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Some Pagan Thoughts
Magic Warning!

Gosh, I feel old, I have read lots of books and Pagan articles, and realised it was 15-20yrs ago and cannot remember a thing!

I feel like a lapsed Pagan, but really, once you have absorbed the principles, you don't need to be a City Witch who can recite the names of all the deities and give off a holier than thou essence. Pagan, does mean being in touch with the forces of nature so I *feel it* and experience it, rather than learn it. Principles guide the way I live my everyday life and are not a hobby to delve into in a separate box from everything else I do.

I can't recite lots of stuff, it gets forgotten, but I can experience some psychic and intuitive stuff when I tune into it. After a brief time of experimenting, and making spells, I did run out of things to ask for that don't end up having a threefold backlash, and I realised that I didn't want anything that badly that wasn't already my destiny. For example, if I wasn't ill (a bad thing) I would never have got into knitting in such a big way (a good thing)

I once went to a Pagan discussion group called The Talking Stick, and each week we had a talk by people like Marian Green (her books on ritual and natural magic and others in the series are good), but once some nutty Utopian Nazi type people (very scary), one of which actually said "I practice black magic to bring about our Utopian ideal, but I fully believe that to achieve this, means getting it by evil means, and therefore I fully accept that there is no place for a person like me in our own Utopian future once realised"

It was very interesting, although I was shocked at the number of Pagans who smoked and drank (their bodies being an ashtray rather than a temple) but on the whole, when people got talking, it was like a Pagan Olympics, a typical conversation would go:

Pagan Priestess (dressed in purple velvet robes and wafting frankincense perfume)"Hi my name is Starbusty Moonmenstrual what's yours?"
Lapsed Pagan (T Shirt and jeans)"Er...Erssie..."

How high can you go on Astral Projection?
"....well I can go 10 feet....|
"Is that all? I can go 1000 feet. Which 'group' are you a member of then?
"Um I practice rarely, in a solitary fashion"
"Oh, I am in the OTO, but don't ask me what that is cos it is secret (and I can't remember what it stands for), so how many names do you know for female representations in the invisible realm?"
"UM...one? er Goddess?"
"Oh, you need to read these books....." (hands over bibliography, list so long it is designed to keep you indoors in a distinctly non pagan atmosphere until you die)
Erssie "So, do you get outdoors much....have any pets......live a healthy lifestyle?"

Pagan Priestess "Er...what with all the reading, and my high powered office IT job, and living in the centre of London....er well, I just buy herbs from Mysteries (shop in Neal's Yard) and burn them on the incense burner every night...er what about you?" Takes a drag on her 10th cigarette for the evening and a swill of dirty looking ale

Erssie "Well, I do go out at Beltane, and talk to the Hawthorn...I watch my animals to give me signs of how to live, and experience their joy outdoors....."
Priestess"Oh, I wouldn't know what plants actually *look* like in the wild, in their natural habitat, and these robes trip me up a bit in mud, but I could tell you the page number on which it appears in Culpepers Herbal.."
Erssie gets tube home, to suburban but leafy green fields just outside London and cuddles up to her greyhound familiars. Pagan priestess goes to dingy patchouli smelling bedsit in North London, then becomes prematurely aged on fags and beer.

Keep up the reading and enjoy, but new Pagans, do quickly get involved in the principle of experiencing magic which after all is only a science whose principles are out there, whether you access them or not.
I do think that books should help define what you already know and feel, and should help you to feel a little less solitary. Books on visualisation, and meditation exercises and Natural Magic can be a good way of introducing you to the principles of your *own* unique experience, then you can read about other peoples. I used to live next door to a booky Pagan, and she had never seen anything from the other realm in her life, so bogged down with the academics was she, whereas my partner and myself were 'witches' and experienced 'weirdness' as children before we even knew what that meant.
Then again, we could just be mad and imagining it all....

And how does this relate to knitting? There is a Pagan Crafter's group on the forum of which is a new Pagan asking for reading materials, and finding myself at a loss to think of what is actually useful I had the above thoughts.

And, I have a few knitting charts of these symbols drawn up and graphed, just need to knit them before someone else does!

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