To learn about me and my journey, you may want to start at the 1st post.
Two years later...
I went to a Beltaine celebration this weekend. I really enjoyed it.
I am now on the hunt for a book that I saw and wanted a few years ago but did not buy. I can't even remember the name, and yet I always make note of such things w/ my camera phone. Also, since we moved, I can't find my books on Witchcraft, or my dowsing rods, etc. *sigh*
Today I took one of those "Which Pagan Path Do You Follow" quizzes again. I hadn't taken one in years. Here is today's result:
My current reading list
My current reading list-
I am currently reading probably 15 books at once. I do that. But of those books, here is a list of some of them:Buckland's Complete Book Of Witchcraft Nocturnal WitchcraftSpook: Science Tackles the Afterlife Positive Energy
: 10 Extraordinary Prescriptions for Transforming Fatigue, Stress, and Fear into Vibrance, Strength, and Love Miracle Prayer
: Nine Steps to Creating Prayers That Get Results
There's more... TONS more. Books on tarot, books on spells. It's obscene how many books I try to read at once. It stems out of a problem that I read too slowly so it takes forever to finish a book. That and my insatiable thirst for knowledge.
I just ordered today:Remember Me: A Lively Tour of the New American Way of Death
and Magickal Judaism: Connecting Pagan & Jewish Practice
Late night thoughts.
I'm still reading like a fiend, that never really stopped. Lots of metaphysical stuff. I've also joined a paran0rmal investigation team. I'm very into EVPs (electronic voice phenomena) and interested in mediums. I am taking a Tarot Class and am really very interested in it. I also started a physical "book of shadows" to write things in that are useful to me.
Still here, Still me.
Since I started this blog in 2004, and since long before 2004 when I first started my own spiritual journey, not much has changed as far as my beliefs, and I have fewer bouts of atheism.
(Long ago I explained here that WHAT I believe rarely changes, but that at any given time I'd either believe a certain set of my own beliefs, or have a period of atheism.)
Also, what I believe doesn't fit into any one religion. The only "church" I feel comfortable in is the Unitarian Universalist church, and my beliefs and practices border on Wiccan, although I don't fit that mold 100% either.
But here I am, still believing the same thing, and if anything else, less atheistic than before.
What do I believe? It'd take too long a blog post to explain. But if you are a Unitarian or you are Wiccan, than you and I have a lot in common.
My Atheiest's Prayer
I am an athiest only sometimes.
I am not sure there is a god or an afterlife, but I hope there is.
Call me a hopeful athiest.
My Atheist's Prayer:
"Dear God, if you are there,may you and my angels and spirit guides, if they exist,and my passed loved ones, if they live on,guide me and protect me from those that would do me harm.I surround myself in a sphere of white light and protection.May this light include the love and protection of God and his people.I want to believe.I hope you are there.
After a long hunt, one that's taken years, I've found a local paranormal group to join. I have been invited to go on some investigations. I'm looking forward to it.
Guestbook no more
I took the guestbook down. I lost the password for it so I can't view entries, so to those of you who left comments, sorry, I can't read them, and to you spammers who keep spamming the guestbook: TH-B-B-B-B-B!
But where did GOD come from???
What I find amazing is that last year it was June that I started re-visiting my spiritual beliefs. What is it about June?
I'm back. It's been a long time.
If it were up to me I'd just drop the whole thing for good. But what keeps happening is life in the south. When I lived up north, when my mom lived up north, when my husband lived up north, we all could be whatever religion we wanted to be with little or not attempted swaying.
But oh no, not here in the south.
It keeps coming up. I keep being challened. I'm so sick of it.
No matter how I question, how I rebel, who much I wonder, in general what I believe never changes. But it doesn't fit into any one religion, except maybe Unitarian. I"m very interested in Wicca and Witchcraft. Some days I'm athiest.
I'm so sick of everybody trying to fit me into a mold.
