Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Powerful Samhain tradition

If you're looking for something meaningful to do for Samhain, here's a suggestion:

Any evening over the next few nights (end of October/beginning of November), sit in a comfortable spot in your house, turn out the lights, light a few candles, and pour two glasses of wine.

Then sit quietly and think about a loved one who has passed away, either in the past year or previous years. You can even just speak out loud to them as if they were sharing the wine with you. They will come to you in that moment, so just allow them to be there and take comfort in it.

When you're done, finish your wine, but take their glass and pour it out onto the ground outside. If you can, leave the glass outside with a candle burning nearby (then pour the wine out in the morning). That way, the spirit of your loved one will be able to find you easily.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Good Reading Online

I've known about The Internet Sacred Text Archive for a few years now, but I decided to revisit it recently. They' redesigned it a wee bit, made it easier to use, and it's amazing what's on there. It's enough to make me what to get a Kindle and load everything into it so I can read it all.

Check out what 's in the Pagan archives! Awesome stuff.

And now they're selling the stuff on DVDs and CD-ROMS. It might be something to invest in...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pagan Films Online

When we talked briefly about The Goddess Remembered before deciding to watch the Pagans video instead, I mentioned that you can watch TGR online via the NFB website.

The Goddess Remembered by Donna Reed

You may also be interested in seeing the related film The Burning Times also by Donna Reed.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Energy Work and the Wiccan Rede

It's a new season and a new set of students (eight students, in fact!). Very exciting! In the last class, we experimented with energy work and had some really fantastic (or weird) experiences with energy balls and expanding our auras and such.

When also we talked about the Wiccan Rede and the various ways it has been re-written and re-imagined, we reviewed versions by Gerald Gardner, Doreen Valiente, and Aleister Crowley. It's always interesting to discuss the philosophy behind the "Harm None" ideal to explore our own ethics on spiritual expression and use of magic.

As for Crowley, I mentioned a movie about a guy who resurrects Aleister Crowley's spirit called Chemical Wedding. It's not a fantastic movie, but I'm told by Crowley fans that Cowell does an excellent job of his portrayal of Crowley.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

NFB's The Burning Times

You can watch the NFB documentary The Burning Times on their website for free! Watch it here:

The Burning Times
Donna Read, 1990, 56 min 10 s

This documentary takes an in-depth look at the witch hunts that swept Europe just a few hundred years ago. False accusations and trials led to massive torture and burnings at the stake and ultimately to the destruction of an organic way of life. The film questions whether the widespread violence against women and the neglect of our environment today can be traced back to those times. Part two of a series of three films on women and spirituality, which includes Goddess Remembered and Full Circle.

Yes, this is by Donna Read who also produced the movie The Goddess Remembered that we watched in class.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Last Class, Final Thoughts

We had our last class last night and it was so bittersweet. We just spent the last 18 weeks on this introduction to paganism class and I was amazed through it all. This was my biggest class (in terms of students) and almost all of them stuck it out to the end.

I had a huge going-away speech planned, but I just could not get it out of my piehole in any reasonable way. Maybe it's for the best... maybe it didn't need to be said.

I hope some of my Level 1 students continue on to Level 2 and beyond. Everyone was brilliant and insightful; the tangent discussions in class were fascinating and usually expanded the topic that we were trying to cover, albeit in a unexpected way (and sometimes I had to nip the geek talk in the bud).

As with all of my students, I look forward to crossing them here and there at the local community events and I will delight in challenging them in new and unexpected ways!

*maniacal laughter*

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Reaching me during the day

Where I work, my client has blocked stuff like Hotmail, Yahoo, and Facebook. This means I tend to get more productive, but it also means I won't be able to read anything you send to my Yahoo email address during the day.

I noticed that Edith is trying to tell me she probably won't make it to tonight's class (I guessing due to a work-related double-booking), but I can't read the message, nor can I respond to it.

Your best bet is to call me on my cellphone during the day if you need to reach me. If you don't have my number, remind me in class and I will repost my number.

Also, seeing how we have just a few classes left together, I feel the need to remind you all that you owe me three essays to complete the class:

1. History of Paper/Writing/Books/Book Binding
2. About [insert male deity here]
2. About [insert female deity here]

Thursday, May 21, 2009

About Wiccan Sacred Circle

For those of you who didn't take Meri's contact info or her website, here it is:

For more information on Therapeutic Touch:

Friday, May 15, 2009


This is just a quick note to my Level 1 students about their presentations on Deities and Cultures:

You people seriously Rock!

The presentations are great and the discussions are even better. This part of the course can sometimes be kinda painful, but you all are making it a pleasure. Thank you.

