Five Day to Litha
Litha History – Celebrating the Summer Solstice
An Ancient Solar Celebration
Nearly every agricultural society has marked the high point of summer in some way, shape or form. On this date – usually around June 21 or 22 (or December 21/22 in the southern hemisphere) – the sun reaches its zenith in the sky. It is the longest day of the year, and the point at which the sun seems to just hang there without moving – in fact, the word “solstice” is from the Latin word solstitium, which literally translates to “sun stands still.” The travels of the sun were marked and recorded. Stone circles such as Stonehenge were oriented to highlight the rising of the sun on the day of the summer solstice.
Traveling the Heavens
Although few primary sources are available detailing the practices of the ancient Celts, some information can be found in the chronicles kept by early Christian monks. Some of these writings, combined with surviving folklore, indicate that Midsummer was celebrated with hilltop bonfires and that it was a time to honor the space between earth and the heavens.
Angela at A Silver Voice says, “Midsummer, or St. John’s Eve (Oiche Fheile Eoin) was traditionally celebrated in Ireland by the lighting of bonfires. (The word ‘bonfire’, according to my Etymology dictionary is a word from the 1550s meaning a fire in the open air in which bones were burned). This custom is rooted in ancient history when the Celts lit fires in honour of the Celtic goddess Queen of Munster Áine. Festivals in her honour took place in the village of Knockainey, County Limerick (Cnoc Aine = Hill of Aine ). Áine was the Celtic equivalent of Aphrodite and Venus and as is often the case, the festival was ‘christianised’ and continued to be celebrated down the ages. It was the custom for the cinders from the fires to be thrown on fields as an ‘offering’ to protect the crops.”
Fire and Water
In addition to the polarity between land and sky, Litha is a time to find a balance between fire and water. According to Ceisiwr Serith, in his book The Pagan Family, European traditions celebrated this time of year by setting large wheels on fire and then rolling them down a hill into a body of water. He suggests that this may be because this is when the sun is at its strongest yet also the day at which it begins to weaken. Another possibility is that the water mitigates the heat of the sun, and subordinating the sun wheel to water may prevent drought.
Jason Mankey says, over at Patheos, “Christians have chronicled the rolling of flaming (solar) wheels since the Fourth Century of the Common Era. By the 1400’s the custom was specifically associated with the Summer Solstice, and there it has resided ever since (and most likely long before)… The custom was apparently common throughout Northern Europe and was practiced in many places until the beginning of the Twentieth Century.”
When they arrived in the British Isles, the Saxon invaders brought with them the tradition of calling the month of June. They marked Midsummer with huge bonfires that celebrated the power of the sun over darkness. For people in Scandinavian countries and in the farther reaches of the Southern hemisphere, Midsummer was very important. The nearly endless hours of light in June are a happy contrast to the constant darkness found six months later in the middle of winter.
Midsummer for Modern Pagans
Litha has often been a source of contention among modern Pagan and Wiccan groups, because there’s always been a question about whether or not Midsummer was truly celebrated by the ancients. While there’s scholarly evidence to indicate that it was indeed observed, there were suggestions made by Gerald Gardner, the founder of modern Wicca, that the solar festivals (the solstices and equinoxes) were actually added later and imported from the Middle East. Regardless of the origins, many modern Wiccans and other Pagans do choose to celebrate Litha every year in June(Northern Hemisphere) and in December (Southern Hemisphere).
In some traditions, Litha is a time at which there is a battle between light and dark. The Oak King is seen as the ruler of the year between winter solstice and summer solstice, and the Holly King from summer to winter. At each solstice they battle for power, and while the Oak King may be in charge of things at the beginning of December, by the end of Midsummer he is defeated by the Holly King.
This is a time of year of brightness and warmth. Crops are growing in their fields with the heat of the sun, but may require water to keep them alive. The power of the sun at Midsummer is at its most potent, and the earth is fertile with the bounty of growing life.
