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A Pagan's Blog

A Pagan's Blog

Pagan Culture Archives

Earth Day and the Sacredness of the Earth

posted by Gus diZerega

I think Earth Day is a particularly important moment for contemplation and commitment by us Pagans.  Often American Christian critics accuse us of “pantheism,” and in a important respect they are right.  We do find the sacred, most of us, […]

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The controversy over Pink Slime – and what it means.

posted by Gus diZerega

The controversy over pink slime is helping educate Americans to the fact that corporations are as beneficial to agriculture as they are to politics. Tom Laskawy put it pithily: “What pink slime represents is an open admission by the food […]

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Exposing the War on Women

posted by Gus diZerega

I hope every American gets to see this ad, maybe several times.  From a Pagan perspective what is happening is really important because it is an attempt to dismiss the importance of the feminine in all its forms except the […]

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“Unparalleled” ancient Pagan sanctuary found in Norway

posted by Gus diZerega

Very cool.  The article say a lot and gives links.

PantheaCon 2012: Politics and the controversy over women’s rituals

posted by Gus diZerega

Thought on the Pantheacon controversy I imagine there are few Pagans who have spent more time studying, thinking, and writing about politics in all its various forms than I, and for those of you who have, you have my sympathies. […]

Pantheacon 2012

posted by Gus diZerega

I seem to have recovered at the last minute from a cold that kept me home this past week.  Strong ginger tea, gargling hot salt water, and other stuff did the trick. Now I’m washing clothes and packing my duffel […]

Wonderful Imbolc celebration in England

posted by Gus diZerega

The pictures in this article are fantastic!  Enjoy the visual feast.  With thanks to Anna Korn for turning me on to it.

The case against “Pagan Clergy” 4.0

posted by Gus diZerega

There has been considerable discussion within our community for many years about whether or not we should have a “Pagan clergy.”  I think this is a very positive development because it gets us thinking positively about who we are as […]

Where to in 2010?

posted by Gus diZerega

I have not been doing much political posting for many months, ever since I finally gave up hope that the Democrats, with a few exceptions, amounted to anything  more than a somewhat more humane version of the moral filth that […]

Secret Circles Hidden Prayers

posted by Gus diZerega

Secret Circles Hidden Prayers is a new video about Pagan families which, surprise! are very much like other families, only hesitant to be know for who they are.  I once lost a job over my religion.  It was bad, and […]

Celebrating the Solstice Season Around the World

posted by Gus diZerega

Courtesy of Huffington Post, here are a bunch of photographs  giving a sense of how this time of years speaks to so many worldwide.

Merry Yule!

posted by Gus diZerega

Tonight I am going to a celebration of the Solstice, and tomorrow to another where I will be acting as the High Priest.  It will be a wonderful end to a year that, for me personally, has been very very […]

Today is a day for Xango

posted by Gus diZerega

I was delighted to discover a long discussion of the African Orixa Xango (in Spanish, Shango or Chango) in Daily Kos, and want to pass it on. Years ago when I first encountered the African Diasporic traditions I was identified as […]

DC Pagans to Hold Halloween Ceremony Countering the New Apostolic Reformation Cursing Prayer Campaign

posted by Gus diZerega

This is an important press release, and while I will be far away overseeing an academic conference, I hope any readers in the area will help support this effort. Silver Spring, MD, October 19th, 2011   Priestesses and priests from the […]

Pagans and the more-than-human world

posted by Gus diZerega

Today I read two thought provoking pieces that cross traditional divides while addressing key issues in environmental thought. In both cases I think a Pagan sensibility brings new and valuable insights to the table.

Differences in modern European and American Pagan history

posted by Gus diZerega

One of the most fascinating issues distinguishing Pagan spirituality from most forms of monotheism is that we see the world and its basic dimensions from birth to death as sacred expressions of the more than human, with which we seek […]

Pagan Circles and Abrahamic Lines in “The Wolf at Twilight”

posted by Gus diZerega

I was started along this line of thought while reading Kent Nerburn’s powerful, moving, painful and hauntingly beautiful The Wolf at Twilight: An Indian Elder’s Journey through a Land of Ghosts and Shadows. There are many levels to this book, […]

Thinking about what the Yukon taught me

posted by Gus diZerega

One of the most unexpected aspects of my Yukon adventure was the very different ‘feel’ of country where humanity’s technological imprint is an unpaved road with no dwellings or other roads for over 100 miles – and for many hundreds […]

In honor of Lammas

posted by Gus diZerega

This is beautiful. Lammas Blessings to all.

Lammas 2011

posted by Gus diZerega

Lammas, or Lughnasad, is the first and greatest of the Sabbats honoring the harvest, for it is now that in most places in the northern hemisphere life’s abundance most overflows in flowers and fruit, grain and root.  In our urban […]

Ethics of the Universal Potlatch

posted by Gus diZerega

My first Patheos post has been put up.   Again, Patheos will have little essays addressing the various implications of Pagan spirituality but I hope no purely political analysis. But as readers will see, I intend that many will have […]

Midsummer Solstice as I like it.

posted by Gus diZerega

This afternoon and evening I’ll be at a Solstice party and ritual gathering, and I hope all of you will be similarly blessed.  Whether you are or not, Anne Laurie over at Balloon Juice has a post up showing perhaps […]

A meditation on Memorial Day

posted by Gus diZerega

Memorial Day in recent years has been a more than usually bittersweet honoring of those who served their country at the cost of their lives in wartime.

Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker and Thought Forms

posted by Gus diZerega

UPDATE below As I was writing my promised discussion of spiritual evil I found myself being drawn more and more into an amazing series of incidents that took place during the 1980s. I was a complete newbie in matters Pagan […]

A magickal working by Thermal

posted by Gus diZerega

Thermal sent me an email including some magick he is working in response to bin Laden’s death.  I pass it on.  I think his message is a wise one.  I am working on a lengthy post on the spiritual dimension […]

Dancing up the sun at May Day

posted by Gus diZerega

As in so many earlier years, I will spend Saturday night in Berkeley so as to be up before dawn, drive up to Inspiration Point in Tilden Park, and watch Berkeley Morris  dance up the sun.  Whenever I’ve been in northern […]

Bolivia adopting “Law of Mother Earth” recognizing Nature as having Her own rights

posted by Gus diZerega

Bolivia is preparing to boldly go where no one has gone before, although Ecuador started the ball rolling.  Asof this writing Ecuador is on the verge of passing a kind of Bill of Rights for Nature, a series of laws called […]

Individuality and Coercion

posted by Gus diZerega

I had planned to post a series of essays on how we as Pagans can look at the horrors around us and see that they do not reflect badly on the sacred. However, several of my readers expressed concerns over […]

The importance and need for initiation in America

posted by Gus diZerega

The issue of initiation in modern America was a major theme yesterday in a book group to which I belong.  We had been discussing  Barry Spector’s Madness at the Gates of the City. Spector uses a Jungian polytheistic approach to […]

Wear a snake on St. Paddy’s Day

posted by Gus diZerega

I got a suggestion on Facebook to “Wear a snake for St. Patrick’s Day.”  It was put up by an Irish Pagan, to protest honoring the desecration of our sacred sites.  Why do We , as a Nation , celebrate […]

Pantheacon 2011: Contrasting Tolerance and Pluralism

posted by Gus diZerega

This isn’t quite the write-up I anticipated doing because I left my notes somewhere or other.  A drag, but maybe a blessing in disguise.  Now I have to search my memory about what impressed me most.  And a great deal […]

Pantheacon this weekend!

posted by Gus diZerega

Th West Coast’s annual Pantheacon starts Friday at 1 and goes through Monday afternoon. It is one of the high points of the years for me, a chance to see old friends from different parts of the country, as well […]

Prairie dogs and language

posted by Gus diZerega

Sabina Magliocco brought this site on prairie dog language up on her Facebook site.  It’s great.   Turns out that a whole lot more is going on with prairie dogs than any Westerner ever thought. And if this is true for […]

Traditional Yaqui Prayer at Tucson memorial service

posted by Gus diZerega

While I have been no Obama fan for a long time, his speech at Tucson’s memorial service for those murdered by Jared Loughner was wonderful. But this was even more a community event more than  a national event.  One of the […]

Alex Mar’s “American Mystic” – a beautiful film

posted by Gus diZerega

Alex Mar has produced American Mystic,  a beautiful and most unusual film, one I hope receives many viewers, for many will be the better off for having seen it. In her film Mar describes the lives of spiritually committed people […]

Happy New Year and the Day of Iemanja

posted by Gus diZerega

I got up this morning and after my injection of caffeine picked up some molasses and corn meal and drove to Portuguese Beach to make my annual offering to Iemanja, Orixa of the ocean.  It was a cold. grey, blustery […]

Surva: a Balkan Pagan New Year’s celebration

posted by Gus diZerega

Surva is an ancient Balkan ritual used to revive the earth on the New Year.  It’s a wonderful community celebration, and the communities are big.  Here is an example of a modern day Pagan survival in good health in Europe. […]

Magick and “doing good’

posted by Gus diZerega

Just before Yule one of my readers asked me to explain why I was not more interested in working magick on big issues, such as stopping global warming or bringing about more enlightenment in public policy.  He said he planned […]

Open Thread for Winter solstice and Yule

posted by Gus diZerega

A reader asked me on Facebook  I’ve decided to do Wiccan rituals until Yule to help foster democracy & openness & send the strongest energies I can to help fight the grotesque negativity (e.g., the Wikileaks situation). To save me […]

Preparing for Yule

posted by Gus diZerega

I spent much of this afternoon addressing Solstice cards and sending them to Pagan friends far away from here.  I never liked the electronic cards – they are nice to get, but I like tangible things.  Books instead of photons […]

Of Goddess faires and thumbwrestling

posted by Gus diZerega

Went to the Goddess Crafts Faire yesterday and it was an impressive and very enjoyable event.  Lots of good craft booths, some not as good, but that’s normal.  I bought Yule gifts, enjoyed talking with the artists and craftspeople, heard […]

People of the Earth Gathering

posted by Gus diZerega

The Saturday before Thanksgiving the United Religions Initiative’s People of the Earth   gathering took place in San Francisco’s Presidio.  This was the third in a series of meetings seeking to build mutual awareness and respect among the practitioners of many […]

Winter Solstice Cards

posted by Gus diZerega

I went searching for some Solstice cards to send out for Yule.  To my surprise no local stores seemed to have any, so I searched around on the net.  I found some really beautiful ones at Lytha Studios.   Perhaps […]

Celia Performances

posted by Gus diZerega

UPDATE Celia Farran ,  a Pagan singer who I have raved about before on this blog will be doing two performances this December in the Bay Area.  I don’t have the time to say a lot right now as I […]

Agora: a movie to see and ponder

posted by Gus diZerega

I just saw the movie Agora, and I believe every Pagan would be well advised to see this account of the life and death of Hypatia.  She was the greatest of Classical women philosophers, and apparently a great philosopher by any […]

