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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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Deities of the Harvest

Wicca is a profoundly personal belief system that is customized by each practitioner. There isn’t a singular set of rules that dictates the law of belief to all Witches as there is in other religions. Though we look to existing traditions for guidance, each practitioner molds the craft to themselves and adds their own spin to each ritual, spell, and intention. Just as there is no one way to do rituals and spells, there is no set deity in Wicca. Every Witch makes the practice their own, and as such, different Wiccans worship and honor different goddesses and gods. Some Witches honor only the Triple Goddess, in her three forms as Maiden, Mother, and Crone.

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Lugh, the Sun God of Lughnasadh

Lugh is a famous Celtic God who is best known for being the Sun God of Lughnasadh, an important harvest celebration on the Wheel of the Year. But Lugh was not just a god of the sun as he has many skills that he was a master of simultaneously. He was also believed to have been a rather high spirited God who was a fierce warrior during wars and battles. You can consider Lugh a jack of all trades with how many skills that he has. It can be overwhelming trying to keep up with everything Lugh can do. With Lughnasadh right on our doorstep, there is no better time to learn about Lugh, his influential power, and what he means for the harvest to come

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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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Creating Your Coven’s Bylaws

You may think that bylaws are reserved just for not-for-profits and corporations, but covens can benefit from creating their own bylaws. A bylaw is a rule or law established by a group to regulate itself. It provides structure and a deeper understanding of how the group interacts not only with one another but with the community as a whole. Developing coven bylaws ensures that every witch currently in your coven or potential candidates understand how the group operates.

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