Pagan Music Artists, Stations and Festivals


Paganesque Music Radio on Spotify
Paganesque Radio on Spotify

One of our seekers once asked me about some of the music I was playing from my phone at an Ostara ritual. So I put together a, by no means comprehensive, list of some of my favorite Pagan or otherwise spiritual musicians. Afterwards, I got to thinking that some others might like to check these out too. So, with no further adieu, here are some links to some of my favorite Pagan artists and musicians whose music touches on Paganesque themes.

Paganesque Radio on Pandora
Paganesque Radio on Pandora

Paganesque Radio: Kind of along the same lines, I was looking for some more Pagan artists to add to my Pandora radio lineup and happened upon a list of interesting musicians compiled by Scott Shulz at The Juggler. So, I made a station of my own based on this list. Check out Paganesque Radio on Pandora. Then later I created a playlist on Spotify also inspired by the artists listed here. Check out: Paganesque Radio Playlist on Spotify


If you think of any others I have surely missed here please comment below.

If YOU are a Pagan Musician or Band and would like to be added to the seed list for my li’l ol’ stations then I would surely love to have ya. But, I can’t add ya on Pandora if your music isn’t on Pandora. Here’s their article for Artists Submitting to Pandora.

BTW ya’ll. I don’t make any money at all from these stations. The respective streaming services run the ads and take in the revenue then hopefully they pay royalties to the artists whose music is played there. I only curate the lists because I love and want to share the music with my friends. I highly encourage you to BUY their music and BUY their merchandise. SUPPORT these wonderful bards of our time and help them keep spreading good vibes.

Also See and Hear:

Sadly, I was unable to attend the first Caldera Fest in 2016 but my ticket for Caldera Festival 2017 is already purchased.

Psst! Hey, like my stuff? Please share with your friends via email, social media and such. I’m trying to build an audience here. Sharing is caring. Thanky muchly!


Living With The Land Vs. Mundania

Mundania is a term I’ve heard others use and I adopted to refer to the world and rules most people choose to live by. The “mother culture” as Daniel Quinn puts it.

Prosperity Outside Mundania
Prosperity Outside Mundania

One dream I have heard echoed by many and that I myself have had over the years is how nice it would be to have a bunch of pagan minded folks move to one community, buy land, start gardening and living life in a way that is more in tune with nature, our ancestors, our gods. I remember coming back from many festivals in which hundreds of us Pagans from many diverse backgrounds spent a weekend in the woods, working, playing, holding rituals, attending workshops, sharing stories… Then at night lighting a huge revel fire and dancing, drumming and laughing together throughout the night. I have said many times, I get my most peaceful, restful sleep in a tent with the smell of smoke in the air and the sound of drums in the distance.

Many times I and others have lamented it having to come to an end and having to return to mundania where the rules of a society that isn’t as in tune with pagan ways imposes itself upon us. The gate leaving one favorite spot has a sign that warns, “Dressed Be” and “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Naked” reminding returning festival goers that in mundania, clothing is NOT optional but mandatory.

The daily grind of life in the mainstream brings us back into full contact with a world that treats humankind as separate and above nature. A world that is driven by materialism and profit over quality of life and the arts. But what might a community run by Pagans look like? What if a town had a large enough population of Pagan minded folks to elect a mayor and city council who saw things through eyes much like our own?
Would there be shrines and temples at every street corner and statues to the gods and heroes of our past in the parks? Would the city services be more environmentally responsible? Would the laws be different? If so, in what ways?
Would there be community gardens and orchards of fruit and nut trees instead of purely ornamental vegetation along the roadways?

Some of us in Sacred Fire Temple and Esoteric Path of Enlightenment are looking into buying some land not too far outside the DFW area. Most of the decent prices seem to be out west a bit but trees and vegetation are somewhat lacking. Our search continues but not only do we plan to buy land for the tradition itself but also some of our members are considering buying land adjoining or near to that land to move their families to. We have thought about doing the things I talked about above when we are able to make that dream a reality. Can you imagine if that were to become a movement? What do you think a majority Pagan community might be like?

