Sacred Circle, Sacred Sphere: Mapping Consciousness with Seven Directions

by Selena Fox

Honoring the directions of the Sacred Circle is a widespread spiritual practice in ancient and contemporary Nature wisdom traditions. For many practitioners, honoring the directions is an essential component of all rituals. It is a way to create and to connect with sacred space. It also is a way of communing with Nature. Furthermore, it can be a way of mapping consciousness and viewing life.

The Sacred Circle with its directions is called by some, the “Magic Circle,” and by others, the “Medicine Wheel.” Some traditions emphasize the four compass directions of the Circle. Others work with the four compass points plus a central point representing unity. Some also include two additional directions in the center, up and down, to create a Sacred Sphere as well as the Sacred Circle. Qualities, images, colors, and other symbolic associations with the directions vary from path to path, but the idea of Sacred Circle as a place of balancing, healing, and wholeness extends across traditions.

I work with seven directions in my personal spiritual practice, in doing healing and counseling0…

To read the rest of this article please click on this link: Sacred Circle

Imbolc in the Southern Hemisphere

by Jenwytch

POSTED ON JULY 20, 2010 BY JENWYTCH AT THE OTHER SIDE. THIS ARTICLE IS ALSO IN THE JULY 2010 EDITION OF THE “AXIS MUNDI”.

Imbolc is a cross-quarter day midway between the winter solstice (Yule) and the spring equinox (Ostara) and is the celebration of the banishing of winter, the imminent arrival of Spring and the stirring of new life in the earth. Imbolc recognizes the maiden aspect of the triple goddess – the fresh, the young, the naïve, the new – and is strongly connected with the Goddess Brigid. It is associated with and also known as the festivals of Oimelc, Imbolg, Imbolic (Irish), Candlemas (British), Feast of Torches, Lupercalia (Italian/Latin), Brigid’s Day, and Brigantia (Scottish).

Here in the southern hemisphere, in 21st century Australia, we are far removed from the climate and rural lifestyles of the people of ancient Europe where this festival, and others that make up the Wheel Of The Year, originated.

Due to the 6 month offset of the seasons between the northern and southern hemispheres …

To read this rest of this article please click on this link: Imbolc in the Southern Hemisphere

Wiccan Holidays in the Southern Hemisphere

What is the Wheel of the Year, or Wiccan holidays, for those in the Southern Hemisphere?

It gets a little tricky, since Wicca was created in the Northern Hemisphere. Since it’s a nature religion, an Earth religion, this makes a big difference.

After all, a Midsummer ritual in the North happens in June.

In the South, though, this is midwinter!

So what does a Southern Witch do?

To read the rest of this article please click on this link: Southern hemisphere Witch’s Holidays

Southern Hemisphere Sabbat Dates

Traditional Dates ‘Exact’ Times & Dates **
Lughnasadh/Lammas February 2 February 4, 2017 1:27AM
Mabon (Autumnal Equinox) March 21 March 20, 2017 8:29PM
Samhain April 30/May 1 May 5, 2017 5:28PM
Yule (Winter Solstice) June 21 June 21, 2017 2:24PM
Imbolc August 1 August 7, 2017 5:40PM
Ostara (Vernal/Spring Equinox) September 21 September 23, 2017 6:02AM
Beltaine October 31 November 7, 2017 3:25PM
Litha (Summer Solstice) December 21 December 22, 2017 2:28AM
** Exact dates and times are from http://www.archaeoastronomy.com/2017.html – Equinox and Solstice data from the U.S. Naval Observatory, Washington DC. Cross-Quarter moments are interpolated as the midway points between the Solstices and Equinoxes measured in degrees along the ecliptic. Former NASA scientist Rollin Gillespie uses this spatial method rather than simply splitting in half the time interval between a Solstice and an Equinox.)

The Wheel of the Year…

To read the rest of this article please click on this link: Southern Hemisphere Holiday Dates 2017

Imbolc in the Southern Hemisphere

Imbolc will soon be here in the southern hemisphere. I put this first article together for the latest edition of the Axis Mundi and have also included a second Imbolc article from the August 2008 edition of the AM.

Imbolc ~ 1st August

by Jenwytch

Imbolc is a cross-quarter day midway between the winter solstice (Yule) and the spring equinox (Ostara) and is the celebration of the banishing of winter, the imminent arrival of Spring and the stirring of new life in the earth. Imbolc recognizes the maiden aspect of the triple goddess – the fresh, the young, the naïve, the new – and is strongly connected with the Goddess Brigid. It is associated with and also known as the festivals of Oimelc, Imbolg, Imbolic (Irish), Candlemas (British), Feast of Torches, Lupercalia (Italian/Latin), Brigid’s Day, and Brigantia (Scottish).

