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Altars, Candles, Numbers, & Tarot. Oh, my!


Welcome to the witch's circle where mystery awaits at every turn.

🧙‍♀️Uncover the secrets of crafting an altar where magic and intention blend into spiritual harmony. Explore the age-old inquiry: Can witches fly? Delve into witch iconography's rich tapestry, revealing captivating tales woven through history. Visit the New Plymouth witchcraft shop and immerse yourself in the heart of witchcraft. Trace Italy's haunting witch hunts and witness the rising tide of Wiccan spirituality, challenging mainstream religion with 1.5 million U.S. practitioners.

🌿 Step into the pagan realm with articles bridging ancient and modern wisdom. Unearth British traditions heralding the Spring Equinox's arrival. Explore Ulbster's enigmatic Pictish stone, adorned with ancient carvings. Dive into the wisdom of waters with a Water Priestess interview. Wander Oak, Ash, and Thorn's whispering woods, where ancient trees guard pagan traditions. Witness Italy's spiritual shift as it embraces ancient roots, shedding Catholicism's chains. Experience Spring's joyous rites through pagan celebrations.

📚 🎬 Dive into the realm of Avalon Hill's latest card game, "Betrayal Deck Of Lost Souls," in an in-depth review! Discover the top 13 witchy wonders on screen with a Rotten Tomatoes-ranked list of the best movies about witches! NBC weaves a modern witch's tale with "Something Wicked" in a captivating new series.

🕯️Meet a tarot card coach and discover the magic that lies within the cards. Dive into the ancient art of numerology and crack the code of your life! Embark on a spiritual journey from Mount Kailash to Mount Fuji in an exploration of the world's most sacred mountains. Illuminate your path with the art of candle magic with the Blog Talk Radio show.



Witches



My altar that was recently painted and rearranged. It was originally my best friend's mother's school desk, and I can sometimes feel her.


An altar space is part of the journey of sacred creation and self-expression! Let's remember that this isn't merely about arranging objects on a table. It's a profound experience that invites us to forge a deep connection with our spirituality, honor our beliefs, and bring our intentions to life.


Whatever we identify as as witches, practitioners, or any other tradition, our altars serve as a mirror reflecting our unique practices and give us a dedicated working space that’ll (in theory) help your craft grow whilst providing a centering focal point of your energy.



Witches were often depicted flying on household implements such as brooms and staffs. Martin Le Franc/W. Schild. Die Maleficia der Hexenleut' via Wikimedia Commons

The image of a witch flying on a broomstick is iconic, but it is not nearly as old as the idea of witchcraft itself, which dates to the earliest days of humankind.



The exhibition opens by immersing visitors in a real witchcraft trial held in an Inquisition tribunal in 1539 and closes with the experience of writing in a real Book of Shadows. In between, there's a rich path of documents, fetishes, and ritual tools dedicated to the world of Witches and magic, including about 300 prints, sculptures, paintings, and engravings, some signed by the greatest engravers of the nineteenth century. The exhibition also features precious exorcism manuals and historical treaties from the Teresiana Library of Mantua, such as the Malleus Maleficarum, the manual on hunting witches most used by the church, which indicated the punishments for those accused of witchcraft. From the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in Boscastle, Cornwall, come ancient cauldrons, fetishes, amulets, talismans, and magic wands, while from the Museum of Civilizations in Rome comes an incredible collection of amulets.the


Inside new Plymouth shop, The Cunning Grove (Image: Katie Oborn)


. . .What pagans tend to do is ground a connection to the world around us. We want to create a community through witchcraft and paganism, which is deeply empowering.

“The idea that people can weave magic into their everyday lives gives a sense of connection and community. I’m a witch and people tend to look at me in a certain way, but we are coming together as a community - we support each other, look out for each other and no one's ever left behind.”


Witch hunts marked a dark period in Europe between the 16th and 17th centuries, during which thousands of people, mainly women, were persecuted and executed for alleged links with witchcraft and the devil. This climate of terror and superstition was fueled by the widespread belief that witches possessed evil powers and practiced dark arts through pacts with the devil. Interest in magic and the search for means of pursuing it grew rapidly from the 13th century, but it was toward the end of the 15th century that witch hunts spread throughout Europe, with different characteristics in different countries. In Italy, for example, the recovery of classical culture led to the re-enactment of female creatures such as lamiae and striges, believed to be capable of sucking blood and taking on the appearance of birds. Recovered elements included metamorphosis through magical ointments, night flight and murders related to vampirism. Accusations against witches also included the ability to cause disease, famine, natural disasters and other evils, as well as the practice of spells and curses against people and livestock. Persecutions were often based on unfounded testimony, confessions extracted under torture, and popular beliefs rooted in ignorance and collective fear. In Italy, as in other European countries, witch hunts occurred in different regions, with trials and convictions taking place in various historical and social contexts. Here are five of the most significant places where witch hunts took place.



Wicca, a spiritual path with 1.5 million U.S. practitioners, emphasizes nature, ethical magic, and self-growth, resonating with contemporary movements.


Wicca, a minority religion that began in the U.K. during the 1940s, has seen significant growth in the United States since its introduction in the 1960s. With an estimated 1.5 million practitioners identifying as witches, and approximately 800,000 of those adhering to Wicca specifically, this spiritual path continues to attract followers. Its emphasis on celebrating a Goddess alongside a God, lack of formal institutional structure, and focus on ritual and direct spiritual experience rather than belief set it apart from mainstream religions.


