Posts Tagged With: wicca

Beltane – Days Of The Greater Sun

The Fire Festival of Beltane marks the lengthening of days and beginning of Summer.

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Beltane is fire and sexual heat, growth, vines and leaves, the bloom of a rose.

It is blue skies and electrical storms, warm days and cool nights.
Beltane is the scent of summer in the air, lush gardens and petals.
It is a time for nakedness, for sex and desire, for getting together for joyful celebration.
Beltane is a time of freedom, of cleansing, of growth and choice, of letting go with delightful abandon.
Beltane is creativity and creation, bringing ideas and plans to life.

In my part of the world, Beltane marks the beginning of the cherry harvest.
Cherries are a big deal here, the harvest attracting people from all over the world.
Our local Cherry Festival closely coincides with the Sabbat of Beltane, so it is easy to see the old Pagan roots of my town celebrating the big agricultural event of the district.

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So, cherries feature largely in my personal Beltane symbolism.

Cherries symbolize celebration, festivity and fertility, making them the perfect Beltane fruit.
You also have to wonder at the saying “to lose your cherry”.
If the cherry symbolizes virginity, the harvest of the cherries ties in well with the sexual overtones of Beltane.
You can bet that many ‘cherries’ have been lost during the celebration of this lustful Sabbat.

Beltane is when the native Australian bottlebrush bursts into flower.
The bottle brush is sacred to Aphrodite, and its bright red blush is reminiscent of both the Goddess Of Love and the days of ‘greater sun’ that is Beltane.

Beltane falls on the 31st of October in the Southern Hemisphere, officially beginning at moonrise/sunset, on that day.
Astrologically speaking, Beltane actually falls closer to the fifth of September, neatly on the cross-quarter day.
Beltane is an earth based Sabbat and is celebrated under the astrological sign of Taurus, when the sun reaches 15 degrees in the sign, marking the halfway point between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice.

Beltane - As Above Tarot

Beltane – As Above Tarot

Mythologically, Beltane is the Handfasting (Pagan marriage) of the God and Goddess.
The Horned God has now reached manhood , and the Great Rite is played out in nature, in the rampant reproduction and growth of plants and crops.
The God and Goddess make love amid the ripening crops and she conceives his child, ensuring the fruition of the harvest.
They make love so that we may have food for the year ahead, thus ensuring our survival and that of the Earth.
This Divine coming together also sparks great creative energy.
Beltane is a great time to begin a new creative project or hobby.

The seeds we planted at Yule, our goals for the year, have been gently nurtured up to this point and now is the time to give that extra effort for growth.
We may have to sacrifice some of our seedlings for the growth and health of the others.
Some of your plans may be coming along strongly, others are weak, some may have withered and died all together.
By now, you should have an idea which you would like to keep growing, the rest can be weeded out, so you can focus your attention on those that are most important to you.

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Like Samhain, which falls on the opposite side of the Wheel of the Year to Beltane, the veil to the other side is thin.

This makes Beltane a good time for ritual, divination and connection with the Divine.

At Samhain, we focus on contacting the dead, at Beltane we can work at connecting with the Divine, our personal Deities and the God and Goddess.

I have heard the idea that Beltane brings a thickening of the veil, where we are heavily divided from the other worlds.

This does make sense, in that we are on the opposite side of Samhain, when the veil is at its thinnest.

With this belief, we would focus on more worldly concerns, rather than the ethereal.

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Beltane signifies the return of the Fairy Folk and other little creatures such as Gnomes and Leprechauns.

You can leave offerings to the Fae in your garden to welcome them back, or construct a fairy ring of your own.

There is much magic held within Beltane, a very bewitching magic, something the Fae are well-known for.

Beltane celebrations are held outdoors, a welcome return to nature, with the dark half of the year now firmly behind us.

One of the more well-known Beltane symbols is the May Pole.

The pole itself is a phallic symbol, the garland of flowers at the top symbolic of the Goddess.

The ribbons are colored in the spectrum of the rainbow, a symbol of hope and renewal.

The ribbons are entwined and wound together around the pole, representing the unity of male and female, God and Goddess.

Beltane May Pole

Beltane May Pole

A big part of Beltane tradition is sex.

Beltane being a celebration of love, passion and fertility, the sexual themes are strong, literally as well as symbolically.

On Beltane eve, you can do as the God and Goddess and make love in your orchard or garden.

As well as being a bit of  an adventure, this will ensure an abundance come harvest time.

Bonfires have always been a big part of Beltane celebration, as they are at all fire festivals.

At Beltane, the roaring flames welcome back the sun, the light and heat of summer days.

Those that hope to fall pregnant, can jump the flames of the fire, in hope of taking the Divine spark of fertility within themselves.

The Lovers - Victoria Frances Tarot

The Lovers – Victoria Frances Tarot

All Gods and Goddesses of love and fertility are honored at Beltane, as are the more lustful of the Gods, such as the Horned Gods and Satyrs.

Aphrodite and Pan are my personal Beltane Deities, Aphrodite bringing love, beauty and pleasure, Pan bringing lust, growth and abandon.

