A bright spot of red decorates the trees during [...]
A Witch’s New Year begins after Samhain. But there’s something about the festival of Imbolc, the first to take place in the new calendar year, that feels like a fresh start. As the midpoint between Winter and Spring, Imbolc carries a hopeful quality: as Nature all around us starts stirring from under her deep blanket of snow, so do we. We shed our “hibernating” mode and begin to renew our commitment to growth, both personally and spiritually. During this time of reawakening, putting pen to paper is one of the best ways to prepare for this new Turn of the Wheel. Here’s what you need to know about Imbolc journaling—and all the ways it can help you in your practice.
The Wheel of the Year, the Circle of the Season, Esbats and Sabbats, High Holy Days - an inevitable part of becoming a Pagan and/or Witch - lead to the addition of many more holidays (in the traditional sense of holy-days) into your life! As a new practitioner, this can be confusing. Many new witches, especially if they do not have a mentor or a coven, go to the internet for answers to these questions: What do I celebrate and when? Why is this particular celebration “holy” to me now? What does this day mean for my new spirituality and magickal practices?
In Lammas, the first of the three harvest festivals, grain plays a big role. Perhaps that’s no surprise, as Lammas means “loaf mass.” It is also Lughnasadh, celebrating the god Lugh, who was a craftsman. Taking the time to create decoration and food that incorporates grain for this Sabbat honors both the importance of the harvest as well as the god for whom it is named. So how do you bring wheat and oat into your celebrations?
On lovely spring days, you may see plenty of bugs mingling about the plants and flowers. The most common one you may notice is the graceful butterfly. Butterflies travel from flower to flower, sucking up nectar and collecting pollen. Their pollen transfers help plants seed and populate. But while they are essential to nature, they’re also essential to magick. Butterflies have made appearances in many cultures and religions due to their beauty, grace, and spiritual guidance. If you’re surprised by how much magick this small bug carries, you’re not the only one. By the end of this article, you’ll have a deeper understanding of the power of the butterfly and how you can use it in your magickal daily uses.
As the sun reaches its zenith, Midsummer celebrations abound across the globe. People celebrate the balance of the dark and light while paying homage to sun deities in a variety of different ways. Litha is the Midsummer Sabbat as the wheel of the year turns. There are many customs, traditions, and folklore surrounding Litha.
At the dawn of Imbolc, when the flicker of Spring quickens in the belly of Winter, Brigid’s fiery arrow descends from the Heavens to usher in hope for the new season. Brigid, also known as Brigit, Brighid, and Brighde/Bride, has been one of the most important goddesses of the Celtic pantheon. The Goddess of Spring and Fire, Poetry and Smithery, Healing and Prophecy, has a long and winding legacy that has survived the Christianization of Ireland and is beloved by Pagans worldwide to this day. Brigid has been transformed into both a Christian Saint and a Vodou Loa while still maintaining her primarily Celtic and Gaelic identity. As we’re gearing up for Imbolc, the first Wiccan Sabbat of 2021, let’s spend some time getting to know the many different aspects of the Goddess and learn how to best work with her.
Thoughts of writing this YULE article has given me fits for weeks. It is important to remember that not everyone is looking forward to Yule or the overlapping mundane Christmas season. Most especially in this time of COVID with all its health restrictions!
Think of Yule and what comes to mind is the fragrance of warm spices, fire, and the colors red and green. Whether you live in the Northern or Southern Hemispheres, cinnamon is a Yule staple in food and drinks, poinsettia and holly adorn tables and doorways, and of course, there’s the warmth of the fire. In the Northern Hemisphere, cozy fireplaces make us feel comfortable, safe, and empowered. While in the Southern Hemisphere, its mid-summer and the fiery sun fills us with vitality, energy, and a sense of freedom. It’s no coincidence that the properties of cinnamon align with the masculine energy of fire and the vibrations of freedom, power, safety, and vitality. We can only assume that’s why cinnamon is associated with Yule because the lore behind it isn’t that convincing.
Garnet occurs across the world and is a group of silicate minerals. Evidence of garnet being used as jewelry, embellishments, talisman, and an abrasive has been unearthed in settlements dating back to the Bronze Age. The stones occur in different grades of hardness, opacity, and color. Harder qualities saw them being used as abrasives in early civilizations, and industrial quality garnet is still widely used today. The clearer gems got used for jewelry, crystal carvings, and decoration. Colors include clear, black, blue, brown, orange, yellow, green, pink, purple, and red. In this article, we’re going to discuss the properties of red garnet.
