Most articles about death in ancient Egypt surround mummies. But I’m more interested in their funerary rites. How were the ancient Egyptians buried? Did all of them get mummies and sarcophagi? Let’s go back 5,000 years.
The Ancient Egyptian Soul and the Afterlife
Before we talk about the funerals, I want to clarify some beliefs about the Egyptian afterlife. Most sources talk about the process of the soul entering the afterlife and getting judged (as detailed in The Book of the Dead). But what happens after that?
According to scholar Margaret Bunson, author of the Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, the Egyptian afterlife was not in the clouds or underground. The realm of the dead, known as the Field of Reeds, was a mirror image of life on earth. If the proper funerary rites were carried out, souls could eat, drink, and even party.
In ancient Egyptian theology, the soul consisted of nine parts: the khat, ka, ba, shuyet, akh, ab, sahu, sechem, and ren. For the purposes of this article, the most important ones are the ka and akh.
The ka was the vital force that joined the deceased during the burial. It is not the body itself; that’s the khat. The ka was basically a person’s second form that was present during the funeral. When the Egyptians presented offerings, they gave them to the ka.
The akh is the closest concept to our modern-day ghost. It was an immortal, spiritual self that operated within the realm of the living and the dead. In other words, the akh could affect day-to-day life. The Egyptians worked to keep the akh happy so that the deceased wouldn’t haunt them.
Hauntings were taken very seriously. They could cause illness, bring bad luck, or damage a person’s property. According to the World History Encyclopedia, ancient morticians would advertise their services as making a family haunt-free. On the other hand, the akh was also petitioned in curses. Family members could write to the akh and ask them to haunt another person.
During funerals, ancient Egyptians were trying to do two things: (1) help the soul be happy in the afterlife, and (2) prevent the soul from terrorizing them.
One last thing. There are three deities who will frequently pop up throughout this post, so let’s get familiar with Them:
You might be wondering about Anubis. It’s true that He governed funerals and embalming, but He was mostly worshiped by embalmers. Common folk usually called upon Anubis for protection spells (according to Murry Hope in her book, The Ancient Wisdom of Egypt).
Mummies: Were They Really That Common?
First off, not everyone was mummified. The process was expensive and time-consuming, so most of the time, it was reserved for the wealthy. During the Egyptian Empire (3150 - 332 BCE), mummification became affordable and therefore more common. Even if the poor couldn’t afford mummies, they still had a funeral.
Second, the mummification process changed throughout the centuries. It also changed based on the deceased’s wealth and the area they were buried in. Because of this, I’m not going to spend much time talking about mummies.
I’ll give you a brief overview of the mummification process, based on what I read from scholar Salima Ikram. Embalmers would first remove the brain and internal organs. They then covered the body in natron, a type of salt. According to the Smithsonian, natron would remove all moisture from the body, which would prevent the decomposition process. Once the body was dried, embalmers wrapped the corpse in linen (usually hundreds of yards long). They glued the linen together with gum. The entire process took 70 days.
What happened to the people who weren’t mummified? They were still embalmed, but not fully mummified. Instead of being wrapped in linen, the dead wore their old clothes. They were then placed in a coffin and buried, much like today’s dead. Many were also placed in a sarcophagus, a stone container that held the coffin.
The Coffin and Sarcophagus
Many families would also pay for a sarcophagus. The sarcophagus didn’t just protect the body; it also had spiritual uses. Many were inscribed with hieroglyph spells. One was written vertically down the back of the sarcophagus. It gave the soul strength to eat and move around. Sometimes, instructions were carved inside of the sarcophagus. These are called the Coffin Texts and are a fun read for any death worker. In short, they’re a series of instructions that tells the soul what to do and where to go for a happy afterlife.
Once the family had their coffin and sarcophagus, and the body was embalmed, the funeral could begin.
Most funerals started from the embalmer’s tent. The procession followed the coffin, which was carried on a cart pulled by oxen. Relatives walked along either side of the coffin. Usually, there were at least two priestesses there, one for Isis and one for Nephthys. Relatives carried offerings and the deceased’s belongings. If applicable, one person carried the canopic jar. This jar held the corpse’s organs and was buried with the body.
Herodotus described Egyptian funerals as being dramatic, as people plastered their faces with mud and beat their breasts while mourning. It was believed that the Gods and the person’s soul (ka) could hear everyone’s mourning. Also, larger processions were an indication of the deceased’s high status.
In fact, some Egyptians were even hired to join funerals and mourn. These groups were called the Kites of Nephthys (as Nephthys was often depicted with kites), and they were almost always women. During the procession, they would sing “The Lamentation of Isis and Nephthys,” about the two Goddesses weeping over Osiris. Definitely a dream job.
Some processions included extra priests, dancers, and musicians. Basically, the wealthier the deceased, the more dramatic their funeral was.
So where did the procession go? Like us, the Egyptians had cemeteries. Most were buried in a dry spot west of the Nile, since the corpse would dry out more quickly. In many cases, the coffin and mourners would have to board a boat and sail there.
Once they reached the open grave, priests performed a ritual called the Opening of the Mouth. Remember when I said that the dead could eat and drink? The Opening of the Mouth ensured that the deceased could move their arms, legs, and mouth to fully enjoy the afterlife. (This ritual first appeared during the Old Kingdom, 2613 - 2181 BC).
Pretty much every funeral includes some offering to the deceased. Nowadays, offerings are usually flowers placed on the grave. In ancient Egypt, offerings were buried with the body.
Most offerings were items that the deceased owned. Family members would bury their favorite belongings, believing that these items would join them in the afterlife. Food and drink were also common offerings, mainly bread and beer.
I want to thank these sources for providing me with most of the information in this post.
Before researching Ostara, I made a poll for my patrons: Are you more interested in the history of the holiday, or modern worship techniques? My patrons voted for the holiday’s history. In the Wheel of the Year, Ostara is one of the biggest holidays. I thought that I would find a lot of interesting history.
But when I started researching, I was shocked at how many people made incorrect claims. Claims that Ēostre was a major Goddess, that She is equivalent to Astarte and Ishtar, that the holiday had been going on for centuries–all of which are wrong. I am gobsmacked by how much misinformation is out there.
Before I explain why these concepts are wrong, I want to provide some advice. If you want accurate historical information on Pagan holidays, don’t trust the top Google results. Look for museums, universities, and historians who will provide nuance. Even Wikipedia has more accurate information than many of the top blogs listed. And, as I will show later in this article, even university websites can be wrong!
