sabat

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.

Mabon Correspondences

September, 2018

(Persephone’s Descent Goddess Harvest Mabon Fine Print by Tammy Mae Moon of MoonSpiral on Etsy.)

 

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: 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: Water ‘

Threshold: Evening

Celebrating the Old Ways in New Times

August, 2018

August 2018 for Celebrating the Old Ways in New Times

Bright Blessings!

It has been unusually hot this year, and me, the cats, and my husband are melting! We are thankful for our air conditioner, and we venture out early in the morning or later at night.

The dog is not thrilled, as she likes longer walks, and is immune to extreme weather.

Maybe I will come back as a dog in the next life!

The garden, however, is absolutely thriving. The new rose I planted has tiny red sprouts on it, the cherry tomato is producing abundantly, the marigolds are showing their golden manes proudly, and the zinnias, dear gods, the zinnias are the stars of the garden!

The Wheel of the Year is quickly moving towards first harvest. Already, the days are noticeably shorter, and we are even having a few cool nights. Blackberries, mint, and lavender have already been harvested here, and my cat has diligently been munching on the poor nasturtiums!

First Harvest

Depending on your tradition, you may celebrate Lammas or Lughnassadh. Both celebrate harvests, and celebrate harvest of different things.

In years past, I have written in detail about these ancient harvest celebrations, but this year I am going to focus on a different aspect of the blessings of the Sabbat-respect, and balance.

As we celebrate the things we have begun, and give thanks for the beginnings of what we reap from these sowings, we respectfully acknowledge we did not do it all on our own.

At times, the gods, the spirits, and the ancestors helped, and we give the credit that is due to them. In our rituals, we partake of the powers of these spirits, and also of the land where we draw resources to provide what we need to meet our goals.

In North America, many of us are immigrants from other Nations, and we touch the earth that has been sacred to countless generations of tribal people we do not share genetics with. As Pagans, and magical workers, we pick up on the power of the sacred spaces, and communicate with the spirits, and work with the existing energies.

On one hand, it is very American for non-indigenous people to be fascinated with the indigenous, and have romanticized ideas of their splendor, as if they are a mythical race of beauties. On the other hand, we are still actively benefiting from the forced assimilation, and the Reservation system that keeps indigenous people in poverty today. We do not MEAN such harm, but it is happening.

Then, many in our communities cherry pick what they consider Native American spiritual practices, take Indian names, and declare themselves Indians when they have no proof of ancestry, have had zero exposure to, or participation in Native American communities, and even go so far as to ordain themselves leaders in modern “Native American” groups, and assume they can become instant Indians.

This is called cultural misappropriation, and it is one topic I will pick up later in the article.

Rejuvenation

Healing, and prayers for good health are also part of harvest celebrations. In days past, prayers for enough food were constant, as that was how to ensure survival. Prayers to keep pests off crops, and to keep crops and animals producing were included. Now, we pray for good jobs so we can hit the stores to buy what we need instead of growing our own.

Prayers for good health could be translated as prayers to hold off aging and death- one word for this is rejuvenation.

One of the daily ways we rejuvenate the body is by eating. It is very true that we are what we eat. Food is the first source of medicine for the body, and it either adds or detracts years from our lives.

Pharmaceuticals also can be used to heal the body. We have become more and more aware of the fact that doctors and companies are for-profit, and the side effects from drugs aggressively marketed to the public can cause more harm than good. Furthermore, as we are human beings, and not gods, we are imperfect, and doctors sometimes make mistakes. It is no wonder than many seek out alternative medicine, and mind over matter techniques in hopes the body can heal itself.

Members of our Pagan and New Age communities understand all too well what the medical world refers to as “the placebo affect”. We understand the power of faith to heal. Some even go so far as to believe that if they break their neck, they don’t need to see a doctor, and that all they need to do is order their body to repair itself. We have seen a plethora of news stories where very conservative Xtian parents went to jail for allowing their child to die out of belief medicine is sinful, and their god would heal them if only their faith was strong enough. While we laugh or shake our heads, condemning these Xtians for this, we have plenty of people within our own communities guilty of this same mindset. Many of us fail to see this.

Balance

I cannot tell you how many people have asked me to do a tarot reading to diagnose illness, and I flat out refuse. I am of the mind that prayers, faith, meditation, proper diet and exercise are good for the body, but they do not replace medical intervention when it is necessary. All these things work together, and must be balanced for our health and wellbeing.

As a Wiccan, one of the Tenets I follow is the Tennent of The Balanced Life.

