equinox

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.

***

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.

Celebrating Autumn with Norma Clark of Forevrgoddess Boutique

September, 2018

 

Autumn Smudge Bundle with Gemstones

Hello, I’m Norma with Forevrgoddess Boutique, I wanted to share some info on Smudging herbs, gemstones and smudge rituals.  I don’t know about you, but the first day of September feels magickal, with apples and pumpkins abundantly everywhere.  I think it’s the perfect time to do an Autumn ritual smudging to cleanse home, sacred space or people, to remove negative or stale energy, banish and release emotions, illness, and other energy needing to be removed from home or person, to prepare for the coming of the Autumn Equinox & Samhain. You might have seen a few smudging herb bundles in new age stores, witch shops or online, there are many to choose from.

Smudging has been done in ancient cultures to Native American, in Spanish countries like Mexico, through Central and South America. Some of these herbs are used in smudging rituals by Shamans.  Some of these herbs can also be used in blessings, after ritual cleansings of homes or people. You can perform a blessing within a home  to invite harmony, love, laughter, tranquility, happiness and prosperity, or what ever is needed at the moment. For personal blessings you can do any of these ideas as well.

You can typically find in stores or online: White sage,  Juniper, cedar, Yerba Santa and Palo Santo. Any of these bundles of herbs can be helpful. Combining them with gemstones and crystals is an additional bonus and can help give healing/loving energy to aid with manifesting the properties you need most. I’m going to talk about a few of my  small smudge sets from Forevrgoddess Boutique, what they can do to help cleanse, rebalance and refocus energy to a positive and harmonious environment or how they can be used for personal blessings.

 

Small Autumn Smudge Blend

Here we have a beautiful mixture of Mexican cinnamon, Cloves, Cedar, Rose, Rosemary and White Sage. Very aromatic smell. Here’s a information on a few herbs we use for our Autumn blend.

White Sage: Can be prefect for magickal workings – protection, banishing/ releasing, seek wisdom through meditations, helps with grief, good health, healing, longevity, and psychic awareness.

Red Roses: Love, respect, beauty, courage, passion, romantic love, blessings, attract, banish, consecrate/bless, devotion, happiness, harmony.

Palo Santo (or Holy wood): from Ecuador forests, Palo Santo – Shaman have used it to clear energy, and positive energy. To reestablish peace, balance enhance focus to meditation, heals people physical and spiritual level.

Cedar: Calming, comforting, purify, protection, healing, harmony, prosperity, abundance, cleansing, helps focus on goals and meditation.

Mexican Cinnamon: Brought from Mexico to USA. – actions, attraction, inner balance, dream work, harmony, healing, attract luck, peace, passion, protection, wishes, consecrate/blessings.

Our Small Smudge Set is portable, you can do a quick smudge ritual anywhere. The Small Smudge Set is in a little tin box (we’ll provide ritual at bottom of this article). You can either burn them together or separately.  If you decide you want it to be stronger then make a bigger flame.  You can  always break the smudge blend into little burnable pieces and use a small abalone shell to burn it in. (We carry various abalone shell in boutique in 2 sizes.) If you wish to get a little smell burn small bit of each, cinnamon, cloves, rose, and rosemary with a bit of sage. The choice is yours.

 

Autumn Gemstones

We selected these from our Wiccan Magickal Sabbat Mabon and Samhain box sets.  With autumn equinox coming soon, seasons are changing for fall. It’s the time of balance between day and night, before night takes over and brings winter.

Here are the Stones for Autumn:

Citrine: Stone of happiness, positive energy and thought mental clarity, abundance, healing, uplifting.

Carnelian: Motivation, calm emotions, banishes negative emotions, replaces with love.

Smoky Quartz: Dispel negative energy, protection, grounding, transformation, brings calm.

Tiger eye: Stone of wealth, protection, self-confidence, balance, grounding.

When charging or programming your gemstone, keep in mind the goal or desire you wish to bring into your life. Help manifest this desire to life, say a prayer to your deity, angels, or elemental, ask for their support to bless this new path you wish to journey on. Keep them in your pocket, purse or coin purse as a reminder of what healing qualities you wish to be blessed with at the moment.

 

Autumn Smudge House Blessings Set

House Blessings Manifest Kit

Brightest Blessings, I’m so happy you decided to change a new part in your life, for the coming of Autumn and all her glory. This kit is designed to help you focus you and your home or sacred space to help “manifest” a new beginning and bring in the desires in your life..

How to Set up your Stones..

You will noticed you have 6 gemstones and an Autumn Smudge blend. The Autumn Smudge blend is to cleanse the area and give it a fresh start with positive energy.

Gemstone Selenite: ( Don’t rinse in water or leave in sun) quickly unblocks stagnant energy and removes negative energy. It magnifies the energy of any other gemstone that’s placed upon it. Combine selenite with black tourmaline. It will protect home and clear any negative energy, and help in protection crystal grids. Expands awareness opens psychic abilities.  Brings mental clarity and deep peace. Helps with angelic guidance.

Gemstone: Iron Pyrite ( fools gold): recall beautiful memories, protective stone, attract wealth and prosperity, energy shielding stone, blocks out negative energy, positive stone. Relieves anxiety frustration and boosts self-worth. Great for memory, this stone helps when depressed or deep despair, luck, money, protection, strength, willpower.

Gemstone: Pink Calcite: balance emotions, calming, grounding, spiritual growth, love, Healing, self work, well-being.

Gemstone: Carnelian: career success, grounding, motivation, personal power, helps with creativity, good health, protection, stop – negative energy, stimulates the conscious mind, helps you focus on the present and current needs, helps over come difficult times, manifesting energy to have your desire come to life.

Gemstone: Amethyst: all healing (mind, body, spirit) inner peace, calming one’s mind, a sense of spiritual insight when in a deepen stage of meditations, protective stone, esp, psychic attacks, helps with grief or loss, releases tension, helps over come bad habits tendencies, and calm anxiety attacks.

 

Cleansing Stones

Cleanse each gemstone with smudging blend burning in shell, to ensure it’s a positive energy to help with your goal you wish to create. It’s to ensure the gemstones, which have passed through so many hands, to get to you at home, are cleaned of other’s energies that might not fit in. Hold stone in hand take shell and pass it over and under stone to encase it with smoke.

 

Arranging Gemstones

Once stones are cleansed, set up an area where your stones will be seen through the day (altar, mantel, etc..) arrange stones however you wish. I suggest to put selenite in middle and surround other stones around the selenite so the selenite will energize the other stones. Like a mini crystal grid. If you have more stones, flowers, candles feel free to add them, to help further the goal you have in mind.

 

Autumn Equinox Celebration Ideas

  • Take walks with autumn changing in your wooded area, feel the cool crisp air.
  • Collect leaves with family, and place them on your altar.
  • Or … Write with black Permanent marker in one word what your thankful for on your leaf then poke a hole thru it, tie a string and hang it where you can see it everyday.
  • Create memories with family and friends and bake autumn sugar cookies talk about what you grateful for or just spend time with them. (our Sabbat Mabon and Samhain cookie cutter and recipe box set is available check the boutique.)
  • It’s time to reflect this time of year on what Autumn means to you, the balance of day and night, finding balance within one’s life ( work, family, school, children, etc) and what goals you want to set for this month September or October.
  • Go to pumpkin farm.
  • Drink cider with friends and family, share sweet goodies.
  • Collect Apples.
  • Do some Autumn crafts with Family and Friends (look on Pinterest.com for ideas).
  • Go to some Fall Festivals.
  • Enjoy the fruits and the favorite foods we enjoy this time of year, did someone say “pumpkin spice.” Nothing to big, just go enjoy the Beauty of Autumn. May this Season of Autumn Bless you with Abundance, love, good health, and little wealth. Brightest blessings – N

 

Forevrgoddess Boutique Charge/Smudging Ritual

Ground/center calm mind, hold the Shell with Smudging inside in your Power hand and say a simple prayer ask for divine power, to bless the Smudging herbs, encircle Smudging herbs with white light.

Open a window.

Light your Smudging herbs in shell.

As it Burns try to focus on cleansing goal/ intent you wish help with. Feel smoke surround you.

Take cupped hand and brush smoke all over body or bless rooms of home, draw sigils with them in air and empower them to life, by visualizing a gold light and start to glow.

Visualize the negative energy, stagnant energy, negative emotions being removed and pushed out.

Feel free to use feathers or broom to push out smoke thru door way or window.

Visualize open window to push out negative energy and welcoming positive energy in. Feel spiritual and physical uplifting of emotions and cleansing.

Once done with smudging ritual, give thanks. Place Shell in a fireproof bowl if necessary to catch ashes and to let it burn out in a safe place.

Brightest Blessings to you – Forevrgoddess Boutique

Look for our Smudging set, blends in Candle, Incense, Sage Section.

