Tag Archive: wicca


“In early winter, we can see the skies becoming overcast, and smell fresh snow in the air. Take a few minutes to think about the fact that even if the skies are cold and dark, it’s only temporary.

"Dark Winter Morning"by `scotto

“Dark Winter Morning”by `scotto

See the gray skies overhead, preparing the way
for the darkness soon to come.
See the gray skies overhead, preparing the way,
for the world to go cold and lifeless.
See the gray skies overhead, preparing the way
for the longest night of the year.
See the gray skies overhead, preparing the way
for the sun to one day return,
bringing with it light.” ~ Patti Wigington

 

 

 

http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/yuleprayers/qt/BeginWinter.htm

“Yule should be a time of joy and happiness, but for many people it can be stressful. This is a season to take a moment and be thankful for the blessings you have, and to take a moment to remember those less fortunate.

Art by Julia Jeffrey

Art by Julia Jeffrey

I am grateful for that which I have.
I am not sorrowful for that which I do not.
I have more than others, less than some,
but regardless, I am blessed with
what is mine.

Celtic Mists Lapis + Onyx Pagan Prayer Beads (available from Sacred Mists Shoppe)

Celtic Mists Lapis + Onyx Pagan Prayer Beads (available from Sacred Mists Shoppe)

If you have a set of Pagan Prayer Beads, or a Witch’s Ladder, you can use these to enumerate your blessings, much as a Catholic would say a rosary. Count off each bead or knot, and consider the things you are thankful for, like so:

First, I am thankful for my health.
Second, I am thankful for my family.
Third, I am thankful for my warm home.
Fourth, I am thankful for the abundance in my life.” ~ Patti Wigington

http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/yuleprayers/qt/CountBlessings.htm

“Despite the fact that some people hate cold weather, it does have its advantages. After all, a good cold day gives us an opportunity to cuddle up indoors with the people we love the most.

"Winter Goddess" by ~hgrivera

“Winter Goddess” by ~hgrivera

O! Mighty Goddess, in silvery ice,
watching over us as we sleep,
a layer of shining white,
covering the earth each night,
frost on the world and in the soul,
we thank you for visiting us.
Because of you, we seek warmth
in the comfort of our homes and hearths.” ~ Patti Wigington

"Snow Queen" by *lilok-lilok

“Snow Queen” by *lilok-lilok

http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/yuleprayers/qt/WinterGoddess.htm

“The sun returns! The light returns!
The earth begins to warm once more!
The time of darkness has passed,
and a path of light begins the new day.
Welcome, welcome, the heat of the sun,
blessing us all with its rays.” ~ Patti Wigington

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http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/yulethelongestnight/qt/YuleSunrisePray.htm

Woke up to a Solstice Wonderland this morning

Waking up to a Solstice Wonderland this morning

First off, I’d like to wish you all a Happy Solstice and Blessed Yule!  This is a liminal and very magical time of year that our Northern European ancestors took very seriously – celebrating it with feasting, drinking, gift giving, sacrificing and rest from work.  They knew the sun would be returning to warm the earth and the promise of spring and summer would be arriving soon…

The 12 Days of Yule also seemed to be a very auspicious time of year in which oaths were taken the most seriously and binding.  It was and is also still a time to reflect upon resolution – reconciling old debts and giving up that which no longer serves you now and in the new year to come.

Our Solstice started out this morning with aspersing ourselves with water and smudging with sage and lavender.  Offerings of oats was given to the Earth Mother, apple cider to the Nature Spirits, beer to the Ancestors and whiskey to the Shining Ones.

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Offering of oats, cider, beer and whiskey

We charged a gold candle with our “love wishes” of peace, love, happiness and thanks for our blessings (and unicorns – my daughter was especially thankful for unicorns, but hey, who isn’t?).  The candle stayed lit all day and is just now going out – well past sundown.

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Gold candle to symbolize the Sun

This was followed up with an offering of a make shift “Yule Log”.

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Make shift Yule Logs

Happy Solstice!

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As I was browsing the Internet later on this afternooon, I came across an article entitled the “12 Days of Yule Devotionals – Prayers for the Winter Solstice” by Patti Wigington.  She wrote, “The winter solstice is a time of reflection, during the darkest and longest night of the year. Why not take a moment to offer up a prayer on Yule? Try a different devotional each day to give you food for thought during the holiday season.”  I really love this idea!

On the 1st day of Yule, the first devotional is the Earth.  “Just because the earth is cold doesn’t mean there’s nothing going on down there in the soil. Think about what lies dormant in your own life right now, and consider what may bloom a few months from now.

Foggy-Winter-Night-on-River-1680x1050-wide-wallpapers.net

Cold and dark, this time of year,
the earth lies dormant, awaiting the return
of the sun, and with it, life.
Far beneath the frozen surface,
a heartbeat waits,
until the moment is right,
to spring.” ~ Patti Wigington

I think this would be fabulous to do upon arising every morning – perhaps with the lighting of a candle and making an offering (i.e. an offering of oats or cornmeal to the Earth or with whatever seems appropriate to you).

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“.

