accept

Blood in the Spring

March, 2019

The woman at the door is trying to push a pamphlet into my hand. I deftly avoid this and politely ask her what it’s about.

‘It’s your personal invitation to the memorial of Jesus Christ’s death.’

Genuinely, for a brief moment, I think ‘Gosh, an anti-Christian group!’ Then I remember Easter, and that it starts with a dead body.

I’ve always found Easter a bit morbid. Yes, I know the main celebration is about Jesus coming back to life, but we take a bank holiday to celebrate a good man being mocked, spat on, tortured and crucified. Whether you believe in Jesus or not, the story can’t help but make you wince; the crown of thorns, the cross; dying believing his father had forsaken him. Grim stuff.

Christians believe that Jesus died for them, for their sins, but if you read Matthew 27 Jesus doesn’t sound very happy about dying at all. At the end he rails against it, and shouts that his God has abandoned him. Of course, he still goes on to be resurrected, along with several other holy people who are unnamed by Matthew.

I think about the story, and wonder if there is a historical equivalent for Pagans. Certainly for witches like myself, we don’t need to look too far into the past at all to find persecution. As early as the 15th century, ‘witches’ were being tortured and executed (murdered) because of the threat to honest, god-fearing folk. Today, the equivalent is found in Africa, with people regularly being murdered in horrific ways for the crime of Black Magic. Compounding this, there are witch doctors in Africa who believe they need specific ingredients for their craft, and this has recently led to the murder of an albino woman, as her body parts were required for muti, a kind of traditional medicine. On the one hand we have people who want to burn the witches; on the other we have the odd ‘witch’ making it worse for everyone through murder and mayhem.

So many traditions and religions that purport to be peaceful and compassionate have a history that is tainted with blood, gore and betrayal. Many Pagans are quick to decry Christianity for this, shouting about the crusades, the Spanish Inquisition and war after war after war. But it’s a sad truth that our own paths are not exactly as tidy and clean as we might wish. The difference with Paganism is we are fighting a battle against a few individuals who are immoral. The media, of course, tends to pick up on these few who behave appallingly and say, ‘This is Paganism’. Which of course, turns those ‘God Fearing Christians’ (and others) right back against us. Ok, they can’t take us to the stake like in the 15th Century but they can make life awkward for us; no-one wants to experience bigotry in their day to day life and it can really hurt.

In March 2015, ‘White Witch’ Redvers Barnard was jailed for 22 years for various acts of child abuse; a terrifying story of a monstrous man. Not one paper reported it without highlighting the fact that he was a Pagan or a Witch. The Pagan community being what it is, this person was actually known to some of my friends. You may think they would stand by him, or give him the support of his community, as we have seen happen in the Catholic community in similar cases. But no; as soon as it was clear he was guilty, he was condemned by all. As he should be. He tried to use his self-made title of white witch to prove his innocence, but by being proven guilty despite being a ‘white witch’, he not only smeared the entire Pagan community, but the title of Witch, white or otherwise.

On any religious or spiritual path, it’s vital to have the awareness that there may be those walking a similar path who are not what you would consider good people. We must be self-aware enough to realise that whether we are Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, Hindu or any one of the myriad Pagan paths, that does not automatically make us moral or good or even, and this is very important, correct!

It’s up to each of us to keep our own morals in check; to ensure that we are behaving according to our values. If our values veer away from those of our chosen religion (think of a devout catholic who wants an abortion), then perhaps it is time for a change. Or perhaps, we simply accept that religion doesn’t dictate morals.

Jesus may have died for his followers’ sins, but I think he would have been appalled at the nature of the ‘sin’ performed in the name of religion since his demise. To me, it seems he died for nothing, until the day when we can all, each and every one of us, accept the responsibilities for our own actions.

I avoid the pamphlet the well-meaning lady is trying to force into my hand, and I wish her a blessed Easter, but advise that I won’t be attending the memorial of Jesus’ death. I’d much rather celebrate my life right now, and living it as well as I know how.

*Originally published on the Moon books blog.

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About the Author:

Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.

She is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors and Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways.

