Celebrating Legends, Folklore & Other Spirituality 365 Days a Year for Feb. 16 – Celebration of Victoria

Wicca

February 16

Celebration of Victoria

Victory, called Victoria by the Romans and Nice (Nike) by the Greeks, was a Goddess who was the personification of success or victory. According to her legend she was the daughter of Pallas and Styx and became the patroness of heroes, guiding them to greatness. Revered by the Roman people, she was given an altar in the Senate. This sacred monument became one of the most important symbols of organized Paganism in the Roman Empire and a point of bitter confrontation between the pagans and the Christians in the fourth century A.D. when it was ordered destroyed. The altar was finally abolished

Deities Associated with Friday – Frigg The Norse Goddess

 Legend Of The Dragon Princess
Deities Associated with Friday

Frigg The Norse Goddess

Areas of Influence: Frigg was the Norse Goddess of marriage, childbirth, motherhood, wisdom, household management and weaving and spinning.

She was the Queen of Aesir and the only one permitted to sit on the high seat other than her husband Odin.

This Goddess’s home was Fensalir (Marsh hall) in Asgard. All marshy and boggy ground was sacred to this Goddess.

As Goddess of weaving she was associated with weaving clouds and the threads of fate, known as Wyrd in the Nordic tradition. Despite this and the gift of prophecy she is unable to save her own son from his fate. The Goddess made him invincible to everything other than mistletoe but unfortunately Loki disguised himself and tricked her in to revealing this weakness.

She has more than ten handmaidens who assist her, the most well known of these are Hlin (Goddess of Protection), Gna (a messenger Goddess) and Fulla (a fertility Deity). Some academics have suggested that the attendants represent different faces of this particular Deity.

Barren women would invoke this Goddess and ask her to bless them with children.

Her name means “beloved one.” Other spellings of this Goddesses name include Frea, Fija, Friia, Frig and Friggja.

Origins and Genealogy: She was the daughter of Fjorgynn (the male personification of the earth) and was married to Odin with whom she had two sons, Balder and Hodr.

She was briefly married to Odin’s brother’s Vili and Ve as Odin had been away travelling a long time and was believed to be dead. When he finally returned, the marriage to Odin’s brothers was dissolved and she returned to her husband’s side.

Strengths: A loving mother and home maker.

Weaknesses: Unable to save her son.

Symbolism
Like Freya she wears a ravens clock.

She is associated with constellation the Orion’s Belt which was known as the Frig’s Distaff upon which she winds the threads of fate and weaves the clouds.

Sacred Birds: Ravens, hawks and falcons.

Sacred Plants: Frigg’s grass is a plant was traditionally used as a sedative during birth. Mistletoe is also sacred to her.

Frigg’s Archetype
The Mother
The Mother is a life-giver and the source of nurturing, devotion, patience and unconditional love. The ability to forgive and provide for her children and put them before herself is the essence of a good mother.
In its shadow aspect the Mother can be devouring, abusive and abandoning. The shadow Mother can also make her children feel guilty about becoming independent and leaving her. It is not necessary to be a biological Mother to have this stereotype. It can refer to anyone who has a lifelong pattern of nurturing and devotion to living things.

This Goddess was a devoted mother who was unable to prevent the death of her son. She is also a great domestic Goddess looking after the home.

How to Work With This Archetype
The Mother

You are exhibiting the features of the shadow Mother if you smother your children and are over protective. Encourage independence and allow children to make mistakes but be available to give care and advice when it’s needed.

The other shadow Mother is the one that abandons her children, or is so busy that she has no time for nurturing her young.

 

Source:

Goddess-Guide.com

Let’s Talk Witch – The Gods

wiccan in the woods

The Gods

 

Witchy practices often focus on the goddess, especially during lunar rituals such as full moon and new moon. But let us not forget her consort, the god, the masculine half of the deity. Like the goddess, the god comes in many different forms, with many different names, and he changes shape throughout the course of the year.

We draw on the same mythological pantheons for the names we call the gods as we do for our goddesses. Greek and Roman gods are often well known (Neptune, Saturn, Pluto, Mars, and Mercury… now where have I heard those before?), as are some Celtic, Norse, and Egyptian gods (among others). Even the names of the days of the week come from the names of Norse gods, such as Thor (Thor’s day became Thursday) and Woden (Wednesday).

Zeus was the father of the Greek gods and ruled from high atop Mount Olympus. (And when they say he was the father of the gods, they aren’t kidding-the guy seriously got around.) The modern-day Olympics are based on a Greek festival that was held in his honor.

Jupiter was Zeus’s Roman counterpart, and like Zeus, he was known for throwing thunderbolts bolts at those who pissed him off. This was true of Thor as well, who was a god of justice. I guess you can figure out what happened to those who didn’t play nice … (ouch, sizzle).

Many Witches like to call on gods from the Celtic pantheon, especially Cernunnos and Herne, both of whom were usually depicted as the figure of a man with stag’s antlers. It is likely that these gods were the origin, at least in part, of the Green Man and Horned God that play such an important part in Pagan worship. We also call on the sun god Lugh, especially on Lugh- nasadh, the holiday we celebrate in his honor.

Apollo was the Greek sun god who was also a god of healing. Traditionally, the sun tended to be the domain of the gods, while the moon fell under the influence of the goddess. This may explain why the god dies during the darkest time of the year and then is reborn at Yule, when the light is beginning to return.

As with the goddess, some Witches call the god by one particular name, or many, or simply use “the god.” It is worth taking the time to explore the many myths and stories surrounding the Pagan gods. Not only are the stories interesting in their own right, but you never know when some god will pop out and call your name, informing you that from that time on, you may call him-and he will answer.

