• Monthly Columns

    Lupercalia: The Ancient Pagan Roots of Valentine’s Day

    What is Lupercalia?   It’s a chilly February day, and snow is coming down in my neck of the woods as I write this. I look out my window, seeing the snow fall and am dreaming of warm summer days returning, and my trip to Southern California late last Summer. But, amidst my daydreams, I see a bit of hope; Imbolc is typically when Neo-Pagans celebrate the returning strength of the Sun, and the coming of Spring. For me, Imbolc is about healing, and reconnecting to your inner child/maiden, regardless of gender identity. Lupercalia, celebrated on February 15th, is more focused on love, in all its forms. In my personal…

  • Monthly Columns

    Communing with the Essence

    The Layers of Awareness and Our Essence Coherence —   Communing with the Essence requires telling the truth. We must move with and through the layers of thinking, feeling, experiencing, believing, and perceiving in order to naturally and organically arrive at deeper states of awareness. We feel weight to feel weightless. We feel held to feel free. We feel alone to feel closeness. We sense the noise to sense silence. We become present to our life to feel present with others. Our Spirit embodies as a mortal human to know its immortality. We feel lack to feel full. We feel abundant to feel what’s missing. We forget to remember. To…

  • Monthly Columns

    Spiritual First Aid

    Magick for Dealing with the Holidays Last time I went over what to do in one of the many different spiritual emergencies you may find yourself dealing with. In this installment, I want to talk more about how to use magick to deal with the craziness that life throws at you. Since this is the Yule issue, I am going to do a deep dive into how to use magick to cope with what can be the most emotionally charged time of the year- the holidays. Holidays are usually joyous occasions marked by joy, frivolity, and feasting, but for many others the holidays can be extremely emotionally triggering or overloading.…

  • Monthly Columns

    Create a Mindful Life to Know Thyself

    The wheel of the year turns to Yule or Winter Solstice. In the Northern United States, we have watched the leaves fall, our daylight grow shorter while our nights have grown longer. Frost has covered the ground and remaining leaves. We may or may not have had snow and ice. But we have the return of darkness and the natural introspection that comes with this time of the year. Our ancestors would gather around fires and practice rites and rituals to encourage the rebirth of the Sun and the return of longer days. We can connect with our ancestral wisdom by honoring the old practices. Turning off the lights and…

  • Monthly Columns

    Pagan Prompts no. 3: Coping with Overwhelm

    PROMPT: How do you cope with overwhelm? Are you good at it, and do you have strategies for it? Do you see it coming, or feel like you are hit by it unexpectedly? Is it related to burnout, or something you can prepare for better in the more relaxed times? When you do find yourself overwhelmed, do you turn to your Craft to help? Or does it demotivate you from practicing altogether? by it? I hope those questions aren’t overwhelming in and of themselves… but these are important factors to consider. Often, overwhelm creeps up on us before we notice it. Being able to take a step back and look…

  • Monthly Columns

    Shui Shed

    Welcome to The Shui Shed…. …. a new column for PaganPagesOrg e-zine that will explore the basic principles of Feng Shui. This column will share concepts that can be used to bring positive energy and enhance the vibrations within your physical environment. This edition we’re sharing the story of the Chinese Zodiac…which may be a bit of folklore…   THE STORY OF THE CHINESE ZODIAC   As with many things in many cultures, the basic concepts of century old practices are passed down through the generations by way of storytelling. As the story was shared, did each storyteller add their own personal twist to make it more interesting for the…

  • Monthly Columns

    Notes from the Apothecary

    Notes from the Apothecary: Snowberry   Snowberry, or Symphoricarpos, is the name for 15 or so shrubs that boast gorgeous white berries. The plant is part of the honeysuckle family, and is also known as waxberry or the beautifully evocative name, ghostberry.     The inspiration to write about this plant came from my 13-year-old, who sent me this cute WhatsApp message on his way home (pictured). It’s lovely to be the “go-to” person for plant info, and nice to be able to give some fast advice on a potentially toxic plant! The interesting thing about snowberries is that, while they can be toxic, they’re also used medicinally in some…

  • Monthly Columns

    GoodGod!

    Meet the Gods: Shakok   Shakok is the god of winter of the Northern Mountain, according to Native American mythology. The story goes that Acoma’s chief’s daughter, Co-chin-ne-na-ko, married the winter spirit. After he came to live with them, the winters became colder, snow fell harder, the world stayed frozen longer, crops no longer matured, and food became scarce. One miserable winter day as Co-chin-ne-na-ko was searching for food, she met Miochin, the spirit of summer. He was wearing a yellow shirt woven of corn silk; leggings made of green moss; a tall pointed hat, and moccasins decorated with butterflies and flowers. Upon learning her people were eating cactus leaves,…

  • Monthly Columns

    SpellCrafting

    Spells for the Craft: Peace Water Merry meet! Many of you are probably familiar with war water – typically made from iron nails or spikes left to rust in pond water along with another ingredient or two such as Spanish moss or wormwood. It’s used to drive away disruptive energy, and I have sprinkled it around the perimeter of my abode as a preemptive protective measure. Recently I learned of peace water. A hoodoo product, it brings peace, harmony, and gentleness to places, people or situations. It can create an energetic barrier, warding off negative entities and energies that would bring discord to your environment. It’s thought peace water draws…

  • Monthly Columns

    Teachings of the Mythic Past

    Fairies and Plants in Slavic Folklore and Spirituality The ancient Slavs worshiped and believed in a broad range of magical creatures found in nature, and various perspectives on the male and feminine facets of divinity. Folktales from all across the world contain fantastical beings that sometimes resemble people and animals, and sometimes both simultaneously. Folklore holds the key to the numerous stories of giants, people, fairies, animals, and so on. We have referred to these stories as “fairy tales” for generations due to the relevance of these widely known and popular creatures. These beings are sometimes referred to as fairies, faeries, fey, or fae in modern English. In Slavic folklore,…