This is at the top of felch grogan's profile page here on Atheist Nexus. It makes me laugh, even though I don't believe in luck.

As an ex-Neo-Pagan, it blows my mind how many people who fall under the Neo-Pagan umbrella (Neo-Druids, Wiccans, Heathens, Asatru, etc...) come from one religion with an entire set of superstitions, only to become Neo-Pagan and exchange them for an entirely new set of superstitions, or even to add them to the superstitions they already have.

Unfortunately, I was one of those people. One of these days I'll post about how I went from being a baby, newly born with no indoctrination; to my years of self-delusion; finally to atheism. I literally studied astrology (among other things) for 20+ years. I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do educating myself in useful studies.

I knew someone once who had to throw the I-Ching before they made any decision. I wonder if they ended up with carpal tunnel syndrome. Then there are people who make offerings to the "fey", and I'm thinking... I'll bet that would be put to better use at a soup kitchen.

That's just the tip of the iceberg.

Any stuporstitions that you used to believe, but have thrown off?

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Weird. Just today I was making my usual Lotto ticket purchase, and as usual using the birth dates of me and my five siblings for the six number draw.

And as I'd just been reading through this site, the silliness of putting any significance on those particular numbers struck rather hard.

But I still do it because they're just as likely as any other random numbers to (not) win. I still look at it not as playing the Lotto, but as my $2/week donation to Arizona Parks and Rec (which is where much of the non-jackpot money goes).

If ever I win, I'll thank 'god' by putting up an Atheist billboard. }>
Heh. I occasionally buy lotto or scatch off tickets, but I also see them as supporting Vermont Wildlife or education.
Superstition is what started me down the path to atheism! I was getting REALLY fed up with the belief system that I had been taught by my high priestess and reaffirmed by the woo woo at large. Basically, if something bad happens to you it's because you secretly wanted it to happen or because you didn't think enough good thoughts. So I was feeling guilty all the time, thinking that my own inner subconscious was conjuring up all this misfortune, or that I was just a bad pagan because I wasn't able to focus on good energy or MANIFEST (the word still makes me cringe) good things in my life, only bad. GRRRRRR.... sorry, flashbacks ;) I really started to rebel against all these beliefs, especially when a good friend of mine in my coven lost her baby to SIDS. All of this bullsh*t was staring me in the face. I guess I was okay with blaming myself for all the bad things in the world (like a good ex-catholic) but just the though that someone would say my friend manifested this loss made me furious! I knew that wasn't true. So, suddenly, I realized it wasn't true in my life either, or in the lives of any of the pagans I knew. We were all doing our best and no amount of manifesting or good thoughts can stop the randomness of life. I then started toying with the idea that, if magick does not work, maybe that's because there are no gods to support it (the same reason that prayer doesn't work)... the flood gates opened then!
Basically, if something bad happens to you it's because you secretly wanted it to happen or because you didn't think enough good thoughts.

Heh. Yeah, I remember that damaging crap. I think it's the basis of "The Secret".

I attended one Pagan Spirit Gathering. Selena Fox was in the center of the circle, clutching a polyester planet Earth, intoning "Heeeeeeeeeeeeeal this planet!". That has made me twitchy toward the word "heal". I think that particular ritucal was the beginning of the end for me, when I had to walk past some dweebs holding torches to get into the circle, and they glared at me because I was laughing. Evidently clutching polyester globes is Serious Business.

I feel the same way about "manifest". "Manifest the abundance!" Gawd, it makes me want to puke. One of my ex(cess) is now supporting himself by making jewelry... he uses that phrase on his website. Boak! Of course he never became a Neo-Pagan, he stayed Newage. I think Neo-Pagans were too low-brow for him.

I seriously hope no on said anything to your friend who lost her baby.

Congratulations on having the floodgates open!
Thanks! :) Yep, that is the basis of the secret. So many people have tried to tell me about it and I'm like, nothing new to see here folks. I laughed out loud reading about that ritual :) I had one of those too... an eye opening one where I didn't come away feeling all wonderful... i was more like... WHAT???? Only it was to bring equality to men and women... by a bunch of women standing in a circle screaming their guts out.... uh huh. yeah. Anyway, I never heard of anyone saying anything to my friend, I think many realized that this event didn't fit our conception of how things worked. I was the only one who seemed to really take it to the next level. Although, the mom was never as active in our coven after that....
hope you're having a good day!
Thanks! I am having a good day.

