The Wheel of The Year Written By Lady of the Abyss in 2011

The wheel of the year is a very pagan concept however it can have meaning to anyone who lives in a season changing environment. If you take a calendar, pull the months out of it, and arrange them in a circle you will see the basic wheel. There are twelve months in modern calendar and four seasons; spring, summer, fall, and winter. The wheel has eight holidays that are celebrated during the year. There is one holiday for each of the equinoxes, each of the solstices, and a holiday in the space between each of the others. Some differentiate these two by having one set be high holidays and the others being lesser holidays to some. Depending on what you feel is right it could be either set for you. The holidays are also split into three groups; the time of the maiden, the mother and the crone. Theses phases run just as a woman?s life does. Late winter to late spring is the time of the maiden, late spring to fall is the time of the mother, and fall to late winter is the time of the crone. The wheel also has a male side connected to the sun. A male is in full bloom when the sun is at it?s strongest in the sky. He is a young man from the winter solstice to the summer solstice and an older man pasted his prime from the summer to the winter. As he ages he will go into the spirit world and be born again of the crone at the winter solstice.

Now you might be wonder where the beginning and end of the wheel is. The truth is that is does not have either, for it is a circle that continues to go around each year. Some believe a new year starts with Samhain (October) others feel it is at Yule (December). I personally believe the year ends with Samhain and we pass into a dead time. The year is then started again at Yule. This is a representation of our life as we grow as humans. During the Dead Time we pass into the spirit world of our life for a little while to reflect on what we have accomplished in life and especially the past year. Here meditation on what we have planted in spring and reaped in the fall is pondered. This is the time to figure out what has worked well in life and is worthy of repeating. It is also necessary to look at what did not work well and should be left to die. When the Dead Time is over you will return to the world of the living to prepare yourself for the following year. It is a good idea to keep a journal of your thoughts at this time to help you start again in the new year. You can even make a new years resolution.

Yule, on or about December 21st

Yule is the winter solstice and the first day of winter. The sun is at its weakest point and we have the longest night of the year. It is also the time that the sun god is reborn. This time of year is already filled with pagan ideas; the evergreen trees and wreaths, the holy, the birth of a god, the Yule log, and the celebration of life. A wreath is a representation of the wheel of the year. An evergreen tree is to remember the earth is still alive. The Yule log is what keeps you warm and lights the longest night of the year. It is lit for both the god and the goddess for she is the one birthing the new baby god. This is a time of year to celebrate both the male and female aspects of the powers at be. It is also a good time to jump the broom for luck in the new year.

Imbolc, or about February 2nd

Imbolc is the holiday where the crone is transformed back into the maiden. Winter is half over and spring is just around the corner. We celebrate the coming of spring and predict how the rest of the winter will go. It is a time to start firming up your ideas about what it is you will be planting in as some as it is time in the spring. This holiday has other names as well; Candle Mass, the festive of lights and Ground Hogs Day are some of the more well known. To celebrate there are rituals that involve the lighting of fires and candles. This is a representation of the sun growing stronger and the days becoming longer. This is also the time when some animals start to give birth to the new young they will have for the rest of the year.

Ostara, on or about March 21st

Ostara is at the spring or vernal equinox which is a day with 12 hours of day and 12 hours of night. It is also the first day of spring. This holiday is closely associated with Easter. Not only is it about the resurrection of the earth but it also is part of the calculation for when the Christian Easter will be. Easter will be on the 1st Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox. This holiday is a celebration of life coming back after a long winter. Eggs, young animals, and spring flowers are used to decorate and hold reproductive meaning. This is also the time were the maiden form of the goddess begins to help the earth become fertile again and kindles her courtship with the young god.

Beltane, on or about May 1st

Beltane is the second holiday to celebrate spring and the rebirth of the earth. It is also referred to as May Day. You may have already heard of the May Pole Dance. A pole is placed in the earth and ribbons are hung from the top. Half of the dancers move clockwise and the other half move counter clockwise. As you move past the dancers moving in the opposite direction you weave in and out creating a woven pattern on the pole. This is the traditional why to celebrate Beltane along with other actions that symbolize the reproduction of plants and animals. When celebrating this holiday keep in mind that this is the time for planning of late spring crops and when the god and the goddess mate so that the earth will thrive and have an abundance of food for us to harvest later in the year.

