GLBT Paganism

One of the (many) things I love about paganism and the pagan community, is its acceptance of people who aren’t straight and conentional in their relationships. I’ve met some fabulous gay, bi, transgender and polyamorous folk along the way, and they’ve really inspired me to explore my own identity. But then, Druidry is non-dogmatic, and that includes not having ‘one true way’ for how relationships are supposed to be.

Druidry is very much about connection, for me. Not having any assumptions about what shape a connection ‘should’ have opens up the ways in which we relate to each other, to the land, the ancestors, the gods and the non-human denizens of this world.

Here’s a little something from Enchanted Waters, which follows on from this line of thought.

Precarious though it was, Bracken squatted down, so that she could reach into the pool. She wetted her hand, then rose, sprinkling the water over Catherine.
“Blessings of water, healing and cleansing, washing away the past. Blessings of this place be upon you, and peace be in your heart,” she said.
“Thank you.”
For the first time, they looked at each other properly, standing almost nose to nose on the stone. Bracken saw dark eyes full of melancholy, and a tender, compassionate, wounded spirit. She wanted to reach out and console, but not knowing why this woman suffered, she held back. Some people were victims of their own mistakes, and she didn’t want to support anyone in not dealing with their problems.
“You’re a witch or a priestess of something then?” Catherine asked.
“Priestess and Druid,” Bracken replied.
“Does this sort of thing happen to you a lot?”
“A fair bit, yes. I seem to attract it.” She had a feeling there were things she needed to do here, and tried to find their shape. Words to say. Moves to make. Sometimes all it took was a small gesture or observation to set people on the right path.
Trusting her instincts, she took Catherine’s hands in hers.
“You’ll find a way through this,” she said. “Accept your own feelings, embrace them, work with them. If you understand yourself and your own needs, everything else will be a lot clearer.”
“I know. I just wish I knew where to start.”
“You’ve already started.” Bracken leaned closer, placing a chaste kiss on Catherine’s brow. The woman sighed deeply, tension seeping from her. “You’ll be fine. You’re strong, good and brave. You will find a way through.” With that, she relinquished Catherine’s hands, smiled, and turned away. The time had come to leave, as she still had a few miles to walk.

http://tinyurl.com/l7rwot

So why did I write a book about angels?

This is a pagan blog, so why is my first book, “The Fallen Fae” about angels? The book is based on the concept of the Fae (the fairies) being the fallen angels of heavan when Lucifer lead the original rebellion against God because he would no bow down to Adam and Eve.

I always thought of the Fae as specific entity or species of mythology and the domain of paganism. So why was there a Christian explanation of the Fae? This got me thinking and to explain, we need to go back and do some defining of Paganism.

There are many differing definitions of paganism but the general consensus is that anything pre-Christian is classed as pagan. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities as there is a lot of history and a lot of “religions” that held the worlds imagination before the beginning of Christianity.

If by definition any pre-Christian is pagan, then everything including the Druids, Norse, Wiccan, Celtic, Ancient Greek, Ancient Roman, Aboriginal, Taoism, Hindi and many more both living and dead religions are pagan.

Some of the Christian rituals that have been incorporated into our society are actually pagan rites that were blended into Christianity to make the assimilation easier. There are numerous examples of this and many major Christian holidays are celebrated around the same time as many pagan events that correspond to natures calendar, such as Christmas adn the summer or winter solstice (depending on what part of the himisphere you reside). Another example from a different pagan “religion” is the Christmas tree that was originally believed to be in honour of Odin, the Norse God.

So, if Christianity has blended some elements from pagan cultures, is it possible to do the reverse and blend some Christian theories into paganism? For example, angels. But not all angels are Christian. If you use the Greek “Angelos” meaning a super natural being, then that can incorporate both Christian and pagan entities.

The Christian angels such as Archangels and angels of death have the same chores as Celtic Fairies and Norse Valkyrie. A lot of pagan religions have “super natural beings” that have the same standing as the angels, such as bringing the souls of the recently dead to “heaven”, “Valhalla” or the “Underworlds”.

So I wrote a fantasy novella on the theory of Christianity’s version of the creation of the Fae, because it was another aspect on a mythology of many pagan religions. And whichever branch of Paganism you follow take care to note the similiarities and differences between it and many other belief systems.

