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

Celtic festival names

Some time back I posted a video about cultural appropriation and Lora O’Brien pointed out that the modern Wiccan and Pagan usage of Sabbat names is appropriated from Irish culture and language.

Gerald Gardner and other early Wiccans did not use the Irish names for these festivals — that happened later. Wicca is not a Celtic religion.

It does seem wrong to lift these festivals out of context. There are other old names for these festivals in England and Wales (the Scots Gaelic has similar names to the Irish Gaelic, but pronounced differently).

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The Wiccan Rede

The concept of the Wiccan Rede is frequently and widely misunderstood and misquoted. The full version is “An it harm none, do what thou wilt”. (If it harms no one, do what you want / do your True Will.) I have written about this before but haven’t devoted an entire blogpost to it.

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Everything you think you know about Wicca is wrong

This blogpost was inspired by this conversation on Twitter:

The snark quotient of this post may be dangerously high — you’re strongly advised to put your snark goggles on, because I have a snark hammer and I am not afraid to use it.

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Blogging and privacy

People are often confused that I’m a blogger but I really value privacy. They seem to think that having any sort of internet presence is incompatible with privacy. In this post, I will attempt to explain why that is not the case, why privacy matters to me, why it should matter to you, and what that has to do with Pagan stuff.

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The Tower and the Virus

My first guest column at The Wild Hunt.

I have been anxious for months, years even. I have watched with growing horror the rise of right-wing populism, the melting of the icecaps, the burning of Australia, the beginnings of wars over water and resources, the seemingly inexorable destruction wrought by climate change. The protests of Fridays for Future and Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion gave me some cause for optimism, but it is also obvious that governments have not been doing enough to turn the economy around to stop the production of carbon emissions. So when everyone suddenly swung into action to deal with the coronavirus crisis, it gave me some hope that perhaps now the needful actions to deal with climate change (many of which, it turns out, are quite similar to the actions needed to flatten the curve of coronavirus transmission) would seem doable. It also feels like now everyone else is as anxious as me.

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If you enjoyed this post, you might like my new book, Dark Mirror: the Inner Work of Witchcraft.

Dark Mirror: the Inner Work of Witchcraft

What we have in common

I dreamed that I was in an Anglican or Episcopalian Church in North America and had been invited by the vicar to introduce a hymn. She handed me the order of service which already had a hymn picked out, and it had been annotated to change “him” to “her”, so I introduced it and encouraged people to sing “her” where appropriate if they wanted to. One of the congregation said they didn’t really know the tune for that hymn. So then I suggested we sang Morning has broken and changed “him” to “her” in the second verse, and “God’s” to “Her” in the third verse. Then I woke up.

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Notable and quotable: coronavirus (1)

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