I have not been diligent w/ my exploration into wicca. I joined a local online pagan community and was unenthused by it. There was alot of politics and it just seemed that the leaders had really bad hangups and were lashing out at people. I still feel like I am more wiccan than anything else. However, I'm not sure that I'd make a good wiccan or witch (two different things). I'm not much into ritual. Frankly, I'm lazy. I like a good bout of meditation, and believe in the mind-body connection, and taking certain herbs for certain illnesses. I'm just not sure I'd take the time to gather the right hers and stones etc for rituals.
Maybe I'm just not worshipper at all. I don't mean Athiest, I just mean a non-worshipper.
Ack! I don't have to figure this out now.
All I do know is that every day I dislike the fundamentalist christians more and more, and view alot of religions as mere cults.
I'm still at it. I ran out of time and could not read all the books that I had stacked up. The in-laws came, which involved panic-cleaning beforehand, no time while they were here (and hiding the books so they would not misunderstand the "witchcraft" books), and then recouperation time after they left... then after that I just wasn't in the groove and the books were overdue.
I finally decided to just take them back and then concentrate on the books that I own and then go from there.
You can get used books at a great price through AbeBooks.com
. It's a network of used bookstores and u can search all their books w/ that one website. I've gotten books for $1, $5, etc.
One of the online groups that I joined to meet other pagans in my area disintegrated right before my eyes. Stupid politics.
I don't know if I'll ever feel like I belong in any religious community.
Found this on another blog, from the news:
Someone broke the windows
on an office building in Clearwater, Fl., that had taken on a supposed image of the virgin mary
You can click this link for a live image of the broken windows: www.shepherds-of-christ.org/radio.htm
(updated every 30 seconds).
I have this huge stack of books and I try to read too many at once. But the last few days I have been focusing on Heaven and Earth : Making the Psychic Connection
. I want to expand my psychic abilities. I'd love nothing more than to be a medium like John Edward or James Van Praagh.
I am trying to meet people in my own town that have pagan interests. I joined a couple mailing lists of two local pagan groups and I hope to make new friends through there. One is closer geographically than the other, but that's ok. One if having a picnic soon and the other is having an eart festival soon. I hope to go to both.
James Van Praagh says in his book Heaven and Earth : Making the Psychic Connection
that "spirit beings from other worlds are around us all the time. These spritis serve the human population in many ways, as teachers, companions, creative inspriation, and protection."
Well then why do I feel so alone? Why then is it that what I pray for never happens? I prayed so hard for my sibling who recently died too young, I didn't ask for a miracle, I didn't ask for 10 or 20 more years of life. Just a little more, so that he could experience the joy of reconnecting w/ his estranged children (which he *just* began to do) and enjoy the success of finally publishing a book (his lifelong dream, which he'd *just* done while fighting his battle, finishing the book in the hospital)...
but no. nothing. and no after-death validations from him or any other relative or friend who's died. nothing. Spirits actively involved in my life? If so, why don't I see them, hear them, feel them, ANYthing? I don't see the point in prayer. I'm trying to find a new spiritual path, but yet I am not sure that praying or worshipping or rituals are worth my time.
Where did all this negativity come from?
Also, notice that James Van Praagh says "worlds". "Spirit beings from other worlds
..." Worlds, plural. Hmmm...
I'm surfing webrings.com
for various pagan webrings. I found this one:
The Pagans for Jesus Webring
"We are a Webring devoted to the inclusion of Christ in a Pagan context. Sites include scholarly pages dealing with Pagan aspects of Christology, seeker-sensitive pages that are Pagan-friendly, liberal Biblical exegesis, prayers, rituals, etc. One need not be a professed Pagan to join our ring, only sympathetic to our cause!
Very interesting. I'll have to check out some of those sites.
UPDATE: Also found this one: Paganism for Beginners
- "A collection to sites for new pagans, or those considering pagan paths. Sites that explain in simple terms and provide links for future growth. Inspiring personal sites and easy to use sites in all Pagan paths giving the newbie plenty of space to learn and grow.
