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Dream Weaving.. The Mirror - NEW! Christmas Presents I am Cindy Lou.. Cranberry Orange Relish Glass Well Wishes Ornament The Call Finding The Edge Book Reviews

“Strangers All” December 2012 Volume 3 • Issue 121


Publisher and editor Contributors

staFF PhotoGraPher

layout Website adVertisinG

eberhardt, Personal Visions ankolie eberhardt Faelin Wolf jess*ca mae Maeve Gregory sister nariel s. J. drew stephanie rose bird Zedral Z nina Pak, http://www.ninapak.com eberhardt eberhardt Pagan edge Magazine eberhardt

Our goal at Pagan Edge is to provide readers a high quality, timely magazine with content relevant to modern pagans’ lifestyle and passions. Our publication is a lifestyle magazine so while we may publish spells, rituals, and some magick how-to; we aim to focus on ways that pagans, wiccans, earth-based-spiritualists, and those of like mind can incorporate their values and beliefs into their everyday living. Pagan Edge Magazine & paganedge.com exist solely to offer information to our readers. The publisher, editor, and the entire personnel of Pagan Edge, Pagan Edge Magazine, Personal Visions, Refraction Design and paganedge.com cannot be held responsible for misuse of any information provided. The views expressed in the articles and ads are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Pagan Edge Magazine. Product descriptions, recipes & any how-to information: While we, and our affiliates, attempt to provide accurate information in the magazine and on the site, we do not warrant that the content on this site will be accurate, complete, reliable, current, or error-free. It is your sole responsibility for the use of the content of this Magazine or web site. For additional details please see http://www.paganedge.com

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October 2012 • Volume 3

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N ow o N l i N e ! S.J. Drew’s Newest Title

Available through: Smashwords, Sony, Barnes & Noble, Kobe, Apple, and Diesel

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contents 6 Dream Weaving Publisher Speaks 7 Feature Pagans Online 8 In The Mirror We Wish You.. 9 Life’s Wit Christmas Presents 10 Divne Mind I am Cindy Lou.. 12 Food of Gods Cranbery Orange Relish 13 Craft Corner Glass Good Wish Ornament 14 The Call by Ankolie On The Cover

20 PE Book Review Divine Misfortune 21 Finding the Edge Travel 22 PE Book Review The Witches Bag of Tricks

VOLUME 3 • ISSUE 12 • DECEMBER 2012 “STRANGERS ALL..” PAGAN EDGE™ IS PUBLISHED MONTHLY BY PERSONAL VISIONS ADMIN@PAGANEDGE.COM

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Dream Weaving We all can remember an occasion, or maybe many, where we have felt out of place, isolated, excluded, even being pushed away. It is these experiences that help define the paths we do intentionally pick. The question that comes to mind is how to include them in your world? Tolerance can be the first step. Understanding that you are part of a greater web of like minds lets you that you cannot ever really be alone. In this issue we talk about being strangers in a strange land. How do we as Urban Pagans connect with those that are like us in spirit and how

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publisher speaks

do we connect with those who are not? How do we view and handle the person isolation that can be felt around important Sabbats? What can we do to stand out? Do we want to stand out? Being a stranger can take on many forms and meanings. We at Pagan Edge would like to wish you a Blessed Yule, Happy Solstice, and Happy New Year! May your journey continue until its end in peace, trust and joy.

Bright Blessings!


B

eing apart from people that share similar views on faith and lifestyle has been one of the pagan community’s biggest challenges. From the mid to late 80’s or earlier most people had two choices, either move to a place that was known for alternative thinking (San Francisco comes to mind), or through word of mouth to find groups and covens locally. This presented a lot of difficulty for people until the culture

change brought about by authors that gave the idea and the “blessing” to be a solitary. A great deal of new voices where heard in the early 1990’s about solitary practice and on the craft in general making it easier for anyone that wished to learn how to be a practicing pagan. However, the lack of discussion of ideas or finding help held a lot of people back from their full potential. At the same time as the second rise of Paganism was blooming there was also the advent of personal computers and the first bulletin board systems. This hardware and system innovation was from the beginning a resource for pagans to communicate without the

