Embodiment and Woundedness: Owning Up to Being an Animal

credit: Yinan Chen via Wikimedia Commons

When I stepped into the waters of Lake Superior, I recognized the sensation exactly: I’ve swum here before. [Read more...]

“That Which You Hate and Try to Destroy is Sacred”

Hiphopheartland 2013

I want every woman to insist on herself—and to be free and able to do so— whoever she is, intensely and immediately and forever and get to the work she must do in the world, without fear. [Read more...]

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...]

Lupercalia

Wolf (photo by Jan Nijendijk)

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...]

Building Pagan Intellectual Culture Face to Face

witch-tea-time

It is vitally important, if we want to build Pagan intellectual culture, that we know one another in a way more profound than mere words on a screen. During the month of February, consider speaking with a fellow writer or commenter face to face. [Read more...]

Individuation in Pagan traditions

Yin and yang tree

The aims of Pagan traditions with regard to the self, soul, spirit, consciousness and its relationship with the Universe are different from that of other religions.
[Read more...]

The argument from desire

medieval woodcut

The “argument from desire” is that we all have a “God-shaped hole” in consciousness, which can only be filled by the divine. Can this concept have any meaning in a Pagan context? What is it that Pagans desire? For one thing, most Pagans believe that the divine (whether it is perceived as a single underlying energy, or as many deities) is immanent in the world, and therefore available to our experience in the here and now. [Read more...]


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