The tattoo has been an important sacred trial for individuals across multiple cultures for generations. The path of pain, identified in Western Witchcraft by Gerald Gardner and other early 20th-century esotericists, has a long history of altering consciousness and manifesting changes in people’s lives. Native cultures around the world have been utilizing the tattoo to mark sacred life passages for centuries, and those of Western heritage have been doing so for almost as long as they have had contact with outside cultures. Whether it is a sacred mark of a warrior initiation, or a mark of military service, sacred ink that tells a tribal person’s life story or a mark of one’s alma mater, tattoos have long represented what is important in the narrative of people’s lives. As often happens when indigenous ceremonies get translated into new cultures, the sacredness of the tattoo became diluted as Western culture embraced it.
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – While the official theme of Paganicon 2017 was A Journey into the Underworld, a sub-theme of healing ran throughout the entire Midwest 3 day conference. There was, of course, the expected workshops covering such things as Reiki, but there was also a class on healing through movement, a round table on Pagans with cancer, and a room set aside specifically for healing work. The unofficial sub-theme theme wove its way through the art selections in the gallery and the songs sung by musicians.Paganicon Director of Programming and Entertainment, Becky Munson said the healing sub-theme wasn’t created by design, “Everything happened pretty organically; everything that was presented was submitted in the public call for submissions.”
Ms. Munson says each year there are submissions for presentations that seem to cluster around a topic that is simmering in the community consciousness. “I think it’s a by-product of what’s going in in our society right now,” said Munson.
[Today journalist Terence Ward shares an interview with a Pagan doctor who is helping other magic-workers and healers understand cancer. If you enjoy articles like this, please consider donating to The Wild Hunt. We are now at 44% with 10 days left. You make it possible for us to continue to provide a platform for our communities’ important news. What better way to celebrate the October season: Donate to a news organization that is, in part, for and about modern Witches.
Having been raised in both Cuban culture and in Lukumí (or Santeria), it is impossible for me to underestimate the significance drumming and rhythm in both my cultural expressions and spiritual development. They represent one of the fundamental pillars that create “Cuban-ness.” My godfather used to say “Los tambores de la tierra tienen que oírse en el cielo.” Very loosely translated, this means, “Play the drums so they are heard in Heaven.” The saying speaks to the vigor and ecstasy with which drums must be played during ceremonies because of their deep and raw power. With little exaggeration, their rhythms have changed and sustained cultures as well as brought forth new musical forms to the world.