Category Archives: Correspondence

Countdown to Litha……

Merry Meet my friends!  This last couple of days here in Ohio have been really wonderful!  Very warm, rains coming and going,  everything is so green,  flowers are blooming…. it’s starting to feel like Summer!  I actually had to turn on the A/C..yep…it was that warm 🙂  My ferns are now hanging on the porch and I’m pulling out the summer cushions and pillows tomorrow for the porch as well.  My hubby has our new shed mostly painted..it’s sooo cute….and we will finally be planting our flowers this next weekend.  This week I’ll  buy my new patio pots..big ones!….and will transplant my herbs that I grew from seed outside as well.  We are spending more time outside now that the two full weeks of rain is gone and I’m looking forward to getting Summer started!

The Summer Solstice..or Litha is June 21st this year. I love the Summer Solstice..the longest day of the year!

 “Nights are warm, and stars shimmer in the sky like a blacktop road in the noonday sun.  Roses spill over garden gates, heavy with bees and perfume; field and forest are lush and teeming with life.  Faerie-folk gather in the woodland glades, and frolic beside moss-banked streams; the fires of summer burn green and gold, and everywhere there is high magick afoot!”…………………..Michele Morgan  “Simple Wicca”

Isn’t that the most delicious description of Summer…I couldn’t improve on it so I quoted it.  

Summer Solstice, Litha or Midsummer’s Eve..whatever you call it…. means that the Sun God is at his strongest,  the height of his reign, but now He begins his decline, as the days give way in the coming months to darkness.  The Goddess is now pregnant with His child.  The Earth’s bounty is in full swing…gardens are growing, everything is green and lush, trees and shrubs are fully bloomed.  Animals are scurrying, enjoying the warmth and Sun but at the same time..collecting food for the winter. Litha is a fire festival!  It  is also when the realm of the Fae is most astir.  Faerie magick is about!  It’s a time to romp with the faeries!  Put out gifts of food and libations for the faeries.  Fresh milk or cream, butter, wine, cakes, and honey are all much desired sustenance in the realm of Faerie.  Gifts of coins, ribbon, or colorful stones are also fancied.  Leave your offerings in the garden, near a stream or pond, or beneath a tree in your woods or yard.

In ancient Norse countries, the people celebrated the battle between the Oak King (God of the waxing year) and the Holly King (God of the waning year).  Of course, the Holly King wins, for it is he who will reign until Yule, when he gives way to the rebirth of the Child of Light, the baby Oak King. 

    Handfastings, or Pagan marriage ceremonies, are commonly held at Midsummer.  Hum..I wonder if that’s where the June Brides come from?  Spells of transformation and purpose are often done on this Sabbat.   Other customs include lighting a ritual bonfire, sprinkling it with magickal herbs, and dancing round the flames, asking for the blessings of health and prosperity. Harvest your magickal herbs on Midsummer morning, and hang them to dry for use in spellwork in the coming months.  Catch a jar of fireflies, whose green glow represents faerie fire deep in the heart of the forest.  Make wishes upon the tiny creatures, and then release them to carry your wishes to the Goddess.

Litha Correspondences

*Element-Fire

*Threshold-Evening/Dawn

 *Symbolism-Crowning of the Sun God, death of the Oak King, assumption of the Holly King 

 *Symbols/Tools/Decorations-The Sun, oak, birch & fir branches, sun flowers, lilies, fire, seashells, summer fruits and flowers, sun wheel, sun dials, circle of stones, bird feathers, Witches’ ladder, love amulets.

 *Herbs-Anise, mugwort, chamomile, rose, oak blossoms, lily, cinquefoil, lavender, fennel elder, Mistletoe, hemp, thyme, nettle, wisteria, vervain, St. Johnswort, rue, fern, wormwood,  Pine, heather, yarrow, oak & holly trees.

 *Incense/Oils-Heliotrope, saffron, orange, frankincense, myrrh, wisteria, cinnamon, mint, rose,  lemon, lavender, sandalwood, pine.

 *Colors-Blue, green, gold, yellow, red.

 *Crystals/Stones-Lapis lazuli, diamond, tiger’s eye, all green gemstones.

