Paganism / Wicca: Most Popular Articles
Priapus is best known for his huge and constantly erect phallus, but he was also considered a god of protection. Here's why ancient Greek country dwellers kept him as a guardian.
Are you worried that you might be the target of a curse or hex? Here are some tips on how to break negative spells that have headed your way.
Lammas, also called Lughnasadh, falls at the beginning of the harvest season. Apples are ready and grain is beginning to ripen. It's also a day for honoring Lugh, the Celtic craftsman god. Learn about traditions and rituals for celebrating this early harvest holiday.
If you're just getting started in learning about Wicca, here are a few of the basic principles and concepts you should know.
Trying to plan your holidays in advance? There are a number of celebrations for Pagans and Wiccans throughout 2014. Check here for the dates for upcoming Sabbats in both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere, as well as full moon dates.
Many followers of Wicca and Paganism feel a connection to the four classical elements: earth, air, fire and water. Each connects to a cardinal direction on a compass, and each is associated with a number of different characteristics and attributes.
In Wicca and Paganism, it's traditional to create a Book of Shadows, which is a notebook containing information regarding your tradition, gods and goddesses, correspondence tables, sabbat and esbat rites and rituals, magical recipes, and more. Learn how to make your own BOS here.
In modern Pagan religions, people feel drawn towards many of the ancient gods. Here is a collection of some of the best known gods and goddesses of modern Paganism, as well as some tips on how to make offerings to them and interact with them.
Is magic real? Most Pagans accept magic as part of their daily life. So why don't non-Pagans practice magic? Some of the reasons might be simpler than you think.
Many people come to Wicca seeking something new in their life -- but there's a LOT of information out there to absorb. How do you know which books are good, and which ones are best used as a door stop? Here's a list of thirteen books from a variety of sources that any Wiccan seeker should have in their personal library.
Many Pagans use candles as part of their magical workings. Learn about the basics of candle magic, which colors to use and how to anoint your candles before using them in ritual.
So you're interested in Wicca or some other form of Paganism, but have no idea how to begin learning and studying? Don't worry - we've got the basics here of what you need to know as you get started.
What's the difference between Wicca, Witchcraft and Paganism? Or are they all just the same thing with different names?
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There are hundreds of books available on how to write your own Wiccan and Pagan spells, and thousands of spells available on the Internet. But what if you want to write your own spell? Do you need to have decades of experience? You might be surprised to learn that by following a few easy steps, anyone can write an effective spell.
Spend any time at all in the Pagan or Wiccan communities, and you're bound to meet individuals who have some fairly pronounced psychic abilities. However, many people believe that everyone has some degree of latent psychic abilities. In some people, these abilities tend to manifest in a more obvious manner -- and in others, it just sits under the surface, waiting to be tapped into. Here's how you can work on developing your own psychic talents.
In many magical traditions, simple workings are done for protection of mind and body. Particularly in folk magic, it was known that a number of workings could be done to keep one's home and property safe.
Smudge sticks are used by many Pagans in ritual and ceremony. While it's certainly convenient to buy them at the store, it's also very easy to make your own - and you get to pick which herbs are in it! Here's how to make a your own smudge sticks to use.
The crow and raven appear in folklore going back to early times -- what do these beautiful black messengers tell us?
Think you've got a curse or a hex on you? Worried that someone has attacked you magically? Here's how to figure out what's going on, and what to do about it if you really are under magical attack.
We've all read about the idea of casting a circle, but what does it really mean, and how is it done? What is the significance of the circle in Wiccan and Pagan worship?
Many Pagans use crystals and gemstones in workings, because every stone is connected to some aspect of the human experience. Learn about the therapeutic and magical properties of different stones, as well as how they are best used in magical practice.
In Paganism and Wicca, many traditions use symbols in ritual and magic. Learn about some of the most commonly seen Wiccan and Pagan symbols and their meanings.
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.
Lots of people believe they have spirit guides -- but how do you know that it's not just your imagination? Learn about some of the different types of spirit guides.
There are many different types of psychic abilities. Some people are known as empaths, which means they are sensitive to the energy and emotions of others. Let's look at empathic ability in more detail.
Have you ever had a dream and woke up wondering why you were thinking about floods, flying, or chickens? Well, chances are good that those things -- and others -- have appeared as a symbol of something else. Here are a few samples of common dream symbols and events that people experience. You can use them as a tool for self-evaluation.
People become Pagans or Wiccans for a variety of reasons. Most of those reasons are pretty good - but if yours appear on this list, you might want to rethink your whole spiritual journey and what you hope to get out of it.
