Have A Very Blessed Friday Evening, Dear Brothers & Sisters!

Circle Is Open Pictures

Advertisements

Solitary Moon Rite

Solitary Moon Rite

 

This rite may be used for either New or Full Moon. The difference is in your meditation and mental attitude in preparation. Remember that the New Moon is a time of outward work and thought, building to the peak which is the Full Moon. At the Full Moon, you should be preparing to lessen the outward flow of energy, bit by bit, until the period before New Moon, during which you are passive, building a pool of energy within you, in preparation for the New Moon. 
 

The altar should be placed in the center of the ritual area. On it should be placed a rose or stick of incense on the eastern side, a red votive candle to the South; a cup of water on the West, and a bowl of salt or living plant on the North. 
 

Around your ritual area, you should place an unlighted candle at the cardinal point of each direction. 
 

To begin your rite, enter your darkened temple, carrying one burning candle, white or lavender, with you. Place it on the center of your altar, sit, and meditate on the meaning of the rite. When you feel the time is right, stand, and go to the eastern point, carrying with you, the burning taper. Light the votive at the eastern point and go to the southern, picturing, as you do, an arc of pure strong light curving from one candle to the next. Continue to the West, and then to the North, lighting the candles as you go, and then walk to your eastern candle again, having formed a circle of protective light surrounding the area in which you worship. 
 

Return to the center of the circle, replace the candle on the altar, and say:

My Lady of the Moon, who is called Diana, Artemis, Levanah, Isis and by any other names, I come to you to bring you my love and my devotion. May you grant me the joy of your presence. 
 

Mentally divide the room into four quadrants by visualizing a line of silvery moonlight from the southeast to the northwest, and from the northeast to the southwest. Go the East, taking with you the rose or incense. Say:

 Sweet Goddess, the gentle breeze is the touch of your loving hand, the wind of storm a reminder of your strength. The sound of the trees in the wind is your voice, and the fragrance of flowers borne on the wind is your gift of beauty. 
 

Place the rose next to the votive candle, then stand there as you picture the quadrant filling with moonlight. See the moonlight streaming quietly and gently into the room, filling the quadrant from center point to the edge of your circle. 
 

When this is complete, take the red candle to the South. Place the gift and see the quadrant fill with moonlight. Say:

 Most loved Lady, the light of the candle is a guide along our path leading to you; its warmth the reassurance of your presence and your love. The light of the Sun is the knowledge you impart to us, driving out ignorance and those things which can survive only in darkness. 
 

At the West:

Lovely One, the quiet pool is the serenity of your being. The vast sea where life began on this planet is the vast sea of your being whence all life came; its waves are the ebb and flow of the universe you rule. 
 

At the North:

Goddess of all, the fertility of the earth is a sign of your fertility, whence all life rose. The solidity and permanence are still of it are still less than yours. The Earth’s fertility feeds our bodies, and your fertility feeds our souls. 
 

Go to the center of your temple, which is now filled with moonlight. 
 

Everything in the circle is touched by it, blessed by it, including you. Sit down and feel this moonlight around you. Know that it is the Goddess. Realize that you are in the center of a sphere of light that is half above and half above and half below where you sit. Begin to breathe slowly and evenly, deep breaths that penetrate your whole body. When this rhythmic breathing becomes natural, imagine that the moonlight by which you are surrounded enters you, fills you entirely. 
 

With each exhalation of your breath, some of the essence of yourself leaves your body, and with each inhalation, the light enters you. You are being filled ever so gently with this beautiful light. This light, which is the presence, the being of the Goddess, is within you as well as without. With each breath, you are less yourself and more the Goddess. 
 

When you are filled with light, filled with the Goddess, the shell of your body fades away. You have no body; there is nothing to separate you from the entire being of the Goddess. Nothing exists but the being of which you are apart. You have ceased to be a separate entity. You are nothing and everything. All that was, that is, and all that will be, you are. 
 

Enjoy this feeling as long as you like. When you feel it is time, picture the outer shell of your physical body reforming, becoming solid again. It is being built out of the Universe of which you are a part. 
 