***

About the Author:

Norma Clark I’m the owner of Forevrgoddess Boutique, I live in small rural Paris,Idaho Both me and Hubby are Wiccan with 2 beautiful children and gang of critters. I love to share, inspire, create many Magickal items for my Jewelry and Metaphysical boutique. Come sit for a spell and see the Magick of Forevrgoddess Boutique.

 

The Bad Witch’s Guide

September, 2018

The Bad Witch’s Guide Autumn Equinox

I have always enjoyed the light around this time of year. The beginning of mists at sunset and dawn. The first tinges of frost and the spider webs like diamond nets over the leaves that were beginning to turn. The dead summer grass rattling in a wind with a distinctly crisp edge.

The light and dark are in perfect balance. The Veil between this world and others is thin

Mabon has his name attached to this festival and I like that. I like Mabon in general. I like a seeker. I also like balance so equinoxes feel really good for me. It is neither thing, light and dark, hopeful and guarded, plenty and want. Perhaps that is why Pryderi, Rhiannon’s sacred son is often associated with Mabon for this reason.

Pryderi (or Prederin) is born of a Goddess (like Mabon). He enters the forest, the world between. His manners are rough and he insults a great King, Arawn. King Arawn switches places with him and during his quest into Awen learns to “dwell with desire” but to not act on it. He learns great self-control and in so doing wins a great battle. In learning mercy and abstinence (not sleeping with another’s wife) becomes a Great Leader. It is a great lesson. To not give into lust or vengeance, even you can “get away with it”.

Of course I love the food and while apples and pork are more Samhain for me, Mabon is full of cobnuts (fresh hazelnut), damsons, wild game like pheasant and venison and this year’s lamb tend to be fresh seasonal and excellent. In fact Mabon is the peak of vegetable harvest, from the last of the fresh garden herbs to runner beans and early potatoes. The sea also is full of wonders, oysters and mackerel, sardines and sea bass are plump and delicious.

It is pickling season. From Yule onions (the ones you break out with your cold cuts) to some kimchi because the cabbages are amazing this year, preserving your own food is fun and relatively simple. Part of me wonders if Mabon isn’t a pickling party that got out of hand so marvellously they did it every year! That is the light in the dark; planning the plenty in a time of ice and snow. It is in the wine and vinegar, the syrups and treats, the medicine and the merriment.

The dark is something else. The dark is in the journey work, the intoxication*, the self-exploration and releasing of our leaves to feed our next year’s growth. This is not ancestor work or work with the dead. This is honouring our deaths. All of the people we have been that are no longer. It is letting go of all we have been carrying, good and bad, at least for a while.

Many traditional wiccan rites around this time of year feel like hollow reflections of Lughnasadh or Samhain. Yet this is as powerful as midsummer or Yule to me. A time of beginnings and endings, of big and small changes. It is the bloom of mushrooms, the food of the Gods after all. *While I don’t condone their use it is an ancient part of ritual practice. It is a time of sacrifice and plenty.

Ritual

What you will need:

A fire (or safe heat source)

A large pan or cauldron.

A sterilised bottle or jar

Elderberries

Caraway seeds (a pinch)

White rose petals (13)

Elder leaves (13)

Water

Sugar (to make a syrup)

A sieve or strainer

If you are using freshly picked seasonal berries you will need to double what you would be using for dried and make sure they are well washed and dried.

Heat your water and add your sugar. When up to a simmer, bless your pot or cauldron with a seven pointed star. Make sure your sugar is dissolved.

Add your leaves one at a time with the following charm.

Dark mother, Matrona,

Modron

Sweet Moon:

I call you

I evoke

For your healing and protection,

The Birch, the Rowan, the Ash, the Alder, the Willow, the Hawthorn, the Oak, the Holly, the Hazel, the Vine, the Ivy, the Reed, and the Elder Moons.”

Add the elderberries and stir it gently in a figure of eight pattern.

Add your caraway seeds and then a rose petal at a time saying the following

Light mother, Matrona,

Modron

Bitter Goddess:

I call you

I evoke your healing and protection.

By blood and thorn, by your magick and power

The charm is made by seed and flower.”

Remove the cauldron from the heat and let it sit for about five minutes before you carefully strain it, mashing the berries a little to get as much juice as you can and bottle it and seal it.

This syrup is good for flus, and colds it can also be used as a blood substitute or made into a tea to replace wine in most other rituals.

Celebrating the Old Ways in New Times

September, 2018

Celebrating the Old Ways in New Times September 2018

Autumnal Equinox

Bright Blessings,

It is almost the Autumnal Equinox!

We are thankful the weather is cooling off. Some of us nearly suffocate when it is so hot, but it’s also sad that Summer plants are winding down.

I got a head start and threw some mums in pots, and am eyeing more at garden aisles at local shops. I put my radishes in the soil five days ago, and they have already emerged tall and strong!

Next, garden cleanup begins! I have mint, zinnias, black eyed susans, echinacea, and a huge tomato plant that will need cleaned up by winter, and I start that this week. I have large areas of these plants, so it is imperative I do little bits at a time. I have learned over the years that working with plants is done best a little bit here and there almost every day. I see so many people saving all their yard work up for ONE day every month or so, and some complain bitterly about it.

As with all things in life, doing things in moderation in the garden is beneficial! This way, you also get to enjoy the seasons regularly, as opposed to feeling that touching the earth is a chore and a burden.

Besides that, being out there regularly with your plants means you are fully aware of what is going on with them. As we are aware of the poisons of modern chemicals, and how it is killing this planet, the best way to ensure you can manage pests with organic methods is to inspect the plants often. If daily is not possible, at least three times per week is helpful.

Not being aware of the goings on of the plants and the organisms that are interacting with them is one of the main ways a garden can fail. Catch the issues fast, and fix them faster!

The Autumn

As the wheel is turning, the days cool, the nights come sooner, and the sun rises later. It reminds us to enjoy the warmth and growing season for as long as we can, because the cold winter and short days are just around the corner.

Autumnal Equinox falls on the 23 of September this year, and on that day, the day and night are both equal, about 12 hours each. Already I miss the longer days thinking of it!

At Autumn Equinox, Pagans often celebrate a Thanksgiving and the focus is on seasonal food and fellowship.., and I really like this idea.

It gives opportunity to do so before the responsibilities with blood kin and the conventional Winter Holidays rolls around. It also gives opportunity to do this gathering out if doors before it’s just too cold.

It is considered by some to be a time to complete unfinished business before winter comes. This is actually a good idea because just around the corner are the conventional holidays of Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. There will be little time between running to and from shopping and festivities to do anything else.

Pagans further have Samhain, and Yule to add in to those other holidays. Busy busy busy!

Depending on where you live, snow may start fairly soon, and getting places is not as easy as it is during the warmer months.

For some, it is a time to reflect on the harvest or things accomplished during the growing season.

Dr. Brinks and Dr. Brinks

This month’s film falls in with that theme.

It’s called Dr. Brinks and Dr. Brinks, and here is its official trailer:

The film follows the death of illustrious doctors, both named Dr. Brinks who were a married couple. They were considered by many to be perfect people, and were touted as living saints with an almost cult-like following by some.

Unfortunately, some people who are married to their careers allow their family life to suffer. Not only did the parents fail to be close with their children, but they somehow managed to belittle, and shame their kids for not rising to greatness in the way they, themselves did.

The film begins with their son and daughter fighting bitterly following their parents funeral, and trying to squeeze a tiny bit of inheritance out of the parents who basically discarded them in favor of their careers.

The film shows how the adult children feel their own lives are lacking, and shows how both kids deny their own grief because they felt they lost their parents long ago, so their death is irrelevant. Why mourn somebody who basically dropped you?

Their son chastises his sister mercilessly, and she retaliates, and they even wrestle and scream at one another. Grief hits both kids when they least expect it, and in ways they struggle with.

It turns out, the parents were not the great saints they made people believe they were. Their perfect personas were a front for a horrible secret. Not only were they bad parents, but they were just bad people.

The son and daughter are able, with this shocking revelation, to pick themselves up, forgiving themselves of their imperfections, and repair their relationship with one another.

The Hidden Truth

The occult lesson this film teaches us is that belief does not always reflect reality, nor does it create it.

Our Pagan and New Age communities often want to teach us that we control all in our realities with the power of our will and belief, and yet that’s simply not how the world works.

Like being unaware of pests or diseases that can decimate your plants, the kids in Dr. Brinks and Dr. Brinks were completely unaware of the awful things their parents did. Everybody is unaware of these things, but they happen anyways.

Once the truth comes to light, we can either crumble, or pick ourselves up, and move forward, towards improvement.

Hidden truths still affect things.

Besides this, we oftentimes lie to ourselves, and we make it impossible to function in reality. We cannot imagine the world to be as we want it, and conjure that based on wishful thinking. We have to live in harmony with the way things actually are. We CAN change some things, but of the things we cannot change, being in denial is crippling, and hinders us as magical practitioners.

