I'm still sick and not sleeping well. Stumbled on this survey (thanks Meg) and thought I'd pass it along.
Are you religious?
Mmmm, I'm more spiritual than religious. If I had to choose a religion, I'd say Hinduism or Buddhism but only because they believe that beliefs are very susceptible to perspectives and that what you believe should be applicable in your life.
What do you think happens after you die?
I think that depends on the individual dying. I believe that what they believe will happen will happen.
I believe in the Celtic idea of three planes of existence: the physical, the spiritual, and the divine; the first two being mirrors of each other - winter here, summer there, day here, night there, alive here, dead there and vice versa (beings on that level appear to us as ghosts, maybe we also appear as ghosts to them). I believe in "nirvana" and "being one with Brahma/Shakti." I think those concepts may be the same as heaven - we exist in a place without consciousness; therefore, we have no needs, desires, or biases/prejudices. I believe that ghosts can exist and that their existences may be shaped by their lives and can be heaven, purgatory, or hell. I do not believe that any of the above conditions is permanent. I believe that Maha Kali is constantly consuming the universe and also giving birth to it. I believe in reincarnation because science teaches that energy is neither created nor destroyed but in a state of constant motion. So are atoms. To quote Carl Sagan, "We are all stardust."
Do you believe in god, goddesses, gods, and Satan?
Yes and no. I believe that all deities are merely an attempt to put a mask(s) over the energy that is the entire universe in order to explain it. Like the teachings stated by some schools of Hinduism and Buddhism (which is actually a school of Hinduism that has evolved and branched out into its own belief system), I believe that deities are like a recognizable cast of characters that embody certain aspects of existence; thus playing out universal events so that individuals can better analyze, understand, learn, and share what they have learned about the world around them.
I also believe that deities were an early attempt at psychology, to explain human nature and perhaps our place in the world.
Unlike most Christians, I do not believe that good and evil are separate. My matron is Kali (i.e., the deity I work most with); she eats the universe (destroys it) but she also gives birth to it (creates it). She is both good and evil. Like Shoodashaksharii - She Whose Form is of Sixteen Syllables (meaning phases of the moon); she is the Divine Mother found in Hinduism. She has 16-arms (each representing a phase of the moon). The 8-arms on her right represent the waxing moon and the creative, nurturing forces in the universe. The 8-arms on her left represent the waning moon and the destructive, annihilating forces in the universe. I do not believe that good and evil are separate. They are intricately bound to each other. I can make the same argument for the Christian God and Satan - if God is infallible and all-knowing, then he created the angel Satan knowing exactly what would happen. The same with Adam, Eve, and the fall of man. Joan Osborne probably explains it best: "Eve took the fruit, Eve bit the fruit, juice ran down her chin. Babies will put things in their mouths, never heard of sin." If God is infallible and all-knowing, then the fruit was part of the development He or She planned for humans.
Do you believe in good and evil?
Yes. One of my favorite teachings follows - take a candle, at night, and light it in a dark room. What do you see? Take the same candle the following day and light it outside. What happens to the light?
The answer: In the daylight, the flame almost disappears in the sunlight. The light is more visible at night - the darkness is necessary for us to notice the flame. Light and darkness sustain each other. Without one, we wouldn't notice the other. Polar opposites unite to create balance. (Yes, I am also a follower of Tantra - true tantra, which emphasizes the balancing of opposing forces and works with Kundalini, not the western version that focuses primarily on sex).
If good (the light) and evil (the darkness) did not exist, we would be numb creatures unaware of our place in the universe.
Going back to my original thought of heaven = being one with Brahma/Shakti in the above question: we are spared the effects of good and evil. We just exist, at one with the universe. Maybe we become rocks or other unthinking objects then. Who knows?
Do you believe in ghosts?
Yes, see above two answers. But I also believe that a lot of "paranormal activity" is due to unrecognized science. There has been a lot of research on EME (electro-magnetic energy) - when natural currents meet, they can make objects move and high levels of EME make you feel paranoid, your skin crawl, and cause hallucinations. It can even make some people sick (nausea, headache, dizziness).
