Growing your coven membership can be difficult in a practice that does not proselytize or actively recruit. Plus, with paganism being a new religion that is often misunderstood by the general public, many practitioners don't blatantly display their faith, so others might not even know they are a practitioner. But if pagans and Wiccans don't recruit, how can they find new members? The majority of people learn about paganism and Wicca through books, online, or from close friends.
Celebrating fertility has been very important to our Pagan ancestors. It had to be, of course. Whether it was to help secure the birth of new human (or animal) life or to coax rain to fall to make the land fertile, every pagan pantheon had its own gods and goddesses of fertility — many of who are still very much celebrated to this day. As Beltane, the great Wiccan Sabbat of union and fertility, draws near, it’s a great opportunity to get to know these gods and goddesses a bit better so that you can include them in your Beltane altar and ask for their blessing.
It is often said in mysticism that we are connected to an immediate local group of spirit instances. Lifetime after lifetime, we reincarnate together. My daughter in this lifetime may have been my mother in a previous life or perhaps my military captain, or even simply a colleague in a common profession, who knows. Lifetime after lifetime, we all wear different masks-of-flesh and participate in this game of incarnate life.
Whether you are new to Wicca or have been practicing for a while, it is always a good time to brush up on your knowledge of those aspects of the Craft that are invoked frequently. In many altar setups, spells, and rituals, the four elements are called upon or used. Though Air is the least tangible and visible of the elements, we still frequently incorporate it into our practice.
Hera was worshipped in Greece way before people started speaking Greek there. She was the first deity to whom the people of that area ever dedicated a temple; she was worshipped all the way from Iran to Egypt. She's often conflated with the Egyptian Goddess of fertility and agriculture, Hathor, and with Demeter, the Earth Goddess. Hera's name probably comes from an older form of the word for "Lady" (Kera) but adapted to mean "Lady of the year" or "Lady of the season." Some historians think it's an anagram for the word for "air," as Hera was considered the Queen of the Skies, or the Heavens. Just as Freya, the Lady of the Old Norse pantheon, played a much more important part in the past before her role was diminished to not antagonize Odin, so did Hera. Prior to her marriage to Zeus, Hera was considered a manifestation of the Great Earth Goddess in all her three aspects: Maiden, Mother, and Crone.
When talking about where the origins of Witchcraft came from, many may not have a clear answer. New Witches especially may hear lore of where Witchcraft came from but may not be sure how accurate it is. There is no one answer saying where Witchcraft originated from. But, some were strong influences for the Craft. For instance, one of the biggest Witchcraft influencers was Circe. Circe, humbly given the Original Witch title, holds the strong position of being one of the first few to use and develop Witchcraft so others like us can use it today. Let us take a look at who exactly Circe is and how she influenced the use of Witchcraft.
I recently retired from Pastoral Priestess duties, including representing the Pagan community at the regional Clergy Council. There are plenty of up and coming folks who are eager to perform the day-to-day joys and rigors of doing pastoral work within the Wiccan community. It was time to pass the proverbial torch. As a mystical explorer, I have decided to dedicate my remaining years to documenting what I have learned about spirituality and, most especially, the magickal arts. Many of my planned writings will be articles here in Wicca Magazine. I have received numerous requests to write a short summary of my view and perspective of forty years of Magickal and Divining Practice. Ok, here is a primer for life on a road less traveled!
The gods and goddesses of our Pagan ancestors differ from place to place — and from pantheon to pantheon. But some overarching themes can be found throughout the world: in every pantheon, there are gods and goddesses of war, wisdom, harvest and agriculture, death and rebirth. And in every pantheon, there are the gods and goddesses who preside over the most precious of human feelings: joy, happiness, and pleasure.
Fans of 90s music no doubt know the name Lilith. Lilith Fair was a music tour that featured only solo female acts or female-fronted bands. If you know the music festival, you likely already associate the name Lilith with feminism a bit. But do you know why Sarah McLachlan chose the name Lilith to begin with? Because of her history as Adam’s first wife, who was created as an equal and refused to be subservient to him. Lilith has a rich history that isn’t just tied to the myth from Judaism that saw her cast out from Eden.
Air and Water might be necessary for life, but Earth is life itself. It is the Mother Goddess, her womb full. As Witches, we are dedicated to the Earth element, protecting, respecting, and honoring all of nature. The Craft pulls on the natural magick of all the elements, but Earth provides the basis of so much of our practice.
