Posts Tagged ‘Samhain’

News & Submissions 10/18/2011

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Interview:

Interview with Author Dorothy Morrison
Dorothy Morrison is the author of a number of books on Wicca and Paganism, including the brand new Utterly Wicked. Dorothy was able to take some time out from her busy tour schedules to answer a few questions for About.com.

Health:

Accepting death is difficult for patients and doctors, but it needs to be done
My 64-year-old patient with terminal cancer and less than six months to live wanted to go to Oregon. He was contemplating assisted suicide, which is legal there. “My life has been long and good,” he said. “I believe it is my right. I want the ability to say it’s too much, I can’t do it anymore. A person should have a dignified quality of life.”

Another one of my patients, an 84-year-old woman from a nursing home, had heart failure, lung failure and kidney failure. She lay in her bed on a ventilator and on a dialysis machine with little hope for survival.“We want everything done,” her daughter insisted. “It’s in God’s hands, and God can do miracles.” For weeks we continued aggressive and ultimately futile efforts to keep her alive. Read full story from washingtonpost.com

News:

GOP presidential hopeful courts pagans
Gary Johnson’s unorthodox campaign for the Republican presidential nomination continued Sunday, when he spoke at a Google+ town hall conducted by representatives of various pagan media outlets.

The former New Mexico governor spoke with members of the Pagan Newswire Collective, ModernWitch Podcast and Patheos.com, among others. He said it was important to reach out to voters that fall outside the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths, and slammed his own party for being too beholden to the Christian right. Read full story from thehill.com

Religion:

Pastor defends teacher accused of anti-gay rant
UNION, N.J. — The pastor of a high school teacher who has been vilified for an anti-gay tirade on Facebook came to the woman’s defense, calling her a “very loving person” who should not be fired for expressing her religious beliefs.

The Rev. Milton B. Hobbs, pastor of New Covenant Fellowship in Clark, N.J., said special education teacher Viki Knox is not homophobic and that her comments, when taken in the context of the Bible, were not false.

Knox, 49, an ordained minister at the church and a faculty adviser for a student Bible study group, wrote on her Facebook page that homosexuality was a “perverted spirit” and a “sin” that “breeds like cancer.” Read full story from washingtonpost.com

Shamanism: Religion next door to medicine
Shamanism is the national religion in many regions of the Earth, including Yakutia. The ancient belief has survived the Soviet persecution of religion. During those atheist years the Yakut shamans were hiding their abilities. The remaining oyuuns, as they were called by the local population, and Udege (female shamans) soon found a loophole. With a talent for medicine, they found work as medical staff and veterinarians. Hiding under the guise of the Soviet medicine, Yakut shamans secretly conducted their magical rituals. Read full story from pravda.ru

Samhain:

Halloween: Everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask
“As far as history goes, it’s supposed to be the eve of All Saints Day,” Thad says. “I think they’re supposed to drive evil spirits away. That’s when they believed all that stuff. We just like to see the little kids dressed up.”

While many people view the Oct. 31 celebration as harmless fun, others express concerned about its origin.

The Encyclopedia Americana says, “Elements of the customs connected with Halloween can be traced to a Druid ceremony in pre-Christian times. The Celts had festivals for two major gods — a sun god (called Lug) and a god of the dead, called Samhain, whose festival was held on Nov. 1, the beginning of the Celtic New Year.” Read full story from clevelandbanner.com

Media:

Who does God want in the White House? (Source: CNN)

Blogspot:

Feel free to leave comments regarding the articles posted.

If you’re interested in guest blogging or would like to submit an article or event, contact me at pagansworld.org@gmail.com.

Thanks for stopping by! Well wishes to you all, have a great day!

Lisa

News & Submissions 10/4/2011

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Arts & Entertainment:

Harry Potter tour hopes to cast spell on UK Muggles
As all good students of the Harry Potter saga know well, Muggles are not usually allowed at Hogwarts school of witchcraft of wizardry. However, a new exhibition will soon give those not gifted with magical powers the chance to see some of the famous Potter film sets, such as the Great Hall and Dumbledore’s office, for themselves. Read full story from guardian.co.uk

The enchantments of witch fiction
Being a witch or wizard in the Potterverse, or in many other magical landscapes, is an exciting and desirable state – special, talented, glamorously outside the norm.  But there are also contexts in children’s literature, particularly in historical fiction, fantasy or the bleed-space between genres, in which a little magic – or just the suspicion of it – is a dangerous thing.  To be accused of witchcraft, whether truthfully, maliciously or both, may cause characters to be shunned or tormented by their communities, interrogated by frightening figures of authority, or even put to death if their luck runs finally out. Read full story from guardian.co.uk

Environment:

30 Million Plastic Bags Collected by School Kids to Save a Species
They’re like little troll dolls with tails. These super cute and super tiny animals are Cotton-Top Tamarins, found only in Columbia, and they’re about to disappear from the wild. But clever strategies for saving the forest in which they live have been devised by Proyecto Tití, from collecting plastic bags polluting the forest and turning them into marketable products to finding new sources of cooking fuel that spares trees. Read full story from treehugger.com

News:

‘Witch’ hunt continues in Rajasthan
Bhilwara (Rajasthan): A 60-year-old woman in Rajasthan’s Bhilwara says she was branded a witch, tortured and banished from her village, police said on Tuesday.

