‘THINK on THESE THINGS’ for April 7th

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

We all develop our own ways of centering our lives on something. In our minds we each have a design of what we think we are capable of being. If we want to be what we think we are capable of being, then we must hold our design firmly in our minds until it is secured as the focal point.

Each life must have that focal point, that center of interest where all phases of life come together. A focal point gives strength and meaning to the smallest details of everyday living.

Dimension and depth belong to the life that is centered. Though it may take many forms we must always have a “home” to return to, knowing that here are the roots, the things that really matter.

There must be a blending of our lives with others. But to be happy with one’s self, that focal point must be steady and true before we can feel contented that “all’s right with the world”.

___________________________________________

Available online! ‘Cherokee Feast of Days’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler.

Visit her web site to purchase the wonderful books by Joyce as gifts for yourself or for loved ones……and also for those who don’t have access to the Internet: http://www.hifler.com
Click Here to Buy her books at Amazon.com

Elder’s Meditation of the Day
By White Bison, Inc., an American Indian-owned nonprofit organization. Order their many products from their web site:
http://www.whitebison.org

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – April 7

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – April 7

“Women. They have the power of generations. Women have the power to have children and not to have children.”

–Cecilia Mitchell, MOHAWK

The Woman is not only the key to life; she is also the key to future generations. An Elder once joked that the Woman only needs the man for one night. We need to look at and respect the power of the Woman. She is special and we need to treat her that way.

Great Spirit, today, let me show the greatest respect to our Women.

April 7 – Daily Feast

April 7 – Daily Feast

It seems only yesterday when the first cold wind blew in and laid flat the wild rose and turned the canes gray. Leaves turned and dropped. Snows fell and drifted. Winter threatened to last forever. But it didn’t. Spring runs in and out like a child opening and slamming a door just to irritate us. The birds are flirting and meadows abound with baby calves in their first days. It is a time of change – not only in nature but in us. We enjoy that breaking point between late winter and early spring. In our mind’s eye we know where the wild phlox will spread its fragrance and the oxeye daisies will crowd the narrow path. It is with the same eye that we see ourselves blooming with health and prospering beyond our dreams. Only those who walk under a cloud miss the joy of this time, the open meadows and greening hills.

~ Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam, where the deer and the antelope play….Where seldom is heard a discouraging word and the skies are not cloudy all day. ~

ANONYMOUS

‘A Cherokee Feast of Days’, by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

The Daily Motivator for April 7th – Focus on quality

Focus on quality

There is only so much quantity you can add to any aspect of your life. Yet there is no limit to the level of quality you can attain.

Instead of doing something more and more, consider doing it better and better. Instead of increasing the quantity of what you consume or experience, consider raising the level of quality.

Live richly rather than ravenously. Focus not on how much you have but rather on how well you make meaningful use of it.

Let go of the wearisome need to have more and more. Embrace, enjoy and nurture your ability to give deeper meaning to what you already have.

Even the little things can bring great joy. Even the small moments can make a big difference.

Each moment is an opportunity to raise the level of quality in your life. Focus on quality, today and every day, and there is no limit to the richness you can experience.

— Ralph Marston
Source:
The Daily Motivator

The Daily OM for April 7th – Demolishing Anger’s Walls

Demolishing Anger’s Walls
Resentment

by Madisyn Taylor

When anger has no outlet it can morph into resentment and carries the potential to cause great turmoil.

Anger, when channeled into the pursuit of change, can be a useful tool in our emotional palette. Anger is experienced by most people, some more than others. It is when anger has no outlet and morphs into resentment that it carries with it the potential to cause great turmoil. Allowing us to assign blame for the pain we are feeling, thereby easing it, resentment tends to smolder relentlessly just below the surface of our awareness, eroding our peace of mind. The target of our resentment grows ever more wicked in our minds and we rue the day we first encountered them. But resentment is merely another hue on the emotional palette and therefore within the realm of our conscious control. We can choose to let go of our resentment and to move on with our lives, no matter how painful the event that incited it.

