Category Archives: Paganism

D. J. Conway, Raven Grimassi, Edain McCoy, Ralph Metzner: What is Read and Remembered, Lives

I’m genuinely heartbroken with so much loss this month.

The Witching Hour

45609132_2432927726723575_6048530940341256192_n Image from Mondazzi Book, Bead & Crystal

Four prominent authors have passed in the past month: D. J. (Deanna) Conway, Raven Grimassi (aka Gary Charles Erbe), Edain McCoy and Ralph Metzner. We lost D. J. Conway in early February, and Raven Grimassi and Edain McCoy and Ralph Metzner in March. What links these four prolific authors is the fact that their books, focused on slightly different paths in modern paganism, were all well loved and popular during a time when the pagan community was passionately devoted to reading and supporting its authors.

There were some books about the nascent witchcraft movement in the 1960s and 1970s (like those by Hans Holzer, Colin Wilson, Marian Weinstein, Doreen Valiente, Leo Martello and Sybil Leek, among others), but American paganism didn’t really start to take off in a systemic way until the late 1970s. Prior to that, many seekers read books by British…

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VVhat Ɨs ₸raditional VVitchcraft?

VVise Ħome Ƒoundation ~ Øld VVays Бorn Ånew

coven

“Traditional Witchcraft”, in Pagan circles, is often held as both a measure
and milestone. Likewise, it has become a point of contention and demarcation,
of discrimination and conflict. Envied or not, it lingers as a vague Holy Grail
amongst those who walk the Dark and Wyrd Ways.

Evenso, defining what exactly it is, seems to escape so many.
Take for example the definition of Paganism, which is often given as “non-Christian,
non-Muslim, non-Jew”. So too, Traditional Witchcraft is defined by what it is not:
“non-Gardnerian, non-Alexandrian, non-Wiccan”.

For a moment, I want to set aside the ‘traditional’ part to better focus on the ‘witch’
part. Today, for example, there are three words which are freely exchanged –
so mostly misunderstood – in Pagan circles: Shaman, Witch, and Seiðu (a practitioner
of Seiðr). In almost four decades of research and practice – skulking the scrolls
and weaving the runes – I…

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MistressPrime & BuzzFeed

So, this happened over the weekend…

Well, not exactly “happened”, more like, this was released over the weekend. The actual filming took place weeks ago.

About late July or early August, I was contacted by BuzzFeed producers to see if I’d be interested in participating in a video series they were considering doing where they explore various religions.

I am often asked to do similar projects and while some have been wonderful experiences (such as with BuzzFeed) others aren’t exactly sincere in their requests and were just looking to capitalize on the sensationalistic nature of having a Witch in their media project during the month of October without affording the basic respect to a religion as they might to a mainstream religion. As such, I tend to be cautious with media requests.

After a couple of phone calls and several emails back and forth we settled on a date to film. I went to their Los Angeles studio and we filmed for about 6 hours. They interviewed me extensively about various aspects of Wicca, what it is and what it’s not, gave me the opportunity to dispel some of the more popular misconceptions, and discussed the wide variety that exists in the hundreds of traditions of Wicca. For my part, knowing that traditions can be so different in their practices, I made sure to explain that my representation is only one perspective.

I’ve done many interviews for the media, for nearly 20 years now, and through all these experiences I’ve learned a few things, one of which is that despite the fact I am only one of many different perspectives I could be held as an example for the entire Wiccan, Witch, or Pagan community so I try to choose my words and attire wisely. Essentially, I decided to tone down my personal aesthetic so that what I was sharing and doing was the focus of the interview.

This is the second time I’ve done a ritual on camera for media (last time was on a national tv network; Women’s Entertainment TV). My ritual was crafted to both address the requested goal from the producers, and again I was careful with the language and the whole process to accommodate an inexperienced audience. I had condensed my original ritual down to 16 pages, so while I had much of it memorized there was still some things I needed to read. A tip I learned after doing public ritual for such a long time, always have your script. Things happen and having the pages there to ensure you have all the info is just smart. Also, there were parts of the ritual that the participants needed to read. The whole ritual, once we got started, took approximately 45 minutes overall.

It was a long day (2-hour drive there, 6 hours on set) and I did fret a bit over how the whole thing would be edited. It was a 2 ½ hour drive home in late afternoon traffic. I spent the time completely second guessing small things I could have done differently.

I wasn’t sure when it would be released and while I knew it would be near the end of September I was never given a definite date. It was released while I was in a meeting. My friend was driving us back and I received a message from a woman in London on my public figure Facebook page mentioning she was contacting me because of the BuzzFeed video. I quickly went to YouTube to search and found it. I started to watch it, but decided I’d wait until we got home so I could watch it on a bigger screen. My husband arrived back home at about the same time we did so all three of us watched. I sat there very tense as the video played and when it ended I was mad at myself for even being worried about it. Hahaa! In the end, I think it was well done and I’m comfortable and proud of my part in it.

BLOT – my way

This is a post from one of my favorite blogs to follow.

BJØRN ANDREAS BULL-HANSEN

During the recent few years, everything Viking has become more popular than ever. And while I think this is great, some of us are still struggling to get used to what best can be described as that feeling you would get if you’ve anchored in that secred, secluded bay you thought only you knew about, when suddenly a bunch of cabin cruisers full of loud people arrive. Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that we are now seeing what I like to call a Second Viking Age. It’s just that sometimes I wish people could consider the fact that some of us have been living the Norse way of life for decades, long before it became fashionable. That said, 99% of you are perfectly understanding and respectful. But there is always that 1% who has a need to “educate” other people and to discredit their efforts. I…

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OC Pagan & Witches Meetup Monthly Dinner event – March

This Wednesday March 8th is the monthly dinner event for both the Orange County Pagan and Witches Meetup groups.

If you’re looking to networking with the local Pagan community within Orange County, CA, check out our group and join us for dinner.

OC PAGAN MEETUP

OC WITCHES MEETUP

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Orange County Pagan Meetup ©Yvonne C. Conway