Tag Archive: pagan spirituality


I thought I’d share these projects with you…altars happen to spring up all over the place!

First, an altar to Frigga.  I decided to set this one up in the dining room on the buffet.

Altar to Frigga

Altar to Frigga

There is a covered offering bowl for liquids; a plate to burn incense; blue tea-light candle holders; a piece of blue lace agate, a piece of unakitemoonstone pendant and a small quartz crystal ball – these just felt right.  Also, a Glade glass candle holder as an offering bowl – I just really liked the spirals etched in the metal – reminds me of spinning and wyrd.  I plan to add other items later to include flowers, keys, maybe some representation of ducks or geese (my pair of pink quartz Mandarin ducks now that I think about it…) and a small distaff and/or a small replica of a spinning wheel.  I’m also waiting on a hand-crafted Frigga soy blót candle I had ordered several weeks ago adorned with a Perthro rune hung on handspun Blue Moon baby camel and merino yarn.  I’d also like to incorporate 12 small white tea-light candles around Her to symbolize Her 12 handmaidens.

Next up is an altar to Odin.

Altar to Odin

Altar to Odin

I had originally thought to set this up above my computer desk upstairs as that is where I spend a lot time seeking knowledge.  When I set Odin’s statue up on the window sill, I had a rock knickknack/paper weight there that said: “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – totally reminded me of Odin.  So, I went back downstairs and set Odin’s altar up above my Ancestor altar.  There is also a wood carved raven; a smokey quartz; a piece of black obsidian, and a blue optic crystal ball – totally reminded me of the eye he sacrificed at Mimir’s Well for a single drink of enchanted water that granted him wisdom and fore-sight.  Also, an offering plate and a cup in back with depictions of  pinecones and evergreens on it.  I am also waiting on a hand-crafted dark blue soy candle charged with Baltic Amber and 9 sacred herbs of Northern Tradition shamanism including Mugwort, Plantain, Nettle, Fennel, Chamomile, Sweet Cicely, Watercress, Crabapple Wood and Viper’s Bugloss adorned with a raven charm.  

Altar to Odin

Knife unsheathed

So yeah, some neat things in the works 🙂

MUST REMEMBER THIS!!!

MUST REMEMBER THIS!!!

So, where to begin in this post?  Balance…If you can believe it, yes, life has gotten a little more hectic – another monkey wrench or two thrown into the mix of life.  All was almost balanced – house, kiddies, online college courses, spiritual development, devotions and practices.  Now however, due to my husband’s new work schedule that now keeps him from the house almost 16 hours a day with unknown days off in between, I came to the hard and sudden realization on Monday that I’m going to have to yet again, make some changes in my life – really sit down, prioritize and effectively manage my time or I will burn out.  This has been showing up quite a bit in my daily Rune readings  with Ehwaz on an almost daily basis and  quite recently Jera in opposition – indicating a setback, a need for readjusting and asking for help and Isa – again, time to slow down!  This really sucks as I HATE change!  I’ve just started attending a Seeker’s Course with The Nine Worlds American Kindred which is about an hour’s drive for me, am studying and have recently been initiated into the Apple Branch and am in the middle of completing the Dedicant Path with the ADF (well, actually trying to play catch up as I originally wanted to have it completed within a year of joining the ADF, but that may or may not be a realistic goal right now…).  I think, why have these opportunities presented themselves only to be taken away (referring to the Seeker’s Course in particular)??

To add to all of this, I’ve also been dealing with some uncomfortable health issues and upon visiting the doctor on Monday, left me with 2 choices of treatment: (1) major surgery with the removal of an organ that I’m not quite ready to part with yet (and plus I have no one to help me during recovery time should I choose that method of treatment) or (2) hormone injections (which sucks because I like the way I feel not being on hormones).  Overwhelmed…feeling quite overwhelmed and ever so slightly grumpy…

