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Series: The Gargoyle Guardian Chronicles

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A Night on Bear Butte, Or: Can a Pagan, in Good Conscience, Go to the Black Hills?

The Black Hills of what is now South Dakota are unquestionably one of the great holy places of North America. They are held sacred by all the local peoples: the Dakota, the Arapaho, the Cheyenne, the Shoshone, the Blackfoot, the Crow. They may tell different stories about why the Hills are sacred, but everyone agrees that they are.

Oh, and did I mention the Witches?


My teacher Tony Kelly's critique of American paganism—being himself a Brit—was that it was rootless. Not having grown from the place that it's in, it's all about long ago and far away. Although less true now than it was in the 70s, this still seems to me a pretty accurate analysis of the situation.

But like all good critiques, Kelly's diagnosis contains an implied solution. If “immigrant” paganisms are rootless, the answer is clear: put down roots. Know your Land.


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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I remember reading God is Red back in the 70's. I think I also read Custer Died for your Sins. I can't say that I remember much
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    God is Red was reissued recently in a new 30th-anniversary edition, so maybe it will be turning up soon. I've had good luck with i

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Tonight Canada had a moment kind of like the moon landing or Woodstock or JFK's assassination.  Years from now we'll be telling our grandchildren where we were when we watched The Tragically Hip's farewell concert.

Yeah, you probably don't even know who they are, do you?  At the most you're scratching your heads and muttering, "Yeah, that's some Canadian band, right?"  Yeah, okay, you're right, and you're horribly wrong too.  For about thirty years the Hip has been writing Canada's soundtrack for life.  We often wondered why they never seemed to catch anywhere outside of our big-but-small country, especially since they would fill every stadium to standing room only when they played in any major Canadian city.  But now we know the answer.  It's because they're as Canadian as mounties, beavers and inukshuks; as Montreal steak and poutine; as curling and lacrosse and hockey. Probably it's just that no one else but us could fully appreciate them.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Ms. Morrison, Thanks for sharing! I have always been fascinated by Canadiana. I've heard of The Tragically Hip, but have never li
  • Mylène Chalifoux
    Mylène Chalifoux says # is in total amazement that I am reading your post now. I woke up this morning, needing to connect with my spiritual essence
Fix Your Situation: A Magical Date Night for the Exhausted

The longer you are in a relationship with a person(s), the harder it is to spend quality time together.  There are a lot of factors to why this is: you are currently getting on each other's damn nerves, you have been in a Netflix/Pokemon coma for several months, lots overtime at work/child-related commitments, you can't seem to manage keeping your house in a state that is not A Pit of Despair, Summertime Sadness and other Adulting afflictions.

Somewhere, in the back of your head, you figure well, there's always next week, we'll try then. Except next week keeps coming and dates keep not happening.  On one hand, this is a soothing part of a long term relationship: you are 90% sure Partner(s) are not going anywhere so you have that reassurance that eventually, you can work this out and get the romance rekindled.  On the other hand, this is how entropy happens, Charmers.  The more time you spend not actively engaging with each other, the more it's a habit, the more it's a habit the less there's romance and the less kindly inclined you will be towards each other.  Think about it: if you have a recent super fun memory of Partner(s), are you going to be more inclined or less inclined to not start World War III over something trivial?  If you don't have a recent super fun memory of Partner(s), are you going to be more inclined or less inclined to start World War III?  Right.

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The Three of Swords, Readings, and a Ritual for Release: A True Story

Last weekend I was in New York City giving readings at a two-day private party.  I gave readings from 11 am to 6 pm. Then, at 7, I was scheduled to lead a ritual of gratitude, manifestation and release for a group of twenty women, many of whom had sat with me for a reading during the day.

No matter how much planning I put into ritual, I find that the people and the spirit present at the moment will always co-create the ceremony. Never had this been more true than on Saturday evening.

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Pagan News Beagle: Faithful Friday, August 19

Sikhs raise money to fight cancer. A Christian parent considers how to talk about politics with his children. And a look at the state of traditional Chinese religion in Taiwan. It's Faithful Friday, our weekly segment about faiths and religious communities from around the world! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Freedom of religion, religious tolerance and interfaith dialogue

Freedom of religion

Freedom of religion, and freedom of choosing religion [or choosing none], is one of the most valued freedoms for any human being.

The Russian Empire of the past was a country where the Orthodox Church was an official, State religion. It was not allowed to change religion and, more than that, people were punished severely for attempts to do so. Leaving the Holy Orthodoxy could lead to punishment, penalties, exile from the country, confiscation of all possessions, and even imprisonment.

I remember learning about the Soviet Union - my home country – by reading our Constitution and there was one very important thing:
- a citizen is free to belong to ANY religion, or belong to none.

This is a treasured freedom of living in a secular state.

This is a guarantee that some monotheist fanatics will not stone you because of “denouncing G-d” or however they word it, if you decide to part ways with your previous monotheistic religion.
This is a guarantee that people of all religions are equal before State.

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