Cheers

Connie

www.conniewood.co.cc

What it means to me to be a pagan

The definitions I found for ‘pagan’ confused me. I am not a country dweller nor do I consider myself rustic. And I don’t understand why pagan is grouped in with heathen, an irreligious or hedonistic person. I certainly don’t think of myself that way. The only definition that makes any sense to me is: a follower of a polytheistic religion, not religious.

For me, being a pagan means the freedom to worship how and when I want, whether it’s before an altar I made or outside beneath the moon. I prefer the freedom of the constraints of a religion that restricts one’s thinking and treats women as inferior. Being a pagan is being close to nature and respecting all the gifts the earth has to offer mankind from helpful herbs to the wonder of a breathtaking sunset. As a pagan I embrace a spiritual way of life over a religious one.

I prefer to keep my personal beliefs to myself, but I will say that part of my belief has to do with the laws of the universe in reference to dualities such as light and dark, good and evil, male and female, etc. I believe it is all about balance and that reflects into my personal life as well.

I would like to clear up one misconception about pagans. I do not worship the Devil. The Devil plays no part in pagan worship. The Devil is a Christian belief. I hope this helps to dispel some of the rumors of pagans being evil Devil worshippers. I feel I am no different from a person of another religion. I just choose to be free from the bonds of organized religion.

When I am outside in that quiet part of morning, breathing fresh morning air and gazing at the mountains painted shades of red by the awakening sun, I feel close to the deities. That is a spiritual connection that cannot be found inside a church. This is what it means to me to be a pagan.

I am curious as to how other pagans feel. Any thoughts?

Kelley

‘Timeless tales of romance, conflict & magic’

http://www.kelleyheckart.com/

http://www.myspace.com/phantomqueen3

http://twitter.com/CelticChick

Ms. Panthera’s Ramblings

Ms. Panthera’s Ramblings

With all the things going on around here, I almost forgot I was to blog today. When it hit me, I rambled around in my head for something to write. Then it hit me. Why not write about the ramblings. At least it is something.

My thoughts took me on quite a trip. Starting with the story I am writing with Bryl Tyne working title “Shadow”. Now, Shadow is a young witch born on a very special night at the exact same time as the royal family’s only child. Once a year both of the twin moons of Alpe shine full, chasing each other across the sky. A night the women of the Shanlar Coven celebrate to its fullest. This night, as forseen thirty years before, would bring change not only to their coven but to their world.

So, while I was thinking on this story and how it was to go, I was transported to my dream home. A place of peace and quiet, I would sit by the lake writing as I took it all in. It is such a lovely place to be whenever I can afford the time to visit.

This brought on thoughts of a story about a black panther a friend asked me to see if I could help expand. Such beautiful, mystical, graceful, and mysterious creatures – Black Panthers. Do they really exist? Or, as scientists say, are they just a rare coloration of any large cat that roars? Maybe, just maybe, they’re both. I for one believe if they don’t exist, they did at one time. And the experience these, my friend wrote about, encounters is so compelling, moving, emotional, I wonder if I can capture her feelings and still make the story longer.

Then I pulled myself up short and gave myself a lecture about the blog. Knowing time was running short, I had to come up with something to write about. Do I go with something to do with the name of the blog? Do I post an unedited excerpt of “Shadow”? Or do I beg off and leave the day blank? And this is the result. My mind’s ramblings.

Now, I know they say it only takes a spit second for all this to go through one’s mind. Yet, if this is true, where did my day go? LOL

Have a great day one and all.

MS Panthera

The Awen

For Druids, inspiration is sacred. We use the word ‘awen’ to describe it – which is simply the Welsh word for inspiration, but it has a beautiful sound to it, great for chanting, for prayers and blessings.

The symbol most used by modern druidry, is refered to as the awen symbol – three dots, with three lines radiating down, and slightly out. It represents, amongst other things, the three drops of inspiraiton from the cauldren of the goddess Ceridwen. Three drops of distilled magical power that begin the transformaton of the boy Gwion into the poet Tallyessin.

For a writer, inspiration is essential. Being a Druid writer, it’s not merely my craft and day job, writing is an expression of my spirituality, even when I’m not dealing with overtly pagan subjects. The delerious rush of insight and ideas is the best kind of magic, for me.

What would any of us be without the blessings of inspiration?