Now, as you continue your slow deep breathing, see the moonlight flowing out of your body, as gently and slowly as it entered. As it flows out, realize there is a difference. Because you have become one with the Goddess, with the Universe, your being has changed. As the moonlight flows out of your body, it takes with it a part of that which was yourself, now part of the Goddess, and leaves behind a part of the Goddess, forever now part of you. You become yourself again, solid as you were, but changed. You are surrounded by the presence of the Goddess, which now contains a part of yourself . 
 

Move again to the East. As you speak, and after, picture the moonlight in that quadrant flowing back to its source, leaving that quadrant as it was. 
 

Do this at each quadrant, until all the moonlight has returned to the Moon. 
 

At the East:

My Lady, guide my thoughts. Let them lead always closer to you. 
 

At the South:

Gracious Goddess, guide my actions. Let them always help and never harm others or myself. 
 

At the West:

Lovely One, guide my emotions: Let them be healing and touched always by you. 
 

At the North:

Sweet Goddess, let my mind always be fertile and strong, that I may grow always toward you. 
 

Return to the East to complete the circle and say:

Queen of Heaven, I thank you for your presence, both now and always. My love and devotion are yours. 
 

Blessed be! 
 

All spirits who have joined me tonight may depart, with my love. Return to your proper places. 
 

Walk again around your circle, but this time counterclockwise, extinguishing the quadrant guards as you go, and at the same time, mentally erasing the white line which surrounded your circle. When the candles are out and the circle gone, rap on your altar and say:

The rite is ended.

 

 

Ritual by:

Ellen Reed

 

 

Outline of a Ritual for the Solitary Witch

OUTLINE OF A RITUAL FOR THE SOLITARY WITCH

 

Ritual Preparation

1.Define purpose

2.Write ritual

3.Gather necessary tools

4.Prepare area

5.Prepare body
 
 

Open Circle

1.Find compass North

2.Set up door between the worlds

3.Call the Watchtower/Elemental Quarters
 
 

Invocation to the Deities

1.Align self with deity

2.Invoke Deities
 
 

Statement of Purpose
 
 

Actual Working or Act of Honor

1.Working

2.Complete preliminary manual or visual tasks

3.Raise power/energy

4.Focus Power/energy

5.Ground power/energy
 
 

Honoring

1.Complete preliminary manual or visual tasks

2.Dedicate cake & wine

3.Partake of cakes & wine

4.Meditation
 
 

Thanking the Deities
 
 

Closing the Circle

1.Mentally & verbally close the circle

2.Physically close the circle

3.Clean-up

 

Washing of plates & glasses

Putting away tools & other implements

 

Centering Ritual

Centering Ritual

 

Purpose:

To establish a calm place to think.

To reconnect to your center.

To listen to the small voice within.

 
Timing:

Any time you need centering.

 
Materials:

None.

 
Preparation:

If you meditate regularly and have a ritual or routine that helps you prepare, use it.
This ritual may be done anywhere and anytime. Just make sure you will not be disturbed. Visualize if you need to.

 
Part 1- Preparing the Space
Face East:

I greet the Spirits of the East

Who inspires Inspiration in all of us

Come and join with me

For you are welcome here.
Face South:

I greet the Spirits of the South

Who inspires Compassion in all of us

Come and join with me

For you are welcome here.
 

Face West:

I greet the Spirits of the West

Who inspires Faith in all of us

Come and join with me

For you are welcome here.
 

Face North:

I greet the Spirits of the North

Who inspires Wisdom in all of us

Come and join with me

For you are welcome here.
 

