Nemetona: Goddess of Boundaries and Edges, Sanctuary and Freedom Presentation

tommyelf22:

Excellent talk from Joanna! Give it a listen/watch!

Originally posted on Down the Forest Path:

I had a wonderful time yesterday at the Leaping Hare Pagan Conference in Colchester, Essex.  I was honoured to be asked by the organisers at the end of last year to present, give a talk on the goddess Nemetona after having received requests throughout the year following the release of my second book, Dancing With Nemetona: A Druid’s Exploration of Sanctuary and Sacred Space.

It was a really enjoyable experience. I have been going to Leaping Hare for many, many years now and there is a real community spirit, a real sense of well-being and support. Thank you to everyone for your kind words, messages and emails following the talk – may we be the awen!

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Book Review – Druidry and Meditation (Nimue Brown)

19251333Druidry and Meditation — Nimue Brown
Published 2012 by John Hunt Publishing/Moon Books
ISBN: 1780990286
ISBN13: 9781780990286
ASIN: B00719WGTQ

I meditate. Quite frequently, in fact. Its my way of finding my center when life tosses me an unexpected curve ball. Its my way of de-stressing after 45 minutes to an hour or more in traffic. Its my way of connecting to the world around me. Its my way of communing with the Gods and the Spirits of the Land. Meditation is a useful tool for me.

I also follow a personal Spiritual Path of Druidry. So Nimue’s book was of interest to me. I was not sure what I was expecting. A self-help book? A how-to on Druidry? A how-to on Meditation? What I found was a very useful tome on how to approach meditative techniques from a perspective of Druidry.As Nimue points out several times in the book, Meditation techniques are different for each individual. For instance, I do my very best meditations when I am walking in the forest. Not sitting, but actively moving. For others, sitting in the classic lotus position works best. And so on. But taking a Nature-based approach requires some fine tuning of the mind, and the attitude prior to starting. Nimue presents a wonderful approach to the inner Sacred Grove, as well as a splendid chapter on facilitating group ritual – which requires a far different mindset and approach. She also adds some wonderful little exercises in the book that I think are wonderful starting points for those interested in meditation techniques, but unsure of how to start.

Legislating Flair

On my way back home from Arkansas, I was listening to the local Public Broadcasting Service station, and heard a story about the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” that had passed Indiana’s legislature, and was signed into law by their governor. Admittedly, I’m fairly ignorant when it comes to legislation such as this. I wasn’t even aware that it was being brought up – much less passing the legislature and being signed by the governor of a state. I was even more shocked when I heard that similar legislation was being considered by the state I had just left (Arkansas), where the bill had passed one chamber of its government.

Now, I am not going to get into the specifics of the laws. For those still wondering, I am against legislation of this type – but perhaps not for the reasons that you may think. However, I am going to focus a bit more on why this legislation is completely off-base. Let’s start off with some of the statements of support concerning why this legislation was necessary.

“It is vitally important to protect religious freedom in Indiana. It was therefore important to pass Senate Bill 101 in 2015 in order to help protect churches, Christian businesses and individuals from those who want to punish them because of their Biblical beliefs!”  –Eric Miller, Advance America  (Indianapolis Star, 27Mar15)

Really?  Let’s take a little inventory on this statement. First, the individual making the statement is part of ‘Advance America’ which is formerly known as ‘Citizens Concerned for the Constitution’ a notoriously Right-Wing group that believes that President Obama is not eligible for the Presidency because he was born in Kenya – and also advocates that the President is not a Christian, but a Muslim.  Yeah.  That tired old “Secret Muslim” theory. That should be enough to tear the entire statement apart, just for “nutball reactionist” alone. However, let’s dig into the statement itself.

The legislation is meant to protect “CHRISTIAN businesses and individuals” (my emphasis added). The bill is not meant for others, though the article notes that there are some Judaic members that attended the closed door, private session that the governor held for the signing (so much for transparent government). So let’s amend Mr. Miller’s single-focus statement to something a bit more fitting: the bill is meant to protect business and individuals of a Judeo-Christian aspect. I would state Abrahamic beliefs as well, but that didn’t seem to fit – particularly with the folks who attended the private event surrounding the signing.

