September, the Ninth Month of the year of our Goddess, 2015


“By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather
And autumn’s best of cheer.”

–  Helen Hunt Jackson, September, 1830-1885



September is the ninth month of the year. Its name is derived from the Latin word septum, which means “seventh,” as it was the seventh month of the Roman calendar. Its astrological sign is Virgo, the maiden (August 23 – Septmer 21), a mutable earth sign ruled by Mercury. September is a month of fulfillment. Kitchens are busy, as the garden’s last produce is canned and preserved. The air is filled with the cidery tang of harvest time. Squirrels hide their nuts, and chipmunks line their nests with grain. Asters raise their purple heads, and monarch butterflies add their black-and-orange hues to autumn’s palette. The sacred beverages of the season – cider and wine – echo the colors of nature now. The Fall Equinoxx, or Mabon is the major holiday of September. At Mabon, we celebrate the second harvest, say farewell to summer, and enter the dark season. Days grow shorter as the Great Son, Mabon, returns to Mother Earth. For the Sabbat, altar decorations include pumpkins, squash and grapes. September’s Full Moon is the Harvest Moon, perhaps the most well-known of the year. It rises above the horizon and glows in solitary splendor. She is queen of the September night. The night belongs to her, and to her alone. Honor her by raising a glass of cider or win, then respectfully pour it onto the earth.



THE WINE MOON, also known as the harvest moon and singing moon, is the time in the annual cycle when you celebrate and give thanks to the Goddess for a bountiful harvest. As fermented fruit, wine represents the fruits of your labors. Traditionally, the wine is used to toast family and friends, both human and divine.

Wiccan Spell A Night: Spells, Charms, And Potions For The Whole Year
Sirona Knight



NATURE SPIRITS: trooping faeries

HERBS: Copal, fennel, rye, wheat, valerian, skullcap

COLORS: Brown and yellow

FLOWERS: narcissus, lily

SCENTS: storax, mastic, gardenia, bergamot

STONES: peridot, olivine, chrysolite, citrine

TREES: Hazel, larch, bay

ANIMALS: the snake and jackal

BIRDS: Ibis, sparrow

DIETIES: Dementer, Ceres, Isis, Nephthys, Freyja, Thoth

POWERS/ADVICE: A time to rest after the labors of the last two months, a time of balance of the light and dark.
This is also the time to clear up mental clutter and get thoughts back into perspective.


Symbols & Folklore for the Month of September

September’s Sign of the Zodiac

Virgo (until September 21)
Libra (from September 22 onwards)

September’s Celtic Tree Astrology

Hazel: August 5 – September 1
Vine: September 2 – September 29
Ivy: September 30 – October 27

September’s Birthstones


September’s Birth Flower
Forget-me-not, Morning Glory and Aster

September’s Folklore

Heavy September rains bring drought.

September blow soft, till the fruit’s in the loft.

Married in September’s golden glow, smooth and serene your life will go.

If the storms of September clear off warm, the storms of the following winter will be warm.


September’s Month Long  Observations

  • Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
  • Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month
  • Leukemia and Lymphoma Awareness Month
  • Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month
  • German American Heritage Month begins on September 15 in the United States.
  • National Ovarian Cancer Month
  • National Preparedness Month (United States)
  • National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
  • National Bourbon Heritage Month
  • Better Breakfast Month
  • California Wine Month
  • Food Safety Education Month
  • National Chicken Month
  • National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
  • National Honey Month
  • National Mushroom Month
  • National Papaya Month
  • National Potato Month
  • National Rice Month
  • National Whole Grains Month
  • National Wild Rice Month


Labor Day – September 7th

Labor Day in the United States is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and workers contributions have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of their country.

Labor Day was promoted by the Central Labor Union and the Knights of Labor, who organized the first parade in New York City. After the Haymarket Massacre in Chicago on May 4, 1886, U.S. President Grover Cleveland feared that commemorating Labor Day on May 1 could become an opportunity to commemorate the affair. Therefore, in 1887, the United States holiday was established in September to support the Labor Day that the Knights favored.

