Friday Form A Circle – Sun Circle: A Ritual for A Group of Children

June 18, 2010 at 9:51 am (Ancestors, Associations, Blessing, Children, Circle, Friday, Kids, Litha, Magic, Midsummer, pagan, Ritual, Sun, Witch, Witchlets)

Sun Circle: A Ritual for A Group of Children
From Keepers of the Earth: Native American Stories and Environmental Activities for Children
by Michael J. Caduto and Joseph Bruchac;

Activity: Form a circle and use oranges to symbolize the sun. Recall the many gifts that we receive from the sun.

Goals: Understand the important things that the sun provides for us, such as food, energy, heat and light. Understand that we can show our appreciation for these gifts.

Age: Younger Children and Older Children

Procedure: Have the children stand in a circle with their eyes closed. Have each child hold one hand open, palm up, in front of him or her. Take chilled orange sections, or pieces of other bright, sunshine-like fruit, and place one in each waiting hand. Ask the children to guess what you have passed out. Once someone has guessed correctly instruct the children to open their eyes but not to eat the oranges yet. Hold up a whole orange and tell the children that it represents the sun. Have each child name one thing that we receive from the sun; then he or she can eat the orange slice. Remind the children that it is the food energy created from sunlight by plants that enables people to do this, or any other activity.

Materials: Sunny area, enough chilled and peeled oranges to provide one section for each child, a whole orange.

A suggestion from BabooKyra: I’m going to do this with my campers. The only thing I’m going to change is that we will pick the oranges ourselves and use whole oranges. After the ritual, I’ll give them spices to make pomanders. The scent will remind them of camp for years.

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 – Pressed Flowers Crafts

April 26, 2010 at 9:28 am (Beltane, Children, Crafts, Decoration, Flowers, Kids, Magic, Monday, pagan, Witch)

Pressed Flowers Crafts
From
Hearth & Home Witchery

With dried pressed flowers you can make placemats, note cards, bookmarks and more! To press flowers, be sure they are rid of any excess water. Lay between the pages of old phone books and cover with heavier books (or if you have big heavy books use two sheets of paper on each side of the flowers to prevent any damage to the book’s pages.) Make sure the book is covered with a few more books for added weight. Let sit untouched for two weeks, if flowers are not completely dry then let sit another week.

Needed:

  • various spring blooms and greenery, dry and pressed*
  • heavy card stock,poster board
  • contact paper
  • glue
  • scissors
  • markers
  • glitter, paint, other doodads for decorating

For the placemat: Cut posterboard to average placemat size (about 12"X 16"), glue flowers to poster board if you want (helps to keep them in place for later), let dry. Decorate as desired. Cut 2 equal lengths of contact paper that are slightly larger than the posterboard (so it overlaps about an inch on each side). Carefully unpeel a section of contact paper and with the help of a friend or parent, carefully center over the top and press onto decorated posterboard. Press out all air bubbles. then apply the second sheet to the back. Press out all air bubbles and seal the edges. Trim if needed.

For bookmark, follow the directions for placemat only cut your card stock or poster board bookmark sized (about 2"x 5").

For Notecards

Needed:

  • Tweezers
  • Flowers and Leaves (You can also use herbs)
  • White absorbent paper
  • Note Cards
  • Construction paper (Optional)
  • White Glue
  • Toothpick

Choose flowers that are a good size for your work. The best ones are simple flowers with few petals such as pansies, buttercups, Queen Anne’s lace. (This is especially true for beginners, until you get more confidence to try more elaborate blossoms and greenery.) Pick your flowers after the dew has dried, usually late morning. After you have selected your flowers and greenery and picked them, its time to press them. Remove all the stems from the flowers. Spread the blossoms and leaves in a single layer on a sheet of white absorbent paper. Place a second sheet of paper on top and place heavy objects such as books on top. Leave for about 2 weeks.

