Picture, if you will, a virtual campfire in the astral plane, and around this campfire, a heartbeat drum calls to the elders and leaders of the worldwide Pagan community. They are organizers, facilitators, authors, musicians, scholars, artists, advocates, and community-builders. They practice almost every conceivable Pagan faith and span time zones from the Pacific Coast of North America to New South Wales, Australia. Some of them are famous, some not-so-famous, and some only famous in their own communities. But wherever they are, whoever they are, they are those who find the paths for the rest of us.
My name is Sable Aradia, and I'm a Witch from Vernon, BC, Canada. This was the vision that came to me one day when I looked at my Facebook contact list, and realized how many interesting and influential Pagans had responded to my contact requests. I wasn't sure they would go for it - after all, by definition they are very busy people - but I put the email out there anyway, realizing that it really couldn't hurt to ask. And the response was overwhelming. I found most of these people to be approachable, friendly, accommodating, and eager to share ideas and build bridges. And with the technology of Skype, we made it happen.
Once a month, we will gather to discuss topics of interest to Pagans everywhere, with panels formed from a list of some of the greatest movers and shakers in the modern Pagan world. We'll record our candid discussions live and uncensored for the rest of the world to hear. There are only two rules; try not to interrupt anyone, and if anyone starts mudslinging, they will be asked to leave.
Welcome to Pagan Pathfinders!
Podcast Theme Song 2011: "Beneath the Below is a River" by Wendy Rule & Craig Patterson. From the CD Beneath the Below is a River, copyright (c) 2009. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Podcast Theme Song 2012: "Circle Song" by Wendy Rule. From the CD Wolf Sky, copyright (c) 2010. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
"Pagan Pathfinders Podcast" by Diane Morrison is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada License.
Copyright (c) 2011, 2012 by Diane Morrison.
Part 1 of 2. In 2011, I had an opportunity to travel to, and facilitate, three Pagan Pride events in British Columbia (Okanagan Valley, Vancouver and Nanaimo.) I spoke to some of the organizers of the events in between my travels about what Pagan Pride is all about and why they do it. I also recorded many of the events and entertainment at the different Pagan Pride events I attended, and I mixed those recordings throughout our discussion to try to provide a mosiac image of the Pagan Pride experience. I intended to make Edmonton Pagan Pride, I wasn't able to do so, but one of my panelists was the Local Coordinator for that event.
Panelists: Kam Abbot, Sable Aradia and Ed Van Der Zoewen.
Length: 1 hour 2 minutes 28 seconds. Recorded live August 29, 2011 at approximately 3 am UTC. Includes live recordings from Okanagan Pagan Pride Day 2011 (August 13,) Vancouver Pagan Pride Day 2011 (August 20,) and Nanaimo Pagan Pride Day 2011 (August 27.)
Part 3 of 3. At PanFest, the major Pagan festival in Alberta, which happens on the August long weekend, I had an opportunity to speak with ByThor and Selene about the history of the Pagan and occult communities in Canada in general and Alberta in particular from the 1970s to now. They also shared a lot of their personal experiences. Unlike most of our podcasts, this one was recorded in person, not over Skype, and so while we found a relatively quiet corner, you can hear the background noise of the festival in places.
Panelists: ByThor and Selene.
Length: 1 hour 33 minutes 37 seconds. Recorded live July 31, 2011 at approximately 8 pm UTC.
Part 2 of 3. In the first part of the podcast, we continue with the conversation we were having with Hawk, Erin McRoy and Sam Wagar about Canadian Paganism in the past few years and today, comparing and contrasting regional differences and what they would like to see happen in the Canadian Pagan community in the next few years. In the second part of the podcast, on the way back from the Canadian National Pagan Conference "Gaia Gathering," I pull into a diner in Brooks, Alberta to borrow their wi-fi and connect with Brenda Myers of Ottawa, Dodie Graham of Winnipeg, who is one of the Conference's organizers, and Grunnar, a long-time Pagan friend of mine who was very active in the BC Interior's Pagan community before he moved out to Saskatchewan. I had been to some of their homes in the course of the trip and I am fresh from my Conference experience, which was amazing. We discuss the Conference, regional differences and similarities, why our vast and beautiful country creates a greater need to build bridges between us but makes it reasonably simple for us to commune with the natural world in sacred appreciation, and how we can go about improving those connections between us in the future.
