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The Curated Witch July 16



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The Black Cat Book cover

If you name some of the spooky symbols of Halloween, you're sure to mention witches, jack-o'-lanterns, bats, ghosts, and of course, black cats. With spiky arched backs and glowing green eyes, they certainly add to any spooky scene if they creep around your Halloween decorations. Perhaps you or someone you know truly fears black cats, but have you ever wondered why?


That fear may stem from the black cat myth that they may do you harm somehow. It has persisted through the centuries, so you're not alone, and it becomes a point of conversation especially when Halloween rolls around. So why not face your fear head on and finally ask the question: Are black cats really bad luck? Once you know the history, you may not be so spooked after all. In fact, one might just bring you good fortune!


A Witches’ Samhain” – Denton CUUPS 2022

I had a busy Fourth of July, but not too busy to do a bit of surfing around the Pagan internet. I came across two separate things that got my attention, both on the same theme.


The first was a Twitter fight started by someone who insisted that “witchcraft is all about healing.” I’m not going to link to it – we’ve seen hundreds of these arguments and this one adds nothing new. It’s one example of an idea that’s quite common these days: that witchcraft is good and light… and safe...

Before presenting my own thoughts on this, I want to repeat something I say frequently: I have no interest in arguing over who is or isn’t a witch. If you don’t see yourself in my definition of witchcraft, then you’re simply a different kind of witch. My purpose is to present a particular viewpoint, and then to work with those who share that viewpoint to deepen our understanding, and our skills.


The history of tarot cards is shrouded in mystery and intrigue, captivating the minds of those interested in divination and symbolism. These captivating cards have a rich and fascinating past, spanning centuries and cultures. In this article, we will delve into the origins, evolution, and significance of tarot cards, exploring their role in divination and the symbolism associated with each card.


If you want to read a fictional history of the Tarot cards combined with a mystery, check out The Cloisters in which a circle of researchers uncover a mysterious deck of tarot cards and shocking secrets in New York’s famed Met Cloisters.


International pagan music artist D’Raven Ashly performs at the 2023 Witchsfest USA in New York City. Photo by Gabriele Holtermann


Hold your cauldrons. Muggles had a chance to mingle with witches and pagans at the annual Witchsfest USA on Astor Place in the West Village on July 8 to explore their spiritual side and learn more about witchcraft and paganism.


The magickal marketplace offered altar kits, money and love spell potions, herbs, spiritual salts and baths, and books about the supernatural.


Tarot readers were at hand to give some insight into the past, present, and future, and workshops taught about communicating with spirits or creating a crystal flower Mandala.


The entertainment portion of the festival included a performance by primal shock rock band Wolfspeak, El Igualito Unity, and Tandave Arts Whimsical Hips NY.



Glastonbury is a small town in Somerset, in the Southwest of England. It is believed to have been inhabited since Neolithic times (10,000-4,500 BCE)—with clear evidence of residents at this location during the 7th millennium BCE. Legend claims that the first abbey in Glastonbury was built by none other than Saint Patrick (5th century AD). It was in Glastonbury that Edmund Ironside was coronated King of England (in AD 1016)—only to die 5 months later. (He is buried in the 14th century Glastonbury Abbey.) Many of the town’s oldest surviving buildings—like The Church of St. John the Baptist—date to the 14th-15th centuries. Thus, this small town has a long and rich history.Some of what makes Glastonbury so interesting is its mythology or lore. For example, in the 12th century, monks (at the Glastonbury abbey) discovered what they believed to be the graves of King Arthur and Guinivere.


Personal note: I attended an initiation ceremony on The Tor in 2006, and I have never forgotten its magick.



Photo by Sukhada Tatke


Just off of Royal Mile in Old Town Edinburgh, in a 17th-century stone building on Chalmers Close, is a new museum that, though dedicated to a part of history most Scots might like to forget, raises questions that remain relevant in the country and the world today.


At the new Museum of Magic, Fortune-telling and Witchcraft, visitors can gawk at a mummified cat as well as good-luck charms once used by ordinary Scots. Also on display are mystical amulets and bottles once owned by those thought to be witches.


“Scotland has had a long history of magic and witchcraft, which goes way beyond Harry Potter. I wanted to highlight this magical heritage,” said Ash William Mills, the museum’s founder and a historian of Scottish witchcraft and magic who has authored three books on the subject.



Michalea's note: The Ibisi as the god Thoth was one of the characters I created in my first novel, Queen of Heka, which I will release. Someday.


The white ibis is not a rare sight to see in Florida. They’re anecdotally more ubiquitous than pigeons, doves, bluejays and mockingbirds where I live. They outnumber herons, ducks and egrets, though perhaps not the grackle. I live in a zone that transitions from suburban to our watershed just a few miles away, which I frequently visit and write about.









Stacey Thomas is an alumna of the Curtis Brown Creative Novel Writing course, where she wrote her debut novel, The Revels, which mixes historical fiction and witchcraft to great effect. The Revels won HarperCollins’ inaugural Killing It Competition for Undiscovered Writers and comes out this month. We caught up with her to find out more…


STARBURST: What’s the elevator pitch for The Revels?


Stacey Thomas: In a country torn apart by war and rumours of witchcraft, Nicholas Pearce hides a secret: the dead sing. He hears their secrets, but will he find the courage to speak up to save innocent lives, even if it means putting himself in great danger?


YouTube: Top 10 Witch Movies



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