Remember that we have a guest lecturer coming in next week, so please bring a $5 gift for the guest lecturer.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Deity Presentations

Congrats to all my Level 1 student on their fantastic presentations on cultural deities. I've been giving this class a few times now and you're all finding new information that I didn't previously find or present.

Next week, there are three students who will be giving their presentations on Judeo-Christian, Monotheistic, and Islamic deities and beliefs. I can't remember who is doing what, but I highly recommend that you watch this debate on YouTube in relation to your presentation. I know I mentioned it before, but in case you've forgotten:

Admed Deedat vs Jimmy Swaggart

The debate presents two fascinating viewpoints on the same sacred text. Try to suspend your own bias and really listen to what both speakers have to say.

Friday, April 03, 2009

April 8th Ritual Calls and Stuff

For those of you who missed the last class, here are the calls for stirring, calling, and dismissing the elements. Don't forget to bring your stones for the protection circle.

Also, make sure you review your notes because you will have the opportunity to retake the first test and correct the mistakes you made the first time. If you got only a couple of them wrong, you don't need to take the test again (unless you want to). You can use the time to prepare your elemental expression, meditate on the coming ritual, or complete some of your homework.


EAST: (light candle) I call upon light and Air at the East to illuminate and enliven the circle.

SOUTH: (light candle) I call upon light and Fire at the South to illuminate and warm this circle.

WEST: (light candle) I call upon light and Water at the West to Illuminate and cleanse this circle.

NORTH: (light candle) I call upon light and Earth at the North to illuminate and strengthen this circle.


EAST: Hail to the Guardians of the Watchtowers of the East. Ancient powers of Air Let us breathe your clarity and knowledge. We bid you, join us during our rite.

ALL: So mote it be!

All turn to face the south.

SOUTH: Hail to the Guardians of the Watchtowers of the South Ancient ones of Fire Let us be filled with your warmth and passion for life. We bid you, join us during our rite.

ALL: So mote it be!

All turn to face the West.

WEST: Hail to the Guardians of the Watchtowers of the West Ancient ones of Water May we drink of your wisdom and healing. We bid you, join us during our rite.

ALL: So mote it be!

All turn to face the North.

NORTH: Hail to the Guardians of the Watchtowers of the North Ancient ones of Earth Portal to all that was and all that will be Touch us with your strength and bounty. We bid you, join us during our rite.

ALL: So mote it be!


NORTH: Guardians of the watchtower of the north, thank you for your presence here. Stay if you will, go if your must, Hail and farewell.
ALL: Hail and farwell.

WEST: Guardians of the watchtower of the west, thank you for your presence here. Stay if you will, go if your must, Hail and farewell.
ALL: Hail and farewell

SOUTH: Guardians of the watchtower of the south, thank you for your presence here. Stay if you will, go if your must, Hail and farewell.
ALL: Hail and farewell.

EAST: Guardians of the watchtower of the east, thank you for your presence here. Stay if you will, go if your must, Hail and farewell.
ALL: Hail and farewell.

HP will take up athame, go to the north quarter, point athame down and move widdershins around the circle (N-W-S-E-N). Envision the blue light drawing back into the athame and HP will say:

The circle is open yet the circle remains as its magical power is drawn back into us. So mote it be.

ALL: So Mote it be!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Good Reading on the Web this Week

I found a few really cool articles on the web this week that you might enjoy reading. Be warned though: there's alot of text (and I haven't even rebutted yet!). Be sure to read all the comments as well!

Dr. Brendan Myers: Is the pagan movement a community?

Gus DiZerga: The Perils of Pagan Clergy
First Argument
Second Argument
Third Argument

And lastly, my own essay was published on Witchvox:
Raven vs. The Big Bang

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Topics raised last class

Spirited discussion! Excellent class! I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did.

Here are a couple of links related to what we talked about:

Ley Lines:
National Association for Scientific and Cultural Appreciation
Nasca Lines on Google Sightseeing

This is the article I mentioned that refutes many of the claims made in Goddess Remembered. His axe-grinding writing style does nothing to add to his credibility, but he does make some interesting points.

And finally, this website lists many of the chalk figures that appear in the hills in England.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Documentaries on Paganism

I've been researching documentaries on Paganism and I found a couple of interesting videos. YouTube has a couple of shows that National Geographic put together, which are short but interesting:

National Geographic: Wicca
National Geographic: Naked Witchcraft

Then I found a British show that followed the live of five women who study with a wiccan priestess for a month. It has more to do with spellcraft than the philosophy of witchcraft, but it's interesting all the same.

