Celebrating Legends, Folklore and Spirituality 365 Days a Year for January 7 – Saint Distaff’s Day

January 7

Saint Distaff’s Day

In southern England, Saint Distaff’s Day was when work began again after the Christmas holiday. Saint Distaff’s Day was not a saint’s day at all, but rather a tongue-in-check commemoration of the day on which women returned to their distaffs of unspun wool.

I Am Damn Angry! + My Strongen-Up Recipe

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Celebrating Legends, Folklore, & Spirituality 365 Days A Year for Jan. 18th – Festival of Perth

January 18th

Festival of Perth

In Australia this day was dedicated to the Aborigine Mother Goddess Nungeena. According to her legend, evil spirits destroyed the earth with insects. Nugeena then created the most beautiful birds of all: lyre birds. These magnificent creatures in turn made other birds, who assisted with the work of clearing away the insects and restoring the world to its original beauty.

Celebrating Legends, Folklore & Spirituality 365 Days A Year for January 16th – Concordia

Fantasy gothic Blingee

January 16


To the ancient Romans, the Goddess Concordia was the personification of concord (an agreement between members of the state or between members of groups within a guild) and sometimes associated with the Greek Goddess Homonoia—the incarnation of harmony.

On this day considered to be the center-post of the first month of the new year, Concordia was petitioned to help with the formation of favorable partnerships with business as well as with love and friendship.

Celebrating Legends, Folklore & Spirituality 365 Days a Year for January 15th – Hound Day

princess of the dragons and bats

January 15th

Hound Day

According to The Perpetual Almanack of Folklore by Charles Kightly, from the Markham County Contentments (1615), this day was reserved for taking care of one’s hounds. It seems that when the hounds were done with the hunt, one was to immediately wash the animals’ feet in hot butter and beer, beef broth, or a brew of mallows and nettles. Once properly cleansed, the hounds were to be allowed to rest before the fire for several hours. When the hounds were rested and refreshed, they would be rousted and turned out to find their own housing.

Your Daily Horoscopes for Friday, January 8th





Your Daily Horoscopes for Friday, January 8th



Aries Horoscope

These days are excellent for focus and determination in your career, dear Aries. It’s also a good period generally for making necessary changes in relationships with a parent or boss. If there is a negative attitude or bad habit that you need to kick, this may be the time to do so. Patience wins the day, although you could be feeling in no mood to conform to others’ wishes this morning. As the day moves forward, your patience increases. Decisions made today, particularly involving relationships, money, and higher education, tend to be long term and significant, and perhaps quite practical or even overly so. There may be a sobering moment now that pushes you forward. With a New Moon occurring tomorrow, however, this is not necessarily a good time to launch something important to you. Making resolutions is just fine, especially if it’s about taking a hard look at what kinds of attitudes and situations that need to go before moving on.



There may be some confusion about a friendship or group alliance this morning, dear Taurus, but if you’re open to learning from others and from your experiences, it’s a good time for understanding and accepting differences, and getting to a better place for it. Being realistic about your financial situation is important now. Whether it’s good or bad, knowing where you stand is empowering; avoiding the issue only serves to undermine you. Know that there are solutions to any problem you face. Consider wise counsel. A loan or mortgage could come through, but whatever does emerge now comes with increased responsibility. There are solutions to problems to be found from circumstances today, and they’re very practical ones. It’s a strong day for applying yourself to something and working solidly. The New Moon tomorrow can alter your focus or goals, but today is strong for realizing what needs to go, particularly related to excess pleasure, in order for you to move forward in a healthier manner.



With Venus aligning with Saturn in your opposing sign today, dear Gemini, it’s important to find way to appreciate simple, traditional patterns rather than trying to push for something new. Work on improving trouble areas instead. You might feel caged in, limited, or restricted by others right now, but it’s also a good time for being “in the know”, which is ultimately empowering. A responsibility to or with a partner can be part of the picture now. You’re more able to accept things for what they are, and you may be facing realities about relationships, or experiencing a demand from a significant other. A Sun-Chiron sextile this morning points to a chance to improve a relationship with a boss, parent, or someone in a position of authority. You may be assuming a leadership role in an important area of your life.



