Latest News and Relevant information on Wicca,Witchcraft, Druidry, Paganism and more

Latest News and Relevant information on Wicca,Witchcraft, Druidry, Paganism and more

Latest Witchcraft, Wicca and Pagan News

All the latest witchy news from around the world. On this page you can find the latest news and relevant information for Pagans, Wiccans, Witches, Druids, Heathens and all walks of the Pagan Community.

  • Pagan Voices: Special Earth Day edition
    Pagan Voices is a spotlight on recent quotations from figures within the Pagan community. Today’s edition focuses on Earth Day, which has been celebrated annually since 1970 and has attracted Pagans since that first one.  [Wikimedia Commons.] The first Earth Day celebration took place in New York City in 1970, which (perhaps not coincidentally) was around the time that a recognizable community was coalescing around this thing we today call “contemporary Paganism.” Pagans today have legal rights and cultural recognition which were denied to Pagans in 1970. At the same time, our relationship with Mother Earth has become even more precarious than it was in 1970. We have a responsibility, to those who have gone before us, as well as those who will come after us, to use our hard-won freedoms to fight for a healthy home. Aside from the solstices, equinoxes, and cross-quarters which make up the Wheel of the Year, Earth Day is perhaps the closest thing Pagans have to a holy day. It’s an opportunity — individually and collectively — to reexamine our relationship with the natural world which sustains us. Earth Day represents a challenge to all Pagans to move beyond the comfort of our insular communities and to engage the rest of the world positively. It’s an opportunity to deepen and broaden our engagement with non-Pagans who are also working to heal the web of life. We need to get our hands dirty. That means working in the literal dirt, but also fighting for change through the political process, through direct action, and through community organizing. — John Halstead The idea of Earth Day being considered a Pagan holiday was challenged in New York on Mar. 29, 2001 when a group of parents described as of Christian faith brought a suit against the Fox Lane High School stating that their Earth Day activities were promoting Pagan and earth-based religions. Justice Kearse compared Earth Day festivities to that of displaying and paying respect to the American flag: An objective observer would not view these detailed prescriptions for honoring the American flag . . . as an indication that Congress . . . has established flag worship as a religion,” Judge Kearse wrote. “We conclude that an objective observer similarly would not view the school district’s Earth Day ceremonies as endorsing Gaia or Earth worship as a religion. The court found also found that the use of the term ‘mother nature’ was not a reference to a goddess or other deity, but a phrase similar to ‘father time’ used to describe a concept. Here we find objective heads prevailing to prevent a rather narrow-minded group of individuals from ruining what is a good public service in the form of Earth Day activities. — Average Pagan, Earth day- secular call-to-action or Pagan holiday? In my Paganism, every day is Earth Day. I find the divine immanent around me in the world: in the Pacific Ocean at the end of our street, in the butterflies that visit ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-04-22By The Wild Hunt
  • Column: “You can never tell with the bees,” said Pooh
    Hi, my name is Manny and I’m a beekeeper; beek for short. I started off as a normal gardener. You know, cucumbers, basil, radishes. But soon, as is what happens, you want more. You want to grow unusual plants; they whisper, “plant me.” Personally, I blame heirloom tomatoes. It’s a slippery path from there. Some stay with arugula as the unusual. I turned to aquatics — pond gardening — with tropical water lilies, floaters, duck potato and finally to bog plants, carnivorous ones. Soon, the pond had frogs, small herons, and minnows. But it wasn’t enough. There was something missing: the complaints of neighbors.The silence can be maddening, so I convinced myself that the backyard had to go native: no more grass (as in Bermuda and St. Augustine). I slowly let the backyard rewild a little, a questionable strategy in Florida. I planted more natives. It became far less manicured, and soon it became a little oasis for birds, squirrels, and possums. I’ve even had owls and foxes. Cute. I put up bat houses. The neighbors started to wonder. They murmured and broke some of the silence. But still, wilder and all, something was missing. Something that ties everything together: the land, the plants, the animals, the Paganism and the neighborly shock. It was honey bees. When they joined the back yard, I clinched the neighborhood badge for crazy-weird. As one neighbor put it, “you are crazy as all fuck.” Then, I put on the ritual wear for the win. Really, that was all just a bonus round. What actually got me to start beekeeping, was the decline of honey bees. About 10 years ago, we started to hear reports of “raptured” bees: colonies that just collapsed with no trace of bees, alive or dead. It was as if they just disappeared. Then came the alarming comment that made the rounds about humans having four years to live should honey bees vanish. To add weight, that comment would be reported as coming from Albert Einstein who, in fact, never said it. Researchers were quick to underscore the gravity of the situation but not the immanent extinction of the honey bee, though there were issues threatening them. The culprits ranged from a certain kind of mite that infects hives (varroa mites) to pesticides, specifically neonicotinoids (the link there offers a comprehensive review of research). While honey bees aren’t exactly doomed (U.S. colonies are at about three million) and there’s no danger of honey bee extinction, there’s still quite a bit humans can do to avert a beemageddon. The tools of Orisha Oko [photo credit: M. Tejeda-Moreno]. That’s where Paganism comes in. Our responsibility to live with the land reminds us to ask what we can do strengthen our bonds with the natural world around us. Bees can offer some of those insights, but not through a romance of bees, beekeeping or an idealized view of the hive structure. I’m no fan of romantic portrayals of their societies as perfection. They’re ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-04-22By Manny Tejeda-Moreno
  • Column: The Intersection of Pagan Religions and the Social Sciences
    There are many intersections between a person’s profession and their spiritual calling. There are parallels that exist in the reasons that someone practices within a specific spiritual belief system, and what that same person chooses to do for a living. There are types of people that are more geared toward professions that are in the service field and others that are not; this is not something new within the way we understand the development of personality and the way we define an individual’s strengths. When considering theories like “nature vs. nurture,” there are insights into the personality of those who find themselves in the field of helping professions. This is a subject very commonly discussed within the social sciences community. There are specific types of people and specific life experiences that lead an individual into this segment of the professional spectrum; a combination of nature and nurture. Whether that is as a social worker, therapist, psychologist, anthropologist or Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor; the work of facilitating change, distributing hope and advocating for the needs of others is a calling in and of itself. [Free Therapy Picture / Flickr] As a social worker I find the correlations between the foundation of my spiritual practice and the motivation for my work in the field strongly connected. Many others identify their professional work as a part of their divine work, a manifestation