Witchology, the history of Wicca & Witchcraft
by Dr Leo Ruickbie
Study and learn the history of Witchcraft, Wicca, Paganism, Magic and the Occult with our courses and resources
Read Dr Ruickbie on witchcraft and magic in Paranormal magazine.
What is Witchcraft?
That's what this website is here to find out. Witchology.com is the website of WICA - the Witchcraft Information Centre and Archive - founded in 1999 by Dr Leo Ruickbie as a research and education provider specialising in the areas of Witchcraft, Wicca, Paganism, Magic (Magick) and the Occult. We have been online continuously since 2000.
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June: Summer Solstice
From the Festival of the Roses to the Summer Solstice, we cover this month's pagan rituals, moots, parties and events. Find out what's on around the world with our June events guide.
Always confirm place and date in advance. Most events will charge for your attendance. To have your event listed here contact us.
Pagan Events Europe
Le Sabbat des Sorcières (The Sabbat of the Witches)
Since 1972 the town of Ellezelles in Belgium has been proving it is anything but boring with Le Sabbat des Sorcières (The Sabbat of the Witches). The event came about when Jacques Vandewattyne combined popular beliefs and historical facts to reconstruct his idea of a Witches' Sabbath at a place called "Le Mareû à Chorchîles" - "Chorchîles" is the regional dialect word for witches. It was here that local records indicate that in 1610 "five unfortunate women accused of witchcraft were executed by the rope and fire."
Festival of Roses
This traditional event in the town of Kazanluk celebrates the harvest of the Kazanluk rose, which has been produced in the Valley of the Roses for over 300 years. The festivities begin on Friday night with a parade and displays of dancing from youth groups across Bulgaria and Eastern Europe. On Saturday there is a competition to find the best local dance troupe and a choral concert in Shipka Cathedral in the evening, often with new art exhibitions timed to coincide with the event. On Sunday the action moves into the rose fields, with singing, dancing and ritual rose picking by children and adults dressed in traditional costume. Afterwards everyone departs for the Rose Museum and the ritual crowning of the Rose Queen. Young women carry bread and rose spirit as offerings to the Rose King and Queen, whilst outside the Kukeries begin - masked men and boys in traditional costumes adorned with huge bells make a tremendous noise to drive off evil spirits and draw the event to a close.
La Fête de la Sorcière (Festival of the Witch)
The small village of Fillières in Northern France plays host every year to La fête de la Sorcière (The Festival of the Witch). Hallowe'en comes early to Fillières as its four hundred inhabitants are joined by tourists to watch the procession of witches wind through the village streets before culminating in a huge bonfire.
Wave Gotik Treffen (Wave Gothic Meeting)
Every year Leipzig plays host to a huge range of concerts, historical markets, theatre, cinema, performances, horse-drawn carriage rides, exhibitions, poetry readings and parties. Over 20,000 descend on the city to listen to bands like Lacrimosa and Nitzer Ebb.
"Trivia is the meeting point of Pagan “feeling”, it’s an event which finds involved all those who love paganism, it’s culture, it’s symbols and it’s spirituality. Our intent of showing the most complete outline as possible, in a space which still remains too small, in relation to the pagan world in it’s globality, has led us to divide this event into three ideal pathways, the Celtic way (northern and eastern European), the Classic way and the pagan surviving traditions (stregheria, Wicca, and it’s movements). Hence the name TRIVIA." (Circolo dei Trivi)
Sankthans is Norway's Summer Solstice festival. People gather around huge bonfires all along the coast in the south of the country to celebrate this time of year when, according to local tradition, the veil between the worlds is lifted aside.
Cardiff: Witchfest Wales
Witchcraft festival organised by the Children of Artemis with various speakers on diverse topics, workshops and entertainment. Speakers in the past have included Kate West, Cassandra Eason, Galatea and others.
Chester: Midsummer Watch Parade
Dating from 1498 Chester's spectacular Midsummer Watch Parade, with its famous giants, fantastic beasts, animated tableaux and costumed characters, is one of the oldest and most colourful in the country.
Croydon: Summer Solstice Sabbat
Summer Solstice Sabbat organised by the Children of Artemis. Introductory talk on the solstice and the meaning of the ritual itself before the ritual team perform a traditional style Witchcraft/Wiccan Summer Solstice ritual in which all are invited to participate. Visitors are expected to bring food and drink to share after the ritual.
Ludlow: Esoteric Conference and Occult Book Fair
Popular with the more serious occultists and witches looking to hunt down those hard to find and out of print occult books as well as those interested in listening to the wide-ranging lectures. Speakers in the past have included Nigel Pennick, David Rankine, Geraldine Beskin and others. Expect to find book dealers like Apra Books, Atlantis Book Shop, Midian Books, Libra Aries, Man Myth & Magic, Bowers Books and more.
Strathmiglo: Highland Games
Dating back to medieval times (a stone with a Pictish symbol dating from c 700 CE can be found outside the Parish church), Strathmiglo was a burgh of barony, with principal landowners the church and the Knights Templar. Traditional "heavy" games are complemented by Scottish country dancing and bagpipe competitions.
Tetbury: Woolsack Races
Locals arrange themselves into teams and heft a 60lb woolsack (35lb for women) up and down Gumstool Hill between the Crown and the Royal Oak pubs. Gumstool Hill is one of Tetbury's most ancient streets, named, so it is said, after the ducking stool or 'gumstool' that once dipped shrewish wives and other trouble-makers into the pool at the bottom.
Pagan Events North America
California: Pacific Circle - The Gathering
Chris and the late Ellen Cannon Reed started 'Pacific Circle - The Gathering' as an annual Pagan retreat over 25 years ago. Held for over 20 years in Angeles Crest Forest at the Bandido Campground, Pacific Circle grew to a community retreat full of workshops, rituals, brother/sisterhood within the Southern California Pagan Community. Advance registration required.
Ohio: Pagan Spirit Gathering
More than 200 workshops, rituals, concerts, youth programmes, firespinning, drumming, bonfires, sweatlodge, and other activities, plus a magical marketplace at the Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve in Ohio. Past speakers have included the likes of Raymond Buckland and Phyllis Curott, amongst others. Early registration is advisable.
Oregon: The Mother Earth Gathering
Bob LaDu Jr.'s World Progress Association (WPA) holds its Mother Earth Gathering with camping, workshops, sweat lodge ceremony, bonfires, bardic circle, story-telling, crafts, tribal dancing, drumming circle and a traditional ritual celebration.
New York: Coney Island Mermaid Parade
Coney Island is the scene of one of the largest parades of the year with shoals of mermaids, King Neptunes, merbabies and meranimals taking part in the colorouful Mermaid Parade to celebrate summer and the official opening of the Atlantic Ocean.
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