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Occasionally I wandered in where I was not wanted and gave truthful answers.
Sometimes I even did it deliberately. A little disruption now can prevent disaster later.

Contemporary paganism

I use pictures available on the web. I don't mess with consent forms. I don't show photos of sex. I don't show photos of naked kids.



Why I haven't been talking about the pagan part of me lately



This is a page from the third version of Technopagan Yearnings. There are some formatting differences. Originally published at www.neowayland.com/C429302356/E1526042797

Non magickal and non religious tips to make your paganism work better

I've created a new category called Practicals.

Basically it is all the stuff that makes paganism work better without being specific to any one tradition or working.

I've moved my Harassment article there and I will make a couple of more entries tonight.

Posted: Fri - October 14, 2005 at 07:02 PM



If we wrap ourselves in sorrow and pain and misery and self-loathing, then that is exactly what we attract.

Will this solve the problem?

The Moral Guardians® have taken for themselves the exclusive power to decide who will and will not be heard. Or read. Or even mentioned.


Redux: Christians & Pagan Tolerance

A musical interlude because I have a song that won't get out of my head


On that Pagan community thing

If you promised to be someone else’s “one and only,” you’re off limits. Honor demands nothing less.
— NeoWayland, sex rules

In which body modification technology catches me by surprise

Sometimes I forget


Myth ruminations


Pagan Films Part II
- Projecting the Horror

Talkback and trackback


Doing something positive in the world

One of my (suitably edited) Dark Moon rites


NeoNote — I don't think politics should be a part of paganism

But yes, this is between you and him.
I'd rather not deal with him at all.

I don't think politics should be a part of paganism.

I know that puts me in direct opposition to the "the personal is political" crowd. I know this isn't a political site. I'd rather not see politics here at all.

There are reasons I separated my political blogging from my pagan blogging. There are reasons why there is no "politics" category at my pagan/life blog and there is only a tag for "ugh-politics" there.

Politics corrupt, especially religion. We know that from the People of the Book. Why on Earth are we so damned determined to prove it again?

When you let your politics define your personhood, there's not much room left for your personhood outside of your politics. Without your personhood, you can lose empathy and humanity.

NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.


NeoNote — Good and evil

Obviously I am not heathen, but I question that phrase "forces of darkness." Our World has both light and darkness, both are necessary for life, death, growth and renewal.

Perhaps it is just me, but I have issues with assigning good to light and evil to darkness. I probably have issues with the dualistic ideas of good and evil too. Sometimes what is "evil" for one group is "good" for another. If they are anything like the ones I've argued with, your "extreme right ideologies" probably see inclusiveness as very evil and damaging. I disagree, but it is their "evil."

Ah, now that is an interesting bit.

Bonewits pointed out that dualism, especially religious dualism, quickly shifts things to IS and IS NOT. If something IS NOT on the approved list, it is evil because the definitions and underlying assumptions don't allow any other possibility.

Long story short, without monotheism, the meaning of good and evil aren't so clear cut. It tends to be more in the nature of "this HELPS my tribe/city/nation" and "this HURTS my tribe/city/nation." It becomes relative and based on cost/benefit. It depends more on individual judgement and less on an Official List of "THOU SHALT NOTS."

But, since Bonewits is on the Disapproved List, this is just academic, right? An accused sexual predator and pedophile couldn't possibly have had good ideas…

I disagree.

I agree that unrestrained greed and unrestrained tribalism are bad. But so is unrestrained sex, unrestrained pacifism, unrestrained sugar, unrestrained sunbathing, unrestrained hair dyeing, unrestrained television, and unrestrained concrete. A little goes a long way, or as the old saying goes, moderation in all things.

Competition keeps us honest and is one big reason why we try to make things better.

*grins* I may bring the philosophy bit out. I enjoy it, I practice it, and I encourage it.

I was thinking about the Greeks and some of the philosophy of the Golden Mean, although the Buddhist version applies too.

Specifically I was thinking about self-discipline and responsibility. The Ethic of Reciprocity is usually associated with Christianity but predates Christianity and exists independently in other cultures. One of my party tricks is showing how people can build an entire social, ethical, and legal system using the EoR and without depending on authority granted from an Official Religion. And that brings us to unrestrained.

If we are talking about ethical restraints, those restraints have to be self-imposed. It's not really ethical otherwise. If a choice is imposed by force, it's not really a choice, is it?

