Articles — opinion

A village of Witches: Witchcraft’s supply and demand problem

Posted by Michelle Gruben on

A village of Witches: Witchcraft’s supply and demand problem

The fable of the “village witch” is immensely appealing to many Witches and Pagans. Whether it’s historically accurate or not, we relish the idea of the lone magick worker whose gifts are supported by their local community. Yet the popularity of alternative spirituality has led to a classic supply-and-demand problem, in which spiritual services are oversupplied and undervalued. It’s time to drag the village witch out of her cottage, and introduce her to the modern marketplace. The myth of the village witch The story goes something like this: In the distant (or not-so-distant) past, each village had its witch. (Or...

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Back to Nature? Not likely. Thoughts on a sensible modern Paganism

Posted by Michelle Gruben on

Back to Nature? Not likely. Thoughts on a sensible modern Paganism

What does an Earth-based religion look like in the 21st century? If you ask my Pinterest feed, a certain brand of rustic fantasy emerges. There is a lot of bark. There is a lot of artfully arrayed moss. There are corsets and loincloths and tools of antler and clay. You can only deduce that Paganism is something one does outdoors, away from modern conveniences, and preferably while looking fabulously disheveled. Campfires, misty groves, stones and bones--these images speak to us and inspire us. A yearning for natural surroundings (and for the distant past) is one of the common threads that...

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Tarot myths debunked! Nine "rules" of Tarot you can (mostly) ignore

Posted by Michelle Gruben on

Tarot myths debunked! Nine "rules"  of Tarot you can (mostly) ignore

As soon as you delve into the world of Tarot, you encounter a bunch of do-this, don't-do-that warnings and prescriptions about how to use the cards. (Why, it's almost as if we were dealing with something magical, not just 78 pictures on cardstock!) Some of these superstitions undoubtedly have a grain of truth in them, while others are just baloney dipped in snake oil. Now, for your amusement and your edification, Madame Michelle will feed each “should” and “shouldn’t” into the Truth-O-Matic Machine (i.e., her brain!) and declare a verdict. You shouldn't read Tarot for yourself.  Mary Greer put a...

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Holy crap! On the proper disposal of magickal trash

Posted by Michelle Gruben on

Holy crap! On the proper disposal of magickal trash

The candles have been extinguished, the circle opened, and the spell completed.  But what do with the leftover stuff?  You probably know how easy it is to get saddled with ritual debris: candle stubs, bits of fabric and string, bottles, bags, and written spells.  Though no longer useful, these items once held great meaning.  Just throwing them away seems inappropriate.   But keeping them around can stunt your magic and clutter up your house.  In this article, we'll consider ways of ethically, safely, and effectively disposing of the physical remnants of spellwork. Re-using ritual items Some ritual items are suitable...

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