Magickal symbols of protection

Protective magick is probably the most basic of all types of spellwork. If you don’t feel safe and secure, it’s difficult to enjoy any of the pleasures of life. Since the beginning of time, humans have been creating protective signs and symbols to ward off evil and bad luck. Would you like to learn some […]

Wicca questions answered: Just the facts about Wicca and Paganism

Curious about Wicca and Paganism? You’re certainly not alone! In my almost 20 years as a practicing Pagan, I’ve met lots of people who want to learn more about this small-ish, little-understood religion. Some are interested in joining Wicca (or another Pagan tradition). Some just want to better understand their Pagan friends and neighbors. Like […]

Magickal materials: Beeswax

What’s sweet and golden and comes from bees? Nope, not honey! Today, we’re taking a closer look at a versatile magickal ingredient: Beeswax. Beeswax may serve the Witch in a number of ways. Beeswax is crafted into candles, poppets, talismans and seals. It is an ingredient in ointments and natural body products. It has the […]

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. […]

Magickal properties of Angelica

A member of the Parsley family, Angelica is known in magickal herbalism as a powerful guardian. It is said to banish negativity and attract positive energy. Angelica grows in tall, blossoming stalks—but typically only the root portion is used in spellwork. Angelica is a staple of American folk magick or rootwork, but it probably acquired […]

Caring for a silver chalice

The silver (or silver-plated) chalice is an important ritual tool for many Wiccans and Pagans. The chalice represents the feminine principle and is also used to hold beverage offerings. On a Wiccan altar, the chalice stands for the Goddess, as the athame stands for the God. Although a ritual chalice can be made of practically […]

Magickal properties of Agrimony

Agrimony is a tall, perennial herb with yellow flowers. It grows abundantly in England, Europe, and parts of North America. Agrimony is the common name for several different species of Agrimonia. The folkloric name is Cocklebur. All are distantly related to the Rose. Agrimony was known to the ancients as a heal-all tonic, easing everything […]

Magickal properties of Mugwort

Mugwort is one of the most popular herbs for the Witch’s pantry. It’s known as a psychic/Lunar herb that’s also strongly protective. This article describes Artemisia vulgaris, common Mugwort. Mugwort’s magickal virtues (combined with its low cost) make it our best-selling loose herb. But how did this unassuming ditch-weed become the Witch Queen of the […]

Simple Solstice rituals

In just a few short weeks, the Summer Solstice will be upon us. The longest day of the year is a special occasion for Wiccans and Pagans, who mark our calendar by the movement of the sun and moon. Soon, Pagans all across the Northern Hemisphere will be celebrating the peak of the sun’s light. […]

Make your own chakra stone set

A chakra stone set is a small collection of gemstones, in which each stone corresponds to one of the body’s subtle energy centers. You’ve probably seen them for sale in metaphysical shops and online. Chakra stones are used in energy healing and meditation. Witches and Pagans may also use them for spellwork or divination. To […]

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 […]

20 common incenses (and what to use them for)

Grown in a Witch’s garden, picked at midnight with a silver sickle, mixed 39 times by hand, and so on. Magickal incenses can be a potent, personal tool with infinite variations. But sometimes you just need an incense that smells good and is in accord with your magickal purposes. An incense that doesn’t require a […]

All about amber: Secrets of an ancient perfume

Properly speaking, amber is a solid incense with its roots in the Middle East. Amber is a compound fragrance, meaning it is made up of a mix of ingredients. It is not the same as the semi-precious gem amber (fossilized tree resin) or ambergris (a perfume ingredient from sperm whale intestines). Throughout history, the fragrant […]

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 […]

Rare occult herbs: Dittany of Crete

Dittany of Crete is a Mediterranean herb closely related to Marjoram and Oregano. But Dittany is not the kind of green stuff you put on roast chicken. Oh no. Its reputation as a magickal ingredient has far outgrown the stature of this unassuming little pot herb. Dittany (the name probably comes from Dicte, the mountain […]

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 […]

Collecting out-of-print Tarot decks

Every Tarot collector wants that one deck. The 1980s deck that you first learned to read with (and haven’t seen since). The indie Kickstarter deck you should have bought when you had the chance. The deck that everyone raves about that’s long overdue for a reprint. As a lifelong collector (and occasional dealer) of Tarot, […]

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 […]

Magickal properties of Sage

Sage is a popular garden herb with a sweet and savory aroma. Sage grows well in most temperate climates. Its velvety leaves release their fragrance when rubbed. Sage was used medicinally in Egyptian, Roman, and Greek medicine. It is now best-known as a culinary herb for the dishes of Autumn, from roast turkey to sausage […]