Category Archives: Altars

The Wheel Turns to Yule 2014………..

We begin in the heart of the darkness.  Winter is full upon the Earth; snow veils the landscape, thin trees are brittle with ice, and stars shatter the black mirror of the sky. 

The air is cold, metallic, sharp to breathe; scarves of woodsmoke drift in the sky over rooftops outlined with twinkling lights, and porch lamps gleam from early in the afternoon until long into the night.

-Michele Morgan  “Simple Wicca” 

10849927_814820488561362_7301182543328316093_nMerry Meet my friends! I have been so busy (as I know all of you have been too) that I haven’t had the time or the energy (maybe more the energy lol) to write in my blog.  Yule is the day after tomorrow!!  I’m ready though. How about you? This year my immediate family…hubby, daughters, son-in-law and grandkids are gathering on Yule Sunday for brunch and our opening of gifts. About 5 years ago we decided to meet as a family on a day other than Christmas Day.  This year we opted for Yule as the date. Christmas is then spent with more extended family…grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins etc.  Other than a few packages yet to wrap and some baking to do tomorrow, I’m ready. How are you doing with your preparations?  Do you have a feast planned?  Family coming over? A more private, solitary day?  Whatever way you celebrate it, I hope that you’ve taken time in the all the busyness to BREATHE!

The Solstice for me…and many Pagans and Witches…is more about a time of quiet contemplation.  Though the Solstice is the first day of Winter, the longest night of the year, it’s also the start of the nights shortening and the days lengthening. Though we have a lot of Winter left, we know that the Wheel turns, the Sun will return and strengthen, and Mother Earth will green and awaken again soon. But in the meantime, the dark time of the year is such a great time for nesting.  To me, nesting is relaxing more, reading more, taking on projects around the house, perhaps writing, painting, working on your book of shadows, crafts, learning something new, and of course hanging by a fire and again….relaxing more. I just seem to have more time (well after the New Year especially) to work on myself a bit too.  To look within, to be silent, to meditate better.  Feeling like I’ve accomplished something over the Winter is always a good thing for me.

15196_821737917869619_2363216679518915982_n

My altar is done…I kept it really simple this year and I think quite elegant. I’ll add more greens tomorrow and of course wine and cakes.  After all my family goes home on Sunday, that evening I’ll have time to spend at my altar.  I’ll be expressing my gratitude for the past year, throwing out what no longer serves or makes me happy, adjusting in my mind attitudes, angers, hurts, and putting out to the Universe (and myself) what I’d like to have happen in my life in the coming New Year.  Now as a Witch, I did some of this at Samhain, the Witches’ New Year. But the New Year calendar- wise…well, it doesn’t hurt to reinforce it. Sometimes I take time to re-dedicate myself to my Path as well.  It’s a quiet, solitary ritual that I enjoy very much.  Especially in the middle of all the hoopla, chaos, drama, fatigue, over-eating, over-drinking, busyness that is the holidays!!!

On Yule night…light lots of candles and bring in the greens!  Sweep out the old, usher in the new, spend quiet time, contemplate, read, relax….and know that you’ll have time to do this more over the next few months. Maybe a good snow will come and force you to stay in and that’s even better!  In a few days, if you celebrate it, Christmas will be here and gone as well…then the New Year.  Then Winter will be here in all it’s cold, stark beauty, and you can take a deep breath and say…..AAAAHHHHH!!!  I know for many, seasonal depression can set in.  Try to find something that interests you, makes you happy. Be alone when you need it and with friends and family when you need that. Be kind to yourself. Find the good things in your Life and hold on to them.  Spring will come again..it always does.

Have a very Blessed Yule my friends.  May the Mighty Ones bestow you with Peace, Love and Joy this Yuletide Season.

Blessings and Love, Autumn

18 Comments

Filed under Altars, Christmas, Family, Quote, Winter, Yule, Yule/Winter Solstice/Chrismas

Sisters, Smoky Mountains and Snow! …………

Merry Meet!  I hope this posting finds you all well, staying warm and safe if you’re in the line of the Winter Storms and enjoying a great week!  I’m sitting by the fire tonight, in my jammies with a glass of Irish whiskey and ginger ale.  Winter has arrived in full force here in Ohio.  We got 5-6 inches on Sunday night into Monday morning,  and have had our first single digit temperatures too!  Way, way earlier than usual to be this cold and this much snow!  But I LOVE it!! It’s so beautiful, that first snow of the year. The snow often covering trees still holding onto their Autumn leaves.  It’s official..no more mowing, gardening, weeding, or watering until next Spring! 🙂 Now we have the cold and snow and all the Magick the season of Winter can bring!

