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Paganism

Any of a number of earth-centered spiritual paths and faith systems, including but not restricted to: Asatru/Norse; Blended (Christo-pagan, Judeo-pagan, etc); Celtic (Scottish, Irish, Welsh, Faerie, Druidism); Ceremonial Magic (Golden Dawn, Rosicrucian); Eclectic; Egyptian; Italian/Strega; Shamanism (North American, South American, European, Asian); Voudoun/Santeria; Wicca (Gardnerian, Dianic, Alexandrian, Solitary, Family Tradition).

2,067 Questions
Religion & Spirituality
Paganism

Where did black magic first start?

from the egyptians time

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Paganism
Witchcraft

What do witches have as pets?

Witches are human beings, just like everyone else. We have our likes and dislikes. We have our preferences. We have phobias and allergies-just like anyone else. I know some witches that have ferrets, birds, rats, dogs, rabbits and cats. Some have lizards. Some have spiders. Some have no pets at all. What kind of pet do you have?

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Paganism
Symbolism and Symbolic Meanings

What does the pagan star mean?

The pagan star, called the Pentacle, is symbolic. Each point represents the five elements: (going clockwise starting at the top) Spirit, Earth, Fire, Water, Air. The Pentacle is often mistaken for a symbol of devil worship. However, the dominant point of the Pentacle points upwards, showing faith in powers above. If the dominant point faces downward, making the star inside inverted, the symbol becomes the Pentagram, a Satanic symbol.

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A five pointed star, pentacle or pentagram with a dominant point facing downward may have nothing whatever to do with Satanism. The Star of Bethlehem, which pointed to the birthplace of Christ, may be depicted as a 5 pointed star with the dominant point directed downward toward the Child in the manger.

Pentagrams & PentaclesI'm Wiccan and have been taught that the pentagram is a symbol of both humanity and spirituality. As stated in the first answer, the pentagram describes the five elements that make up a person starting clockwise with earth then air, fire, water and with spirit at the top. The shape is similar to Leonardo da Vinci's "Vitruvian Man" and, like that, represents the shape of man(kind).

I was also taught that the enclosed pentagram is called a pentacle and represents the cycles of life and the connections of the elements; it also shows the nature of Wicca as a personal, self-contained belief.

This is an excellent page that the questioner might find handy:

http://www.angelfire.com/id/robpurvis/pentagram.html

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Religion & Spirituality
Paganism

Do pagans believe in fate?

Some do, some don't.

I am a pagan, and personally I don't, but I belive that there are forces at work that changes what happens sometimes, but that the choices that WE make are really what makes things happen in our lives.

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Paganism
Native American Spirituality

When did shamanism start?

It is theorized that the earliest knowledge regarding Shamanism comes from Russian anthropologists when they studied tribal nomadic herders in Siberia in the 19th century. Their detailed descriptions of the spiritual practitioners the tribesmen called Shamans, led to the term being continued by anthropologists and historians.

Knowledge has since come to light which has furthered the study of the history of Shamanism, some of which is discussed below, and in the book Dawn Behind the Dawn: A Search for the Earthly Paradise, by Geoffrey Ashe.

Answer 2:

Although Shamanism is recognized worldwide among earth-cultures, shamanism remains a great mystery for most people. Natural energies are all around us--we humans have simple gotten away--too, too far away--from listening to these energies. Tantra and other disciplines help reawaken our sleeping or dormant mind to these energies and how to join with them incooperative effort.

Shamanism is shown to ahve it's roots in the mythos and magik of the Cro-magnon peoples of europe=--amply demonstrated in the cave paintings all over europe. Richard leakey's "Origins" and his subsequent "Origins Reconsidered" sheds new light on shamanisms' origins, functions and the new meanings this gives to old 'evidence' not before taken into consideration. Much of this work centers on comparative studies with current tribal peoples in Africa and the evidence derived from archaeological resources old and new.

For a really good understanding of what shamanism is about, see the terrific move "Phenomenon" with John Travolta.

Shamanisn started as a quest to provide deeper understandings of the natural world for us ill-equipped human beings. Their belief systems functioned in harmony with the natural world, sought a sense of security and predictability for the ill-prepared human beingsthrough intercessors who spoke with or communed with spirits of the elemental world around them.

