Thorn Mooney is a a witch who lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. She began studying and practicing various forms of witchcraft as a young teenager. Now in her thirties, she finds herself a working Gardnerian priestess with a strong solitary practice that relies on techniques culled from an assortment of Western esoteric traditions and what is sometimes called “traditional” witchcraft. She is also heavily influenced by an extensive academic background,
having specialized in American religions, evangelical Christianity, and contemporary Paganism at the MA level. She moonlights as a lecturer and independent scholar, but professionally she now works as a public high school teacher. Thorn holds an MA in religious studies and works as a university lecturer, musician, and tarot reader.
She is the high priestess of Foxfire Coven, which is a traditional Gardnerian inner and outer court operating in the University area of Charlotte.
Her other interests include historical fencing, vintage guitars, long-distance hiking, traditional archery and bowhunting, and running.
Click here to read our interview with Thorn Mooney
'Perhaps it's just as well that you won't be here...to be offended by the sight of our May Day celebrations.' --Lord Summerisle to Sgt. Howie from 'The Wicker Man'
There are four great festivals of the Pagan Celtic year and
the modern Witches’ calendar, as well. The two greatest of these are Halloween
(the beginning of winter) and May Day (the beginning of summer). Being opposite
each other on the wheel of the year, they separate the year into halves.
Halloween (also called Samhain) is the Celtic New Year and is generally
considered the more important of the two, though May Day runs a close second.
Indeed, in some areas—notably Wales—it is considered “the great holiday”.
May Day ushers in the fifth month of the modern calendar
year, the month of May. This month is named in honor of the Goddess Maia,
originally a Greek mountain nymph, later identified as the most beautiful of
the Seven Sisters, the Pleiades. By Zeus, she is also the mother of Hermes, God
of magic. Maia’s parents were Atlas and Pleione, a sea nymph.
The old Celtic name for May Day is Beltane (in its most
popular Anglicized form), which is derived from the Irish Gaelic Bealtaine or
the Scottish Gaelic Bealtuinn, meaning “Bel-fire”, the fire of the Celtic God
of Light (Bel, Beli, or Belinus). He, in turn, may be traced to the Middle
Eastern God Baal.
Other names for May Day include: Cetsamhain (opposite
Samhain), Walpurgisnacht (inGermany),
and Roodmas (the medieval church’s name). This last came from church fathers
who were hoping to shift the common people’s allegiance from the Maypole (Pagan
lingam—symbol of life) to the Holy Rood (the cross—Roman instrument of death).
For the rest of Mike Nichols' article on Beltane click here.
Next Holiday Southern Hemisphere: Samhain May 1, 2019
For an article on Samhina by Mike Nichols click here.
Three months.Three glorious months.After a
long cold winter, it comes just when you need it most:Spring.
We may not
realize it, but we spend 25% of our lifetime experiencing Spring.While many people mark the first day of
Spring with ritual, Spring itself is a ritual; it is a celebration that lasts
for three months.You already may be
celebrating the season in more ways than you think.
The Ghost of Springtimes Past
journal?(Of course you do, even if it’s
in your head!)Page back through your
memoirs of last Spring.What was going
on in your life?What troubled you?What filled you with joy or kept you busy
during those months?What was life like
for you just a wheel’s turn ago?Now
page back even further, back into the memories of Springs long ago sprung.How many Springtimes back does your journal
go?Two, three, a dozen?Frolic through you own recollections of
things that took place in late March, April, May and early June.Do you see a pattern?Do similar challenges keep springing into
your life around this time of year?Look
at how your situation has changed since then, and see the progress you’ve made
over the seasons.Note both what has changed
and what has stayed constant.Now, after
looking back at your own life through your journal, look ahead at what you
might expect for this coming Spring?
looks ahead toward things to come, why not try doing a special form of
divination tailored for Spring?How
might divination methods vary with the seasons?What method fits best for you, and with Springtime’s unique energy?In addition to the time-tested traditional
tools of divination, you might try using a few objects naturally associated
with Spring.Try using the seeds of
seasonal fruit, ones that are abundant in your area come Spring.Maybe you could scry into a bowl of water
collected from April showers?Or perhaps
use petals from the May flowers?(She
loves me; she loves me not…only a daisy knows for sure!)
