Friday, February 17, 2017

Vote for Your Favorite Pagan Blog in the 1st Ever Pagan Blog Directory Blog Awards!


Merry Meet Pagan Blogging Community! 

I've decided to do something new this year at The Pagan Blog Directory. I have loved hosting this blog directory for the last several years. I've watched many wonderful blogs come and go throughout this time but I've never done anything to acknowledge them beyond listing them in the directory.

I want to do something radically different and let the readers acknowledge what their favorite blogs are! Now since this is the first time I've ever done anything like this, I don't know if there will be a small or huge response. So in a way, this first ever Pagan Blog Directory Blog Awards is an experiment. I will be counting on those of you in the Pagan community to help spread the word about this competition. This competition helps promote Pagan blogs, which is my main goal of these blog awards!

Every blog nominated will be added to The Pagan Blog Directory listings! 

Of course there will be the first place The Pagan Blog Directory Best Blog Award! There will be two runner ups, 2nd place and 3rd place. If I get a large numbers of nominations I will add these blogs to Top Pagan Blogs of 2017 list. I will have banners for all the winners to place on their blogs!

Voting will end March 19 and the winners will be announced on the Spring Equinox, March 20, 2017!

Bloggers, you may write posts, tweets, and use this banner on your blog or social media to get people to vote for you!


Here are the rules for The 1st Ever Pagan Blog Directory Blog Awards:
  • Voting begins immediately and will end March 19th. The winners will be announced on March 20th.
  • I will use the words vote and nominate interchangeably. 
  • Since I am hosting, you may not vote for my blog The Domestic Witch.
  • Those nominated must be blogs. This means you cannot nominate websites, etsy stores, Facebook pages, and so on. Tumblr blogs may be nominated.
  • Blogs must be Pagan themed or by Pagan bloggers. If you are not sure if the blogger wants to be outed as a Pagan please ask permission before nominating them!
  • Blogs nominated do not have to write just Pagan content but Pagan themes must be present on the blog somewhere. For example, a blog by an author that writes witchy fiction or an artist that shares fairy paintings.
  • When I say "Pagan blog" this includes the entire umbrella of Paganism. Please refer to the different categories on my sidebar for examples of these variations. Blogs are not limited to these categories however.
  • Blogs nominated must have their most recent post dated no earlier than February 1st, 2017. While I will list blogs that have not been updated recently in the directory they will not be eligible to win the Best Pagan Blog if they are not updated regularly. 
    • Blogs nominated may be written by a single blogger or a network of multiple bloggers
    • Bloggers may ask people to vote for them using their blog or social media. Feel free to use the Vote For Me banner pictured above.
    • Votes and nominations will be done using a trust system. This means I'm trusting you not to vote for yourself over and over. However, if you want to vote for yourself once to get people to see your blog and get listed I will allow it.
    • The trust system also means I'm trusting you not to vote a dozen times in a row for a blog. Please limit your votes to once a day.
    • Don't have a favorite blog? Feel free to explore the links to blogs already nominated and vote for the one you like best.
    • You may vote for a blog using the Linky Tools below, leaving your vote in the comments, emailing me at thedomesticwitch@gmail.com, or tweeting your vote to me at @domestic_witch. You may like a link on Linky Tools to add extra votes.
    • Please spread the word. Use the hashtag #PaganBlogDirectoryBlogAwards on social media.
    • If you have any questions please email me at thedomesticwitch@gmail.com
    This post is for informational  purposes ONLY. Please visit The Pagan Blog Directory to cast your vote for your favorite Pagan blog!

    Guest Post: Secrets and Lies by Jennifer David Hesse

    Secrets and Lies: The stuff that mysteries are made of
    Everyone has a secret. Well, everyone in a mystery book anyway. Certainly, the culprit “who done it” is hiding the biggest secret, but typically all of the suspects have secrets of their own. That’s what makes them so suspicious! Sometimes even the protagonist harbors a secret—a secret superpower, perhaps, or a secret dream or secret crush.
    In the Wiccan Wheel Mysteries, Keli’s secret is her Wiccan religion. As a family law attorney in a small, Southern Illinois town, she’s afraid to be open about her spirituality. In spite of its growing popularity, Wicca is still far from a mainstream religion, and it’s often misunderstood. Keli feels more comfortable practicing her faith in private.
    Of course, this isn’t always easy. In fact, in Book 2 of the series, Bell, Book & Candlemas, things come to a head when Keli is asked to investigate the crimes taking place at her friend’s New Age gift shop. How can she help without exposing her own witchy ways? Dilemmas, dilemmas.

