One last thought


Mabon Comments & Graphics

We were talking about our basic beliefs in our different traditions. When we got right down to it, we all believed in the Ways of Old. There is that basic teaching in all of us. We were all taught Mabon/Fall Equinox was celebrated on September 21st.

It seems like now days our celebration of Mabon has changed. Who changed it and why? I know every time a Sabbat comes up, you hear the same thing from me. I am also defending why we celebrate our Sabbats on a certain day. We celebrate them on the dates our ancestors celebrated them. This is our core belief.

Why someone who didn’t know a thing about our practices or religion would go and change our holiest of days, is beyond me. These individuals have us celebrating Mabon anywhere from September 21 to September 23. It seems someone has tampered with our celebrations. I have my own opinion on the matter but we won’t get into that. Our point is simple, these people knew nothing about our religious belief or practices. Since they knew nothing, they should have left all our Sabbats alone. I don’t see any practitioners trying to tell other dominations when to celebrate Easter or Christmas. Do you?

All we want is for our celebrations of the Sabbats to be left alone. For us to return to the Ways of Old. The ancient ones founded our religion and we have to maintain their practices. It is passed down from generation to generation. Our beliefs are our own. No one has the right to meddle in our affairs, let alone our religious practices.

I know it has to be confusing to those new to the Craft. Just think how we feel when we are celebrating our Sabbats on their appropriate date and every where you turn, you are getting a different date to celebrate.

It is a known fact, that certain groups have tried to destroy our religion and beliefs. They have meddled in our practices for centuries. They have lied on us, twisted our practices, and even went so far to kill those who would not back down from their faith and their Goddess.

We must and we shall rewrite our history. That is why it is so very important that we continue to spread our word and our beliefs. We have to bring the Craft back to its rightful place in mainstream religion. Only then, will the truth about us be known. Most importantly, we will write our own history. Who better to do it than those who know it.

I am sorry I had to get off on this subject but I don’t appreciate people meddling in our affairs. We are very tolerant of other religions. We respect other religions. We would never consider doing some of the things that have been done to our beliefs. All we want is to be able to tell the truth about witches & witchcraft and correct the mistakes that have been taught about us.

We hope you have a very blessed Mabon,
Till tomorrow,
Love & Hugs,
Lady of the Abyss & The WOTC Staff

Advertisements

Being An Upside Down Witch – for those Living in the Southern Hemisphere

Goddess Pages
British spiritual magazine

Living in Australia – or anywhere in the southern hemisphere for that matter – can be a little confusing for a witch. All the books about magic print elemental correspondences that are back to front (the fire of the sun is certainly not in the south down here!), and list dates for the sabbats that bear no relation to the actual cycle of our seasons. I’ve met a surprising number of people from the US and UK who didn’t realise that our seasons are six months behind (or ahead, depending on how you look at it) the northern ones. Our Midsummer falls around December 20-23, when the north is blanketed in snow, while our winter solstice falls around June 20-23, the height of summer up there.
Perhaps long ago we may have followed the oft-printed dates and celebrated these rituals along with our northern friends, linking up psychically in December to celebrate Yule and welcome the birth of the sun god, even as here he was about to start fading as summer reached its peak, or doing autumn rituals of harvest and release while our land was quickening with the new growth of spring.
But I don’t know of a single southern witch who follows the northern model. At coven rituals, open celebrations and alone at home, groups and solitary practitioners follow our own seasonal cycle, because paganism and goddess worship are intimately attuned to the heartbeat of the planet and the seasons, and these festivals are prescribed by the movement of the earth in relation to the sun, not a fixed date on a modern calendar. The land, as the embodiment of the goddess, speaks to all of us, and the goddess path is about learning to hear this language of nature, to sense the movement and emotional shifts as the earth moves through its cycles, and feel the rhythm of its turning. And so a spring fertility festival will be marked in spring, when the planet is alive with new life and energy, regardless of what is happening on that day in the other hemisphere.
There has been mention in these pages that it is wrong to import “northern” festivals to the southern lands. But celebrating the beauty and bounty of nature and the dance of the seasons is not anyone’s exclusive right. Maybe people in the Celtic lands can feel historically possessive of the names themselves (Lughnasadh, Beltane), but they have no ownership of the winter solstice or the first day of spring, and this is what these festivals are.
The Wheel of the Year reflects the constant universal cycle of life, death and rebirth. Mythologically it is tied to the story of the god and goddess as she shifts from young lover to mother to crone, and he is born, grows in power, sacrifices himself then is reborn, but literally it refers to the changing seasons – the fertility and vibrant life force of summer, the balance and harvest of autumn, the introspection and endings (death) of winter, and the rebirth of spring. Being in the southern hemisphere doesn’t necessarily change this seasonal pattern, it merely shifts the dates. There are parts of Australia such as the Red Centre – and parts of the northern hemisphere too – where the seasons don’t play out in a standard, balanced rhythm through summer, autumn, winter and spring. Some places experience just two main seasons, wet and dry, yet even there the people living in harmony with the land are able to feel the earth as it surges with new life, grows, becomes ready for harvest then withdraws its energy within the earth again, and celebrate their own personal Wheel that reflects their reality.
But in much of the coastal region of the country, where around eighty per cent of the population is based, the seasons do follow a regular pattern, and many witches celebrate the traditional Wheel of the Year, moved forward six months to reflect their personal experience. Of course it can seem a little strange and out of whack sometimes, because the Christians hijacked so many of the magical sabbats and they have become such a part of western life. So how and when do we celebrate the turning points of the witches’ year Down Under, and how do we deal with the inconsistencies of modern festivities?

