Your browser does not support script
TWV Presents...

Articles/Essays From Pagans

[Show all]

Views: 18,736,717

January 22nd. 2016 ...

Coming Out of the Broom Closet

Energy and Karma

Community and Perception

December 20th. 2015 ...

Introduction to Tarot For the Novice

Magia y Wicca

October 24th. 2015 ...

Facing Your Demons: The Shadow Self

Native American Spirituality Myopia

The Dream Eater--A Practical Use of Summoning Talismans

A Dream Message

Feeling the Pulse of Autumn

October 16th. 2015 ...

Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts

September 30th. 2015 ...

Into the Dark

The Other-Side

September 16th. 2015 ...

Nature Worship: or Seeing the Trees for the Ents

Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate

Weeds and Seeds

August 6th. 2015 ...

Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale

July 9th. 2015 ...

Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

The Magic of Weather

June 7th. 2015 ...

A Pagan Altar

A Minority of a Minority of a Minority

The Consort: Silent Partner or Hidden in Plain Sight?

Why I Bother With Ritual: Poetry and Eikonic Atheism

May 6th. 2015 ...

Sex, Lies, and Witches: Love in a Time of Wiccans and Atheists

Gods, Myth, and Ritual in Naturalistic Paganism

I Claim Cronehood

13 Keys: The Crown of Kether

March 29th. 2015 ...

A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft

March 28th. 2015 ...

On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations

March 1st. 2015 ...

Choosing to Write a Shadow Book

Historiolae: The Spell Within the Story

My Concept Of Grey

February 1st. 2015 ...

Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader

The Three Centers of Paganism

Magick is No Illusion

The Ancient Use of God/Goddess Surnames

The Gods of My Heart

January 1st. 2015 ...

The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch

Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft

Publicly Other: Witchcraft in the Suburbs

Pagans All Around Us

Broomstick to the Emerald City

October 20th. 2014 ...

Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits

A Microcosmic View of Ma'at

October 5th. 2014 ...

The History of the Sacred Circle

Abandoning Expectations and Remembering Your Roots

September 28th. 2014 ...

Seeking Pagan Lands for Pagan Burials

Creating a Healing Temple

September 20th. 2014 ...

GOD AND ME (A Pagan's Personal Reply to the New Atheists)

September 7th. 2014 ...

Deer Man- A Confounding Mystery

Web Oh-oh

The All

August 31st. 2014 ...

Coven vs. Solitary

A Strange Waking Dream


August 24th. 2014 ...

Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation

The Pagan Cleric

A Gathering of Sorcerers (A Strange Tale)

August 17th. 2014 ...

To Know, to Will, to Dare...

On Grief: Beacons of Light in the Shadows

The Darkness

August 10th. 2014 ...

As a Pagan, How Do I Represent My Path?

The Power of the Gorgon

August 3rd. 2014 ...

Are You a Natural Witch?

You Have to Believe We Are Magic...

July 27th. 2014 ...

Did I Just Draw Down the Moon?

Astrological Ages and the Great Astrological End-Time Cycle

The New Jersey Finishing School for Would-Be Glamour Girls and Boys

July 20th. 2014 ...

Being an Underage Wiccan

Malleus Maleficarum - The Hammer of the Witches

Greed, Power, Witches, and the Inquisition

Thoughts on Ghost Hunting

July 13th. 2014 ...

A World Of Witchcraft: Belief Is Only The Beginning...

From Christian to Pagan (Part III)

Being Wiccan

My Wiccan Ways...

July 6th. 2014 ...

Keys: Opening the Portals into Other Worlds

The Lore of the Door

Leaves of Love

June 29th. 2014 ...

What Does the Bible Say About Witches and Pagans?

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

Article Specs

Article ID: 13870

VoxAcct: 379710

Section: words

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 2,149

Times Read: 3,997

RSS Views: 12,212
Age Is Just A Blunder

Author: Fire Lyte
Posted: March 28th. 2010
Times Viewed: 3,997

If I asked you to choose between asking a 19-year-old kid or a 40-year-old established adult to answer a question about politics, which would you choose? The quick and dirty answer is probably the 40-year-old. We naturally think that experience and age is accompanied by knowledge and wisdom. It has been proven in study after study after study that we view the superficial characteristics of a person to be a deciding factor in their trustworthiness.

We assume that wrinkles in the forehead and gray in the hair belie knowledge beyond our own. But, my dad always told me that assumptions make an ass out of you and me, and I learned that my father Ė whether I admit it to his face or not Ė is generally right. Now, I learned he was right not by looking at his forehead or hairline, but by asking him over 2 decades worth of questions and following up with his answers.