In the film, the Brinks kids were lied to, and they further lied to themselves. It held them both back from believing the beauty in themselves, and it pitted them against each other.

The truth was told, and poof! The spell was broken!

This was not a favorite film of mine, and truthfully, I don’t enjoy films that use sex and nudity to excite viewers, but it’s not a bad film due to the lesson it teaches. It moves a bit slowly for my taste, and relies very heavily on “cool” modern things and images to try to engage middle-aged folk who still want to live as they did in their 20’s. Both characters try too hard to act carefree, cool, and younger than they actually are. They want to be without responsibilities, but it turns out both of them are actually very reliable people, and in the end, they show they can count on each other. However, I really believe the over trying of the Brinks kids was just another illusion they maintained to make themselves feel better, and it’s very appropriate.

More on The Equinox

How this ties in with the Sabbat is at the time of harvest, we may find we are in a place in our lives we just don’t expect, or we may have some new revelation that has us reeling from the shock of it. I have written a ritual in years past for celebrating the unexpected harvests, that are a wonderful blessing we did not expect to get!

But what about when something not good happens we had not expected…something that is really not a blessing? Or what if it MIGHT turn into one with time, but we are just not thrilled with it?

What then?

How do we accept the way things are, and move forward?

The answer is to do a ritual breaking of our illusions, as a rite of passage, and ask for guidance. When hard work towards something falls apart, it can be beyond disheartening, and for some, ritual workings can aid in moving forward to the first step in the right direction.

An end of the old way of being at harvest time celebrates and honors where you have been, and serves to thank the gods for revealing what is to come. Sometimes, we harvest hard truths that are painful. We may ask “Why me, gods?” We can be in denial and mourning, and a time of processing this pain if crucial for processing change for some. The energy of the season can help with your process of accepting what is, and moving into what you actually DID harvest, and that is a new way of being.

Fall Equinox Moving Forward Ritual

This will be a three-step ritual and will entail travel. It does not need to be far, it just needs to entail walking away from the old, and going into the new, forward in the direction that you need to. You can even just walk from one end of the room to the next if it is appropriate, or you can do a trip if you like.

You will begin with either a new pair of shoes or a new pair of socks to take along.

You will start out with the old shoes or socks you wear when you set out, and end by leaving the old pair someplace, changing into the new pair, and leaving them behind to symbolize discarding the old illusions, which created the wrong way of being.

You will custom tailor this to yourself based on the basic structure.

What you need to do is three things

  1. Pick a starting place that represents where you were back when you still believed what was false. At this point, you should be in acceptance of whatever has changed, and the fact you have to adapt. If you want to say some words, or do a prayer, you can, but you don’t have to. An example would be. “I stand here where I was once in darkness, and I step away, moving towards the truth. I leave behind all illusions , and misconceptions here, and pray to my gods/esses for the guidance. The only way is forward. So Be It.” Leave some sort of a gift for the powers that be. Next, you move towards a middle location on your journey. You will be wearing your old shoes or socks, and take with you the new pair.
  2. Your second location will be a representation of the process of the change. You will next go there as the halfway point. This should be a place you find comforting where you can return in times when you need to recuperate and catch your breath. If you want to say some words, you can say something like.“ This is a place of light, healing, and growth. This is a place that will comfort me in the changes that are to come. I draw strength here, and renewed, move towards my new truth. Let this place be healing, and strengthening in times I am afraid, weak, or reluctant to keep moving forward. Let this place bless these shoes/socks that I will wear to carry me. The only way is forward. So Be It” Take the new shoes and socks, and lay them on the ground, and let the energies for this safe place soak in for a bit before leaving. Leave another gift for the powers that be.
  3. Choose a location that represents the new way of being and embracing of the new truth. If you would like to say some words, as you change, go ahead and say something like “ The truth is harder than the illusions, but living by illusions is unacceptable. Let this be as a reminder to me of how far from the darkness I have come, and he way forward in the light will be difficult at times, but nothing is better than freedom to walk in the truth. May my gods/esses bless and guide me. I will not go back. (Take off the shoes or socks, and put the new pair on) The only way is forward. So Be It.” Throw away the old pair of shoes and socks.

May your new change in light of the truth bring only good things. If there are difficulties in the transition, may you have the strength, and love and support of others to weather the struggles. May your new life with the new reality be the best life you have had yet, and may things get better and better.

Blessed Equinox.

Blessed Be!

***

About the Author:

Saoirse is a recovered Catholic.  I was called to the Old Ways at age 11, but I thought I was just fascinated with folklore. At age 19, I was called again, but I thought I was just a history buff, and could not explain the soul yearnings I got when I saw images of the Standing Stones in the Motherland. At age 29, I crossed over into New Age studies, and finally Wicca a couple years later. My name is Saoirse, pronounced like (Sare) and (Shah) Gaelic for freedom. The gods I serve are Odin and Nerthus. I speak with Freyja , Norder, and Thunor as well. The Bawon has been with me since I was a small child, and Rangda has been with me since the days I was still Catholic. I received my 0 and 1 Degree in an Eclectic Wiccan tradition, and my Elder is Lord Shadow. We practice in Columbus, Ohio. I am currently focusing more on my personal growth, and working towards a Second and Third Degree with Shadow. I received a writing degree from Otterbein University back in 2000. I have written arts columns for the s Council in Westerville. I give private tarot readings and can be reached through my Facebook page Tarot with Saoirse. You can, also, join me on my Youtube Channel.

 

SpellCrafting: Spells & Rituals

September, 2018

Balance

Merry meet.

Celebrations are often planned for the sabbats, but don’t overlook the power these times add to magical workings. As the world hangs in balance, day equal to the night, we can use its balanced energy to regain our own balance before heading into the dark half of the year.

Gather the materials you’ll use: a marker of any kind and a round disk. These can be the wooden ones found at craft stores, a jar or bottle lid, or the top of a deli container.

This spell can be done as part of a ritual in sacred space, or in any area in which you feel comfortable, perhaps adding incense and candles to set the stage.

Sitting in that space, let yourself relax and let go. Give yourself time to begin to feel the balance of this day and breathe it in, absorb it into every cell. If you cannot “feel” it, know that it is there and imagine its vibration. See a sign that, to you, represents this state. It might be the yin yang or an infinity symbol, a line, an equal sign, a representation of scales, or anything else that can trigger the balance you are experiencing. Othello pieces are white on one side and black on the other, and I have used them in the past.

Channel that vision and energy into the sigil as you draw it on your disk.

Sit with it as you think about where you and your life things are out of balance. Does it involve discipline? Nutrition? Boundaries? Is there something you are missing? Something for which you have an overabundance? A situation that lacks its polar opposite for stability? Take the time to visualize each of them balanced.


Feel yourself come into balance on all levels, filled with peace and harmony.

You can choose to add these words Mackenzie Sage Wright included in a Mabon spell she wrote that can be found on exemplore.com:

As yin is to yang, as dark is to light,

As male is to female, as day is to night,

Find Nature’s perfect balance within me

So I may live my life in harmony…
by the powers of three times three,

this is my will, so mote it be!”

Carry the sigil anytime balance is needed – be it spiritual, physical, emotional or mental – and tap into the powerful energy put into the spell it on the equinox.

Although most powerful when done on the equinox, there is no reason this spell can’t be done anytime of year.

Merry part. And merry meet again.

**

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.

 

Gael Song

August, 2018

Lughnasa


Lughnasa is my very favorite spirit time of year. The solstice/equinox and cross-quarter days mark the cosmic openings of the eight basic aspects of spirit in all things, shifts that are quite powerful. If you are into feeling energy or spirit, these can easily be felt. The masculine openings occur at sunrise, the feminine at sunset on the eve of each holy day. Early in each year, at Imbolc, this spirit opening feels like a baby, a little Girl. Then comes the Boy of the Vernal Equinox, the Virgin Girl and Boy of Bealtaine and Midsummer, the mother and father of Lughnasa and the Autumnal Equinox, the Grandmother at Samhein, until finally, the Grandfather opens on Midwinter. And all these cosmic aspects of spirit are quite different, with very varied directives in life, plus they open the six-week phase of growth for that inner aspect of the self until the next solstice/equinox portal for everyone. All of us, men and women alike, the cosmos and the earth, too, have these eight parts of our spirits, for this sacred structure interfaces all things. We are not so different after all.

