The longest day of the cosmic year, Summer Solstice 2017 is your time to strip it down and swim back to your roots.
Connect with Summer Solstice energy through these fun celebratory ideas. Then, read on for three in depth looks at the Solstice energy building around us.
Ignite a Fantasy Life with a Movie: The Sun is now entering the sign of Cancer for this Solstice. This mermaid’s energy is focused all around the creative power of our fantasies. Whether you’re dying to be Wonder Woman or want to enjoy a steamy, romantic read, take joy in the free flowing potential of your inner visions by allowing yourself to be swept off your feet by fantastically real stories of love and adventure.
Go Skinny Dipping: This Solstice is definitely about stripped bare and diving into our private lives. Take the plunge at noon with friends or go solo at midnight. It’s all about celebrating begin wholly in your own skin and connecting with your internal world. If you’re like me and swimming isn’t your strong suit, get naked and enjoy a bath with your favorite aromatherapy and allow your mind to drift inward.
Host a Slumber Party: Stay up all night on this the longest day of the year . Pamper yourself with at home spa treatments and channel the nostalgic Cancer Season feelings with Old Hollywood classics, high school yearbooks, or photo albums.
Relax with your Deities: Ruled by the Moon, the Solstice says to connect to our feminine ancestors and those who came before, whomever this means to you. Those you’ve held dear, who’ve made a place in your heart, who you’ve admired and bowed to at the altar their force of nature. Honor them, however you can, whether it’s a full blown ritual or a simple moment of reflection enjoying your favorite tea.
Love Thyself: Light the candles, let the mood music ring out, and dress yourself to the nines in your most sensual attire. Get intimate with yourself and determine just what turns you on in your most private moments. Romance yourself.
Let the Music Play: Put on your favorite upbeat, summer mix and dance till you fall down. Rejoice in the fulfillment of this time. I’m personally quite fond of this one.
::Let’s Get Deep::
~Increased light means increased consciousness.
When we have times in the year that change the flow of the seasons they offer the chance to help us to define time and get in touch with the Universe’s sacred rhythm. We transition from one phase of time to another. This is the longest day of the year, and increased light means increased consciousness.
Since the Winter Solstice, we’ll been in a yin state, filled with rejuvenation, six months of inward processing, and clearing away that which doesn’t service. Now, we open ourselves to the Universe and push forward into a yang state.
On the shortest day of the year we planted a seed. After it had been fertilization by our new ideas and spirit, it grew into a beautiful flower now ready to open its petals. A sweet release of a held breath that welcomes this new growth into the world.
Find something you can get your hands on and honor the fullness and richness of life available right now. As you take joy in this splendor, you’ll move move into your heart space, attracting your desires.
~Grounded, Connected, Clear
August brings with in Eclipse Season. So, the Solstice and Cancer season is a great time to get grounded, connected, and clear. The New Moon in Cancer follows the Solstice by two days, and it’s time to create new intentions, have a blast, and enjoy summertime vibes.
At the precise moment when the Sun enters Cancer, the Waning Crescent Balsamic Moon in Taurus joins with Venus in Taurus. This auspicious alignment in the Solstice chart shows us that this seasonal change will grant gifts of bounty. The Moon rules Cancer, and is in Taurus, and Venus, Taurus’ ruler, is dignified in here. What’s more, the Moon forms an perfect trine, a supportive angle of manifestation, to Pluto and all its glory.
This luxurious and poignant alignment grounds us as the Sun hits his peak and we ready ourselves for the season of Cancer. Cancer, who loves to connect immensely with loved ones, opens a doorway to nurturing our connection to lovers, friends, and family as we reach down to our roots for increased safety and abundance.
~Skinny dip into your heart
Deep in your soul, how does midnight shine? This Summer Solstice, dim the lights, strip down to beautiful skin, and take the plunge into your heart’s most intimate places.
With Neptune, the Sun, and Mercury entering our mermaid friend Cancer on the same day, the Summer Solstice is a water goddess’s dream. This ocean breeze Solstice is a homecoming to wash delicately, yet fiercely, back into our own shores, to take stock of where we’ve been, and to let everything which has grown in our inner treasure troves give us the strength to sail on strong winds into Tomorrow.
Dance in the waves and swim back to your home. And remember that home is inside you because you belong everywhere, and always, to yourself.
~Activity for Solstice
Think on these words, “I bow to worship my most tender, nocturnal aspects.”
Eat foods like your favorite nighttime snacks and home-cooked classics. Try out some nightshade fruits and veggies, like tomatoes, sip some yummy cardamom-infused milks, and enjoy robust, family-made pastas.
