"KNOW THYSELF""After all of this seeking, I had fallen back upon myself, having found ‘perfection’ nowhere. I hadn’t yet realized that perfection is wholeness, not the eradication of perceived flaw…but I did listen to the line in Doreen Valiente’s Charge of the Goddess that said: If that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.”
~ T. Thorn Coyle, Evolutionary WitchcraftWho is the flower above me?
And what is the work of this god?
I would know myself in all of my parts.
~ Feri Flower PrayerWhat is the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism? When are we doing necessary work for growth and change, and when are we spinning our wheels, avoiding discomfort and deeper transformation? Can unexamined self-improvement become a tool of self-hate? What does it look like when we know our selves in all our parts? Join me in an open discussion of self love, self work, and the delicate balancing act between the two!
TRIGGER WARNING: discussion of suicideNOTE: If you are depressed and contemplating suicide, please, please get help. If you have a trusted friend or family member, counselor, teacher, etc… that you can talk to, do so. Otherwise (in the US) you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or chat online with someone who can help via IMAlive or CrisisChat. For international assistance you can check the International Suicide Prevention wiki for resources. No matter how bad things may seem right now, they will eventually get better. Taking your own life is not the best solution, and there are people out there who can help.
Hello, I’ve had this question for a few months now and I’m still trying to find the right way to ask about it. I’ve been looking up people to ask, but it never seems to work. When I found you, I got excited. If you commit Suicide, will you not be welcomed in by the Great Mother and Great Father? I’ve been told that if you commit suicide out of Deep Depression, you wont be loved or forgiven by the divine. I’m sorry if the question makes you feel uncomfortable, but I had to ask.
All over the world, local coordinators host public Pagan Pride celebrations. In 2014, the window for celebrations is August 1 to October 31 — see our Event Policies for more information. Read more about what we have done in the Pagan Pride Project history and the News Section and Press Releases.
It’s PPD season, for those that are interesting in attending, you can find events near you here.
"INTERSECTING FAITHS IN THE NEO-PAGAN TRADITION"
While many of are proud to call themselves “Pagan,” for others naming our religious identity is a bit more complicated. Some may hold a deep relationship with Jesus, or follow Buddhist practices, or incorporate various folk traditions from our family heritage. How can I be authentically who I am if my sense of the Divine doesn’t fit into a single religious label? Is there a place in Neo-Paganism for those with multiple faith commitments?
Join us for our once-a-month Pagan meeting-of-minds! It should run about an hour, give or take, and is available to anyone who would like to join. Read more about Alchemeet. And remember, we’ve updated our policy regarding the tiny chat password— so check out the Alchemeet Page if you need a reminder!
I’m currently a student studying radiography and I was wondering if there are other Wiccans in the modern healthcare industry? I have researched this topic but have yet to get an answer so I figured I would ask.
The simple answer is yes – there are Wiccans, Neo-Pagans, Witches, etc… in almost every career sector imaginable. It’s common misconception I think, to view Pagans as fringe-dwellers, who…
I am a pagan hiding in the world of Christianity. When I came to college, a christian university at that, I was planning on being a preacher. But as I went further and further into school the more and more I felt like I was missing something. Then I found magic, and a void was filled for the first time in my life. I have become a dedicated pagan but just still in the broom closet so to speak. But…
SPAKE IN RHYME:
Steward’s Beltane 2014 poem. (Passages in quotations are from “The Charge of the Goddess” by Doreen Valiente.)
Important note: if you don’t know much about asexuality and the asexual umbrella, please give this and this a read YES, both of them :)! ALSO, I AM NOT TRYING TO AND CANNOT SPEAK FOR THE ENTIRE ACE COMMUNITY. THIS IS FROM MY OWN EXPERIENCE AND OPINIONS. I am also not shaming anyone or their practices.
EDIT: This is based what I’ve experienced and been exposed to, which is clearly limited and nowhere near the broad scope of things. These are more personal musings than anything.
It’s difficult, if not impossible, to read a post about Beltane without mention of sex and/or fertility. After all, that’s what the holiday is about, right? This is the holiday most likely to contain orgies and, one hopes, as many orgasms as possible.
