new years

Beating the January Blues: Excerpts from Every Day Magic Edited by Lucya Starza

January, 2019

January blues refers to that unsettled and unhappy feeling after the holidays are over. The joy and excitement have come and gone, and now there is nothing to look forward to. Of course, Imbolc isn’t so far away, so as a Pagan it’s probably a bit easier to cope with! But winter depression and SAD can affect anyone, so it’s important to keep an eye on your mood at this time of year and try and do something positive if you feel yourself becoming anxious or feeling low.

Here are some excerpts from a book I contributed to which has magical tasks for every day of the year. Every Day Magic: A Pagan Book of Days is a collection of 366 ways to observe the cycle of the year. These ideas can help make a grey and dismal January as magical as you need it to be.

Click Here or Book Cover for Amazon Info

January the First: New Year’s Resolutions

Resolve to enrich your spirit each and every day in many and varied ways. Aim to watch the way the seasons change; meditate a little; whisper prayers; light candles for peace, hope, joy, love and good health; dance and sing; learn about the Gods and Goddesses of the ancient world and celebrate the forces of nature, the Earth, the Sun, the Moon and the stars. Breathe in love and breathe out love. Be open to inspiration. Be blessed. Lucya StarzaI

January the Fourth: Janus

January is named after the Roman God of beginnings and endings, Janus. At the start of the year, cakes made of spelt flour and salt were traditionally burnt on his altar as an offering. Bake spelt bread (there are many traditional recipes online), then make an offering of a little to Janus. Tell him all the things you want to change and ask for his help. Light a candle in his honour. Ravenwings

January the Fifth: Focus and Control Pouch

Braided string, 6 inches in black, blue and yellow

Almond

Cedar

Bay leaf

Nutmeg

Carnelian

Cinnamon oil

Pouch

Purple candle

Before preparing the pouch, apply cinnamon oil to the candle. Light it to aid focus and meditation. Leaving the oil on your hands, continue the work. Affirmation: ‘I am strong. I will focus. I remain calm, and use wisdom.’ Repeat this as you place the rest of the items into the pouch. Tie it with braided string. Laeynarrie Auvresti

January the Sixth

Twelfth Night Wassail

Recite this to an apple tree and offer it cider and toast:

Wassail

Old Apple tree, old apple tree,

We have come to wassail thee.

Thirteen fires we bring to thee,

Ancient Mother apple tree.

Here’s cider-toast to break thy fast,

Now winter lessens here at last.

We wake the spirits with the gun,

Then sing and dance, have lots of fun.

Oh apple tree, oh apple tree,

Do blossom well we beg o’ thee.

To bear and to bow apples enow.

Hats full! Caps full! Three bushel bags full!

Barn floors full,

And a little heap under the stairs. Elen Sentier

What do you do to keep yourself joyful in January? However you spend this first month of the Gregorian year, may you be warm and merry in some small and special way.

***

About the Author:

Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.

She is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors and Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways.

A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors Click Here for Amazon Info

Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways Click Here for Amazon Info

MagickalArts

January, 2019

The Wiccan Path

Happy New Year Everyone! This year, 2019 is a number “3” year (add 2+0+1+9=12/ 1+2 =3); a year of change and creation. Three is the number of trinity’s harmony. From the relationship and collaboration of two a third is created; the totality of its sum of parts. This may take the form of fulfilling and creating what you desire most, creating a new passion fueled by a latent wish, putting into action what you’ve been yearning to do as you create the product of those efforts.

In keeping with this creative approach I am revisiting and sharing the online course I wrote in 2014, to serve as the stimulus for those interested in Wicca and earth-centered practices and creating a path of their own. Please enjoy this excerpt and many blessings for a fabulous New “creational” Year!!

Excerpted from “A Year and A Day on the Wiccan Path”…..