Canada’s Labour Day is also celebrated on the first Monday of September. More than 80 other countries celebrate International Workers’ Day on May 1 as their holiday dedicated to labor.

History Of Labor Day

In 1882, Matthew Maguire, a machinist, first proposed the holiday while serving as secretary of the CLU (Central Labor Union) of New York. Others argue that it was first proposed by Peter J. McGuire of the American Federation of Labor in May 1882, after witnessing the annual labour festival held in Toronto, Canada. Oregon was the first state to make it a holiday on February 21, 1887. By the time it became a federal holiday in 1894, thirty states officially celebrated Labor Day.

Following the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the U.S. military and U.S. Marshals during the Pullman Strike, the United States Congress unanimously voted to approve rush legislation that made Labor Day a national holiday; President Grover Cleveland signed it into law a mere six days after the end of the strike. The September date originally chosen by the CLU of New York and observed by many of the nation’s trade unions for the previous several years was selected rather than the more widespread International Workers’ Day because Cleveland was concerned that observance of the latter would be associated with the nascent socialist and anarchist movements that, though distinct from one another, had rallied to commemorate the Haymarket Affair in International Workers’ Day. All U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and the territories have made it a statutory holiday.

Labor Day Celebrations

The form for the celebration of Labor Day was outlined in the first proposal of the holiday: A street parade to exhibit to the public “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations”, followed by a festival for the workers and their families. This became the pattern for Labor Day celebrations. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the civil significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the Labor movement.

The holiday often marks the end of the traditional summer season (although summer doesn’t officially end until September 21), as students normally return to school the following week, although school year starting days now vary.



September 11 or 9/11

(Patriots’ Day)

The September 11 attacks (also referred to as September 11, September 11th, or 9/11) were a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda on the United States on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001. The attacks consisted of suicide attacks used to target symbolic U.S. landmarks.

Four passenger airliners—which all departed from airports on the U.S. East Coast bound for California—were hijacked by 19 al-Qaeda terrorists to be flown into buildings. Two of the planes, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, were crashed into the North and South towers, respectively, of the World Trade Center complex in New York City. Within an hour and 42 minutes, both 110-story towers collapsed with debris and the resulting fires causing partial or complete collapse of all other buildings in the World Trade Center complex, including the 47-story 7 World Trade Center tower, as well as significant damage to ten other large surrounding structures. A third plane, American Airlines Flight 77, was crashed into the Pentagon (the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense) in Arlington County, Virginia, leading to a partial collapse in the Pentagon’s western side. The fourth plane, United Airlines Flight 93, initially was steered toward Washington, D.C., but crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after its passengers tried to overcome the hijackers. In total, the attacks claimed the lives of 2,996 people (including the 19 hijackers) and caused at least $10 billion in property and infrastructure damage. It was the deadliest incident for firefighters and law enforcement officers in the history of the United States, with 343 and 72 killed respectively.

In the days immediately following the attacks, many memorials and vigils were held around the world, and photographs of the dead and missing were posted around Ground Zero. A witness described being unable to “get away from faces of innocent victims who were killed. Their pictures are everywhere, on phone booths, street lights, walls of subway stations. Everything reminded me of a huge funeral, people quiet and sad, but also very nice. Before, New York gave me a cold feeling; now people were reaching out to help each other.”

One of the first memorials was the Tribute in Light, an installation of 88 searchlights at the footprints of the World Trade Center towers. In New York, the World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition was held to design an appropriate memorial on the site. The winning design, Reflecting Absence, was selected in August 2006, and consists of a pair of reflecting pools in the footprints of the towers, surrounded by a list of the victims’ names in an underground memorial space.

The Pentagon Memorial was completed and opened to the public on the seventh anniversary of the attacks in 2008. It consists of a landscaped park with 184 benches facing the Pentagon. When the Pentagon was repaired in 2001–2002, a private chapel and indoor memorial were included, located at the spot where Flight 77 crashed into the building.