    “Oh, what a tangled web we weave...when first we practice to deceive.” – Walter Scott, Marmion

    Along with secrets, mystery stories are full of lies. After all, to keep a secret often leads to a lie or two, whether it’s a lie by omission or an outright whopper. And it’s not only the suspects who lie. Amateur detectives like Keli sometimes have to resort to fibs, tricks, and bluffs to facilitate their snooping and sleuthing. They gotta do what they gotta do to find the hidden clues.

    “The truth is out there.” – Agent Mulder, The X Files

    In spite of all the intrigue, at their heart mysteries are about uncovering the truth. The truth matters. When it comes to Keli’s secret identity, she doesn’t like hiding such an important part of herself. It becomes more and more difficult to do—especially as she grows closer to the man who first caught her eye in Book 1 and then captured her heart.
    In the real world, there’s been a lot of talk about the “truth” in recent months. Or, more accurately, the twisting, skewering, and ignoring of the truth. Oxford Dictionaries declared the term “post-truth” as the word of the year for 2016 after so many people apparently held opinions that were not based on objective facts, and so much misinformation was spread on social media. Then, of course, we have the so-called “alternative facts” being touted by certain high profile figures. Ahem.

    “What a world, what a world!” – The Wicked Witch of the West, The Wizard of Oz

    In spite of the post-truth phenomenon, I think most people still care about the truth. Like our mystery sleuths, we want to know who did what and why. We want the skeletons exposed, the dirty laundry aired, and the crooks brought to justice. Perhaps some secrets are necessary some of the time. And maybe, just maybe, some shading of the truth is justified sometimes, if it’s for a greater good—like when our heroes need to fool the bad guys.
    Well, secrets and lies are good for stories anyway. As readers and writers well know, secrecy adds tension and interest to just about any plot line.

    “The truth, however ugly in itself, is always curious and beautiful to seekers after it.” – Agatha Christie, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

    But, as mystery buffs know, guessing the truth—and seeing it revealed—is often the most satisfying part of the mystery-reading experience. Perhaps, at our core, we’re all secretly superheroes, bent on fighting for “truth, justice, and the American way.”
    I’d like to think so. How ‘bout you?

    Bell, Book & Candlemas: A Wiccan Wheel Mystery #2
    A new year has barely begun and Edindale, Illinois, family law attorney Keli Milanni already has her hands full at work. But her private practice—as a Wiccan—may cause her worlds to collide…
    The Wiccan holiday of Candlemas is right around the corner, but when vandals target New Age gift shop Moonstone Treasures, the mood is far from festive. Frightening threats and accusations of witchcraft aimed at the owner have some Wiccan patrons calling it a hate crime. And when things escalate to murder, the community turns to Keli…
    As a friend and customer, Keli wants to help. But there’s one problem: she’s fiercely private about her religion. How can she stop the harassment, not to mention catch a killer, while keeping her faith hidden from her colleagues, clients, and her promising—and long awaited—new boyfriend? At a time meant to banish darkness, will Keli have to choose between risking the spotlight and keeping her beliefs locked in the proverbial broom closet? Or will she call on her deepest convictions to conjure the perfect path?


    About Jennifer
    Mystery writer and environmental lawyer Jennifer David Hesse is the author of the Wiccan Wheel Mysteries, a series of cozy mysteries that take place around the holidays in the Wheel of the Year. Born and raised in Central Illinois, Jennifer now makes her home in Chicago with her husband and daughter. When she’s not writing, Jennifer enjoys yoga, hiking, and movie night with her family.
    Connect with Jennifer online at:

    Friday, February 10, 2017

    The February Snow Moon, Eclipse, and Comet


    The Full February Moon and Lunar Eclipse occurs on occurs on Friday, February 10, 2017, at 11:19 PM EST.  This Lunar Eclipse urges us to examine our needs, wants, and what we are lacking in our lives. Because this is a penumbral eclipse, the moon only enters the Earth’s outer shadow, known as the penumbra. A penumbral eclipse appears as a gradual and subtle shade cast on the moon’s surface. Because of this it's also called a subtle lunar eclipse.

