Monday, January 30, 2012

Imbolc and Brighid

Imbolc - First Light in the Dark of Winter ....
The first stirrings of new life are felt as the great wheel turns from winter to spring. Water begins to move beneath the ice. We notice the lengthening of days. Dreams conceived on the Winter Solstice begin to take root. Although the weather is still wintry, there is no turning back on the journey to the sun's return. Winter's darkness begins to loosen its grip, and new beginnings are seen all around as spring approaches. This is a time for rebirth and healing, sacred to Brighid, goddess of poetry and arcane learning.
Brighid is unique among the Celtic pantheon. While the majority of Celtic deities were associated with features of the and and were usually confined to a specific geographical area, the worship of Brighid was, in contrast, widespread Her names comes from the Celtic root Brig, meaning 'exalted.' Considered to be a bringer of civilization, she is called the High One of Strength, daughter of the Dagda. The Dagda was the Celtic god of fertility and supreme deity of the land.
The worship of Brighid originated in the southeast region of Ireland known as Leinster and was attended by an all-female priesthood. She is often characterized as having two sisters, or alternately a triple aspect whose attributes also include healing and smithcraft.
Many sources purport that Brighid the goddess was assimilated into St. Brigit of Christian lore. Certainly there are striking similarities between the goddess and the saint. The shrine of St. Brigit in Kildare is attended by nineteen nuns, echoing the exclusively female priesthood of the goddess Brighid. Additionally, many stories surrounding St. Brigit prove somewhat impossible for a single mortal woman to accomplish. Her legend claims she was born at sunrise and was so chaste a woman that she gouged out her own eyes in protest of her impending marriage and became a nun instead. [Now does she sound like patriarchal influence or what]
Other accounts claim she was a friend to the Virgin Mary, and in fact was Mary's midwife when the baby Jesus was born. She has also be described as Jesus' foster mother, and it is said she assisted Mary in her search for her son when he was lost in the temple and was later found instructing the rabbis. It does not take a huge leap of the intellect to discern the improbability that a blind nun from Ireland was able to escape the confine of time, let alone the limits of transportation, to be present in Bethlehem for the Natiity. The lines between the goddess and the saint are blurred, and Imbolc is celebrated as Candlemas or the Candle Mass in honor of St. Brigit to this day.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Saturn's Day - Imbolc Crafts

Saturn's Day - the Day of Manifestation and Structure, Assessment and Responsibility - Foundation Day....  Saturdays are traditionally days to work on protection, remove obstacles, bind troublesome or dangerous individuals and to banish negativity.  Saturdays are like a magickal 'let's clean house' day. Any magickal messes left lying around that need to be addressed, or any problems that need to be cleared up, are best dealt with on the day devoted to Saturn.  Burn a black or deep purple candle as you do your 'cleaning up'. 

I surfed around the Net looking at various Imbolc sites.....  there is this one that caught my attention:   Something pointed out in this blog entry was the fact that Imbolc date is set exactely six weeks between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox ... interesting. She says that this time of the Year is a time of awakening, of new life (sheep), some of the first blossoms - snowdrops - and of new potential. 

Here are some links to varius Imbolc Crafts:     I found this one quite interesting and new to me.    and this one is a great video about making a Cross out of straws.

Friday, January 27, 2012

This is Lunar Month of Luis/Rowan and the Crescent Moon
is in the sign of Aries.... impulsive and impatient energies abound.

Freya's Day - Venus Day, the Day of Sharing and Relationship ..... A pink candle lit today as you meditate on working for happiness and harmony in your home and/or friendships is perfect. Love magick is a perennial popular topic. However, there is more to this topic than meets the eye. There are many enchanting layers here for us to explore. What about creating a loving home or producing a loving and nurturing family? What about keeping your intimate relationships vital and on track? How about promoting happy, healthy and enduring friendships? So see, there is more to be considered than just the 'You shall be mine....' type of fictional love spell. The truest, strongest magick always comes from the heart.