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My most recent and amazing Full Moon ritual back on March 28 gives me some relief and comfort knowing that things will be OK when I reflect back on it.  Upon welcoming Freyja and lighting Her candle, the candle began to literally crackle and pop, putting on a most amazing light show that left me speechless and heart racing until the flame settled back down; there was no doubt that She was there.  Personal offerings were made, I had a most amazing and powerful experience in a meditation from a Daily Om course I had ordered last month that I finally started, followed by a Rune reading: Uruz, Eihwaz, and Raidho.  My interpretation indicated inner strength coming into effect in daily life – think before acting, take responsibility or act with responsibility and I will have the power to overcome any obstacle.  Still holding onto outdated beliefs or desires (yes, this was also told to me at Ostara – I have broken many restraints but there are still a few I need to break), do NOT resist change.  Trust and take control – know the true nature, seasons and cycles; BALANCE action with planning and reflection.

And in walks Frigga who has been sitting back since December and observing in Her strong, quiet, and all-knowing way…Perhaps it’s time to develop my home, hearth and kitchen Craft.  As She is associated with the home and also with magic, given my circumstances of severely limited to now non-existant solo travel time, I do feel it’s time to work with Her and learn these things necessary to master said Craft.

Reading Nimue Brown’s post “The Druid balancing act” yesterday was very inspirational and spoke to me…

Freyja rides atop Hildisvíni to visit Hyndla (1895) by Lorenz Frølich.

Freyja rides atop Hildisvíni to visit Hyndla (1895) by Lorenz Frølich.

Also on an interesting note, yesterday’s Goddess of the Day was Rindr.  My daily Rune draw included Isa – associated with Rindr.  Given Her story in lore and some past issues I’ve dealt with that still do affect my life today, I feel as though Freyja is sending me to Rindr.  Just as Freyja had to visit the giantess Hyndla to get answers She needed, so too must I visit Rindr to get answers and knowledge needed to progress – just hopefully the meeting(s) won’t  be as confrontational…

So, as it stands right now, I need to slow down and take a step back, look at the bigger picture and prioritize – decide what has to be cut back or be put on the back burner for now.  A lot of my work is going to have to be solo or online.  I will try to make it out to Alabama or up to Atlanta for the High Days with the kiddies as I can because I do need some “real time” contact with community for the sake of sanity.  As a dear and wise mentor pointed out yesterday, balance is very important!

This graphic on Facebook has been driving me crazy all week – thanks to The Belle Jar for putting this together to address the mis- and disinformation being put out there that has absolutely no scholarly evidence or lore to back those claims up.  I also found this on the Suppressed History Archives Facebook page: “A real connection, not linguistic or diffusionist, can be found in the spring festival of eggs, whether Pesach or Easter. Pesach (Passover) has been shown to incorporate Babylonian cultural elements (from the Jewish Babylonian) – beyond the egg and greenery on the plate, it incorporates the names Esther (Ishtar) and Mordechai (Marduk). Still today Iranians play games with painted eggs for Nowruz (Persian New Year, coinciding with Spring Equinox). Dunno if this is allowed now in the Islamic Republic of Iran, but looky here:” History of Nowruz, the Persian New Year.  Also this from the Northern Grove, Cultural Appropriation, Ishtar, Eostre, and Easter.  Good stuff to read!

The Belle Jar

If there is one thing that drives me absolutely bananas, it’s people spreading misinformation via social media under the guise of “educating”. I’ve seen this happen in several ways – through infographics that twist data in ways that support a conclusion that is ultimately false, or else through “meaningful” quotes falsely attributed to various celebrities, or by cobbling together a few actual facts with statements that are patently untrue to create something that seems plausible on the surface but is, in fact, full of crap.

Yesterday, the official Facebook page of (noted misogynistandeugenicsenthusiast) Richard Dawkins’ Foundation for Reason and Science shared the following image to their 637,000 fans:

Naturally, their fans lapped this shit up; after all, this is the kind of thing they absolutely live for. Religious people! Being hypocritical! And crazy! And wrong! The 2,000+ comments were chock-full of smug remarks…

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As always, I really love Deanne Quarrie’s work. The earth is the body of our Earth Mother – She gives us life, She sustains us and nourishes us and is all around us; yet She is within each and everyone one of us. Love and blessings to you Earth Mother – thank you!

