Monthly Archives: July 2012

Amaterasu Sun Goddess Ritual

Amaterasu Sun Goddess Ritual

 

You will need:

1 red candle to represent the goddess

1 candle to represent yourself in your preferred color

1 black candle to represent the shadow self

1 white candle

Round mirror or mirrors (makeup compact mirrors are okay)

Crystals, if desired

Cinnamon incense

Oils, such as Jasmine and/or Dragon’s Blood

 

Cast your Circle; call in the Elements, 4 Directions, and the Higher Powers.  Also your ancestors and guides, if you wish.

‘Dress’ or oil your candles.  If you are going to carve anything on them though, do that first.  On the red candle, carve an image of the sun.  On the black candle, carve ‘facing the shadow self’ and ‘releasing negativity’.  You can use two black candles if you wish, up to you.  You can carve your name on yours, and since the white one will represent Spirit or Enlightenment, you can carve that on it or just leave it blank.  (The intent is always the main thing!)  Put mirrors around to represent the sun goddess, and crystals such as white quartz or citrine, yellow topaz.  

Light your candles.  Put the white candle next to the black candle to represent illumination.  Put your candle next to the goddess candle. Put mirrors and crystals around the candles. 

Center yourself; then say this invocation three times.

 

INVOCATION TO AMATERASU

 

Amaterasu, bright Goddess of the Sun!

Shine upon us who call upon you!

Light the path before us,

Keep us safe in your warm comfort.

 

You who abhor violence and strife,

Please defend us from any evil ones

With your heavenly arrows.

Help us laugh like you did with Uzume,

 

As she did her funny dance for you!

Shed light on our shadow selves

So we can work through darkness within,

And find the love and joy we need.

 

…….

 

When you are through with the invocation, visualize bravely facing the shadows within yourself.  Visualize light being shed upon any darkness within, and then coming out of a cave and into the light.  You are greeted by your ancestors, guides and guardians, and surrounded with love.  Amaterasu gives you a kiss on your forehead and gives you her blessing.

When you are through, go to the door and open it.  Visualize yourself as guided, protected, and full of joy, and this going out into the Universe to manifest.  Then say, “So Mote it Be!”  Clap your hands and visualize any extra energy going into Mother Earth.

 

©   Beth Clare Johnson (Mystic Amazon),

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HARVEST BLESSINGS: A LAMMAS RITUAL

 

HARVEST BLESSINGS: A LAMMAS RITUAL

by TaTa Chakra a.k.a. TerraFire

From Oct 98-Oct 99 I had the great blessing of living in a run down farmhouse at the foot of Mount Pisgah just southeast of Eugene, Oregon. I knew when I moved in that my stay there would be impermanent but I quickly grew deeply attached to the beauty of this five-acre property.

The man who had lived there before my housemates and I was an avid gardener whose devoted labor had turned an acre of the property from old river bed full of blackberries into a resplendent garden of visual delight. Because this man had been on good terms with many of the local green witches there were many people, mostly women who came to the garden to harvest the herbs and make herbal medicines. The man had also planted plum apple, peach, cherry and asian pear trees. There were logan berries, gooseberries red and gold raspberries, elderberries and of course many many blackberries. He had trained the blackberries over a bower and around the fence so that they created a privacy screen.

Behind the 16 more or less straight garden rows which had an irrigation system, was a ritual circle with three rings of wildflowers. My housemates and I dug a fire pit in the middle of this circle. We also began to keep bees, which was something that I had longed to do for many years. Bees are very sacred to me and the sound of their humming buzz is one I have always associated both with the cone of power and with my own inner guidance.

There were many lovely trees on this property as well, besides the fledgling fruit trees, there were two transplanted redwoods, not more than 30 years old, three old black walnuts  to which we assigned the archetypes of maiden, mother and crone. The plant being that I grew most attached to was a Cottonwood tree, which was at least 75 years old. This tree was at the far northwest side of the property just 6ft from both edges of the property line.

