More than 4 decades ago I started down this spiritual path. In the Lower Mainland in those days the Pagan community was invisible: Virtually unseen. Truly "occult". Did you know that the word "occult" means "hidden"? There was no internet. Contacts were made from obscure notices left on book store cork boards. There were few books available. People gathered in secret, in darkness, looking over their shoulders, fearful of how those in the community would perceive them due to the massive amount of misinformation in circulation. Wicca and other Pagan religions were recognized by no level of government. Pagans gathered in secret circles, put up magickal walls to fence out negativity, called on the guardians of the quarters to protect and shield them, called on their deities to aid them, all of them turning away from the light.
In the early 90s I travelled to the Memphis, Tennessee, area to help a group of less than 2 dozen struggling Pagans establish themselves as a legal religious entity in a hostile environment. In one public talk in Jonesboro, Arkansas, I required 2 bodyguards, body armor, and he entire police department in the front row to survive. The next morning an 18 year old named Charles Taylor asked my advice on becoming a police officer in Tennessee. He was already public about his Wiccan beliefs. At my talk at the Memphis Police Academy I was approached surreptitiously by 2 officers who whispered to me that they were Wiccan and all but ran away. Like a flower, trying to turn their faces to the light.
A few months later I travelled to Heartland Festival outside Leavenworth, Kansas. Again, a small group of people struggling to establish themselves, having signed the mortgage for 136 acres, hoping to create a Pagan sanctuary, fearful of the reaction of the local populace. 80 percent of the people that showed up for that festival called themselves Pagan because they drank until they fell face down. The organizers hoped for something better. Trying to turn their faces to the light.
A year ago I was invited to Lackland Air Force Base in Texas to conduct an Armoring ritual such as the one our Order is presenting later today. 400 men and women in uniform attended that ritual. All of them turning their faces to the sun.
Three months ago I returned to Memphis. I was picked up at the airport by Charles Taylor. Remember the 18 year old that wanted to be a cop? He was now Captain Taylor, a proud Pagan cop. He took me to meet the group that I remembered from decades earlier. They'd grown to 250 people, 3 generations, many of them legal clergy from 8 established Wiccan churches recognized right to the Supreme Court level. Several attendees were active Pagan military proudly wearing their religion on their dog tags. Every single person there turning their faces to the sun.
Two weeks later I returned to Heartland Festival. The original group had grown to 650 people, 3 generations, many of them legal Pagan clergy, many of them proud Pagans who had defended their country in the armed services. Their mortgage on their land at Gaia Retreat Center is now paid off, as of this month. Not a drunk in sight. You couldn't point your finger at a single person including children and say they weren't full committed to this spiritual path, all of them turning their faces to the sun.
Vancouver Pagan Pride is just around the corner. Once again my Order of Scáthach is hosting this event, which will take place in Hawthorne Park in Surrey, BC, on Saturday, 18 August. You can check it out at: http://vancouverpaganpride.wordpress.com/ Then in September I will be teaching at Hamilton, Ontario, Pagan Pride Day 15-16 September 2012: http://www.ppdhamilton.org/ I look forward to seeing some of you these events. At both events I’ll be conducting Armoring Rituals and Selena Fox will be assisting me in this at the Hamilton Event. You can check out pictures of our Order’s Armouring ritual from last year’s Vancouver Pagan Pride on my Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151563882065117.841484.760800116&type=3
I’ve just become a volunteer Wiccan chaplain for Providence Health Care in Vancouver (St. Paul’s, St. Vincent’s, and Mount St. Joseph’s hospitals). I’ll be conducting a Lughnasad memorial service with Knights of my Order for a palliative care patient who died at St. Vincent’s on August 5. I’ve also been in contact with Fraser Health who are signing me up to be a Pagan chaplain for their hospitals as well.
The Dark Man Trilogy is complete: Dark Water, Dark Fire, and Dark Storm are available now as both e books (Smashwords.com) and print on demand books (Amazon Createspace): I’ve written them under the pseudonym Carrie Bryce.You can check it out at my Carrie Bryce blog. I’m now 54,000 words into writing Eluned’s Apprentice, the second book of my Purification Trilogy, a sword and sorcery trilogy which I’ve written under my mundane name, C. A. Ennis. You can check it out at my C. A. Ennis Fantasy Blog.
The first print run of my book Pagan Religions: A Manual for Diversity Training, the updated version of my original book The Law Enforcement Guide to Wicca, has sold out and the publisher has announced a reprint. It is available for sale at: http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/Pagan-Religions-Manual-Diversity-Training-Kerr-Cuhulain/9780971005068-item.html?cookieCheck=1
If you follow my daily affirmations on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, you may be interested in checking out my book: How To Be Glorious: Day By Day Empowerment. This book is the next step in the the cycle begun with my earlier Llewellyn books on Warrior philosophy, Wiccan Warrior, Full Contact Magick, Magickal Self Defense, and Modern Knighthood. It’s about taking charge of your life instead of letting your life take charge of you. It’s available as an e book from Smashwords and as a print on demand book from Amazon.com. You may also want to check out my book Modern Knighthood: Unleashing Your Inner Power to Master Yourself and the World. This is out on Smashwords.com as an e book, and now it is out as a print on demand book at Createspace.
I’m on Pinterest now if you’d like to check out what I’m following.
If you’re into cooking, check out my recipe blog now too: Cauldron and Chalice.
Check out the Order of Scathach’s YouTube channel for our training videos and monthly affirmations. All of the lessons of the Order of Scathach’s training cycle have been uploaded as mini video lessons now. I’ve also been posting monthly inspirational videos.
Hope you have a wonderful Lughnasad.
Order of Scathach
Order of Scathach