Yule in Southern Hemisphere – Litha in Northern Hemisphere

Yule blessings to all of us in the Southern Hemisphere, it is a cold wintry day here on the mountain with the mist covering everything with its beauty.   Keep warming and Blessed Be!

Yule blessings

Yule

Yule is celebrated at the winter solstice (Or the midpoint of winter). It is the shortest day of the year, and the longest night.

Yule comes from the Germanic “Iul” meaning “Wheel.” Yule celebrates Winter, and the rebirth of the Sun God. As Yule is the shortest day of the Year it marks the Suns low point, as after this the Sun will begin to grow stronger again. It is customary to have a Yule log – this is a log (Traditionally Oak or Pine) that you burn during this time, and keep it through the year for protection, and add it to the fire of the following year’s Yule log.

If you do not wish to have a fire, you can use a log with holes drilled into it as a candle holder which will represent the Yule fire.  It is also customary to light many lights and candles as sympathetic magik to bring the Sun back, persuading him to emerge from the womb of the Earth mother..

Holly is traditionally worn by men, and Ivy by women at this time.  The Yule tree (Also known as the Christmas tree) was a wishing tree, the wishes for the new year hang in the arms of the universe.

You can make a Pagan Yule tree by making decorations from Rose Buds, Cinnamon Sticks, Pop Corn, Bags of Herbs, Crystals suspended from wire, Apples, Oranges, Lemons etc.  After you have made the tree, dance around it Deosil (clockwise), singing and making wishes. A time for Rebirth, reflection, new ideas, dreams, hopes and giving.

Plants for Yule:  Holly, Mistletoe, Ivy, Evergreens, Pine, Cedar, Bay, Juniper, Rosemary, Pine, Apples, Oranges, Nutmeg, Lemon, Cinnamon, Frankincense.

Foods of Yule:  All “Christmas” foods (eg. Turkey, Roasts, Potatoes etc.), hearty Winter foods (Stew etc.), Nuts, Apples, Pears, Caraway, Pork, Hibiscus or Ginger tea.

Stones:  Onyx, Obsidian, Jet.

Colours:  Red, Green, Orange, White.

Element:  Earth.

Planet: Saturn

Zodiac: Capricorn.

Pagan belief:  The Goddess gives birth to the God.  Some traditions have a Holly King and an Oak King as the God, and they fight at Yule with the Oak King winning, and ruling until Litha.

Yule Goddesses: Fortuna, Gaia, Heket, Lilith, Frey, Ma’at, Pandora, Shekinah, Tiamat.

Yule Gods: Apollo, Balder, Cronos, Helios, Janus, Lugh, Oak King, Holly King, Ra, Sol, Attis, mithras, Odin, Saturn.

 

Litha – Northern Hemisphere

 

Litha blessings to all in the Northern Hemisphere as you celebrate the Summer Solstice and revel in the warmth of the season.  Blessed Be!

litha9
Litha, or Midsummer, is celebrated at the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the Year, and the shortest night.

Litha celebrates the very height of the powers of the Sun and of Life. But it also acknowledges that after this date the Sun will begin to weaken and the days to grow shorter. Litha is a time of purification.  An Example of a purification Litha spell is to take a small herbal bag filled with Litha herbs/flowers, put all your problems, worries etc. into the bag, and drop it into the Litha fire to burn all those worries away.

Litha is also a time to pay attention to your dreams, as these could contain messages for the future.  This Sabbat is a good time to perform any Magikal workings, and jumping over a Litha balefire will increase the Magikal energy and give purification  Herbs and plants for ritual use can be harvested at Litha to make use of the high level of Magik power at this time.

Litha is also a time to make protection amulets, and bless people or animals.
Plants for Litha:  Mugwort, Vervain, Chamomile, Rose, lily, Oak, Lavender, Ivy, Yarrow, Fern, Elder, Wild thyme, Daisy, Carnation, St John’s Wort.

Stones: Moonstone, Quartz, Pearl.

Colours:  Green, Orange, Yellow, Gold.

Element:  Water.

Planet:  Moon.

Zodiac:  Cancer.

Pagan Beliefs:  The Goddess is mature.  The God prepares for his death.  Some traditions have the Holly King and the Oak King fighting again, but this time the Holly King wins, and rules until Yule.

