Reducing Stress, Increasing Joy: The Stoicism of Epictetus

odysseus-ship

I am in a new state, in a strange part of the country, with three suitcases and a backpack. I don't have a lot of money, and all of my options seem confusing. Yesterday was a rough day, and today is shaping up to be more of the same. I am a weepy, worrying mess today.So what do you do? Where do you turn? As a Pagan who is facing an adventure fraught with both excitement and fear? I turn to my faith. To my gods. To fate, destiny, synchronicity and magical coincidence. I wrote awhile back that … [Read more...]

The (Dis)Empowerment of Positive Thinking

531px-PET-image

A lot of people I love and admire believe in positive thinking. I'm polite about it. I smile, nod and express appreciation for the good intention behind the platitudes. But I'm not a fan of the positive thinking philosophy.The theory behind positive thinking, or PT for short, is that our thoughts have an incredible ability to influence ourselves and the world around us. This is true to some degree. Human thought has transformed our planet and species. It is a marvel of the universe. However, … [Read more...]

Relying On Faith

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I need to start this post with this note before getting on with the topic at hand. When I wrote about realizing that traditional Witchcraft was a Mystery Tradition and not a religion, I received a lot of positive feedback from trad folk. It was an odd thing, because they seemed to not understand I was in a very real way rejecting Wicca and traditional Witchcraft. My Craft experience was positive, and my initiation profoundly meaningful, and I recommend the experience to anyone, but for me it … [Read more...]

The Gods We Know… and Those We Don’t…

I have a vague inspiration this morning. I will try to craft a post from it, but it may well fall flat. P. Sufenas Virius Lupus has an excellent column this morning on grappling with the concept of new Gods, and Apuleius Platonicus has, whether you agree with his views or not, a rather passionate post that speaks to both the importance of direct divine experience and the tendency to label our mythos in black and white terms.I suggest you read them both and then come back. Here's some music … [Read more...]

Fitting Tributes: The Passing of Lord Athanor

John Monogue/Lord Athanor

Pagans having two names can have some amusing consequences. How often do you tend to know someone's mundane name or magical name, but not both? You know who Nightfire is but swear you've never met Michael, not knowing they are the same person. I recently had an experience like that.Lord Athanor is one of those elder names I hear a lot when speaking to folks from my tradition. We've got a boatload of elders and countless names from the history of Paganism in Atlanta. I've never met most of … [Read more...]

Waiting for the King

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Sometimes it's hard to figure out what to write for this blog. So much is going on in the world. There is so much I could draw attention to or draw out into discussion. Sometimes I think I should be more newsy, but I don't really have any desire to be a "poor man's" The Wild Hunt. Jason and the PNC folks do news much better than I do.I've been using this season between Hallows and Yule to do some deep introspection. Although Hallows marks the new year in the Wiccan tradition, it doesn't feel … [Read more...]

The Jerk VS Bigotry Ratio

I've been watching the fall-out from the Halloran piece on The Village Voice since it was published. Every time I thought I had something to say about it, I would notice something else that would make me pause and cogitate.Straight up, I find Thrasher's wanton and casual bashing of Pagan religions offensive. It's unnecessary for this story and the image of a drunken lout staggering over a goat's bloody corpse is ridiculous. (The artist refused to comment when I contacted him.)When Halloran … [Read more...]

Secrets, or A Pagan Look at Advent

Keeping silent. It's something that Witches do a lot. What happens at the crossroads, stays at the crossroads. You don't broadcast all your business for others to pick apart the threads of energy you have so carefully woven. Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead. - Benjamin Franklin Much of the work we do takes place silently. The words we say are but a small part of the communication that takes place in our work. Silent threads of energy and intent root themselves and blossom and … [Read more...]

Giving Thanks

For a lot of us, our holiday to give thanks was back at Mabon, although we ideally give thanks year round. However, it's still kind of powerful to give thanks as a nation. So here are a few things I'm thankful for:Good Friends: it's nice to know there are people who are just there for you. Answer the phone when you call. Watch tv with you. Share the calories when you have a craving for decadent desserts. Friends rock. WM3 Freedom: It makes me so happy to see the guys finally able to live … [Read more...]

Maybe Advanced Wicca Isn’t Wicca After All?

I have less time than I used to for pleasure reading.Starhawk's The Fifth Sacred Thing has been by my bed for months and I've barely made a dent. Yet I treated myself to a lie-in this morning reading a book I was super-excited to get my hands on: Theurgy and the Soul: The Neoplatonism of Iamblichus.I know. You were hoping for Jackie Collins right? I will be thoroughly ashamed of my nerdiness for one moment in atonement.Done.I was thrilled to get this book because a few months ago Don Frew … [Read more...]


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