Friday, May 4, 2012

Entry 15: Darkside Zodiac - Aries


March 21-April 20

Aries is a masculine ,cardinal Fire sign rules by Mars. It is the first sign on the zodiac wheel directly opposite Libra, and is names for the constellation Aries (the ram), which shouts and struts behind the Sun at this time of year.

On the Darkside, this makes you a loud, overconfident, aggressive thug with way too many Y chromosomes and a will of titanium-clad granite.

Annoying Habits


You are either 30 minutes early, raring to go, and incandescent that everyone else is late, or you turn up four days later at a different venue and are outraged that the expedition went without you.


After a five-minute rant in the bathroom when you throw everything out of the window looking for your tube of toothpaste, you finally find it in the laundry basket. You hammer it flat with your bare hands.

Temper Gauge

0* to boiling point is instantaneous, and occurs roughly every two minutes because people just won't do what you tell them, and you've lost the keys/hammer/remote control/plot.


overwhelming, overbearing, overconfident

Brightside astrologers proclaim that you burst with creative energy and confidence, and that you prefer to express yourself through action. Well, they would, wouldn't they, especially with your knife to their collective throat? This is just salon talk for laying about you with a meat cleaver when you wish to make a point, isn't it, Aries? You have absolutely no trouble with this year's buzz concept, "Me-time," although you do have trouble with the idea that there might be any other kind.

Greedy, aggressive, argumentative, restless, willful, confrontational, headstrong, and self-obsessed, you are the zodiac's permanently enraged adolescent (and just look at the state of your room); you have what nice social workers call "a problem with authority." Show you a no-entry sign and you are up the forbidden highway like a ferret up a drainpipe. No one has ever explained the phrase "consequences-of-your-actions" to you (mostly because you won't stand still long enough, and even if you were nailed to the floor, you still wouldn't listen). Consequently the nation's ERs are an Arien's second home.

Subtle you're not; no one will ever find you sitting quietly in a corner brooding on life's great mysteries, or sitting quietly anywhere. You blunder through the world like Tigger gone rogue, looking for new frontiers to smash. Fortunately you can be easily distracted by bright lights, loud noises, meat, blood, fire, and knives. On good days, this means a neighborhood barbecue; on bad days, World War III.

You generate a kind of low-frequency tetch field all around you, which unnerves the rest of us, and can be condensed into a stamping rage by practically anything. Lost your keys? House turned upside down, loved ones lambasted, doors slammed off hinges. And instructions for anything from a flatpack to a cruise missle are torn up in a rage (nobody tells Aries what to do!) before you get past step one.

Have you ever willingly finished anything in your life? You're just one big booster rocket, all fired up for blastoff, and falling away as soon as your boredom threshold (usually around sea level) is reached. Some of you can't even get to the end of a sentence before moving on, which is probably why the military speaks in speedily articulated acronyms.

Pathologically, addictively competitive, you have to come first in everything, even if it's only a spitting contest, and you will do anything to win, as your concept of fair play means that you triumph. This extends to your kids, whom you are likely to disown if they don't win a Nobel prize, the World Series, and an Oscar.

Your political opinions are strongly held: bigoted and extreme. The doctrine is irrelevant--it's the extreme part you like, along with the street fighting and mob violence. Many Ariens become politicians. How scary is that? Aberrant Ariens who show a mild interest in other life forms can clean up by running elite assertiveness-training courses-although the rest of you wonder why anyone would want to give ammo to the competition.

Bitch Rating

C+. Think about it: bitching demands subtlety and finesse, neither of which your Bad Fairy Godmother left in your cradle. If you want to say something nasty about someone, you don't sneak around; you just open your mouth and blast away, Refreshing, in a strange way.

Collective Noun

A safety tip for non-Ariens. You may find yourself, for some bizarre zodiacal reason, in a room full of Ariens (perhaps your local slaughterhouse is hosting an open evening in the spirit of community outreach). The air is thick with testosterone, and thrums with shouting and the sound of keen blade-whetting. You have rashly stumbled into a Headbutt of Aries. Run away.

Fave Deadly Sin

You simply do not have the time for anything intellectual, or namby-pamby, so you go straight for Wrath, or Anger: a big, strong, all-terrain sin that's just as unhelpful halfway up K2 as it is in a downtown gridlock. It's straightforward, uncomplicated, and requires hardly any brain power (it's just a matter of coupling mouth and fists to you awesome irascibility drive). Plus you get to do the shouting. In your quieter moments, you might consider Greed; it makes a useful indoor sin for the older Arien whose form is slipping.

