Pagan Studies


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Studies Blogs

Advanced and/or academic Pagan subjects such as history, ethics, sociology, etc.

Posted by on in Studies Blogs

Many of the world's greatest songs, poems and novels were penned by people under 30.  Back then we were already empathetic, educated, full of restless energy and oh-so-intelligent. 

Every single day we wanted things to HAPPEN!  But there were aspects of life that we hadn't experienced, about which we could only speculate.  Years later, even in those cases where our speculations had been fairly accurate, living through the actual reality was far more traumatic than we had ever imagined.

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Challenges for Pagan Youth, In Their Own Words

The results are in! You may have seen my last post discussing a survey question I sent out to my youth network asking what their favorite part about being a young Witch or Pagan is. The results were surprising to most but I can’t say I was very surprised. However, the results of this survey question did surprise me a little.

To a network of thousands of young people on social media and email, I asked “what is the biggest challenge for you, being a young Witch or Pagan?” I received over sixty responses within 48 hours. Here is a small sampling of the responses:

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Lily Taylor
    Lily Taylor says #
    I think one explanation for at least some of the people saying that lack of resources is something they are having a problem with
  • Ruth Pace
    Ruth Pace says #
    my thoughts and advice: age-hate - the only times I've ever put anyone younger than me down, was BECAUSE someone who was 21 years
  • Steven Metlak
    Steven Metlak says #
    The tradition that I belong too was founded to be an inclusive, educational church. When we conducted the main ritual at the loca
  • Mary Featherwolf
    Mary Featherwolf says #
    I would like to help some of these young witches, do you think you could give them these links and my Email address? I am willing
  • Lady Selene
    Lady Selene says #
    I don't understand why people don't like to hear another opinion, especially someone younger. We ALL have Something to TEACH, we A

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
On Veils, from PantheaCon

Picking up where I left off my previous blog about PantheaCon –

On Saturday evening I went to a workshop called “Taking Up the Veil,” with Xochiquetzal Duti Odinsdaughter.[1]  The description in the program intrigued me:

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Amarfa
    Amarfa says #
    Sometimes this topic makes me upset, and sometimes it doesn't. I've deliberately gained weight at certain points in my life in or
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    Thanks for your comments, Constance. It's a complicated issue. As you said, the choice must always be that of the wearer.
  • Constance Tippett Chandler
    Constance Tippett Chandler says #
    Dear Aline, Part of my religious past was spent in the Hari Krishna Movement and we where expected to have our heads COVERED. It w
Cultural Appropriation or Creative Expession?

I opened up my Facebook account today and was greeted by a long discussion focusing on cultural appropriation, vis-a-vis belly dancing. It appeared to be based on a Salon article titled "Why I can't stand white belly dancers."

The first thing that struck me was the confrontational nature of the headline: It wasn't belly dancing performed by white people that the author couldn't stand, it was the belly dancers themselves. If this doesn't put people on the defensive, I don't know what will. Then again, it's part of the inflammatory nature of online "journalism" these days, which uses hot-button language to increase the number of hits. (Full disclosure: I'm white, but I'm no belly dancer, and belly dancing isn't something I go out of my way to watch.)

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • valkyr dragonborn
    valkyr dragonborn says #
    as an amateur American "bellydancer" this article both astounds and disgusts me- noted professional Middle Eastern artists, musici
  • Literata
    Literata says #
    I appreciate your points about the impossibility of achieving purity. Like Carol Christ, though, I can also see the author's persp
  • Stifyn Emrys
    Stifyn Emrys says #
    I was intentionally careful with my wording on the parody point: I wrote that it was "one" key question rather than "the" key ques
  • Ruth Pace
    Ruth Pace says #
    lol - yeah, I too was wondering about that article and commented on it. I reminded the author that the dance (and the Arabic word
  • aought
    aought says #
    Randa Jarrar is also forgetting that "white" people were originally from Africa and migrated to the north, losing their skin pigme

Posted by on in Studies Blogs

The following practice was developed through my experimentation as a Yogi and meditator.  Most mature practitioners, I think, will identify with my experience of working in prescribed ways for many years until I had gained enough "life creds" to begin adapting the techniques to suit my own inner promptings.  Those who insist on slavish adherence to rock-ribbed, inflexible traditions may complain that our altering the old ways makes us apostates; but it seems to me that every famous spiritual teacher we can think of was exactly that sort of innovator.  If the great religious, philosophical and scientific lights of our civilization had ceaselessly followed the old paradigms without adding some breakthrough insights of their own, we wouldn't be honoring their names today!   

Another way of expressing this is, "Make it your own."  For example, in order to convincingly portray a character such as Hamlet, whose story everyone knows and whom thousands of great actors have played in the past, today's actor must "make it his own."  He must find the core truths about the part which resonate for him.  If he is successful, his fresh insight will stimulate thought in others and make it worthwhile for audiences to buy tickets. 

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Supernatural, not really…

The 'supernatural' is often considered the sine qua non of religion. Certainly the Gods and Spirits must be considered supernatural, yes? Well…not necessarily.

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  • Richard Norris
    Richard Norris says #
    Aquinas, of course, based much of his work off of Aristotle, who was previously considered a kind of Platonist. Aristotle suggest
  • Sam Webster
    Sam Webster says #
    Richard, Thank you for your comment. There are a number of us working out a philosophical basis for our Pagan ways. Posts here, a
  • Henry Buchy
    Henry Buchy says #
    never been one to use the term supernatural. if it happens it's natural. anyway. why can't 'matter' or the physical be independent
  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    Well said, Sam. It would be interesting to dive a little further into the concept of "the All" -- the oneness of the non-physical
  • Sam Webster
    Sam Webster says #
    Blessings, Diotima, I do some work on the All on my other blog: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/paganrestoration/2014/01/monist-how-a

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
PantheaCon upon Reflection

Thursday Night thru Saturday Afternoon

To avoid the hassle of driving busy Bay Area freeways during the day, and because I’m not an early riser, I drove down to San Jose late Thursday evening.  I anticipated that this would allow me a few more leisurely visits with other early arrivers, especially those from afar, before the Con got nuts.  I was right.

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Stifyn Emrys
    Stifyn Emrys says #
    I'm sorry I missed Sabina's presentation. I've been a fan of her "Witching Culture" for some time. I chose a different event at th

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