The Wiccan Path is one of initiatory experience. Each step taken upon this path leads towards greater understanding of your own Divine nature, which in turn brings a greater understanding of the natural world and the Divinity that exists around you. By definition, initiation is an act that sets in motion some course of events. In the case of a spiritual pursuit, initiation opens the seeker to embracing their spiritual nature as a support and foundation to their mundane nature. The spiritual path of a Wiccan (Witch) is one filled with the beauty of the natural world and the mystery of the world within each of us. The path leads to the subtle realms of the astral – the far reaches of the cosmos – and the shadows that lay hidden and buried within each of us. We practice the Craft of the Wise, which in ancient times was the gifts of the healers and the seers whose ability to see far and wide and enter so completely into alliance with the physical natural world was depended upon to ensure viable crops, healthy livestock, fertility and a sustainable life for those in whom the wise lived. In ancient times the knowledge was carefully passed in the style of oral tradition, the mysteries given ear to ear hand to hand. Although many of those traditions, rituals and wise ways are lost to the modern practitioner of Wicca, many of the core principles remain, having evolved just as we as a people have evolved, become modernized and have at our fingertips ways of communicating large volumes of information. The information provided in this course of study barely scratches the surface of what is a uniquely complex and diverse spiritual path and that to a large degree can only superficially claim its heritage in the ancient practices of which we truly know so little. Wicca is rooted in the experiential, and is a way of life that is not limited by lack of sacred space, tools or financial resources. From the Wiccan perspective, all of the natural world is sacred space and the greatest tool of working is our physical nature holding the pure essence of each individual’s Divine spirit that is priceless in

Ritual and Celebration

Wiccans use ancient and modern ceremonies, rituals and shamanic practices to attune themselves to the natural rhythms of nature, the world, and the universe as a way to commune with this divine force. In particular, the lives and daily activities of the ancient peoples were very much dependent upon and intertwined with the position of the sun and the agricultural cycles that were dependent upon movement throughout the year. The Witch’s Wheel of the Year is a reflection of those needs. The calling forth of the Light of the newly birthed Sun at the time of the Winter Solstice ensured that there would be a new cycle of planting, sowing and reaping the much needed harvest for continued life.

The Sabbats (Solar Celebrations) of the Wiccan year are eight in number. Four correspond to the astronomical transitions of the equinoxes and the solstices. These are the Vernal (Ostara) and Autumnal Equinoxes (Mabon) and the Winter (Yule) and Summer (Litha) Solstices. The other Four, or cross quarter days are those that mark the time between the equinoxes and solstices. These were the dates of celebration of the progression through the changing of the seasons and the preparations for the times of transit from one season to the next. These are Samhain (the Witch’s New Year) – Imbolc (February 1) – Beltaine (May 1st) and Lammas (August 1st).

There are many overlays that are associated with these Sabbats, the most prominent being the cycle of the God and Goddess as they move through the stages of birth- fertility- harvest and death. In this way, the physical world and the Divine world were mirror reflections and the offering of devotion and celebration of one ensured the continuation of the other.

Deity

The God, Lugh and The Goddess, Brighid

Depending upon one’s point of view, Wicca can be considered a monotheistic, duotheistic, polytheistic, henotheistic religion.

Wicca is monotheistic (belief in a single deity): Some Wiccans recognize a single supreme being, sometimes called “The All” or “The One.” The Goddess and God are viewed as the female and male aspects of this single deity.
• Wicca is duotheistic (belief in two deities; a.k.a. rarely as bitheistic): Wiccans often worship a female Goddess and a male God, often called the Lady and Lord.
• Wicca is polytheistic (belief in many deities): Many Wiccans recognize the existence of many ancient Gods and Goddesses, including but certainly not limited to: Aphrodite, emis, Briget, Diana, Dionysius, Fergus, Hecate, Isis, Pan, Thor, etc.
• Wicca is henotheistic (belief in a single main deity among many): Many Wiccans view the many ancient deities as being aspects of the Lady and Lord, and view the latter as the male and female aspects of “The One.”

