17 December, 2014

'Tis the Season (to discuss "stealing" traditions)

Hey, Readers,

Yule is approaching fast in the Northern Hemisphere (I don't know if that needs to be capitalized, but, oh well) and you know what that means! Pagans are talking about Christians "stealing" Yule and people are discussing appropriation. Someone I follow on tumblr said they'd been seeing a lot of those "Christians stole Yule" posts on their dash, so I reblogged with a link to a video I made two years ago on Yule:

After this, I received a question in the Ask box of my tumblr, and my answer was pretty long. It's posted on my tumblr, but I wanted to re-post it here with a little extra.

xombiepanda asked:
I was just wondering, because of the "Christians stole Yule" discussion that's going on, if you equate the early church's actions as cultural appropriation. Or would it be more along the lines of cultural takeover? As always, you make the best points and have a wonderful ability to explain things in your videos. Thanks for being awesome.

There is a lot going on in this discussion, as you can see! I really do have many other questions surrounding this topic, as I alluded to above. One other thing I find interesting is that many of the Pagans saying "Christians stole XYZ" may very well be the same Pagans who incorporate practices from other religions and aren't bothered by that. The difference probably has to do with what people think of as respectful or disrespectful use. It also has to do with the ideas of permission I mentioned here, and who we trust to grant permission, or to revoke it. As I mention in the video linked toward the start of this post, it absolutely does bother me when people refuse to learn about the origins of a practice they use in their own faith, and especially when people derogate my views and practices while at the same time using those practices themselves. This, to me, is a disrespectful use. I am not bothered by those who acknowledge the origins of practices (and even enjoy the occasional discussion about what the heck it has to do with their religion anyway) and simply keep them because they resonate with them, whether it be due to religion or just to a family connection. Similarly, I am not bothered when people of other faiths want to talk about the use of practices from their culture in Paganism, and often want to provide more accurate information for use. I am bothered when anyone assumes that no one knows anything about the origins, could not possibly be respecting them, and believes we should not be allowed to use them even if they do, in fact, resonate with us, because of who we are in this lifetime.

This, I realize, is a VERY touchy subject. It is for this reason that I generally prefer not to discuss it online. At the same time, I take every opportunity I am able to learn about what individuals personally feel about this matter when I meet them, always knowing that--again, as I mentioned above in my response--whole groups will not agree on any question. I could go on for hours on this subject and the various ways it expresses itself in the life of an eclectic Pagan, especially one who has even a remote online presence as such a Pagan. Instead, I'll wrap this up for now and hopefully bring us to some place of action.

Do I understand where the "Christians stole Yule" feeling comes from? Absolutely. Did I feel this way at one time, myself? I did! Do I think it's an appropriate or necessary response at this point in my path? No, I do not. I don't believe we benefit from it in the long run at all. It is helpful only in the sense that it allows us to feel a bit righteous, and other than that, it is just negativity. I'm not saying don't be angry about it if you have to for a bit--as I said, I was, at one point, especially when I was just learning about all this. I felt like I should have known! Why didn't I know this before now?! If someone had taught me about it earlier, maybe I wouldn't have been as shocked and angry when I learned about it myself (often from the exact people saying "Christians stole Yule!" on the internet). It's important to acknowledge feelings like this in order to work through them, in any situation. Believe me, after one particular year of my life, I KNOW that to be true, and I fully believe it. You can't just ignore feelings and expect them to go away.

But why do so many Pagans hold onto this, year after year? Why do I meet Pagans at local events who, from start to finish, talk only about how they dislike other faiths for derogating us, and then when they've finished, start telling the story again? What do we gain from these negative feelings? And what about those of us who are so angry about this, but have no understanding of how some people from other cultures feel about us? It's not all people, it's not all of us, it's not all of the others. But it's people. This happens. Why? When? How long? What could we do to change this?

What could we do to change this, and for the better? I have some ideas. We could take any opportunity we have to educate, in a respectful manner. We could live by example. We could enter into discussions with people, always respectfully, and learn more about their point of view, as well (even if you don't really get a chance to put forth your/"our" point of view, learning about other viewpoints can help a lot, too. For one example of that in my life, you may choose to check out this video). We could also spend some time thinking about our own reasons for these feelings. Sometimes just understanding why we feel a certain way helps to start breaking it down, seeing where we feel it's justified and necessary and where we can do without it.