For contemporary Pagans, this is a day of inner power and brightness. Find yourself a quiet spot and meditate on the darkness and the light both in the world and in your personal life. Celebrate the turning of the Wheel of the Year with fire and water, night and day, and other symbols of the opposition of light and dark.
Litha is a great time to celebrate outdoors if you have children. Take them swimming or just turn on the sprinkler to run through, and then have a bonfire or barbecue at the end of the day. Let them stay up late to say goodnight to the sun, and celebrate nightfall with sparklers, storytelling, and music. This is also an ideal Sabbat to do some love magic or celebrate a handfasting.
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Litha Legends and Lore
Myths and Mysteries of the Midsummer Solstice
Litha, or Midsummer, is a celebration that has been observed for centuries, in one form or another. It is no surprise, then, that there are plenty of myths and legends associated with this time of year. Let’s take a look at some of the best known summer solstice folklore.
Anna Franklin says in her book Midsummer: Magical Celebrations of the Summer Solstice, that in England, rural villagers built a big bonfire on Midsummer’s Eve. This was called “setting the watch,” and it was known that the fire would keep evil spirits out of the town. Some farmers would light a fire on their land, and people would wander about, holding torches and lanterns, from one bonfire to another. If you jumped over a bonfire, presumably without lighting your pants on fire, you were guaranteed to have good luck for the coming year. Franklin says that “Men and women danced around the fires, and often jumped through them for good luck; to be blackened by the fire was considered very fortuitous indeed.”
After your Litha fire has burned out and the ashes gone cold, use them to make a protective amulet. You can do this by carrying them in a small pouch, or kneading them into some soft clay and forming a talisman. In some traditions of Wicca, it is believed that the Midsummer ashes will protect you from misfortune. You can also sow the ashes from your bonfire into your garden, and your crops will be bountiful for the rest of the summer growing season.
It is believed in parts of England that if you stay up all night on Midsummer’s Eve, sitting in the middle of a stone circle, you will see the Fae. But be careful… carry a bit of rue in your pocket to keep them from harassing you, or turn your jacket inside out to confuse them. If you have to escape the Fae, follow a ley line, and it will lead you to safety.
Residents of some areas of Ireland say that if you have something you wish to happen, you “give it to the pebble.” Carry a stone in your hand as you circle the Litha bonfire, and whisper your request to the stone. Say things like “heal my mother” or “help me be more courageous,” for example. After your third turn around the fire, toss the stone into the flames.
Astrologically, the sun is entering Cancer, which is a water sign. Midsummer is not only a time of fire magic, but of water as well. Now is a good time to work magic involving sacred streams and holy wells. If you visit one, be sure to go just before sunrise on Litha, and approach the water from the east, with the rising sun. Circle the well or spring three times, walking deosil–clockwise–and then make an offering of silver coins or pins.
Sunwheels were used to celebrate Midsummer in some early European Pagan cultures. A wheel, or sometimes a really big ball of straw, was lit on fire and rolled down a hill into a river. The burned remnants were taken to the local temple and put on display. In Wales, it was believed that if the fire went out before the wheel hit the water, a good crop was guaranteed for the season.
WyrdDesigns at Patheos says,
“Grimm’s Teutonic Mythology describes the traditional folk practices for Midsummer celebrations in the areas where the Norse Gods were once (and in some cases still are) honored is to set a sunwheel (or a wagon wheel) on fire. In some cases the wheel was simply lit locally and incorporated into the Midsummer bonfire. In other cases people trekked out into the countryside, found a hill, set the sunwheel on fire, and let it roll down the hill as they chased after it, people watching and cheering as they watched it roll along it’s fiery way, as vegetation caught fire.”
In Egypt, the Midsummer season was associated with the flooding of the Nile River delta. In South America, paper boats are filled with flowers, and then set on fire. They are then sailed down the river, carrying prayers to the gods. In some traditions of modern Paganism, you can get rid of problems by writing them on a piece of paper and dropping them into a moving body of water on Litha.
