Tag Archives: celtic

Interview with The Balanced Witch

I know, this is a Paganism-related blog post, but I felt like posting it here anyway.  I’m still hammering out the niftiness of Thistle in the Wind… so it’s on the back burner for awhile.

ANYWAY.  I was interviewed over at The Balanced Witch for being named Member of the Month for February 2010.  For everyone who hasn’t checked out The Balanced Witch blog or The Circle of Balanced Witches forum, well, all you witchy everyones, I absolutely recommend checking it out.  Fantastic content.  Fantastic people.  So far, the best Pagan forum I’ve had the pleasure of being part of.

READ MY INTERVIEW!

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Some stuff!

So, I’m working on a piece of flash fiction that was supposed to be done today, but it’s not.  I’ll post it tomorrow.  =]

Also, I’ve been ultra busy creating a separate blog for Paganism.  I figure it’s best to keep my writing blog separate from my spiritual journey, so here we are.  Thistle in the Wind is up and running, but still being tweaked and tuned to what I need.  It doesn’t look pretty at the moment, but content is what’s important.  =]  I’m getting there.

Today is the debut for my Celtic Paganism social networking site as well!  Caraid Còmhlan!  You’re all welcome to check it out, though since I have more writer friends than pagan friends on this blog, I’m not holding my breath. LOL.

I’m getting back on track, slowly but surely. <3  I missed you guys!

I’m super glad Mckenzie has Flash Fiction Thursday up and running again.  I needed a set day that made me feel bad for not writing or I never would.  Damn my own lack of self-motivation.

Woo!  And things. <3

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30 Days of Paganism Day 1: Why (Not) Paganism?

I have to admit, that this post may be the easiest of the entire 30 day list, and it’s also the one I’m dreading the most.  This has been a growing part of who I am for seven years now, so to look back and remember why I made the conscious decision to pursue this path is going to be a bit difficult.  It’s been a part of me, and I’ve rarely had to chronicle how that came to be.

For starters, I was introduced to Wicca when I was 11 or so, when The Taproot bookstore took up its post in Whitinsville, MA.  My friends and I, out of sheer curiosity, went in after the grand opening one day after school, and were immediately met with a wall of sweet-smelling incense.  The entire store was decorated in Native American trinkets, dream catchers, instruments, and artwork.  There were several bookshelves lining the walls, and in the center of the shop was a station that had sage bundles, tumbled stones of every color, geodes, and all sorts of herbs.

While my friends were completely engrossed in the “colorful rocks”, I was drawn to the bookshelves.  (I started my geekish love affair with books when I was three, so don’t be startled.  By the time I was eleven there was no hope in making me a “normal” kid.)  I can’t recall the titles of the books, but there were dozens that passed through my hands.  A book on Wicca (again, the title escapes me.  It was a long time ago) was the last one I picked up, and sat on the floor, thumbing through it.  Before long, I had my other three friends sitting on the floor with me, all completely enraptured by the contents and the notion that magic was real.

Fast forward eight years.  I graduated from high school and had absolutely no direction in my life.  I’d been working at Subway for just about a year, and felt myself spiraling downward.  My best friend was in college 75 miles away, and I had no way of seeing her.  My other friends, at the time, were work friends (though they became much more eventually) and I didn’t feel comfortable confiding in them.

A metaphysical shop moves in across the street from where I work.  The Purple Moon.  My boss, my coworkers, and I all stood in the large Subway window, looking across the street, making speculations.

“I hear they sell statues.”  Mark said.  He was the boss, but acted more like a big kid with a massive twitchy mustache. Kind of like Luigi from Super Mario Brothers.  He died a few years back from cirrhosis, it was awful.

ANYWAY.

“It doesn’t look like it sells statues,” I said, and looked up at him.

“Maybe.  Go over there.” He responded.

“You mean leave work and go shopping while I’m on the clock?”  I grinned and popped my Subway polo shirt collar like the dork I am.

“No, you’re investigating, not shopping.  Ten minutes.”  He opened the door.

No one told Mark that curiosity killed the cat.  I didn’t come back for over an hour.

Inside The Purple Moon, which was heavily Wicca-oriented, I was met with Pam (the proprietor), Angela (her daughter-in-law and partner), and Pam’s son (whose name escapes me now).  They welcomed me, talked to me, let me browse as I saw fit.  And told me I smelled delicious.  Damn Subway.

Leaning on the counter, I started talking to Pam’s son about the nature of the shop, which had me completely wide-eyed and making connections back to that day when I was eleven.

“So, how do you know if you’re pagan?”  I asked, thumbing through a copy of Cunningham’s Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner.

“Have you ever watched a sunset, or stood in the rain, or gone hiking for the experience and not the fitness, and thought ‘maybe there’s more to it than this’?”

“Yeah, but isn’t there?”  It seemed obvious to me, a connection to the world around me, ‘something more.’

“Maybe for you there is.  Why don’t you research a little on your own, and when you’re ready to talk more, we’ll be here.”

