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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in responsibility
Riding the tides of Samhain (No sh*t, no flowers)


"I can make whatever choices I want in my life, and I will live with the consequences of those choices. But if I want to live a life close to my deepest desires, I have to risk knowing who I really am and have always been. Knowing this, then I can choose."

 Oriah Mountain Dreamer, The Invitation


We live in a culture and a world of avoidance.  Television, social media, alcohol and drugs are just a few escape routes we have to avoid truly knowing who we really are.  At this time of year, when Samhain is fast approaching we cannot avoid the very real fact that we will die, that death is unavoidable, though we may try.  Looking at death straight in the eye can reveal some very hard truths about ourselves, about how we live in the world, and what our responsibility and duty is to the ancestors, not only ancestors of the past but perhaps more importantly, ancestors of the future.  

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Joanna van der Hoeven
    Joanna van der Hoeven says #
    Hi Anges - I understand your perspective, and find it fascinating - though it vastly differs from mine. I don't believe in a Crea
  • Agnes Toews-Andrews
    Agnes Toews-Andrews says #
    Not true, we do not have to die. We have created a death hormone over the eons. We can bust that death hormone. I know because abo
  • Joanna van der Hoeven
    Joanna van der Hoeven says #
    I see death as I see birth - it's an event that happens in our lives, but it is not a start nor an ending to life. Death is not th
  • Agnes Toews-Andrews
    Agnes Toews-Andrews says #
    This Metaphysician feels you are not understanding immortality, of course the soul--that part of us that is a God spark, lives on
  • Joanna van der Hoeven
    Joanna van der Hoeven says #
    Hi Ted! Yes, at this time of year I go over my Will, closets, mind and attachments, etc and have a really good clean out. It's be

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Shifting Responsibility

Taking Responsibility. That is such an odd phrase. There are so many ways to understand it depending where you put the emphasis. As children we learn to take responsibility for our actions. Often this relates to something we’ve done wrong. Instead of blaming the mishap on someone else, our parents want us to “fess up”. They tell us to assume responsibility so that they can deliver the consequences. This is an imposed system, made extremely explicit and structured by the grown-ups to demonstrate how life really is. We learn the law of cause and effect early and it can help keep us out of trouble. Being responsible becomes an initiation into acting like an adult.

Soon “taking responsibility” can be worn like a badge of honor. We learn that being responsible has great rewards and helps us advance in life. Telling the truth, showing up on time, and sticking by our word all become ways we are responsible. We often talk about teenagers that get good grades and hold a steady job as being responsible. It is an important distinction and these adolescents thrive on the compliments. Soon being responsible can become a dangerous source of pride.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Sally Brewer
    Sally Brewer says #
    Stacey, I reread this post three times. There is so much truth and depth to your thoughts. Thanks for inspiring the awareness in
  • Stacey L. L. Couch
    Stacey L. L. Couch says #
    From the bottom of my heart, you are most welcome Sally.

Posted by on in Studies Blogs

A video making the rounds on the social media circuit got me thinking. It showed a couple of Christian protesters, armed with signs, who showed up at a gay pride parade in Seattle … where they were confronted by several people involved in the parade.

The confrontation wasn’t pretty. In fact, it turned violent. One woman on the video can be seen pushing a street preacher with a Bible in his hand; later, several other people rip a sign from the second preacher’s hands and proceed to tearmit apart. Then another person barrels into the crowd and proceeds to start punching the man with the sign before police arrive to restore order.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    This is an excellent article, Stifyn; thank you for posting it. But the issues are a bit more complicted than even you have deline
  • Amarfa
    Amarfa says #
    I would completely condone standing up and shouting at a Catholic Mass. I know a gay fellow who has a rather visceral phobia of br
  • Joseph Bloch
    Joseph Bloch says #
    Bear in mind that pro-gay marriage advocates have a history of staging protests where "their presence - and the message they brou
  • Stifyn Emrys
    Stifyn Emrys says #
    I wouldn't condone shouting in the middle of a Catholic Mass or verbally abusing a nursing mother, either - and not just because I
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Yeah, ultimately we're all flawed and human. What's worse is, the dominant monotheisms thrive on persecution. If that gay guy wh

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

It's been a while, but I'm back again, lovely readers! I'm currently hard at work on my second book (amongst other projects, as you'll see below), but I will certainly continue to post here as and when I can. Comments and topic requests always welcome.

