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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in writing

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_Dos-XXX-Guy---Hibernate.pngThose who read a lot of my work will know that the output has been a little bit slow over the last month or so.  For the most part, I cite the holidays, a wicked cold, and a sick three month old for the distraction; it's really a hard time of the year to get anything done when you have a family, and the modern iteration of the black death doesn't help anything.  Those who can read between the lines, however, may have seen an additional factor.

It's funny saying that I felt a little burnout lately, when I consider the size of my body of work.  This becomes doubly true when I see some of the work that others do, which is sometimes both more energetic and more prolific.  Still, that's the only was I can explain how I feel right now, and it wasn't the writing itself that stymied me; it was what I was writing about.  Lately, I've done a lot of work and research on racist influences within Heathenry and Asatru, cross checking the references that the Circle Ansuz articles used when making accusations against the founder of the AFA, looking in to the ideology and philosophy of racist groups in general, deconstructing the Lokean issue, and trying to make sense of a Pagan community that tears itself apart on an hourly basis.

I have no regrets about any of this, because it good work.  It drives me nuts sometimes, but I think it would drive me nuts more to leave it on the shelf.  It would make me far more upset and distraught to do nothing about the problems I see.  There is a beauty to demanding the best of ourselves and never being satisfied with an unsatisfactory answer.  Still, it is not uncommon for me to write half of an article, grow dissatisfied with it, and cast it to the side.  The issues I'm looking at are very complex, and I haven't been happy with what I've had to say or how I've had to say it.  It's been very draining, to say the least.

Important work is often draining work.  I've seen a lot of ennui amongst Pagan writers of all stripes as of late, and more and more I understand their moments of apathy and weariness.  Where once I was confused at the large number of polytheistic bloggers who took a month off from the internet, now I completely understand.  Battering against the shouting masses is rougher than you'll realize until you face it yourself, and keeping your equilibrium is a contest that never truly ends; you just keep going as long as you can until you get knocked down.  Such a war of attrition, in of itself, can be infinitely frustrating.

The trick, then, is to get back up and keep going.  To see these issues for what they are; obstacles, and not conquerors.

The work we do has great meaning.  Every time we are read by Pagans and non-Pagans alike, we are less remote and more accessible.  Every time we sit down to write of our spiritual experiences and beliefs, we make a better network of roads and pathways for those who come after us.  With every word we make things better in some way, so long as making things better is our goal.  Sometimes fights happen, and pointless arguments spring forth from the egotistically bruised or the antagonistically verbose.  These are influences that cannot be truly bested, but they are annoyances that can be endured and ignored at our leisure. 

I'm not going to say it's easy.  In the myriad of shouting voices, it's hard not to loose your way.  Recently, I saw a published writer question their own right to have their voice heard.  It was bewildering, as this same writer was one who I had found a decent amount of inspiration from.  It attacks all of us at some level, and it's important to remember that.

b2ap3_thumbnail_ceiling-cat-awaits-your-devotionals.jpg.pngAs the year closes, I hope that 2014 gives everyone the opportunity to do good work.  Whether that's good work in the form of writing devotionals, investigative journalism, writing about their own praxis, something else, or all of that at the same time.  Most of all, I hope that we all have the endurance to keep pushing through when things get tough.

It's a tough gig going out there and talking about spirituality and religion on the internet.  Much harder than most people realize, and far more challenging than some of us give ourselves credit for.  It's important work, and I'm glad we are out there doing it.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

I read. A lot. Really, a lot. Like many bibliophiles, I also post reviews of what I read, mostly on the Barnes and Noble site, but also on Amazon and iTunes. Plus, I have a LibraryThing account. And I post reviews here at BookMusings. So, I write about books. A lot.

That's the thing about bibliophiles. We love to talk and write and rant and rave about the books that we love and hate and love to hate. The thing is ... not everyone does it well. There are, to put it mildly, some really bad book reviews out there, written by some really bad reviewers. As someone who not only writes reviews, but who bases many of my purchases on others' reviews, let me offer a few pointers.

And really, most of these are common sense. But I still feel the need to explain that ....

