Interpreting a Tarot Reading


Please help me if you can. I’m new to tarot cards. I decided to do a reading for myself. I asked the cards if I would become pregnant soon?

This are the cards I did a 4 cards spread.

  1. )past: reversed five pentacles
  2. )present: reversed wheel of fortune
  3. )future: reversed devil
  4. )distant future: reversed the tower

If you can, can you please tell me what the cards are trying to say?

Please note… divination is not my thing. I’ve studied it some, but do not use my cards on a regular basis, other than for myself. I make no claims to being any sort of expert, or make any sort of guarantees that what is listed here will in fact come to pass as I’ve described. The following is my two cents for what it’s worth, just based on my initial impressions of the cards. I’ve included links to basic card associations as well, so that you can make your own decisions, as there are always multiple ways for cards to be interpreted.

So, if I had to answer your direct question… “Will I become pregnant soon?” just based on the card reading shown (and without knowing anything else about you), I’d say that the outlook does not seem positive at this time. I don’t think it necessarily means that you won’t ever, but right now, there appear to be a lot of roadblocks in your path. As indicated with the Five of Pentacles – either a matter of overcoming previous health or financial issues, or even potentially a matter of a partner who is not quite ready to commit fully to having a child.

While the Wheel of Fortune card can be positive, particularly if you are wanting change, with it being reversed that tends to indicate that things aren’t necessarily changing in the ways that you them to. Particularly paired with the other two – The Devil and The Tower, it signifies that right now may not be the best timing for your pregnancy to happen.

Breaking it down a bit more, based on basic interpretations found at Learning the Tarot (which is a great site for anyone looking to learn the basics)…

  1. Five of Pentacles(past): refers to having recently been in bad health or suffered hard times. With a reversed card, could indicate that the issue has not fully resolved itself as of yet.
  2. Wheel of Fortune (present): things are changing, either physically or mentally/emotionally. With a reversed card, could indicate that the change will be slow in coming, or not be in the direction that you want.
  3. The Devil (future): situation will not be what you foresee, potentially having to bow to the wants/needs of others. With a reversed card, could indicate that the situation isn’t completely hopeless, but may need to overcome a lot of other obstacles first.
  4. The Tower (distant future): coming to an understanding, gaining insight, having one’s dreams crumble. With a reversed card, again could be that things don’t quite work out how you were expecting, but that in the end you will be ok with it, or at least be able to come to terms with it.

For a slightly different take on the card meanings, you can check out Aeclectic Tarot as well.

On the mundane side of things, getting pregnant is often a matter of the right timing, coupled with taking proper care of yourself. So if you are trying to get pregnant, there are some basic tips you can follow that will help (at least in some ways) smooth the process out a bit. Nothing, obviously, will guarantee pregnancy, but sometimes we all need a little extra help getting it to work out the way we want it to.

If you are already eating healthy, and getting a good amount of exercise daily/weekly, that’s good – if not, now is the time to start making some of those changes. Also it’s a good time to quit any potentially harmful habits (smoking, drinking, etc…) as you will need to quit anyways when you do get pregnant, so might as well get used to it sooner, rather than later.  Additionally, you will want to start tracking your menstrual cycle. If you have a smartphone, there are apps for tracking like Fertility Friend, which can do all sorts of nifty things, or you can just get a pocket-sized calendar and write it all down the old fashioned way. In either case though, knowing when you are most likely ovulating, will give you a better idea of when the best chance of getting pregnant is.

The big thing to remember – don’t get too discouraged if it seems to be taking a while. In movies it always seems to just take one time (and in truth is can definitely only take one time, given the right timing), but the reality is that for many women it can take a while (sometimes years) to get pregnant. If you are concerned though, definitely talk to your ob-gyn and get a check up, both for you and your partner if necessary. This will rule out any sort of underlying conditions that could be making it difficult for you to become pregnant.

Good luck!!

 

  • Additionally, if any of our readers have different interpretations that they’d like to share, please feel free to leave a comment. Definitely welcome additional insight from those who might work more frequently with tarot and have a different perspective. 🙂

Are Weather Spells Considered Black Magic?


Are weather spells (like a storm spell) considered black magic?

The short answer is… no.

The longer answer is more of… depends on what you are looking to do with it. If you are purposefully trying to be destructive, or cause injury or harm to others via the weather, then yes it could be. In general (and I’m sure I’m like a broken record at this point) magic is colorless – in and of itself it is neither black nor white (or any other color for that matter). It’s what you do with it that really counts.

Keep in mind too though, that even if you aren’t meaning to do harm with weather magic, it can still cause it. Forces of nature are called such for a good reason, and are not something to take on lightly, or without a lot of careful consideration and forethought. The following was originally re-blogged to our Tumblr page via Morgandria, but cross posting here as well, due your question…

Helpful Hint for Witches #6

LEAVE THE WEATHER ALONE.

Unless you have a meteorologist’s level of knowledge about the historical and prevailing conditions of your area, and how systems move in and out of your area, you have NO idea how your witching is going to affect OTHER areas, as well as your own. You are not just affecting yourself. You will be potentially effecting thousands or millions of other people.

