Category Archives: Tabs on Trad

Litha Celebration and Handsfasting

Litha Celebration and Handsfasting

On June 21st,  Serenity celebrated the Summer Solstice most festively.

Mare served as Priestess, with Fox as Priest; Barley and Morningstar served as Summoner and Sensechal respectively. Epona and Cernunnos were invited to celebrate the Summers Sun.

IMG_1590There was much love shared, as Christina, aka Mare and Kevin shared their vows in front of  family and friends, promising a commitment for all the seasons to come.

The newlyweds received the blessings of their tribe, and returned all the love they received with nourishment.

A Journey dance was held, brooms and fires were jumped, gifts were given, and love was honored. The Colloquy of the Oak and Holly King was performed over a feast of of summers freshest bounty.

IMG_1670

Tabs on Trad Interview: Lady Lucina

Tabs on Trad Interview: Lady Lucina

When I was considering whom I should ask to participate in our next Tabs on Trad interview, I realized that we didn’t yet have any Blue Star Elders. I wanted to get to know someone who has been around the block in our Tradition, someone who could get down to the nitty gritty of what Blue Star is all about.

It didn’t take much thought to arrive at a decision.

Lady Lucina, as she would prefer to be called in this interview, has been around from nearly the very beginning, when our fledgling Tradition was little more than a single Coven operating out of New York City, under the direction of our first High Priest and Founder, Frank Dufner, and his wife Tzipora.

At heart a Teacher, Lady Lucina lives the virtues of discipline, humility, and good humor, and she has been integral to keeping the lore and the core of our Tradition alive and well for all the generations of Blue Star since, and hopefully for many to come. She is the Third Degree High Priestess of Crystal Blue Star Coven, and was initiated in 1980, along with her husband and High Priest, Lord Odin.

Without further adieu, allow me to introduce her:

 

“Every family has different “types” of people – characters if you will. What role do you think you play in the family – how would your Caricature be drawn?”

That is easier than I would like to admit. Although I would prefer to envision myself as the vibrant teacher who whisks people off on a magic carpet to places of wonder, my real life role in Blue Star as a whole is a bit less fanciful.
 
I have sort of become the Great Aunt who knows a lot of stuff that most of the time people don’t want to hear about… until they need it…

 

“Is there anything that you can tell us about your name, and what it means to you?”

My Name… My Craft Name is Lucina, which was given to me at my Dedication, by a person who barely even knew me. I have since made part of my personal Path trying to discover who “the” Lucina is/was and why She is me.

I have gone through several missteps along that Path and came to recognize that, among other water-related pieces of Her persona, Lucina was involved with tides, undertow and the cycles of the sea.

She is, therefore not surprisingly, a Goddess very involved in childbirth and midwivery. Her name suggests “light;” however She is not so much light as in candles or fire/flame, as the Scandinavian Goddess similarly named is and the name might imply, but rather the “light” the baby sees as it is moving towards birth… the light of emergence.

Some say She is also the nether light that guides us along the tides toward Death at the other end of life as well, but research confirming this is more sketchy. When I came into the Craft I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, for medical reasons proven again and again, that I could have no children, so I perceived Lucina’s Path for me to be as a sort of spiritual midwife… a teacher and guide or mentor. Today I am the mother of a strong son. Maybe there’s something to Naming after all.

 

“What initially brought you to Blue Star? How did you “know” it was your spiritual home?”

What brought ME to Blue Star? That’s easy. I found out one of my best friends was getting involved with a coven of witches. I came to rescue her from a fate worse than death… 
 
It worked… She became a Druid.
 
I stayed. 
 
Why? I guess it might have been the music and the wonderfully theatrical people. Or perhaps it was just the swirl of colours and friendly faces… Of course it could simply have been the nature of the sacrifice I had made to protect my friend from an “awful fate” … (… yeah …uh… right… whatever… that’s a joke, okay?) … but I think I got the better part of that deal.  

I would like to say something profound like: “I heard the call of the Gods in my head.” But the truth is that it simply felt good. I was happy.  

 

“How old are you?”