    Comet 45P
    In addition to the eclipse, visible in the sky will Comet 45P. It's also called Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková and the New Year comet because  it often approaches Earth around January. Unfortunately this comet will be difficult for novices to spot, especially with a naked eye, mostly because of the bright Full Moon. For more info on how to view the comet visit here.

      February Full Moon
    Since the heaviest snow usually falls during this month, native tribes of the north and east most often called February’s Full Moon the Snow Moon. Some tribes also referred to this Moon as the Hunger Moon, since harsh weather conditions in their areas made hunting difficult. The Choctaw tribe called it the Little Famine Moon.

    Because of its proximity to the coming spring, it's also sometimes called Quickening Moon because new life and births are taking place. Everything from baby animals to the budding of plants and flowers is taking place. Hibernating animals are also starting to awaken from their winter slumber.

    Astrology
    This Full Moon is in Leo with the Sun in Aquarious. The Leo-Aquarius polarity deals with the balance between all that is personal, creative self-expression, pleasure, and romance (Leo) and all that is impersonal, groups, impersonal friendships, and objectivity (Aquarius). 


    This Full Moon is especially strong, as it is a Lunar Eclipse. Lunar eclipses usually have to do with a crisis in a relationship of some kind. This “crisis” is a usually crisis of something we lack, want, or or need but do not have. To read more about it please visit This Week in Astrology.


    Correspondences
    Moon names: Snow Moon, Hunger Moon, Trapper's Moon, Bony Moon, Little Famine Moon, Storm Moon, Quickening Moon, Ice Moon, Wolf Moon, Death Moon, Big Winter Moon
    Colors: Purple and blue
    Gemstones: Rose quartz, amethyst, jasper
    Trees: Rowan, myrtle, laurel, cedar
    Dieties: Brighid, Aphrodite, Juno, Mars
    Herbs: Hyssop, sage, myrrh
    Element: Fire
    Nature Spirits: house faeries, both of the home itself and of house plants
    Flowers: primrose Scents: wisteria, heliotrope Stones: amethyst, jasper Animals: otter, unicorn Birds: eagle, chickadee
    Energy: Purification, growth, healing, loving the self, accepting responsibility for past errors, forgiving yourself, and making future plans. Home, hearth, and family magick

    Magickal Workings
    This is an ideal time for domestic, hearth, kitchen, and cottage witches because it's time to focus your magick on home, hearth, fertility and family. This is also a time of cleansing both internally and externally. As such, it's a great time to get rid of physical things you don't need and clearing any mental or emotional baggage you might be carrying so you can start fresh in the spring.

    With spring coming, this is good month to make plans for the future and set goals for ourselves. Magical workings this month should focus on personal achievements and advancement. Focus on things that are new or beginning in your life. However, keep in mind you may still be in the planning stages because the stillness of winter is not over just yet.

    It is a time to do magick for strength. For most people in the Northern Hemisphere, February is a time of winter storms and true hardship. This is a good time to do magick to help you face life's challenges. With the Lunar Eclipse, particularly concerning things you are lacking or need in being able to face these challenges.

    Additional sources: Farmer's Almanac, Moon Names, About.com Paganism Wicca, The Pagan's Path, Earthsky.org, Moon Magick, Wicca Teachings, A Year and a Day, Quartz

    Monday, February 6, 2017

    Silent Lightening, Lightening Balls, Light Flashes, and The Hum


    This post is actually a continuation of The Worldwide Phenomenon of the Floating City but since it was already so long I decided to break up the posts. Stormshadow and I also discussed different things we have been experiencing. He sees silent blue lightening while I experience a buzzing sound in my environment. I decided to research both of these further as well.

    Silent Blue Lightening
    Unfortunately, I couldn't find anything about silent blue lightening in relation to what Stormshadow described to me. I did however find some interesting things about lightening and mysterious light flashes.

    Silent lightening is commonly called heat lightening, although this is a misnomer. It's actually cloud to cloud lightening. Sometimes it's called dry lightening. The earth's curvature can actually have voids where the sound is not heard. Heat lightning can also occur when airborne matter muffles the thunder. This is likely why the lightening storm below is silent. The description describes it as happening after a dust storm.