(excerpted from: http://www.religioustolerance.org)

There is no right or wrong to any of the beliefs above. The underlying principle is that of polarity and the belief that there is both the masculine and feminine Divine principle within all living beings. This approach to deity supports the belief in the immanence of the Divine. That the qualities of Deity exist within all of life, and that through acknowledgement and embracing of this inherent birthright, that Divinity may become transcendent in nature.

The Natural World

WICCA is considered a nature-based religion. The environment and those things that comprise the manifest world including animals, plants, minerals are considered sacred and part of the Divine web of interconnectedness. Many Wiccans are involved in environmental activities and feel it a natural part of their spiritual practice to recycle and live lightly on Mother Earth. The use and knowledge of herbs and their medicinal properties is often undertaken gladly as a study of practice and it is not unusual to find many Wiccans attracted to professions where healing modalities can be performed. Animals are considered companions and treated with the same care, love and respect

that would be afforded another human. Human and animal rights, environmental issues and preservation of our natural resources are all a focus of those following a Wiccan Path of spirituality.

The Cosmos

The ancients were limited to what could be seen with the naked eye or what mystical inferences could be gathered from what was overtly presented and the myths that were created as result. Structures were built in accord with the movement of the sun (Stonehenge and the Great Pyramid) that aligned with specific seasonal events and astrology had its beginnings in predicting certain outcomes and points of focus based on what could be observed in the heavens.

The scientific breakthroughs showing the similarities in or own physical constitution and that of the geology of our planet, as well as the stars and planets links us to our own stellar nature and the desire for access to weaving that universal magick of that starseed into all of our endeavors. According to scientist, Carl Sagan, the carbon, nitrogen and oxygen atoms in our bodies, as well as atoms of all other heavy elements, were created in previous generations of stars over 4.5 billion years ago.

One of the things that has not changed is that of the celebration and worship of the Moon and her energies and attributions within a Wiccan practice. The lunar tides are seen as the domain of the Goddess and the feminine energies. The planets and the magick woven with their energies extend the reach of practical magick into the realms of space and time continuum. And, the increasing awareness of our place within the vastness of the Cosmos provides a richly layered perspective for those of the Craft.

***

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.

Mindful Meditation

November, 2018

Samhain Mindful Meditation

Samhain, or the third harvest, historically was a time for farmers to harvest their last crops and head into the dark times when the nights were longer than the daylight. Also known as “Witches New Year,” we can use this time to reflect on our accomplishments and regrets as we begin to look ahead to the coming new year. What are we letting go of and what are we calling in to our lives? 

Items you will need:

-a quite room to be completely alone in

-a comfortable seat

-writing utensil & paper

-cauldron or fire pit

-special box for safe keeping

Intentionally create sacred space and allow yourself to relax into this meditation.

Imagine yourself throughout the evolution of this past year, from November 2017 up until today. Watch your milestones, your mundane actions, and life changing decisions unfold before you. Notice how each movement through out life this year has gotten you to where you are right now. 

Write down any regrets, missteps, or perceived mistakes or missed opportunities you have made.

Now, imagine yourself in the future year from this day until November 1st, 2019. What accomplishments do you see yourself making? What do you wish to manifest for this coming year? Write the manifestations in an affirming way by using phrases like, “I will have” or “I am”. Envision yourself achieving these goal and living it as if it is a normal day, like a waking dream. 

You have your future manifested now in your mind and affirmed on a piece of paper. 

Fold the paper intentionally, mindfully, and place it in your special box. You can place your box upon your Altar or in a special place to be kept secretly.

Now, take the first sheet of paper which refers to your past year and hold it in your hands. Say, “I forgive myself for _____” (stating each individual regret) and once you have released the energy from your heart and tears, through the paper into the fire, watching it burn away before you. Allow the fire to fully extinguish.

Thank yourself for taking the time to sit with your thoughts, thank the fire for burning away the past, and thank your future self for creating this intention-setting moment.

