Friday Form A Circle – Litha Ritual

May 28, 2010 at 9:47 am (altar, Ancestors, Circle, Dedication, Friday, Litha, Magic, Midsummer, pagan, Ritual, Witch)

Litha Ritual
From Dragonshadow Lair

Special notes: Rededication to the Great Goddess and Great God. Time when the Sun casts three rays to light the world.

Altar supplies: Incense, burner, chalice of water, salt, pentacle, dagger, 4 element candles, chalice of wine, wand. A red candle (set to the right of cauldron)cup of fresh water set in the cauldron with a green or blue candle on the left.

Cast the Circle
Light the green candle to the left of cauldron

Green forest Mother, bless this water, I do ask. 
Great One of the stars, spinner of fates, I give honor to you, 
and call upon you in your ancient names, known and unknown.

Light the red candle to the right of cauldron

Mighty Sun God, god of fertility and plenty, be here with me now, I do ask. I give honor to you, and call upon you in your ancient names, known and unknown.

Raise your arms over the cauldron and say

This is the sacred cauldron of the Triple Goddess. 
The touch of its consecrated water blesses and renews, even as the rays of the Sun nourish and bless all life.

Pass your hands/arms between the two candles, making wishes as you do; or set them on the floor and walk between them. Dip forefinger of your power hand into the cauldron water and trace a pentagram on your forehead. Kneel before the altar to rededicate your life to the Old Gods.

I will serve the Great Goddess and give reverence to the Great God. I am a pagan, a stone of the ancient circle, standing firmly balanced upon the Earth, yet open to the winds of the heavens, and enduring through time. May the Old Gods witness my words!

Place wine chalice on pentacle and lift it high

Honor to the Old Gods! Merry meet and merry part and merry meet again!

Drink the wine, saving some to be put out for the little people or to be given to the earth

Continue with a Simple Feast and Closing the Circle 

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

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Friday Form A Circle – Solitary Beltane Ritual

April 30, 2010 at 9:57 am (altar, Ancestors, Beltane, Circle, Friday, Magic, May Day, pagan, Ritual, Solitary, Witch)

Solitary Beltane Ritual
Found at
Spells Of Magic

A low altar should be built partially or entirely of stones at the middle of the ritual area.

What you will need:

  • God & Goddess candles
  • four spring-colored candles
  • 3 foot piece of wood to be used as a pole
  • fruit, flowers, bright ribbons to decorate the pole
  • 1/2 cup of wine
  • Beltane incense***
  • Your ritual tools (wand, bell, athame, etc)
  • parchment
  • writing implement

Place the God & Goddess candles on the altar, and arrange the altar as you usually do. (if the ritual is performed outdoors, the candles may be replaced be torches. These may be stuck in the ground on either side of the altar.)

Place the other four candles (or torches) before the altar to be lit later. The  pole should be erected on the far side of the altar: it should be decked with fruits, flowers, and bright ribbons. A half full cup of wine should be placed before the image of the Goddess.

Before dressing for the ceremony, take a ritual cleansing bath. For this ritual one should dress brightly and strikingly, wearing flowers and greenery according to taste. When ready to go on with the rite, meditate for a while before going into the ritual area, thinking strongly on the old pagan ways and trying to imagine the rituals which took place on this night in ages passed. Go alone to the ritual place. Kneeling before the altar, light the candles or torches on the altar, and the incense. Set alight the four candles before the altar and place them 3 to 5 feet from the altar at the North, then going deosil, saying:

Here at this spot do I create a place Sacred to the Gods of old. For a while, here and now shall the ancient ways live again!

Take the wand and hold it out and salute toward the East, saying:

Oh winds of the East blow sweet and pure! For the Lady reigns again!

Hold the wand out and salute toward the South, saying:

Oh warmth of the South bring forth life from the earth! For the Lady reigns again!

Hold the wand out and salute toward the West, saying:

Oh waters of the West glisten clear and fresh! For the Lady reigns again!

Hold the wand out and salute toward the North, saying:

Oh lands of the North grow rich and bounteous! For the Lady reigns again!

Replace the wand and hold your arms out over the altar, saying:

Gracious and lovely Lady of the moon, of joy and love, Protecteress of forests and wild things, this place is consecrated to Thee.

Take up the wine cup, hold it out at arm’s length, and pour out a few drops, saying:

To the Great Ones of old and to the joyous times to come!

Drink some of the wine (or if you cannot drink alcohol, use an appropriate substitute). After a brief pause, rap three times on the altar with the wand saying:

As woods and meadows flower forth I celebrate the ancient rite, as the Ancients did before me. I cast the words into the mists of time and space and otherwhere: Where one stays now, in years to come, may scores of others revel there. So may it be!

Rap once upon the altar. (More incense should be added now. Ad-lib additions are appropriate at this time – meditations, poetry and the like.) (If a source of proper music is available, a solitary Dance of the Winds may be improvised.)

Draw the Fertility talisman on the parchment, suffumigate it thrice, bow humbly and say:

Friends of the nether worlds Now, come and assist us in our humble workings. Follow us to another sacred place of ours, and join your forces with ours, on this Fertilization Day.

Bury the talisman into the ground under an oak tree (if available), saying an ad-lib statement on the meaning of the talisman and its correspondences. Go back to the circle. When all is done, close by rapping four time with the wand, saying:

Friends of the nether worlds who have been about me for a while you may, with thanks, return from whence you came.

