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spring equinox

Ostara Correspondences

March, 2019

(Oh-star-ah) – Lesser Sabbat – Spring/Vernal Equinox, March 20-21st – when the Sun enters Ares

Other Names: Ostre, Oestre, Eostre, Rites of Spring,
Eostra’s Day, Lady Day, First Day of Spring, Easter, St. Patrick’s Day,
Alban Eiler, Bacchanalia, Mean Earraigh, Pasch, Caisg, Pess

Date: Spring Equinox (March 20-22 in Northern Hemisphere) or when the Sun is 1 degree Aries.

Symbolism: The beginning of spring, new life and rebirth, the God and Goddess in Their youth, balance, fertility

Goddesses: all love, virgin, and fertility
Goddesses; Anna Perenna (Roman), Aphrodite (Greek), Astarte (Canaanite,
Persia, GrecoRoman), Athena (Greek), Cybele (Greco-Roman), Blodeuwedd,
Eostre (Saxon Goddess of Fertility), Flidais (Irish), Gaia (Greek),
Hera, Ishtar (Assyro-Babylonian), Isis (Egyptian), Libera (Roman),
Minerva (Roman), The Muses (Greek), Persephone (Greek), Renpet
(Egyptian), Venus (Roman), Ostara (the German Goddess of Fertility),
Kore, Maiden, Isis, Youthful Goddesses. Faerie Queen, Lady of the
Lake(Welsh-Cornish), the Green Goddess

Gods: all love, song & dance, and fertility
Gods; Adonis (Greek), Attis (Greco-Roman), Cernunnos (Celtic), The Great
Horned God (European), Liber (Roman), Mars (Roman), Mithras (Persian),
Odin (Norse), Osiris (Egyptian), Thoth, Pan (Greek), the Green Man,
Hare, Youthful Gods, Warrior Gods, Taliesin, Lord of the Greenwood
(English), Dagda(Irish),Adonis (Greek)

Symbols: Eggs, rabbits, similar to easter symbols.

Purpose: Plant and animal fertility, sowing

Meaning: The God comes of age, sexual union of the Lord & Lady, sprouting, greening, balance of light and dark

Essence: Strength, birthing, completion, power, love, sexuality, embodiment of spirit, fertility, opening, beginning

Customs: Wearing green, new clothes, celtic bird
festival, egg baskets coloring eggs, collecting birds eggs, bird
watching, egg hunts, starting new projects, spring planting

Foods: Hard-boiled eggs, honey cakes, fresh seasonal
fruits, milk punch, leafy green vegetables, dairy foods, apples, nuts,
flower dishes, sprouts, fish, maple sugar candies, hot cross buns, sweet
breads, milk, punch, egg drinks

Plants & Herbs: Acorn, celandine, cinquefoil,
crocus, daffodil, dogwood, Easter lily, Irish Moss, ginger, hyssop,
linden, strawberry, gorse, honeysuckle, iris, jasmine, jonquils,
narcissus, olive, peony, rose, tansy, violets, woodruff and all spring
flowers

Incense and oils: African violet, jasmine, rose, strawberry, lotus, magnolia, ginger, sage lavender, narcissus, broom

Colors: Light green, lemon yellow, pale pink, pastels, gold, grass green, robin’s egg blue, lemon yellow.

Stones: Amethyst, aquamarine, rose quartz, moonstone, bloodstone, red jasper

Animals and Mythical Beasts: Rabbits/Easter bunny, snakes, pegasus, unicorns, chicks, swallows, merpeople

Decorations: Daffodils, tulips, violet, iris, narcissus, any spring flowers, eggs, butterflies, cocoons

Spell/Ritual Work: Garden/plant blessings, seed blessing, spellcrafting, balance, growth, communication, invention, new growth, new projects

Planetary Ruler: Mars

Element: Air

Gender: Male

Threshold: Dawn

Ostara Correspondences

March, 2018

(Ostara Book of Shadow Pages, 5 Digital, Downloadable Grimoire Pages by Rowan Morgana of Morgana Magick Spell on Etsy.)

 

Ostara (Oh-star-ah) – Lesser Sabbat – Spring/Vernal Equinox, March 20-21st – when the Sun enters Ares

Other Names: Ostre, Oestre, Eostre, Rites of Spring, Eostra’s Day, Lady Day, First Day of Spring, Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, Alban Eiler, Bacchanalia, Mean Earraigh, Pasch, Caisg, Pess

Date: Spring Equinox (March 20-22 in Northern Hemisphere) or when the Sun is 1 degree Aries.

Symbolism: The beginning of spring, new life and rebirth, the God and Goddess in Their youth, balance, fertility

Goddesses: all love, virgin, and fertility Goddesses; Anna Perenna (Roman), Aphrodite (Greek), Astarte (Canaanite, Persia, GrecoRoman), Athena (Greek), Cybele (Greco-Roman), Blodeuwedd, Eostre (Saxon Goddess of Fertility), Flidais (Irish), Gaia (Greek), Hera, Ishtar (Assyro-Babylonian), Isis (Egyptian), Libera (Roman), Minerva (Roman), The Muses (Greek), Persephone (Greek), Renpet (Egyptian), Venus (Roman), Ostara (the German Goddess of Fertility), Kore, Maiden, Isis, Youthful Goddesses. Faerie Queen, Lady of the Lake(Welsh-Cornish), the Green Goddess

Gods: all love, song & dance, and fertility Gods; Adonis (Greek), Attis (Greco-Roman), Cernunnos (Celtic), The Great Horned God (European), Liber (Roman), Mars (Roman), Mithras (Persian), Odin (Norse), Osiris (Egyptian), Thoth, Pan (Greek), the Green Man, Hare, Youthful Gods, Warrior Gods, Taliesin, Lord of the Greenwood (English), Dagda(Irish),Adonis (Greek)

Symbols: Eggs, rabbits, similar to easter symbols.

