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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Pandemic Fallout - Clergy
There has been a trend in the Pandemic across all religious lines that clergy leaders are changing professions. Paganism is not immune to the trend. 29% is a huge amount. In Wicca, where there are already so few trained and trusted leaders, we can't afford to lose any good people. Yet we are.
 
What can you do to help? Be aware of the struggles our clergy face. They don't have a salary. They don't have financial security for themselves or their families. They don't even have respect and safety. Mention religious leaders in a public forum and there will at least be a couple of people who devalue our leaders and leadership, not individuals, just leadership in general. Don't let them get away with it. Report mean spirited posts. Confront disrespectful, ignorant, or inconsiderate people. Refuse to participate in hurtful conversations or support people who are generating negative commentary.
 
Consider what life would be like without the work of your leaders and have respect, appreciation and compassion for the role religious leaders play in your life. Protect them and take care of them. Let them know they are appreciated. Treat them with the principle "Though Art God, Thou Art Goddess". Remember that the path is perfect and just because someone is mad, doesn't mean they don't deserve the experience they have created, and that there are always two sides of the story.
 
Pete "Pathfinder" Davis, founder of the Aquarian Tabernacle Church, founded in 1979, cultivated a tolerant utopia in Seattle. He made a lot of people angry along the way. He is responsible for so many of our rights that we take for granted today. His life was the life of a warrior. He died with bitterness in his heart, feeling unappreciated and abandoned by the majority of his congregation.
 
Religious leaders are different, and few. There are not many people who have the ability and the willingness to do what your leaders do. After spending a year with nothing but the hatefulness of facebook cluttering their minds, their spirits are defeated and wondering if it's worth it. Yes, Pete had his flaws. He was a great man. He was a fighter. He was often misunderstood by fragile egos, who were more focused on the promotion of their personality than the bigger picture.
 
All religions suffer from those who long for greatness, but can't achieve it. All religions suffer from the mentally ill, who feel that attacking someone of notoriety will bring them attention. A man once attempted to assassinate the President of the United States to get an actress' attention. Desperate people distort reality to fit their world view. When you give power to this behavior, it robs everyone of the world that can be created by love, trust, compassion and understanding. When religious leaders are surrounded by lack, giving all they have to create a better world, and nothing is standing between them and those who would take pleasure in watching them fall, so that leader won't be competition for their ego, the world is worse off for it.
 
If we are going to make the world a better place, we have to do it together. We must stand for love. We must stand against hate in all it's forms. Even hate disguised as pain. Hate is infectious. You cannot heal it, you can only confront it, call it out for what it is, and then walk away from it.
 
Take action when you see your leaders, or other leaders being disrespected. You might not know what amazing things that have done, and if they quit, you will never know what amazing things they would have done. The world cannot afford this right now.
 
https://www.christianitytoday.com/better-samaritan/2021/june/has-pandemic-made-your-pastor-want-to-quit-probably.html?utm_source=CT%20Pastors%20Newsletter&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_term=99120&utm_content=5748&utm_campaign=email
 
Belladonna Laveau is the Archpriestess of the ATC International. 
https://www.christianitytoday.com/better-samaritan/2021/june/has-pandemic-made-your-pastor-want-to-quit-probably.html?utm_source=CT%20Pastors%20Newsletter&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_term=99120&utm_content=5748&utm_campaign=email
 
https://churchanswers.com/blog/six-reasons-your-pastor-is-about-to-quit/
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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

 

A friend's publisher asked him to write them a Wicca 101 book.

Thank Goddess, he told them that the last thing that the world needs is yet another book on Wicca 101, but that he would be willing to write them one on Wicca 501.

Great, they said, write it.

Well, good on him, and good on them, and luck to the maker and the made. Pardon me, though, if I remain a little skeptical.

Wicca, at heart, is a fairly simple system. This is one of its great advantages, and helps explain its rapid spread across the world. But of course, this very simplicity is also its greatest problem.

The problem with Wicca 501 is that there is no Wicca 501.

What would Wicca 501 look like? Well, I'll tell you, but—if you're thinking psychic techniques and harnessing the power of the subconscious mind—it may not be what you're expecting.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Foundations of Incense: Myrrh

It’s true that frankincense is the most famous incense resin, it is almost automatic when you say “frankincense” to want to immediately say “and myrrh”.  In antiquity the two were in nearly equal demand.  Although used more for the making of perfumes, myrrh was frequently burned in the same manner as frankincense.  While frankincense is a fairly simple scent to work with, myrrh presents far more complications.  Frankincense is a sweet, bright scent.  Myrrh is a complex, dark scent that can easily overpower other scents.  If you’ve ever been to one of my workshops you know that I am an advocate of spending time with individual incense ingredients.  Sometimes by listening to your ingredients they will tell you things that they’ve told to no other person.  Myrrh has a lot to say and is worth devoting the time.