This tenet was written about by the illustrious Sybil Leek in her publication The Complete of Witchcraft from 1971. If you do not own a copy of this book, you should run right out and get it. I am 75% finished with it, and I am so glad I am reading it. In her chapter “Leading a Balanced Life”, Leek writes how mental, spiritual, and physical well-being are linked. She wrote of the insane pace of life in modern times, and the push to do more, faster, and better, and how it takes a toll on human beings. This impossibly unhealthy lifestyle exhausts, and stresses human beings to the point of physical ailments. Finding peace within oneself in this hectic lifestyle is very crucial. Work leisure, and rest have to be balanced, or the body is thrown off, and gets sick.

One thing I will add to that, is many folk do not touch the earth. Many live in concrete boxes, and operate in asphalt jungles. Going into nature is considered “getting away from things”, or a vacation. Nature should surround us daily. Science has proven that when you touch the earth, it lowers blood pressure, and walks in the woods clear the lungs of the polluted air from cars and smog. Trees eat the carbon dioxide cars and factories emit. The earth breaks down bodies that are decomposing, and uses them to grow plants. The body benefits from fruits and veggies, and some people (not me), swear they feel better consuming only a plant-based diet.

What I am saying is, one of the ills that plagues modern man, and unbalances us is the disconnection we have from the earth.

One of the memes that makes me very angry is the one that shows a photo of a bottle of pills, and says “This is poison” and shows a photo of a nature trail, and says “This is medicine.”

This shows complete lack of compassion for people who need pharmaceuticals, and also shows the individual who has this belief has never experienced a serious illness.

Medical intervention is required for the human body, but is not a substitute for a balanced life. In the same way, the human body, even if balanced, sometimes needs the help of pharmaceuticals to heal, and rejuvenate itself. Leading a Balanced Life allows us to accept the human body is not an entity that can completely restructure itself. Without proper amounts of water, food, medicine, sunlight, exercise, love, industriousness, rest, or oxygen, the body will die. Combining these things perfectly is key, and neglecting any of them, and doing MORE of one other thing fixes nothing.

The One That Got Away

Recently, I was asked to review a film, and I flat out refused to, because it asserted their psychic counselors and meditation coaches completely replaced medical care. This is a dangerous, and unethical claim. These people do not accept medical insurance, and all counseling sessions and classes have to be paid out of pocket. One hour sessions range from $150-$250 each person. A lot of people simply cannot afford that.

To be fair, some attend groups like this because it makes them happy, which reduces stress, and improves immune functioning. This is healing.

However, if you are having a heart attack, don’t just schedule a meditation appointment. You need a doctor.

If you have a contagious infection which is airbourne, and that can kill people, don’t put up a shield to “protect” people. Stay away from people while you are contagious, and take your medication.

Just because you are unaware of something does not mean it does not exist.

Balance of mental tranquility with taking proper care of the human body’s needs must be maintained, or you aren’t healthy.

Now, you do not HAVE to be healthy. I could stand to lose more than a few pounds, myself, so I am not condemning anybody whose health is not perfect. But to be ignorant, and spread that ignorance to gain customers, and endanger their health, by pulling them away from the medical care they need causes so much harm. It is beyond unethical, and I flat out refused to promote the film. I can’t even remember what it is called at this point.

Calling All Earthlings

Having spoken of these things, I was asked to review another film, and I decided to, although I disliked this film greatly. This is a necessary film for those of us in Pagan and New Age communities, as well as those who seek out alternative medicine, because it demonstrates how gullible we truly are when we allow our fantasies to get the better of us.

 

Movie Trailer

 

It is a Carpe Stella Production, and here is the website for the film.

http://www.callingallearthlingsmovie.com/

It was cast as a documentary by director Jonathan Berman, and I appreciate the fact nothing is held back. It touches on the topics of government conspiracy, aliens, the system vs. the individual citizen, cultural misappropriation, modern spirituality, and the spectacular natural scenery will make you want to jump in the car and head out for a road trip in the Mojave Desert.

It is shown how one man’s claim that an alien, who he said was over 700 years old taught him rejuvenation techniques for the body, were so well received that the site is still in use today, many years after his death.

Today, you can visit the site, and the team who operate there will book your event, and you can pay $100 plus per person to have a sound bath therapy, which is lying comfortably and enjoying a nice concert of various singing bowls being played. The building is called the Integretron, and the acoustics in the place are awesome. If you can’t make the trip or afford the fee, you can purchase a CD for $15 plus shipping and handling fees.

Various individuals claiming UFO sightings and encounters are also interviewed.

A grandiose story is presented by some of George Van Tassel’s friends and followers of his valiant attempts to create a sanctuary of healing, as ascribed by said alien. They also allege that his attempts to generate wireless electricity were thwarted by the government, and it is suggested the government killed him in the process.

A couple of professors speaking of history and social patterns of alien enthusiasts are interviewed as well, so it’s not like the documentary is 100% one sided. We get to hear from people who say it’s complete balderdash, although almost every speaker is very convinced it’s all true.