Purpose: Plant and animal fertility, sowing

Meaning: The God comes of age, sexual union of the Lord & Lady, sprouting, greening, balance of light and dark

Essence: Strength, birthing, completion, power, love, sexuality, embodiment of spirit, fertility, opening, beginning

Customs: Wearing green, new clothes, celtic bird festival, egg baskets coloring eggs, collecting birds eggs, bird watching, egg hunts, starting new projects, spring planting

Foods: Hard-boiled eggs, honey cakes, fresh seasonal fruits, milk punch, leafy green vegetables, dairy foods, apples, nuts, flower dishes, sprouts, fish, maple sugar candies, hot cross buns, sweet breads, milk, punch, egg drinks

Plants & Herbs: Acorn, celandine, cinquefoil, crocus, daffodil, dogwood, Easter lily, Irish Moss, ginger, hyssop, linden, strawberry, gorse, honeysuckle, iris, jasmine, jonquils, narcissus, olive, peony, rose, tansy, violets, woodruff and all spring flowers

Incense and oils: African violet, jasmine, rose, strawberry, lotus, magnolia, ginger, sage lavender, narcissus, broom

Colors: Light green, lemon yellow, pale pink, pastels, gold, grass green, robin’s egg blue, lemon yellow.

Stones: Amethyst, aquamarine, rose quartz, moonstone, bloodstone, red jasper

Animals and Mythical Beasts: Rabbits/Easter bunny, snakes, pegasus, unicorns, chicks, swallows, merpeople

Decorations: Daffodils, tulips, violet, iris, narcissus, any spring flowers, eggs, butterflies, cocoons

Spell/Ritual Work: Garden/plant blessings, seed blessing, spellcrafting, balance, growth, communication, invention, new growth, new projects

Planetary Ruler: Mars

Element: Air

Gender: Male

Threshold: Dawn

Celebrating the Old Ways in New Times

February, 2016

Spring Equinox 2016 for

Celebrating the Old Ways in New Times

Greetings from cool, moist, Ohio. We had five days of snowy , icy yuck, and now it is all melting. I have no complaints. I was able to open the sliding glass door and air out the house a bit without the heat switching back on.

We have had a very warm winter here, thanks to El Nino- or what some believe is human induced global warming and what others feel is climate change that was coming all on its own. I have not decided what I believe is causing this freakishly warm weather- but today is January 15, 2016, and the temperature is currently listed at 46 degrees Fahrenheit in Westerville, Ohio. I like it!

I will not be longing for the Vernal Equinox quite as pitifully as I usually do this year, but the time of new life and change the Sabbat brings will be more than welcome- as always.

This year’s Spring brings a new opportunity- a spot in our community garden. Unbeknownst to me, this garden has been established for quite some time for land starved suburbanites who just want to grow stuff. While we have grown things at home for years, we have never had a large space where we could grow, as the Metro Parks professional said, “anything legal” . There is room for potatoes, corn, pumpkins, squashes, okra, lettuces, you name it. I will have room grow some of all of the above. It costs a total of $45 for the whole year- not per month. And water is provided free as well as trash pickup for fall cleanup. It is a grand two miles from my house.

As a Pagan, walking an earth based path, working in my garden has brought me closer to the divine, and showed me firsthand how interconnected all life is. Even the “bugs” help me and I help them. I plant things they like to live on and eat, and they buzz around, pollinating everything for me. It is “our” garden. Then, after harvest, the “bugs” who have moved in, die sometimes, and their little bodies that tended and pollinated the flowers decompose into the soil or provide food for larger animals.

A larger garden area will be a lot more work! Physically, it will be more trying, and growing more food than just a few tomato plants will give me a better understanding about what it means to be reliant upon the earth. It’s an understanding I can’t grasp by simply buying foods at the supermarket! I still swat flies, and put out vinegar solution when they get into my house- but gardening has helped me to see my connection with the rest of creation- plant and animal- aside from just humans.

Speaking of connection with other humans- a subject came up this week- well, a friend actually brought it up-a subject that is a perfect one to discuss as we prepare for the season new growth and positive changes- relationships that pull us down.

Toxic relationships

We’ve all had them. Do you have any friends who maybe use you- and are never there for you when you need them? Or maybe you have a friend who throws fits in public and you get sick of listening to it. Maybe you have a friend who criticizes other people in your presence and it makes you tired to hear it. Ever wonder what they might say about you when you are not around? Probably the same things they say to you about everybody else.

While we all have bad habits- and there is one thing or another the people who love us graciously put up with- but it is quite another thing to put up with people who are toxic to you.

Last Vernal Equinox, I wrote about some history of the celebration, and did a suggested working of clearing clutter out of the house- getting rid of unwanted and unnecessary things.

Here is a link to that article-

http://paganpages.org/content/2015/04/celebrating-the-old-ways-in-new-times-8/

This Equinox, I’ll touch on just a bit of history- and emphasis will be paid to the subject of clearing undesirable people and relationships out of our lives, which is perhaps the most difficult thing to do, as well as a proposed working. These undesirable relationships act as poison does to our plants in our gardens. In the gardens of our lives, we cannot grow, let alone maintain joy and thrive when we are bogged down by people who hurt us.

What is Spring Equinox?

Simply stated, it is one of the two Equinoxes- the other being in falltime- these are when day and night are equal. Spring’s equinox means the days have been growing longer, the nights shorter, and thankfully, the days will be getting even longer afterwards.

The deeper meaning of this is not so simply stated. It means things will start growing again and the time to plan laying of seeds is at hand. People like me can break in that soil, or start shopping for supplies and get started with gardening. But for the pre-Christian Pagans, it meant they needed to get moving with planting foodcrops and all the preparation that lead up to sowing those seeds. Since they could not just run to market and grab whatever they preferred to eat, this was a very important time.

