Simple Basic Altar Set Up

When setting up an altar it is nice but not necessary to have a lot of magickal tools.

A basic altar can be set up using different colored tea lights or candles to represent the five elements, Spirit, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. To make the candle burn a little longer and drip less keep them in your freezer until you are ready to use them. You can put your personal candle back into your freezer after it has cooled down for at one hour after use. Place your elemental candle in the shape of a pentagram. You can use a piece of chalk to draw the outline of a pentagram wherever you are setting up your altar. When you are done with the circle and have removed all things off wherever your atar was set up just use a wet paper towel to wipe off the chalk. It may take more than one depending on how hard use pressed with the chalk when drawing the pentagram. When I to this I either bury the paper towel in one of my gardens or burn it in my outdoor fireplace as a sign of respect for the remains of the pentagram it holds.

A few other ideas  to use for the elements are:

SPIRIT: A statue or picture of an angel or a picture of ancestor

AIR: A feather or incense stick or cone or windchimes

FIRE: A book of matches or lighter or wooden matches

WATER: A seashell or any type of aquatic wildlife statue or picture or a small container of water

EARTH: A stick or some rocks or a small container of dirt or salt (not sea salt but regular table salt)

The Goddess and God you wish to have present can also be done by using a candle or tea light. Some other objects you could use are:

GODDESS: Eggshell or birds nest or a statute of a woman of any size or a picture of a Goddess

GODS: A pine cone or small tree branch with leaves or a statute of a man any size or a picture of a God

You can take a glass r cup and a small plate of some kind from your kitchen that you rarely use to consecrate for use as your chalice and offering dish.

Your personal candle you will want to use a bigger candle so you do not have to dedicate and personalize one every time you use it in a circle. I have a 12-inch (30.48 cm) taper candle works very well for my personal candle and lasts about 2 to 4 months depending on how often I make a circle.

As for your Book of Shadows being on your altar or not is up to you. I keep a couple of pieces of paper and a pen on my altar when doing a circle, especially if it is a circle meditation, just in case something happens during the circle I want to remember. My BOS is a three-ring binder with lots of empty pages in it so I do not have to cleanse them before using them on my altar or placing them back into my BOS.

WAND: Your do not absolutely have to have a wand to do a basic altar. But if you live near a park, forest or have trees in your yard look on the ground for a fallen branch. Ask the tree if you can have it for your personal use as a wand and leave a small token of appreciation such as a little water, a small stone or whatever else you feel might be appropriate.

SIDE NOTE: Left handed people sometimes put their Personal Candle on the left and BOS on the right.

Copyright 2017 Lady Beltane.

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I Need Input for my Book in Progess

Merry meet and merry greet dear ones.

I am in the process of finalizing a book I am writing to help those brand new to The Craft. The general idea is to write a book that someone who is interested in The Craft or a novice to it can use to build a firm foundation for the knowledge of how to do basic spell crafting, ritual and general helpful information to use on their witch/pagan journey.

It occurred to me as I was going over my outline last night that I should ask those the book is aimed towards, “What would you find the most helpful in a book like this?”

I really do want your input on what the book should contain to help start people on their journey in a safe way and with basic knowledge of the “magickal” part of The Craft.

I thank you in advance for your help and input. The acknowledgments in the book will include all of you that comment or email me with useable suggestions.

Working With Pagan Gods and Goddesses by Patti Wigington (Part 1)

While some traditions of Wicca and Paganism honor an all-encompassing “The God” or “The Goddess,” others worship specific deities. Let’s look at some of the gods and goddesses found in contemporary traditions, and how you can work with them in your daily practice.

Offerings to the Gods

What’s an Acceptable Gift?

In many Pagan and Wiccan traditions, it’s not uncommon to make some sort of offering or sacrifice to the gods. Bear in mind that despite the reciprocal nature of our relationship with the divine, it’s not a matter of “I’m offering you this stuff so you’ll grant my wish.” It’s more along the lines of “I honor you and respect you, so I’m giving you this stuff to show you how much I appreciate your intervention on my behalf.

So the question arises, then, of what to offer them? Different types of deities seem to respond best to different kinds of offerings. For example, you wouldn’t offer flowers to a war god, would you? When making an offering, it’s important to think about what the god represents.

The Roman Cato described an offering for agricultural prosperity: Make offerings to keep your oxen in good health. Make the following sacrifices to Mars… three pounds of wheat, four-and-a-half of lard, four-and-a-half of meat and three pints of wine. While it’s probably not necessary to go that far and offer up enough food to feed a small army to your god, the passage does illustrate the fact that our ancestors thought enough of their gods to take their offerings very seriously.

More importantly than thinking about what the gods represent to you personally, though, is to pay attention to what they have demanded of others in the past.

 

(Remember this is one persons suggestions if you feel something else is more aporpreite then use it.) The rea f thi article can be read by using thi link: https://www.thoughtco.com/offerings-to-the-gods-2561949?utm_campaign=list_paganwiccan&utm_content=20170321&utm_medium=email&utm_source=exp_nl&utm_term=list_paganwiccan

 

A Welcome, and Advice for the New Witch

Merry meet everyone,

I am new to posting on this site and I have sat and thought about what to say many many nights and I think I have finally come to a conclusion on what it should be.

