ancient

Go a Wassailing

December, 2018

Go a Wassailing

The ancient tradition of wassailing has pagan origins intended to bless the coming year’s orchards’ crops and protect them from evil spirits. Later, wassailers went from door to door, singing and drinking to the health of their neighbors. Wassail was the alcoholic beverage of choice.

There are many traditional carols that are clearly for Christians, but there are a growing number of songs appropriate for pagans celebrating Yule. Some are original songs by pagan and wiccan musicians honoring the winter solstice; others are new lyrics set to old standards.

Here is a sampling that you might enjoy this winter.

Santa Claus is Pagan Too” by Emerald Rose

“Wiccan Wonderland” by Karina Skye

“Jingle Bells, Cast Your Spells” by Karina Skye

 

 

Cast that Spell” by Kyrja

On Midwinter’s Day” by Damh The Bard

Hail the Holly King” by Inkubus Sukkubus

Silent Night, Solstice Night” by Karina Skye

Whisper in the Darkness” by Adala

Solstice Evergreen” by Spiral Dance

The Longest Night of the Year” by Mary Chapin Carpenter

Solstice Carole” by Wyrd Sisters

 

 

Solstice Song” by Backwater

We Three Witches” by Karina Skye

And, of course, “Here We Go a’wassaling.” This is one of many versions. Some change the lyrics to be more pagan, such as changing god to gods,

https://tinyurl.com/y942kkkg

I hope you’ll share your favorite solstice songs.

 

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About the Author:

Lynn Woike was 50 – divorced and living on her own for the first time – before she consciously began practicing as a self taught solitary witch. She draws on an eclectic mix of old ways she has studied – from her Sicilian and Germanic heritage to Zen and astrology, the fae, Buddhism, Celtic, the Kabbalah, Norse and Native American – pulling from each as she is guided. She practices yoga, reads Tarot and uses Reiki. From the time she was little, she has loved stories, making her job as the editor of two monthly newspapers seem less than the work it is because of the stories she gets to tell. She lives with her large white cat, Pyewacket, in central Connecticut. You can follow her boards on Pinterest, and write to her at woikelynn at gmail dot com.

GoodGod!

December, 2018

Meet the Gods: Mithras, the Pagan Christ Child

 

(This figure of the Persian god Mithras is at the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C.)

 

Merry meet.

Mithras, god of the sun in ancient Rome, was born around the winter solstice and experienced a resurrection around the spring equinox. The ancient Persian-Roman religion called Mithraism thrived before Christianity, dating back some 4,000 years. It gains attention because the similarities between his story and that of Jesus are numerous.

He was born of the virgin Anahita on December 25. He was, according to an article on truthbeknown. com by Acharya S. and D.M. Murdock, “wrapped in swaddling clothes, placed in a manger and attended by shepherds.”

He traveled far and wide as a teacher and a master who performed miracles and had 12 companions. He was omniscient. Both the lion and the lamb were his symbols. Hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus, the Lord’s Day, or Sunday, was said to be Mithras’ sacred day. Baptisms were important, midnight services were held and he was often said to carry a lamb on his shoulders. Mithraism’s scared rock was Petra.

As the ‘great bull of the Sun,’ Mithra sacrificed himself for world peace. He ascended into heaven. Mithra was viewed as the Good Shepherd, the ‘Way, the Truth and the Light,’ the Redeemer, the Savior, the Messiah,” according to the article.

Mithra was worshiped as Mitra or Itu in the Indian Vedic religion. It is believed he was born in a cave on December 25 and was the mediator between man and god.

 

(In this relief from the 2nd century AD, Mithras kills the sacred bull and from its blood and semen arise the plants and animals. Source: Neues Museum, Berlin)

 

His cult spread from India west to Germany, Spain and England, and was supported by soldiers of the Roman Empire, becoming the primary rival to the newly developing religion of Christianity. In 307, Diocletian consecrated a temple on the Danube River to Mithra, “Protector of the Empire,” as stated in britannica.com.

