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    ZAP!

    Energy is what gets things done.  We use energy to make changes whether we’re talking about magic or the mundane.  If you’ve taken a bunch of science classes or just watched Star Trek, you’ve heard a lot about energy… all kinds of energy.  So, since you’ve used it, and heard about it, and a good deal of the conversations you’ve had with your fellow magic workers has been about energy, tell me:  WHAT IS ENERGY? Physics is basically the study of energy.  You learn about how to measure the various kinds of energy, what they do, what to call them, how to manipulate them, even how to generate them.  And…

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    Reflections in the Dark

    Reflections in the Dark It is the Time of Learning.  Each one discovers it alone, without direction, because no one can find this moment for another.  It is when we can see without eyes, understand without thought, and feel the magic in the time between heartbeats.  It is a time of darkness that makes the shadows visible, a time of knowing when everything is one. For a moment that lasts a thousand years we dare not breathe, we must not move.  Our heart races toward the unknown but time stops.  Our eyes close because they are useless here.  Our mind stops because its chatter is an illusion, a sophistry of…

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    The Gods Are Within

    I’ve watched Paganism in America change considerably in the last thirty years and I sometimes wonder what the next thirty will be like.  As the New Year begins, it is often the case that we look both to the past and the future with wonder. When I first became interested in Paganism, most of us called ourselves witches.  If you wanted in on the fun, you had to really dig and show interest in just the right places and to the right people.  Not much was written about us that wasn’t 99% junk.  And even the stuff that was real was full of weird explanations that you sort of had…

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    Being Bad

    NOTE:  Parts of this article are quoted from or based on Blacksun’s yet-to-be published book, B e ALL! – The book of Pagan Spirituality, © 2007. Some people have problems with Paganism because we didn’t have anybody come down from a mountain with a couple of stone tablets and tell us what being bad really meant.  The charge is leveled that we don’t have any morality system.  Once that statement is made, it’s an easy jump to thinking we don’t have any morals.  But just because we didn’t have somebody write it on rocks doesn’t mean we don’t have a morality system.  We are, by and large, a very moral…

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    Dispensing the Sacraments

    I’ve been happily involved in Paganism for over 30 years and witnessed a lot of rituals in my time.  It was in 1982 that I began studying the subject of ritual making and my book on that subject, The Spell of Making, was published in 1995.  I continue to learn more every day and have had a wonderful time integrating that material into my workshops on ritual construction.  The book is focused on how to build rituals that are powerful and effective but there isn’t a great deal in it about the presentation of those rituals.  That will be what this article will discuss.  So there isn’t any confusion, let…

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    Coming Home

    Some feel it physically.  It’s a tingle in the spine or a rush of blood all over the body.  Some describe it as an overwhelming blast to the mind where open-eyed visions come and go so quickly you can’t really recognize what they are.  Nearly everyone says it’s an intense feeling of ‘rightness’  where you ‘just know’ you’re where you should be in this universe.  You’ve come home.  That’s the phrase Pagans have adopted to describe what is felt by many who discover us and who have a magical and spiritual awakening.  It is an epiphany when they encounter our way of looking at things. Not everyone experiences it.  That…

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    Serving the Gods

    They jump and twirl and skip, run around in intricately patterned steps, and shake all over in perfect rhythm.  A two-hundred piece orchestra plays in minor augment keys and there are a dozen tympanis banging out a syncopated and complex code of a phony jungle beat.  All the dancers have matching costumes and the females barely have any.  It’s a wild pagan dance to the Great God Hiccup and the pith-helmeted explorers are tied to a handy clump of palm trees with a giant cooking pot bubbling away only a yard or two from them!  Wow, it sure is exciting being a pagan in the 1960 Hollywood films, isn’t it?…

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    Under 18

    Kids are a problem.  No, no, I’m not talking about the trials of parenthood; I’m referring to the problem of teaching minors about Paganism.  Though there aren’t any laws that specifically say to teach somebody’s child about a religion is unlawful, there exist community and cultural customs that condemn the teaching if it is done without parental permission.  In the case of Paganism, the problem is just as big as it would be if a Jewish family was to find their child being taught Islam… maybe bigger.  The problem is complex and I don’t intend to cover every facet here, but I will put forth some ideas about it in…

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    Making Circles

    A lot of what goes on in our faith group seems at first glance to have little to do with religion or magic; it most often is a social activity.  It’s not uncommon to call a meeting for no reason other than to get together with people we enjoy being around.  In fact, this sort of thing is usually where newcomers get interested in Paganism.  For those who have taken on the mantle of the priesthood, this may seem almost frivolous.  Why waste time with coffee hours when there’s ‘real work’ to be done? Well, let’s see… First off, these ‘coffee hours’ are where most of our growth comes from. …

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    Elemental Perspectives

    Are They Friendly Spirits, Rocky? This is the fifth and last article in my Elementals Perspectives series for PaganPages.  The classical Elements of the ancients – Air, Fire, Water, and Earth – have served for ages as a model by which an ordered sense of the universe can be formulated.  This model has been used by magicians, philosophers, and scientists.  It is quite likely the seed of our modern sciences because it presents the notion that the world around us can be understood through observation of its parts and how they relate to one another.  But the four Elements, like all classification systems, have never covered everything in the universe. …