 

–Deborah Blake, Everyday Witch A to Z: An Amusing, Inspiring & Informative Guide to the Wonderful World of Witchcraft

 

The Pagan Calendar for November 9th to November 10th

Witchcraft

The Pagan Calendar for November 9th to November 10th

 

Khalkeia–Old Greek festival honoring Goddess Athena and God Hephaistos for their gifts of crafts and technology. [a/k/a Hephaistia]

 

About The Goddess Athena

Daughter of Zeus, and only by him, the Goddess Athena was not generated by any woman. She leaped from the head of Zeus, already adult, dressed with her armor. But the mother is not completely missing from the miraculous birth of Pallas Athena. According to Hesiod’s account of the weddings of Zeus, the King of the Gods chose Metis as his first wife. She was of all beings “the most knowing” (as the word metis is interpreted), or “of many counsels” as translated in the sense of the Homeric epithet polymetis. As she was about to give birth to the Goddess Athena, Zeus deceived his pregnant wife with cunning words and assimilated her into his own body. Mother Earth and Father Sky had advised him to do this so as to prevent any of his descendants from robbing him of his kingly rank. For it was destined that the most brilliant children were to be born to the Goddess Metis: first, the daughter Athena, and later a son, the future King of Gods and men. In the most ancient account, the Iliad, Athena is the Goddess of ferocious and implacable fight, but, wherever she can be found, she only is a warrior to defend the State and the native land against the enemies coming from outside. She is, above all, the Goddess of the City, the protectress of civilized life, of artesian activities, and of agriculture. She also invented the horse-bit, which, for the first time, tamed horses, allowing men to use them. She is the favorite daughter of Zeus; and that’s why he let her use his insignia: the terrible shield, the aegis and his devastating weapon, the ray. The most used expression to describe her is “the bright eyed”. She is the first of the three virgin Goddesses, also known as Maiden, Parthenos, and from this name was taken the name to the most important Temple dedicated to her, the Parthenon. In poetry she is the incarnation of Wisdom, Reason and Purity. Athens is her city; the olive tree, created by her, is her tree; the owl, is the birth consecrated to her.

 

About the God Hephaistos

Hephaistos was the Greek god of blacksmiths, sculptors, metallurgy, fire and volcanoes; thus, he is symbolized with a hammer, an anvil and a pair of tongs.

According to Homer’s epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey, he was the son of Zeus and Hera. However, Hesiod informs us that Hera bore Hephaistos alone. According to an account, after Hephaistos was born, Hera threw him from Olympus because he was crippled; he fell into the ocean and was raised by Thetis and Eurynome. Another myth has it that he once tried to protect his mother from Zeus’ advances and as a result, the father of the Gods flung him down from Olympus, which caused his physical disability; he fell on the island of Lemnos where he became a master craftsman. He was later accepted back to Olympus, and became the craftsman of the gods, creating majestic armors, shields and weapons.

He was married to Aphrodite; after he learned his wife had an affair with her brother, Ares, he devised a plan with which he humiliated both lovers to the other gods.

 

References:

The Shrine of the Goddess Athena

Greek Mythology

 

 

Let’s Talk Witch – Pantheon Pathways

witchcraft

Pantheon Pathways

 

As Witches, we often draw upon the mythology of many different lands to find the god and goddess figures that we identify with most strongly. And while this can vary greatly from Witch to Witch (like everything else we do-hey, at least we are not a bunch of boring conformists), many of us are drawn to the pantheons (from the Greek “temple of the gods,” meaning the officially recognized gods of a particular people) of the Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Celtic cultures, with a few Norse and Hindu gods thrown in for good measure.

It is interesting to see how much the gods from one culture resemble the gods in another. It makes sense, I suppose, when you consider that most Pagan peoples had the same interests as we do today: love, protection, prosperity, the moon, growing things, etc.

In addition, it is historically possible in many cases to follow the path that a god took from one culture to another. For instance, many of the Roman gods and goddesses were taken more or less directly from the Greeks who preceded them.

It is fine to focus on one pantheon or culture, but it is also okay to mix and match. The gods that want you will find you, that much is for sure.

 

 

Everyday Witch A to Z: An Amusing, Inspiring & Informative Guide to the Wonderful World of Witchcraft

Deborah Blake

 

Goddesses Who Can Assist You In Your Spellcrafting

Goddesses Who Can Assist You In Your Spellcrafting

Aphrodite: Greek; Goddess of passionate, sexual love. Aphrodite will assist you in pulling loving energy toward yourself.

Aradia: Italian; Queen of the Witches, daughter of Diana. Aradia is an extremely powerful entity and a protectress of Witches in general.

Artemis: Greek; Goddess of the Moon.

Astarte: Greek; Fertility Goddess. Whether you wish to bear children or have a magnificent garden, Astarte will assist in your desire.

Demeter: Greek; Earth Mother archetype. Excellent Goddess where birthing or small children are involved.

Diana: Roman; Moon Goddess and Goddess of the Hunt. Diana is many faceted. She is seductress (as she enchanted her brother Lucifer to beget Aradia in the form of a cat) as well as a mother figure for Witches.

Isis: Egyptia; represents the complete Goddess or the Triple Goddess connotation in one being.

Persephone: Greek; Goddess of the Underworld as well as Harvest. Daughter of Demeter.

Selene: Greek; Goddess of the Moon and Solutions. Appeal to Selene to bring a logical answer to any problem.

Venus: Roman; Goddess of Love and Romance

Lunabar Moon Almanack for Monday, 20 July, 2015

fc58b-wish-upon-a-harvest-moon

Lunabar Moon Almanack for Monday, 20 July, 2015

 

Waxing, Crescent Moon Age: days.

Ascending Node is at 4° Libra.

Moon in 14th degree of the Sign Virgo, the Virgin; also in 27th deg. of the Constellation Leo, the Lion. Moonrise: 10:16 morn. Souths: 4:40 eve. Moonset: 11:01 eve.