Planet Planet

Every sun sign has a planetary enforcer, whose job it is to strike the first blow, establish pole position, and engage in a little preemptive defense to make it clear who is the leader around here. Before there were telescopes, astrologers could on see five planets in the sky, plus the Moon and Sun, so they counted these two as planetary rulers. It seemed a good idea at the time. Each planet babysat two zodiac signs--except for the Moon (Cancer's minder) and the Sun (which allows Leo to rule). Your planet is Mars. It's true that until 1930 you had to share it with Scorpio. Any other sun sign would have been toast, and Mars would have been all yours, but you respect Scorpio because, although you are headstrong and reckless, you like the idea of keeping all your organs on the inside.

Blame Your Planet

the red menace

If you are feeling even more hot-eyed and steam-driven than usual, your children are cowering behind a bunker of cereal boxes at the breakfast table, strong men are crossing the road to avoid you, and the world is bathed in a red mist, is this your fault? Is it, punk? Not entirely. Blame your planet. In your case, it's Mars.

Mars knows where we live. In fact the red, glowering psychopath is out next-door neighbor, fourth rock from the Sun. Isn't that comforting? Somehow the fact that it's only half Earth's size doesn't really help. It stalks our orbit at half speed, so we can always see it just out of the corner of our eye. Worse, it has two hench-moons called--wait for it--Deimos and Phobos, for fear and loathing. They're tiny, but they do a menacing double act.

Deimos,  midget made entirely of black rock, is in synchronous rotation with the boss; this means it doesn't rise of set--it's a constant eyeball in the sky. Phobos, au contraire, the hyperactive one, pops up every five hours, just when you thought it was safe. The Martian atmosphere is almost entirely carbon dioxide; this is what happens when you are so angry with your mom and the cosmos that you hold your breath until you go red in the face.

Mars is named for the Roman god of war. Adored and worshiped by the Roman army, he was a remix of an ancient agricultural god and the Greek god of war, Ares, notorious on Mount Olympus as a violent but stupid, bloodlusty braggart. Ares/Aries--you see what's happening here?

Bad Moon Rising

the darkside of aries' darkside

It's not all sunshine on the Darkside. You know just how power-crazed and monomaniac your innermost thoughts and secret fantasies are, but where do you think they come from? The Moon, that's where-or whichever area of your birthchart the Moon was moodily plotting when you were born. The Sun is our daytime self, the Moon represents our inner psycho. The nippy little wretch rushes around plunging in and out of signs every few days, so throughout Areis' month in the Sun, the lunar nuisance dodges around like a guerrillista in a South American jungle. That helps to explain why two Ariens born only days apart stamp their feet in a different rhythm when thwarted, depending on which sign the Moon was bothering at the time.

Catching the Moon

That's all very well, you say, but how do I know where the Moon was when I was born? There are long, complicated (and, frankly, dull) tables called ephemerides that tell you where every planet (and for tedious astrological reasons, the Moon is an honorary planet) stood in the heavens, atmosphere bated, as you made your sorry debut. However, we have provided a Moon itinerary at the back of this book to enable you to get a rough idea. IF that sounds like too much hard work, and you have the techno technique, then try visiting the following website: If you know where you were born and when, they will produce, for free, a rough-cut birthchart that will pin your Moon on the zodiac wheel. [For time, click the Moon Chart for a quick reference as printed in Darkside Zodiac.]

Lunatic Combinations

Here's what happens to Aries when the Moon marches off in a lust for glory.

Moon in Aries -- Twice as tetchy, twice as trigger-happy, twice as likely to start World War III.

Moon in Taurus -- Aggressively greedy for territory, but easily distracted by cakes and ale.

Moon in Gemini -- Soldier of fortune; a dirty fighter unencumbered by old-fashioned burdens such as loyalty.

Moon in Cancer -- Pistol-packin' momma; you like to bake a lovely apple pie for your enemies after you have knocked their teeth out.

Moon in Leo -- Will only lead the charge if you get to wear a big plumed hat and your troops all swear to adore you.

Moon in Virgo -- Aries despises detail Virgo lives for it; internicine strife and an obsession with uniforms.

Moon in Libra -- You know that diplomacy is a war continue by other menas; your weapon of choice is the charm offensive.

Moon in Scorpio -- Scarily focused aggression, ideal for silent surgical strikes just before dawn.

Moon in Sagittarius -- Captain Reckless: you can't see what was wrong with the Charge of the Light Brigade.

