The Sabbats

Let’s Talk Witch – Keeping Sabbat and Esbat Work Separate

Fairytale with dragons

Keeping Sabbat and Esbat Work Separate

 

Lots of Wiccans allow magical work to creep into their Sabbat rituals. Be careful with this. Sabbats are good for ritual drama and meditation upon the turning of the seasons, and attuning to the energy of the earth as it cycles through its phases. In turn, an esbat is usually reserved for magical work. Spellcasting, scrying, divination, and other related practices come into use during esbats.

An attunement can be done through a symbolic action to reflect the sabbat theme or the season. The line between that symbolic action and magical work blurs if the symbolic action becomes too complex. Think about older sabbat-related symbolic actions. For example, Northern European people used to roll a burning wheel down a steep hill after sunset on Midsummer’s Day. The action reflected in miniature what was going on in the season: the bright, fiery sun had passed its zenith and was beginning to decline, and the days would grow shorter from that point onward. A sabbat is a time to interact with the energy of the changing season.

Confusion can arise from the combination of the idea of a symbolic action and the concept of a spell. A spell has a specific intent in response to a specific need. Components are gathered to lend supportive energy to obtain a goal. The components are activated together with energy raised by the spellcaster, and then released toward the goal. A symbolic action, on the other hand, is performed in sympathy with a greater event. Energy may be raised through the symbolic action, but it is to contribute to the cycle as it shifts, or to enhance the attunement the Wiccan has with the macrocosm. The performance of a sabbat ritual leaves the Wiccan energized and attuned, in harmony with the greater scheme of things. No spell needs to be cast to achieve a goal, for the goal is what the ritual itself already provides. Esbats are where we work for ourselves; in a sabbat ritual, we work for nature and for the Divine.

 

 

Solitary Wicca For Life: Complete Guide to Mastering the Craft on Your Own

Arin Murphy-Hiscock

 

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Magickal Activity for the 24th day of August – Festival of Luna

Full-Moon Blessing Rite

Items Needed:

A clear glass bowl

One bottle of Spring water

Silver paint

One sprig of jasmine

One moonstone

One white pillar candle

Gardenia incense and oil

 

Inscribe the symbol(moon symbol with crossed spears on it) on the outside side bottom of the bowl with the silver paint.

Set your altar or small table so the light of the full moon will shine directly on it. Fill the bowl with the spring water. Place the bowl and all the other items called for on the altar. Light the white pillar candle and say:

Lady I now invite thee here,

As the Mother of sacred Earth.

Whose power is beyond compare,

When dreams are given birth.

Hold the moonstone and sprig of Jasmine in offering as you ask this blessing:

Lady of desire, reflection of light,

You are my motion, direction, and second sight.

Mother of creation the original source,

You are potential, power, the ultimate force.

Grandmother of time, wise one from above,

I summon thee here with honor and love.

Gently place the moonstone and sprig of jasmine in the water. Pick up the bowl and hold it in offering to the moon as you say:

I call the brilliant evening star,

The Virgin of celestial light.

The Gracious Goddess from afar,

Great Mother of second sight.
Glorious Queen of the twilight hour,

Wise and vigilant protector.

Thou whose silent power,

Is regal and most splendor.

I beckon thee to now descend,

Great Mystery behind the veil.

She who rises time and again,

The keeper of the Grail.

Set the bowl down. Anoint your forehead with a drop of water. Allow the candle to burn for one hour and then extinguish it. Carefully place the bowl in a window where the light of the moon will continue to shine on it. Just before sunrise, remove the jasmine and stone. Pour the contents of the bowl into a bottle with a lid, and close tightly. Keep the moonstone with your other magickal tools. Take the jasmine to the nearest river or lake and toss it in the water as you make a wish. Use the moon water to anoint candles and other magickal objects.

 

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Prayer to Lugh

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Prayer to Lugh

Great Lugh!
Master of artisans,
leader of craftsmen,
patron of smiths,
I call upon you and honor you this day.
You of the many skills and talents,
I ask you to shine upon me and
bless me with your gifts.
Give me strength in skill,
make my hands and mind deft,
shine light upon my talents.
O mighty Lugh,
I thank you for your blessings.

