Wheel of the Year

The modern Sabbats that many Wiccans and Neo-Pagans now follow are: Imbolc (February 2), Ostara (Spring Equinox), Beltane (May 1), Litha (Summer Solstice), Lammas (August 1), Mabon (Autumn Equinox), Samhain (October 31) and Yule (Winter Solstice). (See also Wheel of the Year)

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Blood and Moon

Druid Life

I hear other Pagan women talking about their Moontides. It sounds sort of romantic and appealing. I guess if you spend a few days with a minimal flow, then the bloody part of the month is no big deal, and may be a time for reflection, magic and a sense of wonder at your connection to the cycles of the moon and the realities of nature. If you have that and can reclaim it, and love it then go you. I may be a tad envious, but I will champion your right to a happy, peaceful, meaningful moontide on your own terms.

Mine are not like that. Or, if we’re talking ‘tide’ we’re talking the sort that sweeps over beaches and drowns people every now and then. There is no attaching a gentle, romantic language to what happens to my body every month. My description of preference is; I bleed…

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Witchcraft and Love Magic in the Ozark Mountains Old-fashioned Love Spells

Traditional Witchcraft and Occultism

by A. Giovanni

(This article is reprinted here with the permission of the author, A. Giovanni.)

Most people who have seen the old television comedy “The Beverly Hillbillies” have no idea about some of the little grains of truth in the show. The show’s creator, Paul Henning, was a native Missourian who was clearly very familiar with the area and the people of the Ozark Mountain region. On the show, the Clampetts make visits to such locations as Silver Dollar City, Springfield and Joplin, Missouri.

What most people who have watched the show never guess is that Granny was more than just Elly May’s grandmother. Granny, who once says she comes from Taney County, which is the southwestern Missouri county where Branson is located, is a “granny woman” which is an old Ozark term for conjure woman. The word “medicine” is another word for potion among old-timers.

The term “hillbilly”…

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Authenticity and Authority on Yelp

Archaeology and Material Culture

No compliment on the online review site Yelp is as highly esteemed as being dubbed “authentic,” and that authenticity is routinely linked to restaurants’ material spaces.   An Oakland reviewer believed herself transported to another place, concluding that “i looked around the restaurant and noticed how well the place is decorated…felt like i was back in thailand (ive never been, but i felt like i was there maybe?).”  Yelp reviewers fancy they are unlocking a hidden consumer geography:  In the class and ethnic niches of neighborhoods outside bourgeois comfort, yelpers discover dishes, spaces, and new experiences.   However, the search for an authentic burrito or an urban “dive” may tell us more about yelpers than it reveals about foodways.

Yelpers stake their claims to authority by capturing dimensions of authenticity that often include material descriptions of space.  A Mexican grill review waxed rhapsodic that “The meticulously painted walls and ceiling, accompanied…

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