Hold out arms and say:

Blessed Lady of joy and laughter I thank Thee for Thy presence. May some of your love and power remain with me. Blessed Be!

Put out the lights about the altar. As the two on the altar itself are darkened, say:

This rite is ended…

Note: Alter this ritual as needed to fit your circumstance. Note that many Beltane celebrations extend roughly one week past the May 1’st date, so any time in early May is appropriate to celebrate, in case you miss celebrating it on the May 1st date.

***Beltane Incense
from
Mooncrafts

Ingredients:

  • 3 Parts Frankincense
  • 2 Parts Sandalwood
  • 1 Part Woodruff
  • 1 Part Rose petals
  • a few drops Jasmine oil
  • a few drops neroli Oil

Burn during rituals on Beltane or May Day for fortune & favors & to attune with the changing of the seasons.

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

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Monday Make A – Green Man Wall Hanging

March 22, 2010 at 9:02 am (altar, Children, Crafts, Decoration, Fun, Greenman, Kids, Magic, Monday, pagan, Witch, Witchlets)

Green Man Wall Hanging
Found at PaganMoonbeams

The Green Man comes by many names and purposes. He has a place in most Pagan based religions and has for a very long time. He has become a well respected symbol in the Pagan populous. He is an example of nature and how people should live with it as well as individual or special religious symbolism. Having the Green Man nearby is a constant reminder of how we are to connect with as well as take care of nature. Make a Green Man wall hanging to go above your altar or in a place to constantly remind you of the things it stands for.

Take a walk to gather items needed for this project.

  • Tree Bark
  • Acorns or nuts
  • Anything unique thing you find on your walk!
  • Shells
  • Branches
  • Pine Needles
  • Small Rocks

No-Bake Clay

  • 1 Cup flour
  • 1/2 cup salt together
  • 1/2 cup very warm tap water

Mix flour & salt well, then add the water. Knead for 5 minutes. It is now ready for use. Unused portions can be put in airtight containers for up to a week.

Supplies Needed:

  • Cardboard box (size you want the wall hanging)
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Various items from the woods that nature is not using
  • Clay or no-bake clay using recipe (may want to double, need enough to comfortably fit in the bottom of the box and be at least 1 1/2 in thick.
  • to hang your work with

Make your Wall Hanging

Put your clay into the bottom of your box, it is best to cover 1 1/2” to 2” of the box with your clay. Try and level out the top as much as possible and be sure that the sides aren’t bulging (this will make the hanging sideways). Use your items from your walk to make the whole square box into a Green Man imprint. Anything that you stick into the clay will be sticking out of your wall hanging. If sticking things in the clay make sure you pull them out with care so you don’t mess up your picture. Be careful not to stick things in so deep that you can’t get them out. When done double check to assure you didn’t leave anything in the clay and that the imprint looks like you want it to. Mix the Plaster of Paris following the directions on the package. Pour the Plaster of Paris over your clay work, you will need to have it evenly cover your imprint and have at least 1 1/2” to 2” over it. Tap all sides of the box one at a time. You will see small bubbles come to the top, these are air bubbles. Continue to tap the box until all the air bubbles are out in order for your wall hanging to be smooth and not have holes in it. Carefully sit your box in a well ventilated area so it can dry. It will need to dry as long as it says on the package. Please remember that when half that time is up you will need to carefully place the ends of a piece of wire (desired length) in the back pushed in at least a half inch. When totally dry pull off the box from both the Plaster of Paris and the clay. Next carefully (not to break off anything) remove the clay from the Plaster of Paris (if lots of small areas use an old toothbrush to remove the clay). You may want to paint your wall hanging before hanging it up.

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

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Friday Form A Circle – U of Ark Student Pagan Association (S.P.A.) Imbolc Ritual

January 29, 2010 at 11:04 am (altar, Brid, Bride, Brighid, Brigit, Circle, Friday, Imbolc, Magic, pagan, Ritual, Witch)

U of Ark Student Pagan Association (S.P.A.) Imbolc Ritual

Items Needed:

  • Planter or flower pot
  • soil
  • seed
  • candles
  • Usual ritual tools/items
  • Everyone who attends is welcome to bring poems to read

Cast the circle. This can be done a number of different ways: by visualizing a sphere of energy shielding your work area; by sprinkling salt water around the edges of the circle; by raising energy through humming or chanting and forming it into a sphere around you; by pacing off the safe space until you feel it is impenetrable; or any other means you find to be effective. The idea is to make this space sacred to you for the duration of the spell, dedicated to your purposes; since no meditation is being done, safety from outside forces is less of an issue. Next, invoke the Goddess and/or God. An invocation can be a poem or any passage written by yourself or anybody else that you feel evokes the presence of the God/dess. Fill the pot with earth, knowing that you and it are connected to the greater Earth all around you, and place pot and seed in front of you, on the altar if you have one. Hold the seed in your hand, knowing that it represents the beginnings of life and the magical creed "as above, so below," mirroring the knowledge held in an ancient oak tree with its tiny coils of DNA. Bless the seed in any manner that springs to your heart, and concentrate on your goal for the next spin of the year. Put your intent into the seed and plant it, knowing that your progress towards the goal will grow along with your plant. Thank whoever you invoked, ground any energy you raised, and close the circle.

