All About Beltane

mayqueen

[There is a lot of information in this post including crafts and recipes]

April’s showers have given way to rich and fertile earth, and as the land greens, there are few celebrations as representative of fertility as Beltane. Observed on May 1st (or October 31 – November 1 for our Southern Hemisphere readers), festivities typically begin the evening before, on the last night of April. It’s a time to welcome the abundance of the fertile earth, and a day that has a long (and sometimes scandalous) history. Depending on your tradition, there are a number of ways you can celebrate this Sabbat. First, you might want to read up on:

Rituals and Ceremonies

Depending on your particular tradition, there are many different ways you can celebrate Beltane, but the focus is nearly always on fertility. It’s the time when the earth mother opens up to the fertility god, and their union brings about healthy livestock, strong crops, and new life all around.

Here are a few rituals you may want to think about trying — and remember, any of them can be adapted for either a solitary practitioner or a small group, with just a little planning ahead.

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Customs and Folklore

Interested in learning about some of the traditions behind the celebrations of May Day? Learn why the Romans had a big party, and who the popular fertility gods are.

Beltane Magic

Beltane is a season of fertility and fire, and we often find this reflected in the magic of the season. Let’s look at some of that spring magic, from ritual sex to fertility magic, along with the magic found in gardens and nature.

Crafts and Creations

As Beltane approaches, you can decorate your home (and keep your kids entertained) with a number of easy craft projects. Start celebrating a bit early with fun floral crowns and a Maypole altar centerpiece.

Feasting and Food

No Pagan celebration is really complete without a meal to go along with it. For Beltane, celebrate with foods that honor fertility of the earth. Enjoy light spring soups, Scottish bannocks, fertility bread loaves, and more.

From: http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/beltanemayday/a/AllAboutBeltane.htm

 

All About Samhain

SAMHAIN

[This post has a lot more information, crafts, and recipes.]

The fields are bare, the leaves have fallen from the trees, and the skies are going gray and cold. It is the time of year when the earth has died and gone dormant. Every year on October 31 (or May 1, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere) the Sabbat we call Samhain presents us with the opportunity to once more celebrate the cycle of death and rebirth. For many Pagan traditions, Samhain is a time to reconnect with our ancestors, and honor those who have died. This is the time when the veil between our world and the spirit realm is thin, so it’s the perfect time of year to make contact with the dead. You may want to take a moment to read up on:

 

Rituals and Ceremonies

Depending on your individual spiritual path, there are many different ways you can celebrate Samhain, but typically the focus is on either honoring our ancestors, or the cycle of death and rebirth. This is the time of year when the gardens and fields are brown and dead. The nights are getting longer, there’s a chill in the air, and winter is looming. We may choose to honor our ancestors, celebrating those who have died, and even try to communicate with them. Here are a few rituals you may want to think about trying for Samhain — and remember, any of them can be adapted for either a solitary practitioner or a small group, with just a little planning ahead.

 

Samhain Magic, Divination and Spirit Work

For many Pagans, Samhain is a time to do magic that focuses on the spirit world. Learn how to properly conduct a seance, how to do some Samhain divination workings, and the way to figure out what a spirit guide is really up to!

Traditions and Trends

Interested in learning about some of the traditions behind the celebrations of the late harvest? Find out why Samhain is important, learn why black cats are considered unlucky, how trick-or-treating became so popular and more!

Crafts and Creations

As Samhain approaches, decorate your home (and keep your kids entertained) with a number of easy craft projects. Start celebrating a bit early with these fun and simple ideas that honor the final harvest, and the cycle of life and death.

Feasting and Food

No Pagan celebration is really complete without a meal to go along with it. At Samhain, celebrate with foods that celebrate the final harvest, and the death of the fields.

From: http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/samhainoctober31/a/About_Samhain.htm

Spell to Find What is Lost

 

Easy spells can be just as successful as complicated ones, but remember that the effort you put into a spell is part of where its energy comes from. Easy is fine as long as you don’t get lazy about it.

