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UK Pagan

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About UK Pagan

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  • Birthday 03/19/2001

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    This site
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    Since the beginning
  • Biography
    UKPagan is a web community site for Pagans in the British Isles and across the world.
    Running since March of 2001, we have relaunched in 2004 and again in 2011.
  • Goals and Aims
    UK Pagan is…
    * a site for all Pagans, whatever path, whatever stage of their learning.
    * a place where Pagans discuss issues with tolerance and respect for others.
    * made for the community and by the community.
    * a place where followers of other religions are welcome if they show respect and tolerance.
    * a neutral forum with no “site line” or “site view”.

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    Being the best pagan forum on the internet.

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  1. Many of us will remember that moment. We might have been walking through a woodland, standing on the top of a hill or mountain, seated beside a waterfall, or maybe simply walking in the centre of the city, but something changes. It can be like a second set of eyes opens and we see the world for the first time. The illusion that created the human construct of modern life falls away. Sometimes this can be utterly enthralling, but for others it can be debilitating and frightening. All of those things we held to be true about our lives, about money, work, security, about what is truly important dissolves, and we find ourselves feeling separate from that human world, but with so much more potential and connection to literally everything else. I remember that moment and it was the first time I became aware of the power of magic. I had always loved fantasy fiction, with its wizards and dragons, but suddenly seeing that power surrounding everything, well, life could never be the same again. It’s like those old stories that say we should never eat the Food of Fearie. Some believe this is because you will be trapped in their Realm forever, but the more I considered this piece of Lore, the more it became obvious that it was because once those other eyes have opened, they can never again be closed. Things will utterly change, and we can never go back to the way life was before. That the Food of Faerie is the nourishment of the Otherworld and of Magic, a potent energy that is all around us, all the time. Opening those eyes is like taking a seat at the Round Table, but our seat is the one marked Perilous. That is where my mind was going when I wrote The Cauldron Born. Once those eyes are opened the hill outside of town may call us on the night of the Full Moon. We drive to the base of the hill, then walk up the steady slope to stand upon its peak, overlooking the town below. Car headlights move along roads lit by yellow street lamps far below. The world of humanity continues without you. There on the top of the hill, bathed in the light of the Moon, you raise your arms. It’s the first time you’ve done this. Truly opened to the power of magic. “I call to the Powers of Land, Sea and Sky, of Dragon, of Fearie, and Shades of the Night! I call to my Ancestors of Blood and of Bone! Of Womb, and Tomb, and Standing Stone!” The distant sound of cars fades away in that instant. The light of the town in the valley below disappears, and you are left alone, standing, arms raised to the Moon, alone yet at peace with all life, open to the consciousness that is within all things, from the blade of grass beneath your feet, to the endless darkness of the Universe above. Bathed in the light of the Moon, there on sacred earth. Then a thought. If I feel this way there must be others too. But where are they? I wrote this song in 2007. Social media was only really just being born, so the way we used to meet was to seek out a local pub moot. There began the quest for others. At that moot may have been the leaders of a local Coven or Grove. Maybe the moot organised open rituals. That connection felt upon the hill alone begins to spread among others of your kind. Bringing humans into that relationship can sometimes be a disappointment – many of us have been there too – but sharing our thoughts and feelings about our Pagan path with others is incredibly valuable. These days maybe the first thing we do is go on Facebook and find Pagan groups. Pagans have embraced the Internet since its earliest days. There were Pagan Newsgroups, then email lists, then message boards, and most of those have now been killed off by the behemoth that is Facebook. However, one thing I’ve noticed over the years is that we are not often at our best on the Internet. I wonder how many people new to the Path are scared away by the brashness with which we sometimes communicate via our illuminated screens. Who knows. I would always still recommend seeking out contact with people directly through a moot, or a conference, or open ritual, if you can, but I digress… Time moves on, and one day we find ourselves standing upon that same hill, in circle with friends, all arms raised, chanting those same words, declaring our love for Land, Sea, Sky, for our Ancestors, the Dragon Energy of the Earth, and the Realm of the Fae. We