Amulets: Using Non-Traditional Symbols


Hello I am a dabbling pagan and for years I have always worn a Pentagram amulet for protection. However my old amulet that I have worn for years was recently destroyed in an accident so I am looking for a new one. And I found a very beautiful one online however it is not a classic pentagram and I was wondering if it would be as effective for protection as my old classic pentagram amulet.

I have included and image of the amulet in question below.

Thank you For you Help in the matter.

First a general note about symbols and then I’ll say a few things about the necklace you’ve chosen in particular. The great thing about symbols is that while there are always generally accepted meanings and correspondences, what something means to us personally can also be just as important (especially if we have a good reason why we feel that way about it). So for the most part, even if it’s not a traditional pentagram, as long as you have charged it with protective energies and wear it with the belief that it will help keep you from harm, then it should work just as well as any more traditional designs.

Having said that however, there are a few things about this particular necklace that bother me. The first is rather minor and, not sure if it’s something that matters to you or not (and if it doesn’t then I wouldn’t worry about it), but whatever that particular necklace is made of it’s not “titanium steel” – there is no such thing. Titanium is a metal, but it’s not usually mixed with anything, so odds are it’s just titanium colored stainless steel. That doesn’t mean it’s not a perfectly fine necklace, I just don’t like sellers who misrepresent the items they have for sale. The more major issues that I have, and why I personally wouldn’t buy this, are the cross symbol at the top (though to be fair, crosses are not exclusively Christian), and the fact that it’s listed as a “Star of David” which is Jewish and not really Pagan or Witchcraft related. If you are into Kabbalah or Ceremonial Magic (and have incorporated aspects of either into your practices) then it might make more sense, but if that’s what the seller was looking to market to then they should have called it a “hexagram” rather than a “Star of David.”

But again, that’s just my two cents, and in the end, if it’s something that you are really drawn to and feel like it would suit your purposes then you do you. Most of my issues are more with the way the seller has it listed rather than there being actual problems with the necklace being useful as a protection amulet.

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Getting Rid of an Abusive Ex


My daughter just got out of an abusive relationship and the guy won’t leave her alone how can i get rid of him

Call the police so that she can press charges against him and file a restraining order. Especially if you think she is in any sort of immediate danger, the behavior needs to be reported so that they can take steps to head it off before it escalates further. In general, magic should never be used in place of taking the necessary mundane actions first.

If you’ve gone the legal route and need to boost your efforts, you can look into protection spells/charms, spells that might work towards a peaceful resolution of the relationship, or ones that would simply encourage him to move on. In more extreme circumstances, you could also look into something that would bind him from doing any harm to her.

Who Can Worship The Norse Gods?


My partner wants to worship the Norse deities but runs into a lot of media that says that he only wants to appropriate them because he (as a white person) doesn’t have any connection to gods of his own. Do you believe you need to be descended from a certain group (in this case the Norse) in order to worship their deities?

Pre-Christian Norse culture/religion was never closed, and especially given how far and wide they traveled (and intermarried), it’s pretty ridiculous to even claim it. As far as I know, the only people who say such things are ultra-folkish and/or white supremacist groups who are seriously misrepresenting things to cater to their own exclusionary agendas.

I would point to this article published in the Iceland Magazine in May 2017, which focuses on Ásatrú (which is currently an official religion in Iceland), but would apply to the Norse Gods as well, and the following quote in particular:

Anyone can practice the religion but only Icelandic residents can join Ásatrúarfélagið

Only Icelandic citizens or people who have a domicile in Iceland can become members of the Ásatrúarfélag, but anyone can practice Ásatrú, regardless of their nationality or residence. It costs nothing to join and is open to all, irrespective of race, cultural background, gender or sexual orientation.

Ásatrúarfélag is the national pagan association in Iceland – which is why that particular group is only open to those who live in that county. But the religion itself and worship of the Gods is open to all. And I mean, if anyone would know, it’s them right?