Moon in Capricorn -- Your preferred tactic is to bury the enemy in paperwork.

Moon in Aquarius -- Intellectual warrior; you avoid "red mists" as you like to outbrain your opponents.

Moon in Pisces -- Aggressive but irresolute; unreliable under fire.

Born Under A Bad Sign

the scum also rises

And another thing. Your sun sign is modified by your rising sign. This is the zodiac sign that was skulking over the horizon at the very minute you were born. If your sun sign is your ego, then your rising sign gives you your public manners (such as they are), your Sunday worst. It's the painted smile behind which the real, disgusting you lurks. Some astrologers maintain that it's malign influence affects what you look like. Be afraid.

You will probably be bitterly aggrieved to discover that, in the northern hemisphere, for tedious astronomical reasons, there are fewer people with Aries and Pisces rising, or ascending, than any other sign. (In other words, you have a short ascension span, ha-ha!) We say: good; there are only so many world dictators one little globe can take.

Going Up

Now pay attention, because the following is quite brain-busting. There are 12 signs of the zodiac, and astrologers like to think of them as occupying a band of sky that spins around the Earth once every 24 hours. (This is a convention; it is not astronomically correct, and you will not see the signs if you look up, so don't write in.) So, every two hours or so another sign hauls itself blearily over the eastern horizon. This is going on whatever time of the day or night you were born, and whichever benighted spot you chose to appear in. These astro-mechanics help to explain why rams born at either end of the same day take a different route as they charge through life. There are long, nerdy ways to discover your rising sign, but the easiest way is to get hold of a birthchart.

Upwardly Mobile

If your rising sign is Aries, your public persona is a fierce, pushy extrovert on a short fuse, obsessed with coming first. This is to distract the rest of us from discovering your plan for a Thousand-Year Reich. Here's what happens when other zodiacal upstarts rise above their station.

Taurus Rising -- It's all calm, bovine tranquility until you catch site of a red rag.

Gemini Rising -- Cheat, lie, and con your way to the front; if that fails, bring on the heavy artillery.

Cancer Rising -- Mother knows best; after all, you know that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.

Leo Rising -- Swagger all you like in that dress uniform, but we all know it's a gun you've got in your pocket and that you're not particularly pleased to see us.

Virgo Rising -- Don't you find, Lady Macbeth, that however hard you scrub at ingrained bloodstains, they just won't shift?

Libra Rising -- Handsome, dashing freedom-fighter, armed with Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Scorpio Rising -- You appear darkly, hypnotically menacing; actually, you are just menacing.

Sagittarius Rising -- Our knight in unpolished armor.

Capricorn Rising -- Your papers are always in order and your jackboots gleam like a raven's wings.

Aquarius Rising -- Aren't you far too cool for all this petty squabbling over world domination?

Pisces Rising -- They'll all be sorry they didn't appreciate you, when you are world dictator.

Don't You Love Me, Baby?

venus and aries

Just how much of a high-maintenance tease or bunny-boiler you are may depend on where the solar system's heartless tart (Venus) was blushingly dropping her handkerchief when you were born. Oh, and Venus also has a say in how harmoniously you blend in with the rest of the world, but what do words like harmony have to do with the Darkside? Now, for astrological reasons that will fry your brain if I explain them here (basically, Venus is far too luxury-loving to move too far away from the Sun, and her orbital rate is in bed with Earth's), Venus only appears in your sun sign, or two signs on either side of it. In your case, rams, that means Venus will be in Aries, Aquarius, Pisces, Taurus, or Gemini. And this is what it does to your love and lust life.

Make Love and War

Venus is the girlie planet of luv, right? And Mars is planet lad, the warlord, You may also have a sneaking feeling that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. Don't be upset if I tell you this is not true. All of us, of all genders, have a stake in both planets. Where they are in your birthchart has what I shall call consequences. You may think your sun sign makes you a born babe-magnet, but Venus in a chilly sign will cut you off at the knees; you may think that your sun sign means you are the twin soul of the dove of peace, but you may go red-eyed with bloodlust when beaten to a parking spot. Mars will be somewhere irascible. You'll need a birthchart to find out what Venus and Mars were getting up to when you were born. It is far too complicated--and, frankly, dull--to work out here.

Venus in Aries -- You always get your man (or woman), often at gunpoint, and you are a tough love fanatic: whips, pain, domination--and that's just when you're on your own. You always hurt the one you love, on principle.

Venus in Aquarius -- You may be gung-ho to storm love's citadel, but you know better than to charge at it with all flags waving. You have cunning plans involving decoys, disinformation, and playing dead.

