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Author Topic: My top three  (Read 1740 times)

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LouLouSmiles

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My top three
« on: October 01, 2012, 05:19:22 PM »

Now I know this is a wicca forum, but I also know that almost every one of us has our little set of beliefs. For me, I've managed to narrow it down to a top three (in no particular order):

- Native American Shamanism
- Wicca
- New Orleans VooDoo

Now it is my opinion that these are all very similar. Same gods, different names. Same practices. Same general set of rules... simply not hurting others, maybe even helping others. The people who march to these belief systems all tend to live pretty isolated lives, not just because they aren't very accepted in this Christian nation, but because to think this way is beyond what many people understand. Primarily in shamanism, the isolation is actually a sign of higher consciousness. So I wanted to know what everyone else's top three are, if you have them. And since there's already threads for "WHY" you chose Wicca, how about how? Who first told you about it? How did you learn more? Was there a "lightbulb" moment? And if you have combined beliefs, like me, what are some pieces of each that you use each day?

Also let me know if you're curious to learn more about my top three, as I think they are quite beautiful ways to live. :]
Blessed be, namaste, etc...
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oldghost

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Re: My top three
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2012, 05:53:20 PM »

                        1) Mage ceardaiochta
 
                        2) Witch ceardaiochta
 
                        3) Druidism
 
Explain a little more about New Orleans voodoo and how if differs from plain old voodoo , if you would be so kind :) .
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Just Dave

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Re: My top three
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2012, 12:30:28 AM »

And since there's already threads for "WHY" you chose Wicca, how about how? Who first told you about it? How did you learn more? Was there a "lightbulb" moment?

One day at work the subject of religion came up and one of the guys said he was Wicca.  Nobody really knew what that was and he was reluctant to say too much about it, but I spoke with him later and he shared a brief synopsis of his beliefs.  He also recommended a few books and said that after I had read them he'd be happy to answer any questions I might have.  I read the books (surprisingly, our local library had them!) and became very intrigued.  Unfortunately he left the company not too long after our conversation so I never got the chance to discuss any of it with him.

I did, however, begin reading everything I could get my hands on about Wicca.  But I kind of over saturated myself (i.e., not giving myself time to really comprehend what I was reading, reading books far too advanced for my level of understanding, etc.)  So I went back and started from scratch, making sure I understood what the author was saying and giving myself time to decide if I believed what was being said before moving on.  It took a while (years, actually) but in the end I was convinced that Wicca was the most natural choice for me.

I didn't really have a "lightbulb" moment.  It was more like what I was reading confirmed the beliefs I already held.  There's a line in "The Charge of the Goddess" that goes - paraphrasing here - "if what you seek cannot be found within you, you will never find it without you."   All the books I read contained a wealth of information, but they didn't contain the answers I was looking for.  I had to look within myself for that.  And when I did I found a little flicker of understanding.  Then with each little bit of wisdom I gleaned from my reading that little flicker grew.  It became a small flame and then that grew and continues growing as I learn more.  And as that light of understanding grows, so does my confidence that Wicca is the path for me.

Sorry for waxing a little poetic there, but this is the first time I really thought about this.  Thanks, LouLouSmiles, for bringing up this topic.
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LouLouSmiles

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Re: My top three
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2012, 11:39:01 PM »

I like your story, though! I think yours is relateable, yet personal. And I think that for a lot of people, you feed the flame, it's no sudden lightbulb. I would like to think that it's because good people go into this sort of thing humble. I mean, can you really say "I'M A WICCAN" without reading a single book, or knowing really anything? Just because you get a good feeling doesn't mean you can suddenly shout it from the mountaintops. So it's good to take your time, get educated, and make the educated decision. Just as you would with any other spiritual path. That's why I like, though, that Wicca is so openminded about persona adaptations, mixtures of beliefs. That sort of thing isn't normal for all religions.

@OldGhost-
I'm no expert on New Orleans Voodoo. I first learned about it in my class called "Magic, Witchcraft and Religion." It's basically an anthropology/religions class. The speaker mentioned how she had spent so much of her life searching, that she had tried Wicca and although she loved it, something in her didn't feel at home there. One day she visited the VooDoo temple in New Orleans and she was quite literally told by the head priestess, out of the blue without an introduction, "Welcome home."

The practices are practically identical to Wicca, with more African roots, I feel. I do have a couple of books, and I feel I was pretty well educated from my class as well. You use symbols for protection, spells so long as you hurt no one, altars, and representative deities. The snake is probably the most prevalent symbol in New Orleans voodoo and I think to call it "New Orleans" specifically simply means that it's the same-old African voodoo westernized. (A little more sugar and spice, per se). The deities names might have been changed, added french accents, more southern influences. Ceremonially, it is common to quite literally channel ancestors, let them take over your body. (The speaker in my class claims to have seen a 90 year old women with a cane become a young man dancing and singing with ease.)