How Significant Was the Goddess Ēostre?
Pre-Christian Germans did not write much down, so even the Poetic Edda and Prose Edda were written later by Christians.
When reading these works, you must keep bias in mind. Although monks were well-educated, they did not know everything about history. Many scholars believe that some of these monks made stuff up, such as the “blood eagle” execution method (seen in Midsommar), which has no evidence in archaeology.
But back to Bede. In all of his writings, Bede only mentioned Ēostre once: in The Reckoning of Time (725), which analyzes medieval and ancient cosmic calendars. In the work, Bede claimed that the holiday came from a spring festival celebrating Ēostre. He also said that the date of Christian Easter was calculated by the Roman monk Dionysus Exiguus, who timed it with the full moon.
This is the only evidence we have of Ēostre. She was only mentioned in passing, and although archaeologists have found evidence of ancient spring celebrations, most did not point towards a specific Goddess. This has lead many scholars to doubt that Ēostre existed.
But if that’s true, where did the names Easter and Ostara come from? In a 2008 paper, linguist R. Sermon provided one possible explanation:
“More recently it has been suggested that Bede was only speculating about the origins of the festival name, although attempts by various German linguists to find alternative origins have so far proven unconvincing. Nevertheless, there may be a more direct route by which Ostern could have entered the German language. Much of Germany was converted to Christianity by Anglo-Saxon clerics such as St Boniface (C.AD 673–754), who could have introduced the Old English name Eastron during the course of their missionary work. This would explain the first appearance of Ostarun in the Abrogans, a late eighth-century Old High German glossary, and does not require any complex linguistic arguments or the existence of a Germanic goddess Ostara.”
To be explicitly clear: I’m not trying to invalidate people who work with the Goddess Ēostre. Personally, I don’t think that deities have to be ancient in order to be valid. That’s why I’m capitalizing Her pronouns. I’m bringing this up because so many blogs claim that Ēostre 100% existed, and that She was historically and spiritually significant. If She existed, She was likely a minor deity.
Ēostre, Astarte, and Ishtar
This time, it was Scottish protestant minister Alexander Hislop. In his book The Two Babylons (1853), Hislop claimed that the name Ēostre was a twist of Astarte, whom he incorrectly equated with Ishtar:
“What means the term Easter itself? It is not a Christian name. It bears its Chaldean origin on its very forehead. Easter is nothing else than Astarte, one of the titles of Beltis, the queen of heaven, whose name, as pronounced by the people of Ninevah, was evidently identical with that now in common use in this country. This name as found by Layard on the Assyrian monuments, is Ishtar.”
All of this is wrong, by the way. Linguists quickly debunked this theory back in the 19th century. If you’re wondering where the word Easter actually comes from, there’s a succinct article in Time that examines the most popular theories.
Despite this, people are still writing about Astarte and Ēostre as if They’re related. And even if the theory were true, Hislop did not say that Astarte and Ēostre were spiritually similar. He claimed that the names were similar, not the Goddesses.
Can we stop repeating these “facts” without researching them first?
One quick tangent before we continue: While writing this post, my husband asked if naming holidays after deities has historical basis. Although it was not common, it has happened. The Roman festival Saturnalia is an obvious example. But it’s much more common for holidays to be named after Catholic saints, such as Brigid’s Day, which I discussed in my Imbolc post.
Did Ancient Spring Celebrations Exist?
All of these misconceptions aside, the core of Ostara is not Ēostre. It’s the spring equinox and the changing of seasons. Did the ancients really celebrate the spring equinox?
Yes, many ancient civilizations celebrated the spring equinox. Shintoism and Hinduism both have holidays around this time: Vernal Equinox Day and Holi, respectively. Nowruz, the Persian New Year, lands on this day. And despite the spread of Islam, Nowruz is still a national holiday in the Republic of Iran.
Remember that changing seasons were especially important for rural communities. By the time spring began, many new livestock had been born, and new seeds had been planted. There was plenty to celebrate.
I also want to note that Ostara, specifically, is part of the Wheel of the Year. This calendar was inspired by ancient Scottish and Irish calendars, with some other traditions thrown in. Gerald Gardner, who founded Wicca and helped establish the Wheel of the Year, believed that Wicca was the ancient religion of the British Isles. Although his theory was incorrect, it inspired a lot of people to revive ancient festivals and holidays.
In the British Isles, not much is known about ancient spring festivals beyond Easter. But some theorize that Stonehenge likely played a role. Druids have been celebrating the spring equinox since the 18th century, which might have inspired some Ostara practices.
Despite being one of the most popular modern Pagan holidays, Ostara has the haziest history. Little is known about it, and what is known is widely debated.
Where Did Ostara's Symbols Come From?
You can’t research Ostara without running into popular Easter symbols such as eggs and bunnies. Many have questioned where these symbols came from. I’ve seen a few people theorize that they were Ēostre’s symbols.
Although historians don’t have a 100% definitive answer, it is widely believed that these symbols were pre-Christian. But they might not have been linked to any specific deity. More likely, they were symbolic representations of spring, namely the land’s fertility.
Fertility is one of the most misunderstood concepts in the Wheel of the Year. When talking about fertility celebrations, we’re not focusing on human fertility. It’s the fertility of the land. I’m sure you’ve heard that the soil becomes fertile during spring. Livestock also become fertile and give birth to baby animals.
Despite what some people say (mostly on anti-Wiccan rants), fertility celebrations are not inherently sexual. In some cases they can be, such as in a fertility spell. But remember that we’re talking about seasonal holidays. The Earth’s ability to grow crops was especially important in ancient times.
How Do We Celebrate Ostara?
If you’re like me, all of this information probably made you more confused about Ostara than before. With such limited historical information, some might wonder whether we should celebrate the holiday at all.
Personally, I think the lack of information frees us to celebrate Ostara however we’d like. Although the ancient traditions disappeared, the core of the holiday is still present. We’re honoring the fertile land, warming weather, equal days and nights, and fruitful days to come.
I haven’t performed a traditional Wiccan ritual in years. It’s hard to even call myself a Wiccan at this point. But I still follow the Wheel of the Year because it forces me to slow down. These holidays remind me to pause, spend time in nature, and be grateful for the Earth that I often ignore.
The spring equinox is a holiday of hope and gratitude. Do whatever reminds you of your blessings and provides hope for the future. If painting eggs gets you in the spring mood, paint. If you want to go on your first spring hike or picnic, do that. If there’s still snow on the ground and you want to stay inside, draw or journal. Just take some time to slow down and thank the Earth.
