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IMAGE Your Tarot Manual
Your Tarot Cards User's Maintenance Manual (The one they forgot to include with your cards.) Forget the superstitious mumbo jumbo. Clear your head of... Read More...
IMAGE About the Tarot Class & Cards
Designed to help you become proficient in reading the tarot without consulting a reference book, this course is excellent for both beginners and... Read More...
IMAGE Online Class Participation
Welcome to the ComprehensiveWitchcraft & Wicca Course Let there be Beauty and Strength, Power and Compassion, Honor and Humility, Mirth and... Read More...
IMAGE About the Witchcraft Course
If you are not already a Premium Member, you can enroll from this page. You will have full access to the Academy and all online classes for a Year... Read More...
IMAGE Besom Briefs
A besom is a broom used by some Witches, especially for Handfasting and Imbolc (around February 2) rites.  Because we hope to offer information... Read More...
IMAGE Designing With Color Magick: Gardens, Home Design, Clothes
There are thousands of websites and books you can use to look up the meaning and properties of a color.  Even here on PaganPath you will find... Read More...
IMAGE Working With Crystals & Stones Course Guide
This is the course index for the Working With Crystals & Stones class.  Your studies will be easier if you go through each lesson in... Read More...
IMAGE 1: What is Quartz Crystal?
Welcome to the newest course available in the PaganPath Academy! The first two lessons of this online class are available to the public. Please... Read More...
Herbs & Wortcunning Course Summary
A great class to help you understand the magical, medicinal and other uses for herbs and plants from gardening or growing your own indoors to... Read More...
IMAGE Dragon's Blood
(Shop)Dragon's Blood Resin comes from the collected and dried sap of many plant genera.  Usually it is harvested from a type of spiny, climbing... Read More...
IMAGE The Garden's Unseen Magical Forces
There are unseen forces working their magic in your garden! Have you ever printed a photograph when your ink cartridge is out of yellow ink? ... Read More...
IMAGE House Cleansing & Blessing Ritual
This home ritual is designed to cleanse a house of negativity, but it is also designed to create a positive and balanced atmosphere which encourages... Read More...
IMAGE Alter Your Altar: Alternative Altars
Your altar reflects who you are and what your energy is like at this point in your life. It can even be a reflection of the goals you wish to... Read More...
IMAGE Pagan & Craft Traditions
Traditions are also known as "Trads". By necessity, these definitions are general. Each Witch in every tradition could define his or her path... Read More...
IMAGE The Four Quarters or Corners
In This Article:  What are the Quarters?  •  How are the Quarters Called?  •  Deosil vs. Widdershins What are the... Read More...
IMAGE Part II: Where is Power?
In Part I we talked about the self defeating programming that takes power from within you and gives it to things outside of yourself. (similar to... Read More...
IMAGE Part VI: Worship
Part VI: Worship; or, giving yourself permission to connect with what moves you in whatever way you deem best What is being a real practitioner? As... Read More...
IMAGE The PPe-Tarot: A Digital Tarot Deck & Free Reading
Your free online tarot reading, and much of the The Online Tarot Class in the Academy is illustrated with the PPe-Tarot. The PPe-Tarot was developed... Read More...
IMAGE The Elder Futhark Runes
The following interpretations of the meanings of the Elder Futhark1 runes are summarized from my research through dozens of books and manuscripts.... Read More...
IMAGE PaganPath Sabbat Cakes
Originally entitled Volute's Sabbat Cakes. See note at end of article.* Very Chocolate, Very Strong, Very Good, just so VERY! These cakes can be the... Read More...
IMAGE Mead Magic
Mead is often referred to as the Nectar of the Gods, or the Drink of Love. It is a delightful ritual beverage that can add depth to your rituals and... Read More...
IMAGE Theban Script or "Witchs' Runes"
Theban Script is an alphabet used by many Pagans, Witches and Wiccans as a to prevent prying eyes from reading private entries in Books of Shadows... Read More...
IMAGE Scarabs: History, Symbolism, Uses
Scarab Symbolism & Uses The popularity of the scarab (pronounced SCARE ub) in Ancient Egyptian culture is undisputed.  The scarabs from Friday's... Read More...
IMAGE 2017 PaganPath Almanacs & Calendar
Welcome to the 20th edition of the PaganPath Almanac. Great improvements have been made over the years based on your input and our growing... Read More...
IMAGE Beltane - Maypole Dance
The Beltane season has that quivering anticipation, similar to Samhain.  Filled with a sense of magic and quickening, it is a time of growth and... Read More...
IMAGE Making a Ouija or Talking Board
Making your own Witch board, Ouija board or "talking board" can be very easy.  You can also have someone with more experience make one for you,... Read More...
IMAGE Make Your Own Scarab
This is a good project to do with kids, and for the kid in you!  You can create your own scarab fetish and inscribe symbols and words that are... Read More...
IMAGE Stones for Magic & Spells
Stones are excellent tools for spells and magic.  You can use them in a number of ways, but stone pouches are a convenient tool for energy and... Read More...
IMAGE A Guide to Amber & Jet
As you can see from the picture, there are many types of amber, and these are often confused with each other, as well as with ambergris, copal and... Read More...

