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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
An Altar Should Be How High?

“So how high is the altar?” I ask.

I'm talking long-distance with the director of our regional pagan land sanctuary, planning the upcoming Midwest Grand Sabbat. I've never been there, but I know that there's a standing altar in the grove.

At Old Style sabbats, the altar is a throne, where the Horned sits to receive His people. So it needs to be of at least a certain height.

The answer was readily forthcoming.

“It's high enough so that someone laying on the altar can have sex with the priest standing in front of it,” he tells me.

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  • Ian Phanes
    Ian Phanes says #
    FYI, you're right that all discussions of altars being cubes and cubits are derived from Torah (via the Golden Dawn and their desc
Breathe. Everything is Here, Now.

Stop a moment. What are you looking for? Be aware that it is here, now. Allow it to unfold.

Paradise is here, now. You’ve heard it from so many spiritual teachers: everything is here, now. Don’t go searching for it. Be with that knowing a few moments. Earth is here. Now. You are here. In that relationship is everything. All the love, all the intimacy, all the accountability. How much are taking for granted? Are you giving it your presence? Start now. There’s no space for guilt, the only thing you can do is: start now. Feel the earth under your feet. The rest will unfold. It’s all there. 

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Back in 2013, I wrote a column on self-publishing. In the year and a half since, I have read quite a few more self-published and small press books. And, I am happy announce, I just released my first story collection, A Witch Among Wolves and Other Pagan Tales, through Asphodel Press. Based on my own experience, I have a few more suggestions. 

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The rains continue to pour in North Texas, keeping me inside rather than planting my container garden, swimming in my pool, or enjoying what is usually one of the most beautiful times of the year. Twenty years of living in an area plagued by drought have taught me to never, ever wish for the rain to stop -- the memories of watching cattle die in the fields just a few years ago are too fresh for me to do anything but revel in the power of the storms and the swollen rivers. Though my thoughts are also with those who are seeing their homes washed out, and I hope that the rains slow down a bit soon to let Mother Earth absorb the much-needed moisture.

Even though I've had to pursue indoor fun the last few weeks, this is still a playful time for me. I'm between classes right now, and my freelance work has slowed down, allowing me a much needed break. Much of my focus has been on job applications, but I've found time for relaxation and recovery from a long, emotionally draining semester. The Universe itself seems to be also feeling the playful vibe, as it has sent the Hindu goddess Lalita to frolick with me in the spring rains.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

In honor of Memorial Day, which we in the USA are celebrating this weekend (even though it is actually at the end of the month--that's the way we roll here), here is a spell for Bravery.

Most of us don't have to go into actual battle, thank goodness, but life can be a pretty daunting experience sometimes, and most of us have circumstances now and again where we could use a little more courage. I hope this spell (from Everyday Witch A to Z Spellbook, Llewellyn 2010) helps you when you need a little boost.

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The Value of Taking a Moment of Stillness

Every day I make it a point to give myself a moment of stillness. That moment of stillness isn't a short moment either. It's as long as it needs to be. Usually it occurs shortly after I've had breakfast and before I've started my work day. I do it then because I'm still just waking up and its an optimum time to still myself before getting into whatever the day will involve. This moment of stillness is my meditation time. I do a series of meditation exercises, all of which lead me deeper and deeper into a state of stillness, which unfolds within it non-conceptual awareness.

Non-conceptual awareness is the experience of being without doing, judging, categorizing or filtering anything. You just are. The value of that experience is that it allows me to just be without stressing about anything I need to do. Sometimes in the process of doing that work, some emotions will come up or some thoughts will happen and I don't go out of my way to dismiss them. I just let them be as well, because I find in doing that it really brings my awareness to where I need to be, present with whatever is coming up that needs to be worked through, accepted, or otherwise processed.

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It was my honour and privilege to be asked to serve as a keynote presenter at Gaia Gathering: the Canadian National Pagan Conference this year.  This is the text of my address, which I have published on my other blog because of its length.  It’s considerably longer than my usual posts but I thought I had a message that was worth sharing.  I hope that if the subject interests you, you’ll take some time and read it and offer your thoughts.

I’d like to extend my heartfelt thanks to the organizers of the event, both the national board and the local committee, for the invitation and for showing me such a good time.  I’m looking forward to the next one!

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