Thursday, April 28, 2011

Earth's "Rights" Stir Aggression & Fear... But WHY?

In 2009, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution to create International Mother Earth Day, as recorded by Essayist Bron Taylor.  The initiative [led by Bolivia], as explained on the UN International website, is "an acknowledgment that the Earth and its ecosystems are our home and that, in order to achieve a just balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations, it is necessary to promote harmony with nature and the Earth."

On April 20th 2011, UN diplomats devoted a day of debates related to humanity being in Harmony with Nature. They set out to discuss an established legislation that "defends the right to life for all living things" -- including animals, plants and terrain.

Why is it that such a profoundly beneficial and self-preserving movement is deemed socialistic, pagan and all-in-all a waste of vital time and resources by the conservative core [which mainly erupts its opposition from capitalist countries]?

You can't get through even the very first sentence of the Fox News coverage of the UN diplomatic talks on the rights of Mother Earth without picking-up on the oozing discontempt directed toward an issue [environmental preservation] that they appear to label as less than important, relatively.  One UN watchdog was quoted in the Fox report as stating " the General Assembly's focus on Mother Earth distracts from more pressing issues and problems at the U.N."  

I find it ghastly, to say the least, that the livelihood of our ONE AND ONLY planet would be considered any less vital than matters of international peace and security.  Caring for and protecting this sole celestial body able to support our existence is not an endangerment to politics or religion; it is imperative if we expect "said existence" to continue.

This is not about left versus right; this is about keeping our HOME clear of environmental contamination-- poisons that will slowly pervade the world and steal its life.  To destroy our planet is to destroy ourselves.  How is this any less than pressing?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011's Pagan Blog List

Thank you Patti, online guide to all things Pagan at, for including Pagan Presence in her list of pagan-related blogs.  See the list and visit the blogs [and their respective bloggers] at the link below:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Evangelist HOW TO GUIDE for Conversing with YOU, PAGAN!

Glocal Christianity, a blog by Matt Stone, has created quite the stirring throughout the online Pagan world over a recent post titled Tips for Conversations with PagansThe blog post kicks off with a slide show displaying Pagans engaging in what the Evangelist must consider to be our normal, everyday behavior -- hailing the directions at Stonehenge, running through fires in our birthday suits, banging drums and the like.  

I don't know about YOU, but I am exhausted today after last night's flaming romp through Edinburgh, Scotland [in between making dinner, switching the witchy laundry and running my son from karate to swimming].  Good times.  Good times.

Below this "here's how to recognize a Pagan" slideshow [if you can get passed it, mind you], you'll find Matt Stone's Dos and Donts for religious discussions with a Pagan. 


"Do … clarify what are the most important questions...
Conversations can easily ramble on all over the place if we’re not careful, never getting to the meaty stuff. Try to go deeper. Find out what really divides each of you" Stone writes.  Perhaps he fails to realize that one's intentions to convert a Pagan would likely be the MAIN obstacle dividing you.  When you charge into a conversation with the goal of changing a person's faith, you clearly show a complete lack of respect for the things that are important to that individual's heart.  You might well not waste your breath in the first place.
"Don't … expect others to find the Bible as authoritative as you...
Not only should you not expect Pagans to take the bible as authoritative as you do, you should not expect them to take any scripture as authoritative as you do."  While I agree with this most obvious statement, I also have to laugh.  Tee hee hee.  I find it hilarious because on occasions when I've found myself discussing religion with these "my way is the only way" sorts, it usually happens that I know more about their holy book than they do!  If you really want to reach someone, try discussing what your faith means to you personally instead of throwing quotes into the air. 

While I might appreciate someone who genuinely promotes a respectful dialog between people of differing faiths, when it is blatantly clear that such conversations are sought solely for the purpose of conversion, any lingering respect is lost in translation.  Matt Stone states "don’t just listen to what they [Pagans] say; listen also to what they do."  Matt, you will never truly be an active listener if, at the back of your mind, you carry an alternate agenda.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Real Witch Project -- Parts 3 & 4

The final two weeks of The Real Witch Project [a gathering of everyday women living as witches for one month's time] proves to successfully connect the intent of a few novice witches with the ever-shifting web of energy weaving through the earth.