When I was first starting out on my path I had no where to turn to. I had no idea what I was doing really, and I was COMPLETELY confused as to where I should start. After a while of doing things on my own I searched and searched for some kind of online classes so that I would have some kind of structure in my studies but everything was way to expensive. And then I found Lady Beltane here on her page.

My long, yet short, journey to this page has led me to wanting to help new and budding witches find things they are looking for. To help them like I wished someone would have helped me when I was first starting out. I know that a lot of the people who visit this site are already training with Lady Beltane in some form or fashion but I was a newbie once that stumbled upon this page so I know there will be others. And I do apologize if this post is very long and/or redundant for some of you.

For those of you who have stumbled upon this site who want to train with Lady Beltane, or who is just looking for more information for your solitary path; please know that you are not alone. I know it can feel very overwhelming, and it can make you want to turn away from the path because it can be confusing. Honestly, you will be confused a LOT. But remember that it will all fall in to place the more you read up on things and the more you do things. Wicca and Paganism is full of wonderful mysteries, and they are meant to be confusing until they reveal themselves to you when you are ready. So for those who are new, who have NO idea where to start, I leave you with this. There will be a plethora of books out there for you to read on the basics of Paganism and Wicca. One of MY personal favorites is Wicca for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham: I found it the most helpful and resourceful. It covered almost everything I could have needed to know at the onset of my path.

I am part of a group on facebook for new witches and I see a lot of questions about things that I wouldn’t have been comfortable with as a budding witch. Don’t be too worried about your Book of Shadows just yet, its something you can put together once you get further into your studies and actually understand what it is. I have seen a lot of people stress about this and they have no idea what Wicca or Paganism really is or if it really is for them. And spells, they are complicated to try and understand at that level, and its not recommended for you to even try one until you know what you are doing for too many reasons to count. Tools, don’t feel rushed to get them. Take your time, learn about them, understand what they are and what they are used for because I can tell you now, you won’t even use most of them. This is the time for you to gather up all the information you can; the history, the basic understanding of what Wicca and Paganism is, about the culture, about the beliefs, the different aspects and pantheons; its a time for you to morph your own truths and beliefs about everything, you are finding out who you are in this new world. There is a wealth of knowledge out there for you to find! Don’t stress, don’t put a time table on things, and do not put expectations on anything. And never EVER forget that there are a lot more out there like you who are more than willing to help you out and answer your questions.

All About Beltane – Celebrating the Fertility of Spring

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.

RITUALS AND CEREMONIES

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.

By Patti Wigington for more on Beltane please click on this link: https://www.thoughtco.com/guide-to-the-beltane-celebration-2561640?utm_campaign=list_paganwiccan&utm_content=20170427&utm_medium=email&utm_source=exp_nl&utm_term=list_paganwiccan

God/Goddess Healing Ritual

For those of us who want to do something privately for Lady A or even someone else that needs healing, I found this relatively easy healing ritual by Patti Wigington on About.com. Here is the link if you want to check out the article or others on various subjects on the About.com’s website: http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/wiccanandpaganrituals/a/God-Goddess-Healing-Ritual.htm (This article has not been changed in any way by myself, so any typos were already there.)

Updated May 01, 2016.

This ritual is one which can be done on behalf of an ill friend or family member. They do not have to be present for you to do this ritual. In many traditions it is customary to at least ask permission before doing healing (or any other sort of) magic. However, it is often acceptable to assume you have implied permission – in other words, if you believe in good faith that the individual would want you to perform this rite on their behalf, then you may go ahead and do so without specifically asking for their approval in advance. Follow the guidelines of your own tradition’s belief system and ethical standards.

Keep in mind that someone who is terminally ill may not wish to live longer, and may instead be wishing for release from their pain. As a contrast, someone who is suffering from an acute illness rather than a long-term one may simply want to feel better immediately.

This ritual asks the goddess (or god) of your tradition to watch over the ailing individual and assist them with healing.

There are a number of different deities associated with healing, from a variety of different pantheons. If your particular flavor of Paganism doesn’t have a god or goddess of healing, consider using one of these:

Celtic:

Greek:

Norse:

Roman:

Egyptian:

Yoruba:

You will need the following items:

  • A small (votive or even tealight size) white candle to represent the individual for whom you are doing the ritual
  • Healing incense (loose blend) of allspice, bay, yarrow, apple blossoms, lemon balm, cinnamon
  • A candle in any color representing the god or goddess you wish to petition for assistance

Begin by casting a circle, if your tradition requires you to do so. Set up your altar as you normally would, placing the god/goddess candle behind the individual candle. In this sample ritual template, we will be using Brighid, but you should substitute the name of the deity upon whom you are calling when you perform this rite.