Setting Up The Wiccan Altar

Wiccan Altar Tools
Wiccan Altar Tools

Recently I shared an image I had found of a breakdown of the typical tools found on a Wiccan altar and their placement and use. I thought our first degrees in Sacred Fire Temple might find it interesting but, as one my my sisters pointed out, the resolution was horrible on it and it was impossible to print it out to use it as a guide. So, I vowed to find her a better one. For the past few days I have been searching but to no avail. So, I am doing the next best thing. This blog post should serve as a printable version of that same information and might be useful to other seekers who are looking to learn a bit of the esoteric path and Wicca. My apologies for the quality of the graphic here, I tried to sharpen it up and add clearer numbers. I hope you find this useful!

1. A candle for the God. Used to honor the God. Usually white, yellow or gold(The Sun). Occasionally green (for the Green Man) or red as well.

2. An image of the God. This may be a picture or a statue. You can use a symbol such as horns or antlers to represent the God as well.

3. Cakes. These may be small cakes, bread, cookies, muffins or something else baked. At special rituals and sabbats something appropriate for the time at hand is usually chosen.

4. The chalice. A ritual cup or goblet used to represent the feminine aspect or the womb of the Goddess in the Great Rite. It is filled with wine, juice, mead, spring water or the libation of your choosing.

5. An image of the Goddess. This may be a picture or a statue. You can also use a symbol such as a cauldron, spiral shell or flower to represent the Goddess if you choose.

6. A candle for the Goddess. Used to honor the Goddess. Usually black or silver as the moon.

7. An incense burner or censer. Used for atmosphere and to bless and consecrate. Sometimes herbs or a sage smudge stick is also used.

8. The athame. The ritual blade used to represent the male aspect in the Great Rite. It is also used to direct energies and cut doorways in the circle.

9 The wand. Used to direct energies and create the temple of the circle.

10. The pentacle. The focal point of the altar. Used to ground the energies of the ritual.

11. Bowl of water. Used in conjunction with the salt for cleansing.

12. Bowl of salt. Used in conjunction with the water in cleansing.

13. The bell. Used to call the beginning and end of ritual and to mark chants.

Notes for Ritual Preparation:

Here are some great ideas to help you keep your focus even if something is forgotten or goes wrong. A shoebox or chest that has been decorated or adorned with fabric and is kept beside or under the altar makes a great place to keep extra candles, incense, matches or a lighter and other ritual supplies. I keep a chest under my personal altar at home and a shelf near the altar with such items close at hand. A bottle of water can come in handy in the event of an overturned chalice that needs to be refilled in order for the ritual to continue. Also a small towel or cloth for quick cleanup in case of such an occasion.

 

In addition I found a couple of other nice altar images:

 

Samhain Altar
Samhain Altar
Altar Map
Altar Map

Blessed Be,

Cianaodh (Troy)

Pagans Of A Certain Age – Community?

This community needs an enema! Community or maybe come unity?

Want To Hear This? Community.
Want To Hear This?

I know I have talked about this before but I feel it bears talking about again and most often when I hear it, it comes from the elders in our community. By elders I am referring to folks who have even more gray hair than I do and have been around in the community longer. I applaud people having opinions and them expressing those opinions but whenever a person’s name is mentioned or a particular author is brought up; it does not always require an immediate response of something negative. There are plenty of folks out there in the Pagan community doing things which they feel is bettering the community. Some I agree with, others I don’t and I am sure there are lots of folks out there who feel the same way about me.

But I know of one individual who, every time certain people are mentioned in any conversation, anywhere about anything, they feel the need to immediately interject, “Oh! That person is an idiot!” Or that author’s work is pure fluff and fantasy, this person’s tradition is based on characters in a role playing game or all that coven does is hand select people they want for their wife swapping and swingers group. Etc. Etc. ad nauseum.

Some or all of those claims may indeed be true, but on behalf of those of us out here who would like to welcome new seekers to the community and help them find a group of people to learn with that might help them on their path, could we keep the barbs, claws, slings and arrows put away until they are asked for? I get that you may or may not like this person or that person and might not agree with their way of doing things. But the mere mention of their name is not always the time to express that. At least give someone an opportunity to ask first. Please?

That “idiot” might be the only person in the state of Texas who is leading an international youth group for Pagan kids. We need more of that and I think their good work should be encouraged before bashing that one thing they did wrong that one time in their life.

