• Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 2,616 other followers

  • Become a Fan


  • Archives

  • Follow the Moon: Astrology of intention and mindfulness

    by Teri Parsley Starnes

    Teri’s interest with astrology lies with helping people see how following a practice of intention and self-awareness leads to a fuller relationship with Mystery. Astrology is a wonderful tool for this. Her weekly column orients readers to the seasonal energy of
    each month’s Sun sign in order to set magical/mindful intention for the lunar month beginning at the New Moon.

    Each week Teri will write about the unfolding energies that support and challenge our intentions. The ebb and flow of the lunar cycle resides deep in our souls. Through following the phases of the Moon, we remember the natural cycles that guide us.

    Continue reading

    Ed Fitch at Heartland Pagan Festival – Interview

    Ed Fitch before his workshop on the Magick of the Seven Seas.

    Ed Fitch before his workshop on the Magick of the Seven Seas.

    Edward Fitch is a Wiccan High Priest of the Gardnerian tradition and was a leading figure in the rise of contemporary Wicca and Paganism in America.  Fitch was an early initiate of Raymond and Rosemary Buckland (initiated by Gerald Gardner’s home coven) after they set up the first Gardnerian coven in America. Fitch also helped to organize and chaired two Pagan Ecumenical Councils to establish the Covenant of the Goddess (COG) as an international umbrella organization representing Pagans. Through the 1980s Fitch continued to perform as a Gardnerian High Priest, but his researches also led him to initiation in a number of other traditions and orders, including:  Faerie faith, Mohsian, the Order of Osiris, the Order of the Temple of Astarte, Norse, and Ceremonial magick.

     

    Fitch is the original author of “Magical Rituals from the Crystal Well”, the Pagan Way Rituals, and two classic underground books on American witchcraft:  “The Grimoire of the Shadows” and “The Outer Court Book of Shadows” (later combined by Llewellyn Publications to be published as “A Grimoire of Shadows”) as well as the Norse volume,  “The Rites of Odin”. He also wrote (uncredited) “A Book of Pagan Rituals” and is the author of the forthcoming “Revised and Updated Rituals of the Pagan Way”. (He created the original “Pagan Way” ritual system in 1972.)

    I had the chance to chat with Ed before one of his workshops as guest at Heartland Pagan Festival, near Leavenworth, KS.

    What was your introduction to the craft like?
    I had been looking for the craft for a long time, and had been totally isolated from it. I was in Baltimore and was getting restless.  I would go out to the airport, and go to their bookstore which featured science fiction. I was out there flipping through books and came upon “Sign of the Labrys”  by Margaret St. Clair  and words started jumping out at me; “moon power”, ‘priestess”,  “coven”. I started some research on what was this “Wicca”.   This was 1963 and there was nothing in the states that I knew about. I thought , ah ha, here is someone to contact, but how in the world do I do it? It took me a year to figure to contact the publisher. I did and got an invite to drop in and visit from Margaret and Eric St. Clair. I visited them in Richmond, Ca and thought nothing of the fact they had a ceremonial sword on the wall and the living room had a triple circle inscribed there in bronze. They were brilliant people and we had great conversations. I did not know but afterward they sent a letter about me to Ray and Rosemary Buckland in Long Island. I went back into the Air force and was assigned to Hanscom Air Force Base just outside of Boston. I began to visit Ray and Rosemary and very rapidly became part of the coven.

    The very first time I was there we were chatting and it approached midnight. I was going to turn in and Ray said, “No, we will be doing a ritual. We will open the circle first and we will have you come in later on.”  They prepared a consecrating bath for everyone and he flipped me a towel and in his finest English accent said, “Here, this should soak up the blood.”  Everyone had their bath, and I had mine,  and went then all down and they left me sitting in the living room dressed only in my goose bumps. I could hear chanting and a little bit of laughter. I wondered what is this all about? I had done research and knew these people did not take blood sacrifices, but … just suppose that I am wrong?  After a while Ray came with his athame, in his devilish beard and mustache and said, “We are ready for you.”  At the dark entrance to the stairs going down I said; “After you.” and Ray said, “No, no, after you!”  I walked down the stairs into the complete darkness,  being very conscious that  someone was just behind be with a drawn blade. At the bottom a curtain was opened for me. There was the ceremonial room all lit in black light.  Suddenly a beautiful naked woman leaped out at me with a dagger and said, “Yummy, fresh blood!”  I nearly had heart failure. I later discovered they were very charming people with a great sense of humor.

    Did you continue to work with them?
    Well for a time but eventually the Air Force sent me to Vietnam, and on to Thailand. I had little contact over there, but began the writing (1967) of the “ The Outer Court Book of Shadows”, published by Llewellyn. Some of my writing from that time has a bit of an edge on it because, well, I was being shot at from time to time!  I had been working with Ray and Rosemary for some time, and writing material for them.

