Magic Circle Newsletter

Imbolc: A Wiccan Holiday

Imbolc is an important Wiccan holiday that lets us know that spring is on the horizon. It is a pagan holiday, which is celebrated from the 1st of February to the 2nd of February every year. Imbolc is ingrained in Celtic tradition and is a pre-Christian holiday that highlights winter and the emergence of sunlight. It marks the changing of seasons. Wiccans, as well as neo-pagan practitioners, celebrate the holiday. 

Imbolc Origins

The British Isles is home to Imbolc celebrations. It has been celebrated in the region since before Christianity arrived. Irish literature has mentioned Imbolc since the beginning of the 10th Century. The holiday has been observed and memorialized through poetry. The Wiccan holiday is said to mark the beginning of the sheep breeding cycle as well as lactation. The main idea behind the holiday is that of rebirth.  Continue reading


Babalu Aye – The God Of Diseases

Extremely feared and well-respected, Babalú Aye is the Lord of many diseases. Babalú Aye is also known as Omulu, Azojano, San Lazaro and Shanpana. Often times, he is associated with the sun because the sun is a source of life in some places but also a source of death in some. He is also specifically known as the Lord of Smallpox. Medicines and vaccines have reduced the contraction of smallpox. However, Babalú Aye continues to struck people with diseases such as AIDS/HIV, tuberculosis, Ebola, etc.

Babalú Aye’s Attire

Babalú Aye is a muscular man who covers himself with straw and walks with the help of a staff. The straw he uses to cover himself up is to hide his smallpox. He can make any person sick as a punishment, which is why he is so feared. However, he can also help cure that person, which is why people respect him. No one in the African Diaspora wants to get on the bad side of Babalú Aye and be afflicted with life-threatening diseases.

Many stories and sources will make you perceive Babalú Aye as a feared Orisha. However, Babalú Aye is also a very merciful Orisha. He can cure you as quickly as he can make you contract a disease. Sometimes when people suffer from life-threatening diseases, they wish for death for peace. Babalú Aye helps grant them their wish and helps to guide those souls over to the other side. Babalú Aye is often found in hospitals, hospices, places where people are cured, gyms and the desert as well. Continue reading


Olokun – The Goddess of The Deep Seas

Olokun is more commonly known as a feminine deity. However, many also interpret her as a male deity. Her name literally means owner (olo) of the waters (okun). Olokun is, nowadays, associated with the deep seas, the literal bottom floors of the seas.

Her Hidden Queendom

Olokun’s realm is known as the Land of the Dead. Dead Sea creatures eventually drop down to the surface of the sea, providing sustenance to other sea creatures. This process of dying and dropping is also known as ‘marine snow’. Due to the great pressure at the bottom and the darkness, many sea creatures thriving there tend to have monstrous forms.

Never Gives Up Her Secrets

Since no one can dive that deep into the sea, Olokun’s realm has almost never been seen by the human eye. Olokun is often known as the Goddess of secrets. Typically, whatever dies in the sea is never or rarely ever found. Which is why she also signifies wisdom.

There is always something worth knowing even if you cannot attain its knowledge. Especially about birth, life, death and the Afterlife. Olokun also presides over meditation, mental health, dreaming, psychic abilities and water-based healing. Many women pray to her for conceiving a child.

As they associate Olokun with great wealth, individuals desiring power worship Olokun for exactly that purpose.

Olokun’s Followers

Although most females tend to worship Olokun, the legend stories tell that men were the initial worshipers of Olokun.
The first legends tell us about a hunter who resided in Urhoniigbe. To determine the origin of distant singing, he ventured off into the woods and found a King including his court. Invited by the King to participate in a spiritual ceremony, the hunter agreed. He decided to stay with the King, Olokun, for almost 3 years and learned spiritual practices and worship associated with Olokun. The hunter’s friends and family presumed him dead.

However, he returned to his people, carrying a water pot over his head. He was completely mute and couldn’t speak. To the shock of the town’s people, he started dancing.

They mocked him for it but it set in motion his 14-day event of ritualistic dancing to please Olokun. After the 14 days, he regained his ability to speak. Next, he told the townsfolk about his experiences. It erased all criticism when the hunter did spiritual work to please Olokun and it blessed the town with positivity. They designated him Chief Priest of Olokun and they built a temple for Olokun on the spot where the hunter had rested his water pot after the 14th day.

They often depict Olokun as a black mermaid. The animal used to symbolize Olokun is the mud fish which buries itself in the mud. Her followers also link her to the red coral. The coral purifies the water and provides sustenance for sea animals.