I am as old as the Hills and as young as my Dreams… Or is it the other way around?

 

“What have been some significant or influential events that occurred in the Tradition since you joined?”

“Influential events” would be up to history to decide.

What might seem to have been influential to you looking at it today might have been commonplace, or even annoying, to me. People came and went, especially at The Shop in New York City where I began my training with Tzipora and Frank; and “important” people are often more important to themselves than to anyone else, especially in Craft environments. Yes, I got to meet some very colourful folks. Some of them still live inside me whenever I do circle workings or any thinking of the responsibility or influence of magick or ritual. I like to say that they showed me who I wanted to be, but also who I did not want to be… often in the same person.

I hate name-droppers. 

The problem herein being that much of what we see as the Craft now was only just forming, in its adolescence (and that is being generous), when I started my journey. Blue Star certainly had only just begun to become what it turned into to get it to what it is today…

Everything that has happened began to happen in that time. “Significant?”

But what about me specifically? This is the point where I might say: “sit down my children and let me tell you the tale…” But I will leave some of that for another time.

My first Craft/Blue Star ritual experience was Mabon 1979. I was Groved shortly thereafter. My early Craft experience was at Tzip and Frank’s shop in New York City. It was called Tzipora and the Wizard. Many wonderful and amazing people came and went through that shop. I learned quickly that there are people who play with magick and there are people who are magick. 
 
Early in my experience at The Shop, Blue Star (and therefore everyone I knew there) became involved, along with a few other groups, in creating and running of one of the first pagan conferences/gatherings. Today it is called Pan-Thea. Then it was called MAP-PCAF (Mid-Atlantic Pan-Pagan Conference and Festival). It was very new stuff back then, even a little dangerous. How times change. I am pleased to know that this conference is still going on. 
 
Many things have happened over many years. One of the most significant to Blue Star, of course, was when Tzipora and Frank divorced just as my husband, Lord Odin, and I were about to take 3rd Degree. When the Blue Star Coven broke up Frank charged my husband and I with carrying on in his footsteps and guarding what we knew. When Tzip and Kenny took Blue Star on the road, the nature of Blue Star changed dramatically to meet new needs that go with the paradigm of a non-grounded practice. Lord Odin and I took very seriously the task of preserving what we could and continuing to practice as we had been trained. 

As a result, from boxes, notebooks and tiny bits of paper, the Blue Book was assembled to help maintain continuity and to assure that we still had clear references to earlier Blue Star teaching. I am proud to know it is still being used today. The Book of Classes was also compiled, although much later, to contain, in lesson format, much of the earlier teaching and curriculum of the earlier Blue Star. You might say that my husband and I became archives, of a sort, of information from the days before the divorce of Tzip and Frank, and before the Tour Years.

“Is there a particular Sabbat that is most fun or fond for you?”

The whole Wheel. Yeah, I know it’ll sound corny and like “teacher-eze” but they just don’t work without the whole set. Each has its own glory and its part in the story. Each has its own set of mysteries and histories. One leads to the other and is its own past and future that way. You can’t take them apart.

I could say Mabon because it was my first, but then there was that Yule-tide with that really great bonfire or the first time we made the Lammas sacrificial Bread Man. Oh! Let’s not forget Maypoles and garlands or those long Mid-Summer nights and Fire-Fly! And Spring brings Pan, but Imbolg visions leave me almost as breathless as the Mighty One and the Veil at Samhain… But what about that sacrificial meat loaf!
 
I’m most fond of the one I haven’t done yet. 

 

When asked if there have been any books that were influential to her spiritual growth, Lady Lucina responded with something that may sound familiar to many of us. Arianthe and I often approach research projects in much the same manner:

Okay well, reading… Now you’ve hit on a very tricky subject.

A lot of people think that the only way to do well in the Craft is to be a voracious reader, and I’m just not really a reader.

I changed schools 3 times during critical years when reading habits are formed… And then I went into remedial reading programs that only made it worse. I read, but slowly because I have to hear each word in my head as I read in order to understand.

