Archiving Our History Before We Lose It

Part of my journey to the midwest included a really fascinating chat with a friend over the decades of archives he is combing through from his parent's coven. The sheer number of documents he is dealing with is astounding. The proper cataloging and archiving of all this material will take a significant amount of time. As he showed me old newsletters and notes from the early 80's, I couldn't help but think about all the other boxes, file cabinets, trunks and drawers filled with important bits of … [Read more...]

Memorial Day: Remembering Their Service

Siege of Yorktown

One of the most controversial topics I write about is support for members of our military and patriotism. Regardless, as this Memorial Day approaches here in the US, I've been thinking about what it means to me personally.I do ancestor work. One of the most profound ways I honor my ancestors is by researching their history, discovering their names, dates and origins. When I began this work I expected to find a large influx of Irish immigrants about the time of the Civil War, but so far I … [Read more...]

13 Songs for Hallows

Like many of you, I'm extremely busy in October. Just as nature is drawing me into a time for quiet repose, I find I have more to do and accomplish than ever. As I am gearing up for projects to be tackled, my spirit is longing for long hours in meditation and quiet solitude.So although I was saving it for this weekend, here is my song list for Hallows.13. Dante's Prayer - Loreena McKennittWhen the dark night seems endless, please remember me.12. Twa Corbiez - OmniaWhere shall we gang … [Read more...]

Book Review: Christian Day’s The Witches’ Book of the Dead

I don't generally bother to review books I don't think I'll care for, especially with a stack of books I actually want to read waiting on me. Not being Christian Day's biggest fan, I was reluctant to read The Witches' Book of the Dead but I was intrigued by some of the reviews as much as I was repelled by others. So I read it, and here's my opinion of it. Make of it what you will.The GoodOverall, the book is good. Day has compiled an impressive amount of lore regarding necromancy and … [Read more...]

Remembering the Dead

The dead are not unfamiliar to Pagans. Many of us work with our ancestors or work with other departed in our communities. When 9/11 happened, many of us connected with the departed from that tragedy. Anne Newkirk Niven, who edits SageWoman and Witches & Pagans, sent me a link to a blog post detailing one experience with the 9/11 dead that I found quite moving.Ocean writes about a post-9/11 trance experience: As I continued to study these individuals, I found myself locking eyes with a … [Read more...]

Wyrd Designs – King Radbod and the Importance of the Ancestors

This week on August 9th many Heathens who are members of the Asatru Alliance, or who opt to use their calendar, set aside time to celebrate the life and memory of the Frisian King Radbod (680-719 CE), who is a hero to many living Heathens and Pagans today.Christian missionaries came close to baptizing King Radbod, but before carrying through with the ceremony and conversion he asked a question, "Where are my dead ancestors at present?" Wolfram the Christian missionary answered, "In Hell, … [Read more...]

Should Pagans Be Survivalists?

Nothing in excess. We all know the Delphic Maxim. All things in moderation. Consumerism is, in principal if not always in practice, antithetical to the Modern Pagan movement. Although we are not anti-material, we are not lulled by acquiring and consuming. Most of us reject the American Dream. Or do we?As a child I read the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. I had them all and read them through several times. My favorite, the one I read obsessively, was Farmer Boy. It's the book Wilder wrote about her … [Read more...]

Norway, Spiritual Warfare, Apotheosis and Being Smurfy

Lots going on today, so I'm going to weigh in briefly on each item of interest.Labeling Anders Breivik "Christian"Christians are up in arms over the labeling of Norway killer Breivik as a "Christian terrorist" and I admit I find the phenomenon fascinating. Pagans are continually upset when some whack job who has some tenous tie to our communities gets labeled as an occult killer and the names of our religions smeared with their crime, so I have a little sympathy here.What I do find … [Read more...]

Restoring Our Pre-Conquest Mind

Once upon a time we all lived in tribal societies. We all knew the value of acknowledging our interconnectedness with the ancestors, land spirits and our ancestral Gods. We understood that life on Earth is a delicate balance between all these forces and that, while humanity plays a significant role, we are not at the top of the spiritual food chain. We understood that we are more than our egos, more than mere personalities: our power comes from understanding that we are representatives of our … [Read more...]

Advice Needed on Ancestor Shrines

Up in Paganistan a public ancestor shrine has opened up at the Sacred Paths center, and the story quotes Patheos columnist Galina Krasskova. It's a great resource for folks in that area but my thoughts are a little closer to home.I'm going to be moving into a new space in about a month or so, and trying to imagine where my altars will go in my new space. Should I place family photographs along the stairs with a shelf for incense and offerings? Should I put a few photos and a candle on the … [Read more...]


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