Paganism for Beginners – Overview

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…]

My Polytheism

One of the things I really like about polytheism is its inherent plurality. Gods and spirits are not one single entity, but a multiplicity of identities, local and finite and specific and particular. They can be the consciousness of rocks and trees and water; or deified humans; or forces of Nature, spirits of place, emerging from the complexity of the universe (or multiverse). [Read more…]

Hospitality for the Stranger

Both hospitality and reciprocity are Pagan virtues and have been since ancient times. Honour is also important in many Pagan traditions, and I think the honourable thing to do is to welcome the stranger. [Read more…]

Poem on a Birthday

All the myths and stories tell us the gift exists to be transformed and passed on, or it loses its power. [Read more…]

Why Black Lives Matter (Too) – A Book Review #BlackLivesMatter

Black Lives Matter (Too) critiques racial injustice in the United States in a huge variety of contexts, and it does so with equal servings of research and personal narrative. It is a a powerful resource for anti-racism educators. [Read more…]

UK Satanic Abuse Scare: 25 Years On

As a pagan who has also worked in the press for the past 30-odd years, it isn’t the first time I’ve come across fellow witches not believing I can be both. Journalists have been among the biggest enemies of modern pagan witches since the mid 20th century – and during the late 1980s to early 1990s we fanned the flames of the Satanic Panic with lurid stories such as those in the clippings at the top of this post. [Read more…]

A Tale of Two Britains

It ought to be obvious to anyone that Tory-imposed austerity is responsible for the economic misery that has cut services and reduced jobs and rendered many areas full of despair. Certainly, the brutal realities of capitalists accumulating wealth at everybody else’s expense also plays into this, causing division between the people they prey upon. Instead, people blame immigration and the EU.

So we have been led to the brink by a group of irresponsible and out-of-touch upper class twits, as The New Yorker immediately grasped. And although the 17 million who voted to leave the EU didn’t all vote that way on the basis of anti-immigration, the racists who are currently committing vile acts of hate up and down the land have felt empowered to do so because they are assuming that the rest of the Leave voters agreed with them. [Read more…]

Pagan Ritual for Pulse, Orlando

After the Orlando shooting, a small group of LGBTQIA Pagans came together to create a ritual for the dead of Orlando. The group is called Wands Up for Orlando. One of the founders, Salvatore Caci, wrote: Why “wands up”? In the movie Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, after the death of Dumbledore, all students [Read More…]

On Being European and Scottish

The North Sea has always connected people far more than it divided them, and the marks of these connections to the rest of Europe are everywhere in Scotland’s history, language, culture, place names, educational system, architecture and law. I know that a few miles walk in one direction would bring me to the remains of the old Dane’s Dyke. A few miles the other way and I’d be where the first translation into any of the English family of languages of one of the foundational works of European literature, Gavin Douglas’s 16th Century Scots translation of Virgil’s Aeneid, was written. [Read more…]

Externalising/Internalising: Talking About The Pain

I am very concerned that now straight society may take even less responsibility for the way heterosexism and homophobia led to this horror. As if it were only a psychological problem of people who cannot accept their own sexuality. So it can all be made ‘other’ by white cisgendered heterosexual society, the society Mateen grew up in. So much ‘other’ : ‘Well he was gay and he was Muslim and they are so anti gay aren’t they? He must have had mental health problems. Nothing to do with us. Nothing to see here, let’s move on’. [Read more…]

After Orlando: “Stay Proud, Stay Visible”

All around the world, vigils have have taken place in memory of the dead of Orlando. I attended the Oxford (UK) vigil for Orlando last night with two friends. It was beautiful. There were poetry readings, candles, flowers, speeches, and a silence. LGBTQIA people and our allies came together in a shared moment of grieving. In the face of such an appalling tragedy, it is all too easy to assume the world is full of hate. Yet every day, millions of small acts of kindness and love go unnoticed and unreported. [Read more…]


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