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Studies Blogs

Advanced and/or academic Pagan subjects such as history, ethics, sociology, etc.

Posted by on in Studies Blogs

For the greater part of our lives, most of us feel the need for someone to say this to, and we all desire someone who will say it to us: "I love you, and I will take care of you." 

When we commit to caring for someone, we feel a sense of purpose in life. And when we know that a parent or a partner—or a God or a Goddess—is taking care of us, we feel comforted. 

As one who has been a caregiver, I think there is no worse stressor than a chronic illness befalling someone we love. It's almost worse than getting sick, ourselves. The pain of not being able to cure a loved one has dragged millions of us down into the depths of depression. To some small degree, it's comforting to speculate that there wasn't anything more that we could have done; the whole painful episode was written in the stars.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs

You know, there are times when I feel like I have nothing to contribute to Paganism.  I've gotten a lot out of it, but then I think to myself: What happened?  No, I don't want this to be all normal and easy to digest, I want it to be mysterious and exciting, and for some reason, it isn't anymore.


Why do I feel as though what I have to say isn't special? I'm scratching my head on this one, because it's an important part of my motivation to keep my blogs-that what I'm saying is important and useful.  Maybe I'm having my mid-Pagan crisis or something.  But where went the power and majesty of worshipping the Moon and the forbidden Gods? Because let's face it; what we do is forbidden by mainstream culture. 

I'm particularly at a loss with trying to connect classical music to Pagan culture-even though it's my specialty, somehow I feel like I can't write for the Pagan audience. I just don't know enough about their musical skill or what they'll accept. 

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  • Gabriel Moore
    Gabriel Moore says #
    Candi, I agree with Carl on doubt. In addition doubt slows us down and makes us consider our intent and actions. To many have forg
  • Carl Neal
    Carl Neal says #
    We all have our moments of doubt and feelings of disconnection. One thing that helps me in those times is to reflect on how I cam

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Last call at the Arkadian Anvil

Gratitude and humility are the defining feelings at the end of this stage of the journey. This is the last Arkadian Anvil post on Witches & Pagans. Special thanks to Anne Newkirk Niven who invited me to this channel. My own work is shifting. I must consolidate my public writing for a time and so I must say good bye to this wonderful audience.

It has been a pleasure and an honor to discuss our Way with you. I am deeply grateful for the attention you have given me. Your input and feedback has been instrumental to my ongoing cogitations about how to explain/express our religion.

What we produced was a broad outline of *a* systematic theology for Pagans. The main failing of any such project is that the standard understanding of the job of systematic theology is to produce a clear and definitive set of doctrines for a religious community. For Pagans, like the Hindus, this is impossible. Like determining the location of an electron, we can only say that our theological positions occur within a general range of views, but there are be significant outliers as well. Probability is not a normal tool of theology, but for Pagans surely a range of ideas and the tolerance of ambiguity is our norm. Likewise, as our many-threaded Way is a part of a critique of Modernism, so our framing won’t always fit the Parmenidean laws of thought: Are the Gods one, two, many; forces or persons; psychological structures, wholly external, or principles of nature? However contradictory it may be, our theology must be able to give a resounding “Yes!” to all of these and yet be not devoid of reason or critical thought.

You, dear readers, have been helpful in tracing out the ranges of Pagan religious thought. I hope to publish a thorough work on this in the near future. Your contributions here will make it a better work. Thank you.

Next, I will be continuing my public writing on The Wild Hunt starting May 24th and carrying on every 4th Saturday. The working title is the Arkadian Observer, and I hope to provide historical and theological commentary on contemporary Pagan issues. Hope to see you there…

There is something truly Pagan, something unique and new in our world, that is what we are. We have a unique position in history and I believe we have a special role to play in shaping a successful future for all that lives on this world. Let us build that Pagan Future.

But for now, Thank you and Goodbye!

