N. H. The Return of the Sun King (A Litha Fairy Story) Plus a Coloring Page

Once upon a time, there was great sorrow among the fairy folk. Something had happened to the Fairy Queen, Titania. She had fallen asleep and would not wake up.

The winter had come, terribly cold and full of ice and snow. In the fairy wood, no fires were burning. The seed babies were safely tucked in their beds, deep under Mother Earth’s coverlet of leaves and moss. The gnomes and dwarves were working deep underground. The water sprites waited under their ice roof, which covered the crystal lake and bubbling brook.

Most of the fairy folk, those who tend the flower children in meadows and forests, were left to wander through the winter, seeking warmth and shelter. They sought these in the homes of mortals, hoping to rest beside the fires both in castle and in hovels. Where ever fairy stories were being told at night or where ever Christmas candles were burning, there they were allowed to rest awhile.

This winter, the Fairy Queen and her troupe had been wandering and wandering. The snow blew in great swirling clouds and Old King Winter laughed and crackled. Jack Frost had a jolly time pinching their noses and toes. Worst of all and sad to say, there were not enough resting places for the fairy troupe. Most of the stone castles were dark and deserted and had been so a long time. The houses, great or small, where real fairy stories were still being told were few and far between. And the Christmas Candles burned in but a few windows.

One very dark night, after Yuletide, but long before Spring was due, the Fairy Queen began to grow very sleepy, as mortals do
when they begin to freeze. Not being a mortal, she could not die but she could not wake up either. All of the fairies tried to wake her up. They danced and fluttered around her and sang songs as loudly as they dared. At last, with the help of two white snow-hares they managed to bring the Queen back to the stone circle, which is their palace and dancing place. Without their Queen, the fairies were entirely without direction and purpose. Many also fell asleep and the ones who stayed awake were mournful and very miserable.

Lady Spring finally came back from her palace in the South. She chased old King Winter back to his ice palace in the frozen north. The ice melted and gentle rains fell. Seed babies began to awaken and the first flower children appeared. The fairies grew hopeful and hurried to bring Lady Spring to the bed of her sleeping sister. Lady Spring took Titania’s hands and breathed the promise of Spring over her. She sang her magic song of roses and butterflies, of newborn lambs and nightingales. Titania’s cheeks grew rosier and she seemed to breathe more fully than before. But alas! Her eyes would not open, nor would she speak!

Lady Spring grew sorrowful and this brought a tremendous Spring storm. She had to dry her eyes quickly so as not to bring on a flood. She took leave of Titania’s attendants, saying, “I must continue on to waken all of the seed babies. Guard your Queen well and wait for Summer.”

The fairies promised to do their best, but in truth, the seed babies and flower children were not taken care of as well as they should have been.

Day by day, the fairies could see the ascent of the Sun King on his fiery steed. He was still far away, just over the horizon. Little by little he came closer and the day began to grow longer than the night. Finally, it was Midsummer’s Eve and the Sun King reached the pinnacle of the sky. He was riding very high over the palace of the Fairy Queen. The fairies shouted and clamored, pranced and danced, trying to catch the Sun King’s attention. He was too high up to hear them, but he soon noticed that the Fairy Queen had not come to greet him on this, their meeting day.

The Sun King turned his steed toward the Earth and came as close as he could without harm. Of course, everything grew tremendously hot and the flower children took refuge under the broad leaved trees and bushes.

Still, Titania did not wake up. Here hands and feet were still icy, although her hair shone golden in the brilliant light. Then the Sun King took off his mantle of fire and climbed down from his sky horse. Without the fire mantle, he would not scorch anything or anyone. Still, he was almost too bright to look at! He came to the Fairy Queen’s couch and he bent down and kissed her. He took her hands in his and felt them grow warmer and warmer. She opened her eyes and drew a long breath. She arose with all of her sleeping companions.

What rejoicing there was! Such a shouting and singing! Each fairy nurse ran to find her poor neglected flower child.

Titania thanked the Sun King for bringing her back to life. She told him how dark and cold the winter had been. She wondered what to do the next time King Winter’s might was stronger than human love and light.

