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Scrying Mirrors and Crystal Balls

Scrying is the art of divining by looking into an appropriate surface. It could be water, a mirror on the wall, a crystal ball, or a slap of rock. For that matter, some people are quite talented at seeing visions in the flames of fire or in the bottom of a teacup. Smooth, natural surfaces are much better and less distracting, however. 

I like to think that a chunk of shiny black obsidian was the first scrying mirror. We know the ancients had special prophets and priestesses who engaged in foretelling the future, and they were making and using tools of their trade from various crystals at hand. No doubt they would be delighted to know we are still using crystal balls made from translucent quartz and mysterious volcanic obsidian! I cleanse mine before and after each use with rainwater that has set through at least one day of sun and one night of moonlight, but rituals can get as elaborate as you want! 

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 Candy Companies Market Halloween Early to Bolster Pandemic Sales - Eater

I suppose it was bound to happen.

A few days after Lúnasa, I take a community elder out to do some shopping. Dismay and delight take hands and dance in me as I notice that they're already stocking the Samhain candy.

(Delight because my nostrils quiver at even the slightest scent of Samhain; dismay because, well, it's freaking Lúnasa, for gods' sakes.)

When does the Samhain shopping season officially begin? Well, I guess we know.

Call it Samhain creep. I suppose we should be grateful it hasn't got as far as Midsummer's yet.

(Buy now: avoid the Samhain Rush.)

Every pagan fantasizes from time to time about what that bright, shiny New Pagan world of the future might look like.

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Ernie La Pointe raconte la mort chez les indiens Lakotas - Happy End

I once heard Sitting Bull's great-grandson, Ernie LaPointe (b. 1948), give what is probably the single most incisive description that I've ever heard, of how non-scriptural traditions operate.

“The Lakota Way,” he told the interviewer, “is transmitted through story and song, and actualized in ceremony.”

Transmitted through story and song, and actualized in (I'll translate into Pagan here) ritual.

You, witch: in your bones, you know that what he says is true.

When I first came into the Craft, nigh on (gods help us) 50 years ago now, I knew it in my bones too. “Teach me the stories and songs,” I said to them. But they couldn't. We didn't have any.

In those days, the Old Ways were young.

Now, half a century later (thank Goddess) that's no longer the case. Now, after a lifetime of gathering, if you come to me with a question, there's a story or song for, if not quite every occasion, at least (given a little wiggle room/lateral thinking) for most: just as ever we've done since the dawning of days.

Once, we were impoverished. Now, my friends, we are wealthy: rich in story and song.

An archivist from the Minnesota Historical Society who's currently working with the Local Pagan History Project—we have a lot of pagan history here in Paganistan—asked me why, five years ago, I started this blog.

As the ancestors would have done, I answered her question with a story: the story that I've just told you here.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Important tools used in magic rituals, cauldrons are typically iron kettles. You can make a symbolic cauldron, however, out of any concave or bowl-like object, such as a large stone or crystal geode.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 Note on Style

Intentional misgendering is a form of rudeness, expresses disdain, and—as here—is often intended to offend the misgendered individual.


This is Miss Josh Hawley (R, MO), cheering on the mob who later stormed the US Capitol.


Sen. Josh Hawley becomes a pariah on Capitol Hill


This is Miss Josh Hawley, later that day, running from the same mob.


Josh Hawley is a bitch.” And other poetic mockeries of a cowardly senator.  ‹ Literary Hub


(You can see the video here.)

I hear that Miss Josh wants to be president some day.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

In July I picked almonds, early in the morning, up a ladder with a basket in my front yard. The almond tree is a nonpareil which is supposed to be an ornamental or pollinator, not a nut bearing tree. We, my mom and I, had planted the nonpareil tree along with another variety of almond tree that was supposed to be the nut bearing tree, but the other tree had died, and one day mom had come home with a "white pomegranate" for me to plant where the other almond tree had been so we only had the nonpareil. It made beautiful flowers every spring, but mom wanted nuts. One year mom told the tree she wanted nuts and it bore nuts. It has borne nuts every year since.

I rarely do any spells anymore, but there is one I do almost every day in the summer. When I get in the pool I splash the water and say "No f*ing wasps! No thing that stings belongs in my pool!" So far so good, knock on wood.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Swords and Knives

To make your own swords and knives, or athames (pronounced a-THAW-mays), you can affix crystals of your choice onto metalwork you purchase at a New Age store or from a sword specialist. Or, if you purchase an athame that already has crystals, you can change your sword so it is imbued with your energy. The idea of the sword is that you wield it within the spirit world to keep bad energy and negativity at bay. With your sword in your hand, you are the master or mistress of your domain; you rule your circle of magic. The bolline is usually a white-handled knife that is used for making other tools; it can be used only within the magical circle, the boundary you form by marking the four corners and the four directions through speaking ritual.

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