Values

[This essay was written back in 2011, but it touches on some conversations I've had recently, as well as the work I am currently doing with my teachers. I have re-written portions of this and edited it. Please enjoy!] Pagans get a bad rap in the media. Nonconformists, anti-establishment, the lot of them - and dangerous to boot. (Not such bad things, I think!) Witches are next down the list of potentially scary people, what with their magic and generally pro-feminist attitudes. Within the … [Read more...]

Why Not Wicca

scott cunningham

When I get asked what my religion is I almost always answer "Pagan" and move on from there. Usually the first response is "Oh, you're Wiccan?" I also get "Oh, my mother-in-law/niece/cousin's girlfriend/and so on is a Wiccan!" Without fail I tell them I'm not Wiccan. Part of this is a desire for clarity (I practice an American form of Traditional Witchcraft and have a Hindu devotion). Part of it is a desire not to be lumped in with Wiccans. Because, in all honesty, I'm a hater. When I began my … [Read more...]

Maxim Monday: Flee a Pledge

The snarky lady in me wants to say this Maxim is telling us not to join fraternities or sororities. Or maybe that we should not date freshman pledging into the Greek system. I'm no fan of the Greek system, but I don't think this Maxim is about our modern social networks. I think it's a reminder that if we need to pledge something we might want to think twice - or flee from the obligation. Do we need to make a promise? Pledge money? This reminds me of how when my family was more financially … [Read more...]

Kali Puja

Kalialtaricon

Several people for the last year or two have asked me to write about how I do devotions to Kali. Here is what I do. It is a combination of rituals I have gleaned online and in books, and elements of my Feri practice. Background I honor Kali just about any time I sit down at my altar and light incense. Ganesh always gets the first wave of incense and prayer: "Jai Ganesh. May my worship be acceptable." Then I wave the incense before Kali and say "Jai Ma!" From there I may go into … [Read more...]

Maxim Monday: Recognize Fortune

From the Chibi Tarot.

Fortune can be defined as luck, serendipity, providence, coincidence, and the like. It can also be defined as wealth. Let's talk about both. I love little moments of serendipity. Are they divine acts? Sometimes I think so; sometimes I think they are just mere coincidences. Regardless, I like to recognize those moments and be grateful for them. I tend to equate acts of fortune with unexpected positive occurrences, although they can also be negative. I remember trying to go on a trip and … [Read more...]

Pagans and Money, part 2

Twenty_dollar_bills

An interesting discussion occurred on my personal Facebook page when I brought up Pagans and money. I realized that so many of hang ups I see and experience around money can be tied to Christian theological influence and the struggle to mix the spiritual and the 'mundane.' Christianity is deeply conflicted about money. Since the overculture in the United States is very Christian and many Pagans started out as Christians, it's not surprising that some of that confusion and ambivalence has … [Read more...]

My Take on Wiccanate Privilege

Another of the big discussions of privilege that occurred at PCon this year was regarding Wiccanate privilege. I did not attend this panel. I had decided to not write on this topic as I don't feel particularly strongly about it. But after going through some of the various write ups of this panel, I have some thoughts. Firstly, there is some great discussion occurring, mainly in regard to the larger ideas of what our communities are, stand for, and how they work (or don't work) together. There … [Read more...]

Maxim Monday: Two-for-One

The next two Delphic Maxims make me laugh, even though they do have some wisdom in them. I'm committed to commenting on all of 147. These two take us through 67! The first is: know the judge. Certainly this would be helpful! I can't imagine the Delphic Oracle is suggesting that we use our personal connections to influence justice for our unjust benefit, but knowing the tendencies and history of a judge could prove very helpful in crafting an argument that might steer the outcome in one's … [Read more...]

Pantheacon 2014: Biggest Pagan Tea Time Ever

witch-tea-time

I attended Pantheacon in San Jose this past weekend. Every one else has their review posts up; I'd like to add mine to the mix! It was a bit of a 'working vacation,' but since I consider my 'work' my entire life, practice, family, and all, the overwhelming feeling coming home was more joy at having had my cups filled, in ways that a regular, ol' vacation rarely does for me. Pantheacon occurs every President's Day weekend at the DoubleTree Hotel in San Jose. Between flights, rooms, and … [Read more...]

Pantheacon: Health and Hygiene

I drew Kali yantras and used them to ward my house. I'll be doing something different for my hotel room.

Pantheacon may not be the center of the Pagan world, but for four days every February it sure does feel like it is. At the very least, it's the center of much of my Pagan world. This year I am thrilled to be attending for my third time. Here is a list of my Con advice. I think it's advice that works not just for Pantheacon (PCon), but other large gatherings and life in general. My number one recommendation to anyone attending PCon is ward your room. Whatever technique you have - … [Read more...]