Posts Tagged With: Family

Ten Ways to Celebrate Mabon

Mabon Comments & Graphics

Ten Ways to Celebrate Mabon


Mabon is the time of the autumn equinox, and the harvest is winding down. The fields are nearly bare, because the crops have been stored for the coming winter. Mabon is a time when we take a few moments to honor the changing seasons, and celebrate the second harvest. On or around September 21, for many Pagan and Wiccan traditions it is a time of giving thanks for the things we have, whether it is abundant crops or other blessings. It is also a time of balance and reflection, following the theme of equal hours light and dark. Here are some ways you and your family can celebrate this day of bounty and abundance.

1. Find Some Balance
Mabon is a time of balance, when there are equal hours of darkness and light, and that can affect people in different ways. For some, it’s a season to honor the darker aspects of the goddess, calling upon that which is devoid of light. For others, it’s a time of thankfulness, of gratitude for the abundance we have at the season of harvest. Because this is, for many people, a time of high energy, there is sometimes a feeling of restlessness in the air, a sense that something is just a bit “off”. If you’re feeling a bit spiritually lopsided, with this simple meditation you can restore a little balance into your life. You can also try a ritual to bring balance and harmony to your home.

2. Hold a Food Drive
Many Pagans and Wiccans count Mabon as a time of thanks and blessings — and because of that, it seems like a good time to give to those less fortunate than ourselves. If you find yourself blessed with abundance at Mabon, why not give to those who aren’t? Invite friends over for a feast, but ask each of them to bring a canned food, dry goods, or other non-perishable items? Donate the collected bounty to a local food bank or homeless shelter.

3. Pick Some Apples
Apples are the perfect symbol of the Mabon season. Long connected to wisdom and magic, there are so many wonderful things you can do with an apple. Find an orchard near you, and spend a day with your family. As you pick the apples, give thanks to Pomona, goddess of fruit trees. Be sure to only pick what you’re going to use — if you can, gather plenty to take home and preserve for the coming winter months. Take your apples home and use them in rituals, for divination, and for delicious recipes that your family can enjoy all season long.

4. Count Your Blessings
Mabon is a time of giving thanks, but sometimes we take our fortune for granted. Sit down and make a gratitude list. Write down things that you are thankful for. An attitude of gratefulness helps bring more abundance our way — what are things you’re glad you have in your life? Maybe it’s the small things, like “I’m glad I have my cat Peaches” or “I’m glad my car is running.” Maybe it’s something bigger, like “I’m thankful I have a warm home and food to eat” or “I’m thankful people love me even when I’m cranky.” Keep your list some place you can see it, and add to it when the mood strikes you.

5. Honor the Darkness
Without darkness, there is no light. Without night, there can be no day. Despite a basic human need to overlook the dark, there are many positive aspects to embracing the dark side, if it’s just for a short time. After all, it was Demeter’s love for her daughter Persephone that led her to wander the world, mourning for six months at a time, bringing us the death of the soil each fall. In some paths, Mabon is the time of year that celebrates the Crone aspect of a triune goddess. Celebrate a ritual that honors that aspect of the Goddess which we may not always find comforting or appealing, but which we must always be willing to acknowledge. Call upon the gods and goddesses of the dark night, and ask for their blessings this time of year.

6. Get Back to Nature
Fall is here, and that means the weather is bearable once more. The nights are becoming crisp and cool, and there’s a chill in the air. Take your family on a nature walk, and enjoy the changing sights and sounds of the outdoors. Listen for geese honking in the sky above you, check the trees for changing in the colors of the leaves, and watch the ground for dropped items like acorns, nuts, and seed pods. If you live in an area that doesn’t have any restrictions on removing natural items from park property, take a small bag with you and fill it up with the things you discover along the way. Bring your goodies home for your family’s altar. If you are prohibited from removing natural items, fill your bag with trash and clean up the outdoors!

