Pagan Blog Project 2013 - X is for X

Around the part of the alphabet it's really hard to come up with new posts with this tough letter.  Since the option is to write about any thing we want as long as we have it related to Paganism, I decided to have a look at the letter X.

X /eks/ is the cross shaped twenty-fourth letter of the alphabet.  It has been used as a person's "mark" or signature often for those that were unable to write their name.

In internet slang it's used to identified "zipped lips"  :X

We also of course have Xmas.  This is a source of debate this time of year between Christians and Pagans alike.  The historical reference here is related to the letter X being the Greek letter Chi which translates into English as Christ.  The last part of the word "mas" is from the old English word for "Mass".  So the word is actually Christ - Mass.   Even thought some think that using the letter X is removing "Christ" from Christmas, it's really not.

X as a beginning letter is pretty limited.  But as an ending letter??  Now that's where X jumps up and down and screams, "GO Pagans!"

One of the most important holidays for some Pagans is Beltane.  Beltane is a a celebration of SEX.  Beltane brings in the start of summer and embraces the fertility of the earth.  During this time a practice known as "The Great Rite" is symbolically performed by a High Priest and Priestess of some covens.

The next "X ending" word that I think is extremely pagan is the word Hex.  A hex is a magic spell, usually a curse that is cast upon someone or something.  Those pagans who do spell work may choose not to use a hex, believing that the Rule of Return will bring it back to them.  For every type of protection spell that might prevent a hex there's a plethora of opinions on why those are bad too, mirror spells for example is discussed here.  Personally I have no issue with using mirroring or ward spells.  I believe that in order to be able to heal you have to be able to hex as well.  While I do not knowing send out any negative energy to others, I do fertility spells, protection spells, healing spells and prosperity spells.   Each one of these though the intent maybe positive, can indeed negatively effect another person.

As a spell worker, it is extremely naive to believe that if you help one person get a job with a prosperity spell, that you're not stopping another from getting it.  For ever action, there is an opposite and equal reaction and magic is no exception.

So there you have it.  My contribution to the letter X.  I hope you've enjoyed the bouncing around a bit.

Namaste & Blessed Be

The Pastor Who Preys

This article contains frank discussions regarding sexual abuse and rape.  Due to the direct manner in which this topic is approached, some may find the content triggering.  Please be mindful when sharing this content with others.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Brent Girouex, a Youth Pastor in Council Bluffs, Iowa pled guilty to sexual abuse in the third degree and two counts of sexual exploitation by a counselor or therapist.  The judge sentenced Mr. Girouex to 17 years in prison, but then suspended the sentence ordering the man to receive counseling and remain on probation for five year.  Mr. Girouex is required to be on the Iowa Sex Offender Registry.

Mr. Girouex claimed that he was helping boys as young as age 14 achieve sexual purity by having sex with them, while they prayed.  He said that when they ejaculated the impurity was leaving their bodies.  Mr. Girouex is accused of over 60 counts that involved several young boys in the teens.  One of the longest lasted for four years and Mr. Girouex stated, it was a consensual relationship.  The teen stated that they had had sexual contact over 100 times.

As I did my research for this post I found several ways of taking on this topic.  First, in the media this is being called the “Rape the Gay Away” case.  I could certainly take this on from a LGBT prospective.  We do not know if the boys that were assaulted in this case were actually gay.  They could have confessed some sort of interest and that is what opened the door for a predator to come in and abuse them.  But again, we don’t know that to be the case.

My next thought was because Mr. Girouex is male and his victims are male, most will assume that he is gay.  Let’s be very clear about this.  Mr. Giouex is a predator.   He had sex with boys as young as 14 years old.  He used his position as a Youth Pastor to get these boys into his home.  At which point he sexually abused them.  That is NOT the behavior of a gay person.  That is the behavior of a sexual predator.

As a survivor of child molestation by my step father for 10 year, I can say that these types of assaults are not only physically painful but also extremely damaging to the psyche.  There isn't a day that goes by that I’m not reminded of the actions of a vile man so many years ago.  My hubby and I were in a restaurant having a nice dinner and a song came on the overhead speakers that my step father used to sing.  In an instant I was that little girl again.  Scared and ashamed, haunted by nightmares the majority of my life.