And remember, if you’re like me and can’t get to the ocean or water source near you, you can always enjoy a loving, long soak in your tub with your favorite aromatherapy or bath salts that spark images of the sea. And if that’s not doable, simply enjoy a cool, refreshing glass of water and reflect on how it connects us to everything and our emotions.
As I head off to my New Moon Ritual with my ladies at the Sekhmet Goddess Temple, I though I would share the ritual I created for this evening. I’m leaving it in the template I use so you can see what the breakdown of time is like. This is just one example of a ritual and you can use it to create your own or simply enjoy thinking on the words and information presented for the Chinese New Year.
Smudging– Have priestesses smudge in participants and have participants form a circle inside the temple and remain standing.
Toning– use Mah to create sound vibrations. Repeat for 3 breaths.
Call in Elements:
East- Spirts of East, powers of air. You are the cool breeze that rushes over our skin in the dark of night, fueling an inner spark. Welcome to our circle. Blessed Be.
South- Spirts of South, powers of fire. You are energy and transformation made manifest. You fill us with the courage, strength, and passion to our sparks build into roaring fires. Welcome to our circle. Blessed Be.
West- Spirits of the West, powers of water. You are the blood flowing through out veins. You are an emotional quiet and stillness that balances our growing flame. Welcome to our circle. Blessed Be.
North- Spirts of the North, powers of earth. You are the firm earth that creates a foundation for our fiery expansion. A root to ground the explosive transformation of our roaring fire. Welcome to our circle. Blessed Be.
Above- Spirits of Cosmos, powers of above. You are the arching totality of the universe. You guide us and create a big picture where we can direct our fire. Welcome to our circle. Blessed Be.
Below- Spirits of Silence, powers of below. You are the void and the quiet from which our souls, our embers are born. You are the cauldron from which this miraculous potion boils over. Welcome to our circle. Blessed Be.
Within- Spirits of Enlightenment, powers of within. You are at our core connecting us to our sisters. You are the light that keeps our inner flames glowing bright and proud. Welcome to our circle. Blessed Be.
Call in Sekhmet– Sekhmet, Great One of Magic, Awakener, Lady of Transformations, The Aware, and Enlightener. You are our Great Mother. We ask that you join us now so that we may be aware and awakened to the growing flame within us all, so that we may release that which doesn’t serve us and move forward toward transformation. Sa Sekhem Sahu.
Call in Self:
If small group, go around circle and we will repeat your name back after you say it three times.
If large group, go around circle saying name once.
Both end with in saying “Mother we are here,” in unison.
Declaration of the Year of the Fire Rooster: Information from the Numinous- A flock of hot-tempered fowl strutting around like they own the place in not what we need right now. We need love, compassion, and action. We should take heart however. Fire Roosters can be show-offs, but if we look past the plumage, beautiful in its own right, we’ll be relieved to see they are not the competitive trickster like 2016’s Fire Monkey. This change in sign for 2017, indicates a change toward playing fair again, realizing that “winning” and slinging mud isn’t worth our pride and personal relationships.
If you were born in 1933, 45, 57, 69, 81, 93 or 2005, you could very well be born under the Chinese astrology sign of the Rooster. But January or February birthdays should look at when the New Year fell that year.
The Year of the Rooster holds:
Hard work will pay off—so tend to that nest egg.
Good old-fashioned hard work—with some Rooster-style flair—will rule. The rooster rises with the Sun, so get an earlier start to your days. Create a morning ritual and become mindful with money. This is not the year to rush ahead without a plan. Good habits and regular exercise will keep us productive during uncertain times.
Beware: This may be a year of inflated egos and power tripping. Be clear about the pecking order in joint projects, even if some people have more authority than others. If you’re in charge, don’t be “all squawk, no action.” And watch the cutting critiques of other people in power.
The Year of the Fire Rooster is a fine time for joint ventures. Gather the flock and pool your resources. With the thrifty and financially strict Fire Rooster leading, there could be large cuts in government spending to get national debt under control. Collecting back taxes and recouping old debts may also be deployed with vigilance.
Love will get flirtatious, showy, and hot.
The feisty Fire Rooster is a shameless flirt who loves attention. Let yourself be a little more flamboyant as you court the sizzling spotlight or strut through the metaphorical henhouse. As modern-day humans, let’s take gender out of the equation. No matter your romantic preferences, welcomed, titillating, and tawdry exchanges can get some serious sparks flying. However, don’t mistake Rooster swagger for the real deal. Occasionally, a little tempting and teasing is just for fun, so enjoy this “cage-free” fun for what it is.
Flamboyant fashion will be a trend.
Break out the feathers, headdresses, and showboating style! The preening Rooster loves to be noticed. Mega-entertainers like Beyoncé and Jennifer Lopez were born under the sign of the Rooster. A little of the area’s natural Vegas-style glitz or a return to the 1970s wild patterns could return.
