High Priestess by Elisabeth Alba

The King of Dragons is a job title…

Tarot was, most likely, developed from imported Persian playing cards, and may or may not have been used as divinatory aids at first. But then again, late-medieval and early-Renaissance people used everything for divination, from little card stock spinning wheels to pins stuck in their copies of Homer. So it seems likely. When you divine with something, with a set of something, there are certain expectations that come with it. Your divinatory system needs to have everything inside it. What if you’re experiencing anxiety because of an illness but there are no symbols of illness in your divination system? Now we’re to the point of this essay: cultures code what are included and excluded from divinatory systems — what do we do when we aren’t included, or what if we are but in a deeply unsettling way? You guessed it: let’s talk about gender and tarot cards. It’s Pride month, and it’s as good a time as any to get really personal…

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The Postmodern Druid: Postmodernity Itself

This is another entry in my series titled The Postmodern Druid, in which I work to contextualize this crazy religion we’re so fond of within postmodernity — something its practitioners often resist. Today I want to talk about postmodernity itself, the condition of the world we live in. Druids and other neo-pagans often sneer at postmodernity, claiming they’re trying to get to a world, or at least a wordview, preceding it. But the thing is, without postmodernity our alternative religions wouldn’t exist!

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The Postmodern Druid: Anti-Academic Bias

If you take a look at my About page, you can see that I’m an academic as well as a magician and all around weirdo. I also recently declared myself a druid I’m trying it on and seeing how it fits. So far it works for me better than Wicca did. However, even in such a great overall community there’s still some anti-academic bias. And that, for obvious reasons, makes me feel a bit odd. So I thought I’d address that here, in a semi-regular series I’ve been considering for a while. So here’s the first entry in The Postmodern Druid.

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Cover of Jethro Tull's album Songs from the Wood

Weekend Light Music: Mystical Language

I was driving recently and listening to a podcast that features “Pagan music.” That’s both music by Pagans and music with Pagan themes or interest.  One thing that struck me is that a lot of overtly Pagan music is very literal. It’s basically like Christian rock: they’re both just talking literally about these symbol-systems and experiences that you have to undergo to understand. That doesn’t mean the songs are obscure, just that sometimes they’re a little too on-the-nose.  If we’re literally out here on the full moon (just passed) doing magic, it’s not weird to want some music that instills a sense of mystical wonder. So here are a few songs that I feel create that kind of mood. They’re all magical in one way or another, but they don’t just say “we’re doing magic on the Sabbath” (I have literally heard songs that do that).

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Some sporadic thoughts about A Wrinkle in Time

So did you see A Wrinkle in Time? You should do that, if you haven’t. I’m not going to tell the joke about you going and doing that, because it would take a while, but if you haven’t, consider it something to do. I wanted to write something about the film and the book, since I basically grew up on the latter. In a couple of odd ways, the film is actually better.

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