Pagan in the City

Because pagan religions can be broadly described as spiritual beliefs which worship nature, it is reasonable that some persons believe that living in urban areas presents an obstacle to connecting with nature.  One such pagan is Baz Bardoe who asserts that ‘the city is a warzone, and as in any warzone, one’s ability to fully explore individual potential is compromised’ (Cavandish & Conneelay 2012). However, some pagan authors argue that is an assumption and not a fact (Scarlett 2010). Furthermore, urbanism and technological advances should be regarded as part of the natural flow of things and not a divorce from them (Cunningham 2012). Ultimately, religion is about a personal spiritual connection. Therefore, there is no objectively correct way to practice paganism or any other religion. Instead, it is for each person to decide for themselves how they understand their religion and how to best engage with it.

Continue reading Pagan in the City

What to do if you are being harassed, threatened or intimated

This weekend, PAN hosted the third and final of its 21st anniversary Full Moon Rituals in Sydney. Unfortunately, the event was marred by a member of the public who wrongly concluded that we were Satanists and began to shout threats and obscenities at us. Fortunately, there is safety in numbers, and he soon walked away when he realised that we weren’t intimated by him. We also called the police for good measure. In light of this event, here are a list of safety precautions for dealing with aggressive and/or misinformed members of the public while going about your pagan business.

Continue reading What to do if you are being harassed, threatened or intimated

Nowruz: Iranian New Year

Nowruz is an ancient celebration which began in greater Iran some 15,000 years ago. It marks the beginning of astronomical spring is about celebrating and reaffirming ties with nature and with friends and family. It is a public holiday in several countries and has been recognised by UNESCO as part of Humanity’s Intangible Cultural History.

Continue reading Nowruz: Iranian New Year

A guide to choosing cruelty free cosmetics

Animal welfare falls under state and territory jurisdiction in Australia, which means there is no, one uniform law across the country regarding animal welfare. For the interested reader, the relevant legislation for each state and territory is provided in the bibliography at the end of this article. Because animal cruelty falls outside of the Federal Government’s jurisdiction, it is left to non-government organisations (NGOs) to compile a register of companies who do and do not test their products on animals. However, as multiple national and international companies offer certification to various standards, compassionate consumers must inform themselves to determine if a cruelty free certified product meets their personal ethical standards. This article will provide a guide to Australian certification of cruelty free products.

Continue reading A guide to choosing cruelty free cosmetics

A response to witches hexing Donald Trump

This post refers to the ongoing mass binding spells which have been organised in the USA since February 2017 aimed at Donald Trump and his administration. For the Pagan Awareness Network’s (PAN) statement on curses and hexes, please click here.

The Pagan Awareness Network does not advocate the use of spells, curses or hexes to invoke harm to others, and would like to demonstrate why, using this example.

Continue reading A response to witches hexing Donald Trump

Mǎrţişor, the Romanian Symbol of Spring

On March 1st, Romanians celebrate the coming of spring by giving and receiving small trinkets tied with red and white string. These trinkets are called mǎrţişor and they mark the beginning of the agricultural new year. Before we learn more about the history and symbolism of the mǎrţişor, it might be useful to learn how to pronounce this word.

In Romanian, the letter ǎ is pronounced like ‘urgh’ as in ‘urgh, do I have to wake up’. The letter ţ is pronounced like the ‘zz’ in pizza. The letter ş is pronounced like ‘sh’ as in shadow. Finally, the accent on this word is placed on the last syllable, so mǎrţişor is pronounced m-urgh-zz-ee-shore. The word derives from martie which is the name for the month of march. Now that we’ve established the etymology and pronunciation of this word, we can move on to its history.

Continue reading Mǎrţişor, the Romanian Symbol of Spring

How the animals in the Chinese Zodiac were chosen

A long time ago, Jade Emperor decided to create a calendar in order to keep track of time. He decided to create a cyclical calendar of 12 years, and that each year would be named after an animal. To determine which 12 animals would be featured, he organised a race and invited every animal to participate. The first twelve across the line would be included in the calendar. This is the story of how the 12 animals were chosen.

Continue reading How the animals in the Chinese Zodiac were chosen

Hiding in Plain Sight: Cooking

The Hiding in Plain Sight series is about ways that you can inconspicuously incorporate your faith into your everyday life. This is ideal for people who can’t or don’t want to announce to those around them that they practice witchcraft. While the previous two posts focussed on discretely wearing charms and using colour magick, this post will focus on how to incorporate plant magick into your regular diet.

Continue reading Hiding in Plain Sight: Cooking

Profiling the Gods: Hecate

Hecate is an interesting and complex goddess from Greek and Roman mythology. She is associated with magic, death and the underworld, and was said to be a benevolent goddess who happily assisted and protected mortals. This may seem somewhat unusual as the ancient Greeks had an aversion to all things death-related, but Hecate seems to walk the boundary of many contradictions. A brief overview of her character and nature is provided below.

Continue reading Profiling the Gods: Hecate

Hiding in plain sight: colour

The previous hiding in plain sight blog post was about how to wear pagan charms in a way that does not communicate your spiritual beliefs to the general public. This post will focus on how to add colour magick to your home and wardrobe life in a discrete way.

Continue reading Hiding in plain sight: colour