    Ball Lightening
    There's also what's called ball lightening. Ball lightning is a flash of light that looks circular that occurs during a storm. These luminous, spherical objects that vary from pea-sized to several meters in diameter. It sometimes has a blue glow and can emanate from objects like lightning rods, electrical wires, or ship masts.

    Here is a video compilation of ball lightening.



    Light Flashes
    However, there are plenty of unexplained flashes of light that have happened. I found this video in particular that describes a blue flashing light. There are dozens of them on Youtube. Theories include everything from military experiments to UFOs to fallen angels.




    The Hum
    For the past several years I have experienced an electrical like buzzing noise that I hear outside in various places. Sometimes it's quiet and sometimes it's rather loud. Often I hear it once in a location and then it never happens again. One time, when it happened in my backyard, my children could actually hear it too.

    This is not tinnitus because I suffer from tinnitus and know the difference between buzzing in my ears and buzzing that is happening outside in my environment.

    It turns out I'm not alone. The Hum has been reported since the 1970's (some say the 1950's) all over the world. Some people claim that The Hum has had a massive negative impact on their quality of life by causing headaches, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, joint pain, nosebleeds and sleep loss. For some individuals this has been enough to drive them to suicide.. Only 2 percent of the population is said to hear it.



    However this is not what it sounds like to me. For me it sounds EXACTLY like this...



    Here are more examples of The Hum...



    Here's a video explaining more about The Hum.


    Saturday, February 4, 2017

    The Worldwide Phenomenon of the Floating City


    Today a follower tweeted me about a phenomenon that is happening all over the world that I remember hearing about but at the time I didn't look more into it. The photo above is of a "floating city" in California.


    This photo is from the United Kingdom.


    This photo is from China.



    It also occurred in Bauchi.

    Explanation One: It's a Naturally Occurring Mirage 
    Science has an explanation for this phenomenon. It's call a Fate Morgana. It happens when warm air slides over cool air and there is very little wind. This forms an “inversion." This change in air density bends light waves and creates the mirage. Here's a handy graphic I found at Men's Den.


    The floating city is not the only mirage to occur. It also happens at the Great Lakes. It's been known to terrify sailors. It's also why while driving on a very hot day water appears on the road in the distance and explains the cliched mirage of an oasis in the desert.

    Explanation Two: It's a City From Another Dimension
    People argue that there's no way this could be a mirage because the city, despite appearing in different parts of the world, looks nearly identical. If it's merely a refraction shouldn't it look like the city it's over?

    There are different theories about what this city is. Shadowhunter who tweeted me knows it as Aura. "Aura is a floating city that feeds off of self replenishing wells of mana, or what we draw upon for magic. It's been stuck there for some time, and was built in conjunction by humans." The veil between worlds is either being damaged (more on that soon) or is two dimensions that have been slowly merging over time.

    Unfortunately I couldn't find anything else on "Aura" or any detailed explanations about just what or where exactly this city is. Many like Shadowhunter suggest it's a rip in the veil or a portal into another dimension and the city is temporarily coming through to our dimension.

    The Azure Moon
    Stormshadow went on to explain a connected prophecy. "The azure moon prophecy says that the next time the moon will pass over the land, a true azure, the reunion will be well on it's way. This last happened during the ash and dust storms from Krakatoa. Not the monthly blue moon, but a true blue in color." In a tweet he mentioned the year 1883 in connection with this azure moon.

    It turns out in Krakatoa and in 1883, one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recent history happened and Indonesians witnessed a literal blue moon after the volcano erupted that lasted for two yearsI guessed this was some atmospheric effect on the moon from the eruption. I was correct. I was able to find an archived document called "The eruption of Kratkatoa and subseqent pheonomena" which seems to confirm this as it says there were "....observations of unusual disturbances of barometric pressure and of sea level, the presence of sulphurous vapours, the distances at which the explosions were heard, and exceptional effects of light and colour in the atmosphere." NASA confirms it was the volcanic ash. Other less potent volcanic eruptions have turned the moon blue as well. 

