Tag Archives: Urban Paganism

Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays for February 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th

February 11th

On this day, in the year 1858, the haunting image of Our Lady at Lourdes suddenly appeared in a grotto keeping the shrine of the Goddess for many, many centuries. After the apparition and even before, the spring there has been a place people have gathered to gain healing and or special prayer.

*

In many ancient cultures, today was actually the Lunar New Year or New Year’s day.

*

In Abydos Egypt, today will be the Feast of Osiris. (Urban Paganism)

__________

February 12th

Today marks the holy day of Artemis, also known as Diana. (Urban Paganism)

*

In some Ancient cultures, today was actually their sacred Imbolc.

*

Today symbolizes the good devouring the darkness as the Runic-Half Month of Sigel begins.

___________

 

February 13th

For the next eight days, Parentalia—a huge festival in Rome, will be running. This Festival is for the dead as the spirits of our parents are honored throughout the week. The Romans connected this festival with the Manes—who were dead, and immortal, but not gods. Now in the spirit of Urban Paganism—in many Roman cities there existed a vast, huge pit covered up by one huge stone. Inside this pit, was the path into the Underworld—the path of the Manes.

*

Old Leap Years Day—in many ancient calendars.

*

Today in Egypt, there is another feast of Osiris, only this time the feast will be held in Busiris.

*

Welsh Culture gives us a festival called Gwyl o Don a Cerunnos—held for the Goddess mother Don and the honored God of the forest Cerunnos. The Festival will begin at sundown and will not end until sundown on February 21.

____________

February 14th

 

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!!!!!!!

In Rome, today is sacred to Juno Februa—their Goddess of Looooooooooooooove! Before dreaming, a girl should decorate her pillow with five bay leafs—this will let her dream of her lover. Others should wear a yellow crocus which is believed to attract their true love.

*

The Norse will be celebrating Valisblot –a feast for Vali—during which the light triumphs over darkness. Vali was the son of Odin and Rind.

__________

 

 

Interfaith, intrafaith

Cities tend to be multicultural places. Pagans are one faith group amongst many, and as society becomes more open to people following different faiths, this creates all kinds of interesting issues.

Do we want to engage with other religions? Should we be talking to people of other faiths? Secrecy and wariness have been part of pagan life for a long time and there are still places where it’s not ok to be openly pagan. Should pagans receive the same attention (and money and tax breaks) from governments that other faith groups do?

If talking to other groups, and sharing public celebrations is something we want to do, who speaks for us? There are probably as many kinds of paganism as there are individual pagans. It’s very hard to represent paganism to anyone else. There are at least as many differences as there are similarities between practitioners. (The same can be said of Christianity though).

Moots and open gatherings bring pagans of all and no tradition together. Sometimes that means exploring common ground, but it can equally lead to confusion, and discomfort. Eclectic public ritual can lose focus, becoming an ineffective crowd pleaser rather than a meaningful expression. Frequently what happens is that wiccan forms dominate, because there are more wiccans.

There’s at least as much misunderstanding between pagans as there is between pagans and non-pagans. As new branches of paganism spring up, this increases. Is it ok for us all to go our different ways? Diversity is good, but do we seek it at the cost of making sense to outsiders? Do we need to be able to speak with one coherent voice when dealing with other faith groups and people in authority? Can Fairy Wicca and Revivalist Druidry be recognised easily as part of the same thing as Gardenerian witchcraft, modern Heathenry or Celtic Shamanism? That’s scraping the surface of types of pagan. Sometimes about the only things we all seem to have in common is that we like the word ’pagan’ and we think nature is a good thing.

My feeling is, we need to keep talking to each other, and keep listening. And I don’t mean that with reference to subsets of paganism, or the interfaith scene. As human beings, we need to hear each other’s truth and stories, respectfully. We can all learn from each other. We are all different. We all want to belong somewhere and we all tend to designate some other group as ‘not us’ as part of how we understand ourselves.

I’m not a huge fan of formal interfaith things – I’ve had good and bad experiences, but they tend to emphasises ‘leaders’ speaking on behalf of ‘communities’ and that’s fraught with difficulty. But opportunities for sharing, listening and learning come up all the time. If people come knocking on your door wanting to talk about God, hear them out. We represent paganism best when we express it honourably, respectfully, in dialogue with others. We can do that, all of us, every day, and we can make all kinds of differences.

