Tag Archives: Pagan

Ritual Altar

Abbreviated, Not Gutted Ritual: Still Meaningul

Rituals: Streamlined but Not Truncated

In an ideal world, the Pagan working outside the home would be able to take off Sabbat days and observe ritual without guilt or repercussions.

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for several companies, and I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program (proudly billed as “the leading selling program on the Internet, with hundreds of thousands of members”). I use and heartily endorse these products and services, some of which are linked in this blog post, and any monies I receive as an affiliate or associate helps support my ever-growing book habit–at no extra cost to you.

Federal law does allow for observance of holy days. However, some Pagans find that, in practice, taking off these days is a hassle, at the very least. Some Pagans who are not out of the broom closet may not feel comfortable in asking for these days off.

I find it helpful to do full ritual the weekend before the Sabbat, if the holy day falls on a weekday, and to do the same for Esbats, or moon (often, full moon) observances. On the actual day of the Sabbat or Esbat, though, I do an abbreviated ritual to honor the Lady and the Lord.


With this in mind, I offer the following ideas for streamlined rituals; feel free to combine any of the following tips.  Keep in mind that a ritual need not be complex in order to be “real”: if you connect to the Goddess and to the God, the ritual is authentic and “counts.” This is what is most important.

Streamlining Ritual Tips

1. Meditate upon Deity and the meaning of this observance, whether it be Sabbat or Esbat, to you.

2. Take a walk; enjoy nature and the tranquility it offers. Stop and smell the roses, or whatever flowers happen to be in bloom. If necessary, take allergy medication.

3. While at your desk, treat yourself to a floral arrangement or, better yet, a potted seasonal plant.

4. Treat yourself to a special lunch or dinner that contains foods associated with the observance.

5. Give back to nature: hang a birdhouse, work in compost around established plants, plan (and then later plant) a garden that will attract butterflies, such as the Monarch butterfly.

6. Give of yourself. Volunteer your time to a worthy cause, even if for an hour at a time.

7. Play music that is appropriate to the Sabbat or Esbat. Create playlists ahead of time; bask in the music.

8. Tap your inner child: draw your conception of the Lady and the Lord at the moment in the Wheel of the Year or at this particular moon phase.

9. Write a poem about the Sabbat or Esbat and/or about the Lady and the Lord.

10. Light a candle with a seasonally-appropriate scent, if allowed at your workplace; alternately, you can use a flame-less, scentless  candle.

Pagan Altar set up for Ritual, featuring the Goddess

Streamlining Ritual: My Wish for You

May all of your rituals touch your heart and connect you lovingly with the Goddess and the God. Blessed Be, by star and stone.

The Goddess and ritual

Pagan Altar set up for Ritual, featuring the Goddess

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Angels

Angels and Pagan Faith: Divine Link

Angels: Divine Messengers for All of Us

Angels are messengers and/or guiding spirits, common to many religions. According to Alma Daniel, Timothy Wyllie, and Andrew Ramer, these spiritual representatives  are “intelligent beings, capable of feelings, yet a different species, who have their existence on a slighter finer vibrational frequency from the one to which our physical senses are tuned.”

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for several companies, including Leonie Dawson’s Shining Biz + Life Academy and Amazon, and their services. I use and heartily endorse these products and services, some of which are linked in this blog post, and any monies I receive as an affiliate helps support my ever-growing book habit–at no extra cost to you.

They watch over us and, for many, directly interact with us. Angels can be a formidable ally.


Several categories of these spiritual entities exist: Seraphim, Cherabim, Orphanim (also known as Thrones), Dominions, Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Archangels, and Malachim.

As Elementals of Spirit, angels help Pagans connect with the Goddess and the God. For the Strega, the Grigori play a significant role. In short, angels should not be overlooked by the devout Pagan. Blessed Be.

One depiction of angels

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Pentacle and Wiccan Rede

Pagan Sacred Symbol Possibilities: What’s Right for You?

