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Please add to your address book to ensure our emails reach your inbox. - Witchy Update - April/May 2008

Modern Ways to Work with the Elements
by Elysia Gallo
Acquisitions Editor: Wicca, Paganism, Magick - Modern Ways to Work with the Elements - Witchy Update - April/May 2008

Writing on parchment, brewing a magical concoction in a cauldron over an open flame, hand-dipping wax candles to use during ritual…so romantic. But do today's Pagans actually have the time or inclination for such old-fashioned workings?

Coming out this month is a truly ground-breaking book on crystals, The Seven Secrets of Crystal Talismans: How to Use Their Power for Attraction, Protection & Transformation. For anyone who's ever read a book on crystals and wondered, "OK, how did the ancient Egyptians know what to use lapis lazuli for, and does all this old lore really apply to me?" this is the book you should check out. Certified gemologist Henry Mason offers thoroughly modern explanations of how crystal talismans work—information that the ancients couldn't have known. For example, the crystal lattice structure varies from mineral to mineral—turquoise is triclinic and therefore acts as a barrier, which is why it's a great talisman for safe travel. Sturdy monoclinic minerals like jade, malachite, and moonstone are known for their protection in the physical world and the spiritual one. Stones like rubies, hematite, and tourmaline act as seekers and simplifiers due to their hexagonal structure. But then Mason takes it even further, comparing crystals' colors and chemical properties (oxides, sulfides, carbonates, etc.) to their metaphysical functions. Finally, he supplies color charts so that you can easily find the best mineral—among hundreds—to suit your needs, and gives a new spin on how to empower them with your intent. This is a great book for modern witches who do like "real world" facts and information once in a while!

Speaking of modern witches, what could be more modern than taking courses on Wicca over the Internet? Three of Llewellyn's April new releases are books written for students of WitchSchool, the first truly online school dedicated to Wicca, Paganism, and magical thought. When used in conjunction with the school and its teachers, completion of the courses of study and the exercises in Witch School First Degree, Witch School Second Degree, and Witch School Third Degree confers ceremonial degrees upon the reader. Of course, you don't need to be a student of the online school to read these books and learn more about the Correllian tradition of Wicca as taught by WitchSchool.

In May we have a book coming out that is very dear to my heart. As soon as I saw this proposal I knew we had to publish it. Faith and Magick in the Armed Forces: A Handbook for Pagans in the Military is the first book of its kind, and I am so proud of the work that author Stefani Barner has done in bringing this segment of the Pagan community to light. This is truly a book for the modern witch; the person who acknowledges that, living in a democracy with a non-compulsory military, we are so blessed to have warriors among us who sacrifice their lives and the lifestyles of their families for our greater good. Barner is a military wife and also a member of Military Families Speak Out, so she knows with power comes the responsibility to use it wisely. The book gives sound advice to those thinking of joining the military; lets Pagans know what their rights are in the military regarding religion, sexuality, abuse, political dissent, and much more; and prepares them and their whole families for relocation and deployment. Besides being absolutely practical and full of resources, it also includes spells, meditations, rituals, and altar ideas specifically designed for these tough emotional experiences. There are also interviews with members of the military and their families, including military widow Roberta Stewart, who fought for the pentacle to be approved for military grave markers. This book got a starred review in Publishers Weekly, so you know it's good! Highly recommended for all Pagan military families. (OK, I'll stop gushing now!)

Also in May, the follow-up to Goddess Alive! will be released: Goddess Afoot!, in which author Michelle Skye introduces us to 12 more Celtic and Norse Goddesses. You've probably heard of "high magic" and "low magic," but have you heard of Goddess Magic? In this book you will learn how Goddess Magic strives to connect you to the divine, in a similar fashion to high magic, while creating life-enhancing changes here on Earth, like low magic. Some of the workings include accepting your shadow self, gaining balance, accessing your natural healing ability, increasing your psychic power, and much more. Each chapter includes a pathworking, a meditation, an invocation, and three magical activities. Publishers Weekly writes about Skye, "As in her earlier volume, Skye demonstrates a truly inspired talent for writing guided meditations," and calls her "refreshingly original." I'd have to agree on that one, too!

