ethics

Plastic Paths: The Astral Travel Chronicles

February, 2012

The Ethics of Astral Travel

As moderator of an online Out of Body group, many of the new members have the same questions, but every once in awhile we get a new question. A few years back, a man introduced himself, explained that his first experience had been unintentional; he woke up walking around his bedroom while seeing his sleeping body on the bed. He then explained that his current goal was to astral travel around someone else’s house to prove that he could and did leave his body. His question was, what was the best way of going about doing this?

I absolutely understand. Astral traveling is amazing, awe-inspiring, breath taking. Unworldly. Really stop to consider the heaviness of that word—unworldly—and what it takes to accomplish something that qualifies for that label. To want to share this phenomenon is natural, to want to prove to others that one has accomplished consciously leaving their body is expected. However…

However, is exploring another person’s home without their consent or knowing, to prove to them that you were there (in any state of being) really ethical? I don’t believe so, and I told this member as much, but that opened up a new question: what are our ethical duties in the astral plane?

In a quick informal poll in the group, I was fascinated to discover that the men who responded all felt that there shouldn’t be ethics in the astral at all, rather that ethics were for the physical plane only. The woman felt the opposite, that we should continue to treat others as we want to be treated.

Would you be happy to learn that someone was walking around your house without your consent? There are plenty of volunteers who welcome astral travelers into their home (myself included) so is canvasing the home of someone who doesn’t know you might show up morally correct? There are times when travelers cannot control where they show up, and there are travelers who ask to see a friend or loved one and arrive at their house. An OBE’er can’t exactly call ahead for permission, which is why there is no easy answer to the question of what is, and isn’t, ethical astral traveling.

Another topic that often surfaces is astral sex. Is it wrong to participate in astral sex if one is in a monogamous partnership in the physical world? Is it wrong to participate for any reason?

Many travelers find themselves in the act without any effort or initiation from themselves, and many more find that while in an out of body state, being intimate with others feel exactly right. No guilt, no drama, just a perfectly natural means of interacting with other souls.

I discussed it with my spouse and neither of us considers it wrong for our marriage, while I’ve spoken with others who do feel that astral sex is a form of infidelity.

Obviously different people will have different opinions on all of this and the other topics regarding the moral “right’s” and “wrong’s” of life outside the body. Let’s talk about it and open ourselves to such discussions with love and respect for each other. I recommend asking yourself first what is acceptable when traveling by starting with the Golden Rule, “Do onto others as you would have done unto you.” Would you want someone walking around your house without your consent? Is affection without a body something you want your partner engaging in?

HearthBeats: Notes from a Kitchen Witch

October, 2011

Morals and ethics or the lack thereof, in our magick and our lives…

Merry Meet and welcome to my Hearth again. Please grab a seat and a cuppa something yummy and lets talk. I have been mulling something over for a while and it has really been bothering me.. and a few people I know.

It is the Morals and Ethics of the Pagan community. Now I know than many who read this are not Wiccan. So they do not follow the Rede. But most of us have some code that we use to guide us in our lives. Wiccans have the Rede “ Harm None”, Christians have the Golden Rule“ Do unto other as you would have them do unto you.”. Each religion seems to have something.

Now in the Pagan scheme of things Goddess and God know that no one is perfect. They know that you will make mistakes and do things in error. And we as Pagans know that God/dess will not smite us down. But we will be reminded of it later when Karma smacks us one.because for every action there is an equal or greater reaction.

But what I would like to know is this…. “why do we treat other in a way we would never allow ourselves to be treated.”

What I mean is this. We work really hard to build something, a craft, a webpage, a group. We have people we think we can trust to help us run the pages, the ritual, and the group. Then after a while something happens to them, they suddenly decide that they have the right to eliminate people, make people uncomfortable, and delete people. They decide that they can control by fear. This is not what you wanted when you did this. But now you have people who are afraid to join in, talk or even come in. and the people who did it are either hiding or prancing around proud that they “got rid of” those they did not like.

It is very hard to spot these people. Often they are people who you think would not ever harm a flea. What you find out is they have one sided ethics, and very little morals.

