Since 1997, you’ve been coming to BarnesandNoble.com to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, BN.com is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

Reply
Distinguished Bibliophile
TiggerBear
Posts: 9,489
Registered: ‎02-12-2008

Pagans, Druids, Shamans, and Witches

[ Edited ]

This is open to any and all questions. There are no stupid questions. However...

 

Pagans have absolutely NO connection to Satan! We are neither cultists nor are we Church of Satan. I want this to be perfectly clear.

 

Now that being said. I'll start this with general definitions. Though considered as one religious group.There are as more variances within as there are colors in the rainbow. If your beliefs vary, please speak up.

 

I've posted these before, but once more won't hurt.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paganism

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicca

 

For a more cultural anthropological view. Also one of the best books for a "this guy said he was a ... and I've never heard of that before" reference source. I'd recomend

 

Drawing down the Moon

 

 

Not sure which version this is, she updates it every few years. But safe to asume B&N stocks the most current.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The most prolific US publisher for pagan material is

http://www.llewellyn.com/

 

a lot of what B&N stocks comes from them

 

I'd heartly recomend their almanac

 

2010 Magical Almanac

  

 

 

Also THE best multireligious day to day religious holiday listing, I've come across.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some books I'd recomend, I'll be adding to this as any subjects go along.

 

 

Wicca

  

Wicca 101

  

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Wicca and Witchcraft

  

Cunningham's Book of Shadows

  

Encyclopedia of Wicca & Witchcraft

  

Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft

  

Solitary Witch

  

Spiral Dance, The - 20th Anniversary

  

To Ride a Silver Broomstick

  

Paganism

  

Wicca and Witchcraft for Dummies

  

Generation Hex

  

To Light A Sacred Flame

  

Druid Magic

  

Circle Of Fire - A Practical Guide To The Symbolism And Practices Of Modern Wiccan Ritual (The Wicca...

  

Wicca Magickal Beginnings - A Study Of The Possible Origins Of The Rituals And Practices Found In Th...

  

Bonewits's Essential Guide to Druidism

  

Shamanism

  

 

 

For a start.....

 

 

 

Be aware Cunningham, Starhawk, Buckland, and Ravenwolf are the most referenced pagan authors in discussions among pagans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'll list some basic definitions tomorrow. And if any of you want to direct a discussion aspect by a question you have shout out. We're all in this together.

 

Now let's see if this gets successfully posted....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moderator
paulgoatallen
Posts: 7,327
Registered: ‎08-16-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Pagans, Druids, Shamans, and Witches

Great list, Tig. I actually have a reaaaaaally old version of Drawing Down the Moon. I'd definitely recommend that for anyone interested in neo-paganism.    :smileyhappy:

 

Paul

"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
Distinguished Bibliophile
Nadine
Posts: 2,456
Registered: ‎10-30-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Pagans, Druids, Shamans, and Witches

Very good list, Tigger. I think Drawing Down the Moon might be a good place to start. I do have a question right off (actually lots of them but I will start here). Is there any sort of organized (or several) central pagan group like a "church" with some sort of set of beliefs? Or is paganism more of an individual belief?

Distinguished Bibliophile
TiggerBear
Posts: 9,489
Registered: ‎02-12-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Pagans, Druids, Shamans, and Witches

 


paulgoatallen wrote:

Great list, Tig. I actually have a reaaaaaally old version of Drawing Down the Moon. I'd definitely recommend that for anyone interested in neo-paganism.    :smileyhappy:

 

Paul


 

 

Thanks.

 

I'm just glad this time it atcually posted. First time I made it too long and it timed me out. Second board crashed taking the post just at the miniute I posted it. Third times the charm. :smileyhappy:

Distinguished Bibliophile
TiggerBear
Posts: 9,489
Registered: ‎02-12-2008

Re: Pagans, Druids, Shamans, and Witches

 


Nadine wrote:

Very good list, Tigger. I think Drawing Down the Moon might be a good place to start. I do have a question right off (actually lots of them but I will start here). Is there any sort of organized (or several) central pagan group like a "church" with some sort of set of beliefs? Or is paganism more of an individual belief?


 

 

Well... your question is directly answered by DDTM. But for a simple answer until you've got it.

 

Is there any sort of organized (or several) central pagan group like a "church" with some sort of set of beliefs?

 

Yes, Wicca is the largest group.

also

Yes a few.  But most are town to town. Each coven can and often is it's own version.

 

Or is paganism more of an individual belief?


Pagan is the whole family religion name.

 

However for many solitaries and those who mix influences; the use of pagan is a short form answer for anyone you're not getting into a long talk about exactly the bits of your personal religion choice.

