Witches&Pagans #20 - The Animal Issue

Witches and Pagans #20
  The Animal Issue

Unraveling the conundrum of human/non-human relations begins with a simple question: how big is our family? If non-humans are existentially equal to humans, then we must treat them with respect; if they are as different from humans in kind, as, for example, a human is different from a chair, then our moral obligations to them are slight. I believe that most contemporary Neo-Pagans would concur with Ted Andrews when he writes, “When we learn to speak with the animals …the animals are no longer our subordinates. They become our teachers, our friends, and our companions.”

In this issue we wrestle with the messy, tangled, and even intractable questions of genuine relationship: honest ambiguity (“when are shamanistic techniques universal, and when are they forms of cultural exploitation?”), subtle definitions (“what is the difference between animal spirits and totems”), and surprise revelations (“what, you are my totem?”).

Join us as we meet far-ranging urban shaman and otherkin Lupa; explore the still-evolving Witchcraft of Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone; trip through the ever-shifting shoals of the urban Witch’s playground, New York City, and probe more deeply into how totems choose us (instead of the other way around.) We also feature musings on the benefits of relationships with companion animals, the mysteries of polarity, avoiding the perils of dualism, how to make your own witchy jewelry, promoting a healthy magical mindset, and even how to prepare for the disposal of your magical “stuff” after you die.

Plus two short stories, a triplet of poems, and a true-life tale of post-mortem animal magic. It’s a rich, even heady, curry of ideas, people, questions (and sometimes, but not always, answers). I hope it stimulates your thinking about these thorny, but fascinating ideas. Ninety-six illustrated pages.

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