So, on the evening before Aug. 5th, the cosmic Mother spirit opens; within each person, across the globe, and in all the planes of existence. And it is a dramatic change from the world server, strong-willed, action oriented Virgin Male of the preceding six weeks. Everything suddenly slows down. There is a nurturing, comforting presence billowing through the wind and clouds. I often feel the impulse to lie down and rest on the earth’s body, a mother herself. This is Lughnasa. Divine Mother can be particularly felt in the first fruits of the harvest. For this holy day also marks the opening of the action ethers within, which means manifestation into the physical, the specialty of the harvest father, Lugh, for whom even this feminine festival is named. This cosmic mother loves to nourish all her children with foods that delight, manifesting the tastiest blueberries or corn or cucumbers from her soil. The fruits of all the inner work of the previous nine moons of walking one’s path begin to appear at this time as well (the Apple moon is the tenth of the druid year), not just the outer harvest of grains and fruits, for the cosmic Mother wants to manifest all our dreams as well! (Though I have the distinct feeling that foods and recipes that simply cannot be resisted might be her personal favorite.) In my meditations into past lives as a Celt in Scotland over 2,000 years ago, I recalled large tribal celebrations at Lughnasa in honor of the earth mother, with extravagant expressions of gratitude for all the natural resources the earth mother had provided over the passing year, each tribe trying to outdo the others. I saw all priestesses who were mothers circled inside the groves in my visions, too, priestesses in divination meditations, calling out anything they saw that might lay ahead for the tribes, blessings and challenges both. And there were always swans on the lochs, too, the mother totem.

But more than this, Lughnasa falls during the Apple Moon, moon of the Goddess, the White Tara, July 27th-Aug. 19th. And when I do my own Lughnasa ceremony at my altar, calling in my druid guides to facilitate the opening of the mother part of my spirit, I always feel the gentle Presence of the White Tara come in around me as well. “Let Me come very close”,” She says, “I miss you so much, child of My Heart!” And I can sense spirit arms around my shoulders or a gentle head laid, very lightly, on my own with that strong eternal Mother Love pouring into me. And I remember the same thing happening in those ancient lifetimes, too, a personal encounter with the Goddess around the time of Lughnasa in those great tribal crowds, a sweet message of mother love to each and every person there. For myself, I need a space of silence for this intimate interface, not the loud, talking on and on, ceremonies that many prefer. And it’s when I fall asleep later that evening when I often feel Her most closely, spirit fingertips brushing across my temples. Oh, She can become very insistent about learning distressing wisdom lesson of the mother aspect at times across the next six weeks, I’ll grant you that, but not on this one holy day. It brings mother comfort and sweet abiding love, stronger in ways than any other. And then on Aug. 8th, three days past Lughnasa, there is always another personal Goddess message, but this time not a visitation, no, a physical gift of some sort that signifies what else will soon be manifesting during the harvest season. Lughnasa, mother comfort, peace, sweet rest, delicious things to eat, and the hint of fulfillment soon to come. No wonder I love it more than all the rest!

***

About the Author:

Jill Rose Frew, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, energy healer, workshop leader, and author. She will be opening a school teaching light healing and the Celtic path of enlightenment in 2019. For information, please see www.CelticHeaven.com

She is author of Guardians of the Celtic Way: The Path to arthurian Fulfillment (her name was Jill Kelly then), and Alba RebornAlba Reborn, Book One, RevisedAlba Reborn, Book Two, and Alba Reborn, Book Three.

Guardians of the Celtic Way: The Path to hurian Fulfillment

Gael Song

November, 2017

The Druid Year, Solstice/Equinox/Cross-Quarter Day Impulses, 15 moons, and Sacred Alphabet

Twenty years ago, when I began my Celtic path, my inner druid guides suggested I make flower essences for all the sacred trees over the cycle of one year. And it was good advice, for I could feel the spirit of each tree through its particular 24-day moon, all 15 of them. And I was also guided to do simple ceremonies for the eight equinox/solstice and cross-quarter high holy days of the druid year. As the year went along, it was easy to feel the portals of spirit these days truly are. I was guided to draw the Ogham symbols on small rounds of Oak wood, too, and over all these years, I’ve draw them out when I’m confused or frightened for guidance along the way. And my experiential path of feeling the energies was far simpler to understand than all the book learning on Celtic lore I had tried before, which only left me far more confused than when I started. The Goddess definitely teaches through experience!

The druid year is identical to the flow of emotion throughout the cosmos, 15 24-day moons with five intercessory days, November 24th through 28th, when the Celts held their gratefulness celebrations to Her for the living of the year (similar to our Thanksgiving). This cycle of emotion is ruled by the Goddess, the White Tara (identical to Mary Magdalen). Her Beloved, Oghama (identical to Christ), rules the flow of the mind, another whole calendar (12 30-day moons with 5 intercessory days, December 27th through 31st, Hogmanay!). Underlying the energies of the past twenty centuries in the Celtic isles are the twenty centuries before that, Goddess times. And as I gradually learned and grew into the old ways, I felt my own inner feminine plumped up and reawakened, along with her wise woman knowledge of herbs, energies, spirit, the uses of light, and magic.

There’ll be a blog about the Creator Sun at some point, but until then, I just need to explain that this Sun is the highest light structure in the seventh heaven. (In my 21 years of meditation, I came through 350 planes of light, and these sorted themselves into seven heavens.) Earth is in the first or lowest heaven, the Creator Sun in the highest, one of 15 light structures there that regulate cycles too numerous to mention. And the Creator Sun is the guiding light structure for the entire cosmos. It is shaped like a Celtic cross, with a central circle, where God and Goddess live as Beloveds with four quadrants around Them: Mother (in the northeast), Father (in the northwest), Girl (in the southeast), and Boy (in the southwest), the five basic aspects of spirit. Virtually everything in the universe carries this same fivefold pattern; all nations, the earth with her four continents around the Middle East, and every human being with torso/arms and abdomen/legs around the heart. So, let’s go through the high holy days of the Celtic world.

Equinox/Solstice/ Cross Quarter Holy days

These eight crossroads of the year open the various cosmic aspects of spirit for each annual cycle, moving around the cosmic quadrants. The cross-quarter days open one fourth of the cosmic feminine, while each solstice/equinox day opens one fourth of the cosmic masculine. They begin with an infant girl in February and end with an elderly grandfather at Midwinter, a whole life in one skyturn. And because each person carries all of these aspects of spirit within, these openings impact everyone.

On Imbolc then, the evening of Feb. 4th (all feminine days begin at sunset the evening before), future structures of light for the coming year are drawn up out of the dark cosmic sea that infuses every person’s belly. It’s a baby girl who emerges, and she shapes and directs the growth of the girl aspect of spirit within each person and the entire world for the next six weeks, according to the annual directives from God/Goddess. These eight portal days are overlit by another one of those 15 light structures of the seventh heaven, the Circle of Eight, and the girl goddess there is called Fiona. She is fae, delicate and soft, and she always brings forth surprises and the first hints of what the year ahead will hold. But she also wants to free the cosmic little girl from all bindings of fear, so girl specific challenges are brought forth at this time, too.

These Circle of Eight regents send the yearly impulses into the various ethers of the cosmos, and every person, as well. And there are four of these ethers, each with a different vibration: core, mental, emotional, and action. Imbolc opens the red dragon or mental ether time of year, for the girl impulses enter the cosmic and individual mental ethers only, the feminine half.

On the Vernal Equinox then, Fiona’s consort, Finnegan, opens the boy impulse for the year, again spreading this through the mental ethers of the cosmos, the masculine half. All masculine waves open at sunrise, so this happens at dawn on March 22nd. This boy aspect of spirit loves adventure, action, and FUN! Travel and new directions always seems to pop up at this time of year, too. The inner boy connects everyone with the Goddess through our sacral roots, and he is the keeper of time, wanting to slow everything down and feel the slow flow of life. And this boy aspect of spirit also rules the personal will force and the eventual surrender of it into alignment with divine will (an ENORMOUS task!). So, this is the six weeks when challenges to our wills, too much hurrying, and other messages about freeing the cosmic boy from fear will certainly arise. It is at the Vernal Equinox that the red dragon wave peaks and begins its descent toward Bealltain (Scottish Gaelic spelling, pronounced beealchen).

Then on the eve of May 4th, the virgin girl aspect of spirit opens across the cosmos, overlit by the virgin goddess of the Circle of Eight light structure, Belissima. She is a powerhouse, for she wants to cleanse all partnership issues to prepare for the union of hearts with the virgin male that will occur at Midsummer. And the virgin girl aspect rules sensuality as well, plus the very first love-making, but also standing in non-violence in the face of violence, and peace on earth. But the virgin girl’s most important task is birthing the divine child each human carries within, their highest destiny. And this six weeks is when fears related to all these virgin girl qualities will arise in life for healing, with a single strong directive for growth each year. It is also the opening of the green dragon, the emotion ether time of year, when the impulses of life flow into the feminine emotional ethers of the cosmos (and every person on earth).