Now that your blooms and greenery are dried its time to get creative! Its a good idea to arrange your flowers and greens on paper before you glue. Be gentle though as some flowers or leaves can be brittle. Next, take a pair of tweezers and pick up a leaf that you want for the background. Using a toothpick dipped in white glue apply a small amount to the back of the leaf. Place on white note paper. Continue this process until you have placed all the leaves you want onto your card. Next, glue on all the major focal flowers. Glued the same way as the greenery. Once this is done, add all of the accent flowers.

Now that your pressed flower arrangement is completed you can write you quotes, poetry etc under the flowers, or you just leave blank for a simple but beautiful look. To protect your cards cover them with clear self-adhesive contact paper. Press contact paper down firmly to make sure it sticks to the flowers, greenery and card. For extra color glue finished card onto construction paper.

Editor’s Note:

 

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 – Wiccaning Ritual

April 23, 2010 at 9:52 am (Acceptance, Ancestors, Blessing, Children, Dedication, Friday, Kids, Life, Magic, pagan, Spell, Wisdom, Witch, Witchlets)

Wiccaning Ritual
from
Phoenix McFarland’s
"The Complete Book of Magickal Names"

This is written as a ceremony for a new child, but as we find our way through the world, and discover that we are, indeed pagan in our beliefs, we are as children, learning to walk & talk and think in new ways. Though I, personally have not, many take a new name to themselves. I can see no reason why this same ritual couldn’t be used in that instance as well 🙂

I’m just sayin’…

gypsywitch.gif

(Written as instructions for priest/ess)

For this celebration of birth, set up the altar, call the quarters, cast the circle, and invite the deities.

"We have come together to celebrate the birth of this soul. We all began so. We all were once so small. We grow and learn as we walk on the path of the Goddess. This person has begun again and will learn again. There WILL be growth, for that is life. Change is the only constant. From infant to parent to elder. From elder to death to rebirth. Such is the path of the circle of life. In our excitement in the beginning of life, we do not forget the turning of the wheel. We honor the maiden, mother, and crone. We are here to celebrate a new beginning, to welcome a new person into our midst, and to name that person."

Ask the parents to bring the baby forward to the altar.

"Who is this person?"

Parents answer with the child’s name.

"Welcome, (new name)!"

Take the censer and trace a pentacle before the child saying:

"(New name), by Fire and Air I honor you."

Draw a pentacle on the baby’s third eye in salt water, saying:

"(New name), by Water and Earth I honor you."

Hold the child and turn to the East saying:

"Hail, East! Know (new name), a child walking once more upon the path. Help (new name). Protect [new name]. Bless [new name]. Let (new name) fly into the unlimited skies of imagination and thought. Send (new name) gentle breezes and freshening winds to gently guide him/her along his/her path. Favor (new name) with all the airborne powers of the East!"

Stepping to the South, hold the child and say:

"Hail, South! Know (new name), a child walking once more upon the path. Help (new name). Protect (new name). Bless (new name). Let (new name) warmly pursue his/her life’s desire. Let (new name) bask in the glory of the golden light of passion. Let (new name) run with the lions of courage, never shrinking from the light of day. Send (new name) purifying candles to light his/her way and gently guide him/her along his/her path. Favor (new name) with all the fiery, sunlit powers of the South!"

In the West, hold the child and say:

"Hail, West! Know (new name), a child walking once more upon the path. Help (new name). Protect (new name). Bless (new name). Let [new name] swim uninhibited in the waters of the Mother. Let (new name) dive freely into the depths of his/her own feelings. Allow (new name) to swim with the blue dolphins and sing with the mermaids. Send (new name) the soothing sounds of the waves to calm his/her ruffled emotions. Favor (new name) with all the blue-roaring waterfall powers of the West!"

To the North, hold the child and say:

"Hail, North! Know (new name), a child walking once more upon the path. Help (new name). Protect (new name). Bless (new name). Let (new name) walk safely within the darkest places. Lead (new name) to safety in the night. Let (new name) climb the apple trees, stroke the animals, and learn the wisdom in the sounds of an untouched forest. Send (new name) the cool, damp smell of a pine forest in the moonlight to ground and balance him/her. Favor (new name) with all the earthly solidity of the North!"

Give the child back to the parents.

