Blog: Mind-N-Magick Pagan News
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A petition backing a pardon for the UK's last convicted witch has been launched by a Lothian village.
The Prestoungrange Arts Festival in Prestonpans is organising the petition on behalf of Helen Duncan, a Scot who was imprisoned for witchcraft in 1944.
Mrs Duncan conducted seances throughout Britain but was allegedly arrested because it was feared she would divulge details of the planned D-Day landings.
Don Kraig stresses that magick isnt something you do, but rather is something you are. By this he means that it should be a part of everyday life, and not just something practiced when the moon is full.
The Spartans pushed the ideal of striving for excellence in body and mind. The diligent study of magick will certainly develop the mind, but what of the body? Most people are aware of the benefits of moderate regular exercise, but whether they actually engage in it, is another matter altogether.
Gyms in our society provide a convenient way for patrons to exercise regardless of the weather, and a great way to socialize and meet like-minded, health-conscious people.
So many people in society have only small amounts of time at their disposal, especially if their responsibilities include full-time employment and a family. Working out in a gym takes up valuable time, and practicing magick and developing spiritually take up valuable time as well. It is however possible to combine them so as to save time. ...
NEVER has Gary Bouma's fascination with the soul been more to the point. When the Melbourne academic and Anglican priest heard Kevin Rudd was the new leader of the Labor Party, he fairly hooted with delight at the thought of two of the country's most public Christians, Rudd and John Howard, going head to head.
"Two Anglicans squaring off against each other!" he crowed. And this within a week of the publication of his latest book, Australian Soul: Religion and Spirituality in the 21st Century, which argues religion is becoming more relevant to public life.
A professor of sociology at Monash University, Bouma also holds the UNESCO chair in inter-religious and intercultural relations in Asia and the Pacific. His commitment to the interfaith movement is widely known and together with Des Cahill, he lobbied long, hard and successfully for Melbourne to be chosen as the host of the 2009 Parliament of the World's Religions, the largest and most significant gathering of its kind in the world.
Winter failed to show up to its winter solstice service yesterday at Second Congregational Church of Greenwich.
Although the arrival of winter and the advent of Christmas were the main themes for the event, the mild weather didn't conjure an image of any winter wonderland.
"We were hoping for better special effects," said the Rev. Robert Naylor, senior minister at the church on East Putnam Avenue, as he noted the lack of snow.
Winter officially arrived at 7:22 p.m. last night. To mark the longest and darkest day of the year, Second Congregational held a service of Scripture reading, carol singing and labyrinth walking on its property at the Greenwich Labyrinth for Peace and Healing. ...
Pagans were left red-faced when they celebrated the winter solstice at Stonehenge - on the wrong day.
Around 60 people wearing full-length cloaks met at the mystical site yesterday morning to mark the shortest day of the year.
But this year, the solstice was not until today.
One of the revellers said: "We formed a ring and held hands and touched the stones.
"But there were a lot of red faces when we realised it was the wrong day."
People around the Salt Lake Valley plan to welcome back the light this evening as they celebrate winter solstice.
Celebrations of the shortest day of the year date back more than 5,000 years to Ireland's Newgrange, a stone structure thought to be used to recognize the solstice. Newgrange is built on a hill, and the building contains a chamber with a window that only allows in light from the sun during the winter solstice.
Tara Sudweeks Willgues, a minister at Church of the Sacred Circle, which promotes earth-based spirituality, said while no one knows how the structure was used, it's apparent it was built for the solstice. ...
Shortly after 4 p.m. today, the North Pole will be tipped as far from the sun as it gets during its annual orbit, resulting in the shortest day of the year.
After that, the pole starts tipping back toward the sun, taking the Northern Hemisphere back into summer.
For some Spokane residents, it is more than just an astronomical occurrence it is a time of religious celebration.
"For me it's really important to observe Yule because it's looking back at what this time is really about and sort of escaping the craziness," said Kevan Gardner, a self-identifying Wiccan and member of the Spokane Unitarian Universalist Church, which is holding its annual Yule celebration tonight. ...
