Tag Archive | God

Litha~Summer Solstice

“Summer set lip to earth’s bosom bare, and left the flushed print in a poppy there.” Francis Thompson

Many have varying views on summer and it’s significance to them. Take a moment to think about what summer means to you. Perhaps it’s warmth, tank tops and flip-flops, fireworks, road trips, BBQs, and bonfires. There’s excitement, energy, a joy for life, wanting to go-go-go! This type of energy present is very masculine, very active, and very bursting with fruition! There’s still a potentiality in the air though we are beginning to witness intentions set at the new year blossom and grow into manifestation. Amazing, huh?

Carnival

4th of July Celebration @ Fairview Park | Centralia | Illinois | United States

Well, the very first day of summer (the summer solstice) marks the celebration of all of this and more. Also known as Litha, this sabbat is overflowing with light, passion, creativity, and oh so much more. It’s when the Sun God is at His height of power and this is evident by this being the longest day of the year. He is basking and shining radiantly upon all His children. The Goddess is pregnant with (1) the harvest we’ll reap in the fall and (2) the Sun God who’ll be reborn at Yule. While it’s most certainly a festival of celebration and enjoyment, it is also tinged with a underlying sadness as we understand that after this the God will be in decline as we enter the dark half of the year. Night begins growing once more as we head towards Mabon (the autumn equinox) where day and night are equal. After that, the nights are longer than the days.

No reason not to celebrate what we have presently though which is definitely a beautiful lesson in being present, gratitude, and making the best of any situation.

“The great gift of the energy of the Summer Solstice is that it’s designed to move you from one phase to the next on your terms.” Deborah King

Litha occurs anywhere from the 20th to the 23rd of June (I just use a farmer’s almanac to 3dcb427f44466b32c9a293a04021e247find the Summer Solstice) though traditionally it happened when the sun was in 1 degree of Cancer. Wait, what? Yeah, I was confused as well. A solar festival—like the BIGGEST solar festival—is during a water sign?! However, I soon realized that was the beauty of it! It’s when the Sun God is at his pinnacle point in the year and alongside Him, equal, is His consort, His wife, the Goddess. Neither one is pushed aside for the other. They both stand together in harmony and brilliance.

“Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August.” Jenny Han, The Summer I Turned Pretty

This is the classic time for magick! One example would be how the morning dew of this day was supposed to be powerful for glamour so young ladies would venture out to bathe in this dew for a youthful appearance. Herbs collected at Midday (when the Sun is at His height of the day) today are incredibly potent. It is also on this day the fairies are 2196a0ced2774b8a0929007a3679ce3dout as they too revel in delight. Invoke their aid and do not forget to thank them—not so much with words but perhaps a bowl of milk or butter! You do not want to offend the Good Folk. Any spells for protection are great for today.

On this day the Oak and Holly Kings dual again with the Holly King winning. This also marks the transition of the Sun God into the Grain God who will be sacrificed during the harvest. The Goddess is mostly seen as Gaia who nourishes and sustains us daily. However, all solar deities are appropriate  as well as Father Gods, Mother Goddesses, and Pregnant Deities.

Local flowers—especially sunflowers, bright colors, and all things that symbolize summer are welcomed on the altar as well as décor around the home. Think of colors you naturally turn to during this time of year and more than likely most of them can be found in nature during this time which means go for them when decorating. Yellow, Orange, Red, Gold, ad Green are traditional with blue being great for Cancer. However, brown and/or tan is also permissible. I like to use many reds and yellows alongside greens for this particular sabbat.

Quick Correspondence List:

  • Symbols: Fire, The Sun, Blades, Oak Trees, Bonfires, Sun Wheels, and Fairies.
  • Animals: Horses, Cattles, and Summer Birds
  • Crystals/Stones: Emerald, Tiger’s Eye, Lapis Lazuli, and Ruby
  • Herbs: Frankincense, Lemon, Sandalwood, Copal, Saffron, Cinnamon, Laurel, and Orange

This is a sabbat of duality. Not only are we celebrating and honoring the Sun God in all His glory but also preparing for the harvest we know is coming. We honor the Pregnant Goddess and the beginning of the waning year. We delight in the light while acknowledging the beginning of the dark half of the year.

 

Some Activities:

  • Watch the Sun Rise and Set
  • Bask in the Summer Heat. Get outside!
  • Give Offerings to the Fairies.—Make Some Fairy Butter!
  • Bless Fathers                                          download
  • Tie Cinnamon Bundles for Protection
  • Create Protective Herbal Blends
  • Communicate with the Fairies
  • Create Smudge Bundles
  • Have a Bonfire
  • Take a Walk
  • Have a Picnic
  • Make Sun Tea (this is a favorite of mine!)