UPDATE: This one looks interesting, too: Pagan Teachers Ring
- "The Pagan Teachers Ring is intended to be a resource for seekers of various pagan traditions and faiths who are looking for teachers or mentors near them, or are gathering information about paganism online. All responsible elders of any pagan path are most welcome to join, as are covens, groves and other groups who are open to new members."
The more I read about my 'birth religion' catholicism, the more I think I'm just pagan, and not a pagan-catholic or wiccan-catholic. Yeah, I know, alot of people think pagan can't be blended w/ christianity, but some do, there's a whole article about it in the Llewellyn's 2004 Wicca Almanac
. I thought maybe that's where I fit in, but I'm just not sure.
I believe is a god, a single god, who may or may not have a female aspect, or who is genderless. But I'm not (yet) comfortable w/ worshipping multiple dieties. So I feel like I don't fit in anywhere.
However, the more I read, the more I research, the more I learn, then the more I'll know where I fit in. Perhaps the more I read on the origin of christianity, the more I'll realize how much truth there really is in paganism.
I'm a seeker, a lost seeker. I don't even know where to start. But I'm trying. I'm reading and I'm thinking.
I always get mad at myself because I never finish book (rarely) and I also read too many books at once, spreading myself too thin. I also get mad at myself for being so net-addicted. I sit down to read, and then something I read makes me realize I wanted to look something up online, or email someone. It's like, when I sit to read, my mind clears a bit, and then I remember stuff I wanted to do. I get online to do one
thing and then end up online for hours.
But maybe I should be so hard on myself. It's good to get online and research stuff to learn more. It's good to get online, log into my blog, and journal my thoughts.
Like just now, I picked up my Catholicism for dummies
book. When my friend disrespected my brother's memory and my beliefs
, I gravitated back towards Catholicsm, the religion I was brought up in. I knew as I started that I didn't believe every aspect of Catholicsm and that the priests would not consider me a true catholic. But I figured, and discussed w/ family, that alot of catholics are not 100% "true" or "perfect" catholics in their beliefs and/or their actions. So, I'm really not that different from most catholics.
But maybe I am more different. I just picked up my Catholicism for dummies
book and was skimming the first parts that I had read so far. I realized that I disagree w/ most
of the fundamental beliefs:
* I don't
believe that the bible is "inspired, error-free, and revealed world of god". I believe it is inspired, perhaps, but mainly is an important historical document. I believe it should be revered and respected, but not taken literally. It's been translated too many times w/ bias, and within it's pages directly contradicts itself.
* I do not believe that baptism is necessary for salvation. It does not ring true in my heart and deepest soul that a baby, who died before being baptised, is destined to burn in hell for all eterneity. That's bullshit.
- But I do beleive that the 10 Commandments provide a morla compass, an ethical standard to live by. Sure, why not. Well... then again I haven't read them lately. :P
- The Holy Trinity. Even though I was raised catholic and went to catholic grade school, I don't know what to make of the holy spirit. I heard the phrase uttered a million times and still don't really get what it IS and if it really exists.
I can say this much, I love reading about all this... different religions, etc.
Are you looking to read other Pagan Blogs? Or Wiccan Blogs? To find other pagan weblogs, (besides the obvious google search), try WebRing.com
. You can run a search for keywords like "pagan", "wicca", "wiccan", "wiccan blog", "wiccan weblog", etc. etc. and find related webrings. Webrings group together websites of similar topic so that once you visit one, then you can navigate to the next, then the next, then the next, via the webring navigation bar, making it nice 'n easy.
Many pagan blogs link to other pagan blogs, so finding good blogs, and blogs along the lines of what you are looking for, will be somewhat easier.
I'm enjoying keeping this "Pagan Blog". Or Wiccan Blog, as I may turn out to be. I plan to keep it going. I plan to grow, and it'll be nice to look back and read my entries one day... just like it was when I stumbled upon that other older writing of mine the other day
I took this silly little quiz, "Which pagan path do you follow?" It is here:
The last time I did this quiz it told me I was Thelema
. That was only about a month ago.