Self-restraint goes right back to the EoR. If I want to be treated right, it's in my best interest to treat others right. We expect others to act morally and honorably. That gets into defining the Other which is a long subject. I'm going to skip that for our discussion here.

Every morning I have a glass of citrus juice with my breakfast. But it's a water glass, not a juice glass. Is that excessive? Some might say so. But it's my breakfast and my choice. As long as I am not depriving or harming others, then how is it anyone else's business?

That brings us to greed. If I want to continue having OJ, somehow I have to do something that someone else wants and is willing to pay for. With the division of labor, that becomes the free market. Voluntary exchanges between mutually consenting adults. To get what I want, I have to provide something they want.

Competition brings the second keystone of the free market: I can do better than that! Most fail, but the successes change everything.

You're absolutely right pointing out that competition doesn't mean destroying the other (odd how that word keeps cropping up). But the free market means that a company or person has to offer at least as much value as those around them, or someone else will sell.

It's not just buying and selling. Most people reading this site chose paganism or an alternative religion because that religion offered something that they couldn't get elsewhere.

One of the things I recently added to my lexicon, the two most important phrases in human history (www DOT neowayland DOT com SLASH lexicon SLASH tt SLASH #two)

“Let me help.”

“I can do better than that!”

And yes, I gave credit to Star Trek for the first.

NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.


Worst experiences with paganism


NeoNote — Excuse for sex

WebTree fire festival & cross quarter day. Harvestpoint marks the beginning of fall and the return of the dark, staring at sunset the day before the midpoint between the summer solstice and the autumnal equinox and ending at sunset on the day after (traditional three days).





I don't suppose it's really important in the overall scheme of things, but I find it unnerving.


My paganism isn't separate

If you give your passion to them, then they win. You'll always be reacting and you'll always be unhappy.
— NeoWayland

Journal 09Mar2018

Thinking by blogging
So here I sit, putting my mental house in order.

A little sketching. A lot of reading. Listening to music.

I've been so wrapped up in politics, paganism, and taking care of Mom that I didn't let my wheels spin for me.

I'm feeling more of myself.

Splitting focus really helps. But it helps even more indulging in both fiction and non-fiction. Even if the fiction is old favorites I've not read in a while.

Reading is a dying art, especially the way I do it.

I've been thinking about many things in the last few days. But I don't think I'll share them. More stuff for the private journal.

Tainted frisson

We've not had one of these in a while, have we?

I've been busy, but that is not the reason. Politics has tainted paganism in my mind and I am working to re-establish the separation.

Paganism is about the relationship between you, the World, and the Divine. Politics is not a part of that.

This author is Officially Approved this week, but that doesn't mean anything about next week. Next week it may be old fashioned. The week after there may be some scandal as defined by Today's Morality that wasn't immoral when it happened. If it happened.

This isn't new. One of my favorite symbols is the wheeled cross. But it has white supremacist connotations, so I can't use it in "public" pagan discussion. Never mind that it makes more sense to me than the pentagram. It's racist. Off limits. Not allowed.

Sex play and flirting that was allowed a decade or so ago is now denounced. And everyone who participated is expected to abase themselves before the new morality.

As this leaks more and more into how pagans act, it's less about paganism and more about doing the "right thing." Enforcing the echo chambers. Closing out dissent or contrasting opinions. Expelling all that might be tainted by immorality or evil. Part of it is politics, but it goes beyond that.

Some pagans want to change paganism from an experienced faith to a revealed faith. Something with all the bumps and twists and turns ironed out. No unexpected surprises. Nothing not previously declared. No uncomfortable truths. No juice. No frisson. Everything nice and neat and perfectly defined.

The experience has been sanitized for your protection. Truth will be revealed, but only if you do as you are told.

It has been approved by the powers-that-wanna-be.

Not necessarily the gods.

It's politics, not faith.

Some things will be revealed. If you pay attention and ask the proper questions. In the proper order. And no more. Politics will advance you more in this new pagan faith than experience.

Except those people aren't really a part of paganism.

It's about your Journey. Not about their Story.

Paganism is about the experience. The juicy, sexy, messy, screwed up experience that you struggle to make a part of your life. It's about embracing the passion. It's about where the gods point you. It's about finding and living your own way.

Paganism is about the relationship between you, the World, and the Divine. It can't be revealed, it can only be experienced.

Will you live it?

Or will you avoid the taint?

