On Saturday 9 December, the Coven of the Crossroads hosted a meet and greet, open to all Pagans in the area to mingle, chat and just hang out with people sharing the same vibe. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for the next Meet and Greet, as well as our public Sabbats, where everyone is welcome to participate or observe.
Penton Independent Alternative Media Blog
This article was originally published in People Magazine SA in 2016; the first part of it appears here: An interview with Raymond Buckland, author of many books including “The Complete Guide to Witchcraft” and known as the father of American Wicca.
Beneath the surface of the public South African Pagan community, an entity forged largely by common identity and composed of numerous independent groups and individuals, lies a general malaise of discontent. Its origin lies firmly embedded in a perceived entitlement, by a tiny and variable minority within the larger community, to prejudice. It is self-evident that those who accuse me of causing dissent and division in the South African Pagan community, are themselves solely guilty of sowing dissent and causing division; of channeling and feeding the lumbering monster of discontent within their own insular communities. Their accusations are simply projections of insecurity by those with prejudice. I am their straw-man.
The true value of Friday’s public protest lies in the free expression of the will of citizens emboldened to stand against a government that has demonstrated a lack of public accountability and good governance. The people’s march won’t unseat the President, but it will demonstrate that citizens do not approve of the way in which the African National Congress and its President is governing South Africa.
I’ve grown up seeing people who beg the Gods and Goddesses for perfect marks on their assignments or in buying their first homes or making sure their lives go according to plans they have made. When something thwarts them or fails, some of these folks even resort to blaming their Gods and Goddesses for “allowing such things to occur” as if the Gods and Goddesses have nothing better to do than to spend their time being Wish-Granters of the human race. It is a misunderstanding that just having blind faith, that as long as you are “devout”, everything will work out perfectly exactly as planned and just the way we want it. The “Rent-A-God-or-Goddess” mindset of worship has culminated in the codependency of leaning on the deities for virtually everything and having unrealistic expectations of results based on the level of their devotion.
One of my bugbears as a contemporary Pagan has always been what I perceived as a lack of a solid and united Pagan community, and I am not referring to a centralised authority but rather to a communal identity. As Pagans, we tend to be separate and separated from almost all other religious and spiritual communities. And the explosion of Internet-based Pagan communities seems to have made it even more so, not only separating us from others, but separating us from ourselves. But is this really the case?
So I posted a video last night, which featured a male gymnast in women’s clothing, doing all kinds of silly and comical moves. At first, I thought it was pretty cool. After all, a dude in “girls clothes” – funny, right? Nope, as a female friend of mine would later point out, it is candid sexism.
There are many reasons why you should sink your fingers into the soil and cultivate your own. A great concern these days is the dreaded pesticide explosion that seems to be taking over the world. Who wants to fill their bodies with chemicals? I certainly don’t, so growing my own is one excellent way to counteract this and ensure that I know what is going into my body.
In the West and in most westernized countries an almost invisible socio-religious class system is still being pursued, where Christians tend to occupy the top echelons of the religious/spiritual ladder. Under this system, Christianity and its followers are generally afforded a special status over other religions and spiritualities, and the effect this has had on society is experienced in everyday life and has left many, including, contemporary Pagans, trapped in and by a culture of privilege based on religion. Pagans, like many other followers of non-Abrahamic religions, have in many ways become second-class citizens in a Christian-dominated world.