Quotes: a Grian-ism

"If there is such a thing as sin, then it is not our actions that are the sins in themselves. It is when our actions hurt others that they then become sinful."

- Grian DeBandia

Life in Not So Many Words

I'm sort of going through some things lately. I'll probably be taking more of a break in between posts than usual. Just promise not to give up on me. Again, I always come back... bouncing all the way.

Does Kirk Cameron Read Panthea?

Hey guys. Look at this comment I got today from an older post of mine entitled Know Thyself. Notice the little bit about The Way of the Master which is not once mentioned in the post itself. Maybe Kirk or his buddy Ray Comfort were doing a little search on their show and my blog came up. Why do you suppose this person prefers to remain anonymous?
Anonymous said...

Lee: According to Proverbs 18;2
"A fool has no delight in understanding except that her heart may discover itself". You can spend your whole life on a journey of self discovery and wind up in hell. Not becasue you haven't believed in Jesus but becasue you have sinned against a Holy, just and rightous God who WILL hold each of us accountible for "every idle word". Sin is simply the violation of God's law laid out in the Ten Commandments. If you are honest with yourself you have to admit that you have violated the whole of God's Law. Repent of your sin adn turn to him before it's too late. No one is promised tomorrow. I am glad you are watching The Way of the Master. May God use it to open yours eyes to His Truth.
I'm going to address this with a few simple words. First, I believe in the Goddess who is the Lady of Life. She carries the kind of love that all healthy mothers do for their children - for all of creation. Her lessons are very different from those of your just and righteous god of the bible. I don't believe in the bible. I don't believe in sin. I believe most (not all) of the ten commandments are obsolete and only served to control a less enlightened culture. I don't believe in your god. Your conversion tactics are wasted on me. I can only hope that the Mother calls out to you and enters your heart so that you may see real truth and freedom through the divine inspiration of her lessons. I mean no disrespect but wish you a journey full of open eyes and mystical experiences.

Just to Dance

Just some random thoughts that ran through my head in the form of poetry. Yes, I actually do think in verse. Anyway, I'm looking towards Ma Kali to decapitate this melancholy I seem to be stuck in lately. Here's to a future containing a spontaneous series of up-notes.

Branches break against gale force
Yet the maples dance with subtle grace.

Ripped from limb to limb
They continue to move in rhythm.

Am I like the tree;
Destroying myself just to dance?

If so, who is the wind;
Who will be my partner in obliteration?

Is it a selfish wish to want someone to dance with?

The Frosts and Hymens

I wandered over to The Frost's new blog and posted a comment on their post "Frost and Sex - Intacta" Go here to see the full post. My comments are below.

Comment One:
A hymen is never "intact". In fact it shouldn't be. Of course hymens vary in thickness, size of opening, etc - but there should always be an opening.

It is commonplace for a doctor to make sure an infant female has an open hymen. If the opening does not occur a physician may be employed to fix this before school age. Young girls begin to menstruate as early as 9 years old. Blood needs to be able to pass.

So, to say that the hymen is closed before first intercourse is completely false and rather ignorant.

Let's face it. In this day and age young girls use tampons, masturbate, get pelvic exams, etc. The hymen is rather irrelevant. An empowered, modern woman would hopefully be raised aware or her anatomy and be ready for the happenings of first intercourse. I didn't bleed a bit and over half of the young female population won't either.

Times have changed. I would say it's uncommon to be given a prudish upbringing. Sex education and a new generation of parents ready to give their kids "the talk" has increased awareness and empowered young females about their bodies. There is still some work to do but surgically removing hymens is not the answer. In fact, it's down right unnatural.

Of course I speak from an American point of view. Some parts of the rest of the world have much more work to do before women can be sexually liberated.

Comment Two:
And I'm sorry - did you say "acceptable guidelines"? What does that mean exactly? Should all Pagans subscribe to the beliefs that would be in these "guidelines"?

I would have to say that I would be completely against any practice like this for my daughter. My opinion is that the only guideline Pagans need is nature. The tearing, rupturing, etc. of the hymen is part of a natural process.

Birth is a bloody process too. Should we find some way to make that more pleasurable? Some women don't lose their hymens completely until they give birth. Should we do something about that too. Come on now.

Satisfaction Saturday

I woke up this morning ridiculously thirsty. That was most likely due to the fact that I had a few glasses of wine with great friends last night. Anyway, as I poured water into my dog's bowl I thought about how amazing it was that water ran right out of the tap - that with a twist of the wrist pure, beautiful water poured into our homes. We are so unbelievably fortunate. We never have to go thirsty.

How many people in this world don't have water to drink and if they do it's full of bacteria? They have to go without or only drink a little to survive where as we can simply gorge ourselves on the cool, sweet water that pours into our homes like liquid life.

I didn't choose water for my first beverage today. I chose a glass full of orange juice. Not that tiny little juice glass they give you at restaurants - a big giant pint glass. And again I found myself contemplating how amazing it was that I could have such a large amount of that juice. I drank it down gratefully and quickly, quenching my thirst like a woman who's been sitting in the blazing sun of the desert.

How many people have never tasted orange juice? How many people have never eaten an orange or an apple? I could go to the grocery store right now and buy the juice of pomegranates. How many people can't do that? Actually I could suck down all that OJ right now and go buy more to replace it. How many people have to cherish every precious sip of juice or water? How many people are afraid of it running out? How many are terrified of going thirsty?

I sit here now with my pint glass full of water and consciously realize how grateful I am to have it. When I am overwhelmed with thirst first thing in the morning I don't have to go without. I don't have to thirst. I can walk to the sink and pour myself a cool glass of water.

Did you ever notice that water out of the bathroom sink tastes better? Maybe it's just me.


I think I’m bored. No, restless is a better word. Do you ever just want to scream at the computer screen “Wow me! Move me! Give me something!”? Well, that’s how I feel tonight.

I click on the same links again and again just hoping that this time there will be something fantastic to see. It amazes me that the internet is so vast yet I have very narrow lenses with which to look at it with. Maybe I have too much time to look. This is not the norm for me, but lately I feel the need to do something mindless as opposed to working at the computer. I guess that’s my escape strategy.

So, I am asking you, my friends and fellow web-junkies, to gift me with some of your favorite links or simply give me some insight into what you do on the net. Where do you go to be wowed and moved? What places on the web evoke your passion or tickle you mind?

If you don’t have a link to share take a moment to have some pity on a poor girl with no virtual friends.

Dancing Under the Moon

I danced under the Maiden moon tonight, spinning like a child beneath the branches of the old cottonwoods. I hummed a song I know... Aphrodite, Iris, Artemis, Persphone, Danu, Demeter, Hera, Isis, Selu, Morrigan, Hecate, Cerridwyn, Kali-Ma... and I let the Goddess speak.

I heard her voice moving on the wind, in the cricket song, and in the beating of my own heart. The trees danced with me in an ancient rhythm only some feel and an ancient tune only some hear.

I resisted the urge to run through the meadow and into the circle in the back. I don't know why. Maybe the old cherry tree knows. I should ask her the next time I sit with her. I'm sure she has more answers than I do.

Or maybe the snakes that slither among the tall blades of grass and giant thistle know something I don't. Or perhaps one of the other animals knows. The deer, the groundhog, the chipmunks, the skunks, the hawks... maybe they can tell me.

Hopefully I can be a good listener.

More Doll Pictures

Okay, so I'm a little out of hand with this doll thing. LOL. Anyway, I opened all their eyes and I'd love to know which you all like better if you've got a minute. See the post below for the eyes closed faces. Thanks everybody!

Oh, there's also a new one - Hera. She's not complete yet though. She needs a peacock feather in her hair.

Long Time No Post

Yeah, so I sort of disappeared for a while. Sorry about that. I'm feeling very blah lately and I'm just plain not that motivated to blog. I hope you guys haven't lost faith in me. Sometimes I just need to retreat into myself - into my home and space.

I have been creating a bit lately. I've been making Goddess dolls and painting a little. There are some pics below. (In order: Ameterasu, Blodeuwedd, Brigid, Oshun, Shakti) I have lots of plans for those little dolls and paintings inspired by them. Now I just need some more of that motivation I've been lacking lately.

