Mystic Magic: Raven Boys

Grace Cavanaugh ~ Staff Writer

Recently, I finished a book I have had on my “To Be Read” list for a while: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. My aunt bought me this book when I was 16, along with another book that was signed by Stiefvater, but I had not read either in the past four years.

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Mystic Magic: Importance of Candles

Grace Cavanaugh ~ Staff Writer

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Last week was the official first day of spring, the Vernal Equinox, Ostara. This year, I wanted to do something, a ritual or “spell”, to celebrate and maybe have that influx of creativity that a ritual on Ostara is supposed to send you.

I realized very quickly that I should have done my research before taking on this last minute thing. The few websites I visited called for a lot of different ingredients, from crystals to feathers to herbs, and every single one needed an abundance of white candles.

Now, I am here neither to confirm nor deny candles in my possession, but it seemed to me like these candles were a big deal. Why were so many of these rituals heaven-bent on getting you to purchase so many white candles?

I decided to do a little digging on why candles were so important to rituals and spells. Of course, candles are not just important to pagan rituals, but Christian rituals too. During Advent in December, candles are lit every Sunday to represent hope, light, love, and eventually, the coming of Jesus Christ. In my church, we had three skinny purple candles, one skinny pink candle, and a large white candle that represented Jesus.

In paganism, candles can also represent deities. When placed on altars, they become the physical representation of who/what you are calling on. They are also used to represent the elements: fire, water, air, and earth. One website,, said that “the lighting and extinguishing of candles often marks the opening and closing of rituals.”

My next question was: why white candles? Why couldn’t I use a green candle or a blue candle? This gets more into the color candles that you would use and what those candles represent.

White, for example, represents cleansing, purification, and truth, according to The purpose of an Ostara ritual is to plant the seeds for a coming year. It’s a flow of creative energy, and for some, romantic energy.

One of the sites I visited looking for rituals,, talked about how you planted the seeds that you wanted to harvest throughout the year on Ostara. It’s the time of new beginnings. “There is beauty in the potential of what can be when we allow ourselves to have hope for the future,” the website reads.

This ritual only needed three white candles, but there were other bits I would not be able to gather at last minute, so instead my witch friend said a prayer for me at her own ritual.

You do not need to believe in paganism to use the Spring Equinox as a chance at new beginnings. Set some goals, make sure to take care of yourself, and let your creativity flow this year.

Mystic Magic: Spells and Tarot

Grace Cavanaugh ~ Staff Writer

So something that many people equate to Tarot readings is magic. Harry Potter had a divination class with reading tea leaves and looking into crystal balls, and I would bet one of my Tarot decks that he had a section on Tarot readings with Professor Trelawney.

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Mystic Magic: Very Superstitious

Grace Cavanaugh ~ Staff Writer

I have been a little off brand recently and figured I should probably go back to the “Mystic Magic” I came here writing. To get back on topic, I thought I would write about some of the superstitions surrounding tarot cards.

One such superstition is something I always forget: you are not supposed to buy the cards for yourself. The tradition is to have the cards given to you. For a lot of people, like me, we are too impatient to wait for a deck to be given to us, or the people around us are not picking up our hints. I know I have, for one, shown many people my Etsy wishlist, full of different decks I would love to receive as a gift. Through Christmas and my birthday, though, I ended up buying a few of these decks for myself.

One way to get around this superstition, my pagan friend and I have found, is getting another person to buy it for you. I get my pagan friend to buy me a deck, and then coincidentally gift her the same amount of money she spent on the deck. It is a clever and convenient way to get around this particular superstition.

According to a few tarot websites, though, this superstition is dependent on the person buying the deck. If you are someone who is prone to believing black cats and broken mirrors bring bad luck, maybe wait for a tarot deck gift. For others, using a Tarot deck you bought yourself or one gifted to you by a friend or family, they all work the same.

Another superstition I want to address is that there are leftover “essences” of people who have previously touched the cards. Some tarot reading books will advise you to knock the past impressions of people out by physically knocking on the cards, something that I do for every reading.

Another way to get rid of these phantom impressions is to cleanse the cards with white sage or crystals. Since I cannot burn sage in my house on campus, I opt for the safer choice of crystals. There is a shop in Richmond, Virginia, called Rest in Pieces, that I like to visit every time I go home. The last time I went, I bought a large chunk of white quartz to cleanse my cards and two little hematite stones to draw out negative energy.

Of course, there are plenty other crystals and stones that you could use to cleanse your cards, and I hope to eventually have a wide assortment of crystals to use. To cleanse the cards, you put the crystals on top of the deck and set the deck by a window. They stay like this overnight and are good to go for the next reading.

Mystic Magic: Homesickness

Grace Cavanaugh ~ Staff Writer

As a camp counselor during the summer, we learn very quickly that homesickness is the worst possible thing to happen in camp. It rampages through the cabins until all the girls are crying late into the night.

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