Everyday Witch Tarot TWPT talks to Deborah Blake & Elisabeth Alba
Deborah Blake is the award-winning author of Circle, Coven and Grove: A Year of Magickal Practice, Everyday Witch A to Z: An Amusing, Inspiring & Informative Guide to the Wonderful World of Witchcraft, The Goddess is in the Details: Wisdom for the Everyday Witch, Everyday Witch A to Z Spellbook, Witchcraft on a Shoestring, Everyday Witch Book of Rituals and The Witch’s Broom (all from Llewellyn). She has published numerous articles in Llewellyn
annuals, as well as other Pagan publications, and her ongoing column, “Everyday Witchcraft” is featured in Witches & Pagans Magazine.
Deborah is also the author of the paranormal romance Baba Yaga series from Berkley Publishing, which includes novella Wickedly Magical, and books Wickedly Dangerous and Wickedly Wonderful.
Her short story, “Dead and (Mostly) Gone” is included in the Pagan Anthology of Short Fiction: 13 Prize Winning Tales (Llewellyn, 2008). Her fiction is primarily Paranormal Romance, although she also writes Fantasy, Mystery and Young Adult. She is represented by agent Elaine Spencer of The Knight Agency.
Deborah had been interviewed on television, radio and podcast, and can be found online at Facebook, Twitter and http://deborahblake.blogspot.com as well as The Creativity Cauldron, a loop she founded for writers and aspiring writers.
When not writing, Deborah runs The Artisans’ Guild, a cooperative shop she founded with a friend in 1999, and also works as a jewelry maker, tarot reader, and energy healer. She lives in a 120 year old farmhouse in rural upstate New York with five cats who supervise all her activities, both magickal and mundane.
Elisabeth is a recent transplant to Western Massachusetts, after having moved there from New York City where she lived for eight years, and where she completed her MFA in Illustration as Visual Essay at the School of Visual Arts. Before then, she had received her dual degree BA in English (with a focus on children’s literature) and visual art studies at the University of Florida. She's traveled a lot, which has led to an obsession
with history and an interest in other cultures throughout the ages. She has always loved children’s literature and film, especially fantasy and historical fiction.
Her clients include Scholastic, Simon + Schuster, Llewellyn Worldwide, Oxford University Press, Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, Metropolitan Books, Small Beer Press, AAA Traveler magazine, and MTV Books. I’m the illustrator of Diamond and Fancy, both published by Cartwheel Books, an imprint of Scholastic, and part of the Breyer Stablemates easy-to-read series. She also illustrated I am Martin Luther King Jr., I am George Lucas, and I
Am Cleopatra, all written by Grace Norwich and published by Scholastic; and she contributed illustrations for The Shadowhunter’s Codex by Cassandra Clare, Simon & Schuster.
Thelema: An Introduction to the
Life, Work & Philosophy
of Aleister Crowley by Colin D. Campbell
Tarot in Wonderland
by Barbara Moore
and Eugene Smith
Forbidden Mysteries of
by Storm Faerywolf
Witches&Pagans #36 - Gods, Goddesses & the Glorious Divine
Who do we worship? How do we find Them -- or, how are we found by Them? Whatever our path, the divine is part of our lives and practices. In this issue of Witches&Pagans we share the experiences of priests, devotees, writers, artists, dancers, spirit workers, and everyday people as they live in relationship with the Divine. This special issue features:
Focus on Understanding the Gods
To Walk with Orisha: The Path of Connectedness. Manny Tejeda-Moreno leads us on a path replete with Spirit, power, and passion.
To Soar with the Butterflies: Sigyn, Lady of Compassion. Erin Lale describes the ancient lore — and modern gnosis — of this underappreciated Norse goddess.
His Name Means Ecstacy: Exploring Sacred Marriage in Northern European traditions. A passage into relationship magic with the gods, by priestess Shirl Sazyinski.
Riding with the Frauen. Discover the hidden goddesses of Germanic culture with loremistress Heidi Parton.
Wisdom of the Holy Isle: Gods & Goddesses of Avalon. Explore the deities of the Celtic Otherworld with Sithearain Nicleoid.