A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors on Amazon

Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways on Amazon

Coming Out of The Psychic Closet

October, 2018

Are You Afraid to Share Your Experiences with Others?

It is certainly encouraging that modern society is beginning to allow people to come out of their unique closets of personal truth and be accepted for who they are. 

Those people are finding the courage to reveal the true nature of their individual life choices and experiences. But what if you don’t understand the nature of your life experiences and don’t remember making choices to be psychic? How do you share such a thing with your friends and family? Will they reject you, laugh at you, or call you ‘crazy’ and force you back to the safety of your secret closet? And if so, how long might you remain alone there until you try again?

We asked medium and mentor, Sheri Engler, author of The Pearls of Wisdom: A Fairytale Guide to Life’s Magic Secrets For All Ages for advice to help one cope with burgeoning psychic skills, while finding balance between personal and social realities. She says, “It is important to first identify what your fears actually are. Then simply replace them with something more comfortable.” 

Here are a few typical questions and fears with some possible solutions to help get you started:

Does using the word “psychic” conjure foolish images of fortune tellers with crystal balls; spiritualists raising tables in shadowy séances; greedy scammers on psychic hotlines; or even new age, “airy-fairy” wannabe’s? —If so, consider using other words such as “intuition” or “high sensitivity to energies”. Try enlisting support from others by confiding that you are experiencing “metaphysical events” that you do not yet fully understand yourself. Ignite their interest and compassion, as opposed to judgment, by researching together the many resources online. Treat it as light and fun, and it will likely be less fear-provoking for all concerned. It is important to avoid trying to prove anything to anyone, as that quickly develops into a negative debate instead of the positive support you are seeking.

If you were to accept that you do indeed have “psychic ability”, could it suddenly take you over or invite dark energies? —The short answer is “No”. The longer answer is that having a fear of anything is the surest way to attract that exact thing to you. So don’t. Know that you have complete control over your own mind and your own personal space. You have a sovereign right to declare your space to be free of all negativity. It is as simple as that. Consider this… by the act of driving your car down the road, are you risking that your vehicle may suddenly take over your ability to control it?—Or could driving be construed as an invitation for someone to crash into you?… Of course not. You simply drive safely and go about your business, right? 

What about the reaction your religious acquaintances or your partner might have once you reveal your “psychic self”? Might they reject you? —It needs to be said here that not all relationships are supportive to one’s own growth. Inner and outer change and expansion are opportunities to houseclean not only your own belief systems but those of others as well. True love will accept you as you are. This may be a providential litmus test for your highest good. If you stick to the rule of “keep what serves and leave what hurts,” you will rarely if ever go wrong.

Ms. Engler advises those who are having unexplainable experiences to “Be calm and go with the flow. Don’t be afraid to discover who you are, but use discernment when choosing with whom you wish to share your exciting journey. Frequently, you’ll find that they are grateful to you for coming out of your psychic closet, because it offers them courage to come out of their own! This increase in energetic awareness is happening on a massive scale. Statistically speaking, it is more unusual to not have had some sort of psychic experiences than it is to have them. Survey your friends and see for yourself.

The truth is we are all born into this world as psychic beings. This heightened sensory ability is greatly revered in indigenous cultures. Modern society, however, begins at childhood to systematically shame away this basic component of our natural birthright to the extent that we have forgotten that the “supernatural” is natural and the “paranormal” is normal.

Ultimately, there is nothing wrong with you—in fact, there is something very right with you. You are just as you were born to be, so be who you are.

***

About the Author:

Sheri D. Engler is the author/illustrator of The Pearls of Wisdom: A Fairy Tale Guide to Life’s Magic Secrets for All Ages(www.ThePearlsOfWisdomBook .com). She is an experienced mentor, medium, and metaphysicist with a background in psychology, counseling and research. She received a BA in Clinical Psychology at San Francisco State University.

A Woman’s Place

May, 2018

Judging Women Ourselves & Others

One of the things that stand out for me in the everyday world is how women judge themselves, and other women, so harshly.

