Beltane Chant (by Rudyard Kipling):
O do not tell the priests of our arts,
for they would call it sin!
We will be in the woods all night
A-conjuring conjuring summer in.
And we bring you good news by word of mouth.
For women, cattle, and corn:
The sun is coming up from the south,
By oak and ash, and thorn!
(Continue chanting 'by oak and ash and thorn')
The first day of May marks a festival of great importance for all those who follow the Pagan way. We call this day 'Beltane' which means 'Fire of God,' the Sun, renews his gift of Need-Fire to the Earth Mother. The spark of life has once again been delivered.
The Celtic May festival, to celebrate the arrival of summer; from Old Gaelic words meaning blaze-kindling. In Druidic times, two fires were lit, and the tribes cattle driven between them, in a purificatory rite. In later times, young men would leap over fires in tests or displays of energy and virility.
On April 30th in some areas, fires burn from dusk till dawn. Beltane or May Day at dawn wash your face with dew for a good complextion and good luck throughout the year.
BELTANE - The Celtic 'Flower Festival.' Marks the first day of Celtic Summer - the first day of the Light Half of the year.
Date - May Eve/May 1st (psychic high-tide; full moon before May 1st).
Modern Equivalent - May Day, Lilac Sunday, Lady Day Walpurgisnacht.
Celtic Godforms - Belinos, Flora, Bloodeuwedd.
Alignment - Male, Cross-Quarter Lunar
Customs - sexual license among peasants, May Pole erection, gathering flowers, wearing green, Fire Calling, feasting, merry-making.
Symbols - May Pole, daffodils, bright colors, smiling sun.
Sacred Foods - sweets and sugar products, heather mead, cakes, cookies, no meat or fruit.
Threshold - Dawn
Incense - lilac, heather, apple blossom.
Wiccan Spells and Witchcraft
Lions & Lambs --- Using the Energy of Sprinby Leni Hester edited and reprinted from her blog
“Season & Spirit” at PaganSquare.com
The transition from Winter to Spring is a dynamic one, with lots of pulling and pushing as the weather goes from one extreme to the other. In this dance between two opposing forces, we can see the Earth’s changes at their most dramatic. There is increasing light, but the rain-heavy clouds are much darker and gloomier than the bright icy snow clouds of a month ago. Perhaps we see this transition as a movement away from the hardships and struggles of Winter, to the greater ease and gentleness of Spring. Or we feel the movement from the repose and introspection of Winter to the increasing noise and activity of Spring.
While we may welcome the arrival of spring, it’s not uncommon to feel irritable or restless and dissatisfied this time of year.
This transition is very much like waking up after a long sleep. Sometimes it takes some stretching and grumbling and rubbing of the eyes to get fully awake. Sometimes it’s not entirely inviting to get out of our warm bed and put our feet on the cold floor. But we cannot stop the Spring from coming any more than we can stop ourselves from feeling
the rising energy, noticing the excitement (anxiety) just below our skin, as the
world wakes up.
Here in Colorado, the dynamic tension between the seasons is particularly noticeable. My coven’s Ostara ritual last month was canceled due to a blizzard that dumped about eight inches of snow. This is always a busy time of year, with the chores running from shoveling snow to turning beds and pruning trees. But out in the garden, even on the coldest day, even with the plants still dormant, I can feel the energy rising, ready to pop out and drench the world in color and life No matter how much it looks like Winter, Spring is ready to roar inside us.
This is the season to make changes and try to rewrite bad habits. For example, isn’t it silly to try and start a new diet on January 1, deep in the coldest part of winter, just when our bodies most crave heavy, high fat foods? In Spring, we begin to crave the bite of new greens and veggies, we want to cleanse and detox, we long forlighter fare as we shed our Winter layers.
The old tradition of “Spring cleaning” is a very natural inclination. This time of year, I find myself longing to re-organize my entire house for top to bottom. Cleaning out our space can really relieve so much stress and anxiety, of course, but the itch to get clean is not just for our spaces, but ourselves. We respond by getting new clothes or cleaning our homes, but what we long for is to be clean on the inside. Letting go of old bad habits and dysfunctional patterns and routines can be difficult, but the energy of the season truly supports these shifts.