What do you think? Why does this happen, and how can we make it better for everyone?

Thank you for reading,

A little while after I posted the "On 'Stealing' Traditions" video, I wrote this blog, stemming from a comment someone left about how we can't be happy that we "still have" Yule because unless we're reconstructionists, it isn't ours to "still have" in the first place. Please read Neos & Recons.

If you liked this post, you may also want to check out these other blog posts of mine, some of which link to the videos that accompany them:

And here is the search result when you look up "appropriation" as a keyword on Pagan Perspective, so you may see some of the other videos the other hosts and I have done on the subject!


EDIT: 22 Dec. 2014
I wanted to share this Huffington Post article that describes a few winter solstice celebrations:


01 December, 2014

Ways to Donate: Limited Time Offers!

*Edit: 10 Dec. These offers have now ended.*
*The link to my Etsy shop is still there, as there are still items for sale. The Readings link has been removed and the page returned to private for the time being. Thank you!*

Hey, Readers!

As you probably know by now if you watch my channel or Like my page on Facebook, Pentacles of Pride, International has been doing a fundraiser to raise money to reach tax exempt status. The fundraiser is selling t-shirts for $25, and we need to sell 100 minimum in order to meet their goal. Well, the fundraiser ends in eight days, and we've only sold seven shirts. There's still time!

I've come up with two ways for people to help out while spending less money, just in case cost is a factor.

1) Cara's Creations on Etsy
First, for the duration of the fundraiser, 50% of the sale price of pentacle items sold through my Etsy will go toward the fundraiser. I still have to post more items I have, but several have been posted for a little while now, and many people have added them to their favorites. Prices there are a range, all under $25.00. Think of gifts for loved ones this holiday season, as well!

2) Readings
Second, for the final eight/nine days of the fundraiser, I am offering readings for a range of prices ($5, $10, $15, and $20), the full proceeds from which will benefit the organization. The page goes into detail about the decks you can choose from for me to read, and about the spreads. My viewers tend to know that I don't read for other people very often, if at all, so this is a very rare opportunity! That's how important supporting this fundraiser is to me.

Thank you for reading, and thank you for supporting--not only Pentacles of Pride, with your donations, but me and all my endeavors, as well.


03 November, 2014

Many Blessings

Hi there, Readers,

I don't have time for a full update or topic post right now--as you can imagine, I always have a lot of things to talk about and never know where to start or when to get to what!--but I wanted to take a moment just to share some disparate thoughts and give a brief account of some things that have been going on. Then you know what you can expect in the near (or distant) future.

Firstly, just now I caught up on the happenings of author Lenora Henson's life via her blog. See, I was updating my "witchy book recommendations" post, specifically the "Fiction with Pagan Themes" section, because it did not yet include The Wicked Garden series by Lenora, nor The Cassie Rivers Adventures series by Christin Keck, book four of which I have just finished. And it occurred to me that I still need to get copies of Lenora's books two and three, and I wondered when book four was coming out. I thought I remembered her saying, at the same I interviewed her back in February, that she wasn't going to be writing book four right away. However, as the website revealed, her fourth book in the series, Aurora's Wake, was released in July! Now I have three of her books to catch up on, and both she and Christin Keck are currently working on Book Five of each of their respective witchy fiction series. While Lenora's Wicked Garden is deep, rich, archetypal, and ancestral, Christin's account of the Cassie Rivers Adventures is lighthearted, ridiculous, and hilarious. Both are relatable in their own way, and I cannot wait to read more from each of these fabulous ladies.

The end of the year approaches, and while I have already smashed my reading goal for the year into pieces (I had much more free time to read this year than previously, I guess!), I'm STILL reading pretty much constantly! Besides Cassie Rivers, I've been still slowly reading Women Who Run with the Wolves all year long, and I've just gotten some new books from my friend Sheldon when I visited him in Arkansas (more on that in a bit). You can expect another "Books I've Read This Year" post at the end of the year, to accompany the one I already did on everything I read from January-July.

