On Livejournal and Dreamwidth there is a Pagan Meme going around. I’m going to fill it out but it’s not going to be exactly like what the author anticipated. There are some of these questions that are invasive and not relevant to anything other than me. My answers are in red and comments are in green. But I have comments in the regular answers too.
But the rest is interesting. So, take a look.
B A S I C S //
Do you have a magical/Pagan name? Yes. (never asks what that name is, only if I have one.)
What does it mean? “Daven” means “to pray” in Hebrew. I picked it because of another lifetime I had.
How did you find Paganism? Lots and lots of research in metaphysics and parapsychology. Been interested in those topics since I was little.
How long have you been practicing? Continuously, about 19 years now. Been reading and experimenting since I was 4.
Solitary or group practitioner? Yes. I practice my way, and I celebrate holidays and other such community things with my wife.
What is your path? Druid, Seax-Wica, Witch
Are you out of the broom closet? Out. Been out for about 14 years now. But just because I’m out does not mean I’m confrontational or “in your face” about it.
D E I T Y //
Who is your patron God? My Lord Herne the Hunter
Who is your patron Goddess? Lady Rhiannon of the Birds
What Gods do you worship? I honor Fuji, The Morrigan, The Dagda and most of the Irish Pantheon (as well as most of the Welsh Pantheon). I respect them and talk to them, I remember them at holy days, I thank them for blessings, but blind worship, no I don’t.
Do you fear darkly aspected Gods/Goddess, or rather respect them? Let’s get one thing straight, this fear of the “dark” is stupid. Everyone has a part of their psyche that is hateful and mean, parts that we try to overcome when dealing with others. Gods and Goddesses have this part too. EVERY deity is “dark” and every deity is “light” as well. You cannot ignore the dark. It is there. Without the dark parts, you wouldn’t know what the light parts were. You HAVE to have that contrast to understand the whole of existence. Do I fear it? No. Do I acknowledge it? Definitely.
Do you worship the Christian God? Why in the thousand sacred names of Vishnu would I worship a God that has NO PART in my religious pathway? Reading the texts where He speaks to his followers, He states outright that He is a jealous god and that you can’t have any other god. And he also authorizes the killing of people who worship a deity other than him. If I wanted to worship that deity, I would have remained a Mormon.
Do you ever worship animals? Same answer. I honor the Animal Spirits, respect them and take counsel from them, but I don’t worship them. Respect and honor, not worship.
Or plants? Now you are getting silly. No I don’t worship trees or grass, I respect the beings in nature and I try not to exploit or waste them when I do use them.
N A T U R E //
Do you regularly commune with nature? Yes
Ever walked barefoot in the woods? Yes
Taken a camping trip just to talk to nature? Used to do it all the time.
Describe the moment you felt closest to Mother Earth? I can describe events that had me closer to the Gods and all of reality, but not one specifically that drew me closer to “Mother Earth” as in the living/breathing planet and all that is on it.
Do you have a familiar? No. I have a cat who looks to me for everything, who has picked me as her person, but she’s not a familiar.
Have you ever called upon the powers of an animal in ritual? Once or twice calling on the Spirit Animals to help with their Medicine.
Or a plant? No
Do you hug trees? Been known to.
Give them gifts? I take care of them when I can. If I have to harvest part of a tree, I make sure that I take care of the injury afterward. I guess you could see that as bringing it a gift.
What is your favorite flower to work with? None
What is your favorite tree to work with? None
W H E E L . O F . T H E . Y E A R //
What is your favorite holiday? Samhain. Feeling the transition from one part of the year to another is magickal.
What is your least favorite holiday? Samhain. I hate the commercialism and the secularism surrounding a beautiful holiday.
Have you ever held a ritual on a holiday? Duh. Yes. Try to do it that way every time. Now you are just getting silly.
Ever taken a day off work to celebrate a Pagan holiday? No.
Do you celebrate Yule on the 21 rather than the 25? Yes.
Have you ever felt the veil thin? Every ritual I do, which is what is supposed to happen. If you don’t feel it thin, then you are doing it wrong.
Ever danced the Maypole? No.
