Online

Pagans
M A G A Z I N E
Premiere Issue!
June Solstice 2010
onlinepagans.com
Morris dancers at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival.
Photo by B. Gruagach.
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June 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 3
Contents
4 Editor’s Note
7 PċnchċlĮ
8 5olstice! June Z1 Z010
10 5acriIce oI the Heart
11 Follow That Feeling ln Your Tunny!
1Z The Brigid Brand
15 Walking a Blended Path: A BrieI Overview oI Christo-Paganisn
16 Walking a Celtic Path With Two Broken Legs
19 Pagan BookshelI: Pagan Poetry
Z0 Notes Fron A Paranornal lnvestigation: Case #1
Z4 Yearning oI the Night
Z5 l Will 5tay With You
Z6 Ritual, Pattern, Tine & Perception
Z8 The Wiccan Rede and the Law oI ThreeIold Return
30 Pagan Destinations: Tenple oI 5ekhnet, lndian 5prings NV U5A
4 Online Pagans Magazine June 2010
Editor’s Note
by Ben Gruagach
W
elcome to the premiere
issue of Online Pagans
Magazine! Our hard-
working band of contributors has
been conspiring for months to put
together a quality publication for all
types of Pagans from all around this
magnificent world we share.
As a gift to the Pagan community
this issue is free. Everything was
done on a volunteer basis because
we wanted to give something back
to our community. Online and elec-
tronic versions of the magazine will
cost nothing and printed versions
will be available for the cost of pro-
duction and shipping using print-on-
demand technology.
In this issue you’ll find articles on:
d the Solstice covering both the
northern and southern hemisphere
d parenting from a Pagan per-
spective
d a selection of touching po-
ems written by a modern American
Hindu
d a bit of history and theory
about the Wiccan threefold return
concept
d notes from a paranormal in-
vestigation conducted in North Da-
kota USA
d a thought-provoking article
about the problems with preconcep-
tions and cultural blinders when fol-
lowing “traditional” Pagan paths
d observations of how the wor-
ship of Brigid has changed over the
years
d a straightforward explana-
tion of a blended spiritual path that
is becoming more popular: Christo-
Paganism
d book recommendations,
photos, and more!
We would love to showcase the
work of even more Pagan authors,
poets, photographers, musicians,
and artists regardless of what
media you employ. If you have
something to contribute for a fu-
ture issue please send an email to
submissions@onlinepagans.com
All content is copyrighted by the authors
or artists identified with each piece.
Please support our contributors!
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June 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 5
Did You Know
Online Pagans
Magazine
is available in a number
of formats?
Amazon Kindle’s .MOBI
PDF (the best for the full graphic
experience)
(good for the Apple iPad, Sony Ebook Reader, and
many more)
as well as a full-color printed edi tion!
To get your copies please visi t our websi te
www.onlinepagans.com
6 Online Pagans Magazine June 2010
June 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 7
Pānchālī
by 5unil P. Narayan
Pulled into ny husbands' court by ny unconbed hair
Thrown onto the ñoor where hundreds oI Ieet touch their thick, red silk
The ñowing carpet rises and Ialls like the nist oI ny garden
l know you are innovable in your rage 5hakuni
Your ego knows no linits, it is like a snake stalking a nouse
Ouietly without renorse in its neager heart
All eyes watch ne cry in anguish as you pull ny sari
To end oI this roon it ñows like the Ga˓gċ
5hining with its thin, gold-laden Iabric
And crippled by your greedy Ingers
DigniIed beauty you tossed with your dice
Hunan enotions you sacriIced with your heart
Bring your eyes to nine to see one word: regret
Ha! You are the nectar's eneny: regret!
lI you took ne then K˩˱˕a will snite you right now!
His chakra a kniIe Ior your spineless body
All ny Iears that Iollowed ne at night with ny Iriends
Nibbling on their black pearls while l watched roses rise
They are you.a shadow that rapes the noon
l cannot give you ny body Ior it belongs to Keőava!
My liIe will one day be returned to his hone
To live as a cowherd while churning nilk Ior his hungry lips
The boyish snile and curly hair that barely touches his shoulders
His eyes so wide yet shaped like the waning noon
Little specks in the corner oI both eyes are galaxies unknown to us
5o Iar away other people exist Ior whon K˩˱˕a is their king
lI l an his then he is ny king too
5hakuni, you are the drunken ego, a corrupted seed Ior hunanity!
My body is a vase holding the virtues oI 5ŝrya
He touched ny spirit to give ne a bite oI his own
Disrobing ne in Iront oI ny husbands and all the Ċryas oI their kingdon
is a sacrilege!
l cry to you to stop this great iniustice!
Can't you see l have sunken into a sea oI distress!?
No, you are busy drowning ny voice with your wicked laughter
Brahnċ gave you a boon that protects your liIe Iron any physical or divine harn
Yet, has he no shane when seeing this nonstrous deed?
Ma! You are 5arvċsuravinċőċ, cone to ny rescue!
5how your terriIying Iace to this savage
Make hin cower under your crippling stare, na!
Turn his linbs into brittle sticks so he will stop treating ny honor like a toy
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8 Online Pagans Magazine June 2010
Solstice! June 21 2010
by Granny Theresa
S
olstice is upon us! A wonderful
day - one of only two that come
each year: the first in June and
the second coming in the month of
December.
In June solstice in the northern
hemisphere shows us the longest day
of the year, and it shows us summer,
sunshine and warmth. In the south-
ern hemisphere it is the shortest day
of the year and brings with it the
promise of the sun coming back, the
days starting to get longer and the
promise of spring to come.
There are many ways to celebrate a
holiday and it is often easy in the
northern hemisphere to forget that
there are a lot of folks celebrating the
same day but in a different way with
the sun still as a focus. In the north
we are celebrating the abundance of
sun, and in the south we are encour-
aging it to come back.
Let’s talk a little bit about some of
the colors that are traditionally used
with the holiday. Colors to celebrate
the sun include golden yellows,
bright scarlet reds, white, pink and
even violet. As the longest day of
the year the summer solstice is a bit
more of a sexy holiday where we can
wear fresh flowers in our hair and
celebrate the brightness of the sun
and the full life around us.
For a winter solstice, with it be-
ing the shortest day of the year,
we want to use silver to honor the
moon and warm golds to remind
the sun to come back, and to honor
the promise of longer days ahead. It
is more of a holiday of looking for
and soaking in some warmth from a
fire and more layers in clothing, and
decorations and the colors tend to
lean more to the darker hues of the
greens and reds.
At the cold winter solstice there
is more of a focus on bringing our
mind and body into harmony, gain-
ing peace and balance. Summer sol-
stice instead is often focused toward
going, being, and outside activities
and of course the time of many mar-
riages.
Regardless of when you are getting
married you can trace many of those
wedding traditions back to old pa-
gan ways, from tossing the garter to
wearing rings to confirm the mar-
riage. The flowers that are carried
and then tossed are a phallic symbol
- promising the girl that catches them
that a man is coming and she is the
next to find a mate. The garter is a
circle representing a woman, and to
the man that catches it a promise of
a maiden that will come to him.