have found others, just like you. Group work can be incredibly powerful, but never forget that this connection is always a personal one. A magical group can add to our spirituality and our Pagan path, but from my experience if we come to rely too much on the group, and begin to let our own personal connection slip, that can lead to difficulties. Even if we are in a group, keep that daily personal practice going. There is one more verse in the song. About a Charm of Silver being laid upon the hand of a Gypsy, and a following prophecy. I’ve been asked many times about this verse and whether it is in any way autobiographical. Well I’ll come clean. Yes it is. I was 17 and on my lunch break. I worked in a factory in Burgess Hill and I was in the Martletts town centre with my buddy Mick who was from Orkney. We were looking at cassette tapes to listen to during the afternoon at work. As we walked through the town there was a Gypsy woman standing just outside WH Smiths. She held a hand-woven basket and in the basket were little charms of heather, wrapped up in silver foil. She caught my eye and smiled at me, so I walked over. “You have the eyes of someone who knows,” she said. “Let me tell you what I see.” She held out her hand. “A charm of silver and I’ll tell you.” I gave her a 50p piece – the ‘charm of silver’ I had on me at the time. She smiled and closed her hand around the coin. “Give me your hand,” she said. Her fingers traced the lines on my hand, her eyes opened wide, then she looked me straight in the eyes. “All of this you see around you is a construction. One day you will see through this illusion, and you will see into the Dream.” She let go of my hand, smiled, and gave me one of the charms from her basket. I’ve never forgotten that moment, and as my pen moved across the paper writing this song, it all came flooding back to me, and the verse was written. The song was complete. View the full article
  2. We tend to think of sigils for manifesting certain things (a new job, to draw love, to help finish a project) or performing designated tasks (protection, luck, healing). But they can be designed and employed to help guide us for bigger tasks as well. Here, Laura Tempest Zakroff, author of the new Sigil Witchery, provides some steps and ideas for creating a sigil to guide your entire year. View the full article
  3. Well that’s not such a big topic for a blog post is it… I was listening to the Rune Soup podcast the other day. His guest is someone I’ve heard speak before and I always find his viewpoints fascinating, and that is Dr. Rupert Sheldrake. He was essentially there to promote his new book Science and Spiritual Practices (I’ve just ordered it in hardback to take a proper look) and of course one of the topics that came up was ‘what is consciousness?’ It’s a fascinating philosophical question and is a major stumbling block for many in the materialist scientific community who seem quite happy to conclude that it is just chemical and electrical whatsits (a proper scientific term that, whatsits) firing in a ball of meat we call the brain. It’s reassuring that there are scientists for whom this is not a good enough explanation, and they are therefore continuing the conversation and research. Dr. Rupert Sheldrake is one of those. He’s quite a controversial figure, with many scientists calling his work ‘pseudo science’. In other words, he won’t just shut up and tow the party line. Keep going Mr Sheldrake. Anyway… There seems to be a growing number of materialist scientists for whom the electrical ball of meat theory is also beginning to show weakness. To take a small step away from that theory, some are now using the term ‘Panpsychism’ to describe how they are viewing consciousness. Panpsychism is: In philosophy, panpsychism is the view that consciousness, mind or soul (psyche) is a universal and primordial feature of all things. Panpsychists see themselves as minds in a world of mind. It’s not a new idea. In fact it’s a very ancient one that was popular for a long time, until the rise of ‘logical positivism’. The recognition of the very hard problem of defining consciousness has brought it right back. It’s a good place to start the discussion again. But back to the discussion on the podcast. So according to Panpsychism, consciousness is within everything. From the whale all the way to the electron. The human mind, being one of the greatest concentrations of electrons on the planet, makes us aware of our own consciousness. At least by our own definition of what makes consciousness. This struck me as very Animistic. That everything has consciousness – from the pebble to the mountain, from the raindrop to the ocean. Replace consciousness with the word Spirit and it’s getting very close to the way I know many Pagans view things. But then he went on. He said that this really was just phase one of the discussion – the door had simply been opened. Because if an electron held consciousness, and the human brain was one of the most intricate conglomerations of electrons on Earth, we then must eventually look away from the Earth. If the electron is conscious. Then the Sun must also be conscious. And because it is so huge, much much bigger than a human brain, maybe the Sun is aware of what is happening on the Earth. If the Sun’s electrons are conscious, then the Universe must also be conscious. The Earth is also conscious. Boom. This