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All You Wanted to Know About Witches

Updated on March 14, 2016
Nightcat profile image

Nightcat is a practicing witch who loves to write about Wicca and many of the Gods and Goddesses she’s had the pleasure to encounter.

Real witches...we do exist

How can you spot a witch?

Usually you can't. A working witch can be a pagan, a Christian, Jewish or have no religion at all. Being a witch does not mean giving up the God/dess you worship.

This is going to be a guide to all the questions you might have. Also, this will be a place to shop too, since I know how busy folks are today.

Also, it is meant for magical folk and pagans of all levels. So if something seems above your head wait until you've trained a bit longer or ask your elder. Oh, the intro pentacle necklace is my own. Blessed Be!

Please note: This Hub reflects my views as a practicing Wiccan only. Not all witches hold the same views and it is not meant to exclude other viewpoints. There are as many paths to being a witch as there are witches, no one way being better or worse than any other.

Wicca: Goddess Chant

Witch myths

These really bug me

We don't fly on brooms. If you jump off a roof on a broom, you'll go splat. I don't care what you're high on.

No Hollywood magic. We can't magically create fire, lightning or anything else. Most magic is a matter of will, not awe.

We don't eat or hurt people. Good witches shun hurting anybody. With the rule of three, or simple logic, we know it would come back on us. Plus we are nice people.

We aren't a Satanic cult. The devil does not exist for most witches. Many of us feel humans are evil enough without spiritual help. For those who do believe in an evil force, they know to avoid it. Even Luciferians and Satanists who are theistic, for example, believe in an enlightened being who opens their eyes.

We are not all sexual. Some witches are virgins due to their beliefs, or at the very least celibate. They feel those energies can be put to better use, thank you very much.

We really don't worry about your religion. Witches believe all religions are valid, not just ours.

We don't have set beliefs. No witch police will arrest you for not believing in reincarnation or the Rule of Three. Nobody has the right to tell you The One Right Way, as there is none.

We do not grant ridiculous wishes or magically solve all your problems. You'd want a fairy of the godmother type for that.

Witches worship God. Last time I checked there is only one Higher Power. We might choose to view God as God, Goddess or both, but we haven't abandoned or turned our back on Him. We just choose to worship in the way that matters most to us. For those of an atheistic path, it does not mean they have no morality, they simply don't believe in a Higher Power.

And lastly magic is not some power only witches can use. What we refer to as magic is a very natural process yet to be explained by science. That goes for all other 'occult' gifts too. Remember at one time people who could swim were thought to be witches.

Oh, that little cutey haunts my front porch each Samhain. Halloween for most of my readers.

Two Helpful Videos On Wicca And Witchcraft

What we do:

It is fun.

Simple spells. These are really prayers, using items to help us focus. Think of it like using prayer cards. That rue or candle is there to help remind us of our goal.

Most of us fancy practical magic. Healing ourselves and family, protecting our neighborhoods, or doing something to help Mother Earth.

The protective circles, although maligned in movies, are simply used to create a sacred space. It keeps good energy and folks in, and nasty stuff out. Yes, you will be scolded for barging in. We feel this disrupts the energy field. Wait to be cut in, or show up on time.

Some witches meet in covens. This is just like a church. Prayers are said, people are blessed, and needs are worked towards.

I'm a solitary. That means I prefer to work alone. This gives me freedom to do as I wish, and structure just isn't my thing. Oh, those pretty flowers are bindweed, a wild member of the morning glory family if I recall correctly. Any part can be dried for magical use. The vines for example to bind something.

Would a witch put a spell on me?

As if.

Again, no. Even if you ask. She can help you find your inner power, but she will not enchant you. This is seen as interfering with your free will. She won't enchant random objects either. We do so like to be paid for that, you know. So don't get angry if Madame Lily charges you twenty bucks for a love charm. It is ok for her to do so.

Plus we are smart enough not to do naughty things like harming others. That doesn't mean it doesn't happen though. Corner or hurt a witch and she will fight back, just like anybody else. She might solve things with a Smith and Wesson if you get violent... Just a friendly warning.

So why so many books filled with curses? Well a lot of them come from the Burning Times. When a lot of sick people hurt and torture innocent men and women, the majority, most likely not witches. The curses confessed to were often made up by the witchfinder general or other sadists. Remember of course the end of the agony meant a far more painful death awaited you.

Fun fact: most "witches" were simply Catholics or Protestants unlucky enough to be the opposite of the ruler's religion. Ain't it nice how you all get along so well?


So why all the scary witch pictures?

Uh, your mother-in-law?

So why all the scary witch pictures?

I'm going to guess it is based on Hecate or the Blue Hag. Both powerful, witchy, Goddess/Crone forms. Hey, you live in an era with no dentists or plastic surgery and see how pretty you look. So that scary 'Halloween' witch really shows an old form of the Goddess. A lot of us find it amusing that you splat pictures of our Lady everywhere, hee hee.

