Celebrating Legends, Folklore & Spirituality 365 Days a Year for Feb. 26th – Shrove-Tide

Autumn witch
26 February

Shrove-Tide

Shrove-Tide, first observed in the Middle Ages, was a time of festivity and carnival before Lent started. It was also a festival of the expulsion of Winter, demonstrated by the burning or drowning of an effigy of Winter. Shrove Tuesday, the day before Lent commences on Ash Wednesday, takes its name from being a day of confession of sins-“shrive” or confess. It was the last chance for good food and unrestricted fun before the long period of austerity began. Shrove-Tide became second only to Christmas for it frivolity and “Great Gluttony.”

The three days were generally known as Shrove Sunday, Collop Monday, and Shrove Tuesday. Collop Monday takes its name from the habit of eating collops (cuts of fried meat). It only made sense to get rid of all the meat in the house, because it would be banned after Ash Wednesday. Similarly, on Shrove Tuesday, all other perishable foodstuffs were used up.

In Catholic countries, especially France, Shrove-Tide became Fat Tuesday (commonly known as Mardi Gras). This was a time of carnival, with masquerades, singing, and dancing. The festival still continues and has been carried over into America, in particular, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Tired Of Winter Yet? See If This Helps Beat the Winter Blues!

I always look through all my books during this time of year because I am bored. Every year, I keep coming back to this simple ritual. I do it and it gives me reassurance Spring is just around the corner. It will not only refresh your room, your soul but also you. I hope you try it and find it as useful as I have.

Winter Blue Banishment

Winters can be long and Spring can seem far away in February. Confined indoors by the cold and inhospitable weather, we can become depressed and lethargic. We neglect ourselves and leave a dusty and cluttered household. Despite that it lifts the spirits to clean out all the physical and mental cobwebs, we will find it hard to do this basic task. To start, simply choose one room, preferably. the room where you spend the most time. Burn some lavender incense. Smudge the corners of the room and yourself. Then open the blinds or drapes and call out:

“Go, snow, go. Come, Sun, Come!”

Keep the incense burning and with your broom walk deosil while  sweeping the ceilings. Chant:

“Sun and broom
swept the room.
Fill us with Spring perfume.”
 

Continue cleaning  from top to bottom. When the room is finished, take a deep breath and fill your lungs with the clean lavender scent. Envision your inner room as clean and full of Spring’s perfume.

Author:
Gail Wood
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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!

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Feng Shui to Beat the Winter Blues

Feng Shui to Beat the Winter Blues

Create warm and uplifiting energy even during the darkest time of year

Simone Sanders   Simone Sanders on the topics of winter, insight, feng shui

 

Winter’s cold temperatures and long evenings bring the blues to many Sun worshippers. Fortunately, Feng Shui can mitigate the more chilling effects of the season.

Even better, Feng Shui can also accentuate the many positive aspects of winter. Remember, winter symbolizes a time of turning inward. Instead of catering to everybody else’s desires, it gives you the chance to attend to your personal needs.

Shed a little light on the subject

Installing full-spectrum bulbs throughout your home can counterbalance the effect of Seasonal Affective Disorder. These bulbs provide natural light similar to the sun, helping you to feel more energetic, focused and alert during the winter months. Varying your light sources can also lift your spirits. Have a mixture of overhead fixtures, task lighting, floor lamps and up lights throughout your home and office.

Create a cozy corner

Winter is the season of self-nurturing. With that in mind, what better way to honor the season than to position a comfortable reading chair in a corner? Add a snuggly blanket, a footstool, a small table and a reading lamp. The mere sight of your cozy corner will remind you to slow down, relax and enjoy some precious quiet time.

Fire things up

Cooking can generate much needed warmth during the winter months. Having a simmering pot of soup or stew on the back burner of your stove will fill your home with mouth-watering aromas, and fill your stomach with healthy nourishment.

Keep a journal

Writing is a perfect wintertime activity, because it invites you to go inward and explore your emotional landscape. Jotting down your thoughts, worries and dreams in a journal each day will provide a welcome outlet for your feelings.

Reach for the sky

Tall plants, chairs with straight backs, and narrow bookcases lend uplifting energy to any space. Patterns with vertical stripes have a similar effect. Integrate these furnishings and design elements into any room where you are prone to succumb to depression.

