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Weekly Update: 1/5/2004

Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: January 5th. 2004
Times Viewed: 10,566

NeoPagans and Interfaith

"A movement to bring the religions of the world together in peace to work for the betterment of all is, potentially, the most powerful force for positive change in existence."

The concept of Pagans becoming involved in interfaith programs often arouses conflicting emotions and viewpoints. What role should the Pagan religions of today seek to fill within the framework of religious interaction and dialogue? Do Pagans even need to formally engage other religious leaders or to participate in local, national or global interfaith conferences? Does doing so really change perceptions and foster global understanding?

In this article, Don Frew (with Rowan Fairgrove and Deborah Ann Light (Emerita), a National Interfaith Representative for the Covenant of the Goddess, makes a compelling and convincing case that Interfaith workis indeed a very important and viable venue open to Pagans and that it is perhaps...

"...the best hope for the future of the Earth. Neopagans, especially many from the Covenant of the Goddess, are active at the heart of the global interfaith movement. This is our opportunity to be part of the change we wish to see." .. [Full Article]

In Memorium: Harry McBride
March 7, 1941 - December 27, 2003

Submitted by M. Macha NightMare, with information from Don Frew, Anna Korn, Prudence Priest and Laurel Mendez.

Harry McBride (Belenus 2*) , originally from Philadelphia, died just after Yule at his home in Oakland, California, after several months fighting prostate cancer that had metastasized. He was greatly helped in his last days by his OTO-sister Glenn Turner, who had arranged home-based hospice care for him.

Harry was an initiate of Gardnerian Wicca and in the OTO and had a wide occult experience and history that he mostly kept to himself. (Did you know he was once a personal student of Israel Regardie?) In addition, he was a founding board member of the Fellowship of the Spiral Path. Harry had been a member of the former Coven Tobar Bhride, and was a regular guest at Coven Trismegiston Sabbats for many years... [Full Memorial]

Reincarnation & Witchcraft: A Logical Approach
by Ashtaroth

One of the underlying premises of modern Pagan Witchcraft is the belief in reincarnation. In point of fact, an estimated two thirds of the world's population believes in it, and while the exact occurrences of life after death remain an obvious mystery, there are tools available to examine the alternatives. Albert Einstein is quoted as saying that "science without religion is lame and religion without science is blind." There is more truth to this simple statement than most people realize. We can not afford to ignore scientific evidence as it arises in favor of tradition, nor can science ever hope to fully answer all of life's questions. It is doubtful whether science will ever prove the existence of magic or the different planes of existence, but Witches know through experience that they exist. Reincarnation is a viable belief, but not as it is currently understood by many people. I will attempt to demonstrate why.

Most adherents of reincarnation follow... [Full Essay]


The Syncretic Pagan

Modern Paganism often draws from other religions in a process called syncretism, which is the fusion of different forms of belief and practice. Some people see this as a good thing, others decry it for various reasons. Do you think modern Pagans should embrace syncretism, or should confine ourselves to only Pagan beliefs and practices -- and, if so, how would you decide what is and is not "Pagan"? Also, how syncretic are you? What other religions and philosophies inform your personal beliefs and practices?

The deadline for this topic is Feb 1st. 2004., but we will post the essays as we receive them. Please keep in mind that we will not post responses to previously posted essays.

Your voice counts! Please consider adding your thoughts to this collection of essays and join in the exchange of ideas throughout the worldwide Pagan community.

Any thoughtful essays of over 1,000 words will be published. Please read our editorial guidelines first, and send your essay to Diotima

NEW Syncretic Pagan Essays...

The Syncretic Pagan
by Rabbi Eliyahu Yaakov

Surprising to most people is that this argument has been going on for centuries and isn't actually a modern ideology. Not only has this practice existed among Pagan groups, but among other religious organizations as well. Take, for example, the Council at Hippo in 393 CE. Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria compiled a list of books in 367 CE that were debated at the Council as to whether or not they would be included in the Bible. The general feel for this Council was that the works of the ancient Hebrew people needed to be put together with the works of the Apostles so that a singular text could be used in the spreading of Christianity throughout the world. Up until that point, Christianity was a loose affiliation of monks and hermits who all had varying ideas on what it meant to be Christian. The Council at Hippo, coupled with many other Councils, gave us the book we know today as... [Full Essay]

A Syncretic Perspective on Magick
by Taylor Ellwood

I've always valued a syncretic approach to my practice of magick. A syncretic practice blends the methodologies and practices of various magickal traditions together. When I first got into magick I started out with Shamanism, but I quickly began incorporating elemental magick and the traditional faerie/angelic correspondents into that practice. I found that it made sense and allowed me more possibilities. And for the last eleven years this has been the pattern of practice for me. I pick up and read books, try out the exercises and then incorporate what works for me into my own system of magick, a fusion of all the approaches I've taken.

I know that some people will disagree with this approach and say you should stick to one system of magick or belief, but I think doing so limits the person. For me a syncretic approach is a big challenge because you not only have to fuse a variety of magickal... [Full Essay]


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