Greek Temples of Sicily

There are at least a thousand reasons to visit Sicily, the great island – indeed the largest in the Mediterranean – that forms the triangular football to the boot that is the Italian peninsula. They are all very good reasons, including amazing landscapes, a uniquely complex and delicious cuisine, a history that is diverse and multifaceted beyond belief, excellent wines, a vast array of archaeological sites, an even vaster one of historical towns and villages. But one key reason to visit the island is missing from the list above: Greek temples!

Greek temples are one of the earliest well-defined expressions of what we now recognise as the Western tradition in architecture, and one of the most influential ones by a vast margin to this day. They go back to the 8th or 7th centuries BCE, and, as the name entails, they are indeed a key achievement of the Archaic Greeks. They originated in what is the south of modern Greece, namely the Peloponnese and Central Greece, where Greek temple architecture appears to have its main roots, probably derived from local wooden predecessors.

The Greek mainland’s architectural style is the Doric one, considered to be the most austere and ‘male’ in character. The eastern Aegean and Asia Minor were famous for their own development, the more elegant and ‘female’ Ionic style, conceived about a century after the Doric one. Its most prominent examples at SamosEphesus, and Didyma (much better preserved than the other two) are also marked by their …

 

Click here to read the rest of this article

Wheel of the Year

 

The Wheel of the Year is a symbol of the eight Sabbats (religious festivals) of Neo-Paganism and the Wicca movement which includes four solar festivals (Winter Solstice, Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Fall Equinox) and four seasonal festivals (celebrating or marking a significant seasonal change). Contrary to modern-day Wiccan claims, there is no evidence of an ancient Wheel of the Year in its present form but it is clear that the Celts of thousands of years ago celebrated the festivals the wheel highlights, even if these celebrations were known by another name now long lost.

In the ancient Celtic culture, as in many of the past, time was seen as cyclical. The seasons changed, people died, but nothing was ever finally lost because everything returned again – in one way or another – in a repeating natural cycle. Although time in the modern world is usually regarded as linear, the cyclical nature of life continues to be recognized.

The modern-day Wheel of the Year was first suggested by the scholar and mythologist Jacob Grimm (1785-1863 CE) in his 1835 CE work, Teutonic Mythology, and fixed in its present form in the 1950s and early ’60s CE by the Wicca movement. The wheel includes the following holy days (most dates flexible year-to-year): …

Click here to read the rest of this article about the Wheel of the Year

 

Smells like witch spirit: How the ancient world’s scented sorceresses influence ideas about magic today

Most perfume ads suggest that the right scent can make you sexy, alluring and successful. A blend by Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs, meanwhile, offers to make you smell like Hecate, the three-faced Greek goddess of witchcraft.

As a classics scholar who studies both magic and the senses in the ancient world, this idea of a witch-inspired perfume fascinates me – and “Hecate” is just one of many magic-inspired fragrances available today.

What does a witch smell like, and why would you deliberately perfume yourself like one?

Smells are impossible to see or touch, yet they affect us emotionally and even physically. That’s similar to how many people think of magic, and cultures around the world have connected the two. My current research is focused on how magic and scent were linked in ancient Rome and Greece, ideas that continue to shape views of witches in the West today.

Greeks and Romans of all walks of life believed in magic and used spells ranging from curses to healing magic and garden charms. Magical handbooks from the time show that Greco-Egyptian magicians used fragrance extensively in their rituals, even scented inks, and …

Click here to read the rest of this article

Smells like witch spirit: How the ancient world’s scented sorceresses influence ideas about magic today

Most perfume ads suggest that the right scent can make you sexy, alluring and successful. A blend by Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs, meanwhile, offers to make you smell like Hecate, the three-faced Greek goddess of witchcraft.

As a classics scholar who studies both magic and the senses in the ancient world, this idea of a witch-inspired perfume fascinates me – and “Hecate” is just one of many magic-inspired fragrances available today.

What does a witch smell like, and why would you deliberately perfume yourself like one?

Smells are impossible to see or touch, yet they affect us emotionally and even physically. That’s similar to how many people think of magic, and cultures around the world have connected the two. My current research is focused on how magic and scent were linked in ancient Rome and Greece, ideas that continue to shape views of witches in the West today.

