Category Archives: History

Blood Moon………..

Merry Meet my friends!  It’s a gorgeous Spring day here! Sun is shining, it’s quite breezy and warm.  I have spent the morning washing all my throw rugs and hanging them on the line.  I’ve jarred up new herbs in those awesome anniversary Ball jars that are GREEN!!  I love them and need more!!

1538839_700188356691243_2959577011942212365_n

 

I’ve made foccachia bread, did some housework and opened doors and windows  to let fresh Air in and stagnate Air out!  Wish I could be outside planting but it’s just not time yet as I’ve said 🙂   I think everyone in the neighborhood is mowing..the scent is amazing!!  Hubby mowed a couple days ago and our grass is greening and lovely!

 

2cb7d9c2-ede2-336a-94f0-74373c64f5fb

Picture from Yahoo News

April 15 is going to be an amazing Full Moon.  It will be a Blood Moon!  A lunar eclipse!  Can you imagine the terror this must have brought in ancient times and the Magickal energy it’s going to bring to us in these times? About 2am EST the Moon will cross the Earth’s shadow turning the Moon a copper red….A Blood Moon.  It will last about an hour. This is one Witch who will be up in the middle of the night soaking in the Energy and Power and watching in amazement!

Another special thing about this Blood Moon…. there will be Four of them in the next year and a half. Pretty much unheard of!! There are sometimes 2 a year, but so subtle most can’t be seen.  There was a 300 year period where there were NO Blood Moons before the 21st century.  It shows how non-common they are.  The dates are April 15, 2014; October 8, 2014; April 4, 2015, and September 28, 2015. I for one will be marking these in my calendar.  I don’t want them to escape me!! 🙂

I would try to use this magick to the fullest extent!  Make Blood Moon Water, energize and cleanse your crystals, jewelry, altar tools…. Draw down the Blood Moon energy into yourself…set out powerful wards and protections with the aid of the added energy,  and just sit and bathe in Her Light.  Full Moon rituals will take on a whole new meaning under  a red, red Moon! Don’t you think?

“But about the first watch the Moon in eclipse, hid at first the brilliance of her heavenly body, then all her light was sullied and suffused with the hue of blood.”

From: Curtius, History of Alexander.
These quotations refer to a lunar eclipse at moonrise in Sicily and at Arbela, of 20/21 September 331 BC.

 

I wish you all an amazing Full Blood Moon!  May Her Light shine on you and fill you with Magickal Power!

 

Blessings and Love, Autumn

 

10 Comments

Filed under Bits of Magick, Full Blood Moon, Full Moons, History, Nature, Quote, Ritual, Seasons, Spring

Countdown to Imbolc 2012…….

 

Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle … a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl. And the anticipation nurtures our dream.”
– Barbara Winkler

Merry Meet on this beautiful Sun day.  Hope your New Year is going well so far.  I have been sick with a virus that has had me down for some time now but I’m pulling up my bootstraps and telling myself I’m OVER it now 🙂  I do feel a bit better today and hope it continues.  As I’m having a quiet day I decided to post on my blog…about Imbolc….as I was making notes and lists to get ready for this wonderful Sabbat.  Imbolc has always been special to me because it was the first Sabbat that I celebrated.  It always feels hopeful and full of magick to me. 

As I am writing this, I’m sitting in my chair with the window cracked open, allowing the cool air to come in and cleanse out my house a bit.  Though it’s in the low 40’s here, the Sun is beautiful and warm and it feels a bit like a Spring day.  That’s what Imbolc is all about..the return of the Spring, the warmth, the Sun….Mother Earth re-awakening!  We have had a rare Winter so far here in Ohio.  Only one snow that amounted to anything, lots of days above normal temps and it’s been delightful!  But though I’m thinking about Spring already, we have much more Winter to go I’m quite sure 🙂 

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

Imbolc, for me,  is a time of cleansing and purification. It’s all about Spring Cleaning!  It is time to throw out the old and bring in the new. This not only means the “stuff and clutter” in your home, but also your old thoughts, anger, hurt feelings etc. To Sweep out negatitive and stagnant Air and bring in fresh, clean positive Air.   To re-new my home and myself. After a thorough Spring Cleaning on my home, I Cleanse and Bless my home and those who dwell here, and cleanse my body and my soul as well.   Imbolc is when I re-dedicate myself to my path every year.  Though it’s not necessary to do, it re-energizes and re-connects me to my path, my Goddess, my way of life.  

