Come Halloween, the popular imagination turns to witches. Especially in Pendle Witch Country, the rugged Pennine landscape surrounding Pendle Hill, once home to twelve individuals arrested for witchcraft in 1612. The most notorious was Elizabeth Southerns, alias Old Demdike,… Read More ›
Samhain is upon us. Halloween. The Day of the Dead. All Saints’ Day. All Souls’ Day. That liminal time of year when the doorways to what the Celts called the Otherworld, Annwn in Welsh, are open. In New York City, we have the 45th annual Village Halloween Parade, a queer extravaganza of puppetry, masquerade, and cross-dressing that draws some 60,000 participants and over 2 million onlookers. Elsewhere, we have children in costume and lawns covered with plastic skeletons and illuminated ghouls. Everywhere, if we’re lucky, we might catch a glimpse of “the piper at the gates of dawn,” the vision granted Rat and Mole in Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows: “something very surprising and splendid and beautiful”—Pan the goat-god, boundary-crosser, Friend and Helper, trans-being.
This is the story of Tlachtga. Her name means “Earth Spear.” Her story gives us the name for a famous place in Ireland where to this day, the rites of Samhain are held in her honor. This location is called… Read More ›
In Memory of Margot Adler (1946-2014) Priestess, Journalist, Skeptic, Mystic by Elizabeth Cunningham
“Ritual has the power to end our alienation from the earth and from each other. It allows us to enter a world where we are at home with the trees and the stars and other beings, and even with the… Read More ›
Fand is a Celtic Sea Goddess whom some scholars believe originated as a Manx sea deity (the original inhabitants of the Isle of Man). With time She became the most loved of Ireland’s fairy queens, called “Queen of the Fairies. … Read More ›
Halloween used to be spelled “-e’en,” with the apostrophe replacing the V in “eve.” The N was probably added so the word ends in a consonant and we don’t have “hallow-wheee.” But people get lazy, and since the late 20th… Read More ›
You are a poet and a seer. Say you are a V.I.P (very important poet; in the first century CE when I lived such a thing was possible). Because of your poetic prowess, your ability to go between the worlds… Read More ›