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Was the Keltic "Tribe of Witches" Originally the "Two Tribes"?

According to archaeologist Stephen J. Yeates, the original Tribe of Witches was the Anglo-Saxon people called the Hwicce, who inhabited the Cotswolds and Severn Valley of what is now southwestern England.

These were previously the tribal territories of an early Iron Age Keltic people known as the Dobunni. Both genetics and archeology suggest strong demographic and cultural continuity from the Keltic to the Anglo-Saxon periods.

The name Dobunni, known from inscriptions and Roman historians (Yeates 2-3), is of uncertain etymology. Yeates himself does not discuss a derivation.

It may be, though, that this ethnonym preserves a memory of the origins of the tribe itself.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Quest for Canada is a new series of articles that will appear alternately in both my Witches & Pagans column 49 Degrees and my Patheos blog Between the Shadows.  It will be published once a week in an alternating schedule between the two blogs.   Links will be provided in both blogs.

I believe in new gods as well as old gods.  When you invest spiritual and emotional energy into a concept, it acquires its own egregore; and when enough people do it for long enough, it develops a very powerful egregore.  Most of my readers will have heard of Lady Liberty, or the American Dream.  Simon and Garfunkle wrote a beautiful song about searching for the spirit of America, which was remembered recently in a political campaign ad.  I, as a Canadian, went in search of the spirit of my own country, Canada.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
When Statues Speak

 They have mouths, but cannot speak.


So wrote a dyspeptic 7th century Hebrew poet concerning the so-called “idols” of the pagans.

But of course (as anyone who has ever actually lived with one for very long can tell you), he was wrong.

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Molly
    Molly says #
    I make goddess sculptures for a living and I totally identify with this experience. I'd modify the quote for mine to: "they do not
Social Media and Pagan Culture

Full Title: Social Media's Centralization of Online Dialogue Hurts Pagan Culture

What if wildly witchy articles no longer existed? Imagine if only corporate media "Pagan" blogs were available, as milquetoast as the fake Christianity that dominates media to suppress robust, responsible Christians? Paganism tamed!

The more corporate social media centralizes online dialogue, the closer we move to deterioration of Pagan culture and extinction of meaningful online Pagan conversation.

I love social media, but it could devastate Pagan innovation and culture unless we do something. Here's why:

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  • J'Karrah
    J'Karrah says #
    Definitely food for thought! Thanks for posting
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    J'Karrah, thank you for your supportive words.
Pagan News Beagle: Earthy Thursday, October 13

An astronomer explains why, no, NASA hasn't changed your astrological sign. Chimps may be more cognitively advanced than we thought. And a look at some of the amazing, weird life that lives in our oceans. It's Earthy Thursday, our weekly segment about science and Earth-related news. It's all this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Father of Church of Aphrodite Founder Canonized by Russian Orthodox Church

Even by pagan standards, it's an incredible story.

On February 3, 2016, Dr. Yevgeny Botkin (1865-1918), personal physician to Nicholas II, the last tsar of Russia, was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church, 98 years after he was executed by the Bolsheviks along with the tsar, and the tsar's wife and children.

Known as “Righteous Passion-Bearer Yevgeny the Physician,” his son Gleb Botkin (1900-1969) was later to become the founder of the Long Island Church of Aphrodite, which in 1938 became America's first legally-recognized new pagan organization.

“It's better than worshiping Mary Baker Eddy [founder of Christian Science],” quipped the New York judge who granted legal recognition.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Griffin: Majesty and Nobility

The Griffin (Gryphon) has had a long association with humans. For example, She is a part of people’s last names and featured in their coats of arms. Since the time of Sumner, the Griffin has stood for majesty and nobility.

 Various myths depict the Griffin as the combination of the lion and the eagle. Since both of these earthy animals are monarchs of their own domains, the Griffin is considered the Ruler of Heaven and Earth. This mythic animal, with her offspring Hippogriff, are the only members of the Tribes of the Cosmos. While the Griffin protects the Tree of Life with its Golden Apples, the Hippogriff carries the worthy traveler between the worlds. Because of this, the Griffin is also the Sentinel of the Throne of Heaven and Earth.

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