The longer we exist, the larger we find out the universe actually is, and we discover more galaxies we previously had not known about. It’s clear we are not the only lifeforms in the solar systems. However, the probability of an alien appearing only to a few select “chosen few” is highly unlikely, and it is asserted in the film by a couple of “Futurists” that aliens appear only to a select few because humanity is not ready yet for contact.

It is also to be noted the site the Integratron is near, Giant Rock, is close by Fort Irwin National Training Center which is a major training facility for the US military. Yes, they have air craft, and it is said they do experiments with new technology there. I wonder how many so-called UFO sightings were actually people observing military aircraft, and exercises? How much of it was actually illusions caused by the crippling desert heat? How much of this is belief creating illusions, and makes some ascribe mundane things to fantastical occurrences?

The thing that stood out to me most of all was how many people kept insisting Giant Rock is positioned on a vortex of great power, and the ancient Native Americans held the place very sacred.

An elder and tribal historian of the Morongo Indians, Ernest Siva, was interviewed for a very short time, disappointingly short- after all- this is supposedly an ancient sacred indigenous site. I strongly feel that he, and other indigenous people, as opposed to New Age business people, and alien enthusiasts should have been given more importance in this. As my hearing is not great, and the website that had the link I reviewed has no subtitles, I was unable to hear much of what he said. He spoke of a tribal story that his people came from another place. I was not sure where the filmmakers were going with that.

I decided to reach out to Mr. Siva, and see what I could learn from him. After a few e-mails, communication completely stopped before deadline, and I was unable to complete the interview.

Cultural Misappropriation Versus Cultural Exchange

One huge issue in our Pagan and New Age communities is misappropriation of Native American culture. How many groups, shops, or New Age or Pagan businesses have we all visited where non Native Americans are selling services based on what was sacred to ancient Native Americans?

I wonder how indigenous people feel about the fact the Reservation system both physically removed indigenous people from their sacred spaces, but also assimilated them into a completely different religion that does not hold such things scared.

Generations of their families journeyed to places like Giant Rock for sacred observances, and very distinctive ways of communicating with the spirits and divinities there were developed over long periods of time. The spirits and divinities got used to that communication at places like Giant Rock, and when places of commerce for the conquerors moves in and takes over, this communication ceases. As noted before, some people are still awake and aware of the voices of those spirits, however, we do not belong to the cultures of people who venerated them, and while we may benefit an adrenaline rush from communication, our methods and intentions are not always respectful.

One individual interviewed for the documentary turned out to be a “medicine woman” who is a blonde haired, blue eyed individual, so I did a bit of research. While I have met plenty of tribal people who are not dark skinned, or are not 100% this or that tribe, I am always suspicious of a very bohemian behaving New Agey white person who claims they are some form of shaman or medicine person. Most especially when I see all their followers are paying clients, and/or their website lists no tribal affiliations, and they list fees for services. It’s not tribal medicine, it’s a business.

She calls herself Valerie Brightheart, and she, like any clergy person facilitates weddings, but also something called snuggle parties.

While I do not know if it was Valerie and her business shown in this video clip from An Idiot Abroad, you can watch it as an example of cuddle/snuggle parties. I have no knowledge of this being a Native American practice.

Valerie’s church is the Oklevueha Native American Church of Soncco Wasi Home of the Heart. To be a member, all you have to do is fill out and send them a form, pay the fee, and you too can belong to this church. You have to commit to use only Native American medicines like Marijuana, peyote, and ayahuasca. I don’t know if that means onsite, or in general. You can pay a $200 lifetime membership fee if you are not Native American. If you are actually Native American, your lifetime fee is $30. If you are a Veteran and are Native American, your lifetime fee is a mere $20.

One thing I will point out is the people practicing on these so-called sacred Native American spaces are non-Native Americans. That is okay in many instances, because tribe does not necessarily go by just birth and race. People marry into tribes, and very few people today can boast 100% ancestry to one single race. Even within Native American families who claim to be all one tribe, over time, tribes have combined, and different families had babies together. So, to assert you can only have a certain DNA to be tribal is ludicrous. The issue is the fascination many non-tribal people have with actual tribal people, and the desire to play Indian for fun outside of the childhood playground is highly disrespectful.

To further make money by impersonating an Indian, or to move into a sacred space using it for income, and drum up public interest because “It was sacred to ancient Indians” is unethical.

Communication with Other People’s Ancestors

On one hand, who owns the ancient power places? Who owns the spirits, and who has the right to speak with them, and tell people what they say back? Does race and ancestry decide that, or do the spirits just want their voices heard, and connection with the living, even if it is not their own descendants?

A Heathen man I once spoke to was perplexed by the idea of churches and sanctuaries. “All the earth is sacred”, he told me. There is great truth in this. But has Giant Rock, and the Integratron become a place that is being poached by white business owners, and like the Black Hills, has it been taken from the indigenous who ought to have it back immediately?

