Paganism 101

Frantic Fianceé in Philadelphia

Good Witch - Bad Witch Title

Good Witch - Bad Witch graphic
©2012 Holly Golightly







Dear Ladies,

I have recently come out of the broom closet to my future wife. She was very supportive, but I think she might have a fit when I tell her I want to be married through my coven. How am I supposed to tell her?

— Frantic Fianceé in Philadelphia

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Wiccan Wife in Washington

Good Witch - Bad Witch Title

Good Witch - Bad Witch graphic
©2012 Holly Golightly





Dear Witches,

I have a mother-in-law who is a nice lady but very Catholic and “old school” while my husband is a “recovering Catholic” and wants to observe Wiccan holidays with me. When he told her that I was a Wiccan, she said,” Oh well, you’re going to have to fix that.” Should I sit her down and talk to her about it or wait until she starts asking me about it? I’m dreading the next time it comes up.

— Wiccan Wife in Washington

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Coming Out Pagan

©2002 Samantha Collins

Coming Out Pagan
by Wendy L. Hawksley 

One of the most daunting personal issues facing modern Pagans is whether or not to “come out of the broom closet” — that is to say, whether or not to let people know that you are Pagan.

There are many factors to consider in this decision — the nature of your family, friends and co-workers; whether or not your community is Pagan-friendly; and your own level of comfort. If you feel at all frightened, endangered, or “not right,” then my advice is to stay in the closet. However, there are factors that make this more complex than a simple “in or out” decision. Here are a few simple signposts for along the way.

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Glossary of Pagan Terms

Glossary of Pagan Terms
compiled by Elizabeth Barrette

Alternative Lifestyle: A mode of living which differs significantly from the "mainstream" society’s prescribed beliefs, affiliations, values, or practices. People who live an alternative lifestyle often gather with others who share their preferences; they may or may not retain close contact with the larger society. Many religions, including Paganism, fall into this category.

Blessed Be: A common phrase, used among Pagans as a greeting, a letter closing, or a statement of agreement. "Bright Blessings" appears in similar context. Although both phrases come from Wicca/Witchcraft they have spread into general use.

Coven: The most common name for a group of Wiccans/Witches who meet regularly for ritual and social purposes. Other Pagan traditions may call their groups by different names. "Coven" and "circle" are both very popular among Eclectic Pagans. Druids usually say "grove" or "henge" instead. Asatru sometimes use "grange" or "stead."

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An Occultist with Little Magical Experience

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

Dear GW/BW,

As an occultist with very little magical experience, I’m not sure I should even fancy an attempt at what I wish to try. I would like to infuse different types of magick (mostly with mixed practices as well) and create my own Craft. What I would like to accomplish most by doing this is helping the families who have recently lost loved ones find peace and comfort knowing those lost have done the same. (I would, of course, not charge them for my services as happiness is better spent than money.) The things I would like to use are: necromancy, Wicca, elemental, Faerie, blood, herbs, stones and anything else possible.

In your opinion, would this be possible without harming those on the Planes and tearing the veil to where it couldn’t be fixed, basically bringing doom to us all?

Blessed be!

Keegan in Kentucky (incarcerated)


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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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