I was given a Halloween Witch a year ago, I want to give it up, but I can’t seem to let go of it or throw it away. Is there a way to “detach” her energy from me so I can let her part?

“I was given a Halloween Witch over a year ago. I kept her. But now I need the space in my home. It may be time for me to respectfully give her up. She is falling apart too. But every time I think of throwing her away, I can’t. It feels very cold and unfeeling, and I guess I have grown enough of an attachment to her, that keeps me from “throwing” her away. I really have no room in my apt, but the strangeness of the attachment is what has me confused, and won’t allow me to “throw her away” unless I can feel “right” about the way I return her to the energy of the world so to speak. wondering if any one has a suggestion? Thank you”

Items sometimes collect enough energy to develop a personality of their own. You have several options for your Halloween Witch, depending on what feels right to you.

First, you can consider regifting. If her energies are still present and definitive to you, perhaps a new home with another pagan would be a good option. Fix her up, write out her story, and pass her onto another home with another willing Pagan. If you don’t know any local pagans, you could look online for a willing taker. A listing in most forums would find you someone more than happy to help pass on a piece of magical history, however young or old that may be.

Secondly, you can consider a parting ritual. If she is beyond repair, you may want to hold a ritual in which you formally and officially say your goodbyes. You could include a release of all energies contained within her physical form, allowing her to return to the world, as you said. Depending on her construction, you may even find the desire or “push” to create something out of her parts.

A third option would be to ask her. I say this as a third option based on having no knowledge of your personal path or practices. As an animist, I believe that everything has a spirit of some form or another. That said, I would take a journey to the spirit world and see if the spirit within the Halloween Witch was ready to leave. If not, I would ask what she would like done. Does she want to be repair? Passed on? Taken apart or burned? Again, this method may not work for everyone. If you’re not an animist or don’t believe in the spirits of inanimate objects, then trying to contact one would be similar to an atheist praying to God; you may get an answer, but your disbelief will most likely block any potential response.

 

Larissa Lee
Guest Writer

I really want to celebrate samhain this year, but I’m not sure how. Could you give some advice please?

“On the inside, spiritually, I’ve felt that I was wiccan since I was a little girl, but I never really knew what wiccan was until a few years ago. I’d spare you the details because you’d probably be bored to tears. Haha. Anyways, I really want to celebrate samhain this year, but I’m not sure how. Could you give some advice please? :)”

Blessings,

Samhain is my favorite Pagan holiday! Samhain and Yule are the two Sabbats that I go all-out for! The decorations, tools, food and offerings, crafts, and my rituals are usually quite extensive. One of my all-time favorite Sabbats books is Sabbats by Edain McCoy. It includes history, customs, food recipes, crafts, and rituals for both solitary and groups for every sabbat. It’s an absolutely MUST HAVE book for every Witch’s library.

Anyway. There are so many ways to openly or discreetly celebrate Samhain. Samhain (Halloween) is already a Pagan holiday and everyone knows it; pagans and non-pagans. Dressing up in costumes, offerings of food (in this case, candy), carving pumpkins, and lighting bonfires (balefires in paganism) are all Pagan traditions.

The wearing of masks, making a witch’s besom, having a feast, divination, astral projection, past-life recall, and spirit contact are also other ways and things to do on Samhain.

I usually begin my Samhain ritual a little after dinner because I share my dessert, the offering, of pumpkin pie for my spirit contact ritual. My Samhain ritual is probably the most elaborate ritual of all rituals I conduct. The circle and altar is fully decorated with candles, masks for the God and Goddess, pictures of loved ones whom have passed, mini-pumpkins, offerings, and everything else needed for a full-fledged ritual. After my main Samhain ritual, I conduct my “raise the dead” ritual. Obviously not literally raising the dead, but I call upon the spirit of a loved one, usually my grandmother, with the help and an offering to Osiris. I then commune with the spirit for as long as I can keep the energy and connection up – I’m usually drained no more than ten minutes in, but it’s still nice to be able to feel my grandmother’s presence.

My circle and altar is usually set up right after sunset the day before Samhain and stays up until the day after. It is also a night where I do a major protection ritual. Usually after my main rituals because you never know what else snuck in through the cracks between the world’s during my rituals.