 

10414458_806375949405816_9070625067372355208_n

 

 

1450963_806375909405820_6211928575093259584_n

 

I had the pleasure of going on a small trip to the Smoky Mountains last week.  Those who know me or have read my blog for a while, know how much I love those mountains. I try to go every year, sometimes twice like this year 🙂  Just seeing them causes my whole body to relax, my soul to sing and my heart to fill with peace.  I don’t know why…perhaps I’ve been there before in a past life, but I just adore seeing them and being in them.  Speaking of snow, it was the same there. VERY cold, breezy and while there wasn’t any snow on the ground, the higher peaks of the mountains were covered in beautiful snow.  The smaller mountains were still covered in lots of beautiful colors of Fall.  Mostly in reds and deep oranges. So gorgeous!  The contrast of Autumn and Winter was stunning!

 

10269412_805221526187925_6752357479885938908_n

 

10389174_805221459521265_2366643676997523901_n

I was blessed to have with me; my daughter and three of our friends.  Women I love as Sisters.  Fellow Witches.  All members of my Tribe/Circle.  We had such a great time.  We set up an altar when we settled into our cabin.  Everybody brought something to place on it. One of my Sisters went out and collected a few things from nature…. on a very steep graded hill I might add LOL.  We added those, lit incense. and let it sit until the next night.  We spent time in a few shops, ate some amazing meals and spent a LOT of time talking over the next few days.  Our altar was used for tarot readings for each of us and lit candles for private reasons.  It was a magickal time. Next year, I think my whole Circle of Sisters is going to try to go there together!

I’m so blessed with the women in my life in general. I have two blood sisters who I love.  My chosen family of like -minded sisters is so important to me too!  Whether they are someone in my life I can touch, be with in person…or if they are my wonderful facebook/instagram friends who touch my life through social media every day, I’m blessed. I know so many of my Sisters who have been through such hard times and yet they are strong, kind, wise, positive, giving, and loving.  It never ceases to amaze me how they will go out of their way to offer a word of empathy, healing, love, humor, knowledge and ideas.  I believe that women…sisters…can do a lot of healing to what has been done to our Mother Earth, to what the world’s religions have taken away from women, and to what a very often cruel society ( and some men) bestow on women in general.  Looking and listening to my Sisters on our beautiful trip to the mountains, give me hope that the Goddess is emerging more and more, making Herself known to more of those Sisters in the world I have yet to meet, and working to heal our world in so many ways.  Fills me with gratitude to be a part of it! To walk with the Goddess….and my Sisters!

To Jeanni, Shawna, Diana and Sara..thank you for a wonderful trip! To my other close sisters/friends…you know who you are…Thank you for filling my life with love and friendship. To my Sisters all over the world..thank you for being a part of my daily life despite the miles that separate us!  And always, Thank you to the Goddess who guides me, loves me, protects me and fills me with great Joy!

 

A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit,

a golden thread to the meaning of life.

~Isadora James

 

Blessings and Love, Autumn

*Pictures are my own.

 

12 Comments

Filed under Altars, Autumn, Daughters, Discussion, Friends, Gardens, Goddess, Mother Earth, My Favorite Things, My Writing, Nature, Photography, Quote, Seasons, Smoky Mountains, Winter

The Wheel Turns to Samhain 2014……….

imagesCA0GN85BMerry Meet my friends.  I have been so busy I’m very late coming to my blog to write about my favorite Sabbat!  It should come as no surprise to anyone that it’s my favorite.  I’m a Witch after all!  Samhain is the Witch’s New Year, the night the veil between the worlds is the thinnest, the night we can commune with our ancestors who have passed on, and of course, it’s the night many Witches love to put on all of their witchiest clothes, jewelry and of course our pointy hat! For me, this year, it’s also Beggar’s Night. Little ones will be coming to my door looking for candy (my grandkids will be doing that here too!)  The leaves are falling, the nights are cold and crisp, the wind blows, pumpkins are lit, adults and kids alike shiver with both a little bit of excitement and a little bit of something magickal!

For Samhain night, my family will gather here  for dinner, a fire and of course to pass out candy and for the grandkids to go trick or treating in my neighborhood.  After the little goblins have gone home with their parents, I will do my own quiet ritual. Divination to hopefully have my ancestors come thru to me will be done.  Also, an offering to Mother Earth as she slowly quiets and goes to rest for the Winter.  I also always express my gratitude to God and Goddess for the abundant Summer and beautiful Autumn season of growth and harvest both in my garden beds but within me as well.  As the Wheel turns, I too change and grow…no matter how old I am…I still do.

