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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in personal practice

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Party of One: Ganesha

Sometimes I like to go to visit Gods and Goddesses from neighboring friendly pantheons. After attending my first Kirtan chant three years ago, I was introduced to the Hindu God Ganesh, the elephant-headed remover of obstacles. I was instantly drawn to him and "Gan Gan Ganapati" quickly became by personal favorite chant. It resonated on a deeper level of my subconscious. After some research, I discovered that Ganesh has his very own ten day festival every year in India, Ganesh Chaturthi. According to Guide, Sharell Cook, it culminates with a huge celebration on the last day called, Anata Chaturdasi day. Cook notes that the festivities are dependant "on the cycle of the moon." The dates fall a little differently annually, but for 2013 "Ganesh Fest" runs September 9 - September 19. The website, had some inspiring suggestions for setting up an altar and honoring Ganesh in your own home.

According to Subhamoy Das, also from the goindia site, Ganesh likes offerings of "coconuts, flowers, and camphor." You could also decorate your altar with figures of Ganesh and the color red.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Within & Without


This is part two in a series of blogs that will focus on meditation and contemplative practices in Paganism.  If you have not read part one, I encourage you to do so. Let's start with some more ideas and definitions about meditation.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Ivo Dominguez Jr
    Ivo Dominguez Jr says #
    I think the difference lies more in that the goals of these systems are not the same. I do believe in the premise that as things r
  • jason miller
    jason miller says #
    Very interesting. This is the first time I have seen the division between contemplation and meditation viewed this way. I follow

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
A Day in the Life


Sannion has written a delightful post at about an average day in his devotional life. I know that I always find it interesting to know what my colleagues and friends do for their Gods, and how they both order and balance the demands of devotion but until reading this, it hadn't occurred to me to write anything about my own average devotional day (though I have occasionally been asked what I do).  Well, I"m going to do that now, stealing an idea from Sannion (whom I hope will not mind too much!). There is of course, one caveat to all of this (as Sannion also points out in his post): what i write here is what I do. It may not be what those of you reading are called to do. The thing here is to ask yourselves how you can deepen and better *your* practices. If this helps, then I'm glad. If not, let me know what you're doing devotionally--it might inspire me and others reading this. 

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  • Betty Prat
    Betty Prat says #
    I read Sannion's and enjoyed it very much. I am so glad you added to it. It's good to know and hear how others "walk their talk" d

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

There's been a lot of talk lately in the blogging world about the idea of 'Pagan Community'. I've written a little about it, from my point of view of course. But more ideas are coming as the year moves forward, and it's interesting to see how things are developing, based on both the evolution of the Pagan 'world' and the everyday one.

Generally speaking, Pagans are a social bunch. We like to get together and chat, whinge a bit, put the world to rights over a drink or two, and generally feel the comfort of like-minded folk. Nothing wrong with this at all.

But there are also those of us who prefer solitary practice, working alone, perhaps communicating over the Internet with specific friends, but more comfortable walking our own path in our own way, thank you.


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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Sable Aradia
    Sable Aradia says #
    If we were to nurture our poppies instead of cutting them down, we would get a lot more done. That being said, I have learned tha
  • Donald Cutler
    Donald Cutler says #
    Hello Cat. I live in Denver Colorado, USA, and have been a solitary for almost all of my practicing life. I have been to a few cir
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Alas, my dear Cat, "Tall Poppy Syndrome" ( is as much a problem in the Pagan wor

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Heart Stories


This post falls outside of the normal boundaries for my blog, but I decided I wanted to share it nonetheless. I won’t burden you with the details, but I just experienced a three week stretch full of such a varied array of stresses and struggles the like of which compares with the worst I’ve experienced. This is saying quite a bit because I have clear memories back to about 18 months of age. Despite walking in the deep vale near the brink of my personal abyss, I still had to manage the mundane tasks of work, fulfill my ministerial duties as priest, offer counsel as a reader, and more. I have passed through this challenge and have gained insight through the experience. The pearl that was gained and my summary for this set of experiences is:

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jae Sea
    Jae Sea says #
    Thank you, Ivo, for sharing your heart and the moments of clarity gleaned from your work. I give thanks and love.
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Holding you in love this Imbolc night, my wise friend.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A look at the year ahead

Just over a week into the new year and that means it's time to put some plans into action, and look at the year ahead. One of which is steering this blog's content in a more useful direction by providing practical information on how I bring "my" Paganism into my everyday life as well as further explaining more about my spiritual practice, our homesteading adventures, observations of the world and Pagan community, and how that all fits together, even if not perfectly.

Believe it or not, today is a great day for thinking about 'blue' moons! While I don't consider them anything special, plenty of people do. I do admit, however, that it's an extra opportunity to do some full moon-based magick! The funny thing about blue moons is that most people have no idea how to tell when one is going to happen without looking it up in an almanac or the internet.

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This is going to be a fairly short and sweet post. I’ve been getting the same question via email again and again –and it’s a good question, don’t’ get me wrong---so I figure I should probably answer it. Lately everyone is asking me what to do with offerings be it to the ancestors, the Gods, or the house spirits once you’ve put them out.  

It really is a good question the answer to which I tend to take for granted as a given. It’s not though and since most of us don’t grow up (yet) in families that make regular offerings, there’s no reason that we should automatically know what to do with them. There’s so much about religious traditions and culture that we learn by observation, experience, and osmosis as we grow after all, and we’re not yet at that point as a community. I think in time we will be, but for now, thank the Gods for books, blogs, and teachers!

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Anomalous Thracian
    Anomalous Thracian says #
    Very good topic, Galina. I like how you point out the practicality of these practices -- that is essential. "Tradition serves life

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