7. Tell Timeless Stories
In many cultures, fall was a time of celebration and gathering. It was the season in which friends and relatives would come from far and near to get together before the cold winter kept them apart for months at a time. Part of this custom was storytelling. Learn the harvest tales of your ancestors or of the people indigenous to the area in which you live. A common theme in these stories is the cycle of death and rebirth, as seen in the planting season. Learn about the stories of Osiris, Mithras, Dionysius, Odin and other deities who have died and then restored to life.

8. Raise Some Energy
It’s not uncommon for Pagans and Wiccans to make remarks regarding the “energy” of an experience or event. If you’re having friends or family over to celebrate Mabon with you, you can raise group energy by working together. A great way to do this is with a drum or music circle. Invite everyone to bring drums, rattles, bells, or other instruments. Those who don’t have an instrument can clap their hands. Begin in a slow, regular rhythm, gradually increasing the tempo until it reaches a rapid pace. End the drumming at a pre-arranged signal, and you’ll be able to feel that energy wash over the group in waves. Another way of raising group energy is chanting, or with dance. With enough people, you can hold a Spiral Dance.

9. Celebrate Hearth & Home
As autumn rolls in, we know we’ll be spending more time indoors in just a few months. Take some time to do a fall version of spring cleaning. Physically clean your home from top to bottom, and then do a ritual smudging. Use sage or sweetgrass, or asperge with consecrated water as you go through your home and bless each room. Decorate your home with symbols of the harvest season, and set up a family Mabon altar. Put sickles, scythes and bales of hay around the yard. Collect colorful autumn leaves, gourds and fallen twigs and place them in decorative baskets in your house. If you have any repairs that need to be done, do them now so you don’t have to worry about them over the winter. Throw out or give away anything that’s no longer of use.

10. Welcome the Gods of the Vine
Grapes are everywhere, so it’s no surprise that the Mabon season is a popular time to celebrate winemaking, and deities connected to the growth of the vine. Whether you see him as Bacchus, Dionysus, the Green Man, or some other vegetative god, the god of the vine is a key archetype in harvest celebrations. Take a tour of a local winery and see what it is they do this time of year. Better yet, try your hand at making your own wine! If you’re not into wine, that’s okay — you can still enjoy the bounty of grapes, and use their leaves and vines for recipes and craft projects. However you celebrate these deities of vine and vegetation, you may want to leave a small offering of thanks as you reap the benefits of the grape harvest.

Author:  Patti Wigington, Paganism/Wicca Expert
Article found on & owned by

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The Witches Rune – The Wave

The Wave

Keywords: Friends, family, travel.

Meanings: This rune symbolizes your friends and family and their influence upon you. Its meaning is usually derived from the other stones closest to it. This rune is also associated with travel. A journey abroad is indicated especially if the Sun rune is nearby, but a journey for someone close to you if the Moon stone is closest. If it is near to the Rings it foretells a holiday or long distance relationship.

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If You Were Born Today, February 2

If You Were Born Today, February 2

Career and family are equally important to you–both of these things drive you. You are a real achiever who has determination and willpower, as well as intuition that serves you well. Spirit and beauty reflect from within, and others cannot help but take notice of you. Very diplomatic, you are a peace lover through and through, and bringing harmony to your environment and family satisfies like nothing else. Famous people born today: Farrah Fawcett, Shakira, Christie Brinkley, James Dickey, James Joyce.

Courtesy of Cafe Astrology

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To Be or Not To Be: The Art of Becoming Pagan

To Be or Not To Be: The Art of Becoming Pagan

Author: Artemis

Despite the growth and acceptance for the many major world religions and spiritual paths, there is still a hush that falls upon the crowd when one encounters a pagan. Being brought up in a Christian-based family, I know the awkward silence all too well.

There is no easy way to come out with the truth. In fact, most pagans (and neo-pagans, as well) are uncomfortable coming out of “ The Broom Closet” and insist they wont be accepted. Perhaps they fear judgment or retribution for their paths and beliefs? As a pagan who came clean and told her friends and family, I can empathize with them to some degree and advise some level of caution with your approach.

Encountering things previously unknown to them easily frighten people; this is the psychology of humanity that has long been understood. And fear drives a person to take action in desperate ways. When I came clean to my friends, I was unprepared. I sat down upon the couch, looked over at my best friend and sighed.

