You are on page 1of 42

1

Wicca 101: Witchcraft and Magic


by Heather B.

Spells and Hexes and Charms, Oh My!

Not only is Wicca commonly mistaken for a cult, many assume that Wicca is evil simply
because the name sounds so close to the word 'wicked.' Wicca's association with witchcraft
certainly doesn't help, given that people
are so misinformed about magic. Many believe that witches are evil and have sold their souls,
that witchcraft is a sin, and that Wiccans are Satanic. Wicca is believed by some to be only the
casting of spells and hexes, but the truth is that magic is only part of this Pagan religion.
Moreover, what most people think they knew about witchcraft is nonsense and has little to do
with real magic.

That's right: everything you know is wrong. Witches have not sold their souls, and they do not
worship any entity known as Satan or the devil. Most Wiccan witches do not even believe in
his existence, because giving a name to evil only empowers it and inhibits personal
responsibility. Witchcraft does not come from any demon in Hell, but from nature and from
within our souls. You need no contract with the devil to cast spells, for every living person has
the ability to harness energy within and around them. We are all witches, whether we
embrace magic or not.

There are many forms of energy all around and within us, for energy cannot be destroyed--
only converted from one form to another. Magic is only a form of energy, and witchcraft is the
art of harnessing that energy to create change. Most of that change is not tangible, for we have
our hands for creating physical change. The effects of magic are abstract and cannot yet be
measured. Magic isn't about shooting fireballs or flying on broomsticks. Simply put, it's about
increasing the odds that something will happen by applying energy to a goal. This energy is
drawn from within oneself, from nature, from deity, and from objects on the alter (such as
stones).

I often compare magic to prayer. Just as the wishes made in prayers are not always granted,
magic is no guarantee a goal will be achieved. So many factors can intervene, including nature
itself. The results will depend partly on how well the spell is cast, but also on his actions. Just as
God helps those who help themselves, so does magic. How reasonable the goal is will be
another factor. Anything you wouldn't get through prayer, you won't get through magic--like
a million dollars. The free will of others may also interfere with a spell, for the actions of others
are out of even God's control.

Magic is like assisted, ritualistic prayer. It can be as simple as lighting a candle for someone,
just as the Catholics do, in hopes they will fare better soon. There is only one simple difference
between spells and prayers. In a prayer, God is asked for help. In a spell, God and nature are
asked for help, and the witch tries to help herself by pouring her own energy and energy from
her possessions into the goal. She comes with faith, love, and hope, but without expectations,
and once the spell is cast, she continues trying to achieve her goal with the way she lives her
life.

Wiccans are known for lighting candles for people, and I've heard them ridiculed as people
who simply tap their heels together, wish hard, and hope for the best. Witchcraft is not about
wishing. It's about using every resource you have at your disposal, from magic to your own
everyday actions. You wouldn't cast a spell to lose weight, then sit around eating bon-bons.

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
2

You'd diet and exercise instead. If you needed a friend to fare better, you wouldn't just light a
candle. You would charge the candle with positive energy, say a little prayer for them as you
light it, and then think good thoughts for them whenever you see the flickering flame.
Moreover, you would try to help your friend in practical ways by lending a hand, caring for
him when he's sick, or giving her the tools she needs to help herself.

Magic can be simple, like lighting a candle or wishing on a star. It can also be complex.
Typically more serious goals require more complicated spells whose timing is planned. These
would be conducted during a certain lunar phase, perhaps on a specific Sabbat. A rhyming
incantation would be carefully composed. The witch would cleanse herself, her mind, her
working space, and her objects of negative eergy, consecrating them. She would cast a circle,
invoke deity and the elements, and charge her tools with positive energy. She might use ritual
tools such as a sword, rather than a simple wooden wand she uses for everyday magic. She
would make sure she was using colors, herbs, stones, tools, incense, etc. whose magical
properties coordinate with her purpose, too.

Because Wicca is a religion, there are guidelines as to how magic is used by Wiccan witches.
Wiccans follow the Three-fold Law, which states that anything you send out will return to you
times three, be it bad or good. The Wiccan Law states that Wiccans should "Harm none," which
I interpret to mean to do as little harm as possible. The Wiccan Rede not only gives us tips
about how and when to best conduct magic, it also gives us advice about how to use magic. It
advises us to "Live and let live," which means not interfering with freewill. We're told to work
in love, to be fair and to have perfect trust (realistic expectations).

Before casting a spell, a Wiccan witch should ensure that she is operating within these
guidelines. Should she not, she may not achieve her goal and only succeed in making matters
worse, and karma may punish her in the end. A Wiccan witch will ask himself questions like,
"Will this harm someone? Is there a less harmful course of action? Am I taking care to protect
myself, others, and the world? Do the benefits outweigh the risks? Will this interfere with
someone's freewill? Is love my motivation? Is this fair? Can I live with the consequences? Have
I been careful in the spell's design?"

Wiccans aren't the only type of witches, and many witches will hex people. Wiccan witches
absolutely do not hex people. Wiccans do not conduct "black magic." Wiccans believe that
magic is neither black nor white; it is neutral. The witch's intent determines whether the magic
does good or evil in the world. A Wiccan witch does her best to ensure that only good comes
from her witchcraft, or at the very least that as little evil as possible is done. Wiccans do not
cast love spells on people to force them to love. They do not summon rain, because they know
this may take rain away from a place where it is needed more. Wiccans also do not harm
animals when practicing witchcraft, nor do they commune with demons or attempt to raise the
dead.

Wicca is not a cult, nor is it the practice of magic. It is a religion and way of life that involves
magic. Magic is energy that comes from within and around us in nature, not from Satan.
Witchcraft is the art of using this energy to help create change. Wiccans do not believe in
using magic to do harm or to control. Magic is neutral, but if you must affix a label, it would
be best to consider Wiccans to be white witches. Not all witches are Wiccan, but you have
nothing to fear from Wiccan witches. They are not evil, though each has her own morals,
interpretation of the Rede and Law, and beliefs about what is harmful. Wiccans are using every
resource they can find, magical and mundane, to do as much good in the world and their lives
as possible.

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
3

Wicca 101: The Pagan Afterlife, Reincarnation, & the Summerland


by Heather B.

Is There Life After Death?


What happens when we die? This is a question no one can answer, given that no one has been
to death and back to tell us the truth. Christians believe that the good go to Heaven while the
sinners go to Hell, and
Buddhists and Hindus believe we are reincarnated until we reach nirvana. What do Wiccans
believe? Well, as the Wiccan religion isn't exactly an organized religion, it depends on who
you ask.

Most Wiccans believe in the Summerland, which is a paradise much like the Christian heaven.
All people, except spirits who remain behind lost and wandering, go to the Summerland, even
the wicked. The Summerland will be different for everyone, their own version of Shangri-La.
There, they can be reunited with their loved ones, look over those they left behind on Earth,
and take time to recuperate from life. Our time in the Summerland is spent processing what
we learned, recovering from the hardships, walking with the Lord and Lady and being one
with them, and then planning our next life.

Most Wiccans agree that when you are ready, you are reincarnated. You may choose what
form you take and even a little about your situation. You decide this based upon which lessons
you wish to learn in your next life. Someone who was very selfish and arrogant may choose a
life of humility to humble himself, for example. People even choose lives of hardship in order
to learn their lessons, although they don't get to plan specifically what the circumstances will
be.

Wiccans do not believe in Hell or in an eternity of punishment for one life-time of sin. Some,
however, do believe that you may be punished for the harm you do. I believe that you may kept
from reincarnating, if you are not yet ready, or reincarnated into an undesirable life as a
means of punishment. There are other Wiccans who believe this, as well as Wiccans who don't.
Like Buddhists, I and some other Wiccans believe the point of living is to learn and to perfect
your soul, until you reach an enlightened existence.

Whether or not Wiccans believe in angels and demons depends upon the person. Those who
do believe in such creatures each have their own opinions about them. As for me, I think that
angels and spirit guides are simply spirits that have reached an enlightened existence after
many lifetimes. They exist to guide us and to protect us, to help us become who we are meant
to be. Demons, in my opinion, are tainted souls, corrupted with hate, greed, and even sorrow,
so that they bare ill will towards all of life because of their pain. They are to be pitied--and
feared.

Wicca is a very diverse religion. Most Wiccans believe in Reincarnation, the Summerland, or
both, but not all do. Specifics about these paths vary from person to person. There are different
traditions of Wicca just as there are different denominations of Christianity. Many Wiccans are
solitary. Most of us just believe what makes sense to us. All of life moves in a circle, not a
straight line, like the changing of the seasons and the water cycle. It makes sense to me that life
itself should do the same.

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
4

Wicca 101: The Lord, the Lady, and the All (Deity Concepts)

by Heather B.

Who Do Wiccans Worship?


Many people have heard of the religion of Wicca but don't know what exactly this brand of
Paganism entails. Just what do Wiccans believe in, who or what do they worship? It is
mistakenly believed that Wiccans worship
nature, but this is just one of many myths about the Wiccan faith. Another myth is that we are
all polytheistic. I cannot speak for all Wiccans, only for myself and most I have encountered.
Let me attempt to explain a Pagan take on God and diety.

Do you worship nature? No. We believe in respecting nature and all life, taking only what we
need from nature, and being kind to the creatures of nature. "Heed ye flower, bush, and tree."
Most of us do not worship nature. We worship the Great Mother, also known as Mother
Nature, and the Lord, also known as Father Time. Some do worship the spirits of nature,
whether they believe them to be nymphs, fairies, or other elementals. Few actually worship the
flowers and trees themselves.

Do you worship the same God as Christians, Muslims, and Jews? Well, that depends. I think we
do, and so do most Wiccans. We believe that all gods are One, manifested in different ways to
different people. Most Christians, Muslims, and Jews would disagree with that, I think, and so
would some Wiccans. Truth is in the eye of the beholder after all.

Who do you worship then? I am one of many who believes in the All, the one great power of
the universe. It can be creative or destructive, masculine or feminine, loving or hateful; it is
everything, and everything came from it. It is so vast that our minds can barely comprehend it,
and so we see it manifested it different forms. It appears to me and most Wiccans as the Great
Mother and Father, the Lord and the Lady, who are equal and one with each other. They are
like two faces of one coin. Some chose to put more importance on one than the other for
whatever reason. The God and Goddess can manifest in different forms as well, as demigods,
each representing a different, unique aspect of the All.

Are you polytheistic or monotheistic? I suppose we're a little of both. Most believe that there is
the All, which manifests as the Lord and the Lady to us, then as lower demigods and
demigoddesses. We may call upon any of these representations of the All, depending on which
is most relevant to our needs. We believe that there is but one power, one God, which has
many moods, roles, and personalities. This is why we believe all gods are one and that there is
no one truth, because when you have a god that is everything, no interpretation of this deity
can be wrong. As I said before, some Wiccans don't subscribe to the belief of the All and believe
that all gods and goddesses are separate, much like the Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians viewed
their pantheons.

Do your gods have names? Yes, they have many names, all of which are right. Some Wiccans
identify more with the Roman pantheon or the Egyptian pantheon. Some aren't partial to any
particular pantheon and will simply call on whichever demigod or demigoddess they desire of
all the pantheons. You can even create your own god or goddess to call upon, by visualizing
the strengths, emotions, and traits of the All that you specifically need to invoke. Some of us,

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
5

like myself, focus mainly on the Lord and Lady as wholes and rarely call upon specific
manifestations of either.

So, it's like one big hermaphrodite god with multiple personalities? *sighs* Yes, I guess you
could say that if you like. Think about it, though. Each of us, male and female, have certain
traits that are more commonly associated with the opposite sex. We each play different roles. If
I came to you for advice about breastfeeding my baby, I'd be asking you as a mother. If I came
to you for advice about love and sex. I would be appealing to you as a wife and lover. If we two
were talking as friends then we would just be speaking as ourselves, all roles combined rather
than focus on any role in particular except maybe the role of friend. We each play so many
different roles, and this is what the concept of the All is based upon.

Wicca 101: Circles & Covens


by Heather B.

Are They One & the Same?


Is a coven just a circle by any other name? Many who are not familiar with the Wiccan
religion and witchcraft confuse some of the terminology. Two important aspects of the practice
of Wicca are circles and covens.
People often confuse one for the other or use the terms interchangeably, without realizing
they have two different meanings within the craft. So what is the difference between a circle
and a coven?

A coven is a group of witches who gather together to worship, celebrate, and practice magic.
Often they have the same or similar beliefs, but not always. A coven is like a family, with all of
the members treating each other as sisters and brothers. Secrecy may or may not be demanded,
but loyalty is always expected. Membership in a coven is similar to membership to a church,
but not the same by far.

Covens are all different and have their own rules and traditions. There are all-male and all-
female covens, as well as covens of both males and females. They are usually led by either a
High Priest or High Priestess, who often represent the Lord & Lady in rituals. Each member may
also be considered a priest or priestess. Covens may be strict and formal or laid-back and
casual. Some covens will accept anyone, and others are very picky. Some will let you join
straightaway, and others require years of training. Some are open, and others are very
secretive. In some traditions, it is customary for covens to have 13 members. Other covens
want to represent each gender, or element, equally, or have no set guidelines at all.