You could be starting or encouraging a flood. Or a drought. And you are very likely not the only witch throwing pebbles into the weather pond. One pebble is a ripple – hundreds of pebbles cause a lot more disturbance. Ripples can become waves. Waves from different directions meet and crash – and you don’t want to live where waves meet.

We all love to complain about the weather. We’d all love to change it, sometimes. But it’s not a wise choice.

 

 

Wiccan Exorcism


I am pretty new to Wicca, and I believe there is a negative entity or demon in my house. I’ve looked up exorcisms and found one I’d like to use but I have a few questions I’m hoping you can answer for me. Here is a link to website I got it from.

I have used rituals on this website before and found they worked well, but I’d like to get someone more experienced opinion before I do anything.

  1. Is it safe? And if not exactly how dangerous could it be?
  2. My mother, whom I live with is not Wiccan and does not believe in the craft, or in ghosts or demons. Although she has heard and seen many of the things I have she always comes with something else it could be. Could her disbelief be a problem?
  3. The incantation is in Latin and although I do speak Latin I am not fluent, if I mispronounced something would it mess up the whole exorcism?

If you are an initiated Wiccan, I would suggest speaking to you HP/HPS about potential ways to deal with a malevolent entity. They would be best equipped to instruct someone who is new, and will also know what sort of things to suggest based on their assessment of your current skill level. Outside of Traditional Wicca however, for those that are on a Wicca inspired NeoPagan path, or solitary Witch – I’d be kind of wary of anything that calls itself a Wiccan “exorcism”.

Most Witchcraft traditions work with banishing rituals when they need to rid themselves (or others) of unwanted energies/entities. The term “exorcism” has heavily Christian overtones, and not that it can’t necessarily work – even for a non-Christian, odds are that the wording of the actual “spell”  is going to be geared more towards a Christian mindset than a Pagan one.

So using Google Translate (which obviously isn’t perfect, but will give us a general idea of the text in English)…

Kingdoms of the Earth, Sing unto God, sing ye praises with Cernunnos,
Kingdoms of the Earth, Goddess, sing praises sung of Arad.
God of heaven, earth,
I humbly beg your Majesty
In order that the power from all of the infernal spirits,
The trap, and deception, malice;
Of all deceit, deliver us, O Ruler.
Exorcise you, every unclean spirit
Let every satanic power, every incursion,
That infernal adversary, every legion,
And the gathering together of all sects.
From the snares of the devil, deliver us, O sovereign Lord,
As Lisle serve your safe to do
We beseech thee to hear us!
Thou wouldst vouchsafe to humble the enemies of holy of the circle,
We beseech thee to hear us!
The God in his sanctuary,
Cernunnos Himself will have thrust the power of His Own people,
Arad his strength to his people.
Blessed be God, the Father,
Blessed Goddess Mother of the glory!

In this case, the wording is not even remotely appropriate, and it’s pretty clear that someone simply took the original Latin wording of a Christian ritual and added in a few references to a Pagan God, and Goddess. Which if they’d left both of them completely generic, it might not have been so bad, but to name Cernunnos specifically, particularly with the attributes of YHWH still in place, is somewhat laughable at best, and utterly cringe-worthy and insulting (to both YHWH and Cernnunos) at worst. In terms of the Goddess, I’m guessing that Arad is supposed to be an abbreviation of Aradia, but still, unless you are on really good terms with that particular Goddess, I’d want to make sure to use her full name, otherwise it could be seen as a sign of disrespect. Worse, you could end up invoking a completely different Goddess.  I’d advise anyone that was even considering to use it, to leave out any specific God/Goddess names unless you were absolutely sure that the attributes/praises listed were actually apt descriptions of said God/Goddess.

Other issues…

  • With the wording itself – the Devil is a Christian concept. Not that others can’t/don’t necessarily acknowledge his existence, but it’s usually not quite the same as how a Christian would view it. Particularly within a NeoPagan framework, there is the acknowledgement that not everything is love and light or healing and growing, and that in order to maintain that elusive “balance” everyone is so keen on, there is a certain amount of dark and chaos, and destruction that is necessary as well.
  • This whole paragraph here: This method is a good one for two reasons. First, it uses a force so pure that when the demon leaves the body of the victim, it will already be so immersed in this energy that it will be annihilated. Secondly, you do not need to adapt the incantation according to the identity or strength of the evil spirit, since the power of the gods still exceed the power of the demon.”  What force is it using? In a Christian context this would make more sense, given how YHWH is generally described, but in terms of other Pagan Gods not so much. There is an assumption there as well, that all Gods are more powerful than all “demons” (and that word in particular is problematic at best, since things that we often might call “demons” really aren’t, nor are they all inherently evil), which may or may not be true (it’s said to be true in the case of YHWH though, which is what the words are in reference to).
  • Speaking in Latin (or any foreign language one is not fluent in) – first and foremost, if you are going to do any sort of spellwork in another language, it is ALWAYS (can’t stress it enough) advisable to get the text translated first by someone that is reputable/knowledgeable in both languages (not only the text language, but one’s native language as well) so that there is absolutely no chance of any miscommunication, or mis-speaking. Having to go back later and be all… “but that’s not what I meant!!” doesn’t generally go over very well. It’s definitely not a good idea to just take text from a book, or the internet and assume that it means what the author/site publisher says it does.
  • Even once you are sure that the text says exactly what you want it to say, the other issue is actually speaking the words. Again, if you are not fluent, it’s better to just say no, rather than risk mispronouncing something, which could change the meaning of your ritual exponentially, and screw the whole thing up (or make it a lot worse). I generally do not suggest using foreign phrasing unless you are absolutely 100% sure that you are saying it correctly. It’s just too risky.

