Beltane in Southern Hemisphere – Samhain in Northern Hemisphere

Beltane blessings to all of us in the Southern Hemisphere, we are heading towards summer and here in parts of Australia bush fires are raging already so we will be on high alert all throughout the summer.

It’s not really Halloween here, but as there is so much hype about it you can’t tell the children not to trick or treat, so they do.  We have loads of kids come to our house, they love it.

Blessed Be! to all.

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!

 

Samhain in Northern Hemisphere

To all in the Northern Hemisphere I wish you a Blessed Samhain, as the cold and snow begins to come your way may you stay warm and cosy.  Enjoy Halloween and trick or treating.  Blessed Be!

SamhainGreetings1

Article by Selena Fox

As October turns to November, thousands of Witches, Wiccans, Druids, and other Pagans across America, Canada, Europe, and elsewhere observe the sacred time of Samhain. Samhain is a festival of the Dead. Meaning “Summer’s End” and pronounced saah-win or saa-ween, Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest and the start of the coldest half of the year. For many practitioners, myself included, Samhain also is the beginning of the spiritual new year.

 

Originating in ancient Europe as a Celtic Fire festival, Samhain is now celebrated worldwide. The timing of contemporary Samhain celebrations varies according to spiritual tradition and geography. Many of us celebrate Samhain over the course of several days and nights, and these extended observances usually include a series of solo rites as well as ceremonies, feasts, and gatherings with family, friends, and spiritual community. In the northern hemisphere, many Pagans celebrate Samhain from sundown on October 31 through November 1. Others hold Samhain celebrations on the nearest weekend or on the Full or New Moon closest to this time. Some Pagans observe Samhain a bit later, or near November 6, to coincide more closely with the astronomical midpoint between Fall Equinox and Winter Solstice. Most Pagans in the southern hemisphere time their Samhain observances to coincide with the middle of their Autumn in late April and early May, rather than at the traditional European time of the holiday.

Samhain also has been known by other names. Some Celtic Wiccans and Druids call it Calan Gaeaf, Calan Gwaf, Kala-Goanv, or Nos Galan Gaeof. In Welsh, it is Nos Cyn Calan Gaual. It also is known as Oie Houney. A medieval book of tales, the Yellow Book of Lecan, reports that common folk called it the “Feast of Mongfind,” the legendary Witch-Queen who married a King of Tara in old Ireland. In the ancient Coligny Calendar, an engraved bronze dating from the first century C.E.and dug up in 1897 in France, Samhain is called Trinouxtion Samonii, or “Three Nights of the End of Summer.” Variant spellings of Samhain include Samain, Samuin, and Samhuinn.

With the growth and spread of Christianity as the dominant religion throughout Europe, Samhain time took on Christian names and guises. All Saints’ Day or All Hallows on November 1 commemorated Christian saints and martyrs. All Souls’ Day on November 2 was a remembrance for all souls of the dead. With the coming of Christian Spaniards to Mexico, the indigenous customs of honoring the dead at this time of year mixed with Roman Catholicism and gave birth to the Day of the Dead, Dia de los Muertos, in early November. Samhain shares the ancient spiritual practice of remembering and paying respects to the Dead with these related religious holidays of Christianity.

Halloween, short for All Hallow’s Eve, is celebrated on and around October 31. Although occurring at the same time of year and having roots in end-of-harvest celebrations of the ancient past, Halloween and Samhain are not the same, but two separate holidays that differ considerably in focus and practice. In contemporary America and elsewhere, Halloween is a secular folk holiday. Like its cousin, Thanksgiving, it is widely and publicly celebrated in homes, schools, and communities, large and small, by people of many paths, ethnic heritages, and worldviews. Furthermore, Halloween has evolved to be both a family-oriented children’s holiday as well as an occasion for those of all ages to creatively express themselves and engage in play in the realm of make-believe and fantasy through costumes, trick-or-treating, storytelling, play-acting, pranks, cathartic scary place visits, and parties.

In contrast, Samhain and its related Christian holiday counterparts continue to be religious in focus and spiritually observed by adherents. Although observances may include merry-making, the honoring of the Dead that is central to Samhain is a serious religious practice rather than a light-hearted make-believe re-enactment. Today’s Pagan Samhain rites, while somber, are benevolent, and, although centered on death, do not involve human or animal sacrifices. Most Samhain rituals are held in private rather than in public.