 *Customs/Activities- Bonfires, all night vigil, singing, feasting,  herb gathering, handfastings,  rededication to the  Lord and Lady, beginning of the harvest, honoring the Sun  God and the pregnant Goddess.

 *Foods-Honey, fresh vegetables, lemons, oranges, summer fruits, summer squash, ale, mead, Pumpernickel bread

 *Gods-Father Sun/Sky, Oak King, Holly King, Arthur, God is at peak power and strength.

 *Goddesses-Mother Earth, Mother Nature, Venus, Aphrodite, Yemaya, Astarte, Freya,  Hathor, Ishtar, All Goddesses of love, passion, beauty and the Sea, Green Forest Mother, Great One of the Stars

 *Spellwork/Rituals-Nature spirit, fey communion, divination, love and protection, rededication of faith, rites of inspiration, nurturing, relationships, fire.

Every year, at Midsummer, I do two things.  I re-dedicate myself to my faith. It is a ritual I look forward to and doing it outside, on the longest day of the year, when the night is warm, fireflies are about, faeries are flitting, the Moon is shining….it connects me to the Goddess in a most amazing way!  The other thing I do is to make up a new witches protection bottle and my outdoor protection talismans, salt circle etc.  I usually do this on the Full Moon in June. Again, it’s all about being outside and really connecting my magick to the Goddess.  Of course a bonfire will be going at the same time and I’ll have something cool and fruity to drink 🙂  Then I will just sit under a tree, feel the warmth of the Earth beneath me, and just appreciate the humming of life going on all around me.  It’s magick!

So it’s time to think about this wonderful Sabbat coming soon and really plan for a fun, outdoor celebration!  Future posts will include recipes, my altar, ritual etc…just like I always do 🙂  If all you do is have a bonfire and have your family or friends over for a cook-out..you are celebrating! On the Solstice night, watch the Sun go down!  Consider the re-dedication, I can’t tell you how great you’ll feel afterwards….it is so rewarding and emotional!  Summer is coming and the Summer Solstice is a fabulous way to get the Summer fun started! 

 

“Dirty hands, iced tea, garden fragrances thick in the air and a blanket of color before me,
who could ask for more?”
–   Bev Adams, Mountain Gardening

 

Blessings and Light, Autumn

*Sources….internet pics, Simple Wicca by Michele Morgan, and my BOS!

 

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Filed under Correspondence, Faeries, God, Goddess, Litha/Summer Solstice, Quote, Summer

Countdown to Beltane……..

Merry Meet again my friends!  As March is almost over and April looms…my thoughts turn to Beltane…another Spring festival….festival of fire and love and lust and fun!  Beltane..always on May 1st is  known also as Bealtaine, May Day, and Walpurgisnacht, which means “Night of the Witches.”  It is the festival of passion, one of the two greatest Sabbats in the Pagan year, second only to Samhain, which lies directly opposite it on the Wheel.  Beltane (named for Bel, the Celtic Sun God) was traditionally begun on the eve of April 30, when great bonfires were lit using bundles of nine different woods sacred to the Druids ( Birch, Oak, Hazel, Rowan, Hawthorne, Willow, Fir, Apple and Vine)  These fires had healing properties; herds of cattle were driven between them and people would jump through the flames to ensure purity and protection.

Beltane is  a celebration of sexuality and fertility.  Ancient Pagan traditions say that Beltane marks the emergence of the young God into manhood. Stirred by the energies at work in nature, he desires the Goddess.  They fall in love, lie together on the greening earth, and unite.  The Goddess becomes pregnant of the God.  A Maypole was set up and was the focal point of the old English village rituals. The Maypole is an ancient symbol of the Great Rite, the sexual union of the God and the Goddess, celebrated by lovers everywhere on May eve.  