Move back to the center:

I greet the Spirits Within

 Who inspires Understanding in all of us

Come and join with me

For you are welcome here.
Part 2- Preparing the self

Sit in the center facing whichever direction you feel most comfortable. Visualize or touch each body part as you say the following:
I bless my Mind

So that it will always be open to understanding.
I bless my Eyes

So that they will always be able to see the truth.
I bless my Ears

 So that they will always hear what is said.
I bless my Mouth

So that it will always speak honestly.
I bless my Heart

So that it will always be full of love.
I bless my Hands

So that they will always build for the good of all.
I bless my Womb

So that it will always spark creativity.
I bless my Feet

So that they will always walk in balance.
I bless my Soul

So that it will always guide me home.
Take time to listen to yourself and know that the answer you seek is within you. Be open and let the answer flow freely on this journey within.
Part 3- Giving Thanks
Face East:

I bid farewell to the Spirits of East

Open to the Inspiration you inspired

 Attuned to the energied of Air

Thankful for your attendance.
Face South:

I bid farewell to the Spirits of South

Open to the Compassion you inspired

Attuned to the energied of Fire

Thankful for your attendance.
Face West:

I bid farewell to the Spirits of West

Open to the Faith you inspired

Attuned to the energied of Water

Thankful for your attendance.
Face North:

I bid farewell to the Spirits of North

Open to the Wisdom you inspired

Attuned to the energied of Earth

Thankful for your attendance.
Stand in the Center:

I bid farewell to the Spirits Within

Open to the Understanding you inspired

Attuned to the energied of the Spirit

Thankful for your attendance.
So Mote It Be.

 

Balancing and Grounding Ritual

 

Balancing and Grounding Ritual

 

Face East and center yourself.

I am grounded in the center of my being.
 

Visualise energy of below.

I am supported by the powers of below.
 

Visualise the God/Goddess of above.

I am guided by the powers of above.
 

Visualise the unity of self with center above and below.

I am balanced in the axis of my being.
 

Extend your hand to the East.

Visualise and make contact with the powers of the elemental forces.

 Visualise clarity.

I am inspired by the powers of Air.
 

Visualise purifying/transforming.

I am enlightened by the powers of Fire.
 

Visualise healing/cleansing.

I am renewed by the powers of Water.
 

Visualise nurturing/stability.

I am nurtured by the powers of Earth.
 

Establish the balance of axis and elements.

 Feel this to be true.

The forces are in balance within me and about me.
 

Feel the Sphere of the Circle.

The Sphere is placed.
 

Feel the Cube of the Temple within the Sphere.

The Temple is established.
 

Feel the Temple within yourself.

I am the Temple.

 

 

Basic Ritual

Basic Ritual

 

A circle should be marked on the floor, surrounding those who will participate in the ceremony. An altar is to be set up at the center of the circle. At the center of the altar shall be placed an image of the Goddess, and an incense burner placed in front of it. Behind the image should be a wand fashioned from a willow branch. Candles should be set upon the altar … a total of five, since on is to be set at each quarter and one will remain on the altar during the rite.

When all the people are prepared they shall assemble within the circle. The woman acting as priestess shall direct the man who acts as priest to light the candles and incense. She shall then say:

“The presence of the noble Goddess extends everywhere,

 Throughout many strange, magical, And beautiful worlds,

To all places of wilderness, enchantment, and freedom.”

She then places a candle at the north and pauses to look outwards, saying:

“The Lady is awesome,

The Powers of death bow before Her.”

The person closest to the east takes a candle from the altar and places it at that quarter, saying:

“Our Goddess is a Lady of Joy,

The winds are Her servants.”

The person closest to the south takes a candle from the altar and places it at that quarter, saying:

Our Goddess is a Goddess of Love.

At Her blessings and desire The sun brings forth life anew.”

The person closest to the west takes a candle from the altar and places it at that quarter, saying:

The seas are the domain of our Serene Lady,

The mysteries of the depths are Hers alone.”

The priest then takes the wand, and starting at the north, draws it along the entire circle clockwise back to the north point, saying:

“The circle is sealed, and all herein are totally and completely apart from the outside world, that we may glorify the Lady whom we adore. Blessed Be!”

All repeat: “Blessed Be!”

The priest now holds the wand out in salute towards the north for a moment and then hands it to the priestess, who also holds it out in salute. She motions to the group to repeat the following lines after her:

“As above, so below …

 As the universe, so the soul.

As without, so within.

Blessed and gracious one,

On this day do we consecrate to you

Our bodies,

 Our minds,

And our spirits.