Imbolc/Candlemas - At Imbolc awakening begins and the return of light seems assured. Energies within the earth, as well as the physical body, begin to gently pulsate as the days lengthen, and our hopes turn to spring. Traditionally a time of transformation and initiation, Imbolc brings 'big dreams' and a raised vibration. Sap rises, trees bud, and agricultural people everywhere look to nature for the omens that might tell them whether to plant their crops early or late this year. In these tumultuous times, however, human-caused global climate change has caused more intense storms and weather conditions that make it difficult to read these simple oracles. As old structures crumble inside and all around us, a mantra can help to stabilize our energies and subdue our fears. Try saying the protective Sanskrit syllables OM AH HUM over and over whenever you feel afraid and imagine yourself sitting safely inside of Kali's dance of liberation.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thor's Day - Waxing Crescent Moon phase - Imbolc coming

Thor's Day - Jupiter Day - the Day of Vision, Spiritual Insight and Expansion.... this is the day of the week that is associated with prosperity, abundance, leadership, and good health. Think about how you
view these qualities - prosperity, abundance and good health. These views can vary greatly between individuals. Each day of the week has magickal correspondences and surrounding yourself with some of these correspondences for the day can greatly improve your chances of getting in touch with the energies of boosting your spellwork... The color correspondences for Thursday are royal blue, purple and green. So why not burn an appropriate color candle and meditate upon prosperity, abundance or good health today while you stare into the candle's flame. Perhaps you will see some insights in the flame for achieving one of these qualities in your life.

Imbolc - Next Wednesday is February 1st and many witches observe Imbolc on that date - some observe it on February 2nd. Imbolc, is known also as Imbolg, Candlemas, the Festival of Brighid, and the Feast of Lights. The word Imbolc means “in the belly,” or in the womb of Mother Earth, as well as “in milk,” which refers to ewes coming into milk for the first lambs of the season. This Sabbat marks the return of spring, even as winter seems to continues its reign. Imbolc on February 2nd is of course, in modern times, also known as Groundhog’s Day. Imbolc is a time of cleansing and purification. It’s all about Spring Cleaning! It is time to throw out the old and bring in the new. This not only means the “stuff and clutter” in your home, but also your old thoughts, anger, hurt feelings etc. To Sweep out negative and stagnant Air and bring in fresh, clean positive Air. To re-new your home and yourself. Cleanse and Bless your home and those who dwell here, and cleanse my body and my soul as well. Imbolc is when you can re-dedicate yourself to your path every year. Though it’s not necessary to do, it re-energizes and re-connects you to your path and your way of life.
The customs of Imbolc include ritual “spring cleaning” of the house, to banish the last of winter and hasten the coming of warm, sunny days. Some things you can do while cleaning…..use lavender and rosemary in a pot of boiling water to wash floors and walls, vinegar and mugwort for windows and mirrors. Burn sage to cleanse the psychic energies, and replace old protection and prosperity charms. Wash all your curtains and linens and give them a good spritz with lavender water before re-hanging them. Clean out drawers, closets, cupboards. Sweep high and low. Replace burnt out light bulbs, anything that’s broken, throw out and that is which no longer of use or pleasure. The house will smell and feel amazing when you’re done!

You also should spend some time on yourself. Taking a ritual bath scented with your favorite herbs/oils or sea salt is always cleansing and renewing. As you soak, meditate to clear your mind and heart of any thoughts or emotions that no longer serve you. This is all to “start a-new” in mind, body, spirit and home. Anoint your chakra points with Blessing oil after and spend some time meditating and focusing inward on yourself. Let go what needs to go and open yourself to new possibilities, Joy, Peace and Love only. Let the negative go and the positive take over. You will feel so great afterwards.

These Imbolc suggestions came from

Monday, January 23, 2012

New Moon - Lunar Tree Cycle of Luis/Rowan

"I'm one with the Goddess
and open to Her Wisdom."

1st Day of the 2nd Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Persephone
Lunar Tree Cycle of Luis/Rowan
3rd Day of the Celtic Tree
Month of Luis/Rowan
Moon Phase: New - 2:39AM EST
Moon rises: 7:32AM EST
Moon sets: 6:13PM EST
Moon in the Fixed Air Sign
of Aquarius
Blodeuwedd's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: A plant or flower
of your choice.
Sun in Aquarius
Sunrise: 7:37AM EST
Sunset: 5:26PM EST
Solar Question for the Day: "What memories
do you most appreciate?"
Imbolc (Gwyl Mair) Quarter
of the Year
January 23rd, 2012

New Moon - Age 0 - 1 day old; the moon is 0-45 degrees directly ahead of the sun, rises at dawn, and sets at sunset. Magick should be performed between dawn and sunset. A new moon's power may be embryonic, you can be assured that the power of any spell cast at this time goes on. Working with sun Goddesses such as Sekhmet, Vesta, and Heartha or the God Ra will increase power. Work for self-improvement, gardening, careers, romance.

