Howdy, Beagle fans! In today's Watery Wednesday we have both (literal) water news and news from our many diverse Pagan+ communities. In the "water" category: a record fall run of Chinook salmon and sea turtle hatchlings run to the sea; and in community news we have a Pagan artist's exhibition in Minneapolis, an active discussion of Pagan elderhood; and no "three-fold law" in Gardnerian Wicca?
There's a record run of Chinook salmon in the Pacific Northwest this fall and fisheries managers are happy -- but puzzled.
This question turns up in my inbox regularly. Sometimes when you’re searching for something, and particularly when you’ve been searching for a long time, a part of you wishes someone could just give you the answer so you can move on to the next step. I get it—really, I do. But the truth is the only person who can and should be answering this question for you is you.
One of the coolest things about Wicca, in my opinion, is that it makes you ask the hard questions and decide things for yourself. If you decide to pursue Wicca as your spirituality, you’re embarking on a path that’s not in the mainstream and doesn’t have a centralized leadership, structure, sacred text, or set of teachings. Exploring Wicca means jumping into the deep end without many of the usual societal supports. Nobody can truly tell you how to do it, although helpful people might be able to provide some guidance on the way. I realize that’s very uncomfortable sometimes, but nobody ever said spiritual growth (or any other kind of growth) is comfortable. If we’re too comfortable, we’re not likely to create change.
Whether you want a teacher of magic, marketing, or anything else, here are seven helpful hints:
1) When a teacher has a site, consider the following. If the site’s graphics speak to your heart, the offerings sound perfect, the sales pitch is passionate, and the testimonials rock, that is great. I hope it describes my site! But it is not enough. The truth is in the pudding: Is there content on the site, such as a blog that helps you achieve your goals? If not, the classes may be just as empty.
2) “$3000 worth of services for only $200!” might represent a great buy. Or it can mislead. What’s the point in spending even $10 on a lot of stuff, if all of it is garbage?
Our Pagan News Beagle today is all about faith & religion -- both Pagan and otherwise. Today we have 17th century British (accused) witches; a rare documentary on British Witches of the Sixties; a naturalist Pagan describes the purpose of ritual; religions that are highly concentrated in only a few places; and a suggestion of how black churches can function, post-Ferguson.
This previously-rare documentary sheds light on public Wicca as practiced in the 1960's.
Pagan blogger John Halstead shares his conception of how ritual helps him come into communion with Divine Nature.
Pew Research publishes a report that describes the way in which various religions are regionally-based and heavily concentrated only in a few countries. (Surprise! Islam is *not* the most concentrated faith. Can you guess what is?)
This editorial in Religion & Politics examines the place of black churches in addressing the issues of race, justice, and power in Ferguson, MO.
The first six months of its existence my ritual group mostly floundered. We had a good circle of people around us and did some nice rituals, but we didn't really have any sort of structure. To find a solidity for ourselves we had to do a ritual for someone else.
When my wife and I put our ritual group together we did so with low expectations. We were basically just looking for a group to ritualize with, we weren't necessarily seeking anything formal. During those early months our rituals were continually different. We never used the same quarter calls twice or called to the same gods and goddesses for that matter! The circle was scripted but eclectic, details constantly in flux.
I'd like to imagine that starting a coven is a completely organic process. Perhaps a few friends get together and decide that it's time to form a coven or at least begin operating as one. On the traditional side it's easy to imagine a Priestess and Priest recently elevated to Third Degree and hiving off to form a new coven, perhaps taking a few of their old coven mates with them in order to do so. Both of those scenarios sound better then how our group started. Our coven began with a question: "who should we invite over for ritual?"