Are You a Spiritual Tourist?

What is a “Spiritual Tourist”?  I recently stumbled upon this interesting topic in our forums. The concern was whether or not a person should be taking parts of different paths and religions that they liked to weave together into their own religious path. I wanted to share my thoughts on this topic.
A tourist is described as someone who travels. Most of us do this for pleasure. We want to explore new places, learn new things and expand our horizons. If a person wants to explore different religious beliefs, they can be described as a religious or spiritual tourist.  I use the term SPIRITUAL tourist  because RELIGIOUS tourist usually refers to those who travel to PLACES.  In this article, we are focused on visiting the BELIEFS or traditions and practices of other religions, not their locations.

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Will the Real God and Goddess Please Stand Up

One of the first things you discover when you begin to explore a Wiccan or Pagan path is that there are many different deities honored in these traditions. How do you know who to connect with?  Are some gods or goddesses better than others? Many of us grew up being told there was only one true divine power. How can we be sure all these old deities are even real?

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Sharing Pagan Beliefs With Christian Friends and Family

Are you hiding your true beliefs? It’s not uncommon for Wiccans and Pagans to keep their practices to themselves. Too many people still view these paths in a negative way.  But this doesn’t mean you have to hide everything.

Even if your friends and family have different religious beliefs, you can often find ways to share your core beliefs through activities. For example, I have a sister who is a strict Christian, and in contrast, I embrace a Pagan path. We have little in common when it comes to our spiritual beliefs. However, the Divine blessings we both enjoy are nearly identical.

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Can Wicca Be Used for Financial Gain?

There are thousands of money spells on the Internet. Do you need some quick cash to pay a bill?  There’s a spell for that.  Perhaps you’d like a new job or a nice raise, or maybe money for college.  No problem! There are spells for those things too … and anything else you might need cash for. So with all these spells so easily available, why isn’t every Witch or Wiccan rolling in the dough?

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Choosing a Craft Name

Choosing a Craft Name
In Wicca, choosing a Craft name for use in ritual or magic is a common practice. Some Witches take names associated with their branch of the Craft (Welsh names in Welsh traditions, Saxon names in Saxon traditions, etc.).  Others try to choose a name that reflects their personality or describes their interests or feelings. Selecting a name associated with a goal you are striving for is also a good option.

In some traditions, if you are in a Coven, your Craft name may be given to you by a Coven member. However, if you follow an eclectic path, you can choose whether or not you want a Craft name and what you want it to be.  The choice is yours.  You get to choose what you want to be known as before your God and Goddess. This is your chance to redefine who you are or who you want to become.

I chose the name Kardia Zoe because I was studying the Greek language at the time, and it reminded me to write from my heart (Kardia) when I write about life (Zoe).  Today it’s easy to go online and find the meaning of words in other languages, so the possibilities are endless!

Just remember that energy follows thought, and a name that makes you think and feel about something positive, will be more likely to draw positive energy to you, than a name like Dark Cloud or Stormy.    You might want to identify yourself with the name of something that you have a strong association with.  A type of animal, tree, plant, or crystal are a few more examples.

The choice is yours. You can decide the name you want to adopt as your own. You may want to change it again when circumstances in your life change,  or you may want to stick with it forever.  Just remember, you are describing who you really are (or want to become) so choose your Craft name wisely!



Wiccan Rede and Law of Three

Most every Wiccan is familiar with the Wiccan Rede and Law of Three.   Through them we learn the basic principles of Wicca.

The Full Wiccan Rede begins with “Bide within the Law you must, in perfect Love and perfect Trust.  Live you must and let to live, fairly take and fairly give.” And it is summed up with the well known “An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will”

Growing up around Christians, I often heard this interpreted as “They have no morals … they just do whatever they want!” Nothing could be farther from the truth.  Harming none means treating ALL things with respect, from the smallest of creatures to the Earth herself.  It’s a responsibility we do our best to honor. Harm None includes yourself too.  If you deny your body proper nutrition or rest, your health wanes and the energies that would normally flow through your life can get blocked.  You are actually cutting yourself off from the Divine!  Do your best to uphold this law at all times. IAs long as your thoughts and actions harm none, the Divine is fine with what you choose to do.

Wiccans and Witches also know that whatever energy or actions they send out, whether it be negative or positive, will come back to them threefold.  This is known as the Law of Threefold Return or Law of Three. This Universal Law is also sometimes referred to as the Law of Return, the Law of Attraction, or Karma.  No matter what path you choose to follow, you should understand that the thoughts and actions you send out into the Universe will come back to you in kind and often three times more intensely.

We’ll touch on the Wiccan Rede and Law of Three throughout this blog. Always keep them in your heart as you explore your path in depth.

Wicca and Witchcraft

Wicca and Witchcraft

When someone begins to learn about Wicca it’s easy to confuse Wicca and Witchcraft. We would like to clarify that while these two paths are similar in many respects, they are not the same.  A person can be a Witch, without being a Wiccan, just as a person can be a Christian, without being a Baptist.  Wicca is recognized as a religion, while Witchcraft itself is not. Thus, Wicca might best be described as a modern religion, based on ancient Witchcraft traditions.

