Tags: ireland

goddess and god

'Christian' names, Wicker Man

Police told: don't ask for 'Christian' names, it offends
The Christian Institute, Friday, 19 March 2010
Police in Kent have been banned from asking for a person’s “Christian” name, in case it offends people from other faiths.

The call has been met with dismay, with one experienced officer calling it politically correct “nonsense”.

And the Plain English Campaign questioned whether there really was anyone from other faiths who would be offended.
"In July it was revealed that Pagan police officers were being allowed to take Halloween off as holiday.

It followed the Home Office agreeing to the establishment of a Pagan Police Association.

In September the chairman of a rank-and-file police group criticised forces for over reacting to political correctness. "
Wicker Man burned to mark the start of spring
belfasttelegraph.co.uk, Monday, 22 March 2010
"A huge 20-foot Wicker Man was burned in Fermanagh at the weekend by mummers marking the end of one of the coldest winters in years.

The spectacular mock sacrifice by Aughakillymaude Community Mummers symbolically returned the ashes of last year’s corn and straw to the same field near Derrylin where they were harvested — marking the Spring Equinox and ensuring a fertile season in 2010.

But happily, no-one was burned alive inside the terrifying effigy — unlike in the 1973 cult film The Wicker Man.

Spokesman Jim Ledwith said the burning of effigies on key calendar dates such as the turning of the seasons remains one of the oldest and most widespread forms of pagan worship and is still practiced in such forms as Guy Fawkes Day and the burning of Lundy in Londonderry."
goddess and god

Home Schooling, and Pagan Weddings in Ireland

Absolutely normal home schoolers
Posted by tmatt, GetReligion (blog), February 21, 2010
"Years ago, I wrote a Scripps Howard News Service column about a pagan mother and some of the parenting choices that she was making during an age in which pop-culture was becoming increasingly fascinated with its own glitzy few of witchcraft and wizardry. It was a Mother’s Day column.

In addition to deciding not to read the Harry Potter books to her children, she was also actively considering becoming a home-school mom. Her reasons, I discovered, were typical of others who have made that choice, including her conviction that public schools in American really could not afford to take religion very seriously, especially the beliefs of religious minorities. She wanted to be able to pass her beliefs on to the next generation.

This brings us to a perfectly normal news report in the Washington Post about homeschooling. Actually, that is not quite right. This story treats home schoolers with complete and total respect, which is not always the case in the mainstream press."
Pagan weddings now allowed in Ireland
by Jane Walshe, Irish Central, February 21, 2010
"Pagan weddings, in many cases performed by a recognized druid, will now be allowed in Ireland.

Following a five-year campaign the Irish state has now recognized the right of the Pagan Federation Ireland to perform weddings.

Couples will now be able to be legally married after a ceremony that concludes with jumping over a broomstick to mark crossing over from an old life to a new one.

Pagan weddings are also known as hand-fasting and most recently, the nephew of Richard Branson got married that way and they have become increasingly popular."
goddess and god

Witches, Witch hunts, Interfaith Discussion,

Witches come out to play
By Mara Pattison-Sowden, Star News Group, Australia, 19th January 2010
"Mrs Yeoman is part of the western suburbs’ largest pagan group, which has been running for five years.

People travel from all over Melbourne to attend the monthly meetings in Werribee. Mrs Yeoman said growing up as an army brat she was exposed to, and fascinated by, many different cultures and religions from Christianity to Hinduism and Buddhism.

She said her own understanding began with how science and belief could work together.

“It’s about working out where you sit in the world. I never quantified my beliefs until I was nearly 30,” she said.

The 43-year-old said regardless of what she believes, “it’s about connecting with the energy of nature.”"
Witch hunters are still with us
Matthew Claxton, Langley Advance, January 15, 2010
"There have always been two kinds of witches.

The first are the people who perform folk magic in virtually every pre-modern society in recorded history. In England, right up into the 19th century, they were most often known as cunning men or wise women. They usually combined a number of duties, starting with having some rudimentary medical knowledge. They would also likely tell fortunes, sell love spells, and possibly offer curses on the side. They were an accepted part of daily village life.