The incident took place in Fuliakhurd village in Bhilwara district, some 250 km from state capital Jaipur, and a case has been registered against four villagers. Police say an inquiry has been ordered.

“A group of people broke open the door of my house on Monday and started beating me. They held me by my hair and dragged me, saying I was a ‘dayan’ (witch). Then they ordered me to leave the village immediately,” the woman said in her complaint.

“They ostracised her and claimed that she was a ‘dayan’ (witch) and possessed an evil spirit,” a senior police officer said. Read full story from india.com

Religion:

Strange YouTube video claims Irish college hosts Satanic church – VIDEO
Here’s a strange one to start the week with.

According to Irish third level website StudentNews.ie, University College Cork — better known for recently accumulating such accolades as a five star quality rating from QS, and the Sunday Times Irish University of the Year — is in fact also playing host to a satanic religious institution on its main campus.

The Honan Chapel, known to students as the on-campus chapel, and also a popular wedding venue for those a little past their college-going years, boasts eerie satantic imagery according to this video from YouTube. Read full story from irishcentral.com

Attacks on Buddhists in Southern Region of Thailand
Bangkok, Thailand (CHAKRA)—In the southern region of the Narathiwat province, three consecutive bomb explosions killed four Malaysians as well as a Thai volunteer that was working in a tourist area. Concern has risen for the area, especially because officials believe that the targets of such blasts are foreign tourists. The specific targets of the blasts were a hotel and a Chinese-Thai cultural center, which were both partly damaged. These spoils have reminded the government of the ethnic minority problems that exist in the south. Read full story from chakranews.com

Samhain:

Samhain — Nature’s Holy Day for Managing Seasonal Affective Disorder
In the Northern Hemisphere, neopagans celebrate Samhain as the last harvest, the point at which the day has shortened and winter is setting in. Some modern pagans consider it the “witch’s new year,” though in other traditions, Samhain marked only the end of the year. The beginning of the year, the “new year,” came with the promise of light’s return at Yule, several weeks later. The span between the two stellar points was considered untime — a sacred experience outside our usual observation of time and space. Thus, an understanding of cyclic “Dead Time,” or “Dark Time,” entered our consciousness. Read full story from huffingtonpost.com

Media:

Dalai Lama scraps trip to South Africa; Tutu lashes out (Source: CNN)

Blogspot:

  • Capital Witch – Starhawk and Pagan Cluster to Occupy Freedom Plaza
  • Daughters of Eve – Lost in Translation… or maybe not
  • Patheos – Don’t Worry, Wicca Isn’t A Real Religion (A Rant)
  • The Wild Hunt – Virginia Court Says Divination Not A Religious Practice

Feel free to leave comments regarding the articles posted.

If you’re interested in guest blogging or would like to submit an article or event, contact me at pagansworld.org@gmail.com.

Thanks for stopping by! Well wishes to you all, have a great day!

Lisa

News & Submissions 9/29/2011

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Arts & Entertainment:

The Biggest Logic Fails in The Vampire Diaries Season 3, Episode 2: “The Hybrid”
The Vampire Diaries is a show where witches can bring back people from the dead, vampires kiss humans instead of ripping their throats out, and werewolves have silky smooth chests when they haven’t transformed. And we accept all of this without the blink of the eye. Yet it’s the little things that make us scoff and say, “that would never happen.” Check out the biggest logic fails from Season 3, Episode 2, “The Hybrid.” Read full story from wetpaint.com

More Creepy Footage from 1988 in Second ‘Paranormal Activity 3′ Clip
Earlier this morning we told you about a VHS cassette and player that arrived at our house that featured the first ever clip from Paramount Pictures’ Paranormal Activity 3, which arrives in theaters October 21. Another cassette has turned up and features more creepy footage, this time from September 3 of 1988. Check it out inside. Read full story from bloody-disgusting.com

News:

Woman walks naked to reunite with lover, rescued
CHENNAI: A 25-year-old woman, spotted walking naked to a temple in the Chennai suburb of Pallavaram on Tuesday night in a reported bid to reunite with her lover, was handed over to her parents on Wednesday.

Renuga (name changed) had come from Cheyyar in Tiruvannamalai district to fulfill the ‘vow’ on the advice of a woman practitioner of witchcraft, the police said. Read full story from indiatime.com

Teenager died from ‘suffocation’ in exorcism
A teenage girl thought by her father to have been possessed by an ‘evil spirit’ died from suffocation during an exorcism, it has been reported.