Hanging onto resentment in our hearts does not serve us in any way. Successfully divesting ourselves of resentful feelings can be difficult, however, because doing so forces us to mentally and emotionally confront the original source of anger. When we cease assigning blame, we realize that our need to hold someone or something responsible for our feelings has harmed us. We thought we were coping with our hurt when in fact we were holding onto that hurt with a vice grip. To release resentment, we must shift our attention from those we resent back toward ourselves by thinking of our own needs. Performing a short ceremony can help you quell resentful feelings by giving tangible form to your emotions. You may want to write down your feelings and then burn the paper and close your ceremony by wishing them well. When you can find compassion in your heart, you know you are on your way to healing.

Free of resentment, we have much more energy and attention to devote to our personal development. We can fill the spaces it left behind with unconditional acceptance and joy. And, as a result of our subsequent freedom from resentment, blessings can once again enter our lives as the walls we built to contain our anger have been demolished.

Source:
The Daily OM

The Emerald Rose Meditation

The Emerald Rose Meditation

Before you go to sleep, turn on meditative music and recline. Take a few deep and complete breaths to center your awareness. Quiet your thoughts and let go of any tension you may be feeling. In your mind’s eye, imagine a beautiful emerald colored rosebud. It is a dream rose, a flower bud more incredible and exquisite than you have ever imagined before. Instantly, a magickal doorway appears as the emerald rosebud opens slowly. You step through the door with your imagination and find yourself in a world of plenty. In this magickal world, you live like a God or Goddess with a carefree heart and immortal spirit. You are free from fear and pain. There is no trouble, problems, heartache, or old age. Your energy is always vital, and you feel wonderful, inspire, and uplifted. You are strong, vital and sensual, and you play with the delight of a young child. So many good things are yours. Your life is prosperous and your ideas are fertile and productive. Everything is abundant and unforced, willing and effortless. As you experience this world, a renewed sense of abundance and prosperity fills you. The loving spirit of the divine embraces, guides and illuminates your path to plenty.

Now take another deep, complete breath, and imagine stepping out of the emerald rose in your mind’s eye. Continue relaxing and drift to sleep. As you do, imagine being in the magickal world of plenty.

Time Window Meditation

Time Window Meditation

Tonight turn on a DVD or video of a movie with clips of places where you would love to visit. Move forward in the video until you reach a place that you love the scenery. Pause the film, and say three times:

I step into the picture to relax and unwind.

Look at the paused film. Take a deep breath in and out and imagine actually stepping into the picture as if you are looking through a window for a few minutes and taking a mini-vacation there. See and sense yourself there, relaxing and enjoying your adventure. Do this for about five minutes, then take another deep breath in and out, and come back to the present time and place. You can repeat this meditation as often as you like, with different films, and for shorter or longer durations.

 

Faery Flower Power Blessing

Faery Flower Power Blessing

Say this blessing to draw the divine favors of the flower faeries to you.

You will need fresh flowers for this blessing.

After dark, go outdoors to the highest point in your nearby surroundings, for example, a hilltop, ridge, mound, your balcony, or a vista point. Draw a small circle of green light around the area in which you will be standing or sitting. Scatter the flowers clockwise in a circle around you. Stand or sit facing north. Merge with the divine, and hold your arms upward in the Goddess/God position. Say this blessing:

Helpful and friendly fae

Please enrich my life with your powers

Every second, minute, and each hour

I ask for your blessing and protection

Tonight, and every night

May my mind flow with creativity

May my body flow with well-being

May my spirit flower with grace

By the helpful and friendly fae,

So Be It! Blessed Be!

Leave the flowers as an offering to the helpful faeries. Close the circle when you are done.

Celestial Power Spell

Celestial Power Spell

Use this spell to gain rapport with the powers of the moon, stars, and planets.

