What the Devil? Paganism & Satanism

The historical intertwining of the Church’s fantasies of Satanic opposition with the remnants of Paganisms and the real continuing tradition of occultism continue to produce plenty of discussion. Is occult work with the demons and ‘Satanic’ spirits of early-modern occultism legitimately ‘polytheist and animist’ or does it’s Christian overlay disqualify it? Read more

Witchcraft – The Word & The Figure – Pt 2: A Memoir of Late Twentieth Century Witchcraft

Traditional Witchcraft had been, up until this time, a private, initiatory and therefore rather exclusive set of systems. Admission was by the personal decision of others, who might choose to bring a student ‘in’ or not according to criteria of their own. However the allure of the idea of Pagan-survival Witchcraft was easily transmitted in publication, and the who-cares-about-rules generation simply took up the patterns as they pleased, will-or-nil the traditional keepers of lineages. Read more

Witchcraft – The Word & The Figure – Pt 1 A short walk through a long time.

‘Witch’ is being tugged at by Neopagan religionists, neogothic occultists, folk-magic charmers and spellbinders and by reconstructionist euro-shamans. Almost anyone who wants to participate in its coolness devises a rationale that allows them to use it. What makes this word so cool, and why do so many types of modern magical practitioners want to own it? Read more

Squishy Polytheism

I can’t stand by the so-called ‘hard’ position – that every named deity is a separate and unique individual – and feel true to my understanding of ancient religion. Nevertheless I am a polytheist and animist, and continue to apply reconstructionist methods to my effort to build modern spirituality. Doing so does not require any specific position on the nature of the gods. Read more

What I’ve Been Doing This Summer

Well, hi. It’s been a couple of months since I have posted here at my new Patheos address. The transfer from my old e-blogger address happened at exactly the moment that my summer heats up. This year that summer heat has been perilously close to having a job but it is, specifically, a job I love, done in service to the land and the folk. And I get to drive Tantor, the Robot Elephant. Ungawa, Tantor!        … Read more

Patron Gods & Polytheism

Back when we were starting out, I fixated pretty firmly on the idea of ‘Patronage’ – that worshipers would choose or be chosen by (as you like…) a specific god who would become the god of their Altar, their House, their work. I experimented with the methods locally with some success, devised scripts and guidance materials, and it was included as a goal in the first version of ADF’s Dedicant Work. Fairly enthusiastically received, within a couple of years problems with the model became obvious. Read more

A Pagan Theology of Good & Evil

The “Problem of Good & Evil” is a recurring theme in classical western theology. The good news for Pagans is that it is No Problem for a polytheistic theology. Read more

Demons & Daemons; Animism & Dualism

There’s always discussion in Blog-land on the topic of ‘demons’, and on their relation to the idea of ‘daemons’. I find the Hellenic category daemon to be a useful way of understanding the general category of ‘spirits’ in a Pagan sense. I understand Hellenic ‘daimons’ to be spirits of almost every type, up to and including the Olympians themselves and down to the smallest imp. We examine the relationship between the later occult notion of ‘demons’ and the more traditional Pagan concept. Read more

Druidic Teaching Clips

Ian has completed a nine-part series introducing basic concepts in modern Pagan Druidry and Celtic Paganism. Read more

Magic and Religion

Many Pagans would describe our work as ‘magical religion’ while others view ‘magic’ as something outside the pale of Pagan norms. What does the term ‘magic’ mean in context of modern Pagan spiritual endeavor? I find myself trying to answer this question over and over. I find the topic discussed over and over in Pagan writing. What makes this word so difficult, so confusing, so likely to produce conflicting definitions in different minds? Read more