Winds of Change

So much has happened over the past month, and now I can’t believe Fall is nearly over…

In early October I started having more car issues. My Subaru finally kicked the bucket, something to do with an oil leak. The indicator lights in that vehicle never worked properly, not even the gas gauge, so I never really knew how much gas was in the car. The oil light NEVER came on, and the car had a coolant leak, which meant I was refilling it every week so it wouldn’t overheat. So, when it finally expired, we began the search for another used vehicle. After a couple of weeks of searching, we thought we had found a good one, a yellow Ford Escape. From all outward appearances, it looked to be in good shape, so we got it and had it only a week when we discovered something horribly wrong. There was some rust on the bottom, so I took to it to a body shop to see how extensive it was. The mechanics there raised it up on a platform, took one look at it and then pulled me aside with serious looks on their faces. They said the vehicle was not safe to be on the road, there was severe rust all over the bottom and was literally ready to fall apart. They had me take pictures with my phone of all the damage. They also said it should never have passed inspection, that we should demand our money back, and if they refused to refund us, we should get the state police involved. In Pennsylvania, lemon laws only apply to new vehicles (strange, huh), but it is still illegal for used car dealers to sell vehicles that are not safe for the road. We can’t afford a new car, and neither of us are mechanics, so we really don’t know what to look for when shopping for used cars. The dealership did agree to give us our money back, and we eventually found another vehicle, a Chevy Tracker, that thankfully is working fine. Everything works, nothing’s leaking, and I know how much gas I have. But, what a fiasco!

In mid-October we made our bi-annual visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This time we were able to see the new Diagon Alley that opened this past July. We had an amazing time, connected with friends, and spent the entire 5 days going between Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. Below are a few pics.




Immediately upon my return to Pennsylvania, I finished up a presentation for the School of Sacred Ministries in Doylestown PA. Myself and my friend Filomena were asked to speak to the students there about Witchcraft and Wicca. It was a great experience, and everyone was very receptive and open-minded. At the School of Sacred Ministries, students explore the world’s major religious, spiritual and wisdom traditions, experience the power of ritual and the beauty of celebration, and study to become inter-faith clergy. There was wonderful energy there, and we met some amazing people.

The following weekend was our Samhain celebration. A joint effort between The Moonlit Grove (the group I work with currently) and Coven of the Sacred Path. It was a magickal night, with flaming cauldrons, a candle-lit path through the veil to the ancestor altar, music, dance, great food and conversation. It was a night of crossing thresholds, re-connecting, and spiritual evolution. Samhain was another threshold for me, as on this night I made a formal decision to embrace Druidry as part of my path. I had never really fully embraced Druid spirituality until now, but since so many elements of druidry and celtic mysticism have been part of my practice for so long, I could no longer deny it as a calling. I am still a Witch 100%. I am very attached to Witchcraft, it is who I am, but now Druidry has also become part of my Witchcraft spirituality. The two have blended together. In many ways, it has always been there, I just never acknowledged it as such. I am quite fond of the teachings of Philip Carr-Gomm and Kristoffer Hughes. As soon as I am able (money, you know), I want to take the Bardic course from the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. In the meantime, I have become addicted to Druidcast and Celtic Myth Podshow.

tumblr_mdg7wt532I1r4fycdo1_500I loathe to say it, but Winter will soon be here. It is already getting quite cold and windy, and I’ve had a lingering cough for days. As anyone who knows me will tell you, I loathe and despise winter. The frigid temperatures that wreak havoc with my health…the slippery, icy roads…the freezing rain, the snow and sludge that leaves an ugly mess on the roads as it melts…not looking forward to this at all. The very sight of snow gives me anxiety, truthfully, and during the winter I prefer to keep my curtains closed so I don’t have to look at it. I am somewhat offended when people criticize how I react to snow. I did not grow up here and I wasn’t raised driving/walking through snow like so many people here have. It doesn’t make it less dangerous just because you’ve done it all your life. Suffice it to say, Winter is my least favorite season. It does give me time to work on creative projects, however. I enjoy making Winter candles and finishing up writing projects. It is an instrospective time, when I look within to examine my life and where my spiritual path is leading me.

