Practical Magick

I’d like us all to take a moment to remember, Even just 10 years ago how much harder it was to find reliable information on paganism outside of books. Places like tumblr and Facebook groups have made it a lot easier to get good information if you don’t have access to pagan books for any reason. There’s even been a rise in pagan ezines and newsletters. I don’t feel that will ever really replace the need for those new to paganism to read every book that can get their hands on, but access to those books is no longer such an obstacle. I remember when I first started out Witchvox and the About.com pagan/wiccan pages were about the only truly reliable resource. Googling anything to do with Wicca and paganism was a nightmare. I also had a huge obstacles to getting books in that my dad didn’t support my newfound faith and turned my mom and sister against it too. It was extremely hard to smuggle books into the house and even harder to keep coming up with new places to hide them. I think that’s why I rely so heavily on upgs, because without them I had a lot leads to go on. There’s just so many more resources now! I feel like it would be so much easier, information wise at least, if my learning process has started now.

A modern day Pantheon.

I’d love nothing more than to build a public pagan temple along the lines of the Roman Pantheon temple which was built in dedication to all gods. It would primarily be a place to offer devotions but would also allow groups to host rituals there, and maybe the temple could host some on its own. Ideally it would be run by priests and priestesses who volunteer their time. Maybe it could house a pagan library too. Maybe separate chapels for each culture, similar to the radiating chapels from Romanesque Christian churches. It could have a large garden for fruits, veggies, and herbs. During summers it could put on a pagan market place/craft show/farmers market. It could be a place for families to have their weddings, baptisms, initiations, funerals, and other rites of passages. It could be a central part of the community the way churches, synagogues, mosques, etc are for their members.

The biggest problem in the world for me (other than Loki) is that I feel as though I’m being called on by Minoan deities. But how can I be called on by deities that no one alive knows anything about? How would I even worship them? While my path has always been eclectic and I generally take my main cues on how to worship and practice from the deities I’ve worked with, over the past few years I’ve become more and more reconstructionist in nature. My work with Mother Mary and all my experience with the Catholic Church has taught me that I do enjoy structured religion, though if you’d said that when I first discovered the pagan path I would have laughed in your face. But these last few years have also made me more closed minded about my own path in that I have become almost fearful of UPGs. Part of me feels like having them at all makes me a bad pagan, and yet I feel like I’m being tugged to a path where almost everything would be UPG. There’s only fragments of fragments known about Minoan religious practices. We can’t even read most of their writing, and the writing we can read has told us little. It’s mostly been lists of goods. Also, I am not referring to the Minoan brotherhood or sisterhood. They are not a recon path, but a neo-pagan path that utilizes some Minoan symbols. I wonder if there are any others who have been drawn to the Minoan path here on good ole tumblr.

We usually save red hearth candles for winter (cinnamon, peppermint, etc), but hubby to be just called to remind me that red poppies are sacred to Demeter and the we actually have a red poppy candle. It was gifted to me a year ago and I hadn’t been able to figure out what to do with it. It’s always nice when the universe solves my dilemma with a single piece of trivia!

A blessed sabbat to all who celebrate today!

Whether you celebrate Imbolc or Lughnasadh/Lammas today, the time of changing seasons begins. As a Hellenically minded person, I ascribe to the idea that one should honor the land and seasons where you live. In fact, Greek colonists often added new holidays for their new home and would, if needed, alter the dates of seasonal holidays to match the seasons of their new home (though I doubt it often differed dramatically). Personally, of all the seasonal cycles I’ve researched, I think the Irish matches the closest (i.e. Lughnasadh is the first day of Autumn, Samhain the first day winter, etc). The Irish cycle pays no attention to the equinoxes or solstices, which in the northern Midwest (where I live) rarely match our seasons. Some years “summer” weather begins as early as March, or never comes at all (I remember summers that barely got warmer than 75 and I wore long sleeves most days), in the same vein, some years Winter comes as early as October and some years it never gets cold enough for snow. But local agricultural seasons are less varied. Greenhouses plant the first seeds in early February (or our Imbolc), and the first plantlings outside can often be seen by early March, depending on the weather. Gardens and fields are often planted in May (Beltane) and the leaves return to the trees, some years not till June, but always long before the solstice. The beginning of August brings the local harvest. Corn and hay are being cut, county fairs and renaissance festivals abound to show off wares and produce. Our local ren faire actually has a small field where each weekend it has a more seasonal market (cider sellers, pig roasts, pies, etc). It also brings the official start to the back to school season. I’m some areas, the leaves will already have begun changing before September ever arrived, sometimes they’re green almost till Halloween. I’ve seen both occur at the same time in the same neighborhood! Mabon lines up nicely to our apple and pumpkin harvests. And Samhain, marking the beginning of winter as the end of harvest is likewise apt. If it hasn’t been picked by November, it’s probably not going to be picked. Also, it lines up to the time when most people remember their dead. If you don’t get out to grave sites in early November to put out wreaths and grave blankets, the ground might be too frozen to work with.
So today I honor the beginning of the harvest, especially the grain harvest. Think corn bead, pasta, corn on the cob, toast, beer. I’ll pray for a good harvest and give thanks to the gods of the field. Demeter holds a very special place in my rites today, as a goddess of the harvest and a corn mother (my neo-Wicca background is showing isn’t it?). We’ll ceremonially change out our green “summer” hearth candle, to a golden “autumn” candle (though it officially won’t take place for a few days. Hubby to be forgot to buy it as it’s been a hectic week). Tomorrow brings the start autumn cleaning, the changing of the seasonal scents, colors, and decorations around the home (generally, the coconut and mango is replaced by apple and pomegranate; blues and greens by reds and golds; seashells, flip flops, and dragonflies by dried herbs, brooms, apples, gourds, goodies from fairs, and, gradually, Halloween decorations). I’ll begin praying for students, including myself, to get what they need for school and for them to have a fulfilling school year. I also begin my preparations for winter. Herb harvesting, candle and soap making, the making of cold remedies and mouth repellents, mending and airing out autumn and winter clothes, sewing, knitting, crocheting (scarves, hats, and gloves before the autumn chill arrives, then on to Halloween costumes which need to be done before October for my job, then on to next treat’s ren fair garb). Canning with my mother and grandmothers. Wine and mead making with my sisters (autumn is the best time to make rose hips wine). I think you get the picture :) the leisurely days of summer are past and the hurried preparations for winter have begun. I wish you all a blessed harvest, and or southerly friends a blessed spring!

