©2002 Samantha Collins
Coming Out Pagan
by Wendy L. Hawksley
One of the most daunting personal issues facing modern Pagans is whether or not to “come out of the broom closet” — that is to say, whether or not to let people know that you are Pagan.
There are many factors to consider in this decision — the nature of your family, friends and co-workers; whether or not your community is Pagan-friendly; and your own level of comfort. If you feel at all frightened, endangered, or “not right,” then my advice is to stay in the closet. However, there are factors that make this more complex than a simple “in or out” decision. Here are a few simple signposts for along the way.
Exploring the Sabbats
by Elizabeth Barrette
One thing that nature religions share is an interest in seasonal cycles. The details vary widely according to time period and geographic region, but the general idea of honoring certain holidays holds true. So whether your tradition is Gaian, Pagan, Goddess Worship, or some other Earth-centered belief system, you’re in the right place. The sabbats are the eight high holy days. Four of them – Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Fall Equinox, and Winter Solstice – mark path of the Earth around the Sun, so we call these the "Quarter Days." Their exact times change from year to year, so check an ephemeris. The other four – Imbolc, Beltane, Lammas, and Samhain – form a sort of cross between the rest, so we call them the "Cross-Quarter Days." Together, these eight holidays make up the Wheel of the Year. Now let’s take a look at each of the sabbats in turn.
Glossary of Pagan Terms
compiled by Elizabeth Barrette
Alternative Lifestyle: A mode of living which differs significantly from the "mainstream" society’s prescribed beliefs, affiliations, values, or practices. People who live an alternative lifestyle often gather with others who share their preferences; they may or may not retain close contact with the larger society. Many religions, including Paganism, fall into this category.
Blessed Be: A common phrase, used among Pagans as a greeting, a letter closing, or a statement of agreement. "Bright Blessings" appears in similar context. Although both phrases come from Wicca/Witchcraft they have spread into general use.
Coven: The most common name for a group of Wiccans/Witches who meet regularly for ritual and social purposes. Other Pagan traditions may call their groups by different names. "Coven" and "circle" are both very popular among Eclectic Pagans. Druids usually say "grove" or "henge" instead. Asatru sometimes use "grange" or "stead."
FAQ About Paganism
Frequently Asked Questions
by Elizabeth Barrette
Q: What is a Pagan? What is Paganism?
A: A Pagan is a person who feels a strong connection to nature, who holds the Earth and its creatures sacred, and who seeks a personal connection with the Divine. Pagan religions come from all around the globe, from ancient history and contemporary times as well. Paganism encompasses the reverence of nature, the worship of the Divine in many guises but especially as an embodiment of natural forces, the observance of seasonal cycles, and a perennial quest for personal growth. Most Pagan religions are polytheistic, celebratory faiths. Like any religion, Paganism is much too complex to describe fully in just a few words.
Workplace Wicca 101
Be Pagan on the job without getting fired.
by Tina Anderson
Ok. So you’ve found your religion — you’re a Witch. You’ve studied, learned and absorbed your path; some of you reading this have even been initiated into a coven. Witchcraft has become more than just something you do — it’s a part of you, it’s who you are. Like the poem, you are a Witch at every hour. Stop! What was that? At every hour? Well, maybe every one but those from 9-5 . . .
It doesn’t have to be that way. Integrating your religion into your workspace doesn’t have to be hard, nor do you have to “come out of the broom closet” in order to do so. What you can do will be limited by how “out” you are, but you can almost always do something comfortably at any level of openness.
foxyWitch ©2012 Holly Golightliy
All About Skyclad
by Sheela Ardrian
If there’s one thing that everybody “knows” about Pagans, it’s this: they dance naked in the woods. No matter how much you try to explain that not all covens do that, it’s an image that sticks in everybody’s mind. Pretty soon, you start to wonder if there might be something to it after all. Well, there is!
Why Go Skyclad?
People have been worshipping naked for a long time. Judging from the pictures on some cave walls, our ancestors probably worshipped naked before they worshipped clothed.