Spread a white altar cloth on your altar after dark. Use a white candle and meditative music. Light the candle and turn on the music. Take several deep complete breaths, in and out. Merge with the divine, with Oneness, and say:

Moon, stars, planets, and celestial powers
Please open your spirits to me
Moon, stars, planets, and celestial powers
Please open your hearts to me
Moon, stars, planets, and celestial powers
Please open your arms to me
Moon, stars, planets, and celestial powers
Please lend your wisdom to me
Thank you for your celestial energy, Blessed Be!
 

Now, gaze at the candle and meditate on the powers of the moon, stars, planets, nebulas, and other celestial formations, lending their wisdom to you and filling you with celestial light. Do this for at least fifteen minutes. Allow the candle to safely burn down when you are finished.

You’ve Studied Witchcraft & Wicca, Now Choose A Magickal Name

You’ve Studied Witchcraft & Wicca, Now Choose A Magickal Name

Personality Labels

We all can attest to the fact that our given name has, through the years, labelled us in some manner. First names tend to stereotype people and last names can often present the same type of response, and there are times when we wish our parents had chosen to name us something else other than what we are, but saying that at times we may be proud of our names we go by.

When you enter the craft you are building a new extension of yourself, a new personality so to speak. This new self lives in a no limit world, save for the restrictions that you set yourself. So to speak you are opening yourself to a brand new world. Achievements that you yourself never dreamed of are now all of a sudden possible and the personality characteristics that locked you in a specific pattern are now being lifted and changed to mould the way you want to be and not how others perceive you. Most initiates wish to choose a new name to reinforce that special part of themselves that now exists.

However, in a coven environment an individual may take on two different names. The first being known as the “circle” name, thus being used within the coven and the second being the “magical name” to be used in ceremonial rituals, where it is only known by the god/goddess and the individual or the individuals teacher. The number, type and knowledge of names does not differ from tradition to tradition. As a solitary witch would use the same name till such time as she saw fit to change it, some never change there names at all, others use separate ones for correspondence and such alike.

Care should be taken in choosing your magical name, it should represent the beauty of yourself and your higher personal values and ideals.

Finding your magickal Name

Since your new name does not, well not very often, reach out and pinch you, you might have to look a bit for it. Some witches choose to take a name that is traditionally connected with magick, perhaps from a legends story or a name from the tarot and the runes etc. Some witches scry to find their name, they tend to be kind of mystical names, quite often naming animals such as black panther and silver hawk, these are merely examples.

When looking for your name try the following… Take out a piece of paper and write at the top “my magical name should stand for the following strengths…” Leave blank spaces and go down to about the middle of the page and write “This name should have the characteristics of the following deities, plants, elements etc. Then start to answer these questions, do it over a period of time don’t rush into it as said before care should be taken to ensure that you are truly comfortable with your name and that you shouldn’t have to change it on a regular basis, it tends to confuse others and yourself if you do it to much.

Once you have selected your name, get used to it. Sign all letters with it, practice using it and become as one with your name as it does with you. Set up a dedication ceremony, even dedicating your magical name and the bonding you have with it at the same time.

Source;

Empathy’s Mystical Occult Site

The Essence Of Witchcraft Is Therapy

The Essence Of Witchcraft Is Therapy

The younger generation, that generation unfairly labelled Generation X, has an alarmingly dark cast looming over them. They are the first generation who are not expected to fare better than their parents. They are the depressed generation, with an alarmingly large percentage of these children on Prozac or other anti-depression drug, they have been warped by television, violence, illegal drugs and absentee parents. It is no wonder then, that many of these young people have turned to the Pagan religions for solace, turning Witchcraft and other Pagan religions into very quickly growing paths.

It is no puzzle why young people find the pagan religions attractive, they offer a degree of freedom and individualityuncommon to most other mainstream religions, they offer the practitioner strength and power. Because these religions integrate the magickal arts into their core theology, people who need a sense of empowerment are drawn to these religions. In Witchcraft especially, the practitioner is taught that they hold all the power, that will is all one needs to shape their fate and that we all have the ability to determine our futures. But Witchcraft also teaches that along with the power of independence comes responsibility, when we are forced to take responsibility for our actions, we become much more aware of them and this realisation is in itself a kind of therapy.