The role of men will get a much-needed upgrade.
With 2016’s Monkey-minded misogyny hopefully fading in our rearview mirrors, and though the barnyard king can be cocky, the Rooster is known to take care of his hens. In 2017, the fight for gender equality wages on—and it won’t come solely from women. We can expect to hear more men and non-binary people standing up for women’s rights and embracing the feminist label. This works especially well when women as feminist’s open and embrace diversity beyond womanhood. Think on your transgendered, gender-fluid, intersex, and ethnically diverse sisters, and even brothers, listen to their voices, welcome them, and we’ll all be the better for it.
Simultaneously, a return to chivalry, which can appear chauvinistic at times, could also occur. There’s a fine line between helping and treating women like helpless “little ladies.” Certain men must learn this.
On the world stage, 2017 could bring more swagger from governments who puff themselves up to look strong. Global leaders must be careful not to get swept into petty “cockfights,” while also being strategic and focused on details. Homeland security will be a big issue for many countries, got to keep that coop safe! Left unchecked it could bring another wave of xenophobia however. We have to work harder to keep open dialogues in 2017, instead of continuing to polarize across racial, philosophical, gender, and class lines.
Health and wellness will continue to be thriving issues.
Are you caring for your body? The fastidious, Virgo influence of the Year of the Rooster helps us incorporate wellness as part of our regular routines. Find a gym or set one up at home, move every day. Schedule checkups and find a doctor who listens to you and wants to help you discover underlying chronic health issues.
In 2017, preventative medicine like massage, acupuncture, and a vitamin-rich diet is the smartest prescription. Clean eating gets another boost from the Rooster year, and with the fire element afoot, the menu will likely include more spices, spicy and savory, cooked foods, raw juices, and smoothies. Results won’t come overnight this year, but by putting healthy practices in place, we’ll be crowing AND glowing by the time 2017 is through.
Activity- A tradition when celebrating the Chinese New Year is a complete cleaning of the house and removing the old and welcome the new. This can also mean cleaning your physical self through a ritual shower or bath, and cleaning your mind. To great the New Year, consider cleaning the house, taking that special bath, and work out releases old emotions and thoughts and welcoming new, positive ones. You can try it a little right now. Think on a thought or feeling that’s been holding you back. Focus on a single idea. Then, let it fill your mind, not to let it take over but to understand it entirely. Next, as you breathe in think to yourself I welcome the new, and as you breathe out think I release the old. Let go of that thought. Release it to the universe where it can be safely recycled. You can take a few more breaths to fully let it go. Try this with different thoughts, with bigger habits, each time releasing and welcoming new, better thoughts and habits.
Discussion– Open chat about what we want to create and transform, go around circle. If don’t want to say anything, simply say blessed be.
East- Spirits of East, powers of air. Thank you for your presence and blessings of knowledge, happiness, and renewal. Blessed Be.
South- Spirits of South, powers of fire. Thank you for your presence and blessings of courage, passion, and transformation. Blessed Be.
West- Spirits of West, powers of water. Thank you for your presence and blessings of peace, compassion, and balance. Blessed Be.
North- Spirits of North, powers of earth. Thank you for your presence and blessings of stability, abundance, and resilience. Blessed Be.
Above- Spirits of Cosmos, powers of above. Thank you for your presence and blessings of expansion, creativity, and hope. Blessed Be.
Below- Spirits of Silence, powers of below. Thank you for your presence and blessings of quiet, confidence, and beginnings. Blessed Be.
Within- Spirits of Enlightenment, powers of within. Thank you for your presence and blessings of acceptance, magick, and oneness. Blessed Be.
Release Sekhmet– Sekhmet, Mother of the Gods, Lady of the Place of the Beginning of Time, Finder of Ways, Keeper of the Light, and Beloved Teacher. We thank you for you ever present love and guidance. You are in all our days and nights, within and without. Sa Sekhem Sahu.
Winter Solstice, a time of quiet on the longest night. This is the moment where the pendulum hovers at the time of darkness ruled over by the Holly King and the Dark Mother.
As this cold, long night reaches its peak, the pendulum swings back. Now we journey toward the time of light, of energy. The Bright Mother and the Oak King will reign over this other half of the year.
To the rest of the world the year itself is coming to an end. But we know this is only a tipping point. Nothing is “ending.” In fact, each day will get longer and longer. This is a time of beginnings.
We look forward to ushering in the hope and promise of this lighter half of the year. Our solstice is a time of renewal. It is also a time to let go of that which is no longer serving you.
This winter solstice meditation will allow you to ease yourself into this new half of the year. Welcome the turning of the Wheel and step into the light as your best self.
