Hiding Your Faith During The Holidays?

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No, this article is not about bashing anyone for any reason. Just to shed some light and understanding to those who may not understand. Being Pagan isn’t something everyone was born into, more often than not it was something discovered on one’s own, not through family tradition. Even those that are born witches are not necessarily Pagan, or even Wiccan, and they may not even be open about the fact that they are a witch.

In some families and communities, being Pagan is frowned upon. Since many do not understand the old religion they associate it with Satanism, which are two entirely different religions. And to say you’re a witch to some is the equivalent of setting yourself on fire, or purchasing you’re very own key to the insane asylum. The fact of the matter is, coming out the closet as a Pagan, Wiccan, or Witch to your family can be just as hard, or possibil even harder than coming out as being gay.

And during the holidays… I must confess, I am out of the closet, but still in it at the same time when it comes to my family. More than likely it’s that way for a lot of people. Some families will just write your beliefs off as though they’re just a phase, a cry for attention, a bunch of gibberish, or just some more ramblings from the black sheep.

What’s funny is that while most families may criticize or frown upon one celebrating Yule or the Winter Solstice as opposed to celebrating Christmas, yet if you were to ask them what Jesus Christ’s true birthday was, they nine times out of ten would not know. They also wouldn’t know that the term itself derived from the Pagan celebrations of rebirth.  I double dog dare any one of you to go into a church and remind them of that fact.

So, for some, admittedly like me, it’s just easier to hide your religion during the holidays. Its just much easier to just go with the flow and say Merry Christmas while with family than to subjugate oneself to the inevitable ridicule that will come otherwise. And that’s okay. At the end of the day, whatever you believe, whatever your faith, cannot be taken away from you, whether you go around boasting the news to your entire family or not.

Whatever your patron, pantheon, Goddess, or God you pray to will not punish you, nor hold doing so against you. If you do decide to celebrate Christmas with your family you can still celebrate Yule/Winter Solstice privately, or amongst friends. One thing about the Pagan community, there truly are welcome arms all around. Arms that won’t hold you with judgmental eyes staring wholes into your forehead.

Haven’t decided what’s best for you yet? The answer will come to you, only you can make that decision. While thinking it over, maybe stop at the Fire and Frost Winter Festival this Saturday. Surround yourself with like minded people for a few moments of piece, and find a gift for yourself that calls out to you.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1641187122841298/

 

 

Interview With the NEW HeadMistress of the Ball! (And Bazaar)

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For those of you who do not know there is now a new head of the ball, Gerrybrete Leonard-Whitcomb. She has allowed yours truly to stalk her for a few so that we can bring you all some highlights of what goes on behind the scenes of an event most of us look forward to for an entire year. 

How do you feel about taking over as Head Mistress of the ball, were you nervous, excited, or wondering what in Hel’s name were you thinking?

All of the above!!!! And it also depends on the day you ask me this! Like most things in my life it wasn’t really a matter of deciding to, actually there wasn’t much thought involved! (Which could be my problem) Mostly it was the love of it being at such a wonderful event, watching others have a great time, and knowing that we need to keep it moving forward!

What is the wildest, craziest idea you’re thinking up for the ball?

I am definitely a free thinker, which usually gets me in trouble, however if I let you in my brain you would probably runaway screaming, so I’ll keep the crazy ideas to myself and committee to shoot down politely as not to scare the locals.

Are you happy to be getting the reigns? Or do you feel like telling everyone to shove the reigns where Ra won’t shine?

I’ve always been a take “the reigns” type of person, but again it does depend on the day you ask on whether I am on top of the mountain, or trying to crush someone with it!

Any advice you’ve asked of your mentor?

I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t speak to Gordon, he is absolutely incredible at what he does and my work is really cut out for me to fill his shoes, but somehow ill get it done, and probably in heels!

What is the most insane question you’ve heard Gordon receive about the ball?

I can’t even begin to answer this question, but a book could be written on some of the crazy things people have asked or requested.

Anyone ever ask either of you would there be any human sacrifices, death magic, or Sex Rites involved (don’t give me that look cuz people have asked me was it some type of orgy party, Ha! The world is full of fidiots.)?

