How do you get what you want?

Some people never make it to this question. They get stymied on the issue of deciding what they want. They have too many choices, or they don’t like their choices. They don’t trust the Universe. They don’t trust themselves. Deciding what you want carries with it its own set of issues one must work though. But we’re going to presume you’ve mastered that.

Once you know what it is you want, how do you go about getting it?

“An it harm none, do what you will.” The phrase has prompted nearly every thought…


There’s a buzz in the air — a persistent hum that represents an intensity of activity that belies the relaxing feeling the sound can produce.

It’s the bees. And this is the time that things are getting a little hectic in the hive. Spring has sprung and the bees have been busy — collecting pollen, making honey, reproducing, and with all that activity and productivity, the hive has become a very, very crowded place. Perhaps too crowded. There is too much buzz and activity to be contained in this hive.

Or maybe the bees have awoken to discover that their…


What makes a group “good” or “bad” is not what you think it is

Opinions are not like assholes. Because most of us have WAY MORE than one. I joke around when I teach Witchcraft 101 students that if you put 10 pagans in a room you will get 15 different opinions, and all of them will be right and all of them will be wrong. Part of what makes this community so simultaneously amazing and infuriating is that we have lots of strong opinions about how things ought to be, and they are all over the damn place.

Nowhere is that more evident than when pagans talk about groups. Remember, we don’t have…


Let’s just tell it like it is. This winter was HARD. And we are all sick of this pandemic. And there’s a vaccine now — three of them actually. And while it’s been happening in fits and starts and very unevenly, it looks like we might actually get to the other side of this thing.

If there was ever a moment where everything seemed ready to bust loose, it’s now.

Ostara is really about that feeling. That moment when all of the beautiful green things, all the life that has been hibernating, that has been preparing, begins to burst forth…


When you say the word “devotion” it carries with it a lot of connotations. Devotion is not just about liking or even loving a person or thing. Devotion is more than just showing respect for something. Devotion carries with it the idea of sustained service, of a willingness to make sacrifice on behalf of its object. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary includes among its definitions of “devotion” that it is “an act of prayer or private worship — usually used in plural” and that it is “the fact or state of being ardently dedicated and loyal.”

Religious and spiritual leaders have recommended some…


I won’t lie — one of the coolest parts about being a witch is the tools.

Check out an instagram feed that features witchy things and you’ll see all sorts of pictures of crystals, candles, athames (daggers for you new folk), tarot cards, cauldrons, and chalices, all inscribed with fancy symbols that also look really cool and mysterious. One can spend all kinds of money on things like spell kits or statues of deities or talismans. The “witchy aesthetic” is so camera-ready and popular these days, that there is no shortage of people who want the look. And that also…


Imbolc isn’t one of the holidays that gets a lot of love and attention. Not like some of the other pagan Sabbats, anyway. It’s got the fire, but not the wild, connective, sensual energy of Beltane. It’s not got that spooky, spirits from beyond the veil vibe that you get at Samhain. It hasn’t got the frenetic, hardworking, harvest energy of Lammas or the Autumn Equinox. Sandwiched between the deep community and warm hearth fires of Yule and the wild, rangy energy of Ostara when life bursts forth from the ground, Imbolc is often treated in a perfunctory manner. …


Leadership.

Power.

Strength.

If I were to ask you to close your eyes and consider those three words and think of a person embodying them, the image you construct would probably read as male in gender. And the person you have made in your mind’s eye probably exhibits many old school tropes that derive from patriarchy-based ideas of what leadership and power and strength look like. The person in your head is probably “large and in charge” — they stride confidently around, giving orders and dominating the scene. They know all the things, and no one gainsays them in anything…


Have you noticed that most of the holidays that happen in the month of December involve the giving and receiving of gifts? Whether it’s Yule or Christmas or Kwanzaa or Hanukah, gift-giving is a component of the festivities. And that gift giving is mutual.

Is there anything worse than being part of a holiday celebration and being the one person who didn’t get a gift? Maybe it’s being the person who forgot to get a gift when you have received one. The failure of mutuality at a holiday celebration is super-duper awkward. We try to avoid it if we can…


One of the terms that seems to be terribly popular in pagan circles these days is the notion of “shadow work.”

Like a lot of Craft terms that get popularized into becoming a sort of Witchy Chic, “shadow work” sounds super mysterious and cool, like something that John Constantine does in a comic book. And if you’ve been doing the Craft more than a minute, you know that shadow work is an important part of walking your path. As is often the case when serious Craft practices become part of the more popular vernacular, a lot of misapprehension ensues.

So…

Alythia of the Ash

A believer in magic and justice and the right to be exactly as you are. Anything passing for wisdom here is likely the product of surviving my own stupidity.

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