From the Director

Temple Guiding Principles

What Is Religion?

What Is Paganism?

2009 Director’s Message

2009 Spoken Word Goddess Liturgy

Xia’s Journey

About Xia by Pythia








Temple of the Goddess
2009 Director’s Message


The Wheel of Life turns, a new year begins, and temple facilitators came together to look back at last year’s rituals as well as to vision about the coming year and a theme that would guide our music, song, art, dance, spoken word, and myths. What seemed to collectively emerge was the current political climate as manifested by the election of President Obama: Reclaiming Hope, Healing the Earth/Healing Each Other, Yes We Can.


The ascension of Obama’s message to the American people gave us hope and I couldn’t help but note the Pagan tenets woven throughout his message. I do not purport, nor do I believe that our President is in any way affiliated with Paganism as a religion but much of the positive messages woven into his speeches are the simple basic tenets of Pagan beliefs. Over the years I have found this borne out time and time again with so many folks who learn about Paganism. After moving past their initial unfounded fears of what they’ve been taught Paganism is, the majority of people will inevitably say, “I had no idea I was a Pagan.” While these folks may never be comfortable in a ritual celebrating the seasons of the Earth, most can identify with the basics of our often maligned religion.


As I listened to Obama speak of change in South Carolina after winning the Democratic Presidential primary, I was reminded of author Dion Fortune’s oft quoted definition of magic. “Magic is the art of causing changes in consciousness according to the will." Obama’s words of empowerment, “Change we can believe in. Change is what’s happening in America. Yes, we can. Yes, we can change. Yes, we can.” This speech was nothing short of a life-affirming liturgy as voices of the many responded  in a resounding, empowered “Yes, we can.”


Obama went on to say, “Yes, we can heal this nation. Yes, we can seize our future. And. . .with the message we carry. . .the same message we had when we were up and when we were down, that out of many, we are one.” The most important tenet in Paganism is the philosophy of Immanence, that the world and everything in it is alive and the Life Force which courses through us also exists in everyone and everything–the belief that we are all connected–We Are One. What a profoundly challenging follow-up to his message of self-empowerment, of “Yes, we can.”


We can, I can, you can, we each have the power to create change, but what is the intention, the purpose, of this power? If we are truly one, is the power to create change used to benefit one, a privileged few, or many–the us, the we? In Pagan cosmology, evil is defined simply as intention. A knife, or any instrument of power, is neither good nor bad. In the hands of a surgeon, the knife is an instrument of healing. In the hands of a murderer, it’s an instrument for killing. It’s the intention–the will, purpose, and determination of the individual wielding the knife which defines its purpose and creates the result, good or evil. The same is true for any instrument of power: money, authority, words. All intention is informed by one of two things: Love or Fear. From these two oceans of human emotion, all intentions emerge and manifest as caring, compassion, respect, peace, joy, generosity OR as greed, jealousy, doubt,  lack, hate, war.


Starhawk, author of Dreaming the Dark, says there are two kinds of power. Power Over and Power Within. In the new climate of empowerment which has grown from this past year's political process, the clarion call we must each answer is to find the "power within" that does not require "power over" another to create the change that is desperately needed on the planet today.


Pagans have no Bible, Torah, Koran, or Bhagavad Gita to claim as a central truth. Yet more profound, truthful, and constant than any religious tome, Pagans observe the Earth, Nature, and the Cosmos for our spiritual teachings and guidance. We put our faith in the never-ending cycles of birth-life-death-rebirth.  We know that out of chaos, balance and order will assert itself as it has this past year as now-President Barack Obama challenged us to take back our power, both as individuals, and together as a people. The belief in the power of one’s self–the great “I Am” woven with the power of “You Are” makes us one–We Are.


After decades of powerlessness, we have found hope. Hope that stems from empowerment, both as individuals and together as a people. We took back our country. We took back our elections, our political processes. We took back our future. But it is power welded together to create, not to consume for self, to destroy. This power we’re experiencing emerges from love and a belief that everyone is deserving not just those on top. This power is not based on fear but on the belief that we can, together, change our lives, our communities, our country, our planet and heal the Earth and each other. “Out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we will hope.” (Obama)


As a temple, a community, we invite you to join us for another year celebrating the holy Sabbats. We keep hope alive by standing up, empowered as individuals, yet joined together in the common purpose of making our families, our communities, our world a better place.


I Am. You Are.

Together, We Are One.



© Copyright 2009 Judy Tatum aka Xia except where otherwise noted. All rights reserved worldwide. This publication is protected under the US Copyright Act of 1976 and all other applicable international, federal, state, and local laws.