of their calling to the Gods. The correlations between my own connection with the Gods and my passion as a social worker have always felt linked and relevant. While my own journey started as a counselor before ever started identifying and practicing as a Pagan, I have connected my work and my spirituality in many ways by using a comparable set of lenses. There is an increasing amount of studies and clinical theories that are discussing the benefits of bringing client’s spirituality into the therapy room but there isn’t much yet about how the spirituality of the practitioner impacts their practice in the field. In A Call For The Spiritual Dimension To Be Included In Social Work Educationsocial worker Stephanie Sullivan identifies the importance of spirituality as an intricate part of the person. She writes,“Spirituality is a concept that is not easily definable and because of that, many people shy away from fully understanding how one’s belief system can affect other factors in life. As a professional social worker, it is one’s duty to look at the whole individual because every system is intertwined with another. When pondering over whether or not aspects of spirituality is used in everyday social work practice, one must ask the question about the worker’s view on spirituality.” In recognizing the impact of one’s spiritual beliefs and practices, we are expanding our ability to truly understand those who are being served, as well as those who are professionally delivering the services. It gives us an expanded view on the different skill-sets and varying levels of understanding around the different ways an individual approaches and integrates ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-04-21By Crystal Blanton
  • DruidCast – A Druid Podcast Episode 121
    Shownotes for DruidCast Episode 121 'S muladach mi 's mi air m'aineoil (Sad Am I and In a Strange Place) - Songs of Separation - https://www.songsofseparation.co.uk Courting is a Pleasure - Jarlath Henderson - https://jarlathhenderson.co.uk Magical Spells and Charms - Graham King - http://www.troybooks.co.uk/the-british-book-of-spells-and-charms.html Sounds of Earth - Jim Moray - http://jimmoray.co.uk/upcetera/ Nicholas Cage - Kim Thompsett/Momerath - https://soundcloud.com/outgrabe/nicolas-cage DruidCast theme - Hills they are Hollow - Damh the Bard - http://www.paganmusic.co.uk For further information on Druidry - http://druidry.org ... read more
    Source: DruidcastPublished on 2017-04-21By Order of Bards Ovates and Druids
  • Reboot of Buckland museum set for Apr. 29
    CLEVELAND, Ohio –More than half a century after Raymond Buckland first opened the doors to his Museum of Witchcraft and Magick, members of the public will be able to once again view artifacts from the collection. The new Buckland Gallery of Witchcraft & Magick is scheduled to open its doors in Ohio at the end of the month. The gallery’s collection was first accumulated on Long Island, spent time on display in New Hampshire, and fell into a legal dispute in New Orleans before reaching its new home in the midwest. Buckland, who spread knowledge of Gardnerian Wicca in the United States and has written many books on the subject, will be on hand to cut the ribbon to the new gallery. “This is a real milestone in the long history of the collection,” he said. “I am delighted and, admittedly, very excited about it.” He sketched out the collection’s history, which he said was inspired by Gerald Gardner’s museum. “It started to really take form in 1966, and I was encouraged with it, after Gerald’s death, by Olwen and Loic (Monique and Campbell Wilson). We still have a few of the bits and pieces that came originally from Gerald’s collection. The museum developed initially in the basement of my house on Long Island, New York, starting to take form in 1964 until it grew to the point where it had to have its own home. That was in 1966, in the building in Bay Shore, New York, where it really thrived. When I later moved up to New Hampshire, it went with me and we had a number of good seasons at Weirs Beach, New Hampshire. “Then, when I moved back south, it went into storage where it remained until I sold it to Monte Plaisance in New Orleans (I was unable to reopen it myself but didn’t want it to simply sit in storage; it needed to be ‘out there.’) Unfortunately Plaisance turned out to be a very poor choice. He did not come through with the money (forcing a lawsuit), misplaced many of the artifacts, and badly treated or even destroyed others.” In a previous story on the museum, Plaisance responded to those allegations. As Buckland recalls, “Rev. Velvet Reith, and her helpers, were instrumental in rescuing the collection and started the job of restoring it. Regrettably Velvet was not able to complete the task before her untimely death last year. At that point Toni Rotonda, of Columbus, Ohio, was able to (again) effect a rescue and bring the collection to Ohio. She found a venue in which to launch the gallery, as a preamble to the whole museum proper, and Steven Intermill has shown himself to be a dedicated and enthusiastic curator. So I very much look forward to the opening at the end of this month, and to the next leg on the journey of the Buckland Museum of Witchcraft and Magick.” According to curator Intermill, “It’s a small room, which is why we are ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-04-20By Terence P Ward
  • Berkeley rally draws Pagan and Heathen attendees
    BERKELEY, Calif —  For the third time this year, people convened in the California city of Berkeley to attend, or to protest, what was being labeled a “Freedom Rally” or “Free Speech Rally.” The scene quickly turned violent as tensions mounted between the two gathering factions. The event was over before it had a chance to really begin. According to the police report, there were 11 injuries and 20 arrests with more possible after video footage is reviewed. Many news outlets have labeled Saturday’s event a pro-Trump rally describing a politically-based scenario pitting Trump supporters against his opponents. While others have called it a Patriots Day free speech rally, championing the right to be heard. Liberty Revival Alliance (LRA) founder and event organizer Rich Black said, “We are the heroes this country needs.” While pro- and anti-Trump rhetoric did flow through the event, and many people attended solely for that purpose, the rally ultimately was neither a political protest nor a free speech rally. It was a public show of the deep and troubling divides stirring just beneath the surface of the current social climate in the U.S., and what Esquire magazine has described as a confrontation between “anti-fascists and white nationalists.” Prior to Apr. 15, Black himself made an attempt to distance the event and LRA from such notoriety. In a post, he said, “I know there are many concerns regarding allegations of the LRA and this event having association with Neo-Nazi, White Supremacist, or Workers Party groups. I assure you that we do not have any association with anyone who promotes these radical views or hateful rhetoric. they were there, and they were vocal.” He released a second, similar statement Apr. 19, in which he supports the actions taken against Antifa, but denounces any connection to groups defined as white supremacist. However, Black’s initial statement did not appear to ease concerns, or shift the direction of the event. It even angered some event supporters. In the end, Esquire‘s assessment is evident not only in photographs and videos coming out of the rally, but also in the general discussions within online forums. It is also evident in the reasons that drove some Pagans and Heathens to attend the rally. “It’s a provocation from the alt-right. Just like Milo [Yiannopoulos] and just like the rally in March,” said local Pagan and trained street medic Brennos Agrocunos Gunn. He was at the park Saturday with friend and fellow medic Laine Mardollsdottir. As Gunn explained, “They come to Berkeley because Berkeley is Sodom and Gomorrah in their mythology. They come here, to one of the most diverse communities in the country to antagonize the residents and then cry ‘fascists’ when the residents react badly to having Nazi salutes in their faces and being told that they’re going to be taken on helicopter rides.” His assessment is corroborated by LVA supporters who rallied behind the idea that patriots need to go where they are not welcome. One supporter publicly quoted abolitionist and activist Abigail Kelley Foster, who is credited with saying, “Go where you are least wanted, for there you ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-04-19By Heather Greene
