Lammas History: Welcoming the Harvest

By 

Updated April 29, 2019

At Lammas, also called Lughnasadh, the hot days of August are upon us, much of the earth is dry and parched, but we still know that the bright reds and yellows of the harvest season are just around the corner. Apples are beginning to ripen in the trees, our summer vegetables have been picked, corn is tall and green, waiting for us to come gather the bounty of the crop fields. Now is the time to begin reaping what we have sown, and gathering up the first harvests of grain, wheat, oats, and more.

This holiday can be celebrated either as a way to honor the god Lugh, or as a celebration of the harvest.

Celebrating Grain in Ancient Cultures

Grain has held a place of importance in civilization back nearly to the beginning of time. Grain became associated with the cycle of death and rebirth. The Sumerian god Tammuz was slain and his lover Ishtar grieved so heartily that nature stopped producing. Ishtar mourned Tammuz, and followed him to the Underworld to bring him back, similar to the story of Demeter and Persephone.

In Greek legend, the grain god was Adonis. Two goddesses, Aphrodite and Persephone, battled for his love. To end the fighting, Zeus ordered Adonis to spend six months with Persephone in the Underworld, and the rest with Aphrodite.

A Feast of Bread…

Click on this link to read the rest of this article

Crafting Your Own Sacred Schedule – Part 1

Parts 1, 3, 5,7 for this topic will be posted on Coven Life. Parts 2, 4, 6, 8 will be posted on Witches of The Craft

What days of the year are most important to you? Are you making a place for them in your practice, or are you by-passing them altogether? What makes your year go’ round? These are important points to consider when finding your life rhythm and setting a sacred schedule for your own Wheel of the Year.

All too frequently, new practitioners approach this path and feel they must absorb a whole new system directed by a book. That includes celebrating the Wheel of the Year down to the letter, even if it doesn’t make sense for your location, background, beliefs, myths, real life experiences, and so on. This approach can leave you feeling out of touch with what’s happening around you or even make you wonder if you’re doing witchery all wrong.

But there are very few hard and fast rules in Witchcraft — instead, they’re are many suggestions and recommended guidelines. The Wheel of the Year model, as it appears in most books over the last fifty years, is a relatively new construction pieced together from different traditions, I’m not pointing out this fact to knock the system — it does work well for many people. Yet it can be all to easy to forget that the Wheel of the Year is a guideline, not a rule to be adhered to religiously or exclusively. The intention behind its information is to give modern Pagans a cycle they can connect with. How you mark or celebrate the seasons, mythic changes, and important dates will depend heavily on the foundation of your personal practice.

Take into consideration that the popular version of the Wheel of the Year is heavily steeped in Celtic myth. What if you wish to delve into your Slavic, Japanese, or Brazilian heritage? Every culture has its own vibrant collection of myths and sacred days. Sometimes they overlap with the eight sabbats, similarly landing on solstices, equinoxes, or the cross-quarter days, but sometimes they don’t. For example, the Slavic/Russian sun-oriented fest of Kupala occurs in early July while Obon, a Japanese festival that honors the dead falls in mid-August.

There’s also the problematic trappings of culture that insists on separating the sacred from the secular. Big festivals and fest days help bring a community together, but that doesn’t mean they are more special or powerful than days that have a deep personal meaning in your own life. When we are able to see the correlations between the big moments and our day-to-day lives, we enhance our ability to connect with the world around us. The more we can honor and celebrate the seawsons in our own lives, the deeper our practic becomes.

Copyright by Laura Tempst Zakroof Llewellyn;s Witches’ Datebook 2020 Pages 20 to 23

Lady Beltane is on a Hopefully Short Medical Leave

Greetings Sisters, Brothers, and Guests,

It is with a heavy heart that I have to consider my health first. I am NOT a confirmed case of COVID-19 but I am symptomatic. My doctor and I are keeping a close watch on my breathing. But it is more likely a mixture of a common cold or flu virus coupled with lousy allergies and a fibromyalgia flare hitting me all as once. To be on the safe side for my husband, we started sleeping separately a couple of weeks ago, I am self isolating in my den/altar room. The Elders of Coven Life and WOTC will be taking over at least 98% of my duties so I feel better to lead the full Moon Esbat gathering on April 5th. So posts may look different.

