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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in goddess of the witches

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Surely thine hour has come, thy great wind blows,

Far-off, most secret, and inviolate Rose.

(William Butler Yeats, "The Secret Rose")


In order to understand what I'm about to tell you, you need to know that the Witches' Goddess is known among witches, somewhat cryptically, as “the Rose.”

(If you can't see why that would be, then what kind of a witch are you?)

Hence the phrase sub rosa, “under the rose,” meaning confidentially.

When someone tells you something “under the rose,” it's not to be shared with outsiders. When told this, by listening, you thereby accede, as if you had sworn an oath.

The Craft is hedged about with roses. (I mean here, of course, the original rose, the rose of five petals.) The pentagram, of course, is known as the “witch's rose.”

Some things are of the Rose, not meant for others' ears. You may be told “This is under the Rose.” In season, a rose in bloom may be held up silently, and laid upon the table. A rose may be drawn with the finger in the air, or over the lips. All these forms are binding.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Swipe Left for Love: Pendulum Spell

We all know many people find romance on dating websites and apps. Use your witchy tools of a pendulumand a whispered spell for swift and accurate swiping! If you don’t already have a pendulum they are easily gotten at any metaphysical shop or mind, body spirit bookstore. You can also make your own with a footling strip of string or leather cord with a small rose quartz with a pointy end. Knot the quartz onto your cord and test it to show you which is “yes” and which is “no.” That is easily done by putting your elbow on a table and holding the pendant in your raised hand, Still the pendant and hold it over the photo on the app for people of interest to you. and then ask it to indicate yes and no. When you feel sure, swipe away!  When you have found a person of interest, craft your note and speak this spell.

God of  love, fly my  letter hence at the speed of light.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Blessed Be the Moon

What follows is a witches' back-and-forth song to be sung at New Moon, Full Moon, or whenever. Everyone sings the first, second, and fourth lines, while a single voice improvises a new third line each time through. I've given thirteen examples here, but obviously the possibilities are endless.

The tunes, of course, are many. (Witches!) Feel free to come up with your own.


Blessed Be the Moon


Blessed be the Moon

blessed be She

Lady of Heaven

so mote it be


Blessed be the Moon

blessed be She

Queen of the Stars

so mote it be


...Mother of Witches...


...Flier by Night...






...Lamp of the Poor...


...Silver Maiden...


...Sun of the Night...


...Lady of the Lake...

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Goddess Abides

I stand on the stage in the Roman theater of the ancient city of Ephesus, thinking of how different history might have been.

Here, if the anonymous story in Acts 19 is to be believed, the enraged citizenry of Ephesus nearly lynched Saul of Tarsus, known later to the church as “saint” Paul. Angered by his blasphemies against their patron goddess Artemis—known to the Romans as Diana—for two solid hours they chanted “Great is Diana of the Ephesians!”

Alas, Saul's life was saved by a conscientious city magistrate who talked down the crowd by reminding them that extrajudicial killings are morally wrong.

Such conscientiousness in a public official is surely to be praised. Still, one can only wonder.

According to Acts, the crowd's anger was fomented by a souvenir manufacturer worried about potential loss of trade. One need only think about this to see how unlikely such a scenario really is. Why do non-pagans find it so difficult to believe that pagans, too, might actually love our gods?

Walking the streets of the city earlier that day, I had been struck by the frequency with which one found little bas-reliefs of the Ephesian Goddess, with her distinctive polymastate (many-breasted) shape, carved into the gateposts of doorways, watching maternally over the comings and goings of her people.

Me, I know a mezuza when I see one. You can't tell me that the ancients didn't touch these little goddesses and then kiss their hands, coming and going. In fact, I did so myself.

Thanks to this episode, historical or not, Artemis/Diana is the only goddess to have been mentioned by name in the New Testament. If Craft historian Ron Hutton is correct, for this reason through the Christian centuries She became the paradigmatic example of the pagan goddess—think of all those medieval accounts of wicked women flying by night with the goddess Diana, dea paganorum—and thus, eventually, the patronal Lady of Revival Witchery, She Who Shines by Night.

If that's so, then I'm standing in the place where the New Paganisms were seeded, nearly 2000 years ago.

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You're a Witch: Do You Know Where Your Goddess Is?

Quick: where's the Moon, right now?

Can you point?

I, of course, have no idea when or where you may be reading this. For all I know, the Moon may be on the other side of the planet from where you are right now.

But if you're a witch, shouldn't you know where the Moon is? Ideally, at all times?