This morning, you may be getting somewhere with a partner, dear Cancer, particularly related to sharing your goals, ideas, and beliefs. You might learn something new about what someone important to you believes, and while there can be differences that are surprising, you can most certainly learn from them. On the job, show your reliable side. You could be gaining respect for the services you provide or for your responsible attitude. You may have to face a reality regarding a work or health matter, or you could be feeling overburdened or stretched to the limit. However, this is also a time for getting your expectations to a realistic place, and this allows you to better plan your next move. Circumstances occurring now are clearing the way towards more capability in work, health, chores, and routines. Love matters can also strike a serious tone today. While you could feel pressured to make a decision, with a New Moon occurring tomorrow, today is best approached as a time to put something behind you rather than the start of something brand new.



This morning can bring some important information to light, dear Leo, particularly related to work and research. You can feel better about yourself for accepting a limitation and moving on to something more deserving of your attention. Be as realistic as possible about what an important person in your life is capable of, as this can help you to trust them more. If you feel the weight of a responsibility now, consider what you are willing to work hard for, or whether the goal is worth the sacrifices. If you allow yourself to be realistic about what a person can or cannot do, feels or does not feel, then you can ultimately put more faith and trust in that person. Loyalty and reliability are qualities that are most important to express right now. A serious discussion or revelation can occur now, and although it can renew your focus, it can also bring quite a bit of dissatisfaction to light in a relationship, particularly a romantic one, or with a creative project. Even so, this is about moving forward – coming to a conclusion and going with it. The day’s energies favor deliberate moves and strategy. It’s not the time to jump into something that you haven’t given much thought to. A New Moon will occur tomorrow, and this can serve to shift your focus.


Virgo Symbol/Glyph

The morning’s events can stimulate the need to accept a situation, or person, for its limitations, dear Virgo, and this can be empowering. In fact, the whole day has a similar theme to it, as we are better off seeing something for its realities, allowing us to adjust our plans accordingly, which leads to a stronger sense of what we can and can’t accomplish. A responsibility or commitment to family might need your attention. While you may be feeling the weight of your responsibilities strongly now, there can be progress made on the home front, and if you are working at or on the home, you are more interested in applying yourself to something that will have value over the long-term. Work done now can be especially fruitful down the road, although brand new beginnings are best saved until after the New Moon that occurs tomorrow. Today is strong for identifying priorities, particularly surrounding affairs of the heart and family matters.


Libra Glyph-Symbol

Today is strong for recognizing problem areas in your life, dear Libra, and making plans to deal with them. It’s empowering, although a little sobering at first. There may be a reality to face when it comes to a learning or communications endeavor. You might receive or give very practical advice and learn much in the process. Wisdom may be found in traditional methods, and you may be quite focused on finding solutions to long-standing problems. You might receive news of an important learning endeavor, or circumstances may be such that you need to become more organized and efficient with your work and daily life. Transportation or communications issues might change or require special attention. Limits or restrictions may be in order. This is a good time for seeing what areas of life need some slimming down in order to go forward a lighter, freer person.


Scorpio Symbol Glyph

Recent efforts towards restructuring and organizing your life can show signs of paying off today, dear Scorpio. You are exceptionally security-minded at this time, affording you the opportunity to see where you can slim down and eliminate excess in your life, particularly related to finances. This is a day for embracing practical realities, although you might also be facing the cost of extravagances. With self-control and focus, you can make real improvements to your life now and going forward. It’s a good time for taking a hard look at your finances, including any larger purchase you are considering making, with realism. For some of you, a demand or responsibility can emerge in a close partnership. You also have an eye for practical details and sight for situations and objects that will last over the long term. However, with a New Moon occurring tomorrow, it’s best to focus on purging and simplifying than on new commitments. Taking control of your life requires time and energy, and you are in a better position to see what you are willing to sacrifice in order to achieve your goals.


Sagittarius Glyph Symbol

With Venus and Saturn in alignment in your own sign today, dear Sagittarius, this is a time for seeing your capabilities realistically, instead of over- or under-estimating them, and this empowers you. With patience, this can improve your chances of success in whatever you set your mind on doing. Some of the tension you have been feeling of late can dissipate as you take a clearer look at things. There could also be an important revelation about your finances, a love relationship, or friendship. Be sure that you don’t assume more responsibility than you should, and while it’s appropriate to take responsibilities on, it’s not about taking on too much. With this Saturnine influence on your sign and Jupiter, your ruler, now retrograde, try not to take yourself too seriously now. A New Moon that occurs tomorrow is likely to shift your focus to building, producing, and acquiring.


