More From Gary R. Varner

Hecate - The Witches' Goddess By Gary R. Varner
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For the most part Hecate is seen today as the Goddess of Witches and Sorcery—but this wasn’t always so. Hecate was at one time both protectress of women and children and Goddess of Death.... More > She was, in her trinity aspect, goddess of fertility and prosperity, Goddess of the Moon, and Queen of Ghosts, shades and the night. It is interesting that she was seen both as the goddess of fertility and life as well as death. “Hekate can poison as well as intoxicate,” wrote Nor Hall, “turn ecstasy into madness, and cause death where incubation—or a short journey—was intended.” This book will examine her many facets and bring about a truer sense of the primal goddess known as “The Distant One” and “The Nameless One.” One of her titles places these in a softer light, for she was also called “most lovely one.”< Less
Water from the Sacred Well By Gary R. Varner
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An illustrated exploration of the folklore and mythology of sacred water found throughout the world. A companion volume to Sacred Wells, Water From the Sacred Well continues the quest for the... More > underlying sacredness associated with water and the universal themes found in folklore and religious traditions from around the world. Blending personal exploration with archaeology, folklore, and ancient traditions, Water From the Sacred Well takes the reader on a fascinating trip to surreal lakes, hot springs, and rivers in search of the spirit helpers, demons, faeries, mysterious Black Dogs, Women in White, Water Babies and the gods and goddesses that are part of this story. Water From the Sacred Well connects common themes found in water lore to sites around the world. Varner provides a glimpse into the world of spiritual development and the continuing rituals and traditions associated with life-giving waters and how these traditions continue to create a need for sacred space.< Less
Ghosts, Spirits & the Afterlife in Native American Folklore and Religion By Gary R. Varner
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Death. We deny it. We fear it. Some of us welcome it. No matter what age we live in we keep the traditional feelings for our departed. We try to ease the soul into the afterworld as best we can.... More > “Celebrations of life” provide a time for friends and loved ones to gather, share food and stories and grieve. Some who pass on are cremated to free the soul. Some are buried believing that the body will not become corrupted but will survive until the final judgment day. “Grave goods” are still commonly buried or are cremated as well with the body. While we believe we are more "advanced" than those who lived before us, we actually do the same things they did to honor and to provide for our deceased loved ones. We are not so very different after all. This book provides a brief survey of how America’s first people reacted to death, how they disposed of their dead, their thoughts about the spirit world and the possibilities of being reborn.< Less
Magic, Witchcraft, Pagans & Christians: A Study in the Suppression of Belief and the Rise of Christianity By Gary R. Varner
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It was perhaps the most pivotal event in the world’s history that the age old practice of magic was destroyed by a religion which would eventually dominate a large portion of the world and... More > wield an incredible amount of power. Such an event was not a sudden thing. Laws were enacted in ancient Babylon to control black witchcraft and magic. The same incantations and spells used by black witches were not only allowed but encouraged when performed by healers.This study is about the continuous practice of magic by pagans, Jews and Christians. Christians think of Jesus as the Savior of Mankind and the champion of good over evil. However, the first Christians viewed Jesus in a much different way. A bowl dating from the 1st century CE was discovered in 2008 in the underwater ruins of an ancient harbor. On the bowl was an engraving interpreted to read “by Christ the magician.” That Jesus was widely regarded as a magician during his time has been quietly and effectively swept under the carpet.< Less