Witches & Pagans #28 - Element of Earth

Witches and Pagans #28
  Element of Earth

Witches&Pagans #28 - Element of Earth
Meet Pagan Leaders: This issue guest-stars a pair of notable Pagan writers. In "A Priestess for All Seasons" we sit down with loremistress, fantasy author, seeress and Pagan/Heathen community leader Diana L. Paxson. Diana is best-known for her work on the "Avalon" series (launched by Marion Zimmer Bradley) but has more than thirty novels and non-fiction books to her credit. Discover what inspires her amazing imagination in this exclusive interview. Western esoteric author Josephine McCarthy has been a working magician for over three decades; we discuss how magick arises from the power of the land spirits in "Visions from the North Gate."

Visit Sacred Lands: Celtic scholar, and druid/shaman-priestess Sharon Paice MacLeod guides us to earth altars, caves, and much more in “Gods of the Hollow Hills: Earth Sanctuaries of the Pagan Celtic World.” Also in Great Britain, meet Druid author Emma Restall Orr, and her deep-rooted quest to found and cultivate a natural sanctuary and cemetery in "Sun Rising."

Hone Your Spiritual Practice: explore the way in which artist and eco-Pagan Lupa Greenwolf honors the spirits of animals while working with their bones in "Sacred Remains" while Susan Harper concludes her series on the magick of the Elements with "Sensing Earth."

PLUS: A guest editorial on spiritual eating by the late Judy Harrow. Our columnists offer a cornucopia of lore, legend, and practical magick: Raven Grimassi teaches us to create a Shadow Garden; Archer treats us to the lore of household altars; HecateDemeter extols us to root our political magic in our land base. Two columnists extol their homes: Galina Krasskova explores her upstate New York home while Ashleen O'Gaea describes the magic of Arizona. Last, but hardly least, Deborah Blake shares grounding and centering tips; Jason Mankey reveals his 1890's ritual; John Michael Greer recommends against Pagan clergy; and Fritz Muntean goes to Great Britain. Plus letters, reviews, Pagan poetry and lots more! 88 pages, published in May, 2014.

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Witches & Pagans #27 - Element of Water

Witches and Pagans #27
  Element of Water

Witches&Pagans #27 - Element of Water
That’s blogger, musician, and Druid Teo Bishop on the cover of our special issue on the Element of Water. Here’s a peek at the magick within this issue.

Discover the Wonder of Water: What would it be like to experience water viscerally? Susan Harper teaches us to become conscious of the sacral nature of this ubiquitous element in her article “Sensing Water.” Loremaster P. Sufenas Virius Lupus writes about the ability of water ­ and even of drowning ­ to assist in the apotheosis of humans in a fascinating look at classical Greek and Roman paganism “Deification by Drowning.” Leni Hester introduces us to the Lady of Fresh Water, Ochun, in “No One is an Enemy to Water.”

Meet Pagan Leaders: This issue guest-stars a triplet of fascinating Pagan notables. Paranormal and detective novelist Alex Bledsoe sold his first magickal “Lady Firefly” story to PanGaia in 1998. Catch up with his journey in this conversation with Deborah Blake; then listen in as the inimitable T. Thorn Coyle talks with Pagan blogger, mystic, Druid and musician (aka Matt Morris) Teo Bishop; and visit with Renaissance woman, writer, and community leader Tish Owen.

Visit Sacred Lands: Celtic scholar, and druid/shaman-priestess Sharon Paice MacLeod guides to the magick of water in Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England in “Three Cauldrons: Water & Wisdom in Celtic Traditions.”

PLUS: Raven Grimassi on the magick of roses and potions; HecateDemeter extols us to honor water in daily life, Archer explores the myth and lore of the ocean; Galina Krasskova conducts a conversation with a Bantu water worker; Deborah Blake shares inexpensive water magick; new columnist Jason Mankey opines on the multitude of Pagan beliefs; John Michael Greer extols the “Meso-Pagans,” and Fritz Muntean discusses “crazies in the coven.” Letters, reviews, a magickal journey to China, Pagan poetry and lots more! 88 pages, to be published in October, 2013

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Witches & Pagans #26 - Element of Fire

Witches and Pagans #26
  Element of Fire

Witches&Pagans #26 - Element of Fire
That’s Faerie songstress and bard Sharon Knight on the cover, lending her enchanting presence to this special issue on the Element of Fire.

