February 8th – “Mass for Broken Needles”

Witchy Comments & Graphics

“Mass for Broken Needles”

In Japan, the art of needlecraft is held in such high regard that all broken neeedles are brought to the Buddhist temples on this day and honored along with a veriety of sewing objects. In rural areas, the Goddess Wakahira, who overseas weaving is honored. It is believed that she will provide and make prosperous those she favors.

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Celebrating Our Spirituality 365 Days A Year – Yule, Winter Solstice

Yule Comments & Graphics
December 19, 20 and 21st

Winter Solstice, Midwinter

The Solstice, taken from the Latin for “the Sun stands still,” is considered to be the true New Year—astronomically as well as spirituality. At this time, we see the simultaneous death and rebirth of the Sun-God, represented in the shortest day and longest night of the year. From this time forward, the Sun grows in strength and power as the hours of daylight increase.

Midwinter, or Winter Solstice, marked the end of the first half of the Celtic year. As with Samhain, which was the Roman festival of Pomona and the Christian All Souls grafted on to it, the Celtic Winter Solstice was subsequently confused with the Roman Saturnalia, and later the Christian Christmas. Mythologically, most of the Midwinter celebrations focused on the symbology of a new or younger God, overthrowing the older or Father God, which would then bring forth a new and more potent life to the people and the land.

Although the Solstice takes place on December 21, Midwinter(renamed Yule by the Anglo Saxons) covers several weeks on either side of the Solstice. In medieval times, Yule began around St. Nicholas’s Day and ran until Candlemas. Eventually, Yule was redefined to mean either the Nativity (December 25) or the 12 days of celebration beginning on this date. The word Christmas then replaced Yule in most English-speaking countries. However, the Danish preserved Yule as a way of maintaining their old style of festivities that incorporated several weeks of celebration.

In Wicca and modern Paganism, the Winter Solstice is the time of new beginnings, a time to reflect on the past and project for the future. Magickally, the Winter Solstice affords us a perfect time to formulate a plan of action, a goal we can work towards during the coming year.

The Wheel of the Year and It’s Influences in our Daily Life

The Wheel of the Year and It’s Influences in our Daily Life

Author:   MissElphie   

Wicca, and many other pagan paths, celebrate the Wheel of the Year. The festivities around the Seasons and the Path of the Sun in the Sky have been a motive of celebration in History. Today I’m going to talk about its influence on modern practitioners and its influence in our daily lives.

The Wheel of the Year is something very important and essential in a Pagan’s life. It celebrates the path of the Sun God throughout the year. We celebrate the different phases: Birth, Growth, Marriage, Aging, Death and Rebirth. We cast spells to bring happiness and wellness to our loved ones and us. We light bonfires to celebrate fertility in our lives. We light candles to help the God rise higher and higher in the Winter Skies… But, do we feel those changes? Has anyone ever wondered how important and meaningful all of these changes in Nature are in our lives?

Some of you might know what I’m talking about, but for those who don’t, I’ll explain. The Wheel of the Year isn’t just eight times a year; it’s in every minute of our lives. We feel those changes in ourselves and eventually we won’t even need to look at the calendar to see that a Sabbat is approaching. All around us we see Nature change; we see the changes that we usually celebrate.

When Autumn is coming you can see that some birds are already migrating, that the leaves are falling from the once full trees, those little animals are getting ready for the cold Winter that is getting closer and closer. You can see that with your own eyes. You can see the flowers growing, snow and rain falling, bees and butterflies and every little thing that changes in Nature. Even in a city, you can see that. I live in a fairly big city and I see that. In the trees and gardens that are scattered around town, in the birds… and even in the weather. When it starts raining, getting colder and colder, maybe even a bit of snow… You can see and feel that.

The Wheel of the Year is part of our daily life.

The modern man has grown accustomed to routine. You get up, have breakfast, take a shower, drive to work, work, get back from work, sit on the couch and watch some lame TV show, go to bed and in the next morning you do it all over again. You repeat this process every single day. Never caring about what happens outside, in Nature.