Covens were very important long ago when prosecution was common for practitioners of
witchcraft. Covens have always been closely-knit and placed high value on loyalty, but this
was even more true in centuries past. Betrayal to your coven was a very serious crime,
considering witches could be burned and tortured if discovered. Some covens placed a penalty
of death on betrayal. Secrecy was of utmost importance, and covens had to be able to trust that
their members would not reveal the names of their brothers and sisters. Even today, many
traditions cling tightly to their secrets and share very little with new initiates.

Covens are sometimes called circles, but a circle is actual very different. 'Circle' is a magical
term, referring to a sacred and clean space for conducting magic and important rituals. The
circle keeps the magic within, so that it does not escape until the witch or coven has finished
the rite. The circle protects the outside world from the raw magic being raised inside the circle.
The circle also protects the witch or coven from evil spirits and interfering energies outside of

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
6

the circle. This keeps the witch from being influenced or harmed by outside forces during the
ritual. Circles are perfect for this, because they have no weak points and are infinite.

Circles are cast as protection and as a means of concentrating magic. Magic by itself is neither
good nor evil; it has no real purpose until the witch gives it one. The magic is conjured from
within and around, allowed to build up by raising a cone of power, and then charged and
focussed towards a goal. Circles provide magical boundaries so that no stray magic escapes
during the ritual. The witch can fully charge, bind, and direct all of the energy towards her
purpose. This way, more power goes into the spell. No magic escapes and creates unintended
change in the world, for even neutral energy can have a negative impact if not directed
properly. Creating a clean, sacred space for magical working prevents anything from
interfering with the spell. The circle protects the coven or witch from evil spirits and negative
energies.

Before casting a circle, the chosen space is sanctified by sweeping away psychic debris with a
broom, smudging with incense, and other means. Circles may be visualized, drawn in chalk or
salt, or created using a combination of methods. The Wiccan Rede instructs that witches "Cast
the circle thrice about." Everyone has their own individual method. Some will visualize the
circle using an athame or wand, then draw it with chalk or salt, and finally pace the circle
with incense to further cleanse and close the circle. Others will cast the circle three times with
a symbol of each element, usually by walking it. A cord may be laid down. A nine foot diameter
is traditional, but circles may be larger or smaller depending on the participants and the
purpose. Large covens may need more space, and solitary practitioners may need less. The
direction the circle is cast in varies, with some preferring widdershins and others deosil.
Which direction the circle is cast from will depend on the coven or witch casting it.

Once the circle is cast, an alter may be set up within it, or a circle may be formed by the coven
holding hands. Candles may be placed to designate the four corners. An incantation may be
sung or simply spoken to further consecrate the circle, like a prayer. Magic is then worked, or
a ritual may be conducted--either simple or elaborate. The coven may simply be gathering to
celebrate a Sabbat or Esbat. Afterwards, the circle is opened by performing the casting
ceremony backwards in the opposite direction the circle was cast. If someone needs to leave
before the circle is opened, a door can be drawn. Leaving the closed circle without drawing a
door will break the circle, allowing the magic to scatter and ending any protection. This is not
as big of a deal when small, simple spells are being cast or when the group has only gathered
to celebrate or worship. However, when much energy is being raised (using a cone of power,
for example) to achieve a serious purpose, it is important that the circle not be broken.

Covens may sometimes be called circles, but these are two different things. A coven is a family
of witches who are loyal to each other. A circle is simply a protective barrier around a sacred
space, where magic is being raised by a coven or solitary witch. Covens may be formal or laid
back, and there are as many covens as there are individuals. Circles may also be used to protect
witches while celebrating--or when communing with a spirit conjured. Circles and covens are
both in place for protection, but they are two different concepts. It should also be said that
while covens and circles are a part of the Wiccan faith, not all witches are Wiccan, and
therefore covens and circles are not strictly Wiccan concepts.

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
7

Witchcraft 101: How to Cast a Circle with No Tools


by Gwynne

There are dozens of books on the market, and hundreds of websites, that detail the tools
necessary for casting a circle, as well as how to cast the circle with those tools. Very few tell
people that the only tool they
really need is themselves.

Being able to cast a circle without any tools is a very handy skill. It allows one to cast a circle
anywhere, anytime, under any circumstance.

There are many methods that someone could use to cast a circle without tools. Some simply
have you use your hands in place of the Athame or Wand.

The method below requires no movement (though you can move if you want too), and can
even be done in the midst of a crowd of people without them realizing just what it is you're
doing. This is very useful if you begin to feel overwhelmed; you can cast the circle to shield
yourself from excessive energy. Once you are comfortable with this technique, you'll be able to
cast your circle at a moment's notice.

Begin by taking a moment to ground and center yourself. Focus on your internal center. This is
the area roughly behind and slightly below your naval, or belly button. You need to find your
own center, so take just a moment to do so. This may take some practice, so be patient with
yourself. While centering, breath in through your nose, and out through your mouth.

Once you've found your internal center, visualize a small ball of energy, about the size of a golf
ball, forming at your center. Visualize a small stream of energy coming up from the Earth to
feed this ball. The color of this ball can vary depending on your preferences, and on the
purpose of the circle. For general use, and for practice, use a white ball, which holds all of the
colors. Here are some basic color meanings; you may find different meanings elsewhere:

White

purity, peace

Black

banishing, protection, shielding

Red

passion, energy, sexuality

Orange

justice, success

Yellow

justice, friendship

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
8

Green

healing, wealth, fertility, abundance

Blue

wisdom, inspiration

Purple

psychic ability, spirituality, connection with the divine

Remember, these are just basic correspondences, you should use what works for you.

Once you have the small ball clearly visualized, begin to expand it. You'll want to do this
slowly at first, too fast and you'll lose it. As you breathe out through your mouth, allow the ball
to expand; as you breathe in through your nose, allow it to rest at that size. Continue to do this
until the ball is begins to move outside of your body.

At this point, you may encounter some resistance (or you may not!) That's okay. Take a few
breaths without expanding the ball, and then begin the expansion again. If at any point you
feel resistance, take this same pause, breathing and allowing the energy to settle for a moment.

Continue to expand the ball until it is the size you need it to be. If you are casting the circle for
a large ritual, then you will, of course, want a large ball. If you are casting for a mediation
exercise, you may only want your ball to reach out enough to encompass your entire body.

When the ball, now a large sphere, has reached your desired size, stop expanding. Continue to
breath steadily, in through your and out through your mouth. Visualize the flow of energy
from the Earth begin to subside, and then stopping entirely. Visualize the sphere being sealed,
so that no energy escapes. Take a moment to visualize the sphere become more solid, and state,
either out loud, or in your mind, the intention that the sphere stay in place until you are ready
to release.

Now you can begin your intended work.

When you are done, you will want to release the sphere. The process to do so is essentially the
reverse of the casting process. Begin by focusing for a moment on your breathing; in through
your nose and out through your mouth. Re-establish the connection between the sphere and
the Earth. Visualize the energy of the sphere beginning to flow back into the Earth. As you
breathe in, visualize the sphere contracting, getting smaller with each breath. Allow the sphere
to rest with each exhalation. Continue this until the sphere is back to its starting size, and then
visualize the sphere dissipating entirely. Ground and center yourself, and then go on your way.

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
9

Wicca 101: The Elements in Wicca


by Fiona Blackwolf

Wicca is a nature based religion. We follow the tides of the moon and the path of the sun in
our celebrations. We honor the Earth and the world around us. One of the most important
ways we incorporate the natural world into our daily lives and Wiccan practice is by honoring
the elements, sometimes referred to as the Quarters or the Directions.

Generally, there are four elements that are recognized by all Wiccans. These are Air, Fire,
Water and Earth. Often, depending on the tradition a person is working with, a fifth element is
recognized, Spirit. Each of these elements has a different energy and fits into our practices in
its own special way. Each has correspondences which can help give the practitioner a way to
focus on the energy of the element he/she is working with. Let’s take a look at each element
individually. Keep in mind as we do, that I work from a general, eclectic Wiccan path, and that
I am in the Northern Hemisphere. There may be differences in associations in the working of
other Traditions, and things in the Southern Hemisphere are generally opposite of the way I
will present them.

AIR
Why start with Air? Air is the element of the East in most traditions. The east is where the sun
rises in the Northern Hemisphere. It is the time and place of new beginnings, it is the morning.
The Air is associated with thought processes and mental working, intelligence and learning.
Birds, feathers, insects, clouds and the dawn are all associated with air. Its colors are generally
yellows and pastels. Its music is that of bells and the wind instruments such as flutes. What
makes you think of Air?

FIRE
As the sun moves from dawning to midday, we too move sunwise to the South. It is the noon
time, the heat of the day. Fire is associated with movement and action, the fires of passion and
anger. It is our will. Lizards, salamanders, scorpions, deserts, spices, sex, heat and the noonday
sun are all associated with Fire. Its colors are reds and oranges and its music is that of the brass
instruments, trumpets and horns. What makes you think of Fire?

WATER
Westward we go into the realm of Water. This is the time of the setting sun, the coolness of
twilight. It is the rain and snow and the rushing rivers and oceans and streams. Water is the
element of emotion and intuition. Tears are water, whether they are of sadness or joy. Our
bodies are mostly water. Fish, waterfowl and wading birds, thunderstorms and twilight are all
associated with Water. Its colors are blues and greens, turquoise and aqua. The strings play the
music of Water, pianos and violins. What makes you think of Water?

EARTH
Continue the journey into the North to find the element of Earth. It it’s the dark time of rest; it
is planting and nurturing seeds of all kinds. It is the place of growth and abundance, but it is
also the place of death and returning to the Earth, to the Mother and to our ancestors. Most
mammals and earth dwelling creatures are associated with the Earth. As are plants and trees,
stones and seeds. Its colors are greens and browns and black. The music of the Earth is beaten
out by the drums. What makes you think of Earth?

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
10

SPIRIT
Spirit is an element that is hard to explain and even harder to show. It is a place that is not a
place, above and below, within and without. It is the hub of the wheel of the year and the
wheel of the elements, the top of the pentacle. Its associations are personal and are different for
everyone. It has no real color, though some will say purple, gold, white or any pearly or
iridescent colors. What makes you think of Spirit?

Why do I keep asking you to think about what you associate with each of these elements?
Because like many aspects of Wicca, how you relate to the elements is very personal and
individual. I have tried to give you some general themes but there may be some you don’t agree
with or that you can add to the list. That’s great! Use whatever feels right to you when you are
calling the elements into ritual, or asking their aid in magick, or just honoring them as part of
your daily life. It’s your Wicca, do what you will.

Wicca 101: The Rede, the Law, & Sin


by Heather B.

Heathen Morality and Ethics


Every religion has a sacred text containing instructions for how to live life free of sin.
Christianity has the Bible, and Christians follow the Ten Commandments. Islam has the Koran
to
guide Muslims on their religious journey. Wiccans, however, do not recognize Biblical law, so
what governs their ethics and behavior? The truth is that the morality of Wiccans isn't much
different from the morals of other religions. The Wiccan Rede and Law of Three are basically
just the Golden Rule, rewritten.

The Wiccan Rede is a long rhyming poem containing sage advice for living, loving, Sabbat
celebration, and witchcraft. Please notice that I said advice and not law. You are not required
to obey; you are not sinning if you act otherwise. The Rede is tried and true wisdom designed
merely to tell us what others have found best for living in harmony with the world and for
working magic successfully. You would be wise to follow it, but you are not evil for
disregarding it.

The Rede states that we must live in perfect love and perfect trust, which does not mean that
we should strive to love and trust everyone completely with our lives and souls. It means that
we should be sure of who we love and trust, so that we really know them, love them, and trust
them for who they are. Our love must be unconditional, but it must be real--based on truth.
We should do our best not to trust those who should not be trusted, for that would be unwise.

The Wiccan Rede tells us to be light of eye, which means you should not look in harsh
judgement, and soft of touch, which means that our actions should be subtle so as not to cause
harm but slight change. We must be gentle with others. In this couplet we are instructed to
speak little and listen much, for the key to understanding is to hear, and the key to harmony is
compassion. We are told as well to honor our elders and the ancient ones. We should be
guided by love and light, not hatred and ill intent.

We are given magical advice as well, to cast the circle three times to keep away evil and to
bind magic by speaking spells in rhyme. We are told which directions are best for working
magic and which moon phases are best for working different kinds of magic. Certainly you can
choose to go against this advice, but you'll have better results if you follow it. It speaks also of

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
11

the four directions which are used in the craft and educates us about nine sacred woods of
importance. A bit about each Sabbat follows.

It then returns to giving advice for life. We are told to disregard the greed of others when we
have a need, which means that needs come before wants. This goes both ways. The Rede says
you should not be the friend of a fool, that you should meet and part merrily, and that you
should be true in love unless your lover is false. This is all advice about love and friendship.
The Rede finally states the Golden Rule, the Three-fold Law: what you send forth comes back to
you times three. Do unto others as you'd have done unto you. You reap what you sow.