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Webster, You are the man! I always looked forward to your posts here, and will avidly read your contributions to "The Wild Hu
The Rule of 3 and how we can use it in our Community

The Pagan community is going through a period of upheaval around the issue of sexual predators in the community. It's not an easy topic and as the shock of recent events falls away, we're left with a question of, "What do we now?" In a recent discussion on Pagan Musings Podcast, I suggested that one action the community could take involves documenting situations where non-consensual sexual activities have been reported. In such cases, it can devolve into a he said, she said scenario, with neither side able to conclusively prove what happened. When this occurs, its important to have a process in place that protects everyone, while still allowing for the possibility that the offending person made a mistake, as opposed to consciously doing something offensive. By documenting such situations, it makes it easier to track what is happen and do something about it before it blows up into an even more harmful situation than it may already be. Actually, this process of documentation can apply to any type of infraction that occurs at a pagan convention or festival, but it does require that people organizing the event be willing to take on the task of documenting whatever has occurred, keeping it in a database, and also sharing it with other organizers and leaders in the community. This may seem like a lot to take on, but I think it would also help to cut down on behavior that is harming members of the community.

Recently I was reading Romancing the Brand, which is a book about marketing. However, there's an interesting rule in marketing and customer service: The rule of 3. The way the rule of 3 works is if you hear about an issue, person, problem, etc. from 3 different sources, then you take it seriously because it means there's a problem. If we were to apply this rule of 3 to our community, through documentation and through the understanding that an issue shouldn't be buried or ignored if it continues to happen, what this would allow us to do is effectively monitor situations before they got out of hand. The rule of 3 provides enough verifiable information that we can't continue to put our heads in the sand and ignore what's happening. The rule of 3 also establishes that a pattern of behavior is happening and not being changed, even though concerns have been expressed.

The rule of 3 can allow our community to proactively address problematic issues by showing a pattern of behavior that needs to be addressed in a manner that protects the community over the offender. At the same time, the rule of 3 provides a person a chance (2 actually) to change their behavior, to address the problem...which sometimes is possible to do. Sometimes a person makes a mistake or has a realization that causes them to conclusively change their lives and actions. The rule of 3 allows for that without tolerating continuing behavior that harms people.

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  • Carl Neal
    Carl Neal says #
    I agree. I work for the Judicial Department and I know that our system is far from perfect, but at this time it is the best cours
  • Carl Neal
    Carl Neal says #
    Although it is an interesting idea, and perhaps a good starting place for a conversation, I see an exceedingly sliperly slope. Wh
  • Taylor Ellwood
    Taylor Ellwood says #
    This is an article primarily focused on starting the conversation. I agree with your points in your response to it, and I think al

Posted by on in Studies Blogs

One of the best movies ever made: 1980's "Resurrectionwith Ellen Burstyn, Sam Shepard, Richard Farnsworth and Eva Le Gallienne.  I saw it when it was first released, and it is just as beautiful and inspiring, and the ensemble acting performances are just as extraordinary, today.  After many years not being able to find it at all, you can now finally purchase it on DVD and download it on the Internet.  (But for best picture and sound quality, I recommend the DVD released in 2010 by Universal Pictures' Vault Series.)     http://www.amazon.com/Resurrection-Ellen-Burstyn/dp/B0033PSHDG/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1396846309&sr=1-1&keywords=ellen+burstyn+resurrection

 

The pivotal woman who first gave us the story of ancient Goddess worship in a peaceful world that predated the masculine war societies of the Indo-Europeans by thousands of years: "Signs Out of Time - the story of archeologist Marija Gimbutas."  A documentary by Donna Read and Starhawk, with narration by Olympia Dukakis.  Colleagues of Dr. Gimbutas have attacked her vision as being too personal - wishful thinking that is lacking in scientific proof; and, in fairness, some time is given to a couple of those detractors - one of whom gently chides her for thinking "that she had a direct line" to the ancient knowledge.  But when you hear the full account of this amazing woman's credentials and impeccably exhaustive research, you will very likely suspect with me that her detractors are wrong - and her direct line was real.  http://www.belili.org/marija/aboutSIGNS.html

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  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Hi, hon, thank you for the recommendations. I appreciate the heart honesty with which you recommend them. It is lovely and loving.
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Good, Jon's Gardener, your opinion has been noted. If you see the DVD and do not feel the same way I did, that is both your busin
  • Jön Upsal's Gardener
    Jön Upsal's Gardener says #
    It is precisely stuff like the fetishizing of dubious scholars like Gimbutas that Wicca still maintains its reputation as being a

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