Actually and unfortunately YES they have! And depending on WHO asked sometimes they got an answer that probably still left their tongue on the floor for weeks.

What would you like to see happen within the future of the community?

Of course I can give the “beauty queen” answer! But it still holds true! I would love to see unity in the community being non judgment of each other!! I can’t begin to tell you the nasty things I hear behind my back even from people who don’t even know me, it’s okay, I know they must really have issues and I have big shoulders. This is the only community in the world where you can be who you are!!! I know that must scare some people, but acceptance is key!

How rich would you be from all of the times you’ve heard Gordon being asked if both Wiccans and Pagans were allowed, even though it clearly states WITCHES ball?

I can honestly say I have never heard that one, but have been asked if NON-Pagans can come!

Ever been tempted to hex someone for saying witches aren’t real? Any regrets?
No one has ever said that to me, surprisingly. But I’ve had my share of my right wing friends patronizing me with stereotypes.

Do you think you’ll ever wish you had just stayed in the shadows instead of becoming a figurehead?

This made me giggle…… I think you need a balance of both shadows and limelight. Sometimes more fun can be had in shadows…..

What is the dumbest thing you’ve witnessed during the ball once everyone was liquored up?

Oh let’s see, people going into wrong rooms at the hotel, falling into bushes, urinating in public, okay enough about my ex…..

Do you think if there had been an All Witch Lives Matter movement in Salem that would have stopped the Witch Trials sooner?

Um no….but I am thinking I need this on a t-shirt LOL!!!

Did you know? Salem College is the oldest female college in America.
Did you know? Salem College is the oldest female college in America.

Should only witches be allowed to attend Salem University (yes, it is a real school, Nessa wants to go, she even had me make her a t-shirt with their school colors, motto, and name for College day last school year. Such a Minnie me. It’s nothing like Hogwarts though, THAT would be fangtastic, nut they don’t teach magic.)?

Well how could you tell? Anyone can call themselves a witch! (Much like any other religion). Actions speak louder than words in this case. I can tell when I see a true witch, but to limit anyone of learning anything to me would be silly. I believe the only valuable thing we truly own is our knowledge, everything else can be lost..

Why is there never a cauldron there? There could be a huge one filled with liquor, and a lil bit of punch.

I am not sure…. Probably because we have to play by the “Royalty house” rules, lol, but great idea!!!

Will you have one for next years ball?

Well, since this question was left unanswered, I just might sneak one in. I still play in the shadows. Muahahahaha! LOL!

Thank you Gerri for being such a good sport and answering my insane questions. I think some crazier ones for next year. PROMISE!!

Decline of the Empath

A photo by Andrea Boldizsar. unsplash.com/photos/1iP1dozVO8I

 

An empath, no matter what name or term you use; syphon, sensitive, touchy feely, crybaby, worry wart, and the all-time worst, manic-depressive. Some people that are being diagnosed with manic-depression, or depression period, are they truly mentally ill? Or is that just the pharmaceuticals’ plot to earn more money by shoving pills down someone’s throat? Or it just society in general so determined to label a person?

What some people fail to understand is that some empaths do not just feel what others feel, some actually draw some of those emotions into their very own psyche. Some are so in tuned that they draw out other physical attributes as well.

Think about it. Do you have anyone in your life that if you have a headache, or some other minor ailment like perhaps a stomach ache, once you’re around that person it seems to get better, or maybe even go away altogether? Pay attention to that person afterwards, how are they feeling once you begin to feel better?

Many of you that read this Newsletter already know this, at the least the basics. What you may not realize is how many empaths are truly being tossed not only to the waste side, but how many are now committing suicide. More and more posts are on facebook asking, begging for help before they do something drastic and irrevocable.

Most believe that for anyone to commit suicide they’re only taking the cowards way out. But when you’re a person who not only has their own emotions to deal with, but that of everyone’s around you as well? And with all of the heartbreak, violence, and senseless deaths going on in today’s world the old saying becomes an everyday burden and it truly does feel as though the entire world is on your shoulders. Turning on the news is a huge risk because now it is almost a definite that some tragedy will have occurred. Listening to it and seeing the reactions of the ones left behind to deal with the aftermath with questions that will forever go unanswered because what happened should never have happened at all. Being an empath you not only see these things playing out you feel the emotions coming at you like a tidal wave smacking you in the face, a tsunami attempting to pull you in and take you under to the point of no return.

