Dear, dear friends,

This morning, a God journeyed through Osceola County.

I was working on the Motel’s Night Audit, getting it printed and getting some additional chores taken care of… changes in some of the paperwork procedures related to having a new GM made me want to mix up the morning routine a bit in order to give myself some extra time to take care of everything.

The sound of rolling thunder interrupted my everyday office early 21st Century routine.  I started printing the let’s-hope-we-don’t-have-to-use-this-in-an-emergency-or-blackout-report (not it’s formal name), un-locked the Lobby door and stepped outside for a moment or two…

The pre-dawn sky was dark, but I could tell it was overcast and cloudy, and the humid air was zephyring about.  The winds was shaking the palm fronds with a silken rustling sound.  It was near to rain, but not quite there yet, although the clouds coming in from the South West hinted that there was already rain fall on the Peninsula somewhere.  Flashes of lightening, like old-fashioned camera flash-bulbs, lit some of the clouds from the inside.  These alternated with streaks of cloud-bound lightening spider-webbing across the sky. All strangely silent, accompanied only by the petticoat rustlings of the leaves and tree limbs, then long moments later the thunder would roll across the landscape.  The lightest splatters of rain falling from the sky, seeming almost indecisive as the elements dances.

I spoke some greetings to the Powers of Air and Water and Fire, although I wasn’t entirely certain if Lightening belonged to the realm of Fire or Air… then too in my relations with the Natural world I am feeling increasingly drawn to the 3 elements model in some respects.

I also spoke a greeting to Zeus.  The Thunderer, who was storming through the skies and raining down upon the land of the local earth-mother Our Lady of The Feast of Flowers, Holy Florida.

I had to go inside and return to my reports for a while, my work as a Hospitality worker and my calling as a Witch having to dance and wrestle with one another for a while…

I returned to the doorway after the quick pre-dawn rainstorm had moved on,  The many layers of cloud-cover were doing a Brownian dance in the dawn-lit skies above me.  The early morning light, dancing and bouncing between land and cloud-covered sky and sea lit everything with a gentle yet revealing quality of light that seemed almost cinematic.  The rain quenched plants and grasses and leaves seemed a vibrant green even in the dim light.  The air was cool, for the moment, as the spent humidity rested on the ground before it began its inevitable creep back up into the air.  The day seemed clean and new, the air clear and cool, life full of possibilities.

The last month or so has been a tough time.  My Friends Sandi’s Death, by ex-beloved Eugene’s death, the ups and downs of matters at work, moving in with my now-beloved fabulous Jonathan…  busy, hectic, a true roller-coaster of emotions and experiences… and through all but a few days I have held to prayer and practice and the counsel of dear friends and wise words from many sources, and prayed and turned my heart over to the Holy Powers for their care.

Sometimes that is all we can do.

Sometimes there is grief and pain and pressure, sometimes there is joy and calm and beauty, accept them both, bless them both, and keep moving forward.

Sometimes, if we are lucky, patience and perseverance are rewarded with limnal numinous moments that feel like a cross-roads that allows us to set out in a new direction or that helps us to get back on the path we were on before.

Peace, and Perserverance,

Pax / Geoffrey

…and what are you actually DOING about that?

Dear Friends,

I have unilaterally decided that there is entirely to much anger and fist shaking and fear and fear-mongering in the world.  I see blog posts and Facebook status messages full of woe and inevitably, when asked, the only thing a lot of these folks do with their outrage is vent it on their friends on FB or on their blog or what-not.  If you ask them about how they spend their free-time trying to make the world a better place and to improve the social/political/cultural ill or situation that they’ve railed against; inevariably there is a litany of reasons why they couldn’t possibly spend time on this or that or the other.

I am going to start calling people on it.

For the record, I currently do what I can where I can to do good in the world. Sometimes that is sharing information, sometimes that is volunteering time to my U.U. faith community, sometimes that is blogging about practice and work, sometimes it is work at the Pagan Newswire Collective, sometimes it is engaging in religious and spiritual fellowship in support of some of my friends and fellow Pagans and U.U.’s – either in person or online.

When I have money, and as an adult who has lived at or bellow the poverty line his entire adult life and who may have to work till the day I die just to get by that is all to infrequently, I give to causes I believe in.  When my jobs allow me I volunteer my time working for causes I believe in, at least I used too… I kind of lost my way for a few years on that score, and lost sight of my self along the way, but I am getting back together on that score….

For now, I am content to hold myself together in balance and seek Spirit. I am content, for now, to lend my hand or voice to another in need of reassurance or nurturing.  I am content to do these things as I look for ways to do more, hoping… to lend or inspire in many others the strength to change a world that seems so off the rails to me.

