Archive for the ‘Pagan Perspectives’ Category

Shauna Aura KnightAn artist, author, community leader, event organizer, and spiritual seeker, Shauna travels nationally offering intensive education in the transformative arts of ritual, community leadership, and personal growth. She is the author of the Dreamwork for the Initiate’s Path and the ritual facilitation book Spiritual Scents. She’s also a columnist on ritual techniques for Circle Magazine, and her writing also appears in several Pagan anthologies. She’s the author of the forthcoming books The Leader Within and Ritual Facilitation. The anthologies Stepping in to Ourselves: An Anthology of Writings on Priestessing, A Mantle of Stars, and Calling to our Ancestors.

Shauna is also a fantasy artist and author. Her mythic artwork and designs are used for magazine covers, book covers, and illustrations, as well as decorating many walls, shrines, and other spaces. She is passionate about creating rituals, experiences, spaces, stories, and artwork to awaken mythic imagination. (more…)

The Lullaby of Astarte by Romany Rivers

The Lullaby of Astarte by Romany Rivers

For my daughter, who loves the stars.

Text: Romany Rivers (C) 2013

Thou art magic

Child of PromiseMerry Yule, one and all! I wish you a festive season filled with love and laughter, good friends, good food and good times. Whatever it is that you celebrate during the winter months, the themes of family, friendship, and sharing are common within the various celebrations. Light is another common theme during winter festivals from Diwali in October to Imbolc in February, and Winter Solstice is no different. Light within darkness invokes strong primal instincts for modern man, from the physical aspect of warmth and safety to the emotional and mental health that sunlight brings. At Winter Solstice we face the longest night of the year followed by the rebirth of the Sun and the increasing sunlight. Some refer to the Winter Solstice as Midwinter, based upon the Celtic calendar which consisted of just two seasons – Summer and Winter. Winter ran from the Autumn to the Spring, from the last harvest to the first planting, and Summer from planting to harvest. Some consider this shift of seasons to occur on the equinoxes, others believe that Samhain and Beltaine divide the year. However, despite the older term of Midwinter, for many countries the winter is only just beginning and people have a long way to go before the signs of spring surface from frozen white ground. The gradual but perceptible increase in light every day uplifts the heart and mind, and brings a sense of hope and promise. This feeling is encompassed within many stories, myths and legends of the Yule period. (more…)

Another video for your viewing pleasure, ‘Witchcraft Yesterday and Today‘ by Raymond Buckland. In this grainy video reminiscent of storytime, Raymond talks about interpretation of deity, sympathetic magic, ritual behaviour, development of the priesthood, the coming of Christianity, and the changing of beliefs and practice over time. This version of Witchcraft history is accepted by many, although presented differently by some. Raymond continues with an explanation of common Wiccan practice – ritual format and structure, tools of the craft, beliefs, and various differences between Wiccan paths. I leave it to you to view and listen, and accept or reject within your own understanding.

Now, are you sitting comfortably? If so, Raymond will begin….

New content up on Moon Books blog:

Scry the Becoming
The reflection of the DivineScrying
I look into your eyes
And see all that does not exist
I look into the Divine
Into the knowing eyes
And see that I do not exist, do not resist, do not become
I am you
You are me
I am one within all
All within one
I am the spiral of order
In the divine chaos
I am the chaos
Unravelled
Undone
The reflection infinite
Contained and formed
By the boundary of understanding
The reflection of the Divine
I look into your eyes
And see all that has or will exist
I exist, I resist, I am becoming
I am you
You are me
I am made whole once more
As one within the All
Slowly I become
The reflection in blackened glass
Looking out at the Divine
Looking in at me

By Romany Rivers (c) 2013

Day of the deadPagans, as a general rule, can be a pretty creative bunch. To us the Divine is immanent, present, within all of nature around us. This can lead us to being pretty romantic about the way we view our Divine, in the beauty of a sunset, in the glistening dew shimmering upon a spiders web, in the blossoming flower, in the flight of fragile birds above us. Not many find beauty in the bloated corpse of those same birds at the end of their life, in the teeming maggots that feed upon it, in the stench of death and decay. We do, theoretically, understand the balance and duality of the Divine and respect what many view as the dark side of the God/dess. Almost as if these aspects of Divinity are two sides of one coin, we understand the whole coin but we most often view just one face. We expect the coin to land heads up every time, and when we see tails many turn and run. (more…)

Here is a rarMaxine_Sanderse find, recently brought to my attention by The Temple of Witchcraft and Dangerous Minds. ‘The Power of the Witch’ is a fascinating look at witchcraft from 40 years ago, although the wonderfully grainy footage, fabulous style and plummy English accents make it feel a world away from modern culture. I found it really interesting to hear that some of the same concerns and arguments for and against witchcraft remain almost unchanged through time. A young Doreen Valiente, better known as the ‘Mother of Modern Witchcraft’, (more…)

Doreen ValienteEnlightenment and spirituality doesn’t require a price tag – that is a personal journey and cannot be given to you, although it may be guided and supported. Knowledge should freely available, but the providers of knowledge should not be expected to devote time, skills and experience for free. So here lies the constant, and often heated, debate about paying for training in Witchcraft, Wicca or Pagan Spirituality. On one side, the argument that all aspects of spiritual education should be freely given; on the other side, that every practitioner is entitled to a fair compensation of their time, experience and skills.

This argument rears its ugly head time and time again in the Pagan community. What amazes me is the unhealthy fascination that we place on very specific forms of training – namely eclectic Wicca training courses. No one seems overly concerned with Pagans who charge for classes, courses, workshops or services such as Tarot or Astrology. No one verbally assaults Pagan Celebrants who charge for handfastings, baby blessings or funerals.  No one insults the professional Pagan who writes for a living, owns a store or holistic centre, or operates a retreat centre. In my understanding, the debate really heats up when offering a year and a day training in Wicca that combines a variety of skills and teachings that people would otherwise be happy to pay for should it be provided in bite sized pieces. The debate about Wica vs Wicca, Gardnerian/Alexandrian vs other initiatory systems such as Odyssean or more eclectic Wicca aside, the idea that any Priest/Priestess/Coven or Mystery School would charge a fee in exchange for education seems abhorrent to many practitioners.

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Sole_e_Luna

 I have often been asked:

 “If the Divine is all one,

how can there be so many Gods and Goddesses?”

I am but one body of flesh and bone and sinew, comprised of the genetics of millions who came before me. I am but one body, made of billions of cells that act without my conscious interference, a single entity made of stardust of the universe. When I die my physical form does not cease to exist, it transforms and feeds back into the universe. I am unique, but recycled and recyclable. Therefore I am one, yet also a part of the all that is, ever was or will be.

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