Pagan virtue signaling

A choice that is imposed is no choice. A religion that is imposed in the name of 'freedom and decency' will be neither free nor decent.
— NeoWayland


The next step depends on the focus of your faith and your choices. It's not enough to be just pagan.
— NeoWayland, Blessed Journeys

Discipline, the Modern Pagan, and power from victimhood

This is a page from the third version of Technopagan Yearnings. There are some formatting differences. Originally published at www.neowayland.com/C65989237/E20060722013450

What makes the so many modern pagans fluffy? And why don't they seem to want more?

There is an old saying that the difficult truths are the only ones that must be told.

I've tried several times in the last couple of weeks to write this post. It keeps coming out wrong. So I am going to sit here and hammer this one out once and for all so I can concentrate on other things that I want to say. It's probably going to be shorter than I wanted, but there are only so many times I can rewrite the thing.

Before I get too deep, I want to say that I absolutely despise classifying people, their abilities, and their accomplishments based on membership in some group. I am an individualist. As far as I am concerned, we are human. To understand the poisonous mindset, it's necessary to put that viewpoint aside for a bit and wade into meaningless yet influential group distinctions.

I read Shelby Steele's excellent White Guilt. While not a pagan book, it gave me excellent insight into American life over the last few decades, and helped focus some of my own realizations. Most of it doesn't apply in a pagan context, with one very important exception.

The rise of the popular forms of modern paganism are tied into the rise of the feminist movement that followed the success of the 1960s civil rights movement. Feminism (and paganism through feminism) borrowed some of the best and worst ideas of the civil rights movement for it's own purposes.

One idea was power through victimhood because of past crimes committed against one group by members of another.

Before you tell me that doesn't apply, go find someone talking about "Never again the Burning Times!"

For "power through victimhood" to be successful, it's not enough to have an "oppressed victim," there also has to be a public acknowledgment of guilt by the powerful and a lingering guilt. "PTV" gains it's moral authority only through guilt, otherwise it runs smack dab into the morals and ethics of the majority.

To simplify, American blacks had a legitimate grievance. That isn't necessarily so for American feminists, and it probably isn't so for American pagans. It is the difference between oppression and repression.

Paganism was a good way for repressed women to explore the Sacred Feminine and experience the Divine instead of having it handed to them through a patriarchal framework. Since many pagans celebrate the Female Aspects of Divinity, of course we took joy as the ladies took center stage and found themselves.

But all things have destruction wrapped in creation. The power wasn't in the victimhood. It never was. Overcoming victimhood could be the first gate to power. Some took power from the victimhood itself, never realizing that their "strength" depended entirely on the guilty pity of others. Without that guilt and pity, the "moral authority" collapsed.

This wasn't just in paganism of course. Much of Western culture and society was undergoing the same growing pangs. So to preserve the "power through victimhood" of certain groups, permanent victim groups were enshrined. Blacks first. Then other minority groups. Then women (of course). And finally alternative religions. With a pecking order firmly established, it became the Progressive Thing to make sure that the victim groups and the pecking order were universally established. If some members of the victim groups weren't quite good enough, that was okay, they had been through enough. Allowances would be made.

That in turn introduced our second and third tier problems. Members of the victim groups weren't expect to be "as good" as the majority. Excuses were made for their failures. They were never held personally responsible.

Imagine that. By virtue of victimhood and belonging to a recognized victim group, someone could be excused from being an adult and taking responsibility for themselves.

I want to stress that the victimhood was never universal. Many people soon learned to move beyond victimhood and into individual excellence.

But for those who didn't, they never realized it was a trap. Some of them still don't.

Fast forward a few decades.

Now some areas have schools that cherish victimhood of certain groups before the kids are old enough to understand if they are even victims at all. Being a social victim means that others will look out for you and that you are not fully human.

Nor can you be fully trusted. Even if your victimhood grants you "moral authority" and exceptions from the rules.

Other kids see that being a victim is the easy path. Even if you don't know the answers, they will be provided to you in a timely manner. And if you can't be bothered to learn them this time around, that is okay. You've had a hard victimhood.

The end result are people who not only don't know the answers, but expect those answers to be provided on demand. And they want a second chance to take any tests, only this time with crib sheets.

It's not their fault that this is how they were taught.

It's their fault if they do not change once their path demands more.

Master the discipline or be mastered by the victimhood.

Bright & Dark Blessings, everyone.

Posted: Fri - July 21, 2006 at 09:34 PM


Loudest voices

I'm the only one who has a key anymore.


