Pagan Culture - Magical Arts

Rediscovering the Runes

'Web of Wyrd' by Willow Arleana


Article by Henry Lauer
'Web of Wyrd' by Willow Arleana
A additional artwork by Sarah Lawless

Rediscovering the Runes

Runes are mysterious — literally so, for "mystery" is the root meaning of "rune." As a Heathen, runes form an important part of both my spiritual and magical life. The symbols and their complex interrelationships open doors into a deeper horizon than that which ordinary consciousness affords. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Norse myth of Odin's winning of the runes. The story goes that for nine nights he hung from the World Tree, delirious, starving, and wounded, until with a shriek he took up the runes and ended his ordeal. Odin embraced mystery, the fabric from which all reality is woven, and captured that infinitely inexpressible thing in just a handful of characters. This story reflects both the intensity of rune magic, and the richness that a broader grounding in history and mythology affords to our use of the runes.

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Magic and Mood

head_Treesong_wp19Many Witches and Pagans are enchanted by the beauty and power of magic. Those of us who are new to our Craft often get caught up in the promise of making our dreams manifest in the world. We may do spells to draw money or love into our lives, rituals to send protection and healing, or divination to understand a confusing situation.

But what happens when the change we're looking for is internal? What do we do when our mood and other psychological challenges are the main barrier to making our dreams a reality?

Dion Fortune defined magic as “the art of causing changes in consciousness at will.” This classic approach to magic is especially powerful when facing inner challenges such as anxiety, depression, grief, addiction, and mood disorders.

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Cultivating a Magical Mindset

head_Tess-WhitehurstMake yourself ready for magic.

What fuels our magical workings? Our intentions. And how do we project our intentions into the ether? Through our thoughts, feelings, and visualizations. To help us with this, we may use any number of things: incense, candles, herbs, words of power, crystals, and so forth. The more we practice, the more we tap into our ability to create and transform reality. As magical practitioners, we learn to concentrate and direct the power of our thoughts and emotions in much the same way a mirror can concentrate and direct sunlight to start a fire.

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The Art of the Craft

wp-23_columnists01-01Four Steps to Bringing Artistic Imagination to Your Magic

We magical folks are artists. Our greatest work is our life experience, and we paint it by dipping the brush of our intentions into the pigments of the Universe: starlight, song, a fresh sprig of rosemary, a lock of a loved one’s hair, an ecstatic dance, or a gentle wafting of fragrant smoke.

My mother, a visual artist, taught me that in order to truly see a cloud, one must recognize that it contains all the colors of the rainbow, not simply white or grey. They may be mixed in so much that you can’t necessarily discern one from the other, but they’re all there. Though I never achieved any sort of expertise at painting or drawing, this revelation taught me so much. Not just about how to look at clouds, but about how to look at everything: deeply, and with an awareness that there are almost always veiled and intricate dimensions to any given facade.

Read more: The Art of the Craft

Konxari Cards

Konxari Cards:
A Supplement for Your Ghost-Hunting, Séance, or Spirit Communications Experience

Paul Michael Kane, IRM Foundation, 2009
3/5 Broomsticks

The Konxari (pronounced kon-zar-ee) Cards set is a new spirit-focused divination deck. An updated version of the popular ouija board, these cards use evocative photographs, words, and symbols to give you many ways to connect with spirits. The publishers of the deck claim that Konxari has roots in ancient Egypt — roots the system shares with the more familiar Tarot cards. Erroneous information aside (at least as far as the Tarot goes), the set sparked my interest. Curiosity got the best of me, and I had to check it out.

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Cheesy, Bloody Bacchanals

Tarot of the Vampyres


I am so damn sick of vampires.

Still, there’s much we can learn from these overplayed monsters. “Monster,” after all, translates in its Latin root to “portent, warning, revelation,” and it’s appropriate, therefore, to use the vampire archetype as a focus for Tarot-based divination. It’s rather cheesy, though… and The Tarot of the Vampyres is both enjoyably cheesy and surprisingly appropriate.

To be honest, I opened my review deck expecting to hate it. I didn’t open it, exactly — I unwrapped the plastic and the flimsy box fell apart in my hands.  

Dear Llewellyn: If you’re going to charge people 30 bucks for a set of Tarot cards, please get your game up regarding your production quality. The shoddy packaging was inexcusable. Okay, so what about the set itself?

Read more: Cheesy, Bloody Bacchanals

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