Focus on Daily Devotion
Religio Romana. Roman polytheist Virginia Carper describes her day-to-day practice of having a proper relationship with the Gods.
A Party for Parvati. Want a truly humbling experience? Go to where people who are indigenous to your practice shop, by Deborah Castellano.
Surrounded by Deity. Irisanya reveals what’s it like to be devoted to many gods and goddesses at the same time.
Focus on Pagan Living
Our columnists weigh in on bringing the divine into your life
Raven Grimassi -- The Gods in Old Witchery
Jamie Della -- Rose Geranium: a plant of love
Hecate Demetersdatter -- How I Found the Goddess
Deborah Blake -- Where is Your Inner Goddess?
Jason Mankey -- Relationships with the Gods are Reciprocal
Diotima Mantineia -- Looking Out for Saturn
H. Byron Ballard -- I Love the Big Mama: Don't You?
Archer -- A Pagan View of Jesus
Shirl Sazynski -- The Names of the Gods.
Christopher Penczak -- Seers are Artists & Storytellers
Ivo Dominguez, Jr -- Drawing Down the Great Ones
Thorn Mooney & Eurus offer answers to your witchy questions. In this issue:
"How Do I Connect to a God?"
88 pages, publication date August, 2018.
Inside the pages of edition 24, which have lovingly been prepared for your mystical enjoyment!...
Inside the pages of this big bumper edition we have articles on the lady of the lake, Greek myth’s and how they are still prevalent in our everyday life (whether we know it, or not!), and folk tales of the British blackbird.
Daniel Mirante talks about the world of visionary art and Margaret Ann Lembo talks about animal totems and the gemstone kingdom. Lunaesque share lots of their new photography, including a stunning Viking shoot which has an article about the Seidr by Annwyn Avalon.
E. Massey talks about living the magical life, and Ellen Hopman talks about the traditional herbs of the Liaig. There are three interviews with bands who will be playing at Faerie Festival 2019, and Linda Ravenscroft talks about her new shop ‘The Mystic Garden’ which opened a year ago in Glastonbury, UK.
We also have several articles by Moon Books authors on poppets, sun magic, and shamanic trance; and Cobie Milson talks about the chakra’s.
Plus our usual columns, event listings, photo galleries and more. All beautifully illustrated for your mystical enjoyment...
Witchcraft & Wicca magazine includes articles on Witchcraft, Paganism, Mythology, Occultism, and many other related subjects, a vital read for any Pagan, Witch or Wiccan. The magazine is professionally presented with attractive artwork and images to enhance your reading experience.
This issue is available in both digital and print formats Features Maiden, Mother, Who? - Rachel Patterson The Magic of Fire - Flavia Kate Peters Reconnect the Disconnect - Damh the Bard Egyptian Temple, Professional and Private - Kevin Groves Ancient Art of Spell-Craft - Barbara Meiklejohn-Free and Flavia Kate Peters An Interview with Elric - Witchfest Midlands Organiser Independent Witchcraft - Moira Hodgkinson Poetry of Doreen Valiente - Ashley Mortimer Regulars Familiar Corner Witchfest International News Success of Witchfest Midlands 2018! Cyber Witch What is new in the Pagan Web Reviews Seeing what is new! Gatherings & Calendar
Mickie Mueller grew up beneath the great mountains and the desert sky of Albuquerque, New Mexico. They aptly call it "The Land of Enchantment." She was exposed to art all her life, both of her parents’ were prominent artists and craftspeople in the area, and she was influenced by many of the great artists of the Southwest, all friends of the family. In her late teens, she moved with her family to the green rolling hills of Missouri were
she now lives and makes her home and studio. Mickie began working as a freelance artist in 1983, showing her award winning art in local galleries, and her work appearing in newspaper ads, and CD/cassette covers for local bands. She even worked for awhile as a computer colorist for comic book companies like Marvel, D.C. and Dark Horse to name a few.
Today Mickie has a growing business with her magical fantasy art. Her work has been seen in magazines and books internationally, including a school textbook in Norway. Her prints are sold in catalogues and on the Internet all over the world. She has two critically acclaimed divination decks published by Llewellyn, The Well Worn Path and The Hidden Path. Mickie’s third deck comes out in 2011 and is her first deck that she created on her own, concept, writing,
and art. The Voice of the Trees, A Celtic Ogham Oracle is based on the rich and fantastic Celtic history, myths and legends and the Ogham system of letters used in 4th-6th century.