As I mentioned, I recently traveled to Conway, Arkansas as a guest of Sheldon Slinkard, President of Pentacles of Pride, International. I was a featured guest for Conway Pagan Pride, the first EVER Pagan Pride event in Arkansas to be affiliated with the international Pagan Pride Project. S. J. Tucker, independent pagan singer/songwriter/storyteller was the other featured guest, and though we only had a few hours with her before her next adventure, we made the most of it.

cutewitch772 and S. J. Tucker at Conway Pagan Pride
I learned so much in that one week in Arkansas, not just in the formal settings of attending a class on mythology, or my semi-formal talk with the UCA pagan student group, but also in the casual interactions with people everywhere we went--we even ran into the mayor at a local coffee shop and chatted with him about religious tolerance. Mayor Townsell came to the event and supported us, even doing an interview with Sheldon for his vlog of the event. My vlog(s) from the event are not posted yet, but you'll know when they are, especially if you're subscribed to my YouTube channel (cutewitch772) or follow me on Twitter @cutewitch772, or if you Like my Facebook page. The talk I gave at the event was on religious tolerance, prejudice reduction, and so on, and will be posted in full in its own video, as well. (Again, make sure you're subscribed or following and you'll find out right away!)

I had a great time, and I just want to thank everyone that was involved, in every aspect, from Pentacles of Pride to the Conway Pagan Pride committee, The Locals, Cinemark (Fagan, thank you), and even Pizza Hut who offered to put one of our event flyers on every pizza box that went out the day before, to spread last minute awareness of the event. Thank yous also to the Little Rock meet-up group, UUCLR, Shannon, Robin, Ryan, Trent (my SM!), Allison, Tim, now I'm just naming people who aren't inherently included in the aforementioned groups or who spent significant extra time with me at least one day, haha. That's part of the whole thing--there are so many people involved, and the community is larger than I think any of us realize. It's such a great thing they're doing there in Little Rock and Conway, and I'm so glad to have been able to be a part of it.

There will, of course, be more videos and blogs about it later. =)

This Samhain I stayed in and finally did something I've been wanting to do for years--a dumb supper. It was a simple, late dinner (at the witching hour), just me and a place for my ancestors. More on that later, as well!

I think that's enough of an update for now, and time for bed for me anyway.
Thanks for reading. =)


29 September, 2014

The Hand of Protection

Hey, Readers,

Last week, I recorded my Pagan Perspective video on the topic of Paganism and Eastern philosophies. I then realized that it was subs week, so I had really done THIS week's video, one week early! I will be posting it later today, for tomorrow (Tuesday). In the video, I am wearing one of my new favorite shirts. I got it on sale at a local store, it's incredibly comfortable, and it depicts a symbol of protection that goes by several names. Since this symbol is commonly associated with Islam and Judaism, and has similar links in other religions, I thought I would post about my shirt, the symbol, and why I choose to wear it.

Here is the shirt, right, and this is my favorite picture of me wearing it. Though it is a typical mirror-selfie, I like the angle it results in, showing the curl of my ponytail, my chakra earring (handmade by yours truly), and the general silhouette. I also like the repetitive and swirled pattern of the shower curtain--this was taken in my boyfriend's bathroom. =)

The symbol is known, as I mentioned, by several names: Hamsa, Khamsa, Chamsa, or Hamesh Hand; the Hand of Fatima; and the Hand of Miriam, to name a few.

"Hamsa" comes from the Semitic root that means "five," and the symbol is a human hand, palm-outward, all five "fingers" held up, flat. I put that word in quotation marks because in most versions of this symbol, there are three central fingers and two balanced thumbs, one on each side, with no little finger. The symbol is neither a left hand nor a right hand, and it is both simultaneously. As such this could be seen as a symbol of Balance.

This is also a symbol of protection, the outward facing palm being a universal symbol of the idea "Stop" or "Come no further." A related symbol, the Jain Hand, uses this idea in several ways. First, as the link provided mentions, it represents the Jain doctrine of nonviolence. Second, this hand position (the Jain Hand does have one thumb and four fingers) is the "no fear" mudra, or hand position, shared between Jainism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Finally, the article notes that there is a word written in the center of the Jain Hand: "Ahimsa," which means "Stop." The short article goes on to discuss this word in combination with the wheel symbol, and how these symbolize the "halting" of reincarnation through practicing nonviolence, or avoidance of harm, or as Wiccans and other Pagans might say, "Harm None."

The upward held, outward facing palm can also be a salutation, however. It can be a symbol of comings and goings, as we hold up our hand to greet someone or to send them on their way. Thus, we could see it as a symbol of travel, and specifically blessed or protected travel. The photo at left was taken in Los Angeles, California, USA, the first time I wore the shirt. I bought it shortly before my trip and due to its comfort and the symbol, I chose to wear it for my flight across the country--my first flight during which I was traveling unaccompanied by family or friends. This was August 2014.