Honouring the inspiration others give me, I’d like to direct your attention to the work of Tom Brown, an extraordinary artist – http://www.copperage.deviantart.com/ you can also find him at http://www.twitter.com/gothicmangaka

Whatever else today brings you, may there be inspiration!

Poetry Korner by Raven Starr

Hi, I’m Raven Starr some folks know me as an interracial romance author but I’m also a poet and pagan. Today I wanted to share a few poems I’ve written over the years.
I started writing poetry as a lost teenager wondering about my identity, my sorrow and my confusion. Some poems contain the grief of when I lost my mother and then my father s few years afterward.
Poetry has helped to me express all the emotions I had to hide from the world. Now, as an adult I am glad to have overcame the darkness and to be able to share my poems with you.
The first one is called Invisible. Have you ever loved someone who never saw the real you? Read on then…

Invisible

You look at only her
And right through me
It is like men are blind
And can not see anything but my behind
Invisible me
Trying to be
Seen by you

But it doesn’t matter what I do
A big heart, beautiful smile.
Nothing is all worth while.
My heart hurts but I will just let it be
I am invisible
Just invisible me

I wrote this next one for my parents:
Remembering…
Each passing day is just like another
all blending in with each other.
But on these special days I remember.
I remember my pain
my family under so much strain, so much to handle I feel like I suddenly went insane.
I remember I was lost in my worst fear.
I remember wishing and wanting my parents to be here.
But I can remember their smiles
and the laughs we had once in a while. I knew that I loved you both, the same but different from one another.
On this day and everyday I will remember them.
Feel the love that they do send, from heaven above.
I love and miss my father and my mother.
Rest in peace.

The next few poems I’m going to leave ya with are just different ones contemplating the uncertainty of life and what our true purpose on this planet is really about. I hope you enjoyed the poetry today. Leave me a comment and I’ll hit ya back.

Cry of the Empath by Raven Starr
lonely and ashamed
playing the same ole game
feeling the pressure of being unwanted
visions in my brain and always being haunted
fleeting feelings of happiness
growing out of feathery earthen nests of
dreary sadness sinking upon me
can not swim no longer have the will
heart that beats the sounds of defeat but my eyes still seek a vision that is unclear
year after year of giving of myself
is it worth it but I have no one else
plodding thru this life of mine
wondering when it is going to be my time
will it come or will I still have this feeling of being unwanted
constantly haunted by the demons in my head
visions of Christmas angels that I know are dead
happiness is something out of reach
since I can not feel it maybe I am just to teach
That shit is unfair for I have feelings too
Where is my hero? My rock? What am I to do?
Standing tall for everyone else but me
falling apart so endlessly
Strength is my weakness sensitivity my crutch
maybe I care a little too much
I take pain from others who can not bear it. They give it over to me so willingly. But it is killing me, why cant they see.
I hate feeling this way the pain in my heart never truly goes away
music in my ears drowning out my eternal fears
wanted to be left alone but not really
Deserted by my family and even friends
but I am to smile until the end
shouting inside for my soul is torn
a light of happiness can be reborn
but the empath feels the weight of the world
A world not of my choosing a world full of pain
The cry of the empath
is the cry of the insane.

Romance by Raven Starr
Romantic is
is what romantic does
I dream of fairies flying on white silken doves
I spill my heart to you right now
in hope that you will know my vow
to stand right here with open arms
always awaiting your precious charms
even though a ocean keeps us apart
I willing to give you my heart
Don’t forsake it just tell me are you willing to take it?

Last but not least,
Translation of the soul by Raven Star

Translation of the soul
from young to old
does not weaken or so the story is told
Find your path that is right for you
Follow it clearly no matter what you do
your faith may strain, your ego maybe drained
but who you are as a person will always remain.

Strive to love someone besides yourself
take wisdom from the elderly
apply the knowledge to all you see
What kind of heart is truly in your chest?
Something that makes you think that you are better than the rest
Try not to criticize open your heart and empathize
then you may realize that we are all human beings.
No one race is better than the other
each has suffered losses from father, sisters, brother and mothers.
End this hatred you will understand

The goal of your soul is to live in love
not die in hate or in a war mongers oil’s debate
Stop this now and turn over a new leaf
stop hating someone for their beliefs
Understand to love is to grow and that
is what your soul already knows.
This is the translation of the soul.
Be Blessed, my friends,
Raven

From Moon’s Resource Library

I wondered what to start with on my first day at Pagan and Pen. As an author writing takes up so much of my time, when I’m not being a mom or serving my goddess community, so I figure might as well start there. Most people who are familiar with my work know I write multicultural paranormal fiction with a pagan flair and starring lgbt characters, most often bi and/or lesbian women.

