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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in ritual
6 Reasons Why The Wheel of the Year is Still Valid

The longer I spend online browsing blogs, lurking in discussion forums and generally talking to other witches and pagans, the more often I see the comment that many people do not celebrate the Wheel of the Year as they have decided the dates as they are traditionally understood in contemporary practice as simply not being a fit any more for their own practice.

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New Moon in Gemini: Radical Experimentation and Wild Imaginings

This morning, May 28th at 11:40 am (PDT) the New Moon in Gemini occurs, hovering for less than a moment in that space between breaths, and begins waxing even before she is visible in the heavens.  Gemini energy encourages us toward radical experimentation and wild imaginings.   We have the urge to get up and go, and explore new ideas, terrains, and paradigms.

Gemini is a mutable air sign, and as such is connected to the realm of the mind.  Gemini is associated with imagination, communication, language, culture, the Internet, and study. Because it is a mutable sign, it bridges one season into the next, and connects ideas, people, and things.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Danielle Blackwood
    Danielle Blackwood says #
    Hey Kelly! Thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed my post.
  • Kelly Benson
    Kelly Benson says #
    Beautiful! thank you Danielle

A few years back, some local witches held a ritual at Mounds Park in St. Paul.

Mounds Park is one of the most sacred (and beautiful) places in our area, where 2000-year old burial mounds line the bluff that is the highest point in Ramsey County, overlooking the Mississippi River Valley.

Although these folks pride themselves on being ritually innovative, this particular rite was Standard Wiccan Issue, right out of the books. So there we were, in the most sacred spot for miles around, casting a circle around ourselves to “create sacred space.”

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  • Lee Holland
    Lee Holland says #
    I am surprised that you were allowed to do a ritual there. At many of the Native American sites remaining in Tennessee and Georgi
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Mounds Park is a city park, so anyone with a permit can hold an assembly there, religious or non-religious. The issue you raise
  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    I can understand your concern. I've been to rituals that were "creative" but made no mention of the time, place, or Sabbat they su
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Oh, I'm well aware of the risted circle's power to ward, Greybeard; it's part of Old Craft lore, too. But I would say that the Peo
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    In this highly industrialized world of ours, in which it's easy to forget that we ourselves are animals and belong to the environm

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

There I am, at the ritual planning meeting. The priestess-in-charge stands up, welcomes everyone, and thanks us all for coming.

Then she asks the question that should never be the first question asked at a ritual planning meeting.

Priestess: So how do we cast the circle?

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Wicca being the gold standard for Successful Modern Pagan Religions, I guess it's not surprising that a lot of us non-Wiccans suff
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    "Deosil, of course." I participated in a non-Wiccanate ritual at which there many Wiccanate attendees, and at which some dancing
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    I don't usually cast the circle or call the quarters either--though I once did. I felt vindicated when I learned from Ronald Hut
Pagan savings challenge, week eleven:  reflections

I've imposed some rules upon my own interpretation of the Pagan savings challenge, some of which are probably going to fall before long.

  1. I'm using the smallest bills possible, because I'm posting a picture each week and want that image to express abundance.  The envelope I use is pretty much maxed out as of this week, and my money shrine isn't large enough to support a larger one, but I still like the look of the growing pile of singles.
  2. I'm also replacing the cash entirely each week before I add new, to keep me mindful of the flow of money.  As the numbers grow higher, the practicality of doing so will drop, because . . .
  3. I am performing this savings challenge in cash, because talismans are powerful.  While there are security concerns for this practice, I have put sufficient safeguards into place that I feel confident continuing in this manner, even if I can't comply with the first two for much longer.

These rules are part of ritual which surrounds my savings, the ritual which places this work into religious context.  While I won't be dogmatic about them, I do believe that rooting work with money in one's faith practice will make it more powerful, more successful, and more valuable to the whole person than a wad of cash can be in its own right.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Do Women's Circles Actually Matter?

“We need rituals of memory…because a political movement, the public policy and tactics of our movement, does not come from our ideas, but from the bloody and joyful substance of our lives. We need to be conscious about what our lives have been, to grieve and to honor our strength, in order to break out of the past into the future.” –Minnie Bruce Pratt

Last year, I was feeling depressed and discouraged after reading some really horrifying articles about incredible, unimaginable violence and brutality against women in Papua New Guinea who are accused of being witches as well as a book about human trafficking around the world (I wrote about this book in a post for Pagan Families). Then, I finished listening to David Hillman on Voices of the Sacred Feminine, in which he issued a strong call to action to the pagan community and to “witches” in the U.S. to do something about this violence, essentially stating that it is “your fault” and that rather than spending energy on having rituals to improve one’s love life (for example), modern witches should be taking to the streets and bringing abusers to justice. And, he asserts, the fact that they don’t, shows that they don’t really “believe”—believe in their own powers or in their own Goddess(es).

This brought me back to a conversation I had with a friend before one of our last women’s circle gathering…does it really matter that we do this or is it a self-indulgence? We concluded that it does matter. That actively creating the kind of woman-affirming world we want to live in is a worthy, and even holy, task. I’ve successfully created a women’s subculture for myself and those around me that comes from an ecofeminist worldview. However, is that actually creating change? Or, is that just operating within the confines of a damaging, restrictive, and oppressive social and political structure? Last time I facilitated a Cakes for the Queen of Heaven series, I made a mistake when I was talking and said, “in the land that I come from…” rather than saying, “in my perspective” or “in my worldview.” This is now a joke amongst my circle of friends, we will say, “in my land…that isn’t what happens,” or “let me tell you what it is like in my land.” I have to feel like that DOES make a difference. If we can share “our land” with others, isn’t change possible? Doesn’t “our land” have inherent value that is worth promoting, protecting, and populating?

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  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Lovely, sensitive, well thought out. As David Hyde Pierce remarked about the current level of funding for Alzheimer's research, "

b2ap3_thumbnail_criticism_20140302-173627_1.jpgThe last few blogs I've posted have been all rants and ravings of mine about the trend in Pagan spirituality to turn rituals into platforms for critique or guests pulling aside ritual leaders moments after the Circle is closed to offer negative, unsolicited "advice." The danger in rushing to critique is that we lose focus of the ultimate goal of rituals: to create change in the world via Magick and/or building safe space for souls to grow, heal, and become reborn, or some other facet. They're not simply an opportunity to show to others our own knowledge. When we do this, our rituals lose their effectiveness. This is also a practice in the whole of the soul. We are entitled to our opinions, but others are not obligated to listen to them--even if we are right.

Yet sometimes, criticism is necessary.

No one is going to get any stronger at what they if they are only flattered and complimented. A good teacher doesn't only praise. A good teacher looks for ways the student might improve and a good student listens to those suggestions. Ritualists are no different and constructive criticism is necessary to building more effective rites.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Chas  S. Clifton
    Chas S. Clifton says #
    Sorry, apparently I can't hyperlink here. I was trying to link to this video: http://blog.chasclifton.com/?p=6332#comments
  • Chas  S. Clifton
    Chas S. Clifton says #
    Graybeard is right—the Wiccan circle-casting works for small groups but becomes tedious with more than maybe twenty. But these pe
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    Well-said. Learning to create rituals takes time and skill that can be learned. My general guideline is to keep it simple, words
  • Courtney Weber
    Courtney Weber says #
    Thank you, Carol! We just talked about this last night at a class. We didn't even use props and just used internal energy instead.
  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    Good rant. Unlike some other religions our clergy are often not trained very well and our rituals get more creative. One reaso

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