Some modern Pagans and Wiccans incorporate an animal familiar into their spritual practice. Find out what a familiar is, and learn about the history of familiars in witchcraft.
So you think you're ready to become Pagan? Here are ten facts you really need to know before you take that step.
Have you ever thought about using a salt crystal lamp? Many people find them useful for a variety of reasons - let's look at what a salt crystal lamp is and how it works.
Lammas is the first of three harvest Sabbats, and celebrates the crops of late summer and early autumn. If you wish to honor the Harvest Mother aspect of the Goddess and celebrate the cycle of life and rebirth, hold this Lammas rite either with a group or as a solitary practitioner.
Although many people in today's magical community find it a bit off-putting, the use of bodily fluids in magic is a long-standing custom in many cultures and traditions. Almost universally, body fluids have been used at some point for their powerful magical properties.
The eight sabbats form the foundation of many modern Pagan traditions. This quick overview explains when the sabbats fall, how they are celebrated, and the rich history behind each of the sabbats that make up the Wheel of the Year.
Owls have featured in folklore and legend for a long time. Here are some of the most popular tales of owl magic,
Frogs and toads feature prominently in magical folklore in many societies. These amphibious critters are known for a variety of magical properties, from their ability to help predict the weather, to curing warts to bringing good luck. Let’s look at some of the best known superstitions, omens and folklore surrounding frogs and toads.
Ever wonder why Lammas is such a big deal in some Pagan traditions? Learn about the history of Lammas and how harvest festivals have been documented back thousands of years.
The Green Man appears in many forms in British and Celtic myth. What is the Green Man, and what does he really represent?
In many cultures, gods of the underworld and death are celebrated during the harvest time. Learn about these gods and goddesses who preside over the domain of the dead.
Many Wiccans and Pagans choose to select a new name to use in ritual and ceremony -- in some cases it's a name shared only with the gods. Learn how you can find the magical name or craft name that's right for you.
The Celtic tree calendar is based upon thirteen lunar months. Each is named for a letter in the Celtic alphabet. Learn about the thirteen tree months, and how they are used in magical workings.
Thinking about having a handfasting instead of a traditional wedding? Here's a sample ceremony that you can use and tweak to fit your own needs and beliefs.
What is the Rule of Three, and why does it play such an important role in modern Paganism and Wicca? Does it apply to everyone, or is it just a bunch of fluffy New Age mumbo-jumbo? Let's look at some different interpretations of what the Rule of Three might actually mean.
What should you do with a wand or athame when you first get it? Many Pagans perform a consecration ritual on their magical tools. Learn how to consecrate your magical tools with this simple ritual invoking the energies of the four classical elements.
Many 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.
Once you've got a pile of Tarot cards down in front of you, how do you interpret the messages within them?
August 1 is known as Lammas, or Lughnasadh (it's February 1, if you're in the Southern Hemisphere). Here are some ideas for dressing up your altar for your Lammas (Lughnasadh) celebration!
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Ever wonder what you can do with a wand, cauldron, or chalice? Trying to figure out what tools you absolutely have to have on your altar? Read on for information about some of the most commonly used tools of the Craft.
So you're a practicing Pagan - did you know there are some self-sabotaging behaviors you might be engaging in? Here are ten bad habits you should drop if you're a Pagan.
If you're ready to start learning about reading Tarot cards, how they work, different spreads, and the best decks to use, this is the place to start.
Isis was a great goddess of the Ancient Egyptians, and sister/consort of Osiris. She is honored today by some Pagans as the archetype of the mother and wife, and a goddess of mystery and magic.
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Lammas is a time of celebrating the beginning of the harvest, a theme seen often in the sacrifice of the grain god. Make a sacrifice of your own this Lammas, with this bread ritual that celebrates the beginning of the harvest.
Some magical traditions include an ingredient called Dragon's Blood into their ritual and spellwork. But what is it - does it come from real dragons? - and how is it used?
Wondering why you keep hearing Pagans and Wiccans talk about magical energy, correspondences, or chatting with their gods?
Need some quick and affordable decorating ideas for Lammas/Lughnasadh? Here are some tips on how to bring the season into your home without breaking your bank account!
We've all heard about Ouija boards as a form of divination, as well as the corresponding cautionary tales. Just how safe is it to use a Ouija board?
There are a variety of spreads, or layouts, that can be used in reading Tarot cards. Try one of these - or try them all! - to see which method is the most accurate for you.
Mabon is the mid-harvest festival of the autumn equinox, and it is when we take a few moments to honor the changing seasons, and celebrate the second harvest.