The filmmakers don’t seem to think so. They cast this as a sacred place of healing, where you may contact with other lifeforms, as a place of love, healing, peace, and a place that is greatly misunderstood by the mainstream.

This film is very important for those in the Pagan and New Age communities to watch to remind us that magic is not supernatural, but natural. It harmonizes with the laws of the Universe, science being one reality. We cannot fly on brooms. We cannot turn into cats. We cannot live forever.

We can, however, fly in airplanes, have pet cats, or dress up as a cat in a costume, and we can improve our health, and increase our life expectancy by living a balanced life.

My Neighbors

I am blessed to live next door to some good earth loving folks. It’s a mother and father, and two adorable boys. The mother and her mom are Shawnee. I was able to reach out to them and discuss topics this film raised.

The mother’s mother, Kossia said Native American practices developed in distinctive ways, and it is necessary to use them properly if you want them to work. My Priest has said this same thing many times.

Her daughter, Speaks with Trees, said her concern is not so much that somebody who is not racially Native American sells things used in Native American practices. She said sometimes it is actually easier to go through non-Native business owners to get the herbs and stones she needs to practice. The issue is the fact that Native American people are struggling to have decent places to be together. Many Reservations are not ideal.

On Reservations, households are significantly more likely to have no electricity, no running water, improper sewage removal, incomplete kitchens, and no phones. The public high school graduation rate for Native Americans is lower than any other racial group in the US. The suicide rate of Native American youths is higher than for any other racial group in the US. The unemployment rates are higher. This is devastating poverty.

Speaks with Trees said an issue is that Native American people, who have been forced off land, are struggling to even survive. She said, “If you steal something from somebody, do you give it back? If you harm somebody, and it causes harm to generations of their family, how do you rectify that?”

The Dakota Pipeline is just one sign it’s not being rectified.

Kossia pointed out that intent matters. There are a lot of sacred places where Native Americans don’t have the capacity to use as such anymore. HOW you use the site, and WHY you are there matters.

She also pointed out that there are over 500 distinct Native American groups known, and that does not even include the groups who were not identified by whoever identified the other 500 some. This reminds us that when discussing “Native American spirituality”, the differences are so diverse, we cannot in any way lump them all into one set of practices.

All of these things both ladies said are important to keep in mind when visiting a site sacred to the ancient indigenous Americans. It is also important to keep in mind when attending pow wows, and learning spiritual practices ascribed to Americas indigenous tribal people.

While spirit transcends race, some of us are not Indians. We should find out about who the people we buy goods and services actually are, and check their credentials. Non-Indians impersonating Indians are plentiful, and we don’t need to enable that.

We need not segregate or do only what our ancestors did. Traditions in, and of themselves are living things, which change. Talks with Trees pointed out most of us have lots of different kinds of ancestry, and almost nobody has just one kind. Kossia spoke of the importance of working together, and learning from each other. She also said intent matters. To want to learn is called cultural exchange. We have always migrated, and we learn new things from our new friends who we move in near. We share knowledge and wisdom. Respect is the key.

This Month’s Working

Instead of a traditional Lammas or Lughnassadh working, I’d like to talk about what to do when you detect energy or sacred power at a site you are unfamiliar with, and want to do a working there.

Some people would say to completely avoid working with energy you do not know of. Just because you feel something does not mean you should connect with it.

Many magicians will tell you that spirits can lie, and do, and I have spoken with more than one individual that warns of spirit parasites that possess human beings.

If you are like me, and you are going to communicate despite what people think might go wrong, I can’t criticize you for that.

Technically, to be a witch, or any form of magician, you have to be able to move energy, and some would say, ANY energy you come across. This does not mean you don’t reach out to somebody else for help sometimes. This just means you need to practice reading energies so you can feel what they are, what they do, and whether or not they are best avoided.

There are going to be times you hit the park, find a nice, secluded area, and want to cast circle or do a working, and there are already energies there. Typically, you either banish them, and set up your own energies, or work with and experience what is already there.

I have a different suggestion.

Move them aside temporarily. It is almost like saying “Excuse me for a minute, and let me borrow this space, and then I will go on my way.”

This is the working I will include here. This can be used at any time, and anyplace. Members of all traditions can use this, and it does not entail veneration of any deity. This is respectful of the energies and spirits of a place, but allow you a clean slate to work with before your working begins.

Setting Energy Aside

Stop and ground yourself for a moment before you begin. Then quietly walk around the area you intend to clear. Open your mind to what energies and spirits are there, and pay attention to any messages you get.

Have you got a very string spirit who does not want its space tampered with? Is the whole energy of the place off, and it would take many sessions of clearing to clean it? Did something traumatic happen here, and the imprinting from it will overwhelm you, compromising the possible success of your working? You may decide to move elsewhere. That is okay. Always gauge the space first to see what it is you are moving aside.