On Saturday night, my Circle will gather in full Witch regalia for fire, feast, and ritual.  Dressing the part is such fun for Samhain, as of course, we don’t walk around in black dresses, striped socks and pointy hats on a regular basis 🙂  We will honor our loved ones who have passed on, including our beloved pets. We also will have quiet discussion together on what the past year has brought for each of us, and what we look forward to in the next year.  On Sunday evening, my hubby and daughter and I will have a Dumb Supper or Ancestor Supper. This will be a quiet and introspective evening for me especially.  I always look forward to the fun and busyness of this Sabbat…but it’s the quiet times that have depth of meaning.  The quiet can bring messages from our ancestors, from Goddess and from our own conscience.  Always find time to be quiet and still and to listen.

One of my most popular blogs here over the years, has been my Samhain Recipes.  I’d like to go ahead and give you a few this year too.  If you have been following Samhain’s Sirens this year (button on the right side here) you will have already seen these recipes…but I will share them again here for those who haven’t.

 

cider

 

Autumn’s Spiced Apple Cider

*The perfect Samhain drink….add rum or vodka if you wish 🙂

 

1 gallon apple cider

15 whole cloves

10 whole allspice

1 TB candied ginger

12 cinnamon sticks

1 cup packed brown sugar

Combine all ingredients except sugar and bring to a boil in a large pot on the stove.  Lower heat, add sugar and simmer 15-20 minutes.  Strain and serve or place in a thermos for your picnic or drive.  You can keep it warm on the stove or crockpot all day long.  Store the leftovers in the fridge.

*If you like, place orange slices in the pot too..adds a sweet bit of tang!!

 

finished

 

Apple-Brie Crostini

These little toasted Crostini are a wonderful appetizer to serve for any Samhain gathering!   They are sweet and wonderful.   Great for an after dinner treat too!

 

1 loaf French bread, thinly sliced

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

13.2 oz pkg Brie cheese, thinkly sliced

3 Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced

Arrange bread on an ungreased baking sheet; bake at 350* until lightly toasted. Set aside.

Mix together butter, sugar and walnuts.  Top each slice of bread with a cheese slice, an apple slice and a teaspoonful of butter mixture.

Return to baking sheet; bake briefly until cheese melts.  *Makes 24-30

**Variations….a sugared pecan with a drizzle of honey to top it…or a nice dollop of apple butter!

 

Farmer’s Market Autumn Stew

*A great way to finish up your Summer harvest or that last visit to the Farmers Market veggies!

 1/2 lb stew beef, cut into small cubes

2   1/2″ thick boneless pork chops, cubed

1 TB olive oil

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 parsnips, peeled and chopped

2 potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

2 apples, cored, peeled and cut into small cubes

2 TB quick-cooking tapioca, uncooked

1 cup apple cider

1 cup water

2 tsps beef bouillon granules

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp dried thyme

1/4 tsp dried rosemary

Salt to taste

Brown beef and pork in oil in a large skillet over medium heat; drain.  Place vegetables and apples in a slow cooker; sprinkle with tapioca. Add beef and pork.

Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl; pour over beef and pork. Cover and cook on low setting for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. Add salt to taste before serving.

*Makes 6 servings

 

chocolate-chip-banana-cake-234

 

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cake

 

1 15 oz can of pumpkin

4 eggs, beaten

1 cup vegetable oil

2 cups sugar

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsps baking powder

2 tsps baking soda

2 tsps ground cinnamon

12 oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips

 

Preheat oven to 350* In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin, eggs, oil and sugar.  Mix in flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.  Stir in half the chocolate chips.  Pour batter into a greased and floured Bundt pan.  Sprinkle remaining chips over batter.

Bake at 350* for one hour, or until golden brown and inserted toothpick tests clean. Cool then remove from pan.  Top with fresh whipped cream to serve if you wish.

*Makes 12-16 servings.

Hope you enjoy the recipes if you try them.  I think you will!

 

I have gotten my Samhain altar done finally today. I particularly love Samhain altars.  This one literally gives me goosebumps.  Most of the time my altars are outdoors…simple and only a few necessities, but for Samhain, I love to go all out!  As you can see 🙂

10417691_797045207005557_2158148525725780464_n

 

 

I’m working on writing up the rituals for my Circle gathering, and have a few cards to do yet.  But I am also very relaxed, using the fire in the fireplace to help me meditate, and again…..finding quiet time.  I hope you’re doing the same.  What loved one do you hope to hear from? What will you decide to let go in the old year and bring forth in the New Year?  Think on these things my friends.  Witch or not!

