Paganism/Wicca: Most Popular Articles
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.
If you're just getting started in learning about Wicca, here are a few of the basic principles and concepts you should know.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Some people celebrate it as Halloween, but for Pagans, October 31 is typically known as Samhain. It's the old Celtic new year - sometimes called the Witches' New Year - and it's a time for honoring those who have crossed over into the spirit world.
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.
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.
Samhain falls on October 31, and is known as the Witch's New Year. You can celebrate it as the end of the harvest, and honor the return of the King of Winter.
In many magical traditions and religious paths, the use of beads can be a meditative and magical exercise. Why not assemble a set of beads that holds meaning to you, and use it in your ritual practice and workings?
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.
What's the difference between Wicca, Witchcraft and Paganism? Or are they all just the same thing with different names?
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 got chastised by a friend for owning a Christian Bible - and now he wants to know if he should keep it or not. Let's talk about some of the issues in this situation.
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.
Everyone loves candles, and with Samhain coming you can make your own candles out of small pumpkins and squashes. Learn how to do this fun and easy craft in just a few steps.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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?
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?
The crow and raven appear in folklore going back to early times -- what do these beautiful black messengers tell us?
So you think you're ready to become Pagan? Here are ten facts you really need to know before you take that step.
Samhain night is a great time to sit around a fire telling spooky stories. Check out this collection of classic scary poems to read, either alone or out loud. Oh, and if you hear something go bump in the darkness behind you, don't panic... much.
The evening of October 31 is known as Samhain. It's a time to mark the endless, ongoing cycle of life and death. Here are some ideas for dressing up your home and sacred space for your Samhain celebrations.
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.
Soul cakes were traditionally given out on Samhain to anyone who came tapping at the door. This was one of the origins of today's Halloween trick-or-treating. Make your own soul cakes for your Samhain rituals.
Are you trying to find a way to meet your spirit guide or guides? Many people believe they have a spirit guide - here are a few tips to help you meet yours.
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 known as the witches' new year. It is a time to think about the endless cycle of life, death, and rebirth. With this ritual, you can celebrate all three aspects either with a group or as a solitary.
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 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.
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.
The Green Man appears in many forms in British and Celtic myth. What is the Green Man, and what does he really represent?
Many Pagans believe that everyone has some degree of latent psychic abilities. Here's how you can work on developing your own psychic talents.
For many Pagans, the honoring of the ancestors is a key part of their spirituality. This ceremony can be held by itself or as part of a group of Samhain rituals.
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.
In some Wiccan traditions, people choose to honor the God and Goddess, rather than focusing on the harvest aspect of the holiday. If this is something you'd like to do, this ritual welcomes the Goddess in her persona as Crone, and the Horned God of the autumn hunt.
Owls have featured in folklore and legend for a long time. Here are some of the most popular tales of owl magic and mythology.
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.
In many Pagan traditions, Samhain is celebrated with a Dumb Supper. This is a meal with place settings for relatives and friends who have crossed over in the past year. Here's how to host one.
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.
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Once you've got a pile of Tarot cards down in front of you, how do you interpret the messages within them?
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.
Looking for a ceremony or ritual to celebrate the Pagan sabbat of Samhain? Here's where you'll find a number of modern Pagan rituals and ceremonies, all of which can be adapted either for solitaries, families or a group.
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.
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.
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.
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?
No matter how you celebrate it, the winter solstice is traditionally a time for all kinds of festivities, feasting, and fun. Here's where you'll find all the Yule-related topics rolled into one handy place.
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. Page 16.
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.
Definition of the phrase Blessed Be in Pagan and neo-Wiccan lore
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.
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.
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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.
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.
Are you looking for a simple Samhain ritual you can perform with younger children? This ritual is appropriate for smaller family members, and celebrates the theme of honoring the ancestors at Samhain.
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.
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.
Mabon is the mid-harvest festival of the autumn equinox, and it is when many modern Pagans honor the changing seasons, and celebrate the second harvest.
Man's relationship with animals has evolved over thousands of years. Where once they were only a source of food, now they are our companions. Take a moment to honor the animal spirits in a ritual for Samhain.
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.
Samhain is a time in which many Pagans honor the spirits of their ancestors. For something a little different, celebrate Samhain with a ritual honoring the forgotten dead.
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.
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.
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.
A reader is concerned that there's a conflict between the silly fun of Halloween and the more somber spiritual aspects of Samhain. Is it disrespectful, or anti-Pagan, to celebrate Halloween?
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.
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.
It's Samhain, and pumpkins are everywhere! Chances are good you've seen a carved jack-o-lantern grinning at you from someone's window. But where did this unusual custom originate?
