Urban Witchcraft: The Power of Words

P1010260

There was a time, not so long ago, when information was shared by word of mouth.  Most of us were illiterate.  That word has such a nasty taste in the mouth now, doesn’t it?  It conjures all sorts of images, from gross ignorance to the cruel acts committed by those same ignorant individuals.  I don’t like those conjurings, so I’m going to make-up my own reference phrase (which may have been thought of already by scholars who also ponder such things).   Let’s begin again…There was a time, not … [Read more...]

Urban Witchcraft: The Power of Rot

Decomposition : creative commons

In Ireland,  the chthonic energy of decay is experienced as Crom Dubh, the dark, bent one who takes the grain under the ground.  He was a sacrificial god heavily associated with Lughnasadh.  In fact, while many Irish people may never have heard of the ‘festival of Lughnasadh’ (apart from the movie), they have certainly heard of Crom Dubh’s Day: Dé Domhnaigh Crum-Dubh.  This is a day of pilgrimage to the high places: a custom maintained with the yearly climb of Croagh Patrick.  More anciently, Cro … [Read more...]

A sense of responsibility to place

In the final chapter of Seeking the Mystery, Christine Hoff Kraemer covers the question of morals, ethics and justice.Her position, that Pagan ethics is based on virtues rather than rules, is one I absolutely support. As she points out, in Northern and Celtic reconstructionist traditions, there is often an emphasis on virtues of strength and honour; in Wicca and Wicca-influenced traditions, the diads of the Charge of the Goddess -- beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and h … [Read more...]

The material, the sacred and the erotic: a contemplation for Lammas

My 2007 homemade Lammas loaf: 100% rye, 100% sourdough

In this week's ponderings provoked by Seeking the Mystery, I'm looking at my sense of place through the lens of the sacredness of materiality, bodies and sexuality.Today is the final day of the feast of Lugh, also known as Lammas or Loaf mass. We bake bread as a sacred act. We eat that bread as a spiritual act and an act of community. We are literally connected to the earth: we chew and ingest and digest the grain; we absorb its nutrients. Without other beings in place with us, we would not … [Read more...]

Stories of Gods and mortals: myth and Pagan practice

The constellation of Orion, the first I learnt to associate with its Ancient Greek origin story. Picture by Mouser, used under Creative Commons license: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Mouser

This is the second of my posts prompted by Christine Hoff Kraemer's book of Pagan theologies, Seeking the Mystery. In the second chapter, Kraemer's focus is on myth and its place in Pagan theologies as a source of inspiration, but also of confusion, cultural misappropriation and dogma.I've written before about how the land here, its seasons and its weather are intimately connected with the ancient stories of the Cailleach, Oengus and Bride, handed down to us in their most popular form … [Read more...]

Genital Mutilation: a question for the modern-day animist

Alice-with-flowers

Ireland is in the grip of a heatwave. Temperatures hover around 25ºC, even up to 30ºC in some places (that’s 77-86ºF), and the sun shines, cloudless, in the sky. The plants in our garden are not used to this type of heat, or lack of moisture, so I have been watering. While out tending the beds and deadheading roses, I contemplated trimming back several other flowers, in the hope of spurring new growth and a second round of blooms. It was in that moment of contemplation and meditative stillness th … [Read more...]

Heading Out for a Festival

Today I am going on a vacation. I'm going to the Gathering For Life On Earth festival, located an hour east of Vancourver, British Columbia, Canada. I am well acquainted with the glories of western Canada, but it's been nearly a decade since I've been to Canada. This festival is on the smaller side, and not so packed with activities that there won't be time to meet new people and new lands.In addition to socializing, I'm excited about the various rituals presents, including two hosted by the … [Read more...]


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