Now, I do feel that it’s worth mentioning the following though. Whether or not other religions are able to be practiced by everyone depends on the culture/religion in question. Some are open to everyone – Norse and Hellenic practices for example, while others, such as Native American religions, are closed to those who are not members of the culture (or who have not been adopted into the culture). So it’s always better to ask, if one is unsure.

 

Writing Fictional Witchcraft


*trigger warning* – mentions of rape

 

Hello, I am attempting to write my first book about a family of witches who are primarily healers and practice white magic. There will be two evil characters who affect the family and need to be stopped. Out of respect for pagans, wiccans, and the like, I want to ensure my means of stopping the evil characters do not offend anyone in these communities. I have been researching quite a bit though I feel I’ve only scratched the tip of the iceberg. My question is, can the evil characters own dark energy be used to prevent them from doing harm, rather than using dark magic to call upon spirits? For instance, one character is a rapist, and I want him to develop a skin rash so severe his, um, organ is rendered useless. Couldn’t his own darkness be turned onto himself, with the assist of the witches and a potent potion, rather than calling on dark magic? My second evil character is cruel to animals, couldn’t the animal world be called upon to handle this character with a little push from the witches using a few strands of his hair ? My book is a work of fiction, but I still would like it to feel somewhat authentic. Thank you for your time and any feedback you may have.

 

While I appreciate that you are trying to be respectful of real life Pagans and Witches, and of course absolutely applaud doing research when writing things that one isn’t well-versed in, my advice here is to not worry about it too much. You are writing fiction and, particularly when it comes to the topic of witchcraft and paganism, the ways of doing something are so varied that no matter how hard you try, you’ll probably end up offending someone. I mean, I often read fictional witchy books and spent plenty of time mentally yelling at the author for their choices, but I recognize that it’s simply an “I don’t do it that way” thing, rather than the fact that there aren’t some that totally do. So, at least on that front, I wouldn’t stress too much about it. If anything, I would try really hard not to use a lot of buzzwords or make it too overly cutesy/magical (where they look to solve everything through magic). Within fiction (or even IRL) magic can be useful, but if there are mundane ways of doing things that make more sense, going out of the way to do something magically can be frustrating to readers. But again – it’s your book, so you need to write it how you see it. And honestly, that’s what editing is for, if something really doesn’t work, you can always change it later.   

As to your scenarios, they sound fine, really (at least in terms of the witchcraft aspect). I would suggesting reading the following two posts: Magical Energy and Cursing/Hexing and Do Spells Work? just for some extra food for thought. The only other suggestion that I have (as a writer myself), is that you research skin rashes to see if there is something relevant that would actually cause the symptoms you describe. Obviously a rashy organ isn’t going to look (or feel) appealing, but if it’s just a surface rash, then it may not have any sort of effect on the actual functioning. Additionally, someone who is going to coerce another person, might not care about a rash, unless it’s super painful (or in some other way debilitating). Even then, it’s important to keep in mind that rape isn’t about getting off, it’s about dominance and control, so even if they were impotent, there are still other ways they could commit the crime. So something that only affects their dangly bits may not be enough to stop them.

But anyway, as I mentioned, this is your book. Especially in the first draft, write it how you see it. Get everything down, as much as you can, without worrying too much about being super-detailed. You will edit this thing any number of times before you send it out for public consumption, and in those edits (especially if you can find some beta-readers who are knowledgeable that can offer detailed feedback) you can work on changing the things that don’t work or that you want to make more authentic.  

Happy writing!!

Love Spells for the Inexperienced


I’m just starting and have a issues with my love life can I do a easy spell without any idea or experience to help stop us from arguing so much over stupid things or how can I get help.

The short answer: No. It’s really not a good idea to A) mess around with love spells, and B) mess around with magic when you don’t have any sort of idea of what you are doing.

The longer answer still involves avoiding “love” spells. Experienced or not, they aren’t for the faint of heart and the potential negatives far outweigh any positives of doing them. In general though, you should look to mundane ways of fixing relationship issues, and in truth, “mundane before magical” applies to pretty much any issue. Magic should be, if not a last resort, at least a “well I’ve tried other ways and they aren’t working” resort. But keep in mind, no one wants to be magically forced to stay in a relationship they aren’t happy in. 