I see similarities in so many things, I think that New Orleans Voodoo clicks for me because, it just does. It feels right. And at the end of the day, that's what matters.
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marisol

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Re: My top three
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2012, 02:57:59 PM »

I have to differ with you on this one LLS. Not all Wiccans practice witchcraft, and not all witches are Wiccans. Witchcraft is strongly related to New Orleans Voodoo, and has been for many years.
That is in New Orleans voodoo has a strong influence and also does witchcraft. Although Wicca
does use ritual and magic, otherwise they are completely different. It is not our wish to combine
Wicca with Christianity or any other religion. Wiccans for the most part do not use black magic. Our law states we will harm no one. Wicca is a nature based religion. For some who practice witchcraft it is their religion and has nothing to do with Wicca.Witchcraft is also learned from
nature and the God and Goddess.
I know that you learned your facts in school, but that does not necessarily mean they are the truth. I would suggest you learn the path you wish to follow and stick to it. That doesn't mean
you can't study others. Just try one at a time. My path is Wicca and I am a nocturnal witch. I
don't have three favorites. Oil and water does not mix well.. just my opinion.
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lucifer

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Re: My top three
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2012, 03:47:40 PM »

I would suggest you learn the path you wish to follow and stick to it. That doesn't mean
you can't study others. Just try one at a time.
Well said, marisol.
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C_A

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Re: My top three
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2012, 05:53:40 AM »

I have to differ with you on this one LLS. Not all Wiccans practice witchcraft, and not all witches are Wiccans. Witchcraft is strongly related to New Orleans Voodoo, and has been for many years.
That is in New Orleans voodoo has a strong influence and also does witchcraft. Although Wicca
does use ritual and magic
, otherwise they are completely different. It is not our wish to combine
Wicca with Christianity or any other religion. Wiccans for the most part do not use black magic. Our law states we will harm no one. Wicca is a nature based religion. For some who practice witchcraft it is their religion and has nothing to do with Wicca.Witchcraft is also learned from
nature and the God and Goddess.
I know that you learned your facts in school, but that does not necessarily mean they are the truth. I would suggest you learn the path you wish to follow and stick to it. That doesn't mean
you can't study others. Just try one at a time. My path is Wicca and I am a nocturnal witch. I
don't have three favorites
. Oil and water does not mix well.. just my opinion.

Emphasis mine.

Well put, but...do you see the dichotomy in the first two italicized lines?
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Arnemetia

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Re: My top three
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2012, 08:38:19 AM »

Like Marisol, I do not have a top 3.  I am Wiccan.  Like many here, I have studied for a lot of years and daily learn something new.  To try and combine Wicca with other religions IMHO would not be respectful to any of them.  Reading books and being educated on religions is a wonderful thing but the actual knowledge comes in the practice of such.  That alone for one religion can take years. 
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LouLouSmiles

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Re: My top three
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2012, 11:11:59 AM »

Am I the only one who feels that we aren't being as open-minded as we should be? I probably don't need to tell you all, I'm young. But I have been learning about Wicca for a long time, and you know what, I always thought that it wasn't strict, that no one would talk down to you just because you're not 100% sure about something. But to be honest, since I've joined this forum, I've gotten a lot of that. I'm open to being educated but now what started as a thread about other things you are simply interested in has become an attempt by several different people to "correct" my beliefs. Could have sworn that what something Wicca wanted nothing to do with. I respect these belief systems, that much is clear. By learning about multiples, I am not disrespecting them, I'm learning. Period. I want to know how many other people have been scared away because of that kind of attitude.

I have books on New Orleans voodoo, and I'm pretty gosh darn aware that it and Wicca are very similar, if even involved with each other. I believe I even said that in my post. Just know that I'm not complaining about you having an opinion, but don't try to correct mine. Don't tell me I'm wrong just because I don't know every last thing there is to know, and you know what, I should have that freedom. I should have the freedom to be involved in this community even if I'm still not sure. And that's the worst part - there are so many people like me, and if they're being greeted with this kind of elitist negativity, you can bet they were scared away and never looked at Wicca the same again. Luckily, you can't get rid of me that easily.

I love you all, and you've made my first couple weeks here great. I'm more interested in Wicca now than ever, and I'm really ready to start my path, but I can't have people constantly telling me I'm not respecting the religion because I have other interests - it's an insult to me and all Wiccans. With that in mind, however, I am always anxious to learn, so I hope this post won't make any of you think less of me because I do appreciate when people approach me with good in their hearts. Just try to remember I'm one of you.
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Draconis Rex

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Re: My top three
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2012, 11:43:20 AM »

Take it easy LouLou, no one is being closed minded here, relax.  :)
We on this site come from different aspects of Paganism, not just Wicca. Nobody is trying to stop you from following your own path. I had a look back on this thread and I see people answering your question about what they follow, and a few have suggested, that's suggested that you try one at a time. Not because they are imposing their will upon you but because through their own years of experience or lineage or wisdom, they feel that you should perhaps concentrate and be more knowledgable about your chosen path rather than take on too much. You are at an early stage in your learning and development, and you don't want to be swamped.

