A Few Ways to Help Keep Holiday Season Stress to a Minimum

As we enter a full schedule for holidays here in the US one way to keep some if not all of the stress out of the next couple a months is to remember to smudge yourself after going to a party or dinner. Also meditating every day to give yourself some me quite time helps also. There are many different ways to meditate sitting in a quiet room or playing instrumental music while just sitting reading a book or relaxing. My favorite way to meditate this time of year is a hot bath with either bubbles or my favorite essential oil in the water and I light a small candle instead of having the bright bathroom lights on and just let my mind wander to wherever positive place it wants to go. Sometimes I will take our portable CD player (if electric make sure it is positioned so there is no chance what so ever of it falling into your tub) in the bathroom and listen to one of my favorite instrumental spiritual music CDs. I prefer American Indian drums and flutes when doing this. These are just a few examples of how you could meditate as meditation does not always have to be about communing with your spirit guides or traveling to a different plane than our physical one. The main thing about meditating is clearing your mind and relaxing your body this can also be done when at a party or any type of gathering. Excuse yourself to use the restroom, once in there close your eyes grounded yourself to Mother Earth, take three deep slow breaths or more if you are really feeling tense and feel all your stress drain into Mother Earth to be rejuvenated into positive energy than ask The Lord (Until Yule this would be the Holly King and after Yule the Oak King) and Lady (this would be the Triple Goddess or any Mother Goddess you choose to use) to fill you with calming positive energy. When done rejoin the festivities feeling calmer and allowing yourself to enjoy the company you are with. There are some gatherings I go to where I have to use the restroom quick meditation more than once but I am always grateful that the Lord and Lady will refill me with positive energy after I have drained the negative into Mother Earth. Always remember to thank Mother Earth, the Lord and Lady for their help.

Whenever you get home from some type of holiday gathering make sure to smudge yourself and anyone in your home that has gone with you. This will take away any negative energy you may have picked up from someone else who was attending the same gathering you were. It also will clear you of any negativity you may have left the gathering with. Also, ground yourself before you go to the gathering and after you get home from it.

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Sprites, Faeries and Pixies

The BeginningThey are called the Fae, fay, faeries, sprites and pixies. Are they the same thing? Are there separate variations or species? What are they exactly? Where do they live? Who believes in them and how do they communicate with them? The best place to start this topic is with spellings and definitions. There are several spellings used throughout the world and spiritual community for faeries. Fairy and faerie are the two most common, but they can also be described as fay or fae. Pixie, leprechaun, faerie, brownie, sprite are all terms for these supernatural beings, thought to be helpful or harmful to people.

To read the rest of this authors opinoins on Fea Folk please click on this link: Fea Folk

A Joyous and Blessed Samhain

May your dance be one of joy with your ancestors and friends who have crossed the veil. Please kind in mind when honoring ancestors they do not necessarily have to be related by blood or family ties, an ancestor can be anyone who at some point in your life made a difference in it.

An example of a none blood/family ancestor – About a year and a half after my father crossed into the Summerlands I started taking oil painting lessons I was about 13 years old. My teacher was in her Crone years but her love and patience she embraced me with, plus her time spent teaching me, along with others in my class, instilled in me the real beauty of creating something going from my imagination out on to a canvas that I could see. Her warmth and love of art made a big difference in my life when I needed to become a child again instead of an adult taking care of my mother because her grief was almost completely oppressing her.

Icelanders abandon National State Church, as old pagan Ásatrú continues to grow

The National Church of Iceland continues to lose congregants. The latest data on religious registration from Registers Iceland reveals that the church lost 2,029 members during the first nine months of 2018. The State Church is the only of the five largest religious congregations to lose members this year.

Four Christian, one pagan congregation
The five largest religious congregations in Iceland are the National Church, with 233,062 members, 65.6% of the population, the Catholic Church of Iceland, with 13,799 members (3.9%), The Free Church of Reykjavík with 9,866 members (2.8%), the Free Church of Hafnarfjörður with 6,946 members (2%) and Ásatrúarfélagið, the Pagan Association of Iceland, with 4,349 members (1.2%). No other congregation tops 1% of the population.

