TORONTO — The Parliament of World Religions kicked off its 2018 conference in Toronto last week. The theme for this year is “The Promise of Inclusion & the Power of Love: Pursuing Global Understanding, Reconciliation, and Change.” In a statement on its website, the Parliament states that theme was partly inspired by this year’s host city and its focus on inclusiveness and how the programs it endorses reflect the values of the Parliament’s practices and ideology. Among the notable keynote presenters are Alisa Starkweather, founder of the Red Tent Temple Movement, and Priestess Path Apprenticeship, and Phylis Currott author, Wiccan Priestess, and founder of The Temple of Ara. This year marks the 125th anniversary of the conference. TWH will have a full story on the conference next week.
TWH — Some Pagans have responded to the Trump presidency with calls for public magical interventions, similar to other Pagan attempts to change history. Memories of many prior attempts, however, have been lost to secrecy and death. The most famous Pagan attempts to change history are magical battle of Britain and the levitation of the Pentagon. The magical battle of Britain (1940)
The so-called magical battle of Britain involved Dion Fortune and Gerald Gardner. While Gardner worked with one coven, Fortune worked with many people throughout Britain, and later wrote the book of the same name.
One of my most vivid school memories comes from a history lesson I had when I was about seven or eight. From very early on, history had been my favorite subject. The books were always filled to the brim with colorful pictures, and the fact that the topic encompasses just about everything that ever took place regarding mankind drew my attention. That day at school, we were supposed to learn about the Renaissance and the 16th century. As I opened my book, my eyes met with a picture of a crowd laying waste to a church, breaking windows and tearing down statues.
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Back when I was a little kid, something like 20 years ago, my mother took me on a trip to Paris. For about a week, we wandered around the city of lights, visited friends, took the metro, ate crepes, climbed the Eiffel tower and more. On the morning of our last day there, my mother told me we only had time to visit one more place before going home and that I’d have to choose between Disneyland or… the Louvre.
[Today we welcome author, Priestess, and Witch H. Byron Ballard as our guest columnist. Ballard is a Western North Carolina native, teacher, folklorist, and writer. Her work has been featured in several anthologies, Witches and Pagans Magazine and on her blog. She has written two book: Staubs and Ditchwater and Asfidity and Mad-Stones. Ballard is currently at work on Earth Works: Eight Ceremonies for a Changing Planet.]
I don’t remember precisely when it began, this quiet knowing that has grown, for me, into a certainty.