So Mote It Be

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Lammas’ Extras

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Lammas’ Extras

 

Lughnasadh Incense
Recipe by Scott Cunningham
2 parts Frankincense
1 part Heather
1 part Apple blossoms
1 pinch Blackberry leaves
a few drops Ambergris oil
Burn Lughnasadh Incense during Wiccan rituals on August 1st or 2nd, or at that time to attune with the coming harvest.
(The above recipe for “Lughnasadh Incense” is quoted directly from Scott Cunningham’s book “The Complete Book of Incenses, Oils & Brews”, page 76, Llewellyn Publications, 1989/1992)

Lughnassadh Oil
Put in soap or annoint candles
5 drops frankincense
5 drops rose
5 drops yarrow
Add a piece of wheat and a blackberry leaf with a cat’s-eye, citrine, and moss agate crystals. Very soothing.

Lammas Ritual Potpourri
Recipe by Gerina Dunwich
20 drops clove bud oil
25 drops sandalwood oil
1 cup oak moss
2 cups dried pink rosebuds
2 cups dried red peony petals
1 cup dried amaranth flowers
1 cup dried heather flowers
Mix the clove bud and sandalwood oils with the oak moss and then add the remaining ingredients. Stir the potpourri well and store in a tightly covered ceramic or glass container.
(The above recipe for “Lammas Ritual Potpourri” is quoted directly from Gerina Dunwich’s book “The Wicca Spellbook: A Witch’s Collection of Wiccan Spells, Potions and Recipes”, page 163, A Citadel Press Book, Carol Publishing Group, 1994/1995)

Lammas Potpourri
20 drops clove bud oil
23 drops sandalwood oil
1 cup oak moss
2 cups dried pink rosebuds
2 cups dried red peony petals
1 cup dried amaranth flowers
1 cup dried heather flowers
½ cup dried cornflowers.

Mix the clove bud and sandalwood oils with the oak moss and then add the remaining
ingredients. Stir the potpourri well and store in a tightly covered ceramic or glass container.

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Lammas Bounty Spell

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Lammas Bounty Spell

Lamas is also called Lughnasadh; it is a celebration of plenty and optimism, and of nature’s infinite bounty. It is the time of the first harvests, and it marks midsummer’s joyous and fanciful energy. This spirit is celebrated, too, in Shakespeare’s A Mid-Summer’s Night Dream. To tap into this energy, gather a small bundle of long grass or reeds to braid, and light a white candle.

Braid the grass as you speak this verse:
Fairies prancing in the meadow,
Spirits in the corn;
Green Man is flourishing everywhere
On this Midsummer morn.
Grains begin to ripen,
All things bear fruit.
Summer glistens with
possibility,
Blossoms take root.
Fairies whisper secrets,
Powerful blessings to see.
Cycles move and all around,
they share their gifts with me.
Air to fire,
Fire to water,
Water to earth,
Earth to air.
Elements feed spirit,
And the circle glows.
At Lammas, day and night,
We witness Nature’s awesome might.
Growing full
And blessing all,
‘Tis Earth’s celebration Before the chill of fall.
Now braiding this grass,
I mark this day
Protect my hearth,
With the abundance of grain.
The blessings of the Goddess come again;
Place the braid above my door.
Hunger be banished now and then.
Blessings be drawn to this place,
Summer’s energy fill this space.
Air, fire, water, earth unite,
And bless us all this day.

By: Abby Willowroot

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Lammas Ceremony

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Lammas Ceremony

 

Light the right candle and then the left as you say the following:

Right My Lord is the passion, He brings forth the light, The harvest is of his seed.
Left My Lady is the power, She brings forth the life, The harvest is her reward.

Cast the circle and call in the Guardians. Face the altar, and speak the following blessing:

My Lady, I know that naught receives naught,
That I shall reap, that which I have sowed.
On this night, shall I receive accordingly,
For nothing is withheld from those deserving.
Blessed shall be the Goddess,
And blessed shall be the fruits of my labor.

Pick up the four ears of corn. Hold them in offering and ask the following blessing on them:

Corn and grain are of this earth,
With love and work I gave them birth.
Though they were just once small seeds,
Through them I achieved my wishes and needs.

Proceed to offer, and then place the corn at each of the four quadrants. Walk to the East chanting as you go:

As the corn, I am reborn.

Offer the corn to the East. Place it next to the Eastern Quadrant candle. Then proceed to the South. Do the same for the West and the North. Then return to the altar. Say the following blessing, and light the gold pillar candle:

My Lord and Lady you shall provide,
Long after all has withered and died.
Though you have given me life through the land,
What I know hold is the work of my hand. I shall always
remember, just as the corn, That I am ever living, dying, and reborn.
As the corn, I am reborn!

