• Monthly Columns

    Notes from the Apothecary

    Notes from the Apothecary: Clover     Clover is also called trefoil, literally “three-leaves”, and grows in most places around the world. Although many clover plants look similar, there are around 300 species of Trifolium and they’re in the same plant family as peas. Both the round, joyful flowers and the iconic triplet of small, round leaves have a ton of folklore around them – and some surprising modern research, too.   The Kitchen Garden Red and white clover are the most common where I live, and often pop up in lawns without any encouragement from gardeners. As well as being a fantastic food source for bees and other insects,…

  • Monthly Columns

    Notes from the Apothecary

    Notes from the Apothecary: Stinging Nettles     Called nettles, stinging nettles, or common nettle, this jagged-leafed plant is a hardy little medicine cabinet packed with folklore and magic. Urtica Dioica is the scientific name for the most commonly recognised species, and it’s found all over the world in hedgerows, woodlands, and anywhere where there is space for it to grow. Gardeners may hate nettles for stinging their fingers unexpectedly when weeding, and anyone who has been out hiking in shorts knows what a nettle sting on the leg feels like! But these feisty and fierce “weeds” have more uses than you would imagine, and can easily be forgiven for…

  • Monthly Columns

    Bees in Folklore, Religion, and Superstition

      This is an adapted extract of a video I did recently for Pagan Aid to help raise awareness of their campaign to raise money for Bees for Development, an organisation that helps some of the poorest communities in the world create livelihoods through beekeeping. You can view the original video here.   There are over 250 species of bee in the UK and around 4,000 native species in the United States. Even humble bumblebees have at least 24 separate species, from orange and black red-tailed bumblebees to the classic white, yellow, and black tree bumblebees. However, it’s the honeybee that gets the most attention, generally, when it comes to…

  • Monthly Columns

    GoodGod!

    Meet the Gods: Krishna     Krishna is a major deity in Hinduism, one of the most popular and widely revered. He is worshipped as the eighth incarnation or avatar of Lord Vishnu and also as the supreme God in his own right. He is the god of love, compassion and tenderness. Hindu mythology portrays him as a prankster, gentle lover, universal supreme being and child-like God. People consider Krishna their leader, hero, protector, philosopher, teacher and friend all in one.     He’s influenced Indian life and culture – not only its religion and philosophy, but also its folklore, painting, sculptures, literature, music, dance, poetry, and mysticism. He is…

  • Reviews & Interviews

    Book Review – Slavic Witchcraft: Old World Conjuring Spells & Folklore by Natasha Helvin

    Book Review Slavic Witchcraft Old World Conjuring Spells & Folklore by Natasha Helvin 224 Pages     I was asked by the Editor of PaganPagesOrg if I would be interested in reviewing this book because my background/experience does involve some Slavic practices and traditions, and she wanted to see if I would mind giving an honest opinion based on what I’ve learned already. I most certainly agreed to it as I was curious how it might compare to what I learned while living in Croatia and what I’ve studied in the USA. Let me explain briefly a little about my perspective and experiences: My father’s family is originally from today’s…

  • Reviews & Interviews

    Book Review – The Mythic Journey: Use Myths, Fairy Tales and Folklore to Explain Life’s Mysteries by Liz Greene and Juliet Sharman-Burke

    Book Review The Mythic Journey Use Myths, Fairy Tales and Folklore to Explain Life’s Mysteries by Liz Greene and Juliet Sharman-Burke 240 Pages   This lovely collection of myths, fairy stories and folklore is brought to us by Liz Greene and Juliet Sharman-Burke, who collaborated on The Mythic Tarot. It appears to be a re-working of the book originally published in 2000. The tales included continue to inform our psyches today as the authors see with the eye of the mythic imagination past form into the heart of being. The stories included in the book come from many cultures and traditions: Buddhism, the Old Testament, ancient Greece, Minoan Crete, Maori…

  • Reviews & Interviews

    Book Review – Herbal Magick: A Guide to Herbal Enchantments, Folklore, and Divination by Gerina Dunwich

    Book Review Herbal Magick: A Guide to Herbal Enchantments, Folklore, and Divination By Gerina Dunwich 240 pp. Red Wheel/Weiser     “Herbal Magick: A Guide to Herbal Enchantments, Folklore, and Divination” is a wonderful collection of mythology, superstitions, traditions, and lore surrounding herbal medicine and magic. While there are many herbal books which include some of this type of content while dwelling primarily on medicine, foraging, gardening, or just repackaging information, “Herbal Magick” really focuses on easily-digestible tidbits of lore. Some of this lore is quite well-known to herbalists and students of the craft — like the lore of the mandrake’s shriek — but there are also some more obscure…