Flashback 2002 Imbolc

Imbolc is an important day of purification and initiation; on the Sun’s day, February 2, the energies are very airy. This Sabbat is a good day for coven work, with an emotionally detached masculine Moon and Sun on the Sun’s day.

Dress yourself and your altar in white, while serving white beverages or any dairy food to honor the calving season. Spread the top of a one-pound round Camembert or Bire cheese with raspberry preserves. Cut a circle of puff pastry large enough to cover the cheese, wrap it, tucking the ends of the pastry under. Use scraps to decorate the top with goddess symbols. Brush with beaten egg yolk. Bake at 425 degrees until golden, and serve hot and melting on crackers. During this ritual, bless and dedicate all candles you will need for other ritual work throughout the year. A good way to start the ceremony is to light candles in the darkened room with chanting to encourage the lengthening days.

©️ By K. D. Spitzer Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2002 Page 41

IMPORTANT NOTE for the Southern Hemisphere Imbolc falls on August 1st.

Flashback 2022 – Imbolc

(I know to be a real flashback the post should be from a previous year, but I want to make sure when I look up posts from Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook that I do not repeat something I have already posted.)

Imbolg Sachet of Light

Also called Candlemas, Imbolg (or Imbolc) is the sabbat of “gestation,” seeing as the earth is readying for her renewal of spring. Because of this, as well as due to the ancient Celtic associations with the goddess Brigid, Imbolg is widely considered a festival of the divine feminine.

To harness the light of life and renewal that is also awakening in ourselves, gather a number of seeds from a verity of plants. This mixture can contain anything from sunflower seeds to wildflower seeds, or even a variety of plants you intend to plant later in the spring. Place these inside a sachet bag along with a battery powered light, such as an artificial tea light. Bury it within the mixture of seeds.

With all the lights in the room turned off, turn your focus to the glowing to the glowing sachet and envision all the wonderful things you intend to manifest this year. Deeply focus: visualize smile, chant words of power, and make the sachet an illuminating personalize spell. What do you do with the sachet and seeds is totally up to your Witchy intuition!

Raven Digitals Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2022 Page 43

Spell for Today – Winter Solstice Blessing Jar – Printable

December Solstice: Longest and Shortest Day of the Year

Solstice and Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere

Solstice and Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere

There are two solstices every year: one in December and one in June. The December solstice marks the shortest day north of the equator and the longest day in the south.

Sun Reaches Most Southerly Point

The December solstice is the moment the Sun is directly above the Tropic of Capricorn in the Southern Hemisphere. This is the southernmost latitude it reaches during the year. After the solstice, it begins moving north again.

Solstice Local Time & Date

In Plainfield, Illinois, USA: Wednesday, December 21, 2022 at 3:48 pm CST (Change location)
This corresponds to Wednesday, December 21, 2022 at 21:48 UTC.

Sun rise/set and day length around this solstice

Solstice countdown

Local times for this solstice worldwide

Solstice Day and Night Map

Shortest Day in the North

Since the Northern Hemisphere is tilted away from the Sun in December, it receives less sunlight during the course of a day. At the solstice, the North Pole’s tilt away from the Sun is greatest, so this event marks the shortest day of the year north of the equator.

This effect is greatest in locations that are farther away from the equator. In tropical areas, the shortest day is just a little shorter than 12 hours; in the temperate zone, it is significantly shorter; and places within the Arctic Circle experience polar night, when the Sun does not rise at all.

Longest Day in the South

Conversely, the day of the December solstice is the longest day of the year in the Southern Hemisphere. Here, too, the effect is greater the farther a location is away from the equator.

Places within the Antarctic Circle experience Midnight Sun, when the Sun does not set at night.

What Does “Solstice” Mean?

During the course of a year, the subsolar point—the spot on the Earth’s surface directly beneath the Sun—slowly moves along a north-south axis. Having reached its northernmost point at the June solstice, it starts moving southward until it crosses the equator on the day of the September equinox. At the December solstice, which marks the southernmost point of its journey, it stops again to start its journey back toward the north.

