Category Archives: broomsticks

2nd Guest Post

Merry meet all,

Today we have another awesome guest post- this one tells us about the amazing number of Witches in North America!!

Number of Americans who practice witchcraft estimated to be as high as 1.5 MILLION

Witches now outnumber Presbyterians in America as number of Pagans soar to 1.5 MILLION – and millennials’ love of yoga and star signs is to blame
  • Pew Research Center survey finds there are 1.5 million Wicca or Pagans in U.S.
  • That means there are more Wicca or Pagans than there are Presbyterians
  • Wicca is a Pagan religion which emerged in Britain in the early 20th century 
  • Experts believe that the explosion in the witch population is due to millennial women’s embracing of new-age spirituality, mindfulness, meditation, and yoga 

By Ariel Zilber For Dailymail.com

Published: 01:07 EST, 19 November 2018 | Updated: 09:23 EST, 19 November 2018

The number of self identified witches in America has soared in recent years to 1.5 million.   

A survey by the Pew Research Center found that 0.4 per cent of Americans, between 1 and 1.5 million – identify as Wicca or Pagan, according toQuartz

That means there are now more witches in the US than there are Presbyterians who have around 1.4 million adherents.

Experts believe that the explosion in the witch population is due to millennial women’s embracing of new-age spirituality, mindfulness, meditation, and yoga. 

Wicca, also called Witchcraft or The Craft, is a Pagan religion which emerged in Britain in the early 20th century. Based on ‘pre-Christian traditions,’ it was popularized by a retired British civil servant named Gerald Gardner throughout the 1950s and 1960s.

Wicca adherents praise nature and nature’s gods and goddesses.

They practice outside in parks, gardens or fields.

They endeavor to achieve self-awakening through dancing, singing, chanting, and with the use of herbs and incense.

Witches, Wiccans, and locals gathered at a Brooklyn metaphysical book store (above) on October 21 to perform a hex ritual on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump, and Senator Mitch McConnell

Despite some depictions, it has no connections with Satanism.

The Wiccan pentacle, a five-pointed star inside a circle, is often confused with symbols of Satanism.

In fact, the five points represent the elements of nature – earth, air, fire and water – and the spirit, within the eternal circle of life.

Before the Pew study, Trinity College in Connecticut conducted three large-scale studies on religion which found that the Wicca population grew significantly between 1990 and 2008.

In 1990, the Wicca in the U.S. numbered an estimated 8,000. By 2008, the number grew to 340,000.

The United Kingdom is also considered home to a sizable population of Wicca. A 2011 government census found that there are 12,000 Wiccans in England and Wales.

Wicca, also called Witchcraft or The Craft, is a Pagan religion which emerged in Britain in the early 20th century. Wicca adherents endeavor to achieve self-awakening through dancing, singing, chanting, and with the use of herbs and incense

This means they are more open to exploring other faiths and customs outside of the mainstream.

While in decades past the term ‘witch’ has misogynistic connotations and was used a pejorative, modern-day witches have adopted the lifestyle as an expression of their feminism.

Social media has been the forum through which witches and witch influencers can gain a mass following.

There’s The Hoodwitch, a witch influencer with 329,000 followers on Instagram.

The Hoodwitch practices ‘everyday magic for the modern mystic.’

Experts say that one does not need to be a Wicca or Pagan in order to be a witch, meaning that the actual number of those who practice witchcraft may be higher. 

WITCHCRAFT AND THE ORIGINS OF HALLOWEEN

Salem’s internationally known and famous Witch Lorelei Stathopoloulos uses dragon powder on a candle in her shop on Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts

The word ‘witchcraft’ has three main connotations: the practice of magic or sorcery; the beliefs associated with the Western witch-hunts of the 14th to the 18th century; and varieties of the modern movement called Wicca.

Wicca was first publicized in 1954 by a British civil servant named Gerald Gardner who said the religion dated to an old witch cult that existed in secret for hundreds of years, originating in the pre-Christian Paganism of Europe.

Wicca is recognized as an official religion in the United States. 

It is a primarily Western movement of nature worship based on pre-Christian traditions.

The Wiccan witch religion honors the ‘Elements of Nature’ – Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Spirit – and their associated directions – North, East, South, West, Center – in ‘sacred circles’ where rituals are held.

The Wiccan New Year of Samhain is considered a precursor to modern Halloween. 

Today it coincides with Halloween on October 31. 

Historically, it was a Celtic festival held on November 1 where the world of the gods was believed to be made visible to mankind. 

Modern witches say it is a time of year when the ‘veil between the dead and the living is thin.’

Source: Reuters

Blessings Spiderwitch

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Decorating your Imbolc Altar

Imbolc Blessings

Merry meet all,

Today we will look at assembling your altar for Imbolc. During Imbolc, many Wiccans and Pagans choose to honor the Celtic goddess Brighid. 

The traditional colours of Imbolc are red and white, because they are associated with Brighid. White is the pure colour of snow and red represents the fire of life and the blood of life. She also corresponds with the colour green, for the green mantle she wears and the stirrings of spring beneath the soil. Place red,white and green candles in candleholders on your altar. 

