Why Contemporary Paganism Deserves to Die

Best post I have read on the status of Paganism…ever!

Must read.

The Allergic Pagan

Does Paganism Deserve to Survive?

I don’t know whether contemporary Paganism is dying or not.  But it’s definitely changing.

Contemporary Paganism is being squeezed by the same social, economic, and technological pressures that all other contemporary religions are struggling with.  Generational differences with Millennials.  Economic inequality. The internet.

Which got me thinking, why are we bothering to struggle?  Why not just let entropy take its course?

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Gardening Close to Home

I looked at a bunch of websites looking for what is needed to care for my veggie and herb gardens.  I looked at what if anything the soil needs, bugs in the area and fertilizing.

Here is what I found.

 

I was surprised that most soil amendments are not good for the Colorado soil.  The best soil amendments are the usual things.  I used potting peat moss last year and I plan on using it again this year.  Manure and composts are also good to use for gardens in Colorado.  Composts not only add to the soil but they also can act as a fertilizer.  Composting creates nutrients that when added to the garden soil at the correct depth will supply some food for the plants.  Composting and manure are the best way to amend our soil in Colorado.

 

For fertilizing my gardens I use Miracle-Gro commercial product.  I find that the mixture is perfect.  I make sure I only fertilize when it is required and never during the heat of the day.  Some places need Potassium and Phosphorus to augment the fertilization, however, the soil in Colorado is naturally set with the correct amounts of phosphorus and potassium.  Fertilizing in my gardens will ensure I have the perfect crop at harvest time.

 

Pests in Colorado are a very real problem.  We have aphids and I noticed them around the tomato plants and bean plants.  The way to control them is to introduce a natural predator to take out the aphids.  Ladybird beetles or ladybugs are the best for this.  Spider mites are also here in Colorado.  They attack the leaves of the plants and eventually killing the plant.  Insecticides won’t kill the spider mite and using them will kill the beneficial bugs.   Again, natural predators are the best at taking out the mites.

 

The Colorado Gardening website has a very good way of taking care of pests.  It is called IPM.  This is from the site.

 

Informed gardeners realize that totally wiping out all insects in the garden is both unwise and unfeasible. Pest management, rather than complete eradication of pests, is the goal. An integrated approach that utilizes a combination of methods to keep pests in check is employed. These techniques include:

1) Cultural controls: the use of gardening practices that promote healthy plants, such as crop rotation, proper fertilization and watering, good garden clean-up, etc.

2) Mechanical controls: the use of barriers, traps, handpicking of pest, etc.

3) Biological controls: the use of natural predators (beneficial insects) such as ladybugs and green lacewings

4) Chemical controls (the last resort): the use of pesticides derived from natural sources and, when necessary, synthetic sources.

The use of IPM diminishes the need for chemicals and results in gardens that are safer for everyone—children, pets, birds, butterflies, and gardeners![1]

 

I believe this is sound advice and might be good for the all gardening students.

 

I continue to work on the garden every other day and cannot wait to plant the main garden.

[1] http://www.coloradogardening.com/garden_tips.htm

Sorry pagans and witches, the Salem witch trial victims are not YOUR poster children

Agree with this 100%.

traditionalwitchcraft

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Proctor’s Ledge, the real site where the witch trial hangings took place

On the eve of March 1, 2016 I noticed a number of online memes posted in social media regarding the Salem witch craft trials, and remembering the victims.  This of itself is not bothersome.  However, what I find disturbing is that in context of the memes, they are typically portrayed as if they are witches, died for the plight of defending witchcraft, or sayings about them being in some kind of witchcraft type of afterlife like “summerland”. Equally disturbing is the amount of people who tout and parade them around, lack even basic education or research about these victims, the events or the actual trials.   Many even think they were burnt at the stake!   Come on people, if you sincerely care about these victims, want to honor their memory beyond using them and their memory to…

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Where do I go from here?

I am Pagan.  I am Witch.  Where do I go from here?  I have not done anything relating to my spirituality for some time.  Where do I go from here?

I watch Facebook, I belong to many groups.  I offer my advice from my past experiences.  I have ideas on content, yet my  pages are blank.  Where do I go from here?

This is not a crisis of faith.

