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When we think of the word “Wicca”, we often picture pentacles sketched out on wooden floors, naked ladies holding hands, dancing around to the melodies in their own heads, chanting in tongues of their own creation… Sound familiar? 

Well, while this might actually be a part of the practice, there is more to this culture than meets the eye. In celebration of Samhain (aka. Halloween), let’s take a closer look at this mysterious pagan religion that is often referred to in popular culture, but rarely explained. 

First, a little backstory: Wicca, or Pagan Witchcraft, is deemed a modern pagan religion. It’s categorised as being both a new religious movement (20th century) and a part of the occult. Typically, Wicca is duo theistic — meaning, that Wiccans worship both a God and a Goddess. Wiccans often refer to their deities as the “Great Horned God” or “Lord”, and the “Mother Goddess” or “Lady”. 

Now to the good stuff: the magic and witchcraft of it all. 

Many Wiccans believe in magic — as do many of us muggles — and believe that it is a force that can be “tapped into” and manipulated through the practice of witchcraft. However, some believe that magic is simply the power of making full use of the five senses, and achieving results they don’t believe to be supernatural, but rather, wholly natural. Regardless of how, where or why magic occurs, ritual practices are a part of any and all Wiccan’s life.

Rituals are often staged in a sacred circle and spells are cast with the intent to bring about some sort of physical change. Most commonly, spells are cast to promote healing, fertility, protection and to banish negative energy and influences. As most of us already know, “white magic” refers to magic performed with good intentions, whereas “black magic” is a term used to describe magic performed with malevolent intent. Black magic is also associated with satanism.

Now, to the really good stuff! This article isn’t merely meant to be a lesson in Wiccan culture, oh no no no! For all of you already practicing Wiccan’s — and those of you who are interested in the world of modern witches —  there are services you should check out in and around the Helsinki area!

1. Unio Mystica Bookshop

If you are looking for those first initial steps to take in order to familiarise yourself with the world of modern witchcraft, you might want to purchase a few books on the subject. For this I recommend the Unio Mystica bookshop here in Helsinki, which offers literature on many a supernatural and mystical topic. You might even find the odd pack of tarot cards while your at it…

2. Lareina Webshop

If you’re stuck at home self-isolating, then you might want to check out the Lareina Webshop. The shop is actually in Sweden, but the webpage is in also in Finnish. Without even having to leave the comfort and safety of your own home, you can shop for Wicca supplies and merchandise in order to get yourself started.

3. Tajunta-Kauppa

Another bookshop here in Helsinki that offers works on spirituality, occultism, paranormality, astrology  and a variety of philosophies is the Tajunta-Kauppa bookstore. They also offer tarot cards, jewellery and a variety of other Wiccan must-have’s. 

So, for all of you who are interested in the world of Wicca but have yet to take the plunge, why not go and check these places out! This Halloween season is the perfect time to immerse yourself in the mysteries of Wicca culture — one that is vast and exciting, full of mystery, creativity and imagination. Therefore, go forth and experience the magic! 

Happy Halloween!

Carmen Eskin

Helsinki '22

I'm a postgraduate student of English philology and English literature at the Univerisity of Helsinki. Terry Pratchett is my one true love.
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