Tomomi Maishigi’s father and a monk performed a ‘waterfall service’ on the 13-year-old where she was allegedly bound to a chair by a belt and placed face-up underneath a water pump for five minutes at a Buddhist church in Kumamoto, south Japan. Read full story from yahoo.com

Paranormal:

Paranormal group scares up spooky tours in East Bridgewater
EAST BRIDGEWATER —Take a healthy dose of local history, add some props and costumed characters, throw in dark nights and a visit to Central Cemetery – and you have the makings for a spooky evening on the Historic Ghost Tour of East Bridgewater Village.

For the fourth year, the Massachusetts Area Paranormal Society will be hosting the ghost tours on Friday and Saturday nights, starting Friday and lasting through Nov. 5.

“It’s historic, it’s educational, it’s exercise, it’s scary, it’s just a real fun-filled night, ” said Lorrie Parker, tour organizer. Read full story from enterprisenews.com

Religion:

New Archaeological Find Discovered: Holy Trinity “Lie” Uncovered
An unprecedented new discovery—which some predict will “devastate” Christianity in the years to come—seems to show that the “Holy Trinity” of “God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit” is nothing more than a pale echo of an ancient and very powerful “Three-in-One” religion once common throughout Europe.

Richard Cassaro’s controversial new book, “Written in Stone: Decoding the Secret Masonic Religion Hidden in Gothic Cathedrals and World Architecture,” exposes the Christian religion as a Potemkin village of watered-down paganism by exposing what he calls the “Great Lie of the Trinity” that suppressed the spiritual traditions of ancient Europe and covered up important spiritual practices and principles that had been the guiding light of man for thousands of years. Read full story from prweb.com

Samhain:

Sláinte! Feile Na Marbh
That which we know as All Hallows Eve actually began as a harvest festival several millennia ago in Ireland. Though the evening’s popular colors are black and orange, they might as well be Forty Shades of Green, for the customs of the celebration are Irish as the shamrock.

The ancient Celtic year was divided by the four seasons and reckoned by a lunar calendar. The full moon that rose midway between the Autumnal Equinox and Winter Solstice was called Samhain. It was the most scary and sacred time of all. Read full story from irishcentral.com

Media:

Saudi woman driver to be lashed (Source: YouTube – AlJazeeraEnglish)

Blogspot:

Feel free to leave comments regarding the articles posted.

If you’re interested in guest blogging or would like to submit an article or event, contact me at pagansworld.org@gmail.com.

Thanks for stopping by! Well wishes to you all, have a great day!

Lisa

Hump Day Herbs – Hawthorn

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Hawthorn

Botanical Name: Crataegus Oxyacantha

Folk Names: Ban-Sangli, Bread and Cheese Tree, Gazels, Hagthorn, Halves, Haw, Hazels, Hedgethorn, Huath, Ladie’ Meat, May, Mayblossom, May Bush, Mayflower, Quick, Thorn, Tree of Chastity.


© Copyright David Hawgood and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Hawthorn is a member of Rosaceae family. A spiny tree or shrub, native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere in Europe, Asia and North America, It may reach a height of 30 feet.

The hawthorn has been regarded as the symbol of hope. The branches were carried by the ancient Greeks in wedding processions, and were used to deck the altar of Hymenaios. In Celtic folklore, the hawthorn plant was used commonly for rune inscriptions along with Yew and Apple. It was also used to heal a broken heart. In Serbian and Croatian folklore, hawthorn is deadly to vampires, and a stake used for slaying must be made from its wood. In Gaelic folklore, hawthorn marks the entrance to the other-world’ and is strongly associated with fairies. It has been said, it is very unlucky to cut the tree at any time other than when it is in bloom, during this time it is cut and decorated as a May Bush. (Beltane)

Deities: Cardea, Flora, Hymen

Element: Fire (Courage, Exorcism, Health, Lust, Protection, Strength)

Gender: Masculine

Planet: Mars (Courage, Exorcism, Hex-Breaking, Lust, Protection, Sexual Potency, Strength)

Powers: Chastity, Fertility, Fishing Magic, Happiness

Medicinal Uses: Hawthorn helps to lessen pain in the heart and adjacent areas. It also increases warmth in cold hands and feet where the drop in temperature is due to poor circulation. Hawthorn can also play a part in lowering cholesterol levels and removing plaque that has accumulated in the arteries. The plant parts used medicinally are usually sprigs with both leaves and flowers, or alternatively the fruit.

Magical Uses: At Beltane, the blossoms are used to symbolize love and the union of marriage. Newlywed couples will dance around a Hawthorn tree to bless and ensure a long and fruitful marriage.

Young women would eagerly await the first blossoms. When found after appropriate regard to the trees guardian spirit, a sprig of the blossom would be taken and kept as a charm to encourage the interest of a suitable husband.