The customs of Imbolc include ritual “spring cleaning” of the house, to banish the last of winter and hasten the coming of warm, sunny days.  Some things I do while cleaning…..I  use lavender and rosemary in a pot of boiling water to wash floors and walls, vinegar and mugwort for windows and mirrors. Burn sage to cleanse the psychic energies, and replace old protection and prosperity charms. I wash all my curtains and linens and give them a good spritz with lavender water before re-hanging them.  I clean out drawers, closets, cupboards. Sweep high and low.  Replace burnt out light bulbs, anything that’s broken, throw out that is which is no longer of use or pleasure.  The house will smell and feel amazing when you’re done!  Oh, I like to replace all my old candles that may not be finished yet…just to have a fresh start! 

I also spend some time on myself.  Taking a ritual bath scented with your favorite herbs/oils or sea salt is always cleansing and renewing.  As you soak, meditate to clear your mind and heart of any thoughts or emotions that no longer serve you. This is all to “start a-new” in mind, body, spirit and home. Anoint your chakra points with Blessing oil after and spend some time meditating and focusing inward on yourself.  Let go what needs to go and open yourself to new possibilities, Joy, Peace and Love only.  Let the negative go and the positive take over.  You will feel so great afterwards.

On Imbolc Night, in ancient times, The Goddess Brighid was honored in her Maiden form.  One way to honor her is this.  Home hearth fires are put out and re-lit, and a besom is placed by the front door to symbolize sweeping out the old and welcoming the new. Candles are lit and placed in each room of the house to honor the re-birth of the Sun. Just before sunset, turn off all the lights in the house. Carrying  a single white burning candle,  to represent Brighid, knock three times on the front door and invite the Goddess to enter, asking that she bestow health, success, abundance, and love upon everyone in the house. Then slowly begin turning on the lights, moving room to room, until every light in the house is on.  This is really magickal to me..symbolizes the Darkness of Winter changing to the Light of Spring.  If you have made a Brighid cross, have it on your altar or hanging near your front door or fireplace to represent Her as well. 

Imbolc Correspondences

*Element/Gender-Earth/female

*Threshold- Midnight

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Imbolc House Cleansing Ritual

-Light a smudge stick and walk around the rooms of your house to replace old protection and prosperity. I smudge around all my windows and door and throw them open to allow in the fresh, cold Air!  You can also go around with a representative of each element…salt, incense or sage, a lit candle etc….or you can use a Blessing oil and anoint your doors and windowsills with a pentagram or sigil of protection.  While you are doing so, say something like:

“May the goddess bless this home

make it safe and secure

so that nothing but love and joy

shall enter here.

When you are finished with every room, close the windows, step back and take a deep breath.  Feels good doesn’t it? I usually do this House Blessing…then light all the candles and turn off lights and welcome in Brighid as written above.  Then I sit with a nice glass of Bailey’s or Wine and enjoy the feel of my Clean, Cleansed and Blessed home!  I’m ready to deal with the rest of Winter and my heart knows that Spring will be here soon!

Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental journey,

 and enjoy every idle hour.”

 

– John Boswell

During this next couple months when we can only dream of Spring and our gardens, being outside.  Do that…Dream!  Pore over your garden catalogs and magazines and dream of planting your gardens, herbs, veggies.  It’ll do you heart some good.   Thats what I will be doing too.  I have big plans this year to expand my gardens 🙂

In winter’s cold and sparkling snow,
The garden in my mind does grow.
I look outside to blinding white,
And see my tulips blooming bright.
And over there a sweet carnation,
Softly scents my imagination.

On this cold and freezing day,
The Russian sage does gently sway,
And miniature roses perfume the air,
I can see them blooming there.
Though days are short, my vision’s clear.
And through the snow, the buds appear.

In my mind, clematis climbs,
And morning glories do entwine.
Woodland phlox and scarlet pinks,
Replace the frost, if I just blink.
My inner eye sees past the snow.
And in my mind, my garden grows.”
– Cheryl Magic-Lady, Winter Garden

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

Oh, tonight is the Full Wolf or Cold Moon.  Her energy is amazing as I visited with Her last night and will again tonight.  Doing some healing work for myself and some friends of mine, making Moon water, cleansing and energizing some new crystals, tools etc.  Blessed Full Wolf Moon to you all!  Make the Most of your time with Her!

