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On my beloved forums, this issue pops up now and again: people who describe their practice but can’t define whether or not it is spellwork. I think this is definitely worth defining and should be different from rituals of worship.

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A recommendation – and I don’t always enjoy Witchvox.

To Be Young, Gifted, Black…and Pagan in 21st Century America
Dina, Witchvox.

I’m one of those people who always de-emphasises spellwork to do beginners. No, do don’t do spells, I always say, do devotional work. There is a great difference.

What is a spell?

This is an important definition. A spell is a ritual done with the intention of change. Spells are always cast for a reason and have a specific outcome in mind.

While not everyone does it this way, most draw The Divine into spellwork, invite them into circle and ask Them to deliver these outcomes. There is a lot more to Wicca and spiritual Neo-Pagan practices than asking for stuff!

Laying Foundations with Devotionals

Would you remain friends with someone who only asked for favours? Of course not! Regular devotional ritual is neccessary for creating the basis of a relationship with the Divine. It keeps the energies and connections flowing between you so that communication comes easier. It shows your commitment to the forces you are working with.

With devotionals you aren’t asking for anything. Not anything specific, anyway. At most its an exchange of offerings between you and Deity. Regular devotionals outside from holy days are a very important part of a pagan practice and are one of the first steps to a profound, spiritually rewarding path.

Of Interest:

Kirk Thomas. Make Offerings, Damnit!

It’s true – Halloween can be dangerous. Who knows what poisonned candy might be in circulation, what predators may be out on the street after unsuspecting and unwatched children. Parents definitely have to be vigilant.

I read this article, in which a woman brings up a Halloween alternative. Religuon and children’s safety make up her reasonning. As far as safety goes, we definitely do have to be wary for unsupervised kids. We do have to work on preventing graffiti and vandasm by youth.

But religion?

“Halloween originates in a pagan [sic] holiday and the things that come with it are negative,” [Ms. Schwenke] says.

The things that come with it – does she mean rowdiness, kids misbehaving? Or does she mean the Pagan-ness of Halloween itself ? Remember that this night of Spirits is not just Pagan – All Hallow’s Eve, All Saints Day and All Soul’s Day are all part of the Christian calendar and belief as well.

I do support groups that offer parties for cildren and teenagers, alternatives to them that will discourage bad behavior. I also think that children should be educated so that they’re aware of what dangers are around them. I also think that, if they’re faithful Christians, those children should learn what All Hallow’s Eve is. As a “holy eve”, a remembrance of the dead and the communion of saints, there should be nothing spiritually dangerous about this night.

Trick or tearing ‘negative, unsafe’. Susana Talagi. Stuff.co.nz

Halloween and its Christian roots. Susan Hines-Brigger. Americancatholic.org

Now, Witchvox is in an incredible community tool in that it allows any of us to write and present our opinions about Neo-Pagan Religion and Life. The problem? It allows any of us to write and present our opinions. Sometimes I read things on Witchvox and am apalled by the tangents that writers spiral on to.

Emilioa Enchantra’s article “Organization is Key” caught my attention simply because it’s a statement I do agree with and that I’ll probably write about a number of times. I thought maybe it would be about personal study organization or community organization. What can I say – I have a problem with people who complain and preach but don’t do anything, and more so, say things that I consider just plain wrong.

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This new finding demonstrates not only the religious life, culture and society in Roman and Byzantine Zippori, but also that this was a city in which Jews, pagans and later Christians lived together and developed their hometown with various buildings.  ”

Headlines

Hebrew University archaeological excavations uncover Roman temple in Zippori (Sepphoris)
Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Roman temple ruins found in Israel
Inquirer.net

It often said that “a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet” and while it’s a lovely, romantic notion, it’s hardly practical. The words we use carry over many pre-concieved notions and we’re responsible for considering that as we communicate. In the light of Kathy Lee Gifford’s’s gaffe, I think it’s time for us to examine the words we use. By we, I mean we “pagans”.

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