Spells Explained

Many non Pagans curiously ask me, "Do you cast spells?" To which replied "All the time." Then they ask me "How can you believe in them and have faith that they will work." To which I reply "Do you believe in prayer?"Personally I perceive prayer, ritual and spellcasting, as ways that the living, whilst here upon this physical plain, can petition and interact with Divinity, whatever their faith.Prayer I know well, thirteen years of convent education has left me knowing all the set Christian … [Read more...]

Sacred Endings

Candle lit, incense wafting, salt blessed and anointed in oil I step into the bath. Herbal flowers scent the water and steam rises languorously. I meditate on things I've put behind me, things in my past, and bid them to stay there. I want room for fresh beginnings and don't desire to be visited by ghosts of old disappointments. I let go of all the tension and frustration of the past, letting it leach out into the water and down the drain.When a situation I had placed behind me cropped up … [Read more...]

Small Miracles

We tend to think of miracles as being Big. Huge. Gigantic. Something on the scale of King Kong climbing the Empire State building. Often we tend to discount the small miracles that change our lives in quiet, solid ways.In Jan of 2004 I was unhappily married, I'd quit my fast-food job and was having trouble with my anti-depressant medication. I'd had a rough few years. My dad had passed on after years of fighting colon cancer. I was at odds with my family. I'd spent some time in a women's … [Read more...]

Miracles and Magic

I recently reconnected with an old friend of mine. As we were talking, she posed an interesting question. She asked if I thought that, as Pagans, it was required that we believe in miracles, in the sense that things happen supernaturally and without explanation. The answer is a qualified “no.” I think I do need to accept that there’s more out there that I don’t understand, but I don’t think that I have to believe that miracles are unsolvable mysteries.Like most people growing up in the 20th Cen … [Read more...]

Death-This Witch’s Perspective

Death when it visits is traumatic regardless of one's chosen religion, however the way it resonates within the life of individuals is very much influenced by their faith and beliefs therein. Hence to venture comment with any degree of empathy is as difficult as commenting about pain, for one person simply cannot fathom anothers suffering. Therefore with respect I merely offer for your contemplation my personal understanding, ethos and experiences of death, born of the 'gifts of the spirits' … [Read more...]

Patheos Pagan “TV”

I hope you're enjoying the Oak and Holly blog, but as you sit sipping your tea, coffee, wine or Mtn Dew take a gander at our video playlist on the bottom right of the Pagan Portal page. We've updated it with some goodies.Not only do we have a vlog on Religious Literacy that complements Julie Maldonado's excellent post on Pagan Apologetics, we also have a Lifetime Television special on Witches narrated by Anjelica Houston and featuring Janet Farrar and Z. Budapest.Our focus on the diversity … [Read more...]

Pagan Enough?

Project Pagan Enough is an endeavour to engender  reform amongst Pagans; it was founded by Fire Lyte, a fellow blogger.  He  is of the opinion that although Pagans express the need for tolerance and understanding across the whole ecumenical plain, that hypocrisy languishes within our ranks, for we sorely lack this same level of generous tolerance when dealing with fellow members of the Pagan community.Personally from a Welsh perspective I find this to be very much an American issue , for here i … [Read more...]

Addicted to “Big Love”

Let's face it: there's a scavenger element to modern Paganism. I mean, there have been syncretists before but Modern Pagans outstripped them 30 years ago.  Sure, we're respectful, sincere, caring, and a whole boatload of lovely, honorable things, but we're addicted to religion like Courtney Love's addicted to being a hot mess.I'm no exception. Growing up Southern Baptist I devoured Catholic and Anglican texts. As a youngster I'll admit to experimenting with Mennonites, Pentecostals and … [Read more...]

The Tudor Lion Still Roars

On reading the many opinions voiced regarding  the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams , comments condemning the Catholic Church's mishandling of abuse within the RC church in Ireland, it seemed to me that almost everyone had totally missed the point. For the most part they  fell into two groups; those who felt his blunt but truthful comments were only adding to the pain within the Catholic Irish community, and those that felt relieved by his embrace of the truth , seeing it as ne … [Read more...]

Pagan Apologetics

“Apologetics” isn’t a word you’ll hear in everyday conversations. It tends to be used by scholars and students of religion and is often confused with “apologizing.” But if the word isn’t known, the practice of Apologetics is.From the Greek “Apolgetikos,” it is the verbal or written defense of ones faith. Webster’s defines it as “a systematic argumentative discourse in defense (as of a doctrine).” Everytime someone defends their faith, they are being an Apologist.As a rule, Pagans are not like … [Read more...]