Paganism / Wicca: Most Popular Articles
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.
At Ostara, around March 21, the light is equal to the darkness. This is the time of the spring equinox, and is a great time to celebrate the rebirth of the soil and the land. Because of its close association with the Christian Easter holiday, Ostara is known as a time of fertility and abundance.
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.
Are Easter eggs considered Pagan traditions or not? After all, the egg is a fertility symbol... but how did the egg come to be associated with rabbits?
Here's where you'll find links to all kinds of articles on Ostara -- rituals, history, crafts, recipes, and more!
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.
Eostre is frequently mentioned in NeoPagan writings, but it's pretty hard to find any scholarly information about her. Is Eostre truly a goddess of early Germanic peoples, or is she the product of modern imaginations?
There's a lot of information out there about Wicca, and if you're just beginning your studies, it's hard to get a good handle on what is what. While each Wiccan tradition or group may have its own set of specific beliefs, there are a few basic principles common to nearly every Wiccan path.
October's Blood Moon brings with it cool, clear nights and the knowledge that winter is around the corner. It's also a time for spiritual growth, because it's when the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest.
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.
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.
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.
Okay, so we know that Beltane is a fertility festival... but how do you translate that into altar setup? Here are some tips about how to set up your altar to celebrate the Beltane sabbat.
Is magic real? Depends on who you ask, but most Wiccans and Pagans will tell you they accept magic as part of their daily life. Most people don't practice magic at all -- why on earth not, if it's real? Some of the reasons might be simpler than you think.
Many Wiccans and 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.
How can Pagans celebrate Earth Day? Here are 10 great ideas for bringing Earth Day into your spiritual practice.
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.
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.
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.
Beltane has been celebrated for centuries among agricultural societies -- it's the beginning of May, the sign that summer is just around the corner. This fire festival has its roots in fertility rituals that can be traced back to Greco-Roman religions. Learn about traditions of May celebrations from around the world.
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.
What's the difference between Wicca, Witchcraft and Paganism? Or are they all just the same thing with different names?
The crow and raven appear in folklore going back to early times -- what do these beautiful black messengers tell us?
Are you welcomging Spring in by yourself? No worries -- here's a simple yet beautiful rite you can perform alone to celebrate the balance of light and dark at Ostara.
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.
A reader writes in with a question about Earth Day - what is it, and why does it even matter to Wiccans and Pagans?
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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.
While many people believe that everyone has some degree of psychic ability , this skill set can take
The Green Man appears in many forms in British and Celtic myth. What is the Green Man, and what does he really represent?
Smudge sticks are used by many Pagans and Wiccans as part of 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
There lots of magical spells out there for Wiccans and other Pagans. But what if you want to write your own spell? Here's how to 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.
So you think you're ready to become Pagan or Wiccan? Here are ten factoids you really need to know before you take that step.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Beltane is a celebration of fertility and fire, and a number of our readers have shared their altar decorations with us. Check out this image gallery to see how other Pagans and Wiccans set up their altar for Beltane.
A reader sees a beautiful ring around the moon - is there a magical significance attached to an event like this?
Many Wiccans and 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.
Are you looking for Pagan rituals for Beltane? Be sure to check out some of our most popular rituals, including information on prayers and altar setup for the Beltane sabbat.
Owls have featured in folklore and legend for a long time. Here are some of the most popular tales of owl magic,
Beltane has been a time of fertility celebration for thousands of years, in innumerable cultures. Learn about some of the different deities that can be honored during this spring Sabbat.
Beltane is a time of fire and fertility. Combine the passion of a roaring bonfire with the love of the May Queen and the God of the Forest, and you've got a recipe for a fantastic ritual. Use your imagination to kick start your Beltane festivities with this group ritual.
This simple ritual, designed for the solitary practitioner, is one you can use when you're doing your annual planting. Wait until you're past the final frost date, and then do this ritual when it's time to get your seeds planted!
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.
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!
A reader wants to know if she can practice witchcraft 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.
Although for Wiccans and Pagans this time of year is known as Ostara, many other cultures and belief systems embrace the Spring Equinox as a time of celebration. Learn about some of the many holidays and festivals held around the world.
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.
In the middle of spring, a magical thing begins to happen outside. In addition to the greening of the
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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.
When spring arrives, we can see the fertility of the earth in full bloom. For many traditions, this brings the opportunity to celebrate the sacred feminine energy of the universe. This simple goddess ritual honors the feminine, while also celebrating our female ancestors.
A number of Pagan deities are associated with the spring equinox. No matter what your tradition, chances are good that there's a god or goddess tied in with the fertility and rebirth of spring.
: For many people, the term âCelticâ is a homogenized one, popularly used to apply to cultural groups
Weaving and braiding can be magical activities. Here are some ideas on how to incorporate these crafts into your magical workings.
What should you do with a wand or athame when you first get it? Many Wiccans and Pagans perform a consecration ritual on their magical tools. It's not hard to do, and can be incorporated into any other ceremony. Learn how to consecrate your magical tools with this simple ritual invoking the energies of the four classical elements.
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.
The tradition of the Maypole Dance has been around for a long time -- it's a celebration of the fertility of the season. If you have a big group of friends and a lot of ribbon, you can easily hold your own Maypole Dance as part of your Beltane festivities.
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.
Looking for a prayer for a special event or ceremony? Check here for our ever-growing list of Pagan and Wiccan prayers!
