Chatty Pagans

I enjoy meeting new people and getting to know them. Using chat as a way to search out and make contact with other pagans has been a great success over the last few weeks.
Stacie & I met online a coupla weeks ago and have chatted almost daily since then. She and her husband have 2 boys just a year or two younger than Alex, and they live only about 1/2 a mile from us.
Today I had meant to go over and meet Stacie in "real life". Unfortunately I'd fallen asleep and it was almost time for Alex to come home when I woke up. When she got in from school, she began begging to go swimming. This usually involves 15 minutes of quietly swimmming and diving, followed by an hour of bored chants of "Mom! Watch me... Mom?" but with other kids along we squelch that neatly. So I combined meeting Stacie and her kids with inviting them to come over and swim with Alex. Stacie and I got to sit quietly talkin in the shade while the kids hopped back and forth from the hot tub to the pool. They preferred the hot tub since the water of the pool was too chilly for them. Into July and August that shouldn't be a problem.

There are several groups and covens in the immediate area that we are interested in meeting. Making friends with other pagan families as the summer goes on will help us find our place within the local communities.


Celtic Paganism FAQ

This is taken from a site I found today. The link at top will take you to it and you can explore more for yourself. But this sums up most of my beliefs quite succinctly.

Here is a guideline of the general tenets of Celtic Paganism (adapted from several Celtic Pagan groups, including Keltria and Imbas):

1. We believe in a living religion able to adapt to a changing environment; therefore we recognize that our beliefs may undergo change as our tradition grows.

2. We believe in divinity as it is manifest in the gods and goddesses of the Celts (from the pre-Christian era) and in ourselves. Polytheism, pantheism, panentheism, animism, and pan-polytheism are all valid theistic perceptions of divinity.

3. We believe that nature is the embodiment of divinity/divine forces and that we are a part of nature. Therefore divinity is inherently a part of each one of us.

4. We believe in honoring the gods through the cyclical celebrations of our ancestors and the historical Celts (i.e.: the four Fire Festivals). This includes developing a connection with the ancestors and land spirits. In our modern world, this means honoring our immediate and extended families, realizing how we fit in with our "global" community, and being aware of ecological issues.

5. We believe in the immortality of the spirit, that there is some type of afterlife, and that our spirit does not die when our body does.

6. We believe that our purpose is to gain wisdom through experience, and that we may undergo several incarnations to facilitate the variety of experience necessary to gain said wisdom.

7. We believe that reason and observation of Nature rather than doctrine should be used to gain clues to the Mysteries of life, the afterlife, and the universe.

8. We believe that all life is sacred, and should neither be harmed nor taken without deliberation or regard. We also believe that death should not be feared but celebrated, as it is a natural part of the cycle of life.

9. We believe in the relative nature of all things, that nothing is absolute, and that all things, even the gods, have their dark sides.

10. We believe that every individual has the right to pursue enlightenment through his/her chosen path. Therefore, our path is not the only path to enlightenment, nor will we preach such ideas.

11. We believe that learning is an ongoing process, and should be fostered at all ages.

12. We believe that morality should be a matter of personal conviction based upon self respect and respect for others. Furthermore, our behavior should be based on a moral code which stresses truthfulness, honor and personal responsibility.

13. We believe that natural law reflects the will of the god/esses and/or the supreme force in the universe to which we are all connected.

14. We believe that while men and women each have mysteries that are unique to their gender, they each have an equal part in Nature, one not being above the other, and this should be reflected in the community.

15. We believe our religion is open to and may be participated in by persons of any gender, sexual orientation, color, nationality, or ethnic background.

Find more information at Celtic Callings.

I need to explore Animism. I had never heard this term, but it may answer some of my questions and make sense of what I feel when I'm in nature.
Ah, another reason to read.
I never tire of learning.


Pagans in Iraq

After weeks of nothing ~ no email, no lit up smiley next to his handle on Messenger ~ Rob finally touched base. I was so relieved.
Honestly, I don't know this man. Not in real life. He's one of the military pagans with a profile at WitchVox I contacted. We send care packages to anyone who wants one so they don't feel like they're forgotten. It's a very small thing we do, but maybe it turns into a big thing for them when the box arrives on a day they needed a boost. Rob said he needed a penpal more than anything so I began sending him messages. His online time is limited and sporadic at best. Non existent at worse, which is what had me worried the past weeks. Was he just not able to get online, or worse ... no way for me to check ... and the news out of Iraq was of mounting casualties everyday ... miserable time wondering and I don't even KNOW this man ... how much worse for families and friends.

Inspite of the clamoring of the Religious Right, claiming America is a Christian country, he is over there doin his duty. He's not the only one. These men and women face the same dangers, fear, and homesickness as every other person called to fight in this war. They have hometowns, and jobs, and also leave loved ones behind to worry daily if they are numbered among the dead or injured.
Denying the bravery and sacrifices of these non-Christian patriots is un-American.

And, as if that's not bad enough. If a pagan lays down their life in service to this country they are denied any symbol of their faith on their headstone. This was brought to my attention just this week. I had no idea this was even an issue. There is a well presented notice posted on WitchVox calling for an end to this ban. Here is the link: Veteran's Headstone Campaign
I hope anyone reading this post will take the time to go read it, and then print out a letter to their representatives in Congress asking for this ban to be ended.