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TIMARIE's Photo TIMARIE Posts: 367
5/21/08 8:56 A

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Welcome to the group!

"Being overweight is hard, losing weight is hard, maintaining a healthy weight is hard. Choose your hard."

"The road to hell is paved with couches."


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FOXMOON's Photo FOXMOON Posts: 822
5/20/08 6:56 P

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Haha, thank you!

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Happily in maintenance!

"Practice becomes firmly grounded when continued for a long time, without interruption and with reverent devotion."
BSHOWELL's Photo BSHOWELL SparkPoints: (16,965)
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5/19/08 9:16 A

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Welcome. You sound like you have some very interesting...well...interests lol!

Blackbird singing in the dead of night/Take these broken wings and learn to fly/All your life/You were only waiting for this moment to arise
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Yes we DID!


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AUTUMNFIRE's Photo AUTUMNFIRE SparkPoints: (51,510)
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5/17/08 1:09 P

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Hello & Welcome

Janet ~ SW PA

Put your troubles in a bubble and blow them away *~*~*


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LESLIEJEAN43's Photo LESLIEJEAN43 Posts: 27,878
5/16/08 9:40 P

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Thank you both for the good wishes, and thank you Foxmoon for the additional information.
I am moving into this slowly, and will find my way.
Leslie emoticon

"Any idiot can face a crisis. It's the day-to-day living that wears you out."
---Anton Chekhov



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JEWITCH's Photo JEWITCH Posts: 18,877
5/16/08 8:14 P

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Merry meet and welcome. I think that is the best way to put together an altar when you find one special piece at a time. Blessings on you life's journey t better health.



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FOXMOON's Photo FOXMOON Posts: 822
5/16/08 8:09 P

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You should perhaps be able to at least find a copy of The Táin and the Eddas in a library. They are fairly popular reads and historical in nature.

My altar has come together over ten years or so after I started collecting pieces for it. It might be years until it is finally finished, but so far I have collected a smooth wooden dish (for the salt), a hand-made pottery bowl for water, a carved hematite candleholder, a crow wing feather and an unadorned willow wand. I also have a nice carved soapstone incense holder, a small iron cauldron, and an onyx mortar and pestle for tools.

Salt is used for ritual cleaning & purification (like 'scrubbing' down new tools), protection, and blessing. It symbolizes the Earth. It also has a history of being very important to many cultures, as well as a form of currency equal to or higher than gold (i.e. 'worth his weight in salt'). In Celtic practice, which includes a lot of areas outside of just the U.K., there are famous places named for salt as well as ancient salt mines. Look up 'Hallstatt' for some more information.

Water is also a purifier and represents Water, naturally. Water is important to everything on Earth, and in most religions, represents or IS a god or goddess. In Hinduism, the Ganges are a goddess, and in Celtic mythology (as well as shared with Romans), Sul or Sulis is the goddess of spring water. In the practice of interpretatio romana, the Romans had a common tendency to equate foreign deities with members of their own pantheon, and in such, the Celtic goddess Sul was worshiped by the Romans as Sulis Minerva.

It is infinitely interesting to me how a lot of religions mesh together, so in doing a lot of research I was slowly able to seperate some of those threads and head on my way to interpreting ancient Celtic religion close to the way I think it was practiced thousands of years prior.

Good luck on your search, Leslie!

Edited by: FOXMOON at: 5/16/2008 (20:08)
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Happily in maintenance!

"Practice becomes firmly grounded when continued for a long time, without interruption and with reverent devotion."
LESLIEJEAN43's Photo LESLIEJEAN43 Posts: 27,878
5/16/08 6:52 P