The Summer Solstice
As the western world gears up for Christmas and northern witches mark Yule, in the southern hemisphere we are celebrating the summer solstice. In 2008 this fell on December 21, and in 2009 it will fall on December 22. This is Midsummer Day, when the sun reaches its southernmost latitude before it turns and heads back towards the north. In some ways it would be easier to celebrate Yule during this festive season, as our northern hemisphere counterparts do, when everyone is feasting, exchanging gifts and acknowledging the birth of the son of God – or the sun god. But Down Under this is the longest, not shortest, day of the year. The sun is strong (some would say merciless), and the energy is fast and active. It’s a time of abundance, achievement and culmination. Despite the snow-covered decorations, men sweating in Santa suits and hot roast dinners – a legacy of our ancestors – on this day we absorb the solar energy, feast on luscious summer fruits, give thanks for the goals we’ve reached and revel in the strength and heat of the long day of sunshine and the power of the sun god.
Sometimes I go to the beach at dawn and watch the sun rise over the ocean, or climb the hill in the park near my house at sunset, farewelling it as it begins its journey back to northern parts, and its energy starts to wane from this day forward as it begins its descent into the dark half of the year. Sometimes I do a formal ritual with a group, or have a feast of celebration with my magical friends, wrapping pots of sunshiney flowers and summer herbs in gold and red velvet as gifts, and breathe in the scent of orange blossoms, lavender and rosemary. I celebrate Christmas with my family too, but I see no conflict here, as the modern version has little to do with the real Yule in intent or meaning, and I’m quite happy to honour the power of the summer solstice and then a few days later enjoy the spirit of giving of the festive season.

Lughnasadh
In the first week of February we celebrate Lughnasadh, the cross-quarter day that marks the end of summer and the first day of autumn, although where I live it will still be hot and fiery for some time to come. In the north it’s Imbolc, linked to fertility, love and Valentine’s Day, but down here it’s the opposite. The earth is still throbbing with life and energy, but it’s mature, fully ripened and almost over-abundant. This is the first harvest festival, and fruit picking becomes a popular form of employment for many travellers, with farms all over the country taking on seasonal workers. The grape harvest begins, to make the wine that is now internationally renowned, and an abundance of other delicious fruits and vegetables, as well as golden wheat and other cereal crops, are also picked at this time.
As well as a time of feasting and of thanksgiving for the life-giving properties of our crops, and recognition of the cycle of sowing and reaping, Lughnasadh is also about the symbolic things we grow and create in our life. It’s a day of harvesting the fruits of our labours and acknowledging our successes and what we’ve achieved in the past year. A month after New Year’s resolutions are made, it seems a good time to take stock. On this day I perform a ritual to celebrate and acknowledge the goals I’ve reached, making a list of all the things I’ve gained – the gifts I’ve been given, the new talents I’ve developed, the friends I’ve made, the experiences I’ve had, the healings I’ve received, the opportunities I’ve pursued – and giving thanks for it all. We may no longer be so connected to the creation and production of our food, as in days gone by, or believe that our prayers or sacrifices influence the success of the crops, but being grateful for what we have and giving thanks is still a beautiful way to live. I also try to pass on some of my good fortune so the energy of abundance continues and is strengthened, by giving time or money to a charity of some kind.

