The Snakes are Still in Ireland

The Snakes are Still in Ireland: Pagans, Shamans, and Modern Druids in a Catholic World

 

BY SHWETA SARASWAT AND TRICIA TONGCO, GUEST CONTRIBUTORS

Shamanic TalkPhoto by Shweta Saraswat

It’s Friday night at The Magic Glass, a medium sized bar tucked inside the O’Callaghan Hotel in the center of Dublin. At first glance, the 40-odd people lounging inside seem like average Irish, glowing from the orange of the lamps and the heat of their drink. But they’ve rejected one of the key elements of what it means to be Irish: Catholicism and indeed Christianity.

A group of fit young men compare Celtic tattoos in one corner, a Wiccan crochets a snake doll in another, and a couple at the bar discusses an upcominghandfasting. This is a pagan moot, a regular meeting of the local pagan community including shamans, Wiccans, and Druids.

While such terms may conjure up images of people dancing naked by fire under the moonlight, contemporary paganism is simply the restoration of indigenous religions, especially that of ancient Europe. In recent decades, the Catholic Church has faced a steady decline in levels of practice and a cultural crisis, according to Olivia Cosgrove, co-editor of Ireland’s New Religious Movements. Consequently, non-religious or alternative spiritualities have become more widespread.

 

 

Full article here: http://www.onbeing.org/blog/the-snakes-are-still-in-ireland-pagans-shamans-and-modern-druids-in-a-catholic-world/5461

Seeking a Better Definition: Pagans Explore Manhood | The Wild Hunt

Seeking a Better Definition: Pagans Explore Manhood | The Wild Hunt.

Paganism, together with the many subcultures that are often associated with it, is a place where strong women are both common and respected for their power. The challenge this poses for men is finding a way to relate to, and partner with, women and others without falling back on a stereotypical bag of tricks that relies upon physical strength, aggressiveness, and an implicit threat of violence.

Opting to be subservient is not an option for many self-identified men, who desire to use their masculine gifts positively rather than deny them. The other extreme, embracing the take-no-prisoners macho approach that contributes to undercurrents of misogyny and an implicit acceptance of rape culture, is even more distasteful. The Wild Hunt spoke with several men with experience working through these issues.  Perhaps not surprisingly, those explorations are often in the context of ritual.

Wrestling members of the Brotherhood of the Stag and Wolf (photo credit Lyle Hawthorne)

– See more at: http://wildhunt.org/2015/06/seeking-a-better-definition-pagans-explore-manhood.html#sthash.zjegE9oa.dpuf