About Yvonne Aburrow

Yvonne Aburrow has been a Pagan since 1985 and a Wiccan since 1991. She has an MA in Contemporary Religions and Spiritualities from Bath Spa University, and lives and works in Oxford, UK. She has written four books on the mythology and folklore of trees, birds, and animals, and two anthologies of poetry. She is the editor of the Theologies of Immanence wiki, a collaborative project for creating grass-roots Pagan theology.

Paganism for Beginners – Overview

Tree at dawn, Bucovina, Romania

Paganism is more of an attitude of mind than a fixed creed. It is always tempting to ask, “what do Pagans believe?” but a better question is “what do Pagans do?” [Read more...]

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Spirituality – let the buyer beware

Sunrise with Hasidim by Nosha

Every time I have an encounter with someone who has an interest in spirituality, and also possesses power over others, I find that they want to silence my anger at injustice because it is “not spiritual” to be angry. I find myself bruised and diminished by their criticism of my way of being in the world. Any engagement with the intellectual or theological or historical context of an issue is also silenced by these people, because that is “not spiritual” either. [Read more...]

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A bubble of complacency

Yarl's Wood immigration detention centre

One of the things that enables me to function more-or-less effectively is the notion that bad things won’t happen to me. I call this “the bubble of complacency”. The bubble is a sense that all is well, life is generally benevolent, and other people do not actively wish one harm, and that the arc of [Read More...]

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A lament

Mourner, thought to represent the goddess Isis mourning Osiris

We must turn away from seeing only things
And learn to see the sacred in everything
We must rise up against the oppressors
Without becoming oppressors ourselves [Read more...]

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Blue Beltane

A woman alone on a swing

With about ten days to go before Beltane, I find my thoughts turning wistful and sad, because my beloved will not be here to celebrate with me. I love Beltane and its energy and joy, I think it is very fitting to have a festival of sexual love and erotic joy at this time of year, but this year (not for the first time), I find myself outside looking in at the bubble of happiness. [Read more...]

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Tradition and change

Image by JOAT, courtesy of Shutterstock

What is a tradition? What is the function of tradition? What are valid criteria for modifying or abolishing a traditional practice, and when should it be retained unchanged? Traditional practices help to reinforce group identity, which is why they are so powerful, and why so many people resist changing them. [Read more...]

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Move over Easter Bunny, here comes the Easter Fox

Fox sitting in a meadow

I do think that pagans, of all people, have an ethical obligation to respect the historicity of the stories they tell, especially when they are telling them to one another. I think we have to do more than pay lip service to such things as lore, tradition, and ‘old ways’. That means recognising the boundaries of our knowledge. It’s no shame to say ‘We do not know what the absolute truth of this matter is’. Stories can emerge from the shadows. Where there’s doubt, there’s room to breathe. [Read more...]

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