For critical projects, my husband, who is a very quick reader, will guide me to things he thinks are important when we do research together and then I sort of tear them apart, fan them out and expand and contract it all and put them together to get the meat and juice out of them.  

Teamwork.

It’s not that I don’t read. It’s that I read selectively.  

My favourite Craft book will always be Stewart Farrar’s What Witches Do … simply because it helped me need to know more. It turned me toward the Star I now follow. There have been lots of great and good books since, but it’s like love… You never forget that first one… the one that helped you grow up and gave you your heart.

 

“What are some of your lesser known hobbies or interests?”

Hobbies… I like to teach and write. I make preserves, sew and sing some (by the way, I am one of the female voices on Moon Hooves in the Sand). I’ve been a patternmaker, a costumer, a student, a teacher, an artist, a parent…

And a Priestess …

After all… What IS a hobby? 
 
The temple room in our home has murals on the walls and ceiling expressing times of day and seasons appropriate to their quarter nature… Once the borders were up, I painted the walls myself… 
 
But mostly I like to teach. I like to tell the stories and help show people why things are the way they are, why the mechanics of the circle work. I like to show them the building blocks and help create the foundation of magick.

I like them to ask and answer the question: “Why?”
 
Oh yeah… and I’m a Trekker.  

“If you could offer a single message to young or new seekers to the Trad – what would it be?”

The most important thing you will find here, if you look hard enough, is you. 

=====

I don’t think it can be said any better than that. As we head into the future of Blue Star Tradition, it is always wise to look carefully at where we’ve come from, so that we can know where we’re going. We are truly blessed to have Elders like Lady Lucina in our Family, who can provide us with much needed direction and guidance as we move forward.

Thank you, Lady Lucina, for taking the time to be interviewed. Your responses were warm, humorous, humble, and enlightening. Our future generations are that much richer for having you and the rest of Crystal Blue Star around to keep things in perspective.

Tabs on Trad: jay linnell

Tabs on Trad: jay linnell
Tabs on Trad:  jay linnell

 

Shakespeare’s Juliet Capulet once asked “What’s in a name?”

Names given to us by our parents are chosen to convey hopes, pass down heritage, and offer children an aspiration. The names given to us by others show how we are esteemed, what we have been and have become. T.S Eliot wrote, in The Naming of Cats, that even our feline companions hold possession of three different names; we are no different.

As Pagans, most Blue Star folk are aware of the importance and difficulty that goes in to choosing their sacred name, we seek a name that defines our everything, that will convey our everything to anyone who hears it, who utters it.

In the vainglorious era of twitter and in the land which coined the term “selfie” – is a man who prefers to leave the caps lock off.

In craft related contexts you may see him listed as CWM – he answers to jay, but when the day first came to choose a name of his own, left in the land of profundity, the name he found within, and the name he chose to be called, was Friend.

Today he will always accept that name, and in circle introduces himself as Charles Wallace Murry.

Quick Facts

  • Birth-name: jay lee linnell
  • Married name: jay lee hatlen linnell
  • Nom de plume: jl or CWM
  • Birthdate: Jan 25, 1975
  • Degree: 1st degree Initiate.
  • Current Grove/Coven: Spiral Tor
  • Other B* Ties: Lake Star, Ravenstar, Spiral Gate.
  • Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Where to find him: Blue Star Mailing Lists, and Blue Star Facebook groups, Canvassing the streets and making waves of change.
  • Lesser Known Hobbies: Makin’ Jam from fruits and flowers, Gardening, RPG Gaming, Shower Singing

What role do you play in the family – how would your Caricature be drawn?

“My caricature would have multiple faces. I live in different worlds and find that I am described very differently by people who know me in different roles. That isn’t problematic to me, as every relationship draws forth a different piece of my spirit, and the jay my wife married is quite different from the jay my coworkers know or even the jay who raises my children. I’d also have hands in multiple projects, one foot in my bedroom and the other on a path that goes somewhere better than now.”

Speaking of faces – Let’s talk facial hair – tell me truthfully, when was the last time anyone saw your “whole” face, and would you ever consider being a Facial Hair Model – if there was such a thing?