Don’t forget to warm up

Warm colors can combat the hazy shade of winter. Add touches of garnet, pumpkin, goldenrod and spring green wherever you need a lift. Keep grays, blues, blacks and purples to a minimum.

Make a comfort drawer

The natural abundance of autumn is over, so now you have to provide creature comforts for yourself. Fill a drawer in your night table or desk (or both!) with little luxuries. A box of after-dinner mints, a vial of lavender essential oil, bags of your favorite tea, a tube of scented hand lotion, a juicy pocket paperback, a packet of ginger biscuits … whatever brings you comfort, put it in the drawer. Keep it well-stocked through the winter months.

Clutter bust

There’s a good chance you’ll be spending lots more time indoors now that it’s winter. Giving yourself more room to roam will help you beat the winter blues. Create spacious pathways throughout your home, take stacks of reading material off the floor, clear the countertops, and stow the kids’ toys in cupboards when they’re not being used.

Keep it moving

Things that have lots of movement — a pendulum clock, a ceiling fan, a mobile or a crackling fire — can stir up the stagnant energy associated with winter. If you have certain rooms that don’t get a lot of activity, aim an oscillating fan at a plant so that its leaves rustle occasionally. Alternately, you can suspend a piece of lightweight fabric over a heating duct so it flutters gently, generating uplifting energy.

Love the night life

Since night falls early in winter, you might as well embrace the darkness. Eat dinner by candlelight. Enjoy a movie marathon. Play board games in front of the fire with the kids. Go to bed early with your lover, but not necessarily to sleep.

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Aspects of Yule

Yule Comments & Graphics
Aspects of Yule

Time of deepest darkness
The God is born anew
Seedling in the frozen earth
Awaiting springtime dew.

The ground, an icy wasteland,
Though neighbors hearts are warm
We share our goods with everyone
So no one comes to harm.

Snow lies on her shoulders
Frosted mantle for her hair
Winter’s Queen is giving birth
The Goddess, always there

The sun is growing brighter.
It happens every year
Promising return of light
For sod and oak and deer

Stag King, his mighty antlers
Rising from a drift
Leaps for the hunter’s arrow
Just as strong and swift

He knows his time has ended
He is heading to the plain
Where joy caresses memory
Like softly summer rain

New fawn takes his first step,
The buck he will become.
After the time of knowing
A new year has begun.

(poem by: Zephyr Lioness )

Calendar of the Sun for December 12th

Calendar of the Sun

Bruma

Colors: White and brown
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon a bare table lay a large pot shaped like a human figure, reclining, filled with earth. All should enter bearing two white cloths, one on each arm.
Offerings: Silence and meditation.
Daily Meal: Vegetarian

Bruma Invocation

Earth, you lie sleeping in silence,
And we can do nothing but wait.
We have breathed upon your first seeds,
We have sung your first green shoots
Up from the bare brown soil,
We have watered you with tears and sweat
And fed you with the remains of our meals,
We have cut down your bounty and saved it,
Yet this is not the time for seeds, or green,
But simply the long cold wait in the dark
Until the light waxes and the time comes again.
You are silent, and will not speak to us,
No matter how we cry out.
You are dormant, and will not sing to us,
No matter how we raise our voices,
For all things come in their own time,
And this is not the time for movement.
So we will sit with you, Earth,
We will watch over you as you sleep
And take part in your dreams
In silence, and wait for your awakening.

Chant:
Earth dreaming
Silent seeming
Winter’s vigil
We will wait for you.

(After the chant has been sung five times, all come forth to the altar. Each lays one white cloth gently over the pot, saying, “Blessed be the Earth in the time of winter.” Then each sits on the floor and places the other white cloth over their heads, and meditates on all that is sleeping and cannot be awoken. Silence in the House until Akte.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

A Blessed Wednesday Morning, My Dear Family! Brrr, It’s Going To Get Cold!

Winter Comments & Graphics
If you are not already in the grips of the wonder of Winter, I am sure you will soon be. I was watching this morning’s weather and it looks like we are going to be an icy mess. The last icy mess we were forecasted, our power was out for 11 long days and nights. The army came through providing “Ready To Eat” meals for everyone. We had ice everywhere. You could listen in the silence of winter and hear trees and their limbs fall. It would sound like shotguns going off. Due to this wonderful memories and a little voice eating at me ( I don’t ignore this little voice), we are going to cut today’s publication short. We have LP tanks to fill and kerosene together. The LP tanks provide us with heat and a way to cook. The kerosene provides us with light during the darkness. Since it is so warm today, (70 degrees) now is the perfect time to prepare.

