SOLITAIRE IMBOLC RITUAL by Micheal Hall Note - by Matrika - this ritual was written by someone I knew from the Boston MA. area a couple of years back. It is based on a combination of the lore of the Wicca and some of the afro-caribbean diaspora traditions of Paganism and Magick. ================================================================== On your altar should be placed a circle of 13 stones and, within the circle of stones, a circle of 13 candles. Within the circle of candles should be spread some maize - i.e. corn meal - and in that a waxen female candle to symbolize the Goddess on your altar. On the eastern side of the altar should be placed a small sheaf of grain with a candle inserted inside it. You should dress in your usual ceremonial garb for Magickal rites or skyclad, as you prefer. Retire to bathe in salt-water (use sea salt) before the ritual. As you do so picture the water cleansing the soul and spirit, just as it cleanses the body. When you have dressed, anoint yourself with a holy oil. When you have prepared yourself, sit in a dim quiet place and light a candle - ONE THAT IS NOT BEING USED IN THE RITES - and meditate on how at this time of year the Goddess in her fiery aspect AS LIGHT was welcomed back into the Temples and the Homes of the land. Take this candle and walk slowly to your altar. Place it in the circle of the 13 candles. Then light the two altar candles, which are separate from the circle of lights also, and the incense. (Incense should be stick or powdered incense on charcoal in a swinging burner.) Then light all the quarter candles in the 4 directions, starting in the east and going clockwise. Cast your circle in the usual manner, but Invoke the Goddess with the following: "Sacred womb, giver of the secrets of Life, Mother of all that exists in the Universe, I ask your guardianship of this gathering and your assistance in my work. I am gathered in celebration of your gifts and my work is most holy. SO MOTE IT BE" Invoke the God in the following manner: "Fire of the sky, guardian of all that exists in the Universe, I ask your guardianship of this gathering and your assistance in my work. I am gathered in celebration of your gifts and my work is most holy. SO MOTE IT BE" (continue with the circle casting if it is not already finished) Light the 13 candles and then the Goddess candle in the center and say: "Warm and quickening Light awaken and bring forth beauty for thou art my pleasure and my bounty LORD and LADY OSiRIS AND ISIS" (or you may substitute whatever names your circle uses for the God and the Goddess - or those you personally prefer)Reflect a moment on the coming of the light and offer up the incense. Say "O ancient Ones Timeless Goddess and Sacred King who art the heralds of springtime and it's bounties be with me now in celebration Hail to Osiris and Isis Harvest giver and blessed Lady Let this be a time and a place sacred to your power and your beauty SO MOTE IT BE" Light the candle in the sheaf of grain and hold it up with the loaf of bread in the other hand and say (or the cakes - whatever you or your tradition uses for the cakes and wine/juice ceremony) "My Lord and Lady, as the seed becomes the grain, so the grain becomes the bread, Mark the everlasting value of our seasons and their changes. " Break a piece of the bread or cakes off and burn it as an offering in the central candle. Then say "In the deepest Icy Winter the seed of the Earth lies deep within the womb of the Great Mother. The Spring brings the heat of the Father and with their joining comes new life. The completion of the cycle brings food to the children of the world. As I taste the food I shall know the wisdom of the cycles and be blessed with the food of wisdom throughout my life" Consecrate cakes and wine/juice in the usual manner and partake of them, but first raise your chalice or drinking horn and say "Hail to thee ISIS Hail to thee Osiris For thou art blessed" After this commune in meditation with the Lord and lady for a while, then close the circle in your usual manner. GOOD IMBOLC
‘THINK on THESE THINGS’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler
Everyone is a collector of something. And everyone’s collection looks peculiar to someone else. And yet, who knows why an item may have a certain appeal to one particular person. The shape, the color, the whole idea may have a hidden background, but it is most definitely there!
It may be old books, or magazines. Perhaps it is pill bottles, fishing hooks, or something “I may need someday when…” Who knows the reason old calendars continue to hang, and scraps of this and that may someday be just what I need.
But more dear than any of these are the happy thoughts we collect to use along the way. We can use them to cheer someone, to pass along a word of courage, a simple prayer, a smile. And when someone has time to share with us an experience that we may profit by the pain they felt – yes, these are collector’s items. These priceless bits of life’s fabric, woven by someone’s cares and offered to us in hopes that it will help.
Whatever it is that we collect, we must never forget the dearest collections are the kindnesses, the thoughtful acts, the smiling faces that can be ours by giving the same.
What could be so priceless as true friendship? Friends for which time and space do not exist! It is written, “What a great blessing is a friend with breast so trusty that thou mayest safely bury all thy secrets in it, whose conscience thou mayest fear less than thy own; who can relieve thy cares by his counsels, thy sadness by his good humor, and whose very looks give thee comfort.”
All of us have had many friends, but the special ones remain forever in our memories. The dearest are those who believe in us and are willing to trust us with their friendship.
We cannot force friendship. It is something mutually understood and silently accepted. It is our opportunity to demonstrate our very best selves – to as no questions and to pass no criticisms.
“Before us is a future all unknown, a path untrod;
Beside us a friend well loved and known –
That friend is God.”
Available online! ‘Cherokee Feast of Days’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler.
Elder’s Meditation of the Day – January 31
“In sharing, in loving all and everything, one people naturally found a due portion of the thing they sought, while in fearing, the other found need of conquest.”
