The beginning of February is marked by Imbolc, a traditional Celtic festival which heralds the start of spring. I swear winter gets later and later each year, and there are few signs of spring yet here in the UK. Personally I love the cold dark seasons, so this suits me fine, but I feel for my friends who find the dark days disheartening.

Back when I lived in Sussex as a teenager I’d go walking across the downs in February looking for Imbolc snowdrops, but now that I live in London it’s less easy to find time to head into the countryside, although I do live near several parks and a nature reserve on the river Thames.  (more…)

The Occult Tradition by David S. Katz is a book I read a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed, mainly because it didn’t just discuss dubious claims of current witches dating back their ancestry to ancient Egypt, but took an in-depth look at ‘occult’ concepts in a very literal sense – in the sense of discussing hidden or obscure material.

A lot of the book focused on Jewish and Christian mysticism, which was interesting because again this isn’t something that’s always heavily discussed in books on occult themes.

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A witch is born when a candle is placed in a paper lantern and flown into the sky. Her first view of the world – not when she opens her eyes, for that happens much later, but when she becomes aware – is the knowledge of how it feels to float. Flying through the air on a candleholder, the witch feels the wind around her, and begins to understand.

I’m a scrooge. This isn’t really news. Bah, humbug.

I don’t get into the Christmas spirit, unless by “Christmas spirit” you mean forgetting what day it is and working throughout.

But when I read about a “Satanic Anti-Christmas Flea Market” happening in East London at the weekend, I decided I had to go along. After all, Anti-Christmas? That’s the kind of spirit I can get into.

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