Navigating the ethical minefield

"Daienin Kannon". Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Daienin_Kannon.JPG#/media/File:Daienin_Kannon.JPG

As we go through life, most of us find our ethics are guided by the field of Applied Ethics. That is, we use concepts of duty and legal/contractual obligations to guide our behavior. Witchcraft requires a different approach: one of normative ethics. Normative Ethics attempt to define, in general terms, what actions are morally right. [Read more...]

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What colour is your witchcraft?

Starry Night, VVincent van Gogh [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Why the question “are you a black witch or a white witch?” is such an unhelpful question. [Read more...]

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Religion, spirituality, and the big ball of mud

Scouts Canada, Toronto contingent to the 4th Pentathlon Jamboree Fredericton New Brunswick. User:WayneRay and Harry Gatley, Quartermasters for the Jamboree.

Religions are organic, they grow with and in culture – and if people rip the ideas out of context, they lose meaning and coherence. Religions are like languages – deeply embedded in culture and history; sometimes they have their own culture. Even religions that claim to be universally applicable arose at a particular time and place because of specific theological, philosophical, and spiritual concerns. [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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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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Summer Solstice, and the gender-stereotyping is easy

Japanese Sun goddess Amaterasu emerging from a Cave,"ORIGIN OF IWATO KAGURA DANCE"

A whistle-stop tour of Sun goddesses and Moon gods to celebrate the Summer Solstice [Read more...]

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