Then there were the witches as imagined by the Inquisition and various witch-finders in the 16th and 17th centuries. These were far more exciting than a village herbalist with a pack of tarot cards.
But of course, the witch hunters never went away. It was apparently George Orwell who first used the phrase "witch hunt" to describe a search for scapegoats. He was talking about the Spanish Civil War, during which all sides murdered their opponents, and sometimes their allies.
Unfortunately, it seems it isn't a matter of putting witch hunts behind us. It's about trying to predict who will be the next target of the hunters."
Interfaith arts event aims to bring forth ‘Winter’s Light’
by Rick Hellman, The Kansas City Jewish Chronicle, 15 January 2010 12:00
"Winter’s Light Jan. 23
The Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council presents “Winter’s Light,” a multi-faith evening of storytelling, music, dance and the arts.
The event takes place Saturday, Jan. 23, at the Goppert Theater at Avila University, 11901 Wornall Road. There is a $10-per-person suggested donation. Youth are welcome free of charge.
The schedule is as follows:
6:30 p.m. — Doors open, art displays, refreshments
7:15 p.m. — Children’s story on the stage
7:30 p.m. — Program begins
Reception to follow
For more information, call (913) 548-2973, or visit www.kcinterfaith.org.
In addition to Galex, the other artists featured here Jan. 23 will include storytellers Caroline Baughman, a practitioner of Paganism; Rev. Cara Hawkins, American Indian spirituality; and Karta Purkh Khalsa, Sikhism. Sonnenschein said there will also be some Sufi dance, Hindu music and more."
Series to explore tough questions
Stuart Armstrong, Martlet.ca, The University of Victoria's Independent Newspaper, Jan 20, 2010
""Several diverse faiths will come together over the next month to debate where religion fits into some of the most contentious issues in our society.

The Interfaith office is holding a series of public discussions with representatives from the Christian, Jewish, Baha’I, Wiccan, Muslim, Hindu and Buddist faiths, as well as different First Nations faiths. The representatives will debate the religious issues implicated within freedom of speech, environmental policy and people’s sex lives.

Reverend Lucy Reid, UVic’s Anglican Chaplain and priest at St. Michael and All Angels Church in Saanich, says that one of the aims of the series will be to dispel stereotypes about theological debate.

“Whenever we have these seminars there are … people who are surprised that all priests aren’t all conservative, and that a number of them express progressive views on faith – that we are not at all dogmatic and moralizing,” she said.
Moral dilemma: what will replace the church as our compass?
January 19, 2010 , Jason Walsh and Lenny Antonelli of the The Irish Times ask five academics:
"If, following church scandals, the public is looking for common moral ground, where might they find it?"
goddess and god

Imbolc, Wassailing, and Ati-Atihan Festival

Looking for ray of light, Groundhog Day is coming
by Deane Morrison, University of Minnesota Starwatch, Coon Rapids ECM Publishers, January 20, 2010
"The minor February holiday started with the ancient Celts, who called the day Imbolc, or lamb's milk, because it coincided with the start of lambing season. It was one of four "cross-quarter days" falling midway between a solstice and an equinox.

The Celts considered heavy clouds auspicious, because they foretold warmth and rains to soften the fields for planting. But bright, sunny weather presaged cold, hence our tradition of six more weeks of winter if the groundhog sees its shadow."
Six-day festival set to celebrate Brigid of Faughart
Dundalk Democrat, 20 January 2010
"A major celebration of Brigid of Faughart will take place at the end of this month.
The Brat Bhríde festival celebrates Brigid and the ancient festival of Imbolc with myth, landscape, folklore, spiritual customs, music, poetry and dance.

The emphasis of the festival, according to its organisers, is to revisit and reclaim some of the richness of the traditions associated with Brigid of Faughart, in ways which are relevant to our lives in the 21st century.

Lectures and workshops during the six-day event, which culminates on Saint Brigid's feast day on February 1st, will offer opportunities to deepen knowledge of Brigid, to taste her wisdom and to integrate feminine consciosness more surely to contemporary culture.

Brat Bhríde - meaning 'Brigid's Cloak' - is a voluntary group who have come together to organise this event."
Hanging toast in apple trees – it has to be wassailing
Bristol Evening Post, January 19, 2010
"Wassail traditions date back to early Pagan times, when rural communities would perform ceremonies in January to encourage a healthy apple harvest later that year.

These traditions, which were re-enacted by the children of Sandford Primary School, included the crowning of a wassail King and Queen, a procession led by the Mendip Morris Men, dancing and singing, hanging toast in the apple trees to attract the good spirits, and banging pots and pans to ward off the evil spirits."
A longer, bigger Ati-Atihan
by Nestor P. Burgos Jr, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Inquirer.net, ‎Jan 15, 2010‎
"The 798th Ati-Atihan festival has more tribes participating and more days of the famed “sad-sad” street dancing than in the past, said Benny Tirazona, secretary of the Kalibo Ati-Atihan Management Board.

Thirty-five tribes will join the street-dancing contest this year, up from last year’s 33. They will compete in the four categories—aboriginal, original tribe-small, original tribe-big and modern.

Tribes under the aboriginal category will wear costumes made of indigenous materials, such as abaca fiber, shell, feathers and leaves.

Those with at most 60 warriors will compete different categories.
The Ati-Atihan traces its roots in the 13th century as a pagan ritual of Aeta people and later transformed into a Christian tradition in the 18th century after a Spanish priest baptized 1,000 inhabitants of Kalibo. (The name of the town is said to have been derived from “Isa ka Libo,” referring to those first baptized.)

In the final three days of the festival ending Sunday, the streets will be filled with soot-smeared Aklanons and tourists dancing to the drum beatings, cymbals and lyres. This has earned the event’s distinction as the merriest and most fascinating of festivals held every January in honor of the Child Jesus."