In my Halloween-eve lecture at the New York Public Library, delivered October 30, 2013 at the Mid-Manhattan Branch, I highlight the ancient roots of Halloween and its rebirth in modern America.
The 10th anniversary of mega-hit Broadway musical Wicked is in full swing this Samhain- perfect timing.
While I knew I was supposed to be lying there absorbing the present moment in serene bliss, my mind was actually jumping all over the place, from emails unsent to poetry to health concerns to spiritual thoughts to housework undone to plans for future decades, while my body felt stiff as a board.
Three magical women are captivating, because they transcend the simple positive/negative dichotomy. They aren't enemies in a "good witch" v. "bad witch" scenario, but are a force to be reckoned with as a collective.
What if your mother was a witch? Do you think she would have done things a bit differently from other mothers? Based on my experience, you would be right...
The archetype of the witch is long overdue for celebration. Daughters, mothers, queens, virgins, wives, et al. derive meaning from their relation to another person. Witches, on the other hand, have power on their own terms. They have agency. They create. They praise.
I love following a path that honors my own spiritual authority and that of others, teaching, "if it harms none, do as you will"-- a deceptively simple and profoundly wise maxim.
I know many people who are sympathetic to Wicca but have little idea what we "do": how we worship, celebrate, meditate, pray. Spring, celebrated as a time of rebirth in so many different spiritual traditions, seems a good time to address such questions.
At least books and films such as "Harry Potter" and "Beautiful Creatures" have started to bring the popular image of the witch beyond the realm of the 16th-century pointed hat. But now it's time to move forward still further into the 21st century.
I was mystified why this lovely woman on the other end of the phone -- whom I'd never even met -- would call me a "crone" with such glee in her voice.
With her blond bouffant, ample bosom, and meticulous lipstick, Yolanda Mapes might look like a stereotypical church matron, but the five o'clock shadow and big-boned feet betray the truth: she's no lady.
This report in today's Colorado Springs Gazette prompted the following letter of protest to Academy Superintendent Michael Gould, acting in my capacit...
"I am giving myself as fully as possible to their practices, beliefs, rituals and culture. ... I have to digest material in 30 days that would take a normal devotee a lifetime."
On some not-too-distant Halloween, or Samhain to your Druid friends, Canadians might be tempted to claim a charitable donation tax credit for the cost of those Twizzlers and Twix.
In the end, I don't know what motivated O'Donnell to explore witchcraft or why she eventually turned to a conservative form of Christianity. Perhaps she needed to "dabble" a bit in order to find her way.
I see something refreshing in Bonewits' unconventional and daring life, a life that helped redefine what it means to be a spiritual person in this modern world. Thank you, Isaac.