Monthly Archives: January 2011

Countdown to Imbolc……

Greetings lovely friends.  How is your New Year going so far?  Mine is going very well.  As I write this it is 2:30pm..I am still in my jammies, there is snow on the ground and it’s really cold out and snowing again.  A warm fire, a warm drink, celtic music playing, veggie soup in the crock and I have just finished catching up on bills/paperwork and organized some things. Now I am relaxing and   have started thinking about Imbolc and how I want to celebrate it, decorate my altar, etc.   Imbolc is a a wonderful Sabbat to me as it is the first one I actually celebrated many years ago.  I had read about Sabbats for many years, knew alot about them, but hadn’t done anything but read about them and recognize the day.  When I finally actually DID something to celebrate..well, my practice changed for the better, needless to say.  So lets talk a bit about Imbolc.  I love the book Simple Wicca by Michele Morgan for her beautiful prose on what is happening to Mother Earth during the time of each Sabbat! 

  “Winter fights valiantly to hold the land.  The crisp snows of January have turned to storms of sleet, and the Earth and the sky are gray, leaden, and heavy with the cold.  But here and there, scattered like jewels in the sodden grass and the frozen garden, the first slender tips of daffodils start up toward the pale, growing Sun, and something in us stirs as well, as life pulses unseen beneath the still-slumbering ground.”

 This is Imbolc, known also as Imbolg, Candlemas, the Festival of Brighid, and the Feast of Lights.  The word Imbolc means “in the belly,” or in the womb of Mother Earth, as well as “in milk,” which refers to ewes coming into milk for the first lambs of the season. This Sabbat marks the return of spring, even as winter continues its reign.  Imbolc is February 2nd and is of course, in modern times, also known as Groundhog’s Day.   

 Imbolc is a time of cleansing and purification.  It is time to throw out the old and bring in the new.  This not only means the “stuff and clutter” in your home, but also your old thoughts, anger, hurt feelings etc.  It’s time to prepare for the warm spring days and for the renewal of Mother Earth and her bounty.  Rites of initiation and consecration of altars and ritual tools are often conducted at this Sabbat.  Imbolc is the time of year that I often renew my devotion to my Path by performing a self re-dedication ceremony. 

The customs of Imbolc include ritual “spring cleaning” of the house, to banish the last  of winter and hasten the growing days.  Use lavender and rosemary in a pot of boiling water to wash floors and walls, vinegar and mugwort for windows and mirrors.  Burn sage to cleanse the psychic energies, and replace old protection and prosperity charms.  I will be renewing my witches bottle at the Full Moon closest to Imbolc.  Cleanse your body with a ritual bath scented with lavender, and as you soak, meditate to clear your mind and heart of any thoughts or emotions that no longer serve you.  This is all to “start a-new” in mind, body, spirit and home.  I love doing this..the house smells wonderful and feels so clean..and cleansed and Blessed, and what’s not to love about a ritual bath with great smelling lavender!

      In ancient times, the Goddess Brighid was honored as her Maiden aspect, as the Bride.  One way to celebrate her is to make Brighid’s Crosses,  fashioned from wheat stalks and exchanged as symbols of protection and prosperity in the coming year.  Home hearth fires are put out and re-lit, and a besom is placed by the front door to symbolize sweeping out the old and welcoming the new.  Candles are lit and placed in each room of the house to honor the re-birth of the Sun. Just before sunset, turn off all the lights in the house.  With a single white candle burning to represent Brighid, knock three times on the front door and invite the Goddess to enter, asking that she bestow health, success, abundance, and love upon everyone in the house.  Then slowly begin turning on the lights, moving room to room, until every light in the house is on. 