William Shakespeare associated Midsummer with witchcraft in at least three of his plays. A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, and The Tempest all contain references to magic on the night of the summer solstice.
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Litha Craft Project – Sunflower Candle Ring
This sunflower candle ring is an easy craft project to make, and you can use it on your summer Sabbat altars, or simply as a tabletop decoration around the house. Another great option? Instead of laying it flat on a table, place a loop of wire on the back and hang it on your front door as a welcoming wreath for your guests.
Sunflowers are often associated with truth, loyalty, and honesty. If you want to know the truth about something, sleep with a sunflower under your pillow – and the next day, before the sun goes down, the truth should be revealed to you. The sunflower is considered a flower of loyalty because day after day, it follows the sun, from east to west. In some folk magic traditions, it is believed that slipping a bit of sunflower oil or seeds into someones food or drink will cause them to be loyal to you.
Youll need the following items:
Grapevine wreath (the one in the photos is a 12 diameter)
Mini-LED lights with battery pack, available in craft store floral departments
Hot glue gun
Start by determining where you’d like the sunflowers to go. You can use a whole bunch, or a smaller amount – the candle ring in the photo uses just five sunflowers, one for each point on the pentacle. Don’t glue the sunflowers in place yet – just have a general idea of their positioning.
Wrap the LED light string around the grapevine wreath, tucking it into nooks and crannies, and weaving it among the vine branches. Be sure you leave yourself a small spot to tuck the battery pack into place so that it will not come loose later. Also, its a good idea to check to make sure the batteries on your LED lights work BEFORE you start this project.
Once your LED lights are in place, go ahead and hot glue your sunflowers into their assigned positions. Be careful not to get hot glue on the LED lights or the electrical strands – this can damage the system and cause light failure.
Place your wreath on your altar, with candles in the center, and enjoy as a summer centerpiece for ritual.
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Summer Solstice Delight – Mead
List to purchase from the Supermarket:
1 Gallon of Spring Water (room temperature, do not get refrigerated)
3 pounds of honey – pure unprocessed
1 bag of balloons big enough to stretch over the mouth of the spring water jug
1 package of Fleishmann’s Yeast
1 box of raisins
Here are some suggestions for variations in this recipe
If you can’t get Fleishmann’s Yeast here are some perfectly suitable alternates: Narbonne Yeast (Lalvin 71B-1122), Lalvin D-47, or Montpelier Lalvin (K1V-1116)
If you would like to add a bit of spice to this recipe you could add 1 or 2 cloves. But be careful, they are very strong so don’t put more than 2.
How to make the Mead
Pour about half of the water into a clean container then slice up your orange into eighth’s and put the slices, honey, twenty-five raisins, and the yeast into the jug. Pour some water back into the jug so the level is a couple of inches from the top then put the cap on it and shake it up well. If you can, you should shake it for a good five minutes. This will aerate the mixture. The yeast really needs lots of oxygen to grow vigorously.
Now poke a pinhole in the top of the balloon, remove the cap from your jug and put the balloon right over the mouth of the jug. Stretch the open end of the balloon right over the jug so that as the gases form inside the jug they will inflate the balloon. Put a rubber band or tape around the neck to keep it firmly in place -if it feels like it might come off. Leave it out on a counter for the first day so you can monitor it.
(Note: The balloon can age and oxidize over time so you should inspect it regularly to make sure it doesn’t break down and develop cracks. If it seems like it is breaking down replace it with a new balloon! – My thanks to Tim for submitting this tip)
What will happen next?
Somewhere between an hour and twenty-four hours later the balloon will start to inflate. This is a great sign and it means that your yeast is transforming the contents of the jug into wine. Gases are forming inside the jug and are escaping through the pinhole. This setup insures gases escape but no contaminants get into your brew. If the balloon is getting big you may need to poke another hole or two in it. You don’t want it to burst. It would leave your mead open to contamination. Once you are satisfied that the gases are escaping and the balloon is not under unusual stress you can set the jug in a cool dry place like a kitchen cabinet or closet shelf. Check on it every day if you can just to make sure it is ok and the balloon hasn’t popped off.