"Hail, (new name), and welcome! May the Goddess bless you as you grow. May the God protect you your whole life long. Remember, parents of (new name), that this is a distinct and separate soul, not an extension of your own. Allow (new name) to flourish in his/her own way. Since we do not introduce babies or children into our religion before they are old enough and wise enough to understand the meaning of what they are doing, we do not come here today to make you a Wiccan. We simply welcome you and wish you great blessings. The existence of this new little body for this very old soul makes us more aware of the wheel of life as it ends and begins again. Merry meet. Merry part, and merry meet again!

Have cakes and wine (or in some circles, it’s more accurate to say cookies and juice). Give Wiccaning gifts to the parents. Close the circle, dismiss the quarters, and say farewell to the deities.

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 Whatever – Celebrating the Sabbat of Beltane with Your Witchlings

April 21, 2010 at 9:08 am (Associations, Beltane, Children, Crafts, Kids, Magic, Wednesday, Witch, Witchlets)

Celebrating the Sabbat of Beltane with Your Witchlings
The Pagan and Wiccan Parenting Page

Things to do at Beltane:

  • Set up a Maypole with a ribbon for each member of the family.
  • Walk the perimeter of your property with your children. Pick up litter and make sure everything is in order.
  • If you plan ahead, at Halloween you can purchase Faery wings for your child to wear at the local discount store for around $4.00.
  • Make flower pictures with cup cake papers. Have your child glue them down on paper and paint, color, or draw the stems.
  • When I was a very small girl in New England, we decorated our bikes, tricycles, and scooters with crepe paper and had a parade.
  • Watch Disney’s Robin Hood with your child. Then make cardboard swords with your child and pretend to have a sword fight. You can make a newspaper hat, paint it green, and stick a feather in it to look like Robin Hood. Let your child dress up like the May Queen. Make a pointed hat with a large piece of paper rolled, and tape crepe paper streamer from the top. Decorate with crayons, stickers, and glitter.
  • For younger children, read "Rabbit’s Good News" by Ruth Lercher Bornstein.
  • For older children, read, "How Babies are Made" by Andy & Steven Schepp.
  • Beltane Song

Good Bye Winter,
Good bye Winter,
Good bye Winter,
Good bye Winter,
We wish you’d leave us now.

(replace the following words for "Winter:" snow, slush, snowsuits, cold wind, and any thing else the children come up with.)

Come back Springtime,
Come back Springtime,
Come back Springtime,
We wish you’d come today.

(replace the following words for "Springtime:" green grass, flowers, birds, and any thing else the children come up with.)

Juice of Love
Ingredients:

  • 1 package of frozen strawberries (with the juice)
  • 2 cups of either pineapple juice or orange juice
  • 2/3 cup nonfat dry milk
  • 8 ice cubes
  • 2 teaspoons sugar.

Put all the ingredients into a blender, and blend until ‘"smoothie" texture. Serve immediately.

Beltane Baskets

Start with a white paper cup. Have the children stick flower stickers all over the outside. Make a pipe cleaner handle. Fill with tiny Spring flowers.

Start with a large circle of paper. Let the children paint or color it. Roll into a cone shape. Staple into place. Staple on a paper handle. Fill with flowers.
Start with a margarine or whipped topping tub. Cover with construction paper. Paint or color construction paper, or cover with stickers. Tape on a stiff paper handle. Fill with flowers.

  • Read The Girl Who Reached for the Stars

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 – Finger Puppets

April 19, 2010 at 9:45 am (Children, Crafts, Kids, Magic, Witch, Witchlets)

Finger Puppets
Found at
Proud to be Pagan

Everyone has a glove or two lying around the house that will never be used. Remember that glove that lost its mate last winter? Put it to some good use instead of throwing it away.
You will need

  • a glove
  • scissors
  • markers
  • different colored felt
  • wiggly eyes
  • colored pipe cleaners
  • acrylic craft paint (all colors)
  • yarn
  • elmer’s school glue

