PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
At Pantheacon I attended a discussion about Wiccanate Privilege (See this post by Lupus for an accurate overview of the discussion). I was curious about this term because it had been applied to me in a post that Ivo Dominguez had written about the Literacy of Magic. The person who applied it, Ruadhan McElroy commented on a comment I made about how I felt the Pagan community was divorcing itself from Magic in order to achieve mainstream acceptance. He made the point that such a statement displayed a level of privilege and assumption about magic's place in a given Pagan spiritual practice. Another commenter also pointed this out in a different way and in subsequent comments I came to better understand the perspective of magic as an optional practice because its simply not central to the given spiritual practices of a particular spiritual tradition. I'll admit that when I think of Paganism, I typically associate magic with Paganism and with anything that might fall under the rather broad umbrella of Paganism (which as I'll discuss later points to a distinct problem). I think that Ruadhan made an accurate point, though at the time it blew my mind that the practice of Magic could be perceived as a form of privilege (mainly because my own experiences in mainstream culture, but in this case Ruadahan is referring to the Pagan subculture, and in that context it makes sense).
The conversation that occurred at Pantheacon helped me further understand this aspect of privilege, and where Ruadhan is coming from. Ruadhan also wrote a post about Wiccanate Privilege and noted the following:
Within the pagan community, the “Generic Popular Wicca-based Neopaganism” (henceforth “Wiccanate paganism”; Traditional Wicca, such as BT/Gardnerian or Alexandrian, is “Wicca”) is the assumed default. During the “pagan identity crisis” that’s been cycling the pagan blogosphere every few months since 2010, I’ve seen several people comment not only as non-Wiccanates who lament this, but as Wiccanate pagans unaware of their own privilege and insisting that we’re all united because, as far as they’re concerned, “we all share a history with Wicca” (an exact quote I’ve seen from several people)....
Winters are often tough, but this one has really been a challenge for many of us. Much of the US has dealt with long stretches of bitter cold and winter storms bringing snow and ice as far south as Texas. On the far western side of the country, there are droughts and winds instead. Outside the United States, the weather has also been extreme, although not always cold. It’s the beginning of March, and I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to feel like this winter is Never Going to End.
Of course, there are plenty of practical things that can help you keep going: exercise, rest, and of course, lots of chocolate. But if those aren’t working for you this year, I’ve got a few ideas for how to cope, using spirit, spells, and sharing—hopefully one or more of these approaches help you make it through until the spring comes....
Here's another awesome question from my friend Karen, this time, about Enhydro crystals. She asks:
Enhydros (sp?) Crystal? Have you come across any of these? Can you share more of what they do? I have learned they balance the Divine Masculine/Feminine. Is this correct? Thanks!
Oh, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Enhydro crystals. For those that don't know, they are crystals with water (fluid) inside them. The only way to know if you have an Enhydro (if there is water or fluid present) is if they have something IN the water (usually an air bubble, sometimes sediment of some kind, but most usually air)... or if the fluid is colored as in the photo to the left. Most Enhydro crystals present as clear crystals with clear water, so to see them you turn the crystal and the air bubble (or sediment) moves. If it is sediment it will move down because it is heavier than the water, and if an air bubble, it will move up because it is lighter than the water (imagine the bubble in a carpenter's level). In the photo above, the fluid in the cavity is golden colored. It is very striking to see such a crystal because you are able to easily see where the fluid is. As in the photograph below, in a clear crystal with clear water, you are only able to "see" the water when the bubble moves....
Žemė, “Earth.” Pendant: amber (with vegetal inclusions), 2¾' x 1¾'. George Romulis, 2012
George Romulis, at 93, has been working amber for more than 70 years. He is an emeritus member of the Riga Amber-Workers Guild and one of the living treasures of Latvia.
This stunning pendant, titled Žemė, “Earth”, fits neatly into the palm of the hand, but its clean lines and boldness of form give it a striking monumentality; it feels larger than it actually is. It is also profoundly female. We all know these lines; we've seen them many times before: in the bodies of the women around us, as in what our coven kid Robin used to call the “clay ladies” of ancient Europe and the Middle East, here elegantly stylized but readily recognizable nonetheless.