Moon Day - the Day of Remembering and Feeling - Impression Day .... Magickally, Moon Day encourages the lunar energies of inspiration, illusion, prophetic dreams, emotions, psychic abilities, travel, women's mysteries and fertility.

The Celtic Tree Calendar is a calendar with thirteen lunar divisions. Most contemporary Pagans use fixed dates for each
'month', rather than following the waxing and waning lunar cycles. Myself I follow the lunar cycles as you can figure out from my 'daily headings.' I am a very lunar oriented witch. But I have several followers who use the Celtic Tree system and it also fits in with my Celtic/Avalon traditions.
The Celtic Tree month, the Luis/Rowan tree month began on January 21st - a fixed date in this calendar. Hence whereas this is the first day of the Lunar Tree Calendar - it is the 3rd day of the Celtic Tree month. This modern Celtic Tree calendar is based on a concept that each letter in the ancient Celtic alphabet corresponded to a tree.
This month of Luis/Rowan is associated with Brighid, the Celtic goddess of hearth and home. Honoured on February 1st, Imbolc, Brighid is a fire goddess who offers protection to mothers and families, as well as watching over the hearthfires. This is a good time of the year to perform initiations (or if you are not part of a group, to do a self-dedication). Known by the Celts as Luis (pronounced 'loush' ), the Rowan is associated with astral travel, personal power and success. A charm carved into a bit of a Rowan twig will protect the wearer from harm. The Norsemen were known to have used Rowan branches as rune staves of protection. In some countries, Rowan is planted in graveyards to prevent the dead from lingering around too long.

Imbloc Quarter - The Spring Quarter of Imbolc brings the gift of insight and inspiration and is a time of beginnings and of essential truthfulness. Begun in the dark and often icy days of early Spring, it is traditionally the time to appreciate innocence, truth and justice, to make resolutions and plans and to prepare for unfolding year. In the human growth cycle, Imbolc corresponds to the period of childhood, when all things are questioned or enjoyed for their own sake. Imbolc is a good time to celebrate the lives of all 'soul-midwives' who have taught and prepared us, all who have been upholders of justice and truth, all holy ones who have gone to the heart of the matter with great clarity and insight.

Monday, January 16, 2012



After the excesses of the festive seasons many people choose to start a new dietary regime. However, these New Year diets often fail, usually because we ask too much of ourselves.

    It is unreasonable to go from what is effectively a life of excess to one of virtual deprivation, overnight. Also, we often tend to think of them in terms of good and bad foods rather than in terms of treating ourselves kindly. If you have tried one of these for the New Year and are now struggling, why not avail yourself of a little Witchy help?
     Take a piece of Amber, a teaspoonful of Fennel seed (from your supermarket herb shelf), a teaspoon of Rock Salt granules and a tablespoonful of powdered milk.  Wrap these in a cloth and secure tightly with string or a plastic bag tie. At dawn or dusk, run a fairly warm deep bath with your sachet in the tub. When it is read, add 3 drops each of oil or Rosemary, Rose and Rosewood. Immerse yourself as completely as you can, ducking your head under the water three times. As you duck, say in your head
(otherwise you might inhale water): "Water, water take away all my cares from me today. Give me health, give me strength, help me prolong my life at length."  On the last immersion say "Blessed Be." Relax and soak away your worries. After you have got out of the bath, remove the sachet and dry the Amber. Carry this in your pocket, or somewhere you can readily touch it, until you have achieved your desire.
"Food you eat but don't want is as
wasted as that thrown away."
From The Real Witches' Year by Kate West