Everybody takes breaks. We need them to slow down, reflect, and adjust to change. But in religious communities, many people encourage a consistent practice. Do something religious every day, every week, or every morning and night–then you’ll be doing it “right.”
As ideal as this seems, this doesn’t fit into everyday life. Work projects, midterms, health scares, and family emergencies pull us out of worship. Sometimes, a combination of little projects adds up, and the stress makes worship impossible.
Throughout my career, I’ve had many people ask me about reconnecting with a deity after a long break. They usually seem anxious. What if the deity is mad at them? Did they do something wrong? Will the deity understand?
Let’s talk about reconnecting with deities. It might seem daunting, but if you break it down into steps, it becomes much more manageable. Since I've taken a break from working with Hades, I'll do it with you!
Work through the Emotions
This idea is a common misconception about Pagan deities, and it usually stems from insecurity. If we don’t tackle these emotions, they will prevent us from worshiping.
First off, rarely do deities end up hating their followers. Will They be upset? Maybe; I can’t speak for Them. But most of the time, deities understand why you took time off. Remember that They are omniscient. Deities aren’t like family members you forgot to call: They can see your life and many things beyond it.
To relieve guilt and anxiety, I recommend writing a letter to your deity. Explain why you took time off and how you feel about it. Are you worried about what They’ll think? Do you feel disappointed with yourself? What’s preventing you from worshiping again? Be honest with your deities. They’ll appreciate it.
If writing gives you anxiety, try this trick my therapist taught me. Set a timer for two minutes, and write. When the timer goes off, take a break. Watch a funny video, hug a stuffed animal, cry, meditate–do whatever you need to process the emotions. When you feel ready, set the timer for another two minutes.
Brainstorming Worship Ideas
Now that we feel better, we need to figure out how we’ll worship. Many people jump into worshiping the exact same way they did before. But don’t be too hasty!
After a long break, your life and daily schedule are likely different from before. So your old worship routine might not work. In addition, a new worship technique could inspire motivation if you feel burnt out.
Let’s break out our prayer journals or a piece of paper. Create two lists: (1) your former worship routine and (2) new worship ideas.
Writing down your old routine might remind you of what you enjoyed and what you tolerated. Brainstorming new ideas will refresh you.
When I wrote about my Hades worship, here’s what I jotted down:
From these two lists, we can choose which ideas we want to pursue. If you want some more ideas, check out these Pagan prayer journaling prompts.
Notice how low-effort some of these ideas are. We can play music or build digital altars while performing other tasks. That’s great! Worship does not need to be high-effort to be valid, especially when we’re just getting back into it.
Make It Easy
Since it’s been a long time, many worshipers want to perform large, complex rituals. But I recommend going easy. Make your new routine as simple as possible.
Consistent worship is like developing a habit. People are more likely to stick to a habit if it’s easier. If the worship takes too much time or energy, we might not want to do it.
Choose one or two worship techniques from the lists you made earlier. While choosing, consider which ones would be the most fun. We want worship to be enjoyable and something that you look forward to.
Also, don’t think about daily/weekly worship yet. Focus on this one ritual. View this as the “reset” ritual, one that brings you back into the groove. Remember, the less pressure you put on yourself, the more fun your worship will be.
Where Do We Go from Here?
At this point, we’ve done our ritual. We have successfully reconnected with our deity or deities. Now what?
Now is the time to look forward. How often do you want to worship? How often can you feasibly worship? What will you enjoy doing? What works with your schedule?
If you desire a consistent Pagan practice, read this post. But remember not to overload yourself. Keep your routine as simple as possible and add steps over time.
How did it go? What’s your worship routine? Let me know in the comments below!
Other Helpful Posts:
Throughout my six years of blogging, I’ve received a lot of questions about Paganism and Pagan deities. Many of these questions stem from misconceptions about the Gods and Their worship.
To be clear: I don’t blame people for having misconceptions. Pagan religions are not widely discussed or well-known. Most people don’t really know what they’re getting into, only that they’re interested. To make it easier on everyone, I want to clear up some of the most common misconceptions I see throughout the community.
DISCLAIMER: The headlines are the misconceptions. The body text explains why these are incorrect. I want to make this explicitly clear for anyone who is skimming this article.
1. You Must Receive a Sign to Start Working with Deities
This is, by far, the most common misconception throughout the Pagan community. It’s such a common idea that I wrote a whole post about signs, and it’s my most popular page by far.
A lot of people read about worshipers receiving “signs”: the deity’s name keeps popping up, they receive a moving dream, a song keeps playing on the radio, etc. Many people view signs as a deity “choosing” them in a glamorous, esoteric way. Personally, I think it’s more accurate to say that signs are the universe’s way of getting you to consider something.
You do not need a sign to work with a Pagan deity. Although people love writing about signs, not many experience them (or realize that they’re experiencing them). Most Pagans I know reached out to a deity because they were interested in a relationship with Them. You don’t need a tangible reason.
On top of that, many people don’t realize when they’re receiving signs. I initially reached out to Hades because I felt drawn to Him. At the time, I didn’t notice that He kept popping up in my literature, on my social media, in my classes…there were signs, but I wasn’t noticing them.
Signs don’t make you a better or worse worshiper. People who receive signs (or believe that they do) are not more valuable than those who don't. Your Pagan path depends on what you do, not what you see/hear/notice before it even starts.
2. You Have to Be Similar to a Deity
Many people think that they have to work with deities who share some similarity with them. For example, if you’re an artsy person, you might assume that you should work with Brigid, Apollo, or Thoth. But for many people, that’s not how Paganism works.
You do not need to work with a “similar” deity. In fact, I find that many people feel drawn to unexpected deities. I often receive messages such as, “Why do I feel pulled to Hades? I’m not interested in death work and have no major deaths in my life.”
In reality, deities are so much more than They appear to be. Hades is the Lord of the Death, but He also governs finances, seasonal changes, justice, shadow work, and the earth. But most people wouldn’t know this unless they researched Hades and His worship.
So if you feel drawn to a deity and don’t know why, start researching. You might uncover something that will change your perspective.
3. There Are Good and Bad Beginner Deities
This myth deserves an entire post just so I can rant about how much I hate this trend. I’ve seen too many bloggers and authors claim that certain deities are good/bad for beginners. Many people have messaged me, worried about Hades being a “bad beginner deity.”
Who decides which deity is good for beginners? What are the parameters? Is there one person in the entire Pagan community who has worked with every deity in every pantheon, in-depth, to develop a list?