Pagans Online pressures of being exposed to the great and intolerant w e s t e r n Christian culture. This early culture of mass communication also happened to be supported by many early adopters and hobbyists in computer systems. This group of people had similar isolation issues because as many of can relate being a computer geek was not a title of respect. Hand in hand these two subcultures advanced both with the goal of reaching out to others with similar interests. These two cultures have not always been aware of each other, but instead existed as two trees in a growing forest. In 1992 the internet became a reality for the tech savvy general populace very quickly pagans moved to this new format because it allowed for greater reach more diversity

in presentation and of course the ability to create a web sites. Between then and now much as happened with online pagan presence, a truly international community has been born and thrived. So what are the current resources to be found on the internet? Perhaps there are too many to count, some of high quality and some still in the format of the mid 1990’s. Because of this we will do a sampling of 9 different sites each with their own nature. Witches’ Voice – Is one of the oldest pagan news and social networks that have run continuously since the 1990’s. A couple of statements from the website perhaps says it best. “This IS your website; you have shaped it, inspired it and delivered most of its content. Contained in this site are over 6 million words from the NeoPagan community. We don’t care whether you discovered this path 30 days ago or 30 years ago, all ARE welcome

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   We Wish You a Merry Christmas and a Blessed Yule Too By Raven Corvidea

F

or centuries, Christians and non-Christians have been celebrating Christmas, honoring the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25th every year. Christmas is celebrated worldwide by millions of people, though traditions many differ from country to county. Children across the world look forward to receiving presents - not only from their parents and family, but also from a large man with a sleigh pulled by eight reindeer. Retail stores can’t get their Christmas decorations out fast enough- some starting as early as October. But what most Christians don’t realize is that they are, in fact, celebrating Yule, one of the lesser Sabbats celebrated by Pagans. In fact, the holiday was a Pagan one long before the

Christian Church claimed the holiday for them. The holiday was named Christmas- or Christ Mass. Yule is the celebration of the Winter Solstice, which occurs on or around

once again gives birth and becomes the Great Mother. Evergreen wreaths are hung, to include holly and ivy. Holly is used to represent the feminine, and ivy, the masculine. Kissing under the mistletoe is an old Druid custom. It was believed that mistletoe held healing and protective powers, and it helped to spread good will. All of these plants represent fertility and everlasting life, and they all play a role in the Yule celebration. Christians celebrate

Children across the world look forward to receiving presents

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December 21st every year on the Gregorian calendar. On Yule, we celebrate the shortest day and longest night of the year. We acknowledge and rejoice in the Goddess giving birth to the Sun God. It is the night when the Goddess

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Continued on Pageon 24Page 17 Continued


Christmas Presents “So how was school today?” David asked his son, Tyler, who had just started kindergarten that year. Tyler was frowning as they drove home. “The kids laughed at me today.” “I’m sorry. How come?” “Who’s Jesus?” Tyler asked. “’Cause it’s his birthday and the kids said I was stupid ‘cause I didn’t know.” David was surprised that his son didn’t know the answer, but then caught himself before saying anything to that effect. Tyler had not been raised Christian, and since David was a stayat-home father, kindergarten was the first time Tyler had spent long periods of time around other children. “This is probably his first real exposure to Christianity,” David thought. “Oh, Jesus is the son of the Christian God. Christians celebrate his birthday on December 25th,” he explained to Tyler. “You’re not stupid for not knowing that. It’s not your religion.” “Oh, okay. So Christmas is Jesus’s birthday?” “Yes.”

