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The Royal Mounds of Gamla Uppsala, Ancient Pagan Site of Sweden

The 11th century writer and historian, Adam of Bremen described Gamla Uppsala (meaning ‘Old Uppsala’) in Sweden as a pagan site where a temple dedicated to Thor, Odin and Freyr stood. Adam wrote descriptively, if not always accurately, of the rituals performed there and of the temple itself.

Gamla Uppsala’s Pagan Past

The temple, adorned with a golden chain, was said to be a place where “heathens” would perform animal and human sacrifices , specifically in the sacred grove next to the temple. The trees were “considered to be divine”, and sacrifices —animal and man alike— were said to have been hanged from trees and left to rot, and elaborate ritual songs were sung.

With the coming of Christianity, any temple that might have existed was destroyed, and a church was built over it. Gamla Uppsala eventually became an archbishopric in the 12th century. Still, remnants of its pagan past continued to exist in the landscape of Gamla Uppsala. The ‘Royal Mounds’ endure to this day as a national symbol of Sweden.

To read the rest of this article just copy and paste this link into your browser: https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-ancient-places-europe/royal-mounds-gamla-uppsala-ancient-pagan-site-sweden-002866

Pendulum Divination

A pendulum is one of the simplest and easiest forms of divination. It’s a simple matter of Yes/No questions being asked and answered. Although you can purchase pendulums commercially, ranging from about $15 – $60, it’s not hard to make one of your own. Typically, most people use a crystal or stone, but you can use any object that’s got a bit of weight to it.

MAKE YOUR OWN PENDULUM

If you decide to make your own pendulum, you’ll need a few basic supplies:

  • A crystal or other stone
  • Jeweler’s wire or string
  • A lightweight chain

Take the crystal and wrap it in a length of jeweler’s wire. When you’re done wrapping it, leave a loop at the top. Attach one end of the chain to the loop. You’ll want to make sure the chain isn’t too long, because you’ll probably be using it over a table or other surface. Generally, a chain between 10 – 14″ is perfect. Also, be sure you tuck in any poky pieces of wire so you don’t jab yourself later.

CHARGE AND CALIBRATE YOUR PENDULUM…

For the rest of this article please click on this link: https://www.thoughtco.com/pendulum-divination-2561760?utm_campaign=list_paganwiccan&utm_content=20170502&utm_medium=email&utm_source=exp_nl&utm_term=list_paganwiccan

Faeries in the Garden

Faeries in the Garden

In some NeoPagan traditions, the Fae are often welcomed and celebrated. In particular, the Beltane season is believed to be a time when the veil between our world and that of the Fae is thin.

It is important to note that the Fae are typically considered mischievous and tricky, and should not be interacted with unless one knows exactly what one is up against. Don’t make offerings or promises that you can’t follow through on, and don’t enter into any bargains with the Fae unless you know exactly what you’re getting – and what is expected of you in return.

If your tradition is one that celebrates the magical link between mortals and Faeries, you may want to take advantage of the fertile Beltane season to invite the Fae into your garden. Here are some ways you can make your outdoor space welcoming to the Fae.

  • Build small houses or caves out of stones in your yard. Tuck them into hidden places under bushes, or in your flower garden.
  • Craft small wooden chairs and tables to place outside. Paint them in bright colors, and wrap them in ivy or other vining plants.
  • Some people believe the Fae are attracted to water. Place a birdbath or a small wishing well as an inviting spot for Faeries.
  • Create a circle of stones as a magical place for the Fae.
  • Faeries are often associated with the sound of bells. Make a bell wand and place it in a spot where the breeze with catch it and draw the Fae in, or hang tiny bells from your tree branches.

Some gardeners believe that certain types of flowers are practically magnets for the faerie folk. If you’d like to attract them to your flower garden, plant things like sunflowers, tulips, heliotrope and other flowers that typically draw butterflies. Your herb garden can be a good place for faeries as well, if you include plants such as rosemary, thyme, mugwort, and members of the mint family.

If you’re partial to trees, in addition to your flower and herb gardens, you might want to consider planting tree that are associated with the Fae. Oak trees, in particular, are often linked to faeries, and in some areas it is believed that a great oak is the home of the Faerie King. Another tree to plant for the fae is the hawthorn, which is seen as a portal to the faerie realm. Along with the ash tree, known as a home for faerie clans, the oak and hawthorn form a perfect trifecta of fae-attracting trees.

To see beautiful image incuded in this article by Patti Wigington please click on this link: https://www.thoughtco.com/welcoming-the-fae-at-beltane-2561634

A Brief History of the Hill of Tara: Seat of Secular and Spiritual Power.

A few miles south of Navan, Co. Meath lies the Hill of Tara, the ancient capital of Ireland.