Both the winter and the summer sol-
stice include the old religion practice
of hanging a branch or wreath over
the doorway. In winter the evergreen
is there to remind us that life is ever
present, ever renewable and ever
green. In the summer the branches
used are instead for protection and
Rowan branches are often the ones
we choose.
Herbs are also an important part of
a solstice holiday! In the summer the
herbs are abundant and we are gath-
ering them and using them fresh; but
hopefully we are also drying them for
use throughout the year including at
the winter solstice when we are mak-
ing our soups and stews savory and
reminding us of the warmth of sum-
mer. In the winter months we may
be harvesting roots, but in the sum-
mer months we are able to harvest
the buds, flowers, leaves and stems!
The solstice holiday reminds us well
of the wheel of life and how we go
from the darkness of the winter sol-
stice, all the way to the brightness
and longest day of the summer sol-
stice and then we are headed back
again to the shortening of the days
leading us back to the winter.
At summer solstice we want to en-
courage time outside, dining out-
side, lounging on the porch, the pa-
tio, your yard or a local park - outside
with family and friends is the key!
Bike, walk, hike and swim, camp;
just get outside into nature and into
the sun. Go on a nature walk and
learn to identify herbs, flowers, trees
- you can even look for stones and
shells near a water source.
June 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 9
Winter solstice is more about time
inside, near a fire, close to our
friends and family. It’s all centered
more around the home and being
in the home. You can even play the
crystal wish game. Everyone is given
a wrapped crystal, some are beautiful
and some are not so much to look at;
each person unwraps theirs and sees
what they have been given. Then
someone rings a silver bell. When
the bell rings you must make a wish,
and then give your crystal away. If
you give the crystal away with a hap-
py heart your wish is said to come
true; if not then the wish is probably
not going to come back to you!
It is funny to watch how even grown
ups have been taught to hang on to
what they have, and do not want
to hand away a beautiful crystal or
stone. We forget the truth that all
of them are all perfect gifts from na-
ture. The game can continue as long
as you wish - and some families even
leave a bell out for an entire gather-
ing allowing anyone to ring the bell,
and give you the opportunity to
make a wish.
Regardless of where you are on June
21st, embrace the solstice energy;
embrace the wheel of life and make
some time to just soak it in and en-
joy!
10 Online Pagans Magazine June 2010
Sacrice of the Heart
by 5unil P. Narayan
A capsule oI love is sitting in ny heart
lt grows like the thick hairs on your nountainous chest
l sit in a neditative state, chanting your nane till 5ŝrya arises
Calnness and warnth, the two things he taught ne
5ara˕yŝ runs away Iron hin every night, Irightened and secretive
5unlight rushes into the world as the Aővinau storn through the sky in their chariots
l close ny eyes to prevent any pain Iron occurring
But open to see nothing while your breath trickles down ny neck
Your scent oI trees with pine needles containing clear sap
The birds singing a song oI ronantic nating
No! Don't Ieed ne your sap, ny lord!
Rub it onto ny lips as iI they were your sweat
We slither into the corridor under a grassy hill
All the way into another world oI playIul Iairies
Little noss-covered wooden hones surround a clear clairvoyant lake
Lanps adorn the water, unnoving but showing ne the whole earth
l do not know what you want ne to do tonight
But l caught nyselI obeying your every connand, a hornet in your cataconb
Lnsnare ny seducing eyes to nake ne see iust your body which
crushes ne into glass pieces
Your voice screans like a wolI when nating
When you are done l an gone: an existence leaving behind encapsulated love
Your soul is not in your body so devour it!
l an the reason Ior you to continue living in a denon-Illed world
5ŝrya gave ne love to give to you!
Your tears becone little drops oI pearls Ior which the Iairies hurriedly gather
The door Ior this world is sealed shut as you dwell in a cage oI tineless ecstasy
background inage CC courtesy http://www.ñickr.con/photos/chronaticaberration/38Z96Z915Z/
June 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 11
Follow That Feeling In
Your Tummy!
by Granny Theresa
W
e all know the idea of
“follow your inner voice”
or “well what does your
tummy say” after all that is advice
that is passed down again and again
in families. BUT what about when
that inner voice tells you that Uncle
Bob is not someone that you should
hug? Followed immediately with
your mom saying “Don’t be shy! Go
over there and hug your Uncle Bob.”
When it comes to teaching youth to
follow their inner voice, we often cut
that message short or ignore it all
together in an effort to be polite or
nice.
What message are we then teaching
the little ones? Trust your inner voice
unless it will make someone uncom-
fortable or unless it is impolite - is
that really the message we want to be
sending? After all in life often stand-
ing in our own truth is not always
comfortable.
As a child gets older there will be
many times that peer pressure alone
will encourage them to ignore their
inner voice. Perhaps the child knows
the rule of never getting in the car
with a driver that is drinking, and
maybe the inner voice is screaming
NO! - but all the friends are saying
come on don’t be rude, don’t make
a scene; just come on! So when we
want to teach a united message of liv-
ing authentically and listening to our
heart, or our tummy or ... do we re-
ally want it diluted with polite, nice
and well behaved?
What if instead you are headed to
Aunt Lilly’s house and you have the
talk on the way - it is ok, you do not
have to go and hug her, just be po-
lite and use your manners. But once
you get in the door Aunt Lilly scoops
up the child and takes her off to the
kitchen to give her a present.
It is complicated isn’t it; trying to
think of all the different places in
your life where you need to balance
trust, love, lessons, manners, safety
and so much more. Trying to set an
example and do it right while leaving
the space for another to walk their
own path.
What we do know is that when it
comes to children that are sexually
abused approximately 30% of the
perpetrators are relatives of the child
and around 60% are “friends” of
the family, babysitters, or neighbors.
Only about 10% of the cases are
from offenders that are strangers. (1)
So we know for a fact, that in the
case of child sexual abuse, the ma-
jority of threat comes from a person
you know, and allow to spend time
with your child.
Now that we have a very real threat
in mind, do you look differently at
the idea of listening to that inner
voice? Your voice or the voice of your
child - the actions and the words and
even the body signals.
We often think that listening to our
inner voice is a valuable tool, and at
the same time we treat it like some-
thing that is over-reactive or can be
ignored with a stronger will.
So what kind of tips will assist you
on your path, and as an example to
youth and others? One is to be au-
thentic with your feelings, honor
them and explain that is your reason
for a decision.
An example could be - I am just not
feeling comfortable about this camp-
ing trip over the 4th of July, so no I
am not going to come. I do hope you
have a good time though. Then fol-
low through on honoring that voice
and the choice that you have made.
When it comes to children often it
is best to talk to the other adults in
their life and let them know what
your parenting goal is and how they
can HELP you to make sure that the
child will have all the tools they need
later in life to stay safe and honest
with themselves.
Once you get started you will see it
is actually easier then it first seems
and you will probably be pleasantly
surprised at the support you do have
available from the other adults in
your life.