Blessed Be!”

Now is the time for discussion and teaching. Wine and light refreshments may be served. When the meeting has ended, all wil stand and silently meditate for a moment. The priestess will then take the wand and tap each candle to put it out, starting at the north and going clockwise around the circle, while saying:

“Our rite draws to its end.

O lovely and gracious Goddess,

Be with each of us as we depart.

The circle is broken!”

 

A Little Humor for Your Day – You Know Your Coven’s Getting Older When…

You Know Your Coven’s Getting Older When…

The ritual feast is pureed.

Last Beltaine the coven decided it would be nice to go out to dinner to celebrate.

The last time you tried to do a spiral dance your oxygen feeds got tangled.

Viagra is kept in the coven supplies.

The maiden of the coven is a grandmother.

The ritual room is outfitted with defibrillators.

The coveners drive their RV’s to Scottsdale for Mabon.

When you are at a festival you go to bed at sunset.

It takes the whole coven to move the cauldron.

The high priest still has a vendetta going against Richard Nixon.

You find yourself using your pendulum over the stock pages in the newspaper.

You tell an initiate that in your day you had to slog through five feet of snow uphill both ways when you did a Yule ritual.

You drop your teeth in the ritual cup.

At Samhain you see more of your coveners in the Wild Hunt than you do in circle.

You put your athame in the chalice during ritual but you can’t remember why.

You hold an all night blow-out drum frenzy and none of your neighbors noticed.

You use Glenn Miller records for trance music.

All of your ritual robes are tie-dyed

Your coven has a 401(k) retirement plan.

A nitro pill vial replaces the crystal on your pendant.

No one’s successfully jumped the Beltaine fire since 1983.

When the coven sings, “Creak and groan, creak and groan . . .”

When you set comfy chairs around the circle.

When you sit on the floor and can’t get up again.

You do anointings with Aspercreme.

The oak tree your coven planted died of old age.

You use Bran Muffins and Prune Juice for Cakes & Ale because you need the extra fiber.

You don’t use salt to consecrate you altar because you need to stay away from extra sodium.

You use a walker during the Wild Hunt

You prefer to rent a Hall for rituals because the bathrooms are closer.

You need a flashlight to find the candles.

WOTC Quiz of the Day – How Eco-Savvy Are You?

How Eco-Savvy Are You?

 

It’s Earth Month, and that means lots and lots of information coming at you about how to live with a lighter environmental footprint. Of course, with all of the media focus on sustainability over the past couple of years, you may figure there’s not much left for you to learn. Maybe… or maybe not!  Take this quiz to see how much you do know… and what you can still learn about the green life.

1. You’re shopping for ingredients to take to a potluck a neighbor is hosting, and want to choose the most Earth-friendly options. Which of the following labels has strict definitions attached to it, and is certified by a third party?
A.   Vegan
B.   Antibiotic-Free
C.   Organic
D.   Natural

2. A friend suggests that the two of you chip in and purchase a CSA (community-supported agriculture) membership for the coming year.  You think hard, and try to remember what a CSA is. Is it…

A.  A farmers market in the neighborhood?
B.  A food cooperative?
C.  An urban or community garden?
D.  A model for buying “shares” in a local farmer’s harvest?

3. The weather warms up, and, one morning, you discover your puppy is covered in fleas after playing outside. What’s the potentially harmful way (to the environment, and your puppy) to handle this problem?

A.  Sprinkling diatomaceous earth over your yard.
B.  Spraying beneficial nematodes over your yard.
C.  Bathing your puppy in an herbal flea shampoo containing citrus oils.
D.  Begin applying a monthly spot-on flea treatment from the veterinarian.

4. You’ve got a sizzling hot weekend of romance planned. Among your plans: introducing some new toys to your relationship (yeah, those kinds of toys). To ensure a safe, healthy experience for your partner and yourself, you want to make sure the sex toys you purchase are free of…

A. Phthalates
B. Phlebotomists
C. Phragmites
D. Phalanxes

5. Work, family, and friends have kept you hopping lately, and now the house is well past its deadline for cleaning. What’s the one quality you should look for in a “green” cleaning product?