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  • Hearth M Rising
    Hearth M Rising says #
    I have never combined myrrh with sandalwood but will try it (over charcoal). I do like the smell of myrrh, but find few spellcast

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
An It Harm None

An it harm none, do what ye will

This is the Wiccan Rede.  According to Marian Green in "A Witch Alone," an is Old English meaning In order that; will means you soul's own true will; and none means no one and nothing.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
When 2 are 1

The beauty of nature can be found in the most unusual places and teach us the most unexpected lessons.  A few days ago I was returning to work from a lunch (half) hour spent going through the neighborhood thrift store.  I pulled into traffic and then had to wait at a long light.  While sitting there, I looked up and saw an amazing and unexpected sight.

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  • Carl Neal
    Carl Neal says #
    I thought that might be the case but the dang light changed and I had to go back to work! It was, indeed, a case of 2 becoming 1.
  • Natalie Reed
    Natalie Reed says #
    What you describe sounds like part of the mating dance of eagles - eventually they would have clasped together and free fallen tow

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Wiccan on Wiccanate Privilege

There's been a lot of talk since PantheaCon in the blogsphere recently about Wiccanate privilege.  I was not at PantheaCon, but to the best of my ability to determine, it is a general sense of being marginalized in the Pagan community that exists among a variety of Pagans who do not follow a path that resembles (at least superficially) Wicca.  They feel that most "Pagan" rituals and gatherings are Wiccan-normative, and they would prefer that this assumption is not made in pan-Pagan ritual, conversations and gatherings.  There have been some excellent articles on the topic; here's one at the Wild Hunt; here's one at Finnchuill's Mast; here's one by T. Thorn Coyle in regards to a controversial "Wiccanate" prayer she gave at the gathering; here's one at Of Thespiae (a Hellenic Reconstructionist blog); here's a couple by fellow PaganSquare writers Stifyn Emrys and Taylor Ellwood; here's a couple by fellow Patheos writers Yvonne Aburrow, Niki Whiting, Julian Betkowski, John Halstead and Jason Mankey at Raise the Horns; and P. Sufenas Virius Lupus, writer of "Queer I Stand" at Patheos, has commented about it extensively around the internet though I couldn't find a specific blog post on the topic in my search (though e was at the conference).  If you read all of these, you'll probably get a good handle on the many different sides of the issue and what various people's take on it is: and if you read the comments, it will be more informative still.  If you haven't done so yet, do it; then come back here in an hour or three if you still want to hear my opinion.  Don't worry, I'll wait . . .

Here's my thoughts as someone who identifies as a Wiccan: I think that those who are advocating for this are right!  I think that most people, within and without the Pagan community, do assume that "Wiccanate" paths are the norm.  And I do think we need to be more inclusive and accommodating in our language and form.  No question about it!  Our community is still small enough that I don't think we can afford to alienate each other.  Let's try to get along in a climate of mutual respect.

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  • Jay
    Jay says #
    As a former Pagan, I stumbled across the discussion of the word "Wiccanate" way past its cultural debut. Needless to say I'm out o
  • Roberto Quintas
    Roberto Quintas says #
    Thinking that I find your article and this social network before the heavy complaints in Ptaheos against mine elitism, it's kind o
  • Ruadhán J McElroy
    Ruadhán J McElroy says #
    You did not join any Yahoogroups in the 1990s, nobody did. Several free (or mostly-free) elist services existed, and Yahoo had a B
  • Sable Aradia
    Sable Aradia says #
    Thank you for correcting me. Yes, it was eGroups that we started out on, which was later purchased by Yahoo. I had forgotten.
  • Samuel Wagar
    Samuel Wagar says #
    I guess "Pagans for Peace" is a derivative of Reclaiming in some way, although we haven't done Reclaiming style stuff forever. Wel

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

The time of Lughnasadh, or Lammas, is nigh. The basic Wiccan definition tells us that this is the celebration of the first harvest, so that the Solar God (Lugh, in this instance), Who has been waning since Litha, is now sacrificed as embodiment of the grain we humans depend upon. The theme is, as all harvest festivals, gratitude for the bounty of Mother Earth and Father Sun.

Because my path is Earth-centered, I believe it is less important to hold to the "traditional" meaning of the sabbats than it is to attune to the energy of the place where you actually live, where (hopefully) your own food is grown. The seasons of Ireland are a far cry from the seasons of the Ozark Mountains. Here, gardens and farms are in the fullness of activity and production (Goddess willing). We have been harvesting many crops for weeks now - including the native Three Sisters: corn, beans and summer squash. August, while indeed a time to harvest, is also a time for planting the fall short-season crops. Therefore, my "locavore" version of Lughnasadh recognizes that this is also a time for renewal: strengthened by the warm soil and full bounty, we can plant new seeds in our lives and communities.

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