Also, man has always had a fear of death. The elderly are the closest to death, so says popular knowledge, so they are feared. And let's admit it: a lot of them are peevish and rude. But most old folks just wanted to be left alone. Trouble was, younger folks wanted those houses and land NOW, not ten or twenty years on.

Today a croning ritual is an honor among witches, so is being called a crone. Pagans in general respect old age and wisdom, biting comments some elders can give included. To become a crone is to become in tune with the Crone Herself, the third and oldest face of the Goddess.

The sweet crone shown here graces my hearth each Samhain.

So why do witches meet at night?

'Cause we work in the day.

Not all of us do. Many practice during the day. Honestly in most cases it is because that is when members are off work. Yes there are night spells or workings. But they have more to do with healing or increasing fertility than anything else

The tree is from my yard. Now I don't have purple trees. I do have a photo editing suite though. Poof! Instant night photo.

So are there evil witches?

Meanies.

No. There are evil people in all religions, but the religion itself does not make them so. Think of the hate crimes in the name of God. They don't make the majority of Christians evil. An evil person who abuses witchcraft does not last long or live a happy life.

Yes there will always be fools who seek power over others through magic. But if the majority of us could we'd turn them into something nasty as punishment. Like a politician. That's my own cauldron for Halloween, by the way.

The Path of a Christian Witch

Christian witches seem to be a paradox, but they aren't. Due to a certain king wanting a divorce are rewriting the Bible to suit himself, many pagans mistakenly believe all Christians are anti-magic. The original words were suffer not a poisoner to live, OK? Christianity can be downright magical, and yup, Christians can be witches.

The Path of a Christian Witch
The Path of a Christian Witch

St. Clair the writer was raised Catholic, but strongly connected to the pagan religion. Her book is about the journey, how many things paganism and Christianity have in common, and how a Christian witch can be at peace with him or herself.

There is so much hate and misunderstanding on both sides that I truly hope this book becomes well-read and mends some fences.

 

So why did they burn witches?

Ignorance and greed

For the same reason Christians were fed to lions, and Jews were sent to the gas chambers: fear and greed. Before the Burning Times women enjoyed a fair amount of power depending on where they lived. Men were in awe of the monthly renewal of our bodies, and our ability to have and nurse young. Women often led towns and meted out fair justice. We owned land, could choose our partners, and were midwives, herbalists, and doctors. This not only made us powerful, it made us rich in land and money.

For all you men out there, there's no historical evidence you were anything but our equals. All people had the same rights in most communities.

Well then the Church came and needed land for all those stone churches. So we gave or sold it to them. They wanted to teach their religion, and we let them. Unfortunately, a few of these men had so twisted the words of God as to make Him a female-hating tyrant who granted us nothing on earth but suffering. Actually this didn't go over too well with the men folk until a few greedy ones saw that they could have everything they ever wanted.

So at first they just took a little land here and there. Pressured a woman or two to step down and let the men do the work. As their ranks grew, the evil men who lusted after power used a religion they didn't practice in the first place as a reason to kill all women and take their property and money away.

Just disagreeing with a man or church official could have you burned, tortured, or repeatedly raped to teach you a good lesson. Men suffered with us too. Those who defended us, or hid us. Those who would not kneel down before tyrants, and those who were homosexual, the wrong nationality, poor, or 'different' in any way. Even priests burned for pointing out the truth.

The most painful thing to tell you is that some of these people were most likely not witches. They had the misfortune to be in the way of others and were eliminated for it. The only reason this madness stopped is because there were too few people left to pay taxes and go to war. Countries smart enough not to burn witches en mass were conquering those who did fairly easily.

All witches today honor the memory of these men and women because of the tragedy of their deaths and the fact that many were witches proud enough to die for their beliefs. We honor those from Salem and any one else who dies needlessly at the hands of tyrants. Most of all we honor Deity in His and Her many forms for they really are all aspects of the one God who rules us all.

NOTE: Many Christians died during this time alongside the witches. Either for protecting us, or oddly enough, leaving us in peace. Many just wanted left be, just like us.

Are pentacles evil?

Must...not..curse...grrr

Goddess grant me the patience. No they are not evil. To all witches they can stand for several things. Five elements, five gifts of the Goddess, five stages of life. Just like a cross it reminds us there is something more important than us, and to behave ourselves in a manner worthy or witches.

The most repeated and accepted meaning of the points is: air, fire, water earth, and spirit. Inverted pentacles are used for banishing. So I could wear my ring on the right either way. Neat trick, huh?

We do have a sense of humor about it though. A deadly serious witch is a deadly boring witch.

What is an Altar?

A table with legs

You will see variations, but most altars are sacred spaces for worship. So you would see blessed candles, perhaps a symbol of the form of Divinity being invoked, and some things needed for that ritual. Again any statue of a God/Goddess is simply that, a statue. We in no way worship idols. Just as I know my Christian readers do not worship the crucifix instead of Christ Himself.