If you do, indeed decide to use this space, you don’t need any tools like incense or magic words.

You just need to take deep breaths, and move your hands from the ground up to the sky, as if you are pulling energy, and sending it upward, and gently away.

You will feel with your own energy when you nab the end piece of the energy, and you just gather it up, and release it, with the intent it will stay gone until you finish. Walk the whole space in a circle, doing this same operation. You will be able to feel when it is done. Ensure the whole time, you keep your own energy to yourself, and do not absorb any of the energy you are moving from the site.

You don’t need to call the energies back after you finish. If the energy wants to, it will settle back into place on its own.

That’s it.

Simple, isn’t it?

This can be used anytime you go someplace where you want to lift some energy out. Say you are about to have a meeting in the board room where there was just a heated exchange, and you want the tone light, and stress-free. You can take that energy from previous meeting, and send it off.

If your kids have been spastic all day, and you have sent them off with an auntie for the evening, to have an adult cocktail party in the living area, you can use this operation to send that ty energy off for a more relaxing atmosphere.

If you cried your eyes out in your car after being stood up by a date, use this to get all that sadness out of the car.

The sky is the limit to what this technique can be used for.

Blessed energy working.

Blessed First Harvest.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrating the Old Ways in New Times

December, 2014

#2 Yule

Last time I wrote a personal essay about how I feel about the holidays. I promised an educated, informative article this time.

Oh stop laughing!

I’ll write a little about Yule and a bit about Winter Solstice.

Modern Christmas is a mix of these two ancient celebrations as well as what happened to honor the god Mithras.

The reasons the Winter Holiday was celebrated differ a bit from why we celebrate today, but not completely.

For example. “The Light of the World” , seen by many Christians today as their god is celebrated.

In days past, lengthening days were celebrated. THE light of the world!

I don’t know about you, but when days get shorter in Fall time, I just want to curl up in a ball and hibernate until April. My body does not react well to cold either. Those two things combined make me miserable. For me, the Winter Solstice, celebrating the fact that the amount of daylight is about to increase is a very big deal. It’s still going to get colder for a bit, but I know I am halfway through winter and it is a huge relief to make it that far.

Like ten percent or more Americans, I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. I really think this is because we just don’t slow down in Winter time like our ancestors did. We insist we will drive the speed limit in blizzard conditions. We will not cut back on extracurricular activities under any circumstances. We refuse to sleep more even if we feel like we need to. And many have zero tolerance for people who do slow down when Winter comes. I jealously watch my cats sleep sixteen hours a day all winter while I trudge through snow, sleet, freezing rain, and what is seemingly eternal darkness. Sometimes, I wake them up on purpose on my way out the door and laugh maniacally even though I know they slip right off to sleep, calling me all forms of obscene names in their feline language.

I drive 10 MPH in heavy snow, sleet, or icy conditions, myself. I sleep as much as I possibly can, and I tell a lot of people in November that I will see them next June!

I look forward to Winter Solstice and say a hearty “Welcome Back Longer Days!”

Before the days of central heating, electric lights, and automobiles in nearly every household, I can only imagine folks in days long gone felt the “winter blues” and “cabin fever” more than we do today.

And when we get upper respiratory infections, pneumonia, flu, and stomach flu as well as the plethora of viral diseases we all invariably seem to catch come wintertime, we have medications our ancestors did not have. We get paid time off from our jobs. We have doctors offices and hospitals. In some villages and hollers ancient Pagans lived in- there may have been only one village healer. And contrary to what a lot of modern Pagans will tell you, mixing an herbal tincture is not quite as powerful as modern pharmaceuticals for some illnesses. If they were, nobody would ever have stopped plucking plants from their own backyards and started taking healing things in pill and syrup form.

The life expectancy was lower, and accidents based on inclement weather caused more deaths in winter than a summertime shower or a soft spring rain would.

Samhain time, people did a lot of prayers and sacrifices to try and ensure everybody got through wintertime alright. By the time Solstice rolls around, winter has been felt strongly for a while, and the lengthening of days is an indication Spring is on the way.

YAY!!!!!!

This is a simple explanation of why those ancient people attached such significance to it all. Something so important takes on religious significance.

How they celebrated and had ritual is an entirely different thing.

How Winter Solstice was first celebrated is unknown to us. We know things people did like light bonfires, and adorn homes with evergreens in later times. Things we still do to this day. To me, this is all relatively new, and I am more interested in what little we do know about structures that still survive although they stopped being used thousands of years ago when I am researching pre Christian Pagan practices. To me, it is these places that hold the most information for us if we want to know about the OLD Old Ways.

