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September, 2013

Merry Meet!!

September, 2013

Merry Meet and Welcome to the September Issue of PaganPages

 

We have a wonderful Mabon issue for you this month!!

 

Be sure to visit us on our Etsy Site for Beautiful Jewelry, Supplies, and Goodies.

 

We are currently looking for a columnist to review blogs, sites, podcasts, etc…  If you are interested email [email protected]

 

 

Nelland Living

September, 2013

Autumn Fashion: Ragdoll-look

The perfect garderobe… probably a myth more than reality. But I´m trying! The idea is to design and make five outfits for each Sabbat. Ones that I can rotate year after year. Saves both money and the Earth. Plus my nerves, because then I always have something to wear.

I have found that looking at least somewhat groomed makes one´s life much easier and lighter, thus even happier. We are all good looking, we just need to enhance our best qualities (both outer, and inner of course). When one looks good, one feels good. And that good feeling creates a positive, uplifting aura. And everybody who comes accross with that aura reflects it right back, making one´s life more enjoyable. So what you give is only a fraction of what you get back. Quite inspiring!

This outfit is for my Lughnasadh wardrobe. It is meant to be girly, carefree, and playful, definitely not one to be taken too seriously. Life should be fun!

There were two major sources of inspiration: ragdolls and Sarah Kay´s art. I combined the two and this is the result. The look includes the two most important colors for my Lughnasadh, beige and light yellow. I am mostly inspired by nature, and get my color schemes from there. The rest is imagination.

A girly, puff-sleeved tunic with a flared hem is where the designing of the outfit started.

 
Beauty and comfort are the two major keys to my fashion. I want to feel so comfortable in my clothes, that I don´t have to think about their existence throughout the whole day! I want to focus fully on life itself.

The knee patches and the print of the tunic is what comes from Sarah Kay´s art. The hand-stitching of the knee patches, buttons on the hem of the pants, and the overall loose comfyness is drawn from ragdolls. I love those dolls! They are innocently attractive (but deliberately not perfect) and totally unaware of it.

 

Originally I meant to make denim-like blue pants, but couldn´t find a good fabric. So my creative solution was to reverse the colors: beige pants and denim-blue stitching. Light yellow decorative buttons give a finished look.

 

  The pattern for the tunic is one of my favorites. I have used it to make several different looks, like The Bunny, The Cottage Look, or even a swimsuit. One pattern goes as long a way as my imaginations allows.

Happy autumn days!

The Mugwort Chronicles

September, 2013

Cultivating Patience & Boundaries in the Garden

This is a bittersweet time in the herb garden as the days grow shorter and temperatures are beginning to cool. The plants which have been attentively nurtured since early spring are now sporting an overgrown and somewhat rangy appearance. Many are yellowing, setting seed, and turning their growth inward to their roots to prepare for the winter respite.

This has been a very prolific gardening season for me, re-introducing my herbal plant friends back into their newly expanded garden bed. Two years ago, my husband surprised me with his plan to double the size of my herb garden. Although his intentions were wonderful, we did not anticipate the length of time it would ultimately take to complete the project.  It seemed either he had little time due to his work schedule or, when he did have an expanse of time to work on the garden, our wonderful wet Pacific Northwest weather didn’t exactly cooperate. Removing sod and moving vast amounts of dirt is nearly impossible in the rain.

I have to admit I was growing impatient. My herb plants had all been removed from the garden the previous year into containers and our backyard was beginning to look like a garden nursery. Most herbs have a wild heart and rebel when placed into pots. St. John’s Wort, which I rescued from an area in our neighborhood slated for bulldozing, was languishing in her pot sporting only two long, spindly stems.  Calendula grew leaves, but never blossomed.  The tiny Oregon Grape plant, also a ‘rescue’ was down to one green and somewhat shriveled leaf. There were numerous casualties, as well.

