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
I got the idea for this ritual from Gregg Braden on his show “Missing Links,, Season 1 Episode 7.” He tells a story of a Native American asking him to go with him to “pray for rain”, they live in northern New Mexico where there has not been any rain in quite some time. When they reach his friend’s Medicine Wheel his friend steps inside of it for a few minutes and then comes out asking if Mr. Braden is ready to go to lunch. Mt. Braden is a little confused and asks his friend “David”, “I thought we were coming here to pray for rain.” To which “David” replies, “I was taught to see things are they would be when the rain fell. I could feel the mud squish between my toes coming out of my pleubo, to smell the cleaner air, to see things turning green and the crops in the fields growing. If we pray for something that is happening right now we get nothing but if we can see and ask for what it will be like after it rains than the rains will come.”
We are living in very uncertain times for all parts of our lives except the spiritual one. This is a time when we need to step up and use our spirituality and magickal abilities to help ourselves and others. The intention for the ritual in this Esbat gathering is to ask for healing mind, body, and spirit for everyone including yourselves anywhere upon Mother Earth and for Mother Earth Herself. Please try to keep your mind focused not on what is happening now but how we see things at the end of this COVID-19 virus. Yes, some things are hard to picture on a grand scale so keep it simple and see how you, your loved, and friends came through this virus strong and healthy. See you and/or your loved ones, and/or friends back to work. See all of you gathered together having a party of some kind to celebrate – remember in this age of being able to connect with people anywhere in the whole you could even do a Skype conference call party (Skype allows 50 people to be connected to each other at the same time).
So, for a little while at least set your worries and stress aside and join us in this Esbat celebration of how each of our personal lives will be at the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. The song I picked May The Circle Be Open is to remind us we may not be in a circle together all the time but there are ties that still bind us together so we are never truly all alone. We are going to do a healing drumming circle than at the end we will meditate for 2 minutes. Then anyone that wants to will have a chance to share their fears or stresses or where they see themselves and family at the end of the pandemic. There will possibly be a time limit set for each person sharing time depending on how many people join us in this gathering.
What You Need:
1 large white candle (that you can burn for 1 hour every day for 1 week. If you feel you want to keep lighting the candle after the first week then that is what you should do just make sure your candle is large enough for the duration you want to keep lighting it.)
Correct size holder for your candle
Your favorite Essential Oil for dressing the candle after engraving it
A device you can listen to the song (watch the video if you want to)
Something sharp to engrave you candle (a knife, your Atheme, a toothpick or a pin of some kind)
Fireproof Container to put the burning paper in
Lighter or Matches
I call to Archangel Raphael to reside in the Watchtower of the East to help protect those in this circle and when we leave it from any type of negativity.
I call to Archangel Michael to reside in the Watchtower of the South to help protect those in this circle and when we leave it from any type of negativity.
I call to Archangel Gabriel to reside in the Watchtower of the West to help protect those in this circle and when we leave it from any type of negativity.
I call to Archangel Uriel to reside in the Watchtower of the North to help protect those in this circle and when we leave it from any type of negativity.
I invoke Goddess Sirona (1 of the healing Goddess of the Celts) and God the Dagda (Celtic God of fertility, agriculture, life, and death.) to walk this circle with me three times three. To take us to a place that is not a place and an out of time as we know it. I bid you reside in our circle to help give strength and power to our work here.
Please click on this link to start the song setting your intention(s) of where you and those you care about will be feeling and doing after the COVID-19 pandemic has passed while listening to the song.
Now take approximately 5 minutes to write your intention(s) down on the piece of paper – How and Where you see yourself and those you care about feeling and doing once the danger of the virus is gone.
Next, inscribe the names or initials of the people on the paper you are doing this ritual for. When you are done with that take a small drop as needed of your favorite essential oil start at the bottom of the candle in one motion smear the oil to the top of the candle. Turn the candle clockwise and again apply the essential oil, repeat these steps until you come to where you put your first line of essential oil overlap the first and last applications.
Now light your candle. Burn the paper with the candle while visualizing how everyone included on the candle lives will be at the end of the COVID-19 pandemic in whatever country or state you all live in. Repeat this spell/prayer three times while the paper is burning: (If you feel a word or some words need to be changed to fit how you would say this spell or prayer you can do that as this is your plea and thanksgiving to your deity)
Sirona we ask for the health for those we have written here is strong and unaffected by COVID_19. Sirona we thank you that none we asked you to watch over became sick
the Dagda we ask that you keep us working from home or where we are employed or go to school. the Dagda we thank you for taking us through this time with being employed and/or in school that none of us lost anything we needed for home and hearth.
I see those on my candle as still being healthy, employed, and now able to go on with our daily lives. As we mourn with those far and wide who lost someone to this pandemic.
So Mote It Be (OR However you end your spell or prayer
Written by Lady Beltane