The Sabbats

The Witches Magick for June 21st – Fire Purification Spell

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Fire Purification Spell

 

Materials Needed:

1 Red or White Candle

1 Black Ink Pen

1 Small Square of White

Unlined Paper

1 Pair of tweezers or tongs

 

Timing: Noon on a day when the moon is in the waxing phase. Preferably as close to the Summer Solstice as possible.

Procedure: Think of one bad habit you have that you would truly like to rid yourself of. Write it down in the center of the of paper. Now fold the paper top to bottom, then left to right, so that it is folded into fourths with the writing inside. As you fold the paper, visualize that habit being trapped inside the paper. Now light the candle and meditate on its flame for a moment. When you are prepared to continue, hold the paper in a diamond shape, with the writing down at the bottom. Now take the tweezers and hold the bottom tip of the diamond into the flame. Visualize the habit burning away with the flames. As the paper burns, chant the following or similar:

 

“Great spirits of fire, grow and consume this habit of evil so goodness may bloom.”

 

This spell should be cast outside, so that the ashes of the paper can fall to the earth. As they do so, visualize the earth as taking your habit and absorbing it. Be sure to leave a gift for the earth in exchange for taking your habit.

Note: This spell also works extremely well with balefires or the fire at your Litha ritual. Simply toss the paper into the flames and chant. Do not attempt to hold it over the flames as you would with a candle.

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WOTC Extra – Some Ideas on Celebrating Litha

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WOTC Extra – Some Ideas on Celebrating Litha

 

This is a good time for clearing away non-useful energies, and establishing a stable base. Cleansing may include leaping a fire (a low one, please), or putting herbs symbolizing (or charged with) the non-useful energies into a fire. You may leap a fire not only for purification, but to re-energize yourself.

 

•Litha is a time for healing of all kinds, and protection rituals. Some work can and should be done alone, but there is room for more social gatherings.

 

•Get all your friends together with some drums and rattles, and dance the whole night through. A Spiral Dance would be nice, too. “Sing, Dance, make Music and Love, all in my Presence…”

 

•Have children make their own “Green Man” mask. Cut eye-holes in a paper plate. Let them glue on real or construction paper leaves.

 

•Go berry picking. Have the children chose their best berry and throw it back into the berry bushes as they thank the Goddess and the bushes for the fruit.

 

•Make a Wicker Man and burn him in your Litha bon fire

 

•Burn a Wreath in the bon fire or try using Wreaths of Vervain and Mugwort which were burned in ancient times at the end of the festivals to burn away bad luck.

 

•Many families placed roses on the altar, as this is the Goddess flower for this time of the year. Try this yourself for a beautiful and fragrant decoration.

 

•Leave out milk and honey as an offering to the Fae folk

 

•Have a mock battle between the Oak and Holly King. Remember that this is part of the cycle and as the wheel turns the Holly King will rise again at Winter Solstice

 

•Put a ring of flowers around your cauldron or around a bowl full of mugwort

 

•Hang a bundle of fresh herbs out to dry and use them to spice up a Litha feast of cooked summer vegetables

 

•Light a white candle and place it in front of a mirror. Say your own Litha prayer over it, and then let it burn out

 

•Make a charm to hang around your neck with a seashell

 

•Have an outdoor breakfast picnic to welcome the Solstice

 

 

•Stay up and watch the sun come up on the longest day of the year!

•Draw a picture of the sun at sunrise and sunset

 

 

•Try a fire divination, stare into the coals of your bonfire as it settles or look for forms in the leaping flames.

 

 

•Create a ritual to bring healing and love to Mother Earth

 

 

•Make a Catherine Wheel, or frame of sticks and withies (slender, flexible branches) with flammable material among the spokes. At the climax of your ritual, ignite the wheel and send it rolling down a hillside into a pond or lake. (obviously the hillside should be stone, bare earth, or covered with moist vegetation–no dry grass or underbrush!)

•Make protection amulets for friends and family dispose of last years in the Litha bonfire

 

 

•Couples who handfasted the year before at Beltane, tend to marry in a more formal handfasting at Midsummer or Lughnasadh

 

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Pagan Recipe For Solstice Herb Bread

Pagan Recipe For Solstice Herb Bread

Ingredients:

3 C. flour
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 pkg. dry active yeast
2 tbsp. chopped fresh chives
2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp. fresh thyme
1 1/4 C. hot water
2 tbsp. Crisco

Mix 2 cups of the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Add herbs, water, and Crisco. Beat slowly, stirring in remaining cup of flour until smooth. Scrape batter from sides of bowl and let rise in a warm place for 35 minutes or until it doubles in bulk. Punch down and beat with a spoon for about 15 seconds. Place dough in a greased loaf pan, patting down and forming a loaf shape with your hands. Cover and let rise again for about 30 minutes or until it again doubles in bulk. Bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes. Brush top with butter or margarine and remove from pan to cool.

