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Getting Ready for 2024


🔮✨ Dive into the mystical realm with the latest articles for 2024! Explore "Ways To Cleanse And Protect Yourself This Year" and discover the secrets of Divination. Take a journey into the Year of 8 and learn valuable insights from the Strength, the Tarot card of the year. Uncover the potential for spiritual shifts in "Will 2024 bring more spiritual violence?" and enhance your paganism with our guide for the year.


Delve into the intriguing world of fortune-telling with onions, cheese, and eggs. Discover the secret history of the world's most popular tarot cards and unravel the mysterious story of the Pendle witches. Meet witches living in domestic bliss and learn about the fearsome Frau Perchta, an ancient Alpine Winter Goddess.


Explore CharminWitchCrafts' Witchcraft Essentials and join a young reporter's Yule experience.

Immerse yourself in the magick of pines, honor the gods, and ponder the provocative question: "To kill a God." Gain wisdom from an elder of the craft, Isaac Bonewits. Share your thoughts on "Return of the Pagans," as featured in The Atlantic, and don't miss the card game based on legendary British occultists.


Embark on a witch's tale with "Sanctuary," and let the enchantment of the mystical world captivate your senses. 🌙📜



What about 2024?



January often reminds us to go back to the basics and reset ourselves energetically for the upcoming year. Many people have new year’s traditions that they do, such as eating certain foods, abstaining from certain chores, and magick to bring prosperity and luck to the household.

. . .This year, I decided to cleanse my house on New Year’s Eve instead of waiting until New Year’s Day. . . I also wanted to get a jumpstart on cleansing before the old year was over, so that my household would go into the new year already cleansed of last year’s energy.. .

I feel like cleansing and protection go hand in hand. Once you have removed the energy that you do not want, it is a good idea to follow up with protection work, so that unwanted energy doesn’t move right back in.



This is the seventh consecutive year I’ve done a Tarot reading for the new year. Overall, they’ve done a good job of identifying directions and themes for the year: what’s likely to go well, what’s likely to go badly, and what needs our careful attention. . .


As it is every year, the question for this reading is “what does the new year hold for me and mine?” The closer you are to me, the more this reading applies to you. If you do ritual with me in my back yard, it’s very relevant to you. If you follow a Pagan polytheist path, it applies a fair amount. If you’re a casual blog reader, less so. You must decide how much weight to give this reading in your planning for the coming year.



The magic of 2024, the Year of 8, where strength, manifestation, and balance converge. A journey of numerological and Tarot exploration.


As the curtains rise on the stage of 2024, we find ourselves immersed in the vibrant energy of the number 8—an invitation to strength, building, and the harmonious dance of balance. To truly appreciate the magic this year holds, let’s journey through the corridors of numerology and explore the profound symbolism of the number 8 in Tarot.


(Jess Hutchison / Los Angeles Times)


If you too feel like you could use some Strength energy in your life, you’re in luck. Tarot practitioners say the Strength card is 2024’s card of the year. That’s because 2+0+2+4=8, and Strength is the eighth card in most modern English-language tarot decks. Just like honoring the seasonal rhythms of the year or the phases of the moon, working with the card of the year can be a way to frame and contextualize a specific period of time.



It’s become something of a tradition at The Wild Hunt that our secular year begins with an editorial outlook of the year ahead. More often than not, I seem to engage in annual handwringing with Cassandra about a rising tide that represents a danger to modern Paganisms.


“There is a new wave that has me and many in the Pagan community concerned,” I wrote last January. “It reminds me in some ways of the Satanic Panic, though that term does not fully describe it; it’s not a panic, but more of a dismay and a display of Evangelical mania.”


. . . I worry that there will be more. In 2024, the United States will be galvanized by the presidential election. There will be some 50 other similar elections in the world.


Miscellaneous


A photo from the 1900s shows brothers Carlo and Ermanno Coretti having their coffee grounds read by their mother in Trieste, Italy.

PHOTOGRAPH BY ARCHIVIO GBB /REDUX


Kitchen divination has a long, cross-cultural history. In some places, the art never went away; in others, it’s making a comeback through social platforms.