That might be a stone, feather, or picture or prayer request of an ill friend. The witch may put some things she wishes to be empowered or blessed on the altar or things related to that God/Goddesses.

For example, Bast is known for beauty joy, healing, fertility and more. As the Perfumed Protector I leave perfume, jewelry and other things on her altar. She gets the spiritual essence and is kind enough to bless these objects for me.

My altar had to be blessed or dedicated. This varies wildy but can be done by simple prayer for a novice. As time goes on you'll get hints as to how to dedicate the altar. Some folks use each element (up to five) but be careful. Don't burn the altar. Smoke does quite nicely for fire and your breath for the air element is fine.

If a witch is lucky she can put the chalice of drink offering there, but most food items just won't fit. In many rituals the food and drink is offered up in thanks first before being consumed. Yes, just like the wine and wafers in church. Some can be saved and offered outside. This gives the offerings back to nature.

You will also see an altar cloth and some sort of glass top to protect the table if the witch is wise. Please never use candles or burning inscense without taking safety measures.

The awesome Bastet statue is an example of how one might be decorate on a home altar. As time has gone on, I've given Bastet more and more jewelry as thanks.

A word of caution

This is serious

I'd love to tell you that "coming out of the broom closet" will earn you a ticker tape parade and the key to the city. Sadly, it won't, and can still be dangerous. Otherwise loving and supportive family and friends can be the first to shun you in ignorance. People may ban you from your house of worship or even get violent. You should know they are coming from a place of fear and ignorance.

Due to the treatment in popular media, and the horror stories told about lonely old men or women many people fear us. Heck, there were burnings of the Harry Potter books and he's a good guy. Until mankind as a whole (I'm including me here) can overcome superstition and ignorance we all have to do our part to educate non-practitioners about who we really are.


What is a Book of Shadows?

Eye makeup

This is the witch's or coven's private book. There can be anything you desire in there. Yes there are spells, but there might be notes on recipes, birth date charts, first aid of the magical variety, amusing jokes and so forth.

Think of it as her version of a prayer book. By the way, unlike Hollywood movies, all you'll get for burning this is the wrath of the witch. Her powers are in no way bound to it.

Want your own?

Try starting out with a simple binder and put in the spells or rituals you use often. You can place a gentle spell like: "This book is mine, and special to me. May other's use never hurt me." This will automatically boomerang and nasty attempt by others to use it against you. A must if you have two magical kids.

Want to learn how to make your own? See my how-to HERE

Cleansing and Protection

Once you get serious about magic, either as a system or a religion, you are going to get attention. Negative attention from nasty astral and other realm critters that hate the forces of good. They will wreck rituals, sap your will to do good, or even go on the attack. Why? Because one witch can do a world of good, and they know it.

Every system has its own protective rituals, so please refer to them first. If you are just starting out try cleansing with holy water, salt or sage. A picture of the God or Goddess, and specific Deity or candles also banish negativity.

You must go into each area of your home with the cleansing item(s) and boldly state that you welcome only good energies. All others must leave or be forced out. To force entities to leave imagine a strong purple light starting from your body then exploding outward.

See this light, which is the light of Divinity, destroying all evil beings and essences. You can use this purple light at will. You can use any color of light of course, purple just works for me. If you have a problem with continual negative or evil energy, please consult a professional.

Or, you can be very offensive. These evil energies can be bound at the edges of your protective field, either 'dead' or 'half dead' as a warning to all other malevolent spirits. This is not cruel as it will be Divine energy that will bind them there. If these creatures are not meant to be bound, you will not be able to do so.

You can also put up dummy images of defeated spirits by simply willing them in place. Many evil spirits aren't that bright and will flee if they see you are willing to fight.

Remember to invoke your God/dess for protection and help in the battle. Also, if you are allowed to in your path, ask that you may wear the Divine form for protection in battle. You will have all the powers this Deity chooses to give you. On the astral or magical levels of course. So no, Zeus will not give you physical lightning bolts.

But his mighty bolts will destroy any negative critter from any other realm. Please note that these attacks are rare, and may never happen to you. But if they do, be prepared. For protection wear your sacred symbol, light a candle and pray for protection, or leave a holy image of any religion out.

Oh, gargoyles make excellent protectors. What more gargoyle info? Check out my Gargoyle lens

Remember to think of cleansing as making yourself and your space sacred. Sometimes all it takes is going outside into nature (like my nifty photo her) and breathing in and out deeply. Just let any unwanted negative energy flow down into the Earth will it will be transformed.

Dealing With Nasty People

There are mean-spirited people everywhere. Some can be dangerous, others are just annoying here's some 101 on the bad guys.

Violent people. Call the police! I'm not kidding, no one has a right to be violent over anything, period. Remember that the law protects you as well. Do not engage anyone in fighting or threaten to return bad for bad.

Pamphlet folk. They really mean well. Just either politely refuse or donate those things to charity. As they are a quasi-religious item you should not throw them away or burn them. ALL religions are valid, remember?