Some commonly held Wiccan beliefs and practices include:
_ The Wiccan religion and related pagan religions incorporate revivals, continuations, and adaptations of customs, mythology, symbology, folkways, worldviews, and spiritual practices from pre-Christian Europe.
_ Those who follow the Wiccan religion refer to themselves as Wiccans. Some use the ancient term for wise ones, witches, but others avoid this term because of negative connotations. Groups of Wiccans sometimes are called circles or covens. ...
With an estimated 400,000 members nationwide, and a high-profile fight with the federal government over veterans' grave markers, Wiccans are moving into a more prominent place in the religious landscape.
And Selena Fox is leading the way.
A Wiccan priestess and founder of Circle Sanctuary, a 200-acre nature center in the Wisconsin woods about 30 miles west of Madison, Fox battles for acceptance of the so-called neo-pagan religion. ...
I confess I missed the War on Christmas last year. I work in retail and it is obviously our busiest time. I didnt notice many skirmishes but we did have a few customers who seemed reluctant to say Merry Christmas and one who insisted on wishing me felicitations of the holy day in a way that suggested she was not happy nor did she care if I had a jolly time or not. So after last seasons furor over holiday greetings and decorations, I had hoped wed come to some sort of understanding about the winter holidays but, alas, I was wrong.
One of the worlds largest retailers has bowed to the will of its demographic and has returned Merry Christmas to the lips of its employees and the plastic signs of its sale bins. Lest I be buried with a stake of holly through my heart for not saying Merry Christmas, Id like to offer an olive branch or more appropriately a mistletoe bough in this pernicious little skirmish so that I and you may get on with celebrating our holidays this year. ...
The trial for custody of a seven-month-old boy began Monday with claims of witchcraft, drugs and an unexpected request for guardianship from the boys biological grandmother.
"It is my grandson at the mercy of this court. I have been quietly and patiently watching this situation and see no indication of his inherent First Nation rights being acknowledged," the grandmother told Justice Shawn Smith moments after the trial began in Saskatoon Court of Queens Bench.
"Im not taking this step lightly," she added. "Im afraid for my grandson if his heritage is not recognized, so I ask that he be returned to me so I can raise him among his extended family and ensure he will not lose that identity." ...
The season of Yule can be a mixed blessing to Pagan parents. Many of the holiday festivities, school parties and retail displays seem to be centered on the dominant culture. It might be a little difficult to explain to your children about our beliefs at this time of year, amidst the barrage of Santa Claus, shopping mania, and Silent Night. The Goddess and the returning Sun King may seem to take a back seat to opening presents. However, this is one of the best times to involve your children in Earth-based spirituality. Many Christmas symbols really did come from Pagan traditions, and several legends including Santa and the reindeer can be traced to pre-Christian origins. Not only is this a wonderful opportunity to share the holiday customs of many faiths, we can also teach our children the meaning of our own Yule celebrations.
CHRISTMAS needs a makeover. To chime with current tastes, let's call in Ant and Dec and vote out our least favourite aspects. I'll go first - Christianity!
It's the Christ part I object to...and the mass. Sure, I'll be p***ed on the 24th, but it'll be in celebration of life, love, friends and family and not some saviour's birth.
Nothing new there, but as I read the national papers last week I began to question exactly how I engage with the...winter festival.
"Kick 'Em in the Baubles" declared the front page of The Sun with its usual mix of casual thuggery and Carry On innuendo - "PC killjoys want to ban Christmas decorations. We fight back."
Recently a Rabbi asked the Sea-Tac Airport outside Seattle, Wa. to display an 8 foot menorah alongside the 8 large Christmas trees they had on display. The airport blew him off. He threatened to sue. Immediately a Sea-Tac employee went to the local media and made the Rabbi out to be a Grinch, if not anti-Christian. Outraged Christians lodged 500+ complaints with Sea-Tac and threatened the Rabbi with violence. Under public pressure, the Rabbi said he would not sue Sea-Tac so they have now put the 8 trees back up...but what about the menorah? Nope. Sea-Tac will not allow it to go up. One more example of Christians acting as though they have entitlements no one else does.