...
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  • Cea Noyes
    Cea Noyes says #
    Excellent advice. Thank you.
  • Rebecca Buchanan
    Rebecca Buchanan says #
    @Anne: heeeee.
  • Janet Boyer
    Janet Boyer says #
    Excellent, Rebecca! I'm an Amazon Hall of Fame Reviewer and I couldn't agree more.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Way the heck back in August when I first started BookMusings, I posted a list of my recommended must-haves for any writer. Consider this a companion to that column. This time, though, the advice will be more along the lines of practical do's and do not's, for both writers and editors. 

Let's start with writers. What's your Pagan path? Do you honor a particular pantheon? Are there Deities who oversee writing and storytelling and the creative arts? More than likely, yes. I actually cannot think of a single pantheon which does not have at least one such Deity. The Greek pantheon which I honor has at least eleven: Apollo, Hermes, and the nine Muses.* I strongly recommend that you ....

1) Honor your Gods. Set up an altar or a small shrine to the Deity/ies of inspiration. If that is not feasible, make a small portable altar that you can open and close as needed. Offer a prayer before you sit down to do any serious writing. Offer a prayer when you run into that wall called Writer's Block. And, of course, offer a prayer of thanks -- and more than just a prayer, if you can -- when your writing is accepted for publication.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

The ancient world was rich in poetry. The ancient authors who most readily spring to mind were either poets themselves (Hesiod, Virgil, Sappho) or recorders of/commentaters upon others' poetry (Snorri Sturulson). Plus, all those anonymous works of poetic genius (see Beowulf).

The modern Pagan movement is just as rich in poetry. I can't remember when I first began reading and collecting modern Pagan poetry. It was well after I came home to/converted to/embraced Hellenismos. I had plenty of the old authors at hand; everyone from the aforementioned Hesiod, Virgil and Sappho to Bacchylides, Callimachus, Catullus, and an assortment of anthologies. It was with great surprise and delight, then, that I found their modern descendants.

There are poems for feast days, poems for holy days, poems to commemorate special occasions, poems in honor of nature, poems for children, poems for the dead, poems for the Gods. Some of these poems appear in fairly mainstream publications (see Parabola), others appear in highly specialized publications (Mythic Delirium), and still others are self-published on websites or in print and ebook collections.* Some are written by openly Pagan authors for a Pagan audience, while others are written with no particular audience in mind but which do (nonetheless) find a home on Pagan bookshelves.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
'Devil's Night'

Some slightly more modern history and a slight indulgence: witches always end up in the news around this time of year. Suddenly every news paper or local news station wants to do a 'did you know there are real witches?!' story.

It all gets a bit tiresome.

I originally wrote this poem for my annual Halloween cards (a habit that has been lost to my gypsy ways and busyness). My father reminded me that he associated 'Devil's Night' with much more unpleasant memories: 1960s Michigan it was often a time of angry destruction. If you've seen the original Crow movie, they use it in a similar way -- an excuse for serious mayhem.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Being a devotee of *cough* "lesser-known" Deities does occasionally suck. In my case, while I honor well-known Deities such as Hermes and The Muses and Artemis and Hekate, I am also very devoted to The Charites.

The usual response to that statement is "who?"

If I said "The Graces" instead, would that help?

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Warning: blatant self-promotion ahead! But, there is a really good reason for said self-promotion, so please bear with me.

Science fiction as a genre is both extremely popular and notoriously difficult to define. It is often a case of "I'll know it when I see it." Stars Wars? Yes. Star Trek? Yes. McCaffrey's Pern books? Yes. KA Laity's Owl Stretching? Considering the people-eating aliens and near-future setting, yes. Devon Monk's The Age of Steam series? Um ... it's set in the Wild West, but it's steampunk, which is often considered a subgenre of science fiction, but it's got faeries and magic, too, so ... maybe? Lucian of Samosata's True History? Um ... second century fable-ish proto-science fiction? 

Throwing "Pagan" into the mix makes things even more difficult. How does one define "Pagan" in this context? Does the author of a work have to identity as some flavor of Pagan? Or does only the work itself have to deal with Pagan Deities, philosophies, and myths?

