Category: Pagan


Blessed Be!

“Then came cold February, sitting
In an old waggon, for he could not ride,
Drawne of two fishes, for the season fitting,
Which through the flood before did softly slyde
And swim away; yet had he by his side…
His plough and harnesse fit to till the ground,
And tooles to prune the trees before the pride
Of hasting prime did make them burgeon round”

brigid

Brighid Hymn

This is absolutely beautiful!

Adventures and Musings of an Arch Druidess

Hymn to Brighid

Brighid, Lady of flame
Forge of me a link
In the chain
Of strong women
Create a song in my heart
Help me heal with love

Sing me a song of flames
Sing me a song of hammer and anvil
Sing me a song of peace
Sing me a song of creation

Make me strong
Make me shiny
Make me tempered
Make me precious.

Sing me a song of flames
Sing me a song of hammer and anvil
Sing me a song of peace
Sing me a song of creation.

Use me to help
Use me to heal
Use me to create
Use me to make real

Sing me a song of morning
Sing me a song of night
Sing me a song of between times
Sing me a song of your light.

Kat – TOILA Brighid ritual 2001

View original post

Happy Yule!

A festive little throwback, from a 2013 performance:

There’s a full moon tonight (and the blood-moon was last night/early this morning).
We did a group (troupe) reading tonight, as a means of seeing if we’re going in the right direction and what we could do to achieve our collective goals.
But… I’m not getting into that, in part because that is troupe business, and not what this post is about.

I’m not typically one to hit the cards.
I have a difficult time remembering what various positions mean, or even what the cards mean. These things don’t stick in my head. Stringing together the relationships of cards is even more difficult.
I’ve recently begun thinking that, maybe, it’s my deck. Maybe I don’t connect with it.
Or maybe I haven’t spent enough time connecting.
I don’t know.
It’s a Celtic Ogham deck, and I have had it for many years (nearly 20). I was first drawn to it because it reminded my of my love of nature and Irish/Celtic history.

Because moon magic is strong tonight (and as a water sign, I have a strong connection to the moon), I decided to pull my own cards.
I did the recommended 15-card draw – which is, in reality, three 5-card draws. Each set of 5 cards represents past, present, and future.
Based on my very limited experience, here is what I gained from my incredibly broad “where the f*ck do I go from here?” question.

Past:
In my past, I was very good at trusting my instincts.

Present:
I need to go back to trusting my instincts, and search for the truth in people.
I have a strong dedication to my desires.

Future:
Hard choices have to be made.

Ask a vague question, get a vague answer.

Blessed Summer Solstice!

I usually party like a rock star for solstice (fire dancing, anyone?). But, since I’m fighting a pretty wicked migraine right now – and I can tell it’s only going to get worse – my partying will be pared down to baking.

Here’s one of my favorite solstice cookie recipes…. It’s sort of a lemony sugar cookie deal. I’m hoping to bring some in to share on Monday.

AND … I’m in the process of converting it to GF (my sister has a good flour mix).

Happy Summer, everyone!

Summer Solstice Cookies

3/4c softened butter
2c brown sugar
2 eggs
1T lemon juice
2T grated lemon rind
2c sifted flour
1c finely chopped pecans. (optional; walnuts or dried cranberries work, too.)

Cream butter in a large non-metallic mixing bowl.
Gradually add the brown sugar, mixing well.
Add eggs, lemon  juice, and rind, then mix well until mixture is well blended.
Cover the bowl with a white or yellow towel or cloth napkin, and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, shape dough into 1″ balls and place 3″ apart on a greased  cookie sheet.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes.
Cool on racks.
Approx. 36 cookies.

As I gear up for Something Tribal This Way Comes, I also have to start planning for my Imbolc celebrations. I had the same issue last year, and I felt ill-prepared for two major forces in my life.

Whether you prefer to observe St. Brigid’s Day, the Celtic tradition of Imbolc, or the Catholic celebration of Candlemas, this is the time to celebrate the coming of Spring.