 

Distinguished Bibliophile
Nadine
Posts: 2,456
Registered: ‎10-30-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Pagans, Druids, Shamans, and Witches

Then "Pagan" is an umbrella term in the same sense as "Christianity" and there are many diverse religions under that umbrella. I gather each religion or "path" (I'm not sure what is the correct term so feel free to corrrect me) would have its own set of beliefs and ritual conventions. But to fit under that umbrella I gather that all these pagan beliefs must have some concepts in common that distinguishes them from non-pagan religions. What would be those concepts?

 

In other threads there were a number of you who stated that you were pagan. I think it would be informative if each of you could state what specific type of paganism you adhere to and maybe explain its belief systems, structure and rituals.

 

 


TiggerBear wrote:

 


Nadine wrote:

Very good list, Tigger. I think Drawing Down the Moon might be a good place to start. I do have a question right off (actually lots of them but I will start here). Is there any sort of organized (or several) central pagan group like a "church" with some sort of set of beliefs? Or is paganism more of an individual belief?


 

 

Well... your question is directly answered by DDTM. But for a simple answer until you've got it.

 

Is there any sort of organized (or several) central pagan group like a "church" with some sort of set of beliefs?

 

Yes, Wicca is the largest group.

also

Yes a few.  But most are town to town. Each coven can and often is it's own version.

 

Or is paganism more of an individual belief?


Pagan is the whole family religion name.

 

However for many solitaries and those who mix influences; the use of pagan is a short form answer for anyone you're not getting into a long talk about exactly the bits of your personal religion choice.

 


 

 

Distinguished Bibliophile
Nadine
Posts: 2,456
Registered: ‎10-30-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Yule

December 21 is the Pagan holiday Yule. I was wondering how Pagans celebrate Yule. Specifically, I would be curious as to how you celebrate Yule in your own home. There seems to be many things in common with Yule and Christmas traditions so I am assuming that in Pagan families there are Yule traditions with special food, decorations, and activities.

Distinguished Bibliophile
TiggerBear
Posts: 9,489
Registered: ‎02-12-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Pagans, Druids, Shamans, and Witches

 


Nadine wrote:

Then "Pagan" is an umbrella term in the same sense as "Christianity" and there are many diverse religions under that umbrella. I gather each religion or "path" (I'm not sure what is the correct term so feel free to corrrect me) would have its own set of beliefs and ritual conventions. But to fit under that umbrella I gather that all these pagan beliefs must have some concepts in common that distinguishes them from non-pagan religions. What would be those concepts?

 

In other threads there were a number of you who stated that you were pagan. I think it would be informative if each of you could state what specific type of paganism you adhere to and maybe explain its belief systems, structure and rituals.

 


Exactly. And path is just fine.
For the most part yes or at least close. Different mythologies, different spells, different hoildays; however largely similar too. A good way to start a conversation with a pagan about what kind of pagan they are, is to ask which goddess/god constuct they favor. Follow by which following tradition.


 

 

Distinguished Bibliophile
TiggerBear
Posts: 9,489
Registered: ‎02-12-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Yule

Yule, Winter Solstice, Opalia, Saturnalia, Consualia, and Feast of the Winter King; all are pagan holidays within the Christmas holiday times.

 

Consualia is a little before,

Saturnalia which is followed by,

Opalia

 

grecco/roman pagan holidays

 

Yule, Winter solistice, and the Winter Kings Feast all fall on the longest night of the year- winter solistice

 

Traditions depend on the pagan.

 

But Gaelic/Celt pagans for the most part; A tree covered in lights (our symbol first), a Yule log, presents, Santa Claus, and lots of good food.

Inspired Contributor
Choisya
Posts: 10,782
Registered: ‎10-26-2006

Re: Yule

There seems to be many things in common with Yule and Christmas traditions
In the UK, especially around Lindisfarne, there are archeological sites which show that the early Christian priests, like St Cuthbert, superimposed Christian rituals and artefacts on top of the old Winter Solstice pagan ones. The old pagan date for these celebrations was around December 25th so it was rather a clever sales job:smileyhappy:.  I believe it is now thought that Christ was born in April, not December. 
Because of its Pagan origins and traditions the Puritans abolished Christmas and Easter in 1647. The law stated that:-
Forasmuch as the feast of the nativity of Christ, Easter, Whitsuntide, and other festivals, commonly called holy-days, have been heretofore superstitiously used and observed; be it ordained, that the said feasts, and all other festivals, commonly called holy-days, be no longer observed as festivals; any law, statute, custom, constitution, or canon, to the contrary in anywise not withstanding."
These holidays were also suppressed in Massachusetts and New England for the same reasons. 
So were are all really celebrating Pagan holy-days:smileyhappy:


Nadine wrote:

December 21 is the Pagan holiday Yule. I was wondering how Pagans celebrate Yule. Specifically, I would be curious as to how you celebrate Yule in your own home. There seems to be many things in common with Yule and Christmas traditions so I am assuming that in Pagan families there are Yule traditions with special food, decorations, and activities.