The same is true with books. When we look to ask the big questions in life, the books that have been around the longest are the ones we turn to when we want the answers. Obviously, if theyíve been around a while, theyíve got to have some answers. They have to be better than whatever shiny new thing is out there. Hundreds of years, thousands of years worth of trust in these texts must surely provide some sort of quantitative or qualitative proof that they hold more of the answers, the accurate answers, than other texts. Right?

Itís kind of obvious where that line of logic would lead. No, sir, just because somethingís old doesnít mean itís the truth. It doesnít mean itís gospel, except thatís sort of where the expression came from. We say something is gospel when it is the undisputed truth. And we get the word gospel from the four gospels in the Bible Ė Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. This implies that the Bible, for example, is the undisputed truth. Except that the Bible and everything in it is one of the most disputed texts in history.

But, so are the Koran, the Torah, the Bhagavad-Gita, the Talmud, the Upanishads, the Veda, and all the rest of the holy and sacred texts of the world. We argue over scriptures we donít agree with and blindly accept the ones that sound good and just sort of ignore all the other ones. There are over 700 commandments in the Bible, but most of us canít accurately name the big 10.

The problem with old texts, especially ancient texts, is that specific peoples wrote them in specific periods and specific instances. Each one telling the story of a culture overcoming great obstacles and leaning on their god or gods for support, guidance, and justice. The even bigger problem with these texts, though, is that very perspective from which they are written. Because of this, cultures that are not part of the book writerís culture are typically deemed evil and against god.

For the Christians, the Greeks and Romans Ė and all of their gods and practices Ė were thought of as evil. So worshipping multiple gods, having homosexual sex, challenging the status quo, and a whole host of other ideals were considered evil. But, this can be the case repeated over and over again in each of the other Holy Texts.

But, the wisdom of these books cannot be denied. They have survived this long for a reason. There is beauty and depth and a path to the divine to be found within their pages. There is beautiful language and good advice and serious warnings against harming your fellow man. However, just looking at those beautiful parts is ignoring the harmful parts and the outdated parts and all the other parts in between. Remember the words of Elizabeth Gilbert, the pretty stuff will always be there, but you have to find a way to reconcile the not so pleasant parts.

On the flip side, there are the babies. The books and texts and ideas and spiritual guides that have been written in the last 10, 50, 100 years. These books have not had time to become a true holy text with hundreds of millions of followers and quotable scriptures disseminated amongst the masses. And, for that matter, it has not even been decided which of these dozens of books should be followed, if any were to be followed at all.

In paganism alone, we have Cunningham, Crowley, Morrison, Ravenwolf, the Farrars, Bone, Buckland, and dozens more. Each has their strengths, weaknesses, and ludicrous postulations. Are any of their texts singularly able to stand as gospel? I donít know of any pagan who would say yes. No, what book we would consider to be gospel is the one we make ourselves, right? Our grimoire, our book of shadows, our personal compendium of spells, rituals, rites, sabbats, esbats, laws, rules, and religious tenets. This book is put together page by page from the time we enter our path until the time the Goddess calls us home.

Unlike Charmed, these Books of Shadows have not been handed down for hundreds of years, but even if they had does a few hundred years give it any more credence than the book youíre writing yourself right now?

Of course it does! It has had more time to be tested, questioned, debated, tested again, rewritten, and finalized. The difference in a working Book of Shadows, though, is that it can be changed, whereas the more rigid classical texts are Ė pardon the phrase Ė set in stone. Another big difference is that our books are not typically seen as the exact word of the Divine, when the holy texts are considered revealed, meaning they are seen as messages sent by God. Which, in some way, is a comfort.

If these books are Divine, then they can simply be followed. There is no room for questioning or changing or updating, because there is Ďnothing new under the suní, as one text puts it. The date may change, the technology, and the manner in which we get in trouble might change, but the trouble never does Ė or so goes the thought. The Divine supposedly knows all of the ills and evils of mankind and set down laws and guidelines to prevent us from treading that path long ago.

Except, thereís the hitch. They didnít write the books. The gods did not set pen to paper, finger to keyboard, or metal to stone and etch out the books of past, present, or future. People did. Which is why the classical texts are littered with allegories and cultural misunderstandings, pitting people against people all due to a war or injustice that happened thousands of years ago. But, because itís a holy book and is older than dirt, there must be a really good reason why one particular group of people is better than the other.