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Pagan Recipe For Midsummer Ritual Mead

Pagan Recipe For Midsummer Ritual Mead

2 1/2 gallons water (preferably fresh rainwater blessed by a priest or priestess)
1 cup each: meadowsweet herb, woodruff sprigs, heather flowers
3 cloves
1 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup barley malt
1 oz brewer’s yeast
Pour water into a large cauldron. Bring to a boil and add herbs and cloves. Boil for an hour and add honey, brown sugar, and barley malt. Stir thirteen times in a clockwise direction and remove from heat. Strain through a cheesecloth and allow the mead to cool. Stir in brewer’s yeast. Cover with a towel and let stand for one day and night. Strain, bottle, and store in a cool place until ready to serve. This is an ideal drink to serve at Summer Solstice.

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Pagan Recipe for Soft Mead

Pagan Recipe For Soft Mead

1 quart water, preferably spring water
1 cup honey
1 sliced lemon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Boil together all ingredients in a non-metallic pot. While boiling, scrape off the rising “scum” with a wooden spoon. When no more rises add the following:

pinch salt
juice of 1/2 lemon

Strain and cool. Drink in place of alcoholic mead or wine during the Simple Feast.

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Finally, Setting Up Your Litha Altar


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Setting Up Your Litha Altar

What to Include for the Summer Solstice

 

It’s Litha, and that means the sun is at its highest point in the sky. Midsummer is the time when we can celebrate the growing of crops, and take heart in knowing that the seeds we planted in the spring are now in full bloom. It’s a time of celebrating the sun, and spending as much time as you can outdoors. Try to set up your Midsummer altar outside if at all possible. If you can’t, that’s okay — but try to find a spot near a window where the sun will shine in and brighten your altar setup with its rays.

Colors of the Season

This sabbat is all about the sun celebration, so think of solar colors. Yellows, oranges, fiery reds and golds are all appropriate this time of year. Use candles in bright sunny colors, or cover your altar with cloths that represent the solar aspect of the season.

Solar Symbols

Litha is when the sun is at its highest point above us. In some traditions, the sun rolls across the sky like a great wheel – consider using pinwheels or some other disc to represent the sun. Circles and discs are the most basic sun symbol of all, and are seen as far back as the tombs of ancient Egypt. Use equal-armed crosses, such as the Brighid’s Cross, or even the swastika – remember, it was originally a good luck symbol to both the Hindus and Scandinavians before it became associated with the Nazis.

A Time of Light and Dark

The solstice is also a time seen as a battle between light and dark. Although the sun is strong now, in just six months the days will be short again. Much like the battle between the Oak King and the Holly King, light and dark must battle for supremacy. At this sabbat, darkness wins, and the days will begin to grow shorter once more. Decorate your altar with symbols of the triumph of darkness over light – and that includes using other opposites, such as fire and water, night and day, etc.

Other Symbols of Litha

  • Midsummer flowers, fruits and vegetables from your garden
  • Gods Eyes in sunny colors
  • Sunflowers, roses
  • Oak trees and acorns
  • Sandalwood, saffron, frankincense, laurel

 

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Celebrating Litha: Hold a Sun Ritual for Midsummer


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Hold a Sun Ritual for Midsummer

 

Midsummer is the time of the summer solstice, the Litha sabbat, and it’s the longest day of the year. Falling around June 21 in the northern hemisphere, and around December 21 below the equator, this is a time to celebrate the warmth and power of the sun. It’s a great time of year to get outside, enjoy the extra hours of daylight, and celebrate the season with family and friends. You can do this ritual as a group or adapt it to perform as a solitary practitioner.

You’ll need the following items:

  • A larger candle to represent the sun
  • An individual candle for each participant to hold

Also, be sure to decorate your altar with symbols of the season – solar symbols, fresh flowers, in-season summer produce and crops that you’ve harvested. You should do this ritual outside if at all possible, so you can take advantage of the sun’s light and energy.

If your tradition requires you to cast a circle, go ahead and do that first.

Take a moment to ground and center, and get yourself focused. Bask in the rays of the sun, feeling its warmth on your face, and welcoming its power into you.

The person who is leading the ritual – for ease of purpose, we’ll call that person the HPs – should stand at the altar.

HPs: We are here today to celebrate the power and energy of the sun. The sun is the source of warmth and light around the world. Today, at Litha, the summer solstice, we mark the longest day of the year. From Yule until this day, the sun has been moving ever closer to the earth. Flowers are blooming, crops are growing, and life has returned once more. Today we honor the gods and goddesses of the sun.

The HPs lights the sun candle on the altar.

HPs: The sun is the ultimate source of fire and light. Like all sources of light, the sun shines brightly and spreads around the world. Even as it gives its light and power to each of us, it is never diminished by the sharing of that energy. The sun passes over us each day, in the never-ending circle of light. Today, we share that light with each other, passing it around the circle, forming a ring of light.

