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On picking your battles

Erin

For many years I have been a part of the Community, both online and off, and seen many causes taken up and championed by those who have a passion to fight for the right. There is nothing wrong with this; I just wish they would be a little more discriminating with their causes.

Here’s one that I wish to all the Gods was passed on by the “Activists”. There was a gentleman I was familiar with in Texas while I lived there. Wonderful metalworker. He made his fillet out of the leaf spring of an old car. He beat it and shaped it and it was a work of art. He was very into nature and into survival. He was going through a messy divorce. He was Wiccan. The judge refused to let him have his child, and he alleged to the community that the mother of his child was the bad parent. The impression retained many years later is that mom was a drug addict, a convicted felon or worse. He ran with the daughter to Kansas, making it possible to charge him with felony kidnapping rather than let her be destroyed by her mother. Eventually he was found and the little girl was brought back to Texas.

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TEMPLES, COVENS AND GROVES OH MY!

Other Author

© 1992, Khaled Quicksilver
c/o P.O. Box 32, Stn “B”
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 6C3

[This article may be reprinted without further permission, provided it is printed intact, complete with this notice and my copyright, and a copy of the publication it appears in is sent to the author at the address given above. Any changes in the text, however, must be approved in advance by the author.]

There appears to be a fair amount of ongoing confusion as to what each of these is and what each of them should be doing, so let me stick my oar into it, too. But first, let’s play the definition game.

Circle: Three or more people who gather to work ritual or Craft. Some are ritual only, some worship only, but most do both. The following are all special cases of a Circle:

Grove: Circle usually led by, and under the auspices of, a coven. Frequently eclectic in practice, groves are commonly used as an introduction to the Craft as a whole but not necessarily to any given Tradition. Groves usually don’t initiate. May also be called a Study Group.

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Green Witchcraft II

Erin

Balancing Light and Shadow

by Ann Moura (Aoumiel)
Llewellyn Publications 1999
ISBN 1-56718-689-0

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

I received this book at the same time as I received Green Witchcraft and Green Witchcraft III and I was thrilled. It looked to be a good series of books for the beginner.

As I said in my previous review, this set of books is not for the beginner. It is for those who have the basics down as described by Cunningham and Buckland in their seminal works.

What this book does do is show how to harness the energy of the Dark side of nature. While I personally object to anything being listed as “dark” since it is all of nature, the author does have a point in that anything in the universe has a negative side to it. This negative side she lists as the “dark” side. Such as, doing spells for benefit during the New Moon.

That’s not something that many Craft teachers are willing to go into in any depth. So once again, I need to restate that I don’t believe that these particular books are good for the rank novice, but rather for the intermediate student who is looking to further their education.

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Harry Potter, Narnia, and the Lord of the Rings

Erin

By Richard Abanes
Harvest House Publishers, 2005 $11.99
ISBN 0-7369-1700-4

Review by Daven

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ 

I shouldn’t be disappointed. I knew what I was getting into. I knew this was a book about the evils of witchcraft and Harry Potter from a fundamental Christian perspective. I knew all this, but I still hoped.

I had interacted with Richard Abanes through a weblog. Specifically a discussion that ensued at Wildhunt.org. The exact thread is at “My Falacy is Made of Straw” (and I know it says “No comments”, but trust me, there are comments. Click the link and you will see them.) Yes, I know that I don’t come across in the best of light, but as you can see, there is baiting on both sides.

Well, I talked to his publisher and got a copy of the book. I read it. Man is it disappointing.

It is not that the author is a poor writer. Far from it, Richard is an engaging and convincing author. It’s not that he has his facts wrong, for I’m sure that he did the research required for this book. That information is available, and it is footnoted as well, but I didn’t have the time to go behind him and look up all the citations he states.

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A Letter to a Young Girl

Erin

(Daven’s Note: This is a portion of some email correspondence I recently had with a young girl in relation to my site.  She was, basically, asking me to teach her Wicca.  In brief, I told her no, but I went further than many have in the past to tell her why I said that.  There are several legal problems and some moral/ethical issues that those of us who teach have to be aware of, and this explains them.

Please note, this does not say that she is not worthy to learn, it simply states that I can’t teach her right now.  There will invariably come a time when she is old enough to be free of parental constraints and any teacher in the Craft will be happy to teach her, but right now there are too many issues to deal with to allow me to do more than present this information to her that is on this site.  I hope she will not loose her interest as she grows.  This was written in 2002.)

