February, the Second Month of the year of our Goddess, 2016

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Blessings are the things we take for granted.
Each holiday we notice what we see.
Most know the Earth is utterly enchanted
Yet walk through life and love mechanically.
Valuing one’s gifts takes resolution
After days and nights of fantasy.
Love brings the sweet relief of absolution,
Enveloping our hesitance in need.
No touch inspires so swift a revolution,
Transforming all the hieroglyphs we read.
In your love is the charity of spring,
Nor self-obsessed nor blinded by some creed,
Embracing the grey dawns that blessings bring.”
–  Cornelius Lyons

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FEBRUARY – SNOW MOON

February is the second month of the Gregorian calendar, and the year’s shortest month. It is named for Februa, an ancient purification festival, and its astrological sign is Aquarius, the water-bearer (January 20 – February 19), a fixed air sign ruled by Uranus. In February, Mother Earth begins to stir; daylight lasts a little longer, and the first crocuses begin to peek through the snow. The major holiday of the month, Imbolc or Candlemas, celebrates the strengthening Sun. This is a day of purification and banishment; candles are lit and Yuletide greenery is burned in a ritual fire to illuminates the waning darkness of winter. Corn dollies, called Corn Maidens are dressed in scraps of white lace and ribbons.The maiden is placed in a basket, called the Bride’s Bed, with a small ribbon-entwined wand representing the God. Romance is celebrated on Valentine’s Day, February 24. Magical activities include love divination of all types, and, of course, treating your romantic partner to chocolates is a common custom. Long ago, February’s Full Moon was called the Snow Moon, and the month is still known for powerful snow storms. Still, nature begins to sense the turning of the year. House finches begin looking for nesting sites, and in the still-frozen woodland foxes begin searching for a mate,

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THE SNOW MOON

February’s full Moon is traditionally called the Full Snow Moon because usually the heaviest snows fall in February.

Hunting becomes very difficult, and so some Native American tribes called this the Hunger Moon.

Other Native American tribes called this Moon the “Shoulder to Shoulder Around the Fire Moon” (Wishram Native Americans), the “No Snow in the Trails Moon” (Zuni Native Americans), and the “Bone Moon” (Cherokee Native Americans). The Bone Moon meant that there was so little food that people gnawed on bones and ate bone marrow soup.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac

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 CORRESPONDENCES FOR FEBRUARY

NATURE SPIRITS: house faeries, both of home and plants in the home

HERBS: Balm of Gilead, hyssop, myrrh, sage, spikenard.

COLORS: light blue and violet

FLOWER: Primrose

SCENTS: wisteria, heliotrope

STONES: amethyst, jasper, rock crystal

TREES: rowan, laurel, cedar

ANIMALS: Otter and the Unicorn

BIRDS: Eagle and the chickadee

DEITIES: Brigit, Juno, Kuan Yin, Diana, Demeter, Persephone, Aphrodite.

POWER/ADVICE: Energy is working towards the surface, purification, healing and growth. Accept and forgive yourself for past errors, time to learn to love yourself and to make future plans.

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Symbols & Folklore for the Month of February

February’s Sign of the Zodiac

Aquarius (January 20 – February 19)
Pisces (February 20 – March 20)

February’s Celtic Tree Astrology

Rowan (January 21 – February 17)
Ash (February 18 – March 17)

February’s Birthstones

Amethyst
It symbolizes piety, humility, spiritual wisdom, and sincerity.

February’s Birth Flower

Violet and Primrose

February’s Folklore

“Married in February’s sleety weather, Life you’ll tread in tune together.”
“Violent north winds in February herald a fertile year.”
“If February give much snow, A fine summer it doth foreshow.”
“Fogs in February mean frosts in May.”

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PAGAN CALENDAR FOR FEBRUARY

* 2/1 to 2/14: Old Greek festival of God Dionysos, in which vines were pruned and sprinkled with wine, accompanied by ritual singing and dancing. [Originated in ancient Thrace; still celebrated in Bulgaria.] [a/k/a Trifon Zarezan, Viticulturists’ Day] [Roman calendar]

* 2/1 to 2/29: February dedicated to Old Roman God-Goddess Februus-Februa – purifier and protector of the home. Homes were cleaned and blessed, offerings of reparation were given, and peace was made.