I hope Iíve laid it out that this is both the boon and curse of ancient texts and practices. When we get lazy enough to blindly follow a text, we are doing our future generations and ourselves a disservice. But, young texts arenít any better. We write our Books of Shadows, our grimoires, our modern holy texts with our own beliefs, grudges, prejudices, injustices, and points of view.

Iíll guarantee that you have spells, rituals, rites, etc. that are tailored to meet your daily needs, but Iíll bet you also developed such a spell, ritual, or rite to take care of a specific situation. That time you wanted a better job or a new lover or wanted to get back at your old lover or thought youíd give worshipping Bast a go; itís all in there. And while you know the journey you took, your progeny might not. They might get a bit confused about why youíd be worshipping both Bast and Cerridwen and Coyote. They donít belong to the same pantheon, and unless youíve done a scholarly job explaining pantheism in your personal book, it could lead to a bit of a miscommunication.

Which, naturally, leads to later misunderstandings, and before you know it your words donít quite mean what they did when you first wrote them. Modern texts have just as many holes as old ones. The trick is to try and find them before they sink your ship.

19-year-olds could be geniuses who have already graduated with a Masterís Degree in political science, while a 40-year-old might be a bum who never got past grade 9. We know appearances can be deceiving, and yet we donít wholly embrace that when it comes to books. If the leather is cracked and the pages stained, itís assumed it might contain better knowledge. While the shiny new pagan publication, with its flashy title and gorgeous art, is treated as just another fluff piece. Iíve said it before, and Iíll continue to do so: they are both equally adequate and inadequate.

My dadís wrinkles donít make him right; my double, triple, and quadruple-checking his answers do. Then practically learning them in the real world cements them. But, he doesnít have all the answers. He still calls for questions about his new phone or for legal questions on occasion. And, of course, I relish in the chance to program his new tech toy, laughing the whole time about the day when he was the one with all the answers, and I was the silly kid who bought it all.

Each generation learns from one another. Do not shy away from the past, and, likewise, it should not shy away from the future.

Copyright: (c) 2010 - Fire Lyte - Inciting A Riot


Fire Lyte

Location: Chicago, Illinois


Author's Profile: To learn more about Fire Lyte - Click HERE

Other Articles: Fire Lyte has posted 32 additional articles- View them?

Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE

Email Fire Lyte... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)

To send a private message to Fire Lyte ...

Pagan Essays

Pagan Web
8,000 Links

Pagan Groups
Local Covens etc.

80,000 Profiles

Home - TWV Logos - Email US - Privacy
News and Information

Chapters: Pagan/Heathen Basics - Pagan BOOKS - Traditions, Paths & Religions - Popular Pagan Holidays - TV & Movies - Cats of the Craft - Festival Reviews - Festival Tips - White Pages (Resources) - Issues/Concerns - West Memphis 3 - Witch Hunts - Pagan Protection Tips - Healing Planet Earth

Your Voices: Adult Essays - Young Pagan Essays - Pagan Perspectives (On Hold) - WitchWars: Fire in the Craft - Gay Pagan - Pagan Parenting - Military - Pagan Passages

Pagan Music: Pagan Musicians - Bardic Circle at WitchVox - Free Music from TWV

Vox Central: About TWV - Wren: Words, Wrants and Wramblings - Guest Rants - Past Surveys - A Quest for Unity

Weekly Updates: Click HERE for an index of our weekly updates for the past 6 years

W.O.T.W. - World-Wide Networking

Your Town: A Link to YOUR Area Page (The largest listing of Witches, Pagans, Heathens and Wiccans on the Planet)

VoxLinks: The Pagan Web: 8,000 Listings

Your Witchvox Account: Log in Now - Create New Account - Request New Password - Log in Problems

Personal Listings: Pagan Clergy in Your Town - Adult Pagans - Young Pagans - Military Pagans

Events: Circles, Gatherings, Workshops & Festivals

Covens/Groups/Orgs: Local Groups Main Page

Other LOCAL Resources: Local Shops - Regional Sites - Local Notices - Global/National Notices - Local Skills & Services - Local Egroups - Political Freedom Fighters

Pagan Shopping: Online Shops Index - Original Crafters Sites - Auction Sites - Pagan Wholesalers - Pagan Local Shops

Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2016 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.

Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.

Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wren’s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witches’ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.

Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.

Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
Witches, Pagans
of The World

Search Articles

 Current Topic
 Editorial Guide

NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.

The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.

All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).