–Chief Luther Standing Bear, SIOUX
There are two systems of thought that are available for us to choose from. One is the love-thought system and the other is the fear- thought system. If we choose love, we will see the laws, principles and values of the Creator. If we choose fear, the results will be so paralyzing that it will cause us to take over and not rely on the Great Spirit. The fear-thought system will automatically cause attack, conflict, need to control over others. The love-thought system seeks peace of mind, unity and causes us to be love seekers.
Great Spirit, today let me see only love.
January 31 – Daily Feast
Sensible people do not get ruffled easily and are known to be reliable in a crisis. We want these stable people with us as friends and team members when the game is terribly important. We have heard the calm voice and felt the strong hand when our knees wobbled and our hands shook. It is easy to recall those who sustained us with their words, their caring. And sadly, we remember those who did not. Whatever common sense is, the heart has it, not the head. It is having the right priorities, knowing what is important, and giving as much as, or more than, we have received. Indians of old has this stalwart strength to stand like straight arrows to give support. They reached out to lift someone before they stopped to think whether he deserved it. The price is the same now as then – patience, love, loyalty – those things that seem so scarce.
~ I learned many English words….could recite some of the Ten Commandments….I knew how to sleep in a bed, pray to Jesus, comb my hair, use a toilet….I learned that a person thinks with his head instead of his heart. ~
SUN CHIEF, 1890
‘A Cherokee Feast of Days’, by Joyce Sequichie Hifler
Be Love Today
Today, our focus is on love. Today, I wish you to realize that the love you give to others is also a gift you are giving yourself. When you fill your heart with love, even toward those who have hurt you, then you have the healing benefits of a heart full of love, pumping love to all parts of your body. And love is a soothing and healing nutrient, stronger than any other.
And so, today, give yourself the gift of forgiving and loving others. Release yourself from the prison of resentment, anger and judgment. Let yourself walk free into the place of love and light.
Just let it go. All of the old thoughts, all of the bitterness, just let it go. Release everything that is not love. Let it float off you like a heavy, heavy burden you have carried for too long. And in its place, let love fill you. Fill yourself with a deep love of yourself, of life itself, of all people in all of their struggles, no matter where they may stand on their path.
Fill yourself with a warm embracing love which contains complete forgiveness. Let that flow within you. Feel the warmth and healing power of love as it heals you and connects you to all that is good and wonderful in this world.
The Goddess Companion
Give her something to get through the night.
Here is Biddy, dressed in white.
Give poor Biddy a little light.
Give poor Biddy something!
Look, her clothes are torn.
Give poor Biddy something!
Look, her shoes are worn.
Here is Biddy dressed in white.
Give her something to get through the night.
Here is Biddy, dressed in white.
Give poor Biddy a little light.
~Traditional Irish Song to the Goddess Brigid
In Ireland, the end of winter occurs now, when sheep begin to bear their lambs and life stirs at last after its winter sleep. In our calendar, spring is still long away, but we feel the stirring within ourselves that longer sunlight hours brings.
Such stirrings need encouragement. At this time of year, little children dressed in rags walked the byways of old Ireland, begging “something for poor Biddy,” receiving treats of money and food. In ancient times, “Biddy” was the Goddess Brigid, translated into the Christian saint Bridget. Like her, we will survive even the darkest times to be reborn again.
But our wintry souls can call out for gifts, kind words and embraces, small tokens that reveal our importance to each other. Winter’s night is passing, but winter can remain within our souls unless we reach our hands to offer the warmth of human kindness to our friends and loved ones. Truths of our existence.
Heartwings Love Notes 451 Doing The Best I Can
Heartwings says, “All you need to do the best you can is to try your hardest.”
My report cards from elementary school often emphasized that if I tried harder I would get better grades. I’ve often wished my teachers realized I was trying as hard as I could. I am not a linear thinker; if my mind wandered in class it was usually because something being said reminded me of something else relevant to me though not necessarily the teacher; if I looked out the window it was because the outside was more interesting than what the teacher was saying. With the circumstances and my abilities, I did the best I could.
In those days there was a single standard of “right” and “wrong” concerning the way children were to behave or to respond. No one seemed to care about other circumstances or situations making a difference for the student. There were no excuses or difficulties to be taken into consideration. My wretched penmanship due to my inability to repeat the same strokes over and over was said to be my fault for not trying hard enough.
I know now that regardless what was said on my report card, I did do my best. In terms of skills, coordination, or ability children are not all created equal. Today there is a much greater understanding of this and as a result many children benefit. What was lacking then was compassion for those laboring under unseen yet effectively limiting handicaps. This had a profound influence on all of us.
I grew up being hard on myself for any perceived failure to measure up. As I have learned and grown I have become much more compassionate both toward my own limitations and toward those of others. Having patience with myself has become a goal as well as an intention to be practiced as all times. I believe I am making progress. The old critical voices are not nearly as loud as they were. I have learned to give myself and others more credit for doing the best we can.
May you learn to be happy with your abilities and accomplishments and give yourself credit for trying your best.
Blessings and Best Regards, Tasha Halpert
To enjoy more Love notes or to sign up for a free weekly subscription, please be sure to visit www.heartwingslovenotes.com. To order Tasha’s very special book of inspirational writing and poetry, Heartwings: Love Notes for a Joyous Life, drop Tasha an email at tashahal@…. For a chance to chuckle over some enjoyable humorous writing please visit www.funnywrite.com and relish the humor posted there not only by my husband Stephen and his friend Ken, but by others as well. In addition, there are also opportunities for readers to contribute.
For you are safe and loved at home.
Whenever you leave, Return to me,
From this dawn onward. So mode it be!î
Wrap the photo and hair in the hankie and tie it securely. Place it near your pet’s favorite inside place.