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  • Eli Effinger-Weintraub
    Eli Effinger-Weintraub says #
    Hey, Rebecca. I wanted to mention The Pagan Anthology of Short Fiction, a co-effort of Llewellyn and our own Witches&Pagans. Sever
  • Ryan Musgrave-Evans
    Ryan Musgrave-Evans says #
    Hey guys. If there's a free-for-all on self promotion going at the moment, I'll mention my own works. "Dead Stars" is a 110,000 wo
  • Sophie Gale
    Sophie Gale says #
    Now you've got me hunting for Pagan authors! SF is a labor of love for JMG, not necessarily a paying gig. Patricia Kennealy-Morr

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Every month, the members of Neos Alexandria study three different Deities for our Gods of the Month Club. Originally, the Deities were limited to the official Hellenistic-oriented pantheon of Neos Alexandria itself. This year, though, members agreed that we could start looking into Deities outside ancient Alexandria, allowing for some very lively discussions (is Brigid three Goddesses or a trinity?) and comparisons (who knew Athena and Kali had so much in common?).

Early on in the GMC program -- though I can't remember exactly when -- I made a capital-P Promise that I would write at least one poem in honor of each Deity for that month. So far, I have managed to keep that promise. And, I have to admit, I have been very surprised to discover that it is not my matron and patron Deities that I am most excited to write for (though I will take any chance to pen a poem for Hermes or The Charites), but rather those Deities with whom I have only a passing familiarity or no familiarity at all.

I remember the month when Neith was selected. My initial response was "Um ... she's like the Egyptian version of Athena, right?" Well, not exactly. The two Goddesses do indeed have some areas of interest (like warcraft and weaving), but they are distinct Deities with their own personalities and histories. I learned a lot about Neith that month, came to appreciate Her as a Goddess in Her own right, and was inspired to write two very different cosmogonic poems in Her honor.

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  • Elani Temperance
    Elani Temperance says #
    I am absolutely terrible at poetry. Brighid was my matron for years and still, I never grew out of the fourteen year old emo poems

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

A few weeks back, I listed the how-to writing guides which I found most useful. Among them was Corrine Kenner's Tarot for Writers. Throughout her text, Kenner references the traditional Rider-Waite deck -- a deck which I have never owned or used. Nonetheless, Kenner's exercises and suggested spreads work with (virtually) any deck.

That (virtually) there is important. The book has proven most useful not just with the decks with which I am most familiar, but also those decks that contain the most densely packed imagery.

The first two decks that I purchased (I really can't remember which came first) were The Motherpeace Round Tarot by Karen Vogel and Vicki Noble, and The Goddess Tarot by Kris Waldherr. I have since added The Anubis Oracle by Nicki Scully, Linda Star Wolf, and Kris Waldherr; Ancient Feminine Wisdom of Goddesses and Heroines by Kay Steventon and Brian Clark; The New Mythic Tarot by Juliet Sharman-Burke, Liz Greene, and Giovanni Caselli; and the Art Nouveau tarot from Lo Scarabeo, to my collection.

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  • Rebecca Buchanan
    Rebecca Buchanan says #
    Thanks for mentioning Dugan's new tarot deck. I will have to see if I can find a copy.
  • Emily Mills
    Emily Mills says #
    Wonderful post! I haven't picked up The Goddess Tarot, but I love that the staves are the path of Freya. I just took a class about

Over at Patheos, Star Foster recently blogged about the paganizing influence of books such as the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. It is a conversation I have had many times, online and in person: do such books really bring people to Paganism (of whatever tradition)? Based on my own completely unscientific survey, I believe the answer is yes. Books like the Percy Jackson series -- and possibly Rowling's Harry Potter, Neil Gaiman's Odd and the Frost Giants, Anne Ursu's The Cronus Chronicles, and others -- do seem to spark an interest in the old Gods and mythologies. Or, perhaps, fan a flame that was already there.

 
At the same time .... I have to confess, I did not particularly enjoy The Lightning Thief, the first book in the Percy Jackson series. I got so little enjoyment out of it, in fact, that I did not bother to continue with the books, or even pick up Riordan's other series (The Kane Chronicles and Heroes of Olympus). I was ... disappointed. Let down. I had so been looking forward to a story which drew upon the ancient mythology and treated the Gods of old respectfully that ... eh ... shallow characters, shallow use of mythology, et cetera and so on.
 
I suppose I should have known better. This is a series written for mass entertainment. Riordan (so far as I know) is not any persuasion of Pagan, and he did not write the books with a Pagan audience in mind. This series was written for people who treat the old Gods and myths as fictional characters, not as real beings or sources of wisdom.
 
