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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

Mythic Moons of Avalon
by Jhenah Telyndru
Llewellyn Books, 2019b2ap3_thumbnail_mythic-moons-cover.jpg
(www.ynysafallon.com)
Reviewed by Molly Remer,
brigidsgrove.com

Rich with insight and lore from Celtic myth and legend, while also steeped in a steady structure of contemporary spirituality, Mythic Moons of Avalon is best for people with a specific interest in lunar workings, lunar magic, and Celtic traditions, and specifically, the stories of Avalon. It makes no pretense at being an authoritative historical compendium and is clear that this is a specific and modern approach with some ancient, historical roots and a deep connection to the physical landscape and terrain of the mystery, culture, and spirit of Avalon and Arthurian Britain (for a modern age).

The book is organized in month by month sections, some of which can feel repetitive, though the workings do build on one another as the book progresses. I did find it somewhat easy to inadvertently start to skim parts of the book due to repetition.

Excellent for a small group study as well as a personal journey of devotion and exploration, Mythic Moons of Avalon is definitely best suited to serious practice rather than casual curiosity. This is a book that is meant to be working into and through. It is meant to be treated respectfully and approached with dedication by someone serious about journeying into the depths of Avalonian mystery and tradition as well as into their own psyches and souls, applying the stories, wisdom, lunar phases, and herbal correspondences to their own lives.

 

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Molly, Thanks for sharing the review! A few of the deities I worship are Celtic, so even as a Platonist and Hellenist the godlore

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

Note to Reader:

I thought that I'd posted this one years ago, but--if so--I can't seem to find it. So here's a repost, following the news of Kingsnorth's recent reception into the Orthodox Church.

 

Paul Kingsnorth, The Wake (2015). Graywolf Press

 

If you read only one novel this year, let it be Paul Kingsnorth's The Wake.

The emergence of post-apocalyptic narrative in early “twenty-first” century fiction, cinema, and television is an intriguing and suggestive phenomenon, offering rich possibilities for satire, cultural critique, and reflection on direction for possible futures.

But of course, as every heathen knows, when it comes to Apocalypse, we've already been there and done that. In human history, Ragnarok comes again and again. This is how Kingsnorth can characterize his novel, now newly released in the US and currently long-listed for the prestigious Booker Prize, as “a post-apocalyptic novel set 1000 years in the past.”

Imagine that you've lost everything: your property, your possessions, your family, your culture itself, even your gods. This is the tale that Kingsnorth tells in The Wake. The year is 1066.

Buccmaster, the novel's protagonist and narrator, is a sokeman—an independent, landed farmer—in the Fens of northeastern England's Danelaw, on the eve of England's most cataclysmic event: the long echoes of which, as Kingsnorth judiciously notes, are still to be felt in our day. A millennium after the Norman Invasion, 70% of land in England still belongs to 1% of the population. 1000 years after Hastings, you can still look at my friend David and I and say: that one's the Norman, that one's the Saxon.

I've withheld some important information about our hero. He's also heathen.

it is like my grandfather saed to me like what I saed to ecceard to these wapentac men this hwit crist he lies. it is hard to sae these things they moste be saed in thy hus only if thu is hierde the preost and the thegn and the gerefa and the wapentac they will tac thu down. but it is lic my grandfather saed before the crist cum our folcs gods was of anglish wind and water now this ingenga [inganger = foreign] god from ofer the sea this god he tacs from us what we is. there is sum of us saes my grandfather still cepan alyf the eald gods of angland efen in these times and he wolde spec to me of these things when my father was not lystnan a thrall was he to those who wolde tac from him what macd him man (Kingsnorth 23).

The language of this tragic and compelling novel is, as you can see, a time-travel English, an English entirely Anglo-Saxon, lacking French vocabulary, spelling, and punctuation: what English might have become had Hastings never happened.