Imbolc Correspondences

*Element/Gender-Earth/female

 *Threshold- Midnight

*Symbolism-First stirring of Mother Earth, lambing, growth of the Sun God, the middle of  winter, Purity, Re-newal, Fertility, dispensing of old and making way for the new

 *Symbols/Tools/Decorations-Brighid’s Crosses, Brideo’gas, Besoms, white flowers, acorn wands, candles, Brides bed, milk, evergreens, daffodils, grain/seeds, snowflakes

*Herbs-Angelica, basil, bay laurel, blackberry, heather, iris, myrrh, violets, clover, willow, and all yellow flowers.

*Incense/Oils-Basil, bay, wisteria, cinnamon, violet, vanilla, myrrh, jasmine, rose, sage lavender,

*Colors-Gold, light green, green, blue, yellow, pink, white, red, brown and pastels

 *Crystals/Stones-Amethyst, bloodstone, garnet, ruby, turquoise, onyx, moonstone, red jasper

*Customs/Activities-Candle lighting, seeking omens of spring, cleaning house, bonfires, indoor  planting, stone collecting, hearth re-lighting, storytelling

*Foods-Pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds, spicy foods, dairy, raisins, poppyseed bread/cakes,  muffins, scones, breads, pancakes/waffles, spiced wines, herbal teas

*Gods- Pan, Cupid/Eros, young Sun Gods

*Goddesses-  Brighid, Venus, Diana, Virgin Goddess, Maiden Child Goddess, Aradia, Athena, Inanna, Vesta, Gaia,  Selene, Februa

 *Spellworking/Rituals-Cleansing, purification, renewal, creative inspiration, purification,  initiation, candle work, house & temple blessings, welcoming Brigid,   feast of milk and bread, Self-dedication

To aid you in your house cleansing, here is a ritual I love to do after all the Cleaning is done….

Imbolc House Cleansing Ritual 

 -First do a complete physical cleaning of your house.

-Clean windows with vinegar and mugwort water.

-Clean floors with lavender and rosemary water.

-Throw out old, used, worn items or give to charity.

-Sort thru piles of paperwork. 

-This physically sweeps out the old negative energy in the house and makes room for the new.

-Light a smudge stick and walk around the rooms of your house to replace old protection and prosperity.

-Make Blessing Oil.

As you pass from room to room, anoint each door and windowsill with the Blessing Oil by tracing the shape of a pentagram or other symbol of your tradition. This prevents anything negative from crossing into the home. Say:

“May the goddess bless this home,
making it sacred and pure,
so that nothing but love and joy
shall enter through this door.”

For me the house cleaning part takes place the week before.  Then I do the floors and windows the day of, then I perform this ritual.  The night of Imbolc, I light candles all over my home for awhile.  Then I do as suggested above.  I turn off all lights and light a single white candle and go to each door, knock 3 times, throw it open and invite in the goddess and ask her for all the good things in life to come into my home; Health, abundance, prosperity, and joy!  As I go room to room, I turn the lights back on.  I will then spend time at my altar doing my self re-dedication and honoring the Goddess Brighid,  whom I often will call on.

I will post more about my altar and my Imbolc celebration in the coming days.  If you haven’t already started thinking about this beautiful Sabbat, then do.  There is alot of work involved with this one.  The clearing out of the old is not for the faint of heart! LOL  Be brutal in both your home and yourself!  Really clear out the stuff that needs to go.  You will feel so much better about your home and you will feel lighter and happier with yourself as well.  Spring is coming and I know that makes many of your heart’s soar!!  Start it out with a clean, uncluttered great smelling home and a clean slate full of positivity, lightness and joy for yourself!

Blessed Be, Autumn

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Filed under Goddess, Imbolc, Mother Earth, Quote, Ritual

New Moon Blessings……

Merry Meet my friends!  Blessed New Moon night to you all.  The first one after the New Year…the first one in 2011!  This one is even more magickal indeed as there is much happening in the sky.  Last night during the dark of the Moon, there was a meteor shower and early this morning with the Sunrise, there was a solar eclipse…magickal indeed!  Did you see it?  I was able to see a bit of the meteor shower but the clouds came in and that was that.  I love the New Moon almost as much as the Full Moon…the quiet and peacefulness, a black starry sky, and reflecting on the possibilities.  There is some amazing workings that can be done during the Dark and New Moon….if you aren’t utilizing it..you are missing out indeed!