Here in the southern hemisphere, in 21st century Australia, we are far removed from the climate and rural lifestyles of the people of ancient Europe where this festival, and others that make up the Wheel Of The Year, originated. (See my article [below] in an earlier edition of Axis Mundi for more about the history and origins of Imbolc.)

Due to the 6 month offset of the seasons between the northern and southern hemispheres many Australian Pagans prefer to celebrate Imbolc when it is seasonally appropriate here, on August 1st or 2nd, instead of on the traditional northern hemisphere date of February 2nd. Although the majority of modern day Aussie Pagans live in cities or the suburbs we can still look to our backyard gardens, public suburban parks or the National Parks and bushland reserves scattered all around us to see evidence of the cycle of the seasons relevant to this time of year.

To read the rest of this article please click on this link: Imbolc

How to Perform a Blessing Ceremony for Any Woman’s 6 Most Important Rites of Passages

Before sharing this article with you I thought it would be nice to share my Croning  Ritualor to some because it was when I turn 50 years old it might be a Wise Woman Ritual. Which ever way you want to think of it be my guest, to me it was a Croning.

My eldest daughter lived in a rural area of Indiana at the time and had a beautiful yard filled with many types of flowers, flowering plants, green plants, bird feeders, etc besides her son’s little pool, swing set/jungle gym and sandbox. So a cool mixture of both generations. As my birthday is on Beltane we had planned on doing a simple ritual that afternoon with planting a few flowers and explaining to her boys what Beltane was all about. We did this and it was great fun. Then in the evening my daughter and I had picked out a special plant for my Croning ritual. I did not jump a broom as many pagans do to mark going from one stage of life into another, instead together we planted the ? plant (sorry I do not remember the name of it) just outside her kitchen window in an area set aside with a small manmade pond, bird feeders, and other plants and flowers. As we planted our plant I told her stories of my childhood through her birth. After we had tapped down the last bit of soil around the plant she presented me with a smooth flattish stone that was egg shaped and told me it was for all my eggs that had been born and for those that now were forever silent as I entered into my life as not only a mother with all grown children but as a grandmother to help raise the next generation.

When my own mother crossed into the Summerlands almost two years ago, this same daughter came up to me at the cemetery and handed me 13 small stones. She said the represented my legacy of children and grandchildren and to remember to keep them close as I was now the matriarch of our family. I think that brought as many tears to my eyes as the crossing of my mom did. I have the stones put away in a special pouch but take them out to look at when I feel the need to. Although my Croning ritual and becoming family matriarch were seven years apart, I do not think I would have handled my mom’s crossing at all if I had not already taken my place as an elder and crone in our family.

Remember the ideas in the following article are suggestions for Blessingways. If you feel called to do a Blessingway differently then follow your heart and spirit as there is no wrong way to welcome in another phase of your life or someone else’s.

Now for the article…..

As I prepare to give birth to my second daughter, I am more conscious than ever about the importance of the six main rites of passages that women go through.

I want both of my daughters to love being a girl and celebrate becoming a woman. I want them to know in every cell of their bodies that it is an honor to be born a female. To not think of their period as dirty and gross, to not think that giving birth is a horrible thing, to not think that their lives are over with once they stop bleeding.

I want every little girl to grow up proud of her changing body and honoring the transitions she goes through throughout her life. To see each change as a rebirth process, accepting that death is a part of life and only helps us to find more meaning in our lives.

And I believe that the way to create this new culture of celebrating what it means to be a woman is through Blessing Ceremonies, also know as Blessingways, to honor a rite of passage.

 

What is a Blessingway

To finish reading this article please click on this link: Blessingways

Celebrating Lammas

The year is 1100. The date is August 1. The monks in the abbey at Gloucester are celebrating the holy-day of St. Peter in Chains. One of the monks wakes from a strange dream in which God promises to strike down the wicked King who has abused the Holy Church. His superior, Abbot Serlo, on hearing of the dreams sends a warning to the King, William the Red, who has oppressed all of England with taxes and disgusted many with his licentiousness and blasphemy. Red, as he is called, receives the message the following day while preparing to indulge in one of his favorite sports, hunting, in the New Forest. Although there are no longer any people dwelling in the New Forest — they were all cleared out by Red’s father, William the Conqueror — there are rumors that it’s a hotbed of pagan activity. And August 2 is an important pagan holy-day. The Saxons call it Lammas, the Loaf-Mass. William the Red laughs at the warning from the monks and goes out hunting. A short time later, he is dead, struck in the chest by a stray arrow, and his brother, Henry, who was in the hunting party is riding hot-foot for Winchester and the crown.

Now some people say that William the Red was a Lammas sacrifice, …

Please continue reading by clicking this link: Celebrating Lammas