There are so many ways and things you can do to celebrate Samhain. If you plan on doing a ritual, it definitely doesn’t have to be elaborate or long, but simple and short. Mine are elaborate because spirits are my “specialty” and I know how to control and banish them without risking nosebleeds, because those suck. Your ritual doesn’t even have to be a full-ritual with the typical, basic circle casting procedures. If you want, you can just light a couple of candles and say a few words.

To “trick or treat” the dead and all the spirits wandering around on Samhain, cut some apples vertically – it reveals a star in the center, and leave them out next to lit candles or a lit jack-o’-lantern, and then burry the apples the next day. You can leave out whatever offerings you wish or none at all. Visiting loved ones at cemeteries and lighting a candle and leaving an offering at their grave is another way to celebrate.

The possibilites, ways, and things to do are much! Find and do something you feel comfortable with and are opt to do. There’s no right or wrong way to celebrate Samhain. Nothing is better than something else. It’s all up to you! Happy Samhain!

 

Blessed Be
Sage

I’ve been having visions of a previous life of sister witches gathered in a circle protecting something. I feel as if it’s being shown to be now for a reason or because I need to do something. Any insight?

“here is my situation i have been having very clear flashes from a previous life time when i was a very very powerful witch, i will explain the most recent one:

I see myself and two others in a circle but we are facing outwards, i know that whatever is in the center of the circle we are protecting with our lives, i cannot see what we are battling but I am standing first and foremost in the circle, im the front line i guess, I feel i am the most powerful one, behind me is my soul mate knelt down, and the only thing that comes to my head is that he is keeping me grounded, to my right is my sister she is being protected by her knight who is standing in front of her ready for battle, behind me in the third position is someone else very fuzzy i cannot tell who she is, although i know it is my sister that was not born to my family in this lifetime, whatever is in the center is of great importance, i feel we are protecting a goddess and her secrets.

for some reason i feel this is being shown to me because i need to know it now and it cant wait any longer for me to know, like there is something gonna happen and i need to gather the three of us again, and awaken our majick, does this make any sense to you, if so have you got any insight on it??

blessed be, shannan (or as i know i was called in a past life Pheonix)”

Blessed Shannan,

It is very difficult to say that this is a past life.  Usually in past life dreams, there is significant detail about the time and place it may have occurred and they are usually very sequential and logical.  There are many things that are needed to be known in order to properly interpret the meaning of this dream.  A lot of times, the feelings you get while dreaming are exactly what it means.  Usually “kneeling” of someone other than yourself in a dream means a form of deceit or you will be cheated somehow.  However, that being said, sometimes seeing a man kneeling behind you, could be showing his submission.  I find that the man who is in front of your sister, is protecting her, why would the man behind you not be doing the same.  In dreams you have to meditate on them to find out who is who, and what their presence is in your current life.  Is there something in your life you are fighting for?  liberation, children, school, work, promotion, money? Or are there secrets you are protecting for the “greater good”.  All of these things you have to look deep within yourself and your current situations.  A circle is never ending, and I feel that somewhere this situation you are experiencing is a cycle.  There are three women mentioned in your dream as well, this could be representation of the triple goddess, are there three men also?  You only mentioned 2 men however, I have a feeling there is a third for the third woman, all of whom represent the consorts of the triple goddess.  The battle you are feeling, is it personal? You have to ask yourself if it is about your, your issues, and what are they.  the fact that you have people who are willing to stand with you and fight, is a good sign.  You must meditate and find what it is you are resisting, burying, or fighting for.  Remember, pay attention to color and surroundings when you are in your dreams, ask questions of those around you in your dreams, get more information.  If you remember more, please let me know.

 

Bright Blessings,

Selu Haruspex, Guest Writer

I have lost my tarot cards to someone and I know I am unable to get them back. I want to buy a new deck, but it kills me to do so – but I can’t seem to connect with any type of deck. Is it wrong to want the same deck?

“I recently had a huge falling out with a friend and in the process of this falling out, my precious tarot cards came to be in his possession and I am unable to get them back. It is killing me on the inside not having them near me. However, I know that their return is not possible and I don’t even know if they are even in his possession anymore. So I was gonna buy a new deck (it really kills me to do this) but I can’t connect with any deck other than that type. Is it wrong to want the same deck?”

