From the Cauldron Born

Cauldron Born

From the Cauldron Born: Exploring the Magic of Welsh Legend & Lore by Kristoffer Hughes published by Llewellyn, December 2012 312 pages paperback: $13.32, kindle: $9.99   Bardic magic is a powerful thing. We hear or read a story and we’re transported to a galaxy far far away – or to the wilds of Wales.  People, places and things come alive, animals talk and trees walk – and a boy becomes a hare, a salmon, a wren, and a grain of corn.  Great deeds are done, kings are … [Read more...]

The Wakeful World

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The Wakeful World by Emma Restall Orr Published by Moon Books, November 2012 Paperback: 225 pages $20.95 When the question of the greatest Druids of our era comes up, I’m going to have to start including Emma Restall Orr in the discussion.  She began her Druid work in OBOD, was co-chief of the British Druid Order for nine years, then founded The Druid Network, which gained notoriety in 2010 when it became the first Druid group to be recognized as a charity in the UK (which is a much … [Read more...]

Apocalyptic Witchcraft

apocalyptic witchcraft

Apocalyptic Witchcraft by Peter Grey published by Scarlet Imprint 182 pages Hardback: £40, paperback: £15, e-book: £10. (with currency conversion and shipping, my paperback was $31.38)   One of the currents running through modern Western society is the idea that something is badly wrong.  We may not be able to articulate it, or we may try to blame it on a convenient scapegoat, but anyone who’s paying attention understands that new iPhones every year can’t hide the fact … [Read more...]

Nine Things I Think

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Nine Things I Think is an irregular feature whenever I have a list of things I want to talk about that aren’t long enough for their own individual posts.  Some may be expanded later, but most won’t.  There’s no theme, just nine things I want to bring to your attention.  Feel free to expand on any of these topics in the comments section. 1)  I’ll be at the OBOD East Coast Gathering this Thursday through Sunday, my once-a-year reunion with my fellow Druids.  This year’s special … [Read more...]

The Open Bookshelf

open bookcase

It’s been said that if Jews, Christians and Muslims are “the People of the Book” then Pagans are “the People of Books.”  I certainly fit that description. I love books.  Not just the sacrament of reading, the joy of learning, and the mystery of stories – I love the books themselves.  I love the feel of their weight in my hands and the texture of the paper on my fingers.  I love that magical smell that paper, ink and glue combine to make. And I love the way they look when … [Read more...]

Nine Things I Think

ECG 2012

Nine Things I Think is an irregular feature whenever I have a list of things I want to talk about that aren’t long enough for their own individual posts.  Some may be expanded later, but most won’t.  There’s no theme, just nine things I want to bring to your attention.  Feel free to expand on any of these topics in the comments section. 1)  Concrescent Press bills itself as “the union of practice and scholarship.”  Its new volume Pathways in Modern Western Magic is just that.  … [Read more...]

Seeking the Mystery

SeekingtheMystery

I reviewed Seeking the Mystery on my old blog in December.  I’m updating the review in part because the book is now available in print but also because the material it covers is very relevant to the recent discussions / debates / shouting matches on hard vs. humanistic Paganism.  If you’re going to argue about the nature of the gods, you need to understand monism, pantheism, animism, and other views of Divinity; and you need to understand how modern Pagans have used these terms during the … [Read more...]

Farewell Sookie Stackhouse

deadeverafter

there are no spoilers in this review, although it discusses Dead Ever After in general terms I’ve always loved supernatural fiction. From the classics of Stoker and Shelley to the early work of Anne Rice to the more recent urban fantasy, if a book had vampires and werewolves and magic in it I wanted to read it. Over the past few years my fiction-reading time has become rather limited, but I’ve always made time for new Sookie Stackhouse books. Sookie Stackhouse is a telepathic waitress … [Read more...]

Make Magic of Your Life

make magic cover weiser

“Grace is the unexpected that arrives when you have prepared, yet remain open.” – T. Thorn Coyle I first met Thorn Coyle at the House of Danu Gorsedd in 2009. We had a brief conversation and I bought one of her CDs. When I got home I started listening to her podcasts. That’s where I developed an appreciation for her spiritual depth and her emphasis on this-world action – something that appealed to me as a Unitarian Universalist as much as it appealed to me as a Pagan. When I went … [Read more...]

Beyond Beginnings

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“What now?” I see this question asked with some regularity. What can I read beyond Wicca 101? Celebrating the Wheel of the Year is nice, but isn’t there more? How do I go deeper? The specific questions vary but the theme doesn’t: a seeker has found a Pagan or magical tradition, likes what he’s done so far, but doesn’t know quite where to go from here. There are many different approaches toward what I call Intermediate Pagan Practice. This is what worked for me and for others … [Read more...]