California was literally on fire this month, causing a ripple effect of destruction, devastation, and death. While there were multiple fires in Northern and Southern California, the fires in the Wine Country of Sonoma County are set to be the largest in the state’s history. Recent reports indicate that over 8,400 homes and buildings were destroyed, and an estimate of 42 lives were lost in the Northern California fires. News reports are currently stating that over 100,000 people have been displaced by the horror of the raging flames. The unimaginable fires started Oct.
TWH – Around the world, there are artifacts and other pieces of history brought together to celebrate, honor, explore, and preserve the practice of magic in its many cultures forms. These museums and gallery collections are dedicated to showcasing regional folk magic, Witchcraft, and other forms of the occult. There are also dedicated museums that focus on the history of Witchcraft persecutions and mass hysteria. Some do both. Before we look at some of permanent museums and seasonal exhibitions, it is important to note that not all magic or occult museums have the same focus. Often Witchcraft- and occult-themed displays are cross-pollinated with paranormal collections, such as is the case with the Warrens Occult Museum in Connecticut. In these collections, the subject matter is dedicated to paranormal-specific histories such as ghost hauntings.
UNITED STATES — President Donald Trump continues to raise hackles among progressives — as well as some conservatives — during these first hundred days of his term in office. Some of his opponents in the Pagan and polytheist communities are working magic against the 45th president, and in the tradition of hexing Brock Turner, some of that work is being done very publicly. Gala Darling broadcast a “bind Trump” ritual on President’s Day, capitalizing on the holiday to focus energy on the effort. Based on the participant locations she rattled off, the effort was an international one. Binding is a form of magic that is less ethically problematic for practitioners who subscribe to the threefold law or similar injunctions against manipulative magic.
New years resolutions, new life goals, savings plans, and losing weight are a few of the common conversations that circulate in social media during January. However, the transition from 2016 to 2017 hasn’t been average. From the highly intense political climate to the most recent celebrity death, the sliding into this new year has clearly been a much bumpier ride for many people. Some have expressed relief from what felt like a year of death, while others have expressed concern and fear for the future. From preparation of protests, to a highly contested inauguration, to lots of knitted “pussy hats,” the start to 2017 has been anything but normal.
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.