    Did you ever run a coven as priest, or do you prefer to work solitary?
    I had an interest long before I was initiated.  Initiations were done in pairs at that time, male and female, and I did have a small coven for a while. I was in the active military and was sent all over.  My lady and myself ended up going separate ways.  I have since sometimes worked as a coven and sometimes on my own.  I find it is very good to work as a coven because you can exchange ideas, and do power workings with them. Solitary you get to study and meditate. People have personalities and there are sometimes conflicts. When that happens it is best to just ease away genially and then do your own research and study.  I like both ways of working.  I like working with my people over here on advanced work and like to bounce my ideas off my people. Of the people that I train that I think will be the best maybe one out of ten will be really spectacular. The others will be mediocre, and one or two will be toxic. I have never been able to judge human nature that well. There are advantages to the traditional Wiccan time of waiting a year and a day before an initiation. When I got started there was such a demand that people wanted it faster than that. My material was written so  people could get into it a good deal faster.

    fitch1Do you believe in magic?
    Yes, and I believe in gravity, even green trees and beautiful women!  A person doesn’t believe in it, one lives it. Like talking to a tree. I taught myself to link into a tree and get its life force, get its feelings.  I go to the redwood forests in California and wow, this thing is three hundred feet tall, and I am tiny compared with it. I was on a ridge line outside Los Angeles hiking alone and came upon a snag that had been killed by lightning.  I gave it an offering of water around the base, and put my hands over it and my head against it. I immediately got a splitting head ache, like I had been hit by lightning. I was communicating with something that was dead.  There was a consciousness there that goes beyond death. I found that trees are all interlinked, but that is another matter.

    Do you have a vision of what Wicca and magic is offering our society for the future?
    Wicca and Paganism are going to be spreading more and more. We are probably going to be seeing some of the initial effects of it with the green movement and things like that.  We are gaining more of an understanding of some of the deeper aspects of life.  When I was working for Westinghouse some forty or fifty years ago we discovered by experiment that there is an understanding of reality beyond reality, the Multi-verse.  Reality is flexible, you can effect it with your own mind. I have learned how to affect it with mine.  You have to roll and live with what is out there, live with the natural world.  I stay away from cities as much as I can, because they are toxic. I have a strong dislike for anything chaotic. It is interesting to experience life in as many ways as possible.

    Do you consider yourself a traditional Gardnerian?
    Gardnerianism is my home, and from there I expand outward. I really feel a person should get a start in one tradition or another, from there, go with your DNA. If you have Norse blood, great, if you have African, great, go with that. Some of my best friends are in the Roman traditions. After you have got the tradition down then you can branch out and try other ones.

    Do you have a personal set of deities?
    There are many, many manifestations of the Gods and Goddesses. The Garderians work with the God and Goddess, but when I am up in the mountains I may give an invocation to Thor.  If  I am near the ocean I may work with the Lady of the Seas, or Poseidon, or what the hell, even Davy Jones.  There is only one deity force but he or she has ten thousand names and more. Just pick the ones you can relate to the best. I like the Goddess because she is pretty, and very, very magical. As Freya, she kicks butt!

    How have your travels and the spirituality you found there influenced you?
    The reason I did the Odinist book is because I spent several summers in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, and the British high country. The military sent me to the orient and I learned a bit of their view of things, and followed up on it with study. In Japan the oldest legend is that they were founded by the seven little Gods who sailed up from the south.  I still have a sculpture of this with the seven gods on their ship. Each has one  has one of the major aspects of civilization.  In Sumerian legend, Inanna wanted to get civilization started but her father had the seventy-two “Me”, magical scrolls, I think.  She sailed her boat up the river to the God, smoozed him and got him drunk, and then sweet talked him. She got all the Me loaded on her boat and sailed away before he knew what had happened. He was angry, but she had gotten the basis for civilization. I like Inanna, she was a sex goddess, a war-goddess, loved to go into taverns. She went down into hell, got killed and then came back again.

    Where does your path lead you today?
    I am going to continue writing because I want to get my ideas out. It helps people in their own paths and begins to change society in what little I can contribute to it. The royalties are trivial, but still good. Will I continue to work in a group? Yes, but I also continue to do researching  and reading and trying out new things. I have not lost any students as of yet, though I push the edge sometimes. I will have my elders coven come over and say, “Lets step on out, I want to have you do face and shape changing.”  I have a special technique that I have researched and written for this, and worked on for years with my ex-wife, Janine Renée . Through this you can change your appearance. You can actually feel the flesh and the bones moving and changing their appearance.  This is a trick, but the deepest part is what happens in the mind. Or lighting a magical flame. You have a candle and everyone concentrates on breathing the element of fire in and putting it there on the candle. It will light and the blue glow spreads all over, and onto your hands. This is great for healing, but that is yet another matter.

    There are many things that I do not understand, but I am fascinated by them all. It’s a big, complex and intriguing universe of magic!

     

    Nels Linde

    Follow the Moon: Astrology of intention and mindfulness

    by Teri Parsley Starnes

    Teri’s interest with astrology lies with helping people see how following a practice of intention and self-awareness leads to a fuller relationship with Mystery. Astrology is a wonderful tool for this. Her weekly column orients readers to the seasonal energy of
    each month’s Sun sign in order to set magical/mindful intention for the lunar month beginning at the New Moon.