Please see the intention behind their words, there is no malice intended here just a little guidance.  :)

Also please don't get all hot and bothered with folks here, I've seen some pretty nasty things going on here if the wrong person takes exception and I wouldn't want to see you getting that type of flak. Learning and gaining this knowledge is actually hard going and the folks here have worked very hard to gain their positions and experience, If you respect them for that then they will respect you too. Being a Pagan isn't an interest remember, its a way of life, a faith and a religion. Just remain calm and if you have an issue, address it calmly and with forethought, any query then will be addressed with respect and reason.

I hope this has helped to ease your mind about what have perceived here.

Blessings
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LouLouSmiles

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Re: My top three
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2012, 11:56:59 AM »

You're totally right, and the last thing I want to do is start stepping on toes this early. It's good to see you responding to my little "complaint" with positive words though, rather than aggression (which I wouldn't expect, but you never know). Like I said, I just want everyone to know that I care just as much as they do, this isn't some half assed attempt for me. And what I was kind of getting at is that those kinds of things won't send me running, but other people might become hesitant, you know what I mean? I don't want people to feel discouraged, even if that wasn't the intention.

Thanks for being patient with me, though. I know how easily I could have pissed people off with that post and like I said, that's the last thing I want.
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Serpentium

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Re: My top three
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2012, 12:07:58 PM »


I have books on New Orleans voodoo, and I'm pretty gosh darn aware that it and Wicca are very similar, if even involved with each other.


That's not surprising though, is it? Voodoo is a syncretic religion, taking from West African traditional beliefs, Catholicism, and European Witchcraft. And as far as I know, Gardner cites European Witchcraft as playing a major role in his formulation of Wicca.


Even though I'm not a Wiccan or a practitioner of Voodoo, I can see similarities between them. Voodoo is more secularised than Wicca, and it's rites (like Catholicism) are more geared to keeping the attention of a congregation of non-initiates.


If you took Wicca, added an audience or congregation, and a bit more chicken blood . . .  maybe it could take off in a way that appealed to a fanbase other than SilverWolfenChuff and kids disillusioned with Sparkly Vampirism. 

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« Last Edit: October 05, 2012, 12:09:04 PM by Serpentium »
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Draconis Rex

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Re: My top three
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2012, 12:11:28 PM »

 :) :) Thanks LouLou, Now do what your told!!! :D :D :D :D :D

Seriously though, its very easy as you say to jump on a post like that, Thanx for seeing that, it shows maturity and reasoning.  ;)

They are really nice folks here and very knowledgable they've all helped me along my path. And to address your original post (OP) I myself follow a predominantly Wiccan way. I say predominantly because I am still defining myself. I am also interested in Witchcraft but I won't address that more fully until some later date or unless my path changes.
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LouLouSmiles

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Re: My top three
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2012, 12:18:24 PM »

I wish I could just download all this information into my brain and start right away but I can't. Although the process of learning is probably the most important part - discipline is everything! It's also hard to know which sources to trust. There are books and books and books and are every single one of them right in their own way? Are you just supposed to pick them all up and combine them altogether to come to one general conclusion? What I really should do is just sit down for a couple days and read through everything on this site, the informative, the workshops, see how many things I should be doing that I'm not. I mean it matters to me to know this stuff, it really does. And I think that alone is important. The drive to actually learn more, always be learning more.
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Draconis Rex

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Re: My top three
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2012, 12:32:26 PM »

I wish I could just download all this information into my brain and start right away but I can't. Although the process of learning is probably the most important part - discipline is everything! It's also hard to know which sources to trust. There are books and books and books and are every single one of them right in their own way? Are you just supposed to pick them all up and combine them altogether to come to one general conclusion? What I really should do is just sit down for a couple days and read through everything on this site, the informative, the workshops, see how many things I should be doing that I'm not. I mean it matters to me to know this stuff, it really does. And I think that alone is important. The drive to actually learn more, always be learning more.

... And I commend you on your desire to gather this knowledge.

I wish I could just gulp it all down too, but I would lose something in the learning if I did that. For my own part, - I've said this before here -, I have been picking up information for years related to paganism, but because I had no guidance and no..... well nothing really, A lot of what I learned was in fact bogus. information gained from tainted sources. coloured opinions from those of a biased points of view. Paganism (or in those days it was occult to me) was evil, the domain of the devil ..... and so on. But for some reason it still interested me. In the latter years I realised there was no evil in Paganism, neither was there devil worship. And I was able to sift through it all and get rid of the crap and more fully understand the real. more recently, I have restructured my dubious knowledge and for me now it is more coherent, and is now my religion. Not the usual way to learn I know but, there you have it.
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