The Magician, The World

The Magician

Our life is no dream; however, it should be, and perhaps one day shall be.--NovalisThere are gates to the Other everywhere.There is a delicate and brilliant rapture in the wilds, the forests, the forgotten places which have not heard the echoes of mortals for centuries. Or the ancient pilgrim sites, the holy wells and temples, the towering Buddhas and the resounding Cathedrals. The incomprehensible vastness of the sea, or the mountains, or the deserts, or the stars.And there are … [Read more...]

Urban Witchcraft: The Power of Place in the City

This article is a reprisal of one of my first on Patheos.  It's my "Top 10 Tips" for cultivating a sense of Place in an urban environment; a feat that did not come easy for me.  I was reared on a family farm with hundreds of acres as my garden.  I roamed barefoot from sun-up till sun-down, engaging in more risk-taking behavior than my parents would ever want to know about!  Snake spoke to me, coyote sang his eerie song, and bobcat warned me about what happens when you meet Other, out past your be … [Read more...]

By the light of the harvest moon: autumn equinox thoughts

A moonlit night on the other side of the world. Image by Matti/Masivaan used under Creative Commons license.

Last night was the first full moon since early spring when I've been able to go out into the night and see my way by Her light.I always find the shift into the dark half of the year difficult. One of the great consolations of this time for me is the light of nighttime, whether as the wonder of the Milky Way spread out across the heavens, or the Northern Lights, taking my breath away, or the blue shimmering radiance of the full moon in the night sky.The first time I experienced the … [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...]

The puzzle of the Mother of Modern Witchcraft — a village witch who lived in a tower block

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It's almost a fortnight now since Doreen Valiente - author, poet, and hailed as the Mother of Modern Witchcraft - was honoured by the public unveiling of a 'blue plaque' at her place of residence, campaigned for and paid for by the efforts of The Centre for Pagan Studies.Blue plaques are permanent - and rather lovely - signs mounted on buildings to commemorate famous, important or influential people who lived or worked there.You might think, being one of founders of Wicca, and … [Read more...]

Being in nature

Common carder bee (Bombus pascuorum). Image by JerryL2008 used under Creative Commons License.

My Paganism is very much a 'nature' religion. I find my connection with myself, other beings, and Life through what most of us think of as 'natural' environments. Regardless of my desire to become an urban as well as a rural Witch, I can't see that changing any time soon. But why?I gained some insight into that question this morning.We've been in our 'temporary' accommodation for well over a year now, but I've only just discovered a good spot for my devotions: through a gate, up a path, … [Read more...]

Childhood, risk and ‘wild’ places

Harborne Walkway in its current, manicured state. Image by Andy Reeve, used under Creative Commons license.

When I came back from my travels recently, I spent a week at my mum's on the way back. It was an opportunity to revisit some of the haunts of my youth: the huge willow tree at the bottom of the road, still standing, and the old railway track which has since been transformed into a public path all the way from Harborne to Winson Green, approximately two miles of green, car-free paths winding through Birmingham's suburbia.The willow tree is an old friend. I and the little gang of pre-teens I … [Read more...]


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