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

It’s back to school time, and that has me thinking about those of us who no longer spend much time in a classroom. I’d like to encourage us to think deeply about different purposes and practices of learning so that we can shape our own back-to-school intentions for ourselves. One of the biggest ways to make a difference is to practice what's not perfect.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_Unknown_20140831-155038_1.pngRecently, my good friend and Daughter's of Evecolumnist, Crystal Blanton wrote a powerful piece for the Wild Hunt about Ferguson, the shooting death of Mike Brown, the riots, and the wider implication this type of systemic racism. She solicited thoughts from Pagans in the public eye about where and how we can confront, heal, and grow community when events of power, oppression, and racism plague our world. There among the many voices were my friends, New York City activist and witch, Courtney Weber and teacher and New Jim Crow activist, T. Thorn Coyle. For the piece I offered this opinion, which Crystal used to sum up the article:

"I really am struggling with this because I want to believe that love is still the law. I want to believe that humankind is better than this savagery that is power, oppression, privilege, and racism. I want to believe that love is stronger than fear, but I can’t help but know that every mother of a brown child lives in fear that her child will be the next Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin or Mike Brown. In times like this I ask how do we as Pagans lead and be vessels for change? How do we become the Goddess’ conduit?

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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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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • 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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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • 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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