The ending of the Wiccan Rede is the most important and the most widely quoted. It is the only
part of the Rede generally accepted as Law. It states "An ye harm none, do what ye will." There
you have it. Harm none. Now, we have to do harm to live. We must kill to eat, to protect
ourselves, to survive. I therefore interpret it to mean do no harm that is not necessary or do as
little harm as possible. Things get tricky with this law, though, for what everyone has their
own opinion of what harm is and what things are more harmful than others. Therefore, this
rule gives us a general standard to live by, while still allowing us to decide for ourselves what
is right and wrong.

The Three-fold Law and Wiccan Rede have been condensed into a short, eight-line poem called
the Wiccan Law. It begins the same as the Wiccan Rede, then skips right to the end quoting the
"harm none" decree. The second verse repeats the Three-fold Law and again instructs us on the
importance of following it, so that we can as we should meet and part merrily with love and
trust in our hearts. That is the goal of Wiccan morality: to achieve harmony with the world, to
make the world a better place, to do no harm to others.

We don't have a church dictating what our stance must be on abortion, suicide, or gay
marriage. We don't have a universal ban on stealing and theft, murder, or lying. We must
simply ask ourselves one question before acting: Will this action do more harm than good?
Whether something is right or wrong depends on the circumstances as well as how an
individual interprets harm. Certainly murdering out of anger, stealing out of greed, and lying
out of spite are wrong. Does it do more harm for a suffering man to go on living than it does
for him to die peacefully? Would it be better to steal to feed a starving child or to let the child
die of hunger? If your wife asks you if your rear end looks big, would it be better to lie if the
truth would hurt her?

What is Sin? Some would say there is no sin in Wicca, but I disagree. If our law is to do no
harm, then it is a sin to deliberately do harm. When you act out of hatred, anger, or ill intent,
when you deliberately hurt someone, that is a sin. When you tell the truth to be unkind, when
you lie to be cruel, when you kill for revenge, that is all sin. What is the punishment for sin?
Some believe it will happen after death, but must Wiccans simply believe in karma. The Three-
fold Law is what punishes us, for when you are unkind to others, they are going to be unkind
to you.

All will answer these questions differently. There are few things that are always right or always
wrong. Whether a decision is ethical, what the best choice is in a situation, is entirely
dependent upon the circumstances. Moreover, everyone has a different definition of harm.
When faced with two evils, not all will agree on which is the lesser. Our law is simply to do
our best, to try to do as much good and as little harm as possible. To sin is to do the opposite: to
deliberately do harm, to upset the balance of life and death, to act maliciously. Go forth, and do
as little harm as possible. Remember always that what you send out will return to you!

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
12

Misconceptions About Wicca


by Bryan Belrad

A Brief History of Wicca and Its Origins


This article is not about how Wiccans are misunderstood, or how witchcraft isn't "evil", but
merely worshiping nature. There are plenty of those articles already. Instead, this article deals
with the most
misunderstood facet of Wicca among its own followers - its history and origins.

It seems strange that those who have the deepest misconceptions about Wicca are the Wiccans
themselves. Many believe that Wicca is a direct link to the ancient Celtic religion of pre-
Christian days. Others believe that it was totally made up by a bunch of new-age hippies in the
20th Century. Both views have valid points, but neither is entirely correct.

Wicca began in a far different form than its current incarnation. Following the
Christianization of the Celtic lands, and the destruction of the Druidic fellowship, many people
were left wanting to hold to the old ways, but stripped of their spiritual guidance. These people
paid lip service to the new faith, in order to avoid the same fate as those who openly refuted
Christianity, but had precious little of their own heritage left to them.

To fill the void, a loose order of "Wise Ones" arose. These individuals, mostly village shamans
and healers, preserved what little remained of the old ways as best they were able. Though
often no two would agree on the exact methods of ceremonies, or the reasons behind them, it is
through their heroic efforts, under threat of death for heresy from the Christian Church, that
any remnant of the authentic Celtic culture has been passed down to us today. After all,
written records were not an option at the time: neither were they available, nor were they safe
for those doing the writing.

These Wise Ones passed on the ancient myths, legends, fables, and stories, from generation to
generation, orally, and centuries went by. Sometimes the Wise Ones would band together for
mutual protection. Occasionally, they would put their knowledge into practice, forming
worship groups, keeping the faith they guarded alive. More often, though, the secrets they held
remained hidden. Because of that, much of the knowledge that remains to the present has been
altered by the interpretations, mistakes, and personal beliefs of those who have kept these
secrets through all the long years. Bloodlines merged, along with their own versions of the
histories, split apart, and sometimes vanished altogether. Information became distorted and
lost. Yet, still the guardians carried on, through strife and inquisition, as best they were able.
The truth, what remained of it, was hunted - and so were they.

In the early 20th Century, a number of unique factors combined that changed the nature of
Western society. For one, Einstein's Relativity was conclusively proven in 1919, with the solar
eclipse over Brazil and Principe, giving rise to a new scientific revolution. The Great War had
ended, and the stage was being set for the next one. The world was in an unusual limbo, and
the grip of the Church, faltering since the Renaissance, finally gave way to independent
thought amongst the "average" people.

In this strange time, where free thought amongst the masses was finally returning, some
thought to explore the curiosities of the world around them. Some were bitter over the life
they'd led under the Church's spiritual tyranny, and thought to rebel. In England, these groups
of people collided.

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
13

In 1921, famed Egyptologist Margaret Murray published The Witch Cult in Western Europe.
The work led to an explosion of interest in what Murray researched and presented as "a
survival of an ancient Pagan tradition." It wasn't until years later that Gerald Gardner (aka
Scrire), a one-time Satanist, published his own books that formed modern Wicca.

Gardner combined what he'd learned from Murray and her authentic witches, what ancient
tales that remained that he could lay his hands on, and bits and pieces from other philosophies
and faiths to fill in the blanks.

Gardner's works gave birth to the Neo-Pagan movement, of which modern Wicca is a part. For
example, the concept of one God and one Goddess is not, technically speaking, a Celtic
tradition, as the Celts had a whole pantheon of various divine beings. However, a case may be
made that the ancients believed that all divinities were aspects of the same 'one power'.
Whether Gardner was aware of this obscure possibility, or was simply importing ideology from
Plato is unclear.

Likewise, the notion of 'four elements' is Greek in origin. The Celts, along with the early
Germans, Norse, and others, held that Fire was not an "element", but a link between the three
physical "elements" of Earth, Air, and Water, and the spirit realm.

Following Gardner, Wicca degenerated from a single cult-like melting-pot faith into a
patchwork blanket of religio-philosophy. It seemed that everyone had an idea, and every idea
had its followers. The growth of the various Wiccan belief systems continued until the mid
20th Century, when the very free-thinking "hippies" got their hands on it. From that point,
Wicca exploded into a veritable cornucopia of nature-based faiths. From Faeries to the Four
Winds, every aspect of ancient myth was drawn upon, regardless of the culture of origin, and a
new faith was based on it.

Today, Wicca is not the same as the ancient traditions passed down from the Wise Ones of old.
Though it carries many of the traditions, ceremonies, and even legends of the old religion, it is
a New Age reinterpretation of what material was publicly available. It has become something
of an ad-lib path, or a create-your-own-adventure religion.

Despite that, and the various Neo-Pagan separatist faiths that Wicca has spawned, it is
undeniable that Wicca is descendant from the remnant of the ancient Celtic beliefs. There has
been a lot of evolution (or corruption/pollution, depending on your perspective), yet the core
of Wicca ultimately comes down from that one primary source. Were it not for the acts of the
Wise Ones, preserving what little remained, and inspiring others, there can be no doubt that
some form of New Age Aquarian-ish faith would have taken shape - but it is unlikely that it
would resemble anything so beautiful, if confused and diverse, as the Wicca we have today.

Though it would be, technically, incorrect to say that the Wise Ones of old were "Wiccan", or
even the Witch-cults Murray researched for her books, the name remains, and is applied,
justifiably, to link the entire lineage together, to promote the values of individual truth above
and beyond doctrine and dogma that sustained all those believers from that day to this, and,
most of all, to honor all those who have suffered, burned, and died for putting "Faith" above
"Religion". In that way, more than any other, Wicca is the same today as it was when the Celts
were still Celts.

Wicca is, ultimately, a return to the dominance of soul over scripture. In that way, Wicca is the
Way of the Wise Ones.

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
14

The Wicca Religion: Worship of the Goddess


by Ricky Franklin

Delve into the Little Know World of the Wicca Religion


Introduction

The type of Wicca introduced in this paper is one where one looks to the Goddess and nature
for enlightenment and the ability to have some “magickal” control on the environment and
things around them. This paper will look at the aspects of Wicca from ritual ceremonies to the
environment in which Wicca is practiced. According to Fisher (2005), “Wicca can be partly
traced to the writing of Gerald Gardner in England in the 1940s.” Though after experiencing
this practice and talking to those who practice Wicca, this religion seems to be one with much
deeper roots. Wicca to a Wiccan or witch as they are commonly referred is something that has
always been. Wicca is not new, it just “is”. Wicca practitioners believe that every human has
the ability to manipulate the environment in which we live if one learns the art of magick.
Delving into this religion for research can be an interesting journey and a journey of
enlightenment.

Overview of the Religion of Wicca


Fisher (2005) refers to Wicca as a Neo-pagan religion, or new religion, though Wicca has
been around in one form or another throughout the centuries. Essentially, the worship of
nature, the worship of Gods or Goddesses, and the Druidic beliefs are some forms of Wicca.
Wicca is normally considered in the classification of indigenous religions, but has emerged
anew in today’s society. According to the Religious Tolerance (2006) web site from a Chicago
Tribune report, Wicca is the fast growing religion in the world and is estimated to double in
size about every 18 months. This site also tells us that if these rates are accurate and Wiccan
continues this growth, it will be the third largest religion in the United States by about 2012,
with only Christianity and Judaism having more followers.

Herne (2006) tells us that Wicca is a religion that draws on the old customs of Witchcraft.
Herne (2006) goes on to say that, “Wicca is a recognized religion, while Witchcraft itself is not
considered a religion.” Wicca is religion that is full of peace, harmony, and balanced thinking
and a balanced life which upholds the idea of oneness with the divine and all which exists,
according to Herne (2006). Herne (2006) also believes that the origins of Wicca can be traced
back to the Paleolithic people and their worship of a Hunter God and a Fertility Goddess, as
depicted in ancient cave paintings. This would make Wicca or Witchcraft one of the oldest
belief systems in the world, according to Herne (2006), predating Christianity by about 28,000
years.

The Religious Tolerance (2006) website, tells us that though Wicca beliefs differ, most Wiccans
or Witches think of “The One” or “The All” as the creative force that exists in the universe.
Also, according to this site, the Goddess and the God are female and male representations of
The One or The All, and in turn the Goddess and the God are represented by various other
Pagan Gods and Goddesses, such as Athena, Pan, Diana, Odin, Zeus and many other numerous
deities. Wicca is essentially a monotheistic religion because even though Wiccans or Witches
my worship different deities on different occasions they are all believed to be only aspects of
The One. The Religious Tolerance (2006) web site also informs us that Wiccans have no
mystical incarnation that could be likened to the Lucifer of the Christians and Muslims.

An interesting point brought up by the Religious Tolerance (2006) website, it that Wiccans feel
that human sexuality is something to be valued, and engaged with joy and responsibility and

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
15

without [magickal] manipulation. “Wiccans generally accept the findings of human sexuality
researchers that there are three normal, natural and not chosen sexual orientations:
heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality” (Religious Tolerance, 2006). The rule of three
is something this author has came across on numerous occasions while researching this
subject. Wiccans or Witches believe that anything they do comes back three folds, which may
be likened intensified karma. According to the Religious Tolerance (2006) web site, this belief
is a motivator to practitioners of the Wicca religion to steer clear of any attempt to dominate,
manipulate, control, or harm another person. Wiccans are often looked at by other religions as
Devil worshipers but nothing could be farther from the truth. They are gentle, normal, and
caring people. Their love for nature also makes Wiccans ecologically friendly when they
practice their religion, normally out-doors.

Religious Ceremonial Site Visit


Those who practice Wicca, normally do so in secluded groves in forests that surround their
towns, in order to be close to nature and escape persecution from those who do not understand
or believe in Wicca or Witchcraft. The author of this paper was blindfolded and lead to the
sacred ritual location in order to keep its whereabouts secret and to allow the coven, or group
of Witches, see that they were trusted, while hopefully gaining some trust. After about a thirty
minute ride in a vehicle, the author was led by the coven into what seemed to be a forest, and
after the blindfold was removed it was obvious that this spot was in a grove in one of the forest
that is around town. It was also obvious that this was a sacred place and had been used many
times before for rituals like those that were going to be performed on this night.