Four Pillars of a Witches Temple

I found this information on another site I found and thought it was be great to share.

There are many first qualities that a witch must learn to develop. The best one that I can recommend is the “Witches Pyramid” or the “Four Pillars of the Witches Temple.” This four Laws are very important and if you use them as your base, you cannot go wrong. Abide by them always and you can go wrong. They are Ancient by they still apply to today’s Witch.

The Four Pillars of Witches Temple

To Know (nescere)
-corresponds to Air
-represents the witch’s reason/intellect/intuition/wisdom and other more mystical understandings…

Basically this has to do with the gaining of knowledge, whether it be from books, teachers, or from experience. This also includes anything having to do with organizing said knowledge: remembering, analyzing, dissecting, logical reasoning, imagining, linking, and many more. This is shown in many kinds of knowledge needed to do ritual: from remembering the words to invocations, to knowing when to cast the circle, to knowing what incense to use, to remembering how it feels when one grounds correctly.

In witchcraft knowledge is power. No knowledge is ever wasted, and you may find that your fifth grade Creative Writing class taught you things useable for creating invocations, or that your Aunt Jean’s gardening tips are helping you with your herb growing, or your Tai Chi class helped get the idea of centering across.

The admonitions “Know Thyself”, “Know your Craft”, “Learn” and “Apply you Learning” are all included in the pillar.

To Will (velle)
-corresponds to Fire
-represents the witch’s Will/Discipline/her skills in the arts of magic and life.

This can be split into two categories: the mundane and the Magickal. The mundane is where a with tries to keep their life in good order, and to follow through on promises and commitments. The magickal version refers to the Will to see a spell or ritual to its completion, keeping the intent clear without letting oneself get distracted.
Concentration, Discipline and Drive are definitely a part of this, as well as Enthusiasm for doing ritual in the first place.

Placing one’s will in tandem with Divine Will is also included.

“Keep you thoughts and deeds in good order” and “Breathe and Eat correctly” belong here (though really just the act of living up to all the Goals could be listed inder0 “To Will”)

To Dare (audere)
-corresponds to Water
-represents the witch’s Emotions/Heart since the word courage derives from a word that means “heart”

“To Dar” encompasses the acts of facing fears, especially with regards to doing magick. Dare to experiment with what one has learned to gain more experience, like trying out that new astral travel technique or trance working. Dare to meet the Gods and interact with them. Dare to deal with inner darkness.

This is not to say that one must never feel fear. Fear must be felt and examined before it can be dealt with. The more one tries to hide one’s fear from one’s self, the more power that fear will have over one’s self. Facing the Shadow within can be more traumatic than facing the most awe-inspiring Deity. However, Starhawk mentions in her book The Spiral Dance, “Where there’s fear, there’s power.” One’s greatest fear can mask one’s greatest strength.

It must be stated that any emotion or personal attribute brought into a magickal circle will be increased and strengthened. This explains the admonition at the gateway “Better to fall upon this knife/Than enter here in fear, or strife”. Give strength to your courage.

To Keep [the] Silence (tacere)
-corresponds with Earth
“To Keep the Silence” is often interpreted as “To Keep Silent”: that is, to keep secret knowledge of witchcraft, of membership and places of meetings etc., except in cases of voucher-for persons. “To Keep Silent” is probably a good general practice since it keeps the foolhardy from trying things that might be dangerous or from getting flack from less sympathetic neighbors. This is, however, not the whole story.

“Silence” represents the ‘still point’… the silence within… The correspondence with Earth here also gives another hint of this interpretation, since in order to begin to work magick, we generally “ground” and “center” ourselves. It is difficult to keep clear one’s intent if other extraneous thoughts keep flitting by and being distracting.

Listening to the Gods and Nature (and other people for that matter) is also intimated since one cannot hear unless there is silence first.

Again, “Keeping your thoughts in good order” as well as “Meditate” come under this heading

To Go (ire)
-corresponds to Spirit

Some traditions use the fifth Element of Spirit as embodying the power “To Go”: to go forth, to journey, to make manifest, to evolve. Most traditions assign Spirit to the Gods, making spirit a combination of the other four elements in perfect balance.

