I admire Billy Graham’s dedication and devotion. But I cannot minimize the problems of what he was dedicated and devoted to. His sermons sent people into a hell of fear over the fear of hell. And he refused to engage the most important questions of his religion. Read more

Ronald Hutton said “we are the only society that both believes in witchcraft and doesn’t believe in it, and I’d like to keep it that way.” Is it inevitable that a common belief in magic would result in the prosecution of certain magic users? It’s possible, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Read more

There’s been a lot of garbage written about fear over the years. People claim fear is only an illusion and they attempt to shame others who are afraid. Sometimes fear is rational. Other times it’s not. Most times it’s a little of both, and that makes it really complicated. Read more

There is no question Michael Harner was highly influential in the Pagan community and beyond. Many people benefitted from his work. But he ignored the importance of cultural context. He set the table for a seven course dinner and then served only soup and salad. Read more

When I was seven years old I didn’t have enough friends. Or really, any friends. I still don’t have enough friends. Certainly not enough to throw them away over disagreements, misunderstandings, and differing priorities. But even I have limits and boundaries. Read more

There’s a secondary point in this story: about the power of symbols and how we use them, a point that’s relevant in our wider society and especially relevant in our magic. The power of symbols is great. Make sure your knowledge and wisdom are equally great. Read more

Let’s accept people for who and what they are, even if they’re weird – and even if they’re not. Read more

If there’s one primary theme running through almost 10 years of blogging at Under the Ancient Oaks, it’s this: religion is best approached through facts and reason, but reason alone will never build a deep and meaningful religion. Read more

Under the Ancient Oaks, the video series. This month’s episode features a short interview and music from singer and songwriter Melanie Gruben’s new album “A Fairy Song”. Read more

As much as most of us would like to forget about last year’s mass exodus from Patheos Pagan, I think it’s worth reviewing the issues and seeing how things actually played out. Read more

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