnxSxmt: We all agreed on something :p

gracecham: but what are they based on?

macnacailli: WHOOO HOOOO

Sine: Nj: wow!

Mari: #ACTION tosses glitterconfettie#

Sanacrow: Your path, your spiritual beliefs, and your level of acceptance of personal responsiblity.

NjAnxSxmt: #ACTION thinks of the joke about "if you put three pagans in a room, you probably won't be able to find anything that all three will agree on."#

NjAnxSxmt: Spiritual beliefs, personal moral and ethical codes.

macnacailli: but if they are rooted in a similar trad, or the same source culture, they will disagree on less

NjAnxSxmt: You can't always get the perfect result, so you have to prioritize your values sometimes.

NjAnxSxmt: macnacailli: Probably true.

NjAnxSxmt: lol

gracecham: if different people have different values then their beliefs can be different thus the conflict

Sine: and we can agree to disagree, too;

NjAnxSxmt: Example, when you vote, you are performing a "mundane" action that will likely uphold some of your values, but probably go against some of your values. You probably will never find the perfect political candidate who agrees completely with you.

phouka: that's tru sine.

Sine: that's inevitable in a heterogenous culture

Koi: if you did, NJ, you'd have a serious problem

NjAnxSxmt: Koi: Yeah. Because it would mean you were running for office. :p

macnacailli: true - but if you worship the same gods in the same way there are limits to how much your opinion can vary...well, in a perfect world

Koi: it would mean that you've subverted your religious beliefs to your poltical beliefs

NjAnxSxmt: macnacailli: Even that isn't entirely true.

macnacailli: thus the little rider at the end :)

Mari: that's not true

NjAnxSxmt: Yeah. My fingers got ahead of my eyes.

gracecham: but we are not all at the same level and don't believe the same

phouka: well, folks, I've got some boards to moderate so I'm outta here. G'night

phouka: Left room.

Sanacrow: That's why there's so many paths out there!

Mari: in the gwyddoniad, itt's held that we all worship the same, but we'ra ll expected to have our own opinion and views about things

gracecham: then why the need to bind?

Mari: that's why gwyddons are infamous for not getting alog well - we all have different opinions

NjAnxSxmt: in Egyptian recon, you will find opinions all over the board. It generally depends on how much authority one places in the sacred texts from Ancient Egypt.

Mari: exactly

gracecham: so it's based on your sincerity to your own beliefs

macnacailli: I should head out too. All the best, and good noght.

gracecham: nite

Mari: what's that grace?

Sanacrow: Because some things are just intollerable.

NjAnxSxmt: Good night macnacailli

Koi: thanks, mac!

Sine: in the specific instance I cited, we did the binding because it is the adults' responsibility to protect children because they cannot protect themselves

gracecham: based on what you believe

macnacailli: anytime :)

macnacailli: Left room.

Mari: what's based on what you believe? grace, you've lost me LOL

Sine: we used magic because the police could not act; there was not enough evidence for an arrest

gracecham: true but some one w/ different beliefs might disagree

Mari: i guess that's what i get for stepping out of the room

NjAnxSxmt: When we did it, it was because the police couldn't find the guy.

Sanacrow: Yes. But I'm not going to let some perv mess up kids because some may think that it's okay to mess with kids.

Sanacrow: That crosses *my* line of intollerable.

gracecham: I agree, but then you are manipulating

Sine: that's right

Mari: some times you have to

gracecham: theoretically of coures

NjAnxSxmt: Yeah. But once again, some people need to be manipulated so they can't hurt other people.

Sine: we never said we wouldn't manipulate, just that it is not done with impunity

Sanacrow: Yes. And when I do so it's with as much knowledge as possible, and with willingness to take the bite on the butt for the consequences.

gracecham: ok

Sine: if the opportunity had presented itself, I might have pounded the piss out of the guy with a club; it didn't

NjAnxSxmt: In a case such as that, the consequences for saying "Gee. That's too bad.", and then doing nothing to stop it, would be far worse than taking an active role to stop it.

gracecham: I am not trying to be difficult just to understand

Sine: :)

Sine: never give up till you get it

Sanacrow: Not a problem. That's what we're here for.

gracecham: don't worry I won't

Mari: then agian, too, you can do bindings on yourself to break bad habits, etc etc, etc

Sine: attagirl

NjAnxSxmt: In my tradition, we have to uphold Maat, which is truth and justice. That's an active, not a passive activity.

Mari: sometimes people don't think of that

NjAnxSxmt: #ACTION did a binding on himself to stop smoking.#

gracecham: so these actions are taken based on the knowledge that one has acquired and their belief that this is the best alternative

Mari: right

gracecham: I think I am beginning to get it

Sanacrow: Yes. It is a fully considered choice, based on all available information and with due consideration of alternatives and consequences.

NjAnxSxmt: gracecham: Yes. In the case of a child molester, there is usually little disagreement. Some issues howver, are far more contriversal, and much harder decisions.

Mari: just like any other magical act

gracecham: or mundane

Sanacrow: Exactly.

NjAnxSxmt: I

NjAnxSxmt: A personal example in my case is abortion.

gracecham: peace floats gently from above

Mari: what's that got to do with binding? you've lost me?

Koi: this has been a great chat, guys

NjAnxSxmt: Mari: No. It has to do with manipulating other people.

Koi: I'm going to change the topic to general chat but feel free to keep going :)

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