In Paganism and Wicca, many traditions use symbols in ritual and magic. Learn about some of the most commonly seen Wiccan and Pagan symbols and their meanings. Page 18.
The measurement of a year and a day often appears in Wiccan traditions. What's the point of a year and a day, and where does it come from?
Definition of the phrase Blessed Be in Pagan and neo-Wiccan lore
In some Pagan traditions, banishing can be used to get rid of someone - or something - that you don't want hanging around. Let's look at some of the basics of banishing.
In Paganism and Wicca, many traditions use symbols in ritual and magic. Learn about some of the most commonly seen Wiccan and Pagan symbols and their meanings. Page 16.
A reader wants to know if she can practice witchcraft - specifically, Wicca - within a Christian framework. While this probably isn't the best place to get the answer, let's talk about the idea of Christian witchcraft.
Many modern Pagans and Wiccans choose not to be part of a coven or group. Because one of the benefits of joining a group is initiation, if you're practicing as a solitary you may choose to perform a self-dedication rite as a way of declaring yourself to the deities of your tradition.
Many members of the Pagan and Wiccan communities are interested in past lives and reincarnation. While there’s no official standpoint on past lives (as with many other issues), it’s not uncommon to find Pagans and Wiccans who believe they have experienced past lives. Among those who do, there are often some recurring themes.
From an anthropological standpoint, the term “Celtic” is actually fairly complex, not merely referring to people with an Irish or English background.
So you've decided to set up an altar space of your own - awesome! But where do you put stuff? What goes where? What if you run out of room? Don't panic - everything you need to know for a basic altar setup is here.
Definition of the word. Paganism / Wicca.
In Paganism and Wicca, many traditions use symbols in ritual and magic. Learn about some of the most commonly seen Wiccan and Pagan symbols and their meanings. Page 15.
If you've got people in your life that are causing you pain and suffering, you might want to try a bit of magic. These banishing spells are popular in folklore.
In most Pagan and Wiccan traditions, interaction with the Divine is a key part of the belief system. But how do you know which gods to call upon, particularly if your tradition is an eclectic one with no set guidelines? Learn about the different types of gods, who they are, and when it's appropriate to ask for their assistance.
Bread is the ultimate symbol of the Lammas season. After all, once the grain is harvested, it is milled
What is the archetype of the Maiden, Mother and Crone in modern Paganism? This triple goddess represents the three phases of a woman's life.
Need to do a working but not sure which herbs are appropriate? Check out this list of correspondences -- it's listed by intent, so all you'll need to do is set a goal and then find your herbs!
In the wide varieties of Pagan paths, there are deities associated with nearly every season of the year, and every aspect of the human existence. Let's take a look at some of the different types of Pagan deities, and see why they are important to followers of contemporary Pagan religions.
Looking for a prayer for a special event or ceremony? Check here for our ever-growing list of Pagan and Wiccan prayers!
The Rom people of Europe have a rich and complex tradition of magic and folklore. Learn about some of their different beliefs - and why what is marketed as
There are many gods and goddesses associated with healing. Take a look at this list, and welcome the deities of health and wellness into your magical practice and ritual.
Samhain is celebrated October 31, the same night as Halloween. However, this Sabbat has roots that go back thousands of years. Learn about how Samhain became All Hallow's Eve.
In the middle of spring, a magical thing begins to happen outside. In addition to the greening of the
Wondering about some of the major deities of the ancient Celtic world? Although the Celts consisted of societies all over the British Isles and parts of Europe, some of their gods and goddesses have become a part of modern Pagan practice. Learn more about some of the deities honored by the ancient Celtic peoples.
Cernunnos is the horned god found in many traditions of modern Paganism and Wicca. He is an archetype found predominantly in Celtic regions, and symbolizes fertility and masculine energy.
There's a growing movement within modern Paganism known as kitchen witchery. The kitchen is, after all, the heart and hearth of many modern households.
Each day of the week is magical in its own right. Believe it or not, when it comes to magic, the seven days all have very different planetary influences, colors, and other associations.
You’ve found the Pagan group, Wiccan coven, or other group that you think is right for you. Before you say yes, be sure to ask the following questions:
The pendulum is the easiest method of divination. Using a simple weight on a string or chain, it allows you to divine Yes/No answers. Here's how to make your own pendulum and calibrate it for use.
Wondering what sort of magic should be performed during the various phases of the moon? In many traditions of Wicca and Paganism, timing really does matter. Be sure to read here to find out what to do when.
