Condensation, photo by electricnudeEarlier in the month we published our giant list of the 25 best books in occulture in 2016, and our list of the 5 tarot and oracle decks reviewed and ranked from 2016.

Of the 16 articles on magick we published in 2016, these are the 11 most popular.

Click on the title link to take you to the full article to revisit articles you’ve forgotten, meant to read, or maybe haven’t seen yet if you’re newer to the site. (Welcome!)

We’ve had a fantastic year, and it’s all thanks to you — our supporters and readers.

Happy holidays!

Girdle of Ishtar, photo by Nicole Rain Sellers

11. The Girdle of Ishtar: Magick for activists

By Nicole Rain Sellers

Around 15 years ago I designed a ladder called the Girdle of Ishtar as a form of magical activism. I wanted to harness Ishtar’s passion and wisdom in order to overcome conflicts originating in the Middle East, her ancient home. I wanted to invoke Ishtar as a common ancestral deity, to awaken a desire for unity and healing among those suffering in the conflicts. My first Girdle of Ishtar was a practical way to frame distressing political events, deepen compassion for the human struggle, call up personal empowerment, and establish energetic protection. Unfortunately similar conflicts continue today, and petitioning Ishtar for guidance on matters of war and love remains as relevant as ever.

[Read the full article.]

Altar candles, photo by distelfliege

10. Exploring the sabbath from a magical point of view

By Frater 232

One of the difficulties faced by modern magicians and mystics is lack of time. Many practices require huge time commitments, commitments which often seem unrealistic in our fast-paced culture. The digital tools we use condition us to demand instant gratification. We rush frantically from one activity to another, and in between, we check social media, tweet, take selfies, and watch YouTube videos. True personal evolution is simply impossible under such conditions.

[Read the full article.]

Tarot, photo by Ricardo Rosado

9. How to buy a tarot deck

By Donyae Coles

People who are interested in beginning tarot reading are often faced with a simple problem: how do you choose a deck that’s right for you? There are many schools of thought on how to be sure that you’re picking up a deck that’s right for your personal needs, but with all the options both online and out in the wild, it can be overwhelming.

[Read the full article.]

Vine, photo by Steve

8. Disentangling “will”

By Seth Harris

I decided to write this article after years of repeatedly coming across very similar issues in a variety of western esoteric contexts. The issues I’m referring to had to do with the use of the word “will,” and they took a few different forms.

Firstly, in everyday language, “will” suffers from semantic overload. That is, it has several different meanings which often get confused. Secondly, in magical contexts specifically, it gains additional meanings which are not always completely clear, which then becomes a real problem because it has such a prominent place in a number of magical cultures. In other words, not only do we not have shared clarity on what we mean, but we also place a high importance on it. Thirdly, in magical contexts, sometimes the “will” (whatever concept we attach to it) is systematized, so that we have ideas such as “higher” and “lower” distinctions, which then reconverge into semantic overload when we stop making those distinctions and again just talk about “will.”

[Read the full article.]

Lego pile, photo by Justin Grimes

7. Lego magick for creativity and protection

By Emily Carlin

One of my favourite things about doing pop culture magick is that you get to literally play with toys as a legitimate part of your magical practice. Toys come in just about every shape and size these days, so there’s something to fit almost any magical need. Plus, toys have the bonus of passing under mundane radar so they’re a great tool to use when something more overtly magical can cause problems. One of the most easily obtained, inexpensive, and versatile toys to use in magick is Lego.

[Read the full article.]

Soldier's National Cemetery, photo by Todd Van Hoosear

6. Petitioning the dead in magick

By Chris Alluan

To petition simply means “to ask.” When we perform petition magick, we are simply asking the ancestors to help us with our desire. We are not forcing any spirits to do anything they do not wish to do. We are not binding spirits, or using energy to coerce them. We are using our will and physical objects empowered with magick to send a message to the dead. In order to do this, we ask our ancestors through meditation (see my article, “Connecting with the dead” for more) to guide us to a spirit of the dead who wishes to help us in our specific work.

[Read the full article.]

Fall tree, photo by Mark K

5. Four fall cleansing rituals for mind, body, and spirit

By Donyae Coles

Spring cleaning is a common practice both physically and spiritually, but fall cleansing should be just as important. Before heading into the winter months, a time of meditation and rest, as well as creativity and contemplation,  it’s important to cleanse ourselves of negative, unwanted, or stagnant energy before we get down to the work of winter.

[Read the full article.]

Breathe, photo by sausyn

4. Connected breathwork and subtle energy

By David Lee

Energy magick is the sensing and manipulation of what appear to be streams of subtle energy, life-force, qi or prana. The key to this kind of magick is breath. I’ve been practicing as a coach of Connected Breathwork for more than 20 years, and most of what I understand about energy magick has come out of that practice.

[Read the full article.]

Boston Common Cemetery, photo by Kamil Dziedzina

3. Who are the cemetery gatekeepers?

By Chris Alluan

There are many spirits you may work with on your path of magick. Some of those spirits are ancient deities that are known from thousands of years ago. Others may be the nature spirits that are in your own backyard. But there are also the spirits of our ancestors and the magical dead. Our ancestors can be honoured in our homes, or we can honour them in the place where their bodies are laid to rest: in cemeteries.

[Read the full article.]

Spectrum, image by Robin O'Neill

2. Autism and magick

By Laura Gyre

When it comes to spirituality, Paganism, witchcraft, and related practices, these areas may be especially appealing to people on the spectrum because of the way they encourage exploration and self-determination. There are a lot of us involved, but it can still be a bit confusing to navigate a field that’s generally designed with neurotypical people in mind. So, here are a few tips I would give to autistic people just getting started in magick.

[Read the full article.]

Circuit board, photo by Creativity103

1. How to use technology for better magick

By Donyae Coles

The use of technology has streamlined many tasks in our lives, and there’s no reason that it can’t do the same for magick. From using an app to identify which herbs to use in a spell, to carting around a full index of magical reference books, technology can — arguably — make us better at magick.

[Read the full article.]

What were your favourites from 2016? What would you like to see us cover in 2017?