While many Craft leaders would be hesitant to accept the fact that Witchcraft is therapy, the truth is that any practice which advocates self exploration, self empowerment and self expression is therapeutic. The entire purpose of spirituality in its pure and unadulterated form is to provide a link between the individual and the Divine. Once this link is established and a firm relationship develops, the seeker becomes cleansed. A renewed understanding of self and a new-found self respect is instilled, thus the end result is the same result striven for in any kind of therapy. The re-connecting of the mind and body to the Earth and Goddess is the ultimate form of self affirmation therapy.

Unfortunately, however, the therapeutic aspects of Witchcraft are often masked not only by Hollywood facades which present Witchcraft as a fairytale practice, but also by many books that speak almost exclusively about magick and its application. While it is true that Witchcraft wouldn’t be Witchcraft without magick, it is also true that magick simply will not work without a deep understanding of self and a deep relationship with Earth, Universe and Goddess. Books that give guidelines for rituals and spells do nothing to add dimension to Witchcraft as a bona fide religion, though it appeals greatly to the younger generation. Yet watered-down Witchcraft can never feed the soul and when the young practitioner discovers that their magick does not work (because the books they read have neglected to inform them that they must transform themselves before they can work magick) they turn away from Witchcraft and never come to gain the very thing that they came in search of.

Because witches are very wary of those who proselytise, they are wary to do so themselves. Witches are willing to teach those who are sincere in their desire to learn and who are mature enough to discipline themselves in the manner required of true scholarship. The trouble however, is that most teenagers and young adults who encounter Witchcraft are not lucky enough to have a physical teacher. They read books, magazines and consult the Internet for their teachings. Yet precious little of these media offer valuable and accessible theological and/or philosophical information to the student. Most often, students are taught the Wheel of the Year and the Wiccan Rede without ever being taught why these things are sacred, how they are integrated into our daily lives and how the student is to interpret these guidelines for themselves. In fact, because many publications focus heavily on the eclectic side of Witchcraft, they often offer the student these empty words…Do whatever feels right to you. In some instances, such advice is favourable, but many times, the student has no idea what they should feel, let alone if that feeling is right.

Though teenagers and young adults come to Witchcraft for many reasons including a desire for control, love or for some rebellion against controlling parents, the reason these people stay with Witchcraft is because they feel a sense of coming home.While love and money spells may lure them in, those who are not willing to change for their religion will not stay. Witchcraft is first and foremost, a religion that advocates metamorphosis and self transformation and these things do not come from the wave of a magick wand. These things only come with perseverance, determination and discipline. Many books mention this fact, but most do not stress it enough. It is almost as though they are afraid of scaring away the reader. But why mask what our religion is? Why try to market it is as something that it is not? If we know that Witchcraft is a therapeutic religion that can reconnect the individual with Earth, why do we try to bury this beauty underneath magick spells and rituals? Why are we afraid to tell the student, If you want it bad enough, you can have it, but not without getting your hands dirty? In an age where we are losing a generation to drugs, violence and sexually transmitted disease, why do we deny them the exhilarating liberation that Witchcraft-as-therapy has to offer?

Perhaps writers are afraid that their work won’t be published unless they offer mass public appeal and the public wants magick. Maybe they are afraid that publishing a belief system is so close to proselytisation that they are afraid to cross that line. Yet if Witchcraft is to remain a bona fide religion, it must enculturate the younger generation and it must offer them something useful in return. Witchcraft is a truly beautiful religion, once one gets to the very meat of it and it is a religion truly fit for combating the decay of our young people. Unlike many mainstream religions, witches do not believe that they must rely on an outside source for fulfilment and happiness. Witches believe that the witch saves them self and in an era where self denigration and self hate is on the rise, it would be wise for the teachers of the Craft to make this information readily available to the student. The most valuable thing I ever learned from Witchcraft is that by the simple fact that I am, everything I do, say, feel and think is not only valid, but sacred as well. When we learn to accept ourselves as sacred, we come to understand that others are sacred and mutual respect is established and unity grows.

