The Wheel of The Year Written By Lady of the Abyss in 2011

The wheel of the year is a very pagan concept however it can have meaning to anyone who lives in a season changing environment. If you take a calendar, pull the months out of it, and arrange them in a circle you will see the basic wheel. There are twelve months in modern calendar and four seasons; spring, summer, fall, and winter. The wheel has eight holidays that are celebrated during the year. There is one holiday for each of the equinoxes, each of the solstices, and a holiday in the space between each of the others. Some differentiate these two by having one set be high holidays and the others being lesser holidays to some. Depending on what you feel is right it could be either set for you. The holidays are also split into three groups; the time of the maiden, the mother and the crone. Theses phases run just as a woman?s life does. Late winter to late spring is the time of the maiden, late spring to fall is the time of the mother, and fall to late winter is the time of the crone. The wheel also has a male side connected to the sun. A male is in full bloom when the sun is at it?s strongest in the sky. He is a young man from the winter solstice to the summer solstice and an older man pasted his prime from the summer to the winter. As he ages he will go into the spirit world and be born again of the crone at the winter solstice.

Now you might be wonder where the beginning and end of the wheel is. The truth is that is does not have either, for it is a circle that continues to go around each year. Some believe a new year starts with Samhain (October) others feel it is at Yule (December). I personally believe the year ends with Samhain and we pass into a dead time. The year is then started again at Yule. This is a representation of our life as we grow as humans. During the Dead Time we pass into the spirit world of our life for a little while to reflect on what we have accomplished in life and especially the past year. Here meditation on what we have planted in spring and reaped in the fall is pondered. This is the time to figure out what has worked well in life and is worthy of repeating. It is also necessary to look at what did not work well and should be left to die. When the Dead Time is over you will return to the world of the living to prepare yourself for the following year. It is a good idea to keep a journal of your thoughts at this time to help you start again in the new year. You can even make a new years resolution.

Yule, on or about December 21st

Yule is the winter solstice and the first day of winter. The sun is at its weakest point and we have the longest night of the year. It is also the time that the sun god is reborn. This time of year is already filled with pagan ideas; the evergreen trees and wreaths, the holy, the birth of a god, the Yule log, and the celebration of life. A wreath is a representation of the wheel of the year. An evergreen tree is to remember the earth is still alive. The Yule log is what keeps you warm and lights the longest night of the year. It is lit for both the god and the goddess for she is the one birthing the new baby god. This is a time of year to celebrate both the male and female aspects of the powers at be. It is also a good time to jump the broom for luck in the new year.

Imbolc, or about February 2nd

Imbolc is the holiday where the crone is transformed back into the maiden. Winter is half over and spring is just around the corner. We celebrate the coming of spring and predict how the rest of the winter will go. It is a time to start firming up your ideas about what it is you will be planting in as some as it is time in the spring. This holiday has other names as well; Candle Mass, the festive of lights and Ground Hogs Day are some of the more well known. To celebrate there are rituals that involve the lighting of fires and candles. This is a representation of the sun growing stronger and the days becoming longer. This is also the time when some animals start to give birth to the new young they will have for the rest of the year.

Ostara, on or about March 21st

Ostara is at the spring or vernal equinox which is a day with 12 hours of day and 12 hours of night. It is also the first day of spring. This holiday is closely associated with Easter. Not only is it about the resurrection of the earth but it also is part of the calculation for when the Christian Easter will be. Easter will be on the 1st Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox. This holiday is a celebration of life coming back after a long winter. Eggs, young animals, and spring flowers are used to decorate and hold reproductive meaning. This is also the time were the maiden form of the goddess begins to help the earth become fertile again and kindles her courtship with the young god.

Beltane, on or about May 1st

Beltane is the second holiday to celebrate spring and the rebirth of the earth. It is also referred to as May Day. You may have already heard of the May Pole Dance. A pole is placed in the earth and ribbons are hung from the top. Half of the dancers move clockwise and the other half move counter clockwise. As you move past the dancers moving in the opposite direction you weave in and out creating a woven pattern on the pole. This is the traditional why to celebrate Beltane along with other actions that symbolize the reproduction of plants and animals. When celebrating this holiday keep in mind that this is the time for planning of late spring crops and when the god and the goddess mate so that the earth will thrive and have an abundance of food for us to harvest later in the year.

Litha, on or about June 21st

Litha or Mid Summers is the celebrated on the summer solstice. This is the time the maiden aspect of the goddess becomes the mother and the god is in his strongest power before he dwindles again. The seasons change from spring to summer on this holiday and it is a fire festival in his honor. Many traditional celebrations include cauldron jumping and bon fires. This is also a great time for a broom race. This is where the myth of witches flying on brooms comes from. In the fields over top the growing crops pagan would run across them while riding their brooms and jumping as high as they can. This is to encourage the crops to grow taller.