Newgrange has a point that lines up with the sunrise and the famous Stonehenge has a point that lines up with sunset of the Solstice. Many of us believe these points were not accidents, but were used as calendars of the seasons. While we keep the dates of our modern Pagan celebrations set on days each year for convenience, if ancient people tracked the seasons based on when the light of the sun or moon struck some stone, it would not be on the exact same day annually. The calenders we use did not even exist at the time the sites were used. But human beings who farmed and had livestock still used the same seasons we use to dictate what is grown and harvested at the time it is. These structures helped track everything to the point they have been considered calendars. They probably were.

Newgrange in particular is in Ireland, near the River Boyne, and was built is approximately 3200 BC. The site was believed to have been a burial site, as human cremains as well as uncremated human remains have been found inside. On the day of the Midwinter sunrise, the light illuminates passageways. It is believed that some of the decorative stones outside of the mound were placed there hundreds of years after burials ceased. The spirals adorning the interior and exterior stones are believed to represent the sun. There were later additions to the site separate from the mound itself, indicating that although it was initially built in Neolithic times, it was used in the Iron Age as well. It has been suggested the mound was used in solar worship to “catch” the sun at Winter Solstice Sunrise, thus ensuring the sun stuck around, and the days would lengthen. This ensured Spring and Summer would indeed happen again.

It never ceases to amaze me that a monument that is older than the Pyramids STILL works. On Winter Solstice, that light still floods the chamber, illuminating the same way it always has.

While it appears the ancient Irish “caught” the light, another group of people our modern celebrations would not happen without are the ancient Heathens, and they celebrated this time of year differently.

To clarify, I separate Heathens, children of Germanic and Scandinavian old gods from Pagans, children of mostly Celtic and pre Celtic British or Greek or Roman gods. Why? Because I have heard so many modern Heathens tell me they feel this is respectful. With the Northmen invading the British Isles, of course there was quite the melting pot of culture, art, and religion. However, the Northerners ancient and modern practices are extremely different than those of the ancient and modern Pagans.

So time to discuss the Heathens. I focus on Yule and one practice in particular. The Wild Hunt. Aside from feasting, sacrifice to the gods, and toasting, it is said the days coincided with the frightening procession of Odin and his hunting party. To witness this was not a good thing. Like to the believers in the British Isles, wary of by being carried off at Samhain by the Sidhe, seeing the Wild Hunt may mean you got carried off. If you did not get carried off, it may portend your death. If it did not portend your death, it may portend a war or other terrible tragedy.

From a practical standpoint, it makes perfect sense they worried about that at this time of year. From January to April was typically time for greater worry of starvation and flu and freezing to death. Sacrifice to the god who might carry you off may convince him to leave you be. Some believed seeing the Wild Hunt was how you were let know you’d be carried off or bad times were to come. Some said you merely heard Odin’s hounds bark. Imagine it being Winter Solstice time and hearing dogs barking from afar and not seeing them and being terrified you’d be claimed.

Fast forward to modern times, and we have a different old man with white beard who will bring rewards if we are good, and punishments if we are bad- Santa Claus. A combination of Christian myth and Odin, he now accepts sacrifices of good deeds done through the year, as opposed to blood offerings expected in days past.

Someplace along the line, old man Yule was separated into the generous Santa/St. Nick and the terrifying Krampus who would whip you. Christianization, of course embraced the the concept of a good god who took care of his followers versus a bad demon king seeking to lead harm the children of god. This pair of godforms replaced the old gods who behaved much more like human beings and both blessed and slaughtered their devotees. Together they processed through the streets in elaborate pageantry after Chrsitianization. For some reason, though, the evil Krampus could bless your house and children as well as whip them for being bad. Perhaps the procession of St, Nick with old Krampus was a modern adaption of the Wild Hunt. It is said Krampus may carry bad kids off, after all.

The fact it is forbidden for children to see Santa Claus get out of his sleigh that flew through the sky whilst leaving gifts is probably left over from the fact nobody WANTED to see or hear Odin and his Wild Hunt. Remember also, Santa had eight reindeer, and Odin’s horse, Slepnir had eight legs.

The parallels to support my belief Odin IS Santa Claus modernized are too numerous to bother you with.

More on celebrating.

Many modern Pagans and Heathens have Sabbat or a gathering or 12 days of celebration that begin on the 21 of December.

For my suggestions, I’ll write a ritual honoring my Father god, Odin, and a separate one in observance of the strengthening sun.

Before you decide to do this ritual, make sure Odin is actually one of your gods. A lot of Pagans and Heathens and groups of them take turns honoring gods they otherwise do not communicate with. Odin, in particular will not recognize people who he does not consider his children. He was a tribal war god. Tribe is family, people who married into the family and were adopted, and honored friends. Contrary to what some may believe, Odin is not the ancestor of every person who has some form or German or Scandinavian blood. He does not care about skin color and DNA is not how he chooses you. Loki was of the Giants, entirely different from the Aesir, and they became brothers despite it. You have to know he is one of your gods. I am sure he would not turn down gifts or sacrifice. But to be a devotee of this particular god means you have to be comfortable with who he was, not who pop culture makes him out to be.

