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The Weird History of the Unicorn

By Matt Simon

[Snip] If you’re looking to figure out how an ancient myth started to get out of hand, a good place to start is with the great Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder, whose epic encyclopedia Natural History stood largely as fact for some 1,600 years. Problem was, Pliny wasn’t the most incredulous of . . . → Read More: The Weird History of the Unicorn

Your Face Is A Forest, by Rhyd Wildermuth

Reviewed by P. Sufenas Virius Lupus

Rhyd Wildermuth’s Your Face Is A Forest (Seattle: Paganarch.com, 2014) is a collection of what I can only describe as poetic prose: yes, it is (technically!) “non-fiction,” that most useless catch-all category of writings that means something is either uninteresting enough, overly factual, or sufficiently old enough to be . . . → Read More: Your Face Is A Forest, by Rhyd Wildermuth

The Third Man Factor: Surviving the Impossible

Reviewed by Peter Rogerson

Normally we try to review books as they come along, but occasionally we overlook some. This is one such which is well worth noting. The title of the book comes from T S Elliot’s The Waste Land:

Who is the third who walks always beside you? When I count, there are . . . → Read More: The Third Man Factor: Surviving the Impossible

Witchcraft and the Monkeysphere

By Sara Amis

Witches generally speaking work in small groups and have a certain anti-authoritarian, anarchistic bent. The latter is especially true of traditions like Faery which have no effective hierarchy beyond “initiate/non-initiate”* but it remains a trait of even (relatively) more hierarchical traditions. As people experiment with more “churchy” organizational structures, that tendency may . . . → Read More: Witchcraft and the Monkeysphere

A Church with a Hole in its Heart

An excerpt from One Nation Under Gods: A New American History, by Peter Manseau

In the dry red soil of Chimayo, New Mexico, there is a hole in the ground that some call holy. They intend no pun, no play on words. The hole is a serious matter; the locals who tend to it would . . . → Read More: A Church with a Hole in its Heart

Ceremonial Drinking in the Viking Age

By Charles Riseley

Summary: Drinking ceremonies played a very important social role in Viking Age Scandinavia and Anglo-Saxon England. This thesis will seek to illuminate these ceremonies by following the terms minni and bragarfull through the sources, and special note will also be taken of source age in order to ascertain how the depiction of . . . → Read More: Ceremonial Drinking in the Viking Age

A Million and One Gods: The Persistence of Polytheism

Reviewed by Anna Collar

Page duBois sets out not to defend polytheism, but to recognise the difficulty that modern scholarship has with discussing it in a sensible way, so biased is the field towards monotheism. The book rests on the premise, unstated in much Western scholarship on religion, as well as in monotheist religions and . . . → Read More: A Million and One Gods: The Persistence of Polytheism

To Stand or to Sit in Ritual

By Jason Mankey

This past weekend I was chatting with some friends about various Pagan things while waiting for my local open circle’s Imbolc ritual to start. Talk eventually turned to my coven and a local High Priest I consider a friend and mentor turned to me and said “I heard you don’t let anyone . . . → Read More: To Stand or to Sit in Ritual

Who Does your Spiritual Practice Benefit?

By Taylor Ellwood

In Awakening the Sacred Body, the author asks a hard question: “Who does your spiritual practice benefit?” That question isn’t asked often. In fact, I can count on one finger the number of times I’ve come across this question in all the books I’ve read. It makes me wonder why this question . . . → Read More: Who Does your Spiritual Practice Benefit?

Choose Your Thoughts, Choose Your Life

By Della Temple

Taming your inner critic and getting to the core of who you truly are, not whom others think you should be, is a process. It’s a process of intentionally choosing your thoughts instead of allowing your inner critic to choose for you. Much like peeling away the layers of an onion, this . . . → Read More: Choose Your Thoughts, Choose Your Life