Today when I took it, it said I was Wiccan
I don't think this test is serious, as it's topics cover everything under the sun and then provides you with links. I think it's what I call a "jump site" which is a site that baits you with search engine results just to provide you links, and if you click those links they make money. I'm not sure, but either way, it's kinda fun to take the quiz anyway.
Wow! I just found something I made back around '99 when I was on one of my other spiritual journies (or while my lifelong spiritual journey was on an up-cycle). I had read tons on after-death communication and was relating alot of what I found to science. It's a thesis of conclusions that I came to on this part of my journey. It's quite long. I'd put it up at Tripod.com and it's still there:
It's pretty wild for me to read it after not even seeing it in a few years. I pretty much feel the same way I did then.
Talk about looking at two different religions- I also have this teriffic book called Living Buddha, Living Christ
interesting book. I only read about half of it back around 2000, when I was bogged down terrible w/ school. I hope to re-read it and finish it soon.
One of the interesting articles in Llewellyn's 2004 Wicca Almanac
was about blending Christianity w/ Wicca. I read in another book ("Wicca for life"?) that it "doesn't make sense" to do so. But this article explained that many others do
think it makes sense, and so they do.
Perhaps that's where I fit in. Or maybe I'm just a fallen Catholic with mixed beliefs who practices New Age techniques
. Who knows.
I call this my "book of shadows". Is it really a book of shadows? It's a journal of my exporation into and finding a home in Witchcraft. It's a journal of reconciling my long-time practices and beliefs with a group of people who live and think like I do.
Will I include spells? I think a book of shadows is supposed to be where you write down your favorite spells as well as other things. I don't know if it's responsible to put spells online, so when it comes to that I may keep a spell book sans journal entries like these. If I want these offline I can print them or copy them to my computer or cd-rom and then put in my paper spellbook directions on how to find the copies of this journal.
I do not have a means to leave blog comments, so instead, just use the guestbook on the right sidebar.
"God, protect me from your followers!"
- Northern Sun
Then yesterday I went to Barnes and Noble. While there I swore to look only at magazines. I picked up:
Looking at these made me remember a magazine my one sister gave to me when I was about 13. It was called Magical Blend. I looked online today and it seems to still be in production today
. I looked at their back issues and determined that it was Issue #6
that she gave me. I am sure that I have that somewhere in a box in a garage somewhere. The more I look into Wicca and Witchcraft, the more I am certain that my eldest sister was/is a full-fledged witch. I am not sure which path. We are not in contact, so I cannot ask.
Whilte at Barnes and Noble, I was a bad girl and walked thru the book section. I swore not to buy a thing but rather to write down titles of books I thought I had to read. But I made an exception when I saw Llewellyn's 2004 Wicca Almanac: Spring 2004 to Spring 2005
. I'm SO glad that I got this because it's in zine-form which means that there's no obligation for me to read it front-to-back and the almanac starts next month and so I'm all set to go! Finding this book was a real charm.
So here I am trying to read multiple books at once. I drive myself nuts doing that. And then I order a health book to be transfered to my library, I go to pick it up, and end up w/ even more spiritual books to read. This time I got:
The Afterlife Experiments : Breakthrough Scientific Evidence of Life After Death
Writers Dreaming: 26 Writers Talk About Their Dreams and the Creative Process
It's not really spiritual
but I am a writer and am very interested in dreams which may or may not be spiritual experiences.
Heaven and Earth : Making the Psychic Connection
by James Van Praagh, psychic medium.
I know, I know. Too many books, too many books! I don't expect to read all of these. Some will be skimmed and some will be returned to the library to be either forgotten, purchased, or taken out again later.
