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.
These days the term 'Witch Hunt' is often heard and seen in the news. The term is being used too loosely describing a perceived irrational search and persecution of a political figure. For many of us, the term brings forth mental images of wild crowds of peasants carrying flaming torches, pitchforks and shovels screaming “Kill the Witch!” All too often, in times past that person was a talented, outspoken woman who was perceived to have power over others.
Root vegetables play a key role in harvest festivals because they store so well for use throughout the winter. Lasting for several months when stored in a root cellar, root vegetables provide important nutrition in months when harvesting isn’t possible due to cold temperatures. Like most things in nature, root vegetables also have inherent magickal properties that make them perfect for kitchen witchery.
What are ethics?Ethics are a standard of right and wrong. They provide directions on what a human ought to do in terms of basic rights, obligations, and fairness. The core of ethical behavior focuses on something or someone other than ourselves as it looks at the benefits to society or the larger group. It requires that we put our own self interest and desires to the side to determine the best course of action. When someone is thinking or acting ethically, they look at the broader picture beyond their own self.
Harkening back to the ancient crone deities that maintain the thread of mortal life, weaving and braiding have been important aspects within magickal craft and ritual. Often overlooked in favor of herbs, crystals, or candle work, adding braiding or weaving to one’s spellbook can diversify one’s magickal knowledge. Both the creation and use of braids can be for ritual or spell work, from the moment one starts braiding to the braid’s use in a separate spell. From Penelope with her meditative weaving and destruction of Laertes’ burial shroud as she waited for Odyssius, to the modern practitioner braiding a basket to hold items on their altar, braids are a central piece of magickal work. The repetitive motion works best at an even pace and lends itself well to rituals and spell work. The modern practitioner is not just limited to yarns for their projects as many different materials can be used. If it is flexible enough that it can be bent quite a bit without breaking, then it can be used for magickal weaving and braiding
The Fae have a reputation for being sneaky and tricky. Like the Djinn, if you aren’t careful with your words when dealing with Fae, you’ll find yourself dealing with more than you bargained for. The veil between our world and the Fae world is thin at Beltane, allowing them to visit. If you want to show faeries, the most well-known of the Fae, that they are welcome without risking a debt you can’t pay, making a Faerie Garden is a great Beltane activity. A welcoming area just for them also keeps them from wandering about your home causing mischief and pocketing shiny things.
When people who aren't of a magickal orientation ask me about Witchcraft, I usually tell them that the Craft is an Art, Science, and a Lifestyle. The magickal skeptics never dispute the art aspect or the lifestyle aspect. But they usually object loudly about the science aspect, claiming there is no science associated with witchcraft. I beg to differ. What follows is one of my discussions about how some of the mystical aspects of the Craft are confirmed by science; and where understanding the science actually benefits the Craft practitioner.
Mention witch trials and most people think of Salem, Massachusetts, and Puritans. America wasn’t the only place witches were being hunted and executed, however. One of the most famous – and most deadly – witch trials happened in England in 1612. The Witches of Pendle Forest, as they have come to be called, were ten women and two men who were accused of witchcraft and tried. Also at the trials of 1612 were eight others, the Samlesbury Witches. The aspects of the trial were documented and published, allowing us to have insight into what occurred. The Wonderfull Discoverie of Witches in the Countie of Lancaster, by the clerk of the court Thomas Potts, provides detail that would otherwise be lost to legend and myth
Every Witch, young and old, should know or at least recognize the Salem Witch Trials. The Salem Witch Trials were a dark moment in Witchcraft history that triggered a downward spiral of negative connotations towards Witches. Because of these Trials, Witches now have to suffer from a negative image and reputation, stereotyping, and downright rude remarks that we can do little about. The Salem Witch Trials are not something pleasant to think about, but if we educate ourselves in what these Trials were, we can use the knowledge to show people who Witches are.
Welcome, youngling, to the craft. This is a massive tree with branches extending the universes known galaxies. The world of witchcraft is as old as humanity and it has now been found that the oldest known ritual is 70,000 years old. We have lore that stretches back to the conception of mankind, or the genetic manipulation, if that is a branch that you would like to climb…