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Year: 2004 ...

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NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.

Weekly Update: 1/12/2004

Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: January 12th. 2004
Times Viewed: 6,965

Three Moons Original art by Jeniffer Zimmerman -- "My life is surrounded by cultural religious symbols, my favorites being ones that represent the female form as the Divine... My spirit is hungry for stories and art" ... For more info Click HERE

Faeries, Nature Spirits, and Elementals
by R J Stewart

During my travels in the USA teaching workshops, one question keeps recurring, in various forms. "What is the difference between/connection between Faeries, Nature Spirits, and Elementals?"

Like most questions, there are several possible answers, and none of them are true. However, we can draw near to the truth of the matter, especially through meditation, vision, and direct experience of the spirit world of our planet. Not the spirit world of angels, but that of our planet, which teems with spiritual life.

So this article is intended to help set the scene for your own experience; to offer some simple thoughts, ideas, questions, and challenges. Especially challenges to popular established dogma and propaganda about Faeries, Nature Spirits, and Elementals. As with most spiritual matters, let us begin at the end of the list, and work our way towards the beginning.


Some years ago I had a conversation with the author Isaac Bonewitz. He said (approximately) that Elementals only exist in the formal temple or lodge where the ritual magician has created them. We discussed this for some time, and I think we disagreed in a friendly manner. However, his statement made me think about the popular idea of Elementals, as it is presented in modern literature on magic, paganism, witchcraft, earth mysteries, and so forth. There is, I concluded, a problem. If we think about Elementals as small components of "pure" Air, Fire, Water, Earth, with some sort of consciousness, we are making them too abstract, and too small. These "pure" Elementals are what Isaac Bonewitz was talking about, and they are indeed mainly found where they have been impressed into existence by temple magic. They have no independent existence in nature, and will fade if they are not constantly maintained. This is similar to many experimental or analytical situations in science, which cannot be maintained outside laboratory conditions. [Read the Full Article]

Witchvox Note: This article is an original work by R J Stewart composed for the inaugural issue of "Bridges," the quarterly newsletter of Betwixt & Between Community Center, Dallas, Texas. R J Stewart will be visiting Dallas on February 28 & 29, 2004, to teach two one-day workshops and to perform a concert of traditional and original Celtic music. This article is reprinted here with the permission of the author.

Rites of Worship: A Neopagan Approach

Over the years, Wren and I have attended countless Pagan rituals -- both private and public -- ranging in size from 4 people to nearly 2000 - Many have been magickal and amazing and many have been simply horrifying... We've watched as over 1200 Pagans introduce themselves one by one, the consummation of the 'body and blood of the Goddess', 200 Pagans waiting hours for the 'celebs' to finally show up to 'lead' us all and a few High Priest/esses pushing personal agendas to those trapped in sacred space. (Well, we all have 'our stories' eh? Personally, these days we really *need* to know in advance what will be going on before we participate.) In contrast, we have also experienced some truly moving and magickal circles that have manifested powerful and profound change for and within all those in attendance.

Having recently read Isaac's newest release, Rites of Worship, I find myself asking the obvious question: "Where was this book all those years ago?" -- And whereas Wren and I have attended hundreds of rituals, I do believe that Isaac has led/attended thousands. Based upon those years of experience, Isaac in this book details essentially everything that you need to know in order to present a powerful and magickal ritual. - This brilliant book will easily 'upgrade' the impact and effectiveness of your rituals. Good show Isaac... Keep that good stuff comin' - Fritz Jung (Webcrafter - Witchvox)

For complete details, visit Isaac's profile of this book in the [Witchvox Books Section]

The Issue of Paid Clergy
by Pete Pathfinder Davis

For some time now there has been much discussion, both in print and on the net, about paid Pagan clergy. Some favor it, some decry it as a violation of Lady Sheba's Ordains, published way back in to 70s when most of us were still firmly locked in our closets. Still, I don't think many folks have actually given this subject the depth of thought and practical reassoning it fairly demands. Here is my view, as a full-time Wiccan priest.

For the past seventeen+ years, I have been full-time Wiccan clergy, ministering to my local congregation of the now 25 year old Aquarian Tabernacle Church tradition I began here in Washington state so long ago, intending just to create a small safe place for Wiccans to worship unmolested. But the Mother had other ideas, and now I spend my waking hours helping some 300 local people as their minister, and assisting the leaders of other congregations of my... [Full Article]


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...

Religious Syncretism
by Rev. Mary A Duclos, DD (Twylyght)

The definition of syncretism states "the reconciliation or fusion of differing systems of belief, as in philosophy or religion, especially when the success is partial or the result heterogeneous." (It's almost like what the word "synthesis" means: "the combining of separate elements to form a coherent whole.")

Syncretism is one of those words that fancy book-learning people use to describe something that people all over the world and all through time do and have done since the beginning of time - as a function of their possession of living capricious human minds, and interacting with others who have views and attitudes and stories different from their own... [Full Article]

Tomatoe, Tomotoe
by Narcepone StarrDancer

This subject is one I have gotten into more trouble for than any in my circle. I have pulled out my soapbox and my loud opinions and have put them here before you to agree with or not.

A horse of a different color is still a horse. One Wiccan/Pagan may adapt a ritual to suit them and a traditional Wiccan/Pagan may look down their nose or not. Well good, if you don't like it don't ask to borrow it.... [Full Article]

Other New Pagan Essays this week...

Of Pagans and Christians
by Red Dusk Hawk and Laura

In a world of many faiths and personal animosity, it is easy to misunderstand one another because it is easier than taking time to talk and learn from one another. My name is Red Dusk Hawk, I have been practicing Paganism for nearly three years now. For two of those years, I have been in the presence of a wonderful, beautiful Christian soul named Laura. And for one and a half of those years, Laura has been my lover. We've learned from one another in many ways, from simply talking about our faiths and why we believe in them, to going to one another's churches and festivals, and taking part in them... [Full Article]

Coming Out of the Broom Closet
by Morgan Willowmoon

Okay, I know this is a touchy subject for all you Pagans out there, so I thought I'd relate my experience to ease your fears. You've decided that Paganism is the right religion for you, you've done all the research, and you may have even done a dedication of some kind. But now comes the hard part. How do you tell the people who are closest to you? What's going to happen if they suddenly realize you choose not to celebrate Easter and Christmas anymore? ... [Full Article]


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