Early spring brought a two week period of perfect weather giving my husband enough time to finish the brick wall surrounding the new raised bed.  After a truckload of garden soil was delivered, the big day finally arrived to replant my herb friends into their new home. Fortunately, I was wise enough to use the down time between the previous summer and winter months to make an inventory of my plants including details of their growing needs, so when the time came to replant, I had a pretty good idea where everyone should go.

As I was finishing up the replanting, I had several small pots with unidentified plants (I am not always consistent with labeling my pots-a bad practice).  As I was placing the unknown entities into the compost, there was one that at the very last moment caused me to stop. Hmmm…this did not look like a weed; its leaf pattern and stem color were too unusual. Then I remembered that over a year ago, I planted some Meadowsweet seed in a little pot, but the only thing that grew was Chickweed, so I put the pot aside. Over one year later, here was a little Meadowsweet plant making her entry into the world. Excitedly, I planted her in the new garden, thinking she probably would not get very large until next year. WRONG! She grew quickly into a very lovely plant, living up to her other name, Queen of the Meadow.  I remembered reading that some seeds can take up to several years before they will germinate- another lesson in patience this year.

 

 

Meadowsweet – Filipendula ulmaria

I planted the tiny Oregon Grape into the new garden, but she looked like she was barely hanging on. Part of me considered putting her out of her misery and adding her to the compost, but I decided to leave her alone. A week later, her one remaining leaf dropped and she looked like a bare twig…still, I left her be. I was happily surprised when after several weeks, six new leaves appeared. And so it continued throughout the summer. Two small wild rose plants and a tiny English Hawthorne, also rescued from an area near my home slated for ‘development’, took root, growing small but lush green leaves with time and nurturing.

     Wild Rose- Rosa spp                                                                            

English Hawthorne Crataegus monogyna

Ah, but there was another lesson to be taught by this lovely new garden-the lesson of boundaries.

When I replanted Comfrey, I carefully placed a collar around the plant setting it down deep into the soil to help contain her wonton growth. Her unabashed expansion in the past infringed on many of the other garden residents and I knew that if she was to co-exist with other plants, her growth needed to be contained. However, several weeks after the thick layer of new garden soil had been added, down on the other side of the garden where Comfrey used to grow were multiple baby Comfrey plants making their way upward through the many inches of soil.  Although I tried to diligently remove the newcomers, one baby plant managed to escape my attention growing quite tall. So much for containment devices! And then, there is the saga of our pumpkin plant.

As the new garden bed is quite large, I decided to add some vegetable plants in between the herbs. I have fond memories of growing pumpkins in my front yard when I lived in eastern Washington, and decided that a pumpkin plant would be a fun addition to the new garden. We bought two tiny pumpkin plants- two different varieties.  The smaller plant never really seemed to do well-it stayed small and its leaves were an off-yellow color. However, after several weeks, the larger plant developed an incredible growth spurt and has not showed signs of slowing down.  Every other evening I trim off several inches of new growth from the ends of the vine, removing multiple leaves which encroach on the herb plants territory. However, this only encourages the pumpkin plant to sprout new off-shoots. Although we have several nice sized pumpkins beginning to turn a lovely orange hue, the vine shows no sign of slowing her march across the garden. The last time I looked, she was headed out of the garden, onto the lawn and attempting to scale the fence.  Her leaves are so large and tightly clustered that I am afraid I may one day find an unsuspecting  neighborhood cat snared in her vine. We have named her Audrey III, after the plant in Little Shop of Horrors and I swear that several nights ago, I heard her say in a quiet, deep voice, “Feed Me.” I was considering cutting most of the vine back, however, the new blossoms are attracting bees, and as their populations are so fragile right now, anything I can do to help them survive is important. So, for now, I just gently prune Audrey III several times a week to prevent her from completely taking over the garden.

 

Pumpkin vine “Audrey 3”

As the wheel of the year turns toward Mabon and my lovely garden prepares for its winter rest, I am thankful for the lessons she has taught this summer- patience and boundaries.  She has reminded me that all things have their own tempo for reaching their destinations- we only need to provide the essentials and have patience not to otherwise interfere. I have also been reminded by a small, exuberant pumpkin plant that although we humans think we exert control over our environment, it is Nature who establishes the boundaries, and we really do not have as much influence over Nature as we would like to think.

