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Rainbow Meditation

Meditation Resources

Having at least a basic, regular meditation practice has been proven to be good for your health, but is also an effective way to boost the focus and visualisation skills needed for many Pagan magical and spiritual activities.

With that in mind, here are some Meditation resources to get you started, or help improve, your own practice.


Meditation for Beginners: A Quick Start Guide on Learning How to Meditate

– 2014, by Jenny Chase.
Meditation is the most powerful mind and body hack available. It will improve your health, wealth and relationships. Meditation is the age old art of purely focusing your mind and attention on one area. The practice of doing this has an almost endless list of beneficial impacts on your mind and body. With the incredible benefits that meditation offers it is no surprise that it has spread throughout every culture of the world. For centuries people of all different backgrounds have been using meditation to better their life and health. From businesses gurus to prisoners and from celebrities to monks – people from all walks of life have adopted meditation.

But what are the benefits? What makes meditation so powerful? Well, meditation has been shown to: Increase creativity Increase ability to focus and concentrate Reduce stress, anxiety and high blood pressure Increase levels of happiness and contentment Increase energy levels As well as many, many more incredible things. This book is the guide to helping you reap those benefits. It is a complete beginner’s guide covering everything from the neuroscience of meditation all the way to walking you through your first ever meditation So, if you’ve ever wanted to learn to meditate… grab this book now.


Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body

– 2017, by Daniel Goleman & Richard J. Davidson.
Two New York Times–bestselling authors unveil new research showing what meditation can really do for the brain.

In the last twenty years, meditation and mindfulness have gone from being kind of cool to becoming an omnipresent Band-Aid for fixing everything from your weight to your relationship to your achievement level. Unveiling here the kind of cutting-edge research that has made them giants in their fields, Daniel Goleman and Richard Davidson show us the truth about what meditation can really do for us, as well as exactly how to get the most out of it.

Sweeping away common misconceptions and neuromythology to open readers’ eyes to the ways data has been distorted to sell mind-training methods, the authors demonstrate that beyond the pleasant states mental exercises can produce, the real payoffs are the lasting personality traits that can result. But short daily doses will not get us to the highest level of lasting positive change—even if we continue for years—without specific additions. More than sheer hours, we need smart practice, including crucial ingredients such as targeted feedback from a master teacher and a more spacious, less attached view of the self, all of which are missing in widespread versions of mind training. The authors also reveal the latest data from Davidson’s own lab that point to a new methodology for developing a broader array of mind-training methods with larger implications for how we can derive the greatest benefits from the practice.

Exciting, compelling, and grounded in new research, this is one of those rare books that has the power to change us at the deepest level.


We hope that’s helpful!

Comment below with your favourite Meditation resources?

Irish Pagan Moots

Pagan Moots in Ireland

Pagan Moots are regular (usually on the same day each month) social and educational meet-ups, and they are for anyone who is already thinking of themselves as ‘Pagan’ – or some variation ther-of! – or for people who are completely new to this and just want to pop in and see who’s involved locally, and what it’s all about.

 

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If you’re interested in attending a Pagan Life Rites moot, they’re held at various locations around the country:

(Pagan Moot listings are correct at the time of publication.)

 

Besides the latest Pagan Moot info, you’ll find details of other events and seasonal rituals happening in Ireland through our Pagan Life Rites Facebook Page.

