Category Archives: Sunrise/Sunset

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

Living a Magickal Life…….

Merry Meet friends!  The Sun has come out for 3 days now and signs of Spring are showing up here in Ohio!  There are shoots coming up of daffodils and crocuses, wildflowers are popping up, chipmunks and squirrels are out and about, my crabapple trees are starting to bud and my fish are moving around in the koi pond!  All wonderful signs of the return of the Sun god.  I have been enjoying gorgeous sunrises earlier in the morning and the Moon comes out later at night.  Ostara or the Spring Equinox is less then 3 weeks away…ahhhh..Spring 🙂

I recently read a newletter  from Patti Wigington at About.com that I thought was a great article and I wanted to talk about it here on my blog. She talks about how we come to this path for various reasons and that finding our way of practicing our craft and honoring our Deities should be something we think about and “do” everyday.  There are many of us who may only celebrate at Full Moons or on Sabbats or perform a spell occasionally when the mood strikes us.  They may have read a book or two or three and think that they know everything they need to know.  She calls them “Weekend Wiccans”.

“Living a magical life is something that one does twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Depending on the needs of your tradition, it may involve something as complex as daily ritual, or as simple as taking a moment to thank your gods each morning when you get out of bed. It means being in tune with the spiritual world around you, and staying in balance physically, emotionally, and spiritually.”

A pagan or witch who really grasps the meaning of living the magickal way of life…finds some way to celebrate everyday.  They take notice of the small things throughout their day to day life that brings joy and magick to them.  Everything they do is with purpose and intention…to honor their deities and Mother Earth  and Her inhabitants,  and to increase their own power in manifesting the life they desire for themselves and their families. I am sure that you know  someone who does this and does it beautifully.  How do they do it?  How do they find the time?  Well, lets talk about that.   This newsletter brings up some suggestions and I have a few of my own.  You see I am one of those witches who strives to find magick in my everyday life.  Some days I am wonderfully successful, some days I’m mediocre, but I DO try, every day, to make my home and my life magickal.

-My very first suggestion is to watch a sunrise or a sunset and moonrise.  Watching this wonderful moment in time..everyday…will remind you of the wonder of the turning of the wheel, of the day that is starting or ending.  I can’t watch a sunset and then the mystical moon without feeling so blessed in my path and to thank the Goddess for it. 

-Know the phases of the Moon..pay attention to when the Moon will be full or new,  or if She is waxing or waning.  Pay attention to how you are feeling during the different phases.  Knowing the phases will ensure that any spells or rituals you perform will be as strong as they can be if done during the right phase of the Moon.  It connects you to the flow of energy, the changing seasons, etc.  The Moon rising and setting is what keeps the wheel of life rolling.

-Read everything you can get your hands on..never stop learning!  I have been reading witchcraft books for 13 years now and there are many, many I still havent’ read or want to re-read.  Everytime I read a book I learn something new..and can apply it to my practice or discard it as not helpful to me.  With the internet at our disposal and our witchy facebook friends, we get alot of differing opinions and ideas thrown out as facts.  Being knowledgeable about your craft will help you to decide what feels right to you.  

-Be a caretaker of this Earth we live on.  You can do magick everyday by being mindful of  your relationship with nature.  Recycle, compost, reuse, watch your energy usage.  Also you can plant trees, vegetables, herbs and flowers.  Collect rainwater.  Be close to Mother Earth, dive into her dirt, sit under a tree, feed and water the birds.  Be aware of the subtle changes in the seasons.  These things alone bring awareness of the magick in our everyday lives.   

-One of my favorite ways to bring magick into my everyday life is to light a candle with intention.  I light a candle everyday with the intention of sending healing to someone I care about.  There are so many ways to be witchy. Make loose incense, burn it in your cauldron and smudge your house with it to clean out the negativity.  I love grinding herbs and resins with my mortar and pestle and make a sweet or spicy incense.  Carry crystals with you for the purpose you are needing that day such as healing or protection or to draw love.   Take a few minutes everyday at your altar to meditate or send a prayer to the Goddess/God.  Have a cup of tea that you have made yourself from your own herbs grown in your garden.  Give an offering to the fae and ask them to aid you in your garden.  All of these things just take up minutes of your day or no time at all. 

-Be empowered.  Be aware of the power you have to manifest your desires yourself.  Be honorable in word and deed.  Use your magick for good and to better your life.  Be helpful, loving, respectful to others and yourself.  Giving love is what we are all here for after all.  Be responsible for you own actions.  If you are unhappy or living a life much less then you should be, take the steps to fix it.  You deserve your best life!

-Find happiness in the small things in life.  A gorgeous sunny day, a moonlit starry sky, a good simple meal of fresh foods, a good book, the smell of woodsmoke or lavender growing in your garden.  Keep your home harmonious, clean, happy.  Live a balanced life.  Be aware of small things with big impact and be grateful for them.  Focus on the positive and let the negative go.  Be happy!

-Honor Goddess/God everyday in some way.  A morning prayer for a good day, an evening thank you for the things you are blessed with.  Go out and look at the Moon goddess and draw Her in….feel the energy you can receive from Her!  Sit in the Sun and feel the warmth from the Sun god.  Be aware that they are within you..not without!  You can draw strength from them by looking inward.  When you are still…they will talk to you.