* 2/1 to 2/29: Ethnic Equality Month–Time to honor all peoples and their positive traditions; time to meditate on the equality of all peoples, on the respect due to them, and on God-Goddess manifesting as African, Asian, Oceanic, Middle Eastern, European, Hispanic, and Native American. [Expands idea of African-American History Month a/k/a Black History Month.]

* 2/2: Death day of Marija Gimbutas (1994), archeologist who studied Old European Goddess- God spirituality. [Birthday 1/23/1921]

* 2/5 to 2/6: Feast of Old Romano-Egyptian Goddess Isis, the Healer–recalls Set (God of Challenges and Chaos) poisoning child God Horus, and Isis intervening, defeating Set, and healing Horus. [Roman calendar]

* 2/7 eve to 2/10 eve: Old European Lunar New Year–Celebration of the Triple Goddess (Goddess of the Moon and the Seasons) being transformed from the Crone into the Virgin; celebrated with ritual bathing of divine images.

* 2/8 (9:39 a.m. EST): New Moon.

* 2/9 eve to 2/10 eve: Anthesterion Noumenia–Old Greek festival honoring all the Gods and Goddesses. Flutes were played; prayers were said; offerings of barley, olive oil, incense, and food were burned in an offering hearth; and libations of water and wine were made. [Anthesterion 1]

* 2/12 eve to 2/13 eve: Feast of Old Greek Deities Aphrodite and Eros–Day to honor love and passion. [Anthesterion 4]

* 2/13 to 2/15: Lupercalia/St. Valentine’s Day–Old Roman festival of God-Goddess Faunus- Fauna; merged with the Christian feast of St. Valentine – celebrating love of all kinds.

* 2/14 eve to 2/15 eve: Feast of Old Greek Goddess Artemis (Roman Diana/Slavic Diwitsa) – as creatrix, midwife of birthing creatures, protector of the young, and punisher of child abusers. [Anthesterion 6]

* 2/19 eve to 2/22 eve: Anthesteria–Old Greek festival honoring Dionysos as Plouton, God of the Dead, and welcoming the visiting dead from Elysium. The new wine was presented to Dionysos, and libations were made. [Anthesterion 11-13]

* 2/22 (1:20 p.m. EST): Full Moon (Leaf/Seedling Moon). [a/k/a Pisces Full Moon]

* 2/22: Caristia–Old Roman festival for renewing family ties and patching up quarrels. [Roman calendar]

* 2/28 eve to 3/6 eve: Lesser Eleusinian Mysteries–Old Greek festival celebrating the marriage of Goddess Kore and God Dionysos, following their return from Elysium. Devotees dedicated themselves to service of Goddess and God after being purified by water and fire. Dionysos was identified with Plouton at Eleusis. While Demeter believed Her daughter to have been abducted and raped by Dionysos-Plouton, from the perspective of Kore-Persephone and Dionysos-Plouton, it was an elopement. [Anthesterion 20-26]

* 2/29: Old Slavic Velja Noc/Great Night/New Year’s Eve–Spirits of the dead visit their living relatives, overseen by Veles, Lord of the Dead. People wearing animal masks and wool cloaks wandered through the villages representing the dead, and a grain effigy of the Morana of the old year was burned. Morana and Jarilo are born of Solntse (Goddess of the Sun) and Perun (God of the Sky). Veles steals Jarilo and raises him in Virey, realm of the dead. [a/k/a Wielkanoc]

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Imbolg

Look through the darkness and you will see
The spark growing for all to see

To warm the Earth
To warm our souls
The seeds we plant begin to grow

The goals you set and magick worked
Was it all for knowledge, wisdom and mirth?

