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Community Shame

(Note from Daven: You may know that I’m a contributor to a publication called “The Juggler“.  It’s a Pagan magazine that is a blog.  There are several of us who contribute to it regularly these days.  Sunfell is one of the regular contributors and this piece showed up there the other day.  I asked for and received permission to repost this here. I have to add that while I was reading this the first time, I found my neck to be sore from nodding so many times.)

Community Shame

This post landed on my Pagan Clergy board. It is a wonderful illustration of illusions, and the shattering of those illusions. The original post is in italics. My replies are in plain text.

Community Shame ————–

Having been in the [State] Pagan community for some time, I have been witness to a disturbing trend within the state. We don’t have a real community any longer. No longer are we questing for our spirituality, the voices of unity are in no way apparent, and we have become so fractured by pretty grievances that we have no sense of self. Where is the community? Where is the honor that we should be striving for, the virtues of Paganism that we had been seeking when we all began?

Ye May Not Be A Witch Alone!

Some reflections on the life of a solitary practitioner of the craft.

The title of this work is taken from one of the Craft Laws of both the Gardnerian and Alexandrian traditions of the craft. As one of many solitary practitioners of the Craft, I take exception with such a bias Law, which at its best is a corruption of the basic ideals of Wicca.

Are we expected to accept the word of these two that their form of the craft came complete with a coven? No need for either one to start alone? Absurd at least, is it not. No the two forms of Wicca mentioned above, have themselves undergone many changes and there are several hundred solitary practitioners in the United States alone.

This is, however, not an attack on these fine traditions, but just an illustration of how misunderstood the solitary practitioner can be. We hold our circles, alone. We send forth our energies, alone and in many instances we celebrate the festivals, alone. Inherent in all this is the fact that being alone, I feel we achieve a closer feeling with our own being, than those who practice within a coven.

CREATING RITUALS: SACRED ACTS IN SACRED SPACE

The following lessons first appeared as an online study class on the subject of rituals. This particular section covers, among other things, ritual space, cleansing rites, shielding, centering, tools, gestures, movements, words, the basic steps and what to do when something goes wrong. This section also covers how to create rituals.

LESSON 1: WHAT THE HECK *IS* A RITUAL????

Glad you asked! Bottom line: a ritual is a “routine” that puts you in certain frame of mind.

For example, the preparations you make prior to going to bed are a ritual! Brushing your teeth, removing your clothes, putting things away, adjusting lights, checking the locks or letting out the cats, etc. Some of you may, in fact, be so locked into this ritual that if you miss, forget, or do any of your routine actions wrong, you find yourself unable to go to sleep!

What makes this “ritual” rather than just “routine”? The purpose of a routine is to get a job/chores done. To get the kids off to school, the bills paid, the paperwork done. The purpose of a ritual is, as I’ve said, to put you in a frame of mind; the tasks you do prior to bed get a job done, but they also cue your brain and body for sleep. They ready you for something that most people look forward to–the safety of bed, the delight of sleep, a trip to the dream plane.

Fluffy Behavior 101

[Copyright Freeman and Sky Dancer, 2003. All rights reserved.
Permission to repost or otherwise distribute is granted provided
the essay is kept intact and this notice included.]

The question keeps coming up, what makes someone fluffy, or a fluff-bunny?  The concept of a fluff-bunny is similar to “twinkie” as used in many American Indian communities: someone who either plays at the spiritual practices or is serious about it but goes for stereotypes and glitz rather than factual information.

Practicing any significant number of these characteristic behaviors will be good and sufficient cause to label you accordingly. These are from actual experience, but they don’t all apply to any one person — we hope. Several of them seem contradictory; this doesn’t appear to matter to the people in question. Note: if you find this list offensive (especially if it bothers you that it has 13 items), then you are probably a classic fluffy. If you think we’re being unnecessarily confrontational with this, you may be right (but see item 5). If you think we’re picking on Wiccans, maybe so; but we do know plenty of non-Wiccan fluffies (check out http://www.whywiccanssuck.com/ and http://wicca.timerift.net/ for other detailed views on the Decadence of Wicca).

The Native American Ten Commandments

(Note from Daven:  I found this on another newsgroup, and it sparked a deep interest in me.  I could wish more people lived this way.  It would make for a better world.)

The Native American Ten Commandments

The Indian Ten Commandments (“Indian” meaning the indigenous people of the continent known now as North America. Commandments meaning traditional guidelines for harmonious social interchange.)

  1. Treat the earth and all that dwells thereon with respect.
  2. Remain close to the Great Spirit.
  3. Show great respect for your fellow beings.
  4. Work together for the benefit of all mankind.
  5. Give assistance and kindness wherever needed.
  6. Do what you know to be right.
  7. Look after well being of mind and body.
  8. Dedicate a share of your efforts to the greater good.
  9. Be truthful and honest at all times.
  10. Take full responsibility for all your actions

Originally posted 2014-12-17 17:32:54. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Witches test tolerance

Published by
The Tennessean
Sunday, 6/27/99
http://www.tennessean.com
haynes27.shtml for article

COMMENTARY

Witches test tolerance

By Charles Haynes / First Amendment Center

Most Americans are all for religious liberty — at least until it protects a religion they don’t like. Then all bets are off.

