Code of Conduct



    1. Our first and foremost goal at PaganSquare is to create a safe and friendly environment for as large and diverse a community as possible. Members of all backgrounds are welcome, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ability, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and religious affiliation. This code of conduct outlines our expectations for all those who participate in our community, as well as the consequences for unacceptable behavior. We invited all those who participate in PaganSquare to help us create safe and positive experiences for everyone.

    2. Although PaganSquare and its content is oriented primarily towards paganism and its associated religious movements (e.g. Wicca, Heathenry, Gnosticism, indigenous folk beliefs, etc.), we welcome believers and even non-believers of all kinds so long as they agree to adhere by the rules outlined herein and to participate with respect and good intent.

    3. A supplemental goal of this Code of Conduct is to increase Pagan Square citizenship by encouraging participants to recognize and strengthen the relationships between our actions and their effects on our community. Communities mirror the societies in which they exist and positive action is essential to counteract the many forms of inequality and abuses of power that exist in society. If you know someone who is making an extra effort to ensure our community is welcoming, friendly, and encourages all participants to contribute, we want to know.

    4. Conversely, alert community moderators if you notice a dangerous situation, someone in distress or violations of this Code of Conduct, no matter how inconsequential your concern may be. If you feel you have been falsely or unfairly accused of violating this Code of Conduct, you should notify the Administrator with a concise description of your grievance. You can contact our Site Administration, Alan Niven, thru or 503-430-8817.

    5. ONE FINAL NOTE: PaganSquare and BBI Media do not necessarily endorse your statements or those made by any other user, even if we allow them to be made; we reserve the right to end your service at any time, without alert or explanation; you use our service at your own risk.

    1. PaganSquare is not a free zone where "anything goes." While we encourage healthy, on-topic debate PaganSquare is provided by and owned by BBI Media and by partaking in it you are agreeing to abide by our published terms of service. Those who do not follow these rules may have their service (including right to post, to comment, etc.) terminated.

    2. On a similar note, whatever the Administrators (admins) and Moderators (mods) say goes, so long as their directives do not otherwise violate the rules. These rules cannot cover everything and so while we do not mean to intervene often or arbitrarily, we expect community members to comply.

    3. By posting to PaganSquare you de facto acknowledge the non-exclusive right of PaganSquare and BBI Media to make use of your content (which you retain ownership of), without your explicit permission. Such uses may include (but are not limited to):

      1. We may feature your post;

      2. Other users may quote or link to your post;

      3. If you post a review of a product or service we may share your post with the relevant persons and websites (such as the company whose product you have reviewed).

    1. Although many of BBI Media's other products are pay-for-access, PaganSquare is itself available for use free of charge. You do not have to pay in order to access PaganSquare.

    2. Although BBI Media has republishing rights to any content you post to PaganSquare, you too may republish your content without consulting either PaganSquare or BBI Media. We will not charge you, block you, or any other way try to hinder your ownership or use of said content.

    3. We respect your privacy and will not sell your information nor distribute it illegally. Any information you provide to us will be used solely to either improve your service or in extraordinary cases when required by secular law. (cf, by subpoena by a court of law, etc.)

    4. You may end your service at any time you choose to, without consulting either PaganSquare or BBI Media. Any content you have already posted will, however, remain online indefinitely, unless you remove it yourself.


    1. IMPORTANT NOTICE: Violations of the following rules may result in temporary suspension or permanent banning of your account.

    2. You may not flame/insult/provoke/troll other users. Do not use pejorative language and above all respect others' right to disagree with you. Intimidating, harassing, abusing, discriminating against, or demeaning users based on their gender, sexual orientation, race, religion (or lack thereof), or disability is completely unacceptable. You also may not aggressively and/or repeatedly attempt to proselytize or convert others to what you believe.

    3. You may not hack our website nor alter its source code; nor impersonate any person or entity, including, but not limited to, PaganSquare staff, nor falsely state or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with a person or entity; forge headers or otherwise manipulate identifiers in order to disguise the origin of any content transmitted through PaganSquare.

    4. You may not upload, post, email, transmit or otherwise make available any material that contains software viruses or any other computer code, files or programs designed to interrupt, destroy or limit the functionality of any computer software or hardware or telecommunications equipment; disrupt the normal flow of dialogue, cause a screen to "scroll" faster than other users are able to type, or otherwise act in a manner that negatively affects other users' ability to engage in real time exchanges; nor interfere with or disrupt PaganSquare or servers or networks connected to it, nor disobey any requirements, procedures, policies or regulations of networks connected to the Site in a manner that damages, disables, overburdens or impairs the Site.

    5. You may not use PaganSquare to provide material support or resources (or conceal or disguise the nature, location, source, or ownership of material support or resources) to any organization(s) designated by the United States government as a foreign terrorist organization pursuant to section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.


    1. IMPORTANT NOTICE: Violations of the following rules will result in a warning and possibly the deletion of your post or comment. Repeated and/or sustained violations despite warnings may result in a temporary suspension or permanent banning.

    2. Do not post, link to, or otherwise distribute copyrighted material to which you do not own the copyright. Exceptions may be allowed for fair use or depending on the nature of the license employed (e.g. Creative Commons).

    3. Do not post, link to, or otherwise distribute material of a sexual nature. Exceptions may be allowed if the material directly pertains to the subject matter in question and is determined (in our sole judgment) to be non-pornographic in nature.

    4. Do not post, link to, or otherwise distribute reward-based advertisements or other exclusively promotional content. Do not aggressively ask for money for yourself, for another individual, or for any for-profit (or non-profit) cause.

    5. Do not post links without any accompanying text or any original content.

    6. Do not post or share the private information (e.g. email address, phone number, birth name, religious identity, etc.) of any other person who has not already volunteered that information themselves.