I found this awesome page with ideas for the day: Art & Soul

1. Food and Drink (always good for a celebration!)

Plan a menu involving grains and dairy products. Enjoy a glass of ale (remember, one of Brigid’s specialties was brewing!). You might also want to try this recipe for milk punch or perhaps make the traditional Saint Brigid’s oat bread. Maybe not quite as traditional, but very tasty, here’s one of my favorite recipes for Oatmeal Cinnamon Raisin Bread.

2. Get Creative

Brigid’s Cross

Brigid is the patroness of poetry, so if she’s helped to light your fire of inspiration, why not try your hand at writing a poem? Or you may prefer to make a Brigid’s Cross. A woven cross that incorporates both Christian and pagan symbolism, these crosses are still widely used in Ireland today to protect the harvest and farm animals. Another popular craft of the season is the corn dolly. The dolls were traditionally dressed in white and adorned with ribbons and baubles like crystals, shells or stones. They were carried by young girls in a procession from house to house where gifts were bestowed upon the dollies.
Or…?? Anything creative, particularly involving weaving or textiles, would be suitable.

3. Let There Be Light

Fire and purification are important aspects of this festival. The lighting of candles represents the return of warmth and the increasing power of the sun over the coming months. As such, one long held tradition is to turn off all of the lights in the house. Then, re-enter and—one by one—turn all the lights back on (perhaps lighting a few candles, as well) as a symbolic celebration of the changing seasons and the return of the light.

4. Celebrate (Your) Animals

Brigid had a way with animals; a white skinned red eared fairy cow is often associated with her. Traditionally, farm animals would be particularly well cared for on St. Brigid’s Day. If you don’t have farm animals, consider giving your pet a special treat on this day.

5. Plant Seeds

In preparation for Spring, plant some seeds outdoors if it’s warm enough, or start some indoors for transplanting later. Or force some bulbs. Good choices are paperwhite narcissus or amaryllis – the bright blooms and sweet scent will help the rest of the winter pass more quickly—and more pleasantly.

Ouch!

I’ve been pretty busy getting  my Adara Din blog up and running; I feel like I’ve neglected Searching For Brigid a bit.
It’s also this time of year, so I’ve had a lot on my plate on the home-front.

We were in a minor car accident last night… nothing terrible, and only our car was involved.
I’m pretty sore, but I’m not broken or even bruised. The car, however, is quite unhappy. There’s some cosmetic damage (dented front and rear bumpers), and the alignment is off, but we were able to drive home without too many issues.

Fortunately, hubby’s parents are able to give up a vehicle for the next few days until we can get his into the shop.

I’m going to go rest now.
Blessed Yule, everyone!

Taken from
http://www.mysticfamiliar.com/library/moon/yule_moon.html
———————

This is a time of rest. As the night is long and the days are short it becomes a time of self healing and rejuvenation. As mother Earth has tucked herself in, so should you. It is perfectly fine to allow yourself the time to heal and relax that is necessary.

This is also known as the Yule Moon, as it usually falls right before the Yule celebrations begin. Take time for reflection on the past year. Honour all that you have learned and mentally clear out what you no longer need. Enjoy the long night as it is a time of peace on Earth and a great time of personal healing.

Whether you celebrate Yule, Christmas, Chanukah or Kwanza, it is a time of peace and love, to all mankind and to the creatures of the earth. Do not forget to put out food for our animal friends as food is getting scarce and all life is sacred, this becomes a good time to honour all life.

This is also the time of fellowship, when friends come together and new friends are made. When the prosperous help support those who struggle, there is no greater joy than the sharing of what you have with those who have not.

In the native belief, the time of the moon covered from one month to the next, so it was not just one day, it was the cycle of the moon. So there was always plenty of time to do what needed to be done in that time. So do not think that you only have one day to honour, celebrate, meditate and rest. Spend the whole month doing so. Allow yourself the time to rest and repair. But also allow yourself time to celebrate and share.

