Posts Tagged With: spring

People’s Choice – Best of Instagram – September 2015

PhotoGrid_1443668092429

Another month is over, this year is just flying by!

Here are the most liked photos for September, from my Instagram account @spinning_webbs .

IMG_20150905_193011

Last month’s most liked photo was of my kitchen table. This month, my bed takes the blue ribbon. Both were adorned with the beautiful mandalas of Jaipur Art Factory.

IMG_20150923_221947

In celebration of Ostara, my altar to Hekate, in all its spring glory.

IMG_20150923_194054

Hekate features strongly in this month’s cut. Posted on the day of the Spring Equinox.

IMG_20150919_175135

This month I have studied astrology and it’s application in natal charts and the tarot. This is my birth chart, laid out in tarot cards.

IMG_20150917_103220

The first early signs of spring appear.

IMG_20150917_010047

This photo scored me a feature on a Graveyard account. I really like the edit and think it deserved recognition.

IMG_20150914_193037

My working altar, Gaia warms herself by the light of the growing sun.

IMG_20150912_103448

This is an astrological spread I lay out annually for my birthday. I can use it throughout the year, as it provides me with a card for each of the following twelve months as well as an overview of the year ahead.

IMG_20150903_201503

Edit of my altar to Hekate.

IMG_20150831_233323

Reflection. Taken in a park where I like to go regularly. It really is a beautiful serene place.

Advertisements
Categories: Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Imbolc – First Stirrings

The Sabbat of Imbolc is celebrated at the height of winter, but in contrast to the cold and dreary days, this is a celebration of the early signs of spring.

Imbolc (or Imbolg), translates to ‘In the belly’, a reference to the potential for life, held within the belly of the Great Mother, our earth.

Another version of Imbolc, is ‘Oimelc’, which means ‘Ewe’s Milk’, making reference to the lambing season which Imbolc coincides with.

 

Imbolc marks the halfway point between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox.

The days are gradually growing longer, with the sun rising a few minutes earlier each morning.

The trees are beginning to bud and seeds begin to stir under the soil.

In the midst of winter, the promise of spring abounds.

Imbolc is a fire festival, though not a solar celebration, but a day when we celebrate a return to the light and the lengthening of the days.

Personally, Imbolc is a celebration of the quickening earth, a joyous recognition of the Great Mother awakening from her winter slumber.

The Goddess Awakens

The Goddess Awakens

I know when Imbolc has arrived, by the profusion of yellow across the countryside.

Wattle is the harbinger of spring for me.

It’s bright and cheery color is a welcome relief from the dreary winter landscape and brings with it the hope that the warmth and light of Spring shall soon be upon us.

The small yellow flowers of the wattle are symbolic of the sun.

Here in Australia, with our warm climate, the early signs of spring are very evident, as the almond and wild cherry trees blossom white, alongside the vibrant yellow of the wattle.

Platypus {Ornithorhynchus anatinus} swimming underwater

Imbolc sees the commencement of the breeding season of the platypus, the native monotreme unique to Australia.

The platypus is an extremely elusive animal, which lives in the creeks and streams.

I have lived in Australia my entire life, and have sighted the platypus only once in the wild.

2014-08-02 05.06.22

In rural Australia, Imbolc is lambing season.

This brings us the traditional roots of Imbolc: milk, cheese and dairy products.

Milk again begins to flow, as new life pops up in paddocks everywhere.

This would have been a festive time in the old days, having dairy products again, as winter food supplies began to dwindle.

The return of milk brought promise of the abundant food supplies soon to come.

 

Mythology-

The Goddess is evident in all three aspects.

She is the Maiden, young and playful, leading us out into Spring.

She is the Mother, nurturing her seeds within the Earth.

She is the Crone, retreating into the shadows of Winter.

Imbolc is sacred to Brighid, the Celtic Triple Goddess of Fire, Poetry, Metal Working, Crafts, Fertility and Healing.

Hestia, the Greek Goddess of the Hearth and Home, has several similarities to Brighid, and can be honored at Imbolc also.
Ask Hestia for assistance in ritually purifying the home, as part of your Imbolc celebrations.

Brighid by Jo Jayson

Brighid by Jo Jayson

The Great Goddess has now recovered from giving birth at Yule, the young God, the child at her breast.

