Sunday, June 24, 2007

In Response To BBC’s Heaven And Earth Today:

I must admit that getting any number of pagans to actually agree with each other on anything is much akin to trying to heard cats with a large stick.

These are purely my opinions.

I've been a Pagan since I was about thirteen. That's when I started the (spiritual) journey I find myself still on now. I always say that at least I questioned (and still question) religion as it is presented to me rather than just accept what I am fed by state or parents, then made my own decision.

I disagree with your panellist as to exactly what constitutes Paganism. I do agree that most of my Paganism is rooted in an attempt o be more in touch with nature and natural rhythms. I differ as to the spirituality of my practice. First I am an animist (all things have spirit). For me Paganism is about balancing the Male and Female principle in spiritual practice, in an attempt to make amends for two thousand years of unbalanced male dominated religion. My spiritual practice is very important to me.

I often term myself a Neo-Pagan to be more correct, mostly because I hold no pretention to any link to pre-Christian Paganism. If anything the revival of Paganism can be traced back to the Victorian age (with roots in people like Blavatsky, George Watson MacGregor Reid, also please refer to Ronald Hutton's opinions).

How old does a religion need to be before it gains the respect that others do. Perhaps it's the unfair link to "New age" hippies that causes that dreadful smirk many people meet my claim to being a Pagan with. Two thousand years ago Christianity not only was frowned upon but probably raised a smirk on the faces of "traditional" roman Pagans when mentioned in polite company. Or is it the number of practitioners, but then regard the like of Zoroastrians, a minority religion of Iran (now, reputedly only 140,000 members), or Voodoo which has gained more mainstream acceptance and that as a religion is only a few hundred years old.

Subdivisions of Islam, Buddhism, and Christianity spring up on a regular basis, why are they more credible than Paganism?

In fact there is much evidence that Christianity practiced by modern exponents is radically different from that of a few hundred years ago let alone to what would have been practiced by the original disciples (ask practitioners of the Arian, Coptic churches and many other churches destroyed by Roman Catholicism).

One more point I don't see that Christianity has any more impirically (scientifically, historically) provable link to its creator than Paganism has. after all St Paul (the man that sold christianity to the Romans) didn't even actually meet Mr Jesus Christ in person. Another place and another time is needed for me to expand on the changes and political abuse in re-writting and changing the Bible since the original texts were written down.

Do we (as Pagans) perhaps need to take some militant action? Say declare a religious war and go into the kidnapping game?

Finally under both EU and UN human rights legislation:

Every woman, man, youth and child has the human right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. These fundamental human rights are explicitly set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief and other widely adhered to international human rights treaties and Declarations.

The Human Rights at Issue

The Human Right to Freedom of Religion includes the following indivisible, interdependent and interrelated human rights:

  • The human right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
  • The human right to manifest one=s religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.
  • The human right to freedom from discrimination based on religious beliefs or activities, or because of refusal to conform to a certain religion.
  • The human right to freedom of expression and of association.
  • The human right to conscientious objection on grounds of religious belief.
  • The human right of parents to choose schools for their children which ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions.

Which as far as I can see means if I wish to practice my religion in any form I choose that is my right. Which if one were to sit a broad collection of Christians together I 'm sure there would be almost as much difference of particulars as there is amongst practitioners of my own religion.

I actually object to the movement, and display, of the bones on the basis that if the people who placed the bones did not care what happened to them then they would have not bothered to put the bones in that situation in the first place. I am not apposed to scientific research but the bones should be returned out of respect for what is obviously the intent of the people who placed them there.

It's not about dissenting because I am a Pagan, but when my mortal remains are laid to rest I wish them to be left in that situation. As I wish for anyone whatever their religion, whether they have representatives alive to represent them or not.

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Beasts Speaks

Or one too many martini's.

Please stick with this to the end it brings tears of laughter to my eyes and it's me thats actually performing it.

One too many Martini's.

This is as much an experiment as anything to see if I can get it to work.

Also this was recorded previous to the proceeding piece.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Reflections On The Solstice.