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I am the Cindy Lou of Whoville, the Traveling Wiseman, and Santa’s Best Girl I have loved Christmas/Yuletide since I was a child. There were so many associated wonderful memories that went along with it all that it would have been impossible to hate it. Yes, even now. Even now, when I realize that it may have been yet another myth told to teach a lesson, pass on national heritage and pride, or a story just to make people feel good. I still am over the moon for Christmas/Yuletide. Now, I’ve come across a number of Pagans in my lifetime and I love and respect the majority of them. But one of the things that can rile me up the quickest is the “f@#$ Jesus” rhetoric that I have also come across from time to time. To me, that is disrespectful as is someone saying the same of my Lady, Magna Mater. You simply do not call someone out in such a manner and then suppose that its “right” or that you’re somehow going to win the epic battle of two thousand years. In fact, do we really need to win that battle at all? One of the most precious aspects of pagan life is knowing, that each may have their own path, their own pantheon, their own ethos and it’s all good. We’ve given each other the greatest gift my brothers and sisters, in simply allowing for the freedom that should have been everyone’s from the very first. It is rather interesting when you look at it, freedom was a lesson taught by Pelagius of Rome and also by Jesus in many of

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Making the Divine Mind, Mine

By Reverend Mother Nariel, Magna Mater, COAC; Elder UCA his sermons. Yet we’ve allowed it to become a fight over who put up the nativity, the Star of David, the Holy Green and Red Berries over the doors. It’s all about being right, right? This holiday I’d like to share with you some of my memories and why I still decorate for Christmas in my home, right down to the Nativity display. I remember the darkness of the Midnight Mass as it was about to begin, when all of a sudden a lonely knock from the side door. People would sing in Spanish the greeting, answering the holy family that there was no room for them there. Then, silence would descend again. Then another knock would sound and a second answer of “No room in the Inn” would be answered back. At last the whole procession would enter through the back of St. Mary’s and would ring bells and knock on the doors. This time, the greeting was sounded “O come travelers, here you’ll find room, and warmth and love and food. “ As they entered they would begin to light the vigil candles of everyone in the church, and little by little, the church would fill with light and smiles and bells ringing. From where I stood at the front of the church playing

music, I could look out into the sea of sleepy faces, waking with smiles and singing. The children were in their best dressed, the parishioners would ring bells or shake keys to welcome the holy family to their final stop on their journey of 4 weeks of Advent. More so, I could look to the very back and see my Grandpa Mike standing in his suit, looking as suave and debonair as an Italian gentleman will. He would smile at me, as I sang and I know that I pleased him. It made, and still makes me smile today, though he’s been gone for 26 years this year. It meant the whole world to me. In fact, it still does. Those are memories that no matter how you shake things down, they are the ones that are meant to keep, to hold, and to cherish. What would the world truly be like if on one glorious night of nights, we could all be at peace with one another, enough to say “Peace on Earth, goodwill towards men” and mean it? From The Gaza to the mountains of Afghanistan, to the inner cities of LA and New York, this one night--- “Peace be to you, and to all the earth.” What a world it would be. It’s said that Silent Night was written in the conditions of war

and it stopped the fighting the night it was sung for the troops to all hear. It’s the reason why Francis Church refused to take away Virginia O’Hanlon’s belief in Santa Claus and all the lovely intangible things that go along with being a child still able to dream and BELIEVE. Macy’s message for more campaigns now than I can remember… BELIEVE. My friends, does it really matter so much on this one night and morning of the year, who is right and who is wrong? Who is first, who came in second? Which story is “truer than their truth”? Does it… really? I can give you all no other gift but to say that it is your world, your message, your love that will still make peace possible. Neighbor to neighbor, fellow employee to fellow employee, family to family, we make it possible by our belief in the power of LOVE and PEACE. May this Christmas and Yuletide bring you everything your heart desires and all that your life truly needs to be happy in the simplest, and yet, most perfect ways. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Blessed Yuletide, Merry Kwanzaa – No matter what you celebrate, may they be the best celebrations you’ve ever had.

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Food

By Zedral Z

of

Gods

Cranberry-Orange Relish The holidays are upon us and as far as most Americans are concerned, Christmas is the only winter holiday. What with trees, tinsel, toy commercials, tacky lights and tinned Christmas carols, people who celebrate Chanukah or Yule feel a little left out. As someone who doesn’t participate in what is the biggest

celebration of the year in many countries, it’s easy to feel like an outsider. Factor in the reality that not all Pagans/Wiccans are out of 12

the broom closet. Add to that a disorder like depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and the loneliness that people can feel during the holiday season and you have a recipe for a miserable holiday season. I speak from personal experience.