Urban Paganism : Have you read Urban Primitive? Give us your review!

9780738702599

Have any of our urban pagans read this? If so, drop us a comment and let us know what you thought. I haven’t read it but while researching the subject to match our theme—I found this title for you.

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

Paganism in the Concrete Jungle : Buy Link

*

*

Description:

You consider yourself a Pagan, or a Magician, or a Witch, because you know there’s more to this world than meets the mundane eye. You believe that magic can influence events in your own life and in the world around you.

But you don’t live on some pastoral, isolated farm, living off the land, generating your own electricity and pumping your own water. No, you live in the urban jungle. You learned early on that money really doesn’t grow on trees, and you don’t have wads of extra cash to spend on elaborate ritual tools, custom spell ingredients, and stylish ritual attire. So what a modern urban Pagan to do? Learn how to live a magical life in the concrete jungle.

Whether you’re a seasoned practitioner or you’ve never cast a spell before, this in-your-face guide to commando-style magic is for every urban primitive.

Excerpt:

Most Pagan rituals, spells, and symbols stem from an older, agricultural era. The holidays follow the Wheel of the Year as seen by farmers dependent on it for their food; the rituals revolve around fertility and growing things. This is a difficult path for many city dwellers to follow, surrounded as they are by the energy of a different place and time.
Seasons pass differently in the city; although climatic changes are the same, there are less natural cues, short of the weather, to notice. Even moon cycles are harder to follow in the city. There is more obscuring light pollution, and tall buildings may block the moon when she is hanging lower in the sky.
Granted, it is important to know your roots, to connect with your ancestral patterns, and above all to understand where your food comes from. One thing that is artificial about living in a city is that the majority of food production necessarily happens far away, and urban dwellers are quite dependent on their rural neighbors for almost everything they put in their mouths. This connection is vital, and should be appreciated, and to that end we encourage all city dwellers to periodically take time away from the urban centers in order to connect with the spirit of the giving Earth. Find a farm, and pick apples or help cut cabbages. Acknowledge how dependent you are on rural people for your living, and be respectful of this.

READ MORE HERE

Let us know if you read it!!!!

C.H. Scarlett

Urban ritual

As I commented yesterday in ‘From an Author Perspective’  for most people ritual is a private thing, often carried out indoors, safely out of the public eye. Doing ritual in public woodland, on hilltops and the like means that you get the odd dog walker, but that’s seldom too terrible.

The first time I attended an open ritual at Avebury, I found it really intimidating. There were a lot of tourists. People came and watched the ritual. We were on display, part of the entertainment, and the watchers were not all respectful. Some of them joined the circle even. It was a very different kind of energy from the ritual I had grown used to. I’m not sure I’d have felt much more vulnerable and exposed if we’d been doing it naked! It was scary.

Over a few years of publically visible ceremony, I got comfortable with it, able to trust the druids around me, and used to the idea that the police weren’t going to come and take us away. After all, the chance of seeing people in funny costumes doing eccentric things is part of the tourist appeal of well known ancient sites.

I gather that some years ago there’s a group in Birmingham (UK) who did street ritual. They went out into the city, and went for it. Without the aid of a predefined space, or any context that would make passers by more amenable.

A few years ago, folk from the druid network performed a peace ritual near the Houses of Parliament. It was a radical thing to do, working in a space where people protest, and going through the official channels, explaining that no, this wasn’t a protest, but a ritual. I wasn’t there – I wish I had been – it was a beautiful, radical thing to have done.

Doing pagan ritual in an urban public space is a dangerous thing. Especially if you don’t seek permission before hand. There’s no knowing how the crowds will react, or the police for that matter. Urban ritual in an organised context is a different thing because you have the space made for you – as with rituals held in previous years at the Custard Factory, (Birmingham again) as part of bigger events.

Could you take your ritual work onto the streets? What would happen if we all did? How would it feel? What would change? It’s not something I’ve done. I’m not sure I’d have the courage to do it. How different the world would be, if pagan folk could comfortably stand in circle, in public spaces, and honour the spirits of place, celebrate the ancestors, call to the four directions, and offer prayers to the gods. That’s a world worth striving for, I think.

