Articles/Essays From Pagans
December 1st. 2013 ...
A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism
The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness
Leaving a Pagan Group – Part 1: To Leave or to Stay?
November 24th. 2013 ...
The Pagan and the Papacy
The Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective
November 17th. 2013 ...
For Love of the God
Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca
A Threat to Religious Liberties?
November 10th. 2013 ...
Where did Aleister Crowley’s Influence on Wicca Go?
Thoughts on the Threefold Law/Law of Return
Nine Creeds: A Statement and Explanation of My Beliefs
The Celtic Tree Calendar
November 3rd. 2013 ...
The Mundane/Spiritual Mirror: What Does it Say About Your Life?
October 27th. 2013 ...
Thoughts On a Miley-Cyrus/ Robin-Thicke Society
On Being Wiccan: Some Unsolicited Advice
Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them
Banishing, Invocation and the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram
October 20th. 2013 ...
Weather Magick: Who is Responsible for the Weather?
Broom Closet: In or Out?
Bottle Spells and Magick in Hoodoo Tradition
On Coven and Claws
October 13th. 2013 ...
Destroying to Create: A Lesson from the Dead
Consume the Scorpion- Scorpion Energy Revisited
October 6th. 2013 ...
UPG and U: A Breakdown and Building Up of Unverified and Unsubstantiated Personal Gnosis
Answering The Call from Spirit
Coping with the Loss of a Familiar
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 2 (The South)
September 29th. 2013 ...
Six Reasons Why Covens are Here to Stay
Priestessing and Titles: What's the Point?
Truth or Convenience? Questioning Motives for Spiritual Advancement
Speaking Up: The Conflict Between the Spiritualist and Our Human Experience
September 22nd. 2013 ...
Death of a Friendship within the Craft
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 1 (The Center)
September 15th. 2013 ...
Some Pagan Prayers
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Bramble and Cerridwen
The Holocaust Survivor (Part II)
September 8th. 2013 ...
Introduction to the Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage
The Druidic Concept of Nwyfre
The Holocaust Survivor (Part 1)
Giving and Helping
September 1st. 2013 ...
Use a Flyswatter for a Fly: More on the Dark Arts
How Spells Work
Is It Really 'Energy'?
August 25th. 2013 ...
Mother Nature’s Way: Forging a Distinctly American Path
Healing Moon Ritual
Unconditional Love: The Paradox of Perfect Love
Earth to Soul/Sole
August 18th. 2013 ...
How Not to Fall in the Bunny Trap
Why Are You Like That? Thoughts on Hoodoo and Appropriation
Finding the Right Coven
The Knowledge Found in Silence
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances, Hazelnuts and Magick Wands
August 11th. 2013 ...
“I Survived a Weekend with Galina Krasskova”
The Charges of the Goddess and God with Commentary
August 4th. 2013 ...
Fair Weather Witches
Pagan Studies II: Modern Paganism in the Americas
Pagan Abbeys - A Practical Heritage for Spiritual Lay and Professional Cloistered Communities
July 28th. 2013 ...
Crystals 101: A Helpful Guide For Beginners
The More the Merrier? It’s not Only an Inaccuracy; it’s an All Out Farce!
My Pagan Manifesto
July 21st. 2013 ...
I'm a Witch, Not a Wiccan: A Brief Summary of Broad Pagan Designations
Rethinking Community for Solitaries
13 Keys: The Beauty of Tiphareth
July 14th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés We Use (Part II)
Pagan Humanism: A Tradition of Rational Religion
Moon/Planetary Musings: The Holly King and John Barleycorn
July 7th. 2013 ...
Coping With Depression: Learning to Dance with the Sacred Twins
Shamanic Healing of Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Humility and Community Service
H is for Hubris
June 30th. 2013 ...
How To Feel The Energy Around You
Planning A Ritual
Why Pagans Might Benefit from Counseling Techniques
The Weight of Contemplation: When the Silent Self Grows Louder
June 23rd. 2013 ...
Magick and Play
Tarot Spell for Protection
Moon Musings and Planetary Preponderances: RE-fuse, RE-duce, RE-use, RE-pair and RE-cycle
June 16th. 2013 ...
How To Stay Spiritual Amidst This Chaos?
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Back to the Basics, or Do Pagans Really Need So Much Stuff?
Article ID: 13816
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 1,335
Times Read: 4,112
RSS Views: 13,908
Author: Bronwen Forbes [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: April 11th. 2010
Times Viewed: 4,112
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.
Location: Bloomington, Indiana
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)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2013 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, Wrenâ€™s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witchesâ€™ 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.
of The World
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).