- Northern Sun
So I'm reading "Stealing Jesus", and wanting to buy "Wicca For Life", and then I buy "Catholicism For Dummies", and then a dear friend (a real
friend) (and Catholic) comes to visit and brings a book for me to borrow called Looking for God: A Seeker's Guide to Religious and Spiritual Groups of the World
. This looks like a really good book, I begin to read it.
I have this tendancy to read more than one book at once. I don't know if it's ADD, or some other compulsive mental disorder or what.
So I've got these books going on and then I go to the library.
While there, I take out:
A Chosen Faith : An Introduction to Unitarian Universalism
. Hubby and I had gone to the UU church a few times and really liked it and hope to go frequently. So I picked up this book but have not began to read it.
21st Century Wicca: A Young Witch's Guide to Living the Magical Life
. I am reading that now and it is really good.
Witchcraft and the Web: Weaving Pagan Traditions Online
This is a really neat book, although it's not what I thought it was. I thought it'd be more of a guide to websites that could help me learn more about Wicca and network. Well, I'm not far into it yet so maybe it will turn out to be such a book
Shopping for Faith: American Religion in the New Millennium
. This book looks really good but I have not even started reading it. It does, however, have a CD-ROM in the back (it's a library book and yet it's still there) which has stuff on it including
the full text of the book. So I can make and "archival backup" of said CD-ROM and read the book later.
Those are the library books I got that day. But the pile just keeps getting bigger.
"RELIGION is for people afraid of going to hell. SPIRITUALITY is for those who have already been there."
- Northern Sun
I forgot to mention that the first thing I did before even going to Borders was start reading this book that hubby is reading. It's called Stealing Jesus : How Fundamentalism Betrays Christianity by Bruce Bawer
and I must say it is quickly becoming one of the best books I ever read.
I also set the Tivo to record Crossing Over With John Edward
on a season pass. I start watching that religiously and reading his book, which I own, called After Life: Answers from the Other Side
So the first thing I did after this [former] friend hurt me was, cry, then talk to hubby, then talk to family, then contact Catholic Church (who didn't respond). The following Friday (I think) we went to Borders.
While there I looked for a good book on Catholicism to re-aquaint myself w/ the religion. After this scare with the psycho militant christian former-friend, I wanted to wrap myself up in my familiar Catholic Church. I still do. I know that what I believe is not what Catholics are supposed to believe. But after alot of talking to people (including my Catholic family), I came to the conclusion that most Catholics are not perfect Catholics in their actions and/or beliefs. So I can be just one more. I had planned to talk to a priest and go to mass and just continue to believe what I believe.
But the church never called or emailed me back and I don't like to get out of bed early. So books would have to fill the void.
I bought Catholicism for Dummies
to re-aquaint me w/ what Catholics believe and what to expect at church.
While there I saw Wicca For Life
and and skimmed it in the cafe. At first I thought how funny it would be to get into Witchcraft just to piss off my friend. But then as I skimmed the book, it hit me: I had been into New Age stuff for many years and this was actually probably a teriffic religion for me! This book's intro was very informative about the history and I plan to buy this book soon.
Then I went to the library:
I have been thru several spiritual journeys, or you could say that my whole life I've been on one that just comes and goes in waves. And it's high-tide again.
One of the first ones was around 1990, when a co-worker invited me to a play at her church where I "got saved" and then preceeded to run around w/ a bunch of fundamentalists for a year or so. I learned, from experience
, that this was NOT the group for me. They were very hypocrytical and living in a dream world.
Around 1999 I went through a spritual journey of my own. No church to influence me this time. I was inspired by John Edward. His show blew me away (and still does). I read many, many books on after death communication, developing your psychic abilities, near death experiences, and more. I read (or listened to on tape) books by Betty Jean Eadie
, James Van Praagh
, John Edward
, Sylvia Browne
, Dannion Brinkley, Raymond Moody,
and many more.
I ordered different translations of the bible off AbeBooks.com
(a network of used bookstores, a teriffic site!).
I made peace w/ what I believed and left it at that.
