Beltane Sunset to Sunset. April 30th – May 1st

Beltane honours Life. It represents the peak of Spring and the beginning of Summer. Earth energies are at their strongest and most active. All of life is bursting with potent fertility and at this point in the Wheel of the Year, the potential becomes conception. On May Eve the sexuality of life and the earth is at its peak. Abundant fertility, on all levels, is the central theme. The Maiden goddess has reached her fullness. She is the manifestation of growth and renewal, Flora, the Goddess of Spring, the May Queen, the May Bride. The Young Oak King, as Jack-In-The-Green, as the Green Man, falls in love with her and wins her hand. The union is consummated and the May Queen becomes pregnant. Together the May Queen and the May King are symbols of the Sacred Marriage (or Heiros Gamos), the union of Earth and Sky, and this union has merrily been re-enacted by humans throughout the centuries. For this is the night of the Greenwood Marriage. It is about sexuality and sensuality, passion, vitality and joy. And about conception. A brilliant moment in the Wheel of the Year to bring ideas, hopes and dreams into action. And have some fun…..

Traditions of Beltane

Beltane is a Fire Festival. The word ‘Beltane’ originates from the Celtic God ‘Bel’, meaning ‘the bright one’ and the Gaelic word ‘teine’ meaning fire. Together they make ‘Bright Fire’, or ‘Goodly Fire’ and traditionally bonfires were lit to honour the Sun and encourage the support of Bel and the Sun’s light to nurture the emerging future harvest and protect the community. Bel had to be won over through human effort. Traditionally all fires in the community were put out and a special fire was kindled for Beltane. “This was the Tein-eigen, the need fire. People jumped the fire to purify, cleanse and to bring fertility. Couples jumped the fire together to pledge themselves to each other. Cattle and other animals were driven through the smoke as a protection from disease and to bring fertility. At the end of the evening, the villagers would take some of the Teineigen to start their fires anew.” (From Sacred Celebrations by Glennie Kindred) Green Man – Beltane

To read more interesting things about Northern Hemisphere Beltane click here

Category Samhain/Deep Autumn

WE ARE THE ANCESTORS: MAY WE BE INTERESTING FOOD

May 9, 2020 · by Glenys D. Livingstone · in Samhain/Deep Autumn · Leave a comment Our present lives are formed by all who came before us. We are in-formed by them, whether conscious or not. In PaGaian Samhain ceremony as it has been done traditionally, participants are invited to remember the ancestors in this way: Let us remember our ancestors, those who have gone before, whose lives have been harvested, […]

THREADS OF GOLD IN THE COMPOST

April 20, 2020 · by Glenys D. Livingstone · in Samhain/Deep Autumn · 2 Comments There are threads of gold in the compost, if one has the vision for it. And we may take the golden thread, exclaim the strongest natural fibre known – our creative selves, our imaginations – for the building of a new world made sacred, of our conceiving: yet beyond our knowings, across the vast Darkness between […] For more interesting article about Southern Hemisphere Samhain click here  

5 Simple Rituals for Ostara

Imbolc Blessings to you Sisters, Brothers, and Guests

May what you sow today bring you a bountiful harvest on Lammas.

Blessed be dear ones.

Lammas Blessings to You Sisters, Brothers, and Guests

May your harvest be bountiful!

Blessed be dear ones

Imbolc Charm Bags

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Written for Coven Life

On 03/02/2020

By Priestess Hypatia

 

Creating seasonal charms is one of my favorite types of spell work.  You can generally make them from things you may already have on hand, or easily pick up at your local craft and nursery stores. The best ingredients are from my random collectables I have gathered from Nature Herself.

Spells crafted at this time of the year focus new beginnings, fresh starts and new growth. Think of it as the New Moon Phase. Ostara is like the waxing moon where you take action and Beltane is the time you see the manifestation, so you can compare this to the Full moon phase.

Set Your Intention

So before we start crafting the Charm bag for Imbolc let’s set our intention-

You can either choose a specific project or goal you want to manifest or you can focus on general new beginnings. For a specific goal, I would recommend adding at least one or two elements to these ingredients to give the spell focus.