This is how the solstices got their name: the term comes from the Latin words sol and sistere, meaning “Sun” and “to stand still”.

Initially, the naming arose from observations of how the Sun’s apparent path across the sky changes slightly from one day to the next, which is caused by the same process as the subsolar point’s movement described above.

In the months leading up to the December solstice, the position of sunrise and sunset creeps southward. On the day of the solstice, it reaches its southernmost point. After that, the daily path of the Sun across the sky begins to creep northward again.

Why Does the Sun Move North and South?

The subsolar point moves north and south during the year because the Earth’s axis is tilted at an angle of about 23.4° in relation to the ecliptic, an imaginary plane created by Earth’s path around the Sun. In June, the Northern Hemisphere is tilted toward the Sun, and the subsolar point is north of the equator. As the Earth travels toward the opposite side of its orbit, which it reaches in December, the Southern Hemisphere gradually receives more sunlight, and the subsolar point travels south.

The Solstices and the Seasons

The December solstice marks the start of winter in the Northern Hemisphere and the start of summer in the Southern Hemisphere, according to one definition.

Sunrise and Sunset Times Lag Behind

The shortest day of the year is commonly associated with the latest sunrise and earliest sunset of the year. However, in most locations, the earliest sunset happens a few days before the solstice, while the latest sunrise occurs some days after itFind out why

The December Solstice in the Calendar …

Click here to read the rest of this article by timeanddate.com

An Invaluable Herbal Grimoire Reference Guide

By Graphia, The Wordsmith Witch

No matter what your spiritual path looks like, every Witch can benefit from possessing a thorough, comprehensive Herbal Grimoire. Many practitioners include such contents as a guide for the magical correspondences of different herbs, a list of various herbal substitutions for spellcrafting, and last, but not least – a reference section that lists commonly found baneful herbs and their toxicity levels.

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

This herb correspondence chart is the culmination of years of research. We hope this reference guide will help you to understand the magical properties of herbs, roots, flowers, barks and resins. It is our goal to provide others with accurate sources of information to enrich their lives and their Craft. What are some ways you can implement the information in the following guide into your own practice?  Click on the link below to view the chart.

Herbal Grimoire

CIRCLE MAKING THROUGH THE SEASONS

CIRCLE MAKING THROUGH THE SEASONS
By Selena Fox – Copyright 1985
Reprinted with the expressed written permission of Selena Fox/Circle
Sanctuary

Whether you celebrate the Pagan seasonal holidays indoors or outside, alone or
with others, you can enhance the beauty and effectiveness of you Sabbat
ceremonies by decorating your circle with gifts of Nature appropriate to the
season.

Marking the circle space and the four directions on the ground or floor aids in
visualizing the circle of energy that forms in a place during a ritual. Doing
this is very helpful for beginners in ritual, for new groups, and for ecumenical
workings which include people of many paths. Using seasonal decorations to mark
the circle and quarters strengthens the connection of the participants and the
ceremony with Nature and the particular energy of a holiday. For the same
reason, it also is good to have some seasonal decorations on the altar, whether
it is positioned centrally as we do or at some other place in the circle.

When possible, those taking part in a Sabbat ceremony should ritually collect
decorations for the circle from Nature themselves. When collecting plant parts,
be they dried or fresh, from gardens, parks, or the wilds, before you begin, be
sure to honor the Spirits of the Plants and the Spirit of the Place you are
visiting. Pause a few moments, commune with them through silent meditation,
state your need for circle decorations, and ask for their help. Then, let them
intuitively guide you during the gathering process. When you are done, give
thanks for the gifts you have received. Remember that the decorations you gather
are parts of other life-forms here on Planet Earth, rather than non-sentient
things for you to manipulate for your own purposes. Respect Nature Spirits and
they will become you friends and bring special blessings to your seasonal
celebrations.

