(Not) Working with the Ancestors

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Almost every witch, shaman, or spirit worker I know talks about working with their Ancestors. Some magicians do it. Polytheists, if they don't work directly with their Ancestors, usually have ways in which they honor them. But me? I'm terribly conflicted.See, I understand the theory behind most Ancestor veneration and spirit work. It reminds me a lot of the tradition of Saints in Catholicism. Why not send up a prayer to some one who is invested in my well being and has experience in a … [Read more...]

The Sweetness of Bees

Bees and skulls

Bees are on everyone's minds these days. Their dire situation pops up in news. Fellow bloggers are writing about them. Even Obama has taken notice.Our new property has much to tempt the bees. The land is lush and fertile. In a month of 80+ degree weather the land has stayed verdant thanks to the abundant weeds! The farmed garden is producing tomatoes, potatoes, mint, mullein, comfrey, chard, kale, cilantro, and more. Flowers include roses, poppies, and several other things I don't … [Read more...]

Pagans and the (Zombie) Apocalypse

Photo by Reagan Hackleman

Editors’ Note: This article is part of the Public Square 2014 Summer Series: Conversations on Religious Trends. Read other perspectives from the Pagan community here.Lately, the only big picture writing I've read on the state of our world is from writers on the fringe of the fringe. Peter Grey and the writers at Scarlet Imprint have written some of the most heart-searingly honest and downright chilling pieces on how witchcraft and the state  of the world intersect. Grey's essay Rewilding Witc … [Read more...]

Chastity vs Hedonism

Fasting. By Jean Fortunet via Wikimedia Commons

A few weeks ago (months maybe?) a reader asked me via Facebook if I'd write about chastity vs hedonism. Sure, I said. I like reader prompts...Chastity is related to abstaining from sexual activities of all kinds. Hedonism implies a rampant indulgence in all lustful desires. Hedonism conjures up images of luxurious excesses of all kinds of fleshly pleasures, not just sexual ones. I think the real issue in these words is what role does austerity play in our lives? Should it have one? If so, … [Read more...]

Avoiding the Gods

I am not a druid pirate.

I wrote last week about being young and feeling called by the gods. André Solo wrote a great post last week on how difficult it is to hear the gods. He says that hearing the gods is not difficult just because we need space to hear their voices, or skill in listening, but because we so often are listening for what we want to hear, what we think we're supposed to hear. This ties into Aine's quote at the beginning of my last post: We want our calling to be Awesome.What if the call is … [Read more...]

Magic and Community in the Pacific Northwest

Alliums in Olympia

Magic comes in a variety of forms, just like community. Going to events won't give anyone instant community, especially not for a perennial loner like me. I do, however, attend events to feed my intellectual curiosity, fill my social needs, see who else in my area is doing what, and to support other magic workers.I live in Olympia, Washington, a place which feels the most 'Pagan' of all the places I've lived. It's the state capital and near to two major military bases, so there are … [Read more...]

Being Called While Young

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"What I never saw talked about, in books, in blogs, was what it means to be called as a young person. See, I thought it was Grand, it was Good. I was called young, that meant I could do a lot! But what it really meant was that I gave up dreams that everyone dreams. I'd replaced them with visions of holy fire and new myths."Aine Llewellyn, former Patheos blogger, wrote this on her Facebook page recently. Aine is hard at work developing a new tradition, the Otherfaith. I admire her work a … [Read more...]


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