Part of our restlessness as the Winter gives way to Spring, is that we begin to notice things that we were resigned or complacent about, and find we aren’t comfortable with them anymore. Maybe it’s a compromise we don’t want to make, or something in our home or workspace that is not working quite right. Maybe it’s a outgrown relationship, or a desire for new challenges. All the places where we fall short of where we feel we should be, everywhere we see dysfunction and breakdowns in our lives—whether magickal or mundane, personal or professional—these gaps rankle us, and spur us to action. We may wish to re-organize our lives from start to bottom, getting rid of anything that we feel no longer serves us. This time of year, I find I have no tolerance for procrastination and dithering after decisions are made. I also have very little patience with my own bad habits and dysfunctional routines. I want everything that feels like clutter, the feels extraneous and dysfunctional, out of my space.
I know that unless I make sure I don’t over-schedule myself, I will over-commit my time and energy, and then look up suddenly and say, “Wow, when did Spring start? And where has it gone?” If I don’t remember that the impulse to clear clutter out of my house is so amped up right now, I will follow that impulse and get ri of things I might need later. Plugging into the rising earth energy after such a long rest can be exhilarating, and it can be also be overwhelming and uncomfortable.
At times of change and transformation, it helps to get quiet. Do not be fooled by the sudden pop of energy and action everywhere. We still need to get quiet especially when the world gets loud. Don’t lapse on your meditation practice now.
Speaking of meditation, as the weather get nicer, take some time to walk in a park or other natural area. Walk silently and take in the scents, sounds and sensations of the waxing year. Put all your awareness into noticing the life around you, even if much of it is still hidden.
Cleansing and purification are huge elements of the ritual work of this time of the year cross culturally. Clean your house, then purify it with smudge or incense. Open the windows, even for a brief time, to get the power of Air clearing out your space. Sprinkle your space with Florida water, or blessing oils or Van-Van oil diluted in water. If you drop the ball on New Years’s resolutions, now is the best time to give it another shot. In any case, here’s hoping that your spring (and mine) will be full of the energy and light of this dynamic and magickal season. Blessed be!
Leni Hester is a Witch and writer from Denver, Colorado. Her work appears in the Immanion anthologies “Pop Culture Grimoire,” “Women’s Voices in Magick” and “Manifesting Prosperity”. She is a frequent contributor to Witches&Pagans and SageWoman Magazines.
April 2013 BBI Media NewsPublishers of Crone, SageWoman, and Witches&Pagans
Spring begins with the vernal equinox at 7:02 A.M. (EDT) on March 20, 2013 in the Northern Hemisphere. Ah, spring! This season brings increasing daylight, warming temperatures, and the rebirth of flora and fauna.
Spring arrives this week, opening up a world of new possibilities. The Sun entering Aries on Wednesday heralds the Vernal Equinox, followed by Venus entering Aries on Thursday. These fiery influences team up with Mars and Uranus in Aries to ignite your passion, motivation and individuality, which will likely influence your love
Equinox Means "Equal Night"
Translated literally equinox, means "equal night." Because the Sun is positioned above the equator, day and night are about equal in length all over the world during the equinoxes. A second equinox occurs each year on Sept. 22 or 23; in 2013, it will be on Sept. 22 at 4:44 P.M. EDT. This date will mark the autumnal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and the vernal equinox in the Southern (vernal denotes "spring").
February 2nd is known as Imbloc. The day marks the beginning of the Time of
Dawning (Feb.1-April 30). Daylight hours are gradually lengthening. The light
from the Sun begins to grow in power until fully born again at Beltane, May 1st.
Imbloc, Feburary 2nd, we welcome the first stirrings of spring, and to say farewell to the cold and welcome the warmth. The day's focus is to open our mind, soul, heart, and body to the changing season, to connect with the waxing solar year. The things in life that we all wish for: financial security; a trusting, loving partner; and true peace of mind knowing that you are living the life you were meant to lead.
Sometimes we all feel a little lost. We feel that we can move mountains and we use all our energy and enthusiasm to do so. But a few moments later we feel that our efforts will be vain. This is one of the hard facts of life:" Nothing is for granted". You shouldn't let that refrain you from trying to makes things change for the better around you.
On the eve of Imbloc sweep away the negative vibe from each room of your home, then rest the broom at the side of your alter. Carry a brown colored candle through each room and say a few words to banish negative energy; to attract and encourage good. Imbloc translates as "in milk". Add a drink of milk in ritual. The day of, outside pay close attention to the snow covered ground for a bird's feather that would foretell what the future would be.
Season of Solstice Work:
Solstice - either of the two points in the ecliptic (the first points of the sign Cancer and Capricorn respectively) at which the sun is furthest from the equator and consequently appears to pause and turn in course: the time when the sun reaches these two points in its orbit, about 21st June and about 21st December.
