Knowing our places, inside and out

mop

T. Thorn Coyle's book Make Magic of Your Life might not, at first glance, look like it will have much in it of relevance to Pagans seeking to connect with the land beneath their feet, and the all-species tribe which it supports. The book focuses on desire and making desires into reality, taking the reader on a journey with the four powers of the Sphinx: to know, to will, to dare and to keep silent, and a fifth power, the power to manifest.It is an excellent book, filled with illuminating … [Read more...]

The land does not belong to us; we belong to the land.

snowyhills

Saturday was the first new moon after the winter solstice: in the Roman calendar, it was the first calends of the year, sacred to Janus. It was a religious festival probably celebrated officially in Eskdalemuir about 1900 years ago, at the fort built where the Rae Burn meets the River Esk.If I were a reconstructionist Pagan, living where I do, based on the past of this land, I'd have a host of Pagan religious traditions to reconstruct from: not only those of the Romans, but of the … [Read more...]

The land is made of stories

"The Coming of Bride" by John Duncan (1917)

Today in the Christian calendar is Epiphany: the official end of the 12 days of Christmas. In the Roman calendar which was adopted by Christianity, the 12 day festival of Saturnalia, beginning on 25th December, was a period out of ordinary time, a time of divination through dream and weather watching of what to expect in the year to come.For all that the period between the winter solstice and Epiphany is a time of rest, review and renewal, it's always a relief to me to be able to put this … [Read more...]

Feeding the Sidhe

A full-grown elder tree Photo licensed under creative commons from

Back in 1998, before I moved to Scotland, I was a baby Witch living in Bath. I was reading all the gentle introductory books on Witchcraft I could find, and starting to put their exercises into practice. One of those books, I can't remember which, suggested beginning a relationship with the Sidhe – the beings most people refer to as 'faeries'.It recommended showing respect to elder trees – the dwellings of the Queen of Faery – and leaving silver coins in any hidden green space I could find. S … [Read more...]

Be vewy vewy quiet, I’m hunting connection

beara

the sensual The back garden is a carpet of bejeweled grass; each blade aquiver with droplets of dew.  The windows shine with condensation.   I open the door from the sun-room, and dozens of small birds scatter from the feeders.  I speak my normal greeting, "Good morning! Sorry to disturb.  I will only be a moment."  The sky is a watercolor wash of gray and white. The air, chill and fresh. I pause as I head up the stone stairs to the barn.  I close my eyes and listen.far distant tract … [Read more...]

A journey through place

Carmel Beach, Haifa

I’d always wanted to live in Israel. When I was in second grade at a private Jewish school in San Francisco, one of my Hebrew teachers told me that Haifa was a lot like my hometown. I decided then that when I grew up, I’d live there. The first time I visited Israel, I was 17 years old, and the experience confirmed in my head that I had to live there. Somehow, I just belonged to that place.When I was 27 I moved there. People would ask me why. I’d joke that it was my Hebrew School brain … [Read more...]


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