Sunday, June 15, 2014

Conversations From the Porch Father's Day Episode 2014

How fathers affect us as pagans, interacting with other pagans - especially, in roles of leaders; Gender Norms for Deity;

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Friday, March 28, 2014


We're not getting any younger, and, with the deaths of several prominent pagans over the past 365 days, I'm beginning to question the next generations of pagan role models. Who will they be? What will they be like?

Leaders and pioneers in paganism will be determined by those who follow, and, those who appreciate and support them. Pagan media will jump onto the same popular trends that social and mainstream media does, merely, with flamboyant pagan flare. Which reminds me that pagans finally have a reputable media source; at least, one that has publicly announced taking on the role. Thank you, Wild Hunt! Going forward from this moment in time, our future generations of pagan media will have been birthed from this.

So, in my imagining of the next generation of pagan leaders, I began to remember those from the past: who they were by reputation, and, who they were as media remembers them (you'll have to click the links).

My mentor and High Priest seems to have gotten around a lot. He used to tell me stories of "those who came before". He loved chatting about Herman Slater (1935-1992). In fact, "ornery" and "hypocrite" were often summed into the chatter about "what Herman did". What did Herman do? He made the community-at-large start talking! There was something about marrying a Satanist..? That's most of what I remember from story time.

So, I looked Old Herman up on the net to see if my memory was as good as I perpetuate it to be. As I sat back skimming Wikipedia, a few things joggled my brain: Welsh Traditionalist Wiccan high priest. Magickal Childe shop and publishing (197?-1999)...yes. Hosted a weekly cable show? (I don't remember that.) It was called "The Magickal Mystery Tour". Also, he did a lecture video, "An Introduction to Witchcraft and Satanism"... (Here, I have an "aha" moment.)

Hey, did you hear what Herman did? He got all the witches talking!

We cannot forget about Auntie Sybil (1917-1982). She passed away, down here, don't ya know? She wasn't my Auntie, but, apparently, that's what all the locals called her. She had such a wonderful and colorful life, being raised by hereditary witches in Britain who could trace their lineage as far back as the 16th century. She was "Britain's Most Famous Witch", but, according to my HP, Florida witches adopted her as their own. She was wise (in a provincial way) and could whistle up the waves. I used to tell him how much I envied him his familiarity with her. All I knew of her personality was what snippets I get out of Hans Holzer's Ghosts tome.

For the longest time, I would always confuse Sybil with Jessie. At least, that's how she was referred to in classes: Jessie-Bell. The wide world would eventually call her Lady Sheba (1920-2002). Then, there's Georgie Patterson - "Pat" to his familiars.

Although, we still have Uncle Bucky among us modern pagans. I remember meeting Raymond Buckland through his big, blue book. It's story time all over for me, again, and my HP lulls me into meditation by reciting the Descent of the Goddess, or, The Love of the Priest and Priestess.

Raymond Buckland, Oberon & Morning Glory, Vivienne Crowley, Dorothy Morrison, Margot Adler... These are the individuals who are bridging the gap between those pioneers and leaders who have already passed across the veil, and those of us still alive. Going forward from this moment in time, our future generations of pagans will have been birthed from how well we learned from them.

When they are gone, we will be left to ourselves.

Most of the witches I learned about from my mentor were, somehow, related to British Traditional Wicca. Each one of those names, directly or vicariously, had a connection with Gardner. In my recollections, I never had heard of "Fairy Wicca" or "Dragon Wicca", et al. These were novelty ideas that I remember sprouting up on bookshelves. I remember Silver Ravenwolf just introduced the wide, witchy world to "Pow-Wow", for crying out loud.

Now, there are well over a hundred different traditions of witchcraft and wicca, alone. Wiccans and pagans are drawing lines in the sand to differentiate from each other, as well as heathen folk from volk, magicians from witches; reconstructionists from traditionalists, and, hard polys from soft ones. That a lot of polytheists needing direction in the future. Much more than we've ever seen from paganism's past.

