The Dawn Of The Gods

In “The Allegory of Love”, CS Lewis wrote that in the declining years of ancient paganisms, people started to see the gods as metaphors, and then as allegorical personifications, until eventually belief in them declined. I wonder if, in order to believe in the gods again, it has been necessary for us to pass through a phase of seeing them as metaphors and personifications, before we can see them as real again. The phase of seeing them as metaphors and archetypes has perhaps been a necessary preparation for seeing them as the face that we can perceive of vast cosmic forces, or localised manifestations of spirit. [Read more…]

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Faith and Belief

Many Pagans will tell you that they do not have faith and belief, because they know by experience that the gods exist. Here they are using the words in their modern sense of ‘assent to a creed’. Other Pagans will quite happily use the words faith and belief, because they mean something different by those words. What is going on? What do the words ‘faith’ and ‘belief’ mean? Has their meaning changed over time? [Read more…]

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Why I am still a polytheist Wiccan

I am a Wiccan and a polytheist, and I do not believe that the gods are merely archetypes. I believe the gods are real and have agency. I am not sure if the gods are made of energy or consciousness or both, but I am sure that they are distinct identities. [Read more…]

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Navigating the ethical minefield

As we go through life, most of us find our ethics are guided by the field of Applied Ethics. That is, we use concepts of duty and legal/contractual obligations to guide our behavior. Witchcraft requires a different approach: one of normative ethics. Normative Ethics attempt to define, in general terms, what actions are morally right. [Read more…]

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What colour is your witchcraft?

Why the question “are you a black witch or a white witch?” is such an unhelpful question. [Read more…]

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Religion, spirituality, and the big ball of mud

Religions are organic, they grow with and in culture – and if people rip the ideas out of context, they lose meaning and coherence. Religions are like languages – deeply embedded in culture and history; sometimes they have their own culture. Even religions that claim to be universally applicable arose at a particular time and place because of specific theological, philosophical, and spiritual concerns. [Read more…]

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Marriage equality: All you need is love… or is it?

I am immensely heartened by the legalisation of same-sex marriage across the United States of America. This makes the US the 23rd country to legalise it. Given the large number of people in same-sex relationships who want to get married, it seems like a very good idea, especially when it grants access to all kinds of other benefits. And we should celebrate our victories along the way. However, it does not mean that the struggle for equality is over. [Read more…]

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