Yule is a time when new life begins to manifest, but it is still invisible to the naked eye. Deep below the bleak, barren surface new life is developing; warm, protected and coddled in the earth or the womb.That’s in nature, of course, but Yule is a time when you can start planning the manifestation of new beginnings of any kind as well. New beginnings need not be something new; it can be a continuation or expansion too. Maybe you’re looking to manifest financial security, health, and prosperity for yourself and your family, or perhaps you would like to find balance and harmony in life. New beginnings don’t have to be anything big or spectacular.
Baking and cooking delicious treats and meals are an important part of any celebration of the Wheel of the Year. Each celebration has its specific treats Witches can make to honor that holiday’s tradition. In the case of Samhain, the most popular treat to bake is Soul Cakes. What are Soul Cakes, you ask? Well, we will find out together! By the end of this article, you will be so engrossed in what Soul Cakes represent, you will not be able to resist getting up and making some for your Samhain Celebration.
Many of us love to bring the spirit of the season into our everyday lives by decorating our homes inside and out with festive symbols. Though many of these items can be store-bought, when you craft something to represent the season and bring its energies into your home, you can bless and imbue them with more power as you make them. As our New Year and most sacred sabbat, decorating for Samhain with handmade crafts brings a little extra power into your celebration.
It is a common enough phrase these days and used to describe all kinds of situations. Maybe it is the time in the afternoon that your toddler melts down each day without fail. Maybe it is when you see the most animal activity in your yard. It is even used to describe the last hour of stock trading on Wall Street. Whatever the situation, many people use the term “Witching Hour” to describe a wide range of things, from the peculiar to the outright dreadful. But the Witching Hour is real for Wiccans; it is a good thing, and it has real power. Like most things with Wicca, there’s the history, what others think, and where we are today. So, let’s look at when the Witching Hour is, why it holds power, how you can use that power, and why the Witching Hour at Samhain is particularly powerful.
The moon is a sacred symbol to Wiccans and Pagans as it is imbued with feminine energy and plays a central role in honoring the goddess. The moon is a physical representation of the goddess, her energy, and the divine feminine. While there are many beautiful and powerful rituals within Wiccan and Pagan practices, drawing down the moon is one of the most sacred and magnificent rituals for practitioners. While Sabbats celebrate the wheel of the year turning and Esbats pay tribute to the phases of the moon, drawing down the moon is a ritual in which the practitioner melds with the divine allowing them to talk and interact with the goddess herself.
A time for new beginnings, Mabon is a great time to look to the future. When we look to the future we may be looking to know of successes, obstacles, troubles, or gifts. Different sabbats hold strengths over different types of divinations. Weather predictions and love divinations have roots in Mabon festivities and have more strength at this sabbat.
Kitchen witches are all about magick in the kitchen. Kitchens are often the central hub of a house with people gathering to talk, drink, and get small samples of what delicious food soon lies ahead. With fresh aromas wafting out and the bustle of preparing dishes, kitchens are the perfect place for creating magick. Kitchen witches predominantly rely on things that grow which is why many of them practice herbalism. Some kitchen witches even have their own garden from which to create herbal concoctions or use for culinary dishes. These practitioners are most often down to earth and focus their intent on healing, whether that is others, themselves, their community, or mother earth.
The second of the harvest festivals on the Wheel of the Year, Mabon is a time for celebration. There are a great many gods and goddesses of grain and other harvest staples who should be acknowledged during this time. But there is also a key ingredient to many celebrations and ceremonies that should be honored during harvest. The grapes that make our wine.
Any Witch knows that Sage is a powerful cleansing herb, but Sage has other uses too. Along with cleansing, Sage can be used for wisdom, abundance, clarity, and protection. And, as Mabon nears, it is an essential herb for the Sabbat. Sage contains power that some Witches do not know exists as its other properties have been overshadowed by its cleansing abilities.
The wand chooses the wizard.” It may be a line from a children’s book, but its premise is correct. Far from being just a passive staff we wave around during spellcasting and rituals, a wand is an energetic tool. Used with respect, it helps manifest a witch’s (or wizard’s) will. That’s the main energy behind the suit of Wands in a tarot deck.