He is reflected in the gradually growing sunlight which gently caresses the earth, the Maiden, the Mother,  in childlike innocence.

The Goddess is Mother, yet she turns to her aspect of Maiden at Imbolc, her innocence and fresh vitality reflected in the buds and early flowering blossoms.

2014-08-02 04.46.32

Persephone prepares to return from her time in The Underworld.

She will soon rejoin her Mother, Demeter, who will rejoice at her return, bringing the lush profusion of Spring upon the earth.

Persephone is the seed that lies in the soil, no longer dormant, but ready to burst forth under the light of the growing sun.

In The Underworld she has been renewed, life from death in the fecund earth that is the realm of the Queen of Corpses.

During Winter she presides over the shades of the dead, but upon her return she is the vibrant daughter, the bright petalled flower.

During Spring she is life just begun, life in all its infinite possibility.

Persephone Awakens

Persephone Awakens

Another myth of Imbolc is that of the Cailleach, the old crone that brings winter down upon the land.

It is said that the length of the winter can be determined by the weather on the day of Imbolc.

If she intends to make the winter last longer, she will need to replenish her wood pile to keep herself warm in the days ahead.

If the day is sunny, then the Cailleach will be out wood carting.

But if the day of Imbolc brings bad weather, the old woman sleeps, and will soon deplete her stock of wood, being forced to bring an end to winter.

The Cailleach - Altara The Dark

The Cailleach – Altara The Dark

Imbolc Activities- 

At Imbolc we plant the metaphorical seeds of our goals and plans, for the year ahead.

In practical terms, I will list my goals and the steps I need to take to achieve them.

I have many ideas floating around this year and need to decide which of them I wish to plant and nurture.

Imbolc is the perfect time to begin planning the achievements of your goals, working with the natural flow of the Earth.

It also sets a natural time of completion, of achievement, for the harvest Sabbats towards the end of the year, Lughnasadh, Mabon and Samhain.

Working with the natural rhythms of the earth and sun in this way, has brought about much success for me, and each year I look forward to harnessing this power to realize my ambitions.

20140801_040701

Imbolc is a time of purification, cleansing and new beginnings.

It is a good time to reflect on the bad habits you no longer wish to carry with you, and to perform banishing spells to free yourself of the burden.

Spell work of purification, rejuvenation, health and vitality, fertility and growth and renewal, are all the work of Imbolc.

Ritual purification and cleansing of the home should be performed, clearing the home of negativity and setting a positive trend for the year ahead.

Work that blesses your future endeavors, such as good luck and prosperity spells are appropriate.

This is also a good time to cleanse and rededicate your Craft tools and sacred spaces.

Fire- Element of Cleansing and Purification

Fire- Element of Cleansing and Purification

Imbolc is sometimes also known as Candlemas, which comes from the Christian festival.

Interesting in itself, because Brighid herself was made a Saint in the Catholic Church.

The name, Candlemas, can also be interpreted literally, as it is traditional Imbolc practice to light every candle in the house, or place a lit candle in every window, as a way to welcome back the light.

It is also a good time to cleanse and consecrate new candles for future ritual use.

Imbolc is a powerful time for working candle magick in all it’s forms.

A great Imbolc activity, is to actually make candles for future ritual and spell use.

Otherwise, cleanse and consecrate candles you have purchased for future use.

1fa5dcca41089baa68f825f038e4567a

As a time of beginnings, Imbolc is the perfect time for initiations into the Craft.

I like to use Imbolc as a time to rededicate myself to my practice and my Mother Goddess.

This is something I like to do annually, to renew my promise to myself and my Mother and to set new spiritual ideals for myself.

 

Imbolc Altar

Imbolc Altar

As Brighid is a Goddess of craft, you can also get creative at Imbolc.

Making Brighid’s crosses is traditional for Imbolc.

As is making a ‘bed’ for Brighid, to welcome her into the home.

You can also make a pine cone wand, which is a symbol of The God and represents the promise of God and Goddess coming together at Beltane.

Brighid's Cross

Brighid’s Cross

One of my favorite Imbolc traditions, is that of Brighid’s mantle.

Brighid taught the Irish to weave and is the Patron Goddess of Knitting and Crochet.

She would sit at her loom, beside the hearth, weaving the very flames into her work.