I’m not sure why the judge in this case decided to suspend the sentence of Mr. Girouex.  By his wife, Erin Girouex’s own account, her husband should not be around children. This behavior led to the following open letter to Judge Steensland found on KETV NewsWatch 7’s Facebook page.

My heart cries for the victims.  Their trust destroyed.  The faith they had in a mentor or pastor betrayed.   The trust in the judicial system, lost.

My predator died many years ago.  He developed cancer and died, from my understanding, a slow painful death.  I was called to his deathbed.  He was heavily sedated and couldn't speak.  My mother pushed me up to the bed and said to me, “Forgive him, so he can die in peace.”  She walked out of the room and left me there alone for a while.  He gurgled a bit.  The man in my nightmares, the big man who scared me. He was here, lying in the bed weak and hollow.  The hands that once beat me into submission and touched my body in ways that a father never should, couldn't even move his bowels.  I walked out of the room and left the hospital.  I never forgave him. 

If he died in peace it was of his own making.  On my drive home I was called and told he died. Those old repeating nightmares ended that night. And the struggles of living as a survivor began.
For these young survivors their struggles are just beginning.  Each of them will need to deal with their monster in their own way.  Sometimes I don’t think about it at all, and other times it consumes me.
I believe that we should be protecting our children.  We need to be sure to show support for these teens and any others that might come forward on hearing this.  The real travesty here is that after sexually molesting these teens, repeatedly for years, the Pastor serves no time in prison.

I read on WebMD that a person does not choose to be attracted to children.  In the same way that a straight person does not choose to be attracted to the opposite sex.  While I agree that you do not choose to be straight or gay and it would stand to reason you would not choose to be a pedophile, I will have to stand by the assertion that acting upon that attraction is where the line is crossed. 

There is a petition set up on to send a message to the judge in this case.  I welcome you to join me in signing it.

Namaste & Blessed Be

Pagan Blog Project 2013 - X is for Xochiquetzal, The Mother of the World

Xochiquetzal was an Aztec Goddess of flowers and the arts.  She was said to rule over love, marriage and sexuality.  Often Xochiquetzal was referred to as the “Mother of the World”, due to her union with her partner in repopulating the earth after a great flood.  Even though she was associated with love and sex, as with many of the Aztec deities she required blood sacrifices. 

Mother of the World, Earth Mother, Mother Goddess is used to refer to Xochiquetzal, as she gave birth to the inhabitants.  She has even been called the divine prostitute.  Similar titles are given to deities in cultures around the world.  There’s no way I could list them all, but here are a few.

Though Xochiquetzal’s children all came from one mother and one father, it was said they all looked different and spoke different languages.  This barrier led like to join together and populate the earth. 

As a follower of Hecate, I honor her as Soteira and the Cosmic World Soul.  She holds the keys to knowledge and understanding of the world around us.  She provides answers to the mysteries of life and death.  She guides us from the severing of the umbilical cord to the passage to the underworld. 

Father, the supreme God in the Chaldean system, sowed the basic seeds of the material world, identified as “lightning” or Ideas; these Ideas then entered the womb of Hekate.
Hekate had received the Ideas in her womb from the Paternal Intellect (God, the Father), she then transmitted these to the Demiurge, who embodied them in the Sensible world. Because of her role in receiving and then transmitting the seed (Ideas) onward, Hekate/Soul was understood as the “Mother of the World.”   -  Hekate of the Chaldean Oracles (link)

This resonates with me.  I’ve often felt that when we did, our energy is not lost.  It remains here or it goes into a pool of energy that may or may not return to earth.  We may come back here as a new life or we many wander the earth in ethereal form, watching those we love go on.  Seeing that references to Hecate as being the one source where all souls originate seems to me, to be compatible with that line of thinking.
Like Xochiquetzal, in antiquity Hecate also requested blood sacrifices from her followers.  Today the use of blood in rituals to Hecate are not require, though some of her followers will use their own blood for ritual magic. 

Xochiquetzal was not only the goddess of sex and beauty but also the Goddess of magic and love spells.  Here is another similarity to Hecate being the goddess of witchcraft and magic.
As with so many other myths and legends about deities, all these attributes can apply to some or all of the gods.  Humans need to have reminders.  We like to be able to point to something and say, this is justice or that is beauty.   I believe that is what these are.  I do not believe that there was a time when Gods and Goddesses walked the earth and man bowed before them.

