Tag Archive: pagan spirituality



Operation Circle Care – Yuletide gifts for Pagan Troops

Know of any Pagans serving in the US Military in Afghanistan & elsewhere overseas? Please send their full name, rank, branch of military service, country and war where serving, postal address, and email address for the Pagan Soldier, and also include your own name and contact info, plus your relationship with the Soldier before before November 20th. Circle Sanctuary keeps contact information confidential. Contributions of items and funds are also welcomed for this program.

You can help this effort by sending them donations of new and gently used items as well as funds to cover air mail postage.

DONATE ITEMS: contact the Operation Circle Care project coordinator: occ@circlesanctuary.org.

 

 

ITEMS NEEDED:

Pagan Spiritual Medallions –

  • Pentacles
  • Ankhs
  • Awen symbols
  • Thor’s Hammers
  • Sun symbols
  • Moon symbols
  • Goddess and/or God symbols
  • Green Man/Woman symbols
  • Wheel of the Year symbols

Other items –

  • Pagan Music, Meditation: CDs & DVDs
  • Gift cards from store that ship overseas, for example Barnes and Noble, Amazon
  • Gift cards can be used for online holiday shopping (So deployed soldiers can send gifts home to their children from overseas)
  • ATT phone cards
  • Crystals
  • Small God and Goddess statues
  • Pagan Books (No nudity)
  • Incense
  • Oils
  • Herbs
  • Small Wands
  • Small travel chalices
  • Altar cloths

DONATE FUNDS: Donate to this project on-line by credit card by clicking here or you can send check or money order payable to Circle – Operation Circle Care, Circle, PO Box 9, Barneveld, WI 53507 USA.

Wiccan/Pagan Soldiers may make their own requests for inclusion in our gifting program. Email: circle@circlesanctuary.org with cc to: occ@circlesanctuary.org

NETWORK: Please help get the word out to others about this project.

THANKS to everyone involved in this project!

Current Supporters for the 2012 Yule Package Drive

Organizations, festivals, & businesses making contributions of items and/or funds

  • Dogwood Local Council, Covenant of the Goddess (Georgia)
  • Everglade Moon Local Council of Covenant of the Godess (Florida)
  • Garden State Pagan Alliance (New Jersey)
  • The Crystal Fox (Maryland)
  • Wizard’s Emporium (Indiana)
  • Pagan Educational Network (Indiana)
  • Louisville, KY CUUPS
  • Joliet, IL CUUPS
  • Witches Hat Society of Northwest Indiana

Past Operation Circle Care Supporters
Organizations, festivals, & businesses making contributions of items and/or funds

  • Church of the Eternal Circle (New York)
  • That Witchy Place (http://www.thatwitchyplace.com/)
  • Llewellyn Publications (Minnesota, worldwide)
  • Order of the Pentacle (worldwide)
  • Greater Augusta Pagan Community (Georgia)
  • Pagan Peddler (Virginia)
  • Celebrating Earth Spirituality Festival (Pennsylvania)
  • Sassafras Grove ADF, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Luna Rising, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Charter Oak Grove, Ware, MA

Operation Circle Care Staff

Coordinators: David & Jeanet Ewing
Advisor: Selena Fox

Operation Circle Care is a charity sponsored by Circle Sanctuary, a 501(c)(3) non-profit religious organization.

Contact: occ@circlesanctuary.org.

More details: https://www.circlesanctuary.org/index.php/military-ministries/operation-circle-care.html

The Celtic Moon month of Reed prompts you to withdraw from the outer world, to look within yourself and reconnect with the past.

The celebration of Samhain, now known as Halloween, occurs during the Reed Moon.  To the Celts this month hailed the end of the year, a time to cull the livestock and to connect with ancestors.  All around the world festivals that honor the dead are celebrated.  During the Reed Moon, light a candle for loved ones who have died and you may receive a message from the spirit world.

Releasing Old Energy

The Reed Moon is a good time to use divination to gain insights into the year that has passed.  Perform spells that will release old energy, and burn symbols of illness and negativity in your bonfire on Halloween.  Remember the Celtic year does not begin until the Winter Solstice, so use this interval to dream not to make plans for the future.

