Pagan Bookshelf: Fairies

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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

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

The Heart of Wicca

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

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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

Etheric Anatomy by Victor 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 »

A Fresh Beginning…

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One of the lessons I’ve learned as a Wiccan is that everything has its seasons.  There are beginnings, middles, and endings… and sometimes when we think it’s an ending it’s really just a new beginning.  Things will change whether we want them to or not. Over the years the WitchGrotto site has grown, expanded, and become more complex.  Unfortunately that… Read more »

Communicating with Dream Characters

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Our dreams are populated with all sorts of interesting characters – friends, family, strangers, fictional characters, animals, mythical beings, Gods and Goddesses. Each night when we close our eyes and give ourselves over to dreamland we gain unique opportunities to interact with intelligences with which we normally don’t have contact. Some explain these dream figures as parts of ourselves that… Read more »

Wiccan Fundamentalism

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Religious fundamentalism is characterized by literal belief in specific spiritual claims, often about a particular religion’s history, regardless of any available evidence. A particular dogma is promoted as the One True and Only Way and anything that deviates is considered heretical. The Roman Catholic Church has an office within its organization called the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the… Read more »

Defending Eclectic Neopaganism

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There is a trend among some Reconstructionist Neopagans to dismiss Neopagans who are admitted Eclectics in their religious practice and philosophy. Recently, Sannion wrote an editorial titled “Defending Reconstructionism” to address the conflict and to present some of the arguments from a Reconstructionist’s viewpoint. Sannion’s editorial can be found on the web in the September 2002 issue (#27) of the… Read more »