Thursday, August 22, 2013

Welcome to another amazing face in our community. Hekate's Daughter, local craft teacher and a wise young lady.

I am currently offering Seeker and Student classes. Seeker classes begin on August 18 at 3pm. It is a 6 class overview of the Wiccan religion given every other Sunday over 12 weeks and an introduction for those who know little about Wicca and are interested in possibly becoming part of the religion. It is for people who are very new and know little to nothing about the religion itself.
Student classes are 20 weeks and began on July 28, but I will take students until September 8 for those who might be interested. Student classes are for those who know a little more about the religion and the practice of the religion. They will be hands on and deal with energy work, the elements, the holidays, and some of the why's of our traditions. Essentially, it is Wicca 101 from an eclectic point of view. Combined, these classes will be a year and a day. After all of the reading, classes, and homework are complete, there will be a student dedication weekend for those who may wish to dedicate themselves to this path.
These classes are held in my home to ensure privacy, for those who may be concerned about retribution from a job or people in their life (though I don't recommend lying to a spouse or significant other). Because these classes are held in my home, I do charge a materials fee of $10 per class. This fee is NOT for the information (I believe that it should be freely given), but for things like paper, printer ink, coffee, snacks and even toilet paper. At the end of the classes, each student will have the materials to begin teaching their own seeker and student classes.
I can be contacted via facebook as Hekate's Daughter and by phone at 573-228-9603. I do not have an answering machine, but can be reached after 5:30 Monday-Friday and almost all day on the weekends or by email at lightgoddess(at)gmail(dot)com more or less any time.
As for my own background in the Craft, I began this path as a solitary in 2001. I studied via the internet with a couple of ladies here in the US and an Alexandrian initiate in Australia (who eventually left Wicca to study her own shamanic family tradition). In mid 2010 I moved to northeast Arkansas and joined the Southern Delta Church of Wicca- ATC, and began working with a group. In April 2012 I was initiated first degree into the SDCW tradition. After initiation, I moved to Mid-Missouri and began study to achieve my second degree elevation with a third degree from my church living in the area. I have also begun Pagans in the Park, most recently. It is simply a group of pagans in the Columbia area who get together in Peace Park once a month to network, discuss and practice some hands-on element of the Craft, and have a good time. August's theme is energy work. For September, we will encourage everyone to visit Pagan Pride Day. October's theme will likely be psychometry. After it turns off cold, we will very likely move it to a meeting room at the library because no one likes to be a witch-cicle!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Caring for the Earth by Acting to Protect the Climate

A note to our readers: Mid-Missouri Pagan Pride routinely asks members of the community to contribute to our blog by writing articles which may be of interest to neopagans. Some of these articles discuss topics of a political nature. Mid-Missouri Pagan Pride takes no official position on these topics but instead maintains a policy of respectful discourse based on scientific validity and the promotion of equality for all people.

Caring for the Earth by Acting to Protect the Climate
by Mark Haim

We all have very good reasons to protect the environment of the one known habitable planet—the one we all live on—the Earth. Those involved in Earth-centered spirituality are, on average, even more keenly aware of this than the general public. Yet we often are not in touch with a sense of empowerment, and thus, with a sense that action on our part, right now, will help make a difference.

We shouldn’t need a reminder: climate change is real. We have all seen its impact already. It constitutes a major threat to our security. The draft National Climate Assessment (NCA), a joint project of 240 scientists representing thirteen federal agencies, was released in January of this year. It begins with the following:
Climate change is already affecting the American people. Certain types of weather events have become more frequent and/or intense including heat waves heavy downpours and in some regions floods and droughts. Sea level is rising, oceans are becoming more acidic and glaciers and arctic sea ice are melting. These changes are part of the pattern of global climate change, which is primarily driven by human activity.”
The introduction continues:
“U.S. average temperature has increased by about 1.5°F since 1895; more than 80% of this increase has occurred since 1980. The most recent decade was the nation’s hottest on record. . . .U.S. temperatures will continue to rise, with the next few decades projected to see another 2°F to 4°F of warming in most areas.”
The results are diverse and complex, including more extreme weather of all kinds, but the impacts of these changes are overwhelmingly negative. We’re looking at unprecedented loss of habitat, more species extinctions, less food, more disease, more extreme flooding, catastrophic fires, super-storms, in a nutshell multiple-disasters.

