For those interested in both topics, I made a facebook. I’m not going to say these two paths are the same, but they share similar ideas. If you are interested in seeing how these ideologies intersect, definitely join this page.
“You may think this is partiality, but I have no favorites. Whatever path a person travels to Me is My path. In wahtever way a person approaches Me, I return like for like. If they treat Me as a father or mother, I treat them as My children. If they serve Me as master, I accept their services as their Lord. If they worship Me as a child, I approach them as a child. Those who pine for Me, I pine for. To those who see Me as friend I am friend. Even for those who perceive Me as enemy I approach as an enemy. All paths lead to Me, Divinity.”
All paths lead to the divine.
~ Krishna’s Declaration, Chapter 4 of the Bhagavad-gita.
“I am Pure Consciousness, the underlying essence of all elements and beings.
I am the innate nature of everything.
I am pure water I am sweet to the taste.
In the sun and the moon I am the radiance.
In the very center of human beings I live as virility and courage.
I am the slight, delicate scent, the sweet fragrance of the earth.
I am the brilliance in both fire and sun, and I am the light of Divinity in all beings.
I am the subtle spirit in spiritual practices that gives them their existence – the love of the devotee, the simple austerity in the ascetic, the sweet sense of charity in the giver.”
~ Chapter 7, Bhagavad-gita
Once our days were timeless. Now they are scheduled. We give our entire lives – and planet – to money. But what’s left over after the money? Once there was clean air, yet now it’s polluted. The soil was once pure and now it is toxic. One fifth of the world’s people are starving, even though there is enough food for all. The corporation’s main resource is us. As long we are money driven slaves, we’ll fight their wars, work in their factories and spend most of our lives trying to make a wage before we die.
But there is another way. We need to carve it out for ourselves. We need to think for ourselves. We need to have the courage to build a new and better world. We are a majority. The wealthy elite are a minority. Let’s not let them destroy our future.
Definitely a video that everyone should see. Very brilliant and thought provoking.
We are currently in the middle of winter (those of us in the Northern Hemisphere) and we are just days away from Imbolc, the time when the first signs of spring begin to appear in nature.
A big part of being Pagan (and Druid) is connecting to Nature. Therefore, the winter time can be problematic for those who have a nature based faith. (Of course for those of you living in a tropical climate, you can ignore this post and come back if I ever decide to talk about hurricane/monsoon season).
Yes there are the winter festivals, such as Yule and Imbolc, but you must admit that it’s hard communing with the spirits of the Earth when you have ice falling on your head, slush in your boots, your toes losing feeling, and a scarf wrapped tightly around your face in an effort to keep out the elements. Now nature can definitely be very beautiful in the winter. The phrase “winter wonderland” doesn’t exist by accident. Sure, the landscape looks like it has been blanketed with a bed of white velvet and the naked trees appear to be glistening with fairy dust. Yet the moment you step outside to appreciate this beauty, you might have second thoughts upon feeling the minus zero gusts of wind burning in your face. You may decide that such beauty is better appreciated inside, from behind a window, where you can wear your your pajamas, drink hot chocolate and crank up the heat.
The other problem with the winter is that the days are short, and Seasonal Affective Disorder (appropriately named SAD) is rife.
So what to do? Here are some thoughts:
- Focus on your human relationships: Have you noticed how some of the best holidays take place near the winter time? Whether you celebrate Yule, Christmas, or Alban Arthan, much of these holidays have a focus on connecting with family and friends. In the ancient times, when it was important to huddle together near the fire for warmth, winter was the ideal time to literally get closer to those you care about, enjoy good mead, and try to generate as much inner warmth as possible in order to negate the outer cold surrounding you.
- Bring some Hygge into your life: Who knows how to deal with the winter cold and darkness better than our Scandinavian buddies up north? They’ve invented a cultural concept called “Hygge.” While we don’t have a direct translation of the word in English, it is a general concept that connotes “coziness,” particularly when relaxing with good friends or loved ones and while enjoying good food. When loved ones sit close together on a cold rainy night, that is a true moment of hygge.
- Reach out to the needy: Not everyone gets to have food, shelter and warmth in the cold winter months. This is a good time to donate jackets, gloves and scarves to the needy, or volunteer to feed the homeless at a hypothermia shelter. Winter is a good time to show your love for your fellow man.
- Grow indoor plants: Need some suggestions? Click here. If you can’t go outdoors and enjoy nature, than perhaps it is time to bring nature to you.
