Thursday, July 24, 2008

Church Camp for our Little Pagan

We've sent D, the littlest Knickertwist, to a church day camp this week. Why would we set a little pagan among a sea of Christian children? My good friend, and the mom of D's bestest buddy, asked if D could attend a day camp offered by the church she teaches Sunday school at. I have to admit I had some reservations (and so did Mr. K) but it's turned out quite well.

Under the theme "Rain Forest Adventure" the kids learn about the rain forest, the animals that live there, and yes, some Christian teachings. While the songs and bible passages aren't exactly up my alley, the messages are the same as what we already teach him. To share, to be kind, and to be thankful to god... or in our case, gods. This isn't Fundamentalism, or an aggressive ploy to 'save' my child. It's a demonstration that to most people, what is really important, is being a decent human being who cares about the world and people around them.

This experience has been pretty positive for us. D's beliefs have not changed, he had fun, made some new friends and even learned some new things. I could do without the christian kids music cd he brought home, but if that's my biggest issue, it's one I can deal with. Most enlightening was that D's beliefs have been more thoroughly challenged in his every day life than they have been at church camp. I'll take that as a big wake-up call. The best thing that has come out of this is our confidence that D is strong in his beliefs, and that being a good person is really the most important thing of all.

Monday, July 14, 2008

I really should be working...

It was my first day back at work today after a week spent camping and otherwise funning it up with the family. I was stuck in the office until 8pm and I have loads and loads of work that I need to be doing but somehow can't bring myself to do. *sigh*

What I would rather be doing is painting, making and updating our site.

I have to admit that we've let the Knickertwist site slide for quite a while but I think that it's really done us (ok, me) a world of good. I've been focusing on creating stuff purely for the love of it and to push my abilities and creative process. I've managed to create quite a bit in the past months and I'm really happy with the progress that I've made. If it wasn't for the break I don't think that I'd be nearly as happy with the revamped site.

Our reinvented site is far closer to who we really are and our vision. I'm hoping to steal some time and add a slew of fresh new content... but I want it good and proper... something we can be proud of... so I won't rush it :)

Monday, May 19, 2008

What's with the breeding negativity?

This morning I checked my email, and looked through a few posts on a message board I subscribe to. I realized rather quickly why I seldom bother to look at them any longer.

When I look at my sagging bookshelf there are a number of titles from Llewellyn. Some are good. Some not so good. I think that this is pretty common with any publisher. Why has Llewellyn become such a sore point for many pagans? I see it all the time "Just don't buy anything from Llewellyn". Why not? Raymond Buckland, Scott Cunningham, and Raven Grimassi, all big pagan names, all have titles published under Llewellyn. I'm certain that most publishers put out a fair number of titles that aren't exactly brilliant.

"They are just out to make money" is another quote I often see. So what? Isn't the point of running a business to turn a profit? I suppose I just wonder what is so wrong with making money and how you survive without it. I don't think that anyone pointing and making this accusation is managing to live without money. I'd wager that most have a job to make money themselves.

It's not just Llewellyn. It's this author, or that book, or path, or group... If you don't like something that's fine. Shout it from the rooftops! Just make certain it's your opinion and you have valid reasons for it. Let's not perpetuate negativity just because it's easier than finding something positive to say. Maybe someone could say "I'm not fussy on that book but a great title you might want to read is ... " Isn't that more productive?

The reason this really gets to me is that I've met loads of people who have had an interest in paganism and witchcraft only to be completely put off by the snobbish load of rubbish that members of their 'pagan community' have handed them. If someone finds their path through a pink book about love spells who cares? They have taken their first steps... isn't that what's important?

But wait... apparently this isn't good enough for some. Some people actually believe that to be a witch you must be special. You must be chosen! Sorry, but I think that's bunk. If your interest has been piqued then the goddess may have nudged you in the direction of the occult/new age section of the book store for a reason... If someone is making an effort why belittle them?

Being a witch is not about being special. Being a witch is not about joining a coven, it's not about reading and memorizing 300 books on Wicca. Being a witch (for me anyway) is about striving for balance in every aspect of my life. It's about using spell craft to become an active participant in my life. It's about continually learning and applying that knowledge I have gained. It's about connecting with the gods and goddess' that touch my life. It's about being as true to myself as I can possibly be.

I'll let you in on a little secret... you do not need validation from others to confirm what you already know to be true. Follow your path and do it proudly.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


I don't usually jump on to the protest bandwagon. In fact if I am asked to sign a petition, or send a letter, 90% of the time I decline. The truth is that often these types of things, while stemming from good intentions, get befuddled in misinformation or miscommunication. A quick look into most 'causes' will show that there is a big difference between what is being protested and what is actually going on. So when I read about Miss Toronto Tourism slighting someone for being a witch I rolled my eyes and thought "Oh, not another one." Unfortunately, it seems that indeed we have a case of discrimination on our hands.

Here's the jist... Reigning Miss Canada Plus was asked to act as a judge for the Miss Tourism Toronto pageant. When the officials read her bio and saw that she listed reiki and tarot cards on her hobbies list they un-invited her witchy ass!