Irish Pagan Reading List

Reading List for Celtic and Irish Pagans

If you’re interested in following a Celtic or Irish Pagan path, there are a number of books that are useful for your reading list.
Although there are no written records of the ancient Celtic people, there are a number of reliable books by scholars that are worth reading. Some of the books on this list focus on history, others on legend and mythology.
While this is by no means a comprehensive list of everything you need to understand Irish Paganism, it’s a good starting point, and should help you learn at least the basics of honoring the gods of the Celtic peoples.
What books would you add to this list? Leave your suggestions in the Comments Below!
  • Dáithí Ó hÓgáin: “The Sacred Isle: Belief And Religion In Pre Christian Ireland”
  • Alexander Carmichael: “Carmina Gadelica”
  • Barry Cunliffe: “The Celts: A Very Short Introduction”
  • Morgan Daimler: “Gods and Goddesses of Ireland”
  • Miranda Green: “Dictionary of Celtic Myth and Legend”
  • Ronald Hutton: “The Druids”
  • Lora O’Brien: “A Practical Guide to Irish Spirituality”
  • Luke Eastwood: “A Druid’s Primer”
  • Alexei Kondratiev: “The Apple Branch”
  • Ronald Hutton: “The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles”
  • Daithí Ó hÓgáin: “The Lore of Ireland – An Encyclopaedia of Myth, Legend and Romance”
  • Lora O’Brien: “Tales of Old Ireland – Retold”
  • John Paul Patton: “The Poet’s Ogam – A Living Magical Tradition”

Census 2016 shows at least 40.5% increase in persons of Pagan faiths!

census-logoIn the lead up to Census 2016, Pagan Life Rites ran a social media campaign which encouraged those from various Pagan traditions to simply declare “Pagan” in the “Other” box for the question on religion. This was to unify our community under one descriptor to more easily demonstrate the number of people in our community who self-declare in the Census. For reasons of prejudice, privacy and family, there will also be some who will not self-declare on the Census (within the “Not Stated” category) so the figures in this report as outlined below may not be fully representative of the size of our community. There may also be persons of Pagan faith who may not define their spiritual path as a “religion” and so may opt for the “No Religion” category, which means that not all of those opting for this descriptor in the Census are Atheists or Humanists.

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In today’s report focusing on the data for this question we can see that there is a 39.1% increase in the number of people who opted for “Other Religion.” This brings the total number of this cohort to 97,700. The top three counties for this category are Dublin (122,079 / 24%), Cork (23.958 / 29.2%), and Galway (12,601 / 27.7%) with Kildare following close behind.

If you go to the data tables and run reports for religion selecting “Pagan/Pantheist” you will find that the total number of those who identified as such has increased by 40.5% bringing the total number to 2,645, an increase of 762 declarations. 1,913 of these were Irish nationals with UK nationals being the next largest cohort to declare (340). 1,209 were male (43% increase since 2011) and 1,436 were female (38.3% increase since 2011).

While a county breakdown for “Pagan/Pantheist” is not yet available from the CSO, the figures do show that our community is slightly larger than the Jewish community which currently sits at 2,557 declarations. We can also see that declarations of Catholicism have dropped from the 2011 figure of 84.2% to 78.3% in 2016. Of interest to us, given the above, are declarations of “No Religion” which have increased by 73.6% – meaning this cohort now represents almost 10% of the population – and the “Not Stated” category which has increased by 71.8%.

*“For the 2016 Census, the religion breakdown has been expanded. In 2011 the religions with a 0 figure were included in the Other Stated Religion category. The CSO attempts to capture and code all responses and have published any categories where there were 30 or more responses in 2016.

Data Tables: http://www.cso.ie/px/pxeirestat/Database/eirestat/Summary%20Results%20Part%201/Summary%20Results%20Part%201_statbank.asp?SP=Summary%20Results%20Part%201&Planguage=0

Report chapter on religion: http://www.cso.ie/en/media/csoie/releasespublications/documents/population/2017/Chapter_8_Religion.pdf

Pagan Life Rites now listed on ActiveLink.ie

AAAPagan Life Rites now sits alongside many other Civil Society Organisations listed on the Irish Links Directory of www.activelink.ie.

To find us there, simply hover over the “Irish Links” menu tab and select the “Civil Liberties-Human Rights” option from the drop-down and you will find the listing below on Page 3.

Please see: http://www.activelink.ie/content/irish-links/civil-liberties-human-rights/pagan-life-rites-Ireland

Much gratitude to the folks at ActiveLink!

