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    Role of a Mentor

    Learning in Adversity How many of us have wished for a life that flowed smoothly, with no adversity?  At one time, I said a daily affirmation that asked for a life, “safe, secure and perfectly smooth.”  When I look back at my life, it is clear that I learned more during the rough times than the smooth ones. While it is certainly less stressful when our lives are running smoothly, we also tend to become complacent, taking things for granted, and may even get lazy.  How many know Christians who attend church, read the Bible, or pray only when they or someone close to them are facing some crisis?  I’ve…

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    Role of a Mentor

    Spiritual art “In the beginning God created man, then man returned the favor,” states a witty quip. To me, that conjures up images of all types of art of a spiritual nature. Humanity has been making depictions of gods and goddesses as well as magickal beings for untold thousands of years. Few religions, notably Judaism and Islam, forbid such art. Sometimes the practice has been denounced as idolatry, but it has been found in an amazing variety of cultures, belief systems, locations and time periods. Perhaps the oldest such depiction is the Venus of Willendorf, carved about 25,000 years ago and discovered in 1908 in Austria. This statuette is only…

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    Roll of a Mentor

    Learning Braucherei Traditionally, magickal systems would be learned from another person face to face.  As I have discussed before, information available from print and online sources have enabled the seeker to learn without a teacher, although it is of great help to have other Pagans for learning and discussion.  One tradition that still places emphasis on in person learning is variously known as Braucherie, Powwow, or Hexerie. Braucherie originated among German immigrants to the US in Pennsylvania; erroneously called “Pennsylvania Dutch” because they referred to themselves as Deutsch (German).  The practice of magick was shunned by the Amish and Mennonites, who were among these immigrants, but considered it evil.  These…

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    Role of a Mentor

    The Accidental Teacher After I wrote the last column, dreaming of a day when I could teach someone as I have been taught, it occurred to me that I have already done that.  I may not have conducted a class, lead a group or mentored someone, but I still have had teaching moments in which I helped another Pagan on their path or explained something about our ways to non Pagans.  On many occasions I have been an accidental teacher. Soon after I started on this path, I noticed that some dictionaries included the word “devil” or “evil spirits” in their definition of the word witch.  I wrote to an…

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    Role of a Mentor

    Like many others my age, the first witch I saw on TV was Samantha on the show Bewitched. But there was real life witch in my area whom I saw on TV several times. Jeffrey B. Cather RN, better known as Lady Circe of Toledo, OH, was respected by the media when they turned to her as the unofficial representative of the Pagan community. She was well spoken, knowledgeable and had an air of leadership about her. When I saw her on TV in the 70s and 80s, I was not yet studying the old ways, but it was in the back of my mind and the knowledge that such…

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    Pagans Where to Find Like Minded People

    Learning Spring Equinox is traditionally a time for new beginnings.  This is my first column, which I welcomed as an opportunity to teach, learn and give back to the community. Each of us came to this path in our own way and it has been my pleasure to hear many different stories.  Now that you are here, the big question is where to turn to learn.  There are a variety of ways to accomplish this, each with its own pros and cons, but the best is from other Pagans. There is nothing that can compare to learning from another person face to face and I hope that each of you…