Autumn Equinox
Late March is another strange time for Down Under witches, because the stores are filled with chocolate bunnies and eggs in preparation for Easter, the Christian holiday based on the spring festival of Ostara, which northern hemisphere witches are marking now. While most of the world – both pagan and non-magical – celebrates rebirth, resurrection and new life with the fertility goddess Ostara’s symbols of eggs and hares, in Australia it’s the middle of autumn, a time of crisp, chilly mornings, pale blue skies and a world aflame with colour as the trees turn a hundred shades of red-orange-yellow-brown. Daylight savings ends, and from the autumn equinox onwards, which this year falls on March 20, the days start getting shorter and the weather cooler, but this day of equal light and dark is the moment of balance in nature and within – a time of harmony, joy and gentle calm. While I certainly eat my share of chocolate eggs at this time, acknowledging on some level the energy of Ostara, I also prepare a harvest feast of richly coloured fruits and root vegetables, golden grains and heavy warm breads, and start drying my herbs. I feel immense joy as I skip through the crackling autumn leaves and chart the turning of the seasons by the patterns of leaves on the trees. I give thanks for my metaphorical harvest, honouring my achievements, experiences and wisdom in a way that feels right to me, be it with a big celebration or a personal ritual of gratitude. It’s a time of balance – my world is poised between summer and winter, and day and night are in harmony, which is reflected in the earth’s energy and within me.

Samhain
In the first week of May we celebrate the cross-quarter day that marks the end of autumn and the beginning of the coldness and dark of winter. In the north it’s all hot, fertile love energy, with abundant blossoms, the hatching of birds, bees pollinating flowers and lovers leaping the Beltane fires. But in the southern hemisphere at this time it’s the opposite. It’s the start of winter, a season of introspection and darkness both metaphorically and literally. Traditionally this was the time to store food for the cold barren months ahead; symbolically it’s about rest and renewal, of preparing for what’s ahead and withdrawing a little to conserve your energy. While the grass becomes green and lush at this time with the onset of rain, many of the trees are stripped bare, and bitterly cold winds add to the starkness of the season. This is the time we start readying ourselves for the rebirth we’ll experience at Yule, a time of inner reflection and contemplation, of studying the Mysteries (of our tradition or our life), and scrying for answers and illumination. It’s also the night when the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest, and we honour our ancestors and commune with the dead. Of course southern witches do find it hard to explain to people that we are celebrating “Halloween” at this time, but if you pay attention to the earth, to nature, to the seasons, it’s very clear that this is our Samhain.

