Posts Tagged ‘Australia’

Blogging Break Over, Book Stuff Ahead

I have taken a brief and unwanted break from blogging, but I hope that it is over. First the MacBook Pro that I use for writing and blogging developed a weird, possibly demonic (or daemonic) directory corruption that flummoxed even the specialists up at Voelker Research. About the same time, my desk/computer chair broke, which […]

Nevil Drury 1947–2013

Nevil Drury, well-known Australian writer and teacher on magical and esoteric topics, died yesterday at home of cancer and liver failure. I had the experience of working with not long ago when he did an article for The Pomegranate: the International Journal of Pagan Studies on “The Magical Cosmology of Rosaleen Norton.” His Facebook page. […]

Two Important New Books in Pagan Studies

Modern Pagan and Native Faith Movements in Central and Eastern Europe, edited by Kaarina Aitamurto and Scott Simpson, has now been released in hardcover. (No paperback edition appears to be coming in the near future.) You can read the complete table of contents and see ordering information at Acumen Publishing’s website. Also being released in […]

The Bushranger and the Witches

A quirky story has been filtering out of Australia in bits and pieces. First came the discovery of the headless skeleton of Ned Kelly (1854–1880), the country’s most infamous bushranger (outlaw) of the 19th century, which involved DNA matching and other modern techniques. Then his descendents appealed for whoever had the skull to bring it […]

“The Hall of Fame of Unpopular People”

A history and defense of free speech — from an Australian perspective. As Zendo Deb says, it’s worth ten minutes of your time.

“The Occult Experience” of 1985

A friend pointed me to the Vimeo page where you can see The Occult Experience (95 min.), an Australian television documentary from 1985, researched and co-produced by Nevill Drury, on witchcraftandprimitivepeopleandsatanismandexorcismandallkindsofspookystuff. Watching it was hard, because I kept turning away after encountering such portentous statements as “The search for supernatural powers continues in spite of […]

Apotropaic Magic, Size 9

I don’t know if the custom of hiding used shoes and clothing in a house under construction to ward off evil influences ever crossed the pond to North America from Britain. If you know of instances—or of people still doing it—let me know in the comments. I first learned of this custom at an archaeology […]

Five Kinds of “Witch” and Other Reflections on the Academic Study of Contemporary Paganism

Australian writer, blogger, and scholar Caroline Tully continues her interview with Professor Ronald Hutton on the history of witchcraft and related topics. On the perceptions of conflict between scholars and practitioners: When some Pagans now express hostility to academics, they are generally doing so in defence of ideas which were originally articulated by other academics. […]

Say It Again: ‘Repressed Memories’ Do Not Exist

Yet another study attacks the theory of “repressed memory,” which has sent real people to real jails for crimes that they supposedly committed against children. Professor Grant Devilly, from Griffith University’s [Queensland, Australia] Psychological Health research unit, says the memory usually works in the opposite way, with traumatised people reliving experiences they would rather forget. […]

Zippy, the Halloween Slug

I have heard of most of these Halloween folk customs. The one with the slug is new to me, though, but maybe someone in the Pacific Northwest could try it and report. Meanwhile, Red Witch in Melbourne is in the midst of a Halloween countdown, examining the commercial side of the holiday in Australia. (Some […]