Around December 21, the Sun enters Capricorn and witches celebrate the Winter Solstice.
In the Northern Hemisphere the Winter Solstice around December 21, marks the beginning of winter and occurs when the North Pole is tilted away from the sun. The word Solstice literally means "standing still." At the Winter Solstice the sun rises, stands still, for a brief moment,then quickly dwindles to disappear beneath the horizon.
The Winter Solstice marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year. Yule, one of the four lesser Sabbats, takes place each year around December 25. Legend of Santa Claus-Santa is the Holly King, the sleigh is the Solar Chariot, the eight Sabbats and the horns represent the Horn God, the North Pole symbolizes the Land of the Shadows and the dying solar year, and the gifts meant both to welcome the Oak King as the sun reborn and as a reminder of the gift of the Holly King who must depart for the Oak King to rule.
This is a great time to reflect upon the past and make plans for your future as the Sun illumines a pathway toward the achievement of your goals.
Three days before Winter Solstice - Yule:
First Quest of Mastery -
to be granted an identity Discover your roots...your idenity in this world.
If you seek to understand the whole universe, you will understand nothing at all...but seek to understand yourself, and you will come to understand the whole universe.
It can take a life time to understand who you are and your purpose in life.
Live your outer life as a leader, while maintaining the heart and conscience of a Pagan.
The Eve of Winter Solstice - A Midwinter's Dream:
The main ancient formulae guidelines in magic are followed: An herb, a flower and a tree make three.
Herb - sacred to God Form or Spirit Guide being called, Flower - mistletoe, Tree - oak leaf or bark
Incense Dragon's Blood - the breath of the Dragon - burn incense for good psychic atmosphere to be felt.
On the eve of the shortest day call upon your God Form or Spirit Guide to make their will known (speak to your higher power ).
Trust the road you take is a guided one. Just because your God Form or Spirit Guide insn't here in body doesn't mean their love isn't with you.
To call forth Elders from the Deep, one need only to pass into sleep with palms of both hands upon the cheek.
Pose your question. ASK: "Please tell me how to continue; in what direction
shall I search, and for what end?"
Search the depths of the inner world. Leave not a single dream darkened -
until you know beyond doubt who you are, and why you are here; search out your identy...your own destiny.
Remember that dreams are the true interpreters of our desires. To say 'it is
only a dream' is a foolish thing.
Keep moving forward until your dreams come true. Of course, you’ll encounter
obstacles along the way, but you should try to see them as tests of your will and motivation, rather than as setbacks. Seeing obstacles as stepping-stones to success, rather than as barriers, will help you evolve to ever-higher states of awareness.
Morning of Winter Solstice - Yule
At dawn on the Shortest Day light a small Yule fire of oak, and then triumpt rebirth with bells and boughs of everygreen. Hold a chalice filled with promagrant juice and toast the morning sun. Trust your intial respomse. Follow your intuitions. Ritual inspired by The 21 Lessons of Merlyn A Study in Druid Magic & Lore by Douglas Monroe
-Yule Sabbat-Green Witchcraft SeriesAuthor Ann Moura
"Keep your eye on the bunny and bird," is a Faery expression meaning that the answers you seek are in nature. Birds are the harbinger of growth and promise. The morning of Winter Solstice, Yule 2012, in the new-fallen snow a Cardinal was the first bird I saw come by and stayed for a meal. The Cardinal represents self-worth, an aspect of one's personality---value - that quality which renders you valuable (important). To see a cardinal or find a cardinal feather means fortunes await love.
Most people want to live a simple and happy life, and not have to struggle against adversity day after day.
On the 12th day, 12th month, 12th year in the 12th hour purify your environment, and get rid of all harmful influences. ( merge clearing out with beginnings) Then it will open wide the door that leads to great happiness in your life.
It is believed starting on 12/12/2012, a Wave of Luck is going to pass through transforming the course of our Destiny in a very strange way. That is excellent news! It means some problems are on the verge of disappearing, as a new season of light and happiness illuminates your life!
There are no set definitions for the meaning of specific digits. Common examples include:
1. Individual. Aggressor. Self. Leadership Yang.
2. Balance. Union. Receptive. Partnership Yin.
5. Action. Restlessness. Life experience
6. Home/family. Responsibility.
7. Thought/consciousness. Spirit
9. Highest level of changes.
12 is not like any other number. It possesses some very ancient magic, and is, in fact, the symbol of renewal. After 11, which marks the end of a cycle, 12 indicates a new beginning, and the opportunity to resolve anything about your life that isn’t working.
