• Monthly Columns

    GoodGod!

    Meet the Gods: Saturn     Merry meet. In case you don’t have enough holiday activities in December, you can add the 17th to your calendar and observe Saturnalia, one of the most popular ancient Roman festivals. It occurred around the time of Yule. Though originally a one-day event that ignored the distinction between masters and slaves, the activities came to fill an entire week, making for much merry-making and lechery.     Saturn was the son of Caelus, Father Sky, and Terra, Mother Earth. (In Greek mythology they were Cronus, Uranus, and Gaia, respectively.) To prevent a prophecy from coming true – that a son would dethrone him –…

  • Monthly Columns

    Notes from the Apothecary

    Notes from the Apothecary: Olives   The olive tree, Olea europaea, is an evergreen tree, bearing small fruits that we harvest for their oil – or simply to preserve and eat. Olives are native to many Mediterranean countries and the Middle East, which is why they are often linked to Greek and Roman deities in Western spirituality. The first time I saw olive trees in the wild, it was amazing. Here was my favourite snack, growing right by the side of the road! I saw them in Portugal, Spain, but none were so striking as in the olive groves of the Greek island of Rhodes. Rows upon rows of small,…

  • Monthly Columns

    Diana The Goddess an Excerpt from ‘Witchcraft: A Secret History’ by Michael Streeter

    Diana The Goddess Excerpted from ‘Witchcraft: A Secret History’ by Michael Streeter     The Roman Empire occupies an important place in the history of witchcraft. Such was its wide-ranging dominance that it provided a bridge from the ancient world, the world of the Sumerians, Egyptians, Persians, Babylonians, and Greeks, into the Christian era in Europe. The Romans were generally suspicious of witchcraft and magic: for them, it was just another subversive element in a world where order always seemed to be under attack from chaos. Yet the Romans also bequeathed us the legacy of one of the most powerful goddesses of the ancient world, a goddess who was to…