Urban Paganism: Safety in the City

DARKANGEL33 We hear about it on the news. We see movies based on it on Lifetime & Women Channels. We cry when the victims fill the talk show studios. We even hold the hand of a sister or fellow brother who has went through it first hand.

Yet we never believe  it could easily happen to us….

Crimes.

But it can, and it does.

So before someone’s ignorance or crime affects you, there are some precautions when moving to the big city or populated areas.

 

1. When you move into a new house or apartment, change the locks. Add chains, dead bolts, or whatever to the doors. Make sure the window locks work and if they don’t ride someone’s butt until they get fixed. In fact, see to it that these things are done before your move in date—and get it in writing.  If you are seeing someone and it goes bad, get the key back and still….change the locks. My best friend lived with a girl and when it was over, she left. A year later, she got hard up for cash, took her old key, broke in, and stole all his stuff—or tried—luckily my friend had a nosey neighbor. Still, you never know, so keep locks changed.

2. Never, ever, ever meet up with people online that you do not know  alone. Always meet in a public place. I don’t care if they own a 1000 year old famous Church of Isis—until you know them in and out…don’t be stupid.

3. Look into self defense classes (even if you are a guy) buy some mace, pepper spray…—MAKE SURE WHATEVER means of defense you buy or get, you also get proper training and so forth. I am not just talking about guns….that goes for tazers, pepper spray or even whistles or screamers. They will do you no good if you spray yourself.

4. If you have to work late….then let a security guard or walk with friends to your car, bus stop, or until you catch a cab or get on the subway. Travel in packs and groups.

5. Be smart. Don’t walk into the dark alley if you have chills jumping up and down your spine. Hell, don’t go into the dark alley even if you have a fever of 103.  If you wake up at 2 in the morning feeling the urge to do a ritual in the dark and creepy park—don’t go running off with your candles and incense. I am sure the Goddess or God won’t care if you wait until a safer time.

6. Watch your drinks. We often go to bars or clubs, drinking and having a great time and think nothing of it when we leave a drink with a guy we have been dating  or even with other girls. My friend dated a guy for 3 weeks straight and that didn’t stop him from slipping a drug into her drink when she left it with him as she fled to the dance floor with girl friends. She ended up in the emergency room. Another friend had some girls dump some yuck into her drink just for ‘kicks’. And at one bar I used to go to—the bouncer was slipping stuff into drinks. So watch your drinks, and to be smart—never leave them —take them with you.

7. If it feels weird—then don’t go with it. So what if nothing happens and that bad feeling was wrong—better safe than sorry.

8. Be careful of cult-like-scenes or things which do not add up on the ‘normal’ calculator. A friend of mine and her cousin started going to a bar back in the early 90’s hitting the Vampire scene. Her cousin hooked up with a so-called coven of Vampires who eventually took her back to the ‘master’s’ house. They gave her blood through a needle (the new age way to turn someone).  The next day she woke up having withdrawals, sensitivity to sunlight, unable to eat foods, pain, migraine, etc. She actually believed she was turning into a Vampire. More like a drug addict since the blood was mixed with herein.

9. Go ahead and work your spells and magic of protection on your home and yourself—but don’t depend on them. I could be covered from head to toe in a bullet proof invisible spell but you won’t see my sorry butt running into the line of fire. Cover your butt and take lots of steps to protect.

10. If you know of ways to be safe or things to look out for, please comment and tell us.

These things are not meant to scare but prepare you. Whether you are a man or a woman—moving to populated areas can be unsafe.

C.H. Scarlett

Urban Paganism: Dealing with the Myths of Sex, Sex, & More Sex

Venus,-Cupid,-Baccchus-and-Ceres-1612-13

During Ancient times in certain civilizations, during certain celebrations our Ancient Ancestors became famous for debauchery and free spirited orgies—according to up-to-date prying eyes.

Now a days, if you say you are going out to a Pagan gathering celebrating a fertility ritual, then all eyes and most mouths foam forming images of you stripping down to the buff and humping the leg off whatever moves. This in turn creates many myths, rumors, and false stereotypes concerning Paganism—and with that—many jerks who are more than prepared to use it to their full advantage.