There are no set rules to honour this time of year, there are many customs and beliefs, but you should do what your heart feels is right. Your guides can help you or you can follow the tradition of your choice. In my home we honour all, I will set up for Yule, we will have a tree, I will light the candles of the menorah, I believe all holidays have a valid point or they would not exist. Besides it is fun to study others beliefs, helps me to be more understanding, then any judgment or fear of someone else’s beliefs fade away and I continue to grow. So on that note, I shall bid you adieu, from this moon ’til the next, many blessings to you and yours.


—————————

And this is from:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wicca-Teachings/127815357367419

Tonight is a Full Moon it is called the Cold Moon or the Before Yule Moon.
This is an especially special Full Moon because it is the last one of this year. It is a time to use the Moonlight to charge our energies ready for coming Yule and the New Year.
This particular Full Moon will not be boring and will have an unpredictable vibe along with it. What was stuck may suddenly begin to move or shift. If emotions are clogged, they may surface and flow.
Allow this.
Be with it as loving as possible with your self and others.
The potential of the Full Moon in Gemini is to become aware of where you are engaging in dualistic thought, emotions and behaviors on auto-pilot. This may be generating a lot of mental stress and tension plus sending out mixed signals to others and the Universe. Some people may be irritable and cranky.
Emotions can be raw and urgent.
Breathe deeply.
Ground yourself.
Keep a sense of humor.
Be of good cheer.
Be the calm in the storm.
Get in the driver seat and empower yourself.
Be honest with yourself.
Stop arguing for your limitations.
Take responsibility for your life. In this way, you can change what is not working. You are the master of your destiny.
Take your power back from society and/or other people.
Learn from your mistakes.
Vow to do better next year.
Make a commitment to your success.
Be adaptable.
Make friends with change. It is not the enemy. Change is your friend. Change sheds the old and gives birth to the new.
With Yule and New year approaching look deep into yourself and ask what you want to happen in the coming year, ask yourself how you will bring it about. Make this the year that you make all your dreams come true. The energy from this Full Moon wants you to succeed. Tell the Moon your hopes and dreams write them down on paper and burn them by a white candle. As the smoke drifts to the heavens the universe will receive your message. Have a blessed Full Moon.
May the Goddess watch over you.

Samhain Blessings!

From Wikipedia:
Samhain
 (pronounced /ˈsɑːwɪn/ sah-win or /ˈsaʊ.ɪn/ sow-in)[1] is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the “darker half” of the year.
It is celebrated from sunset on 31 October to sunset on 1 November, which is nearly halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice.

More fun info, jacked from http://wicca.com/celtic/akasha/samhainlore.htm:
Originally the “Feast of the Dead” was celebrated in Celtic countries by leaving food offerings on altars and doorsteps for the “wandering dead”. Today a lot of practitioners still carry out that tradition. Single candles were lit and left in a window to help guide the spirits of ancestors and loved ones home. Extra chairs were set to the table and around the hearth for the unseen guest. Apples were buried along roadsides and paths for spirits who were lost or had no descendants to provide for them. Turnips were hollowed out and carved to look like protective spirits, for this was a night of magic and chaos. The Wee Folke became very active, pulling pranks on unsuspecting humans. Traveling after dark was was not advised. People dressed in white (like ghosts), wore disguises made of straw, or dressed as the opposite gender in order to fool the Nature spirits.

This was the time that the cattle and other livestock were slaughtered for eating in the ensuing winter months. Any crops still in the field on Samhain were considered taboo, and left as offerings to the Nature spirits. Bonfires were built, (originally called bone-fires, for after feasting, the bones were thrown in the fire as offerings for healthy and plentiful livestock in the New Year) and stones were marked with peoples names. Then they were thrown into the fire, to be retrieved in the morning. The condition of the retrieved stone foretold of that person’s fortune in the coming year. Hearth fires were also lit from the village bonfire to ensure unity, and the ashes were spread over the harvested fields to protect and bless the land.