Also in case the unthinkable happens and you don’t hear from us for several days, don’t worry we have just became Winter Witches. In other words, the power lines have snapped and we will be back as soon as they restore our lines. Keep us in your prayers that we don’t have to relive our past.

I hope you have a wonderful day. If you are in Winter’s fury, stay inside, stay warm and stay safe. If not, count your blessings!

Love & Hugs,

Lady A

Calendar of the Sun for December 2nd

Calendar of the Sun

Bruma

Colors: White and brown
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon a bare table lay a large pot shaped like a human figure, reclining, filled with earth. All should enter bearing two white cloths, one on each arm.
Offerings: Silence and meditation.
Daily Meal: Vegetarian

Bruma Invocation

Earth, you lie sleeping in silence,
And we can do nothing but wait.
We have breathed upon your first seeds,
We have sung your first green shoots
Up from the bare brown soil,
We have watered you with tears and sweat
And fed you with the remains of our meals,
We have cut down your bounty and saved it,
Yet this is not the time for seeds, or green,
But simply the long cold wait in the dark
Until the light waxes and the time comes again.
You are silent, and will not speak to us,
No matter how we cry out.
You are dormant, and will not sing to us,
No matter how we raise our voices,
For all things come in their own time,
And this is not the time for movement.
So we will sit with you, Earth,
We will watch over you as you sleep
And take part in your dreams
In silence, and wait for your awakening.

Chant:
Earth dreaming
Silent seeming
Winter’s vigil
We will wait for you.

(After the chant has been sung five times, all come forth to the altar. Each lays one white cloth gently over the pot, saying, “Blessed be the Earth in the time of winter.” Then each sits on the floor and places the other white cloth over their heads, and meditates on all that is sleeping and cannot be awoken. Silence in the House until Akte.)
[Pagan Book of Hours]

Weather Lore for the Month of February

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February Weather Lore

A wet February, a wet Spring.

Winter either bites with its teeth or lashes with its tail.

If Candlemas be fair and clear, there’ll be two winters in the year.

If a hedgehog casts a shadow at noon, Winter will return.

“Février l’pu court éd chés moés, ch’est l’pire chint foés”.
February is the shortest month and by far the worst.