Which leads me to the second half of the title above: yes, we can do better. We -- the Pagan community at large -- need to be writing stories for our children about the Gods we honor and the traditions we practice. We need to offer them positive role models, kids just like them who struggle with the same problems and who do their best to act honorably. Heck, we need to be writing such stories for the non-Pagan community, too; show what we're all about.
 
So, consider this column a call to arms ... or rather, pens. Get your collective butts in your chairs, offer up a prayer or two for guidance and inspiration, and get writing! And here are a few ideas, free and clear, to do with as you please. Adopt them whole, take pieces here and there, use them as a launching pad for your ideas. Whatever. Just get writing!
 
One) Ecological. Ages 4-8. A dryad who lives in Central Park befriends a group of young children who play hide and seek near her tree. She introduces them to the wonders of the Park, to the amazing plants and animals who make it their home. For fans of The Magic School Bus series by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen, The Cat in the Hat's Learning Library series, and the Reading Rainbow books. 
 
Two) Mystery series. Ages 7-12. A young devotee of Athena uses math and science to solve crimes. The Goddess Herself makes at least one appearance in each story, offering the young girl guidance by explaining mathematical theories and principles, scientific concepts, and so forth. For fans of The Magic School Bus series by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen, The Magic Treehouse series Mary Pope Osborne and Sal Murdocca, and The Goddess Girls series by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams.
 
Three) Adventure series. Ages 7-12. In 8th century northern Europe, a young boy accompanies his father as they sail around the Baltic Sea, down the Atlantic coast of  Europe, and through the Mediterranean to distant Byzantium. Along the way, he encounters strange new cultures, languages, religions, and animals. A stealthy way to teach kids about geography, history and even map reading. For fans of The Ranger's Apprentice series by John Flanagan and the Young Samurai series by Chris Bradford.
 
Four) Paranormal. Ages 10-13. In the early 1800s, the young woman who will become Queen Victoria befriends three sisters. Unbeknownst to Victoria, the sisters practice British Traditional Witchcraft in secret, and they use their abilities to protect the future Queen. A great way to explore British history, women's history, and pre-Wicca Witchcraft. For fans of the Hex Hall series by Rachel Hawkins and the Sweep series by Cate Tiernan.
 
Five) Alternate history. Ages 12-18. In this what if ... series, the Pharaohs still rule a polytheistic Egypt. Follow the adventures of one of Pharaoh's daughters, as she solves mysteries, undertakes diplomatic missions, and romances handsome princes -- with style, of course. For fans of The Princess Academy series by Shannon Hale, the Luxe series by Anne Godbersen, and Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lyn Child.
 
Six) Fantasy. Ages 12-18. Too many fantasy books draw on Greek mythology, or maybe some mash-up of Middle Eastern mythology. Time for a change. Go Aztec. It is an incredibly rich source of fantastic creatures, terrible monsters and great warriors, peopled by amazing Gods. Treat the source material with respect and go for it. For fans of The Forest of Hands and Teeth series by Carrie Ryan, The Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater, and The Last Apprentice series by Joseph Delaney.
 
Seven) Paranormal. Ages 13-18. In the years immediately following World War II, an American teen accompanies his family to occupied Japan, where his father is stationed. When he befriends several Japanese teens, he gets caught up in a mystery involving an ancient ghost. How better to sneak in important lessons about war, peace, forgiveness, Shinto, Buddhism, and Ainu traditions? For fans of Soldier Boys by Dean Hughes, Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, and Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata.
 
Eight) Science fiction. Ages 13-18. When the Earth can no longer support human life, generation ships filled with colonists flee for the nearest habitable planet. But it will take decades to reach their new home. Follow one Wiccan coven across the years as they adjust to life on the ship, adapt their traditions and practices to their new surroundings, fall in and out of love, marry, pass those traditions on to their children and grandchildren, and finally make landfall on their new home. For fans of the Across the Universe books by Beth Revis, the Matched series by Ally Condie, and the Sirantha Jax books by Ann Aguirre.
 
So, there you have them: eight ideas for Pagan- and/or polytheist-centric books for kids, tweens and teens. Choose one or two. Pick up your pen, your pencil, your laptop, whatever. And get writing! 



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  • Tess Dawson
    Tess Dawson says #
    It seems I have taken you up on your challenge, Rebecca: http://witchesandpagans.com/Pagan-Paths-Blogs/the-man-who-wailed-at-the-s
  • Rebecca Buchanan
    Rebecca Buchanan says #
    @Brian: give it a shot. You might discover you have a talent for writing after all.
  • Rebecca Buchanan
    Rebecca Buchanan says #
    @Amy: thanks for the suggestion. I will add Bird's book to my To Read list.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A good story is both a siren and a muse. 
 