Let’s start first with some correspondences about the New Moon:

 Time: From Dark Moon to Waxing Moon.

New Moon – The magic should be performed between dawn and sunset for the best use of this magic.  I have to say that I do not do my New Moon magick during the day.  I do mine before midnight!  I like to be out in it..out in that black inky sky.

Dark Moon – As odd as this may sound, the strongest pull of the dark moon is around 10:00 a.m.  Again, I like to be out at night 🙂 

Goddess Aspect:   Maiden

Dark Moon Godesses:    Hecate, Kali, Morrigan,  Callieach, Banshee,

New Moon Goddesses:  Inanna, Juno

Pagan Holiday: Winter Solstice
Goddess Name: Rosemerta’s Moon
Goddess Energy: Goddesses of growth
Offering: Milk and Honey
Theme: Abundance
Rune: Fehu for abundance, Kenaz for openings, Gebo for love
Tarot Trump: the Fool

Magickal Attributes:   Banishing,  Releasing the Old, Removing Unwanted Negative Energies, Wisdom, Psychic Abilities, Scrying, Reversing Circumstances. Also a great time to cleanse and consecrate your altar tools.

New Beginnings:   Weight loss, Goal setting, Planning, Cleaning, Personal Cleansing, General beginnings and considerations.

Spellwork for:     Starting new ventures, new beginnings, love, romance, health, or job hunting, and creative ventures.

New moon – beauty, health,  self-improvement,  planting gardens,  job hunting,  love and romance.

Dark moon – addictions, change, divorce, enemies, justice, obstacles, quarrels, removal, separation, stopping stalkers and theft.

As you can see, there is sooo much you can do during the New Moon.  Creative ventures to start?  How about working on your Book of Shadows, setting up a witches cupboard, starting a blog, writing spells.  Self-improvement? Being on time, finding balance in your life, exercising more, spending more “me” time.  Because the New Moon is a time for starting a-new, the spells will be very powerful to help you to manifest these types of desires.  Being the New Year, you may have some resolutions you want to stick to…the New Moon energy will help with that too!

The New Moon is a great time to cleanse and consecrate your altar tools, crystals, magickal jewelry etc.  Here is a ritual that I like for doing that.  I have had this ritual for a long time and don’t know where I got it from….Of course where it says (Tool), you will say what it is you are consecrating such as wand, athame, crystal, candle etc.

 Gather supplies needed and tools to be consecrated:

South/Fire…A white candle

West/Water…A chalice of water

North/Earth…A small bowl of salt

East/Air…incense

If your tradition requires you to cast a circle, do so now. Light the candle and the incense. Take the tool or other items you wish to consecrate in your hands, and face north. Pass it over the salt and say:

 Powers of the North, Guardians of the Earth,
I consecrate this (tool) and charge it with your energies.
I purify it this night, and make this tool sacred.
 

 Now, turn to the east and, holding the tool in the smoke of the incense, say:

Powers of the East, Guardians of the Air,
I consecrate this (tool) and charge it with your energies.
I purify it this night, and make this tool sacred.
 

 Next, face the south and pass the tool over the flame of the candle  and speak the words:

Powers of the South, Guardians of Fire,
I consecrate this (tool) and charge it with your energies.
I purify it this night, and make this tool sacred.

Finally, turn to the west, and pass your ritual tool over the cup of water. Say:

Powers of the West, Guardians of Water,
I consecrate this (tool) and charge it with your energies.
I purify it this night, and make this tool sacred.

