Between the Worlds

Lately, I’ve been reading the new book by Sarah Kate Istra Winter entitled Between the Worlds: Notes from the Threshold. (Not to be confused with the polytheist journal I just posted about “Walking the Worlds”.)


Winter, also known as Dver, has been one of my favorite writers to come out of the Polytheist Movement. Though perhaps known best for her excellent beginner’s guide to Hellenic Polytheism (Kharis: Hellenic Polytheism Explained), BtW and its predecessor (Dwelling on the Threshold: Reflections of a Spirit-Worker and Devotional Polytheist) are by far my favorites of her books.


Essentially, these latter two books (DotT and BtW) are posts from her excellent blog a forest door.


What I especially like is that you get to read the thoughts, ideas, approaches, and details from a longtime practitioner who is serious about her polytheistic religion and spirit work. The gods and the spirits are real to her. Her practice is taken seriously.


Granted, that’s par for the course for most writers in the polytheistic movement but I think there’s a remarkable amount of good advice and practicality in Dver’s blog and these two books.


I’m also especially appreciative of her frankness to discuss religious or spiritual use of entheogens in a polytheistic context. When I was a young Pagan, I had a deep curiosity about psychedelics and their use within Paganism. I was shocked to find that other than in Crowleyan groups like OTO (which, of course, were not technically Pagan) or hippie groups like the Church of All Worlds, most Pagan groups (especially Wiccan ones) avoided these amazing plants, fungi, and chemicals. What little I could find on the subject didn’t seem to approach the topic seriously.


Obviously, times have changed, and though I can no longer use these Helpers (due to medical conditions), I am inspired to read Dver write about them with respect and practicality.


Of course, pieces on entheogens are only a small part of her work here. In the first book, there’s a quite a bit of good material on devotional polytheism as well as spirit-work. Spirit-work seems to be the primary focus of the latter book.


I enthusiastically recommend both DotT and BtW!

~ by R.M. McGrath on 02/24/2017.

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