One question that comes up for a lot of people is the question of coming out of the broom closet – when do you tell people about your change in religious interest, views, or practice?
Before I go any further, a recommendation: Dana Eilers’ book The Practical Pagan is an excellent resource on this topic, and she has a lot of great advice about how handle issues of sharing details about your religion both with family and in workplace settings. Highly recommended.
Continue reading Sharing with others (the broom closet isssue)
One question that people often have is about the role of initiation in initiatory traditions.
Basically, in order to join an initiatory tradition, you need to go through specific experiences that help you join with and work with others in that tradition. The experiences themselves can (and should, in this case) change you. But the preparation changes you, and the choice to become part of that larger community also changes you. In other words, while the actual initiation ritual is often a very meaningful time for people, it’s what happens before that, and especially what you do with it afterwards that count even more.
Continue reading What is initiation?
There’s a paradox: you’d think in any discussion about religion, we’d spend a lot of time talking about the deity or deities we honor, and how to deepen our understanding of and relationship with them.
And yet, a lot of intro books sort of brush over this one – and a lot of discussion do, too. People talk about honoring or feeling really connected to a particular deity, of course, but not so much about how to get there. So, here we have a two part piece: this article about some of the things to think about in broader terms, and then an article on learning more about a particular deity.
Continue reading Relationships with deities
Chances are, by this point in your reading, you’ve come across people referring to the elements in terms of Pagan practice. These aren’t the same as the elements you learned in chemistry class, as fascinating as those are.
Instead, they refer to what are sometimes called the Platonic elements: air, fire, water, and earth, the elements considered for many centuries to be the building blocks of all life. We know the science’s different now, but these four forces still have a great deal of resonance for magical and ritual practice.
Continue reading The elements
One of the questions I’ve heard a couple of times now about someone interested in possible coven work is “And I have this friend/spouse/sibling who also might be interested.” On one hand, that’s nice. On the other hand, it’s complicated.
So, let’s talk about that.
There are some groups where it’s generally no problem. Any open ritual group or other group that welcomes basically anyone who can behave themselves appropriately probably will be just fine with it. (Although a few of the points below are still worth keeping in mind.)
However, the question gets more complicated when we’re talking about a smaller study group, coven, or other group that works closely together.
Continue reading I’m interested, and so is …
Just like you have things you’re looking for in a group, groups have things they’re looking for in potential members. These vary a lot, based on the group, so I’m going to talk about some general ones, and then a few specifics for my own group work, so you can see how a particular group’s focus might change things.
Continue reading What groups look for in potential members
There’s a lot of conversation out there about online privacy issues. They’re especially potent for people in any minority community – any group where there are sometimes misunderstandings about what we do, why we do it, and what it means for the other people around us.
Continue reading Pagans, privacy, and online conversation
Many people want to know what they can do on their own, and why they might want to find a group to share their religious practice with (and learn from.)