Essential Pagan Books: My List (What’s Yours?)

Work In Progress [I started this and then realized it's going to take some time to finish it. I'll keep this on the blog as a permanent resource, and one that will likely evolve and change.]My friend David Dashifen Kees helped put together a list of essential Pagan books over on HuffPo Religion. You should go check it out.There are some good books on there to be sure, and authors I admire. But there's a problem with lists. One person's definitive list isn't going to seem definitive for … [Read more...]

Happy St. Patrick’s Day? I Don’t Think So.

I was driving around my little town today and I saw that several houses already have decorations up for St. Patrick’s Day, which in the US is about two weeks away. I usually forget all about this “holiday,” and I certainly don’t celebrate it, but this time, seeing the shamrocks and the green paper garlands festooning my neighbor’s home, I decided to sit down and write a little bit about why.I realize that for many people, St. Patrick’s Day is a celebration of Irish pride. I think that’s a goo … [Read more...]

A Meditation for Imbolc and Charming of the Plough

Poet T.S. Elliot called April the cruelest month, but I’ve always thought February fits that appellation far more thoroughly and resolutely. I detest this month, though I have to admit that it wasn’t always so.  My adopted mom died in February though and since then everything, from the snow and ice, to Valentine’s day decorations, to the joyful celebrations of Chinese New Year remind me of her passing. For me, it’s turned an otherwise innocuous month into something bleak and grim. Still, there ar … [Read more...]

Intellectualism and Pagan Pedagogy

The following started out as a comment to be made on Star’s Nov. 9th post, “Elitism: The Intellectual Path in Paganism.” Because what I was writing grew and grew into a pretty wide-ranging little article, I thought I’d go ahead and publish it as its own blog post. So, the references to “you” below are to the author of the original post! Enjoy.. . .Interesting thoughts! I must admit that I’m pretty confused, though, since it seems that you’re seeking a few things which, to me, seem at odds wit … [Read more...]

On Spells and Impulsiveness

I recently reread The Way of Four Spellbook by fellow Gardnerian Deborah Lipp. One of our coven's Gardlings (that's what we call our outer grove members) recently read it as part of her required reading. It's an excellent introduction to practical spellwork. It is firmly grounded in the modern age (although she does assume that people still go to physical stores for supplies, when most of us nowadays would just Google them).Interestingly, the Gardling was frustrated by the book. She thinks … [Read more...]

Basic But Not Simple

Some people, when they go to learn a different tradition, go from one teacher to another (more about that later), or when they start training in a formal tradition after having been doing things their own way for years, are daunted by the prospect of starting all over again. I've also seen people who are used to picking up intellectual knowledge very quickly get frustrated at the pace of magical training, or dismayed at their own lack of facility at it, or sometimes bored with the apparent … [Read more...]

Shaving Bunnies: Doing Your Research 101

Helllloooooooo Baby Pagani!Here at Paganism 101 we do insist on a bit of research. No excuses for sloppy ignorance here!Almost any rumor you have heard about Pagan religions can be easily put to rest with a little digging on the internet. You know what that is, you're using it to read this blog! It's the place where the e-mail is!For instance, I go to that handy little search box and type in "burning times". Ah la, the first three links debunk most of the myths surrounding the "burning … [Read more...]