Ok, with this “clearly” established (as muddy as it really is) from Mr. Miller’s statement, let’s remember something here. Mr Miller is not Mike Pence, the governor who put his name on this piece of legislation, giving it life as a law. As befits a politician (unethical bastards that they are), Gov. Pence has spent much of his time stating that he didn’t see the legislation as “discriminatory” and would not have signed the bill if he thought that it was. So let’s have a look at the bouncing, new-born baby that this legislation is.

In essence, the bill is a response to a handful of incidents that have happened, where Christian businesses have been held to the fire for not catering to LGBT needs, such as catering weddings or providing floral arrangements for those same events. In essence, the bill, as it stands, protects a business from providing services to individuals that clash with the owner’s religious beliefs. Ok, seems not that bad, right?  Well, it provides the start of a slippery slope that COULD be utilized to turn LGBT members of communities around the state of Indiana into citizens with similar natures that the Black of this country had in the pre-Civil Rights era. Don’t believe me?  Let’s take a look.

Pre-Civil Rights, blacks could not enter the front door of certain establishments, having to go around back to where the kitchen’s back door was located to purchase a meal. In essence, they were told that because they were black, they had to go out back, buy a meal, and eat in the filthy alleyway. If it was raining or the weather was extreme in nature:  “too fucking bad, ni**er” was the typical sentiment. Under the bill, LGBT folks can be treated the same way.

Remember that scene from Star Wars Episode IV?  That is what can happen under this newly enacted law. But its fairly easy to tell that C3PO and R2D2 are not human. How do we tell who is LGBT and who isn’t? Well the Nazis solved this little problem by forcing anyone who was Jewish, LGBT, Gypsy, etc etc ….. well, in the words of Peter Gibbons from Office Space:

You know, the Nazis had pieces of flair that they made the Jews wear.

Ok, I admit, I am making an extreme version of a point. However, I do not think its far out of the ballpark either. When we talk about making legislation that protects a business owner’s or an individual’s “right” to discriminate….we’re not that far down the road from kristallnacht, in my opinion. However, I would like to point out the other side of this coin….

People absolutely do have the right to discriminate, as do businesses. There’s not much we can do about the discriminatory aspects where individuals are concerned, until they start to inhibit the free-rights of those individuals they are “discriminating” against. But in the case of businesses discriminating – there is an option. We don’t frequent their business any longer. Which is what many businesses and conventions – and even states (California announced that no state workers would be permitted to attend any business functions in the state of Indiana as long as discriminatory practices are condoned by legislation like this) have chosen to do. I travel during the Summers.  I have relatives in Indiana. I will come to the state of Indiana as little as I possibly can.

Its laws and legislative manners such as these that make me feel ashamed to be an American. Take that any way you like.  I actually raised my hand, swore an oath to protect the Constitution of the United States, and wore an active duty Air Force uniform for eight years. I believe I earned that right. I’m not LGBT. I’m a straight guy that loves the form of a woman in all its aspects. However, I have friends, family (chosen), and family (DNA-related) that are member of the LGBT community. And I cherish their rights, and their freedoms that allow them to openly (as much as they desire) be exactly who they are without fear. I defended that right when I wore my uniform. Its been a long time since I was in the military service, but that oath of enlistment still applies to me today, and into the future of tomorrow.  I may be one voter – but my one voice has others singing right along with it.

I leave you with a quote – which tells me precisely why I need to stand up and shout my opposition to legislation such as this; why I must take a stand for people that I am not a part of; and why I mentioned the slippery slope earlier.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me. –Martin Niemoller

The typical cry to such actions is “Never Again!” Governor Pence; the state legislature of Indiana — you needed to heed that statement. Congratulations, you have started us down the Path to wearing flair…

First Steps…

This is a lot harder than I thought it would be. Currently, I am about 2.5 miles from my parents’ home in Hot Springs Village in Arkansas. About six and a half months ago, my mother passed away after fighting a handful of ailments over three and a half years. For that moment, I was prepared. I had three full years to watch as things went downhill, fully aware of what was happening. About ten days ago, my father suffered a massive coronary event and passed away in the living room. I never saw that coming. I knew his health was getting bad, plus he had just gotten through a surgery for colon cancer in January. I just never expected him to pass away just a few short weeks after that.