After Yule, my leadership commitment to The Moonlit Grove will be finished, and I can focus more attention on Blackthorn, and training students in this personal tradition that evolved from my studies and interaction with Cerridwen. I will soon put out a call for local students who meet the requirements and desire to learn. I look forward to teaching and appreciate the opportunities that Cerridwen sends my way. I also hope to eventually find a local druid group to interact with, but for now I am satisfied to study on my own.

At this moment, it is quite windy outside, the windows are rattling and the windchimes on the outside patio are playing a haunting melody. There are dark clouds in the sky, and raindrops on the windows. I enjoy this kind of weather, so now I think I will go light some candles and incense, open the patio door just a bit and relax for awhile…

Til next time…

Crystal Magick: Mugglestone

mugglestoneI discovered this stone, quite by accident, when I visited a recent holistic expo where I live. I love going to these expos, they seem very much like Diagon Alley to me, with rows and rows of vendors selling their magickal wares: runes, crystals, tarot cards, incense, magickal books and music, home décor, soaps, candles, oils and all manner of other mystical things. There are also several practitioners present who offer tarot & rune readings, reiki treatments, aura photos, various forms of energy healing and more things too numerable to mention. I was fortunate enough to be a vendor myself a couple of times in the past. I had my own booth where I sold my handmade candles and soaps, and offered tarot readings and reiki treatments. This recent expo was the Fall expo, and I enjoy being a shopper at this one rather than a vendor, because I love to explore the many wonderful Fall-themed items, and it is my favorite season.

So, as I was browsing through one of the crystal booths, I scanned over the many crystals that had been neatly separated into individual compartments, each crystal named along with a short list of it’s magickal uses. There were literally hundreds of different crystals in this booth, on 3 long tables. I happened to be standing right in front of this one particular crystal. I had just briefly looked down at them and turned my head, and then realized I saw a very familiar word…..muggle.

guessI looked down again and found the stone….Mugglestone. “Is this for real?”, I thought to myself. “Why have I never heard of this one before??” I brought it home, and when I did more research I found that it is a real, actual stone. Mugglestone is a blend of Red Jasper, Tiger’s Eye and Hematite. It is also called Tiger Iron. It has many magickal qualities, but in my research I saw a common thread in all of the articles I read: Mugglestone deflects harmful energy caused by the judgments of others. Thus, Mugglestone is appropriately named.

Muggle is a word found in the Harry Potter mythos, but it is gaining popularity in the magickal community. The word has a few layers of meaning in Harry Potter metaphysics, but the main idea refers to a person who does not believe in magick or considers it evil. We all have encountered people like this. When you tell them you’re a witch/wiccan/pagan, they get that disapproving look in their eyes, and you can feel their judgmental energy coming at you. It is a subtle form of psychic attack.

If you know you’re going to be around people who disapprove of your beliefs, magickal practice or wiccan spirituality, carry Mugglestone with you to deflect and neutralize those harmful energies. You can carry the stone in your pocket, or wear it as jewelry. I have provided a link below where you can order the polished stones, and some websites offer jewelry made with Mugglestone/Tiger Iron. Another option is eBay, where I found several Mugglestone items for sale.

Meditation with Mugglestone

  • Hold the Mugglestone in your dominant hand.

  • Close your eyes, and take several deep breaths until you reach a meditative state.

  • Bring the Mugglestone to your Third Eye Chakra, at the center of your forehead. Hold it next to your skin.

  • Visualize a spinning wheel of indigo (midnite blue) energy spinning at your Third Eye. Allow this energy to envelope the Mugglestone.

  • Next, visualize the indigo blue color enveloping your entire body. Picture the energy of the Mugglestone merging with this blue light that surrounds your aura. Hold this visualization for at least 3 minutes.

  • Say 3 times, “I charge this crystal to protect me from all harmful energies, judgments and intentions”.

  • Slowly bring yourself back to full awareness, and when you feel ready, open your eyes.

  • Carry the crystal with you, or wear it as jewelry.

To help you further with this meditation, you can light a white candle, and Dragons Blood, Sandalwood or Patchouli incense.

You can order polished Mugglestone at this link.

Check out all the great Mugglestone jewelry on eBay.

