Many people in the Pagan and Wiccan communities work with spirits and otherworldly beings. Sometime, you may call upon them on purpose -- other times, they might just drop in unannounced! Be sure to read our articles about working with the realm of the spirit world! Learn to identify the different types of guides, how to tell if a spirit doesn't really have your best interests at heart, and how to get rid of spirits that you don't want hanging around.
Think you might have a helpful spirit guide hanging around? Before you go getting too involved, you may want to read this information about what a spirit guide actually is - and the different types that are out there!
Every once in a while, someone will manage to contact what they think is a spirit guide - perhaps by way of a Ouija board or other method of divination -- and the next thing you know, things are getting weird. If any of the following scenarios seem familiar, then chances are that what you've connected to is not a spirit guide at all. Here are the warning signs to watch out for.
Many Wiccans and Pagans communicate with the spirit world by way of holding seances. Before you have a seance of your own, there are a few things to keep in mind. A séance is an event that can either be fantastic, or a real mess. Which one it is will depend on how much preparation goes into it. With a little bit of planning and thought ahead of time, you can pave the way for your séance to go smoothly. Certainly, it's a good idea to expect the unexpected -- after all, the dead are hardly predictable -- but by setting yourself a few guidelines in advance, you can make sure that everyone has the best experience possible.
In many Pagan and Wiccan traditions, Samhain is celebrated with a Dumb Supper, or a Feast with the Dead. This is a solemn and sober occasion, and includes place settings for relatives and friends who have crossed over in the past year, as well as a chance to tell them what you never got to say.
Got an extra entity hanging around? Made contact with a snarky spirit during a seance? Here are some tips on how to get rid of them and send them on their way.
Many of the Pagan and Wiccan books and websites - including this one - mention the idea of "cleansing" or "purifying" a space before ritual work or to get rid of unwanted spirits. But how, exactly, do you do that? Learn how, using these simple techniques.
A reader asks "Are Ouija boards harmless children's toys, or tools of the devil?" Let's talk about Ouija boards, how they're used, and some of the things that can go wrong when used by people who don't know what they're doing.
Many mainstream religions have a Last Rite, or something close to it. In the moments before dying, a priest or pastor is called to the individual's side, and offers the blessings and prayers of that particular faith. This prayer is written as one which may be said by the dying person, but realistically, it may be better if someone says it for them -- physically, a dying person may not be capable of speaking a prayer at all. Make sure, if you find yourself facing such a situation, that you have permission to speak to the gods on behalf of the dying individual.
In some modern magical traditions, it is believed that the dead cross over into a place called the Summerland. This is a predominantly NeoWiccan concept, and is not universal to all Wiccan or Pagan traditions. Learn how different Pagans see the afterlife, and how they view the Summerland.
Wiccan author Ray Buckland recently did a presentation on a Pagan view of death and dying. He has graciously allowed us permission to share that presentation here on the Pagan/Wiccan website. Read about this unique perspective about what death means, and why it's something for us not to fear, but to accept as simply another step on the journey.