In terms of “safety”, it’s really hard to say. Really will depend on if it’s an actual entity, or just some lingering icky energy? If it’s just energy, then a decent cleansing ritual should suffice (or several of them if it’s really stubborn) and shouldn’t be any more dangerous than any other normal activity that you might do.

If it’s an actual entity of some kind – is it actually malevolent, or just there and you don’t want it to be? Often entities will work more on a you don’t bother us, we won’t bother you kind of a scale, so if you find yourself poking at it, or engaging it in any way, it may just be a matter of ignoring it and it will go on it’s way once you stop. A lot of times as well, there is a tendency for people to assume that all entities are evil or malicious, when in fact, most are apathetic at best towards humans, and even if they are hanging around a house, they aren’t really any sort of threat. In those cases, sometimes simply asking (firmly, but politely) “please leave” can do wonders. For those that are truly malicious, any sort of banishing spell/ritual could be pretty intense, but not like actual “The Exorcist” (the movie) intense. If you are not comfortable with such things though, then you might want to contact someone who is, just to have the extra support.

As to your mother’s belief/disbelief… as the ritual/spell isn’t directed at her, it shouldn’t be an issue. However, if she is going around actively countering your work, either by shooting it down verbally (saying things like… that will never work), or in some other way making you doubt yourself, or your ability to banish the entity – that could affect the outcome. It would be more beneficial to have her working with you, or at the very least not working against you. Other issues that come into play here as well, are if she doesn’t want you doing witchcraft in the house. If that is the case, you should look to other methods of banishing that aren’t overtly witchcraft, as one should always try to respect the rules their parents have set while still living at home.

So… other options. I’m a big fan of actual “cleansing” when doing banishing/cleansing type rituals. If there is a particular place in the house where this entity or energy seems to be concentrated, start there, giving the area a deep cleaning. Open windows, and doors, sweep, dust, vacuum, etc…Make it all sparkle, and sweep the negative energy right out the door/window.

Once you’ve done the manual labor, then you can look to the more spiritual side of it. Burning a protective/purifying/cleansing flavor of incense is a good way to encourage an unwanted entity to leave, or to help whisk away negative energy. Bells and chimes have been used for such as well.

Outside of that, if you want to do a full-on ritual, now would be the time, though I would really suggest writing one yourself, rather than using the Latin one above (there are just way too many things wrong with it). Personally, I would suggest visualizing the cleansing via the Elements (air to push out the entity/energy, fire to burn away any residual negativity, water to purify, and earth to build strong, protected foundation).

You can open by calling on whichever God(s) you personally work with, but I would avoid calling on random deities that you don’t have any particular association with. Working with unfamiliar deities is sometimes a bit hit or miss – they might help, but they might not, so it’s usually better to just raise your own energy, unless you have something really good to offer in return for their assistance. Then simply state your intention to banish the entity/energy, and do the visualizations (mentioned above) to emphasize that intention. When you’re done you can close out your ritual, be sure to give your offerings and/or show your appreciation for any deities that you called on (if you choose to do so).

As mentioned earlier, sometimes it may take more than one cleansing. So if you do it once, and there is still a bit of lingering ick, give it a bit of time and do it again.

Are Crystals Required for Wand Making?


When making a pagan wand is it necessary to use a crystal? I’ve looked everywhere and could not find a answer.

Unless one is a member of a specific tradition which has exacting requirements for how one’s wand should be made, a wand – like most other magical tools, is a personal thing. Yes, they are practical in nature, but in truth you can usually design it however you want to, and include whatever materials you want to (as long as it can still perform it’s intended function) .

Some choose to make a number of different wands, each corresponding to a particular purpose, and others choose to make a single wand that they use for all magical purposes – it’s your choice. In either case though, you would want to use materials that best represent your intended use (whether specific or general), and while using commonly accepted symbols/materials is often a popular choice, as long as you have a reason for including something else (either UPG, lore-based or just because it looks pretty damn spectacular), it’s entirely up to you.

Crystals tend to be used often, because of their inherent properties, not only in terms of correspondences (there is probably a crystal for almost any purpose we could possibly imagine), but also their ability to channel and/or hold magical energy. So if you like crystals… use them, if you don’t, that’s fine too, there are plenty of other items that can serve in their stead. Use whichever ones speak to you.

