Tag: Paganism

Everyday Witchcraft, by Deborah Blake

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Everyday Witchcraft, by Deborah BlakeEveryday Witchcraft, by Deborah BlakeEveryday Witchcraft: Making Time for Spirit in a Too-Busy World, by Deborah Blake Llewellyn Worldwide, 9780738742182, 240 pp.,  2015Deborah Blake is a witch of many hats; she's an artist who runs an art co-op, High Priestess of Blue Moon Coven since 2004, and author of six works of fiction and nine books on witchcraft. She knows her way around a busy life and in Everyday Witchcraft: Making Time for Spirit in a Too-Busy World Blake has compiled many short and sweet acts to encourage the everyday witch into taking a few minutes beyond the ordinary to tap into the world of the elements, deities, ancestors, and spirits.In this book, "witch" refers to a self-identified person, though one need not be a witch to learn from Blake's book. Though she uses the terms Pagan, witch and Wiccan interchangeably, it is clear that her approach is Wiccan. Her magical correspondences, prayer formats, and use of one goddess and one god, reflect Blake's training in Wicca. Regardless, she shows the reader of any path how to build small and meaningful cycles in their own lives in the small moments and spaces that can make a life magical. Read More

Iconic occult documentaries of the ’70s

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Still from Legend of the WItchThere's a certain something about occult documentaries made in the 1970s. Maybe it's the style -- the colours and tones are rich and vibrant and the wardrobe has a certain vintage feel that I love. Or maybe it's the content? Interviews with well-respected founders of contemporary traditions and footage of rituals conducted in spaces that I can only dream of visiting give me access to a time and place that no longer exists.The moods in these films shift back and forth from serious to slightly laughable; in one segment we get an honest and thoughtful sound bite from a well respected occult talking head, and in the next, a scene that is just a little too stereotypical; a naked woman grooving on an altar, middle aged English folk running skyclad in a circle, and lots and lots of black velvet attire. Read More

Christian Mythology, by Philippe Walter

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Christian Mythology, by Philippe WalterChristian Mythology, by Philippe WalterChristian Mythology: Revelations of Pagan Origins, by Philippe Walter Inner Traditions, 9781620553688, 213 pp., 2003, 2014We all know the story: as Christianity moved into Europe it absorbed and transformed elements from Paganism to help convert the population. Pope Gregory told Saint Augustine not to destroy Pagan temples, but to exorcise and bless them, not to ban festivals but “let some other solemnity be substituted in its place, such as a day of dedication or the festivals of the holy martyrs whose relics are enshrined [in the converted temples].” The idea was that by adopting Pagan places and festival dates it would be easier to convert people through familiarity.In Christian Mythology: Revelations of Pagan Origins, the question Philippe Walter raises is this: how much of Christian mythology and celebration is a carry-over from a pre-Christian Pagan Europe? Walter is a professor of medieval French literature, so he is very well-read in the literature and folk tales of the times, which he believes preserve the Pagan elements before they were completely lost into Christianity. Read More

Albuquerque: Magical Mountain Mabon

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The Magical Mountain Mabon festival, photo by T HunterThis is my fourth time attending the Magical Mountain Mabon festival, and I am excited to return. This is the festival that defines the Land of Enchantment for me.For 15 years the Magical Mountain Mabon festival has made its home here in the mountains east of Albuquerque. T. Hunter (my partner), our dog, and I all awaited our weekend in the woods away from the city and amongst the witches. In our packed van, I miss the turn (not for the first time either) and have to double back. I recall the familiar aspects -- friends, the pancake breakfast, the Wild Hunt in all its twilit glory, and the new, sold out campground, and, of course, Selena Fox, leading a discussion, and the improvisational music around the fire -- just before pulling up at the gate and hopping out to hail the camp.Magical Mountain Mabon is located in Cibola National Forest, Cedro Campground, and holds 250 attendants, half of which are new participants this year. The new online registration seems to have reached more people than in years past, and this creates a packed and excited atmosphere. Read More

Mabon, by Diana Rajchel

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Harvest apples, photo by Liga EgliteMabon, by Diana RajchelMabon: Ritual, Recipes & Lore for the Autumn Equinox, by Diana Rajchel Llewellyn Worldwide, 978-0-7387-4180-2, 227 pp. (incl. appendix, further reading, bibliography, and index), 2015Reading Mabon: Ritual, Recipes & Lore for the Autumn Equinox brought my attention to Lewellyn's Sabbat Essentials series highlighting the eight sabbats celebrated in many Pagan traditions. The Wheel of the Year is common throughout many Pagan communities and creating literature for each season sets a great intent to understand them more deeply. As a career author and journalist with publications in Llewellyn's annuals, The Beltane Papers, Circle Magazine, Facing North, and SageWoman, Diana Rajchel (also the former executive editor of the Pagan Newswire Collective) has the chops for this title.Mabon has six chapters bookended by two sections. Following the series introduction, Rajchel dives into the topics of old and new ways, spells and divination, recipes and crafts, prayers and invocations, and rituals of celebration. The appendix of the book includes tables of correspondences for Mabon, a list of further reading, a bibliography and index. The book as a whole provides many ways to enjoy the autumnal equinox, regardless of the path one walks. Ritual leaders, festival-planners, school-groups, and families can all use this book to deepen their understanding of the myths and practices of Mabon, while also providing some great conversation starters for discussion groups. Solitaries will enjoy the many simple and home-based crafts, spells, and divinations. Read More

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