Serpent dreams

I have an essay up this week on the Humanistic Paganism blog; it’s about myth, deity, naturalism, and snakes (sort of).

I never thought much about snakes, symbolically or literally, until I started reading about Brigid. Three years ago I came back to mythology and religion after nearly a decade of default atheism. I’d been reading some ancient philosophy, which bled into ancient religious culture, which brought up old interests in the occult and Paganism. My studies weren’t initially driven by a desire to reject atheism. The fascination was emerging from a part of me where atheism—or more specifically, materialism—was just beside the point.

This is the part of me responsible for weird dreams that feel true, for thoughts more accurately captured by symbols than by sentences. It’s the part of me that thrives on the fertile tension between what can be experienced and what can be proven.

The full essay is here.

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It’s another dark moon and I’m cranky as fuck

Last month I wrote about dark moons, witchy culture, and awkward feelings over on the Little Red Tarot blog.

Lately, whenever the moon is dark, I don’t feel like doing ritual or reading cards or making magic.

Mostly I just feel cranky as fuck…

Here’s what I’ve decided, from the tidal depths of my crankiness: I’m not cutting cords anymore. I’m not holding strips of paper to the flame, hoping to turn my anxieties into ash.

Take in the full curmudgeonly glory here, no cleansing spell required.

How to sew a poppet

I’ve got a new piece out in Luna Luna magazine, about creative ritual and tragically mediocre crafting skills.

First, gather the supplies: soft fabric, a sharp needle, sturdy thread. Buttons, beads, and bits. Cotton scraps for the stuffing. The internet also recommends a lyrical list of herbs (dittany, sandalwood, mugwort), but you don’t have any of those herbs. Arrange your materials as if you’re going to take a picture, but don’t actually take one. Feel good about keeping it real…

Inside your poppet will be a prayer, or a spell, or a wish. Inside will be memories transformed into offerings (a tarnished locket, a chipped crystal). Set these offerings on the table. Feel calm and pleased as you look at them, as if they are a poem so perfect you don’t even want to show it to anybody. A potent secret, to be hidden away.

Click here for the full essay.