In addition to their teamwork in The Mickie Mueller Collection, Mickie and Dan are also the proud parents of two grown daughters; Brittany, a popular Vintage Fashionista and Chelsea, a pop artist and poet, and an 11 year old son Tristan, an aspiring stop-animation film maker. They are also the grandparents of Olivia toddler extrodinarre, and Rhys accomplished walker and fabulous happy face maker.
A Very British Witchcraft (Full): Documentary on Gerald Gardner & Wicca
Museum of Witchcraft's Simon Costin interviews Maxine Sanders
Articles 'Round the Web
Interview with illustrator Elisabeth Alba by Kelley McMorris
When I heard that that Deborah Blake had a new tarot deck coming out in January 2017 I went looking for the illustrator to find out more about them. I found this older interview from last year that I wanted to share with the readers of TWPT. It was conducted by Kelley McMorris and I only share an excerpt here on the site with a link back to the entire interview on Kelley's blog page. You also might check out Elisabeth's artist
site to get a more detailed look at some of the cards that will be gracing Deborah's deck next year. The great thing is that the ones that I saw all had cats in them. What more could you ask for? Enjoy!----Imajicka
"Today is the beginning of a new series on this blog where I interview illustrators and others in the publishing industry. I've met so many interesting people at art school, conferences, and online, who have stories I want to hear!
I am honored to have our first interviewee, Elisabeth Alba, on the blog today.
Elisabeth has been a freelance illustrator in the children's book and fantasy industries for several years now, and recently quit her part-time job to go full-time. Elisabeth and I have never met in person - YET - but we've been online acquaintances for a year or two. I was curious about how she has managed to build up her freelance career from the ground up, and what it's like being married to ponytail-rocking fellow illustrator Scott Murphy.
When did you first decide to become an illustrator, and what did you do to
I loved reading, picture books, graphic novels, fantasy movies, animated
films - what all illustrators like, really! I had this urge to create
things that would be seen by other people on book covers and inside
books so that they'd have the same pleasure I got when looking at them.
It definitely started in high school, if not earlier, but I still
struggled a bit thinking maybe I should be a doctor or biologist or an
English professor or something more stable career-wise."
Paganism is unique as a spiritual path in that it does not tell us what to do. Rather, we decide for ourselves our own personal ethical standards and set our own values of morality. While there is a Rede from the Wiccan Traditions, it is not a law; rather it is an advice, a council. And whether you adapt that Rede as Wiccan or as pagan, it is a choice that is totally up to you. We have embraced the pagan culture because we believe in the concept of
free will. This also carries over into our pagan spirituality where we feel we are intelligent enough to make decisions for ourselves when it comes to spirituality and the associated philosophies. We choose the paths we walk, be they sexual, environmental, social, magical or spiritual. It is our choice and no one else makes it for us. We are not dictated to, we are not told what to believe, we are not forced into a social structure we have to adhere to, nor are we told what magical
practice we need to follow. No one speaks for us other than the individual. There are no set leaders representing the whole of the pagan community.
Samhain is approaching and with only 8 days remaining before it arrives perhaps you might be thinking you want to understand the Sabbat a little better before celebrating on the 31st. Well you have come to the right place and we can point you to some great information to raise your understanding of what it is that Samhain means to a variety of people both here on TWPT and some written materials around the net that will help too. Right off the bat I can say you should check out our new
interview with Diana Rajchel about her book about Samahain that was released as one of the Sabbat Essentials series over at Llewellyn. Here on TWPT we have a section called Seasonal Celebrations that has an article by Mike Nichols about each of the eight sabbats on the wheel of the year. You can find his article about Samhain by clicking here and you'll get a good look at what Samhain is all about.