Rude requests/remarks. Most guys and some gals have trashy mouths. Although it is hard to, ignore their catty remarks. If they are stupid enough to think we are what they see on TV let them wallow.

Threats/blackmail/extortion. Honey you walk out of that broom closet and hold your head high. There is nothing wrong or shameful in being a witch. Folks who really care will sit down and listen to your side of the story.

Negative uses of the word witch. Sadly most TV, film, and print industries hate the truth. You are never going to see a fair or realistic portrayal of witches in our lifetime unless a witch wrote it in the first place.

Aggressive demands. Some people don't understand no. Some refuse to believe that we don't have God-like powers. Just like you can refuse to bake cookies for the office party you can and should refuse a negative request.

The dark side. Yes some fools do think they can use magic for evils ends. Most come off as quite charming until you refuse to join them. Believe me, wherever they get results from is not a place you want to go. I said there was no devil. I never said there wasn't evil in the world.

Shunners. No date or family meeting because you are a witch? Fine, make your own family and friends. Yes this sucks, but don't let other people herd you into the wrong path. NOTE: I'm including people pushing you towards magic if you don't like it.

Did you notice we don't use magic to retaliate? Doing so would be the same as a Christian damming some one and waiting for the ground to swallow them. Vengace belongs to Deity not you. And it isn't really vengance, just justice.

Tip: Finding a friend in nature to talk to helps. Trees don't judge. Some folks say indwelling spirits or devas care for both the tree and those who love it. This beautiful being is one of my oldest friends. Oh, these trees are also called Catawba after the Native American Nation or Catalpa. I use the leaves and seeds in spells where a soothing, loving touch is needed.

Do witches practice, um, you know, starkers?

Skyclad?

Some do.

The theory is that clothing hampers the flow of magical energy to and from the body. This is always a personal choice. If you are going skyclad keep in mind decency laws or stay inside. You really don't want poison ivy in unmentionable places.

Keep in mind too many a witch has burned herself this way. Being in the buff tends to make a lady a wee bit self-conscious and clumsy if it isn't her bag.

Run away as fast as you can from people who say you have to. No witch in his or her right mind would force this one anyone. People who do are predators.

Visitors to a good circle are always allowed to wear clothing. In fact, they might be insulted if you do go starkers. Have half a brain, do not take children to this kind of ritual.

And yes, I took a photo of the sky for skyclad. Clever, eh?

Do all witches practice the same?

Nope.

No. I'm a pretty free spirit and take in skills I need from different traditions. I write my own, and hopefully help others. I prefer Stregha or Italian witchcraft. It is older than Celtic, and my ancestors didn't come from England or Ireland.

I if ever have witchlets, Befana'll bring them gifts at Yule.

ETB For Witches

Whoo hooo!

For those already witches this affects how well our spells work or don't. We were all taught, even if just out of books that some people aren't very good at spellcraft. This is a lie, but it does stay with new witches for a while.

So let's say Max has practiced magic for two years. He has a new ritual which he expects to be hard, so it will be. This will affect his treatment of the ritual, which will involve a near nervous breakdown over every little detail. Then a stressed out, unhappy, and feeling worthless Max will do the ritual. He will be sure it won't work. This will affect his behavior, which may involve giving up ritual work.

Well guess what? Max was wrong on this one, every spell works. Just not the way we wanted it to. His ritual will do something, but most likely not the results he was promised. Deity can't give you what you won't accept. If he refuses to accept he is a worthy spellcaster all his magic will fail.

Now let's say Max was excited in a good way about the same ritual. His treatment would be positive study, chats with others, and maybe adjusting the ritual to suit his needs. He's be excited, happy and confident. His ritual might not go 100% smoothly, but he'd be rightly proud of what he had done.

Here he'd be right as a confident spellcaster is one who is rewarded with good results. He is open to Deity answering his prayer (remember all magic is prayer) and he will get what he wants too.

ETB For Witchlets

This is one all fine people with doctorates in Sociology love. Expectation, affects treatment, which affects behavior. How does it apply to witches? Simple.

Let's say Linda grew up in a nice loving family but her religion, while loving, taught her that all other religions or magical arts were really devil worshipers. Well, a small voice in her mind will always be telling her this is true. Her mind and emotions here form the expectations.

So Linda, while loving both paths gets afraid of witchcraft and her mind and emotions decide to help her out. They do this by letting her see, hear and experience all sorts of things that never happen. If she was taught that hairy spiders come after 'bad' people, she'll see them. If she has a concept of hell she will dream of being drug there. Why? So she will stay where up to now, she has been safe. Being safe and being happy aren't always the same thing.

Humans after all are not that far evolved from our primitive instincts. So if something like a religion worked in the past fear could cause the wandering practitioner to see all sorts of things. This usually worked in the person's favor as humans are social animals. Remember, not so many years ago, towns were isolated by vast areas of land. So if you got kicked out of town, how long do you think you would last out there on your own? We need others to survive, so we will often be miserable just to stay with the pack.

