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Welcome to Erin's Journal! A journal is something that grows with time, not something that you write a few thoughts in and forget about. I hope to keep this growing the same way.

Those of you who have been coming here for a long time have probably noticed that there's been a major name change and a lot of changes around here. If you haven't visited in some time it's like the world was destroyed, but actually this has been happening over time for a while now. To find the full story, check out these links:

Let me explain this page for a bit. Most of the pages in this Journal are static, meaning that once I put something up, it tends to stay up. This page, however, is fluid. It changes almost daily. This is the feed for my blog. I have a WordPress blog on this site, mostly to facilitate expressing my thoughts to everyone. This is the dynamic section where you can read my current thoughts on matters, my health, my complaints and just quick opinions. It's not meant to be the same page as it always is.

If you are new to Erin's Journal then I suggest you start with this post New to the Journal and then go and read the topic called "Erin's Journal" over on the left. That should give you a lot to get started with, and many more things to think about. My personal favorites are My Biography, The Site Dedication and The Site Purpose.

A friend of mine likened this page to the introduction of a magazine, and in some ways she's right. This is a page that tells you what this Journal is about. So read on. In brief, this is one Druid's thoughts on life, spirituality, Wicca, Druidism, religion and all those things that affect humanity. Even some snarkiness. I teach through here and use this as a medium to preserve my beliefs for my daughter and her children.

Make sure you understand my Copyright Statement and that you follow it. As it says in the footer, you may copy and put articles from this site in your personal Book of Shadows and use it for yourself and your family, but you have to have it credited to me. Please make sure you follow this, it is the one unbreakable rule here.

Now, ON WITH THE SHOW!

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Podcast

Erin

Ok, I haven’t been advertising this here, but I have a podcast that you should probably listen to.

http://magicalmusings.net

Brian of Cosmic-Rebirth.tumblr.com is my co-host and we have lots of fun there.  Go take a listen. I have a 16 episode series of Tarot Talk as well.

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Bard: A new definition

Erin

(Originally published in “The Druid’s Arch”, the Official Newsletter of the Ord Draíochta Na Uisnech in the Mean Samraidh/Lughnasdh 2003 issue, Volume 1, Issue 2.)

What do we usually think of when we hear the word “Bard”? We may normally think of Taliesin, Amergin or some other famous Bard who recited poetry and created scathing satire. A studious young man who was equally adept on a harp and in song, writing reams of verse at the drop of someone’s shoe. We might think of a person who could recite thousands of lines of history or the entire Mabinogion in one sitting.

The reason for these images is simple. Our popular culture has taught us that this is what a Bard was, a songster, a musician on lute or harp, a maker of poems and scholar of history. I think that it’s time for this stereotype to die.

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Teachers of the Craft (Part #1)

Wren

(Note from Daven:  Once again, I got this from The Witches’ Voice.  This is a wonderful resource and I encourage you all to read all these articles, and to visit the Witches’ Voice and read the resources there.  This is a specific series on Teachers and the Craft.)

Teachers of the Craft (Part #1)

Neo-Pagans and Self Actualization – Part I
by Wren Walker

Many people are investigating the religions of Witchcraft, Wicca and other Neo-Pagan Paths today. There are many books and reference materials available, yet after some self study, there are some folks who would like to meet and perhaps work with a physical teacher. This can be a rewarding learning experience – or it could turn out to be your worst nightmare…

The Many Ways to Pass along the Knowledge…

There are all kinds of people out there today who may call themselves “teachers” or “experts” in Witchcraft and Wicca. Some advertise in New Age shops and publications or over the Internet. Some are well known local personalities who offer regular lectures, workshops or Wicca 101 classes. You may hear of a teacher through networking with other Pagans in your area. How can you know that these people are who they say they are? Or more importantly to you perhaps, how can you know that a teacher will be the right one for you?

