PaganFM 072414

PaganFM Prayer List
Scarlet, Joseph, Jamie, Raymond and Therese.
Musical Selections:
Artist, Track, Album
Steven Vitali, Be The Miracle, Language of the Soul
Leigh Ann Hussey, Yemaya, Pantheon
Lisa Thiel, Lammas, Circle of the Seasons
Loreena McKennitt, Breaking the Slience, Parallel Dreams
Telling Point, River, Waiting for Nothing
Tuatha Dea, Hypocritical Mass, The Tribe
Wendy Rule, Open My Senses, Deity
Kellianna, Stonehenge, Lady Moon
Jenna Greene, Lady Moon, Crossroads
Emerald Rose, Come by the Hills, Bending Tradition
Gaia Consort, Secret of the Rain, Secret voices
Celia, Everyday Goddess, Breathe
Arthur Hinds, Circle of Love, Poetry of Wonder
Bell Book and Canto, Wild Mountain Thyme, Invocation
Cernunnos Rising, Urban Druid, Urban Druid
Frenchy and the Punk, Isis Rising,  Elephant Uproar
Damh the Bard, Morrighan, Spirit of Albion
Featherscale, Hail and Farewell, Gypsy Heart

News Items

In Betanzos, Spaine, there is part of a buttress built into a 14th century Christian church, that has held an enigma for a great many years. On some stones is an inscription. The problem is that until now, nobody could read the inscription in this church in the Galicia region of Spain.

The inscription sits about 5 meters, or just over 15′ above the ground, and it’s long puzzled epigraphists, but recently, researchers working for the Gaelaico Project believe that they have deciphered the inscription, and suggests that it means “An Ghaltacht”, which basically says that the area was a Gaelic speaking area.

Certainly the Galicia region of Spain, in its name alone, suggests that the region was Celtic, but, if this inscription is proved correct, could be the first written evidence to that effect. This part of Spain, as well as portugal, along with Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, Isle of Man, Cornwall and Asturias have historically been considered the Celtic Nations, but this is because of cultural and historical reasons, as there has been no, or little actual written evidence of Celtic life in this region.

At the moment, researchers are hoping for independent verification of their translation of the inscription, after which, this will be recognized as the first written evidence that this part of Spain was actually inhabited by ancient Celts.

In a prime example of people pretending to be Christians, the American Taliban group calling themselves “Operation Save America” decided to hold a protest in an actual church because they believe themselves to be the only people who actually know what God wants. Now, personally, I believe that anyone who thinks that God is talking to them ought to be put on anti-psychotics and locked away until were certain they aren’t a danger to themselves or others, but in our country, we actually have laws that prohibit this sort of thing – no matter how sick they are – unless we have solid proof that there is immanent danger of physical violence. Personally, I’d lower that standard and suggest that when they commit a crime or misdemeanor – such as trespass or even disorderly conduct – as in disrupting a church service because they think that’s what God wants them to do – that ought to be proof positive that they are in fact mentally ill and in need of psychiatric treatment – but that’s just me

Anyway, the reason that this subject is important, before I go on, is because this “Operation Save America” was actually given a proclamation by Mayor Landrieu, for “service to the city”. Fortunately, after the fallout of this groups anti-American behavior, that proclamation was rescinded, and police were watching to insure the group didn’t do anything else illega.

Anyway, this “Operation Save America” which might be better named “Operation try really hard to impose our views on America”, which really, from their literature seems to be an outreach ministry for the Westboro Baptist Church, felt led by God to disrupt services on Sunday, July 20 at the Unitarian Universalist Church in New Orleans. Their members Deana Waller, Jay Rogers, Mary Claire, Ken Scott, Russell Hunter, Toby Harman and others decided that a quiet memorial meditation time when the actual church was remembering one of their members who had died, was a great time to disrupt the service with hate speech that they euphemistically call “the ‘truth’ of the Gospel. These idiots actually believe that the UU Church is a “synagogue of Satan”, which means to me that they don’t have any mirrors in their own sanctuary.

The leader of this group of bad Christian impersonators is a “Reverend” Flip Benham – he’s their national misdirector. I’m sorry – I must have written that wrong – he’s their director – nevermind – if you direct people wrong … director – misdirector – I guess in this case, it’s pretty much the same thing.

