Rose Ariadne's Chitchcraft Blog

Dear Friends,

It occurs to me that many of you might have found me because you are new to Wicca and want to learn more about it or you’re considering adopting it as your faith and you have questions. Keeping this in mind, I would like to take a few steps back and talk to the “beginners” who might just now be starting out in their discoveries.

You might find that different people approach Wicca in different ways. While there are some basic beliefs that most of us follow, it’s also important to remember that Wicca is actually a very personal form of religion and therefore can differ from person to person.

You may have already thought at some point that going to church every Sunday doesn’t necessarily make you a Christian the same way that simply eating Kosher food doesn’t automatically make you Jewish. Similarly, going through an initiation ritual doesn’t make you Wiccan. Of course, there’s a lot more to it.

It’s very important that you believe in what you’re doing and that you have faith in it. If you don’t, then you’re simply going through the actions and the lack of conviction will make the actions meaningless. This is important to remember later on when you are performing rituals or spells. You can use all of the right candle colors, herbs, oils, and stones but these are just “things” if you don’t go into it with some conviction.

Choosing to go down this path is an important decision and you should take it seriously. It helps to keep a journal and to write down your reactions, thoughts, and feelings about things that you read or learn. Think about why you think Witchcraft is right for you. Consider your fears as well as your aspirations. These are your private thoughts so not only is it okay to be honest, but it’s also necessary. There are no right or wrong answers or feelings.

Once you have decided that this is indeed the path that you want to go down then you usually perform a Dedication ritual. This is up to you to design and implement and you should do it in a way that is significant to you. In effect, you are committing yourself to the Craft and deciding to live your life in balance with the elements and with nature.

Some people believe that Witchcraft is a way to control the elements to their advantage. This is not the case. Instead, it’s about working with the elements and trying to achieve a balance with them, as well as within yourself using your own energy. The Witch’s Rede is “An it harm none” and this is important to remember. It’s kind of like the Golden Rule.

You may choose to practice on your own or you might want to join a coven in order to practice with other like-minded people. Most covens require that you “train”, more or less, for a year and one day before they will admit you. You can also count on covens being fairly selective. You might find that the coven isn’t right for you and if you decide on this then it’s okay to look elsewhere. You never have to stay someplace that isn’t comfortable for you.

When it comes to rituals and spells, you will find that while some things are pretty set in stone, others aren’t. For instance, candle colors have certain meanings as well as herbs and essential oils. They usually have more than one meaning and can be used in a variety of spells and rituals. However, the words that you chant or meditate on and the order that you use the items can vary and should be personal to you.

I know some witches that like using gems and other stones. Even though there are some that I use from time to time, I have to admit that sometimes I have difficulty remembering what each stone is and it’s not always effective for me to use them. I feel a much greater energy from candles and aromas so I like to use herbs and oils more.

With children in the house, I also find that sometimes convenience rules over the preferred times of conducting rituals. I would love to be able to set aside a couple of hours in the evening, especially on certain days of the moon’s cycle, to perform specific rituals but it can be difficult when you have children to care for so I have to improvise and sometimes perform them earlier or later than what I would like to. Learning to adapt is important.

Lastly, you want to make sure that you read and learn as much as possible. There are lots of good books and websites out there that can provide you with lots of great information. The more knowledge you have, the more likely you are to make good, informed decisions.

I will leave you with a word of caution, though. If you come across something that you’re not comfortable with then you might want to do additional research on the topic. While there is a lot of good information out there, there are also some inaccuracies as well.

I wish you well on your spiritual path and hope that you find the answers that you seek.

Brightest Blessings,

Rose Ariadne
Your Warm and Caring “Resident Witch In Charge”


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Posted by Rose | Comments (4)

Dear Friends,

With the start of the Celtic New Year, I am beginning to think about “resolutions” or things that I would like to focus on in the coming months. I am also thinking about loved ones that I have lost.

In the past, there were many different rituals that the Celts practiced in order to honor the New Year. Hazel nuts were often used for the telling of fortunes and the future, but it was also a time to honor lost loved ones and reflect on the year that was. The Celts would sometimes place food and drink outside their doors and leave them open so that the dead could freely enter. To keep wandering evil spirits from inviting themselves in, they would carve up their turnips in the same way that we do our Jack-o-lanterns.

These days, if I were to leave any food or drink outside my door then it would more than likely be gobbled up by the animals instead of spirits, so I have to improvise.

Remembrance rituals are a great way to remember those whom you have lost and there’s really no better time to do so than at the start of the New Year. (Or, at the end of the old one, depending on how you look at it.)

You might have your own remembrance ritual that you like to use, but if you don’t or if you simply want to try something new then this is an easy one to try…

Around your altar candle, place some personal belongings of your loved one, or some of their favorite things if you don’t have anything that actually belonged to them. For a relative that I wanted to pay remembrance to I placed her glasses, a handkerchief that she once carried, and her photograph around the candle.

I also use a purple votive candle for spiritual contact and a white votive candle for purity. For added energy, I place 4 pieces of clear quartz crystal around the candles.

Sometimes, I use rosemary in this ritual because it’s a good remembrance herb and an all around good herb to use for protection. If I don’t have any rosemary on hand then I switch it out with lavender which is good for healing, protection, peace, calling in good spirits, and love. Plus, it smells nice. Basil can also be used since it can help bring strength to you if you are suffering.