  • Greek Paganism legally recognized as ‘known religion’ in Greece
    ATHENS, Greece – On April 9th, the Supreme Council of Ethnic Hellenes (YSEE), a religious organization working to restore the indigenous religion of Greece, put out a statement saying Greek polytheism has received legal status in Greece. Prior to this, Greek Pagans did not have religious freedoms such as the ability to buy land to create houses of worship nor could Pagan clergy perform marriage ceremonies. Yesterday the Secretary of the Supreme council of Ethnic Hellenes (YSEE) announced that after more than twenty years of struggle, the Greek state has finally recognized the Hellenic Religion as a ‘Known Religion’ according to paragraph 17 – the only form of recognition for a religion in Greece. The mentioned paragraph includes the permission to build a temple as well as the right of public exercise of any recognized religion. The recognition of Hellenic Religion as a ‘Known Religion’ is only the first step towards a general recognition of Hellenism. Now the YSEE at Athens is still waiting for recognition as a religious statutory body in Greece. The Supreme Council of Ethnic Hellenes will approach the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg if the state leaves them no other choice, said its Secretary. Unlike the United States, Greece does not have a blanket freedom of religion law built into its legal system. It is instead governed by the Organization of the Legal Forms of Religious Communities and their Organizations in Greece. As of now, only six religions outside the Greek Orthodox faith are recognized as ‘known religions.’ And, even those practices that achieve this status often face an uphill battle in exercising their rights. For example, Muslims in Athens have fought for over 10 years to build a mosque, and have so far been unsuccessful. [Courtesy Photo] The recognition of the Greek religion came after it was rejected in 2015. According to the YSEE, the rejection demonstrated that the Greek government, “…has yet to get rid of its byzantine and medieval whims and […] unable to respect with dignity its own laws.” “It has rejected by intermediate on of its court of First Instance the motion signed by hundreds of Ethnikoi Hellenes to obtain recognition as a statutory corporation of religious character for their ancestral, indigenous, and historically continuous to our day despite cruel persecutions by Christianity.” YSEE is currently registered as a non-profit organization and, as explained on its website, has been on the front lines in the on-going battle for religious community recognition. The Wild Hunt spoke with Mr. Vlassis Rassias, the General Secretary of the Supreme Council of Ethnikoi Hellenes, about what it means for the Ethnic Hellenic Pagans in Greece and what the next steps are in achieving religious right in Greece. TWH: If this is the first step towards a general recognition of Hellenism, what is the next step? Vlassis Rassias: This was recognition of our Religion as such, by the official authorities of the Greek Ministry of Education and Religious Matters. To their credit, they gave us official permission for a place ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-04-18By Cara Schulz
  • When Was Modern Paganism Born?
    When was Modern Paganism "born?" Hard to say exactly, but there are several options, ranging from fifty to about 200 years ago. ... read more
    Source: Patheos – Raise the HornsPublished on 2017-04-17By Jason Mankey
  • Pagan Community Notes: Hindsley and Leffert, Lady Siobhan, Raven Grimassi, and more
    In an update to a past report, David Hindsley and Nicole Leffert have both been sentenced to 42 years in prison with a two-year probation for three felony counts of sexual crimes, including the conspiracy to commit child molesting and child molesting. Leffert received her sentence Jan. 10, and Hindsley was sentenced last week. Before their arrest in May 2016, Hindsley and Leffert were active members of Indiana’s Heathen community. They both worked as artisans, making kilts and jewelry. The couple owned an Etsy shop and Facebook page called Heathen Spirit. In a 2014 article published in Purdue University’s student newspaper The Exponent, Hindsley was interviewed about the health benefits of wearing kilts. At one point, they had attempted to start a new kindred in their home town. According to local news, the two unnamed victims were a four-year old child and a two-month-old baby. The crimes were discovered after Hindsley and Leffert shared pictures, texts, and Facebook messages about the acts. “At Hindsley’s sentencing Thursday,” reports WLFI, “the judge, prosecutor and detective called this case the sickest they’ve ever encountered working in the criminal justice system.” *   *   * It was announced last week that Renata Burnham, known to many as Lady Siobhan, died Apr. 6. Born in Czechoslovakia on Feb. 15, 1939, Lady Siobhan would recall being an only child and running from Nazis as they invaded her homeland. After spending time in Germany, she moved to the U.S. at the age of 18. She eventually met her husband, Allan, and gave birth to three children. Although never divorced, the two grew apart as a couple, and Lady Siobhan eventually developed a new relationship with her beloved partner Aditi; it would last 42 years. After years of handfastings, their marriage was officially recognized for the very first time Oct. 23, 2016.  Lady Siobhan came into Paganism in 1971, joining the New Jersey-based Witches of Wickatunk in 1975. She went on to earn her third degree. Eventually, the couple moved to Georgia where they joined Coven Finneces, and then Olde Stone Grove of the Keltoi Tradition of Druids. Along with her specific Craft studies, Lady Siohban was certified in numerology, studied general metaphysics, and earned her ministerial credentials through the Progressive Universal Life Church. More recently, she had become a member of the Georgia-based Willow Dragonstone Community. In recent years, it was discovered that Lady Siobhan had developed lung cancer as well as brain cancer. In addition, she had diabetes as a result of steroid treatments. Lady Siobhan died in her home with Aditi by her side on Apr. 6. Her life was honored Apr. 9, 2017 at Crowell Brothers’ Funeral Home in Buford, Georgia. Willow Dragonstone Community will be hosting an outdoor ceremony the weekend of June 24, 2017. The location has not been announced. What is remembered, lives.  *   *   * Author Raven Grimassi made a personal announcement Sunday about his health. In an open letter on his site, Grimassi said, “In January of 2016, I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, terminal stage four, and was ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-04-17By The Wild Hunt
  • Five Aids to Magical Thought: Dion Fortune and the Path of Occult Fiction
    All magical seekers ask this one question: "How can I become an adept, an initiate?"andmdash;maybe concluding sadly that they lack the one necessity: a personal teacher. "When the pupil is ready, the teacher appears," is a magical maxim, yet where is that mysterious helper? Will our sincere longing manifest them in physical form? And how many decades should we wait? What if we were to look to magical fiction, instead, and transfer the love and lessons gained from reading fiction to our magical studies? Penny Billington, co-author of the new Keys to the Temple, explains. ... read more