Venus in Pisces -- You are not above faking a war wound, or a dueling scar (so romantic!) or three, to incite pity and admiration in the heart of your love object. You know there's nothing more alluring than a wounded hero, even though you aren't one.

Venus in Taurus -- Once the love target is in the crosshairs, you lock on and don't let go until you've brought him or her down; but you do provide a very cozy prisoner-of-love nest.

Venus in Gemini -- Heavy-duty extreme flirting, usually while bear hunting, base jumping, gun running, or liberating small countries, and usually with the whole platoon. You know you're irresistible in distressed combats.


hard, fast, competitive

Sex is just another extreme sport as far as you are concerned, and you don't like to waste time; foreplay is for wimps. You are strictly a notches-on-the-bedpost kinda guy (or girl), so you like to multitask sometimes. Your Little Black Book is almost ready to be cataloged by the Library of Congress. You always need to be told that you are the first (and naturally, best) lover that your partner's had, ever; you don't bother to do the social math that proves this is impossible without virginity becoming a renewable resource. Your affairs burn with a gemlike flame for, oh, several days, during which time you are extravagantly possessive and jealous every time your prey steps out for a comfort break. Lust does not, however, quench your competitive spirit. You have to do it harder, faster, longer, and quicker than anybody else, and of course you always have to come first. (You silently count your partner's orgasms just to make sure you are not being outclassed.)

What kind of love rat are you?

The worst. It's the winning, you see; the fighting off of all rivals, or defeating overwhelming odds (you are in Hawaii, they are in Alaska; they are Amish, you are a Texas Ranger, etc.); once you've got the prize, it's no longer what you want. You wander off to find a new challenge, abandoning the poor sap who believed you when you said you'd slash your wrists with a rusty blade if they did not come with you to be your love.

For more on the Darkside of Aries, please check out Darkside Zodiac by Stella Hyde.

Entry 014: Catching the Moon

Catching the Moon

If you can't wait to get a birthchart, here is a rough way to find out where the Moon was lurking when you were born. All you need is your date of birth.

Finding Your Start Sign on the Zodiac Wheel

     Years                                   Jan     Feb    Mar    Apr      May        June         July    Aug    Sept        Oct        Nov     Dec

1939, 1958, 1977             Tau    Can   Can    Vir      Lib      Sag     Cap    Aqu   Ari      Tau    Can    Leo
1940, 1959, 1978             Lib     Sco   Sag    Cap     Aqu    Ari       Tau     Can   Leo     Tau    Can    Leo
1941, 1960, 1979            Aqu    Ari    Ari     Gem    Can    Leo      Vir     Sco   Cap     Aqu   Ari     Tau
1942, 1961, 1980            Gem   Leo   Leo    Lib      Sco    Cap      Aqu   Ari    Cap     Tau    Gem   Leo
1943, 1962, 1981            Sco    Sag    Cap   Aqu    Ari      Tau      Gem   Leo   Lib       Sco   Sag    Cap
1944, 1963, 1982            Pis     Tau     Tau    Can   Leo     Lib     Sco     Sag   Aqu     Pis     Tau    Gem
1945, 1964, 1983            Leo    Vir      Lib    Sco    Sag     Aqu    Pis      Tau    Can     Leo    Vir     Lib
1946, 1965, 1984            Sag    Cap    Aqu   Pis     Tau      Gem   Leo     Vir    Sco     Sag     Aqu   Pis
1947, 1966, 1985           Ari     Gem   Gem   Leo     Vir      Sco     Sag     Aqu   Pis      Ari      Gem  Can
1948, 1967, 1986          Vir      Sco     Sco    Cap     Aqu   Pis      Tau      Gem   Leo    Vir       Lib   Sag
1949, 1968, 1987          Cap   Pis       Pis       Tau   Gem  Leo    Vir       Sco    Sag     Cap    Pis    Ari
1950, 1969, 1988          Tau    Can     Can      Vir    Lib    Sag    Cap     Pis     Ari      Gem    Can   Leo
1951, 1970, 1989          Lib     Sag     Sag      Aqu   Pis    Tau     Gem    Can   Vir      Lib       Sag   Cap
1952, 1971, 1990          Pis     Ari      Tau      Gem  Can  Virg    Lib      Sag    Cap   Aqu      Ari    Tau
1953, 1972, 1991          Can    Vir      Vir      Lib     Sag   Cap   Pis      Ari      Gem   Can     Vir    Lib
1954, 1973, 1992          Sco    Cap    Cap    Pis       Ari     Gem   Can   Vir      Sco    Sag      Cap   Aqu
1955, 1974, 1993          Ari     Tau      Gem   Leo     Vir      Lib    Sco    Cap    Pis     Ari       Tau    Can
1956, 1975, 1994          Leo    Lib      Lib     Sag     Cap    Pis     Ari     Tau     Can   Leo      Lib     Sco
1957, 1976, 1995          Cap    Aqu    Pis     Ari      Tau      Can   Leo    Lib     Sco    Cap     Aqu   Ari

