“You Are Doing Pagan Wrong!” and “Does Our Religion Work?” Blogging

A very thought provoking and moving post on what we as Pagans not only believe , but also how we enact those beliefs and live them in our daily lives and in our relationship with nature and the earth.


Ukrainian young women dressed in traditional clothing jump over a fire at a traditional Midsummer Night celebration near the capital Kiev late Monday July 6, 2009. The age-old pagan festival is still celebrated in Ukraine and many people believe that jumping over the fire will cleanse them of evil spirits. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky) Ukrainian young women dressed in traditional clothing jump over a fire at a traditional Midsummer Night celebration near the capital Kiev late Monday July 6, 2009. The age-old pagan festival is still celebrated in Ukraine and many people believe that jumping over the fire will cleanse them of evil spirits. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

I’m inclined to agree with Anne Niven about this:

I do not believe that the [Goddesses and] Gods rekindled the fires of their worship at this fraught moment in history just so we could carp endlessly at one another. What’s more, all of this fractious in-fighting is going to look a lot like a “fiddling-while-Rome-burns” farce very soon. I’m no climate scientist, so I’ll put away the crystal ball, but when — in five years, or fifteen, or fifty — climate change sweeps away our baroque cultural crenelations, no one is going to give a good…

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In the news…

Normally I don’t remark much on social commentary or the news but when a friend sent me an early press release concerning the tragedy that took place in Florida in which three people were brutally and senselessly slain I was appalled on several levels . First off my heart goes out to the family and friends of those that were so tragically killed. That kind of horrendous act is almost impossible to grasp and my prayers are with those whose lives were taken and with their family and friends now grieving. Secondly I am appalled at the way the initial news reports were worded, per a spokesman for the investigating Sheriff’s office , seeming to link this tragedy with a ritual killing tied to Wicca. In this day and age there is simply no excuse for that kind of misinformation , at best the words were poorly chosen and that is being kind. I can see something like this being said back in the 1970’s or 1980’s when reliable information regarding Wicca and Witchcraft was just coming to light and reaching the public at large, but this is 2015 and for anyone to be so misinformed as to draw a correlation between a brutal killing and Wiccan ritual practices is frankly incomprehensible and inexcusable. We have come such a long way in regards to acceptance and understanding but apparently that old adage about the “Price of freedom being eternal vigilance” still holds true. Having said that I want to applaud the efforts of so many who have come forward both individuals and organizations , like the excellent coverage done on the Patheos blog article linked below, to address this issue and correct the misinformation that clouded the early news report. As I said at the beginning of this I rarely remark much on what’s in the news but if Lord Shawnus were still with us he would have posted on this the moment it reached his attention and so wanted to do the same. Yes , we have come a long way and made tremendous strides in public awareness but there is clearly still much farther to go. BB, Aren


In Memory of Lord Shawnus Merlin Belarion Elder 3rd* High Priest of The Coven Of The Catta

It is with great sadness that I write this post in memory of my dear friend and teacher Lord Shawnus Merlin Belarion Elder 3rd* High Priest of the Coven of the Catta. I received a call from Lady Ember Willow Hawk 3rd* High Priestess of the COC letting me know that he had passed into the Summerland on the 1st of July 2015 on the eve of the Thunder Full Moon. To those of us who knew him we were Blessed to have in him a loyal and true friend who was steadfast and always there when you needed him. His sense of humor and wit , though sometimes risqué , was always in good spirit and he truly believed in the tenets of compassion and kindness. He lived an incredible life , receiving not only his three degrees into the Coven Of the Catta and serving as it’s Elder High Priest for the past three decades but also receiving Tibetan Buddhist empowerments and initiations into Vajrakilaya , Avalokitesvara , White Tara and Phowa . He told me once he had been a Priest in three religions , Buddhism , Wicca and also having received initiation many years ago as a Priest of Anubis. Despite all of that , or perhaps because of it , he was a kind and gentle man who after working his whole life in the medical field upon retirement due to a persistent illness that he constantly battled was devoted to caring for the land and for the creatures great and small that lived upon it. He was fiercely intelligent and could talk for hours on any given subject that you could imagine and shared his knowledge freely and generously with so many of us. He worked tirelessly to preserve the Coven of the Catta and it’s teachings ensuring they were passed on to others and are alive and well and thriving. Due to him the founders of the Coven of the Catta , Dr Frederick Lamotte Santee and Lady Phoebe will never be forgotten , through his books and blog posts people all around the world have read about them and their story. Now it is up to us , we who knew him and called him friend and all those who have followed his blogs and writings to preserve and carry on the memory of a true Priest of the Goddess ,with whom he now rests. He is and will be greatly missed.

BB, Aren

Jesus Mary Buddha and Moonfower

Snapped these yesterday so i am trying hard to update this blog with the pics i take instead of falling 6 weeks behind as before. Blessings and Enjoy.

