Welcome to the front lines! You won't find spells here. You won't find Wicca or Witchcraft 101. You likely won't even find a group of Pagans that agree on any of those. What you will find is discussion, debate and commentary on issues big and small from members of the community that believe seeing all sides and taking a stance isn't a right but a responsibility. Come in and sit a spell. Or better yet, come in and add YOUR voice to our efforts. You won't regret it.

The Pagans United Mission:

The mission of Pagans United is to help Pagan Americans engage in both the social and political arenas. We do this by creating a sense of unity within the diverse Pagan community, through public outreach, education, and activism while acting as stewards of Mother Earth at all times.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Twas the Evening of Samhain
by Cather Steincamp

'Twas the evening of Samhain, and all through the placewere pagans preparing the ritual space.

The candles were set in the corners with care, in hopes that the Watchtowers soon would be there.

We all had our robes on (as is habitual)

and had just settled down and were starting our ritual

when out on the porch there arose such a chorus that we went to the door, and waiting there for us

were children in costumes of various kinds with visions of chocolate bright in their minds.

In all of our workings, we'd almost forgot,but we had purchased candy (we'd purchased a LOT),

And so, as they flocked from all over the street, they all got some chocolate or something else sweet.

We didn't think twice of delaying our rite, Kids just don't have this much fun every night.

For hours they came, with the time-honored schtick of giving a choice: a treat or a trick.

As is proper, the parents were there for the games,

Watching the children and calling their names."On Vader, On Leia,On Dexter and DeeDee,On Xena, on Buffy,Casper and Tweety!

To the block of apartmentson the neighboring road; You'll get so much candy, you'll have to be TOWED!

"The volume of children eventually dropped, and as it grew darker, it finally stopped.

But as we prepared to return to our rite, One child more stepped out of the night.She couldn't have been more than twelve or thirteen.

Her hair was deep red, and her robe, forest greenwith a simple gold cord tying off at the waist.

She'd a staff in her hand and a smile on her face. No make-up, nor mask, or accompanying kitsch, so we asked who she was; she replied "I'm a witch.

And no, I don't fly through the sky on my broom; I only use that thing for cleaning my room.

My magical powers aren't really that neat,but I won't threaten tricks; I'll just ask for a treat.

"We found it refreshing, so we gave incense cones, A candle, a crystal, a few other stones,And the rest of the candy (which might fill a van).

She turned to her father (a man dressed as Pan)and laughed,

"Yes, I know, Dad, it's past time for bed,"and started to leave,

but she first turned and said"I'm sorry for further delaying your rite.Blessed Samhain to all, and a magical night."


Wishing all a wonderous Samhain. May the Lord and Lady bless you and watch over you in the New Year. May the Lord and Lady watch over our Troops and bring them all home soon!!

So Mote it Be

Laura, President/Founder
Pagans United

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Embrace the Eye of the Storm!

Most of the world likes to play it safe. They go to their safe jobs, come home to their safe relationships, they drive safe cars, they invest money in safe corporations, they think safe thoughts, and they want nothing more than to feel safe and secure. Survival of the fittest dictates that these people live another day and therefore get to breed and would make up the majority of the population. We could say that they play it smart.

But there is another kind, too. This other group lives for thrills. They don’t just occasionally think outside the box, they actually prefer to live outside the box. This is a group who thrives on adventure, change, and newness. They love innovative new ideas, they like to explore new things, and push the envelope beyond its capabilities. They are the visionaries who perceive something beyond where we stand today.

This group often does not feel understood nor supported by the mainstream population. They are not rebels, although they are often accused of being rebellious because they do not embrace the status quo. This group is not anti-anything. They do not define themselves by NOT being a member of someone else’s group. They do not require group consensus to be who they are. Young adults often think that by dressing badly or by misbehaving that they are somehow brave and different from whatever it is that they are opposing, but that is not revolutionary and different, that is just anger turned inside out. Most of the time they are not accomplishing anything by simply making a mess of their lives. They are not making a point, they are not changing the world, they are simply behaving in a manner that causes people to shun them. That is not the group I am talking about today.

This group is made up of people like Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, Nikola Tesla, Susan B Anthony, Melissa Etheridge, Nelson Mandela, and countless others who do not strive to be different nor to go against the mainstream beliefs. They simply are different, they think different, they live different, and they make passionate choices to contribute something meaningful to humanity despite the fact that others oppose them. All of these people stand tall despite the chaos and anger of those surrounding them. “Why can’t you just leave well enough alone? Why do you always have to push people too far? Why can’t you just get along?”

