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Privilege, Not Persecution

Note from Daven:I was directed toward this essay on Livejournal by a friend. I read it and thought it was one of the best of its type on the Internet. I didn’t want the essay to be lost because it was on an obscure blog, so I asked for permission to repost it here. Please read this and comment on the original article if you chose too.

By [personal profile] ebonypearl

On a friend’s FB, she commented about how she was tired of Christians whining about being persecuted in the US. She’s a sweet heart of a woman, charming, funny, warm-hearted, everything you’d want in a friend. She’s always a very devout Christian. I don’t think we’ve ever really discussed religion – there’s not a whole lot of need to talk if one walks the walk; there are so many other things to talk about when we get together. But over the years, we’ve come to learn things about one another and the fact that we have different religious beliefs only deepens our friendship.

Her wall post attracted a Christian who very plainly felt she was personally put upon and persecuted by American society for being Christian. When this woman (I’m calling her CP for “Christian Person”) commented that she viewed verbal comments from people expressing different points of view (mind you, not comments that attacked her religion, just expressed a different viewpoint) to be persecution, I’m sorry, but I rolled my eyes. When someone asked her for examples, CP wrapped herself in her privilege and accused the querant of attacking her and not caring; that :::sob::: nobody cared! so she just would go away and not talk to such mean people!

Shades of the old Fascist Meanie Pooh Pooh Head days!

Originally posted 2015-03-30 03:35:57. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Dedication of A Sword

Materials Needed:

  • Sword (doesn’t matter if sword is just for decor)
  • candles (1 for each element +1 black candle)
  • incense (preferably a dark colored incense any flavor)
  • strip of leather (length of sword)
  • bowl full of water (cauldron works)

Begin by cleansing your materials. Give any opening offerings to the Gods of your choice (preferably war Gods). Plot the land where you will work (mandatory outdoor ritual). Light the black candle and keep it burning throughout the ritual. Cast a circle using the sword by drawing the circle around you. Put sword in center of circle. Light the candle that represents Water and say:

In the element of Water I bless this sword to my name  (your name here) .

Stretch out the leather and lay it across the sword. Let a few drops of the candle wax drop on the leather. Extinguish the candle. Light the candle for Earth and say:

In the name of the God (God’s name here) I bless this sword of the Earth.

Let some wax drip on the leather. Extinguish the candle. Light the candle for Air and the incense and say:

“Tish! You Typed French!”

(Daven’s Note:  I am  unsure as to the copyright status of this particular document, but I have contacted the author several times to request permission to reprint it here, but I have never gotten a response.  I hope that the author will contact me if they have a problem with it being reprinted here.)

Everything I Know About Romance I Learned From the Addams Family

Morticia: “Oh darling, do you remember the emotional roller coaster, the raging hormones, the constant heartache of our first love?”
Gomez: “Yes. Too bad we can’t relive that agony.”

Looking back, I realize that I have learned a great deal from television, much more than I ever did from parents, educators, scoutmasters, the church or even Willie the greasy transient behind the grocery store. Whenever I needed to know how to navigate through life’s stormy waters, television was there.

When I needed to know how to read, count and consider sock puppets as intellectual equals, there was Sesame Street, The Electric Company and ZOOM. Jeopardy, Family Feud and the $100,000 Pyramid helped fill in those gaps in my knowledge that grade school inexplicably skipped. The Price is Right taught me rudimentary economics and comparative shopping, while Emergency! helped me learn the vital importance of having a cool head and thousands of gallons of water under pressure.

An Impatient Letter From God

by Bo Lozoff

Bo wrote the following article for the Human Kindness Foundation newsletter at Christmas-time, 1989. It was then included in his 1990 book Just Another Spiritual Book.

Since then, the essay has been widely circulated, though almost always uncredited. Radio commentator Paul Harvey included the piece in his radio program on two occasions, apparently receiving a deluge of calls, mail, and faxes (we hope mostly positive). Now this piece can be found at numerous websites, often edited, and usually listed as, “author unknown.” The following is the original letter.

Date: Eternity

From: GOD

To: My Children on Earth

re: Idiotic religious rivalries

My Dear Children (and believe me, that’s all of you),

I consider myself a pretty patient Guy. I mean, look at the Grand Canyon. It took millions of years to get it right. And how about evolution? Boy, nothing is slower than designing that whole Darwinian thing to take place, cell by cell and gene by gene. I’ve even been patient through your fashions, civilizations, wars and schemes, and the countless ways you take Me for granted until you get yourselves into big trouble again and again.

CREATING RITUALS: SACRED ACTS IN SACRED SPACE

<– Continued from

STATING PURPOSE:

State your purpose. Have a clear, short speech ready for this. A purpose that is complex is rather like a complex wish made to a genie–you don’t know what you’ll get. So you want to make sure your purpose is simple and direct. State it aloud, and give it your entire concentration–this is what you *WANT*. It should be the only thing on your mind at that moment.

The statement of purpose is followed by the body of the ritual. This will vary wildly depending on the ritual. Perhaps you will do candle magic, or perhaps you will meditate, perhaps you will enact a “spell” where you burn something, perhaps you will sit and travel out of your body in search of advise from a spirit guide. You may take a bath, wander on a quest through your back yard, look through an old photo album, or sing songs. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

We will go into possibilities for the body of a ritual, in detail, later on.

