Longing and Grace in Lev Grossman’s The Magician King

God speaks to each of us as he makes us, then walks with us silently out of the night. These are the words we dimly hear: You, sent out beyond your recall, go to the limits of your longing. … — Rilke You, the great homesickness I could never shake off … — Rilke I [Read More…]

Who wants to be a magician?

“There is another world, and it is this one.” — Paul Eluard I recently got turned on to Lev Gossman’s novel, The Magicians, after reading a review by Matthew Bowman on the Peculiar People blog on the Mormon channel at Patheos. So I bought the book, and I just finished it. It was excellent. As [Read More…]

Straight talk about the Pagan identity crisis

You have got to check out B.T. Newberg’s newest post at Pagan Naturally, “The ‘Pagan’ question: Beyond belief-blindness“.  He writes about the chronic debate about the meaning of Pagan, and states “in no uncertain terms what’s really going on: It’s about kicking people out” (emphasis added).  I think he’s right.  B.T. goes on to reveal [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…]

What do we mean by “magic”?

Magic is no instrument Magic is the end — Leonard Cohen The issue of magic came up in the comments following a recent post about being embarrassed by some parts of Paganism.  This is also a topic that Drew Jacob has taken up recenlty on his site Rogue Priest. Magic is a vague term that [Read More…]

Being Embarrassed by Paganism

Years ago, when I was deciding whether to leave the Mormon church, one of the recurring thoughts I had was that, by continuing to associate with the Mormon church, I was (mis-)representing to the world that I shared all the same beliefs and the same ordering of values as the Mormon church.  I felt that, [Read More…]


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