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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Gatherings

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Creating a Goddess Group

It all began like this...

The phone call was innocent enough. “Hey Julia. Can we meet for lunch or something? I have an idea I want to float by you.”

Tara, a dear friend, and I met over pub food--hearty sandwiches and dark beer in a historic part of Spokane one slushy January afternoon.

She told me a story about her hometown where a group of women friends gathered every month near the full moon. She recalled how they told enthusiastic stories about drumming, singing, celebrating but never once invited her to participate. The exclusion was deliberate and undeniable for reasons she couldn’t understand. She eventually moved away, knowing that one day she’d find a tribe of like-minded women with whom she could celebrate lunar energy.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The Gathering of the Tribes

The Harvest moon...she was quite marvelous this month. And now we move toward a dark moon where she invites the depths of knowledge to mingle and play in the soil beneath our feet. 

Are you feeling the palpable richness of this moment? The effervescent juiciness of the energies?  I experience it as acceleration in my heart center and a Knowing in the gut. Indeed we sit within a time of sacred transition. A process of celebratory release this time of year so that the elasticity and resiliency of our very foundation may become more apparent.

A great deal of the "work" I choose to engage in is spent weaving in and out of various circles of community; something I recognize I have done since I was very young. I was never one to want to be a part of cliques in school because my desire was to become acquainted with and understand everyone’s unique perspective. I am a weaver; a bridge builder. This lifestyle has invited some mighty fine adventures and an ability to mesh language and kindred spirit. It has also proven to be a lonely path to walk at times yet that even is shifting as time and geography become more fluid.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Magickal Litter

 

I have always taken pride in observing that most Pagans tend to leave campgrounds, hotels, and other borrowed or rented spaces in better condition than how they found them. I actually look forward to the routine of walking around my tent or cabin and not only picking up the small debris that I or my friends have dropped but also digging up the bits I see left behind by previous campers. It helps me settle in for the transition homewards. Unfortunately, this custom of cleaning a space that you have used does not seem to extend to the leftovers of magick and workings. Over the years, I've attended so many gatherings, festivals, and conferences that I cannot even begin to guess how many that may be. By comparison, I can count on my two hands the events where there was an active effort on the part of the organizers to clean up the energy of the space where a ritual or a working took place before it was used by a different practitioner or group. I do know a significant number of groups or individuals that do clean up after themselves in shared space, but it is far from the norm, and not the majority from my experience. And by clean up, I mean clearing and the settling of the energy of the space not merely putting the chairs back in their places or picking up the leftovers from a ritual or working.

 

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Deborah Blake
    Deborah Blake says #
    That's a really good point. I've been to a number of reasonably large (and sometimes unreasonably large) events where class after

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

My wife and I spent last weekend at the third annual Paganicon, a gathering of Pagan-identifying folk from the Twin Cities area (and beyond). The Reclaiming presence continues to be small. Apart from my lovely wife and myself, and a couple friends we're slowly pulling into the Reclaiming orbit, I only spotted one person who positively identifies as being part of that nebulous entity known as "Paganistan Reclaiming".

b2ap3_thumbnail_Paganicon3.jpg

So there we were, a small number of us expected, whether people said so or not, to "represent" our tradition among the swirl of other Paganisms present at the convention. Which, as I've mentioned before, is nigh impossible. I can represent the way I practice Reclaiming, and perhaps the way it's done here in "Paganistan" (a term for the greater Twin Cities area Pagan community), but beyond that, we weave a glorious tapestry of belief and practice that's difficult to easily encapsulate.

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This week, my wife and about 60 fellow members of the Reclaiming tradition traveled to rural Wisconsin for Winter Witchcamp. Staying behind is hard for me, despite knowing I need the year off. Winter Witchcamp is a spiritual home-away-from-home, and many members of my home community will be there, as well as friends I only see at that time. I miss them fiercely.

What is witchcamp? For many, it's integral to the Reclaiming experience. It's part summer camp (even in Winter), part symposium, part family reunion. For several days, we learn together in groups small and large, eat together in a lodge and sleep together in cabins (and tents, in Summer, but this is February in the Upper Midwest, and we're not crazy) , and make magic and ritual together.

There's really no wrong way to "do" Reclaiming (folks sometimes use this as a criticism of the tradition, but I count it among our greatest strengths). But sometimes, if we're doing our thing on our own, without contact with others, we risk losing track of our principles, even the very practices and beliefs that first drew us to the tradition.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

It's been a while, but I'm back again, lovely readers! I'm currently hard at work on my second book (amongst other projects, as you'll see below), but I will certainly continue to post here as and when I can. Comments and topic requests always welcome.


At this time of year, it's easy to understand why our ancestors (both actual and spiritual), those wise women and cunning men, were considered remote, unusual, untouchable, even fearsome.

As Autumn moves into Winter here in the UK, we feel our natural, animal pull to dig in, hibernate, take time within the darkness to assess the previous year and anticipate the time to come - but I doubt any busy society has ever really allowed that to happen, except when they have no choice. Stoke up the fire, head to the pub or communal house, light and laughter against the outside world.

(Photo - 'Autumn in the New Forest', from Glastonbury Goddess Temple)

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Avalon & Brigadoon

 

This is the last installment of a four part series on physical infrastructure in the Pagan community. In this post I am focusing on festivals, conferences, and other multi-day events. In almost every culture and every community there is the custom of the gathering of the tribes. Modern pagan festivals, gatherings, and conferences are our equivalent of the gathering of the tribes. For simplicity sake, I'll refer to all these sorts of events as gatherings. In earlier posts in this series I spoke about the value that comes from seeing each other, working with each other, and having places that we can call our own. What makes gatherings different from these other kinds of infrastructure is that they involve large groups of people. Why is that important? For the most part, we are relatively isolated from each other and see only a handful of people at a time that share some commonality with our path. Seeing a multitude of Pagans together is transformative.

 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Melissa: to pitch me on your blog idea, email me at editor2@bbimedia.com
  • Melissa Stansbury
    Melissa Stansbury says #
    So how do You "blog"? I just signed up and wish to "blog" in this forum about our ancient Craft....I am a multi-generational Witc
  • Joseph Bloch
    Joseph Bloch says #
    Another wonderful post, and I'm sorry to see the end of this excellent series. Can you recommend anywhere to get a comprehensive

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