He was the devotional god of an unstoppable legendary group of warriors called Berserkers. Every life they took in battle was a sacrifice for Odin. They were not the only ones who practiced this. He is known as not only the one who gave poetry to humanity, but various forms of his name mean things like “furious”, and ”violent”. He is gathering as many warriors in his hall of the slain for a final battle he knows he will loose. Many warriors wanted to die just so they could fight in that battle. His valkyries pick the souls of the dead off the battlefield and take them to a hall for brawling and drinking where they battle, are killed every day, and are reborn to get up and do it all over again.

This is not a god who is going to be content with a bouquet of flowers every so often. While few of his modern devotees ever march onto a battlefield, he still requires human life. Your life. To be a devotee of his means your life is his. This is not to be entered into lightly and it is not glorious fun.

From personal experience, I have found him to be unsatisfied with paltry offerings as well. A lot of modern folks will sacrifice rabbits to Odin. After I helped with one such rite, the Alfather asked me what I expected him to do with rabbits! He did not like it.

Some claim Pagan gods will take any sacrifice they can get, because they prefer something, anything, to nothing at all. I have not found this to be true. The gods do not need crumbs and scraps. While they understand that times, and culture has drastically changed, they make it entirely clear what their expectations are and if you cannot live up to those expectations, it is wise not to try and substitute. They will not fade away into oblivion if people do not remember them. They do not need us to survive in the way some imagine. If a god horrifies you, that is not the god for you.

Having said that, some of you may think I belong to some weird serial killer cult. Not so. The life I give to Odin is mine. I just understand that he is not a god of compassion that sends positive energy when you are feeling sad and he does not heal every ailment you have. He hung himself from a tree with much pain to find the Runes and he gave his own eye to gain more wisdom. He expects his devotees to do the same.

While feeding with blood like in times past in great temples is not going to happen, many are not aware of how much Odin loves wine. As a matter of fact, some say that is all he “eats”. If you know your history, you know the “wine” used in many of the places Odin was honored was mead. A lot of mead is very expensive, and unlike coffee or tea, it takes a lot of time, money, and space to brew your own. Oliver is a popular brand that has a modern less expensive mead you can use in ritual although I have found Odin to like a good full bodied red wine like Malbec or Merlot also.

If this has not convinced you to head for the hills or that I am just as mean as anything, read on. But pay very very close attention to what I say because this ritual is very very difficult.

Because it is so simple.

Most people want more pageantry for a high day. A lot of people will want long ritual to Odin and reading of Eddas including separate parts for all participants so everybody is included.

If that works for your group, I say do it. But you don’t have to if you prefer something simpler.

In the old days, priests slaughtered animals, and blessed the temple walls, images of gods, and the people with the blood. The meat was then cooked and there was feasting for days, three or even twelve days. There was merriment, eating, and lots of drinking. Toasts were made to the hosts, rulers, the gods, and the people. Everybody brought something. Everybody had a good time.

Butchering meat and blood ritual is practically extinct except in some individual groups. Most people reading this article are not going to sacrifice a live pig or a cow and are not going to sprinkle blood on other people.

That leaves the food, drink, and, fellowship.

Simply said, have a potluck. Have everybody bring something delicious.

Have mead and or red wine and or beer and iced tea and whatnot.

Light bonfires if you can, and light candles if you cannot.

Before the feast begins, have everybody circle round together and have each person have their own drink.

Have the host or officiant thank everybody for coming, and in their own words toast the attendees. One by one, attendees can toast each other and the host.

That is round one.

Round two, everybody toasts the ancestors and people who they love and could not attend.

Round three, everybody refills their cups if needs be and raises their glasses all together and with a mighty shout all together cry “ODIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” and drink to the bottom of their cups.

A decided amount of drink, wine or mead will then be poured out into the ground for Odin.

Then feast and be merry. I have found Odin to enjoy seeing his children enjoy time with one another. The spirit of this time of year is the Allfather for me, and he expresses his love for us through us loving one another. We warm each others hearts when the weather is frigid. We are light for one another when it is dark. In this way, we are Odin to one another, and we are the spirit of the high day. In this way he lives through us.

That’s it. I find the Allfather will make the sun come back regardless of what humanity observes in liturgy and I focus more on celebration and spending time with loved ones than literary readings or long rituals.