CLOSING:

DECLARATION OF WAR AGAINST EXPLOITERS OF LAKOTA SPIRITUALITY

At the Lakota Summit V, an international gathering of the US and Canadian Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota nations, about five hundred representatives from forty different tribes and bands of the Lakota unanimously passed a “Declaration of War against Exploiters of Lakota Spirituality”. The following declaration was unanimously passed on June 10, 1993.

  • Whereas we are conveners of an ongoing series of comprehensive forms on the abuse and exploitation of Lakota spirituality; and
  • Whereas we represent the recognized Lakota leaders, traditional elders, and grassroots advocates of the Lakota people; and
  • Whereas for too long we have suffered the unspeakable indignity of having our most precious Lakota ceremonies and spiritual practices desecrated, mocked, and abused by non-Indian “wannabes’, hucksters, cultists, commercial profiteers, and self-styled ‘New Age shamans’ and their followers; and
  • Whereas with horror and outrage we see this disgraceful expropriation of our sacred Lakota traditions has reached epidemic proportions in urban areas throughout the country; and
  • Whereas our Sacred Pipe is being desecrated through the sale of pipestone pipes at flea markets, powwows, and ‘New Age’ retail stores; and
  • Whereas pseudo-religious corporations have been formed to charge people money for admission into phony ‘sweatlodges and vision quest’ programs; and

An Open Letter to Young Seekers

An Open Letter to Young Seekers

Merry Meet!

If you are under 18, you will probably already have noticed that young folks generally elicit different reactions from adults in the Pagan community than what you’d like. You’ve probably had a great deal of difficulty finding someone to answer your questions honestly, or a respected teacher who is willing or able to teach you what you really want to know.

Following is part of the general information we make available for young seekers. If you have any questions, we will do our best to answer what we can, but please understand if sometimes the answer is “you really need to ask your parents.” (If your parents support your interest and would like more information about Wicca, please have them contact us. Or bring them to a Laughing Cat meeting, where they can ask questions and meet members of the local Pagan community.)

We hope you can understand that without knowing your parents, and hearing directly from them that they support your interest in Wicca, an ethical teacher or mentor cannot work with you. Most groups and private teachers don’t accept seekers under 16 or 18. (Some even require you to be 21 — or even older!)

Ethics, Morals and Other Rules

Pagans live by a different set of rules than “mere mortals.” Seriously though, we do have our own ethics, morals and family values. There are many lists of these guidelines available. In fact, just about anyone who’s ever written a book about magic or Witchcraft has given a list of “rules to live by.” That’s great, the more we have, the more we have to choose from because, let’s face it, we don’t all agree on everything. We have our sects just like any other religion. Some of us feel better with very specific, detailed rules while others chafe under such a system. Most of us, regardless of other differences, cite the “Witches Rede” as our guiding principle. I guess that’s a good starting place:

“Three words the Wiccan Rede fulfill; ‘an it harm none, do what ye will.”

I believe that is an abbreviated version of Doreen Valiente’s lovely little poem. She also mentions the “Law of Three”: “… unless in thy self-defense it be, ever mind the Rule of Three.” Yes, a very good place to start, indeed. But I have a few other rules that I try to live by.

The Mysteries of the Ogham

(Note from Daven:  This is an excellent article on one of the basics of Celtic Life.  The Ogham.  It is the basis of most of their poetry, literature, and their knowledge.  Look it over and look over that which we have on the Druids, and I think you will start to agree with me.)

The Mysteries of the Ogham-Part One

By Kenneth R. White

The script known as Ogham (oh-m) may have been a product of the Celtic peoples coming into contact with cultures who had already developed a written language; however, it is more than likely that the script developed independently. We know that the Druids used the Greek alphabet for private matters, committing none of their lore to writing. Most of our present day knowledge of Ogham comes to us from the Book of Ballimote, which was written in about the fourteenth century. Like the other texts used to teach medieval students, its sources are far older and lost to us. Ogham is to a long and cumbersome a system to use for writing large texts. The practical use of ogham seems to have been limited to ceremonial or short inscriptions. The physical evidence suggests that Ogham was used for short inscriptions and in fact there are many such examples carved along the edges of stones. Most of these Ogham stones are found in Ireland and Wales though there are a few of them located in Scotland and England. Since Ogham is not practical for writing by hand there must have been some other use. This is where we begin our journey into Ogham as a spiritual or magical system. The Ogham letters themselves were said to have been created by the God Ogma, after whom they are named, From a seventh century Irish text, Auraicept na n’Eces, we are told:

The Doctrine of Feline Sedentation

How would Christians deal with “The cat sat on the mat” if it appeared in the Bible?

The Liberal theologians would point out that such a passage did not of course mean that the cat literally sat on the mat. Also cat and mat had different meanings in those days from today, and anyway, the text should he interpreted according to the customs and practices of the period.

This would lead to an immediate backlash from the Evangelicals. They would make an essential condition of faith that a real, physical, living cat, being a domestic pet of the Felix Domesticus species, and having a whiskered head and furry body, four legs and a tail, did physically place its whole body on a floor covering, designed for that purpose, and which is on the floor, but not of the floor. The expression on the floor, but not of the floor would be explained in a leaflet.