Category Archives: God

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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Filed under Autumn, Correspondence, Garden, God, Goddess, Mabon, Quote

Blessed Lughnasadh 2011…..

Merry Meet my friends!  Chances are there are some of you out there having the same weather I’m having here in Ohio!  Sweltering heat for a few weeks now! It is Hot Hot Hot!!  Though we’ve had some rain, our grass is brown and burnt from the heat.  My gardens…well some of it’s doing well and some of it not so much.  Even with watering, things are dying out.  I’ve never been a big fan of Summer because I don’t like it when it gets too hot, but this Summer has been one of the hottest I can remember for a while.  Because of this, my thoughts have turned to Autumn, my favorite time of year.  I’m dreaming of cool crisp mornings, leaves falling, pumpkins, apple picking, and warm things coming from the oven and the slow cooker 🙂 

Well…Lughnasadh, the first Harvest festival is upon us on August 1 and that just makes me smile!  Though we are in the midst of this heatwave and the peak of Summer…I can feel a bit of a shift around me.  The Sun is rising later and setting earlier, corn is tall and ready in the fields, the breeze feels different and our gardens are full and ready for harvest.  Stores even have their Autumn/Halloween decorations out on display! *sigh*  I love it!!

Today I was able to get my Lughnasadh altar ready.  I love the Autumn themed altars..more than any other.  The I kept in mind the Correspondences for Lughnasadh when putting it together and I was happy with the simplicity of it and how pretty it looked. 

Oh…the sunflower plate will hold my cakes of course! The crystals are any that are of the colors of Fall!  Green, gold, orange…aventurine, citrine, carnelian!  I have gold, orange and brown candles.  I wanted sunflowers but not luck finding them around here unless I raided somebody’s yard! LOL.  So I picked out some soft orange, purple, & yellow flowers and I LOVE the ornamental cabbage they stuck in the bouquet! The crow…well, crow’s and corn just go together 🙂  My “cakes and ale” will be homemade honey oatmeal bread, or corn bread, and a nice glass of red wine to represent the grape harvest.  I can’t wait to work at this altar.

Today I also put together a couple of herbed oils and an herbed vinegar.  I did a rosemary/olive oil, a basil olive oil, and a lemon balm/apple cider vinegar.  I lightly warmed the oils since I was using fresh herbs from my own garden.  I can’t wait to use them.  I’m going to use the basil olive oil on tomato/mozzarella stacks, the lemon balm vinegar in salad, and the rosemary oil will be great on grilled veggies and meats.  Yummy!  I really need to get more of these bottles too..I think they’re so pretty, inexpensive, and look great sitting on the counter.  Would make nice gifts as well. 

Now I’m going to be upfront and tell you that I do NOT have a formal ritual for Lughnasadh.  I’d like to write my own and frankly just haven’t had the time.  If you research it online, you will find the same 2-3 rituals written over and over again.  Scott Cunningham’s being one of them of course.  Though I don’t have one to share here with you, I can most definitely give you some ideas.  Doing a Blessing and a prayer of thanks for the bounty and abundance of the Harvest would be a perfect quiet celebration.  You can do this while eating the bread you have baked or even while mixing the ingredients to make it.  You can Honor the Sun God who is dying, to be born again by his lover, the Goddess, who is pregnant with him.  A great time to do that would be as the Sun is setting on Lughnasadh night.  Light a fire, burn some of your harvested herbs..and reflect on your year so far.  What bad habits would you like to let “die”?  What new things would you like to manifest..to grow in your life…as the Goddess is growing the God?  Smudge your house and throw open windows to allow good energy in and the negative out.  Really, I smudge for every Sabbat!  Harvest your herbs and can your veggies from your garden or make jams from the bountiful fruits that are ripe like berries, peaches and plums.  Go take a walk, enjoy the Sun while it’s still hot..you’ll remember the warmth in the dead of Winter.

I have decided to bake my breads on the weekend and I’m looking forward to it.  There is nothing better then the smell of bread baking and the taste of it warm, slathered with sweet butter…it makes my mouth water just thinking about it 🙂  I’ll be making the crab dip and the pear salad for sure as well.  Don’t forget to check out my recipes I posted in a previous post..let me know if you try them what you think! 

I wish each of you a Blessed Lughnasadh and May the Sun God shine on you and the Goddess surround you with Love. 

Autumn

*Sources…my pictures.  🙂  My words.

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Filed under Altars, Autumn, God, Goddess, Herbs, Lammas/Lughnassadh, Photography, Ritual, Summer, Sunrise/Sunset

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

Beltane altar and ritual……….

Merry Meet my friends!  Hope you all had a good weekend and your week is going well so far.  We had some amazing rainstorms come thru here last night and today…Nature releasing her energy in the form of thunder, lightning, heavy rains and even flooding in our area.  I could not believe how hard it rained..and yes, I was out in it LOL….there were literally rivers across the roads and forming in yards in the low areas.  Creekbeds flowing over the banks, grocery stores and basements filled with water.  It was something else.  Also, there is more coming tonight!  So far at least, we have kept our power so that is a good thing.

A busy week here too..as my extended family is christian, we celebrate “bunny day” on Easter sunday with them.  Today I shopped for goodies for my granddaughters basket and egg hunt and I’m planning the menu as everyone is coming to my house.  Thursday is also my 53rd birthday….so I have plans with my family for that as well.  So the last few days I got busy and got my altar maypole done and got my Beltane altar ready.  Thought I’d post a few pics here for those of you who always ask to see my altars.  Now keep in mind, this altar is set up indoors for pics and for a rainy day, but it will be moved outdoors..by a roaring fire on Beltane night!  Can’t have Beltane inside and without a fire..thats just all there is to it!