But what happens when you’re a Pagan who doesn’t desire sex, or is even repulsed by it? Such a person may or may not fall under the asexual umbrella, but the fact is, we exist. While there are asexual people who have sex, who masturbate, who have libidos enjoy orgasms as much as the next person, this is for those who don’t.
I consider myself a panromantic repulsed asexual. That means (to me) that I do not experience sexual attraction, am repulsed by the idea/act of involving myself in sexual activity, and feel romantic attraction to people of any gender.
This is not sad, and you should not feel “sorry” for me and what I’m “missing out on.” I love who I am, and since coming out as ace, have only become happier and more comfortable with myself! I am not against sex on the whole (though some people are), just for myself; actually, I consider myself sex-positive and often engage in advocacy surrounding the topic!
So, when the Beltane posts started popping up on Tumblr, I began to feel troubled. How, as a repulsed ace, was I to celebrate one of the biggest holidays of my year? How were other ace Pagans dealing with it? Cake? Oh sure, we’ll always have cake!*
But cake wasn’t enough to quell my thoughts. That’s when I came up with this:
Sex as Personal Connections and Pleasure
Sex means a lot of different things to different people, but one of the things many seem to agree on is that it’s a deeply personal way of connecting and sharing pleasure with another being. We can also agree, I think, that there are more ways of connecting and experiencing pleasure than being physically intimate!
Instead of, or in addition to having sex, check up on all of the people you love and care about today. I’m not just talking about significant others, either. There’s this idea in mainstream Western culture that romantic love trumps all, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The relationships we have forged with our friends, mentors, and family are just as beautiful and fulfilling as having a romantic significant other. Pay tribute to your connections with others and work to make them stronger! Get together with your loved ones, whether online or in the flesh, and let them know how much you care and appreciate them.
As for pleasure, well, that’s a pretty easy one. Indulge in one of your favorite foods, engage in an activity that makes you happy, listen to your favorite music or buy a new album! If you’re (like me) a very busy and often stressed person, take a minute or an entire afternoon, regardless of your schedule, to pamper yourself. You deserve to feel good!
Obviously non-(repulsed) asexual people can do these things, as well, so don’t leave yourself out!
Fertility as Creativity
Ah, fertility! The wondrous potential to create new life! Without it, we wouldn’t even be here, now would we? Now, my issue with personally celebrating fertility comes less from being ace and more from other identities/feelings of mine, but I think it’s still relevant to the topic at hand, considering the connection almost always made between fertility and sex.
This one’s pretty easy, too: fertility needs not refer only to sexual fertility and the ability to make babies, but to fertility of the mind and creative spirit. Even if you don’t have an artistic “talent,” make some artwork today! It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece, just something born of yourself, of the feelings and life and energy swirling around in your being. Find some fun activities online, in a book, or just go for it on a whim! I advocate the latter especially, as the act of letting yourself go and throwing your entirety into the act of creating art is just as wild and wonderful as creating through sex.
Creativity doesn’t even have to be artistic. You could meet a new person and create a bond of friendship with them. You could create a new atmosphere for yourself by moving the furniture around in your home, or buying new decorations for it. Head over to Kickstarter and help fund someone’s project, therefore lending a hand in someone else’s creative process!
Many articles on celebrating Beltane also suggest admiring the fertility of nature at this time of year. Taking a walk to look at flowers, planting them or putting some in a vase on your table, or even engaging in some full-out gardening are certainly a celebration of fertility!
The possibilities are pretty endless, if that wasn’t clear. We are, on the whole, very creative beings—even destruction is a form of creation, after all.
In conclusion, Beltane is about more than a literal interpretation of “sex and fertility.” It’s about living a full, creative life and appreciating the various bonds we’ve formed with other beings, and looking at it in this way can be beneficial not only to asexual Pagans, but everyone else, as well!
No matter how you’re celebrating it, happy Beltane, northern hemisphere!
*the cake thing is an ace joke, don’t worry if you don’t get it
P.S. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with the whole sex and sexual fertility celebration of Beltane! Go have those wonderful orgasms, my good friends! My intention is not to shame these practices but to offer an alternative or expansion to those who might choose otherwise :)
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