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A Celtic View of Samhain

By Morgan

One of the most widely known pagan holidays is Samhain, a day that is celebrated by Wiccans, Pagans, and Druids alike. The modern Samhain has its roots in the ancient Celtic fire festival from which it gets its name, pronounced SOW-en, believed by some to mean “summer’s end”. Samhain is the Irish Gaelic . . . → Read More: A Celtic View of Samhain

Witches on the Road Tonight, by Sheri Holman

Reviewed by Zan

Sheri Holman, author of the fantastically titled Witches on the Road Tonight (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2011), is a very stream-of-consciousness writer, meaning that she intends her readers to get inside the minds of her characters by sharing not only their flash-fleet impressions of events happening suddenly and quickly- she also explores the . . . → Read More: Witches on the Road Tonight, by Sheri Holman

Stone Circles

By Patti Wigington

Prehistoric Structures:

All around Europe, and in other parts of the world, stone circles can be found. While the most famous of all is certainly Stonehenge, thousands of stone circles exist around the globe. From a small cluster of four or five standing stones, to a full ring of megaliths, the image . . . → Read More: Stone Circles

Exposed, Uncovered, and Declassified: Ghosts, Spirits, and Hauntings, by Michael Pye and Kirsten Dalley (editors)

Reviewed by John Harney

This is a collection of ten essays, most of which could benefit from concentrating more on the details of strange experiences and how they are investigated and less on indulging in verbose and often incoherent speculation

Andrew Nichols, on haunted houses, notes that there are three major theories to account for . . . → Read More: Exposed, Uncovered, and Declassified: Ghosts, Spirits, and Hauntings, by Michael Pye and Kirsten Dalley (editors)

Samhain Countdown: The Dumb Supper – A Feast With the Dead

By Patti Wigignton

Speaking to the Dead:

Although traditionally a seance is a good way to communicate with those who have crossed into the spirit world, it’s also perfectly fine to talk to them at other times. You may find yourself walking into a room and suddenly reminded of someone you’ve lost, or catching a . . . → Read More: Samhain Countdown: The Dumb Supper – A Feast With the Dead

Scottish Herbs and Fairy Lore, by Ellen Evert Hopman

Reviewed by Rebecca

[Snip] Right now I sit at my keyboard overwhelmed by the breadth of information “Scottish Herbs and Fairy Lore” imparted. Where on earth to begin? I guess we should start at the beginning. To help give readers a sense of context Hopman starts with what she calls “A Thumbnail Ancient History”. In . . . → Read More: Scottish Herbs and Fairy Lore, by Ellen Evert Hopman

Religion Is Meant To Be Disturbing

By Star Foster

I think we sometimes have this idea that religion’s sole purpose is to comfort us. In The Invention of Lying, Ricky Gervais certainly does believe this to be the case. Religion is expected to be spiritual comfort food, the way to get our spiritual jollies and if it doesn’t do this, then . . . → Read More: Religion Is Meant To Be Disturbing

Witch’s Ball--Beautiful Protection

By Lady Lilyth Amicia Moonshadow

When you hear the name Witch’s Ball, the first thing that most people think of are the beautiful blown glass creations such as the ones pictured in this post. A witch’s ball can be one of these beautiful blown glass creations with colors as vibrant as those found in the . . . → Read More: Witch’s Ball–Beautiful Protection

Piecing Together the Priceless ‘Cairo Genizah’

A well-known collection of historical texts, the Cairo Genizah is one of the most valuable sources of primary documents for medieval historians and religious scholars. The 350,000 fragments found in the Genizah include not only religious texts, but also social and commercial documents, dating from the 9th to 19th century. But the collection is scattered . . . → Read More: Piecing Together the Priceless ‘Cairo Genizah’

A non-definition of “shaman”

By Max Dashú

It’s difficult to define “shaman,” because it is culturally variable in so many ways, but we need a basic general description. I see “shaman” as belonging to a continuum of many names and roles: medicine woman, oracle, prophetess, diviner, dreamer; priestess, raindancer, communicant with ancestors, deities, Nature spirits; trance-dancer, shapeshifter, spirit-rider, cosmonaut. . . . → Read More: A non-definition of “shaman”