A thick growth of mugwort had been planted against the fence. The cottonwood tree welcomed me as her magical companion. I regularly meditated by the tree, created a directional invocation with her, held counseling sessions, taught classes and also did trance work laying in the grass beneath her branches with a mugwort breeze drifting over me. My housemate called the place fennel farm because no matter how much fennel we weeded out more sprang up in its place. Fennel Farm was the most idyllic place I have ever lived and the perfect setting for the 3rd annual Luscious Leo Lammas party.

The Luscious Leo Lammas party was a brainstorm of how to create a public ritual space with the organization Cauldron of Changes and simultaneously celebrate my birthday (Aug 1st) and the birthday of my dear friend Mike (Aug 7th). I also had several other close Leo friends whose birthdays could not be ignored, (take my advice: never ignore a Leo’s birthday if you hope to be close to them).

For several years we had held the party and ritual at Mike’s house in town but this year it would be at Fennel Farm and bigger and better than ever. In addition to the ritual we had a keg, a huge vegan birthday cake (it was Eugene, remember), party lights and tiki torches, a stage for performance of poetry and music and we also hired a local African Dance troupe “Foli Kan”. We made crowns for all of the Leo’s to wear and had a kids activity area.

Lots of people came prepared to sleep over night in tents and we prepared the neighbors and invited them to join in. I had written a special invocation chant for the Goddess and God and practiced this and a directional invocation song with a small group of other priests and priestesses. We spent a considerable time preparing the ritual space and gathering our ritual tools and props. As Night began to fall Mike and I (High Priest and Priestess), gathered the ritual attendees together at the gate that lead into the garden and the ritual space beyond. We explained the ritual to everyone, what would happen in what order and taught them the chants. Then the High Priest picked up a tiki torch and lead a procession into the ritual space singing “We are a circle within a circle” by the group Welcome to Annwyfn.

As the group of about 80 people created a circle entering the ritual gate in the east and traveling clockwise around to take their spaces, I walked the outer perimeter with my smoky quartz athamé casting the circle three times. The group continued to sing “we are a circle” as each directional priest/ess in turn raised their voice above the group to call in their direction. In the East the song goes “You hear us sing. You hear us cry, Now hear us call you, Spirits of Air and Sky” which the directional priest finished by marking an invoking pentacle in the Eastern Watchtower with his athamé. He completed the invocation by lighting the three Tiki Torches set in the East.

Three more rounds of the chant were sung before the Southern Priestess sang out loud and clear, “Inside our hearts, there grows a spark, love and desire, a burning fire.” She raised her wand and drew an invoking pentacle on the Southern Watchtower. The song continued again and the Western Priestess sang, “Within our blood, within our tears, there lies the altar, of living water.” Holding the chalice another invoking pentacle was described and hung in the air in the Western quarter.

The North Priestess took her turn singing strongly “Take our fear, take our pain, take the darkness into the earth again.” Holding her paten up as invoking the northern pentacle. Then all the directions sang together “The circles closes, between the worlds, to mark a sacred space, where we come face to face.” And the song ended. The High Priest and I thanked everyone for coming to participate in our Lammas ritual. We explained that we were going to chant to draw down the Goddess and God into each other. We called the God to us and into the High Priest. We Called the Goddess to us and into the High Priestess.  Everyone repeated this three line sing song refrain I AM THE GOD, I AM THE DIVINE, I AM THE DIVINE And the priest responded with the following: IN THE DARK I’M THE NIGHT IN THE DAY I’M THE LIGHT. Then everyone sang the Goddess chorus which was simply: I AM THE GODDESS, I AM THE DIVINE, I AM THE DIVINE and the priestess responded ” I AM THREE I AM ONE AND I CAN’T BE UNDONE”. While this sounds complex on paper it was rather simply done and the text of this singing invocation are given here in completion:

