christians

Witch & Popcorn

May, 2019

I’d heard a filmmaker named Penny Lane was releasing a documentary about The Satanic Temple, and I was stoked. Then, I heard it did well! Imagine how thrilled I then was when our beloved editor told me we had been offered the opportunity to review it!

Here is the Trailer:

I know. I know.

Some of you are balking at the nerve- Satanists! Some, not just Xtians, believe what the media and mainstream Evangelicals tell us the Church of Satan and The Satanic Temple is all about- devil worship. Nothing could be farther from the truth, as this intimate portrait of some of the chapters of The Satanic Temple reveals.

The film follows the idea to place a Satanic monument in the State Capital of Arkansas- not to proselytize or convert people to Satanism- but to promote religious equality. They have a lawsuit going to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the State government grounds, and stated if the Xtain monument goes up- ALL religious monuments ought to go up. And those of us who watch the news know that was turned down. The lawsuit continues.

The process of creating the statue was shown, and the way the Satanic Temple (TST) raised funds to pay for it. Namingly, through donations, and what they earn at a shop.

Not only co-founder and spokesperson of TST, Lucien Greaves, but many members, some of whom opted to remain anonymous, grant interviews for this film, but they gave a unified message. TST is looking for government to be secular, and for the government not to preach religion, or give religious preference, as it currently does. TST members embrace personal liberty, justice, and rebellion against oppressive practices and arbitrary authority. Satanism is about embracing independence, and not being controlled by other people.

In the documentary, many news stories about what various TST chapters are doing for their greater communities is shown, including not only lawsuits, but after school Satan clubs, highway adoption, beach cleanup, menstrual product gathering and donation, sock gathering and donation to the homeless, as well as blood drives.

This is a stark contrast from the “Satanic Panic’s” claims of the 1980’s and 1990’s! Remember when Dungeons and Dragons games supposedly opened a portal to suck kids souls to hell? One thing you might not know is this era saw innocent people jailed for things they did not do, and multiple lives ruined in the process. TST members who spoke of it compared the 20th Century’s “Satanic Panic” to the witch hunts of Medieval times.

So, it’s well-established you won’t see a Satanist do the things spooky movies and uninformed “god hates fags” sign- wielding Evangelicals claim. Aside from doing the above-mentioned community service work, you will see them embracing seven tenets outlined in the film, which are:

  1. One should strive to act with compassion and empathy towards all creatures in accordance with reason.
  2. The struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit that should prevail over laws and institutions.
  3. One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.
  4. The freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend. To willfully and unjustly encroach upon the freedoms of another is to forego your own.
  5. Beliefs should conform to our best scientific understanding of the world. We should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit our beliefs.
  6. People are fallible. If we make a mistake, we should do our best to rectify it, and resolve any harm that may have been caused.
  7. Every tenet is a guiding principle designed to inspire nobility in action and thought. The spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word.

This organization, of course stemmed out of Anton LaVey’s Church of Satan, founded on April 30, 1966. He may be the most famous, if not the most notorious leader the organization has had, and most certainly the most colorful. In his Satanic Bible, which, no doubt ruffled more than a few feathers, he stated he saw men go to drink, see strippers, and whatnot- all the things Xtianity forbade in those days- and then sit up in church Sunday with wives and kids as if they were model Xtians. It left quite an impression on LaVey, who chose Satan as the archetype for his new religion- not to WORSHIP the devil- but he said Satan kept the church in business, and most honestly embodied the true nature of humanity. Thus instead of deprivation, as the churches taught, LaVey sought to embrace our passions, desires, intellect, and animal side, as we were born to do.

Perhaps The original Church of Satan was an occult response of sorts to the “Free Love” movement, but it’s one that speaks to people still, today. TST and The Church of Satan are two completely different entities, but they have some similarities, and I respect them both.

