Category Archives: Witchcraft & Magic

For Sale: Neopaganism “As Is”

By | Animism, Community Issues, Witchcraft & Magic | 32 Comments

On the Origins, Problems, and Future of Neopaganism My goal here is to do more than just lift up a corner of the old wool carpet of neopaganism to reveal the dirt underneath. I think it is high time we just flip the whole bloody thing over and yell about how no one vaccumed under it for decades but just cleaned up what was visible. Lazy, right? Get your dusty brooms out of those closets and get ready to clean house! My intent in writing this long article is to use my best “professor of contemporary pagan studies” voice and define neopaganism, to explain how neopaganism and the paths within it make up a movement and not a religion, to point out where things went wrong, and to help foster a discussion on how and if things can be changed for the better at this point. You may find frustration and disillusionment in my words. I may make you angry or sad. Or, I may make you grateful that someone finally spelled out all the fake-lore and flaws for you. I ask you to keep in mind that in person I am a very sarcastic and silly person from a…

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Managing Magic with Small Children

By | Witchcraft & Magic | 18 Comments

In which friends Sarah and Cin talk about what it’s like to be a witch mom, give tips on how to juggle magic alongside tiny mischief makers, and talk about how to keep in touch with your magical practice when all you want is sleep and quiet. Sarah Lawless is an animistic witch, writer, and herbalist living in rural Ontario, Canada with her partner Alex, her three year old son, and a baby boy on the way. When she’s not chasing after the kiddo, Sarah works as a forager and herbalist crafting wild edibles and medicinals for her business Fern & Fungi. You could say she’s obsessed with herbalism, ethnobotany, native plants, and permaculture and you’d be correct. Sarah has been an author, teacher, and ritualist within the witchcraft community for the past 12 years and she can often be found teaching classes at herbal conferences and horticultural events as well as hosting rituals at the local Witches’ Sabbat and Kaleidoscope Gathering. Sarah’s idea of downtime usually involves baking sweets, cooking complex recipes, napping, and snuggling up with her man and binge watching Game of Thrones. Once upon a time when I was childless (which seems very long ago, but has really only been…

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It’s All Indie Cards III: Black & White Decks

By | Reviews & Interviews, Seership, Witchcraft & Magic | 8 Comments

Here I am again, just in time for the holidays to tempt you to spend your hard won earnings on gorgeous tarot decks by independent artists (or to plaster the links all over your facebook until your loved ones get the hint for what you want for Yule this year). Indie tarot means there’s no big name publisher involved. The decks I share are either crowd funded or the artists came up with the funds themselves to get their deck printed –which is quite the undertaking! The downside to indie decks is that the first printing often sells out and the artist can’t afford to reprint their deck. For example, there were two amazing decks I really wanted to include in this list, but they’ve now sold out and are no longer available: The Nomad Tarot by Jennifer Drantrel and the Black Hand Lenormand by Shelley Barnes. If there is enough demand, however, this changes the artist’s stars. Maybe we can help. For this year’s round up I’ve chosen all black and white decks with a few black and gold exceptions. I’m a sucker for simple, black and white artwork and have a feeling I’m not alone in this. It was unintentional, but the…

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Curses & Blessings at the Witches’ Sabbat

By | Events, Festivals & Sabbats, Witchcraft & Magic | 7 Comments

Once upon a time, not so very long ago, witches came from miles around to meet in the woods and learn from each other about cursing and warding magic. I remember walking a dense spiral path formed by trees and earth alone, the mossy ground slimy under my feet and covered in mushrooms and the tiniest of toads. I caught the toads and they baptized my hands with their poison. There was a clearing with four stangs in each corner adorned with skulls and antlers, their feet covered in offerings.  It was a place full of genius loci and magical potency, but I spent most of my time on a forest path sitting at the door of the sacred mound of gnome home, offering smoke as well as blood via mosquitoes to the nisse. I remember cooking in large iron cauldrons over a hot fire under the hot sun and needing to jump in the river to cool off. I remember people feeding me bannock dripping with honey and my fingers bloody from eating a rare cow heart cooked over the flames, the women shouting “Khaleesi!” Words fell out of my mouth and sang a song of henbane; its history, folklore, magical…

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Mysteries of Beast, Blood and Bone

By | Bones & Blood, Featured, Folk Magic, Necromancy, Witchcraft & Magic | 8 Comments

© 2013  Sarah Anne Lawless – Originally printed in Serpent Songs: An Anthology of Traditional Craft curated by Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold and published by Scarlet Imprint. Do not copy or use any portion of this text or its images without the express permission of the author, but sharing the link is very welcome. kulls line the windowsills. Skulls float in jars on top of cupboards. Bones boil in pots on the stove, the flesh melting away. Hidden among the drying herbs and roots there are hearts and tongues and eyes. It is not Baba Yaga’s hut I describe, but my kitchen. Bone collector, bone washer, animal necromancer, deathwalker, shapeshifter, poisoner, witch… these are the words people whisper of me and my practices. Some whisper with fear and others with desire. I am an animist, a folk magician, and a rootworker. It is not just herbs I work with in my folk magic, but also skulls and bones, hearts and tongues. I practice the lost art of working with beast, blood, and bone in order to rebirth the ancient nature of Witch as a wild and primal creature; surrounded by spirits, anointed with blood, dressed in hides, and adorned with talismans…

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