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Tribal Paganism
June 2008
Tribal Paganism
Sat, Aug. 25th, 2007 11:37 pm

Read my essay on the subject at Witchvox, and please post your comments here for discussion.


Tribal Paganism
Wed, Aug. 15th, 2007 05:51 pm

I'd like to hear how you define Reconstructionism in your particular tradition. Or perhaps, like the Yahoo group Tablet of Destiny, you believe that there is only one approach to Reconstructionism, regardless of the ancient religion involved. Whatever your beliefs are, feel free to post them.

I've been conducting my own informal survey of some university professors that I know and to date none of them are familiar with any agreed upon single definition of the term, so let's see how many different approaches we have among our members on this list.



Tribal Paganism
Mon, Aug. 6th, 2007 08:55 am
Call for Writers – Cultural Appropriation in the Neopagan Community

Megalithica Books, an imprint of Immanion Press (Stafford, U.K.), is seeking submissions for a new anthology on the topic of cultural appropriation within the Neopagan community.

For decades, pagans have drawn on cultures from around the world and throughout history as part of our spiritual and magical practices. We
worship deities of cultures both thriving and long gone, we
incorporate tools and regalia into our rituals drawn from other
religions, and rarely is the impact of our borrowing (sometimes
interpreted as theft) questioned or discussed. Cultural appropriation
is the elephant in the room--and it's time to start talking about it.

More info under the cutCollapse )

Please feel free to pass this information on to anyone you think may be interested!


Tribal Paganism
Sat, Jul. 28th, 2007 11:31 am

In case anyone here is interested, I've created a Yahoo group to discuss how animal entities may be enlisted for magical purposes, both from historical and contemporary perspectives, including personal approaches as well.

Here's how the description reads on the group's Home page:

"This group is for the discussion of totemic witchcraft as practiced in many magico-religious traditions throughout the world. Our goal is to explore both contemporary and historical practices which rely upon establishing relationships with animal allies for magical purposes, and what that may entail.

We are not looking to reconstruct any ancient methods, although we may certainly draw from the historical evidence to expand our understanding. Members are encouraged to share their own methods of working with animal entities, totems, familiars, naguals, nahualli, but should be prepared to field questions about their practices and experiences.

While this specific group falls under the Yahoo category of Shamanism, it is not an exclusively shamanic group. If you are a shamanic practitioner, you are welcome to join, but not everyone who joins will be interested in or affiliated with shamanic practice."

If the topic interests you, feel free to join.


Tribal Paganism
Thu, Jul. 26th, 2007 08:28 pm

What does it mean, being human?

Does it mean building better modes of transportation?

Does it mean building taller buildings?
Better methods of destruction?

Building gadgets to make ourselves smarter, faster or stronger?

In order to prove we are indeed the 'dominant species'?


It means using our vast intellects and superior technology to help those who cannot help themselves.

Then and only then can we call ourselves 'civilized'.
And until then, we may as well climb back into the trees and continue to beat our chests to assert our 'dominance'.

Current Mood: thoughtful


Tribal Paganism
Wed, Jul. 18th, 2007 11:25 am

There's almost nothing more heinous to me than acts of animal cruelty,
so when I heard about NFL superstar Michael Vick's indictment on
felony animal cruelty charges involving the breeding and training of
pit bulls for staged dog fights to the death, and how injured dogs are
"executed" in a variety of vicious ways..., well, let's just say that
Michael Vick is my offering to Xolotl. I will happily be giving my own
blood this evening to fuel this boon for retribution.

I have some links at my live journal site if any of you are interested.


Tribal Paganism
Tue, Jul. 10th, 2007 05:16 pm

Is anyone here currently, or planning on, living nomadically?  Just curious what your thoughts are on it.


Tribal Paganism
Sun, Jul. 1st, 2007 08:57 am

Gratitude, Obligation, Sacrifice: A triad for magical practice

By Caelum Rainieri


As I write this essay, it’s the Full Moon in Capricorn; a very practical, utilitarian energy, and one that I’m comfortable working with. In my profession as a technology writer, I have to tackle complex subjects and make them less complex. Magic is a complex subject. The following is how I utilize its power. It is my sincere hope that what I write here resonates with some of you, and makes the power interactions of magical practice a little easier to grasp, and to apply, in your own life.

Imagine hooking up a set of jumper cables to a live car battery. Click the ends together and they spark. As long as both ends of the cable are connected, a live battery will transfer its power to a dead battery, bringing it back to life. The polarities of the battery can represent the physical plane, and the ethereal plane. The spark that occurs when the two connect is the equivalent of magical power. How to connect the two planes with intention is the basis of magical knowledge.

I have found that there are three required states of mind for the person who hopes to influence the world around him and manifest his magical intentions. The first is Gratitude.

