Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Cubicle Goddess – Paganism in the Workplace

One of the most difficult things for the modern pagan to accomplish is how to incorporate their spirituality into their work lives.

Let’s face it, while the popularity of paganism has increased, it is still a marginalized belief system today. We’ve come a long way, but certainly do not enjoy the freedom of displaying our religion as other mainstream beliefs do. Most people’s only experience with Paganism is limited to what they’ve seen in the movies and on TV. These people may not understand what we do, and might respond with fear, prejudice and sometimes even hostility to open displays of our theology. We might even work at a place where religious displays are not permitted. For those reasons and more, it’s not always appropriate to advertise or be open about our religious proclivities.

Spirituality is a very sacred and private thing. You don’t need to display a trashcan lid sized pentagram on your wall to bring the Gods into your office space or cubicle. Personally, I’d refrain from including anything overtly pagan, such as pentagrams and other obvious symbolism that might attract negative attention to you. You will find that little things can transform a very mundane space into an extension of your Sacred Self. It’s all about incorporating sacred items into our environment in a subtle and loving manner.

If you’re interested in bringing the Gods into your office space, here are some ideas which might help you integrate your pagan life into your work life with a minimum of disruption to all involved.

Create a God/Goddess basket on your desk. Find a small basket and line it with a silk cloth. Fill it with crystals, trinkets, herbs (legal, of course), and festoon it with ribbons and other items in colors that are associated with your Gods and Goddesses or the current season or Sabbat.

Color your work world. Decorate your workspace with colors appropriate to the day, Sabbat or season. For example, each day of the week has a color associated with it. Change your computer’s desktop wallpaper (if you’re allowed to do so), or wear certain colors to work on the appropriate day. You can use this also if you’re working on a spell and want to give it a bit more oomph away from home. Create colored cards – index cards work well for this – and display them next to your monitor as a subliminal input to your mind during the day. Here’s a quick list of days of the week and their correspondences. Note that this is just one perspective; research to find more on the Internet and in books. Be creative and find the correspondences most appropriate for you.

clip_image001 Sunday – Gold, Yellow

clip_image001[1] Monday – White, Silver, Light Blue

clip_image001[2] Tuesday – Red, Black, Orange

clip_image001[3] Wednesday – Purple, Orange

clip_image001[4] Thursday – Purple, Green

clip_image001[5] Friday – Pink, Aqua

clip_image001[6] Saturday – Black, Purple

The Gods in the Machine. Passwords are difficult to come up with, especially if you’re required to change them at specific intervals. Why not make them pagan passwords? Try this on for size: Choose your favorite pagan chant or saying and make the password based on the first letter of each word. Add a sacred number and character. For example, if you like the saying, “So Mote It Be” and your sacred number is 472 you can make your password Smib472* (asterisk representing the star). You can choose the ( or ) characters for the crescent moon, or the )O( characters for the goddess. Again, use your imagination and practice, but you can make a pretty fail-proof password this way!

The Secret of your Scent-cess. Most places will not allow you to burn incense or candles at your desk, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have sacred scents near you at work. Make a small potpourri sachet of sacred herbs pertaining to the time of year, your Gods, the current Sabbat, or whatever makes you feel more spiritual. You can even dab the potpourri sachet with some essential oil for more of an olfactory punch. You can also create a sachet designed to bring harmony & peace to your workplace. Add crystals and other sacred additions to attract these qualities and hang it on the wall of your cubicle.

Mantras on the Monitor. Create a mantra or chant and write it on a post it note. Affix it to your monitor. Every time you look there, you’ll see the mantra, reinforcing the power and keeping the power moving.

Hiding in plain sight. Small figurines of deities are nice, or if you’re not comfortable with that, find an animal that is associated with that Deity. Only you need to know that Owl picture on the wall represents Athena, right? Some people might look askance if you had a statue of Ganesh on your desk, but if you have a small elephant figurine, they’ll just think you are into pachyderms. And don’t forget to offer some candy to him!

Bless your candy bowl. Speaking of candy, many people have a candy dish they keep on their desk. Use a little Florida water or blessed water to anoint the outside of your candy bowl and draw in kindness. Say something like “May all who partake of the contents of this bowl find love and joy”.

Crossing the threshold. Thresholds have always been a magickal part of any house or internal structure. This is where we get the custom regarding marriage and the bride being carried over the threshold. When you walk over the imaginary line into your workspace / cubicle, visualize it being bathed in white light as the Gods protect you during your workday. Just like you would do in your home, create a bubble of energy that allows only positive energy to be comfortable within your workspace. When you leave for the day, allow that threshold to keep any negativity you might have gathered up throughout your day and return it to Mother Earth so you don’t take that work stress home with you.

Marking the days and nights. Many of us have multiple calendars up on our walls. Daily calendars, project calendars, etc. Post a lunar calendar with them to remind you of the Moon’s travels across the sky. If anyone asks, just tell them you’re just into astronomy!

Little touches mean a lot. There are so many little things you can bring into your workspace – provided they are allowed by your company – which mean more than they let on. It’s common to find mouse pads, coffee cups, pens, calendars and other office supplies with fairies, dragons, elves, angels and similar images on them. These can make your workspace uniquely yours – and remind you that you are not just an office hack, but a spiritual being as well.

It doesn’t take much to bring the God and Goddess into your office space. With a little imagination and creativity, you can live your pagan life in the office as well, secure in your sacred secret!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Polite Pagan – What’s In A Name?

When you frequent a pagan-friendly shop, go to a pagan gathering, or even attend ritual at someone’s house, it is always a good idea to purport yourself in an appropriate fashion. Acting in a courteous way is not only the right thing to do, but it increases your personal capital within the pagan community. People will come to know you as someone they want to be around and include in their activities. You really do want to be known as a Polite Pagan.

One of the things that befuddle pagans who strive to interact with the community is the many naming conventions which abound. This can be really confusing to pagans new to the community. You will learn quickly that pagans can have many names. There are magickal names, mundane names (also known as Christian or given names), honorifics, inner court names and outer court names, to list but a few. Which one do you use? How do you use them without insulting someone?

The first thing to understand is that many pagans use a magickal name when interacting with other pagans. Please note that not all pagans choose to use a separate name – some will continue to use their mundane name and are completely comfortable associating their sacred persona with this common name. A magickal name is a special moniker a pagan finds for themselves which identifies them as a magickal person to others. While not everyone will uses a magickal name, pagans who have chosen a sacred name tend to introduce themselves that way.