This Is What You Do

  1. Look up the year and month of your birth. Note which sign is indicated--this is not your Sun sign, so don't get antsy.
  2. Now look at the second chart to check the date on which you fell to Earth. There is a number opposite it--remember it.
  3. Look at the third chart, the Zodiac Wheel, and find the sign that was indicated in the first chart.
  4. Count counterclockwise from this sign, following the number indicated on the second chart (including the start sign). This is your moon sign.

Date / No.     Date / No.     Date / No.     Date / No.     Date / No.

     1 / 0               7 / 3              13 / 5              19 / 8              25 / 11
     2 / 1               8 / 3              14 / 6              20 / 9              26 / 11
     3 / 1               9 / 4              15 / 6              21 / 9              27 / 12
     4 / 1             10 / 4              16 / 7              22 / 10            28 / 12
     5 / 2             11 / 5              17 / 7              23 / 10            29 / 1
     6 / 2             12 / 5              18 / 8              24 / 10            30 / 1
                                                                                              31 / 2

 Zodiac Wheel

                                  <---------Count in this direction from your Start Sign.

                                    Capricorn             Sagitarius
                            Aquarius                                Scorpio
                        Pisces                                               Libra
                           Aries                                            Virgo
                               Taurus                                    Leo
                                       Gemini                 Cancer

An Example to Us All

You were born in March 1972, so your start sign (in the first chart) is Virgo.
You were born in the 17th day of March, so (according to chart 2) you have to count 7.
Counting counterclockwise for seven signs in chart 3, from (and including) Virgo, delivers you to....Pisces.
You are therefore a Moon-In-Pisces Pisces. Bad luck!

Entry 013: Darkside Zodiac

The following zodiacal excerpts are from "Darkside Zodiac" by Stella Hyde. Not everything in this world about your Signs is all rainbows and butterflies. This will take us all on an adventure to facing Ego and learning more about ourselves that some of our friends or family wouldn't have the balls to admit to us. If you are easily offended, please do not read any of the articles posted as "DS " as they are very honest and straightforward. I will be posting up a new zodiac sign every Friday, so be on the lookout for your own if you feel you have the courage to face yourself. This is to allow for true inner sight into the things that block us in life so that we may fix them and move forward with our own personal growth. So strap in and enjoy your ride through the Darkside of the Zodiac. - Sacred Flame


You know what you're really like--so do I

 Before we go any farther, look at the title of this book. [Darkside Zodiac.] What does it say? Darkside. That means you are going to be reading some wince-making stuff about yourselves. There are no jolly Brightside platitudes, because there is quite enough of that kind of thing in the world, and every silver lining has to have a cloud. I don't want you writing in--you have been warned; anybody who is but a fragile blossom on life's maelstrom had better put the book down now; don't give it to anyone whose self-esteem is running at zero pressure.

Don't Blame Me, It's Written In the Stars

It's not just your sun sign; there are other darkforces out there to make things even worse:
  • Your ruling planet: The Sun, Moon, or any one of the solar system's nine aimlessly orbiting rocks (apart from Earth, of course), each of which looks after one or more signs and imposes its disgusting habits.
  • The Moon, which is in charge of your dark, inner soul, frightful moods, and uncontrollable emotions; just how much of a prima-donna you are depends on where the Moon was throwing a hissy fit when you were thrust into this vale of tears.
  • Your rising sign: as the Earth creaks around on its axis, it appears to us that a new zodiac sign passes overhead every two hours or so. Your rising sign is the one that peeped balefully over the eastern horizon at the exact minute you fell to Earth.
  • The psychotic duo, Venus (planet lust) and Mars (planet psychowarrior); you'll need a birth chart to find out what havoc they wreak.
  • Your opposite sign--this is the fascinating badboy [or girl] (six signs away from your own) your mom told you to keep away from.

