Category Archives: Correspondence

The Witches Sabbat……Samhain!

Merry Meet!  It is October!..the favorite month of the Year for most Witches, including this one!  The wheel of the year has turned, Mabon has passed and October has come, bringing cool crisp days, brilliant foilage of reds, golds, rusts and browns, jackets and sweaters are coming out of the back of the closets, garden centers are loaded with Mums, pumpkins, gourds and corn stalks, the smell of woodsmoke hangs in the air, and the Witch’s heart and soul quickens…for Samhain is coming, the New Year…the thinning of the veil….and there are things to be done for the favorite night of the year! I’m so excited!

 

       “A white lace of frost webs the sidewalk a kaleidoscope of leaves.  Hillsides are ablaze with flame-colored trees, fields lie fallow and dark, and cornstalks dry to the color of bone in the low golden sun.  The sky promises rain tonight and winds rise to torture the clouds.  Fog swirls down the darkened street, shrouding the candlelit grin of a glowing jack-o-lantern, and the veil between the land of the living and the land of the dead grows as thin and insubstantial as the mist.”      from Simple Wicca by Michele Morgan

 I love this description…it is so perfect for this time of the year.  Samhain (pronounced Sow-en)  known also as All Hallow’s Eve or Halloween  is the third harvest festival of the year.  The God has died, returning to the Underworld, to wait to be reborn at Yule.  The Goddess is a Crone, mourning for him, leaving the world in darkness for a time. It is  a time to honor our departed loved ones and the night when  it is believed the veil between the material world and the Spirit world is at its thinnest and that the dead return to commune with the living.

In ancient times,  Balefires burned on every hillside and great feasts were held.  A place was set at the table for family members who had passed on to the Spirit world.   For the Celts, tis was New Year’s Eve.  In some traditions, Samhain marked a “time out of time,” the ending of the old year, the new year not beginning until the Sun’s rebirth at Yule. Samhain is considered the oldest and most sacred of the Sabbats because it honors the cycle of Life and Death. 

Samhain Correspondences

*Element/Gender— Water/Male

*Threshold— Midnight

*Symbolism— Death and transformation, Witches New Year, wisdom of the Crone, end of summer, Honoring our ancestors, thinning of the veil between worlds, death of the year, time outside of time, night of the Wild Hunt, begin new projects, end old projects, Magick, knowledge.

 *Symbols/Tools/Decorations—  Jack-O-Lanterns, Balefires, Masks, Besom, Cauldron, the Waning Moon, black altar cloth, oak leaves, acorns, straw, black cat, Crescent Moon, grain, bare branches, pictures of ancestors, candles.

 *Herbs— Allspice, broom, comfrey, dandelion, deadly nightshade, mugwort, catnip, ferns, flax ,mandrake, dragon’s blood, sage, straw, thistles, oak, wormwood

 *Incense/Oils— Frankincense, basil, yarrow, lilac, camphor, clove, wood rose, wormwood, myrrh, patchouli, apples, mint, nutmeg, sage, ylang ylang

 *Colors— Black, orange, indigo,

 *Stones/Crystals—  Black stones, jet, obsidian, onyx, carnelian

 *Customs/Activities—  Carving jack o’lanterns, spirit plate, ancestor altar, costumes, divination, the Feast of the Dead, feasting, paying debts, drying winter herbs, masks, bonfires, apples, tricks, bats, cats, ghosts

 *Foods—  Apple, pumpkin pie, pomegranate, pumpkin, squash, hazelnuts, corn, cranberry muffins, bread, ale, apple cider and herbal tea.

 *Gods—  Horned Hunter, Cernunnos, Osiris, Hades, Loki, Arawn, Anubis

 *Goddesses—  The Crone, Hecate, Cerridwen, Arianrhod, Caillech, Baba Yaga, Bast, Hel

 *Spellworking/Ritual—  Honoring/consulting ancestors, releasing the old, foreseeing the future, power, understanding death and rebirth, entering the underworld, divination, dance of the dead, fire calling, past life recall.