Some Resources:

These are where I got loads of my information. Check them out! 😊

  • Sabbats: A Witch’s Approach to Living the Old Ways by Edain McCoy
  • Solitary Witch: The Ultimate Book of Shadows by Silver Ravenwolf
  • Wicca by Scott Cunningham
  • Wicca by D.J. Conway
  • The Simple Sabbat: A Family-Friendly Approach to the Eight Pagan Holidays by M. Flora Peterson
  • Litha-The Witch’s Zodiac with Laura Daligan and Zoe Hind
  • CharmingPixieFlora’s videos (I don’t think they are still available)

A song that I found on youtube that really reasonates with this Sabbat and connects me to it is: Celtic Woman-Tir Na Nog

I had class on Litha last summer and I listened to this song on repeat on my drive there and back (no joking lol I LOVE it) and it helped keep the vibe going. 😊

 

The Brightest of Summer Blessings,

The Autumn Witch

 

AW Litha

 

 

 

Card of the Day-7 May 2017

 

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From the Earth Magic deck by Steven D. Farmer

Card of the Day
Eagle (Communion)

This is quite funny because I was just thinking earlier this morning about a post I’d read on Facebook about disconnect and the necessity of union with Spirit/God/Goddess/All That Is. This communion also extends into nature as everything has a spirit. We’re all interconnected so the tree beside my sidewalk is just as much a part of me as I am of it. This makes communication and communion possible.
Take time today to speak to your higher power. Pray,  Meditate, Chant–whichever helps you. Our lives become so busy that we tend to only come to Them when we’re in need but have you ever talked to Them? That’s the necessity of the day. If already do this then go out and commune with nature. That is your meaning. Nature is the manifestation of the Gods.
Be one with Them. Talk to Them. Listen. Maybe there is a message needing relaying?

*Card from the Earth Magic deck

Brightest of Blessings,

The Autumn Witch

Blessed Beltane!

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Bonfires scattered throughout countryside,
flames flickering and dancing in rhythm,
to an ancient tune only heard by a few.
Flowers and plants bud and bloom,
in celebration and joy,
as the spirits of nature revel in such magick.
What then could be the cause
of such delight and merriment?
Only the union of our Lord and Lady,
two lovers now forever connected,
whole and complete now together.
Abundance as nature now thrives
is ours to enjoy–if we know the way
in which to partake of this sacred day.
Our spirits become fertile alongside our Lady,
whether that be physically or creatively,
so that we too may share in such rites.
On this Beltane day, we celebrate the
Sun God and Earth Goddess.
King and Queen of May,
from whom all life springs forth.
So, come dance the Maypole
while the Fae sing enchanting tunes,
so that once the day is done,
masculine and feminine are as one.

–The Autumn Witch

May your Beltane be abundant with love, light, joy and celebration. ❤

Reconnecting through the Signs

“Listen to the wind, the birds, the sounds of the earth and sky for they are the voices of the God and Goddess.”–The Autumn Witch

Constantly we are searching and seeking the Divine either for connection, support, encouragement, love, insight, or even proof They do exist. While I believe people of all backgrounds and faiths have this deep yearn to connect to their concept of the Creator, I have found that ever since my returning home, as I like to call it, my “conversion”–if you will–to Paganism and Witchcraft, has been fraught with such need for reaffirmation. Just the simple reaffirming that the God and Goddess, the Great Spirit (as I collectively think of Them) are there. Some faiths have buildings were they convene to communicate with the Divine and have books full of inspiration and divinely inspired insight to read and recite. We, as Pagans and Witches, have nature.

Well then, should that not make it far more easier to speak and hear our Deities? Yes and No. We all have hectic days where we’re constantly going from here to there while our minds are preoccupied with to-do’s and mundane necessities that we might eventually find our spiritual practice lacking. This has happened to me far too often and that is a goal for this year–to become more spiritually attuned as well as develop a daily practice that I can keep. From this lack of a daily practice, we become distant from our Gods which only leaves us empty and searching. I’ve noticed that during the winter, when it’s too cold for me to really spend much time outdoors-and actually, most of the time don’t want to go outside!-as well as days that are just too chaotic, I begin to feel even more lost and begin to question my path. I firmly believe this is due to remaining indoors and losing that connection to nature that I had before the onset of winter.

Do you have to have this sudden lack of connection in order to seek? Certainly not, however I do believe, and have personally noted, that it seems to be the more popular time to seek Them out. If you follow me on Twitter, you know that during the Mercury Retrograde I was at my spiritual height for 2016. I was finally shedding the old and embracing my authentic self. However, as soon as Mercury went Direct it was as if the wind got knocked from me and I went spiraling into this depressive, almost numb, sort of state. I felt empty and lacked all motivation for my practice. I began to become overcome by ego and fear–especially fears I’d released at the end of December. They took a hold of me and would not let go! I couldn’t find the Gods! It was as if They were gone! In this state of confusion and isolation, I began to return to my previous religion and it was as if I was stumbling around in a stupor. I had brief flashes of awe and excitement during this excursion, as I shall deem it, but I knew in my mind it was not my path. It no longer served me.

