Star Made Witch: Walpurgis Night

The eve of May is also called Walspurgis Night (from Walspurgisnact in German and Dutch) and Hexennact or Witches Night. According to various folktales witches fly to buck mountains and have a dance party around bonfires on the peaks. The next day, May Day (or Beltane) signals the beginning of summer, therefore, May Eve is the last night of Winter’s influence. [Read more…]

Wyrd Words: Vikings in the New World

There’s been quite a buzz going about the Heathen community about the three “newly discovered” Viking sites in Canada. Already there have been some pretty wild claims and suppositions made by people who are understandably excited by these discoveries, but it’s important to keep the facts in mind. [Read more…]

Star Made Witch: Witchcraft and the Grimoire Tradition

A grimoire is a magical book with rituals for contacting spirits, spells, divination and associated lore. Magic books and witches have a long traditional association. In folklore and witch trial records we read that the Man in Black presented to new witches at their first sabbat ritual a big book in which to sign their names. There are any number of famous Black Books, books of planets, and medieval grimoires mentioned in witch trial records and wise-folk trial pamphlets, news articles, folk song and lore. [Read more…]

The Rantin’ Raven: Telling Our Stories

If you’re a member of any kind of linage, formal or informal, please ask more questions of those who’ve preceded you. How did this get in our Lore? What does it mean? How did you, dear teacher, get involved in all this, and why, and what was it like then? Who did you know and what were they like? Any idea they are now? [Read more…]

Wyrd Words: Cultural Appropriation and Pagan Fear

If little Suzy wants to go up onto a mountain top, burn some sage, and try to get in touch with her extremely distant native American roots, that’s one thing. When Little Suzy comes back down from the mountain and claims to be a Hopi spiritual leader, that’s quite another. [Read more…]

Happily Heathen: The Blot’s the Thing

I have recently started an “Intro to Heathenry” class in my hometown. In preparing for the most recent class, I made a last-minute decision to include a blot at the end. As I passed the horn at the class, I had a realization: This is what it is all about. Asatru is a lived religion, full of interaction with each other and the Honored Ones. If we never move beyond the scholarship and into a practiced religion, what is the point of being Heathen? [Read more…]

The Other Side of the Hedge: Animism Isn’t for Us?

The animistic worldview is the red-headed stepchild of Western pagan worldviews. It finds itself mostly ignored or taken for granted. When it’s not ignored, it doesn’t get a whole lot of respect. There are some pretty good historical reasons for this, mostly having to do with what people think animism is. Whether they’re right or not is a different matter. [Read more…]

The Rantin’ Raven: Who Was Mabon?

There’s a lot of debate over the name Mabon at the Autumn Equinox, mostly because we don’t know much about the persona behind the name. Quite a few people believe the problem is simply that the myths don’t support the timing at the Autumn Equinox, but I think they do. [Read more…]

Dandelion Seeds: Gaia, The Gangster Earth Mother

Most of us these days know the name Gaia from James Lovelock’s theory of the same name. Later I will be talking about modern interpretations and thoughts about the earth. For now let us focus on Gaia in her ancient form. [Read more…]

Adventures in Wortcunning: Spelling as Witchery

“I never had any large respect for good spelling. That is my feeling yet. Before the spelling-book came with its arbitrary forms, men unconsciously revealed shades of their characters and also added enlightening shades of expression to what they wrote by their spelling, and so it is possible that the spelling-book has been a doubtful benevolence to us.” ~Mark Twain [Read more…]


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