49 Degrees: Canadian Pagan Perspectives

Canadian Paganism has a style all its own. Have a look at events, issues, celebrations, people, trends and events north of the border from the eyes of a Canadian Wiccan and Witch.

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Sable Aradia

Sable Aradia

Sable Aradia (Diane Morrison) has been a traditional witch most of her life, and she is a licensed Wiccan minister and a Third Degree initiate in the Star Sapphire and Pagans for Peace traditions. A writer, musician, herbalist and crafter, she makes her living through writing, psychic readings, music, teaching, and making things. Author of "The Witch's Eight Paths of Power: A Complete Course in Magick and Witchcraft," (Red Wheel/Weiser 2014) she also writes "Between the Shadows: the Craft of a Liminal Witch" at Patheos' Pagan channel. Her channel on YouTube features her music, instructional witchcraft videos, and her many projects in the world of geekdom. She just also just opened an Etsy store at http://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/SableAradia. She lives in Vernon, BC, Canada with her two life partners and her furbabies in a cabin on the edge of the woods.

Body Painting in the Wild by Gerhard Lipold.  Courtesy http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/.The Pagan Festing season generally runs from May until October and usually takes place in campgrounds that are reserved for this purpose for anywhere from a weekend to a week. In Ontario, notable campgrounds that host Pagan Festivals include Raven's Knoll,Mythwood, and Whispering Pines.

Some of these Festivals feature Clothing Optional areas so that people have the option to be naked if they so wish. This is because some Pagans like to cast-off their wrappers and be caressed by the sun and the wind, while others consider their nudity to be part of their sacred relationship with the Gods and a Pagan event is a place where they can feel comfortable enough to explore that relationship.

However, because not everyone is comfortable with that, Clothing Optional areas can be restricted to certain areas, including:

  • campsites
  • the beach
  • the firepit area after 10pm

The important word in "Clothing Optional" is the term "Optional". A Clothing Optional area is not zoned as a Strip Club. You have the option to be as naked, clothed, or a variety of both as you wish and it's nobody else's business.

I cannot believe I must state this so blatantly, but this is also means that no one has the right to pressure you to be clothed or naked. No one has the right to tell you how naked or dressed you must be based on other people's decisions to be naked or dressed. No one has the right to express opinions about your character, your values, or your sexual identity. No one. No exceptions.

Now I know that sometimes people can unintentionally cross this line. In their minds, they want you to know that you are beautiful and valued and they want you to know that they are not judging you for any reason, so if you want to strip down, they are ready to support you in this decision. The problem is that it's very difficult to express this idea without it sounding like they are pressuring you into coming to this conclusion.

A person's state of nudity is NEVER an invitation for people to touch, stare, or make sexual references about. EVER. A person's nudity can be an expression of their relationship with the Gods, but it is not meant to be a show for other people to ogle or make snide remarks upon. However, if you want to quietly appreciate the beauty of the human body, that can be okay, but you need to be subtle in your appreciation.

Unwanted, unwarranted, unasked, uninvited contact with a person in a state of undress can constitute assault or sexual assault. The fact that the person is naked does not justify anyone's actions without EXPLICIT permission being given. It also does not give you the right to pressure anyone into being more naked or less naked, for any reason, even in jest. If you think you have accidentally crossed this line, take the person aside (probably better when they are dressed), apologize sincerely, and then learn from it.

Whether it is intentional or unintentional, here are some statements you should NEVER make to someone about their state of dress or undress:

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  • Jön Upsal's Gardener
    Jön Upsal's Gardener says #
    "this is also means that no one has the right to pressure you to be clothed or naked" Does that actually happen? It sounds uber-c

It was my honour and privilege to be asked to serve as a keynote presenter at Gaia Gathering: the Canadian National Pagan Conference this year.  This is the text of my address, which I have published on my other blog because of its length.  It’s considerably longer than my usual posts but I thought I had a message that was worth sharing.  I hope that if the subject interests you, you’ll take some time and read it and offer your thoughts.

I’d like to extend my heartfelt thanks to the organizers of the event, both the national board and the local committee, for the invitation and for showing me such a good time.  I’m looking forward to the next one!

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ALL the Canadian Pagan Festivals!

It seems that festival season is upon us once again, and lots of other folks are listing Pagan festivals you can go to (thanks Jason Mankey and Heather Greene)!  Both of them mentioned some of the stuff going on up here north of the 49th Parallel, and I would like to thank them for that!  But this blog is about Canadian Paganism, so I'm giving you a list of ALL the Canadian Pagan festivals I know about, whether I've been there or not.  Contrary to popular belief there's lots going on and not all of it is in Ontario or Alberta!  If you know of a Canadian Pagan festival I'm missing, please let me know in the comments and I'll be happy to add it to the list, no matter how small.  Share the list around!

As you can see, I'm not committed to anything this year except Gaia Gathering, which is already passed. So if anyone wanted me to come . . . Just sayin'. ;)

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Songs of the Northern Tribes

In support of Gaia Gathering: the Canadian National Pagan Conference, thirteen artists have come together to create an anthology of Canadian Pagan music and spoken word.  Only available online, this album spans thirty years and includes some of the best of out-of-print Pagan classics as well as some up-and-comers.  All artists have donated the use of their work: all profits from the sale of the album go directly to support the Conference.

Featured artists: Vanessa Cardui, Tara Rice, the Ancient Gods, JD Hobbes, Brendan Myers, Dano Hammer, the Dragon Ritual Drummers, Gallows Hill, Heather Dale, Tamarra James, Raven's Call, Sable Aradia,and Parnassus (Chalice & Blade).

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Thought I would share my article about how to dance a maypole and maypole magic. Happy Beltane to all Pagans in the Northern Hemisphere, and Blessed Samhain to those of you in the Southern Hemisphere!

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/betweentheshadows/2015/04/seekers-and-guides-maypole-magic/

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Changing Consciousness: Pagan Activism in Canada


b2ap3_thumbnail_2015-03-14-12.46.50.jpgI don't think there's any doubt, for any witch who's been to one, that a public protest is a magickal act. A group of people get together and use symbolism to focus the collective will towards a specific goal.  If the magick is successful, consciousness changes, with results that are reflected in the outer world.

So last weekend I, along with about two or three hundred other people, gathered in downtown Vernon, BC to protest the new proposed Canadian anti-terror bill, C-51.  We rallied, sang, cheered, and marched through the city streets, holding up our major highway for several minutes.

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  • Rick
    Rick says #
    14 years after the US Patriot Act the Canadian government decides they need a similar bill? That doesn't pass the smell test at al

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