Wicca’s temples are the forests, meadows, beaches and deserts.  It is a peaceful and positive religion based on a kinship with nature. We celebrate life, and honor the universal energies of the Goddess and God in all things. One of he best summaries of the path can be found in an article written by the late webmaster of The Celtic Connection. He writes “Wicca is a deep appreciation and awe in watching the sunrise or sunset, the forest in the light of a glowing moon, a meadow enchanted by the first light of day. It is the morning dew on the petals of a beautiful flower, the gentle caress of a warm summer breeze upon your skin, or the warmth of the summer sun on your face.   Wicca is the fall of colorful autumn leaves, and the softness of winter snow.   It is light, and shadow and all that lies in between.”  Excerpt from What is Wicca by Herne

Today, Wicca is a religion with many variations.  In this blog, we will offer generalities about Wicca and Witchcraft in an effort to create an understanding of the nature of the path.  Some major identifying motifs are: reverence for both the Goddess and God; acceptance of reincarnation and magic; ritual observance of astronomical and agricultural phenomena; and the use of magical circles for ritual purposes.

If you would like to learn a little more about Wicca and Witchcraft, we have provided a FAQ page (too lengthy to include here) with answers to many of the more common questions about these nature-based paths.

Finding A Teacher

Helpful Tips on Finding a Teacher

When someone develops an interest in Wicca or the Old Ways, they almost always look for someone to guide them. Our parents began teaching us at birth, and as we grew, there were many teachers to guide us in our education.  This process has become so ingrained in us that most believe the only way to learn is to seek out another person to teach us.

If you want to simply focus on learning traditions and rituals, a teacher can be helpful. However if you truly want to connect with the Divine and work with the energies of your Mother Earth, you will find your perfect teacher is WITHIN you.  As you journey down this path, listen to that quiet voice when it whispers to your heart. Trust it.  It is the Goddess herself sharing her ancient wisdom, trying to point you in the right direction.  If you allow her to guide your steps, you’ll never be lead astray.

We will always encourage you to open yourself up to that inner voice, because we firmly believe that the Divine did not record the Universal Laws in books, but in our hearts, in our spirits and in the living things around us. Never forget that the Divine is already within you and allow the power of the Goddess and God to flow through you and transform your life as you walk your Wiccan or Pagan path.

The late webmaster of published a wonderful article on finding a teacher or coven. He wrote “When your comfort level with the concepts of the Pagan path has grown to the point where you are certain that this is the lifestyle you wish to follow, you will undoubtedly wish to share that fellowship with others of like mind and spirit. To avoid being drawn into a group where the intent is less than honorable, there are a couple of things that may assist you in avoiding contact with the nuts out there.”   Read the complete article on Finding a Teacher.

Sabbats with Children

This is an article I wrote for Pagan Holidays and Earth Magic about celebrating the Sabbats with children.

I was talking to my daughter (now in her thirties) about teaching Wicca to children. Her dad Herne, believed that being a Wiccan or Witch meant you were a healer, a teacher, a seeker, a giver, and a protector of all things. He felt that walking the old paths meant “…being in the presence of Mother Earth’s nature and being humbled in reverence.” For us, teaching Wicca to children was not about teaching spells and rituals. It was about helping them connect with our mother Earth.

When celebrating the Sabbats with children, our focus should always be on teaching them about nature’s cycles and rhythms.  As we help others, both young and old, learn to respect, honor and work with all living things, we create a more unified, peaceful world.

No one knows more about having fun and celebrating the moment than a child. My favorite book on connecting with nature was written by a child. After reading a few paragraphs from this book it was clear that children could teach adults a lot about following a nature-based magical path.

Excerpts from this child’s writing are listed below. She grew up in the woods of western Oregon and in her diary (written when she was 6 – 7 years old) she recorded a world alive with creatures, fairies, talking trees, and singing creeks. Here are a few of her words:

“The wind … calls to me to come go exploring. It sings of the things that are to be found under leaves. It whispers the dreams of the tall fir trees. It does pipe the gentle song the forest sings on gray days. I hear all the voices calling me. I listen…”

“The wind does have many things to tell. He does toss back one’s curls so he can whisper things in one’s ears. Today he did push back my curls three times, that I might better hear what he did have to say.”

“I wave greetings to the plant-bush folks that do dance all about. Today a grand pine tree did wave its arms to me. And the bush branches patted my cheek in a friendly way.”

“Raindrops were beginning to come down from the sky. Their coming was in a gentle way. I had longs to be out with them. I so do like to feel the raindrops patter on my head and I like to run runs and hold out my hands to meet them.”

For this little girl, something magical was always happening right outside her front door. Most children experience this enthusiasm for the natural world. We should think of ourselves as Leaders of Learning when we explore our Mother Earth’s gifts with them. If we are lucky, when we are celebrating the Sabbats with children and sharing our knowledge of the old traditions, moon lore and nature’s changing seasons with them, they might teach US something about the true spirit and magic at the heart of these wonderful celebrations!

For more information on how and when to celebrate all the Pagan holidays, visit our Wheel of the Year Sabbat Calendar page.