In Shanksville, a permanent Flight 93 National Memorial is planned to include a sculpted grove of trees forming a circle around the crash site, bisected by the plane’s path, while wind chimes will bear the names of the victims. A temporary memorial is located 500 yards (457 m) from the crash site. New York City firefighters donated a cross made of steel from the World Trade Center and mounted on top of a platform shaped like the Pentagon. It was installed outside the firehouse on August 25, 2008. Many other permanent memorials are elsewhere. Scholarships and charities have been established by the victims’ families, and by many other organizations and private figures.

On every anniversary, in New York City, the names of the victims who died there are read out against a background of somber music. The President of the United States attends a memorial service at the Pentagon, and asks Americans to observe Patriot Day with a moment of silence. Smaller services are held in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, which are usually attended by the President’s spouse.


Mabon – September 21

“In late September, the sun crosses the celestial equator and there is a day where the length of the day and night are approximately equal. These days are called equinoxes, from the Latin meaning “equal night.” The autumnal equinox marks one of the lesser Sabbats, called Mabon, occurring around September twenty-second or twenty-third. Astrologically, this is when the sun moves into Libra. This holiday is the second harvest festival, falling during or at the end of the European grain harvest. It also known as the wine harvest, and often marks the beginning of hunting season. In one old Craft tradition, the fall equinox was named “the Night of the Hunter” and farmers would slaughter livestock too weak to survive the winter on this night.  Druids know this celebration as “Mea’n Fo’mhair” and honor the Green Man, God of the Forest, and his trees with poured offerings of ciders and wine. Norse pagans celebrate this time as Winter Finding, a time period that runs from the Sabbat until October 15th. This night is known as Winter’s Night and is the Norse New Year. The Wiccan New Year is also approaching at October’s end. It is known the ancient Mayans observed this date as well. At the pyramid at Cihickén Itzá, seven triangles of light fall on the pyramid’s staircase on this date only. In Japan, there is a six-day celebration around the equinox. This holiday is to honor Higan-e, the “other shore” and is based on six “perfections”: giving, observance of the precepts, perseverance, effort, meditation and wisdom.  By this time of the year, the days are visibly waning, the temperatures begin to cool and it is time to start preparing for winter. Many people like to refresh their altar(s) for this time, adding elements in autumn colors (orange, brown, gold, dark reds, rust) like acorns, pine cones, leaves, dried plants and herbs, apples, pomegranates, ivy and horns of plenty.”

Some activities of Mabon include:

Select the best of each vegetable, herb, fruit, nut, and other food you have harvested or purchased and give it back to Mother Earth with prayers of thanksgiving.

Hang dried ears of corn around your home in appreciation of the harvest season.

Do meditations and chanting as you store away food for the Winter.

Do a thanksgiving circle, offering thanks as you face each direction – – for home, finances, and physical health (North); for gifts of knowledge (East); for accomplishments in career and hobbies (South); for relationships (West); and for spiritual insights and messages (Center).

Decorate the table with colorful autumn leaves in a basket.

Display the fruits of the harvest – corn, gourds, nuts, grapes, apples – preferably in a cornucopia. Or decorate with wildflowers, acorns, nuts, berries, cocoons, anything that represents the harvest to you.

Make a protection charm of hazelnuts (filberts) strung on red thread.

Make a witch’s broom. Tie dried corn husks or herbs (broom, cedar, fennel, lavender, peppermint, rosemary) around a strong, relatively straight branch of your choice.

Make magic Apple Dolls Gifts of the Harvest can be used to make tools and emblems that will remind us of their bounty all year round.

Look for colored leaves. Collect fallen leaves and make a centerpiece or bouquet for your home. Save the leaves to burn in your Yule fire.

Vist an apple orchard and, if possible, pick your own apples. Hang apples on a tree near your home. Watch the birds and other small animals who will enjoy your gift.

This is also the time for replacing your old broom with a new one. As the broom corn is ripe now, besom making is traditional and magickal this time of year.


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Laid my Mom’s Body to Rest Today

Originally posted on Coven Life:

Now that my mom’s body I’d laid to rest next to my dad’s I will be back to posting Friday. I was able to honor and include my father in the ceremonies today.

Thank you all for your kind words, love, comfort and support through out the last month. They really helped me through it. At times when I was the saddest I would go back and we what you and Lady of the Abyss had written. Then I found the strength to make it through the next few hours.