Place the candle in the center of the altar on the pentacle, and invoke the God, and then the Goddess. Take a moment to meditate on the meaning of the ritual and season. At this point, you will want to energize the candle with your own wishes. Place your hands over the candle, express your desire, and then chant the following:

Corn and grain Bring joy and gain!

Pause, and bless the wine and bread through the Rite of Union, and Blessing of the Bread ceremonies. Begin your closing segment of the rite by offering this blessing:

Within my heart is devoted feeling
Vainly should my lips express.
I come before your altar kneeling,
And pray this time and place you bless.

Dismiss the Guardians and extinguish the altar candles, beginning with the left:

Left Blessed be the Maiden, Mother, and Crone
Bring me blessings from your harvest home.
Right Blessed be the King of corn and grain,
As now the season of abundance begins to wane.

Take up the circle and allow the gold candle to burn out. Hang the ears of corn to dry. When the ears of corn have completely dried, save them to make your corn-baba for Autumn Equinox.

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The Legend of John Barleycorn

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The Legend of John Barleycorn

John Barleycorn is a character who symbolizes not only the harvest, but the products made from it as well.

In English folklore, John Barleycorn is a character who represents the crop of barley harvested each autumn. Equally as important, he symbolizes the wonderful drinks which can be made from barley — beer and whiskey — and their effects. In the traditional folksong, John Barleycorn, the character of John Barleycorn endures all kinds of indignities, most of which correspond to the cyclic nature of planting, growing, harvesting, and then death.

Although written versions of the song date back to the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, there is evidence that it was sung for years before that. There are a number of different versions, but the most well-known one is the Robert Burns version, in which John Barleycorn is portrayed as an almost Christ-like figure, suffering greatly before finally dying so that others may live.

In The Golden Bough, Sir James Frazer cites John Barleycorn as proof that there was once a Pagan cult in England that worshipped a god of vegetation, who was sacrificed in order to bring fertility to the fields. This ties into the related story of the Wicker Man, who is burned in effigy. Ultimately, the character of John Barleycorn is a metaphor for the spirit of grain, grown healthy and hale during the summer, chopped down and slaughtered in his prime, and then processed into beer and whiskey so he can live once more.

The lyrics to the Robert Burns version of the song are as follows:

There was three kings into the east,
three kings both great and high,
and they hae sworn a solemn oath
John Barleycorn must die.

They took a plough and plough’d him down,
put clods upon his head,
and they hae sworn a solemn oath
John Barleycorn was dead.

But the cheerful Spring came kindly on’
and show’rs began to fall.
John Barleycorn got up again,
and sore surprised them all.

The sultry suns of Summer came,
and he grew thick and strong;
his head well arm’d wi’ pointed spears,
that no one should him wrong.

The sober Autumn enter’d mild,
when he grew wan and pale;
his bendin’ joints and drooping head
show’d he began to fail.

His colour sicken’d more and more,
and he faded into age;
and then his enemies began
to show their deadly rage.

They took a weapon, long and sharp,
and cut him by the knee;
they ty’d him fast upon a cart,
like a rogue for forgerie.

They laid him down upon his back,
and cudgell’d him full sore.
they hung him up before the storm,
and turn’d him o’er and o’er.

They filled up a darksome pit
with water to the brim,
they heav’d in John Barleycorn.
There, let him sink or swim!

They laid him upon the floor,
to work him farther woe;
and still, as signs of life appear’d,
they toss’d him to and fro.

They wasted o’er a scorching flame
the marrow of his bones;
but a miller us’d him worst of all,
for he crush’d him between two stones.

And they hae taen his very hero blood
and drank it round and round;
and still the more and more they drank,
their joy did more abound.

John Barleycorn was a hero bold,
of noble enterprise;
for if you do but taste his blood,
’twill make your courage rise.

‘Twill make a man forget his woe;
’twill heighten all his joy;
’twill make the widow’s heart to sing,
tho the tear were in her eye.

Then let us toast John Barleycorn,
each man a glass in hand;
and may his great posterity
ne’er fail in old Scotland!

 

 

Source:
By Patti Wigington

Article found on & owned by About.com

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Lugh, Master of Skills

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Lugh, Master of Skills

Patron of the Arts:

Similar to the Roman god Mercury, Lugh was known as a god of both skill and the distribution of talent. There are countless inscriptions and statues dedicated to Lugh, and Julius Caesar himself commented on this god’s importance to the Celtic people. Although he was not a war god in the same sense as the Roman Mars, Lugh was considered a warrior because to the Celts, skill on the battlefield was a highly

valued ability. In Ireland, which was never invaded by Roman troops, Lugh is called sam ildanach, meaning he was skilled in many arts simultaneously.