Anyway, let me know what you all think about the dolls if you get the chance. Feed the artist! :) I have a design ready for baby-safe Goddess dolls too with rattles inside of them. I think they'll be adorable. Thanks for being patient with me while I hibernate. I can feel the cloud lifting so I think you'll be hearing more from me soon.

Blogger Reflection Award

Turtleheart over at Turtleheart Cove has nominated me for a Blogger Reflection Award. Thank you so much Turtleheart. I really appreciate this honor. I gather that the point now is to pick some blogs that make me think and reflect as well.

I am inspired by many individuals and many ways of thought. It was hard to only pick 5. I love each of these people for different reasons but especially for their very strong sense of self and the honesty with which they portray that.

Terri, Billy, Hecate, Sojourner, Athana

10 Questions for the Dalai Lama

I love the Dalai Lama. He’s always smiling and he just seems like the coolest monk ever. He even has his own official website. Wouldn't it be cool if the Lama was a blogger?

I own a bunch of his books, I’ve read his autobiography, and I even listen to his audio books on my iPod. The last one, The Universe in a Single Atom, was narrated by Richard Gere. I have to listen to that one again. It was pretty heavy.

From his autobiography I learned that he is just a normal Tibetan guy who happens to be a monk - well THE monk. He likes tinkering with mechanical things like watches and radios and even wanted to neglect his studies at times just to do this.

He has faced the deaths of many of his people and had to flee his homeland for fear of his life at the hands of Chinese Communists. All this in his teens and twenties. He now lives in India in exile because China won't give up Tibet.

A new independent film, 10 Questions for the Dalai Lama, is opening up in my home town theatre. The trailer gave 7 of the 10 questions and I thought I would post them here for us to discuss. I’m curious to see what the Lama thinks.

Why do the poor seem happier than the rich?

Is there hope for peace in the Middle East?

Should we engage China?

Is internet freedom good?

Will there be another Dalai Lama?

Does tolerance work?

Can we save our environment?

Thou Art Thursday

Thou art Goddess... I am Goddess... we are Goddess. The Goddess is all life - all things.

It's storming right now. The rain is pouring down on the roof of my hundred-year-old house. It's worn, in need of repair, but well loved. My house is Goddess.

The lightning strikes with brilliant flashes of white, brightening the sky up like day. The thunder is never too far behind. When I was a child my mother told me that "god" was bowling and that was how thunder was made. I always wondered why "god's" league never met on the same day every week and why some weeks they didn't play at all.

This storm I sit in is Goddess. It's the growl of the Great Mother Bear, the tears of the Mourning Crone, and the the shining light of the Free-Spirited Maiden. She is with me, around me, surrounding me, and within me.

Catching a Bumblebee

I tried so hard yesterday evening to catch a bumblebee sucking the nectar out of my catnip. But he was too quick and these are how the pictures came out. I think the effect is kind of cool.

LITTLE NOTE: Turn your head to the left to look at the pictures. Do you see the watercolor-like landscapes?

Goddess Inspired Poetry

I found this free e-book on Lulu.com last night while publishing my own little written venture. It's called Maiden, Mother, Crone - A Celebration of All Goddesses and it's written by LeRoy McKitrick.

LeRoy writes about the Goddess, the women in his life, and the Goddess inside those women. It's truly lovely and only 36 pages long - so a nice quick read for those of us without a bulk amount of spare time. I've pasted two of his poems below. Give them a read then head over to Lulu to download this little treasure.

I found some other Goddess-y ebooks too, but I haven't had the time to read them just yet. When I do I'll let you know how they are.

Matrilineal bloodlines
forever as true
never will it be questioned.
-The womb you grew in
shall always be the same.
The seed you grew from can
never be proven to be
your genesis.
Your roots can only lead
back to the Goddess.



Unmasking the Goddess Blog?

I found this blog the other day - "Unmasking the Goddess" - about a Christian woman (Susy Flory) who is set to, as the title suggests, "unmask" the Goddess. I am sure this means she plans to somehow disprove the existence of ancient Goddess societies and discredit the entire religion.

For some reason I'm a glutton for punishment because I am gradually reading every single one of Susy's posts. My idealist brain is already processing an elaborate plan to defend Mama from this very passive-aggressive attack and better the world at the same time.

Quick! Someone get the restraints. And bring some chocolate. And a bottle of Pinot Grigio. The big bottle. Oh, and maybe some caramel sundaes.

Oh, who am I kidding? I'll probably just end up bitching about my aggravation here. Who knows, maybe this woman's work might even spark a good topic for debate. Or just annoy the crap out of me.

*currently chanting "frankie says relax" as my personal mantra*

UPDATE: Read Susy's story The Goddess Unmasked to get her blog contents in a nut shell - a large, rotten nut shell full of manure. Sorry... letting my annoyance show again. Back to my mantra.Frankie says relax...

Why Satanists Aren’t Pagans

Definitions for Pagan:

a person who follows a polytheistic or pre-Christian religion (not a Christian or Muslim or Jew)

A generic term for a number of pre-Christian faiths – druids, witches. Pagan faith is linked to locality and to the Earth.

While I think most people who read this blog probably already know the meaning of the word Pagan I thought the above definitions illustrated my main point in this article. That point being that a Satanist can not be a Pagan because Pagans (as can be seen above) are defined as being practitioners of pre-Christian religions.

Satan is a Christian figure – or an Abrahamic figure to be more technical. How then can people who follow a Christian figure belong within an umbrella that is specifically defined as pre-Christian?

The Luciferian Factor

Lucifer is also known as the Morning Star – Venus – a Goddess. Lucifer sounds like Lugh also. God of light anyone? Why not just be Pagan? At least then you can actually break out of the Christian mold.

My Thoughts

I’m not out to make enemies of Satanists. I have met some and they all seem like pretty decent folks. To each his/her own. I do, however, want to state my opinion on Satanism as I see it.

I have read up on the subject and I believe Anton LeVey himself admitted that the Church of Satan was set up as a publicity stunt. He wanted to be famous and so he figured causing a stir among the straights would be a way to get it. Yay for him. He literally became a pop-guru in his time. Rocking the boat of the establishment is usually a good thing, but in my opinion this makes Satanism more of an elaborate joke as opposed to a religion.

The Black Mass is intended to be the opposite of a Catholic Mass. This sounds like some teenagers just trying to do exactly what Mommy and Daddy told them not to. Dad says you can’t date that boy so you sneak out down the lattice work to do it anyway. You rebel!

I don’t think Satanists should be thought of as Pagans or call themselves Pagans. I have no problem with misfits sticking with misfits – as in both Pagans and Satanists working towards religious freedom, etc – but there should be a clear distinction between the two groups.

Got some thoughts? Want to argue my points? I love a good conversation. Hit the comments links below to start one.

A Real Vagina Dentata

Apparently this news is two years old, but it's brand new to me.

From Wikipedia

In 2005, inventor Sonette Ehlers introduced the "Rapex", an anti-rape female condom which can be inserted into the vaginal canal like a diaphragm. The product is lined with barbs which attach to a rapist's penis and which must be surgically removed. In an article about the Rapex, Ehlers stated that she was inspired to invent the device after meeting a victim who told her, "If only I had teeth down there."

From TimesOnline.co.uk

FURIOUS South African women have called for a controversial new anti-rape device, dubbed a “rat trap”, to be banned by the Government.

The tampon-like device, invented by a woman, supposedly protects women from rapists by cutting into a man’s penis.

It has sparked an empassioned debate over the high number of rapes committed each day in the country and the authorities’ apparent failure to tackle the issue.

Activists are outraged and want to stop it going on sale alongside tampons in chemists and supermarkets next month.

Charlene Smith, a leading anti-rape campaigner, said: “This is a medieval instrument, based on male-hating notions and fundamentally misunderstands the nature of rape and violence against women in this society. It is vengeful, horrible, and disgusting. The woman who invented this needs help.”

I'm just not sure how I feel about this. As usual, I had an initial response then thought about the issue and identified the other side of it.