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Teens and the Victim Attitude

(Note from Daven: Please note, once again, this is not my article.  I include it because it is one of the best articles of this type I have ever seen or read, and it is important for it to stay on the Internet.  So, don’t credit me with this, even though it is on my site.)

by Astraea Crowe 

also printed at http://www.geocities.com/astraeaaradia/home.html

If you are a teenager (or any age, for that matter), chances are, you are worried about opening up to your parents about your interests in paganism or magick. How the heck do you even begin to explain to them why you are interested? There is a good chance that you will be leery about telling your friends as well. I was worried about my friends suddenly changing their minds about me being cool and “normal.” A lot of people deal with that situation.

I decided to begin with my “rant” about pagan oppression, so if you want a little advice on how to speak to your parents about your spirituality, you’ll have to either read through or scroll down.

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An Open Letter to the President of the United States

Erin

This is a letter I wrote to the President of the United States, the day after his January 20th State of the Union Address to Congress.  I was so ticked off and upset by the general tone of the State of the Union that I felt I couldn’t hold this in.  I copied my Senators and my Representative of the area I live in.  I’m hoping ONE of them could help, that ONE of them would pay attention.
I have deleted some personal information that, frankly, is no one’s business but mine.  Other than that little amount of information, this is unchanged.  Please note, this is written out of anger and fear, frustration and sadness.  I AM sending this to everyone I know, and I’m also sending it to a few political groups and organizations.  Maybe someone will listen if I shout down enough wells.

If you want to talk to me about this, please feel free to email me.  If you wish to share this with others, please do so with my blessing.  The link to this page is http://erinsjournal.com/?p=1267

If you would like to see my response to various emails I have received on this page, please go to Feedback.

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The Astral Plane

Erin

(Note from Daven: This is a post that I put up on one of the teaching threads I have at Ancient Sites in response to a question about the Astral Plane. It’s a representation of how I think the Astral Plane works. Note, this is my opinion, and what I am comfortable with. It’s what I think the planes are and how they are structured. As always, your mileage may vary.)

The Astral Plane

Heaven. The Summerlands. Valhalla. Mount Olympus. Hell. Hades. The Abyss. Underhill.

All of these names conjure up visions of different places. Streets paved in Gold, and Greek Columns are only a few of many possible views we could have when we talk about the Astral Plane.

All of these places exist in only one place. Mercedes Lackey’s view of Underhill (as described in Chrome Circle) is an accurate description of the Astral Plane.

Different beings have claimed areas of their won and imposed their Will on a particular area and molded it into what they wish it to be. Some have made their areas into havens and others into the realms of nightmares. Some areas are keyed only to those with a specific vibrational state, and some are open to all. Some are traps.

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The Chocolate Ritual

Copyright 1993, John Shepard, Performed at Dragonfest, August 1993

[Materials required: On the altar there are brown candles, a Tootsie Roll (the great big one—as the athame), a large glass with milk in it (the chalice), a small dish of Nestle’s Quick and a spoon, a small dish of chocolate sprinkles, a plate of cupcakes and some Yoo-Hoo along with a goblet. Participants approaching are given 1-2 shiny pennies with instructions that they must hold on to them until the appropriate time in the ritual. When feasting begins, they must surrender a penny for cakes and one for wine or one penny for both, if only one penny is handed out.]

(Attunement chant is similar to the “Ohm” chant but is focused to the ritual, “Yum-m-m”)

CLEANSE THE SACRED SPACE:

(Take the small bowl of chocolate sprinkles)

Chocolate sprinkles where thou art cast
No calories in thy presence last.
Let no fat adhere to me,
And as I will So Mote It BE!

(Take the small bowl of Nestle’s Quick and spoon)

Nestle’s Quick where thou art cast
Turn this milk to chocolate, fast.
Let all good things come to me,
And make my milk all chocolatey!