That means many people will attempt to use Paganism as their excuse and means to influence others into their chosen behaviors. Meaning—you meet a guy or girl who claims to be Pagan –who then claims that its perfectly natural to take many lovers and sometimes at the same time.

Ah, no.

If you are new to the city, new to the country, new to Paganism in general, then don’t fall for that line no more than you’d fall for…

“Hey baby, are you tired?”

“Uh, no, why?”

“Because you’ve been runnin’ through my mind all night!”

~~~~~

Sex is not a requirement of Paganism—just an individual– depending on what they desire. Now that’s not to say anyone taking many lovers are in the wrong—just know its a choice, not a divine requirement.

For new Urban Pagans moving through crowds, you may be drawn to the elders or peers of your chosen path. Unfortunately there are many pervs and creeps out there moving under the guise of false Paganism. They will be so slick in pulling you in…so wise and so very charming. However, beware of what they attempt to teach you as law and beware of such lines:

*All Pagans must swing it up with many, many partners.

*If you want to be a real Pagan, then gender shouldn’t matter. We will practice by having a threesome. I have a friend and she is— (Sorry, but if you don’t have the desire to be with the same sex or the opposite, then that’s a personal choice—not a Pagan must. Now if you want to go along with a threesome, then by all means do so….but that makes you a Pagan person wanting do partake in a threesome—not a Pagan ordained rule that one must do so in order to be a Pagan at all.)

*Pagans share….everything and everyone. (We do with what we feel comfortable with sharing—that doesn’t mean your man if you don’t want to.)

*I will show you the face of God and or the Goddess through powerful sex magic! (whatever lol—there are many types of magic if a Pagan even DOES magic to begin with—some do not and for those who do—what KIND of magic is their choice—not a Pagan requirement.)

*Every ritual is a sex orgy.  (I doubt it—again a big myth.)

*We don’t need a condom or protection babe, I did a spell. (WHATEVER!!!!—and yes, some guys try to pull this one. Some girls too, believe it or not. Look, those who work magic know one thing is for certain—its better to cover all bases than to depend on one thing alone. So even though someone did a spell so you wouldn’t catch an STD (sexually transmitted disease) or get pregnant—use a brain and throw on extra protection. Make your sacred places bullet proof! Your body is YOUR TEMPLE—your sacred temple….now practice some personal worship and respect and don’t let anyone come in and trash the place permanently.)

 

~~

 

The fact is this…in many ancient civilizations, thousands did have sex believing that through the woman—they were joining with the Goddess or through the man, they were joining with the God. But that’s in certain civilizations and not everyone was down with it romping up with many, many partners. Those who were had at it…those who weren’t kept with their own private and personal lovers experiencing divinity and sexual enlightenment through them.

Sex magic can be powerful, yes, for some, but like all magic, its what YOU feel drawn to and comfortable doing. Some create Sex Magic with a partner—some by themselves. *winks*

As Pagans, generally the only thing we have in common is the fact that we don’t care what everyone else is doing as long as it doesn’t harm us or others—but on whether or not we sex it up with those others—personal choice.

So watch out for the wanna-be Creeps posing as a Pagan just so they can get their groove on. Pagans can be with one partner, with an opposite gender, with the same gender, with more than one partner and gender, have open relationships or one on one relations—its all up to the person/persons involved—its not a part of the general term Paganism. While we believe sex is beautiful and nothing to be ashamed of….we don’t believe who does what and with how many creates a better or more knowledgeable Pagan. Be true to yourself and don’t fall for any tricks. be comfortable in your own Pagan skin…follow your heart, not someone’s words.

C.H. Scarlett

Pagan in the City : Dating, Marriage, & Telling

moon-goddess-myths-legends

While being an Urban Pagan has its pros and cons, for every Pagan, and whether or not to keep your personal faith private when living in neighborhoods, dorms, apartments, or etc—another challenge rises for Urban and Rural Pagans alike…..

When or if to tell the person I’m  dating or married to.

Dating…

We have all been there, sitting across the table at the restaurant thinking to ourselves….

“Yeah, I like this person….but before I like them too much, should I go ahead and say I’m a Pagan? Or should I wait to see if it gets serious and if it does get to that point will I already be too attached? So if I tell them then, will they flip out, walk out, and that’s it….my heart is in too deep and suddenly broken?”

