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Beltane 2014

It’s that time of year again… the start of summer.

This can be a rough Sabbat for a solitary, as the focus is so heavily on sexuality and lust and fertility and procreation. (In fact, being asexual in orientation, this really is the hardest Sabbat for me to get a handle on emotionally, and the hardest to connect with the energy of.)

But there are other forms of creation and passion besides sex.

Beltane might be a good time to plant a garden, weather permitting. Here in Western Pennsylvania the weather is almost reliable by Beltane: there may still be some frosts, but rarely freezes. (Although the way this year’s weather has been acting I wouldn’t be surprised to see snow!)

Do a ritual to honor the creative aspects of yourself. Do you do handcrafts? Write? Scrapbook? Draw/paint? Sculpt? Make jewelry?   Spend some time with your creative pursuits — with your passions. Rekindle the flames of creativity and passion.

Want something more esoteric? Just as at Samhain, the Veil thins at Beltane, and it is said that the Fair Folk ride forth into our world. Perhaps leave something out to honor them and curry their favor?

And don’t forget to sing…

Emerald Rose:  “Merry May Folk”

Damh the Bard: “Call the May”

Damh the Bard: “Under a Beltane Sun”

Damh the Bard: “Green and Grey”

 

 

 

Ostara 2014

Finally!

I was beginning to think it would never come.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I love the changing of the seasons, and I think that winter has a special beauty that you don’t see in other seasons, but this one’s “special beauty” passed its prime long ago.  We had over 20 inches of snow more than normal, and long streaks of abnormally cold (sub-zero) temperatures, unusual for Western Pennsylvania.

I am ready for spring.

Well, okay – spring started at Imbolc, according to the way that I see the Wheel, but it sure hasn’t been looking much like it around here.

We could still get some snow, even up into April isn’t unusual, but now the hours of daylight are going to outlast the hours of darkness.  The earth is awakening and soon there will be flowers.  And green!

But on the equinox itself, for a moment, day and night, lightness and darkness, will be equal, will hover briefly in balance.

That is, in part, what the equinox is about: balance, about finding it within ourselves so that we can live in and celebrate each moment, even as we remember and acknowledge that the wheel continues to turn, and that the only constant is change.

Meh… Enough with the philosophical stuff.

Celebrate!

My plans are to maybe go out to the state park and walk along one of the trails, looking for signs of spring. (Depends on the weather and my knee.)

I’m also planning to cook ham and make deviled eggs.  (Any excuse for deviled eggs!)

And I will spend some time meditating on balance, as I always do on equinoxes.

And this year I am feeling called to be more active, although I am not yet sure in what way.

Love Spells 2014

Ah, yes, it’s that time of year again, when a young witch’s fancy turns lightly to thoughts of love – and love spells.

Pagan/Wiccan/Witchcraft Facebook groups are being hit with questions almost daily about “How do I make someone fall in love with me?” “Do you know any love spells you can share?” “How can I break up this other couple?”

Now, granted, not all witches follow the Rede, but most have some sort of code of ethics, a knowledge of right and wrong, and believe in some sort of Law of Return, that what you send out comes back to you in at least equal measure.

And interfering with someone’s free will is just plain wrong.  (Well, there is a grey area on that – if someone is hurting someone, yeah, then I’m cool with stopping him or her.  But back to the subject at hand.)

You can’t force someone to fall in love with you.  You can’t force love.

Not real love, anyhow.

Yes, it is possibly to get someone obsessed with you, but what happens when you get bored and want out?  Uh-huh. You’re bored and they’re still obsessed.

Besides, why would you want someone that you had to force to love you?  Being loved freely is much better – you know that they are with you because they want to be, they choose to be. That’s a far better ego rush than “I forced him/her to love me.”

That said, it is possible to do ethical love spells.

How?

A couple ways.

One is by focusing on yourself.  What might you be doing to block yourself from being in that perfect relationship that you want?

Which leads, of course, to the question, “Do you know what you want?”