Beads and fetishes patterned after traditional Egyptian styles.Scarab Symbolism & Uses

The popularity of the scarab (pronounced SCARE ub) in Ancient Egyptian culture is undisputed.  The scarabs from Friday's collection pictured to the left are patterned after Egyptian scarabs which were pierced lengthwise and probably worn as amulets or talismans.  They were also buried with mummies and later worn by Roman soldiers as military symbols.  The scarab represents the cycles of birth, death and rebirth, strength, immortality, longevity, resurrection, growth, evolution, fertility and protection.

The symbolism and talismanic properties of scarabs are popular still, and they are often worn or carried for renewal, growth, strength, creativity, fertility, or as a reminder of the cycles of life which places mundane situations into perspective, and as symbols of persistence, much like a phoenix rising from the ashes.

Scarab History

A scarab charm and a scarab beetleScarab beetle carvings are usually patterned after the Scarabaeus sacer.  These beetles are scavengers and survivors, so it is easy to understand their sacred place in Egyptian culture.  They live off decaying vegetation, and most often, the dung of animals.  This makes them essential in the recycling of waste and the prevention of disease.

Occasionally, large numbers of scarab beetles would appear in the mud along the Nile in Egypt and this appearance reinforced the cyclical view of rebirth and resurrection.

In an almost comical display, the scarab beetles will roll balls of dung along with their hind legs for long distances.  Sometimes they work with another beetle to arrive at their destination where they lay their eggs in the dung ball.  During the egg laying process, some beetles will enter the ball of waste, and later reemerge.  The dung ball has also been associated with the sun rolling across the heavens bringing life and creation, the microcosm within the macrocosm.

The markings on the bottom of carved scarabs are hieroglyphs, usually indicating the dynasty during which they were carved and could be used as seals, like a stamp.  Some scarabs are carved with a wish for luck or well being.  They were made of various materials, clay (glazed or unglazed) gems, semi-precious stones such as amethyst and lapis lazuli, metal, etc.

When carved from a stone, the energies of the material should be taken into consideration when utilizing the scarab as a magickal fetish.  For example, smokey quartz might be a good material for protection,  while you may find that turquoise is a better warding choice for you.

Use your scarab in mojo bags, for beads on zippers or tarot bags, or wear them as beads on bracelets and necklaces.  You can create your own scarabs or purchase them ready made.  Please see the article here on PaganPath in the How To section to Make Your Own Scarab.

A familiar caduceus.Caduceus (kedyoo' sees)The caduceus is a symbol of two snakes entwined in a double helix around a winged rod or staff.  The symbol appeared in early Babylonian art and is now associated with medicine.

The Caduceus has represented various sun Gods, especially the Greek messenger of the gods, Hermes.  Hermes carries a gold caduceus, wears winged sandals and a winged hat.  The caduceus came to be associated with Hermes from various legends.

One legend tells of Hermes encountering two fighting snakes. He threw his wand at them, and they became entwined around it, ending the fight. Another legend tells of Apollo giving Hermes the caduceus.

The caduceus is also a symbol of peace, originally carried by Greek ambassadors and heralds, then later by Romans for truce or neutrality.

Because of the associations of Hermes/Mercury with messengers, commerce and healing, the caduceus has represented many industries over time, including postal services, doctors, healers and ambassadors.  The caduceus was, and still it, used as an advertisements or sign for medical practitioners, and since 1902 it has been the regulation insignia for medical branches of the U.S. Army.

Asclepian StaffPrior to the 1500s, a symbol of Asclepius with one snake known as an Asclepian staff, had been used to represent medicine and healing.

The staff is obviously a phallic fertility symbol, and snakes are often linked to the earth and the cycles of life, death and rebirth. The snakes wrapped around the staff are representative of sexual and spiritual union.

It was once believed that medical practitioners used the symbol for advertising because of the way parasitic worms were thought to be removed from the body. A stick was supposedly inserted into an incision to remove the worm, which would often wrap itself around the stick. However, it is more likely that parasitic worms were removed with herbal teas and infusions.