Learn the basics of blending your own magical oils. With just a few simple tips, you'll be able to make your own concoctions in no time at all.
In Paganism and Wicca, many traditions use symbols in ritual and magic. Learn about some of the most commonly seen Wiccan and Pagan symbols and their meanings. Page 10.
The wolf is associated with many different aspects throughout the ages. Often seen as terrifying, there are plenty of tales in which the wolf is shown as compassionate and nurturing. Let's look at some of the many wolf stories that have appeared around the world.
Ready to read Tarot cards for a friend, family member, or even a total stranger? There are a few things you should know ahead of time.
Wondering about some of the common mistakes that new Pagans make? Here are some of the five most recognizable - and what you can do to avoid making them yourself!
Many people believe they have spirit guides. But what are some of the warning signs you should look for when dealing with otherworldly beings? Here are some ways to tell if you spirit guide isn't really there to guide at all.
Among the many magical belief systems, there are a number of different methods which can be used for divination. Let's take a look at some of the most popularly used tools of divination.
Are Wicca, Witchcraft and Paganism the same thing? Not exactly. Learn what some of the differences are.
Some spiritual paths use animals as metaphysical guides. Find out what a power animal is, and why they might appear.
Rosemary is known for its many magical and culinary uses. What are some of the ways you can use rosemary in your life? Page 9.
Looking for some basic magical correspondence tables and lists? Be sure to bookmark this page, which contains links to magical correspondences for gemstones, herbs, colors, and more!
Some magical traditions incorporate black salt into spellwork and ritual. Here's how you can make your own to use.
The Celtic Cross is one of the best known layouts for Tarot readings. Learn how to use this in-depth spread to get answers to your questions.
Ever feel like certain people just suck all the energy right out of a room? Shielding is one way to protect yourself from negative or harmful energy. Learn how to shield, and then these people won't be able to affect you.
The Asatru tradition is a reconstructionist path that focuses on pre-Christian Norse spirituality. The movement began in the 1970s as part of a revival of Germanic paganism, and numerous Asatru groups exist in the United States and other countries.
So you want to make an offering to the deity of your tradition -- but what's an appropriate choice? Here are some suggestions for different types of gods, and what's an acceptable offering.
Lugh is the Celtic god honored for his skills and gifts as a craftsman. He is the god of blacksmiths, metal-workers and artisans. In his aspect as a harvest god, he is honored on August 1, on the festival known as Lughnasadh or Lammas.
Herbs have been used for thousands of years, both medicinally and ritually. Every herb has its own unique characteristics, and these properties are what makes the plant special. Learn about the correspondences associated with each of these magical herbs. . Page 21.
If you're a practitioner of a modern magical tradition, chances are good that you're in the habit of using herbs. Here's a list of ten herbs that everyone should have on hand for magical purposes.
Looking for a money spell so simple your kids can do it? Try this one, which is based on the notion that like attracts like. Use a few spare coins to bring more your way.
Are you part of a Pagan or Wiccan group that is accepting new members? You can post your listings here! Seekers, if you're looking for a coven or group in your area, be sure to check our listings to see what's near you.
Depending on where you live, you probably see spiders starting to emerge from their hiding spots at some point in the summer. By fall, they tend to be fairly active because they’re seeking warmth. Don’t panic, though – most spiders are harmless, and people have learned to co-exist with them for thousands of years. Nearly all cultures have some sort of spider mythology, and folktales about these crawly creatures abound!
Are there any rules involved in Paganism or Wicca, or is it just a magical free-for-all where everyone does as they please? Find out what standards most Wiccan and Pagan groups set for themselves.
Looking for rites and rituals for your Lammas or Lughnasadh celebration? Here's where you'll find ways to celebrate the harvest, honor the gods of the fields, and pay tribute to the Celtic god Lugh.
The British Isles and Europe don't have a monopoly on sacred places. There are a number of sites in the United States that are places of magical energy and power. Learn about ten amazing places in the U.S. that draw natural energy from the earth.
Lammas, or Lughnasadh, is a time rich in folklore and legend. Let's look at some of the customs and traditions associated with this first harvest of the season.
The witch bottle is a magical tool that has been reported in use for centuries. It was usually made of pottery or glass, and included sharp objects.
A poppet can be as simple or as elaborate as you like -- it all depends on how much time and effort you want to put into it. Learn the basics of how to build a cloth poppet here.
Litha, or Midsummer, is a celebration of the summer solstice. Here's where you'll find links to all kinds of information for this summer sabbat -- crafts, rituals, history and more!
