Category Archives: Life

Self Harm and the Wiccan Rede

So I have been thinking how, as a Pagan, I should view the issues around self Harm.

I mean for the person who is Self Harming rather than the wider issues of support and help. While there are obviously Pagan specific factors to consider when treating, or providing help, to somebody who self harms, such as belief structures and world view which would obviously be very important in treatments such a s talking therapies, I am more interested at the moment on the more internal view. How does being a Pagan sit with Self Harming.

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The Pentagram Tarot Spread

So I have been using the tarot a lot recently to help me understand where I am and the direction I must take and the path I must walk.

I many years ago though about the spread I should use and came up with something I felt comfortable with. I have been using this spread a lot and thought maybe I should share it with everybody who isn’t reading this blog.

So the spread.

Tarot01Imagine a pentacle, five points and the centre.

As usual shuffle the cards and pick one that represents you,

I take one sight unseen from the pack, and place it face up in the centre of the pentagram.

Then from the top of the pack, face down place five cards where the points of the pentagram would be.

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The bond between souls.

 

I believe that two souls can be bound, in exceptional circumstances, in a time of shared loss and trauma. If the souls chose the right path and if they stand together.

All good beliefs need a story, a story that tells, in its way, what the belief means. Our story begins, as so many do, with a dream, a vision and perhaps a memory.

In my vision I see a warrior standing in the predawn, atop a hill.

Behind him a small village, round houses and pens for horses and pigs. A few families live there, had lived there for 10s or hundreds of years in harmony with the forest surrounding them.

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Dreams of Future Past

The raven hair, words promised much.
A need not known, or for her to see
Two souls reaching but do not touch
For I am a Witch and it will not destroy me

A path chosen, love its cost
What was and what can never be
A bond broken, a future lost
For I am a Witch and it will not destroy me

Though still I dream of her fair face
A hope, in vain, that love may yet be
I wish her here to take her place
But I am a Witch and it will not destroy me

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A Pagans thoughts on End of life care

This is a personal subject, having very recently experienced  both the provision of End of Life care to my Father and his eventual death.

Death and dying are, in most western societies at least, something of a taboo subject. Difficult to think about and even more difficult to talk about, We tend I feel to leave this difficult task to the health care professionals.

But the we all have a responsibility to help shape the care that people get during their final weeks and months, and to do that we need to talk about what our expectations for such care are and what informs our views.

Religion of course, dealing with death and what comes after as it does, acts to form the basis of many decisions on what sort of care is appropriate, but this usually means that the decisions are based around the ethics and ethos of Christianity in large part. This is not to suggest that Christianity has it all wrong, but I do feel it is about time the Pagan voice was heard in these discussions and Pagan ethics and ethos fed into the process.

So to this end I would like to start the dialog by bringing together some of my thoughts on what a pagan approach to End of life Care might look like.

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To walk the Shadows

I am tired of this life

Joy has left

Hope has fled

Memories return to give pain in fair measure as they once gave happiness

A decision folds the future, taking what may have been and returning the walk to the edge of the shadows.

The past moulds what is, and what may be. But our actions, choices and omissions take us to where we find ourselves, at the start of the shadows.

The box of secrets is opened, trusted to another, its contents freed for a Time,

But closed tight again as the journey to the edge of the shadow begins.

Enter the shadows and the darkness seems deep, the traveller longs for the light of the past memories which still seemed so sweet

The shadows darken but the eyes and mind adapt, even believing that somehow the shadows might be but a darkening of the light. But the soul knows the truth, and fears the path the travellers must tread,

The soul knows the truth, the terrors of the shadows may be faced, the brave may stand, and the weak run but no man may stand or run from the true terrors, those he brings with him into the path of the shadows. The truth the soul knows wakes.

Even those that enter the shadows with the belief of love at their side are destined to be no more than those who enter alone, the truth the soul knows gathers.

But still hope survives, the memory of the light and the memories still bring some solace. But as the moon traces her path and the wheel turns even the memories turn against hope. And the truth the soul knows, watches.

Signs and portents come and go, we bend them to our dreams and desires, though the truth the soul knows sees through them all and builds its strengths.

The tears when they come water no flowers, quench no fires, but extinguish the light that exists in the shadows, and the truth the soul knows waits

The truth the soul knows, knows its quarry, and at the edge of the shadows it knows it’s time.

I am tired of this life

Joy has left

Hope has fled

And memories return to give pain in fair measure as they once gave happiness

To vote, or not to vote. That is the Question!

As some of you may have noticed there is an election looming, and all the parties are fighting for our vote. But almost every election the numbers of people not voting is a significant proportion of the electorate, since 2000 its been running at over 30% not bothering to vote. [2]

But do we, as citizens, have a duty, an obligation, to vote? And more particularly does a Pagan have a moral / religious obligation to vote?

I would argue that we do, but to support that view I would like to look at one or two reasons for voting. Firstly within Wicca, and quite a few other Pagan traditions there is the concept of some sort of ‘law of return’. The idea that every decision we make, every action we take has an impact that one way or another will impact back on us. From the ideas around Karma to the rule of 3 in Wicca [3] we see that Pagan traditions support the idea of our actions coming back to us.

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Is Christmas Christian?

Why December the 25th?

The main problem in trying to establish the date of Christ’s birth is that there simply isn’t any real evidence to go on. The gospels don’t provide any dating evidence apart from the reported roman census and an astronomical phenomena, the star, to go on. Nowhere in the gospels is the date of conception or birth actually mentioned. Unfortunately there seems to be no records of any census undertaken in that period, strange as the Romans were methodical record keepers, and research has shown no contemporary records of any astronomical event sufficient to pinpoint a date to more than a few years accuracy let alone an actual day.

This wasn’t a problem for the early church as birthdays were not seen as something to actually celebrate so the only interest in establishing the date was purely theological. The main problem is that despite the hard work of the theologians, they generally met with a stunning lack of success in actually agreeing on a date.

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Talking about Death

Nobody likes talking about death, it’s one of the last taboos but there comes a time when we need to talk about death and dying either to a family member or to ourselves, after being told we only have so much time left!

This was brought home to me recently on a personal level, suddenly needing to think about death in a personal rather than abstract way and finding that being Pagan made the coming to terms with and talking about End of Life even more difficult.
In our, at least nominally, Christian society there are quite a few concepts and words to express thoughts, ideas and concepts in the task of helping others, or yourself, to come to terms with the idea of dying and what, if anything, comes after. The thought of a ‘loving’ God that even in this time of struggle is working out his plan and caring for you, the thought of an afterlife in heaven, possibly reunited with others or simply comforting words from the Bible, or holy book of your choice if you are not Christian.
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