***

About the Author:

(Amy Dubenetsky & Becky Coates, respectively; Writers of the Mindful Meditations column & Coven Sisters.)

This Mindful Meditation is brought to you by Amy Dubenetsky, a Bodyworker/Reiki Practitioner/Witch based out of Manchester, CT whom leads group meditations as well.  Amy is deeply involved with her Coven, Organic Farming, and various Dance Communities across the country.

Follow her on Instagram and Facebook @bodyandbeyond444.

Affairs of the Pagan Heart

December, 2017

Protecting Your Heart at Yule and New Year’s Eve

Ah, the holidays. It’s crazy and stressful and prime time for something to happen. What is that something? Your weirdo Aunt Betty goes on and on about how she can’t wait to teach you how to play Bridge, but falls asleep after dinner. Grandpa John wants to tell you stories about how he lost his big toe in the war, again, and at the dinner table. Your stepmum makes a lovely turkey and still asks you every time if you want some “as a special treat”, even though you’ve been vegetarian for over 10 years. Your little sister just found out that you’re pagan and has tried to blackmail you or she’ll tell everyone at dinner, but you’re not ready to tell your family. And you suspect that guy you’ve been dating – who your mother insisted comes over for Christmas Eve dinner with the family – will ask you to marry him while you’re out for New Year’s Eve together, but you’re not feeling the same about him as you think he is about you, and you cringe every time he is alone with your father, in fear that he’s asking your dad for your hand in marriage.

Something in that first paragraph rang true for a few of you. Maybe the names are different, or it’s a slightly different scenario, but you know what I’m talking about. So what can you do about it?

Well, for starters, don’t eat the turkey if you’ve vegetarian, even if your stepmum looks disappointed. Enjoy the sides or bring something suitable just for you. That’s the easy one on the list.

Stories from grandpa are important. We should honour those who fought for our freedom, and listen to their stories, even if they are graphic and misplaced while everyone is eating. But pagans are no stranger to war. Do a Google search for “pagans and war” and you’ll find everything from stories about Charlemagne converting pagans by sword, to Julian, Rome’s last pagan emperor, who went to war with the Christians, to the Morrighan, the Goddess of War, who soldiers don’t want to see while in battle, to modern pagans in the military. War happens, and we can do our part to remember history so that it doesn’t repeat itself. Your grandpa is giving you crumbs of knowledge every time he tells his stories. Honour that with thanks and acknowledgement.

Aunt Betty will just fall asleep from the tryptophan in the turkey and wine, and don’t worry about your little sister. She’s seeking attention and you’ve always known how to deal with her. And don’t worry about that boyfriend who you fear might propose to you on New Year’s Eve. I mean, make sure he knows you’re not ready, but if it happens and you ruin the countdown by saying no while he’s down on one knee, well, that’s a heartbreak that he’ll have to live with into 2018, which is better than saying yes when you don’t mean it just to save face.

What you do need to worry about is how to protect your heart during all of this. Yule and New Year’s Eve can do a number on us. There are energies at work from so many people and societal expectations that you’ll need to shield, cleanse, and protect.

Start with imagining a white light is surrounding you. This shield is your force field against anything that might be coming your way, but it’s also trapping in your unwanted stress and anxiety about the season – and that’s okay, because you’ll deal with it in a moment once you block any other stressors and energies.

Next you can cleanse your surroundings and yourself. Many pagans burn a sage smudge stick to banish negative energy from an area, something pagans picked up from indigenous peoples long ago. Incense works too. Get into all of the corners of your room or home. Then sit comfortably and work on cleansing that trapped stress and anxiety. In your mind, see yourself pushing it out away from you. Take deep cleansing breaths. Breathe in the energy of the divine through your nose, and exhale that stress out through your mouth.

And finally, to protect yourself, light a white candle and focus on the light within you. You are your source of power and strength. You will get through this. Call upon Venus to help you understand the love you have for yourself first. Consider calling upon Isis to help you keep existing relationships sacred. If you have native roots, call upon the White Buffalo Calf Woman to aide you in creating peace and a safe space for community. And Janus and Juno can help to protect your physical space, home, or land.

