Pagan Studies


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Studies Blogs

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

Creating Sacred Space with Pagan Prison Inmates – VI

Some More Ways in Which Inmate Circles Differ from Civilian Circles

In previous blogs I’ve mentioned various differences and restrictions that affect how we can work and what we can and cannot do. We can burn candles and incense, and we have created a temporary temple space.

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  • Joseph Merlin Nichter
    Joseph Merlin Nichter says #
    Another great post Macha! Those men appreciate you for every slice of your scissors and your presence alone makes all the differe
How I've learned to let Magic Move Me

A while back on Pagansquare I wrote several articles about my work with elemental magic (you can find them here and here). I'm currently in a process of transition from the element of movement to the element of stillness. I've been working with movement for almost two years and will fully switch over on the 2nd year anniversary of my work to stillness. However, even before that date, the transition is beginning. Elements of Stillness have been showing up in my work for a good part of this year and are becoming much prevalent in the time leading up to the change.

When I first started the elemental balancing ritual, I chose the element. The very first year, I chose Water because I knew I needed to get in touch with my emotions and water represented that to me. The next year I chose Sound because I needed to work on connecting with people. The third year I chose Earth because I wanted to ground myself where I was living. After that though, the elements started choosing me. Or rather incidents occurred in my life that spoke for the need to work with a specific element to help me find balance. In the Earth year, the element that came up was Love. I'd made some bad choices in handling relationships and it became clear to me that I needed to work on love and what that meant to me. In the middle of the love year, I had an experience that demonstrated to me that I needed to work with Emptiness as an element. And so on and so forth.

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All religions acknowledge this ultimate reality: On the roulette wheel of Life, even if we are among the fortunate few who achieve health, fame, fortune and love, our winning streak is doomed to expire. In the end, the House always wins; we all die, by one unpleasant means or another. In my opinion, the only important differences between world religions is in how the leading lights of each faith envisioned what comes afterward.

To my way of thinking, altogether too much has been made of the monotheism-polytheism-deism-theism-pantheism debate, and the same thing goes for reincarnation, pro and con. I know what I believe; the only thing I really want to know for sure is, what happens in the final reality after all time has ended. When the universe has contracted and all the suns are gone, when everything is finished and all our stories have been told, will I—and will all the souls I have ever loved, both human and animal—be okay? I mean, really okay? What are the House Rules?

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  • Jason Leslie Rogers
    Jason Leslie Rogers says #
    Oh, you're welcome, Ted, and thank you for your kind words as well. I look forward to hearing more from you. :-)
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Thank you, Jason, for your most generous review; it's the best one I ever got! I read your review of The Memory Garden, and rated
  • Jason Leslie Rogers
    Jason Leslie Rogers says #
    Ted, Thanks for the excellent post. It paints seemingly-broad strokes with the left hand hand while simultaneously drawing hundre

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Making Potions, Part 1

Merry meet! Welcome to The Burning Cauldron. I’ll be writing about how to make potions, elixirs, condensers, ritual incense and oils. From time to time I may post information about other items you can create for use in your practice and worship. For today I thought I’d start with how to make potions.

“That’s great,” you say, “but what is a potion? What does it do?” Glad you asked.

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Donning a Prideful Cloak

“Pride cometh before the fall” is a message I recall hearing many times as a child. The warning that, though there was the expectation that I would always do my best, it was not appropriate to express the positive glow of success and accomplishment. If one did not self-monitor humility, one faced the very real possibility of being “brought back down to size”. Messages that urge us to be humble, to keep quiet, to deflect compliments away are fairly strong. Having internalized these messages, there can definitely be a waft of distaste when we encounter boasting. We feel the wave of Ego come towards us and instinctively step back.

 

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Witch Hunting in the 21st Century

 

A little while back I wrote an article about The Broom Closet in the 21st Century. Recently the New York Times had an opinion article about the persecution of Witches in various parts of the world. In that article the opinion writer argued that the age of the internet has increased the witch hunting that occurs. One of the problems is that many of the people accused of witchcraft may not even be witches. They are accused for reasons that may have nothing to do witchcraft, but nonetheless it is used because it's convenient. In such places, the brutality that occurs involves burning people alive, or beheading or stoning them. The majority of such atrocities occur to women and the the people doing the assault are men doing it for prestige or as a way to enforce dominant social values. I mention all of this make a point: That such atrocities, far from being history, are still happening. In some cases, they are even happening in the U.S. And even here in the U.S. we also see the proliferation of ignorant perspectives about magic, because of how the mainstream religion fears the spread of any spiritual beliefs that run counter to that religion. Now whether every single one of those victims did or didn't identify as a Pagan or a Witch doesn't really matter, because those people were still labeled as such and punished for beliefs they may or may not have held.

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AGAINST A SWARM OF BEES
Ms. 41, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge

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