Eating God: Considering Eucharistic Ritual

It's not unusual to see Pagans joking about the "cannibalism" of the Christian eucharist. While the concept of transubstantiation is unique to Christian worship, eucharistic ritual is not. What do you think those ancient sacrifices were about? Why do you think women baked cakes for the Queen of Heaven? And when the officiant blesses the cakes and ale/wine in a Wiccan ritual, isn't that a eucharistic style of worship as well?One of the most important things for a human to do in this life is … [Read more...]

Happy St. Patrick’s Day? I Don’t Think So.

I was driving around my little town today and I saw that several houses already have decorations up for St. Patrick’s Day, which in the US is about two weeks away. I usually forget all about this “holiday,” and I certainly don’t celebrate it, but this time, seeing the shamrocks and the green paper garlands festooning my neighbor’s home, I decided to sit down and write a little bit about why.I realize that for many people, St. Patrick’s Day is a celebration of Irish pride. I think that’s a goo … [Read more...]

Speaking My Language

Language is a major part of what and who we are, so much so that pointing it out seems a bit too obvious almost as if one were pointing at the sun and proclaiming, “Warm.” We generally think in the language we were born to and it ingrains itself into us. Language itself is a bit more than a mere tool of communication, the nuances of the individual languages itself tells us things not otherwise intended. A quick example of this can be gained from the way Spanish assigns gender to everything and so … [Read more...]

A Meditation for Imbolc and Charming of the Plough

Poet T.S. Elliot called April the cruelest month, but I’ve always thought February fits that appellation far more thoroughly and resolutely. I detest this month, though I have to admit that it wasn’t always so.  My adopted mom died in February though and since then everything, from the snow and ice, to Valentine’s day decorations, to the joyful celebrations of Chinese New Year remind me of her passing. For me, it’s turned an otherwise innocuous month into something bleak and grim. Still, there ar … [Read more...]

Wicca Series: What makes someone Wiccan?

Every Monday and Friday in January we will be asking people questions about Wicca. Want to weigh in? Find the next question at the bottom of this post! What makes someone Wiccan? Dedication? Initiation? Practice? Belief? (Any responses should be assumed to be individual opinions and not representative of traditions or covens unless otherwise stated.)Joseph D. Carriker, Jr. (Alexandrian trad.) responds: It is initiation that makes one of the Wica, immersion in … [Read more...]

Intellectualism and Pagan Pedagogy

The following started out as a comment to be made on Star’s Nov. 9th post, “Elitism: The Intellectual Path in Paganism.” Because what I was writing grew and grew into a pretty wide-ranging little article, I thought I’d go ahead and publish it as its own blog post. So, the references to “you” below are to the author of the original post! Enjoy.. . .Interesting thoughts! I must admit that I’m pretty confused, though, since it seems that you’re seeking a few things which, to me, seem at odds wit … [Read more...]

Deepening Craft: The Three-Fold Law and Other Things

I got some interesting feedback the other day on my musings on deepening my Craft. I'm going to touch quickly on some of that before I move on to talk about the Three-Fold Law.One person mentioned that Wicca was most definitely not a revealed religion. Which is fine. I happen to be fine with leaving our origins shrouded in mystery. Be it 50 or 5,000 years old, it still has depth, magic and meaning. One of the oldest branches of this weird collective called Modern Paganism, Thelema, is a … [Read more...]

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The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell. Don't go back to sleep. - Jellaludin RumiI got up from my bed and went wandering through the woods at dawn. I sat on a plank bridge across a lake, facing the rising east, while frogs spoke behind me. Then I walked deeper into the woods where other voices chanted up the sun.  Something I couldn't see, whose voice I didn't recognize, squeaked and jumped into the creek.  A bunny bounded from my path, flashing his white tail at me a few times.  Then he sa … [Read more...]

Basic But Not Simple

Some people, when they go to learn a different tradition, go from one teacher to another (more about that later), or when they start training in a formal tradition after having been doing things their own way for years, are daunted by the prospect of starting all over again. I've also seen people who are used to picking up intellectual knowledge very quickly get frustrated at the pace of magical training, or dismayed at their own lack of facility at it, or sometimes bored with the apparent … [Read more...]

Did Oathbreaking Lead To The Dark Ages?

History is written by the victors. This we all know well, yet there is a portion of our history that I don't hear Pagans talk about a lot. The fall of the Roman Empire is generally seen as a failure of Paganism and Pagan culture. The "fact" of Paganism collapsing under it's own decadence has been repeated so often that it would be surprising to hear it contradicted. Yet if you put on your "Pagan glasses" and look at the situation from a religious perspective, it actually appears to be a pretty … [Read more...]