 How can you celebrate Samhain?..besides of course trick or treating, visiting corn mazes and haunted houses, hayrides and Halloween parties?  One custom  of this Sabbat that I love is the “Dumb Supper.”  This is setting a place for the spirit of your departed loved ones at your table and lighting their way to your hearth with carved pumpkins and candlelight. I have done this for several years now and it’s really a special thing to do.  You can set a picture at the place setting or settings of the person you are inviting to join you.  Turn off all the lights and just have candles lit at the table.  Make it a silent meal..no talking….just focus on your loved one you are remembering, and maybe THEY will have something to say to you! 

Dress up for the occasion..whether you wear a costume or put on your best witchy clothes, hat, robe…  It’s your night…dress for it!  Have a bonfire under the Moon.  Throw your dried harvested herbs in to make the smoke even more magickal.  All forms of divination are paramount on Samhain Eve.  Dark mirrors for scrying, Tarot cards, runes, or pendulums are all perfect tools to take advantage of  the heightened spiritual energies at this Sabbat. Set up a table by the fire and do some tarot or rune readings for your friends and family or just see what the Universe has to say to you on this night.  If you are blessed to have some time alone, contemplate the coming winter, and use this time out of time to let die old ways of thinking, outworn beliefs, and negative patterns.

Leave some bread and wine outside as an offering to the wandering souls and the Faeries.  Make sure you have some jack o-lanterns or luminaries lighting the way for them to your home!  The grinning pumpkins provide protection as well 🙂 

One of my favorite things to do just before Samhain, is to have a Harvest Soup Party.  I invite some friends and family over, telling them to be sure to dress warm.  I set up about 3-4 crockpots of different soups…like chili, veggie, potato, and corn chowder.  I have bowls of toppings such as crackers, shredded cheese, bacon bits, sunflower seeds, sour cream, croutons.  I have a pumpkin tureen filled with warm spiced cider..some vodka or rum can be added for the adults.  A couple of desserts such as pumpkin pie and apple crisp round off the menu.  A bonfire is going, bales of hay with fleece blankets are great for extra seating, and bandannas in orange, black, brown and red are great to use as napkins!  You can have a table set up for pumpkin carving for the kids..with the adults help of course. Tell ghost stories and roast marshmallows to finish up the evening.   Everyone loves a great night outdoors with good food and good company….they will look forward to your party every year!

I’ve got my Autumn decorating mostly done today…decided I needed to shop for a few new things for the house and the weather will be perfect this week to go pumpkin and mums shopping and apple pickin is on the agenda too. I’ll be making my famous Amish Apple Pies this next week as well.  Yummy!!

October is a wonderful month and it seems to go so so fast..at least for me it does. LOL!  Be sure to enjoy every minute of it…take a walk or a drive and take in the brilliant color. Visit an apple farm and have a caramel apple or sip on some apple cider. I love to bake and cook this time of year.  When you do cook or bake, make up some extra and take it to a neighbor or someone you know would love it.  Don’t forget the critters! Put out Indian corn, peanuts, and bird seed for those who are gathering for the long winter ahead.  Bring in the last of your harvest before the first frost.  I have herbs to get in and I need to do it tomorrow as we have frost warnings already! 

I’ll post blog soon with some of my favorite Autumn recipes.  In the meantime, enjoy the cooling weather and the change of the Seasons….Happy October!

“Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves, We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!”
Humbert Wolfe

 

 

Bright Blessings, Autumn

*Sources..my BOS & Simple Wicca by Michele Morgan.  Pictures from the internet. 

 

 

 

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Filed under Autumn, Correspondence, God, Goddess, Quote, Samhain

The Witches Sabbat…..Mabon

Merry Meet friends.  Hope you all are having a wonderful late Summer.  The sweltering heat finally let up here last week and we had several days of upper 70’s weather which was sooooo lovely and most welcomed!  Now, hot, humid days are back…as expected 🙂  But now, things feel completely different.  Autumn is coming slowly but surely.  The Sun is setting earlier and rising later, the squirrels and chipmunks are gathering, I’m seeing more birds at the feeders.   My Autumn Joy sedum is turning from green to rusty orange, our tall grasses are turning yellow, and we are seeing Deer everywhere around our neighborhood.  My thoughts are turning to the last harvest of my herbs, planting mums, comfort foods in the slow cooker, and I’m craving anything made from apples 🙂  Autumn, if you know me, is my very favorite time of year.  It always has been.  I live for crisp days, crunching leaves, autumnal color, wearing warm cozy sweaters and jackets, drinking hot spiced cider and having a fire..inside or out!  Ahhhh..I just can’t wait!