Being familiar with the concept of a Vagina Dentata that's what immediately came to my mind. I thought this device was a rather empowering idea - at first. But, the more I think about it the reason men rape seems to rarely be based on the sex act alone. There are typically a whole lot of deep seeded mental issues (or a society in need of education and female liberation) involved that getting your penis caught in a barbed vice isn't necessarily going to cure.

So, is this actually some archaic device created by a woman who hates men and perhaps has her own issues to deal with - that creating dentures for her girl parts isn't going to fix? Or is it a way to prevent rape and catch rapists in countries where little is being done for violated women? What do you think?

This Might Piss You Off

I was reading Deborah Lipp's blog, Property of a Lady, the other day and found a post entitled Harassment in an Elevator.

At first I totally bought this article. I was like "Yeah, those guys suck. Society is screwed..." Then I took a shower and thought about it. I mean really thought about it. The conclusions I came up with were much different than my initial reaction.

Then, in the interest of getting all the facts, I wandered over to where the post originated from and saw some pictures. Firstly, I'm not saying this woman is not attractive but she certainly does not look like a stripper. I think it's the leotard. She looks more like a dancer. Strippers typically don't shop at the same places ballet dancers do. And the gloves or wristlets she's got on say "costume" for sure.

So, after gathering my facts and giving this some serious thought I now have a well formulated opinion. Or something like it. Below is the original article and below that is what I have to say about it. You can choose to only scroll half way if you're not interested in my thoughts.

Until, going to the bathrooms on the second floor alone**, I stepped into the elevator. It was filled with men who were all taller than me, and not wearing WisCon badges. They looked surprised and pleased as I got in. And I felt uneasy and self-conscious before I had time to think of why.

“Well, hey, now,” one guy murmured. “Hey there.”

“Yeah,” another chuckled.

“Second floor, please,” I said.

“Hey!” someone else said. “What’s going on on that floor?”

“Costume party.”

“Well, can we go?”

They laughed appreciatively. I said “No.” And I got out.

And that was it. They didn’t say anything foul, they certainly didn’t touch me, and it wasn’t even close to harassment by the standards of our society. So why was I shaky and scared and angry afterwards?

Two things:

1) At the costume ball, my clothing – fishnets, black leotard, blonde wig - was coded “superhero”. In the elevator, it was coded “stripper”.

2) Everyone is conditioned to assess women primarily by how sexually attractive and/or available they appear to be. Making that assessment clear is normal. Vocalizing that assessment is normal. Blaming women for others harassing or abusing them based on how attractive they are or what they were wearing at the time is normal.

If you’re gearing up to say something like “But nothing really bad happened!” or “Well, what did you expect?” or “Come on, weren’t you looking for attention?”, or “They were just being nice!”: don’t.

I know that those men almost certainly meant me no harm; they probably thought expressing a wish to follow me to a party was a compliment. It is entirely possible that none of them have ever imagined being in an enclosed space with a group of big strangers eyeing you up and asking if they can come with you could be a frightening experience. Our culture is set up so that they’ve never had to.

This and like incidents have happened to me, like many women, time and time again: strange men telling me to “smile!”; strange men shouting “Show us your tits!” as they drive past; strange men groping my breasts and ass in crowded train carriages.

(Women also buy into the patriarchal imperative to judge women primarily by their physical appearance, and that is also extremely unpleasant. However, as it is far less likely that women will follow such assessment with rape or other violent crime, it is generally much less threatening when a woman says, “You look like a whore.”)

If a woman doesn’t want to be viewed – for some weird reason - as a sex object, her choices are limited. She can be visibly angry or ignore harassment, in which case she is a FRIGID BITCH who can’t take a COMPLIMENT from NICE GUYS. Or she can be pleasant in an attempt to show them she’s actually a human being, in which case she may be ASKING FOR further “compliments” with her MIXED SIGNALS.

Or she can stay at home.

- Karen of Girls Read Comics (And They’re Pissed)

Now for my thoughts...err rant. Stop reading now if you suspect this might piss you off and you're not in the mood. :)

"I felt uneasy and self-conscious before I had time to think of why."

If you're uneasy and self-conscious why is that someone else's fault? I have been in this situation numerous times, and while being surrounded by a bunch of strange men can be somewhat intimidating, it doesn't have to be. Why not make it an empowering situation? At that moment they were admiring the woman walking into the elevator. She made a conscious choice to feel uneasy and nervous. She could have chosen to feel powerful and even beautiful.

Let's face it folks, we're animals. Animals are driven by instinct. Our instincts tell us to be attracted to someone or not. Men are easily attracted to a woman who appears to be fun, interesting, and yes clad in tight clothes. Remember that our ancestors didn't wear clothes. The body is a big turn on. Anyway, I digress.

Men (straight men) are hard wired to be attracted to women. It's just a biological fact. And thank goodness for it or there would be no people on this planet. It is this drive to reproduce (in conjunction with the natural nurturing qualities of women) that is responsible for the thriving human race. If we expect men to honor us for being what makes us women - bleeding, birthing, nursing, emotional-izing, multi-tasking, powerful women - then why shouldn't we honor them for what makes them men? Yes they are sex driven and yes most of them have the will power to control those desires. But they can't control the every-seven-minute sexual thoughts any more than we can control the blood that pours from our wombs.

Now, before I get the whip let me clarify that I do not believe women should should be seen or used as objects. But admiring a beautiful woman in an elevator is far from objectifying her.

My main point here: You can choose to feel powerful instead of weak. You can choose to be a gorgeous and confident woman who can wrap a man around her finger. Or you can choose to be a frightened little girl with confidence issues. There are thousands of women who would love to be shown a little (appropriate) attention by a bunch of men.

This leads me to another point.

"Everyone is conditioned to assess women primarily by how sexually attractive and/or available they appear to be."

No kidding. And women do the same thing with men. Are you going to go up and talk to the unattractive guy at the bar who looks like he might not have showered in a week or are you going to catch the eye of the hunky 6 foot guy with nice hair? Again, this is another biological instinct. We go for the people who appear to have the better genes or jeans.

American men could use some changing. This is very true. Mostly I think they should learn to be more cultured, less interested in football, and more vocal with their emotions without having their buddies question their sexuality. And absolutely many of them could learn to appreciate and honor women instead of objectifying them. Let's just keep things in perspective and remember that they are men - human - and they can't control their hormones any more than we can.

To close I am going to clarify a few things.

- There is a big difference between admiration and harassment.
- There is a big difference between attraction and objectification.
- There is a big difference between showing someone attention and raping them.
- There is a double standard for men that shouldn't be there. Men are Goddess too.
- There is a choice in everything.

Now bring on the flogging.

Everything's Coming up Goddess

A few days ago I read this post at Aquila ka Hecate which then led me to this post by Hecate. Check out the quotes below.

"I resolved this morning on the way to work to see everything I beheld as Goddess.
My partner beside me, driving my car-he is Goddess.

The car herself is Goddess. Her name is Astarte.

The early morning lights of Woodmead, with those dreadful smoke stacks billowing against the sky -that's Goddess."

- Terri at Aquila ka Hecate

"and that my chance to go back to my office and do what I do best in all the world -- write and edit -- is Goddess, and that my ability to mange everyone's emotions is Goddess, and that getting to read a perfect ritual proposed by my brilliant friend E. for my genius friend B. is Goddess and that a half an hour -- a whole half an hour -- alone in the car with the gorgeous man-Son-Scorpio lawyer that I bore and raised all by myself -- a whole half an hour with Son -- is Goddess, and that his beautiful, kick-ass, wonderful mother of a wife is Goddess,"

- Hecate

So now the words "thou art Goddess" have become my personal mantra. If I too can resolve to see everything around me as Goddess perhaps I can be the "better self" Hecate talks about in the rest of her post.

The cigarette - potentially deadly; toxic, billowing spirals of smoke around my head like "my own locomotive" as Billy Collins said - this is Goddess. The grocery store clerk who makes me want to call her a dumb ass - she is Goddess. My mother - who drives me nuts and makes me love her fiercely all at the same time - she is Goddess. My daughter - my source of giggles and faithful partner in ice cream crime - she is most definitely Goddess. The people I try not to roll my eyes at - like twenty year olds who wear jeans so low their labia are almost visible or their boyfriends with their hats spun sideways and a chunk of fake diamonds around their necks - they are Goddess. My Circle mates - they are Goddess - Goddess of much needed laughter, love, and spiritual connection. My best friend - long time support system and my journeying companion - she is very much Goddess; the Goddess of no-panties.