And finally, a favorite poem….I’ve posted it before but wanted to share again. Can’t you just feel the magick when you read it?   Blessed Samhain to you all…..Happy New Year!

 

The wheel has turned, the wheel of light

 stoke the fire and make it bright

Samhain call, Samhain come

 feel the rhythm , hear the drum

The veil it thins, the veil it shrouds

 the spirits rise upon darkened cloud

The time of orange , time of black

 time to move forward and not look back

Pumpkin lit , with candle burn

 away dark spirits this guardian turns

Night of the ancients, night of the olds

 remembered in stories now to be told

The Crone doth rise upon this night

 look into the shadows without a fright

Rituals and rites across the lands

 empowers the soul where they stand

 Trick or treat, heal or curse ,

 the hand should be crossed from a silver purse

The Wheel begins its time anew,

 the release of the old for the knowledgeable few

The time to scry to see the path we must take

 and of the choices we need to make

She comes to us in many guises

 the Crow and the owl her favourite disguises

The Earth gives us her last to give

 the bountiful harvest so we can live

We feast and drink in a sacred space

 behind samhain masks to hide our face

Through darkened day and moonlight night

 All hallows Eve is a beautiful sight!

(C) Copyright Phiona Hutton July 2010

Blessings and Love, Autumn

23 Comments

Filed under Altars, Autumn, Bits of Magick, Family, Friends, Goddess, Grandchildren, Holiday, Mother Earth, My Favorite Things, My Writing, Nature, New Year, Photography, Poem, Recipe from my Kitchen, Ritual, Samhain, Seasons, Winter

Blessed Ostara 2014………….

Merry Meet my friends! The first day of Spring has finally arrived! Here…it’s not that warm..in the 40’s… but the Sun is shining, a soft breeze is blowing, birds are singing and I am seeing some Spring bulbs poking out of the ground and trees budding if I look real, real close 🙂

I started out the day greeting the Sun as He rose while having a cup of coffee. I lit a candle in gratitude for the turning of the Wheel and the return of the Sun. I re-filled bird feeders and put out some dried corn for the squirrels once I got dressed. Once I did that, I headed out to the florist (NO tulips or daffodils yet anywhere!) and purchased a mixed flower bouquet. Then I went to the garden center and got 6 herb seed packets and a couple of starter trays.

 

IMG_0840

Now I have started my herbs from seeds for many years, at my old home where I had a perfect place to do it. Here at this house…while I have sunny East facing windows, I can’t put pots of dirt and seeds there with 2 kitties who will have fun with that! LOL. So I’m going to attempt to grow a few in my kitchen window on the sill. I planted 4 each of lavender, sage, basil, parsley, thyme and rosemary. We shall see what happens but it made me happy on this Spring Equinox day to do it. I set crystals on my window sill too and did a seed blessing as I planted them. (for my seed blessing..be sure to type Ostara into the search box on the right).

My altar has been ready for a week or so now, so I added the pretty flowers and I’m ready to go. I have smudged the house and cracked a few windows as well. I’m doing small things to celebrate the day, all day long, and tonight I will do a Welcome Spring ritual at my altar.

 

IMG_0835

Now I am hearing that we will have lovely warm weather tomorrow but probably some rain… then temps will drop back into Winter weather and we have SNOW forecasted for Tuesday! 🙂 Now this is just typical for where I live here in Ohio…give it a day and it will change again. I’m not going to let it spoil my Spring though and don’t you let it either. As a Witch, we can feel the quickening of our Mother Earth. She is awakening most definitely and it won’t be long before we will be merrily working in our gardens and complaining about the heat LOL.

I hope you and your loved ones have a very Blessed Ostara. May Joy, Love, Peace, Abundance and Light be yours today and always!

Blessings and Love, Autumn

10 Comments

Filed under Altars, Flowers, Gardens, God, Goddess, Herbs, Mother Earth, My cats, Nature, Ostara, Seasons, Spring, Winter

The Wheel Turns to Ostara 2014…………

No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.