As you begin your meditation, follow your typical habits. Get comfortable, relax, and take a deep breath. Feel the Earth beneath you as you sit or lie down. Feel the air around you. Feel the fire within you. Feel the water as your blood flowing through you.
Think on this affirmation, “I lay to rest all the worries and all the negativity of the old year.”
When ready, hold your hands to your chest to form the Dharmachakra Mudra.
To do this mudra, pinch your left middle finger with the index and
thumb of your right hand. Put your index finger and thumb together with both hands, this symbolizes the Wheel of Life. The left hand represents your inner
world, and the right hand represents the external environment. This mudra brings the two worlds together. During this meditation think of one wheel as the ending half of the year, and the other wheel as the new half.
Take another grounding breath and think on something you wish to release. As you inhale, pull all the energy connected to that item into your lungs. Then, exhale and as the air leaves your lungs imagine yourself blowing out the negativity, the habit, the thought, holding you back. Blow out all that doesn’t serve you.
Take six more breaths, totaling seven. Inhale and release as before. Think of something you wish to let go and blow it out of your life. Imagine your breath as a cool rush of Winter air. Let it sweep clean the things from your past you don’t need.
When you have completed your seven breaths, think on a symbol, a sigil, that represents what you wish to achieve in the coming months. Brew the image in your mind like a hot cup of tea, filling you with warmth and power.
With the image solid and strong in your mind, open your eyes and draw it on a piece of paper. Hold it tight to your chest and fill it with your intention.
Work on this goal each day and when you feel you have accomplished it, or are ready to move to a new goal, burn the paper in a sacred fire.
The time of darkness is ending and a new light lies around the corner. The Wheel of the Year turns again and each time it does we have a chance to learn something about the world and ourselves.
Let go of the past, welcome the future. Be present, be hopeful, be the light.
I’m trying to get pregnant. In fact, I think I may be but it’s a bit early.
Not everyone wants children and that is completely, totally okay. More, it’s great if you know that wholeheartedly. You understand yourself. Way to go.
I do want children. For a long time now, I have been eating healthy, avoiding caffeine, processed foods, and alcohol, being active, sleeping with a rose quartz next to my bed, and eating a lot, a lot of pomegranates. Needless to say, I’ve had baby on the brain.
For others out there that want children as well, I have put together a fertility and pregnancy ritual. This ritual is for just after you have had sex or in the days following. There is also magick that can be done just before as well.
Gather together the following:
a rose quartz or agate crystal
Once you have these items (remember if you can’t gather everything or anything it is alright, when your intention is pure the magick is there), place the pomegranate, apple, and rose quartz or agate on your altar. Light an incense of the mistletoe, poppy flowers, squaw vine, and yohimbe. You can grind these and put them on a hot charcoal in a fire-safe dish or cauldron. Have the mugwort in a sachet or baggy ready on the altar.
Then, cast your circle if you wish and smudge the area and yourself with ceremonial white sage. This is not just great for purification but can also aid in fertility.
Ground and center yourself, breathe in the rich smoke of your incense, and relax. As I said, intention is everything. Believe this will work and focus on your passion, your drive, for the future. Believe, feel it, live it.
When everything is ready, sit as comfortably as you can and place your directing, or dominant, hand on your lower abdomen. Breathe deep and say:
I call to you.
You who are called Bast, Mother Sekhmet,
Mother Kali, Brigit, Frigg, Gaia, Venus, Diana,
Deverra, Eleithyia, Hekate, Hathor, Isis,
Meskhent, Nona, Uma, Urd.
Our young Maiden
I ask simply for a child.
As I have completed the natural act,
Let now there be a child
growing within me.
Let them be strong
And I will welcome them into your world
Of mystery and ecstatic being.
Motherhood calls to me.
I proclaim that I am ready. I am strong enough.
And I will learn as I teach my child.
So Mote It Be!
When you feel ready, take the charged mugwort and place it in your pocket or on your person. Carry it will you until you know you are pregnant, then bury it in the ground to give back to the Mother.
Then, close up your quarters and circles if you cast and called them. Feel the magick within you and have faith. In it, in yourself, in the Goddess.
Most Blessed and Happy Samhain! Our Witches’ New Year is here!
As the Wheel of the Year begins again, so too do we have the joyous opportunity to take our harvest and make something magickal.
Now is also the time to honor our ancestors and be grateful for all the bounty they have wrought.
And as promised here is my Samhain altar and autumn images that I took.
And to help as all get connected with our ancestors on this most enchanting evening my Samhaim ritual. You can change this up however you like and it can work for a solitary practitioner.
Samhain, a Celtic-based holiday, is the festival where we honor the ancestors. Some traditions and groups really embrace this aspect of the holiday, while others do not. This will often depend on the strength of the group’s relationships with their ancestors. Some Wiccans and pagans revere their ancestors, honoring them each day, frequently communicating and receiving messages from them. Others may feel disconnected, and in a world when the ancient wisdom can be difficult to hear, it is even more difficult. But think on this. We all have loved ones who are now spirits, and this is the time to honor them.