The reasons to use a magickal name are as varied as there are pagans who use them. Pagans oftentimes feel their magickal name is something which resonates with them on a spiritual level more than their mundane name does. In addition to being a sacred and special name for people, magickal names can help those who require a level of anonymity due to circumstances in their real life. Perhaps they can’t divulge their real names because of their jobs or their families. Perhaps they’ve chosen a magickal name because it makes them feel more secure in a world they are unfamiliar with. And sometimes, magickal names are taken simply because people didn’t like the name they were given as a child. Everyone has their reason why they choose a magickal name, and a Polite Pagan respects that without question.

There are many kinds of magickal names. Inner Court names are sacred names that people use primarily within the context of their own private Circle/Coven, and are usually only used between covenmates, very close magickal partners or within a Tradition. It is the name by which they directly connect with their Gods and is an incredibly private thing. The majority of pagan practitioners do not have an Inner Court name, mainly due to the fact that their practice does not require it. If someone shares their Inner Court name with you, consider yourself extremely honored, for that is one of the deepest magickal secrets one can share. If you know someone’s Inner Court name, you should never use it in a public setting without their express permission.

An Outer Court name is the magickal name a pagan uses with the world. It is their public name. Most magickal names would fall under the Outer Court designation, and are ok to use in pagan settings.

An Honorific is a title a pagan practitioner earns through years of work and progression within their Tradition, and is heard most frequently within the Traditionalist community. The most common Honorifics are “Lord”, “Lady” or “Elder”, but there are other lesser known honorifics, such as “Squire” or “Consort”. Usually an honorific is only valid within one’s own Tradition and reserved for the High Priest or Priestess and high level initiates. Titles are not usually used among mixed groups, that is, groups which consist of different Traditionalists and/or Eclectic practitioners. You will rarely see these used in large public gatherings. Most pagans will not expect nor require you to use their honorific, but it’s good form to use their title when first addressing the individual, or when introducing them to others. Nine times out of ten, the person with the honorific will instruct you to just use their Outer Court name. Those who do insist upon the use of their Lady or Lord title by those outside their Tradition should raise a red flag with the Polite Pagan – these people might be suffering from an overinflated ego.

How a fellow pagan introduces themselves to you is really how you should address them. Even if you know them by another name, follow their lead. If you’re not sure, there’s nothing wrong with pulling them aside and asking them privately how they wish to be addressed. If your best friend is named Mary, but wants to go by Malibu Sparklebunny for pagan gatherings, kindly honor her wishes and do everything you can not to trip up. Do not feel the need to tell others that Malibu Sparklebunny’s real name is Mary. If Malibu wants to share her mundane name, she should be afforded the courtesy of choosing who she shares it with.

Remember that you must never make fun of or criticize someone’s magickal name. You might secretly think that “Velveteen Starmuffin” or “Cinnamon Bearnugget” might be the silliest names in pagandom, but it might hold some sacred significance to these people. Part of being a Polite Pagan is respecting another’s choice whether you agree with it or not. It is not your place to tell someone that they have spelled their names wrong, or that their name is cliché, or that they shouldn’t take the name of a God/dess as a magickal name. Those are personal preferences and decisions and not for anyone else to judge.

If you meet someone who has a particularly lovely or unusual name, you may respectfully ask them about it. Saying something like “What a beautiful name! May I ask how you came up with that and what it means to you?” is appropriate and will be less likely to take your head off than if you said “Wow…that’s a weird name. How many beers did it take for you to come up with that?” Many pagans would be flattered if you complimented their sacred name and it can be a great way to break the ice and make friends. But please don’t take it personally if they choose not to divulge the origins of their name – some people are sensitive about that.

If you choose to use a pagan name yourself, make sure you introduce yourself as such. “Hey You” is not how you want to be addressed! Also, when choosing a magickal name to use in a public setting, you might want to consider a name which sets you apart from the rest of pagandom. Don’t believe me? Just jump into the middle of a pagan group and call for “Raven” or “Willow” or “Rowan” and see how many people respond!

Pagan names are as diverse and beautiful as pagans themselves. Polite Pagans know this, and show the quality of their character by being courteous and respectful when it comes to those names. Know about how to deal with pagan names, and you have another tool to make you a pagan other people want to have around.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Magickal Crafting

Arts and crafts and other similar hobbies are a great way to employ your creative spirit. It’s a popular pastime for pagans, and you will find many of us partaking in these activities. There are so many varieties of crafts to choose from: knitting, cross stitch, sewing, beading, scrapbooking, leatherworking, and woodworking to name just a few. I am an avid crocheter and love nothing more than to spend an evening in front of the television with a steaming cup of peppermint tea and my yarn & needles.

Crafting can be fun and rewarding, but did you know crafts and the Craft – as in Witchcraft – are not mutually exclusive? As an aware pagan practitioner, you can easily combine them to make your creations not only works of art, but Spirit gifts as well. There are several ways you can imbue your creations with your own personal energy and intent, which in turn gives them great power and blessings to share with others.

I often say a prayer or recite a chant while making a baby blanket. You can tailor what you say and how you say it depending on the energy you want to put into the piece. In one of the original Sleeping Beauty stories out of Germany, there were 13 fairies/wise women/Goddess-mothers who attended the christening of the princess (only 7 were in the French version). Each of these Goddess-Mothers gave the baby girl a special gift – one gave the gift of music, of health, of beauty, etc. When you are making something for a child, you get to be the fairy Goddess-Mother/Father! Infuse the item with wishes of protection, happiness, courage, wisdom, art and health. Or choose the energies you feel are most appropriate for the child.

But wait…these well wishes are not reserved only for the kids! Energies can be sent to all kinds of people for all kinds of situations!

For example, if you are making something for an elder, you can draw in peace, health and strength for them. When it comes to close friends and family, communication and support are important qualities. And if you’re stumped as to what energies to attract to your piece, love is a universally welcome energy.

And what if you’re making something for yourself? Well, you can focus on what you want that item to bring to you! For example, are you making a purse? Try focusing your intent and chants on abundance and wealth, include an adventurine into a hidden pocket, or dab the inside of the piece with some High John the Conqueror oil. Making a snuggly blanket for the TV room? Attract energies of peace, warmth and comfort into your working by singing a lullaby as you’re putting it all together. If you’re making a travel journal, saturate the book with energies for safe travel and clear memories. Focus your energies on having fun, celebrating life & attracting wonderful new friends if you’re making a special something for going out on the town. Are you a jewelry maker? Find a chant which enhances beauty and self-confidence to give those ornaments an extra sparkle. If you’re making something for sacred rites, you can call upon a favorite God or Goddess to bless the item.

