Articles

What's in your chalice? Ceremonial drinks for every season

Posted by Michelle Gruben on

What's in your chalice? Ceremonial drinks for every season

Passing the cup is a time-honored rite that's part of many a Pagan gathering. The act of blessing and sharing a beverage is certainly more important than what's in the vessel—but that doesn't mean the contents should be overlooked entirely. Celebrating with a seasonal beverage is a great way to honor the turning of the Wheel. If you've been filling your ritual chalice with boxed wine and Sprite since the beginning of time...well, read on. The suggestions in this article are based on traditional correspondences. Of course, what fruits and vegetables are in season depends on your climate and location....

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Magickal properties of Sandalwood

Posted by Michelle Gruben on

Magickal properties of Sandalwood

Sandalwood is a slow-growing wood with a rich, complex scent. Indigenous to Southeast Asia, Sandalwood is one of the most expensive woods in the world. It has a long history of use in the spiritual practices of both the East and West. Sandalwood is labor-intensive to propagate, as it requires both a host tree and adequate sunlight to nourish itself. Sandalwood trees can take up to 80 years to reach full maturity. The concentration of scent in the heartwood increases as the tree ages. Trees that are planted today will not reach their aromatic peak for two generations. There are...

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Exploring your psychic gifts: Which divination method is right for you?

Posted by Michelle Gruben on

Exploring your psychic gifts: Which divination method is right for you?

Divination is one of the most-practiced branches of magick. Even non-magickal folks will sometimes flip a coin to make a decision, or crack open a fortune cookie with more than idle curiosity. As a student of the magickal arts, it's likely that you dabbled in divination as one of your first forays into the Mysteries. Skillful divination puts you in touch with both your inner knowing and external wisdom that will help you along your path.But many beginners ask the question, Where do I start? How do I navigate the maze of stones and bones and cards and tea leaves...

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The lore of fairy doors

Posted by Michelle Gruben on

The lore of fairy doors

Sitting at the base of a tree, on a garden wall, or over a baseboard, fairy doors invite us to imagine a fanciful realm just beyond the threshold. Not just for children, these miniature doors pop up in backyards, homes and businesses wherever fairies are welcomed.   Fairy doors are a common sight in the wooded outskirts of some UK towns (whose authorities have had to resort to removing them to curb the fairy invasion). They’re a local tradition and tourist draw in Ann Arbor, Michigan. They’ve been spotted by photographers in the unlikely environs of New York City and...

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Let's talk athames! Choosing a ritual knife

Posted by Michelle Gruben on

Let's talk athames! Choosing a ritual knife

One of the most important Witch’s helpers is the athame, or ritual knife. The athame is the elemental tool of Air or of Fire, depending on your tradition. It is generally not used to cut physical objects, but to direct energy and draw boundaries. Most closely associated with Wiccan practice, the word “athame” is of ambiguous origin. (Read: Gerald Gardner probably made it up.) But you don’t have to be Wiccan to use an athame. Magickal practitioners of many paths have adopted the term to distinguish ritual knives from their mundane cousins. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the...

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