Capricorn Symbol/Glyph

This morning, good energy is with you for honing communications skills, dear Capricorn. Retrograde Mercury moves into your sign today as well, and this can prompt you to take a closer look at recent projects and your own personal goals in order to improve them. Later today, there may be a reality to face about a dream or fantasy you’ve been entertaining. As a result, you are in the position to know where you stand, making life a little more predictable. You do well with the grounding energy with us today. Personal responsibilities become clear. You can have a stronger understanding of where you stand and a sense of what comes next as a result. You have an eye for what really matters today, and are happier than usual to part with things that you don’t really need. This comes at a good time, as this is the day before a New Moon in your sign. It’s appropriate to focus on letting go of those things that are weighing you down so that you can better use the opportunities that a New Moon in your sign brings to start fresh and turn over a new leaf.



With Venus and Saturn aligning in your social sector today, dear Aquarius, you might enjoy coming to the aid of a friend, or following through on a promise. This sector also rules hopes, ideals, and networks. While there may be a reality to face, this is also a time for seeing things more clearly and getting a better sense of what is realizable and worthy of your time and attention. For some, social or romantic opportunities may be found through associates, group associations, friends, and networking. A question of accountability or commitment involving a friend or business goal can be in focus. Be careful that you are not allowing fears get in the way of healthy relations. The chance to improve skills or to learn a subject in a more formal way can emerge for some of you. You might also be learning important things about the past, and possibly discovering a talent or resource that you previously overlooked now.



This morning, pay special attention to your relationships with friends, dear Pisces, as friends have something special to reveal or show you. Today, a new responsibility can emerge, or the awareness of one! This can be a pleasant or beneficial one. A boss, parent, or teacher could be leaning on you, looking upon you favorably, or encouraging you to shine. There may be social or romantic opportunities through career and business connections for some of you now. Being conservative, realistic, discreet, and disciplined when it comes to business or public affairs is especially important today. While there may be sobering or serious circumstances today, they clear the path to move forward and to grow. Foundations laid down now can be very enduring. However, avoid beginning an entirely new project today – wait until after the New Moon tomorrow when new information and interests can come to light.

Celebrating Legends, Folklore & Spirituality 365 Days a Year for January 4th – Sacrifice to the 7 Stars

Queen Of The Dragons

Sacrifice to the 7 Stars

The ancient Greeks set this day aside to honor Callisto, the moon Goddess who was loved by Zeus. Callisto bore Zeus a son, Arcas, and was then changed into a bear either by Zeus, wishing to hide her, or by Hera herself. As a bear she was shot by Artemis in the forest, who then placed her among the stars as the She Bear connected with the Ursa Major constellation.

In Greek Callisto was also called Helice, which means both “that which turns” and “Willow branch”-a reminder that the willow was the sacred tree favored by Helice and Callisto.

Celebrating 365 Days of Legends, Folklore & Spirituality for Saturday, December 12 – Sada, Tonantzin, Our Lady of Guadalupe

December 12

Sada, Tonantzin, Our Lady of Guadalupe


Annually on this day in Iran, huge bonfires are ignited as the sun sets to exemplify how the power of light can overcome the power of darkness. As the fires burn, the evil influences that linger among the shadows of darkness are dispelled, thus allowing people to overcome obstacles and reach their fullest potential in the seasons to come.

It was on the hill of Tepeyac, just north of Mexico City, in 1531, that an Indian named Juan Diego saw an apparition he believed to be the Virgin Mary. The vision instructed him to have a church built on the spot, which had formerly been the cult-site of the Aztec Mother Goddess Tonantzin. At the time, the bishop disbelieved him, until the Virgin appeared for a third time and miraculously produced roses that Juan Diego presented to the bishop. As he did, the portrait of the Virgin appeared on Juan’s cloak. The shrine was built and is still a famous place of pilgrimage.


Celebrating 365 Days of Legends, Folklore & Spirituality for November 9th – Loy Krathog, Lord Mayor’s Day

creas pour defi celticNovember 9th


Loy Krathog, Lord Mayor’s Day


Loy Krathog is the traditional wishing festival of Thailand. On this day, small boats are fashioned from banana peels and lotus leaves. When the sun sets, people take their boats to the shore, where they fill them with offerings of incense and gardenia petals. A white candle is then placed in the boat along with a wish. The boats are then set adrift on the water. It is believed that if the candle in the boat stays lit until its owner can no longer see, then the wish will be granted.