Since the dawn of time, 12 has represented the concept of “rebirth.” Success follows failure, victory follows defeat. It has the power to capture beneficial forces from around the Universe, and channel them into your life.
Now consider for a moment, all the extraordinary positive power contained in the date 12/12/2012. The entire year, the entire month, and that specific day, will all be blessed by
the beneficial Magic of the number 12!
- Twelve is the number of what is completed, which forms a whole, a perfect and harmonious unit. In the ancient civilizations, like Oriental and Judaic, it corresponds to the plenitude, the completion and the integrality of a thing. R. Allendy tells that it expresses the idea that the Universe forms a whole, associated with the idea of differentiation - 10 + 2.
- Represent the manifestation of the Trinity to the four corners of the horizon - 3 X 4.
- Symbolize the command and the good, and governs the space and the time, that is to say the operation of the Cosmos, from where its designation of cosmic number.
- Symbol of material and spiritual food, because of the 12 breads which Jesus Christ broke to the Last Supper, Himself being the Bread of Life.
- Number attributed to the government of the world or the cosmos.
- It is the creative capacity, and in some religions, it expresses also the Divine Mother.
The Ancient Mayan calendar speaks of 12-12-2012 as the end of times as we know it, and the beginning of a new cycle of evolution for planet earth, humanity and the cosmos. Mayan elders say that the Ancients were informing the modern world to be ready for a giant transformation for the human race. Interestingly, traditions across the world including Buddhism, Tao, Hopi and Vedic knowledge predict a ‘Golden Age’ or ‘Satyug’ in their calendars around the same period.
December 2012 is being looked upon as a significant spiritual event and a momentous shift in the collective consciousness of the planet. 12-12-12 is a beautiful opportunity for transformation and healing on a personal and global level.
Actually, a more significant date is December 21
, 2012, as this is the end of the Mayan calendar. This will mark the end of the Piscean Age of secular materialism, and the true beginning of the Age of Aquarius, which will last for one thousand years. It is also prophesied in Revelation chapter 20 verses 1-3.
- December 21, 2012 is 6 years, 6 months, 15 days from June 6, 2006, or
6/6/6 (or 2390 days)
- December 21, 2012 is 7 years from December 21, 2005 (or 2557 days). Are
we now in the Seven Year Tribulation Period?
- December 21, 2012 is 11 years, 3 months, 10 days from September 11, 2001
(or 4119 days)
Halloween orgins date back 2000 years ago to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (prodounced sow-in). Wednesday October 31st is the Great Sabbat Samhain and fire festival. Samhain means "end of summer" and is an ancient Celtic festivathat celebrates the beginning of winter, marked by death and is considered tbe the Witches' New Year.
In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1 All Saints' Day, a time to honour saints and martyrs. It is believed that the pope was attempting to replace Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday. The celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hollowmas (from Middle English Alholwesse meaning All Saints' Day) and the night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually Halloween.
Full Moon in Aries, from Friday night through Sunday. Our unconscious is operating on a high frequency with the Aries Moon gracing us all through the weekend. It should be a weekend where going into unknown intellectual areas proves to be enlightening.
October 31: Day to mourn the women tortured and killed as “witches” because of their independence, wealth, wisdom, or religion.
October 31 eve: Halloween--Night that the dead return to visit their families; celebrated by children, dressed as spirits, going door to door for treats.
October 31 eve to Nov. 2 eve: Old Sumerian fast recalling the descent of Inanna (Goddess of Life) to the Underworld. Ereshkigal (Goddess of Death and Rebirth) detained Her until She agreed to have Dumuzi (God of Life and Death) remain there each Winter.
October 31 eve to Nov. 2 eve: Samhain--Old Celtic/Welsh New Year and feast of Cerridwen (Goddess of Death) and Beli (the Holly King - God of the Waning Sun).
October 31 eve to Nov. 6 eve: Mid-Autumn/Day of the Dead/Hallowmas--Festival marking the transformation of life to death - the end of the agricultural year, departure of migrating and hibernating animals, and decay and death of vegetal and animal life. Observed by remembering departed ancestors and contemplating one’s own mortality.
November 1, the Day of the Dead (also celebrated by some on November 2) the dead were thought to return to earth. People would leave food on the tables for them and would usually stay indoors.
The Celts called it Samhaïn, which means Night of the Druids. It marks a time dedicated to exploring the future with, the help of the Ancestors, all the loved ones who have passed on to the Spiritual World.