This information is offered for educational purposes and is not intended to take the place of personalized medical care from a trained healthcare professional. The reader assumes all risk when utilizing the above information.

~Louise~

 

Copyright© 2013 Louise Harmon

All Rights Reserved

WiseWoman Traditions

September, 2013

HERBAL PHARMACY

Picking and Drying Herbs 

 

In your herbal pharmacy you transform fresh and dried plants into herbal medicines. Learning to identify and use the common plants around you is easy and exciting, beneficial and safe. Making your own medicines saves you money if you follow the Wise Woman tradition of using local herbs, free for the taking.

Even one day’s work in field, forest, and kitchen can provide you with many years’ worth of medicines. When you make your own, you know for sure what’s in it, where it came from, when and how it was harvested, and how fresh and potent it is.

Dried herbs are best for the infusions recommended in this book. Stock your herbal pharmacy with your own foraged or cultivated dried herbs; expand your resources and experiment with new herbs by buying dried herbs from reputable sources.

Fresh herbs are best for the tinctures and oils recommended in this book. If you can’t make your own, buy from sources who wildcraft or grow their own herbs to use fresh in preparations.

Whether you buy or make your own medicines, remember, herbal remedies may not work or may work incorrectly if they aren’t prepared correctly. Read this chapter carefully; it contains easy to follow instructions for every remedy and preparation mentioned in this book [Wise Woman herbal for the Childbearing Year].

 

Picking Herbs:

When you have positively identified the plant you wish to use, center yourself by sitting next to the herb in silence. Take several deep breaths. Feel the earth under you, connecting you to all the plants. Listen to the sounds and songs all around you. Can you hear the song of your herb?

If you are picking only one plant, ask that plant to give you its power. Tell it how you intend to use it. If you are harvesting many plants, look for a grandmother plant. Ask her permission to use her grandchildren. Visualize clearly how you intend to use the plants.

Make an offering of corn or tobacco, a coin or love to the plants. Sing with them. Talk with them if you feel moved to do so. Thank the earth and begin your gathering.

Take care to preserve and contribute to the well-being of the plant community. Take no more than half of the annuals or biennials, no more than a third of the perennials. Walk gently and with balance.

 

Harvest plants when the energy you want is most concentrated. Roots store energy in the form of sugar, starch, and medicinal alkaloids throughout the cold or dormant season; pick them when above ground growth of the plant has died back. Leaves process energy to nourish roots and flowers; pick them at their most lush, before flowers have formed, after all dew has dried, and before the day’s heat wilts them. Flowers are fragile, pollen-filled, joyous; harvest them in full bloom, before seeds form, and before bees visit them. Seeds are durable, but likely to shatter and disperse if left on the plant too long; harvest seeds when still green and before insects invade. Barks (inner barks and root barks) may be harvested at any time but are thought to be most potent in spring and fall. Look carefully at the plant you wish to pick and you will see where the energy is highest; let this guide your harvesting.

Deal with your harvest immediately. Allowing the cut plants to lie about dissipates their vital energies, encourages mold and fermentation, and results in poor quality preparations. If you intend to eat your harvest, refrigerate the plants, or wash and cook them and sit down and eat. If you intend to make a tincture or oil, cover the herbs with alcohol or oil as soon as possible; don’t refrigerate them. If you intend to dry the herbs, it is vital to lay them out or tie them up as soon after harvest as possible.

 

Drying Herbs:

To dry herbs and maintain their color, fragrance, taste, energy, and medicinal potency, you need only:

° Pick when there is no moisture on the plant and do not wash the plant (roots are the exception).

° Dry the herbs immediately after picking, in small bunches or spread out so parts don’t touch.

° Dry them in a dark and well ventilated area.

° Take down the herbs and store in paper bags as soon as they are crisply dried. If insect invasions force you to store dried herbs in glass or plastic, air-dry them, then dry in paper bags for another two weeks before sealing in tight containers.

