Shades of Racism

"Nekima Levy-Pounds at Black Lives Matter march, April 2015" by Fibonacci Blue. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nekima_Levy-Pounds_at_Black_Lives_Matter_march,_April_2015.jpg#/media/File:Nekima_Levy-Pounds_at_Black_Lives_Matter_march,_April_2015.jpg

Could it be time to introduce some qualifying adjectives to indicate what level of racism we are actually talking about when we call someone out for racism? [Read more...]

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Magic Words: The Extraordinary Life of Alan Moore (Review)

Magic Words: The Extraordinary Life of Alan Moore

Alan Moore has profoundly influenced the direction of both mainstream and literary comics… plus, he’s a magician and a worshipper of the snake god Glycon. A review of the recent Moore biography MAGIC WORDS by Lance Parkin. [Read more...]

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Paganism for Beginners: Levels of Symbolism

The hearth fire: a universal symbol of warmth.

According to CG Jung, there are three levels of symbolism: personal, cultural, and universal. Personal symbolic associations are not “wrong” or “incorrect” – but they don’t necessarily have any meaning for anyone else, unless they happen to share those associations. Poets and novelists often make use of personal symbolism to create new and interesting metaphors and imagery in their poems and stories. [Read more...]

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Paganism for Beginners: Group Dynamics

Hierarchy in the gull world Two gulls at Ingelwidden, Cadgwith. No prizes for guessing which one is boss!

The subject of group dynamics is complex, but one way of observing group dynamics is to ask the simple question, “Where does the power go in the group?” In other words, who is wielding the power? In many groups, there is an elected or appointed leader. In most churches, the minister is officially the leader [Read More...]

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Teaching and Learning in a Coven

"Ponte Vasco da Gama 25" by F Mira from Lisbon, Portugal - Merging in the mistUploaded by JotaCartas. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ponte_Vasco_da_Gama_25.jpg#/media/File:Ponte_Vasco_da_Gama_25.jpg

Learning is a collaborative process between the teacher and the learner. It is not the case that the learner is an empty bucket that the teacher fills up with facts; rather, the teacher and the learner discover and elaborate the existing skills of the learner . This is especially true of magical and ritual skills, which are often extensions of existing abilities. [Read more...]

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Madness, Shamanism, and Wicca

"FujiSunriseKawaguchiko2025WP". Licensed under Public Domain via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FujiSunriseKawaguchiko2025WP.jpg#/media/File:FujiSunriseKawaguchiko2025WP.jpg

The history of madness is long, convoluted, and fascinating. Different theories and treatments have come and gone, depending on the mood of the age. I think it is worth remembering that in many cultures, such episodes are not seen as mental illness, but a blessing from the gods. Many shamans have had similar experiences to what western medicine dismisses as mental illness. [Read more...]

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Why Dowsing for Divinity?

Water Reflections, by Ana Montreal on Flickr. [CC-BY-SA 2.0]

We decided that the title Sermons from the Mound no longer quite fitted the type of posts we are actually writing. Technically, a sermon is a reflection on a text, and an exposition of its meaning. That’s not what we are actually doing with our writing.

So we had a very enjoyable brainstorming session via email, with a total of fifty-five different suggestions for names for the blog. But we kept coming back to dowsing imagery, with its connotations of looking for hidden currents, connections with the unseen, hidden waters, and hidden patterns. [Read more...]

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