Unlike our modern conception of a capital city, however, Tara appears to have been a symbolic or ritual capital, rather than a large center of commerce, administration, and public life. Evidence of extensive dwelling space or large-scale defensive earthworks have not been found, suggesting its use was primarily ritualistic: it was where one went to be crowned, set down laws, or settle disputes.

For the rest of this article and to follow the rest that the author posted on the subject of the Hill of Tara please click on this link: http://atriptoireland.com/2013/06/26/a-brief-history-of-the-hill-of-tara/

A Little about when Lady Beltane was a Novice

I was getting ready to post articles about Imbolc and Lammas but my Spirit Guides had a different idea of what I should post today.

I was asked by one of the Adept witches in our online coven to talk a little about my time as a newbie in a coven and what it was like on up to where I am today. So I will begin this journey of telling about my journey with my novices year and a day. Let me stress that all covens are different in how they treat newcomers and even established members. Some have very strict rules while others have seemingly no rules. So if you are interested in a specific coven make sure it is a good fit for you and how you want to study The Craft and you are a good fit for their group.

My instructors, as I did not consider them being mentors as we had no real personal relationship, were pretty different than how I mentor my novices. I was a novice about 40 years ago and a lot has changed. The coven I was in during the time I was a novice was Wicca not really any well know tradition just WIcca. First, of all, I was not allowed to attend any actual coven gatherings until I had studied for six months. My first six months of studies were basically reading different papers written by the elders in the coven and books they told me to read than doing written assignments for each thing I read. There were specific questions that pertained exactly to the papers or books I read and I had to basically do book reports for some of them. I was discouraged from reading anything that was not assigned reading. Secondly, my written assignments ranged from how to set up an altar to how to commune with animals (something I am still working on achieving today). I wrote nothing about spells, rituals or how to write and perform them, this was considered too advanced for a novice. I only had access to the oldest members of the coven one evening per week to call if I had a question about what I was working on that week. This made it very difficult at times for my studies to progress as fast as the coven or I would have liked. When I was finally allowed to attend coven gatherings I was not allowed to speak to anyone before the ritual started or during it. I was allowed to mingle with coven members after the ritual but not to ask questions about my studies unless I could get one of the elders aside where no one else could hear us. It was an extremely stressful year and a day for me to the point of me seriously thinking I was on the wrong spiritual and magickal path. I did make it through their novice training but when it came time to be brought into the coven as an adept I chose to try a different coven in a totally different town as I did not really want to run into any of the first coven’s members.

Please keep in mind my experiences were about 40 years ago and every coven is different in how it brings new members into it.Next time I will talk a little about my Adept year and a day which was much more pleasant than the novice level. Not just because I knew more but because the coven was a lot more welcoming and caring.

Until then dear ones try to bring something magickal into your life every day thank will bring you happiness or joy or love or caring or comfort or whatever you need that day. Much love and many blessings from me to you my dear ones.

Lammas/Laughnasdh Ritual

This year ritual is borrowed from Patti Wigniigton on About com. To read all the information for this please click on the following link: http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/lammas/ht/LammasSacrifice.htm

I am sorry for taking an easy way out but because of pain from a medical problem, I have been unable to write one for us this time. There will be only a circle cast this time and no Watchtowers. Some traditions of The Craft do not call the Watchtowers.

Remember ALL Pagans are welcome to attend.

How To Hold a Lammas Harvest Ritual”

In some Pagan traditions, Lammas is the time of year when the Goddess takes on the aspects of the Harvest Mother. The earth is fruitful and abundant, crops are bountiful, and livestock are fattening up for winter. However, the Harvest Mother knows that the cold months are coming, and so she encourages us to begin gathering up what we can. This is the season for harvesting corn and grain, so that we can bake bread to store and have seeds for next year’s planting.

This ritual celebrates the beginning of the harvest season and the cycle of rebirth, and can be done by a solitary practitioner or adapted for a group or coven setting. Decorate your altar with symbols of the season — sickles and scythes, garden goodies like ivy and grapes and corn, poppies, dried grains, and early autumn foods like apples. If you like, light some Lammas Rebirth incense.

 

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

These colors not only represent the blaze of the summer sun, but also the coming changes of autumn. You’ll also need a few stalks of wheat and an un-sliced loaf of bread (homemade is best, but if you can’t manage, a store-bought loaf will do). A goblet of ritual wine is optional. Also, if you have celiac disease or are otherwise sensitive to gluten, be sure to readCelebrating Lammas When You Eat Gluten-Free.

If your tradition requires you to cast a circle, do so now.

Light the candle, and say:

The Wheel of the Year has turned once more,
and the harvest will soon be upon us.
We have food on our tables, and
the soil is fertile.
Nature’s bounty, the gift of the earth,
gives us reasons to be thankful.
Mother of the Harvest, with your sickle and basket,
bless me with abundance and plenty.

Hold the stalks of wheat before you, [You can print a pictur of wheat stalks from an online picture] and think about what they symbolize: the power of the earth, the coming winter, the necessity of planning ahead. What do you need help planning right now? Are there sacrifices you should be making in the present that will be reaped in the future?