-Keep a BOS or journal.  I have journaled for 15 years and writing down my thoughts and feelings and the things that are going on in the world or just my world is very important to me.   It is a record of my life that will be passed down to my children & grandchildren.  It helps to free my mind from all the thoughts floating around in there as well. LOL.  A BOS is a witches most important tool besides themselves.  It is a place to go for information to aid you in your magick, your spells and rituals.  It makes life easier to have that information in one place when you need it. 

-Bring magick to the mundane part of your life.  When you cook, put all your love into it…no matter how simple the meal, your love will make it delicious.  When you bathe or shower, use yummy smelling products that remind you of your garden or your favorite spice.  Picture all the negativity washing away from you..any bad feelings or anger go right down the drain.  Listen to music that soothes your soul or makes you feel positive and happy and energetic.  If you are washing your car,  place protection all around it to keep you safe.  When you clean your house, wash out the stagnant air and bring in fresh air.  Place protection and love all around your home while dusting it.  Picture your home as a place of love and harmony and balance.  You are manifesting a better life for yourself when you do this.

-Give Love to your family and friends everyday.  Never be too busy to take a few moments to let them know you love them.  When you give love, you will receive it back!  This is something you all know..you brilliant witches 🙂

Now I know that some people will be saying that they do NOT have time to do all of this.  After all, you have jobs, kids, furbabies, errands, extended family, appts, etc to take care of.  But many of the things I mentioned above, you are already doing.  Just change the way you look at what you are doing every day.  Don’t look at it as a chore, look at it as a chance to bring magick into your day.  Find a way to find the time for your craft everyday.  If all you do is spend 10 minutes outside…to connect with nature….then you will find that magick and want it so bad that you will find other ways to get it…I promise you.  The more you practice..the better you get at it! Picture in your mind..you ….at your best witchy self and you will achieve it!

My life as a witch just keeps getting better and better and I understand more and more that magick and the divine and nature is all around us.  There for us to enjoy and take in.  I can make of my life what I want it to be.  Even when everything seems to be going wrong, I can find the silver lining on a cloudy day.  So can you…just look for it…MAGICK! 

Blessings and Love, Autumn

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Filed under Discussion, Family, Full Moons, Garden, Goddess, Mother Earth, Nature, Ostara, Spring, Sunrise/Sunset

A Winter Sunrise Morn……..

Merry Meet friends!  I hope that you are all having a lovely Sun day.  Sun day is my favorite day of the week.  It is usually a stay at home day for me.  I spend it puttering in the house, cooking a yummy breakfast or dinner or both (like today!)  watching football or movies, reading, crocheting, hanging out by the fire.  Sometimes I will spend time working on my Book of Shadows or mixing oil blends or incense blends, or spending some time at my altar or studying something like runes or tarot.  Just laid back and wonderful!  Today I was actually busy..made breakfast, then took a drive to have some me time, then grocery, then made up two dishes of baked pasta!  By 4:30, I finally sat down to catch up on facebook and write in my blog and relax. 🙂 

My day though started off in a most beautiful way…which is what I’m really here to write about.  This morning there was a gorgeous Sunrise that I was most blessed to be up in time to see.  There was ice on all the tree branches and the beauty took my breath away!  I grabbed my camera and snapped these pictures…

I am really getting into photography and I got a little better camera from my hubby for Yule.  It is the first step towards getting the ultimate camera I want…but it’s a good one and I will enjoy it for awhile!  I was most pleased with these pics..almost as pleased as I was with the real thing! 🙂  I was so inspired too by my experience that I wrote a little poem….now I have very rarely written a poem.  I am pretty good at writing spells and charms etc but poetry has always escaped me.  So be kind and don’t think too harshly of my poetry writing…but it comes from the heart and expresses what I felt and saw this morning!

Winter Sunrise Morning

by

Autumn Earthsong 

 

I know before I’m completely awake that it is very cold

As I lay, I see a slight shimmer starting to show on the snow

I jump up with coffee in mind, when I see ice shining bright and bold

On the bare, dark trees, glittering from a beautiful sunrise glow

 

I grab slippers and camera, and head out  to catch this beautiful sight

 Out to the porch I go, when  cold air hits me, and my breath leaves me

I stop,  and my eyes  take in the Sun’s pink and orange light

Just coming up over the horizon,  in time for me to see

 

Through the camera lens a magickal world appears

Of white snow and dark trees and Sun and ice

My heart swells with the beauty that is so near

I snap a picture, once, twice, thrice…….

 

I shiver and watch the Sun rise higher a minute more

Then I give thanks  to the Goddess  with  a full heart

For the gift of this glorious winter sunrise morn

Then indoors I run, to coffee and warmth,  my day is off to an excellent start!

Now again, its ok if you don’t like my prose, but I’m pretty proud of myself for even attempting it…much less posting it here!  🙂  So my word of advice for today is…get out and see those sunrises and sunsets.  Taking the time to do that, yes even if you have to get up early, is sooo worth it.  It really does help me to connect with Mother Earth, Goddess, God every day.  Thats all it takes to connect with the Divine.  After all, the gift is there to take..so take it! Relish it!  Take pictures of it!  Dance and sing!  Whatever you feel inspired to do!   Just don’t let it pass you every single day..

Love and Light, Autumn

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Filed under Goddess, Mother Earth, Nature, Photography, Poem, Sunrise/Sunset, Winter