Ingredients

  • Small piece of clear quartz, preferably charged at the new moon
  • Pine needles- purification
  • Cinnamon sticks- power
  • Nettles- strength in overcoming obstacles
  • Daffodil petals- fertility
  • Dandelion puffs – making wishes come true
  • White muslin or sheer sachet to place the ingredients in

Method

  1. Light a couple of white candles, or one of your favorite scented candles
  2. Take the pine needles in your hands and rub them to release the scent. Sprinkle the pine needles in the bag and say: “I cleanse and bless this spell, home and hearth”. I also like to put a couple of drops of fir pine essential oil in.
  3. Place the cinnamon stick and quartz in bag and say: “To lend power to this spell”.
  4. Place the daffodil petals in the bag and say: “To create a fresh start and a fertile beginning”
  5. Sprinkle the Nettles and say: “ This is to overcome obstacles on my path to realization of manifesting my intentions”
  6. Now tie the bag and place somewhere such as your lingerie drawer or our car glove compartment.

The above ingredients is just a sample of the endless possibilities that are accessible to you. It depends on your intentions. Rose quarts for love and friendship, Ginger root for fire and power, violet for protection, you get the gist.  Remember to research your ingredients and understand that their energy represents your intention needed.

Imbolc and Lammas Gathering Sunday, February 2, 2020

Any Witch or Pagan is welcome to come celebrate Imbolc and Lammas with us. Everyone attending needs to stay until the rituals for both hemispheres are done. It is up to you if want to do both rituals. For these Sabbats we are doing something new the sacred circles and Watchtowers will be called and dismissed for each hemisphere. We ask that you do not print these rituals out but you are welcome to bookmark them for future use.

NORTHERN HEMISPHERE – RITUAL FOR THE SABBAT IMBOLC: IN HONOR OF THE GODDESS GAIA AND GOD AENGUS OG  Written and Led by our novice Melinda.

SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE – RITUAL FOR THE SABBAT LAMMAS: IN HONOR OF THE GODDESS HARVEST MOTHER AND GOD LUGH Written and Led by our adept Dawn of the Day

WHEN:

Northern Hemisphere –

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Chatroom opens at 3:00 PM CT

Circle will be cast at 4:00 PM CT

Southern Hemisphere –

Monday, February 3, 2020

Chatroom opens at 8:00 AM AEDT

Circle will be cast at 9:00 AM AEDT

WHERE:

Heart’s Spirit Coven Chatroom

If you have applied to be in the chatroom and have not received a reply yet, it will come to you at least 5 minutes before the circle is cast on Sunday. No approval for entering the chatroom when we are only 5 minutes away from casting the circle to begin the Imbolc and Lammas Rituals.

RITUALS:

EVERYONE: Set up your altar before the ritual starts. Placing an object represents .each of the elements so they form a pentagram.

In the upper right-hand point of the pentagram –

Air: Dream catcher, feather, incense, any object that you are drawn too

Lower right-hand point of the Pentagram

Fire: A symbol of the Sun, red or orange candle, a picture of a fire.

Lower left-hand point of the Pentagram

Earth: gnome, a bowl of salt or dirt, or object of your choice

Upper right-hand point of the Pentagram:

Water: Seashell, a bowl of water, any type of sea creature, object of your choosing

Top point of the Pentagram Spirit:

Angel Statue or whatever represents the element of Spirit to you.

Goddess: Goddess candle will be on the right side of altar decorate in color of green. You can also use green crystals in place of the candle which are green calcite, amber. Fragrances can be used such as honeysuckle or cypress, or any flower, or a picture of Gaia.

God: Gods candle will be on left side of altar decorate it in the colors of Green, pink, or red. You can also use crystals such as Rose Quartz, Peridot, Copper. Incense such as Sandal wood, Rose, or Lavender, Or a picture or statue of the God Aengus.

Casting the Circle:

Raven Spiritwalker: We walk this circle clockwise three times asking that all who are in it or outside of it be kept safe and no harm to no one.

EVERYONE: Face your altar and touch what is representing the Goddess and say:

“Gaia, our mother, You who nourishes all living things I honor and pray to thee, guide us and thank you for the promise of the return of Spring.”

Now touch what is representing the God and say:

Aegnus, God of love, youth, and poetic inspiration, guide us from this day forward and thank you for the promise of the return of Spring.”