Know what the Maypole symbolizes? Some of the symbolism, but it is not part of my practice and I’ll leave it for others who do incorporate it in their religion. This is another silly question. It makes assumptions that need not be made.
How do you usually celebrate the Pagan holidays? Quietly with my wife and daughter, in our home, remembering the Gods and the meaning of the holiday. Stories and mead, teaching and learning.
D I V I N A T I O N //
Do you use Tarot? Yes
Do you use runes? Learning them.
Do you use a pendulum? Have one, no opportunity to use it yet.
Do you use dowsing rods? Not a water witch (another silly question).
Do you use astrology? I use it to find out what the general trend of someone or something is. I don’t use it as a predictor of the future. Too many things can influence an event for the stars to be accurate.
Any other form of divination? Omens, animal behavior, listening to the Gods, looking ahead on timelines, and being aware of consequences.
S P E L L S //
What was the first spell you did? I don’t remember.
What was the latest? I ate breakfast.
Ever done a love spell? No (revis, not to target a specific person into loving me, but to bring someone who could love me into my life, yes).
A job spell? Yes.
A healing spell? Yes.
What was the most powerful spell you’ve ever performed? Marrying my wife.
What deities do you usually call on? Herne and Rhiannon
(Let me explain why I answered these this way. A spell is anything that will bring you your desired object/outcome. I wanted to not feel hungry, so I ate. I wanted to be with my wife for the rest of my life, so I married her. The Harry Potter spells that this meme is asking about are not what a spell is, and most of those don’t work anyhow. It’s the subtle spells that make the most change.)
C R Y P T O Z O O L O G Y //
Do you believe in Vampires? Yes.
Werewolves? No. (as in the classic half man/wolf shown in “Thriller” and “An American Werewolf in London”. In people who can shift their mind and soul to that of a wolf, taking on their aspects and qualities… yes.)
Mermaids? Yes, but it is more Merfolk than just the women.
Ever “seen” any of the above? Yes.
Ever talked to any of the above? Yes.
Ever used any of the above in magic? Yes (another stupid question, define “used”. Called upon a Dragon to help me do something in a ritual? Yes. Taken control of them and making them do it all for me? Not on your life.)
Do you have one of them as a personal guardian? Here’s another stupid question. I have friends on the astral who are all of the above and more, I watch their back, they watch mine. Is this a “personal guardian”? No. This is two people watching out for each other.
(I have no clue what this section was supposed to tell about me. All these creatures exist on the Astral plane, you can interact with any of them that you want to. It is not some huge secret. Do I believe they exist on the material plane here? Yes, with caveats. They all were here at one time or another, and as Mankind rose in prominence, they retreated to the Astral, where they are staying now. Until we learn to live in harmony with others, that is where they will stay.)
R A N D O M //
Do you see a rabbit, a man or a woman in the moon? I see craters and shadows and seas that take on the shape of a man’s face, a woman AND a rabbit at different times.
Own a cat? Yes. (relevance? I has none)
When you meditate, what does your happy place look like? I don’t have a “happy place”. If you mean my Astral Temple, it is complex, if you mean the meeting place I go to so I can talk to the Gods, that’s something else. If you mean the landscape that I find inside my head, that’s even more different. Another silly question.
Do you work with Chakras? Since they are part of our bodies and since I work with Energy, I guess I do. Haven’t done anything directly with them.
Do you believe in past lives? Yes.
If so, describe a few briefly: No, I don’t think I will. It has no bearing on anything.
Do you believe in soul mates? Yes, as long as you define it as someone you have been with in other times and places that you are with again and again.
Do you have a spirit guide? Several, if you define this as someone who teaches me who does not have a corporal body.
Is it always love and light? Not even close. You can’t know light without knowing the dark, as I said above.
I think that this entire meme is one of those “tell us about your woo so we can be impressed with how special you are” things. It makes too many assumptions about what my path is and how I walk it. It assumes that I follow a Wicca-lite canaric faith, and that it is a “faith” not a knowing. It assumes that this is a question of “having faith in” meaning that your default attitude is “it doesn’t really exist”. I take offense at that assumption. This seems to be more “introduce yourself” than anything else.
I need to write my own meme that makes more sense.