One of the places that would have been in preparation for food growing is the famous Ceide Fields, in Ireland. The use of the fields goes back five thousand plus years! Not only were there fields there, but also homes, and cattle were raised there. I am jealous of the fact it was warm enough there for almost year round growing! This was after the hunter gatherer lifestyle was replaced by cereal growing, which caused a population growth.

Here is the museum website for the location if you would like more information.

http://www.museumsofmayo.com/ceide.htm

Many of today’s consumers shun carbs and gluten as much as possible. But back before refrigeration and mass processing of foods to preserve them for longer periods, wheat, barley, and rye could be ground and stored for future use. Many of us assume that simply drying and canning in crockery the fruits and veggies was enough to keep cuisine delicious and interesting. But a friend who dried tomatoes pointed out to me that not having access to fresh produce limits what can be done in dishes. Take the tomatoes for example. Sure, you are able to can and dry tomatoes, but having them fresh means none of the nutrients have been boiled away, and you can do a lot more with them recipe wise. You can always dry or preserve, but no amount or reconstitution can completely reproduce the fresh product’s texture. Grains that are natural provide high amounts of both fiber and proteins, while much of the modern processed grain does not. Processing then would not have stripped the grains of the nutrients like today’s factory processing. Remember, though, many non-processed grain products very high in nutrients are available today, even though price can be higher.

Baking breads and pastries all winter long could also help keep the house warm, and can be packed up and taken on trips for sustenance. Grains were a miracle thousands of years ago.

Like the ancient Pagans focused on nourishing themselves and planting their crops come Springtime, so we focus on nourishing our souls. Unfortunately, it’s not always fun to admit, some things and people we might like are very bad for us. Two of my favorite books address this issue.

Nasties and more

One of my very favorite books I read upon becoming Pagan was Konstantinos’ book Vampires, The Occult Truth. Here is a link to his websites listing for it if you would like to know more about the book.

http://www.konstantinos.com/bookkonstantinos.htm

One of the topics discussed is how some people just exhaust us. Sometimes they don’t mean to- as any nurse working with people who are sick or dying can attest to. People take a little of the energy of other people when they are not well, or sometimes, when they are mourning, or just having a bad day. I am sure this is something we have all unintentionally done. But what about the people who are just excruciating to be around ALL THE TIME? Who might be what we call drama queens, adrenaline junkies, or people who are chronic complainers and seem to be perpetually miserable?

There are those who use us for money or favors and never reciprocate due to being self-centered opportunists too, of course. And also, there are the people whose very presence makes you tired, sad, headachy, or filled with dread. They might not TAKE anything physically, but they TAKE your sense of wellbeing and they can also take away your peace of mind.

There is another book I read that really helped. It’s not specifically a Pagan book. It’s one of those “self-help books”. I could not put this down once I picked it up. I was absolutely riveted. It’s called Nasty People by Jay Carter, and it’s all about people whose words and behaviors are just that- nasty. Here is a link to this book if you are interested.

https://books.google.com/books/about/Nasty_People.html?id=1tbCQmm25W4C

Call these people nasty, or vampires, or whatever you prefer, but they are absolutely toxic- and they have to go if we want to thrive.

It’s not just all in the Family

Most often, you hear people lament how their blood relatives fall in to the category of being nasty or toxic, but if you really think about it, I bet you know somebody, if not yourself, who has chosen to surround themselves with a person or people who they have an option to discard who is bad for them. I know I have been guilty of this. Like me, maybe your excuse is , “But I LOVE them!”

Becoming a witch is the thing that helped me with that mindset. I changed from the mindset I was taught- that I would store up rewards in heaven- to a mindset of personal responsibility for NOW. I was also able to recognize forgiveness is not something owed to everybody alive.

The definition that was hammered into my head of forgiveness was that no matter how badly somebody treated you- it is your responsibility to pretend it never happened and “move on” as well as allowing them to continue mistreating you- because you owe it to other people not to bother them with the fact it happened.

Nobody seemed to care what was happening to me, and for a time, neither did I.

Being a witch changed me to realize that I actually did care, and that was good enough. I realized that I deserved to be treated well even if some other people did not see it that way, and that I was not required to come around people and situations that were bad for me just because some other people felt I ought to. Being a witch instilled in me belief that I was just as worthy of being treated well as everybody else, and the fact I was born in a situation did not dictate what the rest of my life had to be.

I triumphantly stepped away from the people who told me this was not so- and right smack dab into similar relationships with new people, completely unaware that although I had stepped away from one toxic situation- that old habits died hard- and I’d unwittingly found a way to continue the cycle.

Being a witch meant I pledged to become more aware- first of my surroundings, and that spilled over into becoming more aware of myself and my own choices and how they created my reality. I was still participating in toxic relationships. At age forty, I realize this is something I will have to be careful all the days of my life. I also realize I am not the only one who has to.

Even if you were not raised by toxic people- there are LOTS of toxic people in the world. They are all looking out for one thing- their own interests. Multiple sources state- empaths and giving people are chronically approached by toxic people. The hard part for givers and empaths to accept is the fact that just because somebody asks for something does not mean we have to give it to them.

Allowing ourselves to be mistreated or taken advantage of is NOT helping people who are ”asking for help”. It is enabling. It hurts them worse than they hurt us. I had one friend who was too lazy to go to a Laundromat to do her laundry and I told her she could do her laundry at my house every week. In the combined time it took her to get to and from my house, she could have been at least halfway finished with her laundry at a Laundromat near her home! Yeah, MAYBE I should have said no and made her do the grown up thing of having her own independence to do her laundry on her own, but that was a very small thing, and certainly not what I am talking about here when I say we ought not to enable.