So Linda starts to treat magic with fear. Maybe she burns her books, shuns her teachers in the craft, or just disappears altogether. This will work for her for a while. If she keeps this treatment up she will affect her behavior and that of those around her. Those who warned her against magic will take her back in, more or less. She might even become rabidly anti-magical as she will feel and be told that she was 'seduced' into something.

She will end up stopping all exploration of the craft and go back to her former life. This is fine and nothing is wrong with her choosing that. Unless it makes her unhappy. Which is quite possible as the only lure the soul truly feels is a lure of Deity..

Here is where the human soul likes to meddle. The soul wishes to be free to follow its one true path, that which really makes the person happy. So her soul will get together with her feelings to peck away at her 'logical' or 'good' choice.

If she answers this call she will see all the monsters she saw in the past were of her own invention. She will see that witchcraft can be downright non-mystical and even boring at times just like her first religion. Which by the way, she did not have to give up. Remember there are plenty of Christian witches.

So in time hopefully Linda can make her choice from a non-emotional and truly logical place. Maybe the magical arts are not for her, but she will have valid reasons why this is true. Maybe she finds it boring, or she would rather not do all the work. Magical writers do so love giving readers obscure herbs and expensive whatyamacallits to hunt for. Maybe too she'll decide everyone is nutty, abandon both paths, and connect to Deity in her own unique way.

Familiars

Purrrrr

These are a witch's best friend. They can be thought forms, cats or any living animal or animal spirit. These familiars are seen as co-magicians and are in no way the servant of or below the witch.

They help in spell or rituals by adding an energy boost, correcting errors on the witch's part and being teachers. Being your equal they will not tolerate pet status. You wouldn't expect a coven member to be your pet, so don't expect it of your spiritual equals either. Let's look at a few classics.

Cats: That cat of yours know quite a few things about Deity. It isn't her fault you haven't asked yet. A willing feline will show up when magic is afoot. Watch her and see what she does. In time you may develop a strong enough bond that she can send you mental pictures of what you need to do.

Dogs: They know many of the older ways be instinct. Remember that dog is a descendant of the noble wolf and hasn't lost any of those powers. Though that can be hard to remember when her yappy bark interrupts your siesta on the weekend.

Owls: Represent the wisdom of the Goddess. Some might show up in spirit or outside your home when rituals are working. When it is legal to keep them as pets you might find your owl very interested in your magical gear.

Spirit animals. These can be pets who have crossed over, or friendly animals that knew you while alive. They will show up at the right time to let you know they are helping.

Thought forms or energy forms. Created by the witch to help complete a spell or ritual that will take much effort. If she is trying say, to handle her finances better, it won't happen in a day. That thought form can help remind her of her goal.

Some ground rules:

Your familiar is not a slave or servant. He or she does not exist to please you.

You have to do your part. Lazy witches will soon find themselves alone.

While you should be polite don't bow and scrape. The animal may be associated with a God/dess but is not Deity. Eample: I love my cat but she is not Bast Herself. Sometimes a willy co-magician will take advantage of your ignorance and end up with a human pet. And yes, that lovely fellow was indeed my fur baby.

The Goddess

To a witch this is the female side of Deity. She balances Her energy with the God's, thus allowing all that is to be. For both women and men who have been abused by male figures She can be a great comfort. She will heal them, and in time lead them to the God.

Everything a woman can be, She is. She is a sweet young girl child just learning about life. She is the innocent but learning Maiden, the nourishing and supporting Mother, and the wise old Crone. As Athena She is a mighty warrior, as the sweet lady Nox, She soothes us to sleep.

A witch knows that all these many faces represent one Goddess, and that She and the God together make one Deity. We also know full well that like any mother She will give us enough rope to hang ourselves with. Go ahead and act the fool. She will get a good laugh at watching you deal with the consequences.

Like my Bastet statue?

The God

His is the male energy in every man. He is the baby, the young boy growing up, the lover, the father and the wise old sage. He is the Hunter who provides His family with food, the Green Man who guards the forests, and more. We honor the God in all His many forms, but remember they are all faces of the one true God.

He is not a God who will punish you. If you have any common sense at all you will correct your mistakes. If not His Trickster form may bring the trouble you caused back home to you. But He is only following the laws of nature and the universe. For there to be balance in your life you must take responsibility for all your actions.

His forms that show His fertility such as Pan are gentle males, not the monsters some people (even witches) see Him as. As Pan He nurtures the forest and animals, guarding them as well. His sweet music entices us to dance with Him and find the joy in life. In the end He lays down His life for the benefit of all.

As Anubis, he can be a gentle gaurdian. Yes, his realm is the dead, so he will help you connect with lost loved ones, including pets. Anubis is no magical slouch, and as my nifty altar statue reminds us, a brave warrior.

What is The Great Rite?