It’s a very special, unique time, the only day of the year when the border between the material and immaterial worlds becomes as fine as a veil, allowing men and women with a pure heart to enter into contact with the Higher Spiritual Forces, and benefit from their protection.
During this very rare exchange, the Druid Spirits send "magic energy" into your life, enabling you to be Lucky, find Love, stay healthy and obtain great good fortune.
All the "prayers" and sacred gestures you apply are to trigger the intervention of the Higher Spiritual Forces in your favor.
There’s nothing complicated you need to do, as the Spiritual Forces guide you straight to success and happiness.
If you have just been through a difficult period in your life, full of anxiety, fear, and moments of discouragement or doubt… Life did not really bring you the joys you deserve, life has been quite unfair to you; in fact, for some time now, life has not spoiled you.
Samhain is the Witches' New Year. We project correctness, health, and love for the coming year. At this time, the world of the living and that of the spirit are closest to each other. We honor the ancestors and invite them to join in our celebration. Witches do divination for guidance. Witches also choose this time to release the "old" in order to allow for the "new". We move from here toward a time of inner growth and introspection as we approach the coming Winter months.
Lughnasadh (pronounced 'loo-nus-uh) means the commemoration of Lugh. Lughnasadh August 1, marks the beginning of the grain harvest.
Lughnasadh also known as Lammas and August Eve is the first Festival of Harvest.
It was orginally celebrated by the ancient Druids as Lughnasadh to pay homage to Lugh, the Celtic sun god. In other pre-Christian Pagan cultures, Lammas was celebrated as a festival of bread and as a day to honor the death of the Sacred King.
On Lammas, homemade breads and berry pies are traditionally baked and eaten in honor of the harvest.
The making of corn dollies (small figures fashioned from braided straw) is another old Lammas custom. The corn dollies (or kin babies, as they are sometimes called) are placed on the Sabbat altar to symbolize the Mother Goddess of the harvest. it is customary on Lammas to make (or buy) a new corn dolly and then burn the old one from the past year for good luck. (Wicca, Candle, Magick Gerina Dunwich)
Lughnasadh marks the last heyday of the Sun God. Beneath the Barley Moon and Summer stars we, too, enjoy the expiring passion of the season. Robert Burns tells us, it is "happy night" that he spends in the cornfields with his love. (Celebrate the Earth - A Year of Holidays in the Pagan Tradition Laurie Cabot with Jean Mills)
Throughout Britain ans Ireland, Christianity notwithstanding, the may Eve greenwood love making which so shocked the Puritans found its cheerful echo not only among the bilberries but in the Lammas (Lughnasadh) cornfields; on which the theme, if you like songs at your Sabbats, Robert Burns's It was upon Lammas Night- ( The Witches Bible)
Robert Burns It was Upon a Lammas Night
It was upon a Lammas night,
When the corn rigs are bonie,
Beneath the moon's unclouded light,
I held awa to Annie,
The time flew by, wi' tentless heed,
Till 'tween the late and early,
Wi' sma' persuasion she agreed,
To see me thro' the barley.
The sky was blue, the wind was still,
The moon was shining clearly,
I set her down, wi' right good will,
Amang the rigs o' barley
I ken't her heart was a' my ain,
I lov'd her most sincerely,
I kiss'd her owre and owre again,
Amang the rigs o' barley
I I loc'd her in my fond embrace,
Her heart was beating rarely,
My blessings on that happy place,
Amang the rigs o' barley!
But by that moon and stars so bright,
That shone that hour so clearly!
She ay shall bless that happy night,
Amang the rigs o' barley.
I hae been blythe wi' Comrades dear,
I hae been merry drinking,
I hae been joufu' gath'rin gear,
I hae been happy thinking
But a' the pleasures e'er I saw,
Tho' three times doubl'd fairly,
That happy night was worth the a'
Amang the rigs o' barley.
Corn rigs an' barley rigs,
An' corn rigs are bonie,
I'll ne'er forget that happy night,
Amang the rigs wi' Annie.
"Every race has its holy centers, places where the Veil is thinnest.
These places were developed by the wisdom of the past,
Until a powerful spiritual atmosphere was engendered there
And consciousness could easily open to the subtler planes
Where the messengers of God come to meet it."
(Dion Fortune, 'Glastonbury')
Picture taken as I lay in the hayfield on Midsummer 2012 talking to my Spirit Guides.
Most of mankind does not seek after spiritual truth nearly so much as it seeks the mystery of the Spirit...of life and existence.