The villagers  would rise at the first light of dawn to go outdoors and gather flowers and branches to decorate their homes.  Women traditionally would braid flowers int0 their hair.  Men and women alike would decorate their bodies.  Young people would spend the entire night in the woods “A-Maying”, and then dance around the Maypole the next morning.  Older married couples were allowed to remove their wedding rings (and the restrictions they imply) for this one night. All night trysts in the forests between young lovers, called “greenwood marriages,” were common magickal practice and children conceived of these arrangements were known as “merry-begets,” and were considered children of the gods. I told you it was a fun and lusty Sabbat! 🙂

There are so many ways to celebrate Beltane.  May morning is a magickal time for wild water (dew, flowing streams, and springs) which is collected and used to bathe in for beauty, or to drink for health.  Collect overnight dew and wake before Sunrise to wash your face with it to ensure beauty in the coming year. Make May baskets…a small basket, jar or paper cone filled with Spring flowers…to put on your family, friends. or neighbors front doors.  Knock and run away so they don’t know who left it!  Celebrate this Sabbat with bright, fresh colors, especially red and white, considered traditional for the ribbons of the Maypole.  A tall straight, branchless tree or a flagpole, as many ribbons as there are dancers, bells at your wrists and heels, and merry music….. weave the May!  Make a mini Maypole for your altar.  Build your own Beltane fire of nine different woods, then leap over it to purify and cleanse yourself of unwanted things. (Be careful!)   Or create a smaller blaze and write what you wish to eliminate on colorful ribbons of paper, then burn them to ash in the flames.  Your cauldron or fireplace would be great for this! Take an early morning walk through a local park or woods.  Gather up some plants or flowers to display in your home.  Make flower crowns for the ladies and wear them thruout the day! Make a great feast…Make love…drink May wine….Eat, drink and be Merry!!

Beltane Correspondence

*Element/Gender-Air/male

*Threshold-Dawn

 *Symbolism-Sacred marriage of the Lord and Lady, arrival of the Tuatha de Dannan in Ireland, Fertility festival, 1st day of the light half of the year.

 *Symbols/Tools/Decorations-Maypole and ribbons, flower crowns, fires, bowers, fields, May baskets, white flowers and red ribbons, daisy chain, white wine in clear crystal glass, chalice, seasonal fruit

 *Herbs-Almond, angelica, hawthorn, hibiscus, ash tree, bluebells, cinquefoil, daisy, frankincense,  ivy, lilac, marigold, meadowsweet, primrose, roses, woodruff, yarrow.

 *Incense/Oils-Passion flower, frankincense, tuberose, vanilla, lilac, rose.

*Colors-Red & white (symbolizing the God and Goddess), dark green, dark yellow, blue, rainbow, pastels, all colors.

 *Crystals/Stones-Emerald, orange carnelian, sapphire, rose quartz, lazuli, bloodstone

 *Customs/Activities-Maypole, dancing, bonfires, mating, picking flowers, flower (May) baskets,  feasting, drinking and music, walks in nature, moving herds to pasture.

*Foods-Dairy, honey, oats, red fruits, herbal salads, red/pink wine, punch, large round oatmeal cakes, sweets.

 *Gods-May King, Jack in the Green, Herne, Green Man, Bel, Gods of the Hunt

 *Goddesses-May Queen, Flora, Aphrodite, Flower Goddesses, Lady of the Greenwood,  Goddesses of the Hunt

*Spellwork/Rituals-The Great Rite, love, romance, fertility, elf and faery power, offerings to Elementals, crop blessings, divination, re-lighting sacred fires.

This correspondence information will help you to decorate your altar and your home.  It will help you to know what foods to prepare for your feast, what goddess/god to invite to your circle, what spellwork/ritual you can do…but most of all….this Sabbat is about having fun, being outside, celebrating Love!   Remember the saying “In Spring all young men’s thoughts turn to love”?  Remember prom night?  Remember your wedding night?   Ahhhhh….now you are getting the picture!  Let loose..no matter whether young in age or young at heart!  Dance around your fire….let your heart soar….celebrate Spring and the coming longer and warmer days!  Be light of heart and joyful!  Beltane is a glorious Sabbat and I hope YOU enjoy it to the fullest!

“The month of May was come, when every lusty heart beginneth to blossom, and to bring forth fruit; for like as herbs and trees bring forth fruit and flourish in May, in likewise every lusty heart that is in any manner a lover, springeth and flourisheth in lusty deeds.  For it giveth unto all lovers courage, that lusty month of May.”
–  Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte d’Arthur 

Blessings and light, Autumn

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Filed under Beltane, Correspondence, Flowers, God, Goddess, History, Spring