Gratitude, in a magical sense, means being aware that there are forces and beings around you who love you, and who stand ready to guide, protect, and instruct you once you open yourself up to them. They may be your ancestors, or totem animals, or spirit guides, or they may be more elemental than that. You certainly have shared past lives with them at some point, and out of love and compassion, they have remained with you, ready to assist once you are open to receive. Being grateful restores the openness that most of us have lost as adults.

With gratitude comes a sense of obligation. Once you recognize that you are receiving aid, love, knowledge, and power from your unseen allies, you must acknowledge your debt to them. Without acknowledgment, debts accumulate, creating a burden that weighs you down, robbing you of energy and weakening your ability to influence your environment, and manifest your desires. Acknowledging what you owe is vital to the process of freeing yourself from the crushing burden of unpaid debts.

In the physical world, a debt is repaid through an exchange of value, such as with money, or through a trade of services or property. In the ethereal world, a debt is repaid through sacrifice. A suitable sacrifice must cost you something. As an example, sacrifices that I’ve made in the past have included building and filling bird feeders around our house. I’ve walked the coast line along a public beach picking up trash. I’ve donated blood. Other sacrifices have included donating money to animal welfare organizations, or building and maintaining an altar to a patron deity. Basically, I try to mix them up, but I’m always engaged in some kind of giving. It’s the least that I can do for all of those entities, seen and unseen, who tirelessly assist me on a daily basis. It also serves to remind me of how grateful I am for what I have and to whom I am obligated.

The magical universe is a perpetually mysterious place. Like the physical universe, it represents a great unknown. When faced with such a mystery, you cannot err by observing it with gratitude, recognizing your obligation to it for sustaining you and giving something back through sacrifice.

Copyright 2007 Caelum Rainieri All Rights Reserved.


Tribal Paganism
Fri, Jun. 1st, 2007 09:29 pm

There are lots of magical paradigms. “To Know, To Will; To Dare; To Keep Silent” is one of them. It’s never been particularly effective for me. For one thing, the keywords aren’t easily defined. For another, it originates with Ceremonial magick, something that I’m not comfortable working with. So I changed it to suit my tastes. It’s OK – you can do that in magic.

Why “To Act”?

When you take action, you’ve committed yourself to doing whatever it takes to achieve your aim, goal, desire, etc. I cannot stress enough that without action, your goal is nothing more than a wish. You cannot “think” or “will” or “desire” your way to getting a good job, or finding a mate, or becoming rich. I don’t care what Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret tells you. The so-called Law of Attraction, by itself, will not translate your hopes and wishes into reality. The universe is not your bitch. You need to act, and to keep acting, if you want results.

If you think of action in terms of an elemental principle, it’s commonly associated with fire; however the downside of fiery action is that it’s short-lived. The action of water, however, is more enduring. Water will penetrate stone given enough time, but who’s got that kind of time to wait? So we strive to strike a balance between fast-acting fire and sustaining water, sort of like the different astrological signs of Aries (a fire sign) and Scorpio (a water sign), both traditionally ruled by the planet Mars. Aries is an initiator whereas Scorpio is in it for the long haul. Moving an idea, goal, or ambition from the desire phase to the manifestation phase requires both types of action.

So where does Silence come in?

The proper use of silence can help you reduce the number of obstacles that you face along the way, as well as help you stay focused on the desired end result. Experience will teach you, if it hasn’t already, that many people are envious; that they don’t want others to succeed where they have failed, or to acquire greater success, or a better job, or more money, then they have acquired. This attitude is pervasive, particularly between many co-workers, friends, and even family members. If you share your goals or dreams with these negative people, chances are that they’ll say things to discourage you, or actively work against you. Bypass those un-necessary problems by staying silent until your plans have materialized. This does not mean that you cannot speak to specific issues, and ask questions of appropriate people. You have to do this if you’re to find your way to your goal.

While reducing obstacles is one reason for silent action, another is to help focus your energy on the actual manifestation of your plan. Some people receive almost as much pleasure in talking about what they’re going to get, do, and achieve as they might by actually getting, doing, or achieving it. The problem seems to be that your brain has trouble distinguishing fact from fiction, particularly when speaking about your future plans. You talk about how great your idea for a screenplay is; you get juiced about your log line; your endorphins spike, and your brain says “Hey, we’re celebrating. It must mean mission accomplished.” Result? That screenplay never gets written, but it sure does get talked about. Why? Because there’s a payoff in talking about it that feels much better then doing the tedious work required in getting it written, and re-written, and critiqued, and rejected, and having to endure all those body shots to the ego that’s part and parcel of the creative process. Instead, just stay silent. It maintains the creative tension, which helps propel you forward until results actually manifest.

Where’s the Magic?