° Keep the herbs as whole, cool, and dark as possible during storage. Under optimum storage conditions, well-dried volatile, delicate herbs last about six months; roots and barks maintain potency for six or more years.

 

this excerpt from:

Wise Woman herbal for the Childbearing Year by Susun Weed

Interweavings

September, 2013

September’s Book of Seasons

 

Yea!  Fall is finally here!  I adore the fall with its change in weather and amazing food in the farmer’s market.  Apples are everywhere as are pumpkins.  It is the sparkle of

Samhain just around the corner that makes September so happily anticipated in my house!

 

Our affirmation for September is

I find my balance and restore my energy.

 

The world is a constantly changing environment full of noise and all things artificial.  We who look to nature for grounding and spiritual wisdom can have a hard time locating sacred space.  I propose we consider the simple idea of using the power of intent and an organic apple to center ourselves.

 

If you cut an apple in half around it’s circumference, it will reveal a star. When viewed as a whole you will discover a pentagram.  With a single apple in your hand you hold the mystery of Gaia.  Blessing the apple brings sacredness to the simple act of eating.   I love the quiet in-breath of a blessing.  Here is a morning prayer my daughter learned in Waldorf kindergarten.  It feels perfect for fall!

 

Good morning Dear Earth, Good morning Dear Sun,

Good morning Dear Trees and Stones every one,

Good morning Dear Beasts and Birds in the Tree

Good morning to You and Good Morning to me!

 

Let’s look at food for September.

Cooking and preparing apples are not in my skill set mainly because I do not care for cooked fruit.  My husband does not understand seeing how he comes from the “fruit belt” of this country and his mother was a great cook!  But apples are the perfect food for September and I do slice them and dry them by stringing them.  They are then ready for trail mix or breakfast cereal or just simply snacking on.   Plus they look so pretty hanging in the windows along with my herbs.  There will be plenty of time spent dehydrating herbs and preparing medicinal salves, honey and supplements.  Like the squirrels, fall is the time to take stock and prepare.

There will be a lot of work to do in order to prepare for winter, but for now, enjoy the perfectly balanced energy of September!

The Neon Pagan

September, 2013

Where’s the Worm?

 

I’m just back from the organic market, Whole Foods in this case, with just a few items I can’t find anywhere else.

I remember when our local Whole Foods first opened. I was so excited! Finally, real organic produce! Vegetables with splotches and blotches and bruised dents and odd shapes! Apples with worms and cracks and little raised white pimples! Tomatoes with scars! Small, thin-skinned oranges, some the size of billiard balls!

You’ll scarcely believe me, but I was deeply disappointed when I first walked into that store and saw all the picture-perfect groceries. The first question I had to ask myself was, “Where does this stuff come from? How can it be organic and so perfect-looking at the same time?”

Both of my grandfathers grew up on organic farms in Appalachia. The farms weren’t organic by choice; they were organic by location and time period. The harsh reality of true organic farming led both of my grandfathers into white collar jobs – one of them by sheer hard work and luck, the other by a two-year stint at “Normal School.” Neither one of them ever grew nostalgic about farming or dreamed of returning to the profession, even though they stayed close to home all their lives.

Let’s look at the reality of true organic farming in the early 20th century:

*The only fertilizer was what came out of your cows, so you had to keep and feed a small herd at least. This tied up land for grazing and necessitated early-morning and evening milking, not to mention keeping the cows themselves healthy.

*Pigs ate a lot and smelled bad. Butchering was a messy ordeal for both man and beast.

*Free range chickens quickly got too tough to eat any other way than in stew – if they didn’t first get eaten by foxes or snakes.

*Produce was subject to the vagaries of the weather and the presence of pests that also loved to eat it. Worm in the apple? Cut around it. Dry summer? Hungry winter.

Even the states with perfect soil and growing conditions didn’t yield the kind of picture-perfect foodstuffs you find today at organic grocery stores. How do I know this? I’m old, and I have traveled.

So, if you want real organic, personally-tended produce, you go to the farmer’s market, right? Ahem, not so quick.