 

Looking skyward, Orion the Hunter and the Dog Star have returned to Southern skies.

Both of these constellations can be seen in the east after sunset.

Beside them, in the northeast, is Taurus the Bull, with the red star of Aldebaran and the starry cluster of the Pleiades being very noticable.

Pegasus is prominent in the North, straddling the meridian.

The constellation of Scorpio, which rides the night sky throughout the winter months, is now setting in the southwest.

 

Beltane Incense:

  • 3 pts Frankincense
  • 2 pts Sandalwood
  • 1 pt Rose Petals
  • 4 drops Jasmine Essential Oil
  • 4 drops Neroli Essential Oil

Colors:

  • Pink
  • Red
  • Green
  • Blue

Deities:

  • Aphrodite
  • Pan
  • Satyrs
  • Horned Gods
  • Herne
  • Cernunnos

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Symbols:

  • Cherries
  • May Pole
  • Bells
  • Ribbons
  • Roses
  • Vines
  • Bonfires
  • The Lovers – Tarot Card
  • The Heirophant – Tarot Card – Trump card of Taurus
  • Flower Garlands and Crowns
  • Broom
  • Cauldron
The High Priest of the Druidcraft Tarot. (The Hierophant) Trump card of Taurus

The High Priest of the Druidcraft Tarot. (The Hierophant) Trump card of Taurus

Stones & Gems:

Scents:

  • Rose
  • Frankincense
  • Lavender
  • Vanilla
  • Lilac
  • Wisteria
  • Sandalwood
  • Musk
  • Jasmine
  • Neroli

Herbs:

  • Almond pods and trees
  • Clover
  • Dittany of Crete
  • Elder
  • Foxglove
  • Hawthorn
  • Ivy
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Marigold, Mint, Mugwort
  • Rose, Rowan
  • Sorrel
  • Thyme
  • Woodruff

Nine Scared Woods:

  • Birch
  • Hazel
  • Oak
  • Rowan
  • Hawthorn
  • Fir
  • Willow
  • Apple
  • Vine

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Categories: The Sabbats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Ostara – Spring Equinox

Ostara celebrates the high point of Spring and the perfect balance of night and day, dark and light.

 

From here on in, the days get longer, leading us out into the Summer months.

The earth has awakened from her winter slumber and is now in full bloom, cloaked in petals, a riot of color.

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At the Spring Equinox, the sun reaches its midpoint along the eastern horizon.

During the year, the sun travels from north to south and back again.

At the Winter Solstice the sun can be seen rising from its furthermost point of travel northward.

At the Summer Solstice the sun rises from its furthest point in the south.

If you are observant of the sun, you can clearly see the sun travel along the horizon as the year waxes and wanes.

As the sun reaches this point of balance, it brings us back into the light half of the year and leads us into summer.

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For me, Ostara is my Jasmine bushes, bursting into flower.

Ostara is the sweet scent of flowers on the breeze.

Ostara is gold and green, fields of canola and wheat, side by side.

It is my garden in bloom, a mass of color.

It is the buzzing of bees and the scent of a freshly mown lawn.

Ostara is the nostalgia of Summer, soon to come.

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Fertility is the main symbolism of Ostara.

The hare accompanies the Goddess, a symbol of rampant fertility, and a reference of the Lunar Goddess, as a Hare can be seen in the moon.

Eggs are a huge part of the symbolism of Ostara, of which the fertility reference cannot be ignored.

The egg is symbolic of the female reproductive egg and rebirth and renewal.

Ostara Maiden by art of the empath

Ostara Maiden by art of the empath

Another symbol of Ostara, is the snake.

Snakes are now emerging from hibernation, awakening and warming themselves in the growing heat of the sun.

A snake is also symbolic of renewal, as it sheds its skin, new life emerging from the old.

Many snakes lay eggs, giving birth to the fertility of spring.

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Ostara is the rebirth of Persephone.

Having made the long ascent from The Underworld, she has returned to her Mother, Demeter’s side.

Persephone is the petal, the flower, the fresh spring growth.

Demeter rejoices at the return of her Daughter, and blesses the earth with fertility, bringing forth the agricultural year.

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At Ostara, God and Goddess reach sexual maturity.

Their rising desire is all around us, the blooming of plants, awakening of the earth, the rising sap in the trees.

God and Goddess now come together and make love for the first time.

 

The fertility theme is incorporated into the very name of this Sabbat.

Eostre is an old lunar Goddess and is the origin of the word ‘estrogen’, the female hormone.

 

The Christian celebration of Easter is a shameless rip-off of the Ostara Sabbat.

The symbolism of the hare and Easter egg are overtly Pagan, and while the egg can easily be said to be a symbol of resurrection, Christians find the Easter Bunny a bit harder to explain!

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Ostara is at once a time of renewal and of letting go.

As the earth shrugs free from the chains of Winter, we too can take the opportunity to free ourselves of that which no longer serves us.

This is a good time to let go of bad habits and old resentments, so we can begin the light half of the year anew.