Allow these practices and deities to guide you and protect your heart, and you’ll get through Yule and New Year’s Eve with a little more ease and be ready for what 2018 brings your way. 

***

About the Author:

Rev. Rachel U Young is a pagan based in Toronto, Canada. She is a licensed Wedding Officiant and under the name NamasteFreund she makes handfasting cords and other ceremonial accessories. She is also the Chair of Toronto Pagan Pride Day.

Nelland Living

January, 2015

Colors of New Year

Nature rules! It is the greatest source of beauty with it´s ever changing scenery of light, colors, and seasons. Nature is my greatest inspiration for creating beauty in my life.

Deep dark blue and silver make the perfect couple in my color palette around New Year´s. The sky shows it´s darkest side now, bathing in deep murky blue most of the time. Luckily there are also stars up there, twinkling ever so brightly on cold clear nights. That´s the combination I embrace this time of year, at late Yule, after Christmas and before Imbolc. (Sadly my little snapshot camera is unable to capture the beauty.)
When it comes to clothes and appearance, I always like to stay in tune with nature. Here´s how I´ve merged the spirit of New Year into my wardrobe:

Nell1

 

A close-up of my sweater. When I saw this fabric in the store the other summer, I immediately fell in love with it, and knew I had to make a kimono-sleeved shirt of it for New Year´s.

 

Nell2

 

This necklace is my newest piece. Combining yarn with glass beads, the result is more casual and can easily be worn to work, even with jeans. This was the first time I ever used this technique, and was positively surprised by how easy it was to make. On a double yarn just pop a bead through one string, then make a knot, and pop another bead in, etc. Voilá, done!

 

Nell3

 

Earrings are a part of my daily beautifying routine. These aromatherapy pieces are perfect for New Year´s theme. I like to add a drop or two of bergamot  essential oil on them to create a festive and happy spirit.

 

Nell4

Nailpolish is another easy favorite of mine when building a look. I´ve found these great two colors, which I like to apply like this:

 

Nell5

First two coats of dark blue. Once dried, I take the sparkling silver one and start having fun adding small dots here and there, whatever happens to come to mind.

 

Nell6

This time I did “crescent moons” on thumb- and ring fingers. The silver nailpolish looks amazingly like little jewels when applied in small dots. I highly prefer this over sticker ones, because these are flat and stay on persistently.

Nails are an excellent way to perfect any look. Like most things in life, I rather do this myself than go get fake nails done. It saves me both time and money, and I can change the look weekly (I usually do my nails on Sundays).

 

Nell7

In dark blue I also have a pair of furry mittens, which add to the New Year´s spirit with my winter coat on. But I don´t want to do blue and silver from head to toe. A little goes a long way, and hints here and there is enough to keep the party going!

Happy New Year!

 

Ask Your Mama

February, 2014

Are you cyclically confused? In a ceremonial quandary? Completely clueless? Wonder no more.

 

                                *Ask Your Mama                         

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Spirituality and Didn’t Know Who to Ask™

by

©Mama Donna Henes, Urban Shaman

 

 

A Question of a New Year Clean Sweep

 

 

Dear Mama Donna,

 

This has been the year from hell. I feel used, abused, and grimy. My entire life has gotten out of control. In my depression I have even let my normally orderly house go. My family is disgusted. What symbolic act can I do at New Year that would help to make me feel like I can make a clean start?

—A Mess in Michigan

 

Dear Ms. Mess,

As we near the New Year, our thoughts turn to new beginnings, new possibilities, new hope. This fragile interval which separates one year from the next is pregnant with potential. We find ourselves taking time out of time to evaluate our past experiences and actions and to prepare ourselves mentally, physically, and spiritually for our future. Our reflections and resolutions at this transition period of the great turning of the annual wheel are critical, for they create the ambient atmosphere and attitude for the entire year to come.

