Working with Celtic Traditions
by Elizabeth Barrette
Hills of emerald under a sky of rolled gray wool, laughing creeks between banks of heather, deep lochs and shallow fens, ocean waves crashing against cliffs of white chalk, stone circles and hills full of legends — these are the features of the Celtic lands. For those of us who walk a Celtic path, by choice or chance, by blood or wanderlust, this terrain holds a special magic. It is here our hearts wander, even in our dreams. Some part of us remembers, and longs for this as home.
Along with the land come the people: sturdy folk and fey, dark and fair, wild and practical. They speak languages that murble like the running brooks and twist back on themselves like knotwork. Even in English you can hear the distant burr of water chuckling. The “wild geese” — emigrants and their descendents — often find themselves drawn back to the land and languages of their ancestors. Sometimes, too, the Old Religion resurfaces.
But what does it mean to be Celtic, or to be a Celt?
Can’t Buy Me Love
by Anne Newkirk Niven
“My experience is what I agree to tend to; only those items I notice shape my mind.”
— William James
As the editor of three magazines, I see a lot of spam. Entirely too much of it consists of a veritable sandstorm of press releases for bizarre, superfluous, and downright stupid products. Among the most egregious I’ve seen recently are the following notable examples:
• At ShopLaTiDa.com (real name!) you can pick up fashion faux-pas fixers that erase unsightly bumps, lumps and imperfections. Products include Commandos no-undie undies, Hollywood Fashion Tape and Miss Oops Deodorant Sponges. At the advanced age of forty-eight, I’ll admit to plenty of “unsightly bumps,” but whatever “Hollywood Fashion Tape” is (I have visions of sparkly duct tape being deployed in, let us say, delicate locations) I am certain that I can spend the rest of my life happily ignorant of the finer points of acquiring and (gasp!) applying it.
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Interview: Anne Newkirk Niven Editor of Crone, Witches&Pagans, and SageWoman Magazine
Michael Night Sky December 1st, 2009
This article first appeared in PaganPages.org.
She lives in Forest Grove, Oregon, with her husband and three sons.
Anne Newkirk Niven happens to be a great inspiration to me in my Pagan and Magical studies, on the top on my people who inspire me list.
I first encountered Anne’s work directly as an Editor and Pagan publisher, when I sent in one of my articles/interviews as a contribution to one of her magazines. She mercilessly stole the article from the magazine I submitted it to, and placed it in another one of her magazines! (this is a true story and switching the article to the other magazine is something I am forever grateful for, of course!) I guess this is something you can easily do, and all in a day’s hard work, when you happen to be the Editor -N -Chief of the magazines. I want to thank Anne for taking time out of her very busy schedule to conduct this exclusive interview for Thorn magazine.
Today’s Northern traditions represent an entirely different way of doing religion.
I’m writing this editorial the day after Thanksgiving, which seems to me an eminently appropriate occasion to address the conundrums of Northern/Heathen culture. Why? Because, like Thanksgiving Day, Heathen/ Northern traditions are centered in trying to promote the bonds of kinship and family tradition.
I’d like to begin by acknowledging that I have little first-hand experience with Heathen rituals and theology; I’m a thorough-going Neo-Pagan and my personal experience lies entirely within the rather porous boundaries of West Coast Paganism. But I’ve been fascinated for some time with what I’ve observed of Germanic-based reconstructionist religion, and thus the concept of this issue — our most detailed look at a specific tradition to date — was born.