“Our Mother who art within us,
Each breath brings us to you.
Thy wisdom come,
Thy will be done,
as we honor your presence within us.
You give us this day all that we need.
Your bounty calls us to give and receive
all that is loving and pleasurable.
You are the courage that moves us to be true to ourselves
and we act with grace and power.
We relax into your cycles of birth,
growth, death and renewal.
Out of the womb, the darkness, the void, comes new life.
For you are the Mother of All Things.
Your body is the Sacred Earth and our bodies.
Your love nurtures us and unites us all.
Now and forever more.” – Dale Allen

 

In the earliest of times, I believe, humans did not see themselves as separate from all that was around them.  All of life was known as interdependent.  This is how I see it today.  When we are born, we are born to a mother.  Our lives are solely dependent on her for survival.  We are birthed by her, nourished by her, protected by her, and sometimes forced out to experience on our own, by her.  She is at first, our own Original Uncultured Mother.  Once we move from her shelter, we begin to experience our world in the same way, looking not only for what nourishes, what protects and what shelters, but also for what we need to be mindful of for our own safety, those forces far out of our control.  Those forces, which were uncontrollable, the ancients held in high esteem, and honored with reverence.   

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Happy Lupercalia!

Lupercalia1

This year, I’ve really kind of felt a pull away from Valentine’s Day and a draw to study Lupercalia.  Given that I have a lot of Sicilian ancestry, it only seems appropriate.  “Lupercalia was a very ancient, possibly pre-Roman pastoral festival, observed on February 13 through 15 to avert evil spirits and purify the city, releasing health and fertility. Lupercalia subsumed Februa, an earlier-origin spring cleansing ritual held on the same date, which gives the month of February (Februarius) its name.

The name Lupercalia was believed in antiquity to evince some connection with the Ancient Greek festival of the Arcadian Lykaia and the worship of Lycaean Pan, assumed to be a Greek equivalent to Faunus, as instituted by Evander.

In Roman mythology, Lupercus is a god sometimes identified with the Roman god Faunus, who is the Roman equivalent of the Greek god Pan.  Lupercus is the god of shepherds. His festival, celebrated on the anniversary of the founding of his temple on February 15, was called the Lupercalia. His priests wore goatskins. The historian Justin mentions an image of “the Lycaean god, whom the Greeks call Pan and the Romans Lupercus,” nude save for the girdle of goatskin, which stood in the Lupercal, the cave where Romulus and Remus were suckled by a she-wolf. There, on the Ides of February (in February the ides is the 13th), a goat and a dog were sacrificed, and salt mealcakes prepared by the Vestal Virgins were burnt.” [1]

"The Wolf With the Red Roses" by ~HeartRaped

“The Wolf With the Red Roses” by ~HeartRaped

The sacrifice of goats and dogs may be troubling for some (myself included) and may result in a knock on the door from your local police department and/or the ASPCA.  I would like to believe that as our consciousness has grown and evolved, so has that of the gods’.  I ran across a great piece entitled “Lupercalia – Adapting an Ancient Roman Festival for Modern Times“.  In it, it gives some great alternatives to blood sacrifice and making it more symbolic, yet keeping the Spirit alive.  Since the wolf is one of my favorite animals and is in one way or another a totem or guide for me, I really love and embrace the idea of doing something to help the wolf – whether donating money to a charitable organization that speaks up and tries to save the wolves and/or education and raising awareness about preserving the species.  CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP THE WOLVES.

As for personal workings, this really resonated with me: “Amulius deprived his nephews of their parents. The Gods stepped in and gave them wolf parents. Another aspect that could be reflected upon is the way in which the Gods provide alternatives when we suffer losses in our lives. Thanks might be offered to the benevolence of Providence, especially if those taking part have had just such experiences of the kindness of strangers.”

f4b62d049287e33cc38a375e350a7c4dAlso, from Patricia Telesco’s book, 365 Goddess:A Daily Guide to the Magic and Inspiration of the Goddess, she states in her February 14th entry on Venus and Lupercalia: “During Lupercalia, an ancient predecessor of Valentine’s Day, single girls put their names in a box and unmarried men drew lots to see with whom they would be paired off for the coming year. To be more modern-minded, try pinning five bay leaves to your pillow instead to dream of future loves. If you’re married or otherwise involved, steep the bay leaves in water and drink the resulting tea to strengthen the love in your relationship.