Unredeeming Features

Each sun sign hangs around street corners with one of four elements: Fire, Earth, Air or Water--think of them as the style in which you express your cosmic sloth. Plus, there are three sorts of qulities: cardinal, fixed, and mutable. The qualities combine with the elements so that no single sign is exactly the same. This means we are all insufferable in our own special way. Each sign is also masculine or feminine. It's nothing personal; think of it as positive/negative.

  Living With the Darkside

And how does all this affect you? Well, read on and weep. We look at your shameful personality, your pathetic work, relationship, and sex lives, criminal tendencies, how appalling you are to live with, and how you try to have fun in your own miserable way. And we end with a list of others who share your patch in the zodiac. So go on, suffer!

Rifraff Elements

  • Fire signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius): Brightsiders say impulsive! Darksiders say reckless sociopath.
  • Earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn): Brightsiders say solid! Darksiders say pig-headed fusspot.
  • Air signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius): Brightsiders say intellectual! Darksiders say free-floating airhead.
  • Water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces): Brightsiders say nurturing! Darksiders say moody whiner.

 It's Quality Time

Quality is just another word for attitude; on the Darkside, that's bad attitude.
  • Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn): bossy; this is the quality that initiates disasters.
  • Fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius): stubborn; this is the quality that never deviates.
  • Mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces): fickle; this is the quality that ensures chaos and mess.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Entry 012: Atlanta Pagan Marketplace of Ideas 2012!

Come celebrate the diversity, expertise, and warmth of the Pagan community of Atlanta at the Atlanta Pagan Marketplace of Ideas: March 24, 2011 at Sweetwater Creek State Park Group Shelter. The Pagan Marketplace of Ideas offers the opportunity for people to “shop” the Atlanta Pagan community. Explore the variety of worship, magick, wisdom, knowledge, and fun in the Pagan community. At Marketplace you can meet and speak with members of local circles, covens, groups and schools; attend a ritual or two--or three; attend a class or workshop; find out what is happening in the community for 2012; get tarot/rune/intuitive readings and shop local Pagan merchants and vendors. Do you have a new business you'd like to put on the map? Marketplace is a wonderful starting point to help your business name rise up in the Pagan (art) Community. Come out and join us from 11:00AM-6:00PM and see what community is all about!


Want to participate? The cost is only $7  (get a $2.00 discount if you bring a donation for Gaia’s Bounty Food Pantry).  There is also a family pass option for $20.00 ($15.00 with a food pantry donation!)  We will be accepting non perishables to be donated to a new pagan based Food Pantry called Gaia’s Bounty . Children under the age of 13 are free. (Please note that there is a $5 parking fee at all Georgia State Parks).
If you wish to participate within the Marketplace itself as a representative of a group, business, or event or teach a class, please contact Robin Everritt at or Rev. Jonathon Lowe at


Registration is open for 2012!
Register today at


The Pagan Marketplace of Ideas is being held at the Group Shelter at Sweetwater Creek State Park. There is a $5 parking fee at the park entrance.
Directions from Atlanta:
Take I-20 west from Atlanta, exit #44 at Thornton Road, turn left and go 1/4 mile.
Turn right on Blairs Bridge Road.
After 2 miles, turn left on Mount Vernon Road and proceed to the park.
Follow signs for the Group Shelter.
More detailed directions, including a map of the park, can be found on the Georgia State Parks web site.

Entry 011: Us vs. Them - What Does In Perfect Love and Perfect Trust Mean Today?

Ok, so the first question I'd probably end up addressing is, "what do you mean, Us vs. Them?" Well, honestly the first thing that comes to people's minds upon understanding that this is a Pagan blog is the whole argument of Pagans vs. Christianity, but that's not what this is about. This is about a civil war right within our very own Faith.

I am always browsing through Facebook and Blogspot looking for interesting articles on things going on in the Pagan Community and looking for shared experiences and opinions on the different daily things going on in our lives. One thing I commonly come up against is the "Us vs. Them" equation. "Real' Pagans vs. "Fluff Bunnies."

I'd like to take this time to point out to anyone who may just so happen to be of a Traditional branch of Witchcraft/Wicca--if you happen to be one of the offenders of this equation--let me remind you that once upon a time, your tradition was considered to be the "fluff bunny" of Witchcraft. Now take a look at your tradition: currently considered to be one of the most knowledgeable and common forms of Witchcraft in the US today.

