Wicca and Neopaganism

Ask Phoenix: The Magickal Properties of Stones, Rocks & Crystals

Q: I am told that there is a special energy in stones, rocks, crystals, and other natural earth formations. how does one go about *feeling* the energy in these objects, how does one meditate on these things, and what else are they used for? — Marley A: The energy that is attributed to stones and crystals is usually a product of an association, emotion, or other sense that someone feels

Charmed, I'm Sure: The Ethics of Love Spells

To gain the love of someone: On a night of the full moon, walk to a spot beneath your beloved’s bedroom window, and whisper his/her name three times to the nightwind. –Ozark love spell It seems to be an immutable law of nature. You are interviewed by a local radio or TV station, or in some local newspaper. The topic of the interview is Witchcraft or Paganism, and you spend

Midwinter's Eve: YULE

Our Christian friends are often quite surprised at how enthusiastically we Pagans celebrate the ‘Christmas’ season. Even though we prefer to use the word ‘Yule’, and our celebrations may peak a few days before the 25th, we nonetheless follow many of the traditional customs of the season: decorated trees, carolling, presents, Yule logs, and mistletoe. We might even go so far as putting up a ‘Nativity set’, though for us

All Hallow's Eve

Halloween. Sly does it. Tiptoe catspaws. Slide and creep. But why? What for? How? Who? When! Where did it all begin? ‘You don’t know, do you?’ asks Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud climbing out under the pile of leaves under the Halloween Tree. ‘You don’t REALLY know!’ –Ray Bradburyfrom ‘The Halloween Tree’ Samhain. All Hallows. All Hallow’s Eve. Hallow E’en. Halloween. The most magical night of the year. Exactly opposite Beltane on

Harvest Home

There were three men came out of the West, Their fortunes for to try, And these three men made a solemn vow, John Barleycorn must die… listen Despite the bad publicity generated by Thomas Tryon’s novel, Harvest Home is the pleasantest of holidays. Admittedly, it does involve the concept of sacrifice, but one that is symbolic only. The sacrifice is that of the spirit of vegetation, John Barleycorn. Occurring 1/4

Lammas: The First Harvest

It was upon a Lammas NightWhen corn rigs are bonny,Beneath the Moon’s unclouded light,I held awhile to Annie… audio Although in the heat of a Mid-western summer it might be difficult to discern, the festival of Lammas (Aug 1st) marks the end of summer and the beginning of fall. The days now grow visibly shorter and by the time we’ve reached autumn’s end (Oct 31st), we will have run the

A Midsummer's Celebration

The young maid stole through the cottage door, And blushed as she sought the Plant of pow’r;– ‘Thou silver glow-worm, O lend me thy light, I must gather the mystic St. John’s wort tonight, The wonderful herb, whose leaf will decide If the coming year shall make me a bride. In addition to the four great festivals of the Pagan Celtic year, there are four lesser holidays as well: the

A Celebration of May Day

‘Perhaps it’s just as well that you won’t be here to be offended by the sight of our May Day celebrations.’–Lord Summerisle to Sgt. Howie from ‘The Wicker Man’ There are four great festivals of the Pagan Celtic year and the modern Witch’s calendar, as well. The two greatest of these are Halloween (the beginning of winter) and May Day (the beginning of summer). Being opposite each other on the

Lady Day: the Vernal Equinox

Now comes the Vernal Equinox, and the season of Spring reaches it’s apex, halfway through its journey from Candlemas to Beltane. Once again, night and day stand in perfect balance, with the powers of light on the ascendancy. The god of light now wins a victory over his twin, the god of darkness. In the Mabinogion myth reconstruction which I have proposed, this is the day on which the restored

Candlemas: the Light Returns

It seems quite impossible that the holiday of Candlemas should be considered the beginning of Spring. Here in the Heartland, February 2nd may see a blanket of snow mantling the Mother. Or, if the snows have gone, you may be sure the days are filled with drizzle, slush, and steel-grey skies — the dreariest weather of the year. In short, the perfect time for a Pagan Festival of Lights. And