  • • • •

Waxing Crescent Moon

Time: From New Moon To Full (Approx. 14 Days)

Goddess Aspect: Maiden

Associated Goddesses: Artemis, Branwen, Eriu, Nymph, Epona

Magickal Attributes: Invoking Beginnings, New Projects, Ideas, Inspiriation, Energy, Vitality, Freedom. Workings On This Day Are For “Constructive” Magick (Love, Wealth, Success, Courage, Friendship, Luck Or Health.)

Perform magic on waxing moons to attract a new quality or behavior, to increase the light within, to attain personal and spiritual growth and greater awareness. The quarter moon suggests a period of overcoming obstacles and continuing on the path to growth.

Spells and rituals involving the Earth Element should be performed when the Moon is in an Earth sign: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn

Aspects of Virgo ~ Yin, Feminine, Lunar, Negative, Nocturnal, Earthy, Mutable, Barren, Horary Southern, Summery, Boreal, Commanding, Double, Double-Bodied, Dual, Bicorporeal, Human, Dry, Vocal, Cold

  • • • •

Moon Moon, Mother Moon Lunar Lore It is sure to be a dry moon if it lies on its back, so that you can hang your hat on its horns. ~ Welsh Border Saying. )0( Queen and Huntress, chaste and fair, Now the sun is laid to sleep, Seated in thy silver chair State in wonted manner keep Hesperus entreats thy light, Goddess excellently bright. ~ Ben Jonson, “Hymn to Diana.”

)0(

Moon changing in the morning indicates warm weather; in the evening, cold weather. ~ Collected in R. Inwards, “Weather Lore”.

  • • • •

Courtesy of GrannyMoonsMorningFeast

 

 

The Goddess Creed

The Goddess Creed

 

I believe in Goddess the Mother All Mighty
Creatrix of the heavens and earth
And in all women
Who were conceived of Her love
Born of our sacred mothers
Suffered under patriarchy
Were crucified, died, and were buried
We descended into the underworld
The third day we arose again
We integrated with our new selves
And we now sit with Goddess our Mother
And we judge no one
I believe in the Holy Mother
The maiden, mother, crone
Forgiveness toward others
The celebration of the body
And everlasting renewal of life
So Mote It Be
(c) 2008 Danu Gray Wolf

Goddess For Today: Thmei

4th of July Comments

Goddess For Today: Thmei
Independence Day (United States)

Themes   Freedom; Justice; Honor; Divination; Balance; Equality; Foresight; Morality
Symbols   Scales or Balanced Items:  Ostrich Feathers

About Thmei:  This Egyptian Goddess of Law and Mother of virtue watches over human conduct, looking for right action, wise decisions,
ethical dealings, and just outcomes.  On a broader scale, she also tends to matters of universal law, that we might learn its patterns, internalize
its ideals, and then use this awareness throughout the year.

In some instances, Thmei is considered a prophetic Goddess to call on in determining the outcome of any course of action, especially legal ones.
Egyptian art depicts Thmei bearing a single ostrich feather, the symbol of truth with self and others.

To Do Today:  Celebrate your personal independence, and break free from any constraints that seem unjust or
unethical, asking Thmei for the power and courage to endure. To make a Thmei charm that draws equity into all
your dealings, find a portable token that, to you, represents balance, harmony, and fairness.  Put this on your
bathroom scale, saying, Balance and harmony within this shrine, Thmei, make impartial dealings mine!
Carry this token with you, or leave it in the area where you feel inequity or discord exists.
)0(
By Patricia Telesco ~ From “365 Goddess” and GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast

 

Courtesy of GrannyMoonsMorningFeast

Deity of the Day for June 13th is Minerva Roman Goddess of Wisdom

Deity of the Day

Minerva

Roman Goddess of Wisdom

 

Areas of Influence: Minerva was the Goddess of wisdom and crafts.

Only in Rome was she worshiped as the Goddess of war.

This Goddess represented the application of intellect to everyday tasks. As the Goddess of wisdom she was accredited with inventing spinning, weaving, numbers and music. Her attributes were so numerous that Ovid described her as the “Goddess of a thousand works.”
She is also the patron of Goddess of medicine.

Origins and Genealogy: The name of this Goddess is said to be of Etruscan origin.

Her parents were Jupiter and Métis. Elements of the myths surrounding her birth however have been poached from Greek Goddess Athena, as she too is born fully grown, from her father’s head.

She was considered third among the Gods and Goddesses and was part of the Capitolian triad alongside Juna and Jupiter.

Strengths: Wisdom, creativity and strength.

Weaknesses: Out of touch with emotions.

Minerva’s Symbolism

The Roman Goddess of wisdom is depicted in full battle dress with a coat of mail, a helmet and a spear.

Sacred Animal/Insect: Owl and the spider.

Sacred Plants: Her sacred plants were the olive, mulberry and alder trees.

Festivals: The main festival celebrating this Goddess took place March 19th – 23rd.

A smaller festival occurred later in the year on the 13th of June.

Greek Equivalent: Athena

Minerva’s Archetypes

The Teacher/ Inventor:

The Teacher and Inventor communicates knowledge, experience and wisdom.

In it’s shadow aspect, the Teacher may manipulate and mislead their students by indoctrinating them with negative beliefs and destructive behaviours.

This is Minerva’s primary Archetype as she teaches humans how to spin and weave. She is also accredited in Roman mythology for inventing numbers and medicine.

The Warrior:

Archetype represents physical strength, and the ability to protect and fight for your rights and those of of others.

The shadow side of the Warrior reflects the need to win at all costs, abandoning ethical principles to prove your supremacy.

Although Roman mythology borrows heavily from it’s Greek counterparts, it is only in Rome that Minerva is worshipped as the Goddess of war, despite always being depicted in full battle dress. This is why I have ranked this Archetype as only of secondary importance for this Goddess.