Here’s the deal with this group – their primary purpose is to try to insure the birth of fetuses, and the UU Church holds that this is a matter of personal choice and conscience – ergo, “Operation Save America” believes that they are the church of Satan.

But groups like this are liars. They tell you that they are preaching “The Gospel”, but their own scripture doesn’t suggest that a person is a person prior to being born. And if they were to read their own scripture, they would see that even their own Bible prescribes abortion in certain circumstances. When they claim to be followers of scripture, they prove themselves to be liars. In fact, the Bible, when describing how to do a census of people only counted individuals who were more than one month old. The book of Numbers, chapter 5, describes a ritual in which a man who believes his wife to have been unfaithful, takes her to the priest, who will bring about a miscarriage if she is actually unfaithful. This idea that suggests that a “Real (TM)” Christian must adopt this radical pro-life stance is absolutely false.

The anti-abortion agenda really isn’t about reducing abortions – it’s about punishing those involved. Really, if any group wants to reduce, or eliminate abortions, that would be the wrong way to go about it.

Look at it this way – we don’t get rid of cancer by outlawing chemotherapy. We don’t get rid of diabetes by putting stricter requirements on endocrinologists. We aren’t going to get rid of abortion by making it illegal. The solution to the problem of abortion, if we see it as a problem, is by working on the underlying condition. We get rid of cancer by getting rid of the causes of cancer – by producing a healthier society – by reducing smoking and cancer-causing chemicals in the environment. We deal with diabetes by cutting down the amount of refined sugar that we consume.

If we want to reduce abortion, we do so by promoting healthy sexual attitudes and eliminating the NEED – the cause, if you will, for abortion.

But radical groups like “Operation Save America” don’t want to do that. They, like their Taliban counterparts, wish to punish those who do things they don’t agree with. Abortion is but a tool for these people – and pregnancy should be a curse to women who they feel have sinned by enjoying sex. The issue for them really isn’t abortion, but sex, which they feel to be wrong. And that is why these groups will fight against other groups like Planned Parenthood. What they really believe is that women shouldn’t be having sex with anyone but their husbands, that they should have no choice over whether they get pregnant or not, and that if they get pregnant, they should be required, no matter the circumstances, to carry a fetus to term. Period. Women are not to have control over their reproductive selves.

And this is one reason why we, as Pagans, need to establish an honest dialog with other people of faith – not the radicals, but people who value human dignity, freedom of conscience, and the right to live our own faith and to direct our own life-courses. Our bodies are our bodies – each and every one of us. And when we let one religious group control our government, our bodies are no longer our own, but become, instead, the property of a theocracy. So, I’m a huge fan of any sort of religious dialog with any groups that are willing to work together to fight the hatred and intolerance of hate groups like “Operation Save America”, the Westboro Baptist Church, and any of those far-right, theocratic wannabees – whatever their religious underpinnings.