During these previous months, we embarked on a journey to understand the Tarot. We’ve explored the four Minor Arcana suits (Pentacles, Swords, Wands, Cups) and seen how each suit corresponds to a specific area in our lives. But what about the Major Arcana? The Major Arcana (22 cards, numbered from 0 to 21) are cards with powerful symbolism and evocative imagery. They are meant to stir your intuition and guide you on your journey. When you see a Major Arcana tarot card appear in your reading, you know something big is happening!
Think of Yule and what comes to mind is the fragrance of warm spices, fire, and the colors red and green. Whether you live in the Northern or Southern Hemispheres, cinnamon is a Yule staple in food and drinks, poinsettia and holly adorn tables and doorways, and of course, there’s the warmth of the fire. In the Northern Hemisphere, cozy fireplaces make us feel comfortable, safe, and empowered. While in the Southern Hemisphere, its mid-summer and the fiery sun fills us with vitality, energy, and a sense of freedom. It’s no coincidence that the properties of cinnamon align with the masculine energy of fire and the vibrations of freedom, power, safety, and vitality. We can only assume that’s why cinnamon is associated with Yule because the lore behind it isn’t that convincing.
Garnet occurs across the world and is a group of silicate minerals. Evidence of garnet being used as jewelry, embellishments, talisman, and an abrasive has been unearthed in settlements dating back to the Bronze Age. The stones occur in different grades of hardness, opacity, and color. Harder qualities saw them being used as abrasives in early civilizations, and industrial quality garnet is still widely used today. The clearer gems got used for jewelry, crystal carvings, and decoration. Colors include clear, black, blue, brown, orange, yellow, green, pink, purple, and red. In this article, we’re going to discuss the properties of red garnet.
In a world of so much insecurity, loss, and confusion, one thing we need more of is love and kindness towards each other. That can be challenging when we’re witnessing pain, stress, and suffering and hearing about so much negativity. Human beings don’t like change! We’re hardwired that way as part of our primitive survival instincts. In ancient times when people survived hand to mouth, even the slightest change in the environment could mean impending death at worst and substantial suffering at best. Instinctively we view change as a threat to our survival.
Yule is a time when new life begins to manifest, but it is still invisible to the naked eye. Deep below the bleak, barren surface new life is developing; warm, protected and coddled in the earth or the womb.That’s in nature, of course, but Yule is a time when you can start planning the manifestation of new beginnings of any kind as well. New beginnings need not be something new; it can be a continuation or expansion too. Maybe you’re looking to manifest financial security, health, and prosperity for yourself and your family, or perhaps you would like to find balance and harmony in life. New beginnings don’t have to be anything big or spectacular.
Baking and cooking delicious treats and meals are an important part of any celebration of the Wheel of the Year. Each celebration has its specific treats Witches can make to honor that holiday’s tradition. In the case of Samhain, the most popular treat to bake is Soul Cakes. What are Soul Cakes, you ask? Well, we will find out together! By the end of this article, you will be so engrossed in what Soul Cakes represent, you will not be able to resist getting up and making some for your Samhain Celebration.
Many of us love to bring the spirit of the season into our everyday lives by decorating our homes inside and out with festive symbols. Though many of these items can be store-bought, when you craft something to represent the season and bring its energies into your home, you can bless and imbue them with more power as you make them. As our New Year and most sacred sabbat, decorating for Samhain with handmade crafts brings a little extra power into your celebration.
It is a common enough phrase these days and used to describe all kinds of situations. Maybe it is the time in the afternoon that your toddler melts down each day without fail. Maybe it is when you see the most animal activity in your yard. It is even used to describe the last hour of stock trading on Wall Street. Whatever the situation, many people use the term “Witching Hour” to describe a wide range of things, from the peculiar to the outright dreadful. But the Witching Hour is real for Wiccans; it is a good thing, and it has real power. Like most things with Wicca, there’s the history, what others think, and where we are today. So, let’s look at when the Witching Hour is, why it holds power, how you can use that power, and why the Witching Hour at Samhain is particularly powerful.
Also known as aether, the spirit element has been discussed and theorized about since ancient times. From intellectuals like Plato and Aristotle to Vedic philosophers, all acknowledged the existence of the aether or the spirit element. In some traditions, it’s considered the first element and in others the fifth.
The moon is a sacred symbol to Wiccans and Pagans as it is imbued with feminine energy and plays a central role in honoring the goddess. The moon is a physical representation of the goddess, her energy, and the divine feminine. While there are many beautiful and powerful rituals within Wiccan and Pagan practices, drawing down the moon is one of the most sacred and magnificent rituals for practitioners. While Sabbats celebrate the wheel of the year turning and Esbats pay tribute to the phases of the moon, drawing down the moon is a ritual in which the practitioner melds with the divine allowing them to talk and interact with the goddess herself.