Singing Invocation of God and Goddess

Chorus refrain A: I am the God I am the Divine, I am the Divine

Chorus refrain B: I am the Goddess I am the Divine I am the Divine

Chorus A God response: In the Dark I’m the Night In the Day I’m the Light

Chorus B Goddess Response:       I am Three I am One And I can’t be Undone

Chorus A God response:     I am Young I am Old I am Green Black and Gold

Chorus B Goddess Response:       Maiden Mother and Crone In them Each I am Home

Chorus A God response:     I’m the Flowering Rod I’m the Bountiful God

Chorus B Goddess Response:      I am tree I am snake I will keep you awake

Chorus A God response:     I am Hoof I am Horn As I Leap through the Corn

Chorus B Goddess Response:       I Spiral and Wind As I Labrynth through Time

Chorus A God response:          I’m the One Inbetween I’m the Seen and Unseen

Chorus B Goddess Response:       I’m both Woman and Man Alchemist that I Am

Finish with both Priest & Priestess hands joined singing:

In My Heart and My Mind I am the Divine

The Priestess says: The God is Amongst us, Blessed Be!

The Priest Says: The Goddess is Amongst Us, Blessed Be!

After the invocation, the ritual continued with an explanation of Lammas, The High Priest and Priestess asked participants to look around them at the bounties of the earth and to think upon all of the goodness and wealth that the planet offers us daily. Their words spoken here were in the form of spontaneous offerings from the deities invoked. They explained that Lammas was the first harvest of three harvests, that this was the time of harvesting fruits and flowers, the time to celebrate community and friendships, the time to begin storing things for the coming time of darkness.

As the Description of Lammas ended the Priest and Priestess started Charlie Murphy’s chant “It’s the blood of the Ancients that runs through our veins, And the forms pass, but the circle of life remains” And as the drummers chimed in and the group picked up the chant the Priest and priestess took up a basket and bowl respectively and revealed a Mystery to all the participants in groups of two or three around the entire circle. The Priest showed his basket full of harvested fruits, vegetables and grains saying solemnly “This is the God” and the priestess showed her bowl of rich garden soil saying solemly “This is the Goddess”.

When the Showing of the Mystery was complete a brief grounding meditation was led and each person was asked to answer the Question “What Magickal gift is present in your life right now?” Participants were asked to think of the blessings of this gift to experience it’s presence in their life and to make their awareness of it as big as possible.

They were instructed to focus on the sense of gratitude and blessing and send it off to the earth and sky to anyone in need of it during the cone of power. The cone of power was facilitated by high priest and priestess with the help of the directional priest/esses and began with our imitation of bees buzzing. After several minutes of our toning getting progressively higher the cone was sent off and then held in resonance as we fell to the ground, earthing the energy. Several minutes of silence followed before the priest and priestess arose and moved again to the central altar. They brought out local Blackberry wine and freshly made blackberry juice and a rack of fresh honey comb. The Priest said the Feasting Blessing (from Starhawk’s The Spiral Dance, p.169)

All Life is Your own, All fruits of the earth Are fruits of your womb Your union, your dance. Goddess and God We thank you for blessings and abundance Join with us, feast with us, Enjoy with us! Blessed Be.

And we took the honey and wine and juice to each person as they laughed and made jokes and began to dance and sing again. When all had eaten and some had seconds, it was time to “devoke” the deities and directions, earthing again the powers we had raised and acknowledged. God and Goddess, each direction in turn were invited to leave and thanked for their presence. We sang “The Circle is Open” of course ending with Merry Meet and Merry part and merry meet again.

It has been a moving process for me to share this ritual with you, to consciously re-enter my experience of that sacred day in that beautiful and sacred place where I had the good fortune to live for a while. I hope that our ritual may inspire further rituals, that we humans may become more and more compelled to experience and express our closeness to the earth and our gratitude for her bounty. Blessed Be.

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

Goddess of the Season: Amaterasu

Goddess of the Season: Amaterasu

 

The islands of Japan were isolated from outside influences, in much the same way as the old world islands of Crete or Malta. Due to this separation, the indigenous people of Japan have retained their polytheistic, nature based, Goddess centered beliefs well into modern times. This belief system is called Shinto, which translates as “The way of the Gods”. Within Shinto mythology, the most revered deity is Goddess…… the Sun Goddess and supreme deity of all Kami, the elemental forces of nature. She is….. Amaterasu-o-mi-kami.

