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November/December 2016 / Gift Guide Issue

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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: Priest



A man who has been given the power, usually through a ritual, to officially perform religious rites. Thus, a man who facilitates a ritual such as a Wiccan ritual. In some Pagan traditions, all male initiates are considered priests. It was also a negative term among some Pagans referring to Christian priests who were seen as greedy, power-hungry, etc.


In Scottish folklore and modern Pagan practice, a group of Witches. The traditional number of members in a coven is thirteen, and Margaret Murray, whose writings on medieval Witchcraft were a major source for modern Wicca, insisted that this was an ...
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Group vs. Solitary Ritual and the Source of Magickal Power
Many if not most rituals in books were written for group performance, yet, most "seekers" today do not belong to a group and modern Americans more often prefer to be Solitaries. Before offering suggestions on how to convert a group ritual to the ...
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Enduring Beyond Oppression - The Truth About Vodou
Vodou is a religion born in slavery, which blends together a number of traditional African beliefs with elements from other faiths, notably Catholicism, the religion of the slave-owners, with which it has always been an uncomfortable bed-fellow. It ...
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Black Mass
Introduction: The so-called "Black Mass" (possibly, at least initially, a literary invention) was to be performed by an ordained priest—Catholic, Anglican, or Episcopal—(in later descriptions he was supposed to a de-frocked priest). It ...
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Oral Tradition and the Druidic Class
The ancient Druids considered it profane to record their teachings in writing. All of their teachings were handed down by spoken word in verses or stories. People at different levels taught different categories of the ancient lore. The highest in ...
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Who Were the Druids?
To mention the word Druid is to evoke images of ancient wizards and wonder-workers from old Irish sagas, Welsh legends, Caesar’s Gallic Wars and Scottish folktales. If you have read about the Druids, you’ve probably retained one of their many images ...
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Vodou - An African Shamanic Tradition
At first sight, shamanism and Vodou - what Hollywood has introduced into the popular imagination as "voodoo" - seem to have little in common. The former seems based on peaceful co-existence with nature and the elements, while the latter, in so far ...
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Candomblé, like Santeria, is a religion that has its origins in the Yoruba religion called Ifa. Similar to Vodou and Santeria, it developed when the slaves arrived in Brazil and where "converted" to the Catholic religion. They used the Catholic ...
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Review of the Tarot of Mermaids
Summary: The Tarot of Mermaids is an enchanting Rider-Waite-Smith-style deck that can easily be used out of the box for anyone familiar with that system. It is also much more than that, inviting journeys into the murky depths of the waters of our ...
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Review of the Tarot of the Elves
Summary: The Tarot of the Elves creates a new and different world. And yet, we humans still relate to the inhabitants of this fantasy realm. This innovative deck explores and conveys the archetypal meanings of the cards through story. McElroy spins ...
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The mighty dead, divination, and portals to other worlds… there are so many places to celebrate Samhain in the northeastern United States… The cooler weather, the colorful leaves, and, as the memes say, "Pumpkin everything!" Like so many witches, autumn is my favorite season, and Samhain, my favorite Sabbat. As a child I loved... read this article
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