Your browser does not support script
TWV Presents...



Articles/Essays From Pagans

[Show all]


Views: 17,071,651


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

Greed, Power, Witches, and the Inquisition

Malleus Maleficarum - The Hammer of the Witches

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?

Are You My Familiar ?

Invocations of the God and Goddess

Results Magic and the Moral Compass

Everything's Alright, Yes: Mary Magdalene


June 22nd. 2014 ...

Witchcraft vs. Religion

Christianity and Paganism: Why All Of the Fighting?

Norse Mythology


June 15th. 2014 ...

Becoming Your Own Wise One

Canine Familiars: Role of the Alpha


June 8th. 2014 ...

Moral Relativism and Wicca

Paganism in Cebu, Philippines

Color Infusion

Soul Strings


June 1st. 2014 ...

Rediscovering My Pagan Faith

13 Keys: The Wisdom of Chokmah


May 25th. 2014 ...

Some Differences Between Priestesses and Witches: Duties and Trials

Awakening to our Celestial Nature (A Free 8-Day Course)

How to Work With Your Muse

10 Things I Love about my Sacred Work as a Public Witch


May 18th. 2014 ...

Finding the God (From Christian to Pagan -Part II)

The Medea Within Us All

Visits from the Departed


May 11th. 2014 ...

Breaking the Law of Return

Karma and Sin

Mental and Emotional Balance- I CAN Have it!

The Sin Concept


May 4th. 2014 ...

When to Let Go...When to Hold On

Goddessy: Sorceress Speaks On Beauty

Embracing my Inner Goddess through Belly Dance


April 27th. 2014 ...

Mental Illness in the Pagan Community

World Crisis: Awaken Witches and Take Action

Being Pagan, Being Bipolar

"Earth Day" Is A Pagan Conspiracy!


April 20th. 2014 ...

Six Rules for Safer Pagan Sex: A Guide

Safety: Let's Shift Our Focus

Morality and Controversy in the Craft

A Pagan Perspective on Easter

The Star Child


April 13th. 2014 ...

Magick and Consequences: My Experience with Sigils

Being a Worrisome Witch

Don't Talk Yourself Out of Trying Something New!

What to Do When the Spell/Ritual Flops


April 6th. 2014 ...

The Elements and the Quarters

Dark Moon Scry: Aries 2014

How the Wheel of the Year Works “Down Under”

13 Keys: The Understanding of Binah


March 30th. 2014 ...

Manifesting the Dream: On Religious Organizations, Pagan Abbeys and our Order

True Meaning of Community

Thoughts on Unverified Personal Gnosis

My Beautiful Grove- A Matter Of Perspective


March 23rd. 2014 ...

Spirituality and Social Change

The First Step to Anywhere!


March 16th. 2014 ...

From Christian to Pagan (Part I)

Nature And The Celtic Tree Calendar

The Teeth in the Darkness


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












Article Specs

Article ID: 13816

VoxAcct: 337263

Section: words

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 1,600

Times Read: 4,423

RSS Views: 13,908
Back to the Basics, or Do Pagans Really Need So Much Stuff?

Author: Bronwen Forbes [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: April 11th. 2010
Times Viewed: 4,423

I was driving to work the other morning and the classic Waylon Jennings/Willie Nelson song, “Luckenbach, Texas” came on the radio. As Waylon growled the line, “Maybe it’s time we got back to the basics of love” and then declared that his basics were “guitars that tune good and firm feelin’ women, ” I began to wonder, what are the basics of Pagan practice? What do we really need in order to connect with our God (s) in a mutually satisfactory manner?

I’ll get to what I think we need in a minute. In the meantime, I have a whole list of what we don’t need – but we think we need – in order to be happy, active Pagans.

1. Jewelry – I used to be so very guilty of this one. At one point (about thirteen years ago) I wore at least one ring on every finger – including thumbs – and four separate pendants twenty-four hours a day/seven days a week, including while sleeping and in the shower. It’s a wonder I didn’t drown in the bathtub from the extra weight! And whenever I was in ritual, it was even worse: I’d add at least three (sometimes four!) more necklaces, two wrist bracelets, and two ankle bracelets. Did all this bling make me a better priestess? Of course not. There’s an old joke in the Pagan community, and like most jokes it has a seed of truth in it: Have you heard of the High Priestess Hundred Yard Dash? Any priestess who even makes it to the finish line wins!