References
(1) Julia Whealin, PhD - National
Center for Post Traumatic Stress
Disorder, US Department of Veter-
ans Affairs.
Yield sign photo CC courtesy http://www.
flickr.com/photos/tillwe/38356334/
12 Online Pagans Magazine June 2010
The Brigid Brand
by Nuadu of Kildare
Now after the spear had been given to
him, Ruadan turned and wounded Goi-
bniu. But he plucked out the spear and
cast it at Ruadan, so that it went through
him, and he died in the presence of his
father in the assembly of the Fomorians.
The Brig came and bewailed her son. She
shrieked at first, she cried at last.
So that then for the first time crying and
shrieking were heard in Erin. Now it was
that Brig who invented a whistle for sig-
naling at night.
- The Second Battle of Moytura.
In the modern western world the ma-
jority of us live in consumer oriented
societies where ‘new’ products are
constantly appearing to enrich our
lives and longstanding brands seem
to change to suit ‘new’ markets. The
thatched cottages and wind blasted
landscape aside, as a youth I inhab-
ited a world shaped by markets and
the ‘latest’ products.
During my youth I noticed three
defining brand changes, or changes
that at least meant something to my
juvenile mind. Two of those changes
were the names of chocolate bars.
Marathon took on the cool Ameri-
can name Snickers; Opal fruits, the
multi coloured super sugared toffee
textured fruity greatness, became
Starburst. The two products basically
remained the same but regional mar-
keting was swapped for a more uni-
form global brand model. The third
thing that changed was something I
considered far less important than
chocolate; as I looked at spirituality
for myself I noticed how something
that to me had always been a boring
bog standard Christian saint, all be
it with some fun handicrafts associ-
ated with her, become a cool Pagan
goddess.
When we as Neopagans look to le-
gitimize our beliefs we tends to look
towards history, to a time before our
own. Maybe without considering it
we hold a belief that older is more sa-
cred - it is certainly a trait of ‘Celtic’
religion in Ireland. Here the vast ma-
jority of the traditionally sacred sites
or fairy forts are usually antique me-
dieval farms. But in many ways times
before our own may not be devoid of
many of the things we associate with
our modern era. An example may be
marketing where the pagan goddess
and Saint Brigit are concerned, we
may find that the Christian church
of the early medieval employed very
modern methods to win over our
people towards a new religion.
When we look at the Saint and the
famous Piseog - Saint Brigit’s Cross
- as a form of non christian secular
or pagan belief that survived at-
tached to Christianity, it may be the
case that the church took the Pagan
goddess and very loosely rebranded
her as a Christian to help convert
people. Marketing under the circum-
stances may not be the modern thing
we imagine it to be. Marathon bars
were mundane and local but when
they were renamed Snickers they
became cool to a younger audience
while keeping them to the same ba-
sic recipe kept the loyalty built up
among older consumers. Maybe the
Brig became Saint Brigit in the same
way. A Christian rebranding of a de-
ity that kept some old traits so she
would still be familiar enough to at-
tract Pagans.
Alternatively since marketing and
consumer culture are modern things,
are we projecting our modern lives
onto the past in assuming that the
Brig, a Pagan deity, is cognate with
the Christian intercessor, Saint Bri-
git? In that case we as Neopagans in
modern consumer cultures would be
rebranding the Saint using an under-
standing gained from life in our era.
The Brigit’s Cross is one sedate ver-
sion of many Piseogs in Irish culture,
certainly it has a non-Christian ele-
ment to it but far less then a Piseog
bag filled with carefully chosen feath-
ers, animal parts and stones that
may be hung from a tree by someone
wanting to curse you. It may just be
as common an expression of Irish
culture as preventing bad luck by say-
ing ‘god bless the work,’ no more Pa-
gan than a hurling match or visiting
a friend to play cards at night.
If that is the case rather than Chris-
tians rebranding a Pagan loosely it
would be we who are rebranding a
Christian saint as loosely Pagan and
we who preserve Christian traditions
in our NeoPaganism.
A great portion of being Neopagan
is educating ourselves so when we
are faced with many choices we can
make informed decisions. The issue
of whether a saint is Pagan or not is
one of those times when we all have
to choose for ourselves. Without
placing a value judgment on either
view I think its interesting that a Pa-
gan goddess, whether in the past or
the modern world, became a popular
brand name.
June 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 13
St Brigid shrine photo CC courtesy http://www.flickr.com/photos/irishfireside/196492935/
14 Online Pagans Magazine June 2010
St. Brigid’s Well petitions CC courtesy http://www.flickr.com/photos/markwaters/3243989698/
June 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 15
Walking a Blended Path:
A Brief Overview of
Christo-Paganism
by VJ Raven
W
e who walk a blended
path combine two or
more aspects of religious
beliefs into one. Sometimes the two
are very different and unusual paths.
Christo-Paganism is defined as blend-
ing Christianity with some form
of Paganism, which encompasses a
wide range of blended paths. Under
the umbrella of Christo-Paganism
are paths such as Christian Wicca,
Christian Mysticism and Christian
Witchcraft for example, and under
each of those paths are various sub-
paths, encompassing different beliefs
and different rituals.
The Christian Holy Trinity is rep-
resented in some form or another.
God (The Father), Jesus (The Son)
and the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost)
are represented. Some see this trin-
ity as completely male while others
see The Father and Son as the Male
aspects and the Holy Spirit as the
Female aspect of the triple God, the
Mother of the Son.
The symbol to represent Christo-Pa-
ganism can either be a cross, a pen-
tagram or a cross-pentagram, which
is a Latin cross with the image of a
pentagram either etched or mounted
on the front of it.
Christian Wicca is different from
Christian Witchcraft. Christian Wic-
ca follows the tenets of the Wicca
path while following the Ten Com-
mandments in the Christian Bible
and praying to the Christian Holy
Trinity. Christian Witchcraft does
not generally follow the tenets of the
Wicca path but some elements are
the same — the use of spells, prayers
and the energy surrounding all of us
and that flows throughout the uni-
verse.
The use of an altar is a common
theme. Generally a Christo-Pagan
has some representation(s) of Chris-
tianity on their altar—a cross for ex-
ample—and some representation of
the four elements of earth, air, fire
and water. The tools of a Christo-
Pagan are similar to those on a Wic-
can or Witchcraft path. An incense
burner/censure, bottles of Holy Wa-
ter, anointing oils, candles (both al-
tar and candles specific to the ritual
being performed) and salt are quite
common items on a Christo-Pagan’s
altar. Other items may include items
that are personal to the Christo-Pa-
gan to personalize and enhance their
rituals/magick. Some have images of
the Virgin Mary, others use a penta-
cle, some have pentagrams represent-
ed on theirs and others have images
of their patron Saint(s).