Then on Midsummer’s dawn, June 22nd, her consort, Belenos, burns off the veils between virgin girl and boy in the heart. The virgin male rules courtly love, the union of hearts, and at Midsummer, the two halves unite at a deeper level than ever before, as the masculine side of the emotional ethers open to receive the impulses of the year. But the virgin male is also the world server and regent of action impulses, so Belenos pours her and his passion into some work for tribe or world, uniting them primarily in heartfelt action, instead. It is the time of year when obstacles to the dreams of the virgin male within will also arise. Oh, but his dreams are so lovely and powerful, uniting heaven and earth! It is worth working for them to come to fruition after all. This is the peak of the green dragon wave, when it begins to diminish toward Lughnasa (pronounced loonahsa).

Lughnasa begins on the evening of Aug. 4th, the opening of the mother wave across the cosmos and within. And the Circle of Eight regent who overlights this day is Cìrceidh (pronounced keerkay, rolled r), earth mother. And her main impulse is the feeding and nourishing of all families, especially children, caring for the household. The mother issues of overwork and neglect of her own needs will also arise at this time in the yearly cycle, but it’s also the season of family celebrations, which renew inner bonds of light. This is the opening of the yellow dragon time of year, too, the harvest, manifestation into the physical, when the yearly impulses enter the feminine action ethers across the cosmos. At Lughnasa, Cìrceidh brings forth the first fruits of the year’s labor, and three days later, the White Tara manifests some significant gift that will bring forth delights or depth of spirit for the remainder of the year.

Then, it’s Cìrceidh’s consort, Lugh, who opens the father wave at dawn on the Autumnal Equinox, September 22nd as the masculine action ethers light up. And the father’s major directive is bringing in the harvest. He oversees the nourishment of the whole tribe, all people everywhere, and the trade and commerce of the world, plus the union of heaven and earth. This is the time of year when father issues of carrying too heavy a load or financial issues or lack might arise. But the father brings forth new directions of thought and learning, too, that will always brighten future destiny patterns. This is the peaking of the yellow dragon wave, the action ether time, manifestation into the physical.

Then at sunset on Nov. 4th, the grandmother wave of the year opens, as the Circle of Eight grandmother goddess, Samhein (sahven), waves her cosmic wand. It’s when all are pulled back into the core ethers, the oldest levels of the spirit, the feminine half. The core ethers combine all three; mental, emotion, and action into one ether, always connected to the two highest light structures of the seventh heaven; 1) the Creator Sun, love and light alone, and 2) the Dragon Star, where our deepest fears were built into us. So, each winter brings three new fears to the surface that stem from the earliest times of each person’s long-ago descent from the seventh heaven to earth, and Nov. 5th is when these activate. It’s why winter can be particularly challenging. But the goddess Samhein’s real specialty is cutting the flow of life at the root of various yearly projects with her spirit scythe, a time of closing down and the beginning of rest after the harvest has been gathered in. But it is not really death, as some might imagine, for the seeds of the new yearly cycle are already stirring within, hopes and dreams for the next skyturn that are still rooted to the flow of life under the inner spirit leafmat of fall. Still, grandmother challenges of leaving will certainly arise at this time, along with ancient sadness and paring down to essentials. This is when the black/white dragon wave arises, the core ether time of year.

On Midwinter dawn then, December 22nd, the cosmic grandfather impulse opens, and his seeds of what will manifest during the coming year are sent down into the womb (energetic) of every human on earth. (We all have every one of these aspects of spirit within, remember?) These seeds look like small twinkling stars, blessings of the future, every one. It is a magical time, greatly celebrated by ancient people’s, for it lifts the whole cosmos out of its lowest ebb and sets the vector of light for the whole new year into place. The grandfather of the Circle of Eight is called Bran, and his specialty is building the learning of the past year into light seeds that he fuses into the permanent light body of each person, accessible even after passing over to the Otherworld and in all future lives. Lovely! And then, three mornings later, on December 25th, the very first inkling of the new cycle arises from the abdominal cosmic sea, the divine child of the coming skyturn, delightful hints of what is to come. But the following six weeks will also bring forward grandfather fears for healing. It is the bone time of year, when lack rises up, deep cold, occasional brushes with the death force. Midwinter is the peaking of the black/white dragon wave, when it begins to descend toward Imbolc. And the cycle begins all over again!

The Druid Moons and Sacred Alphabet

There are 15 druid moons (24 days each, the cycle of emotion for the cosmos, remember?). The first five of these shorter moons match the five sacred aspects of spirit and set the tone of them for the whole cycle. These first five moons are overlit by the gods and goddesses of the Pillar Realms, another light structure in the seventh heaven. And the last eight moons match the Circle of Eight regents and their eight aspects of spirit (the four cosmic quadrants doubled, with virgins and grandparents added in), plus two more moons for Goddess and God. And because the emotion ethers move through lakes, river, and seas, and then into trees for activation in our world, there are sacred trees for each moon. This is why the druids are such lovers of trees, for they serve the emotional/wisdom flow of the Goddess!

The first moon is Beithe (pronounced beetha), the Birch moon, the Beloved center, December 23rd to January 15th. But because it is the very start of the cycle, it is the child part of the Beloveds this ray streams from, the divine infant of the cosmos in the very small center of the Beloveds of the Central Sun. Both birch trees and this time of year bring forth the clear ray of light of the innermost Central Sun, sending visions and hopes of what can be achieved by the end of the yearly cycle, the main directive for growth from above. Some moving experience will always occur during this time that draws each heart into taking on the challenges of the year ahead, opening an inner longing to fulfill the year’s promise the Creators. The sacred letter for this moon is B, and if you say the sound of B over and over, this clear ray will arise around you and remind you what you are working for. If you have any Bs in your name, it means the same thing along your path of life (letters of the first name are your feminine, home life; letters of the middle name are the divine child within; and the letters of your last name are your masculine, work and destiny. Just divide your life expectancy by the number of letters in each name to get a feel for how many years each letter signifies. They can tell you the basic outline of your life, what to expect.) The Ogham letter for this moon is shown above. And it you draw it from your Ogham bag (druid medicine bag with the sacred symbols imprinted on small rounds of wood or stone) in answer to some question, it signifies a gentle sustained yearly cycle of growth that ends with the flowering of a long-forgotten part of the self. Sweet!

Next comes the father moon, Luis, the Mountain Ash or Rowan tree, January 16th to February 8th. This is the time when the father patterns for the yearly cycle ahead are put into place, especially abundance and future work opportunities, but also mental details and learning. Plus, the father always surrounds and protects the Imbolc infant girl as she arises. Its sacred letter is L, and the father’s power, courage, and protection will rise up around you, too, if you repeat that L sound. If you draw the Ogham symbol for Luis, shown above, from your druid bag, it signifies that some surprise of great love is coming your way, especially in work, but maybe in partnership, a father blessing of some sort. But if it is in your name, it means you’ll be building his courage in the heart by making changes in the world, despite outer obstacles, but within the father’s protection and financial support.

The girl moon is next, overlit by the elder sister of the girl quadrant, the virgin, when the girl patterns of growth for the year are put into place, February 9th to March 4th. Its tree is the Ash, the world tree, for she is regent of the spine as well, standing tall in love, no matter what happens. Her challenges often involve domination by male brute force, neglect, inner strength being crushed. But the letter N, Nuin (pronounced nwin), signifies new freedom for some part of the virgin girl spirit on earth or within, often facing challenges in order to do so. This promise will rise up around you, if you repeat the n sound, too. And the meaning is the same, if you draw it from your Ogham bag or have it in your name, freedom for the girl within.

Then comes the boy moon, the Alder moon, Fearn (pronounced feearn), the letter F, March 5th to 28th. This is when the elder brother, the virgin, puts the boy patterns for the coming cycle into place within. The boy is a wriggly, action oriented aspect of the spirit, and this moon will bring increased activity, adventures, fun. Saying the f sound brings up the boy’s exuberance and humor, too. Same meaning if you draw it from your Ogham bag, but in a name, it signifies a very active time of life that is usually fun, often with nearness to water. His challenges often involve hurrying, over-mentalized work, overwork, or pushing others around.

Last of the five spirit aspects is the mother, the Willow moon, Saille (pronounced syeeya), the letter S, March 29th to April 21st. It is when the wisdom lessons of the mother are put into place, the difficulties of the year ahead. The letter S means acceptance of whatever comes along, even the painful things, not the easiest one. And the sibilant s sound brings forth an acceptance of the shadows of the year, which will surround you. But in your name or drawn from your Ogham bag, S often signifies some challenging lessons to be learned in life. But these are ever balanced with the personal comforts of the mother, rest, tea and crumpets, perhaps. The mother’s challenges relate to fatigue and overwork usually, putting others need before her own.

Then comes Belissima again, overlighting the Hawthorne moon, Huath (hooah), the letter H, the lightning force, April 22nd to May 15th. She often works through disruption, opening and cleansing one fear that will make the union of hearts on Midsummer much deeper, freeing the virgin girl in some intense way. And Belissima always opens some long-forgotten passion of the inner virgin girl at this time, too. It is the same meaning if you draw this symbol from your Ogham bag and for the letters in your name, a cleansing that will come along and is needed in your life to free the virgin girl within.

