On Being Outside All the Boxes

Having been working (for a long time) on a novel about the same alternative universe as in my Goddess Murder, I have been looking for books on Mary Magdalene, the Gnostics, and suchlike. Recently I found Secrets of Mary Magdalene. Don’t be put off by the title. It is a well-balanced anthology of interviews with and essays by the leading scholars, largely women, of Gnosticism, early Christianity, and related fields, and by women novelists, not the hack writers whose forgettable novels clutter l … [Read more...]

The Gnostic Bible: A Review

gnostic-bible-barnstone-willis-meyer-marvin-paperback-cover-art

The Gnostic Bible (Boston & London: Shabala, rev. ed., 2009; $29.95 [a bargain]) collects many important documents from the early sects that have been lumped together under the umbrella term of “Gnostic.” It was edited, with many of the documents translated, by Willis Barnstone (who, among his other achievements, has carried out the best translations of Sappho ever) and the late Marvin Meyer (whom I had the pleasure of knowing since my salad days in the AAR and who, I just learned, passed ove … [Read more...]

Taking Responsibility for Feelings

I see that an all-male court in Iowa has ruled that an employer can fire a woman merely because he finds her attractive. That is, the woman lost a suit for wrongful termination, and the court has allowed yet another form of discrimination against women.  The dentist who fired her argued that he was defending family values because she was a threat to his marriage. Maybe the guy is not an Evangelical Christian. Maybe it's unfair to think he is--but unfortunately he sounds like one, and if he is … [Read more...]

Spiritual Maturity for Pagans—and Everyone Else

Many years ago I ran across a “scale of spiritual maturity” that was both theoretically interesting and useful in practice. I’ve never able to relocate it. I thought it was called “The Myers-Briggs Scale . . .” but searching on that turns up nothing but their Jungian personality typology, which seems to be neither more nor less scientifically valid than the Enneagram or one’s natal chart. Each of these, like many other systems, relies on intuition in order to be of any use.However, I clearly … [Read more...]

Raymond Buckland and Seax-Wica

In my last blog about the Gardnerians, I indicated that, because of changes in his life situation, in 1973 Ray Buckland found himself at loose ends. Further, after a decade of administering the Long Island coven, he had come to see some disadvantages in the Gardnerian Tradition as received from Lady Olwen, particularly its hierarchic structure.The “Old Laws” or “Ardanes,” which both Doreen Valiente and I have established were not written until 1959, do provide for two kinds of governing struc … [Read more...]

Aphrodiphobia, Part IV: The Logical Consequences of the First Commandment

The “First Commandment” under discussion here is not that in the Decalogue, but the one in Genesis 1:28:God blessed them by saying, “Be fertile and increase in numbers. Fill the earth and subdue it. . . . “In the King James translation, “blessed them and said,” the blessing appears to be different from what is said; that is simply wrong. When God says, “Be fruitful and multiply,” that is both the blessing and the commandment. Thus, the commandment is a blessing, and what is commanded is i … [Read more...]


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