That author’s works might not be your cup of tea but if reading them causes a person’s mind to open up to new possibilities and explore other paths which may or may not lead to the one you are on, so be it! There are enough folks outside of the Pagan community who are more than willing to tear us down, ridicule us, make us out to be something we are not. We really, really, REALLY, don’t need to be doing it to each other. Can we please focus on the positive more and build one another up. Criticize constructively when it’s needed or asked for later?

Just my two coppers for today.

Many Blessings,

Cianaodh (Key-Ah-Knee) or Troy if you prefer.

Whose Prayer In Schools Is It Anyway?

Played With Real Nuclear Bombs! Prayer
Played With Real Nuclear Bombs!

My friend Toby S. Posted this as his status on the book of face yesterday and as one might imagine a great deal of commentary and debate soon ensued. But he brings up an excellent point which too many people, I think, miss. Is it a singular worldview arrogance that drives those who claim that prayer is not allowed in school (It is indeed allowed in most public schools actually.) or is it a drive for true religious coexistence?

So, when a person endorses or says they want prayer back in schools, or “god”, do they mean ALL concepts of prayer, ALL concepts of “god”? Or just one version? It is a mystery to me, how many people say things, but don’t truly know what they are really asking for. I think prayer is a fantastic idea! I also think that if that prayer is a rug facing East, or sitting Lotus style and chanting a mantra, or pacing off a sacred space to call god and goddess into, or simply laying prostrate at the feet of your interpretation of god should also be allowed. This advocating certain doctrines or ideology is two faced and should REALLY be examined when standing up for equality or trying to pressure legislation.

I’ve said it before and I won’t be silent about my stance on equality. What is good for one religion, lifestyle, political view, gender etc, is good for ALL of them.

Would it be right to take property tax money from a Wiccan household to pay for public schools but when their child goes to that public school, which their parents took a part in paying for, the child is then taught that their religion is wrong and only one god should be prayed to? That’s the million dollar question.

Phases – One Right After Another

Anyone who takes the time to be kind is beautiful. One of the finer phases of life.
Anyone who takes the time to be kind is beautiful. One of the finer phases of life.

I’m walking backwards
And I’m talking coyote
I’m gonna scream so loud
I can’t hear all the monkeys
Now society is so fucking free of me
I’ve got a Chaos Hand
And it’s pointing right at you – Omnia – Crazy Man

Phases

We tend to think of phases as just something our kids or teenagers go through. Or at least I do. Granted, during these formative years of our lives we tend to go through more phases and more quickly through them but I was reflecting recently that I have, and I believe we all do, constantly go through phases our entire lives. It’s simply part of the growing, maturing and learning process. We are confronted with new information that changes our perspective on things and for a time, as we grasp hold of this new enlightenment, we struggle with it a bit to figure out how it fits into the grand scheme of our worldview. This past Sahmain I not only attained my second degree in training within my temple but I met some new people who came and initiated with us to become a part of our spiritual family. Each person is like a book with their own life stories and experiences to share and each time we interact with them, they might share a little bit of their story with us. We really don’t know everything about a person’s entire path, the choices they have made and why they made them, what they have learned from these experiences, etc. Until we have read their entire book….

I don’t know a single person in my life, past or present, save but for myself whose entire book I have read. Oh, there are some who have shared more with me than others and of those I might have a better understanding of the things they do and why they do them. But if someone says or does something I don’t understand, then I have found the best way to try to understand better, is to ask them. Maybe they will tell me, maybe they won’t. Maybe their explanation will help me to understand better, or maybe it won’t. But in the interaction, we both might learn something we did not know before.

Back on December 2nd, 2013, I wrote an article about what I had learned leading up to and shortly after my Samhain second degree initiation about Craft Names and why some people choose to use them and why I myself chose, for the first time in more than 15 years to take one. Looking back on it, these mere 3 months later, I don’t know that I agree with everything I wrote there. Some I still do, other things I’m a little sketchy on at this time. But I realize looking back, that this was a phase in my development of new knowledge that has come to me and how I am working to fit it into my worldview and within my path. I LIKE my new craft name. It has deep and significant meaning for me. It is composed of three words from the Old Irish language which hearkens back to the time and place from where my ancestors came (down at least one line of my family tree anyway.) It means Ancient Fire with the Old Irish version of my surname Young (Óg) added to the end of it.  I like it so much that I started using it everywhere. Here on my blog, on a Facebook profile I created for use specifically with my Pagan friends and family who are not quite out of the broom closet and other places. I will continue to use it because it is a name of my choosing which reflects who and where I am on my path.