Magickal Associations:  Healing | Commerce | Messages | Hermes/Mercury | Speed/Swiftness | Sexual & Spiritual Union
Alternate names:  kerykeion, magic rod of Hermes.
Similar or Associated Symbols:  Ouroboros, Snakes

Symbols of Pagan PathsThere are many symbols used by Pagans, and there is no one defining symbol of Paganism.
Some of the most frequently used symbols are pictured here.  Each symbol has a wide range of meanings and interpretations.  The final meaning of each symbol is left to the individual practitioner.

An example of multiple interpretations is the Wheel of the Year symbol in the image shown.  Click to enlarge the image if necessary.

This symbol represents the eight Sabbats of the Pagan year, including the solstices, equinoxes and cross quarters.  However, for some people, this same symbol is the dharma wheel and represents the Noble Eightfold Path (one of the principal teachings of the Buddha), or the Eightfold Path of Gardnerian Wicca. 1

As you can now understand, it is impossible to judge a person's path by the symbols they use due to the multitude of interpretations of each symbol.  Many of these symbols are also used in Christianity such as the triquetra and the pentagram. 2

This is a selection of the most popular Pagan symbols, but in no way does it encompass the hundreds of symbols utilized by Pagans.  Explore more areas of the Library here on PaganPath and you will see more articles in the Symbols, Sigils & Alphabets section.

 

References & Resources

1. The Eightfold Path of Gardnerian Wicca

This has become "traditional writing" that has become so familiar to many of us that the original source is often forgotten.  Gardner's Eightfold Path remains controversial and certainly not all Witches or Pagans follow Gardner or these "methods to enlightenment and bliss".  When the Eightfold Path is used, they are often modified and altered by individual practitioners and groups.  The original eight points from The Gardnerian Book of Shadows by Gerald Gardner, 1957, are as follows:

  1. Meditation or concentration, actually by the firm knowledge that you can and will succeed -- forming a clear picture in your mind or your requirements.
  2. Trance states, Clairvoyance, Projection of the Astral etc.
  3. Drugs, Wine, Incense.
  4. Dance, Performing Rites with a purpose.
  5. Chants, Spells etc.
  6. Blood control (Cords etc), Breath control.
  7. Scourge
  8. The Great Rite

2. Christian Symbols Ancient and Modern, by Heather Child, 1971.

Full size excerpt of The Magus with the legend for the alphabet as it originally appeared.Theban Script is an alphabet used by many Pagans, Witches and Wiccans as a substitution cipher to prevent prying eyes from reading private entries in Books of Shadows (BoS) or spell books. It also lends an air of mystery to writing and is known as the Witches Runes, Witchs' Runes or the Witches' Alphabet.

In this article you will find a brief history of the script. There is also an easy to print bookmark at the bottom of this page. You can cut it out and use the bookmark as a quick reference when writing your own coded spells in your book of shadows, or for translating and deciphering Theban Script in other areas such as on the library window in the lifetime television series, "Witches of East End".  Finally as an extra bonus, you can download the true type font for use on your computer in documents and graphics if you are logged in as a Member of PaganPath.com.

The Theban alphabet does not exactly translate to the English alphabet because the letters W, J and U are not used in Middle Latin. You can create your own characters to replace these letters, or you may substitute the character for I in place of J, and the character for V in place of W and U. These substitutions are widely accepted and practiced by many modern magical folk.

The Theban Alphabet first appeared in the book entitled, The Magus. The English occult and Kabbalah scholar, Francis Barrett, published The Magus in 1801. In the book, the alphabet is attributed to Honorius II (Pope from 1216 to 1227).  Click on the image above to enlarge the original book excerpt.

Many medieval grimoires were said to have been written by Honorius II. The legend accompanying the illustration of this alphabet in The Magus reads:

"The Mysterious Characters of Letters deliver'd by Honorius call'd the Theban Alphabet." Honorius II had the reputation of being a magician and was said to have sponsored a crusade to Egypt.

Users of this magickal alphabet often include a stylized character at the end of a writing. This character is translated as the Greek Alpha and Omega.

Punctuation is not normally used with Theban Script, however a tilda (~) can be attractive at the end of sentences when using the script ~

You can download the Theban Script true type font for your computer if you are a Member of PaganPath and are logged in. If you are logged in, you will see a little "gear" or "clockwork" icon at the top of every page.  Click on the icon to go to the "My Path" area with lots of extras like fonts, almanacs and books to download. If you are already logged in, you can click here to go directly to the downloads. Save the Theban font to your Windows Font folder and restart your computer. You should then be able to use the Theban Script for all your word processing and graphics programs.

Free Stuff:

Free bookmark for you to use as a quick translation guide.

Click here to print out a Theban reference bookmark.

 

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