Creating a Living Altar to the Dark Goddess

1915788_381178713714_3674330_nIn Hindu Tantra we find beautifully powerful mantra, rituals, and protocols devised to align the practitioner with the Divine and enliven a murti (statue) for worship. Join this workshop to come closer to understanding one of the world’s oldest living traditions of Goddess veneration and devotion. Discover the building blocks of Her five-fold nature as followed on the Sha’can path and begin to connect the seeds of ancient truths to your own worship of a chosen Dark Goddess. Our time together will endeavor to set shared understanding of Dark Goddess and from there deepen into personal exploration through the qualities sacred to Her to learn how we can both experience and come to know Her more deeply in service to self and world. All are welcome.

Death and Dying from a Pagan Perspective – Spiritually, Emotionally, and Practically

I share various approaches to preparing for death as a Pagan and Pagan families, focusing on:
End of Life Midwifery and Rites; laws and rights we have as humans & Pagans, before and after death; what can we do with the body; the real grief process (briefly); and -the biggest part of the class- the actual business end of things, with a particular emphasis on MUST-HAVE documents for everyone, but especially for Pagans. I cover from pre-death final days in hospital / home / hospice settings, through the death process itself – when the family is present, in ‘ideal’ circumstances, – to post-funerary rites and beyond, to the actual forms and needs of the bureaucracy of being the survivor.

Be Thou Aphrodite: Workshop and Ritual

The workshop will focus on empowering the cauldron of creative force, inspiration and raw potential we call womb space. We understand womb space to be the cauldron of creative force accessible to all people across the gender spectrum. and hope to foster an inclusive atmosphere.

We will facilitate discussion and lead exercises around the connection between radical self love and acceptance, with compassion, empathy, and resilient communities, while exploring ways to use the drive to create as a tool in both intimate and personal work, as well as healing and empowering the people as a collective force.

The workshop will be followed by a ritual Invocation of Aphrodite who guides us in this work. Aphrodite inspires and guides this core, creative force with love and innocence, strength and transformative vulnerability.

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Deep Mythology: making meaningful sense of myth and integration into personal practice

IMG_2139Part of the pleasure of Polytheism is having the entire ancient world as a tome of wisdom, rather than a single book or tradition. Yet approaching mythology can be a little overwhelming: there are so many stories, deities and potential lessons that it is hard to know where to begin. What do we do when our Gods are clearly unethical in a myth? How does myth interact with ritual? How do we approach the myth when it seems so nonsensical and out of touch with today’s world? In this lecture, you’ll discover the different categories of myth, how to utilize depth psychology to uncover deep meaning (that doesn’t interfere with your beliefs), and how to discover your personal mythology and bring it in alignment with your religious practice.

Fire on the Mountain: Polytheist/Animist Landscape Practice

Fire on the mountain is an enduring spiritual motif. For polytheists living on the ring of fire that is the volcanic Cascade Mountain Range, the fire on the mountain takes on a very chthonic meaning. Mountains often portrayed as powerful female creators and land shapers like the Cailleach and Brigit. Ella Young the Irish druidess poet came to America and worshiped Mt. Shasta as Brigit. Polytheists drawn to mountains take the lead of the landscape itself in how to interact with their spirits, listen to local legends and the warning of taboos, gather tools and magic items nearby and observe the ever evolving stories of the fiery mountains in their devotion and magic. In this presentation we will discuss building relationships with mountains, ethically collecting powerful materials for your practice, and how to honor and respect your landscape through an old world lens with respect to indigenous taboos and culture.

Mni Wiconi Panel & Poetry

received_10211602188467451Olympia Witches March organizer and author Lennée Reid joins a native panel of activists who will open in traditional song and prayer. We will speak about Mni Wiconi and how everyone is indigenous, as well as our experiences at Standing Rock. After the panel and Q&A Lennée will close out our time with some powerful witchy performance poetry from her new book “Universal State of Mind” and album “The Second Coming of Matriarchy”.

Blessed Be! Mni Wiconi!
We Are One!

Jupiter Optimus Maximus Dolichenus: a presentation and ritual

OwenCook--Magog_2016-09-04_20.10.47Jupiter Optimus Maximus Dolichenus (IOMD) was the first ‘oriental’ deity to hit it big in the Roman Empire. Though he has (undeservedly!) fallen into comparative obscurity, IOMD was popular in Roman military units from the Danube to Britain and North Africa, helping pave the way for the mysteries of Mithras. He attracted an eclectic group of worshippers, including civilians and women, high-born and low. There is every reason to think that IOMD—a north Syrian storm-god—directly continued on from the Syro-Hittite storm-gods from the same area who have much of the same distinctive iconography. Over the centuries, IOMD has been syncretized with numerous deities, from Zeus and Ba‘al Hadad to the Egyptian Seth. His cult companions are similarly varied, including Juno, Silvanus, Serapis, Isis, and Apollo. This presentation will give an overview of the history, context, and wider significance of the worship of IOMD. It will also culminate in a brief ritual component which, while not mandatory, will involve sharing food!

Hexing the Patriarchy: the first hex is within

Blackcat_2017Society is contrived on a variety of ideals, some laudable, many
unnecessarily structurally oppressive. Both oppressions and benefits from
dominant cultural paradigms may be internalized by individuals. The
result leading to an identity of victimhood or an identity of entitlement.

Witches have neither identify. Witches act to create, to bend, to shape,
to grow, to cull and to cut. We stand integrated between the worlds.

The word hex is related to the German word Hexe meaning “witch.” Let us
witch up our internal landscape to banish outmoded patriarchal notions
such as prescribed gender roles, value based on stereotype, and false
natural hierarchy. As a result, we will have improved integrity, be more
congruent, more healthy, and stronger.

Join us as we invoke the Goddess Diana to aid us in our magic, and inspire
us to adopt the role of Aradia in our own time.

Dreams Among the Ruins: Building Resilient Polytheist Communities

09LowResTimes of crisis are also times of great opportunity for those who are prepared and have the will to act. Many of us, however, face this time of great change feeling unprepared, anxious, despairing, or constantly on guard against the next assault. As the status quo crumbles around us, we can draw upon our practices and communities to nurture the world we desire.

In this workshop, we will discuss how we can root into our practices and relationships to build strong, resilient, liberatory communities in deep relationship to our Gods. We will focus on identifying material needs and resources, unifying practices, and aligning our human work with that of our Gods.

Advancing Devotional Practice

13620334_1785373295029576_2836889039588679742_nDevotional practice in polytheism typically begins at the altar, but where does it end? Where exactly does this path have the potential to lead? Advancing a devotional practice past the first few years takes a lot of dedication. Questions are an inevitable part of practices that become increasingly challenging to clearly define.

This session will take a close look at some of the trials and triumphs associated with long term devotional practice in a modern polytheist context. By identifying these challenges, we can start demystifying the nature of the devotional path and make it more accessible to all practitioners. This guided discussion is an opportunity to discover strategies that can us address the unexpected obstacles arising on this path.

(Discussion participation is encouraged, but not required. To promote a trusting atmosphere, we ask that attendees arrive no later than five minutes after start; participants may leave quietly at any time.)