Love and blessed be,

Lady Beltane

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Categories: Book of Spells | 3 Comments

“THINK on THESE THINGS” for September 2nd

By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Regret is something everyone has, but no one can afford to keep. Being remorseful is commendable when we should be sorry for wrong behavior, but to live with regret is to add to it day by day. There are those who are unable to admit they have ever been wrong. But there are more who carry with them so much regret they are bowed in spirit.

Thomas Moore, the Irish poet, once said, “Remorse is beholding heaven and feeling hell,” but perhaps just knowing heaven can exist makes regret more hellish. And so often it renders the regretful almost powerless to lift themselves out of their predicament.

But there is forgiveness! A daily vow or affirmation can take us a step further in lifting ourselves above the things that cause regret. And if we’ve settled down in the middle of unhappiness to enjoy our lot in life, then, moment by moment, inch by inch, we shall overcome that, too!

Available online! ‘Cherokee Feast of Days’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler.

Visit her web site to purchase the wonderful books by Joyce as gifts for yourself or for loved ones……and also for those who don’t have access to the Internet:
Click Here to Buy her books at

Elder’s Meditation of the Day
By White Bison, Inc., an American Indian-owned nonprofit organization. Order their many products from their web site:

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – September 2

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – September 2

“I remember Dawson (No Horse) said, ‘Once you say your prayers, don’t worry about them. If you worry about them, they’ll just fade away.'”

–Chuck Ross, LAKOTA

Today I need to remember You are everywhere. I need to remember how much You love me. I need to know, Grandfathers, that You are always listening. Today I need to know how much You care. Today I will remember the advice of the Elders. “Say your prayers and then don’t worry – know that the Great One has heard you.” It’s so much easier to do this, Grandfather, when I feel connected to You.

My Creator, allow me this day to feel your presence. Let me walk the path of life today and talk to You many times. Give me faith, my Grandfather.

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September 2 – Daily Feast

September 2 – Daily Feast

Everything has a reason. We may have to wait a while to understand, because much of what we see is a puzzle with all its pieces strewn about. The whole thing is there but in our present condition we do not comprehend the first thing about fitting the right pieces together. It is going to take some time. Maybe our dullness is necessary to keep us from making foolish moves. It is better to stand and let life creep back in and our blood to flow normally before we begin again. We still do not know the reason for something but we can handle the time better and we recover our sense more quickly.

~ We are all Seminoles here together. We want no long talk; we wish to have it short and good. ~


‘A Cherokee Feast of Days, Volume II’ by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

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The Daily Motivator for Sept. 2nd – Feel your new strength

Feel your new strength

Over the last few weeks and months, you have grown stronger. Today, feel your new strength.

In living your life, in meeting the challenges, you have learned and experienced, become more capable and effective. Step back, look at yourself objectively, and see how those new capabilities can be put to good use.

The future is bright because of the effort you’ve put forth to work through the past. Every challenge you’ve encountered has left you with new, positive possibilities.

Feel your new strength, and feel the urge that grows within you to put that strength into action. Remind yourself of what matters to you, and see new, creative ways to expand life’s goodness.

Once, you had great dreams, goals and ambitions, and you still do. Now, you are stronger and more capable of reaching them than ever before.

Feel your new strength, and feel the fresh new desire it gives birth to, the desire to make a difference. With purpose, passion, and an inspired love for life, put that desire into action.

— Ralph Marston


The Daily Motivator

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The Daily OM for Sept. 2nd – Creating a Garden Sanctuary

Creating a Garden Sanctuary
A Refuge of Your Own

by Madisyn Taylor

A personal outdoor sanctuary is an important part of feeling connected to all of life.

Each of us has been blessed with an innate need to celebrate and glorify life. At a most basic level, we honor the forces that came together to bring us into being by caring for our bodies and our souls. To truly rejoice in existence, we must also learn to cultivate loveliness in those special places that replenish the soul. When we create a garden sanctuary, we are reminded that we are a part of both nature’s essence and something more. An outdoor retreat is a place we can surround ourselves in nature, beauty, and the life force. It is not difficult to create a sanctuary—we should endeavor, however, to create sanctuaries that speak to us as individuals.