The Story of Mabon

Originally posted on Rik Potter:

Mabon is celebrated on the Autumn Equinox, which occurs sometime near September 21-23, and is known by many as the ‘Witches’ Thanksgiving‘. It is the second Harvest Festival of the Witches’ calendar, and it celebrates and gives thanks for the bountiful harvest of fruit, squash, grains, and vegetables. Mabon is also the time when we give thanks to the Goddess and God for what was “harvested” in our lives during the year, as we prepare for the Winter ahead.

Witches meet and share celebration feasts with family and friends at each of the sabbats. Though joyous, Mabon also a serious time, as Witches of many traditions prepare for the season of sleep, the dark time of Fall and Winter. Witches call to the animal spirits for guidance and insight as we enter this time of inner searching. We prepare to meet our true inner self and grow and further our…

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Ritual Etiquette

434da4168885699dfd73a7d177b0182dAs far as rituals go, I will admit that I am stricter than most and strongly prefer formal, traditional rituals as opposed to those that are more casual and relaxed. However, not all groups work the same way and I adapt whenever I need to. Over the years I have led and attended countless rituals, and there are a number of things I think need to be addressed. Depending on the structure of your coven or magickal group, whether it is casual or formal, some of these may or may not apply. These are just my own observations, you may choose to agree or disagree…


As much as I prefer the traditional robes, the hooded cloaks, the ceremony and pageantry of formal ritual, there are many groups who are more casual with their requirements in ritual attire. What you wear to a ritual will depend on a number of factors. For rituals that are open to the public, casual attire is usually acceptable unless otherwise specified, but those who wish to wear robes and cloaks are welcome to do so. Formal groups, whether public/outdoor or private/indoor will require traditional robes, cloaks and formal ritual wear no matter the weather. This is my personal preference, but admittedly I am more traditional than others,(even though it does get a bit uncomfortable when outdoors in 90 degree heat!)

Casual groups are more relaxed with their requirements and will be less strict in what attendees wear to ritual. Another factor is the amount of space available. Some groups who meet in homes have very little space, with not much room for flowing robes and cloaks. In these cases it would not be practical to wear them, especially when lighting candles or if there is going to be lots of movement. Groups who practice ‘SkyClad’ (clad only by the sky, naked) perform rituals in the nude. Although I see nothing wrong with this at all, it is not my practice and I have never participated naked in rituals, public or private. I am honestly much too self-conscious about my body. For my private rituals at home, I have special clothing set aside for this purpose, and I often wear my robes for these.

My personal opinion is that those who are leading a ritual, whether High Priest/ess or someone else, should always be dressed in proper ritual attire, whether your group is casual or formal, at least until the ritual is over. It doesn’t have to be a long, flowing robe, as long as it is something that sets you apart as the one guiding the others between the worlds. Rituals are sacred acts, it is not something we do for play or just to have fun. If I attend your ritual and you’re wearing jeans and a t-shirt, I will find it difficult to believe you are taking it seriously. (I said I was strict).


When you attend a ritual, you may notice the beautiful altar decorated with various tools and magickal items. The general rule is, you may look but don’t touch. Why? First of all, they are not yours. Secondly, all of these items have been carefully chosen for the ritual, and have been placed where they are placed for a reason. They have been consecrated and magickally prepared with specific energies and intentions. By touching or handling them, your own energies can interfere with them and have adverse effects on the ritual. Leave them alone! Look but do not touch. It is very rude to walk up to someone’s altar and start picking things up. I understand some folks are not aware of this, but I am happy to gently remind them…


Ritual gatherings don’t have to be solemn and quiet, they are celebrations, of course. However, there comes a point when it’s time to get serious. There is usually a social time before the circle is cast when people can chat and get to know one another. Likewise, when the ritual has ended and the circle has been released, there is a time of feasting and socializing.

But when you are standing in the circle, it is a different matter. Why?

We are about to create sacred space, we are preparing to call on divine forces, and this is where your mind and energies should be focused. It is not a time to be discussing with the person next to you what you’re doing later, what you’re making for dinner tonight or what you watched on TV. Again, this is not a game. When we are in the circle, we are supposed to be of one mind and in one accord. Focus all your attention on why we are here and the purpose for the ritual. Everything else can wait until later. A good circle-caster can cast the circle strong enough to overcome any random energies, but when those in the circle are not focused, it makes his/her task much harder. This is why I like to start my rituals with a group meditation to help get everyone on the same page and in a proper ritual state of consciousness.


