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The Origins of the Arthurian Legend

By Geoffrey Ashe

[Snip] To the question ‘Did Arthur exist?’ a straight yes-or-no answer cannot be given. More is involved here than historical doubt. With, say, Robin Hood, the straight answer is likewise excluded, but solely by insufficiency of data. A new find might some day make it possible. With Arthur the difficulty cuts deeper. . . . → Read More: The Origins of the Arthurian Legend

Casting Sacred Space: The Core of All Magickal Work

Reviewed by Gesigewigu’s

Everyone in the occult community knows the usual complaint: there are too many 101 books, too many books for beginners. What could be more 101 than an entire book on creating sacred space? Despite the deceptively simple title and seemingly simple topic this book is not 101.

The subtitle of the book . . . → Read More: Casting Sacred Space: The Core of All Magickal Work

A World Polarized by Light and Darkness

By Frater Barrabbas Tiresius

As a magician I am often asked if we actually live in a world that is morally and spiritually dangerous. Certainly, the world at large can be a physically dangerous place and there is no lack of tragedy and calamity in the world. If you happen to have the misfortune . . . → Read More: A World Polarized by Light and Darkness

Decayed Gods, by Wouter W. Belier

Reviewed by Celtic Scholar

Synopsis: In 1930 Dumezil wrote an article in which he defended the Indo-European character of the Indian “varnas,” In 1986 he was completing his final 25 “Esquisses,” research proposals the aim of which was to allow his model of the ‘ideologie tripartie’ of Indo-European traditions to be applied to his ‘disciples’. . . . → Read More: Decayed Gods, by Wouter W. Belier

Defining Magic: A Reader (Part 1 of 3)

Reviewed by Egil Asprem

[Snip]

‘Magic, n. An art of converting superstition into coin. There are other arts serving the same high purpose, but the discreet lexicographer does not name them.’ (Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary).

Ambrose Bierce’s satirical quip on magic did not make it through editorial selection for this anthology of perspectives . . . → Read More: Defining Magic: A Reader (Part 1 of 3)

On Godspousery

By Elizabeth

I’m finally ready to say my piece on godspousery. This isn’t a rant, by the way, though it may come across as one to some people. I mean all of this sincerely. Railing at people or bemoaning the state of the world never changes anything, and I have decided that I want to . . . → Read More: On Godspousery

How the Occult Brought Cremation to America

By Mitch Horowitz

Cremation has become so popular in America that if current trends continue it will be the funerary choice of half of Americans within four years. Time Magazine reported this surprising fact in a recent cover story on the rise of cremation — yet the otherwise probing story omitted, as do many studies . . . → Read More: How the Occult Brought Cremation to America

Philosophy and Institutions

By John Beckett

[Snip] There is a strong anti-institutional element in modern Paganism. Because so many of us have had bad experiences with institutions, we’re leery of letting them into our religions, much less willing to financially contribute to building and supporting them. Institutions are seen as promoting orthodoxy and causing stagnation, or worse, creating . . . → Read More: Philosophy and Institutions

Do You Think That's A Bad Sign?

Birds and Omens in the Roman Empire

By Sarah E Bond

[Snip] On the day of April 21, 753 BCE, Rome was born. It was on that day that Romulus undertook the auspices–a bird watching–alongside his brother Remus. While Remus saw 6 vultures, Romulus saw 12. As Plutarch notes, Romans tended to have a strong . . . → Read More: Do You Think That’s A Bad Sign?

Witches: A Tale of Sorcery, Scandal and Seduction

Reviewed by Diane Purkiss

In the cold spring of 1618, young accused witch Philippa Flower confessed to having “a Spirit sucking on her in the form of a white Rat”, who promised to make Thomas Simpson fall in love with her “if she would suffice it to suck her”. This frankly weird-seeming announcement was enough . . . → Read More: Witches: A Tale of Sorcery, Scandal and Seduction