Author Archives: Ben Gruagach

Pagan Bookshelf: Biographies

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We modern Pagans are a rather literate lot.  In addition to the many handbooks, theoretical works, folklore collections, poems, songs, rituals, and workbooks in print, there are also quite a few illuminating biographies and autobiographies.  Reading about the lives of others following magickal and Pagan spiritual paths can help us understand better what came before and where our community might… Read more »

Pagan Bookshelf: Traditional Witchcraft

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Like with many categories of modern occultism, particularly among spiritual or religious groups, there is a lot of debate about what makes someone a part of the group and what excludes someone from that group. The category of traditional witchcraft sees its fair share of this type of debate – if you ask a group of thirteen witches to define… Read more »

Pagan Roots in the North

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Throughout history the British Isles have been swept by waves of new inhabitants and ideas. Some came as invaders and others as settlers from other lands. As each new ethnic group became established and eventually assimilated into British culture their unique qualities were absorbed too. One of the notable influences on the British Isles and therefore on English occultism and… Read more »

Pagan Roots in the West

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Pagan religions are living traditions that have evolved over time and continue to change today.  Occult practices and religions such as Wicca in particular have drawn from inspiration around the world including sources originating in the Americas.  The West has had a very noticeable impact on the development of occult philosophy that is easy to see when we look for… Read more »

Pagan Roots in the South

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Isis and baby Horus

“Listen to the words of the Great Mother, who was of old also called Artemis, Astarte, Dione, Melusine, Aphrodite, Cerridwen, Dana, Arianrhod, Bride, and by many other names…” This opening passage from the Charge of the Goddess used by Wiccans around the world is familiar to many, but how many realize that this introductory statement was inspired by the ancient… Read more »

Pagan Roots in the East

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Ganesh

Paganism and occultism in the English-speaking community today owes a lot to the East. Sure, most of the borrowed Eastern ideas have been adapted and changed over the years by various English practitioners but the basic ideas themselves are from Eastern sources. We don’t have to look very hard to find things that come from the Middle East, from India,… Read more »

Pagan Bookshelf: Spirit Work

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Some magickal practitioners focus on working with non-physical entities, whether these entities are described as elementals, faeries, ghosts, ancestors, angels, demons, saints, loa, intelligences, or deities. Different systems have different ways of categorizing and classifying — some are very strict about putting anything they consider to be “other” as automatically evil, while some practitioners might see those same entities as… Read more »

Traditions, Superstitions & Folk-Lore by Charles Hardwick (EPUB)

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TRADITIONS, SUPERSTITIONS, AND FOLK-LORE, (Chiefly Lancashire And The North Of England:) Their affinity to others in widely-distributed localities; their eastern origin and mythical significance. by CHARLES HARDWICK (Originally published in 1872) Available courtesy Project Gutenberg. Other formats available for download at http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/39934

The Core of Wicca

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Wicca is a pretty diverse religion today with assorted different denominations (usually called “traditions”), independent covens, and thousands if not millions of solitary practitioners around the globe. What exactly makes all of these practitioners Wiccan? Historically the religion of Wicca traces to Gerald B. Gardner who first promoted and taught a form of religious witchcraft as far back as the… Read more »

The Principles of Wiccan Belief

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Way back in the Spring of 1974 during a Pagan conference called “Witchmeet” in Minneapolis, MN USA a diverse group of 73 witches, representing a range of groups as well as solitary practitioners, formed what they decided to call the American Council of Witches. The group held only a single meeting before they chose to disband. At that meeting they… Read more »