And welcome to PaganFM! For March 1, 2009. We opened the show tonight with a piece called Invocation (The Elements) by the band Featherscale. Featherscale is Michael Dolan, Carl Nickerson and Robert McClung. Weíll be joined next week by Michael Dolan, who, if youíre local to the New Hampshire area, you might have known as The Reverend Rat.


If you want it to be, itís Spring now. I like thinking of March as Spring. Itís also the first of the month, which means that itís a new voting period on podcast alley, so if you get a chance, head on over there, pull up the religion and spirituality category and vote for your favorite pagan podcasts.


I suppose that this is as good a time as any to give a shout-out to my personal favorites. So, hello to Greywolf over at A Pagan Heart in Maine, Darkly Fey over at The Dark Side of Fey, Mojo and Sparrow at The Wigglian Way, Ariel at The Druidic Craft of the Wise, Dave and company at Druidcast, Jay OíSkully at Witchery of One, John McNair at the John McNair Show, and Chris at The Infinite and Beyond. I also started listening to T. Thorne Coyleís Elemental Castings, which is a fine and well-done program. Give it a listen if you get a chance.


Iím finding that Iím listening to so many podcasts that itís simply impossible to list them all every week, so if I didnít list your show specifically this week, please donít feel insulted Ö Iíll certainly get around to it at some point. I think thought that weíre getting to the point where we could do an entire podcast about what podcasts are out there. The podcasting ground seems quite fertile, and this is a good thing.


A while ago I joined The Order of the Pentacle, which is a group for pagan military and veterans. I wanted to pass along some news that came along on Friday.


Eric Erickson of Wisconsin died Friday afternoon at his rural Spring Green home after a long battle with cancer. Eric, a Pagan Marine veteran, was one of the founding members of the Order of the Pentacle. He assisted with the Veteran Pentacle Quest, and his iron sculpture honoring deceased Pagan veterans is at Veteransí Ridge at Circle Cemetery on Circle Sanctuary land near Barneveld, Wisconsin.


Eric was born on November 27, 1956 in Madison, Wisconsin, and is survived by his wife Bronwyn (Bonnie) and their daughter Bryn.He also is survived by two sons and a daughter from a previous marriage and by brothers, sisters, his father, and numerous other family members.His mother, Pat Donohue, was also a member of Circle Sanctuary and her cremains are buried at Circle Cemetery.

Please send blessings to Eric as he journeys in the Otherworld.


Memorial services are being planned and will be conducted by Selena Fox of Circle Sanctuary.


You know, many people who donít understand that paganism is a true faith might have difficulty in understanding how death impacts us as pagans. What I can say, as a pagan and a veteran is that Iím deeply moved that finally, we veterans are permitted to have our emblem of faith on our grave markers. I still think itís sad that each has to be approved. Iím not sure that the Druidís Awen is yet approved, but the pentacle is there. And Eric and Selena and so many others have been instrumental in achieving that acceptance.


Iím also so incredibly proud of people like Eric and other pagan veterans for their service in whatever country they served in. Itís their sacrifices of time, talent and often lives, that demonstrate their love of their fellows and their countries. Itís people like this that let others know that a pagan spirituality is not someoneís game of Dungeons and Dragons, but a real, vital, vibrant and beautiful, internally consistent spirituality.


Our spirituality is truly a complete spirituality; it helps us to live and die well, to understand and cooperate with our universe and those we share it with. It helps us most of all, to live with ourselves.


But many of us become intimidated when confronted. Weíll be accosted by a somewhat crazed monotheist who tells us that weíre going to hell because we have the wrong religion, and we draw a blank. We donít know what to say.


Why is this? Do we buy into what others say about us? I think thatís a time to remember people like Eric; those who have taken a stand, who have served, and remember just how important our spirituality is. We donít all have to be apologists and thealogians, but itís important to let others know that our faith is important to us. Just as a Christian or a Muslim or anyone else might be willing to live and die expressing their faith, so are we. Just because our faith isnít practiced by as many as some other faiths, this doesnít mean that itís less important to us than theirs is to them.


I got a letter from a young person this week asking about coming out as a Wiccan, and weíll be answering that question a little later. Iíll also talk a bit in our Pagan Primer about the various ways that we can view deity. Weíll also have our PaganFM! almanac, though that might be a bit later than usual. Tonight weíll be spending some time speaking with Karen Tate, who is the author of Walking an Ancient Path and Sacred Places of the Goddess, which are two amazing books discussing the Sacred Feminine.So stay tuned for that, which will be coming up in just a few minutes.


Right now, thinking of Spring though, hereís something from Dave the Bard.


© 2009 Deirdre A. Hebert