Scrying is one of the oldest known forms of divination. You can make a scrying mirror and then use it to see what images and messages you may receive.
Lammas is the time when the harvest is just beginning, and so many Pagans and Wiccans celebrate the cycle of life, death and rebirth. Burn this hearty rebirth incense as part of your Lammas rituals, and give thanks for the blessings of abundance in your life.
Looking for a Celtic baby name for your little boy? Many Celtic boys' names emphasis strength, heroism, and masculinity. Here's a collection of names as well as their meanings!
Often called an herb of wisdom, sage can be used in number of ways. Learn about how to use sage for its magical and therapeutic properties. Page 10.
Looking for a Celtic baby name for your little girl? Here's a collection of names as well as their meanings!
Now that you've found the Tarot deck that's right for you, there are a few things you should do to keep your cards not only physically safe, but also to shield them from negative energy.
Many folk magic traditions use jars, bottles and other containers in spellwork. Here are some basics on how to craft a simple jar spell.
A traditional English harvest legend is the story of John Barleycorn, whose tale is a metaphor for the cycle of grain, and includes birth, suffering, death and eventual rebirth.
The poppet is simply a doll. Although tv shows and movies typically show poppets as the stereotypical
While today's Pagans and Wiccans might see midsummer as a day to work on their tans and have a big bonfire, for our ancestors, it was a day of great spiritual significance. Many ancient cultures honored the sun as a deity.
The besom is the traditional witch's broom, and while you can certainly buy one in a store, there's some degree of satifaction in making your own. Learn how to create a besom with natural items in just a few steps.
Many Pagan and Wiccan spiritual traditions incorporate the practice of numerology. The basic principles of numerology hold that numbers have a great deal of spiritual and magical significance. Some numbers are more potent and powerful than others, and combinations of numbers can be developed for magical use.
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Many people in the Pagan community use the phrase So Mote It Be - but what does this actually mean, and where did it come from?
In Paganism and Wicca, many traditions use symbols in ritual and magic. Learn about some of the most commonly seen Wiccan and Pagan symbols and their meanings. Page 17.
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!
Handfasting was common centuries ago in the British Isles, and then vanished for a while. Now, however, it's seeing a rising popularity among Wiccan and Pagan couples who are interested in tying the knot. Find out where this custom came from, and what brought it back.
If you look back at history, there are a lot of stories about the magical powers of the moon. Read on to see some of the myths and legends associated with this magical body!
This beautiful and powerful ritual is one in which the practitioner invokes the Goddess directly into herself (or himself, as the case may be). In some variations of this ritual, a High Priestess (HPs) may go into a trancelike state and speak the words of the Goddess, and in others, it may be a formal monologue calling upon the Goddess in her many forms.
There are a lot of myths and folklore surrounding Lammas, or Lughnasadh. Learn about some of the stories about this magical harvest Sabbat!
In addition to the eight Sabbats, many Wiccans and Pagans celebrate regularly with an Esbat. This is a time of spellwork and magic, as well as of communing with the Divine, traditionally held at the time of the full moon. You can hold this Esbat ritual either alone or as part of a group.
So now you've decided to learn about spellwork, and you're ready to do a little magic of your own. How long should you wait before you start seeing the results of your working?
People have honored gods and goddesses of the moon for thousands of years. Let's look at some of the lunar deities that have been the source of inspiration and wisdom throughout history.
If you've lost a pet, it can be hard to let go. These prayers can be used for a family memorial for your deceased friend, from goldfish to dogs and cats.
Are there any Hollywood celebrities who are openly Pagan? There are a few, but many more have been the subject of speculation.
May 1 is known as May Day to many people, but for a lot of Wiccans and Pagans it's Beltane (our Southern Hemisphere readers celebrate it around October 31 - November 1). It's a day to celebrate fertility, fire, and abundance. Learn about the traditions and trends of this Sabbat, how to hold a Maypole Dance, and some great ideas for rituals and celebrations.
A daughter of the Dagda, Brighid is one of the classic triple goddesses of the Celtic pantheon. Many Pagans and Wiccans honor her today as a goddess of the hearth and home, and divination and prophecy.
Blend up a bit of magical protection oil to keep you safe from psychic and magical attacks.
What is a coven, and what are some of the benefits and pitfalls of joining one? Learn about coven dynamics, and most importantly, where to meet the people whose groups you want to join.
Imbolc is known as a time of purification and cleansing. A great way to incorporate this into your magical practice is to take a ritual cleansing bath. The purpose of a ritual cleansing is to not only clean the body, but also to cleanse the mind and soul.