Everything with Coven Life’s School of Witchcraft will continue as normal.

I will answer emails when I feel up to it during my time off.

Until we meet again blessings of health for and for those you care about,

Lady Beltane

Tips to Help to Not Have a Bad Day

To every man and brother whose 2 and/or 4 legged, reptile or bird children I am very sorry to not have wished you  blessed and happy Father’s Day!

My whole weekly schedule got thrown off by two things, a very bad allergy day Friday and my husband working Saturday. Since he’s normally off the whole weekend I kept thinking yesterday was Saturday and woke thinking today is Sunday. So I was trying to figure out why he was up getting ready for work until the light bulb went off that it’s Monday.

As I sit here while it is still dark outside and listen to the wonderful bird songs in my backyard and neighborhood I am again in awe of Mother Earth and the beauty she provides all of our 5 regular senses if we would take the time to see, hear, smell, touch, and taste all the things she along with Air, Water, Fire, and Earth provide daily for us.

Today I challenge you to take just 5 minutes out of your busy schedule to really listen to the natural sounds around you, see the beauty in the face of someone you come in contact with or flowers or the grass, or the trees or all of these, to give a person, familiar/pet a 20 second hug this will release feel good endorphins in your brain, to really enjoy the smell of nature or something delicious that is cooking, to take the time to savor the intricate flavors of whatever you eat and drink through out the day instead of just eating or drinking whatever because you need it to live. There is an old saying from the late 1960’s here, “Stop and smell the roses.” This is what I am asking you to do with your 5 physical senses.

Now for the 6th sense which to me is our Spiritual or metaphysical being.  Take some time to meditate concentrating on opening your 3rd eye and reconnection your spirit and body into one being.

I strongly suggest doing the above challenge as often as you can but at least once a week. I can tell you from experience you will become closer to the Great Mother and Father a.k.a. the Goddess and her Consort God a.k.a. the Lord and Lady.

Please share with us how the day goes on the day you decided to take up my challenge.

Sisters and Brothers may your day be filled with wonderess new experiences that you encounter.

A Thought for Today

In following a pagan path we have more freedom to practice our spirituality in any way we chose. Some may follow only one tradition such as Wicca or a specific pantheon such as Nordic or Celtic or even what is referred to as Non-Paganism or Native American beliefs…well I think you get the idea. We are not strapped into following just one God and/or his son and having to attend church in a building to show we are faithful followers like in the mainstream religions. Now don’t get me wrong if a mainstream religion works as a spiritual path for a person than I think that’s great but after years of following more than one, I found the way to my peaceful and fulfilling spiritual path to be an alternative one.  We also do not have to follow just one of the pagan traditional paths we can study many of them and combine our own path from parts of many traditions. My spiritual path combines a few traditions such as Celtic, Native American, Wicca, Egyptian and Greek pantheons, Buddist. But this may change at any time as I study other spiritual paths.

