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Remembrance DayHello there, hope you all had a good Remembrance Day (or Veterans' Day in the US).  I though I would drop a quick note to share a link to an article I wrote at my other column, "Between the Shadows," because I figured this was definitely relevant to a Canadian Pagan's perspective.

"Spontaneous Ritual": Sable and a small conglomeration of local Pagans went to the cenotaph in their city to honor their war dead in a Pagan way. Instead they were witness to the birth of a communal ritual that brought their city together. Lest we forget.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
North Country Samhain

On Halloween weekend writer, witch, and ceremonial magician Frater Barrabbas hosted a gathering of Traditionals and friends at his home here in SE Minnesota. I swear, I’ve never seen so many stangs and black cloaks in one place before.

It’s been a warm, golden autumn here in Lake Country. We drove out to Barrabbas’ on Saturday afternoon (I’d spent the night before with my group here in Minneapolis, dancing with Old Hornie around a 150-year old white oak in a river meadow down by the Mississippi) through a landscape newly naked. The cottonwoods, birches, and maples had only recently shed their gold, leaving behind the oaks’ brown and russet, and the smoky green of Northland pines and cedars.

Barrabbas’ land is bounded by woods, a lake, and a cauldron bog. We found there a crowd of almost 40, some from as far away as Illinois and Georgia, subtly fueled by our host’s lively batches of homebrew: the rich, spicy Oktoberfest was especially beguiling.

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The Autumnal Equinox is that time of the year when we start talking about food-sharing. It makes sense; the Autumnal Equinox marks the last harvest, the time where one would expect that there's plenty of food to go around. But the harvest and the equinox have come and gone along with the Pagan Pride festivals that dot the month of September (many PPD fests include a food drive). Hunger is a sad reality for millions of people all over the world, all year round, so it's important not to forget your local food bank, and to donate when you can throughout the entire year.


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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Crone Hands

They are my Grandmother’s hands, these hands I now see when I look at my own.  Her hands, those hands, lovely Crone hands, the hands my child eyes delighted to watch dancing through the air with a paint brush tipped with cobalt blue.  The hands my child self loved to feel dividing my long wild hair into six parts, three on each side, as she braided the strands into practical pigtails.  Her hands were rarely at rest, except when she sat with a cigarette in them (which yes, did finally kill her at 99).  I remember watching those hands catching and cleaning fish, making oatmeal for breakfast, chicken fried steak for dinner, dishing out vanilla ice cream and squeezing chocolate syrup on top for desert (those hands deftly fed her sweet tooth).


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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Blessing o' the Bats

So far this fall, we haven't had any bats in the house. Around here, that's unusual.

Most years, in the weeks before Halloween, I find at least one wheeling through the halls. We've got a bat house mounted on the wall outside—bats eat mosquitoes, so they're a valuable asset to have nesting nearby—but come the cold and the end of bug season, naturally they start looking around for a nice, cozy cave to over-winter in.

These days, I'm the household bat-catcher. Old Simmycat is gone now, but in her heyday she did the job masterfully. Like most Manx—in compensation for the lack of tail, I suppose—Simmy had powerful hindquarters and was a noteworthy jumper.

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PaganNewsBeagle Watery Wednesday Nov 12

In today's Watery Wednesday community news, we've got news that focuses on our many intertwining communities: an upcoming divination conference; The Wild Hunt's editor Heather Greene; Paganicon announces its headliner for 2015; a Witches' memorial; and a magickal woodland handfasting. Enjoy your day!

An upcoming conference in New York promises to explore the mysteries of divination. Check out all the details.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_658px-DEA_mar_loose.jpgIn her 2002 editorial on incarcerated Pagans Anne Newkirk Niven writes about the value of ministering to that population. She sensibly points out that such folks will not be confined forever and will at some point exit the system. Cherry Hill Seminary offers literature for incarcerated Pagans at a very nominal fee. *

Niven tells us that not all Pagans feel such ministry is worth the effort. But it is worth noting that the US has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world. Since the 80s, incarceration in federal prisons has soared 800%. A great many of those who are confined were committing nothing that Pagans would view as an ethical violation: they were taking some form of illegal drug. And such policies are inherently racist. People of color are locked up in far greater numbers than those with fair skin.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Maureen Juarez
    Maureen Juarez says #
    It's crazy how many times I have seen people mention the use of drugs and the select behavior of law enforcement persons. There ar
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    You are very right that arrests for minor drug crimes are primarily of young black men. Why are the police not stopping and friski

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