Spending time in natural settings to collect decorations before a rite can
greatly help you spiritually align yourself to the season. This is especially
important for you to do if you spend a lot of your waking life inside buildings
and traveling around in heavily urbanized areas. However, if circumstances are
such that you cannot gather decorations from Nature for a holiday, you can still
ask Plant Spirits for guidance in your selection process when you shop in the
marketplace.

Once you have obtained the decorations, as you place them in and around your
circle focus on honoring the space, the plants, the season, and the ritual about
to happen. This can be done silently as a meditation or by jubilantly singing
and moving to a seasonal song. For group rituals, outlining the circle is a
wonderful way to get all participants, including children, involved in preparing
for the ritual. The shared experience of creating the space aids in attunement
and in developing a strong group spirit necessary for effective ceremonies. When
everyone is responsible for bringing a particular kind of decoration to outline
a circle, such as pine boughs for Yule, not only does the circle take form with
greater ease, but more importantly, marking out the circle with everyone’s
contributions symbolizes the blending together of the individual energies of
participants into a harmonious whole.

After a seasonal ritual is over, remove decorations from the circle with the
spirit of thanksgiving. These decorations not only embody the energy of the
Nature Spirits worked with during their gathering, but also contain the energy
of the ritual. They have served as ceremonial tools and should be taken away
with respect, not hurriedly swept up and thrown into a trash can. Often, we
return the natural decorations we have used to Mother Earth, letting wildlife
feed on fruits and grains, and mulching the plants in our gardens with flowers
and greens. Decorations also can be placed on personal altars after the ceremony
as reminders of the season or given as healing gifts to friends who were not
able to be present at the ceremony. If they have been energized for a particular
purpose during a ceremony, decorations can also serve as charms.

The suggestions I present here for each holiday are drawn primarily from my own
experiences doing Sabbats with groups of people in these Northlands, and should
be adapted to suit your own circumstances, such as local climate and vegetation
cycles, ceremonial place, number of ritual participants, and type of spiritual
path. I’ve included ideas for outlining the circle space itself, marking the
quarters and decorating a central altar.

SAMHAIN / HALLOWEEN

Outline the circle with dry colored leaves and perhaps some nuts and sprigs of
dried herbs such as curled dock flowers. At each of the four quarters, stand a
shock of dried corn stalks with a lighted carved pumpkin or jack-o-lantern at
the base. On the altar in the center, place a large jack-o-lantern to symbolize
the Spirit of the holiday and the Otherworld, and surround it with acorns,
symbols of rebirth, and with photographs and other mementos of dead friends,
relatives, and ancestors you would like to honor. You might also place a lit
votive candle by mementos of each loved one to represent their Spirit which
lives on.

YULE / WINTER SOLSTICE

Outline the circle with pine cones and freshly cut pine boughs. Set tall red
candles at the four quarters with holly at their bases. In the center, lay a
Yule wreath of evergreens, preferably one you have fashioned yourself. In the
center of the wreath, place a large red candle to represent the reborn Sun.
Place it in a small cauldron, if you have one, to symbolize the Goddess of
Rebirth. Around the outside of the wreath make another circle with sprigs of
mistletoe which can be energized during the rite and later given to participants
and friends to bring blessings to their homes in the New Solar Year. Our
community Yule altar also contains eight red ribbons representing the Wheel of
the Year, eight plates for Sabbat cakes, and personal blessing candles brought
by participants.

IMBOLC / CANDLEMAS

Outline the circle with white votive candles, symbolizing the purification
aspect of this holiday. Place large white candles at each of the quarters and at
the center. Surround the central candle with any early greens and buds that have
appeared in your area, and with sunflower seeds to represent the promise of
renewed life in coming Spring. The seeds can be later set out for wild birds.
White candles also can be set in the center by participants to symbolize self-
purification and spiritual awakening.