Like the sirens of lore, it lures you in, beguiles, bewitches and mesmerizes. It holds you still, a prisoner in awe of its beauty and horror. And like a muse, a good story sits you down and teaches you to think, to sing, to paint pictures with words. It shows you how to use the beauty and horror of words to change the world.
 
Some days, it is the siren I desire more than the muse. I just want to lose myself. Escape. Forget the world, and the ugliness which too often stains it. I want to flee to another world. Who needs screaming, hypocritical politicians, mad snipers, oppressive legislation, and mounting natural disasters? Give me a world where all butterflies are wizards and the rain takes on the color of the bow. Or a sea-bound world of sentient turtles, where mermaids are born of black pearls. Or a haunted metropolis, where Earth Witches wield bronze bullets in defense of the Mother and her children.* Or a world where true knights, lead by a blind priestess, loyally serve their Goddess.** Or a whole universe of worlds, where an Oracle's prophecy is the only hope for peace on a planet torn apart by war.***
 
But then, as much as I may desire the siren, I know the muse is waiting for me. Sometimes, she is patient. More often, not. As I sit there, lost to the siren's tales, she pokes and prods at me, whispering. Isn't this just fascinating? How do you suppose this world came to be this way? Think there are any parallels in your world, hhhmmm? Think any of those parallels need, oh, fixing? Maybe you could write a story. You know, tell people a tale and get them thinking, too.
 
Yes, the muse is a sneaky bitch. And I mean that as the highest of compliments.
 
So, I go away -- but only temporarily -- into a world of my own making. I weave a tapestry of words, craft a tale in which wrongs are righted, the good prevails, and ignorance is transformed into wisdom. With tree wives. And crocodile prophets. Sometimes wizards in blue robes.
 
And then I let those stories out into the world, and hope they inspire others to act as I have been inspired.
 
Now, if you will excuse me, the siren is calling. I am going to lose myself in a tale of reluctant shamans, eco-warriors and purple people eaters****, and forget the ugliness of the world. But not for long. The muse is waiting.
 
* The Earth Witches series by Lee Roland
** The Light Blades series by Kylie Griffin
*** The Interplanetary League books by Liz Craven
**** Owl Stretching by KA Laity 
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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

A cross-post this week, if I may - between here at my first blog 'home', and the wonderfully eclectic 'Witches & Pagans' site (because if you can't 'moonlight' as a Pagan, then who can?).

I am very aware that I haven't written anything at either location for a couple of weeks. I could give excuses - ultimately, the days have flown past and life has been more important. I'm sure we all know how that goes. Instead, take a wander with me, if you will.

Regular readers know that one of my favourite places for inspiration is as I walk the dog across the hilltop where I live. This evening I wandered the streets, looking out at the fierce clouds parting after an intense rain and thunder-storm just a few hours ago, the remnants of a rainbow, and the slightly 'stunned' feeling of a normal, modern, country village after a violent and unavoidable incident of Nature. The grass is rich and green, the snails appear to have made a small bypass across the path outside one particular row of houses, and the occasional early bat is swooping overhead.

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To all the writers and poets and editors out there, I offer you fair warning: you know all those how-to manuals that fill the writing and publishing sections at bookstores and libraries? 

Yeah.

Useless.

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  • Wendy L. Callahan
    Wendy L. Callahan says #
    As an editor with two publishers, I MUST have the latest CMOS on my desk. As a writer, I figure the dictionary and thesaurus are
  • Rachel Lee
    Rachel Lee says #
    Many Thanks Rebecca, I am looking into all these books, except the thesaurus & dictionary as I have them, but the "Tarot For Write
  • Janet Boyer
    Janet Boyer says #
    I, too, beg to differ. Being a voracious reader does not a good writer make. Writing is a craft, and it takes dedication, persever

Posted by on in Studies Blogs

The unexpected death of a friend this week brought into sharp relief the differences between traditions around death and grief, not only between different communities but also between different generations. How we handle the dead and our sorrow shows a lot about our culture.