After two to three weeks the major portion of the ferment will be done and the balloon will be limp. At this point you can taste a little bit to see how it is coming along but it isn’t really a tasty wine at this point. It will need another couple of months to start to get delicious. Over time, as you check on it you will notice that the cloudiness disappears and it slowly clarifies and transforms into wine.
The Orange and the raisins can stay in the mixture for the whole duration but if you want to make the mead a little milder and help it clarify faster you can transfer the liquid into another gallon jug and place the balloon on that one. This would be after the two to three week ferment period has completed. This process is called racking and it will move your mead along nicely.
You can make the honey easier to pour by letting it stand in a sink or bowl of warm water. And you can experiment with the flavor a bit by adding a cinnamon stick or a pinch of nutmeg to the batch when you add the orange. Don’t leave out the raisins. They are not there for taste. They are a necessary food for the yeast because honey is a bit low in the nutrients that yeast like. If the honey is a bit expensive you can cut this down to two pounds. Any quantity between two and three and a half pounds will work well and the more honey you put the sweeter the mead will be. But, the more honey you put the longer it will take to mature.
Be patient and taste your mead every few weeks. It should be really clear and delicious after a few months. It will continue to age and improve over a long period of time so the longer you wait the better it will get. If you are struggling with this then you should probably make another batch! Try to wait six months if you can!
Six Days to Yule
History of Yule
The Pagan holiday called Yule takes place on the day of the winter solstice, around December 21 in the northern hemisphere (below the equator, the winter solstice falls around June 21). On that day, an amazing thing happens in the sky above us. The earth’s axis tilts away from the sun in the Northern Hemisphere, and the sun reaches its greatest distance from the equatorial plane.
Did You Know?
Traditional customs such as the Yule log, the decorated tree, and wassailing can all be traced back to the Norse people, who called this festival Jul.
The Romans celebrated Saturnalia beginning on Dec. 17, a week-long festival in honor of the god Saturn, that involved sacrifices, gift-giving, and feasting.
In ancient Egypt, the return of Ra, the sun god, was celebrated, as a way of thanking him for warming the land and the crops.
Many cultures around the world have winter festivals that are in fact celebrations of light. In addition to Christmas, there’s Hanukkah with its brightly lit menorahs, Kwanzaa candles, and any number of other holidays. As a festival of the Sun, the most important part of any Yule celebration is light — candles, bonfires, and more. Let’s take a look at some of the history behind this celebration, and the many customs and traditions that have emerged at the time of the winter solstice, all around the globe.
European Origins of Yule
In the Northern hemisphere, the winter solstice has been celebrated for millennia. The Norse peoples, who called it Jul, viewed it as a time for much feasting and merrymaking. In addition, if the Icelandic sagas are to be believed, this was a time of sacrifice as well. Traditional customs such as the Yule log, the decorated tree, and wassailing can all be traced back to Norse origins.
The Celts of the British Isles celebrated midwinter as well. Although little is known today about the specifics of what they did, many traditions persist. According to the writings of Pliny the Elder, this is the time of year in which Druid priests sacrificed a white bull and gathered mistletoe in celebration.
The editors over at Huffington Post remind us that:
“Until the 16th century, the winter months were a time of famine in northern Europe. Most cattle were slaughtered so that they wouldn’t have to be fed during the winter, making the solstice a time when fresh meat was plentiful. Most celebrations of the winter solstice in Europe involved merriment and feasting. In pre-Christian Scandinavia, the Feast of Juul, or Yule, lasted for 12 days celebrating the rebirth of the sun and giving rise to the custom of burning a Yule log.”
