This is the second in a series of excerpts from author Kevin Gibson’s new book, “Secret Louisville: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure.”
The American Council Of Witches fell apart after one year due to infighting between members with slightly differing beliefs.
From a young age, Haley Murphy recognized that she had what she refers to as “spiritual gifts.” Murphy’s the driving force behind ATL Craft, touted as Atlanta’s witchcraft store and community space. The new shop recently opened its doors on Edgewood Avenue in a shared retail space with artist/entrepreneur Grant Henry, owner of the elaborately named bar Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room & Ping Pong Emporium.
Wendy Koffer carried a wicker basket full of gloves, clippers, plastic baggies and a ball of string as she strolled through Rock Creek Park.
Several members of the Assembly of Capital District Pagans were happy to step “out of the broom closet” and discuss their religion and how it’s depicted in the hit show and in the original novel by Albany native Gregory Maguire. According to Rising, most pagans use rituals to honor the cycles of the sun and the moon. In the realms of comedy, fairy tale and horror, there’s no shortage of witches in popular culture.
If ghosts existed, physicists would know about it by now.
Once a pagan festival, then a religious holiday, Valentine’s Day has evolved into a cultural institution.
It may be all chocolates, roses and sweet sentiments today, but Valentine’s Day wasn’t always that way. The romantic associations are a relatively recent spin on this long-observed day.
Source: How Valentine’s Day came to be
Tucked away in a small, unassuming building in the town of Hólmavík, in Iceland’s Westfjords, is a museum that holds some truly gruesome displays of 17th century sorcery. There are pants made of human skin, which are said to give the wearer unlimited wealth; you can see magical sigils called staves, thought to offer powers ranging from the ability to see ghosts to making someone fall in love; and strange two-headed snake creatures that are born to steal goat’s milk.
While all of this arcane weirdness could be viewed as little more than an out-of-the-way collection of oddities, for both the curator of The Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft, and the town of Hólmavík itself, the exhibitions here are an important reminder of a darker time in local history. Oh, and they’re also really great at bringing in tourist dollars.
Pagans across the world are attempting to lure the spring equinox with traditional Imbolc festivities this week. The festival — pronounced “IM-bulk,” “EM-bowlk,” or “oi-milk” — falls on Feb. 2 and is meant to celebrate the early signs of spring.
The festival falls midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox at a time, which is traditionally the coldest and darkest time of the year for pagans, commonly referred to as Wiccans. Imbolc is also called Brigid’s Day, honoring the Celtic goddess of fire, fertility and midwifery.
The traditions of the feast of Brigid have been unchanged for what may well be thousands of years. This is despite all the social changes that have taken place in that time.
Before Christianity came to Ireland, the people here had a long tradition of pagan worship. They carried out rituals at sacred sites and believed that certain wells had the power to heal. Their important festivals marked the changing seasons.