Some are able to put a damper on these feelings, some can easily meditate and wash at least some of these imprints away. Others are not so lucky. Others have it build and build, not even knowing nor understanding what it is they are truly going through. When they try to discuss with anyone they just blow them off, tell they need therapy, or worst, make them feel as though there is something wrong with them, that they are the problem. And when some of these people do go to seek therapy, the only thing most of these doctors want to do is push pills at them. Pills to alter their way of thinking, their way of being, that alter their very own self. No, all pills are not wrong, and some truly do need them. But I can attest to this, even when some people have a reason that excepted by society to grieve and go in to see these doctors, they want to force feed you medicine. They did this to me when I lost my son. Instead of helping me to find some sort of coping mechanism they would much rather just give me some anti-depressants. What’s the difference between that and a bottle of alcohol? At least with the alcohol there is less of a chance of becoming dependent upon it.

Some that know and understand exactly what it is that is happening to them just have no chance to meditate, no way to damper the emotions and feelings that they take in day after day after day. Sadly, these are the ones we are seeing more and more with the posts on facebook crying out that they are ready to give up on life in general. These are the ones that come to the point where they can take this heaviness no longer and indeed end their very own lives. That is exactly what it feels like, a heaviness. Emotions may not carry a physical mass for everyday people, but for an empath it does.

When these empaths have no one they can truly turn to, no one to talk to that will even try to understand, instead just ridicule and judge that heaviness begins to weigh even more. When you add on their own losses to that; losing a job, a house, a car, a relationship, that weight starts being more than they can bare. They begin to feel that not only are they carrying a weight that’s more than two times their own mass, but that they are also wading through a fog so thick they can’t even see their way to the other side.

If this sounds like you, don’t give up. A better is coming, it has to be. Hold on to that hope, make plans for when that day finally comes. And surround yourself with people that do truly understand, or at the very least try to understand. The ones trying to bring you down even lower than you already are, let them go. Trust me, I know this is so much easier said than done, but if you’re at that breaking point think about who is more important, and the answer is you.

If you know someone who this sounds like, lend them a shoulder. Even if you have no idea what they’re crying about, even if it seems stupid to you that they’re crying, it won’t hurt you to let your shirt get wet with a few tears. If they seem to be boiling over with anger for no reason at all, offer them an ear to listen and just let them vent.

Some of these suicide attempts are straight b.s., no more than cries for attention. Some are the real deal, don’t find out which one it is when it’s too late.

International Peace?

Image: Abigail Keenan
Image: Abigail Keenan

Yesterday was International Peace Day. Sorry, but to me it felt far from that. How can there be a day of peace when the entire world is in absolute turmoil? Throughout time there has always been a group of people being persecuted. And none of these groups have been persecuted for anything they’ve done other than being who they are, from religion, to gender, race, ethnicity, color. Why?

When are people in general going to wake up and realize that when it comes down to the marrow of it everyone is the same? And whenever they are done attempting to exterminate one group of people, they do nothing more than move on to the next. Who will be next? Which group of individuals will be hated to that extreme tomorrow, next week, or next year?

No, I am not some tree hugger who wants to save the world, Hel knows half of the time I’d like to just watch it blow up. I’m just someone who thinks the world truly needs a wake-up call. There is a race right now that is being basically hunted down like a pack of wild animals. Instead of being burned at the stake as some of our ancestors were, they’re being shot at point blank range by the very people who swore to serve and protect.

Who are they protecting by shooting an unarmed citizen? Who are they serving when they shoot to kill, not just to disarm or even maim. People are being shot down just because they “look like a bad dude”, I’m more than sure he didn’t look like a bad dude to his children.

People please, WAKE UP! Its’ the Salem Witch Trials, the Holocaust, Segregation, The Great Wall, what is                     going on in this country right now is just more underhanded, but it is still point blank in your face. Most                         people are just closing their eyes to the situation. Still holding on to hope that it’s just a fluke, it’s not.

