My Mum always used to make this and it is incredibly moreish. I’ve got some in the oven right now. Yum yum.Continue reading
Ever had that feeling where you are staring at a blank sheet of paper and wondering what to write for your ritual?
Here are some writing prompts.Continue reading
I’ve always disagreed with the view that we don’t need Pagan and occult books.Continue reading
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).Continue reading
I’m still reading Gerald Gardner’s The Meaning of Witchcraft and it’s taking ages (it’s my bedtime reading and I am only getting a few pages read at a time. I very much enjoyed Ithell Colquhoun: Genius of the Fern-loved Gully by Amy Hale.Continue reading
A step by step guide to creating a ritual.Continue reading
I am currently rereading The Meaning of Witchcraft by Gerald Gardner. I know I read his book Witchcraft Today about 30 years ago, and I am pretty sure that I read The Meaning of Witchcraft around that time too. His theory of the survival of witchcraft must have seemed pretty convincing to his earliest readers; and provided we do not assume that what survived was a full-blown Pagan religion, or an organized cult, then a lot of his ideas still hold water: namely, the impulses behind the earliest forms of religion and and magic, and how and why people might resort to magical practices even when they were officially frowned upon and then persecuted.
Whilst reading it, I came upon a passage that I found intriguing; it was a reference to a discussion of witchcraft and black magic in Parliament, together with the date and who said what. Here it is (page 13):
As you might imagine, I was curious to find out what was the context of the discussion which gave rise to this attempt to define “black magic”. So I looked it up in Hansard, the official record of the British Parliament, to find out. The interesting thing is that Hansard records other MPs’ interruptions, but it does not record the laughter and ironical cheers; so I would imagine that it was recounted in a newspaper of the day and Gardner must have kept a press cutting. The relevant section is about halfway down the linked-to page, under the heading “House, Brixton (Police Visit)”.Continue reading
I was not passed the Ardanes, so I have never recognized them as part of my Craft. However, they are of historical interest. Not because I believe them to have been written (or at least compiled) any earlier than the 20th century, but because of the light they shed upon the ideas of early Wiccans as to how the Craft could be organized.
It is fairly widely believed that Gardner wrote them, or at least compiled them from a collection of earlier ideas which he presumably picked up from the New Forest Coven, in 1957. Doreen Valiente and other members of the coven had produced a set of Craft laws in an attempt to curb Gerald Gardner’s enthusiasm for publicity, in particular his interviews with some of the more sensationalist newspapers. In response, Gerald produced the Ardanes.
Doreen Valiente et al’s Proposed Rules for the Craft (see Appendix below) are very sensible and apart from items 9, 10, 11, and 12, which would be rather impractical due to the very large number of Wiccans these days, are mostly adhered to in practice.Continue reading
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.Continue reading