Lammas, on of about August 2nd

Lammas or Lughnasadh is the first of the three harvest celebrations. The first crops are coming in and it is time to give thanks for the bounty that the god and goddess has provided us. Grains such as wheat, corn, and barley are the main crops to be harvested at this time. To celebrate pagans have large feasts and of course bake lots of bread. One of the main traditions is to make a John Barley Corn. This is a man made out of bread. He is the honored guest at most celebrations and every one who attends gets to consume a piece of him for good luck.

Mabon, on or about September 21st

Mabon is celebrated at the autumn equinox. Summer become fall and the leaves are changing. It is the second of the harvest celebrations. The mother aspect of the goddess returns to her crone form for the colder months to come. This is a time of feasting again in honor on the gods for what they have bestowed upon us. More of the crops are being harvested such as apples and potatoes. Here we give thanks again for what we will be storing for the coming winter. It is also a time to help the earth go back to sleep a sleeping state. Some traditions celebrate by turning under compost materials into the soil after the fields have been picked.

Samhain, on or about October 31st

Samhain is the last of the harvest celebrations. Most of the crops have been harvested and the earth is full of dying plants and animals. Death is the main focus of this holiday. It is a time when the veils between this world and the spirit world are at their thinnest. This makes divination and contact with the spirit world very easy. Honoring your ancestors and all who have gone before you is the biggest part of this holiday. Many celebrations include a dumb feast. It is a feast in honor of those who have moved on in years past. No one speaks during a dumb feast because it helps the spirits to adjust to life on the other side. If you decide to have one be sure to go all out, set the table for all who you expect on coming and dress up for you ancestors. Some pagans feel this is the start of a new year so it is also a good time to jump the broom as a way to ring in the new year.

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

Samhain Correspondences

A Samhain Blessing

Some Thoughts About Celebrating Samhain

Samhain is a day of reflection of the past year while celebrating the new. It is a day that whatever has not been harvested from gardens, fields, bushes, and trees get left for the wildlife and Fea Folk. It is also a day to communicate with those who have crossed the veil into the Summerlands. Many pagans and witches say it is the day and/or night to honor only those that have crossed in the last year but I do not go along with this way of thinking. While those who have passed since November 1, 2019 up to today do need more comforting and remembering them then those that have crossed over in other years past. The farther back in time you go to those who have crossed before the last year the more chance there is that they will be forgotten totally.

Hypothetically, if crossed the veil say 30 years ago or longer and each generation after you talk about you less and less as each year passes soon you will be forgotten completely. That one reason I have my Book of Shadows and Family Grimoire as one book that I hope keeps growing after I am gone. I have also placed pictures of ancestors at different ages as well as pictures of myself alone and with family members both ancestors and descents. In the section for ancestors I have included a picture of their headstone and where it can be found if available.

So this Samhain when you are setting the extra place at the table, lighting a candle for each ancestors name, or however you choose to honor your ancestors (remember an ancestor does not have to be blood related they can be anyone in your life that help to mold you into the person you are today.) Set one more place, light one more candle, or whatever your tradition to remember your ancestors is for those who names have been forgotten since the first Homosapien of any branch of the human gene pool lived.

I implore you all to remember that we all can trace our lineage back to this mish mash of a gene pool and that the energy that runs through us connects us to every other living things and not just on Mother Earth. So the next time you have a negative thought about someone for any reason at all remember you are also having that negative thought about yourself.

I picked this song to be included in this post because for me it helps me to remember those, female or male or other, who otherwise might be forgotten

Grandmother

I wish all my family, which means everyone reading this post, a happy and blessed Samhain.

Beltane Blessing to All Our Sisters, Brothers, and Guests

Superstitions

Around this time of year superstitions seems to come at us from all over the place. With this in mind I pulled out my book Cassell Dictionary of Superstitions by David Pickering Copyright 1995.

I will be posting a few today and tomorrow in among the articles, spells, potions, etc for Samhain and Beltane. If there is a superstition that has been passed down in your family or that you believe in and would like some more information about them please write a description of the superstition in the comment area.

Many times during my youth my mother, who is now in the Summerlands, told me they story of her grandmother picking up and throwing the first pair of shoes she ever bought for herself across the room a breaking the heel off one of them. The reason being her grandmother believed that putting shoes on the table was bad luck. My family has many other superstitions that I will share as we get closer to our holidays.