As a boy, Buccmaster's grandfather took him to the drowned grove where the old gods once lived.

and the gods he saes the gods them selfs waits still beneath these waters for us to cum baec and when angland is in need if we call them they will cum all of them from the old holt [grove] below this fenn mere and feoht again with anglisc men agan any and heaw [hew] them down (Kingsnorth 54)

In the face of the death of his culture, Buccmaster cries out:

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Old Books Part 1: Ravenwolf's Hex Magic

Having stacks and stacks of boxes of books that Tom had had in his box storage room, I have decided to read some older books for the first time. My professional book reviews are of brand new books, and I won't be going into the same kind of detail on these older books here on my blog that I do when I review a new book for a magazine. These reviews will be shorter and more casual.

First up is Silver Ravenwolf's Hex Magic. It's full of spells I do not recommend anyone actually try, because she has taken traditional Penn. Deitsch spells and Wiccanized them in odd ways, and if one wants to learn that type of magic I would recommend learning from Urglaawe magical folk of whatever kind, hexmeisters or whatever. However, Urglaawe wasn't on the net ready to teach people at the time her book was written, and a lot of the personal stories are fascinating snapshots in time.

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  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Thanks. Hadn't heard that story. I haven't thrown any review copies into the garbage but I did throw one across a hotel room once
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I actually have that book in my collection. I like your phrase "seeing the world through Wicca tinted glasses". Mark Stavish who

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

“Our creations make doorways in the dark for others to slip out of the status quo and into the magic of greater possibility.”

—Lucy H. Pearce (Creatrix)

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

“In yoga class, I often remind my students that we can be peaceful and powerful, calm yet strong—all in the same breath. I think there is a peace to be found in the acceptance of all of these contradictory powers within us. Finding a way to stand within this unknown and unknowable. We are gloriously complex and contradictory in a world that loves boxes, snap judgments and 100% certainty. People may find this inability to define you uncomfortable, but this is a reminder that you do not owe anyone an explanation. Your rich inner world needn’t mean anything to anyone but yourself. A person can be called a witch for merely knowing, and for owning her knowledge. And to some, for strange reasons that may include fear, power, jealousy, a woman who ‘knows’ is dangerous indeed…Communicating *I am knowledgeable, powerful, and I can make choices about how I use these strengths…can be a real challenge to the status quo!”

—Sarah Robinson, Yoga for Witches (p. 93)

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Avi—Dude—You're Gay; Figure It Out

 Reading Avi Steinberg's The Lost Book of Mormon: A Journey Through the Mythic Lands of Nephi, Zarahemla, and Kansas City, Missouri

(In Which Our Intrepid Blogger Proposes Marriage—Well, Kind Of—to a Man He's Never Met)

 

Avi Steinberg is on a quest. He's in search of his identity.

Well, there's nothing more American than that. Jewish, born in Israel, grew up in Cleveland...oh, an intellectual, and a writer. Of course he's in search of an identity.

Where better than to look than among the Mormons, right?

Avi's marriage (to a woman) isn't working, and he's running away from it by going on his quest. The good news: in the end Avi actually does manage to find his identity. The bad: I'm not quite sure that he realizes that he's found it.

I love Avi (me, I'd marry him any day), I love his writing, and I love his book. The book's central (really rather belabored) metaphor: writer as prophet, book as scripture. Who better to act as Dantean guide than that all-American prophet/shyster-cum-novelist Joseph Smith himself, with his fake Bible of gold plates, the Book of Mormon?

It's a quest, it's a romp, it's a meditation on the re-enchantment of landscape. Avi signs up with a Mormon tour group to see the “original” locations of the Book of Mormon events in Central America and Mexico. Then he travels to Palmyra, New York for an abortive appearance in the annual Hill Cumorah Pageant. Last of all he ends up in the Mormon Eden of Kansas City, Missouri.

I started to wonder during his account of the casting of the pageant, with its breathless descriptions of beefcake.

I kept wondering through his description about stripping down to his briefs along with his fellow actors.

But I was sure when I got to the epilogue.

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“The Archangel Guide to the Animal World” by Diana Cooper

In my reviews, I like to feature books that are often overlooked by people interested in animal wisdom. Diana Cooper, a New Age Practitioner, has written about animals from her perspective.

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