The Winter Solstice
In late June we celebrate the winter solstice; this year it will fall on the 21st. This is our midwinter – the longest night and shortest day of the year, when the sun is as far north as it will get, making it midsummer in the northern hemisphere. Snow falls in some parts of Australia, and in others it’s cold and rainy. Even in the Red Centre, where winter is their dry season, nature is introspective at this time – the seeds are all closed up, waiting for the heat and rainfall of summer to explode into life. Winter, and this midpoint in particular, is a time to rest and reflect, to acknowledge sadness and loss – of dreams, of friendships, of parts of your self – and conserve your energy and life force.
Yet it’s a day of hope too, for the solstice is the turning point in this time of darkness, introspection and dreaming. Considered the dark night of the soul that gives birth to the creative spark, it marks the period when the dark half of the year relinquishes its hold to the light half. From this day forward the days slowly start to lengthen, the sun becomes stronger and the energy within and without increases and builds. On Midwinter’s Night Eve I light a candle to symbolise the sun and its activating energy, and list my dreams for the coming year. Sometimes I stay up all night to await the return of the light, other years I get up for the sunrise and toast the dawn and give thanks for this energetic reawakening. As the sun is reborn I open myself up to the promise of new growth and achievement, the energy of renewal and the rebirth of my own self and creativity.
I’m more inclined to refer to this festival as Winter Solstice rather than Yule, because the latter has connotations of Christmas, which is still six months away for us, yet many southern witches retain the traditional name, particularly in colder areas where open fires and Yule logs are more typical. Interestingly, there is now increasing recognition in Australia that Christmas is based on a winter tradition that involves magic, and many mainstream events are planned to coincide with our winter solstice. The Pagan Awareness Network holds Hollyfrost, an annual Midwinter retreat and ritual, and in the Blue Mountains the Winter Magic Festival is held on the day of the solstice and is open to everyone, regardless of beliefs. And the more touristy than magical Yulefest and Christmas in July are also celebrated around this time, in recognition that here Yule should not take place in December, in the heat of the Australian summer, but in the cool of winter.

Imbolc
In the first week of August, we in the southern hemisphere honour the cross-quarter day that marks the end of winter and the first day of spring. The earth starts to shake off the severity of the cold period and emerge back into the light. Some of our stunning wildflowers, like the delicate golden wattle, explode into glorious bloom, and it’s a time of hope, renewal and fresh starts after winter’s sluggishness. The sun starts to strengthen and the days grow longer, symbolising the return and renewal of the life force of the land and its people. Energetically it’s a time of awakening and new energy, and is the day we sow the seeds of what we want to achieve in the coming year. It’s also a time of purification and cleansing after the long dark of winter, when I feel motivated to physically clean my house and energetically clear my space, sweeping out old energy and thoughts so the new can thrive. Imbolc represents new beginnings, initiations and inspiration, and the budding plants, swooping baby birds and buzzing bees always fill me with vitality, passion and the impetus to start (or rededicate myself to) new projects.

The Spring Equinox
In the southern hemisphere, the spring or vernal equinox falls in late September – this year it’s on the 23rd. It’s a beautiful time of year, with bright blue skies and pale sunshine without the merciless heat of summer… perfect temperate weather. It’s one of only two times of the year when the length of day and night is equal, and on a personal level it’s a time of balance and harmony too, of union between the physical and spiritual as the balance of universal energies is reflected within. It’s also a time of growth and fertility, when crops are sown, the buds on the trees open, birds build nests and lay eggs and new life is celebrated. Energetically it’s also a very fertile time, as the seeds we sowed of our goals begin to sprout and gain momentum. Traditionally the spring equinox is tied up with rabbits, eggs and fertility goddesses, so it does feel a bit strange to be celebrating “Easter” at this time, but the beautifully blossoming and budding earth and the wild energy and vitality make it obvious that it’s the time for it. It’s a celebration of new life, hope, passion, growth and energy, the time of year that I meditate on my metaphorical fertility and my ability to manifest dreams into reality. In many ancient cultures, including the Romans whose calendar ours is based on, the spring equinox was the first day of the year, and the sense of new hope and optimism inherent in this day remains. It hasn’t always fallen around March/September 21 – our dating is a modern invention – and there are still countries where this is the first day of the year. The Ancient Roman year began on the spring equinox, the day they called Martius 1, which is March 21 in Gregorian terms. In the modern Iranian calendar, used in Iran and Afghanistan, each new year begins on the spring equinox as precisely determined by astronomical observations from Tehran and Kabul (making it the perfect solar calendar, because each calendar year corresponds exactly to the solar year, with no leap days necessary). The Baha’i calendar also begins on the spring equinox.
I got married on September 22 – our spring equinox – a few years ago, so we celebrate our anniversary on Ostara each year. Yet we ran away and wed in the northern hemisphere, which means where we were that day was actually the autumn equinox. Thus each year as we celebrate our anniversary at home, in the springtime, we also acknowledge the energy of autumn. I add a few autumn colours to my spring bouquet, and consider not only what seeds we want to plant for the next year of our relationship, but what we have harvested over the previous one. As Mabon and Ostara are the two days of the year when all is balanced, within and without, they are both good days to renew commitments or pledge a new one, be it a vow of love, magic, career or anything else. I feel like I incorporated the best of both worlds by making my wedding day span both festivals.