If you are having communication issues, then you need to sit down with your partner and calmly try to figure out why. What are you arguing about? Why do those things cause you to argue and what are some ways that you can better talk about them, without those conversations devolving into arguments? A few articles that might help give you some insight on how to stop arguing (or at least not argue as frequently, as no couple goes through life without some arguing – it’s human nature) – Stop Arguing Your Relationships to Death and How to Stop Arguing and Actually Solve Your Relationship Problems.

If you are having trouble even sitting down to talk about the root cause of the arguing, then it might be appropriate to look into spells that help to facilitate communication. Though again, if you don’t normally practice magic (or haven’t studied anything about it), it’s still not a great idea to just randomly do a spell. Magic is not a quick/easy fix and any solution (magical or mundane) will still require effort on both your parts. And, honestly, if the two of you can’t sit down and talk without getting into an argument, then it may be that the relationship isn’t meant to last. Constant arguing, particularly over stupid or unimportant things, often means that one (or both) parties are unhappy with something. You need to work together to figure out what that is and then take steps to try fixing it.  

Orlando and Healing With Wicca


I have been interested in Wicca and witchcraft for as long as I can remember. You can thank Angela Lansbury for the initial interest, Bedknobs and Broomsticks is one of my favorite movies, but my interest has remained even though I know Wicca does not grant you the ability to turn someone into a rabbit.

I’m not sure why I haven’t studied in earnest. I’m 37, I’ve known about Wicca (as opposed to Hollywood witches like The Sanders Sisters) for two decades.

The reason for not starting sooner is not important though. The reason I’m reaching out to you is. Today I was deeply saddened when I learned that lives of 50 people were snuffed out by one man in one night. My first reaction was how could another mass shooting happen? Why is no one doing anything to prevent this? I argued with a couple of people on Twitter and then I saw other people saying “we should all come together for the victims.” At first I scoffed thinking, “OK right winger let’s not address the problem let’s just send our thoughts and prayers.” and I replied, “I don’t mean to sound ignorant, I honestly want to know, how do we come together for the victims?” And I thought and thought and realized that the problems with our country and the world are partisan based and it isn’t just the politicians, we the people are partisan politics incarnate. I thought hard about this and decided a softer approach was necessary. I discussed it with a likeminded friend who said something that sent me on this path, “At the core of all of this is in my opinion is the denial of love to others and ourselves.”

That made me realize that my request for self love isn’t only for myself. It’s for everyone. I believe that something happening across the world can impact me even if I don’t know about it so inversely I believe that me truly loving myself may spread self-love to others.

While I was thinking and typing I thought of Wicca because it was a wise witch who first really explained the “we are all one” idea to me and I thought, if I were a Wiccan would I be able to send healing to others? Would I be able to share tolerance with others? Could Wiccans heal our country? If so, let’s get together, I’ll buy a plane ticket. If not I will still begin my study of Wicca and learn to heal and love myself and wish for a better world.

Thank you so much for providing this service and for reading this novel.

Traditionally, Wicca is the priesthood of the Lord and Lady, so the things that one learns when joining a coven (both before and after initiation) are typically more focused on what is needed to properly serve them. Also, though all Wiccans are witches (one’s first degree initiation is as a priest/priestess and witch), not all witches are Wiccan. So, in and of itself, if one is simply looking to learn techniques for sending healing energy towards others, Wicca (specifically) is probably not what they are looking for. Using witchcraft, or even going non-magical routes and learning something like Reiki (which incorporates distance healing at level II), would be a better choice.  

In terms of witchcraft, gathering with others who are like minded and creating a large group magical working together can be effective, but individual spellwork can be helpful as well. It’s all a matter of how the spells are constructed and the focus/intent of those involved.