Theurgicon and Pagan Neoplatonism IV.

posted by Gus diZerega

To my mind the presentations by Tony Mierzwicki, Brandy Williams and Don Frew constituted the meat of the Theurgicon gathering, but two other presentations added additional dimensions.  Diana Young (I was unable to find a link to her – perhaps […]

Theurgicon and Pagan Neoplatonism III.

posted by Gus diZerega

Don Frew  made the third Theurgicon presentation, on “Gardnerian Wica as Theurgic Ascent.”  Frew’s use of the single ‘c’ was deliberate, as the coven from which Gardner learned spelled the word with a single ‘c.’ It also helps remind is that […]

Theurgicon and Pagan Neoplatonism II.

posted by Gus diZerega

Brandy Williams  was Theurgicon’s second presenter.  She focused on the second set of texts most associated with this branch of Neoplatonism, the Chaldean Oracles. They were the final part of the Hermetic tradition to develop, during the 2nd and 3rd centuries […]

Theurgicon and Pagan Neoplatonism I.

posted by Gus diZerega

I took a day off from the chaos of beginning my move when Theurgicon convened in Berkeley Saturday, August 21.  The disruption of the move plus the wanting to do justice to the richness of the presentations has kept me from […]

Modern Paganism, Tradition, Secrecy and the Net

posted by Gus diZerega

Don Frew has just sent me another contribution to this blog.  I am happy about this for two reasons.  First is that Don is one of the most knowledgeable people I know about the Craft and its history.  I have […]

Cultivating Spirit of Place

posted by Gus diZerega

Getting settled into my new place has really disrupted my writing for now.  But the vegetable and flower gardens have given me a chance to reconnect viscerally with the earth, an opportunity that has been very rare for the past […]

Celia Farran, Helping Repair the Wall

posted by Gus diZerega

Celia Farran, the wonderful Pagan song writer and singer, gave a house concert here as a small part of her West Coast tour.  I had first heard her sing on the wonderful “Symbol“ video and then played a role in helping her […]

The Future of Paganism

posted by Gus diZerega

During the tumult of my move, now finally subsiding, a piece I wrote on the future of Paganism appeared on the Patheo site.  It has a number of very though provoking pieces on this subject by prominant members of our […]

Libertarian Pagans: An Interesting History

posted by Gus diZerega

Historically there has been a significant link between Pagans and libertarians.  One of the earliest Pagan organizations, the Church of All Worlds, was inspired in significant part by libertarian science fiction author Robert Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land.  Some […]

Something for Day of the Dead…

posted by Gus diZerega

A really funny video compliments of my friend John on Facebook. UPDATE Here it is on youtube.

A Wedding in the Redwoods

posted by Gus diZerega

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending a wedding that wonderfully integrated Pagan and more traditional motifs, held within a redwood grove, not far from where I live.  The ceremony was a subtle interweaving of magickal and shamanic […]

World Environment Day: A Pagan Perspective

posted by Gus diZerega

June 5 is World Environment Day.  A majority of the population cares about the environment, both here and internationally, but those with power do not, and keep us all in thrall to technologies and methods that make matters progressively worse. […]

Memorial Day, 2010

posted by Gus diZerega

On Memorial Day we remember and honor those men and women who have fought for their country and paid with their lives in doing so.  There are many kinds of patriotism, some worthy, some unworthy, but laying your life on […]

Mothers’ Day

posted by Gus diZerega

Mothers’ Day is a day to honor not only our mothers but motherhood in general, the bringing of beings into life and nurturing them.  It’s hardly surprising but sadly unknown that it began as a push against the urge of the […]

May Pole Omens? I hope so.

posted by Gus diZerega

Many of us gathered yesterday to do a Sunday May Pole over in Bodega Bay, a small town on the Sonoma coast.  This marked the conclusion of our Beltane weekend.  The coastal hills and bluffs were alive with flowers, as […]

Beltane Fire Ceremony: Edinburgh, 2009

posted by Gus diZerega

I wish I had been there.  Some day I hope we have something like it over here.

Beltane 2010 – Why We Celebrate

posted by Gus diZerega

Wiccans along with most other NeoPagans celebrate the sacredness of all natural cycles.  These cycles are particularly clear within regions with four distinct seasons, and I think it is natural that we, whose origins most recently hail from the British […]

Modern Pagans and Indigenous Religion

posted by Gus diZerega

During last year’s Parliament for World Religions a dispute arose over whether Pagans were properly considered indigenous religions.  One person prominent in our community insisted he qualified by virtue of his membership in a “FamTrad,” that is, a family held […]

Pagans and Child Abuse

posted by Gus diZerega

Jason Pitzi-Waters over at Wild Hunt is doing our community a big service by initiating crafting a statement concerning child abuse within our community.  Given the abject failure of the Catholic Church over these issues, and the predilection for power […]

Mt. Tamalpais, Two Poems, and National Poetry Month

posted by Gus diZerega

This is National Poetry Month, and as spring caresses the hills of northern California, one of the most magickal places in the San Francisco Bar Area, Mt. Tamalpais, is rising serenely above the hustle and bustle below, the good and the bad, […]

The Worst Movies Depicting Witches and Other Pagans

posted by Gus diZerega

What follows is my attempt to distill everyone’s comments into a manageable post.  As I went through the lists I discovered a good argument for including the Wizard of Oz by Sheherazahde and so included comments on both sides of that […]