It’s not wrong at all. Tarot cards are extremely personal and for you to get a good read and power from them, you have to be able to connect with them. Just like with clothes, jewelry, books, and ritual tools, they call out to you – they get your attention and your interest, and that’s what makes you want them. It’s the same thing with tarot decks – you have to be drawn to them if you want to secure that connection.

I’ve had three tarot decks since the beginning of my practice over a decade ago. My very first set were cards I created (well, they were the Waite designs, but not colored. I had to print them out and paint them myself). My second deck was an actual, real-life, full-sized deck. I’ve had that deck for almost six years. I never felt like it was my “soul deck,” but it spoke to me regardless. Then, without even wanting to have or find another deck, I was at an antique shop once when I was in Europe when I was in graduate school, and without even really “looking” at anything, I was drawn to this one table with a wooden box that was so old I felt like it would turn to dust if I touched it. I opened the box and inside were little tinctures, small gems and crystals, some fabrics, bottles and another small box. This box had some carvings of symbols on them and it was wrapped in red twine. I managed to open the box and inside were a deck of tarot cards.

The man at the desk asked me how I got the box to open, because apparently he’d never been able to do so. According to him, the box belonged to a gypsy elder woman in the early 1920’s. The cards were clearly old, somewhat fragile and discolored. But I bought them anyway and the boxes I found them in. I didn’t need them. I had cards. However, when something calls out to you like that, they’re clearly your destiny cards.

My point here, and sorry I had to include a whole story, is we may have cards that we connect with and feel comfortable using. I had a hard time adjusting with these gypsy cards, because I felt like it didn’t belong to me. But after consecrating them and calling upon the gypsy to ask her for permission to use them, I felt much better about them and I felt as if it let its doors completely open for me. Buying a completely new deck of cards might seem kind of impersonal, but you can always do what I did and venture off to antique stores or yard sales and you might come upon a deck that’s practically screaming your name. Or you can make your own cards. Either find a template for an existing type of cards, or create your own designs. Nothing that be more personal than that.

To me Tarot cards are probably the most personal form of divination there is. It’s one of the only divination tools you can use where you have to feel that connection and security in order to get the most accurate reading. Okay, so you lost your old cards. We lose personal things all the time, but what do we do when that happens? We get new personal items. Sure at first it may feel weird, itchy, tight and a little too much – but it’s our job to get it to feel good, smooth, content and working for us.

Blessed Be
Sage

I’ve had a dream that I first dreamt when I was 13 – I remember all the details, the vivid colors, and everything that’s happening. But what does it all mean?

“I was wondering if you could help me out with this dream that keeps recurring. I first had this dream when I was 13 then again on my birthday which was a few days ago and I had turned 23. The dream consists of me being on this grassy hill barefoot where there is only one tree,a magnificent oak tree. I am wearing a long white dress while I dance around the tree in circles. I am singing to the tree and starry night sky. Also, I noticed that in my dream, my lips moving but no sound comes out. It always ends with me still dancing/singing while looking up at the tree and sky. The colors that stand out the most in the dream to me are so vivid like the midnight blue for the sky, the white for the dress and stars and the green for the grass. I have search for the meaning behind the tree and even the colors but I have come up with nothing that has help me to figure out the meaning of this dream.  Anything that you can help me with would be greatly appreciated.

Blessed be! -Zen”

Dear Zen,

Dreams have many meanings. Sometimes they’re significant where they might be a vision of some sorts, a sign, an answer, or a warning. But sometimes they can just be a normal, everyday dream. Reoccurring dreams, however, are not so everyday. Well, reoccurring dreams that happen a few times in a row every night, might just be your subconscious trying to figure out a problem or dilema you’re having, but a dream you know you’ve had years ago might mean something else.

It’s hard to try and define specific things and details in dreams. Because everything in dreams means something different to every dreamer. Especially details. And since we don’t normally dream in color, colored dreams, or at least remembering specific colors, doesn’t necessarily mean something on its own, but it does probably mean something beyond just being another dream. I’ll try to break it down to each detail of your dream.