If you go back to the December 2nd article, you will notice it has no comments, no likes, no feedback whatsoever on it to this day, more than three months later. I never heard anything from anyone about it until months after it had been posted and they were very angry with me about it and other things I had done but had not bothered to say anything or ask me anything to get a better understanding of where I was or what I was going through. Two things I would like others to take away from this.

Be kind to everyone you meet because you never know what battles people are fighting.

and, this I say as much for myself as anyone else, because we are all human and all need reminders once in awhile about what is and is not a wise path to take. Do not sit and dwell on something someone has said or done and become angry about it without first making an attempt to better understand the person or situation they might be in. The attempt at communication may or may not clear the air but make the attempt anyway or let the anger go. Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies. It is not good for you spiritually or emotionally. It will not help you to grow in your path or become a better person.

Just my thoughts for this morning of March 8th, 2014. Tomorrow, or even this afternoon I might be in a different place. This all might be another phase, another page in my book. But I am sharing it with you now.

So many books, so little time,

Cianaodh

Recommended Reading From Worthy Sources

Athame and Runes - Ready For A Reading?
Athame and Runes – Ready For A Reading?

As a second degree priest in my tradition it is one of my duties to help our first degrees and seekers as much as possible with any questions they may have or struggles they might have encountered on their path. Recently, one of our first degree priestesses told me that although we have our gatherings for sabbats, moons and temple meetings and there are some instructional materials available there to learn from she yearned for more. She was seeking recommended books to read and more instruction on writing and performing her own rituals for when she is at home and would like to do a devotional or other type of observance. This reminded me of my time with ADF and the excellent list of recommended reading books they maintain for their dedicants to learn from.

I thought others who might be relatively new seekers or just looking for a good read might find this list useful too…

ADF Recommended Book List for Dedicants

 

Based off of the above list, some members of my tradition began compiling a recommended reading list of our own as well which you can find on my temple’s page here. There are lots of good books and a plethora of great authors out there in the realms of fiction and non-fiction alike for those who are interested in topics pertaining to ancient cultures, hidden knowledge, magick, history and more. Sometimes it can be trying to separate the reality from the fantasy but through imagination even those things we once considered to be pure fantasy can become reality. Just look around at the technology of today which was the science fiction of the past. First you imagine it, then you bring it into being. Maybe with a little magick along the way working hand in hand with good old fashioned elbow grease and brain power. Keep reading and keep dreaming. 🙂

Benefits Of Groups

Cianaodh (Troy) In A Kilt
Cianaodh (Troy) In A Kilt

Over the years I have studied as a solitaire and I have studied within groups. Whether you call your group a coven, temple, grove or something else doesn’t matter so much because there are certain dynamics which come into play when working with a group that do not when you are doing so as a solitaire. There are both pros and cons to going either route but I have found working with groups to be more to my liking. Yes, as a solitaire you are free to do what you want, when you want and as often as you want whereas with groups you have to compromise, negotiate and (gasp!) learn to get along with other people. But these too can be very beneficial skills in life. But to me, the number one strength I see in being part of groups is the diversity of knowledge and life experiences you have ready access to when you have close bonds with brothers and sisters who are of like mind and on a path very much like your own. Within the community you will find people who have unique knowledge in a variety of crafts. Some are great weather witches, others are knowledgeable herbalists or  gemologists. One may be great at Reiki and another has the gift of divination. Someone else might be well read on ancient lore or have great musical skills. But when your entire group gets together you have the opportunity to share in this combined knowledge and wisdom. Oh sure, you can have a great library of books and there is much to be learned from the internet but no one person can become an expert in the vast array of fields of esoteric knowledge out there overnight. It is a great resource to be able to stand right next to someone and pick their brain for answers to something you might be struggling with.

This is another of the things I enjoy about working with my brothers and sisters within Spirit Of the Sycamore tradition. But whatever your chosen path I hope you will consider the benefits of working with others as it helps you to grow and learn.

May You Never Thirst,

Troy a.k.a. Cianaodh (Key – Ah – Knee)