It is said the Hawthorn is sacred to Fairies. Make a wish, then tie ribbons and shreds of personal belongings to the thorn, as a gift to the Fairies. The strips should be symbolically appropriate to the nature of the wish, (i.e. blue for health, pink or red for love, green or gold for prosperity) and if pleased, they would grant your wish.

Care should be taken when removing any of its branches. Damage to the tree is said to anger the guardian spirit. Any Hawthorn tree standing alone should be avoided, and only parts from trees forming hedges should be taken. In Ireland and Britain it is part of the fairy-tree triad known as the:  “Oak, Ash and Thorn”, and where all three trees grow together it is said that one may see the fairies.

The tree is regarded as a powerful symbol of protection, and often planted near a house to protect it against lightning and damage from storms.  In the past most witch’s gardens contained at least one Hawthorn tree, to protect the house against evil spirits. In Ireland it is believed that food left over from the May Eve dinner should not be wasted, but left near the Hawthorn tree as an offering to the spirits that inhabit the tree.

Hawthorn wood is excellent for making talismans and wands for protection, health and luck, as well as tools in rituals to enhance spiritual development and communication.  If you cut a piece of live wood from a tree, be sure to do so with reverence and thanks to the tree’s guardian before hand.  Another option, take the discarded branches to be found after a heavy storm. To make a talisman, strip off the bark while the branch is still green and before it dries hard onto the wood. Store it outside until you are ready to work with it, this will stop the wood from drying out too quickly. Carving is easily done on green wood before it dries. The wood of the Hawthorn is especially hard.

Another custom was to make a Hawthorn globe or charm ball from its twigs and foliage. This is made at first light on the old Celtic New Year’s Day (Samhain) and tied with a white ribbon.  The old charm ball from the previous year is then burned on a bonfire of straw, ash twigs and acorns.  This represents all the previous years troubles.  Your new hopes and aspirations can then be forged into the new globe and hung in a safe place until the next New Year.

Ritual Uses: May poles were once decorated by the Hawthorn, where witches have long danced and performed rites  It was also believed that the thorn were witches transformed. Use Hawthorn to cleanse an area before ritual, protection spells, attract love or communicate with those who have passed.

Other Uses: The wood of some hawthorn trees can be very hard and resistant to rot. It has been used for tool handles and fence posts in North America.

Warning: May interfere with digitalis medications.

References:

Note: Consult with a Physician or a certified herbologist if you are seeking medical remedies. The information is not intended as medical advice. PagansWorld.org is not liable for the misuse of the herb listed above.

Thanks for stopping by! Well wishes to you all, have a great day!

Lisa

News & Submissions 11/28/2010

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

Masters of Math, From Old Babylon
If the cost of digging a trench is 9 gin, and the trench has a length of 5 ninda and is one-half ninda deep, and if a worker’s daily load of earth costs 10 gin to move, and his daily wages are 6 se of silver, then how wide is the canal?

Or, a better question: if you were a tutor of Babylonian scribes some 4,000 years ago, holding a clay tablet on which this problem was incised with cuneiform indentations — the very tablet that can now be seen with 12 others from that Middle Eastern civilization at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World — what could you take for granted, and what would you need to explain to your students? In what way did you think about measures of time and space? How did you calculate? Did you believe numbers had an abstract existence, each with its own properties? Read full story from nytimes.com

How the Internet Changed Paganism
The Internet is a wonderful tool used by numerous people worldwide. Although some might not admit it, most people rely on the Internet for most things that they do. Now, how does this relate to Paganism, one might ask? Well it seems that the Internet has made information on Paganism and the various traditions that it encompasses (i.e. Druidism, Wicca, etc) more accessible to people now a days. There are many articles on Paganism available to read on the Internet (not all are good but there are many informative pieces out there) .

If it weren’t for the wonder that is the world wide Internet, I probably would not be on the spiritual path that I am today- I cannot say that for sure but it is improbable. To be honest, I can’t quite remember exactly how I ended up typing “Wicca” into the Google search engine on my laptop computer. However, what I do know is that for some reason I did and it led me to reading various articles on the religion, that I now call my own. It led me to discover that there is a spiritual path that seems to encompass basically everything that I believe- in terms of what the divine is. It felt to me like I finally had found the spiritual path that I was meant to be on. Many people will understand what I am saying by this; that something which had been missing was finally filled. In fact, Wicca helped me become a better person and Paganism in general, is something that I find myself feeling extremely passionate about. Read full story from witchvox.com

Istanbul Treats Its Famous and Beautiful Bosphorus Strait Like a Trash Can, Turkish NGO Says
From the deck of a boat bobbing on its surface, Istanbul’s Bosphorus Strait seems to flow fresh and strong, breathing air and energy into the city it divides into two continents. When anchored in a secluded cove near the Black Sea end of the strait, it even feels clean enough to swim in. But what lies underneath the waves is apparently another matter altogether.