 

Blessed Be, Autumn

18 Comments

Filed under Cleaning & Organizing, Correspondence, Full Moons, Gardens, Goddess, Herbs, History, Holiday, Imbolc, Mother Earth, My Writing, Nature, Poem, Protection, Quote, Ritual, Seasons, Spring, Winter

Winter Solstice/Yule/Christmas books I love…….

Greetings!  I can’t believe how fast this month is flying by!  I have been so busy preparing for Yule and Christmas that I haven’t had time to write her as quickly as I would have liked to after my last post.  However, I’m about done shopping, most of my Holiday cards are mailed, and I’m ready to start wrapping soon.  It has been softly flurrying here today, quite cold and the Full Moon is peeking thru clouds..looks like it might clear up yet tonight.  Blessed Full Moon to you all by the way!!   I have lit a fire, my healing candles are going, incense burning..my feet are up and I just drank a very delicious eggnog milkshake my hubby brought home for me from Steak and Shake…so so good!  A wonderful way to spend a Full Moon evening.  Later, I’ll go out and spend some time with the Goddess, cleanse a few things, and I’m hoping to catch some Full Moon snow water in a jar.  The Yule Full Moon is to me, a very powerful Full Moon, and I intend to take in that energy to help me get thru this busy and sometimes stressful time of year! 

So, I have several books about Yule, Winter Solstice, pagan customs etc that I just love and I refer to them often.  So let’s get started doing a bit of show and tell……

 

The Winter Solstice….The Sacred Traditions of Christmas  by John Matthews. 

Despite the word Christmas in the title, this book is about the Winter Solstice, how Christmas came about, and the history and lore surrounding the whole Season. Each chapter provides cross-cultural connections to the ideas, customs, and icons of Christmas.  The book starts out discussing Solstice celebrations and lore across the world where the celebration of the Return of the Sun takes place from Egypt, to Rome, to Europe and America.  Saturnalia, the Mummers, the Morris Dancers are all talked about.  At the end of each chapter, there are suggestions for faith-free activities you can do to celebrate the Season..or you can incorporate your faith as you wish.

  The Child of Wonder chapter talks about the different gods across the ages..such as Apollo, Mabon, Osiris, Mithras and yes, Jesus. It talks about the Wise Men and the Star and the Nativity.   The Green Bough chapter discusses the symbolism of the tree, the evergreens, holly, ivy, mistletoe and of course the Yule Log. In Old Sir Christmas we are introduced the the “Santa’s from around the world.  The Solstice Animals …tough chapter for an animal lover…it’s about the slaughter of animals and the rituals about it…for food for the long Winter. I love the activity at the end of this chapter though..how to make soul cakes.   Lastly, the 12 Days of Christmas ….I especially love this chapter. This is not about the carol we all know, but about the true 12 days..from Dec 24 night to January 6th.  There is Snow day, Boxing day, The Feast of Fools day, Bringing in the Boar day and others.  Each day has an activity or ritual you can do to honor the day.  I have incorporated some of them into my own celebration. 

Thruout this book, there is beautiful artwork, drawings, photos….poetry, quotes, recipes and rituals.  I just love this beautiful book.  I suggest you will love it too!!

Pagan Christmas…The Plants, Spirits, and Rituals at the Origins of Yuletide….by Christian Ratsch and Claudia Muller-Ebeling. 

 This book is a beautiful book..about the Ethnobotany (the study of plants) of the Season. It’s about the traditional uses and symbolism of the Yule Season plants…like the fir tree, mistletoe, holly, ivy, evergreens, laurel, yew…even tobacco and mushrooms!   There is info galore on the plants themselves, photos, how and why they are used in ritual, for decorating..ways to use them such as making incense, decorating your home etc.  There are stories from Befana to the Wise Men, From St. Nicholas to Woten.  I especially love all the incense recipes as I love making my own.  Another great book you will learn so much from!

Yule…A Celebration of Light & Warmth…by Dorothy Morrison. 

I love this book and Dorothy Morrison 🙂  This book is chock full of everything about the Solstice.  It has holiday lore from around the world, history, crafts, and  recipes. She explains the traditions behind the symbols of the Season, such as the tree, bells, evergreens, reindeer, gingerbread and lights amongst others.