Then the Oak moon arrives, moon of the high God, Oghama, the cosmic Bridegroom or Beloved, May 16th to June 8th. The word for oak is Duir (jooer), the letter D. And during this time, in some sweet moment of His own choosing, Oghama reaches into the back of each person’s heart and leaves His seeds of emotional growth for the coming year. These are always a blend of His, the Goddess, and the individual’s heart’s desires. Oftentimes, this is a romantic moon, full of roses, warmth, nature’s delights. Oghama, too, opens and prepares the heart for the inner virgins’ union at Midsummer. And if you draw this symbol from your Ogham bag, it will tell you that some intimacy with Oghama is coming your way to surround and fill you with passion for a specific endeavor. It can mean partnership with Oghama Himself or an outer beloved, and holds the same meaning if you have D in your name.

Then comes the Holly moon, Tinne (teenya), Belenos again, virgin male of the Circle of Eight, June 9th to July 2nd. He sends out a specific action impulse that brings the passion of the inner virgins into work for the tribe or world. It is always a time when outer obstacles to forward movement rise up. But his strong drive weakens and breaks those challenges down, for he’s the spiritual warrior, too. T in both your Ogham bag or name will signify holding your balance in facing darkness in the outer world and moving steadily toward positive change in the world.

This is followed by the Hazel moon, overlit by Nemetona, high priestess of the Triple Spiral light structure, also in the seventh heaven. The Triple Spiral regents overlight all spiritual paths and religions of the world. And at this time, Nemetona brings through some inner call to learn, to face new challenges and open up another aspect of yourself, hints of what will come during the winter ahead. The word for Hazel is also Coll, the letter C, July 3rd to 26th. And on July 22nd, the goddess, io (arsteeo) of the Indigo Pentagram in the sixth heaven (that overlights the annual growth and release of our shadow selves) sends a very specific message to each individual about the focus of their winter difficulties ahead. This moon brings a turning inward, Nemetona ever deepening of the feminine powers of prophecy and intuition. And in your Ogham bag or name, the letter C indicates a new spiritual direction of growth or endeavor, often deeply personal, that will develop your spirit powers.

Then comes the Apple moon, Querst (keerst), the letter Q, the high Goddess moon, July 27th to August 19th. The White Tara, Mother-of-All, always brings some very personal message to every individual at this time, often at Lughnasa. And Her moon will ever deepen the individual’s devotion to Oghama and birthing those divine children within, too. It will strengthen the inner mother and goddess in some important way as well. In your name, Q indicates a close working partnership with the White Tara, the high Goddess, in some important work in the world, often helping women or children. It can also mean the strengthening of family or tribal ties. In your Ogham bag, though, it might also indicate a message from your spirit family in the Central Sun or from the White Tara Herself.

This is followed by the Vine moon, Muin (mwin), Grape, the letter M, August 20th to September 12th. It means the union of heaven and earth, but also manifestation into the physical as the harvest is gathered in and security of life is assured through the coming winter. This moon is overlit by the god, Lugh, of the Circle of Eight, the father there, bringing nourishment for both body and soul, but also the heavy work impulses of the father. But it often also means the coming together of two opposing aspects of the self in a way that will bring great easing of pain, when you have it in your name or if you draw it from your Ogham bag. Repeating the m sound is one of the most comforting and uplifting things to do, bringing the promise of the father’s abundance and security around you. (If I am chanting OM, for instance, I confess, I always linger far longer on the M!)

Then comes the Ivy moon, Gort (gorst), the letter G, September 13th to October 6th. This is the moon when a final push toward the year’s fulfillment comes in, some delay or unexpected extra work usually. And then, the yearly divine child is birthed on Oct. 6th, ten druid moons or one gestation cycle after Midwinter. The Ivy moon is overlit by the virgin goddess, Rhiannon, of the Indigo Pentagram light structure in the sixth heaven (the one that oversees the rising and breaking down of the shadow self during each yearly cycle), for virgin girls always help in the birthing process. But for Rhiannon, this means helping the year’s shadow child fall away. G in your name or drawn from your medicine bag will signify some difficulty that you will need to endure, usually with some fatigue from facing similar obstacles over a period of time, but a sure breaking through into light, too. The sound repeated, the hard g, will surround you with determination to succeed and tenacity in difficulty.

This is followed by the Reed moon, Cattail, Ngetal (engetahl), the letters and sound Ng (eng), October 7th to 30th. It is overlit by Cìrceidh, mother of the Circle of Eight. And its impulse is family celebrations that celebrate the recent birth of the year’s divine child. There will always be some opportunity to show off new talents, too, bringing them out of hiding in the self. This goddess also loves to shower families with nature’s abundant gifts, especially food. In your own name, ng will signify the emergence of new abilities in a way that is observable and supported in the outer world. But drawn from your Ogham bag, or the sound repeated, means a time of peace after some travail, peace and rest for the child within especially. (A lot of words end in ing, with that peaceful completion included.) This is what I always think of when I hear this sound, inner peace, the true meaning of Ngetal.

But this time of joy is followed by Straif (stryeef), which means strife in Gaelic, the Blackthorne moon, October 31st to November 23rd. The letters are St. This moon is overlit by Samhein, grandmother goddess of the Circle of Eight. She cuts the root life force to efforts and/or relationships that are passing by, remember? Not the easiest time or letter in your name, always a time of letting go, often of things deeply cherished. But always the seeds of the new are also gathering within, ready to emerge in only another moon’s time. For the Blackthorne moon is also when the major freedom impulse of the year to come is chosen, along with which deep desire of each individual will manifest at the end of the annual cycle. Blackthorne drawn from your Ogham bag signifies strong mystical magic that reaches into your deepest levels and pulls out a long-forgotten gift or hope within that will manifest after one year’s growth, a major fear moved out of the way, often opening with some loss that is really a call to freedom. These letters are the abbreviation for saint, and repeated will bring forward the sense of what must be given up to release some deeply held desire of the self.

And then come the intercessory days, New Year in the Celtic calendar. This holiday was when the Celts held their thankfulness celebration to the Goddess, November 24th to 28th, when all who have passed to the Otherworld during the closing year are also honored and remembered. And these spirits do, indeed, walk closely with the living during this phase. There is no Ogham symbol, letter, sound, or tree for these intercessory days, though. And it is overlit by the Goddess Herself, who also assists in breaking down the energies of the passing cycle to add to Her pregnant sea, waiting for the new light seeds of Midwinter.

And finally comes the Elder moon, Ruis, the letter R, November 29th to December 22nd. It is overlit by Bran, grandfather of the Circle of Eight, Samhein’s consort. He’s the one who consolidates the year’s lessons learned into small light structures that he builds into the permanent light body of each individual, remember? And this is the meaning of this letter, too, wisdom embodied, the forever truths of the universe. And in your name, R will signify a period of learning wisdom and carrying it ever into the future. But from your Ogham bag, this symbol means you are going through a major passage of the spirit, which can bring temporary constrictions in life that always open into expansion into a whole new way of life and great easing of the spirit. Lovely again!

There are ten more letters in the sacred alphabet, the vowels, but they belong to another whole cycle, the movement of the annual light impulse, or divine child, through the seven sheaths of light within each person’s aura through each year (sheaths that match the seven heavens, inner to outer as the year progresses). This cycle is overlit by the regents of the White Pentagram in the seventh heaven, and it would be confusing to add all that here. But it’s easy to simplify. Capital A is the push through the core sheath (matching the seventh heaven), moving through old, old core fears, with small a meaning the full birth of the yearly divine child out of this one sheath on Imbolc. Then comes capital O, the push through the centerpoint (of the father) and the cherub (or little boy and girl) sheaths (matching the sixth and fifth heavens), difficult mental confusions and harshness or sacrifice of some kind to the inner child, with small o signifying the birth at the end of this phase on Easter morning. This is followed by capital U, the birth pushing force that moves through the logos sheath of the virgin girl (the fourth heaven), with the small u meaning the full birth out of this logos sheath on Lughnasa. Then comes capital E, the push through the spirit sheath, the third heaven (of the virgin male), into the lower levels, a rushing overwork phase, but with real flow and manifestation at the end. Lower e means the final birth out of this spirit sheath and the revelation of this new part of the self in the outer world. And finally, comes capital I, movement through the soul sheath, the second heaven (of the mother). Small i is the final birth of the year’s divine child into the last sheath, the sensate, fully embodied into physical form and completely freed from fear, which always happens on Midwinter’s Eve. In your name, these letters will signify the same, issues of these inner spirit aspects appearing in your life with some final completion at the end. But the vowels have no Ogham symbols attached to them, only repeating the sounds that will bring these goddesses of the White Pentagram with their powerful birth-pushing forces up around you. If you are stuck in some way in your life, sound out the appropriate vowel for that part of your spirit. It will move you through!

