offering

Solstice is…

December, 2018

Solstice is…

 

(Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash)

 

Holly sharp sting,

Red blood like

Berries, red, white

Mistletoe hang

Deadly dart and Baldur’s curse

Druids’ king seeking potion

Now a kissing spot

Love instead

Shown through gifts

Wrapped mysteries

Ribbons hiding

Hearts’ desires

Wrap the day in a bow

But presents wait

Wait for me:

 

The mother and priestess

Down in the woods

At the sacred crossroads

Of birch and oak

The mysteries of Male and Female

And everything in between

And beyond.

 

Here I find the altar

That no one knows of

But I

I lay the offerings

Salt

Offal

Nothing to scar or litter

Nothing to damage or drain

Leaving only footprints

For even I

Am not permitted to remain.

***

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 on Amazon

 

Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways on Amazon

SpellCrafting: Spells & Rituals

March, 2018

Egg Spells

Merry meet.

Eggs are one of Ostara’s most prevalent associations. Like all seeds, it contains the promise of a new life. It is a potent symbol of fertility because it contains the power to become something: a chicken, a turtle, a bird, a fish. Eggs are a symbol of abundance, prosperity and the rebirth of nature. In some traditions, the entire universe is portrayed as an egg. That makes them very magickal.

At Ostara, the Wheel of the Year is perfectly balanced. Day and night are of equal length. Masculine and feminine, inner and outer, dark and light are also balanced as the world begins to come alive. Imbolc’s whispered hopes become Ostara’s actions. At this moment, the light defeats the dark. The power is expansive and exuberant.

To harness Ostara energy in a spell, let an egg be the seed that will bring forth your desires. Inscribe it with symbols, pictures or words for abundance, joy, healing, strength, security, laughter or whatever you can imagine and feel yourself possessing. Consider dying the egg in a corresponding color, such as green for abundance, fertility, or eco-magic; and red for will, strength, passion or purification. Yellow corresponds with laughter, thought, travel, communication, happiness, freedom and beginnings; while blue can be used for healing, compassion, love and dreams.

As you decorate the egg, infuse it with the feeling of already having these qualities, of having reached the goal or of having had the wishes come true. Clear your mind and hold the egg as you continue to add your energy to it with breath, song, dance or words, focusing on your desires and their place in your life.

Then, on Ostara night, bury it, perhaps in a garden, as an offering to Mother Earth, and know that as it transforms and feeds the earth, it feeds and transforms what you wish to manifest.

You can also use an egg as a spell bottle of sorts.

First, make holes at both ends of the egg and blow the contents into a small container to be used for recipes. Rinse out the empty shell and let it dry.

Write your spell on a piece of paper small enough that you can roll it up and slip it into the hole at one end of the egg. You might want to include symbols, anoint it with an oil related to your desires and perhaps include corresponding botanicals before rolling it up.

Once it is inside, seal the holes by dripping melted candle wax on them.

Place the egg at the base of a special tree and ask it to guard your workings, adding its strength to yours.

If you have other spells involving eggs, please share on our Facebook page so that we all might benefit from your experience.

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.

Hedgewitch Days!

February, 2015

AS ABOVE, DEFINITELY MORE BELOW!!!

 

Pull up a chair and grab a cuppa and a blanket my lovelies, let’s have a natter about Imbolc…I know, the tree has barely gone back into the loft and the weather is anything but spring like and enchanting, just walking out into the garden brings on hyperthermia and chattering teeth. Surely it’s not time for another festival?

Now, I don’t know about you guys, but I have a secret to share with you all, shhh, don’t tell everyone!

I’m not all that keen on Imbolc, there I said it, and it’s out there now, never to be taken back. It’s not that I don’t actually like it, more like I struggle to see the point of it. There is no harvest to celebrate, no sun to dance in and everything is hidden away under the ground. I appreciate the unseen, after all I work with magic, and all those promising shoots are wonderful and hopeful, but when it comes to Mother Nature I like things loud and proud, kind of in your face screaming look at me!

I find it hard to relate to the symbols of the plough and Brighid dolls, candles are something I use every day not just for Imbolc, milk is something I don’t drink much of (unless it’s chocolate of course) and bulbs are beautiful when you can venture out to gaze at them blooming but most of the time they hide away from sight.

I find the festival of Imbolc such a hard one to celebrate, and yet I so want to honour the tradition of our ancestors. I want to do something that will be the start of a modern day tradition that I can carry down to the generations to in order to celebrate all the promise of Imbolc…the hopeful festival.

After a bit of meditating and a lot of coffee and cake, which goes without saying really, I decided I needed something at Imbolc to represent hope, something to share and something to enjoy doing, after all what’s the point of anything if you don’t enjoy it? Then it came to me, albeit slowly (yep, my dodgy brain again), that the festival of Imbolc is all about what’s happening below rather than all the stuff we can see up above, so why not go with the flow and work with what comes naturally at this time on the wheel of the year?!

So here it is…my new, pass down to the grandbabies and all of you tradition for celebrating Imbolc…

 

Spring seed offerings!

hedgewitch

You will need;

Any white paper approx. 1 sheet per offering A4 size

(Recycled is great / junk mail etc…) Newspaper will work but give you a grey colour so try and use something with a white base if you are giving these as a gift.

Bowls and Bucket

Warm water

Native flower/herb seeds (approx. 10g to make 25 offerings)

Dried flower petals/ herbs. Coloured paper, food colouring, edible glitter etc…

Muslin square or a thin tea towel

Ice cube trays or silicone moulds

Cooling rack

Method;

hedgewitch2

 

Shred the paper and place in a bowl or bucket and cover with warm water. Leave to soak for a few hours, or overnight if you can.