Litha, on or about June 21st

Litha or Mid Summers is the celebrated on the summer solstice. This is the time the maiden aspect of the goddess becomes the mother and the god is in his strongest power before he dwindles again. The seasons change from spring to summer on this holiday and it is a fire festival in his honor. Many traditional celebrations include cauldron jumping and bon fires. This is also a great time for a broom race. This is where the myth of witches flying on brooms comes from. In the fields over top the growing crops pagan would run across them while riding their brooms and jumping as high as they can. This is to encourage the crops to grow taller.

Lammas, on of about August 2nd

Lammas or Lughnasadh is the first of the three harvest celebrations. The first crops are coming in and it is time to give thanks for the bounty that the god and goddess has provided us. Grains such as wheat, corn, and barley are the main crops to be harvested at this time. To celebrate pagans have large feasts and of course bake lots of bread. One of the main traditions is to make a John Barley Corn. This is a man made out of bread. He is the honored guest at most celebrations and every one who attends gets to consume a piece of him for good luck.

Mabon, on or about September 21st

Mabon is celebrated at the autumn equinox. Summer become fall and the leaves are changing. It is the second of the harvest celebrations. The mother aspect of the goddess returns to her crone form for the colder months to come. This is a time of feasting again in honor on the gods for what they have bestowed upon us. More of the crops are being harvested such as apples and potatoes. Here we give thanks again for what we will be storing for the coming winter. It is also a time to help the earth go back to sleep a sleeping state. Some traditions celebrate by turning under compost materials into the soil after the fields have been picked.

Samhain, on or about October 31st

Samhain is the last of the harvest celebrations. Most of the crops have been harvested and the earth is full of dying plants and animals. Death is the main focus of this holiday. It is a time when the veils between this world and the spirit world are at their thinnest. This makes divination and contact with the spirit world very easy. Honoring your ancestors and all who have gone before you is the biggest part of this holiday. Many celebrations include a dumb feast. It is a feast in honor of those who have moved on in years past. No one speaks during a dumb feast because it helps the spirits to adjust to life on the other side. If you decide to have one be sure to go all out, set the table for all who you expect on coming and dress up for you ancestors. Some pagans feel this is the start of a new year so it is also a good time to jump the broom as a way to ring in the new year.

Imbolc and Lammas/Lughnasadh Pictures to Color

Any Sabbat on the Wheel of the Year can be celebrated within the tradition that any Pagan choose to follow. The explanations below explain a little about the Celtic traditions as the different names on the Wheel of the Year are mostly Celtic names.

Lughnasadh or Lammas

This Sabbat is celebrated as the first or grain harvest. It is dedicated to the Celtic God Lughnasadh and usually it is bread that is made to honor him. You can also make rolls or pastries. It is celebrated on February 2nd in the Southern Hemisphere and on July 31st or August 1st in the Northern Hemisphere. I will be sharing a simple bread recipe sometime before Laughnasadh.

Imbolc or Candlemas

This Sabbat is celebrated by making candles, checking batteries in lights and smoke detectors. It is dedicated to the Celtic Goddess Brighid. There is a special cross you can make to represent this Goddess which I will post sometime before Imbolc. Its is celebrated on February 2nd in the Northern Hemisphere and on July 31st or August 1st in the Southerner Hemisphere.

 

 

Cold, Deary and/or Changing Weather Effects on Persons Can Cause a Multitude of Problems for Many People

I am sorry for not being able to let you all know what is going on with the daily posts until today. The following is not an excuse for me not posting but an explanation of why I have not done so. My fibromyalgia flare has been so bad since last week that I could even wear anything but a very loose fitting robe. Anything that touched my body in anyway sent me into tears.  I also have to deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder, Clinic depression, and arthritis though out my body. I fight them all the best I can but some days or serval days some or all of them catch up to me. Which is what happened starting last Friday. It is just starting to taper off so I hope to be back to catch up birthday horoscopes and do regular daily posting again sometime this week on WOTC. Plus go back to posting on Coven Life more often. It has taken me almost an hour to get this typed and to find information of the fore mentioned medical problems. I am sure I am not the only one out here in cycberland having to deal with with some or all of these problems. I am on medication for the fibromyalgia, Clinical Depression, and Anxiety attacks. I use White Willow Bark and Passionflower tea for the athirst.