REMEMBER WE WANT TO HER ABOUT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY’S SUPERSTITIONS. JUST WRITE THEM IN THE COMMENT SECTION BELOW. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING it will help me think my family isn’t a wacky about superstitions as I think they are 😂😉

What Is Samhain? What to Know About the Ancient Pagan Festival That Came Before Halloween

Dressing up in costumes and trick-or-treating are popular Halloween activities, but few probably associate these lighthearted fall traditions with their origins in Samhain, a three-day ancient Celtic pagan festival.

For the Celts, who lived during the Iron Age in what is now Ireland, Scotland, the U.K. and other parts of Northern Europe, Samhain (meaning literally, in modern Irish, “summer’s end”) marked the end of summer and kicked off the Celtic new year. Ushering in a new year signaled a time of both death and rebirth, something that was doubly symbolic because it coincided with the end of a bountiful harvest season and the beginning of a cold and dark winter season that would present plenty of challenges.

According to historian Nicholas Rogers, author of Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night, Samhain was a “time of stock-taking and perhaps sacrifice” — including probably animal sacrifice — during which “pastoral communities [prepared] to survive the winter.”

Rogers also notes that little is firmly known about the particulars of the holiday, since the limited sources available are either folkloric literature like the Celtic sagas and Roman authors who would have likely “trashed” the traditions of a culture with which they were often in conflict.

To understand what we do know about Samhain, it’s important to recognize how the structure of the year’s calendar affected the Celts’ religious practices. According to The Guardian,…

To read the rest of this article please click here….

Blue Full Moon Esbat Samhain and Beltane Sabbat Gathering

WHEN:

N. H. Saturday, October 31, 2020

Open Chat starts at 6:00 PM EDT

Circle Cast at 7:00 PM EDT

S. H. Sunday, November 1, 2020

Open Chat starts at 9:00 AM AEST

Circle Cast at 10:00 AM AEST

WHERE:

Please contact Lady Beltane at covenlifescoven@gmail.com for the link to the new chatroom

A blue Moon is BLUE FULL MOON CELEBRATION  

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 

A 6 inch/15.24cm circle of blue paper or a white paper colored blue – shade of blue should be light to medium blue (Have circle of blue cut out a head of time

A blue colored pen or colored pencil or pen

A 6 inch/15.24 cm long piece of white thread or string

Decide on 3 different things you want to complete in either your regular or spiritual life by May 1st

SMALL GLASS OF APPLE JUICE

PIECE OF BREAD

 

CLOSING THE CIRCLE and  CALLING THE ELEMENTS TO THE WATCHTOWERS 

LADY BELTANE: I call the element of Air into the Watchtower of the East to help bring us clarity of mind as we work in our sacred circle. 

                              I call the element of Fire into the Watchtower of the South to bring us extra energy to work our magick we work in this sacred circle circle 

                              I call upon the element of Water to help guide our emotions as we work in this sacred circle. 

                              I call upon the element of Earth to help us stay grounded as we work our magick in this sacred circle 

                              I walk this circle with Hecate and Dagon to keep those in the sacred circle from any harm that might try to enter and to clear out any negativity that is in it. I take us to a place that is outside of regular time and space. 

FULL BLUE MOON CELEBRATION  

EVERYONE: P lease tell us your first or Pagan name and what country or state you live in. No last names or towns/villages/cities. 

LADY BELTANE: A full Moon on Samhain is rare but a blue Moon is rare still. The power of the magick we work to night will be stronger than usual thanks to the Mother’s Moon Bluish tint. We will take 1 minute to thank the Mother Moon and to center ourselves before beginning our celebrations. Lady Beltane will say “So Mote It Be” when the minute is up. 

EVERYONE: Place your blue circle which works as a reminder of the extra power at work when you wrote you three things. What you write on the paper should have your own positive intention behind them. You will have three minutes to WRITE DOWN YOUR 3 THINGS. Please say or type in done when finished. 

Next you will fold first one side in and then the other side so you have the ends over lapping in the middle. 

Next take you string slide it under the folded paper make sure you have an even amount of string on each side of the paper. 

Now as you tie a bow over the center of the paper you will say’ “Hecate goddess and guardian of all witches everywhere please help me to accomplish the things I have written here So Mote It Be or however you end your spells.

 

END OF BLUE MOON CELEBRATION PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE THE CIRCLE

 

SAMHAIN CELEBRATION 

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 

Left over Apple Juice

Leftover Bread

Pictures of 2 Ancestors

2 Birthday Candles or Flashlights

Heat Proof Dish with ½ inch/1,5 cm of sand or dirt (the candles will be placed in here and should be allowed to complete burn down.

Trivet/hotplate/potholder to place heat proof dish on.

Samhain Celebration

I invite the Spirits I call upon to come to me one by one. (Light 1 candle each time you say
a name and place it in the sand)

Visit and return from whence you came when your candle is done.