    Not to mention, Krakatoa is one of five volcanoes that are likely to erupt next. I also learned the Krakatoa eruption created a "boom" that was the loudest to have ever occurred on earth. This boom is said to have circled the earth at at least three times in every direction and each time reoccurred every 34 hours. This created changes in atmospheric pressure all over the world as the sound wave passed their station. This spike occurred every time the boom passed. 

    Moskeg fires that smolder for years or dust storms can also create a blue moon. 

    So what does this mean regarding this blue moon prophecy? It likely has nothing to do with the floating city or other dimensions. Unfortunately it does mean it's not a predictor of anything but instead the result of natural disaster.

    Is CERN to Blame?
    Some blame CERN and the Large Hadron Collider. Some say scientists at CERN are intentionally opening portals to other dimensions and others say it's accidental. A few even claim CERN's goal is to open a portal to hell. Literally.

    Here is a list of the experiments CERN reports doing. Put simply they want to know what the universe is made of and how it started. In particular, the number one goal of the LHC is to find the Higgs boson. This is also known as the God particle. It can be likened to the concept of ether or akasha which some pagans believe is the fifth element. 

    We've seen some strange things happening directly over the facility since CERN started. Cloud formations that look like portals are being reported.


    This is said to have appeared over CERN.


    This photo even made the news.

    However the most mind blowing photo of them all is this one which appeared the same day CERN began the Awake experiment.


    So what does this have to do with the floating city? The theory is that CERN's experiments are either weakening or creating portals that allow the floating city to come through to our dimension. 

    Explanation Three: Project Blue Beam
    Just when you think we've traveled far down the rabbit hole and theories can't get even weirder, they do. That last theory about the floating cities is that they are part of Project Blue Beam by NASA. The goal of Project Blue Beam is to trick the masses into seeing an alien invasion, the arrival of the Antichrist, of the Second Coming of Christ depending on who you ask. The government is creating a gigantic Space Light Show with 3D Holograms and sounds, laser projections of multiple holographic images. Project Blue Beam is also part of HAARP and chemtrails. The floating cities are test runs of these mass mind control experiments.

    Alex Jones explains in this video. Yes, I'm ending this post with an Alex Jones video. That's how far down I've taken you into the rabbit hole. If it makes you feel better, I didn't expect to end up here either.

    Thursday, February 2, 2017

    Imbolc Traditions and Lore


    February 2nd is also known as Imbolc, Candlemas, or Brigid's Day. It is the second of the Greater Sabbats in the Wheel of the Year.

    It is one of the four Celtic Fire Festivals that commemorates the changing of the Goddess from the Crone to the Maiden and Winter to Spring. It falls in the midway point between the winter solstice and spring equinox. It marks the end of the "dead time" in winter. The days are getting longer signaling that spring is coming.

    Some believe Imbolc marks the recovery of the Goddess after giving birth to the God. This is interesting because some Christians celebrate Candlemas on February 2nd, the feast of purification of the Virgin. According to Jewish law, it took forty days after a birth for a woman to be cleansed after giving birth. And you guessed it, February 2nd is forty days after Christmas.

    Groundhog Day is also February 2nd and is an American tradition that started in Europe. The transition of Candlemas and other ancient celebrations to Groundhog Day dates back to the time of the Roman conquest of Northern Europe. There is a traditional song that goes:

    If Candlemas be fair and bright 
    Come, winter, have another flight 
    If Candlemas brings clouds and rain, 
    Go, winter, and come not again. 

    This practice of divining the weather on Candlemasspread to Germany, and was brought to America by the Pennsylvania Dutch (early German settlers). However, the groundhog was not the original animal used for divining the weather. In Europe it was a hedgehog and the early American settlers adaped the custom to the animal most closely resembling a hedgehog which was the groundhog.

    Traditions of Imbolc 
    Fire of all kinds is used to celebrate Imbolc and the goddess Brigid, the keeper of the sacred flame, the guardian of home and hearth.. Things were done such as lighting every lamp in the house, torchlit processions circling fields to purify and help the coming growing season, hearth fires are relit, candles are burned, and there is making the Brigid's Cross.

    The Brigid's Cross is a traditional fire wheel symbol found at the hearths of homes throughout Ireland and beyond as a symbol of protection. This is made using wheat straws or thin pieces of flexible wood that are woven into a cross. Instructions for making one can be found at Earth Witchery. This is sometimes called a Bride's Bed and used to bring fertility.