At this time of year, it's easy to understand why our ancestors (both actual and spiritual), those wise women and cunning men, were considered remote, unusual, untouchable, even fearsome.

As Autumn moves into Winter here in the UK, we feel our natural, animal pull to dig in, hibernate, take time within the darkness to assess the previous year and anticipate the time to come - but I doubt any busy society has ever really allowed that to happen, except when they have no choice. Stoke up the fire, head to the pub or communal house, light and laughter against the outside world.

(Photo - 'Autumn in the New Forest', from Glastonbury Goddess Temple)

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Evil, Ethics and Freedom

Theodicy, the theological study of evil, is one of the stumbling blocks of religion. I have a few thoughts on the subject, which I doubt will end the matter, but perhaps shed a certain Pagan light on it. In general theodicy is trying to answer the question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” “Because God wills it,” to test or to strengthen the adherent, or “Karma,” the result of past actions, are two of the more popular answers. As a Thelemite, I am not so interested in what happened but in what to do, so I tend to look at this from the other side: “How do I avoid doing evil?” This leads me to a systems-analysis approach to evil that shows how hard it is to avoid doing Evil, but there is some hope in that too.

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  • Tom Terrific
    Tom Terrific says #
    Coincidentally, this subject came up a few days ago on a Pagan board I frequent. I offered my view and was excoriated by one parti

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A good story is both a siren and a muse. 
Like the sirens of lore, it lures you in, beguiles, bewitches and mesmerizes. It holds you still, a prisoner in awe of its beauty and horror. And like a muse, a good story sits you down and teaches you to think, to sing, to paint pictures with words. It shows you how to use the beauty and horror of words to change the world.
Some days, it is the siren I desire more than the muse. I just want to lose myself. Escape. Forget the world, and the ugliness which too often stains it. I want to flee to another world. Who needs screaming, hypocritical politicians, mad snipers, oppressive legislation, and mounting natural disasters? Give me a world where all butterflies are wizards and the rain takes on the color of the bow. Or a sea-bound world of sentient turtles, where mermaids are born of black pearls. Or a haunted metropolis, where Earth Witches wield bronze bullets in defense of the Mother and her children.* Or a world where true knights, lead by a blind priestess, loyally serve their Goddess.** Or a whole universe of worlds, where an Oracle's prophecy is the only hope for peace on a planet torn apart by war.***
But then, as much as I may desire the siren, I know the muse is waiting for me. Sometimes, she is patient. More often, not. As I sit there, lost to the siren's tales, she pokes and prods at me, whispering. Isn't this just fascinating? How do you suppose this world came to be this way? Think there are any parallels in your world, hhhmmm? Think any of those parallels need, oh, fixing? Maybe you could write a story. You know, tell people a tale and get them thinking, too.
Yes, the muse is a sneaky bitch. And I mean that as the highest of compliments.
So, I go away -- but only temporarily -- into a world of my own making. I weave a tapestry of words, craft a tale in which wrongs are righted, the good prevails, and ignorance is transformed into wisdom. With tree wives. And crocodile prophets. Sometimes wizards in blue robes.
And then I let those stories out into the world, and hope they inspire others to act as I have been inspired.
Now, if you will excuse me, the siren is calling. I am going to lose myself in a tale of reluctant shamans, eco-warriors and purple people eaters****, and forget the ugliness of the world. But not for long. The muse is waiting.
* The Earth Witches series by Lee Roland
** The Light Blades series by Kylie Griffin
*** The Interplanetary League books by Liz Craven
**** Owl Stretching by KA Laity 
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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

A cross-post this week, if I may - between here at my first blog 'home', and the wonderfully eclectic 'Witches & Pagans' site (because if you can't 'moonlight' as a Pagan, then who can?).

I am very aware that I haven't written anything at either location for a couple of weeks. I could give excuses - ultimately, the days have flown past and life has been more important. I'm sure we all know how that goes. Instead, take a wander with me, if you will.

Regular readers know that one of my favourite places for inspiration is as I walk the dog across the hilltop where I live. This evening I wandered the streets, looking out at the fierce clouds parting after an intense rain and thunder-storm just a few hours ago, the remnants of a rainbow, and the slightly 'stunned' feeling of a normal, modern, country village after a violent and unavoidable incident of Nature. The grass is rich and green, the snails appear to have made a small bypass across the path outside one particular row of houses, and the occasional early bat is swooping overhead.

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