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Foxmoon, thank you for your reply.
My background is also primarily Celtic: Scottish and Irish.
Thank you for the book recommendations. Unfortunately, I am limited to what is available in or through my library, but I will see what I can find.
I have not yet started an altar, but I do have hand-carved wooden bowls, and tend to have stones I have collected in them. What is the purpose, or meaning, of the salt and water?
I love candles and incense.
I have also read a lot about a number of religions, and have joined many of them as well. I grew up in the Anglican church, and later converted to Judaism, and then to Roman Catholicism, but have read and felt an affinity with Buddhism. Hinduism fascinates me, but there are too many manifestations of the divine!
I have sought out mystical elements in most religions, and have almost filled a book with quotes that are meaningful to me.
I am trying to find the 'right' spot for me, and realize that to some extent, I will have to define that for myself.
I will save this thread, and see which books I can find.
Thanks so much!
Leslie
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"Any idiot can face a crisis. It's the day-to-day living that wears you out."
---Anton Chekhov



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FOXMOON's Photo FOXMOON Posts: 822
5/16/08 6:02 P

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Hello, and thanks for the welcomes! :D

Leslie -- I turned towards an Irish path because that is where my family came from. I am a second-generation Irish-American because most of my family lives there except for my parents and a few aunts and uncles. And I'm stuck here in NJ, hah.

I think the best way to go along picking something that suits you is to read, read, read! I am a total book nerd and I've read about a lot of different religions, from Buddhism to pagan Rome! Everyone has very different but very similar ideas and it is interesting to see how they all intertwine.

For Irish book recommendations, I would suggest three of my favorites:
* "The Apple Branch", by Alexei Kondratiev
* "The Mist-Filled Path", by Frank MacEowen
* "The Red-Haired Girl From The Bog", by Patricia Monaghan

For Druidry (well honestly I haven't found too many that I liked!):
* "A Brief History of the Druids", by Peter Ellis

For Asatru/Nordic studies:
* "Norse Mythology", by John Lindow
* "Exploring the Northern Tradition", by Galina Krasskova and Swain Wodening

For general histories (lots more than this, but these are my 'basics'):
* The Táin Bó Cúailnge
* The Lebor Gabála Érenn (or Leabhar Gabhála Éireann)
* The Eddas

I am not sure what you wanted to know about altars, but I keep mine very minimal. Some people have very showy and lovely ones, but I like to be able to pack mine up easily if I have to. I don't have any statues or pentagrams on mine, just a few handmade bowls (salt and water), candles, a branch wand and feathers I collected myself that have some meaning to me.

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Happily in maintenance!

"Practice becomes firmly grounded when continued for a long time, without interruption and with reverent devotion."
LOEGAIRE's Photo LOEGAIRE Posts: 12,385
5/16/08 5:20 P

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Welcome!

Do not try and think outside the box. Instead, only try to realize the truth. There is no box.
***
Good judgement comes from experience. Experience usually comes from bad judgement.
***
Live each day as if it's your last, because one day you'll be right.
***
Stop whining and DO something!
***
I have no shift key and I must scream.


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LESLIEJEAN43's Photo LESLIEJEAN43 Posts: 27,878
5/16/08 4:47 P

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Hi Claire, welcome to you!
You sound very knowledgeable; I am just beginning to learn about all this but I have a great interest. I have tried, at least to some degree, all the mainstream religions, but none of them is a fit for me. This sounds 'right' but I am not very sure how to proceed.
Could you recommend some books? I have some information on altars, but I do not personally know anyone who is involved in this as their religion, so it is hard to know what I don't know, or what questions to ask.
Leslie emoticon

"Any idiot can face a crisis. It's the day-to-day living that wears you out."
---Anton Chekhov



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FOXMOON's Photo FOXMOON Posts: 822
5/16/08 3:40 P

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Hey everyone. I am a little late in my introduction post, but here it goes!

My name is Claire and I joined Sparkpeople mid-March. It is such a wonderful community here! Everyone is so kind and helpful.

My main study and practice is Celtic Reconstruction. I also study Druidry, and have been reading up on Asatru for a more scholarly pursuit. I am getting decent at herbalism too, but its hard since I don't have my own garden to grow my own. :/

I love hiking and nature (I'm a Taurus!). Painting and sculpture are my main hobbies, but I like to sketch plants and animals in my spare time too. I am also a vegetarian and hope to be able to make the transition to a vegan as a longterm goal.

Thanks for the warm welcome to the group!

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Happily in maintenance!

"Practice becomes firmly grounded when continued for a long time, without interruption and with reverent devotion."
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