The Bad Portrayals of Pagans in Movies Project

posted by Gus diZerega

Has not been a success in my opinion.  Very few participated, those who did usually were knowledgeable about one movie, and all in all, the discussion was with a few exceptions, pretty minimal.  What there was was good, but there […]

Voting on Nominations Will End by Friday

posted by Gus diZerega

Indeed they will.  So if you have a position on which movies below deserve to be among the worst in their portrayal of Pagans, and which do not, you will have till Friday to have your say.  I will then […]

NOMINATIONS 13: The Wicker Man (new) and 14: Witches of the Caribbean

posted by Gus diZerega

Please give up to four sentences per movie why you believe these movies are bad in their portrayal of Witches or Pagans.   If you disagree, give up to four sentences why. If you agree or disagree with a statement already […]

NOMINATIONS 11: The Witches and 12: The Wicker Man (old)

posted by Gus diZerega

Please give up to four sentences per movie why you believe these movies are bad in their portrayal of Witches or Pagans.   If you disagree, give up to four sentences why. If you agree or disagree with a statement already […]

NOMINATIONS 9: The Craft and 10: The Guardian

posted by Gus diZerega

Please give up to four sentences per movie why you believe these movies are bad in their portrayal of Witches or Pagans.   If you disagree, give up to four sentences why. If you agree or disagree with a statement already […]

NOMINATIONS 6: Hocus Pocus and 7: Scooby Do and the Witche’s Ghost

posted by Gus diZerega

Please give up to four sentences per movie why you believe these movies are bad in their portrayal of Witches or Pagans.   If you disagree, give up to four sentences why. If you agree or disagree with a statement already […]

NOMINATIONS 5: Buffy and 6: Charmed

posted by Gus diZerega

Please give up to four sentences per movie why you believe these movies are bad in their portrayal of Witches or Pagans.   If you disagree, give up to four sentences why. If you agree or disagree with a statement already […]

NOMINATIONS 3: Blair witch Project and 4: Blair Witch Sequel (BOS)

posted by Gus diZerega

Please give up to four sentences per movie why you believe these movies are bad in their portrayal of Witches or Pagans.   If you disagree, give up to four sentences why. If you agree or disagree with a statement already […]

NOMINATIONS 1 Bell Book and Candle and 2 Bewtiched

posted by Gus diZerega

Please give up to four sentences per movie why you believe these movies are bad in their portrayal of Witches or Pagans.   If you disagree, give up to four sentences why. If you agree or disagree with a statement already […]

NOMINATIONS update – Selecting from them

posted by Gus diZerega

I think we now have enough nominations (14) to have an interesting discussion.  If anyone has a final nomination, make it today – Monday – or tomorrow at the latest.  After that, nominations are CLOSED.   I have seen only […]

NOMINATIONS

posted by Gus diZerega

For explanation, See previous post. CURRENT NOMINATIONS  Bell, Book and Candle Blair Witch Project Blair Witch Sequel (Book of Shadows) Hocus Pocus Scooby Do and the Witch’s Ghost The Craft The Guardian Wicker Man (newer) Wicker Man (older)  (With the one […]

The Worst Portrayals of Pagans and Witches in Movies

posted by Gus diZerega

I recently received a suggestion that Beliefnet might post a gallery with 10 of the WORST portrayals of Pagans in the movies, combined with 3 or 4 sentences as to why each was bad, maybe with links. I responded that […]

Open Thread on Divination

posted by Gus diZerega

The open thread has continuing to evolve into a really fascinating discussion of divination and related issues.  It has also fallen pretty far down the list of posts, so I am raising it to everyone’s attention again. Click on the […]

Thoughts on the Sacredness of All Things

posted by Gus diZerega

This blog frequently covers organic food issues.  It could be said to do so a little obsessively.  Most of my readers will prefer eating organic, but is this an important ethical issue?  How is that Pagan? We experience the Sacred […]

Teaching Energy Healing

posted by Gus diZerega

My workshops on Energy Healing at Pantheacon were simultaneously great successes and great frustrations.  I’d done it for several years, the numbers slowly growing.  Then, in 2008, the turnout more than filled a room, leaving me space about the size […]

Avatar a Hit With Indigenous People

posted by Gus diZerega

Avatar is a hit with Amazonian indigenous peoples, who were invited by the Pachamama Alliance to a showing translated into Spanish.  They loved it and felt a close connection between themselves and the threats they face and the Na’vi.  There […]

diZerega Workshops at Pantheacon

posted by Gus diZerega

Pantheacon is starting Friday, Feb 12, and going through Monday, Feb 15, the Presidents’ Day Weekend. I urge any Pagans able to attend to do so. It is a wonderful experience.  The San Jose Doubletree is filled now, but the nearest […]

Imbolc Poem II: A Different Heaven

posted by Gus diZerega

Another that speaks for itself, and more. A Different Heaven Who will remember the truth, behind the way morning glories devour fences and telephone poles, is life hunger and the way it feels to stretch out delicate green tendrils and […]

The Winter King

posted by Gus diZerega

I asked J. L. Stanley, the woman  whose poetry often moves me more than almost any others, to suggest a poems for Imbolc.  She sent me many. I cannot choose among them, for they all bring me to beyond myself. […]

Stone Circle Added to Worship Areas at Air Force Academy

posted by Gus diZerega

Yes, right in the heart of where the Christian Right did its best to turn our airmen into zealots for Jesus,  a stone circle has been officially added to worship facilities at our Air Force Academy near Colorado Springs. The article […]

