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The wisdom of sloth: Embracing the lesser-known spirit animals

Michelle Gruben opinion pagan spirit animals


“Are you going to want the wolf refill package?” she asks me over the phone. I’m buying an assortment of pewter animal charms for my shop. “It’s by far our best-seller.” I can believe it. Wolves are superstars.

I imagine the disappointment of my customers as they rifle through a bin for their cherished wolf totems, only to find a bunch of swans and ladybugs. I get two wolf refill packages. The skunk and manatee charms, I learn, have been discontinued—probably melted down and recast into more wolves. I decide right then and there to keep my...

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Pagan adulthood: Expectations versus reality

Michelle Gruben opinion pagan

A witchy girl with wolves

Once upon a time, there was a witchy little girl with some big dreams about what the future would hold. Like many, I began my Pagan practice as a young teen. I was stirred by tantalizing contact with Nature, the Ancient Ones, and the Unseen. I couldn’t wait to learn everything I could about magick, to break away and begin my life as a real grown-up Pagan.

But I didn’t know any actual Pagans—not at first, anyway. I was too shy to share my experiences with others, or to ask for books on...

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Grove and Grotto Fall 2016 update

Michelle Gruben business grove and grotto

Grove and Grotto at Houston Pagan Pride

Greetings from your favorite Faery Pagan online boutique! The weather's finally getting cooler here in Texas. We're moving into Samhain season--or, in some traditions, the end of the Pagan year. It feels like a good time to take a minute and update you all on what Grove and Grotto has been up to in 2016:

Online Store

I've made a lot of small but constructive changes to the online store. Taking new photos, fleshing out product descriptions, updating checkout and navigation, and writing regular blog articles. The goal is to make...

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Magickal materials: Silver

Michelle Gruben materials tools

A collection of silver objects

Gold may be the most prized of earthly materials, but the magickal gleam of silver puts it (traditionally) in second place. Silver was one of the first metals known to the ancients—the Bible mentions riches of gold and silver. Silver deposits are found in nature, but (unlike gold) rarely in a pure state. Over the centuries, miners and crafters learned to take this dark grey rock and turn it into tools and ornaments of luminous beauty. Its Latin name, argentum, comes from the Sanskrit, arj-una (“light”).

Just as gold is linked to the...

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Responding to dumb-ass Pagan news stories

Michelle Gruben festivals opinion pagan

Witch is not happy about the news

Local news media never know quite how to cover Pagan events, and the unease is mutual. Decades of being ignored (except during Halloween season) and misrepresented have left plenty of Pagans shy around the press. After all, no one wants to be baited, be ridiculed, or show up on the evening news with “area cult member” under their name.

When a reporter interviews local Pagans and snaps a few photos, the resulting news story will typically contain one of the following: A blandly well-meaning overview of Pagan beliefs, complete with some...

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