The Celtic year is a rich and powerful cycle that affects virtually everyone on earth, through emotions, the real driver of life and change. And if you tune into the druid year, you can soon learn to feel the subtle shifts these moons and holy days bring. It has opened my awareness greatly over the past twenty years and connected me to; trees, nature, the seasonal growth impulses, the gentle cosmic consciousness and its flow of emotion especially, and the oneness of all these things far more deeply than before. How I love the old ways and knowings that have so enriched my days and understanding. May this article bring the same gifts and more to every reader. Blessed be, every one!

***

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

 

 

 

 

MagickalArts

May, 2017

All Hail to Astrological Beltane and the Parting of the veils to New Life!

 

magickalartsmay

 

A little background……

In many traditions the date of celebration for Beltane is May 1st and that of its counterpart, Samhain is Oct. 31 or Nov. 1. Although these dates have accumulated much astral energy from repeated use, if you wish to follow the astronomical approach, which is where the origins of the cross-quarter days lay, those dates are premature.

Beltane falls mid-point between the Vernal Equinox and the Summer Solstice. Each of the cross-quarter Sabbats – Beltane, Lammas, Samhain and Imbolc fall within that half way point between an Equinox and a Solstice. And, for those ancient practitioners who strongly followed the correlate of Solar tides, this placement provided very specific energy in relationship to the line of the Sun’s outpouring onto Earth, its placement during these times between and what was called into action in celebration, ritual and devotion.

If you look a bit closer at the timing of the astrological correlates and know, even a bit, about the energetics of the zodiacal signs as they move through the Solar Year, there is a wellspring of underlying meaning that can be drawn from as you open to new levels of connection that deeply inform how you construct your personal ritual or celebration of these cross-quarter days.  One observation is that this timing allows for points of rest and integration from one-quarter event, such as the equilibrium of the Equinoxes or the waxing or waning of the Sun’s light at the Solstices, to the next.

Astrological Beltane

May 5.2017

Sun in Taurus

Waxing Gibbous in Virgo

 All Hail to the Maiden of Fire and the Youth of Earth!

On this day of celebration we honor the Goddess and God as pro-creators of what will come to fruition at the Summer Solstice. She holds the fertility of a womb that is ripe and ready for the implantation of His seed of potency that offers the promise of new life from that union. Her Fires are those of heated waters that catalyze and quicken. And, His Earth is that of a seed of potential for manifestation required as the expelling of a potent energetic force strives towards taking form.

Adding to this are the astrological energies of God as the Youth wearing the mantle of Taurus, the Bull. We often speak of the fecundity of the God at this point of the Great Wheel and the Solar energy that is inherent within the God’s being is amplified by that of an astrological sign of Earth that is stable, strong and able to protect and claim the progeny of his seed.  The Bull is virile in seed and the animal instincts for survival inform the encoding of that seed to take root. Another attribution to this astrological sign is that of stubbornness. I prefer to think of it as longevity and commitment. And, are these not qualities you would seek in a mate?

The Maiden on this year’s date wears the Lunar gown of astrological Earth, Virgo. As a sign of detail and analysis, this wise Maiden offers the gift of sorting through what is possible and what is a waste of precious energy. And, although this may feel very labored and not of the wild spirit that is inherent in this sabbat, it is indeed the ability to trust in your choices that is enabling a wildness that is ready to co-create within the Lover’s embrace. She is the Maiden of earth’s Divinely organized Will; holding within her womb a potential for birthing anything she can imagine.

Virgo’s energy is one of strengthening a foundation that works in accord with the natural ebb and flow of what its wishes to create. Given that this energy is held in a Moon tide that is waxing towards its full expression, that foundation will serve to provide the fertile womb of potential for what will “become”.  And, that becoming will emerge and take clearer form as the Moon Maiden languishes in the a waxing phase of newness as Sun and Moon, Youth and Maiden continue their consummate efforts, as both unite in the fertility and strength of Taurus.

This sacred union of Earth reflecting on itself (Youth) and (Maiden) could be likened to the container that provides the structure and just enough containment to allow a quickening of its combined union to take hold and burst into the life that emerges from this space.  The heat and light of the sun are required to quicken the seeds that lay beneath ground that is fertile and supportive as roots take hold and stem pushes through.

The Veils of Beltane and Samhain

We hear much talk of the “parting of the veils” that occurs during the season of Beltane and Samhain. These are times when the separation between the earthly realm and the other worlds is thinner and the inhabitants of each may more easily interweave ad interact with the other. I have always envisioned these two distinct, yet similar parting of the veils as one of ushering new life and one of re-connecting with those lives that have departed. In my imaging, the Maiden dons the veiling that entices and calls forth the desire of the Youth to mate and from that mating as the veil is lifted, the seeds and embryos of new life have begun their time of fertilization and the ultimate birthing of new form to come. I have always felt that these veils between the worlds were softer and gentler in both their opening and closing. Unlike those of Samhain that generally feel very dense (and crowded), almost an overload of sensation as those departed crowd in to make their presence known and share their messages.

At Samhain, this Veiling is one of the grieving Wife; having seen the demise of her Lover (Lammas’ Sacrificial God) and is heavier and laden with the energy and tears of sorrow. She ages from this sorrow; yet deep within lay the seeds of new life waiting to be brought forth at the Solstice. These veils hold the wisdom of those who have left behind the physical existence and loved ones and their sorrow has become the tomes from which the living will draw their lessons of hope in wait of the growing light to be held at the Solstice.

Another Type of Sacred Union

So, why do I keep going back and forth between Beltane and Samhain? We can consider both as being reflections of the other. We can expand the story of consummate union of the Maiden and Youth and use the dynamics of each as feeding the desire of the other towards creation. Beltane’s Fires of new life will become those of wisdom that pass through the veils of Samhain. And, those who exist behind the veils of Samhain have potential to be those called back into life at Beltane.  This is the truth of our own nature. We are born, we live, we die and during this lifetime we are continually creating from the inner union of the Sun and Moon, Male and Female and all that contribute towards the consummation of our intent.

May the blessings of this Beltane grace and inform all of your creative efforts. May those gifts of yourself that need uniting and a space of loving care be gifted by the passions of Beltane’s fires. And, may you always be mindful of the Great Wheel as a continuum; each flowing into the other and each reaching across to what will be at the half turn of that wheel.

Blessed Be!

Image Credit:  Emily Balivet 2011

MagickalArts

October, 2015

The Hermit’s Light: Carrying the Balance into the Dark Ahead

The Great Wheel turned once again and just a few weeks ago we found ourselves at the place of the Autumnal Equinox. Each Sabbat flows in process of energy, one to the other. What and how we choose to celebrate and honor these turnings of the Great Wheel has both subtle and overt impact on how we navigate the days and months following. It is with this intention that I offer this writing and reflection on a Sabbat of balance and the gift of exploration of the Light within the dark spaces of quiet and surrender.

The Equinoxes astronomically mark a point when the North and South poles of the Earth are neither tilted away nor towards the Sun. Twice yearly, this event means that both hemispheres are in receipt of equal amounts of day or night respectively. In the Northern Hemisphere the air is cooler, the leaves are turning and beginning to fall from brittle branches and all of life is giving pause to prepare for what changes lay ahead. This is the second of the three harvests and the fields are already beginning to brown as the day’s light gently wanes and we are enveloped in the quickening darkness of the setting sun. In a few more weeks the silence of Samhain’s energy will issue call to the Ancestors and their wisdom. But, for now we must lay the foundations upon which we will stand as we reach deeper into the waning year’s shrouded light.

In the Southern Hemisphere the September Equinox marks the time of Spring’s advent and the anticipation of warmer weather, the Waxing of Father Sun’s light and the growing of new earth towards a state of fullness at during the Summer Solstice. The point of interest here lay in the state of balance that occurs at this turn of the Wheel; one preparing for darkness and the other anticipating brilliance of light. And, for this space of time neither holds more power than the other. It is at this time that we can stand in the neutrality of both expressions of our own light taking from each what is needed.

 

The Gift of Lammas

The Sabbat of Lammas heralded the first stage of work required to begin the harvest and followed through with action taken to reap and preserve what would sustain life. As we celebrate the Autumnal Equinox, we are now at the mid-point, the second harvest, and the space of integration and pause to fully acknowledge and look more closely at what we have brought into our storehouse. The Autumn Equinox holds the promise of offering the space of equilateral time to assess and prepare for the next wave of descent into a darker and deeper space of introspection and transformation that will occur at the third and final Harvest of Samhain.