OSTARA / SPRING EQUINOX

Outline the circle with any greenery that has appeared already in the Spring,
such as budding willow branches, ground ivy and other herbs. If Winter snows
still abound, which often is the case here in Wisconsin, use a green cord or
green ribbons to form the circle and represent the greening of Spring. You could
also outline the circle with packets of seeds which will later be planted in
gardens. At each of the four quarters, place a green candle. In the center of
the circle, place a basket with brightly colored hard-boiled eggs in it,
representing the Spring Goddess and the resurrection of life. These eggs can be
eaten as part of the rite or later buried in gardens as fertility charms.

BELTANE / MAY DAY

Outline the circle with a variety of flowers and tree blossoms, symbolizing the
blossoming of life. For group ceremonies, have everyone exchange some of the
flowers they bring with other participants before the outlining of the circle
begins. This ancient gesture of friendship aids in group attunement, generates a
festive mood, and strengthens connection with the love energy of the holiday. At
each of the four quarters, place a basket or vase of flowers. In the center, set
a Maypole decorated with brightly colored ribbons to represent the activating
principle of Nature. The ribbons should be an even number of streamers if the
traditional Maypole dance will be done. Otherwise, each participant should tie a
bit of ribbon around the pole to symbolize wishes for personal growth in the
coming Summer. Free-form ecstatic dancing can then be done around the pole to
energize the wishes. After the rite, take flowers to gardens to bless them and
promote fertility.

LITHA / SUMMER SOLSTICE

Outline the circle with candle lanterns or candles set in earth in wide-mouthed
jars. A beautiful and powerful way to create the circle space with these lights
is to have participants carry the candles in a ritual procession at dusk to the
ceremonial spot, circle it several times clockwise, come to a standstill once a
comfortable sized circle is made, and then set them down behind them. This works
very well especially with large groups and it is a part of each year’s opening
ritual at the International Pagan Spirit Gathering we sponsor at Solstice time.
Luminarias, which are candles set in sand in small paper bags, are another
stunning way to create a ring of light for an evening Solstice ceremony.
However, the ring of light is made, torches or large candles work well in the
four quarters. In the center of the circle, kindle a large bonfire of sacred
woods and herbs, if your location permits. You might want to feed the fire as it
rises with the dried wreath from Yule as we do each year to symbolize the peak
of the Solar Year. Otherwise, set a large red candle in the center, and surround
it with oak boughs, yarrow flowers, and other sacred plants of the season
growing in the area.

LUGHNASSAD / LAMMAS

Outline the circle with stalks of wheat or other grains, if available. Or, if
you prefer, make the circle with sprigs of sweet smelling herbs such as mint and
basil, and with wildflowers such as Queen Anne’s Lace and red clover blossoms.
Set baskets of herbs and Summer flowers at the four quarters and in the center,
representing the productiveness of Nature. Also on the central altar, place a
freshly-bakes loaf of bread to symbolize the Spirit of the holiday. The bread
can be shared among participants and with the Earth as a form of communion.

MABON / FALL EQUINOX

Outline the circle with gourds, apples, nuts, and other foods of the season.
Preferably, these are ones grown in your own gardens or in fields in the local
areas. Set a large gourd or pile of fruits and vegetables at each of the
quarters to represent harvest abundance. In the center, place a thanksgiving
cornucopia or cauldron filled to overflowing with offerings of harvest produce
and herbs. Ears of multi-colored Indian corn also are an excellent seasonal
altar decoration. The foods that ring the circle can later be eaten in a Harvest
feast. The central offerings should be returned to the Earth in thanksgiving.

With my thanks to Lady Abyss for this great information first posted this in January 2011

Spell for Today – Midsummer’s Day Herb Gathering Spell

Midsummer’s Day is a traditional time for Witches in all parts of the world to gather herbs from their gardens or from the wild to use in potions, dream pillows, and other forms of spellcraft.  They may be dried and burned on a charcoal disc during your magick spell or ritual.  All herbs collected at Litha are considered to have extra magickal and healing properties. 