When you are standing in the magick circle, please turn your cellphone OFF. Electrical energies can interfere with the energies we are raising in the circle. Magick is delicate. Everything has to be precise and strongly directed for it to be effective. We are focusing on specific intentions and directing our energies toward their manifestation, and when a cellphone starts ringing, this causes a rift in the energy. It would be best for you to stand outside the circle, or perhaps not attend this one if you think you may be urgently needed elsewhere. I know some people like to bring their laptops into the circle (to play music or to read ritual notes, etc), but I am very leery of this practice and personally would not recommend it.


When we cast the circle, we create an invisible, energetic boundary between the physical and muggle worlds. The circle contains the energy we raise within it, and blocks out any harmful energies that we do not want. If you arrive late to a ritual and the circle has already been cast, don’t just find a spot next to someone. Please wait for the High Priest/ess or assigned person to create a doorway for you to enter. Likewise, if you need to leave the circle for whatever reason (restroom?) , wait until someone creates a doorway for you to exit and re-enter when you return, By just walking into the circle, you have broken the boundary, and the circle may need to be re-cast. We are working with unseen energies, and it is imperative that everything remain in place.


If you want to take pictures, please get the permission of the High Priest/ess and others present before doing so. You may be asked to stand outside the circle to take photos, or you may be asked to wait until the ritual is over. Rituals are sacred occasions, and not everyone will be willing for you to take photos that will be posted on Facebook or wherever else. Also, there may be people present who do not wish to be in your photos. Not everyone who attends a ritual is “out of the broom closet”, and would prefer not to have their faces all over the internet attending a ritual. My personal view is that I don’t really mind if people take photos before or after the ritual, I think it is important that we show others how we practice, but we must also be sensitive to others who are present and may not want their photo taken.


Again, rituals are sacred occasions, and there is often a time of sharing when people ask for healing or guidance. Many times people share things that are deeply personal. Please respect the sacred space we have created, and respect the privacy of those in the circle, do not share their personal matters with others when the ritual has ended.


I am very strict on this issue, and it has annoyed people in the past, but I am unyielding on this one. When I plan rituals, I announce them plenty of time in advance, so that those who wish to attend have sufficient time to arrange their schedules so they can be there. There really is no excuse other than “I don’t want to go”. My rule is, if you think you’re going to be more than 20 minutes late, it is best not to come, and we’ll see you at the next one. I do understand people have jobs, family responsibilities, etc, however, there was ample time for planning, making arrangements to leave work early if necessary, etc. If you miss 20 minutes, you’ve missed alot. It is true that rituals don’t always start on time, and I will wait a few minutes for people who are caught in traffic, but there has to be a line drawn somewhere. It isn’t fair to keep everyone else waiting because you’re going to be 20 minutes late.


Understand that when you attend a ritual, they may do it differently than you. It doesn’t mean they’re doing it wrong, they just do it a different way than you do. There are numerous methods of circle-casting, and countless ways to lead ritual. Each ritual is as different and unique as the person leading it, with elements from many different traditions and practices. Respect those differences, and acknowledge that even if it is not how you were taught, or what you prefer, it can still be meaningful and you just might learn something and make a few new friends.


Remember, rituals are sacred occasions where we work with unseen energies to create change and transformation. We invite the divine to join with us, as well as elemental forces, spirit guides and animal totems. It is a highly-charged spiritual gathering. Yes, you can laugh, you can have fun, but it is also a time to honor and respect the sacredness of the event. Please treat it as such.

Tarot: The Lightning-Bolt Spread

The Lightning-Bolt Spread uses a total of 9 cards, and draws wisdom from the three realms of the World Tree. The concept of the World Tree can be found in several religions and mythologies. It is represented as a giant tree divided into three realms: Upper, Middle and Lower Worlds. It symbolizes a direct and unbroken link between the realm of matter and the realm of spirit. It’s branches reach high into the cosmos, and it’s roots extend deep into the earth. The trunk of the tree, the Axis Mundi, provides a pathway for higher beings to descend to earth in order to assist those seeking enlightenment. Likewise, it also provides an opportunity for aspects of the shadow self to rise from the Lower World, to receive healing and transformation.