I believe that these deities are merely the personification of “godly” attributes.  Thinks that we are part of being a higher being.  Call it Xochiquetzal or call it Hecate, the idea is what we’re talking about.  I believe there is a single source for all the souls, I cannot state factually that it was from an idea placed in the vagina of a goddess, or an alien being placing us here on the planet.   Perhaps the big bang was actually a cosmic orgasm that gave birth to our cosmic soul.

Each of us has our own thoughts about it, and what is true for us may not be true for another.  Be sure to give others the freedom to follow their heart just as you have.  It is not for us to judge.



Pagan Blog Project 2013 - W is for Witch's Way

Recently a friend on Facebook shared a link to a blog post referencing how witches are portrayed today.  The post seemed to feel that today’s witch has been bastardized from its roots and turned into a caricature of the ideology from witch it originates.  (Link to article)

As I read through the piece, I couldn't help but feel the angst of the writer.  I can relate to the feeling of concern about what is currently happening to the craft.  Pop culture has long loved the witch.  From bed time stories, to the big screen the world loves to hate the witch.  With the popularity of American Horror Story : Coven and the way it has embraced pop icon Stevie Nicks, who was rumored for years to be a Wiccan; as a modern witch, I can say that these types of shows do little to shed any real light on what a witch’s way really is. 

Everyone is very quick to say, if you don’t follow the Wheel of the Year, you’re not a real witch.  If you’re not following a specific path, then you’re not a real witch.  If you wear a pointy hat, you’re shaming the witch. 


While I don’t agree that, AHS – Coven is a true representation of witches today, I do believe that the diversity they’re showing in the witches is actually pretty accurate.  The gifts of the witches range from healing, seeing, immolation as well as the typical mind reading.  In the real world, we have tarot readers, spiritual consultants and healers. 

My path is from a slightly different area than most.  My deity was pulled into modern Wiccan practices and given the title of “Crone”.  Many follow her as this aspect of the Triple Goddess.  I do not follow that because historically there is no evidence that Hecate was ever depicted as anything other than a young woman.  I don’t believe that their path in any way has an effect on mine. 

Just as I don’t believe that my introduction of “Modern Witch-ware” in the form of hats and cloaks, make fun of or takes any power from my practice.  I don’t believe that wearing a conical hat turns me into a cartoon nor do I believe it weakens my spell work in any way.  Looking at the pages out there today, most believe that witches should be pissed off and loaded with black eyeliner. 

I’m of the belief that the witch’s way, differ from person to person.  We each have our own way.  I believe in helping others and I believe in justice.  My path is one of taking care of others, fostering animals and being a counselor to those that need it.  I do spell work for fertility, healing and jobs.  I offer crystal magic and study the texts related to my path with diligence.  I send out protection amulets and talismans to protect others from harm.  I cast monthly rites to protect my home and to pay homage to the Goddess Hecate
I don’t need to have the world fear me.  Fear breeds hate.  I don’t need to be that renegade that rides the road of terror in my community.  I want to be that wise woman that offers support and protection.  I do not believe for a second that there is any specific color magic.  There is only magic. 
The article in question goes on to state that they - 

“Will not sit at the communion table with pagans and ‘witches’ who break bread with the very people who have sought the demise of my kind for centuries.”

I understand what the author is saying here.  Sometimes I find myself at odds with pagans who are members of Unitarian Churches for example.  However, to me witches are magic practitioners much like a Magus or Magi, which was basically defined as a priest of ancient Persia in Magic in the Ancient World by Fritz Graf.  To me, that means that a magi, one who practices magic (a witch) is basically one who is trained in the ways of the Gods.

Over the years many groups have been the victim of abuse by those in power.  Be they Christian or Roman, those in power take the belongings, the powers and the spirit of those below them.  Pagans were no different.  I have many different titles.  Each of those titles has a group that opposes them.  I can’t throw out all of humanity because of a few people that may have persecuted people like me in the past. 