Lugh Enters the Hall of Tara:

In one famous legend, Lugh arrives at Tara, the hall of the high kings of Ireland. The guard at the door tells him that only one person will be admitted with a particular skill — one blacksmith, one wheelwright, one bard, etc. Lugh enumerates all the great things he can do, and each time the guard says, “Sorry, we’ve already got someone here who can do that.” Finally Lugh asks, “Ah, but do you have anyone here who can do them ALL?”

At last, Lugh was allowed entrance to Tara.

The Book of Invasions:

Much of the early history of Ireland is recorded in the Book of Invasions, which recounts the many times Ireland was conquered by foreign enemies. According to this chronicle, Lugh was the grandson of one of the Fomorians, a monstrous race that were the enemy of the Tuatha De Danann. Lugh’s grandfather, Balor of the Evil Eye, had been told he would be murdered by a grandson, so he imprisoned his only daughter in a cave. One of the Tuatha seduced her, and she gave birth to triplets. Balor drowned two of them, but Lugh survived and was raised by a smith. He later led the Tuatha in battle, and indeed killed Balor.

Roman Influence:

Julius Caesar believed that most cultures worshipped the same gods and simply called them by different names. In his Gallic War essays, he enumerates the popular deities of the Gauls and refers to them by what he saw as a corresponding Roman name. Thus, references made to Mercury actually are attributed to a god Caesar also calls Lugus — Lugh. This god’s cult was centered in Lugundum, which later became Lyon, France. His festival on August 1 was selected as the day of the Feast of Augustus, by Caesar’s successor, Octavian Augustus Caesar, and it was the most important holiday in all of Gaul.

Weapons and War:

Although not specifically a war god, Lugh was known as a skilled warrior. His weapons included a mighty magic spear, which was so bloodthirsty that it often tried to fight without its owner. In battle, the spear flashed fire and tore through the enemy ranks unchecked. In parts of Ireland, when a thunderstorm rolls in, the locals say that Lugh and Balor are sparring – thus giving Lugh one more role, as a god of storms.

The Many Aspects of Lugh:

According to Peter Beresford Ellis, the Celts held smithcraft in high regard. War was a way of life, and smiths were considered to have magical gifts — after all, they were able to master the element of Fire, and mold the metals of the earth using their strength and skill. Yet in Caesar’s writings, there are no references to a Celtic equivalent of Vulcan, the Roman smith god.

In early Irish mythology, the smith is called Goibhniu, and is accompanied by two brothers to create a triple god-form. The three craftsmen make weaponry and carry out repairs on Lugh’s behalf as the entire host of the Tuatha De Danann prepares for war. In a later Irish tradition, the smith god is seen as a master mason or a great builder. In some legends, Goibhniu is Lugh’s uncle who saves him from Balor and the monstrous Formorians.

One God, Many Names

The Celts had many gods and goddesses, due in part to the fact that each tribe had its own patron deities, and within a region there might be gods associated with particular locations or landmarks. For example, a god who watched over a particular river or mountain might only be recognized by the tribes who lived in that area. Lugh was fairly versatile, and was honored nearly universally by the Celts. The Gaulish Lugos is connected to the Irish Lugh, who in turn is connected to the Welsh Llew Llaw Gyffes.

Celebrating the Harvest of Grain

Lugh came to be associated with grain in Celtic mythology after he held an harvest fair in honor of his foster mother, Tailtiu. This day became August 1, and that date ties in with the first grain harvest in agricultural societies in the Northern Hemisphere. In fact, in Irish Gaelic, the word for August is lunasa. Lugh is honored with corn, grains, sheafs of wheat, bread, and other symbols of the harvest. This holiday was called Lughnasadh (pronounced Loo-NA-sah). Later, in Christian England the date was called Lammas, after the Saxon phrase hlaf maesse, or “loaf mass.”

An Ancient God for Modern Times

For many Pagans and Wiccans, Lugh is honored as the champion of artistry and skills. Many artisans, musicians, bards, and crafters invoke Lugh when they need assistance with creativity. Today Lugh is still honored at the time of harvest, not only as a god of grain but also as a god of late summer storms.

Even today, in Ireland many people celebrate Lughnasadh with dancing, song, and bonfires. The Catholic church also has set this date aside for a ritual blessing of farmers’ fields.

 

Source:

By Patti Wigington

Article found on & owned by About.com

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, The Sabbats | Leave a comment

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