Witchcraft is a mode of interacting with the spirit world. As there are no beliefs that are necessary in order to be a witch, this statement may seem erroneous. The problem here lays in language: very often, due to perspective, experiences, and background, we find ourselves talking about the same thing, however, in different terms and using different language to do so. So while an animist witch may hold that they are interacting with the specific spirit of a specific type of plant (anthropomorphic personalization,) an atheist witch may hold that they are interacting with a specific pattern of energy that physically manifests as that type of plant (impersonal, non-sentient.) Both are right, both are correct in what they are doing, yet both are still interacting with the spirit world.
13 Purification Rites to Eliminate Ritual Pollution
In a continued effort to put Paganism in its rightful place as just another of countless religions found throughout the world, no different and certainly not any more "special" or "unique" than any other religion, this piece examines a common component of many religions, citing examples from various religions, as well as Paganism, to not only give further explanation of that concept but to give further credence to the idea that religion is a choice, with no religion nor its members being above any other religion or its members, and certainly not above in depth examination and criticism.
It is also important to note that while Paganism is not itself specifically a religion, rather it is a term referring to numerous modern religions with seemingly little in common other than shared history and inspiration, for ease of communication this distinction will not be made within this article, however, it is frequently addressed in other areas, such as the previous articles What is Paganism? and Whitewashing Paganism.
A common idea found in numerous religions is that of ritual pollution. This is the concept that there are certain activities, situations, actions, and biological functions that can leave one in a state of impurity, impacting one's ability to perform certain religious functions and rites. Often, there are certain prescriptions given to rectify this state, i.e. purification rites that must be performed or a certain time period that must pass for the state of ritual pollution to correct itself.
There has been so much that has happened lately that my mind struggles with fitting it all into the course of the last two weeks. So many changes, some for the better with definite movement forward, others that leave me conflicted, my heart heavy, and with whispers on every bird song that bring me to tears. But all change is a step forward, even if we cannot see it. Even what feels like a step backward is still a step forward for while time may not be linear, our lives most certainly are and everything that happens to us moves us closer to who we will be in the end, influencing who we will be in the next.
10 Tips for Becoming a Magickal Herbalist
Herbalism is one of those things that is so inexorably tied up with witchcraft that it's hard, if not impossible, to imagine anyone with a magickal practice who doesn't have at least a passing interest in herbs. There are few places on our world that don't have plants, and the potential to use them to create changes in our lives, warding off the unwanted and helping us to attract what we desire, is something that has enticed humanity throughout the ages. Even within medicinal herbalism, there is still that feel of mystery and magick surrounding the herbs and the gentle results they bring about.
Herbalism, both magickal and medicinal, is a multilayered modality that accommodates both beginner and expert alike, with a simple approach being just as feasible and rewarding as more complicated clinical herbal research. There is, perhaps, a greater simplicity in magickal herbalism than medicinal herbalism, but it can still seem no less daunting of a field within which to get started and learn. In no specific order, here are ten tips to help you on your way to becoming a magickal herbalist.
Witches are, traditionally and historically, spirit workers. It is one of the fundamental, and inescapable, elements of witchcraft and gives credence to the idea that witchcraft, as we know it, is part of the indigenous shamanic practices of pre-Christian Europe and its peoples*. Spirits exist in a wide variety of forms, although most people tend to think only of the dead (i.e. ghosts, spirits of deceased humans and animals.) While necromancy (working and communicating with the dead, specifically dead humans) is a part of witchcraft and does play a significant role in many witches practice, there are other forms of spirit work that are much more benign and, thus, overlooked that do make up every witch's practice. This is due to the nature of those spirits and the fact that they are very often not considered as spirits (which they, very rightfully and truthfully, are.)
As a new witch and/or Pagan, there is a lot of information to sort through. So many people, books, and websites offering helpful advice, telling you how to do this, how to do that, everybody saying what you should do, but what about all of the things that you should not do? In no particular order, here is a list of 7 things to utterly avoid doing when you’re new to witchcraft and/or Paganism.
I break the dry, brittle pine branches and carefully place them into the fire pit my sons built this morning. Blowing gently on the embers, I soon coax flames back to life. They lick greedily at the fresh fuel and I smile, and then place a few larger sticks next to the flames and around the large cast iron cauldron –a 7 quart dutch oven. I stand up, remove the top from the pot, and fill it with snow from a white 5 gallon pail. A second pail stands next to the snow filled one, only it is half filled with water. This water we would use for washing clothes, dishes, and ourselves.
Whether you’re new to witchcraft or a seasoned practitioner, every witch encounters a time when they feel they’re not doing enough, that their practice has stagnated, or that they simply want to do witchcraft every day and are at a loss for starting points. The common suggestion is often to work on your Book of Shadows, but what if your witchcraft doesn’t swing that way or your record of practice is up to date?
Here are 13 productive and effective ideas for when you want to do witchcraft but find yourself stuck.
In earlier blog posts, I’ve hinted at a massive change happening for my family and me. In truth, it’s something that I’ve vaguely mentioned for a few years now, actually. But, somehow, hope and intention have given way to reality, and the dream is finally poised to manifest, albeit in ways that I could have never imagined.
In the four years I’ve been keeping this blog, I realize that I’ve never really discussed my personal practice too often, and certainly never done the obligatory “how I came to witchcraft and/or Paganism” post. So, grab a cup of tea, I’m going to ramble on for a bit and tell you a story. I hope you find it interesting.
Experienced freelance writer, editor, and copy editor, specializing in: -articles -how-to's -blogs -content writing -general fiction No topics or genres are too unusual or off limits! I am also an experienced spiritual advisor, specializing in alternative and new religious movements.
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