I often wonder what these people are thinking. Why they do they feel they need to take a beautiful thing and damage it. Why they feel that they can hurt others but get furious if someone hurts them. How they cannot see that what they are doing is hurting people.

Now I know that 95% to 98% of us live by our Moral and Ethics, we try to be the best we can be, we do what we can to not hurt people, to help the needy, to make just a right decisions.  But not everyone does, and these people are the proverbial bad apple, they ruin it for us all. Not only because they hurt us, drive away our members and undermine what we are doing, but because people talk and the damage these people do get around and then it hurts because people do not trust what your are trying to do, they are fearful; and you get nowhere fast if people are afraid of you and your group.

Now we can avoid these folks as often as possible. Or we can cut them out of the group, ritual, website. But we can also start by teaching some kind of Morals and Ethics to our children, or students, our groups. We can start with a few questions to ask ourselves before we act.

  1. Is this really something I want to do or be involved in?
  2. Will someone be hurt by this, directly of indirectly ?
  3. Will this really help the group, ritual, etc..?
  4. Am I doing this to help the group, ritual etc.. or help myself.?
  5. Will the consequences be worth it to me, the group, etc..?

If you have any doubt then you should rethink the issue.

Some basic do’s and don’t that may help are these..

Do’s:
Only actions of positive intent should be considered.
Conduct a spell or rite or a group with happiness, love and kindness.
Hold respect for all living things and their belongings or dreams.
Accept the responsibility for your actions.

Don’ts
Never act out of anger, jealousy or greed.
Never intentionally harm or endanger another living being.
Never do anything to manipulate or change someone free will. Even if it is healing as they may not want healing. It’s best to get permission first. If that’s not possible, do not do it.

Being Pagan and part of a serious Pagan group comes with great responsibility; mainly within your self. Many have fought for years for us to be able to gather in public groups, and if that is undermined from within by greed, anger, jealousy, and a false sense of Godhood then we end up being our worst enemies. This kind of immoral behavior creates discord in a time and place that we need balance.

Now I do not mean for this to sound like a lecture, for it is NOT. What it is meant to be is a heads up from someone who has been seeing this happen in many of the Groups I know of and a few that I belong to and it makes me sad, as well as hurt. It does not make a difference if you have been tapped to lead a ritual in real-time, or made and admin on Facebook or Yahoo. Someone believed in you enough to entrust there group to you, you have a sacred trust to treat it as if it was priceless, because to that person it is. It may well be the thoughts and dreams and plans that this person had for the greater Pagan community to help, teach, support. And every time someone allows discord into it , well it hurt everything and everyone.

I only ask that you, me, we treat other better than we wish to be treated. For one act of kindness or harm causes ripples that you have no control over, and Karma backlashes.  What would you rather have.. a wave of good luck or a wave of disaster. I know what I want.

Now I have page after page of ethics and moral research, but I will not use them here. This is mainly because my moral and ethics will not fit everyone. I am rather strict with myself and try harder than some to avoid hurting anyone. But I do want to ask each of you to soul search, research and create a code of ethic and moral for yourselves. Based on how you think YOU should be treated.. because you should never treat someone worse than you would want to be treated.

Until next time

Blessed Home and Hearth

The Hearthkeeper

PS. If there is anything you would like to see here.. please email me at  thehearthkeeper@gmail.com

New Moon Ethics – Musings on the Morals of Paganism

August, 2009

ABRACADABRA!

Well hello again my fellow pagans. Summer has greeted us finally, and, as is normal in many a pagan life, the magic of life is awake and stirring. With the celebrations and sacred rituals of Beltane, Summer Solstice, Lugnasadh and much more, summer is without a doubt an eventful time of year. In light of this integral part of pagan way, I felt that the topic of magic was an interesting one for this article.

Many people, upon hearing the word pagan, immediately reflect upon thoughts of magic. Why is that? Yes magic is an integral part of pagan life, but the magic that people view related to those who use it is sometimes a far cry from what it really is. With all of the flying around on broomsticks and turning people into toads, we have our work cut out for us! However, much of the tales of magic is far from the truth and sadly often misunderstood.