Dearie me

This is the physical and mystical joining of the God and Goddess energies. That joining is how everything you see, and don't see, came to be. Many witches remember this during some rituals as a way to honor both the creation and Deity. I said many. Some prefer the Big Bang theory.

It can be symbolic like dipping an athame into the chalice, or quite literal. Many handfasted or married couples may choose this rite in the privacy of their own boudoir. Again, any narfy people who tell you this has to be done are predators.

Do witches like Halloween?

Candy, candy, candy!!!

You bet! For me it is the start of the new year. A time to work with the dead and speak to my ancestors. I find it perfect for healing spells and spreading happiness. Plus those Trick or Treaters look so cute. Ah, the memories of tripping over a too long costume.

This is a time to honor the dead as well. Not just my own mind you, but any wandering souls who contact me for help. By putting out a jack 'o lantern I invite the good in, and scare evil spirits away.

Witches also deal with the grief of loss at this time. People who have crossed over since the last Halloween (Samhain) are honored in prayer and ritual. We believe this loving tribute helps them settle in on the other side. It also reminds them they are loved and wanted here.

Some of us call the holiday Samhain. And as you can see from the lovely October sunset I captured, we have orange and black all around us in nature.

Halloween: Customs, Recipes & Spells - Magic for Everyone!

If you bought just one book on a witch's view of Halloween, it should be this. Ravenwolf banishes such myths as a god of Halloween named Samhain. Never was one, Samhain means summer's end among other things.

She also gently assures non-witch readers that this holiday is a feast of joy and love. Not the twisted day of evil many people falsely believe it to be.

I hope all my visitors will read this book as only knowledge of who we are and what we do will bring us all together.

Halloween! (Holiday Series)
Halloween! (Holiday Series)

This is my go-to book for the Halloween season. RavenWolf is an intelligent writer who explains the popular mascots of the holiday like black cats, gives out yummy treat ideas, and of course some wonderful spells.

Readers will get to see the early days of the Egyptian festivals and care of the dead to today's modern Halloween and how the holiday fills a real need in all of us.

 

Male Witches

Wicca, Wicca, Drool!

Hey, guys make some wonderful magic. And we still need them to make babies. Guys learn the male mysteries, how to work with the God's energy in a constructive manner, and how to be brave protectors of family and friends.

Male practitioners don't differ in power or standing from us ladies. They are hard to find except on the 'net as no man of any religion or magical practice ever had much patience with fools. The best of them grow into wise old wizards, just like the nifty pictures ganja smokers adore.

A male witch fights with honor, does not demean himself, and knows all kinds of things if we will listen. Those shut to his message will never hear it. Those lucky enough to hear his wise words will meet a modern Socrates.

Oh, ALL magic works for both men and women. We both have to grow and learn to use the other gender's energy. So yes, the guys need to be in touch with the female energies of the goddess. After all, we both contain male and female energy, regardless of gender.

See? Witchy and pagan males have a lot to shoot for. So respect them when you meet them and learn all you can. Blessed Be, my sweet brothers!

Negativity vs Evil

Or batteries and devils

Negativity is the belief that all bad things that happen are part of the balance between positive and negative energy. This belief also holds that all people are responsible for their own actions, as negativity is a choice and the results are the actor's own fault. In general all New Age folks who hold a belief in negative energy do not see a localized source of this energy.

Some folks will point out that there are plenty examples of this energy in the world's religions. Gods and Goddesses aren't always sunshine and good cheer after all. Therefore, negativity can also be Divine and is in a way good.

How? Negativity can embrace ending bad habits, banishing bad people or energy, or serious crimes. Think of Kali being born to destroy the demons that threatened all good. Her Divine bloodlust and rage allowed Her to fight and destroy all these evil creatures. So negativity or destruction in this case, prevented the whole world from becoming pure evil.

Other examples of good uses of negativity include self-defense, war on people who are tyrants, or defending the innocent through any means possible. You will still have to deal with the trauma say, of killing an intruder or attacker, but no fault or blame should be placed on you. If we were all passive only evil folk would run around free.

It can also be seen as inevitable until humans learn to embrace their own actions. But when this event happens all negativity will weaken. It will never end however as it is a part of the universe itself.

Evil on the other hand, is often if not always localized. There is a source whether a devil, demon, or other evil being. Evil can be seen as just being too strong although people are encouraged to fight against it. Evil addressed such serious crimes as rape, and rallies the community to do more.

Evil is something the whole society must fight, as individuals are often too weak or ignorant of their actions. You still have to take responsibility for your actions, but an outside source can be blamed as the starting source for the evil event.

Both views can be flawed or used in bad ways. Negativity can be embraced as natural, and therefore as right and just as good. Too many folks today it seems love that choice as so many negative actions are now seen as charming or cute evidence of our individuality.

Thankfully most witches know the rule of three will bring these actions right back to them. If they have cursed some one, sooner or later they will pay the price. If they drive aggressively, they may well have a fatal accident. Rage can lead to jail time or fatal diseases.