Practical Pagan
Hi I’m Carl, and this is the Pagan FM Almanac for July 24th, 2014.
Please note that all moon void of course data is courtesy of www.drstandley.com.
Today is Thursday, July 24th, 2014 and it is the 205th day of the year.
The waning crescent moon is in Cancer, as is the Sun.
The Moon will be void on Saturday, July 26th at 4:53 AM and will enter Leo at 4:58 PM.
July’s Dark Moon will occur on Saturday, July 26th at 6:42 PM.
The Moon will be void on Monday, July 28th at 5:32 PM and will enter Virgo on Tuesday, July 29th at 5:42 AM.
On this day, July 24th in 1969, at 12:51 PM, the spacecraft Apollo 11 safely splashed down in the Pacific Ocean, successfully answering a challenge made some eight years before on May 25th, 1961, when then-President John Fitzgerald Kennedy said, in a speech to a special joint session of congress “I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth.” In those eight years, the United States spent 24½ billion dollars, preparing for this mission, which itself would last eight days. In those eight days, Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin and Michael Collins travelled some 480,000 miles, landed on the moon, walked on the moon (a feat watched live on TV by a record 600 million viewers), and returned home safely, leaving behind an American flag and a plaque which read “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot on the moon – July 1969 A.D. – We came in peace for all mankind”.
July 25th is International Threading the Needle Day. While some mark this day by brushing up on their sewing skills, and others by practicing a certain break-dancing move, perhaps the most common form of observance involves recalling a time in your life when you skillfully navigated through a difficult situation.
Speaking of which, on July 25th in 1975, a rather unique musical premiered at the Shubert Theatre on Broadway. The audacious, intriguingly minimalist concept of which was that the show took place on the empty stage of a Broadway theater, following the travails of seventeen dancers as they auditioned to become members of A Chorus Line. With twelve Tony Award nominations, nine Tony Awards, one Pulitzer Prize, and 6,137 performances, which rank to this day as the sixth longest-running Broadway show of all time, one might rightfully conclude that this needle was indeed well and truly threaded.
On July 26th in 1953, a twenty-seven year old Cuban lawyer, Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz, with 165 fellow revolutionaries, attacked the Moncado Barracks, a garrison just outside of Santiago de Cuba, Oriente. Dressed as soldiers and with a goal of raiding the barracks’ armory, the rebels did not fare well, many dying and many more, Including Castro, sentenced to prison. The “26th of July Movement”, as Castro’s group renamed itself, would eventually topple Cuba’s Batista government, turning the island into the Communist dictatorship it remains to this day.
July 27th, as the last Sunday in July, is Reek Sunday aka Garland Sunday, a Christian holy day adapted from a pagan Lughnasadh tradition in which penitents walked up Ireland’s Croagh Patrick peak. The two-hour pilgrimage up the 2,500 foot sacred mountain has been practiced for over 5,000 years, with purists attempting the rocky trek barefoot. Ouch…
July 28th is National Milk Chocolate Day. America’s own Milton Hershey was to milk chocolate what Henry Ford was to automobiles – Hershey invented a recipe/methodology that allowed him to mass-produce affordably priced milk chocolate. One by-product of the “Hershey process” was that the end result contained butyric acid, a harmless but bitter byproduct that gave Hershey’s chocolate a particular “tang”. Interestingly, competitors found that, in order to have a chance in the US market, they had to add butyric acid to their otherwise pristine milk chocolate, as Americans expected that “tang”.
On July 29th in 1981, the world sat mesmerized in front of their TV’s – at least, a record 750 million people did – to watch live the fairy-tale splendor of the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spenser at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. The future would bring what the future would bring, but for this day at least, it seemed that fairy tales could, indeed, come true.
Finally, on July 30th in 2003, the last classic Volkswagen Beetle rolled off the assembly line. The baby-blue car was sent immediately to a museum in Wolfsberg, Germany, Volkswagen’s headquarters. A victim of emissions controls in the US and foreign competitors elsewhere, the iconic “Bug” had been around for nearly sixty years. The last vehicle was number 21,529,464, making the Beetle the second-largest production model in history, just ahead of the Ford Model T (at 16,500,000) and the Russian Lada (at 19,300,000) and second only to Toyota’s Corolla (at 40,000,000 and still counting). No wonder I can never find a parking spot…
And this has been the Pagan FM Almanac for July 24th, 2014.

Practical Pagan

I’ve been having some dialog with a woman who is quickly becoming a dear friend and mentor to me. She has a profound wisdom that transcends religion and dives right into the deep end of the pool that is spirituality. Yesterday she introduced me to a man who lived in the 18th century, who began a career as a lawyer, and who gave that up to live and travel among the Native Americans. His name was George Catlin, and he wrote a piece that has come to be known as his creed.

George Catlin’s Creed
I love a people that have always made me welcome to the very best that they had.
I love a people who are honest without laws, who have no jails and no poorhouses.
I love a people who keep the commandments without ever having read or heard them preached from the pulpit.
I love a people who never swear or take the name of God in vain.
I love a people “who love their neighbors as they love themselves”
I love a people who worship God without a Bible, for I believe that God loves them also.
I love a people whose religion is all the same, and who are free from religious animosities.
I love a people who have never raised a hand against me, or stolen my property, when there was no law to punish either.
I love and don’t fear mankind where God has made and left them, for they are his children.
I love a people who have never fought a battle with the white man, except on their own ground.
I love a people who live and keep what is their own without lock and keys.
I love a people who do the best they can. And oh how I love a people who don’t live for the love of money.