As the sun faded the coven started chanting and the one that was called the high-priestess was
given a stick by three others in the coven, she quickly bound these together and placed
something on the end and lit it. She lit five other torches that had previously been placed in the
ground then lit a fire in the middle of the circle. At this point it was realized that the torches
were at each point of a pentagram that had been laid out of rocks. The author was told that on
this night the ritual was to give thanks to the Goddess for brining the coven an interested
spectator.

Each of the Wiccans, touched herbs of some type to the head of the author, while ritualistically
chanting, “Blessed Be to the one who comes to see”, and then throwing said herbs into the
center fire. It was a very peaceful feeling in this Wiccan spot of spirituality and one that the
author would like to experience again. The author did not feel threatened by these people or
uncomfortable in any way. Candles were then lit of various colors and more chanting and
ritualistic dancing occurred, though much of the chanting was not understandable and
perhaps was not meant for the ears of the author, but for the ears of the Goddess. The night
ended with a wonderful glass of “blessed” wine and the author was blindfolded and returned
to the house of a friend, hoping to return for another ritual in the near future.

Interview with a Witch


The author of this paper interviewed a Wiccan or Witch as she called herself, named M.
Henderson (the first name was left off intentionally). When asked how long she had practiced
the religion of Wicca, Henderson (2005) responded, “A little over 10-years.” The author then
moved on to ask if Henderson believed in one deity or many. Henderson (2006) responded,
“That she worshipped many different aspects of The One, and that The One was everywhere
and in everything at all times.”

Henderson allowed the author to look through her Book of Shadows, but much of it was
written with symbols unfamiliar to the author. When asked about this Henderson (2006)

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
16

responded, “Much of it is written with the Wiccan or Theban alphabet in order to keep those
without the knowledge of our practice from reading what is in our personal Book of Shadows.”
Henderson (2006) also stated that much of it was just spells, recipes, and rituals that she
performed and left it at that. This interview was completed after the visit to the ritual site, so
the author would like to point out that a spiritual bond was felt during this ritual. Henderson
(2006) said, “I always feel the presence of the Goddess when performing my rituals, it is like a
small amount of electricity running through your body.” This feeling was the same one the
author could feel during the ritual. Henderson (2006), when asked about the afterlife,
responded, “I believe in reincarnation and am in touch with some of my past lives, though
prefer not to discuss them to be written down in a research paper.”

Henderson (2006) also told of the herbs that were used and that they each have different
powers associated with them. Some, according to Henderson (2006), are used in healing,
others are used to bless a person, animal, or object, and others are to enhance ones psychic
ability. There are many herbs with to many uses to list in one paper, but this is something the
author hopes to research more in the future.

Hindu and Wicca: A Comparative Evaluation


These religions share many similarities. Such as multiple deities that are simply different
aspects of a divine “One”. Both religions from the author’s studies also believe in
reincarnation, though Hindus, according to Fisher (2005), believe they eventually achieve
liberation from this and strive to accomplish this liberation. Wiccans on the other hand rejoice
in this reincarnation and are happy to continue the cycle of life they are blessed with by “The
One”, not seeking liberation from this type of existence. An interesting way of looking at the
religion of Wicca was found by the author on the internet, where Wicca is likened to a vehicle
made of many components. “The same is true about Wicca. It has a Hindu engine, an Egyptian
torque converter and a Celtic transmission” (tSaoir & O’Laoghaire, n.d.).

Conclusion
The Wicca religion is one of the fastest growing in the United States and the rest of the world.
This religion is one of peace and Wiccans do not believe in anything like Satan or the Devil.
Many of the rituals practiced by the Wicca are performed in nature and herbs and chanting is
part of these rituals. These rituals are used for blessings, manipulation of ones environment,
and other reasons. Wiccans believe in a form of intensified karma, where if one does good,
they will receive it back three times and if one does bad, they will also receive it back three
times. This gives the Wiccans a moral obligation to do good or to pay the price. Wicca is
similar to Hinduism, but also has many differences. This is a religion that the author will
definitely do more research on in the near future.

This fascinating religion is one that is filled with respect for nature. They ask of nature for the
items used to perform their rituals. The Wiccans that the author had the opportunity to meet
were kind and compassionate about explaining their religion to the author. They did not try to
force their religion on the author, but instead tried to bring understanding. The opportunity to
actually get to watch and participate in their ritual is one that will not soon be forgotten, and
one the author of this paper would like to have the opportunity to experience again. If others
were willing to take an interest in a religion other than their own, not to change religion, only
to understand them, tolerance among different religions would be greatly increased.

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
17

A History of Wicca
by Jennifer Shakeel

Wicca in its present form is a relatively new religion, founded in the 1950s and borrowing
many aspects from cultures and religions dating back as far as the 9th millennium BCE. Upon
its recent conception, it was
referred to as "witchcraft" by its founder, Gerald Gardner, and it does borrow several aspects
from the centuries old craft, as well as from nomadic and agriculture-based tribes in ancient
and medieval Europe, namely the Celts. Today, it is considered a neopagan religion, recognized
by the United States government as a legitimate religion for over twenty years. Modern
Wiccans espouse the use of magic, the celebration of eight solar-based holidays, and a code of
morality that supports any action that doesn't harm others. It remains a polytheistic religion
that has its roots in harvests and agriculture and keeps its members tied to and in care of the
Earth through reincarnation.

Early influences of the religion can be found as far back as the Paleolithic period, in which
cave drawings expressed similar values as would one day be supported by the group. Gods of
the Hunt and figures of pregnant females with fertile, swollen breasts (most famously, the
Venus of Willendorf figurine) showed a reverence for nature and for fertility of any kind. By
the Neolithic period, values began to change as people settled into a less nomadic, hunting-
based lifestyle and began to farm. Keeping the idea of appeasing nature for its help, cultures
began to notice more about the world around them, and attribute their thankfulness to the
moon and seasons. Early carvings in antlers dating back to 7500 BCE showed the phases of the
moon. This was the first time the moon came into a period of reverence- an idea that would
become crucial in the Wiccan religion- and the female menstrual cycle, the ultimate
embodiment of fertility and life, was connected to the moon's cycle. The feminization of the
moon was an early sign of the dual-gendered deities of Wicca. The female began to represent
all that was important: agriculture, seasons, nature, and fertility.

The influence of the moon on the values of European tribes in the following centuries
continued to grow. The three phases of the moon (waxing, full, and waning) continued to
represent most aspects of life and death. Women went from virgins, to mothers, to old, thin,
and dying women. Agriculture went from blossoming, to harvesting, to dying out. Similarly,
deities experienced the phases as well, as they were tied intimately with nature. In fact, the
gods showed a great deal of malleability and lifelike transformations, especially when cultures
met and merged. Gods and Goddesses met, changed, reproduced, and died with changing
cultures and values.

The most recognizable influence on the shaping of what would one day become modern Wicca
and Neo-paganism was the Celtic people. In 450 BCE, the Celts were the dominant force in the
British Isles and in areas not under Roman control. They had previously been able to conquer
the widespread and unstable tribes throughout the isles and were able to spread their religious
influence as a result of their unity. In keeping with the mysterious, mystical nature of the
religion, little written history of the Celtic influence is present, as it was an oral culture, but it
is certain that the four main holidays celebrated by the Celts would one day become four of the
eight solar sabbats observed by the Wiccan religion (and several even have modern day secular
counterparts).

The celebration of Samhain marked the end of the harvest season and was the Celtic new year.
Imbolic was a celebration of purification and, occurring in early February as a way of
predicting the seasonal patterns for the next year, was the precursor to Groundhog Day.

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
18

Beltane was the Celtic celebration of May Day and the start of the summer growing season and
Lughnasadh in August marked the start of the harvest season. All the celebrations showed a
reverence and delight for the incontrollable, unexplainable, and therefore powerful ways of
the natural world and all put the people at the mercy of the moon and seasons. The fact that
almost all of the Celtic holidays have modern day equivalents (though some just in Ireland)
shows that the moon's cycles still play a large role in modern life, especially for Wiccans and
their celebrations of the eight sabbat observances.

In the years between these early ancestors to Wicca and the modern, Neopagan incarnation,
Pagans faced a great deal of turmoil and persecution. Often compared to Satanists (a shaky
argument, considering the lack of a Pagan Satan figure) and targeted by Christians, they were
legally outlawed by a 13th century Papal decree branding all Pagans as heretics. The decree set
off centuries of paranoia and fear based out of misunderstandings to such a great extent that
the phrase "witch hunt" in the modern lexicon refers to any fear-based hunt with shaky
foundations. Even though Christians often tried to sway Pagans by pointing out their female
(near)deity of the Virgin Mary and had adopted certain Pagan holidays (Christmas finds its
roots in Pagan solstice celebration), they remain the biggest opponents to Pagans, Neopagans,
and Wiccans in the modern day.

The fact that Wiccans are now officially recognized and thus protected by law has lead to the
period of most stability for the group. There is no longer a legal punishment for declaring
oneself a Pagan or Wiccan, and as a result, United States censuses showed nearly 140,000
people identifying themselves as Wiccans in 2000. The number may be larger due to varying
labels for Wiccan sub-groups. Countries worldwide have opened up their censuses to include
Pagan and Wiccan groups, though many lump Wiccans in with Heathens and Druids in a
"Pagan" category to ensure large enough numbers to call for representation. A current
estimation of the number of Wiccans worldwide stood at 800,000 in 2005, though the
number could very well exceed one million.

As numbers have grown and media has become further reaching and instantaneous, Wicca
has received media attention and, as a result, many misconceptions have arisen. Exploitative
movies, literature and television shows grasped onto Wicca starting in the 1960s. As the public
became aware of this new religion, the media realized that they had a more detailed, real-
world version of the tired witch/cult clichés and movies like The Touch of Satan arose. Wicca
fell into the realm of monsters and Satanists due to early media coverage until the
misconceptions started to become clichés themselves. The subject fell out of fashion in the
horror genre, but not before lasting damage was done to its reputation.

As mentioned, Wicca has been compared to Satanism, though there is no belief in a Satan-like
deity. There are no blood sacrifices and animal sacrifices are confined to small, nontraditional
Wiccan subsets and are rare. No harm is meant by the traditional magic practiced and so-
called orgies are nothing more than stories. In 1996, the media approached Wicca and
witchcraft again, taking a less exploitative approach and incorporating some actual facts. The
film The Craft introduced a new generation to the religion and injected it into the popular
culture in unique ways, such as fashion. The film is credited with renewing interest and
opening the doors for more positive portrayals. As factually inaccurate as they were at
portraying Wicca, many Wiccans hailed the introduction of television shows Buffy the
Vampire Slayer and Charmed in the late 1990s. The television shows steered clear of the
misconceptions and, while not always presenting a completely factual picture, embodied the
benevolent and correctly spiritual feel of the religion when it entered the storylines.

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
19

Bibliography

Shelly Rabinovitch and James R. Lewis, eds., The Encyclopedia of Modern Witchcraft and Neo-
Paganism (New York: Kensington Publishing, 2002).

Neopagan Religions. Retrieved October 4th, 2008, from Religious Tolerance

Website: http://www.religioustolerance.org/witchcra.htm

History of Wicca and Paganism. Retrieved October 4th, 2008, from About.comWebsite:
http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/wiccanpaganhistory/

The Practice of Religious Magic in Wicca


by Luna Bandia

Wicca is a beautiful religion that embraces the use of magic, as do most religions. However,
there is a difference between the religion and the magic and between magic and religious
magic. One can be Wiccan without ever
practicing magic and one can practice magic without being Wiccan. Although most Wiccans
do practice magic and religious magic, it is not a necessity.

So, just what is magic anyway? Magic is difficult to describe to someone who has no previous
knowledge of its practice. I believe the best definition of magic came from the late Scott
Cunningham. He termed magic "the projection of natural energies to produce needed change".
This is a very basic definition of the concept but a good one, nonetheless.

In Wicca, we believe that magic is a religious practice in and of itself. This is because when we
practice magic, we often use divine power as well as personal and natural energies. The divine
energy of the God and Goddess are used to aid our magic thus making it a religious practice.
Some people practice magic using only natural and personal power and this is not a religious
practice. Anyone can practice magic but in Wicca, we often practice a sort of divine magic. Of
course, this is not always the case. Many Wiccans practice folk magic and earth magic as well
as religious magic.

When someone uses personal power to fuel their magic, they are using their own inherent
energies, their life force, so to speak. In this way, we would gather our personal energy,
program it with a set of specific instructions and send it out into the universe to do its work.
This sort of magic can be accomplished by anyone and is not specific to Wicca alone. However,
most Wiccans do utilize personal energy when performing magic.

Natural energy is the energy that comes from nature. The earth beneath us, the plants and
trees growing on the earth, the stones and gems of the earth, the water, fire and air are all
natural energies that can be used in the practice of magic, Wiccan or otherwise. Any person
can learn to use natural energy in the practice of magic and this, again, is not specific to Wicca
alone.

