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PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

It was one year ago today that my life changed forever.  It didn't change as much as it could have changed, and for that I'm grateful, but nothing has been the same since this day one year ago.  My own error resulted in my falling 10 feet onto the thin edge of the control panel of a spare washing machine.  I broke 6 ribs at both ends and broke my left shoulder blade in half.  I spent several days in the hospital, 2 months off work, and 6+ months in physical therapy.  I would never have made it through all of this without amazing support from my friends, family, and co-workers.  I am still paying off medical bills, but I am alive and healthy.  I am nearly back to the level I was before the accident (and in some ways I am actually healthier).  It still amazes me that less than 2 months after the accident I climbed on a plane and flew to San Jose to do my 3 workshop presentations at PantheaCon.  I owe thanks to many of the people at that event as well.  While lurching around with broken bones, trying to haul incense making supplies from one workshop to the next, a lot of people I'd never met helped me haul things around and set up or tear down.  THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS HELPED IN THE LAST YEAR.

But there was more help given to me than that and I want to try and thank as many people as I can from the Pagan Community.  In less than 1 day after my accident I was able to get online and, very slowly, type a message with one hand.  I sent out that email letting folks know what happened and asking for any spare energy to help me with the extraordinary pain as well as energy to heal.  The response was overwhelming and nearly immediate.  Within an hour of sending that message, I began to feel the energy pouring in.  I know that there were groups or covens who sent me energy and that was an immense kindness that truly made a difference.  Even more surprising was the energy that continued to come to me for weeks, much of it being sent by Solitary Pagans who had never met (or even heard of) me and who lived hundreds or even thousands of miles away.  That Community of Solitaries, without any coordination whatsoever, continued this outpouring of love and energy for months.

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PaganNewsBeagle Watery Wednesday Community News Sept 17

Today is Watery Wednesday, the day we share stories for and about our many communities of Pagans (however widely defined.) Today we have  ideas on how to boost empathy -- on the internet; two Pagan-themed internet campaigns; Reclaiming events in Minnesota, and finding a Pagan Pride event near you.

The internet provides us with many opportunities to create community -- or tear it down. This article from Yes! magazine offers suggestions of how we can create more empathy in our online connections.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Niceville City LimitI was going to write about something related but different in my next column.  But I read Shauna Aura Knight’s excellent post about her stance on the Frosts this morning, and the controversy she has encountered has encouraged me to change focus.  It seems to me that much of the criticism and condemnation boils down to, "She's not playing nice."  Well, here's the problem with "niceness."  I must tread carefully to protect privacy so much of my language is deliberately vague.

One of our tradition members – an initiate of an initiate – contacted my husband and priest.  She said that her teenage daughter had told her that her husband had sexually abused her.  The couple have been married for many years; the girl in question is the man’s daughter genetically.  The mother was, quite understandably, in tears.  She wanted to know what she should do.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Christopher Blackwell
    Christopher Blackwell says #
    I agree with you about our being to nice and not wanting t rock the boat and our not wanting to find out bad things about our memb
  • Taylor Ellwood
    Taylor Ellwood says #
    Good article, and good on you for reporting him.
  • Sable Aradia
    Sable Aradia says #
    Thanks for the support, T-Roy and Taylor.
  • Sable Aradia
    Sable Aradia says #
    Shauna Aura Knight also posted a related post some time ago on her blog, I just saw. Here's the link: http://paganactivist.com/20
  • T-Roy
    T-Roy says #
    Let me mention that that 'niceness' may also have been part of why that man stuck around long enough to be caught. Such men tend t

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

On an otherwise entirely normal Saturday in July 2014, a group of several dozen Pagans travelled from across the UK to join together in creating something which had never been attempted before.

The Pagan Symposium was a meeting in London of representatives from Pagan groups, organised from an idea by Mike Stygal, President of the UK Pagan Federation. The goals were kept deliberately vague, but at heart, the hope was that each group would be able to come together to share their experiences, skills and wishes to assist the wider Pagan community across the country.