For ritual, gather one candle for each person there, smaller candles work best. Also gather a bowl to place the candles in, where they will stand upright, or candle sticks for larger candles.
I often make an ancestor altar, as pictured above, and you can do the same. This process can be a ritual all in itself. It is sad and joyous to remember those we loved and look at their images decorating our altars. You can do this on your current altar or create a entirely separate one for this purpose. There should be room for the candles in addition to an offering. If you are doing this in a group, people can bring their own photos and place them on the altar as well. You can also use special items that were once theirs or which represent them. One large candle should also be atop the altar.
Once everyone has been given their candles, .address the idea of ancestors. Saying your own words or:
“On this eve of all evenings, when veil be thinned between the worlds, we honor those who have gone on before: our sacred ancestors.
Our ancestors shaped us and made us who we are. Physical ancestors, family going back who have now crossed over and spiritual ancestors, those to whom blood is not shared but are connected to us through love. Those who have shaped us through their example and actions. All have made us who we are and we honor our physical and spiritual ties to them.
Visualize your ancestors. The people in spirit you will honor and remain forever linked. They are here. They have always been here. For in the Otherworld there is no space, no time as we know it. The spirits are limited by neither. Think on your particular ancestors. Imagine them here, standing among us. See them clearly. Hold them in your hearts.
Beloved ancestors, we address you. Honored ones, holy ones, we know you are always with us. In some moments we can hear you speak to us. And even when we can’t, we know you are here. We call upon you and ask you to enter our circle. On this eve set aside just for you, we honor you. We remember you. Accept this offering in token of our love and respect.”
Now, light the large candle on the ancestor altar. Next, make your offering. A libation of water or wine, or an offering of flour or cornmeal is a good choice. Do what feels right. As you offer them, hold them up and imagine light pouring into it, filling it with positive energy.
Now direct those around you to do the following, saying whatever you wish or:
“One by one we’ll approach the altar. At your turn, think of your ancestors. Then, light your candle in their honor. Place it in the receptacle and leave it to burn. Speak to them. You can speak your words aloud or project them from your heart. They will know your message.”
If I’m in a group I typically go first so they know what to expect. Then I step to the side, moving clockwise, so that the others can go. Once everyone has gone and moved clockwise like I did, we should all be back in our original places.
Then, join hands and begin a chant. You can also dance if you wish. I like to say:
Beloved spirits! Loved ones who have passed unto the veil!
Those gone before but still with us! Connect to us now and forever!
Our soul lives many lifetimes and the bond of love always remains!
The veil does not dim your light but lets us feel your soft glow in times of need!
Beloved spirits! Loved ones who have passed unto the veil!
Those gone before but still with us! Connect to us now and forever!
Honored ancestors, we wish that our offerings please you. That you will keep us always in your hearts, as we keep you in ours. We will think of you always and honor our connections as the Wheel of the Year turns. Now at this time that we can feel you, see you, hear you the most, we honor you. We thank you for your contributions to our lives. Honored ancestors, may blessing be upon you! So mote it be!”
Then all repeat: “So mote it be!”
A Blessed Samhain to you all sisters and brothers and loved ones.
My personal pantheon is definitely what you would call eclectic. I feel connected to the Goddess or God and don’t necessarily stick to a single tradition or region. When I was first studying Wicca and I could see where my love of ancient mythologies and traditions came from, namely a deeply rooted pagan nature, I saw that there were so many with so much to offer. I did more and more research and I learned more and more about Goddesses and Gods of areas I had never thought about before. I celebrate quite a few female deities and they all have one thing in common. An affinity for creativity and the darker aspects of life and death. None of them could be considered push-overs either. A trait I work toward every day. Below I’ve listed the female deities I work with and who have spoken to me directly. You’ll see a great many are from Greek and Celtic Mythology. I have always felt pulled to their stories and have been connected with them since childhood.
Hekate- The Goddess who I love so, she is the first part of my magickal name. She is the Greek goddess of the Underworld, Magick, witchcraft, the night, moon, ghosts and necromancy. Per the most genuine traditions, she is an ancient Thracian divinity and a Titan. She, from the time of the Titans, ruled in heaven, on the earth, and in the sea. She bestowed mortals with wealth, victory, wisdom, good luck to sailors and hunters, and prosperity to youth and to the flocks of cattle. However, all these blessings might be withheld by her if mortals did not deserve them. She was the only one among the Titans who retained her power under the rule of Zeus. She was honored by all the immortal gods.