Get Fired Up: Thrill at the wonder, glory, and (let’s face it) danger of dancing with Fire in Phil Brucato’ guide to Pagan fire dancing “Brave Enough to Burn” and travel to the Land of Enchantment, as Amanda Morris shares the inside scoop on her magickal homeland in “A Witches’ Guide to New Mexico.”

Meet Bright Stars: This issue guest-stars a quartet of fascinating Pagan notables. Enjoy a conversation with Llewellyn author Thea Sabin (Wicca for Begginners and A Teaching Handbook for Wiccans and Pagans); thrill to our exclusive sit-down with the one-and-only gothic tribal mistress Sharon Knight of Pandemonaeon; and up-and-coming Australian witch and author Gede Parma.

Light Up Your Magick: Susan Harper teaches us to bring the mercurial element of Fire into our daily lives, Bri Saussy sheds light on Pagan uses for those ubiquitous Novena candles, and Cathie Rayes discusses what to do when “mirror spells” just aren’t enough.

PLUS Raven Grimassi on making herbal ashes for magickal work; myth and lore of trees; ancestral Fire worship; candle magick with Deborah Blake; solitary practice from Teo Bishop; John Michael Greer spikes Pagan myths about the “good olde days,” and Fritz Muntean warns us of the dangers of white-washing the “W” word. Pagan short fiction and poetry, a rousing guest editorial by Valentine McCay-Ridell on the place of politics in Paganism, letters from readers, no-holds-barred reviews, and lots more! 88 pages, published in spring of 2013.
 

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Witches & Pagans #25 - Element of Air

Witches and Pagans #25
  Element of Air

The element of Air, in modern Pagan usage, has a wide range of associations: it is the element of new beginnings, of flying/feathered creatures, and of the mind.To many, Air is also associated with the direction of the East. Above all Air represents the qualities of all things ordered and classified by the intellect. Its emblematic tool is the athame — the ceremonial black-handled, double-bladed, unsharpened ritual dagger of Wiccan regalia — which represents the “sharpness” of the well-disciplined mind. The offerings that our dedicated contributors gathered together for this issue are a wonderful smorgasbord of the myriad aspects of Air, ranging from academic pedagogy to the simple act of breathing. What a feast!

Beginning at the end, Monte Plaisance relates the epiphany and initiation that led him to Hellenistic polytheism in “Dying into Life.” His unalloyed joy at finding his true path touches the core of intuitive “rightness” that characterizes the experience of so many of us who convert to Paganism as adults. This same sense of “coming home” is reflected in the loamy, grounded richness that Sarah Lawless brings to her account of finding her avocation — collecting feathers and honoring the spirits of the birds that give them — in our first feature article: “The Girl Who Found a Feather.” Enthusiasm for the winged denizens of Air likewise fills Aynia Torres’ tale of how companion birds influence her practice in “Feathered Familiars.”

Moving from the literal aspects of flying to the metaphorical ones, we are thrilled to present Michael Night Sky’s interview with M. Macha NightMare. Macha, who has been “on the broomstick circuit” for the better part of thirty years, is known for her unmatched networking and organizational skills as well as for her leadership in the progressive, politically-active forms of Paganism characterized by the Reclaiming tradition. Macha’s piercing intellect and willingness to speak truth to power comes through in this captivating interview.

Also crossed off our to-do list with this issue is a topic so large it’s taken us seven years (!) to nail down: online magickal learning. Tireless reporter Kira Nuit contacted dozens of schools, students, and faculty to research “Seeking Wisdom: Making Sense of Online Education.” Kira adroitly outlines the complexities of this ubiquitous form of education, plus offers potential students a directory of almost two-dozen schools, academies, and seminaries. Moving from the point-of-view of the student to that of the teacher, Christine Hoff Kraemer and Sierra Black delve deeply into the many modes — personal, coven-based, community, and online — of magical pedagogy with “The Teacher Shall Appear.”

An oft-overlooked way of interacting with the Element of Air is revealed by Diotima Mantinea’s discourse in “The Power of Air.” Not to be outdone, we’re featuring the first of four articles on the elemental magic of cooking by chef Dawn Hunt, a rollicking tale of an unusual festival encounter by Eric O. Scott, five poetic evocations of Air, a visit with chant mistress and musician Kelliana, and an Air “makeover” from Tess Whitehurst. Plus Archer meditates on the practice of spiritual veiling, Ashleen O’Gaea and Kenaz Filan advise us to look to children for wisdom, Galina Krasskova reminds us of the power of the elemental nations, Ruby Sara muses on the magick of weather, and Deborah Blake teaches us simple ways to connect with Air.