In this particular case, I do think sending healing energy is a good idea, but I also think that in the long term, given the variety of hot button issues that are part and parcel of this tragedy (LGTB issues, hate crimes, gun control, anti-Muslim sentiment, etc…) that we all should consider mundane (non-magical) ways to involve ourselves in making things better, in addition to any magical things that we do. Healing energy for the victims and their families is well appreciated, but taking action (even if it’s just getting yourself and others to write to their legislators) to help ensure that these things are less likely to happen in the future would be even better. Because if we don’t address the actual problem, then things are only going to get worse. 

A few resources that may be helpful…

  • Witchcraft: not sure where you are located, but you may want to see if there is a Reclaiming group near you. Given the things that you are looking to do, they would probably be a good choice. If solitary witchcraft is more your thing, there are a number of books listed here that may be helpful as well.
  • Contacting Members of Congress: you can find your Senators here and Congress reps here.

And finally, we previously wrote a bit on Social Justice and Witchcraft, which may be good to read over before taking any sort of magical action. Also, if we are looking to share love and tolerance with others, the best way to do that is by being loving and tolerant ourselves. Though we want to help those who are currently suffering and in need (and we should), if we each spend some time also working in our own communities, think about how much more we can accomplish.

Is The House Cursed


Hello…I’m really sorry, I feel entirely silly asking this, and I’m not sure it’s the right place at all. I always follow my intuition, always, but there aren’t many chances to do so. My grandmother has been very ill all of my life, I’m sixteen years old. She has COPD and a bunch of other things wrong with her chest. She has been in and out of hospital many times and had many near death experiences due to this. Basically. She was in hospital last week, and she was getting better! I didn’t think anything of it. I talked to my grandad (her husband) about the house they moved out of that we all used to live in, and he told me that when she does eventually die I will I will inherit that house. Of course I don’t care about these things. I love my gran. Just after we had that conversation, it made me feel uneasy, and then we got a call and she suddenly caught an infection and got really bad again. I felt partly guilty. Then later in in the week he gave me a key for that house, so I can have a look around. I went there, and stayed for a couple of hours

I just felt so uneasy being there, and kept thinking of my gran (who was at this stage getting better) a few hours later I got a phone call saying to get to the hospital as soon as I can because my gran was likely going to die. I felt like I should have seen it and that it was my fault. Tonight I was supposed to go back but when I got nearer I just felt really sick and nervous and like I couldn’t go in the gate because my gran was going to deteriorate again or something…

Is there anyway that the house could be cursed since it used to be her house?? I’m so sorry if this is somehow offensive or irrelevant or stupid or something I really do apologize, I just can’t understand it and I need to go to the house at some point but I could never live with the guilt if anything happened. I’m so interested in paganism and wicca and I hope to really embrace everything about the religion one day, but I have no idea how:P but yeah sorry again and thank you in advance!

One thing that I think is very important to note from the beginning, particularly with the elderly, but often with any sort of serious/life threatening illnesses – it is extremely common for someone to appear to be doing much better (in some cases, almost miracle-like) right before they end up passing away. So the fact that your grandmother was seemingly on the mend, but then took a turn for the worse, does not necessarily have anything to do with you or any potential curse (or other magical goings on). In truth, it’s more than likely just the unfortunate nature of how these sorts of things tend to go.

As to curses/negative energy… if the house has been in the family for years and years, there will be plenty of energy – good and bad attached to it. Could there be some sort of curse? Eh…maybe, but in this case, I really don’t think that is the issue. I think that you are worried about your grandmother and you feel a little guilty about benefiting from her eventual death (which is a perfectly normal thing to be feeling). The fact that those emotions seem to manifest more strongly when you are at the house or near it is pretty normal too, given that you will be focused on her when you are at a place that you associate with her.

In the future (hopefully far, far in the future), if you do end up inheriting the house, you can always do a ritual cleansing to help clear out any potential negative energies that may be lingering. For now, I don’t think that you going to the house is causing your grandmother any harm, but if going there is causing you anxiety, then it may be best to avoid it until things have settled down.

An It Harm None: What To Do When Harm Is Caused?


Okay so my question is since one of the most basic Wiccan morals/ beliefs is the “harm none” concept I was curious about two different things. 1. What should you do other than accept the consequences when harm has been done through one of your actions? 2. What is to be done when another inflicts harm on you? Nothing? Just curious because I haven’t see this clearly stated anywhere.