This is the close-up of my maypole..which my dear husband was quite eager to help me with.  I got a wooden base, dowel rod and candle cup I turned upside down for a top.  The base was painted green and the dowel and cap red.  Hubby also screwed the dowel rod to the base for me.  Then I got out glue gun, silk flowers and ribbons and just started glueing!  Easy Peasy!  and I think its really cute.

Sorry about the fuzzy picture..I think the candles were throwing it off a bit.  Left side has my Gaia statue, my goddess statue, crystals are bloodstone, red carnelian and red jasper, sunstones and rose quartz (for love).  My large cherry quartz point….just cause its red and looked great! 🙂   Daisies are one of my favorite flowers so had to have them.  Cauldron, always there.  and the Maypole.

The left side has my working tools, a new stone heart my friend Mossie sent me (thank you Mossie) ..I thought the heart was more then appropriate for Beltane!  One of my herb seeds in its pot..sprouting well…Sage..my plant ally.  Bird feathers to represent Spring and the critters who are running all over the place now.  Greenman, my chalice, and bell.  The glass pentacle my daughter got me for Yule. 

The full view.  The green altar cloth, lots of  red candles, elemental representatives..all there.  Still to come will be strawberries, may wine, a dish of honey, and oatmeal cake.  So there you go.  What will be on your altar?  I love seeing pics of altars..I find witches so creative when it comes to their altars.

Ok so on to a ritual.  As I posted in my previous post Countdown to Beltane, I talked about the Beltane being about lust and fertility and the union of the Lord and Lady…..The Great Rite.  I decided to post this lovely solitary ritual celebrating just that.  I think its a beautiful ritual.

Solitary Beltane Ritual

 Items Needed:

One tall Green candle (for God)

One tall White candle (for Goddess)

4 corner candles

Cauldron for Balefire (if performed outdoors, make a Bonfire)

Red candles (as many as you’d like)

Rose incense and sage  to burn in cauldron

chalice of wine or juice

bread

Athame (for The Great Rite) and/or wand

Spring and Summer flowers to decorate altar

 

*Cast circle and call the corners then light the incense

 INVOCATION OF THE GOD: (light  tall Green candle)

“I now do call upon the eternal God in the ancient way, as Young Lord and Oak King – Horned One of the Forests. I bid Ye welcome and ask Thee to come forth and join Thy Lady Goddess in the Holy Rite of Sacred Union. As it is willed, so mote it be!”

 INVOCATION OF THE GODDESS: (light tall White candle)

“I now do call upon the eternal Goddess in the ancient way, as Lovely Maiden, Mother and Crone – Three-fold Goddess be. I bid Ye welcome and ask Thee to come forth and join Thy Lord God in the Holy Rite of Sacred Union. As it is willed, so mote it be!”

 “Blessed be this day of Beltane,

 Wedding day of the Goddess and God;

 Holy day of sacred marriage,

 Holy night of sacred union.”

Light the surrounding green rituals candles and say –

 “Tonight  I celebrate the union of our Mother Earth to Her consort, our Father God, the Green Man and Great Lord of the Forests, as nature rejoices in a blaze of color and life.”

Go to the altar and pick up chalice,  hold upwards and say –

“Blessed be the sacred union which manifests all creation!

 Behold the womb of the Mother,

The entity from which all life flows,

Blessed be the Lady!”

*Put down the chalice and  pick up the athame, hold upwards and say –

“Behold the phallus of the God,

 Fruitful principle of the universe,

 Blessed be the Lord!”

 THE GREAT RITE (Symbolic) –

 *Pick up the chalice

 “Blessed be you, my Lady,

 The Holy Bride of Heaven and Earth,

Come unite with Thy Lord in the ancient rite of sacred marriage!”

*Pick up athame and then say-

 “Blessed be you, my Lord,

 The Holy Groom of Heaven and Earth,

 Come unite with Thy Lady Goddess in the ancient rite of sacred marriage!”

While slowly dipping the athame into the chalice, repeat:

 “Chalice to athame,

 As Goddess is to God;

 Father is to Mother,

 As man is to woman,

 Behold the sacred union of The One!”

Replace the chalice and athame back on the altar and say:

 “By this act of love, all life comes to be;

 By this act of faith, I proclaim my place on the eternal cycle of life,

 The Lord and Lady reign eternal!”

Now toast to the Lord and Lady by drinking from the chalice and breaking off a piece of the bread – setting aside a portion to give back to the Earth later.

 “I am a child of deity,

 I am part of the creative life force which moves the universe;

 I am part of all that is –

 Though we are apart we are always together,

 For we are one in the spirit of our Goddess and God;

 Merry meet, merry part and merry meet again –

 Blessed be!”

 *Close ritual, thank the deities and remember to give back to the Earth.

I love this ritual..I find it to be very sacred, very beautiful and very meaningful.  You may of course change the words, use different colored candles, burn a different incense.. whatever you wish..make it your own ceremony!

Now, I’m hoping you did this ritual outside, by a roaring fire.  That you are drinking wine, and that you are thinking about celebrating more with YOUR  loved one this night 🙂  After all, its not just our God and Goddess who can  be joined together in love  on this night.   Make it special.  Have a beautiful bath ready for the two of you.  A simple fresh meal…some wine….rose petals in your bed..red candles lit all over your bedroom.  Its a night for romance!  If you find yourself solitary at this time…well you can do the same for yourself…the bath, the meal, the wine, the candles…make it a special night for yourself….you deserve it either way!!

Blessings and love, Autumn

*Sources….my altar, my photography.  The ritual is from my own BOS but I don’t claim to have written it..but I have had it for a long time and no idea where I got it from..if you know, please tell me.

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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