Articles

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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How to use songs and chants in Pagan ritual

Posted by Michelle Gruben on

How to use songs and chants in Pagan ritual

Group singing can truly elevate a public ritual--raising energy, setting the mood, and bringing people together in a profound way. But it can also be a major pitfall. Most people get nervous about singing in public, and a bad musical number can wreck an otherwise well-planned ritual. The decision to include music in your Pagan ritual is a great gamble—the risks are real, but the payoff can be worth it. The seven tips in this article will help you maximize participation and impact when presenting music as part of your open rituals. Keep it simple. Don’t overestimate the ability of...

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Love magick, Faery style

Posted by Michelle Gruben on

Love magick, Faery style

Love spells get a lot of bad press. Love magick, they say, is dangerous, selfish, and unethical. But Faery witches have a view of love magick that is more playful and more tolerant than the New Age party line. They say it's wrong to need a lover to bring you happiness. They say you shouldn't cast a spell to attract a partner or make someone fall in love with you, or you will surely pay the price. Instead, a lot of people will advise you to take steps toward increasing self-love, or inviting love into your life in some indefinite form....

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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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