Say:

I call upon you, Brighid, in a time of need.
I ask your assistance and blessing, for one who is ailing.
[Name] is ill, and she needs your healing light.
I ask you to watch over her and give her strength,
Keep her safe from further illness, and protect her body and soul.
I ask you, great Brighid, to heal her in this time of sickness.

Place the loose incense blend on your brazier (or, if you don’t use a brazier for incense, use a charcoal disc in a bowl or plate) and light it. As the smoke begins to rise, envision your friend’s illness wafting away with the smoke.

Brighid, I ask you to take away [Name]’s illness,
Carry it out to the four winds, never to return.
To the north, take this illness away and replace it with health.
To the east, take this illness away, and replace it with strength.
To the south, take this illness away, and replace it with vitality.
To the west, take this illness away, and replace it with life.
Carry it away from [Name], Brighid, that it may scatter and be no more.

Light the candle representing the god or goddess.

Hail to you, powerful Brighid, I pay you tribute.
I honor you and ask this one small gift.
May your light and strength wash over [Name],
Supporting her in her this time of need.

Use the flame on the deity candle to light the smaller candle, representing your friend.

[Name], I light this candle in your honor tonight.
It is lit from the fires of Brighid, and she will watch over you.
She will guide you and heal you, and ease your suffering.
May Brighid continue to care for you and embrace you in her light.

Take a few moments to meditate on what you really wish for your friend. Once you have finished, allow the candles to burn out on their own if possible.

Seems A Lot of Us Are In a Funk Right Now

As you know I have been on my spiritual path for decades and have experienced many highs and lows throughout it. I too am in a witchy low right now but have gotten help others to help me start to slowly come out of it. The two things I am finding that are helping a lot is to accept where I am and turn inward for answers as to why. The other is an affirmation given to me by High Priestess Stregga which is, “I will allow myself to be healed and to heal.” I go out with my two fur baby familiars twice a day, morning and late afternoon, facing Ra (Egyptian Sun God) I put my hands above my head and repeat the affirmation three times out loud and then take three deep breaths inhaling all the way to my root chakra as I am doing this I picture positive healing energy coming in as I exhale I ask that all the negative energy be forced out of my body through my feet into Mother Earth to be recycled into positive energy for her to use. I repeat this cycle of saying the affirmation and breathing two more times. I then open my eyes and just stand quietly until I feel the urge to move. I know part of my problem is the changing of the seasons but this shall pass.

Give this a try it might help you as it is helping me, I hope. I maybe taking Wednesday through Friday of this week off to unplug from my computer and cell phone to be able to do more meditating outside before the weather where I live turns to cold for it and just turn inwards looking for my spiritual spark that is overshadowed by other things in my life right now. I want the spark to turn back into the fantastic fire it usually is.  I also plan to do a rededication to my Craft and The Old Ways on the full Moon. If you are having a struggle with your path just now you may want to consider to doing the same.

Magical Intent

I found this neat blog post about setting intention and then using Bobby Pins to put your hair back for the day.

As I dress each day I set intention as I am putting on lotion after showering, or getting dressed, or putting on my jewelry.  I had never considered including my hair!

© 03022016 Wolf Woman Ways

The blog post with their ideas can be read at the following link:

Covens vs. Solitary Practice

It’s an argument that comes up frequently in the Pagan community, particularly among those who identify as Wiccans. There’s one school of thought that says “only a witch can make a witch,” which means you must be initiated and part of a coven — typically a lineaged one — before you can claim to be Wiccan, Pagan, or any other variety thereof. There’s another camp that says anyone can be a witch or Pagan, and what matters more than initiation and coven connections is what’s in your heart and soul.

Will people ever agree on these things?

It’s pretty unlikely.

However, as you begin your studies of Wicca and other forms of Paganism, you may at some point be offered the opportunity to join a group. You may also find that you really prefer working alone. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of covens vs. solitary practice, so that when the time comes for you to make a decision, you can do so with some knowledge under your belt.

For the rest of this article by Patty Wigington please click on the following link: http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/wiccaandpaganismbasics/a/CovenVsSolitary.htm

Back to Basics: Magical Theory – Part 5

Wondering about the hows and whys of magic? Today we’re going to take a look at some basic techniques such as grounding and shielding, as well as what makes magic effective, why some people don’t bother with it, and the simplest way to craft your own spell.

The Cone of Power

In studying some magical traditions, you may hear a reference to something called the Cone of Power. But what exactly is it, and where did the idea come from?

Traditionally, the cone of power is a method of raising and directing energy by a group. Essentially, the people involved stand in a circle to form the base of the cone. In some rituals, they may connect to each other physically by holding hands, or they may simply visualize energy flowing between the members of the group.

As energy is raised – whether by chanting, singing, or other methods – a cone forms above the group, and eventually reaches its apex above. In many magical systems, it is believed that this energy continues on past the point at the top of the cone, traveling out infinitely into the universe.

For the rest of this article by Patty Wigington please click on the following link: http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/MagicalTheory/fl/The-Cone-of-Power.htm?utm_content=20160216&utm_medium=email&utm_source=exp_nl&utm_campaign=list_paganwiccan&utm_term=list_paganwiccan