The Winter Solstice:
The Sacred Traditions of Christmas
by John Matthews
This ain’t Yule For Dummies. John Matthews typically doesn’t dumb down his writing to the proverbial eighth-grade reading level, and this delightful book is no exception.
The Shadow Knows
The Shadow Knows
by Judy Harrow
I had trouble writing this essay. It seems overwhelmingly difficult to think or write about the Shadow, even in a theoretical mode. How much more difficult must it be, then, to actually encounter our own personal shadows, the challenges (or challengers) that await us at various points in our inner journeys?
Yet, if we do not engage with and resolve those challenges, we cannot progress. Consider Inanna, Who had to pass seven gates, and meet seven challenges, before She could confront Her own dark sister in the Underworld.
Our Shadows are terrifying aspects, yet integral part of us. We can make them disappear — temporarily — by staying out of the light, by immersing ourselves in shadow. This may be what happens when the autonomous, responsible individual disappears into a flock, finding some sense of righteousness in uncritical obedience to authority or adherence to group norms. At worst, such flocks turn into violent mobs: crusaders, jihadists, lynching parties.
Maya Prophecy, Shamanism, Color Healing, Angels, Tibetan Buddhism, Kabbalah, and Reiki
(a series of guidebooks from London)
by Ronald Bonewitz, Gordon MacLellan, Pauline Willis, Paul Roland, Stephen Hodge, Paul Roland (again), and Penelope Quest (respectively)
Piatkus Publishers, Ltd.
London-based Piatkus Publishers has released a series of guide books on many different spiritual and magical paths. Written by an expert in each topic, these guides combine description and background material with exercises, visualizations, and resource lists to provide practical information for the seeker.
Witch Hunts Today
Witch Hunts Today
The witch-hunt lives on. In Angola and Congo, thousands of children are accused of sorcery and cast out by their families. In Java, alleged witches are chopped to pieces by mobs. In the American Southwest, the occasional bloodied corpse is said to be a “skinwalker” — the Navajo version of the witch — who has been secretly punished for his evil.1
Such events send a shiver down the spine of all who call themselves Witches2 or Pagans today. So they should, but not for the reasons you’d think. In the past, many of us have been reviled for believing and acting differently, perhaps accused of secretly working supernatural evil. We’re used to thinking that the establishment or the Church could turn on us, as it did on the unfortunate victims of the Great European Witch-Hunt of the 16th century. But the danger is much wider, and older, than that. If the witch-hunt rears its ugly head again closer to home, closer to us, it will probably take a form we don’t expect, but one in keeping with the true nature and deepest causes of the witch-hunt.
Introduction to Pagan Studies
by Barbara Jane Davy
AltaMira Press, 2007
As contemporary Western Paganism has grown and developed, so too has the burgeoning academic discipline that has come to be known as Pagan Studies. While the academy may not be quite ready for Pagan Studies as a mainstream discipline, there are those who have spent years studying the ethics, practices, and polythea/ologies of contemporary Pagans with tremendous success. In recent years we’ve seen the arrival of several excellent histories of Paganism in Britain and the United States, along with a variety of explorations into Pagan and polytheist theologies. To this growing field we may happily add Barbara Jane Davy’s Introduction to Pagan Studies, the third offering from ’Pagan Studies series.