Beltane
In the southern hemisphere, the first week of November brings the cross-quarter day that marks the end of spring and the start of the heat and energy of summer, and the festival of love. It’s a time of lovers and spells to attract love, and celebrating the fertility of life, not just physically, but also of our dreams and ambitions. Symbolically this day marks the igniting of the fires of creativity and passion, of the fertility of our desires being made manifest, as the universe bursts with a raw energy and power that we can tap in to simply by breathing it in.
In the northern hemisphere Beltane falls around May Day, and while it has no relevance to us in terms of timing, I have been part of a coven ritual that involved a maypole dance, to represent the union of god and goddess at this point in the Wheel of the Seasonal Year. I’ve also leapt over the Beltane fires, although that was before I met my husband, when I jumped over it with friends as part of a personal ritual of purification and preparation, leaping out of my past, burning away the relationship issues that had kept my heart closed, and towards a future where love was possible (I met my partner two months later).
While I’ve been known to dress up as a vampire or a fairy and go to a Halloween party on October 31, privately or with coven members or witchie friends I’m celebrating the new blossoms and the vitality and fertility of Beltane at this time.

So, while it’s perhaps a little easier for northern hemisphere goddess worshippers to celebrate the cycle of the seasons, given that so many of them are actually woven into “normal” life, when you tune in to the earth and the rhythms of nature it is easy to know when it’s the right time to celebrate any of the old festivals. Because whether you live in the north, where they began, or the south, adding your own personal meaning to the traditional forms of celebration, the sabbats are still relevant to our lives. Even today, when we no longer live in harmony with the earth’s rhythms or agricultural cycles, modern pagans celebrate the Wheel of the Year as an honouring of nature and an acknowledgement of the continuing cycle of life, death and rebirth, both literally and symbolically. Becoming aware of the seasonal shifts and the patterns of nature wherever you live, and celebrating these ancient but still relevant festivals, is a simple way to tap in to the magic of the universe and harness it for your own growth. We may no longer grow our own grain or purify the fields with fire, but these celebrations still have power, particularly in the symbolic form – planting the seeds of our dreams in the metaphorical spring, watching them grow and manifest in the world before we give thanks for our literal harvest, then allowing the things that no longer serve us to die off or be released in our own personal winter, then starting all over again with new dreams as we celebrate our own rebirth.
I’ve spent a few sabbats in the northern hemisphere, leaping the Beltane fires in Glastonbury’s Chalice Well Gardens, sitting inside the Great Pyramid on the morning of the summer solstice, watching the sun set over the Hill of Tara at Lughnasadh, and the energy of each season is intense, real and tangible no matter which hemisphere I am in. Whenever I celebrate these magical turning points of our planet I feel so strongly a part of the earth, at one with nature and the universe. And so, regardless of which half of the world I’m in, I always acknowledge the opposite festival as well, in some small way. Perhaps this isn’t as important for those in the north, but for me it seems right to acknowledge the turning seasons all over the world, the beautiful, gracefully balanced dance of light and dark, heat and cold, day and night, that makes up this world that we are all a part of.
We are all connected to the earth, no matter where we live, and we need to learn how to (and accept that we can) follow the seasons of nature in our own unique way, based on the rising and setting of the sun in our own home town, the cycles of the moon as it crosses our part of the sky, and the very personal language of nature that is so different – and yet so similar –according to our own unique landscape.


Serene Conneeley is a healer, writer and witch who lives in Sydney, Australia. She is a reconnective healing practitioner and has studied magical and medicinal herbalism, reiki and many other healing modalities, as well as politics and journalism. Her first book, Seven Sacred Sites: Magical Journeys That Will Change Your Life, has just been published. Visit Goddess Pages magazine here.