For now, I seek to stabilize and improve my own situation.

For now.

And for now, I am going to start calling people on spewing rage or mongering fear whilst assuming their own helplessness.

I would appreciate your prayers, your thoughts and words of encouragement, and what blessings you may give.



Rekindling the Sacred Fires

“In the light of truth,

and in the warmth of love,

We gather to seek, to sustain, and to share.”

~ Chalice Lighting from1st Unitarian Church Orlando

Dear Friends,

I ~may~ be a bit of an absentee blogger for the next few weeks as I look and write and practice and work and Work towards Imbolc.

I am working on an Imbolc ritual for a group of Pagans.  I am doing it, primarilly, out of obligation.  I said I would do it and so I will.  We should keep our word, both when it is convenient and when it is not; that is the path of integrity, and why we should be damn careful about promising or volunteering for things!

It’s not that they are bad people, its just that the group itself has become incredibly hidebound and cliqueish and self-satisfied and convinced of their own glorious golden energy-ness.  New people with new ideas, experiences, and education, could not possibly have anything to offer this group they are just perfect… at least as they seem to see it.  So I have pulled back from my involvement with them, and Imbolc will be my last entangelment with the group.

It is ironic that this Feast of Rekindling and celebration of New Beginnings will also be, at its heart for me, a blessed release… but I suppose it is appropriate that for me the time between Samhain and Imbolc is sort of The Cross-Roads of the Year…

We celebrate the Honored and Beloved Dead at Samhain when according to the lore the walls between the worlds are at their thinnest, then we turn to celebrating the Honored and Beloved Living at Solstice…

… Of course some Traditions, including Heathenry Celebrate the Honored and Beloved Living AND Dead at the Solstice, or near it…

Samhain is, for many, a spiritual/religious New Years based on the old (and increasingly suspect historically) idea that the Celts celebrated the New Year on Samhain.  (Whilst suspect historically, this is nonetheless valid, but lets cop to our innovations and inspirations shall we?)  For me the New Years will always be the Winter Solstice, hard NOT to think of it as a Major Sabbat and as the Turning of the Year when you spent most of you life to date someplace where you see 4 hours daylight on that day and know undeniably that the days will get longer…  one kind of thirsts for sunlight and Spring in that sort of situation…

Now we are moving towards Imbolc and I am trying to write a Rite that will express my Witchcraft and Honor the Gods and especially Honor the Holy Tides of this Sabbat and celebrate and Honor Brighid.  This is a challenge as, due to an early experience with The Morrigan, left young Witchlet Pax more than a little wary of the Celtic Gods… so I have been doing a lot of research and am STILL debating with myself after 3 months as to whether I want to do a Witches Circle or a more generally Celtic/Druidic inspired Ritual am trying to write an invocation to Brighid…

I had asked a number of trusted folks if they would help, only the Fabulous Jonathan got back to me… but I am doing the right on my own, for a group of people with whom (with only very few exceptions) I will not likely be willing to Circle with again, nor break bread…

And yet even with the mixed feelings I have about this coming Imbolc, I am working on it as best I can.  I am thinking and writing and meditating on it and going to to the best I can for this Holy Day… not only out of obligation, but if this is the ONLY real chance I am to be allowed to give my best for this community, that once meant so much to me to be involved, then I will give them my BEST…for both myself and for The Gods.

Then too as painful as my association with this group was, and as near as it came to causing me to give up on a lot of things, it not only taught me some valuable lessons, but led me to involvement and friendships and much healthier associations that I would not have found without them; so I will celebrate the Sabbat and ballance my accounts with them… paying the coin as the Traditional Witchcraft folks say…



PS- New links have been added to the Online Resources and New Books to the Suggested Reading…

Libertas, Tiananmen Square, and Me

Dear Friends,

So this years Nobel Peace Prize winner has dedicated his award to the memory of those who died in the June Fourth Incident, as the  Tiananmen Square massacre is known inside China.  It took me a while to decipher the reasons why this news stirred my heart.  Since that time, the Chinese government has done what they can to block the incident or otherwise discredit the ceremony.   When this news broke in early November, though, I was transported back in time….

21 years ago, 1989, the Summer between my Junior and Senior year of High School.  Technically speaking I wasn’t really a Pagan or a Witch yet…  and yet… from early childhood I had had a fascination with stories of magic and the occult and E.S.P. and folklore and mythology.  From the time I got a couple of fill-in-the-blanks word/spelling workbooks with the stories of the Greek and Roman gods started  my fascination with Ancient Greece, which was later aided and abetted by my passionate love of Wonder Woman tv show; I had immersed myself in mythology and folk-lore and stories of the unexplained and such, and if there had been a book in any of my school libraries on such topics I had read it.

