Syncretic Electric: Building Echo Chambers Instead of Communities

Vicious Circle, 1897

How do we relate to the idea of community when we do not have to worry about the repercussions of our actions? When we can simply insulate ourselves in groups of like-minded people, when we can build up little virtual echo chambers, how do we know that we are actually engaging with the community, and not just forming high school cliques? [Read more...]

Loop of Brighid: Invocation of the Graces – A Brigidine Sacred Text, Part 3

Joan of Arc, 1865, by John Everett Millais (1829-1896)

The power of the “Invocation of the Graces” to grant victory over one’s enemies should not be seen as something given in addition to the feminine charms listed in the first verse, but because of them. The word buaidh, after all, means “victory.” When Brighid bathes your palms and cheeks in Her “lustral fire,” in Her milk and sunlight, in Her honey and wine, She not only grants you Her beauty and elegance but makes you “more victorious than all persons.” [Read more...]

Hills of the Horizon: Reconstruction and Mysticism

An image from the Amduat, chronicling the sun boat's journey through difficult terrain.

Instead of building a procedure to ancient blueprints, we are left with building a container, discovering what experiences can be held in that space, and elaborating, refining, and rearranging that container until the desired experiences arise naturally and reliably from the format. [Read more...]

Druid Thoughts: Tennis for Pagans

Nimue Brown

What the tennis debacle has shown us, is that bad manners and sexism are so embedded in our culture that a lot of people feel comfortable putting those kinds of views into the public domain. It is a tragedy for our culture, and for the individuals who have so lost touch with what it means to respect themselves and other humans [Read more...]

The Busy Witch: Making the Most of Mercury Retrograde

Mercury Retrograde

We’re in the midst of another Mercury Retrograde, and while I don’t pretend to be an astrological guru, I have learned a lot through trial and error about making the most of this wonky energy. Attitude is everything: if you expect Mercury Retrograde to knock you flat, it probably will, but if you expect this to be a time of contemplation and creative opportunities, you’ll ride the astrological tide with joy. [Read more...]

Seekers and Guides: How to Design an Effective Wicca 101 Course

Altar

For those who have considered teaching a course in Wiccan basics but aren’t sure where to begin, Sable Aradia guides you through the process and suggests methods of troubleshooting. [Read more...]

Syncretic Electric: A Brief Examination of Cultural Appropriation

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We, as Pagans, need to be aware of the cultural baggage that we carry with us from our presence in the larger American cultural community. Simply because we are Pagan does not mean that we have entirely removed ourselves from the effects of the larger culture. We need to be aware of the sources of our practices as well as their original contexts and meanings. [Read more...]

Loop of Brighid: Invocation of the Graces – A Brigidine Sacred Text, Part 2

Frederick Sandys (1829-1904), Gentle Spring, 1865

The “Invocation” is not only a piece of folk magic but a commentary on virtue ethics. Many systems of virtue ethics seem to come from a very masculine perspective. For instance, the “nine noble virtues” of Asatru are courage, truth, honor, fidelity, discipline, hospitality, industriousness, self-reliance and perseverance. These are not portrayed as being “just for men,” but their relationship to the masculine warrior ethos of the Icelandic sagas is clear. As a discussion of “virtue ethics” based on a distinctly feminine perspective, the “Invocation of the Graces” provides an interesting contrast to the nine noble virtues. [Read more...]

Druid Thoughts: Books for Druids

Nimue Brown

If you want to be a Druid, study everything, and try to find study materials written by people who knew what they were talking about. Let’s get away from fantasies of Atlantis and other such works of speculative fiction and educate ourselves about the world we live in. [Read more...]

What’s New at Patheos Pagan (July 2013)

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New blogs and columns at Patheos Pagan! Syncretic Pagan theology, Pagans and interfaith, Jungian Paganism, reconstructionist mysticism, domestic spirituality, and more. [Read more...]

Druid Thoughts: What Do Gods Look Like?

The Assembly of the Gods, Jacopo Zucchi (1541–1590)

Most of our representations of deity seem to look suspiciously like us. The Bible has that line about us being made in God’s image, but I think really it’s the other way round – we make Gods in our image. [Read more...]

The Busy Witch: Midsummer Traditions

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For me, the summer solstice has always been closely linked with the play A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Fairies! Lovers! Parties! From start to finish, this play is one giant romp, and that’s the kind of energy I want to cultivate in the summer — starting with making offerings to the fairies. [Read more...]


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