Whether we have a yard, a grassy corner, a patio, or a porch at our disposal, our creative potential is infinite. Any of these spaces can become a magnificent garden. When we feel drawn to specific themes such as Zen, angels, paradise, or the ethereal, we should explore them. Décor and furniture crafted from natural materials like wood and stone blend seamlessly into nature. Yet we can also augment the natural world by filling our garden sanctuaries with statues, bells or gongs, or colorful flags. Running water, like that in a created stream or fountain, helps energy flow smoothly. If space is a concern, crystals and mirrors can fulfill the same function. Hidden features like concealed swings and reflecting pools veiled in shadow can surprise and delight. As your garden sanctuary evolves, remember to invite the elemental spirits of nature to assist you in your efforts to create a small pocket of harmony, beauty, and peace in your own backyard. If you have not already felt their presence, sit quietly in your garden and reach out to them. You will feel these earthly guides at your side as you continue to develop your sanctuary.

In the refuge of brilliant color, sweet scents, and stillness you create in your garden, the burdens imposed upon you by a sometimes hectic world will melt away. The splendor and tranquility of what you have brought into being will entrance you, allowing you to forget the constraints of time and space. No matter how large or small your garden sanctuary, the time you spend reveling in its pleasures will refresh your spirit and provide you with innumerable opportunities to celebrate life. 


The Daily OM

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Help and Thoughts for Pagans New to the Journey

Help and Thoughts for Pagans New to the Journey

Author: Hallowed Order of Witches Liberated   

The New Year aroused some thoughts in me that I wanted to share; hopefully some will be of use to new Witches or those considering some aspect of Witchcraft or a Pagan path. I would like to minimize the explanation of my own experience to that which is necessary for background of what I am about to share. I am an eclectic practitioner with a strong interest in Feri Witchcraft. I am a member of a coven and I am a college graduate now 37 years old.
Our coven has a presence on Witchvox and we tend to get a moderate number of inquiries concerning membership, general Witchcraft information from folks looking to explore a “new religion”, questions of a “how-to” nature and other interesting things. For the past ten years, our coven has had people come and go: some for better, some of whom we were happy to see leave. What I wanted to offer up for someone who is starting on their journey or considering such an endeavor are some ideas to think about, and some things to think about if looking at working with others.

One thing we have noticed repeatedly is that there are people seeking out our community and membership within our coven who are folks with problems (or who are getting over problems) that are better off not dealt with in a coven setting or are things that need to be dealt with in terms of help by professionals. While religions can be helpful in some areas, I strongly urge those who fall into this category to let religion wait until the problem has been resolved. Understand that this advice is not a one-size-fits-all. I am speaking of problems like exposure to some sort of abuse or violence, drug abuse and/or early recovery stages, domestic issues that have not been resolved, etc… In our short ten years, we have had multitudes of people petition for membership or participate in public events and some who made membership, who seem to be using religion as an outlet for dealing with bigger problems. Perhaps they are using religion to fill a hole.

If one is dealing with issues similar to the ones mentioned, it is generally a better idea to protect others from your issue and have it dealt with professionally with a counselor, medical professional, advocate or so on, rather than take it into a group who may not have the proper background to deal with the root problem. Our group suffered numerous times from people with addiction problems, victims of physical violence and some other issues who came into the group and nearly shut down effective spiritual work because their personal problems were not yet resolved. While our hearts are with these people, religion is often not the answer to a heroin problem, for example. One should deal with the addiction, and then explore the religion after the problem is solved. A victim of domestic violence may be attracted to a small group of empathetic people, but sometimes professional help is needed and the issues that come up following such a terrible experience can eventually become a poison of sorts in a group that works together very closely.

This leads me to my second suggestion: Be ultra-cautious in regards to any person or group you are considering for advice (or with whom you wish to work) who claim to have a million years of experience and a Pagan heritage that is 20 generations deep. Statements of this nature, in my experience, are usually lies. For some reason, Pagans in general — and particularly inexperienced ones — appear to feel a need to cite heaps of years of experience in the Craft in their resumes. The time that passes from the point a person considers her or himself a Witch to the present time does not directly equate to effectiveness in practice. A fisherman with 30 years of experience can lose in a fishing derby to an 8 year-old who is holding a fishing rod for the first time. Ability and level of determination are not directly proportional to “time in service.”