My family didn’t go to Church or anything…. we prayed at the Holidays but I wasn’t Churched growing up except for a couple of Christian Summer School experiments that I think Mom and Dad tried out because they felt I should get some species of religious education.  While I am sure that the Baptist Afternoon Bible Summer School must have spoken of God’s Love, all my A.D.D. blessed brain caught a hold of was the whole tow-the-line-or-go-directly-to-Hellfire-and-Brimstone-do-not-pass-go-do-not-collect-$200 part of the theology…; this left young Geoffrey with some issues with Christianity and organized Religion!  I had begun skirting the barest edges of metaphysical and magickal practices from readings in the folklore and Mysteries of the Unexplained Woo Woo readings I had done over the years.  It hadn’t really yet occurred to me that there were other games in town OTHER than Christianity/Judaism (which, since I didn’t know one could convert to, I considered myself wholly ineligible for)/Islam;  I had yet to start reading any Daoist or Buddhist books, that would come later….

Like many people of my generation I found great hope and inspiration in the early days of the coverage of Tienanmen Square, people finding their voice and demanding redress of their grievances from their government…. as a young man born in 1972 and raised with all the patriotic fervor of the U.S. Bicentennial floating about and the (admittedly rose-colored and simplistic) emphasis on U.S. History and Americana and Democracy etc. etc…  how could I not feel moved by the happenings across the Pacific from my homeland of Alaska U.S.A.?

Then, then I saw Her.  It was not simply that they had raised a statue resembling Lady Liberty, although that did stir my soul, but that they outright named Her as Goddess… The Goddess of Democracy… I did not know then that Lady Liberty who stands beside the golden door is meant to represent Libertas…  Yet, something about the fact that people all over the world were being enthralled and inspired by the struggle for freedom and inspired by the image of The Goddess of Democracy, stirred within my mind the idea that the ancient Gods and Godesses were still abroad in the world, stirred my senses and struck chord in my heart and soul and knocked upon the doors of my perception.  It was a deep and abiding and everlasting and celestially symphonic chorus of…

“Yes!  Yes, yes, oh Sweet, oh Divine, oh Glorious; Yes!!!”

…that rang forth from and within my every dancing atom and singing cell.   The swift winged winds of change blowing through my soul, inspiring me and stirring a sea change deep within me.  Even though I didn’t have the language for it at the time, and even though I did not formally start my studies or formally separate myself from the mainstream or from the presumed Judeo-Christian matrix of my late 20th Century U.S. upbringing until a few years later, I can honestly say THAT was the exact moment I truly became a Pagan.

What about you?  When did you say YES?

Peace, and Curiosity,


PS- after this post was written and posted, a series of posts entitled “My life with (some of) The Holy Powers and The Spirits” started trickling out of me, and this post was too obviously a part of that NOT to be included… for ease of cross referencing Links to the other articles discussing the characters in my life’s Divine and semi-Divine Dramatis Personae will be included below as the posts are written…


Libertas (this post)

The Witches Goddess

The WitchFather

The Morrigan



The Honored and Beloved Dead

Spirits of the World Around Us

Survey Says…..


Working the overnight shifts this week I have had a fair amount of time on my hands at work.  The lull after the Memorial Day madness and before July.

I had listened to one of the early episodes of New World Witchery and was feeling especially Witchtacular so I grabbed my Tarot cards and in the early A.M. of the 17th did my first spontaneous reading in months.

(The one before that was in February of Last year and full of omens that I could have read to avoid a LOT of heartache and loss and grief had I paid attention to them rather than sweeping them nervously under my psyche… then again the disasters of that year have led to the successes and happiness of the present… so who’s to say I was meant to listen to them then anyways?)

Any how I emptied my mind breathed into my centers and Center and shuffled and mixed the cards, which had been separated into their Suits and The Arcana for some re-learning/studying earlier this year, and drew three cards.  I didn’t label them…. I mean it wasn’t like one was Past one was Present and one was Future, nor did I have a specific question.  I simply opened myself up to intuition and inspiration and let ‘er rip in the spirit of “What do I need to know?”**

The three cards I drew were, from left to right, the King of Swords, The Chariot, and the 9 of Swords.

Duh, dum, DOOM!  (that’s the musical riff that I heard inside my fertile imagination as I first looked at this little spread, familiar to anyone who’s watched any of the action/adventure type shows of the late 70’s early 80’s…)

I looked at the cards and their relationship and relaxed as the themes of Balance and Will seemed to percolate to the surface and was confirmed in my consultation of my trusted Paperback Tarot Book.  (I used to be able to read with out it… but then I set down the Cards, and a lot of my Craft, for years as I wandered emotionally and mentally in my early to mid 30’s.)