Those who would keep things safe and comfortable become frightened and angry at these innovative new thinkers. They torment them, threaten them, mistreat them, ostracize them, and create a storm of ugliness to try and stop these people from simply sharing the gifts of their hearts that they were born to share with humanity. Years later, often after they have long been dead, future generations can look back in hindsight and see their bravery as admirable. But in the moment, these people are historically treated terribly. These people are typically men and women of peace who do not go out with an angry rebellious need to stir up trouble. They fight for higher ideals because in their heart of hearts they truly believe that things could be better for mankind. They hold a vision of better things to come and they follow that vision wherever it takes them.

Today there are millions of people who would change the world with their beautiful open-minded hearts and their incredibly brilliant minds, especially the upcoming teenagers and young adults in their early twenties. They feel that there is no point in even trying because the current political and cultural environment is so against them. I would be lying if I claimed that what you see as extreme hostility towards change was not at a peak right now. You are right. They do not want to change again, but you are right, it is time for another change and you are the ones to help bring it. Do not be afraid of the backlash. Stand tall and do what you know in your heart is right and just for all, not just what benefits a chosen few. You know that ignorance can no longer rule the people. You know that blind obedience is no longer a viable option.

To you I say, meet me in the eye of the storm and together we will steer this mess in another direction. Jump into the storm. Do not stand on the sidelines too lazy and scared to do anything about all of the ugliness going on around you. Jump into the storm. Swim and fight your way to the center of the vortex. There we will sit together in the quiet and find the solutions. Until we embrace the eye of the storm and really see what is at the root of humanity’s hatred of each other, we will never find a long-term solution that creates real peace and equality for everyone. We need to heal our planet, our bodies, and the spiritual hearts of our species.

People say that the signs are all here and Armageddon has begun. Why save the planet if the savior is coming to take the good and holy people away to a better place? Since we are not going to be here much longer, we may as well fry it on our way out. The current administration behaves as though there won’t be any future generations left behind to clean up after them. How selfish to assume that your god will come carry you off to heaven, therefore you do not have to care for the people and planet that are going to be left in the wake of your final choices. Who is to say that is not the ultimate test of who stays and who gets to ascend to a better place? If you had to pick and choose who were truly worthy of burning in hell or going to heaven, would you pick the folks who were killing and raging war in the name of God or would you pick the people who were crying out for love, equality, and to save the planet?

I stand here in the eye of the storm, turmoil and war all around me, my heart quiet and strong. The vision is very clear here. I will do my part to save the planet for the sake of those left behind. It is not for me to say who should or should not prevail. Someone will be left standing here on this planet, with this atmosphere, with this water, with this soil. For them, I say let’s create a plan so that they have the best possible chance of rebuilding a new world. For love of this place with its beaches, mountains, and forests that I love so much, I will hold the love of Mother Nature in my heart. You know, if the savior comes to haul all the good guys off to a better place, I think I will volunteer to stay behind to help make this battered planet a place of beauty once more. When you are done with your religious wars and your ascensions into heaven, give the planet back to those of us who care for her and please do not come back. Embrace the eye of the storm, for the vision is very clear here.

Copyright 2005, Skye Thomas, Tomorrow’s Edge

Skye Thomas is the CEO of Tomorrow’s Edge, an Internet leader in inspiring leaps of faith. Her books, articles, newsletters, and astrological forecasts have inspired people of all ages and faiths to recommit themselves to the pursuit of happiness. To read more of her articles, free previews of her books, and her astrology forecasts, go to www.TomorrowsEdge.net. To read more about Skye and to sign up to receive her free newsletters, go to www.SkyeThomas.com.

Freedom of Religion

We were all taught in school that our forefathers left England to escape religious dictatorships. Okay, there was a lot more to it then that, but it was a big enough deal that they made sure it got honorable mention in our rulebook. They clearly made the point that we were to have freedom of religion here in America. They also used the word “God” in some of their formal paperwork and even on our money. I do not want to argue politics here, but rather semantics. They did not say “freedom of Christianity,” they said “freedom of religion.” The boys who wrote up all of our formal paperwork were wordsmiths and they debated long and hard to find the perfect set of words to govern ourselves by. It was not decided that we had the freedom to choose whichever form of Christianity that we liked, but whichever form of religion. Religion is in and of itself a much broader concept then Christianity. “God” can mean a lot more then just the Christian definition too.

No, I do not agree with all the bickering and arguing over whether or not there should be prayers in school or if the Pledge of Allegiance is constitutional. You cannot stop someone from praying whenever or wherever they choose. Nor can you force a prayer out of someone either. It is a dumb thing to argue about and not worth being offended over either way. I think it is important to teach out children what our country’s Pledge of Allegiance is, but I do not know that it is right to force anyone to state a pledge, especially children. It seems a bit dictator-like and kind of like brainwashing to me. Teach them what it means. Teach them what prayer means. Teach them what making a pledge of any kind means whether it is a pledge of ones allegiance to their country’s flag, a pledge of fidelity to a spouse, or a pledge of loyalty to a boss. But also teach them that in this country we have the freedom to make pledges or not. Teach them that in this country we have the freedom to pray to whoever or whatever we like and the freedom not to pray. Teach them just how important that freedom is.

