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On deities

Erin

One of the most perplexing aspects of Pagan religions for someone who is coming from Christianity is the multiplicity of deities. How can we tell the difference between Odin, Zeus and Jupiter, when all of them do the same thing? How is Hera significantly different from Danu? How is Kali different from The Morrigan? Why should I, as a new Pagan, start worshiping deities that I have been told my whole life are inferior to my God? How do I pick a deity pair that I can feel comfortable with?

All these questions are important, and each will be addressed in this article.

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that despite what you may think you have read from James Frazier, Joseph Campbell or Robert Graves, these deities are NOT cardboard cutouts of each other. Just because you like the name Lillith, you cannot substitute Lillith for Tailtu. There is no divine “mosh pit” where all gods and goddesses get mixed up together and you can pull out a thoughtform here, an aspect there, a kami from this section, three from Column A, and five from Column B…. These deities have their own personality, their own life, their own interests and abilities. It may be that each mythology is based on universal concepts, but that is only applying analysis after the fact to something that already was.

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Ceremony of Parting

Erin

(Note from Daven: Again, note, this is my own creation. It seemed appropriate to have some kind of parting ceremony for those who are leaving the Coven.)

Ceremony of Parting

This is a ceremony for use when a Gesith is departing from the Coven for any reason. Hopefully there will not be any hard feelings or ill will toward or from the person departing. If there are, I would advise that the parties sit down with a neutral third party and work their differences out.

[Thegn sounds the Horn or the Priest rings a bell. Priest and Priestess kiss. Covener steps forward.]

Covener: There is one of our number who wishes to depart from us.

Priest: Then let him/her come forth.

[Departing Covener steps forward with a Second. The Second is someone chosen beforehand by the DC {Departing Covener} to act as a helper. If wished, the Second can say the previous Covener’s part.]

Priestess: Do you wish to depart for this, your home, and us, your family?

DC: I do. (Or “I do not, but I must”)

Priest: Then you must leave us as you entered, naked and unadorned.

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On the necessity of keeping oaths

Erin

(Note from Daven:  This is a true story.  It happened to me.  I have tried to be fair in my recitation of this, but I am afraid that some of my resentment may have leaked over.  It’s up to you to tell me how I did.  Keep in mind that this is ancient history for my wife and I, and thankfully my daughter no longer remembers this time.  I am not trying to stir up ghosts here, but just to bring some mindsets to light.  Think before you promise someone something.  I had hoped this article would have gotten out into the Pagan Community, but so far it has not.  So I present it here.  I leave the conclusions up to your own conscience.)

(Update 1-16-04: I’m updating this because I don’t want it misunderstood why this page is here.  I have written this because I HATE B&B and what they stand for at this time.  I cannot stand what they think of as “good pagan relations” with other groups.  I have had contact with them from time to time on other lists, and so far, none of them have been positive.

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Which Witch is Which

Erin

by Patricia Telesco
New Page Books, 2005 $13.99
ISBN 1-56414-754-1

Review by Daven

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

It has been my pleasure to meet many authors in my time online and with the Pagan Communities, and Trish is fast becoming one of those people I look forward to see ing the next book from.

I was honored to have contributed to this book in one small way, I authored the article on Seax-Wica in this work.

This book is a compendium of information. It’s not designed to be a “let me tell you all about subject _____” like many books on the market. This is a book similar to what Raven Grimassi and others have written, dealing with a segment of Paganism as contributed to by the practitioners themselves.

Ray Buckland tried to do this with “Buckland’s Complete Guide to Witchcraft” back in the 80’s, but since Wicca was just starting out, he was unable to do as much. In this book, the promise of his appendix comes to fruition.

Trish has assembled many articles on different traditions together in this book, so that the new seeker can take a look and decide what they wish to practice. She sent a call out to the general community and asked for submissions so that it would be accurate, and she got them.

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So You Want to be a Hero

Erin

A few thoughts to provoke your cognitive faculties.

At one time or another in everyone’s life, they have fantasies of becoming a hero.

Visions of Cu Chulainn, Sir Galahad, King Arthur, Beowulf, Perseus, Ramses, Hercules, Sigfried or Paarsifal dance through the minds of most boys. Little girls may dream of Boudicca, Cleopatra, Sacajawea, Sally Ride, Pocahontas, Molly Pitcher, or Florence Nightingale. We wish to change the face of the world, to live forever in song and story.

We want to leave a legacy for wonder and triumph behind us for future generations. To be able to say, “See that? I did that!” We want to leave a permanent legacy in a very transient world.

Others may be more pragmatic. They want to protect people from the bad guys. They want to help those in need, to “fight the good fight”. They need to feel the sense of accomplishment at winning against overwhelming odds.