“Facial hair model? If someone wanted to photograph or paint my face, I’d be happy to let them. When was I last clean-shaven? Hm. I think I shaved once about six years ago?

[I] Didn’t shave at all until I was 21, and since 23 have occasionally trimmed just because I’m afraid of that middle phase between “respectably trimmed beard” and “ZZ Top”. One of the two is lovely, but between them I fear I look untrustworthy.”

Do you have an obscure, interesting, unique, fun, useful (or useless) talents you’d like to share with us?

“Scat-singing. I haven’t shown off onstage in years and I miss that!”

“I can also babble back and forth more than you’d like about 20th century pedagogical philosophies as tools of social management… Oh and I’m a purty good cook when given time in the kitchen.”

I noticed your facebook profile links to a “gofundme” account?
Can you briefly tell us who this is for and why?

“My son Wesley wants to do a several-week study abroad sometime this coming winter, in Costa Rica. We’ve been raising money through sales of cookies and jams he makes, chores for various friends and families we know, and by inviting direct donations. To read more, you can visit www.gofundme.com/Wesley-Abroad

Where Politics and Activism meets Faith and Practice. 

When asked if there was a correlation between what he does spiritually and what he does as an activist/politically, jay stated “Political action is one of many ways we act in the world on our values, and my values are quite entwined with my spirituality.”

jay’s mother is a municipal inspector raised in a strict Baptist background (they found Blue Star together when he was a teen), his father was an activist involved with the ACLU and environmental causes; it’s not too far a stretch to say, that from the very beginning spiritual values and activism have always been tethered in his life. According to jay, his parents have been incredible resources to him, insightfully opening doors that would reveal pathways he would want to travel, and educating him on how he might do that successfully.

“Mom took me to political caucuses most years, both parents encouraged my involvement in issues and campaigns which excited me, and my teachers in grade school also encouraged us to develop an understanding of what we valued, and to work to see those values take root in our community. So really… I’ve been an uppity activist from the cradle. “

jay is presently a:

  • Caseworker in a county public assistance office
  • Membership Officer for Northern Dawn council of Covenant of the Goddess
  • Volunteer on various activist projects

Some things jay has worked on:

  • Volunteered in a few campaign offices
  • Served as an election judge for most elections from 1992 through 2002,
  • Served a year in Americorps, managing volunteer reading tutors for grade school children
  • Campaigned for local office-seekers and issue campaigns in Iowa and Minnesota.
  • Campaigned for Marriage Equality

In his early youth, jay attended a liberal Baptist church with his family. He even continued to attend Sunday School for a solid year after the rest of his family had lost the desire to go. Of his experience he says

“Our Sunday School opened my eyes in beautiful ways. They made a point of teaching us about the basic beliefs of Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and a few other traditions. …That showed me there were so many ways of understanding the world, and encouraged me to listen with an open and critical mind.”

Although he stopped attending that Sunday School around 9 years old, he was lucky enough to have the kind of community that would indulge his questions. jay maintained a voracious appetite for religious, mystical and philosophical texts.

Were there any books influential to your spiritual growth?

“Frankly I’m a classic example of Wicca as ‘people of the bookcase’. I’m going to cut this short lest I never stop naming books, but let’s just say I’ll be happy to chatter about books with anybody. If I haven’t read it, you’ll probably excite me to do so!”

“John Williams led me to a focus on individual relationship with divinity as the ultimate spiritual community beyond and superseding any doctrine, and from George Fox I learned to pair that with a humble understanding that those with whom I worship are as close to divinity as I, and our differences in faith and opinion are to be honored as part of the conversation of faith. “

The quick and dirty list: Madeline L’engle, ee cummings, John Lennon, The Witches’ God/Witches’ Goddess books by Janet and Stewart Farrar, Principia Discordia, and the writings of many poets, novelists and playwrights.

The naming of jay is a difficult matter, it isn’t just one of your holiday games:

At birth, he was given another man’s initial – named ‘Jay’, after his parents’ friend Jon Jackson, Jr., who generally presented as ‘JJ’; jay rarely shares his full middle name, and generally presents only the initial.  This is because it is the name of a relative whom he knows largely as an abuser of others in the family.