And while I think a few in the group are lacking an understanding of the deeper meaning behind the somewhat superficial spellcasting going on during the webisodes, it did make me smile a time or two when seeing a normally skeptical individual admit that there truly is power to be tapped into, respectfully of course.

All in all, I thought the documentary was well done.  I would be curious to see it taken a bit further -- dare I suggest a reality show?!  Perhaps the mainstream world isn't quite ready for that just yet.

 The Real Witch Project Part 3

The Real Witch Project Part 4

Tarot Poetry Project: Eight of Cups


Growing weary, 
feeling drained.
The weight of worry 
has you strained.
See the signs 
of change you face.
Come to accept 
a shift in pace.
An end approaches.  
A moving on.
Letting go.  
The past is gone.
Personal truth 
awaits you now.
A meaning, deep, 
you seek somehow.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Real Witch Project - Part 2

In the second of this four-part documentary following a group of everyday women living as witches for one lunar cycle, we find a blending of both trivial and dire successes in the coven's spellcraft -- one young lady sees the return of her cell phone from a former partner while others welcome unusually speedy recoveries for loved ones faced with surgeries.

The Real Witch Project - 2 of 4

Another member is skeptical in the power of witchcraft to mend a bitter relationship with her mother, and yet she remains with the coven-- calmed by the music and atmosphere of the groups' meetings.  In this webisode, we also meet a young musician who has recently lost her mother and hopes that the Wiccan path might help to ease the negativity that she has held onto since the loss. 

April 2011 Full Moon

The April Full Moon [April 18th 2:44] is the perfect occasion for a fertility blessing.  The moon is aptly named the Wind or Seed Moon for its arrival during a time in the year when the winds pick up-- carrying with them the seeds of new life, which they spread throughout the lands.  

Not looking for a bundle of joy?  Even still, tap into the fertility magick by blessing a new project, goal or personal affirmation.
Have a magick garden [with seedlings stretching into life]?  Bless the little darlings with a fruitful abundance and link this esbat energy to the beneficial events of this Friday's coming Earth Day.   

Some great incenses to use:

And don't forget to include a yellow candle -- honoring our powerful element, AIR.

"And the Wind shall carry your Will."
Bless-ed Esbat.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Real Witch Project - Part 1

I stumbled across this four-part series, [The Real Witch Project] on YouTube, and because I myself have seen a timid curiosity about pagan beliefs from friends and family in my own life, I was very intrigued to see what these everyday women would embrace within The Path while living it for one lunar cycle.


In part one of the series we meet the mainstream women who will live as witches for one month; learning and engaging with Gaillies Codd, high priestess of The Morgans.  The Dark Moon is transitioning to New Moon and this makeshift coven of wide-eyed witch students gather to study the basics of spellcraft.

It isn't unexpected that a few have reservations, some pass it off as silly and others find it hard to believe-- after all, we of the occult are quite used to skeptisism, are we not?  And yet, as part one progresses through its first spell casting, many of the women see their magickal will power unfold before their eyes. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Tarot Poetry Project: The Emperor

Father to a setting direction, 
he leaps from chaos 
to defend protection,
creating order by applying reason
in a structure, 
sound through every season,
where he commands with high authority
a plan to 
guide security
and when all are safe under law and order
we bow in thanks 
to him,  The Emperor.

Protecting Children: Advocacy Against Witch-Hunts in Africa

There are burning tears flooding my eyes, a hard lump at the back of my throat and a terrible nausea churning within the pit of my stomach-- must be another article on the horrors befalling innocent children due to wild allegations of witchcraft in Africa. 

Witch Children
Photo courtesy of IRIN
How a mother could ever turn away her own child because of the fear-driven [or more likely profit-seeking] rantings of a village's pastor/prophet is well beyond any explanation that I [mother of two] can possibly fathom.  