Centre for Pagan Studies: Day for Gerald Gardner

posted by Gus diZerega

There will be a Day for Gerald Gardner at the Charge of the Goddess Conference in London, UK, this September 12, 2010.  This conference celebrating the life and influence of Gerald Gardner hopefully will interest any Pagans in the British Isles […]

Some Thoughts on Spells and Spellcraft

posted by Gus diZerega

Tonight my Wicca 101 class will cover spells and related stuff, so it’s interesting that my “Open Thread” has focused in part on issues of spellcraft.  This is an area where I am pretty cautious of “book learning” myself, but […]

Healing and Consciousness

posted by Gus diZerega

Stephan Schwartz of the Schwartz Report has posted a very interesting and I think important piece on healing and consciousness.  Here is his first paragraph.  Please check it out in its entirety. I think it’s worth it. (You have to […]

The Pagan Origins of Hanging Mistletoe Over the Door

posted by Gus diZerega

Kenneth Davis who blogs over at Huffington Post has a great entry on the Pagan history of Mistletoe as a blessing hung over doorways.  One dimension of the story is Anglo, the other Saxon, and both are worth knowing.  

Avatar as a Rorschach of the Soul

posted by Gus diZerega

Last night I saw Avatar.  Go see it! It is a wonderful and very Pagan movie. As I understand it the movie’s basic messages are that completeness is achieved in connection with others, that harmony is the basic value and […]

DiZerega Workshops at Pantheacon

posted by Gus diZerega

As many West Coast Pagans know, Pantheacon is the largest Pagan gathering in the West, happening February 12-15, over Presidents’ day weekend in San Jose.  I’ve gone for years, seeing old friends, listening to great music, attending cool workshops, and […]

“Symbol” by Celia

posted by Gus diZerega

One of the greatest things about traveling are the new discoveries I make along the way.  When I was in Kansas an old friend gave me a wonderful CD by Celia.  Some of you already know about her, I’m sure.  […]

Thanksgiving in Kansas

posted by Gus diZerega

Spending Thanksgiving in Lawrence, Kansas, was not a good way to get much writing done for this blog.  Between seeing my family, from brothers and sisters-in-law to their kids and their kids’ kids, plus other wives, cousins and their succeeding […]

Open Thread

posted by Gus diZerega

I found a way in to post – courtesy of the error I made on my last blog post.  I’ll correct it  when I leave Maine.  But again, that post that should have been there is here.  Enjoy   It’s […]

Something nice for this morning

posted by Gus diZerega

Courtesy of Balloon Juice, a very nice piece by Faun.

Energy Shielding

posted by Gus diZerega

Wicca 101 class went very well the day after I returned from the Southwest – despite my having forgotten to make copies of  Tables of Correspondence, which was to be a big part of the intended lesson.  Since we had […]

Halloween and Samhain

posted by Gus diZerega

The commercialization of Christmas has rightly bothered many Christians, but my take on the commercialization of Halloween is more benign. The past few decades have seen an extraordinary explosion of Halloween kitsch, usually of the cheapest plastic employing the crudest […]

Must Pagans Be “Ultra Liberals”?

posted by Gus diZerega

This issue has repeatedly arisen on this blog, perhaps because people think, mistakenly, that I am an ‘ultra liberal.’  The issue arose most recently as a question for the special Beliefnet post I am developing.  I won’t use it for […]

Cool Pagan Puzzle-and-More- Site

posted by Gus diZerega

Wicca Within the Web Activity Book speaks for itself, and has good stuff for adults and also kids.  Particularly cool for folks who like puzzles.  

Men, Masculinity, and Spirit

posted by Gus diZerega

There has been a lot of  good stuff written about the Goddess, Goddesses, and the Divine Feminine,.  The Wiccan Goddess is first among equals in traditional Wiccan circles., and in my view, should be.  Certainly She has been the most […]

Is Ritual Necessary for Sustainability?

posted by Gus diZerega

Last night Joan Marler of the Institute of Archaeomythology — gave a fascinating talk about the likelihood Europe’s first agricultural peoples had developed writing 8,000 years ago, long before Sumer.  It is called the “Danube Script.”   The evidence she offered […]

Going Native, Part 2.

posted by Gus diZerega

Magick? This brings me to Pitch’s second point, that in many ways really underlies his first.  Wild species are more magickally powerful than tame.  When you have a message from Spirit that your work should focus on native species, as […]

Going Native, Part 1

posted by Gus diZerega

When I posted on Mabon,  I suggested we need to get in better touch with the energies and denizens of the places where we live.  Only then could we really honor the spirits of the earth.  I mentioned salmon, grapes, […]

The Wiccan Rede and the Ten Commandments

posted by Gus diZerega

Last night we discussed the meaning of the Wiccan Rede: An It Harm None, Do as Ye Will.  Its tone and message is very different from much monotheistic teaching, such as the Ten Commandments.     Superficially read the Rede simply says, […]

The First ‘Wicca 101′ Session

posted by Gus diZerega

We had our first Wicca 101 class last night, on Mabon, the Equinox.  Along with the Priestess who is co-teaching, we had five students: two with previous experience, the others without.  A sixth, also a newbie, will join us at […]

Of Sabbats, Wheels, and Place

posted by Gus diZerega

Our Mabon and Samhain discussions have prompted this post.  Wicca’s roots are in northwestern Europe, a land of strong seasons like those in much of the US.  It was easy to integrate the agricultural cycle in the British Isles, and […]

Liberalism: A Pagan Perspective, Part III.

