Pagan Voices: the Cunning Wife, Aaron Leitch, Arith Härger and more

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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.



Fire drives away the things that threaten us — disease, chill, dangerous animals, hunger — for as long as we tend and nurture it. It provides defense and assurance of life. It has been a good friend to humanity for a long time, and it doesn’t ask for much — just some tinder to make a spark, some dry wood to keep it going.

— The Cunning Wife in The Lighted Hearth

If you purchase a book of spells written by someone else, you are simply following instructions their spirits revealed to them. But those instructions may not apply to you in the same way. For instance, perhaps one witch’s spirits wanted her to work with her hair unbound, but maybe your spirits want you to wear a particular headdress. Perhaps the grimoire you are using says to wear a purple robe, but your patron deity insists you should wear red. Maybe a spell calls for a wand of hazel, but your familiar prefers oak. By blindly following instructions written by others, without allowing your spirits to have a say, you could be greatly limiting your chances of success. Your truly powerful spells will never come from a book or another person (at least not entirely)—they will instead be those your own spirits will teach you, and for which you will have their support. Just because a spell doesn’t mention a pact with a spirit doesn’t mean it wasn’t written by someone who already had one—and who assumes you do, too.

— Aaron Leitch, Are Spirits Detrimental to your Spiritual Path?

Now that Trump is in power, he and his cronies in the Republican party are starting to take steps that will hurt many of those who voted for him – from dismantling the Affordable Care Act to removing important environmental protections. As a result, some Trump voters are starting to regret their choice. Although I have little sympathy for people who fail to apologise for support an overt racist, sexist, and xenophobe, this bitter experience will hopefully make one thing abundantly clear: the Boss is using you. This is the most important lesson for any Trump voter to take away from the connection between Trump and the Boss archetype . . . you do not exist as a person to him, but as an employee, as labour that he needs. As soon as he no longer needs that service, or you can no longer provide it, he will discard you. And, unfortunately, you’ve done your bit – he’s in office now.

— aboymadeofsky, Sucking up to the boss: Trump as an archetype

Trump’s campaign slogan, widely mocked, is “Make America Great Again” (MAGA). As a positive if vague goal, it’s one to assist, while reinterpreting it more inclusively, regardless of whether its original formulation is some sort of white nationalist code. Reinterpreting — a form of steering — is something magic can do well. . . as someone primed to look for signs, and work creatively with them, I’ll take . . . MAGA and reinterpret it in Druidic terms — as a female magical energy: magus, mage or magician, and its feminine form, maga.

— from the post Binding, Blessing and Changing

Removed from our religions and traditions are things like cursing, hexing, binding, demonology, summoning, animal sacrifice and more. Replacing those is the idea that Pagans and Witches follow a rule of harming none, and we believe in the threefold return, a bastardised karmic system that is a lot harsher and faster acting than the original karma. We are a peaceful people, loving and kind and we don’t hurt anyone or anything.

The worst that we might do is rant and rave about animals and mother nature, we might chain ourselves to trees and yell at you for eating meat. We might dress weird and use odd symbols, we might dance naked in circles and we might do things that are called spells, but probably aren’t anything but poetry anyway. We are safe, a little odd, but safe and no threat at all.

But this is far from the truth, far from reality. Many witches hex and curse, some Pagans and Polytheists and Witches do sacrifice animals, many of us don’t give a toss about the idea of harming none and that threefold return. We don’t fit all the old stereotypes, and not all of us will fit any of the old stereotypes. But the fact is, more of us don’t fit the new stereotypes.

— Bekah Evie Bel, Undoing the Hard Work of Pagan Pioneers

If you, for example, bound a rapist, making him unable to rape, you, too would be thrice unable to rape. To which, I at least, always responded, “Great. I don’t ever want to rape anyone. So, fair enough, I’ll bind this rapist and I’m glad to be bound three times from raping anyone.” But, over time, the simple incantation of “Rule of Three” began to mean that one should almost never engage in activism because, woo, hoo, whoo, ohohohh, it could come back to “bite” you three times over. You could have all the good intention in the world, you could just want to stop a rapist from raping, but the unexplained, mysterious, but all-powerful Rule of Three meant that if you bound the rapist you’d, I don’t know, be unable to have sex, or find yourself abandoned by your lover, or lose your libido. Because, I don’t know, because. Reasons. You’d interfered with the rapist’s free will or something, I guess.

The phrase, “Rule of Three,” became useless and most reasonable people abandoned and it and rejected its simplistic meaning.

— HecateDemeter, What’s Behind the Power to Keep Silent?

[Public domain.]

[Public domain.]

I find silence is often the best measure of closeness and mutual interest. If people can be silent together until something worth saying comes along, and if that silence is easy, or fertile, then you have a serious relationship. If the simple act of putting our bodies into the same space feels good, then we’re onto something. If we can do something together – with or without words, then we’re connecting. Conversation for the sake of it is often strained and pointless. Small talk because noise is more comfortable than the truth a silence might reveal. Arguments over abstract and distant things to cover for the real and immediate tensions.

— Nimue Brown, The art of not communicating

Paganism is a small religion and with so many individual groups the populations get smaller & smaller as you drill down. Paganism’s fastest-growing segment is converted inmates. Having dedicated themselves to their practice and/or god/dess while behind bars, some with years or decades of dedication, the only thing missing is that which all humans crave – community. Many ex-felons have little choice when searching out spiritual community in a geographical area. In most programs/states they cannot use their chaplains from prison/jail as a resource and ministers are often not allowed to have contact with them for several years post release. This means they need you.

— Grace E, ‘Cons’ and Community

Archaeological findings show us that all over the world, the female shaman was very important in the old societies. Such findings go all the way from the mediterranean, to scandinavia, far into the east of Siberia and down the southern hemisphere. For instance, the Ekven burial of a female shaman was found at Chukotka on the Russian side of the Bering Strait. A 2000 years old grave of an elderly woman with a wooden mask at her knees as well as other ritualistic and shamanic artefacts. Recurrent artefacts and examples of female shamanic practice are amulets, medicine bags, mirrors, and head-dresses shown by excavated regalia, as well as drums. — Arith Härger, Female Shamans and Medicine Women