Few cultures knew how to party like the Romans. Saturnalia, which fell on December 17, was a festival of general merrymaking and debauchery held around the time of the winter solstice. This week-long party was held in honor of the god Saturn and involved sacrifices, gift-giving, special privileges for slaves, and a lot of feasting. Although this holiday was partly about giving presents, more importantly, it was to honor an agricultural god.
A typical Saturnalia gift might be something like a writing tablet or tool, cups and spoons, clothing items, or food. Citizens decked their halls with boughs of greenery, and even hung small tin ornaments on bushes and trees. Bands of naked revelers often roamed the streets, singing and carousing — a sort of naughty precursor to today’s Christmas caroling tradition.
Welcoming the Sun Through the Ages
Four thousand years ago, the Ancient Egyptians took the time to celebrate the daily rebirth of Ra, the god of the Sun. As their culture flourished and spread throughout Mesopotamia, other civilizations decided to get in on the sun-welcoming action. They found that things went really well… until the weather got cooler, and crops began to die. Each year, this cycle of birth, death, and rebirth took place, and they began to realize that every year after a period of cold and darkness, the Sun did indeed return.
Winter festivals were also common in Greece and Rome, as well as in the British Isles. When a new religion called Christianity popped up, the new hierarchy had trouble converting the Pagans, and as such, folks didn’t want to give up their old holidays. Christian churches were built on old Pagan worship sites, and Pagan symbols were incorporated into the symbolism of Christianity. Within a few centuries, the Christians had everyone worshiping a new holiday celebrated on December 25, although scholars believe it is more likely that Jesus was born around April rather than in the winter.
In some traditions of Wicca and Paganism, the Yule celebration comes from the Celtic legend of the battle between the young Oak King and the Holly King. The Oak King, representing the light of the new year, tries each year to usurp the old Holly King, who is the symbol of darkness. Re-enactment of the battle is popular in some Wiccan rituals.
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The Legend of the Holly King and the Oak King
In many Celtic-based traditions of neopaganism, there is the enduring legend of the battle between the Oak King and the Holly King. These two mighty rulers fight for supremacy as the Wheel of the Year turns each season. At the Winter Solstice, or Yule, the Oak King conquers the Holly King, and then reigns until Midsummer, or Litha. Once the Summer Solstice arrives, the Holly King returns to do battle with the old king, and defeats him. In the legends of some belief systems, the dates of these events are shifted; the battle takes place at the Equinoxes, so that the Oak King is at his strongest during Midsummer, or Litha, and the Holly King is dominant during Yule. From a folkloric and agricultural standpoint, this interpretation seems to make more sense.
In some Wiccan traditions, the Oak King and the Holly King are seen as dual aspects of the Horned God. Each of these twin aspects rules for half the year, battles for the favor of the Goddess, and then retires to nurse his wounds for the next six months, until it is time for him to reign once more.
Franco over at WitchVox says that the Oak and Holly Kings represent the light and the darkness throughout the year. At the winter solstice we mark “the rebirth of the Sun or the Oak King. On this day the light is reborn and we celebrate the renewal of the light of the year. Oops! Are we not forgetting someone? Why do we deck the halls with boughs of Holly? This day is the Holly King’s day – the Dark Lord reigns. He is the god of transformation and one who brings us to birth new ways. Why do you think we make “New Year’s Resolutions”? We want to shed our old ways and give way to the new!”
Often, these two entities are portrayed in familiar ways – the Holly King frequently appears as a woodsy version of Santa Claus. He dresses in red, wears a sprig of holly in his tangled hair, and is sometimes depicted driving a team of eight stags. The Oak King is portrayed as a fertility god, and occasionally appears as the Green Man or other lord of the forest.
Holly vs. Ivy
The symbolism of the holly and the ivy is something that has appeared for centuries; in particular, their roles as representations of opposite seasons has been recognized for a long time. In Green Groweth the Holly, King Henry VIII of England wrote:
Green groweth the holly, so doth the ivy.
Though winter blasts blow never so high, green groweth the holly.