THE HAUNTING SOUND OF REED

In the past, the reed was used to make swift-flying arrow shafts that slew both enemies and game.  In this way the plant was linked to the season of death and sacrifice, in which trees shed their leaves and the energy of nature became more introspective.  Many early musical instruments also used the reed to create a haunting sound that has been connected to rites for the dead and summoning the spirits.

Wind Instruments

Modern-day wind instruments have developed from the same principle used by original reed instruments, whereby a current of air is vibrated to produce a melodic sound.

Other traditional uses for reed include thatching.  Rooftops were thatched with reeds, and as the Celts withdrew into their homes for the winter they honored the plant that gave them shelter, making the reed a symbol of royalty and protection.

 

In the depth of winter, you need to recharge.  As you tend to stay indoors a lot during the cold season, this is a good time to both focus on and bless your home.

REED MOON MAGIC

Harness the power of the plant of protection and divination during this lunar month.  Using Reed magic can help you to connect with your ancestral roots or let go of the past.

Ancestor Spirit Altar

Use this ancestral ritual to connect with your ancestors and other loved ones who have crossed to the spirit world.

You Will Need:

  • Ancestral images
  • Three white candles
  • Flowers

You may choose to use a pentagram as the symbol of your spiritual tradition

First, place the ancestral images on a table, with flowers and candles.  Light each candle in turn and offer after each in the following order.

Candle one:

I honor the Ancestors of my Blood.

Candle two:

I honor the Ancestors of my Heart.

Candle three:

I honor the Ancestors of my Tradition.

Meditate, letting images peacefully drift through your mind, and ask for a sign that your loved ones are still with you in spirit.

 

Protection Charm

Use this reed charm to protect yourself from negativity.

You Will Need:

  • Freshly cut reed
  • A black ribbon

1.  Visualize yourself within a circle of white light.

2.  Tie a knot in a freshly cut reed, as it will be more flexible, and then say, “Royal Reed, plant of protection, keep me safe until the new year.”

3.  Suspend the knotted reed from the ceiling using the black ribbon.

4.  At Christmas, take it down and burn it.

 

Samhain Reed Spell

If you need help in letting go of something from your past, use a little reed magic at Samhain (October 31).

You Will Need:

  • Knife
  • Pen
  • Sea salt
  • Matches
  • Fireproof dish

1.  Go to a spot along the river bank where reeds grow tall and strong.

2.  Sprinkle sea salt on the surface of the water and say, “River of birth, river of death, I honor you.  Please accept this offering.”

3. Now choose a reed, cut it, and carefully draw a symbol, or write a word, to represent what you wish to release on the reed.

4.  Light the reed in the fireproof dish and, as it burns, visualize the old energy being transformed into light and disappearing.

5.  Once the reed has burned away, pour the ashes into the water and walk away, feeling fully cleansed of the past.

 

Traditional Magic

  • Try bringing some reed magic into your life with these traditional rituals:
  • Leap over a small bonfire to leave behind the old year.
  • Eat an apple at Samhain at midnight to dream of your spirit guide.
  • Carve out a turnip or pumpkin as a lantern of protection.
  • Bury an apple at a crossroads as an offering to the spirits of the dead.
  • Use the runes for divination or to gain insight into your current situation.

 

 

Source:

“Enhancing Your Body, Mind and Spirit”, 21 Nature Magic, CARD  16.

 

 

Suggested Link:

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

The Goddess Tree, “Reed“.

The Weisse Frauen

“Healer – Priestess-Elf serie” by `Eireen

“The Weisse Frauen’s themes are banishing, blessing, joy, protection, fertility and divination. Their symbols are any sacred symbol, forest items and the color white. Known as the ‘White Women’ of the German forests, these Goddesses are said to have been worshipped by ancient pagans and witches where they live – in the woods. In later times, people looked to them to predict the future, help with matters of fertility, and protect the land.

The unique festival of Kermesse dates back to pagan worship of the grove Goddess (and pagan gatherings in the woodlands). Traditionally, some type of sacred symbol is dug up and carried around town to renew blessings and happiness in all who see it. The ritual also banishes evil influences.

To follow this custom, plant a white stone or token in a flowerpot, garden, or lawn this year and next year dig it up temporarily to release White Women’s power. At the end of the day, return the token to the earth so they can protect your home or land and fill every corner of it with magic. Repeat this annually to continue the cycle!

