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Author Topic: The Glass Temple  (Read 3129 times)
Ghost Queen
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« Topic Start: January 04, 2009, 01:07:30 pm »

I was checking out this site awhile ago, and I was wondering how reliable the more experienced members think it is.
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« Reply #1: January 04, 2009, 02:32:34 pm »

I was checking out this site awhile ago, and I was wondering how reliable the more experienced members think it is.

I'm not Wiccan so I really can't say. Hopefully others will answer soon.
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kaarne
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« Reply #2: January 04, 2009, 03:45:41 pm »

I was checking out this site awhile ago, and I was wondering how reliable the more experienced members think it is.

I read some parts of the website, and would be cautious with it.

Divination pages: They have chosen to link to a bad guide to runes that has the runes in incorrect order and includes an ahistorical blank rune "Odin".

Their article on the Zodiac confuses Zodiac signs and constellations. The Zodiac signs are 12 equal-sized parts of the Zodiac. There are 13 constellations along the Zodiac, and they are not equal-sized. The author knows only one method (out of several) how astronomers locate stars in the sky. That's not the point of the article, though.

Why don't they list wand as an elemental tool? Strange.

And they think that Wicca is "a reconstructed version of pre-Christian European Pagan spirituality".  As if there would be a single pre-Christian European Pagan spirituality. And I wouldn't call Wicca a reconstruction, either.

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« Reply #3: January 04, 2009, 06:14:31 pm »

I was checking out this site awhile ago, and I was wondering how reliable the more experienced members think it is.

There are lots of problems with this site. Kaarne listed some of the most obvious ones, but there are more.
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« Reply #4: January 04, 2009, 08:40:26 pm »

Why don't they list wand as an elemental tool? Strange.

So elementals are mentioned in places other than that site? I'm quite curious about them. Do you know anywhere where I could find more accurate information about them? Or was the lack of mentioning a wand your only issue with that particular section?
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« Reply #5: January 04, 2009, 08:51:45 pm »

So elementals are mentioned in places other than that site? I'm quite curious about them. Do you know anywhere where I could find more accurate information about them? Or was the lack of mentioning a wand your only issue with that particular section?

To clarify -

Do you want to learn more about the elementals (entities associated with each element: most classically, these are sylphs, djinn or salamanders, undines, and gnomes) or the elemental tools (the tools associated with each element and, through them, with other correspondences within ritual as well.)
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« Reply #6: January 05, 2009, 03:42:52 am »


Um. I'd say find another website. It looks like them put time and effort into this website... but a lot of their information is just plain wrong. There is no such thing as a pan-European pagan religion before Christianity really came to power. While Gardner was attempting to reconstruct an ancient religion, it certainly did not apply to all pre-Christian European cultures.

Quote from: The Glass Temple website
They are not vengeful or rebellious children engaged in family feuding, and they care nothing for such things.

Okay, I hope I don't get smited for this... but has this person never read the myths of the Greek Gods?  Cheesy Even a teensy little bit?
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« Reply #7: January 05, 2009, 08:02:11 am »

And they think that Wicca is "a reconstructed version of pre-Christian European Pagan spirituality".  As if there would be a single pre-Christian European Pagan spirituality. And I wouldn't call Wicca a reconstruction, either.

I would add that, from my very brief glance over their "what is Wicca" page, it looks like by "Wicca" they mean "eclectic Wicca", as  they're talking about how hugely diverse it is and how some practitioners just do what seems right to them and whatnot, and listing all SORTS of cultures whose beliefs might get incorporated into Wicca.  So even without the pre-Christian reconstruction thing, I'd be a little dubious about their information concerning Wicca. (I mean, I don't have a horse in the race when it comes to whether BTW is the only real Wicca or not, so I'm not saying that's how they should be defining things here.  But I think it's less than accurate to give the impression that Wicca can be almost anything, without any mention of some of the more traditional forms that are somewhat stricter about the rules.)

OK, also, this is really bugging me.  Their page isn't even consistent.  If Wicca is a reconstruction of pre-Christian European Pagan spirituality (whatever that's supposed to mean), then it makes no sense to be mixing in non-European cultures' beliefs and practices as the site claims in the very same paragraph that contains that definition.  Or even mixing different European cultures' stuff, really; when you do that, you create something new, you're not reconstructing what used to exist.
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« Reply #8: January 05, 2009, 08:04:44 am »

Okay, I hope I don't get smited for this... but has this person never read the myths of the Greek Gods?  Cheesy Even a teensy little bit?

Apparently not. This site just gets worse the deeper one gets into it. Sad
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« Reply #9: January 08, 2009, 05:47:57 pm »

To clarify -

Do you want to learn more about the elementals (entities associated with each element: most classically, these are sylphs, djinn or salamanders, undines, and gnomes) or the elemental tools (the tools associated with each element and, through them, with other correspondences within ritual as well.)

Both, but moreso the elementals themselves. I'd like to meet one (or a few...)!
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« Reply #10: January 10, 2009, 01:21:17 pm »

Both, but moreso the elementals themselves. I'd like to meet one (or a few...)!

Sorry it's taken a while for me to get back to this - amazingly busy week at work made it hard to have brain together to organise thoughts.

As far as elementals, much of the common information with them begins with a number of medieval and Renaissance works - Paraclesus is the one most often referenced. As you might know, some paths work with the elements, some with the elementals in classical form (that's the sylphs/djinn/undine/gnome), some with something more amorphous ("powers of air/fire/water/earth"), some with guardians of the directions or watchtowers. (And many groups work with some combination of these: for example, my tradition works with the guardians and the powers of the elements, but almost never with specific elementals directly.)

Part of the question of meeting them, though, is like most non-physical entities. What's the goal of them showing up? What's in it for them, and are you asking out of something other than pure curiousity? It's one thing to do a working to meet with an elemental for a deeper understanding of the element (especially if you offer something of value to them - your energy or time supporting a goal they'd benefit from, like cleaning up a local waterway for an undine.) and it's another to ask (or compel) something to show up just so you can say hi, y'know?

As far as the elemental tools: traditionally, in Wicca and various related paths, certain tools are associated with particular elements. In many traditions, there is the personal tool (something used by the individual), and a group tool version (something of particular use in larger workings or with groups).

Water: Chalice (cup) and cauldron
Earth: Pentacle and altar (by which I mean the physical thing all the tools go on: it's a tool in and of itself in some paths.)

The other two are a little trickier: different paths have different associations for air and fire. Some associate the athame and sword with air, and others with fire. The wand and staff are the others. In our group, we associate the athame and sword with fire, and the wand and staff with air (but we have spent a couple of hours going back and forth about it.)

These associations come both from the function and from the energetic uses. For example, chalice and cauldron hold liquids (water), and they both also echo the womb. The pentacle is the symbol of physical manifestation (earth), and is often made of metal or clay or wood (earth-related substances). One can view the athame as shaped by fire (the forge), or as having the discernment and differentiation (of air) - the sword is a larger form of the blade, with some distinct properties. Likewise, a wand can be seen as creative (air) or as the focused direction of energy (more about fire). As you can see, some of this depends on a bunch of other things about how you view the world, how you structure ritual, and so on - some decisions make more sense in some settings.

Deborah Lipp's _The Way of Four_ has a lot more about elemental work, including a number of exercises - if you can get your hands on it, it might be a good starting place for you.
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