So when I first dedicated myself to The Craft in 1978, I was a young 20-year-old who had just finished her novice studies in a regular coven. But I felt stifled in this particular coven because the High Priest and High Priestess only wanted us studying the materials they felt were the best offered at the time, remember we are talking way before the computer age as we now know it (back then computers were more glorified calculators and typewriters…lol) and when being a witch was being thought of as worshipping the Devil. I decided I had no choice but to find a coven that was more open in what traditions of paganism members studied and with the Mother Goddess’ help I found one. This is the coven I would eventually become High Priestess of when the current one retired. My High Priest and High Priestess along with the Priest and Priestess of this coven encourage us to study whatever pagan paths we wanted to. The coven had a small meeting room in the back of a restaurant owned by one of the members and we were welcome to go into it anytime the restaurant was open for business. This room beside having all the coven’s ritual tools stored there it had a wonderful library covering many topics and many authors of books about The Craft. The Elders of the coven were readily available to answer questions about spirituality and magick. If we were not sure of the information we sought they would ask the person who had come to them questions to help that person figure out what direction they wanted to go with their studies.  Because of this experience and Lady Abyss encourgement, I started the Coven Life coven and website which shortly led me to open the Coven Life WItchcraft school.

Now you are probably asking yourself what does all of this have to do with doing a dedication to The Craft/The Old Ways. To me doing a dedication ritual is saying, “Yes this is the spiritual path I want to follow and learn more about. It is me asking the Gods and Goddesses to help lead me through working with them and my Spirit Guides to following the path I am supposed to be on for spiritual growth and to lead my coven and school to the best of my abilities.”

Every person that does a dedication ritual whether it be to The Craft and/or a God and/or a Goddess it is for their own personal reasons. Every person anywhere on Mother Earth that practices any type of witchcraft has their own reasons for doing a dedication to whomever they want to. Those that follow a pagan spirituality are not taught to be like a cookie cutter person like people are in mainstream religions.

Blessed be dear brothers and sister of The Craft and The Old Ways.

Happily Heathen: The Positives and Negatives of Dedicating to a Deity

As my name implies, I am dedicated to the Vanic Goddess Freya and consider myself Her daughter. My spiritual path has always been guided by a desire for a direct, personal relationship with deity (not unlike that of the Christian or Sufi mystics), so my relationship with Freya is as close as, if not closer than, my relationships with my family members and my partner.

However, my relationship with Her is also closer than my relationship with Her brother Freyr, to whom I’m also dedicated. My relationship with Him is much newer and less intense, and fills a different role in my spiritual life. There are a wide range of levels of devotion and types of devotion among devotional polytheists. (I would argue that this kind of relationship, by default, has to be one of our most idiosyncratic of practices.) Just like relationships between humans, relationships between humans and deities–even devotional or dedicated relationships–can vary greatly. Just as you can be involved in a many different friendships for a variety of reasons, so can people be devoted with the Gods in many different ways. The experiences and opinions I share here are really only reflective of me and my relationship with Freya, who has been my primary Goddess.

When I first started working for her, I was full of zeal and love for Her and I couldn’t really figure out why everyone did not want to honor Her and devote themselves to Her. (Laine deLaney of The Lady’s Quill wrote a lovely description of Her here.) ….

To read this rest of this article please click on this link: Happily Heathen: The Positives and Negatives of Dedicating to a Deity

 

WOTC Ritual on September 25, 2018

ANy questions about this ritual should be sent to witches_of_the_craft@outlook.com or a comment made on one of the WOTC posts on the WPTC website http://witchesofthecraft.com for this gathering. You can read all the posts by Lady Abyss by scrolling down this page

WHEN

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Socialization starts at 6:45 PM  CT

Ritual starts at 7:00 PM CT

Lady of the Abyss asks that if you come into theWOTC chatroom late you do so quietly, please.

WHERE:

WOTC Chatroom

Make sure you read the post about how you get into the chatroom

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

A Chalice with fresh water in it

A dish of  Salt

Sword or Dagger

Wand

Incense Holder

Incense of your choice

4 Element Candles in Celtic Magick the colors are Red for East, White for South, Gray for West, Black for North

Cord

TOPIC OF RITUAL:

“This ritual is done with a Celt flare to it…”

Re-dedication to The Craft, God and Goddess

Making Your Pentacle Your Own

The pentacle that I wear daily is approximately 1 1/2 inches in diameter. On the front of it is the Goddess with her arms raised. I apologize for the quality of the picture but I did not want to disturb Cleopatra or Starbabie, my two canine familiars, who are using me as their pillow. You can see part of Cleopatra’s head in the picture.