Journal 25Aug2017

pagan festival season       Mercury retrograde       🌙 waxing crescent moon

Thinking by blogging>

This site never had that many visitors, I never planned for that. Even though I think some of my stuff is pretty good, I held back from putting it out on display. I had a couple of bad years and I stopped blogging. These days my regular readers don't comment very much.

I'm a solitary, Most of my celebrations and rituals are done alone. It's not that I want to, it's just that my established group experience hasn't been very positive. One thing this means is that if my gods aren't chiming in, the only voice I'm hearing is mine. This isn't good. We need our ideas tested by those we trust but may not agree with. So if I want to grow, I have to share what I've learned. Since I work mostly with words and spell-forms in those words, I can't take something to the festival and spread it out.

But I forget. Not everyone has the same tools in their mental toolbox that I do. Sometimes the tools are called different names. Sometimes the toolbox is organized differently. And because I'm used to the things I do and the way I do things, I don't always notice when the tools are worn out and don't quite do the job I expect. I make excuses, I put off trying something new.

Lately when my articles have been good enough, I've experimented with posting links at reddit. The response has been a little mixed.

Part of the problem is my old friend, the symbol mismatch. What I see as practicing paganism today isn't necessarily what the rest of the World sees as paganism. I'm talking about gardening, I'm talking about nudging people just a little more towards truth. I'm talking about greeting the sun with nothing but a pendent. Or taking a quiet moon bath in my backyard. It's not fantastic, it's not romantic, it's not mysterious. It's not highly visible. It's not special. It's not meeting at a festival with like-minded people dressed up in costumes ritual garb. It's just me. It's also going to be Tuesday's article.

My in-town companion still isn't doing well. I've been trying to convince her to go to the hospital. I've been checking on her when I can, but she thinks I'm around too much. Helicopter hovering was how I think she put it.

The garden is still giving stuff. Tomatoes, delicious.

Mom is about the same, although she's resenting the control I have over her life. That's a good thing, but very frustrating for the both of us. She turned 75 this month. It's hard to see her moving with a walker, but at least she's moving. And she still has her compassion and her sense of humor. One day after she has passed, I am going to tell her story.

If anything I'm seeing more politics in paganism now. And it's not even clean politics, if there is such a thing. This is people who have been whipped up to a frenzy and told that if they kill the scapegoat, their deepest heart's desire will be granted for by the Forces of History. Pah.

So I think I need to do something special come Redmark. I need to think about that.

Well, there's a tunafish sandwich that does not yet exist, but is still calling my name.



As a pagan, I've found that 99% of my practices and worshiping consists of just going outside, sitting still, shutting up, and listening.
— AmericanCeltic


If Christ himself were alive, one thing he would not be would be is a Christian.
— Mark Twain

Fire dance

Eakins explored nudes in much of his work.


Institution vs. individual choice

There is an arc there: a vector. It tells a story of steadily increasing individual choice about religious belief and expression, and as a result, steadily decreasing subscription to old religious systems that clash with both modern values and humanity's growing body of accumulated knowledge.
— Mark Green, Is Paganism Dying?

Journal 31Mar2017

I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.
— Frank Lloyd Wright

Depreciated polytheism

Christianity, Judaism, and Islam have all depreciated polytheism as intrinsically inferior - primitive, crude, lost. But much of the profundity of Paganism lies in its deep appreciation for the complexity and richness of life, its embrace of the world that surrounds us, that indeed is us.
— Frank Donnola from “Reconciling One and Many,” Gnosis № 28, Spring 1993

Point of view

We define the labels, the labels should not define us.
     — from the journal of NeoWayland

I don’t believe I should use this blog to teach.

I think the best teachers are the ones you see face to face. That personal relationship helps you learn faster.

But we live in an age of wonders connected digitally across the planet. Even if it’s not my place to teach, maybe sometimes I can tell beginners where to start looking for their own answers and their own path.

So I’m answering my email again, indirectly.

I’m using ideas that I work with most. My
WebTree path (not a tradition) draws heavily on Celtic Reconstructionism and modern Druidry with just a smidge more Wiccanism than I am comfortable admitting.

Yule - around December 21
Imbolc - February 2
Ostera - around March 21
Beltane - April 30
Litha - around June 21
Lughnasad - August 1
Mabon - around September 21
Samhain - October 31

You’ve probably seen that list a few hundred times before. It’s obviously the neopagan sabbats. But what the list doesn’t tell you is how those dates interrelate. For that, you need an eight pointed star. I just happen to have one on file.