Monday, January 9, 2012

Full Moon - 2:30AM EST - Moon moves into Leo this evening

Full Moon - The age of the Full Moon is now 17 days from the New Moon and the moon is 180 - 225 degrees ahead of the sun. The moon rises at sunset and sets at dawn,  thereafter a midnight working (or when the moon is directly overhead) is best. Now the moon is at the height of its strength - spells cast at this time are ideal for completion. The Mother is represented by the full moon. Prime time for rituals for prophecy, protection, and divination. Any working that needs extra power, such as help finding a new job or healings for serious conditions, can be done now. Also, love, knowledge, legal undertakings, money and dreams.
   Astrologically the Sun and Moon are in opposition (ie., opposite each other in the sky and in opposite signs of the zodiac), She is visible all night long from moonrise to moonset. She opens and blossoms during the Full Moon into the FLOWER, with the desire to share her beauty with others. Keys for the Full Moon phase are: fulfillment, realization, illumination, and experience. It is the time in a lunar cycle that you are given a clear view so that you can make adjustments to put you back on track to manifesting the goals you set at the New phase. Go to a public place. Do something with a friend. LISTEN. Receive awareness. Understand others. Those born during the Full Moon phase enjoy companionship and partnership and desire to merge deeply. Fulfillment and illumination are their goals.

Moon Day - the Day of Remembering and Feeling - Impression Day ... Magickally, Monday encourages the lunar energies of inspiration, illusion, prophetic dreams, emotions, psychic abilities, travel, women's mysteries and fertility.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Waxing Gibbous Moon in the Sign of Cancer - Sun Day

Sun Day - is the Day of Intent, Creation and Renewal - The charms and spells that would complement this magickal day of the sun are ones for personal achievement of any kind - such as if you are seeking fame and wealth, working for that much-deserved promotion at work, or being acknowledged for a job well done. Health issues, increasing personal power, or simply sticking to your diet and being proud of what you have accomplished all fall under the sun's golden influence.

Full Moon tomorrow morning - The moon will reach its peak of fullness for this lunar cycle tomorrow
morning at 2:30AM EST. This is a wonderful time for an elaborate full moon ritual due to Cancer's sensitivity and psychic attunement. Here is a Full Moon in Cancer meditation from Teresa Moorey's Power of the Moon book. 
   Setting the Scene -
If you take a little trouble to prepare yourself and your surroundings, you are  more likely to slip into the necessary altered state of consciousness easily. If you are busy and can only spend half an hour, that's fine because it's better to make your meditation manageable than not do it all. It may help if you can record the meditation on to a tape in advance. That way you can simply listen and lose yourself.
    If you have plenty of time, start by taking a bath containing a little jasmine oil. Heat some of the oil in a burner and light candles.
  Pepare your altar for a Full Moon ritual and settle yourself comfortably before it.  If you have a CD
or other source of music of waves hitting on a shoreline it will help the meditation along in your trance
here. "You see yourself standing on a rocky beach at midnight with the Full Moon radiant overhead. The rocks glisten white in the moonlight and shimmer as though inlaid with jewels. You hear the steady swish-swish of the waves. Their crisp white edges fold gently, one over another, onto the shore. The tidepools are patches of onyx scattered around the beach [Pause]
    You find yourself close to an especially beautiful rock pool. The Moon lies within its surface as if it has been captured. You kneel down and cup the reflection of the Moon, feeling the cool water run through your fingers. The pearly reflection runs away from it, but is still there, rippled now, in the pool.
You become aware that you do not always have to hold onto something to remain in contact. [Pause]
      You continue your walk along the beach. Ahead of you, lying on the beach but rising and falling with the waves that lap it is a small boat. You approach it and decide to get in. As you push off from the shore you become aware that you can direct the boat to go wherever you wish. [Pause]
      Drifting over the smooth waves, the boat comes to rest on an island. You get out of the boat and walk up the shore. The sand is soft between your toes. You become aware that ahead of you above the highwater mark there is a cozy dwelling. You enter and find it comfortably furnished and beautifully decorated, just as you would wish, with delicious food in the cupboards. You become aware that you can make a lovely home wherever you may be. [Pause]
    When you are ready to go, you walk back down to the little boat, get in and direct your passage over the moonlit tide and back to the original beach where you began. The boat beaches itself gently and you get out. You find yourself standing next to a large white shell. Within that shell there lies a gift for you. Take this and treasure it.
     Come back to everyday awareness, bringing your gift with you. Be sure to note feelings and experiences you have begun keeping in a notebook."

Friday, January 6, 2012

Twelfth Night, Birdfeeding in Winter

Freya's Day - Venus Day - the Day of Sharing and Relationship .... Freya's Day classically is the day for love, fertility, romance and beauty magick as well as working for happiness and harmony in the home and for friendship.