After the calendar reform of 1752 the Lord Mayor’s Day was moved from October 28 to November 9. It is on this day that “Mock Mayors” are elected in many of the poorer English towns. The elections are designed to poke good-natured fun at some of the more prestigious municipalities and their sometimes times pompous politicians. Of course, the more offensive the candidate is, the more joy in having him take the podium, whereupon a cabbage stalk is presented to him to serve as hiis mayoral mace. The festivities are usually followed by somewhat raucous behavior and of course the usual drinking and feasting.


Your Daily Horoscopes for Friday, October 30th




Your Daily Horoscopes for Friday, October 30th



Aries Horoscope

This can be a good day for progress or idea-generating when it comes to creative matters or a romance, dear Aries. You are more able to express yourself in subtle ways, to feel in touch with what’s inside, and to convey your inner world or message easily. Words may not be quite as effective as body language and actions today. Activities that feed your imagination and sense of magic can thrive now. Inspiration may come from a private moment with someone, or from within. The pipeline to your inner world is open today, so take the opportunity to get to know yourself better. Consciously look for those things that feed your faith today for best results. Try not to get angry at yourself if you’re feeling passive, as much can be accomplished in the mind and heart now.



This is a good day for helping friends or a partner, dear Taurus, whether this is in tangible or intangible ways. It can be in the form of simply being there, talking through problems, gentle advice giving, or physical help. It can be a nice time for surrounding yourself with people who are accepting or share your own ideals. Like minds tend to gravitate towards one another today. It’s also a fine time for creative thinking, writing, and conversations about dreams, spiritual or philosophical subjects, as well as fanciful musing. Intuition is strong. You could be actively seeking out solutions to problems, and they’re bound to be unusual and creative now, as you’re tuned in to layers and levels of situation that you might miss on a busy day. A partner becomes a friend, or friend and a partner mix wonderfully now. The day is more about accepting and enjoying people than making big moves.



This is a good time for healing and repairing efforts, dear Gemini, particularly if you back up and let others be themselves, but also show that you’re supportive. You might have the opportunity to add some creative flair to your work, and ideas for marketing or promotion can be wonderful and inspired now. Some of you could be looking for a “calling” in terms of work, and the services you provide now can be inspiring. A sense of mission or purpose is with you today when it comes to business and possibly self-care and health efforts. Projects seem to come together magically. Feeling connected to something higher than the material lifts your spirits. This is the time to conserve your energy, not to waste it. If you’re looking for more from your routine, imagine improvements you can make. Today is strong for dreaming and connecting with your ideals.



Warm energy is with you today for love, affection, and acceptance, dear Cancer. Your personal magnetism is subtly enhanced, and your gentle manner is especially appreciated. Creative efforts tend to be rewarding. Sharing a dream, ideal, or belief with someone can enhance your bond. Love relationships can flourish now, and it’s not about pressure for commitment or pressure to do or say anything. Instead, going with the flow, listening, and opening yourself up to others are the key ingredients now, particularly if they have been missing a little recently. You’re more able to connect with the things that feed your spirit today. A busy life can sometimes separate us from soul-nourishing needs, and it’s time to reconnect. The Moon in your privacy sector all day also serves as a reminder to focus on emotional renewal.



This is a day for accessing your imagination and creativity fairly easily, dear Leo. Logic and intuition pair up wonderfully now, and this can help you understand yourself and others better. Feelings and actions tend to fall into place, and a gentle and perhaps slightly mysterious approach to the world today becomes you. Matters related to real estate, family, and the home tend to come together, and relationships with family or an intimate partner can be inspiring or subtly enhanced today. This is not the time for making big commitments or for overthinking – it’s a time for accessing inner faith and showing your acceptance of the people in your life. It’s also good for forgiving or understanding someone or possibly a past relationship in order to better put a grievance behind you – do it for yourself. Let things unfold without force or pressure today. On a practical level, money hunches may be worth following.


