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Blogs from Carl Neal - PaganSquare - Join the conversation! http://witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/circle-of-one.html Fri, 30 Jan 2015 08:18:06 -0800 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Spoken Words Have Power http://witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/circle-of-one/spoken-words-have-power.html http://witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/circle-of-one/spoken-words-have-power.html The power of words is indisputable, especially spoken words.  They have sparked war and paved the way for peace.  Words can cause great emotional pain as well as convey the deepest and richest love.  The idea that words have power is one key to understanding the power of magick.  From dirt-worshipping neo-Pagan to the greatest practitioner of High Magick, words hold power for all of us.  That is especially true of words spoken during spells and rituals. 

Knowing this, I am often surprised at the number of Solitaries who practice only silent rituals and spells.  While even silent rituals often use words, they are thoughts and not spoken aloud.  There was a time that I also performed rituals in virtual silence, perhaps only speaking to cast my circle.  Sometimes not even then.  One day while explaining the power of words to someone, it struck me how wasteful most of my silent rituals were.  Don’t get me wrong – there is a place for silence within rituals and also a place for completely silent rituals.  I was just surprised at all of the opportunities I had squandered with my silence. Since I was alone, as is the accepted norm in American culture, I tended not to speak aloud.  After all, nobody else was there to hear the words, right?


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incense_dragon@yahoo.com (Carl Neal) Culture Blogs Tue, 20 Jan 2015 12:38:31 -0800
The Community of Solitaries http://witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/circle-of-one/the-community-of-solitaries.html http://witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/circle-of-one/the-community-of-solitaries.html It was one year ago today that my life changed forever.  It didn't change as much as it could have changed, and for that I'm grateful, but nothing has been the same since this day one year ago.  My own error resulted in my falling 10 feet onto the thin edge of the control panel of a spare washing machine.  I broke 6 ribs at both ends and broke my left shoulder blade in half.  I spent several days in the hospital, 2 months off work, and 6+ months in physical therapy.  I would never have made it through all of this without amazing support from my friends, family, and co-workers.  I am still paying off medical bills, but I am alive and healthy.  I am nearly back to the level I was before the accident (and in some ways I am actually healthier).  It still amazes me that less than 2 months after the accident I climbed on a plane and flew to San Jose to do my 3 workshop presentations at PantheaCon.  I owe thanks to many of the people at that event as well.  While lurching around with broken bones, trying to haul incense making supplies from one workshop to the next, a lot of people I'd never met helped me haul things around and set up or tear down.  THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS HELPED IN THE LAST YEAR.

But there was more help given to me than that and I want to try and thank as many people as I can from the Pagan Community.  In less than 1 day after my accident I was able to get online and, very slowly, type a message with one hand.  I sent out that email letting folks know what happened and asking for any spare energy to help me with the extraordinary pain as well as energy to heal.  The response was overwhelming and nearly immediate.  Within an hour of sending that message, I began to feel the energy pouring in.  I know that there were groups or covens who sent me energy and that was an immense kindness that truly made a difference.  Even more surprising was the energy that continued to come to me for weeks, much of it being sent by Solitary Pagans who had never met (or even heard of) me and who lived hundreds or even thousands of miles away.  That Community of Solitaries, without any coordination whatsoever, continued this outpouring of love and energy for months.


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incense_dragon@yahoo.com (Carl Neal) Culture Blogs Tue, 16 Dec 2014 12:26:10 -0800
When 2 are 1 http://witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/circle-of-one/when-2-are-1.html http://witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/circle-of-one/when-2-are-1.html

The beauty of nature can be found in the most unusual places and teach us the most unexpected lessons.  A few days ago I was returning to work from a lunch (half) hour spent going through the neighborhood thrift store.  I pulled into traffic and then had to wait at a long light.  While sitting there, I looked up and saw an amazing and unexpected sight.


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incense_dragon@yahoo.com (Carl Neal) Culture Blogs Tue, 13 May 2014 09:41:01 -0700
A Pagan Tradition for Mother's Day http://witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/circle-of-one/a-pagan-tradition-for-mother-s-day.html http://witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/circle-of-one/a-pagan-tradition-for-mother-s-day.html

My significant other considers Mother’s Day (along with Valentine’s Day and Father’s Day) to be a holiday created purely for commercial reasons.  As a result, she will not celebrate any of those ‘holidays’.  I brought a different view of Mother’s Day when we got together.  She and I are both Pagans and when I explained this alternate approach to Mother’s Day she wholeheartedly embraced it.  I have to thank my friend Amy in Oklahoma for teaching me this Mother’s Day tradition that she and her son have followed for many years.  I think her clever reinterpretation of this holiday is perfect for most Pagans.


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incense_dragon@yahoo.com (Carl Neal) Culture Blogs Wed, 30 Apr 2014 09:52:53 -0700
Do Pagans have ‘Come to Jesus’ Meetings? http://witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/circle-of-one/do-pagans-have-come-to-jesus-meetings.html http://witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/circle-of-one/do-pagans-have-come-to-jesus-meetings.html ** Update: After reading comments on FB I wanted to clarify this.  It may be is a case of the written word not always coming through as intended (in this case - sarcasim).  My purpose here is not to introduce a serious topic for consideration.  It is to show that we can sometimes get caught up in a "tempest in a teapot" and that it can be pretty funny if we step back and look at it.  I hope you get a chuckle during a stressful time. Namaste.

 

I admit that I’m a fairly thick-skinned Pagan and don’t take offense when someone uses the word “Witch” in place of a naughty word they can’t say on television.  I don’t get upset when someone wishes me “Merry Christmas” (and I almost always spare them my lecture about how saying that is actually casting a spell).  The other day I used the phrase “come to Jesus meeting” and later I was thinking about it.  Should I have been averse to using this phrase?  Am I an insensitive Pagan?


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incense_dragon@yahoo.com (Carl Neal) Culture Blogs Wed, 09 Apr 2014 11:26:45 -0700
Being Solitary Can Be Dangerous http://witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/circle-of-one/being-solitary-can-be-dangerous.html http://witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/circle-of-one/being-solitary-can-be-dangerous.html

Pagan activities with a group of people can draw strange looks and even the occasional nutter who wants to “save” everyone.  I have discovered that, sometimes, practicing your spirituality alone can lead others to think you are actually insane.  I suppose I should add this to the list of differences between Traditional Pagans and Solitaries.  It isn’t that we are crazier than Traditional Pagans (at least I don’t think so), it’s just that Solitaries seem to be more suspect than groups.

Perhaps when someone sees a group of people doing something out of the ordinary it is viewed as strange but nothing more than “a bunch of wackos”?  Perhaps when the same behavior is practiced by an individual it crosses the line into “crazy”?  Let me give an example.


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incense_dragon@yahoo.com (Carl Neal) Culture Blogs Mon, 24 Mar 2014 13:00:05 -0700
A Pagan Celebration of St. Patrick's Day http://witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/circle-of-one/a-pagan-celebration-of-st-patrick-s-day.html http://witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/circle-of-one/a-pagan-celebration-of-st-patrick-s-day.html Seven or eight years ago, I shocked a large group of my Pagan friends.  I was at a small festival in Oklahoma that happened to take place during St. Patrick’s Day weekend.  I was vending and teaching at this festival (as well as performing my first song) and knew most of the attendees very well.  As we were cleaning the dining hall after dinner, I invited everyone down to my vendor table to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a drink of Irish whiskey.  The look of horror on some of their faces was priceless.


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incense_dragon@yahoo.com (Carl Neal) Culture Blogs Mon, 17 Mar 2014 11:59:44 -0700