Month: April 2018

Happy Walpergis Night and May Day!

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Walpergis Night- May Eve is April 30th; May 1st is May Day.

Many Pagans get together to show solidarity with each other and our ancestors by building bonfires, and dancing around May Poles.

Some remember that, as at Samhain, the veil is thin at this point in the yearly cycle, and it’s easier for our ancestors to visit this side. In Ancient Rome the Lemuria was held for three days in May. The family ancestors would be welcomed and fed, but then at the end (on the 13th) they would be sent away  by tossing beans around the house and saying: “I send these; with these beans I redeem me and mine” (Haec ego mitto; his redimo meque meosque fabis.) nine times.

As with live relatives, sometimes we are glad to have them, sometimes we are glad to have them leave. While the benevolent dead became Manes or household spirits, the malevolent dead became lemures, spirits who would harm the living. These are the ones they wanted to banish.

In Northern Europe towns would erect May Poles and dance around them, and we still recreate the old ways- the dancing, the plays, with the hobby horse and Greenman. We welcome the coming growing season and the cycle of change, while at the same time, trying to connect with the past.

We no longer drive our cattle between two bonfires (or at least I don’t know anyone who does, there may be some who do), but we do recognize the need to purify as well as celebrate, to break with those parts of the past we want to let go, while holding onto the ones we love.  Change usually includes choice, and sometimes taking responsibility for those choices is the hardest part of change. So let’s celebrate when we can, and enjoy the company of others who know what a magickal time this is!

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Workshop Spotlight: Personal Gnosis with Raven Kaldera

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Personal Gnosis: Judging the Spiritual Experience with Raven Kaldera
Most Pagans (and other polytheistic minority religions) would agree that personal experiences of Deit(ies) are fine when they’re kept to yourself … but what about when they’re not? How do we decide whose divine messages get incorporated into group practice, and whose don’t? How can we trust each other? How did the ancient world handle these issues? This will be a discussion group on how to healthily incorporate personal gnosis into group doctrine. Please come with intent to be courteous and respectful of others’ views; the moderator is a hardass and will not tolerate rudeness.

 

Raven Kaldera is a Northern Tradition shaman, intersex/transgender FTM activist, erotica educator, Ordeal Master, Speaker for the Transgendered Dead, homesteader, diviner, psychic vampire, herbalist, polyamorous parent, and author of many, many books, articles, and short stories. Raven is a builder of bridges between worlds, a crosser of boundaries between communities, a Reweaver of the Web. He is the Dreamer Whose Dreams Come True. ‘Tis an ill wind that blows no minds. www.ravenkaldera.org/

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Thought for the week:

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Panel Spotlight

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In a couple of weeks I hope to be posting a panels for us all to get excited about. Once we have an assortment of panels up, please go over to the Panel Page and feel free to sign up for any. We also hope people will use the form there to suggest panel topics for us.

One of our great hopes at Changing Times-Changing Worlds is to bring together people with different perspectives so that we can benefit from the experiences of others. A ghost hunter is not going to have had the same experiences as a medium who helps people actively get in touch with their dead loved ones, or a shamanic psychopomp, but by sharing we will know more about what happens after we die.

The first step is coming up with ideas, we love when we get them from attendees, but usually we borrow them from discussions we’ve had with friends, or at events. If you’d be interested in helping us brainstorm, contact us right away, because we hope to have that part done in a few weeks. We post more topics than we think we’ll need, because once people start signing up, we schedule classes when we get three or four panelists. This means that some panels that might be great, don’t get run because no one signed up. So please, don’t be shy. Also, if you don’t want to be a panelist, but REALLY want a topic discussed, contact us so we can make an extra effort to find panelists, or go over to the facebook page and let us know there.  As the panels fill, we’ll start posting them on Fridays.

In previous years we’ve discussed how to talk to our kids about magick, what happens when we die, how to tell the difference between hallucinations and psychic visions- and how to find therapist who won’t automatically assume any vision is a symptom. You can find descriptions of panels from previous conferences in the Archives– if a topic there appeals, let us know, we don’t see any reason not to revisit a topic when there’s interest.

Remember we also have many panels from previous years you can download from our shop.

You don’t need to be an expert or a speaker to be on a panel. Since there are three to five people discussing the topic, you don’t have to speak for an hour or more, you will probably only get five to ten minutes to share your perspective, but also may get to answer questions from the audience and the other panelists. This may be a perfect way for you to find out if being in front of the room is for you.

Do share blog posts with your friends because we’d like to get people from lots of different backgrounds to come and share their perspectives. It’s far to easy when you’ve finally found a group that doesn’t think you’re nuts because you believe in ghosts or energy healing or divination or magick to not look any farther to find others who also believe in those things, but there are a lot of us out there, and once you’ve opened your mind to the possibilities that the “impossible” is actually happening, (a lot) you tend to be more open to other phenomena. It’s so great to  not have to carefully phrase everything so people won’t know that you believe, and you can mention your weird experiences because everyone else around has had them.

We look forward to seeing you at the conference, and hearing from you in the coming months!

 

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Speaker Spotlight: Thor Halvorson

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Thor will be coming back this year!
I’m a Deaf, Norwegian-Welsh, Poet, Musician, Pagan, Wiccan, computer-tinkin’-sci-fi fella; Military Brat, lived in Korea and Germany (traveled around a bit of Europe  too), Clergy, Educational Interpreter, Poet, Reader of Runes and Tarot, Deaf Educator, Deaf Professional, Musician (play Mandolin).

I have a fond appreciation for history, mythology, religion and social structure and sociology, and for the Deaf culture, especially in regards to the Education of the Deaf. I’m an Elder First Degree, Coven of Amber Heart, Coven of Amber Rose Tradition. My Path of Study is Norse, Welsh (Mostly Norse). I’m an Educational Interpreter, SMCPS, St. Mary’s County, MD going for a degree in Deaf Education, MA.  I’m trying to formulate a functional foundational work-in-progress representation of pagan/wiccan’s religious concepts and language and forms into American Sign Language with myself and other willing contribution of other Deaf Pagans.

Link to Thor’s Page

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