If ever there was a time for leadership by elected officials, this is surely it.

Where’s Claire on Climate & Why Does it Matter?

One elected official who should be responsive, but to date has failed to rise to the occasion, is Missouri Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill. Claire is not a climate change denier. She acknowledges that global warming is real, but she stops there and fails to embrace any policies to address the climate crisis. Moreover, she continues to support the expansion of the use of dirty fossil fuels. She backs the Keystone XL and Flanagan South tar sands pipelines, fracking for gas and oil, offshore drilling in the Arctic, and continued use of dirty coal. Policies such as these will only accelerate and exacerbate the climate crisis.

Far too many politicians, including Claire McCaskill, find it convenient not to challenge the basic premise that keeps fossil fuels producers making enormous profits, while leading us down the path to catastrophe. That premise is the notion that it’s feasible—without unacceptable harm to the climate—to keep drilling for more, to keep fracking, digging up tar sands, and building pipelines and other infrastructure that will allow these corporate giants to profitably market their climate-altering products for many decades to come.

In reality, if we burn just 20 percent of the world’s proven fossil fuel reserves, we will raise global temperature by 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees F).* This will cause severe dislocation. Burning more will truly lead to climate disaster. And the costs of climate change are never included in the price of dirty energy. [*For more information on this data, see Bill McKibben’s seminal article “Global Warming's Terrifying New Math” in July 2012's Rolling Stone.]

Our elected officials claim to be concerned about national security, but our real security needs, including the climate crisis, are not being addressed. And apparently the politicians are not feeling the heat over their failure to effectively deal with climate change.

We need to change that, and we don’t have the luxury of time. The climate crisis demands immediate attention, and that’s why Peaceworks and groups like ours around the nation are aiming to get the attention of our elected officials and insist on action now. We need to translate the polls that show tens of millions of concerned citizens into an effective movement that can generate sufficient pressure that yields real changes in public policy; changes that move us toward a Peace Economy and Real Security. And along the way, we must educate our friends and neighbors, so that even more will recognize the urgent need for action.

How Can You Plug In?

I’d like to urge all reading this to make your voices heard on this. There are many ways to do this. Here are a few you can join in:

EASIEST: Sign Peaceworks’ on-line petition at You can access this at, and you can share this shortlink via the social media network of your choice!
Send Claire a message through her website.
Call to share your concerns: DC# is 202-224-6154 and the CoMo# is 573-442-7130.

And, if you’re not already getting Peaceworks’ occasional e-updates and would like to keep up with upcoming events and other ways to get involved in this effort, please send us a post at with a request to “subscribe.” We send these on average about 2-3 times a month.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Faces and Places - Columbia Farmers Market

Welcome to Faces and Places!

Columbia Farmer’s Market was opened in 1980 and has grown amazingly since then. They have an open air market which supports locally grown and produced food and goods, and they're open year-round! The summer market is open on Wednesdays from 4pm – 6pm, Thursdays 3pm – 6pm, Fridays 3pm – 6pm and Saturdays 8am to 12pm. The market is open in various locations and has a wide variety of vendors.

Do you need plants straight from our local greenhouses? They have them. Do you want farm fresh eggs? They have them. Do you want the best jellies in town? They have them. Do you want the best honey in the state? They have that too. Don’t forget to pick up your breakfast and coffee while you shop on Saturdays! There's free entertainment too. Come on down and check them out. Visit their website to see where the market is being held today!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Faces and Places - Oak Spirit Sanctuary

Oak Spirit Sanctuary is a non-denominational Shamanic Wiccan church and nature preserve. They are located just west of Columbia, MO, and offer free lunar events as well as other periodic gatherings, Sabbat celebrations, and much more. They have been around for many years, originating as Renaissance Ridge, and then becoming Ozark Avalon. In the summer of 2012, the members of the church chose to celebrate their changing shape and mission by renaming their church Oak Spirit Sanctuary. In addition to honoring the trees which stand tall on the ridge, "Oak Spirit" stands for Ozark Avalon Kindred Spirit -- the name the members of the church call themselves.