One of my uncles has a large farm in the bottom lands, where he grows sweet corn as his cash crop. His son and grandsons sell the sweet corn from a rickety stand at the edge of the road. Local folks call ahead and order 100 ears for canning; the rest gets sold at the stand. Oh, boy, what delicious corn! You can have it from the stalk to the table in three hours! Sweet as honey, melts in your mouth. Occasional worm, but nothing widespread.

About a decade ago, I happened to be visiting in the spring. My uncle was planting the year’s sweet corn crop. He had a big bag of bright pink chunks, the size of ping-pong balls, bearing an odor that would gag a goat. These were his sweet corn seeds. Each seed was encased in layers of fertilizer and insecticide. The corn had been genetically engineered, as well: This variety was called “Sweetie 82.”

Again I am old enough to remember organic sweet corn. The ears were skinny and sometimes only halfway dotted with kernels. Worms nestled abundantly in the silk. In years that had too much or too little rain, the corn might not yield at all. Only those with a deep and abiding faith in God would try to make a profit off of it. (In those years, Uncle did dairy.)

Maybe I just don’t know enough about large-scale organic farming. If you do, please explain it to me. Everything I’ve learned from observation and experience leads me to the conclusion that the produce in today’s supermarkets cannot have achieved such perfection by organic means. To me, “no pesticides, no fertilizers” means bug-eaten and spindly. We’ve taken all the uncertainties out of farming, but at what cost? What’s behind all that perfection?

 

Anne Johnson is the author of the humor  blog “The Gods Are Bored.”

http://godsrbored.blogspot.com

She is also the author of several nonfiction books for young adults and a contributor to the Llewellyn’s 2013 Witches’ Spell-a-Day Almanac.

Astro Report for September 2013

September, 2013

 

Labor Day

Monday, September 2, 2013 – 12:01 am EDT (Midnight)

Kick off your shoes and pad around barefoot on the last holiday of Summer!! As a day of rest from Labor, we look at the House of Employment, the 10th House. Neptune and Chiron, both retrograde, share space at the onset of the day bringing an energy of awareness and egotistical self-sacrifice. Enacted into law in 1894, Grover Cleveland was filled with unfounded trepidation. Today, it marks the symbolic end of Summer. Schools begin their new school year depending on the region. It is also the official ending to wear white pants… As the evening winds down, take time to settle in for a nice relaxing evening. It’s a short work-week, so enjoy a moment of peace and quiet after the long weekend.

 

 

New Moon in Virgo – 13 degrees

Thursday, September 5, 2013 – 7:35 am EDT

Emotional energy seems displaced and chaotic, but truthfully, it is always where you put it. And you know exactly where that is. The motherly instincts that you adhere to the most seem to be lost in confusion. However, when the clouds clear, you begin to shine in the magnificent glow of your truth. Nobody ever realizes the depths of your being until they watch and learn from you.

 

 

Mercury enters Libra

Monday, September 9, 2013 – 2:54 am EDT

Communications are weighed heavily against all odds. When you speak, you try to find balance in your words that will neither negate nor accent a subject. It is all about finding the truth in the matter and analyzing it for an honorable result.

 

 

9/11 – Patriot Day

Wednesday, September 11, 201300:01 am EDT

As we look upon this day in history, we remember the victims of the Towers in New York City in 2001. We honor the fallen heroes that rushed to save the innocents. As a nation we strive to secure our borders against unknown enemies that threaten our way of life and our freedom. The Planets are splayed out as evenly as possible to energize every nook and cranny for our Hearths and Homes. On this day, be mindful of your own well-being, be gentle with others and support your loyalties.

 

 

Venus enters Scorpio

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 – 2:02 am EDT

When the Planet of hedonistic Love enters its detriment of hidden sexual desires, there is an air of caution when entering into a new arena. Be mindful of your partner and their actions with you. Proceed with diligence and self-empowerment. Read up on the actions you would like to partake before you indulge. Once you start, there’s no going back.