We all had our start somewhere. We should never forget our roots. I recently read a blog aloud to my High Priestess. The blog was about a young 16 year old boy who had been ordained as a Minister and claimed to be Wiccan over Twitter, however he did not conduct himself in a manner befitting the mantle of responsibility taken on by Ministers, nor did he know much about Wicca. The Pagan who chose to call him out has been known to troll for what she considers to be "fluff bunnies" and calls them out in a public forum. Instead of asking them why they believe the way they do, and trying to guide them with her 20+ years of experience (she herself being around 40, I believe) she decides to challenge them in a manner which proves that they have no clue what they're talking about, and then blames some of it on parents allowing their children to read Llewellyn books. The whole thing is always done in a very patronizing manner not befitting of a Priestess of the Goddess.

I felt the need to speak up on behalf of the 16 year old boy (as I myself was ordained very young, though I conducted myself much differently and was taken much more seriously.) My response to the woman's blog is below:

Ok, I do feel the need to respond to this one, especially after having read the blog entry of “All Pagans stop posting this Us vs. Them shit on your timeline!” True, many Pagans have the mentality of it’s Paganism vs. Christianity, but are we ourselves not perpetuating the very same thing in the Us vs. Fluffy Bunnies?

We are not here to call out every Fluff Bunny out there. We’re here to help guide and educate those who have a real interest in walking the Pagan Path regardless of which Tradition.

I feel as though this situation could have been handled better. Some things to take into consideration are that so long as you understand your Faith and can conduct yourself in the appropriate manner, you are never too young to be a Minister. You can’t legally perform ceremonies according to US Law until you’re over the age of 18, but that doesn’t mean you can’t preach or spread knowledge on your faith. His being 16 and a Minister should not have raised even a single hair on someone’s eyebrow until he began to show that he did not, in fact, know what he was talking about. Some children are far older spiritually than they are physically–old souls, so to speak. We shouldn’t be too hasty to judge. If they prove themselves to be evident of misinformation then we should attempt to set them straight in a non-patronizing manner.

I grew up reading Llewellyn books and they never did any harm to me. They helped to educate me on the various topics and traditions and even movements going on in the world around me. Wikipedia is a decent source to go to as well, as it is primarily Pagans and Wiccans who edit the posts there and add to the information. Having practiced for 13 years, I am able to weed out correct and incorrect information without having to do much research, so I don’t usually have to worry about it. However that also places me in a situation where if I do see misinformation on a wiki site, I can correct it. Most of the time I don’t have to correct it as there are thousands of Pagans viewing it regularly who make sure it is up-to-date and as accurate as they can possibly make it. NO source of information is ever a bad source–no matter how reputable a source may be, we should be smart enough to always cross-reference the materials just to make sure that what we are reading is not just a biased viewpoint of one single author. It’s common sense in the world of research.

As I have so often heard in the Community and from my own High Priestess–we as a community are only as strong as our weakest link. Instead of calling “fluff bunnies” out publicly (who are indeed being looked upon by those who judge us just as equally as we are) why not help to elevate them to a higher level of understanding? We have the power to set things right—why use that same power to beat people down?
We are all put here for a reason, even the fluffy bunnies.

As the Dalai Lama once said, “There are many paths to walk in the world. Just because someone is walking a different path than yours, does not mean it is the wrong path.”

In love a light,

Rev. Jonathon S. Lowe; HP-----

 The blog didn't make me as angry as it did sad. Sad that Pagans are busting the balls of other Pagans and doing the same thing to ourselves that we've been doing to Christianity. Why does it have to be "Us vs. Them?" After reading the blog and my response to my High Priestess, she made a post on a public forum (as she does not currently have her own blog to write about these things.) The message read as follows:

Why is it better to divide the Pagan Community rather than to teach and provide council? It is amazing how many of us there are out there and how few of us really take the time to teach, to reach out and to help others. EVERYONE connected to the craft is here for a reason. "Fluff Bunny" or not. I realize you can't teach everyone all the time, but why do we feel the need to call people out publicly? Is it to prove how much more advanced we are in the craft? If you have to do this, people, you made a wrong turn somewhere in your spirituality. You make more of an impact with most people when you are less confrontational and more like mentor. Let's try to avoid the whole us and them thing within our own community. We already fight the us and them thing with other religions, why do this to ourselves? Remember, just because you are more educated in the craft does not mean you cease to be the student, too. Learn humilty. Uplift, don't tear down. I'm just saying..........
I chose to reply back to her post after sharing it with others--as food for thought--and my reply was as thus:
Why the "Us vs. Them" mentality right within our own religion? Elitist, Common, Fluffy Bunny...who cares? We are all teachers and students, we're all here for a reason. Uplift, don't stomp out. Does "In perfect love and perfect trust" not mean anything anymore? Just saying...
 So, what do you think about all of this? Does "In perfect love and perfect trust" only mean something when you choose for it to, or does it always apply to all practitioners of the Craft? Does it apply anywhere in the world other than directly involving the Craft? It seems to me we're having another civil war right within our own Faith. If we don't stand strong together, then we stand divided individually and are that much easier to pick off one by one. We don't get anything accomplished that way. We serve society and the community much better if we stand together and help to life one another up rather than beat one another down.
 How do you feel about this? 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Entry 010: Coining the Phrase: Successful Money Magick.