The overwhelming majority of modern Pagans (speaking for U.S. Pagans) are former Christians. That is the truth. If someone is telling you otherwise, it is worth asking (politely) for proof or otherwise substantiating his or her claim of multi-generational and unbroken lineage. It is often the same person who, five years later, is wishing you a happy “Mid-Winter Equinox.” You will figure out who is who as time goes on. There is also nothing wrong with someone who is willing to help you who has been practicing for a year, but feels she has a good footing on a particular subject. Think logically and use good sense.

Suggestion number three: your own thoughts are worth something. Often, especially when coming from other religious (particularly in the U.S.) backgrounds, it is easy for one to fall into a trap of seeking Truth from a book or seemingly credible online source. Print seems like it holds weight. Sometimes it does, sometimes it does not. What is important to remember is that when you get a feel for what you are doing and are able to perform to some degree on your own, it is quite possibly time to set down the books. Books and online sources are great for general information, starting points, correspondence lists and so on. Remember, though, your experience and your thoughts are important and are ultimately what will be your guide.

I have seen too many Witches fall apart in practice trying to adhere to what someone else has published to not mention this. If standing on your head in bright moonlight on the third Saturday of the month while burning purple candles and copal incense isn’t bringing you in touch with that one Goddess or God you were seeking to work with, then knock it off! Your path will be your path. And remember that when you are working with the next new person.

My last suggestion is that opposition or rejection by a local group does not disqualify you from practicing Witchcraft and there is more to the Craft than sitting in front of a computer. There are certain Pagan practices that require a long and somewhat formalized study period, or certain covens that exist that will want you to follow a degree plan or jump through certain hoops. All of that is fine. However, if it doesn’t suit you, understand that it doesn’t mean you can’t do what you want. Even those members of the most defined and restrictive groups are doing his or her individual thing within those respective groups. If you share your solitary experience with an online group, for example, and several people bock at what you’re doing, keep in mind that those are opinions. Also, it is often worth regarding what the person is saying, even if he or she is not saying tactfully. Sometimes great ideas come from what is hard to hear. And while not all of us have vast landscapes and groves within which to practice our own Crafts, there is more to being a Witch or Pagan than sitting in front of a computer and reading about it or typing about it. In terms of actual spiritual and religious practice, one can make something happen even within the confines of a tiny powder room. Keep your practice real, front and center, and worth your time and effort. It pays off.

In summary, I wanted to throw these few suggestions and ideas out there because, at least in our region, we noticed some trends and felt we had enough time and experience (and numbers of people dealt with) to make some non-professional and generalized observations. These thoughts are certainly not meant to offend and we hope the root of what is being presented is helpful. Enjoy your time in the Craft, make it substantial and, for the sake of the Pagan community in its entirety, please be a thinking and active participant. Look out for the best interest of others with whom you are working and take care to protect them from your own “funk”, if need be. Help will be there from the group, but try to address problems that require professional help prior to engaging a religion (meaning any religion) . Remember, there are tons of people who find religion in a jail cell or hospital bed. That works for some, but keep in mind what of yourself you are introducing into a group. Think, know yourself and practice love.

Blessed Be

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Has Neo Paganism Gone Too Far?

Has Neo Paganism Gone Too Far?

Author: Crick   

Has Neo Paganism gone too far? Have members of the organized religions diluted the real meaning of paganism to serve their own needs? Do the organized religions inadvertently use neo paganism to rid themselves of their mal-contents?

Prior to the advent of neo paganism in the mid 1950’s, paganism for the most part referred to those folks who believed in and maintained a genuine connection with Mother Nature and all she represents. Generally this referred to those folks who practiced a form of witchcraft, shamanism or druidism.

Neo paganism has taken what used to be and in some cases still is and has re-created it into something beyond recognition by those who practice the Old Ways.