So far, I have managed to be the strong, older sibling through this all. I have been calm on the phone each time I have talked with my sister. I smiled at the co-workers who kept providing their condolences, though I wanted to not hear it and just got on with the work that I had to do. Before I left the house this morning, I sat down and told my youngest cat that I had to go away for another handful of days to take care of my “daddy cat”. Yes, I talk to my cat. And yes, I consider that to be perfectly normal and sane behavior. If you don’t – please be courteous enough to keep that to yourself.

However, the finality of the moment has started to creep up on me. Tomorrow morning, I will enter a home that will have been built by my parents for their retirement years – which is now been passed in ownership to me and my younger sister. Tomorrow, I will begin packing up and moving out the possessions that I wish to keep, essentially clawing through my parents’ belongings, looking for what items will be the cornerstone of my memories. And somehow, I have to keep myself from feeling like a grave robber. Yes, this is going to be a really rough time.

There are items I am very much aware that I want. My father’s book collection. Some of his work tools. Pictures. A couple of paintings. The grandfather clock (which is mine according to the Will). I won’t be able to take them all at once – so I will be making a return trip for some of those items, as well as furniture that I want as well. And there is the cleaning of the house that needs to take place. The selling of the car. The eventual selling of the house. But none of those is more important than my trip to the cemetery tomorrow. My father and mother both have their ashes interred there – just not at the moment. The internment facility has only been completed in the last few days. But I will find out when they will be interred, and will be here shortly after.

Remembrance of one’s ancestors… I know this will sound odd, but this has never played all that heavy in my own personal Druidry practices. Until now. And I find it very fitting that I just had my initiation into the Bardic Grade at the OBOD Gulf Coast Gathering last week. The prevailing theme was of “new beginnings” — and every beginning is the end of another process. I take my first steps as a formally initiated Bardic student…just as I take my first steps into the world around me without my parents around. New beginnings indeed.

OBOD Gulf Coast Gathering 2015 – A Few Thoughts of My Own

As I sit here this morning, listening to some Santana and drinking a cup of coffee, I am still trying to sort the wild rush of emotions that I am going through. I attended the OBOD Gulf Coast Gathering over the weekend, held in Louisiana. Having never attended an OBOD gathering of any sort — I had no idea what I was going to be encountering and experiencing. Having been a solo-practitioner for so long, I was not even sure what to expect for ritual. So, in essence, I was going in with no reasonable degree of expectations. What I encountered has made an impression on me that will change a lot of the aspects of my solo-practitioner life.

And as I sit here and try to sort out what I want to say in this post, and the order I will try and present it – there was a prevailing theme throughout:  new beginnings. This was the first Gulf Coast Gathering that OBOD has had. Highland Oaks Nemeton did a wonderful job of pulling this together. There were schedule hiccups throughout, but to be honest, I never really noticed these. The transitions in dealing with the hiccups were marvelous, smooth, and well done, in my opinion.

Ed Van Hook - my father

Ed Van Hook – my father

There were other aspects of the new beginnings theme for me. I was doing some recording of talks at the event – a very different way of working with things for a podcaster who has spent a majority of his podcasting life just talking into a microphone. And then on Saturday, I found yet another aspect of that change for myself. My sister called me out of the blue to inform me that our father had passed away. Some of you may recall that my mother had passed away six months earlier. Surprisingly, I was very calm about the news – and when I realized there was nothing I was going to be able to do (my father had already setup his final plans a few months earlier), I opted to remain at the gathering. From that moment on, I felt a sense of calm and peace and continue to do so now. As I had mentioned to a few folks at the Gathering, I was in the right place with the right people to receive the news. Family does not necessarily have to be blood related.

Folks, I have been in my Bardic Grade studies for the last seven years. For those seven years, I believed that I could struggle through the material on my own. I rarely asked for help from my tutor/mentor, and stepped back and forth constantly as life had set into time requirements. At this gathering, I opted to have a Bardic Grade initiation – and I am glad that I did so. It has changed my perspective so much. I had the chance to talk with other Bardic Grade folks, as well as my fellow initiates, about their experiences. And I found out that I was not alone in those moments. Furthermore, one of the guests was Susan Jones, the Tutor Coordinator for OBOD. She held a session with all the Bardic Grade members to discuss pitfalls, and various other aspects concerning the course. Listening to other people discuss their experiences helped me to realize that our journeys may be unique to one another, but there are some aspects that are similar. For anyone currently in their Bardic Grade studies, I cannot stress how much help is actually available to you. You just have to reach out and grab it! There is your mentor/tutor, the discussion board, your own grove or study group (if one is near enough to you), as well as other folks within OBOD who are taking their Bardic grade or have already been through it.