Born of the primeval forces of the universe, Izanagi and Izanami; Amaterasu reigned over the heavens and brought life into the world. Her name literally means she who illuminates the heavens. “The Goddess of the beginnings is thus not only the mother of the world, but also the nurturer of living beings, animal as well as vegetable and humans. She is the protectress of all life, the unfailing one.”, writes Jean Markale in her book The Great Goddess. Amaterasu, the Sun Goddess, is associated with royal power and with the returning of life and joy after dark-times.

For the story of Amaterasu and her brother Susano-O, both in audio and written form, entitled “Out of the Cave and into the Light” click on the following:
http://www.lyricalworks.com/stories/amaterasu/amaterasu1.htm

 

Amaterasu ruled over weaving and agriculture. She taught her people how to grow rice, their sacred food, and grains and how to cultivate the silkworm. She invented the art of weaving with the loom and was known to make the garments of the Gods. Like other solar deities, she is an archer, her quiver holding 1000 arrows. Her emblem, the rising sun, still appears on the flag of Japan today. Associated symbols from her myth are the mirror (truth), the necklace (compassion) and the sword (courage and strength) and they represent the Imperial Regalia which are kept at the Great Shrine of Ise. Her gift to the people as their guardian was to show them their own beauty and potential and to develop a cultural unity. As Patricia Monaghan writes “even the inroads of patriarchal Buddhism have not destroyed the worship of the bejeweled ancestor of all humanity”.

The Sun Goddess, Amaterasu, is still worshiped today in the Shinto Temples of Japan. The Japanese Imperial family traces their heritage back to her lineage. Emperor Akihito, the current Emperor, is said to be the 125th direct descendant of Jinmu, the great great grandson of Amaterasu, and is revered as a living God. The Japanese calendar starts from 660 BC and was the year of her accession. There are other scholars who believe it is possible that the indigenous religion of Japan (Shinto) may date back 5000 years. However, there is no official sacred scripture or dogma to validate this.

Buddhism was introduced to Japan in the 6th century and it maintained a peaceful coexistence with Shintoism. However, by the end of the 19th century Shintoism was to lose its status and recognition as a religion to become known as a cult of the Imperial family in the eyes of our western culture. At the end of WW2 the Imperial cult was abolished by the allies. The teaching of Shinto was forbidden along with the Japanese State financial support of it’s temples. Fortunately, this was but a temporary state, as today it again flourishes as a primary religion.

The major festival of Amaterasu, according to Patricia Monaghan, “is not tied to an annual cycle; it is held every twenty years when the sacred mirror is ceremoniously carried to a newly built shrine, identical in all respects to the shrine that has preceded it. Thus Amaterasu’s major ritual, like the myth of her return from the cave, emphasizes renewal.”

~Sacred pilgrimages to the Great Shrine of Ise occur in mid-February and again in mid-June.
~On May 3rd the Hakata festival takes place in Japan and is a national holiday with special celebrations for children and parades to honor their deities. Wear gold colored items today to honor Amaterasu. (365Goddess)
~Another celebration is on February 5th and is known as Sebutsen, the feast of “closing the door on winter”.
~On July 17th, the Great Festival of the Sun Goddess is held and street processions go on all day in honor of the queen of all Kami (Gods).
~And on December 21st, the winter solstice, she is honored for her creativity and the birth of light to the world.

 

Sources:

The Goddess Path, The Goddess Companion and The Book Of Goddesses & Heroines by Patricia Monaghan 365 Goddessby Patricia Telesco

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Lammas (August 1)

Lammas (August 1)

 

Also known as Lughnasadh, or Lughnassad.  It is celebrated by some covens on August 5, the date of Old Lammas, when the sun is at 15 degrees Leo, while still others celebrate on the Lunar Lammas, the date of the eighth Full Moon of the lunar year when the Moon is in Aquarius.

This sabbat is the funeral games festival of the Celtic sun god Lugh.  Lugh is said to have held the first festival in honor of the death of his foster-mother, Tailte.  It is a sabbat celebrating life, strength and family.  In Ireland, it is the traditional date for handfastings, as well as the Tailtean craft fairs. 

