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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 Nigel Jackson Illustration | Occult art, Sacred art, Traditional witchcraft

A New Book by Nigel Jackson

(Well, Kind Of)


In the waning years of the “20th” century, Nigel Jackson's Call of the Horned Piper and Masks of Misrule: The Horned God & His Cult in Europe spearheaded an Old Craft Revival among many of us for whom an increasingly pastel Wicca had lost its incisive edge.

Jackson offered, instead, a vision of the Craft altogether darker and more dangerous, a Craft of blood and ecstasy. Even more compelling than his dreamy, over-adjectived prose were his illustrations: archaizing woodcuts redolent of wood-smoke and mystery. His later Witches' Tarot transformed the Tarot's (let's be frank here) thoroughly Christian imagery into a hedge-labyrinth of Old Craft mysticism instead.

Following a public break with Witchery (announced, oddly enough, in several rambling and—frankly—incoherent screeds published, of all places, on Amazon Reviews), Jackson now identifies as some sort of mystical Christian “Traditionalist” (in the politically-reactionary René Guénon sense) and esotericist-at-large in the “Western” tradition.

So imagine my surprise when I'd heard that he'd written (and, better yet, illustrated) a new book about the Craft.

Well, kind of heard.

 Nigel Jackson- masks of misrule. | Occult art, Mystical art, Occult

In the dream, I'm visiting the home of some Old Craft friends when I see Jackson's new witch-book on an end-table beside the couch.

Forever West is the title. Having heard of the book—this is dream-world, not real-world, hearing, mind you—but not yet seen it, I leaf through it eagerly. The book has the long-ways horizontal format of a children's book. It seems to be an extended parable of some sort.

Most notable are the illustrations, sandwiched between layers of text, which occur on virtually every page. All of them depict a girl taking a step on a city sidewalk. Behind her are the walls of brick buildings, and the mouth of an alley. The scene is entirely urban, with no sign of any other people or any green thing. At first sight identical, the illustrations actually depict, like the still frames of a film, the incremental movements of a single step.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Dreams: Losing Teeth

Dental disasters are ranked as one of the most common dreams. Your teeth might crumble to bits in your mouth, rot, or fall out when you bite into something. Most people find these dreams to be quite scary. There are a broad variety of interpretations, so it’s important to consider the events and circumstances in your waking life that might apply to these interpretations.

Teeth are a very noticeable physical feature that are often tied to a person’s attractiveness, which makes vanity one likely interpretation of this dream. If you’re losing your teeth, that can be a sign that you’re putting an emphasis on your outward appearance when you think about your value as a person. If you find yourself constantly worried about how other people think you look, remember that attractiveness comes as much from the inside as the outer appearance. It is not just the latest, greatest hairstyle or the fit of your new skinny jeans, your attitude and personality is a big part of your beauty, too!

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs



You can't flip someone off when you're wearing mittens.

Welcome to Minnesota.


Go ahead, laugh at my unfashionable hand-gear: see if I care. When the temperature gets down below zero, no gloves will ever keep your hands as warm as a good, well-knit pair of mittens.

Think of them as symbols of community. In mittens, the fingers keep each other warm.


“Hey, if they're good enough for Thor, they're good enough for me.”

This has been my quip this Winter ever since I finally caved and started leaving my fingered gloves at home. Everyone around here gets the allusion, though it's not, strictly speaking, mythologically correct.

You know the story. Thor and some friends are heading for Etinhame one night when, looking for a place to camp, they discover an oddly-shaped cave with a wide mouth and one strange little room off to the side.

Turns out, it's a giant's cast-off mitten.

Consider the implications: up here, even the frost-giants wear mittens.


Hand-shoes, the ancestors called them 1500 years ago, back in the old Hwiccan hunting-runs. In Beowulf, one of the men torn apart by the troll Grendel is named—for reasons we can only guess at—Hand-shoe.

Not even mittens can ward off every scathe.


If you've ever wondered what it would be like to have flippers instead of hands, come to Minnesota and find out.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

Imbolc brings an invitation into change,
to step into the forge of transformation,
to sink into the holy well of healing,
to open ourselves up to an evolving path
of growth and discovery.
It is now that we remember
we are our own seeds of promise
and while there is time yet
to stay in the waiting place
biding our time
and strengthening our resources
so we have what we need to grow,
soon we will feel the wheel
urging us onward,
the call to set forth
becoming unmistakable and strong.
Let us settle ourselves into center,
nestle into trust and determination,
and extend outward from here
feeling the sweet wind caress us
and the fiery forge beckon us
as we heed the summons to roll on,
the path opening up before us as we move.


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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Gem-Magic Get-Together

Forget the Tupperware party and have a gem-magic party with your girlfriends instead. Make popcorn, eat pizza, drink champagne, and, most importantly, make magic together. What could be more fun? All you have to do is pick a night and assign everyone two ingredients to bring—one snack and one batch of crystal beads. You provide the thread, tools, glue, and good vibes.

Think about beginning the night by making brooches. A brooch worn over the heart is a symbol of loyalty and love among friends. You’ll need to get some flat-circle brooch pins at a craft store. Give each person at the party a brooch and ask her to choose a partner. Using glue, each gal will encrust the front of her brooch with as many crystals as possible in a color and an array that best represents the personality of her partner. Then, the partners exchange brooches. Your gaggle of girlfriends will be forever bonded by their love brooches, not to mention the glue!

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OK, Winter's halfway over: time for a completely unscientific survey. Complete this sentence:


The thing that drives me craziest about pagans is that we....


  • Please keep it short: no more than three sentences. (One would be best.)
  • Let me know by what name you'd like to be cited, what flavor pagan you are, and where you hail from.
  • Remember, please: we're talking about us here, not them.
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Posted by on in Culture Blogs


A pagan couple once bought a house in the rural part of a Midwestern state. This house stood next to a bridge.

A few days after they'd moved in, there came a knock at the door.

“Hi,” said the couple at the door. “Our car broke down on the bridge; can we use your phone?”

(This, of course, was B.C.: before cell.)

“Sure,” said the home-owners and, being good pagans, they played the gracious host until the tow-truck arrived.

A few days later, there's another knock at the door. Another break-down on the bridge.

A few days after that, it happens again.

Finally, the couple gets pretty sick of it. (Call it hospitality fatigue.) So the husband walks over, stands under the bridge, and really lets loose.

“Listen, you!” he hollers. “I don't know who you are or what you're playing at, but I'm warning you: my wife is a witch, and if this doesn't stop right now, she's going to come over here and take care of things good and proper. And believe you me, you really don't want that to happen!

From that day forward, there were no more break-downs on the bridge.

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