~Proverb

Merry Afternoon my friends. Hope that you are all doing great this blustery March day?! Well, we had a taste of Spring for a couple of days here in Ohio. It was in the 60’s and the Sun was shining! It was the kind of day that I had my daughter and grandkids over to play outside, windows were open and letting the house air out of old stagnant Winter weather, and we even grilled out for dinner! Today? A whole different day LOL. Winter has come back with snow flurries, freezing cold weather and blustery winds. *sigh* Well, it was nice while it lasted….and it will be back and SOON!! 🙂

I have spent some time today getting ready for Ostara. My Circle has decided to meet for brunch on the Sunday after Ostara ( Ostara is the 20th by the way!) We will have pastries and fruit and lavender lemonade! I’m working on my altar as well. I love the Ostara altar..it’s one of my favorites. Pastel colors, eggs, rabbits, tulips or daffodils, and baskets just lift my spirits in it’s brightness and lightness! I’ll also set up a kitchen altar as well!

012

                                                        *Part of my Ostara altar from 2011

Some of the things I love to do for Ostara is to, of course, color eggs and bake breads. Egg recipes are popular for light lunches and breakfasts as well. Egg salad, deviled eggs, quiches, and omelets especially! Another thing I’m doing is perusing my seed catalogs, garden books and magazines and planning for when I can get outside and start working in my gardens again! For the seeds, I love to do a seed blessing ritual..to bless them to grow strong and healthy and to carry powerful Magick within them as well! You can bless and consecrate your seedlings and young plants as well of course! My hands long to dig in the dirt and my barefeet long to be planted on Mother Earth! Can’t wait!

Ostara is also a great time to finish up any Spring cleaning you didn’t get done at Imbolc. Cleaning windows, curtains, throw rugs and blankets are high on my list of things to do as Spring arrives. Also, carpet cleaning, if you have carpets, is good to do too! I also check the condition of my outdoor bird feeders to see if they need to be replaced for Spring/Summer. Winter is hard on them and I often invest in new ones this time of year. I’m also shopping for a new bird bath this year! 🙂

I thought that you all would enjoy my recipe for Lavender Lemonade to enjoy for your own Ostara feast. It is also posted in the Sunday Stew I told you about last time I wrote. I hope that you have gone and checked it out! It is well worth your time.

lav lemon

                                                         *picture courtesy of Simply Recipes

 

 

Lavender Lemonade

2 1/2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1-2TB dried lavender flowers (organic, chemical free)
*chopped fine

2 1/2 cups water
1 cup fresh lemon juice

In a large saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Add lavender flowers. Cover and let stand for one hour.

Strain lavender from sugar water and discard lavender as you wish. Stir in additional cold water and lemon juice. Pour into a pretty pitcher and add ice and sliced lemons.

Makes 6 servings

Don’t forget to type in Ostara or Spring Equinox in the search box on the right here to find all my past posts and recipes..there are a LOT!  I’ll be back soon too.

As much as Winter still has a grip on us, there has been some Spring in the Air for most of us I think.  Enough to remind us that it’s coming and soon!  In the meantime, do some spring cleaning,  set up your altar, buy some seeds to start in your Sunny window, and color some eggs.  Soon it will be Spring in your heart and you will feel lighter!  Honest! 🙂

And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, “The Sensitive Plant”

 

Blessings and Love, Autumn

 

10 Comments

Filed under Altars, Flowers, Gardens, Herbs, Holiday, Mother Earth, Nature, Ostara, Quote, Recipe from my Kitchen, Seasons, Spring, Winter

Blessed Samhain 2012…………..

 

 

Merry Samhain evening my friends!   It’s here….the night Witches wait for all year long…The most magickal, spell-binding, veil-walking night of the Year….Samhain!

The weather here fits the night!  Gloomy, drizzly, windy and cold!  A perfect night for a fire, lit candles, warm food on the stove or in the oven, and a nice glass of belly warming wine..or two.  I’ve had the feeling for a while….you know what feeling I’m talking about.  Some say  “like someone is walking on my grave.”   That tingly, sure feeling you get..that knowing that someone is with you…not of this world.  Tonight, the veil opens all the way. To allow our ancestors to be with us….to converse, teach, guide and to just share love with us.  All we have to do is quiet ourselves, breathe…..and listen!

A place will be set at my dinner table for any guest from the other side who cares to join us.  I have smudged the house, swept out the old and negative and left room for the positive for the New Year.  I feel content and Blessed and ready for all the exciting things coming my way for my family, friends and I.   I hope you all feel the same!

So raise a glass on this night of Samhain, the Witch’s New Year….this magickal night of Nights and send Thanks and Love to the Goddess for the blessings of the past and the blessings yet to come.  Have a very Blessed Night!