 

 

Distinguished Bibliophile
Nadine
Posts: 2,456
Registered: ‎10-30-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Yule

A curiostity has accured to me, and maybe some of our pagan friends can clarify this. Is there any significance to the fact that one of the most popular outside lighted "Christmas" decorations is a spiral tree with a five-pointed star on top? This is a fairly recent inovation in decorations for the holidays and the design is simple and easy to manage so it is probably only coincidence.

Distinguished Bibliophile
Nadine
Posts: 2,456
Registered: ‎10-30-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Yule

I found this web site with an interesting discussion of some of the customs surrounding the winter holidays.

 

 

Distinguished Bibliophile
TiggerBear
Posts: 9,489
Registered: ‎02-12-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Yule

 


Choisya wrote:
There seems to be many things in common with Yule and Christmas traditions
In the UK, especially around Lindisfarne, there are archeological sites which show that the early Christian priests, like St Cuthbert, superimposed Christian rituals and artefacts on top of the old Winter Solstice pagan ones. The old pagan date for these celebrations was around December 25th so it was rather a clever sales job:smileyhappy:.  I believe it is now thought that Christ was born in April, not December. 
Because of its Pagan origins and traditions the Puritans abolished Christmas and Easter in 1647. The law stated that:-
Forasmuch as the feast of the nativity of Christ, Easter, Whitsuntide, and other festivals, commonly called holy-days, have been heretofore superstitiously used and observed; be it ordained, that the said feasts, and all other festivals, commonly called holy-days, be no longer observed as festivals; any law, statute, custom, constitution, or canon, to the contrary in anywise not withstanding."
These holidays were also suppressed in Massachusetts and New England for the same reasons. 
So were are all really celebrating Pagan holy-days:smileyhappy:


Nadine wrote:

December 21 is the Pagan holiday Yule. I was wondering how Pagans celebrate Yule. Specifically, I would be curious as to how you celebrate Yule in your own home. There seems to be many things in common with Yule and Christmas traditions so I am assuming that in Pagan families there are Yule traditions with special food, decorations, and activities.


 

 


 

Yeah we had a long discussion back the day in the old Tolkien boards about how most Christian holidays were deliberately set durring the pagan ones.

 

 

Even the word easter, was from the goddess Eostre. Who you guys borrowed the easter bunny and the eggs bit from.

 

Anglo-Saxon and German

"Eástre" by Jacques Reich (1909).

The modern English term Easter is speculated to have developed from Old English word Ēastre or Ēostre or Eoaster, which itself developed prior to 899. The name refers to Eostur-monath, a month of the Germanic calendar attested by Bede as named after the goddess Ēostre of Anglo-Saxon paganism.[13] Bede notes that Eostur-monath was the equivalent to the month of April, and that feasts held in her honor during Ēostur-monath had died out by the time of his writing, replaced with the Christian custom of Easter.[14] Using comparative linguistic evidence from continental Germanic sources, the 19th century scholar Jacob Grimm proposed the existence of an equivalent form of Eostre among the pre-Christian beliefs of the continental Germanic peoples, whose name he reconstructed as Ostara.

The implications of the goddess have resulted in scholarly theories about whether or not Eostre is an invention of Bede, theories connecting Eostre with records of Germanic folk custom (including hares and eggs), and as descendant of the Proto-Indo-European goddess of the dawn through the etymology of her name. Grimm's reconstructed Ostara has had some influence in modern popular culture. Modern German has Ostern, but otherwise, Germanic languages have generally borrowed the form pascha, see below.

 

 

But as to April birth of Jesus, I hear August too. They just are not sure when.


 

Distinguished Bibliophile
TiggerBear
Posts: 9,489
Registered: ‎02-12-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Yule

 


Nadine wrote:

A curiostity has accured to me, and maybe some of our pagan friends can clarify this. Is there any significance to the fact that one of the most popular outside lighted "Christmas" decorations is a spiral tree with a five-pointed star on top? This is a fairly recent inovation in decorations for the holidays and the design is simple and easy to manage so it is probably only coincidence.