A Pagan usually does not do that. Yes, he or she has his/her normal routine but with a small change. When getting up in the morning, a pagan might look outside and see how nature is going and maybe even take a few minutes to just watch what’s happening.

When driving to work, or back from work, instead of listening to a radio show and cursing the other drivers, he or she might be more aware of what’s going behind the cars and the smoke and all the pollution included in traffic jams. And even at work he/she might notice those little things, little details, that shows us that something is changing. A co-worker that brought his scarf today because it was getting colder or a friend who dressed a t-shirt instead of a sweater because the temperature was rising.

These are the little details in our life that we usually don’t care. We just don’t notice that all of this is going around us and happening. We tend to ignore it because we are so consumed by this consumerist and materialistic society and way of life that we ignore the simplest things that show us the world and nature at its best.

Life has more to it than buying, selling, partying, studying, etc. It has an essence. And its essence has been getting lost for the past centuries. Mankind has been driving further away from Nature, using it only for its own selfish purpose and not to connect with it. Our Ancestors lived with Nature, felt Nature and saw Nature with different eyes. Why should we, a so-called modern society, forget that we are a part of Nature? That she can, and will, live without us but we can’t live without her? She is part of us and we are part of her.

So, I’m telling you: Be more careful with details. See those little things in your daily life that connect yourself with the Divine and with Nature.

Look at your friends. How are they dressed? What are they doing? Look at Nature. How are the trees? Are they big and filled with bright green leaves? Or are they naked and numb for the cold Winter? How is the weather? Hot? Cold? Rainy? The flowers, the animals, the smell in the air, the heat and love you feel from the solar rays bathing your skin in a warm summer afternoon or the delight of being at home drinking hot coffee while it’s raining outside.

Don’t just watch the World. We are no longer just watchers of the World and Nature; we are a Part of it. We need to live with it. Feel it.

Feel the hot Summer breeze, the cold Winter snow, and the fresh rain in the Autumn and Spring. Try to connect. Go out for a walk on the beach, feel the waves and listen to the seagulls and the splashing of the waves on the sand. Go to the countryside and see the animals, smell the fresh and clean air, feel the sun and the warm breeze…

Paganism, no matter what tradition or path, isn’t just a religion. It’s a way of life. Being a Pagan isn’t just going to be for 4 times a month (Lunar Celebrations) and 8 times a year (Wheel of the Year) or any other celebrations you might have. Being a Pagan is going to influence your entire life, entire way of watching, feeling and connecting to the World around you. No matter where you live, whether it is in the biggest city of the World or the farthest countryside.

So, my advice is just to be aware. Look beyond the obvious and into the core of Nature and its essence. Live the Mysteries that Nature has to offer. Nature is something beautiful and constantly changing. It’s a never-ending cycle. Live it. Feel it. Feel it in your life and all around you. How it influences you, the ones you love, everyone and everything.

Be with Nature. Don’t just watch it.

Blessings!

MissElphie

Fire

Fire

 

Direction: South

Time: Noon

Season: Summer

Colours: Red, orange, gold

Qualities: Fertility in all aspects of life, creativity, light-bringing power, passion, joy,  initiating, transformation, courage, mysticism, clairvoyance, prophecy.

Rule over: Ambition, achievement, illumination, inspiration, all creative and artistic ventures,  poetry, art, sculpture, writing, music, dance, religion and spirituality, psychic powers especially higher ones such as channeling, innovation, sexuality. It  is also potent for destruction of what is now no longer needed, for binding and banishing ritual and so for protection.

Animals: Dragonfly, firefly, fox, lion, lizrd, stag, tiger

Archangel: Michael, archangel of the sun and light and the warrior angel. Michael is the angel of  power and of illumination and brings in the summer season and fertility, growth and energy into our lives and to the land, to animals and the crops. He is  also potent, for reviving barren land despoiled by industrialization and for cleansing air pollution.

