Magickal properties of Hyssop

As lovely a garden plant as you’re ever likely to find, Hyssop is a small shrub related to Mint. It is sweet-smelling and easy to grow, with beautiful flowering tops. The flowers may be blue, purple, pink or white. Gardeners plant it in flowerbeds to attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees. Hyssop is used in herbal […]

Tarot beginner? Straight answers to 9 newbie questions about the cards

Interested in getting started with Tarot? You’re in for a remarkable journey. When used intentionally, Tarot has the power to teach you about yourself, reveal hidden knowledge, and totally change the way you look at the world. As an avowed Tarot nerd, I sometimes forget what it’s like to be brand new to the cards. […]

A Witch’s glossary of herbs

A handy key to the herbs of witchcraft. Each of the herbs listed has its own character and magickal properties. They are revealed to the Witch through study, meditation, and practice. For this glossary, we’ve limited the description of each herb to a few words. Many herbs have their own articles with more in-depth information, […]

Rare occult herbs: Mandrake

Mandrake is an unassuming little root with a formidable reputation. It is considered one of the most mysterious and potent of all magickal herbs. Mandrake was probably first adopted by magicians because of its psychoactive properties and its occasional resemblance to the human body. It is still used in countless magickal spells and charms. This […]

Magickal properties of Bearberry

Bearberry is a small shrub, a member of the Heather family. It is a low-growing plant with leathery, evergreen leaves. Sometimes called “Yukon Holly,” Bearberry grows across much of the Northern hemisphere. It prefers cold, mountainous climates and rocky soil. Bearberry produces small, edible berries that may be red, purple, or black depending on the […]

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 […]