Samhain’s long association with death and the Dead reflects Nature’s rhythms. In many places, Samhain coincides with the end of the growing season. Vegetation dies back with killing frosts, and therefore, literally, death is in the air. This contributes to the ancient notion that at Samhain, the veil is thin between the world of the living and the realm of the Dead and this facilitates contact and communication. For those who have lost loved ones in the past year, Samhain rituals can be an opportunity to bring closure to grieving and to further adjust to their being in the Otherworld by spiritually communing with them.

Selena Fox is senior minister of Circle Sanctuary, an international Wiccan church and Pagan resource center headquartered in the rolling hills of southwestern Wisconsin, USA. Selena also is a psychotherapist, a minister active in interfaith endeavors, and a guest speaker at conferences, festivals, colleges and universities and other venues. Her writings have appeared in a variety of publications in-print and on-line. More info about her and her endeavors: www.selenafox.com.

 

Ostara in Southern Hemisphere – Mabon in Northern Hemisphere

Blessed Ostara to those of us in the Southern Hemisphere as we come into warmer weather.  Sadly we in Australia have been having bush fires already, they say we are having a long dry summer, so any prayers and good energy sent our way will be appreciated.  Otherwise we will enjoy the warmer days.  Blessed Be!

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Ostara in the Southern Hemisphere

As Spring reaches its midpoint, night and day stand in perfect balance, with light on the increase. The young Sun God now celebrates a hierogamy (sacred marriage) with the young Maiden Goddess, who conceives. In nine months, she will again become the Great Mother. It is a time of great fertility, new growth, and newborn animals.

The next full moon (a time of increased births) is called the Ostara and is sacred to Eostre the Saxon Lunar Goddess of fertility (from whence we get the word estrogen, whose two symbols were the egg and the rabbit.

 

Mabon in Northern Hemisphere

To all in the Northern Hemisphere I wish you a blessed Mabon as the days grow cooler and you get ready for the snow, stay warm and safe Blessed Be!

blessed-mabon

 

Magic for Mabon

Posted on March 20, 2015 by Lady Beltane

“Many types of magic may be performed during Mabon. Since we are entering the dark half of the year, now is the time to use magic for personal growth. Here are some ideas.

  • Mediation and dream work are very potent at this time. You can use dreams to uncover past lives.
  • Honor your ancestors and if you wish, using your spiritual path, you may contact them.
  • In some traditions Mabon was believed to have been held captive in the mystical land of Avalon, also called “Land of the Apples.” For this reason, Avalon was known as a place of reincarnation and magic. Charms and spells involving apples would tie nicely with this day. Or, use and apple to symbolize a departed love one during a special ceremony.
  • I have found Mabon to be an ideal time to cleanse magical tools. I like to smudge them in a smoke of sage and cedar.

Getting rid of bad habits is a classic Mabon ritual, and the following spell may help.  Using blue ink, write the habit you wish to break on plain white paper. Think about what you have written, then crumble the paper as if you’re angry. Burn the paper saying this charm–“Fire fleet and candlelight, let this habit take flight! Smoke, curl, white and gray, let this habit go away!” As the smoke rises, see your habit drifting away with it.”

Copyright 2003 James Kambos Lleweylln’s Witches’ Datebook 2003 Pages 12-13

 

 

 

Yule in Southern Hemisphere – Litha in Northern Hemisphere

Blessed Yule to all of us in the Southern Hemisphere.  It is a cold, wet, blustery day, I have one of the cats curled up beside me, the other is sitting on the heating vent.  I am hosting my usual Yule lunch this weekend for a group of friends who love the feast I create for them.  I hope everyone else stays warm and cosy. Blessed Be!

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Midwinter or Yule (21st & 22nd June)

Yule falls at the Midwinter Solstice, when the nights are longer and the days shorter than at any other time of the year. Yule corresponds in many ways with the Northern Hemisphere Christian Christmas festival, and is associated with the Alban Arthan (Scottish). The history behind this is that the early Christian Church sought to gain converts by placing its festivals on or near the existing Pagan festivals.