Just as the dark side of the wheel comes to a close, the light half now begins, so this is also the perfect time to start something new.

 

What do you need to free yourself of?

What do you wish to begin?

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Ostara Incense:

  • 3 part Frankincense
  • 2 pt Sandalwood
  • 1 pt Benzoin
  • 1 pt Cinnamon
  • Few Drops of Patchouli Oil

Deities:

  • Aphrodite
  • Cernunnos
  • Eostre
  • Green Man
  • Persephone
  • Gaia
  • Maiden Goddesses
  • Solar Goddesses
Spring altar of Gaia

Spring altar of Gaia

Colors:

  • Pink
  • Yellow
  • Pastels

Symbols:

  • Flowers
  • Light
  • Eggs
  • Jasmine
  • Snakes
  • Eostre baskets
  • Hares, Rabbits
  • Petals
  • Green Leaves
  • Blossoms

Stones:

  • Amethyst
  • Red Jasper

Herbs & Plants:

  • Jasmine
  • Lavender
  • Wisteria
  • Dandelion
  • Young Leaves
  • All flowering plants

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Categories: Pagan Blog Project, The Sabbats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Yule – The Winter Solstice

The day of the Winter Solstice marks the longest night, and shortest day, of the year.

The sun has reached its Northern most point along the horizon, where it will stay for a few days, before beginning its journey back Southward.

The sun rides low in the north, rising late and setting very early.

Days and nights are cold, dark and dreary.

The mornings are laid in frost and fog.

Winter is upon us.

The dreary days of Yule

The dreary days of Yule

Yule holds a little seed of hope, a seed of regeneration, a spark of light in the darkness.

For although the sun is now too far away to lend us it’s warming rays, Yule marks the beginning of our return to the light and warmth of the summer months.

 

In mythology, The Goddess is giving birth.

Her son, and future lover, is being reborn, returning us  into the waxing half of the year.

She labours to birth her son, her lover, the sun and the light.

 

The Goddess herself  is in her triple aspect.

She is the Crone, sleeping, tired and reflective, immersed in the dark days of winter.

She is the Mother, whom is giving birth.

She is the Maiden, regenerated, a seed dormant in the earth, awaiting the return of the light to call her to the surface.

demeter and demophoon

At Yule, with the dark days and long nights of winter upon us, we celebrate the promise of a return to the light and the beginning of a New Year.

In the Northern Hemisphere, the Sabbat of Yule coincides with Christmas, itself steeped in Pagan tradition.

The Christmas tree originates from Yule tradition.

By bringing  an evergreen tree into our home, a tree that has been grown and nurtured in the light of the sun throughout the year, we can bring that light and warmth into our homes.

Light plays a big part in Yule and Christmas celebrations, symbolizing our hope of the return to the light and the warmth that it brings with it.

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The Longest Night Of The Year is steeped in dark Pagan mythology.

One of the more well-known stories, is that of The Wild Hunt.

On this dark night, the Horned Gods shall ride with their band of lost souls.

Tearing through the countryside, they will take with them anyone that is unfortunate enough to cross their path.

Fire and light provides protection from the Wild Hunt, which rides only through the darkened places.

Bonfires, Yule lights and candles blaze, keeping safe those that reside within the confines of the light.

If you hear the wind screaming around the eaves on Solstice Night, chances are the Wild Hunt is passing nearby.

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Bonfires are traditional for this Fire Festival.

A fire kept burning throughout the darkest night of the year, ensures the return of the sun and keeps the Wild Hunt at bay.

You can make a Yule log to burn in the fire.

Tradition dictates this log comes from the root of a tree, or even the entire tree itself.

In Australia, the Yule Log is taken from the roots of a eucalypt tree.

 

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One of my personal markers of this Sabbat, is the first shoots of my Winter bulbs.

Planted in Autumn, they are now breaking ground, their tender green shoots sprout from the Earth.

I love Winter bulbs.

They bloom around Imbolc, during the height of winter days, a flash of colour breaking the gloomy surroundings.

Yule sees the potential of these winter bloomers, little shoots of hope.

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Yule is a time of pause and quiet.

A time to give thanks to our loved ones for their love and support during the past year.

A time to give thought to what we wish to achieve in the coming year.

Yule is when we first begin to form these plans, to let our hopes and dreams incubate and take shape.

This is not a time of action, but it is the first stirrings of our future actions.

What are you hoping to achieve this coming year?

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During the dark days of Yule, look to the cold and the darkness which now surrounds us and take time to honor the eternal dance of the earth and the sun, the light and the dark.

Celebrate promise, hope and regeneration.

Merry Yule!

 

Yule Incense:

  • 2pt Frankincense
  • 2pt Pine Resin
  • 1pt Sandalwood
  • Ipt Juniper Berry
Cauldron Fire

Cauldron Fire

Colours:

  • Red
  • Green
  • Gold
  • White
  • Silver
  • Black

The symbolic colours of Yule are red, white and green.

Red for the rebirth of the sun and The God.

White for the regeneration of The Goddess.

Green for the regeneration of the Earth.