Divine energy is energy of the Goddess and God. This is the energy that we use in Wicca that
sets it apart from ordinary magic, turning it into a religious practice. Although personal and
natural energy are a part of divine energy, non-Wiccans do not work exclusively with this
power as do practitioners of Wicca.

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
20

Another of the traits that make the practice of magic a religious practice in Wicca is when we
invoke our Goddess and/or God during ritual. Here, we will give our personal energy directly
to the deities and ask for our need to be fulfilled. This is the truest form of religious magic in
Wicca.

In Wicca, we work together with personal, natural and divine power to bring about the
changes needed in our lives. This is a harmonious experience that could never be labeled evil
or supernatural as is often the popular belief. Magic, in Wicca, is a religious and spiritual
endeavor that we hold sacred. By practicing religious magic, we strengthen our bond with
deity and improve our lives each time we perform a spell.

Wicca Guide to Candle Color Magic


by Tina Samuels

Candle color magic, like crystal magic, is a very key part to most rituals in Wicca.
Understanding the color behind the candles can help you pick which one is the most needed
one for the ritual or spell you'd like to
work. If you'd like to get a refresher course on the basics of candle working, this is the article
designed to keep you straight. Below are colors of candles generally used in Wicca candle
magic, and what they are typically used for in the ritual. The deity that the candle color has is
also given where applicable.

Brown - Used for: Animals, comfort, security, home, centering, hesitation, neutrality,
uncertainty, invoking the earth for benefit. Deity of brown candles- Gaia, Dagda, Danu.

Indigo - Used for: Deep relaxation, restful sleep, to invoke the righteous spirit in you when
doing good work. Deity of indigo candles - Brigid.

Gold - Used for: Wealth, generosity, prosperity, sun magic. Deity of gold candles - Lugh, Pwyll,
Balor.

Silver - Used for: Intuition, dreams, cancellation, neutrality, stalemate.

Dark Blue - Used for: Impulsiveness, depression, changeability, to create confusion (use with
white candles or you can create confusion in self). Deity of white candles - Dwynn.

Greenish Yellow - Used for: Sickness, cowardice, anger, jealousy, discord

Blue Back - Used for: Wounded pride, broken bones, angelic protection. Deity of blue black
candles - Diantach

Dark Purple - Used for: Calling the power of ancient ones, sigils/runes, government. Deity of
dark purple candles - Magog.

Red - Used for: Health, strength, physical energy, sexual love, passion, courage, protection,
vitality, creativity.

Light Red - Used for: Deep affection of a non-sexual nature. Deity of light red candles -
Brittannia.

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
21

Pink - Used for: Love, romance, honor, morality, friendship, compassion, relaxation, binding
magic, young females. Deity of pink candles - Aeval, Epona.

Orange - Used for: General attraction, energy, assertiveness, endurance, encouragement,


adaptability, stimulation, to seal a spell. Deity of orange candles - Gubba.

Yellow - Used for: Intellect, confidence, divination, charm, communication, eloquence, travel,
movement, happiness, success, self esteem, attraction, persuasion, healing. Deity of yellow
candles - Diantach.

Blue - Used for: Protection. Deity of blue candles - Angus.

Green - Used for: Prosperity, employment, fertility, honey, healing, growth, nuturing love,
finance, luck, agriculture, invoking the Goddess of regeneration. Deity of green candles -
Bomba.

Mint green - Used for: Financial gains, used with gold or silver. Deity of mint green candles -
Pridderi

Light green - Used for: To improve the weather. Deity of light green candles - Tyrannis.

Light blue - Used for: Healing, peace, psychicism, patience, happiness, inner peace, friendship,
tranquility, understanding, protection of home, young men, protection of new buildings. Deity
of light blue candles - Hertha.

Purple - Used for: Power, healing severe disease, spirituality, meditation, religion, inner power,
tension, ambition, business progress.

Wicca: A Guide for the Beginner


by Mary Kirkland

There Are Several Path's to Choose From. Take the One That's Right for You
Wicca is a very old religion based on love for all living creatures and for the earth. Wicca is
also known as Witchcraft and to those who don't understand what being Wiccan means, they
may see it as being Dark and
Mysterious. Wicca actually has nothing at all to do with Satanic Rituals or Devil Worship, but
there are still those out there that fear what they do not understand and give Witchcraft a bad
name.

The Wiccan rede is held in high regard as one of the governing rules of all Wiccan followers
and practitioners. The Wiccan Rede simply states, "An ye harm none, do as ye will." In other
words, do what you want as long as it harms no one. Another principal of Wicca is the three
fold law, much like Karma, it tells us that whatever you put out will come back to you. All the
good a person does will come back three fold in life, as well as all the bad.

The use of Charms and Spells in Wiccan practice is quite normal. A charm is an amulet
believed to have magical powers that will ward off evil influences over the wearer, or bring
them good luck. A spell is considered to be a spoken incantation intended to either help one
self or others. Wiccans are prohibited from doing harm to others. Spells that seek to harm,
dominate, manipulate, or control another person are prohibited. Before casting a spell the

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
22

caster should think about the repercussions, what they do during their magical casting's are
not to be dealt with lightly.

Most Wiccan's will keep their spells in a personal Journal, or Book Of Shadows. Spells are
usually copied by hand into a Book Of Shadows and may be passed down to family members.
Spells may also be copied by people the original owner is teaching the craft to. A Book Of
Shadows may also contain feelings, experiences and thoughts on Wicca.

There are indeed many paths and many ways newcomers to Wicca can learn about Witchcraft.
By reading books on the subject a person can find different thoughts and views as well as many
paths. It doesn't take very long to discover that each author has a different slant on the subject.
Many differing views may confuse a newcomer and make them stop looking all together. What
you need to know is there are many paths and many ways of Wicca and it's up to you to find
the right path for you. The first and most important thing to remember is to read. Read as
many books on the subject as you can, in this way you will find you may like one path more
than another or you may want to be a Solitary Witch instead of joining a coven. Doing as
much research on your own is a very good way to approach learning Wicca.

As you read many different books, with many differing thoughts on the subject, some things
may appeal to you right away and some things may not. That is fine, but keep an open mind
and keep reading. Acting as if this is a research paper and gathering all the information you
can will help to form the path that is right for you. A solid foundation is needed to build upon
and the more you read the stronger your foundation will be.

I have been a solitary Witch for several years and yes I have gone to the occasional Witches
Meet-up in my area and met with other Wiccans, but this is my path. There will never be one
way of practicing witchcraft, no one has the one true answer and any good teacher of the craft
will tell you that. Being a Solitary Witch means practicing Wicca by yourself. Often times
Solitary Witches get together and exchange information or just talk about the craft and then go
back to their solitary practice. So you can do a little bit of both, you don't have to join a coven
or stay alone 100% of the time.

A few of the different wiccan paths are:

Alexandrian Wicca- which is similar to Gardnerian wicca but tends to be more eclectic and
liberal.

Celtic- this path is extremely earth based and sometimes uses runes. They get most of their
practices from pre-Christian Celtic traditiions as well from Ireland, Scotland Wales, as well as
Druid practices.

Ceremonial- emphasis on the art and science of magic. Ceremonies are generally complex and
meant to be done with a coven.

Dianic-know as the feminist Wicca. It's a mix of many different traditions but focuses on the
Goddess, especially Diana.

Eclectic- An eclectic Wiccan does not follow ant strict guidelines, instead practices the beliefs
that suit them best. An eclectic Wiccan will mix traditions to find their own path, using the
magic that fits with their beliefs and studying the parts of the religion that they are most
interested in.

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
23

Faerie Wicca- is also referred to as Fae, Fey, Faery, Fairy or Faerie, this tradition is based
around Faery Lore and beliefs.

Gardnerian- is the tradition founded by Gerald Gardner. He was one of the first to go public
with information about the craft. Most modern Wicca has been derived from his books and
teachings. This is an extremely tradional path that requires nudity during ceremonies and has
a hierarchy structure.

Hereditary- this is a where a person can trace the craft back on their family tree and was also
taught the craft by a relative.

Kitchen Witch- is a type of Wicca one may practice in the home for the home and work place.
This form of Wicca focuses on practicality, convenient ritual writings, and spells that include
ingredients that are readily available in the home or workplace. This is ideal for someone short
on time and having a tight budget.

Pictish- Scottish Witchcraft with a very strong connection to nature in all it's forms. A mostly
magical practice with little emphasis on religious aspects. This is practiced by Solitary Witches.

Shamanism- this path is generally connected with contact with the spirit world and all it has to
offer. Through communication with Spirits the shaman can practice healing, divination, magic
and talk with spirits to see the deeper meanings of life.

Solitary- are individuals preferring to work in private rather than with a Coven or other
Wiccans. Solitary Wiccans can pick any number of traditions that fit well into their life and
their path.

Cyber Wicca- uses the Internet to learn from and communicate with other Witch's.

While this is not a full list of the different paths there are, with this list you can see there is
much information out there.

How to Use Sage in Wicca


by Dori Fitzinger

Wicca is a gentle Earth-oriented belief dedicated to living in harmony with Nature. The use of
sage in Wicca lifestyles is as common today as it was in centuries past. Sage has been utilized to
ensure long life, promote
wisdom, and is used in countless healing and money spells. Learn more about the variety of
uses for sage by trying the following suggestions.

* Coat your beeswax candles in rubbed sage - by warming them and then rolling them in the
sage. Use these scented candles as aromatherapy, also candles charged with sage aid to
increase results when working on charms or spells to insight relaxation or change one's mood.

* Drink hot infusions of sage for colds. Sage tea mixed with cider vinegar is an excellent gargle
for sore throats, laryngitis, and tonsillitis. Sage tea is also an effective mouthwash for
combating mouth ulcers and gum infections. Sage helps dry up the milk flow and is useful in
treating amenorrhea and painful periods.

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
24

* Use sage to banish negative energy and welcome positive entities. If you desire to make a
wish come true, write it on a sage leaf and hide it beneath your pillow. For three nights, sleep
upon it. If once you dream of what you desire your wish will materialize. If not, bury the sage
in the ground, to prevent harm from coming to you or your desire.

* Sage is appropriate for the sabbats Imbolc, Ostara, Midsummer, Mabon, Samhain, and Yule.
Legend is that the herbs orpane and sage that are gathered on Midsummer Eve grant prophetic
knowledge.

Wicca Guide to Magic Crystals


by Tina Samuels

Crystal magic, like candle magic, is a very key part to most rituals in Wicca. Understanding the
lore and element behind the crystals can help you pick which one is the most needed one for
the ritual or spell you'd like
to work. If you'd like to get a refresher course on the basics of crystals for working crystal
magic rituals, this is the article designed to keep you straight. Below the crystal is given, the
color, element, its lore, and the correspondences.

Amber
Color = Amber
Element = Earth
Lore = Protection, will trap evil
Correspondences = Druidic, Protective

Amethyst
Color = Violet
Element = Water
Lore = A good crystal will vibrate when struck with a tuning fork, and it protects from spirits
of wine
Correspondences = Wine, Blood

Garnet (Earth's Blood)


Color = Red/Violet
Element = Earth
Lore = A good grounding and women's stone, good for blood related ailments and iron
deficiencies.
Correspondences = Mother, Birth

Hematite (Mirror Rock)


Color = Reflective Silver
Element = Air, Moon
Lore = Protective, reflects negative energy away. Sacred to Morrigan and called "Raven's Eye"
Correspondences = Any Moon

Malachite
Color = Green banded, some are blue
Element = Earth
Lore = Money stone, also for luck. It's a good stone for gardening. Protective. Often mislabeled
as green tiger's eye.
Correspondences = Luck, Commerce

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
25

Clear Quartz
Color = Clear and Glassy
Element = Air
Lore = used for Logic and as a scrying crystal. Makes the mind unclouded.
Correspondences = Magic

Rose Quartz
Color = Clear with Pink, or Cloudy Pinl
Element = Air
Lore = Imagination releaser and good for kids
Correspondences = Love, Dreams

Blue Quartz
Color = Pale blue, or Clear with Blue
Element = Air, Water
Lore = good concentration, rain stone, expensive
Correspondences = Lunar, Thunder, Rain

Smoke Quartz (Smoky Topaz)


Color = Clear or Yellow with Gray or Brown Gray
Elements = Air, Fire
Lore = Protective stone, astral stone, very "tempermental" stone. Good for variable people, good
stone for someone working with multiple personality disorder or other "differences of order".
Correspondences = Astral, Smoke, Air, Fire, Thunder

Snowflake Obsidian
Color = Black with White, Gray
Element = Fire
Lore = Burn ease, fire prevention. Toss a piece in bbq pit to whiten coals, use to avoid snow
problems
Correspondences = Unknown

Blue Tigerseye
Color = Multiblue, reflective
Element = Water, Air
Lore = good for airline fears and boats, wind calling, aka "Siberian Tigers eye" "hawkeye" or
"falcon's eye"
Correspondences = Astral Travel, Flight

Brown Tigerseye
Color = Multibrown, reflective
Element = Fire, Earth
Lore = reflects danger away
Correspondences = Sacred to cat gods like Bast

Red Tigerseye
Color = Multired, reflective
Element = Fire
Lore = Physical protection, sword smithing, sacred to Phoenix and Brigid, and physical
prowess
Correspondences = Fire, Combat

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
26

Turquoise
Color = Sky Blue
Elements = Air, Water
Lore = Protection, Verbal prowess, the bard's stone. General protection. A good stone to tune in
to for beginning crystal magic.
Correspondences = Music, Poetry

Useful Herbs in Wicca


by Tina Samuels

Herbs that are used in the Wiccan religion have ruling planets and a ruling element, a gender,
and usually an overseeing god or goddess. In all the common kitchen herbs, many are used in
different Wiccan ways. Common
uses are for spell casting, for incense burning, or for baths and oils (much like aromatherapy).
Using herbs with the Wicca religion is generally viewed as what is called "Green Witchcraft".
Wiccans who primarily use herbs are also termed "Green Witches".