“I’m pagan”.

And that was it. She looked at me, incredulous at first, and then her features changed. She became guarded from that moment on. It was, to say the least, instantaneous and I should have eased into it. Instead, I sprung a leak and there was no patching it up.

When coming to terms with the path you have chosen, you must also look at how that path will affect the relationships closets to you. How will it affect your occupation, if they knew? How about your personal relationships? With your immediate family or your friends? But most importantly, how does this affect you?

When I burst out with my confession, I expected nonchalance and acceptance. I mean, these were people who knew me in my childhood. In my mind, it made sense for them to accept all my practices and me. After all, didn’t everyone make it a point to teach me that I shouldn’t judge without knowing someone or make discrimination based on assumptions? Despite what I may have been taught, somehow it changed everything. I was met with neither nonchalance nor acceptance. In fact, my books, altar, candles, and personal items were destroyed. My friends of years spray painted “ witch!” and a number of other inappropriate terms all over my wall and mattress.

My life at that time became some sort of a 21st century version of a witch-hunt- one that ended in anger, tears, and actual fear. I refused to get revenge. The police couldn’t (or wouldn’t) help me and for the first time, I realized the depth of raw judgment and prejudices.

Thankfully, my family was not as harsh when I told them. They believe firmly on the concept, “Don’t ask- Don’t tell”. If I didn’t speak of it or do it in front of them, it was easy to live with. It was as though I never admitted to who I was. This all happened years ago. But to this today, it reminds me of very important things.

While I suffered, what I consider to be, many losses, I also gained a number of significant lessons as well. I learned more about what I could handle and myself. I learned that adaptation, as well as making connections among the pagan community, could have been – and was- very rewarding and fulfilling. I met some individuals- whom I consider to be the most honest, dependable people I know- amid the tragedy I believed myself to be in. The point is, I didn’t lose as much as I thought. While I did lose a few friends and the respect of my family, I gained new fellows and, in those fellows, a new family of brothers and sisters who encouraged me, inspired my dreams, and, ultimately, made me a better person.

In the darkness, where I was convinced I was now alone, I found light and love. A sort of peace, unity, and acceptance. It reminded me of breaking the surface, after being crushed under the waves for so long. I was new and yet, I was the same. It was a rebirth that I welcomed. One I am still undergoing to this day.

The moment you realize- the very second you come to terms that you feel that connection to mother earth or the very being/spirit you believe in- everything changes. In the journey from first admitting it to others and yourself, you’ll find your experiences have shaped you. I became empowered, rather than enraged, by the misconceptions, misjudgments, and opinions of those who cannot accept me. If I were born to be like you, I would have been like you. Instead, we are all born to be ourselves- all sharing commonalities amongst our differences. We cannot control the perceptions of others or force them to understand why we choose to walk an earth-based life. It cannot be read about or spoken of…It must be lived, embraced, and then, perhaps, it can be understood.

I found in these experiences and losses, a certain desire to have others understand that we are people who still very much live in a world that isn’t ready for us. There is a certain amount of delicacy that must accompany any conversation on the subject. But the point that I want to stress is not to fear coming out in public, rather view this journey, despite what blessings and horrors it may bring, as a piece of art, a transformation that is beautiful and all your own.

The Pagan Society, whether we are Druids, Celts, Wiccans, or any of the other represented (and under-represented pagan paths) , still strive to be recognized by the world. We still fight for rights, for freedom of practice, and for the hope that we all may be able to walk together, both monotheistic and polytheistic religions, accepting and respecting one another as brothers and sisters. This is a hope that I pass to you.

So when you decide, to be or not to, exactly who you are AS you are, there will be a moment of celebration, relief that you have said it out loud. Then the fear and doubt may creep in, and you may wonder. What happens now? Does this change who I am?

It’s entirely up to you. Becoming pagan isn’t just learning about the ways of the path you choose, or joining a coven. It isn’t all “ Merry Meets!” and gatherings, learning and growing.
It is, in all its complexity, a living, breathing Art.

