Pagan Voices: Metal Mother, Morpheus Ravenna, Shauna Aura Knight, and More!

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  April 18, 2013 — 2 Comments

Pagan voices is a spotlight on recent quotations from figures within the Pagan community. These voices may appear in the burgeoning Pagan media, or from a mainstream outlet, but all showcase our wisdom, thought processes, and evolution in the public eye. Is there a Pagan voice you’d like to see highlighted? Drop me a line with a link to the story, post, or audio.

Morpheus Ravenna

Morpheus Ravenna

“Actually, if you look deeply at the idea of ‘dark Gods’ in general, they are inherently a product of our dualistic culture, heavily influenced by Abrahamic moral paradigm which equates darkness with negative or harmful forces. In fact, when people talk of the ‘Dark Goddess’, they virtually always mean moral darkness rather than natural darkness, if you examine their language and theology. For evidence of this, I invite you to imagine any deity associated with the darkness of night or the night sky whom you care to think of. Nyx, Nuit, Astarte, Ishtar, Arianrhod of the silver wheel; all the ‘Queens of Heaven’. Not a one of them is usually labeled ‘Dark Goddess’. Hekate is arguably an exception, but I think the point still stands. When we say ‘Dark Goddess’, what we really mean is scary Goddess; or perhaps more specifically, morally ambiguous Goddess.” – Morpheus Ravenna, on the nature of “dark” gods.

Metal Mother (aka Taara Tati)

Metal Mother (aka Taara Tati)

“Getting into the whole ancient Celtic cultures thing, it was very matriarchal and tribal […] It was a really profound lifestyle. The more I discover about that, the more I want to learn about it, to be able to see that history and sort of represent that in a way, or glean some power from that. […] I really came into a full-on obsession last year when I was traveling in Europe. I went on this full journey to all these different ancient sites and sacred sites, and it was empowering for me to be there, and to feel the history of that land, and… my ancestors.” – Taara Tati, aka Metal Mother, in the San Francisco Bay Guardian on the inspirations for her new album “Ionika,” released this week.

Sam Webster (with Herm), photo by Tony Mierzwicki.

Sam Webster (with Herm), photo by Tony Mierzwicki.

“The purpose of sacrifice is to build, maintain, and correct our connection with the Gods, which is why it had to be stopped in ancient times. It is essential for theistic Pagans, but I know atheist Pagans who join in the practice. The common explanation of sacrifice is to somehow ‘feed’ the Gods, but this is generally challenged by the more philosophical understandings of ancient religion that evolved over time. In the West, this view is championed by Iamblichus of Chalsis and found in the book we now call De Mysteriis, arguably the cornerstone text of the western magical tradition. Iamblichus points out that the Gods and all the entities down the hierarchy of being are above humans on the ontological scale and so cannot be affected, never mind fed, by such as we. Rather, sacrifice properly done affects the sacrificer by attuning us to the Gods we invoke (never mind bonding us to those we share it with).” – Sam Webster, author of “Tantric Thelema” and founder of the Open Source Order of the Golden Dawn, from his piece “Toward the Pagan Restoration of Sacrifice.”

Shauna Aura Knight with Tony Mierzwicki and River Higginbotham at PantheaCon.

Shauna Aura Knight with Tony Mierzwicki and River Higginbotham at PantheaCon.

“We’re causing the pollution, the carbon overload, the climate change, that will haunt our future. We who call ourselves Pagan and Earth-centered should know better. We should know better. Here’s what I’d like to see in the Pagan community. I’d like to see Pagans across the world standing up to choose the sometimes harder road. I’m asking you, all of you, to stop using disposable cups in your rituals, and to stop supporting rituals that do so by not accepting those cups.” – Shauna Aura Knight, from a post at the Pagan Activist blog entitled “No, I Will Not Take Cakes and Ale From Your Styrofoam Cup.”

Angie Buchanan with partner Drake Spaeth.

Angie Buchanan with partner Drake Spaeth.

“Yes, Pagans were responsible for almost 10% of the total judgment of $276,000. History has been made here. Pagans have shown they can support what they believe in with their voices and their money. Our voices [have] value at the international tables of inter-religious dialog. We are at once overwhelmed with gratitude, humbled, and also proud.” – Angie Buchanan, Emeritus Director of the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions, and founder of Earth Traditions, on the role of Pagans in the successful campaign to save the Parliament from a fiscal crisis.

Deborah Blake

Deborah Blake

“When disasters are caused by people (as opposed to hurricanes and other acts of nature), it can be easy to feel as though All People are Bad. The truth is, most people are pretty wonderful. More people ran towards the explosion, to try to help, than ran away. There were heroes everywhere. We cannot let a few evil people change how we view the world.”  – Deborah Blake, author of “Everyday Witch Book of Rituals: All You Need for a Magickal Year” on the tragedy in Boston, from a piece entitled “In Times of Horror, Joy and Love Must Triumph.”

That’s all I have for now, have a great day!

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Jason Pitzl-Waters

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  • Lēoht Sceadusawol

    On the tonality of god(desse)s:
    It is something that really irritates me. I see no logical reason as to why morality is attached to concepts like light, dark, shadow, etcetera. I, personally, see Shadow/Umbra as the sixth element, providing an essential balance to the fifth element of Aether/Spirit. Where Aether binds, Umbra frees.

    On the visiting of ancient sites in Europe:
    I feel this to be a very important act of pilgrimage, but I also feel that the history of the sites needs to be properly understood, as well. It is, for example, very common for Celtic-flavoured Pagans to ‘claim’ stone circles (the most obvious example would be Druids at Stonehenge). However, the Celts had nothing to do with the stone circles, so the whole thing feels rather ‘rose tinted’ and romanticised, to me.

    On sacrifice:
    There are many forms of sacrifice, and many reasons for doing so. I feel it is a great shame that it is so difficult to do, when so much meat is ritually slaughtered at a commercial level, anyway. (I used to work in the poultry industry and the majority of Chicken produced in the UK was/is slaughtered in a way that allows it to be called Halal.)

    On the environment:
    It’s a messy one, that. Having big conventions has a significant impact on the environment, just by getting people to (and from) it. Also, as far as I am aware, the majority of Pagans live in urban areas. I would disagree with the idea that you can live in a big town or city and really claim to be following a nature-based religious path. The two really are out of step with each other. Of course, I would not say that Paganism is necessarily nature-based.

    On the Parliament of the World’s Religions:
    What does it really say when a minority group gives such a significant amount to an organisation that is supposed to be there for all? Do the major religions see the parliament as important?

  • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

    “this album is 100 percent enjoyable in that ‘I want to drive a stolen
    car very fast on an empty stretch of road that skirts a body of water at
    dusk’
    sort of way. A good album to put on before or while committing a
    crime.”

    Vice.Com review of the new MetalMother album (link).