So while participating in the Pagan Blog Project 2012, I received my weekly challenge: any topic with the letter "C."

So I'm cheating the system since I came across something I'd like to address: successful money magick.

I always hear about people performing money spells or spells for success, wealth, health and abundance, however when I look into these spells, what I see happening frequently is very poor wording which makes the caster sound both selfish and thoughtless toward those around them.

Here is a perfect example of one such spell:

If you're looking to grow your finances as part of the growing season, gather together a large green candle, 9 coins, and some cinnamon.  Carve dollar signs into the candle along with your name.  Sprinkle cinnamon over the top of the candle (dress with a money drawing oil if you wish).  Place the coins in a circle around the base of the candle.  Gaze into the flame and focus on seeing your bank account increase, say:

"Money flows
Money grows
Money shines
Money's mine!"

Repeat this chant with increasing energy until the energy peaks.  When done shout out a powerful SO MOTE IT BE and release the energy.  Let the candle burn down and when it's done save the coins, placing them in a piece of green cloth or a green spell back with a little more cinnamon and either carry with your wallet or keep with your checkbook and banking paperwork. 

This spell is great in theory. It covers the herbs and items needed and the type of focus and energy needed to be raised for this spell. However, take a close look at the wording of the chant itself. Can you see anything wrong with this picture?

The whole focus is just on your own gain and increase! No, I'm not talking about personal gain. Wishing for growth and financial success is common and not exactly cause for karmic retribution. No--what I would like to draw your attention to is the lack of concern for WHERE exactly the money is coming from. That money doesn't just magickally appear, as much as we would love for it to do just that. It has to come from somewhere. Without being more specific in the wording, we could bring about the death of a relative we didn't know we had who had a great amount of life insurance or inheritance that now belongs to you--or a bad car accident where you feel compelled to enter a lawsuit and sue that person for all they're worth.

Where you are lending your energies is very important, and it is also important to remember " harm to none, so mote it be!" The power of words is often misunderstood and underestimated. While we may understand the meaning behind what we want, how we choose to communicate that to the Powers that Be is very important.

A more appropriate spell for successful growth or monetary gain would be more like thins:

"Money, money come to me
                              In abundance three times three
                              May I be enriched in the best of ways
                              Harming none on its way
                              This I accept, so mote it be
                              Bring me money three times three!"

In this way, you are keeping in mind that no harm should befall anyone with the gain of this money, and are open to it coming in any form: a new job, finding change while cleaning the couch, finding a few dollar in your pants pocket you hadn't worn in over a week, a friend offering money in exchange for a favor, etc...

Remember that the spells you cast and the energy you raise affect not only yourself, but those around you as well.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Entry 009: The Community Grimoire Is Underway!

[Don't forget to join my blog and follow to receive weekly updates!]

The House of Sacred Mother and Child and North Georgia Solitaries have come together to create a Community Grimoire!

This grimoire will be full of all kinds of information, experiences, and creative materials from all around the Pagan Community. We believe that community is sacred, so who better to put together a sacred text than a community without walls. There is no geographic limitation, we would love to have cultural materials from all over the world--after all, the Pagan Community isn't just local, but extends to our brothers and sisters worldwide. We ask for submissions of original materials only. Authors of original materials will receive full credit and recognition for their submissions. If you have any material that belongs to another author you believe should be in the Community Grimiore, please contact them and have them submit the material so they can receive full credit for it.

The goal of the Community Grimoire is to provide a resource filled with traditions and experiences from several cultures from all over the world and from right here at home. It is a medium of learning and creative inspiration that can be passed on from person to person and continually added to year after year. The most important thing is to have fun with this project and to enjoy the experience of coming together to share your knowledge and wisdom that will be passed down through the ages.

If you are interested in submitting articles or workshops to this community grimoire, please email me at the Community Grimoire Team to send your submissions. Help to make our community grow!

-Rev. Jonathon S. Lowe; HP
House of Sacred Mother & Child

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