Maybe with those words perpetually in my mind I can start to see the world and other people with fresh fruit eyes; brand new and ripe with sweetness. Maybe I can stop being angry when my girl-mones rage and the heat has gotten the best of me. Maybe I can stop blaming the anger on the girl-mones and the heat and get a good look at the giant still life of sadness that hides in some locked box inside my brain. And maybe I can just remember that I am human - but Goddess - and I don't have to be afraid to fail at being perfect.

UPDATE: Many thanks to Hecate and Terri for their lovely posts. Quite honestly I think this topic has been something life changing for me. As you can see I've added some stuff to the top of the page that relates to the "Everything is Goddess" idea. I've realized now that this entire blog has been about this concept and I am eternally grateful to the two of you for expanding my understanding and speaking your truth.

Newsweek On Faith: Pagans

I don't know how I missed this. The question this week at the OnFaith Column of Newsweek Online is:

This July 4, Pagans rallied outside the White House. They want the military to add a Pagan chaplain. Should they get one? Would you vote for a Pagan for public office?

I couldn't even begin to write down everything that has gone through my head while reading the responses and comments. Basically that's because I'm hotter than Hades' butt crack and just need to find some air conditioning or some ice cream. So I think you should just head on over and read it all for yourself.

Click here to go read it.

Goddess Inside a Piece of Jerky

I had a thought today while eating beef jerky. Weird, I know. Anyway, I was thinking to myself that I was consuming the life of another living thing. I was then struck with a thought about the concept of Oneness...

If all things are one - are the Goddess - then the Goddess destroys parts of herself to help other parts of herself to thrive. Why then do you suppose she would "pick" us to be the kind of life that thrives more than some others. The Goddess teaches that all life is one life and no life is more worthy than another. So what makes us so special? Do we contribute more somehow to her well being? Do we provide more physical experience for her than other life forms?

I searched for a metaphor for this and tried out my own body. I haven't come to any conclusions yet, but I am trying to see what my body destroys that are a part of me - that I presumably need to survive - in order to "feed" other parts. I know these are some obscure thoughts, but I thought it might be something worth pondering. I'll be searching for other metaphors/comparisons and looking into science, the natural world, human physiology, etc. to gain some insights if anyone wants to ponder or search with me.

One insight so far: We create. Not just other beings but art, poetry, buildings, etc. We have reasoning abilities that other animals do not that allow us to create without mixing our DNA with someone else's.

Living Goddess Stripped of Status

I think the following recent news story deserves a little discussion. What are your thoughts on this? Does this sound like Goddess Religion to you? I'll chime in as soon as I get over being pissed and have a minute to think about it rationally.


KATMANDU, Nepal — A 10-year-old Nepalese girl was stripped of her title as a living goddess because she traveled overseas to promote a documentary about the centuries-old tradition, a news report said Tuesday.

Sajani Shakya had her status revoked because she broke with tradition by leaving the country, the state-run National News Agency reported, quoting Narendra Prasad Joshi, chief of the Bhaktapur Taleju Temple where Sajani is based.

Sajani is among several "Kumaris," or living goddesses, in Nepal, but as one of the kingdom's top three, is forbidden from leaving the country.

However, last month she left Nepal for the United States and other countries to promote a British documentary about the living goddesses of the Katmandu Valley.

Temple officials will replace Sajani when she returns to Nepal later this week, the report cited Joshi as saying.

Living goddesses are worshipped by both Hindus and Buddhists. The girls are selected between the ages of 2 and 4 after going through several tests.

They are required to have perfect skin, hair, eyes and teeth, they shouldn't have scars or wounds, and shouldn't be afraid of the dark.

They always wear red, pin up their hair in topknots and a "third eye" is painted on their forehead.

Devotees touch the girls' feet with their foreheads, the highest sign of respect among Hindus in Nepal.

During religious festivals the girls are wheeled around on a chariot pulled by devotees. Living goddesses usually keep their title until their first menstruation.

The main Kumari lives a sequestered life in a palatial temple in the capital, Katmandu.

She has a few selected playmates and is allowed outside only a few times a year for festivals.

Others like Sajani are allowed to stay at home, attend regular school and take part in festivals.

The government last year announced a monthly pension of $40 for serving and retired Kumaris. Previously, the main Kumari received only a gold coin during an annual festival and the other girls received whatever was offered by devotees.

Nepalese folklore holds that men who marry a former Kumari will die young, and so many girls remain unmarried and face a life of hardship.

Critics have said the tradition violates both international and Nepalese laws on child rights.

source: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,287839,00.html

Quote: The Witch of Portobello

"Everyone's looking for the perfect teacher, but although their teachings might be divine, teachers are all too human, and that is something people find hard to accept. Don't confuse the teacher with the lesson, the ritual with the Ecstasy, the transmitter of the symbol with the symbol itself. The Tradition is linked to our encounter with the forces of life and not the people who bring this about. But we are weak, we ask the Mother to send us guides, and all she sends are signs to the road we need to follow."

- Paulo Coelho "The Witch of Portobello

Discordia Comes Out to Play

Before I begin I just want to clarify that these are my opinions and you are more than welcome to disagree with them. In fact, I encourage you to voice your own discord by using the comments link at the bottom of each post.

Now, on to the meat and potatoes of it...

I’m frustrated. I feel as though Wicca and the overall idea of doing spells and magic (with a k) has gotten out of hand and become just plain silly. I don’t think Pagans will ever be taken seriously if we don’t lose some of the Dungeons and Dragons type mentality that seems to infest our communities. I’m not saying playing D&D is a bad thing. In fact, it's a great social pastime. I am only saying that I believe that type of fantasy has no place in religion.

Spells were cool and exciting when I was a teenager. Now I consider them prayer with props. Why then don’t we just call it prayer or petitioning? At some point we may have to come to terms with not being able to "take back" all the terminology we use. When people hear the word "spell" along the same vein as religion they immediately think crazy. This is especially the case when there are a ton of role playing games utilizing the idea of our prayer system as a way to do battle with enemies. Harry Potter has added fuel to that fire as well.

I’ve met people who believe in dragons, fairies, gnomes, bigfoot, etc. When I speak with them for the first time I have to fight to keep a straight face. Actually, what I want to say is "Go sell crazy to the Fundies. They're always looking for more and we have all we can handle here."

I think there is a certain amount of hypocrisy at work in the D&D minded Pagan crowd too. For example, I have heard more than one of them say that the Bible is archaic and its ideas ridiculous. They speak of how it is impossible to part the red sea or turn water to wine, etc. Okay. Then why in the world would you believe in mythological creatures?

Reality sucks sometimes. I get that and I’m totally on board with having a healthy fantasy life. But at some point in your life you have to face reality. I would prefer that my religion be firmly rooted in the real world so that I'm fully prepared when reality rears its ugly head.

Children should be able to maintain a belief in fantasy. I would never want to rob my child of the magic of Santa or the idea that there are little beings that watch over her. One day I can explain to her that these are metaphors that represent wonderful aspects of nature and the Goddess.

Look, I really want to believe unicorns are real. I still turn to look at every apple orchard I pass in the hopes that somewhere within the mists there will be a gorgeous, one-horned white horse with a mane that ripples in the wind. I want to believe. But I have yet to see a unicorn whinny at the moon and I have yet to speak with a faerie.

On the other hand I have taken in the scent of the summer breeze on my face, felt the heat of fire on my skin, held the earth in my hands, and drunk deep of the purity of water. I have witnessed the changing seasons and watched the moon wax and wane. I have felt the rhythms of the Earth within me and noticed my connection to all things. Nature is real. Nature I can touch, see, taste, smell, hear, feel, and sense.