A. It’s free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
B. It’s free of chlorine bleach.
C. It’s homemade from non-toxic ingredients.
D. All of the above.

6. Your energy bills have been through the roof lately.  What’s the most important step you can take to lower your use of energy (and, in the process, lower those bills!)?

A. Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents.
B. Unplug electronics and appliances when not in use.
C. Increase insulation levels in your exterior and basement walls, ceilings, floors, and crawl spaces.
D. Switch from a desktop to a laptop computer.

7. Keeping healthy and fit requires a regular exercise routine, but much of the “stuff” associated with working out these days consumes resources unnecessarily, and creates waste and pollution. What’s the most important step you can take to minimize the environmental impact of your exercise regimen?

A. Buy (and use) a reusable water bottle.
B. Take you exercise routine off the treadmill and elliptical, and get outside to work out.
C. Join a “green gym.”
D. All of the above.

8. From excess packaging to the potential presence of parabens (say that three times fast!), the morning beauty routine can take its toll on the environment, and even present health threats. Which of the choices for changing beauty and personal care habits listed below will most likely make multiple positive impacts on your health and your environmental footprint?

A.  Buy cosmetics and personal care products labeled “organic.”
B.  Cut back on the number of products (even “safe” products), and use them less often.
C.  Buy cosmetics and personal care products labeled “natural.”
D.  Grind your own minerals, mix your own moisturizers, and boil your own soap.

9. You’re cooking for a group of friends, several of whom are vegan. The recipe you want to make list eggs as an ingredient. What should you do?

A. Ditch the recipe, and serve carrot and celery sticks.
B. Include the eggs – they won’t notice.
C. Replace the eggs with mashed bananas
D. None of the above

10. A friend’s birthday is approaching, and you’d like to give her a gift that she’ll not only love, but that also respects both of your environmental values.  What’s the best choice out of the list below?

A. A case of CFLs.
B. A gift certificate to Outback Steak House.
C. Yoga lessons at a nearby studio
D. Tomato plants for her garden

5. Work, family, and friends have kept you hopping lately, and now the house is well past its deadline for cleaning. What’s the one quality you should look for in a “green” cleaning product?

A. It’s free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
B. It’s free of chlorine bleach.
C. It’s homemade from non-toxic ingredients.
D. All of the above.

6. Your energy bills have been through the roof lately.  What’s the most important step you can take to lower your use of energy (and, in the process, lower those bills!)?

A. Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents.
B. Unplug electronics and appliances when not in use.
C. Increase insulation levels in your exterior and basement walls, ceilings, floors, and crawl spaces.
D. Switch from a desktop to a laptop computer.

7. Keeping healthy and fit requires a regular exercise routine, but much of the “stuff” associated with working out these days consumes resources unnecessarily, and creates waste and pollution. What’s the most important step you can take to minimize the environmental impact of your exercise regimen?

A. Buy (and use) a reusable water bottle.
B. Take you exercise routine off the treadmill and elliptical, and get outside to work out.
C. Join a “green gym.”
D. All of the above.

8. From excess packaging to the potential presence of parabens (say that three times fast!), the morning beauty routine can take its toll on the environment, and even present health threats. Which of the choices for changing beauty and personal care habits listed below will most likely make multiple positive impacts on your health and your environmental footprint?

A.  Buy cosmetics and personal care products labeled “organic.”
B.  Cut back on the number of products (even “safe” products), and use them less often.
C.  Buy cosmetics and personal care products labeled “natural.”
D.  Grind your own minerals, mix your own moisturizers, and boil your own soap.

9. You’re cooking for a group of friends, several of whom are vegan. The recipe you want to make list eggs as an ingredient. What should you do?

A. Ditch the recipe, and serve carrot and celery sticks.
B. Include the eggs – they won’t notice.
C. Replace the eggs with mashed bananas
D. None of the above

10. A friend’s birthday is approaching, and you’d like to give her a gift that she’ll not only love, but that also respects both of your environmental values.  What’s the best choice out of the list below?