I know people who have intricately crafted wands, with crystals and carved sigils, and I know people who have store bought toy “fairy-godmother” type wands and people who have ones that are somewhere in between – all use them with pride. In the end is the only real question is… does the wand work for you? As long as the answer is yes, then that’s all that really matters.

Christian Preacher-to-be Finds Home in Paganism… Now What?


I am a pagan hiding in the world of Christianity. When I came to college, a christian university at that, I was planning on being a preacher. But as I went further and further into school the more and more I felt like I was missing something. Then I found magic, and a void was filled for the first time in my life. I have become a dedicated pagan but just still in the broom closet so to speak. But my dilemma is, I was going to be a preacher. That was what I was going to do, but I am not christian anymore. I don’t know what to do now… I am lost and do not know where to go from here.

In terms of whether or not you want to let others know of your change in path, I would suggest reading our previous posts on When Hiding One’s Beliefs May Be The Better Choice and Pagan Coming Out Day… Things to Think About. It’s definitely a monumental decision, especially given your original career choice, so you need to think carefully, and then do what is best for you.

In terms of what your potential options are school/career-wise, the first thing to look at is whether or not your current university has other courses of study that might be relevant to your new path. Depending on if you are interested in a particular culture or pantheon, there might be History majors that would be worth pursuing that would give you a deeper understanding of the lore. Often not very practical though, unless one is looking to go into an academic based career at some point, so another option (if it’s possible) would be to just choose another major that you feel will serve you well in the future, or transfer to another college that has something more relevant to what other subjects you may want to pursue now.

Other than that, if your current course load is more related to pastoral counseling or basic skills in relation to working with people, etc…, then it might not be a bad idea to continue with those at least for a while. Even if you end up not being a Christian preacher, those types of lessons can be invaluable in a variety of careers later on.

If you still want to pursue education related to spiritual counseling, there are a few different options for schools that have Pagan related programs. Cherry Hill Seminary has a number of different programs that would be worth looking into (they are still non-accredited though, so I know that is an issue for some people). Also the University of Florida has a Religion and Nature degree program as well. Other options include looking at schools that have Master of Divinity or Theology degrees (such as the one at Harvard), as often they are broad overviews of multiple world religions, rather than Christian specific. There are also some colleges that allow one to create their own degree path, though that can be a bit difficult if one is just starting out, and unfamiliar on which topics to include for more in-depth study.

Definitely a tough spot to be in, and I would urge you to think carefully, but in the end you need to do what is right for you, even if those around you may not understand why the sudden career/school change. It makes a big difference too if you have a supportive family/community versus unsupportive, so that is something to consider as well.

PS…  something that occurred to me as an afterthought – you said you found “magic” and it filled a void in your life. Magic (and witchcraft in general) is not something that is inherently tied to Paganism. I mean sure… lots of Pagans may practice some form of magic, but you don’t necessarily have to be Pagan to practice it. There are Christian witches, and though it seems like the two would be wildly incompatible, there are those who have somehow managed to combine all into a cohesive and working practice. So if it’s just the magical aspect that has you turning to Paganism, there may be other options that would leave you less “lost”, and if it’s something that you want to pursue, I would suggest checking out ChristoPaganism: An Inclusive Path by Joyce and River Higginbotham. The following article might be helpful as well.

 

Are There Rules For Black Magic?


I’m the recipient of some pretty bad black Magic. For the past 5yrs, I’ve had scary things appear in my home. From hearing flapping birds in my kitchen, to having cold hands of dark shadows try to pull me out of my body. I’ve been living in fear for so long. I’m wondering what the rules are for the woman who has been terrorizing me? Why is she allowed to do this for so long? I know we have biblical rules to follow. What are the rules for such a person  who practices black magic? And who refuses to leave me alone? This woman I speak of, is my mother in law. I cannot get away from her, as  still married to her son. Any help will ease my mind that one day, she will stop.

Thank you!

 

The short answer, unfortunately, is  – not really.

The longer answer depends quite a bit on what tradition one is a member of, if they are solitary/have an eclectic practice, and in truth either way there really aren’t a whole lot of set “RULES” or “LAWS” in terms of magical workings – or at least none that are universal to every single witch or magical practitioner.  We wrote last year, on Magic: Energy and Cursing/Hexing and that might be worth a read, as it covers some of what you are asking about, at least in general terms.

For your situation specifically, and starting from a mundane (non-magical) perspective –

  • What makes you think that your mother-in-law is out to get you, or is sending these sorts of things your way?
  • Have you talked to your doctor to rule out the possibility of any medical condition that could be causing you to have auditory, or other physical type of hallucinations, anxiety, etc… which could potentially account for what you’ve been experiencing? (this is not meant to be offensive, or to dismiss in any way anything you have been going through – it’s a legit step in evaluating the situation, to determine if there really is something “magical” going on)
  • Is there any potential for resolving whatever differences there are between you and your mother-in-law? Even if you weren’t the one originally in the wrong, for whatever started her anger, sometimes it’s a whole lot easier to be the bigger person and apologize just to stop the situation from continuing to escalate (though to be fair it seems like it’s already past that point, it’s still worth mentioning).
  • Have you tried talking to your husband, to see if it’s something that he can help resolve, or at least get her to back off a bit?
  • As a last resort (and obviously hubby would have to agree), but have you considered moving and ceasing contact with her. It’s harsh, but sometimes necessary to get the point across, when someone is acting in a way that is inappropriate.