To sum up, I am not saying we should not hold on to the hope that some of these things can exist – at least in some other realm, the astral, or whatever. I am simply saying that there should be more reality rooted in our religious practices. If one more person asks me if I can feel the trapped spirit in their (insert mundane object here) I may just have to let the giggles escape.

In my opinion, superstition and ideas originating in fantasy have not been something the human race typically deals well with. Those ideas usually come to an end with someone getting burned at the stake.

Affirmation of the Mother

This affirmation can be used daily to imbue yourself with the compassion of the Mother.

Ancient Mother,
Your spirit is the creating force of love
That nourishes and perpetuates life.
Let my heart be filled with your patience,
And your endless compassion for all things.
I rest always within your eternal embrace.

Belated Holiday: Midsummer

Love is the most powerful force in existence. It can quite literally bring change in an instant. Without it there would be no desire to create and nurture, thus there would be no life.

Today, at the beginning of Summer, the Mother Goddess comes to the height of her power as does the sun above us. She has reached this pinnacle through the strength of love. It is love for her Consort, for the child growing within her, and for all of Creation.

As her love and her belly have grown so too has the earth become green and full of life. Flowers bloom all around us and the animals have come together in the fields to mate and multiply. Life is everywhere we look.

The Goddess has reached the peak of her potential and realized her compassion for all life. She loves all things as a healthy mother loves her children; selflessly and without condition. This is the love she holds within her heart for each of us.

In recognition of this peak of life and love fires are lit all over the world. Tradition tells us that this is the favored day of the fairies and that they troop around the land searching for beautiful mortals to take away with them.

Roses are symbols of the Mother Goddess. They are placed on altars along side rayed flowers and sun wheels which honor the height of the sun. This is a time of fire—the most creative and destructive force known. The same qualities can also be given to the force of love.

Because a peak has been reached now there must be a decline. This does not mean the lessons of compassion will be forgotten or wane. The decline means that now something else must come into focus to join those lessons.

Midsummer is a time of celebration and joy, as are all times in the Goddess’s circle. But with that joy comes the knowledge that this too shall end only to begin again—that impermanence is the nature of all things.

Let us rejoice now in the warmth of summer and in the light at its highest point. Let us live in this moment, and this moment only, so that we might relish in the love of the Goddess and learn compassion for all life and all beings.

So It's Been About a Month

How are all of you? I don't have much to post here right now, but I thought those of you who read Panthea deserved a little explanation.

Lately my attention has been very home centered. I haven't given my brain over to thinking about anything relating to my spirituality or the Goddess lately. This is all due to some dramatic events that went on in my life that I am still trying to get through.

I apologize to my readers and I will try hard to mentally recover soon so that normal-ness can resume here at Panthea. I am not gone, just on a little break. I guess you could say that I am not capable of finding a happy medium just yet. I tend to give my all to something and right now my focus needs to be with my husband and my daughter.

Thanks to all of you that still swing by every now and again and leave a comment for me. I read them and appreciate them.

Much Love, Grian

Belated Beltane

I didn't get a chance to post this on Beltane so I'll post it now. Sorry about the lateness of this topic. :)

The Story of the Goddess at Beltane

Fires burn bright on this night. The Mother, with a growing child in her belly, looks to celebrate the love she has found in the God and the creation they have stirred.

The first spring flowers have opened their faces to the growing sun, trees are becoming full and green, and life is steadily returning from below the ground. Bird song fills the air again. They beckon us to join them in celebration of High Spring.

This is the last of the seed time when the focus changes from a time of planting to a time of growth. The theme of fertility is carried throughout this season and rituals and prayers are made to perpetuate growth in the physical world
as well as in the spiritual.

Beltane is a time of celebrating the pleasures of the body; of the combining of matter and spirit. Know that you are both of these things; that you are eternally divine. Come before the Goddess as you are, without judgment or fear, and she will accept you unconditionally.

The Goddess now transitions from her Maiden aspect to that of the Mother. She is ever aware of the growing child within her that carries with it endless possibilities and the potential for Completion.

She calls for us to join with her this night, to marry our bodies and spirits with her spirit and to celebrate this joining in our own human ways; with song, dance, feasting, friendship, and love.

She will dance beside us in our circle, her voice will join ours on the wind; she will laugh and rejoice with us. And when the sun retreats into the night she will find a quiet place to tend the flames of passion.

At Beltane the Goddess teaches us to cherish our material qualities and be without shame before her. She teaches us that there is nothing sinful about being a human being, that passion is something to be embraced, and that we are all her beloved children.

New Green Allies

I picked up a few new herbs for the garden yesterday. I can't wait to get them into the ground. Hopefully, I'll be able to find some room for them.

Of course there is a lot more information available on these herbs and their uses, but below I have added a few snippets regarding what I know of them. As with any herb, do extensive research and perhaps even consult a professional before self medicating.

Pennyroyal: (as stated in an earlier post) Probably the most dangerous emmenagogue and reported to have been used by Native American Indians for centuries to induce abortion. This would also classify it as an abortificient. Also, Kurt Cobain apparently drank it daily to help with stomach ailments.

Tansy: Also an emmenagogue used to promote menstruation and cause herbal abortions. Read more about these uses here: http://www.sisterzeus.com/Tansy.htm.

Borage: Self seeding annual. Reported in older times to give courage to any who consume it. Also reported to counteract depression and cause a mild euphoria.

Horehound: Long known for its help with lung ailments and coughs.

Helping the Bees

Okay, so instead of just talking about the problem I thought I would look up some resources on how the average person can help our little bee brothers and sisters. Below is some information and a list of helpful links centered on living in partnership with the pollinators of our planet.

Provide Nesting Places for Bees: Honey bees like hollow trees. If you can leave these on your property for honey bees to build their colony in please do. Plus, this gives you another reason to avoid clearing out that wooded area at the back of your lawn. Just let it be natural and nature will appreciate it.

Plant Bee-Friendly Plants: Plant a variety of native plants that have different bloom times to keep the bees eating for months. Many "weeds" also provide much needed nourishment for bees. Avoid using weed killer in your lawn and let the red and white clover flourish a little while longer. The bees will thank you for it.

Avoid Pesticides: Organic gardening is just plain better for everyone. Nature needs natural methods to be as healthy as possible. Use natural materials whenever you can.

List of Bee Friendly Plants PDF
The Pollinator Partnership
Urban Bee Gardens

Mama Merope's Bees

There's been a lot of blogging about bees lately.

Pagan Godspell was the first place I heard about the cell phone connection to it all. She leaves us with an earlier prayer for their survival as well. Hecate also chimes in to speak about her regrets and hopes for the future of humanity and the honey bee.

I've just sort of been soaking it all in and wondering what life on this planet might be like without the honey bee. We hardly notice them unless they're nearby and threatening to sting us or climb into our soda can. We don't tend to remember how our lives - the very food we eat - depends on their hard work.

Last weekend over dinner my father-in-law all but told me I was stupid for believing a cell phone could kill a bee. He's a Conservative you know, so apparently nature is less than important to him. If I even bring up environmental issues he goes off and calls Al Gore a "cardboard cutout of an idiot". What amazes me is that he loves to garden and seems to know all the names of the plants and trees around him. The picture of the bee and purple flower above is from his garden. I’m sure he thinks the honey bee is just the latest object of the Liberal media. Or something like that. I love the man, but he could certainly use a little wake up call when it comes to Mother Earth.

In ancient Crete the bee was venerated as a symbol of the Goddess. We don’t know the Bee Goddess’ name, but I tend to call her Merope, the Honey Faced. Merope was a later Greek Goddess and one of the Seven Sisters. She married a mortal and, as legend has it, that is the reason she is the faintest star among her sisters within the constellation of the Pleiades. She hides her face in shame. I think this was something the Greeks added later, after the influx of patriarchal ideas. The Goddess is often known to bring together – or balance out – the divine and the profane (profane being anything inherently human, mortal, and mundane.) Her mortal consort is very likely a later image of the bull-god of Crete.

So the Minoans were smart enough to understand the connection between all of life and to understand what it meant to live in harmony with the rest of the planet. They observed the work of the bees and noted how, without the buzz, their crops would fail and their lives would end.