I am saddened when I hear of Pagans being persecuted for their spiritual beliefs in this country. Did the Sunday school teachers forget to mention that using the colors green and red for Christmas is Pagan? Did they mention that Christmas lights, Yule logs, and wreaths are all Pagan? Did they mention that almost every single Christian holiday is celebrated ironically on top of a Pagan festival? Why do you think we have bunnies, baby chicks, and pretty flowers as part of our Easter celebration? Because it coincides with the Pagans' celebrations of Spring’s renewal. From what I can see, Pagans are not all evil ugly witches anymore than all Christians are white supremacists.

I do not have a deep knowledge of all of the different religions of the world, but I can tell you that it does not take much research to see that they are all very much the same. Get past which church uses which secret handshake and which rule book you should follow, and you find that they’re all teaching us to respect each other, to love each other, to conduct yourself with honor, and to be good to the planet and animals that we are blessed with. The rest is all dogma and debatable. Nobody has any real concrete proof that their particular form of God is the only one. Who’s to say that God or Jesus is not wise enough to visit more than once using different names and different forms? Wouldn’t it make sense given the size of the planet that the rest of the world would need to be given a fair chance at knowing about God too? Is Buddha so very different from Jesus? Their teachings are incredibly similar. Why limit God to a concept that only fits what your particular culture or region of the world knows about?

Another thing that always puzzled me is why prophets and seers are allowed to channel holy books and tell of the Messiah’s coming, but then we’re told by the churches that being psychic is demonic? It seems a bit contradictory to me. Every psychic I have ever met lost power over their visions if they were not acting in the highest good. Most of the psychics I have met believe very deeply in a form of God or some sort of a higher magical loving guidance over us. Their visions into the other side created that belief. There is nothing quite like chatting with the All Mighty to make a believer out of you. Isn’t prayer in and of itself a form of telepathic psychic connection with the other side?

It just seems to me that if we quit arguing over what words, labels, and names we give these concepts and quit arguing over methods of prayer and such that we would see that we are all so much more alike then we are different. I have known three different Catholic men who fell in love with the Buddhist faith because it so beautifully highlights the teachings of Christ. I really believe that is what we are meant to do. All of the holy books tell us to love one another. You cannot truly love someone if you do not take the time to really get to know them and what they stand for. Shouldn’t we learn about each other from a place of love rather than from a place of judgment? Nobody can prove that anyone else’s religion is wrong and nobody can prove that theirs is right. Too many translators over the course of history to be able to be 100% sure about anything any more. We cannot really assume that the others are completely wrong and we cannot assume that our own religion is completely right. Religion and God is so much more than we can fully understand at this time.

Copyright 2004, Skye Thomas, Tomorrow’s Edge

Skye Thomas is the CEO of Tomorrow’s Edge, an Internet leader in inspiring leaps of faith. Her books, articles, newsletters, and astrological forecasts have inspired people of all ages and faiths to recommit themselves to the pursuit of happiness. To read more of her articles, free previews of her books, and her astrology forecasts, go to www.TomorrowsEdge.net. To read more about Skye and to sign up to receive her free newsletters, go to www.SkyeThomas.com.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Care Packages For Troops: New Contacts and Wish Lists!

23 Oct 07
Subject: Pagan Troop Supplies
Contact: Laura M. Roberts, President, Pagans United

Pagans United will be sponsoring the following Pagan Groups in Afghanistan and Iraq until further notice. I will be keeping all you apprised of what is needed and when. For now this is a basic list....many of these groups have nothing and no way to get them. So please, even if tis just a card or letter send what you can.

I will be in contact with the following contact people personally to find out what items they really need. Remember with the colder weather and holidays, items like cider, flavored coffees and such are appreciated. Other non pagan items always appreciated. Big item...FOOT POWDER...make sure tis the kind with Styric Acid in the ingredients otherwise they just get goop in the boot. LOL. Snacks, toiletries, soups, teas, magazines, books are all highly appreciated items.