“Mist blankets the morning garden and the empty fields; a last rose blooms slowly over the arbor by the backyard gate.  Paintbox leaves fall to the ground under galoshes and the wheels of slicker-yellow school buses.  Sweaters come out of cedar chests, soup pots simmer, and wild geese make their mercurial journey southward across the pale autumn sky.”

                                                               From Simple Wicca by Michelle Morgan

I love this description from this book…it so describes for me what is going on this time of year.  The next Sabbat on the Witches Wheel of the Year…is Mabon.  It’s the Autumn Equinox, the 2nd harvest festival.   A time of great joy and thanksgiving,  a time on the Earth when, again, night and day are in equal balance.  In ancient times, people took a respite from their labors in the orchards and fields, and spent time feasting and giving thanks for the Earth’s bounty. Wine and apples were offered as gifts to the Goddess, who is moving into her Crone age, as the Sun God dies and prepares to be re-birthed.   

At Mabon, as the nights get longer, the harvest is stored for the long, cold winter.  Pantries are stocked with the  last of summer’s riches.  The fruits and vegetables are canned, preserved, and stored against winter’s chill. Any projects started in the summer are finished up before the snows come.   Wood is cut and seasoned for cozy Winter fires. Garden beds are mulched over and prepped for next year. Rakes are pulled out and the first leaves are turning vivid colors.  It’s a busy time of year..but also a time to prepare to be inside more, to rest and reflect on the year so far.  It’s also a time for family and friends to enjoy the last of the warm days and the fresh foods from their gardens. 

Mabon correspondences are as follows:

*Element– Water

*Threshold– Evening

 *Symbolism– Second harvest, the mysteries, Equality, balance, death of the God, assumption of the  Crone, balance of  light and dark, increased darkness, grape harvest, preparation for Winter, Pagan day of Thanksgiving.

 *Symbols/Tools/Decorations– Wine, gourds, pine cones, acorns, grains, corn, apples, vines Pomegranates, horns of plenty, Indian corn, autumn flowers, red fruits, hazelnuts,  Colorful leaves, grapes, harvested crops.

 *Herbs– Acorn, benzoin, ferns, grains, honeysuckle, marigold, myrrh, rose, sage, solomon’s seal thistle,  tobacco, milkweed, astor, passionflower, hazel, hops, cedar.

 *Incense/Oils– Benzoin, myrrh, sage (Autumn  blend) pine, sweetgrass, apple blossom, jasmine,  frankincense, patchouli, cinnamon, clove.

 *Colors– Red, orange, russet, maroon, brown, gold, green, scarlet, yellow, purple, indigo.

 *Crystals/Stones– Sapphire, lapis lazuli, and yellow agate, carnelian, yellow topaz, amethyst

 *Customs/Activities– Making wine, gathering dried herbs, plants, offerings to land, bringing in the harvest, offering libations to trees and land, walking in the woods, decorating burial sites with apples, leaves, acorns, and pine cones to honor the dead, gather seed pods,  fishing, harvest crops by the Harvest moon.

 *Foods– Breads, nuts, apples, pomegranates, root vegetables, wheat products, cornbread, grains, berries, nuts, grapes, acorns, seeds, dried fruits, corn, squash, wine, ale, cider.                    

 *Gods– Mabon, Thoth, Thor, Hermes, The Green Man, Sky Father, Hermes, Dionysus, Bacchus, the Corn Man, aging Gods.

 *Goddesses– Morgan, Epona, Persephone, Pamona, the Muses,  Triple Goddess-Mother aspect, Demeter, aging and harvest Dieties.

 *Spellwork/Ritual– Protection, prosperity, security, harmony, balance, self-confiden introspection, the Celtic Festival of the Vine.

There is so much to do to celebrate this wonderful Sabbat.  Have a Autumn themed feast with friends and family.  Decorate your home with garlands of leaves, pumpkins, gourds, bittersweet vines, cat tails and apples.  A soup party is easy to do….just make a couple pots of different soups.  Serve soup toppers like shredded cheese and crackers.   Have hot apple cider and cherry or apple crisp and warm crusty bread.  Have a bonfire for them to gather round.  They will remember this harvest night.