Most of the time this symbol is specified as protection against the "Evil Eye" due to the presence of an eye symbol in the center of the palm. You can see a sort of stylized "eye" in the center of the palm on my shirt.

You'll also notice other symbols within this particular design:

  • The eye has a stylized heart (as opposed to an anatomical heart) as its pupil, crossed through the middle by an infinity symbol in the iris. This adds the symbolism of Love, Eternity, perhaps Everlasting Love, or even Universal Love.
  • Circles, triangles, and flowers are repeating patterns throughout this design, each with their own symbolism, as well.
  • Looking then to the fingers, they are each divided into three sections:
    • The upper section of each finger has a flower with six petals and its center each made up of circles. 
    • The lower sections also sport flowers, this time with triangles and dots in the flowers' centers, seven petals, and either leaves or larger petals behind those.
    • Finally, in the middle sections of each finger, there is a circle in the bottom portion surrounded by rays (which can be interpreted either as sun rays or as further being like a flower, though I see them more as the sun), and an upward facing triangle filling out the top portion of the section. Unlike the rest of the sections of the fingers, which are uniform throughout all three, each middle section differs in the design of the circle surrounded by the rays:
      • The left circle is a peace sign.
      • The central circle is half-filled--part black, part white--like a half moon, with a small black lined heart overlapping one side and extending into the rays.
      • The right circle has a white border filled in with black, similar to a "dark moon," and the small black line design overlapping the edge looks like a crescent moon, but isn't as clear as the heart in the central finger.
  • And to top it all off, the entire hand sits in front of a white circle, framed by it, yet not contained within it.

Peace, Love, Eternity, Balance, Trinity, Unity, Life, Growth, Light, Cycles... all these and more are meanings I derive from the various symbols used to make up this version of this symbol. Over-analysis? To some, maybe. But someone designed this shirt, with this symbol, in this way, for a reason. This is all the meaning I get from it, and all contribute to why I feel comfortable wearing it, although it is not a symbol that is usually associated with my specific religious and spiritual paths. There are connections to be made everywhere, and lessons to learn. One more thing you may find interesting, which was part of my decision to purchase the shirt--The clothing company label?

"Fifth Sun." *


*To find out why this meant something to me, watch this video and definitely read the pages that are linked in the description!

25 August, 2014

Incorporations / Invocations

Dear Readers,

Earlier this month, I missed a video on the collab channel I co-founded on YouTube, The Pagan Perspective, because I was busy packing for a week-long trip to LA and completely forgot about the video! The following week, I said in my Tuesday video that I would post my answer to the weekly topic that I missed on my blog, and until now I hadn't made time to do that. So before I go on to many other wonderful projects, be they videos, blogs, or other sorts, I wanted to make this post for you. The topic is as follows:

August 4-9, Regina Oliveira - Incorporations / Invocations
--“Hello Pagan Perspective! My name is Regina and I'm from Brazil, so you please excuse me if I write something wrong. I hope to be clear.
There are cases of incorporations (this is the term in Portuguese not think it's the same in English but what I mean is when an entity is manifested by the body of a witch) in witchcraft?
What do you think about it?
Think are the God and the Goddess there? Or a spirit that is intermediate between?
Could you recommend me books about the subject?
I love the channel, keep up the good work. Blessed be!”

Regina's word is "incorporation" but her description, "when an entity is manifested by the body of a witch," sounds to me to be like what we usually call invocation, or taking the essence or energy of another being into yourself (as opposed to evocation, which is calling outward something from within you, or calling something to exist outside of your own body. This is the way I distinguish them, anyway). So with that being the case, I don't have many recommendations for sources or anything; it's something that is mentioned briefly in a lot of basic books, but I don't have anything that goes really in depth.

