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The Journal as a Journey into Mystery

By Alison Leigh Lilly

There are as many ways to keep a nature journal as there are people who keep them. Some fill their journals with sketches, watercolors and diagrams of the plants and animals they find in the natural world, while others take notes, jotting down lines of descriptive prose or inspired verse to . . . → Read More: The Journal as a Journey into Mystery

When Persecution Isn’t, and What To Do About It

By P. Sufenas Virius Lupus

If one is familiar with my column here at Patheos Pagan Channel, one knows that I’ve written about the Christian persecution complex previously. For those who aren’t interested in reading that earlier post, and who don’t know what I mean by that phrase, it boils down to Christians crying “persecution” . . . → Read More: When Persecution Isn’t, and What To Do About It

The Hidden Factor of Magick

By Donald Michael Kraig

“Will this ritual or spell really work?”

There are really only two possible answer to this question: “No” or “I don’t know.”

There are some rituals and spells that have no rhyme or reason to them. They don’t work. Or at best you get something out of them in spite of . . . → Read More: The Hidden Factor of Magick

Why Do So Many People Connect Halloween and Samhain?

The Connection between Religion, Culture, Folklore and More

By Catherine Beyer

Today, Halloween is a secular holiday marked with games, costumes, parties and candy. However, it roughly coincides with several other holidays, although their relationship with one another is complex. While Halloween is most strongly connected with the Catholic All Hallows Eve, from which Halloween . . . → Read More: Why Do So Many People Connect Halloween and Samhain?

Where the Hawthorn Grows – An American Druid’s Reflections

Reviewed by Celtic Scholar

[Snip] I think up front I should mention that I am friends with the author as such I don’t know how objective I was of her material but I certainly tried. The first thing that caught my eye in the Introduction of the book was that the author tells us up . . . → Read More: Where the Hawthorn Grows – An American Druid’s Reflections

Do Pagans Proselytize?

By Jason Mankey

Each entry in my Gateways to Paganism series generally begins with the line “Pagans don’t proselytize.” The most recent entry in that series drew the comment “‘Pagans don’t proselytize’..right, they just market.” That comment got me to thinking about Pagans, proselytizing, and marketing. Merriam-Webster defines the word proselytize as:

1. to . . . → Read More: Do Pagans Proselytize?

Contemporary Esotericism, by Egil Asprem and Kennet Granholm

Reviewed by Wouter Hanegraaff

Recently I have been making the argument. . .that the academic study of Western esotericism was upgraded around 1992 from its somewhat primitive starting phase (“Western esotericism 1.0”) to a much more professional program (“Western esotericism 2.0”), and that after twenty years it’s now time for a serious new . . . → Read More: Contemporary Esotericism, by Egil Asprem and Kennet Granholm

Ancient Irish Myths Surrounding Halloween

By Michelle K. Smith

Although many mythological creatures roamed across ancient Ireland during the year, the changing of the season was an important time of the year and the significance is reflected in several ancient myths and folklore. Samhain served as a date for climatic action in Irish stories.

Celtic Celebrations

The Celts believed the . . . → Read More: Ancient Irish Myths Surrounding Halloween

Ten Things to Stop Doing if You’re Pagan

By Patti Wigington

Most people who are Pagans didn’t start out that way – and sometimes, it’s easy to fall into the trap of negative habits. Here are ten bad habits you may be engaging in, and why you should drop them if you want to have a positive experience with Pagan spirituality.

Stop Trying . . . → Read More: Ten Things to Stop Doing if You’re Pagan

Context is Everything

By Yvonne Aburrow

Viewed outside the context of their meaning and purpose, rituals can often look silly. When I first saw a CUUPs ritual online, I thought, why are they lighting a candle in a chalice? This was because I was viewing the ritual through a Wiccan lens, and in Wicca, a chalice represents water, . . . → Read More: Context is Everything