Rose Ariadne's Chitchcraft Blog

Dear Friends,

Imbolc, sometimes called Imbolg or Candlemas, marks the middle of the season of long nights and is celebrated on February 2nd. It anticipates the coming season of light. Imbolc marks the first evidence of the return of life. Imbolc is the holy day of Brigid, the Celtic Goddess of fire, healing and fertility. Because of this, Imbolc is celebrated as a fire celebration. Its emphasis is on the light of fire, rather than the power. The ceremonies of this Sabbat focus on candles.

The holiday is also called ‘Brigit’s Day’, in honor of the great Irish Goddess Brigit. She was considered a goddess of fire, patroness of smithcraft, poetry and healing. The Roman Catholic Church could not very easily call the Great Goddess of Ireland a demon, so they canonized her instead. Henceforth, she would be ‘saint’ Brigit, patron SAINT of smithcraft, poetry, and healing. They “explained” this by telling the Irish peasants that Brigit was really an early Christian missionary sent to the Emerald Isle.

Candlemas is the Christianized name for the holiday, and all of the church candles are blessed for the year. The Virgin Mary is also honored. Today, this holiday is chiefly connected to weather lore. Even our American calendar keeps the tradition of Groundhog Day, a day to predict the coming weather. The Groundhog Day tradition tells us that if the Groundhog sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of bad weather. An old British rhyme instructed:

If Candlemas day be fair and bright,
Winter will have another flight.
If Candlemas day be shower and rain,
Winter is gone and will not come again.

We pagans see the God as an infant during the time of Imbolc, and he is nursing from the Goddess and growing in power. It is the time for banishing Winter. We gather together the greens that adorned our homes during the Yule, and then we add these greens to the Imbolc fire. We chant and dance saying “We banish Winter! We welcome Spring!”

We light candles in each window and let them burn throughout the night. It is also an appropriate time for dedicating yourself to the Pagan path and purifying your home. You can also make candles for the coming year and consecrate new ritual items.

To celebrate Imbolc, we also tend to our gardens for the first time in the Pagan year. As this is a time of new life and growth, it is appropriate to plant bulbs or flowers or to sow seeds. However, you will need to use your judgments and some local knowledge to decide whether to actually do so at Imbolc or whether to wait a week (or several) until the last frosts have passed. Of course seeds can often be started indoors and planted out a month or so later.

Baking is appropriate for celebrating Imbolc, and we often make Crescent cakes for the end of our Imbolc ritual. Here is our circle’s favorite recipe:

1 1/4 cups Flour
3/4 cup Sugar
1 cup Finely Ground Almonds
3 drops Almond Extract
1/2 cup Butter or Margarine, softened
1 tablespoon Honey
1 Egg Yolk

In a large mixing bowl, combine the first four ingredients. Add the butter, honey and egg yolk and mix together well. Cover with aluminum foil or plastic wrap, and then chill for 1 1/2 to 2 hours in the refrigerator.

When ready, pinch off pieces of the dough (about the size of plums) and shape them into crescents. Place the crescents on a well-greased cookie sheet and bake in a 325-degree preheated oven for approximately 20 minutes. This recipe yields 20 to 25 crescents.

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 Off

Dear Friends,

Yule is the beginning of the Wheel of the Year and occurs between December 20th and 23rd. This sabbat is the rebirth of light. It is the longest night of the year, and the Goddess gives birth to the Sun God. The hope for a new light is reborn.

Yule is a time of awakening to new goals and leaving old regrets behind. Yule coincides closely with the Christmas celebration. Christmas was once a movable feast celebrated many different times during the year. The Pope Julius I made the choice of December 25 in the fourth century AD because this coincided with the pagan rituals of Winter Solstice, or Return of the Sun. The intent was to replace the pagan celebration with the Christian one.

The Winter Solstice has been celebrated for millennia by cultures and religions all over the world. Many modern pagan religions are descended in spirit from the ancient pre-Christian religions of Europe and the British Isles, and honor the divine as manifest in nature, the turning of the seasons, and the powerfully cyclical nature of life.

We have a fabulous Yule celebration each year. To me, this is one of the most enjoyable Sabbats. The world as a whole is in the holiday spirit. Our circle holds a special ritual that is festive and fun. It is followed by great themed food and a lot of merriment.