The light was so ambiently perfect for this shot of various Christian crucifixes and such on this altar on the top floor of the former Hex Haus which is now the White House of Prayer. The top center one hanging is solid brass with gold plating, the bottom left is a rare old crucifix that has round wood and is probably Dominican, the brass paten is the lamen of Bernard who was a Benedictine and probably came from an old Catholic or Orthodox church at some time, i having found it at a flea market. Bottom center is an emergency last rites cross one hung in one’s house in case someone was dying and a Priest could not get there and it slides open with the cross standing in the base and in that base is hidden two blessed white candles and some holy water and oil. To the right is a bronze statue of Jesus of the Sacred Heart and on the left a nice glass bell and to the right a vial from Dr Santee’s library which i found a Templar cross glass stopper for at once again a flea market and i think the people just gave it to me. I keep holy water from various churches in it. In front of them is an Austrian crystal ball that Lady Phoebe gave me. The old box i found in my late Dad’s attic to his garage and restored it. I have tones of old boxes like that from him and my Grampa.

13 June (1)

The stumps of wood my bro gave me after building his mountain cabin on stilts. The blue Buddha is from a broken wind chime. And the candle is of course Our Lady of Guadalupe formerly Coatlelupia an Aztec serpent Goddess. They painted over the snakes at her feet with angels.

13 June (2)

About a week or so ago i was weeding out my mum’s flower pots I found this small moonflower aka datura aka jimson weed aka a powerful ethnogen. It only blooms at night with wonderful stinky white flowers, like rough soil, and likes being planted in the west, which is what i did and here is the first bloom starting out. It may totally bloom tonight or tomorrow night and i will post that.

14 June

6 Weeks in the Life of an Appalachian Witch – Part 4

Part 4 of my photos from the last 6 weeks

Double bell tower from the old White Church in Wapwallopen

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The Red Church in Wapwallopen behind TIK across the street from Lady Persephone

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The old White Church now dilapidated behind the Red Church.

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The corn field TIK took me to where there are lots of AmerIndian burials. He said in this field they found graves that are paleolithic and the bodies were encased in clay sarcophagi which is unheard of in this part of the country but they did it to preserve them from floods in this alluvial field by the Susquehanna river.

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TIK walking towards the Knouse burial site where when PPL was putting in the concrete bases for the huge power lines from the nuclear power plan they found burials and they wanted to hide them but He stopped them for two years whilst JC as an archeology student helped dig them up. Now most of the burial remains are in the state museum in Harrisburg PA. This is also the site where Dr Santee and Lady Phoebe and the whole town watched and where she told them to dig at a certain spot and they would find a female with beads and they did and she was right on.

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The Knouse Site.

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Fredna Falls named by Fred and Fredna aka Dr Santee and Lady Phoebe. This is very hard to spot along the road near Santee’s grave.

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One of the beautiful old grave markers in the Santee graveyard.

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TIK graciously gave me a copy of Dr Santee’s book, mine having been lost when i lent it to someone who never returned and then moved to Maine. Thanks TIK as this mean a lot to me.

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I left this drawer of closes open and Shadow Cat found it. Mmmmm so comfy !

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Stained glass window of Jesus as a child teaching in the Temple, from the old German Lutheran church of St Michael in downtown Harrisburg.

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Bear claw marks in the maple behind my house where i surprised a 400+ pound bear and it fled up the tree and i walked within touching distance unaware he was up there because i was looking around with the flashlight 360 and down into the stream. After i walked maybe 10 feet away i saw him, screamed and ran to my neighbors LOL.

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Wild Foxglove from where digitalis comes.

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I want to get this Satanicke tattoo which is the alchemical symbol for sulfur but i also want to get mercury and salt too.

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After running back to my house around front i stepped out of my steal back door and snapped this poor pic of the bear who stayed in the tree for around 45 minutes.Copyright2015GLHoke (45)

A natural cave in a tall cliff just south of Northumberland PA

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A lovely old heavy concrete statue we have named Hyacinthe after the flower she is holding which is actually a fountain i have to hook up. I spotted this in front of a house in town and the lady was going to just give it to me but her i wanted to give her at lease $5 which was all i had on me but her husband wanted $10 so i took her home and told him i would bring the other $5 and sold something and gave it to him later that night, me being a man of my word, he being a greedy sob.

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This tree at the nearby cemetery looks to me like a face of some being trying to rise from the grave.

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A beautiful bench gravestone at sunset.

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My dwarf Japanese maple surrounded by Ajuga.

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Does a bear shit in the woods? Yes, and here’s proof. BTW they are constipated when they come out of hibernation and eat skunk cabbage as a laxative so the first poops are hard. I showed this to my neighbor and he said “Well if it is still warm then slowly walk away” LOL

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Well, i am Finally done posting the last 6 weeks of pictures and i hope the few people who read this blog enjoy them. Blessings.