Pagan Sacred Symbol Ideas: An Overview

Sacred Symbol ideas abound: Wiccans and other Pagans are a highly emblematic lot who place much value on a variety of Pagan symbols. Sacred symbols cue the subconscious mind, letting it know that there is work to be done.

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for several companies, including Leonie Dawson’s Shining Biz + Life Academy,  and I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program (proudly billed as “the leading selling program on the Internet, with hundreds of thousands of members”). I use and heartily endorse these products and services, some of which are linked in this blog post, and any monies I receive as an affiliate or associate helps support my ever-growing book habit–at no extra cost to you.

Symbols are highly useful for ritual, for protection, and for empowerment in general.  Among the most common symbols used are the pentagram, the triskele, the ankh, and the cimaruta.


The Pentagram as Sacred Symbol

The pentagram is a five-pointed, interlaced star. The pentagram is usually facing upward, although for Second Degree Wicca and LaVeyan Satanism, the pentagram is usually inverted (for the latter, the cross is similarly inverted). Each point represents an element: Air, Water, Fire, Earth, and Spirit.

The Triskele as Sacred Symbol

The triskele is a three-branched symbol that focuses on the spiral, which emphasizes the dance of life, death, and rebirth. The triskele, of Celtic origins, is common among Druids and some British Traditional Paths.

The Ankh as Sacred Symbol

The ankh is an ancient Egyptian solar symbol: an oval is perched atop a cross. The ankh represents life as well as rebirth, as well as sexuality. The ankh is a popular symbol among many Pagan paths because of its life-affirming qualities and is especially useful as an amulet.

The Cimaruta as Sacred Symbol

The Cimaruta is a protective charm used by Italian Stregheria. Cimaruta literally means “rue sprigs,” which form the main part of the symbol. Various symbols common to witchcraft, such as the athame, moon, flower of vervain, and a key, adorn the charm.

Other sacred symbols of the Pagan faiths exist. Which symbols are right for you? The symbols that resonate with you–mentioned here or otherwise– are perfect. Blessed Be!

pentacle symbol

Pentacle, a sacred symbol mentioned in the Wiccan Rede

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Ritual Bath

Ritual Bath: Pleasurable Divine Act

Ritual Bath: A Divine Act before the Main Ritual

I knew that I had found the right spiritual path when I learned that a significant part of Wiccan ritual involved taking a luxurious ritual bath. How divine!

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for several companies, including Leonie Dawson’s Shining Biz + Life Academy and Amazon, and their services. I use and heartily endorse these products and services, some of which are linked in this blog post, and any monies I receive as an affiliate helps support my ever-growing book habit–at no extra cost to you.

The main purpose of the ritual bath is to prepare body, mind, and spirit for an upcoming ritual, full moon or otherwise. More specifically, the ritual bath is part of the ritual, as ritual begins from the moment one intends to perform it. Overall, the ritual bath is meant to relax and to wash away worries, stresses of the daily grind, and to allow the devout Pagan  to be one with Spirit.


Ritual Bath Suggestions

Make the ritual bath an unhurried,  luxurious experience. Darken the bathroom and light scented candles. Add a special bath oil, salt, or herbs (hint: put the herbs in old pantyhose and tie it to the spigot)  to the bath water and breathe in the luxurious scent. Play soft music to further enhance the mood. Focus your thoughts and feelings on Deity.

During the bath, imagine all negativity being washed away. At the end of the bath, visualize this negativity going down the drain along with the water. After drying off, if desired, apply a pleasing skin lotion, rose water,  or skin cream. Now, you are one with the Goddess. Blessed Be.

Sacred Ritual Bath

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The God as Youth, Lover, and Sage

The God in Different Aspects

Just as the Goddess has three aspects–Maiden, Mother, and Crone–the God in Pagan worship also has three aspects: Youth, Lover, and Sage.