Rub the stalks between your fingers so a few grains of wheat fall upon the altar [Cut the picture into small pieces]. Scatter them on the ground as a gift to the earth. If you’re inside, leave them on the altar for now — you can always take them outside later. Say:

The power of the Harvest is within me.
As the seed falls to the earth and is reborn each year,
I too grow as the seasons change.
As the grain takes root in the fertile soil,
I too will find my roots and develop.
As the smallest seed blooms into a mighty stalk,
I too will bloom where I landed.
As the wheat is harvested and saved for winter,
I too will set aside that which I can use later.

Tear off a piece of the bread [From your own loaf or slice of whole wheat, if you eat it or feed the rest to the wildlife,]. If you’re performing this ritual as a group, pass the loaf around the circle so that each person present can take off a small chunk of bread. As each person passes the bread, they should say:

I pass to you this gift of the first harvest [Type this in after you have tore off your own piece of bread]. When everyone has a piece of bread [Has typed in the above sentence], say:

Everyone eats their bread together. If you have ritual wine [or your chosen beverage take a drink symbolic of passing it around] pass it around the circle for people to wash the bread down. Once everyone has finished their bread], take a moment to meditate on the cycle of rebirth and how it applies to your own life – physically, emotionally, spiritually. When you are ready, if you have cast a circle, close it or dismiss the quarters at this time. Otherwise, simply end the ritual in the manner of your tradition.

 

Handfasting Wedding Ceremony

Traditionally, a Handfasting was performed by a priest or priestess, who would invoke the energies of the four elements to create a sacred circle in which the couple could be joined as embodiments of god and goddess. The cloth that bound their hands was usually the tartan plaid, representing the groom’s clan or family group. One of lovely symbols about Handfasting is that it is also a declaration of intent, where the bride and groom clearly state that they are marrying of their own free will, as well as stating their vows. In this particular ceremony, six cords are draped over the couples’ hands, one for each vow made.

(you can make up your own vows of course… you don’t have to use the ones written here, and you don’t have to use six)

(Bride) and (Groom), know now before you go further,
that since your lives have crossed in this life,
you have formed eternal and sacred bonds.
As you seek to enter this state of matrimony you should strive
to make real the ideals that to you, give meaning this ceremony
and to the institution of marriage.

With full awareness, know that within this circle
you are not only declaring your intent to be hand fasted before your friends and family,
but you speak that intent also to your creative higher powers.
The promises made today and the ties that are bound here
greatly strengthen your union
and will cross the years and lives of each soul’s growth.

Do you still seek to enter this ceremony?

Yes.

FOr the rest of this informative article please click on this link: http://www.vowsoftheheart.com/ceramonies/handfasting-wedding-ceremony/

Handfasting Season is Here!

Looking for information on how to hold a Pagan handfasting ceremony? Here’s where we’ve got it all covered, from the origins of handfastings to jumping the broom to selecting your cake! Also, be sure to learn about magical handfasting favors to give your guests, how to make sure you’ll have a magical ceremony, and who can actually perform your handfasting!

Handfasting History: An Old Tradition Made New  
Handfasting was common centuries ago in the British Isles, and then vanished for a while. Now, however, it’s seeing a rising popularity among Pagan couples who are interested in tying the knot. Many Pagan couples choose to have a handfasting ritual instead of a traditional wedding ceremony.
Handfasting Tips: How to Have a Magical Ceremony  
Spring is here, and love is in the air! For many people of Pagan faiths, this is the time of year for a handfasting ceremony. If you’re lucky enough to have someone you love this much, there are a few things you may want to keep in mind while planning your handfasting ceremony.
Handfasting Favors: Magical Gifts for Your Guests  
t’s become traditional to give each of your guests a small wedding favor. Typically, these are small trinkets with either the date of the event or the couples’ names on them. However, if you’re having a Pagan or Wiccan handfasting, rather than a traditional wedding ceremony, why not come up with an idea that celebrates your spiritual path, as well as announcing your commitment to the community?
Who Can Perform a Handfasting?  
Handfastings are becoming more and more popular, as Pagan and Wiccan couples are seeing that there is indeed an alternative for non-Christians who want more than just a courthouse wedding. A common question among Pagans is that of who can actually perform the handfasting ceremony itself?
More About Handfasting  
Wondering about jumping the broom, handfasting bonfire safety, deities of marriage, and how to choose the perfect cake? We’ve got it all here, including a sample ceremony template that you can use!

How to Choose Your Handfasting Cake
Jumping the Broom: A Besom Wedding
Handfasting Bonfires: What You Need to Know
Deities of Marriage and Love

Sample Handfasting Ceremony Template
Handfasting Basket (Thirteen Blessings)

To read all the wonderful information Patti Wigington has up on About.com for Handfasting click on any of the links in this article.