Election of new Board

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The new Board of Pagan Life Rites was elected on 31st March. According to our Constitution, the Board is rotated annually and made up of four elected Regional Officers. We thank our previous Board members, Francis Devenney, Lora O’Brien, Fionnuala O’Regan and Vinnie Woods for their year of service and dedication. We welcome our new Board members, Sophia Boann, Barbara Lee, Kristian Märkus and Gavin Morrison. The outgoing Board members continue to serve as Regional Officers and Clergy members.

URGENT REMINDER! DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS TO DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION CLOSES MONDAY, MARCH 20TH

URGENT REMINDER!

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS TO DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION CLOSES MONDAY, MARCH 20TH

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The Minister for Education, Richard Bruton T.D., had extended the deadline to March 20th for receipt of submissions to the consultation process which shall assess the role of religion in schools with a view to considering changes.

In January the Minister had invited submissions from key stakeholders, affected or interested parties as part of a broad consultation process. This was initially open for a four-week period, however, to allow for as many submissions as possible, the deadline was extended and will now close on Monday, March 20th.

Pagan Life Rites fully supports the following demand for the repeal of subsection 7(3)(c) of the Equal Status Act, 2010, which currently permits State schools to use baptism as a mechanism for preferential enrolment. This is a breach of human rights and contravenes Section 42 of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act, 2014, which compels all public bodies to implement Public Sector Duty, promote equality and eliminate discrimination.

This is your last chance to have a say in this consultation process. Please feel free to craft your own submission or copy and paste the template letter below and submit to: admissions_religion@education.gov.ie.

Speech: http://www.education.ie/en/Press-Events/Speeches/2017-Speeches/SP2017-16-01.html

Submission deadline extension: http://www.education.ie/en/Parents/Information/School-Enrolment/Role-of-Religion-in-School-Admissions.html

START:

To: admissions_religion@education.gov.ie

CC: richard_bruton@education.gov.ie

Subject: Submission concerning the Baptism Barrier

Dear Minister Bruton,

Please accept my submission to the consultation on the Role of Religion in School Admissions.

I want all children to have equal access to their local publicly-funded schools and I want religion to have zero bearing in admission policy and practice. It is not acceptable in a modern, pluralist society that parents feel they have to baptise their child to ensure access to a publicly-funded school.

I believe that the only equality and children’s rights option is option 4(i). Repeal subsection 7(3)(c) of the Equal Status Act, 2010, in respect of publicly-funded schools.

This is possible by amending subsection 7(3)(c) of the Equal Status Act, 2010.

I strongly recommended that you, as Minister for Education and Skills, take this opportunity to remove all religious barriers from school admission policy and practice.

Consultation Paper specific issues:

A. The removal of the Baptism Barrier would be of benefit to families and children of the many minority religions, Irish indigenous traditions, and those of no religion, as it would increase their ability to gain entry to their local publicly-funded schools regardless of its denomination.

B. I have seen strong constitutional advice from leading constitutional experts that shows option 4(i) is possible.

C. I believe option 4(i) would be the simplest to implement.

D. Option 4(i) is the simplest approach that does not impact any of the issues outlined in the consultation.

Allowing schools to use baptism as a mechanism for preferential enrolment is a breach of the human rights of your service users. Your department is legally obliged to act in accordance with Section 42 of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act, 2014, which compels all public bodies to implement Public Sector Duty, promote equality and eliminate discrimination.

Yours sincerely,

END

50 Hospitals to Include “Pagan” As A Category of Religious Identity

Pagan Life Rites and HSE Work Together to Introduce Change

Acting on reports from our community members, Pagan Life Rites has successfully negotiated an agreement with the Health Services Executive, resulting in a HSE directive now issued to all CEOs of our fifty national acute hospitals requesting the PAS systems to include Pagan categories of religious identity.

plrhsedraftnewNot Long ago some community members had relayed to Pagan Life Rites their various experiences in Irish hospitals. Issues arose upon registration as patients at the hospitals when people were asked, as a matter of standard procedure, which faith community they belong to. In most hospitals there was no option for “Pagan” on the PAS (Patient Administration System) database and so patients were either entered as “Other” or opted for this in lieu of poor choice. At other times hospital staff had referred to “Pagan” as being “No religion” and were registered as such despite protest by patients. Even when registered as “Pagan” on arrival staff had twice changed the religious identity to “Christian/Catholic” on the physical version of one patient’s medical records.