 

 

Full Moon in Pisces – 26 degrees

Thursday, September 19, 2013 – 7:13 am EDT

A Full Moon brings final fruitions and manifestations of positive energies that have been building since the New Moon. When the Moon is Full in Pisces, we find our emotions more sedate, calm and happy-go-lucky. This energy is quite welcome since the previous planetary energies have been chiding us up to this point.

 

 

Native Lore

The Full Moon in September is also known as the Harvest Moon, because many farmers are still bringing in the harvests of the final season. Oftentimes, they work well into the evening hours and then when the Moon is Full, they have the ability to work under its beaming light. Many of the crops that are brought in are grains and corns. Thus, the Full Moon of September is also aptly named the Grain Moon or Corn Moon as well. Apples, Pears and other fruits are also in season at this time, so the Full Moon has an additional name of Fruit Moon.

 

 

Pluto goes Direct in Capricorn – 8 degrees

Friday, September 20, 2013 – 11:58 am EDT

Transformations seem to be heading in the right direction finally as Pluto sits in Capricorn. We remain cautious with our minor endeavors to change things in our lives, especially when it comes to saving money and becoming more frugal. If you are planning to make an investment, do your research to find proof against it – you may find more reasons to invest in it than not.

 

 

Sun enters Libra – Happy Birthday, Libra!!

Sunday, September 22, 2013 – 4:32 pm EDT

Welcome the first day of Autumn – the time of equal days and equal nights. It is a time of finding balance in Body, Mind and Spirit. The Sun in Libra brings power and excitement for finding that balance. As this is the Fall of the season, take time to watch the Sun set over the horizon tonight. You will be able to scry the various cloud formations for answers to your many questions. Bring a friend or two to enjoy and share the moment.

 

 

Mabon (aka Michaelmas)

Sunday, September 22, 2013 – 7:00 am EDT (sunrise)

Names: Autumnal Equinox, Fall Sabbat, Mabon, Foghar, Alban Elfed, Harvest Home, 2nd Festival of Harvest, Fruit Harvest, Wine Harvest, G?yl Ganol yr Hydref (Welsh)

Date: Sep 22nd or 23rd

Astro Correspondence: Sun enters Libra
Color: fall colors

Food: pig/pork, lamb, game birds, tree fruits, meads/wines, fresh vegetables from the garden, underground tubers, grains, nuts, pumpkins/gourds

Common Info: Story of Demeter, Persephone and Hades (Eleusinian Mysteries), 2nd Harvest Fest (tree fruits and vine/plant vegetables mostly), Story of Modron, gathering of the seeds, quilting projects for new winter blankets

 

Alban Elved (Mabon) marks the 2nd harvest Festival of the Wheel of the Year. The date is usually around September 22nd or when the Sun enters Libra. This is the Pagan Thanksgiving. The majority of all that needs harvested is done during this period. Sacred foods include freshly hunted game and fish, fresh fruits off the tree and the last of the grains. Mabon, Bran and Branwen are the chosen deities of worship. Apple magic is used to instill prosperity, settling debts and obligations (seeking to find balance).

 

 

Mercury enters Scorpio

Sunday, September 29, 2013 – 7:25 am EDT

Mercury has a way of helping us to communicate in the most profound ways. Philosophical moments may come and go, but the words of wisdom will ring in an air of truth. What you say today will come back to praise you later, as controversial as it may have been at the time.

 

 

Nothing conjuncts the Sun in September except the Moon

 

 

Nothing goes Retrograde in September

 

 

There are no notable Harmonic Concordances/Astro configurations/Planetary transits for September.

September Correspondences

September, 2013

Herbs: Copal, fennel, rye, wheat, valerian, skullcap, acorn, benzoin, ferns, grains, honeysuckle, marigold, milkweed, myrrh, passionflower, pine cones, rose, sage, Solomon’s Seal, tobacco, thistle, vegetables.

Foods: Breads, grains, seeds, dried fruits and beans, baked squash, nuts, apples, pomegranates, and vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, and onions, wine.

