Articles — altars

Circling back to magick: 55 ways to live a more spiritual life every day

Posted by Michelle Gruben on

Circling back to magick: 55 ways to live a more spiritual life every day

Working magick can transform your life, but the last time you felt its full power was…well, a while ago. Burnout happens. No matter how experienced you are, or how dedicated you are to your Craft, sooner or later you will find yourself stuck in a rut. You may feel uninspired or disconnected from what drew you to magick in the first place. It’s time to get back to basics, re-charge, and reconnect with your super-awesome witchy self. There are dozens of simple rituals and practices that can help the erstwhile Witch recover their mojo. Most people hear “ritual” and think...

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Representing the Elements on a Pagan altar

Posted by Michelle Gruben on

Representing the Elements on a Pagan altar

Connecting to the powers of the Four Elements is a foundational practice for many Pagans. Earth, Air, Fire, and Water move through us and inspire us. As ideas, they help us to make sense of and to describe a complex world. Even the simplest of Pagan altars usually have some representation of the Elements. Some Pagans have specific ritual tools consecrated to each one of the Elements. (The Wand, Cup, Disk, and Sword are the canonical tools of the ceremonial magician.) Others take a more spontaneous approach, grabbing everyday items that symbolize the elemental powers. There are traditional and non-traditional...

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Caring for a silver chalice

Posted by Michelle Gruben on

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 anything, silver has a special magickal significance. Silver corresponds to the Moon. In Western magick, it’s linked to receptivity, psychic vision, dreams, change, and the element of Water. Silver is a beautiful and precious material, but it requires a bit more maintenance than ordinary dishware....

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

Posted by Michelle Gruben on

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. Gardner's legacy Gerald Gardner, who first described and named the Wiccan religion, prescribed a list of tools for the Witch. His books and papers talk at length about the acquisition and use of ritual objects. Gardner was influenced in his thinking by Aleister Crowley, English Freemasonry, Solomonic magick, the new field of cultural anthropology,...

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Messy altar? Four simple steps for organizing your witchy stuff

Posted by Michelle Gruben on

Messy altar? Four simple steps for organizing your witchy stuff

As Wiccans and Pagans, we tend to use a lot of objects in our spiritual practices. There's no shame in that--sacred objects help us understand the Above and to connect more deeply with the Below. But there are times when all the accumulated juju can get out of hand. It's a good idea to go through your stash at least a couple of times a year. Are you a Pagan hoarder? Follow these easy steps to get your gear in tiptop shape! Traditionally, the best time to clear an altar is during the last waning moon before either Beltane or...

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