In Hail Satan?, you will see various legal battles multiple TST chapters have waged in the name of justice, and you will hear personal stories from devoted members. You will also witness a very impassioned chapter administrator violate policies of TST, and be fired.

Despite some beliefs TST is a small cult, it has a National Council, and dozens of chapters nationwide, as well as international chapters, and a well-organized system.

The big question many ask- if TST is not evil and all about destruction, WHY call it by the name Satan, who many believe is the greatest evil ever?

Remember what Anton LaVey said about Satan being a fitting archetype for man’s true nature for one thing. For another thing, members are deliberately trying to jolt people’s awareness, and they do not mind offending people. They have been called the Antichrist, and one member says that IS half true. They protest the atrocities the church has imposed upon humanity for so long. Beyond that, they protest, and reject the mind control and oppression the church has enforced. Catholic groups seem especially fond of protesting TST chapters, and one member says they have a lot of gall calling Satanics sinful after all the abuse and rapes of children. Satan was known as the adversary- so the church and the oppression she enforces HAS an adversary in The Satanic Temple- which is quite pro-human.

TST is among many things, pro-individual, against blind faith, pro-gay, pro-choice, anti-rape, pro-trans, and all for questioning that which is forbidden.

Some ask why TST does not just call themselves atheists if they do not worship the devil? One member states atheism just states what you are NOT. There is no ritual or definition. TST defines everything and gives ritual and structure.

Some don’t know this, but I have read more than one Satanic publication over the years, and while I’m not a member, I am in agreement with their beliefs and practices. I have friends who are also, one of whom agreed to a short interview.

Interview with Jodi @ Satanism

SaoirseWhat first drew you to The Church of Satan, or The Satanic Temple’s teachings?

Jodi- Curiosity as a child in contrast to what I was being brainwashed with by fundamentalists. I first picked up LaVey in middle school or so. A mixture of curiosity and rebellion. I met other kids who were interested in high school. That’s what those thumpers get.

Saoirse- Did the adults raising you find out perchance?

Jodi- Yes. My mother was absolutely mortified when she discovered my copy of The Satanic Bible, hidden with my cigarettes in my dresser. Naturally, she ordered me to stop and go to church but…fail. Only made my quest that much more enticing. Mother had many books that warned against Satanic & occult teachings. In the beginning, I used these as cross-references to find the knowledge I was seeking. Those books of hers were so funny to me….the titles and all.

Saoirse- People who were ignorant raised me also. I did not wake up until I was in my 20’s. Late!

Jodi- I think that’s pretty normal.

No matter what path you choose…to not start to really branch out of the family illusion

Until the mid-twenties or so.

I was teaching Catholicism to school kids during my twenties even though I was a practicing witch. It was sort of a marital obligation thing, I though and the director or religion was DESPERATE.

He called me an Angel… lmao. He regretted that…especially when he learned I was encouraging children to wait til adulthood to get confirmed.

Saoirse- Catholicism and witchcraft go very well together.

Jodi- I agree.

Saoirse- I agree. You cannot GIVE anybody to a god or goddess. All baptisms and confirmations belong in adulthood.

Jodi- Amen. The church puts too much pressure on kids. Not to mention, indoctrination is bullshit.

Saoirse- Exactly.

Jodi- The way is to choose for the self. One of many reasons I embrace the teachings.

Saoirse- What is a favorite Satanic teaching of yours?

Jodi- I like the contrast of putting those who move to harm you in their place over the xtian turning the other cheek. There is much to be said for compassion and forgiveness, yes but also standing up for one’s self, remorselessly.

Our culture has been conditioned to take too much shit…which is part of the reason we are all suffering in this age. We are used to being walked on and told what to do.

Living in fear isn’t living

Saoirse- Exactly.

Jodi- Satanism encourages a healthy lifestyle and self-esteem.

Some of this depends on what variety of Satanism we’re talking about, but you understand.

Saoirse- What has embracing these tenets and teachings done for your life?