Magically (as I mentioned to begin with) there aren’t necessarily any sort of set rules. Even within those traditions that do have particular moral/ethical tenets, often the caveat is that if one feels that an action is justified and is willing to accept the consequences, then any action can be taken. More so, outside of those paths, if someone is just out to be malicious, then they may not have any particular code that they hold to, and feel that they can do whatever they want to.

From an energetic perspective though, magic – particularly strong magic, often requires a lot of hard work. Sustaining that sort of thing over long periods of time, is usually pretty exhausting. Though if there is an anger component to it, then that would go a long way towards “fueling” some of it. Which goes back to some of the mundane suggestions I mentioned earlier, about looking for ways to resolve the underlying issues. Not only in terms of just setting things to right, but it would potentially affect the magical side of things as well.

Other than that, look for ways to cleanse and protect your own space in ways that are in concert with your own faith. Do a deep cleaning of all areas, maybe look for items that your mother-in-law has given as a gift, or “accidentally” left behind that could be helping to amplify, or manifest her magical workings.  Assuming that you are Christian, since you spoke of the Bible, I would also suggest looking for scriptures that speak to protection – 2 Samuel 22:3-4 is a good one…

3. The God of my strength, in whom I trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation,
My stronghold and my refuge;
My Savior, You save me from violence.

4. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised;
So shall I be saved from my enemies.

Use it (or another of your choice) as a mantra, particularly when you are feeling that you are under attack. It can help to diffuse the situation.

One other piece of advice, when it comes to curses or malicious magic in general – the more time we spend dwelling on our fears, the more energy we are putting into that sort of thing. If your mother-in-law knows you are living in constant fear, it gives her confidence that her magic is working, and that much more incentive to keep doing it. If you can find a way to show her that you are not afraid of her, or (at the very least) that what she is doing isn’t affecting you, it may shift the “battle” your way, and cause her to eventually give up.

Most bullies like to feed on the negative reactions that they get from others, when we stop giving them the “food” that they like, they have to go elsewhere for nourishment.

Reversing a Soul Binding


I have a difficult situation.  My ex who is Wiccan was showing me various types of rituals and spells throughout our relationship.  One of which was a “soul binding” spell which was intermixed with a handfasting.  He explained it in brief to me and I was open to learning more about his religion, but after our relationship ended on what he would consider a rocky note, odd things have been occuring.  Now I was raised Catholic and identify Christian but also have a strong base in spirituality, so I am not sure if I am just paranoid about the odd things happening or if it is real.  From what I understand, what he performed is not “breakable” and tied his and my soul together possibly for eternity.  Anyways, on to the weird things.  I thought that I was completely over him, but of recent I have been thinking about him frequently as well has having dreams about him and a strong desire to be with him (even though he supposedly moved across the country from me and has since disconnected his phone so there is no way that I or even his family (from what I know) can get a hold of him).  I talked to him just before he left nearly two months ago, he was wishy washy about wanting to stop by and say goodbye, which he didn’t do and left the last conversation saying “I have too much to do” and hung up.  He did say that he can never be around me again because he “doesn’t trust himself” around me (as to not wanting more physically or emotionally) and had said that he was going to come back in a few years after he got done with this education program he apparently enrolled in and wanted me and my children to uproot and move with him where ever he was (NOT going to happen).  I’ve known him since we were young kids and am close to his family, so this is especially hard to have him completely shut me out of his life, but up until recently I was just fine with it and had moved on.

 A friend of mine who is Wiccian confirmed everything he had told me in reguards to this soul binding, but explained further that you cannot undo it and that you will forever be tied to that person, feel what they feel, have a part of them tied into you forever.  This frightens me because as I later found out he has some serious problems mentally/emotionally.  I just want this to go away.  Is there anything I can do?

Something to keep in mind – if the two of you have known each other for most of your lives, and were close for a good bit of that time, as friends and then later romantically, it is very natural (and normal) for you to think about him – even if it seems random or out of the blue. When we have known someone for such a long period of time, odds are you will continue to “love” them in a way, even if you are no longer “in love with them” , or even want to have any type of relationship with them. The fact is that they have been there through a large part of your life, and that doesn’t just go away just because you split up and one party has since moved far away, or lost contact. You will likely continue to think about him off and on for many years to come – regardless of any ritual that was performed.