Herbs typically have an "essence". It is this essence, combined with the belief of the person, will
radiate throughout the herb's use. This article tells of some of the more common herbs, its
ruling planets and elements, its gender, how the herb is used, and generally for what purpose.

Basil (Mars, Fire, Masculine) Usually used in love or wealth settings, you can use this in a bath
to free an old love from your heart or to bring a new love in. Used in purification rituals and
makes a good exorcism incense. Basil has the essence of "fidelity".

Bay Leaves (Sun, Fire, Masculine) This herb is used in vision and clairvoyance potions for
wisdom. It has several different functions such as warding off evil when carried and can be
scattered on the floor and swept away for protection or scattered for an exorcism. It is good to
add to a cleansing bath or tea. It is said that Delphi priestesses chewed this to induce prophetic
visions.

Camellia (Moon, Water, Feminine) Camellia flowers are used to show thankfulness or to bring
riches into the life. You can place fresh blooms in water to bring prosperity to the altar during
a ritual. Chinese medicine men used this for skin condition treatments traditionally.

Caraway (Mercury, Air, Masculine) Caraway seeks used in spells will ensure faithfulness and
used in cooking will invoke lust for the eater. You carry caraway for protection against
harmful spirits or spells.

Catnip (Venus, Water, Feminine) Used obviously in animal spells for increasing the bond with
the animal and for healing uses. You can use catnip to bring on psychic talent during
meditation and as a relaxing tea. Love magic uses catnip by burning the dry leaves.

Chamomile (Sun, Water, Masculine) Everyone knows that chamomile is a relaxing herb,
especially in teas. This is used in meditation incense, as a sleep enhancer, a prosperity amulet,
and to attract wealth. It can clear the head for magic. Using as a bath enhancement can make
the herb a love attracter and for bathing children as a protector to evil wishes.

Cinnamon (Sun, Fire, Masculine) Cinnamon is known as a male aphrodisiac so it is no wonder


that it is used for lust and love spells. Cinnamon is also used for healing, success, psychic

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
27

abilities and spirituality. Burning the herb as incense or binding in sachets is common. Of
course, this can also be mixed in food as a spice for flavor.

Fennel Seed (Mercury, Fire, Masculine) Good for purification and protection, fennel seed gives
strength and courage. It also will aid in cooking recipes, by freshening breath, helping in
weight loss and digestion, and add to flavor. This herb prevents curses and possession.

Feverfew (Venus, Water, Feminine) Used in love spells, it is also a good herb for healing rituals.
It will help the immune system and is a good treatment for migraines by reducing light and
nausea sensitivity and restricting blood flow. Mostly used in food or sachets.

Garlic (Mars, Fire, Masculine) Garlic has always been seen as a vampire ward, but it can be
used in other protection spells as well. It has been proven as a healing agent and is both
antiviral and antifungal.

Nutmeg (Jupiter, Fire, Masculine) Nutmeg is carried for luck and to increase ESP. It has uses in
many success and wealth spells. Drinking nutmeg as a brewed tea can produce hallucinations
and is toxic in large quantities.

Rosemary (Sun, Fire, Masculine) Used in a variety of spells and magic work for protection,
health, purifying, love and lust, exorcism and sleep. Burn it to cleanse spirits and a tea of
rosemary can keep your mind sharp. Orally the herb helps stimulate circulation, digestion, and
nerves. It will help soothe bad breath and depression.

Color Magic in Wicca


by Tina Samuels

Colors are just colors, right? Pretty items used to paint a canvas, invoke a feeling, or to bring
out the blue in your eyes when you wear them. But in Wicca, colors are used in part of magic.
Using colors in spell work
and other rituals is called color magic. Colors have genders, seasons, direction, elements,
workings, and stages of life. Below are colors and what they represent in the Wiccan religion.

Red

Red is used in workings for love, has the element of Fire, and a Southern direction. It can be
female or male, but leans to the male side of issues and intensity. It symbolizes the season of
Summer, and the Youth and Maturity stage of life. Red is the color of intensity, devotion,
passion, and of sex.

Blue

Blue is used in workings to bring calm and deepen the emotional ties, has the element of
Water, and a Western direction. It can be female or male, but leans to the female side of issues.
It symbolizes the season of Summer and Spring, and the Maturity stage of life. Blue is the color
of depth, change, moon energy, and serene spiritual issues.

Yellow

Yellow is used in workings to bring new ideas and new environments, has the element of Air,
and an Eastern direction. It is a masculine color. It symbolizes the season of Spring and

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
28

Summer, and the Youth and Maturity stages of life. Yellow is the color of creativity, thought,
sun energy, and intellect.

Black

Black is used in workings to absorb negativity and to end one situation and begin a new one,
has the element of Earth, and a Northern direction. It is female. It symbolizes the season of
Winter and the Elder stage of life. Black is the color of night, new beginnings, and absorption
of energy.

Orange

Orange is used in workings for anything related to achieving a goal and things in the south,
has the element of Fire, and a Southern direction. It is a masculine color. It symbolizes the
season of Summer, and the Youth and Maturity stages of life. Orange is the color of success
and sun energy.

Gray

Gray is used in workings to absorb negative energy and to create a neutral environment, has
the element between Water and Earth, and a Southern direction. It can be female or male, but
leans toward the female side of issues. It symbolizes the season of Fall and Winter, and the
Earliest of beginnings and Elder stages of life. Gray is the color of serenity, consideration, moon
energy, neutrality, and absorbing of negativity.

White

White is used in almost any working, has the element of bright sunlight or white moon, and a
Southern direction. It can be both genders. It symbolizes the season of high Summer and
Winter, and all the stages of life. White is the color of purity, complex issues, moon energy,
and the combining of all.

Stocking Your Magickal Wicca Cabinet


by Jennifer Breeden

a List of Basic Items for the Beginner


If you are just beginning to stock your "magickal cabinet" for Wicca spellwork, it is not
necessary to purchase a pre-packaged altar kit or items that you may not need right away.
Some of the items in this list you may
already have around your house. Others, you can find inexpensively at craft and hobby stores.

1. Sacred Space - Many spells mention the casting of a circle. If you have the room for an
elaborate altar and surrounding space to work, consider yourself fortunate. Otherwise, you
can create a sacred space to hold all of your items and have a comfortable, peaceful working
space. My sacred space is a beautiful wooden dresser with many drawers into which I have
tucked all of my supplies into, as well as a flat open space on top for working magic.

2. Color Correspondence Guide - Colors play an important part in everyday life and in spells.
Colors bring out different emotions in people and symbolize many things. Get creative with
your colors. Think about using string, fabric, ribbons, inks, and other crafty items. Some of the

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
29

common correspondences are: White - clarity and peace; Black - banishing and separation;
Green - growth and prosperity; Purple - sleep and dreams; Red - love, passion, and energy.

3. A Few Herbs and Flowers - Herbs and flowers are fun to work with and can aide in
spellwork. They each contain powers that work in combination with colors to give more
energy to spells. And you can probably find most of them in the spice cabinet in your kitchen!
Some of the common and useful herbs and flowers are: Chamomile - invokes sleep and
protection; Cinnamon - prosperity and love; Nutmeg - luck and health; Sage - fortune and
wisdom; Ginger - psychic ability and success.

4. Candle/Incense Burning Tools - Candles and candle holders, incense sticks, cones, and
holder, matches or a lighter. Be safe - if a spell requires you to leave the candle burning until it
goes out on its own, put it in a fireproof container. I have even placed them in the empty
bathtub and closed the door if I have to leave.

5. Journal or Notebook - With so much information out there on Wicca and spells, you'll want
to take notes, record your workings, etc. Choose a special notebook that will hold up for a long
time.

6. Beginner Wicca Books - A good one with history on the religion, information on deities,
sabbats, and of course spells. My first book was Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by
Scott Cunningham. I still refer back to this book today. It has some history and many traditions
practiced today as well as its own Book of Shadows. I enjoy this book so much, a feeling of
warmth and joy wash over me every time I open it.

The Eight Sabbats of Wicca


by April Adkins

Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh, Winter Solstice, Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice,
Autumn Equinox
The Eight Sabbats of Wicca - The Sabbats are seasonal festivals which mark the turning of the
Wheel of the Year and the cycles of nature. Where the Wiccans celebrate the male energy of
the All, which is represented by
the God and the Sun. Unlike human-made holidays, the Sabbats are naturally occurring
events. They mark the Equinoxes- the two days a year when daytime and nighttime are of
equal duration. The Sabbats also include the longest day of the year, the longest night of the
year (known as the solstices) and the midpoints between these four occurrences. Most break
the Sabbats down into major and minor, the major Sabbats are: Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane, and
Lughnasadh. The minor Sabbats are: Winter Solstice, Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, and
Autumn Equinox.

Samhain (SOW-in, SAH-vin, or SAM-hayne) October 31st

This is one of the Greater Sabbats and is probably the witches' biggest holiday. Samhain has
many meanings, it marks the end of the third and final harvest, it is a day to commune with
and remember the dead, and it is a celebration of the eternal cycle of reincarnation.

On this holiday witches will hold celebrations to honor the dead. Some witches have a silent
supper during which they relive moments of life with a friend or loved one who has passed on
during the year. This is the time when the veil is said to be at its thinnest, which makes it a

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
30

great night for communicating with the dead and the closer you get to midnight on that night,
the thinner the veil becomes.

Yule (YOOL) December 21st: Winter Equinox

This is one of the lesser Sabbats and marks the winter solstice, the longest night of the year. It is
also the time the God is reborn and light begins to return to the Earth. Yule is a time of
awakening to new goals and leaving old regrets behind. Wiccans celebrate by exchanging
gifts, decorating a tree, singing, hanging mistletoe, feasting, and of course by burning the Yule
log. The Yule log is burned in the evening in a fireplace or cauldron. They save a piece of the
log which is used to light the next year's Yule log making the fire reborn as well.

Imbolc (IM-bolk) February 2nd

Imbolc, one of the Great Sabbats, is also referred to as Candlemas, is the time when Wiccans
celebrate the renewing fertility of the Earth. 'Imbolc' means 'in the belly (of the Mother)'
because that is where seeds are beginning to stir. Spring is here. It is a holiday of preparedness.
Wiccans scrub their houses from floor to ceiling, bills are paid, and taxes are filed, so that none
of the business of the winter interferes with the pure joy of the earth's rebirth. Known as
Spring cleaning. This time is also the bleakest part of the year while we are thinking that
Spring will never get here.

Ostara (oh-STAR-ah) March 21st: The Spring Equinox

On the spring and fall equinoxes, day and night are of equal lengths. Ostara celebrates the
coming of spring, new growth and fertility. In the days that follow, the hours of light grow
longer, spring blooms in the air, and the Lord and Lady, as to all the creatures of Nature, begin
to wonder about each other. Wiccans would celebrate much like a Christian celebrates Easter,
by boiling and decorating eggs, having egg hunts and eating chocolate bunnies. This would be
a good time to buy a new ritual broom and sweep out any negative energy.

Beltane (BEL-tayne) April 30

At Beltane,one of the Great Sabbats, the Lord and Lady unite in a handfasting, where they help
the Earth to burst with life and new growth. Just like the Veil is thinnest at Samhain, we can
reach across at Beltane as well. Wiccans celebrate Beltane by dancing around the Maypole,
which represents the Lord, handfastings, and great bonfires in which both people and livestock
were run between for purification and luck in the upcoming year.

Litha (LEE-tha) June 21st: Summer Equinox

The Summer Solstice which is a lesser Sabbat, marks the longest day of the year. Most Wiccans
acknowledge this time of year but usually don't have large celebrations. In the past, this Sabbat
was celebrated with large bonfires that were burned to promote purification, fertility, and love.
People were even said to jump over the fires to encourage these qualities in themselves.
Midsummer is also a time when magic can be very powerful, for example, when used to
further ambitions, to manifest a new home or to increase prosperity. It is also believed to
increase fertility in women.

