Flying Ointment

During the Burning Times, one of the many feats attributed to accused witches was the ability to fly. The details of these flights varied from region to region, but often involved staffs, bundles of sticks, or broomsticks. Sometimes witches would be ‘seen’ travelling on bewitched animals or familiars.

In reality, it’s generally accepted today that the ‘flying ointments’ of times past did not help witches actually take to the skies. The chemical compounds in the traditional herbs used likely caused hallucinations or even induced true astral travelling. When accused witches talked of flying, people took them literally. Continue reading “Flying Ointment”

What is Polytheism?

For all of our differences in beliefs and practices, one of the few characteristics that nearly all Pagans share is a polytheistic outlook when it comes to Deity. Generally speaking, we believe in the existence of many Gods and Goddesses. Of course, even this is not universal among all Pagans.

But if you were to ask a number of Pagans from different paths, what it means to be polytheistic, you might not always get the same answers. It’s not as simple as you may think. Continue reading “What is Polytheism?”

How Old is Wicca?

I’ve noticed this can be a touchy subject among Wiccans and other Pagans: the history of the Wiccan religion. People (usually novices) often make statements about the ancient origins of Wicca, or how Wicca has been practiced for thousands of years.

Sorry folks, but this is simply not accurate.

The base of the confusion is that some people don’t distinguish between something that exists today, and its historical roots. Ok, that’s not very clear, is it? How about an example. Continue reading “How Old is Wicca?”