I was having a discussion with a woman a few weeks ago who spoke to me about a girl who believed that magic was simply a form of power. While magic itself can be very powerful, it is not used as a funnel for ones personal power, or at least, it shouldn’t be. The majority of pagans hold a belief of magic being something much more sacred and special than just a lead to personal power. It is a connection between you and the mother goddess, evident in the mystical as well as the mundane. But more on that in a little bit. For now lets focus on a few facts.

Wikipedia describes magic as being documented as early as the fourteenth century in Greek  and old French culture. In a generalized statement, magic is defined as the workings of someone to achieve a certain outcome. Scholars have tried to define it, scientists have tried to find answers explaining it, and many people have viewed it as a benevolent force not to be toyed with. Magic leaves many people in awe, both good and bad, because there is something within magic that cannot be put into words, much as the relationship between a person and their divine. To read more on what wikipedia describes as magic, follow this link. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_(paranormal)

Two words that always pop into a persons mind when they think of magic is the all famous Abracadabra and Hocus Pocus. But why are these two phrases so internationally known and related to magic itself? In days of old, as it is told by dictionary.com, abracadabra was a magical word that was not spoken but worn as an amulet around the neck to protect the wearer from disease or trouble. It was arranged in the shape of a pyramid. Now Abracadabra has taken on the meaning of gibberish, or unintelligible talk, often believed to be a word used in incantations.

Hocus Pocus is defined as a phrase used to describe trickery or deception. It also takes on the interesting meaning of a jugglers trick, or sleight of hand.

Now that we have the meaning of those two words put to sleep, lets talk about the Hollywood style magic. We all have been reading on magic since young children. Cinderella had a fairy godmother who transformed a pumpkin into a carriage, mice into horse, and even conjured up glass slippers. Snow white had to fight the forces of Maleficent,  an evil sorceress who would stop at nothing to have the girl destroyed. Other depictions of magic lay within movies such as Hocus Pocus, Practical Magic, The mists of Avalon, and so many more. A great addition to add mystique to a movie, without a doubt. But what is “real” magic?

When  confronted with the question, what is magic, a moment to collect our thoughts is normally called for. Although we use it, know what it means to us, describing it can often be a much more difficult task. I think one of the simplest and yet most descriptive quotes on magic is Lord Byrons saying, “The power of thought, the magic of the mind!” This quote can often be found through any search engine, such as google. This quote points out one very powerful point, that magic is within the power of one persons individual thoughts. You cannot recreate one persons magic exactly the same, because each individual has their own connection the nature, to the mother goddess, or to their own divine. Their thoughts focus around the needs in their life, giving magic a very personal characteristic. Magic, for many a pagan, is the mundane, and the mundane is magical.

When watching  sunset, or listening to the gulls sing their song, or even watching flowers bloom, this is all magical. Life is magic. Watching our children play in the summer sun, learning to swim for the first time, this is magic. And when the need arises and we must perform magic to attain the greater good, this is a personal magic. It is much like a prayer is to many people, powerful thought, strong emotions and energy which are channeled at the specific need of the person, and a release of that energy. I would like to leave you with a poem that I found, beautiful and relevant to our discussion.

There’s Magic in the Telling

There’s magic in the telling
Watch your secrets closely
There’s magic in the telling
Choose your words carefully
There’s magic in the telling

Don’t crush the hopes and dreams of others
For they all hold a piece of you
Live life through rose-colored glasses
Seeing beyond what you see or do
There’s magic in the telling
What’s your magic telling about you?

Do you sit on mountains high
Or walk through valleys low?
Is there time enough for the song of birds
Or doing time on a sentence of what’s been sowed?
Do you feel the love of kin
Or backstabbing knives in your skin?
Does your money grow on trees
Or always begging on your knees?
There’s magic in the telling

See yourself upon the throne, spreading joy across the land
Share hope with others, allowing each to do all they can
Build castles in the sand together
Cheering as the ocean washes them away
Know there is time enough to build together on another day
Watch the nature of creatures for they have so much to tell
The wisdom of the ages has been passed down to you as well

You see there is magic in the telling
A story of power, love and might
There’s magic in the telling
Create beauty out of light
There’s magic in the telling
Stop thinking yee be so small
There’s magic in the telling
Know inside your words that you can have it all

Written by Priscilla Parham

This poem spoke to me because it is honest and simple, yet it speaks of life in various stages. Magic is life, within our own words, actions, thoughts and emotions. So, fellow pagans and faithful readers, lets gather our broomsticks and fly into the rest of the summer!