To help the Gods and your fellow man
To grow strong and to aid the Earths vast clan

The light of hope begins to stir
Even though snow and ice still occur

The work that is wrought
Brings the growth that is sought

Just as a seed breaks open underground
Deep in your Spirit these roots are found

But how they will grow is up to you
They grow by way of the things that you choose

We are given a light to bring us warmth
And nourished from Water from the time of our birth
The Earth with big rocks to anchor our lives
And Air to teach us so the Old Ones may guide

The second turn of the Wheel has begun
The God is rising
The Cycle begun

Raven Spirit

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The Wheel Turns Once Again
Imbolc Is Here, Let The Celebrations Begin!

 

Spring is Coming!

Imbolc is a holiday with a variety of names, depending on which culture and location you’re looking at. In the Irish Gaelic, it’s called Oimelc, which translates to “ewe’s milk.” It’s a precursor to the end of winter when the ewes are nursing their newly born lambs. Spring and the planting season are right around the corner.

The Romans Celebrate:

To the Romans, this time of year halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox was the season of the Lupercalia.

For them, it was a purification ritual held on February 15, in which a goat was sacrificed and a scourge made of its hide. Thong-clad men ran through the city, whacking people with bits of goat hide. Those who were struck considered themselves fortunate indeed. This is one of the few Roman celebrations that is not associated with a particular temple or deity. Instead, it focuses on the founding of the city of Rome, by twins Romulus and Remus, who were suckled by a she-wolf — in a cave known as the “Lupercale”.

The Feast of Nut:

The ancient Egyptians celebrated this time of year as the Feast of Nut, whose birthday falls on February 2 (Gregorian calendar).

According to the Book of the Dead, Nut was seen as a mother-figure to the sun god Ra, who at sunrise was known as Khepera and took the form of a scarab beetle.

Christian Conversion of a Pagan Celebration:

When Ireland converted to Christianity, it was hard to convince people to get rid of their old gods, so the church allowed them to worship the goddess Brighid as a saint — thus the creation of St.
Brigid’s Day. Today, there are many churches around the world which bear her name.

Purification and Light:

For many Christians, February 2nd continues to be celebrated as Candelmas, the feast of purification of the Virgin. By Jewish law, it took forty days after a birth for a woman to be cleansed following the birth of a son. Forty days after Christmas – the birth of Jesus – is February 2nd. Candles were blessed, there was much feasting to be had, and the drab days of February suddenly seemed a little brighter. In Catholic churches, the focus of this celebration is St. Brighid.

Love & Courtship:

February is known as a month when love begins anew, in part to to the widespread celebration of Valentine’s Day. In some parts of Europe, there was a belief that February 14th was the day that birds and animals began their annual hunt for a mate. Valentine’s Day is named for the Christian priest who defied Emperor Claudius II’s edict banning young soldiers from marrying. In secret, Valentine “tied the knot” for many young couples. Eventually, he was captured and executed on Feb. 14, 269 C.E. Before his death, he smuggled a message to a girl he had befriended while imprisoned — the first Valentine’s Day card.

Serpents in the Spring

Although Imbolc isn’t even mentioned in non-Gaelic Celtic traditions, it’s still a time rich in folklore and history. According to the Carmina Gadelica, the Celts celebrated an early version of Groundhog Day on Imbolc too – only with a serpent, singing this poem:

Thig an nathair as an toll
(The serpent will come from the hole)
la donn Bride
(on the brown day of Bride (Brighid)
Ged robh tri traighean dh’an
(though there may be three feet of snow)
Air leachd an lair
(On the surface of the ground.)

Among agricultural societies, this time of year was marked by the preparation for the spring lambing, after which the ewes would lactate (hence the term “ewe’s milk” as “Oimelc”). At Neolithic sites in Ireland, underground chambers align perfectly with the rising sun on Imbolc.

The Goddess Brighid

Like many Pagan holidays, Imbolc has a Celtic connection as well, although it wasn’t celebrated in non-Gaelic Celtic societies. The Irish goddess Brighid is the keeper of the sacred flame, the guardian of home and hearth. To honor her, purification and cleaning are a wonderful way to get ready for the coming of Spring. In addition to fire, she is a goddess connected to inspiration and creativity.