 

A new year represents another chance, a fresh start, a clean slate, and so we embark upon the shift as on a dangerous journey, freshly bathed and outfitted, full of purpose, fingers crossed in blessing. People enjoy elaborate toilettes; bodies washed, dressed, groomed, combed until they are thoroughly cleansed — often internally as well through fasting. On New Year in Bengal, pilgrims bathe in the River Ganges. The Cherokee spend the eve of the New Year in vigil on the banks of a river. At dawn they immerse themselves seven times, emerging purified and new like the year.

 

In addition to purifying our person, special care has always been taken to clean and maintain the temples, churches, synagogues, cemeteries, groves, and shrines, in which prayers for the propitious New Year are made. In Myanmar, the former Burma, the New Year festival of Thingyan drenches the entire country, every building and dwelling, and all of its inhabitants in cleansing water. All images of the Buddha, indoors and out, are scrubbed clean as a crucial display of blessing.

 

By obvious extension, this New Year’s urge to purge includes our home environments, where the most intimate and ordinary prayers of daily life are uttered. If a man’s home is his castle, surely it is a woman’s shrine. Cleaning house to make ready for a new year is a universal task, symbolic and reverant as it is practical. Out with the old and in with the new! Death to dirt! Removing the dust and detritus accumulated during the previous year ensures the ridding of a dwelling and its occupants of the shortcomings and disappointments delivered during that time as well. Domestic renovation signifies spiritual and social renewal.

 

All over the world, houses are scrubbed spic and span from top to bottom and yards and walkways are swept spotlessly clean. In old England, New Year’s Day was the annual sweeping of all chimneys. The expression “to make a clean sweep” comes from this New Year’s custom. In Hong Kong, ten days before the New Year, women observe a Day for Sweeping Floors. At this time, an intensive house cleaning is begun in readiness for the New Year. Nothing, no corner, is left untouched. On New Year’s Day Moroccans pour water over themselves, their animals, the floors and walls of their homes. In Wales, children go door to door to beg water from their neighbors which they then scatter all over the houses of their community in order to bless them.

 

In many Native American cultures, in both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere, hearth fires are extinguished annually and ritually rekindled in a New Year ritual of new fire. In this way, sins and devils are purged in purification ceremonies symbolizing spiritual renewal. Zuni women throw out their live embers, then sprinkle their entire homes with corn meal in a rite called House Cleansing in order to ensure good fortune in child birth in the coming year. During the Iranian New Year celebration of Narooz, wild rue is burned in households because it is believed to drive away all evil and usher in a happy and propitious new year.

 

Santería, which combines elements of the West African Yoruban religion with those of the Catholic Church and the traditions of the indigenous tribes of the Caribbean, has many methods of spiritual house cleaning. Ordinarily one cleans one’s own home, altar, and aura with a wide variety of special washes, herbs, and candles. But in serious cases of impurity, a padrina/padrino will make a house call to perform a special purification ceremony. S/he most often will spit rum in a fine spray around the room, or roll a burning coconut along the floor while praying, to rid the place of bad energy.

 

So, darling, get out the brooms and the buckets, roll up your sleeves and get to work. Scrub the grime out of your environment and your mentality. The act of cleaning will help you to feel like you are back in control of your life, and an orderly, cheerful house will definitely improve your mood. Light some incense and some candles and invite in some fresh, new energy.

 

Happy New Year to you.

 

xxMama Donna

           

 

                        “If the doors of perception were cleansed

               everything would appear as it is, infinite.”

– William Blake

                                                 

 

*Are you cyclically confused? In a ceremonial quandary? Completely clueless? Wonder no more. Send your questions about seasons, cycles, and celebrations to Mama Donna at cityshaman@aol,com.