Jodi- They have made a way for me to learn of and about myself and others in a respectful manner. They’ve crushed the early indoctrination I was force-fed as a child and allowed me to rebuild my own opinions and Will. It made a way for what I want for my life versus what others expect or condone.

The verdict on this is it is one of the best documentaries I have ever seen, and it did my heart good to see the beautiful people of TST, and all the wonderfulness they are spreading within their organization, and in their communities in general.

This film is a must see.

Here is the link to the films page, and how you can see this for yourself!

Happy viewing, and Blessed Be!

***

About the Author:

Saoirse is a recovered Catholic.  I was called to the Old Ways at age 11, but I thought I was just fascinated with folklore. At age 19, I was called again, but I thought I was just a history buff, and could not explain the soul yearnings I got when I saw images of the Standing Stones in the Motherland. At age 29, I crossed over into New Age studies, and finally Wicca a couple years later. My name is Saoirse, pronounced like (Sare) and (Shah) Gaelic for freedom. The gods I serve are Odin and Nerthus. I speak with Freyja , Norder, and Thunor as well. The Bawon has been with me since I was a small child, and Rangda has been with me since the days I was still Catholic. I received my 0 and 1 Degree in an Eclectic Wiccan tradition, and my Elder is Lord Shadow. We practice in Columbus, Ohio. I am currently focusing more on my personal growth, and working towards a Second and Third Degree with Shadow. I received a writing degree from Otterbein University back in 2000. I have written arts columns for the s Council in Westerville. I give private tarot readings and can be reached through my Facebook page Tarot with Saoirse. You can, also, join me on my Youtube Channel.

Go a Wassailing

December, 2018

Go a Wassailing

The ancient tradition of wassailing has pagan origins intended to bless the coming year’s orchards’ crops and protect them from evil spirits. Later, wassailers went from door to door, singing and drinking to the health of their neighbors. Wassail was the alcoholic beverage of choice.

There are many traditional carols that are clearly for Christians, but there are a growing number of songs appropriate for pagans celebrating Yule. Some are original songs by pagan and wiccan musicians honoring the winter solstice; others are new lyrics set to old standards.

Here is a sampling that you might enjoy this winter.

Santa Claus is Pagan Too” by Emerald Rose

“Wiccan Wonderland” by Karina Skye

“Jingle Bells, Cast Your Spells” by Karina Skye

 

 

Cast that Spell” by Kyrja

On Midwinter’s Day” by Damh The Bard

Hail the Holly King” by Inkubus Sukkubus

Silent Night, Solstice Night” by Karina Skye

Whisper in the Darkness” by Adala

Solstice Evergreen” by Spiral Dance

The Longest Night of the Year” by Mary Chapin Carpenter

Solstice Carole” by Wyrd Sisters

 

 

Solstice Song” by Backwater

We Three Witches” by Karina Skye

And, of course, “Here We Go a’wassaling.” This is one of many versions. Some change the lyrics to be more pagan, such as changing god to gods,

https://tinyurl.com/y942kkkg

I hope you’ll share your favorite solstice songs.

 

***

About the Author:

Lynn Woike was 50 – divorced and living on her own for the first time – before she consciously began practicing as a self taught solitary witch. She draws on an eclectic mix of old ways she has studied – from her Sicilian and Germanic heritage to Zen and astrology, the fae, Buddhism, Celtic, the Kabbalah, Norse and Native American – pulling from each as she is guided. She practices yoga, reads Tarot and uses Reiki. From the time she was little, she has loved stories, making her job as the editor of two monthly newspapers seem less than the work it is because of the stories she gets to tell. She lives with her large white cat, Pyewacket, in central Connecticut. You can follow her boards on Pinterest, and write to her at woikelynn at gmail dot com.