Litha Goddesses: Athena, Bona Dea, Freya, Hathor, Isis, Juno, Nuit, Artemis, Dana, Eos, Kali, Sekhmet, Vesta.

Litha Gods: Apollo, Baal, Dagda, Balder, Helios, lugh, Oak king, Holly King, Prometheus, Ra, Thor, Sol, Zeus.

New Release – Star Glory by T.Jackson King

Today I have a New Release for you, Star Glory, book in the Empire Series, by my friend T. Jackson King.

Star Glory

 

Description1

Nathan Stewart never expected to be homeless in the galaxy. But that is what happens when his starship Star Glory is ambushed by a fleet from the alien-run Empire of Eternity. His captain is given a choice–surrender and pledge that Earth will join the Empire as a Servant species, or Earth will be destroyed! Nathan watches all this happening from his job as an antimatter engineer on the Engineering Deck. But what can he do? He’s just a country boy raised on a Colorado cattle ranch. As two other Earth ships are destroyed, Nathan gets a wild idea that might save his ship. The idea works. The Star Glory escapes destruction. But the ship, his captain, his crewmates and Nathan cannot return to Earth without learning a way to defy the Empire. But learning about the entity that rules four arms of the galaxy and has now expanded into Orion Arm is dangerous. Nathan does his best to help his crewmates but will it be enough?

 

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Samhain in Southern Hemisphere – Beltane in Northern Hemisphere

As we begin to move away from Autumn and flow into winter here in the Southern Hemisphere we celebrate Samhain, stay toasty and warm in these cold months.  Blessed Be!

How To Celebrate the God & Goddess at Samhain

Posted on October 31, 2014 by ladyoftheabyss

In some Wiccan traditions, by Samhain, the Goddess has entered her incarnation of Crone. She is the Old One, the earth mother, the wise one we turn to when we need advice. She teaches us that sometimes we must let go in order to move on. The God, at Samhain, is the Horned One, the stag of great antlers, the god of the wild hunt. He is the animal that dies so that we may eat, and the grains and corn that once lived in the field before our harvest. We can honor these late-fall aspects of both the Goddess and the God in one ritual.

Begin by casting a circle, if your tradition requires it. Prior to starting the ceremony, place three sheaves of corn or wheat around the ritual space. You’ll also need a statue or other image of the God and of the Goddess at the center of your altar. Around the statues, place five candles — red and black to represent the dark aspect of the Goddess, green and brown to symbolize the wild God, and white for the hearth and home.

Place a plate of dark bread, enough for each person present, near the center of the altar, along with a cup of wine or cider. Circle the altar. The youngest person present will act as the Handmaiden, and the oldest as the High Priest (HP) or High Priestess (HPs). If you’re performing this rite as a solitary, simply take on both parts. The HPs lights the red and black candles, and says:

A pair of candles is lit
in honor of the Goddess.
She is Maiden and Mother throughout the year
and tonight we honor her as Crone.

Next, the HPs lights the brown and green candles, saying:

A pair of candles is lit
in honor of the God.
He is wild and fertile and animal
and tonight we honor him as the Horned God.

The Handmaiden takes the bread and walks the circle with the plate, allowing each person to tear off a chunk. As they do so, she says: May the blessings of the Goddess be upon you. The cup of wine or cider is passed around, and each person takes a sip. As they do, the Handmaiden should say: May the blessings of the God be upon you.

The Handmaiden then lights the fifth candle, for the hearth, saying:

This candle is lit
in honor of hearth and home.
The mother and father, the Goddess and God,
watch over us tonight as we honor them.

The HPs then takes over, saying:

We light these five candles
for the powerful Goddess
and her mighty horned consort, the God,
and for the safety of home and hearth.
On this, the night of Samhain,
when the Goddess is a wise Crone,
and the God is a wild stag,
we honor them both.

The Handmaiden says:

This is a time between the worlds,
a time of life and a time of death.
This is a night unlike any other night.
Ancient ones, we ask your blessing.
Goddess, great Crone, mother of all life,
we thank you for your wisdom.
Horned God, master of the wild hunt, keeper of the forest,
we thank you for all that you provide.

At this time, the rest of the group may also say thanks. If you wish to make an offering to the God and Goddess, now is the time to place it upon the altar.