Deities:

  • Herne
  • Cernunnos
  • Hecate
  • Demeter
  • Green Man
  • Apollo
  • Lugh
  • Dionysus
  • Odin
  • Woden
  • Horned God
The Yule Tree is a bright and cheerful contrast to the gloomy winter weather

The Yule Tree is a bright and cheerful contrast to the gloomy winter weather

Symbols:

  • Yule Log
  • Evergreens & Ivy
  • Holly & Mistletoe
  • Fire
  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Yule Tree
  • Pine & Pine Cones
  • Cauldron
  • Snow & Ice

Stones & Gems:

  • Bloodstone
  • Ruby
  • Emerald
  • Garnet
  • Diamond
  • Cats Eye
  • Tiger Eye

Scents:

  • Pine
  • Cedar
  • Cinnamon
  • Bayberry
  • Rosemary
  • Juniper
  • Frankincense
  • Sandalwood
  • Myrrh

Herbs:

  • Pine
  • Frankincense
  • Cedar
  • Cinnamon
  • Bayberry
  • Thistle
  • Holly
  • Oak
  • Sage
  • Poinsettia

 

 

 

Categories: The Sabbats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

A View To Mabon

Mabon through my lens.

My Autumnal Equinox in Country Australia.

The majestic cloak of Autumn

The majestic cloak of Autumn

Red, Orange and Gold. Colours of Mabon

Red, Orange and Gold. Colours of Mabon

Balance. Light and Dark. Liminal Time

Hekate of Earth. Seasonal shrine.

Hekate of Earth. Seasonal shrine

Herne The Hunter, seasonal shrine.

Herne The Hunter, seasonal shrine

Seasonal Apple Pie, Complete With Autumn Leaves Decoration

Seasonal Apple Pie, Complete With Autumn Leaves Decoration

Mabon, the beginning of the apple harvest

Mabon, the beginning of the apple harvest

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The Sun Sets On Summer

The Sun Sets On Summer

 

Categories: The Sabbats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mabon – The Autumnal Equinox

Mabon (or Harvest Home),  is the Autumnal Equinox, the shaded twin of  Ostara, the Spring Equinox.

Ostara is balance of night and day, the harbinger of Spring and Summer, the light half of the year.

Mabon also sees this balance of light and dark, but now we tip over into the dark half of the year, ushering in the shadows of Autumn and Winter.

From this point onwards the night shall reign, as the days grow ever shorter.

 

Mabon is a beautiful time of year.

The air, while not yet cold, does begin to take on a chill, particularly of a night and morning.

The leaves on the trees are beginning to turn, a stunning display of red, orange and gold.

You can smell Autumn in the air.

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Early Autumn Leaves Near My Home

Mabon is a very magical time, both in the air and the earth, the magic of the season is palpable.

Agriculturally, Mabon marks the beginning of the apple and grape harvest.

Many late season vegetables are now in season too.

Mabon is the second harvest Sabbat, a busy time for farmers and growers, bringing in the late harvests before the chill of winter descends.

With the abundance of the various harvests, Mabon is a time of thanksgiving.

We give our thanks to the Earth and the Sun, the God and Goddess, for the food that sustains us throughout the year.

We acknowledge that without the eternal cycles of birth, growth and death, there can be no life.

We can also extend our thanks to the men and women who nurture and grow the food that we eat.

 

Mabon is also a theme of death and descent.

Persephone has reached The Underworld, taking her throne beside her Husband, Hades.

Demeter mourns the loss of her Daughter once again, her grief seen all around us in the dying earth.

Hekate too, returns to The Underworld, having accompanied the Maiden Persephone on her journey down.

Both Persephone and Hekate take up their darker Underworld aspects at this time.

Persephone and Hades - Jynette Tigner

Persephone and Hades – Jynette Tigner

In Celtic mythology, the Oak King and Holly King fight their eternal battle, the Holly King emerging victorious.

He is the Lord of Winter, the Lord of Darkness, who shall preside over the dark days ahead.

 

The wounded God of Lughnasadh succumbs to his mortality.

He falls to the ground, amid the bounty of the harvest and breathes his last.

He turns to his shadowy aspect, a God in and of the shadows.

He too will soon make his descent to The Underworld and take his throne, The Lord of The Underworld, Hades himself.

 

Throughout the turning of the Great Wheel, we have observed the growth and maturation of the Horned God.

We celebrated his birth at Yule.

Watched him grow into his childhood at Imbolc, as the earth began to stir from its slumber and the first shoots broke ground.

We saw him as a young man at Ostara, as the earth burst into life and color.

We witnessed him lay with the Goddess and become a man at Beltane.

At Litha he was in his prime, strong and virile with the heat of the sun.

At Lughnasadh we wept alongside the Goddess, watching as he bled out into the earth.

We witnessed the God as the Sun King at Litha and the Corn King at Lughnasadh.

Now, at Mabon, we welcome the Lord Of The Vine, Dionysus.

Dionysus the God Of Wine, Song, Dance and Ecstasy.

 

The Goddess grows old, almost at the winter of her life.