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.
There are plenty of Sabbats and other events celebrated by Pagans each year. Here's our listing of the 2015 Pagan and Wiccan calendar of events.
Nearly all cultures have some sort of spider mythology, and folktales about these crawly creatures abound - let's look at some spider myths and legends.
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.
To the ancient Egyptians, Ra was more than just another god. He was the bringer of life and master of the heavens.
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.
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 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.
It's Samhain, and for many Pagans it's time to commune with the ancestors. Use this simple meditation technique to call upon those who walked before us -- you may be surprised at some of the people you meet!
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.
Bridget Bishop was the first person to die in the Salem witch trials of 1692. Learn about why this woman was singled out and accused of witchcraft.
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.
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.
Looking for some decorating ideas for Samhain, but don't want to spend a fortune? Try some of these simple seasonal ideas to get your house all ready for the Sabbat!
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.
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!
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.
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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.
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 and other Pagan religions.
Are Wicca, Witchcraft and Paganism the same thing? Not exactly. Learn what some of the differences are.
Some magical traditions incorporate black salt into spellwork and ritual. Here's how you can make your own to use.
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.
Ever wonder about the superstition of black cats being bad luck? How did these feline lovelies become part of the Halloween and Samhain traditions?
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.
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.
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 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.
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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.
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 19.
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 why you keep hearing Pagans and Wiccans talk about magical energy, correspondences, or chatting with their gods?
This harvest-scented blend of incense is perfect for burning during your Samhain seance, divination session, or any autumn workings.
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:
Looking for a prayer for a special event or ceremony? Check here for our ever-growing list of Pagan and Wiccan prayers!
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.
Are you looking for some simple Samhain prayers to include in your rituals? Try one of these prayers as part of your Samhain celebrations.
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.
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!
Many of the ancient Celtic gods and goddesses have become a part of modern Pagan practice. Learn more about some of the deities honored by the Celtic peoples.
Cerridwen is known in Welsh mythology as the keeper of the Cauldron of the Underworld in which knowledge and inspiration are brewed. She is considered a goddess of prophetic powers, and because her symbol is the Cauldron, she is an honored goddess in many Wiccan and Pagan traditions.
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!
At Samhain, the earth is growing cold and dark. It is a time of death, of endings and beginnings. This prayer honors some of the deities associated with death and the underworld.
Looking for Samhain recipes and Samhain cooking information? Join us for all kinds of Samhain feasting and food ideas, including the famous Ghost Poop dessert!
Few things represent the image of the harvest season as well as the scarecrow. Learn about the history of this long-used harvest helper.
Samhain is a popular time for divination. Learn about some of the traditional methods of divination during the Samhain season.
Make Samhain craft projects to decorate your home, yard and magical workspace to celebrate the Samhain season.
Many people choose to use Samhain as a time of honoring their bloodline. Use this prayer to celebrate your ancestry at Samhain.
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.
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.
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.
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.
At Samhain, many people of Pagan faiths honor their ancestors. You can make a small shrine to honor your ancestors, or turn it into an entire ancestor altar. Set it up for the recently departed, or your entire extended family.
What is Paganism? Let's look at an explanation of what modern Paganism is, including the Wiccan religion and others.
Definition of the word. Paganism / Wicca.
Wondering what we mean when we talk about a psychic medium? Here's a basic definition!
Are there laws against practicing witchcraft in the United States? Let's look at how the legal landscape has changed in America when it comes to the practice of witchcraft.
Have you ever heard the term plastic shaman while reading about Native American spirituality? Here are some warning signs to watch out for, and how to make sure you're not a victim of a plastic shaman.
We all love to trick or treat each year, but how did this custom evolve? Find out what the purpose is behind the tradition -- and how it's bloomed into a multi-million dollar industry!
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.
Are there any Hollywood celebrities who are openly Pagan? There are a few, but many more have been the subject of speculation.
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.
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.
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.
Want to see how other readers have decorated their altars to celebrate Samhain? Be sure to check out our Samhain Altar Gallery for some great ideas!
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.
Cultures around the world have celebrated the winter solstice, and each has its own unique set of deities. These are some of the gods and goddesses associated with the holiday of the winter solstice.
Apple butter is a delicious treat all year long, and if you make it in the fall with fresh apple sauce, you can preserve it to eat later on. Enjoy this tasty spread on warm bread, or just straight from the jar!
Around Mabon, acorns are dropping from the oak trees everywhere. Find out why this tree -- and its seeds -- are important in many Pagan traditions.
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