Seeking the Grail: Into the Deep Within

I sometimes wonder why I bother leading rituals. Why does religion matter? And then, in ritual, I hear the sound of two hundred people singing a chant together in harmony…feet pounding the ground as we dance. People laughing, weeping. People telling me that the ritual shifted something within them, that they felt the divine, that they spoke to an ancestor, that they released an old pain. That it made their lives better. Read more

Adventures in Wortcunning: Smelling Roses

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

Wyrd Words: Heathen Leadership

We have a glut of ‘priests’ and not enough accountants. So many teachers, and so few administrators. So many brilliant ideas, and almost no financiers. Read more

The Busy Witch: Going Vegetarian (and Why I Switched Back)

Although I occasionally regret that I cannot live a fully vegetarian life, I’ve also acknowledged that in my quest to do no harm, I have to remember not to do harm to myself. Read more

Born Again Witch: How I Lost My Christian Faith

The day I lost the last piece of my Christian faith was the day I almost died. Every time I talk about my past as a Christian minister, ordained in a Southern Baptist Church, I am asked the same question: What happened to make me leave Christianity and embrace Witchcraft? Read more

The Zen Pagan: You — Yes, *You* — Can Dance (If You Want To)

When I was a kid I was so uncoordinated that during gym class I was sent off to special sessions where a teaching assistant would play catch with me in an attempt to improve my hand-eye coordination. It took me forever to learn to ride a bike. I was the last to be chosen whenever teams were picked, and when I played rec league sports I spent as much time on the sidelines as the coach could get away with before he put me in at the least vital position. Dance is one of the ways I connected to my body, found my physicality. Read more

Birthing Hereditary Witchcraft: What are We Fighting For?

Our heroes and heroines come to us on the tidal waves created by thousands of small moments making none of them insignificant. Great acts, events, and moments in history ride upon the back of millions of small acts, small moments of decision or no decision at all. That power is in you. Read more

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

Adventures in Wortcunning: Ceanothus, an American Fairy Bush

It began with me, barefoot on a lawn in the suburbs of California’s Central Valley. It was summer, and therefore, redundantly, hot. I wore little besides, well, a diaper actually. From all accounts it was a happy day, but what I remember is the grass. Between my toes and in my chubby hands: then grab, yank, and in the mouth, much to Mom’s alarm. As natural to me as falling down a rabbit hole…. 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

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