If you are not a child of Odin, and you prefer Winter Solstice, you can simply light a fire and face the sun. Getting outside even if it is cold is crucial. To feel the sun upon your face and draw it is as some would draw in the moon when it is full and to know in your heart the days will get longer is the number one observance I always had for this. If you are like me, you like to pour wine, beer, or mead into the ground. The sun will come to the earth and soak all that good stuff up. If you want to, say a few words welcoming the sun back, but you don’t have to. This can be done alone or with a group and everybody can take turns saying something they see fit and pouring their own libation into the earth, feeding the sun to give it strength. Potluck and have fun.

Realistically, unless you live with everybody, some friends and family will not have a chance to visit often with you until Spring time. Winter prevents a lot of folks from getting out as much although many try to battle the weather and defy it. Before more hard heavy cold and deeper snows of January and February buries you, this is a great time for gathering with loved ones.

Glad Yule or Blessed Solstice.

May your gods smile upon you and may you not freeze your buns off!

Blessed Be!

Lughnasadh Correspondences

August, 2013

(Loo-nas-ah) Major Sabbat (High Holiday) – Fire Festival August 1, 2

Other Names: Lunasa (meaning August), Lughnasaad, Lughnasa Celtic),First Harvest, August Eve, Feast of Cardenas, Feast of Bread, Tailltean Games(Irish), Teltain Cornucopia (Strega), Ceresalia (Ancient Roman) Harvest Home, Thingtide (Teutonic), Lammas (Christian). Laa Luanys, Elembious, Festival of Green Corn (Native American)

Animals and Mythical beings: Griffins, Basilisks, Roosters, Calves, Centaurs, Phoenix

Gemstones: aventurine, citrine, peridot, sardonyx, yellow diamonds, citrine

Incense and Oils: wood aloes, rose, rose hips, rosemary, chamomile, eucalyptus, safflower, corn, passionflower, frankincense, sandalwood

Colors: red, orange, golden yellow, green, light brown, gold, bronze, gray

Tools, Symbols, and Decorations: corn, cornucopias, red, yellow flowers, sheaves of grain (wheat, barley, oats), first fruits/vegetables of garden labor, corn dollies, baskets of bread, spear, cauldron, sickle, scythe, threshing tools, sacred loaf of bread, harvested herbs, bonfires, bilberries, God figures made of bread or cookie dough, phallic symbols

Goddesses: The Mother, Dana (Lugh&’s wife & queen ), Tailltiu (Welsh-Scottish), Demeter (Greek), Ceres (Roman grain goddess .. honored at Ceresalia), the Barley Mother, Seelu (Cherokee), Corn Mother, Isis (Her birthday is celebrated about this time), Luna (Roman Moon Goddess), other agricultural Goddesses, the waxing Goddess

Gods: Lugh (Celtic, one of the Tuatha De Danaan), John Barley Corn, Arianrhod’s golden haired son Lleu (Welsh God of the Sun & Corn where corn includes all grains, not just maize), Dagon (Phoenician Grain God), Tammuz/ Dummuzi (Sumerian), Dionysus, plus all sacrificial Gods who willingly shed
blood/give their life that their people/lands may prosper, all vegetation Gods & Tanus (Gaulish Thunder God), Taranis (Romano-Celtic Thunder God), Tina, (Etruscan-Thunder God), the waning God

Essence: fruitfulness, reaping, prosperity, reverence, purification, transformation, change, The Bread of Life, The Chalice of Plenty , The Ever-flowing Cup , the Groaning Board (Table of Plenty)

Meaning: Lugh’s wedding to Mother Earth, Birth of Lugh; Death of Lugh, Celtic Grain Festival

Purpose: Honoring the parent Deities, first harvest festival, first fruits grains & drink to the Goddess in appreciation of Her bounty, offering loaves of sacred bread in the form of the God (this is where the Gingerbread Man originated)

Rituals and Magicks: astrology, prosperity, generosity, continued success, good fortune, abundance, magickal picnic, meditate & visualize yourself completing a project you’ve started

Customs and Activities: games, the traditional riding of poles/staves, country fairs, breaking bread with friends, making corn dollys, harvesting herbs for charms/rituals, Lughnasadh fire with sacred wood & dried herbs, feasting, competitions, lammas towers (fire-building team competitions), spear tossing, gathering flowers for crowns, fencing/swordplay, games of skill, martial sports, chariot races, hand-fastings, trial marriages, dancing ’round a corn mother (doll)

Foods: loaves of homemade wheat, oat, & corn bread, barley cakes, corn, potatoes, summer squash, nuts, acorns, wild berries (any type), apples, rice, pears, berry pies, elderberry wine, crab apples, mead, crab, blackberries, meadowsweet tea, grapes, cider, beer

Herbs: grain, acacia, heather, ginseng, sloe, cornstalks, cyclamen, fenugreek, aloes, frankincense, sunflower, hollyhock, oak leaf, wheat, myrtle

Element: Fire

Gender: Female