Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Is this a living Unicorn?

This little deer, named Unicorn and born in captivity in Italy, is all the rage in the Pagan world. His twin has a two normal horns, and while deer are occasionally born with only one horn, this one's central placement is especially rare. While some wish to dismiss his unique appearance as a mere genetic anomaly, I prefer to take it as a wonderfully positive omen.

We're in a time of huge transition, and I believe that our little friend here is a sign of hope. Maybe humans will get our act together after all, and get back in harmony with our Mother Gaia. Unicorns were traditionally signs of peace - what a concept!

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

From Circle Sanctuary: Veteran Pentacle Grave Markers across the USA

The following was distributed by Circle Sanctuary. I didn't write it. --MS

One year ago today, US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)-issued veteran grave markers with Pentacles were dedicated in a public ceremony at Circle Cemetery, a national Pagan cemetery, located in the heart of Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve near Barneveld, Wisconsin.

In observance of Memorial Day this year, we are releasing information about Pentacle veteran grave markers the VA has issued in the past year since the Veteran Pentacle Quest victory.

This news was compiled from Freedom of Information Act documents obtained from the VA by Selena Fox of Circle Sanctuary just prior to Beltane, May 1, 2008. The following is excerpted and adapted from her report, which will be published in the next issue of CIRCLE magazine, which goes to press in early June.


In the year since adding the Pentacle to its list of emblems, the VA hasissued 26 veteran grave markers with Pentacles. Two dozen are fordeceased veterans, and of these, one is for a veteran and his wife. The other two markers are interfaith with the Pentacle signifying the Wiccan faith of wives buried with their veteran husbands in federal cemeteries.

SERVICE: Wiccan and Pagan veterans honored by Pentacle grave markersinclude those who served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps.Their combined range of service has spanned seven decades. The majorityof the markers are for war veterans, including two who served in World WarII, three who served in the Korean War, and seven who served in theVietnam War.

WAR DEATHS: Some of the markers are for those who have died in 21stcentury wars. In addition to Sgt. Stewart, a Desert Storm veteran who waskilled in action in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and whosewidow, Roberta Stewart, spoke out publicly as part of the Veteran Pentacle Quest, there are markers for six troops who were killed in Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and another for a soldier who had served both in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars and who died of war-related injuries after returning home.

CEMETERIES: The 26 Pentacle markers are in 17 cemeteries across the UnitedStates. 16 of the markers are in national cemeteries, five of which are in Arlington National Cemetery. One is in a state veterans cemetery. Nine are in private cemeteries, four of which are at Circle Cemetery in Wisconsin.

STATES: There are VA-issued Pentacle markers in 14 states: California, Colorado, Florida, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

On this Memorial Day, we honor the lives and service of Wiccan and other Pagan veterans who have died.

We give thanks for the Pentacle markers that have been issued by the VA thus far.

And, we send out the wish that the VA will finally finish revising its protocols and procedures for adding additional emblems of belief to its list of those it will include on the veteran grave markers it issues so that symbols of other branches of Paganism can be included as well as symbols of other religions.

Liberty and Justice for All.

Circle Times: Memorial Day, Monday, May 26, 2008

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Goddess and inclusivity

I received the following comment on the Pledge signed by the Goddess community:

What about just paying everyone the same and allowing a sliding scale for everyone. As a person of color and a Male Pagan, I don't believe we will get anywhere if we continue to view everyone as separate. And how about including the God in that pledge. Is the God to be ignored? We as pagans need to close the divided and work as a united front.

First, I didn't write the pledge, I signed it. However, had it mentioned a male deity, I might not have even signed it. First, such an inclusion is unnecessary - "all gods are Goddesses and all Goddesses are one Goddess," so Goddess is an inclusive term, unlike "god" which is exclusive of Goddess and always has been since the advent of patriarchy. If we lived in a matriarchy, I might be more sympathetic to adding a "god" but we don't so I'm not. Why you, a Pagan, would see the Goddess as an image that doesn't include you mystifies me. You should know better.

There are some who signed the pledge who are montheastic, believing in one Goddess and only one Goddess. Some are polytheistic, some are both and see no conflict in that because they understand the inclusive nature of the quote above.

I know there are Pagans who believe in duality. I believe this is a patriarchal contamination of the Craft, brought in by people who are nominally Pagan but bring their patriarchal dichotomies with them. It is a lower form of energy that encourages stagnation and irresolvable conflict. At some point, you have to go the original Source, the 0 before the 1 or the 2, and that Source is Goddess - it has to be, or She couldn't have given birth to existence. Even if I believed in duality, and I don't, I still would insist on focus on the Goddess because we've been through 6,000 years of an unnatural social order and it's going to take a lot of Goddess to "balance out" the damage male gods have done to humanity and our Mother Gaia. If all things were equal, and they aren't, there would still be the fact that nothing in Nature is 50-50 - the female is always the first to evolve and remains the more numerous gender.