One of the most popular ways to permeate an item with energy is to repeat a chant while you are doing your work. The power of the chant pushes your intent and energy into the piece you are working on and continues sharing that energy long after you’ve completed your project. There are many chants you can find on the web or in books that can fit your style, or you can create one of your own to say. Chanting doesn’t have to be a constant litany, but the more times you repeat the chant, the more you reinforce that intent and energy. I’ve actually seen people making items for a particular person, and sitting in a circle, chanting in unison together. It’s a very powerful thing! But don’t worry…you don’t have to chant aloud for this to work; chants can be said in your mind and heart and have the same effect.

Here are some other ways you can make sure your crafted items carry with them the energies you want. Keep your materials and tools in a safe and protected place so you know precisely what energies they are exposed to. You can create a prayer to say over your materials, smudge your tools with sage, or sprinkle them with sacred water (Florida water is also a good choice). I put a very small clear quartz crystal in the case that holds my crochet needles. If you choose to use specific herbs or sea salt to cleanse your tools, be careful, as this can get messy! Large tools and items which are hard to move, such as sewing machines or looms, can always benefit from a light smudging between projects. If you wish to imbue a finished project with Moon or Goddess energies, you can leave it by a window to soak up the power of the Full Moon.

You can also do some light candle magick while crafting a piece, which is something I’ve found very useful. One of the best choices for this is a candle in a tall glass enclosure. These are often called seven day candles and your local pagan shop will happily direct you to their supply. Choose a color which best corresponds to the energy you want to work with. Before you begin the project, visualize the person you are making the project for (even if it’s for yourself) and what you want them to have. Focus that visualization into the candle. You can carve the person’s name and the intent into the candle or write it on the outside of the glass if you so wish. Bless the candle and ask for the Gods’ blessing on your work. When you start the project, light the candle and as long as you work on the piece, keep the candle lit. Even if you finish the project before the candle is out, let the candle burn until it is spent.

Other ways to include energies into your crafts are by incorporating energy items in the piece. I know a seamstress who collects tiny crushed bits of gemstones for a bargain. She then sprinkles a pinch of the appropriate crystal dust into the hem of the item she’s creating right before she sews the hems closed. You will want to be careful about incorporating organic material such as herbs or oils into pieces which have a good chance of getting wet – these additions can rot or become rancid after washings! Also have a care if you choose to include metals into your pieces because they can have dangerous points and leech toxins if the item is worn close to the skin – not to mention, rust stains are pretty ugly. You can use herbs, metals, and most other magickal items in non-wearable crafts, however. Scrapbooks, photo albums/frames, and decorative pieces do well with almost any kind of item that doesn’t degrade easily! Just make sure to do your homework and understand what they bring to the magickal party.

You have the power to turn your beautifully created items into a magickal treasure. All it takes is a bit of imagination, some focused intent and a whole lot of fun. Your recipients will receive much more than a pretty piece; they will receive a gift of love and positive energy too. You can’t buy those at your local hobby shop! I hope this sparks your inspiration to include energy work and magick into your crafts!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Teach What You Know, Know What You Teach

One of the most frequent conversations I hear in the pagan community comes from people who think there aren’t enough teachers. I usually counter with the notion that anyone – even you – can be a teacher!

In the Tarot, we have the Major Arcana. These are 22 cards of higher wisdom which teach us great karmic and life lessons – and usually their lessons are multi-faceted. The Hermit is a card that I think works well to exemplify my point. On the card is a wizened old man who is leaving a cave and carries a lantern. A person on a spiritual journey must go within themselves and find their internal truth before that wisdom becomes a part of them. Sometimes that truth takes work; research, interviews, experience. But it is a truth that they have to process and learn. The other side of this wisdom tells us that it is not enough to seek our truth, but to share that truth with others, hence the lantern. It does no one any good if your “truth light” is used only to illuminate your own cave – you can share that light with others so they might find their own truths in turn.

I’m not a teacher by trade, but I’ve taught many people over the years in Tarot, Witchcraft, Divination and other subjects. In my decades as a public workshop leader as well as a teacher within my own Tradition / Coven, I have found an amazing truism. I have discovered more about the Craft, about the Tarot, about people, and about my own self through teaching than I ever learned from a book or from another person. Certainly books and teachers set me on the right path, but it was in the assimilating of knowledge and being able to impart it to others that gave me a special insight that I would have otherwise not have attained.

When you teach, you get a perspective that you might not have gotten otherwise. It may help you to see things in a different way and approach those topics from another angle. Even if you think you know a topic like the back of your hand, fresh eyes give you a renewed enthusiasm for the subject without allowing it to become stale or boring. The blessings I’ve received from my students are priceless to me and I thank my students for giving me the honor of sharing what I know with them.

In the giving is the receiving. In our coven, we strive to see our students excel and surpass us, using our knowledge as a platform to further their own growth. Hording information does not serve you, the community or our Gods. So, give your gifts freely! It’s not hard to share your light of knowledge with others. If you have done any research, even for your own personal spiritual growth, you can present your findings to others. You are then the expert.

Expert? Yes, you – the expert. Experts are used in everything from academics to the legal profession. To qualify as an expert in a legal context means you fit the definition of someone who is a specialist in a particular subject, that is, you know more than the general populace. If you have studied a particular subject for a while and know it better than the average bear, you are the expert in that subject.

For example, if you were looking for a magickal name and did a lot of research on birds and mythology to determine which one fit you best, you could come up with a topic that explores the role of birds and the Gods in various myths. If you’ve researched a God or Goddess, pantheon, or other spiritual topic, write it up and share it. Draw from your own experience and knowledge. Of course, you wouldn’t want to share private or Oathbound information with the public, but you can share your own knowledge as you wish.

When you’re creating a presentation, whether written or verbal, there are some important things to consider. First of all, remember accuracy and check your facts. If you are doing historical research, you have to make sure your facts are verifiable. You can’t just say “I found it on the INTARWEBZ so it must be true”, and hope people will respect what you have to say. Wikipedia is a great place to start your research, but it shouldn’t be the reference itself. Its scholarship is tenuous at best, and is often added to by people who have not done their fact checking either. Use the same criteria a college professor would in evaluating a research paper. If you can’t prove it, don’t use it.

Another important consideration is attribution. Attribution is giving credit to someone else for their work. If something is your opinion, then say so. But if you got the idea from someone else, make sure you acknowledge that person. Not attributing properly is not only unethical, it’s also illegal to claim someone’s intellectual property as your own.