According to myth, Mithra was born, bearing a torch and armed with a knife, beside a sacred stream and under a sacred tree, a child of the earth itself. He soon rode, and later killed, the life-giving cosmic bull, whose blood fertilizes all vegetation. Mithra’s slaying of the bull was a popular subject of Hellenic art and became the prototype for a bull-slaying ritual of fertility in the Mithraic cult,” according to the entry written by the editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Mithra, also spelled Mithras, was the god of light in ancient Indo-Iranian mythology.

The Persian version of Mithra was a benevolent solar deity bestowing wealth and health.

He was mighty, strong, unconquered and king of the gods, and was often portrayed as a sun disc in a chariot drawn by white horses.

Winter festivals, common in cultures around the world, were intended to strengthen the fire of the sun so that it would return. They were celebrated in the name of Mithras, who can be called as a god to your circle this Yule.

Merry part. And merry meet again.

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About the Author:

Lynn Woike was 50 – divorced and living on her own for the first time – before she consciously began practicing as a self taught solitary witch. She draws on an eclectic mix of old ways she has studied – from her Sicilian and Germanic heritage to Zen and astrology, the fae, Buddhism, Celtic, the Kabbalah, Norse and Native American – pulling from each as she is guided. She practices yoga, reads Tarot and uses Reiki. From the time she was little, she has loved stories, making her job as the editor of two monthly newspapers seem less than the work it is because of the stories she gets to tell. She lives with her large white cat, Pyewacket, in central Connecticut. You can follow her boards on Pinterest, and write to her at woikelynn at gmail dot com.

Book Review: The Book of Ceremony – Shamanic Wisdom for Invoking the Sacred in Everyday Life by Sandra Ingerman

November, 2018

Book Review:

The Book of Ceremony

Shamanic Wisdom for Invoking the Sacred in Everyday Life

by Sandra Ingerman

Although I do not follow a Shamanic path, I have long been a fan of Sandra Ingerman’s work and fold much of her teachings into the practice and teachings I offer to my coven mates and students. I particularly enjoyed this book as a reader friendly and generic template for incorporating ceremony into any practice.

The Book of Ceremony by Sandra Ingerman reminds us that our focus is often distracted as we attempt to recreate or analyze ancient teachings and wisdom and that the most important piece in ceremony is our intention and desire to affect change. The approach to ceremony that Sandra uses guides the reader towards healthy expressions of emotions that could otherwise become more negative energy feeding situations in which we feel helpless.

The book is divided into four parts beginning with the basics of what is considered a “ceremony”; moving to specific types of ceremony; work to create balance within ourselves and the energy that moves through us and concluding with practical application of ceremony and creating your own definition of what these actions enable within your practice.

One of the key points brought to light early in the book is the difference between the terms of “Ritual” and “Ceremony”. The author uses her perspective of ritual being more repetitive in nature, whereas a ceremony is designed for specific outcome and at a specific time. I don’t fully agree with this definition as I believe that the two overlap in a myriad of ways, however, I believe this to be a good starting point for those exploring the use of “sacred action” filled with intention and hoping to create something new from what is acted upon.

The sections throughout the book, cover all of the information anyone would need to begin crafting ceremony and weaving it into their specific practice. Altars, tools, music, preparation of yourself, seeking Spirit guides, ancestors and more are presented in a useable way and offer both background and reasoning behind the selection offered.

I especially liked reading the section, “Turning Points and Rites of Passage”. It is richly illustrated with actual ceremonies that have been created and executed that were powerful examples of what can be accomplished in sharing the gifts of ceremony as a working tool.

All in all, this is an excellent book to begin the process of aligning yourself more deeply with your inner wisdom and intention-filled practice in honoring the sacred in the work you undertake. To quote Sandra…

In shamanic teachings, every spiritual and sacred act we perform is a ceremony. When we recognize the sacredness of each moment, miracles happen.”

The Book of Ceremony: Shamanic Wisdom for Invoking the Sacred in Everyday Life on Amazon

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About the Author:

Robin Fennelly is a Wiccan High Priestess, teacher, poet and author.