Begin by snipping each finger off of the glove at the base. One glove will make 5 finger puppets. You may want to create puppets for characters from a story or you can create a story for them after you have created the characters. All sorts of people, plants and animals can be made from fingers of gloves. For example, if you want a bat, just cut some wings and tiny round ears from black felt and glue them to the finger piece. Glue on some wiggly eyes and you have a bat. If the glove is not black, you can paint it with some acrylic craft paint before you glue on the parts. For a cat, just cut some pointy ears, yarn whiskers and a little yarn tail. Butterflies, bees and even people are easy to make. For people, you can just glue on yarn for hair. Cut clothes out of the felt and glue them onto the front of the finger. When you are finished it is easy to make a little stage for your characters. Just use a shoe box. Turn the box on its side and cut a rectangle out of the bottom of the box leaving about 1/2 inch all around the sides and 1 1/2 inches on the bottom. This will be what you hide your hands behind. Cut the top off and make curtains from red cloth or felt. You can even paint the sides of the box to look like a background and make props such as trees or furniture out of colored paper. Mount them on popsicle sticks to use in your performance!

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 – Creating a Bee House

April 12, 2010 at 9:47 am (Beltane, Children, Crafts, Flowers, Garden, Kids, Monday, pagan, Witch, Witchlets)

Creating a Bee House
Found at Proud to be Pagan

Besides bees that nest in hives of thousands, some bees prefer to live alone. Bumble bees and carpenter bees are just two examples of bees which love to nest in holes. You can help these wonderful pollinating creatures by building an easy bee house.
You will need:

  • block of wood 6x6x6 inches
  • a drill with a 3/16 inch bit
  • an eye screw
  • some string

You will need an adult to help you with the drilling. Drill about 12 holes in random places on one side of the block 5 inches deep. These will be the individual bee houses. Be sure that the holes are drilled at just a slight upward angle to prevent the rain from coming in. Screw the eye screw into the very center of the top of the bee house and tie a piece of short heavy string to it. Hang your bee house in a tree where you think the bees would be safe from the elements. As the wood ages it will turn a nice gray color and blend in with the surroundings. Your bees will return again and again to visit your house and stay around to pollinate your gardens.

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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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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Thursday This Is Your Spell – Fertility Spell

March 11, 2010 at 10:10 am (Children, Fertility, Kids, Magic, Ostara, pagan, Spell, Thursday, Witch, Witchlets)

Fertility Spell

  • Patchouli oil
  • Sandalwood incense
  • 2 pine cones
  • 3 wheat heads
  • Green Candle
  • Green marker
  • Paper

Rub the oil on the candle and anoint yourself around the womb area with a drop of oil. Light the candle and incense and place the pine cones and wheat into a cauldron or container. Visualize your magical goal and use the marker to draw yourself on the right hand side of the paper as you are now – draw yourself as you want to be on the left side (flat belly, pregnant belly will do just fine) visualize your goal while drawing – when you feel you’ve visualized enough tear the paper in half and fold the left side with your goal drawn on it into a small square and place it in your pocket then light the other paper in the candle flame and place it in the cauldron to burn. Chant or pray for your goal to be realized as you watch the paper burn. Bury the contents of the cauldron in your yard – preferable a garden – leave an offering of a small crumb of cake on a crystal plate for any good spirits or fairies who might happen by. Stay positive so you don’t attract the attention of any jealous or bad fairies! Keep the paper with your goal drawn on it with you at all times until your wish is granted then you can place it in a safe place for luck.

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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Wednesday Whatever – You Call It Easter, We Call It Ostara

March 10, 2010 at 10:53 am (Ancestors, Associations, Children, Eggs, Eostre, Fae, Fertility, Flowers, Folklore, History, Kids, Lore, Magic, Ostara, pagan, Wednesday, Witch, Witchlets)

You Call It Easter, We Call It Ostara
by Peg Aloi Originally published on Witchvox

Try this sometime with your children or a young niece, nephew or cousin: on the day of the Vernal or Autumnal Equinox, just a few moments before the exact moment of the equinox, go outside with a raw egg. Find a reasonably level place on the sidewalk or driveway. For a few moments just before and just after the equinox, you can balance the egg upright (wider end down) by simply setting it down on the ground. No kidding! It will stand up all by itself. Kids love this, and most adults are amazed and delighted, too. This little "trick" brings together two of the most potent aspects of this holiday: the balancing of the earth’s gravity midway between the extremes of light and dark at Winter and Summer Solstice; and the symbolism of the egg.