After about two weeks or so, I decided I’d had enough. I was not returning. I was not traveling backwards but would continue with the progression I’d made. I was a Pagan Witch–dammit! (Sometimes I have to be a little firm with myself.) One night, after having watched a video that I thoroughly had enjoyed in regards to my past faith, I was lying in bed about to close my eyes for bed when I had made the decision to pray. Mind you, I’m not much into prayer. Not because it doesn’t work or I’m against it but just because I always ended up missing “prayer sessions” whenever I implemented a prayer regimen, if you will and would scold myself. You know, where you say you’ll pray before bed, before meals, etc. I’m not too good at the whole time-table prayer schedule-or even with altar devotions! I digress. I stated my intention that I was going to pray. At this time, I’d figured I would be praying to God, however as I closed my eyes and folded my hands in front of my chest, I found the words that came to my mind were not addressed to Him but to the Gods and Goddesses I’d previously spoken with.

I named Them each by name-first the Goddesses then the Gods-before addressing the Great Spirit which I believe encompasses Them All as well as any Deities of other faiths. They are all manifestations and aspects of this Great Spirit-this One energy that permeates all. As you can imagine, this was a pretty long list that included Celtic, Greek, and Egyptian Deities. Any that I’d ever felt a connection to. I listed Them, visualizing each and every single one, before beseeching Them to help me find a re-connection to Them. I asked Them to return to my life as I knew this former path was no longer my own. I released this prayer then went to sleep but with more peace in my heart than I’d felt previously.

The next morning I awoke early and left for work. I didn’t give any other thought to the prayer but as I stepped outside, it was silent. Completely still of all people and cars, incredible since I live in a city! The morning air was crisp with just a hint of mist which is always a very mystical and magickal form of precipitation to me. As I began to cross the street towards my car, I heard a crow caw and smiled as a crow, personally, symbolizes magick is afoot. I acknowledged that and continued. Something told me to glance down and there was a worm in the road and I carefully stepped over it. Immediately a small giggle entered my mind as I thought, “All creatures are from Gaia”. Then I noticed some squirrels playing at the tree near my car. It wasn’t until after I had fastened my seat belt and began to pull out that I realized I was receiving exactly what I’d asked for. The God and Goddess don’t necessarily speak with words. We don’t hear loud, booming voices announcing the presence of the Gods. Instead, They speak through signs, through symbols, and through nature.

This taught me a very important lesson-look for the signs. Spirit/The Gods are always speaking but are we listening? Do we brush aside these signs and instead expect only words? Do we open ourselves up to receive such communication? The sight of animals associated with a particular Deity or of our spirit animals can be far greater a sign of communication than even words could! We must listen not with our ears but with our spirit and with our heart. We must shift from the logical part of ourselves and tap into our intuitive and emotional side. It is through this that we will experience the Gods.

If you’re wondering about why I’d willingly returned to a previous faith with the knowledge that it wasn’t for me: I’d discovered it was a deep shadow of mine that I’d never worked with. I’d learned that whenever things weren’t going well or something awful happened in my life, I’d go running back to my previous faith in fear. That can’t go. Fear and being uncomfortable are a part of life and it is through the tackling of them that we are able to progress and evolve.

Returning to my message about the signs, next time you’re feeling disconnected or anything then firstly always go to nature first. This can really ground and connect us. If that doesn’t help then ask yourself, “are you looking for the signs?” I’ve had great inspiration and connection come to me when sitting beneath a tree with the breeze suddenly swirling through the leaves, rustling the words of the Gods than I’ve had sitting inside and praying. Seek Them out, if you must, but remember to listen with more than your ears. Open your heart. Otherwise, you may just miss what it is They are saying. Don’t forget to ask either.

This, my friends, is Simple Magick. How? It doesn’t involve any tools, any trappings, any preparation. It can simply be a prayer followed with observation. Any connection to Spirit is magick in my opinion. I do apologize as this is a very long winded post but it explains not only my absence this month but my renewed vigor for my Craft and my path.