It was in-fact through his love of reading and poetry that jay came to question the way writers present themselves, and how he in turn preferred his own name to be treated.

“When I was a teen I looked at ways various poets presented their names and asked myself why certain choices were made. Capitalization to set myself apart from all else I value in the world felt… self-interested? prideful? I’m part of my world, not the center of it, thus I prefer not to be placed in a higher class than things like “home”, “sky”, or “water”, which are spirits due their own respect.”

The Path to Blue Star

Through his father’s peer group comprised of “a lot of post-sixties hippies,” and a few “openly spiritualist/eclectic/pagans” jay met a woman named Lisa – whom we know as Lady Spiral – a coworker of his father’s at an environmentalist political fundraising group in Minneapolis.

jay’s mom developed a close friendship with Lisa, and he spent a lot of time around her home, both socially and in later teen years in employment caring for her son Orion. When jay was around fifteen years old, Lisa, having met K&Tz during the tour years at a festival, invited a number of friends to form a study group. That study group later became Lake Star. At age 16, at Heartland 1991, jay was Dedicated.

I asked jay how his friends took the news that he had changed his faith/practice. For the most part, he kept mum about his new path. “I didn’t actually talk about it to other kids at school so much, but to a few when I figured out where they stood. But one year I gave out Christmas/Hanukkah/seasonal cards I hand-made, to like 50 folks at school. I made a couple that said “happy yule” to a couple girls I knew were pagan. They were happily surprised.”

Is there a particular Sabbat that is most fun or fond for you?

“My favorite circle memories ever were old 12th-night circles we held with Lake Star and with Ravenstar in the 1990s. But my fondest actual-sabbat would be Lammas. The table’s part of it, but I feel so warmly connected to community, to earth, to history and to future in the Lammas celebration. It’s also a night of particular importance to one of my patrons, Lugh, and I share that night with him in other ways.”

A Pagan, and a Friend of Christ:

For many pagans, the faith of their childhood and/or the masses is often greeted with a degree of animosity; jay’s experience with the church and with Jesus was never tarnished even as he found another spiritual path calling him.

Of this jay spoke:

“Along the way, reflections led me to re-explore that Baptist upbringing from an exceedingly liberal and polytheistic bent. I came back to the church which began the journey leading to Blue Star, and I maintain membership and active attendance there. Jesus is a patron to me, along with Arawn and a significant relationship with various fox spirits. This church knows I am a witch who seeks a relationship with Jesus as one among many gods, and I am there because his rituals are specific to his community, thus lead me to spend some of my worship time in a setting apart from Blue Star celebrations. I’m certainly no orthodox follower of Jesus, but they’ve accepted me, and I’m on the church’s board.”

If you could offer a single message to young or new seekers to the Trad what would it be?

Welcome to the conversation! I look forward to learning from you. 🙂

——————–

Thank you jay for being so willing to share this conversation with me, and the rest of the world. We really appreciate the way you live your faith, practice what you preach, and the warmth and good nature which you share so willingly in act and deed. You’re one of a kind, and we’re truly blessed to have you in our priesthood!

——————–

If you would like to be featured, or know someone who should be – drop us a line at serenitycoven@gmail.com

 

 

Tabs on Trad Feature: Lauren DeVoe

Tabs on Trad Feature: Lauren DeVoe

In early March of 2013, I was searching the internet for a look into what other Pagan and Wiccan families did for different holidays and rituals. I poked the internet, I prodded the google, and then stumbled directly into a blogpost Lauren had written for thepaganhousehold.com in her column Sage & Scourge.

In her article Pagans and Family, Lauren says, “I do not have children. My partner and I are not married. Nonetheless, we are a family. Our Pagan people are our family.” This statement is one that I believe resonates for every Blue Star Traditionalist, and it is the primary reason I chose Lauren as our first Feature.
It also helps that she said “yes.

In reading her responses to our interview/questionnaire (internairre), it was evident Lauren was a great, if not perfect place for us to begin our Tabs on Trad articles. She’s a dynamic new voice, with a friendly personality, an academic with an open mind.