Panelists: Brendan Myers, Dodie Graham, Erin McRoy, Grunnar, Hawk, Sam Wagar.
Length: 1 hour 21 minutes 56 seconds. Recorded live May 7 at 9 pm UTC, and May 31 at 12 am UTC.
Part 1 of 3. With the Canadian National Pagan Conference around the corner, the panelists, all Canadian Pagans from BC and Alberta, discuss the landscape of Canadian Paganism; from the history behind its founding, to the cultural influences that spread and perpetuated it, to different influences in the overall Canadian Pagan community, as well as regional and traditional differences and commonalities.
Panelists: Hawk, Erin McRoy, Sam Wagar.
Length: 1 hour 20 minutes 15 seconds. Recorded live May 7 at 9 pm UTC.
Our panel met to discuss the practice of magick and how we incorporate it into our daily lives. Topics covered included our magickal tools, including how to make them (especially collapsable magickal staves!); consciously-focused magick vs. magick "en passant" ('in passing" or subconscious magick); the parking goddess Squat and the art of finding parking spaces when needed; magick as the art of influencing probabilities; whether magick that "just happens" is chosen by our subconscious as an unspoken desire that we are actually manifesting or whether it actually "just happens"; serendipity; omens; magick in the natural world and living in harmony with it; whether or not it is better to use specifically-chosen tools or to work with what your surroundings provide you; how more and more things "just happen" for you in your daily lives the longer you practice magick; the ethics of magick for "small things" and the ethics of magick done without permission, especially healing; manifestations of the Divine connection in our daily lives, even when we don't quite understand the message; Brighid; forms of Divinity; getting out of our own way; and Pagan Old Farts. Mostly we had a great time, and agreed that the topic was too broad and we'd like to revisit it again in the next few months!
Panelists: Hawk, Ellen Evert Hopman, Juniper Jeni, Erin McRoy, Myranda O'Byrne, Diana Paxson, Oberon Zell.
Length: 1 hour 30 minutes 37 seconds. Recorded live April 9 at 7 pm UTC.
At the first gathering of the Pagan Pathfinders Podcast, we experimented with audio equipment, Skype, and how many people we could get together at the same time. Ten of our intended panelists showed up! This large group made it necessary to record on two computers at once with two separate internet connections; hence, the slightly tinny sound. Intended as an initial introduction lasting about an hour, two and a half hours later we were still talking, and new friendships were being forged and old friendships renewed. I realized that leaders in the Pagan community get lonely because they rarely have a chance to talk to people who are doing the same sorts of things, and who are at the same level of practice as they are, and that this discussion is a way to make those kinds of connections possible, which is as good for those leaders as it is for the rest of us!
Our discussion began in the backgrounds and work of the panelists, which led to a variety of topics: Pagan festivals and conferences around the world, the Daughters of the Flame, what's going on with the recent influx of spiritual energy that most occultly-sensitive people have been feeling, how Paganism informs our politics, Pagan publishing, whether Wicca should be practiced in groups or whether a solitary path was also legitimately Wicca, the benefits and limitations of Skype, doing your own thing whether other people like it or not, whether or not Paganism is still growing as rapidly as it was a few years ago, Witch Wars and Pagan politics and how to deal with them but still be involved in the community, ideas for future topics, the Rules, the wealth of Pagan musical talent in Australia, being queer and Pagan, being polyamorous and Pagan, magick done to make political changes and to heal the earth and its people, magick done over distances in concert, PODsnet and the evolution into the internet, the merits of both group and solitary practice, and accents.
Panelists appearing in this episode include: Lord Alexian, Hawk, Ellen Evert Hopman, Edain McCoy, Nisaba Merrieweather, Brendan Myers, Myranda O'Byrne, Ali Ravenwood, Natalie Reed, and Sam Wagar.
Length: 2 hours 11 minutes 47 seconds. Recorded live March 5, 2011 UTC.