She talks about the superstitions, and omens that surround the holiday in different countries.  She has some rituals and simple charms you can do as you get ready to celebrate.  A chapter on decking the halls, with craft projects to do.  My favorite..a tree blessing right before you decorate the tree.  There is ideas for parties and gift giving…how to’s included. 

There is a chapter on her personal celebration and a great chapter on things you can do to celebrate every day of the month of December. The final chapter is about is tips on cleaning up AFTER the holidays…what to do with your popcorn strings, how to store your decorations etc.   Also, I love her poetry and there is poetry she has written and  poetry others have written thruout the book. This book is a real keeper!!

The Wheel of the Year..Living the Magical Life…by Pauline Campanelli

This book takes you on a month-by-month journey of the Wheel of the Year and how it is celebrated by Pagans and the Campinellis’ themselves.  Every chapter starts out with a beautiful description of the month and what is going on in nature etc during that month.   December..the Yule month of course…has in it … The Magic of Mistletoe; The Ritual Burning of the Yule Log; Magical Uses of Ashes from the Yule Fire; A Ritual for Cutting Sacred Fir; The Pagan Symbolism of Santa Claus. It talks about wreaths, birds, ornaments and the Oak Moon.  There is a Bayberry Candle Charm, a Yule log ritual, and a cutting the tree ritual.  It ends with some info on New Years Eve and Father Time! 

This book has something for every month and it is one of my all time favorite books..If you don’t have it..it’s a must for your witchy library!!

Sabbats..A Witch’s Approach to Living the Old Ways….Edain McCoy

Edain’s book is awesome as well.  Again, each chapter is about a Sabbat..starting with Samhain and going thru Mabon.  For Yule, she discusses the history and customs and how some of the customs have been preserved in various cultures.  The discusses the fight between the Oak King and the Holly King, the Celts and Druids use of evergreens, the symbolism of the wreath and tree, and again, of course, the burning of the Yule log.  There are recipes for sugar and gingerbread cookies, rituals, some craft ideas and how to make an edible Yule log ..yummy!  There is a nice pathworking meditation that I really love!  There are some correspondences, foods for Yule and a bit about how old christmas carols often have pagan symbology in them.

I love this book …again, a must have! 

Ok…those are my main books….some honorable mentions…..

Wicca in the Kitchen by Scott Cunningham.  ….for recipes for Yule

Witch in the Kitchen by Cait Johnson…again for recipes, a meditation, and a ritual or two…very nice! 

Moon Magick by DJ Conway….Lovely book..a chapter on the Cold Moon, recipes, crafts and a Winter Solstice ritual. 

So these are some of my favorites.  My wishlist would be for more children’s book about Yule and more for us grown- ups too 🙂  Whether you celebrate the Solstice or Christmas..there is something in these books to help you to celebrate it in a beautiful, meaningful way.  The Season is rich in tradition, lore and history..a most beautiful time of year.

If you have a favorite book not listed here..I’d sure like to know about it!  Please write me here and let me know!

My next blog post ..soon..will be recipes.  I’m gonna start gathering them this weekend!  and I’m actually going to be baking this weekend with my daughters and granddaughter.  ah….another beautiful memory in the making!

Blessings and Love, Autumn

10 Comments

Filed under Books, Books I'm reading, History, Holiday, My Favorite Things, My Writing, Seasons, Winter, Yule/Winter Solstice/Chrismas

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.

9 Comments

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

Witches Protection Bottle…….