Pagan Theology

August, 2012

The Christians and the Pagans

 

Something that tends to distinguish me from my fellow Pagans is that I do not believe that “Christo-Pagans” are possible.  That goes against the general openness of Paganism.  And it flies in the face of our Pagan historical and cultural norms, which tell us to accept just about as many Gods and Goddesses as we can cram into a theology and still have room.  Thus a theological bias against Christians in general and Christo-Pagans in particular tends to irritate the Christo-Pagans and embarrass the regular Pagans (it has no effect on the observant Christians, they think we’re all crazy).   So now you are either irritated or embarrassed, and for that I apologize.

 

Unfortunately now I have to tell you I’m halfway wrong.  In considering this rather complicated problem I believe there is a place for those who follow Jesus to find a place within Paganism.   I don’t believe that makes any sense, but it is not a theological fallacy either.

 

Let me explain.

 

The biggest misunderstanding of my criticism of Christo-Pagans is the tendency to believe that I am saying that followers of Jesus cannot or should not be Pagans.  That is not what I claim.  Instead I claim that they cannot be Christians, nor can they identify with Jesus as the Christ who has fulfilled the Jewish prophecies [1].  The idea of being both “Pagan” and “Christian,” or “Jewish” or “Muslim” for that matter, just does not make any sense.

 

Of course compatibility is all in how you define things.  My definition of “Christian” is the one commonly used by those (Christians) who have large organizations devoted to the subject.  Sure, you can define Christianity as something completely different, the art of kicking a ball around a field perhaps, but then we have a disagreement about semantics and not religion.  The thing that is typically referred to with the denotation “Christianity” cannot be Pagan, not because Pagan’s won’t have it, but because Christians won’t have us.

 

The argument separating Paganism and standard Christianity can be made very quickly.  We do not have an apocalyptic eschatology, we view time as cyclical not linear, we do not believe in salvation, sin, or that the Gods and Goddesses are all perfect.

 

Most importantly:  Paganism by definition does not claim exclusivity for its Gods and Goddesses [2].  Abrahamic religions do.

 

I could also argue that we should be careful about blurring the lines between Christianity and Paganism.  But that is a political, not theological, argument.

 

The problem with Christians as Pagans is that there is a fundamental, theological, clash between the two faiths.  In fact the clash applies to any Abrahamic religion.  These religions all share a unique and radically important concept:  exclusivity.  The Hebrews first hit on the concept early in their history.  However their exclusivity was a tribal one, unless you were born as part of the chosen people, born into the tribe of God, you were not in the faith.  While this was somewhat unusual at the time it was mostly harmless as the Jews were a relatively small tribe that lacked power.  And their exclusivity meant that they would have a hard time growing anyway.

 

But in the 1st – 3rd centuries a new idea, Christianity, emerged out of Judaism.  It said that, while anyone could join, it was the god that was exclusive.  All other religions were invalidated by Christianity.  This is the Pauline interpretation of Christ’s teachings, one that eventually “won” the long (400 year) struggle between the other various Christ following sects of the time.

 

So my objection has to do with a desire not to intermingle Pauline Christianity with Paganism rather than a desire to exclude Christo-Pagans.

 

Once you break free of the Pauline concept of Christianity you can begin to see how Jesus and his teachings could be included as an element in Paganism.  An exclusive view towards Christo-Pagans is both narrow and divisive. A real Pagan (whatever that is) would ask “how do we include followers of Christ as Pagans?”  Instead of seeking to exclude, perhaps we should seek to include.  In other words, perhaps a Pagan theology could help define some elements of the Christian faith that are compatible with Paganism.  And I’m not talking about Santa and Christmas trees and candles at Imbolc, I mean real inclusion.

 

At the most basic level we have to confront the issue of magic and witchcraft.  Both modern high magic and witchcraft have been clearly influenced by Christianity.  In fact I believe one would have been very hard pressed to find anything but a Christian witch or magician in Europe between the years 500 and 1800.  Magical practices have clearly been claimed as part of the Pagan community, whether they are derived from Christian or other sources.

