Throwback Thursday: Initiation Variety Pack

Votive plaque depicting elements of the Eleusinian Mysteries. Photograph by Carole Raddato, Frankfurt, Germany

This post was originally published on the Pantheon blog on Patheos, June 3, 2010.   I was first initiated into a religious tradition when I was twelve years old. I underwent a symbolic death and rebirth, was ritually cleansed, and was recognized as a member of the spiritual family with a celebratory feast. That is [Read More...]

Imbolc, Poetry, and Tea with the Queen of Faerie

Welsh ladies taking tea.  Amgueddfa Cymru/National Museum of Wales

My coven has two English professor types in it, along with an assortment of other writery academics and creative ne’er-do-wells. It should shock no one that Imbolc for us has become mainly a celebration of poetry (Imbolc—> feast of Brighid—-> goddess of poetry—-> SHAKESPEARE! Obviously). Then, one of our members came up with the idea of having food as a ritual. Specifically, a Southern high tea. With the Queen. Of Faerie…. And since then we have taken to combining the two ideas and having tea with Brighid for Imbolc. [Read more...]

Witchcraft and the Monkeysphere

Diana the Huntress by Orazio Gentileschi (via Wikimedia Commons)

Dunbar’s number is the upper limit of any kind of group cohesion, including the kind between neighbors and tradition members. However, the level of intimacy required between coven members in order to function as a coven…in order to do good magic…is far greater. I would say, an order of magnitude greater. It just so happens that if you reduce Dunbar’s number by one order of magnitude, you get 15…which is darn close to the traditional number of 13 witches in a coven. [Read more...]

Incantation for Justice

La'die Mansfield, left, and Marypat Hector, leading a "die-in" in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Kathie.

The place of the witch is beside the downtrodden. Power used to harm the innocent is falsely borne. Power used to punish out of reason betrays the law. Blood on the ground cries out for justice; when will it be heard? [Read more...]

Samhain Throwback Thursday: Sing to the Mighty Dead

Sketch of Aphra Behn by George Scharf

Here is my litany of Mighty Dead: brilliant, luminous, genius bisexual women, every last one of them. [Read more...]

Talking to My Ancestors at Samhain: Religion In A Crisis


Aside from it being that time of year, my ancestors are generally my first line of defense when things go wrong or I feel the need to protect me and mine. I have a well-established relationship with them (I have a smaller ancestor altar year-round) and I know they have my back. [Read more...]

Grimoire of the Thorn-Blooded Witch by Raven Grimassi (Book Review)

Cover art for Grimoire of the Thorn-Blooded Witch

Raven Grimassi describes this book as an attempt to codify or distill what he calls the “roots” of Old World witchcraft:  “The magical tradition presented in this book is ever ancient and ever new.”  That is to say, he is presenting a “cohesive system” of magic based on his own experiences in Witchcraft and some [Read More...]

Our Nimue Is Different

Poker Face by

If you step out to the grocery store to buy a loaf of bread and wind up in Tijuana with a trunk full of Froot Loops and vintage porn…that was Nimue. [Read more...]

Black Hearted Innocence (part 7)

Least Weasel, Bering Land Bridge National Preserve

Understand, the Black Heart is not a goal, nor is it automatically conferred with a certain number of box tops. It can come and go. It’s not a state of enlightenment, exactly, though it bears a certain resemblance to some martial arts concepts. It’s an effect. [Read more...]

Align Your Souls (Feri part 6)

Today’s Throwback Thursday post discusses another central idea in Anderson Faery.  Originally published May 24, 2010, in the Pantheon blog. 1 Man has no Body distinct from his Soul for that calld Body is a portion of Soul discerned by the five Senses, the chief inlets of Soul in this age. 2 Energy is the [Read More...]