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.

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The Paranormal Investigators of the Internet

One of the earliest documentary TV shows to focus on paranormal events was In Search Of… which ran between 1977 and 1982. The 1977 episode, In Search Of… Ghosts, which featured author, lecturer and Parapsychologist Hans Holzer, is likely to have laid the foundations for future ghost hunting TV shows (Matthews 2016). In recent years, with the advent of smart phones and video hosting websites, average citizens have been able to capture and share their own supposed paranormal encounters. Unfortunately, a blend of creativity, computer literacy and capitalism means that some people now stage convincing hoaxes and present them as evidence of paranormal activity (Ghost Diaries 201; Eddy 2016). When these hoaxes are discovered, they likely tarnish the credibility of other paranormal videos which may not have been staged. As such, members of the public may be sceptical of any paranormal phenomena and less likely to consider the topic with an open mind. To illustrate this point, the paranormal videos of YouTube user mellowb1rd will be used as an example.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Understanding death in Paleolithic and Ancient Egyptian Cultures

As a result of many thousands of years of medical advancement, causes of death are much better understood today than they were in the past. Without this knowledge, ancient cultures had to make their own deductions in order to understand what causes death. Archaeological evidence suggests that Neanderthals understood death as an invisible enemy and that this belief may have survived into Ancient Egyptian culture. This post will discuss the similarities in beliefs between these two cultures.

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