If you look at texts on Paganism from the nineteenth through mid-twentieth centuries, you’ll see a lot of the word “fertility.” But what does fertility really mean in this context? In the 21st century, we look at it and tend to think of human reproduction, but in historical context, it more often means something else […]Read more "Video: Fertility and the Pagan Revival"
In a previous video, I talked about the “schmidentity” of deities–the way that two gods can be somehow distinct from each other and yet the same, especially in cases where their cults share a common historical origin. Here, I turn my eye to the Gods of traditional Wicca. I discuss a few figures from ancient […]Read more "Video: Who Are the Wiccan Gods?"
Yesterday, the Supreme Court released its decision in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, overturning the nearly 50-year precedent of Roe v. Wade and dispelling federal protections for abortion under a Constitutional right to privacy. We knew this was coming, but having been forewarned doesn’t make it better. The Dobbs decision is a […]Read more "Three Steps to Effective Political Magic"
The Gardnerian Tradition of Wicca, like any other group, is vulnerable to internal politics that can be baffling from the outside. Lately, a few transphobic Gardnerians have been making a lot of noise about wanting to institute a distinction between “traditional” and “reform” Gardnerian Wicca–and well-meaning seekers who don’t know the context may not understand […]Read more "Video: “Traditional” versus “Reform” Gardnerians?"
A lot of the conversations we have about “religion” as a general concept betray underlying assumptions that all religion resembles Christianity in key ways. In this video, I dissect some of those assumptions, focusing on the idea that the function of religion is to provide explanations–whether we’re talking about the creation of the world, what […]Read more "Video: Is Religion Supposed to be Explanatory?"
I’ve just returned from a fabulous trip to the United Kingdom. While I was there, I had the opportunity to spend time with some online friends from the British Wiccan community, and doing so got me thinking about some of the broad cultural differences in Wicca between the US and UK. The three differences I […]Read more "Video: Wicca in America Versus Britain"
Pagan and polytheist theology is a lot more complicated than just “soft polytheism” versus “hard polytheism.” In this video, I discuss the ways in which gods relate to each other: how they’re different from each other, but also how (under some circumstances) we may see them as the same.Read more "Video: On the Schmidentity of the Gods"
Let’s talk a bit about the relationship between Wicca and Thelema. How was Thelema an influence on the early days of Wicca? In what ways are the two religions alike? And–just as importantly–how do they differ? In this video, I talk through some of the history of Gerald Gardner’s meetings with Aleister Crowley and his […]Read more "Video: Wicca, Thelema, and True Will"
New on YouTube. Qabalah for Wiccans released last week, which means I’m officially a published Pagan author now. That’s incredibly exciting, but it’s also weird in some ways I hadn’t anticipated. I share some thoughts about the Pagan community’s relationship with publishing and with authors, the way an author’s involvement in book publicity requires the […]Read more "Video: Thoughts on Being a Pagan Author"
To celebrate the release of Qabalah for Wiccans, I joined Patti Negri, the host of The Witching Hour with Patti Negri, to talk about Qabalah, witchcraft, and magic. You can listen to it on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/qabalah-for-wiccans-with-jack-chanek/id1510679547?i=1000544790285Read more "My Appearance on The Witching Hour"