    Source: Llewellyn JournalPublished on 2017-04-17
  • Art, feminism, magic: an interview with Penny Slinger (part one)
    [Interview by journalist Zora Burden, special to The Wild Hunt] Penny Slinger, born Penelope Slinger, is a British born, multi-media artist known best for her esoteric, surrealist, provocative photographic collage work focusing on spiritual alchemy, the sacred feminine, and female psyche. She earned her 1st Class Honors degree in 1969 from the Chelsea College of the Arts in London, with her thesis on surrealist Max Ernst. Her art is considered revolutionary for its time, using herself as her own muse and subject. Her esoteric subject matter ranging from spiritual alchemy, sexual mysticism, Jungian archetypes, and tantra. It was through her studies in surrealism that she met art historian Sir Roland Penrose, who curated the London International Surrealists Exhibition in 1936. Penrose arranged to have Slinger’s student artwork shown at the ICA and personally introduced her to some of the original surrealists. That experience launched her career. Slinger’s first book,50% The Visible Woman was a groundbreaking feminist exploration in photo collage and was later followed by her surreal, photographic collage masterpiece An ExorcismHer work with a women’s performance art group in the 1970s led to the making of Jane Arden’s film The Other Side of Underneath, in which Slinger has a starring role. Self Image, Photographic collage from An Exorcism, 1970-1977, 19.7 x 13.75 inches. Copyright Penny Slinger, Courtesy Riflemaker, London. During that time, she also opened an art gallery that displayed on her own art and that of the region. When she met her partner Nik Douglas, she began work with him focusing on tantra and has written and illustrated many books with him on the subject, Together they created the Secret Dakini Oracle, featuring her collage work, as a divination system inspired by the 64 Dakinis symbolic of female intuitive wisdom and tantric tradition. It was republished as the Tantric Dakini Oracle and is widely available. Penny then took on the immense collaborative project of an online Dakini Oracle, in which she recreates the Goddess in 64 incarnations by photographing live models who embodied and channeled each aspect of the Goddess She married microbiologist Christopher Hills, founder of University of the Trees in Boulder Creek, California, who passed away in 1997. Penny lives and works at the property he dedicated to the Goddess, hosting many events and workshops focusing on the Divine Feminine. There is now a documentary on Penny Slinger’s early life and work, Penny Slinger ~ Out of the Shadows due out this year. Zora Burden: Your work was so revolutionary and ahead of its time. Will you talk about how you became interested in archetypes, metaphysics and surrealism? Penny Slinger:  When I did my thesis at art school, I was looking through the history of art and trying to see what really interested me and I noticed that woman as muse was such a central theme to a lot of art but it was generally women looked at through the lens of the male artists. That became pivotal for me. I wanted to be my own muse. I wanted to be the one who was actually ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-04-16By Guest Contributor
  • Column: Dharma Pagan
    “Nothing ever exists entirely alone. Everything is in relation to everything else.”[i] For years I struggled looking for alignment between a practice rooted with what my teacher Enkyo O’Hara, roshi called “living a life of zen”[ii] which for me was a commitment to daily meditation, sutra and scripture study, lay vows, and keeping refuge in a lifestyle grounded in this eight fold path: right views, intention, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, and concentration, and a longing towards magic, mythic phenomenon. [Pixabay / Public Domain] I had a narrative in my mind that Buddhist practice was a stripped bare practice, with an aesthetic that in the commitment to non attachment resisted anything that could be translated as “all acts of love and pleasure.” That all began to change as I came to better understand the sutras of Buddhist teachings, and that life wasn’t a zero sum game. That in the vast language of the Diamond Sutra for example was Prajñāpāramitā, the great mother (one of her many aspects) in the center of a compelling lesson about the cosmic law of dharma, supreme wisdom, and the coalescence of enlightenment. As study begat more study, and wisdom traditions expanded across many teachers, I began to see a wider scope of what could be possible. And, what became more clear was an interdependence between that deep core guiding value (the Buddhism/Mindfulness) and the natural understanding the divine (Goddess, Earth, Magic). Myself and others call this dharma pagan. Dharma paganism is a unique crossroads of Buddhist and Pagan teachings where “free will and mind training meet magical and mythic phenomena. Together they coalesce in impactful ways, as they are vast, fluid, and mutable”[iii]. Intrinsically dharma paganism empowers the practitioner toward lived truths, experiences, and interpretation. They are sisters, united in ways more common than I think most of us realize. Certainly practitioners of early Tibetan Buddhism and Tantra knew they were magical, but somewhere we got lost from that lineage. Dharma Paganism is about reconnecting to that. The dharma and magick have inspired vast collections of sutras and sacred works, alongside intense debate. Both offer much-needed practical and spiritual remedies for common problems. Together they provide the experience of transcending the lesser states via work on the inner planes, and thereby manifesting a refined view of the world. So what is dharma? The dharma is the primary order of all phenomena. Dharma is known by many names from force, mana, magick, power, tao, or wyrd. Dharma is a way of understanding universal law: that which flows in, among, around and through us – as above and so below – breath to heart, heart to mind, mind to body. As dharma pagans, it is our purpose to work in alignment with this order, allowing the dharma to move freely- making space for it to lead. “It is spaciousness, breath, spark, flow, and root. It is every being and no being at all. It is the ground from which all surfaces and into which all dissolves. ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-04-15By Erick DuPree
  • Column: the Face of the Past
    I recall the tour guide at the Þjóðminjasafn in Iceland telling our group that, although her museum was small by comparison to some other countries’ national museums, Icelanders felt proud of it because the treasures it contained all truly belonged to Iceland. The pieces on exhibit came from local archaeology and preservation, not from colonial prize-taking. Assyrian lamassu guardians at the British Museum [Photo Credit: E. Scott]. I suspect she had the British Museum in mind when she said it. I have set today aside for wandering through the collections at the British Museum, and although my heart falters at the sight of the items in the Egyptian and Assyrian galleries, the legacy of empire blankets every inch of that space. The ever-present contradiction of the great museum looms larger here than perhaps anywhere else: the wonder of seeing the lamassu guardians from Assyria, the distemperate knowledge that while I stand here in London admiring the masterpiece, in northern Iraq, from where the lamassu were taken, the aftershock of colonialism still rumbles. Perhaps this disquiet leads me out of the gallery and upstairs to the medieval section. This part of the museum, mostly excavated items from Britain itself, adheres more closely to the ideals of my Icelandic tour guide. (Of course, that too has its worries, now that I think about it. For do those ideals not introduce their own essentialism – the “true heritage” of Britain being found in these relics, closed off from the