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!
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.