Perhaps this dream is a sign. A sign telling you ‘you’ve found what you’re looking for,’ ‘good things are on their way,’ ‘be positive,’ among other positive, good-type of signs. Why good? Because of the white and the singing. White is a powerful, strong color. A color of positivity, protection, courage and wisdom. Seeing and knowing the white can at least help you know what the color represents. Was there a significant or major event or change the last time you dreamt this dream? Because dreams help us understand things, give us answers, signs and sometimes warnings, dreaming the same dream again can be the universe’s way of letting you know something is going to happen – specifically the situation that happened the first time after the first dream.

Singing, or in this case, not really singing but knowing your singing can mean a couple of things. The silence of it could represent a secret, loss, sadness, hurt, or that something is wrong. It may mean that someone, or you, may be hurting because of a secret or that someone, or you, is feeling the pain of compressing many secrets and feelings. Silence can also represent sickness.

Oak tress represent authority, someone in charge, a parent, guardian, or someone with power. You dancing around it means you respect this idol and are free and comfortable with them.

The night sky is probably the most obvious one – this event or situation will happen or occur outside at night.

I could be way off, or I could be pretty close and accurate. Like I said, different details mean different things for every dreamer. Everything we dream about, every detail, object, color, place, time – it’s nothing we’ve never seen before. We can’t create things we’ve never seen, heard, felt, tasted or heard in our dreams. So everything we dream about is a representation of something we already know, whether it be a problem, dispute, a fantasy, a goal, or anything else. It’s our job to figure out what really means what for us and why these specific things.

 

Blessed Be
Sage

Can you recommend any guides to the usage/meaning of different herbs, scents, colors, crystals, and other things like that?

“Can you recommend any guides to the usage/meaning of different herbs, scents, colors, crystals, and other things like that?”

That’s a very, very large list to provide. However, I recommend Scott Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, and Encyclopedia of Crystal, Gem and Metal Magic. They are great references and a big help to trying to find the right things for specific doings.

Here is a simple colors reference list:

White: protection, peace, purity, truth
Green: healing, money, prosperity, luck, fertility
Brown: physical objects, healing for animals, houses and homes
Pink: emotional love, friendships
Red: sexual love, passion, energy, enthusiasm, courage
Yellow: clairvoyance, divination, studying, learning, the mind
Purple: power, healing deadly diseases
Blue: healing, meditation, tranquility
Orange: strength, authority, attraction, luck
Black: absorption of negativity, destruction of negativity

Blessed Be,
Sage

I had a dream about a turtle. It was very clear, nice and soothing and I knew it was significant. I read that sometimes animals can appear to you and they’re there to give you a message. So I’m trying to figure out what the turtle in my dream was there for.

“Recently I’ve seriously started my journey on the Pagan Path. Always been interested but latterly I felt the need to learn more. So, I’ve been reading a lot and the other night I had this dream about a turtle. It was very clear , nice and soothing, and and when I woke up I knew it was significant. I looked up and read that it could be a good sign of something positive coming to your life and also that sometimes animals or “power animals” can appear to you and they are there to give you a message. Trying to figure out what the turtle in my dream was there for. Just wanted to know what you think about that, what is your take. Thank you for taking time to read me. Blessed be.”

You’ve probably encountered your spirit guide. Spirit guides often show up to us in dreams and often as animals. Turtles are strong representations of guides, they represent wisdom, patience, knowledge, power, long life, and sharp instincts. If the turtle does represent your spirit guide, then lucky you! It’s usually you who has to go and search for them, and not usually them showing up to you, unless you call for them and they show in dreams or during meditation.

The turtle was probably just letting you know, “Hey, I’m here!” Unless it said something or showed you something during the dream then it would of just been a messenger, otherwise, it’s probably going to be there for you – to watch you, guide you, and help you. In many Chinese and Shaman traditions the turtle represents many of the qualities I’ve mentioned and to dream about them or have a vision of turtles is a positive and good omen and sign, and it means the opposite if you see it upside down on its back.