contributions of those who have come here since? Troubles abound.) I have now come to the Anglo-Saxon room. In the center stands a glass display case full of things I have seen again and again in photographs, but I cannot approach them. Not yet. My pilgrim’s intuition leads me on a labyrinthine path around the edges of the room before I may approach the heart of the exhibit. My eyes pass over buckles and broaches, broken blades and bits of fractured gold, the treasures recovered from the graves of the Anglo-Saxons. I even spy one of the tiny finds that I have long desired to see: a genuine Olaf Raven coin, a silver penny from the Viking-age kingdom of Jorvik, stamped on one side with a line drawing of a raven that some interpret as one of Odin’s birds. Other scholars, of course, call it the dove of the Holy Spirit, but the Christians have thousands of coins, so, in my naïve numismatics, I prefer to give just this one to Odin. Eventually all labyrinths lead to their centers, and so it is with me and the center of this room: the glass case the holds one of the great discoveries of archaeology, the finds from the ship burial at Sutton Hoo. The Sutton Hoo helmet in its case at the British Museum [Photo Credit: E. Scott]. I have studied the Old English language and its literature for about a decade now; my relationship with Beowulf, in particular, goes ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-04-14By Eric O. Scott
  • Five Ways Witchcraft Changed My Life
    Of course Witchcraft has changed me, what's the point of adopting a spiritual practice if it doesn't change or fulfill you? But the Witchcraft has done more than change me, it has transformed me. ... read more
    Source: Patheos – Raise the HornsPublished on 2017-04-13By Jason Mankey
  • Summer Pagan Festivals 2017: A Guide
    This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love, and what better way to celebrate than with a Pagan festival? ... read more
    Source: Patheos – Raise the HornsPublished on 2017-04-11By Jason Mankey
  • No. 140 Witches: practical ways to be wise…with help from Noah and Archie
    Source: Tylluan Penry – Youtube ChannelPublished on 2017-04-11By Tylluan Penry
  • The Angels of Your Sun Sign
    Angels can change your life for the better; they create a positive energy in your life that brings happiness and contentment. Zodiacal angels are extra powerful; they are working on the ray of your zodiac sign and have a special significance in your life. These angels will help you reach your full potential and also will help you achieve your dearest dreams. But how do we access this wonderful ability of the angels? Patricia Papps, author of Heal Yourself with the Angels and the new Angels of the Zodiac, explains. ... read more
    Source: Llewellyn JournalPublished on 2017-04-10
  • Loving “The Love Witch”
    "The Love Witch" is a Witchy must, and some of the most fun I've had watching a movie in several years. ... read more
    Source: Patheos – Raise the HornsPublished on 2017-04-09By Jason Mankey
  • Column: Love in the Tower Time
    [Today we welcome author, Priestess, and Witch H. Byron Ballard as our guest columnist. Ballard is a Western North Carolina native, teacher, folklorist, and writer. Her work has been featured in several anthologies, Witches and Pagans Magazine and on her blog. She has written two book: Staubs and Ditchwater and Asfidity and Mad-Stones. Ballard is currently at work on Earth Works: Eight Ceremonies for a Changing Planet.] I don’t remember precisely when it began, this quiet knowing that has grown, for me, into a certainty. It began with a pinch of insight, a glint of what was happening globally reflected in local events. It was more than a lack of harmony, of simple chaotic modern life—this feeling hinted at larger activity, a shift in the zeitgeist, a disturbance in the Force. – Tower Time files, document 1 At Sacred Space Conference earlier this month, I arrived within a half hour of the first talk I was scheduled to give. The People’s Craft–Folk Magic and Its Peasant Roots was supposed to be a rousing exploration of some of the commonalities of folk magic across different cultures and the fascination with these practices among modern Pagans. It turned into a sermon focused on resilience and the power of revolution. It became a plea for Pagans to see clearly what must be done for our biosphere and our species. Pacing the large room ( wearing the same battered jeans that I’d traveled in for nine hours from North Carolina) I preached, as my Methodist forebears did. I invited the attendees to consider peasant life. I brandished a pitchfork [Public Domain / Pixabay] Tower Time. It has become my mantra, as well as an ongoing vision and occasional nightmare. It has been in front of me for a decade or more, since the day I sat on a friend’s sunny porch, drinking wine and comparing our visions. That seems like a faraway dream now, a kinder time, a time less fraught and more hopeful. In brief, I have come to know through Unverifiable Personal Gnosis (UPG)—dreams, visions, ponderings, discussions with colleagues—that we are living in the times when the top-down and toxic systems that some of us call “patriarchy” are in the process of collapse. Because I am a lifelong tarot reader, the image that returns to my mind again and again is the Tower, Sweet Number Sixteen. *   *   * The clear knowing that I felt has grown more insistent in the intervening years. It is this: we are living in times when these massive, ancient and toxic systems, that have both created civilization as we know it and doomed it, are crashing under their own weight of history and grief. It is the death throes of patriarchy that we are experiencing and it will die as it has lived—in violence and oppression and injustice and death. -Tower Time files, Document 1 Madness, right? End-of-days whacked. Yeah, I’ve heard it all.  But I’ve also heard concurring murmurings from ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-04-09By Guest Contributor
  • Column: Aging, Access, and Paganism
    Spring brings Pagan festivals, picnics, and other gatherings. It also brings a reminder of how a certain aspect of being a part of the community can be overlooked: Aging Pagans. At Paganicon this year, I was delighted to see more individuals enjoying the conference in walkers, wheelchairs, using canes, or simply walking slowly while holding on to the arm of a friend. The needs of our aging population are accommodated through the hotel to a point; the community response to aging has been a bit slower at times. At a time when the very fabric of the health care system in the United States is being unwoven and re-woven, the issues of age, health, and viability in the Pagan community are particularly relevant. [Pixabay / public domain] The stereotypical image of a Pagan participant is that of youth, engaging in magical arts. As our community has grown, members have grown older. We revere them with our altars devoted to ancestors; however, when was the last time that you saw the majority of any Pagan conference addressing the needs of those who are candidates for AARP or Social Security? Is it harsh to presume that our religious traditions by their nature and the participatory origins favor those who are under 40 or even 50 rather than those who are past the half-century mark? A question of aging A few years ago, I led a discussion on the issue of how groups can address the real issue of aging within the community, and specifically within various covens, groves, kindreds and the like. For those who hold ritual in a private setting, are the homes wheelchair accessible? Are there ramps or steps that are easy to navigate? Are rituals held in locations where a local bus service or disability service can drop off and assist participants? Are events held at times when such a service can be used? If the ritual is in a public location, such as a park, is there space for members needing accessible parking spaces? Is there sufficient room within the building to navigate with a cane, walker, or wheelchair? Most modern buildings are ADA compliant, but that does not mean navigation is easy. Is the ritual space floor flat and relatively even? Overall, does the group or tradition present an inviting front for those who may have challenges due to aging or physical disability? I will never forget one participant who came to the discussion to find help or suggestions for a very recent situation in her tradition. An older initiate, who lived alone and had a tendency to prefer solitude, had not shown up in some time. When someone went to see the initiate, the group found this individual in poor medical and fiscal circumstances. Fortunately, this particular group was large enough to divide the tasks to care for the individual until the situation was resolved. Hearing this experience made me consider those older community members who are not so fortunate, as this one ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-04-08By Clio Ajana
