Thursday, November 10, 2005

Reflections of a Greater Glory

So last night we were watching an NFB documentary on pagan spirituality, the new feminist movement, and the environmental movement (Full Circle).

With so much on Goddess spirituality in the mainstream media, the concept of Goddess spirituality is certainly well-known. I'm sure that in 1992 (over 13 years ago), this would've been a relatively new concept to hit the mainstream consciousness.

So the film was more than a bit dated for my students, as well as myself. There was also a nasty undercurrent of anti-male sentiment that I found disturbing (that the males were responsible for everything that had gone wrong in the world). That type of male-villification just gets my blood boiling (so don't get me started).

I was discussing this with Ms. Carotte last night, and I said:

"The movie attributed everything to the Goddess! The oceans, the moon, the animals, and the earth is the Earth Mother. And what about the God? The God gets regulated to the Sun, sperm, general security, and taking out the garbage."

"Think of it this way," she smirked. "The only reason we can see the Moon at all is because it reflects the light of the Sun. What does that say about the Goddess?"

I grinned malevolently. "I'll be sure to use that on some unsuspecting pagan feminist. Maybe I'll go get my tombstone done now and avoid the rush."

There's a reason I love that girl. She always trying to get me killed in some kind of spectacular way.

Thursday, October 27, 2005


I like challenging my students, but I don't want to be a jerk about it either. I like being able to present them with a new idea, a new dilemma, a new perspective, a new scenario and see how they work their way through it or around it.

It's through this process that we find enlightenment. People learn more about a topic by working out an answer than just being told the answer. Even if the journey leading to the answer presents more questions, struggling with those questions can lead to even more answers. And so on. And so forth.

Not that there are any plain and simple answers in Pagan Edumacation. I was once told that I chose to be Pagan because I was lazy, that I didn't have make an effort to follow the rules because there is no Pagan doctrine, no Bible. There's no central Pagan authority to guide me, to keep me safe.

In my opinion, being Pagan is not for the lazy because I have to find my own answers to life's questions. I have to do my own research and come up with my own answers. On top of it all, those answers can change from day to day. Everytime I think I reach the top of the mountain, the clouds part to reveal another slope.

Whereas in other "documented" faiths, they provide you with a map that clearly indicates how tall the mountain is, where to go (to be safe), and where not to go. And if you discover another mountain top, the Faith Sherpa will tell you that it's either Not There or it's a Not To Go part of the mountain.

All this to say that, while I like to unveil new parts of the mountain to my students, I'm keenly aware that there's a fine line between challenging them and being a butthead about it.

I'm learning still. They're learning still.

Monday, October 24, 2005

New Links and Info

I've been going through the journals, homework, and exams and I'm pleased to say that my students take their studies very seriously. More than just repeating what they were told, they've obviously done some serious thinking and research of their own on the topics we've covered.

If there's one thing I want them to learn is that their search for knowledge should never end. The course they are taking with us is only a springboard.

I've been asked by Montreal Sabbats to lead the public Yule ritual (December 17th), so I've started to do some of my own research to design a kick-ass ritual that everyone will enjoy. In doing so, I found some interesting links (which I've added to this page on the side).

Since we'll be covering the Sabbats in the next few classes, you'll probably find these interesting:

Encyclopedia Mythica
Pagan Chant Library
The Sabbats
God Checker

See you on Wednesday!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Scheduling Conflict

I've just realized this week that my storytelling show at the Dollard Des Ormaux Library is on Wednesday the 19th of October, which is in direct conflict with my class. This date was selected long before the class date, so I've double-booked myself (again).

Scarlet has very graciously agreed to run the class for me, so don't worry! I'll be back the following week to continue our studies.

My apologies for my absence. I'll make sure it doesn't happen again.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


I'm very pleased to hear that my students are enjoying the course and are intending to continue with it. I'm thanking the Gods that Scarlet is teaching the class with me (providing the more academic side while I expound upon the experiential side), but I'm looking forward to a time when I'll be comfortable enough to teach the class on my own.