Spell casting is a common practice
among many on a Christo-Pagan
path… Some spells that are used are
specifically designed for those on a
Christo Pagan path and others have
been adapted from Wicca or Witch-
craft to make the spell specific to
the Christian Holy Trinity or even
one of the Christian Saints, who are
classed as “messengers” between the
mortal and their God. Spells used by
a Christo-Pagan encompass a wide
variety of uses, from healing to find-
ing something lost…. From finding a
new home to creating Holy Water….
From ending negativity/binding
spells to fertility and welcoming a
new child.
It is a common misconception that
Christo-Pagans use only light magick
and wish no one else any harm. In
some cases, yes, that is true. How-
ever, there are some Christo-Pagans
who believe in balancing light and
darkness, and yet others who walk
only in shadows. It depends on the
person’s beliefs and how they view
the world around them.
16 Online Pagans Magazine June 2010
Walking a Celtic Path
With Two Broken Legs
by Nuadu of Kildare
T
here are two crippling points
for the average person walk-
ing a Celtic Pagan path in
my opinion: preconceptions and
mistaken assumptions. They make it
as difficult to walk a Celtic path as
two broken legs make walking up the
street. For example the average per-
son interested in forms of Tradition-
al Irish Religion really doesn’t know
much about them. He does not un-
derstand how groups are structured
or how it’s propagated. That’s OK
- any kind of Native Paganism is an
obscure subject. We only hit the
stumbling block when we don’t rec-
ognize that lack of knowledge.
In most cases in my country, by dint
of living in Ireland, we are convinced
that we do know quite a bit about
the subject. Given that Traditional
Irish Religion is a minority religion
within Celtic Paganism, itself a mi-
nority religion in Ireland, never
mind the scarcity of Traditional Irish
Religion outside Ireland, most of
the knowledge we acquire is almost
never through personal exposure to
actual native forms of paganism.
On top of books, films and other
similar sources, we primarily base
our knowledge about Traditional
Irish Religion on what we already
know from more popular forms of
Celtic Paganism. From Celtic Wic-
ca, Celtic Shamanism, Druidry etc.
We assume that people practicing
Traditional Irish Religions are orga-
nized into similar groups too and are
taught about it in the same way as in
those popular forms of Celtic Pagan-
ism. We might be very disappointed
when we see groups of people at sa-
cred sites seemingly walking around
instead of performing group rituals.
We might suspect Traditional Irish
Religions aren’t religions at all be-
cause no one is loudly invoking a de-
ity. We are used to things from more
popular forms of Celtic Paganism
and can assume they are universal in
Celtic Paganism. When Traditional
Irish Religions do not meet our pre-
conceived expectations rather than
considering the possibility that those
expectations might be misplaced or
in error, we can become frustrated.
In my experience approaching any
neopagan path with preconceptions
is one of the greatest hobbling posts
to neopagans today. Nearly as big a
problem is the mistaken assump-
tions people have.
A while back on an internet poetry
forum the subject of duotheism with-
in Celtic Paganism came up. Specifi-
cally, someone wanted to know the
names of ‘the god and goddess’ in
the Irish Culture. When an elderly
person, a man whose family may have
practiced a form of Celtic Paganism
in Ireland long before Gardner made
his efforts public, responded by say-
ing the concept of a God and God-
dess didn’t exist in his tradition - the
forum became a battle field. There
was outrage, he was called so many
big words by way of insults there must
have been a sale on insult-word-a-day
toilet paper or something. The main
gist of the complaints seemed to me
to be that he was being insensitive in
the format of his reply and he was
behind the times. What’s comment
worthy in my opinion is not one of
the critics had even a fraction of his
experience and none of them both-
ered to ask why he didn’t believe in
duotheism.
Those people were incensed by a
simple response in text on an inter-
net forum because of the mistaken
assumption that Traditional Irish
Religions have to meet the same
standard formula as popular forms
of Celtic Paganism. That it had to
June 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 17
be sensitive to individual tastes and
needs and had to be democratic and
fair. Whether or not I agree that
duotheism is absent from Tradition-
al Irish Religions, it is based on a cul-
tural tradition, and because of that,
and maybe to its detriment in a mod-
ernist society it’s not something that
can be altered to suit the situation.
It’s validated not by its mass appeal
but by its relationship to our culture.
It’s not for everyone, it’s not even for
everyone in Ireland. It wont suit ev-
eryone’s tastes but instead of using
the opportunity to ask why someone
of such vast experience held a per-
sonal belief they hammered away at
the hobbling post with their mistak-
en assumption.
No one enjoys being told that they
don’t know what they’re talking
about. Even if we suspect it’s true, we
resent having it pushed in our face.
It’s even worse when we have devot-
ed ourselves to reading and talking
with other people about the subject
at hand. We hate thinking that all
that effort has gone to waste. If you
have the inclination this anonymous
typer has a piece of advice. When
you’re tempted to be angry at your
preconceived notions or mistaken
assumptions being held up to you,
think less about the irritation of hav-
ing your ideas attacked and more
about the opportunity to expose
yourself to new and wider experienc-
es. It isn’t always pleasant. It might
even be something you don’t want to
hear but in my experience it’s easier
to walk a Celtic Pagan path without
the hindrance of two broken legs.
18 Online Pagans Magazine June 2010
June 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 19
Pagan Bookshelf:
Pagan Poetry
by Ben Gruagach
P
oetry has been part of Pagan
spirituality since the beginning
of religion, the beginning of
poetry, and likely the beginning of
spoken language. There is some-
thing truly holy about words that
are offered in honour of the Divine.
Many spell-workers have also found
that words have extra effect when
selected to produce rhythms and
rhymes.
Poetry was an important way of
passing on knowledge in the times
before written language. In Celtic
culture Druids spent years memoriz-
ing long poems as part of their ba-
sic training. We see this even today
-- William Dalrymple’s book “Nine
Lives” documents examples such
as illiterate healers near Pabusar in
northern India who recite the four-
thousand-line Epic of Pabuji from
memory. Even when poetry becomes
formalized through writing it can
become the core way of transmitting
myth and religion. Greek religion
for instance was passed on through
the generations through the written
poetic works of literate scholars such
as Homer, Sappho, and Euripides.
The oldest known written poetry is
likely the work of Enheduanna, who
lived around 2300 to 2225 BCE.
Betty De Shong Meador’s book
“Inanna, Lady of Largest Heart” is
probably the best book out currently
on the topic of Enheduanna and her
poetry. Look for Diane Wolkstein
& Samuel Noah Kramer’s “Inanna:
Queen of Heaven and Earth” for
another good example of ancient
poems and hymns from Sumer.
Another really old surviving Divine
poem is the Epic of Gilgamesh writ-
ten around 700 BCE.