  • Kenny Klein convicted on child pornography charges
    NEW ORLEANS — An Orleans Parish jury found musician and Blue Star priest Kenny Klein guilty of child pornography charges yesterday. The verdict was for possessing one count of pornography involving a juvenile under the age of 13, and 19 counts of possession with intent to distribute pornography involving juveniles under the age 17. When he is sentenced Apr. 20, the penalty could be from 105 to 420 years in prison if imposed successively. When news broke of Klein’s arrest in 2014, it rocked the Pagan world. Many who knew Klein or were familiar with his music or books made calls to allow a verdict before presuming his guilt, but were largely excoriated for it. Others took the Pagan community as a whole to task for failing to protect children in a subculture where many link nudity and sexuality directly to sacred practice. Books, workshops, and organizations focused on consent culture and abuse prevention came to the forefront. Kenneth Klein’s arrest photo. While it took years to bring this matter to trial, once the proceedings began it was over and done with in just three days. Jurors began their deliberations around 5:30 p.m., and returned the verdict at 9:15 that night. Many cases of this nature end in a plea bargain and are never brought to trial. The trial was unusual even for those outside of the Pagan community; jurors were shown the videos in question, which is extremely unusual in that jurisdiction. “Discs containing the contraband videos were hand-carried to and from the courthouse by a DA’s office investigator in a locked case, and after conclusion of the trial were placed into court custody under seal,” according to one report. Jurors “appeared visibly disturbed” while viewing the material. Klein has maintained his innocence throughout, but not with a consistent story. A state trooper testified that he initially claimed he’d downloaded the pornography as research material for a planned Huffington Post article, which still would have violated state law. There is no recording of that conversation, but two phone conversations he had with fiancee Lauren Devoe were. In one he told her he’d been arrested “for having underage pornography on my computer, which you warned me about,” and in another he said, “I was downloading a bunch of stuff and some of it apparently had teens in it.” The defense strategy may have been undermined by those conversations, because it hinged upon Klein not knowing the files were there in the first place. According to attorney Bradley Phillips’ theory, they were downloaded to his laptop by or on behalf of his ex-wife, Tzipora Katz, who left the Pagan community after their divorce and only reemerged after these allegations surfaced. Police officers testified that their investigation stemmed from detecting searches from a particular internet protocol address for “PTHC,” an initialism which is short for “pre-teen hardcore.” Once the location was ascertained, officers swooped in for an arrest, and collected several pieces of technology. One, a Toshiba laptop, had the ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-04-07By Terence P Ward
  • Canadian official recommends removal of zombie laws and witchcraft regulation
    TORONTO, Ont – On March 30, the news was announced that 37-year old Murali Muthyalu was being charged with fraud over $5,000, extortion and “pretending to practice witchcraft.” This last charge is an unusual occurrence in Canada and invokes Section 365 of the Canadian Criminal Code, which refers specifically to the false practise of witchcraft and other occult or “crafty science.” Muthyalu, who also goes by the name “Master Raghav,” is a citizen of India that has been a visitor to the country for less than a year. He was advertising his services as an astrologer and psychic in the Toronto area throughout February and March. [Pixabay] It is alleged the Muthyalu attracted the attention of a 44-year old father, whose daughter is apparently suffering from a mental illness. Muthyalu reportedly told the father that his daughter was possessed by evil spirits and convinced him bring her to multiple healing sessions. The initial visit cost $20, but over the subsequent sessions, the desperate parent paid Muthyalu $101,000 CDN (approximately $75,305 USD). Section 365 of the Criminal Code also made news on March 8, when Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould announced at a press conference that she was going to introduce legislation to overhaul the criminal code, eliminate so-called “zombie laws” and other antiquated regulations that are still on the books. The name zombie law refers to sections of the Criminal Code, which have been overturned in case law often because they have been deemed unconstitutional by a judge. An example of this is the law against “procuring miscarriage” (abortion). Section 365 on the practise of witchcraft specifically does not qualify as a zombie law, because it has never been overturned. However, it is one of those being recommended to be included in the list of laws to be removed. Other dated and obscure charges on the list include, dueling, water-skiing at night, and making and selling crime comics. The Canadian Criminal Code was codified in 1892, and has been updated on an as-needed basis. The original section regarding witchcraft is a holdover from the old witchcraft laws that were on the books at the time in England, which is from where Canadian law was adopted. The Code had a major overhaul in the 1950s, and a review in the 1970s. The specific section regarding witchcraft has raised concerns in Canada’s Pagan, Witchcraft and Wiccan communities before this point. While charges under Section 365 are rare, the wording of the law raises some interesting discussions. It is included under Section IX: Offences Against Rights of Property, in Section 361 – False Pretences, which states: 361 (1) A false pretence is a representation of a matter of fact either present or past, made by words or otherwise, that is known by the person who makes it to be false and that is made with a fraudulent intent to induce the person to whom it is made to act on it. The law was created as protection from fraud, including incidents where gullible people are taken ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-04-06By Dodie Graham McKay
  • Network established to mentor Pagan professionals
