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Ragnarök: the doom of the Gods

By A.S. Byatt

Myth comes from muthos in Greek, something said, as opposed to something done. We think of myths as stories, although, as Heather O’Donoghue says in her book From Asgard to Valhalla, there are myths that are not essentially narratives at all. We think of them loosely as tales that explain, or embody, . . . → Read More: Ragnarök: the doom of the Gods

The Witches’ Stang

By Glaux

The stang is the central tool and main altar of our tradition. A stang, in its most basic form is simply a forked stick set with its long end into the ground. It acts as an axis on which magic can turn, and as a pole that can be “ridden” by the shaman . . . → Read More: The Witches’ Stang

One God. Pagan Monotheism in the Roman Empire, by Stephen Mitchell and Peter Van

Reviewed by Michele Renee Salzman

This is one of two volumes edited by these same scholars after a 2006 conference at Exeter on ‘Pagan Monotheism in the Roman Empire (1st-4th century A.D.)’.1 This conference aimed to clarify the differences between pagans and Christians in matters of monotheism.

The title of this volume, One God, . . . → Read More: One God. Pagan Monotheism in the Roman Empire, by Stephen Mitchell and Peter Van

Beards as Badges of Piety and Religious Belonging

By Mark Oppenheimer

Go ahead, picture a religious Jew.

Now picture a Muslim cleric.

Now an Amish farmer.

What do they have in common? Beards. And not neatly trimmed beards, but, in the popular stereotype, long, unruly beards, which connote piety, spiritual intensity and a life so hard at study that there . . . → Read More: Beards as Badges of Piety and Religious Belonging

Tarot Trumps as Mediaeval Teaching Emblems

By Frater Barrabbas

I have previously discussed how other alphabetic systems, which have more than 22 letters, could be accommodated by an expanded Tree of Life glyph and a Tarot deck with more than 22 Trumps. How one might go about adding additional trumps to the Tarot would be a fairly difficult operation if weren’t . . . → Read More: Tarot Trumps as Mediaeval Teaching Emblems

How To Host a Drum Circle

By Patti Wigington

Drum circles are a lot of fun, and if you’ve ever attended a public Pagan or Wiccan event, chances are good that somewhere, someone is drumming. You may not be able to see them, but you’ll feel that pulsing rhythm off in the distance. In addition to being entertaining (and a great . . . → Read More: How To Host a Drum Circle

I don’t understand monotheism

There’s just something about monotheism I never understood.

A friend recently linked me to an essay, that comes around to the old tired polytheism/monotheism comparison to organisms, and suggesting that not all birds with wide bills and webbed feet are ducks — some are swans, and some are geese, and so just because an entity . . . → Read More: I don’t understand monotheism

The Nine Noble Virtues of Asatru – Honour

By Karl Andresson

I have already elaborated on honour when discussing courage, personally it is one of the most important of the NNV to me and I will touch on it in most of my posts. Honour is definitely one of the NNV that is the most open to interpretation. Most will say that . . . → Read More: The Nine Noble Virtues of Asatru – Honour

The Practical Pagan, by Dana D. Eilers

Reviewed by Patti Wigington

The Bottom Line

The Practical Pagan is a book that I wish had been available twenty years ago, when I was full of enthusiasm but short on common sense. Full of useful tips on how to function as a productive human being while embracing your new-found spirituality, this book is written . . . → Read More: The Practical Pagan, by Dana D. Eilers

Tracking the Chupacabra: The Vampire Beast in Fact, Fiction and Folklore

Reviewed by Peter Rogerson

Benjamin Radford here explores the story of the mysterious blood-sucking Chupacabra from all angles. He first looks at the global history of vampiric beasts in the human imagination, showing these are almost universal, and existed long before the term Vampire became popular. Of particular interest is his treatment of how this . . . → Read More: Tracking the Chupacabra: The Vampire Beast in Fact, Fiction and Folklore