WOTC Extra – Which Witch Are You?

Witchy Comments
WOTC Extra – Which Witch Are You?

Solitary: Practices the craft alone and does not work with a group or coven. By the Gardnerian and Alexandrian way solitary witches are not witches. In order to be considered a witch you must work with a coven.

Eclectic: These witches pick chose and mix various traditions. They have no set path.

Hereditary: These are the practitioners who have been taught the craft from their relative. The craft was passed, unbroken, from generation to generation.

So, now, do you want to be a solitary witch or work with a coven? Let me give you a few Pros and Cons to consider.

PRO

If you join a coven you will receive lots of support. There are people available with the same beliefs to talk to. You will also get some structure. You can work your way up from dedicant to High Priest(s).

CON

Just by the fact that there is structure in a coven may discourage some people. The coven decides on the where, when at time of the Sabbats and meetings. If you break the laws of the coven (dishonor) you will be asked to leave. The cons of a coven are not unlike those that relate to any group activity.

PRO

OK, so you will go solo and be a solitary. This means that you can learn at your own pace. You can follow your own schedule for Sabbats, within reason. You attire is strictly up to you. Some solitaries will join with a know coven to celebrate Sabbats. You can design your own rituals.

CON

The major downside is that you are on are on your own. Help and guidance from knowledgeable witches are not going to be readily available. The solitary had no linage to look back on for guidance. Solitary witches are looked down on by name of the coven witches. What do you know – a class structure L

So what type of training do you want? You can find metaphysical shops and seek help from them. You can use the local library or book shop. If you have internet access there is a wealth of information available for you.

You may want to join a coven. This decision must be made carefully. Some covens are basically nothing more than social groups. Others are based on the D & D games. Be selective, just as they will want to interview you, you should reciprocate in kind.

NOTE: Witches do not try to convert people.

Once you have decided upon a coven go to a few open Sabbats and meetings, if permitted. If you can not attend an open Sabbat write the coven off. With the exception of two Sabbats, all others can be open.

Sit down with the Priestess / Priest and see what the coven will want of you. The will also ask what you can bring to the coven. Remember, a coven becomes your family away from home. The coven should NEVER supercede your home life. You family will always come first.

Once you are in total agreement – both ways you can apply to become a dedicant. During this time you will be kept under the eye of the Priestess and Priest. Your initial training will last for a year and a day. After that time, if upon the agreement of all, you can become an initiate. From that point on you will go through the three degrees of initiation. Each degree will take a minimum of a year and a day to complete.

Being a member of a coven is a commitment. You will be expected to attend coven functions. Covens usually meet to celebrate the 8 Sabbats – holidays of the God and 13 Esbats – holidays of the Goddess. Members of the coven are given a part to perform during the rituals. Not showing up for ritual is a major NO-NO. If you do not make it you can ruin the ritual.

You may also be asked to help the coven. Many covens take on community work to help the community.

Many covens plan outing and fun events for their members…

One thing to remember no matter what path you choose; When the Student is ready, the Teacher Will Appear.

So Exactly How Do Witches Celebrate the Sabbats?

Imbolc/Candlemas Comments
So how does a Witch celebrate the Sabbats? Hmm, we always take for granted that each of automatically know what they are suppose to do on our Sabbats. Well, at least I did to recently. I was talking to a dear friend and I asked them how was your Yule. Did you do anything special? The reply was, well we did whatever Pagans are suppose to do, whatever that is! It didn’t dawn on me till a few days later. Perhaps we aren’t doing the job I thought we were doing. I decided to make a commitment to all of you. The commitment is before each Sabbat (over a few days) we will give your morning prayers, rituals, spells, activities, the correspondences and the Deities of that Sabbat. You will have the information to celebrate that Sabbat correctly.

I am very glad that my dear friend made this comment. I believe there are others that might be saying or thinking the same but have never told us. So now, we are going to provide you with everything you need. There will be no more wondering what Pagans/Witches do on the current Sabbats as the Wheel turns.

I hope you enjoy the information. If you ever have any questions or concerns about any issue, please contact us. Because if you don’t contact us, we won’t never know where we are lacking in our service to you.