Once soaked, take out the soaked paper, place in another bowl, cover with warm water and use a hand blender to blitz to a smooth pulp. You can use an electric blender or liquidizer if you have one.

Once blended add your seeds and any petals/herbs, glitter or food colouring and mix really well.

As you mix say;

 

‘Goddess above and Goddess below

 Let us reap what we do so.’

 

Draw the shape of an Imbolc symbol in your mixture with your finger, a candle, pentagram or a flame would all be good!

Pour the paper seed mixture into a tea towel or muslin cloth over a bowl and strain off the water (you can reuse this to water your plants, no need to waste it!)

Squeeze and squash until you are left with a dry looking pulp.

Press pieces of the pulp really firmly into the moulds or shape into small balls squeezing with your hands.

Carefully pop out the compressed offerings from the moulds and place on a baking rack to air dry.

Allow to dry thoroughly for around 24 hrs and store in an airtight container or jar.

When you are ready to use, simply take outside, dig a small hole in the earth and pop in the offering just under the surface of the soil.

Say this blessing;

 

‘I give this gift with blessings bright

In the name of the Goddess, with love and light!’  

 

Cover the offering with a thin layer of soil saying,

 

‘So mote it be!

 

Top tips!

Use up all your junk mail for your paper base, a great way to recycle!

If you add glitter or food colouring use biodegradable and natural products.

Select seeds that are native to your country…Wildflowers, herbs or grasses that would normally grow in your climate will all germinate well.

Make sure your offerings are thoroughly dry before storage to prevent sprouting.

Use dried herbs or finely chopped fresh hardy herbs like Rosemary and Sage to add another layer of magic to your offering.

Water your offering after planting if the weather is dry.

If you have any, plant a couple of bulbs at the same time!

Enjoy reaping what you have sown! Once your offering has flowered collect the seeds and make some more…keep the cycle going!

hedgewitch3

This mixture of paper and seed all bundled up into a pretty shape or balls makes a beautiful gift for anyone too, just pop two or three into a bag and attach a label explaining what they are and how to use them…spread the Imbolc love!

Ahhh, at last, something to actually DO at this time of year, these little shapes full of hope and seed will become my yearly Imbolc ritual. They will drag me off the sofa and out from under my blanket, push me outside to touch base with the Earth once again.  Representing all that’s going on below the surface that we can’t yet see and all the promise of things to come as the wheel turns through the year is quite an amazing feat for some recycled paper and seeds… In fact they may even be the answer to the ‘I don’t like Imbolc feeling’ lol, who knows!

I know I have rambled on again and not even offered you another drink! Have you finished your cuppa? Perhaps I can offer you something else my lovelies?  Chocolate milk?

Sorry I am all out of milk…

I know, forget the milk and just let me get that chocolate!!!

Big hugs and bright blessings guys, Oh and Happy Imbolc!

Spellcrafting: Spells and rituals

August, 2014

Gratitude ritual

Merry Meet.
Astrological Lughnasadh occurs this year on August 8, as does the cross quarter date. That means if August 1 came and went without an opportunity for a ritual, you still have time to celebrate the first harvest – literally and figuratively.
Two days later is a super full moon in Aquarius. On full moons, I like to give thanks for the abundance and blessings in my life. We are so quick to ask for what it is we need, want and desire, I think we sometimes forget to give equal time to rituals of gratitude and celebrating the gifts we have received. Remember, what has become known as the law of attraction states that we bring about more of whatever we focus on. So why not focus on that for which we are grateful? Here at the beginning of August are two such opportunities practically on top of one another. The suggestions below can be done on their own, or as part of a more formal rite.
A simple gratitude ritual involves writing down all the things for which you are grateful. Perhaps you want to do it in a gratitude journal, or on slips of paper placed in a jar or offering bowl or cauldron. You might want to add herbs, oils or gemstones for success, wishes, prosperity or protection. Holding the jar, the bowl or cauldron, focus your thoughts on your feelings of gratitude. If you like to raise energy by chanting, you might try:
    “I offer gratitude to the Divine,
    All I have asked for is now mine.
    I’m grateful for many blessings received,
    Grateful for all the good given to me.
    I carry this attitude forever with me.
    Thanks to the Goddess and blessed be.”
If you worked with a jar, cap it and put it in a safe place. My offering bowl sits on my altar almost all the time, accepting tokens and symbols of gifts and appreciation.
offering
Another idea is to write one or more thank you notes to people you are especially grateful to have in your life at this time, and then mail them.
To mark Lughnasadh, I typically set up an altar with the bounty from my garden and from nature. Sometimes that altar has been set in nature and left for those who call the area home. Arranging items is done as an expression of gratitude, of giving back to the universe for all it has given me. Sitting before it, I count my blessings, recognizing all that I have received, all that I am thankful for, and all that has come my way. I end by eating some of the seasonal bounty I’ve set aside for that purpose, often making corn pone or corn muffins with my grain of choice, along with munching on cherry tomatoes or blueberries (first offering some to the ground for the deities and fairies). Popcorn also works well. While I like a summer ale at Lughnasadh, mead is always good, as are seasonal beverages such as blueberry, cherry and tomato juice; or lemonade (again, offering some to the ground for the deities and the fairies).
altar
I hope this gave you some ideas.
Merry part.
And merry meet again.