by Chris Hoffman

When we close our eyes
we entrust ourselves to the buoyancy
of unknown waters,
and we leave with nothing
but the practiced habits of the heart.

Read more: Finally



there’s always that one moment
where the stars align
in just the right sign
and the planets shimmer
and the freshly frozen thaw
doesn’t seem like an ill portent
that one moment
a silent lilt
a hidden song
just one instant of just the right sunshine
that moment
when you wake up and without knowing why
need flowing hemlines around your ankles
and bangles about your wrists
and ears
when you dare to venture beyond your door
which, despite the freshly frozen thaw,
is something you are dying to do,
you bypass all other waiting pairs
and find yourself besandled
and you know
— somewhere deep inside you
with a power that comes from the beloved stars —
you know
that despite the freshly frozen thaw
and the curse the meteorologists hold over you all
somehow, you just know
that somewhere deep within the great earth mother
spring is stretching, stirring
secretly planning to take us unawares
but i
i know
and the seeds of the season yet to come
are sown and growing
to bewitch those
weary of winter

— Jennifer M. Heuft

This article first appeared in the magazine PanGaia #50
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At the Hut in the Wilderness

Twin guardians flank the eastern door.
A rainbow, curving, seals up all the rest.
Enter humbly, dropping all you think you are,
and with a heart receptive to be blessed.

Your flesh goes first tonight, and then your bones;
and both are safely set aside.
Your pattern lies inside of these —
the lines intended as your guide.

When these are broken bent, askew,
or poorly seen, your life goes ill.
But when they weave in beauty
with the greater beauty, all is surely well.

So invoke the hoops of every realm
and every hoop pass through.

O rocks and minerals, water, air,
I am your relative,
so may I treat you well.

O green and growing things,
I am your relative,
so may I treat you well.

O eagle, spider, frog, and all your kin,
I am your relative,
so may I treat you well.

All races, genders, tribes of humankind,
I am your relative,
so may I treat you well.

O mystery deep, whose hands have made
and now repair our broken lines,
I am your relative,
so may I treat you well.

Presently, in the vast gap of space
with its blackness and blazes,
there is a vibrating column of air
around which
your body wraps itself. Here
at the lip of the falls,
where the stream of now pours into then,
a bird is singing. How intimately
you know this song! It is
yours to bring forth.

O subtle pattern of our journey,
O lines re—clothed in bones and flesh,
the dawn has come.
May we wake up at every choice
and find our paths fulfilled in beauty.


Chris Hoffmans publications include Cairns (poetry) and The Hoop and the Tree: a Compass for finding a Deeper relationship With all Life (prose: ecopsychology and spirituality). More information at www.hoopandtree.org

Support your path Witches&Pagans #20 - The Animal Issue



Longest Night

The sun meets his end in a pastel swirl and a shimmer.

Long violet shadows on white velvet
Brittle and barren fingers pull the weakened orb
Down into a calm, silent fist
In a whisper This: Solstice.

All the world is still on the longest night.
Silence in the moonlit grove, 
But for the knowing crunch of snow
And odd shadows.
We sleep,
We dream,
We are.

Constellations in the tyrian blanket of sky;
Jewels in the dark,
The spark
To a million candles
 Of the yellow flame at dawn.


ARWEN LEIGH knew she was on a different spiritual page in Sunday school, where she was disturbed by the morbid fascination over the grisly death of a guy who looked unsettlingly like John Lennon a la Abbey Road. Arwen values sincerity, fairness, honesty, and joy. She is a Pagan kitchen/hedge witch.

Support your path Witches&Pagans #20 - The Animal Issue


Listening to the Cougar

Listening to the Cougar

I don’t know why he’s screaming 
like a banshee. I’ve known the sound
for years. When you grow up
in the woods, you’re taught things city

kids don’t need to know. I’m not
worried. My dad has a gun. He takes
one each time we go berry picking
in case we come upon a bear. He hopes

we do. Bearburgers, rump roast,
and bear chops are favorites at our place.
The mountain cat is deep in the green
Swearing in cougar because we have

Wandered into his realm. He knows
he is unseen and we know he doesn’t
eat berries. Perhaps he thinks we will
kill and eat his deer, the field mice

he takes as snacks, or other game he
claims in this neck of the woods. His
message is clear. He is not pleased.
I know he’s right. The universe spent

a long time creating a cat like him. He
has certain rights. They stretch back
to a day when he would have been
the hunter and the berry pickers the prey.

Fredrick Zydek is the author of nine collections of poetry, T’Kopachuck: The Buckley Poems being his most recent. He edits Lone Willow Press.

Support your path Witches&Pagans #20 - The Animal Issue


Flower Songs

head_Ruby-Sara_wp-19Figs & Honey by Ruby Sara

Flower Songs
Spoken Word in the Season of Fire

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals the power of your intense fragility: whose texture compels me with the color of countries, rendering death and forever with each breathing
— e.e. cummings1


Sing praise to the Mama, Pagani! The delicious season of “intense fragility” carpets the grass with blue scilla and tulips, the ground is rich with rain and our tongues are rich with verse…yes, summer is a season of poetry.

Now, never let it be said that there exists a season without poetry! But for me, at least, it is first spring and then summer that seem to be most suited to the unique rapture of poetry in its ecstatic and vocal forms. In spring, the new shoots of bulb flowers dazzle moss-green and emerald above the black earth, and the robin makes its entrance. Hyacinths and crocus flowers unfurl their creamy petals, and the world opens. Yes! Then Beltane comes, and the Wheel turns inexorably on towards the great Summer Solstice. Fires leap high in the night, and Jack in the Green haunts the woods and thickets.

Read more: Flower Songs

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