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.
“Even something as seemingly simple as asserting that we are a Goddess tradition is rife with pitfalls. Do we mean that we acknowledge Earth Itself as a divine living being, sexualized for convenience’s sake as feminine? Do we mean we draw our inspiration from a largely apocryphal but still-cherished dream of pre-Christian, matriarchal, goddess-worshipping cultures? Do we mean that we profess belief in The Goddess, or at least a goddess? Though many of us could answer “yes” to any or all of those questions in our personal beliefs and practices, others cannot. And as the PoU also states that we “balance individual autonomy with social responsibility,” each community Reclaiming community attempting to define its shared values and beliefs must ultimately decide whether the beliefs of the many outweigh the beliefs of the few–whether we should confine ourselves, in a statement of identity or list of shared values, to identities and values claimed by allmembers, or whether we are justified in listing attributes shared by most of our members.” – Eli Effinger-Weintraub, on trying to define her local Reclaiming community, at PaganSquare
“While I am not a slave, my family members were. The intergenerational trauma created by Americanized slavery has crossed into behaviors and understandings that I am just now tapping in to. The way we are raised is very influenced by our history. Our customs and understanding of the world is often passed down effects of slavery and oppression that us modern day people don’t even know to connect to our history. We don’t know our history or our ancestry. I am learning it. I refuse to raise my children in a society that erases their historical and intergenerational trauma in order to “get along”. Knowing our history allows us to heal from the ways that slavery is still present in our lives. I don’t hate white people. I married one. Accepting my history does not turn me against anyone else. It is our truth. I shall embrace it.” – Crystal Blanton, on learning her history as an inclusive part of her spirituality, at Patheos.com
“Over the years I have also had a few magical names that I have only ever used within the privacy of my Druid Grove. These names changed as my life-flow changed. For instance, when I needed to feel freedom the Seagull came to me, and for a very difficult period of my life I took one of the names of the Gull as my magical name, as the bird taught me to fly free, to survive. When I had learnt that lesson the animal left me, and I gave up the name. Similar things have happened at other times, when I needed the energy of a particular animal/God to walk very closely with me. Taking a magical name has a deep and real effect on our lives. Some people scoff at some of the names people take within the Pagan community. I try not to. If somehow the Path has led a person to take the name Raven Morrighan (if a Raven Morrighan is reading this, I’m not referring to you by the way), so be it. Having lived with the subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, consequences of taking a magical name I just always hope that they have done their homework and deeply considered the name, before taking it as a mantle. Words and names are powerful things.” – Damh the Bard, on the importance of magical names, at the Bardic Blog.
“The measure of freedom lies in the ability to make choices; and whom we decide to love and share the rest of our lives with, is one of the most important choices we can ever make. In a truly free society, everyone should be able to make that choice equally, with equal rights and responsibilities – whether we choose someone of a different race or religion, or of the same sex; or whether we choose to share our lives with one other person, or with several. I am proud to live in Massachusetts, where same-sex marriages have been legal for almost a decade, the first state in the Union to take such a step. As I think of Ginny and Betsy, I can’t help but wonder if they stayed together living here throughout all these years. I’d like to imagine that they did, and that they stood in line at the courthouse in 2004 to be among the first to take advantage of the changed law, to finally legalize their marriage. And I’d like to imagine them now, two older women sitting close to each other on the couch at their home, tightly clasping their ring-bedecked hands while gazing fondly at the thin, multicolored cord hanging over their front door, the cord that we bound together forty years ago.” – Andras Corban-Arthen, on the freedom to make choices, and the freedom to love and marry who we choose, at EarthSpirit Voices.
“The Mjolnir speaks to a broader spectrum of Heathen and Norse faiths including Odinism. Thor is the “working mans” god, and over the centuries has become the “free mans” god. The plight of Heathenism today is probably more on Thor’s shoulders than Odin’s in the modern age. Since the approval of the pentacle as a symbol of belief area Pagans have gathered at Ft. Snelling National Cemetery to honor Sgt. Jason Schumann and Specialist Daniel Schrankler as part of a Memorial Day observance. Sgt. Schumann was the first soldier whose marker included a pentacle after the approval. With the approval of the Thor’s hammer we know how future Pagan symbols will be approved, at least under the current administration and Dept. of Veterans Affairs leadership. The upcoming holiday is a reminder to honor our fallen soldiers for their sacrifices, and for relatives to know the desires for the marker image for our aging and active duty veterans.” – Bress G. Nicneven, founder of Lodge Yggdrasill, on the Thor’s Hammer being added to the list of approved symbols for veteran’s graves and markers (PNC-Minnesota).
“When I look to today’s thinkers, activists, creators to reflect the world back to me, so I can better understand it, I miss him. He is such a teacher for me, one whose lessons I will likely still be struggling to learn until I die. I watch him speaking. I read his words. His insight, his fierceness, his incredible grasp of context, and his deep intelligence are coupled with such a searing compassion that tears spring to my eyes. This combination of gifts is something I have to cobble together from a wide variety of sources otherwise. Baldwin had it all. Even in the midst of fiery anger, Baldwin sought to teach, to open, to connect. A greater spiritual teaching, a greater human teaching, I do not know. I miss Baldwin when world events turn tragic, when the country I reside in seems on a collision course with disastrous greed and alienation. I miss his voice. I miss his intellect. Most of all, I miss that deep compassion.” – T. Thorn Coyle, on missing American novelist and social critic James Baldwin.
“Continuing up the scale, as we are, what of the planet? What does earth-centered mean? Don’t get me wrong: I live here and have a profound love for this Earth, and encourage the worship of this Divine Being who some name Gaia. But however important the Earth is to us, we must remember to look up and know how much bigger the Universe is, and how the Earth is dependent on the rest of that universe being out there for its existence. Just as every cell in our bodies is part of our organs, and those organs aggregate into our bodies, and we consciously experience ourselves as the unity thereof, so are we but ‘cells’ of the larger organism of our bio-region and that aggregates to the whole of our planet. It is well and worthy for us to render due worship to the living world in which we are embedded. But there is more. We can look up to our Star, giving us the energy on which our life depends, and that Sun is but one of billions of stars in our Milky Way galaxy, and itself one of billions of galaxies arrayed in vast structures, only now known but little understood by humans. Knowing this, do we not need to remember to look up and worship? And this vast collection of galaxies, and of who knows what else Out There, what of the All? The Whole? The Unity the arises from and gives rise to all This? Do we not also need to remember in our worship the All?” – Sam Webster, on nature worship, and if it’s enough, at PaganSquare.
That’s all I have for now, have a great day!