As the holly groweth green and never changeth hue,
So I am, ever hath been, unto my lady true.
As the holly groweth green with ivy all alone
When flowers cannot be seen and greenwood leaves be gone
Of course, The Holly and the Ivy is one of the best known Christmas carols, which states, “The holly and the ivy, when they are both full grown, of all the trees that are in the wood, the holly bears the crown.”
The Battle of Two Kings in Myth and Folklore
Both Robert Graves and Sir James George Frazer wrote about this battle. Graves said in his work The White Goddess that the conflict between the Oak and Holly Kings echoes that of a number of other archetypical pairings. For instance, the fights between Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and between Lugh and Balor in Celtic legend, are similar in type, in which one figure must die for the other to triumph.
Frazer wrote, in The Golden Bough, of the killing of the King of the Wood, or the tree spirit. He says, “His life must therefore have been held very precious by his worshippers, and was probably hedged in by a system of elaborate precautions or taboos like those by which, in so many places, the life of the man-god has been guarded against the malignant influence of demons and sorcerers. But we have seen that the very value attached to the life of the man-god necessitates his violent death as the only means of preserving it from the inevitable decay of age. The same reasoning would apply to the King of the Wood; he, too, had to be killed in order that the divine spirit, incarnate in him, might be transferred in its integrity to his successor. The rule that he held office till a stronger should slay him might be supposed to secure both the preservation of his divine life in full vigour and its transference to a suitable successor as soon as that vigour began to be impaired. For so long as he could maintain his position by the strong hand, it might be inferred that his natural force was not abated; whereas his defeat and death at the hands of another proved that his strength was beginning to fail and that it was time his divine life should be lodged in a less dilapidated tabernacle.”
Ultimately, while these two beings do battle all year long, they are two essential parts of a whole. Despite being enemies, without one, the other would no longer exist.
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Yule Craft Project for the Winter Solstice – Yule Smudge Sticks
When Yule rolls around — December if you’re in the northern hemisphere, or in June for our readers below the equator — one of the most notable aspects of the season is that of the scents and smells. There’s something about our olfactory system triggering certain memories and recollections, and the Yule season is no exception. Aromas like pine needles, cinnamon, mulled spices, frankincense – all of these are reminders of the winter holidays for many of us.
Smudging is a great way to cleanse a sacred space, and most people use smudge sticks made of sweetgrass or sage for this purpose, but why not use more seasonally appropriate plants at Yule?
Some types of plants definitely work better than others. For instance, certain members of the fir family begin to drop their needles as soon as they begin to dry, which means you’ll end up with needles all over your floor, and not in your smudge stick if you use them. On the other hand, the trees with the longer, softer needles seem to work really well, and lend themselves nicely to a project like this.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Scissors or garden clippers
Seasonal plants such as evergreens (pine, fir, juniper, balsam, and cedar), as well as other scents you find appealing – try using rosemary in addition to the pine, fir, and juniper.
Trim your clippings down to a manageable length, between six and ten inches, but if you’d like to make shorter smudge sticks, go right ahead. Cut a length of string about five feet long. Put several branches together, and wind the string tightly around the stems of the bundle, leaving two inches of loose string where you began. Tie a knot when you get to the end, and leave a loop so you can hang them for drying. Depending on how fresh your branches are – and how much sap is in them – it can take a few weeks to dry them out. Once they’re done, burn them in Yule rituals and ceremonies, or use them for cleansing a sacred space.
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Yule Foods & Recipes – Yule Wassail
Basic Wassail Recipe
Wassail was originally a word that meant to greet or salute someone—groups would go out wassailing on cold evenings, and when they approached a door would be offered a mug of warm cider or ale. Over the years, the tradition evolved to include mixing eggs with alcohol and asperging the crops to ensure fertility. While this recipe doesn’t include eggs, it sure is good, and it makes your house smell beautiful for Yule!
