Today the Gates of Hell open for Hungry Ghosts

The Hungry Ghost festival is held during the seventh month of the Chinese calendar, on the first night of the full Corn Moon. This is when the gates of Hell open and Hungry Ghosts are freed from the lower realms to roam the earth, where they seek food and amusement. These Ghosts are believed to…

Bunny Chow & Pinch Punch

Saying “Pinch punch” and spitefully poking somebody or just saying “White rabbits!” before midday on every 1st of the month is a popular folk tradition whose origins have become hazy with the passing of time. Almost nobody remembers now that the “pinch punch” was a symbolic blow to cast out evil spirits from people around…

Blood & Chocolate – The Ancient Sacrificial Drink of the Aztecs

Back, way back, way back in time, the ancient Aztecs used cacao seeds for spiritual and ceremonial purposes, as when sacrificial victims were given cacao drinks mixed with human blood in order to prepare them to have their heart cut out and held up, still beating, to the Sun.  For thousands of years cacao was…

A Flaming Fête With Flowers

Midsummer bonfire Flowers of flame flare out bright Live on as embers As the Sun passes over the Tropic of Cancer and hangs directly overhead, we celebrate with flowers which represent the Earth’s energies, water to represent the water sign Cancer, and fire which represents the Sun.   While the mystical hordes gather at Stonehenge…

Suitable refreshment for Walpurgis Night according to Comrade Bulgakov

“We know that our forefathers very generally kept the beginning of May as a great festival, and it is still regarded as the trysting time of witches – i.e. once of wise-women and fays; who can doubt that heathen sacrifices blazed on that day?” – Jacob Grimm ‘Teutonic Mythology’  The ultimate Walpurgis Night party was…

You’re Always After Me Lucky Leprechaun

Top of the morning to you! For St Patrick’s Day this year, let’s locate a leprechaun. Before you start arguing that you only find leprechauns in Ireland, consider that there are more Irish natives living in New York City than there are in Ireland. Naturally leprechauns will have emigrated along with the people and their…

My Furry Valentine

If you’re looking for a different way to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day this year, why not indulge in a little light lycanthropy? The spirit of the wolf can help us all connect with our inner power and stamina. The festival of St Valentine took over from the previous Roman wolf-themed festival of Lupercalia, which had…

A Gnome in Every Home

Who’s that knock knock knocking low down at your door? If you’re in South Africa, it will be the tokoloshe, but that’s another story for another time.  If you’re in Scandinavia this year, why then it’s the nisse and his companions the Yule goat and the Friendly Pig, bringing gifts and looking forward to his…

Branching out and blossoming forth at Yule

Consort of the Goddess and symbol of male energy in divine form, The Horned God is born again at every winter solstice. He is the King of the Wood, of the hunt and wild beasts.  As an aspect of the Green Man – god of plants and new life – he represents fertility incarnate, and…

Crown yourself with Candles

This would be a good night to wreath yourself with candles and lights, as it is Saint Lucia’s Day. Celebrated on 13th December in honour of a 3rd-century martyr who took food and aid to the persecuted as they hid in the catacombs, she wore a lighted headdress to leave her hands free to carry…