LE CORBEAU. For many LGBT people, Paganism provides a welcoming, safe, and non-judgemental spiritual environment, something not offered by many of the mainstream religions from which many of these LGBT people have come. Certainly they are offered ‘salvation’, but it is at the high cost of having to forfeit something I believe to be a fundamental part of the human experience, something to which every person has the right: to love another and to be loved by another. Love, I feel, is one of the most basic and beautiful aspects of life.
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When we examine the myths and legends of the many cultures and religions of the ancient Mediterranean, the Goddess Hekate stands out from the rest. There is simply no other Goddess like her, with evidence stretching back into time, but also crossing the boundaries of tradition, religion and pantheon in rather remarkable ways.
The priestess enters the Temple and stares at where the Goddess once stood, the garland still carefully placed at Her invisible feet. The Mystery of Change hangs heavy in the air, but the discomfort of Her leaving is gone. The Goddess still dwells here. Unseen to most, but felt by her devout servants.
The cat did not simply submit himself to prehistoric man’s protection and care, as did other now domesticated animals. No, he came to a compromise with cave woman; he would catch all rodents (rats and mice) in return for being allowed to live in the granary, all the while remaining a lithe and wild hunter, an aloof spirit and a mysterious creature whose eyes turned into eerie slits and commanded respect with his other-worldly yet regal expression.
Having been raised Christian, I was expected to approach Deity only as my Father in Heaven. Not an easy task when one doesn’t have a loving father-figure in one’s life! This is one reason why I’ve found Goddess spirituality comes so naturally to me. And so, sometime at the beginning of 2008, when I read Athena’s words to Odysseus, “Go. Find your father,” and those words hit me like a bolt from the blue, I expected that the Goddess would somehow lead me into a greater appreciation of the God. I did not think that those words would play themselves out so very literally in my life!
Let us pay heed to the fact that behavioural scientists maintain that in a society where the values of honour, duty and discipline are no longer upheld, men soon lose interest in honouring the commitments to wives/life companions and children.
The first time I heard the phrase ‘Old Guard Pagan’ (used as a pejorative, as I remember) was during the organizing of the first Heartland Pagan Festival. It seems that the festival was being organized mainly by ‘New Guard Pagans’ who felt they were not getting the anticipated support from the ‘Old Guard’. Yet, even after such misunderstandings were cleared up, the phrase remained. Why? And what is the line of demarcation?
DAMON LEFF. When discussing Witchcraft in polite company, one discovers that although not everyone permits their personal bias to evolve into open discrimination, those with bias against Witches carry their prejudice like a moral compass. In less than civil society, bias against Witchcraft is often overtly smug and pretentious, as though the prejudice itself was some form of badge of honour indicating one’s measure of commitment to the moral struggle. If you’re a Witch, social bias against you is pervasive and perverse.