I do agree that Pagans need to stick together, but for that to happen you are going to need a clearer picture of the Goddess. She does include you.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Oberon explains the absurdity of a male deity:

THEAGENESIS: The Birth of the Goddess

Oberon Zell-Ravenheart is the original "guy who gets it." Would that all men were as wise as he.

At this point it becomes necessary to define Divinity:

Divinity is the highest level of aware consciousness accessible to each living being, manifesting itself in the self-actualization of that being. Thus we can truly say, "All that groks is God" (Heinlein; Stranger in a Strange Land). Divinity is a cat being fully feline, grass being grassy, and people being fully human. Collective Divinity emerges when a number of people (a culture or society) share enough values, beliefs and aspects of a common life-style that they conceptualize a tribal God or Goddess, which takes on the character (and the gender) of the dominant elements of that culture. Thus the masculine God of the Western Monotheists (Jews, Christians, Moslems) may be seen to have arisen out of the values, ideals and principles of a nomadic, patriarchal culture - the ancient Hebrews. Matrifocal agrarian cultures, on the other hand, personified their values of fertility, sensuality, peace and the arts in the conceptualization of Goddesses. As small tribes coalesced into states and nations, their Gods and Goddesses battled for supremacy through their respective devotees. In some circumstances, various tribal divinities were joined peaceably (often through marriage) into a polytheistic pantheon, being ranked in status as their followers' respective influences determined. In other circumstances, one particularly fanatic tribe was able to completely dominate others and eliminate their own deities, elevating its God to the status of a solitary ruler over all creation, and enforcing His worship upon the people, usually upon pain of death. However, no matter to what rank a single tribal deity may be exalted by its followers, it still could be no other than a tribal divinity, existing only as an embodiment of the values of that tribe. "Gods are only as strong as those who believe in them think they are" (Alley Oop). When the planetary consciousness of Gaea awakens, She too will be Divinity - but on an entirely new level: the emergent deity Carlton Berenda postulates in The New Genesis. Indeed, even though yet unawakened, the slumbering subconscious [and dreaming?] mind of Gaea is experienced intuitively by us all, and has been referred to instinctively by us as Mother Earth, Mother Nature - The Goddess for whom She is well named. Indeed, this intuitive conceptualization of feminine gender for our planetary Divinity is scientifically valid, for biologically unisexual organisms (such as amoebae or hydra) are always considered female; in the act of reproduction they are referred to as mothers and their offspring as daughters.

[Note: I came later to the conclusion that Gaea may have indeed achieved consciousness in more ancient times, and that she was actually "knocked unconscious" by the worldwide cataclysms and attendant destruction of Her worshippers which ended the Bronze Age and ushered in the Age of Iron around 1500 BCE. This hypothesis is more fully developed in my 1977 research paper, "Cataclysm and Consciousness - From the Golden Age to the Age of Iron." [OZ, 1988]]

Thus we find that "God" is in reality Goddess, and that our ancient Pagan ancestors had an intuitive understanding of what we are now able to prove scientifically. Thus also we expose the logical absurdity of a concept of cosmic Divinity in the masculine gender. These few pages, however, have only been the briefest of introductions to the implications of a discovery so vast that its impact on the world's thinking will ultimately surpass the impact of the discovery of the Heliocentric structure of the solar system. This is the discovery that the entire Biosphere of the Earth comprises a single living Organism.[emphasis mine]

So, is the Divine Mother sleeping? Unconscious? Dreaming? More like having a nightmare. No one can say when She will awake, but my money says 12/21/2012* - 12.21.12, the one that was divided in two, the two we are about to see as one again, realizing the one and the two are the same. We can make sure this happens by spreading the word about the Goddess to everyone we can.

I just read a manuscript by my friend Athana that has filled me with hope. She took her natural gift as a story teller, and applied it to a book that describes the ancient Matriarchy, in glorious detail, with meticulous research and sets forth her goal of getting us back to the Goddess by 2035. It can't happen soon enough to suit me. I say we get that book on the shelves ASAP, and pray to our Mother that many more follow from many men and women who "get it," too.

*Thanks, Medusa! ;-)

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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Merry Samhain, Y'all!

How's the New Year finding you? I'm exhausted, but strangely focused.

Kiss a Witch! Bite a Vampire! Eat a candy bar for me!

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Breaking News!!! Pentacle approved for Soldier's Memorial!

According to CNN's Wolf Blitzer, the VA has just approved the pentacle for Wiccan Soldiers. Roberta Stewart, wife of slain Sgt. Patrick Stewart, hopes that his memorial plaque bearing the Wiccan symbol, will be ready in time for Memorial Day. Stewart was the first "out" Wiccan to die in combat.

All Hail, Wiccan Warriors!

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Damn you, Harry Dresden!

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