The Privilege (and Limits) of Books

The River Crow

Photo by Janko Ferlic on

“Books contain words. Trees contain energies and wisdom books ne’er dreamt of”.

Scott Cunningham, “The Nature of our Way” from Wicca: A Guide For The Solitary Practitioner, Llewellyn, 1988.

Pagans love books. It has been often said that if Christians are “people of the book” then Pagans are “people of the library”. For many of us, especially those without easy access to local groups, covens, groves or moots of actual real-life Pagans, our Pagan education and training comes mainly from books.

Looking at the Pagan community’s “big names”, most if not all of them are authors. Pagan writers sometimes seem to act as spiritual leaders, teachers, and celebrities, all at once.

When someone is new to Paganism in any form, one of the first things they may frequently be recommended is a book, or a reading list.

This is all, by and large…

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Druid Life

I interview Debi Gregory about her book…

Who are the Elemenpals for?

The Elemenpals is aimed specifically at infants, young children and early readers. It’s written in such a way that children too young to read independently can be read to and so that children who are beginning to read independently can manage with little help but still with adult supervision. I wanted the book to encourage family bonding time through shared reading experiences.

I know you’ve done a lot of studying of child development. How does that relate to your writing?

I’m currently working towards becoming a developmental psychologist and am particularly interested in neuro-developmental psychology and the way that children’s brain development affects, and is affected by, their behaviours, their personalities, their development of their sense of self and autonomy. The books were my way of empowering my own children to form a connection with nature and to…

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5 ways to do magic when you feel disconnected

Halo Quin

Last month I had one of my “I’m not quite feeling it” phases, where the sparkle just kinda gets ironed out of the world. I wasn’t unhappy, just not sparkly. It happens sometimes, and I often get to a point where I worry that it’ll last forever… it’s the “but what if I never get that magical, enchanted feeling again” or worse “what if the magic is gone?””. That’s normally the thought that kickstarts me into using my tools and finding the magic very quickly. It wasn’t gone, just out of sight for a little while. And these always help me, so I thought I’d share them because maybe they’ll help you too.

1. When I’m tired it’s really hard to *feel* the magic, but that doesn’t mean it is gone. It just means my senses are tired! Instead of trying to push myself and work harder at feeling it…

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“Green man becomes grown man as flames of the oak

As its crown forms his mask and its leafage his features;

‘I speak through the oak’, says the Green Man.

‘I speak through the oak says he'” (1)

In my wheel of the year tree mandala (2), oak covers the period from 16 June-8 July and thus includes Alban Hefin, the summer solstice. I am starting to bring it in. The oak has many associations – regal strength, for example – but for me the sense of the green man, the archetype of our oneness with the earth, speaking through the oak, is the most numinous. At Dodona in ancient Greece (3) an oak shrine was “guarded by priestesses who interpreted the future from the rustling of leaves on the great tree, the voice of the sacred spring that rose at its root and the behaviour of birds in its…

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