Vampires and Addicts

vampires-are-us

Are vampires a metaphor for the way we are drinking other species, the land, and each other dry? Margot Adler’s new book considers the wild popularity of vampires in media and suggests that, in the twenty-first century, the vampires are us. [Read more...]

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The Future of Contemporary Paganism: Holding Paradox (Part One)

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

The challenge of contemporary Paganism’s future is to maintain an apparent paradox: to meet the needs of a growing movement without losing the passion and alternative vision that drew so many converts to Pagan traditions. [Read more...]

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Pagan prayer

Pagan Prayer by Gixajin on deviantART

A prayer can be nothing more than time taken to set an intention for the day, or to contemplate the day’s events before going to sleep. It can be time spent communing with a deity, or holding others that you care about in your awareness and wishing them well. It can take place at your personal altar, or just in your head. It can be spoken or unspoken, formal or informal, and involve stillness or movement. It can involve descending into your own depths to find a connection with all-that-is; or it can be reaching out to a deity or spirit of place. [Read more...]

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Your mountain is not my mountain and that’s just fine

Moraine Lake, Rocky Mountains

Metaphors for religion are tricky things, especially when we try to stretch them and make them work too hard by trying to turn them into analogies. One very popular metaphor for explaining religious diversity is the idea that we are all walking different paths up the same mountain. However, many people are coming to believe (myself included) that we are in fact all walking up different mountains. [Read more...]

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Wiccanate Privilege and Polytheist Wiccans

Wiccanate Privilege

We should dismantle Wiccanate privilege as soon as possible. Let’s have devotional polytheism, liturgical Paganism, Wiccan (rather than Wiccan-flavoured) ritual, revived Eleusinian mysteries, Heathen blots, Druid rituals… And let’s not have assumptions about what Pagans believe. [Read more...]

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Old magic versus new magic

Morgan le Fay, by Frederick Sandys

Recently I received an enquiry from a seeker in Eastern Europe, where much of the traditional magical practices and folklore were wiped out under Communism. There are many seekers in the area, but not many experienced practitioners. The seeker was especially interested in older forms of magic, and asked how to tell the difference between fake and real techniques. [Read more...]

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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...]

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