Rebel Rede

January, 2012

New Year Promises


Although New Year’s for most Pagans this past year was celebrated on Samhain, the rest of the mundane world around us celebrated New Year’s on January 1, 2012. Can you believe it, it’s officially 2012 now! Most astrologers and metaphysical experts believe 2012 is going to be a year of change and major energetic shifts. I think 2012 is going to be an electrifying and exiting year for Pagans. I personally can’t wait to begin working on new goals and new projects. What new things does 2012 promise to bring into my life I wonder? I think 2012 is a year of limitless possibilities. While creating my own New Year’s goals and resolutions I couldn’t help but wonder what “New Year’s resolutions” the entire Pagan community should have? So here they are my fellow witches, my 2012 New Year’s goals for the Pagan community at large…

Note: These goals are not meant to be judgmental! I personally am also working on these goals and by no means perfectly follow all of them! These are just things I would like all of us Pagans to work on, myself included!

  1. Go OUTSIDE more! We are after all, a nature-based religion. We need to put the effort into spending quality time with Mother Earth! It can be challenging for those of us Pagans who live in concrete cities, but it can be done!
  2. Treat our bodies like the Divine temples they are! Nothing says honoring nature more than showing up to an outdoor Pagan event only to discover a circle of witches smoking, eating Doritos, and drinking Coke-LOL. Not only should we be honoring our Gods and Goddesses by taking care of our planet, but we should also be taking care of our own Holy vessels. Buying and eating food that is unhealthy to the environment and unhealthy for our bodies does not do that. Pagans should be on the forefront of the environmental movement and we should be the first in line to buy organic and locally grown food!
  3. Be a loving, tolerant, and open-minded community! Most Pagans came from other religious backgrounds before becoming Pagan. We all have experienced the negativity and intolerance that so many religions can have. We don’t want to be a spiritual community that has those negative tendencies as well! We need to put aside the arguing and come together as a community. We need to take care of each other!
  4. Be more diverse! 2012 is the year for Paganism to grow and expand its definitions and its people. Paganism is not only a Celtic-based Caucasian religion-end of story!
  5. Create ritual! We all get busy with are mundane lives, but we need to take the time to have rituals in our lives! Rituals create connections to our deities and each other! Rituals are a way to honor ourselves and our deities!
  6. Come out of the broom closet! It’s 2012 friends, being secretive and quiet about Paganism is a thing of the past. We need to boldly tell the world about our spiritual path and show the world what an amazing community we are! Be brave friends and let your Pagan flag fly proudly!
  7. Be politically active! Politics directly affect our communities. It is important to stay on top of current events and to only vote for political leaders who will protect our Pagan values!
  8. Create magick all around you! It can be easy to get too busy to do spell work, but we need to take the time to create a little magick in our lives!
  9. Be a healer! People have had a rough year. It was a financially and politically hard year. Be a light to the people around you and bring a little healing into their lives :). As witches we are supposed to be healers. We should be the people that others come to first when they need help.

10.  Be Pagan! Whatever that means to you. Just remember you are an example to the other Pagans within our community and most importantly to the people outside of our community. There is no one definition of what a Pagan is, but whatever Pagan means to you truly live out those values and beliefs in all aspects of your life!

And of course friends, just be happy! Live your bliss each and every day!

Airmid’s Cauldron

January, 2011

Airmid’s Cauldron

Granny’s Hogmanay Pudding (Revised for the Modern Pagan)

Hogmannay-New-Years-Pudding

This pudding is a family tradition from the old Scottish celebration of Hogmanay (New Year’s Day).

Granny’s Hogmanay Pudding

1 cup water

3/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup sweet chocolate drink mix

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 1/4 cups chopped mixed dried fruit

1 1/4 cups currants

1 cup fresh cream butter

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 eggs, beaten

Directions

In a saucepan, combine water, sugar, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, dried fruit, currants and butter. Bring to a boil and let simmer for one minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate, flour, baking soda and eggs. Pour into a microwave-safe bowl.  Place bowl into the microwave, uncovered.

Cook on full power for 10 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Serve warm with your favorite custard or hard sauce.