A significant portion of shamanism is the cyclic nature ofour world--season follows season, migratory animals follow their respective trails, the heavens above turn across the night skiesand sink beneath the horizon only to reappear the next night. Wind moves in its greatest force in a circle--tornadoes; birds build circular nests; from dust to dust the cycle continues, and all its energies can be 'listened to', acted in concert with, and results shared...

The most remote and inaccessible of tiny chambers wherein many single or small groupings of effigy carvings/paintings are found present in some cases with theinability for the artist to even see his own handiwork. There are cases shown where the last possible distance one could reach into, even by only an arm or hand, was the desired location. The animal effigies carved there were 'planted' into the earth to prosper the species, a seed placed into a sacred womb, mother earth herself!

Other larger chambers were specifically chosen for their accuostic resonance--a perfect setting for large groups to partake in shamanistic ceremonies wherein the rockwall itself, covered in paintings, becomes the doorway between two worlds with the shaman operating in both at once. Healing, death, birth and 'running interference' for the hunt, the harvest, etc., against malevolent spirits are but some of the functions a shaman would perform.

There are specific geometric patternings relavant to each of three progressive stages of ssc (shamanic state of consciousness)--again, see Richard Leakey's "Origins Reconsidered" for a much more on the matter.

Answer 3

Please read Richard Leakeys "Origins Reconsidered"--his work puts a whole new look on the origins of shamanism, and brings the practice much further back than Geoffrey Ashe's work.

Answer 4:

Apparently the other responder is thinking only of when the word 'shaman' was adopted.

Ashes' work is already outdated by Leakeys' "Origins Reconsidered"--comparisons between current shamanistic cultures and the Cro-Magnon peoples' cave paintings reveal the practice to date significantly further back than 19th century nomadic herders.

To wit: How could the basic practices and principles of shamanism have become world-wide ony SINCE the 19th century? Not possible--shamanism was/is practiced by every prehistoric culture on earth, so it isn't possible for nomadic herders to have traveled the globe to spread this practice since the 19th century.

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Paganism
Wicca

What do wiccans wear?

Whatever they want to, unless they're in a coven that requires a certain dresscode.

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Paganism
Witchcraft

How did witches come into existence?

A Pagan Perspective

Paganism, Witchcraft & magic are as old as mankind. Anything, beyond your understanding or comprehension can be considered magic. A cell phone to a primitive is magic.

When mankind first started being self aware, we looked beyond ourselves and needed answers to things like, where does the sun go at night? How do we insure it will come back? How do we heal wounds and illnesses? How do we find food?

Eventually members of the group who discovered things, like which plants helped an upset stomach, where to find water, what the migration patterns of the local animals were and other things, became the ones others turned to for answers. These were the Wise Ones...

The cycles of the seasons where in our blood and instincts, as they governed our survival. The wise ones were the ones who kept track of the right time to plant, and harvest, ensuring the continuance of the people.

As we became more evolved the amount of knowledge expanded, and those with the answers learned a few tricks of their own.

If someone tells you a certain herb will cure your cut, you may or may not believe them, if they are well respected and do a little spell/prayer over the cut at the same time as using the herb, you tend to believe... Particularly if it works... you then tell others of the "power" of the Wise One... Eventually a name gets made, and expectation are raised...

It is a commonly accepted fact that your mind has a strong influence on your body... If you believe in something it has a better chance of working. the Wise Ones figured this out early on, so a little "showmanship" helped their reputation...

As spell/prayers/magic/ became standardized and passed on from generation to generation, the words became of equal importance to the practical application...

Magic became accepted as something that worked...

Science is today what magic once was, a practical, evolving set of standard results from repeated experimentation...

Even modern medicine can't tell us everything the mind is capable of, so some of us still believe in and practice Magic...

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Paganism

What do pagans believe about medicine?

Mostly herbal medicines and such. I'm a wiccan and I try to stick to herbal teas and pills or ointments made from plants and such rather then drugging myself up, but I do realize it's no substitute for medical treatment, if I know I'm sick and nothing I have is working, I see a doctor and bite the pill.

Western/Modern medicine (pills and such) mask/hide the symptoms but don't actually heal you. Herbs and natural cures work to heal the body and help it heal itself. Yes, xrays, casts on broken bones and things like that are fantastic modern medicine but as I said pills, ointments, etc. are not such a honest answer to medical problems.

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Paganism
Witchcraft

What is a member of a coven called?

A coven member, probably. Depending on the nature of said coven, they might consider themselves to be a witch or a Wiccan or something else completely. It's most likely best to just ask them- most don't bite.