The egg is one of the most notable symbols of Easter, but, as someone who was raised Catholic and who was never told exactly why we colored eggs at Easter, or why there was a bunny who delivered candy to us, or why it was traditional to buy new clothes to wear for church on Easter Sunday, I always wondered about this holiday. As with many of the seemingly unrelated secular symbols and traditions of Christmas (what do evergreen trees, mistletoe, reindeer and lights have to do with the birth of Christ? You might wanna read "You Call It Christmas, We Call It Yule" for an exploration of these connections), Easter too has adapted many ancient pagan symbols and customs in its observance.

Easter gets its name from the Teutonic goddess of spring and the dawn, whose name is spelled Oestre or Eastre (the origin of the word "east" comes from various Germanic, Austro-Hungarian words for dawn that share the root for the word "aurora" which means " to shine"). Modern pagans have generally accepted the spelling "Ostara" which honors this goddess as our word for the Vernal Equinox. The 1974 edition of Webster’s New World Dictionary defines Easter thus:

"orig., name of pagan vernal festival almost coincident in date with paschal festival of the church; Eastre, dawn goddess; 1. An annual Christian festival celebrating the resurrection of Jesus, held on the first Sunday after the date of the first full moon that occurs on or after March 21.

"The Vernal Equinox usually falls somewhere between March 19th and 22nd (note that the dictionary only mentions March 21st, as opposed to the date of the actual Equinox), and depending! upon when the first full moon on or after the Equinox occurs, Easter falls sometime between late-March and mid-April.

Because the Equinox and Easter are so close, many Catholics and others who celebrate Easter often see this holiday (which observes Christ’s resurrection from the dead after his death on Good Friday) as being synonymous with rebirth and rejuvenation: the symbolic resurrection of Christ is echoed in the awakening of the plant and animal life around us. But if we look more closely at some of these Easter customs, we will see that the origins are surprisingly, well, pagan! Eggs, bunnies, candy, Easter baskets, new clothes, all these "traditions" have their origin in practices which may have little or nothing to do with the Christian holiday.

For example, the traditional coloring and giving of eggs at Easter has very pagan associations. For eggs are clearly one of the most potent symbols of fertility, and spring is the season when animals begin to mate and flowers and trees pollinate and reproduce. In England and Northern Europe, eggs were often employed in folk magic when women wanted to be blessed with children. There is a great scene in the film The Wicker Man where a woman sits upon a tombstone in the cemetery, holding a child against her bared breasts with one hand, and holding up an egg in the other, rocking back and forth as she stares at the scandalized (and very uptight!) Sargent Howie.

Many cultures have a strong tradition of egg coloring; among Greeks, eggs are traditionally dyed dark red and given as gifts. As for the Easter egg hunt, a fun game for kids, I have heard at least one pagan teacher say that there is a rather scary history to this. As with many elements of our "ancient history," there is little or no factual documentation to back this up. But the story goes like this: Eggs were decorated and offered as gifts and to bring blessings of prosperity and abundance in the coming year; this was common in Old Europe. As Christianity rose and the ways of the "Old Religion" were shunned, people took to hiding the eggs and having children make a game out of finding them. This would take place with all the children of the village looking at the same time in everyone’s gardens and beneath fences and other spots. It is said, however, that those people who sought to seek out heathens and heretics would bribe children with coins or threats, and once those children uncovered eggs on someone’s property, that person was then accused of practicing the old ways. I have never read any historical account of this, so I cannot offer a source for this story (though I assume the person who first told me found it somewhere); when I find one, I will let you know! When I first heard it, I was eerily reminded of the way my own family conducted such egg hunts: our parents hid money inside colorful plastic eggs that could be opened and closed up again; some eggs contained pennies, some quarters and dimes and nickels, and some lucky kids would find a fifty-cent piece or silver dollar! In our mad scramble for pocket change, were my siblings and cousins and I mimicking the treacherous activities of children so long ago?