Waking Up & Clearing Space

Waking Up & Clearing Space
By Lotus Moonwise
.
When the cold weather begins and the season shifts from autumn to winter, I go into hibernation. I go into that quiet space within and it feels like time stands still. Projects that I’ve been working on get put on the shelf. I know that things unfinished will have to wait for Spring. I let go of the past year and move into the dark months. During this time, I often find myself wanting to just curl up in a warm bed, like a child in the womb of the Mother. I feel a quiet calmness. If one looks only on the surface, it seems there is not much going on. Though deep within there is much activity. Energies of the past year mingling with energies of what is to come. Swirling together in the void. Within that void, all possibilities exist and from that space, creation springs forth. In this dark space, we wait to be reborn and for new light and inspiration to find us. We wait for the first signs of Spring. I feel the stirrings within me and the excitement of starting over again. Another turn of the wheel and we’ve arrived at one of my favorite times of year: Imbolc. We start to awaken from Winter’s long sleep. We pay attention to our thoughts and notice how inspiration begins flooding in, giving us little clues to follow, opening us up to all the potentials of the New Year. We feel an inner urging to clear our space. We begin to look around and notice all the ways we could simplify, clear out, and unclutter our lives. We make peace with the process of letting go of the past to make room for the new.  “Spring Cleaning” is a tradition for many people at this time of year. It’s part of our natural cycles as humans connected to the Earth. We feel it in our bodies. We don’t need to look at a calendar to tell us it’s time to clear our space. We feel it in every cell. We know it by the way we feel. We know it when we feel the flower inside our hearts begin to open up, ready to blossom towards the sun as it grows in strength. We want to open our arms and embrace this new light by sharing it with those we love. In my family, Imbolc is a celebration that lasts over several weeks. It begins when we pack up the Yule decorations and take down the tree. The clearing process starts with our physical space. Starting at one end of the house, usually the kitchen, we turn on some music, open all the windows, empty each room completely, and clean everything from top to bottom, infusing the space with new energies. Then we take our time filling the space again, putting back only what is essential. We usually have a few boxes to categorize the items we remove from the rooms. A box of things we know we want to keep, a box for things that we know we can let go of, and one for things we are not sure of yet. First we put back what we know we want, then we spend time in the room as it is. Going within, we ask, what else is truly needed here? The inspiration comes. Maybe a new altar for the kitchen? Maybe some new pictures to hang on the wall? A new plant? Every year, it’s a different answer. The room tells us what it needs. Room by room, we continue like this, until the entire house has been re-born.  When we get to the kid’s rooms, we talk about what it means to let things go. We talk about how other children may enjoy the toys the kids no longer play with. The kids get their own box to put used toys in that are later taken to a donation center, along with everything else that we are letting go of as a family. It’s a process they have become used to. Letting go of things from the past is a natural part of their life. Learning to let go now, as children, sets a foundation for their lives and makes transitions easier to move through.
Once the physical space is clear, it’s time for a clearing of another kind. A clearing of the emotional, mental, and spiritual space within. A time to take stock of everything in our lives and what it means to us. Family, friends, career, spiritual practice, hopes, dreams, goals. It’s the time to get quiet and listen to your inner voice tell you what it needs. A time to set your intention to be open to allow all avenues of blessing and abundance into your life. Sometimes the inner voice will tell us if we have gotten off track and how to get back to the basics of what we truly need. Maybe we need to spend more time with family or friends. Maybe it’s time to change our job if it’s not bringing us joy. Maybe it’s time to move to a new place? The possibilities are endless. I use this time to re-dedicate myself to my chosen spiritual path and to re-write my personal statement of intent. I call upon Brigid at this time for inspiration for new projects that I’m starting, and to revive old projects that I put on the shelf when the winter months began. I visualize the waters of her sacred well washing me clean of the past and nurturing me in the wholeness of the now moment. I allow myself to be actively fulfilled by the present moment and open to the truth of the perfection that is within me. It’s time to fertilize the soil of our souls with the seeds of our dreams, knowing that these seeds will grow and blossom as the year progresses through it’s cycles once again.
Have a Blessed Imbolc!
About The
Author:
Lotus Moonwise is studying to become a Priestess of the Order
of the White Moon.

Calendar of the Sun for January 23rd

Calendar of the Sun

 
Bruma

Colors: White and brown
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon a bare table lay a large pot shaped like a human figure, reclining,  with earth. All should enter bearing two white cloths, one on each arm.
Offerings: Silence and meditation.
Daily Meal: Vegetarian

Bruma Invocation

Earth, you lie sleeping in silence,
And we can do nothing but wait.
We have breathed upon your first seeds,
We have sung your first green shoots
Up from the bare brown soil,
We have watered you with tears and sweat
And fed you with the remains of our meals,
We have cut down your bounty and saved it,
Yet this is not the time for seeds, or green,
But simply the long  wait in the dark
Until the light waxes and the time comes again.
You are silent, and will not  to us,
No matter how we cry out.
You are dormant, and will not sing to us,
No matter how we raise our voices,
For all things come in their own time,
And this is not the time for movement.
So we will sit with you, Earth,
We will watch over you as you sleep
And take part in your dreams
In silence, and wait for your awakening.

Chant:
Earth dreaming
Silent seeming
Winter’s vigil
We will wait for you.

(After the chant has been sung five times, all come forth to the altar. Each lays one white cloth gently over the pot, saying, “Blessed be the Earth in the time of winter.” Then each sits on the floor and places the other white cloth over their heads, and meditates on all that is sleeping and cannot be awoken. Silence in the House until Akte.)