1 Gallon apple cider
2 C. cranberry juice
1/2 C honey
1/2 C sugar
1 apple, peeled and diced
3 cinnamon sticks (or 3 Tbs. ground cinnamon)
1/2 C – 1 C brandy (optional)
Set your crockpot to its lower setting, and pour apple cider, cranberry juice, honey and sugar in, mixing carefully. As it heats up, stir so that the honey and sugar dissolve. Stud the oranges with the cloves, and place in the pot (they’ll float). Add the diced apple. Add allspice, ginger and nutmeg to taste—usually a couple of tablespoons of each is plenty. Finally, snap the cinnamon sticks in half and add those as well.
Cover your pot and allow to simmer 2 – 4 hours on low heat. About half an hour prior to serving, add the brandy if you choose to use it.
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Yule Craft Ideas – Magical Gingerbread Poppets
As Yule rolls around, many of us get into crafting mode – and that is as good a time as any to work a little holiday magic. Why not take the holiday tradition of gingerbread men, and turn it into a practical poppet working?
A poppet is essentially a magical doll, designed to represent a person – traditionally, they’re made from cloth or some other sort of fabric. Because we’re not going to eat these, we’ll simply be making them from felt and other craft materials, and stuffing them with magical ingredients.
Then you can give them as gifts, hang them on your holiday tree, or put them around your house.
Here are just a few ideas for magical gingerbread poppets that are appropriate for the holiday season:
Love poppet: Make a poppet to represent the object of your affection — remember that in some magical traditions it’s frowned upon to make a specific person the target of your working. If you are simply trying to attract love to yourself, but you don’t have a specific person in mind, focus on all the desirable qualities you want to see in a potential lover. Stuff your poppet with small bits of rose quartz, rose petals, parsley and peppermint.
Prosperity poppet: The holiday season is a good time to focus on prosperity. Fill the poppet with a bit of cinnamon, orange, or ginger, and maybe even a small coin to get the message across.
Healing poppet: When you make this poppet, be sure to indicate what – and whom – you are trying to heal. Focus all of your energy on the ailment in question. Fill with lemon balm, feverfew, ivy, and pine, as well as bits of turquoise and bloodstone.
Protection poppet: Create poppets that represent each member of the family, blending herbs and stones into the clay. Use hematite and amethyst, as well as basil, patchouli, and coffee for filling.
Finally, decorate your gingerbread poppet with craft paint, fabric scraps, buttons, or other embellishments. Stitch a loop of ribbon into the head so you can hang him or her on your Yule tree – or give it to a friend!
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Litha Prayer to the Sun
The sun is high above us
shining down upon the land and sea,
making things grow and bloom.
Great and powerful sun,
we honor you this day
and thank you for your gifts.
Ra, Helios, Sol Invictus, Aten, Svarog,
you are known by many names.
You are the light over the crops,
the heat that warms the earth,
the hope that springs eternal,
the bringer of life.
We welcome you, and we honor you this day,
celebrating your light,
as we begin our journey once more
into the darkness
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DANCING IN A WICCAN WONDERLAND
Pagans sing, are you listening’
Alters set, candles glisten,
Its a magical night, we’re having tonight
Dancing in a Wiccan Wonderland
Blades held high, censor smoking,
God and Goddess, we’re invoking,
Through Elements Five, we celebrate life,
Dancing in a Wiccan Wonderland,
Queen of Heaven, is in her place,
Triple Goddess, now the Crone face
Above and below, She’s the Goddess we know,
Dancing in a Wiccan wonderland.
Now the God, is the provider
Supplying game for our fire,
Above and below, He’s the Horned one we know,
Dancing in a Wiccan Wonderland
In a circle we can burn a Yule fire,
And await the rising of the Sun,
It’s the great wheel turning for the new year,
loaded with abundance and great fun
Later on, by the fire,
Cone of Power, getting’ higher
Its a Magical Night, we’re having tonight,
Dancing in a Wiccan Wonderland!