Traditional foods play a part in this holiday, as with so many others. Ham is the traditional main course served in many families on Easter Sunday, and the reason for this probably has to do with the agricultural way of life in old Europe. In late fall, usually in October, also known as the month of the Blood Moon, because it referred to the last time animals were slaughtered before winter, meats were salted and cured so they would last through the winter. Poorer people, who subsisted on farming and hunting, would often eat very sparingly in winter to assure their food supply would last. With the arrival of spring, there was less worry, and to celebrate the arrival of spring and of renewed abundance, they would serve the tastiest remaining cured meats, including hams. This also marked a seasonal end to eating cured foods and a return to eating fresh game (as animals emerged from hibernation looking for food), and no longer relying on stored root vegetables, but eating the young green plants so full of the vitamins and minerals that all living beings need to replenish their bodies in spring. Modern pagans can observe these same customs by eating the fresh greens and early vegetables abundant now: dandelion greens, nettles, asparagus, and the like.

There are some Witches who believe that fasting at the Equinox is very healthy and magical: it clears away all the toxins stored over winter, when we eat heavier foods to keep warm, and can create an altered state of consciousness for doing Equinox magic. By eliminating all the "poisons" from our diets for a few days (including sugar, caffeine, alcohol, red meats, dairy products, refined foods), and eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, we not only can shed a few pounds and improve the appearance of our hair and skin, but also improve our health over the long term. The overall benefit to health from an occasional cleansing fast helps strengthen our immune system, making our bodies more resistant to illness, and help us feel more alert and energetic. Try it! Be sure to "break" your fast slowly,! reintroducing your normal foods one at a time, instead of going from several days of fruits, grains and herbal tea to a feast of steak, potatoes and chocolate cake! The breaking of the fast can be incorporated into the cakes and wine portion of your ritual, or at the feast many Witches have afterwards.

Speaking of food, another favorite part of Easter for kids, no doubt, is that basket of treats! Nestled in plastic "grass" colored pink or green, we’d find foil wrapped candy eggs, hollow chocolate bunnies, jelly beans, marshmallow chicks (in pink, yellow or lavender!), fancy peanut butter or coconut eggs from Russell Stover, and of course our Mom always included one of the beautiful ceramic eggs she painted by hand. Like that other holiday where children are inundated with sugar (Hallowe’en), no one seems to know precisely where, when or how this custom began. And why are the baskets supposedly brought by a bunny???

There are some modern Witches and pagans who follow traditions that integrate the faery lore of the Celtic countries. It is customary to leave food and drink out for the fairies on the nights of our festivals, and it is believed that if the fairies are not honored with gifts at these times, they will work mischief in our lives. Certain holidays call for particular "fairy favorites." At Imbolc/Oimelc (February 2nd), for example, we leave gifts of dairy origin, like cheese, butter or fresh cream. At Lammas/Lughnasa (August 1st) we leave fresh grains or newly-baked bread. At Samhain, nuts and apples are traditional. And at Ostara, it is customary to leave something sweet (honey, or mead, or candy) – could this be connected to the Easter basket tradition? Perhaps a gift of sweets corresponds to the sweet nectar gathering in new spring flowers?

To refer again to The Wicker Man, the post office/candy shop where May Morrison works (she is the mother of Rowan Morrison, the young girl who is supposedly missing and who Sargent Howie has come to Summerisle to find) offers a large selection of candies shaped like animals. When Sargent Howie says "I like your rabbits" Mrs. Morrison scolds him saying "Those are hares! Lovely March hares, not silly old rabbits!" And when Howie goes to dig up the grave of Rowan Morrison (who it turns out is neither dead nor missing) he finds the carcass of a hare, and Lord Summerisle tries to convince him that Rowan was transformed into a hare upon her death. Clearly this is an illustration of the powerful association with animals that many ancient cultures have (Summerisle being a place where time has seemingly stood still and where the pagan pursuit of pleasure and simple agricultural ways define the way of life).