There are a few people in each generation who are picked to be classical heroes in the largest sense by circumstance or accident. It is my belief that EVERYONE is “picked” to be a minor hero.

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Guided Meditation for Brigid

Other Author

©A L Folberth 1996     HalfWolfie@AOL.com

Permission granted for personal use only.

This is a guided meditation I wrote and led for Imbolc. It is designed for a group. A single candle is placed in front of the reader so it may be read in the dark.


This is a guided meditation. It is also called path working. It is a spiritual journey created by imagination. In a relaxed state, we can touch a side of ourselves that we may ignore in ordinary life.

We begin the meditation with relaxing. Stretch and move around until you are comfortable. This meditation will last no more than 15 minutes, Don’t worry about shifting position once we start. It’s your body’s way of telling you that the circulation is slowing down. If you are uncomfortable, you can’t concentrate. At the end of this meditation, I will ring a bell to let you know that it is over.

(Speak slowly and pause often)

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Meditation

Other Author

(I did not write this meditation, I don’t know who did.  This is one of those AOL documents that had no credit give for it, and was posted on AOL unattributed.  I’m sorry for the confusion.  If you wrote this and can prove it, please email me so you can be credited properly.)

Meditation

Ground and center

Close your eyes, breathe deep, in through the nose, hold it, count to three, exhale.

As the air leaves your body, allow the stress you accumulated to leave with it.

Inhale, count to three, exhale.

As the air leaves your body, allow the anger you have accumulated to leave with it.

As the anger leaves, allow your body to relax.

Inhale, count to three, exhale.

As the air leaves your body, allow the guilt you have accumulated to leave with it.

As the guilt leaves, allow your mind to relax.

Inhale, count to three, exhale.

As the air leaves your body, allow the sorrow you have accumulated to leave with it.

As the sorrow leaves, allow your spirit to relax.

Breathe deep, feel the empty places now within. Tonight we will fill those places with love and light.

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Glossary

Erin

AE: this is the abreveiation for “American Eclectic” in which elements of many different traditions are taken and mixed to form a new kind of spirituality, while respecting the cultures those elements were taken from. Has a strong sense of history and a seeking of continuity. See this article for an excellent discussion of the various flavors of Wicca.

BTW: this is the “short term” for British Traditional Wicca. Normally this is typified by Gardnerian and Alexandrian, but it can be any group that is a lineaged mystery tradition. See this article for an excellent discussion of the various flavors of Wicca.

Emo (an abbreviation of “emotional”) is a term now broadly used to describe almost any form of guitar-driven alternative rock that expresses emotions beyond traditional punk’s limited emotional palette of alienation and rage. It is also used to describe fans of this genre, most commonly teenagers. (e.g., emo kid). The actual term “emo” originated in the mid-1980s D.C. scene, with the band Rites of Spring. The term addressed both the way the band connected with its audience, as well as its tendency to deal more with topics of personal and relationship politics than with the standard themes of rock music.

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The Complete Book of Tarot Reversals

Mary K. Greer
ISBN 1-56718-285-2
Series: Special Topics in Tarot

Reviewed by: Lady Theresa

Rating: ★★★★★ 

I applaud Llewellyn Publications for bringing out a book devoted to the more esoteric aspects of Tarot. They have promised that this is the first of a series of book and I will look forward to the second volume.

I anxiously awaited the arrival of this book and am pleased to report that the wait was not in vain. Mary K. Greer, noted author, lecturer, and Grandmaster of the American Tarot Association has written a compelling, readable book.

I found the work to be logical in lay out, as well as being well footnoted and researched. There has long been a need for more advanced books within many different and over lapping areas of study, “201” courses if you will. This admirably suits that need by not only offering the author’s preferences for the understanding of reversed cards but other’s choices as well.

For those planning to use this as a reference work, the index and bibliography are clear and easy follow and use. Since more and more people research information online, I very much appreciated the fact that not just books and magazines were referenced.

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Composing Magic

Erin

By Elizabeth Barrette
New Page Books, copyright 2007, $14.99 US
ISBN 1-56414-935-8
ISBN13 978-1-56414-935-0

Review by Daven

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Okay, here it is finally, the book that many people have been waiting for; Composing Magic, How to Create Magical Spells, Rituals, Blessings and Prayers.

Much to my astonishment, this book is EXACTLY what it says it is on the cover, a book about how to write spells and rituals. It is a book on writing. Imagine that.

If I sound a bit effusive it’s because this book has been a long time coming in many ways. Several people have tried to write it, they have written things that are related to creating and writing rituals and spells, but no one has quite been able to write a book that actually and practically teaches you how to compose spells and rituals.

This book has the singular distinction of doing so. Add to that statement another one; this book does an excellent job of teaching you how to write spells and rituals. It not only gives you the information on sitting down and picking up your pen to write, but the book explains how to go about the creative writing process.

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