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Why bother worshiping a god if you can't accept what they are and are just going to try to cut and bend them into something that you do like? Why do people do this? Why not just...I dunno, find gods that you can accept? Especially when it's a matter of trying to cut out that deity's major area of provenance- seriously "Well, I'm a pacifist and I've managed to find a way to see Athena as a goddess of mental conflict instead of war and I think if I can do the same thing to Ares I could worship him too but while I'm trying to think up ways to pretend he's something nice and clean and personally palpable to me I'm going to make an offering to him because he asked for it- and while I'm at it I'm going to ask him to put a stop to the war!"

This isn't even acknowledging that there are aspects that you don't like and only really dealing with those that you do (hell, I can at least have some respect for someone who can acknowledge that there are aspects of a given deity that they don't like instead of pretending they don't exist.)

Oh, and please don't try to tell me that anti-violence is just sooooooo ingrained in you that you had to rescue a bug from drowning in your backyard pool when you were four years old. Seriously, that has fuck-all to do with anti-violent morality and everything to do with the actions of an innocent child.

Gah, people make my brain bleed. Why don't you just go find some unicorns to run around with or something?
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So...out of curiousity I decided to give Witch School a call and pretend that I was interested in teaching a class. I asked what kind of documentation I would need to submit as far as my experience, credientials, training etc....

...nada. Zip. Zilch. Squat.

foolish at best, but potentially downright dangerous.

Even if there are no requirements are needed for those interested in teaching things like movie revierwing (yes, it's one of the classes on their "wish list"), there are certain things that should not be taught except by those qualified to teach the subject. The other example that I used is herbalism. If you just go messing around with random plants and you don't know what you're doing, you could make someone sick or kill them.
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I've come to a conclusion. Somewhere and with some individuals in the pagan world, an understanding of personal preference versus actual tradtion needs to be established.

Actualy, I came to that conclusion a long time ago. I've dropped bits and thoughts here and there, but now it has its own post.

So my subject is "Traditional Pagan Stuff". And by stuff, I mostly mean clothing. I was reading an article earlier about a couple's handfasting, where I saw this line: "...amid dozens of wellwishers in traditional pagan regalia."

And later, describing the clothing wore by the couple getting married, and the woman's son:

"a couture dress, which her mum helped to customise together with homemade "Weddington Boots" made from white wellies adorned with Swarovski crystals and lines of pearls.

Tony wore a pirate suit, as did Rebecca's five-year-old son Bracken
."

The story contains a picture, a rather smal one. As far as I can tell, "traditional pagan regalia" consists of SCA or Ren Faire garb.

You want a costume wedding with pirates and Ren Faire garb? Sounds like fun! If I were invited to such a wedding, I'd go in costume and have a blast. A pagan handfasting on top of that? Spiffy! "Traditional pagan"? Not so much, skippy.

At best, this sort of costuming is a replica of "traditional" of certain people from a certain time period in a certain region. In many cases, it's not an accurate replica. I'm not the historical costume nazi, so I'll leave that thought alone.

At worst, it's fun and fasntasy passed off as "history".

But back to "replica of "traditional" of certain people from a certain time period in a certain region"...it's just that. Pagans did not have an exclusive hold on this type of clothing. In any given past time period, there was a certain style of fashionable dress. There was sometimes but not always fashion as segregated by religion (best examples offhand...I'm not sure if the Amish and Conservative Mennonite forms of dress today were in place in the past, and if so how different they dressed from others in the same geographical area. I' sure there are some better examples. In this, I'm speaking of the common layperson, not clergy or others of specifically religious vocation, like nuns and monks.) People were simply wearing what was in at the time. If they had been alive in this day and age, very likely the same people would run around in jeans, tshirts and Nikes. You don't see Christians getting laced into bodices like they're going to an SCA event for church. (I'm not comparing the two religions here, just saying...Christians in that time period dressed in that way too).

I have heard some people criticize those who feel the need to wear Ren Faire type clothing to pagan ritual as being ridiculous or making a mockery of the occasion. I'm not sure I go that far...and I've seen a ritual done where *everyone* was dressed in costume. It looked really cool. And far be it from me to criticize individualism, but I do have to ask if everyone else is wearing contemporary clothing...why? In the end though, it's your choice. If that's what you want and no one else in the ritual minds....okay.