It happens between friends when one is unintentionally hurt by the words of others. In a friendship, for the most part, although there are exceptions, no one ever wants to hurt the other, but it happens. You apologize and, with hope, move forward.   

Stop a moment and think about how much and how often we judge others; those we know, and more often, those we do not know.  This is especially prevalent in women; women judging ourselves and women cruelly judging other women.  We do it; we ALL do it, even those who believe we are enlightenedand feminist in our thinking, whether we wish to admit it to ourselves or not.

I am of the opinion that this is the way this patriarchal culture, this male-dominated society, has trained us to be so.  I am not going to go into the many wrongs done to women and to people of color by a white-male privileged society, not here anyway and not yet (fair warning).  This is more to the way women are trained from birth to judge and to distrust other women.

It would appear that the most important thing any female can do in this culture is to find a man, keep him, marry him and raise a family.  We are told this continually, we see it daily in movies, on TV, in books (for those fortunate enough to love to read).  This is the life we are trained for.  Little girls get toy vacuums, little plastic kitchens, tea sets; we are the ones who are taught to set the table, clean the house, do the chores, and maybe get taught how to cook, at least the basics.  As we grow older, we shave the unwanted hair on our bodies, make ourselves up like kewpie dolls, all in the name of getting a man”.  

(Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash)

As we look around at the men available to us, the women who should be our friends, our allies, somehow become our enemies, our rivals, in the getting of a man.  So, we look at them.  What do they have that I dont have?  What color is their hair?  Are they fat?  Are they thin?  Who looks at them and who looks at me?  We slowly begin to judge ourselves how do we stack up compared to them.  Media and culture being what it is, we NEVER come out on top.  There is something wrong with us, because we are TOLD something is wrong with us.   We begin to judge the other women.  If we are not perfect, then neither are they.  This does not make us sympathetic to them because we can relate; this makes us judge them even more harshly.  It becomes shes ugly”, shes so fat, shes easy, whatever the hell that might be.  The names being “fatso”, “slut”, “whore”, bitch”.  How often do the mean girlsstop and think about how they may feel if these words were hurled at them in hatred?  Unfortunately, words like this are said by even those who are not considered the mean girls and it continues into adulthood. When women, themselves, judge each other, see each other as “enemies”, how hard does patriarchy need to work to put us down? Not very hard as we put ourselves down.

This, I believe, is one of the biggest problems faced by feminism, and, really, it does not matter if you are a radical feminist, or a liberal feminist or anything in between because we are all affected. Seriously, how do you get a woman raised to believe they are second-best, inferior, not-good-enough, to get rid of the judging, get rid of the distrust and band together, stand together to fight the status quo?  

I don’t pretend to have the answer, but I believe it starts by teaching little girls they are valuable, they are worthy, they are important.  We teach them that the Divine once was, and still is, a woman.  We continue this dialogue that has already begun, with each and every woman we meet in real life and online.  We create sacred circles of women to stand together and be strong and TEACH each younger generation of women what is right and what has been wrong for so, so long in the treatment of women and it has to change and it has to begin, and continue, with women.

***

About the Author:

Susan Morgaine is a Daughter of the Goddess, Witch, Writer, Teacher, Healer, and Yogini. She is a monthly columnist with PaganPages.org Her writings can be found in The Girl God Anthologies, “Whatever Works: Feminists of Faith Speak” and “Jesus, Mohammed and the Goddess”, as well as Mago Publications “She Rises, Volume 2, and “Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess”. She has also been published in Jareeda and SageWoman magazines. She is a Certified Women’s Empowerment Coach/Facilitator through She is the author of “My Name is Isis”, one in the series of the “My Name Is………” children’s books published by The Girl God Publications. A Woman International, founded by Patricia Lynn Reilly. She has long been involved in Goddess Spirituality and Feminism, teaching classes and workshops, including Priestessing Red Tents within MA and RI. She is entering her 20th year teaching Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, being a Certified instructor through the Kundalini Research Institute, as well as being a Reiki Master. She is a member of the Sisterhood of Avalon. She can be found at https://mysticalshores.wordpress.com/ and her email is MysticalShores@gmail.com

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