Oak Spirit Sanctuary is open and welcome to many different paths. They “define [their] practices . . . to say [they] work with the spirits of nature through a variety of traditional earth-centered religious and magical systems. Celtic, Native American, Faerie, Norse, and many other practices are woven with classical energy work to create our ritual construction. [They] follow the Wiccan Rede, “an’ it harm none, do what thou will.”

They have fantastic raw camping grounds, some amazing circle spaces, and plenty of space for festivals or just basic camping to get back to nature. They are open year-round for outside rentals and camping. For more information, contact or check out their calendar of events at

Oak Spirit Sanctuary
26213 Cumberland Church Road
Boonville, MO 65233

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Faces and Places - Holts Summit Witches and Pagans

Welcome to our next Faces and Places!
Do you ever wonder if there are local open groups outside of the Columbia area? Let us introduce you to the Holts Summit Witches and Pagans (HSWP). HSWP is an eclectic group originally formed by Ann Marie Barnes. HSWP holds to a core set of values that include learning, growth and respect.

There are currently four core members of this diverse family: Ann (Drakmar), Founder; Kelly (RavenRayne), Administrator; Kurt (Jules Evar), Treasurer; and Kim (Raedice), Administrator. Each member follows a unique path, but nevertheless is united by the core values of the group and the stations each member fills. Some members also give back through community volunteerism.
HSWP typically meets on the third Saturday of each month and for rituals and observances. Guests are welcome during regular meeting days. Additionally, Mid-Missouri Pagan Pride has become an annual event in which the group has participated. They will have a booth at this year’s event. Come check out their handmade wares and help support this fantastic group!

Holts Summit Witches and Pagans' web presence is small but growing. For more information about the group, contact them using one of these methods:
Facebook Page: HSWitchesPagans
Facebook Group (Closed - Members Only): Holts Summit Witches and Pagans
Twitter: @HSWitchesPagans
Fax: 1-866-580-0794

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Faces and Places - The Center Project

The Center Project is mid-Missouri's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and ally community space. Located at 300 St. James Court in downtown Columbia, it offers a friendly, safe, and inviting space for the community. 

Maintained entirely with community financial and volunteer support, The Center Project offers hosting and facilitation support for a wide range of activities striving to encourage respect and inclusion among people of all sexual orientations and identities. They provide educational outreach, community activities, a resource center, and a variety of support services. 

Drop-in hours are 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays. The space features a book and media resource library, art exhibits by local community artists, and an inviting community space. Scheduled activities include the Men's Leadership and Activities group on Wednesday evenings, PRISM (LGBT support group), PFLAG, and a Thursday night fiber craft group. 

PRISM provides a safe, supportive environment for LGBT youth ages 13-18, according to Jamie Lenz, PRISM facilitator. “We accept referrals and keep the group relatively closed to protect the participants,” according Mr. Lenz. Inquiries regarding the program are welcome; Mr. Lenz can be contacted through the center at (573) 449-1188.

The Center Project assists in coordinating a number of other community activities including Gay Pride and a number of themed social events including Drag Brunch as fundraisers. Upcoming event information is available on the calendar at their website

In addition to their programming, the center provides free- to low-cost space for groups and organizations in furtherance of their mission. A list of these groups and programs is available at the group's website. 

The Center Project reflects the unique organizational culture of Columbia. They advocate through integration, education and communication. These are goals difficult not to support.

Monday, March 18, 2013


Heathenry (also called the Elder Troth or Ásatrú is the pre-Christian tribal religion and culture of the Northern European peoples known variously as the Germanic tribes, the Teutonic tribes, or the Northern Europeans. Today, Heathenry is a living religion practiced by many in the Americas and in Europe. Within it are many different sects based on the various tribal traditions or modern versions of them. Anyone, regardless of ancestry however can be a Heathen, if they believe and practice the Heathen way.

