Weekly Update: 4/12/2004|
Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: April 12th. 2004
Times Viewed: 4,387
Why We Do What We Do
|Ostara 2004 In Glastonbury|
Photo by Trish Reynolds - taken just after the Ostara ritual at the Chalice Well Gardens (link) in Glastonbury [Trish's Profile]
Within the past few months, I have seen several Internet and hardcopy authors criticize certain Wiccan practitioners for using the statement "Because that's the way it's always been done," or some such, when asked to justify a particular practice or belief. The general complaint is that this shows a lack of individual thought and demonstrates a blind adherence to doctrine, whether that doctrine is the work of a published author or the practices of a particular group or coven. It is held by the critics that this is somehow antithetical to the adventurous spirit of Modern Wicca.
In point of fact, I agree with the spirit behind this criticism - to paraphrase Socrates, the unexamined faith is not worth practicing, and I am no fan of lemming-ism. However - and this is, in my mind at least, an important "however" - there is a time and a place for "doing it like it's always been done."
My experience has been that spontaneity takes a lot of practice. That is to say, one's ability to improvise and extemporize - comfortably and to one's personal satisfaction - is proportionate to one's actual and perceived competence in the skills, abilities and attributes being called on in the course of that improvisation or extemporization... [Full Article]
The Role of the Pagan Community With Regard to Solitaries
by Grey Cat
In the old days ... solitaries generally existed simply because they couldn't find a group - any group - within a couple hundred miles to study with. These days there are quite a number of reasons for people to call themselves "solitary" but only occasionally that one. There have always been people who really do practice their religion in a state of complete secrecy and never with any other. While this is legitimately termed a 'religion' members of most religions practice their faith in a strictly personal way but also practice with a group.
One of the most destructive ways a solitary may be created is when a newcomer falls into the hands of a bad group or leader. Sooner or later most people realize they've been had and the pain of this realization crashes their newcomer's idealistic picture of what a group should be. This can make them extremely wary of groups of any sort... [Full Article]
| Witchcraft Today |
An Expanded Edition of the Quintessential Wiccan Classic, by the Father of the Pagan Renaissance
Author: Gerald Gardner
Publisher: Citadel Press
Witchcraft Today is Gerald B. Gardner's landmark exploration of Wicca. First published in 1954, the book inspired a passionate revival of interest in indigenous British religion and led to the rebirth of a way of life. Encompassing an explanation of Wiccan rituals and tenets, as well as a comprehensive study of occult practices worldwide and throughout the ages, Witchcraft Today is a book that "belongs on the bookshelf of every Witch and every person... interested in the whole vast field of the occult" (Raymond Buckland, author of Wicca for Life) .
This special expanded edition of the historic volume, reissued in celebration of its fiftieth anniversary, includes the original introduction written for the book by Dr. Margaret Murray, former president of the British Folklore Society and the author of influential books on witchcraft. It also includes new material by contemporary practitioners and scholars:
To experience other new releases, community fave lists, featurettes, and one of the most extensive and detailed Pagan book listings on the planet visit the Witchvox Pagan Book Pages!
- Judy Harrow, author of Wicca Covens and Devoted to You, discusses the context of the Gardner's life and work and gives an analysis of his published sources.
- Ronald Hutton, eminent historian and author of Triumph of the Moon, looks at Gardner's life and times.
- Wren Walker, co-producer of the Witches' Voice Web site, shares her observations about Wicca today.
- Graduate student Tara Nelsen looks into the religion's possible future. - [More info]
Why My Religion is Right and Yours is Wrong
by Brian Gallagher
If you are a human being who lives on Earth, you have probably been exposed to other humans beings who are not your exact clones.
If this sounds like you, then you have probably also been told once or twice that what you believe is wrong and (coincidentally) the person who told you this just so happens to have the correct set of beliefs that you should promptly integrate into your life.
The first time I heard this, I was excited at this easy replacement for years of personal discipline, study and introspection. Imagine my shock and amazement when I found that that the reasons they offered as to why they were right didn't quite stand up to the feeble light of early dawn.
To save you from suffering the same disappointment that I endured, I have listed some of these reasons... [Full Article]
The Wiccan/Pagan Times Interviews Christopher Penczak
In 1998, Imajicka and Boudica launched the Wiccan/Pagan Times with a strong focus on Pagan authors and have worked hard to present many in-depth interviews with the same. We here at TWV sure have enjoyed these interviews and we are sure many of you have as well.
This week, we are thrilled to point you to yet another interview with a Pagan author over at TWTP. This time out, they speak candidly with community asset and elder, Christopher Penczak (author of several Pagan books). Here is a taste.
"I think authors are often the most visible leaders, but we are not the only ones. Some of the most important pagan leaders are not famous. You won't find them in a magazine or on tour. They go about their business very quietly and simply do the work. They lead covens. They organize events. They counsel and they heal. They set trends in subtle yet profound ways. I was visiting a store that had an amazing community, and the owners and high priestess and high priest were very knowledgeable and eloquent, but they have no desire to write books about it. They just teach one on one and have been doing it for years. I think authors are more visible, and so we have to take that into account"... [Read the Entire Interview]
|Current Essay Topic... "Magical Gardens" |
Most of the Pagans we know have extraordinary gardens -- even if that garden is just a few flower pots on a city balcony. Let us know what you do to make your garden special, magical, sacred. Do you garden organically or biodynamically? Do you use sacred geometry in the planning? Do you work with Nature Spirits and Devas? What rituals and magic do you do in or for your garden?
The deadline for this topic is May 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
by Blue Scarrab
When I was a young child and more open to the energies that nature provided it seemed I could grow anything. I would take a dry bean from my mother's pantry and put it in a sandwich bag with a wet paper towel and wait. In no time at all I would have a bean plant and I loved it. I've always enjoyed attempting to grow my own garden, but as I got older and my life more cluttered it seemed that I just could not get a seed to start. After some ten years of trying and failing I moved on to simply buying plants that had already been started. A busy life and a central lack of focus had me soon failing with those as well
Within the past year I finally realized that I had been following others beliefs and faiths for far too long. I began following my own solitary eclectic path. I began meditation and began to clear the clutter and was able to once again feel the energy around me as well as my own, which had seemed absent for so long. Having a renewed sense of confidence and communion with nature, I once again attempted to make a start with seeds..... [Full Article]
A Garden of Witchery
by Ellen Dugan
Show me your garden and I shall tell you what you are.
Okay, show me your gardens. You can tell an awful lot about a person by what type of garden they have. Is it neat, tidy and formal? Do you have boxwood hedges and well- pruned roses? Is your garden a mass of plants growing cottage style, all close together with fabulous scents, colors and textures? Maybe you have an Asian-style Zen garden with raked gravel and strategically placed rocks and plants. Perhaps you have a kitchen garden, with green vegetables and culinary herbs arranged in practical rows
Do you have a cool and mysterious shade garden, with hostas and spikes of columbine, Lady's mantle and bleeding heart to add enchantment? What about container gardens? What color of flowers do you prefer? Are you into bold spicy colors of red, orange, yellow and magenta that add excitement, or do your prefer cool, calming and tranquil shades of white, pale pinks, purples and the softest blues? Maybe you are a sleek city magickal gardener and you grow culinary herbs in a clever strawberry pot on your balcony.... [Full Article]
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