In more modern times practicing oc-
cultists such as William Bulter Yeats
and Aleister Crowley expressed their
spiritual ideas through poetry. Yeats’
work is examined in relation to his
occult practice in “W. B. Yeats - 20th
Century Magus” by Susan Johnston
Graf. You can also read more about
Yeats’ life and work at sites such as
http://www.online-literature.com/
yeats/ Crowley’s work is similarly
examined in Charles Richard Cam-
mell’s “Aleister Crowley: The Man,
The Mage, The Poet” and on web-
sites such as http://www.poemhunt-
er.com/aleister-crowley/
Poetry has had an important role
in the history of modern Paganism
in the English speaking world. In
1948 the poet Robert Graves pub-
lished his inspired book “The White
Goddess” and it hit the occult and
alternative spirituality community
like a bombshell. That one book en-
couraged countless seekers to turn
to their roots and embrace ancient
Pagan deities in a way that few other
books have. Graves has admitted
that while the book was written in
the style of a scholarly text it was
actually a poetic whole that sprang
from his heart and soul over a three
week period in January 1944. While
the history it contains is more specu-
lative than scholarly it still serves as
an amazing poetic Pagan bible.
Since then all sorts of overtly Pagan
poetry has been published. Among
my favourite collections are “Life
Prayers” and “Earth Prayers” edited
by Elizabeth Roberts & Elias Ami-
don, “Earth Poems” edited by Ivo
Mosley, “The Pagan’s Muse” edited
by Jane Raeburn, and the recently
published “Datura” edited by Ruby
Sara. Some books present primar-
ily the work of a single poet. I really
like “Charge of the Goddess” by Do-
reen Valiente, “Thorns of the Blood
Rose” by Victor Anderson and
Gwydion Pendderwen, “Dewdrops
in the Moonlight” by Shanddara-
mon, and for a more Crowleyite feel
try “Qutub” by Andrew Chumbley.
If you are interested in trying your
hand at writing Pagan or magickal
poetry you can’t go wrong with the
helpful guidebook “Composing
Magic” by Elizabeth Barrette. And
if you want to go the extra step and
pursue becoming a holy poet or bard,
look for “The Bardic Handbook” by
Kevan Manwaring. They will really
inspire you.
20 Online Pagans Magazine June 2010
Notes From A
Paranormal Investigation:
Case #1
by Fyrsweord
I
belong to a group called
Dakota Paranormal Investigators
http://dakotaparanormal.com/
The following is what I experienced
on my first case with them.
Case #1 Investigation 1
Small town ND
12 July 2008
We were called in to conduct an
investigation at a small town local
business. Employees had been
complaining of being afraid in the
basement, feeling like they were be-
ing watched and occasionally feeling
as if they were touched.
The building that this business was
in had been built a bit over 100 years
ago and abutted an opera house that
burned in the early 20th century.
Local legend has it that this was once
a mortuary. This was fueled by the
fact that there is a lift type mecha-
nism in the basement that would
allow items to be brought up to the
first floor.
We focused on three areas that night;
the basement, kitchen area and ga-
rage. On our initial walk-through we
tested the electro-
magnetic fields
with the EMF
and KII meters,
making note of
any unusual fluc-
tuations.
I was most drawn to this old mirror in
the garage. It reminded me of some-
thing one would see on a washstand
with a basin. The mirrored glass was
old, cracked and dis-colored in ar-
eas. The woodwork though was still
lovely with dovetails, and no nails.
There was a noticeable energy about
it, and I found myself thinking that
if I were to touch it would my hand
go through that glass. For some rea-
son I felt like it would.
We never really caught anything
substantial that first investigation.
There were surely some unusual oc-
currences but they were all more of a
personal nature.
Though two of us could swear we
heard ragtime music on a gramo-
phone in the kitchen. It was not
caught on any of our recording tools.
What happened to me after this first
investigation is what threw me, and
lead to the second investigation.
However, I will say, I knew leaving
that it had never been a mortuary.
POST INVESTIGATION
One of the first things an investiga-
tor does is crash and burn as soon
as they can. It can be rather hard to
do so right away if one is all pumped
with what occurred during the inves-
tigation or itching to go thru their
evidence.
What follows are the raw notes I
took on what happened to me after.
13 July 2008
Slept from 4-9 am. Dreamed of a
WWI doughboy. Not enough to
recognize a person but flashes of
uniform, military life, a weapon dis-
The investigation site - from historical files.
June 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 21
charging, screaming, smoke fear and
writing letters.
Noon – 3:00 pm.
The dream happened again. Same
soldier. Strongly feel he is American.
Ragtime music.
Emailed Marie* to find out if there is
any tie to this small town and WWI.
16 July 2008 @ 6:39 am
The dream came again. Vague im-
pressions. Definitely WWI, prob-
ably the Western Front. He’s Ameri-
can; the glimpses of the weapons and
uniform are consistent with WWI
and the USA. He is early to mid
20’s. Hair color is light. Perhaps a
sandy blonde. At least medium
height, decent build, though a bit on
the leaner side.
The view is like ‘live’ shots like in an
old, scratchy black and white movie
with no sound. There is some action
– in brief spurts. Feel percussion.
Smell and see haze of smoke. Chow
time. Bunking down.. A dirty hand
writing a letter though I cannot read
it. Gentlemen hanging around talk-
ing though I cannot hear what is be-
ing said. Somewhat surreal as I feel
like I am part of the action but am
not. Chest feels heavy and I feel like
I am moving in slow motion or try-
ing to walk thru a river of black tar.
Sometimes I am ‘in’ the soldier then
standing outside. Wake up and I feel
like I lost something.
20 July 2008
Still dreaming of him – definitely
feel he was in the war. Still snippets
of information though. Combat
had to cause his death. Though he
will not show me. Why can’t I see his
face? Seems wrong to just give me
bits and pieces. Makes me feel like I
am crazy.
27 July 2008
Dreamed about him again. Same
snippets of information. He is stat-
ing to feel like an old friend.
01 August 2008
Still the dreams. Did I tap into some-
thing or did he find me? I know I
am right about the time period and
his death due to com-
bat.
On a side note: the
site was never a mortu-
ary. It has been a lum-
ber yard, hardware/
feed/grocery store but
never a mortuary.
12 August 2008 @
3:15 am
He died. Snippets
again followed by chaos, and the
stench of combat, and pain, and
screams. His hands are bloodied and
someone is calling his name C? or C?
He died but not right away. Not dur-
ing the time I dreamed. Maybe from
his wounds later? I hurt all over like
I have been ripped apart and I want
to puke.
8:20 pm
Marie found something that listed
WWI casualties for the state. There
is a list and pictures. Too afraid to
look.
13 July 2008
I looked at the list and there is one
C name that matches what I heard in
my dream. I am not ready to look at
the pictures.
15 August 2008
He was back again up to the wound-
ing. I looked at the pictures and it is
him. CJH. We need to go back.
Note: CJ was born in Blufton, MN
14 March 1892. He was a grain buy-
er up until he enlisted in the Army
July of 1917. He served in Battery
A, Field Artillery i.e. the Rainbow
Division. Offensive Engagements
he fought were: Auisne-Marne, St.
Mihiel, and Muese-Argonne. Defen-
sive engagements were: Champagne-
Marne, defensive sectors of Lunev-
ille, Baccarat, Lorraine, Esperance,
Souain, and Champagne. Death was
due to wounds received in battle and
occurred approximately 26 October
1918. He was 26 when he passed.
That same year his mother lost her
husband, and one of his elder sisters
to the influenza.