I recently had someone ask me if demigod would be considered otherkin. I told them I had no idea but I’d try to find out. So I tried. All I learned is that there’s a HUGE Percy Jackson fan base and a video game called demigods. The only “reliable” info I could find was from wikipedia and a travel agency site. I kid you not. So does anyone have an answer? A question of my own would be that, should you discover yourself to be a demigod, where would you go from there? What should you learn and study?

Black Eyed Children?

So I’ve never heard of the phenomena before. And that’s saying something. Apparently they’ll come up to you, either knock on your door or your car window and ask for a ride, to use the bathroom, to call their mom, etc. You’ll get a really terrified feeling, see their eyes, and they’ll get angry that you won’t let them. Apparently no one’s ever let them in so we don’t know what they do. I’m really curious about it though. In old fairy tales, faeries would ask humans for assistance of some kind as a test. If you gave them your help, they’d help you later in life. If you denied them, terrible things would happen. Could it be something like that? Others have suggested vampires or aliens, though vampires sound more likely than aliens. 

Here’s a link for a better explanation: http://www.paranormalhaze.com/black-eyed-kids-legend-or-truth/

Have any of you heard of/experienced this?

Pagan Celebrities?

So there’s a screen image of a list of supposedly openly pagan celebrities going around. I rather doubt many of the names on the list so have tried to research them. 

Alyson Hannigan — As far as I can tell it’s just a rumor tied to her being Willow on Buffy

Avril Lavigne — She apparently declared herself openly as a wiccan in an interview a few years ago but I was unable to find it. It’s also been cited that she’s a Roman Catholic. (Could she possible be a Christopagan??). So, she’s either Wiccan or Catholic. 

Fairuza Balk — She’s the only one on the list that’s a “maybe” that I believe to be pagan. She was openly pagan after The Craft, and owned at least for awhile an occult shop. 

Fred Durst — He was apparently raised a Wiccan, but I was unable to find this cited anywhere reliable. 

George Lucas — He’s also a pretty likely maybe. But most listed him solely for “the Force”. 

George Takei — Can’t figure out why he’s listed. I found absolutely no reference to him being pagan. 

Tamora Pierce — Yeah, she’s seems to only be listed because most of her books use made up pagan religions. 

Vanessa Carlton — again, nothing reliable. She apparently uses pagan imagery in her music, though I’ve never heard it in any of the songs I’ve listened to of hers and that’s a lot. 

Virgina Woolf — She’s likely a neo-pagan, which is what she apparently claims to be. I couldn’t find any reference to this at all tho. 

Yoko Ono— As far as I can tell she was only listed because she was into tarot and psychics. 

The entire list can be seen at www.angelfire.com/ia/Geoff/famous.html but the site seems to have been inactive since about 2006. I was going to contact the author to hear his references for my own personal knowledge, but he has absolutely no contact information on the site, not even an email address, instructing visitors to sign his guestbook in order to contact him. The guestbook has been disabled. 

Do you know anything that could solve this debate?

If you do, please include the source or information to find it. Thank you. 

As someone who actively studied the French language and culture for 3 years in high school and had a hell of a time trying to translate pagan related sentences/paragraphs due to lack of accurate vocabulary, this is fascinating!