Hello there, Black Witch, I have 2 questions to ask of you. 1. Do I have to believe in Gods & Goddesses in order to become a Wiccan/Witch?  Not too long ago, I dreamt about a letter K and a yellow pentacle and I’ve been trying to figure out what it means. 2. Do you have any suggestions where I can find this out?

For question 1: Do you have to believe in God & Goddesses to be a Wiccan or Witch? Yes and no. To be Wiccan (because Wiccan and Witch are two different things), a religion, you do have to honor a God and Goddess. You can called them Lord and Lady if you like but while it’s the norm to work with the Gods and Goddesses, you don’t have to set them as number one exactly for you can work strictly with elementals, stones and nature itself. You may hit some rough spots as a Wiccan – for example the monthly esbats (full moon salutations) which honours the goddess. You can still honour the moon as it is indeed part of nature but just know you might have to get a pantheon if you plan to be Wiccan. Since Witchcraft is a craft and not a religion, you’re freer to choose whether you want to work with Gods and Goddesses or not but still, know you may run into spells or rituals that require you to use a deity of some shape or form. Even if you don’t want to believe in Gods and Goddesses, you still have to believe in something for Witchcraft and Wicca, regardless which path you choose.

For question 2: You dreamt of the letter K and a yellow pentacle and want to know what it means. That’s easy. I always use books for my dream interpreting needs. The best books I can refer to you are:

1,001 Dreams by Jack Altman
The Element Encyclopedia of 20,000 Dreams by Theresa Chang

Also on this one website I stumbled across, there was this awesome supplemental dictionary online that’s now gone – but I copied and pasted everything! Here it is, provided by Rapidshare!  I hope you figure out that dream!

General Question: What is Ophiuchus and am I still my original sign?

This isn’t entirely a specific question but about three weeks back, there was all this chatter on Twitter about the so-called “13th zodiac” and how it’s totally changed the face of astrology forever because apparently we’re using points in the sky that hasn’t been accurate since pretty much Christ was alive. Cue twitter-dom schizz outs and the mysterious Ophiuchus becoming a worldwide trending topic. My timeline and mentions remained pretty calm but apparently it was War of the Worlds for others. I didn’t know about any of this really until a reader on my timeline mentioned it and linked to this, detailing what was going on and she was about to ask me.

Ophiuchus is pretty familiar to me because I remember hearing about it on MysticWicks, a pagan forum I was part of, back in…uhhhh…2006. Getting into astrology and its many forms, I have heard of this zodiac and the star shift itself but because I was younger and totally not into Vedic (Sidereal) astrology, I stuffed Ophiuchus into the back of my mind. So imagine my surprise when I see that little guy trending in 2011 and people screeching over it.

Since I didn’t remember much of Ophiuchus (and didn’t study basically any of it when I was aware of it), I did what a person in my position could do: seek out folks and info that did know what they were talking about and that meant marching back to MysticWicks (why’d I left it? Dunno) where I reliably found those old conversations and I think a couple new ones. Read up on them:

“Born in April, But I’m Actually a Pisces”
“Precision in Astrology”
“Sidereal Astrologers – None Here?”
“Glossary for the Astrologically Impaired” (I think this is awesome.)

Informative, no? Here’s more recent ones about the whole situation from wordpress blog Practicing Astrologer:

“Oh No, It’s Ophiuchus Again!”
“What Astronomers Don’t Get About Astrology”

I usually love hearing or seeing people get into astrology or any other form of esotericism because that’s basically how everyone starts but I get concerned when it draws into a fever pitch because I get the strong feeling a lot of people are probably missing the point somewhere. I still identify as Cancer because I’m a tropical astrologer, I use the Western astrology system, not sidereal so I can still blissfully ignore Ophiuchus happily and the world not turn to flames.

Because I am a curious lolita (check the links of interest if you don’t know what a lolita is), I decided to get my Vedic (sidereal) chart casted. This is what came out:

My Vedic Natal Chart

Now, this is what I’m accustomed to seeing (click to view a clearer picture):

My Tropical Natal Chart

Don’t look the same, do they? They shouldn’t either because they’re not the same system, just like Chinese and Western astrology are different systems but they still can be applied to the same person. In Vedic astrology, I’m a sun in Gemini, moon in Leo, ascendant in Virgo. In tropical (Western) astrology, I’m sun in Cancer, moon in Virgo, ascendant in Virgo. In Chinese astrology, I’m a Fire Hare. I’m still me, just with different perspectives applied and each of those perspectives have their own rules of interpretation as well as their own faults, no one is more “right” than the other. And there’s plenty of other astrology systems that I didn’t even mention (but will once people start freaking out at them).

In other words: If you thought your whole life you were an Aries, you still are, no need to panic. Western astrology – as far as I know – still hasn’t changed.