Face your altar, hold the (tool) to the sky, and speak the words:

I charge this (tool) in the name of Old Ones,
the Ancients, the Sun and the Moon and the Stars.
By the powers of the Earth, of Air, of Fire and of Water
I banish the energies of any previous owners,
and make it new and fresh.
I consecrate this wand,
and it is mine.

So Mote It Be!

Now you’ve not only consecrated the tool, you’ve claimed ownership.

I will also make this Dark Moon oil blend and use it at my altar and on my tools.  Smells delicious!

Dark Moon Oil.

 7 drops Jasmine

      3 drops Chamomile

  3 drops Patchoul

 1 drop Sandalwood

 

New Moon Ritual

    In early societies, the reappearance of the moon was often a cause for celebration – after all, it meant that the dark had passed, and the full moon was on its way back. The following rite is one which welcomes the moon back at the beginning of her cycle.

     First, if your tradition requires you to cast a circle, do so at this time. If you don’t normally cast a circle, take the time to ritually purify the area by smudging or asperging. This will establish the space as sacred.

     Perform this ceremony outside if at all possible — it’s the best way to get a good look at the sliver of new moon. You’ll need a moon candle, wrapped in a black cloth, to place on your altar. This is traditionally a white unscented pillar-style candle. You’ll also need a hand-held mirror. Tie some silver and white ribbons on it if you wish. Finally, have a small bowl of Blessing Oil handy.

     Hold this ceremony at sunset if you can. Turn to the west, and watch as the sun goes down (without looking directly at it). Once the sun has dropped below the horizon, you’ll be able to see where the new moon is rising. Once you see the moon in the sky, unwrap the candle. Hold it up high and say:

Welcome back, Moon!
we’re glad to see you again.
Another cycle has passed
another month gone by
and our lives have moved forward.

 

Place the candle on the altar and light it, still facing the moon. Say:

 

 Today is a new day,
and a new month begins.
As the tides flow, and the moon rises above,
we are thankful that She has returned.
She watches over us, ever constant,
yet always changing,
and we are thankful for her light.

   Next, turn to face east, where the sun will rise in the morning. Pick up the mirror and hold it so you can see the new moon behind you. Say:

Bring us your wisdom, your guidance,
your protection, in the coming month.
You are behind me at every step,
watching and guiding me,
and I am thankful.

     Place the mirror back on the altar, beside the moon candle. Take a moment to reflect on your goals. After all, this is a time of new beginnings, and a good time for new commitments and vows. Warm the Blessing Oil over the candle for just a moment, and then anoint your forehead. As you do so, say:

May the blessings of the moon be with me.

     When you are ready, close the circle and end the ritual. If you choose, you can move into healing rites or magical workings, or a Cakes & Ale ceremony.

 

I love this ritual and find it very magickal.  I often call on Hecate to help me at the time of the Dark of the Moon; especially if I’m not clear on my course of action, what I want to focus on or change in my life.  Remember that she is a dark goddess and she is the Goddess of the crossroads.  She will help guide you if asked.  So I hope that each of you will take advantage of the energy during the dark and new moon and see what  changes, new beginnings, or adventures you can manifest in your life.  But don’t forget that you have to do the work as well!  You can’t do a spell to say, bring balance to your life, and then just sit back and hope it will happen.  Asking  the Goddess for help is wonderful, finding the Goddess within you and doing the work yourself..well,  that will make you feel powerful, strong and joyful in your accomplishment.  Perhaps keep a journal of what you are trying to manifest, your goals for achieving it, the work you do to make it happen, and the outcome.  Writing it down will help you to focus and get the job done!

So good luck my friends, and again, New Moon Blessings and Goddess Bless, Autumn

*Sources..I’m afraid I have had this information so long I don’t have my sources..if you know, feel free to tell me.  I appreciate very much whoever wrote them 🙂    Also, these two pictures are from the internet.

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Filed under Book of Shadows, Goddess, New Moons, Oil Blend Recipe, Ritual, Spells