“Do not fear,” said the Sun King, “For the darkest winter has passed and Winter’s power will someday be totally overcome. Human beings will remember to light their fires again. The Christmas candles will burn brightly in many homes and around the hearths, real fairy stories will be told again. I myself will proclaim this from the skies. For the light of the world has come to birth in human hearts and this can never again be extinguished.”

Then the Sun King mounted his winged charger, put on his fire mantle and rode back to the summit of the sky. The fairy folk waved him on his journey with love and gratitude.

That Midsummer night, they held the most joyful festive there ever was in all of fairy land. And if the lights have not gone out, they are dancing still.

 

Christine Natale© 2003 All Rights Reserved found at The Return of the Sun King

To you and yours from the WOTC and Covel Life staff may you have a wonderful summer.

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I am sorry but the phone will not stop ringing this morning….May Eve/Mayday

beltane

May Eve/Mayday

May Eve/ Mayday – Beltane Beltane is celebrated on May 1 or April 30. It is also known by the name, May Eve. Beltane is one of the important festivals in the wicca calendar. It is also called the fertility festival.

 

The accessories used during this festival are blooming flowers, colored ribbons, chaplets and crowns of leaves and flowers, and poles decorated with flowers, leaves, and fruit. The dominant colors are green, white, and pink. It is an excellent festival for rituals of love and sex, and for everything to do with fertility.

 

In myths, the goddess and the god reach sexual maturity and are aware of their sexuality. The goddess changes from a virgin to a mother. This is the springtime, the time for sowing and planting, and the mating period for animals. In agrarian societies, it was customary to bless the fields, and couples would go out to the fields and make love in the bosom of nature in order to help renew the fertility of the earth symbolically. Witch order to celebrate the new season of blossoming. Sometimes a “May-queen” and a “May-king” are appointed, and they become the representatives of the goddess and the god for a day. They serve as spiritual advisors to the members of the group. Only people who have gone through initiation can be appointed queen or king. In different traditions, there is a custom of exchanging gifts of May baskets along with wishes for fertility and a prosperous summer.

 

Beltane is a happy festival. Spring is already here and summer is coming. It is also the season for the festivals that take place outdoors in nature.

 

Source

 

Day-by-Day Wicca: A complete guide to Wicca from Beliefs and Rituals to Magic and Witchcraft (Astrolog Complete Guides)
Tabatha Jennings

 

Beltane – A Little of This & A Little of That

SPRING

Beltane – A Little of This & A Little of That

Beltane Oil

Carrier oil specific: almond
3 drops apple
3 drops calendula
3 drops frankincense
3 drops lilac

–Gianne’s Grimoire of Personal Power
Lady Gianne

 

Celebration Powder

Talc in the color of your choice
Glitter in the color of your choice
Rosemary
Cinnamon
Use equal parts talc, rosemary, and cinnamon, adding as much glitter as your want. This powder can be worn to any appropriate celebration. Dust yourself lightly.

–Gianne’s Grimoire of Personal Power
Lady Gianne

 

Beltane Incense

3 parts Frankincense
2 parts Sandalwood
1 part Benzoin
1 part Cinnamon
A few drops Patchoulli essential oil

This makes an easy powder to throw on a charcoal block or on the balefire.

 

 

Beltane Ritual soap

Add Thyme and rose to an old knee-high stocking filled
with those soap slivers you saved. The soap will tempt the fairy folk
into joining your celebrations, if it is possible.

 

Beltane Anointing oil

Add lily of the valley essential oil (no more than 8
drops to 1/8 cup good nut oil like peanut or safflower)
and warm slightly.

This will provide more than enough to anoint everyone in the circle.

 

 

Beltane Ritual Potpourri

Recipe by Gerina Dunwich

45 drops frankincense oil
1 cup oak moss
1 cup dried bluebells
1 cup dried lilac
1 cup dried marigold
1 cup dried meadowsweet
1 cup dried rosebuds and petals
1 cup dried yellow cowslips

Mix the frankincense oil with the oak moss and then add the remaining ingredients. Stir the potpourri well and store in a tightly covered ceramic or glass container.