How To Work With These Archetypes

The Teacher/Inventor:

This Archetype may suggest a love of passing on wisdom and learning to others.

This Goddess wise counsel can also be called upon to help you see a way through any present difficulties or to help you to master a new skill.

The shadow aspect of this stereo type is also a reminder that whenever we find ourselves in a teaching or mentoring role we must aim to be a positive role model, encouraging others to reach their full potential.

The Warrior:

If you are drawn to work with this Goddess you may require her Warrior spirit to help you to stand up for your rights and set firm personnal boundries. This Goddess can be a great stereotype to work with if you want to take control in your life, and wish to no longer play the role of the victim.

You may also wish to call upon this Goddess to champion the cause of others.

Conversely this Goddess may appeal to you if you have a very strong sense of self and are proud of the victories you have achieved. The shadow side may be asking you to reflect honestly on the cost of these victories. Have they been at the expense of others or your principals?

 

 

Source:

The Goddess-Guide.com

The Witches Magick for the First Day of the Hare Moon – Hare Moon Ritual

Beltane Comments & Graphics

 Hare Moon Ritual

 

The Hare Moon is when the Goddess grants the earth unlimited fertility. It is a time of great productivity when you weed out the parasites in your life. In modern mythology, the hare has shape shifted into the Easter bunny, which brings eggs to children. Like the rabbit, the egg is a traditional symbol of fertility. Use this ritual to manifest five personal dreams.

For this ritual, you will need five green candles, five yellow flowers, and five dreams that you would like to come true. Write the dreams down in your journal.

At 5:55 p.m., draw a magick circle, call in the elements and light the green candles, dedicating them to the three faces of the Goddess:

Child, Mother, Grandmother,

Each a fertile part of life,

To the Goddesses of eternal creation,

I give to you this light.

Place the five yellow flowers on your altar, and in a loud voice declare:

Oh great and mighty one,

Let me flower with your fluorescence

Let me glow with your divine light

Like a bright star in the night.

Call out the name of your favorite goddess five times, one for each of your dreams. Finish by shouting:

Ayea! Ayea! Ayea! Ayea! Ayea!

Thank the Goddess, bid farewell to the elements, and close the circle. Allow the candles to burn down safely.

Wiccan Spell A Night: Spells, Charms, Potions for the Whole Year

Sirona Knight

Beltane Lore & Rites

by Selena Fox

DSC 2730-smallAlso known as May Eve, May Day, and Walpurgis Night, happens at the beginning of May. It celebrates the height of Spring and the flowering of life. The Goddess manifests as the May Queen and Flora. The God emerges as the May King and Jack in the Green. The danced Maypole represents Their unity, with the pole itself being the God and the ribbons that encompass it, the Goddess. Colors are the Rainbow spectrum. Beltane is a festival of flowers, fertility, sensuality, and delight.

Celebrating Beltane Podcasts

 

Beltane Chants

 

Beltane Customs

Prepare a May basket by filling it with flowers and goodwill and then give it to someone in need of healing and caring, such as a shut-in or elderly friend. Form a wreath of freshly picked flowers, wear it in your hair, and feel yourself radiating joy and beauty. Dress in bright colors. Dance the Maypole and feel yourself balancing the Divine Female and Male within. On May Eve, bless your garden in the old way by making love with your lover in it. Make a wish as you jump a bonfire or candle flame for good luck. Welcome in the May at dawn with singing and dancing.

Going A-Maying & Bringing in the May — Merry-making and Nature communion. * Midpoint between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice. * In Pagan Rome, Floralia, from April 27-May 3 was the festival of the Flower Goddess Flora and the flowering of Springtime. On May 1, offerings were made to Bona Dea (as Mother Earth), the Lares (household guardian spirits), and Maia (Goddess of Increase) from whom May gets its name. * Roman Catholic traditions of crowning statues of Mary with flowers on May 1 have Roman Pagan roots. * Marks the second half of the Celtic Year; one of the four Celtic Fire Festivals. Complement to Samhain, it is a time of divination and communion with Fairy Folk/Nature Spirits. * Pastoral tradition of turning sheep, cows, other livestock out to pasture. * In Pagan Scandinavia, mock battles between Winter and Summer were enacted at this time. * Building on older tradition of this time being a holiday for the masses, in the twentieth century, May Day has been a workers’ holiday in many places. * Some say that Mother’s Day, in the USA, Mexico, and elsewhere has Pagan roots.

 

DSC 2542-smallMaypole

Forms include pole, tree, bush, cross; communal or household; permanent or annual. * In Germany, Fir tree was cut on May Eve by young unmarried men, branches removed, decorated, put up in village square, & guarded all night until dance occurred on May Day. * In England, permanent Maypoles were erected on village greens * In some villages, there also were smaller Maypoles in the yards of households. * Maypole ribbondances, with two circles interweaving; around decorated bush/tree, clockwise circle dances.

 

Flowers & Greenwood

Gathering and exchange of Flowers and Greens on May Eve, pre-dawn May Day, Beltane. * Decorating homes, barns, and other buildings with Green budding branches, including Hawthorn. * Making and wearing of garland wreaths of Flowers and/or Greens. * May Baskets were given or placed secretly on doorsteps to friends, shut-ins, lovers, others. * May Bowl was punch (wine or non-alcoholic) made of Sweet Woodruff blossoms.