‘In the late PM of that same evening and the early AM of today I consulted the I-Ching for clarification/cross-referential purposes; a practice I first heard of from my dear dear friend The Incubus.  ( a nickname rather than an entity)

The coins were thrown and the Book of Changes consulted and I got

#32 Thunder above Wind – Long Lasting

moving towards

#35 Fire above Earth – Proceeding Forward

with special emphasis on the 3rd line, which would lead to #40 Relief…had it been the only changing line, which it wasn’t, but I felt that intuitional sort of nudge to go ahead and read up on #40 as well anyway, so I did!  After all what’s the point of Divining unless you truly give yourself up and over to the process?!


Over all, signs seem to indicate that continued Will development and working and Working on the proper ballance of Spiritual Work and my Stable Planes is in order.  The Suit of Swords, and the many moving lines from the Book of Changes, both suggest a lot of outside forces at work.  Yet the core message is one of True Will and seeking a ballance.  The coins of the Book of Changes counsel me not to rush anything.  Doing the Work of Spirit and Magick and nurturing Will and seeking Ballance; these will leak to Forward movement, Relief of hardship, and success.

So that’s what I am trying to do.

**I should note that, for no particular reason I can identify other than it felt right in the moment, I shuffled and mixed the cards in such a way as to NOT reverse any of the cards.

I am officially a Unitarian Universalist.

Hello Dear Friends, Pagani, U.U’s, and all other readers….

So this last Sunday, 2/07/10, I formally signed my name in the membership book for the First Unitarian Church of Orlando, my Church!

It’s funny how it can change things when it’s your Church.

This event was preceded by a couple of new member classes and a potluck dinner for new members and their sponsors and various Church and Board of Trustees members.

So the new members were, at the appropriate point in the service, called up to sign their name in the book and shake hands with members of the BoT and Membership/Fellowship committee and to accept our membership cards and a flower (which is now sitting upon my altar) and to swear to our part of the Bond of Union..

“We associate ourselves together

for the study and practice of morality and religion

aas interpreted by the noblest lives of humanity,

hoping thereby to prove helpful to one another

and to promote truth, righteousness, and love in the world.”

I really hadn’t had much time to read or contemplate this oath, I read it during the early part of the service before the new members ceremony took place.  It was really incredible to be swearing this oath, which speaks to my highest ideals in the company of others who feel similarly.  Then members of the BoT and various Church groups stood and swore various oaths to us, and then the congregation as a whole stood and swore some various oaths, and then we all sang the Song of Dedication, which is a part of all of our Congregations services…

“Love is doctrine of this church,

the quest for truth is its sacrement,

and service is its prayer.

To dwell together in peace,

To seek knowledge in freedom,

To serve humankind in fellowship,

Thus do we covenant with each other,

Thus do we covenant with each other.”

I am still beginning my journey as a U.U., yet similarly to how I felt when I found Paganism, it feels like coming home.



The Challenge: An Open Letter to the Pagan Movement

Dear Friends and Pagani,

I have been trying to write this piece for a while now.  Starting, and stopping, erasing and rewriting, and setting it aside as I tried to untangle my thoughts and feelings and motivations.

The year turns and we are about to embark on the second decade of the 21st Century of the Common Era.  The last several decades have brought many challenges to the Pagan Movement.  In the later 19th and early 20th Centuries the challenges were simply the rebirth and first stirrings of revival within Polytheism and Pantheism and the many “-isms” in the West that have all contributed to the gorgeous tapestry that is Contemporary Paganism.

In the 1950’s and 60’s especially, as the Pagan Revival became a much wider spread phenomenon, no longer the province of lone individuals or small groups, but widely discussed and bursting forth into the larger societies view… albeit through the very distorted lenses of the times and of the overculture.

In the 1970’s and 1980’s we was the beginnings of physical communities as Pagans began to come out to and encounter one another, we also saw some childishness and infighting ~ as one might expect in a spiritual and philosophical and cultural and religious movement leaving behind its infancy and beginning to mature due to the hard work of hundreds of passionate Druids and Witches and Heathens and, indeed, Pagans of every description.  These decades also saw the first stirrings of cross-Tradition communications, in the pages of Magazines like Green Egg; and through Magazines and Newsletters within and across our many Traditions we saw the birth of many new communities and organizations for our many paths.  The 1980’s also brought us the Festival culture, where we could go and retreat from the overculture and begin the journey of defining for ourselves what Paganism was, in part by exploring the many reflections of it from many Traditions and paths as we encountered (and yes, still fought) with one another.