Even Magrat Garlick, the young witch in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books, eventually figures out that jewelry does not improve her spiritual practice.

2. Ritual objects – There was another line in Waylon’s song about “keepin’ up with the Jones’.” Pagan tchotchkes and other items wax and wane in and out of fashion. A few years ago, everyone in my local community who thought they were someone (and had seventy bucks they didn’t need) bought wands that were made from tree branches that had grown in a spiral pattern because of wild grape or other vine that had twined around them. They were pretty, and I admit I seriously wanted one, but I wonder how many of those wands are still in use today.

My money pit was, and is, tarot decks. Back in the mid to late 1980s, when the publication of a new themed deck was a much bigger, more rare event than it is today, I bought the Mythic Tarot – not because I was (nor am I now) even remotely drawn to working with the Greek pantheon, but because everyone I respected and admired and who, for the most part did have Greek patron deities, bought the Mythic Tarot. I never used it, and eventually gave it away along with ropes of myrrh bead necklaces, a Daughters of the Moon tarot deck (basically unused) , a baby dragon oil lamp, a couple of old video cabinets (i.e. altars) , and a veritable forest of candlesticks – all purchased because they were “in” or “trendy” at the time – and, for the most part, never used.

3. Speaking of altars – They’re nice, they’re convenient, but they’re not always necessary. My husband, for instance, feels mostly spiritually connected when he’s working in his vegetable garden and then cooking the results of that garden for his family. His altars, then, are the dirt in the garden and the stove and countertops in the kitchen, as I suspect they are for many kitchen witches. I’m not saying altars aren’t good and useful for ritual; if nothing else they keep burning candles and sharp implements off the floor, but how fancy does your altar – the actual piece of furniture – need to be? And if you have more than one, ask yourself: how many of the deities honored by those altars could be better served by you acting as their hands and doing there work in the world?

4. Books – I realize that as a Pagan author I’m shooting myself in the foot here, but honestly folks, do we all really need a wall full of the latest tomes on spell work, Wicca 101 or bad Celtic history in order to build a better relationship with our God (s) ? Yes, my spouse and I have a few, select, cherished spiritual reference books, including some that aren’t particularly Pagan-specific like cookbooks, organic gardening how-tos, books on massage, and one huge volume on how to identify every wild bird in North America. Yes these books enhance my Pagan practice, but they are not Pagan per se. If you’re convinced that the more books you read, the better Pagan you are, let me be the one to tell you that this is not true. Quite the opposite, in fact.

5. Ritual garb – My husband once helped a friend move to a new home. You know those tall wardrobe boxes you can buy from U-Haul? He moved eight; count them, eight of those boxes filled with the friend’s ritual garb. The last time my family moved, we filled three of those boxes with all of our hanging clothes – including our thick winter coats. To be honest, I’ve worn shorts, sneakers, and in one memorable instance a faded Mickey Mouse sweatshirt to some of the most meaningful rituals of my life. I didn’t deliberately plan to “under dress, ” it just happened. Unless your group traditionally practices skyclad, you’ll probably want, need and acquire a few robes of different colors and fabric thicknesses for various holidays and seasons, but eight closet-sized boxes? Just say no!

Now I’m not saying we need to get rid of everything – jewelry, books, altars, candlesticks, statues, robes etc. and rely solely on energy, visualization and our own deeds to express our spirituality. Pagan practice is undoubtedly enriched beyond measure by these supplemental symbols. But it is easy for too much “stuff” to overwhelm and clutter up the fundamental simplicity of our call to serve our Gods as best we can. Serving the Gods, doing their work here on Earth, and giving each other a helping hand as best we can – that’s back to the basics of Pagan practice.





ABOUT...

Bronwen Forbes


Location: Bloomington, Indiana

Website: www.myspace.com/bronwenf

Author's Profile: To learn more about Bronwen Forbes - Click HERE




Other Articles: Bronwen Forbes has posted 36 additional articles- View them?

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




Email Bronwen Forbes... (Yes! I have opted to receive invites to Pagan events, groups, and commercial sales)

To send a private message to Bronwen Forbes ...



Pagan Essays
1996-2014





Pagan Web
8,000 Links





Pagan Groups
Local Covens etc.





Pagan/Witch
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 1997-2014 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
1996-2014










 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).