Let’s Talk Unverified personal gnosis

July 26, 2017 UPGs with Thor Halvorsen

http://tobtr.com/s/10166025 link to archive

When you deal with the Occult, the Paranormal, the Supernatural, the Metaphysical, and especially when you discover that your belief systems are closer to those of pagan ancestors than those of the modern world, you have two resources: what’s been written down, probably by Christians who disaprove of or scientists who disbelieve the subject matter, or your personal experiences. You wouldn’t take on the inconvieniences of calling yourself a Pagan, Heathen, or Witch, if you weren’t pretty sure that what you’re dealing with is real, and your life will be better if you maintain a positive relationship with these beings that most of the world seems to be telling you are imaginary.

There are enough of us now, (1-2 million estimated) pagans or polytheists in the USA, that you may have found others to hang around with. You may have found a Hellenistic (Greek), Khemetic (Egyptian), or Heathen (Norse) group that worship the same gods, and would like to do it together. Reconstructionist Pagans try to find as much material (often called Lore) from the pre-Christian writings on which to base practices. But we come to this situation through personal experiences, and keep having them.

At the same time, we are modern people and know that it’s possible to hallucinate, to see something briefly and have your brain turn it into something different, or even just remember things incorrectly. How do you know the experience, the vision, that you had was real? Joan of Arc wasn’t burned for cross dressing, she was burned for believing her visions over the Churches objections. But polytheists don’t have experts to tell them what’s Canon, we tend to come to a consensus. If your personal experienced differs from historical sources, or others experiences, they’ll be less likely to trust your description. It’s an “unverifiable personal gnosis” they might say. If several others have, for example seen the goddess Hecate with blonde hair, others may be willing to say “I guess that’s how she’s appearlng these days.”

Gnosis btw, is a knowledge of spiritual mysteries.

Wikipedia tells us:

“Unverified personal gnosis (often abbreviated UPG) is the phenomenological concept that an individual’s spiritual insights (or gnosis) may be valid for them without being generalizable to the experience of others. It is primarily a neologism used in polytheistic reconstructionism, to differentiate it from ancient sources of spiritual practices.

The term appears to have originally appeared in print in Kaatryn MacMorgan’s book Wicca 333: Advanced Topics in Wiccan Belief, published in March 2003, but seems to have originated in German–Scandinavian Reconstructionist groups in the 1970s or 1980s. The same phenomenon has also been referred to as “personal revelation”, or “unverifiable personal gnosis” (in a somewhat derogatory sense).

Ideally the term is used to label one’s own experience as a new and untested hypothesis, although further verification from the spiritual interactions of others may lead to a certain degree of verifiability[disambiguation needed]. At other times, the term is used in either a value-neutral or disparaging sense, about someone else’s experience.”

Tune in to http://www.Liveparanormal.com, to listen on your computer. If you’d like to join the conversation, we’d love to hear your perspective and experiences. call 619-639-4606 (live only). If you know you’re going to listen later but have a question, leave a question on the facebook event page . We’ll try to answer it during the show.

If you can’t tune in 8-9, Live Paranormal.com archives its shows by date, and I archive them by date, guest, and topic on my website: https://tchipakkan.wordpress.com/the-new-normal/directory-of-podcasts/

Hope you can join us on the New Normal, at LiveParanormal.com


Charles Neto and Janine Marie helping pagans in prisons

The New Normal is on your computer live Wednesdays at 8 pm est on Liveparanormal.com  If you missed it, here’s the link: http://tobtr.com/s/8766737
Please join Tchipakkan and her guests Charles Butler Neto and Janine Marie as we talk about the challenges of helping pagans in prisons, April 27, 2016.
Given the common assumption that prisoner’s will reform if they “let Jesus into their hearts”, some pagans find a less than hospitible environment to express their spirituality in a prison environment.
Charles Butler2007Charles Butler Neto is an interfaith minister with Rising Sun Outreach Ministry currently in school at Howard University School of Divinity majoring in Divinity with a minor in Public Policy and Education. He works as a prison subject matter expert in Pagan traditions (Wicca, Asatru, Umbanda, Santeria). He writes letters to incarcerated people and prison chaplains, especially prisoners in Administrative Sequester. The field of prison ministry for Pagans is growing but we can always use more help.
Janine MArie GorhamJanine Marie, as present President of the Maine Pagan Clergy Association, and has been active in the Pagan Community in Maine since 2000, Priestess/Gythja and Healer and Mentor. JanineMarie has been a practising Heathen for seven years, and is in Service to her Gods, Kin, Ancestors and Community.
Both of our guests work to help those in jail practice spirituality in their own way. Sometimes it takes imagination to figure out how to work within the system.

Please call in with any stories or questions: 619-639-4606

To listen live: open a window on your computer to http://www.Liveparanormal.com, sign in, and click on Shows, and the New Normal to listen. To listen later at your convenience, shows are archived by date on LiveParanormal.com here, and they’re organized by date, topic and guest on Tchipakkan.com .

War on Christmas on the New Normal 12-16-15

war on Christmas memeWhat a thing to be arguing about! Let’s have some discussions about how to find a way we can share this time in a positive way.

I’m a pagan, but I love the holidays. I love the trees, the music, the cookies (especially the cookies) the colored lights, gathering of friends. I like A Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life, and the way so many people open their hearts to joy, and to giving. I don’t like the stress, and the over-spending on things we don’t want, and the way pushing too hard to be happy can make us feel even lonelier sometimes. But I’m a bit weirded out by this “War on Christmas” concept. (I already blogged about it once.) Yes, I realize that Joshua Feuerstein is an internet preacher who apparently repeatedly comes up with weird things to rant about, not only that Starbucks seasonal cup design isn’t Christian enough for his idea. I look at all these snow scenes and wonder why the rest of the country doesn’t get annoyed about the whole Northern Idyll, when sleighs and snowmen were never part of their Christmases.

I recognize the value of not wrapping the whole country up in a big white Christian package and ignoring and marginalizing all the people who don’t fit into those images. But we’re still feeling our way into a more balanced multi-culturalism. One hears stories about Churches being told not to put up their nativity scenes, and schools having to “generic down” their holiday celebrations- even though the vast majority of the kids are Christian. It feels like when they say “one of the kids is allergic to peanuts, so no one can bring PB&J sandwiches for lunch in case he wants to trade with you.” Really? At the same time my pagan sites are full of stories about how Christianity stole most of its traditions from us, and how all their symbols are really pagan. They seem to want to rub people’s noses in their research, even though more research would show that most of the time these borrowings were entirely intentional and acceptable. Symbols, being what they are, are capable of many layers of meaning, and even having the meaning shift. It happens all the time.

war-on-christmas-731x411So how can we live together amicably? If we can’t do it during the holidays, when can we?



“In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season;

the Christians called it ‘Christmas’ and went to church;

the Jews called it ‘Hanukkah’ and went to synagogue;

the atheists went to parties and drank.

People passing each other on the street would say ‘Merry Christmas!’ or ‘Happy Hanukkah!’ or (to the atheists) ‘Look out for the wall!’”

~ Dave Barry

Maybe there’s nothing we can do, but maybe we can figure out what is underlying the discomfort we are feeling, and find a way where we participate in a pluralistic society without unintentionally offending others. Celebrate each other’s joy.

Please call in with any questions stories or ideas: 619-639-4606

To listen live: open a window on your computer to www.Liveparanormal.com, sign in, and click on Shows, and the New Normal to listen. To listen later at your convenience, shows are archived by date on LiveParanormal.com here, and they’re organized by date, topic and guest on Tchipakkan.com .