A great post from The Less Hidden Path about what it means to be a witch and why it means we should help people get access to reproductive health care.
“Witch”. A loaded term that people have died just through having been suggested to have been associated with. A word with immense cultural baggage …The Duty Of The Witch
And another great post from the same blog about why witches and Pagans should definitely get involved in politics.
The time to dispense with the modern conceit that “politics and magic don’t mix” is many years overdue. It has never been true, but it gets more harmful the longer we leave it.Politics and witchcraft
And a great post from a polytheist perspective exploring the Ancient Greek view on when the soul enters the body.
What about *my* religious beliefs? — and a passage from Iamblichus
Personally, I do not believe that the soul can enter the body until birth — which, in my belief system, requires the fetus to be viable without the use of the modern contraptions that keep the extreme premature alive until they are physically self-viable. It has life, yes, but not personhood. A woman who wants an abortion should be able to have one.— Kalliste
Guest post from a Gardnerian Wiccan
If a person I have known and loved before were trans (or intersex or non-binary or something else) I would honour that.
I would initiate them with a Priest or Priestess or all of us together or whatever the fuck worked to generate the dynamic interplay of energy needed.
I would invoke upon them the Goddess or the God and trust that the Gods know their own and would come.
I would kiss them as a sibling and hold them and call them by Priest, Priestess or Priestex or whatever term meant servant of the Gods to them and us.
I would teach them the beautiful and awe inspiring mysteries of the Gods and not shy away from the heterosexual generative story, but I would also explore the mysteries through other stories too and encourage them to write and share their own.
I would introduce them to the wider Gardnerian community and help them make friends and connections there.
I would work to heal them when they needed healing and receive healing from them also when I needed it.
I would work to confront my own discomfort and reconcile it, not seek to remove its source in fear.
I would work to understand where I may have done wrong and try to do better.
The person who wrote this chose to remain anonymous because of the way that transphobes tend to target inclusive people. I have shared it here with their permission.
It was May Morning this morning and all the Morris dancing made the Sun come up.
But wouldn’t it have come up anyway, I hear you ask.
For the answer to that question, Terry Pratchett had an answer, in The Hogfather, where the sun will not rise unless the Hogfather rides safely home.
If you hold a shell up to your ear
Then you can hear
The oceans in your blood.
If you stand or sit or lie
Then you can feel
The earth’s crust in your bones.
If you focus on your breath,
Then you can sense
The air that gives us life.
If you touch your belly’s curve
Then you caress
The fire that lives within.
If you know that these are sacred
Then your body knows
You are the Earth and the Earth is you.
Without the oceans, trees,
And birds and bees,
There is no Earth, there is no me.
The Earth is sacred,
The Earth gives us life
There is no planet B.
7:20 am, 22 April 2022 (Earth Day)
Inspired by the phrase “I am the Earth and the Earth is me” in Earth Day by JANE YOLEN.
Both individual Pagans, and Pagan traditions, have unexamined baggage from their childhood. Individual Pagans have intellectual and emotional baggage from the tradition they grew up in (even if that tradition was atheism). Pagan traditions have baggage from the era in which they emerged.
I am very keen on rejecting, resisting, and repudiating the infiltration and co-opting of Paganism by the far right, and so I found Amy Hale’s article on The Pagan and Occult Fascist Connection and How to Fix It a very useful resource, particularly the questions at the end. I would encourage you to read the article, and use these questions as journaling prompts.
So here are my answers to those questions for initiatory Wicca (in some cases, I have previously written blogposts on these topics, so I will link to those).
September Pagan Challenge #1: Introduction.
There are different ways to talk about one’s religion: interfaith dialogue, enthusiasm without any underlying agenda, evangelizing, and proselytizing. Each of these has different underlying assumptions and values.
I’ve always disagreed with the view that we don’t need Pagan and occult books.