To be recited on Midsummer’s Day, thrice before and thrice after gathering herbs for magickal workings:

“Herbs of magick, herbs of power,
Root and bark, leaf and flower,
Work for me when charms are spoken,
Potions brewed and curses broken!”

Spell for Today – A Midsummer Night’s Fire Ritual

smile

A Midsummer Night’s Fire Ritual

The Summer Solstice, known to some as Litha, Midsummer, or Alban Heruin, is the longest day of the year. It’s the time when the sun is most powerful, and new life has begun to grow within the earth. After today, the nights will once more begin to grow longer, and the sun will move further away in the sky.

If your tradition requires you to cast a circle, consecrate a space, or call the quarters, now is the time to do so.

This ritual is a great one to perform outside, so if you have the opportunity to do this without scaring the neighbors, take advantage of it.
Begin this ritual by preparing the wood for a fire, without lighting it yet. While the ideal situation would have you setting a huge bonfire alight, realistically not everyone can do that. If you’re limited, use a table top brazier or fire-safe pot, and light your fire there instead.
Say either to yourself or out loud:

Today, to celebrate Midsummer, I honor the Earth itself. I am surrounded by tall trees. There is a clear sky above me and cool dirt beneath me, and I am connected to all three. I light this fire as the Ancients did so long ago.

At this point, start your fire. Say:

The Wheel of the Year has turned once more
The light has grown for six long months
Until today.
Today is Litha, called Alban Heruin by my ancestors.
A time for celebration.
Tomorrow the light will begin to fade

As the Wheel of the Year
Turns on and ever on.
Turn to the East, and say:
From the east comes the wind,
Cool and clear.
It brings new seeds to the garden
Bees to the pollen
And birds to the trees.
Turn to Face South, and say:
The sun rises high in the summer sky
And lights our way even into the night
Today the sun casts three rays
The light of fire upon the land, the sea, and the heavens
Turn to face West, saying:
From the west, the mist rolls in
Bringing rain and fog
The life-giving water without which
We would cease to be.
Finally, turn to the North, and say:
Beneath my feet is the Earth,
Soil dark and fertile
The womb in which life begins
And will later die, then return anew.

Build up the fire even more, so that you have a good strong blaze going.

If you wish to make an offering to the gods, now is the time to do it. For this sample, we’re including the use of a triple goddess in the invocation, but this is where you should substitute the names of the deities of your personal tradition.

Say:

Alban Heruin is a time of rededication
To the gods. The triple goddess watches over me.
She is known by many names.
She is the Morrighan, Brighid, and Cerridwen.
She is the washer at the ford,
She is the guardian of the hearth,
She is the one who stirs the cauldron of inspiration.
I give honor to You, O mighty ones,
By all your names, known and unknown.
Bless me with Your wisdom
And give life and abundance to me
As the sun gives life and abundance to the Earth.
I make this offering to you
To show my allegiance
To show my honor
To show my dedication
To You.

Cast your offering into fire. Conclude the ritual by saying:

Today, at Litha, I celebrate the life
And love of the gods
And of the Earth and Sun.

Take a few moments to reflect upon what you have offered, and what the gifts of the gods mean to you. When you are ready, if you have cast a circle, dismantle it or dismiss the quarters at this time. Allow your fire to go out on its own.

by Patti Wigington
Published on ThoughtCo

Spell for Today – Contact Your Spirit Guide

Items needed:

Altar Candle

Day candle (whichever color for the day you be will doing your spell)
(Monday-white Tuesday-red Wednesday-purple Thursday-blue Friday-green Saturday-black Sunday-yellow)

Offertory Candles – 3 Violet candles, 3 White candles

Tools: Athame, Exacto Knife, or needle to inscribe candles

Props: Crystal ball or clear glass of water

Incense: anise, cardamon, and coriander

Oil: jasmine, lemon, rose, and sandalwood

Bathing Herbs

Cinnamon, frankincense, myrrh, and sandalwood

Timing:

Best done during the Mercury hour of the day, although any hour should work. Any moon phase is appropriate.