Thousands of years later humanity has unfortunately become less intelligent and more concerned with how much "stuff" they have. "Screw those stupid bees, I just got the coolest, most expensive phone on the market! I can text at the speed of light and take hi-res pictures. That's so much cooler than a few bugs."

It's worth saying that the decline in honey bees could be a natural event. If that's the case I think Mama is trying to tell us something. She's all but shouting "your time is almost up."

Poem: The Pythia Speaks

(A completely free form work in progress. Comments welcome.)

I walk the corridors,
Laurel branch in hand

Strings of dappled light
Invade the darkness
And the smoke of incense
Fills my lungs

The tripod waits
Where from my lips spill
The forgotten mysteries
Of the endless serpent

The sweet perfume ascends
From the swollen Earth
Like the vapors of a flowered brew

My young body shakes
And pulses
With the spirit of the Mother

The supplicants gape
In wonder
In horror

They don't know it is the Earth that speaks
Through me,
Her priestess

It is the Earth that quakes beneath them
And not the God of the Sun
But ancient Mother Gaia they invoke

New "Earth Like" Planet

Astronomers in Europe have found the first planet outside of our universe that may be habitable. Apparently this is a very big deal and is "a significant step on the way to finding possible life in the universe". According to the Associated Press scientists say

"The planet is just the right size, might have water in liquid form, and in galactic terms is relatively nearby at 120 trillion miles away. But the star it closely orbits, known as a "red dwarf," is much smaller, dimmer and cooler than our sun."

The planet is about 20 light years away which means someone needs to find the secrets to warp speed if we ever want to visit it. It's also unclear as to whether the planet has an atmosphere. And if it does what kind of atmosphere is it?

I've always been fascinated by the possibility of other kinds of life. It's common for us as carbon based life forms to assume that other life must also be carbon based. What would a creature that evolved in a nitrogen dominant atmosphere look like? It's also assumed that water is pivotal to life since that is the case here on Earth. What if there are life forms who thrive on some other compound - like sodium or chlorene? I'm not a scientist, but I think it's within the realm of possibility seeing as how vast and complicated space really is.

It's worth saying that Mars is also in the category of Earth-like planets and we have yet to find life there. Though I have heard some theories about there being underground life on Mars which make great fodder for sci-fi stories but are less than credible.

All things considered this is pretty cool stuff.

Pentacle Accpeted by VA

From Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,267887,00.html

Wiccan Pentacle Added to Emblems Allowed on Headstones

Monday, April 23, 2007

MADISON, Wis. — The Wiccan pentacle has been added to the list of emblems allowed in national cemeteries and on goverment-issued headstones of fallen soldiers, according to a settlement announced Monday.

A settlement between the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Wiccans adds the five-pointed star to the list of "emblems of belief" allowed on VA grave markers.

Eleven families nationwide are waiting for grave markers with the pentacle, said Selena Fox, a Wiccan high priestess with Circle Sanctuary in Barneveld, Wis., a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

The settlement calls for the pentacle, whose five points represent earth, air, fire, water and spirit, to be placed on grave markers within 14 days for those who have pending requests with the VA.

"I am glad this has ended in success in time to get markers for Memorial Day," Fox said.

The VA sought the settlement in the interest of the families involved and to save taxpayers the expense of further litigation, VA spokesman Matt Burns said. The agency also agreed to pay $225,000 in attorneys' fees and costs.

The pentacle has been added to 38 symbols the VA already permits on gravestones. They include commonly recognized symbols for Christianity, Buddhism, Islam and Judaism, as well as those for smaller religions such as Sufism Reoriented, Eckiankar and the Japanese faith Seicho-No-Ie.

"This settlement has forced the Bush Administration into acknowledging that there are no second class religions in America, including among our nation's veterans," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which represented the Wiccans in the lawsuit.

The American Civil Liberties Union said the agreement also settles a similar lawsuit it filed last year against the VA. In that case, the ACLU represented two other Wiccan churches and three individuals.

VA-issued headstones, markers and plaques can be used in any cemetery, whether it is a national one such as Arlington or a private burial ground like that on Circle Sanctuary's property.

Wicca is a nature-based religion based on respect for the earth, nature and the cycle of the seasons. Variations of the pentacle not accepted by Wiccans have been used in horror movies as a sign of the devil.

The Not So FAQs

What's this blog all about?

Spirituality is a unique experience for everyone. Panthea is about mine.

There may be times when I post about news and such, but I don't claim to be a reporter of any kind. For great Pagan news you can check out the Wild Hunt or Wren's Nest at Witchvox. At Panthea you will mostly find my personal opinions and experiences of the Goddess. This could consist of my Goddess-y musings, my personal theology, and my thoughts on life in general.

I'm thrilled when others find something here worth talking and thinking about. I love hearing about the personal spirituality and experiences of others as well because I believe this is how we learn best about ourselves and connect with each others as individuals that are all part of a greater whole. While I call that whole the Goddess, you may call it something different. That's completely okay. You can call me Bob, but I'm still Lee.

What does Panthea mean?

Panthea is a Greek term meaning All-Goddess or "All Things are Goddess".
As the personification of the "complete female", Isis was called "The One Who Is All", Isis Panthea ("Isis the All Goddess"), and the "Lady of Ten Thousand Names".
- http://www.goddessgift.com/goddess-myths/

If there is anything else you're curious about please ask. You can use the comments or send me an email.

Shadow Mutterings

Just like anyone else I am full of flaws and don't always have the nicest of thoughts running through my head - though I try really hard most of the time. I try not to judge, I try to be compassionate, etc. Sometimes though, you just need to let your shadow come out to play.

For example: The other day I was sitting in my morning class (as a returning college student) and thinking about how I didn't want to be there. My exact thoughts were something like "I'd rather be home watching Entourage but instead I am stuck sitting in a room full of f-in teenage idiots who should write books on how to grunt unintelligibly and still look cool." I then proceeded to think dirty thoughts about my professor. *wink*

Not a very nice thing to think right? But, let's not pretend we haven't all had those moments.

Ever go to a grocery story and get mad at the automatic door for not opening quickly enough? Me too. Ever call someone a really terrible (but creative) combination of expletives while driving? Yeah... I've done that one too and laughed about it two seconds later. Come on. Ass-hat is kind of funny, but that's one of the nicest things I've said in comparison

Being a Priest/ess or being spiritual doesn't mean being some perfect, saint-like person. And I'll be damned if I'm even going to consider something resembling repentance.

Herbal: Motherwort

I tested out the Motherwort infusion I made the other day. Below are the results I recorded in my herbal.

(Leonurus cardiaca)

Date: April 19, 2007
Purpose: To promote menstruation
Method: Strong Infusion – Aprox. 1 pint boiling water to 6 tbsp dry herb, steeped for about 3 hours. Too Strong.
Dosage: Tried to drink 1 hot cup but bitter taste made it near impossible – even when sweetened with honey. Ended up drinking 2 shooters instead.
Effects: Slight nausea, fuzzy in the head. Long standing aftertaste. Bloated? Gas? Diuretic effects? Thought of drinking another shot makes me want to vomit. Perhaps my body does not need or does not want this medicine? Water down?

Notes: A perennial to Zone 3.

Also called: Herzgespan, Agripaume cardiaque, Yi Mu Cao.

Only leaves are used. Nervine, emmenagogue, anti-spasmodic, hepatic, cardiac tonic, hypotensive.

Most commonly used for women to promote menstruation, regulate cycles, and relieve the symptoms of pms.

Also used to treat irregular heartbeat – slowing hearts that beat too fast, and too control high blood pressure. Often combined with hawthorn as an infusion for this purpose.

My experience with the strong infusion has lead me to believe this herb is best suited as a tea infusion, sweetened to taste with honey or perhaps combined with a sweet tasting flavor herb like mint, lemon verbena, etc.

Susan Weed’s favorite remedy for hot flashes brought on by menopause.

Jesus Camp

Jesus Camp showed up via Netflix to my doorstep yesterday. I honestly had not heard much about the movie, but I was eager to pop it into the Xbox and watch.