- Build upon your altar: Many pagans and those of other Earth based spiritualities have an altar, or some kind of totem that reminds them of their connection to the Divine. When you feel like this connection is fracturing because of time trapped indoors, then maybe it’s time to add onto your altar. You don’t have to spend a million dollars or break the bank. You can put some plants around it, maybe draw some pictures, get some candles at the dollar store, bust out the arts and crafts, or even some place some fake flowers around if you don’t want to deal with dead plants. (I’ll admit that I’ve done this)
- Reflect upon death: Okay, this sounds morbid. You don’t need to hang a bunch of goat skulls around your living room and drink blood out of a goblet (although that would make for a cool Watain video). What I’m saying is that the Pagan faith is one that is inclusive of all cycles in life – including death. If the seasons represent the cycle of life, they represent the following: spring (birth and newness), summer (marriage, lust, the peak of health), autumn (old age, harvest, bringing something to completion) and winter (death). Therefore, this may be a good time to reflect upon your ancestors, those who have died, what they brought to your life when they were alive, and what kind of legacy you’ll leave behind to your kin when you die.
- Finally, enjoy hibernation: Hibernating is natural. Other animals do it. So if you are really concerned about living a natural life, perhaps you should take a cue from our distant cousins in the animal kingdom. Staying indoors, keeping cozy, and fattening up a little (don’t over do it) might not be such a bad thing. Drink some warm mead (or hot chocolate for the sober), enjoy good company, and most important, stay warm!
Cue the soundtrack of Billy Idol’s “It’s a nice day for a white wedding,” and replace that with, “It’s a nice day for a Gaaay Wedding!”
I would like to send forth a major congratulations to Tom Lanting, 34, and Iain Robertson, 39, who were the first two to have both a gay and pagan wedding in Scotland. The couple has been together for 12 years, but has just recently tied the knot. Since they both describe themselves as hedge witches, they had a ceremony where they casted a circle, invoked the elements, handfasted (which involves tying the hands together), shared mead and jumped the broom.
After Sunday’s wedding, the couple said: “As hedge witches we always wanted to have a pagan marriage ceremony in line with our beliefs and it was really important to us to be able to share this ceremony with our friends and family.”
Scotland is the only part of the U.K. to allow pagans and other religious minorities to solemnise legal weddings.
Louise Park, the presiding officer for the Pagan Federation (Scotland), conducted the ceremony. She said: “Equality for people of all faiths is something that is very dear to the vast majority of pagans.”
Hopefully we see more of this kind of thing in the future to come for Scotland.
BILLY IDOL – “WHITE WEDDING”
Since I mentioned it I might as well post it. Not metal, but a bit of cheesy 80’s magic.
SING TO THE WATERS
~ By my friend Ryk Hall
Sing to the waters
The healing songs of old
Sing to the waters
And the living spirit in its soul
Sing to the waters
Held by earth and sky
Sing to the waters
Within and without, and above and below
Sing to the waters
Blessings of clouds and rain and snow
Sing to the waters
Of murmurs in the streams and whispers over falls
Sing to the waters
For in the end this drop that I am melds back into the Oceans of Spirit
Sing to the Waters
Of Life and Peace
Many people discuss the rapid growth of religions like Evangelical Christianity or Islam. Yet this is compared to other mainstream religions, so of course these things would appear to be growing quickly. However, if you do a comparison of all belief systems, you will find that the “religious nones” are actually the fastest growing belief system in the world. In fact, I wrote an article about this recently if you want to learn more about this.
However, being a “religious none” doesn’t mean that the person is automatically godless, and it certainly doesn’t mean that the person isn’t spiritual. It simply just means that the person doesn’t have a religious label. In fact, it has been shown that more than two-thirds of the unaffiliated believe in God; nearly four in ten say they are “spiritual” but not “religious”, and more than one-fifth say they pray every day. So I don’t think it’s necessary a lack of belief, but more like a departure from organized religion in search for a more natural, organic truth.
Data from the Public Religion Research Institute shows that while only 7% of Americans were raised outside of a religious tradition, nearly 19 percent are religiously unaffiliated today. A large chunk of this number comes from people under 30. As the title of this article states, one-third of Americans under 30 are reported to have no religion.
Why are so many of these religious none’s young people? While there is no definite reason, there are a number of theories. Young people in America have grown up with a greater exposure to diverse cultural values, and a more open environment about sexuality. Many young people are getting pushed away from the church by rhetoric they see as shallow: statements against gay marriage, women’s equality and basic science.
According to a recent study done at The University of Texas at Austin and the University of California-Santa Barbara, a majority of young people (men and women between 18-32) prefer egalitarian relationships where economic and domestic responsibilities are shared between both genders. Therefore, much of the statements from mainstream religions about “traditional gender roles” are a big fat turn off to our younger folk.
While some people may say that this makes millennials a generation “without values,” I think it means that we are the generation that is actually questioning what makes something “a value” to begin with.
Language doesn’t exist yet to classify what exactly today’s young people believe. But perhaps the language isn’t important. Perhaps what is important is that today’s millennials are discovering what is right by thinking for themselves and finding more organic ways to connect with the divine.
