Signs & Portents

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Pagan News Beagle: Watery Wednesday, October 28

Pagans around the world prepare for the annual festival of Samhain. considers the role of household gods. And Jewish witches explore their own path in the aftermath of Sukkot. It's Watery Wednesday, our weekly news segment on the witches and Pagans community. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

All you have to do to know how close we are to Samhain is look at your calendar and check the days remaining. But what if you didn't have a calendar? Apparently, according to Patheos blogger John Beckett, these are some pretty good clues that Samhain is imminent.

In the Pagan community it's common to refer to October 31 principally as Samhain rather than Halloween as most other people do in Western culture. But is there really any harm in celebrating both? Heather Green at The Wild Hunt looks at how and why the secularized form of Halloween has become so popular.

When we talk about gods, we're mostly referring to big-name deities like Hera, Thor, or Isis. And because we're accustomed to a cultural lens of monotheism borrowed from Christianity and Judaism, we're used to the idea of devoting ourselves to one god in particular. But that's not the way historical polytheists did it and it doesn't have to be the way we do it either.

Why has belief in magic, once so common in the world, become ridiculed and demeaned? And is there a value in bringing it back? Those are the principal questions Deer Prunus asks in this piece for Gods & Radicals, arguing for the "resurrection of magic(k)."

Many Pagans are witches and many witches are Pagans. But not all witches are Pagans and not all Pagans are witches. Tablet Magazine takes a look at a group of Jewish witches in the Bay Area, who, while attending a Jewish camp, have sought to rediscover their own culture's mystical traditions.

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Aryós Héngwis (or the more modest Héngwis for short) is a native of the Pontic-Caspian steppe, born some 5000 years ago, near the village of Dereivka. In his youth he stood out from the other snakes for his love of learning and culture, eventually coming into the service of the local reǵs before moving westward toward Europe. Most recently, Aryós Héngwis left his home to pursue a new life in America, where he has come under the employ of BBI Media as an internet watchdog (or watchsnake, if you will), ever poised to strike the unwary troll.


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