As Air is the element of new beginnings, We're very excited to introduce new columns from three of the most captivating people on the Pagan scene. Inveterate trickster, Craft pioneer and Pagan scholar Fritz Muntean is one of West Coast Paganism’s true originals, and we are pleased to share his wisdom with our readers with his column, “The Crafty Curmudgeon.”

Many of our readers tell us that they are looking for a more rooted, earthy spiritual practice: less flash and glitter, and more “dirt” magick. With “Old World Witchcraft” prolific author and lecturer Raven Grimassi Raven delivers the goods with an uniquely valuable resource in these chaotic times. Last, but not least, Hecate Demetersdatter offers her cogent, lyrical, and level-headed commentary on current events, politics, and earth religions from her perch near the Potomac in her new column “Looking for Trouble.” We hope you'll enjoy this issue, which we believe is worthy of the mercurial, fascinating, element of Air.

96 pages, released in September 2012.

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Witches & Pagans #24 - Heathen & Northern Traditions

Witches and Pagans #24
  Heathen & Northern Traditions

Discover the mysteries of the North -- land of Gods and Goddesses, giants and valkyries -- in all its glory in this special issue. We’ve gathered more a dozen leaders of Germanic, Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon reconstructionism, Heathenism, and Northern traditions to share their perspectives.

You'll meet a musician who brings the runes alive with ancestral instruments, the publisher of the ground-breaking Heathen culture magazine Hex, a God-claimed free-range tribal shaman, an iconoclastic philosopher who embraces "positive fatalism" and an Anglo-Saxon sorcerer. Plus a detailed guide to Who's Who and What's What in contemporary Heathenism, a guide to the Gods, Goddesses and Powers of the North, a look at the Holy Tides of the Northern calendar and a glimpse at the Wagnerian excesses of Viking grrl rock-n-roll.

Plus our regular columnists share the power of the Stag, teach 10 steps to weaving magic into your home, lay to rest the myth of "battle-crazed" Vikings, discover beeswax candle magic for winter, and much more in 96 jam-packed pages.

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Witches & Pagans #22 - The Community Issue

Witches and Pagans #22
  The Community Issue

Though most Pagans (and most readers of this magazine) are solitary practitioners, our movement is beginning to mature beyond one that celebrates individualism to one in which we are seeking to connect with each other, and, even more boldly, to take our place among other respected religions in the open marketplace of spiritual paths. 

Mainstream media and institutions are beginning to treat Pagans with respect, largely due to the efforts of Pagan leaders such as Deidre Arthen (Earthspirit Community), Ivo Dominguez, Jr. (Assembly of the Sacred Wheel) and, most notably, priestess, author, and Pagan civil rights activist Selena Fox (Circle Santuary, Laby Liberty League). We've featured all three of these courageous campaigners in this issue; their stories — of struggle, setbacks, and, happily, success, will lift your spirits and hopefully inspire further efforts to support a strong Pagan culture.

But it's not just the stars of the movement that deserve our recognition and support. Hundreds of thousands of Pagans live — quietly, passionately, devoted to their faith — in every part of the Western world. Some may believe that its impossible to be Pagan — especially out of the Broom Closet — in the so-called "Bible Belt" of America. But, in fact, there are many thousands of Pagans that live — and thrive — in the American South. Meet them, and learn more about what it's like to be Pagan in a deeply Christian region in our 13-page story "Southern, Pagan & Proud" (complete with a directory of over 100 Pagan groups and stores in the Deep South.)

Are you fired up to create community, right where *you* live? Then you'll enjoy the down-to-earth advice, step-by-step tips, and exercises shared by author Lisa McSherry in her article "Called to Lead: Steps to Form a New Magical Group."

Lots of other magical goodies rounds out this jam-packed issue: tips for empowering your own path, making your own mojo bag, the magic of circles, connecting to the Fae and standing up for your path (even when your community disagrees). Plus creating seasonal festivals for children, honoring our dead, meditations on silence, and tips for having a great Pagan Yuletide — on a budget! Add in reviews of great seasonal calendars, ideas for Yuletide giving, a wonderful story of finding magic in unexpected places, seasonal sacred poetry, a rip-roaring fight in the Give and Take feedback section and bracing advice to a teen Pagan from Good Witch/Bad Witch and you've got an inspiring issue worth putting under the Yule tree for everyone on your list — or gifting yourself! Ninety-six illustrated pages.

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