In this spread, the cards are laid out in the shape of a lightning-bolt, as shown in the photo below.

SAM_0965The upper three cards represent the Upper World. These cards reveal information about our own spirituality, our connection to our higher self, our deities and spirit guides. The wisdom in the upper three cards are direct messages to us from our divine guides.

The middle three cards focus on our lives in the material plane, the Middle World, and relate to issues concerning job, finances, career and family. These cards address matters regarding everyday life, and functioning in the physical world. The middle three cards also act as an anchor, adding extra insight to the upper/lower cards.

The lower three cards represent the Lower World, or Underworld, and shed light on issues that we keep hidden in shadow. These are things that we keep hidden from others, things that make us feel ashamed, insecure or anxious. The Lower World is the unseen realm, where we interact with the shadow self, our ancestors, and our own dark nature.

Use this spread for personal readings, shamanic journey work, or to make a connection to the World Tree through divination.

Available Now

This will be a short post, but I just wanted to let my awesome readers know that my new book is now available for purchase. It is currently available through Lulu, but in a few weeks you can also get it on Amazon and Kindle. Just click the photo below to order a copy!





New Book Coming Soon!

My latest book, Walking a Magick Path, is now complete. I’ve ordered a proof copy and as soon as it arrives, and I’ve looked it over, I will approve it for publishing. Here is a photo of the cover.

WAMPThis will be my third book release, and I used one of my own photos for the cover this time. I hope it isn’t blurry on the actual book. If it is, I’ll just take another one, but I’m crossing my fingers that won’t be necessary. So far it looks good.

In this book, I explain the difference between practical, natural and spiritual magick. I also share the magick found within each of us, the magick that exists all around us, in the sky above and the earth below. There is a chapter on magickal ethics where I share my personal views about the Wiccan Rede and the Threefold Law. There are meditations in the book, as well as a list of resources for those who are seeking wisdom on their own magickal path. The aim of this book is to help people become more aware of magick and how to bring it into everyday life.

It will be ready for purchase before the month is over…



The Magick is in You

Summer is Here

After what seemed like delay upon delay, my 3rd book will soon be ready for publication. Near the end of April, my old laptop officially kicked the bucket, and I was unable to continue work on my book. I was sharing my partner Matthew’s laptop, and his doesn’t have Microsoft Word, so my writing (at least on a computer) was temporarily suspended. Pen and paper were my closest friends for awhile. Now, I am happy to say, I am writing to you on a shiny new laptop that I received as a gift for my birthday on June 19th.

Summer began with back-to-back events. First was a public Summer Solstice ritual planned as a collaboration between my own group, The Moonlit Grove and our friends from Coven of the Sacred Path. It was a beautiful ritual, with drumming, dancing, fire, divination and lots of great food, music and conversation. I even took my Bodhran (a sort of Celtic drum) along, even though I am clueless how to play it, but I did my best. During the ritual our two separate traditions blended seamlessly together in a celebration of unity, acceptance and the transforming power of the Solstice Sun. We all drew cards from an oracle deck: my card was The Dragon, and the keywords Power and Strength. As the day drew to a close, we all gathered around the fire pit with our drums and watched the flames flicker and dance, while some of the children lit sparklers and danced in the sand. It was a magickal evening.


The following day, a group of us (12 to be exact) took a trip to Doylestown to visit the Peace Valley Lavender Farm. They grow several varieties of English Lavender, with over 3,000 plants growing in their field. They make many products from the lavender, including essential oil, soap, shampoo, and lip balm. They even have Lavender Dark Chocolate and Dry Lavender Soda (carbonated). Everything is made on premises from the lavender grown in their field. The farm is in a beautiful location, on a rolling hill overlooking a lake and a park with hiking trails. It is a magickal place. We try to go every year in June, because that is when the Lavender is fully blooming, and they harvest it all at the beginning of July. Not far from the farm is a general store that sells Lavender ice cream, and it is made from the lavender grown at the farm. It is absolutely delicious. To learn more about the farm, here is a little clip from YouTube.