As for what I think about it, I think there are multiple levels or strengths, I guess you could say. On the one hand, when you invoke the Goddess and God or any other being using any such poem or power call that can be called "Invocation of ___," I don't believe that the Being being called is necessarily manifested by the body of the witch every time. In those cases I personally feel that yes, the God/dess/whomever has been called is there, and their qualities are present within me, but my body is not housing another being. On the other hand, I also think there are instances in which a spirit or an energy is called upon to physically inhabit the body of the witch, in essence "living" in the witch's physical form for a short time, and to my knowledge we also use the term "invocation" for that. Maybe "incorporation" is actually a better word for it, since it literally calls to mind that the being is housed in corporeal form, in a physical body. With THAT being the case, I would say that I use invocation, but I have never taken part in incorporation*, and I don't have any good sources for incorporation. Taking another being into yourself is some serious, powerful stuff, and I'm not ready to take part in that*. However, many people have, so I'm sure someone has some sources or even personal experiences!
*Unless you count a meditation in which I invoked the spirit of an animal (not a specific animal, but the energy of that Animal as a whole group) and had some pretty cool experiences with that connection. But I'm honestly not sure if that would be considered the same thing.

Thanks for reading,

20 July, 2014

Reading in 2014 (Jan.-July)

Hey, Readers,

This year I decided to try and beat the number of books I read last year, setting myself a goal of about 20-25 books this year. It's now July, a little more than halfway through the year, and I'm nearly to that goal now! Last year I had some busy times when I really didn't read much, but this year I've gotten back into the habit (and started visiting the local library on a weekly basis!) and have been reading almost constantly through the hours I'm not working, driving, or sleeping.

Since we're about halfway through the year, I wanted to go back through the things I've read so far in 2014 and just make a few notes about each one. Because I read a lot, I tend to forget details of the things I read once enough time has passed, so this is both a way to touch base with what I've read and to hopefully stir my memory in the future. Without further adieu, here is what I've read so far in 2014 (mostly in order, so you'll see I try to alternate types of books when it makes sense to--but as I'm separating the books and plays, as well as separating the books I've re-read from the new books read, it's not entirely chronological).

The Wicked Garden: Book One by Lenora Henson
The author sent me this book upon finding my YouTube channel; she thought my viewers might be interested in it. I haven't read any of the other books in the series. The Wicked Garden centers around the character Gretchel, who is experiencing a slow re-awakening of her insights, power, and ancestral memory. It could use a trigger warning for domestic violence--I legitimately despised the one male character by the end of it. Characters in the book are often, though not all (that I could tell) archetypes, and the series is an exploration of the world of archetype as much as it is a story about history, family, and reclaiming personal power.

Me as Dani Hoo in a production of
The Westing Game, March 2014
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
I was in a production of the play by the same title that was based on this book, so I read the book as part of my acting process. A lot more goes on in the book than in the play, as can be imagined. It's a fun, funny story, full of interesting characters. It's a murder mystery type of thing, and a lot of people read it as kids, though I never did. If you've read it or if you do read it (or the play, or see the play), I played a female version of the character Doug Hoo, a teenage track star. We renamed my character Dani Hoo, short for Danielle.

Fun in a Teacup by Ian McKinnie
A friend of my bosses got them this book about tea leaf reading, and I borrowed it to read. It's short, includes diagrams and some useful instruction, but could definitely be a lot better. My overall impression of the author's tone is that it's condescending. The diagrams are all drawings, and there are only a few photographs. Much of the book is the author's personal stories of parties where he read the leaves for different people. I was confused by his various statements about on the one hand how anyone can make use of/learn this art, and on the other hand how he is much more prone to being successful because of his heritage or his family or I don't remember what.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
I hadn't read these yet, can you believe it? I sped through these tales, but tried to make them last, limiting myself to one--okay, maybe two!--per day. Since I watch the BBC show Sherlock, it was really fun to re-watch the episodes after reading the Adventures and see the modernized references to the tales that I didn't catch before. I'm sure if I read the entire canon, like my boyfriend is doing now, I'd catch even more!

14 May, 2014

A Threshold Path (Poem)

Hey, Readers!

Long time no see, eh? I've been meaning to update, and of course there are several things I could have written about, I just haven't made the time in my busy schedule lately. Tonight, I got online intending to spend an hour or so answering messages and emails, and then watching a few videos. Well, a few hours later, I was still answering messages, and now I have a list of topics to mention next time I do a video.

One thing I will mention is the impetus for this post, which is that I received an email notification of a comment left here on my blog. The comment was letting me know that I have been added to the Pagan Blog Directory! And there is a brand new blog button on the sidebar of my blog to prove it. =) (Shown to the right, here.)

The directory was evidently lost, so it's being redone, so if you know of any blogs that used to be on it, please submit them to the directory so they may be re-added. Likewise, if you know of any that you would like to see on the list that may not have been before (I do not believe I was on it before, or if I was, I wasn't notified then), let them know! There are separate directories for websites and things like Facebook Pages, but this specific one is for blogs. And do use it to find others to follow!