To read the rest of this article please copy and paste this link into your browser: https://icelandmag.is/article/icelanders-abandon-national-state-church-old-pagan-asatru-continues-grow

Ásatrú, the old Norse Paganism is the fastest growing and largest non-Christian religion in Iceland

The religious practices and convictions of Icelanders have been undergoing rapid changes in the past years. The most recent data from Registers Iceland shows that Icelanders continue to turn their backs on the National Church of Iceland. At the turn of the century 89% of Icelanders were members of the National Church. This figure has dropped down to 65.6%.

Read more: Icelanders abandon National State Church, as old pagan Ásatrú continues to grow

At the same time the old Nose paganism Ásatrú is doing well. According to the latest figures from Registers Iceland 4,375 people belonged to the two separate pagan congregations, the small Reykjavíkurgoðorð (26 people) and the much larger Ásatrúarfélagið (4,349). Currently 1.2% of the population belongs to the pagan congregations. This makes the old pagan religion of the Vikings not only the fastest growing religion in Iceland, but also the largest non-Christian religion.

To read the rest of this article copy and paste think like into your browser: https://icelandmag.is/article/asatru-old-norse-paganism-fastest-growing-and-largest-non-christian-religion-iceland

Full Moon Esbat Gathering Wednesday, October 24th at 6:00 PM CT

We welcome all witches and/or pagans from any traditions especially if you are a solitary practitioner and would like to meet some other brothers and sister of The Old Ways/The Craft. Our Esbat ritual this month was written by and will be led by one of our almost adepts Jennifer.

WHEN:

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Socializing starts at 6:00 PM CT

The Sacred Circle is cast at 7:05 PM CT

Please do not enter the chat room after the circle has been cast. The reason being is we have students casting and leading the circle as part of their learning and this could break the circle causing it to have to be recast. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

WHERE:

Coven Life’s Chat Room

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

1 White Tea Candle

Candle Holder

Lighter or Matches

Small to Medium size bowl of Water

Cookie or Cracker

A beverage of your choice

OPTIONAL FOR YOUR ALTAR:

In the Northern Hemisphere, you could use some marigold flowers or sunflowers on our altars to remind them about the coming of Samhain
In the Southern Hemisphere, you could use some daisies, lily of the valley or roses to remind them of the up and coming Beltane

RITUAL:

JEN: We call Auriel to the Watchtower of the East to help protect this circle and empower the work within our circle.
We Gabriel to the Watchtower of the South to help protect this circle and empower the work within our circle.
We call Raphael to the Watchtower of the West to help protect this circle and empower the work within our circle.
We call Michael to the Watchtower of the North to help protect this circle and empower the work within our circle.
Starting the east I point at the ground first and walk clockwise saying I close this circle with Earth that no harm may come to anyone inside or outside of this circle. I then point to the ceiling saying I close this circle with Air that no harm may come to anyone inside or outside of this circle.
I then point at shoulder level saying I close this circle with Fire that no harm may come to anyone inside or outside of this circle.
I then welcome each element by touching or lighting them and saying welcome and thank you for helping us with this circle.
What is below is above and what is above is below this circle is sealed may it protect those within and allow us to do our ritual and please the gods
I welcome the goddess Hekate (for the Samhain) and the god Pan (for Beltane) to the circle and thank them for attending and helping us with our work.
EVERYONE: Please tell us your name and where you live – just the country or state please
Jen: 
I would then ask everyone to turn to their altar and hold your arms open wide. Tilt your head back so are looking is skyward – and say
Give us knowledge with your light
guide us in this ritual tonight
pass on to us your insight
we light this candle
to fulfill this rite
to remember our gifts
as we pray under your light
EVERYONE: So mote it be
At this time, light the (Moon) candle and take 2 minutes to reflect upon the gifts you have in your life and give thanks for them.
Now hold the bowl of water to the sky. Say:
Bless this water
As you control the tides
Make it nurturing
Under your vibes
Give us your wisdom
As our own mother
Keep wary eyes upon us
While we ponder
Help us to remember
The changes of the cycle
to embrace the good fortune
And get rid of the spiteful
EVERYONE: So mote it be
Now take 2 minutes to reflect on the things which have changed in the past Moon cycle.  Have you ended a toxic relationship? Have you experienced good fortune? Reflect on all the things you would like to see changed for you by the next full moon.
We thank Hekate and Pan for joining and helping us with your power and love please to return from where they came.
LADY BELTANE: May our coven and guests be blessed with good health, loving family, caring friends, and positive energy in your lives every day/
We dismiss Auriel with our thanks from the Watchtower of the East for the help with protecting and empowering the work within our circle.
We dismiss Gabriel with our thanks from the Watchtower of the South for the help with protecting and empowering the work within our circle.
We dismiss Raphael with our thanks from the Watchtower of the West for the help with protecting and empower the work within our circle.
We dismiss Michael with our thanks from the Watchtower of the North for the help with protecting and empowering the work within our circle.
I close this circle by rotating 3 times counterclockwise. First at shoulder height, then at ceiling height and finally pointing towards the floor. Thanking each element for helping us with this circle and asking them to return from where they came. We all need to release the extra energy we built up down into Mother Earth to help her heal. Start with your hands above your head and then slowly bring your arms down with palms facing downward cleaning the rest of the energy from the room.
The circle is now open but never broken all my brothers and sisters please go in peace and the safety of the gods and goddesses.
Part of the ritual was inspired by the book: Wicca Wheel of the Year Magic by  Lisa Chamberlain

Appealing to your ancestors

Yes, I know the topic of ancestor work can be a controversial one in the pagan community, because so many of us have deceased family members we wouldn’t call on if it was the last option open to us. For example, if your late Uncle Mort was a child molester, chances are you don’t really want to be inviting him into your home. Also, as many of us are first generation pagans in monotheistic families, we might feel alienated by some of our immediate ancestors, feeling that they can’t possibly share very much with us and unsure why they would want to help with our relationships with pagan deities, demons, spirits, or what have you.

But we all have bloodlines that go back more than just the few generations we might know about. Whether you know it or not, whether you can trace it objectively or not, you have a bloodline that reaches back into the pagan past, into the depths of antiquity. Depending on what country your ancestors came from, what ethnicity you are, you have ancestors who worshiped Odin, or Cerridwen, or Isis, or Ogun. Some of our ancestors, granted, return to the “primordial soup” that provides a source for new souls at the birth of children. Of those who qualify as Mighty Dead—those who managed to distinguish themselves in life in some way—some may be reborn as themselves (with their individual spirit intact), in a new body; some may choose to dwell in the spirit realms and join groups of spirits such as the Wild Hunt. But every bloodline has one or two who qualify to be ranked among the Mighty Dead and who choose to remain attached to their own blood lineage, to watch over their descendants. These are the people to turn to when you get yourself into a sticky situation with a god, demon, or other entity who you seem to be stuck in an abusive relationship with (assuming you have tried to work things out directly with that entity and it has failed, or it isn’t possible or advisable to deal directly with them for whatever reason).

To read the read of this article please click on this link: Ancestors

24 Hours in a Day Can be More Then Enough to Find ME TIME Daily

Most of us live busy lives work, household chores, laundry, maybe a significant other and/or children. Along with maybe book clubs, arts and crafts alone or with others and handworks like sewing, crocheting, or knitting, building things etc. Besides some of us be adults students with homework to fit in. Anyway I could go on and on with this list but I am sure you all get what I am saying, “There’s often there is not enough time in 24 hours” to accomplish everything and still have time to relax, meditate, sleep, etc and don’t forget unexpected things like traffic problems, or an emergency can pop up out of nowhere to throw your daily schedule completely off. While we cannot plan every day down to the last minute most days are basically the same in most of our lives. Below are a couple ideas I have started using that you may find helpful too. Finding ways to prioritize helps you to keep a balance in your life thus making it less stressful and this, in turn, brings more positive energy to you in many different ways. Whereas when you are stressed you bring more negative energy and other nasty things towards you.