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for several companies, including Leonie Dawson International Pty Ltd, with programs such as the Shining Biz + Life Academy,  and I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program (proudly billed as “the leading selling program on the Internet, with hundreds of thousands of members”). I use and heartily endorse these products and services, some of which are linked in this blog post, and any monies I receive as an affiliate or associate helps support my ever-growing book habit–at no extra cost to you.

The God as Youth

The Youth, sometimes as a baby and sometimes as a small boy, is associated with the return of the Sun and of springtime, as well as innocence and the promise of new beginnings. Many examples of the God as Youth include Cupid, Jesus, the  infant Horus, and Gopala (Krishna).

The God as Lover

The Lover is a young male who is sexually mature and in love with the Goddess; he is associated with late spring and summer. For those with a previous Judeo-Christian background, this aspect of the God may be foreign and may take getting used to. Lugh, Jesus (asexual or emasculated), Adonis, Apollo, Cernunnos, Ra, and Sunna are but a few examples of the God as Lover.


The God as Sage

The Sage is a mature male, fatherly and wise: he is associated with fall and winter. Some examples of the God as Sage include Zeus, Jupiter, Odin, Krishna, Brahma, and the Dagda.

However you work with the God, may your relationship with Him be deeply meaningful. Blessed Be.

god

Shiva as One Aspect of the God

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god

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Pagan

Pagan Stereotypes and Misconceptions

Challenging Pagan Stereotypes

Ills of Pagan Stereotypes: Many people harbor misconceptions about Wiccans and other Pagans. Often these misconceptions lead to quizzical or distasteful looks, but some of these stereotypes have lead to Pagans being shunned, being discriminated again, being fired from their jobs, and even being forcibly separated from their children.

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for several companies, including Leonie Dawson’s Shining Biz + Life Academy,  and I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program (proudly billed as “the leading selling program on the Internet, with hundreds of thousands of members”). I use and heartily endorse these products and services, some of which are linked in this blog post, and any monies I receive as an affiliate or associate helps support my ever-growing book habit–at no extra cost to you.

Here are some common inaccuracies about Paganism.

1. Pagans worship the devil.

The devil is a largely Christian concept, a figure used to frighten, to intimidate, and,  in some cases, to cast blame (“The devil made me do it.”). Most Pagans do not believe in the devil,  seeing the devil as an interesting archetype.

2. Pagans sacrifice babies and animals.

No. Wiccans are bound by the Wiccan Rede (“An it harm none . . .”), while Pagans who follow a positive path have a similar injunction against harming others, especially innocents. About the only thing that Pagans do sacrifice is time: time spent in volunteering and otherwise helping others.


3. Pagans do not believe in God.

On the contrary, most Pagans believe in God as well as Goddess. Pagans may have different concepts of Deity: one may worship Odin and Freyje, while another may worship Horus and Isis; another still may worship Lugh and Brigid. Some Pagans view the God and Goddess in more abstract terms, not using any one pantheon.

4. The pentagram is a symbol of the devil.

The pentagram, or five-pointed star, is a sacred symbol that represents the elements of Air, Fire, Water, Earth, and Spirit. Some left-handed paths have used the inverted pentagram (and the inverted pentagram is also a common symbol of the Second Degree in many paths); however, they have also inverted the Christian cross.

5. Pagans have no code of ethics, since they do not follow the Bible.

Au contraire: Wiccans follow the Wiccan Rede. More generally, the Pagan Federation has outlined a standard code of ethics that calls upon “respect,  responsibility, and integrity”.  Carl McColman, in “Principles of Moral Thought and Action,” analyzes a list of the “Nine Noble Virtues” observed by some Pagans following a Norse tradition.

These are but a few stereotyped misconceptions. May love and reason prevail. Blessed Be.

