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Wicca, Shamanism and Druidry. Where to start?


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euripides
7 hours ago, marinaoracles said:

 

UGH AMEN TO THAT. Capitalism has totally sunk its teeth into the Pagan/Witchy trend and it's scary. I tried Instagram to connect with others before finding this forum, and it's gagworthy witchy parade, filled with self-promotion, fake living, reciprocal cajoling and overconsumption.  ......

 

White sage doesn't even exist in my country so why should I look for it? Isn't Paganism about connecting to nature? 

 

 

Oh yes. I notice this across pretty much everything - it's all about the 'haul', whether it's tarot decks, planners and stickers, clothing, makeup... everything. Buy, buy. Even the houseplant craze: two or three cuttings won't do - it's a whole greenhouse of fully-grown instaplants, and just thinking about all those plastic pots and peat moss makes me cringe.

 

I found myself browsing stores looking at crystals and herbs and all that and came to very much the same conclusion as you did ...  it's all 'stuff' and none of it meaningful to me. We have a fallen tree in our yard; I'm going to carve myself a staff from a branch.

 

13 hours ago, marinaoracles said:

But if I may add my tuppence worth, I'd like to recommend Ly de Angeles book "Witchcraft: Theory and Practice".  Ly (actually, Lore de Angeles, as she changed her name recently) is an Australian author, so maybe this is why I like it so much - I feel it contemplates the Southern Hemisphere Pagans, something that used to be very uncommon (not sure how it is nowadays tbh). But it's also a very no-nonsense book, that teaches you to think critically about what spirituality and witchcraft mean, and not merely a follow other people's ideas. It remains to this day one my favourite books on Witchcraft!

 

 

Oh I'll check it out. Sounds perfect. No-nonsense is good. I mean sometimes you want a 'comfort read' and don't mind if it's a bit old hat, but a lot of material now is rehashing stale ideas (and I think often not acknowledging sources, too). So yeah... a fresh, no-nonsense take sounds like what I'm looking for.

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FallenAngel

As someone in the early stages of exploring Wicca, I have definitely felt the pull of buying "stuff". Getting sucked into the fallacy that you cannot practice without it. That's not to say I haven't bought things - I wanted some candles and incense because I do find these help me to ground myself and get into the frame of mind for readings and meditations. However, I've had to stop myself from going into a buying "frenzy" because there are so many shiny things out there.

 

Social media doesn't help. Due to my searches for information on Wicca and Witchcraft, I now have ads popping up everywhere recommending I visit various websites to buy all the gorgeous things they have on offer. I feel bombarded.

 

Apologies as I have got off topic. I mentioned in another thread that I enjoyed the book 'Wicca for Beginners' by Thea Sabin. It's really easy to read and I found it answered the majority of my questions about Wicca at this stage in my learning.

 

I also found this website which is written by a Witch and Priestess, who is a member of the Cauldon forum https://gleewood.org/seeking/ I've spent a lot of time on the website because it contains a wealth of information which, for me anyway, is relevant to what I'm looking into.

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Not on topic as such, but here are a few interesting and detailed posts re: doing high-magic on the cheap. I reckon most of the ideas and concepts apply even more to shamanism and paganism considering their focus on being connected to a locality. 

 

Broke but not Cheap: Supplies and Tools

Broke but not Cheap: Altars and Shrines

Broke but not Cheap: Works and Operations

 

Even cheap altars in a tin have a certain charm to them.

 

Of course, I'm not a pagan or a magician, so what do I know?

 

28a493f1dfe515526347a2984628ee92--pagan-

Edited by devin
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On 9/7/2021 at 9:29 PM, marinaoracles said:

White sage doesn't even exist in my country so why should I look for it? Isn't Paganism about connecting to nature? How about connecting to the one that surrounds you and not exploiting the one from another country because a trendy influencer always burns White Sage or Palo Santo in her videos and she looks like such a badass sacred woman while doing it?


Here in South Africa, a lot of new-age shops sell a mildly hypnotic local herb known as imphepho (pronounced im-pair-poo) as a sage substitute. As far as I know, its traditional usage is as an opener to receiving messages from the ancestors. It's also a lot cheaper than sage.

 

imphepho.jpg

 

EDIT: Oh, I see it's also been naturalised in a number of places around the world. Though I'm not sure if it's the exact same species.

https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomydetail?id=404767#distro

Edited by devin
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marinaoracles
5 hours ago, FallenAngel said:

As someone in the early stages of exploring Wicca, I have definitely felt the pull of buying "stuff". Getting sucked into the fallacy that you cannot practice without it. That's not to say I haven't bought things - I wanted some candles and incense because I do find these help me to ground myself and get into the frame of mind for readings and meditations. However, I've had to stop myself from going into a buying "frenzy" because there are so many shiny things out there.

 

Social media doesn't help. Due to my searches for information on Wicca and Witchcraft, I now have ads popping up everywhere recommending I visit various websites to buy all the gorgeous things they have on offer. I feel bombarded.

