Monday, January 27, 2014

What do Unitarian Universalists believe?

This post is a sort of answer to Adrian's post, a fellow UU. So you may want to read his before reading mine.

What do Unitarian Universalists believe? Before I started on my path of searching I had never heard of UU. The simple answer lies the 7 principles of the Unitarian Universalist Association; all non/beliefs are welcome. Historically, the two separate parts of UU are part of liberal Christianity. Since the merge in 1961, UUs who express Christianity as their primary belief system are a minority*. Note that there are some Unitarians and Universalists who are separate from Unitarian Universalists.

Adrian says on his blog:
If I could believe in whatever I wanted, I would believe that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God the Father Almighty up in Heaven, that He is my Lord and Savior, and that He came to Earth, suffered, died for my sins, and rose from the dead to offer me eternal sanctuary with Him now and at the end of days. Why would I want to believe these things? Because that's what most of my family believes; and because I don't like conflict, I don't always enjoy being on the outside of the in-group (it gets lonesome here), and life in the United States of America might just be a little less rife with tension if I believed as many others claim to believe.
Amen!! Sometimes I think for a millisecond of trying to be a Jehovah's Witness again. But I can't. I've eaten from the tree of knowledge. I cannot unlearn what I've learn. I believe what I must. If my current beliefs have flaws, then I will change them. I'm sure there are Christian UUs but they accept me and I accept them.

For a time I was reluctant to consider myself a UU. After 30+ years in the JW cult, I was reluctant to identify as part of a group. However, I craved fellowship. UU is the best of both worlds. It is so important for me to retain my own beliefs, to search for God/dess (or not) on my own terms.

Is UUism for you? That depends. If you are looking for instruction from the pulpit, then no, UUism may not be for you. UU caters to the searcher, to the open-minded, to the ones who want to learn. Some folks want to be told what to do; they need clear directions and an instruction manual. Keep in mind that each congregation is autonomous. UUA has ideas for religious education, sermons, dedications, holiday celebrations, etc., but congregations are under no obligation to follow them. Each congregation chooses its own order of service. One of my tweeps wrote that he visited a UU congregation and although everyone was nice, he was turned off by the prayers. My congregation sings hymns, plays secular music, and doesn't do prayers.

Collectively, Unitarian Universalists believe all sorts of things. Maybe that's why I still say I'm Pagan if asked about my religion. It's somewhat easier to explain Paganism than UUism. I'm definitely not embarrassed about being a UU like I was when I was a Jehovah's Witness.

If you are UU, do you identify as such or do you identify as your primary belief system? How would you answer the question, what do UUs believe?

*For the life of me, I can't remember where I read this. If you can help me out or if my statement is incorrect, please let me know.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Happy Winnie-the-Pooh Day!

Happy Winnie-the-Pooh Day! I celebrated by watching A Very Merry Pooh Year and the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.

Here are the words to the WTP theme song:

Deep in the Hundred Acre Wood,
Where Christopher Robin plays.
You'll find the enchanted neighborhood,
of Christopher's childhood days.

A donkey named Eeyore is his friend.
And Kanga and Little Roo.
There's Rabbit and Piglet.
And there's Owl.
But most of all Winnie the Pooh!

Winnie the Pooh, Winnie the Pooh,
A tubby, little cubby all stuffed with fluff.
He's Winnie the Pooh, Winnie the Pooh,
A willy, nilly, silly old bear.

Winnie the Pooh, Winnie the Pooh,
A tubby, little cubby, all stuffed with fluff.
He's Winnie the Pooh, Winnie the Pooh.
A willy, nilly silly old bear.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Pagan Blog Project - Birthday

The first birthday I celebrated was my thirty-somethingth. I told my husband that I was really disappointed at not having a Sweet Sixteen so he got me a cake with 16 candles. Jehovah's Witnesses are quite hypocritical about birthdays. They celebrate wedding anniversaries yet the anniversary of one's birth is frowned upon. The reasons they cite have to do the Pagan trappings and the only two birthday celebrations mentioned in the bible, both of which called for beheadings. Many Christian sites tell of the Pagan origins of birthdays. Since Pagan is an umbrella term, it is difficult to tell just where these origins actually came from.

So for a long while I never cared much for my birthday. Not celebrating it was just a habit. A passage in the Satanic Bible changed my mind.
Aren’t you happier about the fact that you were born than you are about the birth of someone you have never even met? Or for that matter, aside from religious holidays, why pay higher tribute to the birthday of a president or to a date in history than we do to the day we were brought into this greatest of all worlds?
Despite the fact that some of us may not have been wanted, or at least were not particularly planned, we’re glad, even if no one else is, that we’re here! You should give yourself a pat on the back, buy yourself whatever you want, treat yourself like the king (or god) that you are, and generally celebrate your birthday with as much pomp and ceremony as possible.

Wow, how profound! Yes, it's okay to be selfish that one day out of a year. Do you, boo! 

Traditional birthdays usual consist of cake, candles, and gifts. The number of candles is equal to the age of the person. However, if Great Grand-Nana is turning 95, you may want to get number candles. After the birthday person is sung to, the candles on the cake are blown out. The birthday person makes a silent wish first. If she tells the wish or if all the candles aren't blown out on the first try, the wish may not come true.

Since we measure the tropical year by the sun, one's solar return is the correct marker to increment one's age. Solar return is when the sun appears at the same place in the sky at one's birth. This would solve the problem of when leap year babies should celebrate their birthdays.

How can you make your birthday more magical?
  • Gift yourself some jewelry with your birthstone.
  • Go to and generate a chart for your solar return.
  • Create a special ritual to use only on your birthday.
  • Every 19 years the sun and moon are in (roughly) the same place as they were at your birth. This birthday should be super special!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Pagan Blog Project - Akwaba

Akwaba is the Ashanti goddess of fertility and welcoming. Women who wanted to conceive would carry a small statue of Akwaba with them. It is unknown if she has a specific festival. Young girls would be given statues presumably on or shortly after their first menses.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Gypsy's Moon

Geb's Day, Shef Bedet 1
Metonic Lunation 224
Mayan Tzolk'in - 3 Cib
Dreamspell - Blue Spectral Night

Yuletide - Day 13
Kwanzaa - Day 7, Imani (Faith)

I-Ching 9 - Taming Power of the Small (Wind over Heaven)

New Moon in sidereal Sagittarius

On the Gypsy Moon, we go outside our homes and experience new cultures. Ideally, we should be experiencing cultures that stretch our ability to accept, that force us to confront ourselves and our own biases. It's best if a good deal of actual travel was involved, because the travel provides a buffer before and after for contemplation. Don't succumb to the temptation to just read about something - actually go breathe air you've never breathe, on ground you've never put your feet on. - Moon Phase Astrology by Raven Kaldera.

No travelling today as last night hubs and I decided to celebrate new year's eve by drinking responsibly at home. Pretty interesting that the new moon is on the 1st day of the year. This happens every 19 years. It also means that there will be a new moon on Yule.

Today is also Lunar Yule, the new moon closest to Solar Yule.