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 lunar month of Ivy offers the opportunity to give thanks for life’s blessings and to prepare for a period of spiritual growth.

The Ivy Moon coincides with the end of the harvest season when successes and losses must be accounted for.  In ancient times, intoxicating ale was brewed from ivy and was used to induce visions of the battlefield.

The plant teaches us that restrictions are necessary to help us hone our skills.  During this month remember that your enemies are your teachers and that opposition is a blessing in disguise.  Focus on magic that strengthens your resolve.

 

Prepare for the Future

Spells that boost your sense of responsibility will make you ready for what lies ahead.  Be prepared to take the long-term view and accept and celebrate your life as it is  right now.  Trust that the Ivy Moon will prepare you to receive an answer to your prayers at exactly the right time.

Ivy/Gort card from “Voices of the Trees” by Mickie Mueller

As the winter months draw in, you’ll need to improve your resilience and tenacity.  Spells for good health are advised at this time of year.

THE RITUAL OF THE “IVY GIRL”

Ivy grows in a spiral formation reminding us that each cycle of the seasons brings us closer to the center, to the spirit.  The last harvest sheaf to be cut in the village was once bound with ivy and called the “Ivy girl.”  This was given to the farmer whose harvest was last, as a reminder of his responsibility to the spirits of the land.

 

Ivy Mythology

Ivy is ruled by the planet Saturn and is often linked with horned gods such as Pan and Dionysus, and as such is a plant of protection, sexuality, property and faith.  Ivy was also believed to protect from alcohol intoxication.  For this reason, intertwined vines of grape and ivy, representing balance, were depicted in ancient images of Dionysus.

 

IVY MOON MAGIC

You can use the month of the Ivy Moon for spells and rituals for protection, or harness its energy to make charms that will strengthen resolve and help you face challenges.

House Protection Spell

Utilize the magic of ivy to protect your home from negative influences.

You Will Need:

  • A black candle
  • Lots of ivy stems

1. Light the candle and say, “I call upon the spirits of this place, come in peace.”

2. Make a circle of ivy stems on the floor and step into the circle.

3. Turn to the north and recite, “Spirits of the Earth protect me.”

4. To the east say, “Spirits of the air protect me.”

5. To the south say, “Spirits of fire protect me.”

6. To the west say, “Spirits of water protect me.”

7. Place the stems that formed your circle at the boundaries of your property.

 

Facing Challenges

Performing this ritual during the Ivy Moon will help you to learn from difficult circumstances and move on.  To perform this ritual you will need:

  • A piece of paper
  • A pen
  • A white candle
  • A fire-proof dish

1. Write a list of the troubles that you are experiencing.

2. Next to each one write what you have gained from it, for example “It made me stronger.”

3. Light the candle saying, “This flame represents my faith in the universe.  I give thanks for the lessons I have learned.”

4. Burn the paper and feel yourself grow stronger.

 

Women’s Ivy Charms

Ivy is a feminine plant and it is particularly lucky for women.  Use the following ivy charms all year round to utilize ivy’s powerful magical properties.

  • Brides who carry or wear ivy will have a long, committed and prosperous marriage.  Sew an ivy leaf into a small pocket of white linen, and give this to a bride to slip into the hem of her wedding dress for luck.
  • To guard against accidents while driving, carefully secure an ivy leaf on your car dashboard.
  • Grow ivy vines around the front door of your house to prevent negativity from entering your home.

 

Ivy Spell Bags

Use the magic of ivy to strengthen your willpower.

Ivy leaves, ginger and Echinacea placed in a yellow spell bag will guard against addictive behavior.

Ivy leaves, chicory, sea salt and sage in a navy blue bag will guard against overspending.

A charm of ivy leaves, hawthorn leaves, and red chili seeds placed in a white spell bag will help to keep you faithful to your lover.

Placing ivy leaves, lily petals and lilac flowers in a blue spell bag will prevent you from returning to a destructive relationship.

 

 

 

Source:

“Enhancing Your Body, Mind and Spirit”, 21 Nature Magic, CARD  15.

It’s 10 o’clock on Sunday, the husband has safely made to his destination thousands of miles away for the next few months, the kids are tucked into bed and what am I doing?  Why, catching up on my blogging of course!  So here we go…FINALLY starting on Module 3.

1.  When I was a child, I did learn and recite prayers.  Did I have to?  Hhmm, yes and no.  It didn’t feel like at the time that I “had to”; it was more of a fun thing to do with my parents and made me feel grown-up in a sense to recite them with the adults at church.  Of course, I learned the “Our Father”, “Hail Mary”, “Glory Be to the Father” and the “Apostles’ Creed”, the “Nicene Creed” and of course the corresponding Mysteries (i.e. the Joyful Mysteries, the Sorrowful Mysteries, etc.).   I only remember the first three.  I also remember the Grace my Dad taught us to recite before every meal.  They really don’t hold the same meaning to me now as they did when I was a kid or young teenager.  I am partial to the “Hail Mary” if I had to choose one of them.  Well, also Grace before meals, but I want to tweak that one and incorporate that into my own practice and share with my kiddies.