The forming of candy into the shape of rabbits or chicks is a way to acknowledge them as symbols; by eating them, we take on their characteristics, and enhance our own fertility, growth and vitality. For clearly the association of rabbits with Easter has something to do with fertility magic. Anyone who has kept rabbits as pets or knows anything about their biology has no question about the origin of the phrase "f**like a bunny." These cute furry creatures reproduce rapidly, and often! Same with chicks, who emerge wobbly and slimy from their eggs only to become fluffy, yellow and cute within a few hours. The Easter Bunny may well have its origin in the honoring of rabbits in spring as an animal sacred to the goddess Eastre, much as horses are sacred to the Celtic Epona, and the crow is sacred to the Morrigan. As a goddess of spring, she presides over the realm of the conception and birth of babies, both animal and human, and of the pollination, flowering and ripening of fruits in the plant kingdom.

Sexual activity is the root of all of life: to honor this activity is to honor our most direct connection to nature. At Beltane (April 31st-May 1st), pagans and Witches honor the sexual union of the god and goddess amid the flowers and fruits that have begun to cover the land; but prior to that, at Ostara, we welcome the return of the spring goddess from her long season of dormant sleep. The sap begins to flow, the trees are budding, the ground softens, ice melts, and everywhere the fragrance and color of spring slowly awakens and rejuvenates our own life force. I have always thought this had a lot to do with the tradition of wearing newly-bought or made clothes at Easter, in pastel spring colors.

Wearing such colors we echo the flowering plants, crocus, lilac, forsythia, bluebells, violets and new clothes allow us to feel we are renewing our persona. How many of us feel sort of "blah" after winter ends? Along with the fasting practice mentioned earlier, this is a time for many of us to create new beginnings in our lives: this can apply to jobs, relationships, living situations, lifestyle choices. But since the Equinox is such a potent time magically, and often falls in the period when Mercury is Retrograde, starting a new endeavor at this time can be problematic if we do not take care. One good way to avoid catastrophe is to engage in small, personally-oriented rites or activities: a new haircut, a new clothing style or make-up, a new exercise program, the grand old tradition of spring cleaning, a new course of study: all of these are relatively "safe" ways to begin anew without risking the weirdness and unpredictability of Mercury Retrograde. This is a very powerful time to do magic, not only because of the balancing of the earth’s energies, but because of the way our own beings echo the earth’s changes. We are literally reborn as we emerge from our winter sleep, ready to partake of all the pleasures of the earth, and to meet the challenges we will face as the world changes around us daily. As we greet and celebrate with our pagans brothers and sisters of the Southern Hemisphere (for whom the Vernal Equinox more closely resembles the beginning of autumn, in physical terms!), we remember that Spring is not only a season; it is a state of mind.

Blessed Be in the Season of Spring! Go Forth and Flower!

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 – To Make Ostara Eggs

March 8, 2010 at 10:11 am (Associations, Children, Colors, Eggs, Herbs, Kids, Magic, Monday, Ostara, pagan, Witch, Witchlets)

To Make Ostara Eggs
unknown author

Boil a handful of an herb of flower until the water is well colored. Place the water into a heat-resistant cup or bowl. Stir in a teaspoon of vinegar and a pinch of salt and allow soaking.

For the colors use the following:

  • Yellow – Carrots, white grape juice, turmeric, fenugreek
  • Orange – Onion Skins, Madder Root, Cayenne
  • Red – Red onion skins, madder root, cayenne
  • Red-Violet – purple grape juice, red raspberries
  • Green – Carrot tops, bracken
  • Blue – Blueberries, Red Cabbage, Black raspberries
  • Blue-Violet – Blackberries, Beet juice, Mulberries
  • Pink – Heather

The meaning for the colors:

  • White: Purity, birth, virginity, and ignorance.
  • Yellow: Youth, light, purity, happiness an wisdom
  • Red: passion, love, enthusiasm
  • Orange: Endurance, strength, power
  • Green: Renewal, freshness, hope, victory of life over death
  • Brown: earth
  • Blue: Sky, good health derived from air
  • Purple: patience, trust and power
  • Black: remembrance, eternity, constancy, death

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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