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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Something like Rebirth

I finally got out into the garden today. It was warm enough that I could even turn over the dirt, fold in compost, plant some homegrown seedlings that had been waiting for ages at a shot at getting outdoors. While I gardened, I did a lot of talking to my friend, Trish. This is noteworthy only because Trish has been dead for 17 years now. She passed away just before her 22nd birthday. A little over a year prior to that, she asked a friend and me to join her for some late night coffee at a nearby Jersey diner and there’s where she told us. Leukemia. She didn’t have long.


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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Mediation, Memory and Flow

The work I'm currently doing in my spiritual practice is a process of memorization. On the surface, it just seems like the memorization of words, but the words are a pathway to the deeper wordless truths that can only be experienced when you open yourself to what the words represent. What I'm really doing with the memorization is twofold.

First, I am connecting with the forces, spirits, etc., that are represented by the words. The words present a means to connect with those spirits in order to develop relationships and create associations that allow you to do deeper work with them. The words are the introduction to the spiritual current that is embodied and mediated by the spirits I'm working with.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Janet Boyer
    Janet Boyer says #
    Taylor, do you only do memorization of words that you plan on using in chants/rituals--or to also have a deeper connection/relatio
  • Taylor Ellwood
    Taylor Ellwood says #
    Hi Janet, It can be for both and I've used it for both. I figure developing a chant for a spirit can just as easily be integrated
  • Janet Boyer
    Janet Boyer says #
    Fascinating! Now, your post is called "Mediation, Memory and Flow". Is that correct...or was it supposed to be "Meditation" (as in
  • Taylor Ellwood
    Taylor Ellwood says #
    Nope the word choice of Mediation was purposeful.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs


With the Vernal Equinox just behind us ushering in the time of blossoming and warm breezes in the northern hemisphere, daughters who have been shunned by their biologicals, or who are estranged from them for their own survival and peace of mind, can let out a sweet sigh of relief. The deep work of winter's inner reflection and grieving can be released as our heads look up at brightening skies and our hearts open like the first golden crocus piercing the last bitter-cold snows. This is the reward for honoring the deepest places within ourselves where the trauma of shunning resides: our burdens are lessened, our sense of being a shunned daughter diminishes. In their place, a renewed sense of our selves takes root and begins showing us other parts of who we are: women who are resilient, capable, and true to ourselves. We recognize we are human beings on this beautiful planet who were born with the right to live with love and respect from the people in our lives--no exceptions!

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

Morning birdsong filled the air  b2ap3_thumbnail_22338975_2058326864379525_7570131764764457268_o.jpg
in a patterned chorus raised above
the grinding notes of distant trucks
on the highway
through it all, a surprisingly distinct sound
the rasping dance of two dry leaves
twining around one another high on a branch
somehow differentiated from all else
as a unique note in the symphony
I laid on my back on the rock and
looked up at the white clouds,
still against the morning sky and black branches,
and felt between
and silence.   

I wrote this after being in the woods one morning as I became fascinated with the sound of two dry leaves dancing together on an oak tree. About an hour later, after yoga, I turned to the day’s page of my Meditations for Living in Balance book and the quote of the day was this:

"To be able to listen to the silence is to be able to hear the infinite." --Anne Wilson Schaef

She goes on to say: "Silence is almost a lost experience in today's society. See if you can develop a way of listening to what is being said in such a way that nothing is required of you. Conserve your power."

Bringing it back to listening to the leaves in the woods though, I would add that I find it vital to discover a b2ap3_thumbnail_29745058_2061438070735071_3032310435085757700_o.jpgway of listening to the world around you, as it is, in this exact moment.

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Rabbit Symbolism in the Tarot and the Queen of Pentacles Breeder Card (Podcast)

In my latest podcast, I discuss rabbit symbolism in Tarot--and how pop culture references to the bunny can enhance our readings-- as well as how the Queen of Pentacles "Breeder" card connects to fertility. Listen in at this link.

Looking through your favorite (non-RWS) Tarot decks, how many cards featuring rabbits can you find? Share in the comments below!

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
500 Years of Theban

2018 marks the 500th anniversary of the first publication of the Theban script, now widely used by modern witches.

Theban first saw light in Johannes Trithemius' 1518 Polygraphia, in which he attributes the script to the legendary magus Honorius of Thebes: hence the name.

Trithemius' student Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa (1486–1535) later included the alphabet in his De Occulta Philosophia (Book III, ch. 29) in 1531. From Agrippa, Theban made its way into several early 20th century popular books about the occult, and it is through these that it probably entered the the modern Craft.

Certainly it came in early on. Ronald Hutton tells me that he's seen references to Theban among Gardner's papers now in Toronto, and it was in current use in London during the early 60s. I myself became aware of the script in Paul Huson's controversial 1970 Mastering Witchcraft: A Practical Guide for Witches, Warlocks, and Covens. For my money, Huson's serifed Theban is still the most elegant version of all.

And Theban does have its own weird, witchy beauty. With all due deference to my colleagues who can read it as fluently as the ABCs, it's not a practical script. The letters are too complicated, too similar in shape for general daily use. But that's all part of its—ahem—charm. And as something that a certain group of people share, it's brilliant in-group strategy. If you can read this, you must be one too.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    Some years ago I was looking through an art book of ancient Greek sculpture. One statue of a horse caught my eye. It had Theban
  • Janet Boyer
    Janet Boyer says #
    Fascinating. I hadn't heard of this script before. Just added Huson's book to my AMZN cart.
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    "Never let the truth get in the way of a good story." That's from Herodotus isn't it?
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I figure that as a storyteller, it's my responsibility to tell the best stories that I can. As a historian, it's my responsibility
Crossing the River: L. M. Boston's 'An Enemy at Green Knowe'

It's a tribute to the evocative nature of the modern Craft that, even as the Craft itself was taking shape, it had already begun to influence contemporary popular literature.

Anthony Gresham has remarked on the thrill that those of us reading our way into the Craft at the time would experience when encountering these literary confirmations of what we were already knew from the “nonfiction” of the time. (I remember this experience with nostalgia myself.) Not to be overlooked, of course, is the confirmational nature offered by this cross-referencing as well. The more wide-spread the information, the more authentic it appeared.

One very early (and frequently-overlooked) example of the modern Craft's influence on contemporary popular literature is L. M. Boston's 1964 An Enemy at Green Knowe.

Boston's acclaimed Green Knowe series of young readers' books revolve around a young boy—Tolly—his great-grandmother, and an 11th-century house in Buckinghamshire called Green Knowe. (Knowe, interestingly, means “barrow” or “burial mound,” although the mound as such does not figure into the books.) The series is beautifully-written, subtle, and filled with magic, featuring the young hero's encounters with previous inhabitants of the house, so delicately drawn that one can hardly call them ghosts.

Although magic figures in all the books, it comes to the forefront in An Enemy at Green Knowe.

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