wassailing

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.

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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

Go a Wassailing

December, 2018

Go a Wassailing

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

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

Here is a sampling that you might enjoy this winter.

Santa Claus is Pagan Too” by Emerald Rose

“Wiccan Wonderland” by Karina Skye

“Jingle Bells, Cast Your Spells” by Karina Skye

 

 

Cast that Spell” by Kyrja

On Midwinter’s Day” by Damh The Bard

Hail the Holly King” by Inkubus Sukkubus

Silent Night, Solstice Night” by Karina Skye

Whisper in the Darkness” by Adala

Solstice Evergreen” by Spiral Dance

The Longest Night of the Year” by Mary Chapin Carpenter

Solstice Carole” by Wyrd Sisters

 

 

Solstice Song” by Backwater

We Three Witches” by Karina Skye

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

https://tinyurl.com/y942kkkg

I hope you’ll share your favorite solstice songs.

 

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About the Author:

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