This time of year does make me feel as though I’m on the outside looking in. The most I have planned is a small, solitary ritual welcoming the sun, and then I’ll make a nice dinner for the two of

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us. I like things to be low-key, but I still wish I could include friends and family in a solstice celebration. Distance isn’t the only reason they would decline, however. I hate to talk about my depression, but the fact is it exists. It exists in a big, bad way, and I went through a particularly bad episode a few weeks ago. I couldn’t find any enjoyment in anything. I didn’t want to eat or even cook. I am writing about this because I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. Some of you reading this may struggle with depression, or you may get SAD or just the regular ol’ holiday blues for whatever reason. What helped me was simply taking the medication I need to take. It took a bit, but I readjusted and was able to find some joy in the kitchen. Now, I’m not here to offer advice on treating depression because I’m not a medical professional or licensed psychologist. What I am is a kitchen witch, and I am here to


Craft Corner Glass Good Wish Ornament

The question that seems to always come up in good old pagan conversation is; what kind of gift can you give both pagans and non-pagans when we have holidays with long and complex histories? While the answer to that list is actually quite long when you think about it, having fun and making something with personal mean can hold the most value. In this spirit

• • •

skipped if this is your first time) Shaving from a candle used in a Yule/ Solstice ritual (optional) Holly leaves or pine needles Any other natural objects you want to add.

If you want to make this a magickal craft it is recommended that you go through your standard preparation for a ritual. It is always a

this month we will make a plain clear glass ornament into something that is charming and even magical. This is a craft project learned from a close friend and can appeal to those of us with a decorative, magickal or even a traditional streak.

good practice to clear your mind, and center yourself. Knowing techniques can vary a lot, follow your instinct. Consecrate each of the

Supplies Needed • • • • •

Clear glass ornaments (craft stores carry them, in small and large sizes) Paper of choice (Hemp, handmade or sustainable paper is always good) Pen and Ink (regular pens of any sort are ok) Bits of this year’s Yule Log Bits of Last year’s Yule Log (can be

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items that are to go into the glass ornament. This step is important if you wish to make sure your items are free from the impression of whichever place they were kept. Next lay the items out in the order you intend to place them within the ornament. The order may vary depending on what you wish to place in your ornament. For this article the items are • Bees Wax candle shavings, • Bits of last year’s Yule log, • Bits of this year’s Yule Log, • Shavings from the candle, • Holly leaves or Pine needles,

item you have chosen and the energy you wish to convey. Once you have placed the final piece into the ornament replace the cap. If you are doing more than one ornament continue on to the next. If you only make one ornament now is the time to close your ritual in the fashion you have chosen. Of course you can wrap your give in any fashion you like, we recommend an Origami Box or a Furoshiki wrap.

Paper strip. One of the key aspects of this gift is the word you choose to put on the paper. You may wish to invoke a certain thought, memory, or just well wishes. Take time to write out your word(s) with a good pen and ink. If you are knowledgeable in blending inks for magickal effect this is an ideal use for that craft. Once you have your paper ready it is recommended to put opposing curls in each end of the strip to help keep it up right in the ornament. Now place each item in turn into the ornament. Keep in mind the purpose of each 16

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Life’s Wit by S.J. Drew

Tyler still looked upset. “The other kids said I was stupid because I said their Christmas tree was really a Yule tree. It is a Yule tree! Right, Dad?” David considered his answer. It was very odd explaining to his son religious concepts that were so ingrained in his own consciousness. “To us, it’s a Yule tree. To them, it’s a Christmas tree. Same thing, different religion.” “Huh. They didn’t know what solstice was but I didn’t call them stupid. The teacher said I was smart for knowing such a big word like ‘solstice,’” he said proudly. “I’m glad you didn’t call them stupid. That’s not nice, and they don’t celebrate Yule, so they wouldn’t know what the solstice is. Is your class going to exchange presents?” “Oh, yeah. Ms. Chen gave me a list of stuff,” he said. He was quiet for a few minutes. “Should I get Jesus a birthday

present?”

impulse.