Then again, I was born into a culture with laws protecting against the abuse of a child, regardless of the reasons supporting one's intent to harm.  I was not born into a culture where any and all characteristics of uniqueness spark such an unsettling nervousness within others that they would set out to beat, burn, attack and often kill such anomalies.  Goddess help them should they see triplets born -- the whole "wicked" country will be burned to the ground!  
Pagan Rights Alliance

It is disheartening that despite advancements akin to those only seen in Science Fiction plots of days past, we still do not have the capability to calm the fears and cease the resulting irrational actions of human populations. 

Fears of things unknown are driving entire communities to turn against their youngest members.  No child should face abandonment, torture or death at the hands of those who, by unspoken natural law, are bound to keep them safe.  

Has anyone yet to read what the governments of Africa are doing to halt the witch-hunt frenzy occurring on their continent?  Prompt legislation is needed to ensure that this horrific treatment of children is deemed punishable by law.  

Thank the gods for the small charity organizations working near these "front lines" -- finding outcast children and caring for them in group homes.  Should anyone have a donation link for such an organization, please provide it in the comments!!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Pagan Prayer Project

Have you heard of the Pagan Prayer Project?  No?!  Well by all means, let me fill you in! 

Stacey Demarco of The Modern Witch [a dot com dedicated to spreading the knowledge and benefit of personal witchcraft], is working to foster an idea of blended collaboration -- bringing together a diverse collection of pagan invocations from all across this beautiful earth.  

Stacey beseeches you to "create and connect and share what you have discovered" within your pagan tradition.  Any and all are welcome to submit their prayers, blessings, rituals, poems, songs and more by the first of May [only three weeks away!] to be considered for use in a printed publication.

A Sample of My Submission:
A Child’s Pagan Full Moon Prayer
By Em Graves
Mother Moon, so bright,
so full and round,
do you know my voice
within the sound–
of life on earth,
of all the noise,
of cars, of tools,
of games and toys?
For though I’m small,
I am here,
the only Me
that you will hear.
Bless my dreams.
Keep them true.
And when fears I face,
please see me through–
from dark to light,
from night to day.
By you, I live
to laugh and play.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Anti-Witch Opinion Page

Becky Ackers of The New American, [a webzine with a rich source of support from radical right-wing advocacy groups], should count her lucky stars-- Wiccans do not promote the use of hexes in their spell craft.  Because, boy howdy!  In her case I would love to make an exception! 

 [* grumble grumble grumble *] 

Her tasteless, rambling opinion on the firing of a Wiccan woman by the Transportation Security Administration is exhausted with stereotypical intolerances-- such of which we have seen time and time again from the conservative Christian pool.  The very few facts actually included in this opinion page blurb are overcrowded by the very evident bitterness she feels towards Pagan practices and beliefs. 

After providing a quote from the former Wiccan TSA agent, Carole Smith, concerning the nature-centered aspects of her faith, Ms. Ackers groans, "Never a hint from the media’s morons that the woman is off her rocker by about six centuries. Rather, they decree her brand of witchcraft good, just as they do sodomy and abortion."

I fail to see what sodomy and abortion have to do with Witchcraft.  Clearly this author has some underlying and misdirected anger.  Maybe something she might further explore in her next overly emotional and grossly off-point excerpt.

Additionally, I find it laughably ironic that someone would label a Wiccan "off her rocker" when she herself believes that stories ghost-written by men on the behalf of a God [who himself likely lacked support for this less-than-official version of his words] actually hold some smidgen of fact within the historical background of human development. 

Persons who worship in glass churches shouldn't cast stones. 

While the narrow-minded viewpoint of this "journalist" [I know, I know -- you can stop laughing now] has all of our backs up, let us remember that she is hardly worth the karmic repercussions of a negative thought.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What's with the Pig Bones?

While the Jewish Haredi Organization and the Israel Archaeology Institute fight over the remains of ancient bones found at the dig site of a planned "Eden Hotel" in Jaffa, [according to The Jerusalem Post], I in the meantime find myself wondering about a detail of the article less meant as a focal point by its author -- Pig bones.  

Per Ben Hartman of the JP, "The burial of pig remains within human graves was a common practice among ancient pagans in what is today Israel."  

Indeed?  While I do recall learning, in a Global Studies class, the practices involving the sacrifice of one's horse or even [gasp!] one's wife/wives or concubines [so that they might join you on the darksome journey into the underworld], I fail to remember learning the details of placing the bones of pigs [or, per Wikipedia's details, the skulls of oxen] within a human grave.