Virgo Symbol/Glyph

A strong day for communications and partnerships is in store for you, dear Virgo. You may find an opportunity to support someone who needs your help either mentally, physically, or spiritually. You could enjoy a pleasing attraction or find someone especially fascinating. Your own charm expands, particularly in the way you communicate or get your message across. Connections with others can be enhanced through a nice gesture or other form of reaching out. Try to allow your ideas to flow instead of trying to force them. You have much that you’d like to accomplish now, but it’s important to let things flow now in order to better access your intuition and imagination. Recognize your needs for some romance, subtlety, gentleness, and spirituality today for best results. Repair relationships with a gentle touch, concern, and care.


Libra Glyph-Symbol

This is a strong day for paying more attention to your imagination and intuition, following a hunch, and tuning in to your needs to serve, help, and give back, dear Libra. On a practical level, instincts for money and methods are good, even if you’re not seeing all the facts clearly. Developing faith in your intuition as well as your natural talents comes more easily now. There is strong energy for design with you today. You might want to focus on activities that let loose your more compassionate side. Doing things for the inner rewards will feed you well now. You might find activities that soothe and relax you particularly beneficial. When it comes to practical matters, taking a step back from a problem can help your intuition to kick in. While you could feel some pressure from others, try not to succumb to it. The Moon is in your adventure sector all day, reinforcing the need for non-routine, spirited experiences.


Scorpio Symbol Glyph

Today’s energies are good for tuning in to your imagination and sharing your ideas and your warmth with others, dear Scorpio. You are coming across pleasingly and eloquently at times today, and your creative instincts are on point. Adding special creative flair to whatever you’re doing now is natural. There can be some psychic phenomena experienced now, as your hunches tend to be well-developed, particularly if you avoid succumbing to pressures to perform. You are likely to be feeling spiritually strengthened and well, and the world around you are likely to enjoy and appreciate your manner and attention. Helping others can fill a need. Take note of your dreams and ideas today, as they may very well take shape going forward. This is also a fine time for enhancing your manner or image in some manner. Like-minded people will make their way to you.


Sagittarius Glyph Symbol

This is a favorable day for honoring your need to dream, wonder, and imagine, dear Sagittarius. Forgiving leads to healing, so aim to take care of yourself mentally and emotionally – your body counts, of course, but you need to feed your spirit as well. Your thoughts can be turning to matters of the past, hidden things, or mysteries. The need to find comfort in familiar situations and with family or close loved ones is real and strong now. Connect in compassionate ways, through gestures that show where your heart is, and that you care. Conversations should focus on acceptance. If you can manage quiet time, comforting activities, and rejuvenating endeavors, do so. The rewards will be great. Helping others out can also fill a need and lift your spirits. The Moon is in your partnership sector all day, suggesting that reaching out to others can be helpful.


Capricorn Symbol/Glyph

This can be a strong day for connecting socially, dear Capricorn, as well as for work that engages your imagination. You are looking for inspiration now, and you’re likely to find it. With the Sun and Neptune harmonizing today, you would do well to set aside personal agendas and reach out to others. It’s a good day for overlooking differences, forgiving, accepting, and supporting. It’s also a fine time for team work and giving back to friends and family. Humanitarian efforts and gestures can be rewarding. This is also a good time for entertaining a new dream or plan, or for reviving an old one. Some of you could be feeling particularly poetic and expressive. Good energy is with you for accessing your imagination and applying it to your work, projects, and communications.



Work and practical projects seem to come together almost without effort today, dear Aquarius, if you allow yourself to step back from problems and let your intuition engage. Instincts for money and business are good. There can be some feeling of pressure to perform or to get things done quickly, but your best bet now is to allow things to flow more naturally. Others may be appreciating the talents that come most naturally to you, and you can make an inspirational leader, guide, or manager now. Alternatively, someone in authority or in the position to help you advance your goals can be supportive. Activities and mantras that build your faith in yourself and in the universe can help and succeed now. Others are likely to return the faith. Long-term goals can be elusive at times, but today you may very well be able to envision where you’d like to head.



With Neptune in your sign, dear Pisces, there can be times when you struggle with understanding your personal goals and identity, feeling as if you don’t have a clear tether. However, today’s Sun-Neptune influence can help you to feel connected. Ideas flow nicely now, and you could feel especially inspired by a new interest, topic, or idea. You are especially attracted to activities that feed your spirit and mind, and that take you away from immediate concerns at least for the time being. The desire to learn more about the world around you and other people is strong today, and you tend to attract experiences that broaden your thinking and your experience. Your personal appeal is magnetic now, and like-minded people can be drawn to you. Helping others brings you closer to yourself and lifts your spirits.