Learn more about Santeria and the Orishas with Lucumi: The Ways of Santeria


Chango: The King Of the Religion

Also spelled and pronounced as Shango, Chango is a very important Orisha in Santeria. He is one of the four pillars in Santeria and every person has to receive him during initiation whether or not they are his children. Apart from being the King of the religion on earth, Chango is also the Orisha for male virility, leadership, thunder, fire, drumming, and dancing.

A Strong King He Was Not

Chango is known to not be as effective as a king should be when he was alive. However, after his death, he worked miracles for the other Orishas. Chango is also known to have had many female lovers and was an exquisite dancer and drummer. Chango also has a magical and powerful mortar which allows him to spit fire from his mouth. A double-headed ax is his favorite weapon and his residence is at the top of the royal palm tree.

His Relationship

There is a popular Pataki related to Chango and Oya. Chango was once at a party, drinking and dancing and having the time of his life. He was enjoying so much that he did not realize that some of his enemies were outside the party watching him. As soon as the party died down and all the guests left, Chango staggered to a corner where an enemy was waiting for him. The enemy quickly trapped him and locked him in a small cell. Chango and Oya had had a fling.

Chango’s Rescue

He had kept his pilon and mortar at her house. Days passed and Oya grew worried because Chango did not show up. Oya wondered about his pilon and mortar. She saw that the inside the mortar was gleaming and a clear liquid formed. Seeing that Chango had been trapped in a cell, Oya became furious. At that moment, she called upon lightning to help her rescue him. Kissing the liquid in the mortar and soon her lips and mouth burned. No water could ease the burning and fire spat out. The lightning came and took her to Chango. As she reached there, Oya screamed a war cry and a burst of fire erupted from her mouth.
Chango’s enemies soon scattered and Oya released Chango. She told him about how she rescued him as he could not remember. It upset Chango that Oya pried in his mortar but was grateful. Ever since Oya now accompanies Chango in fights and wars.

Children of Chango

Chango fathered the Ibeji twins as well as Boromu and Borosia, the children born because of Yeggua’s rape. Many Orishas used to complain about Chango’s unruly and egoistic attitude. However, through many trials and errors and a reality check from Obatala, Chango soon matured and learned gracefulness and charm. This Orisha teaches us that no matter how many mistakes we make, we can always turn around and redeem ourselves. He is very loving and compassionate towards his children and all Orishas.

Corresponding to Chango

His colors are red, white and gold. His numbers are 4 or 6 or both. Spicy foods, alcohol, chili peppers, tobacco, okra, and cornbread make great offerings for this Orisha.

Learn more about Santeria and the Orishas with Lucumi: The Ways of Santeria




The correct pronunciation is not sam-hane, but saw-vane saw-win sowen or soween. Samhain is recognized as the Wiccan’s New Year, as well as the Feast of the Dead.

It is a day to honor and to say goodbye to loved ones who have moved on, especially if their deaths have taken place within the last year. Samhain is furthermore an occasion for reflecting upon the last year, creating plans for the coming one, and specifically for eliminating vulnerabilities or other undesired aspects within us. Samhain is a cross quarter day, located in the heart of the Autumn Equinox as well as the Winter Solstice. Samhain initiates the Winter season. It is the last chance to dry herbs to save for winter, and a night when fairies are creating mischief. The same as it was for the Egyptians, ancient Mexicans and the Celts it is the Day of the Dead, the night when we think of our loved ones and celebrate our ancestors.

How to Celebrate

There are lots of ways to celebrate Samhain. Here a just a few:

Beautify your household with Samhain seasonal images as well as the colors of orange and black. Place an Autumnal wreath on your front door. Construct decorations with pumpkins, gourds, cornstalks, squash, apples and acorns.

Organize a Samhain dinner which includes a place setting at your supper table or at an adjacent altar for the Dead. Include a contribution of a sampling of each drink being consumed to the glass at that place setting, and to the plate, include a sample of each meal provided. Invite your ancestors and other deceased loved ones to take place and dine with you. To have this as a Samhain Dumb Supper experience, feast in silence. After the feast, set the contents of the plate and glass for the Dead outdoors in a natural area as a contribution for the Dead.

Reflect on you and your life over the recent year. Review notes, planners, photographs, blogs, and other notations you have established during the past year. Consider how you have developed, achievements, challenges, experiences, travels, and studies. Meditate. Journal about your year in review, your meditation, and your observations. 

Take a meditative stroll in a natural area near your home. Observe and ponder the colors, scents, sounds, and other impressions of the season.  If you are able, collect some natural items and upon your return use them to spruce up your home.

The most important thing to remember is there no wrong or right way to celebrate. Decide what’s right for you.