The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum (Archive Board)
December 19, 2018, 05:26:55 am *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: This is our Read Only Archive Board (closed to posting July 2011). Join our new vBulletin board!
 
  Portal   Forum   Help Rules Search Chat (Mux) Articles Login Register   *

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
December 19, 2018, 05:26:55 am

Login with username, password and session length
Donate!
The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.
TC Staff
Important Information about this Archive Board
This message board is The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum's SMF Archive Board. It is closed to new memberships and to posting, but there are over 250,000 messages here that you can still search and read -- many full of interesting and useful information. (This board was open from February 2007 through June 2011).

Our new vBulletin discussion board is located at http://www.ecauldron.com/forum/ -- if you would like to participate in discussions like those you see here, please visit our new vBulletin message board, register an account and join in our discussions. We hope you will find the information in this message archive useful and will consider joining us on our new board.
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Add bookmark  |  Print  
Author Topic: The intersection of religion, magic, and well-being  (Read 1678 times)
Jenett
High Adept Member
******
Last Login:February 19, 2015, 10:34:23 pm
United States United States

Religion: Priestess in initiatory religious witchcraft tradition
Posts: 2506


Blog entries (1)

WWW

Ignore
« Topic Start: March 23, 2011, 04:53:37 pm »

Conversation else-thread made me think that a new thread focusing on the intersection of religion, magic, and well-being might be useful.

We probably all know of religious and magical traditons that do things we do not want to have anything to do with. And yet, some people find those exact same things meaningful, important, and often healing or sustaining for them.

Given that the law doesn't directly have a lot to say about much of this, and given that there are cultural biases and rampant misinformation about some practices, how do people go about sorting out what might work for them, or supporting people they know whose choices are different in a way that's thoughtful about risk, but not patronising or controlling? 

And what do you think is the obligation of the practitioner in these cases? Do you look for formal, licensed, legal-standards training? Do you look for experience? Do you look for signs that they've thought though possible problems and figured out how to handle them? Do you need trust? What other things do you think about?

(A few of my own thoughts next post)
Logged

Blog: Thoughts from a threshold: http://gleewood.org/threshold
Info for seekers: http://gleewood.org/seeking
Pagan books and resources: http://gleewood.org/books

Welcome, Guest!
You will need to register and/or login to participate in our discussions.

Read our Rules and Policies and the Quoting Guidelines.

Help Fund Our Server? Donate to Lyricfox's Cancer Fund?

Jenett
High Adept Member
******
Last Login:February 19, 2015, 10:34:23 pm
United States United States

Religion: Priestess in initiatory religious witchcraft tradition
Posts: 2506


Blog entries (1)

WWW

Ignore
« Reply #1: March 23, 2011, 05:01:23 pm »

Conversation else-thread made me think that a new thread focusing on the intersection of religion, magic, and well-being might be useful.

I follow a religious tradition that certainly includes some elements that some people would find (and have found) triggering, upsetting, and otherwise problematic. And yet, at the same time, I know people - including those who have extensive history of abuse - who have found going through those specific ritual experiences extremely healing and potent in allowing them to move forward, when they've had sufficient preparation and trust in the people and the process.

I have to believe that adults get to decide for themselves what they want to do. If someone chooses to seek out a tool rooted in shamanic practice, or BDSM practice, or ritual practice, or anything else, and if they understand that those things are not licensed (and really, how can some of them be?), then I think they get to make that choice.

In other words, I see ritual approaches as a technology like any other: even though it sometimes fails, it has a great deal of opportunity for benefit. Fire, a car, or surgery can all have major consequences - but they're also crucial tools that can save lives. BDSM is like that for some people: it's the thing that can make them (or does make them) whole. The fact that it's not the right tool for other people doesn't make that less meaningful - any more than surgery is bad because it doesn't solve having the flu. It's really a question of doing everything to make sure someone's using the best tool for the need.

