A Pagan writer reflects on the way Beyonce's pregnancy announcement infers the imagery of Oshun. A group called "WITCH" gathers in Portland to fight for political and social causes. And a Korean shaman looks online for funding to help complete here training. It's Watery Wednesday, our segment about news regarding Pagan communities here and abroad. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
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I became convinced that Hotel Circle in San Diego was cursed because every time T. N. and I went to visit his old city, some weird glitch happened with each hotel. One had a light that flickered out when the shower was in use, one had a keycard door that wouldn't co-operate and an a/c that wouldn't turn off, one had a plumbing issue that had the hoteliers tearing the wall apart as we quickly changed rooms, one hotel only booked us for one night, locked us out as we came back from the beach (wet and sandy, and cold, because it was winter and raining-- as I told the weather reporter who had to interview some fool tourist out on the beach in the rain, "the ocean is big and wet and salty whether it's rainy or sunny,") and then tried to move us into an incompletely renovated room missing such amenities as towel racks and a bed.
So, I decided that the next time we stayed in Hotel Circle, which is within the view from Witches' Tower, I would go up the Tower and perform an exorcism upon Hotel Circle. I first exorcised a place back in college, which I wrote about in my previous post The Day I Cast Out Satan. The first time I did such a ritual, I did not know any other heathens, all the people I knew in person that I could get magical advice from were Wiccan, and the only book I had about heathen magic was Futhark: Handbook of Rune Magic, so the ritual style was more Wiccan than heathen. In planning to perform such a ritual again, 30 years later, I had to decide if I was going to change anything about the ritual because I know so much more now than I did then. Ultimately I decided to change very little, because the first ritual worked, and that's the test of a magical ritual....
Imbolc in dark, cold winter can signify endurance in the face of adversity and scarcity: we may encounter fragility, tenuousness, uncertainty, darkness and despair beyond what we think we can endure.
Women know these experiences.
We have held both new life and death in our hands. We have wondered: will this child make it, will the addict live or die, will my lover come home, will I survive this loss? Will I be OK? Will there be enough resources to see us into spring?
I imagine our ancestors sitting in circle at this time of year, with whatever sources of light they had, listening to one another. Just so. we are invited to sit circle together and share how we "are," what we need, what is frozen, what is thawing, what is fragile. In the deep winter, we begin again.
We say Yes again each year: Yes to the living of life again and whatever it may bring. I speak of Imbolc as a time of Faith.
KIm Duckett © Mother Tongue Ink 2016
In the new article Reclaiming the Radical Witch, Danielle Olson writes:
As her image grows ever whiter, more privileged, younger, prettier, and objectified in the west, women accused of being witches in Africa, Latin America and New Guinea continue to be hunted down and burned alive. I can’t help wonder what this all means for the “real” witches here and now?
"How can I know for sure if I'm a witch?
My sister says we come from a family of witches for generations, but I'm not sure... My whole family, aside from me, is very sensitive to the spiritual and paranormal, and I have had a few run-ins where I could have predicted what was about to happen. Also, I've had a few very very few cases of mind control: me making people forget, making people bring me things etc. Other than than, my life is normal... Am I really a natural born witch who just hasn't learned how to focus and control her natural abilities?"
Nadia from Norway
The Guardian examines the long-term influence of one of the world's most famous science fiction novels. A comic details the story of a cop secretly practicing magic. And Vin Diesel explains how The Silmarillion informs his views of mortality. It's Airy Monday, our weekly look at magic and religion in popular culture. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!