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As a member of a coven for some years now my reply would be:

Coven members can be witches, wiccan, pagan, some even call themselves heathens. But regardless of what title you place on yourself, you are refereed to as a "covener" in a coven. There are also Priests, Priestesses, High Priests, High Priestesses and Elders but that only refers to their "station" in the coven and it's ceremonies.

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Paganism
Witchcraft

What do limes have to do with witch craft?

You use limes in spells for healing, love, and protection. You can also use them to send someone back their sour Karma.

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Paganism

Masculine gender of witch?

In English there are no masculine or feminine forms. English uses gender specific nouns for male or female.

The word witch is not gender specific, it's a common gender noun as a word for a male or a female practitioner of magic, and/or a member of any of several earth- based spiritual paths.

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Paganism
Witchcraft

How would you know if a spell has been cast on you?

Sudden change in your life.

Usually people will only notice a sudden negative change in their lives. For example, every time I run into a certain person on the street the following few weeks will be filled with bad luck for me. I would just pass it off as a normal fluctuation in my luck, health, relationships, etc. It took me years to realize that seeing "Liz" and having bad luck follow our meeting was linked. Her sister finally revealed to me that "Liz" is a black magic practitioner and enjoys passing bad luck onto all her female competition (she tried to seduce my husband once upon a time and still holds a grudge that I caught her). Now that I know, I simply cast a counter curse and protection spell upon myself and my home every few months to keep things smooth (not abundantly luck but not unlucky either, just normal).

However, spells can also bring you luck. For example, if you suddenly see an abundance of luck enter your life, it could be the result of someone casting a spell of luck, good fortune, health, wealth, etc. upon you. I've received requests from clients to cast a spell on a friend or family member of theirs to help them trough a rough patch. Though I don't like casting spells on unknowing "targets" as long as the spell is of positive energies, I don't really object (though I do prefer that they ask the person's permission before I cast).

An Alternate Thought

Much as the idea of there being people out there (witches or other) who randomly and secretly cast spells on others has a fascination for many people, the truth is there really are not that many who: A) can, B) would.

Most ethical practitioners who regularly cast spells do so only with the express permission and full knowledge of the person. Hence, if you asked for a spell, you would know it had been cast.

If you have engaged someone to cast for you, the effects are usually quite subtle, more of an appearance of things going "a bit more to your liking." This depends on the type of spell cast of course, but magic rarely if ever comes like a "bolt out of the blue."

- A prosperity spell does not generally result in an instant lottery win, but more often manifests as a great new job offering.

- A love spell will not have Brad Pitt or your favourite sports figure walk up to your door with flowers in his hand, but may manifest as a new person in your circle of acquaintances who shares your interests and is looking for a new friend.

- A protection spell may not "blast" a burglar who is about to break into your house, but instead send a police cruiser down your block, discouraging the thief from hanging around your neighbourhood.

If you are suddenly experiencing a "run of bad luck" I would suggest that the cause is more likely internal than external.

There is such a thing as cause and effect. If your thoughts and actions tend toward the negative, you are more likely to attract negative energies.

Should you find yourself in such a situation, stop and reflect, be willing to take responsibility for your own thoughts and actions and make an adjustment in your outlook.

Do a few "good deeds," be a bit more charitable (in words and actions) to others, look less to lay blame and more to changing the way things are.

It shouldn't take long before your "luck" will change, good things (that you may not have noticed before because of negativity) will become more evident.

Magic (the real magic, not the "movie magic") is available to everyone, it is in you as well as me and if you channel the positive and let go of the negative you will not need to wonder if someone else has cast a spell on you, because your own magic will be balancing your life.

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Paganism
Magic and Illusions

What is the occupation of a diviner?

They divine. They may use various forms of divination such as but not limited to: tarot, use of a pendulum, astrology, etc to find what they seek. This could be anything from 'where are my keys?' to 'which job should I take?' to 'what is this persons ailment?' and so on and so forth. The uses of divination are limitless.

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Paganism
Wicca

What do you need for a basic Wiccan altar?

There is really nothing that is required for an altar, but here are a few suggestions.

You will need Two Candles for the God and the Goddess:

If you can find, two iconic figures to represent the God and the Goddess.

A Pentacle:

You can get a metal pentacle made, or a pentacle made with wax, or even a pentacle drawn on a paper. Some people carve the pentacle on the alter itself.