Before the ritual begins, the participants place any candles which they have brought around the room and light them. The participants also place any Celtic or personal items they have brought upon or around the altar which is in the center of the room. The participants then circle around the altar.

Priestess:

Mother Earth stirs from her long slumber. The fields and forests hear her whisper to awake. The creatures of her realms answer her summons. Everything waits in anticipation for spring. This is the festival of the maiden who gives to all life the breath of life. This is a time of waxing light and receding darkness. This is a season of purification – a renewing of life. At this time and in this place between the worlds, we come into the presence of the Lord and Lady that we may gain wise and truthful counsel. (D.J. Conway)Envision this room surrounded by a bright white sphere of light as I mark the circle.

The priestess circles the room deosil three times with a stick of incense.

Blessing and Welcoming of the Elements.
Reader
[Faces east]

Blessed be the precious and preserving air, the breath of life, our inspiration and delight.

[Faces south]

Blessed be the precious and preserving fire, the blood of life, our warming guest.

[Faces west]

Blessed be the precious and preserving water, the water of life, our cleansing guest.

[Faces north]

Blessed be the precious and preserving earth, the flesh of life, our sustainer and our wisdom. (Caitlin Matthews)

Invocation of the Season of Imbolc.
Reader:

Midwife of Mystery, open the door, Infant of the Infinite, come you in. Let there be welcome to the newborn truth, Let there be welcome to the Spring of the Year. In cold and darkness you are traveling, In warmth and brightness you will arrive, May the blessed time of Imbolc, Kindle the soul of all beings, Bringing birth to innocence and integrity, From the depths to the heights, From the heights to the depths, In the heart of every soul. (Caitlin Matthews)

Song of Imbolc.
Reader:

I am the unopened bud, and I the blossom, I am the lifeforce gathering to a crest, I am the still companion of the silence, I am the farflung seeker of the quest. I am the the daughter gathering in wisdom, I am the son whose questions never cease, I am the dawn-light searching out glad justice, I am the center where all souls find peace. (Caitlin Matthews)

Lisa Thiel’s "Candlemas Song" is played from tape while participants meditate upon Brigit’s three gifts –

  • inspiration
  • smithcraft (and all crafts)
  • childbirth and health.

Invocation of Brigit.
Reader:

"We call on Brigit, the Bright One, whose festival this is, who is said to have been born at the instant of sunrise, and whose sacred fire was tended thru the ages by holy women. We are met to celebrate the Festival of Brigit, midway between the Solstice and the Equinox, the halfway point from the coldest, darkest part of the year. Winter still rules, but the Wheel turns. Winter still rules, but it is waning. The days are visibly longer now, and under the blanket of snow and ice, deep within the womb of the Earth, comes the first stirring of the seeds. Hail, Brigit, we welcome thee and invoke thee." (Courtesy Grey Mare)

Poem of Brigit.
Priestess:

Brigit they name me, and three gifts of fire I bring: first, the flame of inspiration,  frenzy of poet and anguish of artist, and passion of lover for union with the beloved; second, the fierce fire of smith-craft, through whose testing all must pass; and third, the most precious of all, which eases the second’s pain, the undying warmth of healing, the last and greatest gift of the ever-returning Sun. (Traditional Wiccan)

Participant:

Brigit is the Goddess of creativity and inspiration. Each of us has chosen a creative endeavor for the Goddess to bless this season. Please pick out a candle in this room to concentrate on. Now let us join together in chant for our creative desires to manifest.

Candle Power Chant

Candle of power, candle of might, Create my desires here on this night.

Blood of the Ancients Chant

It’s the blood of the ancients That flows throughout our veins, And the forms change but the circle of life remains.

[Chant repeats for a couple of minutes as participants stare into the flames of the candles and imagine their creative endeavors being fulfilled.]

[After the chanting is over, participants who have brought modern or ancient poems (or short stories) with Celtic themes or have Celtic authors read their poems. Everyone who attends is welcome to bring poems to read.]

Reader:
[Faces north]

Precious earth, we bless thee and release thee.

[Faces west]

Precious water, we bless thee and release thee.

[Faces south]

Precious fire, we bless thee and release thee.

[Faces east]

Precious air, we bless thee and release thee.

[Faces the altar]

Goddess Brigit, we thank thee for your presence and your gifts.

[To the participants]

The circle is open, yet unbroken. May the peace of the Goddess go in our hearts, Merry meet and merry part and merry meet again. Blessed be!

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

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Wednesday What Herb Has Been Interrupted…Promoting Pagan Family Values

September 9, 2009 at 10:39 am (altar, Autum Equinox, Children, Crafts, Kids, Mabon, Magic, pagan, Wednesday, Witch)

Promoting Pagan Family Values
By Selene Silverwind
From Cauldrons and Broomsticks: Mabon issue 2000)

The leaves are drifting off the branches and onto the ground, just waiting to be raked into oh-so-tempting piles on the ground. The flowers are dying back, the harvest is nearing an end, and the earth is retreating toward winter, preparing for Demeter to take her much needed rest. But the Fall is not a time of rest for us Pagans. For many it is a time for back-to-school, back-to-work, and the fast approaching winter holidays. (And I haven’t even begun my shopping yet.) In between all of that, make sure to make time to honor your Pagan family values.