She is weary and grieving for her soon to be lost love.

Soon she shall lay down to rest, retreating to the Underworld to await her renewal.

She does not die, but slumbers.

But for this time, Mabon, she is radiant and beautiful in her twilight years, cloaked in the majesty of Autumn.

Mabon Goddess - Bastet

Mabon Goddess – Bastet

Mabon is a time of liminality, between the worlds of light and dark.

Mabon is a time of balance and abundance.

We can reap the rewards of all we have gained throughout the year.

We can also think about how we can sustain these things throughout the fallow period of winter.

 

During the season of Mabon, take the time to do some Autumn Cleaning.

Much like Spring Cleaning, but instead of clearing and making room for new activities, opportunities and ideas, we clear out and make room for contemplating and reviewing the year that has been.

Mabon is a chance to rid ourselves of those things that we no longer need, that no longer bring us pleasure or work for us.

Like the opposing seasons of Spring and Autumn, we take a different approach to cleaning and clearing at Mabon.

Rather than clearing the material world, this is a good time to clear yourself of old habits, thoughts and friendships that no longer serve you.

Autumn Cleaning is more about making room for contemplation and meditation throughout the coming winter.

Rituals and meditations of balance and healing are a way to achieve this.

Clear your mind and your personality of all the things you would best be without.

 

As the Sun wanes, look to your own shadow aspect.

Acknowledge, embrace, the darkest side of your personality.

Know that without this darkness there can be no light.

Your dark and light half make up the whole of who you really are.

Achieving a balance of the two is what we need most desire at the Autumnal Equinox.

 

Most of all, get outdoors and soak up the magick of Mabon!

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Autumn Leaves – Pinterest.

 

Mabon Incense:

  • 2pt Frankincense
  • 1pt Sandalwood
  • 1pt Cypress
  • 1pt Juniper
  • 1pt Pine
  • 1/2pt Oakmoss
  • 1 pinch of pulverized Oak Leaf

Colors:

  • Red
  • Gold
  • Orange
  • Brown

Deities:

  • Persephone
  • Demeter
  • Hekate
  • Dionysus
  • Zeus
  • Green Man
  • Hermes
  • Hades
Crossing - Pinterest

Crossing – Pinterest

Symbols:

  • Indian Corn
  • Cornucopia
  • Wine
  • Vines
  • Grapes
  • Apples
  • Pine Cones
  • Acorns
  • Pomegranates
  • Grain
  • Corn
  • Autumn Leaves
  • Dried Seeds
  • The Hanged Man Tarot Card

Stones & Gems:

  • Lapis Lazuli
  • Gold
  • Topaz
  • Peridot
  • Sapphire
  • Yellow Agate

Scents:

  • Sandalwood
  • Benzoin
  • Myrrh
  • Sage

Herbs:

  • Marigold
  • Rose
  • Tobacco
  • Vegetables
  • Oak Leaves
  • Grains
  • Honeysuckle

 

Unknown Photographer

Unknown Photographer

Categories: The Sabbats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

At The Crossroads – Finding My Way

Things have changed for me in a big way this past week.

Hecate, my Matron Goddess, has reawakened with the dawning shadows of Winter and is asserting her will, strongly, as is her way.

I have found myself at her crossroads, only there is no decision to be made, for my torch bearing Goddess has marked the way.

With the revelations of the past week, I have dropped the title of Wiccan for something I feel is more expansive, I am a Witch.

 

Only a week ago, I would have identified my path as Wiccan.

Wiccan in the sense that there is a God and a Goddess.

That the Wheel Of The Year is celebrated.

That the Full Moon is a time of ritual celebration.

That the Dark Moon may or may not be a time of darker magick, meditation and looking within.

 

I have tried the ways of Wicca for a few years now, but it has never felt quite right for me, never really came from the heart.

There are many parts of Wicca that do work.

A symbolistic approach to the Wheel works.

The Goddess works.

Much of the Wiccan ritual structure works.

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What doesn’t work is the strong focus on polarity.

Always male and female. masculine and feminine, anima and animus, God and Goddess.

This has never worked for me.

Invoking The God during a full moon rite, has never felt right.

I could never put my heart into it, so abandoned that whole idea quickly.

I understand about the moon only being lit by the sun, but this never seemed to matter.

Deep down inside, it just never resonated for me.

For me, my Full Moon rites are worked with The Goddess.

Just her and I , under the light of the moon.

This works and just feels right.

 

I have never really had a Patron God.

I have tried, have made connections.

Herne was with me for a while and I thought I had found Him.

I was sad when he left, but understood he had left me a gift.

He had been with me when I was in need of his particular energies.

He gave what he needed, wanted, to give and then he left.

 

Hecate has been there from the beginning, has been with me always.

She called me to her and has been by my side ever since.

The reality of her presence in my rites is something to behold.

She has always been so strong and vital in my life.

I have never experienced that level of thereness, with any other Deity I have worked with.

hecate_by_mari_na-d36x4ac

Now, during a week of some deep Dark Goddess work, I know where my path leads.

My path is Hecate, in all her varied aspects and splendor.