Lavender is one of my favorite plants, due to it’s soothing, calming scent. It is great for meditation, or for spells to bring peace or healing. The scent from a lavender plant can last up to 15 years. I use Lavender essential oil in my home-made candles, and often blend it with other scents, such as Vanilla or Rose. Later this year I’d like to make some Lavender Peppermint candles. The blend of Lavender and Peppermint is useful for relieving headache pain, and I seem to know several people who suffer from frequent headaches and migraines. Lavender is very therapeutic, and helps to bring a sense of relaxation and tranquility. Here a few photos from our visit.

10474238_10152466344460465_6356721191291509891_n10463869_10152466344170465_1237126788461140269_n10250147_10152466358825465_5441582451248063366_nThat’s me standing among the lavender, the photo is a little blurry. You can really smell the strong scent of lavender as you walk among the plants.

I promise to try and post more often, as it has been nearly a month since the last one. Now that I have new laptop, I can also complete my book Walking a Magick Path. Look for it sometime mid to late July. I will post a link in the “Books” section of this website once it becomes available.

smallpentThe Magick is in You

5 Books of Witchcraft & Magick for Beginners

There are many books about Witchcraft, and they can be difficult to choose from, especially for those who are new to this path and sincerely want to learn more about it. Witchcraft is practiced numerous ways, and there are many traditions, or specific types of Witchcraft. It could be that the book you picked up at the store didn’t necessarily answer all your questions.  I remember buying a book years ago that claimed to share the “theory and practice” of Witchcraft, only to discover that it was written for a specific unknown tradition. The ‘theory and practice’ expressed on the cover only applied to that tradition, one that I was unfamiliar with and really not interested in.

There are, however, some great books that discuss the overall spirituality of Witchcraft, and will give you the information you seek. I recommend these books to everyone I know, because they are very informative and written by experienced practitioners of the craft. I have been fortunate enough to meet and study with some of them, and I highly recommend their work. A few of these books may be difficult to find, as they do go out of print from time to time, but you would do well if you can get your hands on them. Purchase used copies if you can’t find them anywhere else, or contact the author.

These are my top 5 for beginners:

1. spiritwitchSpirit of the Witch: Religion & Spirituality in Contemporary Witchcraft, by Raven Grimassi.

Raven Grimassi has been teaching Witchcraft for more than 30 years, and has written several books on the subject. In this book, he shares the spiritual element of the practices and beliefs of Witchcraft. This is a great book for beginners who are seeking to understand how Witchcraft can be a deeply spiritual path. He writes in the introduction, “I wrote this book to convey a sense of what is most noble and beautiful in the spirit of the witch”. It is beautifully written, and explores Witchcraft as a religion, the use of magickal tools, deities and spirit guides, and several other topics to enlighten those who are curious about the spirituality of Witchcraft. Learn more about Raven at his website HERE.

2. The Inner Temple of WitchcraftThe Inner Temple of Witchcraft: Magick, Meditation & Psychic Development, by Christopher Penczak.

Christopher Penczak is an award-winning author, teacher, and healing practitioner. He has studied extensively with witches, mystics, shamans, and healers in a variety of traditions from around the world to synthesize his own practice of magick and healing. This book is a must-have for beginners, and I consider it to be one of the most valuable books available on the subjects of magick and witchcraft. In it, Christopher shares the history of the witch, the importance of meditation, the various traditions of witchcraft, and many aspects of magickal practice. It is filled with exercises and meditations to do on your own, as a way to integrate the information in the book. The Inner Temple is the first of a series of seven books that explore numerous aspects of witchcraft and magick. You can learn more about Christopher at his website HERE.

3. 51k9HWifIjL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_Natural Witchery: Intuitive, Personal & Practical Magick, by Ellen Dugan.
Ellen Dugan is a Master Gardener, and has been a practicing witch for nearly 30 years.  She is known as the “Garden Witch”, as she has written and taught extensively about the magickal uses of herbs, flowers and plants. She is also a psychic-clairvoyant and High Priestess of a coven in St. Louis, Missouri. Ellen teaches with a no-nonsense style, and often shares from her personal experience. Her books are a delight to read, and her classes are high energy and lots of fun. I recommend Natural Witchery to any beginner seeking to develop their intuitive skills, and learn how to use magick in practical ways.  To find out more about Ellen Dugan, visit her website HERE.