At this time, Yule logs are burned. The Yule log must traditionally be the root of a hardwood tree, and in Australia mallee roots are ideal for this purpose, as are Tasmanian oaks and all types of Eucalyptus. The Yule log is burned down until nothing but a small piece remains, which is saved and kept to be used as a lighter for the following year’s Yule fire. A Yule tree is placed within the traditional Wiccan home, with a pentagram (five pointed star) at the top, symbolizing the five elements.

At Midwinter, homes are decorated with evergreen, non-deciduous trees, and gifts are given to all family members and all who pass the threshold. It is traditional to give to charities at this time, and to care, even more than usual, for the sick and poverty-stricken members of the community. Midwinter is also a special time to care for animals. As an antithesis to the traditional (but necessary) slaughter that used to occur at this time of year, modern Australian Witches may choose to donate time and / or money to animal charities such as the RSPCA. By doing so, we honour and acknowledge the importance of all Her creatures in this world.

Midwinter is a traditional time of feasting, and the seasonal colours are green and red. Yule was the traditional time of birth of Dionysus, Mithras and Baal, and the birth of the Norse Goddess Freya was also celebrated at this time.

Midwinter represents the rebirth of light in the midst of greatest darkness. At midwinter, the Goddess gives birth to the Sun God, springing forth new hope for the year to come.

In the Southern hemisphere, Yule is celebrated on June 21st and June 22nd, and in the Northern hemisphere it falls on the 21st and 22nd of December.

(From http://www.akashawitchcraft.net – website no longer available.)

 

LITHA – NORTHERN HEMISPHERE

Blessed Litha to all in the Northern Hemisphere as the warmer weather heads your way.  Stay safe as the days grow hotter, but enjoy the glorious warmth and new growth in the garden. Blessed Be!

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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.

 

Samhain in Southern Hemisphere – Beltane in Northern Hemisphere

Blessed Samhain in the Southern Hemisphere as we move towards winter.  The days are cold here, one of the cats is curled up on my lap in the warmth, the other is draped across the heating vent as I type this. Blessed Be!

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Samhain (pronounced sow-een) is the Witches’ New Year, and it is from here that the Wheel of the Year is traditionally counted. It is a time for fireworks, sparklers and night-time celebrations, and a time to both say farewell to the old year, and to welcome in the new. Thyme (associated with departed souls), rue (the flower of repentance), and rosemary (for remembrance) are traditional herbs burned at Samhain In Australia, smudge sticks of eucalyptus leaves are also burned, and homes are ritually cleansed and purified.

Samhain is associated with Shadowfest (Italy/Latin/Strega), and Martinmas (Celtic/Scottish) and is commonly known as Halloween. The veils between the worlds of the dead and of the living, and of the realm of faery in between are very thin, and that at this time souls that are leaving this physical plane can pass out and souls that are reincarnating can pass in.

At Samhain, the darkness increases and the Goddess reigns in her powerful aspect of the Crone. The God, as Dark Lord, passes into the underworld to become reborn again at Yule, and his presence all but disappears for a time. It is common for Witches and common folk alike to prepare a Feast for the Dead on Samhain night, when offerings of food and drink are left for the spirits. Candles or lanterns are traditionally burned at each window of the house to guide friendly spirits home and keep away unfriendly souls.

Samhain is a time to reflect on the mortality that inevitably confronts us all, and to learn to deal with the fears that surround death. It is a time to reflect that life is cyclical, and that change is the natural order of things. It is a time to confront our own inner demons, and learn to face fear, and to grow stronger by acknowledging the fears that we have.

Wreaths are commonly found on Witches’ doors at Samhain, as a marker to wise ones that a Witch dwells within. Wreaths at this time traditionally contain eucalyptus leaves and rosemary spikes. The powers of divination, the Sight, and supernatural communication are strengthened on Samhain night, and it is considered a powerful but dangerous time to communicate with lost loved ones.

For altar decoration, Jack-o-lanterns, gourds, and autumn foliage are ideal, as are the barks of trees that are awake (non-deciduous/native Australian trees), and the resins and oils of trees that are awake during this time of the year.

In the Southern hemisphere, Samhain in celebrated on the 30th of April and the 1st of May, and in the Northern hemisphere it falls on the 31st of October.