So what, if any of the living persons, listed above, feel as though I'm jumping the gun on my musings? In consideration of so many divisive lines, we should all agree that I have damned good reasons for pondering the generations to come. Just sit back for a moment and really think about the next generation.

(Ikinde Skreja Ominnsaer, CFTP 2014)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

When Friends Jump on the Bandwagon

Once upon a time, I was the only pagan in my circle of friends. Though, many of my friends have come and gone, a handful of them stuck around throughout the years. Now, they're pagan, too. What the fuck?

Have all of your friends "gone pagan" after you did?

It would be conceited to think they did it because of me. Instead, they probably did it because of me. Huh?

Let me try and explain what might be going on.

Scenario 1 - Pagan Evangelist

You and me..? We are THAT good. Glue on some Tammy Faye lashes and break out the polyester suit. We're going to make a killing with our astute perspicacity. (If you've got to look up "perspicacity", it's okay. It won't detract from your gift.) Nah. You and I never sought to be preachy with our paganism.

However, your paganism has probably come from many hours' worth of testing and weighing what you've learned, trying to make sense of everything - with your best friend. Indirectly, you've made so much sense out of everything FOR your buddy that they convert. Hallelujah!

Scenario 2 - Group Intelligence

[copied] The term group intelligence describes how, under the best circumstances, large numbers of people simultaneously converge upon the same point(s) of knowledge... group intelligence connotes more rational decision processes: based less upon emotional reactions and more upon knowledge and understanding.[end]

All of your intelligent explanations are born from many nights mulling through the confusion, putting things into some semblance of rational order. You even have back-up: that "best friend" from Scenario 1.

They play a role mentioned in "herd mentality" where only five percent [you and your friend] of any crowd can influence where the crowd will go, and the other ninety-five percent  [the rest of your friend circle] follows along without realizing they're just following. [See Scenario 4]

Scenario 3 - Playgans

They really have nothing better to do than what is currently grabbing their attention, like, a sabbat party. They aren't knowledgeable enough to hold their own in many pagan conversations, and, have no idea of current events; they just know enough vocabulary to skirt by (if they've hung around long enough). Also, they are still your friend. Chameleons, of sorts. Coming and going, because you and I always remind our friends that they don't have to be pagan to be our friends. Still, they feel awkward if they don't fit in, so, they play pagan for a few hours.

Scenario 4 - Followers

Whether "exemplary" or "pragmatic" followers, these people are are necessary to working communities, really. They are willing to learn more than a simple pagan vocabulary, and, unlike playgans they value the social benefit of community which paganism offers. Compared to sitting in front of the TV and losing brain cells, paganism IS a better thing to do.

Most often, they are attracted to the most extreme aspects of paganism: positive, or, negative. Yet, each one adopts a role within the community that balances it out. Who better to help out, than a friend? Which is why..

All of us, friends, are pagan!

And, it all began with me... er... you.

(Ikinde Skreja Ominnsaer, CFTP 2014)

A Pagan Pedophile Problem

Peg Aloi, over at Patheos posted about a "Prominent Pagan Arrested for Child Porn", this morning:
"Kenny Klein, well known pagan musician and an amateur photographer, has been arrested in New Orleans on 25 counts of child pornography, involving images found on his computer of children under the age of 13 engaging in explicit sexual activity, according to this news story from the Times-Picayune."