Lammas is also a celebration of the first harvest of the year.  This is when the spring plants and trees drop their fruits and seeds, and the first crop of grain is harvested.  It signals the first signs of autumn, with the Sun God entering his mature years.  He symbolically loses strength each day, as the nights get longer.  The Mother Goddess is now glowing in her pregnancy, and life and abundance are everywhere.

Deities:  Lugh, Apollo, Hercules, Demeter, Ceres, Gaia, Danu

Colors:         yellow, orange, red, green

Foods:  apples, grains, breads, berries, grapes, pears, barley soups, beer, mead, wine, apple cider

Herbs/Flowers:  all grains (protection), grapes (fertility, garden magick, money), heather (protection, rain-making, luck), blackberry (healing, money, protection)

Trees:        apple (faery folk, love, healing), pear (lust, love), oak (the God, protection, health, money, fertility, luck), elder (the Goddess, protection, healing, prosperity)

Incense:  aloe (protection, luck, healing), rose (love, enhance psychic powers, healing, luck, protection), sandalwood (protection, wishes, healing, spirituality)

Crystals:  carnelian (protection, peace, eloquence, healing, courage), bloodstone (healing, victory, courage, legal matters, wealth, strength, business, agriculture), yellow topaz (protection, healing, weight loss, money, love)

Activities:

· Feasting with the fresh crops.

· Harvesting.

· Save the seeds of ritual fruits and plant them to honor the God and Goddess.

· Athletic games.

· Craft fairs.

· Handfastings.

· Nature hikes.

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

LUGHNASADH INCENSE

 

LUGHNASADH INCENSE

2 Parts Frankincense
1 part Heather
1 Part Apple Blossoms
1 pinch Blackberry leaves
few drops Ambergris oil

Burn during Wiccan rituals on Aug 1 or 2, or at that time to attune with the coming harvest.

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Paganistan Weekly; July 30- August 5

Paganistan Weekly; July 30- August 5

Posted on July 30, 2012 by Twin Cities Pagans

It’s just one more week until Sacred Harvest Festival, August 6-12; http://harmonytribe.org/content/sacred-harvest-festival-2012-our-fifteenth-year

At Sacred Harvest Festival in 2008, I participated in a ritual known as The Sacred Hunt. It is a powerful and transformational ritual. I hunted for community. When I returned from the festival, I began developing the community Calendar at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TwinCitiesPagans/

In order to promote the Yahoo group, I began putting out this newsletter. My goal was never to publish a newsletter, but rather to promote the Yahoo group, but one thing led to another, and here we are four years later, and the newsletter is still going. Putting out the newsletter just keeps getting to be more and more of a hassle, so after Yule of this year, I am stopping. I will continue updating the Yahoo group, but I will no longer be publishing this newsletter.

I accept that many people rely on this newsletter to stay informed, but 667 of you are already staying informed as members of the Yahoo group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TwinCitiesPagans/

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Why K-Y Liquibeads Vaginal Moisturizer Was Recalled

Why K-Y Liquibeads Vaginal Moisturizer Was Recalled

by Dr. Mache Seibel

Ten years into menopause, vaginal dryness is the number one complaint. And it affects  millions of younger women as well. Earlier this month, J&J (Johnson and  Johnson) was asked to recall over 69,000 units of its K-Y Liquibeads products  after receiving over 200 complaints from consumers between June 25, 2010  and Dec. 12, 2011. It seems the product is not dissolving and/or has an  uncharacteristic consistency or texture.

A spokeswoman for the company said the recall wasn’t unsafe and does not  affect other types of K-Y vaginal moisturizers. Consumers do not need to  return any of the products.

“K-Y Liquibeads is being recalled from retailers and wholesalers to address  the U.S Food and Drug Administration’s concerns that the product should be  cleared under a separate medical device application,” the company said in a  statement earlier this month. “We are moving forward with the process to obtain  clearance for the product.”

K-Y Liquibeads had been sold as part of an application for an existing K-Y  product. The FDA determined that the Liquibead product needed a separate medical  device application. At the time, McNeil (a subsidiary of JNJ) said it would take  whatever steps were necessary to address FDA’s concerns. This is all part of a  larger manufacturing problem that J&J has been  having.

