The way that we, as a species, relate to our environments differs from place to place, culture to culture. But one thing most of us hold in common is that our relationship with our ecosystem is an important and vital one. This week for Earthy Thursday, we examine some of the different ways in which we interact with the natural world, from veneration to protection to how we go about living our daily lives. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
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This weekend my coven will be celebrating our first "outdoor" sabbat. I know that a lot of groups exclusively meet outside but that's never really been an option for us. While my wife and I are lucky enough to live in a house, there's another person living in our backyard. He's not a living in a tent or anything like that, but he does occupy a studio-like living space attached to the garage. I doubt he wants to listen to us chant in the backyard while he's trying to sleep.
While I do share a backyard the garden spots are all mine and with the corn already over six feet it feels pretty magical. It may not be with the coven, but every time I water my garden (with grey water from the shower) I feel like I'm at least performing a private ritual. I talk to my sunflowers, implore my pumpkins to grow, and stop to bow at Aphrodite-Chicago of the Lemon Tree. My garden is ia magical place, but it's a magical place for mostly "just me" (and sometimes my wife when she checks on things)....
It must be done carefully, delicately. Too much and you'll tip your hand that you're an imposer. Too little and you are clearly just a poseur. There are always places that are forbidden to you - the velvet rope, the back room, the after party, the inner circle.
And I say f**k that....
While people look for many things in a religion, community is undoubtedly one of the most important. This week for Watery Wednesday we took at the ways in which community shapes religion and vice versa. Read on to learn about the 2015 Mythopoeic Awards, the nature of the Muslim fast of Ramadan, and how you can support contemporary Pagan artists. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
both sweet and spiky
sun-kissed and thorny
able to draw blood
and to cause you to smile
as you taste the juices of life.
I find it interesting to observe how the wheel of the year is reflected within my own mind and thought processes. In the late fall, I turn inward and feel like retreating and pulling away from commitments. In the winter, I incubate and make plans. In the spring, I emerge again and feel enthused with new ideas. In the summer, I start to make decisions about what to keep and what to prune away. I find that summer is a perfect time to see what is growing well and what needs to be yanked out by the roots.
One Pagan's DNA Research
My ancestors are important to my shamanic path. My previous post discusses that and why taking an AncestryDNA test is part of that path for me.
Today's post discusses my feelings as I waited for the test results, my reactions to the results, and the adventure it put me on as a Pagan.
An AncestryDNA test predicts ethnicity. Waiting for test results, I wondered if I'd like them. I felt excitement and a bit of trepidation.
I was empowered thinking about the benefits my friends' experienced. One friend learned which regions in Africa her ancestors hailed from. Prior to that, she did not know where in Africa she was from. Another friend uncovered secrets her family had hidden. This freed her from decades of lies.
So, one day the Interfaith Council asks the witch the deliver the opening prayer.
(By the way, this actually happened. My long-time friend and colleague Macha Nightmare has been active in Interfaith for years.)
She stands up.
“Witches dance to pray,” she says. “So I'm going to teach you one of our oldest, most sacred dances. It's called the Spiral Dance.”