A saucer of Water and Salt:

Representations of the elements Water (water) and Earth (salt)

Some people use a sea shell, you can also use a ceramic or glass dish. Plastic is not so good for this. You can use any common salt (NaCl), but Sea Salt is preferable.

Incense burner and Incense or a bundle of Sage:

Representations of the elements Fire and Air (smoke)

Traditionally, Charcoal incense Burner / Censor is used with powdered Incense if not a bundle of Sage (dried herb) is used. If charcoal is not widely available, South Asian pagans use Coconut shells to burn Incense.

Ritual Tools:Athame and/or Wand:

Athame (a black handled knife used for ceremonial purposes only, not usually sharpened) or the wand is the element of the God. Either one of these is used to cast the circle.

Chalice and/or Cauldron:

Chalice ( a cup used to hold water or wine) or the Cauldron (used to hold water or safely contain a ritual fire) is the vessel of the Goddess. This is used to contain the ritual fluid.

Boline

The white handled knife, sharpened and used to cut ( string, herbs, etc) or carve (candles, wood etc.)

Book of Shadows

A personal, usually hand-written book with Rituals, spells, incantations, and recipes researched and gathered together by each practitioner for their own use.

Other Miscellaneous Items

Candles, herbs, paper and pen, some Earth and a source of Fire as well and anything else you may need for a specific spell or Ritual.

These are the most basic Wiccan tools you may need. There are many other tools you can use according to the ritual Sabbat / Esbat / Ritual you are doing.

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If you would invoke a special spirit in the Ritual apart from summoning a lesser spirit, you would specially need a Wand apart from an Athame (Athame is suitable to summon a lesser spirit, but a wand is needed to invoke. If you don't know the difference, Refrain!).

If you would burn a fire inside the circle, or do a spell that needs a container for a large amount of water or a liquid, you can use the Cauldron.

A specially reserved Ritual Broom (Besome) or asperging liquid is good to Clean the Space.

These are the Wiccan tools known to most solitary/eclectic Wiccans.

There are some more special Wiccan ritual tools that are known to the Initiated Wiccans in Covens and those who are lucky to learn some secrets. That knowledge is available beyond the second degree of a Traditional Wiccan Coven.

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Paganism
Witchcraft

What did witches do for fun?

They have always done like everyone else. We are no different then anyone else, we just walk a different path spiritually.

A witch is a normal human being in everyday life, and being a witch inside the circle, with the coven. Inside the circle, there are many games we can play in celebrations of nature. You can find the Witch specific fun games in Raymond Bucklands Complete Book of Witchcraft.

The Maypole dance is a Ritualistic game where they dance around a decorated pole with ribbons in hand, one end tied to the top of the pole. At the end, the ribbons are woven to the pole in a nice pattern.

Passing the Candle is a game for the Candle-mass celebration where everyone sits in a circle and a lit candle is passed around, and another running outside the circle trying to extinguish it.

There are many of these Witch specific games that are common to both Eastern and Western traditions. For an example, the Maypole dance could also be found in Sri-Lankan pagan tradition.

Outside the circle, witches would play any game other people enjoy.

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Paganism
Definitions
Wicca

What is a coven?

A coven is a gathering, usually of witches, though it may also be applied to such things as vampires. In Wicca, a coven is a group of individuals who worship together.

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Definitions
Paganism
Adjectives and Articles
Pugs

What is Brujo used for?

Brujo is the spanish term for a male witch (the female witch is called bruja)

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Religion & Spirituality
Paganism

Where did paganism originate?

The word paganism refers generally to any religion that is not of or related to the three world religions that descended from Abraham - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Some "pagan" religions pre-date even the earliest Judaic beliefs, and can be considered to have originated anywhere and everywhere that humans originated.

Neopaganism refers to the recent growth of alternative faiths based upon or attempting to reconstruct ancient pagan beliefs. This is a newer movement, typically considered to have began at the earliest in the mid-1900s as a concerted effort to create new, pagan faiths.

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Paganism
Witchcraft

Do witches sleep?

The lighter sideSince the average human needs at least 4 - 8 hours sleep per night, then yes. Otherwise they'd be very grumpy bunnies (witches) in the morning.
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Paganism

What is Pagan Pride Day?

It's one of the annual festivals celebrating paganism, modern witchcraft, and Wicca. See the links section for more details..

