A witch describes his initiation into Gardnerian Wicca. Pagans in the military fight for their rights. And the transgender community within Paganism fights for theirs. It's Watery Wednesday, our weekly segment on news and commentary about the Pagan community! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
There was a time that Druids were considered quirky, on the edge, peculiar, just a little quaint and queer, but maybe innocent enough. To some we were considered lunatic fringe, hippies, strange folk in long gowns, whereas in the last few years the perception has swung more from lunatic fringe to maybe just a little fringe. Here in Wales things have changed even more. Druids have long been associated with Wales, and each August the Druids of the Gorsedd of Bards of the Isle of Britain take to their ceremonial function within the National Eisteddfod of Wales. Druids are familiar, we know what they look like, sound like, and we are quite accustomed to them.
However the cultural Druids of the Gorsedd are different to Pagan Druids, but we do share several things in common - a common birth, from the imagination of the Romantic revivalists, a love of land, a love of language and heritage, a love of creative expression, and the love of Awen. Tell someone in Wales that you are a Druid and the likelihood is the response will be - "Oh so you sing then?". And yet the perception can be quite different just across that invisible line that divides England and Wales. But, Wales' association with Druids has made it easier to be a Druid in Wales, and for the ordinary Welsh person to adapt to the new Pagan Druids that are sweeping the nation.
Religion isn’t a static thing. We don’t invent a religion once and leave it as is for centuries. Cultures change, people change, and spiritual practice changes, too.
Minoan civilization lasted for centuries. Just the “palace” periods, the times when the big temple complexes were being built and rebuilt, lasted about 500 years. Minoan civilization as a whole lasted more than two millennia. And during that time, the spiritual practice in ancient Crete changed and grew....
Britons consider whether or not to leave the European Union. Controversy continues to embroil Brazil's government in the wake of corruption scandals. And the debate surrounding America's gun culture is explained. It's Fiery Tuesday, our weekly segment on political and societal news from around the world! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
An it harm none do what you will at first glance seems to be an invitation for any kind of behavior. However, this founding concept for most nature based religions is not as simplistic as it first appears. Paganism has two leading ethical principles, the Wiccan Rede and the law of return. According to Marion Green in A Witch Alone “An it harm none, do what ye will. None in this case implies everyone and everything! An in old English means In order that and will is your soul’s own true will, not the whim of the moment.” (pg 41) In other words - In order that no harm comes to anything or anyone do what your soul’s own true desires. The law of return basically means that whatever energy you put out it will come back to you, three, ten or a hundred fold depending on what path you follow. As with other religions, this is interpreted in a variety of ways. The law of return, which is a western version of karma expounds personal responsibility. According to Rabinovitch and MacDonald in An Ye Harm None there are two central concepts on morality “1) that there are causes for and reasons why something happens and 2) that every action you take will have effects.” (page 5) In its simplest form the rede is the guide for making life choices. The law of return is the penalty or prize for any action taken.
In any discussion concerning Pagan morality and justice it is difficult to pin down the one overriding belief the entire community has. Paganism, Witchcraft, and the other nature-based belief systems are very individualistic, which is part of their appeal. This means that those practicing these systems have to determine their own ethical and moral beliefs based on the minimal guidance found in whatever path they choose to follow....
Let us lift up our hands.
On this Midsummer's Day
I call to Earth, mighty mother of us all,
and I ask that through the summer to come
our gardens may bear abundantly,