I do think there are certain things incumbent on the practitioner in those cases: I think it's important to do the best possible job of getting as much informed consent as you can. (Understanding that some things, you don't really get what's going on until they happen: this is what a religious mystery is, after all.) I think the people involved need to do their utmost to have relevant skills and the ability to deal with problems (and that includes appropriate safety and first aid training), and it includes saying no to people you don't think can benefit from a particular action.

People are human, and humans do sometimes make mistakes - picking the wrong tool, taking on someone who turns out not to be able to benefit. Without a *lot* more detail (most of which is personal), I don't think there's a clear way for outsiders to tell what's going on in those failures a lot of the time, and I think it's important to be careful about what gets passed on. (Both because it's bad information management, but because the law actually does have something to say about inaccurate comments that harm someone's livelihood or reputation, namely that it's libel or slander depending on the format.)

What we can look at are things like "Do people learn from the mistake and do better next time?" and "What kinds of process are in place to help someone make an informed decision?" and stuff like "How can we help people figure out if this is a something they want to be part of/do/whatever."

(I've done a bunch of writing about this in the past: http://gleewood.org/threshold/care has some questions for people looking at groups or teachers that are also relevant for some kinds of other interactions, and I have a recent blog post thinking some more in part about what outsiders can and can't really judge about a particular situation.)

[One note on this thread: I'm around a fair bit between now and Friday morning, but after that may well not be around much over the weekend, due to that whole 'running large event' thing - there's 'Net access at the hotel, but I don't know how much time/energy I'll have. Likewise, it'll probably take me a few days to recover after. If I'm slow to reply, that's why, and I will get back to questions and comments to me, plus general comments not already covered by someone else.]
Logged

Blog: Thoughts from a threshold: http://gleewood.org/threshold
Info for seekers: http://gleewood.org/seeking
Pagan books and resources: http://gleewood.org/books
Lokabrenna
Senior Apprentice
**
Last Login:December 03, 2012, 09:14:37 pm
Canada Canada

Religion: Goddess-oriented Pagan with Vanic tendencies
Posts: 79

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #2: March 24, 2011, 05:33:49 pm »


First let me say that I found myself nodding in agreement as I read your post, that said, here's what I would do in the sort of situation you describe:

1. Read, read, read: read everything you can find on the subject, borrow books from the library if your budget doesn't allow you to make purchases. If you're interested in shamanic journeying, read up on that. Thinking about BDSM? There are many books available. Accept that there are authors who disagree with each other. Many books list bibliographies and recommended reading at the back, so they're great resources for readers who might like to know more.

2. I would definitely ask myself: "If I do this, what are the potential dangers of this practice?" It's important that you (generic you) and anyone else involved know the risks involved in something that is potentially harmful. Another good question is: "What training do I need to do this as safely as possible?" Speaking for myself, I have absolutely no idea how to wield a flogger beyond common sense things like "don't strike twice" and "for the love of the gods, stay away from the spine!" Related to that question is: "Do I know what to do in case something goes wrong?" Ideally, everything should go smoothly, but as you've said, sometimes humans make mistakes. Some things are just common sense, but it probably wouldn't hurt to take classes in CPR, first aid, that sort of thing if there's a chance those skills might be needed.

3. Know the laws in your area: This isn't so much for spiritual practice, but before I'd set out to do any kinky stuff I'd want to have a basic knowledge of the law and how it applies to kink. No, I'm not suggesting someone should read the entire Criminal Code of Canada (or equivalent in your country) but if a neighbour calls the cops for whatever reason, it helps to know your rights. To my knowledge, many places don't recognize that someone can consent to bodily harm, for instance (which is why kink is still very much underground).

4. Talk to people: Get in touch with the community that is involved with the practice you're interested in. If you're looking for a teacher, check out what others have to say about them. Research their credentials. Did this teacher get their Ph. D. from a degree mill? So far, my only contact with the kink community has been online, chatting with friends who aren't as shy as I am about seeking out practitioners, but from what I've heard, the community is generally very good at helping newbies find good play partners.