Predicting the future hasn’t always been synonymous with tarot cards and crystal balls. Centuries before astrology apps and dial-in psychics existed, people who wanted a glimpse into the future worked with what they had—food.


Loose leaf tea and Turkish coffee grounds (tasseography), onions (cromniomancy), eggs (ovomancy), and even cheese (tyromancy) have all been essential ingredients used in kitchen divination. But over time, these rituals faded from the mainstream. However, a recent resurgence in Pagan practices—crystals and tarot cards, astrology, and herbal magic—has brought this branch of fortune telling from the back of the pantry to the top of your TikTok feed.


Tarot



In a 1908 article, British artist, illustrator and costume designer Pamela Colman Smith shared how she thought paintings should be viewed. “Learn from everything, see everything, and above all feel everything! Find eyes within, look for the door into the unknown country.”


Smith could well have been describing how to use a deck of tarot cards. After all, she was responsible for creating the illustrations used in the world’s most popular tarot card design. In 1909, Smith and poet and mystic Arthur Waite met through a secret society known as the “Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn”. Their mutual belief in spiritualism, rituals, symbolism and psychic practices led to them to join forces and create a tarot card deck, combining Waite’s concepts with Smith’s Art Nouveau-style illustrations.


Witches



In 1612, the hangings of those accused of being the Pendle Witches caused a public sensation. Dr Robert Poole and Charlotte Hodgman visit Lancaster Castle in Lancashire, where one of the most famous, and sensational, witch trials in British history took place, in 1612, and explore the history of the chilling event…



(Image: Anne Edge / SWNS)


Meet the married witches who live in domestic bliss- as they can fix any issues with the power of spells. Anne and Timothy Edge regularly use witchcraft to help around the home and to improve the weather.


The loved-up pair even use spells for health purposes- drinking mullein tea to help the lungs and using metal on the shoulder blades to help with nose bleeds. Anne, 49, met Timothy, 56, in her friend's car in February 1998, and they ''instantly fell in love''.


She quickly introduced her witchcraft, spells and rituals to Tim and displayed the domestic benefits of asking the universe for help.



Today, she’s commonly called the Christmas Witch or even “the female Krampus”—but she is so much more.


ON THE RAUHNÄCHTE, THE DARKEST nights of the year, she leads an entourage of women on a wild hunt, accompanied by screeching demons. They fly on distaffs, wooden sticks used in traditional wool-spinning that look very much like brooms. In some tales, she appears as a crone with one webbed foot, like that of a goose or swan, trailed by spirits of unbaptized children, the smallest dragging a pitcher filled with mothers’ tears. In other tellings, she is a beautiful woman in white robes who emerges during Twelfth Night.



CharminWitchCrafts.com, a premier online destination for all things witchcraft and spiritual, is thrilled to announce the launch of its revamped website, showcasing a wide array of categories including Apparel, Arts & Crafts & Sewing, Candles and holders, Crystals, Decor, Earrings, Home & Tools & Garden, Incense & Smudges, Jewelry, and Spiritual items. With a commitment to providing high-quality products for practitioners and enthusiasts alike, CharminWitchCrafts.com has become the go-to hub for all your mystical and magical needs.


Spiritual Practices


A selection of jars containing herbs and other ingrediants used by Cunning folk in Britain. Artifacts at the Museum of Witchcraft, Boscastle, Cornwall [Midnightblueowl, Wikimedia Commons, public domain]


The exact term for my spirituality isn’t something I lose a lot of sleep over. . . I have half a dozen specific terms to pinpoint exactly where my spirituality lies, but they’re not terms that are particularly useful elsewhere. Most folks I meet, newly introduced to the term “Pagan,” aren’t yet ready for the fine distinction between Druid and Heathen, or the histories that have led some to identify as “polytheists” while others with similar practices use “animist” to capture their views. As their world gets bigger before my eyes, these new friends grasp at something familiar in an attempt to contextualize what I’m telling them – not Christianity, not any of the other religions they might know about, but something else. They usually land in the same place.


“So you’re a Witch?” they’ll ask, and I will find myself shaking my head.



Yule Decoration (Image: Maja Oldziejewska)


We’re all conditioned to believe that Paganism or Witchcraft is evil or the work of the devil, but what is it really. In my experience I've found it's more about worshipping nature and the natural elements.


