Witch at Large: Ruminations from a Grey Perspective

Seeing Paganism in terms of being a movement, explorations of our history, societal context, comparisons to other religious movements, and general Pagan culture.

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Aline "Macha" O'Brien

Aline "Macha" O'Brien

Aline O’Brien (M. Macha NightMare), Witch at Large, has circled with people of diverse Pagan paths throughout the U.S., and in Canada and Brazil.  Author of Witchcraft and the Web (2001) and Pagan Pride (2004), and co-author, with Starhawk, of The Pagan Book of Living and Dying (1997), Macha has also contributed to anthologies, periodicals, textbooks, and encyclopedias.  A member of the American Academy of Religion, the Marin Interfaith Council, and the Nature Religion Scholars Network, Macha also serves as a national interfaith representative for the Covenant of the Goddess (CoG) and on the Advisory Board of the Sacred Dying Foundation.  Having spent the last eleven years developing and teaching at Cherry Hill Seminary, the first and only seminary serving the Neopagan community, Macha now serves on its Board of Directors. An all-round Pagan webweaver, she speaks on behalf of Paganism to news media and academic researchers, and lectures at colleges, universities and seminaries. www.machanightmare.com

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BNPs, PPPs, & Leadership

Ever since I’ve been on a Pagan path I’ve heard of BNPs.  The acronym was told to me to indicated Big Name Pagans.   Over time, as more people found their way to one Pagan path or another, or began to create their own paths more specific to their particular worldviews, the term BNP took on a negative connotation.  I started to hear it explained as Big-Nosed Pagans.

Most of those referred to as BNPs had published a book or several and were known for that.  Of course, when I was coming up, there were few books, and those there were tended to be elementary.  They lacked depth, refinement, and nuance.  Today, thankfully, creative Pagans have explored Paganisms in much greater depth.  They’ve done academic and historical research, as well as incorporating anecdotal evidence for their theories – good ol’ UPGs.  Practitioners of reconstructed traditions of many kinds have explored the traditions they’re reviving, and thereby have advanced this learning tremendously.  As well, walkers on more personal Pagan paths, including “hard polytheists,” have contributed to our growing body of resources.

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  • John Halstead
    John Halstead says #
    Thank you Macha! I'm honored by your mention. (And I love new acronyms.)

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AAR Annual Meeting - V

This blog wants me to post 75 characters, so please click here for full text of blog.

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Response to Blog about Pagan Leadership

Because my response to PantheaCon and Leadership is so long, it seems worthy of its own blog entry.

Annika, the reason you found only older Pagans at the PWR meeting was because only older people came, not because younger folks weren't welcome.  Don Frew spoke about the history of the PWR because he had expected people unfamiliar with it to be the ones who came.  That turned out not to be the case, but for you.  Had I known it was going to unfold as it did, I wouldn't have needed to come.  I already knew most of what he had to say, and in fact have given talks on it to Pagans around the country myself.  Also, there were a few people there who were older, Pagan but not Witchen, new to interfaith involvement and who had never attended PWR and who came for that reason, to familiarize themselves with what it is and how it works.

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Hanging with My Peeps at PCon

This year’s PantheaCon nourished me.  I printed out a schedule ahead of time of events on the official schedule, as distinct from the many programs being offered in various suites throughout the weekend, that I wanted to be sure to attend.  I left plenty of space for serendipitous encounters.

I knew I had some responsibilities in the Pagan Scholars’ Den -- I dislike that term – for both Cherry Hill Seminary and the Pagan History Project with which I’m involved.  And I was scheduled to sit on one panel, “Tradition vs. Innovation.”  Beyond those things, I was open to see what arose.

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AAR Annual Meeting - IV

I've promised to post my AAR Annual Meeting reports here, but since they are complex -- at least the way I write them is complex -- they don't adapt well to this blog format.  Therefore, until I manage to submit the final report, I will simply provide a link to a blog where they appear more or less as intended.  Thanks for your understanding.  http://besom.blogspot.com/2015/02/aar-annual-meeting-iv.html

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The Power of the North, the Wisdom of Earth

Dear Readers,

I apologize for the formatting wonkiness of my posts to this blog.  I think I've exhausted potential remedies.  However, I still want to keep in touch with readers and share my thoughts to those who may be interested in reading them.  Therefore, this time at least, and possibly in future, depending upon Pagan Square policies, I'd like to share what I've been struggling to post here by directing you to my Broomstick Chronicles blog here: http://besom.blogspot.com/2015/01/the-power-of-north-wisdom-of-earth.html

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AAR Annual Meeting - III

November 2014

San Diego, CA

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