Mabon in Southern Hemisphere – Ostara in Northern Hemisphere

Mabon blessing to us in the Southern Hemisphere, as the weather changes and the days are turning cold, I am sitting here with the heating on and the cat curled beside me to keep warm.  We here have had many weather extremes, raging bush fires in some States and Floods in the top States.  We in the Southern States desperately need the rain this winter. May everyone be warm and safe throughout the coming months. Blessed Be!

blessed-mabon.jpg

From: “The Witches Year” ~  by Lucy Cavendish

The descent of Persephone

The bitter and the sweet collide at the festival of Mabon. It is at once a time to give thanks for the bounty you have created in your life – and a time to grieve for the little deaths we all must endure to truly be alive.

When the wheel of the year turns each year to Mabon, or the lesser sabbat of the Autumn Equinox, it is time to give thanks for whatever has come to fruition over the past year. Be it a new relationship you nurtured from raw beginnings, something you made, built, studied or created, any goals once desired and now attained must be honoured.

This is your chance to acknowledge the combination of your creative energy and the natural order, both of which helped you to grow this year. The purpose of paying this respect is twofold.

Firstly, the acknowledgement of change brought about by the power of your will brings symbolic closure to a phase. That in turn will leave you free to move forward. Secondly, honouring your achievements establishes magical growth as a soul principle – and positive reinforcement will give you the incentive we all need to make positive changes in the future. Processing this soul development at Mabon means you show the Goddess that you actively value enriching and nurturing yourself as a spiritual being in the Craft. This in turn, will bring you more blessings during the coming months.

Mabon brings equilibrium; the second time in the entire year when this happens (the other is at the spring equinox). Though Mabon’s light is as long as its dark, from this time forth that light will begin to shorten. With the lengthening of the night comes the increasing power of your own shadow self. Thus Mabon is the beginning of the wisdom of dark mysteries, of wise blood, of premonition, divination and facing your shadow. Working through any negativity that arises is actively promoted at Mabon. Don’t be afraid of working through your own darkness – it’s important to honour and respect your anger, your mistrust, your depression, your sorrows. We learn nothing from denial and repression – we need to engage with our shadow self and give it healthy expression.

But before your shadow self absorbs the light, it is vitally important for you to ready your psyche and your body for the intense crone energy that will grow more powerful each time the earth turns from Mabon forth.

How will you know when you are being affected by this energy? Even though you can pinpoint the turning of the earth into its flat zone with modern technology (and good astronomy sites!) there are plenty of seasonal signals that the sun god is dying. Watch for migrations of animals, particularly the birds, falling leaves, golding of the leaves, flowers becoming less abundant, the ground becoming colder and harder to the touch, and morning’s getting a distinct chill on them. The energy begins to go within in order to preserve itself. Personally you may find you look back, withdraw, feel aloof or confused regarding your relationships. You may feel less generous than you normally do, and you may also be nervous about any debt you may have accumulated over summer. You might feel it’s time to clean up your act – both in terms of your health and in terms of who you are.

It can be hard to let go of summer’s energy, its sensuous warmth and easy good times. Farewelling its carefree spirit made easier by witches observation of the astronomical and agricultural seasonal sacred signposts. That’s why, on a mundane level, it’s a wonderful season to begin:

  • a savings plan
    • set goals for the future
    • make jams and preserves for winter
    • restock your herbal medicine cabinet
    • clean out any essential oils, flower remedies etc that have lost their energy
    • completely clean out your fridge
    • repair broken windows,
    • think of how best to make your home secure and snug and warm for the coming introspection of Samhain
    • cooking soups, stews, any slow cooked foods with root vegetables

It’s a fortuitous time to clear energy in your house – sort of the reverse of spring-cleaning. This clean-up is to make ready for the colder nights coming, to acknowledge that the bare landscape has its own beauty and lessons – as well as a mental clarity and deep wisdom of experience that can be difficult to achieve during Beltane’s sensuous haze, and Litha’s youthful joy. This is older, wiser, deeper, sadder – and somehow more beautiful. Prepare to snuggle into it and delve into your own shadow side in comfort.

It’s essential to give thanks for bounty. Write down on a piece of parchment all you have achieved. If you like, use russet-red ink on coppery autumn leaves – I love doing this. Write down on each leaf something you felt you really mastered. It can be a small thing – to others – or a great success. It can be a relationship that you gained closure with – and this is a good time to remember any pain you may have gone through. This could also be a time for letting go. This is the phase of the natural year in which the earth goddess Demeter learned that although her daughter would be returned to her for six months of the year, she also was told that Persephone had eaten six seeds of the underworld fruit, the pomegranate, ensuring her daughter would be forever linked to Hades and live underground for six months. This is the beginning of Persephone’s departure from her mother’s home to return to her husband and the underworld, and thus the start of Demeter’s wild grieving. It was her grief that turned the earth cold, and it was the approaching winter that forced the people of the land to gather their second and last harvest of the year.