    Each week Teri will write about the unfolding energies that support and challenge our intentions. The ebb and flow of the lunar cycle resides deep in our souls. Through following the phases of the Moon, we remember the natural cycles that guide us.

    Continue reading

    Sparky T. Rabbit Passes

    Spark T. Rabbit at Sacred Harvest Festival 2004

    Sparky T. Rabbit – Bruner Soderberg of Rock Island, Il.,  passed over Monday June 2nd, 2014.

    Born February 3, 1954 he was a prominent Midwest heathen,  singer, song-writer, rite-maker, gadfly and friend of Freyr.   Sparky;  “I critique and satirize neopaganisms,monotheisms, and any other-isms that seem appropriate.”    Handfasted [married] to Ray Bayley since 1984 (Sparky: “That’s 93 anniversaries in straight years!”)
    Sparky was a nationally known singer, bard, master ritualist, and pot stirrer.  His recording “Lunacy”, done as a duo, is still one of the most prized pagan recordings of all time.
    Sparky was often quoted for his wisdom and satire;

    http://witchesandpagans.com/EasyBlog/the-once-future-people.html

    http://hedgeconfessions.com/2012/08/23/thinking-in-pagan/

    Words from his friends and  colleagues:

    Sparky T. Rabbit’s voice is intertwined with the roots of my development as a witch, and we still use the chants that he wrote and the chants that he popularized within our covens today. I played the cassettes for his two albums so often that I wore them out and had to buy replacements twice. I cherish the one time that I had the opportunity to sing with him. It is still a luminous fan boy moment for me. I grieve the loss of such a beautiful man and his beautiful talents, but I also grieve that so many in the current generation of Pagans have not heard of him. What is remembered lives. Take the time to look him up and find copies of his music which is finally available again in digital formats. Then you’ll feel the joy of discovering his music, and also share my sense of loss as well. May he go forth shining.

    - Ivo Dominguez, Jr. Elder, Assembly of the Sacred Wheel

    Sparky was my dear, dear friend for many years.  I am heartbroken at his passing.  A ritualist extraordinary, singer and songwriter, Sparky was a world-class cauldron stirrer, and a giant of Pagan culture….  My life has been enriched immeasurably by my long and deep friendship with Sparky.  His talent was sparkling.  He contributed much of great value to the Pagan movement and to the world.  In love may he return again.

    - M. Macha NightMare (Aline O’Brien)
    Witch at Large

    May his gentle heart and spirit-filled voice live with us always.

    Thanks to Steve (Posch), I got to meet and exchange enthusiasms with this wonderful man. I am shocked to hear of his passing, and I truly hope that his music and other works will live on with us.
    - Paul B. Rucker
    Sparky T Rabbit Bruner Soderburg

    Sparky T Rabbit – Bruner Soderburg – Feb3, 1954 – June 2nd, 2014

    “Coven brother, teacher, friend. Wicked Witch. Master rite-maker, singer, altar builder. Trouble maker. Sitting across from you at a kitchen table in Minneapolis, I found my life’s work.
    You have left us so many gifts. We will carry them forward, Bruner. We will remember. “- Frebur C.  Moore

    Nels Linde

    Celia in Concert Friday at Eye of Horus

    Celia

    Celia in Concert at Eye of Horus Metaphysical Store

    June 6th (Friday) 7:00pm-9:00pm

    3012 Lyndale Ave South,
    Minneapolis, MN 55408

    Celia has been described as “A cross between an Earthy Enya, Joan Baez, and Tina Fey.” She dishes up the most delicious concoction of the silly and sacred. With powerful, heart-felt vocals and wacky comedic improvisations, the audience never knows what will happen with Celia on stage. She’s Red-headed Renaissance Woman, Celia is a singer/songwriter, actress, and storyteller who will leave you moved by beauty and enchanted with laughter. Both are equally sacred. Check out her music on her website at: www.celiaonline.com

    Location: the Inner Sanctum at Eye of Horus Metaphysical Store in Minneapolis, on Lyndale Avenue South between Lake and 31st Streets, right next to the Smitten Kitten

    All tickets are “will call” – check in at front desk in the store. Call 612-872-1292 for more info.

    At the Door: $15.00
    In Advance: $10.00

    PNC-Minnesota Sunday Cartoon

    00158

    Noland Comics by Shea Thomas

    Follow the Moon: Astrology of intention and mindfulness

    by Teri Parsley Starnes

    Teri’s interest with astrology lies with helping people see how following a practice of intention and self-awareness leads to a fuller relationship with Mystery. Astrology is a wonderful tool for this. Her weekly column orients readers to the seasonal energy of
    each month’s Sun sign in order to set magical/mindful intention for the lunar month beginning at the New Moon.

    Each week Teri will write about the unfolding energies that support and challenge our intentions. The ebb and flow of the lunar cycle resides deep in our souls. Through following the phases of the Moon, we remember the natural cycles that guide us.

    Continue reading

    Follow

    Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

    Join 2,616 other followers