“Everywhere there are people, there is pollution,” Hakan Tiryaki, the head of the Underwater Cleaning Movement (STH), which works to raise awareness about aquatic pollution, told the Turkish newspaper Hürriyet. Members of the group have dived down to the seabed 250 times since 2005 and say the strait is full of garbage — from old furniture to boat parts, cleaning supplies to restaurant trash. And, of course, plenty of plastic bags. STH divers have removed more than 16,000 pieces of solid waste from just one part of the waterway. Read full story from treehugger.com

Wicken Traditions in Salem During Halloween
Halloween in Salem—the phrase generally conjures up images of reveling party-goers dressed as scantily as possible, roaming the streets for a night of fun and excess. Halloween is taken to the extreme here in Salem, as anyone who ventures downtown can confess. College students are especially revved up for Halloween, since their celebrating typically includes partying in costumes, stuffing their faces with candy, and generally having a good time.

For some of us, however, there is more to Halloween than ghosts and ghouls and sexy French maid costumes. To the Wiccan and Pagan community, Halloween is a sacred holiday which stems from the ancient Celtic New Year known as “Samhain” (pronounced “Sow-ain”). Samhain is traditionally celebrated as the end of the harvest season, and also as a time when the veil between the living and the dead was at its thinnest. Read full story from salemstatelog.com

In Salem, Life After Halloween
It’s no surprise to Salem residents and to SSU students alike that the city of Salem is a madhouse in the days leading up to and on Halloween. However, now that the season has come and gone with Thanksgiving and Christmas on the horizon, what happens to all the businesses that thrive off their long-gone cash-cow month?

Since Salem’s 300th anniversary in 1992 of the Witch Hysteria, the city has seen a regular increase in the number of revelers out to enjoy the month-long Haunted Happenings celebrations.

According to Destination Salem, Salem’s tourist office, there has been a 12 percent increase in the number of visitors since last year, and it is estimated that the October season pumps approximately $9 million into the local economy. So what happens now to all our local tourist traps after Halloween? Read full story from salemstatelog.com

One scientist’s hobby: recreating the ice age
CHERSKY, Russia – Wild horses have returned to northern Siberia. So have musk oxen, hairy beasts that once shared this icy land with woolly mammoths and saber-toothed cats. Moose and reindeer are here, and may one day be joined by Canadian bison and deer.

Later, the predators will come — Siberian tigers, wolves and maybe leopards.

Russian scientist Sergey Zimov is reintroducing these animals to the land where they once roamed in millions to demonstrate his theory that filling the vast emptiness of Siberia with grass-eating animals can slow global warming. Read full story from yahoo.com

Spanish woman claims ownership of the Sun
MADRID (AFP) – After billions of years the Sun finally has an owner — a woman from Spain’s soggy region of Galicia said Friday she had registered the star at a local notary public as being her property.

Angeles Duran, 49, told the online edition of daily El Mundo she took the step in September after reading about an American man who had registered himself as the owner of the moon and most planets in our Solar System. Read full story from yahoo.com

Leaking Siberian ice raises a tricky climate issue (source USA Today)

The Sahara Solar Breeder Project (source DigInfo)

Psychic Healers: Shamanic Healing Teacher Answers Essential Questions (source rillara.com)

News & Submissions 11/19/2010

Friday, November 19th, 2010

Astronomers Discover Alien Planet In Our Milky Way
We’ve talked about colliding galaxies on this blog before. But this piece of science news today is a little weirder: The journal Science reports that astronomers have found the first extragalactic exoplanet in our Milkyway. Read full story from npr.org

Ghost caught on camera
People who are open to the supernatural see ghosts everywhere. For instance a speck of dust as it moves on an air current and caught in a camera flash becomes an ‘orb’: a ball of otherworldly energy left by the souls of the departed. Read full story from manchesterconfidential.co.uk

Cherokee Nation News Release
The Cherokee Nation is in the beginning stages of developing a Virtual Library of Cherokee Knowledge, a web-based system designed to provide Cherokee citizens and the general public access to a comprehensive digital space filled with authentic Cherokee knowledge related to the tribe’s history, language, traditions, culture and leaders. Read full story from cherokee.org

Scientists capture antimatter atoms in particle breakthrough
(CNN) — Scientists have captured antimatter atoms for the first time, a breakthrough that could eventually help us to understand the nature and origins of the universe.

Researchers at CERN, the Geneva-based particle physics laboratory, have managed to confine single antihydrogen atoms in a magnetic trap.

This will allow them to conduct a more detailed study of antihydrogen, which will in turn allow scientists to compare matter and antimatter. Read full story from cnn.com

Fox News gets Sitting Bull history wrong
WASHINGTON – In the same week Fox News President Roger Ailes assailed President Barack Obama for being un-American, the Fox News website attempted to paint the president as out of touch for admiring Indian Chief Sitting Bull. But the network got its history wrong. Read full story from indiancountrytoday.com

Stoneham library revisits Spiritualism movement
Stoneham — Séances and medium meetings may sound like the practices of Salem witches, but these rituals were actually common in Stoneham, according to a local historian.

