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Body Painting in the Wild by Gerhard Lipold.  Courtesy http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/.The Pagan Festing season generally runs from May until October and usually takes place in campgrounds that are reserved for this purpose for anywhere from a weekend to a week. In Ontario, notable campgrounds that host Pagan Festivals include Raven's Knoll,Mythwood, and Whispering Pines.

Some of these Festivals feature Clothing Optional areas so that people have the option to be naked if they so wish. This is because some Pagans like to cast-off their wrappers and be caressed by the sun and the wind, while others consider their nudity to be part of their sacred relationship with the Gods and a Pagan event is a place where they can feel comfortable enough to explore that relationship.

However, because not everyone is comfortable with that, Clothing Optional areas can be restricted to certain areas, including:

  • campsites
  • the beach
  • the firepit area after 10pm

The important word in "Clothing Optional" is the term "Optional". A Clothing Optional area is not zoned as a Strip Club. You have the option to be as naked, clothed, or a variety of both as you wish and it's nobody else's business.

I cannot believe I must state this so blatantly, but this is also means that no one has the right to pressure you to be clothed or naked. No one has the right to tell you how naked or dressed you must be based on other people's decisions to be naked or dressed. No one has the right to express opinions about your character, your values, or your sexual identity. No one. No exceptions.

Now I know that sometimes people can unintentionally cross this line. In their minds, they want you to know that you are beautiful and valued and they want you to know that they are not judging you for any reason, so if you want to strip down, they are ready to support you in this decision. The problem is that it's very difficult to express this idea without it sounding like they are pressuring you into coming to this conclusion.

A person's state of nudity is NEVER an invitation for people to touch, stare, or make sexual references about. EVER. A person's nudity can be an expression of their relationship with the Gods, but it is not meant to be a show for other people to ogle or make snide remarks upon. However, if you want to quietly appreciate the beauty of the human body, that can be okay, but you need to be subtle in your appreciation.

Unwanted, unwarranted, unasked, uninvited contact with a person in a state of undress can constitute assault or sexual assault. The fact that the person is naked does not justify anyone's actions without EXPLICIT permission being given. It also does not give you the right to pressure anyone into being more naked or less naked, for any reason, even in jest. If you think you have accidentally crossed this line, take the person aside (probably better when they are dressed), apologize sincerely, and then learn from it.

Whether it is intentional or unintentional, here are some statements you should NEVER make to someone about their state of dress or undress:

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  • Jön Upsal's Gardener
    Jön Upsal's Gardener says #
    "this is also means that no one has the right to pressure you to be clothed or naked" Does that actually happen? It sounds uber-c
ALL the Canadian Pagan Festivals!

It seems that festival season is upon us once again, and lots of other folks are listing Pagan festivals you can go to (thanks Jason Mankey and Heather Greene)!  Both of them mentioned some of the stuff going on up here north of the 49th Parallel, and I would like to thank them for that!  But this blog is about Canadian Paganism, so I'm giving you a list of ALL the Canadian Pagan festivals I know about, whether I've been there or not.  Contrary to popular belief there's lots going on and not all of it is in Ontario or Alberta!  If you know of a Canadian Pagan festival I'm missing, please let me know in the comments and I'll be happy to add it to the list, no matter how small.  Share the list around!

As you can see, I'm not committed to anything this year except Gaia Gathering, which is already passed. So if anyone wanted me to come . . . Just sayin'. ;)

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Songs of the Northern Tribes

In support of Gaia Gathering: the Canadian National Pagan Conference, thirteen artists have come together to create an anthology of Canadian Pagan music and spoken word.  Only available online, this album spans thirty years and includes some of the best of out-of-print Pagan classics as well as some up-and-comers.  All artists have donated the use of their work: all profits from the sale of the album go directly to support the Conference.

Featured artists: Vanessa Cardui, Tara Rice, the Ancient Gods, JD Hobbes, Brendan Myers, Dano Hammer, the Dragon Ritual Drummers, Gallows Hill, Heather Dale, Tamarra James, Raven's Call, Sable Aradia,and Parnassus (Chalice & Blade).

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Changing Consciousness: Pagan Activism in Canada


b2ap3_thumbnail_2015-03-14-12.46.50.jpgI don't think there's any doubt, for any witch who's been to one, that a public protest is a magickal act. A group of people get together and use symbolism to focus the collective will towards a specific goal.  If the magick is successful, consciousness changes, with results that are reflected in the outer world.

So last weekend I, along with about two or three hundred other people, gathered in downtown Vernon, BC to protest the new proposed Canadian anti-terror bill, C-51.  We rallied, sang, cheered, and marched through the city streets, holding up our major highway for several minutes.

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  • Rick
    Rick says #
    14 years after the US Patriot Act the Canadian government decides they need a similar bill? That doesn't pass the smell test at al

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Here in the Okanagan Valley, the signs of spring are everywhere.

The Land Breathes

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Pagan Shops of Western Canada: White Lioness Metaphysics, Penticton, BC

Recently I had an opportunity to visit all kinds of fascinating Pagan shops throughout Western Canada when I was on a book tour, so I'm writing about them to share them with others.

White Lioness Metaphysics InsidePenticton, BC is a small city in the southern Okanagan Valley; but still a weird combination of retirement community and bohemian hipster haven (don't get me wrong, I love it.) White Lioness Metaphysics, which is located in the heart of Penticton's downtown, is a collective that’s only been around for a few months, organized by the indomitable Jennifer Innes and a team of dedicated and clever women (and a handful of men) offering a variety of metaphysical services and products.  If you go on a Saturday you will also be able to enjoy Penticton’s fantastic Farmer’s Market, where you can spend the whole day tasting local wine and eating exotic vegan food while you tour art galleries and shop for handmade treasures.  Yes, White Lioness keeps a booth there as well and they offer deals on psychic and Tarot readings every Saturday.

It's a lovely little storefront with a clean, clear layout, usually dominated by a couple of different crystal grids in the middle of the brightly-lit shelves.  What's available for sale doesn't differ significantly from other metaphysical stores and there's a strong focus on crystals, so if that's not part of your practice, your primary attraction will be the original artwork with Pagan themes.  Many Pagans will find the New Agey atmosphere a little cloying, but others will love it.  Their prices are reasonable and tend to be on par, or even a little less, than what is typical for the Okanagan Valley; which is neat because they do not buy any stock and all of their stock is on consignment by members of the collective. (Full disclosure: I've got a small amount of leftover stock from when I owned a metaphysical store on consignment there as well.)

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