While it is never too late to teach these principles to anyone, it is much easier to integrate them into the teachings of the beginner, because they are so willing to learn. Instead of filling our bookstores with how-to books that may sell well but offer very little, we must teach and publish that which the younger generation needs to hear, which is that only through self discovery and understanding can we ever be truly successful, be it in work, love or magick.

Souce:

Empathy’s Mystical Occult Site

THE STORY OF WICCA

THE STORY OF WICCA

Wicca, an alternative name for modern witchcraft is a positive, shamanistic nature religion with two main deities honored and worshipped in Wiccan rites. The Goddess (the female aspect and a deity related to the ancient Mother Goddess in her triple aspects of Maiden, Mother and Crone) and her consort, the Horned God (the male aspect). Their names vary from one Wiccan tradition to the next and some traditions use different deity names in both their higher and lower degrees.

Wicca often includes the practice of various forms of white magick (usually for healing purposes or as a counter to negativity), as well as rites to attune oneself with the natural rhythm of life forces marked by the phases of the moon and the four seasons.

Wicca (which is also known as the “Craft of the Wise” or often just “The Craft”) is considered by many to be both a monistic and pantheistic religion and is part of the modern Pagan resurgence or neo-Pagan movement, as many prefer to call it.

Today, most people who define themselves as Pagans use the word as a general term for native and natural religions, usually polytheistic and their members. In simple terms, it is a positive, nature-based religion, preaching brotherly love and harmony with and respect for all life forms. It is very similar to Native American spirituality. Its origins are found in the early human development of religion. Animistic deities gradually becoming redefined to become a main God or Goddess of all Nature. This God or Goddess (bearing different names at different times and in different places) can be found in nearly all of the world’s historic religious systems. Paganism does not oppose nor deny other religions. It is simply a pre-Christian faith.

The Wiccan religion is made up of various sects or “Traditions” such as Gardenerian, Alexandrian, Dianic, Tanic, Georgian, Ethnic Traditionalist and so on. Many of the traditions were formed and introduced in the 1960s and although their rituals, customs, myth cycles and symbolism’s may be different from one another, they all hold common principles of Craft law.

The main tenet of Wicca Craft is the Wiccan Rede, a simple and benevolent moral code that is as follows…

AN IT HARM NONE, DO WHAT THOU WILT.

In other words, be free to do your own thing. Provided that you in no way bring harm upon anyone, including yourself. (The Wiccan Rede is extremely important to bear in mind before performing any magickal spells or rituals, especially those which may be considered unethical or of a manipulative nature.) The Threefold Law (or Law of Three) is a karmic law of triple retribution which applies whenever you do something good or bad. For instance, if you use white magick (or positive energy) to do something good for somebody else, three times the good will come back to you in your lifetime. By the same token, if you use black magick (or negative energy) to bring harm unto others, the bad or “evil” will also return to you threefold in the same lifetime.

The followers of the Wiccan religion are called Wiccan or Witches. The word “Witch” applies to both male and female practitioners of the Craft. Male Witches or Wiccans are seldom, if ever, called warlocks. The word “Warlock” which is considered an insult in most Wiccan circles stems from the old english word “Waerloga,” meaning an “Oath-breaker” and was used derogatorily by the Christian Church as a name for a male witch.

Although Witches are proud to be a part of the Craft, there are some who object strongly to the use of the term “Witch,” feeling that the word stirs up too many bizarre images and misconceptions in the minds of those who are unfamiliar with the Craft and perhaps a bit reluctant to accept that which they do not clearly understand.

As Wicca Craft is a Nature-oriented religion, most of it’s members are involved in one way or another with the ecology movement and current environmental issues.

Wiccans do not accept the arbitrary concept of innate sin or absolute evil and they do not believe in a Heaven or Hell, other than those which are one’s own creations.

Wiccans do not practice any form of black magic or “evil,” nor worship devils, demons, or any evil entities and do not make attempts to convert members of other faiths to the Pagan way. Wiccans respect all other positive religions and feel that a person must hear the “Call of the Goddess” and truly desire within her or his own heart, without any outside proselytisation to follow the Wiccan path.