For spells and rituals, I have a section in my BOS where they stay until I have the entire thing finished. This includes the day and Moon phase that is best to do the spell and/or ritual on for what I’m doing, items needed for the spell and/or ritual, the entire spell and/or ritual and most importantly how I want it to manifest in my life or whoever I am doing it for. A small reminder here when writing a spell and/or ritual keep the outcome you want from it in your mind while you are writing it.

I have 2 special notebooks I use. One is a 3-ring binder, so I can add pages as needed and wrote “PROJECTS” on the front. With a project, I write what I need to do for the project by writing down each different step 1st, 2nd, etc how long I want to spend on each step with the last step being finished. I put a line through the step and then rip out the page when the project is completed.

For my 2nd notebook for my day to day responsibilities, such as making sure there is something new on CL and student or other people emails are check and responded to, most days I have what’s for dinner on it, I use calendar page made using a spreadsheet that I print off from my computer leaving a space at the very bottom where I can write in by hand last minute things that I may pop up that I need to do that month. (See example at the bottom) I have these sheets in a pocket folder all start the pages start on the right side and get moved to the left on the last day of the month. I take each month and put it on the wall next to my spot where I use my laptop the most, so I can easily check it out either before bed or in the morning with while having my first cup of coffee. I have typed in all the regular things I do day to day and month to month I have to do down along the first column that I make wider than the rest of them and write the month and dates for that month along the top.  Here again, I write down a certain amount of time I want to spend on each responsibly next to that responsibility in the second column. When I finish something I make a check mark in its column under the corresponding date. Even if it a one-time thing for that month, like a doctor appointment or a class I am attending that month I write them in at the bottom of the everyday list. My doctor and other appointment type things I also put into the calendar on my cell phone with reminders set to go off the day before and then a second reminder with extra time for getting to where I have to be.

Another thing I have started doing to save time when grocery shopping is looking at my calendar to see what’s on the menu for that week, then check my pantry and freezer to make sure I have everything in the house to make it. I then use a tip my younger daughter gave me, I make a shopping list on my cell phone so as I think of things we are running low on or something special I want like ice cream I can just add it right away and not forget about it.

It may seem silly to some people that I use different notebooks beside my BOS but this is what works for me. The day to day one is really important for me because I have Fibromyalgia and with it come memory problems. I have found all of this helps me to prioritize what I have to do so I can have some me time every day for meditation or reading or nice hot bubble bath or whatever I want to do for me time.

Example of my monthly calendar (I purposely left the time I assign to each thing out so it would fit right on here):

NAME OF MONTH 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
CL Posting
Answer Emails
Walk & Feed Girls
Shower
Work 11 A – 2 P
House Chores
Work on Book
Cooking
Baking
Laundry

Copyright 2018 Lady Beltane

Egyptian Afterlife – The Field of Reeds

If  the soul passed through the Weighing of the Heart it moved on to a path which led to Lily Lake (also known as the Lake of Flowers). There are, again, a number of versions of what could happen on this path where, in some, one finds dangers to be avoided and gods to help and guide while, in others, it is an easy walk down the kind of path one would have known back home. At the shore of Lily Lake the soul would meet the Divine Ferryman, Hraf-hef (He-Who-Looks-Behind-Him) who was perpetually unpleasant. The soul would have to find some way to be courteous to Hraf-hef, no matter what unkind or cruel remarks he made, and show one’s self worthy of continuing the journey.

To read the rest of this article copy and paste the following link into your browser: https://www.ancient.eu/article/877/egyptian-afterlife—the-field-of-reeds/