I have attended a few conferences for work, all of which move at a frenetic pace. Workshops feel like you are drinking from a firehose – tons of information being thrown at you, and very little time to assimilate any of it. Gulf Coast Gathering was nothing like that. In some respects, the workshops had a similar feel to those that I have attended at work conferences. But the information was not presented in a manner where it felt like material was rushed past you, and you grabbed at it as you could. Presenters moved at a measured pace, and covered the material that they needed to. And each one was available afterwards to discuss their material with you. Perhaps, I was more “ready” to receive the information and just didn’t “feel” like I was rushed. Or perhaps, there was a magickal moment of the time and space located there that allowed for a more relaxing atmosphere. Regardless of what it was, trying to define that aspect is not really a necessary thing.

The other guest to the gathering was Dr. Brendan Myers. His two talks were not only informative, but felt more like a discussion rather than a lecture. I got the chance to sit and talk with him at lunch on the last day – mostly about “shop” stuff. He teaches at a college, I work at a college (and used to teach as well). It was truly awesome to connect with him on that level. It was also nice to connect with him face-to-face on the return of a copy of “Dangerous Religions” that I had come across and mailed back to him because of a statement and signature within it. It was rather nice to connect with the person that I had been conversing within Email a fair few months back.

AwenThere are so many more things that really interconnect and make my time at the Gathering so magickal. But the real take-away for me is the connection with the people. The Alban Eilir ritual was an incredible feeling of “tribe” — I was The Herald in the ritual and everyone had a role as well. We were all being eaten alive by the hordes of mosquitos that were there, but all of that was outside of what we were doing together — honoring that moment in time. It was a moment we shared together, just as the Bardic Grade initiation that I was a part of was a shared moment between all of us as initiates.

Leaving the gathering on Saturday night, I have truly found where I should be — within OBOD. I have found people I can readily connect with (and already have). There was a moment of sadness that occurred, the passing of my father. But rather than being treated as something to be avoided or not discussed, several people came up to me and talked with me about my feelings. The true measure of family, in my opinion. I truly understand where I belong now, and can see the Path far easier than before. For me, it was a “new beginning” with so many layers to that statement. Some of those layers are far newer than others…

A big thanks to Highland Oaks Nemeton for putting on such a marvelous gathering.  A big thank you to Susan Jones, your talks have really helped me understand how I should approach my studies from this point – and your talk on Making the OBOD Bardic Grade Your Own” round-table discussion was the absolute highlight of my entire weekend. Brendan Myers, you have a gift, sir. You can take any topic, present it in a way that is fun and interesting, and have the listener walking away without realizing that they had just learned something until far later down the line. I only wish I could teach like you do.  :)  And to all my fellow OBOD Gulf Coast attendees:  if I could give you a big group hug through the screen, I certainly would. My family just got a LOT larger.  :)

May there be peace in your life, and peace throughout the world….

Tommy /|\

 

 

They Only Have So Many Handcuffs…

I am in awe of those folks who get out and take a stand on the barricades, walk out into the protest crowds, get into the faces of the authorities…. I am in awe of them because I do not have their level of courage. That’s right. The guy who has had bullets fired in his way does not have the courage to get out into the protest fray. Yeah, I hear the question that’s being brought up — and to be honest, I would prefer a roast beef sandwich.

So, what am I afraid of? Not much really. I’m not really comfortable in large crowds. I do have a tremendous fear of heights. But most of that really does not come into play. Unless we’re going to crowd a couple of hundred people on top of a twenty-story building, and have me stand near the edge. No, its not about a fear of something. Its a little different than that for me.