 

(The above recipe for “Beltane Ritual Potpourri” is quoted directly from Gerina Dunwich’s book “The Wicca Spellbook: A Witch’s Collection of Wiccan Spells, Potions and Recipes”, page 162, A Citadel Press Book, Carol Publishing Group, 1994/1995)

The Witches Extra: The Lighting of the Balefire

Spring Butterfly and Ladybug

The Lighting of the Balefire

The name “Beltane” has been traced back to an old Celtic word meaning “bright fire,” and is thought by some scholars to be related to the ancient Sun god Belenos, whose name has been translated as “bright shining one.” Belenos was worshipped throughout Celtic Europe and his feast day was on May 1st, so this connection seems logical, but is not universally accepted by historians.

For one thing, Belenos (also known as Bel or Beil) doesn’t make significant appearances in the mythology of the areas where Beltane was historically celebrated: Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Mann. In fact, he was much more significant to the Gaulish Celts of the European continent, where the May 1st festivals are known by different names. Nonetheless, the ritual importance of fire was a central focus of Beltane for the ancient Celts of the western-most islands, where the first references to the holiday are found.

The chief event at Beltane in ancient Ireland was the lighting of the balefire on the eve of May 1, the first fire of the light half of the Celtic year. In preparation for this event, every household hearth was extinguished.

Legend has it that tribal representatives from all over Ireland met at the hill of Uisneach, a sacred site where a giant bonfire was lit. Each representative would light a torch from the great fire, and carry it back to their village, where the people waited in the darkness. From the village torch, each household would then relight their home fires, so that all of Ireland was set alight from the same initial flame.

In another version of this story, the fire at Uisneach could be seen from several miles away in every direction, signaling to the surrounding villages to light their own central fires, which was then spread throughout their communities. Either way, this act marked the beginning of summer, with hopes for plentiful sunshine throughout the season.

As a living symbol of the Sun, ritual fire was clearly seen as having magical powers. In many Celtic areas, the Beltane fires were also used for ritual purification of cattle before they were turned out into the summer pastures. The cattle were driven between two large bonfires, which were tended by Druids who used special incantations to imbue the fires with sacred energy.

The fire would clear the animals of any lingering winter disease and protect them from illness and accidents throughout the summer. People would also walk between the fires, or jump over them, for luck and fertility through the coming year. In some areas, the ashes from the smoldering fire would be sprinkled over crops, livestock, and the people themselves.

Over time, the annual Beltane fires grew into larger festivals, where people came to greet each other after the long winter. Dancing, music, games and great feasts became traditions, along with a free license for sexual promiscuity on this special occasion. Other customs observed at this time included eating “Beltane bannock”—a special oatcake that bestowed an abundant growing season and protection of livestock—and making a “May Bush,” a branch or bough from a tree decorated with brightly colored ribbons, flowers, and egg shells.

People would dance around the May Bush on Beltane, and then either place it by the front door for luck or burn it in the bonfire. This was believed to be a remnant of Druidic tradition, which held many trees to be sacred and possess magical qualities. A related custom was hanging a rowan branch over the hearth or weaving it into the ceiling to protect the house for the coming year.

Trees, herbs and flowers in general played a part at Beltane and at other May Day celebrations throughout Europe. Primrose flowers and hawthorne and hazel blossoms were gathered and placed at doors and windows, made into garlands, and even used to adorn cattle. Yellow flowers were prized for their association with the Sun.

Herbs gathered on this day were said to be especially potent for magic and healing, especially if gathered at dawn or while the morning dew was still on them. The “May dew” inspired a variety of traditions around beauty. Young women would roll naked in the dew or collect it to wash their faces with, as it was said to purify the skin, maintain youthful looks and help attract a love partner.

