Next week my coven will be celebrating the Winter Solstice and instead of writing this blog post I should be writing our sabbat ritual. I'm sure the inspiration will come, eventually, but for now I'm going to continue to procrastinate (and perhaps daydream about an Oak King/Holly King scenario).
The PaganNewsBeagle took off last week (our internet went down!) but we are back in the saddle. In today's Airy Monday segment, we concentrate on academic issues of interest to Pagans and their allies. Magpie Wicca?; degrees of British traditional Wicca; Pagans and the land; Novo Religio (an academic magazine devoted to New Religious Movements); the World Religions and Spirituality Project.
Is Wicca inherently syncretic? Sable Aradia says "yes!" and offers ideas as to the difference Wicca's borrowing of ideas from many paths makes in inter-Pagan relations.
I'm not sure that every coven unrelated to a specific tradition needs a "Book of Shadows." I probably wanted one for my coven because I have strange control issues. After finding a ritual structure that worked for our circle I wanted to get it all down on paper, and share it with everyone in our little group. For our group a BoS made perfect sense because we work the same way ritual to ritual.
A BoS is not necessarily a rigid, never-changing book of instructions, but it often contains ideas that consistently work. If the quarter calls I'm using "work" why would I want to change them every month or so? I also think there's real power in repeating a ritual structure over and over again. It takes the guess work out of ritual and creates an atmosphere that lets the mind and spirit quickly ease into ritual mode. When my coven's opening chant starts I'm in "work mode" and instantly push outside concerns away.
The other day a member of my coven offered to lead an upcoming ritual. I was extremely pleased by this development. Though my wife and I often function as the "High Priestess" and "High Priest" of our group we didn't start this endeavor with the idea that we would run every ritual. It's nice to just sit back sometimes and participate instead of having to stand forward and "lead."
I know that our group is kind of set up in a such a way that it often looks like I'm in charge. My wife and I started our coven, we selected our initial circle-mates, and I organized our week to week gatherings. As time went on we adopted a formal ritual structure, which I wrote.
Howdy, Beagle fans! In today's Watery Wednesday we have both (literal) water news and news from our many diverse Pagan+ communities. In the "water" category: a record fall run of Chinook salmon and sea turtle hatchlings run to the sea; and in community news we have a Pagan artist's exhibition in Minneapolis, an active discussion of Pagan elderhood; and no "three-fold law" in Gardnerian Wicca?
There's a record run of Chinook salmon in the Pacific Northwest this fall and fisheries managers are happy -- but puzzled.
This question turns up in my inbox regularly. Sometimes when you’re searching for something, and particularly when you’ve been searching for a long time, a part of you wishes someone could just give you the answer so you can move on to the next step. I get it—really, I do. But the truth is the only person who can and should be answering this question for you is you.
One of the coolest things about Wicca, in my opinion, is that it makes you ask the hard questions and decide things for yourself. If you decide to pursue Wicca as your spirituality, you’re embarking on a path that’s not in the mainstream and doesn’t have a centralized leadership, structure, sacred text, or set of teachings. Exploring Wicca means jumping into the deep end without many of the usual societal supports. Nobody can truly tell you how to do it, although helpful people might be able to provide some guidance on the way. I realize that’s very uncomfortable sometimes, but nobody ever said spiritual growth (or any other kind of growth) is comfortable. If we’re too comfortable, we’re not likely to create change.