Visualize him resplendent in scarlet and gold with a huge sword, golden scales in his other hand and  often a dragon crushed beneath his feet.

Crystals: Amber bloodstone, bojo stones, carnelian, garnet, hematite, iron pyrites, lava, mookaite,  obsidian, red jasper, ruby sunstone, topaz.

Elemental creatures: Salamanders

Goddesses: Amaterasu Omigami, the Japanese sun goddess whose name means ‘great August spirit  shining in heaven’

Brighid, the Celtic triple goddess of fire and of the hearth, patroness of healers, poets and  smiths

Gabija, the Lithuanian goddess of the hearth fire, who was honored by throwing salt on the fire each  evening after the main meal

Pele, goddess of volcanoes, fire and magic, who is still revered in Hawaii by those who claim  descent from her and who still set up altars near lava streams.

Saule, Baltic queen of the heavens and earth, dressed and crowned with gold who drove her golden  chariot across the skies and danced with her daughter the planets on the festival of St. Lucia, the light maiden, just before the midwinter  solstice

Sekhmet, the Ancient Egyptian lion-headed solar goddess of fire and healing who is the patroness of  modern businesswomen

Vesta, the Roman goddess of sacred fire whose Virgins tended the sacred fire in  Rome

Gods: Agni, the Hindu god of fire, who is said to be manifest as the vital spark in mankind, birds,  animals, plants and life itself

Apollo, the Graeco-Roman sun god, who was twin brother of Artemis, the moon goddess, and was patron  of the arts, especially music, beauty and harmony.

Helios of the Greeks, known to the Romans as Sol, who was regarded as the sun himself. He ascended  the heavens in a chariot drawn by winged snow-white horses to give light, and in the evening descended into the ocean

Lugh (Llew in Wales) the ancient Irish god of light and the cycle of the year, born at the midwinter  solstice, made king at the summer solstice and willingly sacrificed at Lughnassadh at the beginning of August in order to maintain the fertility of the land  and ensure the success of the harvest.

Ra or Re, the Ancient Egyptian sun god who sailed the sun boat across the heavens during the  day

Herbs and incenses: Allspice, angelica, basil, bay, cactus, carnation, cedar wood, chamomile,  chrysanthemum, cinnamon, cloves, copal, dragon’s blood, frankincense, galangal. Garlic, juniper, lime marigold, nutmeg, olive, orange, pennyroyal,  rosemary, snapdragon, sunflower, tangerine, thistle holy, thistle milk, witch hazel

Place: Bonfires, all conflagrations, deserts, hearths, hilltop beacons, lightning, sacred festival  fires, solar eclipses, thunder, volcanoes, at the height of noon or a blazing sunrise or sunset, plains shimmering in the heart, any sunny place, sandy  shores on hot days, hear banks of yellow or golden flowers.

Sacred substances: Candle

Zodiacal signs: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius

Lammas (August 1)

Lammas (August 1)

 

Also known as Lughnasadh, or Lughnassad.  It is celebrated by some covens on August 5, the date of Old Lammas, when the sun is at 15 degrees Leo, while still others celebrate on the Lunar Lammas, the date of the eighth Full Moon of the lunar year when the Moon is in Aquarius.

This sabbat is the funeral games festival of the Celtic sun god Lugh.  Lugh is said to have held the first festival in honor of the death of his foster-mother, Tailte.  It is a sabbat celebrating life, strength and family.  In Ireland, it is the traditional date for handfastings, as well as the Tailtean craft fairs. 

Lammas is also a celebration of the first harvest of the year.  This is when the spring plants and trees drop their fruits and seeds, and the first crop of grain is harvested.  It signals the first signs of autumn, with the Sun God entering his mature years.  He symbolically loses strength each day, as the nights get longer.  The Mother Goddess is now glowing in her pregnancy, and life and abundance are everywhere.