An example I will give is years ago I met a woman who decided to stop her medication regimen because she “did not want to take pills.” Before you start hating on “big pharma” and tell me all the reasons why we should use food as medicine and that all drugs are evil, let me just say these pills did not have any negative effects on her, and they very successfully controlled her hallucinations. At first, she maintained appearances very well, but within six months of her refusing medications, her behavior turned unstable and even self destructive. For the sake of confidentiality, I will say little. The day eventually came when I told her she needed to go back to her therapist and medication as opposed to consulting me and other psychics and new age healers. It took me a very short while to figure out the “advice” she was seeking from tarot was to ease the anxiety she was unable to control with homeopathic practice, and the dramatic situations she got herself, and the people around her into were giving her adrenaline rushes she did not seek when her brain chemistry was being regulated effectively. She wanted me to tell her this thrill seeking lifestyle was okay, and the people who told her it was unhealthy were wrong and were against her.

I refused to enable her behaviors because I cared about her. In the short term, it made her unhappy with me, but in the long run, supporting the things that are bad for her prolongs deep unhappiness with her life, and it is not a loving thing to do.

It is hard to admit sometimes the reason we “help” people is because it makes us feel good about ourselves. How many people do you know who talk about all the things they do for other people? You can always tell who has a sense of self-importance when the conversation always turns to all the great things they think they do and all the people who rely on them and just could not get by without them. The praise and stroking we get from people who come to us to do things for them can make us feel like worthy, magnanimous people. We all love praise and being thanked for what we do is always nice. I mean, nobody wants to feel unappreciated! Positive feedback reinforces that we are doing that which we ought to continue doing.

When I became a witch, however, by belief that my existence was strictly for the sake of others began to dissipate. I see myself as just as important as anybody else. I am not better, wiser, or more helpful to humanity than the next person.

I am important, but not so crucial that humanity could not survive without me. I can help lift people up, improve lives, and do good wherever I go. But when I cross the veil, the wheel of the year will still turn without me, and life will go on as usual.

This mindset helped me realize that while people who ask me to enable them might lie to me and tell me that allowing them to take advantage of me is crucial for their survival, that really isn’t so. They could ditch me any day and find some other poor sucker to feed off of. And you can bet they always will once a better opportunity comes along. This is entirely different than pitching in and helping loved ones. But be aware, users feed off other people’s need to love and be loved. Sometimes, the person who you consider a beloved is nothing more than a parasite who has convinced you that you have a relationship when in fact you don’t. They are simply keeping you around for what they can get from you.

Feeling taken for granted and taken advantage of in relationships does not feel good at all. And it does nothing to benefit the people you allow to take advantage of you. It teaches them bad habits and to mistreat other people. Chances are, they already did that before they met you and will continue doing so to whoever will let them for the rest of their lives- but that does not mean we have to allow them to drag us into it. So if it feels better to look at refusing to enable toxic behaviors as being more harmful to toxic people- as opposed to watching out for yourself- so be it.

Last year’s Spring Equinox ritual was a cleaning of unwanted THINGS from your house.

This years working will be to get rid of unwanted PEOPLE. Like a plant needs pruning, so our homes and lives need cleared out sometimes. This opens us up to move forward into new experiences. Ever see a rosebush that is overgrown with dead branches? That is what our lives are like when we are bogged down with experiences and people that no longer serve us.

The Steps

  1. Trust yourself- and recognize your right to be happy and choose who you want in your life. No amount of spellwork to get toxic people out of your life will work unless you believe that you deserve better. It may result in certain individuals being removed from your life, but you will walk right into similar situations with other people if you do not believe you deserve better.
  2. Do not listen to people who try to talk you out of this- The minute you tell a toxic person you want no more contact with them, chances are, the verbal abuse and manipulation will begin. They will likely call you a bad friend/lover/family member and say you lack devotion and you owe it to them to remain in a relationship with them. They might list all the reasons why you ought to appreciate them putting up with you- all the bad things you do and nobody but them, who loves you SO much, will even bother to be around you. They may list all the things they have done FOR you, throwing it up in your face, and saying the fact you want to terminate a relationship shows what an unworthy friend/lover/family member you are. They might go and complain about you or demonize you to other people who may in turn harass you, chastise you, and either demand you take the other person back, or they will take sides against you and not be friends with you anymore based on your so-called mistreatment of the toxic person you are stepping away from. Consider this them doing you a favor.
  3. Don’t be afraid to be alone- They might tell you that you will wind up all alone. First off, that will never happen. Population is too high in the world! You may take some time to form some new relationships, but rest assured, they will form. In the meantime, remember it is best to spend some extra alone time for a bit than to be alone IN a relationship.
  4. Take proper steps to secure your independence BEFORE telling your toxic friend goodbye-

This cannot be stressed enough. Most especially if you live together or pool your resources. Toxic people often seek revenge- not always- but they just might. If you are roommates, share bills together, or if you are dependant on them in any way, break those ties or find a new place to live before the “breakup talk.” I once knew a man who swore up and down his girlfriend took advantage of him and he took care of her. When he decided to move her out- he was dismayed by the fact she shut off the utilities-which were in her name- and he found he was unable to keep his prescriptions filled – because he did not know HOW. He had somehow put the power in her hands and the day she left, he could not do for himself.

I don’t know if he was really mistreated by her. And you will not catch me with utilities in my name at a place where I am not allowed to live! I can’t criticize her for not keeping bills in her name if she was no longer a resident! All I know is what the aftermath was for him because he did not secure himself before cutting ties. Do not put yourself in this situation if you can at all keep from it.