Lady A & The WOTC

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Law

Witchy Comments & Graphics
The Law

 We are of the Old Ways, among those who walk with the Goddess and God and
receive Their love.

Keep the Sabbats and Esbats to the best of your abilities, for to do otherwise
is to lessen your connection with the Goddess and God.

Harm none. This, the oldest law, is not open to interpretation or change.

Shed not blood in ritual; the Goddess and God need not blood to be duly
worshipped.

Those of our ways are kind to all creatures, for hurtful thoughts are quiet
draining and aren’t worth the loss of energy.

Misery is self-created; so, too, is joy, so create joy and disdain misery and
unhappiness. And this is within your power. So harm not.

Teach only what you know, to the best of your ability, to those students who
you choose, but teach not to those who would use your instructions for
destruction or control. Also, teach not to boost pride, forever remember: She
who teaches out of love shall be enfolded in the arms of the Goddess and God.

Ever remember that if you would be of our way, keep the law close to your
heart, for it is the nature of the Wicca to keep the Law.

If ever the need arises, any law may be changed or discarded, and new laws
written to replace them, so long as the new laws don’t break the oldest law of
all: Harm None.

Blessings of the Goddess and God on us all.

(* Wicca – S. Cunningham)

The Witches Magick for Oct. 30th – Solitary Samhain Ritual

cat

Solitary Samhain Ritual

Place upon the altar apples, pomegranates, pumpkins, squashes and other late autumn  fruits. Autumn flowers such as marigolds and chrysanthemums are fine too.  Write on a piece of paper an aspect of your life which you may wish to be free of; anger, a baneful habit, misplaced feelings, disease. The cauldron or some similar tool must be present  before the altar as well, on a trivet or some other heat-proof surface (if the legs aren’t long enough). A small, flat dish marked with an eight-spoked wheel symbol should also be there. [This is just what it sounds like. On a flat plate or dish, paint a large circle.  Put a dot in the center of this circle and paint eight spokes radiating out from the dot to the larger circle. Thus, you have a wheel symbol  – a symbol of the Sabbats, a symbol of timelessness.]

Prior to ritual, sit quietly and think of friends and loved ones who have passed away.  Do not despair. Know that they have gone on to greater things. Keep firmly in mind that the  physical isn’t the absolute reality, and souls never die.

Arrange the altar, light the candles and censer, and cast the Circle of Stones. Recite the Blessing Chant. Invoke the Goddess and God.

Lift one of the pomegranates and, with your freshly-washed Boline, pierce the skin of the  fruit. Remove several seeds and place them on the wheel-marked dish. Raise your wand, face the altar and say:

On this night of Samhain I mark Your passing,
O Sun King, through the sunset into the Land of the Young.
I mark also the passing of all who have gone before,
and all who will go after.
 
O Gracious Goddess, Eternal Mother,
You who gives birth to the fallen,
teach me to know that in the time of
the greatest darkness there is the greatest light.
 

Taste the pomegranate seeds; burst them with your teeth and savour  their sharp, bittersweet flavour. Look down at the eight-spoked symbol on the plate; the Wheel of the Year, the Cycle of the Seasons, the End and Beginning of all Creation.

Light a fire within the cauldron (a candle is fine).  Sit before it, holding the piece of paper, gazing at its flames. Say:

Wise One of the Waning Moon,
Goddess of the Starry Night,
I create this fire within
Your cauldron to transform
that which is plaguing me.
May the energies be reversed:
From the darkness, light!
From bane, good!
From death, birth!

Light the paper in the cauldron’s flames and drop it inside. As it burns, know that your ill diminishes, lessens and finally leaves you as it is consumed within the universal fires.  [The cauldron, seen as the Goddess.]

If you wish, you may attempt scrying or some other form of divination, for this is a perfect time to look into the past or future. Try to recall past lives too, if you will.  But leave the dead in peace. Honor them with your memories but do not call them to you. [Many Pagans  do attempt to communicate with their deceased ancestors and friends at this time, but it  seems to me that if we accept the doctrine of reincarnation, this is a rather strange practice. Perhaps the personalities that we knew still exist, but if the soul is currently incarnate in another body, communication would be difficult, to say the least. Thus, it seems best to remember them with peace and love – but do not call them up.] 