Okay, I think I've touched on the major issues. This is just what I'd do, mind. I'm not suggesting everyone should do this. I just think it's to my advantage to be as well-informed as possible, and I might be a little paranoid regarding my personal safety, but I think a little paranoia can be a good thing in this case.
Logged
treekisser
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:July 30, 2011, 05:18:30 pm
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Religion: Bajoran
Posts: 1200


Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #3: March 24, 2011, 06:51:57 pm »

I do think there are certain things incumbent on the practitioner in those cases: I think it's important to do the best possible job of getting as much informed consent as you can. (Understanding that some things, you don't really get what's going on until they happen: this is what a religious mystery is, after all.) I think the people involved need to do their utmost to have relevant skills and the ability to deal with problems (and that includes appropriate safety and first aid training), and it includes saying no to people you don't think can benefit from a particular action.

Agree completely with your post, but wanted to add that although getting informed consent beforehand is a big part of being responsible, it doesn't exhaust responsibility, which is ongoing. If I sought out a practitioner I would expect him or her to remain attentive, as far as is reasonable, to how I'm responding to the practice, just like a doctor should be attentive to the possibility that I'll react badly to some form of treatment.
Logged

'Whatever such a mind sees is a flower, and whatever such a mind dreams of is the moon.' - Basho
Jenett
High Adept Member
******
Last Login:February 19, 2015, 10:34:23 pm
United States United States

Religion: Priestess in initiatory religious witchcraft tradition
Posts: 2506


Blog entries (1)

WWW

Ignore
« Reply #4: March 24, 2011, 07:41:42 pm »

Agree completely with your post, but wanted to add that although getting informed consent beforehand is a big part of being responsible, it doesn't exhaust responsibility, which is ongoing. If I sought out a practitioner I would expect him or her to remain attentive, as far as is reasonable, to how I'm responding to the practice, just like a doctor should be attentive to the possibility that I'll react badly to some form of treatment.

Quite right. I sort of file that under 'ability to deal with problems', but it definitely deserves teasing out.

One of the more complicated things about learning priestessing-for-others skills for a lot of people is actually that piece: how to have a meaningful experience yourself while making sure that everyone else in the setting is still doing okay within the scope of the ritual. (It's one of the arguments for really clear ritual roles and structure, actually, because people can then focus on their bit, rather than tracking everything.)
Logged

Blog: Thoughts from a threshold: http://gleewood.org/threshold
Info for seekers: http://gleewood.org/seeking
Pagan books and resources: http://gleewood.org/books

Donor Ad: Become a Silver or Gold Donor to get your ad here.

Tags:
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Add bookmark  |  Print  
 
Jump to:  
  Portal   Forum   Help Rules Search Chat (Mux) Articles Login Register   *

* Share this topic...
In a forum
(BBCode)
In a site/blog
(HTML)


Related Topics
Subject Started by Replies Views Last post
Magic and Religion « 1 2 3 4 »
Magic and the Occult for Beginners
HeartShadow - Cutethulhu 51 14887 Last post March 28, 2007, 04:01:15 pm
by Laura Stamps
Magic without religion « 1 2 3 4 »
Magic and the Occult for Beginners
elaoin 47 17923 Last post July 19, 2007, 09:56:09 pm
by elaoin
Religion and Magic
Chaos Magic
Go 10 3412 Last post December 12, 2010, 10:33:25 am
by catja6
Fictional Characters in Religion and Magic. « 1 2 3 4 5 »
Chaos Magic
Go 67 18280 Last post June 27, 2010, 11:25:15 pm
by FrancoFerret
Your religion, or your magic? « 1 2 ... 6 7 »
Paganism For Beginners
Juniper 103 20460 Last post November 04, 2008, 12:09:26 pm
by oonagh
EU Cookie Notice: This site uses cookies. By using this site you consent to their use.


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2006-2008, Simple Machines
TinyPortal v0.9.8 © Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.076 seconds with 37 queries.