Thursday, May 5, 2011

Discussion Questions from book Paganism, pg 42

This blog entry will be answering questions from the book I'm working through right now.

Paganism: An Introduction to Earth Centered Religions

by Joyce & River Higginbotham

ISBN 978-0-7387-0222-3

Questions to Discuss on Impressions of Paganism page 42, Chapter 1

1.  In what ways is Paganism influencing movies, music, commercials, consumer products, businesses, and other religions?  What was the first Pagan reference or idea you encountered in the general culture?

The first Pagan reference I saw was the witches in the movie The Craft when I was fifteen.  I know that isn't what real witchcraft is like, but at the time I hoped it was.  A lot of the New Age music has became more popular over the last decade and a half.  I have seen the older movie The Wicker Man, which is about Paganism.  Pagans are making news stories, but not as often as other religions, like Christianity or Islam.  There are sections for the occult and such on eBay.  A lot of crafts and herbal remedies are becoming popular amongst the general public that have always been a part of NeoPaganism.  There are businesses that sell just items for Pagans, such as our friends who own High Vibes Distribution Crystal Visions Wands & Jewelry.  

2.  What was your impression of Paganism before you began studying it?

I was very curious before I started studying Paganism.  I studied it for approximately a year before I had my dedication ceremony.  I knew that Pagans are polytheists and that was very hard to wrap my mind around at first.  In fact, that was the single hardest thing to wrap my mind around.  Once I accepted that, things came easier to me.

3.  Why are you studying Paganism at this time, and what do you most want to gain from this book?

I want to gain knowledge of general Paganism and whatever new information this book can offer me to ponder.  I really like this book so far, though I'm still on Chapter 1.

4.  Who was the first Pagan you ever met?  How did you go about finding Pagans?  How did you hear about Pagan events?  How do you think Pagans can improve their accessibility to those who are looking for them?

The first Pagan I ever met was named Faith.  I met her while I was in the hospital when I was 23.  She was Wiccan and I was amazed at how "normal" she was.  The only other Pagans (besides DH) that I have met have been mainly on Twitter, and a few on Facebook.  I think updated pages, such as group pages on Facebook, are a great way to improve accessibility to other Pagans.

5.  Have you ever attended a Pagan festival or convention?  What was it like?  How was it different from what you expected, and in what ways did it meet your expectations?  What would you say to someone going to their first Pagan festival or convention?  Their first ritual?

No, I've never attended a Pagan festival or convention.  DH and I have talked about it, we want to go to one sometime soon.  DH has been Pagan for many years and has been to many festivals, but I am a newbie Pagan.

6.  What experience have you had with Paganism so far that has been the most fun, the most rewarding, or made the deepest impression on you?

The two books Yoni: The Sacred Symbol of Female Creative Power by Rufus C. Camphausen and Maiden, Mother Crone: The Myth and Reality of the Triple Goddess by D.J. Conway have given me information and encouraged me to ponder this information about the Goddess.  These books have had the most profound effect on me.  I also love discussing religion and spirituality with DH.  Planting flowers on Beltane was definitely fun, too.