As to said ritual… I’ll be honest, the person who came up with the idea of a “soul binding” ritual should be beat with a stick (at the very least). It sounds perfectly romantic when you are reveling in the joys of new lover bliss – the idea of being with the one you love for all eternity. But the actual fact of the matter, is that keeping any sort of committed relationship (marriage or otherwise) together for the long-term, even within one lifetime, is difficult at best and takes a lot of hard work. So the idea of binding oneself on an energetic level to someone else through multiple lifetimes, when the odds aren’t even in favor of you sticking it out in this one, is folly. Inevitably the bliss wears off, and you are stuck (in a manner of speaking) with this person that – even when you part from them for perfectly good reasons, in theory you are now potentially going to be miserable for the rest of this life, and into the next when you aren’t with them. So even if you meet someone else who is perfectly wonderful and compatible with you, because of this ritual you may always find yourself feeling as if a part of you is missing – when in reality (if you hadn’t done the ritual), you might have been truly happy. It’s worth noting too, that for him to do this sort of ritual with you, without properly explaining the consequences of doing such a thing, is pretty reprehensible.

I’m not even sure I’d consider a “soul binding” on my deathbed, even if I’d been deliriously happily married to the same person for 50+ years. While the idea is nice, it seems that if someone was truly meant to be my soulmate, then we would already be bound – so there is no need to manually force the issue. Even if we aren’t together in every lifetime, odds are we will meet up again and again throughout our incarnations. Besides the alternative is much worse – being stuck with someone who you have later determined is not “the one”. Potentially as well, just because we are happy in this life, doesn’t mean that there aren’t other happy opportunities to come in future ones with other people, and doing such a ritual, would change those coming experiences.

Having said all that, your best bet would be a parting ritual of sorts. It may not completely sever the ties, especially since you have no way for him to participate with you, but it should help to minimize some of the effects of the original ritual.

The following is a really simple and to the point “Parting Ways” ritual that you can do. Ideally you would want him to do the ritual with you, but as that’s not possible, if you have an item that represents him that should be fine. Also if you have a picture of the two of you together (that you don’t mind cutting up), that would be good as well – or any other symbol of the two of you together (that can be cut in half).

  •  Normally you would do an “ending” spell with the waning moon, however as this one is focused more on starting fresh, you could do it with either. Other than that it’s fairly simple – just say it like you mean it.

our paths diverged
new lives to start
what once was merged
here now must part
with blessings bright
we’ll start anew
the time is right
we know it’s true

  • While chanting the words, focus on the image or item that symbolizes the two of you being bound together – visualize each of you going your separate ways, and then physically cut the image/item in half – literally cutting the ties that bind you together. Chanting is a good way to raise energy, so if you want to you, can say the chant several times as you cut (helps to reinforce and gives added focus). Three times is always been a sort of magical number, or you can correspond it to the number of years the two of you were together (since you did the original ritual), whatever feels right. Once you are finished you can either bury the leftover pieces of the picture/item, or burn them – again whatever works best for you.

I also would suggest checking out this previous post on Dissolving a Handfasting, which while not quite the same situation, there are some correlations, and the information and example rituals there might be useful to you.

Magic: Energy and Cursing/Hexing


Hello there!
I was curious about something I have heard of in pop culture as well as many ancient stories from around the globe, the usage of curses or “dark magic.” I have heard from many pagans that dark magic doesn’t exist and from others that it does exist but it is a double edged sword. the ones who say it exists say that if you tried to curse or hex someone you would also curse/hex yourself because the energy gathered to preform the curse/hex would first flow through yourself. The others say that it is impossible to use magic in that way. What are your thoughts?

It never fails… spend enough time browsing around any sort of Witchcraft related book, site, forum, etc…  and eventually you will come across comments that describe magic in terms of color. While there are a variety of shades that might come to mind, the most commonly seen tend to relate to “black” and “white” magic – which of course (more often than not), leads one into the “dark” vs. “light” conversations as well.

While labels are sometimes useful – in that they can help us to understand an idea or concept at a glance; the converse is, that one word rarely conveys everything, which then leads to misinformation or misunderstanding.  In this case, the truth is that assigning color to magic, shows a fundamental lack of understanding of exactly how magic works.

It probably shouldn’t be surprising that this happens, so many books out there are trying desperately to cater to the “rainbows and ponies” world vision when it comes to the Craft. So long as it’s presented with glitter and sparkles, then how could it possibly be wrong, or hurtful? After all, white/light is good, and black/dark is bad – right?  Ehh… not so much, as both are genuinely necessary “forces” in the universe.

At its most basic, magic is simply manifesting a desired goal, or affecting a desired change through force of will. The fundamental lack of understanding that I mentioned above comes in, right about here – magic has almost entirely to do with the intent of the person casting it. This means that a spell which might typically be considered “white”, can absolutely be used to cause harm, while one that could be considered “black” can be used to heal.  A good example of this is magic that can be used when working with someone who has cancer, in which banishment spells (considered “black magic” by many) are often used.

The point in all of this, is that magic is colorless, and if one is going to do magic (be it witchcraft, or any other form that one might choose), then it’s something that we all need to accept. Magic is what it is, and the only thing that really matters at the end of the day, is how we use it. And while there may be many people who will never cast a hex or curse in their life (or even consider the thought), the fact is that there may be times when one is justified, and in most cases there is nothing that prevents anyone from doing so, if they should choose to.