 

We must include the Christian Witch, and Magician, because their practices are so fundamental to ours.  That sort of inclusion goes almost without saying.

 

Moving beyond magic we come to Judaism, of which Christianity is a part and a derivative faith.  The Jewish religion grew out of the religion of the Hebrew tribe, which is believed to have been Pagan long before it went with just one god.  Remember, the admonition not to have any other Gods before me is a plural one, accepting the idea that there are Gods other than Jehovah, just that Jehovah is the most important one.  Eventually this got ground down to the idea of a unitary God, but in the early days of Judaism there was the possibility of multiple deities.  In fact the idea of Sophia, the female Goddess of the Hebrews provides a great pivot point for many Christo-Pagans to begin to explore the polytheistic aspects of both Christianity and Judaism.

 

Next comes the question of exactly who was Jesus of Nazareth?

 

Bart Ehrman in his book the Lost Christianities:  The Battle for Scripture, says that Jesus could have been many different things:  rabbi, Jewish holy man with extraordinary powers, social radial and promoter of counter-cultural lifestyles, a Jewish magician capable of manipulating the forces of nature, a feminist, or a prophet warning of a coming kingdom (apocalypse) where evil would be overthrown?   Jesus as magician, feminist, or counter-cultural rebel fits right in with modern concepts of Paganism.

 

There is also the idea of the Kingdom of Heaven in the Canonical Gospels.  For Pagans the idea of a transcendental place beyond this world is incompatible with the immanence of magic and deity.  Pauline Christianity developed the claim of a transcendental Kingdom of Heaven that we occupied after death or the apocalypse.  However much depends on which Jesus you listen to.  The radical Jesus preached the Kingdom of God was within you, and many of those at the time he preached expected the kingdom to arrive within a few years.  It was later that the idea got changed to a transcendent kingdom removed from this earth.

 

While modern Christians place an emphasis on Jesus as apocalyptic prophet and savior, we could easily change that emphasis to magician, feminist, trickster, and social radical to bring him more in line with Pagan concepts of deity.   We could see the kingdom of heaven as a place here on earth, that we create within us and around us, instead of a long-held promise that depends on redemption.

 

Instead of thinking about Pagans who follow Jesus as a thin wedge of Christianity into Paganism, we could turn this around and think of them as expanding the idea of what Jesus was and how he fits in with a radically different theology than Pauline Christianity.  When you say “Christo-Pagan” there are a lot of facile impressions and ideas that come up, such as the vision of blending Pat Robertson with Starhawk.  While that theology just won’t work, what may work is the idea of Jesus as the trickster prophet who had a vision that was both magical as well as radically inclusive.  While Jesus was clearly a Jew, there is also nothing incompatible about a polytheistic Judaism being included in the broad range of Pagan religious paths.

 

That said, I still don’t think that I’ll be calling on any Christian or Jewish deities anytime soon.  Christians have spilled too much of our blood, cut too many groves, and turned too many temples into churches.  Christians seek to convert everyone to their way, which results in their being aggressive about disrupting and destroying other religions in the name of salvation.  While our Christo-Pagans do not fall into this category, it makes it hard to fully embrace the concept.

 

The idea of a new, Pagan, interpretation of Jesus and Judaism is both interesting and something that is compatible with Paganism.  But for me Paganism is a true religion.  The Gods and Goddess are real and have been shoved aside by modern culture and Christianity before that.  We need to restore them, their worship, and their presence in our lives.  Any Christian influences corrupt that work with ideas and theologies that remove it from the magical, physical, world where our Gods and Goddesses exist.  In the future I’ll be careful to listen to the Christo-Pagans and the case they make for inclusivity, but I still may not embrace it.