Anytime someone with a license to shoot and kill is allowed to shoot down a human being without even attempting to restrain them first, something is wrong. When there is no punishment for executing someone who doesn’t even have a weapon present, something is wrong. When it becomes against the law to where a hooded jacket among your head, something is wrong. Anytime a person has to fear being pulled over because it may be the last thing they ever do, something is VERY wrong.

When is all of this hatred, bigotry, separation, and segregation truly going to come to an end? They call the United States of America the land of the free, but I fear it never truly will be. Until people can stop being judged for their beliefs, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, weight, height, number of tattoos, religion, there will never be such a thing as true freedom. A person should be loved, feared, or hated for what they do, their actions and their ways, not for what they decided to wear that day. The home of the brave? If the people protecting this home are so afraid that the first thing that comes to mind when approaching a “suspect” is to pull out a deadly weapon, where is the bravery in that?

I live in Detroit, number one crime city in the US (I think we may have finally went down to number two),                      and the cops here don’t even pull their weapons first thing.

They may have back up cruisers when they pull you over, but they don’t have a gun pressed to your temple. If they can do this, what is going with these other ‘police officers’, that they can’t? I shouldn’t have to fear for the lives of the men I love once they cross the city line. I shouldn’t have to worry if one of them get pulled over I may never see them again. No one should have to live in that type of fear as though their loved ones are going off into war, when they’re only going to the corner store.

If this is truly allowed to continue, who’s next? All lives do matter, but right now, black lives are the ones at high risk.

royalty free stock photo i
royalty free stock photo i

Michigan Wide Pagan Pride!

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Looking for somewhere to celebrate your Pagan pride this weekend? If you’re in Michigan you’re in luck. There are three different events going on this Saturday, September 17, 2016; in Hazel Park, Ann Arbor, and Grand Rapids.

How do you decide which event works best for you? Is location truly everything? Or are you looking for something that is more family friendly than most? Or something that has even more events going on than just in celebration of our Pagan spirit? Let me try to help you out a little bit with that. This article is just to focus on the main events sponsored by each of these Festivals. Not every single one of them, my hands can’t type THAT much without cramping up and I need to get prepared for the festival myself. But, I will add the links so that you can investigate further for yourself. For those of you that had planned on going to the Lansing Pagan Pride & LGBT Day, most of the vendors that would have been there will be at these various Fests’ since we were literally washed out.

In Hazel Park Ancient Faiths Alliance will be hosting the All Hands Together Harvest Festival (I’ll be at that one.). This one seems has the most variety, and will probably have the most children and teens present since there will be other separate events taking place. There will be a Scavenger Hunt where  a lucky family will receive a grand prize of a family night out. And trust me when I say that is worth more than you truly realize, family outings are so expensive these days they rarely even take place anymore. For all of those out there still trying to catch ’em all, The Pheonix Cafe will be having a Pokemon GO party with multiple pokestops at the park. Plus, more kids’ games, classes, contests, and a dance party! So there will be plenty for the kids, pre-teens and teens to do as the adults enjoy the rituals, attend classes, and of course SHOP! (Be sure to stop by GothicMoms DarkCharms to see the Tiffany with the black box, not the stinking blue ones.)

https://www.facebook.com/events/574404769391146/?active_tab=posts

 

Ann Arbor will be hosting their very first Pagan Pride this year. They will be featuring a Peruvian fire ceremony that will be officiated by James Stovall. They will be having workshops for Druidry, Hood Magick, and even Belly dancing. This one unfortunately doesn’t seem to have any events specifically targeted for the children. So, this will be perfect for those without any to attend and enjoy at a more set back pace (and without all of the kids, probably much quieter). And of shopping! There will be vendors there so you can shop til you drop.

http://annarborpaganpride.org/

 

Grand Rapids theme for this year is A Spiritual Experience. They seem to also be very family oriented, with rituals to include the entire family. For those who have an affinity for the elements they will be having element based workshops throughout the day. The opening ritual will be done by Sanctuary of the Winds. And don’t forget to shop!

http://sanctuaryofthewinds.org/2014-pending-workshops/

I can’t express this enough, vendors need your business more than Walmart ever will. Also, please bring in a canned good as a donation. Thank you everyone!

 

Merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again! Hope to see at least some of you this Saturday.