Articles — beginner

Tarot vs. Oracle decks: What's the difference?

Posted by Michelle Gruben on

Tarot vs. Oracle decks:  What's the difference?

Lots of people approach our Tarot display with this question:  I'm trying to choose my first deck, but I see there are Tarot and oracle decks.  What's the difference, and which one should I get? The sheer number of options for your first deck can be mind-boggling, but understanding their similarities and difference will help you make an informed decision.  Read this short article, and you'll be an expert in no time! The Name Technically, an oracle (meaning "that which speaks") can refer to any item used for divination.  So Tarot decks are actually a type of oracle--as are runes,...

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How to use charcoal tablets for incense

Posted by Michelle Gruben on

How to use charcoal tablets for incense

Interested in burning resin incenses like Frankincense and Myrrh?  The first thing you'll need is a roll of charcoal tablets. Most stick and cone incense is charcoal-based, meaning the fragrance ingredients are pre-mixed with charcoal to allow them to burn evenly.  Using charcoal separately allows you to burn incense that wouldn't ignite well on their own, like pure tree resins and herbs.  With charcoal, you can avoid unwanted additives and make custom blends to suit your ritual needs and preferences. Charcoal comes in rolls or boxes of tablets, and is available for a few dollars any place that sells resin...

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Pendulum basics: How to use a pendulum for beginners

Posted by Michelle Gruben on

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 the unconscious or Higher Self, the source of boundless knowledge. Many people use pendulums to answer “yes” or “no” questions. Begin by holding the pendulum by its chain or cord in your non-dominant hand (your left, if you are right-handed).  Let the pendulum bead (the...

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Interested in Pagan practice but don’t know where to start? Try these safe and easy first steps.

Posted by Michelle Gruben on

Interested in Pagan practice but don’t know where to start? Try these safe and easy first steps.

Many people are intrigued by Pagan spiritual paths, but don’t know how to begin learning and practicing. There’s an overwhelming amount information out there! It can all seem so arcane and complex. Also, many newcomers are concerned that dabbling in magic and witchcraft will bring about negative consequences, like harming their mundane life or putting them in touch with unwanted forces. While I’d never argue that magic (or anything else worthwhile) is completely safe, there are ways to get your toes wet without great risk. This article discusses basic magical practices that anyone can do. These ideas aren’t just for...

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