(Now light the incense or candle if you are using one)

Mediate for 1 minute to allow the rise of power from the Goddess and God

When you have meditated for a minute with the God and/or Goddess please type “DONE”

Opening the Circle:

To the Guardians of the West, Archangel Gabriel:

We dismiss you from our Watchtower and thank you for protecting us.

To the Guardians of the South, Archangel Michael:

We dismiss you from our Watchtower and thank you for protecting us..

To the Guardians of the East, Archangel Raphael:

We dismiss you from our Watchtower and thank you for protecting us..

To the Guardians of the North, Uriel:

We dismiss you from our Watchtower and thank you for protecting us.

Raven Spiritwalker: We walk this circle counter-clockwise three times asking that all who are in it or outside of it be kept safe and no harm to no one.

(You can go back and commune with the Gods and/or Goddesses from one or both rituals after the Southern Hemisphere circle is opened)

Remember to offer a bite to the God and Goddess of your favorite snack and drink to give thanks to the God and Goddess. 

Lammas ritual

Lammas is known as the 1st of the 3 harvest festivals, it is still a time of hot intense sun but the days are starting to get shorter.  The grain is starting to ripen in the fields along with some of the fruits on the apple trees.

The goddess is pregnant and the god is still very strong but slowly weakening as we move into fall.  The animals are fattening for the winter slaughter and there is a push to start the process of storing food away for the lean months but at this time the days are still easy

Items needed for the ritual:

Apples, grapes, bread

gold or yellow cloth

sunflowers or raw wheat

Incense sandalwood and frankincense

Have a candle on your altar to represent the Harvest Mother — choose something in orange, red or yellow.

Corn husk or two

Place symbols of your craft or skill on the altar—a notebook, your special paints for artists, a pen for writers, other tools of your creativity. To represent the god Lugh

Please decorate your altar properly with a yellow or gold cloth, a nice sunflower and or a sheath of wheat, maybe an apple or a few grapes and/or a loaf of bread. This is to represent the sun  in the yellow or orange cloth.   A goblet of ritual wine is optional.

EVERYONE IN SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE: We open the ritual with the walking around the circle 3 times in a counter clockwise direction.  We first point at the ground with our dominate hand asking the earth for its power to make this circle secure for the work we are to do here.  We walk a second time with our dominate hand outstretched at shoulder level asking water to secure our circle and finally we walk a third time with our hand pointed to the ceiling asking  air to help secure our circle and the work that we do here.  We finally say what is above is below and what is below is above we have created a circle to protect ourselves while we do our work may we harm no one and may no one harm.

Starting in the west and while touching the item that represents the west say watchtower of the west please help us with our circle today and protect us as we do our work

Next is the south and while touching the item that represents the south say watchtower of the south please help us with our circle today and protect us as we do our work

Next the east and while touching the item that represents the east say watchtower of the east please help us with our circle today and protect us as we do our work

Finally in the north and while touching the item that represents the north say watchtower of the north please help us with our circle today and protect us as we do our work

Light the candle, and say:

The wheel of the year is upon use

The food is plentiful and soil fertile

With this ritual we ask for the blessings

Of the Mother of the harvest

In honor of the Harvest we now will make a representation of the goddess using your corn husk and once the ritual is over please leave it on your altar to honor the goddess.

PLEASE READ THE DIRECTIONS BEFORE THE GATHERING AND PRINT THEM OUT OR TAKE NOTES SO YOU KNOW HOW TO MAKE IT.

Here is an example of how to make a corn husk doll

When you are done please type the word “DONE”

 

Now we will finish our ritual.  Point to the ceiling with your dominate hand and walk in a counter clockwise direction and say thank you air for your protection of our circle.  Now at shoulder level walk around the circle in a counter clock wise manner and thank water for the protection of our circle.  Finally point to the ground and walk in a counter clockwise manner thanking earth for protecting our circle.  Finally raise your hands above your head bring them down and point your palms at the ground and send any extra energy into the earth to help and heal our Mother.  End with the comment our circle is now open but it is never broken our work is done now may everyone go in peace.