You could host or attend a wine-tasting party in honor of Dionysus, Roman God of Wine, who is traditionally celebrated at the Autumn Equinox.  Have the women in the family over to your house,  to make apple or pumpkin butter, applesauce, jams and jellies…… send some home with everyone for their pantry.  Go for a nature walk, collect beautiful fallen leaves, acorns, pine cones, bittersweet,  grapevine..things you use to make a beautiful Autumn wreath for your front door.  Or fill a wooden bowl with a beautiful candle and place your finds around the candle and put it in the center of your table.  Rake leaves into a pile and let the kids jump in and take some great pictures!  Go to a “you pick” apple farm and come home  with a peck to make a delicious pie!  Go on a hayride or go thru a corn maze with the kids.   Wrap up in a blanket and watch the Harvest Moonrise with someone you love.  Autumn is such a beautiful time of year..don’t let a minute of it pass you by without enjoying it!

Mabon is a good time to meditate and reflect on your year so far, what you would like to see manifest in your life in the next year.  Spend some time on yourself.  Read those books you’ve always wanted to read, start that new project, learn a new hobby or language (I would love to learn Gaelic! ) or take a course in tarot or runes or herbology.  You will be less busy when you aren’t working outside as much..take advantage of it…for your own good 🙂 Mabon is also a good time to set up new protections around your home. To do prosperity spells or to focus on getting balance in your life.  Airing out your house from being closed up all Summer, some Fall cleaning, and giving your home a good cleansing before it’s too cold to have the window’s open…. is a good idea too. 

I’ll be posting more Mabon info in the next couple of weeks.  Recipes, ritual, and altar pics as usual.  For now, I wish you a wonderful weekend and entreat you to enjoy these last warm days…as I feel it in my bones that Autumn is not far away!

Much love and Blessings, Autumn

 

 

 

 

 

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Countdown to Lughnasadh……….

Merry Meet my friends!  Hope you all are well and enjoying your Summer (or Winter depending where you live 🙂 .  We have been having an amazing couple of weeks of cool, breezy, gorgeous weather.  I am not a fan of HOT weather so I am loving this so much.  We have had a nice amount of rain here too..enough to keep everything green and lush, growing and blooming.  I love sitting out on the porch in the evenings with a glass of wine and watching the fireflies flitting, hearing the frogs croaking and crickets chirping, the windchimes softly chiming.  The nights feel soft and gentle to me and all seems right with the world in that moment. 

 

“The summer air is hot and still, the afternoon hazy; crickets call relentlessly from among the brown grasses, and ears of corn are the same heavy, burnished gold as the late-day sun. Hawks circle in the blue-white sky overhead, and seedpods ripen where flowers bloomed just a month before. But shadows begin to lengthen along the garden wall, and the nights come, just a bit cooler, perhaps; a settling begins in the Earth, a gathering, a slow, quiet turning toward the coming darkness.”

From Simple Wicca by Michele Morgan

Believe it or not, the days are getting shorter and Autumn is on it’s way.  Soon, on  August 1, we will be celebrating the first Harvest festival of the Wheel of the Year.   It is Lughnasadh (prounounced loo-na-sa), known also as Lammas, or Lammastide, the first of three Harvest Festivals.   This Sabbat marks the ending of summer and the first harvest of the grain. It was known as the time when the plants of Spring wither and drop their fruits or seeds for our use as well as to ensure future crops.

Lughnasadh is named for Lugh, the Celtic deity who presides over the arts and sciences. According to Celtic legend, Lugh decreed that a commemorative feast be held each year at the beginning of the harvest season to honor his foster mother, Tailtiu. Tailtiu was the royal Lady of the Fir Bolg..an older race that was defeated by the Tuatha De Dannan.  After the defeat, she was forced by them to clear a vast forest for the purpose of planting grain. She died of exhaustion after it was completed.  She was buried beneath a great mound named for her,  the hill of Tailtiu.   The very first feast of Lughnasadh was held in there.  At this gathering there were  games and contests of skill as well as a great feast made up of the first fruits of the summer harvest.

When Christianity arrived in  the Celtic lands, the old pagan  festival of Lughnasadh took on Christian symbolism. Loaves of bread were baked from the first of the harvested grain and placed on the church altar on the first Sunday of August. The Christians called this feast Lammas or “loaf mass”.   