Yule or the Winter Solstice is very important in the Pagan tradition. The Winter Solstice is a celebration for the rebirth of the sun since it takes place at the end of winter, it celebrates the part of the year where the sun “stands still” giving us longer and warmer days.



The Pine has been used in magick and healing practices for hundreds of years. The ancient Egyptians placed an image of the deity Osiris in a hollowed-out pine tree, and in Celtic mythology, Pine is known to be a tree of protection and forgiveness. This tree’s branches have been used in exorcisms and banishments of evil and malevolent spirits for many moons. It can be used to not only break a hex… but return to sender! That’s cool as hell! One can burn the branches to expel the dead, and if you burn both ends of a pine wand it will aid you in your battles, one of the perks of Mars energy!


Main altar to Odin for Midwinter Blót [Photo by Karl E. H. Seigfried]


“How do you work with the Norse gods?”


Every once in a while, I get asked a form of this question.


Sometimes, it’s about the Norse deities as a group. Sometimes, it’s about a specific single figure.


The asker is usually someone who practices some version of Wicca, eclectic Paganism, or a hybrid that includes figures from Norse mythology next to deities from other world traditions. Sometimes, the asker is simply new to Ásatrú and Heathenry and is still trying to figure out the modern variations of praxis.




Monday kicks off a new year, and that means new year’s resolutions are on people’s minds. Even if you don’t make new year’s resolutions, you are still seeing them mentioned on social media and TV commercials.


One of my favorite social media memes about new years resolutions talks about making fun ones, instead of always trying to make serious ones such as trying new foods or being silly. I like this sentiment because setting deep, often difficult goals puts a lot of pressure on ourselves, on top of the daily struggles. Then, if we don’t follow through with them, feelings of guilt or failure trickle in.


Paganism


Picture: David Antony Hunt


Don’t be spooked if you see hundreds of people marching into the woods with flame-lit torches, banging drums and chanting folk tunes this weekend.


Although it might look like something from medieval England, it is nothing to fear – just village folk coming together to celebrate the pagan ritual of wassail.



During the Middle Ages, Christians were expanding their religion into every corner of Europe. To bring new lands under Roman Catholicism, the old pagan faiths had to be destroyed. Here is how this was done on the island of Rügen in the twelfth century.


Our story is told by Saxo Grammaticus, a Danish cleric and historian who around the year 1188 began writing the first full history of Denmark. Stretched over 16 books, the Gesta Danorum goes back to ancient times to relate the mythological beginnings of the Danes. It has long been popular reading for the tales and legends it gives relating to the pagan past of this region, as well as for covering the rise of important leaders such as Cnut the Great.



Philip Emmons Isaac Bonewits was born October 1, 1949, in Royal Oak, Michigan — the perfect place, he liked to joke, for a future Archdruid. If you're not a practitioner of modern Druidry, Wicca or various other spiritual paths that take their inspiration from pre-Christian times, it's unlikely you've heard of him. But it's even possible, I believe, to be a practicing Witch, Druid or some other adventurous spirit and never have heard the name Isaac Bonewits. I don't know if he would've taken delight in that notion or if his ego would've taken a hit, but what I do know is that for those of us who fall into the Neopagan camp, we all owe Bonewits a great deal of gratitude whether we've heard of him or not.


More Responses to The Atlantic's "Return of the Pagans" Article



Last month The Atlantic published an editorial written by Rabbi David Wolpe. Titled, The Return of the Pagans, subtitled "Hug a tree or a dollar bill, and the pagan in you shines through". Which in fact admirably sums up the message of this screed. You almost don't even need to read the rest of it to get his message. But I did anyway.


I almost wish I hadn't. Even now, days later, just remembering it leaves me shaking with rage and dismay. . .As an authority, a teacher, his words matter more than most people's words do. Given that background and his position in society it seems to me that such a person might want to be just a little more responsible about how he characterizes other faiths. He knows all too well the harm that words can do, when those words are full of misinformation.



In December 1946, author and Christian apologist C.S. Lewis published an essay in Strand Magazine titled A Christmas Sermon for Pagans in which he argued for the moral and ethical superiority of Christianity. He distinguished between “Pagans” (“the backward people in the remote districts who had not yet been converted” and to whom Lewis showed a modicum of respect, albeit in a patronizing way) and the “post-Christian men” of his era to whom his sermon was directed.