Spiritualism, which supports the idea that the dead can communicate with the living, was a popular belief among middle-class residents in Stoneham in the l870s, according to Medford historian Dee Morris. This Thursday, Nov. 18, Morris, who has been studying spiritualism for the past 15 years, discussed some of Stoneham’s most influential spiritualists in a free discussion at the Stoneham Public Library. Read full story from wickedlocal.com

MORRIS MEN ROUSE SPIRITS
BLOODSTONE Border Morris, pagans and druids gathered at the Longstone last Sunday (October 31) to celebrate the pagan festival of Samhain that falls on Halloween.

First the Morris dancers roused the spirits of the noontime gatherers at the Neolithic monument with a selection of their jaunty dances, incorporating stick brandishing and sparring along with menacing snarls and grimaces. Read full story from wgazette.co.uk

Bridgewater State offers magical course for those who grew up with Harry Potter
BRIDGEWATER —When her 11th birthday had come and gone, Kelsey Bergeron was disappointed that she hadn’t gotten an invitation to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Now 18, Bergeron still loves the Harry Potter book and film series she grew up with, and she has a unique opportunity to study them in college.

The Bridgewater State University freshman is enrolled in “The Ethics of Harry Potter,” a sociology seminar that relates the themes of J.K. Rowling’s fantasy series to the ideas of Aristotle. Read full story from wickedlocal.com

HARMONY – A NEW WAY OF LOOKING AT OUR WORLD (Source harmonymovie.com)

Harmony Movie Trailer from Balcony Films on Vimeo.

Bad boy rapper Shyne goes kosher (Source cnn.com)

News & Submissions 11/12/2010

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Astrological Gardening: Voodoo or Cool?
Personally, I think it’s very cool! Astrology has played an important role in gardening since our ancestors first began planting seeds in the soil to grow food, medicinal herbs and flowers. In ancient times the sun, moon and stars were critical because they were constants in our ancestors’ lives. Today we have the internet, iPhones and cable TV to remind us that the astounding celestial world outside is still spinning on schedule! Some gardeners and farmers may scoff at the idea of planting by the moon signs and phases while many others claim the natural rhythms of the universe helps to make their crops more prolific. These gardeners found that crops fared better when planted at certain times of the moon’s phase. My feeling is why not play around with it and see what happens? Take a small section of your garden and do a test run of planting crops according to the cyclical movement of the planets. (I wish I could tell you that I have tried planting by the moon but, sigh… I am just a fickle, impatient and impulsive gardener from New York City so I have not.) Read full story from huffingtonpost.com

Rubin Museum: Sacred Symbols Across Two Cultures
A museum is not the best place to view religious art. To get the full import of images with profound religious meaning you need music, chanting, incense, no buzz from the outside world. Museums by their very nature can’t reproduce the ambiance of a monastery or a cathedral, but they can gather materials you might never have the chance to see elsewhere. The Rubin Museum’s new show Embodying the Holy presents two distinct religious traditions, Eastern Orthodox and Tibetan Buddhist, in the most reverential manner possible in a museum in the heart of New York City. Read full story from luxist.com

Pagans are on the march – but are they harmless eccentrics or a dangerous cult?
Dressed in long, hooded cloaks, the women stand in a circle around an iron cauldron.

The chief witch sweeps her broom around the coven, making their circle a sacred space.

A candle is lit, incense is burnt, and spells are mixed in the cauldron.

These are the witches of Weymouth, the latest foot soldiers in the march of paganism in Britain. And this ceremony marks the festival of Samhain — the turning of the year from light to dark. Read full story from dailymail.co.uk

Hindus welcome inclusion of Paganism in UK’s Lincolnshire County schools
Nevada (US), Nov 11 : Hindus have welcomed the reports of Lincolnshire County Council in United Kingdom (UK) allowing its schools to teach Paganism to students along with six other world religions.

Welcoming the inclusion of Paganism, prominent Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that all religions were different ways to relate to the Divine, different responses to the Reality and were a positive sign of God’s generosity. Read full story from newkerala.com

OFFBEAT: Williamsburg, not just Salem, has its share of witch trials and folklore
DATELINE – - Colonial Williamsburg – - Philip Potempa is writing while traveling in Virginia this week.

While a student at Valparaiso University from 1988 to 1992, one of the history courses I truly enjoyed was HIST 316, The Great Witchcraft Delusion, taught with great zeal by Professor Marian Rubchak. Read full story from nwi.com

Earthen Mounds All that Remain of Ancient American Civilization (Source voanews.com)

News & Submissions 11/01/2010

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Friends honor Wiccan with Halloween burial
BARNEVELD — On a warm, sunny Halloween day, a group of 20 people drove up a rural road at Circle Sanctuary, a nature-based pagan church and ecological preserve here, to spread and inter the ashes of one of their own.