    Brigid Dolls are also made. Instructions for making a Brigid Doll can be found at About Paganism/Wicca. The doll can be used throughout the Wheel of the Year. Some place the doll in a "Brigid's Bed" as a show of hospitality to the goddess and to bring fertility and good fortune to the home. You can find ideas for making a Brigid's Bed here.

    Imbolc Correspondences
    Deities: All maiden goddesses, Brighid, Aradia, Athena, Inanna, Gaia, and Februa
    Symbolism: Purity, growth and renewal, fertility
    Animals: Ewe, sheep, groundhog, hibernating animals
    Symbols: Brideo'gas, besoms, white flowers, candle wheels, Brighid's Crosses
    Herbs and Plants: Blackberry, celandine, coltsfoot, ginger, and all white flowers
    Trees: Rowan, willow
    Foods: Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, poppyseed cakes, muffins, scones, and breads, all dairy products, peppers, onions, garlic, raisins, spiced wines
    Incense: Basil, bay, wisteria, cinnamon, violet, vanilla, myrrh
    Colors: White, silver, red, yellow, greens
    Stones: Amethyst, bloodstone, garnet, ruby, onyx, turquoise

    Rituals for Imbolc

    Ritual for Imbolc/Candlemas

    Imbolc Candle Solitary Ritual

    Imbolc Workings
    Take down and/or burn all Yuletide greenery

    Cleaning your home

    Prayers for Imbolc

    Saying goodbye to Winter

    Initiations or Rededications

    Imbolc House Cleansing Ritual

    Fire Scrying

    Imbolc Fertility Doll and Ritual

    Additional sources: The White Goddess, Huffington Post, Wicca: A Year and a Day by Timothy Roderick, Goddess and the Green Man, Wicca.com, Circle Sanctuary, Witchvox

    Friday, January 27, 2017

    From the Archives: Interview with a Conservative Pagan

    Recently on Twitter I got into a disagreement with a follower. Why? This follower happens to a Trump supporter.  I asked them and anyone else who is a conservative Pagan to write a guest post on their views. I also decided to dig into my own archives and repost this interview that I did way back when the Tea Party was still a thing. 

    When I say the words Conservative...Republican...Tea Party...what are the things that come to mind?

    Was any of those words Pagan? I'd bet money they weren't.

    While here on the blog I rarely post about politics, on my Facebook page politics is something that I routinely discuss. I don't deny that I am a liberal and identify with the Democratic party almost all the time. On my Facebook page, I often share posts criticizing and even poking fun at the Republican party. Because of this, in the last few months a few of my fans have spoken out. What are they saying?

    I'm Pagan and I'm a Conservative.

    Yes, you read that right. As the page grows, I'm meeting more of them. It took weeks but I was finally able to get an interview with one of them. Martha Hartz Dickinson gave me the opportunity to ask her some questions.

    The Domestic Witch: Before I ask about your politic views, can you tell me more about your spiritual path?

    Martha: I have always felt a kinship with nature, could feel energies in stones. It was normal for me but I didn't realize that it had a name until I was about 15. Back then, the olden days...you know the 80's it was difficult to find others or any information. In college I was attracted to the Catholic church--not so much for the belief system but for the ritual and ceremony--later I learned most were pagan. I enjoyed my time there but felt I was disrespecting a lovely faith, I just didn't believe the basic tenants of the faith. I wandered spiritually for a bit, the relationship I had with nature and animals again reasserted itself. By this time it was a bit easier to get information and it seemed no matter where I went --work, book stores, grocery store anywhere there would be something about paganism (the universe does have a way) so I bought a book, then found a group. My initial study was Wiccan but I no longer use that name. It does play a part in my path, but I've also been drawn to Romani and Hoodoo. I prefer earth magics and seem to have a special affinity with animals.

    TDW: I initially started off studying Wicca as well. It was a springboard to studying other pagan paths. It was also a springboard to politics. I had never had an interest in politics until reading books by Starhawk. Were you always interesting in politics? Or did that happen later?