At CFTP, and, behind the scenes in our Community we have been discussing this issue: polytheist sex offenders around our children. Oddly, it was sparked from the following [anonymous] post made by a contact of one of our members, addressing their own community, and in light of a recent event of theirs:
"...held a meeting today to re-visit our stance on registered sex offenders. Up until this time, we have dealt with it on a case-by-case basis. However, [we] voted again, and had a unanimous vote to NOT allow any registered sex offenders, or group whose leader is one, at any of our events... While we understand that people deserve a 2nd chance, those who are on the sex offender list are not able to work in public schools, daycare, at most carnivals, and all other places where children are involved... We are sorry that this may mean that certain folk, or groups whose leader is a registered sex offender, will not be allowed back to our events, or at our gatherings, but this decision is final."
When I was asked for my opinion on the matter, this is what I had to say:
"We have never asked whether any of our people has been caught by the law and registered as an offender; there are many in the world who've never been caught & are still offenders, regardless."
Which, is so true, in consideration of the case of Ken Klein. How many "pots" has this man had his hands in, regarding the broader polytheist community, before his offenses had been discovered? How many children have been exploited without their parents' knowledge? Those closest to Mr. Klein, or, who've met with him at some of his events must be going stir crazy about this.

Is it not bad enough that the pagan/heathen communities have such a discolored reputation in mainstream society, that, another polytheist succumbs to human weakness and we all must pay a price for it? Trust me. We will all pay the price for this; whether it be therapy for the children, or, the negative label all polytheists living in this man's area will be "umbrella'd" under.

What will our children think, when they've been introduced to a person like this (probably left in their company by trusting parents, at times), watching their parents admiration, listening to the complements, et al? According to Mr. Klein's bio, this may have happened at... Renaissance Fairs, neo-Pagan Festivals, or the non-profit organization he works with at PUBLIC SCHOOLS!

It is worth noting that he was an initiate into the Blue Star coven and tradition of Wicca. He even assisted with bringing the tradition back to its BTW roots (skyclad, being very traditionalist). Perhaps, in hindsight, his works on Fairy Tale rituals may have been a great smokescreen for his depravity..? (There are lots of atrocious things happening to children in fairy's tales, if you've never noticed.) Will you start reading between the lines of "The Flowering Rod", a work by Mr. Klein that explores how men can fulfill the roles of priest, summoner, student and TEACHER within groups of other men, women and children?

What has already been taught to other adults - other weak-minded pagan adults, about childrens' spirituality, and/or, spiritual "art"? Now, all I can imagine are coven secrets. Nay - mysteries from some privileged, clandestine inner-court of Klein's traditional brand of craft. Just because they discovered 25 counts' worth of offensive material does not mean that it is all he is guilty of. It is, simply, what he was caught with. There is always the unknown factor of what has not been substantiated. Let's go so far to wonder how many children have been exploited WITH their parents' knowledge? (It's amazing what some people will do when their HP's convince them of an action's spiritual benefit!)

We could perpetuate the paranoia further, but, I'm quite sure there are many parents out there already doing that within their own communities - pagan, and cowan, alike. The questions still remain:

Should sexual offenders get second chances; hanging around free-spirited temptations, like, our innocent children and beautifully seductive living Goddesses? Will we even get legal names, begin background checking, or, receive full disclosures from polytheist sexual offenders in the future, now, that everybody in the pagan community will be focusing on this matter? It's not embezzlement, it's child pornography... How does the polytheist community bounce back from this? 

This is a conversation we all need to have with ourselves.

Resources for parents:

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Conversations From The Porch, February 16th, 2014 episode

Heathen Scholarly Works

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Conversations From The Porch, February 2nd, 2014 Episode

Feminism in paganism: irrelevant to pagan society, not enough manliness, misuse of the word "feminism"; Humans evolving into their own gods; New Age creating punish-free religion; Morlog turns 40; Behind the scenes of the SBD war.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Conversations From The Porch 1/19/2014 episode

How paganism takes over lives; Are you defined by your religion; When authors/bloggers retire; new generations of pagans inspired by AHS:Coven(FX) and Vikings(A&E); Stepping up to fill a void; probationary periods; ritual jewelry; new material on the Morlog's Orlog FB page; and more!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Conversations From The Porch January 5, 2014 Broadcast

Horrible houseguests; stupid "wars on Christ's mass"; Bigfoot gets shot; Morlog discusses "Rituals for Men"; Uruzz discussed new music artist; Penton Mag Editor resignation and lobbyists vs. real pagans.