 

–Wicca Wheel of the Year Magic: A Beginner’s Guide to the Sabbats, with History, Symbolism, Celebration Ideas, and Dedicated Sabbat Spells
Lisa Chamberlain

Let’s Talk Witch – Beltane

Butterflies and Ladybug in Spring

Let’s Talk Witch – Beltane

Northern Hemisphere: April 30 or May 1

Southern Hemisphere: Oct 31 or Nov 1

Pronounced: bee-YAWL-tinnuh, or BELL-tinnuh

Themes: passion, mischief, sensuality, sexuality, beauty, romance, fertility, vitality, abundance

Also known as: May Day, Walpurgisnacht, Floralia, Calan Mai By the time May 1st arrives in the Northern Hemisphere, spring is truly in full swing and the balance is tipping toward summer. The heat of the Sun increases with each day, and the Earth turns ever-deepening shades of green as buds and blossoms give way to the emerging new leaves. Flowers seem to explode along the roadsides while birds, bees, and other flying creatures fill the air. And even if a stray chill sneaks back in for a day or two around this time, there’s still no going back—winter is decidedly over.

In fact, May 1st marked the official beginning of the light half of the year in pre-modern times, making this day the official beginning of summer for our Celtic ancestors. Indeed, Beltane—or May Day as it is also known—is a time for exuberant celebration, as the long, warm days and the lush abundance of the growing season are ramping up. The hopeful feeling that was kindled at Imbolc and built upon at Ostara now comes into full fruition.

Wiccans recognize Beltane as a time to celebrate the return of passion, vitality, fun and frivolity, and the co-creative energies of Nature that are so evident at this time of year. By this point all living creatures have come out of hibernation and are enjoying the sunshine and the mild days.

“Spring fever” is at its peak, as people find themselves unable to concentrate on their work or studies and long instead to spend all their time outdoors. Primal urges toward lust and wildness become stronger and we see both animals and humans pairing off, sparked by that most basic of instincts: to reproduce.

This life-giving relationship between masculine and feminine energies is honored now, perhaps more directly at this Sabbat than at any other point on the Wheel of the Year. In the cyclical story of the Goddess and the God, this is the shift between their mother-child relationship to that of partners in co-creation.

Over the spring months, the God has matured into his young manhood, and the Goddess is again ready to step from her Maiden aspect into the life-giving Mother. In their prime of life they fall in love and unite, and the Goddess once again becomes pregnant, ensuring the rebirth of the God after the current growing season comes to an end in the autumn.

This is the act that brings about new life in the form of abundant crops, healthy livestock, and forests full of wild game and healing herbs. It is the fundamental building block of the continuation of life, and so is celebrated joyfully at this time by Wiccans and other Pagans alike. In some traditions, the union between the Goddess and God is seen as a divine marriage, and so handfastings—or Wiccan weddings—are customary at this time.

In addition to the Sun God and/or the Horned God, many Wiccans and other Pagans recognize an aspect of the God in the Green Man, an archetypal image of a male face camouflaged by leafy foliage. This mysterious face is found carved into very old buildings throughout Europe, including cathedrals, and is often connected with the Celtic god Cernunnos; however, variations of the image have been discovered all over the world. In early May, as leaves begin to emerge from the trees and shrubs, the return of the Green Man is imminent.

Soon the summer foliage will hide all that was visible during the bare months of winter, and we are reminded of the divinity hidden within plain sight that this greenery so often evokes. Perhaps for this reason, Beltane is also a time of the faeries, who are considered to be more active on this day than any other except for Samhain, which sits directly opposite the Wheel from Beltane.

Faery traditions can be traced back to the Irish Aos Sí, a name often translated as “faeries” or “spirits,” but are found in various forms throughout ancient pagan cultures. They are said to inhabit various places in Nature, from hills and forests to small plants and flowers. Wiccans who are sensitive to the presence of faeries will leave offerings for them on Beltane Eve.

 

–Wicca Wheel of the Year Magic: A Beginner’s Guide to the Sabbats, with History, Symbolism, Celebration Ideas, and Dedicated Sabbat Spells
Lisa Chamberlain

Beltane Union

Wunderbare Frühlingsnatur
I know it is not Beltane yet, but I ran across this beautiful little poem. I believe it expresses the true meaning of this special time of year and wanted to share it with you on this Beltane Eve.

Beltane Union

A woman stands, Alone in the woods, Awaiting her fate once more, Returning to her place in the cycle of life.