I was prepared to get annoyed, maybe even a little angry. I often find myself watching channels on "Jesus Row" (and I use that term affectionately). I'm not sure exactly why I do this. It could be that I have an unconscious need to torture myself. But no, I think it has something to do with staying informed and keeping myself thinking. So, I was no stranger to the normal annoyed state that evangelism usually puts me in. I was, however, not at all prepared for the sick show of emotionally abused children that populates Jesus Camp.

I literally was brought to tears at a few points in the film. Not because I was filled with joy, but because I felt so completely terrible for these children. I recall one little girl who said she was not allowed to dance for anyone but god and that she often had to stop herself from "dancing for the flesh". I couldn't believe my ears. My heart broke for her. I couldn't imagine being a child and feeling guilty for dancing barefoot with sheer innocent abandon in summer-scented grass. That, in my eyes, would be a real abomination. And that poor little girl has to live with that guilt every day.

The children in the film were repeatedly told that they were the chosen warriors of god. The pastor in charge of this child abuse, Becky Fischer, was seen screaming "This means war" at the top of her lungs. I think she needs to be put in a straight jacket and dragged far away from the children she claims to be "using". Those were her words.

After watching the film I found another Pagan blogger's comments on it. Check out Blog o' Gnosis for more, including links to the various personalities seen in the movie.

I am genuinely horrified beyond belief. You should check it out for yourself because no amount of words could justly explain the horror. You'll just have to witness it with your own eyes.

Worth a Read

Deborah Lipp of Property of a Lady has a post on Feminism and Goddess Worship that is worth a read.

See also my own article on this subject here.

Healing, Dolls, and Magic(k)

I recently read a post from an email list that I am on that spoke about healing dolls. I've been making dolls for about a year now and really enjoy it. I guess it never struck me to make them with the purpose of healing.

I make Goddess dolls, so I thought perhaps each Goddess could be identified with a certain type of healing and could thus be given to those who have certain ailments. For example: I have a friend who is experiencing a difficult pregnany and I thought Brigit might be a good choice for her. Brigit is known as a midwife and is frequently called upon to aid labor. The main color I would choose would be green - perfect for healthy growth during pregnancy. I may even stuff the entire doll with lavender to give her a soothing quality. Including this with a bit of bath salts, some incense, a candle, and perhaps even some post partum items like cloth pads, nursing pads, cloth diapers, a knit blanket, etc. and I've got a really great gift basket. And it's all hand made.

Anyway, I'm rambling and I have a point to make.

I am not a spellcrafter. At one time I was very interested in spellwork, but over time it lost its luster and its meaning. So, I was thinking that making a healing doll - or making anything for that matter - with the intent to help or heal may be my kind of magic.

I think it's important to get to the practical root of what magic is and what it was always intended to be used for. In my opinion magic is most suited to two things - healing and prayer. You could throw protection and the like in there as well, but I tend to think of that as prayer too. Anything that creates peace of mind can constitute as prayer in my opinion.

Anyway, what do you think? Do you think Paganism, Wicca, etc. has gone a little overboard with the emphasis on spells and such? I mean why not just call it prayer (with props)? I think Witchcraft is a practice not a religion. How do you feel about that statement? What spiritual significance do spells, tarot cards, etc. have?

Can you tell I am trying to get a conversation going here? *wink*

Triple Goddess Malas


(This first prayer can be used for the entire round or for the Divine bead.)
Great Goddess, Lady of Life
Whose Garment is the shining Heavens.
You are the white moon among the stars
And the beauty of the green earth.
You are the Oneness of all things
And the Completion of the Spirit
You are the mystery that if that which we seek
We find not within
We will never find it without
For you have been here since the beginning
And you are that which is attained at the end of desire.

(adapted from the Charge of the Goddess with Tridean influence)

Goddess, I am looking within and I see your light shining.

(white beads)
Maiden of freedom
You are the Eternal Virgin,
The Holy Bride of Nature,
And the revealing light within the shadows
Through you all that is good comes to birth.

(red beads)
Mother of Compassion,
Forever fertile, Lady of the forge.
You are the creating force of love
And the strength which nourishes all that lives.
Through you the cause of life is served.

(black beads)
Crone of Wisdom,
Ancient One, Keeper of the Cauldron.
You stand at the gates between the worlds
And carry the shining sickle of death.
Without you nothing can be transformed.

(divine bead)
Great Goddess, Lady of Life, Three that are One.
You are everything; the Earth under our/my feet, the Air which we/I breathe, the Water which purifies us/me, and the light within our/my soul(s).
All things are born of your spirit.

(to end)
By the power and will of She that is Three, So mote it be.

Pagan Prayer Beads

Small random rant warning...

Prayer beads pre-date Christianity and are theorized to go as far back as ancient China. It's well documented that Hindu and Buddhist Malas predate the Christian/Catholic rosary. So, now that we've got that straight let's makes sure that a Pagan who prays with beads is not mistaken for a Christo-Pagan or labeled as someone who can't "stick to their own stuff". There is no one religion who can claim ownership on the use of prayer beads.

Just in case you were wondering where that came from I was reading this article at the Wild Hunt and the subsequent comments that followed.

"The practice of using counters of various kinds for the purpose of reciting prayers is one that embraces the broad spectrum of historical religions in every age.

The repetitive Asian mantra was always dominant among Buddhist and Hindu monastics that developed circular beads on strings to chant continuously, night and day.

Their beads reflected various colours and substances that had rich, symbolic meaning related to their religious beliefs, including the numbers of beads on any given circlet.

Representations of western pagan religions likewise show worshippers holding what appear to be prayer-beads used for repetitive invocations."

Source: http://www.chotkis.com/history.htm

Just Had to Share

My first set of moon pads. Pictured: 5 11-inch Pads - slightly modified from the pattern, and 3 pantyliners. I'm not sure if these will get me through an entire cycle yet, but I've testing them dry and they are quite comfy. I really love the cute "pink punk" tartan fabric. Too cute.

Moon Time Girl Stuff

I've been looking into cloth pads lately. I was surprised (and thrilled) to see that there were so many women on the internet from all over the world using cloth menstrual pads and raving about them. I decided I just had to give it a try. So, I ran down to my local Joann's and picked up some cute cotton flannel (with a punk rock flair). I hunted down a few fabulous patterns and got to work. Needless to say my sewing machine has been getting some good use over the past few days. Cloth pads are easy to make and just plain cute. I never thought I could ever be excited about getting supplies for my period.


So, why use cloth pads? The most obvious reasons are that making the switch from disposables is more environmentally friendly and saves you some money. The less obvious reasons: using cloth is more empowering, allows you to pamper yourself, and makes the moon-time experience more enjoyable. Society has made periods something to hide and be ashamed of. Using cloth pads takes this time back as our own again and creates a healthier attitude towards menstruation.

What about the gross factor? I thought about this too - a lot. My first reaction was basically "eww". But everywhere I look there are women saying that the gross factor is gone once you give cloth a try. I'm personally over it and it didn't take much persuading. Check out some of the links below for more info. There's even mention of harmful chemicals in disposables that can seep into your skin. Now that's gross.

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The Mother Goddess

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet expresses a lesson of the Mother aspect of the Goddess with his famous quote: "My religion is simple. My religion is kindness."

The Mother aspect of the Great Goddess is perhaps the most well known. After all, we all have mothers and are typically familiar with the qualities of a healthy mother-figure regardless of our own individual upbringings.

Hundreds of images of the Mother Goddess have been found that date back to the Stone Age. Characteristics of motherhood and fertility are commonly found in their design as they bare exaggerated breasts and bellies. The exaggerated belly conceptualizes qualities of the womb – creation, protection, etc. - as something present in the "creator" and something to be harnessed within oneself. In turn, the engorged breasts illustrate that nourishment is a necessity for all living things and is able to be provided only by other living things.

In myth the Mother appears to have many characteristics, but the most common are those associated with creation and nourishment. She is often seen as the Earth itself, producing and giving freely of the things that her children need to survive.

As with the Maiden, the Mother is not only found within beings who are physical mothers. She is in all things at all times regardless of fertility, gender, or age. Every person contains an "Inner Mother" - an aspect of themselves that is capable of unconditional love.

