Occult Clerihews Challenge

The Occult Clerihews Challenge! Write a Clerihew about a famous occultist (and post it in the comments or link back to this post so I get a ping-back).

The only rule of clerihews is that they have four lines with an AABB rhyme scheme, and the first line ends with the subject’s last name. I’ve bent the rule slightly because it’s hard to find words to rhyme with Gardner and Valiente. Clerihews don’t have to scan, nor be a complete biography of the person they’re about, and they’re comic rather than serious.

Continue reading

Autumn Equinox

There are three harvest festivals in the Pagan Wheel of the Year. The first is Lammas (also known as Lughnasadh) which is the grain harvest (wheat and barley). The second is Autumn Equinox, which is the fruit harvest (particularly relevant in southern Ontario with the huge fruit-growing region of Niagara). It is also the time when day and night are of equal length, but the nights are going to get longer until the Winter Solstice. The third harvest is Halloween (known in Scots Gaelic as Samhain, in Irish as Samhuinn, and in Manx as Sauin), which is when farmers would traditionally slaughter any animals they could not feed during the winter, and salt down their meat for food supplies over the lean cold months. 

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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