Once all offerings have been made, and thanks given, take a moment to meditate on the new beginnings of Samhain. Consider the gifts that the gods have given you over the past year, and think about how you might show them your gratitude in the coming twelve months. As the old year dies, make room in the new year for new things in your life. You may not know yet what’s coming, but you can certainly imagine, dream and hope. Tonight, this night between the worlds, is the perfect time to imagine what things may come.

End the ritual in the way called for by your tradition.

Tips:

  • Decorate your altar with symbols of the God — antlers, acorns, pine cones, phallic symbols — and representations of the Goddess, such as red flowers, cups, pomegranates, etc.
  • If your tradition honors a specific pair of male and female deities, feel free to substitute their names in this ritual wherever it says God or Goddess.

By Patti Wigington

Paganism/Wicca Expert

Beltane in Northern Hemisphere

Beltane blessings to all in the Northern Hemisphere as you begin to feel the sun on your face and the warm Spring and Summer months come forward. Blessed Be!

Beltane1

Beltane Festival is held in honour of the god Bel.

In some modern traditions he is also known by the names, Beli, Belar, Balor, or Belenus.

In the myth of many modern traditions of wicca/witchcraft, Beltane marks the appearance of the Horned One, who is the rebirth of the Solar God slain during the Wheel of the Year. He then becomes consort to the Goddess, impregnating her with his seed, and thereby ensuring his own rebirth once again.

Beltane marks the beginning of summer’s half and the pastoral growing season. The word “Beltane” literally means “bright fire”, and refers to the bonfires lit during this season.

It is also a time of beginnings, the beginnings of many new projects.

Beltane is a fertility festival, concerned with Nature enchantments and offerings to wildlings and Elementals.

The return of full-blown fertility is now very evident.

The powers of elves and faeries are growing and will reach their height at the Summer Solstice.

The celts respected faeries, active at this sabbat, and were sure that these Little People would come to the celebration disguised as humans to ask for a part of the fire, which, when freely given, would give the faeries some measure of power over the giver.

Beltane is the cross quarter holiday between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice it is the time when the abundance of flowers and green is a welcome relief from winters drabness; it was traditionally a day for leaping the Beltane fires, which were lit to honour the sun god, and for celebrating fertility.

Beltane celebrates the blessing between Mother Earth and Father Sky and honours all life.

Both are times when the “veil” between the worlds is thought to be thinnest, and therefore magik can happen, such as visits from faeries or similar other-worldly occurrences.

This is a good time for invoking our spirit guides to help us.

A blessed Beltane to you!

New Release – Blood Fever by Simone Beaudelaire

Today I have a New Release for you from my friend Simone BeaudelaireBlood Fever is a vampire romance adventure.  I have read this book and loved it.

Blood Fever

 

Description1

It is the spring of 1945 and the War in Europe is ending, but in New Orleans’s French Quarter, the sultry nights conceal a danger even greater to the future of humanity. Standing alone against this ancient, bloodthirsty evil, scientist Philippe Dumont races against time to cure a disease that resembles yellow fever… but is not.

Budding researcher Daphne Delaney joins Philippe in hopes of preventing an undead despot from launching his own quest for global dominance. Daunting though the task may seem, neither Daphne nor Philippe can grasp the scope of the danger they face, nor of the passion they will find in each other.

From urban New Orleans to the depths of the bayou, Philippe must chase the monster who terrorized his youth to save the woman he loves. But the Vampire King will not rest until both lovers belong to him… for all eternity.

This is a steamy romance and includes graphic sex scenes.

Trigger warning: This book contains scenes of non-consensual sexual contact.

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Cover Reveal – Intrinsic Connections by Mistral Dawn

reblogged from – http://mistralkdawn.blogspot.com.au/

#CoverReveal: Intrinsic #Connections! 🙂

Hey Everyone!! 🙂
I promised you a cover reveal for Intrinsic Connections, and here it is! 😉  Julie Nicholls is the artist and she’s incredibly talented. Julie not only creates book covers, she’s also an author! 🙂  If you’d like to see more of her fantabulous work, you can check it out here: Julie’s Website.
At the moment, I’m working on edits, but I promise I’ll keep you posted on how that’s going. I really hope it won’t take more than a month or two to get this book polished up.  In the meantime, here’s a little taste. 😉
Excerpt from Intrinsic Connections:

Thoughts and questions spiraled through Petri’s head faster than she could register them. She felt like if she could just catch hold of one, the spinning ball would unravel and everything would make sense again. But try as she might, she couldn’t seem to follow any one train of thought to its conclusion. Indecision paralyzed her.