Greeks and Romans of all walks of life believed in magic and used spells ranging from curses to healing magic and garden charms. Magical handbooks from the time show that Greco-Egyptian magicians used fragrance extensively in their rituals, even scented inks, and doctors believed strong-smelling plant species to be more medically effective than others. The gods themselves were thought to smell sweet, and places they touched retained a pleasant odor, making scent a sign of contact with the divine.

Witches wielding perfumes …

To read the rest of this article from theconversation.com

The Spiritual Meaning of Mabon

Familiars In Witchcraft and Paganism

Familiars are an often talked about and highly debated topic in the witchy world.

As with most things, I don’t personally believe there is a “right” or “wrong” way to think about them, but there are definitely many options. I’ll share a few of them and let you know what I believe!

Familiars Throughout History

Familiars have made appearances for a variety of purposes and in a variety of ways throughout time.

Some perspectives view them as demons that inhabit the bodies of small animals like cats, dogs, rats, birds, and toads. They are there to help a witch with their workings.

In some cases familiars have even said to exist in human form!

Some accounts describe inheriting familiars through family members, covens, or mentors, usually around the time of an initiation. Witches were also thought to be presented with a familiar after making a deal with the devil.

Others say a witch’s familiar will appear to them out of the blue during mundane activities.

During the European witch hunts, animals believed to be familiars were often used as evidence of witchcraft. Even the presence of a fly or bee was enough to convince some witch hunters of an accused witch’s guilt!

Familiars Today

Today, familiars are not seen as something negative and …

Click here to finish reading this article about familiars on apaganmess.com

The Trials Of The Pendle Witches (Witchcraft Documentary) | Timeline Video

While the witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts, are well known to us in the USA we need to remember the started long before that all across Europe. This is just one example of what was happening in the 17th century before the witch trials here in the USA.

The Trials Of The Pendle Witches (Witchcraft Documentary) | Timeline Video

Here is a general search to read more about the Pendle witch trials in England in 1612

Would You Have Been Called A Witch In Salem?

The Salem witch trials — a period of mass hysteria and panic that overtook colonial Massachusetts between 1692 and 1693 — are often regarded as one of the most fascinating episodes of American history. After all, the story is so dramatic and so strange that it almost reads like fiction: Young girls begin having mysterious screaming fits; they are diagnosed as having been bewitched, and soon a hunt begins for the witches. Although the Salem witch trials are now the source of scary stories and creepy TV shows, it’s important that we remember that they were real, and they were terrible: twenty people were killed for being “witches”, and many more were accused and imprisoned.

It’s fairly horrifying to consider how easy it was for a woman to be convicted and executed for witchcraft in the 17th century—and just how little power she had to prove her innocence. As Marilynne K. Roach, historian and author of Six Women of Salem: the Untold Story of the Accused and Their Accusers in the Salem Witch Trials, explains, “In 1692 anyone might have been accused of witchcraft.” There are some factors that made one more susceptible to accusations than others, however. Read on to see if you fit the parameters of these supposed “witches” and thank your lucky stars that you don’t live in the 17th century.

1. You’re a woman

Click here to read the rest of this article

8 Famous Witches From Mythology and Folklore

Ancient mythology and folklore is filled with witches, including the Bible’s Witch of Endor and Russian folklore’s Baba Yaga. These enchantresses are known for their magic and trickery, which is sometimes used for good and sometimes for mischief.

The Witch of Endor

The Christian Bible has an injunction against practicing witchcraft and divination, and that can probably be blamed on the Witch of Endor. In the first Book of Samuel, King Saul of Israel got in some trouble when he sought assistance from the witch and asked her to predict the future. Saul and his sons were about to march into battle against their enemies, the Philistines, and Saul decided it was time to get a bit of supernatural insight as to what was going to happen the next day. Saul started off by asking God for help, but God stayed mum…and so Saul took it upon himself to seek answers elsewhere.

According to the Bible, Saul summoned the witch of Endor, who was a well-known medium in the area. Disguising himself so she wouldn’t know she was in the presence of the king, Saul asked the witch to revive the dead prophet Samuel so that he might tell Saul what was going to happen.