To encourage balance in a relationship, bind together Venus’s symbols, a pine cone and a flower, and put them somewhere in your home. Or, to spice up a passionate moment, feed fresh berries to each other and drink a berry beverage from one cup (symbolizing united goals and destinies).

In Roman tradition, anywhere there’s a large stone adjacent to a tall tree, Venus is also there. Should you know of such a place, go there today and commune with Her warm, lusty energy.”

Of course, there is the whole fertility aspect of this holiday as well.  So, in the Spirit of the holiday, indulge in some strawberries, some chocolate, and other Foods of Love.  Have a glass or two of red wine and embrace Love; which includes loving yourself!  Have fun, keep it safe and get kinky wit’ it!

Divine advice from Stifyn Emrys

Divine advice from Stifyn Emrys

 

 

 

Sources:

Herne, Robin. Manygods.org.uk, “Lupercalia – Adapting an Ancient Roman Festival for Modern Times

Wikipedia, “Lupercalia“.

 

 

Suggested Links: 

About.com, “Lupercalia“.

Brinker, Wendy. Magickalwinds.com, “The True Origins of Saint Valentine’s Day“.

Ruickbie, Leo. Witchology.com, “St Valentine’s Day or Ancient Pagan Sex Rite?“.

Invokation To The Crone At Samhain

No; not in the least as I found out last night…She doesn’t sugar-coat anything and is brutally honest, but I’ll get to that.  So, were to begin?  Well, I guess let’s start out with yesterday, shall we?  All day I had been feeling very much out of sorts – irritable, agitated, scatterbrained and anxious.  This actually really surprised me because I’d been rolling along all happy and feeling full of inspiration, riding the out the Imbolc high.  Yesterday started out weird, very much feeling Odin’s persistent tap on the shoulder just to let me know that he’s still here (yes, thanks for reminding me – as if I didn’t know that!)  Anywho, Odin seems to be making more and more frequent appearances as of late; showing up in a lot of books, articles and blogs I read, meeting people who have a strong connection with him and reading and listening to their experiences – some of which totally freaked me out, which probably led to a lot of my discontent yesterday.  I’m not going to lie – it scares me.  How the hell could I have attracted the attention of such a deity??  For some of you who know me personally, you know that I tend to be more on the Dianic side.  I’ve never felt a connection with any god…until Odin starting making an appearance here and there when I was living in Alaska several years ago.  I’m quite aware of the berserker and warrior side of him, but to be honest, I don’t know or see that side of him.  Coming across this from Wyrd Dottir kind of set my mind (and soul) at ease – THANK YOU!  To me, he appears very sagely – almost Gandalf-ish, very much “Odin, the Wanderer“.  He’s so wise; yet he’s curious, still thirsting for knowledge.  He craves wisdom, knowledge and inspires and drives me to seek out and do the same, soaking it up like a sponge and leaving me wanting more.  I feel like he’s hanging over my shoulder, even now as I write this to see what’s going on – to see what I’m doing or reading, seeing what wisdom and knowledge might lie there.  So, now what?  As much as I’ve been trying to ignore him hoping that he’ll leave me along and go away, he’s still there…Yet, a part of me instinctively knows, knows what?  Knows that he’s not going away and that I may need him as much as he needs me.