Since many who now call themselves pagans were once and in many ways by way of behavior and thought still are, members of one of the organized religions, paganism is now a role p laying venture for many neo pagans.

Anyone who wants to rebel against his or her primary religious beliefs can now simply call himself or herself pagan. Since there is no litmus test so to speak, every borderline sociopath can pretend to be pagan.

The fact is that the gentleman who started Wicca and thus opened the door to neo paganism, claimed to have doctorate degrees from two different universities. These claims were later proven to be patently false. And so one cannot help but wonder if such dubious beginnings to neo paganism set the stage for the bewildering morass that we have today.

I personally have never had the experience of going from one set of religious/spiritual beliefs to another, having lived my entire life as a witch brought up in an Irish family. And yet the more that I see and experience in the environment called neo paganism makes me even more inclined to shun such a label.

For instance the concept of open acceptance and diversity are nothing more then rehashed ideals from the hippie era of the 1960s. Realistically these concepts were never tenets of paganism during the 10, 000 year or so, tenure of paganism prior to the neo pagan beginnings in the mid 1950s. Pagan gatherings from one area did not necessarily get along with pagan gatherings from another area. Even with folks from the same pagan ethnicity, there were different aspects and/or Deity that was recognized dependent on the geographic area in question.

And while such grand ideas sound appealing, they are far too altruistic to have any meaningful role in any group or community. We have to remember that we are dealing with human beings here. One has to only look at the multitude of pseudo masters, the massive egos and the many elitist groups that have sprung up under the banner of neo paganism to see what effect this has had on what was once and for some still is, a belief system based upon the realities of a mystical life. For those who shun the hype and glamour of “Hollywood” neo paganism, and practice paganism for what it really is, such realities extend far beyond just this realm.

Also, I personally don’t believe that such groups as vampires, werewolves, were-kin and what have you were ever intended to be recognized under the description of paganism. Prior to the advent of neo paganism, such entities were feared and shunned by pagans. Pagan history is full of tales and mentions many charms and talismans to protect against such entities. Do neo pagans pretend to know something that old line pagans don’t know?

It is not my place to say that these groups should not exist within their own particular belief systems, but I do believe that it is an oxymoron to include them under the pagan banner. Though, such a contradiction seems acceptable under the neo pagan banner.

And perhaps this is why there is so much uncertainty, disorganization, in-fighting (witch wars) and controversy within the neo pagan community. Even the title “community” is euphuism for a concept, which has yet to take on any valid substance.

Neo paganism is trying to take concepts, which have been in place for thousands of years and are trying to re-invent them to serve the self-serving society that is in place today. Such an attempt is bound to end in failure as so many other fads before it has done.

This is not to say that there are not those who quietly practice paganism for what it really is. Such folks know the real value of study, discipline, and an unending curiosity. For such folks the spiritual rewards are unending. For the discovery of one life mystery leads to the desire to continue such a trek through life. There is no overwhelming need to be accepted by a hostile society that has been inundated with antipathy over the concepts of religion/spirituality.

We are who we are and that is enough. There is no need to proclaim to the world that we are masters of the arts, for we know in our hearts that we are simply students of something much greater then ourselves. There is no need to accept everything and to be diverse in all things, for such concepts are unrealistic and have been unattainable over the entire course of human history.

Life is not all light and love, for such concepts belie the true nature of polarity. Pagans accept the dark along with the light, as these are the ingredients of life. Why subscribe to a fallacy that is unattainable in reality? Realism is the mark of a pagan as it pertains to real life.

Neo paganism is beginning to look like a stage for role players rather then a continuation of any valid belief system.

I say this because this because society today is rapidly becoming more and more insular. Moving further and further away from the ideals and experiences that Mother Earth once provided and to some, still does provide. And it was these very real experiences that paved the way for paganism. What used to be real life is now an artificial creation brought on by the hand of man.

And yet neo paganism seems to be following the same trend in regards to paganism as society is in regards to life. Simply creating a façade of what used to be to satisfy the desires of a spiritually lackadaisical people.

It takes a real effort to engage in the mystical arts, but such effort is hard to find in modern times. And so at the end of the day perhaps neo paganism does in fact have a “role” to play…

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