Twelfth Night - This is Twelfth Night and on this date on Christian calendars is the time taking down the decorations.   January 6th is the twelfth night after Christmas. Also called the Feast of the Epiphany or King's Day or simply Twelfth Night, January 6th is the official end of the Christmas season, In New Orleans January 6th Twelfth Night, is a significant day for another reason. It's the official start of the Carnival season, that leads up to the day before Ash Wednesday, or Mardi Gras.

Feeding the Birds - At this time of the year natural foods for the birds are in short supply, so it is more important than ever to ensure that we supplement their diet. While there is a huge variety of commercial feeders and feed available it can be more interesting and usually far cheaper to create your own. 
   Fat balls can be hung in the kinds of net bags that fruit and some vegetable often come in. The basis for these can be lard or peanut butter (or both mixed) - you can save the fatty residue left over from your cooking too. Add breadcrumbs and oatmeal and search your kitchen cabinets for raisins, seeds and shelled nuts. Mix everything together, roll into balls and chill in the refrigerator. Hang in the string and plastic bags in a safe place away from the reach of cats.
   Apples which have past their best can be impaled on twigs and branches. If you had mistletoe in the house for the Yule season, this can also be put out for the birds, as the berries need to pass through the digestive system of a bird to aid germination. You never know, you might get your own Mistletoe plants in years to come.
 The best foods to offer birds in colder weather have a high fat or oil content that will provide abundant energy for winter survival. Nutritious winter foods for birds include:

•Black oil sunflower seed
•Hulled peanuts
•Niger seed
•Suet mixes with seeds or fruit
•Peanut butter
•White millet seed

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

New Year's Resolutions -  Rather than setting yourself one or two difficult targets. make a list of 6 to 12 things you would like to achieve during the coming year. Some could be linked to self-improvement like eating in a more healthy way or learning a new skill while others are perhaps more in the way of personal treats; for example, saving money for a new book or CD or DVD about the Craft coming out later in the year . You could set a goal to try to observe the cycle of the Moon or by writing in your Book of Shadows. It can also be helpful to apply a 'rule of three' approach: for instance, for each item of improvement, have one for the benefit of others, the Land or Craft and one which is for pleasure. Ensure that your list includes things which are relatively simple to achieve as well as more difficult goals.
  Write a list of all your goals and while burning a gold candle, recite them to yourself, repeating after each: "As is my will so mote it be." Pin the list in a place where you will see it every day. If you don't want to announce your intentions to the world, you could place it on the inside of your closet door. Now select one goal from your list and start work towards achieving it as soon as you can.. Perhaps you can make plans to be sure to observe the Full Moon coming up nest Monday, January 9th.

Here is something to do for a New Year's Resolution: 

Find out why eating breakfast can lead to a happier and healthier you

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The New Year

The New Year
"Wind from the West, fish and bread;
Wind from the North, cold and flaying;
Wind from the East, snow on the hills;
Wind from the South, fruit on trees."
    ___ Scots new year weather omen

    New Year's Day is a time of reading omens for a fresh beginning. It is widely held that the first twelve days of the year will reveal the disposition of the weather for the year ahead. This is a good day to go for a long walk, to divine the possibilities of the year ahead in a very simple way.
    Before you set off on your walk, stop and tune your intentions to the unfolding year ahead; sense the pathway of the year that stands ready before you. Now begin your walk, attentive to everything that is about you, including the mythscape, story, folklore, and feeling of the Land. Keeping the year ahead in your conscious, allow your attention to widen to include everything about you. If you come across something that draws your attention with urgent filaments of greeting - it might be the sudden movement of a bird, the beauty of a patch of moss, the intensity of the light through the trees - stop and be attentive to what caught your attention.
    Listen and attend to the greeting and intuitively reach out for and feel its meaning - a meaning that might not be experienced in words or even in sound but may come to you as a subtle understanding. Appreciate it, note it, and then pass on. Keep repeating this throughout your walk until you have had twelve such experiences.  Each time stop, attend, and intuit (without fishing for a rational explanation) why your attention has been engaged. Then return home and review the omens in the order you experienced them, relating them successively to the months of the year. Next New Year's Eve you can  check your findings.

"Take a walk as suggested above."
{From: The Celtic Spirit by Caitlin Matthews]