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Author Topic: so many questions  (Read 3234 times)
ladysade
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« Topic Start: September 04, 2009, 05:32:16 pm »

I am new to paganism..and learning from a book by joyce and river higginbothem

its sorta like a teachers guide but

i am still curious

about paganism..

these are my questions

what is the reseason for having a book of shadows..?

does being pagan help progress psychic abiltiies if we have them..?

do our dreams help build our strenght and spiritual lifestyle..?

does our mind and spirit help us move foward..?
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« Reply #1: September 04, 2009, 07:00:58 pm »

Hi, and welcome!

what is the reseason for having a book of shadows..?


Depends on how you're using the term:

Within a specific tradition, a book of shadows is a reminder of the material that the group expects people to know and be able to fulfill. It will include seasonal rituals, practical notes, things like that. It's useful to remember that it's less like a novel (a complete contained experience) and more like the script of a play or a score of a symphony: it's only a partial reflection of what the entire experience will be like.

For example, my group's book of shadows is a reminder of the bits we're most likely to blank on - specific pieces of text we don't use often, a reminder of sequence for rituals we don't do regularly, etc. Other things - like the visualisations we use when we cast the circle - are things we don't write down: we teach them face to face, and people will remember them because they'll *do* them regularly.

For individuals, the book of shadows serves as a reminder of what we've done and how it works: a personal book might include specific rituals, spells, workings, magical correspondences (i.e. "I use the color blue to represent these things. I associated this herb with this kind of magic." and so on.)

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does being pagan help progress psychic abiltiies if we have them..?

Not directly, in my experience. However....

- being in a religious practice that accepts and even honors psychic input tends to help us pay attention to it.
- paying attention to it means we get better at noticing patterns.
- noticing patterns means we have some concrete ways to use our existing skills, and usually some ways to look at improving them (like setting up situations to practice with, paying particular attention to some kinds of input, etc.)

None of this is automatic, just cause we wake up and say "Ok, Pagan now." But it doesn't hurt. Plus, there's the fact that since people in the Pagan community talk at least somewhat more openly about some of their experiences than the general public, that it's easier to find advice, suggestions, and ideas for developing skills, too - never a bad thing when learning more.

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do our dreams help build our strenght and spiritual lifestyle..?

If you mean 'the stuff our subconscious does when we're asleep', not in my experience (I very rarely remember dreams - or even dreaming in the first place, though it's gotten a little better in the last year or so due to my herbalist trying some hormone rebalancing stuff.) 

If you mean 'having a goal in mind and shaping our lives towards it in a conscious sense' then, yes, I think a number of forms of Paganism (and especially the witchcraft and religious witchcraft strands) do an especially good job of this when they work well.

Quote
does our mind and spirit help us move foward..?

Forward to what?

I have a spiritual life because, fundamentally, I want to live deeply, I want to connect with deities and with other humans, and because I want a space that will continue to challenge me to grow, rather than stagnate. But if you took religion or spirituality out of the equation entirely, I'd still be doing many of the same basic things to challenge myself.
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ladysade
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« Reply #2: September 04, 2009, 09:11:39 pm »


Forward to what?

I have a spiritual life because, fundamentally, I want to live deeply, I want to connect with deities and with other humans, and because I want a space that will continue to challenge me to grow, rather than stagnate. But if you took religion or spirituality out of the equation entirely, I'd still be doing many of the same basic things to challenge myself.

thnk you for the helpful answers
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RandallS
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« Reply #3: September 04, 2009, 09:46:31 pm »

I am new to paganism..and learning from a book by joyce and river higginbothem

its sorta like a teachers guide but

i am still curious

about paganism..

While the title of this book says "Paganism" -- the book is mainly about Wicca and Wicca-related forms of Paganism. Many Pagan religions don't have things like the Rede, a Book of Shadows, etc.
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ladysade
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« Reply #4: September 04, 2009, 09:53:35 pm »

While the title of this book says "Paganism" -- the book is mainly about Wicca and Wicca-related forms of Paganism. Many Pagan religions don't have things like the Rede, a Book of Shadows, etc.

okay

makes sense
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juno
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« Reply #5: September 30, 2009, 08:33:16 am »

what is the reseason for having a book of shadows..?  does being pagan help progress psychic abiltiies if we have them..?  do our dreams help build our strenght and spiritual lifestyle..? 

Aleister Crowley was a big advocate of keeping a magical journal which included the practitioner's meditations and their results etc.  He compared it to keeping the financial records of a business.  Whether or not you refer to it as a Book of Shadows, some sort of spiritual journal is useful for many reasons.  Our memories are generally fairly inaccurate.  It is useful to record how far you have really advanced (or not) as opposed to how far you think you have.  Reading back you may find that you have been stuck for a long period of time in any particular aspect of your spirituality. 

I don't think that just being a pagan progresses our psychic abilities, but we are more likely to learn how to do so within the pagan community.  (Work is still required!)  Psychic abilities are also valued within the pagan community, which they tend not to be elsewhere.

Our dreams do not generally help to build our strength or spiritual lifestyle on their own.  It is necessary to listen to them firstly.  I also suggest recording them (another use for that journal) and researching the interpretation of dreams.  Just beware of fluffy books and cross-reference the symbolism in them against another reliable source.  Quite often dreams are asking that we act upon a particular matter.  Sometimes dreams are just fears or wish fulfillment. 

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