Most fervent blessings until we speak again,

Naiyeetu

If you are looking for advice on pagan matters write to Naiyeetu at Naiyeetu@email.com

New Moon Ethics – Musings on the Morals of Paganism

June, 2009

Greetings

The world has opened yet another door for communication amongst the pagan community. I was given the opportunity to write this column by the gracious team at paganpages.org. They have given me the freedom for my own column on the ethics of paganism, something of which i am passionate about. My name is meghan, and i am most pleased to make your aquaintance. You may also refer to me as Naiyeetu.

I first began this column wondering two things. The first was how in the world I would come up with a name for this column. I chose the title New Moon Ethics – Musings on the Morals of Paganism because I feel that the new moon is a great symbolic sign for many a pagan. It represents not only the mother Goddess, but also cleansing, intuition, mystery, and the link between the different cycles of life. The new moon in particular represents new beginnings and learning. I felt this to be quite appropriate given that not only is this column a new beginning and learning experience for me, it is also a time when we can begin learning from eachother.

The second concern I had about this column was how to approach the subject of morality without telling people what they should or should not do. I would much prefer for us to share our experiences as a bonded community. I am of the full belief that the core essence of moralistic behavior is not that it is found in one truth, but lies within the combination of many common truths. Therfor, I invite you in to share your knowledge with us, to ask questions on whatever topic you are concerned, and state your ideas or ideals.

This article, my first, I felt should be an article introducing myself and what I wish to accomplish. I feel that it is only fair to you, my dear reader, if you know where I am coming from with my thoughts so that we can connect on the same level when communicating. I feel that while communicating is vital, so is understanding.

My husband and I live a life of separate beliefs. He walks the Christian path while I am very content following our mother Goddess. This has posed for many interesting questions. There was one question that my husband asked me the other night that struck my interest. He looked at me while I was reading and simply stated, “Why do pagans believe what they believe?”. At first, I was not sure what to say. After several long moments of thought, I came to the conclusion that the only person I could answer for was myself. My answer was just as simple and to the point.”Because I know the mother Goddess to be real to me.”. I would like to ask you the same question. Why do you, kindred pagan, follow the path which you choose and what difference has this made in your life? I think that once we discover why people walk the paths they choose, then we can discover more about our ethical values. After all, ethical value differs with each persons belief system.

Id like to share with you an excerpt from the book Return of the Great Goddess by Burleigh Muten. It is a piece written by Tsultrim Allione from the piece “Sky Dancer”.

“The return of the Goddess is not focused on transcendence, but on the embodiment of the sacred, in life and relationships. The unification of the body, sexuality and emotions with the spirit, the return from striving to being….

As part of my awareness of the Goddess, I have reclaimed the altar. In ancient time, for example in Minoan civilization, there was an alter in every room of the home. The home was where spirit lived….

My altars are the stage for my soul. They change as I do. If I am calling forth some part of myself in my life, for example Eros, I place on my altar something that represents that to me, a postcard of aphrodite. Thus there is a dynamic between the outer and inner life.”

Tsultrim Allione
from “Sky Dancer”

I chose this particular passage because I felt that this signified someones powerful connection to the mother Goddess and how it directly effects their life. This will be my first challenge for you, my fellow pagan. I want you to think about how what you believe directly effects your life and behavior. Then I want you to get back to me and share your stories, experiences, questions or even just simple musings that you may have had on the topic. You can send these to me directly at naiyeetu@email.com. This will help for our column next month. I am of high hopes that we can become friends and form a bonded community through our words and thoughts. My next column will be much more in depth with your help, and I will strive to answer any question you may have to the best of my knowledge. Everyone is welcome as a kindred spirit.

Until we meet again, may the Goddess bless you with beauty and joy in your life.

Fervent blessings

Naiyeetu