In my home, I have several small olive branch wreathes, one for each Sabbat, that I hang above my altar and change seasonally. First decide which two colors best represent each Sabbat. For example, orange and black for Samhain, red and green for Yule, white and gray for Imbolc. You get the idea. Now go to the craft store and buy 8 5-inch olive branch wreathes and a reel of 1/4 inch ribbon in each color. (If you use one color a lot, get two.) If you would like to further embellish the wreathes, find small dried or silk flowers or other objects that will accent the design. Go home and warm up the hot glue gun. First, cut about 3 yards of ribbon. Leaving about 8 inches at the top, hot glue the ribbon to the back to hold it in place, then weave a pentacle into the inside of the wreath, looping the ribbon through the branches to hold the points in place. When your pentacle is done, wrap the remaining ribbon around the wreath (each loop should be about an inch apart on the front). Again, when you get back to where you started, hot glue one spot to hold it down, then tie the ends together to make a hanging ribbon. Now take the other color and wrap it around the wreath,
between the bands of the first ribbon. If you want, tie a little excess ribbon of each color into a bow and hot glue it to the bottom. This is where you would also attach any extra bits. Repeat for the remaining seven. You could do larger version for the family altar and smaller ones for your children’s altars. You could also make one each for made mother, maiden, crone or God and Goddess. The alternatives are endless.

Children love field trips and at this time of year, a trip to an apple orchard would be a perfect one. Make arrangements to allow each child to personally "harvest" one apple to take back to school. Once there, borrow the teacher’s lounge or school kitchen for an hour and teach them how to make baked apples with their freshly picked apples. I’m using the Betty Crocker’s New Cookbook recipe, but if you have one you prefer, use that.
First, using an apple corer, core the apples to 1/2 inch from the bottom. Then using a potato peeler, peel an one inch strip all the way around the middle of each apple. Place them in an ungreased pan and let each child drop one teaspoon sugar, one teaspoon margarine, and 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon into
the center of their apple. Sprinkle cinnamon on the tops, then fill the pan
1/4 inch deep with water. Bake 30-40 minutes. While the apples are baking,
initiate a discussion about the fall and what it means to each child.

Finally, Pagans are in a strange space right now. On the one hand, we are
becoming more vocal and are more in the public eye, but on the other hand,
we are still looked down upon or considered silly by many. It’s time to wage a war of education. Whenever you see an article that offends you, write the reporter and editor with a polite correction and explanation. Attend local Pagan Pride, Witches’ Awareness, or Blessed Be celebrations whenever you can. If you can’t do that, why not organize a roundtable discussion with your neighbors or community religious leaders concerning the differences between the faiths and how to encourage tolerance? Intolerance never helped anyone.

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

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Friday Form A Circle – Pagan Palace Ritual For the First Day of Fall

August 21, 2009 at 10:22 am (altar, Autum Equinox, Circle, Friday, Mabon, Magic, pagan, Ritual, Witch)

Pagan Palace Ritual For the First Day of Fall
From
Pagan’s Palace – link is dead

Begin by casting a circle about nine feet in diameter. In the center, erect an altar facing north. On the altar, place a candle of the appropriate Sabbat color, a chalice of water, an athame, a dish of salt, dirt, or sand, a consecrated altar bell, and a censer of incense. (The following incenses are sacred to this Sabbat: Benzoin, myrrh, passionflower, red poppies, and sage.) Decorate the altar with traditional holiday decorations such as acorns, pinecones, marigolds, white roses, and thistles. The flowers can be arranged in bouquets or garlands for the altar or circle, or made into a crown and worn on top of the head. Sprinkle a bit of salt inside the circle, and then trace the circle with a consecrated  ceremonial sword or wand, and say:

"With salt and sacred sword
I consecrate and cast this Sabbat circle.
In the divine name of the Goddess
And under Her protection
Is this Sabbat rite now begun."

Light the candle and incense. Ring the altar bell thrice with your left hand to begin the Mabon Rite and conjuration of the elemental spirits. Take the athame in your right hand, face the east, and say:

"O sacred Sylphs of the Air
And Elemental Kings of the East
I conjure Thee and bid Thee to Come
And partake in this Sabbat rite
In this consecrated circle."

Face the south, and say:

"O sacred Salamanders of the Fire
And Elemental Kings of the South
I conjure Thee and bid Thee to Come
And partake in this Sabbat rite
In this consecrated circle."

Face the west, and say:

"O sacred Undines of the Water
And Elemental Kings of the West
I conjure Thee and bid Thee to Come
And partake in this Sabbat rite
In this consecrated circle."

Face the north, and say:

"O sacred Gnomes of the Earth
And Elemental Kings of the North
I conjure Thee to and bid Thee to Come
A
nd partake in this Sabbat rite
In this consecrated circle."

Ring the altar bell thrice and then return it to the altar. Stretch out your
right arm and point the tip of the athame up to the heavens, and say:

"Air, Fire, Water, Earth,
Womb to life, death to rebirth.
The Great Wheel of the Seasons turns,
The sacred Sabbat fire burns.
And to Her we shall return."

Dip the blade of the athame into the chalice of water and then into the dish
of salt, dirt, or sand, and say:

"Blessed be the Goddess of Love,
Creatress of all things wild and free.
The warmth of Summer now must end.
The Great Solar Wheel Has turned again.
So mote it be!"

