Articles — beginner

What's up with energy play? Six secrets of fun and consensual energy sharing

Posted by Michelle Gruben on

What's up with energy play? Six secrets of fun and consensual energy sharing

Energy play is the voluntary exchange of subtle energy between two or more people. It is usually—but not always—accomplished through physical contact. Energy play is quite common within magickal groups. I personally began actively seeking out partners for energy play sometimes in my mid-20s, and have had many interesting conversations on the topic. (The best bits of which, dear reader, I am eager to share with you.) Most people in metaphysical communities are familiar with some variety of subtle energy technique or modality. Reiki and yoga have helped to mainstream the concepts of energy exchange, chi, the chakra system, good...

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The eight Sabbats: Witch's holidays

Posted by Michelle Gruben on

The eight Sabbats: Witch's holidays

Modern Pagans celebrate eight major holidays throughout the year, known as Sabbats. They are based on pre-Christian customs related to the movement of the sun. Most are related to the Celtic agricultural festivals that have given them their names. Of course, now we know that the sun doesn’t actually move around the earth. And lots of Pagans live far away from the places where our food is grown. But the Sabbats are still a meaningful way to connect with the cycles of the seasons and of human life. The Pagan Sabbats include the four astronomical holidays (the equinoxes and solstices)...

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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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Weird Pagan words: An annotated list

Posted by Michelle Gruben on

Weird Pagan words: An annotated list

Like any other subculture, Pagans have our own special vocabulary. Many of them just aren't found in Wicca 101 books or infographics. Fortunately, I write down unfamiliar words and Google them later so you don’t have to. This glossary covers some of the more obscure words and phrases in the Pagan lexicon. The ones that might leave you scratching your head if you’d never heard them before (or never before in a Pagan context). This is certainly not an exhaustive list of Pagan and magickal terminology—just a quick rundown of some of the weirdest Pagan words and phrases zipping around...

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The magick of seashells

Posted by Michelle Gruben on

The magick of seashells

Seashells are a very special magickal material—a beautiful gift of Earth and Sea. Shells are found in the secret space between these two kingdoms, which is revealed only during the change of tides. They are treasures from an invisible world. Whether plain brown or white, or cascading with a rainbow of colors, each shell brings a message to the person who is fortunate enough to find it. Read on to find out more about the magickal properties of seashells. The amazing seashell Normally, I’d just dive right into the correspondences of shells and their uses in spellwork. But instead, let’s...

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