Samhain: Summer’s End

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Hope you all had a great Halloween, whether you partied, passed out candy, binged Stranger Things, went to a haunted house or a ghost tour, marched in a Halloween parade, danced in the grove, or spent a quiet night at home. And who says the fun has to be over? You can curl up with a spine-tingling tale of the ghostly and the Gothic long after all the candy has been eaten and the zombie make-up has been washed away. Halloween may be over, but the dark half of the year is here to stay and it brings with it no shortage of superstitions or the supernatural. Continue reading

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Gate Night: The Veil Grows Thin

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The fairies be out that night and they would take you away with them if you were out at that evil time. It is also said that the devil shakes his budges [fur] on the haws and turns them black and according to the old people if you eat a haw after Hallow Eve night you will have no luck (qtd in “Halloween in Irish Folklore”).

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A Yule Story

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So, I’ve been a bit delayed in getting this up, but I’m happy to announce that I have another short story out in a new anthology. As some of you may recall from this earlier post, my writer’s block coincided with my laments of a lack of accurate, non-stereotyped, modern depictions of pagans in the media, particularly children’s media. So, I set out to write a story about the kind of pagans I know in real life for the winter-themed third installment in the Wolf Warriors charity anthology series. Thus, “Yuletide Carols” was born. Continue reading

Look Ma, No Hands!

So, I’d like to start by apologizing for the dry spell here and the barren wasteland that is my other blog. My health has taken priority lately. But I have not been entirely absent on the writing front, just the blogging front. I have a number of updates to share. Continue reading

We Will Go Home Across the Mountains


Happy St. Patrick’s Day, all! As an Irish American, a mythology/religion major, and a pagan, I have a lot of complicated feelings about this holiday, but I do appreciate the chance to revel in the swirling, turbulent history of our world and my own family (and blast my Irish folk music without restraint). Continue reading

Hey, Instagram, Bring Back the Goddess

As you may or may not have heard, Instagram has banned the hashtag #Goddess. While this move was allegedly to cut down on explicit content posted under the hashtag, Instagram has inadvertently stepped onto a landmine of sexism, ethnocentrism, religious discrimination, and censorship. Instagram previously tried to ban the hashtag #Curvy for the same reason and reversed the decision after the backlash they faced. Somehow, nobody at Instagram thought that “Goddess”, an arguably way more loaded term than “Curvy”, would have the same issue.

Yet issue there was. Immediately upon noticing the ban, myself and others took to Instagram and other social media platforms to protest. Hashtags like #Goddess, #BringBackTheGoddess, #BringBackGoddess, #GoddessTribe, #GoddessRising, and others took off on both Instagram and Twitter, some with thousands of posts already. There is also a Change.org petition to reverse Instagram’s ban on #Goddess. Articles about the ban can be found on The Mary Sue, The Daily Dot, Bustle, MTV, Seventeen, Daily Mail, eonline, and other sites. Religious news outlets such as The Wild Hunt also covered the issue and religious organizations such as CUUPS (the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans), The Asatru Community, Wicca Spirituality, and many others have also sounded off on Twitter. People are angry and with good reason. Continue reading

No War on Christmas, Just a Lot of Canons

I wrote this article last year on the banned books blog and wanted to share it, since it may actually be more relevant here. Half a look at how Christmas traditions change and adapt, this post also includes a list of the books, fairy tales, music, and movies that are part of my Christmas canon. Feel free to share yours in the comments.

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As a Mythology & Religion major, I think an awful lot about tradition and ritual; why they change, how they change, and how they are kept alive. And there is no time of year when this is more prevalent than the veritable smorgasbord of winter holidays around this time each year. Here the effects of cultural exchange, cultural diffusion, industrialization, and globalization on tradition and folk culture are clearest. For the anthropologically or historically inclined it’s, well, it’s like Christmas morning.

Yet this time of year is also when tensions over said traditions run highest, if the annual “War on Christmas” tirades, arguments in the media over the ethnic background of Santa Claus, concerns that the mainstream American vision of Santa Claus has eclipsed the German Sinter Klaus (Sinterklaas?), many an article on interfaith or Jewish parenting websites regarding the Christmas tree or Channukkah bush, and my Facebook feed are anything to go by. Having given…

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