Hecate, both light and dark.

She has much to teach me, much to give me and she wants my full and undivided attention.

This sits well with me, as deep down, I have always known she was my Goddess, my only Goddess.

She is creator, protector, teacher, guide, friend and mother.

Hecate is the Goddess who will guide me, into the light, into the dark, towards wisdom, knowledge and the mysteries.

 

Now, finally, I have surrendered to her will.

I redressed my altar, dedicating it solely to her, as it was when I began these ways.

Hecate has been a happy participant during this process, even providing some of the items upon said altar.

When my Husband brought me home a shed snake-skin, I couldn’t help but smile knowingly.

 

My Horned God statue now sits proudly on the small communal altar in my lounge room.

This too feels right, as the solar Sabbats are celebrated as a family.

I enjoy celebrating Sabbats, as does my muggle family (even if just for the lavish feasts I prepare), and we will continue to do this.

Honoring the cycles of the sun, the endless wheel of the seasons, is just part of who I am.

Even though fitting the Wheel Of The Year to the Australian climate requires much juggling, I have found much symbolism and discovery within its framework.

At the Sabbats, I give thanks for His light, His energy, His yearly sacrifice.

I love the concept of the Horned God and His Wild Hunt.

Yet, honoring The God has always been an outer activity, one to celebrate and share with my family.

Honoring The Goddess is a personal and quiet affair, Her mysteries aren’t conducive to sharing, they are just known and understood.

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Polarity and equality has just not worked for me.

Working with both God and Goddess at every rite, every working.

I tried, but it never rang true to me.

I believe this is to do directly with Hecate.

Other Goddesses pair well with their masculine counterparts, Aphrodite and Pan at Beltane, for instance.

But Hecate just seems to have both bases covered in this regard.

She feels whole and complete.

 

Hecate is a loner, a solitary Goddess.

She also carries symbols that are considered to be masculine, her sword and her torches.

Hecate is enough for me, she fulfills me in ways a pair of Deities just do not.

But then, this is why I am a proud solitary.

I can work my path any which way I please.

I am not bound by tradition, either in the larger sense or with the traditions and beliefs of a specific coven.

My path is mine and mine alone, I can do with it as I please.

Or maybe, as She pleases.

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At this time, as the sun wanes in the sky, as the days become noticeably shorter, I feel the pull of The Dark Goddess.

From now until the Wheel turns anew, my path is that of the Dark Moon, the Dark Goddess and The Underworld.

It is time to draw within, to learn of myself and the sometimes harsh, sometimes compassionate, face of the Dark Goddess.

Who better than to lead the way down these darkened paths and the treacherous caverns of The Underworld, than that ancient guide herself,  Hecate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lughnasadh – The First Harvest

Lughnasadh, also known as Lammas,  marks the beginning of the first harvest.
Traditionally, this is the harvesting of grain crops.
In my area of Australia, grain crops such as wheat are sown as winter crops, to avoid the scorching heat and dry conditions of high summer.
Here grain crops are harvested before the Midsummer Solstice.

Although celebrating the harvest of grain just doesn’t fit here, Lughnasadh still marks the commencement of many a harvest in my area.
Depending on the time of sowing, corn is now being harvested, as are stone fruits.
For me, in Southern New South Wales, Lughnasadh is the Sabbat of fresh summer fruits.
Peaches, grapes, plums, prunes and berries are all being harvested at Lughnasadh.
This works well for us, still experiencing the heat of summer, as platters of fresh fruit are a treat on a summers’ eve celebration.

The sacrificial symbolism of Lughnasadh can also be seen in the sun, as it begins it’s slow journey North, toward the Autumn Equinox.
As the sun travels North, the days become shorter.
This is not that evident yet, but each day is two minutes shorter than the preceding day.
It is in the travels of the sun, that the aging and death of the God is evident, if not in the actual grain harvest.

Celtic Goddess & Horned God

Lughnasadh – Unholy Vault

Although we are still experiencing summer, Lughnasadh is an acknowledgement of the Pagan year drawing to a close.
It is endings, achievement and abundance, but it is also death and sacrifice.
The traditional meanings of Lughnasadh lie in the harvesting of the grain.
Symbolically, this is the sacrificial death of the God, who is cut down as the wheat stalk.
His blood allows us to be fed for the coming year, he gives his life for The Goddess, for the produce of the land, for us.

We must remember the God sacrifices his life willingly.
When he joined with The Goddess at Beltane, He knew what was to come, as She beckoned him to her in her sacred grove.
He came to her willingly, understanding the implications of his acceptance.

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We can see a very human aspect of The God at Lughnasadh.
He is like us, in that he has a lifespan, a certain amount of time in which to live, grow and accomplish.
He is born, he develops from childhood into adulthood.
He reaches his prime and then declines into old age.
He must come to terms with his mortality.
His is the life cycle of the mortal.

