Articles — opinion

Just a Witch Shop: How I Made Humility the Cornerstone of My Business

Posted by Michelle Gruben on

Just a Witch Shop: How I Made Humility the Cornerstone of My Business

It’s a wise person who can say, “I don’t know”—or better yet, “Let’s look that up.” But in the world of Witchcraft, there’s a lot that’s unknown (or unknowable) and not so many reliable ways to look things up. As a result, our community too often falls back on easy answers, bad science, flashy titles, clichés, and cults of personality. How do you work as a professional Witch without preying on the vulnerable or credulous? This is something I’ve grappled with since the first day I decided to start an occult business. The struggle is real—the tension between the weird...

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Honoring Pagan elders: Five simple ways to show your love

Posted by Michelle Gruben on

Honoring Pagan elders: Five simple ways to show your love

It’s no secret that we live in a youth-oriented society. There’s the Maiden, and the Mother, and…who’s that old biddy over there? As Pagans, we tend talk a lot about respecting the elder folks among us. But our actions often fall short. For the health of our communities, and out of kindness to those who have served before us, we all should work toward understanding and appreciating our Pagan elders. What is an elder? In some groups, it is a formal title earned after some years of doing clergy work or rising within a degree system. Occasionally it is used...

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How to spot a fake Tarot deck (and why it matters)

Posted by Michelle Gruben on

How to spot a fake Tarot deck (and why it matters)

If you search for Tarot online, you’ve probably noticed a new trend in the marketplace: E-commerce listings for decks at insanely low prices. Often shipping from overseas, these cheapo decks dominate search results on popular shopping sites. Yep, the tsunami of imported knockoffs has finally (and predictably) swamped Tarot-town. Some buyers of pirated decks know they’re buying a fake copy and just don’t give a damn. But reviews and social media pages are full of comments from regretful shoppers who thought they were getting a bargain on a genuine deck. Fortunately, if you choose, you can easily avoid buying a...

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Event review: Mystic South 2019

Posted by Michelle Gruben on

Event review: Mystic South 2019

Howdy! It’s me, your intrepid Pagan traveler with some notes from my first Mystic South event. Mystic South, in case you haven’t heard of it, is a new-ish Pagan conference that happens every summer in Atlanta. Mystic South is a hotel-based weekend event and claims about 450 attendees. The event brings together Pagan authors, performers, and seekers from (mostly) the American South and Southeast. For us southerners, Mystic South is a welcome alternative to flying across the country to attend PantheaCon or going camping outdoors in the godawful heat. Now in its third year, Mystic South is attracting A-list presenters...

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Psychic empathy: Understanding and developing your empathic gifts

Posted by Michelle Gruben on

Psychic empathy: Understanding and developing your empathic gifts

Empathy: It may be the most common of all psychic experiences—so common that it often seems perfectly ordinary. Have you ever “caught” a bad mood from a coworker as if it were a cold? Have you ever been swept up in the excitement of a sporting event, yelling and cheering, even though you didn’t really care about the outcome? If so, then you’ve experienced the transfer of emotional energy known as empathy. Is empathy really a psychic ability? As social creatures, most humans have a high degree of empathy. In the language of psychology, empathy simply means we can recognize...

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