Find What is Lost

A little chant may not seem like a real spell, but it can still bring magickal results if you put your heart into it. Use this spell when you are looking for something you’ve misplaced in your home. You just need a white candle.

Light the candle, and put it in a holder that is easy to carry. Begin to walk from room to room with it, repeating the following:

I need what I seek
Give me a peek
Draw my eyes
For my prize.

Let your eyes wander around until you feel drawn to the spot where your missing item is hiding.

From: http://www.free-witchcraft-spells.com/easy-spells.html

 

Basic Herbs for a Witches Cabinet

CATNIP: Useful in love, beauty, and happiness spells and drawing positive vibrations and good luck to you and to your house.

CEDAR CHIPS: Useful in healing, purification, protection, and
money-drawing spells.

CHAMOMILE: Useful in spells for luck and gambling as well. Also great as a tea to help one sleep. Can combine with a little Lavender for assisting as a sleep tea.
CINNAMON: Used for money and success or to use as a healing charm.

CLOVES: Their magickal properties include banishing evil,
clearing your head, protection, love, and money. Using cloves in your magickal spells is said to ensure that your magickal intention is realized.

COPAL: Is a resin that is great for love and purification.

DRAGONS BLOOD: A resin used for love, protection, exorcism, and potency. Burneas an incense with the windows opens will drive out all negativity. A pinch of this resin in any incense will increase the incenses power. To quiet a noisy housepowder some dragons blood, mix it with sugar and salt, and place in a bottle. Cover this mixture tightly and secur eit within your house somewhere where it will not be disturbed and it is said you will have peace and quiet.

EUCALYPTUS: A herb I use a lot for healing. Also can be used for protection.

FRANKINCENSE TEARS: A rsin I use a lot in my workings both in it’s raw form and as an oil. Used for protection, exorcism, and spirituality. Also used in hoodoo to increase the magic of your candles or other workings by raising their energies that you have charged them with. Add this oil to another oil to increase it’s potency.

LAVENDER FLOWERS: Lavender has been used for protection, chastity, longevity, purification, and happiness. Great in a tea to help bring on sleep. Can be combined with Chamomile for this reason.

MUGWORT: Mugwort can be used as an incense, mixed in equal parts
with Sandalwood, to aid in strengthening Psychic Powers. Another easy recipe for assisting with scrying, especially dealing with spirits, is mixing equal parts of Mugwort and Wormwood together although this version doesn’t smell as well as the Sandalwood. Other uses include strength, protection, prophetic dreams, and healing.

MYRRH: Myrrh is a wonderful herb to use in spells for spirituality, protection, healing, and exorcism.
It is often combined with Frankincense to increase its power.
Burn as an incense to purify an area. Use the smoke from the incense to purify and bless charms, amulets, talismans, magickal jewelry, tools, etc.

PEPPERMINT: Peppermint is use for purification, sleep, love, healing, and psychic powers. Fresh peppermint on the altar calls good spirits to you to assist you in your magic.

ROSE BUDS/PETALS: These are wonderful for use in spells to draw
Love. Use red for passionate love. Use pink or white for romantic or true love. You can also place a single rose in a vase on your altar as a powerful love drawing aid. Rose buds/petals can also be used for psychic powers, especially when used for a tea, and also for healing, protection, and luck.

ROSEMARY: This is a wonderful all-purpose herb that you can’t
afford to be without! Rosemary can be used as a substitute for just about any herb. It’s powers include love, lust, protection, exorcism, purification, healing, longevity, youth, mental powers, and sleep.Rosemary is a wonderful incense. Smoulder a bit of it to emit powerful cleansing and purifying vibrations and to rid negativity in the area in which it is burned. Especially helpful to burn before performing any magic. Place a bit of rosemary under your pillow to ensure a good night’s sleep. Wear rosemary to aid your memory especially when you are studying for an exam. Add an infusion of rosemary to your bathwater to perserve youthfulness and to purify you. Carry a bit of rosemary with you to remain healthy.
Hang a sprig of rosemary above your door posts.