Big-Sunspot-Unleashes-Intense-Solar-Flare-At-Earth

So, working on this internal struggle during a solar eruption that happened yesterday – and a pretty intense one at that.  A little FYI about solar flares – according to Astrologyinaction.com, “In addition to affecting Earth, solar flares affect each of us both physiologically and astrologically. The Sun is the giver of all life. Astrologically, the Sun is our primary influence, determining our character, our behavior and our purpose. When the Sun experiences high solar flare activity, it’s normal for us to feel physiological disruptions or just simply feel off kilter. In fact, when either of our luminaries experience celestial events, we are affected in a rather personal way.”  Also, visit Carliniinstitute.com and read “The Effects of Recent Solar Flares“.  During such events, Heather Carlini advises to “be sure to drink extra water when we are having solar flares. The reason is that it takes extra water from the brain to process these energies. I also suggest vitamin B complex and a product from the health food store called Curamin as this helps. Omega 3 is also needed at this time. Cut back on caffeine as it revves up the nervous system even more during high solar activity. Also for upset stomach, tap on the cheekbones on both sides of the face just under the eyes as this helps release energy blockages in the stomach.”  Well now, I guess this explains a lot…

Moving onto last night’s ritual.  I set up my altar downstairs after making sure the kids were asleep so I’d have no interruptions.  Well, I guess I should’ve made sure the husband was asleep as well…ugh, a whole other topic that I don’t need to get into here.  My ritual wasn’t dedicated to any Dark Mother or Crone in particular.  I lit my black candle and charcoal that didn’t seem to want to light or stay lit, burned sage and lavender to purify and consecrate the space (which apparently was the main cause of discontent with my husband), and followed a real loose ADF COoR inspired ritual.  I had my iPhone ready with what seemed like an appropriate guided meditation/self-hypnosis to the Underworld setup ready to go, pen, paper, runes and Wisdom of the Hidden Realms Oracle Cards (just because I wasn’t sure what method of divination I wanted to use and wanted to make sure I had some options depending on what felt right at the moment).  I made offerings of Dragon’s Blood resin and whiskey to the Dark Mother and decided to grab my bag of runes to take an omen – to see if my offerings had been accepted and that it was OK to proceed to Her.  This was the first time using runes as I’ve always been intimated for some reason by them.  I’d been reading about them for awhile now and felt confident enough to say “what the heck, let’s try it tonight.”  I’m actually pretty glad I did because they were easier for me to use and interpret than what I had previously thought.  Well, let’s just say that my first rune I picked wasn’t all that great – Tiwaz inverted.  This seemed to sum it pretty well (as well as here and here).  It was actually pretty disheartening, but deep down, I knew to be true.  I then drew another after asking my new main question, “How do I change this?”  I picked Sowilo – a very good rune that gave me hope and encouragement.  Then as I was putting them back, Isa dropped out followed by Dagaz.  My interpretation – Yes, I’ve got some shit to work out that has been holding me back, keeping my energy drained and not fulfilling my potential.  I do need to prove myself and can’t expect things to be handed to me.  However, Sowilo offers hope – it’s the sun, fire – perhaps a guide of sorts that will light my way and melt the stagnant and depression that Isa signifies.  However, Isa isn’t all that bad either, because sometimes you do need to rest, take a step back and be cautious before trekking forward.  Dagaz is my goal – learning balance, receiving enlightenment from Odin and learning to balance and appreciate the Male and Female aspects of the Divine.  I’ve also been reading Northern Mysteries and Magick by Freya Aswenn and Taking Up the Runes by Diana Paxson that seem to be very helpful in understanding and connecting their message together.  Needless to say, I pretty much ended the ritual there.

So now what?  It’s been an interesting time – with the sparks and lightning flashes at Imbolc, the New Moon in Aquarius, this recent solar flare and Mercury in “the Shadow” getting ready to go retrograde…Oy vey!  Well, for me, it maybe a time to heed Isa, it’s time to open up, sit back and think – it’s time to realize my goals.  It’s time to organize and plan.  It’s time to think about what is really important and what will aid me in achieving my goals.  It’s time to plant those seeds and really nurture them.  It’s a time to learn balance – to balance Isa with Sowlio’s warm nurturing sun energy to achieve Dagaz…all while keeping in mind however Mercury is getting ready to go retrograde here on February 23 (Mercury entered “the Shadow” on February 8.  According to Sue on Magnoliaswest.com pertaining to Mercury entering “the Shadow”: “This window is when you may become aware of what you will be dealing with in the coming retrograde cycle. Events and situations that arise for you during this time will continue to unfold during the retrograde itself.”)  So get ready my friends!