Sometimes you”ll hear me speak about Christianity or Islam or other religions on this show – when I hear something that touches me, I speak about it. Some years ago, I offered my own creed on this show, but really, I can’t think of anything that is more beautiful or touching than these words of George Catlin.

What my friend, her name is Snowyowl Gray, is helping me see is this: Our religion is simply the fabric that we wrap our spirituality up inside. It’s like our clothes. We can take our bodies and wrap them up in fine dresses or suits – and those dresses and suits can hide just about anything. A person wearing nice clothes can look like a nice person, but it isn’t the clothes that make the person. A suit does not make a man. A dress does not make a woman.

We often hear of people impersonating police officers. Someone will wear a police uniform – they might make their car look like a police car – but they are imposters. Con artists often try to dress the part of an honest businessman to gain the confidence of an individual; a person who they deem to be sufficiently credulous is called a mark. And if the con artist looks the part, and plays the part sufficiently well, they will bilk the mark out of a great deal of wealth.

Religion is the suit; spirituality is the being.

Think about that. Religion is nothing but a fancy dress or expensive suit.

When we put on a dress or a suit, what changes inside of us? If I call myself Christian, or if I call myself Pagan, does that make any difference at all? Am I a different person because I choose to follow Brighid or Lugh or Christ or Allah? If I care about people, and if I love the Earth – what difference does it make, in the long run, the rituals I use in expressing my spirituality?

So many of us try to find out more about our ancestors – perhaps to try to have a label of “hereditary witch”. It seems for many of us that somehow the fact that one of our ancestors might have been a witch or a Druid or a Heathen, that this somehow makes what we experience more authentic. Honestly, it doesn’t. What my ancestors might have done has absolutely nothing to do with my spirituality. That may sound a bit heretical to some, but it is the absolute truth.

I have ancestors who come from Scotland, from Brittany, and some who were Native Americans. But I don’t know these people. They were dead long before I was born, long before my parents were born. I don’t know if my Scottish ancestors were Britons, Angles or Picts. I don’t know if my ancestors in Brittany were Celtic or not. And I don’t know what tribe – or tribes, my Native American ancestors were a part of. And I have to ask myself – what difference would it make if I knew? Would I somehow etherially inhale a body of knowledge that somehow eludes me right now? Would I be more authentically “me” because I’m suddenly gifted with a piece of information I don’t presently have? Would knowing a single aspect of the life of an ancestor long since dead, somehow imbue the words I speak with more authenticity?

And even if I could prove that I have ancestors who were Celts – how does that in any way suggest that they followed Brighid, or Lugh, or anyone else? Centuries from now, someone might suggest that Americans were predominantly Christian. Okay – but does that mean that we’re all Christian? We have atheists and Christians and Muslims and Pagans and Jews and Hindus and so many other faiths represented among us. How can we possibly believe that because we have ancestors, that they necessarily believed what we think they should have believed so long ago?

Having ancestors who came from any particular part of the world is really meaningless unless they have somehow left us some sort of personal message. And even if there was something like a “Family tradition”, in which Great, Great Grandma’s book of shadows was passed down from generation to generation, it certainly isn’t incumbent upon any of us to maintain that particular tradition. And even if it were, the fact that a thing is old, does not necessarily make it right, or infallible – it just makes it old.

Because here’s the thing – if my words somehow have more meaning because of who my ancestors are, then the people placing value on my words really don’t care about my words. If my words depend on somebody who died long ago, then they aren’t my words. If I can only be a witch if some great, great, great grandparent was also a witch, then being a witch is really meaningless. It means as much as being German or Iranian, and none of us are anything more than some genetic lineage.

Fortunately, spirituality isn’t something that’s been poured into us by our parents. Our religion might be, but our spirituality isn’t. Our spirituality is a choice – it’s an expression of how we choose to value each other, the Earth, the Gods – by whatever name we choose to call them. We can choose to have a spirituality that says that each of us is uniquely important and precious and valuable. We can choose to recognize that all life matters. And we can choose to live that way, and to treat each other in the way that our spirituality directs. Our religion then, will be a natural outgrowth of our spirituality.