As to energetic issues resulting from cursing/hexing, there is always the potential for backlash (of a sort) if one doesn’t ground properly, but that is true of any magical working. In the same way that magic is colorless, when you are raising energy, it’s just “energy” – it hasn’t been shaped or focused to any particular purpose. When you do purpose it, it’s being directed into (or at) something/someone else, so even though the energy comes from you, or as a result of your actions, you are only the channel for that particular component, not the actual mixing bowl (so to speak). Sort of like baking – you gather up your ingredients, and mix them all in a separate container. So even if the milk comes from a jug, the jug doesn’t get dirty because you’ve poured just the milk you need into the bowl, and then sealed the jug back up to use next time.

Only real instance where such a thing could be plausible, would be if you ask deity/spirit/entities, etc… to work through you, or to use your body as a conduit of a sort – which potentially could leave “residue”. But it’s still more of a grounding/shielding issue, which typically isn’t lasting (unless you somehow manage to screw something up big time). Guess too though, it would depend to what degree (if any) someone holds to the Three-Fold Law, or similar concept. I could see where someone could find themselves regretting a curse/hex, and it probably causing them to feel like they were cursed instead (by the guilt).

Along with that though, if one does hold strongly to a concept like the TFL, (or something like the Eclectic interpretation of “an it harm none“) there could potentially be actual backlash if one verbally incorporates it as an oath in a working. If you always invoke some such as a part of your ritual language, for example, it will become a part of your magical practice that actually has impact. You would then have given this idea power to affect you through your own words and actions.

So… long story short, it really depends on the person, the Tradition/Path involved, and any number of other factors. It’s just not one of those things that is going to be the same for everyone, which is really somewhat typical of many things related to Witchcraft, and even Paganism in general.

Dream Meanings & Folklore: Cutting Hair and Burying It


I had a dream, in the dream a man was telling me to trim my hair on a full moon and bury it in my yard. This is the only thing I remember about the dream. I looked it up online and apparently it’s associated with an old wives tales about fuller hair. Should I do as instructed? Is their other meanings for burying hair on a full moon besides hair growth? I’ve never even heard of this before. Totally weird. Thanks for any information.

I’ll start off talking a little bit about dreams in general, before moving on to any potential associated folklore. One thing to keep in mind when it comes to dream interpretation, is that no matter what the dream dictionaries or symbolism books say, at the very heart of it all is…  what do those specific things mean to you?

While there are many generally accepted meanings to certain things, we have to remember that context and our own personal experiences, are key to understanding them. So while one person may dream of being at the beach, and think it is the most beautiful dream in the world – to someone who has an absolute fear of drowning, dreaming of being at the beach might very well be a nightmare to them.

So there are a few questions to ask yourself going into this…

  • “What does your hair symbolize to you?”
  • “What would losing your hair, or having to cut it mean to you?”
  • “Was it something that was mentioned in passing – like a suggestion, or was it a command?”
  • “Did you cut it in the dream, and if so, how did it make you feel?”

In general dreaming of getting a haircut, indicates a need for change, or a desire for change. In this case, where someone else was telling you to do so, it may mean that there is an outside influence in your life that is attempting to change you, potentially in a way that could undermine you. That you are being told to bury it could also indicate that they want to ensure that all traces of that part of you are gone… sort of “out of sight, out of mind”.

So, on the one hand (unless you really have areas in your life that need to be changed), it’s not necessarily a positive dream. However, it again depends almost entirely on how you feel about the situation, rather than how an “outsider” views it.

As to potential related folklore, there are a few things that come to mind, though most have to do with the hair being the seat of one’s power, or in some cases, an extension of the soul. Tried to find some concrete references (which is why it took me so long to get back to you) and other than the really well known things – like Samson, not much in the way of credible sources. There is a chapter in James Frazer’s The Golden Bough which may be relevant, so I’ve included an excerpt of that here as well (you can read the full chapter though the link above)…

“…To preserve the cut hair and nails from injury and from the dangerous uses to which they may be put by sorcerers, it is necessary to deposit them in some safe place. The shorn locks of a Maori chief were gathered with much care and placed in an adjoining cemetery. The Tahitians buried the cuttings of their hair at the temples. In the streets of Soku a modern traveller observed cairns of large stones piled against walls with tufts of human hair inserted in the crevices. On asking the meaning of this, he was told that when any native of the place polled his hair he carefully gathered up the clippings and deposited them in one of these cairns, all of which were sacred to the fetish and therefore inviolable. These cairns of sacred stones, he further learned, were simply a precaution against witchcraft, for if a man were not thus careful in disposing of his hair, some of it might fall into the hands of his enemies, who would, by means of it, be able to cast spells over him and so compass his destruction…”

As to the idea that hair being cut on a full moon will make it grow faster, or longer again (as you said) seems to just be an old wive’s tale. Everyone says it, but there really doesn’t seem to be any sort of original reference as to where the idea came from. To be sure, the moon has an effect on the tides, pulling on them stronger when there is a full moon, so I think it’s a matter of assigning a similar concept to one’s hair. For some general myths and folklore related to hair, you can check the following as well.