Dark Moon, New Moon…or Liminal Moon?

“New Moon Goddess” by Montserrat

“New Moon Goddess” by Montserrat

In light of (or lack there of) the New Moon upon us within the next few days, I though I’d touch on a topic that has always confused and frustrated me a bit, and maybe some of you too:  Is there a difference between the “New Moon” and the “Dark Moon”?  Now, I’ve heard the two names used interchangeably as if they were one in the same; then I’ve heard and read that they are indeed different.  From my understanding, and what seems to be common knowledge among Pagans, Wiccans, Witches and those who follow the lunar cycle, the Waning Moon gives way to the Dark Moon or New Moon that brings with it the closing or end of a cycle and new beginnings.  It is a time of releasing and banishing negativity.  It is a time of purification, cleansing and a time of rest.  It is a time of introspection, meditation and seeking knowledge and wisdom.  It is a time of death and rebirth.  This Moon can be intimidating for some or even thought of as dangerous by those who do not understand the power and potential that this phase of the Moon has to offer.

How now, my ever critical and nitpicking Virgo mind wonders, can one Moon symbolize both an end and a beginning?  Death and rebirth?  Rest and rejuvenation?  Doesn’t one have to come before the other?  But then, which comes first?  Mustn’t you be born in order to die?  Mustn’t you die in order to be reborn?  Round and round we go…Therefore, I can understand how with death and rebirth being so intricately entwined and connected, this phase of the Moon could perhaps be treated or looked upon as a type of threshold or a liminal phase of the Moon – the “in-between” Moon of transition, waiting, and not knowing.  In saying that, it is easy to see why there is so much confusion over this Moon, discomfort or even fear of working with and under this phase of the Moon; for it is Dark (and full of terrors…LoL!  Sorry, had to throw that in there – yes, I am a hopeless Game of Thrones addict).

If we look at and consider this Moon in a sense as the liminal phase, it’s easy to see why it could be unpleasant or scary for some.  It is a time of transition and change; phasing out of the “Old Moon” and in order to usher in the “New Moon”.  It requires us to leave our comfort zone and head into the unknown.  As mentioned earlier, it is a time of introspection and seeking the wisdom of the Dark Mother or the Crone.  In making the journey and coming into contact with Her, Her demands, tasks and challenges may truly challenge preconceived notions, assumptions and narrowed perspectives; to reject all that we thought we “knew” in order to discover the new truths and the knowledge and wisdom that She has to offer…that takes trust, and that my friends can be pretty damn scary, for how can we trust what we don’t see?  How can we trust when we have no idea how long we’ll be in the dark?

It can be a time to come face to face with issues that maybe hurting us or holding us back.  This can be tricky, unpleasant and downright devastating and horrifying at times; for it requires us, if one is brave enough, to cross the threshold into the Dark Mother’s dark, deep and vast abyss of the unknown.  Some call it the Underworld, some call it the subconscious, and it is there we learn the lessons that need to be learned.

“Ereshkigal” by ~Fenrizulf

“Ereshkigal” by ~Fenrizulf

Like Inanna, we must shed and set aside all barriers and come face to face with Ereshkigal, or our Shadow-selves – that side of us which we would prefer not to look at, deal with or choose to repress because it maybe too hurtful or frightening to face.  It is here that we find and face the root cause of our habits, patterns and destructive behaviors and it is here that we must experience death; the death of those old habits and destructive behaviors no matter how painful it may be in order to rise above and be re-born.  If we don’t face that death, then we get caught in a never-ending pattern or cycle and are doomed to descend again and again to face Ereshkigal (or whatever Underworld deity that your personal practice or pantheon includes) until there is a death.

(NOTE: For those of you interested in Jungian psychology and Shadow work, I HIGHLY suggest reading Descent to the Goddess by Sylvia Brinton Perera.  I also HIGHLY suggest visiting Matrignosis: A Blog About Inner Wisdom and reading Dr. Jean Raffa’s “A Study In Shadows: Four Principles“;  “Three Steps to Discovering Your Shadow“; “Creative Interactions With the Shadow” and “The Light Shadow” – absolutely enlightening and fascinating and very appropriate I think for successful journeys during this phase of the Moon.)