Brightest of Blessings,

The Autumn Witch

“We must listen not with our ears but with our spirit and with our heart.”-The Autumn Witch

listen

Yule

Yule is celebrated when the sun is in 1 degree of Capricorn which is between 21-23 December, which this year will be 21st December 2016. Other names for this Sabbat are the Winter Solstice, Yuletide, Feill Fionnain, Alban Arthan, and the Festival of the Dark God. It’s a minor Sabbat and a quarter. This is the shortest day and longest night of the year. For some, this is the New Year while there are others whose New Year was at Samhain–I personally am one of these people. 🙂Image result for Sun

Yule is the time of Divine Births with rebirth being its primary theme. It celebrates the rebirth of the Sun, renewing cycles of life, rejuvenation, and growth. It is about the bringing of light into a time of darkness. This is also a time to honor the Triple Goddess and  celebrate the return of the sun and waxing year. Gift giving (which dates back to Saturnalia), Yule trees, and Yule logs are part of this celebration. This is one of the most celebrated times in history.

Colors for this Sabbat are gold, yellow, red, green, and purple. Sun representations, lots of candles and Evergreens, which symbolize the Goddess, are great to incorporate onto the altar. Drinks for the “ale” of ritual can be wassail, lambswool, hibiscus, ginger tea or orange juice (with vodka). “Cakes” can be solstice cakes or gingerbread cookies. Foods for this Sabbat are apples, poultry, dried fruit, eggnog, beans pears, fruit, nuts, cakes of caraway soaked in cider, and pork.  In ritual, have a fire in the cauldron if unable to have a bonfire. Herbs to decorate the altar, circle, and house are holly, mistletoe, ivy, cedar, bay, juniper, rosemary, and pine. Place offerings of apples, oranges, nutmeg, lemons, and cinnamon sticks on the Yule tree.

Image result for Christmas treeSymbols of this Sabbat are evergreen trees, the yule log, wreaths, spinning wheels, holly and an eight-spoked wheel. Taboos are extinguishing fires and traveling. Animals for this season are stags (which represent the horned God), squirrels, and wrens/robins. Stones for this time are bloodstone, ruby and garnets. Plants for this Sabbat are holly, mistletoe, evergreens, poinsettias, bougainvillaea, tropical flowers, bay, pine, cloves, ginger, valerian, frankincense and myyrh. Attunement teas could be made of cinnamon, mullein, willow bark, and yarrow. Ritual oils can be made from rosemary, myrrh, nutmeg, saffron, cedar/pine, wintergreen, and ginger.  Mythical creatures are Phoenix, Trolls, and Mermecolion. Key actions are meditation and introspection.

The Goddess at this time is the Mother and the God is a baby. The Oak King and Holly King battle and the Oak King wins at this time. Some Deities for this Sabbat are Gaia, Befana, Heket, Lilith, Eve, Kefa, Lucina, Ma’at, Thea, Shekinah, Tiamat, Demeter, Inanna, Ishtar, Pachamama, Acliti, Isis, Nuit, Frigg, Freya, Neith, Pallas Athena, Rhea, Ra, Horus, Helios, Apollo, Bel, Shamash, Oak King, Sol Invictus, Cronos, Dionysus, Hercules, Horned One, Osiris, Thor, Zeus, Perseus, St. Nicholas, Mithra, Lugh and Balder.

By burning the Yule log, which is either Oak or Evergreen, we usher in the power of the sun. For Witches, the light of the log represents the Child of Promise. Save a piece to light next year’s and to bring prosperity throughout the year. Dried holly was placed under the log to help rekindle the fire. So while burning, toss a sprig of holly in to symbolize the troubles of the past year. If burning a log isn’t appropriate, holes may be drilled into the log to fit candles. Place three candles and light then before saying a chant. Also, a tree cleansing ritual can be done before decorating the tree in order to cleanse it. Ornaments and decorations can be used as charms.Image result for Spell ornament

This is a great time to spend with family and friends. Some Witches celebrate Yule either alone or with their coven and instead celebrate Xmas with their families. Some other Yule activities are:

  • Watch the Sun rise and Set
  • Make New Year’s Resolutions
  • Have a Feast
  • Give Gifts
  • Sing Yule Carols
  • Make Spell Ornaments or Spell Bags
  • Feed the Birds
  • Burn a Yule Log
  • Have a Tree Blessing Ritual
  • Have an all-night vigil for The Goddess as She prepares to give birth
  • Drum up the Sun
  • Make Cookies
  • Have a Bonfire
  • Make Incense and Oils
  • Have a Winter Solstice Party
  • Ring Bells

 

I hope ya’ll have a Yule that is full of joy, love, health, and prosperity. May we shine in the light during this season of darkness.

 

Brightest of Blessings,

The Autumn Witch

 

Sources:

  • Yule by Dorothy Morrison
  • Sabbats by Edain McCoy
  • Her Winter Solstice Videos by CharmingPixieFlora (no longer available)
  • The Witches Zodiac–Yule by Laura Daligan and Zoe Hind
    • A wonderful video as are their other Wheel of the Year ones so I highly recommend you check them out!