Evil can be an excuse in the extreme, to shirk blame for our actions. We can blame an outside source and not admit the notion was our own desire. In other words, stealing things may be bad, but we can't help ourselves. God will have to step in, but until then we will just keep on acting in the same way.

All witches must make a choice in what to believe in and how to act. Whether they see negativity or evil in the world, they have a responsibility to end it in a positive manner. So no, no witch with common sense or an ounce of justice in his soul will allow bad things to happen. We might not be saints, but we do try our best.

Simple Spells

Easy for Beginners

Enchanted Coffee

Stir in a clockwise fashion. This promotes the gathering of good things. Adding sugar sweetens your spell. Hold the cup and envision good health going into it. Drink and enjoy!

Healing Spell

See a golden healing light entering the injured area. As your Deity for speedy healing.

Basic Bast Spell

Light a green candle near a cat statue or picture. Say something like: "Great Feline and Mother of all, help me_(your need here)____" Envision Her hearing your prayers. Thank Her for Her Blessing. You may leave a pleasing offering of cream or catnip low enough for you feline house mates to find. Blow out that candle if kitty gets too close.

Some Ritual Gear & Why We Use It

Because we want to.

Athame- This is a knife, sometimes with no edge. It is used to draw the circle, like a wand, and to carve magical symbols in the air.

Besom- Can be a normal broom or hand-crafted. Used to symbolically sweep out negative energies.

Candles- Honor God/dess. Draw power for a spell. Color indicates usage.

Yes, that is another view of my Bastet statue.

Cauldron- Honor the Goddess. Great place to brew potions or burn items.

Crystals- Offerings or tools for self-improvement. This covers gemstones as well.

Goblet- Used for the ritual beverage. Could be anything from wine or beer to fruit juice or milk in there.

Herbs-- Used to draw on noted powers of the herb. Remind the witch and Deity of the spell's intent. Make great teas too.

Jewelry- Can be worn for protection, to honor the God/dess or to attract good luck.

Pentacle-- Holy symbol. Can stand for many things, including the perfection of the God and Goddess as One.

Potion- A blessed or enchanted liquid which may contain herbs, oils or small items like crystals.

Robes- Can be worn during ritual or spell casting. Like church clothes.

Salt- Cleansing, purifying the ritual space and altar tools. Removes negativity.

Spell Works the same as a prayer. In fact, it is one. Covers spellbooks and Book of Shadows too.

Statues/Pictures- Just like a Catholic Saint statue. They help the user find the Deity or saint represented. We do not worship idols.

Wand- Used by some witches in place of an athame. Same functions.

Water- As an offering, for scrying, or cleansing ritual tools.

To Ride A Silver Broomstick

Silver RavenWolf's beloved guide on Wicca and witchcraft. Dispels a lot of myths and covers everything a young witch needs to know. Learn all about your gifts, keeping a book of shadows and more. Still my all-time favorite spellbook. Women like her make me proud to be a witch.

To Ride A Silver Broomstick: New Generation Witchcraft
To Ride A Silver Broomstick: New Generation Witchcraft

Silver RavenWolf is one of the most gentle, loving, and creative witches you'll ever meet through her many books. She offers honest advice and personal experience. It wasn't all a bed of roses when she came out of the broom closet, you know.

 

Spellbooks on Amazon - The real deal

Real spellbooks. Notice the lack of flying objects or other such nonsense.

The Crystal Bible
The Crystal Bible

While not a spellbook per se, sooner or later you'll need a book on crystals and gemstones. This useful beauty shows full colored photos, cut, tumbled, and raw forms of crystals and gems, and more. Check out the awesome meditation tips and chakra stones.

 
Llewellyn's 2009 Witches' Spell-A-Day Almanac (Annuals - Witches' Spell-a-Day Almanac)
Llewellyn's 2009 Witches' Spell-A-Day Almanac (Annuals - Witches' Spell-a-Day Almanac)

Wonderful book every year. You'll get a spell for every day, tips on cooking for holidays, and the all important holiday spells.

 
Garden Witchery: Magick from the Ground Up
Garden Witchery: Magick from the Ground Up

This wonderful book is jam-packed with gardening and witchy info. There's also a section to write your own spells, rituals and gardening notes. At last, no more lost papers.

 
Dancing with Dragons: Invoke Their Ageless Wisdom & Power
Dancing with Dragons: Invoke Their Ageless Wisdom & Power

I've had this book for years and love it to pieces. Conway shows dragons to be noble and willing partners in magic, and gives useful tips for working with them.

 
Beltane: Springtime Rituals, Lore, & Celebration
Beltane: Springtime Rituals, Lore, & Celebration

Makes sense of the Beltane holiday. You'll get ideas for May Poles and learn about where they came from. There is a fancy ritual, simple activities and crafts, and tons of lore. Celebrate May Day the way it was no so long ago.

 

Top ten Signs of a Funky Witch

Told you we're funny.

