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Articles — symbols

All about wand woods: Magick and meaning from Alder to Zebrawood

Michelle Gruben energy materials symbols tools wands

All about wand woods

Welcome to the world of woods! As a wand-maker (or wand purchaser), you may wish to know more about the different woods that lend their character to your magickal tools.

This list is alphabetical and includes many of the most common wand woods. The woods on this list are drawn from three broad categories: The traditional Celtic (Ogham) trees, domestic trees that are more commonly found in American parks and backyards, and the exotic imported woods that are favored by luxury wandmakers. It’s not an exhaustive list, but it’s a start. I’ve included an...

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Pennies, acorns, and cracks: The magickal truths behind 7 old superstitions

Michelle Gruben beginner divination energy folk magic magic materials spells symbols tools

Pennies, Acorns, and Cracks

"I don't really believe in it, but I'll do it just in case." That's the definition of a superstition. Even though such practices seem quaint or illogical, some part of you feels that you should heed them...just in case. Superstitions are remnants of old occult beliefs preserved in folklore for the rational age.

If you practice magick, as I do, it's easy to see that many folk sayings conceal old truths about how magick works. Their core ideas are so old and so true that they cannot be erased. Though we may think of...

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What's up with the blank rune? How (and whether) to read it

Michelle Gruben divination runes symbols tools

What's up with the blank rune?

The blank rune is a curious appendage to most rune tile sets. Called the “Wyrd rune” or “Odin’s rune,” this mute little tile is a topic of much debate among rune readers.

The 24 Elder Futhark runes are—among other things—an archaic alphabet and a divinatory system. Each character has three broad levels of meaning: a phonetic sound, a worldly object or concept, and a spiritual/esoteric idea. The blank rune is no exception to this schema. It represents, respectively: The sound of silence (phonetic), the absence of things (material), and the unknown/unknowable hand...

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Representing the Elements on a Pagan altar

Michelle Gruben altars beginner elements pagan symbols tools wicca

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.

The Four 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,...

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Magickal symbols of protection

Michelle Gruben magic protection spells symbols

Protective magickal symbols
Protective magick is probably the most basic of all types of spellwork. If you don't feel safe and secure, it's difficult to enjoy any of the pleasures of life. Since the beginning of time, humans have been creating protective signs and symbols to ward off evil and bad luck.
Would you like to learn some protective glyphs to use in your spells and amulets? Today, we'll be taking a look at nine powerful protective symbols from the...

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