I am shamed to admit that because I received my new cell phone via FedEx this morning, I find my time consumed fiddling with that rather than properly researching the details of this supposed ancient pagan burial practice among early Anglo-Saxons.  

And so I wonder, do you know...  What's with the Pig Bones?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tarot Poetry Project: THE STAR

Gaze upon the air of night
where hope does shine,
its blessing bright,
upon an inspiration deep
within a heart that swells
to keep
generosity spreading near to far.
Serene wishes upon
The Star.

Wonderful Web Witches Award

I am feeling simultaneously ecstatic and humbled after learning that my blog experiment, "Pagan Presence: New & Interests" has been selected as the winner of the March 30th 2011 Wonderful Web Witches Award [so chosen by Pagan by Design].  It is an honor, most especially considering the very young age of this blog [having been blessed into life during the late days of February 2011].


Wonderful Web Witches March 2011

Congratulations to Pagan Presence: News & Interests

I can't let March slip by without mentioning a relatively new Pagan blog authored by a beautiful young woman with a flair for putting her heart into her writing. Pagan Presence: News & Interests not only brings us the happenings from around the world affecting Witches or Pagans, but is passionately presented to us in a way that stirs our emotions and reminds us of the reasons we are Pagan to begin with. Chosen winner of the Wonderful Web Witches Award for March 30, 2011, you can find Pagan Presence on Facebook as well.


It was pleasing to read that my often pleading emotions come through in the posts.  It is very true and with much intention that I share my compassion for all things [and persons] Pagan at heart.  

My very gracious thanks.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Who Inspires All That You Are Inside?

Westminster Hall & Burial Grounds, Baltimore Maryland.

My recent voyage to the resting place of Edgar Allan Poe, master of the macabre, fulfilled one of two journeys I have vowed to make before leaving this earth.  Poe was a grand inspiration, setting to light the kindling that would eventually blaze into a passionate fire for creative writing.  He opened my eyes to a world of exposing the soul through a collection of words. 

How could the breath of a simple 'thank you' uttered to a carved stone on an overcast April morning properly express my ever-present gratitude?  It couldn't possibly, but it would have to suffice.  After all, you cannot spell 'poem' without 'poe'.  Leaving that horribly cheesy joke behind us, and in all seriousness, Poe's "The Raven" gripped me from it's very first 'rapping' and held me captivated until the dark bird's final 'Nevermore'.

Excerpt from  "The Raven":

But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore -
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking `Nevermore.'

As I sat among the gated peace of Westminster Hall Burial Grounds, fighting back the overwhelmingly appreciative tears that wanted to spill down my cheeks, I came to wonder how many others are touched so deeply by the writings of someone long-since buried.  Who inspires your interests?  Who inspires your dreams?  Who inspires all that you are inside?  

For me, Poe shares this inner stage with the great Transcendentalist, Ralph Waldo Emerson.  Ironic, considering that while living, the two despised one another -- Poe, finding only contempt for a man who shared such a profound connection with what he believed [as do I] to be the spirits of God within nature.  "Mysticism for mysticism's sake", I believe Poe called it.

Home of the Transcendental Movement and also resting place to Emerson, Concord Mass is the destination of my second voyage of gratitude, [as so mentioned at the start of this post].  I don't believe I'll have the strength to hold back the sobs when I finally find myself in the presence of the man whose heart-felt writings aided in leading me to my Pagan faith.  You cannot read his essays on nature, particularly his poem "The Adirondacs", without sensing the Divine.

Excerpt from "The Adirondacs":

'Welcome!' the wood-god murmured through the leaves,--
'Welcome, though late, unknowing, yet known to me.'
Evening drew on; stars peeped through maple-boughs,
Which o'erhung, like a cloud, our camping fire.
Decayed millennial trunks, like moonlight flecks,
Lit with phosphoric crumbs the forest floor.

Regardless of my love for Poe and of his distaste for my favorite American scholar, Emerson will forever dwell alongside the dark and dreary poet in the depths of my inspired soul.

What authors stake claims within you?