Bruce Parsons, of Milwaukee, who identified as a Wiccan or pagan, died in June at age 63, but his Circle Sanctuary ceremony was held Sunday afternoon, coinciding with the sanctuary’s green cemetery dedication. Read full story from madison.com

The PC’s guide to arresting a witch: It’s normal for people to be naked, bound and blindfolded and whatever you do, don’t touch their book of spells
When out pounding the beat for a spell, a policeman never knows when he might bump into a witch.

So it’s best to be prepared – with a 300-page guide which includes instructions on how to deal with members of the pagan community.

The Metropolitan Police has produced a diversity handbook offering officers a range of dos and don’ts when it comes to followers of a range of religions and beliefs, from atheism to Zoroastrianism, druidry and shamanism. Read full story from dailymail.co.uk

Arizona retiree says, ‘My witchery is my faith’
“It’s our new year. It’s the beginning of the new year for us. It’s the end of what we call the wheel of our year,” she said.

“Samhain to us is when the veil between the worlds are at the thinnest. It’s when you can call your ancestors, when you can honor the dead, when you can have more contact with the netherworlds and the other beings that are out there.” Read full story from lvrj.com

Magic circle charms visitors
SALEM — For Tammy Honickman and Lori Ann Busel, both practicing Wiccans, no place beats Salem for Halloween, which is their religion’s New Year.

“My best friend and I thought it was the best way to celebrate Samhain,” Honickman said. Samhain is the name for the Wiccan holiday on Oct. 31 when the dead are remembered. Read full story from salemnews.com

BBC accused of neglecting Christianity as it devotes air time to pagan festival
The BBC has been criticised for extensive coverage of a pagan festival to mark Halloween and accused of neglecting Christianity.

The corporation’s 24-hour news channel devoted considerable time to the celebrations in a riverside meadow where witches gathered to celebrate mark Samhain, the turning of the year from light to dark.

Dressed in hooded gowns, women were seen standing in a circle around a cauldron while ritualistic acts were conducted. Read full story from dailymail.com

Native Americans fill out census forms
Census Bureau and South Dakota tribes say new tactics to encourage American Indians to fill out the 2010 Census forms appear to be paying off.

Data recently released show the Yankton Sioux reservation had 55 percent of households mail back their forms, and the Flandreau Santee Sioux reservation had 53 percent.

That’s lower than the overall state participation rate of 76 percent but officials tell The Argus Leader they’re still pleased. Read full story from indiancountrytoday,com

Uprooted in hail’s wake, tribe wants help
KEWA PUEBLO, N.M. (AP) – For the first time in more than two years, Dominique Martinez, 2, has been able to sleep through the night.

Dominique, who suffers from cerebral palsy, had been struggling to breathe at night because of mold in her family’s home. After a hailstorm earlier this month damaged the family’s 1916 adobe home at Kewa Pueblo, Dominique was displaced along with four family members, including her sickly grandmother, Andrea Calabaza.

For the past week, they have been staying at the Love Your Heart Program administrative building, where offices are filled with cots, blankets and a few personal items for several displaced pueblo families. Read full story from indiancountrytoday.com

News & Submissions 10/28/2010

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Lifestyle?
Pagan Lifestyle? Christian Lifestyle?  Gay Lifestyle? Heterosexual lifestyle? Hippy Lifestyle? Green Lifestyle?

Huh?

I can’t speak for others, but I don’t have a ‘lifestyle’, I LIVE a LIFE.  No, not just A life, I live MY life. Read full story from fernsfrondblogpost.com

Anglesey Druids open book of the dead for Halloween
They will be holding a mourning tea at Glynllifon Mansion, Llandwrog, near Caernarfon, on Saturday to remember and celebrate loved ones who have died.

They believe this is the time when the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest. Read full story from bbc.co.uk

Druids Recognised; Daily Mail Angry
Druidry is to become the first pagan practice to be given official recognit­ion as a religion in the UK. After a four-year fight, the Druid Network has been granted charit­able status by the Charity Comm­ission for England and Wales, making it the first pagan group to be recognised under the 2006 Charities Act. This guarantees the group, set up in 2003, valuable tax breaks, although it doesn’t currently earn enough to benefit from this. It could also pave the way for other minority faiths to gain charitable status. Read full story from fourteantimes.com

Trick or Treating Debate: Saturday or Sunday?
There is a bit of a controversy brewing in this year’s Halloween cauldron over when to Trick or Treat. Each October 31st, little vampires, witches, ballerinas, and astronauts know it is time to head outside to fill their baskets, pillow cases, and buckets with candy.