365 Days of Celebrating Legends, Folklore & Spirituality for October 26th – Ludi Victoriae Sullanae

Wiccan Magic

October 26th

Ludi Victoriae Sullanae

The Ludi Victoriae Sullanae were the games held on October 26 to honor the Goddess Victoria. This festival was established in 81 B.C. to celebrate Sulla’s victory over a large army of Sammites at the Porta Collina in Rome.

Victoria was the Goddess of victory, and her temple was on the Palatine Hill in Rome. She was the equivalent of the Greek Goddess Nike and was pictured with wings. Victoria was an important Goddess to the Romans, and she appears regularly on coinage from the late third century B.C. Victoria came to be regarded as the guardian of the empire, and her altar became a symbol of Paganism.


I’m a Witch, Not a Wiccan: A Brief Summary of Broad Pagan Designations

I’m a Witch, Not a Wiccan: A Brief Summary of Broad Pagan Designations

Author: Treasach   

I have commented before on the usefulness of designations in the neopagan community. Though we are generally self-directed with many being solitary and “eclectic”, it is darn helpful to be able to declare certain predispositions, especially if one is interested in working with others. In joining an on-line group or planning a ritual, the use of categories can help determine if a great deal of negotiation, or only a little, is required to make your collaborations most satisfying.

One question often asked is the difference between designations in the neopagan community. Of course, there are a vast variety of answers, and as a very dynamic and vibrant community, these answers may be quite altered in a decade. However, there are some trends that seem to have settled out for the moment…

Earth Religions or Earth-Centred Spirituality is currently the designation for all those traditions that are outside most of the major religions, i.e. Abrahamics, Buddhists, etc., but that also follow an Earth based path. It usually encompasses folk traditions, like European peasant beliefs and practices, as well as native aboriginal spirituality. However, not all followers of those traditions would choose to call themselves pagan, especially if they also practice some form of Abrahamic religion as well. So it’s best to not to assume, which is why Paganism is a subset of Earth Religions.

Paganism, or Neopaganism, is the modern catch-all phrase for many organized and non-organized Earth based religions and spirituality. Often seen as based on European Aboriginal practices and beliefs, it can also be used to describe traditional African, Asian, and North American spirituality, though less so, largely due to its primarily English usage. By declaring oneself “pagan”, it specifically implies resurgence in traditional Earth Based beliefs, sometimes in defiance of Abrahamics, depending on the area, and a reconstruction of traditional wisdom, knowledge, and connection with Nature as a completion of self and humanity. It can be Deity based, supernatural, or atheistic.

Witchcraft is a subset of Paganism. Because of the etymology and use of the word itself, witchcraft usually means pre-Christian folk beliefs of Western and sometimes Eastern Europe. As a modern practice, it has two main elements, either one of which may be included. It is both tribal and a religious choice. For most, it involves the preference of using magic as meditation, prayer, ritual and empowerment. For a smaller group, they are born into families that are known for the “Gift”, “Second Sight”, or the “Eye” if you are less popular… In the past in most places, children born into these families or who showed potential would often have been trained and dedicated to help their communities. A few of these families that survived the Abrahamic purgings retained the gifts and occasionally the training and traditions that went along with them, though most rejected them, usually out of real fear and concern for their safety if they weren’t outright converted.

Like many reClaimed traditions, such as native spirituality, modern witchcraft is a combination of contemporary writings and current analysis of past traditions, as well as past and extant examples of country and folk rituals, and to a much smaller extent, of witch families and their practices. Due to recent advances in cultural archaeology, it is also undergoing the greatest updates and flux. Though most are not from family traditions, modern witches can follow the folk beliefs of the aboriginal Europeans, or practice magic, or both. They can also refer to themselves as witches if they come from a witch family or have the traditional innate abilities, without practising a folk religion or spellcraft. Or any combinations of the above, including practising witchcraft in other traditions, like Abrahamics. (Jewitches. Heh.) It’s a pretty broad category, but my usual test is – anything that can get you burnt as a witch by fundies usually qualifies you to self-identify as a witch. Spellcraft, Goddess worship, foretelling, healing… But not that heretic stuff. That’s totally different.

