June 1, 2011

The Month of May

Posted in Devotionals, Goddess Things, Nature Things, Samhain, Statues, Summerland, Wiccan Things tagged , , , , at 7:40 am by Babs

As this month draws to a close I am happy to see it go.  This was a bad month for me as I lost my Mother to a long battle (18 years) with ALS.  While this is unusual in the length of time… it is still hard to “let go” of someone you love.  In the pagan path we believe (generally speaking) in a concept called “crossing the veil”.  The veil is metaphorical but apt.  Similar to Judeo/Christian beliefs when one dies one passes over to the other side.  Christians see the other side as the “kingdom of heaven”.  For pagans… mainly Wiccan oriented pagans, it is the Summerland.

The essence of the Summerland is that it is a resting ground where souls can reflect on the life they led, see if they learned the lesson they had intended on learning, and then try again in due course. The Summerland is not seen as a place of judgment, but rather as a spiritual self-evaluation where a soul is able to review its life and gain an understanding of the total impact its actions had on the world. Some may believe each particular lesson (and hence, life) is chosen and planned out by the soul itself while in Summerland, whereas others may believe that lessons are planned by an external party (deities, a spirit guide, etc.).

As you can see, my concept of the afterlife has a contemplation phase and then a reincarnation phase which is similar to many polytheistic (multiple god) religions.  What ever path you follow in life, take comfort in your individual beliefs.  Grief and loss are hard to deal with but faith in your path will help guide you as one who has been left behind.

Often to reconnect with our departed loved ones, we attempt to honor/ remember/ communicate with them at Samhain (pronounced Sow-en) which is a time when the veil is considered to be the thinnest.  This is the beginning of the Wiccan year and is more commonly associated with Halloween.  But that is many months from now.  Now is the time to let go.

September 27, 2010

Pagan Birthday Surprises

Posted in Alters, Devotionals, Goddess Things, Inspirational Things, Meditations, Nature Things, Tools, Witchy Things tagged , , , at 10:20 pm by Babs

This year I celebrated my 40th turn on the Wheel.  I am a spring baby… with a sun sign of Gemini and a rising sign of Pisces.  My standing in the world is one of sensitivity and thoughful repose.  Avoiding conflict is a high priority for me. 

Often I spend a lot of time in giving gifts with meaning to both me and hopefully the recipient.  Trying to pick out something that is symbolic of our friendship/ relationship/ mutual bond. 

This year someone did the same for me and I was simply blown away.  My sun sign usually keeps me from being speechless… but this was something that I had to really sit with, study and once doing so, realized the effort and love that went into it. 

To celebrate each year of my life, a precious stone was added to a beautiful bag.  Each stone was researched, documented and placed in the bag to allow me to work with it and use it in my magickal path.  The sheet you see here is actually the cover letter but behind this sheet is a description of each stone (to help me identify it) as well as the stone’s properties and energies.  I can take the stone and place it on my bedside table altar and set my intention on it as an offering to the universe. 

What is even better?  The gift included a simple and exquisite set of sculpted hands.  I can place the stone there as a symbol of my offering and work with the stone for as long as needed.  It is such a wonderful addition to my candle and prayer work that I simply had to share with my readers! 

 

March 18, 2009

Ostara & Spring!

Posted in Crafts, Nature Things, Ostara, Wiccan Things, Witchy Things tagged , , , , , at 8:42 pm by Babs

Finally, my crocus planted in the lawn last fall are starting to sprout… and the promise of spring is in the air.  This is the wheel turn I anticipate with the most enthusiasm!  The Spring Equinox will occur at 7:44 am EDT on March 20th this year… and I personally am so excited. 

History:

The origin of the word “Ostara” 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.

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 superfecund 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 giving rise to the popular phrase; Mad as a March Hare!

Celebrations for Solitaries

To observe this turn of the wheel of the year, go outside and take notice of the smells, sights and sounds.  The earthy smell of the land, the sprouting of new flowers and the birds chirping are much different from the relative silence and blandness of winter.  Often solitaries will go out and experience nature and make an offering to the land in the form of milk and honey.  This can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish.  Search for alter decoration ideas and ritual ideas on the internet for more information.

Craft Projects:

This craft is fun to make and send along to your fellow Spring/ Ostara enthusiasts. 

You will need:

  • Card Stock or Pre-Cut Blank Cards
  • Envelopes
  • Seed Packets
  • Glue (not hot glue!)
  • Pens, Markers & Other Craft Supplies

Select a packet of seeds for each greeting card. Use the glue to attach the packet to the front of the card. Don’t use a hot glue gun for this, because the heat can damage the seeds inside — use either a glue stick or regular craft glue.

Use your markers or other craft supplies to write a Spring message inside. You can use something like this if you like:

Wishing you blooms and abundance at Ostara!

or

Roses are red, violets are blue,
I picked out these seeds, just for you!

Ostara blessings to you and yours!

September 27, 2008

Welcoming Autumn: Happy Mabon!

Posted in Mabon, Nature Things, Wiccan Things tagged , at 12:14 pm by Babs

Mabon celebrates the Autumnal Equinox.  This is the time of the year when night and day are equal and represents balance.  It is thought that the Goddess and the God have equal power for one brief moment in the cycle of the year. 

Mabon is named after a Welsh God who symbolized the male fertilizing principle in the Welsh myths.  While my bloodlines run with Welsh heritage I also have Barvarian roots.  This time of year, Oktoberfest is celebrated in Germany, Austria and now in many countries around the world.  But on it’s native lands these celebrations were once festivals for the wine harvest where this equinox was a major Sabbat.

However you celebrate the season and the sabbat I encourage you to go out and enjoy nature in balance, enjoy the harvest, enjoy some wine.  Enjoy life!

June 28, 2008

Personal Altars

Posted in Alters, Nature Things, Witchy Things tagged , , at 5:45 am by Babs

Creating your own personal sanctuary is very important in this crazy fast paced world.  Some people want a little altar in every room to remind them to connect with their beliefs.  I have one spot inside the house that I treat as a sacred and another outside.  While being outside is preferable, it is not always wise – especially with neighbors who might not understand your need to chant or meditate or walk in circles addressing the four quarters!  Whatever one decides to do, it is a personal decision.  Each individual’s chosen space reflects who they are and what they believe. 

My inside altar takes this to the max.  I purchased an unfinished wood table and using a wood burning tool I made the table into my altar.  With or without an altar cloth, I know this is a sacred tool to help me center myself. 

             
            
The outside altar would not draw any attention to one not looking for it.  That is by design!  It was a former tree that was taken down due to disease.  Losing a tree as old as this one is always tragic and to honor the former beauty, I simply place a stone, a flower, a few drops of water on what remains.  The roots still run deep and that helps remind me that even when something ends there is still connection to the earth!
 
          
                             
Blessed Be!!
 
 

May 24, 2008

Robin’s Egg Blue

Posted in Nature Things tagged , , at 7:22 am by Babs

My friend Jess took the greatest picture… of the first hatchling surrounded by eggs still waiting for their turn.  I just had to share – it was a great moment, captured.  Spring at its finest! 

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