Also on TWPT is a page of articles about Samhain by a variety of writers and quite a few topics. If you'd like to check into some of these articles you can click here. And finally if you really want to go in depth with the subject of Samhain then head on over to Amazon and try a couple of these books: Samhain: Rituals, Recipes & Lore for Halloween by Diana Rajchel, Pagan
Mysteries of Halloween by Jean Markale, or Celebrating the Seasons of Life: Samhain to Ostara by Ashleen O'Gaea. Spend some time with Google and I'm sure you will find many more sources for information about the upcoming sabbat. And if you are looking for a Samhain ritual for a solitary you might try Boudica's ideas in an article that you can find by clicking here. Another great place for a large chunk of information on Samhain is
over at about Religion. This is curated by Patti Wigington and covers Paganism/Wicca including this link to info about Samhain.
I sometimes sit on Sunday morning listening to the music
that has shaped my life since the early
90’s when I first discovered it and I
reflect upon the spiritual journey that I have been on for the last 26 years. It
has been an enlightening time for me and I am happy that I made the trip and
explored the many side streets that have presented themselves to me during this
time. From the early days of having to order books that would help me discover
this path at my local bookstore because there was no online world, to the
plethora of titles that exist on the internet now, my journey has been one
forged in the printed words which inspired and sparked my spirit to seek out a
path that I could truly call my own. Having had a front row seat to the
Wiccan/Pagan growth over the past 18 years through my website The Wiccan/Pagan
Times which came online back in 1998 it has been a dizzying ride from the few
scattered voices on the internet at the beginning of the 1990’s to the large
chorus of voices expressing a wide range of spiritual thoughts in the 21st
century here in 2016.
The Doreen Valiente Foundation and more TWPT talks to Ashley Mortimer
March 2011 Nottingham's Ashley Mortimer became one of five trustees of
Valiente Foundation which oversees the legacy of magical artefacts,
writings, documents and copyrights that belonged to Doreen Valiente.
Ashley is also a director of The Centre For Pagan Studies, a
firekeeper for WaNaNeeChe's Human Circle Of Life and a prominent member
Nottingham Pagan Network, Pagan Pride and Nottingham Empyrean as well
frequent representative of the Pagan Federation.
Ashley is an occasional writer, even more occasional
musician and a prolific contributor to many different Pagan events and
interests in and out of the East Midlands region. He speaks about the origins
of Paganism, the history of Wicca/Witchcraft and leads ceremony and ritual with
an ecclectic and pragmatic approach to spirituality underpinned with warm
Art of Fantasy, Fairie, and Myth: TWPT Talks to Mickie Mueller
decided to make my dreams reality, drawing upon the magic that I grew
up with, singing to inchworms with my mother and watching nature create
miracles in the sun and under the moon. I love researching the legends
of fairies, Goddesses, nature spirits, folklore and history. I
feel these themes are a part of us all on a deeper level, so when I
have an opportunity to reach into that realm and bring something back,
it’s an honor and I feel that I have a certain responsibility to do it
with respect to these powerful entities. When I work on a piece,
these beings speak with me, and when someone else sees it, and loves
it, they get to be a part of that fantastic realm where anything and
everything is possible too, and bring that energy into their
lives.” -Mickie Mueller
Mickie has a growing business with her magical fantasy art. Her
work has been seen in magazines and books internationally, including a
school textbook in Norway. Her prints are sold in catalogues and
on the Internet all over the world. She has two critically acclaimed
divination decks published by Llewellyn, The Well Worn Path and The
Hidden Path. Mickie’s third deck comes out in 2011 and is her
first deck that she created on her own, concept, writing, and art.
The Voice of the Trees, A Celtic Ogham Oracle is based on the
rich and fantastic Celtic history, myths and legends and the Ogham
system of letters used in 4th-6th century.
Being of the male persuasion I had my doubts as to how much
I would relate to and be drawn into a novel about a group of older women who follow
Goddess traditions and teachings. After reading Secret Lives I now see that my
doubts were wholly unfounded and that Barbara Ardinger has written a marvelous
book that is engaging, heartwarming and even instructive if you are open to the
spirit in which this novel was written. The grandmothers, the daughters and the
granddaughters of this novel are well drawn characters that personify the
struggles that women in general face living in a world that still sees them as
worth less than their male counterparts but in particular it also delves into
the struggles that women face who follow a spiritual path that does not adhere
to a patriarchal model that has come to dominate this modern world we live in.