I personally felt her call to me right away. She was the first of the Goddesses that spoke to me when I began exploring paganism and Wicca. She always seemed to me to be the great Gatekeeper of Wisdom in Magick and a remarkable sorceress. She also helped me to learn the value of death and how the cycle always continues, a fact I had a hard time coming to terms with when I was young and still have my moments with today.
Nyx- The second part of my magickal name. Nyx is the Greek goddess of the night, one of the primordial gods who emerged as the dawn of creation. She is the child of Khaos (Chaos, Air). In some myths, she coupled with Erebos (Darkness) to produce Aither (Aether, Light) and Hemera (Day). Then, alone she spawned a brood of dark spirits including the three Fates, Sleep, Death, Strife and Pain. In other myths, it is said that without any husband she gave birth to Moros, the Keres, Thanatos, Hypnos, Dreams, Momus, Oizys, the Hesperides, Moerae, Nemesis, and similar beings. Nyx is an ancient deity typically envisaged as the very substance of the night, a veil of dark mists drawn across the sky to obscure the light of Aither, the shining blue of the heavens. Homer calls her the subduer of gods and men, and states that Zeus himself stood in awe of her.
Again, a darker, powerful Goddess, Nyx subtly called my name as she led me into the darkness. Not for punishment or suffering, though you do have to pass through those things to get to the heart of her, but for salvation. Giving me an understanding of the night, of the black, of the empty. From darkness, there is light, from black there is white, and something must first be empty to become full. I identify with her because she is the base, the root, in which the stars anchor themselves. She is the slate wiped clean, so we can begin again.
Kali- Our Dark Mother, who is so misunderstood. I’ve written an entire paper on her and still her mysteries are vast. My short blurb from a newsletter I wrote-
“Dark Mother,” Kali is the Hindu Triple Goddess of creation, preservation, and destruction. Though many only her of her Destroyer aspect, she is so much more. She was the consort of Shiva and is often depicted standing over his dead form. While her fearsome side is truly not to be forgotten, it is this strength and power that represent her Mother aspect. Birthing her children only to call them back home to her at the time of their deaths, then taking them in to use in future create. An embodiment of the life, death, life cycle. For her Tantric worshipers, they believe they had to welcome her curse of death and much as her blessings of life. For a coin does not have one side and life cannot exist without death. They are integral parts of the same wheel of time. In her Crone, or Kalika, aspect she rules all forms of death and destruction, but she too rules all forms of life in her Maiden and Mother aspects. Kali’s creative word is that which we have heard often, Om. This chant giving life to what we put our intentions into. Kali gave birth to the gods and would devour them again to be reborn when their time had come. Vishnu, who often said in writings that he brought the whole earth out of the abyss, said of Kali, “Material cause of all change, manifestation, and destruction…the whole Universe rests upon Her, rises our of Her and melts away into Her…She is both mother and grave…The gods themselves merely constructs out of Her maternal substance, which is both consciousness and potential joy.”- from E.A. Rawson. She tells us when the time to let a thing die has come and when to begin creating anew. The priestesses tended her temples the Yoginis or Shaktis as Maidens, the Matri as the Mothers, and the Dakinis as the Crones. These women were also known as the “Skywalkers” and they took care of the dying, managed funerary rites, and acted as angels of death. Kali has also been worshipped in different lands, as her great influence stretches far. As the Black Goddess, known in Finland as Kalma, the biblical tehom or Tiamat, Durga, Sati, Uma, Devata, Tara, Lakshmi, these are all her names. In cemeteries and cremation ground she was worshipped, where even Roman tombstones invoked her with “Mater genuit, Mater recepit”- meaning the Mother bore me, the Mother took me back. So remember her is times when tough love is needed. Hear Her Truth– The time has come to let go of what must die. Life cannot move forward without Death.”
I am connected to her so much. She shouts at me regularly to cut that sh*t out and do what needs to be done. I call on her in times of confusion and when I am scared to move forward, knowing that she’ll look me in the eye with that “are you serious?” face and get me into gear.
Morrighan- She’s dark, powerful, and misunderstood. I think I’m sensing a theme. Morrighan is a Celtic deity, often depicted as a Triple Goddess. She is in fact linked with several different Goddesses. A goddess of battle and death, sex and fertility, prophecy and wisdom. Her name means “Great Queen” or “Phantom Queen.” Queen of the Otherworld, the world of phantasms, faeries, and the dead. I have also studied her extensively and she is a beautiful mystery. Straight forward and fierce, proud and forgiving. The pains of life, the serenity of death, and the passion of sex.
She has also called to me most of my life. I remember learning of her because of an episode of Hercules and having to know more. She is still so shrouded but I feel she is guiding me down a path of wonder and painful knowing. I wouldn’t have it any other way. For more information, check out Feast of the Morrighan by Christopher Penczak.