With the coming of Autumn, the Sun God is aging and he loses strength as the nights grow longer.  This  is a  time for giving thanks for summer’s bounty. Harvesting the fresh fruits and vegetables and herbs and feasting on them, thanking the Sun God for his transformation into the soul of the harvest.  This is the time of year that so many women are in the kitchen preserving and canning the produce from their gardens..putting it away for the long winter.  My daughter and I have just in the last couple of years tried our hand at canning and we are loving it 🙂 

Lughnasadh Correspondences

 *Element/Gender-Fire/female

 *Threshold-Noon

 *Symbolism- Celtic grain  Festival,  first harvest festival,  The aging of the Sun God,  Autumn’s arrival. 

 *Symbols/Tools/Decorations- Corn, cornucopias, red & yellow flowers, sheaves of grain,  First fruits/vegetables of garden labor, corn dollies, baskets of bread, cauldron,  Sickle, scythe, harvested herbs, bonfires, sacred loaf of bread.

 *Herbs- All grains, heather, apples, pears,  cornstalks, frankincense, sunflower, wheat,  oak leaf, hollyhock, myrtle.

 *Incense/Oils- Wood aloes, rose, rose hips, rosemary, chamomile, eucalyptus, safflower, corn,  passionflower, frankincense, sandalwood.

 *Colors- Red, orange, golden yellow, green, light brown, gold, bronze, gray.

 *Crystals/Stones- Aventurine, citrine, peridot, yellow diamonds and citrine, carnelian.

 *Customs/Activities- Breaking bread with friends, making corn dollys, harvesting herbs for  charms/rituals, feasting, gathering flowers, handfastings, games,

 *Foods- Loaves of homemade wheat, oat & corn bread, barley cakes, corn, potatoes, nuts, acorns,  summer squash, wild berries, apples, pears, elderberry wine, crab, grapes, cider, beer.

 *Gods-Lugh, John Barley Corn, Dionysus, Lieu, Dagon, Vegetation Gods

 *Goddesses-The Mother, Dana, Demeter, Ceres, The Barley Mother, Isis, Luna

 *Spellwork/Ritual- Astrology, prosperity, generosity, continued success, good fortune, abundance, magickal picnic, finishing projects

There is so many ways to celebrate this wonderful Sabbat.  Have a feast with your family and friends..outside while the weather is still nice.  Fix lots of fresh veggies and fruits, they are great grilled on the grill 🙂  Have a bonfire, drink wine!  Go to a medieval fair or craft show..this time of year they are everywhere.  Go on a picnic and enjoy the warm weather.   Lay on a blanket under the stars and find the constellations, watch for shooting stars.  Catch fireflys and let them go. 

Don’t have a garden of your own, visit a farmer’s market or produce stand!  Make a big bouquet of flowers and bring it in or better yet, give it to an elderly neighbor to enjoy.   Harvest herbs from the garden, and make flavored oils and vinegars to keep a taste of summer in your pantry all winter long.  They would make great Yule gifts as well.  Have a bread baking day with your family.  Put  grains, fruits and nuts in the bread  and send a loaf home with everyone.  Make corn dollys.  Make fresh fruit jams, jellies or preserves, or can veggies.  Plan a “tournament” of corn hole for the kids, or croquet, or kickball…playing games is just what the Celts did! 

 

 

 

Lughnasadh is a good time to start your Fall House cleaning, to finish projects you wanted to do over the Summer. Get your carpets cleaned, windows cleaned, take down and wash your curtains and linens.  Get your fireplace checked so it’s ready for the wonderful fires you’ll have soon.  I actually LOVE Fall cleaning…I call it nesting 🙂  Getting ready to be in, be home, be cozy, be more lazy 🙂

I will be posting recipes, rituals etc over the next few weeks for this Blessed Sabbat!  For now, Summer is in full swing so enjoy every minute of it….I hope your gardens are blooming, that you are active, outside, feeling energized, enjoying the Sun every chance you get!  Remember that time flies, so savor every moment 🙂  Grab onto that Sun and don’t let go!!

Blessings and Light, Autumn

*Sources  Simple Wicca by Michelle Morgan, my BOS, the internet.  Pics from the internet..Jam jar picture is my own.

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Filed under Autumn, Correspondence, Garden, God, Herbs, History, Lammas/Lughnassadh, Quote, Summer

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