You may say that what I’m describing has nothing to do with magic. Anybody can act, and anybody can quit running their mouth. Where does the magic part come in?

Good question. Magic is applied to help smooth the way; to aid you in overcoming the obstacles that you will surely face before reaching your goal. And, like the labors of Hercules, as you get closer to accomplishing your purpose, the obstacles get progressively more and more challenging. Some will seem impossible. Think of magic as a workman’s toolbox. Sometimes having the right tool makes all the difference. But that’s an essay for another day.



Tribal Paganism
Sun, May. 27th, 2007 10:34 am

Pope Benedict: Ignoring Cultural and Religious Oppression in the New World

By Robert J. Miller

Mr. Miller is a professor at Lewis & Clark Law School, the chief justice of the Grand Ronde Tribe, and an Eastern Shawnee. He is the author of Native America: Discovered and Conquered.


News reports demonstrate that Pope Benedict is ignoring history and the violent cultural and religious oppression of indigenous peoples around the world by European Christians. Speaking to Latin American bishops in Brazil on May 13, the Pope cited the "rich religious traditions" of Indian people but added that their ancestors were "silently longing" for Christ and seeking God "without realizing it." Pope Benedict further demonstrated his misunderstanding of history and the forced conversions of natives in North, Central and South America and of massacres and "just wars" when he suggested that the Church did not impose itself on indigenous peoples and that Christianity had not been detrimental to them and their cultures. "In effect, the proclamation of Jesus and of His Gospel did not at any point involve an alienation of the pre-Columbus cultures, nor was it the imposition of a foreign culture." Benedict also added that a return to indigenous religions "would be a step back."

In sharp contrast to Benedict's comments, Pope John Paul noted in 1992 the mistakes that were made in the conversion of the native peoples of the Americas. Moreover, President Bush, while speaking on Sunday at the 400th commemoration of the Jamestown settlement, lamented the negative effects that European colonization had on the Indian tribes in Virginia. President Bush apparently would not agree with Pope Benedict's comments that native cultures were not injured by European colonization and evangelism because Bush stated: "The expansion of Jamestown came at a terrible cost to the native tribes of the region, who lost their lands and their way of life."

Not surprisingly, Pope Benedict's comments angered Indian leaders in Brazil. This is understandable, especially in light of the fact that several Indian groups had written the Pope just last week asking for his help in defending their lands and cultures. Jecinaldo Satere Mawe, a spokesman for Coiab, an Indian rights group in Brazil, called the Pope's comments "arrogant and disrespectful." A spokesman for the Makuxi Tribe, Dionito Jose de Souza, said the Pope was trying to erase the "dirty work" of colonization. Another Indian leader, Sandro Tuxa, called the remarks "offensive, and frankly, frightening."

Some Catholic priests who support Indian rights were also upset by Benedict's comments and Cimi, the Brazilian Church's Indian advocacy group, was distancing itself from the Pope's statements. An adviser to Brazil's Indian Missionary Council, which is supported by the Church, stated that the Pope's comments show he is "Eurocentric" and is ignoring the fact that Indians were forced by Portuguese and Spanish settlers to become Catholics. This adviser noted that the Pope must have "missed some history classes."

The Pope also ignored the history of papal bulls from the Fifteenth Century that divided the world for conquest and conversion by the Christian kings of Portugal and Spain. In 1436 Pope Eugenius issued Romanus Pontifex authorizing Portugal to convert the Canary Islanders and to control their islands. This bull was reissued by various popes and granted Portugal jurisdiction and geographical rights over infidels along the west coast of Africa. In 1455, Pope Nicolas even authorized Portugal "to invade, search out, capture, vanquish, and subdue all Saracens and pagans," to place them into slavery and to take their property. Furthermore, after Columbus' report of a New World and Spain's claim to ownership, Pope Alexander VI issued three bulls in 1493 that confirmed Spain's title because the New World had been "undiscovered by others" (thus ignoring the known presence of indigenous people). Pope Alexander also granted Spain any other lands it might discover in the future provided that they were "not previously possessed by any Christian owner." Even more extravagantly, Pope Alexander later issued Inter caetera II and divided the world by a line drawn from the North to the South Pole and granted Spain title to all lands to be discovered west of the line to contribute to "the expansion of the Christian rule" and granted to Portugal all lands east of that line. Consequently, the world was divided up for European and Christian domination. This is exactly what followed. This is the history that Pope Benedict has overlooked in making his comments.

Since at least August 2006, various American Indian groups have called for the Vatican to withdraw these bulls and to repudiate this history of religious and Eurocentric oppression. That request now seems unlikely to even be considered in light of Pope Benedict's comments about the imposition of Christianity on the indigenous people of South America.

SOURCE: http://hnn.us/articles/39125.html