If the turtle hasn’t showed up in your dreams again lately, what you could do is put yourself in a deep meditation and take yourself to your special place. Relax and concentrate. Call out to your spirit guide, or the turtle if you know he’s not your spirit guide. Reach out to the turtle, touch it, feel it. Ask it why it appeared to you and engage with the turtle. When you’ve gotten your answers bid the turtle farewell and come out of meditation and reflect on what’s happened and what you’ve just gone through, seen, and heard. The turtle might not come to you on the first try, but eventually it will.

 

Blessed Be
Sage

I have stopped believing in the Christian God and now pray to the Goddess Selene. I felt something, an energy and a warm embrace when I prayed to her for the first time, but it was soon gone. Something is holding me back – some skepticism about believing in Selene when I was so disappointed by the last God I believed in. Advice?

“Up until a few years ago I believed in the Christian God. When I finally came out to myself is when I decided to really look at my life and my beliefs and I realized how wrong the Christian lifestyle was for me. I couldn’t let myself believe in a God I knew didn’t accept me for me. Recently I’ve been struggling with no longer believing in something and have started looking into paganism. It’s always been something I’ve been interested in but because I was a Christian, I didn’t ever let that curiosity lead to knowledge. A couple of days ago I read somewhere that when choosing a patron god or goddess, one should look at one’s life and see what one has been drawn to through out it, then look into gods that represent that thing. After deciding what my focus would be, I remembered the goddess Selene, from Greek mythology. I then prayed to Selene for the first time in my life. There was a moment when I really truly believed I felt something, an energy, a warm embrace maybe. It was gone soon after but it was a strong moment.  I wanted to tell you that while I did feel an energy tonight, there is a part of me that’s holding back. I want to believe in Selene more than anything, but there’s something in the back of my mind that’s keeping me from believing. I think I’m skeptical. There’s also the fact that I was so disappointed by the last God I believed in. I’m wondering if there’s any advice you could give to help me strengthen my belief and also if there’s any book or website suggestions for beginning pagans. Thank you.”

That’s one hell of a long message, even after trying to shorten it!

Ask yourself this: What is religion? Why do I want to, or have to believe in something holy and divine?

So what is religion? Basically it’s a belief in a God, right? It’s about having faith in something, and that’s exactly what religion is – faith. We want to have faith is something, someone, to look over us, to watch us, protect us, and guide us. Without faith in something, there might be that void in our lives like something’s missing or out of place. Whenever something’s not going according to plan, or something’s taking longer than you expected, or if you’re waiting on a decision – people often say “just have faith.”

Having faith in a God doesn’t necessarily mean having to see, feel, or sense them. We don’t know the Christian God really exists. We have telescopes that can see the edge of the universe, yet we don’t see some old man with a beard sitting on clouds watching us. We don’t know if any God or Goddess really exists outside of our physical plane, or if there truly is a “higher power” or a great divine, or anything really! So when people say “God/dess has spoken to me,” they either have a strong faith and belief in their religion, or they’re just crazy!

You can’t make yourself or force on yourself a belief in something, because you have to choose if you believe in that faith or not. You won’t always sense Selene when praying to her. She won’t always respond to invites, prayers, etc. But that doesn’t mean she’s not listening. That strong sensation you got when you first prayed to her could just be her letting you know “I’m here for you,” “I’m listening.” And to expect it every time you pray to her and not feel it might scare some faith out of you, but even those small chills, that sudden moment of happiness, or just that feeling that you know something’s there – she’s there. Deities don’t always give you that official “hey, I’m here!” feeling, because they’re not there to show you proof or make you believe in them, it’s you that has to show them proof that you believe in them! And believing that they’re there is belief – regardless of having that strong sense of company or not.

There are times and moments when every practitioner of any religion has some doubt. It’s completely normal. Years ago when I applied to graduate school, I applied to three schools. My first choice and the one I REALLY wanted to get into was Georgetown. I prayed and prayed and prayed my witchy-butt off that I would get in. I didn’t. Did I lose faith in the God and Goddess? Did I feel like I was talking to a wall and that I was basically praying to something that really didn’t exist? Of course, I did. I was extremely depressed and almost lost hope in my faith. And in moments like that, there are one of several things I do to remind myself of why I have my faith – I read my Book of Shadows, all the spells, rituals, sabbats, and different crafts, potions, herbs, etc. that’s I’ve used and done and how it made me feel. I read one of my favorite books on the Craft. Or I meditate and see the beautiful energy that’s within me and surrounds me. Everything happens for a reason. The Universe doesn’t give you things you can’t handle. Everything is a learning lesson for something else that’s going to happen for you. Oh, and I got in my second and third choice graduate schools, and I have my Master’s and Ph.D degrees from the University of Denver.