Preparation:

Breathe deeply and build a ball of protective light around you. While soaking in your ritual bath, meditate on the whole ritual: the steps you will take and what you wish to say to your spirit guide when you make contact.

Ritual:

Enter the circle in the Hour of Mercury. Light the incense. With the oil, dress the Altar Candle and the Day Candle while concentrating on the purpose of the ritual. Light your Altar candle and your Day candle and state your intent:

“I am here to make contact with my Spirit Guide, and to acknowledge him or her”

With your Athame, inscribe Violet Candle #1 with the word “Spirit”. Dress it with oil.
Light the Violet candle #1, direct your energies into it, and say:

“Here do I light the first Lamp of Spirit. May its light reach out across the barriers from this world to the next. May it make contact with that World of Spirit into which we will eventually enter”

Take your censer or incense wand and swing in around censing the whole area around the altar, while rhythmically repeating the word “Merge” and building up energy to focus.

Replace the censer and pick up Violet candle #2. Inscribe it with the word “Spirit” and dress it with the oil. Put it back on the altar, light it, direct your energy into it, and say:

“Here do I light the second Lamp of Spirit. May it’s light also reach out across the barriers from this world to the next. May it make contact with that World of Spirit and help spread the light, illuminating the passageway between our worlds.”

Again, take the censer or incense wand and cense the entire area around the altar while chanting the word “Merge” Build up your energy to focus. Take violet candle #3, inscribe with the word “Spirit”, dress with oil, charge with your energy, light it and say:

“Here do I light the third Lamp of Spirit.
May its light also reach out across the barriers from this world to the next. May the light from these three lamps blend and grow, dispelling all darkness and lighting the way that my Spirit Guide may come to me and speak with me here today.”

Inscribe the 3 white candles with the word “Truth” and anoint each candle with oil. Light the 3 white candles in order of 1, 2, 3, and say:

“Here do I build Truth. As these candles burn throughout this ritual, their power generates nothing but truth in all that transpires between this world and the next. Through these candles there is truth in all communications that come to me”.

Again, cense the entire altar area while chanting the word “Merge”.

Replace the censer and continue chanting. Sit comfortably while chanting, and gaze into the crystal ball, or the clear glass of water. Continue chanting until you feel it is right to let the chant taper off. Continue to quietly look into the crystal ball or glass, not trying to picture anything. Keep your mind blank, so whatever comes will appear will come in it’s own free will. Gaze into the center of the crystal, there is no need to try not to blink. Look into the crystal and blink naturally. Try not to notice anything in your peripheral vision, just the center of the crystal. Eventually a face or figure will appear. This may take a long time, or it may appear almost immediately. If it doesn’t come at all within approximately 20 minutes, abandon this attempt, extinguish the candles in the order in which they were lit, leave the altar set up, and try this ritual again in three days. You should have results within a month at most.

When a figure does appear, ask if he/she is your Spirit Guide. You will hear an answer. You may not hear it out loud, or even see the figures lips move, but you will be aware of the answer. This is how most of your conversation will proceed. You will ask your questions mentally (or out loud) and the answers will be clear inside your mind.

Ask if you have more than one spirit guide. If yes, ask them to appear also. You may ask anything you wish to know, but it is suggested to establish a connection first where your Spirit Guide may appear to you at any time, or at specific times, so that you can converse with other spirits through him/her. When you have finished speaking with your Guide, thank him/her, then sit for a moment with your eyes closed, meditating on all that you have learned. Extinguish the candles in reverse order to clear the circle.

Happy and Blessed Mabon Dear Sisters and Brothers – Printable

Printable 5 Simple Mabon Rituals

Happy and Blessed Ostara Dear Sisters and Brothers – Printable

Printable 5 Simple Ostara Rituals

Magickal Ideas for Imbolc