I DO however question those who feel the *need* to forgo contemporary dress for ritual.

If it's because you think its "traditional" or "historically accurate? I refer you to the above statements, and I remind you that back in Ye Olde Dayes, those who practiced "Ye Olde Religion" (And by Ye Olde Religion", I don't mean Wicca) wore what was contemporary for their time. I would also ask, if it's "historical" or "traditional" why on earth you're dressed up like the 1400s to honor the gods of ancient Greece or Rome. If you're so concerned with historical accuracy, go put on a toga. And while we're at it...most people in the Renaissance times, at least publically were Christian.

A non-clothing concern is with "stuff". My best example (The only one offhand that I can easily reference, unfortunately I don't have a copy of the book to cite a page number) is from Deborah Lipp's Elements Of Ritual: Earth Air Fire And Water in the Wiccan Circle. In this book, Lipp tells us that we shoud not use glass dishes in ritual...they are "too modern".

Glass! Glass has been around for oh geez...a really long time. They had glass in Rome. they had glass before that. Hell, obsidian- which comes from volcanoes is a NATURALLY-MADE FORM OF GLASS. According to Wikipedia, glass blowing originated in the first centurey BC. Glass is old. Really really old.

My point? Don't tout your personal preference as "traditional" or "historical" unless it actually is. And don't say that a substance thats been around for gillions of years is "too modern". If you don't like the dish...just don't use it. If you think the particular style of a specific piece is "too modern" by all means, style can be too modern, too ancient, too quiet, too loud. But those are subjective and not to be imposed on others. Myself, I really like glass.

(Here's a link to another op-ed piece regarding the Ren Faire garb thing...
Medieval Clothing And Wiccan Ritual In This Day And Age)

crossposting this on my own journal and a couple of communities.
badstar: (taunt you)
Me: ok...this elements of ritual book...interesting, good pracical advice, but damn, she's a little too picky about some things

Mea: hwoso?

Me: athames are black-handled. never wear a watch during ritual, it's inappropriate because time doesn't exists...don't use glass dishes, they're too modern

Mea: screw her!

Me: i dunno about you, but i know plenty of people withathames that are something other than black

Mea: yup

Me: and the whole glass dish thing??? WTF is wrong with modernity??? i mean...it's what we are. what is so wrong wit contemporary? it's the same issue i take with people who insist on wearing en faire garb to every ritual

er, ren raire

bah, i can't type. i give up

Mea: its all good

Me: it just...arg, it annoys me to no end

Mea: me too

Me: do people think the gods are so offended by glass? and contemporary clothing?

Me: yes

Me:personally, i really dig glass. and glass has been around forever.

Mea: Isis will smite me if I don't wear my Moresca Bodice and use my black athame

and remove my hello kitty watch

Me: it's not a modern thing

what does Bast think of hello kitty?

Mea: that's a good question

postd to LJ

Me: hehehe

if you're going egyptian, is it really appropriate to wear a european-style bodice?



(more about the book mentioned later when i finish reading it)
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Dear People Who Are In Charge Of Disseminating Information On Mythology,

Greek and Roman mythology may have many similarities and parallels and stuff but they are not mirror images with a name change! Go do your research! It's not like there aren't plenty of original sources available.

Love,

Fuego



Dear Disney,

Hercules was Roman. Herakles was Greek. WTF is wrong with you?

Cordially,

Fuego
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Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] chronarchy for reminding me that I've been meaning to rant for a while.

This may result in some unpopular responses and other such consequences from a certain sector of my readership...if so, oh well.

But let me just say, i'm kinda sick of seeing "Bright blessings" everywhere and hearing/seeing "merry meet" and merry part"

Amongst some people it seems as though, if you don't use them your membership to Ye Olde Secret Magyckale Paganne Clubbe is revoked or something. Use some more original words once in a while to say hello, good-bye and wish people well.

Oh, and the whole spelling "magic" with a "k" to distinguish um..."magick" from prestidigitation. Why? If you're going to do that, why not find an alternate spelling of "path" to distinguist spiritual path from a path in the woods or a bike path? I would get it if it was another form of the word or somethign, but I looked up an etymology and nowhere did "magick" appear.

Really.

