Paganism 101

Exploring the Sabbats

Exploring the Sabbats
by  Elizabeth Barrette

One thing that nature religions share is an interest in seasonal cycles. The details vary widely according to time period and geographic region, but the general idea of honoring certain holidays holds true. So whether your tradition is Gaian, Pagan, Goddess Worship, or some other Earth-centered belief system, you’re in the right place. The sabbats are the eight high holy days. Four of them – Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Fall Equinox, and Winter Solstice – mark path of the Earth around the Sun, so we call these the "Quarter Days." Their exact times change from year to year, so check an ephemeris. The other four – Imbolc, Beltane, Lammas, and Samhain – form a sort of cross between the rest, so we call them the "Cross-Quarter Days." Together, these eight holidays make up the Wheel of the Year. Now let’s take a look at each of the sabbats in turn.

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FAQ About Paganism

FAQ About Paganism
Frequently Asked Questions
by Elizabeth Barrette

Q: What is a Pagan? What is Paganism?

A: A Pagan is a person who feels a strong connection to nature, who holds the Earth and its creatures sacred, and who seeks a personal connection with the Divine. Pagan religions come from all around the globe, from ancient history and contemporary times as well. Paganism encompasses the reverence of nature, the worship of the Divine in many guises but especially as an embodiment of natural forces, the observance of seasonal cycles, and a perennial quest for personal growth. Most Pagan religions are polytheistic, celebratory faiths. Like any religion, Paganism is much too complex to describe fully in just a few words.

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Workplace Wicca 101

Workplace Wicca 101
Be Pagan on the job without getting fired.
by Tina Anderson 

Ok. So you’ve found your religion — you’re a Witch. You’ve studied, learned and absorbed your path; some of you reading this have even been initiated into a coven. Witchcraft has become more than just something you do — it’s a part of you, it’s who you are. Like the poem, you are a Witch at every hour. Stop! What was that? At every hour? Well, maybe every one but those from 9-5 . . .

It doesn’t have to be that way. Integrating your religion into your workspace doesn’t have to be hard, nor do you have to “come out of the broom closet” in order to do so. What you can do will be limited by how “out” you are, but you can almost always do something comfortably at any level of openness.

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Is Dark Magick Necessary?

Good Witch - Bad Witch graphic
artwork by Holly Golightly for newWitch

Dear
Good Witch/Bad Witch,

Blessed Be.

I have a question about balance. All of the universe, realms, Gods, Goddesses, even the human body have to be in balance. Light/Darkness Day/Night Yin/Yang Good/Evil Chaos/Order Good Witch/Bad Witch. This balance is necessary, for without it reality would collapse. (Ok here’s the question.) Is “Dark Magick” necessary? I realize that the laws of Karma apply and I’m not saying I go around cursing people but... In order to keep the balance do you think that it’s necessary for curses and hexes to exist?

Riku in Rochester

 

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Wolf Spirit from New Brunswick

Good Witch - Bad Witch graphic
artwork by Holly Golightly for newWitch

Dear
Good Witch/Bad Witch,

I am a seventeen-year old Witch and I have a “friend” who is also a Witch. But she takes being a Witch to a level that has me and my other Pagan friends cringing.

She has buttons and bumper stickers in her room that denigrate other religions. One that really bugged me was “How DARE you presume that I’m a Christian.” As Witches we aren’t supposed to put down other religions and mock them. But that’s her attitude. She boasts left and right about how much she knows and how she is an incredible Witch. She says she knows all about the Craft and abides every rule, but that’s not what she does. I don’t want to put her off and say “You’re a bad Witch and you have to stop.” I’d never do a thing like that. But there is something terribly wrong with this picture.

I’m worried that she is going to get into serious trouble with all this Karma around her. As I write this my stomach is tying into knots. I have no idea what to do. Please, can you maybe shed some light on this situation that can possibly help her?

— Wolf Spirit from New Brunswick

 

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Can I Be Christian and Pagan

Good Witch - Bad Witch Title

Good Witch - Bad Witch graphic
©2012 Holly Golightly

 

 

 


Hi Good Witch and Bad Witch!

Before I give you my question, I just want to say that I am indeed a Christian. I believe in God, Jesus, and the Bible, but I honestly don’t believe that paganism is something to fear. If anything, it’s something to honor and respect. Christianity and many of the major religions today are descended from the principles of Paganism.

Do you believe I can be a Christian and a Pagan? I read about them online, but I want to know what you think. Can I have my heart set with Jesus, yet worship the earth mother?

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

— Amy

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