Australia has a new Pagan magazine.
I was scanning the Pagan Awareness Network site today and noted a comment that they were now reaching a readership of 20,000 via a new magazine called “The Spirit Guide to Spellcraft“.
That’s interesting I thought, I better check it out. Well what do you know, Shé, whom I’ve meet through the Pagan Pages gatherings in North Sydney, happens to be the new editor. It’s a small world after all.
Welcome to SpellCraft. It is with the greatest pleasure that I am able to present this magazine to you. I have written for quite a few esoteric magazines in Australia and overseas, including one of my own for the last 11 years. I was very excited when I was asked to be Editor of “The Spirit Guide to SpellCraft”. I have been working with “The Spirit Guide”, for three years where the magical and pagan section of what is an essentially new age magazine just keeps growing. This is reflective of the fact that the tide of the enquiring mind is turning as Paganism, Witchcraft, and other earth-based religions continue to be the fastest growing sections of our community today. This cycle of growth has been reflected in Spheres – The Spirit Guide and it has now given birth to the unique “Spirit Guide to Spell Craft”.
Once more we have signs that alternative spirituality has definitely shifted away from New Age channelling in the direction of Paganism and ritual practice.
Oh, and it appear from the ‘find us’ section on their website that SpellCraft also been launched in New Zealand and Singapore.
10 thoughts on “SpellCraft”
I’d like to hear your views on why this shift is occuring Matt, at the moment Wicca is the fastest growing “religion” amongst teenage girls, they are not playing games, they are taking this seriously
Just returning the visit.
This modern Wicca movement is generally considered to go back to Gerald Gardner.
Really we have a better alternative in Grail or Arthurian Christianity.
Historically we can see there was a Christian folk magic. See
Grimm’s Teutonic Mythology for the old spells they used.
Of course we might ask why spells and not prayer and what is the difference.
We have a special high magic in the Communion, and the production of Holy Water etc.
In Australia the national census only dimly reflects the growth: in 1996 only 8,000 pagans, then in 2001 24,000 pagans. In August 06 the next census will occur and some pagans are confident that the numbers could jump up to around 75,000. Whether that is borne out only time will tell, but there is certainly a strong perception and some indicators of a growing teen interest in pagan spiritualities.
There are a few different elements that might explain current teen interests. At a very popular level is the influence of TV shows like “Charmed”. There ensues a “pop” form of witchcraft that involves some strong female role models (“girl power”), fashion, jewellery, an independent spirit and so on.
Fiona Horne the actress and pop singer has also become an iconic figure for many teens. She was the lead singer of the electronic rock group DEF-FX in the 1990s. Her website attracts a lot of internet traffic and she produced a book “Life’s A Witch” for teens that was largely based on email exchanges between her and her fans. The book covers typical teen issues “hassles with school”, “hassles with parents”, love sex dating etc.
Another popular writer for teens is Silver Ravenwolf.
But if we move beyond pop culture and trends in fashion, there are clearly a lot of youth who are either alienated from Christianity or have zero background in Christianity, who find valuable experiences and ideas in their delvings into pagan spiritualities. Some have been raised by pagan parents and so have become 2nd generation adepts in these traditions.
Some of the appeal is surely that there are feminine images and feminine rites celebrated in these traditions that some teens find personally enriching. The eco-spirituality of these traditions also must play a part as ecological concerns loom large and many youth are rightly alarmed at pollution, diminishing natural resources etc. There is also an intuited need to sense or encounter the immanence of the divine in the natural realm. Pagan spiritualities offer an array of practices, ceremonies and beliefs that converge on these matters in a way that teens must find appealing and meaningful.
Matt, thanks for posting this. I had thought that Witchcraft magazine in Australia wasn’t going to be published anymore, but it appears to still be printed. Do you know what the story is here?
The magazine ceased with the November 2005 edition. The above is a different publication that appears to be a replacement periodical.
Philip, thanks for the update. I thought it had ceased, but for some reason I remembered seeing an ad for the Witchcraft magainze more recently. I must have been mistaken. I’m curious why they ceased publication of Witchcraft magazine only to replace it with this one.
Bruce. Do ya have a translation program for reading Norse? If afraid mines a little rusty. I mean, I’ve been brushing up on runes, but this is just beyond me. I’ve head of these and would like to read some more.
The difference between spells and prayer? Hmmm. Good question. And one which is not entirely unrelated to my previous posts on the difference between divination, prophecy and discernment. I think the short answer is the who question (which God are you invoking) is more important than the how question (what techniques are you using). Obviously we should explore this in more depth though. Actually if I recall correctly I did do a bit of this on my other blog, Ekstasis, but still lots of issues to be explored.
Also. Do you have any ‘Arthurian Christianity’ links you can recommend? And how would you define it?
John. The people who published Witchcraft magazine are different to these guys. I think there was an explaination by the editor in the last edition but my copy is burried in the study somewhere and may take a few days for me to find it. This new rag appears to have budded off a more generic New Agey rag due shifts in readership – the backers appear to have recognised an opportunity. Possibly in the wake of Witchcraft’s demise. The articles of SpellCraft sound a bit more ‘bunnyish’ than Witchcraft at first glance, possibly going for a younger readership, but that’s a comment from not having read it yet so I am reluctant to comment further. Shé herself is certainly into some serious stuff – actually you may remember her yourself from that night we both went to. Blond, strong views.
Yes, I remember her. I’ve continued to be in touch with her ex who has recently moved to California. He runs http://www.hermeticmagick.com/ and used to have a column with Spheres magazine.
Here are some interesting links:
Grimm’s Teutonic Mythology- a source for Tolkien’s ideas. Luckily I do have the full translation but only two volumes.
A Christian magician: Ambrose Hawk
http://www.geocities.com/athaumaturgus/index.htm Another- Jason.
I do have reservations on some of the things they do.
From Round Table to Grail Castle
Joseph of Arimathea