4. powerofthewitchPower of the Witch: The Earth, The Moon, and the Magical Path to Enlightenment, by Laurie Cabot.

Laurie Cabot is one of the most high-profile witches in the world, and one of the first people to popularize Witchcraft in America. She is the “Official Witch of Salem”, Massachussetts, where she lives and continues to teach. Laurie, now in her 70’s, presents Witchcraft as a Science, an Art and a Religion. I met Laurie in Salem several years ago, she is quite an enigmatic figure, walking around Salem in her flowing black robes. She has a strong, energetic presence-you know she is a Witch. A few of my friends have studied with her privately and are now priestesses and priests in her tradition. Her book, Power of the Witch, is another great book for beginners, as it covers several of the religious aspects of witchcraft, as well as history, science, witch’s holidays, hermetics and various magickal practices. To learn more about Laurie, visit her website HERE.

5. 639299The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Celtic Wisdom, by Carl McColman.

I am including this in my top five beginner books, because even though not all witches embrace Celtic mysticism, it plays a major role in my personal practice, and there are many Witches and other magickal folk who identify with Celtic paganism. Don’t let the title fool you-this is a very magickal book,and the author addresses magick in nearly every chapter. This is the perfect book for a beginner witch looking for ways to bring Celtic mystiscm into her/her practice. This book explores everything from Celtic Mythology and Druidry to Celtic Magick and Spirituality. This is truly one of my favorites. (It should be noted that this author no longer follows a pagan path, but it is still a great resource for new witches interested in Celtic Mysticism).

These are my current top 5 books for those who are new to Witchcraft and Magick, or simply want to learn more. If you are unable to locate these books, try searching for used copies, or contact the authors.


Witches and Christianity

This is not a post bashing Christianity or it’s followers. I have friends who are Christian, and to be honest, I get along better with some of them than certain other witches. I don’t have a problem with Christians as long as they don’t try to convince me to become one too. Ever since I became public about being a Witch, I have met only a handful of Christians who condemned me to the “fires of Hell”, while most others were merely curious about my beliefs and spirituality as it relates to Witchcraft. Most of them were educated and intelligent enough to know that witches do not worship Satan, we do not even believe in Satan, nor do we participate in human sacrifice or do any of the other horrible things that some people think we do. I have encountered more than a few militant Christians, of the “Fred Phelps” type, who take the bible quite literally and view anything not exclusively Christian as evil and satanic, but I have met many other Christians who have treated me with dignity and respect even though I do not share their beliefs. There are many religions in this world, and I believe everyone should have the right to practice the religion of their choice without interference from others. I don’t necessarily believe that “all paths lead up the same mountain”, but I do believe that if your spiritual path brings you joy and enlightenment, and does not advocate harm toward those who follow a different path or belief system, then it is a worthy and noble one.

First, I’d like to make it clear that I am very secure in who I am as a Witch, and Christianity does not fit anywhere in my personal theology. I know some folks have found creative ways to blend Wicca and Christianity. While I remain very skeptical of this practice, it would not be right for me to look down on those who have chosen such a path, if they sincerely feel it brings meaning to their lives.

That being said, there are certain tenets of traditional Christianity that do not play a role in Witchcraft. One of these is the concept of Grace. In Christianity, Grace is defined as the undeserved favor given to us from God or mercy granted to us that we are not worthy to receive. In Witchcraft, however, we do not consider ourselves unworthy or undeserving of anything. We are not separate from the divine, but rather, we are co-creators with the divine. We view divinity as both imminent (within us) and transcendant (around/above/below us). The concept of Grace does not play a role in our belief system.

Other Christian concepts are Sin and Salvation.  In Christianity, Sin is anything you do that separates you from God, such as breaking the 10 Commandments or doing anything that the Bible says not to do. Those who commit sin are estranged from God until they ‘repent’ (refrain from sin and return to God). Christian theology teaches that we are all born as sinners, and will suffer punishment in hell unless we accept Salvation by becoming subservient to Jesus Christ. In Witchcraft, the ideas of Sin and Salvation do not play a role. We do not need to be redeemed or saved, because we are not in peril. We do not believe in a Satan/Devil figure, nor is there anything in our belief system stating that we are inclined to sin. Furthermore, as witches, we do not need an intermediary to connect with the divine. We are each of us Priestess and Priest, and we have divinity within us. The spirituality of Witchcraft is based on direct experience with the divine, rather than Faith.