Using the sun candle, the HPs lights her own candle, and turns to the next person in the circle. As she lights the next person’s candle, she says: May you be warmed and rejuvenated by the light of the sun.

The second person turns to the third, lighting their candle, and passing along the blessing. Continue until the last candle in the circle has been lit, returning back to the HPs.

Remember, this is a joyous celebration – feel free to include dancing, clapping, music or even a drum circle as you enjoy the power of the sun!

As each person in the group holds their lit candle, the HPs calls upon the gods and goddesses of the sun. Feel free to add or substitute different solar deities as your tradition or needs require.

HPs: Gods who bring us light, we honor you!
Hail, Ra, whose mighty chariot brings us light each morning!
Hail, Ra!
Hail, Apollo, who brings us the healing energies of the sun!
Hail, Apollo!
Hail, Saule, whose fertility blooms as the sun gains in strength!
Hail, Saule!
Hail, Helios, whose great steeds race the flames across the sky!
Hail, Helios!
Hail, Hestia, whose sacred flame lights our way in the darkness!
Hail, Hestia!
Hail, Sunna, who is sister of the moon, and bringer of light!
Hail, Sunna!
We call upon you today, thanking you for your blessings, accepting your gifts. We draw upon your strength, your energy, your healing light, and your life giving power!
Hail to you, mighty gods and goddesses of the sun!

Each member of the group should now place their candles on the altar, surrounding the sun candle.

HPS: The sun radiates out, never dying, never fading. The light and warmth of today will stay with us, even as the days begin to grow shorter, and the nights grow cold once more. Hail, gods of the sun!

Invite everyone to take in the warmth of the sun once more, and when you are done, end the ritual as you normally would.

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Celebrating Litha – Holding a Midsummer Night’s Fire Ritual


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Holding a Midsummer Night’s Fire Ritual

 

The Summer Solstice, known to some as Litha, Midsummer, or Alban Heruin, is the longest day of the year. It’s the time when the sun is most powerful, and new life has begun to grow within the earth. After today, the nights will once more begin to grow longer, and the sun will move further away in the sky.

If your tradition requires you to cast a circle, consecrate a space, or call the quarters, now is the time to do so. This ritual is a great one to perform outside, so if you have the opportunity to do this without scaring the neighbors, take advantage of it.

Begin this ritual by preparing the wood for a fire, without lighting it yet. While the ideal situation would have you setting a huge bonfire alight, realistically not everyone can do that. If you’re limited, use a table top brazier or fire-safe pot, and light your fire there instead.

Say either to yourself or out loud:

Today, to celebrate Midsummer, I honor the Earth itself. I am surrounded by tall trees. There is a clear sky above me and cool dirt beneath me, and I am connected to all three. I light this fire as the Ancients did so long ago.

At this point, start your fire. Say:

The Wheel of the Year has turned once more
The light has grown for six long months
Until today.

Today is Litha, called Alban Heruin by my ancestors.
A time for celebration.
Tomorrow the light will begin to fade
As the Wheel of the Year
Turns on and ever on.

Turn to the East, and say:

From the east comes the wind,
Cool and clear.
It brings new seeds to the garden
Bees to the pollen
And birds to the trees.

Turn to Face South, and say:

The sun rises high in the summer sky
And lights our way even into the night
Today the sun casts three rays
The light of fire upon the land, the sea, and the heavens

Turn to face West, saying:

From the west, the mist rolls in
Bringing rain and fog
The life-giving water without which
We would cease to be.

Finally, turn to the North, and say:

Beneath my feet is the Earth,
Soil dark and fertile
The womb in which life begins
And will later die, then return anew.

Build up the fire even more, so that you have a good strong blaze going.

If you wish to make an offering to the gods, now is the time to do it. For this sample, we’re including the use of a triple goddess in the invocation, but this is where you should substitute the names of the deities of your personal tradition.

Say:

Alban Heruin is a time of rededication
To the gods.
The triple goddess watches over me.
She is known by many names.
She is the Morrighan, Brighid, and Cerridwen.
She is the washer at the ford,
She is the guardian of the hearth,
She is the one who stirs the cauldron of inspiration.

I give honor to You, O mighty ones,
By all your names, known and unknown.
Bless me with Your wisdom
And give life and abundance to me
As the sun gives life and abundance to the Earth.

I make this offering to you
To show my allegiance
To show my honor
To show my dedication
To You.

Cast your offering into fire. Conclude the ritual by saying:

Today, at Litha, I celebrate the life
And love of the gods
And of the Earth and Sun.

Take a few moments to reflect upon what you have offered, and what the gifts of the gods mean to you. When you are ready, if you have cast a circle, dismantle it or dismiss the quarters at this time. Allow your fire to go out on its own.

 

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