Ever had an experience with one?
Yes - several. I currently live in a haunted house and am involved with a local paranormal group.
Were you scared?
A couple of times, yes. But not always - I'm not afraid of our current house or the spiritual beings that reside here (we know there are at least two, maybe more).
Would you want to come back as a ghost?
I don't know. Maybe. But everyone knows that I want to be planted with a fruit tree above me - I'm gonna try my hardest to be reincarnated as that and everyone still alive approximately seven years after my death can partake of the fruit and keep a bit of me with them.
Do you think psychics are real?
Yes, but there are also a lot of fakers out there.
Have you ever had a psychic reading? Was it accurate?
Yes, several times. Some of them were dead on, some of them weren't.
Have you ever used Tarot cards?
Yes, I'm a reader but I don't do many readings. You can consider yourself pretty special if I've done one for you. Why do I not do them? Because some people rely on them too much and all they do is make you aware of current energies and the paths that they may open or close.
What did you dream last night?
Um, I dreamed that I bought this house that just magically appeared in my mom's backyard. The house behind my mom's place was also gone - there used to be a pond there, when I was little but the people who bought it had it filled in. The pond and the trees were back in the dream. I didn't have any furniture or the electricity/water turned on but I decided to have a party and a lot of people came. This old friend from school, Steph, was there and she accidentally set one of the upstairs bedrooms on fire by knocking over a candle. After we got the fire out, I kicked everyone out of the house and walked across my mom's backyard, to look over to the place where my grandma lived before she died. Her house was gone and the entire yard had been paved over with asphalt because my uncle was "too lazy" to keep the grass cut. And no one seemed disturbed by any of this, except for me. That's when I woke up.
What do you think your dream actually meant?
I think it represented changes in my life. It may be influenced by some of the poetry I'm currently working on for paganpages.org. A lot of the material I am reading deals with reincarnation, the cycles of life, growth, death, and rebirth (of life being sustained by death).
Do you believe that dreams can predict the future?
Yes, but not in a weird, supernatural way. Part of our brains is always aware of our environment and our subconscious may send us warnings based on particular patterns that it's noticed.
Have you ever had a near death experience? If yes, tell us about it.
Yes but I don't talk about it with people I don't know. Sorry.
Do you believe in fairies?
Yes and no. I believe that fairies may be an early Celtic explanation for ghosts - there are certainly historical links there. So see my answer for ghosts. I do not believe in the Victorian sort of fairies, the ones who look like kids and have wings and clothes made out of plants - though I do admire the art.
Do you believe in aliens?
I believe it is possible for life to exist elsewhere in the universe. Do I believe they visit us and abduct people? Mutilate cattle? I don't know. I need to experience it first hand before I can form an opinion.
Do you believe witches exist?
Since I technically am one - and have been self-dedicated since the age of 15 - yes.
Do you believe in magic?
Yes - some of it (some of it is just silly too). Magic is simply the attempt to redirect natural forces of energy. Prayer - even by Catholics, Protestants, as well as spells cast by actual witches - is a form of magic that attempts to change the way we think or feel about certain things.
Do you believe in shapeshifters?
No. I believe early accounts were mistaken diseases and genetic disorders that we have learned to treat and/or were (are) shamanic experiences that induced a state of hypnosis wherein the individual believed that he or she became another creature.
Do you believe in banshees?
Yes, but only if we're going by older Celtic beliefs of them. That banshees were family (ancestral) spirits that protected their families; both celebrating and mourning at circumstances that affected the family.
Do you believe in angels?
Yes, but more as a spirit working it's way through purgatory in the spiritual realm; not separate beings from man.
Do you believe in demons?
Yes. Light cannot exist without the dark. As Terry Pratchett says, "good and evil are opposite sides of the same coin." But see my answer for angels. I think the same about demons - spirits working their way through hell; it may be an attempt to allow the spirit to see and understand the cause and effect of their actions and to work out negative influences.....