Without further-ado, or gilding of the lily, I present:

An Internairre with Lauren DeVoe.

Lauren

Quick Facts:
Degree: 1st Initiate, Since Feb 15th 2013.
Coven: The Iron and Cypress Coven
Location: New Orleans, Louisianna
WebHomes:
Sage & Scourge @thepaganhousehold.com
The Blue Star Owl
A Pyrate Perspective

How old are you/ Birthday/ Sun Sign/?
I am 27. My birthday is December 27th and I’m a grounded and stubborn Capricorn. Hippocamps unite!

How long have you been involved in Blue Star?
I believe that I am in my third year? My first Blue Star ritual happened in February of 2011.

Every family has different “types” of people – characters if you will. What role do you think you play in the family – how would your Caricature be drawn?
I am definitely the bookworm. I’m that person that likes to hide in the corner with a good book. It has only been through the Pirates and living with Kenny Klein that I have really come out of my shell. Being a Priestess definitely challenges my need to stay hidden.

Were there any books or people who were most influential to your spiritual growth?
This is a hard one. As a kid I devoured mythology of all types. I think these stories in general have influenced me to seek out the things that I always knew were there. It was through mythology that I learned about the type of divine that resonated with me and the things that I could do to worship that Gods that made all of us happy. Mythology has also had a heavy influence on my academic and professional lives.

What initially brought you B*/ How did you “know” it was your spiritual home.
This is going to be a long answer! Sorry!
My partner Kenny Klein brought me into Blue Star.
But of course, as with most things, it’s not that simple.

I’ve been Pagan most of my life, but growing up in a Midwest, Methodist household with a pretty fundamental father made it a lot harder for me to realize that the Goddess was hitting me over the head with her call. I’ve built shrines and talked to the Goddess my whole life, but I was just a bit slower than others to pick up that there was a title for what I was doing and practicing!

When I was really little, I remember sitting in Church wondering what I was missing that everyone else was picking up and finding such joy in. I never found Deity in a Christian Church. I heard the whisper of the divine when I was by myself outside in the woods and would catch things out of the corner of my eye. I always knew that the world was a magical place. As an early teen I finally said enough is enough and formally walked away from my family’s religion. It was such a relief to no longer be pretending!

I think my first real experience with the Goddess was when I was in college. I had some severe depression issues and in the midst of a really bad bout of it, I woke up one day with Her voice in my head telling me that it was time to make a change in my life. When I started actually listening to Her, my life became healthy and balanced again and I was able to finally conquer the things that were wrong and move forward. But I still lacked a spiritual family. That came next.

I was really lucky and right after college I fell into a group of rowdy pirates who were all practicing Eclectics. They were my first spiritual family and they did a good job of pointing me down paths that I had never contemplated before. They refined a lot of my magical thinking and introduced the beauty of group practice to me. They also put names to the things that I had always known. One of the people that I will always consider to be one of my Priestesses was one of the Pirate Ladies. But the one area that I still had a huge problem with was ritual and where to go next. Something else was just out of my reach…

In the Fall of 2010, I went to a small festival in Ohio for Mabon, where I met Kenny Klein. We didn’t like each other at all. I thought he was a grumpy old curmudgeon. Coming home from that festival, I hit a deer and almost totaled my car. Herne had literally flung himself at me. I knew at that point that the God was talking to me. I had other things going on in my life at that time and I knew that the God was telling me something, I just didn’t know what! (Did I mention that sometimes I’m slow?) Looking back now, I see where he was pulling me.

Kenny and I obviously eventually got over our dislike of each other. When I first started dating Kenny, my friends warned me that he was an Old School Wiccan. It was like a title that vibrated in my head every time someone looked at me solemnly and asked if I was prepared to deal with that. It’s sort of funny now. Remember that I was hanging out with a bunch of Eclectics with authority issues. I had avoided Wicca for a long time. All of the Wiccans I knew had a lot of drama going on in their Circles and in their lives that I had no interest in having as a part of my spiritual life. One of the worst rituals I’ve ever lived through (and it was a ritual that I lived through) was “Wiccan”. I thought that if that’s what they were all going on about, I had no interest whatsoever in having any part of it.