  1. Stick to your guns- All relationships experience difficulties, and there are times when people who spend their lives together take a break from one another. This is entirely different from taking back a toxic individual into your life. You will miss the good times, most especially if your relationship was a long one. I always say that even Hitler was good to his friends. While I am not comparing your toxic person to Hitler, the fact is- EVERYBODY has good qualities, but when people mistreat you, their good qualities do not matter. There are times you can work through issues and things can get better. The relationship is saved, and it is improved! Awesome. Just don’t be surprised if nothing improves. Stick to your guns if you can see things will not improve- or even if you are to the point that you are done. You have a right to terminate a relationship just because you want to and you don’t have to justify it.
  2. Recognize if there was co-dependance– Likely, your toxic friend was VERY personal with you and you may feel you miss this closeness and want it back. Maybe they were co-dependant on you or you were co-dependant on them. Human beings need one another, and that is something that will never change. Co-dependance is unhealthy dependence. Dependance that makes you overly reliant on somebody else- and efforts will be made to keep it that way. If you had a child you refused to allow to learn to walk, because you wanted them to always need you, people would stop you from doing this, wouldn’t they? So why make yourself need somebody who is bad for you? The stereotypical image is of a man who beats his wife and forces her to quit her job so she can never leave him. Maybe your toxic person does not beat you or talk you into quitting a job. But they oftentimes find ways of making you equally dependant on them. This is one reason why I mentioned earlier how crucial it is to secure your independence before you tell them your relationship is over. That way they cannot force you to stick around.
  3. Recognize your role in this- It is very crucial to acknowledge what it is about you that made it possible for a toxic person to move in and take up residence in your life to begin with. Maybe you are one of the folks who has never encountered this before and you just need to give this ONE person the boot. Keep up the good work if this is the case. If not, you need to examine what habits or desires make you welcome people who are this way. For me, I was raised by toxic people. I did not know any better. It was our normal and I was used to it. But the more people I met, the more I realized it was not truly normal , nor was it healthy. I wanted out, and I have to watch I don’t welcome anybody into my life who has the habits of the people who raised me. It is familiar and unlearning old habits is a lot more difficult than being unhappy while keeping up the habits. But for me, it is worth it. Assess what specifically your toxic person does that makes you unhappy, and look to see if there is anybody else in your life who does this as well. If there are currently no people who do, think back and see if in your past, anybody else did. I hate to say this- because as adults, we make choices we could not when we were children- but likely your childhood saw you in a situation that allowed toxic people to hurt you somehow. Even if your family is not responsible for this, maybe other people were. Did you get beat up in school and find it difficult to stand up for yourself still? Unlearn that habit. While we did not remote control our toxic person to mistreat us- and their actions are still their fault- recognize that you have power to control who is welcomed IN your life. They are going to treat people the way they do regardless of whether you let them around you or not- but you don’t have to allow them to be around so they CAN treat you badly.
  4. Be forgiving of yourself- It might be heartbreaking or scary to break off your relationship with this person. It can be hurtful or embarrassing to accept you were involved with somebody who hurt you. Especially if you have a history of having multiple toxic relationships. Beating yourself down for this is exactly what they want. They want you to feel bad about yourself. The goal in getting rid of these relationships is a better life and better relationships for you. Your relationship with yourself is the most important one. First, love yourself and you will find that you only allow people into your life who also love you. There will be no tolerance of nasty, toxic people or the nasty, toxic things they do to you this way!

The Working

The first step is to get right in your mind and decide no toxic people allowed. Ever. Do whatever footwork is needed before starting the spellwork. You may need a new place to live or to get things they had borrowed from you picked up if you do not live together. They may share a bill with you that you need to remove yourself from, or if you share a ride to and from work, you may have to reorganize your carpooling. It can be difficult confronting somebody to tell them you are breaking off a relationship or communication. If you don’t have to, then don’t. Chances are, though, you will need to. You need to decide beforehand how much you will tell them. Don’t think that by telling somebody you feel their behavior is toxic that it will automatically get them to “see the light” and change for the better. It might not be worth it to have a talk, and it might be better off to just tell them you are finished. If it makes you feel better to tell them how you feel, by all means do so. Just don’t expect changes in their lives other than the fact you are removing yourself from it. Which is good enough!

Then get one piece of paper for each toxic person you want out of your life and pencil or pen and something to write on. Get a stick of incense- whatever kind you like, one of your favorite things to drink, and candles, one to represent each person you have decided to break things off with- plus one red candle to represent the magic you will work- and to help see by. Use a candle that does not burn very long, such as a birthday candle- you can even cut it in half to reduce burning time.

Maybe you don’t have any individuals you feel are specifically toxic in your life right now, but you do have a history of letting them into your life. You can always just do one candle in general to keep toxic people away. You can do this working in front of your altar or at a table anyplace you like. You can even just sit outside. All that matters is this rite is done someplace you feel comfortable.

Cast or don’t cast circle, as you prefer. Wear ritual clothes or not, as you prefer. But have your place to do this ritual someplace where you can sit and write comfortably.

To begin, light your incense positioned in the East and say “I bring in the breath of life- MY life. I will live my life by my terms, and this includes those who I choose to share it with. “

Next, light your red candle, placed in the South, and say “Hail the fires of magic, be with me and help me with this working”. Then, line up your candles or place your single candle in the South, and say “I name thee, (say their names one at a time) you with whom I share a painful passion. Your fire burns me in ways unproductive to my life. By the end of this rite, our bond will be broken.” You will light these later.

Next, place your drink in the West, and say, “You, oh life giving drink, shall quench me through this rite, and serve as a symbol of the waters of love that put out the burning flames of sorrow.”

Then, place your papers and writing implements in the North, and say “ In my heart and my mind is much. These pages will help me and guide me in the work that needs done so I may move into my new tomorrows with the people who make my days bright.”

Next, get comfortable. On each piece of paper, one for each toxic person, write what it is each person does and that you want them completely out of your life. Just be careful not to write that you want these toxic people to replace the toxic behavior with favorable ones. The goal is to kiss them goodbye, not maintain the relationship or improve it. Take as much time as you need to do this. Sip on your drink at leisure.