The Art of becoming you.


Personal experience.
The experience of my fellow brothers and sisters.

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Let’s Talk Witch – House Spirits

Egyptian Comments & Graphics


For the ancients, the hearth-place was also the altar of the household gods, where offerings could be made; when you being to think of your home as having indwelling spirit it can make a huge difference to the quality of life within it. You can use your mantelpiece as an altar, and many people do, or you can make a small shrine or niche beside it. Every house has its own spirit, what we detect as an ‘atmosphere’ when we enter it. A witch should be aware of this spirit and make sure that it is honoured in the proper way. It was once the custom to make gifts to the spirit before entering a dwelling, offering it bread and salt. In bygone Rome this spirit was called the Lar familiaris (‘household lar’) and was given daily offerings of food and monthly gifts of garlands, all placed on the hearth shrine. The Lar protected the house and its wealth. Its presence was invoked on family occasions such as birthdays, weddings, births and deaths.

Legends of house spirits are found throughout the world, from the Hawaiian Menahune to the Scottish and northern English Brownie, the Spanish Duende, the German Hausmänner, the Russian Igosha, the Finnish Kodin-Haltia, and the North American Shvod and Cambodian Àràk.

The first thing that people did when they moved into a new house was to greet its resident spirit. For example, the D#duška (‘Grandfather’) is a Russian house fairy who appears as an old man covered in hair, often in the likeness of a family patriarch. He wears a red shirt, cloak and a red belt. He lives behind the oven or near the threshold of the house, in the cupboard, or in the stable, sometimes with his wife and children. He will protect the family, their home and their livestock from bad luck, keep the servants in order and do all kinds of chores about the place while everyone is sleeping. He is especially keen on spinning. To keep him happy he should be given something from each meal and white linen should be placed in his favourite room. The family that pleases its fairy will prosper in all things but the family that fails to do him honour or uses bad language in his presence will suffer his anger. He will revenge himself on the crops and cattle or leave the house altogether. The unprotected family will then fall ill and die.

To entice an alienated spirit home, the inhabitants must dress in their best clothes and go out in the evening and walk about their courtyard saying “D#duška Domovoy come and live with us and tend our flocks”. Salted bread is wrapped in white cloth and put in the hall or courtyard while the family bows to the four quarters, praising the fairy and asking him to forgive them and return.

Without a D#duška Domovoy a house is unprotected, so when a new home is built certain rituals must be performed to gain one. The first creature to cross the threshold is in some danger so a cat or cock is thrown inside. Some of the first bread baked in the house is broken and buried in the right hand corner of the attic with an invocation to a spirit to come and protect the place and obey a new master. The D#duška Domovoy is sometimes thought to be an incarnation of an ancestral spirit.
When a family moves house, they will make every effort to take their house fairy with them. At the old house an elderly woman will clean the cinders from the hearth into a pan which she covers with a cloth. She then opens all the windows and invites the fairy to leave this house and go to the new one. She takes the cinders to the new house where the master and mistress wait with bread and salt at the gate. They bow low, take the pan into the house, and empty the cinders into the new grate. The pan is broken and buried in a corner of the room.

There were very similar beliefs in Britain. Brownies are solitary fairies found in southern Scotland and the northern counties of England. They become attached to particular houses or families and while the humans are asleep, they work about the house or farm, cleaning, tidying up, or help with the brewing. When the cock crows it is to let the brownie know it is time to go to bed. The only reward they ask is a bowl of cream or best milk. They are very good at hiding and can make themselves disappear at will, but those who have seen them describe them as small, shaggy haired and ugly, with flat faces. They are often ragged in appearance, but they are offended by gifts of clothes and will promptly disappear forever if given a new suit, so if you have a helpful house fairy don’t be tempted to reward it in this fashion. Brownies have a mischievous side and like to play tricks on humans, such as rattling the fire irons, smashing crockery, hiding objects, or making a mess. They are easily offended, and if they are mistreated they turn into destructive boggarts. House fairies often have a mischievous side and like to play trick on the human inhabitants of a dwelling, particularly if they are not getting their due. Such pranks might include rattling the fire irons, smashing crockery, hiding objects, or just making a mess.

