Updated: Nov 20
In my on-going attempt at being more organized in all aspects of my life, I brought a little organization here by putting like articles together. This post covers:
Tarot : All things Tarot, such as history of Tarot, how-to articles, and Tarot fashion.
Witches : All things related to witchcraft, including witch history, witch trials, witch books, witch movies and tv shows, and general articles about witches.
Paganism: Spiritual practices, dressing like a pagan, or pagan political/social concerns.
Click on the titles to read the articles.
In a campaign featuring Mona Tougaard, Maria Nilsdotter debuts a collection of amulet-like pieces designed to guide their wearer through life’s winding journey
With fashion notorious for its frenetic pace and the speed at which collections are turned out, Maria Nilsdotter’s latest offering is the result of a far slower process. The Swedish jeweller, renowned for her esoteric approach to crafting future heirloom pieces inspired by Scandi folklore and fantasies, took over a year and a half to bring Tarot to fruition – largely because she was finding her feet with another spiritual medium alongside developing the jewels themselves.
In a fresh publication by Stanislav Kondrashov titled “Unlocking the Powers of Tarot Cards By Stanislav Kondrashov,” the author unveils the captivating mysteries that have perpetually enshrouded the realm of tarot, and which appear to materialise within each card that graces the public eye.
According to the author, tarot decks are distinguished by their origins steeped in ancient wisdom, as well as their capacity to unfurl gateways that lead directly to foresight and intuition.
Paganism & Spiritual Practices
According to romanticized nostalgia and tales of happily ever after, going home should be an easy thing: a sweet visit to a place of warmth and welcome, a loving family, and only the happiest of memories. But in the days leading up to Samhain, when many folks choose to acknowledge or venerate their ancestors and gone-befores, the sometimes complicated, darker truths about home can cast a shadow over the season.
Learning the Wheel of the Year and the cycle of the year is one of the core teachings in many Wiccan and Witchcraft traditions. As a person learns and practices their path, they may find themselves becoming more and more attuned to nature. They may notice they behave differently during certain seasons, or are more affected by things at other times of the year. . . Over the years I have learned to honor and accept the cycles I see in my life and my path. The seasonal ones are a little easier to see now, and I have come to expect them.
Staff photo by Olivia Ross / Before cutting the sage, Christiana Key asks permission from the plant on Tuesday at Crabtree Farms. Key picked sage to be used in a pagan ritual for Samhain.
Christiana Key said she's getting signs from the other side. Her father died not long ago, but she knows his music taste well, and he seems to be the one DJing in the car or Spotify radio. Then there's her recently deceased aunt, a top notch chef and party host, who bequeathed her old cookbooks to Key.
Key said she doesn't even need them.
"I was an OK cook before, but since she's passed, it's been like almost like she's telling me what to cook," Key said by phone this week. "I just find that it's much more obvious and easy to hear during the month of October."
Tracing ancient roots and the product of an industrial age revival, contemporary paganism, experts say, stands aside Pentecostalism among the Western world's fastest-growing religious movements.
There are threads woven with ancient wisdom and threads dyed in the hues of modern interpretation in the fabric of human spirituality. Pagan veiling is one of these threads, a practice that has evolved over time and has historical as well as modern importance. In the context of paganism, veiling has manifested in various forms, often signifying moments of connection, devotion, and reverence. Ancient cultures, such as the Greeks and Romans, employed veiling during religious ceremonies to express humility before deities and to create a sense of sacred separation from the mundane world.
I recently saw a social media post where an atheist showed a picture of someone wearing a cross and said:
I don’t advertise my non-belief on my body. Why do Christians feel the need to advertise their belief? . . . The question assumes that the purpose of religious clothing and jewelry is advertising. Now, let’s be honest: some Christian apparel is all about advertising, especially the in-your-face t-shirts like those I sometimes see advertised on Patheos. But that’s far from the only reason people – Christian or Pagan or other – wear religious items.
Today I was listening to a podcast where they mentioned a recent incident of a metaphysical shop in Pennsylvania where the police came in to remind the proprietor about an anti-fortune telling law still on the books [here’s a link to the Wild Hunt story on that incident]. One presenter on the show talked about how a recent order his wife placed at a bakery was rejected at the last minute because of the nature of her business.
So, my question is, what do we do if society becomes less friendly to folks like us?
Once deemed social outcasts worthy of burning at the stake, witches now find themselves portrayed in Halloween movie hits and costumes for the spooky holiday.
But for Amy Leonard, associate professor of history in the College of Arts & Sciences, witches are not just a font for fall fun — they’re a source for deep fascination and study. A historian of women and gender in the early modern period, Leonard examines the role and perceptions of witches — most commonly portrayed as women — throughout time. She’s found witchcraft history so fascinating that she now co-teaches a seminar of witches in history with Alison Games, Dorothy M. Brown Distinguished Professor of History.
The memorial for Eunice (Goody) Cole in Hampton. Courtesy of Dr. Tricia Peone.
You’ve heard of The Salem Witch Trials, but New Hampshire has its own storied history too.
