Drugs: it’s all about the context

Two Crow Indians sitting on the ground smoking a peace pipe.

Drugs and other mind-altering substances have been used in a sacred context for millennia. It is only when drug use is taken out of this sacramental and communal context that it becomes a vice. If a drug is taken to alter one’s consciousness for a sacred purpose – to obtain information or abilities inaccessible to normal consciousness – then it is a rare occurrence, and for a good reason: in the service of one’s community. [Read more...]

If you build it, they will come

John William Waterhouse - The Crystal Ball

I would like to see Pagan weddings become legally recognised in England and Wales. I would like to be able to practice Pagan rituals in public without fear of harassment. I would like to see public bodies acknowledging Pagan holidays in listings of holidays both secular and religious. (In the UK, many employers send round lists of holidays from various faiths, but Pagan holidays are often not listed.) I would like to see a Pagan student society in every UK university, and a Pagan temple accessible to every Pagan who wants it. I would like to see Pagan traditions covered in education about religion (not indoctrinating children into it, just teaching them the facts about it). I would like Pagan traditions to be full participants in interfaith councils and bodies. [Read more...]

Pagan Tea Times with John Halstead and Fritz Muntean

Image adapted from "Hobbit Home" by shes_so_high. Originally posted on Flickr. CC license 2.0

I sit down with John Halstead and Fritz Muntean to talk about Paganism, the internet, babies, and subcultural norms. [Read more...]

All the Pagan Tea Times You Can Drink!

More Pagan Tea Times: John Beckett, David Dashifen Kees, Julian Betkowski, and Henry Buchy. The month is almost over, but let the conversations continue! [Read more...]

Lupercalia

Yvonne Aburrow

Whatever the origins and timing of Valentine’s Day, 14 February was originally the date of a very different festival – the festival of Lupercalia. This was a fertility festival honouring the she-wolf who suckled Romulus and Remus. It also honoured Lupercus, god of shepherds. The festivities were presided over by the priesthood of the Luperci, who were dedicated to Faunus. They sacrificed two goats and a dog. There was then a sacrificial feast, and the Luperci cut thongs called februa from the skins of the animals, dressed themselves in the skins of the sacrificed goats, and ran round the walls of the old Palatine city. They struck all those who came near with the thongs. Young women would line up on their route to receive lashes from these whips. This was reputed to ensure fertility, prevent sterility, and ease the pains of childbirth. [Read more...]

Tea Times with Aine Llewellyn and Rhyd Wildermuth

Image adapted from Banquet cup-bearer Louvre G467, by a Euaion Painter. Public domain.

Fantastic Tea Times this week! Pagan history, the role of alternative religion in critiquing culture, harmonizing spiritual practice with paying work, and more. [Read more...]

Thought forms

Georg von Rosen - Oden som vandringsman, 1886 (Odin, the Wanderer)

One aspect of deities seems to be thought-forms. That is not to say that deities are merely thought-forms, but that part of the way we interact with them seems to be through our internal image of what they are like. The more people carry an internal image of that deity around in their heads, the easier it is to visualise them. [Read more...]


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