Happy calendrical Lughnasadh

Enjoy "Lughnasadh Dance" by Gwydion Pendderwen! … [Read more...]

A Forest Walk

The remains of an old building in Dalkeith Country Park

Last week I took a short, unplanned holiday to Edinburgh. I spent Wednesday in the Old City right next to Waverley Station where my train from Glasgow arrived. I enjoyed a museum visit, an art gallery, and some leisurely book store browsing. In the evening I headed to Dalkeith where I stayed Wednesday and Thursday nights, allowing me to spend Thursday and Friday hiking through the village of Dalkeith and through the forest in Dalkeith Country Park.The three days of walking around with a … [Read more...]

The ordinary, everyday occult knowledge of herbs, flowers and beasts

A bottle of honeysuckle cordial (pink) and a bottle of meadowseet cordial, both made this last weekend.

In the third in my series relating the content of Christine Hoff Kraemer's book on Pagan theologies, Seeking the Mystery, to my own sense of place and spiritual practice, I'm considering 'occult' knowledge, or gnosis.As Christine's writing emphasises, Pagans' knowledge in relation to theology, religious devotion and spiritual practice is largely based in experience, rather than in text. The experience of mystery may come through devotional practice, and from that experience may come … [Read more...]

Bull Stones : the approach of Domhnach Chrom Dubh (Lughnasadh, Lughna Dubh)

photo 1

We are approaching the Lughnasadh season, and bulls are on my mind.  We have several large standing stones on our ridge--the thick, curved variety. One of my neighbors recently mentioned a bit of local folklore about these stones. In this townland of east Cork, those large stones are known as ‘bull stones’. Our neighbor said that when she was a girl she thought this was because they tied the bull to them….On the Dingle Peninsula a great assembly was held on Domhnach Chrom Dubh in the village … [Read more...]

A Weapons Problem

Two knives.

I love knives. Swords, too, but mostly knives. I love them for their place in religious practice, their role in magickal workings, and their daily mundane uses.For many years I would carry at least one knife all the time. A folding utility knife is good for a million little things, but a solid fixed blade is a godsend when you are out in the wild.When I lived in an Idaho forest for a summer, I used my favourite knife -- an SOG Seal Pup Elite affectionately named "Silly Ol' Grandma" … [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...]


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