Photograph by Jenwytch (me) and Samhain information from: Akasha Witchcraft (website no longer available)

 

Beltane in Northern Hemisphere

To all in the Northern Hemisphere Blessed Beltane.  After your long cold winter I hope you are enjoying the warmth of the Spring days.  Enjoy them as you head into summer. Blessed Be!

beltane4

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.

Mabon in Southern Hemisphere – Ostara in Northern Hemisphere

Blessed Mabon to all of us in the Southern Hemisphere.  The days are cooling down and the threat of fires is lessening.  It has been a long hot summer and I for one am looking forward to the cooler days.  Blessed Be!

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Mabon or Autumn Equinox

Mabon falls at the Autumnal Equinox, when nights and days are of equal length, but light bends increasing towards darkness, and winter is on its way. It is a time of balance, and a time of looking forward to and preparation for the winter.

At this time food is prepared for storage, jams and pickles are made, and fruits are candied and preserved. Maple syrup is a traditional food for Mabon, as are all long-keeping plant foods, and honey, which is a natural preservative. Special foods to celebrate with include traditional Greek baklava (honey cake), and anything preserved or that involves fermentation. The colors of the season are brown and gold.

In Australia, Mabon falls close to the end of Daylight Savings time, and the change in the time that evening falls makes us very aware that winter is on its way, and that summer is well and truly over. It is at Mabon that the Cauldrons are first lit again, the last of the summer fruits are eaten in thanks, and summer ribbons and garlands are put away in preparation for the colder months.

Mabon is the second harvest, and the Goddess is mourning her fallen consort as he has been cast down, but the rebirth found in the seeds of harvest gives hope for the future, and the continuing circle of hope. Mabon is a time of gathering, of preparation. It is also a time to walk among the gum trees, smelling the resin and the eucalyptus oils in the air, and gathering oils, barks, plants and herbs to be dried for culinary, medicinal and magickal purposes.

At the Autumnal Equinox, altars are dressed with leaves and bark, the last of the flowers and the first of the winter fruits. Suitable offerings include autumnal vegetables and pickles, and preserved fruits and root crops. Mabon is a time to acknowledge the joys of living, as well as the suffering that is a part of life. It is a time for meditation and repose, and for spending time with close family and Coven members in silent appreciation of the relationships we share and that strengthen us.

In the Southern hemisphere, Mabon falls on the 21st and 22nd of March, and in the Northern hemisphere it falls on the 21st and 22nd of September. It is associated with the festivals of Winter Finding (Teutonic) and Alban Elfed (Scottish).

From akashawitchcraft.net (website no longer available)

 

OSTARA – NORTHERN HEMISPHERE

Blessed Ostara to all in the Northern Hemisphere, the snow is finally melting and you will begin to feel the warmth of the sun and the flowers will bloom.  Enjoy the new season. Blessed Be!

Ostara3

Midway through Spring!  We find ourselves at the Equinox and the festival of Ostara.

Spring Equinox: March 21

This is the time of equal day and equal night, the balance of light and dark, and so at this time we have the chance to invite balance into our lives.

Add this to the energy of Spring, and as we see in our gardens, we also have the opportunity for new growth, fresh starts and new beginnings.  These themes are woven into the religious celebration of Easter, and the word ‘Easter’ has its roots in the name of this seasonal moment: Ostara.

The trees have come back to life, blossoms are blooming, the grass is growing, the sprouts are ‘taking off’, growth is everywhere! Beautiful smells, spriteliness and baby animals…

During Spring, everywhere in nature, we see and feel and hear the energy, the pulse, the sound of new growth.

And so we have the opportunity to consciously align with this energy
and ‘use’ it to fuel whatever new beginnings we are creating in our lives.

Your being, as part of the Earth, part of the cycle of the seasons, will be influenced by this energy whether you’re paying attention to it or not. If you pay some attention, you will feel it, and you can be in flow with it.

The equivalent time in our lives to Ostara is Menarche (first period) for girls and puberty for boys, new beginnings of the next level.


Spring Spiritual Practice

Think like the gardener, and align with the Earth energy of now, contemplate the growth that has taken hold in your life and around you…

What are you developing, is that what you want?
Do you need to get out the ‘fertiliser’ to help what’s growing to be stronger?
Do you need to do some ‘weeding’? What do you need to bring into your life to create balance?