Brighid is known as one of the Celtic “triune” goddesses — meaning that she is one and three simultaneously. The early Celts celebrated a purification festival by honoring Brighid, or Brid, whose name meant “bright one.” In some parts of the Scottish Highlands, Brighid was viewed in her aspect as crone as Cailleach Bheur, a woman with mystical powers who was older than the land itself. Brighid was also a warlike figure, Brigantia, in the Brigantes tribe near Yorkshire, England. The Christian St. Brigid was the daughter of a Pictish slave who was baptized by St. Patrick, and founded a community of nuns at Kildare, Ireland.

In modern Paganism, Brighid is viewed as part of the maiden/mother/crone cycle. She walks the earth on the eve of her day, and before going to bed each member of the household should leave a piece of clothing outside for Brighid to bless. Smoor your fire as the last thing you do that night, and rake the ashes smooth. When you get up in the morning, look for a mark on the ashes, a sign that Brighid has passed that way in the night or morning. The clothes are brought inside, and now have powers of healing and protection thanks to Brighid.

Author

Patti Wigington, Paganism/Wicca Expert
Article published on & owned by About.com

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View Our Imbolc Page for more rituals, spells, folklore, history, crafts and so much more.

 

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We are Witches
We walk the path of the Old Gods
From this moment forth
We will not walk alone
Together, we will worship
Together, we will practice our Craft
Together, we will learn and grow
We vow to work, from this day forward
In perfect love and perfect trust
According to the free will of all
And for the good of all
Creating only beauty
Singing in harmony
Our song upon the Earth
Love is the law and love is the bond
In the name of the Goddess and the God
So do we vow, and so mote it be.
Source:
Circle, Coven, & Grove: A Year of Magickal Practice
Deborah Blake

 

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A Thought for Today

I will be doing most of the posts on Coven Life. Please come visit us.

Coven Life®

I know I have been away for a while and not contributing to the site as I Should have been doing. I am deeply grateful for the understanding so many have shown me in my time of grief. I just wanted to let you know that while I am still grieving it is not taking over my life anymore and I will be back to posting almost daily again.

Always remember as you walk your path you are not alone there are people out here that will walk with through the good and bad times in your life.

Our lifetimes are too short to spend them in grief and/or turmoil. Laugh every day and accept each new day as a gift from the Gods and/or Goddesses.

Love, Light, and Blessed be dear ones.

What kind of posts would you like to see? What topics would you like to know more…

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A Thought for Today

I thought this was a cute sign.

Coven Life®

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Something to print out and hang on your front door.

Blessed be dear ones.

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Good Sunday Morning, my sweets! It is Finally Here, Moving Day!

Good Morning Images
I hope everyone is having a very beautiful Sunday morning. As far as mine goes, my rump is dragging but it is dragging for a good reason. We are actually moving back to our old building this weekend. We got all the boxes, desks and computers moved yesterday. This is the last computer to be removed from our temporary site. Since it is, I thought I better drop you a note and let you know what is going on.

I am sure most of you know that back in October our office building suffered a tremendous fire. We almost lost everything we had but thankfully we didn’t. We salvaged what we could, found a temporary location to operate out of and just waited till our old building was reconstructed. After months of fighting with the insurance company and the contractors, our building is finally finished. It looks beautiful too. It hardly even resembles the old building. The contractors did wonderful work and also a little extra, they were great to say the least. But the building has been ready for a week. We have been going down there cleaning and doing other little things that needed to be done.

The weatherman’s forecast finally came through for us this weekend and we decided it was time to go home. Today, some of us will be putting the office area at our old building back up and getting it ready to run. While others will be here cleaning this rented for the owner. We want to leave it like we found it, super clean. We have lights and water but no internet service at our old building. I called the internet provider and they will be out to our site tomorrow. The lady promised me she would get someone there bright and early. How early is the question. She also mentioned it could be between the hours of 8 a.m., to 5 p.m. More than likely we won’t be on the internet tomorrow.

Not being on the internet is not good news but getting to go home is! I want to thank each of you for your prayers, blessings and donations that helped us through this difficult time. I know one thing it is something I never want to go through again. It is now like a big, no huge, weight that has been lifted off of me. Again, without your love and support, I don’t believe we would have ever made it through all this.