Here is a reading from our Yule celebration. This can be used at the beginning of the Yule circle or as a reading apart from the ritual.

This is the night of the Solstice, the longest night of the year. Now darkness triumphs, yet gives way and changes into light. The breath of Nature is suspended: all waits while within the Cauldron, the Dark King is transformed into the infant light. We watch for the coming of Dawn, when the great Mother again gives birth to the Divine child Sun, who is bringer of hope and the promise of summer. This is the stillness behind motion, when time itself stops; the center, which is also the circumference of all. We are awake in the Night. We turn the Wheel to bring the Light. We call the sun from the womb of night.

You can make your Yule celebration special with themed food and incense blends.
The following Yule incense is from Scott Cunningham. My family looks forward to its scent each year.
Yule Incense
Recipe by Scott Cunningham
2 parts Frankincense
2 parts Pine needles or resin
1 part Cedar
1 part Juniper berries
Mix and smolder at Wiccan rites on Yule (on or around December 21st), or during the winter months to cleanse the home and to attune with the forces of nature amid the cold days and nights.

You can have a full-blown ritual for Yule with your circle, but I also find it important to have a special individual meditation ceremony for yourself. This can help to center you during the busy holiday season, and help you get into touch with the spirits of the season. For this ceremony, decorate the altar with holly, mistletoe, evergreen, pinecones, ivy, berries, ribbons, and whatever else feels right. Having a Yule Tree nearby the altar will add a lot to the ritual.

Start your ritual as you normally would, and then begin mediation. Say the following out loud and then spend a few moments contemplating these words: “The old solar year has run its course and completed its cycle. So too have some of our habits or traits completed their cycles and outlived their usefulness. This is a time for shedding that which is no longer needed.”
“As the old year dies away
so to will these old ways will fade into memory.”
“In the beginning we came from the darkness of the womb.
There we were created, nourished
and prepared for our birth into the light.
Within us, we still carry that fertile darkness.
There we hold the seeds of hopes and dreams to come.
There we nourish are hopes for love, joy and peace for all.
We shield these tender roots until they are strong enough to come forth and flourish in the light.”
Yuletide greetings to you all!

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,

We Wiccans like to have celebrations! Our calendar includes 13 full moon celebrations (Esbats) and 8 days of solar power (Sabbats). While the Esbats are for celebrating the Goddess, the Sabbats mark the Sun God’s yearly cycle. This is often referred to as the Wheel of the Year.

The story of the Year begins on the Winter Solstice, which is the shortest day of the year. This Sabbat is known as Yule, and we celebrate the Goddess giving birth to the God. It is a joyous celebration shared with friends and family. We light candles and keep the Yule log burning to welcome the Sun’s return and his warmth.

On February 2nd, we celebrate Imbolc. This is the Goddesses recovery from giving birth and the growth of the God. The days begin to get longer and the timing of the year quickens. Imbolc is the festival of light and fertilization. It is a time for purification, initiation and self-dedication. For those new to the path, it is a perfect time to dedicate yourself to the God and Goddess.

Ostara is the Spring Equinox. During this night, normally around March 21, the day and night are equal. The God is flourishing in his youth and he courts the Maiden Goddess. They begin a courtship and love is in the air. Ostara is a festival of fire, fertility and light.

Beltane (May 1st) is the day that the God emerges into manhood. This is the great fertility festival when we celebrate the marriage of the Goddess and God and the consummation of their relationship. The Goddess transforms from maiden to mother through the experience of sexuality.

Litha is the Summer Solstice and is the longest day of the year. It occurs on or around June 21st. The powers of nature reach their highest point. The earth is full of the fertility of the pregnant Goddess, and the God is at the height of his power. The longest day is marked by fire, and it is great for workings of empowerment, culmination and magick.

Lughnasad is celebrated on August 1st and marks the first harvest. The God is losing his strength and giving way to the harvest of the earth. The Goddess mourns as she watches the God fade away, but knows that he lives on as her child.
Nothing in the universe is a constant, and this celebration reminds us of this fact.

Mabon is the Fall Equinox and it occurs around September 21st. This is the completion of the harvest that started with Lughnasad. The day and night are exactly equal. The God leaves his body for rebirth as the next generation’s God. It is a time to enjoy the fruits of the summer’s labor and give thanks for all of the abundance you’ve received.