She is the author of (click on book titles for more information):

 

The Inner Chamber Volume One on Amazon

It’s Written in the Stars

Astrology

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry of the Spheres (Volume 2) on Amazon

Qabalah

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening the Paths on Amazon

Qabalah

 

A Year With Gaia on Amazon

The Eternal Cord

 

Temple of the Sun and Moon on Amazon

Luminous Devotions

 

The Magickal Pen Volume One (Volume 1) on Amazon

A Collection of Esoteric Writings

 

The Elemental Year on Amazon

Aligning the Parts of SELF

 

The Enchanted Gate on Amazon

Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

 

Sleeping with the Goddess on Amazon

Nights of Devotion

 

A Weekly Reflection on Amazon

Musings for the Year

 

Her books are available on Amazon or on this website and her Blogs can be found atRobin Fennelly 

 

Follow Robin on Instagram & Facebook.

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

June, 2018

The Goddess Nu Kua

(Photo Credit – acutonics.com)

Nu Kua is the Creatrix Goddess of Ancient China.

When the heavens and earth were separated, there were no human beings. Nu Kua was bored and lonely and so made the first humans out of clay made from mud from the Yellow River. Her breath and Yin became the first women; Her breath and Yang became the first men. The first of these were fashioned, and molded, with her hands. However, as she found how tedious and time-consuming this was, she began to drop a rope into the river’s clay and to allow droplets to form and to fall from the rope. Hence, those that were molded became the nobles and those who were unmolded became the peasants.

She is said to have the body of a woman from the waist up, and the body of a serpent/snake/dragon from the waist down. There are also myths of her having the body of a Tortoise.

(Photo Credit: goddesses-and-gods.blogspot.com)

 

(Photo Credit: opednews.com)

As the myth goes, the monster, Kung-Kung, during a great battle, flattened the mountains, tore a hole in the sky, and tilted the Earth.

Nu Kua came to restore order. She melted five sacred, colored stones and repaired the sky. She took control of water, enabling the rains to fall when and where necessary and put out fires. She put the seasons in the right order.

(Photo Credit: flickr.com)

She replaced the pillars of heaven with the legs of a great turtle/tortoise so that they would not collapse; Dragons on these pillars guard the path of the sun and the moon.

She corrected problems on Earth by quelling the problems of human chaos, by establishing marriage, ensuring that children would be raised correctly.

After restoring order, Nu Kua retreated to her domain, the sky, wearing a compass to symbolize order.

She has dominion over marital relations and fertility. It is said that she responds to prayers directed toward her.

Nu Kua represents order and its’ restoration, is a calming influence in stressful situations and also helps with a positive attitude after negative events.

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Order

There is a Way

and I am that Way

the Way of Nature that moves in all things

In the beginning

I created the universal pattern

the Way things are

the Way things flow

the Way things need to be

Then

I sequenced the seasons

harmonized the hillsides

organized the oceans

till all was auspiciously arranged

I am the natural order of things

I am the Way

(From The Goddess Oracle

by Amy Sophia Marashinsky & Hrana Janto)

(Photo Credit: The Goddess Oracle

by Amy Sophia Marashinsky & Hrana Janto)

Goddess Blessings!!

***

About the Author:

Susan Morgaine is a Daughter of the Goddess, Witch, Writer, Teacher, Healer, and Yogini. She is a monthly columnist with PaganPages.org Her writings can be found in The Girl God Anthologies, “Whatever Works: Feminists of Faith Speak” and “Jesus, Mohammed and the Goddess”, as well as Mago Publications “She Rises, Volume 2, and “Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess”. She has also been published in Jareeda and SageWoman magazines. She is a Certified Women’s Empowerment Coach/Facilitator through She is the author of “My Name is Isis”, one in the series of the “My Name Is………” children’s books published by The Girl God Publications. A Woman International, founded by Patricia Lynn Reilly. She has long been involved in Goddess Spirituality and Feminism, teaching classes and workshops, including Priestessing Red Tents within MA and RI. She is entering her 20th year teaching Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, being a Certified instructor through the Kundalini Research Institute, as well as being a Reiki Master. She is a member of the Sisterhood of Avalon. She can be found at https://mysticalshores.wordpress.com/ and her email is MysticalShores@gmail.com

My Name is Isis: The Egyptian Goddess

Sacred Art Video

March, 2018

THE WOMAN AND HER SNAKE

In this art film Imelda Almqvist explores the ancient, ancestral and archetypal yet mysterious figure of The Woman and Her Snake.