The Goddess is eternal, she does not die.
She ages and she slumbers, but her life force stays vital.
But this too has its price.
For she must watch all that she loves die.
Even worse for her, she must be the one that brings that death, to her Divine lover, to the trees and flowers, to the land, to her mortal children.
For death is a part of the endless cycle of life, without it there can be no renewal, no resurgence of life in the Spring.
Without death, there is no wheel, no cycle, no seasons, no life.

Demeter

At Lughnasadh, The Goddess is both Mother and Crone.
She is Demeter, walking the fields, crops ripening in her wake.
The Mother who gives life and sustenance.

She is also The Crone.
As her lover lies bleeding into the soil before her, she stands over him, sickle in hand, and she cries.
She is the bearer of death to the one she loved.
She wails at his loss, his selfless sacrifice to her life-giving forces.
His spilled blood upon her, she draws forth her veil of darkness and walks into the shadows.
The mourning of The Goddess will bring on the slumber of the Earth, Autumn and then Winter.

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In Greek mythology, Lughnasadh marks the descent of Persephone.
Having spent the light half of the year above ground, it is now time to fulfill her duties as the wife of Hades.
With Hecate leading the way with her flaming torches, Persephone begins the journey back to The Underworld, the realm of the dead.
Throughout the Autumn and Winter, Persephone will sit atop her throne, presiding over the Shades of the Dead.
Her Husband, the Dark Lord Hades, at her side.
Though Persephone will return in the Spring, her Mother, Demeter, will mourn the loss of her Daughter, as she does each year.
In her grief, she refuses to fertilise the earth, plunging us into the winter months where nothing grows without her Divine aid.
But first, we get to enjoy the last days of sunshine, warmth and growth.
Maybe more so, knowing that Winter is just around the corner

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The theme of Lughnasadh is death and sacrifice, but it is also acknowledging abundance in our lives.
At Yule, we set ourselves a goal, or goals, for the year ahead.
As the earth worked toward the culmination of the harvest, and the sun ascended, so too have we worked to bring our goals to fruition.
Lughnasadh is the first harvest festival, so we still have time to give that final push towards completion, some things take longer to grow than others.
But it is time to reflect on the year that has been and all that it has brought us.
What good things have come into your life throughout the year?
What can you give thanks for?

We can also look at the sacrifices that we have made, and those that need to be made.
Bad habits, old ways that no longer serve us, people who bring us nothing but problems, clutter that has accumulated in your home.
What do you need to rid yourself of?
Lughnasadh is a good time to look honestly at yourself, to be thankful for all that is good in your life and to cut away all that is negative or no longer serves your future growth.

Saturn - As Above Tarot

Saturn – As Above Tarot

 Lughnasadh Incense:

  • 2 parts Frankincense
  • 1 pt Benzoin
  • 1 pt Dragons Blood
  • 1/2 pt Nutmeg
  • 1/2 pt Blackberry leaf
  • 1/2 pt Orange Peel
  • 1/2 pt Rose Petal

 

Colors:

  • Red
  • Brown
  • Orange
  • Yellow
  • Gold
  • Bronze

 

Deities:

  • Lugh
  • Sun Gods
  • Epona
  • Demeter
  • Dark Persephone
  • Hecate
  • Cerridwen
  • Dionysus
  • Adonis
  • Hermes
  • Cronos
Strength - Steampunk Tarot

Strength – Steampunk Tarot

Symbols:

  • Athame
  • Sword
  • Sickle
  • Snake
  • Fruit
  • Grain
  • Strength – Tarot Card
  • Justice – Tarot Card
  • Seeds
  • Corn Dolls
  • Crows

 

Stones & Gems:

  • Carnelian
  • Citrine
  • Tigers Eye
  • Cats Eye

 

Scents:

  • Sandalwood
  • Frankincense

 

Herbs:

  • Grapes
  • Blackberry
  • Sandalwood
Categories: The Sabbats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Walking The Dark Path

Now that Midsummer is behind us, the sun having peaked and begun to descend, I have found my thoughts turning toward the dark days of winter.
As much as I enjoy the Sabbats of spring and summer, (Beltane is a particular favorite), it is the days of the Dark Goddess that call to me.
Now, just past Midsummer, I notice the first early signs of the Autumn soon to come.
Even though the light and heat of Summer is still with us, it is gradually beginning to fade.
The leaves on the trees have lost their luster, some even visibly beginning to yellow, lending the tree the appearance of late middle age.
I notice the changes happening around me and I redress my altar in Lughnasadh finery.
I begin to go within myself, whereas throughout the longer, brighter days of Summer, I am more outwardly focused.
Summer is my time to work on my goals and projects of the year, to spend time with friends and family, to enjoy and experience life.
During Autumn and Winter I prefer solitude, quiet and stillness.

While the heat of Summer, and the threat of bushfire, still looms high above us, I can feel the approach of cooler days to come.
As I write this, we are experiencing a spell of cold and wet weather.
Rain is so scarce here at this time of year, that this rain band is a joy to behold.
All that, days before, wilted and drooped under the relentless sun, seems to stretch and sigh, plants and trees soaking up the moisture.
Today, is a reminder of the joy and beauty of Autumn and Winter.
I don’t like the heat, and it gets so brutally hot here that I can’t stand it.
So I guess it is only natural that I long for the relief of Autumn.