Heathen does not mean godless, in fact the Heathen peoples had many gods and goddesses. The names of many of these gods are familiar to us even today. You may recognize such gods as Odin (Wóden) god of poetry, the runes, and death; Thor (Thunor) god of thunder and the storm; Frigga (Frige) goddess of the home and children; Frey (Fréa) god of fertility and the land; Freya (Fréo) goddess of love, magic, and cats; Tyr (Tíw) god of law. There are many other gods and goddesses as well, each worshipped by many. The various gods are known by many names due to the many Germanic dialects. For example, those of the Icelandic tribal tradition refer to Odin as Oðinn while those of the Anglo-Saxon tribal tradition refer to him as Wóden. These differences are minor however, and are no different than someone that is multi-lingual pronouncing their name different ways in the different languages.

The gods are worshipped daily by Heathens as they go about their lives, but eight times a year Heathens gather together in festivals to worship the gods and join in fellowship. The names and dates of these festivals vary from tribe to tribe, but everywhere are the rites of blót and symbel performed. A blót is a form of communion with the gods, a time when food and drink are shared with them, and their blessings for our gifts are received. Symbel is a rite where toasts are made to the gods, the dead, ancestors, and our selves. While in symbel Heathens boast of their past deeds and vow to do even better deeds. All of this is done to put oneself in contact with the concept known as Wyrd.

Wyrd is one of the most complex of Heathen beliefs for it is the Law of the Universe. To demonstrate Wyrd, the ancient Heathens described it either as a well and a tree or as a great web (cloth) being woven upon a loom. The loom and web model best demonstrates how all things are connected, while the well and tree model best demonstrates how past deeds affect the present. The Web of Wyrd connects all things just as the fibers of a cloth touch many others, so every deed done affects a myriad other things. The Web of Wyrd can be seen in the life cycles and the food chains of the environment, and in our own lives. The Well of Wyrd and the World Tree ensure that past deeds determine what happens in the present. The World Tree is the present and from it drips dew which falls into the Well of Wyrd. There it sinks to the bottom to be drawn back to the present by the roots of the World Tree, or when Wyrd and her sisters water the tree every morning. The dew on the Tree represents actions or deeds being done in the present, while the water in the Well represents deeds of the past. Deeds from the past have their results in the present. In many ways it is like karma. Every deed one does has a consequence based upon some previous deed. If the deed is a good one, a Heathen will gain mægen (spiritual strength), if it is a bad one he or she will incur a scyld or "debt," and lose mægen until he or she can pay that debt with another deed. Mægen or spiritual strength is needed to get into the gods' abodes upon death. Souls with insufficient maegen are incapable of the struggle to reach the god-homes, and instead dwell in Hel's quiet realms, from which they are often reincarnated into Midgard again. Since Heathens prefer to attain to the god-realms with their closest god-friends after death, it behooves them to accumulate maegen through worthy deeds, and avoid the loss of their maegen by eschewing unworthy deeds. Heathens are guided in their deeds and lives of worth by knowledge of the virtues or "thews" of Heathen faith.

The Heathen thews are: Bravery, or the ability to overcome fear; Industriousness, or the ability to work hard; Friendship, or the ability to be likable to others and treat them as kin; Generosity, or the ability to share what is yours with others; Honesty, or the ability to be truthful in all undertakings; Hospitality, or the ability to open your home to others; Self-reliance, or the ability to depend on oneself and be an individual; Self-worth, or the ability to have good self-esteem; Steadfastness, or the ability to persevere in the face of hardship; Strength, or the physical and spiritual might that allows you to accomplish great things; Troth, or loyalty to friends and family and spouse; and Wisdom, or the ability to gain and use knowledge. These thews encourage Heathens to depend on oneself and to help others, not just for the good of oneself, but for the good of all. Together they form what is known as honor or worth and it is the aim of most Heathens to be honorable by practicing these thews with friend and stranger alike.

Heathenry as said before is a tribal religion. In today's world however, after 1,000 years of Christianity, Heathens have had to form artificial "tribes." Many Heathens are members of local groups, most often called kindreds, but also called hearths, fellowships, garths, and samnungs. There are also the national organizations, such as the Troth, Asatru Folk Assembly, and The Asatru Alliance. While every group has its own tradition, nearly all of them express a belief in the beliefs outlined here or some variation of them. Every group has different guidelines for membership, and these vary a great deal.

Swain Wodening