Isis- Isis is a Great Mother Goddess. Isis, in Egyptian Aset or Eset , is one of the most important goddesses of ancient Egypt. Her name is the Greek translation of the ancient Egyptian word for throne. In mourning, she is a principal deity in rites for the dead. As a magical healer, she cured the sick and brought the dead to life. As a mother, she was a role model for all women. Isis had strong links with Egyptian kingship. She was most often seen as a beautiful woman wearing a sheath dress and either the hieroglyphic sign of the throne or a solar disk and cow’s horns worn on her head. In the Egyptian mythology, she follows a similar path to Inanna, descending to the Underworld to save her husband, Osiris, and then being reborn into the world. She is also connected to the Egyptian horoscope and I am born under her sign.
Another of my most favorite mythological traditions along with Greek and Celtic is Egyptian. I have always loved their stories and lessons. I even visited the Egyptian exhibit in the Natural History Museum in Chicago as a small child. I have been surrounded by books about their mythology all my life.
Now, not to leave out male deities. I do feel connected to one in particular and the aspect male energy tends to represent.
Cernnunos- Cernnunos, though mostly as a nature and fertility god of Celtic Mythology, has appeared in an array of forms and made himself known by several names to nearly every culture throughout time. He is best known in his Celtic aspects of the untamed Horned God of the Animals and the leaf-covered Green Man, Guardian of the Green World. However, He is much older. Cernnunos worked his magick when the first humans were coming into being.
This image of the wild Hunter has always appealed to me. I am most connected to this form of the God. I can see myself running alongside him in the forest not a care for material things or rules. I can feel the protective energy he radiates and the fierce determination to provide for his people. I call on him when the situation calls for a more masculine energy and when strength of body is needed. Not to say I only call on him then. In fact, I find the Gods and Goddesses work well together.
My pantheon. They fill me with hope, acceptance, trust, love, pride, esteem, wonder, and awe. With their sure hands guiding me I can become my best self.
I’ll do a post about my Samhain altar and celebration once we get a bit closer to the lovely day, but…
I just can’t contain my excitement. We’ve reached my favorite month! My home is officially filled to the brim with witchy, classically creepy decorations. I actually got a late start this time. I usually have that stuff up just after labor day, but since I was hosting my housewarming party I waited. Much to my chagrin.
This month holds so much magick and wonder for me. I have always been deeply connected to the dark time of the year, especially since I was born in October. I’m right on the cusp of Libra and Scorpio. That means this month, especially the end with Samhain, is especially powerful for me. But don’t forget, it’s powerful for everyone.
At this turning of the Wheel of the Year, beginning our descent into the dark time of the year, remember all that has come before. Be grateful for past sacrifices and lessons. Learn and journey forward, steeling yourself against the Winter ahead.
Remembering our ancestors is a huge way many pagans celebrate the season. I, since I am a bit on the goth side, decorate the house with skeletons and skulls. They’re creepy and keeping with the spooky feel I want to create for fun but they also signify the passing of ancestors who have enabled me to live the life I do. I also like to put my spell supplies and bottles all around the house. Again, this looks creepy in terms of Halloween but its also a sneaky little way to fill my home with witchy vibes for Samhain.
This season is definitely a balancing act for me. I love to play up the gothic, spooky decor and I also want to remember the significance of Samhaim. Hopefully it’s working.
Plus, another interesting challenge I faced this year was the bigger space to decorate. Now I am certainly not complaining. I love my new home but I didn’t have nearly enough Halloween stuff.
Alright, I was fine. But any excuse to get more Halloweenie stuff and I’m in. And at least I was smart about it. I went to the dollar store and searched for items that could be spruced up or paired with something else for an improved look. I also love making decorations and creating little arrangements throughout the house so that each surface tells a little story.
So as you can see, Halloween is kinda my thing.
Now that the house is all set up, it’s time to slowly stock up for altar items. I’m going to do a relatively traditional altar set up. Things you can include on your Samhain altar include:
Colors of late autumn like rich, deep colors purples, burgundies. and black. Also harvest shades such as gold and orange.
Altar cloths in dark colors welcoming the darker nights and spirits of those passed on.
Candles in deep, rich colors and some special ones in white, silver, and gold.
Photographs of your deceased ancestors
apples, pumpkins, squash, or root vegetables
Tools of divination or spirit communication
Offerings to the ancestors
Animal horns, skeletons, skulls, candy skulls, ghosts, feathers or talons as a power symbol
Statuary of deities connected to death: Hades (Greek God of the Underworld), Demeter (Greek Goddess), Persephone (Greek Goddess), Hecate (Greek Goddess of the Cauldron, Crossroads, Magick, and the Underworld, of whom I am named), Thanatos (Greek God of Death), Freya (Norse Goddess), Hel (Norse Goddess), Yama (Hindu God), Kali (Hindu Goddess), Anubis (Egyptian God of the Dead), Osiris (Egyptian God of Underworld), The Morrigan (Celtic Goddess of the Crossroads, Triple Goddess), etc.