So if you go to the drugstore looking for Liquibeads and it’s no longer on  the shelves, consider Replens.  It offers women a safe, effective solution to vaginal dryness and has  received the FDA’s 510(k) clearance, a requirement many companies have not met.  Replens  is estrogen-free and long-lasting and has been clinically tested and shown to be  as effective as vaginal estrogen, about which so many health questions have  been raised.

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6 Pollutants That Threaten Our Health

6 Pollutants That Threaten Our Health

by Delia Quigley

If you’re looking to understand the epidemic of chronic illness in our world,  you don’t have to look much further than the environment around you. To combat  the problem you will need to be a part of the solution and though your Care2  membership is a good starting point, there is more you can do. Educate yourself,  pass the information on to family and friends and take action where you can. It  is not my intention to be a fear monger, but to remind you that as your life  revolves around family and work there are actions at play in the world that  threaten the peace of your existence. It is an interesting thing about industry,  if they cannot get rid of  their toxic waste then the unsuspecting public will  just have to eat it,  drink it or inject it into our bodies.

1. Organophosphate Pesticides: according to the Natural  Resources Defense Council pesticides have been found to disrupt the human  endocrine system, cause cancer and neurological disorders.  They also cite  a recent study  linking 3 toxic and commonly used chemicals: herbicides, insecticides and  fungicides, as possible causes of Parkinson’s disease.

2. Genetically Modified Foods: all the fuss to genetically  alter our food is to create plants that are tolerant to Monsanto’s brand of  herbicide. In this way high doses of the weed killer, Round-up can be used,  while the GM trait acts as a pesticide. According to the Organic Consumers organization rats fed GM potatoes had  smaller, partially atrophied livers and GM soy caused reproductive problems and  infant mortality in test mice. Although no human clinical trials of GM foods  have been conducted, one experiment verified that genetic material inserted in  GM soy transfers into the DNA of the consumer’s intestinal bacteria and  continues to produce GM proteins.

3. Environmental Radiation: because we cannot see it with  our eyes does not mean that radiation isn’t present in our lives. Sources can include fallout from nuclear bomb tests,  radiation from nuclear reactors, mines, mills and fuel fabrication plants,  nuclear medicine, consumer products, military and industrial applications and  nuclear waste management.

4. Drug-resistant Bacteria: antibiotics have saved many  lives since its discovery in 1927. However, antibiotic resistance has become the  world’s most serious health concern due to bacteria becoming stronger and less  responsive to treatment. Microbes in the human body become resistant to the  drug, much like weeds become resistant to excessive pesticide use. You can’t  fool Mother Nature after all. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), “Every time a person takes  antibiotics, sensitive bacteria are killed, but resistant germs may be left to  grow and multiply. Repeated and improper uses of antibiotics are primary causes  of the increase of drug-resistant bacteria.”

5. Contaminated Vaccines: in 2006 the pharmaceutical company  Bayer found that the vaccine it had distributed in the United States was  contaminated with the HIV virus. Rather than destroy the batch Bayer pulled it  from the US market and instead sold it to Asian and European countries. Vaccines  continue to raise questions as to whether they are helping or just making our  health worse. Everything from the high numbers of autistic children to the  epidemic of autoimmune disease, Gulf War syndrome and ADHD are being blamed on  vaccinations and Thimerosal, the mercury used to preserve the vaccine. According  to the National Vaccine Information Center, mercury is a potent  neurotoxin that can harm the brain, spinal cord, kidneys and liver and can  affect a child’s brain in pregnancy, infancy and childhood.

6. Fluoride poisoning: found in products all around your  home such as toothpaste, vitamins, dietary supplements, cleaning agents,  insecticides, and drinking water. According to Dr. Paul Connett, the CDC should  ban fluoride because it not only destroys young teeth, but damages the brain as  well. In truth it is not an essential mineral, but a toxic waste byproduct foisted on the public by the phosphate  mining industry. Rather than release fluorosilicic acid into the environment,  causing widespread poisoning and contamination, it was sold to municipalities  and added to the water supply. Makes sense.

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