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RITUAL FOR CLEANSING & BALANCING & CENTERING

Other Author

Materials Needed:

  1. Bowl (such as a fish bowl or cauldron)
  2. 3 rocks one small one medium and one large
  3. One twig
  4. Water

What to Do:

Begin by casting your circle a nice blue circle. Then fill the bowl with water about to the brim and imagine a calm place. You are being totally calm without any cares in the world. Then open your eyes and dip your finger in the water and bring it back up letting the water on your finger drip into the bowl as you imagine once again your calm cool place.

Then imagine excitement and joy in you. Open your eyes and drop the small rock into the bowl of water watch it splash and wave

Imagine next anger filling you. Open your eyes and drop the medium size rock into the bowl and watch the bigger waves the bigger splash

Next imagine filling your self with absolute madness and frustration as you drop the largest rock into the bowl watch the splash enormous in size

Imagine next total peace joy and harmony as you drop the twig in there as it pops back up to the top floating as light as a feather

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Advanced Ritual Course Final Assignment

Erin

(Note from Erin: One tiny bit of information… I was taking an advanced ritual class, and this is the essay I did to complete the course.  I chose to do it on the Mormons because the instructor was also an ex-Mormon.  I am pretty proud of this piece and i believe that it stands up in the time.)

For this assignment, and with the permission of Kenn, I chose the Baptism ritual from the Mormon Church.  It’s one of the few rituals in the Mormon Church that I participated in that follows an outline similar to previous rituals discussed in this class.  I never participated in any of the “secret” rituals.  I did not choose the more common “Sacrament Ritual” also know as, bread and wine, transubstantiation, or communion, since it is so frequently done that the ritual looses all meaning in practice.

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The Hero Redeemed

Erin

(A Note from Daven: The Hero Redeemed is an assignment I received from an auditor of one of my classes. This was turned in for an assignment given in the mythology lesson.)

The Hero Redeemed- An Archetypical Myth

Author: Posting for a lurker – Daven Iceni

(Daven’s Note: I received this via email today. Apparently there is a group of Non-AS residents who follow this class, and email me their assignments. So, we have auditors in the classroom, be on your best behavior. I have their permission to post this, but I was asked to keep their identity to myself.)

In the story I will be examining I have found a modern retelling of the classic myth of personal redemption. In the true Grecian style, a Deus Ex Machina is employed to resolve the conflict.

(Daven’s Comment: For those of you not familiar with the device of Deus Ex Machina [Okay, I had to look it up too.] I will explain it in brief here. It’s the device used where a benevolent Power intervenes in the story to make it “all better”. It’s “and the little boy fell out of bed and woke up, it was all a dream” cheat that drives me out of my mind.)

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Bunnyhunting part 2

Erin

First Published on “The Juggler”

Many that I have talked to about this topic have expressed to me that one of the reasons they hunt bunnies are because of the PR war.

Think back to the icons that are being held up on TV and in the media as “typical witches”. You find that most of them are extremeists. People like Lady Belladona LeVeau on the recent show “Wife Swap”. AP with brooms? Fire spinning? Teaching her children how to be a HPS instead of a human being? House elves? And that’s a minor example.

How about Jonathon ‘The Impaler’ Sharkey? Remember him? He’s the “vampire” who was running for the post of Governor of Minnesota, who promised to put the Ten Commandments AND the Wiccan Rede in every government building in Minnesota, as well as impailing criminals on the Capital Lawn. He claims to be a witch and his wife is also a Pagan, according to what they say.

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Eris, the Goddess of Confusion, Chaos, and Laughter

Irreverend Hugh

(Note from Daven: Please note, this is NOT my article, but it is THE best article I have ever seen dealing with who Eris is and why we should care.  Do not make the mistake of dismissing this goddess just because she seems scary like other trickster/chaotic deities (like Loki, Coyote and Discordia) have been in the past.  They are CRITICAL to our world.  I made a comment when I read this article, and the author said it was one of the best summations of how a Discordian sees Chaos:  “Creative Chaos. Without chaos, no inventions can happen, no progress can be made, for it is the spark of the Chaotic that prompts inspiration. Total Order is stagnation. ” So, keep that in mind.)

Eris, the Goddess of Confusion, Chaos, and Laughter

by “Irreverend Hugh (otherwise known as Triskell), KSC, of the Discordians for Softer Sandpaper Society”

“Eris doesn’t want your soul. She only wants to talk to you.”

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