But what happens when Halloween falls on a Sunday? Read full story from cnn.com

What, no pumpkins? Before Halloween went to Hollywood. .
Say the word ‘Halloween’ in most parts of the world, and the reaction will be: pumpkins, candy apples, trick or treating, lanterns, fancy-dress parties, and of course, teenagers getting sliced and diced in leafy Californian suburbs by masked maniacs with mommy issues.

Halloween, after all, is as American as apple pie and the Fourth of July, right? Read full story from independent.ie

Baltic diaspora and the rise of Neo-Paganism
RIGA – An interesting follow-up to last week’s article on the status of religion in the Baltics concerns the religious beliefs of the Baltic diaspora. Not often discussed, the religious tendencies of Latvians abroad do differ from Latvians in the homeland. In addition, the revival of ancient religions and neo-pagan movements also tend to have their base, not in the land where they began, but in the U.S. and Canada.

Ruta, age 86, came to Minnesota from a German displaced persons (DP) camp sponsored by the Lutheran church in 1950. Her story is nearly identical to thousands of others from Balts seeking to start a new life abroad after World War II. She explains in her own words what religion means to her. Read full story from baltictimes.com

Hitler, The Holocaust and the Vatican’s Blood Libel Against Paganism
Today, many people erroneously believe that there is a vast difference between Paganism and the Occult. This is a common and understandable misconception; therefore I shall try to shed a little more light on the subject.

Paganism is an earth-orientated way of intimately synchronising oneself with the planet that we call home and the changing seasonal cycles, for the benefit of self and others. Read full story from ufodigest.com

Burning Holy Books Is A Loathsome Act: Prof. John Hare
Prof. John E. Hare is the Noah Porter Professor of Philosophical Theology at the Yale University’s Divinity School. A British classicist, philosopher and ethicist, he is the author of several well-known and best-selling books in religion and morality including “God and Morality: A Philosophical History”, “The Moral Gap”, “Ethics and International Affairs”, “Why Bother Being Good” and “Plato’s Euthyphro”.

John Hare has in his background the experience of teaching philosophy at the University of Lehigh from 1975 to 1989. In his “God’s Call” book, Hare discusses the divine command theory of morality, analyzing texts in Duns Scotus, Kant and contemporary moral theory. Read full story from eurasiareview.com

A Peek Inside a Haunted Mansion (Source mercurynews,com)

Zen at your desk: how to meditate (Source cnn.com)

News & Submissions 10/27/2010

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Witch Direction: The group for Leeds pagans
I’m proud of Witch Direction and the way we have grown stronger together over time.

The group used to be called the Leeds Pagan Moot before I took it over about a year ago. Read full story from yorkshireeveningpost.com

Alabama Wiccans find faith in nature
What do most students think of when they think of witches? Harry Potter? Halloween? “Hocus Pocus?”

Instead of thinking of fictional characters or a secular holiday, there is a more serious religious ideology that can be associated with the word witch. A number of Alabama citizens and local Tuscaloosa and Birmingham residents practice paganism or Wicca, which is a neo-pagan religion. Read full story from cw.ua.edu

Letter: Bible prohibits tattoos, piercing
A Oct. 9 article cited the Church of Body Modification as a genuine religion, arguing a girl should be allowed to have body piercing in a Johnston County school. A Bible believer is commanded, “You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 19:28) Read full story from reflector.com

Halloween no longer old traditions
With candy, costumes, tricks and treats, this is our own

Four days from now the chance of some short folk ringing your doorbell is pretty high.

Unless you live way out in the country or in a high-rise or put a pit bull in your front yard, the rituals of Halloween will draw them to your door like children to chocolate. Read full story from amarillo.com

Pagan pioneer says Missouri center’s sale illustrates challenge for movement
As the leaves both blaze their last glories on the trees and crunch beneath our feet, Pagan thoughts turn to the endings of cycles.

My own thoughts turn often these days to Diana’s Grove, the retreat center in the Missouri Ozarks that has helped so many Pagans and fellow travelers. While Grove programming will still be offered next year, the land is for sale. Autumn is upon it. Winter is closing fast. Read full story from sltoday.com

HALLOWEEN THE TRUTH AT LAST
What the bigots ‘DONT’ want you to know about this ancient, native, Pagan British festival

The actual festival of Halloween was originally called ‘SAMHAIN,’ which comes from the Gaelic/Celtic meaning for ‘November’ and ‘Summer’s end’.

The original Celtic settlers arrived here in around 600 BC, fetching with them their own ‘Nature Based’ polytheistic form of spiritual belief systems. SAMHAIN marked the beginning of the long cold winter, a time when the cattle had to be herded into sheltered quarters as a defensive measure against expected harsh snow-fall, frost, and blizzard. It was also a cheerless period for numerous Celts, as the winter’s chill could always prove too much for many elderly, sick, or loved ones badly injured in battle. Read full story from ufodigest.com

Dog who says grace live on CNN this morning (source cnn.com)