Travel with me across the sea,” Dr. Tricia Peone said to an enraptured audience of students and visitors alike. For the next 15 minutes, her portion of a longer lecture, Dr. Peone would paint an image of Puritan New England and its religious culture, as well as her favorite topic: witchcraft.
For Dr. Peone, the Puritan colonial era is one of the most fascinating. With a Ph.D. in history from the University of New Hampshire (UNH), her main area of expertise is witchcraft and witch trials in New England.
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The cases documented in the 1700s show that witchcraft accusations were happening in Connecticut much later than previously thought.
It may be a little known fact to some: Connecticut’s witch trials pre-dated the trials in Salem, Massachusetts by decades. While the Salem panic was around 1692-93, the first known execution in what is now the United States was in Connecticut in 1647.
However now, new research shows witchcraft accusations may have haunted Connecticut residents much later than we originally thought.
Alice Young of Windsor was the first documented person in the colonies executed for witchcraft.
The Free Morris cabin where Mary Ingleman and her first husband Lawrence Free lived. | photo provided by Pelham Lyles
Everyone has heard of the Salem, Massachusetts witch mania of 1692 which resulted in the deaths and persecutions of innocent people victimized by the malicious antics of some bored teenagers and the ensuing mass hysteria.
Just 100 years later in 1792, a similar fate befell three old persons over 80 years of age who had aroused the suspicions of neighbors in the backwoods area southwest of the small village of Winnsboro. Yes, Virginia, there were witches here… according to the beliefs then of some early Fairfield settlers.
On the Nov. 10, 1792, the South Carolina Gazette published an account of the grim court case being heard on behalf of Mary Ingleman.
Elaine Cassidy in "Sanctuary: A Witch's Tale" (Photo: Sundance Now)
Sadly, witch hunts never seem to go out of style. Humanity has been obsessed with rooting out evidence of witchcraft --- and punishing women who were deemed to be too different or too powerful for society’s liking --- for hundreds of years, and well before the infamous trials in Salem that are nowadays synonymous with the phenomenon. But Sundance Now’s latest series attempts to turn the idea on its head, telling the story of a society in which witchcraft is not something hidden but something that people are still too quickly driven to fear all the same.
Based on the bestselling V.V. James mystery thriller, Sanctuary: A Witch’s Tale is set in a contemporary world where witchcraft is real. It takes place in the idyllic English town of Sanctuary, where, for hundreds of years, witches have lived peacefully as valued members of society. At least it did. Until the town’s “local witch” finds herself in the center of a murder case.
From the historic Salem witch trials to the teens in The Craft and Netflix's Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, witches have long cast a spell on Hollywood's imagination – but they're not just figments of our imagination.
People who practice witchcraft are everywhere. Just ask Diana Helmuth.
Who is she? Helmuth is a writer and aspiring witch.
She spent an entire year delving into the world of the occult and detailed that spiritual journey in her newest book, The Witching Year: A Memoir of Earnest Fumbling Through Modern Witchcraft.
Helmuth was a teenager growing up in Oakland, California during the early 2000s, when she first heard about witchcraft. Her friend was a Wiccan witch, and she introduced Helmuth to the religion, and its spells.
Still, she was a skeptic. "It was very clear to me that if you were smart, you were an atheist ... that was the undercurrent of the philosophy [I grew up with]," Helmuth told All Things Considered. "And I wanted to be smart. I wanted to be thought of as intelligent, so I rejected most religion and most spirituality throughout most of my life."
Feeling witchy? This boxed set offers a crash course into witchcraft, spell casting, and creating a grimoire.
WHEN YOU THINK of a witch, what do you picture? Maybe you imagine cool teenage girls like in Sabrina or The Craft or a sisterhood like in Practical Magic. Or do you see bubbling cauldrons and toads instead? As cool as pop culture witches are, that isn't what the modern concept of witchcraft has evolved into. It's about channeling and finding an outlet for your energy and intentions, honing your intuition, and reconnecting with nature.
I've been interested in witchcraft for as long as I can remember, but it was only in the last few years that I've spent time learning what it means in this day and age. That equals reading countless books, including the three in Skye Alexander's The Modern Witchcraft Introductory Boxed Set. If you're already experienced in this magical world, it likely won't offer much learning, but this is a great place to start for newcomers.
At Dark Star Magick, you can find a curated selection of rare occultist books. Photo: Meira Gebel/Axios
Spooky season may be ending, but for some Portlanders witchcraft and wizardry is a way of life — made simple by the city's open-mindedness to all forms of magic and an abundance of resources for those who practice it.
The big picture: Portland's occult community is diverse and vast. There are specialty shops focused on astrology, tarot and grimoires, plus regular workshops for how to create ritual altars or heal energies with herbs.
Between the lines: Witchcraft is not solely about summoning spirits or exorcizing demons, according to Iris Bell, the general manager of The Raven's Wing Magical Co-Op and decades-long practitioner of Wicca — a long-practiced religion focused on nature worship.
The witch has held a place firmly in our imagination for centuries - from whispered warnings in folklore to pop-culture driven heights. But what does it mean to be a witch now?
Presenter India Rakusen, creator of the podcast 28ish Days Later, is on a journey to find out. There are 13 episodes