“Why?”

“I’ll tell you what; we’ll bake up some cookies this weekend and we’ll give them to St. Matthew’s for their Christmas bake sale.”

“Well, it was weird because all the kids were talking about how many presents they were getting but they didn’t say anything about giving something to Jesus. Which is weird ‘cause it’s his birthday.” Again, David had to adjust his thinking. Since moving from Christianity to paganism, it was common to give gods offerings, especially on their celebration days. “I guess if you’d like to get something for Jesus, that would be alright.” “Ok. I think he’d like it. Um, how do I give him a present?” David had to think about that for a minute. Normally offerings were presented to the family gods on the family altar. He didn’t feel very comfortable incorporating Christianity into their pagan rituals, but he didn’t want to reject his son’s generous

“Is that ok with Jesus? He doesn’t get stuff from an altar?” the child asked, looking confused. “It’s just fine to give stuff to the churches,” David said. “Trust me. I used to worship Jesus when I was younger.” “Oh, ok. If you say so.” “And I think it’s very nice of you to want to give Jesus a present.” “Thanks Dad,” Tyler said. “And don’t let those kids hurt your feelings. You’re not stupid. You’ve just been raised differently, and you’re just fine.” “Ok, Dad.”

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suggest something that can help cleanse and purify to help you fight against the holiday blues.

is a reminder of how bittersweet existence is. • • •

1 1-lb bag cranberries 2 large oranges 2 cups sugar

Peel and seed the oranges. Chop the oranges and cranberries finely in a food processor. Transfer to a bowl, add sugar, cover, and chill until ready to serve.

Report for the PNC! PNC-News Wants YOU

Are you a Pagan with an interest in your community? Do you have an interest in how Paganism interacts with the rest of the world? Do you wish you had even more quality news sources on Pagan religions?

You can BE that change!

Pagan Newswire Collective is looking for volunteer reporters. If you don’t have a bureau near you and you wish to start one, contact Managing Editor Cara Schulz at: schulzcaral@gmail. com.

Simple Cranberry-Orange Relish

On your own? You’re not alone!

Cranberries are great for protection. Oranges and other citrus fruits and great for purification. Cranberry-orange relish is an excellent dish to help remove negativity. Maybe you had a bad Thanksgiving celebration, or maybe you’re not looking forward to the solstice/Christmas madness. This sweet-tart relish works with lots of different meats – not just turkey – and its sweet-tart taste

Even if you do not have a local bureau, there is still a place for willing and active reporters in the PNC. If you would like to work as a national or international stringer, contact Executive Editor Diana Rajchel at: pnceditorial@gmail.com You do NOT need to have a journalism or mass communications degree to join the collective, just be willing to learn. For for information see: http://pagannewswirecollective. com/

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The Pagan Edge

Book Review by Faelin Wolf

Divine Misfortune

A. Lee Martinez, 2010 ISBN: 9780316049924

I had never read any of A. Lee Martinez’s work before this book. However, I had recently had his work recommended to me by several people. I chose this book because I found the premise interesting: what if we could choose our personal gods and they, in turn, provided us with favors? The world that Teri and Phil live in is full of small gods. Each individual is free to choose a personal god to pledge their devotion to and in return, they receive gifts from their god. Of course, some gods have particular requirements of their followers, such as altars, money, chastity, or even blood and violence. It is important to choose wisely. Teri and Phil have chosen to not have a personal god, seeing it as too much fuss without a lot of benefit. That is, until Phil finds his coworker has been given the promotion that he was up for, simply because of his devotion to his own god. The couple chooses Luka, a small god of luck with a raccoon head. Luka, or Lucky, doesn’t ask for much, just an altar in their home and some food. Phil and Teri soon learn that there are more strings attached—such as letting Lucky stay on their couch and feeding his large appetite for food and entertainment daily. Oh, and that Gorgoz, a god of chaos and violence, who has

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a grudge against Lucky and is willing to take it out on his followers. A very fun read! Martinez fills his books with humor and bizarre situations that ultimately make sense. I found this story interesting too, in that it poked some fun at the things we do in the names of our gods. And what would the world be like if the gods were trying to sway us to be their followers?

