Outside the Circle: The Dark Legends Of Halloween

The night sky seems to twinkle more now or is it just me? The trees whisper on my walks. Most people say the year will be ending soon, but for me it’s just the beginning. Witches rule at Halloween. [Read more…]

Happily Heathen: Winternights — The Heathen Samhain?

Winternights is one of my favorite holidays. I love when summer finally gives way to Autumn—the smell of the dying leaves, harvesting the last fruits, starting to hunker down for the winter. To me, it is a natural time to start pulling inward and focus on family, hearth, and home. But is it the Norse version of Samhain? No, it is not. [Read more…]

Outside the Circle: The Bad Fairies Of Litha

Litha or Midsummer, a time of bonfires, mugwort, mythical beings, nights and days of mischief and love. The veil is thin. The Celts, the Norse and the Slavs believed that there were three ‘spirit nights’ in the year when magic ran amok and the Otherworld was near. The first was Halloween, the second was May Eve and the third was Midsummer Eve. All sorts of enchantments are in the air now and Spirits and Fairies abound. What follows here are some of them. These are not your good fairies but tricksters and darker spirits. [Read more…]

Witch on Fire: Crafting Sovereignty at the Grand Sabbat

This Beltane, we brought both the pomp and ceremony of High Witchcraft plus the nitty-gritty, bare feet, howling at the moon, fire dancing and drumming into the night, of old-fashioned, tree-hugging, dirt-worshipping paganism. We rang the bell at the apex of Spring so loudly and proudly that there are Genus Loci all over eastern North Carolina still tingling with twitterpation, and looking for a smoke. Shazam, I tell you. SHAZAM! [Read more…]

The Rantin’ Raven: Old at Beltain

We just celebrated Beltain, perhaps the most “hands on” Sabbat of the year. But, what you’re too old to contemplate staying up all night, much less rolling in the grass with a lover? How do we old Witches keep the Beltain when–as the saying goes–the spirit is willing but the flesh isn’t? [Read more…]

Irish-American Witchcraft: Beltane and the Gifts of Darkness

Bealtaine is a holiday that celebrates both the dark and the light, just as life is ultimately about finding a balance between the two that works for each of us individually. [Read more…]

Wayfaring Woman: Holiness and Hallowing at Imbolc

The holy current that runs through this time of year is profound and its blessings are many. Whether or not you tend to notice subtle increases in temperature, or slowly lengthening days, I invite you to turn your awareness to holiness, the current of sacred worth and boundless potential. [Read more…]

Irish-American Witchcraft: My American Imbolc

Imbolc is a pretty big holiday for my family and one of the most involved. It’s also my oldest daughter’s favorite, not only because she has a special devotion to Bríd, but because it’s the holiday that gives her the biggest role to play. [Read more…]

The Rantin’ Raven: Celebrations of Fire and Ice

Of all the festivals of the Pagan year, Imbolc, February 2, is the most complex, the most mystical. Like the other three “Cross Quarter” days (Beltain, Lammas and Samhain), Imbolc is a festival of fire, but the fires it kindles are not quite of this world. [Read more…]

Wayfairing Woman: Soul Searching at Winter Solstice Time

At this time, after the Winter Solstice and moving into the New Year, we have a great opportunity to do some soul searching, using the lantern light of the coming year to illuminate the way. This time needn’t be about making resolutions, but rather synthesizing experiences and making more coherent sense of it all so that our foot falls on solid ground as we step into the new year. [Read more…]