Pop Culture, Witchcraft

Pop culture paganism and magick, part one: definitions

I mention pop culture spirits in my bio, and I have a pop culture tag for this blog. But what is pop culture paganism? And how does one practice pop culture magick?

Many people who skimmed my recent PCP/PCM class flyers apparently believed I would be teaching about representations of witchcraft and pagan spiritualities in popular media. While this subject interests me greatly too, for my class and for this post, I’m actually referring to theories and mechanics for belief and spellcasting, not just media analysis.

Excerpted from my November 2018 class at Fantasia Crystals in Phoenix, AZ, “Intro to Pop Culture Paganism and Magick,” here are some basic definitions to get you started.

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Art, Lore

Runes are hard, and related lessons

Today a friend of mine asked for help transliterating a phrase in English into runes for a tattoo. As nervous as I am about the potential for “that one time I fucked up on runes and my mistake was immortalized on someone’s body,” I agreed to give it a shot.

… Runes are hard. It’s not as simple as swapping out one letter for another, since runes are phonetic: that is, based on sounds. And English can be a problematic language for a system of writing designed for a different language with different sounds.

Here are some challenges I faced and decisions I made to help design a rune phrase tattoo, which was more of an art than a perfect equation.

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Link Roundup

Open tabs roundup for December 2018

Guess who’s busy again? In between my full-time day job, I got hired to copyedit a book, I’m prepping for my upcoming classes, and I’m prepping to lead my Kindred’s belated Yule blot tomorrow. So just like last month, here’s a few of the random pages I have open in my browser that readers might also find interesting.


Food Safety Facts: Safe Homemade Flavored and Infused Oils

How to sew super soft leggings at home


Old Norse Women’s Names

Bindings III: Gentlest

Viking Archaeology – Gosforth Cross (I’ve been using this one as a reference for woodburning practice. Have I mentioned I also started trying to learn woodburning?)

Art, Devotional, DIY

DIY Yule craft: Sleipnir offering ornaments

Happy Yule, everyone!

I just got back from a lovely little history lesson and blot. One of the Yule traditions discussed involved leaving a bit of hay or sheaf of wheat out as an offering to Sleipnir (Loki’s eight-legged horse child, and Odin’s steed) as he rides the Wild Hunt.

This year, with no access to hay but with some unused wheat flour in my cabinet, I decided to make a modern offering of Sleipnir dough ornaments with the horse-approved ingredients of wheat, salt, and water.

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Devotional, Pop Culture

Four songs for Loki as Worldbreaker

The bulk of my devotional playlist involves Loki songs of every style and tone. Instead of trying to narrow them down or making an enormous post with all of them, I’ll pick songs that fit different aspects of Loki to share. This week: Worldbreaker.

Loki as Worldbreaker is, in part, the aspect of Loki at Ragnarok, a chaotic, destructive force or massive upheaval, like the tarot card The Tower. Though this is the aspect of Loki feared the most (anti-Lokean arguments often center it as a supposed reason to reject Loki), like a volcanic eruption, or like Loki’s daughter Death, change, chaos, and endings can be terrifying yet important, the path to new beginnings.

Some of these worldbreaking songs will sound like you might imagine. Others… well, you’ll see.

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Bragging Round

News: Troth publication and upcoming classes

My article, “Reciprocity and Compassion in Ancestor Work,” was published in the Fall 2018 issue (#117) of The Troth’s magazine, Idunna: A Journal of Northern Tradition.

In this personal narrative, I discuss some of the challenges and learning experiences that have come with ancestral spirit work. Here’s an excerpt:

I started intuitively, as many do. Dreaming of my beloved paternal Grandma, always with a matter-of-fact acknowledgment: “But Grandma… you died.”

“I know,” she’d say, “but I want to visit you.”

If you’re not a member of the Troth, contact troth-questions@thetroth.org directly to inquire about purchasing a PDF ($3) or hard copy ($6) of the issue. Back issues of the magazine are also available after a year on their Lulu website.

In other news, signups are open for three classes I’ll be teaching at Fantasia Crystals in January 2019. If you’re in the Phoenix, AZ area, please come check these out! Descriptions and signup instructions at the links.

January 5th (Saturday, 11 am to 12:30 pm, $15/person): Divine Queerness: LGBT+ Deities Around the World

January 12th (Saturday, 11 am to 12:30 pm, $15/person): Norse Loki 101

January 26th (Saturday, 11 am to 12:30 pm, $15/person): Lesser Known Deities in Heathenry and Norse Paganism

Devotional, Social Issues, Theology

Hel, Death, and oppression: a discussion and a prayer

Worship of death-related deities can sometimes seem frightening or senseless to suffering outsiders. For every person who turns to the presence of Death for comfort in times of sorrow, danger, and difficulties (for instance, as discussed by devotees in this Santa Muerte documentary), there are others who are repulsed by everything to do with the end of life, for understandable reasons.

Particularly for those who see loved ones and community members cruelly and unnaturally taken from the world by acts of violence, the worship of an incarnation of Death might appear at face value disturbing or cruel.

Continue reading “Hel, Death, and oppression: a discussion and a prayer”