 

Moving onto spellwork…Is there a difference between the “New Moon” and the “Dark Moon”?  Some will say yes, some will say no. First, I’d like to look at the astronomical definitions.  “Astronomically, [the Dark Moon] refers to the period when the Moon is not visible in the sky. This lasts between 1-3 days, depending upon your location. This is the period between the end of the Waning Moon up to and including the very start of the Waxing Moon, when the Moon is again illuminated by the Sun. Astrologically and magickally, this refers to the period when the Moon is not illuminated in any way, it is the period between the end of the Waning Moon and the start of the Waxing Moon.

Astronomically, [the New Moon] refers to the Midpoint of the Dark Moon, the time of which the Moon is exactly between phases, i.e. Waxing and Waning, as such, all times given for the New Moon on calendars, and even on the NASA website, are the Midpoint, the peak of, the Dark Moon. Astrologically and magickally, this refers to the very beginning of the Waxing Moon, when the Moon is again illuminated by the Sun; that very first Crescent of Moon in the Sky” (Lady Althaea).

Photo by Wade B. Clark Jr

Photo by Wade B. Clark Jr

To me, they are very different with their own distinctive qualities to aid spellworking and their own place in the cycle.  The Dark Moon is the closing of the cycle; the end of the “Old Moon” dead and gone.  It is a time for purification, a time for banishing, meditation, and rest.  The New Moon is the beginning of a new cycle; the rebirth of the “New Moon” referred to as Diana’s Bow (three days after the Dark Moon, when the moon is just a crescent in the sky).  It is a time of rebirth, rejuvenation, and the start of new projects.

In conclusion however, the differences in terminology, beliefs and practices boils down one’s own magical tradition and what feels right to them.

 

 

Sources:

Lady Althaea. Ladyalthaea.com, “Dark Moon vs New Moon – What’s the Difference“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Cauldronliving.com, “Dark Moon vs. New Moon“.

Everythingunderthemoon.net, “Moon Phases and Spellwork“.

Hall, Molly. Astrology.about.com, “New Moon Magic“.

Hall, Molly. Astrology.about.com, “When is the Dark Moon?

 

When God Was a Girl

Take an hour out and treat yourself – reclaim your herstory, reclaim your divinity! Wonderful and informational.  “Historian Bettany Hughes visits a world where Goddesses ruled the heavens and earth, and reveals why our ancestors thought of the divine as female. Travelling across the Mediterranean and the Near East, Bettany goes to remote places, where she encounters fearsome Goddesses who controlled life and death, and she ends up in modern-day India, where the Goddess is still a powerful force for thousands of Hindus. Immersing herself in the excitement of the Durga Puja festival, Bettany experiences Goddess worship first-hand, and finds out what the Goddess means to Her devotees.”

 

Happy New Year!

goddess89

May the Goddess bless you with love & laughter to lighten your days,
and warm your heart & home.

May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.

May the Goddess bless you with peace and plenty and bless your world
with joy that long endures.

May all life’s passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Well, there you have it – 365 Goddesses 🙂  Wow, have I really researched and completed that many Goddess entries??  Well, kind of…I plan to go through and “clean-up” some of the earlier entries (primarily Jan 2012 – March 2012) because I wasn’t using the same techniques or format back then when I first started that I’ve been using now – it just kind of evolved and progressed as we made our way through this journey.  I’ll also be checking for broken links and adding additional “Suggested Links” as I come across new information and plan to reorganize the Goddess entries into different categories (i.e. by culture, etc.).  If there is a Goddess that you’d like to see researched, let me know as I have a few of my own that weren’t covered this year (the Morrigan and Demeter for example).

This however will be my last post for awhile.  We will be in the process of actually packing and moving starting tomorrow and I’m not sure when we’ll be settled into our new home in Georgia or when we’ll be back online.  Till then, I’ll check in when I can from my iPhone.