 

Ostara – Northern Hemisphere

To all in the Northern Hemisphere I wish you a blessed Ostara.  Although it is Spring there, from what I see on the news, you are still experiencing cold, snow and wintry conditions.  I hope the sun begins to shine for you soon.  Blessed Be!

Ostara3

Posted on March 20, 2015 by ladyoftheabyss

History of Ostara

The Spring Equinox

Many Holidays, Many Names:

The word Ostara is just one of the names applied to the celebration of the spring equinox on March 21. The Venerable Bede said the origin of the word is actually from Eostre, a Germanic goddess of spring. Of course, it’s also the same time as the Christian Easter celebration, and in the Jewish faith, Passover takes place as well. For early Pagans in the Germanic countries, this was a time to celebrate planting and the new crop season. Typically, the Celtic peoples did not celebrate Ostara as a holiday, although they were in tune with the changing of the seasons.

A New Day Begins:

A dynasty of Persian kings known as the Achaemenians celebrated the spring equinox with the festival of No Ruz — which means “new day.” It is a celebration of hope and renewal still observed today in many Persian countries, and has its roots in Zoroastrianism. In Iran, a festival called Chahar-Shanbeh Suri takes place right before No Ruz begins, and people purify their homes and leap over fires to welcome the 13-day celebration of No Ruz.

Mad as a March Hare:

Spring equinox is a time for fertility and sowing seeds, and so nature’s fertility goes a little crazy. In medieval societies in Europe, the March hare was viewed as a major fertility symbol — this is a species of rabbit that is nocturnal most of the year, but in March when mating season begins, there are bunnies everywhere all day long. The female of the species is super fecund and can conceive a second litter while still pregnant with a first. As if that wasn’t enough, the males tend to get frustrated when rebuffed by their mates, and bounce around erratically when discouraged.

The Legends of Mithras:

The story of the Roman god, Mithras, is similar to the tale of Jesus Christ and his resurrection. Born at the winter solstice and resurrected in the spring, Mithras helped his followers ascend to the realm of light after death. In one legend, Mithras, who was popular amongst members of the Roman military, was ordered by the Sun to sacrifice a white bull. He reluctantly obeyed, but at the moment when his knife entered the creature’s body, a miracle took place. The bull turned into the moon, and Mithras’ cloak became the night sky. Where the bull’s blood fell flowers grew, and stalks of grain sprouted from its tail.

Spring Celebrations Around the World:

In ancient Rome, the followers of Cybele believed that their goddess had a consort who was born via a virgin birth. His name was Attis, and he died and was resurrected each year during the time of the vernal equinox on the Julian Calendar (between March 22 and March 25). Around the same time, the Germanic tribes honored a lunar goddess known as Ostara, who mated with a fertility god around this time of year, and then gave birth nine months later – at Yule.

The indigenous Mayan people in Central American have celebrated a spring equinox festival for ten centuries. As the sun sets on the day of the equinox on the great ceremonial pyramid, El Castillo, Mexico, its “western face…is bathed in the late afternoon sunlight. The lengthening shadows appear to run from the top of the pyramid’s northern staircase to the bottom, giving the illusion of a diamond-backed snake in descent.” This has been called “The Return of the Sun Serpent” since ancient times.

According to the Venerable Bede, Eostre was the Saxon version of the Germanic goddess Ostara. Her feast day was held on the full moon following the vernal equinox — almost the identical calculation as for the Christian Easter in the west. There is very little documented evidence to prove this, but one popular legend is that Eostre found a bird, wounded, on the ground late in winter. To save its life, she transformed it into a hare. But “the transformation was not a complete one. The bird took the appearance of a hare but retained the ability to lay eggs…the hare would decorate these eggs and leave them as gifts to Eostre.”

Advertisements

New Cover Reveal – A Beltane Gift By Holly Barbo

Today I have a new cover reveal for you,  A Beltane Gift by my friend Holly Barbo.  I have read this story and it’s awesome.

HOLLY A Beltane Gift Ebook.jpeg

 

Description1

 

Summer in Scotland, and Mari is working on an archaeological dig of a Viking burial ship during Beltane, a time of the year when the veil shrouding the spirit world thins.