At the Equinox, with the equal light and dark, we have the opportunity to give thanks for, and focus with gratitude (which will help it grow more) on that which is growing and developing in ourselves and our lives and also to let go of that which ‘no longer serves’ or what stands in the way of your growth and development, this could be ‘bad’ habits and restricting beliefs (the weeds!)…

In a moving meditation, feel yourself to be like a tree, as your blossoms are blooming and your leaves are starting to unfurl, move as the wind would move you, strong in your roots and able to shift lightly and easily from a grounded position, swaying from side to side and round and round… notice what wants to fall away as you do this, remnants of old, no longer needed.  Make the sounds of spring that rise up from within you… so much will grow from now, headed toward full bloom at the Summer Solstice in three moons.

Suggested Ceremony for Ostara
Here’s a suggestion for a simple ceremony to honour the Spring Equinox with your family and friends. Paint an egg, perhaps simply, decoratively or perhaps with symbols to give particular meanings, to represent something new starting in your life, or something you would like to start.  Make a ‘nest’, place it in the centre of your circle that you create together to do your ceremony.

Do what you do to make sacred space, call for protection, guidance and support and focus together. Go around the circle and have each person explain what their egg represents for them, what their dreams and intentions for new growth this season are and then place the egg in the nest. Once all the eggs are in the nest have everyone focus on them and send their loving supportive energy. This can be done by visualising pink light flowing from your heart area. Conclude your ceremony going around the circle again with each person making a wish for their community and one for the planet. This could also be as simple as a ‘nest’ on your dining table with you and your children around it doing the magic.

We celebrate Easter in the Southern Hemisphere at the same time as the Northern Hemisphere, simply because of generational habit of aligning with the religious festival as it occurs in the Northern Hemisphere, not seasonal appropriateness. The word Easter comes from the name of the ancient Anglo-Saxon spring Goddess Eostra or Eostara. And the Easter bunny and Easter eggs are all symbols of the fertility that is celebrated at the Spring Equinox. Eggs are a symbol of new life.

To honour and celebrate this time you could gather with some like-minded folk, or with your children and conduct a ceremony to give thanks for new ways, new opportunities and balance in your lives.

Blessed Be!

Source:  https://janehardwickecollings.com/spring-equinox-ostara-northern-hemisphere/

Lammas in Southern Hemisphere – Imbolc in Northern Hemisphere

Lammas blessings to those of us in the Southern Hemisphere.  May we stay safe from the heat and the fires and look forward to the cooler days.  Blessed Be!

 

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Lammas (2nd February)

Lammas is the traditional time of Harvest, and preparation for the coming winter months, celebrated on the 2nd of February in the Southern hemisphere, and on the 2nd of August in the Northern hemisphere.

Lammas is awareness of the approach of winter, and thanksgiving for the year’s harvest. The name Lammas derives from the Old English Hlaf-Mass, which means “bread feast”.

Lammas is traditionally the festival where the first loaf of bread from the harvest is broken and shared in the name of the Goddess. All crops associated with bread are sacred to this time, in particular barley. The drinks of the season are beer, ale, cider, and all things brewed.

In Australia, Lammas is an ideal Sabbat to spend down the beach on hot summer evenings, sipping cool drinks and honouring Mother-Sea by appreciating and respecting her cooling waves. Lammas is a harvest not only of crops, but of all that we have sown through the year, and so it is a good time to wander the beaches with a garbage bag, cleaning up the mess that thoughtless people have left behind, and doing our best to restore Mother-Sea to her natural glory.

Unfortunately, part of the harvest at this time is also the sad and distressing harvest that animal charities face when inundated with unwanted animals that had been Christmas presents just a few weeks earlier. Lammas is a good time to emphasize the importance of all Her creatures by supporting animal charities with donations of time and/or money. In this way, we can help ease the lives of unwanted animals and, when necessary, help with their passing into the next world where they will hopefully find true love and companionship according to their kind.

Lammas is the celebration of harvest, and ties in with Lughnassadh, the Celtic festival in honor of the Sun God, which is held on the 7th of February in the Southern hemisphere, and the 7th of August in the North. Tradition tells that the Sun King gives his energy to the crops to ensure life while the Mother prepares to transform into her aspect as the Crone.