Many Wiccans take on one or more secret names (also know as “Eke-names”) to signify their spiritual rebirth and new life within the Wicca Craft. Eke-names are most sacred and are used only among sisters and brothers of the same path. When a Witch takes on a new name, she or he must be extremely careful to choose one that harmonizes in one way or another with numerical name-numbers, birth-numbers, or runic numbers. A well-chosen name vibrates with that individual and directly links her or him to the Craft.

Many Wiccans work together in small groups which are called covens. The coven (which can consist of up to 13 people) is led by a High Priestess and/or High Priest and gathers together to worship the Goddess, work magick and perform ceremonies at Sabbats and Esbats. The members of a coven are known as “Coveners” and the place where a coven meets is called the “Covenstead.”

Wiccans who work on their own, either by personal choice or by circumstance are called “Solitary” Witches.

Wiccans celebrate 8 Sabbats each year, making transitions in the seasons. There are 4 major (or grand) Sabbats and 4 minor (or lesser) ones. The major Sabbats are Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas and Samhain. The minor Sabbats are Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Autumn Equinox and Winter Solstice.

The Esbat is a monthly coven meeting held at least 13 times a year during each Full Moon. At the Esbat, Wiccans exchange ideas, discuss problems, perform special rites, work magick and healing and give thanks to the Goddess and the Horned God. A traditional “Cakes and Wine” or “Cakes and Ale” ceremony also takes place at the Esbat. During this ceremony, consecrated food and refreshments are served and coveners take time to relax and discuss important magickal subjects. The “Cakes and Wine” or “Cakes and Ale” ceremony is a traditional custom whenever a Wiccan ritual takes place and the circle is cast.

In a coven, the Goddess is represented by the High Priestess and the Horned God by the High Priest.

The Goddess is known by many different names. She is often called Diana, Cerridwen, Freya, Isis, Ishtar, The Lady or any other name that a coven chooses to use or that a Wiccan feels responds to his or her own mythical vision.

The Goddess is the female principle. She represents fertility, creation, the regenerative powers of nature and wisdom. The moon is her symbol and in works of art, she is often depicted as having three faces, each representing a different lunar phase. In her New Moon phase she is the Maiden; in her Full Moon phase she is the Mother; and in her Waning Moon phase she is the Crone.

The Horned God is a phallic deity of fertility and intellectual creativity who symbolizes the powers of the waxing and waning crescent moons. He is usually represented by a hirsute and bearded man having the hooves and horns of a goat. He is a God of Nature and the male counterpart to the image of the Goddess. In primitive times, He was worshipped as the Horned God of Hunting.

Like the Goddess, the Horned God is also known by many different names. In some Wiccan traditions, He is called Cernunnos, which is Latin for “the Horned One.” In others, He is known as Pan, Woden and other names.

The worship of the Goddess and the Horned God symbolize the Wiccan belief that everything that exists in the universe is divided into opposites: female and male, negative and positive, light and darkness, life and death, yin and yang, the balance of Nature.

Source:

Empathy’s Mystical Occult Site

 

Wicca & Witchcraft – The Spiritual Seeker’s Guide

WICCA AND WITCHCRAFT
————————————
The Spiritual Seeker’s Guide
Steven S. Sadleir

Wicca, or Witchcraft is the old religion of Europe, which apparently evolved from Druidism.  Wiccan is generally a term applied to a “Wise One” or “Magician”, and Wicca is the practice of “magic”, which is the application and utilization of natural laws.  As Witchcraft competed as a religion with Christianity (the ‘new’ religion) in the Christianized Western World, witchcraft became repressed as a form of paganism (i.e., a Primative Teaching) and was given an evil stigma, and therefore was not practiced openly.  However, with the repeal of the English Witchcraft Act in 1951, many covens, or congregations, have opened up to the public and many new groups have formed. There are now dozens of Wiccan orgnaizations in the United States and Europe, with perhaps, thousands of active Wiccans and Witches.  Most witches practicing the craft publicly are considered ‘white’ witches, that is, they yse their knowledge for good ends and practice the Wiccan Creed: “Ye hurt none, do as ye will.”  Black Witches (which has recieved most of the notoriety, but are considered a minority) are generally not visible to the public and use thier knowledge for selfish or evil means.  Satanism is NOT considered a form of witchcraft, but was created by people who believe there is a Satan, or Devil.

