Paganism for Beginners: Rites of Passage

"Baby naming ceremony, Heathen Freehold Society of British Columbia" by Bygul - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Baby_naming_ceremony,_Heathen_Freehold_Society_of_British_Columbia.jpg#/media/File:Baby_naming_ceremony,_Heathen_Freehold_Society_of_British_Columbia.jpg

A rite of passage is a ritual or ceremony to celebrate and mark the passage from one phase of life to the next. Rites of passage ease us over the threshold into the next phase, and help us to understand and embrace our new status. Rites of passage include baby naming, coming of age, coming out, initiation, marriage, divorce, croning, and funerals. [Read more...]

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Paganism for Beginners: Wicca

"Wiccan altar (0)" by RaeVynn Sands, Flickr user cronewynd - originally uploaded to Flickr by RaeVynn Sands as Beltane Altar. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wiccan_altar_(0).png#/media/File:Wiccan_altar_(0).png

Wicca is both a religion and a magical practice. Wiccans interact with the world on many levels – physical, spiritual, magical and emotional. Witchcraft is the craft of magic.

Wicca and Witchcraft overlap – all Wiccans are also witches, but not all witches are Wiccans. But the practice of witchcraft (in the sense of doing spells and so on) is only part of the practice of Wicca. [Read more...]

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November Gratitude: Initiatory Communities

Eastern Passage, Knowth - image by Przemysław Sakrajda

Out of all my experiences in Pagan groups, the one that has moved me the most deeply has been the practice of initiation. I am grateful beyond words for the initiatory communities who have so carefully nurtured my spiritual growth and allowed me to feel how deeply I am loved. [Read more...]

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Aspects of initiation

In the Cave of Pitson, Corinth, Peloponnese, the Agricultural Adornment of Demeter, Pan and Nymphs. 540/530 BCE.

In my view, there are six separate aspects to initiation. There is the inner process of transformation; the initiation by the gods and goddesses (making contact with the numinous); experiencing the Mysteries (that which cannot be spoken, or Arrheton); being given the secrets of the group (that which must not be spoken, or Aporrheton); joining the group mind; and the joining of the lineage or tradition of which the group is part. [Read more...]

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