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A Useful Framework

Irreverend Hugh
A Useful Framework to Help Understand Terminology Usage and Identity:


The following will go from the broadest to the most specific. Please read the whole article before you respond angrily or happily. In fact, please not only read the whole article, but also do some thinking about the points I raise. It is not as long of an article as I could have made it simply because I wanted to put the basic ideas out there now. (As opposed to waiting until I finally get around to writing that book about Neo-Paganism and such, if I ever do so.)

Some of you may object to my use of the parallel between Pagan and Abrahamic religions, but it is the most common way to elucidate the framework, since most people are familiar with Abrahamic faiths. Some of you may object because Neo-Pagans as a whole are still a minority whereas Abrahamic religions have billions of members and are dominant in societies across the world. Keep in mind that member numbers have nothing to do with this framework. It is about ideas and approach, not population statistics. (And who knows? Maybe in one-hundred or so years, Neo-Pagan religions may become dominant or at least on a par with the Abrahamic faiths in terms of numbers of members. It could happen, since the Neo-Pagan community seems to be doubling in size about every five or so years.)

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Disagreement

Erin

Okay, I’m motivated to write this article by some things that happen in my life.

In the past those who have decided that since I’m not their brand of Pagan (TM), that I’m not any kind of good practitioner or even a moral person at all have attacked me. They decided that I am, in fact, trying to define my brand of paganism for all.

I had several people attack me over this, coming to my site specifically to sling mud and shit, painting me with the “One True Way” brush. I have no clue why since I have never attempted to do this, but hey, I don’t control the psychotic.

As a result of this, I became a reactionary. I went seeking “fluffy” sites, poorly written and designed sites and attacked them. I won’t say that they didn’t deserve it, but my methods could have been different. One of those I attacked was DragonGoddess (and you can find her site at http://www.osage.net/~lwaite).

Well, the wheel turns like it always does, and I changed and so did she. I grew and she did as well. If I helped her at all, then I’m satisfied to have done so. However, the point of this article is this; disagreement can be good.

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Long Distance Healing

Erin

(By Mary a.k.a. Theresa)

You will need a fairly large work surface that can remain undisturbed for several days.

If possible, it should be done as moonful begins to wane so that the disease is waning also.

Clean the work surface thoroughly. Preferably wood-but REMEMBER- it is will- the trappings to focus your intentions. This ceremony is fairly elaborate because I needed a lot of aid to concentration. It was first done for my father.

Take a shower. Seriously. While cleaning yourself, let the water symbolically clean you as well. Let the mundane world flow from you so that you approach the ceremony focused and clear as water.

(Digression #2. If this were a thousand years ago, you would be fasting and meditating during the filling of the moon, when you ate, it would be small portions and vegetarian only. Heigh-ho for the modern life.)

Spread a clean, pure white tablecloth, or sheet, or scrap cloth (you get the idea) on your work surface.

YOU WILL NEED:

Salt, oil, some type of grain, 2 goblets, 6 candleholders, incense, 3 red candles, 3 white candles and 1 orange candle. (*I used a combination of Cedar, Sandalwood, and healing blend)

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Cakes and Ale

Erin

[Covener takes goblets from the Altar and fills them with Ale. He hands one to Priest and one to Priestess. They raise them high.]

Priest: As the Gods give to us, let us share with them. And let us give thanks for all the goodness they pour out upon the Earth. To the Gods!

All: To the Gods!

[Priest and Priestess pour libations then drink. They then pass the goblets around the Circle. The last to drink replaces them on the Altar. Covener takes the plate of Cakes to the Priestess. She holds the plate aloft.]

Priestess: Our thanks to the Gods for the foods they give us. Let us always see to it that aught we have we share, with those who have nothing.

[Priestess offers cakes to Priest, who takes one. She takes one herself and passes the plate around the Circle for all.]

Priest: Let us now sit and enjoy these gifts of the Gods. But let us never forget that without the Gods we would have nothing.

All: So be it!

[All sit and individual goblets or horns are filled and cakes are distributed.

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