 

DSC 2841-smallBeltane Fires

Traditionally, sacred woods kindled by spark from flint or by friction — in Irish Gaelic, the Beltane Fire has been called teine eigin (fire from rubbing sticks). * Jump over the Beltane Fire, move through it, or dance clockwise around it. * Livestock was driven through it or between two fires for purification and fertility blessings. * In ancient times Druid priests kindled it at sacred places; later times, Christian priests kindled it in fields near the church after peforming a Christian church service. * Rowan twigs were carried around the fire three times, then hung over hearths to bless homes. * In the past, Beltane community fire purification customs included symbolic sacrifice of effigy knobs on the Beltane Cake (of barley) to the fire, or, in medieval times, mock sacrifice of Beltane Carline (Hag) who received blackened piece of Beltane Cake; Maypoles in Spain were each topped with a male effigy which was later burned. Contemporary Pagans burn sacred wood and dried herbs as offerings in their Beltane fires.

 

May Waters

Rolling in May Eve dew or washing face in pre-dawn May Day dew for health, luck, beauty. * Getting head and hair wet in Beltane rain to bless the head. * Blessing springs, ponds, other sacred waters with flowers, garlands, ribbons, other offerings. * Collecting sacred waters and scrying in sacred springs, wells, ponds, other waters.

 

Sacred Union & Fertility

Union with the Land focus, often with actual mating outside on the Land to bless fields, herds, home. * May Queen (May Bride) as personification of the Earth Goddess and Goddesses of Fertility. * May King (May Groom) as personification of Vegetation God, Jack-in-Green — often covered in green leaves. * At Circle Sanctuary, in addition to May Queen & May King, is May Spirit Couple, an already bonded pair. * Symbolic Union of Goddess and God in election/selection, crowning, processional, Maypole dance, feast. * Morris Dancers and pageants (with Hag & Jack-in-Green) to awaken the fertility in the Land.

A Few Idea for Celebrating Samhain

Samhain/Halloween October 31st.

All Souls Night, Feast of the Dead, Festival of Remembrance, Feast of Apples, New Year…

Samhain is one of the major festivals of the Wheel of the Year, for many Pagans the most important festival of all. It is the third and final harvest festival of nuts and berries and a fire festival. All the harvest is in, all is complete, it is the end of the cycle of birth and growth, it is the point of death. The seeds of the harvest have fallen deep into the dark earth, they are unseen, dormant, and thus apparently lifeless.

The God, as Sun King is sacrificed back to the land with the seed until the Winter Solstice, and the Goddess, now as Crone, mourns Him until His rebirth at Yule. He travels the Underworld learning its wisdom. This is the time of the descent into darkness, of pre-conception, out of which new life, new ideas, will eventually emerge.

Traditionally the veils between the worlds are at their thinnest now. Boundaries dissolve and all is laid bare. It is time to honour and offer hospitality to, our ancestors.

At Samhain the dark half of the year commences. It is a truly magical time. Death is always followed by rebirth and while this is the end of the old year, it is the beginning of the new year. For the Celts the day did not begin at dawn, it began at sunset, it began with darkness. Light is always born out of darkness, they are inseparable, interdependent, and necessary. Darkness is fertile with ‘all potential’. With the beginning of this dark phase comes the opportunity to rest and reflect on the past and to dream of new beginnings. The seed now hidden in the earth will germinate in its season. Look for the seeds in yourself!

Honouring The Ancestors

Honouring your ancestors is a very special thing to do at this time and can be done in many simple ways. Think about all those departed souls from your life, both family and friends, children may wish to remember pets even – place photographs of them on your altar. Offer them your hospitality, welcome their presence into your home. At your Samhain feast, consider laying an extra place for them to join you at the table – cook and eat their favourite dishes, talk about them – re-member them, bring them closer. You and your children can make an offering for departed pets by leaving some dog food outside on Halloween night, many night creatures appreciate this offering.  Be careful what you put outside – we used to put out bread and milk but are dismayed to find that this is fatal to hedgehogs – and we lovehedgehogs!

Candle Ceremony for The Ancestors

This is a wonderfully simple ritual which can be shared with both friends and family, or worked alone. You can include children in it – it begins in darkness and ends full of light.

It’s a great balance to trick or treating!

You will need a supply of small candles, either black or white, or a supply of night lights. You need a heat proof container or tray of sand or earth to put them in. Place one in the centre of the container from which all the others will be lit. Switch off all the lights and sit gently in thedarkness. Allow the darkness to enfold you. Ask for the presence of your ancestors to come to you. When you are ready, light the central candle saying “We welcome our departed loved ones into this home and honour your presence amongst us”. Allow each person in the circle to spontaneously remember someone who has passed to the Summerlands and remember something about them and light a candle for each person from the central candle: ‘I remember Great Aunt Sheila and her generosity of heart….’. Allow this to continue for as long as it takes to complete the re-membering. You will end with a tray full of radiant candles. When all is complete, give thanks, and allow the candles to burn to completion.

 

Seed Scattering Charm for the Ancestors

 

This simple charm is designed to honour the Spirit of those who have passed onto the Summerland. The seeds you scatter will grow in memory, a gift of remembrance to the Earth.

You will need:

A packet of seeds of your choice

A small dish

A small white candle in a suitable holder

A pouch or bag for your seeds

The night before your Seed Scattering Charm, pop the seeds into the dish and light the candle. Think about the person or people you wish to honour and remember, and as you do so say ‘gone from sight but not from the heart. Merry Meet Merry Part.’ Or you can use your own words. Leave the seeds in the dish overnight and let the candle burn down completely – always taking safety precautions. When you are ready place the seeds in your pouch and hold the pouch in your right hand on the way to a place of your choosing. On arrival take the seeds and scatter them, saying ‘You are remembered and held in my heart’. Repeat three times.

Where to do this? You can go to a favourite special place of your choice, a place that holds fond memories of the people you are honouring, or even your own garden – the idea of watching the seeds germinating and growing in honour of people you love is very special. The charm works just as well if you plant the seeds in a small pot.