Pagan Symbols

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Being Pagan and Dealing with Naysayers

Defusing Naysayers and Staying True to Pagan Beliefs

In general, these recent years have been a good time to be a Pagan. More information is readily available, for both the Pagan and the non-Pagan, leading to tolerance and understanding. However, naysayers still abound, unfortunately.

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Some naysayers still cling to the negative stereotypes we’ve all heard before: that Witchcraft is devil worship, that witches aren’t “real,” that witches are crazy or delusional, that witches don’t believe in God, and that witches are evil and ready to curse someone at the drop of a (witchy pointy) hat.

Some folks are less than supportive if and when they find out that you’re Pagan. A few years ago, my mother told me, “I know you march to the beat of a different drummer, but don’t get too weird.”

What can you do to combat these naysayers? Depending on who they are and your own comfort level–and remember, for the most part, your spiritual beliefs really aren’t anyone else’s business, you have several choices:

  1. You can stay partially or completely in the broom closet.
  2. You can change the subject or state, more directly, that the discussion is closed.
  3. You can refute their ill-conceived arguments and stereotypes, perhaps referring them to a valid site like Religious Tolerance.

However you deal with naysayers, don’t let them dissuade you from your own spiritual path. Blessed Be!

 

Freedom from Naysayers

Freedom from Naysayers

 

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Empowerment Boxed Ritual Kit

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Bed of Blood Roses Choker Necklace for the 2016 Midwest Witches Ball

2016 Midwest Witches Ball

2016 Midwest Witches Ball: The Countdown Begins

In keeping with one of my New Year’s resolutions, I decided to treat myself to more fun events: I even wrote down this resolution in my Create Your Shining Year workbooks (both of them: biz and life editions). One of those events is the 2016 Midwest Witches Ball. Yes, this Texas Pagan will be attending the 2016 Midwest Witches Ball in Warren, Michigan. It will be my first time, and I can hardly wait.

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for the Shining Biz + Life Academy and all of its services. I use and heartily endorse this program and its products, some of which are linked in this blog post, and any monies I receive as an affiliate helps support my ever-growing book habit.

The 2016 Midwest Witches Ball happens Saturday, October 8, 2016, for those twenty-one and over. You’ll want to visit the website for more information and to buy your tickets.  Don’t wait too long, however: the tickets sell out fast, and the hotel will book up before you know it.

I hope to see you at the 2016 Midwest Witches Ball. Blessed Be!

Bed of Blood Roses Choker Necklace for the 2016 Midwest Witches Ball

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Love is in the air: Lune Soleil Enterprises is celebrating Beltane with our Beltane Sale! We are offering a discount coupon, from now until May 1, 2016: good towards 20% off orders of $50 or more, plus free shipping. To redeem this coupon, enter the code BELTANE when prompted. Blessed Be!

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Make sure you get your 2016 Create Your Shining Year Workbook: it’s not too late to create a successful, soul-satisfying year for yourself. Make it happen today!

2016 Create Your Shining Year Workbooks: Great Birthday Present

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Treat yourself to a membership to the Shining Biz + Life Academy, chock full of personal and business e-courses, videos, and meditations for just $497 a year for the complete package or for $197 a year for the Life Academy package (for those who don’t have a business and are not interested in pursuing this route). Check out this opportunity today.

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Fighting Ignorance and Hatred–Again

The Never-Ending Fight against Ignorance and Bigotry: Rant

Early this morning I saw the tragic story about a triple homicide in Pensacola, Florida. This event is a travesty for two reasons. First, three innocent people brutally lost their lives: I send prayers of comfort and healing to their loved ones and friends left behind.

The second travesty, though, occurred, with the law enforcement working the case: they seem to be jumping to conclusions, based on ignorance and fear, about Wicca–dragging out the tired and blatantly false stereotype of Wiccans and other witches being murderous devil-worshippers.

The leap of logic is truly frightening:

[Two victims] both died of blunt force trauma and had their throats cut, police said. [One victim] was shot in the ear, “as he came into the house,” and had his throat cut, Hobbes said. Police believe a claw hammer was used to commit the murders, Hobbes said.