Traditionally, Samhain is considered to be the day when the
dead and living can mingle. The veils of the world are at their thinnest and
there is a sense of liminal space in the air. Liminal space is border space,
the in between place, where anything can happen. This flexibility time means
that contact with our ancestors is easier than during the rest of the year. A
lot of rituals I've attended for Samhain have involved remembrances of the
For me, Samhain is a time for change. The nights are getting
longer, the air is cooler, the leaves are falling, and we are going into a time
of the year that tends to make many people insular. At this time of the year I
remember past regrets and assess the overall direction of my life. This has
caused me to start doing an annual ritual for just this time of the year.
This annual ritual involves choosing an element and
dedicating myself to working with it for an entire year. I originally chose the
five classic Western elements to work with. Since these elements have a lot of
behavioral characteristics associated with them, I felt that choosing to work
with an element that represented desired behavioral traits could be useful for
helping a person modify hir behavior.
From Taylor's article called The Samhain Elemental Ritual. Click here to read the entire article.
benign New Spiritual practices can suffer from some of the same
pitfalls as conventional organized religion. Fortunately, once we’re
aware of these diversions we can make the informed choices that reunite
us with the inspirited world, rather than contribute to our
my life of pilgrimage the voices of the earthen Anima have repeatedly
contradicted what I’ve read, was taught, once thought, and so badly
wanted to believe... Thus as I became a teacher myself, I deferred
again and again— not to presumed authorities or established traditions,
but to the actual Source of every real truth they contain. Our
realization of wholeness/holiness begins not in contemplation or
conclusion but in a great listening. It begins in a vulnerable
condition of openness, with fierce focus, gentle humility, and the
overwhelming gratitude that makes us worthy of such gifts.
Developing the Magickal Personality By David Rankine
"I for my part, knew how
little the true adept needs for his magic, but I had to work upon men's
imaginations, and for that I needed a stage setting...and to this end I had to
have about me that which should suggest the great days of the past when the
cult to which I belonged was at the height of its power...And so, little by
little, I had collected ancient things from the old temples...I also used
colours for my background, knowing their power over the mind - over my mind as
well as over the minds of those who came to visit me.There is a science of colours...for my
purpose I use the pale opalescent moon-colours on a base of silver; the purple
that is a plum-colour, and the reds that are magenta or maroon, and the blues
of sea-water and the sky at night; never the strong primaries such as a man
uses when he is a magus.Always the
shadowy, blended colours are mine, for I am the shadow in the background.
"As for my body, I had made
that to be an instrument of my personality, training it, supplying it, learning
its arts and powers.Nature had not been
unkind, but she had not been lavish, and I had to make of myself something that
I could use for the purpose I had in hand...I am bold, even rash, in the matter
of lipsticks, and I love long ear-rings.It would require Huysmans to do justice to the ear-rings I have
possessed - jade, amber, coral, lapis, malachite for day; and for the night I
have great jewels...I wear my own fashions, and they come from the "soft
furnishings" as often one does not find in the dress materials...I like
rings, too, so big that I can hardly get my gloves on over them; and bracelets
like fetters on my wrists.My hands are
supple with ritual...and I wear my nails long to match my tiger teeth.I like my shoes to be very soft and light and
supple, like gloves rather than shoes, so that I can move in them without
sound...I know the meaning of movement - how it should flow like water.I know too how the body should swing and
balance from the waist..."(from
Moon Magic by Dion Fortune)
The above passage, from Dion
Fortune's magickal novel Moon Magic, gives a description of how her character,
Vivien Le Fay Morgan, has developed her magickal personality.She chooses clothing, colours, jewellery, and
even the way she moves her body, and speaks, in a conscious way, to project her
magickal personality.The way we dress,
and how we look, not only tells others a lot about ourselves, but also affects
the way we feel about ourselves.
When we take our clothes off to work
rituals sky clad, we are casting off our social selves, and coming to a more
natural state, closer to nature.Putting
on ritual jewellery, which is associated with the magickal personality helps
one to transform into the Magickal Self, or to identify more strongly with
it.If you work robed, changing into a
robe is also a way of changing one's identity to that of the magickal
personality, and this should be done consciously.