This charm works very well as an offering of thanks to Spirit of Place. The instructions are exactly the same, except that when you prepare the seeds the night before the words are ‘ I give thanks for your beauty, it warms my heart. Merry Meet Merry Part.’

Charm donated with generous heart by the Counter Enchantress.

The Isle of Avalon, Isle of Apples, Isle of the Dead.

Glastonbury, where we are based, is also known as the Sacred Isle of Avalon, or Isle of Apples, and also the Isle of the Dead.

In mythology, here the entrance to the Underworld is found, ruled by Morgan, Queen of the Dead. There are many apple games played at Samhain which grew out of the belief in the Apple as a sacred and magical fruit. The Apple is a symbol of life and immortality. In Celtic tradition, apples were buried at Samhain as food for those souls who are waiting to be reborn.
The Apple, cut crosswise, reveals the five pointed star, or pentacle at its core, a symbol of the Goddess.

Symbols of Samhain

The Pumpkin

Pumpkins are very much an American tradition which has been successfully marketed in the UK and Europe. Everyone loves them, especially of course, children. If you consider that the Celts regarded the human head as the Seat of the Soul, the concept of the carved pumpkin with a candle inside it as the Light shining from the Soul, it becomes just about acceptable……..

The Cauldron

The Cauldron or Holy Grail is closely associated with Samhain. It is feminine, and is the cosmic container for all life and death, of transformation and rebirth.

The Besom Broom

The besom is used as this time both practically and symbolically. It sweeps away the last of the Autumn leaves, but is also used ritually to sweep out the old, to clean and clear away old energy, creating space for the new. Traditionally besoms are made from birch twigs – the birch is associated with purification and renewal.

You can make a besom at this time of year by gathering a large bundle of birch twigs tied together. Drive a broom handle into the middle of the bundle – ideally hazel or ash.

Acorns

The Acorn is the seed of the great Oak, representing wisdom, longevity, rebirth – a promise of strength to come. An acorn in your pocket is an amulet of good fortune to come. All nuts from our indigenous trees – walnuts, hazelnuts, conkers and so on – are pure potential and carry the attributes of the mother tree.

Colours of Samhain

Black for death and endings, orange for the vitality of life within death, purple for wisdom, insight and inspiration.

The Samhain Altar

A cauldron. Apples, nuts and berries. Black candles to honour the passage to the Summerland and the Ancestors. Photographs of deceased family and friends.



Buttermilk Bread Charm for Samhain.

You will need:

3 mugs of strong white flour

500 ml of Buttermilk (available from the supermarket)

I teaspoonful of bicarbonate of soda

Samhain ribbon in black or purple.

A handful of rye flour

A scattering of oats

twig of rosemary for remembrance

Place the flours in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre. Sieve in the blended salt and soda and pour in the buttermilk. Mix well with a wooden spoon until the dough feels springy. If it feels too sloppy just add a little more flour. Turn it onto a board and cover with a fine dusting of flour. Pat it with your hands until you have a round shape. Take a sharp knife and score lightly into eight sections, one for each festival. Our picture shows the bread scored five times to make a pentacle.

Place onto a greased baking tray and pop your buttermilk bread into a moderate oven for about 20-25 minutes. Keep and eye on it. When the bread is ready it will change colour and it will sound hollow when you tap the bottom. Cool completely on a wire rack. When it is cool, place the rosemary on top and tie it with Samhain ribbon.

Take time to concentrate on the bread you have created and turn the loaf three times saying

“From the fields and through the stones, into fire, Samhain Bread, as the Wheel turns may all be fed. Goddess Bless.”

Now take your bread and share it with your family and friends and pass on the generous blessings of this festival of completion and beginning. Eat it fresh, as soon as it is made if you can.

Recipe donated by the Counter Enchantress. Adapted by the Boss Lady with permission.

The Counter Enchantress is discovering that you can add almost anything appropriate to this simple bread recipe and it STILL WORKS beautifully. You can decide for yourself what the appropriate additions are for a particular festival, in this case rye flour. oats and rosemary, and just do it. There is much kitchen magic in working with one recipe through the Wheel of the Year just changing it a little as the wheel turns…..


Honour the ancestors, have fun and enjoy………..

All information offered is checked to the best of our ability, and whilst every effort has been made to make it accurate, no responsibility will be accepted for errors and omissions.

Any information displayed on our web site(s) or other printed matter from the shop is not regarded to be authoritative or certified as the best practice and is only considered to be useful supplementary advice to other certified codes of practice. All information on our web site is updated regularly. From: http://www.goddessandgreenman.co.uk/samhain

A Few Ideas for Celebrating Beltane

Beltane April 30th – May 1st

Sunset to Sunset.

Beltane honours Life. It represents the peak of Spring and the beginning of Summer. Earth energies are at their strongest and most active. All of life is bursting with potent fertility and at this point in the Wheel of the Year, the potential becomes conception. On May Eve the sexuality of life and the earth is at its peak. Abundant fertility, on all levels, is the central theme. The Maiden goddess has reached her fullness. She is the manifestation of growth and renewal, Flora, the Goddess of Spring, the May Queen, the May Bride. The Young Oak King, as Jack-In-The-Green, as the Green Man, falls in love with her and wins her hand. The union is consummated and the May Queen becomes pregnant. Together the May Queen and the May King are symbols of the Sacred Marriage (or Heiros Gamos), the union of Earth and Sky, and this union has merrily been re-enacted by humans throughout the centuries. For this is the night of the Greenwood Marriage. It is about sexuality and sensuality, passion, vitality and joy. And about conception. A brilliant moment in the Wheel of the Year to bring ideas, hopes and dreams into action. And have some fun…..