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Paganism
Witchcraft

Is a male witch a wizard or a warlock?

they are called a wizard.sourcerer, or a witch

worlocks are deamons not nice ppl

Warlock- A malel witch or wizard

Warlockess- Evil Witch Or Wizard

wizards can be both male and female

None of the listed...male Witch is a Witcher (or Vedmak - Witchman).

Both Wizards and Warlocks can be males or females (Wizardess or Warlockess).

Witches use magic of nature while Wizards use more "scientific" magics like Alchemy.

However, Warlocks mostly use dark or chaotic magic...the meaning of the word Warlock is "deceiver", "betrayer" or "oath breaker".

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Paganism
Witchcraft

What is a stereotypical witch?

What they call as a steriotypical Witch is the type of Evil, Green Witches you find in fairytales. The only type of Witch known before 1950's.

This term is used in contrast of the Real Witch, a normal human being who is not any specially evil than any other human being, having Magical knowledge and Practices Witchcraft

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Paganism
Signs and Omens

Is being born on the seventh day magical?

No more so then being born on any other day. (ex. Does being born on December 25th make you more holy?) It's not when you are born that matter but what you do with the life you have been given.

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Paganism
Botany or Plant Biology

What is witch plant?

The plants in a "witch's garden" are as diverse as the people who plant them. My own includes a number of plants used for medicinal purposes, some that are used for magical purposes as well as some of the old "traditionals" They include (a partial list only) Melissa - lemon balm, used in tea as a relaxant, Feverfew - used to treat migraine headaches, Comfrey - used topically for healing. Basil - to mend quarrels, Dill for prosperity, Mugwort for predicting the future. And there is also Monkshood, Witch-hazel and Henbane.

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Paganism
Witchcraft

Do love and money spells really work?

Of course not. By all means have fun, but never pay anyone claiming to cast spells or practice mystic powers.

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  • Spells can work, but not in the way you would think and my theory is they work based on the power of attraction. Look up the laws of that to better understand. Research completely about what kind of spell you want to do, and ask yourself, do you needwhat you are asking for or do you want or desire it? Always ask that none be harmed in whatever you do and use positive energy and thoughts.
  • Yes they do work if you prepare right and involve a lot of positive energies into the spell and utilizing a combination of elements, herbs, essential oils etc. I would say it has to be something you need rather than desire like a lottery win for example...no go
  • One Pagan's View:
  • Money or Prosperity spells are common. Working in the correct house and phase of the moon, using a strong spell and having the strength of belief will help as will asking for what you need, and be specific. If you need to pay off some debt, then let the gods/universe know how much, do your spell, then get off your backside and go looking for a way to earn the money. Bags of money don't just fall out of the sky and sitting around waiting for the spell to work isn't how to make it happen. The other thing is rarely do they work in the manner you think they will, so keep your eyes open for things to show up in your life. You might be hoping for a lottery win, when the gods/universe send you a great new job with lots of earning potential.
  • Love spells don't work on someone else. You can not make someone love you. More importantly you should not try to make some one love you. The good news is that love spells do work on yourself. You start by getting your own house in order, that means being sure you are ready for a relationship; knowing the kind of relationship you want. Then you need to be ready to give and receive love, be open to meeting new people and willing to do the "leg work". Sitting at home dreaming about the "perfect mate" will not do you any good. Like prosperity spells, love spells have a funny way of working out, keep your eyes, your heart and your mind open, remember the gods/universe know what you really need, more often than not, better than you know yourself.
  • One Wiccan's View:
  • Love Spells and money spells can work if casted properly. The average person who has never performed any type of spell will not be able to produce valid results. Casting a successful spell can take years and normally needs the help of a coven. If you are looking for serious results, go to a professional.

another Wiccan's view

yes I would say some spells have worked for me for things that I really needed at the time but I would agree with the previous comment that casting a spell has a lot of elements within in and you need to be a practiced professional to obtain serious results and being in a coven would be the answer.

"...and being in a coven would be the answer."

With all respect, this is absolutely untrue. While it is true that you need to be learned and will get better with experience, it is not absolutely necessary to be involved in a coven situation. I was coven-taught in the beginning, but it didn't take me very long to realize that I work very well alone as a solitaire. And yes my spells have worked. Over the years I have learned much and taught many. However, this path is a lifelong study and you will continually get more adept if you practice and study -- even if in a solitary practice. Know also that intent and belief are the two most powerful ingredients of a spell. Have a clear intent in mind and KNOW your spell will work.

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