Articles

Just be nice: An underrated magickal skill

Posted by Michelle Gruben on

Just be nice: An underrated magickal skill

When working magick in a group or coven, everybody brings different skills and talents to the table.  You may have a booming voice, a knack for writing rituals, or an astounding psychic gift.  Or (let's face it) you might not.  Not everybody's contributions are equal.  But next time you start to feel intimidated by the attainments of others, remember this: You can surpass loads of candidates just by being a basically decent person. Yep, it's true--there are a lot of jerks in the occult world. Some express their personality faults mainly in a magickal setting (I call them "circle jerks"),...

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House of cards: Choosing the right storage for your Tarot deck

Posted by Michelle Gruben on

House of cards: Choosing the right storage for your Tarot deck

Where do you keep your Tarot or Oracle deck?  Deciding how to store your cards is one of the first decisions you'll make as the owner of a new deck.  It depends on your personal preferences and your individual reading habits--whether you travel with the deck, for example.  In this article, we'll consider the most common methods of deck storage, and some advantages and disadvantages for each. The original box. Some people--perhaps most--prefer to keep their cards in the original packaging.  The publisher's box is usually perfectly sized and matches the cards and booklet.  For owners of multiple decks, it's...

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Sage advice: An illustrated guide to smudging herbs

Posted by Michelle Gruben on

Sage advice: An illustrated guide to smudging herbs

Once upon a time, there were only three kinds of smudge sticks in most witchy shops: Small, medium, and large.  These days, you can choose from a vast array of smudging herbs, each with a different energy, aroma, and cultural history. In this article, I’ll walk you through the plants that are most commonly used for smudging. (We’ll limit it to smudges that are derived from woods and leaves. Resin incenses are divine—but that’s a topic for another article.) The variety of smudging herbs is incredible. But you’ll also notice some similarities. First, most of them come from the leaf...

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What plants and herbs are attributed to Earth?

Posted by Michelle Gruben on

What plants and herbs are attributed to Earth?

As we wrap up a four-part series on elemental correspondences, it's time to consider the herbs of Earth. You may notice that not as many plants are attributed to Earth as to Air, Fire, and Water. This is because herbal magick as a whole is ruled by Earth.  In a sense, all herbs are Earth herbs. However, there are times when your magick calls for the specific qualities of Earth: Darkness, solidity, quietness, rest and incubation.  Earth herbs, in general, are good for evoking gratitude and for healing grievances. Earth is also the element of manifestation--using Earth herbs is one...

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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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