There has been a lot of infighting within the last 30+ years, as we have matured in our individual and communal Pagansims.  As we learned to live with one another, as we truly began to let go of the ideas and norms of the largely Monotheistic overculture even as we struggled to figure out how to exist within it, as we as Pagans grew up.

There has been a ebb in the 1980’s and 90’s era tide of “Pagan” publishing in the last decade… Why the quotes?  Because by and large the “Pagan” publishing of the late 1980’s and 90’s represented only a narrow bandwidth of our spectrum.  We have more than enough books that seek to explain one or two of the Pagan traditions in terms so simple a child could get it, we have enough books that talk about the baby steps of ritual; where are our books of deep philosophy (from a Contemporary Pagan p.o.v.), where are the books detailing Pagan ways of dealing with hardship and tragedy and grief, where are the deep and thoughtful anjd practical and philosophical works that could take us out of the “occult” and “metaphysical” ghetto’s of the bookstores and into the Religions section?

Make no mistake we need to be writing them, in hard copy as well as online!  Even as we discuss and expound online… websites only last as long as their technological or programing platforms and as long as their service providers… we need to be creating hard copy for ourselves and for our future generations.

The 90’s and the Aught’s with their accompanying transformations of the Internet Age have seen an explosion of communication and exploration and information within our movement, and a new round of misinformation as the overculture noticed some segments of our movement again.  That misinformation, borne both of confusion and of deliberate misinforming on the parts of some groups fearful of change and eager to increase their own power at any cost, forms the basis of our challenge for the next decade.

We must find more and new ways  live our faiths and our values and ideals, and new ways to communicate of them within our community and to demonstrate them to the overculture.  We have come to the international stage in Interfaith conferences, we have seen the elections of our first openly Pagan officials in the U.S. and yet we have a lot more to do.

We need to start writing those deeper and more thoughtful books, we need to start supporting our large in faith and inter-faith Pagan organizations, and charities, and those organizations and groups seeking to build our Pagan infrastructure… like Pagan Seminaries and Colleges.

We need to set aside our fear of being picked on, or discriminated against because of our faiths.  We need to embrace our Traditions and our Movement and Communities with Pride.  Remember, there are soldiers of the many Pagan faiths who are living, and some have given or who will give, their lives in service to  our rights; Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion among them

These are the Challenges of the next decade for us my fellow Pagans.

What other Challenges can you identify?

Yours in Peace and Curiosity and Community,


Bursting the Dam!

Dear Friends and Pagani,

So I haven’t posted in a while as dear Jonathan has pointed out… on the one hand I had been wanting to be more personal with this blog, on the other hand I haven’t exactly been filled with the creative spirit… well in some respects I have but well … ok so i’m a little out of practice here…  I’ve been jotting things down on a yellow legal pad… and puttering around on other strands of the Internet… and now like a weary spider I am returning to my own little corner of the web…

Some of my jottings…

Fear and hurt and a strong layer of why-the-heck-bother have enveloped me lately.  Not constantly mind you!  I am hardly some walking wounded soul in a constant state of agonized heartache.  More like comfortably numb (only without the aid of fabulous medication, sorry kids not too glamorous these days…) with occasional highs and lows, as I run about finding distractions from heartache and its causes.

I laugh, I have good times, I enjoy myself.  I have imerssed myself in a favorite movie and a favorite book, and in fun with friends and flirting with bears; especially this one dude.  I am enjoying a new job and moved into a new place and am puttering about with a new altar and am trying to figure out what furniture and goods I need first.  I’ve written some, somewhat angsty poetry mostly, but still, reaching out and trying to touch and be touched by the fundamental powers of Creation through creative arts.

But, they are still there… the fear and the hurt and the heartache are still there clinging to me like a veil or a caul that I must fight or chew my way through as I struggle to resurface to myself.


I like ____ a lot and in some way that scares me because if I truly and deeply care for and about him, for and about anything, I can be hurt.

I don’t want to be hurt anymore, or again.

But there isn’t really life without some pain, and no adventure without fear, no love without heartache.

Knowing this why do I hesitate?

The heartache is too near, the fear’s sharp taste too recently on my lips, the pain still too fresh in my hearts memories.

He is good and smart and funny and kinky and geeky and just the bee’s knees.  I just hope he can be patient.


My heart beats in my chest like a broken birds wing.  He’s trying to take flight, he’s trying to sing.  Then it stutters and coughs and flutters and fails  Against the bars of the cage of my own heartbreak.

How do you hammer out a broken heart?  When does heartache end and how do I start?  How do I hammer out a broken heart?

I coule really, really, really fall for you.  But my fear holds me back and apart from you.  In my pain I don’t know what to do, or what to say.  I am lost at cross-roads without a clue.

How do you hammer out a broken heart?  When does heartache end and how do I start?  How do I hammer out a broken heart?

So then I spin in a Circle and I start to pray. ” Help me heal my heart and guide my way.”  My heart he wants to fly again, to risk again.  To live, to learn, to laugh and love again.

How do you hammer out a broken heart?  When does heartache end and how do I start?  How do you hammer out a broken heart?


.. so those are some of my recent jottings and writings on what’s been going on in my life…

I’ve slowly been re-imersing myself in the blogosphere and reading entries that have reminded me that there are big events and changes going on in the world, that sometimes the luminous numinous beauty and wonder of creation can knock us on our fannies if we let it, and that there is always joy.



Wow, funny what you find when your looking.

So I just finished an automatic-writing/ journaling exercise inspired by one of the exercises in Kissing the Limitless by T. Thorn Coyle…(seriously, if you’re mystically inclined go out and buy it!)

I wrote about my relationship with money, my self-destructive patterns of behavior, family issues, how in the end I am the one responsible for my choices and actions so why did I keep (silently, to myself anyway) try to find excuses or some triggering past event; you know, the usual stuff that starts oozing and seeping out once you start squeezing your subconscious on a topic.  A couple of sentences that stood out in  particularly were…

I have this deeply seated feeling of not being worthy.  This sense of if I get crap I somehow deserve it.

Wow!  I am just SUCH a ray of Effin’ sunshine, aren’t I?!?  I can see the insanity of such an idea… I’m just not sure what to do with it.

I’ve been continuing with my prayers and trying to add meditation to my regular/daily list of spiritual practices; along with some other excercises from Thorn’s Book.  (and tweaking them to adjust for my own metaphisical and magical experiences and past)  Breathing in Life energy, placing it into a challice of water and drinking from it.  Deep breathing meditations and staring into a candle flame… breathing new life into my energy bodies and chakra’s.

As I write this I am finding other little bits of toxic thought and feeling flittering to the surface… pettyness, fear, hatefulness, selfishness, lazyness…

These qualities and the thoughts and feelings I personally associate with them are as much a part of me as the beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, and mirth and reverence that I as a Witch have tried to cultivate within myself.

I may not have the money for therapy (which I think most folks should try for at least a little while)… but I have tools and techniques and dear friends and the Gods… I think I am more than ready to start dealing with some of this stuff!

The rather encouraging thing is I think I’m at a point in my life where I am ready to actually remember those tools and allies!



Rambles about Cultural Misappropriation and Community Involvement

(stream of consciousness post, with ~~~ separators for the different shiny thoughts running through my mind at the moment…)


So I have run hot and cold over my involvement with a local Pagan community group… partly timing and partly some miscommunications and confusion.  Recently however, I have decided I don’t want to be involved with them.

This group is hosting a “Native American Ceremony”, led by a gentlemen who has been involved in the local community, and presented Sweat Lodges at a local Pagan gathering, for years. No problem with the guy personally, it’s just that he’s not  Native…

(Lakota in this case as it is a “Lakota Pipe Ceremony”) nor is he a member of the Lakota Nation….his profile lists a long list of tribes whose elder’s he’s studied with and Native Peoples with whom he’s studied… I am rather certain were he a member of one of the Nations he’d broadcast that fact far and wide in his sincere and probably heartfelt spiritual practice service information)