is something ancient religions, spiritualities, and indigenous peoples have been saying for thousands of years. It’s something I know many of the readers of this blog also believe. We might not express it in exactly the same way, but that’s it. For some years now I have heard the Sun dismissed as simply a giant ball of gas. Well I guess it is. But it has always been so much more to me. I like the fact that some scientists are beginning to explore these areas again, not just Dr. Sheldrake. Of course some in materialist science will dismiss it all as woo, as is their want. In the mean time rituals will be held, chants will be sung, candles lit, prayers made, consciousness made one with consciousness. A chalice of wine held aloft to the full moon, and the moon is aware of those rituals on Earth. White candles lit in honour of the snowdrop, and the returning Spring at Imbolc, and the Earth is aware of those acts too. Dr. Sheldrake’s book is arriving tomorrow. I can’t wait to dive right in. View the full article
  4. An intercepted sign in an astrological chart occurs when a sign is totally contained in one of the houses and does not appear on the cusp of a house. When a sign is intercepted, the sign opposite it will be intercepted, as well. So, what do these intercepted signs mean in our astrological charts? View the full article
  5. By what measure do you love? Most of us probably keep some score of reciprocity, monitoring whether or not others are giving as much as we are in our relationships. How can we move past this to living and breathing love in our daily lives? Jennie Lee, author of Breathing Love, explains how meditation can bring us to a place of divine love in our daily lives. View the full article
  6. Well 2018 is here so happy new year to you all! I hope you had as relaxing a break for Yule and New Year as is possible. I always think it will be relaxing but this particular holiday is always a bit of a rollercoaster, a very nice rollercoaster though, with plenty of family, love, good food and drink. One of my annual rituals is to spend New Year’s Eve in reflection of the past year. Recapitulating the Journey and where the year took me. I think 2017 can be summed up as personally wonderful, internationally politically dreadful, at least from my perspective. I’m not going to dwell on the political events of 2017 here though. I know that New Year’s Eve is a bit of an arbitrary date, but to me it’s incredibly important to have that sense of renewal, and a good part of that is the opportunity to leave stuff behind, and look forward with hope and positivity. So the new cycle has begun, and I’m very interested to see where it will take us. I gave up writing new year resolutions many years ago. Instead I give myself new year goals – things that I’d like to achieve, things I’d like to do, changes I’d like to make in my life. For me it’s a map, and without it I’m not sure I’d know where to point my wand. Last year saw the recording and launch of the first of four albums that will tell the tales of the Four Branches of the Mabinogion. The First Branch came out in September and I’m so pleased to say was extremely well received. 2018 will see the launch of The Second Branch. At the moment I’m not going to say exactly when. I had been working on the idea that it too will arrive in the Autumn, but in truth it’s too early to say. I’ve written the spoken word story already – at least the first draught. I’ve decided where the songs will go to enhance the tale, and I have a good idea what each song will be about. So in the next couple of weeks recording will begin. So that will take up a lot of my studio time in 2018. It doesn’t look like I’ll be getting over to the USA this year. I have at least one USA date for 2019, and also an Australian tour with Spiral Dance on the cards, but this year my overseas gigs are mainly in Europe. I’ll be playing in the Czech Republic, Austria, and the Netherlands in May. The Czech date is at the BMWC camp, then a gig in Vienna, then onto the OBOD International camp in the Netherlands for more music and workshops. In the UK I’m already booked for the Enchanted Market evening gig in Bracknell; I’m giving a talk and workshop at this year’s Occult Conference in Glastonbury; a concert at this year’s AnderidaFest in Sussex; evening entertainment at the PF Devon and Cornwall conference; a gig on my birthday at the Three Wishes Faerie festival in Cornwall – the organisers are even putting on a birthday party for me as part of the festival!; I’ll be at Pagancon Preston, the Mercian Gathering, and the Artemis Gathering too. No Witchfest this year but the COA have something in the works. If you want to find out about tickets for any of these events you can find links on my concerts page. Following the success of last year’s mini tour with Spiral Dance I also plan to play some tour dates in the UK this year, so do keep an eye on the concerts page, but I’ll also let you know through the blog and eNewsletter. I’m really looking forward to 2018 and the adventure it will bring. Thank you 2017, now let’s get going! View the full article
  7. Crystals are a powerful way to align and balance the energy of our bodies. Even simply wearing crystals can have an effect on us. Similarly, through the placement of crystals in our homes, we can attract prosperity, augment relationships, and initiate changes in our lives. Here, 365 Days of Crystal Magic author Sandra Kynes provides crystals to fine-tune your home's energy throughout the year. View the full article
