Pagan Studies


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Studies Blogs

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

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. 

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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.

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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
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    The fact that this idea comes from outside the community -- yet also reflects the "law of threefold return" which is popular withi

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

 

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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
My Take on the Kenny Klein Affair

If you’re one of those Pagans who socialize on the Web, you’re no doubt aware of the current shitstorm in the wake of the arrest of prominent Pagan musician Kenny Klein for possession and distribution of child pornography.

The way I see it, this occurrence has brought out the best and the worst conduct on the part of Pagans.

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  • Deb Snavely
    Deb Snavely says #
    http://adainitiative.org/2013/08/conference-anti-harassment-campaigns-do-work-three-existence-proofs-from-sff-atheismskepticism-an
  • Aryós Héngwis
    Aryós Héngwis says #
    As a general rule, please don't post links without any accompanying commentary. It's a way for us to help avoid spam. From Articl
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Thank you, Macha, for your wise and balanced words. Your observation that nobody in the media has so much as mentioned Mr. Klein'
  • Peter Beckley
    Peter Beckley says #
    Great read, thank you! In my opinion, much of the hubbub relating to the fear of negative media over this issue seemed more of a k

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Judy Harrow

Judy Harrow
1945 - 2014

I've just learned of the passing of my old friend Judy Harrow.  Her health had been fragile for some years now, so her passing is not entirely unexpected.  That said, it is a great loss to American Witchcraft and the Pagan movement in general.

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  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Thank you, Macha. This is lovely.
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    Hi Terence, Thanks for your kind words. Judy's birthday was March 3, 1945.
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    Macha, This post brings together a confluence of forces in my life. For one, I knew Judy Harrow, but only for a few short years,

Annika Mongan makes a wonderful point in her blog post of March 28, 2014 - namely, that public scandals in Christian communities have a particularly demoralizing impact on their members, because Conversion promised them that Faith and the Holy Spirit would make them spiritually healthier than the rest of the world.  I agree, but I don't think that Christians have a corner on those feelings.  The same expectations, just expressed in different words, have applied to every spiritual community I have ever joined.  

In high school, I was an acolyte and president of my church's Methodist Youth Fellowship.  It was hard for me to understand why my father, who was active on the Board of Trustees, suddenly decided after 8 loyal years to take our family out of the church due to social friction with other Board members and political disagreements with the new Ministerial staff.  I had been taught that we were all members of the Body of Christ, and that we prized agape - divine brotherly love - above all else.  Why was my Dad so out of touch with what our Youth Ministers had been teaching me every week?  Could there be other realities, separate from the rosy picture that had been painted for me in Sunday School? 

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  • Annika Mongan
    Annika Mongan says #
    Thank you, Ted. Well said and I so resonate with what you write. I am glad to have found a home in Paganism and I am here to stay.
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Good points, Cat lover. I'm sure you're right about that 9 year old. As for challenging a responder's comments, my feeling was t
  • Cat lover
    Cat lover says #
    Ted, you are right. I was responding to the other commenter, and it had little to do with your post. Sorry if I helped derail your
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    No problem, CL. Thanks for understanding my position.
  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    Re: the problem of hating men for possession of pornography. Our community is all abuzz with hateful opinions about a well known

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