Thank you for bearing with my absence once again, your support and patience as I deal with this awful auto-immune disease and other medical problems!!! May you all be blessed with good health, love, harmony, and laughter. I will be back as soon as I can comfortably type.

Explanations for Fibromyalgia

Explanations of Different Types of Athirst

Explanations for Seasonal Affective Disorder

Explanations for Clinical Depression

W. Q. W. – Walking Affirmations (with a crazy witchy woman)

Merry Meet, my Silver Sage Family!
Guess what?! When Pumpkin and I went walkies this morning, we saw something big and dark, trying to fly through the clouds on this cold and rainy day! We both stopped, not sure if we should move or not, because what we saw was headed straight toward us! My eyes grew large and Pumpi began to growl, low and deep in her little chest, as if she were a big dog, who was hell-bent on protecting her momma! Nooo, what we saw wasn’t an airplane, or a helicopter. It looked to be a Magickal baby dragon, snorting out sparkle-filled-fire balls as it awkwardly, flapped it’s wings as if it was just learning how to fly. 😉
Yep, I used the Palo Santo again…..it makes me so happy and even weirder than normal…..LOL!!

Sooo, in today’s episode of W.C.W., we’re gonna be checking out how to do WALKING AFFIRMATIONS! Be sure to watch until the end so you can laugh, smile, and possibly learn something that is REALLY helpful! 🙂 I’m so glad you’re here, my Silver Sage Family!

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Positive thought for you: Smile and be silly if you feel like it because it’s good to hang out with your inner child!
Happy Holidays!
Merry Christmas! (whichever one fits….smiles)
The Silver Sage Witch of
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Mantra for this week: Never give up!

#FridayThe13th: Dominican Superstitions, Rituals & Spells

Salt? Elephants? Money? Take notes.

Magic, superstition, and religious beliefs are woven into the very fabric of Dominican culture and it’s hard to see where one ends and the other begins. It was so normalized, that in my household, no one batted an eye whenever anyone mentioned spirits or witches. Not in a puritanical, fearful way or dripping in skepticism, but with the matter-of-fact tone of someone who had been raised to see magic, wonder, and God everywhere.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Friday the 13th (and as it turns out Tuesday the 13th) would hold some special significance for those of us who believe in magic. It is a day where spells, potions, and prayers increase in potency—even more if the day coincides with a full moon.

So on this day, #FridayThe13th: Dominican Superstitions, Rituals & Spells

Some Thoughts About Celebrating Samhain

Samhain is a day of reflection of the past year while celebrating the new. It is a day that whatever has not been harvested from gardens, fields, bushes, and trees get left for the wildlife and Fea Folk. It is also a day to communicate with those who have crossed the veil into the Summerlands. Many pagans and witches say it is the day and/or night to honor only those that have crossed in the last year but I do not go along with this way of thinking. While those who have passed since November 1, 2019 up to today do need more comforting and remembering them then those that have crossed over in other years past. The farther back in time you go to those who have crossed before the last year the more chance there is that they will be forgotten totally.

Hypothetically, if crossed the veil say 30 years ago or longer and each generation after you talk about you less and less as each year passes soon you will be forgotten completely. That one reason I have my Book of Shadows and Family Grimoire as one book that I hope keeps growing after I am gone. I have also placed pictures of ancestors at different ages as well as pictures of myself alone and with family members both ancestors and descents. In the section for ancestors I have included a picture of their headstone and where it can be found if available.

So this Samhain when you are setting the extra place at the table, lighting a candle for each ancestors name, or however you choose to honor your ancestors (remember an ancestor does not have to be blood related they can be anyone in your life that help to mold you into the person you are today.) Set one more place, light one more candle, or whatever your tradition to remember your ancestors is for those who names have been forgotten since the first Homosapien of any branch of the human gene pool lived.

I implore you all to remember that we all can trace our lineage back to this mish mash of a gene pool and that the energy that runs through us connects us to every other living things and not just on Mother Earth. So the next time you have a negative thought about someone for any reason at all remember you are also having that negative thought about yourself.

I picked this song to be included in this post because for me it helps me to remember those, female or male or other, who otherwise might be forgotten

Grandmother

I wish all my family, which means everyone reading this post, a happy and blessed Samhain.

