All Beliefs are Welcome Here!
Cat's Bits for the Week of Feb. 28- March 5
"Paganism and Magic "
March 8: New Moon at 8:54 pm EST
March 13: Daylight Savings Time begins
March 17: St. Patrick's Day
March 18: Celtic Tree Month of Alder begins
March 20: Ostara/ Spring Equinox
March 23: Full Storm Moon at 8:01 am EST
March 27: Easter
Thought for the Week:
I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells.
Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living,
it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope.
Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life's realities.
- Dr. Seuss
Article for the Week:
Paganism and Magic
By Amethyst Hawke
Away from the world of fairy tales and wicked witches, modern magick's roots stem from the Celtic times 700BC - 100AD. The Celts were very spiritual people and were artistic and musical. They were also fine farmers and brave warriors. They honoured the "Divine Creator of all Nature" and worshipped the "One Creative Life Source". They believed that after death, you would go to "Summerland" to recover and await the new birth back on Earth.
The Druids supervised the Celtic rites and rituals and it is believed that it took 20 years of constant study to become a Druid. The word Druid translates from the Celtic for "knowing the oak tree". Druids were of the highest order, not just priests, but judges, teachers, healers, ambassadors and astrologers too. Druids also calmed down unsettled tribes to keep the order and settle disputes.
The Celts' religious year was governed by the seasons. At the end of the summer, they celebrated the final harvest of the year, Samhain. Samhain marked the beginning of the new year. At this time the Celts' honoured their ancestors and their loved ones who were resting in Summerland. Today we call this time of year Hallowe'en and many of the customs came from the Samhain rites and rituals.
Following Samhain is the Winter Solstice. This is regarded as the annual rebirth of the sun which was a highly celebratory event in the year.
When spring is in the air and animals are about to give birth, we enter Imbolg. Shortly after the Spring Equinox and Beltane. Both of these were regarded as fertility festivals.
Lughnassa is another harvest festival known as the Summer Solstice. Here we celebrate the suns's glory and its power to nature.
The Autumn Equinox, Mabon, was the final harvest of the year.
These practices with the religious beliefs grew larger and later became known as "paganism". As the year progressed and restarts, the pagan beliefs and Druid rituals blended together performing magick and the casting of spells developed for each festival.
The actual word 'magic' comes from a Greek word 'magea' which is derived from 'magoi'. The Magoi were Persian priests who practiced divination and studied astrology. Not only in Persia (more recently known as Iran), magic was performed through out the world and has been for thousands of years. People have been looking at the spirit world for inspiration with the help of a Shaman and gazing at the stars for guidance.
A Shaman is what we call a person who is able to communicate with ancestral spirits and this would include rituals and magick. The rituals allowed to focus the attention on the cosmic process which was believed to control every aspect of life. Lots of the rituals still are performed today by other religions whose roots could be traced back to some aspects of shamanic practice.
The religions of Ancient Egypt, Classical Greece and Ancient Rome, Scandinavian countries and those from a Celtic world all have magick at their roots. There is no homeland to magick but Egypt does seem to be the cradle. The sun god Ra is believed to die in the western sky every night and spend the darkness in the underworld only to be reborn every morning in the eastern sky. Many believe that 9/10's of the world's magic stems from Egypt.
Egyptians knew their place in society. Magic was performed by priests and others who studied sacred books. Anybody was allowed to perform magic on a small scale as long as they abide by the conditions laid down. According to the tomb paintings and papyri that survived over thousands of years, magic was part of everyday life. These records include spells to escape death, rid disease, warn off evil, avoid storms and cures such as snakebites.
The Greco-Roman world worshipped their gods, believing as the gods looked down using their magical powers to help the favoured and hinder the ones they didn't. The same belief was shared by Germanic and Scandinavian people.
All of these people celebrated the same concepts and ideals. They honoured the natural world of rivers, trees, plants and animals, not to mention the wind and the rain, the sun and the moon.
There are no written records or archaeological records to confirm that pagan Celts played a very important part in religious rituals. Many sites have been found which suggest the Celts performed religious rites at natural sites of significance such as on the tops of mountains and at the banks of important rivers.
Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill - an' it harm none, do what ye will.
Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?Paganism-and-Magic&id=3224901] Paganism and Magic
Brightest blessings for a magical week!
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