Traditions of Beltane

Beltane is a Fire Festival. The word ‘Beltane’ originates from the Celtic God ‘Bel’, meaning ‘the bright one’ and the Gaelic word ‘teine’ meaning fire. Together they make ‘Bright Fire’, or ‘Goodly Fire’ and traditionally bonfires were lit to honour the Sun and encourage the support of Bel and the Sun’s light to nurture the emerging future harvest and protect the community. Bel had to be won over through human effort. Traditionally all fires in the community were put out and a special fire was kindled for Beltane. “This was the Tein-eigen, the need fire. People jumped the fire to purify, cleanse and to bring fertility. Couples jumped the fire together to pledge themselves to each other. Cattle and other animals were driven through the smoke as a protection from disease and to bring fertility. At the end of the evening, the villagers would take some of the Teineigen to start their fires anew.” (From Sacred Celebrations by Glennie Kindred) Green Man – Beltane

Handfasting

As Beltane is the Great Wedding of the Goddess and the God, it is a popular time for pagan weddings or Handfastings, a traditional betrothal for ‘a year and a day’ after which the couple would either choose to stay together or part without recrimination. Today, the length of commitment is a matter of choice for the couple, and can often be for life. Handfasting ceremonies are often unique to the couple, but include common elements, most importantly the exchange of vows and rings (or a token of their choice). The act of handfasting always involves tying the hands Handfasting(‘tying the knot’) of the two people involved, in a figure of eight, at some point in the ceremony and later unbinding. This is done with a red cord or ribbon. Tying the hands together symbolises that the two people have come together and the untying means that they remain together of their own free will.

Another common element is ‘jumping the broomstick’ – this goes back to a time when two people who could not afford a church ceremony, or want one, would be accepted in the community as a married couple if they literally jumped over a broom laid on the floor. The broom marked a ‘threshold’, moving from an old life to a new one.

Mead and cakes are often shared in communion as part of the ceremony. Mead is known as the Brew of the Divine, made from honey which is appropriate for a love ceremony (and is the oldest alcoholic drink known to humankind).

 

 

 

Going A-Maying

Handfasting or not, both young and old went A-Maying… Couples spent the night in the woods and fields, made love and brought back armfuls of the first May or haw thorn blossoms to decorate their homes and barns. Hawthorn was never brought into the home except at Beltane – at other times it was considered unlucky. Young women gathered the dew to wash their faces, made Flower Crowns and May B askets to give as gifts. Everyone was free to enact the Sacred Marriage of Goddess and God, and there was an accepted tradition of Beltane babies arriving nine months later!

 

 

 

Maypole

The Maypole is a popular and familiar image of May Day and Beltane. A phallic pole, often made from birch, was inserted into the Earth representing the potency of the God. The ring of flowers at the top of the Maypole represents the fertile Goddess. Its many coloured ribbons and the ensuing weaving dance symbolise the spiral of Life and the union of the Goddess and God, the union between Earth and Sky.

Trees of Beltane

Hawthorn

Hawthorn is a deeply magical tree and is one of the three trees at the heart of the Celtic Tree Alphabet, the Faery Triad, ‘by Oak, Ash and Thorn’. Traditionally Beltane began when the Hawthorn, the May, blossomed. It is the tree of sexuality and fertility and is the classic flower to decorate a Maypole with. It was both worn and used to decorate the home at Beltane.

Birch

Birch is regarded as a feminine tree and Deities associated with Birch are mostly love and fertility goddesses. It is one of the first trees to show its leaf in Spring. Eostre/Ostara, the Celtic goddess of Spring was celebrated in festivities and dancing around and through the birch tree between the Spring Equinox and Beltane. Birch twigs were traditionally used to make besoms (a new broom sweeps clean). Maypoles were often made from birch and birch wreaths were given as lover’s gifts.

Rowan

A tree of protection and healing. Branches of Rowan were placed as protection over the doors of houses and barns at Beltane to protect from increased Faery activity as they woke from their winter slumber. Sprigs were worn for protection also. Rowan berries have a tiny five-pointed star on the bottom reminiscent of the pentagram.
Colours of Beltane

The colours of Beltane are green, red and white/silver. Green represents growth, abundance and fertility. Red represents strength, vitality, passion and vibrancy. White represents cleansing and clearing and the power to disperse negativity.

Nana Violet’s Egg Charm For Beltane.

Think carefully what you wish for! The general rule of thumb is a brown egg for wishes involving animals and white for wishes involving people and plants, for example healing a sick animal, person or plant. Eggs with white shells are difficult to come by now as chickens are generally given feed which produces the desired brown shell, but in recent years some of the supermarkets are making white eggs available at this time of year so they are worth looking out for.

1. Blow the egg. Using a fat needle, pierce a hole in both ends of the egg, making one hole larger than the other. Using the needle pierce the egg yolk gently and swirl it around to break up the yolk. Place a small drinking straw in one end and gently blow through the other hole to help gravity do its work.

2. Paint Your Egg Talisman. When your egg has thoroughly dried out place it on top of a little mound of blue tack to hold it in place and you are ready to go! Choose a symbol to represent your wish – a heart for love, coin for prosperity, a candle for wisdom, whatever is meaningful for you. Or you can paint the whole egg in a corresponding colour – red for love, green for prosperity, purple for wisdom and so on. Another way to do it is to stick rose petals on for love, or feathers for fertility – again it is what is meaningful to you that is important.

3. When it is ready find a suitable place for it and prepare for it for hanging by threading a thin thread (embroidery thread, thin wool) through the two holes and secure it with a large knot, a bead, or even a matchstick at the bottom to hold it steady.

4. Clear your mind and focus on your desire for abundance/fruitfulness and its place in your life:

‘Little charm made of shell as I hang you here may all be well. May all things grow. May all things flow. Blessings for the turning of the Wheel.”

Use these words or any others that you are comfortable with – remember this is all about your intention.

Egg charm donated by our Counter Enchantress from her own family traditions.