Ring the altar bell thrice to end the rite, dismiss the elemental spirits, and give thanks to the Goddess. Then uncast the circle in a counterclockwise
manner with the ceremonial sword or wand.

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

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Friday Form A Circle – Personal Mabon Ritual

August 7, 2009 at 10:20 am (altar, Autum Equinox, Blessing, Circle, Friday, Mabon, Magic, pagan, Solitary, Witch)

Personal Mabon Ritual
By Kathryn Campbell

Decorate your altar with autumn fruits and berries. Have a chalice of wine, a yellow candle and a black candle on your altar. Sit or stand before your altar and focus on this time of Balance. Feel the Sun’s energy waning. Know that, from this day forward, the darkness will dominate the light. Pick up the yellow candle and hold it between your palms. Take three deep breaths. Visualize the Sun God in all his glory. When you have a clear visualization, light the candle and say:

"Lord of Light, thank you for your bright energy. Thank you for lighting my way, opening my heart and filling me with life. I honor you now and always."

Pick up the chalice of wine. Hold it high above you and say:

"Holy Mother, bless this wine with love Infuse it with the power to see within myself so I may accept the season of change."

Bring the chalice down to heart level. Feel the blessings of the Goddess upon you. Take a long, slow drink from the chalice feeling yourself saturated with Her blessing. Return the chalice to the altar. Pick up the black candle and hold it between your palms. Take three deep breaths. Visualize the Dark Lord, the Master Hunter whose time to walk the Earth has come. When you have a clear visualization, light the candle from the yellow candle and say:

"Lord of the Underworld, I welcome you as teacher of the mysteries. Open my heart to the blessings of darkness so I may understand my purpose."

Allow the candles to burn together as you feel the balance of light and dark within you. Know that life is filled with purpose and welcome the darkness which is the great teacher that allows you to appreciate the light. Say farewell to the light, knowing that it shines in the darkness where you will find your true self. Go outside and pour the wine out on the Earth in honor of the aging Goddess in her crone aspect and also as a symbolic sacrifice representing the blood of the God.

 

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

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Monday Make A – Magical Scented Pine Cones

August 3, 2009 at 11:38 am (altar, Autum Equinox, Crafts, Decoration, Fun, Herbs, Home, Mabon, Magic, Monday, pagan, Pine Cones, Witch)

Magical Scented Pine Cones
From Yvonne Loveday

Create these talismans in a magical circle for use during the Mabon, Samhain, and Yule seasons. Frankincense and myrrh are particularly spiritual herbs which have been used in religious ceremonies for ages. When burned, frankincense releases powerful vibrations as well as banishes negativity and evil. It protects, consecrates, purifies, and exorcises. It is attributed to the Sun. Myrrh purifies, lifts vibrations, and creates peace. It is used to intensify the power of any incense to which it is added. Myrrh is attributed to the Moon. The fact that these two herbs are associated to the Sun and Moon is highly appropriate as we enter the Mabon season, a time of balance. And as we enter the dark half of the year, these herbs work together to push back our fears and anxieties. These pine cones are burned in the fireplace or cauldron.

Materials:

  • 2×2-inch pine cones (about 24)
  • Frankincense powder (1/4 cup, approximately 2 ounces)
  • Myrrh powder (1/2 cup, approximately 4 ounces)
  • Gold Glitter (1.4 cup)
  • White Crafts Glue
  • Cellophane bags (available from florist or crafts supply store)
  • Shallow container, such as a shoe box lid
  • Gold filigree ribbon
  • Newspapers

Directions:

Rinse pine cones with water. Lay cones on an old cookie sheet and place in 300 degrees oven for one hour. Spread cones out on layers of newspapers and set aside to complete drying. Blend frankincense, myrrh, and glitter in a shallow container. Dab glue on tips of pine cone petals and on the bottom of the cone. Roll cone in mixture of powder and glitter. Set cones aside to dry. Package a handful of dried cones in cellophane bags to give as gifts. Tie bag shut with gold filigree ribbon. Attach a label with a holiday greeting and instructions for using the pine cones: Enjoy the aromatic incense the cones release when burned. Toss a cone or two onto hot embers, and inhale the earthy fragrance. Or, set the cones in a dish for a more subtly fragrant decoration.

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

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Friday Form A Circle – Lughnasadh Ritual

July 10, 2009 at 10:35 am (altar, Circle, Frith, Grains, Lammas, Lughnasadh, Magic, pagan, Ritual, Witch)

Lughnasadh Ritual
By Tehom, Our Lady of the Woods,
(this link is dead, but I think
Our Lady of the Woods may be a source…)

 

Supplies Needed for altar:

  • Round table for altar
  • Orange and gold altar cloths
  • Gold or beeswax tapers
  • One wooden bowl filled with barley
  • One wooden bowl filled with corn
  • Cornbread
  • Wine, juice, or beer
  • Two plates for cornbread (wooden would be nice)
  • Two gold chalices
  • Water/salt bowls
  • Sword
  • Incense and burner
  • Red votive candle

Supplies needed for circle:

  • Twine
  • Ribbons (see below)
  • Basket
  • Musical instruments or taped music
  • Chant cards
  • Cauldron
  • Alcohol and cotton balls
  • Matches
  • Four quarter candles (yellow, red, blue, green)
  • Lugh figure
  • Wildflowers, stalks of millet, grasses, etc.