Wear something white today to invite the Weisse Frauen’s protection on the figurative land of your spirit, and spend some time in the company of trees at some point. Meditate on the pagans, who weaved magic in such places, and on these Goddesses, who empowered the spells. As you do, listen closely to the voices of the trees and see if they have a message for you.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“In German folklore, theWeiße Frauen, or Weisse Frauen (meaning White Women) are elven-like spirits that may have derived from Germanic paganism in the form of legends of light elves (Old Norse: Ljósálfar). They are described as beautiful and enchanted creatures who appear at noon and can be seen sitting in the sunshine brushing their hair or bathing in a brook. They may be guarding treasure or haunting castles. They entreat mortals to break their spell, but this is always unsuccessful. The mythology dates back at least to the Middle Ages and was known in the present-day area of Germany.

The association with the color white and their appearance in sunlight is thought by Jacob Grimm to stem from the original Old Norse and Teutonic mythology of alven (elves), specifically the bright Ljósálfar. These ‘light elves’ lived in Álfheim (part of heaven) under the fertility god Freyr.   As mythology evolved, elves no longer lived in Álfheim (part of heaven) but lived on earth in nature. The White Women also may represent ancient beliefs in ancestral spirits or older native Goddesses and nature spirits. Jacob Grimm noted in particular they might come from Holda, ‘Berhta, white by her very name’ and Ostara. According to Grimm’s Teutonic Mythology and to the Mythology of All Races Series, the enchantment under which they suffer ‘may be a symbol of the ban laid by Christianity on the divinities of the older faith.’  Similar in name to the Witte Wieven of Dutch mythology, the Weisse Frauen may have come from the Germanic belief in disen or land wights and alven.” [1]

Patricia Monaghan writes: “The ‘white women’ of Germany and other northern European locations were said to be Goddess-worshipping witches who disappeared ages ago into the woods.  They lived deep in the forests where they helped lost travelers, foretold the future and helped the earth produce its fruit by their ritual dances.  Some say they were the ghosts of old Goddesses, enchanted by Christianity, seeking magic to release them into fuller life again” (p. 315).

Jacob Grimm notes the image of the Weisse Frauen basking in the sun and bathing ‘melts into the notion of a water-holde [i.e. Holda] and nixe‘. The Weisse Frauen also have counterparts in both name and characterization in neighboring countries: In the Netherlands known as the Witte Wieven, and in France known as the Dames blanches.

There are also many legends in German Folklore regarding ‘Weisse Frauen’, which are actually equivalent to the legends of White Ladies; ghosts of the United Kingdom.”

 

 

 

Sources:

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Weisse Frauen”

Wikipedia, “Weisse Frauen“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Arrowsmith, Nancy. Field Guide to the Little People, “White Ladies” (p. 15).

Bell, William. Skaespeare’s Puck, and his folkslore, “Weisse Frauen, Belief In” (p.58).

O’Keeffe, Christine. Tartanplace.com, “Christine’s Faery List: Baobhan Sìth“.

Sacred-texts.com, “The Fairy Mythology: Celts and Cymry: France“.

Wikipedia, “Dökkálfar and Ljósálfar“.

I’ve been blessed with a few experiences these past few weeks that have been a bit of a wake up call for me.  My daughter, who will be 4 in November, has been very observant of books I have laying out that I use as references to my daily Goddess blog and statuary I have around the house on my altars.  She asks questions, as to who They are and I explain that they’re Goddesses.  She likes to look at the images and say, “Oohh, nice Goddess!”

She’s also been very observant of my acts of devotion and thanks to the gods.  Whenever we bake together (my daughter, 2 & 1/2 year old son and myself), we always make wishes and stir love into whatever we’re baking.  Then, whatever it is, when it comes out of the oven, I set a cookie, a muffin, the first heal of bread aside – as an offering to bring out to my outside Sacred Space,  showing my love and thanks for the blessings the gods have bestowed upon me.  Offerings of beer, wine and other malt beverages are quite frequently made as well.