She knew what she wanted; to get herself and her friends away from the terrifying alien as quickly as possible without anyone getting hurt. But things had changed too fast for her to process the new situation properly, and she didn’t know where to start. All she could do was stand and wonder at the weight of menace such a small, unprepossessing, apparently innocuous creature could convey.

Petri had never seen an Arcanum before. Few had and lived to tell of it. But, in spite of their reclusive nature, every now and again a member of another species would escape with their life from an encounter with the Arcanum. So, there were plenty of tales about what they looked like. And, Petri noted, some of those stories even approached the truth.

On its surface, the Arcanum didn’t appear dangerous. It was short, much shorter than even her own four-foot-two-inch height, and exceedingly slender. The creature’s arms and legs looked like delicate twigs that could easily be snapped in two by an average-sized human. But its head was enormous, bulbous with large, lidless eyes, slits for a nose, and no mouth. Perched atop its reedy neck, the head had an almost farcical appearance. Like a child’s balloon with a face drawn on it.

But, in spite of its almost comical appearance, the Arcanum was shrouded in a miasma of danger. It wasn’t hostility so much as supreme indifference. There would be no threat from the Arcanum. It would simply exterminate them. With no more thought than she would give to stepping on a bug.

The alien was cadaverously slender and, since it wore no clothing, Petri could see that it bore no obvious signs of the being’s gender. Its skin was pale and sickly looking, like one of the corpses that were pulled from the underworld gutters every morning, and it added to the eerie quality of the creature. A baleful, golden glow smoldered in the Arcanum’s eyes. Those glowing eyes were one of the few elements that were consistent between the scattered accounts of encounters with the Arcanum. Petri’s own eyes glowed when she was in the grip of strong emotions and when she used her power. That trait was what had betrayed her on Upworld. No other known species had such eyes, and now Petri knew why others found them so memorable. The light in the alien’s eyes held her transfixed; as if she were looking into the fabled torment that awaited sinners in every religious mythology anyone had ever tried to sell her. But, unlike those stories, the Arcanum’s eyes made her believe.

New Release – Vanish by Becca J. Campbell

reblogged from: http://www.beccajcampbell.com/vanish/

Vanish: A Sweet Romance with a Fantastical Twist

VANISH

Readers say,

An amazing story that will make your heart swell

Eva has two secrets. The second is that she periodically vanishes into thin air.

Usually, Eva’s spontaneous disappearances last only a few minutes, but on the day of her high school graduation, she vanished for nearly ten years. For a decade she was invisible and intangible–unable to be felt or seen or heard. She can’t imagine a worse torture than standing on the outside looking in.

Now she’s back, but it’s not enough to be tangible once again. Eva needs to find a way to stop vanishing permanently. Which is why she’s facing her ten-year class reunion–and her ex-boyfriend. The clue to stopping her disappearances must be tied to him, intertwined with their past. Unfortunately, approaching him is awkward-level five billion, considering he broke up with her ten years ago.

When Eva starts getting threatening texts from an unknown source, she realizes the reunion has just gotten even more complicated. Especially when she discovers that source has found out about her second, worse secret.

In order to find the key to stop her vanishing, Eva must battle grudge-wielding friends, relentless old crushes, and a classmate with a vendetta against her. And, in the meantime, hope she doesn’t vanish again. Because somebody wants her gone for another ten years.

Vanish is a sweet romance with a fantastical twist. It’s the perfect blend of Magical Realism and Romance. If you enjoy charmingly quirky characters, a love story that will tug your heartstrings, and an emotionally rich storyline, download this book today.

Purchase Vanish Now

Download Vanish from Amazon

New Release – Shell Game by K H Bixby

Today I have a New Release for you, Shell Game by author K H Bixby.  Although this isn’t my normal genre that I read, I recently read it and really enjoyed it.

Shell Game

 

Description1

Uprooted from the violence of his homeland, Sami Turan leads a sheltered existence in New York until an explosive encounter with a family member brings back to the surface all he’d lost. On a mission to right a wrong in the best way he can think of, he discovers monsters wear many masks.

Trying to correct his ill-conceived actions, he inadvertently nudges out of balance the first domino of an overlooked international conflict.

Will his actions help his homeland or will he end up starting the next world war? At what price? And will the monsters he exposes in the process be obliterated?

 

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