Purpose – This ritual celebrates the first harvest of the Wiccan calendar. It is a ritual to honor one’s self and focuses on your past and future accomplishments. Using ribbons, the participants create a flag (similar to a Tibetan prayer flag) and, while raising power, burn a figure made of straw and weeds that represents Lugh. This ritual is best celebrated outdoors and requires some degree of preparation.

Altar and Circle Setup – The altar is decorated with local wildflowers and plants (in our area that included mostly sunflowers and tall sheaves of millet). The colors used are bright and bold: yellow, green, red, gold, and orange. In addition to the usual items and tools on the altar, bowls of barley and corn are included. A figure of Lugh is also on or nearby the altar. Homemade cornbread is used for the cakes; apple juice, a dark beer, or wine is used in the chalice. A gateway is constructed and decorated through which participants will enter and be asperged. Place a cauldron large enough to hold the Lugh figure at the center of the circle or make a fire pit. Tie a length of twine across the center of the circle (like a clothesline, for hanging the ribbons). If you have a large group, you may want to tie two lengths to form a solar cross. Pillar candles of the appropriate colors are placed at each Quarter.

Preparing the Participants – Ribbons, cut in lengths of about 15 to 18 inches, should be prepared prior to the ritual. There is a list of possible colors and their magical associations below. Each person should have at least three ribbons before entering the circle. One white one (to represent a "first" harvest), one the color that corresponds to the element of their sun sign (yellow for air signs, red for fire, blue for water, and green for earth), and one for their "future" harvest (a color of their choice).

  • White ribbon–this ribbon represents something you’ve already harvested and want to celebrate or commemorate.
  • Sun sign ribbon–this represents you.
  • Other ribbon(s)–these represent things you want to harvest in the future. Pick colors appropriate to your goals.

The Ritual

Entering the Circle – Two persons are stationed at the gateway to asperge people as they enter the circle. Music is playing during the asperging (John Barleycorn works well; live music is preferred). After each person is asperged, the Priestess and Priest invite them to hang up their sun sign ribbon only and take a place in the circle, still holding on to the white and other ribbons.

Attunement – With everyone in the circle, the Priest performs an attunement. Holding a sheaf of corn, he processes around the circle, stopping at each person and presenting them with the corn, saying words to the effect of:

"Behold the mystery: that which is the harvest is also the seed!"

Asperging and Casting the Circle – The Priest asperges the circle, saying

"I cleanse this space and all within it by the powers of earth and water."

The Priestess casts the circle, saying

"I conjure this circle of power
that it may be a sacred space outside of time,
a space between the world of humanity
and the realms of the Old Ones.
May it protect all within it
and serve as a container for the power we shall raise.
I bless and consecrate this circle
in the names of the Goddess and the God.
So mote it be."

Calling the Quarters – Using images that reflect the element and the Sabbat, the Quarter callers invoke the East, South, West, and North. For example, South may say something like:

"All hail Guardians of the Watchtowers of the South, element of Fire! I call you to our harvest circle.
Your warmth and light is with us now,
as is your passion and determination.
Warm us in this circle
and fire our will as we enter the harvest season.
Red lion of the southern desert, be here now!"

Invoking Lugh and Danu

"Lugh, generous, gentle God of grain and sun, I call you.
Hear my voice and come to me.
Many-skilled one, powerful one,
lend us your deftness and art
that each of us may reap a rich harvest.
Know that we honor you at this your festival
and thank you for your willing sacrifice.
Your love for us moves you to this annual sacrifice
so that we may live and thrive and shine.
Blessed Lugh, we honor and welcome you."

"Danu, Great Mother of ancient people,
Mother of Lugh, I call on you.
Bring us your love and nourishment, your joy and creativity.
Help us to give birth to our desires
and to bring our dreams to fruition.
Mother of all that lives and flourishes in this season,
we honor and welcome you."

The Priestess briefly describes the purpose of the ritual and outlines the magical working, reminding the group to be thankful and aware of the plenty of the season. The Priest says a few words about Lugh and his willingness to offer himself as a sacrifice to ensure our continued growth. Each person in the circle is invited to place their ribbons on the flag, one by one, and share the stories of their first harvest and their future goals. The shared stories become the basis for the power raising that follows.

Sacrifice of Lugh and Power Raising – The Priestess lights the fire in the cauldron or the fire pit and the Priest takes up the figure of Lugh. Carrying Lugh, the Priest starts a slow dance, moving deosil around the fire, while all drum and chant. Those who wish to may fall into the dance behind Lugh. When it seems appropriate, the Priest plunges Lugh into the fire and the dance continues and builds in speed until the Priestess releases the cone and the energy is sent toward everyone’s goals.

Chant for Power Raising:

"Hoof and horn, hoof and horn
all that dies shall be reborn.
Corn and grain, corn and grain
all that falls shall rise again.

Cakes and Wine, Opening the Circle: Following the release of the cone, the Priest and Priestess bless the cakes and wine, offering thanks to Danu and Lugh for their bounty. Soft music plays in the background as everyone passes the cakes and wine and offers blessings. Farewells are made to Danu, Lugh, and the Quarters, and the circle is opened. If your circle is in a private outdoor area, you may consider leaving the flag up until Samhain, so its energies can be carried on the winds and so your members can visit it to remind themselves of their promises.