 

 

Samhain is here, cold is the earth,

as we celebrate the cycle of death and rebirth.

Tonight we speak to those through the veil,

the lines between worlds are thin and frail.

Ghosts and spirits in the night,

magical beings rising in flight,

owls hooting up in a moonlit tree,

I don’t fear you and you don’t fear me.

As the sun goes down, far to the west,

my ancestors watch over me as I rest.

They keep me safe and without fear,

on the night of Samhain, the Witch’s New Year.

-Author Unknown to me-

Love, Autumn

Sources….Poem was in my BOS and I’m afraid I don’t know who wrote it.  Altar pic is my own.

 

 

3 Comments

Filed under Altars, Family, Goddess, Holiday, Poem, Samhain, Seasons

Blessed Imbolc 2012……….

Merry Meet again friends.  Hope all is well with all of you!  Whew….I don’t know about you but I’m tired and energized at the same time!  I have spent a couple weeks really deep cleaning my house..”Spring” cleaning as some say….to get my home ready for Imbolc.  I have cleaned high and low, ceilings to floor, linens and curtains washed, ceiling fans cleaned, cobwebs and dust bunnies swept away.  Closets, drawers, and cupboards are organized and de-cluttered.  Furniture swept and cushions flipped and fluffed. Bathrooms scrubbed, floors swept and mopped……  Everything has been cleaned!  My house looks great…the energy feels great and I’m ready for Imbolc.  That is why I’m both tired and energized.  I’m tired from the work….but so energized in what I’ve accomplished and how great my house feels!

Now…there is still a couple things that need done…and they will get done..just not by Thursday. LOL.   Carpets are going to be cleaned but not til March or so..after our chance of snow is gone.  My windows need cleaned ..the high ones we don’t do ourselves..and again, that will be done in the Spring.  Now…tomorrow, I will be smudging the house in every corner.  Placing my protection sigils all around the house, fresh salt in all the corners etc. The weather is going to be very Spring-like..near 60*!  I’m going to take advantage of that.  Opening windows to let that fresh air come in and the stale air out.  Really, we have had an amazingly mild Winter this year.  So many warm days and very little snow.   I am still hoping for a good snow!  The kind you get snowed in, fire going, jammies on and hot drink in hand, can’t go anywhere snow.  Now that all my housework is done, I could just relax and read and work on my BOS and things I have a hard time finding time for 🙂  But the mild Winter has been very nice as well.  As a matter of fact, I plan on going for a walk at our local nature preserve and enjoying that warm weather! There is a rescue raptor center there..and I love to go and visit the owls that reside there permanently.  I adore Owls and need a fix!

 I got my altar done today…thought you would like to see the pictures.

I went with pretty much a red and white theme, with a bit of gold and green thrown in.  The red and white is traditional colors for the Goddess Brighid.  This year, I’m using her colors to honor her. The green, shown in the live greens from my yard, and the green celtic knots on the votive holders..represent both her mantle of green, the seasonal greens that will be burned in a fire on Imbolc, and of course the green celtic knots represent the fact that she is Celtic. I chose  a silver candle for the Goddess and a gold one for the God.

In the greens I put some red feathery stalks and will add red and white fresh flowers by thursday.  I have all my usual altar reps for the elements, my tools etc.  Ok…the Goddess statue is my new gorgeous Hecate statue.  I do not have a Brighid statue so Hecate is standing in for her.  Brighid is a triple Goddess as is Hecate the crone aspect of a triple Goddess.  They both mean so much to me that I don’t think Brighid will mind 🙂  Isn’t she gorgeous? I can’t stop looking at her!  My goddess is standing on a favorite book of poetry..a very old, fragile book of Tennyson poems..as Brighid was the Goddess of poets.  There is a bit of silver in my pendants as well to represent her smithcrafting.   Blessing oil for my re-dedication, some ribbons I’ll use for cord magick, my 7 candles…red and white..in a circle for another ritual I’ll do.   Crystals, more candles, and my cakes and ale will round it out.  I really like it! It feels good to me 🙂 

No matter how much or how little you do to get ready for Imbolc, do something to recognize the day.  If all you do is light a candle, take a walk, open a window, have a quiet meal with your family..whatever you please is just fine.  But honor the day.  So many people are not overly fond of Winter.  Imbolc, lets us know that Spring is coming and it will be here before we know it!  It’s a promise from the Goddess, Mother Earth, the Sun God.  Enjoy the Sabbat…rest and relax for the rest of the Winter and I wish you all a Blessed Imbolc to you and your loved ones.  May the Goddess Brighid give you Peace, Love and Joy! 