The investigation site as it is today.
22 Online Pagans Magazine June 2010
Case #1 Investigation #2
15 August 2008
We went back armed with a name to
see what would happen.
Things happened. Increased activity
included the sounds of boxes falling
when none had, unexplained cold
spots, electromagnetic jumps on the
KII, a shirt tail being lifted and the
sensations of being touched. Three
EVPS were caught. Multiple people
saw a dense shadow the shape of a
person walking when there were no
car lights etcetera to explain that.
In addition,
four people saw,
what appeared
to be a face try-
ing to form in
the kitchen. It
was at the same
time and I do
not feel it was a
figment of our
collective imagi-
nations.
When this hap-
pened I could
not move. First
I felt chok-
ing sorrow. I
wanted to go to
my knees and
just cry. Then
there was a pres-
sure around my
waist, as if some-
one had slung
an arm around
me, and I then
found myself
leaning against
the sink coun-
ter. The entire
area looked hazy
to me and I flashed in and out. Then
I felt happiness. It was not coming
from me. I think he is happy some-
one finally sees him.
We did catch one quite intriguing
evp at the end. We were packing
up our equipment when a member
of the team felt something definitely
tug at his shirt. He, unfortunately,
cursed. What followed was another
member making ribald remarks that
were equally politically incorrect.
When listening to the playback there
was the sound of someone whistling
a catchy ragtime tune.
Thoughts and Afterwards
16 August 2008 @ 8:33 pm
The dream started as it always does. I
am not going to reiterate or describe
those images again. This one went
beyond his ‘wounding’. I felt CJ slip
away – which tells me he did not die
immediately after his wounding but
probably, lingered.
In this dream I felt him leaving his
body. Tendrils of him disconnecting
and floating upwards staring down.
It sounds like a rehash of every near
death experience related but in the
dream it felt real, and right. And
wrenching. The struggle at first to
hang on and then just a gentle easing
as one reaches the realization that
this was it. There is no more CJ in
the physical sense. Stillness.
Then the dream skipped even fur-
ther forward to the kitchen of this
business. I was not there but he was
watching the others. He tried to
make them see him but they cannot.
He reaches out to touch them and
he is not sure if they can feel him.
He won’t go to the basement as he
does not like it there. He avoided
us the first time but when I asked,
“Were you in the military?” he be-
came interested.
He wants Ned* to call me up from
the basement. He knows he can
reach me. He tries to show us his
face so we will know him. But he
cannot seem to make it work and
feels badly that he has upset me.
So he slowly withdraws back to just
watching and hovering.
The problem with dreams is the fact
that they are dreams. They cannot
be proven as viable contact. A per-
CJ - the man from the dreams.
June 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 23
son can say, “I dreamed the towers
would come down” and be lying
through their teeth after the fact.
Dreams are also very subjective. Was
I ‘seeing and feeling” what I wanted
to in that building? Was it pulling
from my sub-conscious desire to com-
municate with a perceived anomaly?
Or did I really touch another being
that others cannot see?
If one follows the theory that dreams
are subjective, and manifestations of
sub-conscious wishes, or needs, then
how do I reconcile this with the fact
I started dreaming about a WWI sol-
dier out of the blue? I can honestly
say that, though I often ‘dream’ of
soldiers and war, WWI has never fea-
tured in any of them.
How do I factor in the repetitive na-
ture of these ‘dreams’? How I felt
like I had been active and not actu-
ally sleeping? A dream that shows
the wounding and the knowledge
that this lead to his death? If these
dreams are a product of imagination
how could I flesh him out as a per-
son with a face towards the end and
THEN find a face that matches? The
face of a young man who died almost
fifty years prior to my birth. I have
never seen this picture before. Or
were the images in my dreams more
general then I thought and I filled in
the lines?
But why would I hear that specific
name in my dreams?
However, if one discards the series
of dreams, then one would have to
discard the identification. Which
would then beg the question, “Why
did this name provoke activity on 15
August?”
What is it about a pizza place that
would hold this energy there? The
town itself is quite a rich history and
perhaps the land itself holds energy
that brings things forward. I believe
the past does not merely imprint
itself on the human psyche but on
what surrounds us as well.
He was a grain buyer before the war
with family living in that area. This
building was a hardware and grain
store during that time. There is a
possible tie.
The mirror. That mirror is what
started it, and I keep thinking he
looked into it once or twice or more
before he left the states. The first
dream started with a hazy face in that
mirror.
Maybe there is some kind of portal.
I know that what I experienced was
real. I know that what I dreamed re-
ally happened.
I know that CJ visits me sometimes.
It does not matter to me what others
think. This was real.
The mirror.
24 Online Pagans Magazine June 2010
Yearning of the Night
by 5unil P. Narayan
l an the Mistress oI the everlasting Night!
You, 5ŝrya, shall bow down to ny black Ieet!
lI your eyes wander to side oI this grassy pathway.
lI your lips kiss anything other than ny snoke-covered skin.
Know ny heart will not tolerate such laziness!
A noose to pull your light into the copper iar
lt nakes ne wonder iI those poor souls are worthy oI your touch
You whore! To Iollow soneone other than ny great beauty is a sin!
ls ny body not slin enough Ior your liking?
Adorned with the Inest genstones oI our Father's heavenly paradise
Picked by Iortunate servants who worship ny voice and reason
They pray Ior a kiss Iron ny lips yet you pray Ior release Iron the clutches oI ny shadow
lI the sunlight is burned like the skin oI a baby's ñesh Iron being touched by a candle
lt is no reason to whine like a child
Whinpers and little tears are reserved Ior the rain
But your sunlight.such a glorious entity you are!
l Iollowed you aIter the birth oI this universe
Our Mother created us Ior her anusenent
An inner ioy Illed her nind to cause a snile
Fron that cane her innortal children, beings oI raw light
We were too hot to touch, so you becane the sun and l becane the enpty hole in your nightnares
My eneny Iron birth, the one who tried to squash ne like a cockroach!
l pulled you by the arns into ny enbrace
The wind Ielt it and whispered to us to nerge into one creature
5ŝrya, you sit down, waiting Ior ne to show you what true godhood is
The inneasurable weight oI ny lust holds you to the purple sea oI stars
l don't noan but listen to your own.the sound is the bells oI our nother's tenple
lt is sweet yet neager iI conpared to ny hunger when dawn ioins ne
Do not Ieel inIerior ny love, even the thunder oI the sky is snall to ny ears
Can you see why l nust subiugate your tangible body?