Starting in the north and while touching the item that represents the north say Thank you to the watchtower of the north for helping us with our circle and you may leave if you must but stay if you like

Next is the east and while touching the item that represents the east say Thank you to the watchtower of the east for helping us with our circle and you may leave if you must but stay if you like

Now the South and while touching the item that represents the south say Thank you to the watchtower of the south for helping us with our circle and you may leave if you must but stay if you like

Finally is the west and while touching the item that represents the west say Thank you to the watchtower of the west for helping us with our circle and you may leave if you must but stay if you like

Blessed Be

Please enjoy some of the gifts from your altar, take a sip of the wine some of the bread etc.  Make sure you have enough, to enjoy the treats, also that you can leave some on the altar but also make sure you share some with the creatures of nature.  As you eat of your sacrifices remember and meditate on how the cycle of life goes from the seed to the plant and then back to seed to start all over again just like the wheel of the year continues to cycle through birth, adolescents, maturity, age, death and then of course rebirth.

References for Lammas ritual:

https://witchesofthecraft.com/tag/lammas-ritual/

Wicca Wheel of the Year Lisa Chamberlain pgs 88-95

https://www.learnreligions.com/setting-up-your-lammas-lughnasadh-altar-2562171

https://www.almanac.com/content/seasonal-crafts-cornhusk-doll

 

Hold an Imbolc Candle Ritual for Solitaries

Hundreds of years ago, when our ancestors relied upon the sun as their only source of light, the end of winter was met with much celebration. Although it is still cold in February, often the sun shines brightly above us, and the skies are often crisp and clear. As a festival of light, Imbolc came to be called Candlemas. On this evening, when the sun has set once more, call it back by lighting the seven candles of this ritual.

The seven candles in this ritual represent various aspects of both the seasons and the human existence. Several symbolize the light that emerges as winter finally comes to an end, and another represents the purifying warmth of the hearth fires. One candle is symbolic of the barrier between the positive and negative in your life; a boundary of sorts between our world and the next. Another stands in for the magic of wisdom and inspiration, and for the light that comes into our lives when we experience love.

If you’re a solitary practitioner, don’t worry! This is a ritual you can perform all by yourself. Although this ceremony is written for one, it can easily be adapted for a small group by assigning each participant their own candle, or candles, to light and take charge of.

For the actual ritual click here Imbolc/Candlemas Solitary Ritual

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

Groundhog Day and Candlemas-USA

You might be wondering why I posted this. If you either read to the point of how Groundhog day got started or just scroll down to it you will see it tied into Candlemas/Imbolc.

Groundhog sees his shadow, predicts six more weeks of winter

There will be six more weeks of winter, according to America’s favorite groundhog.

Every Feb. 2, the marmot known as Punxsutawney Phil emerges from his burrow in western Pennsylvania and looks to the ground for his shadow — marking the annual celebration of Groundhog Day.

A local morning weather story, an excuse to relive the comedic Bill Murray cinematic classic, a legendary way to get your predictions around the start of spring — Groundhog Day is all of these things and more. While many look forward to and enjoy Phil’s February appearance, others are unsure what the prediction fuss is all about.

Get the information you need on Groundhog Day with answers to these frequently asked questions:

When did Groundhog Day start?

Groundhog Day stems from an ancient European celebration of Candlemas. A midway point between the winter solstice and spring equinox, legend has it that fair weather on Candlemas predicated a stormy and cold second half to winter. The celebration transformed in America, where Pennsylvania Germans incorporated the groundhog into the meteorologic prognostication

Where did Punxsutawney Phil get his name?

The largest Groundhog Day celebration is held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, after which Phil is named.

How many Punxsutawney Phil groundhogs have there been?

While the lifespan of a groundhog is roughly six years, those in the Groundhog Club’s Inner Circle lightheartedly claim there is only one Phil, and all other groundhogs are impostors. It is also claimed that one groundhog has lived since 1886 — sustained by a drink of “groundhog punch.” It is unknown how many groundhogs have actually played Phil.

What happens if Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow?

If the groundhog sees his shadow, legend has it there will be six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t see his shadow, this implies an early spring.

How many times has Punxsutawney Phil seen his shadow?

Since 1887, the groundhog has seen his shadow 102 times — forecasting a longer winter — and not seen it 18 times.

How “right” is Phil?

Since 1988, the groundhog correctly predicted the weather 14 times and incorrectly 15 times. This is determined based on cross-referencing Phil’s prediction with the national average temperature for the remainder of February.

RELATED: Groundhog Day through the years

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