The challenge of such ventures, of course, is that no single group can ever accurately represent all Pagans; also, the natural reluctance of many Pagans to affiliate with any group, when our paths contain such a strong core of individuality. In the past, strong egos have been an issue, or vastly differing ideologies. The analogy of 'herding cats' was mentioned, but with the happy conclusion that this had somehow now been achieved!

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I was just in a rather dispiriting discussion of sexual predation in the Pagan community, sparked by an interesting piece in the Wild Hunt. The article was good. which is more than I can say for some of the discussion that followed. 

    The piece was about the decline of nudity at Pagan events and the reasons for it.  But much of the discussion shifted to the related but different issue of why many women felt uneasy or defensive when sky clad at such events.  Despite all the energy and more than a little venom that accompanied that discussion, one important issue remained unaddressed.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    Not at all sure what you mean here.
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    Greybeard- I have not known any women such as you describe. None. As to the latter, I agree with you. The festivals you descr
  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    "I have not known any women such as you describe. None," Gus "What is abstractly wrong, and which we would condemn if done by so
  • Aryós Héngwis
    Aryós Héngwis says #
    Greybeard, I'd urge you to avoid derailing the topic. Gus diZerega's post about how Pagan festivals can better promote a culture o
  • Constance Tippett Chandler
    Constance Tippett Chandler says #
    We are not living in post patriarchy society, and we are not better than every one else's religion because we are Pagan. We have

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Alliances

 

 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    I think the application of hospitality is a good idea. What I've seen more in these flare-ups is not so much bristling over someo
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    I agree, Terrence, and people who come in with that attitude in an interfaith setting soon leave, without any converts. Of course
  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    Thanks for your thoughtful and helpful article, Ivo. In the last few months we have seen far too many pagans picking nits and de
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    Thanks for this, Ivo. We who work in interfaith certainly live by this attitude. I daresay that the various trads, covens, and i
The Broom Closet in the 21st Century

When I was 18, in 1995, I was outed from the broom closet. I had kept myself in that closet, because I was afraid of how people would react if they realized I practiced magic. A friend's parents (both fundamentalist Christians) found a book I'd let my friend borrow and contacted my mom about it. She was also a fundamentalist Christian and needless to say did not approve of my spiritual choices. I was still living with her as I was in high school and I didn't have a job at the time. She told me I had a choice. I could move out or burn my books. I had a half hour to decide before she kicked me out. A half hour isn't a lot of time to make such a decision. I made a very practical choice and decided I would burn my books, because I didn't have a job and I wanted to finish high school. I hid the books I hadn't read yet and took the books I had read and told her I'd burn them. She marched me out to the back yard and I burned those books. That incident didn't discourage my practice of magic. If anything, it only made it more attractive and also made me more determined to continue learning. That incident also convinced me that staying in the broom closet wasn't going to help me, and so I decided I'd be open about my beliefs and practices, and I have been to this day.

A short time after the book burning, I was contacted by the father of my friend (I didn't know who he was at the time). He was drunk, had a cold, and told me how he was going to come kill me in 48 hours and he'd call me on the hour, each hour before he came. He started singing hymns to me. I told him if he came over I'd defend myself. I also called the police. He kept calling and eventually I disconnected the phone. The next day, in school, my friend told me that his father and step-father, in a rare moment of collaboration, had decided they were going to try and kill me. The step-father would drive the father over to do the deed. It never happened, but it illustrated to me how intolerant Christians were when it came to any religion or spirituality that wasn't of their own practice. It also illustrated what a risk it could be to be out of the broom closet.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Rebecca Kinney
    Rebecca Kinney says #
    I have also found that the most intolerant and vocal of any religion are the ones with the most to hide. It is as if they use the
  • Taylor Ellwood
    Taylor Ellwood says #
    Unfortunately many Christians are intolerant and interpret freedom of religion to only pertain to their religion. Not all of them
  • Joyce ORourke
    Joyce ORourke says #
    I find most Christians to be intolerant of any religion other then their own. If you want to know what a religion is like read hi

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