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Kith & Kin

Upon my initiation as a Witch, I swore a vow that I assume many others have also sworn, which is to always protect and defend “my sisters and brothers of the Art.”  Now I’m wondering over the longer term exactly what that means.  Or what it might mean to me.

Who are my sisters and brothers?  Who are my kin?  This is a topic worthy of further exploration.  However, while awaiting that further exploration, I want to speak of my main takeaway from the 2015 Parliament of World Religions.

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Trying to describe the Parliament of World Religions in a short article is like trying to describe the biological abundance of a rainforest in a similar way.  It is impossible.  It was one of the most powerful spiritual experiences of my life.  That said, perhaps I can focus more narrowly here on what it meant for we NeoPagans in general.  For at least three reasons Salt Lake City’s Parliament of the World’s Religions was an important event for us and for Pagans worldwide.

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We Have Work To Do: A Reflection on the Parliament

I am finally reaching a point where I can begin to unpack my feelings concerning this year's Parliament of the World's Religions. On many levels this was a life changing experience, and one that I won't soon forget. I have read several other posts concerning the event as folks return home and back to daily life--taking the time to unpack their own feelings and put them in words. The majority of what has been written is positive, which I won't deny is a good space to hold for all the amazing occurrences and connections that were made. But allow me to be a dissenting voice for a moment...because despite all the positive aspects of this event, there is work yet to be done.

I'd like to start by quoting one of my favorite professors: "Stop focusing on what all religions have in common, and start doing the work of learning to live with the differences. Some religions are concerned with reaching the top of the mountain, others don't even care that there is a mountain." --Jacob Kinnard

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  • Earl Nissen
    Earl Nissen says #
    Thank you for the reflection. I like "asking for the understanding and the respect to be unique and legitimate." I also enjoyed t
Sex and the Parliament of the World's Religions

More than a week later, my bags are unpacked (mostly), the laundry is done (almost), but my thoughts linger with the Parliament of World Religions. With religious observances starting at 7am (I will refrain from commenting on this choice of scheduling) and social activities continuing late into the night, experiences seemed to add up to weeks rather than days.


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  • Andrea Kendall
    Andrea Kendall says #
    The ritual rocked Macha. I also very much enjoyed getting up early and sitting by the sacred fire. I learned a lot from liste
  • Annika Mongan
    Annika Mongan says #
    Thank you for the links, Andrea! Those are really great resources.
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    Interestingly, I got some grief about the script's inclusion of some (not a lot) overt sexual references -- "the kissing of the ph
  • Annika Mongan
    Annika Mongan says #
    Thank you for sharing this, Macha. While it definitely surprised me, I'm glad that you included the references. It really did brin

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