• Monthly Columns

    January Joy: New Year; New You?

      I want to lend some spiritual advice to all those bombarded with the inevitable January blast of “New Year, New You” thinking. There’s a lot of advertising out there telling you that you need to change. Here’s what I think. You don’t need to go on a diet. Unless a medical professional tells you different, or you genuinely want to for your own reasons, you are fine as you are. You don’t need to buy new sports gear. If you want to, great! But don’t be pressured or guilt tripped into it. You don’t need a crazy new exercise routine. Exercise is amazing. It boosts endorphins, it makes you…

  • Reviews & Interviews

    Book Review – How to Save the Planet: 10 Simple Steps That Can Change the World by Luke Eastwood

    Book Review How to Save the Planet 10 Simple Steps That Can Change the World by Luke Eastwood 102 Pages     Let me start by saying that this kind of primer is absolutely essential. We know climate change is a serious issue. We know humans have the biggest impact on the planet. As a society, we understand this. But on an individual level, I think our understanding has that surreal kind of disconnection that means we don’t quite get that it means us. You. Me. Everyone. We all have to change and we all have to change now. Luke’s book is not only a way to reconnect with this…

  • Monthly Columns

    Notes from the Apothecary

    Notes from the Apothecary: Cow Parsley     Anthriscus Sylvestris or cow parsley is a member of the Apiaceae family, just like the carrot and hemlock. It has tall, hollow stems topped with a flurry of delicate white flowers. In Europe it is a common hedgerow plant, and a familiar sight to walkers and foragers. It’s one of the first flowers to appear by the roadside in spring. With many common names including the grand “Queen Anne’s Lace” and the morbid “Mother Die”, this plant is a piece of living history and an intriguing part of the British countryside.   The Kitchen Garden Encouraging cow parsley into the garden would…

  • Reviews & Interviews

    Book Review – Keeping Her Keys: An Introduction to Hekate’s Modern Witchcraft by Cyndi Brannen

    Book Review Keeping Her Keys An Introduction to Hekate’s Modern Witchcraft by Cyndi Brannen 272 Pages   It feels right to write this review in November (for December’s PaganPagesOrg), a month when Hekate is celebrated by many. Cyndi Brannen’s Keeping her Keys is an introduction to Modern Hekatean Witchcraft. It’s not just a book, but a workable course which leads to the possibility of self-initiation. One of my favourite things about this book is the “You do you” attitude. Although there are guides to how to do the work and how to connect with Hekate, there is no authoritarian overbearing message of exactly how to go about this. This book…

  • Monthly Columns

    Notes from the Apothecary

    Notes from the Apothecary: The Christmas Tree     Straight away, I know many of you will be wondering why I’m bringing Christmas to the table, when most of us are looking forward to Yule or the Winter Solstice. Well, it’s because I absolutely adore the tradition of the Christmas tree. And, despite what many people think, it’s not an inherently Pagan symbol, although there are definite Pagan roots, pardon the pun. Christmas trees are so popular today that they are grown in all 50 American states, including even Hawaii, and most other places in the world. From candlelit trees in Germany in the 1800s to fiber optic light shows…

  • This Month's Holiday

    Solstice is…

      Holly sharp sting, Red blood like Berries, red, white Mistletoe hang Deadly dart and Baldur’s curse Druids’ king seeking potion Now a kissing spot Love instead Shown through gifts Wrapped mysteries Ribbons hiding Hearts’ desires Wrap the day in a bow But presents wait Wait for me:   The mother and priestess Down in the woods At the sacred crossroads Of birch and oak The mysteries of Male and Female And everything in between And beyond.   Here I find the altar That no one knows of But I I lay the offerings Salt Offal Nothing to scar or litter Nothing to damage or drain Leaving only footprints For…

  • Monthly Columns

    Modern Yuletide Tales

      **This is an excerpt from my first book, A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors. The Winter Solstice has always been an incredibly magical time for me, despite not being (as far as we know) typically a Celtic festival. Here are some of my more mysterious experiences during the shortest day and longest night.   My most precious memories of the winter solstice all seem to be of going to a specific lakeside on the longest night. I remember it always feels later in the day than it is, because despite it only being early evening it is already pitch black, and once you move away from the roads there…

  • Reviews & Interviews

    Book Review – The Last Priestess of Malia by Laura Perry

    Book Review The Last Priestess of Malia by Laura Perry 520 pages     I’ve read some of Laura’s other works before, such as her fascinating work on Minoan spirituality. I’d also very much enjoyed her ghost-love story, The Bed, which is a fantastic example of “Witch Lit”, an exciting genre of magical writing. The Last Priestess of Malia is on a completely different level. I feel like Laura has emerged as an incredible world-builder. She’s created a fascinating insight into what the Minoan culture may have been like, allowing the reader to fully immerse themselves in that world. Aria is a dedicated child of the temple, a priestess whose…

  • Monthly Columns

    Excerpt from A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors

    Dagda: Good God of the Club and Cauldron There was a famous king of Ireland of the race of the Tuatha Dé, Eochaid Ollathair his name. He was also named the Dagda i.e. good god, for it was he that used to work wonders for them and control the weather and the crops. Wherefore men said he was called the Dagda. (5) Here is a figure that has multiple faces, although the most obvious is of the fierce warrior, with his enormous club that could kill nine men in one blow. The other side of this coin is he could also revive the mortally wounded with the handle of this…

  • Monthly Columns

    Notes from the Apothecary

    Notes from the Apothecary: Hyacinth   The hyacinth is a flowering plant which grows from a bulb. It has beautiful clusters of fragrant flowers and is very popular during the holiday season and spring. This easy to grow plant has a wealth of history and mythology, and could bring a touch of magic into your home as well as a blast of floral colour and fragrance.   The Kitchen Garden Hyacinths are poisonous so aren’t grown for culinary purposes. They contain oxalic acid, a compound that causes skin irritation externally. If taken internally it can cause: Damage to mucous membranes Damage to respiratory tract Wheezing Shortness of breath Laryngitis Inflammation…