Merry Meet friends! Well Summer has hit here in Ohio with a loud HOT bang! We went from weeks of cool, stormy weather  to 95* Hot and steamy days. That is just the way it is here in Ohio.  The good thing about the hot weather though was that finally the ground dried up and we were able to get out and get dirty working in the yard!  I got my herbs planted in pots and scattered around the yard. We re-did a whole bed in our backyard adding a Weeping crabapple tree and some red-pink knock -out roses.  I planted patio pots with a red/white/blue theme this year that has the most gorgeous deep red geraniums.  There are now  rows of impatience in our front beds,  with  rosemary and lavender for protection and luck.  We still have some space at the side of the porch we want to plant some holly bushes and a couple of hydrangea bushes..one of my favorites.  I am trying to talk hubby into removing a few excess boxwood bushes in the backyard so I can plant a moon garden….white flowers and silvery greens that will glow in the light of the moon.  He isn’t crazy about the idea but I’m working on him LOL !  I will talk him into it for sure! Here’s a few pictures…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Litha or Midsummer is coming up fast now and I need to get busy getting ready.  I’m on the search for the perfect altar cloth to get my altar ready.  I also am starting to collect items I need to make my witch’s protection bottles.  I do these every year at Litha.  Because it is warm out and I can be out at night and be warm and comfortable, I think it’s the perfect time to set out new protection for my home and those I love who dwell within.  If you haven’t ever done a witch’s bottle, you should seriously think about it.  I feel part of my practice is to protect what is mine and what I love and as a Witch I have the capability of doing that.  I like to think of myself as a Warrior Witch..ready to do battle to keep evil away from my door! 

A bit of history….

Witch’s Bottles have been in use in England and the United States since at least the 1600’s. Spell bottles were originally created to destroy the power of an evil magician or witch thought to have cast a spell against the bottle’s creator. They were often ceramic vessels and some had a face on them. They were also walled up into new homes as magical guardians. Spell bottles of this type continued to be used well into the 19th century. These bottles were apparently of English origin. Still, one example made from a glass wine bottle dated at 1740-1750 was found in Pennsylvania in 1976. And so, such protective devices certainly found their way from England to the United States with the colonists. There are over 200 Witch’s Bottles in known museums and they continue to be dug up during construction or gardening projects. 🙂 I always hope I’ll come across one sometime! LOL! The ceramic type of bottle is not made anymore so now it consists of a container, usually glass, filled with various objects of magical potency.

Witch’s bottles are made for a variety of purposes, and are used in numerous ways. Some are buried or otherwise hidden, while others are placed in windows of the home or in other prominent spots. All are concentrations of energy, created and empowered for specific magical purposes. It is a very powerful means of protecting your space and is buried on your property in order to attract all negative things to it, where it traps them. If you move, by all means, then dig it up and either destroy it or bring it to your new home. Now I actually choose to leave mine in place and just put out a new one each year..I like to think of the future residents of this house, happily gardening and coming across my wonderful jars LOL Makes me laugh to think what they might be thinking. 🙂

This Witch Bottle ritual is really great to do on a Full Moon night..the one closest to the Solstice.  The first thing you want to do is decide where you are going to bury it.  I like to put one right at my front porch steps, and one by the back door steps. Some people will put them at the four corners of their property or at the entrance of their driveway.  Live in a condo or an apartment?  No problem.  Just store it in a closet closest to your entry door…out of sight or bury it in a big pot of dirt with a houseplant in it in your entryway.   Once you decide where you are going to put it, dig a hole big enough to sink a your jar into the ground and cover it up well enough that it isnt’ too obvious something is buried there.  Now, get a jar or two…I use  Ball canning jars.  But you can use a snapple bottle, a mayo jar, olive jar..use what you have by all means.  Now it’s time to start collecting your supplies. Put the items on a tray or something that you an keep them all together..don’t put them in the jar yet.   Here is the ritual and what you’ll need……                                                

-A Sturdy, clean, wide-mouthed bottle or jar with a tight lid.
-Soil or sand from the area surrounding your home.
-Something sparkly or shining like small tumbled crystals, beads, sea glass  *I use small crystal pieces with protective qualities*

-A rusty bent nail or two 
-Pieces  of broken glass
-Dried herbs-  Mint, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, Thyme
-A new penny or other coin
-Some loose hair from any pets in your home
-Some hair from all living in the home

-A magickal spell candle
-Salt  

 

 

         Create and open sacred space. Light your working candle while you do your work. If you haven’t already dug your hole,  Dig the hole in the earth, try to keep the top sod in good shape to replace over the hole. Sprinkle with salt. Ground and Center.   When ready, say these words:

With the Goddess and God working for and through me
according to free will and for the good of all.
I now fill this bottle.

*As you say the words, put the items in the jar…… 

Earth anchors this magick in the ground.
This rusty nail, bent, now repels anything and anyone negative or life-denying.
The sparkling, shiny small pieces of crystals hold the light for me and my deities.
A broken piece of glass to deflect harm to anyone it is intended for.