The next couple of classes will be more relaxed since we'll be watching some pagan-related films and opening the floor to discussion and debate (my favourite).

I hope we're all still around so that I can see my students perform their own ritual.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Shaking a Creative Leg

Our third class was spent looking at the creative, improvised, making-it-up-as-you-go part of ritual and magic. We had a few exercises that allowed the students to express themselves physically, trying to communicate their ideas without words. Then we had exercises that allowed them to free-form write their inspirations down based on unfamiliar music.

What's the point of all that and what does it have to do with magic?

Communicating your ideas, desires, and needs to the universe does involve a certain amount of creative thought and expressiveness. Ritual is all about theatrics, especially in group situations. You need to be comfortable with yourself and your instincts so that you are not be bogged down by fear, second-guessing, and debilitating frustration when things don't go as planned.

So being confident in your abilities, being able to think on the spot, to go with the flow, and being able to improvise will allow your energy to flow more naturally.

Being able to improvise your way through a flubbed dance step is the difference between creating art and stumbling until you fall into the orchestra pit.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Second Class

Last night's class was even closer to complete, but now I've met all of my students for this term. I must say that I'm impressed with the folks that have come out for this class. They all have varying degrees of prior experience with pagan spirituality, philosophy, or magic-use, but they are very quick, knowledgable, and ask some tough questions. This is going to be fun and challenging.

One of my new students says that there are people in St. Leonard giving a similar set of courses, but the are definitely focussed on Wicca specifically and the teachers gave her an odd feeling. I wonder who these people are 'cause I've not heard about these classes. While we do cover Wicca in our set of classes, we also try to offer a balanced look at many belief systems.

We also had an interesting discussion on the Ethics of using Magic, so I'm looking forward to future questions, discussions, and their journal entries on this subject. The example I provided was as follows:

"My mother is in the hospital and is very sick. I want to do a healing spell to help her get well, but she wants nothing to do with my magical work. She believes it to be the Devil's work and wants no part of it. Of couse, I know my magical work is not Devil worship, so I still want to do the healing spell. What are the ethics involved here?"

Any thoughts on this (use the Comments feature to let me know)?

Also, Scarlet used a simple grounding exercise to show the students how energy can be used to tie a person down. This was the same exercise she asked me to participate in a couple of years ago that completely freaked me out. I couldn't believe how difficult it was to lift her off the ground after she grounded.

It was cool to watch the other students react to this demonstration. I'm looking forward to exposing them to energy using their Third Eye.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

First Day, First Post

I taught my first class last night: Level One students at the Crescent Moon School. Overall, the class went well, although it ended late (we started late). There's also a huge load of material we need to cover in each class, so I really need to keep a better eye on the clock.

The students are very bright and very different and they can ask very tough questions! I'm glad Scarlet was there to provide the academic side of things. I'm handling the personal experience and opinions side of things.

And speaking of opinions, I had the opportunity to rant about two things I was looking forward to, namely:
  • Black/White/Fuscia Magic: magic is a tool and it doesn't have morality about it. It's like a hammer. You can use a hammer to build a chair or you can use a hammer to crush someon's skull. It doesn't change the nature of the hammer: it's the intention of the person wielding the tool that matters. Black or White witchcraft is like Black or White carpentry.

  • The Necessity of Magical Tools: using candles, incense, knives, wands, etc. can add lots of theatrics to your spiritual practice and can be useful to focussing the mind, body, and spirit, but they are definitely optional.

    It's your energy and your connection to the energy of the universe that matters. With practice, you can focus your mind, body, and spirit to a point where you won't need the tools anymore. They can be fun, but definitely not necessary.
Scarlet only had to pull me back a few times, but I need to focus on that for the next class. Still... it's loads of fun! I hope the students find the classes fun and informative.