Wednesday, March 29, 2006

With Sabbats comes... Food!

We covered the Sabbats and the Esbats tonight. I drew parallels between many of the holidays we already celebrate (like Christmas, Easter, and Halloween) with the traditional Pagan holidays (like Yule, Ostara, and Samhain). One of the best part of Paganism is that I don' t have to give up my favorite Christian holiday traditions; everything just blends together seamlessly.

Thank the Gods for Amanda though... I take the lead on the class direction and she happily and skillfully fills in all the holes. I love teaching this class with her.

Next week, my students will be bring in Sabbat foods and we'll be munching while we watch another Pagan film. Hopefully, the film will generate some discussion. If not, I might bring up a topic that I'm hoping to turn into a discussion session for the upcoming Awakening Isis festival.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Video and Exams

I'm not sure about the market for quality films about Paganism, but there's not much out there. We watched a the Discovering Witchcraft DVD put together by the Farrars about 7 years ago, and while it was informative, focussed, topical, and certainly better than Goddess Remembered (put out in the late 80's), it's production and direction was a bit blah (a bit homemovie-ish).

I wonder what it would take to put together an instructional video on the modern state of Paganism today? Hmmmmm... Another project for the backburner.

I was trying to work with a local documentary company to put together a 10-15 minute segment on modern paganism, but trying to pull everyone's schedule together to hold a ritual that would be filmed proved to be our downfall. However, the documentary people are supposed to be contacting me in the coming months to try again in the spring. Besides, a Bealtane ritual in the spring would come off better on film anyways.

The students worked on their exams (don't worry about it folks!) and then we went for a pint to celebrate completing the first part of the course.

Next week, it'll be Esbats, Sabbats, and Cooking!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Happy Ostara

A bit late, but Happy Ostara to everyone. Don't forget that there is a public Ostara ritual on Saturday March 25th. You can reading more about it here: MPRC Events Page.

An exerpt from an article on WitchVox about Ostara.

Easter gets its name from the Teutonic goddess of spring and the dawn, whose name is spelled Oestre or Eastre (the origin of the word "east" comes from various Germanic, Austro-Hungarian words for dawn that share the root for the word "aurora" which means " to shine"). Modern pagans have generally accepted the spelling "Ostara" which honors this goddess as our word for the Vernal Equinox. The 1974 edition of Webster's New World Dictionary defines Easter thus: "orig., name of pagan vernal festival almost coincident in date with paschal festival of the church; Eastre, dawn goddess; 1. An annual Christian festival celebrating the resurrection of Jesus, held on the first Sunday after the date of the first full moon that occurs on or after March 21." The Vernal Equinox usually falls somewhere between March 19th and 22nd (note that the dictionary only mentions March 21st, as opposed to the date of the actual Equinox), and depending upon when the first full moon on or after the Equinox occurs, Easter falls sometime between late-March and mid-April.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Altars and Shrines

In last week's class, we went over the difference between Altars and Shrines and the student's homework included designing their own altar and shrine.

If you're curious, here's what my altar looks like:


Friday, March 17, 2006

Been Quiet for Too Long

I just updated the blog with the blogs of my new students. Classes started again almost two months ago and I'm pleased to report that they're going great! This is due to a few factors:

1. Great students.
2. Amanda is co-teaching the class with me.
3. This is my second go at the course.

We started with four students and after the first third of the class, only one student has dropped out (with very good reasons). We'll miss you Louise!

I want to thank my students for getting through the first volley of classes and being so passionate about the lessons (especially for reading the reading pack on time for the in-class discussion!). I look forward to our classes every week!

I'll try to keep this blog updated and I will now be reading your blogs. Whee!