Basically, don’t expect big obvious slaps in the face whenever you pray or call upon Selene. They won’t always answer in the most direct way. Just remember the little things and feelings – the candle flickering, temperature change, chills, happiness and content, etc. Don’t lose faith because they didn’t give you want you wanted. It’s not about the things that you want, but about the things that you need. You may want to go to Georgetown, but you may need to go to DU because it’ll open so many more doors and opportunities for you. As a beginner Pagan, I suggest to read a lot. Knowledge is power. Any books you can get your hands on and add to your collection, the better. So when it comes to that depression, little faith day, you can grab one of those books and read it to remind you how much faith you actually do have. Go outside and see the beauty and energy of nature. Feel the power and energy rise from Mother Earth as you sit down and relax. Pick flowers, herbs, stones, branches – all aspects and powers of your faith. It’s the little things.

 

Blessed Be,
Sage

I’ve been battling with extremely bad depression for the past year or so, and I’ve also just recently started to get into Wicca. I’m against medications and therapists – is there a spell that may help ease or even rid me of depression?

“I’ve been battling with extremely bad depression for the past year or so, and I’ve also just recently started to get into Wicca. I don’t really believe in taking anti-depressants or going to see a therapist, as they both seems unnatural and I would rather fix it using my own strength and mind. So, are there any spells or blessings that maybe would help lessen my depression or even help fix it outright?”

Unfortunately, depression isn’t a magickal problem, it’s mental one. Depression is a serious medical illness and without treatment, it can only become worse. Depression can turn into major depression, bipolarism, and even into psychotic depression. Magick can’t help fix it, unfortunately, but it can somewhat ease it with herbs, teas, and meditation. Herbal teas like St. John’s Wort, Ginseng, Kava Kava, and Ginkgo Biloba may help. Mixing St. John’s Wort and Ginkgo is a good remedy.

Trying to fix this yourself can only do so much. Depression has to do with the wiring and chemicals in your brain, you can’t just magickally fix that or expect it to go away because you will it to do so. Yes, the first and best step is to WANT to use your own power of your mind to rid it, but you can’t help your mind, if your mind is the problem to begin with.

Clearly, I’m no doctor or expert in the medical field, and I can only advice you with my own knowledge. And as unnatural as a therapist or medication may seem, to help yourself, you must let others help you. Once you’ve obtained help, from there you can start to help yourself with herbs and meditation. Once the medication has fully entered your system, with meditation you can “hypnotise” yourself to program your mind to wanting to get better and continue with the help your getting.

Seek medical help before magickal. You don’t want it to take over and keep you from the joys of life, the Earth and the Universe.

 

Blessed Be
Sage

As a pagan, I’ve been curious to know what the general belief is on negative energies, or “demons”. Since we don’t believe in a hell, what are “demons”?

“As a pagan, I’ve been curious to know what the general belief is on negative energies, or “demons”. Since we don’t believe in a hell, what are “demons”??”

Different Pagans have different beliefs. Paganism is not a one-set religion, or a religion at all – think of it as personal path/practice, a philosophy (like Buddhism). So it varies for different people and their own beliefs. Pagans certainly believe in the forces of negative energy, but not so much in demons as physical manifestations living underneath us in hell like most in most major religions.

Demons aren’t always real, physical creatures. Demons are also in spirit form. There are several books and many rituals on summoning demons, like The Key of Solomon – where he tells that he has summoned and controlled demonic spirits and entities. Of course, this should not be messed with or attempted. Regardless if you believe in demons or not, attempting any of the rituals of Solomon is probably one of the most dangerous things you can do – it can conjure things up that you might not be able to handle.

You can call them evil spirits, negative energy, demons, monsters, or anything else that comes to mind. It’s your own personal belief as to whether or not you want to include in exclude that belief in your practice.

 

Blessed Be
Sage