Fire cannot be touched unless soneone wants to becone a nonster
But l can Ieel it in ny hands and yearn Ior your enticing kisses
You run away iI l look at you Ior a second
Maybe l engulIed your enornous body too Iast
The next universe already has a sun, don't nake natters worse!
lI you leave then ny heart break into pieces and Iall to BhŝnĮ-DevĮ's nountains
Image CC courtesy http://www.flickr.com/photos/vegas/431672848/
June 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 25
I Will Stay With You
by 5unil P. Narayan
A window cold and nade oI ice
Blue as iI the ocean Iroze Ior ne
Air so thin and reluctant to let ne take it in
Down into ny lungs which have lost all their noisture
l can see world oI snoking Ish, eyes so black
Little black pearls oI the Polynesian lslands pushed into their sockets
You are no where to be Iound nother!
l wait in this little hone nade oI unbreakable ice
cubes
5ounds oI the ocean's breathing and heartbeat
The table being hit by ny iron Ingers
Ouch! Hear the vibration pass between ny Ingers
Gone is the blue ñesh you created ne Iron...
Lveryone Iell asleep to leave ne to watch
A world no nore in existence yet lingers on
Passing each planet now evolved into tiny stars
l call then your dianonds, nother
Mother cut stones out oI the black silk worn by
Iather
l waited Ior liIe to rush into ny body
A soul without Iorn, iust pure inperceptible light
l couldn't watch nyselI endure the pain she caused ne
lI a new body oI existence is created, let her be a wonan!
To contain all aninals and plants within the wonb
A garden nourished by the spring ñowing Iron her breasts
5he gives two rivers Ior anything that breathes
My nother l once knew with a Iear oI her gentle yet tough exterior
Now, she is dead, waiting inside God's heart Ior ne to call her
l gave nyselI to the nan with penetrable skin and eye sockets without light
An act oI love to bring nyselI to non, only to Ind nyselI stuck in linbo
Image CC courtesy http://www.flickr.com/photos/aussiegall/759309122/
26 Online Pagans Magazine June 2010
Ritual, Pattern, Time &
Perception
by Ben Gruagach
W
iccans often describe the
sequence of annual cel-
ebrations or sabbats as the
Wheel of the Year. This imagery is
very apt. It illustrates the cyclical na-
ture of reality: what we celebrate now
will come around again in due time.
It also helps us see the sabbats as
part of a greater whole. Each sabbat
is a spoke on the great Wheel. As
the Wheel turns, the seasons turn,
and as the seasons come and go our
lives progress through a repeating
sequence of celebrations, times of
work and times of rest.
We humans have a tendency to spi-
ral our attention down to focus on
the small details of our lives. There
is great beauty in the smallest detail
just as there is magnificence in the
larger patterns. Unfortunately, fo-
cusing on the small details often re-
sults in losing sight of the larger pat-
tern. We sometimes gain a skewed
sense of proportion and importance
from paying too much attention to
the small details at the expense of
keeping the larger picture in mind.
Balance is important.
When you perform a ritual do you
worry and fuss over every little de-
tail? Do you feel your ritual is a fail-
ure if you stumble over a word or ges-
ture or cue? Do you worry that your
ritual tools are not quite perfect? Do
you obsess over having just the right
people in the right places at the right
times for your rituals?
Relax!
Rituals are a dance: even if a specific
step is missed, the overall feeling and
Celebrating fire at Midsummer. Photo by B. Gruagach.
June 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 27
pattern is more important. Rituals
are a work of art: even if a particular
brushstroke in one spot isn’t quite
right, the overall balance of colour,
form, expression, and subject mat-
ter is more important. Rituals are a
song: we might miss a note, but what
is in our hearts and how much effort
we put into the song, and whether
we enjoy ourselves in the process, is
much more important.
Try and see your rituals as a whole.
What is the overall pattern of the rit-
ual? Does it express the intent, the
emotion, the central idea you have in
your heart? How does the ritual fit
in to a larger pattern of days, weeks,
months, years, and even generations?
Does the ritual help you feel more in
tune with the Divine?
In “The Charge of the Goddess”
the Great Lady tells us: “All acts of
love and pleasure are My rituals.”
She doesn’t say that rituals must be
precise in order to please Her. She
doesn’t say that mistakes in wording,
gesture, or sequence will disappoint
Her. Her words leave it all very open
for us to decide how we will express
those acts of love and pleasure. She
might actually like our mistakes in
ritual if we laugh at ourselves when
they happen.
Perception is an amazing thing. We
are blessed with an amazing flexibili-
ty in our senses and ability to process
information. When we focus our at-
tention we can become oblivious to
the things that rage around us. For
instance, when you are watching a
good movie how often do you fail to
notice the people who might be sit-
ting around you, the traffic outside,
what the weather is like, how your
clothes feel on your body? When
you get wrapped up in a good book
isn’t it amazing how time can just fly
by?
We can stretch our senses the other
way too and notice things that we
often overlook if we just turn our
awareness in the right direction.
Can you hear things around you,
like the ventilation system in the
building where you are now? Do you
hear traffic, people, birds or animals
nearby? Can you hear the wind? Do
your clothes make sounds as you
shift and move?
As you focus your attention it’s com-
mon for awareness of time to shift
as well. Time can appear to stretch
out or to compact itself so that an
hour can seem like just a few min-
utes. During ritual it often happens
that time just slips by unnoticed. Yet
if we focus on the small details, wor-
rying and obsessing about whether
we did a gesture just right, time can
crawl.
One way to balance out our percep-
tions to go into a ritual with a healthy
outlook is to ground first. Ground-
ing puts us in contact with our foun-
dation, Mother Earth. It gives us a
moment to calm down, smooth out
our perhaps conflicting emotions,
and find a still peace from which
to flow into the dance that is ritual.
You can’t ground too much before a
ritual (unless it puts you to sleep!) but
it is possible to not ground enough
before a ritual. When we go into a
ritual without sufficient grounding
we increase the risk of getting side-
tracked by the details.
Slowing down, breathing deeply in
a slow measured pace, and touching
inner stillness if only for a moment
is probably the most basic way to
ground. Feel the Earth beneath you
and know in your heart that She is
there to hold you up. When you feel
at ease you are ready to proceed.
Grounded perceptions help us to
grasp the larger significance of our
rituals. We can throw ourselves
wholeheartedly into the perfor-
mance of the ritual, mistakes and all,
and see the end result of the ritual as
just a closing bar in the song rather
than mistaking results for the whole
thing. Artists often describe their
art as a process as much as a fin-
ished product. The creation of the
product is as important as the final
product. They are both, process and
product, part of the whole.
During my coven’s recent Midsum-
mer celebrations, as the sultry night
embraced us at the end of the day
we decided to dance on the lawn in
honor of the faeries while holding
sparklers and glow sticks. I brought
my digital camera along and snapped
some amazing photos using the low-
light mode. While we were caught
up in dancing around with our spar-
klers, waving them around in pat-
terns both random and purposeful,
the camera was able to capture some
of the magick in slices of time that
are not visible to the human eye.
And as if to illustrate the time-aware-
ness effect even more, we had to wait
each time a picture was taken before
we could see what it looked like on
the camera’s little screen. When
making a purposeful design with a
sparkler we had to just trust in the
process and let the details take care
of themselves. And the results were
amazing.
