Pagan Portals: Brigid
Moon Books, 2015
Review by Hugh Eckert.
The pan-Celtic Goddess Brigid is my Patroness, so naturally I’m interested in books about Her. All too often, I find that there’s a tendency to reduce Her to a facet of the Wiccan “Great Goddess” or the “Divine Feminine” of Goddess spirituality. There’s also considerable confusion between the Goddess Brigid, and the Christian saint that bears the same name. I’m a polytheist Pagan, and for me Brigid is an individual, discrete Goddess (or set of Goddesses; a matter which Daimler addresses in her book).
With all that, I was excited to read what Morgan Daimler had to say about Brigid. Daimler is an Irish reconstructionist Pagan with a strong grounding in scholarship and an interest in presenting a balance between research and personal religious experience. This is a living faith to her, and I get the impression that…
I’ve seen an increasing number of articles recently speaking about how the poor management of this country is leading folks to tighten their belts. People are worried, the future is uncertain. I’m sure most of you will know what I mean. Sadly, it’s not unique to the UK either.
But I’m also seeing something else… that started small, before all of the Brexit trouble. It’s now really picking up speed and developing in a good way. It’s exploring what we can do to improve lives, as individuals and small communities.
What started as a pastime or hobby has (often through necessity) become self-employment or a small business. I had to pursue my Druidry professionally after being forced out of my NHS job, but never has there been so much demand for what I do.
I’m so glad that people call on me for ministry, to perform rites of passage or…
We are fast approaching Yule, and most witches and pagans that I know will undoubtedly appreciate one type of gift: a book. For those seeking some focused on hands-on magic, I’ve recently combed through a couple books on this subject.
Late this summer I picked up two titles from publisher Moon Books, Pagan Portals: Candle Magic and Pagan Portals: Poppets and Magical Dolls, both by author Lucya Starza. Both provide introductions to their respective subject, which was perfect for my purpose. As a priestess novitiate of the Daughters of the Sacred Grail, I lead a monthly group study of practical magic. Several of the ladies in our local hearth are fairly new to hands-on magical practice, so I was looking for a couple books to serve as touchstones for the study.
These books fit the bill almost perfectly.
First, Starza’s tone was approachable and unpretentious – I felt as…
I treated myself to Every Day Magic in paperback in early December with some of my birthday money.
Every Day Magic, A Pagan Book of Days, is a gem of a little book. On every page are treasures, ideas, recipes, meditations, spells and so much more. Whatever pantheon you follow, or even if you don’t follow one at all, you’ll enjoy exploring thoughts from other lands and belief systems.
I read this book from cover to cover first but it’s an ideal book to dip into at Sabbats and Esbats or just because you feel like it.
A perfect book to bring a little magic into every day.
There once was an old bear who was a shaman for the creatures in the Cantley area of Doncaster. Though he was a powerful shaman – some said, the most powerful in all of the borough – one winter, he was plagued by owls.
Owls in his medicine bag. Owls on his prayer mat. Owls in his wardrobe. Owls in his hat.
That Solstice, he visited his great friend Rabbit, who lived in nearby Bessacarr. Rabbit was also a powerful shaman. Some said she was even more skilled than Bear. Certainly, even Bear agreed that she had a much better hedge and nest side manner than him, and she was frequently consulted by many of the animals in her area. However, some Bessacarr creatures were too posh to be seen consorting with a shaman. Consequently, Rabbit met them in the less swanky cafés and pubs in central Doncaster. Rabbit’s clients…
Elen Sentier’s Merlin Once & Future Wizard is a marvel, highly recommended. The author effortlessly charms us into a fresh and extended understanding of Merlin, introducing us to a “huge, ancient, wise and powerful” being – teacher, trickster and friend. For me, her introductory Who Is Merlin? chapter offers the best description of the essential Merlin I have ever read.
“Merlin is a liminal being. Liminal means a threshold, a place between past and future, between here and there, between one world and another … and he is always standing at that threshold. He is that place. And that ever-changing constant threshold is now, the here-and-now, and it’s constantly in motion like the sea”. Merlin teaches us, if we are willing, to “be continuously and consciously aware that you stand in the middle of change all the time, whatever is going on”. This is a lifelong learning. It cannot…
My child has been a bit of a handful lately, especially in the evenings. It’s probably a result of too many things packed into a week, fatigue, and the excitement of the holidays. The last couple evenings have been particularly trying.
In our home, we talk about Santa as a spirit of generosity and giving; Santa does not deliver gifts to our house. The spirit inspires us to give to each other. We honor this seasonal spirit during our Twelve Days of Solstice observation with prayers of gratitude and offerings of milk and cookies. Tonight, after my daughter was being exceptionally bratty about bedtime, I took a deep breath, and calmly explained what many people tell their children. She’s aware that most of her peers think Santa himself brings gifts. Today I shared another piece of that story – that parents tell their children Santa will not deliver gifts if…