    Martha: I actually have been, I was more excited about registering to vote then I was about graduating from high school I was very liberal in my youth, very pro choice, actually an officer in the College Democrats group in my university, worked on Clinton's first campaign, got to meet Biden and Gore as I got older, got married, started working my views changed. I didn't want them to and fought it, did a lot of research trying to hold on to the things I believed so strongly, but the more research I did the more conservative I got. I have some wonderful liberal friends, folks I love and respect an we have great discussions but I saw a lot of my "tolerant" friends turn away when my views changed. It was not an easy time.

    TDW: You met Biden and Gore? That is so awesome. I'm jealous. What was that like?

    Martha: The University was in Delaware so Biden was around a lot--it's a great benefit to living in a tiny state. He was kind of silly, nice guy though. Gore was very formal. The meeting lasted maybe 3-4 mins. It was during his and Clinton's first run and after a rally so they were headed to another state. I had his autograph on a campaign sign no idea what happened to it though.

    TDW: What is the definition of "conservative" to you? Do you identify with any political party?

    Martha: To me conservative is encouraging people to do on their own--to give a hand up not hand outs, to limit --not get rid of- but limit government intervention in most aspects of life, running this amazing country within the bounds and limits of the constitution, I've seen in MOST (not all) aspects private enterprise and private competition tends to do better then governmental monopoly. That said I think government has no place in someone's bedroom besides making sure all parties are adult and consenting.

    I mostly vote Republican, but I'm not overly thrilled with them either.

    TDW: I have to admit, like most pagans I don't understand how you can be pagan and conservative, much less vote Republican. The GOP as a whole is viewed as supporting the 1% in business and is not viewed as supporters of women's, minorities, or LBGT rights. Many feel that is directly opposed to the Pagan view on how we all are equal and deserve the same rights.

    Martha: To me a big part of being pagan is taking responsibility for yourself and your actions, taking care of yourself and those you love and helping others to me these are directly conservative. I am certainly not in the 1%. I am permanently disabled and live on a fixed income. I do believe that encouraging those who create jobs and employ others with things like tax brakes is a good thing.

    As far as not supporting women's, minorities or LBGT rights I can only go by what I've seen in 15 years of being an active conservative and learning to look past the rhetoric (please remember there are idiots in both parties and those are the ones that seem to be used the most by people that disagree with the other parties views).

    Historically the Republican party has been the champions of women's suffrage, of repealing the Jim Crow laws, ending slavery. The first woman in congress was a republican Janette Rankin of Montana. To a conservative (in my experience) women's rights, men's right, Minority rights are not treated any differently from each other. It's looked at like (awkward wording I know) each person has potential regardless of their sex or color and that shouldn't advance them before others or hold them back. It's largely irrelevant.

    As far as LBGT rights I don't agree with the Republican stance on this one, and I do see it changing--slowly but changing. There are groups like GOPpride and Log Cabin Republicans that are LBGT conservative groups. (I am not a lesbian but am a proud member of both.)

    TDW: I absolutely agree these are the things the Republican party stood for historically. I've gotten quite the education recently on what the Republican party has stood for in the past. However, it seems this is the exact opposite of today's Republican party. What they supported years ago seems to be what they are against now. Do you feel the Republican party has changed or are people looking at a few extremists in the party and making stereotypes about the entire GOP? Do you feel extremists such as the Tea Party share the same values as Republicans in the past?

    Martha: I don't think they've changed. I think the tone of opposition on both sides has changed. I think both sides look for the most insane radical views of those they oppose and present those as the way everyone thinks.

    And the Tea Party--there is so much disinformation going around. I am marginally involved (being disabled it's hard to get around or go to events) so I'll let others (hopefully) start setting the record straight. Those that are more involved than me.

    At this point she shared with me a few websites about the Tea Party and several other sites about conservative pagans (see the end of the interview for the list). When I thanked her for the links, her response was...

    Martha: I hope I helped a little. I hate the gulf between the two sides.

    TDW: I absolutely agree with what you say about both sides. Both parties do take the most extreme insane radical views and use them as propaganda against each other. Can you give me an example of a conservative, living or dead, that best represents your political views?

    Martha: It's hard to choose, I tend to take each issue as it comes and do my own research and my views are shaped from that. I don't like people telling me what to think, so I tend to be a bit all over the place.  If I HAD to pick I'd say Ronald Reagan.

    TDW: Thank you so much for this interview. Last question - to people who say you can't be both pagan and conservative, what message do you have for them?

