Why didn’t my spell work? 5 reasons magick fails

If magick worked like in the movies, we’d wave a wand, sparks would fly, and everything would fall perfectly into place. But real magick is much less predictable. Every Witch has wondered—at least once—when a spell is going to work, if it worked, or why it didn’t work. Magick is as individual as the magician. […]

The eight (or nine, or 13) tools of Wicca

What ritual tools are required to practice Wicca? Theoretically, none at all—as the Witch’s will is the most important tool. But Wiccans, it may be said, rarely travel light. This article looks at the traditional altar tools that are used in the Gardnerian tradition of Wicca. Gerald Gardner, who first described and named the Wiccan […]

Choosing a rune set

Thinking about taking up the runes? Mastery of the runes can take many years, but it is not difficult for a beginner to learn the basics. (Much as young children can quickly learn their ABCs.) The first learning tool you’ll need is a rune set of your own, to begin familiarizing yourself with this ancient […]

The best Tarot decks for beginners

Picking out a first Tarot deck shouldn’t be a monumental task. And yet, with so many different decks on the market today, lots of beginners are intimidated by the sheer number of options. It’s true that you can never have too many decks. But it’s also true that you have to start somewhere. I’ve cut […]

Defining “intention”: What does it mean in magick?

Magick workers talk a lot about something called intention. As in, “focus on your intention,” or “write your intention on a slip of paper.” Most of us would agree that formulating the right intention is one of the major—if not the major—prerequisites for successful spellcasting. After you’ve settled on the direction of the working, the […]

White magick, black magick: What’s the difference?

“I’m a white Witch. He practices black magick.” If you spend enough time in witchy company, you’re sure to come across some discussion of shades and tints of magick. But what do these terms really mean? What beliefs and ideas do they encompass? And, more to the point, is there really a distinction between white […]

Spell detection 101: How to know if someone is using witchcraft on you

“Am I cursed?” Because I am (I guess) sort of a professional Witch these days, I get this question from time to time. Because of the ubiquity of “white” (i.e., benevolent) witchcraft—and the efforts of modern Witches to clear the air—you might think that Witch paranoia was a thing of the past. However, my blog’s […]

How to cleanse and charge a new amulet or talisman

Got a shiny new piece of magickal jewelry? Before putting it on, you may wish to take the extra step of ritually activating the object to make it more effective at its purpose. Charging and wearing an amulet is one of the oldest and most widely practiced forms of spellwork. In this article, I’ll discuss […]

Pagan adulthood: Expectation versus reality

Once upon a time, there was a witchy little girl with some big dreams about what the future would hold. Like many, I began my Pagan practice as a young teen. I was stirred by tantalizing contact with Nature, the Ancient Ones, and the Unseen. I couldn’t wait to learn everything I could about magick, […]

Exploring your psychic gifts: Which divination method is right for you?

Divination is one of the most-practiced branches of magick. Even non-magickal folks will sometimes flip a coin to make a decision, or crack open a fortune cookie with more than idle curiosity. As a student of the magickal arts, it’s likely that you dabbled in divination as one of your first forays into the Mysteries. […]

How does herbal magick work, anyway? Four theories

A sachet of leaves tucked under a pillow, a handful of berries strewn across a doorway: Herbal charms and remedies are one of the most familiar forms of magick. Herbal (“green”) witches keep elaborate pantries of herbal ingredients, each with a different power to enlighten or heal, bother or protect. (To be clear, we’re talking […]

Grounding in under a minute: 9 energetic quick fixes

If you’ve done even basic energetic or ritual work, you’re probably familiar with the practice of grounding. Grounding allows excess psychic energy to be released and re-establishes contact with the physical body. It’s especially important after energy transfers, trance work, and group rituals. While beginners often disdain grounding practices as un-magickal, experienced workers know that […]

Starting a crystal collection on a budget

Collecting crystals can truly enrich your life, but it shouldn’t put you in the poorhouse. Here’s some helpful tips for building a mineral collection on a limited budget: 1. Start small. Consider getting an assortment of tumbled stones, then buying larger specimens of the ones that are the most useful or appealing to you. (That […]

Making a deity altar

Putting together a special, purpose-built altar is a great way to connect with an individual face of the Divine. You can make an altar for your patron God or Goddess, or another deity who you’re interested in learning more about. Altars can be as grand or as humble as you want them to be. You […]

Choosing magickal oils

Magickal oils have a long, long history. Long ago, oils were a precious source of food and fuel, and the finest were reserved for sacred applications. Oils were offered to the Gods and used to anoint the newly born and dying. Mages scoured the globe for rare flowers, spices, and resins to create special oils […]

Magickal timing: Choosing the right day of the week for your spell

Planetary magick is a complex system which blends astrology, ancient cosmology, and celestial intelligences in an attempt to bring the most effective results. In this article, we’ll discuss the planetary rulers of the seven days of the week, and the best day to perform different types of magick. Planetary magic can seem cumbersome, especially to […]

Candle color and their meanings

Candle magick and color magick are two simple, powerful forms of magic used by beginners and experts alike. (We once published a list of color meanings in a product description, and it quickly became the most viewed page on the website.) Each color carries a different energy frequency. In spellwork, the energy of colors is […]

Pendulum basics: How to use a pendulum (for beginners)

A pendulum is a powerful tool for accessing intuition. Pendulums and dowsing have been used by humans for thousands of years, and it would be difficult to name a magical tool that is more compact and versatile. Pendulums, which work from involuntary muscle movements, allow you to bypass your conscious mind and go directly to […]