Imbolc

Imbolc seems to be the least-known of the eight major Pagan sabbats… or at least it is here, where attendance is usually lower than any of the other holidays. We had 26 at the Denton CUUPS circle last night, which for Imbolc is pretty good. We were probably helped by unseasonably warm temperatures - it was 74 yesterday.Our Imbolc circles tend to be contemplative, and Dolores led a wonderful guided meditation to Brigid’s Forge. I can’t speak for everyone, but I received a message that … [Read more...]

Prayer for Egypt

picture via Olly WainwrightFor the past seven years Denton CUUPS has celebrated each Summer Solstice with an Egyptian ritual – our attempt to re-create the daily temple rituals practiced over thousands of years of Egyptian antiquity. Though our primary emphasis has been on connecting with the gods and goddesses of ancient Egypt, we have also connected with the land and its people. And so it is with great interest that I follow the current events in Egypt. A people who have never truly been … [Read more...]

Christian Conversion and Pagan Initiation

Sometimes when you get on a roll the inspiration just keeps coming. Here’s another interesting piece, this time by Briallen Hopper at Huffington Post Religion. It’s titled “Amazing Grace: How Conversion Really Works.” It’s fairly short – go read it now, but as you do, substitute “initiation” every time Hopper says “conversion.”Did it occur to you that a conversion experience is a Type 3 initiation – “a method for transferring spiritual knowledge and power”? Or at … [Read more...]

Feri Schism

Author, teacher and podcaster T. Thorn Coyle has an essay on Patheos where she gives her take on a split in the Feri tradition of witchcraft. I have no connection to Feri and little knowledge of it beyond this and a few other articles on the web – I have no stake in this dispute, and no desire to weigh in on the merits and demerits of closed vs. open traditions.But Thorn’s essay is very timely with the series I’m doing here on initiation and I’d like to point out some of her comments … [Read more...]

Imbolc Circle Next Saturday

As always, if you're in the DFW area come celebrate the season with us!Click on the image for a larger version of the flyer. … [Read more...]

Composing Initiation Rituals

A member of your Pagan group has asked you for an initiation. After some conversation, you’re convinced the desire is genuine and the expectations are realistic. You’re not part of an organization that has an established initiation ritual and a policy on who can be initiated and how. Now what do you do?As with any new endeavor, begin by educating yourself. Fortunately, even though the details of most initiations are shrouded in secrecy, there’s a lot of information available on the … [Read more...]

Herding Cats

John Michael GreerAuthor and Archdruid John Michael Greer has a new blog post titled “The Secret of Herding Cats.” It’s an essay on the ineffectiveness of the climate change activist movement. As with all his blogging, this entry is reasoned and thoughtful, but ultimately more pessimistic about our long-term future than I think appropriate.But this blog entry has the best illustration I’ve come across in a long time. Religious leaders of all descriptions – but especially Pagan … [Read more...]

Tasting Druidry

If you wonder what goes on at a Druid gathering, watch this 8-minute film by Kevin Redpath, taken from OBOD celebrations in Britain.  This makes me really want to go across the ocean for one of these events, but I have to say the look and feel of the film is very similar to what I experienced at the House of Danu Gorsedds in 2009 and 2010.Enjoy... I can't seem to get Blogger to display this properly, but if you click on the video you'll go to the YouTube site where you can watch it … [Read more...]

Planning Initiation Rituals

If someone asks you for an initiation, your first questions should always be “why?” and “what do you hope to gain by initiation?” Most likely the response will be vague, something along the lines of “I don’t know, I just feel like I need to be initiated.” This is a perfectly legitimate answer. Our mainstream culture has done away with most rites of passage, but the need for them still exists, on our spiritual paths as much as in our ordinary lives. Additionally, there is a long … [Read more...]

Initiation in Today’s Pagan World

This week I learned that a friend has been passed over for a teaching position with a Wiccan seminary because he doesn’t have a “proper” initiatory lineage. His many years of Wiccan practice and coven-based teaching experience count for nothing without documented First, Second, and Third Degree initiations.Long-time Gardnerian and Alexandrian Wiccans and those with experience in groups such as Freemasonry and the Golden Dawn will not be surprised by this. But those who have come to … [Read more...]