My pentacle is one thing that I wear close to my Heart Chakra on the cord is also a Unicorn pendant given to me about 15 years ago by my husband, a green Adventurine to help with my back problems, and a heart pendant the containing clear quartz made for me by my dearest sister (the one I went to Germany to visit in 2016).

I have worn a pentacle blessed to help protect me from metaphysical as well as physical assault of any kind. But the one felt different after I cleansed and blessed it. So I asked my guides why and then meditated waiting for an answer. I learned that not only did the points on this pentacle represent the five elements, Spirit, Air, Fire, Earth, and Water, they also each represented a deity I work with or works through me. Starting at the top and going clockwise the points represent many different aspects of the Horn God, Mary Magdalene who is one of my guides, Ra my patron god, Kwan Yin/Sirona healing goddesses that with through me to help others, Mother Earth my matron goddess. The goddess on the front is the Great Mother and the horseshoe shape thing she is holding above her head a creative muse that helps me immensely Collopie. By finding out this information truly made this MY pentacle as I seriously doubt anyone else would have the same beings at the same points as I do.

To make your pentacle your own you could do it the way I did or however you are inspired to turn a pendant you bought as a symbol of your spiritual path into a one of a kind personal amulet. Continue reading “Making Your Pentacle Your Own”

Coven Gathering Tuesday, April 11, 2017 at 7:00 PM CT

April Coven Life’ Coven Gathering
This month we will be empowering candles for personal use on your altar or when meditating. So if you make your own candles for magical use please have them ready. We also will be initating to new adepts as full members of our coven.

WHEN:
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
7:00 PM CT
We will have a 15 minute socialize time
Sacred Circle starts PROMPTLY at 7:15 PM CT

WHERE:
Coven Life’s Chatroom
See banner on left-hand side for information on how to get in to the chatroom and for a link to do a time conversions to your local time..

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
1 EACH – Yellow, Red, Blue, Green, White Candles – any size candle is fine – these will be used to represent the elements including Aether/Spirit
1 – 12 Inch White Candle or color you want to represent yourself
1 Candle Holder for each elemental candle

Candle Holder for Personal Candle – this should be a special one that means something to you – many witches leave their candle in it until it burns completely down, take out the stub and bury it. They also never use this particular candle holder for any candle but their personal one.
Lighter or matches

Atheme or Cleansed/Ceremonial Knife – to inscribe your magical working name (if you have not chosen one inscribe your first name only) into your personal candle. You can use an alphabet you want to be it the regular one, runes of any kind or even a different language such as Greek.

Open table or desktop to set your elemental candles out in the shape of a small Instagram surrounding what will be your personal candle but can still see your computer monitor.

2-minute meditation to start at 7:15 PM CT to center yourself for the ritual.

EVERYONE– Before I open the circle I ask each of you to type in the words “I enter this circle in perfect love and perfect trust in the Universal energies with us tonight.”

LADY BELTANE – I call upon Posiden ruler of the Oceans, I call upon Gaia mother of us all, I call upon Zeus the ruler of the sky, I call upon Ra the ruler of Sun, I call upon Aether, I call upon Arma and Luna God and Goddess of the Moon and  to walk this circle with me three times three with Air, Fire, Water, Earth and Spirit to protect all of us inside from any negativity that might try to invade our space. We now step into a place that is all places and into a time that is the past, present, and future. We humbly come before you Pan a God and  Lord of Nature, we invite you into our circle of light and love. We humbly come before you, Hecate Goddess and Guardian of Witches everywhere, we invite you into our circle of light and love.

1-2 minute quite time to wait while the power grows in our circle

(Take your candle into your non-power hand. Hold it tight enough that the Athame or knife will not cause it to turn as you engrave your name into it.)