Who was the witch of Endor? Well, like many other biblical figures, no one really knows. Though her identity is lost to myth and legend, she has managed to appear in more contemporary literature. Geoffrey Chaucer makes reference to her in The Canterbury Talesin the tale spun by the friar to entertain his fellow pilgrims. The Friar tells his listeners:

“Yet tell me,” said the summoner, “if true:
Do you make your new bodies always so
Out of the elements?” The fiend said, “No,
Sometimes it’s only some form of disguise;
Dead bodies we may enter that arise
To speak with all the reason and as well
As to the Endor witch spoke Samuel.”

One of the best-known mythological mistresses of mayhem is Circe, who appears in The Odyssey. According to the story, Odysseus and his Achaeans found themselves fleeing the land of the Laestrygonians. After a group of Odysseus’ scouts were captured and eaten by the Laestrygonian king, and nearly all of his ships sunk by large boulders, the Achaeans ended up on the shore of Aeaea, home to the witch-goddess Circe.

Circe was well known for her magical mojo, and had quite the reputation for her knowledge of plants and potions. According to some accounts, she may have been the daughter of Helios, the sun god, and one of the Oceanids, but she is sometimes referred to as a daughter of Hecate, the goddess of magic.

Circe turned Odysseus’ men into pigs, and so he set off to rescue them. Before he got there, he was visited by the messenger god, Hermes, who told him how to defeat the seductive Circe. Odysseus followed Hermes’ helpful hints, and overpowered Circe, who turned the men back into men… and she then became Odysseus’ lover. After a year or so of luxuriating in Circe’s bed, Odysseus finally figured out he should head back home to Ithaca, and his wife, Penelope. The lovely Circe, who may or may not have borne Odysseus a couple of sons, gave him directions that sent him all over the place, including on a side quest to the Underworld.

After Odysseus’ death, Circe used her magic potions to bring her late lover back to life.

The Bell Witch …

Morgan Le Fay …

Medea …

Baba Yaga …

La Befana …

Grimhildr …

 

Click here to read the rest of this article by Patti Wigington from learnreligions.com

Goddess Calendar for February 2022 by Kimberly Moore

WELCOME FEBRUARY GODDESSES!

Notice how the seeds of your intentions are quickening. Embrace your FIERCE for the Year of the Tiger. Write an epic poem for Brigid. Spit some well-directed thunderbolts with OYA. Take a Star Bath with Nut. Undertake a new creative endeavor with Saraswati. Gift your friends and family readings with Tyche and Fortuna on St. Agatha’s Day. Track your cycles with Selene. Unfurl your deepest desires with Lalita Devi. Run through the forest with Diana. Light candles for the Ancestors and placate your hungry ghosts. Stoke your passions with Aphrodite. Bake sacrificial cakes for your next gathering with Fornax. Schedule a wellness check-up and honor good health with Hygeia.

Wishing you a magckal month! xo Kimberly 

FEBRUARY is Black History Month.

February 1, 2022 – New Moon in Aquarius – Lunar New Year! Happy Year of the Tiger!

February 1 – Brigid’s Day (Ways to Celebrate Brigid’s Day & Imbolc)

February 1 – 2 – Pagan Sabbat of Imbolc/Candlemas

February 2 – Goddess and Orisha OYA Feast Day as Our Lady of Candelaria

February 2 – Goddess and Orisha Yemoja Candomble Feast Day

February 2 – Feast Day of Maman Brigitte Vodoun lwa

February 2 – Feast of Egyptian Goddess Nut

February 3, 2022 – Mercury Stations Direct in Capricorn

February 4, 2022 – Ganesha Spring Jayanti

February 5, 2022 – Vasant Panchami (Hindu) – Saraswati Puja!

February 5 –  St. Agatha’s Day celebrating the Goddesses Tyche, Fortuna, & Wyrd (Divination & Fortune telling!)

February 5, 2022 – Day of Marian Devotion

February 6 – Aphrodite Feast Day

February 7 – Feast of Greek Moon Goddess Selene

February 8 – TARA Day

February 11 – Feast Day of Our Lady of Lourdes

February 12 – Festival of the Goddess Diana of the Wild & Artemis of the Meadow

February 12 – Runic half month of Sowulo (Sun, Light, Clarity)

February 13 – February 21 – Ancient Roman Festival Parentalia – Festival of the Ancestors and placation of the ghosts

February 13 – International Self Love Day

February 14 – Susan B. Anthony’s Birthday

February 14 – Valentine’s Day

February 15 – Nirvana Day – Mahayana Buddhist Festival – Anniversary of the death of Buddha

February 15 – Patricia Monaghan’s Birthday

February 16, 2022 – FULL MOON IN LEO

February 16, 2022 – Lalita Jayanti – Happy Birthday to the Hindu Goddess Lalita!