Spiritual ritual is the same. We might
not have the ability, right now, to see
the larger picture. All we might have
visible to us at the moment are the
small details that drive us crazy be-
cause they seem so nit-picky. If we
can trust in ourselves, in the Divine,
and in the process of the ritual then
we might find that the larger pattern
does come together.
And that is when real magick touch-
es our lives.
*** This article was originally published
in Circle Magazine issue 94, Summer
2005. ***
28 Online Pagans Magazine June 2010
The Wiccan Rede and the
Law of Threefold Return
by Ben Gruagach
S
ome modern Wiccans have de-
cided to not include the Wiccan
Rede and the Law of Threefold
Return in their philosophy. Some
even argue that statements like the
Threefold Law aren’t Wiccan at all
1
.
The usual arguments are that the
Wiccan Rede, “An’ it harm none, do
what you will” is too simplistic and
is impossible to follow, and the Law
of Threefold Return is a Christian
concept that is punishing in essence.
Both of these arguments are based
on rather shallow interpretations
and aren’t supported by historical
documentation about Wicca, at
least as Gerald Gardner promoted it.
Modern Wiccans are free to aban-
don or adopt philosophies into their
practice as they see fit, but should
take responsibility for these choices
rather than trying to justify them
based on weak arguments.
The word “rede” means “advice” -
it’s not a commandment like the
Christian ten commandments are
supposed to be absolute. It’s a guide-
line, a suggestion, about how a Wic-
can can try and live their life. There
1. Phyllis Curott in an excerpt from chap-
ter seven of her book “Witch Crafting,”
on the web at http://www.randomhouse.
com/features/witchcrafting/witchcraft.
html
is no punishment implied for a Wic-
can who fails to live up to the advice.
The essential lesson of the Rede is
all about being responsible for your
own actions or lack of actions. Yes,
choosing to not act is an action too!
It means that we should take respon-
sibility for what we do in our lives as
much as possible, and accept respon-
sibility for the consequences of what
we do or through inaction fail to do.
That means that when we act in a
mundane or magickal way we have
to think about what it is we’re doing
and how it affects the web of every-
thing that is touched by our actions.
Everything is connected so what we
do affects all sorts of things. Acting
mindlessly is irresponsible by the
standard of the Rede as acting mind-
lessly means we haven’t considered
the harm that could be involved.
Just being alive means we’re doing
harm to something, as many critics
of the Rede have noted. Microbes
die as we breathe, and as our bod-
ies’ white blood cells attack other
microscopic life forms that are invad-
ing our bodies. Insects die when we
walk around. Plants and animals die
so we might eat. It’s all about try-
ing to be conscious of the impact we
have on everything else, and making
decisions about how we will live and
act.
The Threefold Law (or idea that “for
every action there is a reaction”) is
not the same thing as the Wiccan
Rede, but the two ideas are closely
intertwined. The Threefold Law is
a variation of the scientific law “for
every action there is an equal and
opposite reaction,” or the ecologi-
cal understanding that everything
is connected. When we act the im-
pact of our actions will come back
to us somehow. We can’t do things
maliciously towards others (like
magickal cursing) and expect to not
suffer some fallout from our actions.
While it’s not necessarily possible to
quantify what is sent out comes back
three times or more, the ecological
understanding that all is connected
ensures the results do most definitely
come back to affect the originator in
some form.
Both the Wiccan Rede and the
Threefold Law are attributed in
some form back to Gardner. As the
founder and initial popularizer of
what we know today as Wicca, to say
that the Wiccan Rede or Threefold
Law is not Wiccan is to betray a lack
of historical knowledge.
June 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 29
Gerald Gardner
mentions the
idea of the Wic-
can Rede (“harm
none” and “do
what you will”) in
his book “Witch-
craft Today.” Do-
reen Valiente, one
of Gardner’s early
High Priestesses,
discusses the ori-
gins and develop-
ment of the Rede
at some length in the chapter “Witch
Ethics” of her book “Witchcraft for
Tomorrow.” Janet and Stewart Far-
rar also discuss the Rede at some
length in their chapter on ethics in
“A Witches Bible.” Raymond Buck-
land, who was initiated by Gardner’s
High Priestess Monique Wilson
(“Lady Olwen”) also insists that the
Wiccan Rede is a central point of
Gardnerian philosophy in his “The
Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of
Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-pagan-
ism.”
The Threefold Law is also identi-
fied as a Gardnerian teaching by
Raymond Buckland in “The Witch
Book.” There is clear evidence of
this in the second degree initiation
ceremony from the core Gardnerian
Book of Shadows. In this ceremony,
it is explained to the initiate that ev-
erything returns threefold, and as a
symbol of this, the initiate scourges
their initiator three times the num-
ber of strokes administered in the
first degree initiation. The one who
administered the first degree scourg-
ing therefore receives it back three-
fold.
The Threefold Law isn’t a Christian
philosophy, but more likely bor-
rowed from Hinduism where it is
usually known as the Law of Karma.
Despite the claim that it is a punish-
ment and therefore a philosophy of
deterrence, it is described more in
terms of ecological unity – every-
thing is connected, so what is sent
out will undoubtedly come back in
some form. This is not a philosophy
of punishment but one of unity. If
one sends out peace and love, the ex-
pectation is that peace and love will
come back in some form.
The Wiccan Rede and Threefold
Law can be a sophisticated basis for
a religious philosophy for those who
examine it in some depth. It is not
necessarily a philosophy for every-
one. One of the greatest strengths
of the modern pagan community is
that there is room for lots of variety
and difference. While the Wiccan
Rede and Threefold Law do not have
to be part of all Wiccans’ philosophy,
they are very much part of historical
Wicca despite claims to the contrary.
Waterfall at the Min-
nesota Landscape Ar-
boretum, MN USA.
Photo by B. Gruagach
30 Online Pagans Magazine June 2010
Pagan Destinations:
Temple of Sekhmet,
Indian Springs NV USA
by Ben Gruagach
The Temple of Sekhmet is a Goddess-worship site dedicated by Genevieve Vaughan in 1993. It is located just out-
side Indian Springs Nevada, about fifty minutes by car north west of Las Vegas. Set in a breathtaking desert land-
scape one truly feels humbled and in the presence of the Divine.
These photos were taken during a vacation in 2005. You can see more photos, and learn more about the temple
and events held there, by visiting http://www.sekhmettemple.com/
June 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 31
The stunning landscape where the Temple is located outside Indian Springs, Nevada USA.
32 Online Pagans Magazine June 2010
The Temple of Sekhmet as you approach from the parking area.
June 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 33
A few of the shrines set aside for specific goddesses within the temple.
34 Online Pagans Magazine June 2010
The impressive Earth Mother within the temple.
June 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 35
The temple’s central fire pit, with the Earth Mother in the background.
36 Online Pagans Magazine June 2010
Sekhmet, the lion-headed tutelary Goddess of the temple.
June 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 37
The Peace Pole erected on the Temple grounds.
(Note the clumps of vegetation growing in the branches of the tree -- that’s mistletoe!)
38 Online Pagans Magazine June 2010
June 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 39
The roof of the Temple of Sekhmet is open to the sky.