Two more notable May releases are from British witch Kate West: The Real Witches' Handbook and The Real Witches' Craft. The Real Witches' Handbook is as an absolute beginner's book; outlining what witches believe and how they practice. However, if you're looking for something with a little more substance, The Real Witches' Craft offers a far more in-depth introduction, including dozens of practical workings and rituals to align with the elements, develop your senses, increase your meditation and visualization skills, and more.

Next time I'll have some really groovy summer books to talk about, so stay tuned! In the meantime, have a rambunctious and lovely Beltane!

Back to Top - Witchy Update - Ask a Witch - April/May 2008

As you may have read last time, we have a new Witchy Update feature called Ask A Witch. Thanks to everyone who sent in such thoughtful questions! Obviously we can't answer them all in a single Witchy Update, but keep them coming and we'll try to get through them all!

Our first question comes from Sapphire in Georgia:

"I've always wondered why so many witches snuff or pinch out candles instead of blowing them out (I prefer letting them burn down, of course, but sometimes that's impossible). I've heard/read many varied reasons behind this, but haven't found one underlying philosophy behind the practice. Anybody want to share the wisdom?"

Dear Sapphire,

Great question! You're absolutely correct, there are many varied reasons and, as with anything regarding Witchcraft, there is no one right answer. So while some might never blow out a candle because they adhere to their personal tradition, others will tell you…

Read More

For the next question I'd like to ask readers to chime in! A subscriber named Trudy posed a question that is not nearly so cut and dried as the one above:

"I have been in a married relationship for 10 years. Unhappily for the past 5. I have found my soul mate last October and plan on leaving my husband in the spring. I have been studying Wicca for a little over a year now. My husband's background is Catholic, although he hasn't practiced for years. He is not a bad person, it's just that I think somewhere out there, is someone better suited for him. We are very different in many ways, and I can no longer pretend to be happy and totally in love with him. My question is, where does the Wiccan religion stand on this type of problem? If we had been handfasted it would be different, he tolerates my new studies, but never asks questions as it is 'my thing' not his. I don't want to see him hurt and he probably will be, but I do want out of this relationship. Is it wrong to want to be happy?

Is there some way of handling this without hurting him? Probably not. I at least need to know I am not doing the wrong thing as far as the tradition goes…can you help me?"

Please send your answers and advice to and we'll give Trudy a good selection of answers in our next Witchy Update.

Do you have a question for Ask A Witch? Send an email to

Back to Top - Witchy Update - The Broom Closet - April/May 2008

Are you an experienced Witch who has been through so many rituals and spells you feel like a walking encyclopedia? Then The Broom Closet is the place for you to let it all out! This is a place to unpack, dust off, and share the tips and tricks that have worked for you so that other newbies and baby witches don't have to learn it all the hard way.

Here are the first tips we've received from readers—they are both wonderful, invigorating tips for spring!

Amythyst Raine, a solitary eclectic Witch from Nebraska, writes:

"To some people, witchcraft conjures up expectations of a genie in a bottle…wishes will be granted, wealth and beauty attained, enemies punished, and new loves found. Witchcraft can accomplish these things, although not instantaneously and often in ways you don't expect.

Today, let's look at 'Beauty'…to be beautiful is the desire of most people, as is shown by the big business of plastic surgery and the cosmetics industries. But how did our ancestors go about attaining beauty? Those wise women of the distant past who had only themselves to rely on for creating the products and methods they would use…

Morning Dew

It is said that by going out early in the morning, on that first May day, and bathing your face in the shimmering dew, you will achieve the appearance of youth and beauty. I believe the magick of morning dew works not only on May Day, but throughout the year as well. I used to do this as a child, long before I ever heard the legend. Decades later, I still swear by the tingling sensation of those sparkling diamonds of moisture.


This common and popular herb has many uses and is a standard in most witches' cupboards. The ability to enhance 'Youth & Beauty' is only a small part of Rosemary's allure, but it is a popular one.

Fill a glass jar with water, sprinkle in a large pinch or two of dried Rosemary, and let this steep for a couple of days. (You can then pour this through a sieve to remove the Rosemary.) Refrigerate it and use it as an astringent for your face. Wet a cotton ball and bathe your face in the chilled dark water, reeking of the pungent odor of this wonderful herb.

Let the magick and energy of Rosemary work for you to create glowing skin and a more youthful appearance."

