Changing Paths

Are you entering Paganism, leaving Paganism, or changing traditions within it? How do you explain your new path to friends, family, former co-religionists, and yourself? How do you extricate yourself from your previous tradition and its associated ideas? How do you unpack your complex feelings about your path, and why you are changing direction?

If you have ever changed paths or considered changing paths, this book is for you. It is a guide for people who have entered Paganism from another tradition, people leaving Paganism for another tradition or none, and people changing from one tradition to another within Paganism.

Find out more at the Changing Paths resources website, where I have created a list of further reading, where to get help, and a Spotify playlist to accompany the book.

Gardnerians speak!

Recently some transphobic people claimed that they are more traditional than Gardnerians who are welcoming and inclusive. Several people have written or spoken to refute their transphobic nonsense and their claims to be more traditional, including me, Mortellus, Jack Chanek, Jason Mankey, Ash the Gardnerian Librarian, and Dylan. I’m going to try to collect all the YouTube videos, Instagram videos and posts, blogposts, and tweets here — so please add a link to yours in the comments if I missed you out.

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Including trans people

One of the ways that the right and the centre tries to shut down discussion and debate is by dismissing it as “identity politics” and “the bickering of the left”. But what they fail to say is that there wouldn’t be “identity politics” if they were not constantly trying to remove the rights of marginalized people such as trans people and sex workers.

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Review of Chaos Monk by Steve Dee

Steve Dee (2022), Chaos Monk: Bringing Magical Creativity to the New Monastic Path.
Norwich: The Universe Machine.

An exhilarating journey through chaos monasticism, a mystical practice informed by chaos magic. Accessible, clearly written, and witty, yet informed by a deep knowledge of the history of spiritual movements in both East and West, decades of magical practice, psychotherapy and art, this is a book for anyone with mystical leanings who wants to put them into practice.

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The Duty of the Witch

A great post from The Less Hidden Path about what it means to be a witch and why it means we should help people get access to reproductive health care.

“Witch”. A loaded term that people have died just through having been suggested to have been associated with. A word with immense cultural baggage …

The Duty Of The Witch

And another great post from the same blog about why witches and Pagans should definitely get involved in politics.

The time to dispense with the modern conceit that “politics and magic don’t mix” is many years overdue. It has never been true, but it gets more harmful the longer we leave it.

Politics and witchcraft

And a great post from a polytheist perspective exploring the Ancient Greek view on when the soul enters the body.

What about *my* religious beliefs? — and a passage from Iamblichus

Personally, I do not believe that the soul can enter the body until birth — which, in my belief system, requires the fetus to be viable without the use of the modern contraptions that keep the extreme premature alive until they are physically self-viable. It has life, yes, but not personhood. A woman who wants an abortion should be able to have one.

Kalliste

The Gods know their own (and are not transphobic)

Guest post from a Gardnerian Wiccan

If a person I have known and loved before were trans (or intersex or non-binary or something else) I would honour that.

I would initiate them with a Priest or Priestess or all of us together or whatever the fuck worked to generate the dynamic interplay of energy needed.

I would invoke upon them the Goddess or the God and trust that the Gods know their own and would come.

I would kiss them as a sibling and hold them and call them by Priest, Priestess or Priestex or whatever term meant servant of the Gods to them and us.

I would teach them the beautiful and awe inspiring mysteries of the Gods and not shy away from the heterosexual generative story, but I would also explore the mysteries through other stories too and encourage them to write and share their own.

I would introduce them to the wider Gardnerian community and help them make friends and connections there.

I would work to heal them when they needed healing and receive healing from them also when I needed it.

I would work to confront my own discomfort and reconcile it, not seek to remove its source in fear.

I would work to understand where I may have done wrong and try to do better.


The person who wrote this chose to remain anonymous because of the way that transphobes tend to target inclusive people. I have shared it here with their permission.

Coven structure & roles

I recently listened to an interesting podcast from Circle Talk: Four Witches on Coven Hierarchy. I was pleased to note that most of the speakers on the podcast were advocating for a pretty flat hierarchy. I have written a fair amount about the roles and expectations of the different degrees in Wicca (in All acts of love and pleasure: inclusive Wicca) and quite a lot about coven leadership and the concept of “elders” (in The Night Journey: Witchcraft as Transformation). I regard the Wiccan degree system as being like the apprenticeship system in medieval guilds (apprenticeship, journeyman, master). There was very little in the podcast that I disagreed with, except the one guy who makes his first degree coveners clean the coven brassware. I’m with the woman who said she is happy when people volunteer to help, but she doesn’t make them do tasks.

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