If you knit, crochet or quilt, make a blanket or shawl and leave it outside your house at Imbolc.

As Brighid passes, it will drawn her attention.

As she admires your handiwork, her touch will bless your creation and it will bestow her healing energy on anyone who wears it.

fcdc08bf085fd7456e77760ddf0ea774

On a more practical level, honor the spirit of Imbolc by spring cleaning your home and ridding yourself of possessions you no longer use.

Having a good spring clean is a good way to start a new, clutter-free, year.

 

Take the time for a walk through the countryside, keeping your eyes open for signs of the return of Spring.

Spring is discreet right now, but she is making her first appearance.

 

 

2014-08-02 05.44.22

Imbolc Incense:

  • 3pt Frankincense
  • 2pt Dragons Blood
  • 1/2pt Red Sandalwood
  • 1pt Cinnamon
  • Few drops Red Wine
  • Pinch of the first flower available (Dried)

 

Brandied Milk and Honey:

This is a traditional favorite for my family and I.

  • 375ml Full Cream Milk
  • 75g Honey
  • 75ml Brandy
  1. Stir milk and honey over low heat until honey dissolves.
  2. Bring to just below boiling. (Be very careful not to let it boil!)
  3. Remove from heat and stir through the brandy.
  4. Serve hot.

2014-08-04 00.05.15

Imbolc Colors:

  • White
  • Red
  • Pale Yellow
  • Silver
  • Pink

Herbs:

  • Basil
  • White Sage
  • Bay
  • Chamomile
  • Cinnamon
  • Crocus
  • Dandelion
  • Dill
  • Frankincense
  • Myrrh
  • Primrose
  • Rosemary
  • Wattle
  • First flowers of the year.

Symbols:

  • Lamps
  • Wells
  • Cauldrons
  • Candles
  • Besom
  • White Flowers
  • Candle Wheels
  • Brighid’s Bed
  • Brighid’s Crosses
  • Anything Iron, like horseshoes
  • The Star tarot card

Animals:

  • Lamb
  • Platypus
  • Snake
  • Swan

2014-08-02 05.48.24

Foods:

  • Curries
  • Onions
  • Chives
  • Garlic
  • Wine
  • Seeds
  • Honey Cakes
  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese

Stones:

Deities:

2014-08-02 05.44.37

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: The Sabbats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

A Family In My Shed

A little family has taken up residence in my carport.
They have been there since the beginning of spring and in that time, their chicks have hatched and grown.
Checking on them yesterday, I realized their baby birds are almost fully grown.
They are now even leaving the nest for test flights, the family circling around the carport together, as if the parents are showing them how it is done.

image

image

image

image

It has been a pleasure watching their little family grow, and even though they will probably soon be moving on, I hope they remember their little home that has served them well, and return to raise the next generation here. 

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Bright Ostara Blessings – Spring Equinox in Country Australia

This is my Ostara, the Spring Equinox, nature in perfect balance.

2014-09-22 18.48.42

2014-09-22 18.57.13

2014-09-22 18.58.01

2014-09-22 19.02.15

2014-09-22 19.15.13

2014-09-23 00.48.15

2014-09-18 04.44.48

2014-09-18 04.44.37

2014-09-18 04.44.27

2014-09-18 04.44.15

2014-09-18 04.43.39

IMG_20140915_203638

20140914_044928

20140915_020112

 

What is Ostara?

 

Categories: The Sabbats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Gaia Awakens

image

The plum trees in my backyard, are the first to don their colorful robes of Spring.
They certainly add a flush of beauty to my yard.

My Jasmine bushes are also very close to flowering.
I look forward to this all year, as the smell is divine.
Even bringing a little sprig of the flowers inside, fills the whole house with the beautiful aroma of Jasmine.

image

The trees have awakened, delicate green leaves in profusion.

image

The bottlebrush has grown it’s first flower of the year.
I recently discovered this tree is sacred to Aphrodite.
It is beautiful when in full bloom, so it’s nice to see that first flower appear.
I gave it a heavy pruning at Samhain, so it should yield well this year.

image

These flowers bloom all year round, but is at it’s best this time of year.
I have forgotten the name of this shrub for now and can’t find where I wrote it down.

image

I was also delighted to see my first bulb, Hyacinth, burst into flower.
I have many more soon to come, including a Black Tulip!
Can’t wait to see it in bloom.

image

Spring has certainly sprung in my little patch of the world.