The problem I have with this is that Native Americans do not like it.  Many of them feel that it is akin to stealing from them, and insulting to them and their spirituality and culture, and you can read more eloquent and more first-hand explanations here…

~~~ from the Native American Spirituality section of the Online Resources!!~~~

Personal Views about the Exploitation of Native Cultural Traditions

This is a first hand essay on the issue found on the Internet…

Seeking Native American Spirituality and Traditional Religion: Read This First!

This article is from Native Languages (dot) Org, a linguistics and cultural website.

Help Stop American Indian Exploitation

This article is from the Canku Luta, a grassroots non-profit committed to the preservation of American Indian customs and culture.

New Age Frauds & Plastic Shamans

This excellent Native American run website strives to sort out reality from trickery, and sincere confusion, as it relates to Native American religion and Shamanism


When I tried to bring up my concerns about the issue of cultural mis-appropriation and ritual theft my concerns were pretty much swept aside by the President of the Board of this local organization and I was informed that

As far as any religion or ceremony belonging to one person or persons as a birthright, (LOCAL PAGAN ORGANIZATION NAME HERE) believes that we each have the right to follow the path that calls us.”

Which sounds all well and good except that part of what makes a Lakota ceremony a ceremony is it’s interconnectedness with and meanings within the Lakota culture.  Those threads of emotion and feeling and tradition and power are connected to being Lakota.

The same is true of a Gardnerian ceremony… even if a copy of the Gardnerian BoS were to drop into your lap tomorrow; you might be able to make yourself a Witch with it… and perhaps even reach some sort of connection (not necessarily a positive one) with the Gardnerian Lord and Lady… but you would never be a Gardnerian!  Part of being a Gardnerian is being initiated (or adopted) as a member of that particular group…

I feel like I am failing to communicate why this issue is important, not just because it is disrespectful (at best) towards Lakota and other native peoples, but in it’s own right….


Of course, being against Cultural Appropriation presented me with some problems… one of which was easy enough to fix…

I had at one time downloaded a copy of an alleged “Traditional BoS” from an online source, I have since deleted that file and information.  Not being an initiate to the Trad in question, I have no business mucking about with their stuff.

The deeper problem, for me, is that where does Reconstruction and Modern Paganism end and Cultural Misappropriation begin?

For me, for now, I think that one of the biggest differences is that in seeking a relationship with and stiving to honor through ritual the Hellenic Gods (Ancient Greece) I am not reaching out to a spirituality of a still living culture… to be sure Greek Culture is alive and well, but the Polytheistic and Pagan culture of Ancient Greece is only now begining to be reborn and rediscovered by modern peoples, even within Greece itself.

Of all places the Celtic Recon FAQ actually has some great things to say to the difficulties and nuances of Reconstructionist paths…


I have this nagging fear that this local groups desire to dress up and play Indian is not only going continue a cycle of theft and racism that Native Americans have been dealing with since “Native American” spirituality became so cool and shiny in the 1980’s and 90’s, but will also negatively impact the local Pagan community.


Then, on a more personal level,  I am now looking for a different avenue in which to participate in my local Pagan community… as I am working two part time jobs it is very easy to let myself hold back from involvement in things.. especially from starting things…

… but if I am to follow my gut instincts, including the one that says Community is worth working for, then i am going to have to get involved and perhaps start a group… or join another local one…




Cross Roads Moments

I suppose it is not entirely unexpected that someone who has chosen to make a place in his heart and life for Hecate should be drawn to the metaphor and myth and imagery and power of the cross-roads.  Thoughts of them have been hovering at the back of my mind the last few days.

There are a couple of very different sources or goads or inspirations for this recent obsession, other of course than having been blessed with A.D.D. and occasionally getting stuck on an idea like a bird-dog on a scent.

One came from Dana of the Bells from Crying of a Siren, her quick note which linked to an a couple of articles ( 1st one here and 2nd one here) about a new reporters sociological experiment.

Briefly the reporter had it arranged that Joshua Bell one of the greatest living violinists of our day would be wearing some scruffy clothes,  playing some of the greatest pieces of classical music (on a Stadivarius no less!), at the top of the stairs at a busy Washington DC subway terminal and would film whatever the results were…  hardly anyone walking by noticed or acknowledged him!

The other, much sadder, goad or inspiration for this post comes from Kerr Cuhulain’s blog.

Briefly, over a dozen people encounter a boy wandering the streets in mixed snow and rain, barefoot and wearing some flannel pajamas asking passersby for help as his parents are fighting.  Not.  One.  Of.  Them.  Helped. Him!

The police were not able to track him down.


This has me doing some thinking about those moments in life where we have a chance to make a choice, how those choices define us or change us.  I believe, as a Witch, that we are responsible for our choices; our actions, our reactions, our responsibility.

I’d like to think the the nearly 20 years I have been a Pagan and Witch that I have learned, that I have grown in maturity and in spirit; that is sort of the idea of Witchcraft… at least as I see it.

I find myself looking at the Sunlit Cross-roads of the Joshua Bell experiment and remembering a time on my student tour of Europe where I was walking up the stairs of the London Metro and found myself listening to a guitarist…  the strange and wonderful accoustics of the subway station stairs and eventually comming upon him.  An alien experience in a foriegn city to a young, young man from Anchorage, Alaska.


