Author Archives: Ben Gruagach

Oaths and Secrets in Wicca

      Comments Off on Oaths and Secrets in Wicca

Gerald Gardner liked drama and prestige[1]. When he first started promoting the religion of Wicca he included oaths of secrecy as part of the first degree initiation rite. This served to impress on initiates that Wicca was a serious secret society. It also acted to preserve Wiccan teachings as exclusive to those who had been formally admitted to the group…. Read more »

Wiccan, Witch, Pagan – What’s the Difference?

      Comments Off on Wiccan, Witch, Pagan – What’s the Difference?

  (This article is an excerpt from “The Wiccan Mystic.”) What Is Wicca? Current historical research suggests that Wicca is a modern Pagan religion first promoted by Gerald Gardner around the 1950s. Wiccan beliefs are structured on the practices of witchcraft as outlined by Gardner. Modern scholars such as Ronald Hutton, in his detailed and highly influential book “The Triumph of… Read more »

Pagan Bookshelf: Communing with Nature

      Comments Off on Pagan Bookshelf: Communing with Nature

One of the reasons many people turn to modern Pagan religions is to seek a way to incorporate respect for Nature into their spirituality.  Some religions, such as Wicca, have a decidedly Earth-revering emphasis.  How can we enhance our understanding of Nature and build a deep connection with the flora, fauna, and mineral realms?  There are quite a few books… Read more »

Pagan Bookshelf: Magick

      Comments Off on Pagan Bookshelf: Magick

Many books that are available on the topic of magick present it from within a specific religious framework.  Many of these sorts of books end up being mostly about religion and have only a small bit that is about magick.  What’s a person to do if they want to learn about magick but are not as interested in the religious… Read more »

The Inner Mysteries: Progressive Witchcraft and Connection with the Divine by Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone

      Comments Off on The Inner Mysteries: Progressive Witchcraft and Connection with the Divine by Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone
The Inner Mysteries by Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone

Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone have updated their 2004 classic, “Progressive Witchcraft” and given the new second edition a fresh title: “The Inner Mysteries: Progressive Witchcraft and Connection With the Divine.” This is an important book for Wiccans and is a must read for a number of reasons.

Pagan Bookshelf: Fairies

      Comments Off on Pagan Bookshelf: Fairies

Most people are aware of midsummer (the summer solstice) as a key time when the realm of the fairies overlaps with our own. Not as many realize though that there is another time of year when the veil is thin: the winter solstice, or Yule. It’s obvious when you think about it since characters like Santa, his elves, and Jack… Read more »

Daughters of the Witching Hill by Mary Sharratt

      Comments Off on Daughters of the Witching Hill by Mary Sharratt

In the late 1500s and early 1600s in the English county of Lancashire in Pendle Forest a cunning woman known by the nickname Old Demdike served the local populace.  Demdike, whose real name was Elizabeth Southerne, lived in the ruins of Malkin Tower with her daughter Liza and her grandchildren James (Jamie), Alizon, and Jennet. In 1612 a local magistrate… Read more »

The Heart of Wicca by Ellen Cannon Reed

      Comments Off on The Heart of Wicca by Ellen Cannon Reed

This slim volume (running one hundred and thirty four pages, including the index and extra materials) is a challenging read and not one I would recommend to beginners.  The subtitle “Wise Words from a Crone on the Path,” implies it is an exploration of the deeper meaning of Wiccan practice and philosophy from one who is an Elder of the… Read more »

The Witches’ Sabbats by Mike Nichols

      Comments Off on The Witches’ Sabbats by Mike Nichols

Back in the pre-internet days computer geek Pagans like me would use our dial-up modems to connect with bulletin board systems where we could download text files, send and receive email, and participate in online discussion on a wide variety of topics.  There were dozens of different networks that individual BBSs would hook into covering all sorts of interests –… Read more »

Etheric Anatomy: The Three Selves and Astral Travel, by Victor H. Anderson

      Comments Off on Etheric Anatomy: The Three Selves and Astral Travel, by Victor H. Anderson

Poet, mystic, and visionary are words often used to describe Victor H. Anderson. Ecstatic seeker, wise elder, grand high priest, and beloved witch would also be accurate. Victor and his wife Cora are the founders of the highly influential Feri tradition of Witchcraft. A mixture of Hawaiian mysticism, European folk magic, Pagan spirituality, and Wiccan theory, it is one hundred… Read more »