Categories: Life, Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Persephone

P is for Persephone, Maiden of Spring and Queen of the Dead.

Known also as Kore, young maiden, or Proserpina, by the Romans.

persephonemaidenPersephone led a peaceful and quiet life, up until her kidnapping.

Though, due to her great beauty, she was highly sought after as a consort, her Mother, Demeter, sheltered her much-loved Daughter and kept her far away from Olympus.

Hermes, Ares, Apollo and Hephaestus had all tried their hand with Persephone, but Demeter had rejected their advances on her Daughter’s behalf.

Demeter and Persephone were earthly Goddesses, preferring to keep their own company and live among the wilds of nature.

Persephone, walking ahead of her Mother, bought the growth of Spring upon the land.

 

The peaceful existence of Mother and Daughter came to an end, when unbeknownst to them both, a deal was struck between Hades and Zeus, Persephone’s Father.

Zeus agreed that Hades may take Persephone as his Wife, and the two plotted together to make this happen.

persephoneflowers

Zeus had laid some beautiful flowers in a meadow, in order to lure Persephone to the trap.

The most beautiful flower, of one hundred, sweetly scented petals, laid in wait for a girl “of a flowers beauty”.

Persephone came upon this garden of allure, while out picking flowers with Artemis and some nymphs.

When she saw the beautiful flower, she reached out to pick it.

The moment her hands touched its stem, the earth opened up beneath her and Hades grabbed hold of the lovely Maiden, dragging her down into The Underworld.

Despite being in company, the abduction happened so quickly,  that none of Persephone’ companions saw it happen.

The only witnesses to the kidnapping was Helios, the Sun God, and the Goddess Hecate, who heard Persephone’s cries for help from her cave.

Demeter was frantic when she discovered her Daughter missing, and fell into a deep depression.

She was furious at the nymphs that had been with her Daughter, and had not intervened.

In punishment, Demeter turned them into the Sirens.

 

On the tenth day of Demeter’s search, Hekate came to her and told her that though she had not seen the abduction, she had heard the girl’s cries.

Hekate suggested approaching Helios, to see what he knew of the disappearance.

Helios told the two Goddesses all he knew, the abduction, the plot and the player’s behind it.

Helios also suggested to Demeter that she leave things as they were, that Hades was a powerful Lord of many and that he would make a good Husband for her Daughter.

Demeter did not, could not, accept this, so she took her plight to Zeus.

Zeus too, refused to return Persephone, arguing that Hades was the right match for the Maiden Goddess.

persephone and hades

Demeter went away with a heavy heart and refused to fertilize the Earth.

The seasons came to a standstill, plant life withered and died.

It wasn’t until Zeus tired of the cries of the hungry mortals below, that he knew he had to right the situation.

Hekate, who is at home in The Underworld, was sent to retrieve Persephone, but Hades, unwilling to relinquish his beautiful new bride, had a trick up his sleeve.

Before he released The Maiden to Hecate, he tricked her into eating four pomegranate seeds, one for each month that she would have to return to him.

ER-Skull-and-Pomegranates

So, although Persephone was returned to her mother, she was bound to return to The Underworld for four months of every year.

When Mother and Daughter are together, the Earth grows and flourishes, food is abundant.

Every year, when Persephone returns to her Husband, the earth withers and dies.

The ascent and descent of Persephone brings us the changing seasons.

awakening

Hekate became close to the two Goddesses during their time of need.

When it is time for Persephone to descend to The Underworld, Hekate bears her torches and lights the way forward for the young Goddess.

On the return journey, Hekate leads the way to the surface.

Though, not only does Hekate walk in front of Persephone, as her guide, she also follows up from behind, protecting her from any harm.

Hekate guides Persephone, not only in her travels, but offering guidance on the ways of The Underworld, on ruling over the souls of the dead, as well.

Hekate is a guide, protector and friend of Persephone, in both her light and dark aspects.

This is also where the Triple Goddess of Persephone, Demeter and Hekate springs from.

hekate and persephone

During the Spring and Summer, Persephone’s time above ground, she is the Maiden.

She is innocence, virtue and purity.