All of these “beginner” lists are subjective. Everybody has a different relationship with the Gods. I, personally, would say that Hades is a fantastic beginner deity because He was to me. Does that mean that He’ll be great for you? Nobody knows. We’re not omniscient. That’s why there is no such thing as a “beginner deity.”
Do not let other authors dictate who you work with. If you feel drawn to a deity, reach out. Only you can determine your Pagan path.
4. Pagan Deities Act like They Do in Myths
You can thank Christian culture and vapid history lessons for this assumption. Many people assume that Pagan myths are (and were) treated like the Bible. If you work with Zeus, you’re working with a deity who bangs every woman in existence, right?
Wrong. Historically, many believed that the myths were not real. Myths were treated as entertainment, stories that explain a natural phenomenon or moral standpoint relevant to the times. The deities who were worshiped in, say, ancient Greece, were not the same deities you see depicted myths.
In ancient worship, Zeus was viewed as a God of justice, morality, order–the deity who makes sure that everything is running smoothly. Similarly, Hera wasn’t viewed as just a jealous Goddess. She protected women, mothers, children, childbirth, and the home.
If you’re interested in Paganism, research how the deities were actually worshiped. Dive into honorifics, rituals, holidays, and cults. Do not rely on the mythos; those will not give you accurate information.
5. You Must Have a Matron/Patron or Be a Devotee
Many Wiccan authors promote the idea of a matron and patron. These are the “main” God and Goddess in a person’s Pagan worship. Similarly, many modern-day worshipers are devotees, meaning that they devote most of their time to a specific deity (or two, or three).
Can you have a matron/patron? Sure. Can you be a devotee? If you want to. But you do not need to. In fact, I recommend that you hold off these labels during early worship.
Matrons, patrons, and devotions are big commitments. People take on these labels because they feel a special closeness to a God/Goddess. But how do you know which deity you feel close to? You won’t until you work with Them for a while.
Don’t feel too eager to devote or adopt labels. Slow down, have fun with it, and learn about yourself and your Gods.
6. You Can Only Work with One Pantheon
A pantheon is a group of Gods in a specific religion/culture, such as the Greek pantheon, Egyptian, etc. You do not have to choose one pantheon. In fact, most Pagans I know work with deities from multiple pantheons.
Whenever I receive questions about pantheons, it’s usually from people who work with one pantheon/deity (let’s say Osiris) and want to branch out to another (let’s say Lugh). They want to know if it’s disrespectful to their current deity to reach out to another.
Usually, there isn’t a problem. But if you want to make sure, contact your current deity. Use divination, prayer, offerings–see what They say. If you don’t feel anything wrong, then you’re probably in the clear.
7. Certain Deities Hate Each Other
I hear these misconceptions so often. “I’ve heard that Horus and Set hate each other. Can I not work with both of Them?” “I’ve heard that Hades hates almost every other deity. Is He a jealous God?”
This is another case where people rely too much on mythology for information about the Gods. Historically, Gods were worshiped together. Although many people worked with one or two deities more often, most worshiped the entire pantheon as a whole. If deities were spiteful or jealous, then this wouldn’t have been possible.
Don’t assume how the Gods will act before They do. Contact Them, listen to Them, and worship in good faith.
8. You Must Have Some Niche Psychic Ability to Communicate with the Gods
I’ve seen many social media users claim to “hear” their deities, dream of Them, see Them, etc. And many others have seen these posts, too. These posts make many Pagans think, “That’s never happened to me–am I doing something wrong?
Some people have used the terms clairsentience, clairaudience, and–as much as I hate this term–”godphone.” It implies that people need some niche psychic ability to communicate with the Gods.
You don’t need any special ability to talk to the Gods. Hell, you don’t even need to be a witch or interested in magic. The only requirements are respect for the Gods and interest in the path.
Ignore people who claim to “hear” or “see” their deities all the time. While these abilities are possible, they rarely happen on a daily basis. And most people who say things like “I heard [God/Goddess] say ___” are just rephrasing their own beliefs.
Most people communicate with the Gods through prayer, divination, meditation, and listening to nature. During your path, you will learn how to hear and see your Gods, in your own way.
9. There Is a “Proper” Way to Pray
Many Pagans use historical prayers or poems in their worship. This has lead some people to believe that they need to speak to the Gods in a “proper” way, or you need professionally-written, rhyming prayers.
There is no “right way” to speak to the Gods. Many people just speak normally. Some people even have nicknames for their deities or inside jokes. If you struggle with Pagan prayer, here’s a post for just this topic.
10. If You Don’t Worship Consistently, the Gods Will Hate You
I’ve heard so many people worry about their Gods “hating” them for skipping a holiday, taking a break, or having a difficult time. And it always makes me so sad.
First off, breaks in spiritual practice are normal. Sometimes, life gets in the way. Health scares, financial troubles, school, familial obligations–-all can interrupt your worship for a period of time. Anyone who says that their worship is constant is lying.
Given that these breaks are normal, I highly doubt a deity would hate you for taking one. Would They be upset with you for skipping a ritual you said you’d fulfill? Maybe. I can’t speak for Them. Personally, I’ve received nothing more than a stern talking to for this. They might be annoyed, but hate? That’s a strong word.
It’s easy to forget that the Gods are omniscient. They understand what you went through, probably better than you do. When worshipers have a difficult time, the Gods are here to help, not scold.
Try not to let your personal views get in the way. In my experience, whenever I thought “so-and-so will hate me,” it’s because I’m being hard on myself. It rarely has to do with the deity in question.
When in doubt, honesty is the best course of action. Were you struggling? Were you doubting (which is also normal)? Do you feel guilty? Are you having a hard time returning to worship? Talking to the Gods will not only relieve your emotions, but it could also grant you some clarity.
The Gods are generally kinder and more understanding than some people give Them credit for. Never assume what the Gods will think without consulting Them yourself.
There are many other topics that I didn’t cover here, such as initiation, cultural appropriation, and historical accuracy. If you would like a sequel to this post, leave a comment below.
Last summer, I wrote a post about how to choose a Pagan deity to worship. This week, I’m doing the reverse: what to do when a deity chooses you.
Perhaps a deity popped up during divination. Maybe you keep seeing signs associated with a deity. Or maybe you feel suddenly drawn toward a deity, despite not knowing why.
What do you do now? I’ll answer based on my experiences and shared experiences from others.
Ever since I started posting about Hades worship on Tumblr, I’ve received messages similar to this: “Hades is reaching out to me, but I’m not a death witch, and I’ve never had any significant experiences with death. Why me?”
I can’t answer that. The Gods and Goddesses think in ways that are beyond our comprehension.
That said, deities are more complex than many of us realize. For example, Hades doesn’t just aid with funerals and grief. He also governs justice, fair treatment, the fear of mortality, wealth and finances, fertility of the earth, and major life transitions. There could be a reason why you need this deity or vice-versa. But you won’t know until you start studying/working with Them.
You Can Say No
For some reason, many authors don’t mention that you can say no. A deity might invite you to work with Them, but it’s just that: an invitation. You may politely turn it down if you are uninterested or not ready. Even in Paganism and witchcraft, relationships are a two-way street. You won’t be punished or screw up cosmic law by declining.
In the same vein, some deities enter our lives momentarily. A God or Goddess might work with you for a while and then withdraw. If this happens, don’t panic. It’s normal. If you want to continue the relationship, then They will likely come back later.
If You Want to Proceed
One more thing. Notice that I have been saying “working with a deity” instead of “worshiping” throughout the post. Many practitioners will work with deities–pay respects, ask for support, and harness Their power for spells–without worshiping Them. If this sounds like you, then these tips still apply.
Study the Deity
Like I mentioned before, deities are more complex than most people believe. If you only know the deity through myths, then you do not know enough to start working with Them.
The ancients treated Gods and Goddesses differently than the myths did. After all, myths are only stories, and even some Pagans didn’t believe they were real. So if you really want to know who the deity is, research how the ancients worshiped Them.
Don’t know where to start? Here are some ideas:
If you want to worship this deity, then also research modern worship. Modern practitioners often tweak ancient rituals to be appropriate for the 2020s. You could get some creative ideas from them.
If you're approached by a minor deity, these might be harder to research. Check out this post for more guidance.
Decide How to Reach Out
These answers will help you decide what to say (or ask) when you first approach the deity.
When You Reach Out
There is no “right way” to reach out to a deity, as long as you’re respectful. That said, I know that many practitioners worry about being disrespectful. So I will give you an example ritual to introduce yourself to a deity. Feel free to adjust if appropriate.
If you're struggling with prayer--how to do it, what's appropriate, etc.--then this post might help you.
What Happens Afterwards?
What should you do after reaching out? I cannot answer this for you. That would defeat the purpose of establishing your own relationship with the deity.
You might not have received an answer after that ritual. Be patient. You might want to repeat divination (similar to how you do it with spirits), or you may wait for signs. If you don’t know whether something is a sign, read this post.
I hope this helped you start a relationship with a deity who reached out. If you have any other tips or experiences you want to share, please comment below!
I’ve never been keen on astrology. I never knew what a moon sign was before people started asking me about mine on tumblr. Ironically, my Catholic parents are more into it than I am and they often send me horoscopes.
Even so, I incorporate the moon phases into my practice. New moons and full moons are common spell days for me. Even if people don’t practice magic, many like to do something to honor these days, such as taking a bath during the full moon.
When I journal about the moon phases, I often run into blogs that go incredibly in-depth into astrology. Not just what sign we’re in, but where Pluto is, and how close Saturn has come, and which constellation is influencing the season. There is nothing wrong with this practice; plenty of magicians adore complex astrology. It’s just not my cup of tea.
So this post is for people who are not super interested in astrology. You can use the moon phases to your advantage without memorizing the correspondences of each planet. Even if you only work with full moons once in a while, you might benefit from these tips. And since the October full moon lands on the 20th, this is the perfect time to start planning.
What Do People Do during Each Moon Phase?
Before we dive into the tips, let’s discuss what each moon phase means. To be clear, the moon isn’t physically changing; its position to the sun changes, which is what makes it look different from Earth. Most of astrology is based on how planets and natural satellites appear to us. For example, retrogrades occur when a planet appears to move backwards, due to an illusion.
The moon is associated with the subconscious and magic almost universally across folklore. It illuminates aspects of ourselves that we might not otherwise pay attention to. Like the tide, energies ebb and wane with the moon, which is why many people cast spells during certain phases.
I have a moon phase mini-zine with bullet point correspondences for each phase. But here is a more in-depth version of that.
DISCLAIMER: Since this is directed toward people who are not super into astrology, I will not be going into crescent, quarter, and gibbous phases. I don’t personally follow those, and they can get a little too complicated for some people. However, I will discuss waxing and waning phases.
The new moon occurs when the moon looks black or invisible. Many consider this to be the start of the moon phase.
Because of this, new moons are associated with beginnings. If you want to change an aspect of your life, such as wake up earlier or eat healthier, the new moon might be a great time to start.
Magic-wise, new moons will amplify any spell that puts projects in motion. Money and job spells fit well here. So do rituals that will enhance your psychic abilities. For spirit workers, this is the ideal time for banishings and divination.
If you have a long-term spell that you cast over time--for example, one where you have to light a candle every day for a week--perform it on the new moon. It will grow in power with the moon phases.
Remember what I said about the moon and our subconscious? Despite having little light, the new moon illuminates the “darker” aspects of our subconscious, such as emotions and biases that we otherwise do not face. You might want to practice shadow work or journal.
The waxing moon looks like the moon is “growing.” It develops from a new moon into a full moon. When the moon looks like a crescent, it’s called waxing crescent; when it passes the halfway point, it’s waxing gibbous.
The waxing moon expands whatever you started during the new moon. During this stage, many people work on self-improvement, whether that be a work project or a personal goal or passion.
If you casted a long-term spell on the new moon, it will usually finish during the waxing or full moon. Otherwise, money and attraction spells will gain power here.
For spirit workers, you might want to practice your psychic abilities during this period.
The full moon is famous for helping any spell. Why? Because the moon is at full power, which means that many other energies get amplified. Spirits become more active during this period, and your intuition might sharpen.
Full moons are perfect for single-night spells. You can do anything from protection to love spells to cleansing. Personally, I tend to get a lot of success in spirit work and divination during a full moon.
Another aspect of the full moon that many people forget about is self-care. Because the moon is sending you power, this is the perfect time to recharge. Bath and shower spells are especially popular during full moons, or you can relax with an old-fashioned Netflix binge.
If the waxing moon is “growing,” then the waning moon is “shrinking.’ The moon’s power is ebbing during a waning moon, especially the last quarter moon (when it’s half full).
This is the time to cool down from all the magic you might have done during the new and full moons. Waning moons usually occur at the end of the moon, when many students and employees feel exhausted.
I view the waning moon as a spiritual cleaning time. Cleansing, meditating, and other stress-lowering practices can recharge you. Work on removing anything that isn’t helping you, whether it’s an emotion, a habit, or even clutter around your home.
If you have long-term spells that are still going during this period, bring them to a close before the new moon.
Tips to Make the Moon Phases Simpler
This might seem like a lot of information because it is. But I have some tips to make the moon phases feel a lot less overwhelming.
Plan what to do beforehand. For the new and full moons, try to research them beforehand. I usually write about them in my prayer journal a few days before. This time, I started a week before to provide an example for this blog post.
Use this as a brainstorming period. What kind of spells work best during this period? Do you want to cast a spell here, or would you rather practice self-care or do something simpler like make moon water?
Remember that you have wiggle room. Because moon phases change slowly, the full and new moons continue for two to three days. If you forgot about the full moon until the last minute (we’ve all been there), relax--you have time.
Don’t feel pressured to perform rituals at night. Many people cast their spells at night when they can see the moon phase. While this does feel magical, you do not have to practice at 10 p.m. The moon will still be full even if you cast a spell during the day. Personally, I tend to practice magic in the mornings because I’m not a night person.
Look up the full moon’s name. Every month, the full moon has a different name and meaning. Most have multiple names. This October, the upcoming full moon on October 20th is called the Hunter’s Moon, Blue Moon, Dying Grass Moon, and Sanguine Moon.
All of these names came from somewhere. If you understand the meaning behind the name, then you’ll get a better idea of what to do on the day.
If you want to, look up the current astrological season. The current astrological season (for example, we’re in Libra right now) can supply some information about the full moon. You do not have to be an astrology expert to gain information from what is currently happening in the stars.
Are there any retrogrades going on? Any planets you like to focus on? If you want to dive a bit deeper, do so. Everyone approaches astrology differently.
You do not need to work during every moon phase. Did you miss this month’s new moon? Don’t worry about it. You are not a failure if you miss a moon phase or choose not to practice magic on these days. Everyone needs a break, and sometimes life gets in the way.
Although moon phases play a significant role in peoples’ crafts, they are not a requirement. You do not need to follow the moon phases to practice magic. You also do not need to be an astrology expert.
Everyone’s craft is different. If you’re not interested in casting a spell during the day of Mars in the hour of Saturn, don’t. Your spiritual practice should be fun and rewarding. Work to make it that way!
I used to write in my Pagan journal every day. But since I have started working on my Etsy full time, I dropped the habit. I want to introduce prayer journaling into my new schedule, so I decided to write down several prompts in case I run out of ideas.
These prompts are not specific to any one deity or religion. I hope they inspire you to connect with your Gods.
For those who need advice on Pagan prayer, here is the blog post for you: If You're Struggling with Pagan Prayer, Read This.
What Is Pagan Prayer Journaling?
Pagan prayer journaling is any kind of writing or drawing that relates to your Pagan practice. You can write down notes while studying your deities, or you can thank the Gods for anything. You can even draw or write a letter to your deity.
Your Pagan prayer journal has no guidelines. You don’t have to make it look Pinterest-worthy unless you want to. You don’t even have to write in it; you can draw instead! This is why I love Pagan journals. They encourage people to expand their daily practice, but do not pressure them to write about something they don’t like.
If you want to start a Pagan journal, all you need is a journal. The type and design are entirely up to you. Read the prompts below and try one or two each day. Keep track of which prompts you enjoy or dislike. Over time, you will develop a daily habit that will keep you connected to your faith. If you need more information on creating and maintaining a daily practice, read this blog post: How to Practice Magic or Paganism Every Day Specifically.
These are journaling practices that you can do on any given day, or daily if you choose.
For a Pantheon/Religion:
These prompts can help you learn about a religion/pantheon or explore your own beliefs.
For One Specific Deity:
Whether you are studying a deity, hoping to work with one, or enhancing your daily practice, these prompts can help you. For those working with minor deities, go here: How to Worship Lesser-Known (Minor) Deities.
These are prompts for holidays such as Sabbats, harvest festivals, and even national/Christian holidays.
Moon Phases and Astrology:
If astrology contributes to your practice, check out these prompts.
Tell Me about Your Journaling Experience!
Do you use a Pagan prayer journal? What do you write about? Do you have any other ideas for journal prompts? Let me know in the comments below!
In the Book of Luke, an angel appeared before shepherds and said “Do not be afraid.” Logically, there is no reason to be afraid--angels usually bring glad tidings. But they are also intimidating because of their unfathomable knowledge and power.
Pagan Gods are the same way. They are comforting, enlightening, and honest; but They are also overwhelming. Seven years into my faith, I still feel afraid when I contact (or even consider contacting) a deity whom I’ve never worked with before.
If you feel this way, you’re not alone. I often receive questions such as, “What do I say when I pray to Them?” or “What if I do something wrong?”
Recently, I have pondered all of these questions while building a relationship with the Egyptian God Thoth. So I’m going to run through the process with you: choosing a deity, studying, and beginning your relationship.
How to Choose a Deity
“How do I decide which deity to work with?” is probably the most common question in the Pagan realm. The short answer is: Whoever you want. But I’ll address some concerns that many people have.
I have met many people who stress over worshipping a God and Goddess, or “matron and patron.” This stems from a Wiccan tradition--or rather, some peoples’ interpretation of a Wiccan tradition (see: How Do Other Deities Fit into Wicca?). If you do not subscribe to Wicca or this idea, do not feel pressured to work with two deities.
Many are interested in deities that represent an interest or hobby, such as art, sun/moon, education, or the home. This can work for some people; for instance, I first reached out to Thoth for writing advice. But you and your deity do not need to have the same interests.
Some people feel drawn to certain deities, and they don’t know why. I’ve had several people message me saying, “I feel drawn to Hades, but I have no interest in death work!” which is exactly how I felt when Hades reached out to me.
Gods and Goddesses are more complex than They seem on the surface. For instance, Hades is the Lord of the Underworld; but if you research Him further, you’ll find that He governs wealth, seasons, fertility of the land, gems, mourning, and justice. Perhaps those aspects will impact worshippers later on.
Over all, if you feel drawn to a deity, shoot your shot. You don’t need to have a reason to like a certain deity. Try the relationship and see where it goes. If it doesn’t work out, don’t fret; some deities are only in our lives for a short time.
One more thing: I highly recommend working with one new deity at a time, especially for beginners. Tackling a few Gods or an entire pantheon at once can get overwhelming.
What to Study Before Working with the Deity
Before you start giving offerings or setting up an altar, study your chosen deity. After all, you need to know what your deity prefers for Their offerings or altar.
By “study,” I’m not just talking about the myths (although those can be useful). Research how the ancients worshipped that deity. What offerings did that deity receive? Did They pop up during certain holidays? Did certain cults or occupations worship Them? Usually, the ancients did not view the deity as we perceive Them through mythology today.
One of the simplest ways to understand how the ancients worshipped that deity is through epithets. Epithets are a word or phrase that describes a certain quality of that deity. Some of Thoth’s epithets include ”He who drives away evil” and “He who created purification,” which tells me that He governs protection and cleansing.
Another method is through art. In ancient Egypt, ancients painted certain deities in specific colors. All of those colors had different meanings. Often, art also portrayed deities with an animal or object that was sacred to Them.
As you research, you might notice that some things do not translate to the modern age. For instance, Hades worshippers are not sacrificing black goats anymore. If this stumps you, look into modern worship. Pagans often talk about how they worship deities on blogs and social media accounts. You might gain some inspiration there.
One last thing. While researching, you might notice that cultures and countries all worship deities in a certain way. You must ensure that you are working with a deity with regard to Their culture. This is called appropriate worship. For instance, I wouldn’t worship Thoth in the same way I do Hades, because They are from different cultures.
How to Conduct an Introduction Ritual
Deities are like new friends: you need to build a relationship with Them, even if you are just working with Them and not worshipping. Immediately jumping into demands is rude. Because of this, I recommend an introduction ritual.
Although the word “ritual” might sound solemn and serious, it really isn’t. This ritual can be casual and lighthearted; you don’t have to use “thees” and “thous” if you don’t want to.
The introduction ritual has two main components: an offering and a prayer. By now, you should have learned about appropriate offerings through your research. If you need a foolproof offering, consider lighting a candle. It works for almost any deity. If you do not know how to give offerings, see Offerings for Deities: the Basics.
After giving the offering, begin the prayer. You do not need to recite a prewritten prayer (unless you want to). You can say it in your head, write it down, mutter it, or even sing it. Whatever feels the most comfortable.
If you don’t know what to include in the prayer, here are some ideas:
For more examples, see: If You’re Struggling with Pagan Prayer, Read This.
Many have asked how to end a prayer, or whether to use “Amen” or “Blessed be.” You do not need a sign-off like that if you would feel uncomfortable reciting it. A simple “Thank You for Your time” is good enough. You could also press your hands together, bow, or blow out the candle. These small actions might make the ritual’s ending feel more final.
If you want to conduct divination, feel free to do so. You likely will not receive a grand revelation from the deity, like a vision or voice in your head. Instead, the signs might be more subtle, such as a high candle flame or a meaningful song appearing on your playlist. If you’d like more examples, read Is It a Sign? Interpreting Messages from Deities.
If you are feeling so nervous that you can’t focus, try meditating for a few minutes beforehand. Or, wait until you feel calmer to conduct the ritual.
Also, here is an important tip: do NOT make any oaths, devotions, or swearings yet. You’ll want to make sure that you get along with this deity before becoming a devotee or something similar.
How Do You Know If You Do Something Wrong?
If you’re like me, you might be worried about doing something wrong. Nobody gets worship right on the first try. What if They don’t want to talk to you again? Or what if They end up not liking you?
In my experience, it’s pretty difficult to irritate a deity as long as you’re respectful. I’ve spilled offerings, screwed up a candle so the wick wouldn’t burn, and accidentally caught stuff on fire during rituals before (always keep a water bowl nearby!) None of those incidents broke my relationship with the Gods.
That being said, some Gods might prefer not to work with you. Or more likely, They want to work with you, but They prefer that you do certain things.
If you do something “wrong”--say, you give an offering that They don’t like, or you call Them something They don’t appreciate--you might get this “off” feeling. For example, I call Hades “Lord Hades” quite often. But when I used the title “Lord” with other deities like Zephyrus and Thoth, They didn’t like it.
When this happens, simply correct your behavior. In my case, I said, “oh my bad, I won’t call You that anymore.” Mistakes like these are not make-or-break scenarios. If you continue to act in a way that a God doesn’t appreciate, out of spite or disinterest, then you might have a problem.
If you constantly think “I’ve done something wrong” throughout the ritual, you might be too anxious. Our minds can overtake our spiritual sense when we feel powerful emotions. Take a break, work through your feelings, and try again.
Some Tips to Remember
How do you feel about working with a new deity? Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below!
On the 2021 spring equinox, my husband and I were standing in line (six feet apart from everyone) in the Long Beach Sun. We were behind two friends with very distinct laughs, across the street from a university’s florist department, and next to an ice cream seller in a tux ringing a bell. Eventually, we got into the Long Beach Antique Market.
This market had around 500 sellers of thrift items and antiques. With $200 in $20s, I was specifically looking for altar and witchcraft items. And I was not let down. I got everything from dried plants to altar decor to animal bones.
Many people ask me about witchcraft on a budget. If you’re reading this, then you probably know how expensive some magic tools and metaphysical shops are. But everyone can practice magic with little to no money. To prove it, I’ve made a list of witchcraft and Pagan supplies that you can buy at thrift shops, antique stores, and flea markets.
These items are divided into four categories: spell ingredients, witchcraft tools, altar items, and storage. You’ll find some crossover; for instance, the vials that I mention in Storage are also decorating my altar. At the end, I’ll show you how much you can decorate an altar with thrifted supplies.
These are items that you can potentially use in spells.
These include divination tools, books, and other items that you might use for spells, but not in them.
Whether you are religious or not, you can put some of these items on your altar.
These include jars, shelves, and other materials to store your magic supplies when not using them.
Building Altars with Thrifted Items
When I got back from the Long Beach Antique Market, I challenged myself to decorate my altars using mainly thrifted supplies. It was easier than I expected; at least 70% of each altar was bought secondhand.
If this looks like a lot of supplies, remember that I’ve been practicing for over ten years. I’ve visited a lot of antique stores and gathered supplies over time. Not all of these were from the Antique Market.
I have three altars, all on my dresser. I will name all of the items on each that were thrifted.
Altar #1: Wiccan Altar
Thrifted items: the Goddess statue, teapot, both pink bowls, amethyst grapes, opal apple, books, white vase, dried eucalyptus, air plant and its holder.