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Finding the Edge Back Page..

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Continued from Page 8

the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25th, even though there is no way of being certain of the exact date of His birth. It wasn’t until the early- to mid-4th century that the Western Christian Church declared that Christmas would be celebrated on December 25th. Eastern Christian’s originally honored the birth on January 6th, which coincided with the Feast of Epiphany. It was declared that Christmas would be celebrated on December 25th as a way attempt to merge the holiday with other holidays celebrated around the same time, including the Winter Solstice celebration that Pagans honor. Although the origins of Christmas and Yule share a checkered past together, they are both celebrated in similar fashion. Both traditions enjoy caroling and the practice of exchanging gifts with one 24

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another. Christians and non-Christians decorate a Christmas tree. At one point in time, Pagans lit a Yule log and left it to burn for 12 hours, which was believed to bring good luck. This tradition changed to become a tree that was brought into the home for decorating. There are numerous stories of how the tree came to be in Pagan culture. Some say it was a way to keep the wood spirits warm during the winter months. Some believe it simply replaced the Yule log and was decorated with candles. Green and red are the primary colors for the holiday of both religions. There are some distinct differences between the two religions when it comes to celebrating this holiday. Of course, for Pagans, there is often spellwork and magick involved. Spells are sometimes cast for the upcoming year. We acknowledge the completion of a cycle, and remember our connection to Earth and her energies. Christians have Santa Claus, who also goes by Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas and ChristKind- a jolly man with a white beard that brings presents to children. Santa is a mythical, historical person, who has been loved by children all around the

world. So I believe that we all can accept the fact that in many ways, Christmas and Yule are similar, but there are some distinct differences that makes each celebration unique. The one thing that we can agree on is that it is a special time of year: a time to be with loved ones, and to celebrate the end of the year and the hopes and dreams for the coming year. ✪


The Pagan Edge

Book Review by Faelin Wolf

The Witch’s Bag of Tricks by Melanie Marquis, 2011 ISBN: 9780738726335

How do you feel your magickal practice is going? Does it still feel exciting? Do you feel like you’ve gotten stuck? Do you wonder what the next step is? Melanie Marquis’s bag of tricks may be just what you need. According to Marquis, everyone reaches a plateau in their learning or a point in their practice when their magick is not as effective as it once was. The first step involves identifying when you’ve reached one of these points. The next step in your journey is determining what direction or path you want to follow next in order to move to the next level! The Witch’s Bag of Tricks offers chapters on a variety of magickal, spiritual, and psychic practices. In each chapter, you’ll dilemmas or topics to expand your thinking, exercises and rituals to explore or expand your energy/power, and topics to study. Some chapters may cover areas that are new to you or that you may never have considered or explored. Chapters include topics like affinities, psychic development, divination, positive binding magick, love magick, advanced defensive magick, and magickal cooking. This does not seem to be the type of book to read straight through. I see it used most effectively as a reference book. Chapters can be utilized as they pique your interest or fit with what you need at the

time. You may never read some chapters in the book because they are not what you’re interested in or where your path is leading. You may never reach the point where you feel your magickal practice has stagnated and therefore may not feel the need for this book. But the information in it is a useful jumping off point for when you aren’t sure where to go from where you’re at!

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Continued from Page 7 who/that follow a positive code of ethics such as The Wiccan Rede or The Ring of Troth’s, Nine Virtues.” “What We Offer: We feature a solid weekly update that celebrates all that is good in our community. We feature several monthly series detailing many of the specific factions and opinions of the Community. TWV also features solid essays from both young and old.” Pagan Space – Is a social bulletin board system that has some of the same elements s FaceBook, a standard blog, forum, and sub groups. The website feels a little dated as the platform has not been revised as much as one of the bigger more general social networks. It does have the plus of all pagan oriented and gives back as much as you put into it.