Wicca/Witchcraft generally involves some form of God or Goddess worship, and many involve the workings of spiritual guides as well.  Wicca/Witchcraft is a very individualized religion, and each person chooses his or her own deities to worship.  Generally, the supreme being is considered ‘genderless’ and is comprised of many aspects that may be identified as masculine or feminine in
nature, and thus a God or Goddess.  Originally, the horned God of hunting represented the maculine facet of the deity, whereas the female qualities were represented in the fertility Goddess.  The Gods and Goddesses from the personalities of the supreme being, and are a reflection of the attributes that worshippers seek to emulate.  Wiccans may draw upon the ancient civilizations of the Druids, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, or other polytheistic cultures to commune with the particular aspect of the deity that they identify with.  Some favorite gods include Osiris, Pan, Cennunnos, and Bacchus.  Facotie Goddesses include Isis, Caridwen, Rhea, Selene, and Diana.

Wiccans generally observe the four greater Sabbaths of Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane, and Laghnasadh; and the lesser Sabbaths – the Spring and autumn equinoxes and the summer and winter solstices.  There celebrations are typically free-spirited, and are sometimes held ‘skyclad’ (naked) or in various styles of robes.  Other services include handfasting (marriage), handparting (divorce) and wiccaning (birth rite).  Regular meetings, called Esbats are also held, at which magic and healing are performed.  Wiccans/witches meet in small groups (up to twelve) called a coven, whcih typically join with other covens to form a ‘Grove’.

Rituals are typically held outside and consist of forma a circle and erecting the temple (consecrating the circle); invoking, praising, and soliciting assistance from gods, goddesses, and elementals; observing the change of season and energies represented by the various seasons; singing; dancing; ‘cakes and ale’ (sharing of bread and wine); and clearing the temple. Personal practive includes meditation and prayer, divination, development of personal will and psychic abilities through spells and various forms of healing.  Most Wiccans/witches have altars where they burn candles and incense and practice their rites.  To perform thier rites, other tools of the craft are used, such as an athame, yag-disk or, seaux (a handmade and consecrated knife), a sword, a wand, and sometimes special jewelry, amulets or talismans (magically empowered objects).  Sometimes these objects are inscribed with magical writings. Joining a coven or grove typically involves an initiation, which is stylized by each individual group, but generally involves the confirmation that the initiate understands the principals and an oath of secrecy.

AMAZING GRACE

Goddess Comments & Graphics
I hope you enjoy one of my all time favorite songs,

AMAZING GRACE

Amazing grace, how sweet the Earth
that bore a witch like me!
I once was burned, now I survive,
was hung and now I sing.
 
 
T’was grace that drew down the moon
and grace that raised the seas.
The magic in the people’s will
will set our Mother free.
 
 
We face the East and breathe the winds
that move across this earth.
From gentle breeze to hurricane
our breath will bring forth the change.
 
 
Turn towards the South and feel the fire
that burns in you and me.
The spirit’s flame will rise again
and burn eternally.
 
 
We greet the West, our souls awash
in tides of primal birth.
Our tears and blood, our pain and love
will cleanse and heal the earth.
 
 
Reach into the North and know your roots
down deep ancestral caves.
We find the wisdom of the Crone,
Of circles we are made.
 
 
Amazing earth, enduring life,
from death into rebirth.
T’is earth I am and earth I love
and earth I’ll always be.
 
 
Amazing grace, how sweet the Earth
that bore witches like we.
We once were burned, now we survive,
were hung and now we sing.
 
 
Goddess bless, so mote it be,
Our magic spirals on.
Merry meet and merry part
and merry meet again.