Blessings and Light, Autumn 

 

 

16 Comments

Filed under Altars, Cleaning & Organizing, God, Goddess, Imbolc, Photography, Spring, Winter

Blessed Winter Solstice……..

Brightly burns the Yule log tonight
Magic dances in firelight
Hold my hand and join the song
Raise the Sun King bright and strong
Dark is giving way to light
As brightly burns the Yule log tonight!

by my friend

Saffron Celtic Moon

 

Merry Meet my friends.  Whew…I have been so so busy..as I’m sure you all have been.  I’m taking a few minutes to write  a quick post and to post some pictures.  The Winter Solstice is upon us!  Here, it is warm and very rainy. Not Winter weather at all!  But be that as it may, I can FEEL that the Solstice is here…the darkness prevails, Mother Earth is dormant, the animals are still collecting, scurrying, hurrying to prepare for the long Winter.  Cut wood is being delivered, the stores are busy with people shopping for their festivities the next few days, the malls and restaurants are swamped, traffic is terrible LOL.   But…..tonight..the longest night of the year….leads to a Sunrise in the morning..the Sun God is reborn…and the days wills start getting longer again. 

As I said before, the Winter Solstice for me is the peace I find in myself.  Taking the time to reflect, to renew, to rest..to be quiet with myself.  With all the hustle and bustle going on around me….quiet is what will be happening here, both tomorrow morning watching the Sunrise with my coffee, and tomorrow night..in ritual.  That is what the Solstice is all about!  Welcoming the Sun God, knowing Spring will come again though Winter is upon us, and spending time on myself.

Tomorrow, I will have my family here.  We’re going to have a luncheon, exchange a small gift, and burn the Yule log.  We make wishes on the Yule log by writing them down on a piece of paper, and burning it with the Yule log and greens.  It will be laid back and fun.  Tomorrow night, I’ll be at my altar. 

So speaking of altar….here is some pics of mine this year.

The pics and what I put on my altar probably speaks for itself.  The beautiful stag in my God representative.  The oranges represent the Sun…of course cloves are perfect this time of year.  The greens are pine, spruce, holly, lavender and rosemary..all from my own yard.  The pinecones are from my yard too.  I used gold to represent the Sun in the stars and candles, of course red and green had to be there too.  My Yule log and rosemary tree have a cardinal on them..my favorite Winter bird!  I’m pretty happy with the results and can’t wait to work at it tomorrow night.  Oh of course, wine and some cake..oatmeal I think, will be enjoyed as well 🙂 

So, spend some time by a fire with family, spend some time reflecting on the last year and on yourself, and welcome the Sun God during the Sunrise in the morning. May your Solstice be most Blessed with Love, Joy, Peace and Prosperity.  I thank you all for reading my blog and for being my friend.  I am most Blessed this Solstice Night!

Yule Blessings and Love, Autumn

9 Comments

Filed under Altars, Holiday, Mother Earth, Photography, Poem, Seasons, Uncategorized, Winter, Yule/Winter Solstice/Chrismas

My Samhain Altar and Ritual 2011…….

Merry Meet my friends!  Wow, just 3 nights until Samhain!  This month has gone by way too fast for me.  I love October so much, my favorite month, and I have kept myself busy enjoying every minute of every day.  We have had a few rainy days so colorful leaves are rapidly falling off the trees.  We’ve had some frosty mornings so the last of the summer flowers and herbs have gone away til next Spring.  My mums are fully bloomed and gorgeous.  The bird feeders are more active, squirrels and chipmunks and other furry creatures are scurrying to gather quicker.  Some of my friends have already experienced snow where they live! 

I can’t wait to see my grandkids in their costumes on Samhain evening.  We’ll be having dinner at my daughter’s house and hubby and I, will pass out candy while they take my grandkids out to collect some candy 🙂  Chili, cornbread and cherry crisp will be on the menu…quick and easy for such a busy day.  Then I’ll be home to do my ritual I have written here, and some time outside by the bonfire in my circle in the woods.  I’ve decided to do my Dumb Supper on Sunday evening as Samhain night will be so busy.  I hope to post some pics of the table set for it on my wordless wednesday blog post next week.  I think the table will look fantastic and I’m quite sure my grandmother will come to visit 🙂

I have spent some time the last couple of nights writing this ritual.  Please remember, this is just what I’m going to  do.  It may not be at all what YOU are thinking of doing or saying or using.  That’s just fine…make it yours and by all means, do it your way.  Your magick is your own after all!