The Real Witch Project: Part 1
The Real Witch Project: Part 2
The Real Witch Project: Part 3
The Real Witch Project: Part 4


This YouTube link has nothing to do with paganism, but it's a fascinating debate between Islamic preacher Ahmed Deedat and Pentecostal preacher Jimmy Swaggart. They are debating whether the Bible is the holy word of God (Swaggart says yes, Deedat says no). It's really worth listening to, even if only for the pleasure of hearing two great orators go at it.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Recycling materials

I've been hearing that some of you are having a difficult time coming up with practical things to make from recycled material.

If you're looking for some inspiration, check out the Green ideas at

Also, here's a fun and simple way to start your growing project by using egg shells to grow your seeds. The best part is that once the seedling outgrows the shell, you can bury the whole thing, shell and all, in the new pot!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Classroom shenanigans and projects

Vanessa, Melanie, and Andrew! We missed you last class.

Despite my recovering from the flu, I was able to teach the class on Magical Symbols, Colors, and Altars and Shrines. We got to the end of the first trimester, so this means that the exam will be in two weeks! So if you've missed out on the classes, make sure you get in early next class to take some time to copy some of the notes we made in these classes. You'll need them to be able to pass the test.

Next week, the class will be divided into three parts:
1) Bring in your reading packs and we will discuss some of the sections you highlighted.
2) We will be watching a movie called The Goddess Remembered and discussing it.
3) I will give you time in class to prepare your Element Embodiment performance.

Also, in order to give you some context for all the material we've been covering, we've decided to perform our own ritual in class on April 8th 2009. It will be a ritualized spell of healing where we will be making protection stones.

Therefore, before April 8th, you need to find a small stone you wish to charge with healing energy. In selecting this stone, try to do some research on the lore behind the various stone types to make your choice more relevant.

Very exciting!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Celtic Ceilidh in NDG on February 28th 2009

This is the show I'll be performing this coming weekend. I hope you can make it!

The Anglican Church of St. Columba
4020 Hingston Avenue
(corner Notre-Dame-de-Grace Ave)
Montreal, Quebec
(514) 486-1753

Celtic Ceilidh
Saturday, February 28
from 6:00 pm until 10:30 pm.
Tickets $12 for adults (children free)

The evening will start off with a dinner including Irish Stew and
Oatbread, and a special Irish dessert. Beer and wine will also be
available for purchase.

John David "Hobbes" Hickey, a professional storyteller, will entertain
us in the time-honoured Celtic tradition. Also included in the
festivities will be a Celtic band led by Jim McDermott who will invite
us to share in the excitement of a traditional Celtic ceilidh,
including music, dance, jokes and stories.

There will also be an opportunity to admire and purchase the works of
skilled craftspeople at a mini-marketplace at the beginning of the

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Shamless Plug

Go check out my new streaming story on my StoryBlog:

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Musical selection from class

Here's a list of the music that you heard in class during your improvisational exercise:

Team Fortress 2 theme song
Half-Life 2, episode 2 - Song 25
Spit'n Flankers -- Dust Rhinos
El Baile del Puma -- the Paperboys
Mumbles -- Clark Terry/Oscar Peterson
Parade -- Dragon Ritual Drummers

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Experiencing energy on purpose

Big shout out to John and Rosanne for guest speaking in the class, teaching the students about grounding, centering, and taking note of the energy flow. Everyone had an experience of some kind, some more intense than others.

Training your mind and body to recognize energy flow takes practice. When people do it for the first time, either nothing will happen or everything will happen. The trick is taking note of what happens without over-analyzing it too much. If you notice your hands are tingling slightly, that's good. Focusing on that tingling will pull your meditative mind away from its attempt at sustaining awareness, which is the definition of distraction ("Oooh... shiny!").

We also got into some great discussion on the Wiccan Rede and the charges of the God and Goddess. Every time I got through those passages and the students discuss them, I get new insight. It's very cool.

Next week will be very exciting because John will return to the class to do more energy exercises. Because we're up in the room above the shop, we now have the room to move more freely about. I'm curious to see what people's experiences will be.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

New class in 2009!

I had my first class with my new set of students, all nine of them! Nine! This is my largest group so far and I hope they all stick it out until the end of the course.

My new resolution for this group is to be on time for class, which is a bit of a challenge since my client is two traffic jams away. But when I tried to complain about this, my student Syl replied with "Awww... shall I call you a WAAAAAHHHHmbulance?" True enough.

So Wednesday will be my half-day or full day off from work. I'll go into work in the morning, leave around noon, and make my way into the city. I'll either meet up with folks or just take my laptop with me so I can keep working with a pint within comfortable reach.

The first class was great! Everyone has great energy and enthusiasm, so I'm looking forward to some hearty discussion and debate over the next 18 weeks. I have a couple of CMS teachers who are guest-teaching for the next couple of weeks so we can try out the energy exercises, so that'll be fun.

I'll also try to update this blog more often. Check back soon!