What is that? A rustling in the forest, Closer and closer the noice creeps, Is this the one to seal her destiny?

Now he stands before her, Clad in nothing but the sky, Grown to full manhood, and awaiting, Her.

Their eyes met, Locked in a familiar gaze, Have they been here before, Shall they dance this dance again?

No words were spoken as they met, Quietly they drew close together, And trembling with anticipation, They were united again once more.

He touched her face carefully, She seemed so familiar to him, As if he had always been a part of her, As if they completed a whole.

Beneath the hallowing moonlights glow, They danced the dance of ages, They met, and loved, and joined as one, Completing the holy union.

As they lay their after, A new cycle had already begun, She lay now holding his child, And he lay forseeing his death.

They would come apart again, And meet together once more. For it is the cycle of everything, As goes the Beltane Lore

Lady Amhranai (2002)

 

A Few Goodies for the Grown Up Witches

OSTARA

A Few Goodies for the Grown Up Witches

Ostara Oil

Put in soap or annoint candles
5 drops lavender
5 drops jasmine
5 drops patchouli
5 drops rose

Add a lavender bud and small lapis lazuli, rose, and clear quartz crystals. This has the gently smell of spring beginning to blossom. Very lovely!

 

 

Ostara Incense

Recipe by Scott Cunningham

2 parts Frankincense
1 part Benzoin
1 part Dragon’s Blood
1/2 part Nutmeg
1/2 part Violet flowers (or a few drops Violet oil)
1/2 part Orange peel
1/2 part Rose petals

Burn during Wiccan rituals on Ostara (the Spring Equinox, which varies from March 20th to the 24th each year), or to welcome the spring and refresh your life.

(The above recipe for “Ostara Incense” is directly quoted from Scott Cunningham’s book: “The Complete Book of Incense, Oils & Brews”, page 83, Llewellyn Publications, 1992.)

 

Spring Equinox Ritual Potpourri

Recipe by Gerina Dunwich

A small cauldron filled with homemade potpourri can be used as a fragrant altar decoration, burned (outdoors) as an offering to the old gods during or after a Sabbat celebration, or wrapped in decorative paper and ribbons and given to a Wiccan sister or brother as a Sabbat gift.

45 drops rose oil

1 cup oak moss

2 cups dried dogwood blossoms

2 cups dried honeysuckle blossoms

1/2 cup dried violets

1/2 cup dried daffodils

1/2 cup dried rosebuds

1/2 cup dried crocus or iris

Mix the rose oil with the oak moss, and then add the remaining ingredients. Stir the potpourri well and then store in a tightly covered ceramic or glass container.

(The above recipe for “Spring Equinox Ritual Potpourri” is directly quoted from Gerina Dunwich’s book: “The Wicca Spellbook: A Witch’s Collection of Wiccan Spells, Potions and Recipes”, pages 161-162, A Citadel Press Book, Carol Publishing Group, 1994/1995.)

Source

Ostara Lore
Researched and Compiled by StormWind

 

 

Ostara Soap

1 cup grated unscented soap
1/4 cup hot water
1 tbsp. apricot oil
1 tbsp. Jasmine
1/2 tbsp. rose
6 drops frankincense oil
6 drops sandalwood oil
3 drops lavender oil

Place grated soap in a heat-proof non-metallic container and add the hot water and apricot oil. Leave until it is cool enough to handle, and then mix together with your hands. If the soap is floating on the water, add more soap. Leave to sit for 10 minutes, mixing occasionally, until the soap is soft and mushy. Once the soap, water, and oil are blended completely, add the dry ingredients. Once the mixture is cool, then add the essential oils (essential oils evaporate quickly in heat). Enough essential oils should be added to overcome the original scent of the soap. Blend thoroughly and then divide the soap mixture into four to six pieces. Squeeze the soaps, removing as much excess water as possible into the shape you desire, and tie in a cheesecloth. Hang in a warm, dry place until the soap is completely hard and dry.

Recipe adapted from Kate West’s The Real Witches’ Kitchen Sabbat Soap recipe.