Altar #2: Death Witchcraft Altar
Thrifted items: coyote skull, glass vial (holding cemetery water), perfume bottle (holding spirit oil), pink container (holding graveyard dirt), black offering bowl.
Altar #3: Hades Altar
Thrifted Items: mythology book, glass jar with bone, black frame, coyote skull, green glass bottles, dried plants, amber medicine bottle.
Did I Miss Anything?
Do you go thrift shopping for magic supplies? What have you bought? Did I miss any items? Let me know in the comments below!
Back in May 2020, I wrote a post about planning my interfaith Pagan and Christian wedding. A few of my readers pitched in with ideas about how I can incorporate both religions or shared struggles with their own weddings. I never revealed what we did or how it went to the readers who spent time helping me.
Today, I’m going to cover what we actually did, rather than ideas of what we could do. Hopefully, this will give people ideas for their own wedding or another celebration where you need to combine religions. My husband and I made the ceremony as religiously-neutral as possible, not explicitly leaning toward Christianity or Paganism. If that sounds interesting, read on.
Also, because this is a Pagan blog, I’m going to focus on how I subtly incorporated Pagan aspects into the wedding.
All wedding photos are from Emily Saenz. You can find her on Instagram @heyemilysaenz or her website.
Making the Handfasting Cords
The first part, which I did not cover in the last post, was making the handfasting cords. While you can buy cords online, I wanted to make my own. I created four cords to represent the elements earth, fire, air, and water. The colors and designs of the ribbons reflect those. If you want a tutorial on making handfasting cords, let me know in the comments.
I also put charms on the cords that represent both faiths. Every cord had two charms, one on each end. Here is what I put on:
The Religiously Vague Ceremony
As I mentioned in the previous post, my husband and I wanted a short, “non-denominational” ceremony. We wanted the ceremony to be about us, not about religion. On the bright side, we did not need to plan much for this. The officiate takes care of it--who, in this case, was my grandmother.
We told my grandmother that we wanted a brief history about handfasting and why we chose it. She then chose a spiritual quote from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran which she thought reflected us. (Good thing she studied psychology and religion!)
During the ceremony, the officiate explained our reasons for the handfasting. Then, my parents and the groom’s parents each tied a cord. This symbolized both families coming together. While they tied the cords, the officiate recited the quote.
After, we removed the cords and recited our personal vows. We then exchanged rings, and viola! The ceremony is done and we get to party.
A Memorial for the Dead
Just by reading the title of this blog, you’ll understand that I work with the dead. Honoring ancestors is important to me, especially family members who were not there to celebrate my wedding. One was my grandfather, husband of the officiate.
I wanted a way to commemorate the dead. Some people weddings provide photos of the deceased, but we did not have time. Because of the uncertainty with the pandemic, we confirmed with our venue about two months prior and had to rush some things.
Instead, I purchased a memorial plaque from ThePaintedHedge. It came with a candle to light in honor of the dead. Next to it, I wrote down the names of the deceased family members and put it in a frame.
This memorial stood next to the sweetheart table during the reception. People seemed to appreciate it, especially my grandmother.
Because our ceremony was religiously vague, I found personal ways to express my Wiccan beliefs. One was jewelry. Long before the wedding, I had purchased formal Pagan jewelry from the Etsy shop Sheekydoodle. Check them out if you want something similar.
For the necklace, I chose the simple pearls with the pentagram. It complemented the simple wedding dress without overpowering. I also wore a hair comb in the symbol of the Goddess. Not to get all Wiccan on you, but marriage tends to be an obvious marker of the transition from maidenhood to adulthood. Since the Goddess has undergone all stages of life and holds our hands through change, I wanted Her there with me. This hairpiece is from Ayreeworks.
I also brought two sets of prayer beads. Initially, I was not going to do this. About a month before the wedding, I worked with my therapist on preventing “wedding amnesia.” This is when the bride or groom feels so stressed and rushed that they forget most of the day. In other words, it was something that I absolutely did not want.
My therapist recommended that I could practice mindfulness by holding something. Whenever I felt anxious, I could focus on the object’s texture or appearance. This slows down the mind and gives it time to develop memories. She asked if I had any religious object to hold, and I brought up my prayer beads.
The first is a pair of Wiccan selenite beads from Sheekydoodle (same as the necklace). I clung to these while getting ready, when my nerves were highest. It really helped to ground me--that plus planning plenty of downtime and walking outside every so often.
The second pair were my Hades prayer beads from Hearthfire Handworks, whom I highly recommend. I wore them around my wrist during the ceremony and reception. As a Hades devotee, I wanted Him to be involved with the ceremony somehow, even if I was the only one who noticed.
And yes, these methods worked. I remember almost everything from my wedding day.
The Bouquet and Other Small Aspects
While I was planning the wedding, I asked some friends on a Pagan discord server how I could incorporate more of my faith into the wedding. People mentioned the flowers, which was a great idea! But by that point, I had already settled the florals and could not change them.
My friends then asked what I had planned. My florist, Molly Zager, brilliantly incorporated artichokes into the bouquet. Jesse from Tea with the Gods mentioned that artichoke is an aphrodisiac, an unexpected symbol of Aphrodite. That worked out!
On top of that, the bouquet was green and purple. I chose these colors because I enjoyed them, and I did not expect people to connect them to Hera. The Goddess of marriage is commonly represented with a peacock--purple and green! I really enjoyed this accidental connection and used it as a springboard to start working with Hera.
Now, I want to mention some other things that I neglected in the previous post.
The venue was one of the few wedding aspects that I refused to budge on. I loved Sacred Mountain. It was in a town that my husband and I used to camp at before we got engaged. Plus, it was quite literally on a mountain. Both of us wanted a lot of trees and greenery; getting married in nature was a must for me. Grass, wind, and trees bring us closer to deities than churches, in my opinion.
Our circle arch had some symbolism. This came with the venue, but it reflects the magic circle that is often cast during Wiccan weddings. We did not cast a circle during the ceremony, but we did have a circle arch covered in florals.
Lanterns also came with the venue and were incorporated into our decor. The bridesmaids carried white lanterns filled with flowers, and after the ceremony, these were reused as centerpieces. It saved money and gave off a “witchy” feel.
Other Ideas That We Did Not Incorporate
What Do You Think?
Would you incorporate any of these ideas into a wedding? Or do you prefer a split ceremony with both Christian and Pagan rituals? Let me know in the comments below!