So with that my lovelies, I wish you a happy October! Have fun during this glorious month and enjoy the turning of the Wheel. When Samhain draws closer, I’ll give you a peek at my altar and the Samhaim ritual I have written for solitaries as well as the group ritual I will be participating in at the Temple of Sekhmet.
I feel we have forgotten. So many things. We have forgotten running. Long strides across a great, green field in the moonlight. Running across brown earth hardening our feet. We have forgotten about sitting, laying, beneath a great oak smelling dirt and wet. We have forgotten hot sun on our bare skin, no area not touched by the fiery kisses.
We have forgotten to be wild.
We were not always so clean and boxed in. We were not always co-workers, toilers, factories, consumers.
We were not always tied tight in a form that doesn’t fit us.
We used to run, we used to jump, we used to be wild. We used to be wild.
Wild is not savage, but it is. Wild is not dangerous, but it is. Wild is not to be feared, but it is.
Our wildness gives us power and darkness. It gives us instinct and territory. Wildness gives us a place of spirit and creation and innate being.
We can still find it. Find the wild run and dance deep within the soul. And we must embrace this inner beast. This inner animal. Our instincts are ancient voices of ancestors. They are unique languages of blood and soul and self. They are to be heeded. They are to run free.
But we have forgotten.
We are animals. Glorious, upright animals. And animals need to fuel their instinctual power. We must feed it. That dark place deep within of anger and virtuous hunger.
It screams at us.
Run! Be free! Be fierce! Be strong! Be cruel when there is need.
Listen to the night, to the dark places and hear its voice.
Listen to the howling wolf, proud in the moonlight.
When I hear the wolf howl I know the time has come. The time to run.
Time to run for change and freedom. Time to run for love and death and dark and light. Let us be the creatures of divine existence we are meant to be. Let us listen and learn from the dark instead of cowering. Let us remember that the Goddess is all. Bounty and scarcity. Birth and the pains of birth. Seed and sickle. Growth and the rot. Stillness and wildness.
Mabon is a time of year which means many different things. This season we begin to honor the darker aspects of Goddess as each day loses more light and falls deep into night. Positive and negative energies equal out. Mabon is a time to remember your bounty and rejoice in the gratitude for all you have been provided with. And at this time of equal night and day it is especially a time of balance.
On this day of days honor both the hunter and hunted, predator and prey, plough and scythe, growth and decay, beginning and end, light and dark, life and death. Be glad of your resources, frugality, and the careful planning of ancestors before for they worked to life on past the cold of winter and were successful. At Mabon we remember and we let go, we celebrate what we have and what we can give away.
We examine where we are strong and where we are weak, both inside and out. We also observe and relish the places in between. Places neither black nor white but grey. Places neither here nor there, but beneath, inside, and between coming and going. We remember the magickal place after completion and just before a new something starts.
This can be a time of great energy and potential. If you feel you need more balance or simply wish to take stock in the moment between moments. This meditation can be very helpful.
Power of the Equinox
Spring is not the only time we can do a good cleaning, both physical and mental. Fall’s Equinox is a perfect time to get rid of any emotional baggage weighing you down. This is a time to let go of what no longer serves you. We can accept the darker aspects to life, embrace them, and move forward. Knowing that life reflects the Earth, a gentle swaying from light to dark to light again.
As the sun goes down for the evening but clutches to the horizon, take a moment for this reflection. You can do this outside, inside, or really any time that you have a moment to appreciate balance. Decorating an altar, even just a flat space outside, with colorful leaves, acorns, pumpkins, and Autumn symbols is wonderful for setting the mood. On the altar, place a small black and white candle, a tealight can work great, and place them on a fire safe surface.
Lighting both candles, say:
Night and day in balance, light and dark in balance.
On the Equinox night I seek balance in life
as the Universe is balanced.
I light a black candle for pain and darkness
and for eliminating that which does not serve.
I light a white candle for light, for happiness,
and great abundance I now bring forth.
This time of the Equinox, Second Harvest Mabon,
bring forth harmony and balance in the Universe,
in my life, and those around me.
Meditate on changing what you can and moving past that which you cannot. Eliminating the bad, strengthening the good, for you, your community, and the world. Release relationships, emotions, and thoughts which hold you back and embrace those which help you move forward. Listen to the message of the Dark Goddess. Her words may seem blunt, but she knows what you need to do and she will tell. Heed her words. Find the lesson in the pain and let it go.