During the Autumn and Winter, she is the Queen of the Dead, a Dark Goddess, who shows no mercy.

Only once, was her heart moved, when Orpheus came to King and Queen, to beg for the return of his beloved.

Persephone granted his wish.

eb2589277fd06aaa31ae6e560c4e0249

Persephone is also a character in the story of Adonis.

When Adonis was born, Aphrodite, Goddess of Love and Lust, took him under her wing, though she had her own agenda.

She was so enamoured with Adonis’ unearthly beauty, that she planned to seduce him.

Aphrodite gave him to Persephone to watch over him for a while, but Persephone also became entranced with his great beauty and refused to give him back.

The two Goddess fought bitterly over this exquisite beauty.

Their argument was eventually settled by Zeus, with Adonis spending four months with Aphrodite, four with Persephone and four on his own.

hades and Persephone

There is a belief that Persephone ate of the pomegranate seeds of her own free will, that she was a willing consort to the Lord of the Underworld, his Bride of Death.

Either way, each Winter, she descends to The Underworld and takes her throne beside her King.

Here she presides over the dead, her stoney gaze turned upon her shared Kingdom and the shades of the dead.

As Underworld Queen, she is also Queen of the Erinyes, sending them out from the Underworld, to fulfill curses made in her name.

Persephone is light and dark, life and death, holder of the Mysteries.

 

Symbols Of Persephone:
  • Spring
  • Spring Growth
  • Flowers
  • Waterfalls
  • Rivers
  • Springs

Animals:

  • Bats
  • Rams
  • Parrots and talking birds
  • Monkeys

Plants:

  • Asphodel
  • Pomegranate
  • White Rose
  • Narcissus
  • Willow Tree
  • Lily
  • Ivy
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Maidenhair Fern
  • Daisy
  • Lavender
  • Mint
  • Aconite
  • Spring Flowers

Incense / Oils:

  • Floral Scents
  • Jasmine
  • Narcissus
  • Bergamot
  • Hyacinth
  • Frangipani

Gems / Metals:

  • Crystal
  • Quartz
  • Agate
  • Onyx
  • Pink Tourmaline
  • Sapphire
  • Obsidian

Colours:

  • White
  • Black
  • Light Green
  • Purple
  • Light Blue

Demeter and Persephone

Categories: Gods and Goddesses, Pagan Blog Project | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Gaia Awakens

Spring has certainly sprung.

While the onset of Spring may be a month away on the secular calendar, Mother nature is certainly awakening from her Winter slumber.

We we still have plenty of cold Winter days ahead, but beautiful warm mornings like today lift the spirits and remind us that Spring has already donned her cloak.

Robin Red Breast

Robin Red Breast

2014-08-04 00.03.11

2014-08-04 00.03.17

2014-08-03 23.59.18

2014-08-04 00.04.08

2014-08-04 00.05.15

2014-08-04 00.07.58

My horse, Deal, enjoying this beautiful Spring day

My horse, Deal, enjoying this beautiful Spring day

Categories: Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Early Spring In Rural Australia

Rural Australia, at its early Springtime best.

2014-08-02 04.42.19

2014-08-02 04.43.33

2014-08-02 04.43.42

2014-08-02 04.46.23

2014-08-02 04.49.47

2014-08-02 04.50.05

2014-08-02 04.55.01

2014-08-02 05.02.16

2014-08-02 05.05.47

 

2014-08-02 05.07.24

 

2014-08-02 05.08.14

2014-08-02 05.10.36

2014-08-02 05.43.16

2014-08-02 05.45.03

2014-08-02 05.48.03

Categories: Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hope

image

A little reminder of Spring warmth, in the midst of this dark and bitterly cold winter.
This photo was taken late last Spring in a canola field.
This was a very good year for canola growers, a bumper crop.

Canola is my districts most profitable crop.
It is used to make food oil and is easy to grow, provided we get some rain, which is never guaranteed.
Canola is one of the first crops to be grown in the warmer months, and as Spring heats up, yellow fields line the roads. 

Categories: Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Drought

These photos clearly illustrate the impact of drought on the land. The top photos were taken in early spring, the bottom, late summer.  This summer has been extremely hot and dry, as you can see below.  We need rain so badly, yet instead we are heading into another week long heatwave, with temperatures in the forties. No relief in sight.

image

image

Categories: Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: