Rose Ariadne's Chitchcraft Blog

Dear Friends,

Lughnasad, or Lammas as it is also termed, is the first of our annual harvest celebrations. It is celebrated on August 1st. Now is the time to teach what you have learned, to share the fruits of your achievements with the world. It is considered a time of Thanksgiving and the first of three Pagan Harvest Festivals, when the plants of Spring wither and drop their fruits or seeds for our use as well as to ensure future crops. Also, first grains and fruits of the Earth are cut and stored for the dark Winter months.

This is a time when the God mysteriously begins to weaken as the Sun rises farther in the South, each day grows shorter and the nights grow longer. The Goddess watches in sorrow as She realizes that the God is dying, and yet lives on inside Her as Her child. It is in the Celtic tradition that the Goddess, in her guise as the Queen of Abundance, is honored as the new mother who has given birth to the bounty; and the God is honored as the God of Prosperity.

Symbols to represent the Lammas Sabbat include corn, all grains, corn dollies, sun wheels, special loaves of bread, wheat, harvesting (threshing) tools and the Full Moon. Altar decorations might include corn dollies to symbolize the Mother Goddess of the Harvest. Other appropriate decorations include summer flowers and grains. You might also wish to have a loaf of whole cracked wheat or multigrain bread upon the altar.

Here is my adapted bread recipe I use at Lughnasad and throughout the year:

Whole Grain Bread
In a large mixing bowl combine:
2 cups milk (warm to the touch)
2 packages of dry baking yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
Cover this mixture and set aside in a warm place until it has doubled (about
half an hour). Add to this mixture:
3 tablespoons softened butter
2 eggs
1 cup of unbleached white flour
Stir until bubbly. Now mix in:
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup of rolled oats
2 cups stone ground wheat flour
2 tablespoons sesame seed

With floured hands, turn this dough out onto a floured board and gradually knead in more unbleached white flour until the dough is smooth and elastic and no longer sticks to your fingers. Place this dough in a greased bowl, turning it so that the dough is greased. Then cover it with a clean cloth and keep it in a warm place to rise until it is doubled (about an hour).Then punch it down and divide it into two or more elongated loaves, roughly sculpted into mummiform shapes, and placed on greased cookie sheets. Cover these and return them to a warm place until they double again. Bake the loaves in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for about an hour, or until they are done and sound hollow when tapped.

The celebration of Lammas is a pause to relax and open yourself to the change of the Season so that you may be one with its energies and accomplish what is intended. Visits to fields, orchards, lakes and wells are also traditional. It is considered taboo not to share your food with others. Spellwork for prosperity, abundance and good fortune are especially appropriate now, as well as spells for connectedness, career, health and financial gain. One of my most favorite Lughnasad traditions is making a corn man wheel to represent the fading God. Try it out yourself!

You’ll need a wire coat hanger, cardboard, and several ears of Indian corn complete with the husks. Bend the wire hanger into a circle keeping the hook to hang it by. Cut out a small cardboard circle to glue the tips of the ears of corn onto. You may want to create your Corn Man Wheel as a pentagram using five ears, or a Solar Wheel using eight ears to represent one ear for each Sabbat. Attach the ears of Indian corn around the perimeter of the wire circle. Wrap the husks around and glue where necessary, leave some of the husks hanging loose to fray out from the edges and make it more decorative. Where the ears of corn meet in the center, glue them together.

Love And Light,

Rose Ariadne, Your Warm And Caring “Resident Witch In Charge”

Share This Post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Furl
  • Spurl
  • Technorati
  • YahooMyWeb
  • Simpy
Posted by Rose | Comments (1)

Dear Friends,

Shakespeare honored this time of year with his Midsummer Night’s Dream. And we as Pagans honor it with our celebration of Litha. The Summer Solstice, the longest day, is a time of triumph for the light. It is believed that Midsummer Night’s Eve is a special time for those who believe in the Faerie traditions. Like Samhain, this is a day where the veils are thin between the realms of the Sidhe (the Faerie realm) and the world of mortals. It is a time for merriment and the making of wishes.

This is also a celebration of the God and the warmth and power of the sun. It is also a good time for a rededication as well as pet blessings. It is also a good time for healing, love and protection magickal workings This is also the time to gather the herbs from your garden. Tradition suggests using your boline or a scythe to cut the plant by the moonlight.

We perform a ritual each year that honors the God in his greatness, and recognizes the next turn of the Wheel of the Year. With the celebration of the light, we realize that the balance of the year is turning again.

You’ll need a tall white or yellow candle and a short black candle, cauldron for burning, incense (Frankincense, Myrrh, Sandalwood, Jasmine, rose, lotus, other flower), bowl of blessed, pure water and your wand.