She lives Outside Time and is a Mistress of Creation and Manifestation.

We meet her in many forms all around us, in dreams, world mythology and legends about shape shifting women and snakes.

Some would say she is an archetype – others would say she is a great goddess….

Watch and decide for yourself!

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About the Author:

Imelda Almqvist is an international teacher of shamanism and sacred art. Her book Natural Born Shamans: A Spiritual Toolkit For Life (Using shamanism creatively with young people of all ages) was published by Moon in 2016.  She is a presenter on the Shamanism Global Summit  2017 as well as on Year of Ceremony with Sounds True. She divides her time between the UK, Sweden and the US. Her second book SACRED ART, A Hollow Bone for Spirit – Where ART Meets Shamanism will be published in December 2018.

Click Image for Amazon Information

www.shaman-healer-painter.co.uk  (website)

https://imeldaalmqvist.wordpress.com/  (blog)

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=imelda+almqvist 

(Youtube channel: interviews, presentations and art videos)

Imelda is a presenter on Year of Ceremony with Sounds True

http://affiliate.soundstrue.com/aff_c?offer_id=124&aff_id=2260&url_id=86

And she presented on the Shamanism Global Summit with The Shift Network in both 2016 and 2017

http://shamanismsummit.com/program/132

Gael Song

March, 2018

Unearth Your Own Ancient Goddess

As I walked my solitary path, the Goddess led me carefully, slowly, tenderly. First, I made a long journey around Scotland, my motherland. And as my family and I went sunwise round the coast, visiting stone circles and souterrains, and barrows all along the route, I could feel buried memories and slumbering parts of myself awakening. Sitting in a dolmen in the Celtic ruins on the western coast, the wind hushed in the cave-like interior, I saw a circle of women in the ethers threshing grains onto a hide beneath, chanting in an ancient tongue. And I knew I’d been one of them, long, long ago in that very place. I could feel a stream of light in my left leg opening during that journey, brightening and strengthening, only later realizing it was the Goddess flow up my left leg into my inner feminine. And over all the intervening years, I’ve noticed that stream is always brighter whenever I stand on Scottish soil, dimming as soon as I get on the plane to return to the US. My heart always dims a bit, too. But that first trip was only the beginning.

Next, the Goddess led me to a Celtic shaman, who taught me to speak with rocks, rivers, turtles, and shells. Well, no, he taught me to listen to them. His drumming brought clear visions into my mind in moments, images of stone circles in the Orkneys, myself a druid, a male lifetime of ancient days. It was my heart that unfolded into brightness that time, as I felt an inner devotion to the earth from those long-forgotten days that drew me Home to silence with a quiet intensity, surprising in its strength. So, I began to take time away from my therapy practice and the mountainous needs of my clients, as well as moments of quiet under the trees of our yard, away from the busy-ness and noise of my daughters, though they were much beloved. I didn’t realize it was the Goddess in the stillness, either, not then. But I felt how starving I was for rest, small sheltered moments when I wasn’t taking care of anyone else. And I knew some Otherworldly Presence was holding me during those quiet times, too, filling me with gentle comfort and silent pregnant power, as I slowly learned to recognize the Goddess, the White Tara, by Her energy signature. She especially touched my feminine within and my inner child, parts of myself my family and clients rarely noticed, for they were too busy needing me, instead.