These herbs infuse the bottle with their living properties;
Mint for money and protection
Parsley for protection
Sage for wisdom and protection
Rosemary for love, healing, and health
Thyme for health, love, and courage.

This new penny manifests abundance in my home.
 Hair from my beloved pets to protect them.
Hair from my loved ones who dwell here, to protect and draw away negativity.

This home is divinely protected and effectively safe.
Nothing and no one can enter without my permission
Only those people and beings through whom the Goddess and God work
Can stay here, can visit, can touch this place.

Only Positive Magick lives in this place
In safety, protection, abundance, love, and joy
According to free will and for the good of all!

Put the lid on the jar tight.  If you like, you can use old candle wax or sealing wax to seal the jar closed as well. Start to bury the bottle, and replace the sod you dug up before hand and then say:

I now bury this bottle
It is invisible to all but me
And its magick continues
And so mote it be!

     By the time you have finished this spell, the bottle should be buried. Cover with leaves or something appropriate to make it truly invisible. Under the ground, it will continue to work until you choose to remove it.

I love this spell….on a Full Moon Night..burying a jar filled with lovely witchy items….it is magickal indeed!   After I’m done with this ritual I spend time with the Moon Goddess while the candle burns down a bit. You can also draw a pentacle in the air over the burial spot with your wand, or protective runes for some added protection.  

Now for some other ideas of what you can put in the jar.   I throw some sea salt in my jar as well.  I also like to put lots of little sharp things, like old pins or needles, used razor blades,  rose thorns etc.  For the dirt and nails, you can use graveyard dirt and coffin nails.  Some people will add holy water or wine to the mix.  You can use fingernails instead of hair.  You can use your own urine in the bottle or even blood.  I read in a book somewhere that you can use the broken glass to cut a finger a bit and drip some of your blood into the jar.   You can write down on parchment using dragon’s blood ink, the names of those who are in your home often, to protect them as well. In my case, my sister and married daughter and grandchildren spend a lot of time here too, so of course I want them to be protected as well.   Anything you want to put in there that you feel will add to the protection of your home or family is a good thing. 🙂

Another really simple Protection Jar Spell is this:

Gather rosemary, needles, pins and red wine. Fill a small jar with the first three, saying while you work:

Pins, needles, rosemary, wine;
In this witches bottle of mine.
Guard against harm and enmity;
This is my will, so mote it be!

Visualize these doing just that. Then pour in the red wine. Then cap or cork the jar and drip wax from a red or black candle to seal. Bury it at the farthest corner of your property or put it in an inconspicuous spot in your house. Draw the banishing pentagram in the dirt above it. The witches bottle destroys negativity and evil ; the pins and needles impale evil, the wine drowns it, and the rosemary sends it away from your property.

I hope you take the time to do this on this next Full Moon..right before the Solstice.  You will love the ritual of it and you’ll feel great about the Power you have as a Witch to put out protection for those you love most and the home you care for.  I will be out on that night ..right with you all….

Soon, I’ll post pics of my altar and I’ll post pics of my witches bottle items as well.  Til then, Have a blessed weekend!

Love and Light, Autumn

*Sources:  Scott Cunningham, my BOS, the internet and various other books I’ve read 🙂 I am not sure where the rituals came from I’m afraid..I’ve just had them for a long time 🙂

 

                                                                                                                                               

6 Comments

Filed under Full Moons, Garden, Goddess, History, Litha/Summer Solstice, Our Yard, Photography, Protection, Ritual, Spells, Summer, Uncategorized

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

16 Comments

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

Happy Valentine’s Day…………

Merry Meet friends and Happy Valentine’s Day!  I hope that you all have had a lovely weekend!  I know I did…lovely and busy.  One of the things I did this weekend was to do a bit of Valentine’s Day shopping for my family…just small gifts..tokens of my love.  Breakfast out this morning with hubby and daughter Sara was nice as well.  Hubby was sweet and brought me a box of chocolate’s from my favorite local choclatier and a beautiful Gerbera Daisy plant..dark purple.  So sweet. 