 

I think it's important to bring it up, because I find this can be problematic for beginner and experienced people alike. You don't need tons of stuff to start, or to continue your practice (though after many years it's more likely you will have accumulated some things). The first step is learning, observing nature, opening yourself, reading good sources, taking notes, seeing how different paths of Witchcraft adapt to your local reality, how it might change or not your life, discovering what the deities mean to you (should you have a devotional practice) etc. None of that requires you to spend a lot of money (except the book part... but then again you can always buy second hand books like me, lol.)

 

2 hours ago, devin said:

Here in South Africa, a lot of new-age shops sell a mildly hypnotic local herb known as imphepho (pronounced im-pair-poo) as a sage substitute. As fair as I know, it's traditional usage is as an opener to receiving messages from the ancestors. It's also a lot cheaper than sage.

 

EDIT: Oh, I see it's also been naturalised in a number of places around the world. Though I'm not sure if it's the exact same species.

https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomydetail?id=404767#distro

 

I had never heard of this plant, Devin! Thanks for sharing. I always find it nice to research what local and more easily available herbs could be used for magical work.

 

I loooove the idea of a "tin altar" you shared before, I may add it to my list of future projects. A while ago, I bought a pack of 3cm wooden circles for crafts and used them to make my own set of Witches Rune. I also got a round small piece of wood and drew my own pentacle on it with a sharpie (yep, simple like that). It's very nice to try make your own stuff according to your needs... of course, there are things you will have to buy, like a blade or a decent candle-holder, but they needn't be super expensive. 

 

That's why I think you should go getting your items as you study and define your practice, instead of buying everything at once in a hurry, prompted by internet advertisement. 

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euripides
14 hours ago, devin said:

 

Even cheap altars in a tin have a certain charm to them.

 

Of course, I'm not a pagan or a magician, so what do I know?

 

 

 

Oh my I love the tiny tin altar! What a delightful idea!

 

I'm not generally one for ritual, but I find that I always have a corner of a bookshelf or dresser that sort of evolves into an altar of sorts... stones and feathers and some of my favorite objects. I used to always have a stone in my pocket.

 

BTW It's fine to wander a bit off topic, I think - like it's not like we've totally digressed, as it's still very much related - it's a discussion, and that's what discussions do.

 

 

 

 

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I felt bad about ending on a joke. So here's a little video of Vine Deloria, Jr. the North American Indian author, historian, activist, blistering critic of Christianity, and believer in the reality of his people's spirituality.

 

Though he doesn't necessarily articulate it directly in this video, Deloria's main idea was that the difference between universal (Christianity, Buddhism, etc.) and tribal religions is that universal religions are fixated on processes in time (the apocalypse, God acting through history, manifest destiny, spiritual evolution, reincarnation, etc.)  while tribal religions are more concerned with place and community.

 

It's quite interesting, I thought, and relevant to both paganism and shamanism.

 

 

He also wrote a wonderful book collecting stories (from various primary sources) of the amazing feats of medicine men and woman.

 

279093.jpg

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/279093.The_World_We_Used_to_Live_In

Edited by devin
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8 hours ago, devin said:

I felt bad about ending on a joke. So here's a little video of Vine Deloria, Jr. the North American Indian author, historian, activist, blistering critic of Christianity, and believer in the reality of his people's spirituality.

 

 

 

Jokes are always welcome, but these look interesting and I'll have a watch at morning tea. I'm not familiar with Deloria and very keen for some diverse perspectives. Everything I've been reading is so Eurocentric.

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On 9/3/2019 at 6:30 PM, Raggydoll said:

Now i see things differently. I want to hold space for nature and for spirits and I very rarely perform rituals just for myself. And if I do, then I make sure it’s for a reason that’s beneficial in a greater sense and I also make sure to give proper thanks. I also try to connect with nature spirits, animals etc to see what THEY need and what they want. I want to connect with my local sites to feel their needs. 

 

My ancestors already knew all this...... My ego was standing in the way of this connection previously. So now I get what Chesca meant too. It’s important to think about the balance and state of ones land. And in this time of great environmental crisis we must not forget to think about other things then ourselves in our practices. I’m not saying to never care about yourself, I’m just saying that I personally don’t want my ‘nature based’ practice to revolve 90% about me. 

 

I was just revisiting this thread and these commends really struck a chord with me, Raggydoll, and I wanted to highlight them and thank you for these rich observations. Really resonant and I think important. I'll look for Chesca Potter's work, too.

 

The earth needs paganism and witchcraft to be more than a self-help movement.

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I posted the wrong video! It was meant to be this one.

 

 

16 hours ago, katrinka said:

Love Deloria. 💖 All of his stuff is worth reading.

 

Yeah, and very funny at times. The only bit that stumps me is his occasional forays into Ancient Aliens land. I keep hoping its some kind of tongue in cheek critique of anthropology but..... 🤔

 

11 hours ago, euripides said:

Jokes are always welcome

 

Good to know. 🙂 

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2 hours ago, devin said:

Yeah, and very funny at times. The only bit that stumps me is his occasional forays into Ancient Aliens land. I keep hoping its some kind of tongue in cheek critique of anthropology but..... 🤔

 

Who knows. I'm sure he has his reasons.
Maybe he dreamed about frogs. I can only speculate! 😉 

Edited by katrinka
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