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Reflecting On Your Ancestors

Across cultures and time, the Halloween season has been associated with remembering, honoring, and reflecting on our loved ones and ancestors that have passed on. Samhain is a time for remembering the dead for Wiccans as well. It is our New Year, our last harvest festival, a time when the lines between realms are weak and open. It is a time for celebration, for looking forward to the new year, but it is also a time for reflection. Death is part of the wheel of the year, part of the balance of nature, and Samhain is a time to honor its place in the circle of life.We honor the dead at Samhain because it is the time of death in the wheel of the year. Summer is ending and winter is beginning. Winter is the time the earth is seen as dead. Life and nature are dormant, waiting for new life to be born in Spring. We honor death at this time because we need to respect its place in the wheel of the year. Without death, there is no life. Death is inevitable and transformational. It is not to be feared because it comes for us all. It is due respect and honor, so Samhain is a time to respect and honor death itself.

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Are Pagan Holidays More Than A Seasonal Clock?

When people who aren’t of a magickal orientation ask me about Witchcraft, I usually tell them that the Craft is an Art, Science, and a Lifestyle. The magickal skeptics never dispute the art aspect or the lifestyle aspect. But they usually object loudly about the science aspect, claiming there is no science associated with witchcraft. I beg to differ. What follows is one of my discussions about how some of the mystical aspects of the Craft are confirmed by science; and where understanding the science actually benefits the Craft practitioner.

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Pomona – Goddess of Fruits And Orchards

As a Harvest Sabbat, Mabon is a time to honor the goddesses and gods that are the patrons of agriculture. Some bless agriculture as a whole, some are specific to the harvest, and others have particular focuses such as grain or wine grapes. Pomona, a goddess of the Roman pantheon, is the goddess of fruits and orchards. Unlike most deities of the Roman pantheon, Pomona has no Greek counterpart. She is often associated with Demeter, but while there are similarities, they are not the same. Pomona is not a harvest deity but one of cultivation. She oversees and blesses the growing of orchards, protecting them and helping them flourish. She and her husband Vertumnus had a join festival held around August 13th each year. 

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The Witches of Pendle Forest

Mention witch trials and most people think of Salem, Massachusetts, and Puritans. America wasn’t the only place witches were being hunted and executed, however. One of the most famous – and most deadly – witch trials happened in England in 1612. The Witches of Pendle Forest, as they have come to be called, were ten women and two men who were accused of witchcraft and tried. Also at the trials of 1612 were eight others, the Samlesbury Witches. The aspects of the trial were documented and published, allowing us to have insight into what occurred. The Wonderfull Discoverie of Witches in the Countie of Lancaster, by the clerk of the court Thomas Potts, provides detail that would otherwise be lost to legend and myth

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The Greek Goddess, Gaia 

Gaia, or Gaea, is the Greek Goddess of the Earth and was believed to have been a deity who governed the universe before the Titans were created. Over time, Gaia has been giving the title of “Mother Earth” due to her responsibility for creating all life on Earth, her inability to see people suffering and her natural nurturing personality. Even though she is a Greek Goddess, her power and influence are still highly respected amongst Witches and other Pagan religions. She is one of the most important Goddesses since, without her, none of the other Gods and Goddesses, much fewer humans, would have existed. Let’s go over who exactly Gaia is, her influences, and how she is worshiped on Modern Paganism.

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Freja, Goddess of Love and Death

Freyja—who may have also been known as Frigg depending on where one gets their information—is the most renowned of all the Norse goddesses. She is one of the few deities that has a foot in the two divine clans of Norse mythology, the Aesir, and the Vanir. Her mother is unknown, though believed by some to be Nethys, but her father is Njord. Her twin brother is Frey. Her husband is none other than Odin himself. She is sometimes seen as a devoted witch and wise Queen, and sometimes she is depicted as a wild woman who likes nothing but lovemaking and thrilling pleasure, especially once she was viewed through the lens of ancient historians, who were often religious, for whom the ideal woman was virginal and lacked in her own sensual interests.

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Thoth – Writing, Magick, Wisdom, And The Moon

One of the most important gods of the Egyptian pantheon, Thoth is the god of writing, magick, wisdom, and the moon. His origin as a god is told two ways. In the lesser told version, he was born of the seed of Horus from the forehead of Set. Horus, the god of Order, and Set, the goddess of Chaos, created a son of equal parts, making Thoth, the god of equilibrium and balance. The more common belief of his origin is that he was self-created. He appeared, an ibis, and laid the egg that hatched Ra which led to all of creation. Some believe he was created through the power of language.

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What the Salem Witch Trials Meant for Witches 

Every Witch, young and old, should know or at least recognize the Salem Witch Trials. The Salem Witch Trials were a dark moment in Witchcraft history that triggered a downward spiral of negative connotations towards Witches. Because of these Trials, Witches now have to suffer from a negative image and reputation, stereotyping, and downright rude remarks that we can do little about. The Salem Witch Trials are not something pleasant to think about, but if we educate ourselves in what these Trials were, we can use the knowledge to show people who Witches are.

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