I find myself thinking of a time when I was in my early teens and I was downtown doing some Christmas shopping… it was a snowy day so the temperature wouldn’t have been too cold… somewhere in the 30’s maybe.  A panhandler approached me for money, I told him I had none even though I did.

I was young and had been warned by my parents to just say no to panhandlers and to never take my wallet out…

Yet even then I looked back on it even minutes later thinking about the Fast Food restaurant we were near… I could have taken him in and bought him a meal…

Of course I also look at that particular cross-roads with the eyes of someone who has since worked as a convenience store clerk and watched panhandlers get together money from customers and then come in later and by beer or cigarettes with the money…  I am somewhat cynical when approached nowadays.

But I could have bought him a burger…


Then there is the brightly lit Midnight sunlit cross-roads of walking home from my job at a big-box book store and being startled by an old woman.  She was in a clean bright floral print bathrobe/nightgown type of thing and looked a little confused wandering her neighborhood at an odd hour of the bright Alaskan summer night.  (2 or 3 am)

We had startled each other I had been booking it for home walking on my own and she had popped from around the corner from one of the neighborhoods off of C street in downtown Anchorage.  Seemingly appearing out of nowhere from behind a light pole.

We laughed about it and I applogized for nearly running into here and in a moment it became clear she was clealy clean and fed and not homeless…but was more than a little disoriented but trying not to show it.

She asked me if the Church across the street was open and I told her I did not know.  I asked her if she needed help and she said no.  She wandered off across the street and tried the door of the church, it was locked.

She did though.  Someone needed to do… well, something… I walked off a little ways so as not to scare her off and I called the police and waited around watching her wander back towards the neighborhood she had suddenly walked around the corner into my life from.  I waited and watched discreetely from around the corner as the police came and talked to her and helped her get back into the residential care house she had wandered out from.

I talked briefly to one of the cops before I headed home.


We always have the power of choice.  What would you live for?  What would you die for?  We choose our actions and reactions and we are responsible for them.

If its the easy option or choice, it’s probably not the right one.

Lots of thoughts and memories rambling around m y brain and circling the Cross-roads of my mind.



Thanks be to the Morrigan

Having poured a libation in thanks to You,

And spoken my thanks to You in the World of Flesh,

I now write these words of thanks, and praise, to You,

In This Place betwixt and between the worlds of Mind and Spirit.

Hail and Well met oh Raven of Battles,

Goddess of Soveriegnty

She who came in answer to my cross-roads prayer,

So many years ago,

Bringing a Tsunami’s wave of power and presence,

Bringing Holy Terror and the answer to prayers,

And bringing an aquantence with Hecate in your wake.

Thanks and honor and praise to you oh Mighty Midnight Queen of the Celts.

Stream of Consciousness… Blame Sannion!

So I have recently sent out an e-mail requesting feed back and advice on this blog and its affilliated pages.

Hello folks,

I am sending this to some of my dear friends and friendly
acquaintances, and a couple of cool past correspondents,  in the hopes
of getting some advice on my site…

My blog is evolving into a combination of spiritual journal and online resource.  I am trying to build my site into a useful resource for folks new to the Pagan and metaphysical community.  I would be very grateful if you could take some time to look at the blog and the pages of the site and let me know what you think.  I am particularly interested in any additions you could suggest to the ‘Links!’ page.

Thank you, and Peace,

Sannion, of Neos Alexandria and Sannion’s Sanctuary, comes back at me with the following…

“You’ve got a really great site there.  I’d love to see focus on more personal material.  What do you do, what do you think about specific matters, what does it *feel* like to live your faith on a daily basis.  So many others cover the history or the specifics, but people need to know what it’s like from the inside out, ya know?”  ~Sannion (C) 2008 quoted w/ permission

Which I think is, perhaps, one of the more motivating and fabulous writing prompts I’ve ever seen!   (Thanks, man!)

Back to the advice..  I am debating whether to add it as a quote on the sidebar… I worry folks would think it publicity and not a blogging prompt…  Anyhow, I was moved to do some stream of consciousness writing… and then was distracted by the fabulous Kym Dragon… but here’s what poured out…


My first thought on how it *feels* to live my faith everyday is a sensory memory of how, when I sometimes feel moved to pray to the Gods, or to simply Center and Ground, everything will seem visually brighter and clearer.  The shapes seem sharper, the colors more vivid.


I tend to be a fairly wordy, mental person.  Not that I can’t get emotional, Goddess knows I can, but I tend to keep it in.  I think I have trouble sharing my feelings and experiences sometimes because of the feeling I had growing up that my feelings and experiences and thoughts weren’t seen as being as valid as those of my father or brother…

…WOW… Issues anyone?!?

(Let’s hear it folks for stream of consciousness writing and the sudden facing of one’s own buried interpersonal s***!!) ~applause!~


I was inspired, recently, to modify my way of praying.  I blame Pagan Meghan.  She spoke, in her fabulous rant on the Pagan TV Religious Literacy episode, about being inspired to add kissing her hands when she catches sight of the Sun or the Moon by something she read in the bible.

This burbled to my consciousness as I was making my regular offering of incense to the Divine…..

So… uh, yeah, blame Sannion.