Lughnassad (LOO-nus-uh) August 2nd

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
31

One of the Greater Sabbats the Lughnassad marks the beginning of the fall harvest. The God
and Goddess have entered into later adulthood. This is the time that the God and Goddess enjoy
their time together. Each are growing older and beginning to prepare for the decent into old
age. The God's powers are waning greatly as winter approaches and the sun dies out. Wiccans
often hold feasts in honor of the holiday because everything is so plentiful at this time of year.
Its traditional to bake on this day.

Mabon (MAY-bon) September 21st: Autumn Equinox

This is the second harvest festival and to celebrate the last fruits of the year. Night and day are
of equal duration on this date, and you can feel the approach of winter and darkness. The Lord
is preparing for his death at Samhain, and the Lady is beginning to mourn his loss. Some
Wiccans like to hold feasts or do food magick on this holiday. In this way the Wheel turns,
bringing us back to Samhain where we began our cycle.

The Triple Moon Goddess


by Brian Wilkerson

An Informative Look at One of the Main Tenets of Wicca


The Triple Moon is one of the primary deities found in Wicca. She is comprised of three
separate goddesses: The Maiden, The Mother and The Crone. Each symbolizes the separate
phases of life a woman goes through. She
represents the female part of Wicca's duotheistic religion.

The symbol for the Triple Moon is a waxing, full and waning moon side by side. It is believed
by many that the concept of the Triple Moon began with the first neo-Pagans in the early to
mid twentieth century in England. It as their view that sexuality, breastfeeding and pregnancy
are all ways that women may embody the goddess and therefore make the body sacred.
•The Maiden represents enchantment, inception, expansion, the promise of new beginnings,
birth, youth and youthful enthusiasm, represented by the waxing moon.
•The Mother represents ripeness, fertility, sexuality, fulfillment, stability, power and life
represented by the full moon.
•The Crone represents wisdom, repose, death, and endings represented by the waning moon.

Most neo-Pagans assert that worship of the Triple Moon Goddess predates Christianity and
could go as far back as the Neolithic period. Therefore it is believed that this is the surviving
remnant of ancient beliefs. More research will have to be done to prove one way or another.

Why Do Some Witches Initiate Themselves? by Kelly Brown

Since Wicca is a mystery religion, it is necessary to be initiated into it. However, this became
difficult for many people in the United States when Wicca first became popular in the early
1960s. They learned of the
Old Religion and wanted to be a part of it, but it was exceedingly difficult to come across a
coven to join. Frustration ultimately led to many covens being created from scratch, with the
creators having no authentic training in Wicca. This also led to a large number of Solitary
Witches-those who either could not find a group to join or had no desire to join with a group
yet still wished to practice the Old Religion.

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
32

For many years there was a disagreement between those witches initiated into one of the
established traditions and those who had established their own. Little by little, as more eclectic
covens were created, this conflict died down, although it will probably never be fully done
away with.

Witchcraft in the early Middle Ages had initiation ceremonies, as we know from references to
them in the evidence of the witch trials. Sometimes the leader of the coven would place one
hand on the crown of the initiate's head and the other under the soles of the feet, dedicating
everything between the hands to the old gods. This was a popular dedication in Scotland.
Actually, this ritual is part of the initiation into Gardnerian and other traditions of Wicca.

But there were many witches in those early days, just as there are today, who were not part of
a coven. Often, a farming family lived a long distance from the village, or from a coven, yet
still worshiped the old gods-still asked and worked magic, for a good harvest and thanked the
gods when it came. The solitary witches would dedicate themselves and their children to the
worship of the gods-if not in an official capacity, then in a simple ritual of their own words. So
it is presently with many witches who are either not able or not willing to join an established
coven. They will dedicate themselves to the old gods in a simple ritual of self initiation. Just as
the early witches who did this were as valid as any other witch who happened to belong to a
coven, so these days such self initiation is as genuine as a coven initiation. Doreen Valiente,
who was one of the founders, with Gerald Gardner, of modern Wicca, said "Many people, I
know will question the idea of self-initiation...To them I will address one simple question: Who
initiated the first witch?"

Bibliography:
Buckland, Raymond: Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft. 1986.
Buckland, Raymond: Wicca for Life. 2001
Murray, Margaret Alice: The Witch Cult in Western Europe. 1921.
Valiente, Doreen: Witchcraft for Tomorrow. 1978.

WITCH CAULDRON - CANDLE MAGICK: Deities Associated with Specific Candle Colors:
by Rochelle Moore

Throughout my daily life as a witch I may do several spellworkings per day; however, there is
nothing quicker than a simple candle spell. Witches, Wicca and other pagan religions have
always incorporated the concept of
dual deities, the god and goddess, the ying and yang. One is not preferable over the other and
a goddess is just as powerful as a god. Below are some of the deities that may be used in rituals
and any pagan or wiccan spell casting that come from Norse and Vedic times. We have already
looked at the importance of the type of magic and the appropriate color of the candle in
relation to carrying out a candle magick ritual and how, different colours are used for different
purposes. Now, we will look at the deity associated with specific candle colors (where
applicable):

BLUE - Used for: Protection. Deity of blue candles - Angus: Young son." One of the Tuatha De
Danann" God of youth, love and beauty.

BROWN - Used for: Animals, comfort, security, home, centering, hesitation, neutrality,
uncertainty, invoking the earth for benefit. Deity of brown candles:
Gaia: Mother Goddess or Great Goddess. Gaia is the Earth (or in some cases the spiritual
embodiment of the earth, or the Goddess of the Earth- Mother Nature).

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
33

Dagda: "The Good God"' "All-father"; Great God; Lord of the Heavens; Father of the gods and
men; Lord of Life and Death; the Arch-Druid; god of magic.
Danu: Major Mother goddess; ancestress of the Tuatha De Danann; Mother of the gods; Great
Mother; Moon goddess

DARK BLUE - Used for: Impulsiveness, depression, changeability, to create confusion (use with
white candles or you can create confusion in self). Deity of white candles - Dwyn is the
Goddess of love.

DARK PURPLE - Used for: Calling the power of ancient ones, sigils/runes, government. Deity of
dark purple candles - Magog is usually depicted as a four-breasted woman astride a horse.
Some speculate that he name may mean "mother deity" and that she was once a fertility and
mother Goddess - The consort of Gog.

GOLD - Used for: Wealth, generosity, prosperity, sun magic. The deities associated with Gold
are:
Lugh: God of Light or the harvest, master of skills and Patron of the Arts and for many pagans
Witches, Pagans and Wiccans, Lugh is honored as the champion or artistry and skills.. Many
artisans, musicians, bards, and crafters invoke Lugh when they need assistance with creativity.
Today Lugh is still honored at the time of harvest, not only as a god of grain but also as a god of
late summer storms. Even today, in Ireland many people celebrate Lughnasadh with dancing,
song, and bonfires. The Catholic church also has set this date aside for a ritual blessing of
farmers' fields.
Pwyll: Pwyll head of Annwn who at times is Ruler of the Underworld.
Balor: "Balor of the Piercing Eye", for his gaze would kill all he looked upon. Balor is at times
associated with the sun in its destructive aspect of scorching heat, drought and withering
crops. "Of the evil eye" in Irish Celtic Myths.

GREEN - Used for: Prosperity, employment, fertility, honey, healing, growth, nuturing love,
finance, luck, agriculture, invoking the Goddess of regeneration. Deity of green candles -
Bomba is The Goddess of Regeneration ,agriculture and wealth.

INDIGO - Used for: Deep relaxation, restful sleep, to invoke the righteous spirit in you when
doing good work. Deity of indigo candles - Brigid is Another aspect of Danu; associated with
Imbolc. Brigid, Goddess of fire, fertility, healing, physicians, the hearth, inspiration, divination,
all feminine arts and crafts, smithcraft, prophecy and witchcraft.

LIGHT BLUE - Used for: Healing, peace, psychicism, patience, happiness, inner peace,
friendship, tranquility, understanding, protection of home, young men, protection of new
buildings. Deity of light blue candles - Hertha, ((the Earth) the old Teutonic goddess Hertha,
Goddess of The Earth, was a Virgin, but was impregnated by the heavenly Spirit (the Sky); and
her image with a child in her arms was to be seen in the sacred groves of Germany.

LIGHT GREEN - Used for: To improve the weather. Deity of light green candles - Tyrannis.the
goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia. More typically, it has
been linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain or Samuin (pronounced sow-an or sow-in)
meaning summer's end. Lugh is the same as Odin, tyranis, the god of the lighting

LIGHT RED - Used for: Deep affection of a non-sexual nature. Deity of light red candles -
Britannia is a Tutelary Goddess who became the symbol of the British Empire after being partly
syncretized with the war goddess Minerva.

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
34

MINT GREEN- Used for: Financial gains, used with gold or silver. Deity of mint green candles -
Pridderi is evoked for financial gains (used with gold and -or silver).

ORANGE - Used for: General attraction, energy, assertiveness, endurance, encouragement,


adaptability, stimulation, to seal a spell. Deity of orange candles - Gubba is invoked for
Material gain, wealth, attraction and to seal a spell.

PINK - Used for: Love, romance, honor, morality, friendship, compassion, relaxation, binding
magic, young females. Deitys are:
Aeval: For Harmony and friendship with people and binding magick.
Epona: The Great Mare"; goddess of horses; Mother Goddess, maternity, crops and harvest and
protectress of horses.

PURPLE - Used for: Power, healing severe disease, spirituality, meditation, religion, inner
power, tension, ambition, business progress. Deity Diantach: Spiritual protection, calling up
the power of the Ancient Ones, divination, clairvoyance and government

RED - Used for: Health, strength, physical energy, sexual love, passion, courage, protection,
vitality, creativity. Deities are:
Fand: Sexual magick , love, lust, passionate anger or lost love.
Branwyn: South Cardinal Point , love , romance and inner energy.

SILVER - Used for: Intuition, dreams, cancellation, neutrality, stalemate. Tyrian: invocation of
the Moon Moon magick, gamblers, monetary wealth.

YELLOW - Used for: Intellect, confidence, divination, charm, communication, eloquence,


travel, movement, happiness, success, self esteem, attraction, persuasion, healing. Deity of
yellow candles - Diantach, Physician-magician of the Tuatha de Dannan and he is God of
healing, magick, medicine, regeneration and rejuvenation, silver-working (silver smith).

Using Wicca to Protect Your Home and Property


by Lynne Thompson

If you are planning on practicing witchcraft, you will need to protect the space that you are
working with. You may not think that you need to protect the space that you live in, but there
are several reasons that you
will want to make your space as safe as possible.

Why protect your space

There are many reasons that you would want to protect the space that you live and practice
magic in, but some of the most popular reasons are to keep other practitioners from figuring
out where you are and what you are doing. You may not think that this is a big problem, but
there are some people that think it's funny to find other witches and mess with their magic.
You may also want to keep ghosts and negative people out of your living space as well with
some added ingredients for those certain purposes.

How to protect the space that you live in

There are many different ways that you can protect your space. Some of these are very simple
and others are more complicated to work with. Some may involve herbs and incense when

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
35

others are just using candles and some use a combination of them all. You can find many spells
on the internet or though other witches that they have already used for their own space. You
can also create your own spells for protection.

A simple protection spell

For this spell you will need salt, and nettle. Mix these two herbs together while thinking of
your home being protected. Sprinkle around your home to create a wall that most evil things
can't get though. You can also burn some dragons blood incense in your home to add to the
protection factor. Repeat both of these as often as you want to so that you feel safe in your
home.

There are many ways that you can protect your space when you are practicing witchcraft.
Keep your eyes open and research all the options that you have in front of you. There may be
something that works better than other things and you may be able to keep your home
protected with just a simple spell or herbal mixture. Keeping your space safe will make sure
that you are not having any problems with others bothering you while you are doing your spell
work and increase the power of the spells that you are doing.

The Wiccan Magic Circle Explained


by Luna Bandia

In Wicca, religious and magical rituals are often performed inside a magic circle. This circle is
a construction of personal power. Although it cannot be seen with the naked eye, it is a real
and solid barrier. The
purpose of this barrier, known as the magic circle, is to create a sacred space, outside of the
mundane physical world, to meet with the God and Goddess and to hold in raised power for
use in magic.

The sacred space created within the Wiccan magic circle is a magical environment in which
we can celebrate, attune to and communicate with the deities. It is also a place where magic
can be practiced and energy raised. It defines the boundaries of the ritual area and keeps
distractions at bay. When the magic circle is properly constructed, it brings us closer to the
God and Goddess and allows us to escape, for a time, from the distractions of our physical
lives.

The construction of the Wiccan magic circle is not difficult to understand although it may take
considerable practice to perform correctly, as with any magical act. The circle is made from
our personal power which we feel and see (visualize) streaming from our body, through the
athame, wand or other tool of choice, and into the air around us. When it is finished, the
magic circle is actually a sphere of energy that surrounds the entire ritual area.

Often times a marking is placed on the ground to show where the magic circle meets the earth.
This can be anything from a cord laid in a circular pattern to objects such as flowers, stones or
crystals to mark the outline of the Wiccan magic circle. The four cardinal points are often
marked with lit candles and/or herbs, stones or tools that correspond to the particular
direction.

