A bright spot of red decorates the trees during [...]
Witchcraft is an inherently personal business; everybody’s Path will look slightly different. And in contrast to the organized religions of the world, Wicca doesn’t have a central dogma besides the Wiccan Rede. That’s why we often say that there are as many ways to be a Wiccan or a Witch as there are practitioners. Yet, for all the openness of our spiritual practice and the subjectivity of one’s Path, there are still some unspoken rules within the community. Those new to the Craft may often become attracted by the more shallow or commercial aspects of it—especially nowadays, where being a Witch doesn’t carry the social stigma it once did. And in contrast, some more experienced practitioners can fall into the bad habit of gatekeeping—feeling like only they know the right way to be a Witch. This creates tensions and conflicts that need to be acknowledged.
A Witch’s New Year begins after Samhain. But there’s something about the festival of Imbolc, the first to take place in the new calendar year, that feels like a fresh start. As the midpoint between Winter and Spring, Imbolc carries a hopeful quality: as Nature all around us starts stirring from under her deep blanket of snow, so do we. We shed our “hibernating” mode and begin to renew our commitment to growth, both personally and spiritually. During this time of reawakening, putting pen to paper is one of the best ways to prepare for this new Turn of the Wheel. Here’s what you need to know about Imbolc journaling—and all the ways it can help you in your practice.
There's much speculation about the color indigo. Some say it's a combination of purple and blue, others claim it leans towards blue, and others see it as more purple. Most will tell you it's situated between blue and purple on the color wheel. The truth is that indigo doesn't feature on the color wheel.
Mercury Retrograde gets what we colloquially call a “bad rep,” especially from people who don’t really understand how astrology, or magick for that matter, works. Mercury Retrograde tends to be blamed for everything from communication and technological breakdowns (possible) to breakups, accidents, and all kinds of disasters or bad luck (not very possible, unless you believe it is so, and thus, bring this upon yourself).
When sacred, spiritual, and mystical places are discussed in Wicca and Paganism, the focus tends to be on sites in Europe. Stonehenge, Greek temples, and other historical sites are often brought up as places Wiccans and Pagans should make pilgrimages to. Though the United States is young, the land is old, and sacred spaces exist here just as in other, older countries. Some are naturally occurring spaces with strong mystical and spiritual energies, while others are human-made and of great significance to the cultures that built them. For the created sites, even if you don’t share the religion of the builders, you can recognize and respect the power of the place, and a visit to pay respects is a balm for your spirit.
Mabon ap Modron comes to us from the Welsh pantheon, but different versions of this deity and the archetypes he represents are found in Celtic, Gaulish, and Irish legends. Mabon’s name seems to be derived from Maponos (“Great Son”), a Gallo-Brittonic deity developed as the local counterpart of Apollo. In fact, several historians believe Mabon himself is the Brittonic counterpart of Apollo, the God of Light. According to sources, Roman soldiers that were posted along Hadrian’s Wall in the 2nd century CE (in what is now Northern England) recognized one of the local gods of the Britons as ‘Apollo Mabon,’ a version of their own Sun God. Mabon is also referred to as Mabon ab Mellt, Mabuz, and Mabonagrain in Celtic mythologies, Pryderi fab Pwyll in Demetian mythologies, and Mac ind Óg and Óengus in Irish mythologies.
The Wheel of the Year, the Circle of the Season, Esbats and Sabbats, High Holy Days - an inevitable part of becoming a Pagan and/or Witch - lead to the addition of many more holidays (in the traditional sense of holy-days) into your life! As a new practitioner, this can be confusing. Many new witches, especially if they do not have a mentor or a coven, go to the internet for answers to these questions: What do I celebrate and when? Why is this particular celebration “holy” to me now? What does this day mean for my new spirituality and magickal practices?
Chamomile is an ancient herb that was widely used by the early Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, and it’s still as popular as ever. There’s evidence that it was also used for its healing properties in Anglo-Saxon, Viking, and Celtic societies.. It was viewed as a sacred herb because it was mixed into embalming fluids and used to wash bodies before burial due to its scent and antibacterial properties. When pressed, chamomile releases a strong, fragrant, and unmistakable scent that’s long-lasting. Throughout the Middle Ages, it was gathered in huge bunches and strewn on the floors of homes and public places. Walking over the plants served as an air freshener. It was often stuffed into, or under, mattresses and pillows and other bedding to refresh them. Chamomile was also planted around households for its scent. In addition, it was believed to promote the growth of other plants in the vicinity.
