Relying On Faith

419px-Harry_Bates_-_Pandora,_1891,_left_-_on_temporary_display_at_Tate_Britain,_August_2010

I need to start this post with this note before getting on with the topic at hand. When I wrote about realizing that traditional Witchcraft was a Mystery Tradition and not a religion, I received a lot of positive feedback from trad folk. It was an odd thing, because they seemed to not understand I was in a very real way rejecting Wicca and traditional Witchcraft. My Craft experience was positive, and my initiation profoundly meaningful, and I recommend the experience to anyone, but for me it … [Read more...]

13 Reasons I’m Glad Bristol Palin Is At Patheos

Photo: Gage Skidmore

You may be aware that Bristol Palin is writing for Patheos. You likely have an opinion regarding it. I've gotten a few of your opinions, some rather strongly worded. I've had a range of opinions myself on the subject, but once the idea soaked in, I was fine with it. Here's why: 13. She's A Troll Magnet We bloggers loathe trolls. They are the bane of our existence. The Palins are so polarizing that there's a chance that Bristol might draw the bulk of the trolls and haters on Patheos, … [Read more...]

Fitting Tributes: The Passing of Lord Athanor

John Monogue/Lord Athanor

Pagans having two names can have some amusing consequences. How often do you tend to know someone's mundane name or magical name, but not both? You know who Nightfire is but swear you've never met Michael, not knowing they are the same person. I recently had an experience like that. Lord Athanor is one of those elder names I hear a lot when speaking to folks from my tradition. We've got a boatload of elders and countless names from the history of Paganism in Atlanta. I've never met most of … [Read more...]

The Magic of Smoke and Flame

Weihrauch

I don't write about spells or magic very often. Rarely, truth be told. I do practice these things though. Every day it's likely I have candles, incense or both burning. I light, I murmur incantations, I salute and I invoke. I think that my words, my intent and energy will be carried by the smoke on the wind. That wind will go places I never can, from the upper reaches of the atmosphere to the thin drafts under doorways. It will whisper my wishes as it encircles the earth in … [Read more...]

Re-Interpreting “Worship” in Witchcraft

An interesting conversation came out of my post on belief yesterday and I'd like to briefly touch on it. It's nothing new that many Witches adamantly deny that the Gods are to be worshipped but rather they are equals, allies, friends or even tools. I don't agree with this but I do get a bit peeved when it's suggested "real" Witches don't worship the Gods or that it's a "Wiccan thing," with the implication that anything "Wiccan" is somehow less. Here's what bothers me about this: the lore of … [Read more...]

The Scariest Job On Earth

Ok, maybe not the scariest, but it's on up there in the toll it takes on the well-being of the worker: Pagan blogger. Oh, of all the nightmares and spectres we will tantalize ourselves with over the Halloween weekend, I'd like to float a few ghouls past you to send a chill down your spine. So grab some popcorn, dim the lights and snuggle up in your blankie as I reveal the scariest things about being a Pagan blogger. Why Being A Pagan Blogger Is Scary Obviously, as a Pagan blogger, you are a … [Read more...]

Regarding the War on Halloween

I've been joking about writing a piece on "the War on Halloween" for a few weeks now, because from a Pagan perspective it's such an absurd topic. Yet the more I joked the more it seemed a good idea. You see, the truth is, Halloween is a secular holiday. It doesn't belong to any religion. What we know as Halloween today began as an excuse for bored Edwardians to party and scare the crap out of each other. It kept going because it was fun, and after two World Wars the West needed an excuse for … [Read more...]

Traditional Witchcraft on the Internet

I get some weird messages online. Sometimes it's the worst kind of gossip attributing disgusting and malicious acts to people who would surely be in prison if such things were true. Sometimes it's people offering to be my secret occult advisor or who claim special knowledge because they own Gerald Gardner's old chamber pot. Those are messages I can generally safely ignore. Sometimes, though, people have a weird idea in their heads, and it's an idea I hear repeated until I feel compelled to write … [Read more...]

Why Initiation Made Me Love Solitary Wicca

Some of the shock and bewilderment have passed, I'm eating solid foods and life is sort-of back to normal. Some folks wanted me to unpack my experience a bit, and I've had some interesting insights that I can share, so here goes: Even if my initiation wasn't oathbound, I still really couldn't tell you about it. Some human experiences can't be effectively communicated. I'd imagine giving birth or losing a loved one to a wasting disease are good examples of those kinds of experiences. You can … [Read more...]

Let me tell you all about it…

Or not. See, I thought I could at least unpack my feelings regarding initiation without revealing anything oathbound, but I can't see any way to do that. Not in any useful fashion. But I can tell you a few useful things. You will likely be disappointed. Initiation is not for the faint of heart or half-hearted. If you honestly can't enter in perfect love and perfect trust, you'd better not attempt it. If you find a coven/tradition that you respect, love and cherish, it is an entirely … [Read more...]


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