I took the last three days off, one to get a pay meter fitted (which of course they couldn’t do unless I have some plumbing work done to the meter cupboard). The other two to cover the solstice.

OK I sit here again having performed the usual hotchpotch of ritual and farce that goes hand in hand with my attempts at some religious practice in line with my Pagan beliefs.

Farce as I attempt to light a candle, having read somewhere that previous (historical) Pagans would capture the last light of the setting sun using some polished crystal. Keeping the flame over night to be extinguished with the rising of the sun the next dawn. Using the light from that (the new dawn) to ignite the temple flame for the next six months. Farce As I stand in my back door attempting to light a candle with a magnifying glass and only succeeding in burning the wick away to nothing. I even attempt to light a lighter from the suns focused rays, which of course doesn’t work as well. I get more and more frustrated with myself and end up just lighting the candle in the rays of the setting sun. Farce again as I can’t help but fiddle with the burning candle and can’t leave it alone. Of course my intervention causes the flame to go out. So have I not only failed to light the alter flame (candle) from the sun but also managed to extinguish the same by pissing around with it. Well long ago I realised my only purpose in existence was to provide amusement for the gods, which I succeed at in all quarters.

Well forensic evidence, post three bottles of rather pleasant Rosé (alcohol for the reverence of Baccus), suggest that Eris made her presence known as well (Eris Discordia do look up the Principia Discordia). Even to the extent of some burnt offerings and the liberal anointment of the kitchen (It looks as if I cooked something and then tried to get the cooking oil back into the bottle, spilling it liberally over the washing, the kitchen surface, and anything that stood there on). Also the candle has burnt (slightly) some of the area around where I left it to stand (putting it out this morning with the first light of dawn). Though I must say that the oil has actually lubricated the cooker ignition switch that was sticking. This now fixed, I can leave the cooker actually turned on at the electric switch. Though completely failed to notice this evening that the oven was actually turned on, only noticing that the kitchen was warmer than usual, for an hour or two, before realising and turning the thing off.

My understanding of the solstice is as the reflection (and opposite) of the winter solstice. Here the Holly King regains the thrown by defeating the Oak King. The days become shorter and we begin to think of winter again.

Enough of the pantomime. So there you find me. Deep in my post alcoholic depression, having only nearly set fire to the house twice in the last two days, completely unable to find my suit trousers, finding most of the rest of my clothes infested with moths, or fungus, or both, deep in reflection as to what the last six to twelve months has brought. My life still the blueprint for some sitcom as at yet unwritten.

So where am I then?

Scared shitless that the job I’m doing at the moment is the final destination. The rest of my working life doing a job for half the money I was getting to do the exact same job (mostly databases and spreadsheet manipulation) for half the money, but generously allowed to work myself to death by doing twice the hours. At a creative low because I have no energy, or time (once I’ve finished my thirteen hour days), or inkling left to create anything. Feeling both used, and abused, and ignored.

My only options being much of the same with another company, merely changing location and employer not solving the problem. I spent many months going to interviews and just seemed to be going round in little circles (no one wishing to employ me until this firm. Circles, ever decreasing, ever reducing, the time I have to create and destroying the very impetus to create itself.

Frightened that this is “it” I will no longer do the things I enjoy. No one will let me play with computers the way I enjoy (and am so good at). Twenty years left to work. Twenty years finally to trudge through the work-a-day drudgery of soul destroying boredom.

Spent all the last few days trying not to watch daytime TV as it only depresses me even more. The continuous repetition of the same programs. Not meeting the demographic, continuously bombarded with debt management and loan adverts. Does ever one who watches daytime TV have money problems or do I just watch the same programmes as the needy.

Scared shitless that this is actually it. This is all. This is as far as I’m going to get, a bi-monthly rant on the web on some obscure blog. Left moaning about the fact I thought of certain concepts first but had neither the money nor opportunity to pursue the ideas and publish them.

I haven’t written any poetry for ages.

Has the joy really gone? Is this it finally? Too qualified to do most jobs, not qualified enough to the ones I want to do. Are my whites really that grey?

If only I could just slip back into academia and disappear into study and not have to face the real world on a day to day basis.

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