Colors: Brown, yellow-green, yellow, red, russet, maroon, gold, scarlet, purple.

Flowers: Narcissus, lily, aster, morning glory.

Scents: Storax, mastic, gardenia, bergamot. Autumn blend made by combining: benzoin, myrrh, and sage, also these incenses separately.

Stones: Blue sapphire, peridot, olivine, chrysolite, citrine, lapis lazuli, and yellow agates.

Trees: Hazel, larch, bay.

Animals: Snake, jackal.

Birds: Ibis, sparrow.

Deities: Bona Dea, Ceres, Ch’ang-O, Demeter, The Green Man, Epona, Freyja, Hermes, Isis, Land Mother, the Muses, Mabon, Modron, Morgan, Nepthys, Pamona, Persephone, Sky Father, Thor, Thoth, and the Wiccan Goddess in Her aspect of the Mother.

Symbols & Decorations: Acorns, Indian corn, wine, gourds, pine cones, acorns, grains, grapes ,corn, apples, pine cones , pomegranates, vines such as ivy, dried seeds, dried leaves , dried flowers, and horns of plenty.

Activities and Rituals: Celebration of the Second Harvest, ritual sprinkling of leaves, protection, prosperity, security, and self-confidence. Also those of harmony and balance the Mysteries, Equality.

Powers: A time to rest after the labors of the last two months, a time of balance of the light and dark.
This is also the time to clear up mental clutter and get thoughts back into perspective.

Musings of a Hereditary Witch

September, 2013

Remembrance of Childhood Moon

It is late autumn and the nights are beginning to cool. The sky is clear this night and it’s nice to see the stars above us. However, the starlight does not afford us much light, so we carry kerosene lanterns to see our way and use our walking sticks (staffs) to navigate the uneven ground, also to aid us when crossing the creek to our spot under the great oak.  Thankfully, we took the cauldron and the fire wood down earlier in the day via the wheelbarrow. Not grand, but it gets the job done.

Under the protective cover of the oak, we give offerings of water, grain and blessings for the spirit of the oak and the animal and insect life the oak supports. Our walking sticks are leaned against the trunk of the oak to absorb some of the energy. The lanterns are then set on the altar stone and a small fire is built in the cauldron. We begin taking things from our pouches (we always carry a pouch for collecting things in nature and carrying a few magical items), more grain, ball of twine, an antler, dried herbs and flowers of the season; these are the things we will be using this evening.

A call to the *Land Children is made and to the Guardian of our land by name. Our family evocation is made and the dried herbs and flowers are scattered across the altar. Then we sit in contemplation waiting for the darkening moon to rise. We are so small in the vastness of the land and the night around us and yet we are not alone. The land children make themselves known in the chirps of crickets, the croak of bull frogs, and in the shushing sound the dry grass makes as some small animal scurries about. On some nights, if we are lucky, we will hear the coyotes calling to one another in the hills.

Once the thin sliver of the waning moon rises above the hills, dried herbs and flowers are cast into the fire. Since we are from an oral tradition, Grandma uses the waning moons to test my knowledge of the things she taught me on the waxing moons. She asks me to recite our family heritage and gives me a list of herbs and asks for their uses. She wants to know what herbs I would use for a bruise remedy and how I would prepare them. She also wants to know if I have been establishing a rapport with the land spirits and what information had I gleaned from my dreams. Had I worked on my gifts? Had I interpret any portents/signs? How is my divination going?

Once she is satisfied, we moved into the teachings for a waning moon. Some of the things I learn on such nights are past life work, hexes, hexes used in healing, scrying, especially fire scrying, and ancestor work.

The night ends with magic to drive away sickness for our family, pets, and livestock, those animals we rely on for food; also works to drive away poverty. Sometimes this involves candles, twine, carving or drawing on stone, wood or apples. Ground herbs dusted on the altar, then symbols or words would are drawn in the herbs and blown away to work their magic.

We close our ritual in the way of our family. The cauldron **fire, just embers now, has dirt tossed on it and stirred to make sure it is out. Final offerings of grain and berries are left for the land children. We collect our things and make the walk back the house for a cup of hot tea before bed.