Other Christian concepts such as Evil, Judgment and Scripture, also do not play a role in Witchcraft. As stated earlier, we do not believe in the Satan/Devil figure or any other all-evil entity. People have the capacity to do evil acts, but the concept of a supreme evil being does not exist in Witchcraft. Evil is not an absolute power, but a choice that one makes. In traditional Christianity, Judgment is the belief that one day you will stand before God and give an account of the deeds of your life, and by those deeds you will either go to Heaven or be condemned to Hell.  As witches, we do not embrace this belief. Many of us believe in reincarnation, which teaches that we may experience many lifetimes after this one. Wiccan teaching describes a place called the Summerland, where we are reunited with loved ones who have passed on. Celtic mysticism describes a place called the Otherworld, an unseen realm that exists alongside our own, where we join our loved ones after death, and from where we guide and assist our loved ones who still live on the earthly plane. Wicca has such teachings as the Wiccan Rede, which is more of a guideline than an absolute rule, and the Law of Threefold Return, which is based on the idea of cause & effect. We do acknowledge that actions have consequences, but there is no final judgment of deeds in Witchcraft. Regarding scripture, we do not have a holy book of rules handed down to us from on high. Our inspiration comes from Nature and our personal connection to the divine. I always found it odd when people would quote scripture to me, as if that somehow would make a difference. I do not live my life according to the Bible. It is not final authority for me, and has no influence in my life or my path. I have done extensive study of the Bible, I have read it cover to cover more than once, and I think every Witch should be familiar with it’s teachings so that they can respond in an educated way to those who might challenge their beliefs in Witchcraft and Paganism.

As I try to gain more understanding about the whole “Christian Wicca” thing, I learn that most practitioners of this blended path tend to follow it from more of a mystical aspect rather than a dogmatic one. I was reminded by a friend that certain spells in ancient grimoires contain bible scripture and call upon angels to assist in magick. Followers of Christian Wicca seek to be “Christ-Like”, living by forgiveness, tolerance and love rather than as traditional bible thumping hell-fire Christians. And they also happen to be witches. As I said earlier, this concept is something I just cannot wrap my head around, particularly due to the scriptures in the bible that explicitly condemn witchcraft. I do believe it’s possible that certain scriptures were altered or mis-interpreted, such as the famous “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” from Exodus 22:18.  Some have interpreted this as another way of saying ‘do not partake of the services of a witch’ or ‘do not allow a witch to make a living’. In Deuteronomy 18:10 we read, “There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch” and Exodus 20:3, “You shall have no other gods before me“. In my mind, these leave little room for mis-interpretation. Do these scriptures make me fearful for being a Witch? Not in the least, as I do not believe them to be truth. The bible is not part of my belief system and I do not follow it’s teachings.

My only hope is that if you wish to blend Witchcraft with Christianity, that you carefully examine your reasons for doing so. It can be very difficult for someone who was raised in a strict, dogmatic religion like Christianity to transition into Paganism. When you have had certain teachings ingrained into your psyche for so many years, it’s not easy to just cast them aside. “And why should I”, you might ask. They likely have become comfortable and familiar, and you might have many good memories associated with them. Still, it is important to be honest with yourself. How will you decide which scriptures to embrace and which ones to ignore? Do you really believe you can blend these two belief systems in a way that can enrich your life? If so, that’s great and I wish you the best, but you must also ask yourself if perhaps you are keeping one foot in Christianity, out of fear, just in case you made the wrong choice with paganism and you might end up being judged for your ‘sins’? You might have a strong emotional attachment to Christianity even though deep down you feel drawn to Witchcraft and Paganism.

I want to say again that it is not my intention to judge or look down on those who practice Christian Wicca. If it works for you, that is all that matters. Just know that it may take some time for myself and other traditional witches to understand it, but we are trying…

For a further examination of Neo-Paganism as it compares to other religions, I recommend The Living Temple of Witchcraft: Volume Two (Chapter Sixteen: The Wisdom of Sagittarius), by Christopher Penczak.