Goddess Bless!!!

The 13th Lunar month of the Celtic calendar is Elder.  This tree marks a time of endings and beginnings.

The Elder Moon is the last month in the cycle of the 13 Celtic Moon months, and it indicates the renewal of energy and continuous journey of the soul toward greater happiness and understanding.  The Winter Solstice, the shortest day and longest night occurs during Elder Moon and is the chance to focus on your heart’s desire.

Annual Evaluation

The Elder Moon is time to bring a halt to habit-forming patterns that have restricted your growth, so that you may heal and move on.  Evaluate what you learned during the past year and give yourself time to work out what you want from life.  Perform spells that conclude the annual cycle and release the energy you invested in previous projects and endeavors, so that you may concentrate on conceiving your new dreams for the New Year.

TREE OF LIFE AND DEATH

“The Elder” by Margaret Walty

The elder tree’s ability to recover when damaged has made it a symbol of regeneration since ancient times, and for this reason it was used in burial rites in British long barrows, an ancient style of grave.  Due to its white flowers (life) and black berries (death), the tree is also sacred to the Mother Goddess who governs birth and death.

Protective Powers

Art by Oskar Klever

The wood is believed to have protective properties to because of the powerful Dryad spirit that lives within it.  When planted near a home, the tree will ward off intruders. The healing powers of the elder are also thought to cure insomnia (by placing elderberries in a spell bag under a pillow) and ensure health of unborn babies (when pregnant women kiss its bark).

 

ELDER MOON MAGIC

Use the powers of the elder tree to bring a sense of completion to the old year and feeling of renewal for the start of the next cycle.

Review the Year

Bring a sense of completion to your Celtic lunar year.

  • Review the last 13 Moons, writing down what you have learned from each.  Acknowledging your lessons helps you move on.
  • Areas of your life that are unfulfilled indicate stuck energy.  Hold quartz and direct love toward your current job, cramped apartment or credit card bill.  New opportunities will appear as if by magic.
  • Resolve difficult relationships by writing a letter to the soul of the person with whom you are in conflict – this helps to clear the way for change.  Then burn the letter.

Release Negativity

Upon reaching the end of the Celtic calendar, the Elder Moon month is the perfect time to release negative energies before entering the New Year, feeling renewed.

1. Dig a hole in the ground and say, “Mother Earth, I ask you to transform my pain into healing.”

2. Place a photo of yourself and a drawing, or written account, of any negative incidents into the hole.

3. Speak or shout your feelings into the hole.

4. When you feel ready, place an elder twig into the hole to represent the end of the cycle.

5. Fill in the hole and stamp the earth down three times saying, “I release the past, so let it be.”

 

Protection Charm

Use this charm to repel unwanted attention and harassment during the party season.

1. Collect together five tiny elder twigs, a white ribbon, a white candle and a strand of your hair.

2. Light the candle saying, “White light surround me, safe will I stay.”

3. Drip the wax onto one of the elder twigs and press your hair into it before it dries.

4. Surround the twig with the others, making a small magical bundle.

5. Secure it with the white ribbon saying, “As I will it, so let it be.”

6. Slip the protection charm into your party handbag and you’re ready to go.

 

Elder Tree Blessing

Use this blessing to heal an environment where there has been an argument, accident, illness or shock.

1. Gather together some elderberries and leaves.

2. Face the north and say, “I call upon the guardians of the earth to bless this place.”  Throw some elderberries and leaves towards the north.

3. Turn to the east and repeat the ritual, this time calling upon the guardians of air.

4. Turn to the south and repeat, calling upon the guardians of fire.

5. Finally, turn to the west and all upon the guardians of water.

6. End by randomly scattering the remaining leaves and release the energy.

 

 

 

Source:

“Enhancing Your Body, Mind and Spirit”, 21 Nature Magic, CARD  17.

 

Suggested Links:

Celticradio.net, “Celtic Zodiac: The Elder“.

The Goddess Tree, “Elder“.

Spiritblogger.wordpress.com, “Spirit Message of the Day – Creative Renewal Cycle“.

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