About Yvonne Aburrow

Yvonne Aburrow has been a Pagan since 1985 and a Wiccan since 1991. She has an MA in Contemporary Religions and Spiritualities from Bath Spa University, and lives and works in Oxford, UK. She has written four books on the mythology and folklore of trees, birds, and animals, and two anthologies of poetry. She is the editor of the Theologies of Immanence wiki, a collaborative project for creating grass-roots Pagan theology.

Paganism for Beginners: Controversies

Sleeping Under the Stars, Grapevine Hills, by Costa1973 on Flickr

Over recent years, there have been a number of controversies among Pagans which probably left a lot of newcomers to Paganism a bit baffled, especially when the terminology got a bit arcane. I think these controversies are interesting and illuminating because they raise important questions of who we are, how we relate to each other as a community and individually, what we hold sacred, and how we relate to deities and the world around us. [Read more...]

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Marriage equality: All you need is love… or is it?

"Codex Manesse Bernger von Horheim" by Meister des Codex Manesse (Grundstockmaler) - http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/cpg848/0351. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Codex_Manesse_Bernger_von_Horheim.jpg#/media/File:Codex_Manesse_Bernger_von_Horheim.jpg

I am immensely heartened by the legalisation of same-sex marriage across the United States of America. This makes the US the 23rd country to legalise it. Given the large number of people in same-sex relationships who want to get married, it seems like a very good idea, especially when it grants access to all kinds of other benefits. And we should celebrate our victories along the way. However, it does not mean that the struggle for equality is over. [Read more...]

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Pagans and Money

"CoinsOfTheParisii" by PHGCOM - self-made, photographed at the MET. Licensed under GFDL via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CoinsOfTheParisii.jpg#/media/File:CoinsOfTheParisii.jpg

Whenever the subject of Pagans and money comes up, there arises the vexed question of what spiritual services to charge for. The ethics of charging money for spirituality-related events is always tricky. On the one hand, there are those who argue that if they expend energy, they should be paid for it, and on the other hand, there are those who argue that money is the kiss of death to spirituality. [Read more...]

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Paganism for Beginners: Things we care about

Earthday Embrace by Steve Jurvetson

Some issues are associated in people’s minds with being Pagan, most obviously environmentalism and feminism. Since Paganism and Nature-worship are synonymous in many people’s minds, caring for the Earth seems like an obvious thing for Pagans to want to do. And since the Earth is often viewed as a goddess, or as the Goddess, Paganism is an obvious choice for anyone who wonders why so many monotheists view their deity as exclusively male. [Read more...]

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A Queer Pagan Reading List

By Malcolm Lidbury (aka Pinkpasty) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Here are a bunch of books for the LGBTQ Pagan reader. I have either read these and can recommend them, or I have read another book by the same author, and can therefore recommend the ones on this list. [Read more...]

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Why Pagans don’t proselytise or evangelise

A deer in Holland. Photo by Yvonne Aburrow

Pagans don’t actively seek converts because we believe that the realisation that you are a Pagan wells up from within, as a response to the beauty of Nature, the call of the Pagan deities, or a growing convergence with Pagan values and a Pagan world-view. We do not believe that it is “cosmically necessary” to be a Pagan – our gods want willing adherents, not forced ones, and they do not punish people who do not believe in them (ancient pagans also did not believe in punishment for non-believers). [Read more...]

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Paganism for Beginners: Organisations

Pagan handfasting ceremony at Avebury (Beltane 2005) - source: ShahMai Network

Pagan organisations are important because they represent Pagan organisations to the wider world, and connect members of the Pagan movement together. Through them you can find out more about your chosen tradition, and meet other Pagans to celebrate with. [Read more...]

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