Due to its heavy reliance on magic and its European structure, Wicca is almost entirely a subset of Witchcraft, though there are a few practitioners who could be considered outside of it, such as high magicians. Wicca is a relatively new tradition, with its origins largely in the middle part of last century, with some of the structure extending back into the Victorian era. Drawing on what was known at the time of folk history and tradition, it is a conglomeration of primarily European beliefs, but also reflects turn of the century Orientalism with elements of ancient Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Asian references. Though slow to start, in the last few decades it has had hundreds of writers popularizing it, and has seen an explosion in individual sects. Because of its very modern feel and adaptations while retaining an aura of Romanticism, Wicca is one of the largest and best known segments of Witchcraft and neopaganism, and one of the fastest growing religions in the world.

Wiccans are almost always witches, but witches aren’t always Wiccan. Wiccan is not the ‘politically correct’ term for witch. It’s a sect of witchcraft, like Protestantism is for Christians. They have certain specific beliefs and rituals that identify them as a group. You wouldn’t call all Christians Protestants, would you? (*Hence, the Venn diagram.) I hope that clears things up, especially for the well meaning but less knowledgeable.

Heathenism is a collective category of paganism who follow the Old Religion and who will sometimes consider themselves Wiccan if they practice magic but usually don’t identify as witches at all. Primarily men, they can be of a more structured faith, like Druids, or more folk based, like Odinists. They often identify with warrior culture and value traditional knowledge, self-reliance, personal strength and honour.

This is a very brief sketch, of course, and some in the community will dispute these categories. There are lots of others as well. Wizards, or High Magic practitioners, for example, deal with the Other World and its denizens in a rigid, formalized manner, and so can be from nearly any religion, including Abrahamics. From what our current literature refers to, these are the general starting points and what most persons will intend to convey when they use these terms at the moment. As neopaganism is one of the fastest growing religions on the planet, however, I have little doubt that these terms will alter considerably in the next decade or so.



*Venn diagram is here:

Herbs To Use When Making Herbal Candles

Below is list of some of the many possible herbs and their magickal qualities.


BASIL – Removes negativity from the home or workplace.

BAY LAUREL – Protection against evil influences, stops interference.

CATNIP -Courage, love and happiness, joy.

CHAMOMILE – Luck in gambling, luck in getting proposal of marriage.

CLOVE – Banishes evil, friendship, grants desires.

DANDELION – Helps to improve clairvoyance, purifies.

DRAGON’S BLOOD – Brings good luck, protection, money, love.

FRANKINCENSE – protection, purification, spirituality.

GINGER – Love, money, success, power.

JASMINE – Love, money, strengthens psychic abilities.

JUNIPER – Protection against theft, attracts love, aids in psychic development.

LAVENDER – Love, money, attracts help.

LEMON VERBENA – Guards against evil, repels those you do not love.

MARIGOLD – Gives clairvoyant dreams.

MARJORAM – Protection.

MUGWORT – Protection, strengthens psychic abilities, aides in divination.

MYRRH – Purification, protection, spirituality.

NUTMEG – Luck, love, prosperity, fertility.

ORRIS ROOT – Aids in divination, attracts love.

PATCHOULI – Breaks spells placed on you, attracts money, defeats enemies.

PEPPERMINT – Purification, love, increases psychic ability.

PINE – Purification.

ROSE PETALS – Love, happiness in the home.

ROSEMARY – Healing for headaches, keeps a lover faithful.

RUE – Defense against spells and dark magick, repels negativity.

SAGE – Purification, protection, wisdom.

ST. JOHN’S WORT – Happiness, healing, courage, love, protection, divination.

SANDALWOOD, RED – Healing, protection, spirituality, wishes come true.

SANDALWOOD, YELLOW – Protection, spirituality

THYME – Cures nightmares.

VERVAIN – Repels psychic attack, purification, gaining love or wealth.

WORMWOOD – Repels negative magick.

YARROW – Divination, love spells, keeps couple happily married.

Celebrating Other Spirituality 365 Days A Year – Rain Festival

Celtic & British Isles Graphics
Celebrating Other Spirituality 365 Days A Year – Rain Festival


April 17th

Rain Festival

Held in Nepal, this annual religious festival of the Chariot of the Rain God pays homage to Machendrana, the powerful Indian God of Rain. The festival lasts for eight weeks during which prayers and offerings ensure the God’s protection for the region–and especially the temples.