Deities:  Lugh, Apollo, Hercules, Demeter, Ceres, Gaia, Danu

Colors:         yellow, orange, red, green

Foods:  apples, grains, breads, berries, grapes, pears, barley soups, beer, mead, wine, apple cider

Herbs/Flowers:  all grains (protection), grapes (fertility, garden magick, money), heather (protection, rain-making, luck), blackberry (healing, money, protection)

Trees:        apple (faery folk, love, healing), pear (lust, love), oak (the God, protection, health, money, fertility, luck), elder (the Goddess, protection, healing, prosperity)

Incense:  aloe (protection, luck, healing), rose (love, enhance psychic powers, healing, luck, protection), sandalwood (protection, wishes, healing, spirituality)

Crystals:  carnelian (protection, peace, eloquence, healing, courage), bloodstone (healing, victory, courage, legal matters, wealth, strength, business, agriculture), yellow topaz (protection, healing, weight loss, money, love)

Activities:

· Feasting with the fresh crops.

· Harvesting.

· Save the seeds of ritual fruits and plant them to honor the God and Goddess.

· Athletic games.

· Craft fairs.

· Handfastings.

· Nature hikes.

The WOTC Wishes You & Yours A Very Happy & Blessed Litha!

Litha Comments & Graphics Good morning to all my dear friends! I must start out by apologizing to you for yesterday. I did not do a “good morning, how ya’ll doing?” or any kind of post at all to start things off. I had posting on the brain, I realized that I was running late. And that was it, got to post, got to post! Worse than a damn robot, lol! But I didn’t realize it till I was all the way into the Moon Phase and I felt so bad. Then I decided I would do a “Good afternoon” post. Well, I don’t remember what came up but that didn’t happen either. Again, I am so sorry.

 

Well the wheel has turned to one of our Sabbats and I am at a dilemma. My dilemma is when to celebrate it.  I know I have read some articles that proclaim today as Litha/MidSummer. Well you see, the Tradition I grew up in was one that practice the Ways of the Old. They celebrated Litha/MidSummer on June 21. So what’s a witch to do? I am going to be very diplomatic about this. I am going to wish you a very happy & blessed Litha/MidSummer on both days! How does that sound? I should make everyone happy, shouldn’t I? Then I remember also reading there are some that celebrate Litha/MidSummer from June 20 to June 23. Oh, my! It’s enough to make a poor witch’s head spin, lol!

 

For those of you celebrating Litha/MidSummer today,from the bottom of my heart,I wish you and yours a
Very Happy & Blessed Litha!

Lady A

Magickal Graphics

Solstice Day, Chasing the Clouds Away!

by Andy

Litha is the time of the sun. While  the sun was ascending at Beltaine, it  is in its full glory now. In the northern  latitudes, which we share with the  Northern European peasants who created many of our traditions, it doesn’t  even get dark until 10 o’clock. All  around the world, sun gods and goddesses from different mythologies  have Their special rites on this, the  longest day. They come in Their various guises, fighting the dark and bringing fertile, healing light. Today is the  day of Their greatest victories.

In ancient Greece, Helios was the  God of the Sun. Every day, He rode  across the sky in a chariot pulled by  four wild, flaming steeds. Every day  the horses fought Helios, but every day  He was their master. Helios had a son  named Phaëthon. He was a mortal and  with pride did he watch his father ride  across the sky. Phaëthon loved his  father and wanted to know more  about him and be like him. In short, he  wanted to drive the chariot for a day.

Phaëthon begged his father to  grant him his fondest wish. Helios, loving his son, agreed. Then the son revealed that his wish was to drive the  chariot, and Helios had to grant it.  Phaëthon put on the crown of golden  rays, mounted the chariot, and off he  went. Across the heavens he rode,  lighting the sky. The horses began their  daily struggle, but Phaëthon could not  master them. The horses rode wild.  They towed the chariot at the zodiac  animals who became enraged and  drove the it from the sky. When  Phaëthon neared the earth, it dried and  cracked. Lakes boiled away. Then he  rode up high again and the earth froze.