As for the title of this post, I was prodded by the manner in which my blog is listed in the directory. The Witchy Stuff is listed under the category "Wicca." This may seem obvious to those of you who know me as a Wiccan, but it is less so to me, being the one living my path. Now is a good time to put down some thoughts I've been having for a while now, some of which I've expressed in the past, some which have gone unspoken, and some altogether relatively new. And, well, apparently it's going to be in poem form. Enjoy.


My path began with a Wiccan tilt, with Cunningham and Ravenwolf,
with mama's Native influence and my own love of this green Earth.
I read and studied, practiced, erred, and kept it secret for a while
Until I felt more comfortable with calling "Wiccan" my own style.
But I was young and all the Wiccans on the internet weren't fond
of my quite broken lineage and lack of ini-ti-a-tion.
They said I wasn't one of them, that my beliefs were not enough,
that I had to be taught, somehow, and if I didn't do that, tough.
But I, resilient, knowledge-lead, had some informants of my own
who gave me confidence to tread, and so I came into my own.
"I am a Wiccan," I would say, "though eclectic and solit'ry"
and over years a Wiccan Witch is how I have come known to be.
Yet over time, from year to year, my knowledge and experience grow
and less often am I comfortable with names by which I used to go.
I still have Wiccan beliefs, yes, and I intend to keep that part
of my young path, wherever I go, because it spoke to my young heart.
But as of late, the general term of "Pagan" more appeals to me.
Yet when I use it, I am sometimes struck by what the others see.
In arguments sometimes, when I attempt to hold a wider view,
speaking from my Universal tendencies and attitudes,
"You're only speaking from a Wiccan point of view," I now am told,
"That's the Wiccan way of things." Thus the verdict they behold.
And yes, I cede, I do come from a Wiccan sort of origin,
But can I never branch back out from somewhere I was not let in?
The traditional Wiccans never claimed me (so I never claimed to be one of them),
and now the general Pagans shame me, too much Wiccan, then again.
Not enough for the one extreme, but too much one for this, the other.
And where exactly does that leave me? On my own path, same as ever.
An in between is where I walk, a balance on the railroad tracks.
Balance is my major goal, and here I walk, a threshold path.
It's neither in nor is without, nor is it perfect dark or light,
it isn't kin or kind to yours, and it contains both "wrong" and "right."
Is it "Wiccan"? Who could know? Some say yes, and others, no.
The thing I'm sure of is that there is always forward left to go.
From one exit, another entrance. Another threshold left to meet.
And lifetimes hence from what's "complete." And miles to go before I sleep.


18 February, 2014

Fertility Topic on PaganPerspective

Hey, Readers!

This is a script for today's Pagan Perspective video in which I talk about what fertility, creation, and so on mean to me and my path. I felt as though I didn't have much to say on this topic, having done no work with "fertility magick" as it were, so I decided to script it to make sure I had something set down to say and wouldn't ramble aimlessly! Thus, here is the script, and here is the link to the video. Enjoy!

The topic: from ReadingGaol9
--"Merry meet dear paganperspective collaborators! First, let me thank you for the very well-done work you've done over the years and the time you dedicate to enlightening us with further fields to explore in this wonderful world of knowledge about religions and spirituality. I've been watching your channel for a year and I'm not growing weary of it anytime soon!

I'm sending you this message because a dear relative of mine and her boyfriend have decided to have a baby. I've decided to prepare a little gift for them as well as the few rites I'm intending to do to bring them luck and have begun to study specifically fertility-related pagan topics. I'm currently working and reading about Bouddhist goddess Guan Yin who I came accross in one reading. 

Long story short, I simply wish to hear more about each of your viewpoints and conceptions about fertility, Creation and self-accomplishment/development (as well as anything growing or related to fertility, of course! ) according to the pagan beliefs. If you wish to include some of the recent society debates also linked to this topic (such as surrogacy, assisted reproductive technology, savior siblings etc.), I'd be delighted to hear about it, too, but I mainly wish more pagan references about the topic, possibly from various traditions (I especially like Celtic and Heathen traditions but would like to see more variety in the ressources generally used).

With best regards and all my gratitude for your gift to the Pagan community, I'm looking forward to the upcoming videos and I hope you'll take my suggestion in consideration amongst the many requests you surely have!

