Adventures in Wortcunning: Smelling Roses

'Betty Boop' Rose

The oldest roses are still available today. Rosa gallica, called the ‘Apothecary Rose’ was the type mentioned by Greek historians and used in dark age monastery gardens and found too in medieval physic gardens. This is the type most used for the fragrance of their essential oils and in healing preparations at the time. And today, when the roses bloom in Bulgaria, armies of old women go to the fields picking 250 lbs of petals to distill for each single ounce of essential oil. [Read more...]

The Witches Next Door: A Witch in Australia

Mount Warning Courtesy of Shutterstock

Phoenix is in the Land Down Under (cue Men at Work ear worm). She is one of the Reclaiming teachers at this year’s CloudCatcher Witchcamp. The site for witch camp rests in the shadow of the imposing Mount Warning volcanic caldera, or as it would be known to the Bundjalung people, Wollumbin. This is Phoenix’s first trip to Australia and her first adventure out of the US by herself, and that brings up a whole set of fears and apprehensions for our intrepid Pagan Priestess. [Read more...]

The Witches Next Door: The Introvert and the Extrovert get Married

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Yes, I am an introvert, but that doesn’t mean I hide away from taking on public roles, stepping into the center stage, or putting myself out there. [Read more...]

The Witches Next Door: Being on the Same Path is Awesome! Except When it isn’t

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You like strawberry cheesecake.They like strawberry cheesecake. They think Spring is the coolest time of year and so do you. You are a Pagan and they’ve always been Pagan, and you even practice in the same tradition. The organic cherry on top of the Pagan Sundae is that you and they have made a life together. Walking the same religious/spiritual Pagan path is awesome. Or is it? [Read more...]

A Pagan Short History of Valentine’s Day

Cupid in a Tree, by Jean-Jacque-François le Barbier. Public domain

Valentine’s Day is not regarded as a particularly Pagan holiday, although some of the ideas and practices around it have their roots in Paganism. In this guest post on the Agora, James Lindenschmidt, a regular contributor on our A Sense of Place blog, shares some information about the history and origins of the holiday. [Read more...]

Queer of Swords: A Prayer for Compassion Toward Z Budapest

buddha2-web

In light of Z Budapest’s recent outburst against the kink community in which she suggests the bombing of Pantheacon, Sarah Thompson calls for compassion rather than a new fight. [Read more...]

Queer of Swords: The Beast Strikes Back – How to Be an Ally

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Following from my previous column in which I somehow managed to come out to the entire world as asexual, here are six simple rules for anyone who wants to be a better ally to people like me. [Read more...]


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