I also didn’t want to practice a religion just because my partner did.I had watched my mother do that and I felt that it was very hypocritical. As a typical Capricorn, I dug in my hooves and said “No”.

But, after meeting the rest of Kenny’s coven and having the opportunity to hang out with everyone, I got to know the people first, which is probably what convinced me to ask to come to a ritual. Not to mention curiosity to see what it was that was such a big part of my partner’s life. I knew that there had to be some compromise; I just wasn’t sure what shape it would take to make us both happy. I never expected to find a home in Blue Star.

In the midst of that first Blue Star ritual, I knew that I had found what I had been looking for. Everything I had done before had led me to that moment. It was so different from what I expected. The first time one of my coven sisters mixed salt and water, that zing happened that still happens for me every time we go into Circle. It was like this ritual tied up everything I had experienced and thought about in my Pagan path so far. I still had a lot of issues with traditional Wicca and it took me a long time to sort through those and decide that Initiation was something that I wanted to seek, but I knew that I had finally come home in that Circle.

While becoming a Priestess was not something that I ever expected to happen to me, I’m so glad that it did and that Blue Star appeared when it did.

The work I’ve done through Blue Star has changed and inspired the rest of my life.

The hard work and effort that has gone into this path is paying off and I’m so excited to see what comes next. I am truly blessed to have found my path in Blue Star.

Could you explain the differences between the places you write for us?

My Blue Star Owl blog on WordPress was actually a blog that I started to use to work through my thoughts on Eclecticism and Wicca and then as something to help process my outer court experience. Kenny always joked that if we discussed something I would probably end up writing a blog about it.

To me, questioning the place of traditions and hierarchy in modern Paganism is important, so is highlighting issues found throughout the modern Pagan community. Writing just happens to be my vehicle for processing thought and working through things. These days it ends up being whatever is on my mind or interests me at the moment.

I think I didn’t realize how important this type of writing is until I disagreed with one of the major Pagan bloggers out there and they and their fans saw it.

I had 12,000 hits in one day and people across the internet yelling that I was the most Gods’ awful person ever for suggesting that I might disagree with this person. People still like to email me and rail against my opinions on this particular subject. I realized that if just one person reads my blogs and starts a discussion about it, than I have done my job. I think this is an idea that I have carried into my Priestesshood. If I can inspire people to seek out a different opinion or viewpoint on something, I can help teach them a different way to think or approach it. We have so many resources out there and we should use them!

Sage and Scourge at The Pagan Household was originally about how Kenny and I combined our two practices in a new household. I think a lot of people, even in the fairly open minded Pagan community, make automatic assumptions about how the term family is defined. My closest family is not my blood relatives.

I wanted to let people see that you didn’t have to be married or have children to create a family and that two people of sometimes widely different viewpoints could create a strong and balanced family life. I wanted to show that there are other alternatives out there.

I also wanted to show that you can be openly Pagan and be accepted within your wider community.

In general this is a family oriented website that likes to present resources and help to other Pagan families. I enjoy having a place to offer rituals for specific events and recipes for sabbats, as well as discussing Pagan ideas of family, history and resources available for those who don’t know about them.

My blog at Pagan Square, “A Pyrate Perspective”, is generally my much more academic or scholarly blog. I also approach many more political issues over there. Again, this goes back to creating dialogue and showing that there are many more view points out there than just the big names. You don’t have to be famous to have an important view point.

Sometimes I like to joke about the Pagan Blog Mafia, if you disagree with them, you get yelled at and called vile names, but without an alternate viewpoint, how can you truly think an idea through?

As a young practitioner, I think I also need to speak up with a voice from the newest generation of Paganism. Our community is growing and changing every day. It is an exciting time to be a Pagan!

What inspires you to write? Where do your article concepts come from?

