Today’s column is a guest submission by Tahni Nikitins, a long-time Pagan and writer in multiple genres. Tahni’s work has appeared at Gods & Radicals, Eternal Haunted Summer, and Nomad. Our weekend section is always open for submissions. Please send queries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Author’s note: Spiritual and magical practices should not be used as a substitute for seeking professional mental health support, but rather should be used as a supplement to professional support to create holistic psychological and spiritual healing process.
[This column comes to us from our newest columnist, Luke Babb. Luke is a storyteller and eclectic polytheist who primarily works with the Norse and Hellenic pantheons. They live in Chicago with their wife and a small jungle of houseplants, where they are studying magic and community building – sometimes even on purpose.]
1. I am applying for my first membership in a magical order. It’s a strange, charged feeling.
The Tao of Craft: Fu Talismans and Casting Sigils in the Eastern Esoteric Tradition by Benebell Wen. Published by North Atlantic Books (600 pages)
The Tao of Craft, by Benebell Wen (also author of Holistic Tarot), is an English-language practitioner’s guide to Chinese 符 (fú). 符 is usually translated as “talisman,” but Wen chooses to use the word “sigil,” which more specifically captures the use of written texts and glyphs and symbols, the ritual charging of such designs, and their relationship to both spirit-work and directly achieving desired practical results. Wen also chooses to use the term “craft” rather than “magic.” The lines between “magic” and “religion” have always been blurry, and while she acknowledges that the vast web of traditions comprising Daoism is often religious, Wen argues that the metaphysical principles underlying the Fú techniques themselves can work from a variety of religious frameworks.
[Columnist Rhyd Wildermuth is one of our talented monthly columnist. If you enjoy reading his work, consider donating to our Wild Hunt Fall Fund Drive today. It is you that makes it all possible! Your donations go directly back to getting the important news out there. Donate today and help keep The Wild Hunt going for another year.
In my previous article describing my experiences with Paganism in Australia, particularly in the state of Victoria, I mentioned that the local Pagans, who I have talked to, are interested in exploring Aboriginal culture and spirituality. American readers also seemed interested in hearing more about this subject as well. As I have mentioned, this subject presents some special challenges. Today, I explore some of those challenges. Let’s begin by acknowledging a basic reality.