Various other names for this Greater Sabbat are Third Harvest, Samana, Day of the Dead, Old Hallowmas (Scottish/Celtic), Vigil of Saman, Shadowfest (Strega), and Samhuinn. Also known as All Hallow’s Eve, (that day actually falls on November 7th), and Martinmas (that is celebrated November 11th), Samhain is now generally considered the Witch’s New Year.

Symbolism of Samhain:
Third Harvest, the Dark Mysteries, Rebirth through Death.

Symbols of Samhain:
Gourds, Apples, Black Cats, Jack-O-Lanterns, Besoms.

Herbs of Samhain:
Mugwort, Allspice, Broom, Catnip, Deadly Nightshade, Mandrake, Oak leaves, Sage and Straw.

Foods of Samhain:
Turnips, Apples, Gourds, Nuts, Mulled Wines, Beef, Pork, Poultry.

Incense of Samhain:
Heliotrope, Mint, Nutmeg.

Colors of Samhain:
Black, Orange, White, Silver, Gold.

Stones of Samhain:
All Black Stones, preferably jet or obsidian.

A Prayer to the Ancestors

This is the night when the gateway between
our world and the spirit world is thinnest.
Tonight is a night to call out those who came before.
Tonight I honor my ancestors.
Spirits of my fathers and mothers, I call to you,
and welcome you to join me for this night.
You watch over me always,
protecting and guiding me,
and tonight I thank you.
Your blood runs in my veins,
your spirit is in my heart,
your memories are in my soul.

[If you wish, you may want to recite your genealogy here. This can include both your blood family, and your spiritual one.]

With the gift of remembrance.
I remember all of you.
You are dead but never forgotten,
and you live on within me,
and within those who are yet to come

There’s that brief moment, when you turn on a television, that you feel and hear the electricity snap to life. Or when you’re in an older house and the hair on the back of your neck stands on end when you flip a light switch or start the dryer. You can feel it in your stomach, and you can hear that high-pitched whine deep in your head.

That’s how I feel when I am around people.

Everyone has this – hum. It’s a bit like a vibration.
Well…. it’s like when you can hear a vibration (kinda like when your cell phone goes off).
It’s a little like how I imagine mediums see auras; it’s just there.

I don’t really recall when I first noticed it, or when I finally realized what it was. It just clicked one day that other people, especially the toxic kind of people, were affecting me more than I thought was necessary.

I’m a bit of an empath.
Happy people make me very happy.
Being around angry people sometimes makes me violently ill.
Sadness can easily throw me into depressive episodes.

I’ve learned to read, for lack of a better term, the hum. It helps me avoid certain people in order to keep myself balanced.

It’s a lot like music; it can make you feel very intense emotions.

So this hum is a song. Everyone has their own song, and it stays the same for each individual, but the intensity, the dynamic of the song changes based on current mood.

The hum hits me square in the chest.
An angry hum feels like I’ve been kicked.
A sad hum pulls me out of myself, like I’m drifting into fog.
A happy hum feels a bit like a hug. It’s warm and calm.

I get overwhelmed at events, sometimes, because there is so much chaos. I get a ringing in my ears from the ceaseless echo of voices. It takes a hell of a lot of concentration to not panic. I will generally gravitate toward one or two people and focus on them.

I can feel my own hum all the time. And when my hum harmonizes with someone else’s, it’s a great feeling. It’s like I have my own little orchestra playing.

My friends all have this in common – their hum plays nicely with my own. Sometimes, their hums match up with the others’, too. That is usually when I am most contented. There are some friends, though, that (while I love them dearly) I cannot have around each other. It breaks my heart, but it’s for my own good. It’s not even that said friends cannot be around each other. It’s just that the vibration is so mis-matched that it gives me a headache.

drums