The Witches Next Door: A Witch in Australia

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…]

What Good is Magic, Anyway?

The occult plays a significant role in Paganism. When I think of the occult, I think of magic, and while there are some movements under the Pagan umbrella that question whether magic is relevant to Paganism or to their specific traditions, I’m going to tell you why magic is relevant to me and what it is good for and why it isn’t an optional part of my spiritual path. [Read more…]

Making Light: Hephaestos

Bury everything I’ve made and very little of my industry will survive a thousand years to be studied by archaeologists apart from a little bit of pottery. I’m a textiles person and a painter. But here we have a guy who works with metal and gears who gets it. While that’s not my art, I have a very deep appreciation for the minds of makers in all the arts. Athene is software; Hephaestos is hardware. When both function together, they are more than the sum of their parts. [Read more…]

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

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…]

Socially Responsible Magic: My Journey to Stillness

Each year I do a ritual working called the Elemental Balancing Ritual. I do it once a year and then do the daily work thereafter. It’s internally focused, for the most part; the idea being that I do the work to create balance with an element I’m working with. It’s hard work, for it involves facing and working through my own issues, and yet it is rewarding work because I feel that it has, on the whole, led to a more balanced and holistic approach to life. This year, I’m working with the element of “stillness.” [Read more…]

Seeking the Grail: The Waters of Spring

Ostara hasn’t ever been one of my favorite holidays, and yet I can’t ignore how the first breath of springtime air makes me feel. The rush of spring reminds me of my own Grail Quest to recover my creativity and inspiration after a major depression. What invigorates you? How can you invite in that breath of spring? [Read more…]

The Zen Pagan: “What does a Zen Pagan Atheist ritual look like?”

A friend inquired, “What does a Zen Pagan Atheist ritual look like?” Which is a pretty good question, and one that I’m still figuring out the answer to. I don’t have a liturgy, but I do have some principles–some preferences–and I’d like to share five of them with you today. [Read more…]

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

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…]

The Witches Next Door: When Worlds Collide – Coming Back From Pantheacon

Have you ever come back from a vacation or a spiritual retreat and had the world just sort of slap you in the face? Reality can be harsh. We refer to this process as “re-entry”. It’s that adjustment period when we need to remember that there won’t be someone else preparing our meals or making our beds or reminding us where to be for our next amazing discussion. We’re returning from a terrific Pagan conference full of ideas and inspiration and we’re acutely aware that we have day jobs and obligations that are significantly less exciting but oh so very necessary. So on the ride home from PantheaCon we asked each other why we attend these events and what do we ultimately get out of going to them? [Read more…]

The Busy Witch: A Healing Ritual for Chapel Hill and Beyond

Ground and center and find your stillness before you begin, and remember; small acts of love can have large effects. [Read more…]