Instinctive Witchcraft

Many years ago, Steve Wilson gave a talk entitled Archaic Witchcraft. One of the things he said was to remember how you imagined witchcraft would be when you were a kid. What thrilled you about the idea? What did you imagine that witches did? And then he suggested creating a Witchcraft to fulfill those childhood dreams. He proposed calling it Archaic Witchcraft. I suppose it could also be called Instinctive Witchcraft.

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Notable and quotable 14

This week, some interesting attempts to reconcile the seemingly irreconcilable: science and spirituality, the Bible and feminism.

A post drawing a much-needed distinction between beauty and glamour, which are all-too-often confused with each other. And a post about the often contradictory mythology and folklore of owls. And an amazing post about how magic, prayer, and visualization can be explained with the ideas of morphic resonance.

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The folklore of the Wild Hunt

The Wild Hunt is a very widespread motif in Indo-European folklore and mythology, appearing in Indian, Greek, Czech, Polish, Slovenian, Swedish, Dutch, Danish, German, Italian, Spanish, English, and Welsh legends. The deity who leads it varies from one culture to another, and it has different names in different places, but enough shared characteristics to be fairly certain that it is the same folklore motif. It even has its own classification number, ATU E501.

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Wassailing

One of my favourite folk rituals is the practice of wassailing. This is done in apple-growing districts to wake up the apple trees and encourage them to produce plenty of fruit in the autumn. I love it so much that I planted an apple tree in my garden so I could wassail it.

Apple blossom. Photo by Maky Orel on Pixabay [Public Domain, CC0]

Apple blossom. Photo by Maky Orel on Pixabay [Public Domain, CC0]

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The Brussels sprouts controversy

Few people realise the intense, convoluted and internecine controversies that rage in the world of vegetable folklorists. These dour scholars generally gather in the darker corners of academe, preferring potting sheds and greenhouses to the more usual bars and senior common rooms frequented by their colleagues. They putter about in the basements of libraries where more mainstream scholars fear to tread, seeking out old manuscripts and botanical treatises. Some of them roam the highways and byways of obscure rural districts, seeking undiscovered nuggets of folklore and superstition. These solitary pursuits result in impassioned debate when these normally taciturn scholars meet.

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