“Nature that framed us of four elements, warring within our breast for regiment, doth teach us all to have aspiring minds.”
We are all composed of the elements. Within us, we are cocktails of Earth, Water, Wind, and
You have decided to set up a personal Altar; you will need to take some things into consideration when you start. First you will need to decide if you would like to have it openly displayed, or if you would prefer to have it hidden in a discreet place. The goal is to find a place where you will feel the most comfortable and safe.
Altars can vary in size and forms; you can have anything from a regular table, a nightstand or even a recovered tree stump. The altar does not need to be an elaborate set up, it only needs big enough to hold your Altar supplies in order to work with them with ease and comfort.
Once your altar space has been chosen, next you will decide on an Altar Cloth. This cloth should have some reflection on who you are, what your beliefs are and be practical at the same time. Remember you are going to be burning candles, mixing herbs, using smudge sticks, and a number of other spiritual tools. There is no need to break the bank on your alter cloth, as in most cases it is there to protect your altar and will need to be replaced often.
It is that time of year that sneaks up on us again, Mercury Retrograde. It is the unwelcome Uncle that stops by for an hour and stays an entire month. He rustles through our things, leaves his trail of chaos and breadcrumbs. Then before you know it just up and leaves without so much as a word. We are left to pick up the pieces of his destructive visit.
What is Mercury Retrograde? Three, and sometimes four, times a year, the planet Mercury appears to be moving backwards in the sky for a period of approximately 3 weeks. "Appears" is the key word here, because, technically speaking, no planet actually moves backwards in their orbits around the Sun. In fact, they don't even slow down. Retrograde-station-direct cycles are essentially illusions that result from our point of view from Earth, simply because the Earth is also orbiting the Sun at a different speed than the other planets. Mercury turns retrograde more frequently than any other planet. It can never be more than 28 degrees from the Sun, and whenever it reaches its furthest distance from the Sun, it changes direction.
You've decided you want to learn about contemporary Wicca or another modern Pagan path, and you are curious where to start and what books you should read. After all there are thousands of books that are out there. We have started a small list of books we recommend you start with. Of course if you have any suggestions you would like to share with our readers, we look forward to hearing from you in our comments!