  8. Richard Webster, having had hundreds of readings - from tarot card reading to aura reading to banana peel reading - in his life, and studied and written about numerous types of divination, is a self-proclaimed divination addict. Tassomancy? Check. I Ching? Check. Geomancy? Check. Here, Richard discusses his lifetime with divination and what inspired him to write the new Llewellyn's Complete Book of Divination. View the full article
  9. Tonight, the longest of the year, in the northern hemisphere is a time for hope. I bless us all with hope, with joy, with light to illuminate the way forward, and with a sense of curiosity that pushes us to search out answers for every question. Happy solstice, summer or winter, and many, many blessing to you. View the full article
  10. The New Year is a great time to add a new energy clearing technique to your home. As we integrate positive changes for the upcoming year, creating a crystal grid in your home can really shift the energy in it. This crystal grid exercise, adapted from Discovering the Healer Within by Anysia Marcell Kiel, is perfect to cleanse your home as you begin the new year. View the full article
  11. This photo of the mistletoe hanging from a tree with the Long Man of Wilmington in the distance was taken at this year’s Anderida Gorsedd open Winter Solstice ritual and to me sums up this time of year. Well my friends 2017 is drawing to a close and that means it’s time for my annual break from the blog and social media. Thank you for your support during 2017, for downloading DruidCast, listening to and buying my music, coming to the open rituals, singing along at the shows, the emails and comments on the blog, and so much more. I thought you might like to listen to this too – The Colloquy of the Oak and Holly King, at the Winter Solstice. (visit original article to see this content) Have the most wonderful Solstice, and a blessed New Year, and I will see you again in 2018! xxxxxxx View the full article
  12. Let the darkness of the longest night hold me, Let the peace of the Winter Earth enfold me, Gently, In silence, Resting in the embrace of soil, On a bed of fallen leaves, My Mother, sleeping, breathes. Free my mind of restlessness, Show me not what tomorrow will bring, As I lay in this moment of stillness, In complete and utter acceptance I sing. I hear the melody of a year in whispered voices, Let not my thoughts of the past be clouded, With wishes and future choices, Only this moment, And my honouring of a year nearly gone, In harmony with the Sun, And Winter’s sweet, sweet song. View the full article
  13. This year has been rough. Dreams have evaporated. Hope has been stretched thin. People have shown themselves to be less than I gave them credit for, and support systems have frayed. Through it all, I have been feeling pretty awful. I've neglected lots of things that made me happy int he past, and now, I have regrets. Tonight is the last new moon of this calendar year, and I intend to use it to set my intentions for the coming cycle. New moons are great times for beginnings. Under a cold, clear sky, I will remind myself that I love the sky- dark and full of stars, blue with fluffy clouds, grey with rain and fog, wild with thunderstorms. I will remember that the light always returns, literally and metaphorically. I will write down the new things to try and old things to let go of. I am going to try to wrestle my life back into order, and I choose to start now. I hope you can pause in your holiday preparations and take a few minutes to join me. Go outside, if it's safe (or look out a window, if the weather isn't cooperative), and breath in the crisp air. Let starlight soak into your eyes, skin, and heart. Feel the sold earth beneath you. Let this moonless night be a beginning. Write down your intentions for starting new habits or new projects. Think about what you want or need to change, and make an agreement with yourself to try it. Good luck and many blessings to you on this New Moon! I hope you emerge from it with ideas, energy, and the will to make things better. View the full article from "A Cauldron Full of Stars"
  14. Shownotes for DruidCast Episode 129 Chasing Shadows – Sam Kelly and the Lost Boys – http://www.samkelly.org Questions from the audience – Philip Carr-Gomm at OBOD East Coast Gathering 2017 – http://www.philipcarr-gomm.com The Blacksmith – Loxley – http://www.loxleyfolkband.co.uk The Mari Llwyd – Chris Wood – http://chriswoodmusic.co.uk The Rose – Sam Kelly and the Lost Boys – http://www.samkelly.org Tea with Philip – https://www.facebook.com/druidry DruidCast theme – Hills they are Hollow – Damh the Bard – https://www.paganmusic.co.uk For more information about the Druid tradition – https://www.druidry.org View the full article
  15. The secret country of yourself is your unique inner cosmos. Your visions and dreams happen there; it is the birthplace of inspiration. There you may engage with your past and future selves, dance the fire with your spirit guides, connect to the archetypes that make up your personal pantheon. The possibilities are endless! Here, The Secret Country of Yourself author Jenya T. Beachy illustrates 11 of the places you'll visit on your journey to transformation. View the full article