Pagan at Heart

At peace with myself and the world… or at least headed that way

Archive for the month “February, 2014”

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Let It Go

A Case for Drunken Holy Days and Gluttonous Sacred Rites

Interesting concept – I think I agree.

sometimesmagical

Siduri, Nin-kasi, Teshub, Aegir, Dionysus, Bacchus, Bast, Shiva, Pan—some of these names you’ve probably heard of. Some may be new to you (they were to me). What do they have in common?

They were all associated with alcohol or partying to some extent.

Whether they were the deity that passed down the knowledge of how to make beer or whether worshipping them brought with it the expectation of getting high, to one extent or another, they encouraged the occasional . . . debauchery.

In other words, to pantheonic people, partying was considered sacred too.

We don’t live in that kind of world anymore. Within Judeo-Christian culture, excess is met with guilt and shame. We’ve been taught that indulgence in alcohol, food, fun, etc. is all or nothing. Our “health” books are riddled with extreme diets. Our exercise programs are built on the idea of making people feel bad about their…

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In the Absence of Crones

sometimesmagical

Have you ever tried to pick out who would be your favorite fictitious family? You create a family tree using characters from books and movies—the character that would be your dad or mom or brother if . . . you know, they were alive and it were possible to design your own family. It’s a fun project to try and can be eye-opening about the story characters that have stayed with you and what they mean to you.

I started the project a few weeks ago, starting with Gandalf and Dumbledore as my grandfathers (you know it’s the most awesome combination ever!). It was pretty easy to pick out tons of characters to whom I’d want to be related. In fact, too easy for the most part. My family tree currently has four grandfathers, two mothers, and more siblings than I’d ever really want in life.

There was only one…

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The Full Snow Moon

And The Moon Sees All

14fullmoon

Tonight is The Full Snow Moon (also known as the Storm, Chaste, Quickening or Hunger Moon). It is our wake up call. During this time, all in nature is pure and full of potential. The hibernating creatures are beginning to slowly arouse themselves, quickening their heartbeats, and creeping out of their dormant period. Mother Earth is gently awakening, full of new possibilities. The Snow Moon uses the same force upon us.

There is a gentle pulling upon our consciousness at this time, we become aroused to the latent forces within ourselves – now is the time to turn the mirror in upon ourselves, and see what is reflected. A time to grasp the buds of new paths and ideas, and like nature, be prepared to welcome life anew.

February’s Full Moon is in Leo, this is the sign of ambition and confidence, you should feel a rush of energy and…

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Female Empowerment – Don’t be Afraid

I had a dream about my ex last night. Don’t like when that happens, because there a lot of bad memories associated with our time together. He was not a good guy. Anyway. I had a thought this morning: he wasn’t comfortable with an empowered woman. Because of his parents’ odd ideas about stuff, he had very little personal interaction with the outside world. I think this is one reason he was so close to his mother – she was his whole world. She was smart and capable, but her husband treated her with tender subservience. He meant well, but he treated her like an incompetent child (he treated most everyone else that way, particularly if they weren’t white males). So my ex treated her that way as well. I believe she was once a fiery person who wouldn’t have put up with that, but years of familiarity had left her believing the men and second-guessing herself. Then I came into the picture. I upset the balance and brought new ideas. My ex’s mom and I bonded together and she was no longer the only female. She seemed happier; we became fast friends and chatted all the time. She liked my spunk and new ideas, and together we made plans and pushed forward for change (nothing drastic). The men did not like what was happening… not at all. 

Enter into the story my discovery of Paganism. I started reading up on what Paganism was, talked about it with my ex – he thought it was cool and encouraged me to pursue it further. I began using Tarot cards (they were his) almost daily. He bought me books and incense. I grew more and more excited about my new path – I had found what my heart needed. Paganism, as you may know, is arguably the most empowering religion a woman may become involved in. I found that empowerment and embraced it. The happier and more confident I grew, though, the more nervous and nit-picky he became. Eventually he told me my Pagnism was scary and that I should stop. He took back his Tarot cards and sold a video game I had been playing that had elements of Paganism in it. It all came very unexpectedly and was very hurtful, but I did as he wished and abandoned the pursuit of Paganism. About a month later we split up and never saw each other again. His mother knew what was happening, knew her son was throwing away the relationship, and spent several mornings sorrowfully telling me how sorry she was about the whole thing. She told me that, even if he had the moon, her son would never be happy with it. Once I had been gone a few weeks, though, she changed her tune (convinced by her dominating menfolk, no doubt) and began blaming me for everything that had gone wrong, even pointing to my interest in Paganism as proof of my fault. I was hurt and upset, but I mostly felt sorry for her. I made my escape, but she would never make hers.

Now, here I am embracing Paganism and finding that excitement I once had… with the full support of my partner. The more empowered I become the more his love for me grows. He’s not afraid of me and my path. For this I am deeply thankful. He and I have both seen how patriarchy degrades women, and we both know it’s not right. Women are not lesser beings, weak, subservient, or any number of things patriarchy says. Women have the power to grow, carry, and bring forth new life into the world. Women have the power of the Goddess, the power of the Moon. Embrace the power – speak beautifully of it – but do not fear it.

Heading Out (of the broom closet)

I’ve decided to come out of the broom closet to my parents. The thought of being out is very freeing, but the path to get to that point looks stressful and scary. In anticipation of the many questions that will come, I’m putting together a list of online resources that might help my parents sort things out (they like to do research). Here is what I have so far. If you have anything you’d like to suggest to me, please leave a comment!

What is Paganism?

http://paganfed.org/paganism.shtml

http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~pagansoc/?page_id=143

John Beckett – a Pagan, Druid, Unitarian Universalist

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnbeckett/2008/06/in-the-beginning.html

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnbeckett/2008/06/how-many-gods.html

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnbeckett/2008/07/21st-century-paganism.html

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnbeckett/2009/03/no-devil-in-the-craft.html

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnbeckett/2009/09/the-broom-closet.html

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnbeckett/2009/12/the-case-for-god-4.html

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnbeckett/2010/04/god-is-not-one.html

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnbeckett/2010/05/pagan-universalism.html

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnbeckett/2011/06/pagan-values.html

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnbeckett/2012/03/seduced-by-the-occult.html

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnbeckett/2012/08/a-pagan-epistemology.html

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnbeckett/2013/01/the-myth-of-magic.html

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnbeckett/2014/01/a-pagan-faith.html

My observation of Imbolc went differently than I expected it to – in a good way. I had a sudden realization that my goal for the year was to let go of the past, relax, and let loose. Imbolc is a time for announcing such things, so I hastily threw together a ritual and declared my intentions to the God and Goddess. It was my first ritual and it was sloppy; I fumbled through the whole thing. It was good, though. I feel better for having announced my goal.

Lisa Thiel’s Circle of the Seasons: Imbolc

I’m madly in love with this album. When money allows I want to purchase a cd so I always have access to it. As someone who grew up constantly listening to religious music (Christian), I miss the ability to listen to something that affirms my spirituality. Pagans haven’t been nearly as prolific as Christians in this area, but I’m slowly discovering some good music. I suppose one of the reasons there isn’t an abundance of Pagan music is because, to a Pagan, everything can enhance worship and affirm spirituality – doesn’t have to be a specific kind of music. Also, Pagans don’t seem nearly as obsessed with making sure that all areas of their lives are dominated by religious fervor.

Article: Reasons for Celebrating Imbolc

Article: Reasons for Celebrating Imbolc

Loved this. Also, as a Midwestern Pagan, his bit about appreciating the snow was very powerful for me. It has certainly changed my perspective on the piles of white stuff outside my window.

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