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...]

Wyrd Words: Heathen Leadership

Viking cheffs

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.

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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

Standing in a circle

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)

Dancing fool. (Photo by Larry Cohen/I Shot Baltimore, used by permission.)

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

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...]