March/April 2016 Issue
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Paganism for the City-Dweller
This article was written by Raven Kaldera
posted under Pagan
Sound familiar? You may very well be an Urban Primitive, an ultra-modern pagan in the concrete womb of the Triple Urban Goddess, and The Urban Primitive was written for you. In its pages you'll find a handbook for your hip, fast-paced, dumpster-diving, traffic-skimming, subletting, fast-food-on-the-run lifestyle, stalking the paths of the urban jungle. The Urban Primitive is the ultimate survival manual for the harried but proudly independent member of the Urban Pagan Tribes. Learn which urban gods will get you through the rat race and how to figure out which elemental spirit comes out of which wall outlet. It has stuff never seen in any previous Llewellyn-published work, including the essentials about body modification magick (including piercing, tattooing, and branding)!
- You've been reading Pagan books for a long time, but you're beginning to feel like most of them weren't written for you.
- Your kids don't have all of Nature to play outside in (the traffic on the city streets gets in the way) and you're desperate to protect them.
- You don't live in the suburbs; you live in a third-story apartment in the Inner City.
- You don't worry about spirits invading your loft; you worry about getting mugged on the way to work.
- You've been homeless, or at least laid off and desperate once or twice…and the spirits helped you find work or an apartment.
- You can't afford fancy tools on your meager salary; your wand is a trash-picked copper pipe and your athame is a pocket knife bought at a yard sale.
- Your car doesn't require an ordinary protection spell; it needs a built-in astral dragon to discourage those who would smash in its windshield.
- Your magical totem animal is Rat or Cockroach
- Your leather jacket is your sacred shamanic animal-skin, your T-shirt logo a sigil to help you quit smoking, and your piercings and tattoos magical rites of passage.
- You may not see trees for weeks at a time, but you swear that a statue at City Hall once talked to you.
- You don't dance with the nymphs and satyrs of the Wild Wood in the moonlight,but caper with the spirit of the Conrete Jungle by electric firelight as the Sun vanishes below the skyline.
City Folks, City Pagans
Paganism was always the religion of the common people, and these days most of the common people—including Pagans—live in the towering labyrinths of the cities,hunting for sustenance, avoiding predators, marking territories, and generally scraping a living from the concrete-and-asphalt world. This book will give you everything you need, whether you love the city or are merely biding your time and trying to stay alive in its dark, twisting corridors. While not the first “Urban Paganism” book, it is the first one that covers a spectrum of city dwellers wide enough to embrace both the Prisoner of Dilbertland and the Gutter Punk. Not all of our people can afford to buy candles and incense, or have large private rooms where they can cast circles. If you're homeless and Pagan in an urban area, this is the magic book you want in your pocket. This book emphasizes practical, low-cost, and low-planning magick that can be done at any time and place with whatever is on hand. The magical tools and implements suggested are not costly chalices and athames, but trash you can pick up off the street, dig out of your pocket, or pull out of a trash can. Our book also recounts modern urban myths and archetypes, created by the necessities and forces of our increasingly urbanized society.
Living in the city requires you to deal with different energies than that of traditional farm-based Paganism; we need to acknowledge and honor them. This book isn't just our words; it's sprinkled with the words and observations of dozens of city pagans across the country who have contributed to it their creativity and faith. Although its magical techniques are serious, The Urban Primitive also has a good deal of tongue-in-cheek humor in it, as another perceived “sin” of many established magical writers is the fault of taking themselves too seriously. The average city-dwelling youth tends to be turned off by much of the elves-and-strawberries aspect of modern Paganism, as it does not necessarily reflect their reality. This book gives them a supremely practical handbook of cheap and ethical magick that won't insult their intelligence or seem too removed from their experiences.
Hail to the Goddess Skor and the God Slick, and the Spirit of Pigeon and Silverfish…and to the brave urban primitives of the future. May the asphalt welcome your footsteps!
Raven Kaldera is a pagan priest, intersex transgender activist, parent, astrologer, musician, homesteader, and the author of "Hermaphrodeities: The Transgender Spirituality Workbook" (XLibris Press). He is the founder and leader of the Pagan Kingdom... Read more
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