Samhain is the Witches? New Year and it occurs on October 31st. The God arrives in the Underworld. He opens the gates and souls are allowed to visit their loved ones. At this time, the veil between the worlds is lifted and we make contact with those that have passed before us. We celebrate the Festival of the Dead and reflect on the past year and celebrate our experiences.

The Wheel of the Year turns and turns, letting us experience the aspects of the God and Goddess. Our holidays can be seen reflected in the modern holidays that the rest of the world celebrates. Our holidays, however, are extensions of the natural rhythms of the earth and not greeting card celebrations. Understanding the Wheel of the Year can help you understand the rhythms of life and how the God and Goddess work.

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 Off

Dear Friends,

Between all of things I have to do each day, people I need to meet with, dogs I need to walk and things I have to write, I find myself low on energy all the time. We definitely have hectic lives in the modern world, and I’m sure you can relate to my need to get a boost of energy every once in a while. Fortunately, there’s a magickal solution to energy loss. The following are some of my most used energy spells. I hope they’ll give you the boost that you need!

Spell to Charge Tea With Power:
Over your cup of tea, move your hand in a clockwise direction 3 times and say:
“I am the tool you are the fire
fill this cup with all I desire.”
Swirl the tea in the cup and drink it.
Spell to Gain Energy:
you’ll need: A bright red or orange candle, a spicy incense, a glass of clear pure cold water, and a bowl of sea salt. If is sunny out you may want to start the spell by going outside fora few minutes and breathing in some fresh air. Sit in front of the candle and say:
“Give me energy to happily complete the task I have been given to do.
I will feel better for having done it. The completion of the task will be my
Sprinkle the sea salt around the candle and say,
“Give me strength, O sacred Earth.”
Pass your hand near the candle and say,
“Give me strength O sacred Fire.”
Pass your hand through the smoke of the incense and say,
“Give me strength, O sacred Air.”
Drink the water down and say,
“Give me strength O sacred water.”
Now immediately get up and go do your task.
A Spell for Clarity of Thought and Mind
This spell is perfect if you feel “brain drain.”
Make or buy a small cotton draw-string bag about 1-2 inches deep.
Put in equal parts of each of the following: Rosemary, Lavender and Chamomile.
During the Full Moon, put the bag together, then consecrate and charge it.
Inhale the scents when you feel stressed or overwhelmed.
These herbs will act to soothe you if you are feeling stressed or frazzled and will help
you focus your mind to deal with the problem at hand.
Spell to Boost your Productivity
To improve your own work productivity, during the waxing Moon place hematite in a small basket or tray and enchant it by saying:
“Ground and heal, magnetic one; bring me clarity on this day.”
Add a quartz crystal to the contained and say:
“Bring boundless energy to me; may it last through this day.”
Add calcite and say:
“Stone of joy and yellow light, help me sort through my work today.”
Place the container of stones on your desk and say:
“Help me work through this day; bring me inspiration.
And when the day is done, may the labor be finished.”
Sometimes the thing that is keeping you from having energy is the presence of negative energy in your aura or your living space. The following spell will help clear you and your space from negative energies.

Releasing Negative Energy Spell

Perform this spell during the seven days of the Full of the Moon. If you can, try to do this spell outside, facing east. You should be barefoot and dressed in white cotton.

Before you begin, bathe and meditate while using this breathing method: Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. When through, visualize the negative energy flowing out through the drain.

Go outside and face east. Place your left arm straight down to the side with your palm flat against your body. Place your right arm straight out with the palm side up. Bring your right arm up until the Full Moon rests on your palm as a crystal ball would rest.

Meditate again using the Ohm meditation as you would a musical scale.
When you are still and feeling the energy. Repeat the following:
O Great Mother Goddess and Father God
You who are all yet nothing.
Beyond explanation and understanding.
I ask thee to grant my request this night.
I ask that you take the negativity that was sent to me
And send it swirling into the Universe.
Let it be sent back to the sender three fold
And as a lesson of what is right and wrong.
Let the residual energy be sent to me three fold
With loving, caring healing positive energy.
I ask that you grant this request.
I also thank Thee for your kindness and caring attention.
I ask this in the power of three So Mote it Be!

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