Cast the circle, call the corners, light your altar candle and the Goddess and God candles.

Pick up your wand, and with arms upraised, face the South and say:

I celebrate the noon of Summer with this rite
held in honor of the Blazing God of the Sun.
All of nature vibrates with the fertile energies of the Goddess and the God.
The Earth is bathed with the warmth, and light and life of the Sun.
The Wheel of the Year turns again.
Since Yule the light has been growing ever stronger.
At Ostara the light finally became greater than the dark,
and the light has kept on growing until today,
the middle of the time of light, Litha, Midsummer.
From here, the light begins to fade again,
until once more, the Wheel will turn to darkness and Yule will return.
Today the Sun is high, the Light is bright, the Earth is warm.
As the Lord of the Sun blazes above,
the Fires of my celebration shall flame below.

Place your wand back on altar. Face the altar and light your white and black candles.

Brother Sun and Mother Moon, day is longest now.
Energies of the brilliant Sun aid all at work or having fun.
Longest day, a blessing is, from rise to set supreme is the Sun.
Fueling growth and passions bright, strong and true is the solar light.
Bounty grows and river flows, as Earth is warmed and lighted.
Creative energy reaches zenith on this day of shortest night.
Crops grow high and excitement grows, with each new ray of Sun.
Every day, all creatures play and hail the mighty Sun.
Ancient solstice, fires burning, honor the Sun and feed the light.
Druid, Indian, Norse, and Celt all danced on Summer Solstice, joyously felt.
Solar winds and solar flares wash away our hunger and our cares.
Mighty Sun, King of warmth, makes humans to frolic and bees to swarm.
Keep this day in memory bright, to warm you on long winter nights.
May the rays of solstice keep us warm, all through the year.
So mote it be.

Celebrate Litha in all its glory and enjoy you the long days while they last!

Brightest Blessing,

Rose Ariadne, Your Warm And Caring “Resident Witch In Charge”

Share This Post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Furl
  • Spurl
  • Technorati
  • YahooMyWeb
  • Simpy
Posted by Rose | Comments (1)

Dear Friends,

Beltane is one of my favorite times of the year. The earth is finally warmed to the core, which is appropriate since Beltane literally means “Bright Fire.” May 1st has long been celebrated with feasts and rituals. Beltane celebrates the flowering of life and height of Spring. The Goddess manifests herself in the flora and she becomes the May Queen. The God reaches his maturity and becomes the Green Man and May King. We celebrate the dance of the Maypole to represent their unity. The Pole is the God and the ribbons that twine around it are the Goddess. The Beltane festival is one of flowers, fertility, sensuality and delight.

Beltane marks the emergence of the young God into manhood. Stirred by the energies at work in nature, he desires the Goddess. They fall in love, lie among the grasses and blossoms, and unite. The Goddess becomes pregnant of the God. To celebrate, a wedding feast, for the God and Goddess must be prepared.

Traditionally, Beltane festivities began days before May 1st or “May Day,” when villagers traveled into the woods to gather the nine sacred woods needed to build the Beltane bonfires. The tradition of “May Boughing” or “May Birching” involved young men fastening garlands of greens and flowers on the windows and doors of their prospective ladyloves before the fires are lit Beltane night. As with many Celtic customs, the type of flowers or branches used carried symbolic meaning, and much negotiating and courting could be worked out ahead of time.

Beltane is a common time for Witches to Handfast. A handfasting is the Wiccan form of wedding. Unlike its Christian counterpart, both parties approach the ceremony as equals (neither is ‘given away’), they write their own vows and make their promises directly to each other, not through an intermediary, although a Priestess and/or Priest may assist them in the ceremony. Many of the phrases and traditions used for weddings of all denominations have their roots in this older form of union. ‘tying the knot’ and “getting hitched” are references to the part of a Handfasting where the couple’s hands are literally tied together with a gold and silver cord whilst they make their promises.

-Jumping the broom? (a phrase less well known today than 30 years ago) refers to the point at which the couple joins hands and leap over the broomstick (which itself is a symbol of the union of male and female) to signify their leap from one life (that of being single) to another (that of being married).

The Great Rite is also appropriate during this Sabbat. You can do this as part of a larger group or as an individual ritual. For this you will need a Chalice of wine and an Athame. As in preceding rituals, you will need to find a time and a place where you will be undisturbed.

Ask for the support of the elements and then visualize the Goddess in her robes of Mother, warm and caring, strong and full of grace, and ask her to be present at your rite. Visualize the God as a young man full of strength and energy and ask him also to be with you.

Take your Chalice and hold it in both hands in front of you at eye level. Focus on the image of the Goddess and say, Behold the Chalice, symbol of the Goddess, the Great Mother who brings fruitfulness and knowledge to all.