Once your writing is all done, place the pages in the West, this time, and pick up each candle and light them one at a time. Say the name of each person the candles represent as you light them, and say “ (person’s name) by the time this candle burns out, our bond will be broken. I want you out of my life.” After lighting each candle, place them back in the West, atop the pages, and in any position you are comfortable in, while the candles burn down, focus energy into the candles , willing the bond to be broken. Willing the toxic behaviors to be gone from you. Willing newer, better relationships from now forward. And most of all, willing yourself to make the choices to ensure these things come to pass.

Once the candles are burned out, finish drinking your drink.

Say “It is finished.”

And throw all the papers and candles into the trash- because that is what toxic relationships are- trash. If you are worried about the papers being fond by anybody, just incorporate burning them into the ritual. Any remaining incense can be placed outside, the magic from it drifting away and carrying the power of your working into creation where your will shall manifest.

Now be proud of yourself. It takes a lot of courage to terminate a toxic relationship, but it’s one of the best things you can ever do for yourself. Spring Equinox is a good time to use the power of new life to make a new way of life for yourself!

Blessed Equinox.

Blessed Be.

Celebrating the Old Ways in New Times

April, 2015

Spring Equinox

Here comes Vernal Equinox! Thankfully!

I don’t know about you folks, but I am dog tired of wintertime.

This winter has been especially trying because I am struggling with an illness. I begin this months article on the day I saw a specialist it took me over six months to get in to see, and who is finally taking the steps needed to initiate my healing. New life and growth are certainly on my mind right now!

The illness started just after Beltaine, and although it was the warm season when I first began struggling with this, the wintertime has made it all the more difficult. I do not handle cold or weak sunlight well to begin with.

However, I realize how much more difficult this would have been if I lived before electric heat, insulation, and cars and grocery stores.

So, you can imagine that on this particular Spring Equinox, I will be in a VERY good mood at Sabbat and will give LOTS of thanks to the gods.

According to The Old Farmers Almanac, this year The Vernal, or Spring Equinox happens at exactly 6:45 P.M. EDT on March 20. About halfway between Imbolc and Beltaine.

Day and night are equal on equinoxes. The other equinox is Falltime. Falltime, we count increasing night, and at Spring, we count increase of daylight.

That means, combined with the increased heat that comes as the season changes, also increased light, and the growing season taking off! Some of us count down the days to Spring. As I begin this article, there are 37 days till Equinox! Less once the article is published!

As always, we will explore what folks did in days of yore at this time of year, and have a suggested working.

History and Lore

According to The Veneral Bede, Eostre was a Germanic goddess. It was said the people put offerings of colored eggs on graves as an offering for the goddess. Her companion is a rabbit. She is goddess of Spring, fertility, and new life.

They say the practices were absorbed by the Catholic Church to try and make the pagans comfortable converting. Indeed, the feast of St. Patrick is right at Vernal Equinox time, three days prior.

We know that even 5,000 plus years ago in Ireland the equinox was observed. The sunrise travels down a tunnel and strikes a wall in a monument at Loughcrew called Cairn T.

Knowth.com provides videotaped footage of the sunrise in that chamber on the equinox.

It has been said the site was built as it was for the very purpose of calculating when the Equinox would be. So far, thirty cairns, or passage graves have been discovered on the hill.

We are not sure what all the festivities surrounding equinox were. It is said the livestock were not brought to the summer grazing sites until Beltaine. Equinox was one step closer to summer. Warmth and growing things were closer.

Today, most of the agriculture of Ireland is products from cows, pigs, and sheep. Cattle herding historically took on the most importance in days when the cairns were built and social standing was oft decided by who owned the most cattle. Wheat, barley, rye, and the famous oats were grown in Ireland and equinox was the indication that planting could soon commence!

They were like us, they took advantage of longer days and stronger light, and opened windows and curtains on days when snow was less likely. Looking out my window as I write this, it has snowed for three hours straight and the snowflakes are getting bigger. I can only imagine the sinking feeling people must have felt without salt for the walks or snowplows.

I can only imagine they were much happier than I am when the days equaled night…and knowing the days would get longer and warmer.

It was also an excellent time to do a cleaning from top to bottom of the whole house. Taking advantage of warming weather and longer days, in old days,people got busy. It was a good time to open windows for dusting and bugs were not out and about yet. Indeed, at our house, you find windows open 24/7 some weeks.

In observance of what our ancestors did, I suggest a Spring Cleaning both materially and spiritually of your whole house.

Suggested Working

This one is absolutely booooring!!!!!!!

But of all the workings I have suggested, I feel this is the most crucial.

Space clearing.

I am sure you have all kept up with vaccuming, dusting, dishes, and laundry. Because we have nice cleaning chemicals from the store and whatnot, it is not as crucial these days to get rid of deep down grime and layers of dust like in days of yore. Their winter months were spent keeping warm. Today, we have thermostats that help us with that. We have sidewalks and paved streets. Folks in past times had dirt streets and in their homes, dirt floors in many cases. We don’t have all the dirt to clean like they did.

That aside, what about energy cleansing? We don’t believe in “eeeeeevil spiiiirts” lurking beneath the rafters like people used to…well…SOME don’t…some of us sort of do…

Some banish regularly and smudge or simply do a heavy duty dusting of the house and open windows to get fresh air in.

Come Springtime, though, once the earth is warming, and people are out and about more, you might realize there is energy stored up in the house that you had not noticed before.