Zeus saw all this and knew He had  to step in. To prevent Phaëthon from  destroying the earth, He hurled his  great thunderbolts, slaying Phaëthon  and destroying the chariot. Helios’ grief  was terrible, and he vowed that no one  but He would ever drive His chariot  again.

The gods are at the height of their  power and majesty at Litha and now  is the time to meet them up close, but  not too close. It is dangerous to for  mortals to meet and interact with the  divine. As Phaëthon wanted to know  the Sun God, so do we go to the God  or Goddess. Let us hope that we don’t  get burned.

The Simple Facts About Imbolc

The Simple Facts About Imbolc
 
Candlemas: Imbolic (Celtic), Imbollgc Brigantia (Caledonii), Lupercus (Strega) Candlemas involves celebrations of banishing the winter and welcoming the spring.
 
Light a candle in each room of the house or turn on all the ligts for a moment or two to welcome back the Sun. Imbolc is a celebration of the end of winter and the return of the light.
 
At the time of Candlemas, the newborn Sun God is seen as a small child nursing from his Mother.
 
At this phase of the cycle, winter is swept away and new beginnings are nurtured. Some Wiccan groups favor this time of year for initiations into the Craft. It is traditional at Candlemas to light every lamp in the house for a few minutes in honor of the Sun’s rebirth.
 
The Goddess becomes the “Maiden” again as the wheel turns toward Spring. It is a celebration of the coming Spring and the new life it represents

THE FEAST OF LIGHT

THE FEAST OF LIGHT
(By: Titania Morgay)

If Candlemas day be fair and bright,
Winter will have another flight.
If Candlemas day clouds and rain,
Winter is gone, and will not come again.
– E. Holden

The time has come to call and welcome the forces of light!

Candlemas or Imbolc is the mid point of the dark half of the year. We
welcome the rebirth and awakening of the Earth, the earliest beginnings of
Spring.

Through Pagan lore, we learn that the Sun God, who is now a young boy, is
beginning to feel his growing powers through the renewing energies of the
Sun, represented in the lengthening in the daylight hours. The Goddess is
awakening from her slumber and rest after giving birth to the
God/Child at Yule. She is represented in the Maiden aspect of the triple
Goddess. The awakening of the Goddess/Earth, causes germination of seeds and
development of buds on the trees, as the powers of the Sun begin to warm and
renew the earth. A celebration of fertility.

Traditionally, Imbolc is a time to prepare for the goals one wishes to
accomplish in the coming months, and to clarify and redefine our personal
projects which were begun at Yule. the fires of Imbolc represent our
personal illumination and inspiration, a celebration of ideas yet to be
born. Imbolc has also become a time for new initiations into covens,
self-dedication, and renewal of our bows. It is also a time for purification
of oneself.

The colors for Imbolc are lavender, white and pink. Herbs include
Heliotrope, Carnation, Poppy, Basil and Violet. Stones used for this
celebration may include Amethyst for peace of mind or jet for
heightened intuition and inner sight.

Offerings of cakes and wine may be presented to the Lord and Lady, to seek
their assistance in helping to ignite your creative fires and energy.

May the fires of Imbolc burn brightly within all of you throughout the
coming year!

Winter Solstice Celebrations Around The World – Beiwe Festival


Winter Comments & Graphics

Beiwe Festival

 (Sámi of Northern Fennoscandia)

 

The Saami, indigenous people of Finland, Sweden and Norway, worship Beiwe, the sun-goddess of fertility and sanity. She travels through the sky in a structure made of reindeer bones with her daughter, Beiwe-Neia, to herald back the greenery on which the reindeer feed. On the winter solstice, her worshipers sacrifice white female animals, and thread the meat onto sticks which they bend into rings and tie with bright ribbons. They also cover their doorposts with butter so Beiwe can eat it and begin her journey once again.

 
~Magickal Graphics~