August 2009

Solitary Witch

Normally I like to write about pagan books (and books in general) that I really enjoy or find helpful. After all, why waste words on things that you don’t like? It’s like Natalie Goldberg says in her lovely work Writing Down the Bones—why spend an entire period criticizing a work that doesn’t really work? Simply give it the samurai sword swiftly and humanely and move on!

Great Books for Pagan Parenting, Part 2: Circle Round

No pagan parenting book collection is complete without a copy of Circle Round: Raising Children in Goddess Traditions by Starhawk, Diane Baker, and Anne Hill. With this book and a little creativity, you have everything you need to supplement your child’s education with pagan lessons. Pick and choose the ones that work for you, or use the authors’ ideas to formulate your own stories and rituals based on the ones that they have shared in the book.

The book begins with great introductions and groundwork in goddess studies. Explanations about just who the goddess is, along with different creation stories, elements, and the circle of life are all provided; with anything else in the book, the best way to use these is to read them through yourself, decide which parts you wish to use, and add in your own beliefs and values.

Sacred Pagan Places, Part 3

Last week we took a look at the sacred places of Arizona. Before we get to the rest of the Southwest, another state deserves a post entirely of its own—New Mexico.

Tsoodzil, or Mount Taylor, is a stratovolcano in New Mexico. Stratovolcanoes are steep volcanoes that are made up of layers and, while they tend to erupt often, their lava cools and hardens quickly before it has a chance to really spread (Mount Fuji is a stratovolcano). The Navajo people say that it is the turquoise mountain, one of the four sacred mountains marking the four cardinal directions. It’s also one of the markers of the Dinetah, which is considered the Navajo homeland. Sacred to the Laguna, Acoma and Zuni people, it is also the home of Black God, Turquoise Girl and Turquoise Boy.

10 Things to Do in September

There are plenty of pagan activities, celebrations, commemorations and festivals to keep you busy year-round. September is just as busy as the rest of the year, especially with the addition of school activities for many. Here are ten things you might want to take part in this September.

10. Harvest Moon. Also known as Singing Moon or Wine Moon, Harvest Moon marks the time of the year when the last of the year’s crops are being reaped before winter comes upon us. To celebrate, wear earth tone colors, honor a harvest deity such as Demeter or Brighid, or hold your own full moon rite.

The Goddess Companion

If you’re looking for an in-depth daily devotional book for Goddess studies, Patricia Monaghan’s The Goddess Companion: Daily Meditations on the Feminine Spirit may be just what you’re after. Like Telesco’s 365 Goddess, it covers a different goddess each and every day. Rather than focus on the nuts and bolts of each goddess and incorporating spellwork, as Telesco does, however, Monaghan focuses more on the spiritual qualities of each goddess and how they apply to us.

Sacred Pagan Places, Part II

We recently visited—well, virtually visited!—some places that are considered to be sacred to many pagans in the Midwestern United States. Today we’re going to take a look at some sacred sites in the Southwest. If any of them spark your interest, be sure to add them on your list of places to visit.

Not surprisingly, Arizona is home to some of the places considered to be most sacred in the Southwest. You are probably already familiar with Sedona, its Red Rock formations and rich native tribal history. But Arizona is also home to many other spiritual locations—so many, in fact, that the state pretty much deserves its own post.

Pagan Homeschooling Resources

There isn’t exactly a plethora of pagan-labeled child-rearing materials out there, but there are actually more than you might think. Between actual literature and curricula geared toward little pagans to environmental, mythological and historical publications, you have a variety of homeschooling or supplemental teaching materials just about as wide as any secular or even Christian program.

The two main pagan curriculums that I know of—and that are quite wonderful—are Goddess Moon Circles Academy and Oak Meadow School. Both schools allow you to use them as umbrella schools as well as to simply purchase the curriculum or materials that you wish to choose for your own use, making them great for both basic homeschooling as well as supplemental studies.