    TWH –A Young Professionals Network has just been launched under the auspices of Circle Sanctuary, but that name might be misleading because the services offered could benefit any Pagan with professional training or credentials. The new group manifests the desire of Circle member Mandie Zopp to create opportunities for mentoring. “My passion is mentoring college-aged people and recent graduates,” she explained. In the years that she has been a Circle member, “A lot of millennials have come through, looking for professional guidance and mentorship,” but there has never been anything in place to facilitate those relationships until now. [Pixabay]. Zopp believes that providing this service may give young adults reason to be part of Circle Sanctuary. There are similar networking organizations associated with many major religious denominations, she noted, but she expects that religious commonalities will just be the starting point. “This program will allow for individuals, who cannot talk about or are fearful about expressing their faith in a professional environment, insight as to how other Pagans have been able to succeed in the workplace while expressing their faith,” she said. When she joined Circle Sanctuary in 2010, Zopp recalled, she didn’t find any cohesive mentoring system in place. While her focus is largely on coaching millennials professionally, it would be fine by her if the mentoring framework expanded to include more overtly Pagan guidance. Regardless, as a faith community it will be a “safe area to communicate” in the context of those beliefs, but there are general professional soft skills which are valuable outside the bounds of that community. Exactly which soft skills will receive early focus is “not set in stone yet,” Zopp said, but the Facebook group provides a sense. Posts include information on interviewing, resume writing, networking, and managing. Each of the people selected as mentors may eventually be asked to offer a workshop, either online or at a Circle event, such as this year’s Pagan Spirit Gathering. Those might include past PSG offerings, such as navigating social situations for introverts. Zopp herself intends on offering a workshop on “creating your own elevator speech” which “can be utilized for home life, work life, social life, and in your leadership roles.” She will also offer one that focuses on various personality types as colors, which will include guidance on how people of one color can best interact with other colors. While membership in the Facebook group is thus far the only way Zopp can gauge interest in the YPN, she is adamant that the network will not be defined by its social media presence. “It will be a multi-platform approach,” she said, emphasizing one-on-one mentoring relationships. The Facebook group will allow people to ask more general questions and receive responses, but matching proteges with mentors is where the most important guidance can come about. For now, mentors in the YPN are simply being asked to be a presence and resource. Each of the eight mentors has had experience leading and teaching: they are ministers, ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-04-05By Terence P Ward
  • The Secret to Witchcraft & Magick is Intent
    All of our activities as Witches benefit from specifics. Knowing just why we are doing something will make it that much more effective ... read more
    Source: Patheos – Raise the HornsPublished on 2017-04-05By Jason Mankey
  • Wade Mueller speaks on the need for Pagan homelands
    “We’re not really Pagans. We have a Pagan veneer over the top of a Christian and secular life. Until we have permanent lands that we live on, are born on, and die on, we won’t be Pagans.” Wade Mueller Those words by presenter Wade Mueller caused a noticeable change in the room during his presentation on Building an Expanding the Pagan Homeland at Paganicon. Attendees shuffled in their seats, some leaning forward as if to agree, while others leaned back, distancing themselves from that statement. Wade Mueller [Courtesy Photo] Mr. Mueller is part Deeply Rooted, a 160-acre Pagan sanctuary and intentional community in north-central Wisconsin. It was started in 1999 as a place where Pagans could openly practice and live their religion, and where Pagans can live onsite as a member of a Pagan community. Currently there are two stone circles for worship activities, and there are four adults and one child living there. His presentation focused on how Pagans can create new homelands and why it is vitally important that we do so. The importance of a homeland At the beginning of his presentation, Mueller noted the paradox in members of earth-based religions meeting in a hotel to discuss creating a Pagan homeland. He then noted that while Paganism is growing, the numbers of permanent Pagan places are, in his opinion, dwindling. “We are now a religion of nomads yet all of our traditions are based on place. If we want Paganism to to move past where we are now, a social gathering, we need to do something different,” stated Mueller. That something different is to buy land to create Pagan communities, businesses, and worship centers. Attendee Steven Posch appeared to agree, “Paganism is tribal, it’s not what you do in your own room. We need the social skills to become a tribe. If we are still going to be here in 100 years we need to do this.” In Mueller’s view, modern Pagans aren’t truly Pagans because we haven’t yet connected to our Gods as deeply as our ancestors, “Right now it’s chaos. The Gods don’t respect us. We turned our backs on them. The onus isn’t on them to reach out to us, we need to reach out to them.” He says the only way to regain that connection is to live as Pagans on the land where you were born, where you grow your food, raise your children, honor the Gods, and rest your bones when you die. He believes those activities change the land itself, making it more sacred over the generations and encouraging the Gods to be more present and repairing the broken relationship between humanity and the Gods. Why Pagan infrastructure projects fail Mueller outlined how modern Pagans in the USA have typically tried to create lasting infrastructure and why those efforts so often fail. He said a few people come up with an idea to buy land or make a community center. They then appeal to the larger Pagan community to become involved ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-04-04By Cara Schulz
  • Pagan Community Notes: AAR, Pentacle Quest, Parliament of the World’s Religions and more
    ST.PAUL, Minn. – Pagan, cultural anthropologist, and artist Murphy Pizza has been elected president of the Upper Midwest Region of the American Academy of Religion (AAR). Over the year, local AAR chapters hold their own meetings across the United States, separate from the national event. The Upper Midwest region held its meeting March 31-April 1 in St.Paul, Minnesota. It was during that meeting that Dr. Pizza was elected to the new office. She has previously been serving as Vice President, and is now taking on a new leadership. Dr. Pizza was not available for comment in time for publication but we will update the article with her reaction as soon as possible. AAR is the “premiere professional organization for the study of religion and is dedicated to fostering excellence in scholarship and teaching. The annual conference, which will be held in Boston this year, contains a specialized Contemporary Pagan Studies Unit. This year that unit is chaired by Amy Hale and Shawn Arthur.  *   *   * UNITED STATES — The date Apr. 23 marks the 10th anniversary of Veteran Pentacle Quest victory. According to Circle Sanctuary, “more than 200 pentacle-inscribed VA markers have been issued and placed at grave sites in public and private cemeteries across the USA.” The pentacle quest paved the way for other Pagan and Heathen and emblems including Thor’s hammer and more recently the awen. The Pentacle Quest began in 1997 when Aquarian Tabernacle Church’s archpriest Rev. Pete Pathfinder Davis applied to have the pentacle added to the VA list of religious symbols available for use on memorial markers. In 1998, a second application was made independently by Rev. Rona Russell, priestess of the Isis Invicta Military Mission of the Temple and Lyceum of Isis Fortuna. Then in 2003, Rosemary Kooiman, the high priestess of the Nomadic Chantry of the Gramarye, sent in application. Other Pagans and organizations joined the effort in some form, and the quest was underway. Nine years later, the journey had led to Washington D.C. and garnered the support of Americans United. Then in 2007, 10 years after it began, Americans United announced, “The Bush administration has conceded that Wiccans are entitled to have the pentacle, the symbol of their faith, inscribed on government-issued memorial markers for deceased veterans.” That decision ended the lawsuit and the long wait for many Pagans veterans and their families. Circle Sanctuary will be celebrating that landmark victory Apr. 23.  *   *   * TWH – The Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions (CPWR) issued a statement concerning the U.S. president’s “executive order on coal and environmental rollbacks.” CPWR is joined by Interfaith Power & Light. Dr. Larry Greenfield, Executive Director of the Parliament of the World’s Religions stated: “Religious and spiritual communities and people of conscience across the earth must commit themselves to work together to stand against the President’s irresponsible and unethical actions…actions that threaten human beings everywhere, that endanger living beings across the globe, that put the earth at peril.” Reverend Canon Sally Bingham, President ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-04-03By The Wild Hunt