Blessed be,

P.S.: I hope I didn't make any mistakes, I'm French and not Native English speaker, thus loving this channel all the more for it helps me improve my vocabulary in the spiritual field!"


The script:

"The opposite of war isn't peace--It's CREATION!"
- Mark in RENT

As an unmarried 20-something female, I am in the company of peers for whom fertility is VERY relevant. I myself am not at all ready for the most obvious and literal use of the word, at least as far as what many people think of first when they hear the word "fertility." So to me, at this time in my life and in my practice, fertility mostly relates to CREATION and POSSIBILITY and POTENTIAL, and I love everything about that!

In my view, things don't always have to be literal; they can also be symbolic. On the other hand, sometimes things aren't symbolic and don't have any hidden meanings, they just ARE what they ARE. Fertility is something that goes both ways. Gerald Gardner, for whom the Gardnerian tradition of Wicca is named, was very concerned with fertility in regards to human reproduction, so I hear. In my practice, that certainly has its own place, but the other definitions of the word are more forefront in my life right now--things like creativity and growth and nurturing things other than children. So when we talk about what fertility means "according to the pagan beliefs," it really depends, as everything does, on what group of pagans you mean, or what individual pagan you mean. For me, fertility is many things, from my own potential to mother children to finding myself full of creative ideas and possibility to literally growing things in my garden (and gosh, I can't wait for spring). Like anything, I don't think there is an overall "pagan belief" about fertility.

I haven't done much work with the idea of fertility from a magickal standpoint, however, because at this point in my life the connotations of that word are a bit much for me! When I do workings for growth or such things, I tend to use words like "growth," "creation," "prosperity," or whatever the case may be. I have never done work for "fertility" as in the example given with your friends' decision to have a child. I think that's wonderful and beautiful and exciting! I have just not yet done any work with that. I've recently been reading about several deities related to fertility, simply because I was looking to find the connections between some deities and was reading in a book simply titled "The Goddess" and learned that all these different goddesses are associated with fertility. Some of them are also related to destruction, balancing out the complexity that is the Divine Female, capable of both nurturing and hindering, creating and destroying. In that sense, I feel a great sense of power in my own potential and fertility, if you will.

Unfortunately I can't offer any personal experiences other than these thoughts, at least not at this time in my life. I also can't comment on recent societal debates related to this topic, though I knew a lot more about issues like surrogacy and savior siblings a couple years ago in undergrad when I was taking a course on Genetics, Identity, and Popular Culture. Then I was required to read, watch, and debate about such issues. Now, I don't feel like I remember enough about them. Perhaps if we were seated around a table and someone could refresh my memory, I'd be able to hold a decent conversation about it, but I also didn't feel that was the direction I wanted this topic to go.

Fertility, to me, when the word is said, means a few things. It means babies, children, parenthood, a growing responsibility and thrusting into adulthood that I am NOT ready for at this time. It also means growing flowers and plants, fruits and vegetables in my garden, and that kind of reproduction I am very comfortable with! It also means that I am, and everyone around me is, BURSTING with the potential to create life, both literal and symbolic. THAT is powerful. That is inspiring and intimidating! It fills me with a sense of wonder, awe, and a sort of pride, but also a bit of fear, because as they say, "With great power comes great responsibility."


06 January, 2014

My Goddess (A Poem, or Prayer)

Hey, Readers,

Most of my rituals and spells are made up in the moment, or improvised from a vocabulary of intent that I have built up over the years. As such, I often create new things on the spot, when needed, and then write them down to use again later. Here is a poem I wrote while making a long drive on dangerously snow-covered roads last week:

"My Goddess rules these valleys
My Goddess rules these hills
My Goddess rules this majesty
Both turbulent and still

My Goddess rules these oceans
My Goddess rules these lakes
My Goddess rules my victories
and She rules my mistakes

My Goddess is all-knowing
My Goddess can see all
My Goddess sees me rising
and She will see me fall

She's seen me through the valleys
She's seen me o'er the hills
She's helped me all throughout  my path
and She will guide me still"

This was in reference to a specific goddess of travel named Elen, to whom I pray often while driving, even in regular weather conditions. But this could also apply to other goddesses, and this very much speaks to me of Mother Earth/Gaia as well. I do not usually share things like this, things that I've written for my own path, but I thought perhaps it might be nice to occasionally share with you the kind of things I write and use in my own practice.