Which of you is an activist?

What is/are your cause/s?

How did you get into it?

What form does your activism take?

How are you feeling about your activism &/or your cause(s) at the moment?

What do you do (if anything) to keep from being burnt out?

Is there anything else you want to add?

My own responses in a reply, in due course.

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I am NOT a jewelry-maker. At all. I purchased this piece…but I didn’t know where else to put a thread where we could share new or favorite pieces. So here goes:

I saw this at the booth of a vendor at NYC’s Pagan Pride festival today, and it called out to me. It’s simple–a big, black glass bauble (from something called the Sonora Witchcraft Market, apparently) turned into a necklace by mounting a medallion to the back. Flip it over, and there’s a pentagram of protection.

I thought, “This will be awesome to wear when I’m reveling in the presence of Night”–my most sorcerous deity, a dark god of the unknown and the underworld. A good necklace for new moons and the winter solstice; you can bet I’ll be wearing it for this year’s Up All Night.

Thinking I should wear it for the upcoming new moon, I googled when that would be once I got home with it. It turns out, the exact moment of the new moon was within an hour of when I bought the necklace. I’m taking that as an auspicious sign.

So what are your newest or favorite pieces, particularly pagan-related? Show us your bling!

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NYC Pagan Pride 2019 – September 28, 2019

Hey, NYC Cauldronites!

I’m going to be at NYC Pagan Pride this Saturday, September 28, 10 am – 6 pm, at Battery Park.  I’ll be representing Clann Bhride ( at an info table.

If you’re going to be there, stop by the Clann Bhride table and say hi!  I’d love to meet you!  I’ll be the one with the curly grey hair, wearing a Clann Bhride t-shirt.  (When you introduce yourself, please let me know you’re from TC.)

Hope to see you there!

~ Aster

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An article on Odin as a queer god

Twitter thread from the article author starts here:

The article itself can be found here but I don’t know how to get access to it.

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Advice and Resources in creating a reading/oracle system with an art deck

Earlier this year I bought The Halloween Treat Deck (1st Edition) from tarotbyseven, which is described as “80 Vintage Samhain images playfully assembled with the original border artwork of Seven Stars,” and “Fun images & poetry to use as you wish or just to look at,” and its sequel as “NOT a Tarot deck – however, it makes a fun oracle.”

I’m in the meat of working on figuring out how I want to read it and am looking for some advice.

I sorted it into rough suits (just cards of the same theme, to keep organizing them easier, esp because I like to keep my decks in order), picked out the themes and images from each card, and am now working on a compendium of various meanings for the symbols used, and I’m planning the next step to be taking those meanings, some divination, and more research, to work with the imagery on each card and sort out how those come together to create card meanings.

The main things I need help with are fairly legitimate sources (especially free ones) of meanings for the more obscure symbols, or images that don’t tend to be ascribed meaning (especially if you know a good article or book on Halloween-specific or monster-specific history and symbology). I’ve been using encyclopedias, various etymology, witchcraft-specific books and encyclopedias, and stuff like dream dictionaries and scrying and tea leaf symbols to try and bring this together.

I also probably could use some suggestions on how to actually put together some reading methods (or at least ones to get started with until some more specific ones develop over time).

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Magic in Music

As I’m preparing a playlist for a non-pagan Halloween party,, I’ve been mulling over songs that have an air of magic about them, particularly those that were not intentionally created as such. I’m still forming some thoughts around the subject, but would love to hear what other Cauldronites think about it.

What songs do you find to be magical that weren’t written specifically for that intent (e.g. not hymns, chants, etc)?  What is it about those songs that give them a sense of magic and power?  Is it the lyrics, the arrangement, the singer/musicians, or some combination of those things? For my fellow animists, do you think musical compositions have souls or an independent existence of their own?

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Real Magical Creatures

No, I’m not talking unicorns, griffins, et al. Maybe this is my bias as a nature-oriented pagan who sees the divine manifest in us and the world around us, but to me, if there’s real magic in certain creatures, it resides in “everyday” living things who are somehow so singular and so awe-inspiring that to have an encounter with them is to feel one has been brushed by real magic.

I *think* this means we’ll be restricted to talking about kinds of living things we’ve personally encountered, not just read about or seen featured on a nature documentary. But maybe someone can make a convincing argument otherwise.

Here are my nominations. (There are more, but this is a good start)

Hummingbirds. Tiny wonders. Fierce. Unique. Awesome.

Large butterflies. Monarchs, swallowtails, or if one’s been lucky enough to visit the wilds of Central America, the enormous blue morphos. It feels like they’re spreading a bit of divine grace wherever they suddenly turn up.

Other nominees?

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It needed a thread.

I have 3 questions:

1) Do you think this will snowball to the point that even Republican senators will begin to defect, and Chump gets kicked to the curb?

2) If not, and craven Republicans continue to back a critter who’s clearly unfit as they’re currently doing–and therefore the Senate does not take this up–what do you think the effects of a House vote to impeach will be?

3) I’m told Chump has something like a 90% approval rating among Republicans. I’m sincerely interested, if anyone here thinks they can speak to this, as to why that is. What makes him so popular with that electorate?

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Reading the Mahabharata

At the boyfriend’s suggestion, we’re simulreading the Mahabharata, the great Indian epic. We’re still in the very beginning, where the various incarnations of gods and lineages of personages are being explicated in great detail (equivalent to the Christian Bible’s “begats,” I would say).

But one thing I find extremely confusing is the hierarchy of the Hindu gods. No doubt this is because of the long history of the Hindu pantheon and shifting sects through the centuries…but still, I’m hoping that someone can shed some light:

–Brahma is described as the “grandfather of the gods,” “origin of all beings,” and “senior” to the other gods…

–…Indra is said to be “the king of the gods”…

–…yet Vishnu (incarnated as Krishna) is said in the intro to be “supreme lord of all” and the central god of the Mahabharata

I’m familiar with the concept of the Trimurti–three gods as aspects of one–which would seem to place Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva as of equal rank. Yet here we seem to have competing ideas of who the supreme god is. Can anyone help me make sense of this?

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