posted by Gus diZerega

This final section is where I think the bigger picture of how a Pagan perspective helps the modern world better address its problems comes together.  Look below the fold if you like political theory…

A Pagan Take on Liberalism, Part I.

posted by Gus diZerega

The political posts that have often filled this blog have led me bit by bit into wondering how a Pagan perspective, taken seriously, changes the way we think about politics and society.  The more I delved into this, the more […]

The Nature of Myth – And More Good Stuff by Robert Bringhurst

posted by Gus diZerega

Pagan cultures have always made use of two sources of knowledge about the world, which Karen Armstrong defined in her book The Battle for God as mythos and logos.  Modern societies, including most modern religion, limits itself to one, logos.  […]

The Locust- A Wonderful Maori Song

posted by Gus diZerega

The Locust is a wonderful, and very Pagan, Maori song.  Enjoy. With many thanks to Clare for turning me on to it.

Wicca 101 Outline

posted by Gus diZerega

Here is the projected course of instruction for my Wicca 101 class, starting this in September.  Each numbered section will be at least one week long, sometimes longer.  It is biased towards a broadly British Traditionalist approach, and also is […]

Robert Bringhurst’s “The Tree of Meaning”

posted by Gus diZerega

When I first became a Pagan I thought that we were primarily a new/old religious perspective that would better integrate human beings with the world and feminine values.  I still think that, but just what that means has continued to […]

Good Pagan Music Source

posted by Gus diZerega

When I was just becoming a Pagan, one of the things I loved most was the music.  Fortunately I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, whch was one of the centers for a lot of good musicians, including the […]

Attention Pagan Scholars!

posted by Gus diZerega

Coreopsis A Journal of Myth and Theatre is issuing a call for Papers on Shamanism, Trance, and Shamanic Performance. Look interesting?  Go on over and take a look.  Their submission guidelines are here. They also have an interesting list of […]

A Pagan Reason Not to Shop at Whole Foods

posted by Gus diZerega

John Mackey, the dishonest CEO  of Whole Foods, has caused quite a stir with his foolish editorial about why we do not need health care reform.  Many people, myself included, have decided to boycott the chain until Mackey is looking […]

Grumpy Musings on Lineages

posted by Gus diZerega

I’ve been thinking about what lineages mean and don’t mean in Wicca.  In a world where the Sacred can be approached from almost any direction, what does being Faery or Gardnerian or Alexandrian or Reclaiming mean compared to being self-initiated? […]

A Lammas Song

posted by Gus diZerega

Our Lammas ritual was the best I have attended in years.  Among its many charms was a song we sang: The Harvest, by Rick Hamouris.  It really captures the spirit of the time for me, and I pass it along.

Wiccans and Opposing Evil

posted by Gus diZerega

David E. Oliver asked whether Wiccans would cast a curse to ” stop someone who is going to committ murder?  Sometimes doing harm is only way to fight evil. Do pagans believe in evil?”  I promised him a thread, and […]

Lammas Rituals

posted by Gus diZerega

Lammas, or Lughnasadh,  is one of the most important Pagan Sabbats, midway between Beltane and Samhain.  Here are some ideas for two Lammas rituals you might want to try if you have no other gathering to attend.  Even if you […]

Thoughts About Lammas

posted by Gus diZerega

Lammas, or Lughnasad, has always been one of my favorite Sabbats. It is celebrated from July 31 to August 2, generally, and we are fortunate this year that all the dates are on the weekend. Lammas is the first and […]

The Ancestors

posted by Gus diZerega

  Caroline Kenner has a guest blog over at Wild Hunt, and has provided a fascinating post on the ancestors .   Kenner raises an issue that I think has been under addressed in our community.

Paganism and America’s Future, Part III: The Sacredness of Nature

posted by Gus diZerega

This is the last of a three part post where I am trying to suggest how we as a community can contribute the most to our wider society.  Along with the Sacred Feminine and role of women, the other religious […]

Paganism and America’s Future, Part II: The Divine Feminine

posted by Gus diZerega

Beginning in the ’60s there has been a marked change in the way many people view women and the feminine, and this shift quickly influenced American religion.  After a lull, feminism began to regain its moral energy in the 1960s.  […]

Paganism and America’s Future: Part I.

posted by Gus diZerega

New Age Cowboy sparked some additional thoughts through his comments in my previous post, thoughts that I think merit a post all their own.  Or rather a series of three.  This one as foundational, another will follow on the Sacred […]

Spirit of Place

posted by Gus diZerega

While visiting Walla Walla, Washington, where I had taught for some years at Whitman College, I took a side trip over to northeast Oregon, one of the most beautiful and least known parts of our country.  There I visited the […]

Acupuncture, Chi and Strokes

posted by Gus diZerega

While I was in Portland visiting a Pagan friend who was studying acupuncture, I mentioned my stroke last year, and my belief that I had recovered so quickly because of my many years of energy work, aided by my friend […]

Drew Dellinger’s Poem on Thomas Berry

posted by Gus diZerega

Given the negativity that so easily can come to seem the defining feature of this society, it’s good to be reminded of why so many of us push back against the forces of dark ignorance.  Drew Dellinger’s poem is a […]

Anniversary of a Stroke

posted by Gus diZerega

This week is an anniversary.  A year ago I got up one morning, and felt a little light headed in a way that was unfamiliar.  For some reason I wondered at the time whether it might be a stroke, and […]

Thoughts on Reading Derrick Jensen

posted by Gus diZerega

When I first was made to know, in no uncertain terms, that the earth and everything in it was vastly more sentient than I had ever imagined, I looked long and hard for writings that could shed more light on […]

Common Practices vs. Common Beliefs

posted by Gus diZerega

The first open thread is wonderful.  I will try and stay out of these open threads, but occasionally ‘mine’ some themes for my own purposes.  This is one of them. I want to reverse one of the arguments given by […]

Opportunities for Pagan Travel

posted by Gus diZerega

With thanks to eagle-eyed Valerie, Paula Jean West has just been named the Pagan Travel Examiner at San Francisco’s Examiner.com.  Another step forward in our increasing respectabity!  Please pay her a visit.