“Love doesn’t make the world go round,
Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.”
– Elizabeth Browning

Valentine’s Day is all about love tokens….be it flowers, candy, cards, dinner out..and if you’re really lucky..jewelry! LOL The History of Valentine’s Day is a little sketchy but most seem to agree that it’s named after a Christian martyr..a Roman priest named Valentine.  Claudius II, Roman Emperor in the third century, outlawed marriage for his soldiers.  He believed that marriage and children made them weaker as soldiers.  Valentine disagreed with this and secretly continued to marry young lovers.  When Claudius discovered this, he jailed Valentine.  Now the story is that Valentine fell in love with his jailers daughter who came to visit him.  Claudius eventually ordered Valentine’s execution.  Before he was, he asked for pen and paper to  write her a letter….signing it..From your Valentine.  How romantic.  The date that Valentine was executed?  Yes, Feb 14.  But it wasn’t until Geoffrey Chaucer, an English  poet and author, in the Middle ages, that romance was added to the day. 

For Pagans in ancient Rome,  February was the official beginning of spring and was considered a time for purification. Feb. 14 was a day to honor Juno, the goddess of Women and marriage. The next day, Feb. 15, was  Lupercalia, a festival honoring the birth of Romulus and Remus, the twin founders of the city. As Lupercalia evolved and time went on, it became a festival honoring fertility and the coming of spring. To begin the festival,  all the available women of the city would have their name put in an urn. The bachelors would chose a name out of the urn and be paired for the year with the name selected. This act was later outlawed by the clergy and deemed un-Christian. So to put a positive perspective over a bad tradition in 498 A.D. Pope Gelasius officially declared Feb. 14 St. Valentine’s Day

In the 18th century, Valentine cards first appeared according to Victorian Treasury.  Needless to say, printing companies saw this as profitable, and the Valentine card took off.  Now those of a romantic nature will most likely give roses with their card and candy.  Many may not give a thought to what color roses they give their beloved.  But in the language of flowers, the color is very significant.  Here is a list of some colors and their meanings:

Lavender — Enchantment and Uniqueness
Orange — Fascination
Pink (Dark) — Thankfulness, Friendship and Admiration
Red — Love, Respect and Courage
Peach — Modesty, Gratitude, Admiration and Sympathy
Pink (Pale) — Grace, Joy and Happiness
Deep Red — Beauty and Passion
White — Innocence, Purity, Secrecy, Silence, Reverence, Humility and (according to some sources) True Love
Yellow — Joy, Friendship, Jealousy, Hope and Freedom
Black — Farewell
Red/White — Unity or Engagement
Yellow/Orange — Passionate Thoughts
Peach — Modesty, Gratitude, Admiration and Sympathy
Pink (Pale) — Grace, Joy and Happiness
Yellow/Red — Congratulations
Rosebud — Beauty, Youth and a Heart Innocent of Love
Red Rosebud — Purity and Loveliness
White Rosebud — Girlhood
One Dozen Red Roses — “I Love You”
Single Red Rose in Full Bloom — “I Love You”
Tea Roses — “I’ll Remember Always”

Now while men are often the giver of the roses, women, like me, go to the kitchen and bake up something…something that looks fantastic and shows that time and effort and love was put into the mix.  For me, Red Velvet Cake is probably the perfect cake to make for Valentine’s Day.  Now I am a huge fan of Food Network and Paula Deen…and this recipe is hers…and perfect!  Give it a try..your significant other and your whole family will love it!  Oh and this recipe is for cupcakes…but you could make it into a two layer cake.

Paula Deen’s Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 pound cream cheese, softened
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • Chopped pecans and fresh raspberries or strawberries, for garnish

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.

Garnish with chopped pecans, fresh raspberry or strawberry, or sprinkles.

Now this recipe is the RIGHT way to make REAL red velvet cake….the southern way! 🙂

Now I know many of you are single or unattached and Valentine’s Day may not have as much significance to you right now.  But I say that if you have a child in your life, or a grandparent, or a lovely neighbor or friend…Valentine’s Day can still be a beautiful day.  Show your token of love to them.  Also, you can make the day about You!  Treat yourself to a box of candy, a bouquet of flowers, a pedicure or a bottle of wine.  Love yourself..because after all, loving ourselves first is what makes it possible for us to give our love to others.  Ultimately, Valentine’s Day is about Love!  So Have a beautiful Valentine’s day my friends and may you have the love of family, friends, furbabies, and your Goddess/God on this day and everyday. 

Blessings and Love, Autumn

7 Comments

Filed under Family, Flowers, History, Holiday, Quote, Recipe from my Kitchen