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The Hobbit: How England Inspired Tolkien’s Middle-earth

By Rumeana Jahangir

[Snip] The Shire

In a letter to his publishers, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien wrote that The Shire – home to the “little people” better known as hobbits – was “more or less a Warwickshire village of about the period of [Queen Victoria’s] Diamond Jubilee” in 1897.

Although born in South Africa . . . → Read More: The Hobbit: How England Inspired Tolkien’s Middle-earth

The Mummy's Curse, by Roger Luckhurst

Reviewed by Peter Rogerson

When on the 5th of April 1923, Lord Carnarvon, who had financed the archaeological excavation that had unearthed the tomb of Tutankhamen the previous November, died from an infected insect bite, the rumour went around that he had been the victim of some ancient curse. The popular press added a number . . . → Read More: The Mummy’s Curse, by Roger Luckhurst

The Sarf Ruth

By Glaux

The Sarf Ruth is the Cornish term for “Fire in the Land”. It is the dragon energy in the land — also known as ley lines — that flow to and from sacred places such as wells, crossroads, graveyards, sacred trees, etc.

This “dragon energy” is drawn up from ley lines by use . . . → Read More: The Sarf Ruth

Are mermaids the new vampires?

By Abigail Prendergast

[Snip] According to USA Today, books about mermaids are being released in droves, and even Twilight author Stephanie Meyer informed them about plans to pen a novel about the aquatic beings herself last year.

Mermaids have been making a splash in popular culture since the days of myth and legend, and the . . . → Read More: Are mermaids the new vampires?

The Mystery Of The King Of Hearts And His Sword

The King of Hearts playing card has an intriguing, even mysterious image. People have long noticed the King of Hearts’ curious pose. It shows the king holding a sword behind his head. Or is he stabbing himself? Because of his pose the card has been called the suicide king.

In some playing cards the . . . → Read More: The Mystery Of The King Of Hearts And His Sword

Psychologists’ Golf Trick Shows Superstition Boosts Performance

By Helen Fields

How can you make people better at sports? Tell them they’re using equipment that previously belonged to a professional athlete. No, really. A new study finds that golfers significantly improved their putting ability when they believed the putter they were using belonged to a celebrity golfer.

The research was inspired by a . . . → Read More: Psychologists’ Golf Trick Shows Superstition Boosts Performance

Samhain Countdown: What About Ouija Boards?

By Patti Wigington

I periodically get notes in the magical email bag asking whether a Ouija board is “evil”, especially around Samhain — which is just two weeks away for our readers in the Northern Hemisphere. Here’s the thing. A Ouija board by itself isn’t evil, any more than your Tarot deck or your Ogham . . . → Read More: Samhain Countdown: What About Ouija Boards?

Playing Card Symbolism Revealed

The Secret Identity of the King of Diamonds

Playing cards are used for games and gambling, where one interacts directly with chance (or fate). Gambling with cards can be either a blessing or ruin lives. They are used for amazing magic tricks, pretending supernatural powers. In cartomancy they are sparks for the intuition and . . . → Read More: Playing Card Symbolism Revealed

Fall TV season: Are witches the new vampires?

By Melissa Maerz

Guys with fangs are so last year. This fall, witches are taking over.

You’ll find them on HBO’s “True Blood,” where Sookie will face down a coven this season. They’ll be casting spells on their fellow high school students in the CW’s “The Secret Circle,” a drama from “The Vampire Diaries” creator . . . → Read More: Fall TV season: Are witches the new vampires?

One in five American divorces now involve Facebook

By David Gardner

It used to be the tell-tale lipstick on the collar. Then there were the give-away texts that spelled the death knell for many marriages.

But now one in five divorces involve the social networking site Facebook, according to a new survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

A staggering 80 per . . . → Read More: One in five American divorces now involve Facebook