Hearth Witch (The Eight Paths of Magic)
Anna Franklin

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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Chri… Yuletide!

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Chri… Yuletide!

Author: Lori Dake

One of the things I truly enjoy doing is decorating for the Holidays, and the Sunday before Thanksgiving is when I start doing my yearly ritual. It was a lot later when I was growing up, sometimes as late as Christmas Eve, because we always had a real tree, and as you all know, real trees tend to dry out and look rather Charlie Brown-ish if it’s left up too long.

I do miss the wonderful pine smell, but I certainly don’t miss the pine needles all over the floor stabbing my toes, or the resin giving me a terrible rash as I string up the lights, nor do I miss the aftermath of what an urban Pagan apartment dweller is to do with a tree that was cut down for our amusement. So, since we use an artificial tree year after year, I get to decorate mine much earlier, as well as lavishly cover our humble abode in twinkly white lights and pretty red ribbons. So, early decorating is a bit of a tradition I have started, and hey – one of the perks of having your own family is to change things up a bit!

And why do I choose to decorate before Thanksgiving? I means seriously! Don’t we always complain about how the holidays are rolling around earlier and earlier, no thanks to the Big Box stores (and all their evilness!) trying to make a few more dollars? Well, quite frankly, I’m going to be busy preparing Thursday’s feast all this week starting on Monday, since I do prep work like a well-founded catering company! Also, since we run a home business predominantly through eBay, the Dakes will be in a retail full swing, trying to compete with those aforementioned Big Box stores and their incredibly low prices! And, Sunday is Clean Up The House! day around these parts, so this is really the only opportunity I have to decorate before Santa starts to pack up his sleigh. That, and well, decorating, for me at least, is a lot of work – an all-day thing actually! – so I want to enjoy the fruits of my labor for just a little bit longer. But I promise, after New Year’s Day, they really do come down! I swear! Really! No ornaments will be discovered with decorated eggs!

So, with this being the Saturday before, I’ve already started straightening up the living room / warehouse to make room for all the decorations, and I’ve even bought a couple new items for this year’s Yule Diorama, which is my version of the Nativity Scene; I have a wolf and a moose to add! I have such fond memories of playing with the cast of characters as a kid, so I restructured the scene to more accurately reflect my Pagan beliefs.

My husband said if I keep adding onto it, that by the time our son has his own kids, my little “manger scene” is going to take up a whole wall! And since almost all of the pieces in my Yule Diorama were originally intended to be children’s playthings, as opposed to being delicate, hand painted porcelain religious icons to be admired and not touched, I happily welcome the thought of having that wall of critters and magickal creatures readily available for my future grandchildren.

We also break another tradition of throwing ourselves into bankruptcy over buying the biggest and best gifts for extended family and ourselves. My husband’s family is huge, and their tradition is that everyone buys everyone a gift. When his sisters, their husbands, their children and now, their children’s husbands and children are factored in, even token five dollar gifts can easily jack up to over a thousand dollars!

So, in order to still manage to give something to everyone, I also invest a full day of cookie baking, with at least four varieties and a dozen cookies per gift bag. (Yes, that’s a LOT of flour and sugar, but soooo good!) Okay, so we end up looking like cheapskates to some of our wealthier family members, especially when the gifts we get in exchange are pretty darn sweet, but I am at least trying to convey the message we do care and hopefully one day, someone will do the math and realize just how much work and love was put into them all. If anything, I got to make my home smell delicious and was able to sprinkle a little magick into their tummies!

Now, one tradition I have retained intact from childhood is to add at least one new ornament for the tree. For at least the last decade, I’ve been desperately searching for a blue Santa, more like a Father Christmas than the Coca-Cola image people are mostly familiar with, because somehow, it just feel ‘right’, for lack of a better term. Our tree is very Pagan-ish, but without being blatant or tacky about it, and I feel it reflects our faith as a whole. So, to find that special Santa would be such a wonderful addition to all the birds, bells, stars, icicles, snowflakes and winter woodland creatures that currently adorn our happy little tree, and it would just plain make me happy.

