“I Fell in Love with a Witch”: The Vision of Gerald Gardner

Some people argue that Gardnerians cannot claim to have the right to do something merely because Gardner did it. Yes, the historical pattern is that religious founders always have rights and privileges that their followers cannot have. I see this clearly in the three cases I know best, those of Gardner, Joseph Smith, and the Rabbi Joshua (whose Greek name was Jesus).A religious founder cannot be bound by ordinary rules of behavior, else he could not do something so extraordinary as creating … [Read more...]

A Note on the Creating of Religion

I know Philip Heselton hoped to find (but did not assume that he would) evidence that Gerald Gardner's friends were practicing a rudimentary form of Gardnerian Craft in the 1930s. As he shows in Witchfather, he did not find any.He discovered quite a few people in Gardner's circle of occultist friends who may have had a coven of sorts in the late 1930s, and some of whom may have worked with or cooperated with Gerald and Edith in founding the first coven after the war, but what they most … [Read more...]

A Choice for the Erinyes of Victimhood

A reader recently commented on one of my blogs dealing with sexuality that I was being pursued by the “Erinyes of Victimhood” (a felicitous phrase), who certainly were never going to believe anything I might say. I have been accused of “mansplaining,” of being a “leering chauvinist,” and so on. I do not believe any of my wives or lovers have ever thought of me that way.  Perhaps he’s right, but I hope I can bring a message to those who are still suffering: there is a solution. I hope they can bel … [Read more...]

What If Witches Are the Genuine Christians? — Goddess Murder II

I had completed much more writing linked to my Goddess Murder project, and it was not obvious what to do with it. I experimented with doing a sequel or a prequel or . . . but the protagonist/narrator needed to rewrite his earlier effort in order to deal with new information he became privy to after the end of the events he described. So this revision is significantly longer and includes some very new materials, especially The Acts of Mary, which continues her history from Jesus’ death down to h … [Read more...]

Pagans and Christians and Mark, Part I

Some people ask whether one can be both Pagan and Christian. If you think of Jesus as the Lord of Glory living somewhere up in Heaven who has a rule against belonging to any other faith, and if you define “Pagan” as meaning merely “non-Christian,” then, no, they could not overlap. However, there are Christopagans who manage it, by not defining the terms as being mutually exclusive. A Jesus who was a visionary Rabbi, who was probably married, who even still appears to some people, is a different s … [Read more...]

Interpreting the “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife”

There have been many news stories (an excellent one can be found at theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/04/the-gospel-of-jesuss-wife-is-real-what-now/360487/) reporting that disinterested scholars have established that the fragment of papyrus which Karen King labeled the “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” is as old as the other Coptic documents published as the Nag Hammadi Library in English. It now can be taken seriously as an historical document. The only new element in it is the words “Jesus said … [Read more...]

Aljazeera Is Radio Free America–and Remember Pete Seeger

This morning, with my coffee, I flipped on the kitchen TV to see if there were any significant news. The local station and all the corporate channels had nothing but drivel about football and other inconsequential topics. Then I switched to Aljazeera, and found a panel discussion about the lasting importance of Pete Seeger’s 80-odd years of activism. And it struck me that Aljazeera is the only news source that tells the truth, because it is not controlled by US corporations. I suspected at first … [Read more...]

Retrieving the Myth of Jesus and Sophia, Part II

Understanding what the actual theology of the classical Gnostics was about depends on understanding what they meant by the Greek term “Paston,” usually translated as “bridal chamber.” In context the term meant a type of experience, not to a physical location, so it is better translated as “sacred marriage,” a term whose connotations are much clearer to us. I have made great use in writing (and, at least once, in a blessed moment in real life) of the fact that, at the moment of uninhibited climax, … [Read more...]

Retrieving the Myth of Jesus and Sophia, Part I

In various previous blogs I have been pursuing the myth of Jesus and Sophia. I think of that myth as a palimpsest over the historical Joshua and Miriam, one that encoded the theology of the Marianite Christians, the name I am giving to the community in Alexandria that I think was founded by Mary Magdalene after she fled from Judea to escape from assassination by the Romans and their quislings.We have only fragments of that story. Suppose we had no text of Genesis 2-3, the story of Adam and … [Read more...]

Goddess Murder, 22: Conclusion of The Acts of Mary

XXIV.  Mary Brings the Good News to Gaul [Excerpts from The Acts of Mary as translated by C.T. Edwards, A. Healy, L. Moresco, and S. Weiss]We were fortunate for several years in our teaching of the good news to Jews and Greeks alike. Then some of the House of Shammai who had escaped to the city also began to tell the Romans that we had caused the uprising in Jerusalem. They told the other Israelites that  we had caused the uprising to fail and gave the victory to the Romans. So much s … [Read more...]


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