 

[1]  Paganism is quite accepting of many of the parameters of early Judaism.  Monotheism has a very long history in Pagan religions, so the idea of one, overriding, God is in no way foreign (e.g. Mithras, Ra of Akhenaten).  The Gnostic idea of secret knowledge is pretty much the foundation of modern magic, and Gnostic concepts run through much of modern high magic (and Paganism, I avoid a discussion of Gnosticism because that is a book in itself).  Jesus as a dying and reborn God can also be seen as simply another version of a common Pagan concept of cycles of deity.

[2]  Though you might be able to argue that by claiming inclusivity that we subjugate all Gods and Goddesses to Paganism.  Sort of like my Catholic friends who say my Gods and Goddesses are just an imperfect manifestation of theirs, we too can claim that Jehovah, Christ, the Father, and the Holy Spirit are all simply other Gods within our broad and inclusive Pantheon.  This then becomes essentially a linguistic/semantic problem.  It comes down to how we define what we are talking about, and how we use our ability to name things to structure and make sense out of the world.  If everything is everything else and the names we use do not distinguish one thing from another, then it becomes very difficult to have a sensible discussion.  Thus, Pagans are what we are, and Abrahamic religions are monotheistic exclusivists.  There is a difference because there is a difference.  (And I know Houston Smith’s arguments about all religions are merely branches of one root, at some level that is probably true, but here I’m working well up the trunk and not at the root).

Pagan Theology

April, 2006

Theology is for Christians

I can think of nothing more controversial, personal, or sensitive to Pagans than the topic of Theology. We can talk easily of sex, magic, and many other things without raised eyebrows or controversy (well…maybe) but what we believe, why we believe it, and how we reason about it can become a very touchy subject. Perhaps its because the Theology goes to the heart of faith, to the most personal and inner places, and thus it becomes so hard to have a dialog instead of a monolog.

So what better topic for a monthly column?

Ok, so there are better topics. Go read the sex magic column, then come back.

I’ll start off the column by answering in my own way some of what I see as the common complaints about Pagan Theology.

“But its a Christian term, and something only Christians do”

In fact the term is most often used in the context of Christian apologetics, or the justification and defense of the faith. Many people have had less than positive encounters with Christianity, and they don’t want to introduce anything into Neo-Pagan practice that smacks of Christianity.

Ok, but I’ll point out that the word’s origin is Greek, from “theologia” meaning an accounting of the Gods, or “theologos” “talking about the Gods”. Just because we can’t stand the term doesn’t mean that the concept of understanding our faith, and studying the Gods and Goddesses is bad.

We could substitute another term in order to distance ourselves from the monotheists. But then we risk the very real problem of nobody knowing what we’re talking about. I say its about time we reclaimed terms of Religion for our own uses (well, I’m actually following in the tradition of the Unitarian Universalist President William Sinkford who has called for Liberal Religion to begin reclaiming and using a language of faith, http://www.uua.org/president/030112.html). Monotheistic religions have no monopoly on understanding of faith, or of the terms we use in our quest.

“It will lead to doctrine, and we don’t like doctrine.”

At some point in the future we can discuss doctrine. Right now lets tackle the first part. Doctrine, in my understanding of the monotheistic concept, is a body of written understanding and statements that if you agree with, you’re in, and if you don’t, you’re out. Doctrine begets legitimacy, something that I will have a lot to say about in this column, it also provides a foundation upon which some important things can be built (like Cathedrals or pogroms). But I contend that theology does not necessarily beget doctrine, and I also contend that much of European Neo-Paganism is actually influenced by a kind of doctrine: initiation and esoteric knowledge.

European Neo-Pagans do have many different doctrines, and many different ways of excluding each other from various circles.

The important thing, however, is the implicit link between theology and doctrine. Doctrine is a political process that describes the ordering and relationship between people. Doctrine forms the group, identifies the included from the excluded, the subject from the object. Which almost always leads to tears.

Theology, while it can be used to establish doctrine, can also be used for understanding. In the pursuit of theological understanding we work to understand what is within us, the nature of our belief. We give birth to doctrine as we try to impose our inner beliefs on the world, on others, and try and identify those who are outside of our beliefs.