Colors for Magic:

Sun Signs:

  • Air (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) – Yellow
  • Fire (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius) – Red
  • Water (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces) – Medium blue
  • Earth (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn) – Medium green

First Harvest:

  • White (no matter what the harvest)

Future Harvest:

  • Cleansing, beginning, purity – white
  • Binding, limitation – black
  • Friendship, love – pink
  • Material gain, wealth, nature connection – green
  • Compassion, understanding – light blue
  • Spiritual growth, psychic ability – purple
  • Health, vitality, healing – red
  • Intellectual pursuits – yellow, orange
  • Creativity, inspiration – yellow, red
  • Grounding – brown, dark red
  • Moon energy, goddess – silver
  • Sun energy, harvest, god – gold

Add other colors to your liking.

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

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Saturday Something – Litha / Midsummer, Correspondences / Associations

May 30, 2009 at 9:37 pm (altar, Ancestors, Associations, Faery, Fertility, Herbs, History, Litha, Lore, Magic, Midsummer, pagan, Saturday, Wisdom, Witch)

Litha Correspondences / Associations
from The Sacred Grove

Date: June 20-23 (varies according to the position of the Sun).
Names:
Summer Solstice; Midsummer; Litha (Wiccan); Alban Hefin (Druidic); nti Raymi (Incan); Feast of the Sun (Aztec); Celtic New Year, according to some; St. John’s Day/Festival of Saint John the Baptist (Christian).

Sacred To:

  • Gods: Horned Gods; Oak Kings; Sun Gods; Baldur; Mars; Nergal
  • Goddesses: the Midsummer Bride, the lion-guarded Queen of the Year; Aine of Knockaine; Kupala; Mother Nature; Aphrodite Erycina, Aphrodite of the Heather, the nymph-goddess of Midsummer; Astarte/Anatha, the Love and Death, Goddess of Midsummer; Vesta, for whom fires were lit at Midsummer.