A pentacle or dish filled with earth may be placed at the North directional point of the magic
circle. The North is the realm of the element of earth. A censer with incense may be placed at
the East directional point of the magic circle. The East is the realm of the element of air. A

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
36

candle or lava rock may be placed to the South directional point of the magic circle. The South
is the realm of the element of fire. A dish of water or seashell may be placed to the West
directional point of the magic circle. The West is the realm of the element of water. These items
are optional; some Wiccan practitioners choose to add these elements to their magic circle
while others do not.

Once the Wiccan magic circle has been created physically and cast magically, then the rituals
are performed within this sacred space. While within the magic circle, you can feel the
difference in the air. It is a place outside the mundane physical world that is charged with
energy and power.

The Wiccan magic circle is created by energy and although it cannot be seen with the naked
eye it can be felt with experience. It isn't just a physical circle made of cord or flowers but a
real barrier that harbors magic and creates a sacred place to practice, worship and
communicate with the deities.

The Wiccan Deities Demystified


by Luna Bandia

All religions are built upon a foundation of worship, whether it is worship of a singular
God/Goddess or many different Gods. The Wicca believe in a divine power also, in the form of
the Mother Goddess and Father God.
This divine power is a concept that we accept as far beyond our understanding and so we
must relate to it as best we can. In Wicca we relate to said divinity by giving it two faces; that
of the Mother and Father.

This makes sense to us because all things in nature have male and female counterparts. We
know that every goddess and every god that have ever been are merely facets of the God and
Goddess we revere in Wicca. Every Goddess is The Goddess and Every God is The God. Our
deities have many faces and we embrace them all.

In the past the deities were worshiped via rituals that celebrated the seasons of the earth and
phases of the moon. Still today, Wiccans celebrate these seasons and the deities responsible for
them. We see the Mother Goddess in the waxing and waning of the moon and we see the
Father God in the Sun and the seasons of the earth. These rituals and celebrations create a bond
between the physical and divine, a magical place that we can attune with the God/Goddess
within us and everything around us.

This is not to say that the Sabbats (seasonal celebrations) and Esbats (lunar celebrations) are
the only times that we connect with the deities. The Wicca do not need ritual to attune with
and appreciate our beloved God and Goddess. For us, the beauty of nature, the plants and trees,
the stones and earth beneath our feet are all constant reminders of the omnipresence of our
deities. Observing wild animals or watching a sunset can be a powerful ritual all its own and
we can feel the God and Goddess in all of these things.

The Wicca do not believe that the deities existed previous to man's recognition of them but we
do believe that their energy has always been here. We created the "God" and "Goddess" as faces
that we can understand and connect with. However, this primeval deity or eternal energy, so to
speak, has always been and in fact, created us. Primitive man recognized the divinity in nature
and as such personified the deities to better understand the complex workings of the universe.

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
37

The Goddess was attributed to the fertility of animals and crops while the God was associated
with the hunt and harvest.

When attuning with the God and Goddess of Wicca, many practitioners envision them as
ancient deities from older religions. Cerridwen, Isis, Pan and Cernunnos are some of the most
well-known of these deities. Still other Wiccans prefer to place no name upon the deities as
this can impose limitations on our interpretation of them.

Although Wicca is a new religion it is founded on rituals and myths that are ages old. No
matter how one person sees the deities, the Wicca accept that they are all the same God and
Goddess and they will reveal themselves to each person differently. As such, there is no
standard picture of the Goddess or the God, no one definition that can encompass them. They
are simply the male and female energy of everything that is. They look however we wish them
to. They are all the deities that have ever been or ever will be.

As explained previously, the Wicca believe that deity is twin: both male and female as are all
things in nature. They are also equal, one no greater than the other. They both deserve our
respect for you cannot have one without the other. All things in nature require both male and
female aspects, including our deities.

Some religions and religious traditions will place more importance on one of the deities over
the other but this leads to an imbalance. The Wicca believe that the God and Goddess are even
and neither more deserving of our love and devotion. Although some practitioners of Wicca
have been known to place more importance on the Goddess than the God, this is often the
result of feeling misunderstood or shunned by patriarchal religions. However, this is not a
belief of Wicca and religion that is based on female deity alone is as unnatural as religion
based on male deity alone.

The deities of Wicca are equal and balanced, complimenting each other perfectly. The God and
Goddess are both a part of Wicca and we honor them in all of nature and in every human
being and animal.

How to Use a Book of Shadows: Guide for Beginners

by Dori Fitzinger

Things You'll Need:

Hard covered blank journal or diary.


Pen to write with
Time
Commitment

Step 1:

To make your own Book of Shadows, begin with any blank book. This could be a formal
journal sold art stores, stationary stores and bookshops. Book of Shadows can also be written in
diaries, notebooks, information saved on a computer disk. The instrument the Book of Shadows
is written on is not as important as the information that is recorded in it.

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
38

Step 2:

Make your Book of Shadows your own - decorate the cover with artwork, glue on favorite
herbs, favorite spells, and poems. Inside the front cover place your name and the date that
book are starting. This can be simple or involve a clipart book plate. The choices are up to you
- this is your journal.

Step 3:

Write entries into your Book of Shadows every day. They can be long entries about your
experiences or short notes of observation. Just remember all Books of Shadows are suggestions
as to a ritual, not a "holy write" that is carved in stone. Never feel tied down to make your book
like anyone else's - the following are areas and things you may want in your Book of Shadows.
The overall goal is to put you in touch with yourself, reach into your beliefs and path of life.

Step 4:

Start simple - write about the weather for example. Not just comments like it's hot or raining
but share with your journal how this weather makes you feel. Write about how you can
change how you feel. If there has been drastic weather that changes you're surrounding such
as floods, heavy snows, hurricanes. Share all the parts of the weather, use all your senses. What
do you see, hear, how has it changed your life? Use your Book of Shadows to express fears,
grief, inner thoughts that you need to express.

Step 5:

Write down dreams; share all the details you remember. The feelings they caused, memories
they may evoke. Note in your journal whether these dreams are repeating over and over. Write
down any questions or points of the dreams you want to talk to another about. Use your Book
of Shadows to express the time prior to your sleep - reflect on whether they were disturbed or
when you slept well - note what you did before bed - did you try a new ritual or incantation.

Step 6:

Write down your magical spells and experiments, and later on, note the results. Write down
specifics - special words or tools you used. It is important to note why this certain spell or
ritual was preformed. Were you in a learning session with an elder working on a new skill?
Share with your journal the things you learned, wisdoms shared, memories made. Your Book
of Shadows is the perfect to write down any recipes used in your Wicca healing. Use your Book
of Shadows to record your Herbal Grimoire.

Step 7:

Write to the completion of the space in your Book of Shadows. Then note the final entry date
on the inside cover. Put your journal aside but not too far. Now start a new Book of Shadows -
start your entries now - use the first entry in your new Book of Shadows to notate how it made
you feel to finish a complete book. The usage of prior journals is not over - re-reading your
journals at a later date is probably the most important thing you will do. Do it with an open
mind and carefully think of all the things you have seen, learned, matured. Then write about
your experience in your present journal, take the time to write about how things have

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
39

changed, how you have grown, the people who have come and gone in your life, and so much
more.

Tips & Warnings


•As you continue to write - you will find more to write about.
•It is important to always remember that the Book of Shadows is individual thoughts, poems,
and beliefs - they are not meant as dogma to change someone else's path.

Spell Candles: The How to for Rituals


by Linda St. Cyr

Fire, it's one of the main elements in any kind of magic. Earth, Air, Fire and Water are the most
basic elements the craft works with. Candle magic works with all of these elements. To know
how spell candles work it is
imperative to know what kind of spell you are casting and to know what color combinations
to use. Garnering this information today is rather simple. A quick web search will bring up
plenty of places where you can get different information on what kinds of spells are best suited
to candle spell magic.

Color is very important when it comes to spell candles. Each color represents something
different. Here is a list of colors and what spells are best cast with them:

White: Spiritual enlightenment, cleansing, clairvoyance, healing, truth, Rituals involving lunar
energy, purity.

Yellow: Activity, Creativity, unity, Rituals that involve solar energy.

Gold: Fast Luck, Money, and solar energy.

Orange: Creativity, ambition, career matters and the Law, self-confidence.

Pink: Romance, friendship; standard color for rituals to draw affections; a color of femininity,
honor and service.

Red: Health, passion, love, fertility, strength, courage, will power.

Silver: Removes negativity, encourages stability and opens up psychic abilities.

Purple: Power, success, idealism, and psychic manifestations.

Magenta: Healing.

Brown: Eliminates indecisiveness, improves powers of concentration, study, telepathy,


increases financial success, locates objects that have been lost.

Indigo: Good for deep meditation.

Royal Blue: Laughter and the color of loyalty.

Light Blue: Spiritual color, peace and tranquility.

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
40

Blue: Spiritual color, wisdom, truth and guidance.

Emerald Green: Fertility.

Dark Green: Ambition, greed and jealousy.

Green: Fertility, good luck, money, harmony, and rejuvenation.

Grey: Meditation, neutralizes negative influence.

Black: Banishing evil, deep meditational states.

Now that you have decided what type of spell and what colors to use, You need to charge your
candles. It is very important not to use the spell candles for anything but the spell it is
designated for. If you do, the candle will loose some of its potency. Charging a candle is very
simple. You hold it or touch it and concentrate on the spell to be performed. If you are doing a
money spell, money should be the first thing you think of when touching the candle.

When the candle has been sufficiently charged it is time to begin your spell. Remember you
can charge a candle for as long as you wish, minutes, hours or days. Its all up to you. Now you
are ready to get your altar set up. Most spells naturally incorporate candles but if you are just
out to do a spell with candles some advice that should be adhered to follows:

- Set up your altar in its usual manner with whatever tools are appropriate. In this case your
candles.

- It is recommended that you also choose 2 other candles to represent the god and goddess
upon your altar.

- Make your circle of protection carefully around you and your altar.

- It is not necessary but some people do enjoy having a color representation of the 4 corners.
North, East, West and South on your altar will give you more lighting for your spell and also a
greater chance at success.

- Scratching or writing onto a candle its purpose also helps with the casting.

Now you are ready for your spell candles to be cast. The easiest and most efficient candle
magic is candle gazing. This is an act of focusing ones mind onto the task at hand. It takes
patience and practice. You should stare directly into the flames clearing your mind of all else
but the intent of the spell without blinking. Your eyes may become watery or strained and this
is why you should practice.

Spell candles are very easy to use. For more information some great sites to check out are
www.hecatescauldron.org, www.witchway.net and www.witchvox.com. Also, check out your
local wiccan, witchcraft and pagan stores and talk with the witches you find there. They can
be very knowledgeable.

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
41

A Basic Wiccan Ritual


by Lilyth Rose

Decide which ritual you want to hold. There are various common Wiccan rituals, a lot of
which can be found in good books on Wicca. A well-known one is Drawing Down the Moon.
Look up some more information about it.

2. Plan. Consider numbers, and if more than one person will be present, plan in advance who
will be calling which quarters, who will be leading which parts of the ritual, and so on. This
will prevent confusion later on, which could disrupt the atmosphere and the energy build-up.

3. Prepare the space.

If you'll be doing it indoors, give the room a good clean and a spiritual cleanse by smudging or
sweeping. If it's outdoors, clear the space of any rubbish or debris. Make sure that anyone
going barefoot will be able to walk around if they need to. Prepare any practicalities such as a
fire pit, etc. Appropriate any major props such as firewood, lanterns or an altar.

4. Cleanse yourself by taking a bath or a shower and using some bath oils that you only use for
if you're doing a ritual.

5. Begin by grounding yourself. Find your inner peace, and become good and relaxed. Shut
out all the things from your mundane life that distract you.6Gather anyone performing with
you and cast your circle.

7. Call the elements to be present in your space; Clockwise, starting at East:

1. East, Air
2. South, Fire
3. West, Water
4. North, Earth
5. All, Spirit

8. Take a moment to honor your deity/deities. A symbolic picture or sculpture helps to focus
the mind, especially in group rituals where it helps to have everyone focused on the same
thing.

9. Visualize your goal and meditate on it. Take some time to cast your spell.

10. Thank your God/Goddess.

11. Thank the elements and release them in reverse order.

12. Finally, open your circle. This will release any residual energy. Some like to do this as they
release the elements.

13. Take some time to come back to the now by grounding yourself again. You can also do this
by eating and drinking something, hugging a friend, patting yourself all over your body or
visualizing roots growing into the ground to steady you.

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com
42

Both solitary and group workings benefit from the sharing of wine and cake for grounding and
blessing at this point. Pass wine and then cake or bread clockwise, being blessed and blessing
the next person in turn. When everyone feels settled, discussion and expression is a great
idea.14When you feel ready, record your experiences in a Book of Shadows.

For more information about paganism and Wicca, please visit http://austinpagan.com