When Gerald Gardner coined the term “the Wica” (originally spelt with one c), he seems to have intended it to refer to any and all witches. Subsequently, the term has come to be used by some people to mean only witches initiated into Gardnerian and Alexandrian Wicca, and has been used by others to mean anybody who identifies as Wiccan, and a whole spectrum of meanings in between those two terms. This can make it confusing for people to understand what is meant by any individual using the term Wicca.
[Estimated reading time: 10 minutes. Contains 2020 words]
Recently, we went to see the magnificent exhibition of Scythian art and culture at the British Museum in London. You can see some more of the exhibits here.
Stag plaque, 400-300 BCE, Scythian, western Asia, Cleveland Museum of Art [CC0 Public Domain]
One of the key elements of Pagan thought is connecting with the Earth, Nature, and/or the land. As a general thing, Wiccans seem to focus more on Nature, Druids seem to focus more on the Earth, and Heathens seem to focus more on the land. however, there are always individual exceptions to these generalities. I have always felt very attached to the land around me, especially hills and ranges of hills.
The Pagan revival began, in part, because people felt alienated from Nature by the Industrial Revolution and living in cities.
Looking at other indigenous spiritualities and religions around the world, we can see that connection to the land and Nature is extremely important to them. This connection includes awareness of ecosystems, bio-regions, animals, plants, seasonal changes, rivers, rocks, and trees.
Just kidding! Happy Autumn Equinox!
As usual at this time of year, heated discussions break out all over social media about whether or not this festival should be called “Mabon”.
There are several activities that happen in Wicca and other Pagan traditions that might make our rituals inaccessible.
That doesn’t mean we can never do those activities: it does mean being aware of the needs of participants, preferably by asking them in advance what their needs are.
Dowsing for Divinity completely rejects racism, fascism, Nazism, white supremacism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, ageism, ableism, body-shaming, and all forms of bigotry.
Inclusive Pagans celebrate life and love in all its beauty and diversity, and seek to protect and preserve the Earth and Nature, and to cultivate virtues of compassion and respect for all life.
For this reason, following the recent events in Charlottesville, USA, we utterly condemn the ideology and actions of the white supremacists and Neo-Nazis who have caused such suffering there.
So there’s yet another Generation X person holding forth about the “fragility” of millennials, specifically LGBTQIA millennials.
Argh. I wish my generation (and the Boomers) would stop with constructing millennials as fragile and having a victim mentality.
Yes, sure, college-age kids see everything as black and white. So did we when we were that age. They will grow up and learn some nuance. And as a university professor it’s her job to din some nuance into them, and an understanding of queer history.
Every generation thinks it is the most radical there has ever been, and looks upon its elders with pity. It’s part of being young (at least it is in Anglo-American culture). And every older generation rolls its eyes and points out that we did manage to achieve some liberation from oppression.
There were plenty of rigid assholes in our generation too. How about the fact that when I was at university (1986-1990) there wasn’t an LGBT society: there was a separate lesbian society and gay society. Nothing for bisexuals and transgender people. And the lesbian society was full of people who thought that having sex with men, or looking femme, or even having sex with women, was “selling out to the patriarchy”.
This excellent perspective on cultural appropriation was offered by David Policar in a public post on Facebook. I thought it was worth sharing.
There has been a lot of talk recently about “identity politics”. This seems to be the new phrase with which to beat lefties over the head, now that “it’s political correctness gone mad” has been so thoroughly discredited, and “snowflake” seems to have waned in popularity.
Do Paganism and fascism share any DNA? There are far-right people, alt-right people, racists, and fascists to be found among Pagans, Heathens, and occultists, but is there anything in Pagan thought that predisposes Pagans to fascism?