So mote it be

After doing the spell spend 2 minutes just sitting quietly and thinking of the people you have summoned. They may just want to spend some time with you also and/or have a message for you or someone in your life. Ancestors are not just blood relatives that have crossed over they include anyone in your life that has had some type of impact on it.

Leave candles burning as we move on to the Beltane celebration. If you want to light more candles for people after the circle has been opened please feel free to use this spell and enjoy time with those who have crossed the veil.

END OF SAMHAIN RITUAL

Southern Hemisphere Beltane Ritual- using the 4 elements to create our very own Beltane Wand

Select a piece of wood that you have been called to. Ensure that no tree is hurt in the process, in other words do not take the wood for your wand by snapping it off a tree branch.

Wood for wand making is everywhere, in the form of driftwood, branches that have naturally fallen, a piece of wood that you have collected over time.

The secret to finding the perfect wand wood is that the wood actually calls out to you. In order for you to be accepted by the wand it is respectful to do a mediation and ask the wood, ask the tree, ask the ocean if it is a piece of driftwood. It is then that the wand becomes an extension of you and your power within the Natural World. Gratitude is the key.

Over time I have collected so many pieces of wood, rocks, shells, all these things that call out to me when out in nature while walking, doing rituals or even working. Some items are over 15- 20 years old waiting for the right time to be used.

 

DECORATE YOUR ALTAR

Beltane brings the beginning of life, decorate with beautiful bunches of flowers from your garden, make wreaths to wear in your hair, make your own candles to burn on the altar, use fertility Goddess and God symbols, fill baskets with seasonal fruits.

 

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

A piece of wood to create your wand

Representing Fire– An altar candle

Representing Water– I prefer to use consecrated moon water that I sometimes place in a spray bottle with a couple of drops of my favourite essential oil

Representing Earth– Consecrated salt-I prefer to use black salt or Himalayan salt

Representing Air– Your Athame, a feather or even incense

 

A BLESSING TO THE EARTH GODDESS-

EVERYONE – Please say……

“Great Earth mother!

We ask for your blessing on this day

May our lands see the seeds of life in abundance

Our grass grow green and lush

Our rivers flow and be filled with life

and the great Sun God shine upon our lands

We sit in gratitude in the blessings you have given

and the gift of life with each turn of the wheel. “

 

 

DURING THE BELTANE RITUAL

Take the wood that will become your wand and……

 

Pass it over the Fire

 Say…

With this Fire I ignite the spirit within me

 

Sprinkle it with Salt

Say…

With this Earth I create my body

 

Spray or Anoint it with Water

Say…

With this Water I bless my blood that runs through my veins

 

Pass the Athame, Feather or Incense over it

Say…

With this Athame (or whatever you choose to represent your air) I give it life from my breath.

Now take 3 deep breaths and blow your breath 3 times, emptying your lungs each time.

You now have concentrated your wand and have given it life creating an extension of you.

 

A One Minute Meditation

Hold the wand in your hands and allow the power of the wand to guide you how you need to create its power. Connect to the wand as this will become an extension of your power. Imagine a flow of light from your heart going into the wood and giving it life, bringing the light back into your heart and connecting it to your being as an expression of the Divine.

 

CONCLUDING THE BELTANE RITUAL

Dearest Lady, we honour you Queen of Spring

May our lands be fruitful ready to make offerings in your name

 

AFTER THE RITUAL

Now to finish your wand……

  • Anything that you would like to decorate your wand- (you can add these later after the ritual allowing time for you to be as creative as you like)

o   Now some like elaborate colourful decorations expressing their creativity, others like simple with just a polish and a couple of Sigils sacred to just them. The choice is purely yours, remember it is an extension of you therefore it will reflect your power.

  • I attach anything from crystals to feathers, sometimes I simply use sandpaper to bring out the colours and patterns of the sacred wood.
  • If you have the tools wood burning is a wonderful option.

END OF BELTANE RITUAL

OPENING THE CIRCLE and DISMISSING THE ELEMENTS FROM THE WATCHTOWERS

LADY BELTANE: I dismiss the element of Air from the Watchtower of the East with our thanks to you for helping to bring us clarity of mind as we work in our sacred circle. 

                              I dismiss the element of Fire from the Watchtower of the South with our thanks to you for helping to bring us extra energy to work our magick we work in this sacred circle circle 

                              I dismiss the element of Water with our thanks to you for helping to guide our emotions as we work in this sacred circle. 

                              I dismiss the element of Earth with our thanks to you for helping to us to stay grounded as we work our magick in this sacred circle 

I thank Hecate and Dagon for helping us with our rituals this night or morning. Please return from whence you came.

I walk this circle to bring us back into our regular place of existence and to the time the binds us in this plane.

                                The circle is open but never broken go with peace, trust, and love in your hearts.