What could possibly go wrong?

A Beltane Gift is a contemporary story with historical elements and a wee bit of the paranormal. It won first prize in the PGP Short Story Competition in August 2015. It is also available as part of the anthologies Change of Tides and Tendrils.

This short story has planted roots in Holly’s imagination. It’s possible it will be continued in other books.

A Quick Read book is a short story available as a single small book. In both ebook and paper format, it is a perfect small gift or for escaping to another place and reality when you only have a tiny block of spare time.

 

HOLLY Screen Shot 2018-03-11 at 3.47.14 PM.png

 

Links7

AMAZON US       AMAZON UK

WEBSITE       FACEBOOK     TWITTER

AMAZON AUTHOR

Coming Soon – Devilfire by Simone Beaudelaire

Coming soon is the new book from my friend Simone BeaudelaireDevilfire is book one of American Hauntings.  It is up for pre-order, so get it now at the low price of  $0.99 before the price rises.

DEVILFIRE (American Hauntings Book 1) by [Beaudelaire, Simone]

 

Description1

Texas is burning.

It’s clear to doctor Gavin Morris and ghost hunter Annabelle Smith that no ordinary prairie fires destroyed one small frontier town, leaving few survivors. Now, the strange flames are threatening larger cattle towns to the east.

Can the unlikely pair decipher the clues before time runs out, or are they doomed to burn with more than passion?
——
Content warning: this western paranormal romance contains both strong religious themes and graphic sex scenes.

 

Links7

 

AMAZON US       AMAZON UK

WEBSITE       FACEBOOK       TWITTER

AMAZON AUTHOR

New Release – The Lord Of The Dance by Sam Kates

Today I have a New Release for you.  The Lord of the Dance, book three in The Elevator series by my friend Sam Kates.

The Lord of the Dance (The Elevator: Book 3) by [Kates, Sam]

 

Description1

Face your demons. Save humankind.

A future hangs in the balance. Many futures.

Only one person has the power to prevent it all unravelling and he can’t do it alone. Aided by companions old and new, Jack returns to the near shore. Foes must be faced, fears conquered.

But for humanity to prevail, the choreographer of chaos must also be vanquished. Insanity and depravity overcome. The Lord of the Dance lies in wait…

 

Links7

 

AMAZON US       AMAZON UK

WEBSITE       FACEBOOK       TWITTER

GOODREADS

Vote for Sicarius Soul by Jade Kerrion

Sicarius Soul is a totally awesome book in the Double Helix Series by my friend Jade Kerrion.  It is nominated for a Kindle Scout award, so if you have a moment go and vote for it https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/197WEO4Y9TOZD .   Also go and check out Jade’s website to get a free copy of the first book in the series

Sicarius Soul (Double Helix Case Files Book 5)

by Jade Kerrion

Ancient conspiracy meets sci-fi thriller!

The target: One alpha empath. Collateral damage: Thousands of lives. Alpha empaths are dying, executed by an assassin who leaves no psychic trace. Zara must hunt down the killer before Danyael, the last alpha, is murdered, but nothing is easy in a world transformed by the Genetic Revolution. Iconic killers are cloned to exact the vengeance they could not find in life, and the sins of the past transcend centuries to coalesce into a threat no one can contain. It will begin with Danyael’s death.

 

Links7

WEBSITE      FACEBOOK       TWITTER

AMAZON AUTHOR

 

The Dr Danny Tilson Series By Barbara Ebel M.D.

Today I have the Re Release of the Doctor Danny Tilson Series, by my friend Barbara Ebel M.D.   So if you haven’t bought them individually here is your chance to get them all together.

The Dr. Danny Tilson Novels Box Set: Books 1-4: The Dr. Danny Tilson Series by [Ebel, Barbara]

Description1

The Dr. Danny Tilson novels have been acclaimed as “engaging and exciting” (Manhattan Book Review) and as “medical mystery or thriller writing at its best” (Midwest Book Review). There’s no doubt that Dr. Danny is a gritty main character who leads a pack of diverse characters in the series, from the loveable family dog Dakota to the villainess that threatens all that Danny holds dear.

Now with all four books in a convenient Box Set, “it is (now even more) refreshing to read novels by a physician who treats medical matters in the storyline with credibility” (The Louisville Medicine Magazine).

Barbara Ebel is an Amazon bestselling, award-winning author whose “background in medicine clearly shines through” (Manhattan Book Review).

OPERATION NEUROSURGEON

A tense neurosurgery case turns into a pivotal encounter… and Dr. Danny’s life will never be the same again. Book One begins the medical and personal adventures of this esteemed Tennessee neurosurgeon.

