Pagan Voices is a spotlight on recent quotations from figures within the Pagan community. These voices may appear in the burgeoning Pagan media or a mainstream outlet, but all showcase our wisdom, thought processes, and evolution in the public eye. Is there a Pagan voice or artist you’d like to see highlighted? Contact us with a link to the story, post, audio, or image.
Remembering is not just a brain activity. We have muscle memory – essential for learning tunes and dances. We can remember all kinds of shapes and patterns. If a piece is difficult to learn, looking for other ways to remember it can really help. Using physical gestures, patterns of movement, or just this simple trick of counting on fingers can get other kinds of memory involved to make the process easier.
— Nimue Brown, Bardic skills: Tricks for remembering
If I take my family first don’t know a lot about my ancestors, only my immediate family, as far back as my grandparents. I know stories and snippets of memories beyond this but no hard facts and my pathetic efforts at tracing my family ground to a resounding halt. . . . In shamanism though I am very fortunate for I can journey to meet and spend time with my ancestors even if I do not know who or what they were. I am still able to make and develop connections. Quite early on my shamanic path I was journeying to meet my ancestors and can still remember my surprise at being able to meet and connect with generations of ancestors despite having no information on them or knowledge of them.
— Yvonne Ryves, A is for Ancestors
There was a warmth deep in my center that radiated out, filling my being with a golden glow. I had not only accomplished my tasks, but people had enjoyed the experience I had helped to craft. The attendees had learned something new and I had the tiniest hand in giving them that experience. The larger lesson for me was one I had forgotten years ago – I enjoyed working a path of service. I feel connected to my ancestors and my deities when I am in service to others, which is why I continue to give my time to events around the Valley of the Sun.
I know in many Witchcraft or Wiccan traditions being of service is part of the training cycle. I know in my own training, my third year was spent in service to my coven and the community. Our Heathen brethren follow the Nine Noble Virtues which doesn’t specifically reference volunteering, but it does address hospitality and industriousness both of which are key elements in volunteerism. So here I ask a question, if being of service is so important that traditions make it part of the training, then why is it so few people are willing to volunteer their time at events?
— Maia Dawn on volunteering at Pagan events.
Many artists are stepping up in a way that says, “I know that art is powerful, and I will make more art than ever before and I will make better art than ever before.” I heard them and believed them and ignored them. I believe in the power of art – of beauty broadly – and still chose to use a power that was more obvious, more direct, more apropos even though I knew I wasn’t good at it.
— Silence Maestas, Elevating Beauty.
To my sisters in the streets
(and to my brothers and sibling that march with them):
May your voices rise like a clarion call
Strong and clear, rallying the world to our defense
May your words pierce the heart with truth
As sharp as Eros’ arrow and as sure
May your footsteps shake the foundations
Cracking the world that needs to be destroyed,
Revealing the world that must come into being
Like Kali’s wild dance: an end and a beginning
May the warmth of companionship,
born amidst the fire
Keep you safe
Goddess bless you all
— Melissa ra Karit, Women’s March
Skyclad ritual is supposed to be uncomfortable at first. It’s transgressive (as is witchcraft itself). It’s a magical trigger that signals to whatever woo-receptors in your brain that you’re up to something. Skyclad practice is part of the process of separating from the mundanity of your day-to-day. It’s also a sign of the profound trust that is required for successful work in a coven (regardless of tradition, I think). Not to mention it’s just hella fun.
Obviously, there are plenty of good reasons to practice clothed. When it’s cold and rainy outside, you better believe I’m gonna be wearing something. Furthermore, when it’s your body at stake, it’s your call. No one should be trying to force you into something that you don’t want to do. It’s okay to choose to work robed or in street clothes. Just take that as an indicator that a particular tradition, coven, or coven leader just isn’t for you.
– Thorn Mooney, Ritual Nudity for the Insecure
I stop. I wait for the tea to steep. I get a tea cup and milk. I take the teapot and cup over to the kitchen table and I pour the tea. Frequently someone will join me. It might be a person. It might be the cat or one of the dogs, but I don’t drink the tea alone. And it tastes better the longer I savour it. And conversation happens (yes, I talk to the dogs. The cat mostly ignores me). And that conversation usually turns into second cup of tea. The second cup of tea has even been known to turn into a second pot of tea.
An afternoon cuppa has become a ritual of sorts. A moment to connect. Making the time for a simple tea ritual adds a splash of re-enchantment to the mundane. A few minutes to let loose leaves and an idea brew and become sustenance.
– Gwion Raven on time magic.
In my devotional relationship with Macha, she has taken a stance of holding me to commitments to fight for and stand with women. This has also brought me more into action in support of trans rights. So many of Macha’s stories relate to gender, power, and transgression: Macha Mongruad, a woman refused the place of queenship due to her gender, and who must fight to claim it, becoming the only woman listed in the Irish annals of kings. Macha of the nóinden, a woman injured by those in power and who brings justice through the transgressive power of cursing, a power linked to her gender. Macha has spoken to me at times about the battles transwomen fight just to claim their true gender, to hold the ground of womanhood against those who misgender them (and transmen, too, of course; it’s just that I’ve arrived here by way of devotional mandates in feminism and fighting for women, so my focus has been more centered on women.)
— Morpheus Ravenna, Macha’s Braided Mane
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