Okay...so let me just give a brief explaination of my idea of magic...and by magic i mean what others may so insistently tack an extra letter onto:

Magic just is...stuff, life, everything. This would be one reason...the biggest reason, really....that I feel no need to adopt a special magical name...(the other reason being...hey! The Gods know who I am. They knew who I was before I knew who they are. No need for another name for that specific purpose. Though, for the sake of jest, I shall now reassume my Olde Magyckal Namme of Lady Blithering Moondrivel.) And one glaring reason that I don't see the need to apend a perfectly good word.

So everything is magic, magic is everything, prestidigitation is therefore magic and I really am just enjoying copious use of the word "prestidigitation"

But even if you don't take such a view of magic as I do...consider the fact that in the English language, many many many many^n words have multiple meanings without having to be spelled differently. It's a common language thing.

Besides..."magic" is aesthetically more pleasing to the eye and inside my brain than "magick" and that might be what bugs me most of all. "Magick" is hard and sharp and rough- careful you don't get hurt on the magick! Whereas magic is...well, magic. "Magick" really loses something. It detracts from the wonder and mystery of the word. I can't say "magick" in the same way I can say "magic" it just doesn't come out right. "-ck" is much harder of a sound than "-c" inside my brain, making the end of the word sound much like "crack"..."crack" is a hard-sounding word.

So my point = Magic > Magick

*Lady Blithering Moondrivel hops off of soapbox and exists stage left*

PS: Tangerine. Smells like Christmas, tastes like citrus.
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Do you have a "Pagan" name or a "Magic" name?

Do you use it in public?

Do you find that a lot of the pagans in your area use magic names? Do they use them more than their given names?

If you don't have a magic name, do you ever get od reactions for not?

I'm just curious because a few weeks ago, I was talking to someone from the community at a gathering, we'd met a few times before at rituals at the Grove, and seen each other around town...she asked me to remind her what my name was, so I did...and then she asked if I had a magic name. When I responded that I didn't, she looked at me as though I had just grew a 3rd arm or something. Not the first time I'd had such a reaction. It was a little weird. So just curious of anyone else has seen this.


To everyone else: feel free to Nod and Smile. Pagans Are Weird :-P
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Paper: Sunday News (LANCASTER, PA.)
Pagans picnic, much to commissioner's chagrin Date: 09/08/02 By: Helen
Colwell Adams

"We're just normal folks, and we do normal things," Azar Silverbear was saying Saturday.

He was standing near the tables offering door prize tickets and information about the Green Party and the Alliance for Tolerance and Freedom, both of which were represented at the "Lancaster Pagan Pride" picnic in Lancaster County Park.

Sponsored by the Maplewing Clan of the International Pagan Pride Project, the second annual picnic was expected to draw around 300 people from Lancaster and neighboring counties to the park for food, children's activities, live music and a little education. Which is not to say everyone was happy about it. County Commissioner Pete Shaub, for one, expressed frustration that the county had to allow the group to use the park. "I don't think it is right that we are required to rent a facility to a group that promotes witchcraft," he said. "I don't think our founding fathers had renting public facilities to witchcraft groups in mind when they made up the laws." Plus, he said, the permit application didn't mention the pagan connection, although Commissioner Chairman Paul Thibault noted that subsequent publicity about the picnic spelled out the focus on witchcraft, druidism and other "earth-based spiritualities," as the group put it. County solicitor John Espenshade said the courts have been clear that governments must use "content-neutral criteria" in determining who may use public places.
Unless a group's views make officials fear "an imminent breach of the peace," Espenshade said, governments can't deny permits "because someone
doesn't believe in someone else's views."

Silverbear, who was organizing the picnic, said his group didn't know anything about the controversy.

Last year's picnic -- overshadowed by a threatened Ku Klux Klan rally the same day -- went off without a hitch, he said. The clan donated a tree to the park.

The public was invited to the afternoon-long picnic, which included merchants selling clothes, jewelry, pottery and related products. Admission was a can of food to be donated to a local food bank. "The event is to dispel the myths about paganism and witchcraft," Silverbear said.

"As long as people obey the rules of the park," Commissioner Ron Ford said Friday, "that's part of what living in a diverse society is all about.

"There are a lot of things you don't personally agree with, but you do have the First Amendment."

Or, as Thibault put it: "It's a free country." Shaub wasn't convinced.

"If it were just me making the call," he said, "I would not rent the facility to them."
Copyright © 2001 Lancaster Newspapers, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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