The Toronto Star article quotes Karen Murray, Miss Toronto Tourism pageant director...

"Our board of directors has eliminated her as a judge as tarot card reading and reiki are the occult and is not acceptable by God, Jews, Muslims or Christians. Tarot card reading is witchcraft and is used by witches, spiritists and mediums to consult the dark world."

The letter went on to quote a couple of passages from the Bible, including one from the book of Leviticus that warns, "Do not turn to mediums or seek out spirits for you will be defiled by them."

"We hope that Stephanie Conover will turn from these belief systems and will repent from her practice of them," the letter reads.

When did we all jump in a time machine?

Here's a couple of little snippets taken directly from the Miss Toronto Tourism website...

"Miss Toronto Tourism and The Runner Ups are chosen for their interest in charities, intelligence, persomality (sic), love of Toronto and goodwill towards others. Miss Toronto Tourism is chosen for her charisma, personality and inner beauty."


"Miss Toronto Tourism 2007 is represented by our present title holder, Jessica Barone who helps promote different Events and Charities in the City of Toronto. Miss Multicultural promotes Multiculturalism, as Toronto is the City of all cultures."

Me thinks that these people don't quite understand that Wicca is an religion and that witchcraft has it's place in many cultures. I wonder if they know what reiki is? The whole thing is all sorts of sad.

Anywho, here's links if you are interested...

Miss Toronto Tourism
An article from the Torontoist
The Star article

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Boy Scouts

We've been thinking a lot about having the little one enrolled in Boy Scouts. It's a real conundrum.

There's the whole 'gay scout troop leader' thing from a few years back. The Knickertwist's have a few gay friends and we just don't get all the hubbub. What does it matter what people do in their own bedrooms so long as no one is getting hurt? I care about what my gay friends do sexually as much as my straight friends... very little. One thing I do care about is the treatment of all of those that I call "friend". Should we just forget that incident or should we remain wary of an organization that showed intolerance?

Then there is the oath...
"On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight."
On the scouting site it says that a scout should respect the beliefs of others but I'm still a bit leery about the 'duty to God' and 'morally straight' bits. What about the Goddess'? and using the term "Gods" instead of God? and what do they mean by 'morally straight'? Whose morals? Perhaps I'm making a bigger deal out of this than is necessary but we care about our beliefs and in no way want the wee one to feel that what we believe is wrong or bad. We also don't want to compromise and perhaps confuse the kiddo. We want him to be as proud of his path as we are.

That said, the scouts promote being a good person, kindness and healthy living.

Any fellow pagans with kids in this organization out there? I'd consider Spiral Scouts but I don't think that there is a circle near us.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Happy New Year

I've been away for a wee bit so here is a recap of my holidays... Christmas was great, new year's was dull and I've been sick for three weeks.

I hate being sick. I know what I need is rest and sleep and to stay away from the healthy people in my life but lets face it, I can't very well take three weeks off. Dishes need to be done. Laundry laundered. Life goes on even if I don't feel up to participating in it for the time being.

I took a bath today using one of my tub teabags and I have to say that I felt like a million bucks afterwards. I was so achy and didn't want to move a muscle when I hopped in but when I got out I actually managed to hobble downstairs to make Mr K's bday cake for tomorrow. I'm still feeling ok and hope that my drugs kick in and I manage to sleep well and get off to work tomorrow.

Because I've been a bit icky and sickly I did what always cheers me up (and keeps me still for a few hours).... tossed in a DVD. My most favouritest things at the mo' are Corner Gas and Little Britain. The humour on Corner Gas is so sweet and nice and it makes me laugh out loud every time I watch it. Little Britain is sketch comedy by a pair of British lads. It's a bit crude, and shocking at times but it's oh so funny. I swear I'm madly in love with David Walliams... how can I resist a tall drink of water that can make me snort with laughter. All I want to do is walk around saying "but I'm a lay-dee" even if it doesn't have the same effect because... well... I am in fact a lady.

I have no idea where this blog entry is headed. I think that my drugs have taken effect and I've gone a bit loopy between the neocitron and the brandy. Perhaps I should be off to bed.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Santa's Coming!

Hurrah! It's snowing outside, lovely crunchy snowball making type snow, and I am very excited. It seems like ages since we had a wonderfully white Christmas.

My co-worker thinks that it's hysterical that someone who is proudly pagan gets so overly excited about all things Christmas. Being pagan doesn't mean that we have to exlude all the Christmassy goodness just because we aren't Christians or aren't celebrating the birth of Jesus. The parties, gift-giving, cookie making, Santa, old Christmas movies, feasting... I can't get enough of it. We celebrate Yule but that does not mean that we can't fit in the Christmas hubbub too. Our beliefs and practices are something that we share as a family in our home. We create a Yule log from a cutting from our Christmas tree, we have a feast to celebrate the coming of the light. It's nice to have beliefs that are important to us and the freedom to celebrate them. Christmas is about the spirit of the season and not about what god or gods people believe in. It's a time to show your joy and your love for family and friends, no matter what their beliefs.

I think I'll go home early and make a snow goddess :)