 

Coincidense

 

Inspired Contributor
Choisya
Posts: 10,782
Registered: ‎10-26-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Yule

Looking at how similar religious celebrations and stories are all over the world, I think it becomes obvious that the original celebrations by homo sapiens were based on seasons, harvests and on various fertility rites.  In introducing new religions, especially monotheism, the various prophets and holy men were careful not to throw out all the babies with the bathwater.

 

Stars have various meanings, depending on how many points they have. A christmas tree represents a triangle or pyramid which is the symbol for the all-seeing eye of God, or the Eye of Horus which was said to ward off evil.  It also represents the magical number of three - the triad, the trinity.   

 

   


Nadine wrote:

A curiostity has accured to me, and maybe some of our pagan friends can clarify this. Is there any significance to the fact that one of the most popular outside lighted "Christmas" decorations is a spiral tree with a five-pointed star on top? This is a fairly recent inovation in decorations for the holidays and the design is simple and easy to manage so it is probably only coincidence.


 

Contributor
Shirley_Holmes
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎11-06-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Pagans, Druids, Shamans, and Witches

A couple of questions that I can think of off the top of my head, (and I will be doing research on my own, but just would love to get your personal opinion) is the Wiccan religion a "gray" religion, so to speak...and are the terms Black magic and White magic actually related to the Wiccan religion or is it just something someone made up?

Distinguished Bibliophile
TiggerBear
Posts: 9,489
Registered: ‎02-12-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Pagans, Druids, Shamans, and Witches

 


Shirley_Holmes wrote:

A couple of questions that I can think of off the top of my head, (and I will be doing research on my own, but just would love to get your personal opinion) is the Wiccan religion a "gray" religion, so to speak...and are the terms Black magic and White magic actually related to the Wiccan religion or is it just something someone made up?


 

You are mixing your religions there.

 

 

Is it something someone made up.... well yes in that someone coined those terms to sell their books; we're talking pre 1900 here, lump it with several authors. A more accurate non judgmental approach is positive and negative. Which is a basic element of many magical systems.

 

However

 

Nothing at all to do with Wicca. The underlining basic Wiccan credo is do as thou wilt so long as thy harms none. So no not a grey religion, a spell that harms someone else is a big no-no. Wiccans also don't believe in the concept of paying for it after you're dead. To a Wiccan it's comming back on them 3 times as hard next week or next month, at most a year.

 

Inspired Contributor
Choisya
Posts: 10,782
Registered: ‎10-26-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Pagans, Druids, Shamans, and Witches

[ Edited ]

Is this Wikipedia entry a good source for Wicca religion TB?  I see that the code known as the Wiccan Rede states 'an it harm none, do what you will' which is what you are saying here. 

 

I was interested to read in the Wikipedia article that there is a Wiccan Minoan Brotherhood and Sisterhood for homosexual practitioners.  It is good to see such an enlightened religious viewpoint. 

 

 


TiggerBear wrote:

 


Shirley_Holmes wrote:

A couple of questions that I can think of off the top of my head, (and I will be doing research on my own, but just would love to get your personal opinion) is the Wiccan religion a "gray" religion, so to speak...and are the terms Black magic and White magic actually related to the Wiccan religion or is it just something someone made up?


 

You are mixing your religions there.

 

 

Is it something someone made up.... well yes in that someone coined those terms to sell their books; we're talking pre 1900 here, lump it with several authors. A more accurate non judgmental approach is positive and negative. Which is a basic element of many magical systems.

 

However

 

Nothing at all to do with Wicca. The underlining basic Wiccan credo is do as thou wilt so long as thy harms none. So no not a grey religion, a spell that harms someone else is a big no-no. Wiccans also don't believe in the concept of paying for it after you're dead. To a Wiccan it's comming back on them 3 times as hard next week or next month, at most a year.

 


 

 

Contributor
Shirley_Holmes
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎11-06-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Pagans, Druids, Shamans, and Witches

Thank you very much. =] That part makes sense now. I am very interested to start learning more.

Distinguished Bibliophile
TiggerBear
Posts: 9,489
Registered: ‎02-12-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Pagans, Druids, Shamans, and Witches

 


Choisya wrote:

Is this Wikipedia entry a good source for Wicca religion TB?  I see that the code known as the Wiccan Rede states 'an it harm none, do what you will' which is what you are saying here. 

 

I was interested to read in the Wikipedia article that there is a Wiccan Minoan Brotherhood and Sisterhood for homosexual practitioners.  It is good to see such an enlightened religious viewpoint. 

 

 



If you are looking for the most basic overview, yes. And I haven't found anything posted up there to be false on the subject. So far, that is. It's a good starting point for the curious.
Though there is the rare individual. Paganism on the whole makes 0 judgement on choice of sexual partners. You don't get those sexual religious hangups.