Conclusion

If one sees each of these qualities written on a four-sided pyramid, “To Keep the Silence” would be on the base, with the other three (To Know, To Will, To Dare) rising from the base (ie. Earth, foundation) to meet at the top. All things begin and end in Silence.

All of these qualities must be developed to gain proficiency in magick.

Sources:

The Way of the Goddess by Ly Warren-Clarke

Dalukah’s Notes

The Spiral Dance by Starhawk

Credit also give to Witches of the Craft for this content

Zoisite (Ruby) Green and Red in Beauty

General Information

This is a quick little blog post about Ruby Zoisite.  A stone that is made from two different types of stones.  Ruby which offers the red and pinks to the stone.  And Zoisite, which offers the green colors.  Zoisite is the same mineral as tanzanite.

Ruby Zoisite was first discovered in Tanzania in 1954, one can assume along with tanzanite.

Magickal Information

This stone facilitates trance states and a connection to the divine.  As such it is an excellent stone for pendulums,

GP6RZ

and also rune stones.

 

As I said.  A quick little post to end out the year.  See you all in 2013 if I don’t make another post next week.

 

Blessings to all.

Samhain–A Pagan Blog Prompt

Samhain – (pronounced sow-win) is the Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the winter.  It is also known as the third harvest.

What does Samhain mean to you?

Well I can say that before I began to study and read on my current path I didn’t even know there was a thing as Samhain.  I always knew the day, October 31st as “Halloween”.  Even growing up in a Lutheran home we were allowed to celebrate it by dressing up and going trick-or-treating.

TrickRTreat

We were even able to celebrate it in school which no that I think about it was strange.  I still see the time of the year as Halloween from the perspective of the retail side and the kids coming by for Trick R Treating.  But now I also see it as the time to remember those who have passed beyond the thin veil.  To let go of things past and look toward the future.

How did/will you honor it?

Unfortunately this year I was not able to honor the Samhain part of the day.  Economic limits and time constraints didn’t lend to getting candy and decorating the house.  All of this also prevented me from attending any sort of organized gathering or ritual. 

Maybe next year.

Do you separate your Pagan rituals from your modern Halloween traditions?

Yes and No.  Yes the performing of the Samhain ritual is separated but I incorporate decorating the house into all of it.  It is so hard to tell what is for ritual and what is for decorating for the sake of Halloween.  I don’t bother to separate that part out.

 

Thank you Sunfire for this quick prompt from Pagan Blog Prompts.  It is nice to get to writing again.

Environment and Ritual Setting for The Dumb Supper Observance at Samhain

The Dumb Supper can be an important aspect of the Samhain observance. It can focus your attention on the fact that the time when the veil between the worlds is thinnest has come again.

Keeping in contact with those who have gone before, no matter how long ago or how tenuous that connection may be, is invaluable in one’s daily life in terms of having some wisdom in one’s decision-making and sense of personal responsibility.

Arranging the supper table with an extra place setting and then asking the ancestors to attend the supper is a mark of respect to them. When you can sense they are present, make a point some time during the Dumb Supper to request a sign from them regarding some aspect of your life and how you might approach the concern you have in order to resolve that situation. Often, they will touch your life in your dreams, and they will take you up on your invitation, at this time, to do so. Keep a pen and pad of paper close by your bed for several weeks so that you can write down what you learned, as it will probably be lost quickly when you wake up.

The use of some calming music during the Dumb Supper lends itself, along with silence for all those attending, to maintain a state of meditation, respect and openness to communication with the world beyond. There is no need to hurry the meal as it is also a time of reflection. Just let it take its normal course. At the end of the meal, take a moment to thank the ancestors for attending and then bid them farewell. This is the end of the observance, and your normal routine can return.

Bright Blessings!

Ron Ivins

A cold of all things.

It figures that now that I am ready to get going on some things that I have been putting off I get a FRACKING cold.

Hit me Tuesday evening and has proceeded to a full blown ravaging cold.  So here I sit, stuffed up, soar throat and wondering what to do.  Can’t sew because I am so worn out.  Might try to Cross-stitch but even that might be too difficult.

On the upside I am going grill some hotdogs for dinner to be mixed with some mac and tomatoes.  MMMM.  

At least the cold will only last a couple more days but there goes the weekend.