The latest test of popular support for the First Amendment is the controversy following news reports of Wiccan celebrations at Fort Hood, Texas, our largest Army post. In recent years, Army officials at Fort Hood and other bases have accommodated requests by Wiccans for space to hold their ceremonies.

Some conservative Christian groups are so angry about Wiccan practices on bases that they have called on Christians not to enlist or re-enlist in the Army.

Wicca provokes outrage and controversy because it involves witches and witchcraft, long associated with “evil spells” and “demons” in Christian history. Persecution of witches — or those thought to be witches — was common in medieval Europe. And, as every schoolchild learns, America had its own chapter of persecution in colonial Salem.

Actually, the witches of Wicca (most, but not all, Wiccans are witches) have nothing to do with casting evil spells. Nor are Wiccans “Satanists.” In fact, Wiccans don’t even believe in the existence of Satan.

An Annotated Bibliography for Witchcraft

The Magic of Ancient Celtic Beliefs in a Contemporary Society

(Note from Daven: I have personally read most of these texts and references.  I find them to be some of the best sources of information.  I highly recommend all these books, and I will append a list of my own personal favorites to the end of this article. Or at least, put the rest of the “recommended reading lists” there.)

The purpose of this listing is to help the novice sort out the reliable from the sensational in the wealth of material that is now available on Witchcraft. I have left out old historical treatises (records of the Inquisition and such) which are of little value to the modern student, and have concentrated instead on contemporary sources. This also yields a much more objective perspective. ~~ Mike Nichols [c.1989]

THE TEXTS

‘Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today’ – 2nd ed. – by Margot Adler. Beacon Press trade paperback.

Christian View of What Wiccans Believe pt 2

<– continued from

*WHAT SAYS THE WORD?*

(I must make a digression here. It is true what this man says here. But remember that it is only true if YOU BELIEVE IN HIS RULES. By our very religion, we do not believe in any of this and never will, so who’s rules are we violating? A God whom we honor, but whom we don’t give homage to? An individual person? It does not matter what someone else’s religion says we are doing, because WE DON’T BELIEVE IT. So given that, none of this has any authority or power over us, only the Christians. This is a very important distinction since you will hear things like this thrown at you all the time by the Bible-thumpers. They will try to use their rules to force you to do as they say. It is analogous of obeying the laws of Angola while living in the USA and being an American citizen. And having an Angolan citizen try to force you to follow his country’s laws. It is ludicrous and beyond belief that anyone would apply their standards to you and me. But unfortunately, it happens far too often. Daven)

Glossary of Pagan and Wiccan Terms pt 1

(Note from Daven:  This is probably the most complete glossary of terms I have ever come accross.  I have no idea where DenElder got all these from, but it is exceedingly complete and not a lot is left out.  I highly recommend that you not only get a copy of this, but that you READ it.)

Glossary of Pagan and Wiccan Terms

Introduction…DenElder

Although I’ve been into magickal practices all my life, I continually find words I don’t understand or whose meanings have changed. I started writing down these words & meanings; the 33 note glossary is the product of this. Since I had so much trouble, I figured others may be having the same problem, especially beginners & nonPagans who read here.

To these people, I share this glossary. REMEMBER! I’ve kept things VERY simple! Some subjects like Akasha could, & have been explained in volumes. But my goal is to GIVE AN IDEA of meaning(s) or controversy; YOU will have to ask further or do further research. There are MANY PEOPLE who need thanked for helping me with this.

Some comes from the backs of books but most is from the Priests/esses from here on P*. Some without knowing as I lurked through the subjects.

Glossary of Pagan and Wiccan Terms pt 2

<– continued from

Mabon: the festival celebrated around Sept. 21, on the Autumnal Equinox, marking the second harvest and change of Autumn toward Winter, when Nature prepares for the time to come. A time of thanks and reflection by many old & new civilizations.

Mage: Old English for the singular, ‘Magus’ and plural, ‘Magi’; meaning a wise person. Can be a term of respect for a personal with great talent in a specific branch of magick; Herb Mage, Tarot Mage, etc.

Magic: the sleight of hand tricks, having ‘physical’, as opposed to ‘psychic’ exercise. NOTE: the word ‘magic’ is English from the Greek ‘magos’, and the Persian ‘magus’. The words mean a Seer or Wizard.

Magick: 1) the movement of natural energies to create needed change. 2) the process of building up the natural energies of certain objects for a purpose, then releasing it. 3) a natural practice of mind using matter.

Magick, candles: the practice of directing the energies emitted by burning candles to create needed change.

Magick, circle: see Circle.

Magick, crystal: the practice of using energy from crystals or minerals, to create needed change.