SAGE: Sage is useful for protection, healing, wealth, fulfilling wishes, and spells to increase longevity.

SANDALWOOD: Sandalwood has many magickal uses, including
protection, spirituality, exorcism, healing, and wish fulfillment.Scatter sandalwood powder around your home to clear it of negativity. Write a wish on a sandalwood chip and
burn in your cauldron. As it burns it sets your magick flowing.
Sandalwood mixed with Lavender makes a wonderful incense which is intended to conjure spirits.

VIOLET FLOWERS: These are wonderful for using in amulets for good luck and fortune.

YARROW: A wonderful herb to use in love spells!!! Also works to
draw courage and to purify. Drink as a tea to increase your psychic powers. Wear a sprig of yarrow for protection.
Hold some in your hands when you are afraid and this will stop all fear and give you courage. Carry some with you to draw love and to attract friends.

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Herbs in Medieval Times

Check out Meadow Walker’s website-Mysitcal MAgical Herbs for a lot more on using, preserving and growing herbs.

Mystical Magical Herbs

medieval-market
Scents of the Middle Ages…

Imagine a time when there was no deodorant, shampoo, bath soap, laundry detergent, or an array of pine cleaners and disinfectants. Welcome to the Middle Ages.

With no access to exterminators, medieval people made use of strongly scented herbs to discourage vermin and also to mask the scent of unwashed bodies.

Tansy was grown to discourage flies, lavender cotton against moths, the use of pennyroyal against fleas. Mint was very popular and used to repel mice and ants.

In the homes of peasant and royalty alike, the floors were often dirt. Packed solid from years of people walking over them. Household odors from cooking and sweaty bodies was overwhelming. So, the good people of this period in history resorted to mixing strong herbs with rushes or straw and scattering them about on the floors.

From Thomas Tusser’s Five Hundred Points of Husbandry we have strewing herbs…

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Herbs That May Increase Self- Confidence

Mystical Magical Herbs

lady drinking tea

Lemon Balm- Taken in the form of tea-relieves stress and anxiety in social situations. When you’re not stressed and anxious, you feel more confident. Use fresh or dried lemon balm leaves and drink up to 3 cups each day.

Valerian- This supplement also reduces those feelings of low self esteem many of us often have during social interactions. Valerian comes in capsule form and it may take up to 4 weeks to become effective. Valerian calms the nervous system, and when we are less nervous we perform better and appear more confident. Valerian can be purchased at health food stores. Be sure to follow directions on the package.

Siberian Ginseng – A wonderful herbal supplement for boosting energy and raising a higher vibratory sense of well being. When we feel better about ourselves we act with confidence. People notice when our walk is different, we stand taller, more erect, our…

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From the Herb Basket

Thank you Meadow Walker for this informative post.

Mystical Magical Herbs

Milk thistle tea can help prevent post nasal drip. Sipping a cup or two daily reduces post nasal drip, runny nose and other pollen-triggered miseries. Milk thistle’s active ingredient [ silymarin] encourages the liver to flush out symptom-lingering immune proteins. Check  local  health store for Alvita Milk Thistle tea bags or go to Alvita.com

Stress and trouble sleeping seem to go together these days. Check out Badger Night- Night Balm [ $10 for 2 ounces at drugstore.com] This sweetly scented ointment contains chamomile, lavender, sandalwood and spearmint. One or two whiffs from the tube and a refreshing sleep usually follows.

The word basil comes from the Greek, meaning “King.”

Hyssop has been used since ancient times to purify temples and sacred places. Hyssop is packed with antimicrobial oil that kills germs, prevents infections and heals minor wounds. To help cure a cold or sore throat, sip 2 to 3 cups of…

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