EVERYONE – (As you engrave your name same the following spell)

Name of your personal patron God and matron Goddess

I bring forth this candle as a representation of myself and my magickal workings.

I ask that you energize it with your energies as I am energizing it with mine.

Know when I light this candle that where ever its light may hit is a sacred space

and as such, I am protected by you.

As I will it. So mote it be.

(Now each time you light your personal candle you will know the energies of the deities you called upon tonight to help energize and empower it will automatically come to you. This will happen even if you call on other Gods and/or Goddesses to assist you with something in a circle or are meditating)

EVERYONE TYPE IN – Blessed be when you are done with your candle.

LADY BELTANE – Please welcome our current and new novices also our current adepts. Please wait to say anything as a welcome until all the novices and current adepts have “spoken.”

Novices and CURRENT Adepts ONLY – Please type in your first name and either the state or country you live in.

EVERYONE – Welcome and blessed be.

LADY BELTANE – Will those who are seeking to be initiated into our coven tonight as full members and to study as an adept please come forward.

NARE and SANDI – Please type in – I now stand before our High Priestess and our Coven.

Nare – Do you stand before us of your own free will?

Nare – Answer.

Sandi – Do you stand before us of your own free will?

Sandi– Answer.

Nare – Do to you take a vow to keep the identities of all here presence a secret unto yourself?

Nare – Answer.

Sandi – Do to you take a vow to keep the identities of all here presence a secret unto yourself?

Sandi – Answer.

Nare – Do you vow to uphold the sanctity of our coven and keep all working within it unto yourself?

Nare – Answer.

Sandi – Do you vow to uphold the sanctity of our coven and keep all working within it unto yourself?

Sandi – Answer.

Nare – By what name shall you be called by from this day forth within our coven and the pagan community as a whole?

Nare – Answer.

Sandi – By what name shall you be called by from this day forth within our coven and the pagan community as a whole?

Sandi – Answer.

Lady Beltane – Please welcome _______ and ______ into our coven and community.

EVERYONE – Please type in your welcome and/or blessing to our new adepts.

Lady Beltane – _______ and ______ please take your place back within our circle. You have received the blessings of the coven now please receive mine as well. May your time among us be filled with positive energy, love, and laughter.

LADY BELTANE – We thank thee Pan Lord and God of Nature for joining us this night. Please leave to return from whence you came with our love and gratitude. We thank thee Hecate Goddess and Guardian of witches everywhere for joining us this night. Please return from whence you can with our love and gratitude.

I now bring us back to the physical plane and to our present time. I close this circle walking three times three with Air, Fire, Water, Earth and Spirit.

The circle is open but not broken. Go in peace and love brothers and sisters. Blessed be until we merry meet again.

Please visit with each other as long as you like.

Copyright 2017 Lady Beltane

A WITCHES MANIFESTO

Adapted from The Wiccan Bardo by Paul Beyerl)

 

I DEMAND THESE THINGS OF MYSELF AS A WITCH:

 

I must pursue my highest ideals

I must aspire to the highest of ethics

I must demand integrity of myself

I must always keep my word

 

I must cultivate self-discipline

I must LIVE the Hermetic Principle

I must seriously contemplate the ramifications of Reincarnation & Karma

 

I must respect the astral realms

I must approach ritual with reverence and care

I must respect ritual work as an act of love and beauty.

 

I must take sole responsibility for all the events and circumstances in my life, in the knowledge that I have created them all for my own development.

I must strive to cultivate a sense of humour and of humility.

I must avoid all negativity, firstly in my thinking and as a consequence, in my life.

  

I must live in harmony with the Earth Goddess – Gaia.

I must cultivate a global perspective.

I must serve my community, both locally and globally, being of help to all people.

 

I must be willing to defend my religion.

I must provide for the safe future of my ritual tools, should I be taken by death

From Witches of The Craft https://witchesofthecraft.com/a-witches-manifesto/