Making a Wish Box Charm

Beltane is a good time for bringing hopes, dreams and aspirations to life, and here is a truly beautiful charm to help you bring these into manifestation.

You will need:

A small shallow cardboard box. Shoe boxes are good.
Rose petals
Sunflower seeds and/or poppy seeds
Paper
A piece of willow bark or piece of willow, an acorn or oak leaf
Something that represents your wish (see below)
Take a piece of paper and write your wish on it while visualizing your wish coming to life and growing. You can do this alone, with friends, or as a family. If you want to, decorate the lid of the box, with a triple moon, pentacle, heart, or any symbol of your choice. Poke a few holes in the lid – this will help your wish/plants, to grow. Take your box and sprinkle some earth into it. Put in your paper wishes, wish symbol (see below), and seeds/bark/acorn. Cover with another layer of earth. Mix the rose petals with the seeds and scatter them on top. Cover with a final layer of earth and place the lid on top, leaving enough of the rose petal/seed mixture to scatter on top of the box when you are planting it.

Planting Your Wish Box

The best time for planting your Wish Box is just after a fresh cleansing rainfall as this gives you a bright new start, but if the season is dry just give the earth a good watering the night before. Dig a hole two inches deeper than your wish box and lower it into the earth carefully while concentrating on your chosen wish, visualizing it coming to fruition. Imagine your wish growing with the flowers reaching skyward. As you cover the box with earth say:

“Dream that lies within the earth awaken now. Hope that sleeps awaken now. The stars await as so do I. Grow true, grow strong, toward the sky.”

If you don’t have a garden you can make a mini wish pot that can live on a window ledge and it works just as well. Just replace the box with a terracotta pot – one wish and one symbol per pot following exactly the same instructions as above. Remember that wishes are only to be used for positive motives.

Suggested Symbols For Your Wish Box:

Love & Marriage – gingerbread
New Job – copper coin
Abundance – silver coin
Difficult Task – glove
Hearth & Home – thimble
Seeking the Truth – sprig of rosemary
Health, Healing, Renewed Strength – blue & green ribbon entwined
Happiness, Good Luck – cinnamon stick
Seeking Knowledge – apple
To Find A Lost Item – feather
Protection – key (an old iron key is best if you have one)

Charm donated by our Counter Enchantress from her own family traditions.

Beltane Bread As Only Debs Knows How

You will need:

3 mugs of strong white flour
500 mls of buttermilk
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3 tbs clear honey
3 tbs golden syrup
1 pack dried strawberries
3 drops vanilla essence
1 small beaten egg for glazing
soft brown sugar for sprinkling
Place the strawberries and flour in a large bowl.  Make a well in the centre and pour in the buttermilk, blended golden syrup, honey and vanilla essence together with a wooden spoon – or your hands if that is better.  As you mix, feel the pulsing vibrant Beltane energy and let it run through your hands and out through your fingertips.  And as you mix, say:
 
‘As we light the Beltane flame, I make this bread in Love’s sweet name.
Two halves together bound as one, Beltane’s dance has now begun!’
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and pat it into a circle.  With a sharp knife lightly score the bread into two halves to represent The Lord and Lady.  Glaze with beaten egg and sprinkle sugar over the top.  Bake in a moderate oven for about 20-25 minutes.  When the bread is cooled break it into two halves along the score mark.  Repeat the words of the charm and tie with purple ribbon.  Purple represents the union of red (love in all its forms) and blue (unity and harmony).  Enjoy.  Brightest Blessings.  Debs.

Things To Do

Whatever you do, remember this is the Great Wedding! Dress in your best, especially in green, and wear a flower crown.

Stay out all night, gathering the green, watch the sunrise and make love. Wash your face in the morning dew.

Conceive a new project, grasp that idea, and get on with it.

Dress your home and/or altar with greenery – especially with hawthorn, rowan and birch branches. Ask permission from the tree before you take anything.

Dress a tree. This is the perfect time to go out and celebrate a tree. Especially a hawthorn, rowan or birch – but the tree spirit will welcome you attention whichever kind of tree it is. Sit with it, talk to it, dance around it (maypole), honour the tree and its fertility. Hang ribbons from its branches, each ribbon represents a wish or prayer.

Flowers, flowers and more flowers. This is the festival of Flora. Make a flower crown to wear – the daisy chain in the simplest of all. Make a traditional flower basket. fill it with Beltane greenery and all the flowers and herbs you can find. Think about, and honour, their magical and healing properties while you do so. Give it someone you love.

Make some Hawthorn Brandy. You will need a bottle of brandy and at least one cup of hawthorn flowers, plus a little sugar to taste. Mix the ingredients together and leave away from direct light, for at least two weeks. Shake occasionally. Strain, bottle and enjoy. Hawthorn is renowned as a tonic for the heart.

Above all, have fun!

ll information offered is checked to the best of our ability, and whilst every effort has been made to make it accurate, no responsibility will be accepted for errors and omissions.

Any information displayed on our web site(s) or other printed matter from the shop is not regarded to be authoritative or certified as the best practice and is only considered to be useful supplementary advice to other certified codes of practice. All information on our web site is updated regularly. From : http://www.goddessandgreenman.co.uk/beltane

A Little Humor for Your Day – The Cats’ Creation Story

The Cats’ Creation Story

On the first day of creation, Goddess created the cat.

On the second day, Goddess created humans to serve the cat.

On the third, Goddess created all the animals of the earth to serve as potential food for the cat.

On the fourth day, Goddess created toil so that humans could labor for the good of the cat.

On the fifth day, Goddess created the sparkle ball so that the cat might or might not play with it.

On the sixth day, Goddess created veterinary science to keep the cat healthy and their humans broke.

On the seventh day, Goddess tried to rest, but He had to scoop the litterbox.

 

Source:

Turok’s Cabana