Foods: fresh vegetables, summer fruits, pumpernickel bread, ale and mead.
Incense:
frankincense, lemon, myrrh, pine, rose and wisteria.
Candles:
blue, green, gold, red, yellow, bright colors, pastels.
Gemstones:
all green stones (emerald and jade).
Celebrating: abundance, fertility, virility, the beauty and bounty of Nature. It is a good time for empowerment, for strong magic and male rituals, for handfastings and communing with Nature Spirits, for workings of consummation or culmination. The door to the Faery Realm is said to open on Midsummer Night, and twilight to be the best time for faery magic. Celebrate Mid-Summer with fire and singing and feasting, with all-night vigils and torch lit processions. Weave green boughs and crowns of flowers. Dance around a bonfire. Decorate your altar with candles and flowers. Perform the Great Rite in the fields. Erect a Midsummer Tree. Set a fire wheel ablaze (being mindful of fire safety, of course). Walk naked or ride a broomstick through fields as a fertility charm. Draw down the Sun. Drink mead or use it for offerings. Make honey cakes or cornbread with honey butter for the feast.
Tools:
wand, athame, sword, spear, staff … all the phallic ones.
Plants:
all flowers, roses, heather, oak, St. John’s Wort, MugWort, St. John’s Flower. St. John’s Wort symbolizes the Wiccan festival of Summer Solstice. A plant was hung up in the house for each member of the family. The remaining plants were bundled, tied to a pole, and set up where grain would be brought at the next harvest. Farmers prayed to the goddess Kupole for a good harvest. The bundle of herbs, called the Kupole, represented her. Heather is the Midsummer Tree of the Summer Solstice. Aphrodite Erycina, Aphrodite of the Heather, mated with the sacred king atop a mountain then killed him by tearing out his genitals. St. John’s Flower/St. John’s Blood/Mouse-eared Hawkweed (Hieracium pilsoella) was uprooted with gold coins on Midsummer Eve in Germany and Bohemia. Celts, Druids and Scandinavians gathered mistletoe at Midsummer. White elder flowers are sacred to the White Goddess at Midsummer. Orpane/Midsummer Men (Sempervivum telephium, a variety of houseleek) was gathered on Midsummer Eve along with sprigs of red sage and used to divine the fate of lovers.
Fire:
Midsummer fire was considered the fire of heaven.
Bonfires:
: Bonfires are kindled for health, fertility, love, sacrifice or purification. There is a long European tradition of lighting bonfires at Midsummer, especially of oak wood and in high places. Twin bonfires were common. Smoke of the green oak, burned on Midsummer Eve fires, is painful and gives inspiration to those who dance between the twin sacrificial fires. In some places a  Midsummer Tree was used to kindle the bonfire.
Health:
The Midsummer bonfire was thought to drive away the dragon that causes disease.
Fertility:
The ashes of the bonfire were scattered as a fertility charm. Moroccans and Algerians threw incense and spices on their Midsummer bonfires all night, invoking divine blessings on the fruit trees. In parts of England the Midsummer fires were lit in the fields to bless the apples. Midsummer bonfires were jumped over to make flax grow as high as the people could jump. In some parts of Germany young people jumped over Midsummer bonfires to make the flax or hemp grow tall.
Sacrifice:
Basques burned vipers in wickerwork panniers on Midsummer Day. Firewheels: Firewheels symbolize the sun at its highest point. They were usually rolled down a hill into water, simulating the course of the sun. Midsummer Charms: The charred embers from a Midsummer bonfire are potent magic, charms against injury and bad weather. They are placed in fields or around trees for agricultural fertility, placed in meadows and atop houses to protect them. People in some parts of France held branches of nut trees when they jumped the Midsummer bonfire. These branches were then hung over the doors of cattle stalls. On the Isle of Man blazing gorse was carried several times around folded cattle on Midsummer Eve. St. John’s Wort, gathered on Midsummer Eve, is worn as an amulet or hung up over doors or windows as a charm. Gathered naked that night, it is used for fertility. Mugwort has magical powers when gathered on Midsummer Eve. A Mugwort garland woven at Midsummer, worn as a crown or used for viewing the bonfire through, was a charm to ensure that you would have no headaches or eye pain that year. Mugwort was sometimes thrown on the Midsummer bonfire. The French wove garlands of it at Midsummer for protection against ghosts, magic, bad luck and disease for that year. In Bohemia, fir cones gathered before sunrise on Midsummer Day were believed to confer invulnerability. Wild thyme collected on Midsummer Day in Bohemia was used to fumigate trees as Solstice as a fertility charm, to make them grow well. Fennel was hung on doors on Midsummer Eve in medieval times to ward off evil spirits. Ferns generally reproduce via spores, but it was believed that fern seed was magical at Midsummer. Gathered on Midsummer Eve by spreading a white cloth below it, so as not to touch it with the hands, fern seed was believed to confer invisibility and the ability to understand the language of animals. Bohemians believed that fern seed bloomed with fiery golden blossoms on Midsummer Eve, and that the person who climbed a mountain holding it would find a vein of gold and see the treasures of the earth shining with a bluish light. Oil of St. John was a decoction of mistletoe that had been gathered on Midsummer Eve. It was believed to heal all wounds made with cutting instruments. In Sweden the Midsummer mistletoe was attached to the ceiling of the house, horse stall or manger to render the Troll powerless to inflict harm on people or animals. In Italy young singles gathered around a standing stone at Midsummer, the boys wearing green ears of grain and the girls wearing flax flowers, to leave plants on the stone. The affections of a couple were believed to last as long as the plants stayed fresh upon the dolmen.
Divination:
Nettles were planted or put into water on Midsummer Eve in Sicily. The way they were found on Midsummer Day, blooming or fading, was an omen, especially as to fortune in love. In Moselle, France a good vintage was expected if the Midsummer Eve fire wheel was still aflame when it rolled into the river. In Italy wheat and barley were sown in small pots a few days before Midsummer. Each pot represented a specific person. Fortune and good luck were believed to come to those whose grain had sprouted well by Midsummer Day, bad luck to those whose grain had not.
Midsummer Trees:
Maj Stanger, Swedish Midsummer trees, were made from tall, straight spruces with their branches stripped off. Wood was sometimes attached so that the trees represented a man with his hands on his hips. The Midsummer tree was decorated by village maidens with leaves, flowers, strips of cloth and gilt eggshells. A large vane or flag was placed on top. Bohemian Midsummer trees were made of fir or pine and decorated by girls with flowers, garlands and red ribbons. The bonfire was kindled of the tree that night, the garlands tossed back and forth across the blaze by boys and girls. Couples held hands and jumped over the embers three times. Singed garlands were saved to burn in the hearth during thunderstorms, or fed to sick or calving cows.
Death of The Sacred King:
We have evolved and no longer practice blood sacrifice of any sort, but the ritual murder of the sacred king was once a solemn European vegetation rite of Midsummer. He was not a king as we understand that term in modern times but rather the embodiment of male virility, a Hercules figure. He was crowned with roses and wreathed with myrtle, enjoyed the favors of the queen/priestess, but Midsummer was when he felt the stab of the thorns and his rule came to an end. The sacred king’s sacrificial death ensured the fertility of the crops and the survival of the tribe. The ekingi was symbolically beheaded as a part of the Bohemian Midsummer vegetation ceremonies. He wore a tree bark robe decorated with flowers, a bark crown bedecked with branches and flowers, a mask, and had ferns on his feet. He carried a hawthorn switch for a scepter and was accompanied by young people wearing bark  girdles who carried wooden swords and willow bark trumpets. There was a chase through the village followed by a mock trial. If the king was found guilty, several hats would be placed atop his head so that they could be chopped off when he knelt down.
Global Rites:

  • Incan: Inti Raymi, the Feast of the Sun, marked Winter Solstice in the southern hemisphere. To celebrate make libations of chicha (maize beer). Make offerings to the Sun. Kindle new fire from the sun, with a mirror.
  • Egyptian: In some parts of ancient Egypt the somber rites of the presentation of the first sheaf of harvest wheat to Min took place at Midsummer.
  • Phoenician: Dirges were sung for the child Linus at Midsummer during the flax harvest.
  • Native American: Sun Dances
  • German: Latzman, the Lazy Man of Midsummer Day festivities, was a conical or pyramidal wickerwork frame covered with fir sprigs.
  • Irish: Torches made of bundled reeds were carried on Midsummer Eve.
  • Serbian: Birch bark torches were lit on Midsummer Eve and carried around the sheepfolds and cattle stalls. The people then climbed up into the hills, where the torches were allowed to go out.
  • Austrian/Bavarian: Boys decked out in green fir branches went from house to house with a group of young people to collect wood for the Midsummer bonfire.

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

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