 

*Land Children – these are not just the spirits of the land, but the trees, plants and animal life too.

** Fire – though we toss dirt on the fire and stir it to cool it down, making sure there are no embers left, a fire should never be left unattended, especially here in California. Our cauldron is set in a dirt circle twice the circumference of the cauldron so the heat of the cast iron doesn’t set anything on fire.

A Year and A Day

September, 2013

Pantheons

 

Many Wiccans are polytheistic, meaning they worship in many gods and goddesses as part of their belief system.

 

A ‘pantheon’ is a set of gods and goddesses from a particular religion or mythology.  Popular pantheons include Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Norse, Celtic, Hindu, Japanese, and Native American.

 

Sometimes there is overlap between deities from different pantheons.  For example, Greek and Roman deities often overlap, however are given different names.  Celtic deities often overlap with Gaulish and Brittanic deities.

 

Some Wiccan groups insist that you work within a singular pantheon, however some groups find that working with deities from different pantheons is acceptable.  Most Wiccans agree that you should work with a group of deities that you feel particularly called to.  Whether you follow your ancestry or look elsewhere, your connection to the divine is deeply personal and subjective.  Listen to your intuition!

 

Below are some of the major pantheons used in Wicca and examples of some of the more popular deities.  This is by no means an exhaustive list – do you own research to find what speaks to you!

 

 

 

 

 

CELTIC

Cernunnos  – ‘The Horned One’. Ancient God of fertility, nature, and animals.

Dagda – ‘The Good God’.  God of protection, knowledge, warriors.

Danu – ‘Great Mother’, mother of the Tuatha Dé Danann. Goddess of the earth, rivers, wells.

Lugh – God of the sun, craftsmanship, and many other skills.

Brigid – Triple goddess; fire of inspiration (poetry), fire of the health (healing, fertility), fire of the forge (smithcraft).

Morrigan – ‘Great Queen’, ‘Phantom Queen’. Goddess of war, death, prophecy.

 

 

 

 

 

NORSE

Odin – ‘All Father’, ruler of the Aesir. God of war, death, wisdom and magic.

Frigg – Goddess of marriage.  Wife of Odin.

Thor – God of thunder and lightning, strength and protection.  Son of Odin.

Baldur – Gentle, handsome son of Odin.

Freyja – Goddess of love, fertility, war, divination and magic.  Sister of Freyr.

Freyr – God of virility, fertility, and prosperity.  Brother of Freyja.

Loki – Trickster god and shape-shifter.

Hel – Goddess of the dead and underworld, ruler of the Land of Mist.  Daughter of Loki.

 

 

 

 

 

EGYPTIAN

Ra – God of the sun.

Nut – Goddess of the night, sky and heaven.

Isis – ‘Divine Mother’.  Goddess of nature, magic, fertility, family and rebirth.

Thoth – God of the moon.

Osiris – God of vegetation and the otherworld.

Anubis – God of funerals, guardian of the dead.

Bast – Goddess of the sun, moon, lions, cats, fertility and war.

Hathor – Cow goddess of love and music, protector of women.

Horus – God of war and the sun.

 

 

GREEK / ROMAN

Zeus/Jupiter – King of the gods, ruler of Mount Olympus. God of the sky and thunder.

Hera/Juno – Queen of the gods, the goddess of marriage and family.

Demeter/Ceres – Goddess of fertility, agriculture, nature, and the seasons.

Dionysus/Bacchus – God of wine, celebration, and ecstasy.

Apollo/Phoebus – God of light, knowledge, healing, music, the sun, youth and beauty.

Artemis/Diana – Goddess of the hunt, virginity, childbirth, the moon and all animals.

Athena/Minerva – Goddess of wisdom, defense and strategic warfare.

Aphrodite/Venus – Goddess of love, beauty, and desire.

 

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve_Olympians

http://www.thenileandegypt.com/deities.html

http://ayearandadaywicca.wordpress.com/

 

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