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...]

American Neopaganism, Part 1: An Imaginary Tradition?

The AmericanNeopaganism.com website which I maintain will be taken down next month.  I’ve maintained it for several years now, and it’s been about a year since I made any changes to the site.  All of my writing energy has gone into this blog.  I’ve decided to let the domain lapse until I figure out what [Read More...]

The myth of objective consciousness

In my last post, I wrote about Theodore Roszak’s critique of the Age of Affluence and its “treacherous parodies of freedom, joy, and fulfillment.”  Roszak’s The Making of a Counterculture was one of the important signposts on my early spiritual path.  I first discovered this book in my high school library and it was like [Read More...]

My love/hate relationship with Neopaganism, Part 2

Why I love Neopaganism: #1   I love that Neopaganism honors the dark as well as the light. Jung wrote that “one does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light,but by making the darkness conscious.”  Probably the most significant realization of my life has been that I am not one; I am many seeking to [Read More...]


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