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.

 

New Release – Cursed Legacy By Jade Kerrion

Today I have a New Release, Cursed Legacy, book three in the Lord of Ocean series by my friend Jade Kerrion.  This is a totally awesome series and I highly recommend it.

Cursed Legacy

 

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Family is all he has left…
What–or who–will he pay to save the Earth?

Transformed by dark energy, the mer-king Zamir is a chimera–a seamless tapestry of skills…a mangled mess of memories.

Yet through all the catastrophes he has witnessed–many of his own making–he has learned one thing.

Family matters; especially the last of his bloodline, his grandson, Kai.

A straightforward quest to rebuild his shattered empire and set his grandson upon the throne is thwarted by the soul shards in his chimeric personality.

Zamir has enemies, far more than he imagined. And their hate is brutally raw.

One of them, Marduk, possesses the power of a god, and in his attempt to right a perceived wrong, he will incinerate the Earth.

To stop Marduk, Zamir must draw upon all facets of his fragmented personalities, even the one he despises and cannot trust. But nothing prepares Zamir for the devastating realization that sacrificing Kai may be the only way to stop Marduk’s apocalyptic plans…

ONE-CLICK to dive into this heart-pounding new series featuring a blend of urban fantasy, mythology and science fiction from USA Today Bestselling Author Jade Kerrion.

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Coming Soon – Where The Wind Blows By Simone Beaudelaire

I have a soon to be released novel for you.  Where The Wind Blows, a contemporary romance by my friend Simone Beaudelaire, it is up for pre-order now.

When the Wind Blows SIMONE

 

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The irresistible harmony between musicians creates a passionate symphony, but past discords and present clashes sour the melody. Can their love finally ring true?

When workaholic choir director Brooke Daniels catches the eye of handsome African-American opera singer Kenneth Hill, the harmony between them hits just the right note.

As their desires crescendo, dissonances complicate their harmonious duet. Brooke’s troubled history threatens her ability to commit, while Kenneth’s loved ones question the wisdom of their interracial relationship.

Torn between their growing love and internal and external pressures, Brooke and Kenneth must delve deep into their hearts to discover what they truly desire. Will they finally succumb to discord, or will they allow their love to soar?

Note: This interracial contemporary romance contains graphic sex scenes.

 

 

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New Release – Cursed Throne By Jade Kerrion

Today I have a New Release for you, Cursed Throne, book two in the Lord Of The Ocean series by my friend Jade Kerrion.  This is an awesome series, I love it.

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He shattered his empire to save the world.
Rebuilding it could kill him…

To save the ocean and earth from a devastating pandemic, the mer-prince Kai destroyed his capital city and its diseased merfolk.

Now, he wonders if he made the right decision.

Reduced to scattered colonies, the mer-people can no longer defend humans from the empire-building ambitions of their Atlantean offspring.

To rebuild his kingdom, Kai needs the aether core buried in the sunken ruins of ancient Atlantis, but the way is guarded by Ancients—gargantuan titans, monsters of myth and legend.

Yet the greatest peril lies not in the journey, but in the destination. A creature of immeasurable power is entombed alive within Atlantis.

And the only thing it craves, far more the priceless aether core, is absolute vengeance upon the royal bloodline…

ONE-CLICK to dive into this heart-pounding new series featuring a blend of urban fantasy, mythology and science fiction from USA Today Bestselling Author Jade Kerrion.

 

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New Release – Killer Geezer By T. Jackson King

Today I have a New Release Killer Geezer, book one in Transcendent series by my friend T. Jackson King.  I look forward to reading this new adventure.

 

Jack Hansen is a 70 year old geezer living alone in Santa Fe whose mind is suddenly hit by a white flash. Moments later he is able to set fire to one mugger, melt down a second, knife a third and knock out a fourth. All before 6 a.m.! Jack likes the psychic powers that are suddenly making him powerful and almost invulnerable. But are these powers natural or supernatural? And why did they come to him? Follow his adventures and his discovery the world is not as it seems to be!

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New Release – Cursed Prince By Jade Kerrion

Today I have a New Release for you, Cursed Prince, book one in the Lord Of The Ocean Series by my friend Jade Kerrion.  This is a spin off from the Daughter of Air series and it’s awesome.

Cursed Prince.jpg

 

Description1

Never accept gifts from strangers…
Especially if it glows…

Ginny’s first mistake was becoming one of the world’s leading experts on ancient civilizations…

Her second mistake was getting kidnapped by Atlantean cultists who believed she knew more than she did…

Her third?

Accepting an energy vortex from a captive mer-prince.

Its reality-altering power entangles her in the millennia-long conflict between Atlantis and the Lords of the Ocean—the mer-people.

To free the mer-prince, she will have to trust a man afflicted with a chimeric personality and tormented by conflicted memories. She’ll have to figure out how to control the devastating power the mer-prince entrusted to her…

Because if she doesn’t succeed, Atlantis will rise again, and all the human nations of the Earth will fall.

ONE-CLICK to dive into this heart-pounding new series featuring a blend of urban fantasy, mythology and science fiction from USA Today Bestselling Author Jade Kerrion.

 

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AMAZON US       AMAZON UK

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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!

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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.