Release any pain and sense of loss you may feel into the cauldron’s flames. Works of magick, if necessary, may follow. Celebrate the Simple Feast. The circle is released.

 

The Herbs Of The Sabbats

The Herbs Of The Sabbats

To be used as decorations on the altar, round the circle, in the home.

Samhain:
Chrysanthemum, wormwood, apples, pears, hazel, thistle, pomegranates, all
grains, harvested fruits and nuts, the pumpkin, corn.

Yule:
Holly, mistletoe, ivy, cedar, bay, juniper, rosemary, pine. Place offerings of
apples, oranges, nutmegs, lemons and whole cinnamon sticks on the Yule tree.

Imbolc:
Snowdrop, rowan, the first flowers of the year.

Eostara:
Daffodil, woodruff, violet, gorse, olive, peony, iris, narcissus, all spring
flowers.

Beltane:
Hawthorn, honeysuckle, St. John’s wort, woodruff, all flowers.

Midsummer:
Mugwort, vervain, chamomile, rose, lily, oak, lavender, ivy, yarrow, fern,
elder, wild thyme, daisy, carnation.

Lughnasadh:
All grains, grapes, heather, blackberries, sloe, crabapples, pears.

Mabon:
Hazel, corn, aspen, acorns, oak sprigs, autumn leaves, wheat stalks, cypress
cones, pine cones, harvest gleanings.

“Samhain Dream”

“Samhain Dream”

by Myria/Brighid

It is Samhain …The Night of Shadows. The Circle is cast around the fire, And through the darkness, we glance, For the veils are thin, in this sacred night! Ancient voices around us, Whispering old and forgotten songs, While we dance the Spiral Dance, To meet Her. And there She comes, The Lady of the Gate! Power and compassion evolving us, As a dark but comforting wave. Beautiful Queen of the Dark Night! With Her mantle of raven’s feathers, And eyes deep with wisdom. Cerridwenn! She opens Her arms, in a welcoming embrace, We feel around us the flow of love, Of Her Eternal Grace. And then we hear Her voice, Melodious and grave, That speaks from inside our soul, As an echo in a cave. Blessed Daughters of My Heart, I hear your prayers from afar. And that is why I came tonight! Do not despair when the times are hard! Do not abandon the Path you found! For time has come for My return, And you, Loved Ones, shall open the way, Singing my name as the ancient bards. I am always with you, do never doubt that! I am the Old and the Young One! I am the Keeper of the Gate! I am the Master of Time! I am the Dark Goddess of Death! I am the Bright Goddess of Dawn! I am The One! I am Cerridwenn!

‘Twas the Night of Samhain

‘Twas the Night of Samhain

 

 

‘Twas the night of Samhain and all through the house,
Not a creatures was stirring except for my spouse.
The incense it burned in his cauldron so black,
For witchcraft and magick he’d a wondrous knack.
The circle was drawn with the athame of power,
The guardians were called to each quarter tower.
The Lord and the Lady attended our rite,
In wonder and glory and power and mite.
The dearly departed came as our guest,
To live once again after their rest.
We bid them goodbye with a tear in our eye,
Such a lovely presence of loved ones so nigh.
The candles danced in the flickering light,
With the Great Rite we bid them all a good night.
The guardians thanked, have all sped away,
The Lord and the Lady, thanks for the day.
The night of Samhain, Gods bless this house,
A circle of wonder ’round me and my spouse.
—(Unknown)

Buzzing In To Say Have A Super Tuesday!

Hi there, Bye there, lol! Sorry I am running late. I am worse than Lady A on being prompt anywhere. But today I have a good excuse. We were debating over what we were going to do for Samhain. We still didn’t come up with anything and we were at it for about two hours. Maybe by the time Samhain gets here, we will know what we are doing. I hope!

That would be a good topic for discussion, what are your plans for Samhain?

 

More Tuesday Comments