The next tip, from Aurora Jet, NROOGD Priestess in California, is a "Spring Morn Spell":

"Spring is a time of freshness, renewal. Plan this during a waxing moon phase, 7 days before the full moon. Awaken at dawn. Face east. Dress a 3" lime green pillar candle with lemongrass essential oil. Sprinkle the outer edges of the top of the candle with 7 white carnation petals, being careful to keep them away from the wick area. As you light the candle, say: 'Dawn brings light; Spring brings life.' Burn the candle early each morning for seven days; spend this interlude in meditation. Be mindful of the white carnation petals merging into the lime-colored candle as the wax softens. Be mindful of the hope of spring."

Thank you both, Aurora and Amythyst!

Do you have a magical substitution that works wonders? A perfect one-liner for nosy co-workers? A recipe for some sublime Sabbat dish? Bring it out of storage and contribute to our community dialogue!

Send your helpful hints to, and if possible, please include your Craft name, the part of the country you are from (you can use city, state, or region), and the path that you follow.

Back to Top - Witchy Update - Llewellyn Journal - April/May 2008

The Esbats of the Goddess
by Ann Moura

What constitutes a new moon? How should modern-day witches go about celebrating this lunar phenomenon? Ann Moura, author of the Green Witchcraft series and Grimoire for the Green Witch, shares different ways to celebrate the New and Dark Moon Esbats.

Read More

Whispers from the Woods: Wisdom for Everyday Life
by Sandra Kynes

How can Pagans living in a modern world honor nature and maintain their connection with the rhythms and spirit of the land? Sandra Kynes demonstates how to create and use simple meditation cards as a tool for expanding our relationship with the natural world, deepening self-awareness, and initiating personal transformation.

Read More

Seven Steps to Self-Devotion
by LaSara FireFox

Explore how to reclaim and honor the beauty of your divine feminine spirit with this seven step guide to female self-empowerment. In this inspiring article based upon her book Sexy Witch, author LaSara FireFox teaches women how to bring out their inner beauty, strength, and sexiness by employing a unique blend of feminism and magick.

Read More

Green-Spirited Living in an Enchanted World
by Poppy Palin

Walk down the green-spirited path with author Poppy Pallin as she takes readers on a journey to the wild side of the Craft where every thought and deed becomes an act of devotion or enchantment.

Read More

Back to Top - Witchy Update - Out of the Cauldron - April/May 2008 - Witchy Update - Llewellyn Journal - April/May 2008 - Witchy Update - Llewellyn News - April/May 2008

MTV News Profiles Witch, Author, & DJ Raven Digitalis
Witch, DJ, and Llewellyn author Raven Digitalis has been profiled by MTV News!

The segment initially aired on MTV on Tuesday, March 25, 2008 at 5pm Eastern and will be rerun on MTV, MTV2, and MTVU, as well as being available online at MTV News.

Click here to read the complete press release.

The May/June issue of New Worlds is here!

Download the PDF file of the latest issue of New Worlds or click here to sign up and have it delivered to your home!

Llewellyn's A New You, A New World Sale - 30% off Select Spiritual and Personal Growth Titles - 4 Days Only - Offer Expires 05/02/08 - Witchy Update - New Releases - April/May 2008

Witch School First Degree
Witch School First Degree
by Rev Donald Lewis-Highcorrell

Witch School Second Degree
Witch School Second Degree
by Rev Donald Lewis-Highcorrell

Witch School Third Degree
Witch School Third Degree
by Rev Donald Lewis-Highcorrell

Goddess Afoot!
Goddess Afoot!
by Michelle Skye

Witch School Ritual, Theory & Practice
Witch School Ritual, Theory & Practice
by Rev Donald Lewis-Highcorrell - Witchy Update - Llewellyn Encyclopedia - April/May 2008

A ceremonial fire kindled at dawn on major Wiccan holidays. It was traditionally used to light all other household fires.

Meaning literally seething. Seidr is the name of a variety of magical and shamanic practices such as sorcery and divination and "soul journeys."

The word "Wyrd" is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and roughly corresponds to the concept of "karma" in Hinduism. Although wyrd can be personal it is often linked to whole families, tribes, and even races. Unlike Karma, it is not totally fixed. One can move within one's individual web of Wyrd in accord with the amount of consciousness one commands. The less conscious one is, the more one is subject to the seemingly random workings of Wyrd, in contrast to "orlog" which is impersonal and cannot be manipulated. - Witchy Update - Readers' Top Picks - April/May 2008

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