Wintertime energies in the house include a lot of things the warm months do not. Emotional grunge from the holidays. Everybody has good and bad memories and good and bad family gatherings holiday time. We might be Pagan, and Xmas is not our holiday, specifically, but we have family who celebrate it, so we celebrate it along with them. We see family we do not have to put up with other times of the year, and that’s not always pretty. We may be dealing with stress of paying for the holidays and disappointment when we cannot buy our kids all we would like to. The cold months also bring longer times at home. People kind of hibernate, or at least stay indoors more. Bacterial and viral infections LOVE that! More bodies to contaminate! Stress from cabin fever sets in as well.

All the energies from all of this get trapped within the walls of your home and create almost an entity of their own. You can walk into a room and FEEL emotions and energy, and sometimes, you can tell what went on some time ago even though you were not there when it happened. This is called imprinting. We typically think of Civil War battlefields and old prisons as “haunted” places with a lot of imprinting, but not our own homes.

Imprinting can be good as well as bad, but it never hurts to cleanse the home thoroughly at least every Spring.

How imprinting works

It is simple. Residue of energy is left over after events. Sometimes energy moves on by itself and no clearing is needed. Besides, if we cleansed EVERYTHING, we would do nothing BUT cleansing. Other times, energy just gets trapped and we have to move it along is all.

In modern America, a lot of energy is bundled up in THINGS. The imprinting can be happy energy on things we love, or sad energy bundled up in things that recall hurt. I think that is why we, as people are so drawn to keepsakes. An example of a keepsake at our house is an afghan a dear friend crocheted for me. David has crossed the veil, but we still call it David’s blanket. I have spent a lot of time under that blanket, this winter especially, because I can feel all the love he put into it. It gives comfort and that scientifically has been proven to stimulate the immune system, which promotes healing. So the imprinting in David’s blanket, for me, is healing.

On the other hand, many years ago, my mother gave me a ring that had belonged to her. Then mom regretted letting it go and picked fights over the ring. She tried to tell me when I was allowed to wear it and when I was not for example. After a couple of months, I got angry and I took the ring off and put it in the jewelry box. Mom was aghast the next time she saw me that I was not wearing HER ring. She demanded the ring back. I told her no. I withheld the ring from her out of spite for the next ten years.

I tried banishing. I tried cleansing. Yet every single time I saw that ring, I got upset all over again.

So one day, I simply took the ring to her, handed it over, and walked out. Strangely enough, it felt like a heavy weight was lifted from my heart.

I physically banished the item that had caused me all that grief. Technically, a human beings words had caused the hurt, but that hurt was all over the ring.

I thought giving it back was the end of it.

Not so.

Years later, mom wound up in the hospital, and it became apparent she was not going to live forever. She said she would will the ring to me upon her death. I thought I’d never wear it, but I am not evil enough to argue with a sick person discussing their last wishes. Besides that, I could sell the damn thing if necessary. Why not?

However, while she was in the hospital, mom claimed my brother took the ring it out of her jewelry box and that he refused to give it back. I told her to let him keep it. I still don’t know if I believe that he stole it or if mom GAVE him the ring, and then demanded it back, just like she did with me. I felt the yucky energy on the ring from her behavior was permanently on there and nothing good could come about from that ring.

I was told by family that my brother’s wife was seen walking around, wearing said ring…and that soon after, they were divorced.

Coincidence or not, the imprinting of the so-called theft and the fight with my brother and mom that ensued is now on that ring. As well as whatever fights he had with his wife while she wore it prior to the divorce. As well as the fights I had with mom over the ring.

The ring was actually bought by mom many years ago when she had a fight with her then third husband. They had a fight and he threatened to leave her. So she swapped her wedding rings out for the diamond cluster. When they got back together, she made him buy back her wedding rings, but she kept the ring as well.

The yucky imprinting started the day she got the ring, actually. And who knows, maybe there was some imprinting on it before mom even took it home.

This all reminds me of the famous movie, The Red Violin where everybody who plays a violin painted with blood meets unspeakable tragedy!

Fictional films aside, that is how imprinting works.

I am not saying items are cursed for life and you must destroy said evil items!!!!!!!

What I am saying is that as popular as mass consumerism is in America, I know many of us have things we ought to part with, simply because unhappy energies or memories are attached to the items. This does not benefit us.

We may have boxes and boxes stuffed to the brim of things we have acquired and need to “sort through” but just cannot “find the time”. So instead, we fill more and more boxes full of things that we put in a basement or a spare room that we never touch again, but just cannot bear to part with because they are our things. We buy larger houses to make more room for our things. We rent storage units. We tell ourselves when we can “find the time” we can finally sort through decades of stuff. We don’t want to just throw things out because they may be worth money. But we never get around to sorting, and things never get sold.

How many of us have had to liquidate housefuls of things elderly family members left behind…and that consisted of filling up a dumpster with nearly everything they owned? Or worse, not having “the time” to sort through their things, and just dragging everything over to our homes and adding to the pile we already started?

Have you ever started sorting through years and years or maybe generations worth of things, and it became some grand year long project and you gave up and packed it all back up to do another time?

There is a way out and there is a way to avoid getting to that point to begin with.

Don’t let it accumulate. If it already has, budget time to get rid of it. Nobody ever has time to spare in their busy lives. You have to MAKE time.

How can I say that, some may be thinking? Am I some sort of unfeeling, unsentimental bitch who does not appreciate gifts or is eager to upset the people who spent their hard earned money on me?

Of course not. I’m simply much less materialistic than many of the people I know. I realize I can live without much, and I simply do.

It saves time, space, and yes, money.

It was not my idea, though.

Years ago, I read some famous interior decorator said she cleaned things out of her house often. She wrote she did not even keep a lot of gifts from her kids because it clutters up the house.

It made me think. If she can do it, then I can do it.

I have found that when my cabinets are stuffed to the capacity with things I “might use” but just never seem to, I feel suffocated. Even though I have them closed and organized neatly. Maybe I am more sensitive to energy flow than some people, but I just cannot stand to have things lying about that I have no use for.