The thing with “harm none” is that it has been grossly misinterpreted and misrepresented by so many people over the years that, in most cases, what the average person thinks it means is likely vastly different than what it actually is supposed to mean. So we’ll start with that, just to lay out the basics.

First and foremost, at no point (ever), does the Wiccan Rede prohibit one from causing harm, and in fact, it is literally impossible for any of us to go through life without causing harm to someone or something. The Rede, which in full states ‘An it harm none, do what ye will, simply tells us that if it doesn’t cause harm, we can do whatever we want. But nowhere in that statement does it say if it causes harm, don’t do it. The actual point of it all, is for one to carefully consider their actions before taking them, and to be willing to accept the potential consequences of such actions – for good or bad. In the end however, if one feels that a harmful action is justified/necessary, and is willing to accept the consequences, then there is nothing preventing them from taking the action. For more information on the history and meaning of the Wiccan Rede, I suggest reading The Wiccan Rede: A Historical Journey.

To your specific questions…

(1) If the harm was unintentional, we still need to accept the consequences and acknowledge that harm was done. Then we need to look for ways that we can make reparations (if possible). Saying “sorry” often makes us feel better, but in many cases it does nothing for those we have hurt. Taking actual positive action (assuming that there is one that can be taken), is the best choice.

If the harm was intentional, hopefully we thought carefully before taking the action and were able to anticipate the consequences and are prepared for them. If it’s something that we had considered, again – part of that consideration would be pre-planning what to do. Generally though, if those consequences occur in a way that were unanticipated (maybe we didn’t think carefully enough beforehand) or in some other way cause more harm than we were intending, we should refer back to the info on what to do when causing unintentional harm. Otherwise, if we have intentionally harmed someone/something, then there is nothing else to do as we’ve accomplished what we set out to do.

(2) The answer to this one is really going to depend on the individual. Some will look for positive ways to counteract the harm (such as shielding or looking for ways to invoke justice being served, etc…), while others will 100% strike back as hard and fast as they can with every curse and hex available, and some may be a mix of both. Since there is absolutely nothing preventing anyone from defending themselves and protecting others from harm, at least in terms of the Rede, if one feels that they need to take a harmful action in response to something that has been done to them (and again, being willing to accept any consequences) – then they should take it.

Personally, in the rare times that I feel that they may be necessary, I prefer “curses” that are sort of all purpose – like a “may you get everything that’s coming to you” sort of a thing. That way if they don’t do anything wrong, they have nothing to worry about (and it could even send positive things their way if they are doing good), but if they are doing harm to others, then anything negative that bounces back on them will be a result of their own actions. It doesn’t absolve me of dealing with any potential consequences, but it does put a lot more of the onerous on them for instigating it in the first place.

Deciding Between Paths: How To Know When You Are Ready?


I’ve been raised as a Christian my whole life. But about 2 years ago, I realized that it wasn’t my true calling or a place where I felt at home at all. But about a year ago, I fell upon Wicca. To me, it feels true and right and I feel so at home within it, so I just decided to call myself Wiccan. More recently, I realized that that wasn’t any way to follow Wicca and that I’d gone about it in a way that wouldn’t truly benefit me. So now I’m taking the time to learn more about both Christianity and Wicca and I’m so excited to finally choose and follow Wicca as I should’ve done in the first place.

However, going to church every Sunday has made it increasingly difficult to commit myself to Wicca so I’m left feeling unsure whether I was too quick but in Christianity I feel uncomfortable and unsafe and judged so I know it’s not what is right for me. I guess I’m just looking for advice and how to release all this doubt and fear. I truly want to dedicate myself to the God and Goddess but I’m just doubting whether I’m ready or not. At my age and in my ‘situation’ it’s hard to find other Wiccans who I can speak to and learn from and be guided by.

Probably not what you are going to want to hear, but at 14 you have plenty of time to figure which path is right for you. Particularly if you are having doubts, it’s good idea to take as much time as you feel is necessary.