February 16 – Ancient Roman Festival of the Goddess Victoria – Victory

February 17 – Ancient Roman Festival of Fornicalia – Celebrating the Roman Goddess Fornax, the personification of the oven

February 18, 2022 – Sun Enters Pisces

February 18 – Sepandārmazgān – Ancient Iranian Women’s Festival celebrated to show love for Mothers and Wives

February 18 – March 17 – Celtic Tree Calendar – NION – ASH

February 22 – Feast of the Roman Goddess Concordia, embodiment of agreement

February 26 – Day of Greek Goddess Hygeia – Goddess of Health and Wellness

February 26 – Day of Egyptian Goddess Nut

February 27 – Runic half month of Teiwaz (Creator, Right Action)

February 28 – Moira Mathers’ Birthday

From themotherhouseofthegoddess.com

Celtic Tree Month of Rowan: January 21 – February 17

Second consonant of the Ogham alphabet – Luis  “R”  (pronounced loush)

Planet: The Sun, Mercury

Element: Fire

Symbolism: Protection and Inspiration

Stone: Tourmaline

Birds: Duck, Quail

Animals: Serpent, Dragon

Color: Red

Gemstone: Yellow Crysolite

Deity: Brigantia, Brigid,  Thor

Sabbat: Imbolc, Candlemas

Folk Names: Witch Tree, Delight of the Eye, Mountain Ash, Quickbane, Ran Tree, Roden-Quicken, Roden-Quicken-Royan, Roynetree, Sorb Apple, Thor’s Helper,  Whitty, Wicken-Tree, Wiggin, Wiggy, Wiky, Wild Ash, Witchbane, Witchen, Witchwood

The Rowan Moon is associated with Brigid, the Celtic Triple Goddess of Imbolc or Candlemas. Brigid is also a Goddess of spinning and weaving who prepares the never-ending fabric of life and guides the passage of the Sun through the constellations and the seasonal cycles.  Rowan was therefore the wood traditionally used for the making of spindles and spinning wheels.

Irish Druids held Rowan trees sacred and called them “The Tree of Life”.  The Rowan’s old Celtic name is Fid na ndruad which means Wizards Tree and this shows its long tradition of being associated with Druids, sorcerers and …

Click here to read the rest of this article about the Celtic Tree month of Rowan from sacredwicca.com

Flashback 2002 Imbolc

Imbolc is an important day of purification and initiation; on the Sun’s day, February 2, the energies are very airy. This Sabbat is a good day for coven work, with an emotionally detached masculine Moon and Sun on the Sun’s day.

Dress yourself and your altar in white, while serving white beverages or any dairy food to honor the calving season. Spread the top of a one-pound round Camembert or Bire cheese with raspberry preserves. Cut a circle of puff pastry large enough to cover the cheese, wrap it, tucking the ends of the pastry under. Use scraps to decorate the top with goddess symbols. Brush with beaten egg yolk. Bake at 425 degrees until golden, and serve hot and melting on crackers. During this ritual, bless and dedicate all candles you will need for other ritual work throughout the year. A good way to start the ceremony is to light candles in the darkened room with chanting to encourage the lengthening days.

©️ By K. D. Spitzer Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2002 Page 41

IMPORTANT NOTE for the Southern Hemisphere Imbolc falls on August 1st.

Pagan Holidays Lughnasadh Lammas | Everything You Need To Know

The Lughnasadh and Lammas Pagan holidays celebrates the Wheel of the Year and the arrival of the late summer season!

The days are sticky hot and you spend your time finding ways to cool down. Gardens and farmlands are ripe with veggies in shades of dark green and yellow. This is the beginning of the first harvest and primarily involves grain and corn. Although the sun is strong and hot, you’ll notice the days are beginning to shorten.

This season is lush and abundant, but Nature is already beginning to sense the coming of colder Winter days. So begins the days of preparation: gathering seeds to plant next Spring, harvesting herbs, canning jams and jellies, and baking bread to store for those cold days ahead.