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.
Long before the medieval peasantry of the British Isles erected their Maypoles, the ancient Romans were partying hard in honor of Flora, their spring fertility goddess. She had her very own festival, called Floralia, and there was all kinds of merrymaking going on!
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!
Some parents may not be comfortable with the phallic fertility images so often found at Beltane. If you're looking for a way to celebrate this Sabbat with kids that focuses more on abundance and less on sexuality, try this simple planting ceremony instead.
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.
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.
In many magical and spiritual systems, the egg is seen as the perfect symbol of life and fertility. This isn't exclusive to NeoPagan beliefs, though. Let's look at the magic of eggs and how people have incorporated them into magic the world over.
The Beltane bannock is a traditional cake to be eaten during the celebration of May Day. Eating the bannock on Beltane morning is said to bring abundance your way.
: Sometimes, here at About Pagan/Wiccan, youâll see the term âpre-Christianâ used in various contexts.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Maypole is a long-time symbol of Beltane -- but you may not have the time or the means to erect a full-size one on your property. Instead, why not make this smaller scale Maypole to sit on your altar for your Sabbat celebrations?
Need some quick and affordable decorating ideas for Beltane? Here are some tips on how to bring the season into your home without breaking your bank account!
Love the idea of coloring eggs for Ostara, but hate the thought of using icky chemicals on them? Try out some of these all-natural dyes to see what kinds of colors you can get!
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:
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.
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?
Looking for ways to celebrate the full moon? Here's a selection of craft ideas, recipes, and rituals that will help you honor the power of the full moon in your spiritual practice.
: In the course of your magical studies, you may at some point hear someone use the word "binding" in
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.
Some people celebrate it as Halloween, but for Wiccans and Pagans, October 31 is typically known as Samhain. It's the old Celtic new year - sometimes called the Witch's New Year - and it's a time for honoring those who have crossed over into the spirit world.
Have a Beltane prayer you'd like to share with our other readers? Here's where you can submit yours for consideration!
: The phrase âblessed beâ is found in many modern magical traditions . Although it appears in some Pagan
There are a lot of myths and folklore surrounding May Day, or Beltane. Learn about some of the stories about this magical, mystical spring Sabbat!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Looking for info on Mabon, the autumn equinox? You've come to the right place - here's where you'll find Mabon rituals and ceremonies, Mabon folklore and background, as well as some great recipes and craft ideas.
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.
Who were some of the ancient mother goddess figures? Were they separate individuals, or was there one all-encompassing deity in the pre-Christian world?
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.
What is the archetype of the Maiden, Mother and Crone in modern Wicca? This triple goddess represents the three phases of a woman's life.
Want to color some Ostara eggs with tie dye? Use actual silk ties for a clever and creative Ostara egg decoration!
Wondering about some of the different Pagan traditions out there? There are a lot of them, and none are the same as the others. Find out about some of the best-known Pagan religions out there.
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.
Beltane is a great time for celebrating spring flowers, so before you head off to the Maypole Dance, take a minute to put together one of these simple but lovely floral crowns!
What is Walpurgisnacht, and how is it celebrated in modern Pagan traditions?
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.
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.
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!
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.
Ostara is a good time to unleash a bit of Spring silliness, so why not get your kids involves in a fun and easy celebration of the season? Welcome Ostara with a ritual involving jelly beans, Peeps and chocolate bunnies.
Some people believe that the Fae are most active around the time of Beltane. What are these otherworldly creatures, and where do they come from?
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.
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.
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.
During the Pagan festival season - which typically begins around Beltane and ends after the harvest -- there are a lot of opportunities to meet new people. Some of those people are folks we form lasting bonds and friendships with. Others… not so much. Try to keep a few things in mind when interacting with potential sexual partners.
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.
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.
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.
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!
As Beltane approaches, you can decorate your home with a number of easy craft projects. A few simple seasonal crafts are a great way to celebrate the Beltane sabbat.
Bacchus was a Roman god of wine and debauchery. However, he is also identified as a fertility god. Learn more about this well-known god of the vine.
The witch's ladder is a magical tool that has been around for a while. You can use it in spellwork, meditation, or for any other sort of ritual working. Learn how to make one with items you probably already have lying around your home!
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.
There is a lot of false information floating around out there about Wicca and Paganism. Learn about some of the most common myths and misconceptions, and clear up the truth about Wicca.
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.
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.
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. Page 3.
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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.
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.
April starts off wild and wet, and by the time it's over, the air has been reduced to gentle breezes that carry seeds around the earth. Learn about April's Wind Moon, and the magic that goes along with it.
Spring is here, or at least it's on its way -- now how does that translate into a practical altar set up? Here are some great ideas for items to include on your Ostara altar, when you welcome the spring equinox.
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.
Make this tasty spice cake to welcome in the fertility season and the Green Man for your Beltane celebrations.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
So the calendar says it's time for you to celebrate a harvest Sabbat - but your vegetables and fruit won't be ready for two more weeks! What do you do? Let's look at some ways we can celebrate the Sabbats based upon agricultural markers, rather than actual calendar dates.
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.
This prayer honors the goddesses of spring in their many different aspects.
During the nineteenth century, it became popular to send someone a message using only flowers. Each one had its own symbolism, so the type of flower you sent was very important. Here's a partial list of some popular flowers and their secret meanings
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.
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?
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.