First, here are some pictures of my Samhain altar.  It is to honor my ancestors and I think it’s one of my favorite altars I’ve done.  I think the pics speak for themselves of what I used and why.

Samhain Ritual to Honor Your Ancestors

By Autumn Earthsong

 Have your altar decorated however you like.  You can get some ideas from the pictures on my altar above.  A couple things you must have….. a God and Goddess candle and pictures or keepsakes from your ancestors and loved ones. I also highly recommend you have LOTS of candles on your altar…I set several votives to lighten my altar up bright!

Cast your circle in whatever way you do.  Ground and Center when you are ready.  If you are using elemental representatives, light the fire candle and the incense.   Light the Goddess candle and say ….

 “Dark Mother, Goddess of Death and Rebirth, Ruler of the night,  assist me in my magickal rite.  Lift the Veil between the worlds, as this time-out-of-time begins and as the barrier thins.  I ask for your blessing and guidance as I commune with my ancestors this Samhain night.”

Light the God candle and say…..

 “Dark Father, aged Consort of the Crone, Lord of the Underworld,  I ask for your blessing and favor on this magickal night, during this time-out-of-time, and during this rite.  Keep safe my ancestors as they come to me, from the other side of the Veil, for me to hear and see.” 

 Call the elements by saying what you usually do or something like this:

Earth and Air; Fire and Water
Guard and guide your loving daughter
I call on you this Samhain night,
Assist me in my sacred rite.  Sit quiet for awhile and wait for your ancestors to come..don’t forget
 your pets who have passed too….
 Quiet your mind and body and you will know when they are with you.
 When you know they are, say something like this:

    

“On this Samhain night the Veil has thinned


and the Spirits of my loved ones are here once again.

For my ancestors and loved ones who have gone on before me

I remember you with great love, in my heart you’ll always be.

Guide me and protect me, until one day I’m with you

I honor you every day, in everything I do.”

Blessed be! Blessed be!

 Now would be the time to do some divination with your tarot cards or runes, or do some scrying and see if any Spirits have anything to show you.  Enjoy some apple cider or wine and a “cake”.  When you are ready start to take down your circle by thanking those who came to you:

 “Dearest Ancestors thank you for joining me this night. I will never forget what you mean to me as you retreat once more beyond the Veil. For now, Merry Part.” 

 Release the elements as you usually do.
 Say Thank you and good-bye to the Goddess and God however you like.
 Snuff out candles, take down your circle, and make an offering to Mother Earth, outside, 
by leaving a bit of cake and wine.  Spend some time by a fire and relax.  You may feel
 a bit tired after having the Spirits of your ancestors with you on the glorious Samhain night!
 Samhain night, the Witch's New Year! Celebrate it! I found this poem a year or so ago,
 and have since connected with the author on facebook. I'd like to post it here for
 you all to enjoy! It makes me thrill to my witchiness :) I wish all of you a very Blessed Samhain!  

 

The wheel has turned, the wheel of light

 stoke the fire and make it bright

Samhain call, Samhain come

 feel the rhythm , hear the drum

The veil it thins, the veil it shrouds

 the spirits rise upon darkened cloud

The time of orange , time of black

 time to move forward and not look back

Pumpkin lit , with candle burn

 away dark spirits this guardian turns

Night of the ancients, night of the olds

 remembered in stories now to be told

The Crone doth rise upon this night

 look into the shadows without a fright

Rituals and rites across the lands

 empowers the soul where they stand

 Trick or treat, heal or curse ,

 the hand should be crossed from a silver purse

The Wheel begins its time anew,

 the release of the old for the knowledgeable few

The time to scry to see the path we must take

 and of the choices we need to make

She comes to us in many guises

 the Crow and the owl her favourite disguises

The Earth gives us her last to give

 the bountiful harvest so we can live

We feast and drink in a sacred space

 behind samhain masks to hide our face

Through darkened day and moonlight night

 All hallows Eve is a beautiful sight!

(C) Copyright Phiona Hutton July 2010

 

 
Blessings and Love, Autumn 
PS..I have NO IDEA why this post came out all weird..it obviously had the margins
set wrong..and I have NO IDEA how to fix it LOL...sorry..it's still readable I think :)

  

 

 

 

 

13 Comments

Filed under Altars, Autumn, God, Goddess, Photography, Poem, Ritual, Samhain

Wordless Wednesday……

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Comments

Filed under Altars, Autumn, Mabon, Nature, Our Yard, Photography, Wordless Wednesday