Anything that fires me up! Sometimes it’s a myth or a piece of history that I love. Sometimes it’s political. Sometimes it’s something that came up in my real life. I am also one of the few people I know who didn’t start out with Wicca. Knowing my own struggle with Wicca, I want to let people know that despite some of the crazy out there, it is a practice that is both powerful and meaningful and that you shouldn’t automatically shun it if you’re looking for a Pagan path.

Is there a particular Sabbat that is most fun or fond for you?

Samhain is probably pretty stereotypical, but to me this has always been an important time of year in my life. Some of my biggest life choices have occurred at Samhain and some of the best rituals and celebrations I’ve been lucky to be a part of have occurred at Samhain. I also have a strong connection with the other side of the veil and the dead and this is a time of year where my senses really stretch out. In Ohio, we used to rent cabins out in Hocking Hills and make a whole weekend of it. It was always a special sabbat for my group of people.

What are some of your lesser known/unblogged about hobbies, or interests?

I’m a pretty avid Cosplayer. A friend of mine and I spend hours and hours making our own costumes. Luckily enough, I live in New Orleans and have a ton of places to wear them! The idea of masking is also one that I find to be extremely important and relevant in my Pagan life.

I am also a sub-krewe commander in the Krewe of Chewbacchus. If you like Science Fiction and Fantasy, this is the Mardi Gras parade for you! My sub-krewe is The Party Elves of Mirkwood, the dudebros of the forest. It’s all about Randy Thrandy!

You seem very politically active, are there initiatives you are involved in that you would care to explain or have us link to through your feature?

I am a huge fan of Slutwalk, which is about “working to challenge mindsets and stereotypes of victim-blaming and slut-shaming”. Slutwalks are usually local events where women meet up in various states of dress and “protest” victim blaming. (You know the, well she was wearing a short skirt, she was ASKING to be raped, type of mindest).

I also support Planned Parenthood and any Pro-Choice event. I feel like people don’t understand that when they give up these sorts of choices and freedoms, others are soon to disappear.

Outside of Writing you are also a Model, do you have any other “claims to fame” or accomplishments you would like us to know about?

Haha! This is what happens when you live with an artist! I usually end up modeling for friends and I occasionally perform with Kenny when he has no other options! (Poor Kenny).

I’m about to start work on my graduate degree in the Fall and Kenny and I have a book coming out this winter from Llewellyn about Fairy Tales and magical theory. (I’m pretty excited about that!) We’re focusing on non-Grimm’s tales and are looking at finding magic and ritual within some of our favorite fairy tales.

In the “real world”, I’m an Acquisitions Coordinator that buys all of the books for the Tulane University Libraries. You can never have enough books!

If you could offer a single message to young or new seekers to the Trad – what would it be?

I would tell them to get away from the computer and to find actual people to talk to. Finding physical teachers will allow you to reach places you never expected to find. While the internet is amazing and there are a lot of books out there these days, they just can’t replace experience. Go to Pagan festivals, go to Pagan Pride Days. Seek other Pagan events out. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help, get to know your community. Get involved. And most importantly, be curious. Never be content to stop looking for the next idea or project.

Lauren: We are thrilled that you found time to fill out the internairre for us. Thanks for being our first victim…uhh..guinea..err.. Featured Guest.   You are 1 of a Kind and we are ever so happy to have you as part of our Blue Star Family and Greater Pagan Community.

If -YOU- would like or, wouldn’t mind being our next Tabs on Trad vict…Feature,  or you have a suggestion for someone who should be “tapped” contact,  serenitycoven at gmail or reach out to us on facebook.

 

Tabs on Trad: A New Category of Szine Articles.

Tabs on Trad: A New Category of Szine Articles.

One calling card of the Blue Star Tradition, is our sense of “Family.”
In an effort to shine a light on what a truly diverse and wonderful family we have, the S-Zine will now be taking articles featuring individuals in our community, their work, websites, artistry, and activism.
You can sort to these articles by choosing the Tabs on Trad selection in the Categories drop down.

All Tabs on Trad articles must be approved by both Serenity Admins AND the subject around whom they center. Blue Star folks are encouraged to throw their name into the hat for being Featured.