Historically a witch’s way has been a tough row to hoe.  We have to remember that in the past, the label of witch was thrown upon any one who had something someone else wanted to take. Most of those that were tried and sentenced as witch’s, regardless of what AHS might lead you to believe, were not actually witches.  Women, who were typically midwives and keepers of the herbal knowledge and lore were often blamed when a child was lost in child birth or if there was a death in the village.  Quickly the association between being a witch and an old hag - woman was made and the rest, as they say is history.

To me, the take away from this is that as I said in the beginning, each witch has their own way. Some maybe those who walk in both worlds; they walk the line as an ambassador between the witch and the rest of the religions.  Others may be the magi, the alchemist who honors the craft directly and avoids the pageantry that sometimes accompanies it.  Some may be filled with light and love, so much so they are referred to as “Fluffy Bunnies”. 

When I sit to make my meal for Hecate’s Supper, I have many ingredients.  I use what’s seasonal and local to my area.  My meal may consist of leaks and garlic, perhaps cakes and wine.  Another’s meal may have figs and honey.  One meal is not better than the other.  Each is honoring the Goddess.  My offerings of garlic differ from the sacrifices of the black dogs and bulls of antiquity but they are not frowned upon. 
My desire to harm none, does not make me a weak witch, instead I believe it makes me strong.  As a light bringer, Hecate was considered the holder of secret knowledge and from the crossroads waited to provide answers to those in search.  Hecate is called upon in many cases to curse others, including a recent find on a lead tablet found in Israel dating back 1700 years.  Does this put my desire to harm none, be at odds with my Goddess?  Is she this darkness referred to by the author that has been “watered down” any a sweet little old lady?


However, there’s a big difference being strong and being a bully.  There’s a difference between defending yourself and picking a fight.
To me, I don’t need the world to cower before me.  I don’t need to see other turn away from my gaze for fear of the evil eye.  I don’t need my small town to believe that a rash of fires or some other hardship is the fault of the town witch.

I would much rather open a dialog with them and be someone who practices their craft, but is approachable.  Someone who is honorable.  Someone who believes that there is always time to reach out to someone and provide a helping hand.  This isn’t weakness or white-washing.  I call it “This Witch’s Way”

In Her Illuminated Light,


Pagan Blog Project 2013 - W is for Will

Merriam Webster defines will as follows:
                Will – Desire, wish

Many pagans, not just those who follow the Wicca traditions follow the Wiccan Rede.  The last eight words of the rede are:  “An it harm none, do what ye will”, from Doreen Valiente – 1964

So what I take from this is that this means, as long as we don’t hurt others, we can do as we desire.  Our will is our desire.  Immediately from this, I think of bullying and shaming.  I've written pieces in the past on both topics.  Just a few weeks ago in my V is for Views, I talked about this very thing.

Many people today seem to think if you disagree with their stance on something or have an opinion on something then you are bullying them.  They think that if you say I don’t like x, then anyone who does like x or who is x, is being shamed.

A bully is a person who uses strength or power to harm or intimated others who are weaker.  To bully someone means to use strength or influence to intimidate someone, usually forcing them to do what they want. Being unkind in itself is not bullying. (article linked)

Shame is an emotion usually related to guilt. Shaming is force someone by making them feel ashamed. Disagreement or criticism is not shaming. (article linked)

As a victim of child sexual abuse, incest, physical and mental abuse as a child, as well as a rape survivor, I can honestly tell you what shame feels like.  As a person who is plus sized, I can tell you what it feels like to be shamed into not going into the gym every day.  I can tell you how it feels to have my very will, my desires crushed by others.  I can tell you how it feels to have my assistance turned down because I wear a pentacle.  I can tell you how it feels to have mothers grab their children’s hands and pull me out of my vending tent because they believe that being pagan equates to being evil.

I can also say that I have been around many people in all these same environments and not been hurt.  And if those people are in those environments or participate in them, it doesn't add to my shame.  My feelings are my own.  No one owns those feelings.

 “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” – Eleanor Roosevelt

While others can attempt to bully me, they are not bullying me if I do not give in and give them what they want.  While others can attempt to shame me, they cannot shame me.  They can try.  But I have to be secure in who I am.  As a woman, as a mother, as a wife and as a pagan. 