From a traditional standpoint, Wiccan covens will not initiate anyone who is under the age of 18 (sometimes even 21), so there is not any need to rush to anything at this point. If you still feel pulled towards Christianity, keep in mind that, even if you are uncomfortable at your current church, that may not be indicative of all churches, or even all denominations. So it may be worth it to explore other areas of Christianity before making any major decisions.

Once you are sure that Wicca or Wicca-inspired NeoPaganism is more your calling, there is still not any real reason to start dedicating or oathing yourself to anyone at this point. Oaths and vows are something that the Gods take very seriously and doing such during the teen years is just not a good idea (in any way). It’s not always a good idea for some, even when they are older – things change and we think we will always be able to follow through, but that’s not always the case. And trying to take back an oath… it doesn’t always go well and some Gods are less forgiving than others. So patience at this stage is a good thing.

In the meantime, I would suggest lots of reading. We have a couple of previous posts with some recommendations (here and here). This doesn’t mean you can’t practice anything, but it simply means don’t look to settling in just yet. Give yourself plenty of time to explore.

Additionally, if you feel that maybe there are bits of both Paganism and Christianity that call to you, there are things like ChristoPaganism which may be of interest as well. In particular ChristoPaganism: An Inclusive Path by Joyce and River Higganbotham is a good one. Another book that encompasses multiple views is CUSP: A New Way to Walk An Old Path by Eric and Katrina Rasbold. In terms of going to church, it may also be worth checking out the Unitarian Universalists.

I know that when we are young, it often seems like we need to make a decision about things NOW, but in truth – particularly with the really important things, careful consideration is the better course of action. During our teen years things change rapidly and those things that we feel strongly about one day soon fade, and by the time we reach young adulthood we are often completely different people. Making any sort of decision, particularly involving dedicating oneself to a God (or Gods), is not something to make until one is absolutely sure that one can keep that commitment*. So don’t feel that you need to be doing anything, until you have resolved any lingering doubts are are fully ready to take those next steps.

*worth noting too that for some people, they are never ready to take an oath or dedicate themselves, and that is perfectly ok too. Never feel like you have to do such a thing, even if it said so in a book or on a website, etc… 😉

Spellwork: Timing and Other Influences


Can one do a spell a day late?

The short answer is: yes. Because, as long as one is proficient enough in spellwork and writing/creating their own, they can typically modify almost anything to suit. However, having said that, it really depends on what the spell is, what the day was – were there specific energies that were being harnessed that are really only present at that specific time/date, etc…

For example, a friend recently lamented that they’d missed the Equinox and another had said it was no big deal they could still celebrate. Which is true, for the most part, except if one is looking specifically to do balancing work or some other spell that requires the equality of day/night that is typically only found on the Equinox. So could you still do it the next day… sure, but it’s not going have the same ummph as doing it on the day.

Similarly, the Blood Moon/Eclipse that occurred last night – having spellwork that was centered around using the energy created by the eclipse itself will not be as effective if it’s done tonight. Sure there will still be the full moon, but it’s missing that something extra. In this case, if one were going to change the date, it would be better to modify the spell so that the eclipse energy was no longer a key component.

Of course for some people, things like correspondences, moon phases, planetary alignment, days of the week or other considerations aren’t a huge part of their magical practices – and that’s perfectly fine. So in those cases, doing something one day versus another may not make that much of a difference. However, if one does feel that those things (or the lack thereof) do have an impact, changing days can affect the energy of the spell and/or cause it not to work the way it was intended.

In the end, it’s going to come down to one’s own personal practices – whether they are solitary/eclectic or part of an established tradition that may or may not have specific guidelines for spellwork. If one typically places a strong emphasis on timing, then changing something even slightly can throw things off. If one is more flexible and able to work with whatever is available, then changes are more easily compensated for. The key in both is to make sure that the spell being used is customized for the person using it – don’t take something from a book and use it “as-is” if the conditions don’t fit. The more energy we put into making it fit our needs (including timing, if that is important) the better it will be in the long run, in terms of working the spell successfully.