“I begin to sing of rich-haired Demeter, giver of good gifts, bringer of seasons, universal Mother.” Thus start several ancient Greek hymns to Demeter, the Olympian Goddess of the Harvest and agriculture. You’ve probably heard of Demeter in conjunction with her daughter, Persephone. But although motherhood is a sacred aspect of Demeter’s identity, the Goddess is so much more than that! As we approach the first Harvest of the Year, let’s take some time to acquaint ourselves better with “She of the Grain”.
More than any other substance, gold has captured the imagination, and desire, of people the world over for hundreds of years. The sheer value we have placed upon gold, the ends we've gone to attain it, and the romanticism that grew up around it, are enough to lend gold a lot of power in the universal unconscious energy. As witches and all practitioners of magick know, we are all connected. Linking our magickal energies into the universal unconscious flow of the human spirit can be a powerful action.
Lavender petals in a sachet for the bath or shower or sleep and calm. Rose petals on the altar for a love spell. Chamomile in tea. Jasmine incense. You’ve probably not thought about the many ways flowers are used in the Craft throughout the year. Flower magick is potent and connected to nature in ways other magicks aren’t. With summer flowers at their brightest, Litha is the perfect time to learn some ways flowers can be used in and for magick, as well as how to preserve them for use throughout the year.
Learning the Tarot can be a healing and enriching journey. As far as divination methods go, it’s one of the most easy ones to muster. But learning to read the Tarot for yourself can feel very different than learning how to read for others. In this article, we’ll explain both approaches, what’s different, and what you need to consider.
In Norse mythology, there are two tribes of gods: the Vanir and the Aesir. The Vanir tribe are fertility gods, while the Aesir are warrior gods. During the Viking Age, the people of Scandinavia relied heavily on farming for their survival, so the Vanir gods played a crucial role in their worship. As the son of Skadi, a frost giantess, and Njord, the god of the sea, Freyr is a sun god who is a member of the Vanir, associated with fertility and peace. His twin sister, Frejya, is also well known for her cunning and beauty throughout Norse mythology.
As the sun reaches its zenith, Midsummer celebrations abound across the globe. People celebrate the balance of the dark and light while paying homage to sun deities in a variety of different ways. Litha is the Midsummer Sabbat as the wheel of the year turns. There are many customs, traditions, and folklore surrounding Litha.
Being able to travel and explore the world not only gives us amazing adventures but can also expand our knowledge of the Witch World. One downfall of traveling, though, is that you may not always be ready to practice your Craft, which can be aggravating if you find a perfect environment for a spell or ritual. But you should not be deterred from traveling due to being afraid of not having your magick at the ready. You can bring your magick with you when away from home, although you need to get creative on how to do so. There are various ways you can bring magick with you without it being cumbersome or a heavy load to carry. Many of these tricks you may already be doing without realizing. So let’s take a look at how you can bring magick with you anywhere you go.
Our pagan ancestors have been looking at its gleaming globe for answers for millennia, synching their lives and their magickal practices with its phases. And today, modern witches and Wiccans know that everything from our spellcasting to our mood can be affected by whether the Moon is waxing, waning, or full.
In my previous essay about Connectivity, I said, our life spark is connected to the great consciousness and therefore everything, everywhere everywhen. In theory we should be able to shift our consciousness to any point of Time and Space. In theory, yes. But in applied practice there are some nagging kinks. For about twenty years I taught classes in Remote Viewing or RV to my students and others from the pagan community. Now I hear some witch-oriented people moaning “Remote Viewing is not Witchcraft, it’s not the old ways.” I beg to differ. Think of it as a modern disciplined approach to the old skill of divining.
Mother Nature has all the remedies we need — and as witches, it’s important to know how to harness them through working with herbs and plants. Throughout this series of articles, we’ve examined some of the key herbs to work with for healing, spells, and divination rituals. After learning about the magickal properties of jasmine and clover, it’s time to look at another favorite: lavender.
Solitary Witches are Witches who prefer to practice their Craft on their own rather than in a Coven. While magick can be stronger when performed in a group, it is not necessary for all Witches. Solitary Witches can be just as powerful as Witches within a Coven, and they only need to adapt to practicing magick alone rather than in a group. One of the things Witches need to adjust when practicing alone is the Deities that they chose to work with. Any Deity has the potential to help a Solitary Witch, but some seek out solo Witches more than others. These Deities help Solitary Witches more since Solitary Witches need the extra help to perform certain spells or rituals that may have better results performed through a Coven. If you are a Solitary Witch and are looking for a Deity that can help boost your magickal abilities, then keep on reading. You should be able to find or at least get an idea of the deities that will work best with solo Witches and try to reach out to the one that calls out to you the most. Let’s look at these Deities and what you can do to reach out to them.