  • Twelve Ways Your Chakras Can Enhance Your Decisions
    The average person makes upwards of 35,000 decisions a day. That's a lot of brain power needed to decipher everything from what to eat for breakfast to how to handle a stressful situation. So, how can we use our own intuitive power to enhance those decisions? With our chakras! Here, Cyndi Dale, author of the new books Subtle Energy Techniques and Llewellyn's Little Book of Chakras, details how our twelve chakras can aid us thousands of times a day so that we can make our best decisions possible. ... read more
    Source: Llewellyn JournalPublished on 2017-04-03
  • Pagan Voices: the Cunning Wife, Aaron Leitch, Arith Härger and more
    Pagan Voices is a spotlight on recent quotations from figures within the Pagan community. These voices may appear in the burgeoning Pagan media or a mainstream outlet, but all showcase our wisdom, thought processes, and evolution in the public eye. Is there a Pagan voice or artist you’d like to see highlighted? Contact us with a link to the story, post, audio, or image. [Pixabay.] Fire drives away the things that threaten us — disease, chill, dangerous animals, hunger — for as long as we tend and nurture it. It provides defense and assurance of life. It has been a good friend to humanity for a long time, and it doesn’t ask for much — just some tinder to make a spark, some dry wood to keep it going. — The Cunning Wife in The Lighted Hearth If you purchase a book of spells written by someone else, you are simply following instructions their spirits revealed to them. But those instructions may not apply to you in the same way. For instance, perhaps one witch’s spirits wanted her to work with her hair unbound, but maybe your spirits want you to wear a particular headdress. Perhaps the grimoire you are using says to wear a purple robe, but your patron deity insists you should wear red. Maybe a spell calls for a wand of hazel, but your familiar prefers oak. By blindly following instructions written by others, without allowing your spirits to have a say, you could be greatly limiting your chances of success. Your truly powerful spells will never come from a book or another person (at least not entirely)—they will instead be those your own spirits will teach you, and for which you will have their support. Just because a spell doesn’t mention a pact with a spirit doesn’t mean it wasn’t written by someone who already had one—and who assumes you do, too. — Aaron Leitch, Are Spirits Detrimental to your Spiritual Path? Now that Trump is in power, he and his cronies in the Republican party are starting to take steps that will hurt many of those who voted for him – from dismantling the Affordable Care Act to removing important environmental protections. As a result, some Trump voters are starting to regret their choice. Although I have little sympathy for people who fail to apologise for support an overt racist, sexist, and xenophobe, this bitter experience will hopefully make one thing abundantly clear: the Boss is using you. This is the most important lesson for any Trump voter to take away from the connection between Trump and the Boss archetype . . . you do not exist as a person to him, but as an employee, as labour that he needs. As soon as he no longer needs that service, or you can no longer provide it, he will discard you. And, unfortunately, you’ve done your bit – he’s in office now. — aboymadeofsky, Sucking up to the boss: Trump as an archetype ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-04-02By The Wild Hunt
  • Column: Jen Shakti, the Modern Tattoo Shaman
    The tattoo has been an important sacred trial for individuals across multiple cultures for generations. The path of pain, identified in Western Witchcraft by Gerald Gardner and other early 20th-century esotericists, has a long history of altering consciousness and manifesting changes in people’s lives. Native cultures around the world have been utilizing the tattoo to mark sacred life passages for centuries, and those of Western heritage have been doing so for almost as long as they have had co­­­­­­­­­ntact with outside cultures. Whether it is a sacred mark of a warrior initiation, or a mark of military service, sacred ink that tells a tribal person’s life story or a mark of one’s alma mater, tattoos have long represented what is important in the narrative of people’s lives. [Photo credit: Jen Shakti.] As often happens when indigenous ceremonies get translated into new cultures, the sacredness of the tattoo became diluted as Western culture embraced it. It became associated with seedy tattoo parlors and drunken patrons. It became denigrated to the realm of “tramp stamps” and the butt of sitcom jokes. But while popularization can sometimes dilute something, it also helps to normalize it. These days, tattoos are all over our culture. They are personal, they are unique. However outsiders may misinterpret them, tattoos usually represent extremely important things to those who wear them. In that sense, tattoos are still powerful rites of passage representing important elements of a person’s life. Some artists take this ancient sacred practice to the next level. Jen Shakti, proprietor of the Mermaid’s Tale, is one of those artists. Shakti describes herself as “a modern tattoo shaman” who uses her artistic ability to provide a “medicine gift” to her clients. For her, tattooing is more than a business. It is an initiatory ritual where the magical intention is permanently inscribed into the client. “I use my visionary talent and mythic symbolism with ceremony to create a powerful beneficial shift for my client through the initiation,” she explains. She knows that tattooing is her life’s work. Jen Shakti [courtesy photo]. Shakti has always been intimately connected to both healing and artwork. Working as a massage therapist and tattoo artist in the early ’90s, she noticed that she “could see and feel” changing energy in herself and in others. Later, she learned kundalini yoga and greater refined her spiritual connection to energy. Spiritually, Shakti formally stepped onto the path of the shaman in 2008, when she was initiated into the South American Q’ero shaman lineage. That same year, Shakti spent time in Kaui as a guest tattoo artist. This experience gave her face-to-face time in a land where tattoo was a sacred part of the indigenous culture. Her profession and her spirituality came together, and, as she puts it, “the ancestors began ‘speaking’ to me and inspiring me to create and share what I had developed with sacred tattooing.” A sacred tattoo artist was born. “The perfect clients would come in with projects and ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-04-01By Tim Titus
  • The Jealous Witch
    I'm jealous of people who are better at this Witch-stuff than I am. ... read more
    Source: Patheos – Raise the HornsPublished on 2017-04-01By Jason Mankey
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