Tired of providing your own food, shelter and security for yourself? Try civilization today! Instead of doing a variety of tasks, you will now be streamlined into doing one task. You will get bank notes for labor, so you can purchase the goods and services you used to provide for yourself – well some of them at least. Restrictions apply.
The deaths that happened in Paris last week are a horrific tragedy and a crime, and the people who committed these murders are certainly human scum.
I don’t usually post on political happenings in this blog, yet I decided that I wanted to say something because this series of events has the potential to spark either a very negative or very positive reaction.
Now this is a time of grief and people’s emotions are going to be very raw about this event. Yet we must be careful, very careful about people in positions of power manipulating our grief, anguish and fear for their own political and financial ends.
I will make it clear that I personally am no pacifist. I understand that sometimes violence is necessary for self defense, and I don’t think people should sit by idly if their lives or freedoms are in danger. Yet we must always take care to respond to crimes with justice, not to lash out in vengeance and hate.
Right now, as there was around 9/11, there is a public outcry to “do something.” Key heads of state are saying that there needs be more surveillance of the internet and our other freedoms in order to limit “terrorism.” Others are saying that this situation calls for more war, more invasions and bombing of muslim countries.
After 9/11, when America started to invade countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, the number of terrorist incidents around the world increased – not decreased, and our civil freedoms have been restricted – not improved. We now live in a time where government officials can read your emails, listen to your phone calls, and grope your genitals at an airport all in the name of “protecting your freedoms.”
The amount of hysteria about muslims is also frankly ridiculous. I rented out a basement from a muslim family for three years and I can tell you that the only gun I ever saw my Iranian landlord wield was a staple gun. Muslim communities and all serious muslim scholars around the world have been universal in their condemnation of the Paris attacks.
So is spreading more hate and terror in Islamic countries really going to make the West more safe for freedom and peace? Is this going to lead to a dialogue where our countries and their countries can find a way to peacefully coexist with one another?
Sometimes the greatest strength is restraint and sometimes the greatest wisdom is understanding. It is time to start a global dialogue for peace, justice and real freedom.
Nature Is Speaking – Julia Roberts is Mother Nature | Conservation International (CI)
Nature has been here for billions of years. She has made and broken species greater than us. Our actions will determine our fate. Nature is prepared to evolve, are we?
Attention Heathens, Asatru and Vikings of the internet. You will no longer have to raid the nearest settlement to find an adequate wench or knave to warm your bed this winter. There is a new dating site that has started up to help members of the Asatru community connect with one another and hopefully find romance – or lust – or a good time – or at least some pictures of guys with cool beards to look at.
The site is very new indeed. When I did a search for all the women in the world between 18-90, I only came up with 33 lasses total. (Apparently 90 is the age limit for this site, I guess after 90 you were supposed to die valiantly in battle instead of languishing around, getting older and eating up social security checks). If you are looking for a man, prospects are somewhat better. There are about 100 men on the site so far – another reminder that the world of Asatru can sometimes be a sausage fest. But that’s okay, if everyone on the site is okay with each woman having 3 men to herself, I’m sure everything will be just fine!
(Okay…this date actually looks a little awkward…)
Those in the United States will get the best odds, as most of the people I found were U.S. locals. For the rest, you could always try your luck putting together a ship, a crew, and making your way across the ocean as Leif Ericson did long ago (or do something far less epic, like just buying a plane ticket or sit around waiting for the invention of teleportation devices).
When you build your profile, you are given the typical dating site options: are you seeking male or female, are you divorced, single in an open relationship, etc. You are also required to answer questions such as your sense of humor, your interest in shows, whether you smoke, drink and all that other good stuff.
(“What do you mean you don’t like Cannibal Corpse? Sorry. We’re gonna have to see other people.”)
My main criticism is that the profile options need to give you a blank field where you can write in your own response if the preexisting responses don’t apply. For example, you can only be interested in males or females. But what about someone on the site who is bisexual? I actually do have a few bisexual heathen friends, so they would be a bit put off by this restriction. You can also only list a male or female gender, but what if someone identifies as a different gender orientation than either of those options? Also, the site requires you to list your exact location, down to the city you live in. I feel that some people would want to retain more privacy than that. Therefore, they should have an option that allows you to leave the option blank.
Yet with criticisms aside, I know that the site is very new, so they probably have quite a few quirks and kinks to work out. But I think it is a good idea that this site is attempting to do such a thing. It shows that the Asatru community is indeed growing and becoming more recognized. There is also an option to add blogs, classifieds and events, even though this hasn’t been utilized very much yet. It will be interesting to see where this site goes.
(“You mean you also enjoy crushing your enemies, seeing them driven before you and hearing the lamentations of their women? You’re a keeper!”)