But it was energy school that brought Her fireworks to life, an angel coming into the ethers four days into the very first session, who hovered before me, his outline so bright, I could barely discern his features, his light wafting down over me like illumined mist. When I asked who he was, he said his name was Metatron. And I told him I’d never heard that name, for he wasn’t in the Bible, the only place I’d read any angel names before. He only replied that, no, he wasn’t in books, for he preferred to be experienced, not read about. And I saw nine symbols in the ethers on my chest being rapidly changed, symbols I’d never seen before, either, ones that looked like those squiggly astrology figures, with the sound of tapping in the background, as if an old typewriter was being used. And from that moment on, every time someone came up to me, I’d have a rolodex of photos go through my mind, spinning rapidly forward, all the past lives I’d shared with that individual. I found myself hugging total strangers at energy school, saying things like, “Oh, you were my scribe in Egypt! I’m so happy to see you again after all these years!,” as if 3,000 years ago was last year! It took a while to get my head wrapped around that past life influx, about six weeks. But by then, I’d settled into healing work with more past life memories arising in those visions. The Goddess pulls white-winged surprises out of Her bag sometimes!

It wasn’t always easy, though. There was pain, ongoing not-so-fun surprises, too, when She opened some old fear for healing in my life, again. But I got used to that as well. And it empowered me greatly, my feminine especially, as She knew it would, as I gradually understood that those fears weren’t even real, that I could transmute them during my next meditation, simply and easily, and they would then disappear from my life, poof! This was profound, this realization that my own inner beliefs were creating my one little world on the outside, and that I could change it all, just by melting ancient fears away. It was like gathering a bouquet of wildflowers, this process, too, for behind every fear was some truth, some strength or skill I’d left behind, beside the threshed ancient grains or those terribly patriarchal pyramids, perhaps. How astonished I was, for instance, when I picked up my little harp for the first time, to feel I had played it long before in Greece. And over months and years, I could feel the inner grip of fear begin to loosen, too, deep within, places that had weighed me down all my life, as the gifts of many lives were woven into the fibers of my being.

Then Tara drew me into ceremony. Ah, this opened wide joyful portals to angels, the fae, Tibetan masters, ancestors from my star tuath, so many who came to help. Whole sheaths of fear were washed off in seconds as a workshop participant knelt before the Celtic high cross in the middle of my flower essence garden or stepped into the river below my home! What a magical experience that was! If you are ever drawn to attend or create ceremonies, DO it! Just be very careful who you call in from above to assist you, for it’s an extremely powerful process. And then, too, I saw how some of the deepest exchanges between participants at workshops, the biggest heart openings of all, occurred as folks chatted over lunch when they were the most relaxed. I just watched from behind the kitchen counter sometimes as inner heart roses or lotuses opened and brightened, breathing gently, while people munched on carrot sticks and never noticed. Shifts come in simple, unnoticed ways as well.


But what I want to say most of all, the whole point of this article, is how those ancient memories of goddess times, before the shift to patriarchy 3,000 years ago, unearthed my inner matriarch, my inner wise woman, my inner goddess, mine and everyone I worked with. For those ancient pagan times especially were when women were relied on, respected for their generative powers, looked up to, in fact. It was a matriarchal consciousness then. I was speaking with a friend about this recently, and she commented how she had no idea what the ancient life of her motherland was like. And I felt a momentary sadness, thinking, oh, sweetie, but then your inner feminine powers must still be buried, all your talents from those days! And the knowing washed through me then how carefully the Goddess has been growing all of me into blossoming, all of everyone who dips into the long ago. How very blessed I felt in that small moment, how full inside! So, if you feel moved to dip your toes into light healing or past lives or even reading ancient history, especially of your own motherland, any of the places you may have left pieces of your souls behind, oh, DO it, love! Gather your own lilies and roses and Queen Anne’s lace of ancient times into the shining bouquet of love you truly are.

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About the Author:

Jill Rose Frew, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, energy healer, workshop leader, and author. She is hoping to found an intentional community in southern Scotland in the near future. For information, please see www.thehomestarcommunity.org

She is author of Guardians of the Celtic Way (her name was Jill Kelly then), and Alba RebornVolume One Revised, and Volumes Two and Three.

For Amazon Information Click on Images