 

 

 

Spend time thinking about exactly what you want in a life partner, what s/he is like, what things the two of you would do together, do you want someone who is outgoing and always on the go or do you prefer (or need) someone quieter, someone who is content to spend quiet evenings at home together.

(HINT: If the only things you can think about are your potential partner’s looks, then you are not ready to do any sort of love spell.  You’re not even open to real love – go back and re-think your answers to “What might you be doing to block yourself from being in that perfect relationship that you want?”  When you’ve gained some insight and maturity you may continue.)

This doesn’t need done in a day.  In fact, it probably shouldn’t be.  Spend some time on it, say from new moon to full.  You want your list to be as true and complete and in depth as possible.

Once you have the qualities you seek firmly in mind (and preferably written down) there are several ways to proceed.

You can focus on your intent to draw love into your life, charge a pink candle with that intent, and light it.

You can charge a piece of rose quartz and carry it with you.

You can make a poppet – just be careful that you aren’t tying it to any specific person, but to the concept, the ideal that you have been creating.  Then sleep with it under your pillow, carry it with you (if it’s small enough), leave it on your altar, leave it on your dresser in front of the mirror – whatever works for you.

But the most important thing is to put yourself in places where you can meet the person of your dreams.  Staying home and waiting for her or him to come knock on your door is probably not going to yield the best results.

 

 

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Recommended correspondences for love spells include roses/rose petals, rose quartz, and pink candles. (Roses make us think of love, rose quartz promotes self-love (and it is necessary to fully love yourself in order to fully love another) and pink is the blending of the red of passion with the white of purity.)  And, of course, anything that has meaning to you, personally.

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas 2013

That’s right. I, a Pagan, said “Merry Christmas.”

Why?  Because it’s Christmas.

Like most modern Pagans I was raised in a Christian household, celebrating Christian holidays.  To me, they are familiar and traditional (even though there were no hard and fast traditions in my family, other than tree decorating).

Now I live in a dual religion household:  Pagan and Catholic.

I celebrate Winter Solstice with a feast and a ritual to celebrate the newborn Sun God and to welcome Him to the world.

She celebrates because the days are going to start getting longer (she hates winter) but it is primarily a secular thing for her.

We both celebrate Christmas with a gift exchange (and more food.  I swear, all I do from Samhain through New Year’s is cook!)

The actual date of Christmas here varies, but will actually be on Christmas Day this year.  (Holidays were always flexible in my family:  my mother worked in a factory and would work holidays if it was offered.  The last few years it’s been even worse: between organizing around work schedules, school schedules, and family schedules I could probably orchestrate supplies and troop movements for three different countries in the same war.)

For me, Christmas is a secular celebration.  I love the decorations and the lights and even the music, (although I could do without having all of the above starting in October.  Could we please just take one holiday at a time?  Thanks!)

As for the religious aspect of Christmas, that doesn’t really crop up here.  Perhaps because she’s not especially religious, or perhaps because she is aware that Christmas was created by the early Church to draw people of other religions to Christianity by putting a holy day on top of older celebrations.

And through the centuries that followed, older Pagan traditions have been added to “Christmas” until almost all (if not all!) “Christmas traditions” are Pagan in origin.

(The Puritans actually outlawed the celebration of Christmas because it was a Pagan holiday.)

No, I’m not hating on Christmas – like I said, I love the holiday.  But I do wish that people would explore its history a bit more and not get so defensive thinking that there is a war on it.

And for those who do think there is some sort of “War on Christmas” you will be pleased to note that the holiday’s non-existent enemy is losing. I had some last-minute errands to run on Christmas Eve, and I heard “Merry Christmas” everywhere I went.  Well, except for the Post Office and she was kind of grumpy and didn’t say much of anything at all.  She wasn’t one of the regular window clerks so I’m guessing she got assigned to it for the holiday and wasn’t happy.

And, no, it didn’t bother me, and yes, I said “Merry Christmas” back to them. Like I said… it’s tradition.

So Merry Christmas everyone!