A life-altering experience just punched me in the face… and I had to go spend the next four hours at Subway instead of doing that research that was now nagging to get started.

Those are my roots.  It was a long story and I’m sorry for overloading you, but I’m a storyteller by nature.

At The Purple Moon, I took two levels of Wicca classes hosted by Tala, but by the end of my first year in that course of study, I decided Wicca was not my calling.  Since then, I’ve been referring to myself as ‘eclectic pagan,’ which, so far, has been reasonably accurate.  Recently though, over the last year, I’ve been feeling incredibly wrong about the mix-and-match style of conventional neo-paganism, and I’ve been seeking something a little more culturally exclusive.

Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism enters here.  The problem?  I’m not looking to recreate an entire Iron Age culture in my every day life.   Some of the customs adapted to my modern lifestyle are more than welcome, and I certainly want to learn as much of the gods, land spirits, and ritual as possible.  Recreating what was mostly lost to the ages, and tainted by the Romans, is a difficult undertaking, but I’m a researcher.  I suck up information like a sponge.

I want to know more, and I want to continue finding me.

So, why paganism?  It’s just who I am, even if the path has been somewhat indirect.

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30 Days of Paganism

So, in light of recent events (and in an effort to counter how crappy I feel), and also as a procrastination aid for NaNoWriMo, I’ve decided to take part in the 30 Days of Paganism blog meme.  Keep in mind that I may not post every day, because I have crap to do, and I really don’t care to rush myself through this.  So, there will be an installment regularly, just not daily.

I’ve never had to distinctly define many of those things on that list before. Now that I’m in transition from eclectic, non-definable paganism (culture theft, which bothers me immensely) to Celtic Recon, I think this exercise will really help me put myself together. I may do a “This is what I’ve been doing vs. Scots-Celtic Recon and how it resonates on a deeper level” thing.

Here’s the list of topics:

30 Days of Paganism
1. Beliefs – Why Paganism?
2. Beliefs – Cosmology
3. Beliefs – Deities
4. Beliefs – Birth, death and rebirth
5. Beliefs – Magic, spellcraft, mysticism etc
6. Beliefs – The power of prayer/reciprocity
7. Beliefs – Patronage and other deeper relationships
8. Beliefs – Holidays
9. Deity Gender
10. Patrons
11. Pantheon – For these posts, pick a deity or speak of elements of the patheon, such as tribes or nature spirits, etc.  You’ll get each deity as I go.  I’d like to work on this part on a less rigid framework.
12. Pantheon –
13. Pantheon –
14. Pantheon –
15. Pantheon (anti) – On finding a pantheon.
16. The meaning of terms like “earth-based” and what they mean to this path
17. My ways of worship
18. Community
19. Paganism and my family/friends
20. Paganism and my relationship
21. Other paths I’ve explored
22. Paganism and major life events
23. Ethics
24. Personal aesthetics with magic and ritual
25. Priest? Clergy? One or both? Neither?
26. Any “secular” pastimes with religious significance, and why
27. How your faith has helped you in difficult times
28. One misconception about Paganism you’d like to clear up
29. The future of Paganism
30. Places of spiritual significance

Stay tuned, kids.

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A brief rundown on my faith…

… because no one can seem to grasp it, and I want to have it documented.  This is actually taken, mostly, from my profile at PaganSpace.net with bits and pieces added on.

~~~

I am not my faith. My faith is a part of me.

In the options listed below (on PaganSpace, there are boxes you can check to describe your path), I’ve selected Pagan, Witch, and Wiccan from the list. I am not Wiccan. My path/ritual/worship is often structured in a similar manner as Wicca, but I don’t identify as Wiccan. That would be false.

“Harm None” is not my credo. Circumstance creates an expansive grey area, and if by doing a little harm, I can accomplish a larger good, then that’s acceptable to me. I won’t hurt anything or anyone intentionally if it can be reasonably avoided. It’s more a matter of compassion than of ethics.

I identify in my path a Goddess and a God and I favor neither over the other. I believe the same in life: women are life-givers, and sacred, but there would be no possibility of creating life without the seed of a man, and there would be no men if women didn’t birth them. We are equal halves in the grand scheme of things.  I’m currently getting to know the broad pantheon of Scots-Gaelic gods, and the Old Traditions that managed to have been documented.  Information of Celtic Recontructionism has been infinitely valuable in that aspect.

I’m American, but I honor my heritage, and where my families have come from: Holland, France, Scotland, and England. I’d like to dig deeper into my genealogy, but I’m having difficulty getting started. I find nothing wrong with being American, so everyone who thinks that Americans who enjoy researching their ancestry are discontent or ignorant can go fly a kite. <3 I like to know what made my family what it is today, whether my great grandparents were American or Dutch or Scottish or English makes no difference, as long as I make the connection with who they were.  In old Gaelic culture, ancestor-reverence is a large part of worship.

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