Monday, February 9, 2015

Pagan's and Evolution

One misconception which as spread throughout Christian and sometimes atheist/agnostic/nonreligious groups, is the idea that accepting science, means you are in a nonreligious category. This idea is as extreme as Pascal Wager, you must either be religious or you reject religion completely. Even for Christians, it suggest your either a modern puritan or you're an atheist.

Pagans often being lovers of nature are free to understand the science behind a sunset to the physical development of species of life surrounding them. Any reasonable, spiritual and or religion person can.

The fact is, the majority of theist including Christians accept the evidence of evolution. Though a vocal minority will make it appear otherwise. Those who believe in a creator, may accredited this being or beings in the direction of evolution over every single species. I personally don't believe in creators and accept the scientific findings in subjects such as biology and astronomy. I understand the current limit's in science and I don't try to fill in the blanks. I accept there are questions we may not live to see the answer and humanity may never find such answers.  

Confused about how am I a theist?

That's okay! For unanswered questions leads to new studies and findings. 

We shouldn't assert belief as fact or religion as law. For belief is subjective and law is suppose to be objective.

In high school, evolution wasn't covered, though occasionally mentioned. I graduated, with very little knowledge on the subject. I thought we evolved from monkeys, I had the idea that evolution had some direction it was intentionally leading too and many other very common misconceptions. 

In my adulthood, with the help of YouTube, I was able to educate myself about evolution. One of the reasons I'm choosing to home school my daughter is because I want her to be given the most up dated and informed knowledge in these ever changing arts. 

Teaching your children about updated and honest science will give them both the power to survive and appreciate the world around them. Whether they fill in the blanks with magic or leave them open, one must be humble to change when evidence replaces a beloved story. There is no shame in changing your mind when evidence presents itself contradicting a current belief.

I always felt it was arrogant to assume that the world view of ancient people out weight the physical findings of science. If such a creator existed, as commonly asserted, would the physical findings of science not be the remains of what your god left behind. To assume these ancient people understood the world around them or the concept of god, to the point we reject actual physical evidence is also a dangerous pattern. This direction of misinformation, is more manipulative than factual. It stunts our our social growth and can even plummet a society into a darkage. 

Fun ways to introduce children to science!

Natural History Museums: are always fun to take children too. There is always much to see and do for children in natural history museums.
Children love seeing skeletons, models and other displays of ancient artifacts. Along side with biology, historical and cultural education await for and your family behind those doors. Go as often as you can, depending where you live, some are admissions free. 

Aquariums and Zoo's: are great place to observe the many of the diverse animal species.Oftentimes these places have tours, where they talk about related species. For younger children you may want to find a more hands on place, such as petting zoo's or even just a trip to a pet store that is hands with children. 

Archeological and Paleontology locations: these can be out doors in a park or accompanied with a museum. This of course better for older children, age depending on their interest level and in some cases physical ability. Climbing could be involved in some the out door locations. 

Have your children take notes, either on paper or device. Give age appropriate task and projects during these outings. These are good places to learn to observe.

Dinosaurs Train: the Jim Henson company has done it again, finding new and creative ways to reach out to educate children in fun and entertaining way. Dinosaurs Train is a wonder programs, geared to teach young children science, mostly biology. They teach children scientific terminology with correct definitions, critical thinking, observations, as well as touching social issues. For example, the stories centers around a little T-rex and his adopted family of Pteranodons, who deals with issues similar to adopted children experience. Dinosaurs Train is a true delight and I suggest you watch it together. You will likely learn something new. 

Science Projects through Crafts and Hobbies: Science in my opinion should be as hands on as possible, especially with young children. Try to find hands on activities that allows artist expression to some degree. It could be making fossils out of clay or model of the solar system, expression is key to interest.

Science is the study the world around us, not the spiritual one. Science gives the physical prospective of life, what we do with the knowledge it provides is up the individual, not science itself. With the gift of knowledge, give your children the ethics to use their knowledge responsibly.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Handfasting, today's Pagan Weddings

In honor of Imbolc and Bridget the ancient bride, 

I humbly present


 for today's Pagan Weddings!

 "You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving. The great acts of love are done by those who are habitually performing small acts of kindness. We pardon to the extent that we love. Love is knowing that even when you are alone, you will never be lonely again. And great happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved. Loved for ourselves. And even loved in spite of ourselves.”
Love reflects love in return

The Divine Comedy
by Dante 

Weddings are a part of our lives, even if you aren't married. Friends will be getting married and even one day your children may choose to tie the knot.
Handfasting is a time honored tradition of literally tying the hands of the wedded couple until the next morning. Handfasting has changed over the years and we must adept. How do we know how to honor a pagan couple who chooses to be married under the pagan tradition?  Well I hope this will help clarify the different kinds of Handfasting out there and how you can act accordingly if you are ever invited to one.

Thoughts on Marriage
By Mark Twain
A marriage…makes of two fractional
lives a whole;
it gives to two purposeless lives
a work, and doubles the strength
of each to perform it;
it gives to two
questioning natures
a reason for living,
and something to live for;
it will give a new gladness
to the sunshine,
a new fragrance to the flowers,
a new beauty to the earth,
and a new mystery to life.


Wedding: This is a full legal marriage in which the couple has incorporated the hand bonding tradition, or pagan/spiritual rituals. The Unity candle carries the concept of handfasting, with the two flames joining as one.
 In invited a wedding, traditional wedding gifts are appropriate. Pagans tend to be colorful in their weddings, so you may be asked to wear clothing fitting a certain theme.

A Year & a Day Ceremony: This is a tradition, done a year and a day before the legal wedding takes place.Its a type of mock marriage or engagement ceremony. In this case, there ceremony is small, done with only a small group of people, if any. If this is included in an engagement party, engagement gifts are acceptable gifts. If not, small spiritual gifts are usually appropriate.

Nonlegal Handfasting Ceremony: There are many reasons one may want to profess their eternal love, but not be willing or able to legally be bound together. In many cases the couple may be very young, such as teenagers, expressing their love and future plans. Other cases they may be older and a marriage would effect their income. In some cases, they may be legally marriage to a separated spouse, or live in a state that discriminates against same sex marriage. The reasons can vary. Often this is done a small affair and good wishes and support are all you asked to bring.

Anniversary Handfasting: A couple may choose to renew their vows yearly after their handfasting. Often it will be a private affair for the couple, who is simply celebrating their anniversary.

If you are invited to this type of handfasting, an anniversary gift is all that is appropriate. Though be thoughtful for special occasions like 50th anniversaries, something for us all to celebrate.

Mock Weddings: sometimes in love, it is a light heart affair, sometimes leads two a ceremony. Nothing is binding. It can be a moment of lust and fun, a theatrical performances, a promise, or just two kids pretending to get married.

Pagan weddings can vary from many ways, from greatly traditional to extremely eccentric. You never know what to expect. Our marriages symbolize our love for each other and retelling of how we met. You can play along or sit back and enjoy the show.

Celtic Blessing

You are the star of each night, 
You are the brightness of every morning, 
You are the story of each guest, 
You are the report of every land.
No evil shall befall you, on hill nor bank, 
In field or valley, on mountain or in glen. 
Neither above, nor below, neither in sea, 
Nor on shore, in skies above,
Nor in the depths. 
You are the kernel of my heart, 
You are the face of my sun, 
You are the harp of my music, 
You are the crown of my company

In loving Memory of
the late
Isaac Bonewits
and in Honor his partner
who together joined
my husband and I
nearly nine years ago.