We could play it safe and date ONLY Pagans—certainly living in the city puts us in touch with groups so we could have a few picks. But to some, whether or not someone is a fellow Pagan isn’t really an issue. Although most times, once we tell the person—it becomes an issue to them.

 

If your spirituality is private, then telling someone in the beginning is not always something you are comfortable with. Why? Well, if it doesn’t  work out some could-be-lovers could turn into complete-and-utter-asses—using our beliefs against us.

I dated a guy years ago who was swept away with the fact I was a pagan. Instead of flipping out, he and his family completely embraced it. They asked questions—“Are you a Witch. Do you curse people (one of their biggest fears). Do you worship the devil?”

I explained and washed their fears away—especially the part about curses and devils lol. The guy I dated was really paranoid about that. Afterwards, it never came up again. He and his family were very comfortable and accepting until we broke up. What was once private became the means to slay and slander me with. He told EVERYONE what I was but not a hint of the truth swam within his words. Instead he built vicious rumors that I worshipped the devil, did curses, and every other horrible thing under the sun and moon. It became so bad, I had to switch circles, stop going to the public places my friends shared because he and his friends were there. In fact, I lost many friends. And eating in the restaurants became a huge no, no as well. I remember one waitress spitting on my plate and then luckily, a real friend of mine, warned me before I ate it.

 

 

Marriage

Dating is not the only problem. Some people discover their path to Paganism later in life after finding their partner or spouse. This, at times, causes problems in the marriage. For instance one friend of mine who we shall call Tim discover his path after being married to the same woman for many-something years. They had children, a home, an entire life. However, when his wife became aware that they no longer shared the same faith (Catholicism) divorce, for the first time, became a threat. Even after they spent a very long time trying to work through it…he promised to keep his faith away from her and the children….she still refused to take him back if he didn’t give up his sinful ways.

While Tim’s story had a tragic end, other times, the marriage isn’t affected. My friend Lucy told her husband and he couldn’t care less. In fact, he helped her find groups and learn more about her path.

 

So what do you do?

 

While the answer to that will be different for each person, we have at least one thing going for us….the fact that times are a changin’.

People are moving past the stereotypes of Paganism and anything out of the ‘norm’. For Urban Pagans, this may be a pro since in bigger areas and cities people seem to be more caught on or less concerned with what everyone else is believing in. Smaller areas, especially in bible belts or conservative communities, not so much.

My advice, choose circles to move and date in that are more open minded or could care less. If you meet someone out of nowhere, then go ahead and throw the cards on the table. After a few dates, bring up the topic of spirituality and then discuss yours in a non-threatening way. Don’t come off as if you disrespect any belief other than your own, and focus on the positives.

Then leave it to fate. If he or she laughs or makes fun of you, then toss them to the wind. Why date someone who is so narrow minded an judgmental?

If they are accepting or even interested, but then after breaking up, what happened to me happens to you—don’t let on that it bothers you. I changed my circles, therefore the negativity followed me longer. As soon as I popped back up again, the gossip stirred once more. But the moment I became unaffected, the moment  I stopped letting it bother me, the moment the rumors stopped. Then, other people began to speak out that they didn’t care or that they were interested. In the end, the ex began to look and feel like an ass—in everyone’s eyes.

If you are married—true love can survive everything and anything. If you have had a wonderful marriage with the occasional ups and downs—and then your spouse is ready to end it all over a matter of faith?

Well, you will have to decide what to do from there—but weigh the options. What will you teach your children if you give up something you are so interested or drawn to? Can you be happy giving up something you are so passionate about? Will you say you have given it up and practice in secret? Is that really honest and being true to yourself and the partner?

Being honest about something you are starting to explore helps. In my friend Tim’s case, he had spent a year or so exploring his new path before dropping the bomb on his wife. Maybe if he would have said in the beginning or discusses a little here or there of the positives—let her get used to it…..

For everyone it is different—but at the end of the day you are still you and you have to follow your heart.