Concentrate on the list alone and you can miss the relationships. The power isn’t in the list. The power is in how the ideas weave together.

Put Yule at the top point of the star.

Technically you don’t need the star, but it sure helps you see the connections. You can see that the winter solstice is opposite the summer solstice and that the equinoxes are opposite each other.

Yes, I’ve covered this
before. Please bear with me.

You can also see that the cross quarter days are really the gateways between seasons. And you can see that the solstices and the equinoxes are really the peak moments
and middle of the seasons.

Cross quarter days are High Holidays for my path. The equinoxes and solstices are Solar Festivals.

Now I could explain that in three or four pages. Or I can show you with a single picture and a few sentences.

It’s not enough to know the seasons, you have to know the connections and the relationships.

This isn’t something that is commonly taught in paganism these days. Absolutely I am not teaching it. I’m just telling you where you might begin.

I will point out that the eight-pointed star is just a start. Before the digital age, many traditions would expect you to draw something like this.

That’s a lot more complex.

Notice the

You just couldn’t draw that right at first.You’d have to start over and over again. You’d frustrate yourself because it should be easy for you. You’re passionate about your faith and you WANT to learn. You’d make many tries. Some of the hardest attempts would be with your teacher watching closely over your shoulder while you got it almost perfect. The slightest flaw means the whole picture has to be destroyed. You’d have to start over
again until you could draw it on demand. By the time you were done, you could visualize the connections without the diagram.


The power is not the drawing. The power is
you understanding the connections.

Sure, you could get that from a list, but it would take much longer.

The tools we use shape our thought.

This isn't one of mine. But think about the work that went into this even if you don't agree with the assumptions.

Let me give you another example.

Before WWII and quick mix boxes, recipes were usually by ratios. Sure, you can memorize individual recipies that use 1 cup of that mixed with 2/3 cups of this, but it won’t teach you the relationships.

If you stood in a kitchen full of ingredients but without the pre-measured portions and the oh so precise instuctions, you’d be stuck. You wouldn’t
know the relationships.

You wouldn’t
know what separated a bread from a cake.

You wouldn’t
know what made a soup or a sauce.

One look at a grocery store tells you that there are entire industries devoted to your ignorance and willing to sell you easy to use products so you don’t have to think about it too hard.

Someone doesn’t
want you thinking about it too hard. Someone profits from you not thinking hard.

Something really simple looks enormously complicated because you’re
stuck with one perspective.

Hmm, that sounds
familiar. Somebody out to impress you with what they know and what they can show. Like one of Shaw’s experts.

But the way of the master means do more with less. To do that you need to understand how things interrelate. It’s not about one cup of
that mixed with 2/3 cup of this, it’s about three parts of that mixed with two parts of this. The measure isn’t what you need, the ratio is.

It’s about the relationships and the connections. Think in those terms and you’ve expanded what you can do. Do more with less complication.

One last bit.

Environmentalism is about control. Control of the surroundings, control of human behavior, control of the lifeforms, everything carefully monitored and measured.

But that is not the way the world works.

Ecology is about the relationships and tradeoffs.

Guess which works better longer.

Understanding is the key. You can’t go poking around with the primal forces of the universe without understanding.

Well, you could, but it’s much safer if you understand the connections.

Change your perspective, change the world.

Change youself.

As above, so below.



She gives Life

There are worse ways to spend an evening


Bloody sacrifice

This year it's a bit cooler than I like. And we had scattered rainstorms, so the party was inside. Then the heat pump blower quit (on a Saturday), I built a fire in the firepace (fire GOOD grunts Neo).


Do you know what I get asked about the most?

Going beyond the 101 and even beyond the tradition


Hermit and the noise

It’s like everything Glows Slightly Peach.


The Old Breed

Another look at one of my common topics


Eclecticism, Discipline, & Mastery

At the end of the day, some things can't be faked.

Why a Technopagan?

Most people go through life letting the Robot drive



My response to a question about being skyclad. Taken from Wicca: General Chat from the Timerift Forums


Are you paying attention?

Sometimes I don't make the connections right away.



Sunfell Tech Mage Rede Nine Words Serve The Tech Mage Best Keep What Works Fix What’s Broke Ditch The Rest

A narrow slice of life, but now and again pondering American neopaganism, modern adult pagans & the World.

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