That cloak is woven from the inside-out. Our rituals are our expressions of joy and gratitude to the Gods – or Great Spirit – or the Creator. But in the end, how we say “thank you” is of far less importance than simply saying “Thank You”.

Or we can choose to believe that we, and our own personal wants are important. And we can find a dress or robe or suit, and wrap up our own convictions in something that is much more beautiful than our own greed, and we can call that religion. But that sort of religion revolves a whole lot more around the suit than what it is that is filling the suit.

Here’s the important lesson, as I see it. If our spirituality revolves around trying to prove that it is authentic by chasing after phantoms from the past, how am I actually living and experiencing my own spirituality? And if I’m busy trying to cultivate a personal relationship with whatever I see as actual Divinity, how could I possibly afford the time necessary to worry about proving my own authenticity by trying to find hints of what my ancestors might have done?

I guess though, that in the end, the saying is that “You can’t judge a book by its cover” holds true. We can dress up our spirituality however we want, but in the end, it is our spirituality in its nakedness that matters.

I think that Doreen Valinente hit on this well in her Charge of the Goddess, the first part of which reads:

Listen to the words of the Great Mother, who was of old also called Artemis; Astarte; Diana; Melusine; Aphrodite; Cerridwen; Dana; Arianrhod; Isis; Bride; and by many other names.

Whenever ye have need of anything, once in a month, and better it be when the Moon be full, then ye shall assemble in some secret place and adore the spirit of me, who am Queen of all Witcheries.
There shall ye assemble, ye who are fain to learn all sorcery, yet have not yet won its deepest secrets: to these will I teach things that are yet unknown.
And ye shall be free from slavery; and as a sign that ye are really free, ye shall be naked in your rites; and ye shall dance, sing, feast, make music and love, all in my praise.
For mine is the ecstasy of the spirit and mine also is joy on earth; for my Law is Love unto all Beings.

Maybe some of us don’t wish to worship skyclad, but maybe Valiente was on to something here – when we are naked, we don’t have a suit to fill – there are no pretentions – and certainly no slavery. But even if our bodies are clothed, our spirituality shouldn’t be.

PaganFM 071714

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PaganFM Prayer List, Burt, Raymond, Musical Selections Artist, Track, Album Loreena McKennitt, Beneath a Phrygian Sky, An Ancient Muse Lindi Lila, Gayatri Mantra, Sisters of the Moon Kellianna, The Ancient Ones, The Ancient Ones Gary Stadler, Fairy of the Woods, … Continue reading

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PaganFM Prayer List Raymond, Pete Costello, Susan’s friend, and Tim. Musical Selections Artist, Track, Album Ann Sweeten, Of Clouds and Dreams, Tapestries of Time Tuatha Dea, The Landing, The Tribe Akashik, Long Forgotten Celia, Ho’ Oponopono, For the Asking Gwydion … Continue reading

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PaganFM Prayer List Raymond, Susan’s friend, and Tim Musical Selections Artist, track, album Deirdre Hebert, Star Spangled Banner Ricky Kej and Wouter Kelerman, Remembrance (Greensleeves), Winds of Samsara Celia, Red Alabaster and Blue, Red Alabaster and Blue Leigh Anne Hussey, … Continue reading

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PaganFM Prayer List Raymond, Phil, Tim Musical Selections Artist, Track, Album Doug Cox, Red Haired Raga, Without Words Gaia Consort, All the Light in the World, Secret Voices Gary Stadler, Fairy of the Woods, Fairy of the Woods Jenna Greene, … Continue reading

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PaganFM Prayer List Raymond, Mikan, Tim, Susan Congratulations Those of you who have listened for a while will certainly remember Amanda, who did our herbs for Life segment for a couple of years. Well, it’s my pleasure to let you … Continue reading

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PaganFM Prayer List Susan, Joseph, Raymond, Brian, Musical Selections Artist, track, album Gary Stadler, Awakening, Fairy of the Woods Dragon Ritual Drummers, Pagan Soldier Gwydion Pendderwen, Spring Strathspey, Songs for the Old Religion Ginger Doss, Ganesh is Fresh, From Love … Continue reading

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PaganFM Prayer List For all those who are in mourning with the parting of Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart – especially Oberon and those who were very close to her, also, for Raymond, Louis, Scarlet and Tim, for those who are threatened … Continue reading