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Gardening by the moon

By Lila Das Gupta

Have you ever thought about gardening by the phases of the moon? I’ve been meaning to try moon gardening for some time, and now – thanks to the encouragement and guidance of a friend on the plot – I think I’ve mastered the rudimentary principles, which I’ll pass on to you . . . → Read More: Gardening by the moon

War and Shadows: The Haunting of Vietnam, by Mai La Gustafsson

Reviewed by Peter Rogerson

This is a book about being haunted by off-campus history, the history which is felt in the blood and bones, and imbibed at the elders feet. The ghosts that haunt Vietnam are not the pale spectres from the sanitised heritage industry reflecting a story book past, nor do they haunt places, . . . → Read More: War and Shadows: The Haunting of Vietnam, by Mai La Gustafsson

The Honey Prescription, By Nathaniel Altman

Reviewed by Rebecca Elson

You know what I really dislike? “Cure All” books. You know what I’m talking about, books that are all like: ‘this one thing that your doctor wouldn’t suggest to you is able to cure just about any ailment you may or may not have.’ These books prey on people’s desperation and . . . → Read More: The Honey Prescription, By Nathaniel Altman

Play with Your Cards

By Barbara Moore

Most people have heard that tarot decks were originally used to play a trick-taking card game called tarrochi. While the game is still played, particularly in Europe, tarot cards are more often used for other purposes, primarily doing readings. Some readers and some people who have readings approach the experience with a . . . → Read More: Play with Your Cards

Magpie folklore and superstition

By Amalasuntha

One for sorrow

Two for joy

Three for a girl

Four for a boy

Five for young

Six for old

Seven for a secret never to be told

The magpie rhyme has several variations, which version did you learn? I can remember learning this one at school in rural Yorkshire, . . . → Read More: Magpie folklore and superstition

Movie Review: Ondine

Reviewed by Zan

The fisherman is carrying his small daughter in his arms, and asks her, “Did anything strange and wonderful happen today?” It is an ironic statement, because at that very moment- as they are living in Neil Jordan’s recently released film Ondine-their lives (that of the fisherman and his daughter) are undergoing a . . . → Read More: Movie Review: Ondine

Women and Magic in the Sagas: Seiðr and Spá

By Gunnvör

The Norse practitioners of the various arts of magic were highly respected professionals whose services were valued by their communities (Jochens, Old Norse Magic and Gender, 307; Ellis-Davidson, 37). In the Norse literature, men as well as women appear wielding the arts of magic, however, it is explicitly stated in several places that . . . → Read More: Women and Magic in the Sagas: Seiðr and Spá

The magic of Knots

By Amalasuntha

Knot magic, or the magic or invocation which is accompanied by the tying or undoing of a knot is known from many cultures and religions. In basic terms, the tying of a knot captures, binds or retains something, the undoing of it releases. A particular intention or desire is captured as the . . . → Read More: The magic of Knots

The Meaning of Sacrifice

By Ryan Smith

Sacrifice often conjures up images of loss and bloodshed in the popular imagination. Just think of the images of priests in arcane garb with a young, innocent virgin tied down on an ancient altar about to have her heart ripped out in a ritual to appease a greater power. This is a . . . → Read More: The Meaning of Sacrifice

From first person to the second sight

By Elizabeth McQuillan

Pristine white sheets, pegged out on the washing line and flapping in the breeze, is the dream my mother has always had prior to the death of someone close to her. A vision of a happy smiling elderly lady, wearing a very distinctive brooch, beamed down at me once when I was . . . → Read More: From first person to the second sight