Pagan Life Rites has since taken on the task of remedying these issues for our community. We have engaged with senior management of the Health Services Executive (HSE) and raised all of the above issues as a matter of concern given that they conflict with the ethos and guidelines of the HSE’s 2009 Intercultural Guide. Following consultation, we have successfully negotiated an agreement with the HSE that frontline hospital staff operating and maintaining the PAS registration database shall be issued with supplementary material explaining what Paganism is. At the heart of this agreement is the HSE directive now issued to all CEOs of our fifty national acute hospitals requesting the PAS systems to uniformly include the following categories of religious identity for patients to choose from. Collectively these options are reflective of Ireland’s Pagan community. Any person not falling within either of the last four subcategories below may simply opt for the main category, “Pagan.”

• Pagan – (if patient does not fall within categories below or is not specific)
• Pagan – Wicca
• Pagan – Shamanism
• Pagan – Heathenry
• Pagan – Druidry

Some hospitals have already commenced the implementation process which should be completely rolled out over the coming weeks. Be mindful that one hospital group within the broader network has currently included the main category only (“Pagan”). Should you encounter future difficulty with registration please assert to staff that their hospital CEO has been issued with a directive from the HSE for inclusion of the above categories.

Furthermore, the HSE has kindly provided the hospital network with the contact details of the clergy of Pagan Life Rites who offer chaplaincy support to patients and loved ones of the deceased. We are very grateful for the kindness and support of the Health Services Executive.

Change of venue Dublin PLR Bealtaine Event

Please note that the Dublin PLR Bealtaine ritual will be meeting at

Deer Park Golf Club, Howth, Co. Dublin – Saturday 30th April, 2.45 PM

There is also a meeting point at Howth Dart Station, where people on public transport can be collected. Due to Dart works, the Dart will not be running, however you can get the 31/a bus from Talbot Street. This is a Bealtaine Celebration for PLR members – we celebrate outdoors and welcome the heat and power of the Summer Sun! We know, we’re in Ireland – but we still honour the rising sap, the ripening earth, the blooming flower..We experience and savour our own fertility, creativity and passion!

See our event page on Facebook.

Census April 2016: Consider answering “PAGAN” to the Religion Question

A Census will be held on 24th April, 2016. We, at PLR, ask you to consider answering “PAGAN” to the question on religion. 

Why?

We believe that the 2011 census may not have truly reflected the actual number of Pagans in Ireland. This is because people either put down the praxis with which they self-identify or marked “No Religion” in the Religion section. As a result, the Central Statistics Office split the “Other” category into very small numbers recording Druid, Shaman, Pantheist, Polytheist, Pagan, Wiccan, Witch, etc. separately and these figures are often omitted from published reports. This makes it difficult, in terms of representations to the State, regarding our beliefs in the areas of health and education.

There are many people who do not identify with any particular tradition or path but are still seeking or curious. There are also many people who follow an earth-based or magical practice, but do not normally define themselves as “Pagan.” These people may, however, have ticked “No Religion.” Other countries have encouraged a policy of putting “Pagan –“ and then adding your path or tradition, such as Pagan-Druid or Pagan-Witch. However, this might well prove to be counter-productive as each will be separated into different categories on the census results and we will be in the same position as we were before, with smaller categories not getting listed in published State figures.

censusgraphicIn order to get an accurate measure of how many Pagans there actually are in Ireland, we encourage people to simply enter “PAGAN” into the “Other” field in the Census question regarding religion. In this way, we hope that, by the time the next census rolls around in 2021, “Pagan” will be an accepted category under “Religion” and just a box to tick. This will also mean that when it comes to health, work and education matters, having a recognised standing will make life easier for everyone fighting the red tape of Government.