I have my own protest issues that are near and dear to my heart. One of those is about returning lands to the Native Americans – or First Nations as they are noted in Canada and parts of the Northwest United States. I may have about 1/32nd of Native American blood in my DNA — but this is not about returning something to my ancestors. Rather its about returning something to a group of people that was stolen from them — their dignity. But that’s for another blog post/rant for another time. There’s also issues that I have concerning the “Patriot” Act and its related provisions within the United States government — and how all of that curtails the freedoms of the citizenry of this country. I took an oath when I enlisted in the United States Air Force:

I, (state name of enlistee), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

I highlighted the part I am referencing now in bold in the quote. I believe that the Patriot Act subverts the freedoms guaranteed to the citizenry of the United States. I am passionate about my belief that this piece of legislation was an understandable knee-jerk reaction to a point in time — but should never have passed through legislative means to reach enactment. But again, I am sidetracking myself here…

Why am I in awe of those who have no qualm about stepping out to protest against companies? Who have no problem setting themselves in the position of being arrested? Would I not be willing to do the same for the two issues I have noted here? Of course I would be willing to do so for these two issues. They are both major concerns that I have concerning the government of the country I live in. And while I understand what others are standing up for — the issues that they place themselves in jeopardy for — I do not feel enough of the same fervor as they do to place myself in the same position. And its that stance that they take on those issues, which have me in awe of them.

Perhaps, its because I’m not informed enough to take that stance. However, its more likely that I am somewhat jaded in that approach at this point in my life. That merely standing up and protesting is not going to be likely to change any of the situation. And to be open and honest, I wish that I was not that jaded. There’s a moment in the movie Braveheart, where Robert the Bruce is lamenting the fact that he betrayed William Wallace to the English, and he states as much to his father. His father responds that all men betray, all men lose heart. And Robert shouts back “I don’t want to lose heart! I want to believe as he does!” Its that feeling I have when I watch my friends in their protest battles and struggles.

As I write this, I am reminded of a quote from Martin Niemoller, which I came across in high school, when I was researching the manner in which the Nazi party managed to round up the “undesirables” in small groups, with seemingly no resistance.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me. –Martin Niemoller

Niemoller was a Protestant minister who was a critic of Adolf Hitler’s during the pre-war years. His quote reminds me of why I need to stop being in the shadows – particularly where my friends are protesting corporations – particularly corporations who seek changes to laws through their sinister, shadowy connections with various governments. Where those laws get changed to make protesters into terrorists, simply for voicing their opposition.

No I cannot sit idly by, and watch. I may not be able to join in with friends who are protesting in other parts of the United States or Canada – the distance to cover is a little far. But what I can do, is insure that my voice is heard in supporting their positions — whether that be through providing them with funding through GoFundMe campaigns, or writing Emails and letters to my government officials stating my opposition to proposed laws redefining the legal landscape in ways that tilt the game unfairly towards the corporations. I can stand in solidarity by making sure I get to the polls every single time that a ballot initiative is open, and educate myself on the issues prior to getting there.

handcuffs…and when they do come for my friends, I will be standing there ready to lend a voice of opposition decrying the fact that my friends are being taken – and ready to step in between to insure that my friends are not taken. Even if it means that I may be taken as well. After all, they only have so many handcuffs…perhaps I may be one too many for them.

The Root of All Evil Makes a Strong Tea…

A few days ago, I logged on to Facebook and glanced over to the right where the “News” stories are usually loaded. I was shocked to see a headline that stated some preacher I had never heard of before was claiming that God wanted him to have a $60 million dollar plane. I laughed it off at first, but was curious enough to click on the article and read it. What I found was enough to turn my stomach. Here was a preacher claiming something of a vision through a concept called “prosperity gospel” and he had a congregation willing to shell out the dollars for whatever he wanted. The cry for a jet was only the latest cry of desire from this guy.

::big sigh:: So this hit me from a pair of different angles. First off, what in the Nine Hells was this thing called a “prosperity gospel”? Second….well, let’s deal with the so-called “prosperity gospel” before I move on to the next thought – because that’s really a far more meaty topic.