No evidence of a forcible entry was found and, while police have spoken with a person of interest in the case, no arrests have been made, Hobbes said.

When asked how the evidence suggests these are ritualistic or Wiccan killings Sgt. Hobbes said, “The injuries to the victims, the positions of the bodies and also the person of interest right now is also a practitioner.”

Already, in seeing this glorious display of blinding ignorance,  I am seeing several fallacies at work here, including hasty generalization and dicto simpliciter (stereotyping). And I’m trying to figure out how blunt force trauma or gunshot injuries have anything to do with Wiccan ritual.

This fear-based knee-jerk reaction is nothing new: I know that. Not only does this willful ignorance fill me with anger, but it also fills me with frustration. It is disheartening to have to go on the defensive when Wicca and other Pagan faiths are attacked, having to explain ad nauseum that the Pagan faiths are earth-based religions that feature the Goddess and the God, and that harming others is against our moral code.

pentagram protection from ignorance

By Berig at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons Protection against ignorance

Of course, I and many others will continue to fight against this rampant ignorance, ever hopeful that what we say will be taken to heart. The Witches League for Public Awareness, Lady Liberty League, The Witches Voice, and other organizations continue, tirelessly, to spread awareness and to debunk these dangerous stereotypes.

Unfortunately, we still have much work to do. I’m hoping to find additional answers when I attend the 2015 Parliament of World Religions in October. Until then, we keep fighting. Blessed Be.

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Non-Profit Organizations

Non-Profit Organizations of Interest to Pagans

I’m still getting into the swing of things, with getting back to blogging on a regular basis. To that end, and to provide a (hopefully) valuable service, I am providing a list of non-profit organizations that might resonate with you. Please note that this list is by no means exhaustive: it is meant to be comprehensive at best.

 

Non-Profit Organizations that are Specifically Pagan-Centereed:

AREN: Alternative Religions Educational Network

Cornerstone Pagan Fellowship

ERA: Earth Religions Assistance

Lady Liberty League

OLOTEAS: Our Lady of the Earth and Sky

Order of Scathach

Pagan Pride Project

PEN: Pagan Educational Network

Spiral Scouts: This organization, while founded on Pagan principles, is open to children of all faiths.

The Wiccan Interfaith Council International

The Witches’ League for Public Awareness

 

Non-Profit Organizations that Deal with Women’s Issues, the Environment, and Other Concerns:

Action against Hunger

Adopt a Platoon

Amnesty International

Appalachian Trail Conservatory

Arbor Day Foundation

ARME’s Beagle Freedom Project: This is one non-profit organization that is near and dear to my heart. Here’s one video that depicts a rescue of laboratory beagles, as well as another video of a more recent rescue.

 ASPCA: American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Care

Center for Biological Diversity

Coral Reef Alliance

Doctors without Borders

EarthJustice

Environmental Defense Fund

Feeding America

Greenpeace

Habitat for Humanity

Human Rights Watch

International Refugee Committee

Make-a-Wish America

National Audubon Society

National Coalition against Domestic Violence

National Resources Defense Council

National Wildlife Federation

NOW: National Organization for Women

One Billion Rising: this is another non-profit organization that is near and dear to my heart. This organization promotes awareness of violence against women through proactive change–using dance as a voice. This worldwide event is traditionally held on Valentines Day; however, events can be held any time. For a short promotional film about One Billion Rising, click here. Click here for the One Billion Rising video and here for the “Break the Chain” video.

Operation Smile

PAWS: Performing Animals Welfare Society

PETA: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Pet Partners

The Sierra Club

The Wilderness Society

World Wildlife Fund

 

Are there any favorite causes of yours that did not make the original list? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comments section. Blessed Be.

non-profit organizations

Involvement in Non-Profit Organizations is at the heart of earth stewardship.