Last week, my daughter asked me what I was doing as I was leaving a heal of bread in one of the fairy offering dishes and I explained to her that I was offering thanks and love to the Goddess and the gods for the blessings they have given me.  She then asked for a piece and if she could leave some.  I broke her off a piece to leave and she said, “I wish for love.  Momma, is that a good God wish?”  I almost shed a tear right there…out of the mouth of babes…It quite possibly was the cutest, most innocent and blessed thing that I’ve ever heard.  I said, “Yes baby, that’s a beautiful God wish.”

Then, yesterday, I had given both of my kiddies bananas as afternoon snacks as I was getting things set up for a forthcoming garage sale.  I found her outside in my Sacred Space breaking off a piece of banana and asking if she could leave it as an offering.  Of course, I told her yes, it was fine and she offered it with her God wish of love.  My son, watching, decided this was a good idea and ended up “offering” half his banana into my fountain.  My daughter and I both got a good little chuckle out of that.

To be honest, I’ve been stressing over the issue of religion since I found out I was pregnant with her.  My husband  was raised a Southern Baptist and comes from a very deeply religious and Christian family.  He is however, from what I can tell, very much against organized religion for his own personal reasons that he has not confided in me.  He can’t stand the holidays and wasn’t too big on the idea of me bringing the kids to Sunday School at the Unitarian Universalist church when we were in AK.

    

As for myself, I try to explain concepts to her about Mother Nature, the cycles of things (i.e. nature, seasons, etc.) and their significance and instill respect for the Kindreds of fur, feather, scale and fin int them.  Even though I’ve been a practicing Pagan for 8 years, I still feel as though I’m kind of new to it still and really don’t have an idea how to raise a Pagan child as I was raised Catholic, Methodist and Episcopalian myself.  I have a few good books that I feel I NEED to read: Circle Round by Starhawk, Diane Baker and Anne Hill; The Pagan Family by Ceisiwr Serith; and Celebrating the Great Mother by Cait Johnson and Maura D. Shaw.  I’m also trying to balance A Dance with Dragons (yes, I’m hopelessly addicted to Game of Thrones) for pleasure reading and The Solitary Druid as part of my reading and writing for the Dedicant Path with the ADF.

I do believe it’s time however.  As much as I’m sure he doesn’t want her exposed to organized religion, she’s starting to question and deep down, there’s a little part of me that doesn’t feel “qualified enough” to teach her about the concepts of deity(ies) – I think it would be different if I were dealing with an older person, someone who already had an “understanding” of deity.  She’s going to be exposed to all kinds of religious ideas and concepts when she starts school (mainly Christian) and I want her to have a healthy foundation.  She’s going to need to have knowledge of the different religions and spiritual followings, as will my son for that matter, while being raised in an Earth centered religion.

So my plan of action – read, read and read some more.  Check out the local UU church and their Sunday school program.  The kiddies will be tagging along with me to the next two High Day celebrations at the ADF Grove I recently started attending as my husband will be away at school that the military is sending him to.  Finally, meditating and using my intuition to guide me along the way…

This was a wonderful read! This is especially true, “Not many people understand what spiritual feminists mean when we speak of Goddess or goddesses…Invoking the names and images of Goddess answers a deep hunger in women, and among a growing number of men, to restore balance, for justice and truth. This longing is felt beyond pagan circles. It’s a call, a cry mounting from women within the majoritarian religions, a movement that transcends traditional religious boundaries. A great expansion is opening, from the nuns who won’t be silenced, women in the gathering Islamic reformation, all the overturnings of decreed female inconsequence, of patriarchal frameworks and hierarchies, in the flowering of an interfaith movement centered in love, not authority.” Max Dashu

We are going through a huge cultural shift toward restoring the female to her full radiance. However you want to define that, it is rising now, through us.

That which is Sacred, what should we call it? We’ve been told to name it he, him, his. That it was blasphemy to do otherwise, to say she, even as they desecrated the Divine with comparisons to mortal overlords, those cruel masters, despoliators, persecutors. No. Reconsider. That fearful address to an authoritarian punisher takes us far from true reverence. Rather revere the roots of Being, manifesting in all Nature around us, within us. The profound silence, and the Deep calling to the Deep.

Deeply I go down into myself. My god is Dark and like a webbing

made of a hundred roots that drink in silence. ― Rainer Maria Rilke

There are myriad emanations of the indescribable Source, but Goddess women call…

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