And if (like me) you don't quite qualify for über-witch status yet, you can still figure it out.

First question: what phase of the Moon are we in? (If you don't know that, shame on you: hand in that pentagram, stat. Now bin—or, better, recycle—those Wicca 101 books, and go take a walk in the woods.)

Second question: what time of day is it? (If you don't know that, you really need to get out more.)

OK, here's the doggerel mnemonic, courtesy of The Witches' Almanac:

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Is There a Witch Culture?

Do contemporary witches have a culture of our own?

I would contend that we do.

Culture: the totality of transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and other products of human work and thought characteristic of a community or population.

I would contend that as witches, we're a people, or at least a people-in-the-making. (Look at the past: these things happen all the time.) As such, we have our own culture, whether or not we're fully aware of it yet.

True, our historic culture has not come down to us intact. That's why it's so important to be willing to learn from other people's wisdom. That's why it's so important, when we're borrowing, not simply to take from someone and somewhere else and plunk it down whole and all in our midst. That's why, when we borrow a story, a trope, or a way of doing from someone else, we need first to translate it into Witch.

That's why it's not enough to say (for instance): Yemayá.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I remember well that frisson, Anthony. Mine came while reading L. M. Boston's Enemy at Green Knowe, from her series of teen novels
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I remember when I first read "The Horned Crown" by Andre Norton. The author used stuff I was reading in the witchcraft books from
A Samhain Spell: Embracing Your Inner Witch

If you are like me around this time of year, chances are good that you find many ways to prolong and celebrate the festivities of Halloween, throughout the month of October. Besides the obvious large crowd/party idea to as an excuse to create and wear a costume, I do always like to do some sort of solitary, introspective ritual, as well. Since the time is ripe for divination, breaking out your favorite tarot deck is always a helpful self-check-in.

Brew a nice homey pomegranate tea, substituting hot apple cider for hot water. Get your tarot deck ready and sip some of the tea, relaxing into the right frame of mind for your ritual. Light some dragon's blood incense, a pumpkin-spiced candle, and cast a circle. I always like to clear my tarot deck of past influences by opening the box and smudging the cards with the incense smoke before I begin. Meditate on where you are in your life presently and shuffle the cards well. I find that the celtic cross spread gives the most thorough overview of what is going on behind the scenes, since it covers both what is coming to pass and what is around the corner, if one continues on the current path taken. If the reading isn't entirely clear the first time around, re-shuffle and give it one to two more tries. Look for patterns. Even with a sound re-shuffling, I often find myself repeatedly drawing the same cards, because they obviously have something to tell me. The third time is usually the charm for complete insight into what you wish to  know.

Meditate on your reading and record it in  your book of shadows with the date, if you like. This can be a helpful guide when planning your next Samhain. Give thanks to the Goddesses and Gods of this most magical of nights and revel in that fact a bit. Ground and close the circle, finishing with a light snack and some more tea. Ponder how wonderful it is to be a Witch, Wiccan, or Pagan on October 31st. There is nothing quite like it, is there?

     1/3 cup melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
     1/2 cup maple syrup or honey
     2 eggs, at room temperature
     1 cup pumpkin purée
     1/4 cup milk of choice
     1 teaspoon of baking soda
     1 teaspoon vanilla extract
     1/2 teaspoon salt
     1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling on top
     1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
     1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
     1/4 teaspoon allspice or ground cloves
     1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour or regular whole wheat flour
     1/3 cup old-fashioned oats, plus more for sprinkling on top
     Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. If necessary, grease ten cups of your muffin tin with butter or non-stick cooking spray.
     In a large bowl, beat the oil and maple syrup or honey together with a whisk. Add eggs, and beat  well. Mix in the pumpkin purée and milk, followed by the baking soda, vanilla extract, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice or cloves.
     Add the flour and oats to the bowl and mix with a large spoon, just until combined. If you'd like to add any additional mix-ins, like nuts, chocolate or dried fruit, fold them in now.
     Divide the batter evenly between the ten muffin cups. For these muffins, it's OK to fill the cups a little higher than you normally would. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with a small amount of oats, followed by a sprinkle of cinnamon. Bake muffins for 23 to 26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
     Place the muffin tin on a cooling rack. These muffins are delicate until they cool down (you have been warned!), so it's best to wait until they have cooled down to remove them from the tin. You might need to run a butter knife along the outer edge of the muffins to loosen them from the pan. Enjoy as they are, or with a spread of butter.
     (Recipe from Cookie and Kate)


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