“Operation Neurosurgeon stars a character whose single mistake can cost him a career. Everything is not over yet, or is it?” — Indie Book of the Day

SILENT FEAR: A MEDICAL MYSTERY

In this fast-paced, scary medical thriller, Danny Tilson confronts a strange meningitis which sweeps the nation at breakneck speed.

Based on a real organism, Silent Fear’s plot has much to commend!” — Word Press Review

COLLATERAL CIRCULATION: A Medical Mystery

Why is human intelligence soaring in Dr. Danny’s neurosurgical patients? Danny searches for answers as the ramifications to humankind could be staggering!

“This third addition to the Danny Tilson medical mystery series won’t disappoint either old fans or newcomers who love medical intrigue ala Robin Cook and the best medical writers in the genre.” – Midwest Book Review

SECONDARY IMPACT

When a college basketball player goes down and suffers a head injury, it becomes personal for neurosurgeon Dr. Danny Tilson. He wonders … is existing medical treatment for head injuries good enough, or will his daughter’s boyfriend never fully recover?

 “4 1/2 Stars out of 5 – Secondary Impact is a fantastic novel.” — San Francisco Book Review

Links7

 

AMAZON US       AMAZON UK

WEBSITE       FACEBOOK       TWITTER

AMAZON AUTHOR

Lammas in Southern Hemisphere – Imbolc in Northern Hemisphere

Blessed Lammas to those of us in the Southern Hemisphere, as the season changes and the temperature cools as we prepare for the beauty of autumn.  Blessed Be!

wheel-lammas_-butterfly-fairy

Lammas/Lughnasdh in Australia

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).

Source:   https://aussiewytch.wordpress.com/sabbats/lammas/lammaslughnasdh-in-australia/

 

Imbolc in Northern Hemisphere

To everyone in the Northern Hemisphere I wish you a blessed Imbolc as the cold begins to recede and the days begin to warm (hopefully) as you come into Spring. Blessed Be!

imbolc1.jpg

Imbloc (Candlemass, Imblog, Imbole) – February 2nd

Pronounced: EE-Molc
Incense: Rosemary, Frankincense, Myrrh, Cinnamon
Decorations: Corn Dolly, Besom, Spring Flowers
Colours: White, Orange, Red

This holiday is also known as Candlemas, or Brigid’s (pronounced BREED) Day. One of the 4 Celtic “Fire Festivals. Commemorates the changing of the Goddess from the Crone to the Maiden. Celebrates the first signs of Spring. Also called “Imbolc” (the old Celtic name).

This is the seasonal change where the first signs of spring and the return of the sun are noted, i.e. the first sprouting of leaves, the sprouting of the Crocus flowers etc. In other words, it is the festival commemorating the successful passing of winter and the beginning of the agricultural year. This Festival also marks the transition point of the threefold Goddess energies from those of Crone to Maiden.

It is the day that we celebrate the passing of Winter and make way for Spring. It is the day we honour the rebirth of the Sun and we may visualize the baby sun nursing from the Goddess’s breast. It is also a day of celebrating the Celtic Goddess Brigid. Brigid is the Goddess of Poetry, Healing, Smithcraft, and Midwifery. If you can make it with your hands, Brigid rules it. She is a triple Goddess, so we honour her in all her aspects. This is a time for communing with her, and tending the lighting of her sacred flame. At this time of year, Wiccans will light multiple candles, white for Brigid, for the god usually yellow or red, to remind us of the passing of winter and the entrance into spring, the time of the Sun. This is a good time for initiations, be they into covens or self-initiations.

Imbolc (February 2) marks the recovery of the Goddess after giving birth to the God. The lengthening periods of light awaken Her. The God is a young, lusty boy, but His power is felt in the longer days. The warmth fertilizes the Earth (the Goddess), and causes seeds to germinate and sprout. And so the earliest beginnings of Spring occur.

This is a Sabbat of purification after the shut-in life of Winter, through the renewing power of the Sun. It is also a festival of light and of fertility, once marked in Europe with huge blazes, torches and fire in every form. Fire here represents our own illumination and inspiration as much as light and warmth. Imbolc is also known as Feast of Torches, Oimelc, Lupercalia, Feast of Pan, Snowdrop Festival, Feast of the Waxing Light, Brighid’s Day, and probably by many other names. Some female Witches follow the old Scandinavian custom of wearing crowns of lit candles, but many more carry tapers during their invocations.

IMBOLC LORE

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 honour 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 honour 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.