Here’s the way I see it:

Yes, we’re Pagan, yes we celebrate Yule, but yes, we also open presents on Christmas and have no problem calling them Christmas presents. Sure, we also open a special gift at Yule, but just like any religiously blended family, that’s another perk: more presents for the holidays! But no, we do not send out cards that say “Merry Christmas!” on them, unless we specifically know the recipients celebrate the holiday as such.

Oh, and no – I wouldn’t be offended if you or anyone else were to wish me a “Merry Christmas”. I know a couple times, people have tap-danced around that term, and it always came off as rather awkward, even in email form. I was able to just sense that fumbling around with a half-hearted, generic “Happy Holidays”, and to me, it just took away from the gesture.

Now, while I honestly do appreciate that extra effort, the sentiment is all the same to me, so I kindly ask my friends and family to just say whatever comes to mind. It’s not necessary with us. We always appreciate the sincere wishes, in all its guises. I’m a vegetarian too; as just the same, I’m not out to inconvenience anyone when what he or she gives me is out of love (I’ll just stick with the sides!)

So in closing, I wish a Merry Christmas to you, a Blessed Solstice, a Happy Yuletide, a Happy Hanukkah, a Happy Kwanzaa, a Happy Boxing Day and a thousand other ways to wish you a wonderful holiday, however you wish to call and celebrate it!

PS. Pssst! So hey – if anyone comes across a blue Santa ornament, would you kindly let me know where to find it? :) I’d really like to start a new quest!


Yule Diorama:

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Today’s I Ching Hexagram for December 15th is 37: Community

37: Community

December 15th, 2014
A community or extended family that works is one where healthy interdependence is appreciated and supported. Good direction is essential, but strong kinship is dependent upon every member of the community. Trust, shared responsibilities and good communication are essential. Each member must be encouraged to find his or her appropriate expression, and contribution.

The functional family is a team that symbolizes the ideal of human interdependence, and has long provided a firm foundation for society. The healthy family is a microcosm of society and the native soil in which ethical values take root and grow. Fertilize this soil, and the whole of society benefits.

The power that bonds a tribe is the yin or feminine principle — gentleness and receptivity. Relationships are improved through cultivation of these. Learn to accept both advice and aid from others, and be willing to assume an appropriate role in any group that supports good relating. A good team player is always valuable to others. Increase your value!

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Daily OM for October 27th – Reviving a Community Tradition

Reviving a Community Tradition

by Madisyn Taylor

Most cultures use storytelling to pass down family history using the power and energy of the human voice.

Ever since our ancestors could first communicate, we have gathered to share our stories. We have passed along creation tales and tragic stories of love lost. We have repeated accounts of real heroism and simple stories of family history. When our forebears lived closer to the land and to each other, the practice of storytelling was imbued with ritual and occasion. Members of the tribe would often gather around the fire to hear their genealogy recited aloud by an elder or master storyteller. Listeners could track how their own lives, and the lives of their parents, interwove with the lives of the other tribe members, as everyone’s ancient relatives once played out similar life dramas together.

As a custom, some cultures’ storytellers repeat the same tale over and over because they believe that each time you hear it, you come to the story as a different person and view the plot and characters in a new light. Hearing the story over and over is a way to gauge where you have been and where you are now on your path of personal evolution. It also helps the younger generation learn the stories so that they can pass them to forthcoming generations.

When we hear others tell stories, we can laugh at their humorous adventures, feel the thrill of exciting encounters, see parts of ourselves in them, and learn from the challenges they face. Though most of our formal traditions of storytelling are lost, it does not mean we have to be without. We can begin new practices in our own families of listening to one another, of honoring our own journey, and witnessing the journeys of those around us. We can revive the fireside communal by gathering around the campfire or hearth with family and friends, sharing in stories. By building new practices of storytelling, we give ourselves and the ones we love an opportunity to draw ever closer in our shared human experience.



The Daily OM

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