What I’m saying here is that we as individuals need stop being so quick to jump on the new bully/shame bandwagon.  Not ever disagreement is bullying, not every opinion is an attack. 

Let me give you an example.

By User:Rockpocket (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I do not like back hair.  It grosses me out.  I don’t like it.  Period.  It is not attractive and I don’t want to see it.  And that’s OK, because some people do like it.  Some want to see it.  Some want to run their fingers through it, play with it and caress it.  And that’s OK too. 

Now quickly before the comments come rolling in about “How can I say this?”  “What about the KKK?”  “What about hate groups?” “Don’t they have a right?”

Well yeah, actually they do.   They have a right to hate you for any reason, or for no reason.  They have a right to be just as ugly as they want to be.

They have a right to not like you.  (Did you hear me?) 

Yeah, that’s right.  Christians have a right not to like gay people.  Races have the right to be separate from each other if they choose.  It’s their right.  It is their “Will”.

That being said, keep in mind, one’s rights end where another’s begin.  That means that the most racist hateful person on the planet has the right to yell to high heaven their horrible beliefs, I have the right to rebut them.  I have the right to join the discussion and give my point of view.  I have the right to say what I need to say, just as they do.  I also have the intelligence to understand that some fights cannot be won, and I can agree to disagree.

Our will, our desire is our own. I am not Wiccan. However I do believe in the rule of three, and I do believe what you send out comes back to you times three.  I believe that if you send out positive and if you do your own desire and harm none, you will receive that back to you.


Pagan Blog Project 2013 - V is for Virtue

Virtue is defined as behavior showing good moral standards.  The general public may think that pagan’s have no virtue. This image from shows a pretty good representation of that very thought process.

Recently I've seen posts on Facebook related to truth, which in my opinion is indeed a virtue.  I believe that we should always tell the truth.  Many people retort with, it’s the truth to you.  No, really I think the truth is the truth.  No matter what your position, stealing is wrong.  Stealing to because you’re poor and need food is just a migrating circumstance.  It doesn't change the fact that taking something that doesn't belong to you is wrong.

So let’s examine what pagan virtues are. (Definitions are from

Understanding – a willingness to understand people’s behavior and forgive them

What it doesn't mean – It doesn't mean that someone has the right to continue to do things to you over and over and one has to accept it.  It doesn't mean be a doormat.  It means understand that person has the right to believe how they believe, as long as they don’t force it on someone else.  To me this also means that sometimes it is necessary to give yourself a break.  Be understanding that you won’t always make the right decision.  Sometimes mistakes are made. 

Caring – an effort made to do something correctly, safely or without causing damage

What it doesn't mean – It doesn't mean continue to support someone when the continually engage in dangerous, abusive or negative behavior.  It doesn't mean letting people use your resources be they financial or emotional without some sort of reciprocation.  That reciprocation could be a monetary, emotional or just a nod.  To me this also means that they care about themselves as well.  One cannot truly care for another if they do not have the ability to care for themselves.

Giving – to offer as appropriate to due, especially to something higher

What it doesn't mean – It doesn't mean that one be penniless or a pauper.  It doesn't mean that one will always be on the giving end of either.  To me this means that they not only give to others but also to themselves.  Giving time and praise to oneself is extremely important.

Honesty – fairness and straightforwardness of conduct – adherence to the facts

What it doesn't mean is beating people up with the truth.  It doesn't mean attacking someone with facts or hurting them just because the truth is on one’s side.  To me, the key here is fairness, something I care a great deal about.  As a follower of Hecate, I believe that justice is something she stands for.  To me being fair in all I do and standing by what I say I will do is absolute.  There are no other options for me. 

It is easy in today’s world to hide behind a keyboard and lash out at others.  We see the world around us falling apart it seems with violence and poverty all around us.  We see people judge each other constantly.  There’s a lot of chatter but not a great deal of actual talking. 

I’d really like to see that change.  I’d like to see us really care about each other.  Not just say “how are you” when you don’t really care; actually start to connect to each other on a very basic level.  Take our virtues and share them.   Show the couple next door or the guy across the street that as pagan people we are open to understanding what each other has to give.

We will open our hearts and minds to others, while giving ourselves the appropriate permission to protect ourselves.