Wikipedia is where I turned for assistance. A lot of people – particularly at the college I work for – disparage and degrade people who utilize Wikipedia, but I find it a useful STARTING point when trying to find out about something you have never heard of before. However, in this case, it will also be the stopping point here — because this is not the main topic I wanted to get into. Wikipedia defines “prosperity gospel” as:

Prosperity theology (sometimes referred to as the prosperity gospel, the health and wealth gospel, or the gospel of success) is a Christian religious doctrine that financial blessing is the will of God for Christians, and that faith, positive speech, and donations to Christian ministries will increase one’s material wealth. Based on non-traditional interpretations of the Bible, often with emphasis on the Book of Malachi, the doctrine views the Bible as a contract between God and humans: if humans have faith in God, he will deliver his promises of security and prosperity. Confessing these promises to be true is perceived as an act of faith, which God will honor.

Ok, I get where this is coming from. Shower money on the preacher — and God will shower money on you. Sort of a religious “trickle-down” theory except that the cash has to come from the bottom of the well before it starts to trickle back down. Essentially more like a Ponzi scheme in reverse, if you ask me. But that satisfies my curiosity for the moment…

MoneyPigMy second area of thought was “why aren’t there rich Pagans like this around?” You know, people who could INVEST into wonderful things like Book Publishers, LAND, festivals, temples, sanctuaries….all with an eye towards growing the larger Pagan community?? I honestly don’t see a lot of these types of folks within the Pagan community. What I see are people who work their tails off to make a living, and hopefully have a little money leftover for whatever they want. And…

And its here that I feel like I step out of a suburban environment to stare into a wide, empty, desert landscape that goes on forever and forever. Devoid of life. Nothing but dried and dead vegetation, rocks, and reddish sand as far as the eye can see. In short, I am not sure what else to think past this point.

I can speculate on why there doesn’t seem to be that many “rich” Pagans out there. I could speculate on why there’s not that much philanthropy taking place. Or perhaps it is, and it just takes place in a very quiet manner so as not to draw attention. But then, I have to start to try and define what a “rich” Pagan is.

I remember when I was unemployed for nearly two years. It was not that long ago. Just four years into the rearview mirror. I remember what it felt like to get my twice-monthly stipend from the government. How groceries were a carefully planned exercise, balanced against mounting bills, fuel needs, and the constant need to find something at home to do. “Rich” is one of those terms that is very subjective, fluid, and difficult to pin down.

Perhaps a better cut of the grain to try is looking at why this preacher’s situation is not happening within Paganism? Well, a very quick and easy point is that Pagans – for the most part – are very much against a standard form of authority. In short, its difficult for Pagans to hand the reigns of their spiritual lives over to an authoritarian figure such as this. I know that this is true for myself – and yes, I am generalizing to some degree as well. I am not decreeing it a “law” that all Pagans think along these lines…but if you are hammering me over that being a mandate of any sorts…well, you’re making my point for me.

So, what gives? Are Pagans tight-wads? Are our finances just that tight? Do we just not care enough outside of our own personal Spirituality to set dollars aside for some cause or another? Well, the answers do not seem to be that readily available — and watch out here — I don’t think the answer SHOULD be readily available. I just don’t see where that is much of anyone’s business, know what I mean?

What? Then, why am I asking this question? After all, if its no one’s business what you or anyone else spend their money on — why am I asking this question about where all the “rich” and philanthropic Pagans are? Because its food for thought.

See, I am not trying to make you spend your money on ANYTHING. Have you noticed that I have not mentioned any push for money? Not even my own push for finances to help keep the podcast running during my two-years of unemployment (well, that is until now). Because I am not trying to get you to spend your money on ANYTHING. Merely trying to stir up the idea of thinking about what you are PASSIONATE about supporting – without stating it openly (and there I did it again).

Let me try and state this another way. Do you believe in something passionately? Would you be willing to hand over five or ten (dollars, pounds, loonies, euros, whatever) every month or so to make it happen? Even if it didn’t happen in your lifetime? Merely because you believe its something that should happen for the future Pagan generations? After all folks, most of us are on the back-end of the first generation of Pagan folks…the second generation is already here and upon us. The younger twenty-somethings, and teenagers… We’ve talked about leaving them a better planet…a better place. We have managed to do so with our books, our writings, our beliefs, the freedoms and social changes we have scratched so hard for.

Yeah, I get that money is something that we don’t really care much about. We’d rather give our services and goods through trade. But money is what makes things work in mainstream environments. Money is not the root of all evil. However, the root of all evil makes a pretty strong tea….