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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Tony Kelly

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Script and the Story

Was I ever excited when my copy of Lady Sheba's Book of Shadows arrived by mail. I was going to learn the Secret Ceremonies of the Witches.

Gods, was I ever disappointed.

Not long after, I became an overseas member of the Pagan Movement in Britain and Ireland. An important part of the newsletters that they sent out eight time annually were accounts of the rituals that they'd done.

But these weren't the bare-bones outlines of the Book of Shadows, lists of words and actions. These were stories. They told not only what was done and said, but what it was like to be there.

I was in love.

There are two primary ways to write about ritual. If you stick around this blog long enough, you'll see examples of both. One is the Book of Shadows way: the outline, the script, the list of words spoken and actions done.

The other way is the Pagan Movement way: the story.

Both genres are important. Both, in fact, are necessary. But they're not the same thing, and they serve different purposes.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Unsympathetic Magic

I made a mistake yesterday.

More than halfway through [winter], I thought, and I haven't lost a glove yet.

Ha.

So today—of course—I lost a glove.

Let them talk about sympathetic magic.

Everyone knows that unsympathetic magic is far more powerful.

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  • Alvina
    Alvina says #
    The agnostic rabbi and one of Paganism's best ritualists, Steven Posch draws formal experience from a wide assortment of foundatio

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Thing About Leadership

The priest-in-residence of our regional pagan land sanctuary was taking us to see the sacred spring.

Never having been that way before, we kept stopping to look, for indeed, there was much to see.

The priest kept going. He never looked back. Eventually we lost him.

In time we found his trail, and he brought us into the secret valley where, among its lost orchard, the Ancient Tree bears its golden apples, and the Hidden Spring flows sweet and pure.

In this Season of the Ancestors, I remember my teacher, Tony Kelly (1943-1997).*

He, too, led without looking back.

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  • James H. McCoy
    James H. McCoy says #
    I agree with Tasha. And I found out by accident... and first-hand... you keep doing lead by example - it can be a tad scary if you
  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    Interesting observation. I prefer to lead by example rather than any other way. That way you don't have to worry about losing sigh

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
What is the Symbol of Earth?

In Baltic lore, each of the Old Gods has his or her own sign.

For the Sun, it's the Sun Wheel. For the Moon, the Crescent.

Fire is the Fire Cross, the swastika, Thunder, the Thunder Cross, or compound swastika.

The Winds, since there are four of them, have the Cross, Heaven the Mountain. (How else would you draw a picture of the sky?)

But what about Earth?

My teacher, Tony Kelly, of the Pagan Movement in Britain and Ireland, used to say, “If we know anything at all about Earth, we know that she's Mother.”

At the time, as a good, doctrinaire second wave feminist, I found this statement reductionist and objectionable.

Since then, I've changed my mind.

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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I'm no historian of feminism and certainly can't speak for second wave feminism generally, but (in effect) yes. The feeling was th
  • Taffy Dugan
    Taffy Dugan says #
    Why would thinking of the Earth as a Mother be reductionist and objectionable? Was the 2nd wave of feminism putting down mothers?

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Earth's Blessing on the Newborn Sun

Straight be thy will,

deft be thy hand:

O heat of my heart,

O light of my land.

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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    And to you, my dear! (Did you get the golden Mother?) Let's talk soon!
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    Merry Yule! Love and warm blessings to you.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Love-Names of Earth and Sun

Years ago, I learned from my teacher the love-names of Earth and Sun.

By these names I know Them to this day.

What Their love-names to Themselves may be, we do not know. The names by which we know Them are born of our own relation.

I will not write the names here. They are no secret, but to know them is a changeful knowing.

Would you too know the love-names of Earth and Sun, of Horns and Moon?

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

My teacher always used to say that the Sun walks across the sky.

Tony Kelly (d. 1997) was founder (and prime mover) of the Pagan Movement in Britain and Ireland, of which I was an overseas member back in the early 70s. (You may know his much-reprinted essay Pagan Musings, the one that begins: “We're of the old religion, sired of Time”.) Although we never met face-to-face, I regard him as my teacher because from his writings and from our exchanges I learned the gods, ritual, and how to think in Pagan. If that's not teaching, I don't know what is.

And he always used to say that the Sun walks across the sky.

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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Tony wrote that piece in 1970. Hard to believe it's been 44 years. The final paragraph of "Musings" still makes me shake my head
  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    Wow, I hadn't read Pagan Musings in years -- and it was worth reading again. Thanks for the reminder, and a good post.

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