Hopefully, some of this was helpful to you. It wasn’t as much as I had wanted to post on the subject, but the lack of resources put a bit of a damper on that. As to whether or not you should cut it – that is going to really depend on the answers that you give to the questions that were posed back at the beginning. If you are in a position of needing to make a change, then cutting it may be a good idea. If you are feeling pressured to make a change that you feel is unnecessary, then it may be worth it to just say no.

Solitary Witch – Where Do I Start?


Hello, basically I have known about and been very interested in paganism since I was about 10 years old. I’m just confused as to which path to follow seeing as there seem to be so many! I think I will most likely be a solitary witch and am definitely interested in practicing magik, following the moon, the seasons, following the wiccan rede, healing, all sorts really. I just really need advise on getting stuck in, I mean there’s so much to learn where do you start?! I wish it were easier to find someone to guide me on my path.

It can definitely be confusing when one is first starting out, especially if one is going a more eclectic route, rather than looking to study within a specific tradition. In many ways being eclectic is actually the more difficult path, as you end up having to study a wide variety of cultures and traditions in an in-depth manner, rather than just focusing on one. For some things to consider when forming your eclectic practice, I would suggest reading Eclecticism Within NeoPaganism.

I’m hitting on the points that you brought up, in order, and suggesting resources when necessary – for a lot of it, it may come down to having to study individual components separately, and then finding your own way of putting it all together in a way that works for you. We once tried to define the word witchcraft and found it difficult at best to come up with anything that “everyone” agreed on. So it also may be up to you to define exactly what practices are covered by the term “solitary witch” as well. Once you get to that point, then you may find it a bit easier to know where to start looking for the information that you need.

Also keep in mind that there really isn’t any reason to spell the word “magic” in any special way. Within Thelema, it is spelled “magick”, however that is due to something that is rather specific to that path, having to do with numerology, and isn’t something that is necessary if one is on a different path. A common reason that I hear from others for doing so is to differentiate between “stage” magic and witchcraft, or other spell work. However the truth is that if you are talking (or in this case corresponding via the written word) with others who are like minded, then they will understand what you are referring to, without you having to resort to any convoluted spelling changes.

You didn’t state specifically within your question, if you were interested in any particular Gods or Goddesses, or any particular cultural practices, so it’s a bit harder to point you in a specific direction. However witchcraft in and of itself can be religious/spiritual or a non-religious practice that can be done on its own, or added to almost any other religion. For Witchcraft specific books, I would also suggest starting with Doreen Valiente’s “ABC of Witchcraft” or her “Natural Magic”. I would also suggest reading “A Grimoire of Shadows” by Ed Fitch.

If you are looking to a more Wicca-inspired path, or a ready made NeoPagan path, then Scott Cunningham’s “Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner” and “Living Wicca: A Further Guide for the Solitary Practitioner” cover a good working solitary tradition. However it is very important to note that despite the word Wicca being used not only in the title of both works, and extensively throughout the text – practicing what is in the books does not actually make one Wiccan (for more on traditional Wicca, please read this). While Cunningham did receive initiation into a lineaged Wiccan tradition, he left soon after to form his own path (the Standing Stones tradition), which does not contain the oath-bound information that is the core of Wicca. These two books cover the information that his tradition is based on.

If Wicca-based isn’t your style, then I would suggest reading “Evolutionary Witchcraft“, by T. Thorn Coyle which is based more on Feri Trad Witchcraft – as founded by Victor and Cora Anderson.

For additional information on seasonal celebrations I would suggest the following resources… “A NeoPagan Guide To Activities for the Sabbats”  and “The Witches’ Sabbats”. If you can get a copy of the book, then “Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain” by Ronald Hutton is a good place to start as well. As to moon phases there are any number of apps or widgets you can pick up online. There used to be a really awesome one that we all swore by, however it no longer exists, so at this point really any one will do.

As to the “Wiccan Rede” I would direct you to one of our recent posts on the subject. As mentioned there, it is often very misunderstood, so it would be a good idea to take some time to understand exactly what it is (advice vs. strict law), and exactly what you are looking to accomplish by incorporating it into your practice.

As to “healing”, you’ll need to be a lot more specific, as there is a huge number of things that fall under that category – herbal, magical, hands-on energy work, etc…? If you can narrow down your area of interest there, let us know, and we’ll be happy to point you in a good direction. Keep in mind that for some things, you may need to find a face-to-face teacher, as they are very difficult to teach online or to learn simply from a book.

I know this all seems like a lot, so please read through what we’ve given you, and if you have any additional questions feel free to reply. We’ll be more than happy to help explain, clarify or offer up some other resources. There are some online forums and such around, however a lot of them are full of misinformation, so admittedly I’m hesitant to suggest any of them directly. Thinking it may be time to have a chat amongst ourselves and come up with a “go-to” list of people who can help with specific subjects. I’ll update this when we’ve had a chance to put something together.