Pagan Studies


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Studies Blogs

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

How to Recognize I can't in your Magical work

Sometimes what I find most fascinating about magic is what limitations people build into it. In other words, a person will say to themselves, I can't do this in magical work. They'll have various reasons for that " I can't" which can range from moral/ethical reasons, spiritual "laws" or personal hang-ups that tell them they can't do x because of y. I do believe in the value of limits, and I think limitation, as a principle can be very effective for magical work, but when I talk about limitation I'm not referring to the "I can'ts" which are ultimately subjective, but rather to natural principles that structure, organize, and scaffold how magic can work. And its important remember that such limitations can be worked with quite productively, provided we understand them. The "I can'ts" on the other hand are wholly subjective, developed for various reasons that tend to be more harmful than useful in most situations.

When I was young, I was often told what I couldn't do. I'd tell a family members one of my ideas and be told it would never work and that I couldn't do it. Fortunately I never believed them, and if anything when I heard such discouragement, it encouraged me to prove them wrong. It's fair to say that up until my mid twenties most of what I did was inspired by a desire to prove people wrong, to prove that what I couldn't supposedly do, actually could be done. Even to this day, I still find that when someone says that something can't be done, it gets me curious to see if in fact they are correct, or if it can be done. 100% of the time I find it (whatever it is) can be done provided you have enough motivation and willingness to experiment and try various possible solutions. What this indicates to me is that many times the only limitation people deal with is the one they impose on themselves or accept from other people.

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  • donna
    donna says #
    This is really good. I do get caught up in the "I cant's" that I've worked on for years. I have to remind myself that I do have th
  • Taylor Ellwood
    Taylor Ellwood says #
    Thank you Donna. I think it really is important to operate from a place of thinking big instead of thinking in negatives. The peop

Posted by on in Studies Blogs

   Last time we focused on making a potion.  Today it’s about the condenser.

   A condenser starts of with a certain volume of fluid which is boiled until that volume is half the original amount—it is condensed, hence its name.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs

I periodically run across blogs proclaiming that the shadowy guides who control spiritual evolution on this planet are divided into Good and Evil contingents—and that our religious and metaphysical organizations have become unwitting pawns of the Evil ones. According to these disaffected souls, any organization you can think of has been taken-over by the Dark Side: the Catholic Church, the Masons, the Theosophical Society, A.M.O.R.C., Self-Realization Fellowship, Eckankar, the Mormons, Wicca. You can't trust anyone!      

How to evaluate such extreme accusations? This is what my life experience has taught me:  

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  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Great stuff! I generally agree, with one exception. Let me tell a story: For decades, I dealt with a tradition whose practitioner
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    You are absolutely right, Francesca, and while I didn't have such a case in mind when I wrote the piece, in the interests of balan
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    I suspected you would agree with the point I made, bc you are generally very balanced in your perspectives, instead of black or wh
Finding the Masculine in Goddess Spiral: Anthology Update

"The moon shone brightly, and I knew that She was watching over me. I knew Her to be more than anything and everything, and I felt Her upon my face, my body, and my heart." - Entry from Finding the Masculine in Goddess Spiral, a soon to be published anthology by Immanion Press.

July 30th came faster than I could imagine. Now, with deadline passed, over 30 submissions sit before me, the task at hand: to curate and edit, Finding the Masculine in Goddess'  Spiral: Men in Ritual, Community, and Service to the Goddess

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs

I used to think that certain Christians shunned dialogue with people of opposing beliefs simply because they feared we were tools of the Devil. But their reasons may be worse than that; they may actually be afraid that we are inhuman demons ourselves! This idea is derived from the Book of Enoch, which was deleted from our western Bibles but has reportedly always been in the canon of the Ethiopian Christian Church. 

We read in Genesis, “the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose,” and then later, “there were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came into the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men of old, men of renown.” But as no historical or biological record of these beings has been unearthed, our churches take no official  position on what these references allude to.  

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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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