     

2.  Books that have been influential on my spiritual path…The first one would be Scott Cunningham’s “Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner“.  Another one would be “When, Why…If” by Robin Wood.  This was an awesome workbook dealing with ethics.  It was a quick and easy read and one that you could work through over and over again, journaling as you go, seeing how you’ve changed from year to year.  Along the lines of ethics, “An’ Ye Harm None” by Shelley TSivia Rabinovitch and Meredith Macdonald.  This book isn’t so much as a “how to” guideline type book, but actually teaches you and makes you think and reason.  It makes you stop and look at how you do things and the impact your actions have.  I got in a bit of a spiritual rut a several years back and found “The Second Circle: Tools for the Advancing Pagan” by Venecia Rauls quite refreshing and stimulating.  “Practicing the Presence of the Goddess: Everyday Rituals to Transform Your World” by Barbara Ardinger was also another quick and easy read that helped me out of my rut.

    

I loved Dianne Sylvane’s book “The Body Sacred“.  This book helped me immensely after the births of my two babies to appreciate my body, even though it had changed so much and I looked upon it as “ruined”.  Carol P. Christ’s book, “Rebirth of the Goddess” made me view the Goddess and the role of women in a whole new and different light (as can be viewed in this conversation between E.C. Erdmann and Carol P. Christ – which heavily influenced or brought out my Dianic nature).  “Descent to the Goddess” by Sylvia Brinton Perera was just all kinds of awesomeness that really helped me understand and come to know the Dark Goddess a little better and come to know myself a lot better as can be read in my post “Archetypes – Ascending From the Shadow“.  Most recently, I’ve started reading “The Solitary Druid” by Rev. Robert Lee (Skip) Ellison.  I’m about half way through it and it has given me a better understanding hard polytheism vs my softer polytheistic outlook.

3.  With a lot of these books, I was quite new to Wicca and Paganism, especially Cunningham’s “Wicca” (come on, isn’t this everyone’s first book?).  “When, Why…If” was kind of a mandatory reading for the coven I was in 5 years ago and an eye opener.  “An’ Ye Harm None” was a further look at ethics that I really enjoyed – another eye opener.  “The Second Circle” and “Practicing the Presence of the Goddess” got me out of my rut because they helped me to find the magic in the mundane and everyday life vs only finding magic in a coven setting.  Actually, “The Second Circle” got me interested in exploring a Druid now that I think about it.  “Rebirth of the Goddess” was a long read that made me question my reading comprehension abilities, LoL!  There were some pages, even paragraphs that I had to read over and over again, but well worth it!   It opened my eyes as to how universal the Goddess is and how She makes Her presence known throughout the different parts of the world.  “Descent to the Goddess” helped me understand my Dark Self and Shadow.  “The Solitary Druid” I’m trying to balance with “A Dance with Dragons” and seems to be a quick and easily comprehensible read.  I really don’t use or adhere to the Wiccan principles anymore.  I kind feel like I already know them, yeah, they served their purpose, but I’ve outgrown Wicca – a long time ago actually and that’s how I got into my rut back in like 2009.  I still use the ethic and principles in my everyday life and conscious decisions I make and obviously hold the Goddess in all of Her forms and guises in very high regard.  She is VERY high up there on my hierarchy of priorities if you will.  As for “The Body Sacred”, I’m still working on fully appreciating my (well not so new body now) changed body and accepting those changes.  I’m a lot better with it than I was say 2 years ago – so applying those principles is still a work in progress…

4.  I haven’t done any hard-core research on these authors.  I do know that Carol P. Christ started out as a Christian pursuing her Ph.D. in Religious Studies at Yale and later went on to become one of the strongest leaders of the feminist spirituality movement.  I do follow the Feminism and Religion blog on WordPress, so I have the pleasure of reading posts from Carol P. Christ and Barbara Ardinger.  As Dianne Sylvane has explained in this course, she also started out Christian, practiced Wicca but no longer considers herself Wiccan, as her beliefs and practices have changed and evolved into a more eclectic spiritual practice I’d say.  I also live close enough to the ADF Muin Mound Grove in Syracuse to attend High Day celebrations and chat with Rev. Robert Lee (Skip) Ellison, but I haven’t sat down with him and interviewed him about his life’s story or path.

This was a very thought provoking read. Very appropriate and pertinent to the Spiritual Nomad course and those walking a Solitary Path or in the process of developing their own Paths.

Meanderings

I drop to one knee and scoop up a handful of earth. It is dry, granular, and loose; it falls easily through my fingers. A fine plume of dust is carried off by the slight breeze as it falls between my fingers. This is not soil; it is dirt. It will not grow much unless something organic is added; there is no life in it.

In the Beginning…

When I was young, I was full of life. I was full of dreams. I watched the dream of the ages fulfilled as the first man set foot upon the Moon. I was inspired, but the dream ended.

The people were satisfied with themselves. There was nothing they wanted to do except enjoy the fruits of their labors. Their great accomplishment spawned a myriad of new toys. The people then sat in their easy chairs, playing with their shiny new toys, and…

View original post 1,845 more words

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