    7. Do not interfere with any other party's use and enjoyment of the Site; "stalk" or otherwise harass any other person or entity; and/or encourage conduct that would violate this Agreement or any law or give rise to civil or criminal liability.

    8. Do not dispense advice as though you were a medical doctor or other licensed professional. Any discussions of medical modalities must be accompanied by a disclaimer such as: "Nothing contained in this blog is intended to constitute, nor should it be considered to be, medical advice. Nothing contained in this blog is intended to give rise to a doctor-patient relationship."


    1. Do not do unto others what you would not have done unto yourself.

    2. Be careful with your wording; language can be obtuse and imprecise (particularly online) and it is easy to misread a person's intended meaning.

    3. Be polite, even when others are not.

    4. If an argument gets too intense, simply back off and give yourself some space.

Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine


Medical Herbalism:  
The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine 
by David Hoffmann
Healing Arts Press, 2004


David Hoffmann, highly respected author of seventeen books on herbalism, has outdone himself with his latest offering. In writing it, the author intends to bring together “the modern scientific movement with traditional herbal practice.” Every health care practitioner of Western medicine in the United States should read this book.

The book is divided into two parts, with twenty-six chapters in all. Part one includes an introduction to principles and practices of holistic herbalism, with chapters devoted to herbalism’s place in relation to both holistic medicine and medical science, information on plant classification, six chapters on the chemistry of herbs, a chapter on toxicity and safety considerations, and a discussion of the preparation of herbal medicine.

Part two starts with a general model for a holistically based herbal practice, followed by a chapter on each physiological system in the body (the digestive system, the respiratory system, etc.). Each of these chapters provides a description of the various pathologies, an overview and treatment of the specific diseased condition, the actions indicated to remedy the condition, specific remedies and suggestions for herbal treatments with an explanation of the actions of these herbs, and a broader context for the treatment that places the herbs within a holistic approach to healing.

Part two also presents a chapter on herbs for the elderly, another one on herbs for children, primary and secondary actions of herbs, and a materia medica (herbal description) of 150 Western herbs. In addition to the chapter on toxicity, a small section on safety considerations is included for each herb. Seven appendices appear at the end of the book, which include a general glossary, examples of meanings of the Latin names of selected herbs, a cross-referenced list of Latin and common herb names, a list of pharmacy terms, weights and measurement conversion tables, sources for herbal information, and a taxonomy hierarchy.

The chapters are exhaustively footnoted, taking advantage of the most recent information on herbs. Though Hoffmann is impeccably credentialed, with twenty-five years of practice as an herbalist, he never adopts a superior attitude about herbal medicines in relation to orthodox Western medicine. Instead of seeing herbalism as “alternative” medicine, he prefers to call it “complementary,” as he believes that herbalism can and should work with medical science. Nor does he feel that herbs are magical panaceas for all our ills. Rather, he believes that herbs must be used within a context that approaches healing in a multi-faceted way, utilizing exercise, nutrition, spirituality, and general lifestyle activities along with the herbs as part of the journey toward wellness. He disagrees with the practice of using herbs outside of the holistic context, which effectively reduces the herb “to the status of an organic drug delivery system!”

A good example of the holistic approach comes from his chapter on the digestive system. He notes that constipation can be treated with herbs, but that the best long-term way to treat it comes from adding more fiber to the diet. Some of the more well-known laxative herbs, he reminds the reader, are anthraquio-none laxatives, which “exert their effects by damaging epithelial cells, leading to changes in absorption, secretion, and motility.” While short term use of them is likely safe, repeated or long term use of these anthraquionone laxative herbs (such as Senna leaves and pods, or Cascara sagrada bark), can cause damage to the body, and are also contraindicated for women who are pregnant or nursing. The author suggests various non-anthraquionone herbs that can help by stimulating bile production (Yellow dock and Dandelion root), as well as giving examples of dietary fiber that will help.

The overall tone of the book avoids sensationalism, while providing much thought-provoking material. He gently reminds us that we must be able to question herbal authority, noting that “questioning” is not the same as “rejecting.”

The only negative aspect might be that, at 600 pages, it could seem a little intimidating for individuals who are only beginning to explore herbalism. For mid-level to advanced herbal students, however, or for any professional health care practitioner, this book represents an outstanding contribution. Kudos to both author David Hoffmann and to Healing Arts Press for giving us this amazing volume. Leah Samul.

» Originally appeared in PanGaia #43

Support Your Path —
Subscribe to Witches&Pagans magazine.


The Wild Hunt

Since launching “The Wild Hunt” in 2004, Jason Pitzl-Waters has become one of the leading voices for analysis and insight into how modern Pagan faiths are represented within the mainstream media. In addition, “The Wild Hunt” has also conducted in-depth interviews with prominent figures within modern Paganism, academia, and religion journalism. Jason wants to raise the level of discourse and journalism on important issues within the modern Pagan and Heathen communities, while advocating a broader commitment to encouraging religious multiplicity and solidarity (where appropriate) with surviving indigenous and non-monotheistic faith groups.


The Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids

The Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids is a worldwide group dedicated to practising, teaching, and developing Druidry as a valuable and inspiring spirituality.

The Order was founded in Britain almost 50 years ago by the historian and poet Ross Nichols, aided by the writer and founder of the Tolkien Society Vera Chapman, and fellow members of the Ancient Druid Order, which developed during the early years of the last century out of the Druid Revival which began about three hundred years ago.

The Order is essentially a Mystery School, and the term ‘order’ is derived from the tradition of magical orders rather than from the tradition of religious orders. Neither the Order nor Druidry is a cult. A cult revolves around a personality, a charismatic leader, or a particular deity or saint. The Order and Druidry have none of these characteristics.


Additional information