Lammas is the time to teach and to share the fruits of our achievements. The baking of bread, the gathering of seed for the next year’s sowing, and the making of corn dolls are all traditional at Lammas. The altar is decorated with loaves of freshly baked bread, corn dolls and wreaths, and the fruits and vegetables of the harvest. Lammas is a time to share, be thankful for our blessings, and be joyful for the blessings that are to come.

Lammas is also known as Cornucopia (Italy/Latin) and Thingtide (Teutonic).

(From akashawitchcraft.net ~ website no longer available)

 

Imbolc – Northern Hemisphere

To all in the Northern Hemisphere I wish you a blessed Imbolc.  Keep warm and safe during your freezing winter months and look forward to the coming Spring.

Blessed Be!

imbol

Imbolc Lore

Posted on February 2, 2015 by ladyoftheabyss

It is traditional upon Imbolc, at sunset or just after ritual, to light every lamp in the house-if only for a few moments. Or, light candles in each room in honor of the Sun’s rebirth. Alternately, light a kerosene lamp with a red chimney and place this in a prominent part of the home or in a window.

If snow lies on the ground outside, walk in it for a moment, recalling the warmth of summer. With your projective hand, trace an image of the Sun on the snow.

Foods appropriate to eat on this day include those from the dairy, since Imbolc marks the festival of calving. Sour cream dishes are fine. Spicy and full-bodied foods in honor of the Sun are equally attuned. Curries and all dishes made with peppers, onions, leeks, shallots, garlic or chives are appropriate. Spiced wines and dishes containing raisins-all foods symbolic of the Sun-are also traditional.

Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner
Scott Cunningham

Imbolc Ritual

By Scott Cunningham

A symbol of the season, such as a representation of a snowflake, a white flower, or perhaps some snow in a crystal container can be placed on the altar. An orange candle anointed with musk, cinnamon, frankincense or rosemary oil, unlit, should also be there. Snow can be melted and used for the water during the circle casting.

Arrange the altar, light the candles and censer, and cast the Circle of Stones.

Recite the Blessing Chant.

Invoke the Goddess and God.

Say such words as the following:

This is the time of the feast of torches,
when every lamp blazes and shines
to welcome the rebirth of the God.
I celebrate the Goddess,
I celebrate the God;
All the Earth celebrates
Beneath its mantle of sleep.

Light the orange taper from the red candle on the altar (or at the Southern point of the circle). Slowly walk the circle clockwise, bearing the candle before you. Say these or similar words:

All the land is wrapped in winter.
The air is chilled and
frost envelopes the Earth.
But Lord of the Sun,
Horned One of animals and wild places,
Unseen you have been reborn of the gracious
Mother Goddess, Lady of all fertility.
Hail Great God! Hail and welcome!

Stop before the altar, holding aloft the candle. Gaze at its flame. Visualize your life blossoming with creativity, with renewed energy and strength.

If you need to look into the future or past, now is an ideal time.

Works of magic, if necessary, may follow.

Celebrate the Simple Feast.

The circle is released.

—Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner
Scott Cunningham

 

Litha in Southern Hemisphere – Yule in Northern Hemisphere

Many Blessings to all in the Southern Hemisphere for Litha and the Summer Solstice.  To all those of us in the fire prone areas I wish a safe summer. Blessed Be!

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This is the longest day of the year, and a time of joy and strength for the light. It is a time when the powers of nature are at their fullest. In the past this was often marked with bonfires and celebrants staying awake through the short night. To leap over the bonfire was to assure a good crop; some said the grain would grow as tall as the leapers could jump. Due to fire restrictions in Australia throughout summer, celebrations for this Sabbat tend to be quite different from those throughout the rest of the year. No candles can be lit, no cauldrons burned, and no open flames are allowed outside throughout much of the country. Litha falls in the dry stifling heat of summer in the southern part of our land, but in the north, Litha falls in the hot, wet season, and represents fruitfulness. In Australia the Sturt Desert Pea is a sacred flower of this time. This is a time of ascendancy of the God, at his most powerful now, while the burgeoning Goddess brings forth the bounty of the Earth.

https://aussiewytch.wordpress.com/sabbats/litha-summer-solstice/

Yule – Northern Hemisphere

To all in the Northern Hemisphere I wish to you warmth and cosiness during the cold wintry months.  Blessed Be!

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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.