Blessed Be,
Laura & Keith Roberts, Pagans United

Contact: Marcus Rice
HHC 2-69 AR (S-6)
FOB Rustamivah
APO AE 09390

*****Also, various stones and books on stones and stone magick. Need candles in all of the element colors.

Contact: Shawn Lunsford
APO AE 09351

(All supplies for a beginning group)

Afghanistan Contact
Contact: Christina Wittenberg
23rd CHEM BN
APO AE 09314

(New Group needs all supplies and help - currently 7 people)

Afghanistan Contact
Contact David Horton
HHC 82nd CAB
Bagram Air Field
APO AE 09354

(All Supplies)

Contact: TSgt Vincent, Richard
Kirkush Military Training Base
APO AE 09324

This is a new group and they are in need of candles 4" for personal use and larger for main ritual use; all colors) and incense (cone and stick for personal, resin for ritual)

SGT Keith Roberts
Unit 42-167
Camp Victory Iraq
AE 09342

Frederick Twombly
HHC, 3rd Sig Bde
APO, AE 09342

Pagans United Official Statement

From: Pagans United
Subject: "South Carolina Witch Hunts" (Rhonda/Steve Grouper) Date: October 26, 2007
Contact: Laura Robert (laura@pagansunited.com)

While Pagans United works diligently to protect the rights and good standing of Pagan Americans, at this time we do not feel that any efforts on our behalf are warranted in the case of Rhonda and Steve Grouper in Little River, South Carolina. We base this decision on the evidence and information that Pagans United has received from multiple sources. We have evaluated and investigated all evidence and believe that this case is not one of religious discrimination, but is based on actual concerns raised by officials involved in the case.

Should we receive further evidence, we will continue to investigate. At this time, however, we stand by our previous decision to not become involved and encourage the Pagan community to research and investigate prior to claiming discrimination in any and all cases. To call discrimination where none exists does nothing for bringing the Pagan family of faiths into the mainstreams. Indeed, it sets us all back in that mission and makes the work of everyone infinitely harder.

It should further be noted that there is a vast difference between discrimination and ignorance. When met with the latter, education is always the best response and should always be the first line of defense. Educational materials can be found on the Pagans United website or by contacting a Pagans United Board Member and are free for distribution to the Pagan community and general public.

Pagans United members will continue to investigate all claims sent their way by community members. However, it must be noted that Pagans United stands firm in our belief that our good name and reliable reputation not be associated with any case in which we cannot say with absolutely certainty that we feel discrimination has occurred.


A Few Words from the Founder

I began this group three years ago simply because I was tired of watching my Pagan Brothers and Sisters constantly being discriminated against simply because of their religious preferences. I was completely fed up with the way the Media portrayed us...all negative, of course. For the longest time I sat and complained, however, seeing that it was getting me absolutely no where I chose to make a stand. A very public stand. Yes, when I decide on action I usually jump in with both feet and hit the ground running. So here we are today.

I've always been a firm believer in the old adage "the squeaky wheel gets the grease" and that it only takes one person to get the ball rolling and make a difference. I decided to be that squeaky wheel and luckily I was fortunate enough to find a handful of others that wished to aid me in this endeavor. Many are still with me today 3 years later.

It is vital that we stand together as one in the Pagan Community, putting aside our differences, and take a stand against those that wish to take away our rights to worship freely. A right, I might add, that this nation was founded on. It's important to do what we can to educate the public and the media with the facts regarding our Paths. No one in this day and age of supposed enlightenment should be fearful to admit their religion or hide away all that resonates in their very souls. I have been on this path for a very very long time and one thing I can tell you is that there are many paths up the mountain...no one path is more important or correct than the other....simply different.

Another issue that pulls at me strongly is our stewardship of Mother Earth. As my husband is so fond of saying, it is vital for us as Pagan Americans to "walk our talk" and take our stewardship of Mother Earth seriously. Our natural resources are dwindling faster than we ever imagined. Many of our animals are on the verge of extinction, there are drastic changes in our weather patterns due to global warming that are creating havoc everywhere. The list goes on and on. We are at a point that we must do something and do it fast before there is no turning back.

The point is that there is something each and everyone of us can do. For those of you fearful of "coming out of the broom closet", you don't have to. There are many things you can do in your everyday lives. (i.e. recycling, volunteering at an animal shelter, etc.) You can write letters whatever...but the point is do something. There are those like me who don't mind being out front so it all balances out. My advise to you is "just do it".

So here I am today, 3 years later. I remember being dissuaded by many in the beginning with people telling me "herding Pagans is like herding cats", "That one person couldn't make a difference", "that you are endangering other Pagans by asking them to be as public as you are." The reasons why I shouldn't do this were numerous. However, that only served to make me more determined then ever. Looking back, there were bad times, but none of that could ever outshine the good times and the things we have been able to accomplish.

Many have come and many have gone...many are still standing with me today. We've become not only a group working for change, but a family. We are closely bonded by our cause and belief;, bonds that will last us a lifetime. We share each others joys, sorrows, and there is always a shoulder to lean on when its needed. We are all family and as family tis time to put aside the differences between us and work together and MAKE A DIFFERENCE in the world we share. I hope you'll join us. I can promise you rewards and personal satisfaction beyond your wildest dreams.

Blessed Be,