On Christmas Day 2023, scholar and Conservative Rabbi David Wolpe published an essay on The Atlantic website titled The Return of the Pagans in which he argued for the moral and ethical superiority of “monotheism.” Unlike Lewis, it’s unclear just what Wolpe means by “Pagans.” He uses Donald Trump and Elon Musk as contemporary examples – both of whom are highly irreligious. Paganism for Wolpe seems to mean “whatever I don’t like.”



The world of Pagan commentary has been ablaze this week following the publication of Rabbi David Wolpe’s article “The Return of the Pagans” in The Atlantic. In the article, Wolpe accused modern society of reverting to “paganism,” which he loosely defines as “the worship of natural forces” in “two forms: the deification of nature, and the deification of force,” which he broadly associated with the political left and political right respectively.


Many Pagans, including the editors of TWH, found that Wolpe’s article displayed a profound lack of understanding about paganism in both its classical and modern forms, being based entirely in Wolpe’s own monotheistic worldview.



In a recent essay for The Atlantic, David Wolpe, a rabbi and visiting scholar at Harvard Divinity School, sizes up former president and insurrectionist Donald Trump as follows: “the lavishness of his homes, the buildings emblazoned with his name and adorned with gold accoutrements, his insistent ego, even the degree of obeisance he evokes among his followers…” Wolpe concludes,“there’s something a little pagan about the man.”

If that last bit leaves you scratching your head, you’re not alone.


(Image by Rihaij/Pixabay/Creative Commons)


The rising sun is shining through my south-facing windows, just over a week after the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. As a scientifically minded person, I understand that this means that the amount of daylight minutes will be increasing until the summer solstice in June. As a modern Pagan (yes, with a capital “P”), I celebrate it as a return of the light after the dark half of the year, bringing clarity and illumination.

It’s clear that I’m not the kind of Pagan Rabbi David Wolpe wrote about last week in The Atlantic in his essay “The Return of the Pagans,” and I can’t say I know any who are.


Fun and Games



Finally, a card game featuring Druidic alien cults and John Dee!


With witchcraft and occultism going mainstream in a big way, it’s a good time to be a fan of the mystical and macabre. Case in point: if you’ve ever wanted to play Go Fish with an occult and folk horror-themed deck, you can now do so.


Hellebore, a zine and small press that explores British occultism in history and fiction, has released a game called The Magical Card Battle of Britain.



In Sanctuary: A Witch’s Tale, the small and affluent UK town of Sanctuary is rocked by the death of the most popular teen boy. The series explores grief, trauma, power, and fear against a backdrop where magic and witchcraft exist but are not entirely accepted. Magic is often used as a shorthand for otherness, with the sole witch in town becoming the target of unfounded suspicion and, eventually, violence. The show takes its magical subject matter seriously, seamlessly integrating it into the story and drawing on vivid real-life history and symbolism. At the same time it does its own worldbuilding, adding a distinct flavor to a familiar genre. . .


The charged and dangerous aura of the series is built from the cadre of complex women at the story’s core. We sat down with three of the leading ladies – Amy De Bhrún, who plays grieving mother Abigail Whithall; Hazel Doupe, who plays the witch’s accused daughter Harper Fenn; and Stephanie Levi-John, who plays lead investigator DCI Maggie Knight – to discuss their characters and inspirations.


Sanctuary: A Witch's Tale review: a bewitching crime drama

A shocking crime tears apart a tranquil community where witchcraft is real.


Witches are no stranger to Sundance Now's parent company, AMC Networks, which boasts both A Discovery of Witches and Anne Rice's Mayfair Witches in its stable of dramas, which also includes zombies and vampires. Though Sanctuary: A Witch’s Tale stands on its own two feet because unlike ADOW and Mayfair Witches, Sanctuary's witches live openly in a world that accepts witchcraft — albeit begrudgingly, in some cases. Ironically, Sanctuary is more similar to The Walking Dead in the sense the real evil in the world has nothing to do with magic or zombies — it's other people.


The Hollywood Reporter has another review of Sanctuary.


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