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White Oak Grove CUUPS

Exploring Pagan Traditions in Rockford, IL

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class recap

March Discussion Recap

For our march meeting members of White Oak Grove CUUPS gathered online to discuss our favorite subject, our pets! Well, not quite; from familiars, to guides, to divination, the participation of animals in magic was the subject of our monthly discussion this time around. Those on a pagan or earth based path would be no stranger to the connection between animals and magic. Topics up for discussion was the role of animals as magic familiars, particularly whether they can be pets or not, the role and differences of spirit animals and of animal spirits, animals appearing in divination methods, and the bond that those on a pagan path often have with animals of all shapes and sizes.

Our discussion leader, Juliette, recommended these books and oracle decks for those looking to further their bond with or understanding of animals in magic:

  • Animal Magick by D.J. Conway
  • Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Correspondences by Sandra Kynes
  • Animal Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small by Ted Andrews
  • Intimate Nature: The Bond Between Women and Animals – Edited by Linda Hogan, Deena Metzger and Brenda Peterson
  • The Druid Animal Oracle – Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm
  • The Spirit Animal Oracle – Colette Baron-Reed
  • Oracle of the Shapeshifters – Lucy Cavendish
  • The Secret Language of Animals Oracle – Chip Richards
  • Messages From Your Animal Guides Oracle – Stephen D. Farmer

February Discussion Recap

This month members of White Oak Grove CUUPS gathered online for our regular meeting where we took a look at the path of Alchemy, it’s relationship with the elements, and it’s practitioners. If you weren’t able to make the session you can find the full set of class notes on our facebook page.

Defined as the process of taking something ordinary and turning it into something extraordinary, sometimes in a way that cannot be explained, Alchemy is the medieval forerunner of chemistry based on the supposed transformation of matter. Beginning about 100 AD, alchemy was an art based partly upon magic and partly upon experiment. They became investigators of natural processes, looking for a mythical substance called a “Philosopher’s Stone”. It turns out that this might not have ever been a literal stone, but a way or powder that had a magical influence on the base metals to attempt to turn them into gold and make one able to achieve immortality. While there’s no proof of the “Philosopher’s Stone” ever existing that has never stopped Alchemists, both modern and ancient, from trying to achieve it.

It turns out that when Alchemists talk about turning led into gold, they may actually be talking about a spiritual journey and transformation rather than turning actually turning the first into the latter! Early philosophers tried to explain the existence of gold and other substances and the theory that elements in the earth matured from “least perfect” (lead) to “most perfect” (gold). By combining the methods of science, psychology, and religion Alchemists embark on a unique spiritual journey in the hopes of turning themselves into the legendary “Philosopher’s Stone” by achieving perfect balance of the elements within themselves.

Interested in learning more? Check out these books recommended by by our presenters Betsy and Warren:

  • Alchemy – The Medieval Alchemists and their Royal Art by Fabricus, Johannes
  • The Herbal Alchemist’s Handbook by Harrison, Karen
  • Idiot’s Guide to Alchemy by Hauck, Dennis
  • The Last Sorcerers: The Path from Alchemy to the Periodic Table by Morris, Richard

January Discussion Recap

Members of White Oak Grove CUUPS gathered online for our monthly discussion group, and this month we focused on Common Pagan Chants and Songs. During our time together we learned some Pagan songs and chants that folks are likely hear used in rituals, gatherings, or even just as entertainment.

The idea of including chants and songs into our rituals is one that’s been around for awhile. One doesn’t even have to really think that hard to realize that something which can be repeated over and over again in a chant will be quick to catch onto, or that something with a familiar or easy tune. The use of songs and chants in our rituals and gatherings helps to focus and direct the energy of the group, and the ones created for fun help us connect to our heritage and community. So it seems to me that the songs and chants of the pagan community will be around for an even longer time to come.

 If you weren’t able to make the session, check out these online resources:

Or listen to the picks of our discussion leader April Kane!

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