Wyrd Designs – Help Get Asatru Added to the U.S. Army’s Religious Preference List

Josh and Cat Heath from the Open Halls Project are working through the cumbersome bureaucratic process, to have the U.S. Army recognize and add Asatru/Heathenry as a religious preference for the official U.S. Army database. According to their latest post on their website they need U.S. Army soldiers, veterans, and their spouses to send them "your name, rank, status (active, reserves, national guard, veteran, or spouse)" to their email account: heathenopenhalls@gmail.comNot familiar with the … [Read more...]

Elitism: The Intellectual Path in Paganism

"You dropped a hundred and fifty grand on a ****** education you coulda got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library." - Will, Good Will Hunting"Where is fancy bred? In the heart or in the head?" - Willy Wonka, Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryThere's been a lot of talk about elitism lately. It's entered our political rhetoric full-force recently but it's always been an issue in matters of religion. Intellectualism is seen as an attack on the heart of the faithful, a cold … [Read more...]

Guest Post: Musings of a Militant Pagan

On a recent trip to Washington D.C. to attend a Pagan event, I had an experience at the airport that has taken me time to process. This experience reminded me that as a nation we still have a long way to go in establishing a culture of tolerance for the diversity of beliefs that make up the rich fabric of American religious life.On the surface, this event rightfully made me resentful that my beliefs could be so easily ridiculed by someone I do not know.  While proceeding through security, a … [Read more...]

Pagans and Interfaith Work

There are few issues more controversial in Paganism than if and how we should engage in interfaith work. Passionate voices debate the pros and cons. Some are wary, remembering a time when interfaith work, and being publicly Pagan, was far more dangerous than it is today. Others are determined that it is necessary for our survival. I’ve just had a day that has been illuminating, and as I rarely do so, I hope you’ll forgive me for tooting the horn of my own company.I work here at Patheos, doing b … [Read more...]

How to Find a Coven

Witches can't proselytize. We know that the path of witchcraft is not for everyone, and we like it that way. We are much more selective than most religions. Many coven leaders hold all coven events in their own homes, so they are understandably picky about whom to accept for training.Each witch in my tradition has had to seek out a coven to train with. During this phase of a witch's life, he or she is called a seeker. I was a seeker for over three years before I found a coven to train … [Read more...]

Pagan Soup: Demons, Druids and Westboro Baptist

The most amazing thing about the internet is that a rich ecosystem of Pagan media is flourishing. I find myself consistently inspired and amazed by not only the great writers on Patheos but all across this virtual Pagandom we've created together.So before I run off to work on my own scribblings I have to share some of the most amazing things from the Pagan web this week:Pagan Centered Podcast is fabulous. I'm a huge fan, even when they go off on weird tangents. This week they happened to be … [Read more...]

Welcome Home! A “festal virgin” on Pagan Spirit Gathering 2010

I’ve tried to write this article three different times. The first two attempts weren’t bad articles but they simply couldn’t convey the week I had. It was unexpected, life-changing and beautiful. So forgive me if at times I write emotionally and ecstatically and poetically and in a rather rambling way. Perhaps once I have that out of my system I can analyze the experience more objectively.After over 9 years as a solitary, over a year involved in local Pagan groups and my Googl … [Read more...]

A 30th Pagan Spirit Gathering Thank You!

Folks I just got back from the 30th Annual Pagan Spirit Gathering at lovely Camp Zoe in Salem, MO. While there is going to be a lot of content on this extraordinary event in the upcoming weeks I wanted to take the time to say a quick thank you to some of the people who made the experience even more amazing for me.Arthur and Kathryn Hinds were extraordinarily kind, funny and friendly people. They made the 12 hour trip each way a joy and were excellent initiators into the mystery that is PSG. … [Read more...]

Spiritual But Not Religious and The Solitary Pagan

I ran across a CNN news story yesterday that really got me thinking. It spoke of the danger of the "Spiritual But Not Religious" movement creating self-centered, selfish people instead of creating community and promoting charity.Yesterday I raised the question "what if we get big and mainstream?" without actually exploring it. Today I'm wondering "if we get big and mainstream and are made up mostly of solitaries, what then?" because it suddenly seems like we've got a big ol' elephant in the … [Read more...]

Her Hidden Children: In Praise of Teachers, I Wanna Be A Minority & Are We Hiding From Each Other

I've got three things on my mind and while I have ample coffee I'm going to try to express my thoughts in a semi-orderly fashion.The first is something that I find weird in Paganism, yet it's not really exclusive to us. We have a whole wealth of wise folks that influence our community that are unknown to the greater Pagan community. They are priestesses, priests, teachers and elders that never publish essays or frequent forums. They touch our lives deeply and never appear on book covers or … [Read more...]