A. A case of CFLs.
B. A gift certificate to Outback Steak House.
C. Yoga lessons at a nearby studio
D. Tomato plants for her garden

 

 

Answers:
1.) Correct answer: C
The USDA has established relatively tight definitions for the use of the term “organic” (but for food only… not for cosmetics or personal care products). The other terms on this list (and many others) do not have definitions established by a government regulatory body, or other organization with authority over food producers.

2.) Correct answer: D
“A CSA, (for Community Supported Agriculture) is a way for the food buying public to create a relationship with a farm and to receive a weekly basket of produce. By making a financial commitment to a farm, people become ‘members’ (or ‘shareholders,’ or ‘subscribers’) of the CSA.” Though you may have trouble purchasing a CSA membership this year (as they’re generally sold before the growing season), Local Harvest can help you find one for next year.

3.) Correct answer: D
According to veterinarian Shawn Messonnier (author of The Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats), chemical flea products often aren’t necessary, and can accumulate in your pet’s body.

4.) Correct answer: A
While no one can say with certainty that phthalates, a compound used to soften PVC-based plastics, are harmful to humans, we do know they’re toxic in animals

5.) Correct answer: D

6.) Correct answer: C
While all of the choices above will help you save energy and money, home heating and cooling represent the biggest chunk of our energy use

7.) Correct answer: D

8.) Correct answer: B

While D may be the truly correct answer, most of us probably don’t have that kind of time or inclination. As beauty and style blog Feelgood Style notes, “Believe it or not you can get too much of a good thing and we may be overdoing it without even realizing it.  Most of us use too many beauty products. Not only that, but we tend to use too much of each product at one time.” Still unsure about the products you are buying?  Check the Environmental Working Group’s “Skin Deep” cosmetics safety database. And remember: ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products are not regulated (so the labels mentioned in A. and C. could mean little or nothing).

9.) Correct answer: D
While mashed bananas can be used to substitute for eggs in certain circumstances, you need to make sure that any egg replacement you use (and there are many of them) performs the same function as the eggs did in the original recipe.  The Vegan Society has a great list of vegan egg alternatives.

10.) Correct answer: All of the above
As Kermit the Frog said, “It ain’t easy being green.”  Technically, all of these gifts are “green.” But a case of light bulbs for a birthday gift?? Gift certificates certainly cut back on immediate resource use, but a steak dinner (that can’t be traced to its source) likely has a pretty high environmental footprint. The last two options are also good, but if your friend’s not into yoga, or has already planted her tomatoes (or, god forbid, doesn’t like tomatoes), these gifts could be a bust, no matter how green. Look for the balance between a low environmental footprint, and expressing how much your relationship with this friend means to you.

Scoring:

9-10: You’re a green guru… you should be writing tips instead of reading them!
7-8: You’re on your way — and if you read the next 18 posts in this series, “30 Days to a Greener You” — you’ll be a green guru by the end of the month!
5-6: You’ll definitely want to keep tabs on the “30 Days to a Greener You” series, and take a look at the lists of tips that come through your inbox, or appear on various websites during April.
0-4: Immediately subscribe to the RSS feeds of all of the sites listed above (and Intent’s “Planet” feed)…you have much to learn, my friend!

 

Astronomy Picture of the Day – Blue Tears and the Milky Way

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2015 April 24


Blue Tears and the Milky Way
Image Credit & Copyright: Rogelio Bernal Andreo (Deep Sky Colors)

 

Explanation: Lapping at rocks along the shore of the Island of Nangan, Taiwan, planet Earth, waves are infused with a subtle blue light in this sea and night skyscape. Composed of a series of long exposures made on April 16 the image captures the faint glow from Noctiluca scintillans. Also known as sea sparkles or blue tears, the marine plankton’s bioluminescence is stimulated by wave motion. City lights along the coast of mainland China shine beneath low clouds in the west but stars and the faint Milky Way still fill the night above. Over the horizon the galaxy’s central bulge and dark rifts seem to echo the rocks and luminous waves.