12 Magic(k) Spells

posted by Gus diZerega

Beliefnet has just published their first ‘Pagan gallery’ – 12 Magic Spells Some are more workings than spells in the narrower sense, and bring in several traditions of folk magick.  I have not used any of these particular spells or […]

Atheists, Christians, and Pagans

posted by Gus diZerega

The recent plethora of books by militant atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens is beginning to generate a good deal of return fire from people writing within the Christian tradition, either as sophisticated adherents or writers […]

Animal Intelligence- Much More Than Most Imagined

posted by Gus diZerega

Alex, Snowball, Betty – recently birds have been transforming the world we live in – as we discover what had been in front of us for thousands of years. The transformation is in our perceptions and understanding.  

A Day at Mt. Tamalpais

posted by Gus diZerega

Saturday was Pagan pride Day in Berkeley.  Many dear friends of mine participated, and if someone sends me an account, I’ll pass it along.  But after much dithering one way and the other, I did not go.

Worthy Book, Worthy Blog

posted by Gus diZerega

Anne Hill has a good review of a worthy new Pagan book that helps us find grounds for good living that are not rooted in someone else’s commandment:, The Other Side of Virtue, by Brendan Myers. http://gnosiscafe.com/gcblog/2009/04/30/living-la-vida-virtuosa/  Check it out, […]

Merry May!

posted by Gus diZerega

Up at 4:30 to celebrate the May and ‘bring in’ the sun.  I learned (on my blog!) that Sebastopol has Morris dancers as well: Apple Tree Morris.  So I got to sleep later, saved a lot of driving, supported my […]

Pagan Celebrations of Beltane and May Day

posted by Gus diZerega

Tonight is Beltane, and tomorrow is May Day.  Two good discussions of this time are by Circle Sanctuary and Witchvox.  Beltane and tomorrow is May Day.  Beltane and May Day comprise one of our two most important Sabbats, the other […]

Morris Dancers Dancing in the May

posted by Gus diZerega

Beltane is approaching, and though I’m on the road right now to Southern California, I will be back to celebrate the dawn on May 1, arriving well before dawn at Berkeley’s Inspiration Point in Tilden Park .  There, every year, […]

Feeling Energy

posted by Gus diZerega

When I offered my post on seeing ‘energy,’ one reader told me she would like me to write about how to feel it.   This is my answer to her request

Is this Blog Too Political?

posted by Gus diZerega

I have been taken to task for my curt response to Mike who responded to my post on John Boehner and torture.  My reply has grown to being a small post of its own that I hope will interest a […]

Witchcraft Persecution Today

posted by Gus diZerega

Eagle-eyed Valerie Voigt has again sent me an important link.  It is to a UN publication on contemporary persecution of witches.  It is calledWitchcraft Allegations, Refugee Protection and Human Rights: A Review of the Evidence, produced by the United Nations […]

Digging Deeper on Starhawk’s Call for Apologies

posted by Gus diZerega

When I was reading Starhawk’s argument  for why the Pope should apologize, for past crimes by the Catholic Church, I was bothered by a key paragraph  that raised other issues.  When I wrote my piece in response  to David Gibson’s […]

A Pagan Poem: Catechism for a Witch’s Child

posted by Gus diZerega

Years ago I came across the following poem, by J. L. Stanley.  I no longer remember quite how I came across it, but have always been grateful I did.  I want to share it now.. When they ask to see […]

Starhawk and the Pope

posted by Gus diZerega

Starhawk called upon Pope Benedict to apologize to Witches and other Pagans for past Church actions against Pagans and women in today’s Washington Post.  In response David Gibson at Pontifications Blog   here at Beliefnet pointed out that she was behind […]

In Praise of Nature Poetry

posted by Gus diZerega

Nature poetry is important in helping us reconnect with the living earth, an experience even some Pagans have not personally experienced (yet). National Poetry Month is a fine time to reflect on this, and share some poems.   Our society […]

War on Drugs Leads to Religious Persecution

posted by Gus diZerega

Hecate reports on how the war on drugs in Mexico has spilled over into indiscriminate attacks on shrines to Santa Muerte “Saint Death,” whose shrines are popular among those who live in violent neighborhoods, including some drug dealers.  Because of […]

Will the Real Pagan Theology Please Stand Up?

posted by Gus diZerega

Troy Camplin’s quip “I’ve always told people there are in fact 6 billion religions on earth” in a recent blog comment inspires this post. When I first became a Witch I was bothered by the existence of ‘traditions’ considerably younger […]

Genocide Prevention Ritual

posted by Gus diZerega

Given that even Fundamentalist Jews can endorse and presumably practice genocide, it is refreshing to see what Pagans are doing in this context.  April is Genocide Prevention Month  because it is the month when many genocidal events began.   An […]

Of Frogs and Love of the Earth

posted by Gus diZerega

Today I read “The Race to Save the Frogs” by Jennifer S. Holland in the April National Geographic.   Her article describes the horrendous impact the fungal disease chytrid  is having on the world’s amphibians, killing off entire species.  Holland quotes […]

