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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in pagan-cowan relations

 

 

Your Warlockry:

I'm not a witch, but many of my friends are. Over the years I've noticed that, while my non-witch friends all throw their Halloween parties on Halloween Saturday, my witch friends usually throw theirs two Saturdays before.

Not that I'm complaining, mind you: double the pleasure, double the fun. Just wondering.

Clueless in Cowanistan

 

Dear Clueless Cowan:

There's a simple and obvious (to a witch) answer to your question, which (if you had asked them) any of your witch friends could have told you before you could count to thirteen, and it has to do with convenience and the fact that, just like everybody else, most witches hold down day jobs.

This means that, most years—ah, the times!—most witches don't actually hold their Samhain rituals on Halloween itself. The vast majority of Samhain rituals end up taking place, by default, on Halloween Saturday instead.

In short, my dear cowan: witches tend not to hold their Halloween parties on Halloween Saturday because, for many of us, that's Coven Night. Hence—witches liking a good Halloween party as much as anyone—the forward displacement.

If Boss Warlock were a different kind of warlock, he might decry what, on the face of it, might seem to be a disconnect, but in fact this Long Samhain actually has a profound theological basis. Samhain isn't just a single day on the Gregorian calendar; it's a tide of axial change in the natural year.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

 

“You one-a them Wick-ins?”

The pentagram must have slipped out of my shirt when I reached for my wallet. His question is not curiosity, or interest; there's a sneer to it.

I'd stopped to fill up the tank while driving through deepest, darkest Trump Country. Now there's a Central Casting Capitol invader leering over the counter at me.

I fix him with my eyes and wait just a little too long for comfort before answering. The little will o' the wisp smirk playing on my lips is not really intentional. Actually, I've wanted to say this to someone who deserved it all my pagan life.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

The Green Man - Home | Facebook 

My friend and I couldn't have been at the Renn Fest for more than two minutes when we ran into a gaggle of fellow pagans.

This, of course, is hardly to be wondered at. Renn Fests are famed pagan Meccas, and this particular one happened to be the Paganistani (i.e. Minnesota) Renn Fest, after all. There are so many pagans at the Minnesota Renn Fest that for a while it actually because fashionable to wear a cross, not so much out of religious conviction, as to stand out in the crowd.

They ask where we're headed, and we explain that we always start off our day there by pouring a libation for the Green Man. Pagans generally being game for spontaneous religious observance, they come along.

A pagan landmark of the MN Renn Fest—“Let's meet up at the Green Man,” people say—the Green Man stands probably 20 feet tall: a large, archaic-looking wooden mask mounted on a tree trunk, and bodied out all around with a tangle of fox grapes. This being September, the grapes are usually just coming ripe around now.

We stand before the Green Man, make our prayers, and pour out our libation, relishing the opportunity to indulge in public pagan worship. We'd like to dance around Him—that's the traditional observance—but there aren't quite enough of us to join hands.

Fortunately, this is the Renn Fest.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

 

I just got an invitation to write for an anthology with the cheeky, if self-contradicting, title of Goodbye Jesus, I'm Going Home to Mother. (Self-contradicting because, if you're really at home with her, why bother addressing yourself to him?) It is to be, I gather, a book of tales: “faith journeys” from Jesus to the Goddess.

(“Faith journey” is the polite name for “I've changed my mind.”)

Inveterate storyteller though I am, I don't (on my own recognizance) really have much of a tale to tell on that account. For me—Christian only by virtue of infant baptism—the story is one not so much of flight from as of journey to. I fell in love, and that was that. As for so many with whom I speak, my own coming to the Old Ways is a tale more of homecoming than departure.

In those days, mind you, if you wanted the Lady, you had to quest for her. Thinking back, I'm reminded of Robert Graves' own trailblazing search:

 

It was a virtue not to stay: to go my headstrong and heroic way,

seeking her out at the volcano's head, among pack ice,

and where the track had faded beyond the cavern of the Seven Sleepers.

 

Her we sought everywhere, the Living Goddess—history, geography, folklore—and everywhere we found her. How not, since all life is a journey to her? From her we come, in her we live, to her we return. Indeed, there's nowhere else to go.

As for Jesus, I don't have much to say, except that—so far as I can tell—we know, and can know, very little about the historical Jesus of Nazareth, and that therefore all Jesuses—and one really does have to speak in the plural here—are essentially fictional characters. I can see little point in addressing him, not even to say good-bye. Return to sender, addressee deceased.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

 

Merrymeet 1997

 

It's been hot work at Grand Council all day, so I head down to Gull Lake for a quick dip before dinner. What I see there astounds me.

Clearly, word of the wild witches has got out. Every fishing boat on the lake has—coincidentally, no doubt—just happened to drift over to our side, the prospect of naked pagans apparently outweighing that of walleye on this sunny late August afternoon.

Ritual robe hiked up to her knees, a woman sits at the end of the dock, dangling her feet in the water.

Gods, what's with these people? I say, taking off my shirt. I'm half tempted to wave. All this to see a little bit of skin?

Cowans, she commiserates.

Hey, screen me, would you? I ask, crouching.

Anything for a fellow conspirator, she says, raising her arms.

Screened by her back and generous hanging sleeves, I slip out of my kilt and over the edge.

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Zumwalt Prairie

 

After almost 50 years in the pagan community, I have yet to come across a better way to introduce non-pagans to the idea of living paganism

Alas, I can no longer remember who I learned this from; whoever it was, I'd never met him before. (I do remember standing shoulder-to-shoulder with you at Pan-Pagan, though, eagerly drinking up your words.) Whoever you were, you have my thanks. Your analogy is spot-on, and deftly avoids all the scary buzz-words; it's served me very well down the years.

“You know Native American religion, right?” you say.

They nod. Everybody knows Native American religion, or thinks they do. A lot of non-Native Americans even have a certain amount of respect for Native American religion. It's all about being close to “Nature,” right?

“Well, this is Native European religion,” you say.

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The 700 Club

 

Hey Pat:

Got a question for you.

You said that your god told you that Donald Trump would win the 2020 election. He didn't. Even you admit that now.

Given what you've said previously, then, that leaves us with several possible explanations.

  1. “God” was wrong.
  2. “God” changed his mind.
  3. You misunderstood what “God” told you.
  4. What you thought was “God” speaking to you wasn't “God” at all. (I'll leave aside the question of who, or what, it actually was.)
  5. Your god doesn't exist, and you're living in a fantasy world as much as Donald Trump.
  6. "God" exists, but he doesn't talk to you.
  7. Trump really did win the election; he just lost the presidential election.
  8. Some other god, more powerful than yours, intervened and changed the results.
  9. After all these years, you still haven't learned to tell the difference between "God"'s voice and the promptings of your own unconscious mind.

So, Pat, read me this oracle. In all candor, let me ask you: which one was it?

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I expect of any priest or priestess that he or she be able to tell the difference between the voice of the god or goddess and the
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I'm pretty sure that the only "God" that the Evangelical Christians have been listening too for the past four years is Mammon the

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