When writing fiction one of the things that is crucial for me is the time spent doing my research. Nothing turns me off of something I’m reading or watching then finding the creator of the art didn’t do their research. I thought it might be fun for me to share a few of the books I most often use when I write. Now this doesn’t mean that when I am dealing with a special setting, culture. Etc… there aren’t tons more books I rely on, but these are used for most of my writing as a whole.

I am very fortunate to have the author of the first book as my teacher for many years. If you only get one book to touch and awaken your deep feminine magics THIS is the one, my sisters.

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Women’s Rites, Women’s Mysteries: Intuitive Ritual Creation
Author: Ruth Rhiannon Barrett

How can women turn birthday parties, baby showers, and other rites of passage into empowering celebrations brimming with meaning and fiery feminine spirit?

Emphasizing the Dianic Wiccan tradition, Barrett shows women how they can create empowering, transformative rituals that strengthen their profound connection to the Goddess. Instead of providing shortcuts, scripts, or rote rituals, she teaches women how to think like a ritualist. Step by step, readers learn the ritual-making process: developing a purpose and theme, building an altar, preparing emotionally and mentally (energetics), spellcasting, and more. For beginners or experienced ritualists, solitaries or groups, this thorough, engaging guide to the art of ritual-making can help women commemorate every sacred milestone-from menstruation to marriage to menopause-that touches their lives.

“Ruth Barrett brings her many years of experience in teaching and priestessing in the Dianic tradition to this book. Her thoughtfulness, intelligence and depth of understanding make it a valuable resource and will open a new perspective for many Pagans.” -Starhawk, best-selling author of
The Spiral Dance and The Fifth Sacred Thing

Okay, I admit I likely have 35+ herbalism books on my shelves, but if I could only take one with me in a pinch, there’s no doubt, it’d be this one. Clear and concise in its information and instructions, Susan Weed is one of the first authors I think of when it comes to Green Witchery.

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Healing Wise
Author: Susan Weed

Superb herbal in the feminine-intuitive mode. Complete instructions for using common plants for food, beauty, medicine, and longevity.

The next two are self expanitory. I’m obsessive about find the the perfect names for my main and secondary characters, and sometime I go a little crazy with all the names in my book. These two books really help me give into that urge.

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Beyond Jennifer & Jason, Madison & Montana: What to Name Your Baby Now
Author: Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Redmond Satran

Synopsis:

The authors of “Beyond Jennifer & Jason revolutionized the world of American baby names by giving parents the information and insights they really needed. By identifying current styles and trends–instead of reciting the same old alphabetical lists of name derivations and meanings–their bestselling book changed baby-naming forever. Now this perennial favorite has been updated with new names and more fresh, fun, and indispensable advice. Hip, sweet, and user-friendly, “the best baby-naming book ever written” (“The News Journal) is now even better.

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The Complete Book of Magical Names (new version)
Author: Phoenix McFarland

There is tremendous energy within names. Powerful symbols of identity, inspiration, and intention, names are magical tools of self-transformation. The original version of this classic guide, included in the prestigious New York Times “Reader’s Guide to the Best 10,000 Books in Print,” helped thousands find the perfect name for everything from their child to their coven to their cat. Now, it has been revised and expanded, and is bigger and better than ever.

The New Book of Magical Names presents a dictionary of more than 7,000 names (including pronunciations) taken from modern and ancient sources, including nature, mythology, history, fantasy literature, folklore, and faraway lands. Discover how religious and political movements, long-forgotten customs and social mores have influenced names throughout time. This fascinating guide features:

• The only dictionary of non-Christian names in print
• Names indexed both alphabetically and by the qualities they invoke      (beauty, wealth, power, and more)
• Quizzes to help you figure out your magical name
• Rituals to unleash the power within your name

Whether you are looking for a baby shower gift, initiating a new era in your own life, wanting to find a pen name, a magical name, or even a name for your house, The New Book of Magical Names is your indispensable resource.

Here are just a few of the books that make my life as a writer, and in many ways as a pagan woman, a lot easier.

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