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It is not only respite from the heat of the sun that I crave though.
It is the solitary reverence of Samhain.
The quiet reflection of the year that has been, the good, the bad, those I have lost and loved, my achievements and mistakes.
It is sitting quietly in front of my black draped altar, a solitary black candle burning, lost in deep meditative thought.
It is returning to the arms of the Dark Goddess.

Since my first calling into the ways of Wicca, I have felt a deep pull towards the Goddesses of the darkness.
Hecate called to me, one dreary Samhain day, and she has been with me ever since.
Ceridwen, Ereshkigal, Lilith, Nyx and Dark Persephone have all called to me at different times, and they visit regularly.
The deep inner work these Goddesses bring with them can be very hard, but this is where the true goal of the Witch, Know Thyself, is learnt and practiced.
The dark Goddesses lead one into ones own soul, a place of self-knowledge and development.
Working with the Dark Goddesses has always been where my real growth and learning lies.

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During the light half of the year, I work with the ‘light’ Goddesses; Aphrodite is wonderful to work with, as is the harvest Goddess, Demeter.
Brighid and Persephone the Maiden bring much joy and energy as well.
But my true calling lies on the dark path.

Sometimes, this shadow work can be frightening and confronting, facing your deepest self, your truest will and desire, fears and intentions.
But only through facing what frightens us, facing those parts of ourselves that we would prefer to keep hidden in the shadows, can we really learn about ourselves.
And only through learning about ourselves, both the light and dark halves of our personalities, can we grow and thrive, not just as Witches, but as people too.

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Talisman Of Fire For Weight Loss

I created this talisman to add some magical fire power toward my weight loss goals.
It has had a spectacular effect.
I have lost a substantial amount of weight and over a period of nine months, my motivation and will to succeed has not waned.
I wear it around my neck during my daily walk, and as well as lending me the magical powers of fire, it is a tangible reminder of my goal.
Like all spells, this talisman will not work if you don’t, you still have to work hard at it, this will just help you to do that.

I don’t list invocations and incantations, I write my own and so should you. Each word in spellwork needs to come from the heart and resonate with you on a personal level. Parroting someone else’s words will not achieve the desired effect. Write your own. You don’t need to be a master writer, you just need to feel what you speak.

Element: Fire

Ingredients:

  • Pine Needles
  • Cinnamon
  • Bay Leaf
  • Carnelian Stone
  • Quartz Crystal – (this is optional. I like to add quartz to my spell bags as they amplify the magick of the talisman.)
  • Patchouli Essential Oil  (Essential Oil NOT Fragrance Oil!)
  • Cedar Essential Oil
  • A Red Pouch (I can sew, so I make my own. But you can buy one if you aren’t handy with a needle and thread.)

Incense:

  • 2 pt Frankincense
  • 1pt Dragons Blood
  • 1/2 pt Copal
  • 1/2 pt Pine (resin)
  • 1/4 pt Cinnamon (stick)
  • Pinch of Bay

 

  • Cast your circle in your usual way and call the Quarters.
  • Invoke your patron deities. (I called Hecate and Herne, Deities that I have a working relationship with. The Horned Gods are particularly good for this spell, the physical strength, power and drive of these very masculine beings is what you want to invoke in yourself. Hecate is associated with the element of fire and transformation. She can lend her help to the mental side of weight loss.)
  • Call now upon the Elemental beings of Fire. ( I work with Fire Drakes when I need the help of Fire. These tiny members of the dragon family get the job done and, I have found, are the safest Fire elementals to work with. Be very careful in your choice of elemental here, fire is not a force to take lightly.)
  • Cleanse your stones and bless your herbs and oils. When you feel you have removed all residual energy, hold each one in your hand and picture the results you wish to achieve.
  • When you have charged your ingredients, place them into the pouch and sew it closed.
  • Add a few drops of the Patchouli and Cedar oil onto the bag, giving them a moment to soak through.
  • Ask your Deities to bless your talisman and to aid you in infusing it with strength, success, motivation and will-power.
  • Do the same with the Fire Elemental you have invoked, asking for strength, motivation, will power and transformation.
  • Hold the talisman in the incense smoke, visualizing the powers of fire activating the magical ingredients within.
  • Visualize the successful completion of your goal; your goal weight on the scale, the measurement of your waist, fitting into that dress, feeling lean, healthy and strong.
  • Raise power and direct those feelings of success and achievement into your talisman. See the talisman burning with the flames of your will. it is now a symbol of your fiery will to succeed, your ambition and desire. Feel it’s light and heat in your hand.
  • When you feel the charge of your talisman, you are done. You can take some time to meditate on your goal or write down some ways that you plan to achieve your goal.
  • Thank and release your deities and open your circle.

You can recharge your bag as you feel the need, either in circle with your Deities, or just by adding some fresh drops of the oil. Just don’t forget to charge your oil with your intentions first.

I wish you the best of luck with your weight loss journey.

 

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The Magick Of Midsummer

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The Height of Summer

 

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