Now, I understand that not everyone is interested in teaching formal classes or workshops, nor is everyone interested in writing a book, but there are many other wonderful ways of sharing your knowledge with the community!

You can write up article and submit it to local newsletters and magazines. You’re reading this newsletter, right? Well, there are tons of newsletters and magazines in pagandom with readers just like you. And those readers might be very interested in what you have to say!

The Internet has given us a great forum for sharing our information as well. You can create a pagan blog or share your topic with your favorite blog out there. You can submit your presentation to various pagan websites who support the sharing of knowledge. A good place to start with is Make sure that you know the criteria the website owners require and what they’re looking for before submitting your article. And remember to be gracious if they come back with “Sorry…we already have eleventybillion articles on Beltane this month!”

There are plenty of pagan online groups available to share your information with – a quick search on will provide you with many pagan groups eager to chat. Many even allow you to post your presentation – but kindly check with the moderators before you decide to spam them with your presentation or you might get the big ol’ ban-hammer. You can even share your knowledge on your Facebook or MySpace pages!

Another way to share what you know is offering to present your work to a pagan or pagan friendly shop; or if that’s not an option, look for pagan gatherings in your area who will allow you to present your information at their function. A word of advice, make sure you have a good synopsis of your presentation and know how long it will take, an outline of what you will be covering, and what supplies you’ll be needing (chairs, easel, etc) so they can plan around you. And always allow the participants of your work – the people who attend your presentations or read your work – to give you feedback. Give them time to assimilate what you’ve said and let them flow with it.

So you see, you too can be a teacher by Teaching What You Know – all that hard work you put into learning about a particular subject doesn’t have to lie dormant within you. Give it life and share it with other like-minded friends. Furthermore you must Know What You Teach – you can’t share a topic with others unless you know it inside out and are sure things are as accurate as possible. Put the two together and you will have the motivation and resources to be a vibrant part of our pagan community.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Paganism By The Book

One of the most difficult dilemmas for pagans - particularly pagans new to the Craft - is determining what place books have in their spiritual practice. For most of us, books were our first introduction to Paganism, Wicca and the Craft and it is where most of us started our journey.

But there are so many books! In fact, most of us lament the fact that there are so many wonderful books and not enough time to read them all. But never fear, my pagan friends! There are ways you can determine the legitimacy of an author before you shell out your hard earned cash.

The first question we often ask ourselves is how do we determine which books are "good" and which ones we should pass up? Certainly there are authors who are more favored in the pagan community than others. Most every pagan has their own favorite and least favorite authors. If you look at any purveyor of pagan books, you will find names and topics aplenty. You'll find authors who are liked, disliked and perhaps even unknown. You might hear about authors who have questionable scholarship, who might be surrounded by ethics issues, and who may seem to be more concerned with fluff over substance.

One of my first teachers taught me an invaluable lesson about the importance of separating wisdom from the vehicle it comes in. I recently had a discussion about this with Liz Draman, one of the many wonderful Mystickal Voyage practitioners. I think she recapped this idea beautifully when she said, "Focus on the message, not the messenger". What this means is that we must try to concentrate on at WHAT is being said, not necessarily WHO is saying it. Sometimes even a questionable author can write something in a way that resonates with you, or helps you understand a concept better. Remember that in the end, you alone have the final say whether you use the information in your practice or not.

With that being said, however, you have to be discerning when allowing authors to influence your spirituality. Before obtaining information about any author, you should have three very important tools in place. These tools will not only help you make better decisions about your source materials, but they will serve you well on your Pagan Path. These three items are:

1.  Critical Thinking Skills

2.  A Very Big block of Salt (as opposed to just a grain)

3.  A very well developed Bull Puckey Meter (to make sure people aren't trying to fool you)

The first thing you can do when researching an author is to ask pagans that you trust what they think of that person as a writer. You may find that there are authors who are resoundingly respected by pagans in the know, and others who they will steer clear of.  As an added bonus, you might even get turned on to similar authors to enjoy as well! Keep their opinions tucked in the back of your mind, but remember to temper their opinions with your own.

The next thing you will want to do is conduct some individual research. Just because Lady Pixie Moondrip has published a book, or has her own blog, or writes for a local newsletter / magazine, doesn't mean she is the Goddess's gift to Pagandom! Check out reviews of the author's work on the Internet - but please remember to employ your tools listed above. Amazon has a great feature to allow people to provide reviews on books they've bought, so too do other pagan websites. Getting multiple people's feedback can gives you an idea of the author's style and feel, so you can decide if that's the kind of writer you are looking for.

The next thing you may want to consider is the author's bibliography. Do they even have one? Which books do THEY draw from, and which books have influenced them? Do they only reference books which they themselves have written? Check to see who has written the book's foreword or testimonials. But do note that some publishers will request one of their more popular authors to write a glowing acknowledgment for a lesser known author in order to spur sales.

Now that you've researched the author, and have decided to buy one of their books...where do you go now?

First, choose the types of books you want to draw from - and you decide this by determining what you enjoy. The best ways to work this out is by starting with the broadest subjects and then focus on the specific topics which resonate with you. Not sure if you resonate with Celtic deities? Then choose a general book on Gods and Goddesses of all types before buying a detailed translation of the Mabinogion. Interested in the runes or the tarot? Try reading a book on divination before you specialize - you might find another medium better suited to you.

Another thing I would strongly suggest is to make your learning as diverse as possible. Mix information about theory with books about how to do something. It's important to understand pagan history and magickal theory as much as having a magickal cookbook full of spells for every occasion sitting on your shelf. Learn about how various groups do things - and perhaps just as important - WHY they do things. The more (w)holistic your knowledge, the better practitioner you will be, and the better you will be able to adapt your book learning to your own actions.

Try not to fall in the trap of seeking out just one perspective because you happen to like the particular author. There are many pagan authors who are almost universally loved and respected, but don't dismiss other writers because they might disagree with what your favorite author says. There is no "Wiccan Gospel According To <insert author here>". There are only perspectives of how each individual practices their faith. Understand that there is no cookie cutter methodology to paganism - and there are as many ways to practice our faith as there are practitioners!

Another way to broaden your knowledge is to obtain information from multiple sources. Books are fantastic, and I would be lost without mine. But they are a poor substitute for classes, workshops, Internet research, discussion with like minded pagans, or even actual practice. Books are but one part of a greater whole. 

So, now that you've decided what books you want to read, how do you use them in your own practice? There's a big gap between the written word and seeing those words in action. One of the most important things to understand is the WHYs of something. WHY does this author insist on using a particular herb/deity/word in this place? WHY do we need to chant at this point in the spell? WHY is a particular symbol important on the altar? Understanding WHY helps us to adapt these concepts to our own practice. If an author says to call on Athena to invoke the Goddess of Wisdom, but you're not familiar with Athena - you might find another Goddess of Wisdom more to your liking, such as Sophia, Cerridwen, Saraswati, or Freya. Conversely, if you're doing a money spell, and the author instructs you to use a green candle, it is better to know why green can be a better correspondence color than the blue or red candle your aunt gave you for your birthday.

Look at what the author has to say. Can you make their chant, prayer, tools, or accouterments uniquely yours? Remember, authors are only relating their experiences and understandings. You then can OWN the practice by flavoring it with your own personal energy. Use your creativity by incorporating things sacred to you, your Gods and your personal connection with the Universe. While their experiences should be honored, they give only one way to do things. Never allow someone to tell you that your practice is wrong because you're not following another's instructions 100% - provided you aren't harming anyone or being disrespectful, of course. 

Our pagan practice is about learning and then incorporating that knowledge into practice. Learn as much as you can, from as many sources as you can, and then put what you've learned into action.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Samhain – Walking Between the Worlds

Fire red, summer's dead,
Yet shall it return.
Clear and bright in the night,
Burn, fire, burn!

Dance the ring, luck to bring,
When the year's aturning.
Chant the rhyme at Hallowstime,
When the fire's burning.

Fire glow, vision show
Of the heart's desire,
When the spell's chanted well
Of the witching fire.

Dance the ring, luck to bring,
When the year's aturning.
Chant the rhyme at Hallowstime,
When the fire's burning.

Fire spark, when nights are dark,
Makes our winter's mirth.
Red leaves fall, earth takes all,
Brings them to rebirth.

Dance the ring, luck to bring,
When the year's aturning.
Chant the rhyme at Hallowstime,
When the fire's burning.

Fire fair, earth and air,
And the heaven's rain,
And blessed be, and so may we,
At Hallowstide again.

Dance the ring, luck to bring,
When the year's aturning.
Chant the rhyme at Hallowstime,
When the fire's burning.

- Doreen Valiente

Samhain (pronounced "SOW-en") is one of the most popular, and often most misunderstood, Sabbats in the Witches' Calendar. You might know of it as Hallowe'en or All Hallows. Within the context of the Wheel of the Year, Samhain is a Fire Festival – this is a Sabbat which is not connected to either a solstice or equinox type solar event. Most people - pagans included - celebrate Samhain on October 31st, but you may find that some pagans celebrate this festival as early as the October full moon (also known as “Blood Moon”) and as late as 2 weeks thereafter depending on astrological variables. In some Traditions, this day marks the beginning AND the end of the Witches calendar year. Within the context of the Wheel of the Year, Samhain is a fire festival. A Fire Festival is a Sabbat which is not connected to either a solstice or equinox type solar event.

The word Samhain comes from both old Irish and Scots Gaelic meaning “summer's end”, which indeed it is. Look around you; the leaves are beginning to turn colors and fall to the ground and you can definitely feel a chill in the air. However it’s important to remember that Europeans don't have a monopoly on this date. In Latin America, specifically in Mexico, El Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is the celebration. Although today’s pagans tend to focus more on the Indo-European version of this day, I recommend taking the time to learn more about El Dia de los Muertos to discover the beautiful symbolism and imagery there as well. Many pagans incorporate these Latin American themes into their own practice, especially if they have a personal biological or sociological connection.

There are three harvest celebrations in the Wheel of the Year. The first harvest is Lughnassadh (sometimes called Litha) which we celebrated at the end of July. Litha is a harvest of joy, when the berries are just becoming ripe and we are just beginning to experience summer’s bounty. The second harvest is Mabon (the Fall Equinox). This was on September 20th, and is a type of Pagan Thanksgiving. Mabon is when the bulk of the harvest is reaped and is a harvest of thanks to the gifts of the Earth.

Samhain is the third harvest, and is sometimes called the Bitter Harvest. This is when we collect and preserve the last of the growing season- gourds and root vegetables, legumes and long lasting fruits like apples (ever wonder why people bob for apples or use gourds for jack o’lanterns at this time of year?). In years past, our agrarian forebears would take stock of their grain supplies and identify the animals not expected to live throughout the winter which would sustain their families throughout the winter. Some pagans refer to the time between Samhain and Imbolc (February 2nd) as the Dark Time. Not only is it when our ancestors would take shelter in their homes to survive the harsh winters, but on a spiritual level, it is a time for us to be introspective, to reflect upon our own spiritual year and see what kinds of harvests we have collected and what goals we wish to strive for in the next iteration of the Wheel of the Year.

Samhain marks the time of the Crone or the Dark Lady, which is one aspect of the Triple Goddess. Like many of my pagan brothers and sisters, I have a strong connection to the Crone. But why is the Crone so important to Paganism? In ancient societies, blood was the symbol of life, power and wisdom – and any cycle or ritual that included blood was honored and revered. Before we had science and medicine to explain the rhythms and cycles of our bodies, the concept of women's cycles was viewed as mysterious and powerful and often frightening. After all, how could a woman bleed regularly for so long but not take a wound or die? As a woman aged and became wiser, this cycle would end and that wisdom would then remain inside her. Due to this "holding of the wisdom", she then was allowed admittance into the council of elders of her tribe or community. She was the one who instructed her community about what would heal them and what would sustain them throughout difficult times; in doing so, she became the direct conduit to the Gods. The Crone was the one person allowed to be at births as midwife and healer, yet was also necessary to attend those whose lives were ending. She brought life into the world and when life was ended, she accompanied the dead across the Veil and entrusted the spirit of the deceased to the Goddess. In that lay her greatest Mystery.

You may often hear that this time is "when the Veil is thin"; this means that the boundaries between this world and the Otherworld - the spirit world, the astral, Akashic records, shadow realm - are blurred and it is much easier to communicate back and forth. Some say this is due to the fact that it is the end and beginning of the Wheel, others say it is because the Crone walks freely between those worlds, she grants us the same ease at Samhain. Many of our Hallowe'en customs come from the belief that the departed and the living could share the same space at this time of year. Jack o' Lanterns (originally carved from turnips!) are lit to guide our departed loved ones to their families in this world. Masks, costumes and carved gourds are placed in windows to frighten off malevolent spirits and keep away bad luck. “Trick or Treat!” was said to appease any spirit who got lost and happened to knock on your door – people would give treats (cakes, food, ale) to avoid accidentally offending a spirit who lost their way or didn’t have anywhere to go. Families would set out an extra place at the table for their loved ones, and some of these traditions turned into what is now called a Dumb Supper ("dumb" means “silent” in this instance, not “stupid”); a Dumb Supper is marked by the fact that one does not speak during the entirety of the meal. The silence is out of respect for the dead who are being honored.

Because the Veil is thin, it’s the perfect time for divination, to see what will come to pass over the next year and what you should be striving for. This is the time to appeal to the Crone for her wisdom and strength, to see the future, but more importantly, use that knowledge to make the best decisions for yourself and those you love. Of course, the Tarot and scrying (scrying is using a focus for divination) are both popular divinatory methods, but if you’re feeling adventurous, try using a mirror or even getting a bowl of water and dropping melted candle wax in it and seeing what shapes form. For others, runes and the ancient art of bone throwing is particularly appropriate divination activities. Bonfires are very popular at Samhain, and if you have access to one, it’s a magickal experience, when you can also use the embers/coals of the sacred fire to divine the future. No matter what oracle you use, it will be especially sensitive this time of year. Take advantage of having this strong connection to Spirit, and see what the Gods have to tell you!

Certainly this is a time when we are very aware of those who have crossed over this past year, and this is a very important part of our celebrations. Do remember that we’re not just talking about people– animals are as much family to us as any human, especially those who were our companions and friends in life. Pagans have many ways of honoring those who have passed away. Sometimes it’s as simple as setting a place for them at the table on Samhain evening; we will also fill a glass of wine for them and then give it back to the earth (pour it into the ground) when we’re done. This practice is known as “libation”. You can also create an altar for those who have crossed over who have made an impact in your life. Decorate this mini altar with pictures, items, candles and other things and spend some time there on Samhain thanking them for sharing their life with you and share some memories with those who might not have known them as well. Take a walk to a graveyard with some late autumn flowers or loaves of bread (or small rolls/cookies) and share them with the departed, letting them know they’re not forgotten.

It’s important for many pagan parents to be able to appropriately share Sabbats with their families, and our Little Witchlings can certainly participate in Samhain’s festivities. As a parent, only you can make the determination about what is right for your children, but know that although Samhain deals with some pretty heavy spiritual themes, it still can be made fun and educational for them too. If you choose to honor those who have died, allow your little ones to share what they remember of the departed person or pet. They can help with decorations and pumpkin carving, and parents can share information about Hallowe’en customs today hearken to our pagan past. Read stories about Crone goddesses from all kinds of cultures – from Hecate, to Cerridwen, Tiamat, Kali Ma, Baba Yaga, Nepthys, Tlazolteotl, Washer at the Ford, Elli, and more. There are even coloring books for pagan kids for Samhain ( is just one of many) and activity books for them.

No matter how you celebrate Samhain – whether it be by a full Dumb Supper or giving out candy to the local kids with the knowledge that it symbolizes the bounty of the Gods – this Sabbat marks the time when we spend time inwardly to grow and learn from ourselves, from others (both those here and those who’ve crossed), and from the Gods. I wish you all an abundant harvest, and may the Crone give you all the knowledge and wisdom to take care of yourselves and your loved ones throughout the Dark Time.

Written in honor of Lady Sequannah, Lady Ellen and Caliban who were found worthy to serve the Universal Spirit, but in so doing had to leave us behind. We thank you for being part of our world, and honor your contribution to our lives and our community. Save a chair and mug of mead for me at the Sacred Flame!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Frugal Pagan

In this economic climate, many of us have tightened our belts a bit more than ever. But being careful with our finances doesn’t mean we have to skimp on the things which we enjoy in ritual and our every day spirituality.

My first teacher always told me that a Witch’s most important tool was his/her mind. But we are visceral human beings who love beautiful things. Who among us hasn’t gawked at some gorgeous magickal item and said, “Oooh pretty shiny! I want!”. I am very guilty of this!

It’s great to have beautiful things on our altars, in our closets, in our homes and on our person that have special meaning to us and celebrate our spiritual connection with Deity. There’s an indefinable feeling when you’ve found that perfect piece or outfit or jewelry that just sings your name. Certainly, there are times when a particular piece or tool just calls to you and you HAVE to have it. Until you find that piece, however, you might just be waiting for it to show itself to you. And neither your permanent or interim pieces have to be opulent or expensive to be sacred.

You will find that your local pagan shop often carries lovely things created by craftspeople to use in your practice, and they’re always getting in new things for you to check out. But if they don’t have exactly what you’re looking for at a particular time, there’s nothing wrong with employing used or found items to enhance your stash of magickal tools. In fact, found/created items can hold as much or more power as anything else you can buy. Whether your item is bought or found or created, you can imbue these things with your personal power and intent, and that is what makes the item sacred. There are some traditions and groups who insist that your first magickal tools be made by your own hand, just so you can learn how to recognize what tools work for you and which ones are just aesthetically nice. Many pagans have multiple tools, some of their own creation, and some which are bought.

Here are a few ideas you can use in your own quest for magickal pieces.

Wands: Wands are an extension of your spirit, and it represents the element of fire, male energy and directed action. Your wand is the tool of transformation and change. A wand is often made of wood, and about as long as the practitioner’s forearm. Many times, you can find a thin straight branch to be the perfect size and shape to make a wand. Driftwood and dead wood in any stand of trees can be great sources of wandmaking. Try to refrain from cutting on a live tree, however. If you feel you absolutely must cut a branch off of a tree, make sure you ask the tree’s permission and thank the tree profusely (perhaps bring it a little offering) afterwards. If you can, research the wood you choose and find out what magickal properties the wood brings to the tool itself. Ask yourself if those are the qualities you want to bring into your Circle. Inspect the wood, and make sure it’s free of parasites, fungus or any other creepy crawlies that you don’t want in your home! Once you’ve chosen an appropriate piece of wood, you can carve it, shellac it, sand it, or just leave it in its natural state. You can add ribbons, leather strips, feathers, gemstones, charms, shells, or any other affectations which have a special meaning for you.

Athames: An Athame is a knife-like tool made of metal, which is used to direct energy within your Circle – but never to cut things (we use a Boline for that purpose). Most of us – me included – are not metal smiths, so for the most part, you will need to buy this tool. Traditionally, the Athame is black handled and the blade should be the length of your hand, from the bottom of your palm to the tip of your longest finger. But that’s not a hard & fast rule in Wicca today. There’s nothing wrong with using similar pieces to use as your Athame. Witches everywhere use letter openers, martial arts throwing knives, and other items. A trip to your local thrift shop or novelty shop might net you a beautiful piece. Please remember that like the wood for your wand, you should research the metal you’re bringing in Circle.

Ritual Jewelry: The Gods already find us beautiful just as we are. But jewelry is another way we can adorn ourselves in something special and sacred. Craft stores have tons of beading resources that we can take advantage of if you’re so inclined. If you’re really crafty, you can even MAKE your own beads from magazine paper and glue by cutting thin strips of glossy colorful magazine pages – advertisements are the best for this. First you cover the strips with crafting glue such as Mod Podge (it dries pretty clear). Then you roll it tightly around a straight pin. Anchor your pin & bead in florist foam or other pin cushion and allow it to dry. When your beads are completely hardened and dry, take the pin out and you will have a finished bead with a hole for threading on a wire or cord! Not only are these very pretty, it’s a very cool way of recycling old magazines which in turn honors Mother Earth. Bonus! You can also add some pizzazz to your ritual gear by including feathers, or recycled beads/ribbons/material from other outfits to make something uniquely yours.

Other tools can be found or made for a bargain. An altar cloth can be made of silk handkerchiefs or leftover material from a previous project. Chalices and offering bowls can be found at thrift/novelty shops or even be your favorite wine glass specifically saved for sacred rituals.

Keep your eyes and mind open. Sacred tools are everywhere, and you don’t have to spend a fortune to have your very own.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Mirth and Reverence in the Craft

“…Let My worship be within the heart that rejoiceth, for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are My rituals. And therefore let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence with you…” – (part of) The Charge of the Goddess, Doreen Valiente

Many of us who were brought up in a religious environment were taught that ceremonies, worship and ritual were meant to be very serious business. There was often little or no laughing allowed. As we found our Pagan paths, we brought that solemnity along in our own rituals. Being mirthful is nothing more than being joyful and having a little laugh.

But isn’t laughter and humor part of being human? As Priests and Priestesses in the Craft, we are encouraged to honor all parts of being human, because we are a reflection of the Divine. So, how do we reconcile the sacred and the seemingly profane? Can we find a happy medium between solemnity and our senses of humor?

Our pagan teachings tell us that we are humans, and as such, we are fallible. It’s happened to all of us: we attend or lead a ritual and say the wrong line at the wrong time, forget what quarter belongs to a particular element, mess up a chant, panic as the cat sets her tail afire on the God candle, a circle-mate (or the host’s Chihuahua) accidentally toots during the meditation, etc. There’s no need to be embarrassed or upset. It is a reminder of who we are and what we are. Smile and accept it as a gift from the Universe!

I believe that we should make room in our pagan lives for both mirth and reverence. The Gods, the Universe and Spirit itself all have a sense of humor – why can’t we? In my coven, we often say, “Laughter is the benediction of the Goddess”. Humor and laughter are beautiful qualities that make us whole. The Gods want ALL of us in ritual. Not just the serious part of us – they want the silly part, the powerful part, the humble part, and every other part that makes us who we are.

Levity can be important in Circle due to the seriousness of the actual ritual itself. It helps us to appreciate the solemnity of the occasion by giving us a little break from being totally immersed in the intense experience of our Divine connection. An example can be seen in my Tradition where we have a ritual that honors the Female Mysteries every Midsummer. The men of our coven know the women go off by ourselves, very solemnly and quietly. And when we return, we’re giggling and perhaps a little tipsy as well. The ritual is certainly about what it means to be a woman – the pain and the joy. Men have their own sacred mysteries which are important for them to honor. It’s vital for us to acknowledge that in order to be a whole person, we need to honor the serious parts of ourselves as well as the silly parts too.

One should never be afraid of laughing when it’s appropriate. What I mean by the term “appropriate” is simply that we should all be aware of our surroundings and ensure that the humor we display is respectful to the Gods and the people around us. Knowing this is a combination of experience and intuition. But always remember this: mirth should always be tempered with reverence. Like life, you need to be aware of your surroundings and audience before deciding to become your spiritual group’s very own standup comic. It’s one thing to tell your covenmate that she’s channeling the Crone because her joints cracked loudly in Circle. It’s another thing to call the Crone an “ol’ broad”, even as a joke. Certainly, disrespect is never funny.

You should always try to make sure your humor is shared by others, because what you might find hilarious may be offensive to someone else. It’s always a good idea to steer away from topics which might cross the line into gender or racial stereotypes or other hurtful topics.

Please allow me to share a personal story of mirth, in the form of a Goddess who has attached herself to my Tradition. Her name is Nunumi, and she has found her way to many other pagans over the years. Perhaps you might even see her at your next ritual or celebration!

Nunumi is the Goddess of Botched Rituals, and is beloved by my Tradition-mates and many others. She first showed up at the end of a very long Initiation ritual over 20 years ago. Traditionally, at the end of an Initiation, a sponsor stands before the Gods and introduces the newest Initiate. Part of the words go: “Welcome PixieMoonDrip (or whatever the Initiate’s name is), newly made Priestess and Witch”. However, after 3 days of fasting, and an 8 hour intensive ritual, the sponsor’s words came out as “Welcome PixieMoonDrip, *Nunumi* Priestess and Witch”. The Initiate being introduced happened to be my Sire Priestess…and she in turn introduced Nunumi to the rest of us over the years. Now, whenever someone goofs up in Circle, or the Priest forgets his words, or the Priestess trips over her robe, we know that Nunumi is making her presence known and we all say “Hail Nunumi!” in the hopes that by acknowledging her, the rest of the ritual will go smoothly!

There are many ways to have fun in Paganism, and perhaps you’ve experienced some of these. Songs & filks are one of the most popular ways for pagans to share joy with each other in a social setting. Filks are songs that are either created songs, or use the melodies of popular music which add words specific to a particular genre. Filks were first made popular in the science fiction world, and since many pagans are also sci-fi fans, we saw a “filking” crossover in the 1970’s. A favorite filk you might hear at a pagan gathering goes to the tune of the American spiritual song “Old Time Religion” where everyone chimes in with the chorus and laughs at the variety of the (hundreds of) stanzas. A quick search on the internet will turn up more information on this topic.

Most any pagan can tell you a myriad of stories about the funny things they’ve experienced at pagan festivals, gatherings, Circles and the like. These funny moments (or hours) can lay the foundations for the most amazing memories of people and places in the Craft. I can remember warm nights in the California mountains during Pacific Circle decades ago; making up filks and drinking mulled cider with pagan friends, new & old. We laughed and sang around the sacred fire until dawn. And for me, those are the sweetest memories of all. While I still remember the rituals and the workshops, I have much more vivid memories of the fun.

There are even rituals out there specifically designed with mirth in mind. In your pagan travels, you might come across a Chocolate Ritual or even a “Bill The Cat” initiation. Incorporating something whimsical in your ritual gear, or leaving an offering of a shot of Godiva Chocolate Liquor to appease Aphrodite can also be fun ideas. You can search the Web for Redneck Pagan Jokes, Pagan Light Bulb jokes, and more!

Not everyone is comfortable with being silly in Circle, but that’s an individual choice. You are the only person who can determine what level of humor you are comfortable with in a spiritual setting. But don’t be afraid of humor, and know that there is a place in our pagan lives and rituals where our laughter rings as bells to the Lady’s ears.

The Goddess tells us she wants us to come to her with mirth AND reverence. We shouldn’t forget either of these things in our pagan practice.

Hail Nunumi!

We will worship with our coven

Where there’ll be a lotta lovin’

Quit yer pushin’ and yer shovin’

So there’ll be room enough for me!

- One of the hundreds of stanzas sung to the tune of “That Old Time Religion”

     ¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨) Flags, Flax & Fodder, ¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨)
     (¸.•´ (¸.•`                    Kaerwyn             (¸.•´ (¸.•`

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Remembering Ellen Cannon Reed

Today has much meaning for me, because it marks the 6th anniversary of the passing of one of the most amazing and inspiring Priestesses I have ever had the honor to know – Ellen Cannon Reed. Ellen was an authoress, wife, visionary, High Priestess of Coven Sothistar, activist, and friend.

Let me share a few of my experiences with Ellen, keeping names out to protect privacy. Ellen was the best friend of a woman who become one of my Sire Priestesses, Sandy Kopf…but *I* met Ellen in the early summer of 1993 when I was living in Southern California. I had just had an incredibly traumatic June: I lost my job, broke up with my boyfriend of 3 years, lost my coven & home (I was living with covenmates and the boyfriend who were all in the same coven), and I had to move back with the parental units. All this occurred in the span of 48 hours! I searched for the Gods, but they were nowhere to be found. I guess you could call it a crisis of faith.

This previous coven had a long and sordid history with Ellen, not surprising as witch wars were prevalent in California during the 1980’s and 90’s. I was always instructed to never speak with “that woman”, but I was never told why. Of course, the moment I left the coven, I procured Ellen’s phone number through my pagan contacts.

I’ll never forget that conversation. I introduced myself brashly, “Hi. My name is Kaerwyn and I was told never to talk to you. I just left my coven [Name] and Priestess [Name] – have you heard of them?  And why am I not supposed to talk to you?”  


I thought I had a bad connection, but it was just a stunned Ellen. True to her nature and maturity as a Priestess – she began to talk to me and explain the history I was never afforded by my ex-coven.

Over time, we became friends. She and her husband Chris ran a pagan gathering called Pacific Circle every summer in the Angeles Crest Forest in the hills high above Los Angeles. Going was a highlight of my pagan life for 3 years until I moved to the Midwest in 1996. It was the first time I experienced people going Skyclad! OMG!

Ellen was the Priestess I continue to strive to be. She was a shoot-from-the-hip person, didn’t take any guff from anyone, she was fearless and above all she maintained her sense of humor. She didn’t sugar coat anything and was unrepentant about it all. She was a gifted writer, songwriter, pagan visionary and activist. Ellen gave so much to the pagan community, not just through her writing but through the various pagan organizations she belonged to, by teaching others, speaking at festivals/gatherings around the country and more. She always had time for new people in the Craft and told me often that they were the future of Witchcraft and we had an obligation to treat them with kindness and respect. She is the one who inspired me to work with new pagans through  my own personal outreach.

Beyond the Witches Tarot and the Witches Cabala, Ellen wrote “The Heart of Wicca” in 2000 which remains one of my favorite pagan books ever. She put her Tradition – Western Isian – on the map. She went through her share of heartaches, from living in a tent after the 1994 Northridge earthquake make her home unsafe to live in, to having troublesome students, to dealing with the progression of her leukemia, to experiencing the death of her dear friend (and one of my Sire Priestesses) Sandy Kopf. She weathered all of it with love and strength.

Most of all, I remember Ellen thusly – a swarthy woman with long dark hair, laughing, sitting around a campfire with Sandy, and calling me – me, a two-bit just-turned-initiate! – to come join them. I was excited, honored and scared! She gave me a mug of hot mulled cider (surreptitiously spiked with pear brandy) and I ended up having the best time ever, just chatting, laughing, singing and learning from Ellen.

That is the Ellen who remains in my memory and my heart.

They don’t make Priestesses like her anymore. I miss her to this day and I think I always will. Safe journeys, sistermine. And save me a glass of cider!

For another beautiful testimonial, go to:

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Hail and Welcome!

So…after years of debating whether or not to do this, I’ve finally taken the plunge. Guess I should introduce myself.

I’m Kaerwyn Silverwood. I’m the High Priestess of Coven DragonVeil in Maryland, USA. We work with the 1734 Tradition, which is a British-American Tradition started by Joe Wilson ( and has its roots in Robert Cochrane’s teachings.

I have been active in the pagan community for about 25 years now, teaching Tarot, Divination, Witchcraft/Wicca and more. I am a tarot reader at Mystickal Voyage (who host most of my classes), located in Nottingham, MD. There’s really not a lot more to say about me. I’m a middle-aged Traditionalist Witch who enjoys crocheting and a nice cup of tea.

I started this blog because I write about what I know. Mine might not be the ONLY way of doing things, but it is the way I’ve been taught. I’ve written several articles (with a bunch still in the hopper) for Mystickal Voyage’s Museletter which I’ll be posting here on a regular basis. Several people have encouraged me to share these articles online for those who might not live in our area or who haven’t been able to them. I’m also looking forward to discourse with people around the pagan web!

So…that leaves me here, publishing my stuff on the big bad Intarwebz. And here you are reading it – which is important. Why write if people don’t want to read it? We are now partners in this endeavor – welcome aboard & hold on tight!

Perhaps this blog will be cathartic for me, and maybe someone might get a different perspective on an old topic. Maybe I’ll make some friends. Maybe I’ll have some really enlightening conversations with like minded pagans. Maybe I’ll get flamed. Either way, it’s an adventure, and one I’m happy to embark on.

Thanks for being part of this process, and here’s to a happy future!

     ¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨) Flags, Flax & Fodder, ¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨)
     (¸.•´ (¸.•`                    Kaerwyn             (¸.•´ (¸.•`