Well, the guys are waiting to move this computer out the door and down the road. Thank you again, my dear, precious family & friends!

WE ARE ON OUR WAY HOME!

Love ya,

Lady A

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Till tomorrow, my sweets….

Circle Is Open Pictures

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The Witches Magick for Friday, February 5th – An Image Love Charm

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An Image Love Charm

This and similar image spells are most popular today, as they have been for ages.

Carve, sew, or otherwise construct an image of yourself at your finest, physically speaking. Pour into it all your good points, as well as your bad. Embody the image with your spirit, your life-force, your total being. When you look at its face (however crude or unfinished it may seem to be) see your own face.

When finished, put in a safe place. Next, of the same material, fashion an image of your ideal love. This shouldn’t be a specific person, of course, but a composite of everything you are looking for in a man or woman. Though you are only fashioning its outline or rough features, implant in it physical, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and other qualities; habits and goals in life; any particulars that appeal or are important to you.

When both images are finished, take a pink or red thread or cord and tie them loosely together. Place them in a spot where they will not be disturbed for several weeks, but not in a box or other constricting place. Someone will come to you, and after that, it will be up to the two of you.

Spells of this nature draw many people to you, and one or two of these might become good friends. A more personal relationship might develop out of one of these, which may eventually lead to love.

If it does but the relationship ends, unbind the images, carefully dismantle the one of the perfect love, and begin anew.

The same is true if you find no lover, but for this wait at least three months.

A spell of this type doesn’t force the person you meet to fall in love with you; it simply expands your circle of friends. Any person you meet will be under no magical pressure or force to love you; that you will have to do on your own.
 

Scott Cunningham, Earth Power: Techniques of Natural Magic

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Love Spells, Charms, and Rituals

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Love Spells, Charms, and Rituals

Now, next to beauty, love has to be the most commonly invoked magic of all time. People are always to trying to get the cutting edge in the hand of the one that they love. I think that love spells are very powerful and should not be used flippantly and I make sure that the person I’m casting it on behalf of us very committed to the idea of taking care of the one they love before its cast. Messing with the hearts of people is not to be taken lightly and make sure you’re ready for the consequences of casting this spell, performing this ritual, or utilizing this charm. The Universe will certainly answer unkindly if you screw it up.
 

Michele Gilbert, Wicca: The Ultimate Beginners Guide For Witches: How To Become a Solitary Practitioner (Wiccan, Spells and Rituals, Wicca Spells, Paganism,Candles, Witchcraft, Symbols)

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Little Known Magickal Tips that Actually Work – Four Corners Prosperity Spell

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Four Corners Prosperity Spell

Ingredients:

– Salt

Sprinkle salt in the four corners of your house to attrace financial success and prosperity to the household.

Deran Gray, Gray’s Pocket Book of Hoodoo Spells for Wealth and Prosperity: (Gray’s Pocket Book Series Book 5)

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Helpfun Hints: Hidden in Plain Sight – Altar Alternatives

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Helpfun Hints: Hidden in Plain Sight – Altar Alternatives

Most witches like to have an altar, but not every witch lives someplace where he or she is comfortable having all their magickal stuff right out in plain view. So here is a list of the usual items we witchy types tend to have on our altars, and a few possible, less obviously Pagan substitutes:

GOD/GODDESS STATUES = GOLD/SILVER CANDLES OR PLAQUE OF THE TREE OF LIFE

ATHAME = FANCY LETTER-OPENER OR WOODEN BRANCH

CHALICE = ANY NICE CUP OR GOBLET, OR SMALL BOWL

SALT & WATER = STONE AND SEASHELL

QUARTER CANDLES = ROCK (EARTH), FEATHER (AIR), SHELL (WATER), AND TEALIGHT (FIRE)

You can always put out flowers as an offering and a few colored stones (for the quarters), and no one will be the wiser. After all, you know what they’re for-and so do the gods-and that’s all that really matters.
 

Deborah Blake. Everyday Witch A to Z: An Amusing, Inspiring & Informative Guide to the Wonderful World of Witchcraft

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