Top ten Signs of a Funky Witch

1. The altar candles have been replaced with a disco ball and strobe light.

2. He calls the quarters with the YMCA dance.

3. Champagne is the ritual drink offering.

4. Fondue is the food offering.

5. All his robes have bell-bottoms.

6. The Great Rite is replaced with the Great Roller Disco.

7. His pentacles are all made out of tinsel.

8. The Lord is now the Funky God.

9. The Goddess is the Foxy Lady.

10. His Book of Shadows is psychidelic.

Useful Terms

New Age- This covers everything from crystals and angels to the secrets of the pyramids. New age tends to promote peace and harmony. Sort of like hippies without the drugs and groovy clothes.

Pagan- refers to any religion not practiced by those in the mainstream. Not all pagan groups get along very well, just like all churches are not fond of one another.

Trad- Short for Tradition. Can refer to any magical or religious system. Family trads are usually closed to and unknown by outsiders.

Voodoo- A separate branch of paganism and a religion unto itself. New Orleans voodoo tends to be much more relaxed and open than Haitian vodou.

Wicca- is a belief in balance and a reverence for nature. It can involve magic, but does not have too. It is more a religious and lifestyle choice. So no, not all Wiccans practice magic. You will find a Goddess alone, a God and Goddess, or just a God in some paths.

Witchcraft- Covers pretty much all magical arts. Not all witches are Wiccans of course. Becoming a witch does not mean giving up you religion. Witches do adhere to many Wiccan rules though, like balance and protecting nature.

Again you saw this tree above. I like trees.

Woman Power

Hear Us Roar!!!

A lot of women are embracing paganism and witchcraft because of the Goddess and women's freedom in magic. We aren't second class citizens to witchy males, nor does our Goddesses expect us to let men walk all over us.

Plus you get to use everything female im your magical witchy ways. Wearing makeup becomes sacred. Adorning yourself with jewelry and perfume a way to honor the Goddess. You get to shop and buy lovely new outfits, or chuck them off for a ritual.

Plus, who sets up an altar better than we do? If you haven't yet, please approach the Goddesses you have always admired. They will be more than happy to help you find and embrace your female power. Yes, they do this for guys too.

I haven't even mentioned the body oils, lotions, and love spells to use with your partner. Of course you do have to be the best witch you can be. Becoming Wiccan, pagan, a witch or anything else enhances your rights, and your responsibility.

Lady pagans have to defend that Bicca who insulted them. You must pray and cast for the obnoxious non-pagan neighbors, rude drivers, and other fools too. There is a time for defense, but we don't zap morons even if they taunt us.

Did I mention you also get to do spells to ease the discomfort of your monthly present? You can also try a soothing tea for that, or even very non-magical exercise.

You Are What You Eat

I'm a Pizza!

When the first toy trains came out, they ran on oil lamps with wicks. They were cute and chugged along at a nice slow pace. Well it didn't take too long for one boy or girl to figure out hotter trains went faster. A little too much oil, more heat, and voila! Soon the train would be tearing hell for leather around the track.

Which was great fun until it crashed. Then all that oil would spill out, the flame would follow, and whole Christmas trees and houses went up in flame.

The point is the trains were pushed to do something they weren't designed for. Like the train many witches will push themselves or be pushed. How many times have you heard: "Oh, you don't need food or drink for such a tiny ritual."

Well, if you are the one doing the ritual you do. All that energy you draw down makes your poor human system race and you really need to take one or more of the steps below to prevent illness.

1. Eat a light meal before the ritual. Some crackers and cheese, fruit, juice. Anything light to help prepare you. NOTE: If you always get sick after a ritual ground right away then eat after the ritual.

2. Grounding: This is letting the excess energy go back out of you. You aren't meant to have it stored in you, trust me. Try lying down and imagine the energy flowing into the earth or upwards back to the source. This isn't D&D honey. You will sicken quickly if you try to build 100% proof deity power in you.

3. Eat and drink! There is a good reason even the Biblical services had feasting. You need to recharge right away after a ritual. The food and drink help you ground too. Please do not skimp here to diet. Eat some rich dairy, carbs, or at least fruit.

4. Rest. Some folks forget the above and will conk out after or in the middle of the ritual. Deity will let you keep on crashing until you learn to listen to your body's needs. Not that I've ever done it myself. Well, OK, I did and was sick as the proverbial dog when I got up.

If you keep getting ill during the same ritual or types of rituals check for some usual goofs.

Poor ventilation: Surprising how one little incense stick fills up a room so fast. If the room is smoky or the scent is overpowering please douse the inscense or ventilate the area.

Too tired/ill. Honey if you are sleepy or ill let it go. Deity loves you and doesn't want you to suffer. That ritual will wait.

Using your own power. We draw down power from the moon or up from the earth. But don't use your own reserves up.

Magical Links - Some useful and fun sites.

The following sites can get you some basic or advanced spells, knowledge, or just awesome graphics.

Did you learn something new about witches?

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