Face Book – Almost everyone knows FaceBook. This social network is one of the largest and covers topics of most every kind. There are many who do not like this network because of its public exposure, its privacy issues, or they just plain don’t like the format. However, it is the home to Tens of thousands of people that have some interest in pagan lifestyle. Pagan Edge itself has a FaceBook Page that has become our default social home. Individuals can create groups that can be public to private to communicate with others that are both local and international. Individuals and businesses can also create pages that are branded profiles that allows for posts, media 26

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sharing and networking. Pages have become popular because it allows the owner(s) to have more control the message and brand. FaceBook pages are also excellent ways to get direct feedback and new items to be shared from fans via the “like” button or direct posts.

still one of the internet’s oddest social networks because it is a paradigm shift from the other

direct contact, asynchronous chats, and of course the ability to re-share (retweet) the thoughts or information of others. There is also the ability to broadcast your message to various topics called tags. Tags are essentially key words or combinations of key words so that you can target other people with similar interests. Twitter refers to these as hash tags (#pagan, #wicca are examples) and they really are the core of connecting to other

formats mentioned here. It is most easily understood as a “micro-blogging” network. You will find people, companies, or even country’s represented on twitter. The format allows for you to tell the public what you are doing or thinking at any given moment. It also allows for

people. Once you find someone that you are interested in you can follow them so that you see their stream of tweets. The final tool that important to mention about Twitter is you can create lists that bring together collections of related tweets into a new discrete information feed.

Twitter – Is perhaps


These are great tools for keeping trace of a Hash tag rather than groups of individuals.

Tumblr – is another option that presents social sharing on a different level than other services listed here. “Tumblr lets you effortlessly share anything. Post text, photos, quotes, links, music, and videos from your browser, phone, desktop, email or wherever you happen to be. You can customize everything, from colors to your theme’s HTML.” This system is more one way than the others because the ability to comment is more limited. It does have an internal messaging ability that is basically email lite. It does use a hash tag system that allows your posts to be found by others and re-shared multiple times. There is a pagan presence on Tumblr but because of the format there is not a lot of chance to socialize or collaborate directly. Second Life – Is the

most unusual of all the services listed here because it is a completely virtual 3D world that is for a large part built completely by its “residents”. This is a virtual world that works much like the real world in that there is an actual cash economy. While this can be a draw back the ability to purchase “land” and create a visual as well as a communication experience can bring out the immersive experience may of our community desire. As a resident you can take on any form you desire to be your physical manifestation or Avatar. Once you are in the world of second life you can use the search function to find places of interest

and groups to join. Below are some of the busiest places to currently visit. Just be aware that since these settings or Sims are privately owned and may come and go. • Sacred Cauldron - Wiccan/Pagan Setting with connections to a real world Seminary. • Odin’s Peak - A setting for the study and ritual of Asatru. • Anam Turas on Gaia Rising – a large pagan setting with various events, ritual places, market, mediated conversation and training. • FUUCSL – First Unitarian Universalist Church of Second Life is a UU church done in a natural setting and is Pagan friendly. PNC – The Pagan News Colective does not really fit into this grouping but is important to mention because of its goals “The Pagan News Collective is an open collective of Pagan journalists, newsmakers, media liaisons, and writers who are interested in sharing and promoting primarysource reporting from within our interconnected communities.”

Google + - Is Googles counter point to both FaceBook and Twitter which has a cleaner interface and the direct integration of text chat, video calling, video networking, news feeds and the ability to use hash tags. What Google Plus does better than the other networks

is to allow you a great deal of control on who sees what. They do this be using what they have coined as “circles”. A circle is simply a collection of people brought together by common bonds or interests. This makes it easier to segregate family, business, hobbies and spirit interests to various audiences that have no need to overlap. For many pagans this presents the chance to not draw unwanted attention or exposure.

Blogs and Podcasts

– These are the classical ways for pagans with a message to communicate to the rest of the online world and other pagans. The standard and quality of blogs and podcasts very over time but in general are a good way to start the process of learning or to help expand on knowledge of the topics you are interested in. No matter where you are in the world or what your interests may be the internet has help bring together and bind friendships of our community.

J


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December 2012 "Strangers All"  

This month we explore what it means to be a stranger, pagans on the internet, and Yule

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