The Mother aspect of the Goddess is the Teacher of Compassion. After going through the processes and revelations brought on by embracing the Maiden within, the Mother suddenly surfaces and begins to take the reigns.

As you learn to remove judgment and accept Oneness you may begin to notice her voice inside your head, urging you to find compassion for that boss that drives you crazy or the clerk at the grocery store who seems to be taking too much time out of your day. The Mother teaches us to love all people and all life.

One of the most valuable lessons of the Mother is compassion for self. This falls right in line with the concept of non-judgment of self. The Maiden removes judgment and the Mother replaces it with compassion.

The "darker" (for lack of a better word) side of the Mother is one of destruction. She is willing to consume life back into herself when necessary while teaching us that death has a purpose as a part of life.

The Mother is also the archetype of a fierce protector who will defend the lives of her children with her last breath. In this way we understand that life should be fought for and defended.

The Mother is connected with the traditional interpretations of the element of Fire. Fire is transformational energy; destroying and creating all at once. Fire is the primeval force of creation. Where as the Maiden provides inspiration, the Mother takes those ideas and molds them in her fire, like a blacksmith with a fine sword, and gives them life.

The Mother can be felt with the heat of the sun or the warmth of your hearth. Allow her into your heart and she will show you all of the possibilities that come with the presence of unconditional love, kindness, and compassion.

The Vernal Equinox/Ostara

It is the season of spring and life is placing its hold on the earth once more. It is planting time, a hopeful time of renewal for all things.

The Maiden Goddess is at the peak of her power, both physically and spiritually. She is the seed and the soil, the planter and the planted. She is the Initiator, the Free Spirit, and the Holy Virgin.

At this time the Goddess seeks a mate and finds one in the Horned Lord who is a Son of Nature, a Keeper of Life, and a Man of the Goddess.

They are drawn to each other in a cosmic dance older than time itself. He is of her and one with her in spirit. She invites him now to become one with her in body as well.

The Goddess and her Stag-Horned Consort come together at this season of balance to learn about love and to create the child of light which will be reborn at the Winter Solstice.

With their joining new life enters the world, symbolized by the festive eggs and blooming flowers on our altars. The flames of our candles represent the sun which will continue to grow warm and heat the Earth, encouraging growth throughout the coming months. We also offer water, a representation of the cleansing and nourishing rains of the season.

We gather now in this sacred space to circle together in honor of the Goddess, the Lady of Light and Life. We gather to celebrate the beginning of spring and the coming warmth.

We rejoice in the joining of the Maiden and her Consort. May the light of their love shine on us all and bring the fertile promise of renewal.

Religion Taught in Schools

In response to Newsweek's On Faith question: Should teaching about religion be mandatory in public schools? In colleges and universities?

Click the linked title of this post to read the responses of others, including Starhawk.

I have a serious problem with my child being taught religion by other people. I believe that everyone has the right to believe in and practice whatever they choose so long as it doesn't hurt anyone else. In saying that, I believe I have the right to keep my child from being exposed to those religions that I don't believe in or disagree with.

I know a lot of Pagans these days who say things like: "I don't have a problem with Christianity. It's the people who push it on me that I don't like." I can echo those sentiments, but at the same time I am honestly going to come clean and say that I have a problem with the religion itself. And I'll tell you why...

What are some of the things Christianity preaches?

Original Sin: I don't even want my kid to hear of this idea until she is old enough and not quite so impressionable. Are you kidding me? This idea teaches that people are inherently bad - evil even. Take a child and tell them are evil every day. Eventually they will believe you and start living by that label. They may even decide to use it as an excuse to do harm. They believe they're evil after all. Why would they think twice about committing evil acts?

Original Sin Stems From Woman: Oh Eve. Bless her for wanting to know the truth. Eve is a prime example of what the Biblical stories do to people who pose questions and look for answers in places that "god" finds less than desirable. They demonize them and make them the originators of the sins of all humankind. Women who are surrounded by these archaic concepts are still trying to break free of them. This led to the ideas that birth, breast feeding, menstruation, and female sexuality are dirty and bad. In reality all of these are natural and sacred. This even leads to men feeling guilty for being sexually attracted to women because women and "sins of the flesh" will cause their downfall into damnation. Viola, we've now sexually repressed the entire human race into being Puritans.

God Should be Feared/The Concept of Hell/Non-believes Will Suffer Eternal Damnation: I think we can all agree that a society based on fear causes little more than an advance in consumerism and panic. No thanks.

"Man" Has Dominion Over the Earth: Uh. What? We own the Earth? What makes us so special? We can see where this has led with the effects of pollution, global warming, endangered species, the rainforest, etc, etc, etc.

So, I don't have a problem with Christians (at least the non-evangelical ones). I have a problem with the ideas that they are led to believe are truth and the consequent effects that have wrought destruction, guilt, fear, misogyny, etc. all over our world. (The ideas that make people believe they are evil for being human.) But, I still believe they have the right to believe what they choose and I admire those that keep faith within them, honoring the loving aspects of their religion and their god. The problem is, I expect the same from them and their "god" doesn't permit it.

Starhawk on Sexuality

Goddess Tradition Sees Sexuality as Sacred

In the Goddess traditions, we see sexuality as sacred because we see the Goddess as immanent—embodied—in the world, as the great erotic, creative power of life itself.

Sexuality is clearly an expression of the life force, a powerful drive to generate more life. But we honor sexuality, as well, for the depth of ecstasy and pleasure we can find, sharing touch and connection with another.

Pleasure, in our view, is a good thing—something that affirms our joy and gratitutde for life, that brings us closer to the Goddess and to each other. Through our sexuality, we can open deeply and allow ourselves to be transported beyond our illusions of separation, to feel our oneness with beings.

Moreover, human pleasure gives pleasure, resonating through nature and invigorating all the creative, fructifying forces of life.

Because we open so deeply in moments of sexual intimacy, because we become so very vulnerable, the sacred erotic demands from us immense sensitivity, kindness and compassion. If we have a concept of ‘sin’, it would be the misuse of sexuality—for power, cruelty, abuse, or control over another. Sexual torture, as at Abu Ghraib is a crime against the Goddess as well as a crime against humanity,

The Goddess blesses all forms of love: Erotic love between lovers of any and all sexual persuasions, friendship, love of the natural world, passion for art, beauty and justice. “All acts of love and pleasure are My rituals,” She says in our liturgy.

The power of the erotic is not limited to sexual intercourse; we can experience it when we thrill to the beauty of a forest or allow ourselves to be transported by a piece of music. When we dance, draw, write, sing, compose, create, we become channels of that erotic life-giving force.

Alice Walker Calls God Mama

Alice Walker has always known God. But she prefers terms like "Godness" and "Mama" to describe the divine—for her, it is everywhere, from the Japanese maples outside her window to the slow yoga she practices. Though her seven novels, including 1982's Pulitzer Prize-winning "The Color Purple," and many essays and poems have myriad themes—from feminism to race to class to love—a palpable sense of Mama's richness runs throughout. As well as fiery resistance to any force that attempts to control or contain this juicy, abundant, and ever-present divine. - MORE

Tyra Banks Talks to Witches

This Monday's Tyra Banks Show is called the "Mysterious Lives of Witches". Read the summary below for more information.

I'm counting on the show being a bunch of sensationalist crap. But who knows? Maybe this time will be different. Then again I may find myself writing a little letter to Ms. Banks by the end of the day.

Do you believe in magic? Tyra meets some of the 400,000 people in the United States who call themselves witches and explores their mysterious world of spells and rituals. Three women claim they are "white witches" or "good witches," but have been tormented due to their beliefs. Then the "good witches" agree to pull back the curtain for a first-hand look at a witches’ induction ceremony, and Tyra speaks with the woman who was welcomed into their coven. Tyra reveals the other side of witchcraft when she’s joined by three people who consider themselves "dark witches," and take you inside a ceremony where a blood-letting ritual is performed. Tyra also speaks with two members of one of the most controversial and feared groups in history, Satanists, including a man who claims he is the first child born in the "Church of Satan." Plus, a former witch who now believes witchcraft is evil.

- tyrashow.com


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