Just don’t do it.

“But we already have a theology, we already have explained our faith”

Yeah right. While I will be nailed for generalities let me summarize the current extent of common thinking about Pagan theology:


  • Many Gods and Goddesses, but all drawn from one, unknowable Godhead. That is, if God and Goddess are mentioned at all, often in either the interests of inclusion or a genuflection in the direction of science they are often omitted entirely in favor of a humanistic theology.
  • The Earth is sacred.
  • Magic works.
  • We’ll be reincarnated.

And, lest we forget, the moral center of Neo-Paganism: “and it harm none, do as ye will” and “the threefold law”.

Ok, its pretty straightforward. But I’m not buying it. None of this answers any of the important questions, has anything to do with love or faith or any of the other thousand reasons why people come to religion. It begs one important question: “is this pretty much the extent of what we believe?”

And, more interestingly, what would historical Pagan theologians say about the concepts of life, love, death, and the existence of the Gods and Goddesses? One of the things I’d like to do in this column is explore this question.

“All this is unknowable, and its just a nice conceit, we really don’t actually believe this stuff is real”

One word we don’t see spoken much in Paganism is faith. Probably that association with monotheism again. But faith does not mean simple-minded obedience, it can also mean the deep-felt knowledge of the Gods and Goddesses as they come into your heart. If you open up your heart to the Gods and Goddesses you will know them in a way that defies reason.

In fact reason plays no role in faith. I repeat: reason, for you scientists and engineers out there (and I am one), plays no role in faith. Faith draws from the heart. Faith draws from a knowledge that does not submit to the same rules, logic, or proof requirements as reason does. That’s why its powerful, and dangerous. And that is why we should not ignore it.

The role of reason comes in when we start thinking about our faith. When we start considering the implications of what is in our heart for what is in the world. What does it mean? How should we act? What should we do?

“Ok, I’ve read this far, where are your really coming from?”

Ok, since I summarized my understanding of the depth of Pagan theology in four easy bullets and two statements, let me explain myself in the same way:


  • The Gods and Goddesses are real, they exist as personal deities that affect our lives and the world according to our belief.
  • The Gods and Goddesses are accessed through a deep faith and intuitive knowledge. They can be seen, felt, and engaged.
  • Magic works in proportion to our belief in it, and our will. Magic, like faith and belief, does not necessarily follow the same rules as reason, logic, or science.
  • The Earth is sacred in ways we do not fully understand or comprehend, we have moved far away from it, farther than we realize
  • History matters. It matters in telling us who we are, and gives us the perspective of many generations and thinkers better than we are.
  • But we should not be slaves to history, just because a practice doesn’t have an ancient lineage does not necessarily make it less true or powerful than one that does.
  • Paganism demands eclecticism and acceptance. Ancient Pagans were very adaptable and flexible in their acceptance of other deities and religions. There is no one set of Gods and Goddesses that is “right”, they are all “right”, and in fact our discovery of the ones that fulfill our faith are really the “right ones”
  • We speak too much of “do what you will” and too little of love, hope, charity, faith, and sacrifice. We must not be afraid of moral terms because they have been appropriated by monotheism. We are good, we are moral, and we faithful, we should claim those titles for ourselves as much as the monotheists claim them for themselves.

And, finally, we do not examine our faith enough. And unexamined faith is not worth having. Hopefully you will be willing join in a journey to examine our faith. If what I say does not appeal, figure out what does,. If my concepts don’t work, find ones that do. Its the dialog that’s important, not the answer. Our speech will create the Holy. And the Holy will be plural.

And as our understanding grows so will the power of our faith. Power to persuade monotheists to tolerance. Power to speak for the Earth and her creatures. Power to articulate a faith that is both personal, and part of a larger whole. Power to affect our lives and the lives of others.

What could be more fun, interesting, or Pagan than that?