Dealing With Japan’s Sacred Deer

Back in the days of yore when I used to teach English in Japan, I once showed my junior high school class some pictures of my family celebrating Christmas at my parents’ house. Christmas in Japan is quite a different celebration from its Western counterpart, and the children were curious to see what sorts of traditions we had. They were delighted by the photos of my family exchanging presents from under the tree, the large Nativity scene, and us all sharing… Read more

Pagan, Shinto & Spiritual Book Reviews July 2017

A large variety of beliefs, from secret esoteric traditions to atheism, are explored in this month’s reviews. But which book will get Read Of The Month? The full list of this month’s reviews is as follows…. David V. Barrett, A Brief Guide to Secret Religions: A Complete Guide to Hermetic, Pagan and Esoteric Beliefs Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion C. Scott Littleton, Understanding Shinto: Origins, Beliefs, Practices, Festivals, Spirits, Sacred Places Andrew Dalby, The Story of Bacchus David V. Barrett, A Brief Guide… Read more

We Are Wild And We Are Free: Paganism And Liberty

I delivered the following speech at a multi-faith discussion event on the subject of Freedom at Chatham Unitarian Church on July 20th 2017.  I’d like to play you an excerpt from a song by British rock band Inkubus Sukkubus. This band is popular in the British Pagan community, as they frequently sing songs about nature worship, witchcraft and other songs with a Pagan theme. You can learn a lot about how Pagans view themselves, and the movement to which they belong,… Read more

Is UNESCO Enabling Discrimination? The Case Of Okinoshima

Half of the world’s population are banned from setting a foot on the latest Unesco World Heritage site, simply on account of not being men. Read more

Celebrating The Tanabata Star Festival in London

Shintoists in the UK come together to celebrate the reunion of the astral lovers and make wishes. Read more

If You Break The Law To Stop Free Expression, You’re Just Being Lazy

Blasphemy is never an excuse to commit a crime. Ever. Read more

Book Review Special: Malala Yousafzai and Maajid Nawaz

An atrocity happened in my country last week. In response I have picked up the weapons that frighten extremists the most: books. Read more

Help Britain’s Foxes! Speak Out Against Fox Hunting

I am a devotee of Inari Ōkami, the Shinto kami of rice and prosperity. Foxes are sacred to Inari; they are His messengers, and as such Her shrines typically feature fox statues and other fox images. Foxes are therefore very special to me. But aside from the personal, spiritual significance foxes have for me, I also feel it is my moral duty to help defend all creatures in my country from unnecessary cruelty, and our natural environment from wanton destruction. Which is why I am… Read more

Pagan, Shinto & Spiritual Book Reviews April 2017

This month, two recent adaptations of the Norse myths by two bestselling authors go head-to-head: Joanne M Harris’ 2014 novel The Gospel of Loki, and Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology, published earlier this year. But which book will get Read Of The Month? The full list of this month’s reviews is as follows…. Neil Gaiman, Norse Mythology Joanne M Harris, The Gospel of Loki Takeshi Mitsuhashi, Zero kara hajimeru jinja to matsuri nyumon Philip West, The Old Ones in the Old Book: Pagan… Read more

Making Anzac Biscuits For Beltane and Anzac Day

As an Eclectic Pagan, I actively borrow traditions from all over the place, including integrating secular holidays into my spiritual practise. One thing I try to do is to incorporate some elements of New Zealand culture into my path, because my husband is from New Zealand and I think it is important to celebrate his Kiwi heritage in our household. One way I do this is to make “Anzac Biscuits*” in the run up to Beltane. April 25th is Anzac Day,… Read more

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