A Pagan Short History of Valentine’s Day

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…]

Celebrating Heathen Women: Then and Now

Honoring the dísir (female ancestors) is an important part of modern heathen ritual. What do we know about ancient heathen women, and how can we apply that knowledge to our practice today? [Read more…]

Heathen Woman: Spirituality in Heathenry

If we go through the motions of historically-based practice without actively communing with the gods, we become mere students of anthropology instead of engaged people of heathen beliefs and practice. [Read more…]

Heathen Woman: Moving Ahead

Seek Thor in the great oak, Odin in the inner reflection, Freyja in the blooming of the spring flowers, Sif in the joy of a harvest of crops that you’ve grown. It is in mindful and deliberate living that we step out of the history books and create the path that we walk. [Read more…]

Syncretic Electric: Looking at Our History (Part 5) — Feminism

Not every Pagan views their spirituality as a site of political action, but, for many of us, this has been one of the lasting gifts of Feminism. For the early Feminists, spirituality and politics were bound up in each other, and this action is mirrored in the eco-consciousness elements of Modern Paganism. [Read more…]

Syncretic Electric: Looking at our History (Part 4) – Egocentrism and our Future

It is my honest belief that a proper understanding of Paganism, its history and its present, is vital if we are going to continue to move forward as a community into this next century. [Read more…]

Syncretic Electric: Looking at our History (Part 3) – Religious Expression in the U.S.A.

American Paganism, I assert, expresses the generic religious trend of opposition and difference in a particularly bold way. The average American Pagan is free both of overarching authority and of rigorous dogma. The prevalence of eclecticism in American Paganism further demonstrates the freedom of religious expressions available. [Read more…]

Syncretic Electric: Looking at our History (Part 2) – Nostalgia and Literature

Nostalgia is a powerful force in the Modern Pagan movement, in no small part because of the impact of literature on its formation. Often, when lacking real memory of the past, we have turned to literature to help us reconstruct and recreate a history that we have never really known. [Read more…]

Syncretic Electric: Looking at Our History (Part 1)

Our history as Pagans is bound up in a larger history, and in fact has been made possible by other, larger movements that changed Western culture as a whole. It is necessary that we understand how Paganism once more became a viable way of experiencing the world. [Read more…]

Arguing History

For all intents and purposes I’m a “Pagan Minimalist*.” That doesn’t mean my practice is minimal or small, it means that I view Modern Paganism as a relatively recent phenomenon. If you were to ask me how old I think a practice like Modern Wicca is; I would offer you a guess of maybe seventy [Read More…]


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