The Witches Magick for January 1st
To Conjure A Vision With Fire
To work this spell, gather some apple peel, dried leaves of chrysanthemum, and rosemary. You’ll also need one white feather. Cast the peel, chrysanthemum leaves, and rosemary into the flames and say:
“Life and death,
Flames crackle and flare,
Let me see
A face, a name, or sign upon the air.
Smoke gray, smoke white,
Let me see my future this night.”
With the feather, fan the smoke gently, letting it curl about you. Gaze at the fire and smoke for as long as you wish, looking for signs. Leave the fire to burn for the rest of the evening. As a sign of gratitude, leave the feather before the hearth or on the fireplace mantel.
Let’s Talk Witch – Winter Purification Rituals
During the winter, stagnant energy and negativity can build up in our homes. Fire is a natural purifier and is excellent to use during the winter to cleanse our living space. Here are three rituals for you to try.
This ritual uses winter spices to help clear the home of negativity. Combine a pinch each of allspice, ginger, and clove. Sprinkle these spices onto the fire. Using a small pine branch, trace the shape of the pentagram in the air over the hearth. At first, hold the pine branch above the flames and visualize any negativity being sucked up the chimney. Then lay the pine branch directly into the flames, if it pops and cracks a lot, then you did have some negative energy hanging around. If you perform this ritual in your cauldron or other dish, when the ashes cool, sprinkle them away from your home.
To create a calm atmosphere in the home and to purify yourself of any negative thoughts, this spell combines snow (or ice), rose water, and fire. First, in a bowl combine some fresh snow, or a few ice cubes, and a teaspoon of rose water. Place the bowl in front of the fire and let the snow or ice melt. When melted, stir the mixture with your hand and anoint your forehead and each wrist. The scent of the rose water should calm you— let go of any bad thoughts. Take this mixture around your home and sprinkle it in front of doors and windows. Return to your hearth and bless the fireplace and chimney. Pour any extra mixture outside.
As a good general cleansing technique, after you have built a fire or when the wood is glowing brightly, sprinkle a handful of regular table salt onto the fire. This serves to bless and purify any space, as a bonus the salt also helps to slow any creosote build-up in the chimney. Use this once a day in my wood stove.
Article: Winter Fire Magic
Author: James Kambos
Source: Llewellyn’s 2014 Magical Almanac: Practical Magic for Everyday Living
Blessing For Hearth-Keepers
Brighid of the Mantle, encompass us,
Lady of the Lambs, protect us,
Keeper of the Hearth, kindle us.
Beneath your mantle, gather us,
And restore us to memory.
Mothers of our mother,
Guide our hands in yours,
Remind us how
To kindle the hearth.
To keep it bright,
To preserve the flame.
Your hands upon ours,
Our hands within yours,
To kindle the light,
Both day and night.
The Mantle of Brighid about us,
The Memory of Brighid within us, The Protection of Brighid keeping us
From harm, from ignorance, from heartlessness.
This day and night,
From dawn till dark,
From dark till dawn.
(Brighid is the Irish saint whose following draws strongly upon the Celtic goddess of the same name; as hearth-keeper, she is venerated throughout the Celtic world.)
Vestalia: Vesta’s Day
Altar: Today the altar is set up in the kitchen, in front of the stove or fireplace, at the point which is most “hearth”. Before setting it up, everyone pitches in to clean the kitchen thoroughly, and purify it. All halls leading into the kitchen are swept as well, and everyone enters barefoot with cleanly washed feet. Upon a red cloth set a bowl of water, one large red candle, bread baked the night before, and kitchen implements.
Offerings: Promote domestic harmony.
Daily Meal: Breads and baked goods.
Invocation to Vesta
Hail Vesta, Lady of the Central Fire,
Flame of the Hearth
Keeper of the Inner Circle
Eldest of the Olympians
Lady of the Pantry
Whose open hands dispense hospitality
Chimney and cooking fire
Lady of routine and dailiness
To miss your quiet strength
In the rush of our sudden lives
Would be as great a disservice
As forgetting the air we breathe.
Teach us to take our time, Lady.
Teach us of the holiness of step after step
Chore after chore, moving in small circles
Around the hearth of our own beings.
Chant (spoken, not sung):
I circle my hearth from without
And I focus the work of my hands;
I circle my hearth from within
And I focus the work of my heart;
Every work of my hands
Is a victory won;
Every thing that I do
Is another thing done.
(All share bread, and pitch in together to make more, which can be saved or given away.)
[Pagan Book of Hours]