How Do Wiccans Celebrate Samhain?

Note: Due to seasonal differences, these celebrations are reversed in the southern hemisphere and Beltane activities would be appropriate there. Visit our Sabbat Calendar page for more information on celebrating Beltane.

Sunset on Samhain (October 31) is the traditional beginning of the Celtic New Year. This is the time of year our ancestors gathered the last harvest and brought the animals in from the fields. Today, few of us need to worry about harvesting crops or tending to animals. However, we can still honor this special Pagan Holiday through a number of traditional activities.

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Beltane Blessings

Note: Due to seasonal differences, these celebrations are reversed in the southern hemisphere and Samhain activities would be appropriate there. Please visit our Sabbat Calendar page for more information on celebrating Samhain.

April 30th | May 1st   The May pole was a focal point of the old English village rituals. People would rise at the first light of dawn to go outdoors and gather flowers and branches to decorate their homes. Women traditionally would braid flowers into their hair. Men and women alike would decorate their bodies. Beltane marks the return of vitality, of passion.

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A 20 Year Journey Into Wicca

Like so many others, I grew up surrounded by Christian friends and family. Thus, when I was introduced to Wicca and Witchcraft in 1997. I had a lot of misinformation to deal with before I could truly embrace these paths.

As I connected with Wiccans and Witches around the world, I discovered a warm, open-minded and very tolerant group of people. Some shared their love of aromatherapy, herbs or gardening with me, while others enjoyed talking about their connection with animals.  Virtually everyone enjoyed the outdoors and had a deep respect for our Mother Earth. Contrary to what I had been taught in church, I found no “evil” in their beliefs or practices.

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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.