What Is Samhain? What to Know About the Ancient Pagan Festival That Came Before Halloween

Dressing up in costumes and trick-or-treating are popular Halloween activities, but few probably associate these lighthearted fall traditions with their origins in Samhain, a three-day ancient Celtic pagan festival.

For the Celts, who lived during the Iron Age in what is now Ireland, Scotland, the U.K. and other parts of Northern Europe, Samhain (meaning literally, in modern Irish, “summer’s end”) marked the end of summer and kicked off the Celtic new year. Ushering in a new year signaled a time of both death and rebirth, something that was doubly symbolic because it coincided with the end of a bountiful harvest season and the beginning of a cold and dark winter season that would present plenty of challenges.

According to historian Nicholas Rogers, author of Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night, Samhain was a “time of stock-taking and perhaps sacrifice” — including probably animal sacrifice — during which “pastoral communities [prepared] to survive the winter.”

Rogers also notes that little is firmly known about the particulars of the holiday, since the limited sources available are either folkloric literature like the Celtic sagas and Roman authors who would have likely “trashed” the traditions of a culture with which they were often in conflict.

To understand what we do know about Samhain, it’s important to recognize how the structure of the year’s calendar affected the Celts’ religious practices. According to The Guardian,…

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Beltane

On the cusp between spring and summer, Beltane On the cusp between spring and summer, Beltane is a fire festival that celebrates the fertility of the coming year.is a fire festival that celebrates the fertility of the coming year.

Introduction

Beltane

Find this year’s date in the multifaith calendar

Ritual burning of a straw man

Beltane is a Celtic word which means ‘fires of Bel’ (Bel was a Celtic deity). It is a fire festival that celebrates of the coming of summer and the fertility of the coming year.

Celtic festivals often tied in with the needs of the community. In spring time, at the beginning of the farming calendar, everybody would be hoping for a fruitful year for their families and fields.

Beltane rituals would often include courting: for example, young men and women collecting blossoms in the woods and lighting fires in the evening. These rituals would often lead to matches and marriages, either immediately in the coming summer or autumn.

Other festivities involved fire which was thought to cleanse, purify and increase fertility. Cattle were often passed between two fires and the properties of the flame and the smoke were seen to ensure the fertility of the herd.

Today Pagans believe that at Beltane the God (to whom the Goddess gave birth at the Winter Solstice) achieves the strength and maturity to court and become lover to the Goddess. So although what happens in the fields has lost its significance for most Pagans today, the creation of fertility is still an important issue.

Emma Restall Orr, a modern day Druid, speaks of the ‘fertility of our personal creativity’. (Spirits of the Sacred Grove, pub. Thorsons, 1998, pg.110). She is referring to the need for active and creative lives. We need fertile minds for our work, our families and our interests.

Fire is still the most important element of most Beltane celebrations and there are many traditions associated with it. It is seen to have purifying qualities which cleanse and revitalise. People leap over the Beltane fire to bring good fortune, fertility (of mind, body and spirit) and happiness through the coming year.

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Why Do Witches Ride Brooms? The History Behind the Legend

From pagan fertility rituals to hallucinogenic herbs, the story of witches and brooms is a wild ride.

The evil green-skinned witch flying on her magic broomstick may be a Halloween icon—and a well-worn stereotype. But the actual history behind how witches came to be associated with such an everyday household object is anything but dull.

It’s not clear exactly when the broom itself was first invented, but the act of sweeping goes back to ancient times, when people likely used bunches of thin sticks, reeds and other natural fibers to sweep aside dust or ash from a fire or hearth. As J. Bryan Lowder writes, this household task even shows up in the New Testament, which dates to the first and second centuries A.D.

The word broom comes from the actual plant, or shrub, that was used to make many early sweeping devices. It gradually replaced the Old English word besom, though both terms appear to have been used until at least the 18th century. From the beginning, brooms and besoms were associated primarily with women, and this ubiquitous household object became a powerful symbol of female domesticity.

Despite this, the first witch to confess to riding a broom or besom was a man: Guillaume Edelin. Edelin was a priest from Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris. He was arrested in 1453 and tried for witchcraft after publicly criticizing the church’s warnings about witches. His confession came under torture, and he eventually repented, but was still imprisoned for life.

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