Sadly, that wasn't the only ritual where I ended up rolling my eyes, inwardly or outwardly. I should have left Neo-Pagan circles a long time ago.

The cool thing about believers is that sometimes you can manipulate them to do the right thing. I am against manipulation, in general, but when people who aren't paying their rent won't move out...

I used to find snakeskins all over the place, so I artfully arranged some over these two women's doors. They were both working jobs, but were spending their rent money on alcohol, and possibly drugs. I was disabled at the time, and had to borrow money to keep the rent on the house paid.

It worked! They were both out within a week.

Don't you just love the ineffectual-ness of all these rituals? I remember more than one where I was internally scratching my head, and hoping that it would all be over soon so I could go do something else.
Yeah, I still feel kinda irked by it. I mean, I tried really hard to discover the formula that would make the rituals I did with my coven and with a larger circle effective in some way. Maybe even just by changing our minds about something so that we didn't keep repeating the same mistakes! But it never worked. People would sit in circle and talk a big game and then go out and keep doing whatever. Or, even worse, people would try real hard to change their lives and it seemed like destiny or whatever was conspiring against them! That question, why do bad things happen to good people, is not satisfactorily answered by paganism either! So, the conclusion has to be, it's all random and there is no such thing as luck. Which means it's pointless to try to increase or control your luck, right? it's so nice to finally talk honestly about all this. I really appreciate it!
I understand the irked feeling. Just one of the many things I wasted time on was studying astrology. Twenty years or so. I could have been learning a language, or something useful.

I was thrilled when I saw this group formed, as I had never had people I could talk about these things with. Most of my old Neo-Pagan friends dumped me when I became an atheist. I didn't know any atheists who had a similar history. So, I understand how good it feels to be able to talk honestly about all this.

So, the conclusion has to be, it's all random and there is no such thing as luck.

Heh. Agreed. When someone wishes me "Good luck!", I always tell them thanks, but I don't believe in luck. I believe in statistical probability.
Basically, if something bad happens to you it's because you secretly wanted it to happen or because you didn't think enough good thoughts.


Same aforementioned piece-of-work sister is really, annoyingly into that. To me, it's just a new age version of Judeo-Christian prayer. If you pray and good things happen, it's because god blessed you. Implication: You're a good person, god favors you. So the axiom to that is that if you pray and bad things happen, it's because you're bad/lazy/ungodly/not praying right or praying hard enough. Other religions/denominations will happily tell you it's because you're praying to the wrong version of god. All your fault, you bad, bad pray-er you!

I'm all for the power of positive thinking. It does work. It's been scientifically proven to give you an edge in many areas of life. Every doctor will attest that all other things being equal, the patient with fight in them and a positive outlook will do better. Every athlete will tell you you have to focus on the game and visualize the finish line/touchdown/homerun/whatever. If I meditate and clear my head and give myself a pep talk the night before the job interview, I'll probably do a little bit better than if I hadn't.

Sometimes that edge is big, sometimes it's little, but it's always just an edge.

And if the thing you're positive thinking about doesn't work out, it is almost certainly not due to faulty positive-thinking.
And if the thing you're positive thinking about doesn't work out, it is almost certainly not due to faulty positive-thinking.

You are never going to do successful seminars and book sales with this attitude, missy.
Praying to heal the earth. I heard from quite a few people who had beliefs that "if you just pay attention to nature, she will keep existing" or something like that. So all we need to do to help the environment is think about it? There's the most wishful thinking in the world, from people who don't want to lift a finger to actually do anything for the environment. Did I mention most of the potlucks I went to used disposable dishes?
Hahaha! Yeah, disposable dishes. What I love are the folks who insist they are children of nature, and yet they hold their rituals indoors.

One of the more jaw dropping experiences I had was when an old friend who is a Neo-Pagan that I hadn't seen in decades and I got together. We were visiting some of our old stomping grounds, when I noticed how many trees had been cut down and not replaced. She said, without a hint of sarcasm. "That's progress!" I have always wondered how these folks who draw down the moon would feel if the moon were mined.




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