Syfy’s Magicians Series Serves As a Cautionary Tale to Would-Be Magicians

If SyFy’s Magicians series goes the way of other television adaptations of sophisticated novels, then it will be dumbed-down to a battle with an external evil and a hackneyed warning against meddling with powers one does not understand. In contrast, while Lev Grossman’s Magicians trilogy is a cautionary tale for would-be magicians, it offers a different kind of warning. It reminds us of the truth of those words which the mother of contemporary Paganism, Doreen Valiente, put into the mouth of the Goddess: “If that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.” [Read more…]

Where the sidewalk ends: Suburban enchantment

The chill wind was blowing gently and the cattails waved back and forth like they were animate. And I felt, for all the world, like they were talking to me. Not talking with words, but saying something nonetheless. What were they saying? I think this is what they said to me: “This is real. You are here. You are alive.” [Read more…]

A proposed categorization of magical terminology

In an excellent essay entitled, “The New Old Paganism”, Ronald Hutton reviews the history of “magic” as a concept among academicians.  Starting with James Frazer, magic was defined in contradistinction to religion, the latter consisting of petitioning supernatural powers for favors and praising them, the former consisting of human manipulation of supernatural powers.  Later, Ruth [Read More…]