It’s important to also understand that there is so much more to Lughnasadh and not just the literal interpretation of harvesting because you may not be farming your own fields.

This is a time for gratitude, personal growth, and renewal. The energy and intentions of Lughnasadh are still prevalent in the day to day lives of those who live a nature spirituality based life.

Many Pagans, Witches, and those interested in Nature Spirituality celebrate the seasonal cycles. Sometimes referred to as the Wheel of the Year, and consisting of eight celebrations. Four of these festivals (Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh, and Samhain) are rooted in Celtic history and origins. The other four (Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Autumn Equinox, and Winter Solstice) represent the sun’s location. I created a complete guide to each season, including history, traditions, symbols, correspondences, ritual ideas, and how you can celebrate.

Table of Contents

Click here to read the rest of the article about Lammas from www.thepeculiarbrunette.com

Imbolc – History, Traditions, Correspondences, and Simple Ritual Ideas

Many Pagans, Witches, and those interested in Nature Spirituality celebrate the seasonal cycles. Sometimes referred to as the Wheel of the Year, and consisting of eight celebrations. Four of these festivals (Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh, and Samhain) are rooted in Celtic history and origins. The other four (Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Autumn Equinox, and Winter Solstice) represent the sun’s location. I created a complete guide to each season, including history, traditions, symbols, correspondences, ritual ideas, and how you can celebrate.

Imbolc is a fire festival that celebrates the home and the halfway point between Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. It is quite literally Midwinter and while the days continue to grow lighter it is still dark and cold outside. Cabin fever has set in and we are all yearning to unburden ourselves from the long dark days. This can be an especially difficult time for those who suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and is a BIG reason why a celebration is so lovely right now!

After months of self-reflection, planning, and goal setting, aspiration and ambition are beginning to stir. The tiniest bits of enthusiasm is starting to awaken beneath the surface. Goals and dreams that you’ve created over the long cold nights are now being lit from the flames of Midwinter. Let your creativity and imagination help manifest these dreams!

Table of Contents

Click here to read more of this article about Imbolc from www.thepeculiarbrunette.com

Witchcraft Correspondences: What They Are and Why You Need Them for Your Spells

Born in deepest Cornwall, now living in wild Wales, Bev has been practising her personal brand of eclectic witchcraft for years and years.

Sarah is preparing a love spell for herself. The dating scene has been a bit of a desert recently, and she wants a little romance in her life. She’s dusted her altar, cleared her working area, and had a scented bath. Now, she carefully lays out a small collection of objects: a pink candle, a rose bud in a glass of water, two tarot cards (the Ace and Knight of Cups), a photo of a turtle dove, and a rose quartz crystal.

A few streets along, Tanya is also preparing to cast a spell. She needs money to get her car repaired. She has also prepared herself and the room where she does her energy work. Her collection of objects include a green candle, a favorite pebble, a sprig of oak leaves, a small china toad, two tarot cards (Ace and Six of Pentacles), and a chunk of malachite.

These items are commonly called ‘correspondences’.

What Are Correspondences in Witchcraft?

Correspondences are objects that are connected to, and representative of other things, intentions, desires and outcomes. They can be such things as candles, crystals, jewelry, household objects, ornaments, plants, herbs, and images of anything. As well as tangible objects, they can be deities, angels, scents, colors, symbols, numbers, and words. Even your own visualizations can be termed correspondences because they are an abstract mirroring of your desire. All spell ‘ingredients’ are correspondences. The elements of earth, air, fire, and water are correspondences. So are the cardinal directions. Each of these has its own distinct kind of energy.

Their purpose is to create a matrix to help focus the mind and magnify the energy which you release into the ether.

Common Correspondences

The following correspondences have mostly been taken from the comprehensive and very big, Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Correspondences: A Comprehensive & Cross-Referenced Resource for Pagans & Wiccans by Sandra Kines. Its 450 pages contain a vast amount of correspondences for many situations and their potential magical workings/spells. The Kindle version has a really useful click-able index which makes the most of the cross-referencing. The lists below are just a tiny sample.

Beauty

  • Zodiac sign/s – Libra and Sagittarius
  • Switchword – Praise
  • Colors – Gold, green, peach, pink
  • Number – Three
  • Tarot cards – Empress, Nine of …

Click here to read the rest of this article about Witchcraft Correspondences: What They Are and Why You Need Them for Your Spells