Cool Book: Linda Hogan’s ‘Dwellings’

posted by Gus diZerega

I have just finished Linda Hogan’s Dwellings.  Hers is not a new book.  It appeared in 1995, and I missed it then. I have been the poorer for my oversight.  I stumbled across it in a bookstore -and picked it […]

The Perils of Pagan Clergy, Third (and Final?) Argument

posted by Gus diZerega

I wonder whether many people’s interest in having a Pagan clergy is because we have yet to really separate church from state adequately in this country.  Other than legal issues caused by not adequately separating church and state, can any […]

The Perils of Pagan Clergy: Second Argument

posted by Gus diZerega

This is my second reason for being very skeptical about the interest on so many pagans’ part in our having a “clergy.” Words have enormous power.  We do not even need to go into a discussion of magick to see […]

Good Sex, Great Sex, Sacred Sex, and Pagans

posted by Gus diZerega

A fracas is brewing  in Good Hope, Alabama over the issue of God and sex.  Seems some Christians are upset with the effort by other Christians to publicly discuss God and Great sex.   I’m glad I am a bystander […]

The Perils of Pagan Clergy: First Argument

posted by Gus diZerega

This is my first post on the issue of why I am very skeptical of having a Pagan clergy.  I will come at it on an angle. To have an official ‘clergy’ is to have some organizational structure with authority […]

Pagans can feel Pride at Headwaters Forest Celebration

posted by Gus diZerega

While we are a small portion of America’s population, on occasion we can be mighty.  Ten years ago the Headwaters Forest  in northern California was saved from the rape and pillage methods of logging by Texas financiers who took over […]

More Discussion on Spirit and Buying Local

posted by Gus diZerega

I will return to Pantheacon   issues shortly, but Holly Liebowitz Rossi over at Fresh Living   wonders whether I am using the word ‘spiritual’ appropriately in my blog on shopping locally.  This gives me an opportunity to explore this interesting question […]

Pagan Authors Discuss the Gods

posted by Gus diZerega

I sat on an authors’ panel Llewellyn hosted today at Pantheacon.  There were 10 of us taking questions from the audience about our relationship to deities., and we were a diverse lot, from many traditions, youngish to old, gay, straight, […]

Going to Pantheacon!

posted by Gus diZerega

Tomorrow I head off to Pantheacon, the largest Pagan gathering on the West Coast.  It is always a treat to go and immerse myself in our larger community, the (statistically) ‘normal’, the granola, the techno, the weird, the geeky, the […]

The Spiritual Virtue in Buying Locally

posted by Gus diZerega

For me, one of the hardest things about being a Pagan is living in a society where nothing has value in itself.  Our world is believed to be made up of things – people occasionally exempted unless they are in […]

Emergent Order in Science, Society and the Sacred

posted by Gus diZerega

I’ve been spending the weekend at a conference on spontaneous orders, also known as complex adaptive, emergent, or self-organizing systems.  In the human world what those terms, and some equivalent ones, point to is how certain kinds of order can […]

Of Religion and Politics: A Pagan View

posted by Gus diZerega

The disturbing entry of right wing religion into American politics over the past few decades raises an important question for all of us with a spiritual commitment: how should our spirituality appropriately influence our lives as citizens?  As citizens we […]

Are Wiccans Infiltrating Churches?

posted by Gus diZerega

This morning a friend of mine in Denmark wrote asking me what I thought of an article titled ‘Wicca Infiltrates the Churches,’ by Catherine Edwards.  Its author is quite alarmed at what she sees as unchristian influences seeking to undermine […]

Pitfalls of Success: A Caution for Pagans

posted by Gus diZerega

We Pagans have made giant strides in public acceptance and in the numbers of Americans interested in our path.  This is wonderful.  But no good thing comes without at least a potential shadow.  Our current financial crisis  can help Pagan […]

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More Blogs To Enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting A Pagans Blog. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here is another blog you may also enjoy: The Latest on Pagan and Earth-Based Religions Happy Reading!!!

posted 9:39:40am Jul. 06, 2012 | read full post »

Earth Day and the Sacredness of the Earth
I think Earth Day is a particularly important moment for contemplation and commitment by us Pagans.  Often American Christian critics accuse us of “pantheism,” and in a important respect they are right.  We do find the sacred, most of us, in the earth without reference to any transcendental sp

posted 11:57:03am Apr. 20, 2012 | read full post »

Instructive examples on why interfaith work is a good idea
I deeply believe the problems in our country are more of the heart than of the head. Here are some youtubes courtesy of John Morehead of the Evangelical Chapter of the Foundation for Religious Diplomacy on Facebook. They speak more eloquently than anything I can write that interfaith work is a good

posted 1:08:25pm Apr. 12, 2012 | read full post »

The controversy over Pink Slime - and what it means.
The controversy over pink slime is helping educate Americans to the fact that corporations are as beneficial to agriculture as they are to politics. Tom Laskawy put it pithily: “What pink slime represents is an open admission by the food industry that it is hard-pressed to produce meat that won’

posted 4:03:07pm Apr. 11, 2012 | read full post »

How the "war on religion' backfired into a war on women
Here  is a really good article by Tina DuPuy on how the Republicans got themselves into such a mess with America's more intelligent women.  Left undiscussed is how the extreme pathological masculinity of both their deity and their leaders made that slip so very easy.

posted 12:12:35pm Apr. 11, 2012 | read full post »

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