Your altar decor can reflect the theme of Imbolc. You could place a statue of Brighid on your altar. Add flowers such as crocuses and hyacinths to your altar. Or make a Brighid’s crown as a centrepiece with crystals and candles. 

Brighid is a Celtic Goddess so incorporate a Celtic theme on your altar too. Add a Brighid’s cross made from raffia or yarn. You could use cauldrons, chalices, anvils and cows or sheep. Place a book of poetry, flowers, and faeries on your altar. 

Share your Imbolc altar with the blog. Feel free to include photos!!

Here is how I decorated my altar. I posted this on paganwiccanabout.com. 

What’s On My Altar 

A cauldron, a solar sun symbol, a green, red + white candle, a hammer, two Brighid’s crosses, a feather, a chalice, a Brighid’s candle. These items all represent an aspect of the Goddess Brighid. Fire is her element and she is a solar deity so the solar symbol corresponds with that. The hammer is a symbol of Brighid and the Brighid’s crosses also represent her. My altar cloths are white with a red sash lying across the altar table. These colors represent the Imbolc season.

How I Celebrated Imbolc 

I attended an Imbolc Ritual to rededicate myself to the Goddess Brighid. Women of different ages and backgrounds that shared a common interest met at a friend’s house for the ceremony. We stood in a circle around the table for the ceremony.

We began the ceremony by calling the quarters or directions of air, fire, water, earth and spirit (north for earth, east for air, west for water and south for fire). This is to seek protection from unwanted energies from entering the sacred circle once cast. We lit candles on the table according to the quarter called and acknowledged that we were gathered this night to honor Brighid. We all focused on what was negative in our lives and swept the negative energies under the table with a broom. This is a symbolic action to ensure the energies are banished. Members took a turn to sweep with the broom, asking that the Goddess bless them for the coming year.

A cup of milk was offered to Brighid first, then poured into a bowl on the altar and passed round the circle to each member. The priestess said, “May Brighid lend her blessings to you this season.” Oatcakes were passed round in the same manner.

In the Dedication Ritual, each member was encouraged to ground herself and find inner peace. When we were ready, we individually expressed our dedication to the Goddess Brighid and the God of Mabon. I said: “I dedicate myself to the God and Goddess. Thank you for the blessings you have bestowed up on me this last year.” Then we closed the circle and the ritual ended. We called the quarters in the opposite direction that they were called at the beginning. If we began in the east (air) and ended in north, then we would begin with north (earth) and end with east.

Afterwards, we all joined in a feast to ground ourselves from the ceremony. We chatted and relaxed. Rituals always uplift my spirits and are a chance to release negative tensions. I feel more strongly connected and closer to the Divine Feminine after a ritual. I revere Wicca because it honors the Divine Feminine. I derive inspiration and love from the rituals, strengthening my faith and bond with the Goddess.

The other members receive something from the ritual, each in their own way, whether that is love, courage, inner strength or protection. We had all gathered to honor the Goddess, the Divine Feminine, worshipped by our ancestors dating back to Neolithic times. The Goddess is a symbol of the unity of all life in nature.

 

Tips and Tricks

  • Clean your home to release the stale energies and welcome in the early spring energies.
  • Prepare your altar for Imbolc
  • Prepare a special dish in honor of your deities.
  • Burn some wax on your candle and carve a shape of a Brighid’s cross on the candle, then add the corresponding herbs.

 

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Filed under Brigid, Brigid Bed, Brigid doll, broomsticks, ice candles for Imbolc, Imbolc, Imbolc blessings, Imbolg

Metro Transit in transition

Merry Meet All,

Last night as I waited in a chilly metro shelter, I received the dreaded news that Metro Transit might be going on strike. I spun around and was like, what? I hoped it wasn’t true and probably held the fears of many people who depend on the metro transit for transportation. I was unhappy with the news and after a forty-minute wait for the bus I needed to take me home, I decided I would talk to the bus driver about that.

I boarded the bus and had my say. He was in a stressed mood and with a stern look on his face, told me to behave or get off the bus. I was not about to leave and I barked back at him. He left me with no way to get a word in edgewise. He reminded me of a bulldog.

As I was exiting the bus, he apologized and told me the strike was out of his control and he shared my concerns as he had a family of his own to care for. He didn’t want to go on strike. I shared his concerns. I do not work and do not make much money but I do depend heavily on Metro Transit to get around. I am unhappy about this. On February 2nd, they may officially be on strike. I heard of a woman with two small kids who were forced to wait two hours in the cold for the bus after missing it by minutes. That is an example of what people are forced to endure. The ones without cars. I think it’s a sad reflection of the Metro Transit employers who are also looking to remove all the rights and conditions that the Metro Transit employees have tried so hard to attain. That is why they are going on strike.

I hope that an agreement is reached between the employees and the staff at Metro Transit before February 2nd. If not, I might have to dust off my metaphorical broomstick. It saves on gas. I wish that was the style of transportation for the future.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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