But death and friends w/ cheap and nasty scare-tactics made me want to not only do more reading, but find
others who think like I do.
This friend made me so mad. I talked to my family and was urged to speak to a priest since we were brought up catholic. I sent an email to a local church and never got an answer. I planned on going to the church but I stay up till 4am and sleep till noon on Sundays. So then I hit the books. I bought a book to re-aquaint me with Catholicism. While looking for this book, the witchcraft books jumped out at me... alot. I grabbed one laughing at myself, saying "gee, my friend would really love this! She tries to save me and I turn to witchcraft!".
Well, I read parts of that book and realized, all jokes aside, this may very well be the religion that I feel most comfortable with!
So I went to the library and got some books on Wicca and Witchcraft, as well as some other religious and new age books. I also went online to see what I could learn. I will share in my next posts, what books I am reading/skimming.
I'm against fundamentalism:
Right after my brother died, a "friend" of mine hurt me really bad. She's been a good friend of mine for over ten years. She was a Lutheran. I had no idea, but she's recently fallen in with some radical religious types and preceded to attack my beliefs with horrible statements about my brother and all my other deceased family burning in hell because they were not part of her religion! Needless to say, I was extremely upset, and just how upset I was she will never know, I'll never allow her to know. What kind of a sick friend would do that to me barely two weeks after my brother's death?!? I had been dealing with my brother's death but her action was the straw that broke the camel's back and I really broke. I never cried or screamed so hard. I miss him so much and really didn't need that. She is no longer my friend.
I do not believe, I strongly
do not believe, that Jesus would want that. The junk that these people spout come from one part of the bible, while many other parts directly contradict what they say. Plus, I don't believe the bible is "divine" at all. IF it ever was, it isn't anymore after all these translations.
What started this spiritual journey:
This is not my 1st spritual journey. I've been on one most of my life, it just comes and goes in waves.
I have lost 2 siblings and I am only in my early 30's (although I feel like I'm still 21 and many people think I am in my 20's). The second loss was very recently - about 5 weeks ago.
I prayed hard for him. I didn't expect a miracle, only that he could have a few more good years. But no. He died. I feel as though my prayers were not heard. I wrestle with the fear/belief that there is no afterlife or god.
I believe what I believe (above) and it never varies. But sometimes I fear that there is nothing. There are days where I am 100% athiest. I either believe what I believe or I have a few days/weeks where I feel there is nothing. But I never sway into a different belief. I have no proof, so I cannot be 100% sure. I can only have faith. And that wavers sometimes.
I feel that the fundamentalist christians are a danger to this world.
My backround and what I believe:
I was born Catholic. Went to catholic grade-schhool. After we moved to a new town, away from family, we stopped going to church and I went to public school. Parents never forced religion on me.
I am older now and my beliefs are mixed.
I believe in God, and believe that there is probably a female aspect to god, that god is not necessarily male
I believe Jesus lived, but was not any more "the son of god" than we are as humans. I believe he was very blessed and that it was his mission to teach and inspire the masses.
I don't think that Mary was a virgin, and don't think it really matters.
I don't believe there is a hell, a satan, or a vengeful god.
When I pray, I pray- "Dear god, jesus, mary or mother god, saints, angels, and spirit guides...". I believe that all these entities hear our prayers.
I also believe in the power of energy. Energy healing. Meditation. Reflexology. Spells. Herbs. This is why I think that I might find happiness in Wicca or Witchcraft.
Ok, I wrote a long post about me and how I got on this spiritual journey. But since blogger doesn't do extended entries, I'll break it up into multiple posts, the next few posts.
FIRST POST EVER.
Welcome to my new blog.
My wiccan name is Jasynda. I derived it from my birth name and my birth date.
I am not sure if I am "wiccan", or if I fit more into "witchcraft", but this is my journey to find out. Perhaps I do not, and never will, fit into any particular category.
I am on a journey to learn. Come with me.
Some images are "© Robin Wood 1997, Used with Permission".