    Martha: I would say you absolutely can. There are many and learning to listen to each other, show respect for another's view (even if you don't mean it at first) and knocking off the immediate response of name calling and marginalizing those that view things differently would be of a huge benefit not only to the pagan community but this country and the world as a whole.

    Before ending the interview she gave me a warning...

    I hope you understand what you're getting into with this. If conservatism is presented even remotely in a positive light you will get hate mail, possibly threats. I'm used to it by now.

    Links on Conservative Paganism
    Dove's Light Coven
    The Conservative New Ager
    A Pagan Conservative???
    The Conservative Pagan
    Conservative Pagan
    Conservative Pagans - We Exist
    Red State Witch
    Pagan Conservative and what it means
    Martha Hartz Dickinson @ mensachickie@gmail.com

    Links on The Tea Party
    What is The Tea Party?
    Tea Party Movement

    Earlier this week I interviewed Martha Hartz Dickinson about her conservative political views. In this post, I'm going to take it a step further and do some research using the websites that Martha suggested. While my interview with Martha certainly opened my mind, I have to admit I still don't see the appeal of conservationism. I want to see what other conservative pagans think.
    Before I visit the conservative pagan websites, I think it would be useful if I defined conservatism first. The definition I found the most comprehensive is from here. This article also offers a definition of liberalism which I think will make it even easier to understand the differences between a conservative pagan and a liberal pagan. 
    Conservatives believe in personal responsibility, limited government, free markets, individual liberty, traditional American values and a strong national defense. Believe the role of government should be to provide people the freedom necessary to pursue their own goals. Conservative policies generally emphasize empowerment of the individual to solve problems.

    Liberals believe in government action to achieve equal opportunity and equality for all. It is the duty of the government to alleviate social ills and to protect civil liberties and individual and human rights. Believe the role of the government should be to guarantee that no one is in need. Liberal policies generally emphasize the need for the government to solve problems.

    When I write out the definition, I can generally see how a pagan can be conservative. What's exciting to me is that what Martha told me in her interview much of what this definition says. I couldn't have picked a more perfect person to interview.

    The area where I run into problems is at the part where it says "traditional American values." What does that mean exactly? When I think of traditional American values I think of  these things; "family, patriotism, and the American dream." However, I'm a pagan.

    It seems to me the reason it's so hard for most pagans to understand how another pagan could be conservative is because usually Christianity is considered to be one of the "traditional American values." The popular opinion is that being a conservative and a Christian go hand in hand. So this makes me wonder if it's really some of us pagans that are the closed minded ones. We get furious when someone stereotypes us, but it seems we are stereotyping conservatives. Just who said conservatives have to be Christian? Nobody did.

    In fact, that's exactly what is said at Reflections of a Modern Druid.

    "I am writing this post because there seems to be this stereotype out there that to be a pagan means you have to be a raging liberal. To not adopt liberal ideologies is to be un-pagan, or that being conservative surely means I cannot be a pagan."

    The same thing is said in this article about conservative pagans but she is more blunt about it.

    "Please, for the love of the gods, let's stop grinding out Pagans through the Stereotype Machine."

    The author of article Pagan Conservative and What It Means says something similiar to what Martha said in my interview.

    "Why I think most pagans are hostile to conservative thought is mainly due to ignorance of what conservatism is. Many confuse conservatism with the Religious Right who only represent a small faction of American conservatives and just so happen to be among the loudest."

    But so far I have only discussed the extreme "right" and "left." There are people in the middle. These are called "moderates." Urban Dictionary defines moderate as:

    Someone with a political belief that sits between the two extremes of liberal and conservative, usually combining aspects of both (example: liberal on social issues yet conservative on economic issues).

    You may have noticed that I have yet to use the words "Republican" or "Democrat." This is because equating being conservative or liberal with a specific political party is yet another stereotype. You can be a liberal Republican and you can be a conservative Democrat. You may be neither. You might consider yourself an Independent. There's also the Libertarian, Green, Tea and Constitution parties. It turns out there have been dozens of minor political parties since 1959 as well.

    In the end, these are all just labels anyway. Labels are limiting. Labels lead to stereotypes. Labels are good when listing if a product has GMOs, but they aren't good for describing individual people.