Put the Chalice down and take your Athame. Hold this in both hands in front of you, blade pointing upwards, also at eye level, and, focusing on the image of the God, say,

Behold the Athame, symbol of the God,
the All Father who brings energy and strength to all.

Then change the position of your Athame so that you are holding it blade downwards in your right, or strong, hand, take the Chalice in the other hand and, lowering the blade into the wine, say,

Joned in union together, they bring life to all
Kiss the handle of your Athame, say, Blessed Be, and then put it down.

Next take a sip of your wine while meditating on the roles of the Goddess and the God at this time of year.

After you have finished, remember to thank the elements and the Goddess and the God. Any remaining wine can be drunk as part of your feasting or, if you prefer, you may take it outside and pour it on the ground as an offering.

Love And Light,

Rose Ariadne, Your Warm And Caring “Resident Witch In Charge”

Share This Post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Furl
  • Spurl
  • Technorati
  • YahooMyWeb
  • Simpy
Posted by Rose | Comments (1)

Dear Friends,

Ostara is celebrated around March 20th or 21st and it is the Spring Equinox. We welcome this holiday as it heralds the beginning of spring and the agricultural year. On this day, darkness and light are in balance. Light will begin to dominate from this point on and Earth will explode with life. Ostara is a celebration of renewal, rebirth and warming of the Earth. This is an incredible time to put plans into action and spur growth in your own life.

Ostara is named after the Anglo-Saxon Goddess of the spring, Eostra. We offer cakes and colored eggs to her. Rabbits are sacred to Eostra, and she is believed to take the form of a rabbit.

The spring equinox is literally a time for us to ‘spring’ into action. We are to initiate and celebrate the new beginnings that this time of year offers. During this Sabbat, we plant seeds to represent the new life sprouting in the Earth around us. The days gradually become longer than the nights and the Goddess dominates our celebrations until Autumn.

In our Wheel of the Year story, Ostara is the time when the courtship between the God and Maiden Goddess begins. This is an appropriate time to focus on the balance of male and female energies within ourselves and throughout the world around us.

The word “Easter” is derived from the word “Eostre” and the symbols used to celebrate Easter have pre-Christian origins. The Easter bunny reminds us of the hare, the animal most sacred to the Goddess Eostra and the eggs that the hare brings symbolize new beginnings, rebirth, continuity and growth. Have you ever wondered why Easter changes dates and months from year to year? Interestingly it is always the first Sunday following the first full moon after the Spring Equinox!

The following is a simple and effective Ostara ritual. You only require: Paper and pen, a plant pot filled with soil, a large plant or flower seed and a light green candle

Place the plant pot on the floor next to the left side of the altar. Place the paper, pen, and seed on the altar pentacle. Cast the circle. Ring the bell three times. Say:

“The Goddess has freed Herself from the icy prison of winter.
Now is the greening, when the fragrance of flowers drifts on the breeze.
The Maiden displays her beauty through colorful spring flowers and their sweet aromas.
The Sun wakes from His long winter’s nap.
The God stretches and rises, eager in His youth, bursting with the promise of summer.
I welcome thee, beautiful spring!”

Light the light green candle. Say:

“Springtime is seedtime. Now is the time to plant that which I wish to come to flower. Spring brings hope and joy; expectations for desires realized; and inspiration for new ideas. Life is brought into balance and I am reborn with the earth’s renewal. Now the darkness of Winter and the past is cast behind. I look only to that which lies ahead and what I wish to bring forth.”

Sit in front of the altar and meditate on what seed of an idea you would like to plant, to grow into an opportunity. It could be a skill or personal quality you’d like to acquire, or an opportunity to do or create something. When you have decided what desire you’d like to nurture in the coming year, write it down on the paper. Stand up and say:

“Lord and Lady, receive this seed.
Let it germinate in my mind and heart.
Let it prosper and grow into maturity,
For I will care for it and encourage it in Your names.”

Light the paper from the light green candle, holding it so that as it burns, the ashes fall into the soil in the plant pot. With the athame, mix the ashes into the soil. Pick up the plant seed and concentrate on it and your desire. Place the seed in the center of the pot and close the soil over on top of it. Water it with blessed (“Holy”) water. Say:

“This seed I place in the womb of the earth
That it may become a part of that earth,
A part of life and a part of me.”

Ring the bell three times. Serve cakes and ale, and then close the circle.

Place the plant in a room you go into frequently, and take care of it whenever needed, knowing that as it grows and blossoms so too will your desire grow and blossom.

Happy Ostara!

Brightest Blessing,

Rose Ariadne, Your Warm And Caring “Resident Witch In Charge”

Share This Post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Furl
  • Spurl
  • Technorati
  • YahooMyWeb
  • Simpy
Posted by Rose | Comments Off