I know from cleaning out mom’s house when she crossed the veil what the heavy weight of carrying things around is like. She saved everything she could.

She even still had tax returns from the 1970’s and had saved hair from haircuts I’d had as a child. Although she had been divorced from my father for over thirty years, she had copies of his retirement papers from the military, and clothing she had not worn in over a decade. She remained bitter about my father leaving her and her lifelong struggle with finances until the day she died. Perhaps if she had parted with the relics of said sorrows, she would have been able to forgive the past and move on unfettered into a happier future. The throbbing suffering was still fresh on the items, and I wept uncontrollably for days as I destroyed and threw things out.

I think of negative imprinting as a kind of germ or parasite that can be removed or dissolved. Sometimes banishing or blessing is enough to take away unwanted imprinting, but in cases like with mom’s ring, getting rid of said items works best.

And that is where Spring Cleaning comes in for my working.

Saoirse’s Boring Spring Cleaning Ceremony!!!!

  1. Identify clutter in the home. Be it one object or many. This will be items that do not serve you and perhaps never have. Maybe it was a baseball glove you saved from a game you lost and it always upsets you. Maybe it is your dress from your first wedding and you are now divorced and have no daughters to pass it onto. Or maybe, there are no upsetting things stashed in corners, and you just have a bunch of crap you have no use for.
  2. Then get rid of it. Yes, you can do this. I swear! It does not matter how long you have had the things. It provides no security, and good memories will not magically disappear once items are gone. Stuff that does not serve a beneficial purpose in your life is using your space and it is counterproductive to keep it. So get rid of it!

Put it in the trash.

Donate it to a cause.

Rent a booth at a flea market to sell it.

Give it away.

Shred it or burn it.

3)Then cleanse the house. What do you prefer? Smudging with incense? Do you prefer resin, or herbal, or stick incense? Or candles and prayers? Do you prefer to put a bowl of water in the corners to draw in energy? Do you prefer to chant and let the sunlight into the room? Most recommend smudging with sage bundles, but that’s not the only way.

Laughter is a surprisingly easy way to banish.

Establishing your home as your sanctuary means controlling things that are in it, both physical and spiritual. You can place crystals everyplace and smudge and do prayers daily, but if you have items imprinted with super bad memories, the sorrow lingers.

Here are a few benefits of having as little as possible and only things that are useful in the house.

  1. It makes more room for what DOES serve you. Say you have always wanted a sewing room but have one extra room and it is for storage. If you clean out that room, you can set up your sewing room.
  2. It allows more free flow of light, and healing energies. A lot of people are buying Feng Shui books and buying Asian accessories and thinking it is great decor. But the concept of arranging things so energy moves successfully is a focus as opposed to making things pretty. One principal I had read many years ago was to never store things under the bed because energy needs to move freely all around you while you are sleeping. Free flow of energy in the household of somebody sensitive to energy is crucial. Dead mass, aka junk clutters and blocks all of that. Getting rid of that opens up space.
  3. It is less expensive to own less. If you are used to having a lot of things, you have established spending habits. The more you buy the more you spend. As you get used to living with less, you start buying less, and thus save more money in the long run. If money is not an issue, you can reroute the money you are saving to a savings account, make more investments for long term security, or use it for charitable causes close to your heart. You have less risk of becoming broke and take on less debt the less you spend.
  4. It is better for your health. There will be less things to collect dust, which is bad for you. Less things to clean mean you get to clean more often and it does not take nearly as long. You will have less things to move out of the way for cleaning. There will be less germs, and you might just get sick less often.
  5. Less really is more. I love a well decorated room. The less things you have, the more space you have to move around in and the more appreciation you will have for the pieces you do own.
  6. Visual noise impedes concentration. Straighten up and organize your home and it can help you focus on tasks at hand, as opposed to a hundred things competing for your attention.
  7. There is a great freedom in being unfettered by THINGS. The consumerist lifestyle is like trying to fill a bottomless hole that never gets filled. Ever.

If you decide to use metaphysical items for cleansing, you really can use whatever you prefer. Sage, sandalwood, frankincense, and water are things classically used due to belief these have natural cleansing properties.

But you can also charge your intentions into anything you like. I use rose incense a lot because I prefer the aroma. The popular Nag Champa is also a favorite of mine. Anytime I have a wood fire in my firepit, I pray over it and I let the smoke into the house to cleanse. I open my blinds every day and let the light in to drive away the darkness, and I allow fresh air in the house anytime possible, especially when it is raining. I find fresh air when it is raining to be very cleansing.

I go through the house four to six times a year and thin things out and I do some form or another of banishing or cleansing weekly. It does not take very long. Maybe a total of ten minutes tops per week. It is easy because I control how much comes into my home, let alone what stays.

I am also very choosy about WHO comes into my home, because I wasn’t always choosy and I suffered consequences of that bad decision. Sometimes, I light incense before company arrives, and sometimes, I light it when they leave. Sometimes, I don’t because I want the energy from good times permanently imprinted into my walls.

There have been times I have had my heart broken. Who hasn’t? A very few times, it has been decided the relationship is broken beyond repair. I have a special kind of banishing to clear the sorrow from the house before it is out of my heart.

I go through the house and get rid of every last item the individual had given me. I can immediately feel the difference upon coming back to the house after dropping items off at a thrift store. It is actually easier for me to breathe!

Relationships as well as material items can outlive their purpose and I see no point in them outstaying their welcome.

So whatever it is you’d like to clear from your life, be it some things, or some people, Spring is a good time to do so.

If you are like me, you are really looking forward to warm weather and longer days. May your gods smile upon you and the ever strengthing sun make you grow like the beautiful flowers we will see in a month or two.

Blessed Spring Equinox, and Blessed Be