Pagans



The Spring or Vernal Equinox has been celebrated by a myriad of pagan faiths at least as far back as the Neolithic era. Unlike solstices which celebrate the longest day or night, equinoxes mark the two points of the year (March and September) where night and day are exactly equal.



A photograph of the Pictish stone in situ at the Ulbster graveyard in 2022. The slab's markings are highlighted in red. Some of the lines are covered with lichens and will hopefully be clearer after restoration work is carried out. The area near the bottom appears to show a double disc and Z-rod often seen in inscribed Pictish stones.


A recently discovered Pictish symbol stone is now on its way south from Caithness for experts to carry out conservation work at a specialist studio near Edinburgh.



Hello readers! I am so happy to share with you another installment in the Interview with a Water Priestess series with you! This time I interview Lyn Thurman and we learn about her connection with the Sea! Lyn has created Watery Oracle decks and tends her sacred beach in Wales!



The plan was always to have two. My ritual calendar has revolved around the Equinoxes for a while now. They’re my high holy days, the two evenings I am always sure to set aside for my practice. When I decided to get some ink for them – well, I couldn’t just do one.



My photo of a goddess at the Villa d'Este in Italy.


In Italy, a significant number of baptized Catholics are reverting to ancient Roman deities, consulting pagans, seers, and astrologers, marking a potential catastrophic shift away from traditional Catholicism. Over 160,000 sorcerers, attracting more than three million Italians annually for advice, signal a thriving occult and New Age practice market, despite Pope Francis' warnings against such trends.





As spring begins to stir, Kelly Bewers writes about the ancient Pagan tradition of Ostara.


Spring Equinox falls on 20th March this year. It marks the halfway point between the Winter and Summer Solstices (the shortest and longest days of the year respectively), when the length of night and day are completely equal.


Ostara is one of eight Pagan festivals that mark the ‘Wheel of the Year’ (the seasonal calendar), and it celebrates the beginning of spring. In ancient times people worshipped the Germanic goddess Eostre during this festival; women wore white, fires were lit, eggs were decorated to honour fertility and offerings of sweet honey were made. Eostre represents rebirth, renewal and awakening.


Books, Videos, Music, and Games


Credit: Avalon Hill


Avalon Hill has a brand new card game based in the Betrayal franchise, as Betrayal Deck Of Lost Souls is available right now.


This new system will provide players with a story-driven card game that feels like a tarot deck and plays like a strategic horror title. You'll use Item cards to defeat Omens and Curses with your fellow players while also keeping an eye out for who the traitor might be among your group, who is looking to cast a bigger curse on you all. We have more info about it for you here, as the game is now on sale for $20.



'Something Wicked' combines classic sitcom charm with a modern twist on witchcraft, promising laughter and introspection for today's audience.


In a fresh twist on classic TV sitcom magic, NBC has unveiled plans for 'Something Wicked,' a comedy that blends the enchantment of witchcraft with the trials of modern adult womanhood. Crafted by the creative minds of June Diane Raphael and Alena Smith, this project marks a significant addition to NBC's push towards a multi-camera comedy lineup. With Universal Television backing, the show is poised to enchant audiences with its unique blend of humor and homage to iconic series like 'Bewitched.'



Witches have been a point of fascination in cinema for decades, oscillating between horror and fantasy, and always full of potential for storytelling. Rotten Tomatoes, a prominent film review aggregator, often serves as a benchmark for movie ratings.


These films span decades and various approaches to the theme of witchcraft, from horror to comedy to fantasy, reflecting both our fears and fascinations with those who wield magic. Whether you’re looking for suspenseful scares or enchanting tales, there’s something for every kind of moviegoer in this bewitching selection.


Tarot


Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo: Biny Alemayehu


Tarot card coach Skye Marinda has a "Not-So-D.C. job," a daily gig that isn't your standard, inside-the-Beltway 9-to-5.

How it started: Marinda got into tarot during a Halloween trip to Salem, Mass., and discovered it was a great tool for self-reflection and boosting mental health.



The world of Tarot, the set of cards used as a divination tool, has made the transition from taboo to trendy in the mainstream. While hobbyists and professionals still practice within their homes and private spaces, tarot readings have also moved into public-facing retail businesses.




Miscellaneous



Numerology delves into the mystical significance of numbers, believing each carries a unique story and meaning. It offers a pathway to self-discovery, guiding individuals to uncover their purpose and make informed decisions.



The discussion begins at 3 minutes.


In the realm of mystical practices, candle magic stands as a beacon of enchantment, weaving through the rich tapestry of witchcraft, hoodoo, and pagan traditions with an aura of intrigue and power. Each flicker of flame ignites a connection to the spiritual realms, channeling intentions and energies into the ethereal dance of wax and fire.


Mount Olympus, Greece Photo courtesy: Canva


These towering peaks, often shrouded in mist and myth, are revered as sacred sites where humans connect with the divine and seek enlightenment. These sacred mountains serve as spiritual beacons, guiding pilgrims and seekers on a journey of inner transformation and enlightenment. From the snow-capped summits of the Himalayas to the peak of Fuji, here's a glimpse into some of the world's most sacred mountains, each holding its own unique spiritual legacy.


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