 

Many will celebrate this Sabbat as Mabon and give honor to the God as the Green Man of the forests. The balance of light and dark plays out in the actions that support survival of the fittest in all of their forms; human and animal. In this cycle of the God and Goddess, the Goddess mourns the loss of her consort, the God. The sacrifice He has made in the First Harvest prepares the way for the re-birthing of His light at Yule. The God now stands as the Green Lord of the Wild Hunt and serves to protect the animal world. His offer of sacrifice now is one of the animal world; insuring that all are slain with sacred reverence for the life given and that no meat is wasted.

 

The Goddess shifts her vision and becomes both the holder of the seed of the God’s light she will birth at the Solstice and the barren Crone whose wisdom has seen the return of all the cycles, year after year. As Gaia, the great earth mother she offers up her lands as sacrifice in the cycle of life and death and to that, which will be prey and those that must be predator. In her form as Lady of the Beasts she will guide and protect her animals to insure that new life will come from those that survive the harshness of winter. In her other guise as the Crone, the withering and drying of her youth and the turning within is reflected in the drying of the grasses and the falling of the leaves. Hers is the space of soon to come death that will hold the mystery of renewal and rebirth.

 

The Waning Light of the Year

 

As we move through this turning of the Great Wheel and its cycle of change, the light has begun to dwindle in outward expression in the physical world and the call to tend to the fires within and the heart (h) of promise that awaits our cycle of inner retreat and silent sanctuary is amplified as light and dark share equal space of action. This, the second of the three harvests concerns itself with the sacrifice of animal life and in those actions we affirm a deeper connection and reverence for what will be slain.?

This is the continuation of the work towards integration that was begun at the First Harvest of Lammas. As the waning light of day gives way to the waxing darkness of night, if we have used this time wisely and productively, we have been readied to stoke the light held within as darkness holds sway. The last light of the setting Sun signals the change that is at hand and the momentary poise of balance that this day has held shifts carrying us into the transformative Light held in the darkness.

 

The Hermit’s Light

The energy of this Sabbat could be equated with that of Sunset in the Solar Cycle. The air is becoming cooler and the instinct to withdraw into the comfort of hearth fire and home comes to the foreground. Life is slowing all around us, and nature is taking its cue from the universal cycles of light and dark as plant life goes dormant and leaves fall. The animal world offers up sacrifice of its life’s energy to feed and sustain the humans as stores of meat and game are carefully prepared to last throughout the winter months ahead. In the wisdom of the season, predator now becomes prey and what is too weak to survive will fade into the blackness of night’s eternal sleep. Father Sun’s light is dwindling in length of day and the heat that was intense and filled our cells strongly is now diminished and works at the subtle levels in the shortened time allotted.

 

This place of balance speaks not of the light of God and Goddess, but of the Light that is tended and offered up willingly that we as their Divine progeny carry within. Despite the busy-ness of our daily efforts and the throngs of people who surround us, the call of the Hermit resounds loudly, reminding us of the need to rest in his Light of renewal. This is not the need to retreat into solitary existence; rather the need to balance or outward activities and give due honor to the need for contemplation and introspection.

 

The Hermit offers the respite of time to move inward in contemplation and foster communication with the Higher Self. His Lantern carries the spark of the Divine flame that is the light shining eternally within our being. Within this inner scape of muted light and silence we are called to a place of accountability. Just as the rewards of the Harvest must be tended and monitored to ensure they last, so too what we have reaped in the full light of the Waxing of the Year and gathered as our harvest must be accounted for, nurtured and safe-guarded.

 

The balance of day and night that is held at the time of the Equinox provides the space of action bridged by the pause of rest to reflect. This is the lesson of the Hermit as the Light of the Autumnal Equinox and the call to heed well the need for moving into the darkness of soul’s intent before movement into light and balance may be achieved.

Mabon Correspondences

September, 2014

MAY-bon, MAY-bun, MAY-bone, MAH-boon or MAH-bawn, – Lesser Sabbat – Fall/Autumn Equinox, September 21-23

Michaelmas (September 25th, Christian), Second Harvest Festival, Witches’ Thanksgiving, Harvest Home (Anglo-Celtic), Feast of Avalon, Wine Harvest, Festival of Dionysus, Cornucopia, Equinozio di Autunno (Strega), Chung Chiu (China), Night of the Hunter, Alban Elfed “The Light of the Water”(Caledonii/ Druidic-celebrates Lord of the Mysteries), Winter Finding (Teutonic, from Equinox ’til Winter Night or Nordic New Year, Oct 15th.)

Mabon is considered a time of the Mysteries. It is a time to honor Aging Deities and the Spirit World. Considered a time of balance, it is when we stop and relax and enjoy the fruits of our personal harvests, whether they be from toiling in our gardens, working at our jobs, raising our families, or just coping with the hussle-bussle of everyday life. May your Mabon be memorable, and your hearts and spirits be filled to overflowing!

Purpose:
Second harvest festival, new wine pressing/making preparation for winter and Samhain, rest after labor, Pagan day of Thanksgiving, honoring the spirit world, celebration of wine.

Dynamics/Meaning:
death of the God, assumption of the Crone, balance of light and dark; increase of darkness, grape harvest, completion of the harvest.

Essence:
Beauty, joy; fullness of life, harvest of the year’s desires, strength; laughter; power; prosperity, equality, balance, appreciation, harvest, protection, wealth,
security, self-confidence, reincarnation.

Symbolism of Mabon:
Second Harvest, the Mysteries, Equality and Balance.

Symbols of Mabon:
wine, gourds, pine cones, acorns, grains, corn, apples, pomegranates, vines such as ivy, dried seeds, and horns of plenty.

Tools, Symbols & Decorations:
Indian corn, red fruits, autumn flowers, red poppies, hazelnuts, garlands, grains especially wheat stalks, and colorful, fallen leaves, acorns, pine & cypress cones, oak sprigs, pomegranate, statue/or figure to represent the Mother Goddess, mabon wreath, vine, grapes, gourd, cornucopia/horns of plenty, burial cairns, apples, marigolds, harvested crops, burial cairns, rattles, the Mysteries, sun wheel, all harvest symbols.

Herbs & Plants of Maybon:
Acorn, aster, benzoin, cedar, ferns, grains, hazel, honeysuckle, hops, ivy, marigold, milkweed, mums, myrrh, oak leaf, passionflower, pine, rose, sage, solomon’s seal, tobacco, thistle, and vegetables.

Foods of Mabon:
Breads, nuts, apples, pomegranates, cornbread, wheat products, grains, berries, grapes, acorns, seeds, dried fruits, corn, beans, squash, roots (ie onions, carrots, potatoes, etc), hops, sasssafras, roast goose or mutton, wine, ale, & cider.

Incense & Oils of Mabon:
Pine, sweetgrass, apple blossom, benzoin, myrrh, frankincense, jasmine, sage wood aloes, black pepper, patchouly, cinnamon, clove, oak moss, & sage.

Colors/Candles of Mabon:
Red, orange, russet, maroon, brown, gold, deep gold, green, orange, scarlet, all autumn colors, purple, blue, violet, & indigo.

Stones of Mabon:
Sapphire, lapis lazuli, yellow agates, carnelian, yellow topaz, & amethyst.

Customs:
Offerings to land, preparing for cold weather, bringing in harvest, cutting willow wands (Druidic), eating seasonal fruit, leaving apples upon burial cairns & graves as a token of honor, walk wild places & forests, gather seed pods & dried plants, fermenting grapes to make wine,picking ripe produce, stalk bundling; fishing,. on the closest full moon (Harvest Moon) harvesting corps by moonlight.

Activities of Mabon:
Making wine, gathering dried herbs, plants, seeds and seed pods, walking in the woods, scattering offerings in harvested fields, offering libations to trees, adorning burial sites with leaves, acorns, and pine cones to honor those who have passed over.

Spellworkings and Rituals of Mabon:
Protection, security, and self-confidence. Also those of harmony and balance. Celtic Festival of the Vine, prosperity rituals, introspection, rituals which enact the elderly aspects of both Goddess & God, past life recall.

Animals/Mythical beings:
Dogs, wolves, stag, blackbird, owl, eagle, birds of prey, salmon & goat, Gnomes, Sphinx, Minotaur, Cyclops, Andamans and Gulons.

Goddesses:
Modron (Welsh), Bona Dea, Land Mother, Aging & Harvest Dieties: the Triple Goddess-Mother aspect, Persephone, Demeter/Ceres, Morgan (Welsh- Cornish), Snake Woman (aboriginal), Epona (Celtic-Gaulish), Pamona (roman), the Muses (greek)

Gods:
Mabon ap Modron (Welsh), Sky Father, The Green Man, Wine Gods, Aging Gods, John Barley Corn , the Wicker-Man, the Corn Man, Thoth (Egyptian), Hermes, Hotei (Japanese), Thor, Dionysus (Roman), Bacchus (Greek) & all wine Deities

Element/Gender:
Water

Threshold:
Evening

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