 Pagan Book of Hours

http://www.paganbookofhours.org/

 

Calendar of the Sun for January 14th

Calendar of the Sun

Bruma

Colors: White and brown
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon a bare table lay a large pot shaped like a human figure, reclining, filled with earth. All should enter bearing two white cloths, one on each arm.
Offerings: Silence and meditation.
Daily Meal: Vegetarian

Bruma Invocation

Earth, you lie sleeping in silence,
And we can do nothing but wait.
We have breathed upon your first seeds,
We have sung your first green shoots
Up from the bare brown soil,
We have watered you with tears and sweat
And fed you with the remains of our meals,
We have cut down your bounty and saved it,
Yet this is not the time for seeds, or green,
But simply the long cold wait in the dark
Until the light waxes and the time comes again.
You are silent, and will not speak to us,
No matter how we cry out.
You are dormant, and will not sing to us,
No matter how we raise our voices,
For all things come in their own time,
And this is not the time for movement.
So we will sit with you, Earth,
We will watch over you as you sleep
And take part in your dreams
In silence, and wait for your awakening.

Chant:
Earth dreaming
Silent seeming
Winter’s vigil
We will wait for you.

(After the chant has been sung five times, all come forth to the altar. Each lays one white cloth gently over the pot, saying, “Blessed be the Earth in the time of winter.” Then each sits on the floor and places the other white cloth over their heads, and meditates on all that is sleeping and cannot be awoken. Silence in the House until Akte.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Sun for January 12

Calendar of the Sun

 

12 Wolfmonath

Niflheim Day

Colors: White and Grey
Element: Air
Altar: Upon cloth of white and grey place a crystal goblet of melted snow, crystal ornaments that mimic ice, snowflakes, white fur, figures of white bears, and a large white bowl of snow.
Offerings: Help someone to keep warm in the winter, such as paying their fuel bill, bringing them wood to burn, or bringing them warmer clothing. There should be no heat in the House today from Auge to Hesperis, save what is necessary for the plumbing. All should bear with the cold, and think on their ancestors, for whom heat was vital.
Daily Meal: Cold meats and fish.

Niflheim Invocation

In the beginning, there was Ginnungagap,
The darkness ever-stretching in every direction.
Then came forth two worlds into the darkness,
And one was made of Ice over Stone.
Earth and Water, yet frozen and unmoving,
Waiting for the touch of Fire to wake them.
Yet when that Fire came and melted the Ice,
Forth was born Ymir the Giant,
Huge as a mountain chain, vast and blind
As the Earth from whence he came.
Ancestor of all the frost-giants,
The storm-giants, the creatures of wind and mist,
From from Ice and Stone came Breath,
Air that rushes and batters, great blizzards of the North.
Hail the Land of Ice, Winter’s glory,
Home of the Lords of Wind and Cold!
Hail to the Land of Water, lakes and islands,
Fjords that touch the icy water.
Hail to the Chieftains of Niflheim,
Great Kari the North Wind, son of Mistblindi,
Brother to Fire and Ocean,
Frosti, Snaer, Thorri, Fon, Drifa,
Mjol the wind-rider, the sorceress.
Hail to the Land of Mists, from whence the Giants came,
One of the Two from which all the Worlds began.

(One who has been chosen to do the work of the ritual carries around the goblet of melted snow, and all drink from it. The rest is poured out as libation.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Sun for December 28th

Calendar of the Sun

Bruma

Colors: White and brown
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon a bare table lay a large pot shaped like a human figure, reclining, filled with earth. All should enter bearing two white cloths, one on each arm.
Offerings: Silence and meditation.
Daily Meal: Vegetarian

Bruma Invocation

Earth, you lie sleeping in silence,
And we can do nothing but wait.
We have breathed upon your first seeds,
We have sung your first green shoots
Up from the bare brown soil,
We have watered you with tears and sweat
And fed you with the remains of our meals,
We have cut down your bounty and saved it,
Yet this is not the time for seeds, or green,
But simply the long cold wait in the dark
Until the light waxes and the time comes again.
You are silent, and will not speak to us,
No matter how we cry out.
You are dormant, and will not sing to us,
No matter how we raise our voices,
For all things come in their own time,
And this is not the time for movement.
So we will sit with you, Earth,
We will watch over you as you sleep
And take part in your dreams
In silence, and wait for your awakening.

Chant:
Earth dreaming
Silent seeming
Winter’s vigil
We will wait for you.

(After the chant has been sung five times, all come forth to the altar. Each lays one white cloth gently over the pot, saying, “Blessed be the Earth in the time of winter.” Then each sits on the floor and places the other white cloth over their heads, and meditates on all that is sleeping and cannot be awoken. Silence in the House until Akte.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]