For the Anglo-Saxons, much of what we know of their material culture -- apart descriptions in poems and histories -- come from discovered burials. But burial wasn't always the norm. We have a magnificent pagan shipboard funeral of a king in the opening lines of Beowulf. For a long time people dismissed it as a rather fanciful thing.

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  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    My condolences on your loss, Kate; I thank you for sharing your wisdom and reflections with our community.
  • Kate Laity
    Kate Laity says #
    Thanks so much, Anne. The power of community in bad times reflects the strength of its joy in good times. And the fluctuation betw
  • Kate Laity
    Kate Laity says #
    Thank you, my dear. It's never easy, but the weight becomes more familiar as we age, alas. It's the first time I have felt 'away'

World mythology is a rich resource for comic book and graphic novel creators. Characters as varied as Marvel's Thor, Hellboy from Dark Horse, Image Comic's Age of Bronze, and Wildstorm's Promethea -- to name just a few -- draw on the spiritual, mythological, magical and occult traditions of the world.

The newest publisher to join their ranks is Campfire Graphic Novels. Inspired by the age-old image of family and friends gathered around a fire to share tales of adventure, danger and virtue, Campfire has launched four distinct lines of graphic novels: Classics (adaptations of great novels and plays), Mythology (to date, Greek and Hindu stories), Biography (inspiring leaders, scientists, authors, and philosophers of the past), and Original (new stories).

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Pop quiz, Jeopardy style: the Instructions of Shuruppak and the Kesh temple hymn.

a1sx2_Thumbnail1_sumerian-tablet_127_600x.jpg[insert annoying music here]

Question: what is the oldest surviving literature in the world? The Instructions of Shuruppak and the Kesh temple hymn, sometimes called the Liturgy to Nintud, both date to roughly 2600 BCE Sumer. The first is Mesopotamian wisdom literature, while the second is a creation myth. They were dug out of the ruins of Abu Salabikh in modern–day Iraaq, along with some five hundred other clay tablets, in a series of archaeological surveys which -- due to current conditions -- have yet to resume. Who knows what else lies beneath the sands, waiting?

Bonus answer: the Maxims of Ptahhotep.

Question: what is the oldest work of literature which can be credited to a specific author? Written down sometime around 2350 BCE, the Maxims are Egyptian wisdom literature, passed down from grandfather to father to son. A few decades later, sometime around 2270 BCE, the royal priestess Enheduanna penned her hymns in honor of Inanna and other Mesopotamian deities, making her the oldest known woman author.

Think about what that means, what that *really* means: the oldest works of literature in the world were written by pagans. Polytheists. People who prayed to Goddesses and Gods, who made offerings to spirits of river and cave and sky, who honored their forefathers and foremothers.

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  • Rebecca Buchanan
    Rebecca Buchanan says #
    Walls' book on Anat has been on my wish list for several years -- but I have not been able to find an affordable copy. I will add
  • Tess Dawson
    Tess Dawson says #
    Absolutely. Check out Ugaritic Narrative Poetry, edited by Simon B. Parker; Canaanite Myths and Legends by JCL Gibson; and Ritual
  • Rebecca Buchanan
    Rebecca Buchanan says #
    Oh! More info, please. Do you have specific titles or a book I can track down?

The charms of Anglo-Saxon England consisted of words, herbs and actions. The folks who lived in the period after the Roman era and before the Norman Invasion of 1066 believed that words had a magic of their own especially when spoken aloud, but that the application of the right herbs would help the healing processes along, too. Sometimes other actions were required to create the right atmosphere or to move bad luck along to someone else. All three techniques used together was simply magic.

Among the most common uses for magic was for healing. Lacking any kind of organized medical care system, they pieced together charms and poultices to take care of the common health problems. But they also used charms to protect, both themselves and their belongings. Chief amongst their property was cattle. The Anglo-Saxon word for "cattle" (feoh) is the same as the word for "wealth" which shows how important cattle were. Charms also came in handy to enhance good luck and increase one's bounty.

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  • Joseph Bloch
    Joseph Bloch says #
    At the risk of being pedantic, the Ango-Saxon for cattle and movable property is "feoh". "Fé" is the Old Norse version of the word
  • Kate Laity
    Kate Laity says #
    You're right, of course! I go back and forth between OE and ON so much, I slip up on words from time to time. Good to know I've go
  • mary widner
    mary widner says #
    i enjoy reading this

Additional information