November 9, 2011

For about a thousand years the witch has been drawn as an ugly, old woman, in league with the devil, living on the outskirts of a village, waiting to take advantage of the virtuous and/or small children. She flies on her broomstick and gathers with others under the full moon to do terrible rituals. Later, she acquired an outfit of black and a pointy hat. The Halloween stereotypes we associate with witches are not new; they are deeply embedded in… Read more

November 3, 2011

(Part three of three) The Samhain season is at last over for me. Four straight days! The kids’ party, a ritual, our family dumb supper, and singing for All Souls’ Day at the local Anglican church. While the first and second activities tapped into the spirit of mischief and frolic of the season, and activities two and three capitalized on the ‘thinness of the veils between the worlds’, only items three and four were explicitly about the Ancestors and Mighty… Read more

November 1, 2011

(Part two of three) Imagine a damp, grey evening, the last of twilight taking leave of the sky. You walk through a few wet, quiet streets, finally stepping off the pavement into a muddy track. Your feet squelch in the mud. If you hadn’t come this way once or twice in the daylight you might never know where the opening to the trail begins. You dip into the opening, a hollow between some branches. The branches slide over your face… Read more

October 31, 2011

(Part one of three) I love Halloween. I love the tip into the dark half of the year. I’m not very invested in all the trappings that come with mainstream Halloween stuff. I’m not super crafty, so the costume part isn’t that exciting for me. I try to avoid sugar as much as possible, so we go really easy on the candy. I don’t like a lot of cheap, plastic crap, so that narrows down the amount of stuff which… Read more

October 26, 2011

There is a part of me that wishes I was still practicing Hinduism so that I could be celebrating Diwali right now. What a joyful, beautiful holiday. I suppose I could still observe it, but my head is fully ensconced in the upcoming Samhain/Halloween. A blessed Diwali to my Hindu friends! May Lakshmi bless us all with her abundant blessings of wealth, beauty, and good fortune. Read more

October 24, 2011

Most witches and pagans are polytheists – or agnostic to greater or lesser extents. I’ve yet to meet anyone who calls hirself a pagan that is monotheistic, at least not in the way that anyone of the Abrahamic faiths would recognize. Plenty of people I know have patron deities or are henotheistic (honoring one god to the exclusion of the rest, yet acknowledging that other gods do exist). For a while I thought I tipped into the polytheistic non-dual (a… Read more

October 23, 2011

It is with regret that this review is so short, but there is not much to say about this book. Mr Howard is well-respected in British folklore, magical and pagan publishing circles. I admit I was expecting more from this book. It’s mostly just a compilation of other sources. I learned a fair amount, mostly putting my existing knowledge of the history of witchcraft into a Welsh context. The book was enjoyable on one level for me, because many of… Read more

October 20, 2011

I have had a love of tarot for well over a decade. In college I was fascinated by the mere idea, though no one I knew read it or knew anything about it. When I went off to grad school in Berkeley in my late 20s I finally bought myself a deck and started the slow process of learning about this intricate and beautiful art. Eight years on I’m still learning. I feel like I’m maybe, just maybe, no longer… Read more

October 17, 2011

I feel the shift to the dark half of the year. It’s still fully autumn here in west Wales, but the wind has been getting just a tad more chill and bite, the days grow shorter, rain is intermittent, flowers and mushrooms are rotting – winter is coming. I rather like the dark, though it can make the days feel a bit more rushed. There’s so much to fit into the days before I hunker down in the evenings with… Read more

October 13, 2011

Pagans get a bad rap in the media. Nonconformists and anti-establishment, the lot of them. Witches are next down the list of potentially scary people, what with their non-Christian and generally pro-feminist attitudes. Within this subculture it seems Feri/Faery folk get more bad rap.* I’ve heard them described as amoral, anarchist, elitist, exclusionary, black magicians who practice a sex cult. Honestly? Those descriptions are mostly true and mostly cultivated by Feri/Faery folk themselves! I’m not going to elaborate on any… Read more

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