I find it helpful to carve the name (or names, as it may be) of my loved one into the candle using a needle or a pin. I then anoint the candles from wick to end with rosemary oil and roll the candles in the herbs.

What you chant or say to yourself is up to you and should be personal. Using this time for meditation and focusing on positive memories are the goals in this ritual. I do my best to center my energy on positive thoughts and images and try to reflect on the joys that the person brought to my life.

Remember that it’s okay to cry and be sad. Although we don’t want our grief to hold our loved ones back, we still need to remember that sadness is a part of the grieving process and if we try to limit our feelings then we’re holding our own progress back as well.

One of my New Year’s resolutions this year is to try to focus more on the happiness that I shared with those who have passed on and not dwell on the things that were left unsaid or undone. With that being said, I am also going to try to do more and say more to those that are still here with me. So many times I catch myself mourning the loss of someone and forget that there are others still here that I could lose just as easily. Each day I am going to try to be more honest, forthcoming, and demonstrative to those people in my life that mean a lot to me.

I also plan on planting a better, and bigger, garden in the spring. With the economy still being shaky and our finances being affected like everyone else’s, we are trying to become more self-sufficient. I was pleased with the way the garden came out this year but next year I am going to try to make it just a little bit better.

I tell myself that I am going to take up sewing, too, but I’m afraid that is one resolution that I might not stick to. Although I can mend some things as long as they’re not too complicated and I can do it by hand, I always start out with great intentions when it comes to my sewing machine and then I give up when the thread gets tangled. And I still haven’t mastered the art of threading the bobbin; I’m a little bit embarrassed to admit.

Happy New Year to you and I hope that this year brings you good fortune and love.

Brightest Blessings,

Rose Ariadne
Your Warm and Caring “Resident Witch In Charge”


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Posted by Rose | Comments (3)

Dear Friends,

With little ones, it’s sometimes hard to know at what point you should start explaining some of the important things to them. This isn’t just relevant to Wicca, either. Although your child, or children as the case may be, will grow up around your traditions and rituals and beliefs, knowing exactly when you should start explaining those things to them and how you should go about doing so can be tricky.

I’m thinking about Halloween, right now, but of course there are other holidays and even larger things like death that children are affected by that you’re eventually going to have to explain to them. With their cognitive skills being limited when they are young, though, it’s hard to explain concepts to them that even some adults have difficulty understanding.

I am trying to start young with my children and get them used to some of the simpler concepts and beliefs so that when they are older they will already be acclimated to them. This past spring, for instance, I took my oldest into the garden where we dug up the earth together, planted seeds and cuttings, and talked about what we were doing. When a worm crawled by and fear struck, we discussed the importance of the worm and how he would help make our flowers and plants grow and our dirt better. We talked about the importance of the rain and the sunshine and how nature works together to provide the things that we need for our garden to survive.

When we planted our herb garden, not only did we talk about how we could cook with the herbs that we were planting, but we also talked about how some plants could help us in other ways, too. As we planted the sage we discussed some of the bad things that have happened to us and how we get scared at time and how sage can be helpful in clearing out negative energy and vibes.

The conversation was light and easy going and it was a discussion that lasted throughout the week as we got our vegetables and herbs planted. I felt as though it was important to start instilling a sense of personal responsibility and understanding and appreciation to the natural world in my child now, so that later when we talk about other issues, like death, that foundation would already exist.

It’s a similar way to how we have treated Halloween. Yes, we have costumes at our house and lots of fall decorations and the little ones like coloring pictures of fall harvests and painting pumpkins. Along with those things, however, I try to make a point of explaining why we are doing some of those things. While they might not completely understand it now, by introducing these ideas to them a little bit at a time it will help later on down the road. Plus, I think it’s important for children to understand why we carry on the traditions that we do.

When a dear friend passed away and I performed a ritual in remembrance of them, my oldest walked in on me. A little confused, but enthralled by the candles, there were questions about what I was doing. I answered them as simply as I could and attempted to explain that sometimes you miss someone and you want to remember them and that this is a different way of doing so. I tried to keep my language simple and uncomplicated, but when I was finished my child looked at me and asked if I was praying. (Children are more astute than we give them credit for sometimes!) I answered that yes, it was a form of praying in a sense but that different people simply have different ways of doing it. This appeared to be a satisfying answer.

We carry out traditions and rituals because they are familiar to us, we are comfortable with them, and they make us feel secure. Of course, there are other reasons that we carry them out as well, but those reasons might be some of the most common ones. It’s like getting up in the morning and brushing your teeth or putting in your contacts before you do anything else. You might not consciously be thinking, “I need to put my contacts in so that I can see before I do anything else”, yet you are aware that if you don’t put those contacts in you might be running into the wall.

Sometimes, it’s important to step back and take a look at the rituals and traditions that are important to you and remember why you are doing them in the first place. I have found that explaining them to my children actually gives me a better understanding of them myself, and even a renewed sense of peace when I perform them.

Brightest Blessings,

Rose Ariadne
Your Warm and Caring “Resident Witch In Charge”


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Posted by Rose | Comments (7)

Dear Friends,

With the weather changing and the days getting shorter, we can certainly feel that autumn is surrounding us and winter will soon be on its way. There are many celebrations around this time of year but of course, Halloween, or Hallowe’en, is one of the most popular celebrations for Wiccans, and Pagans in general. Still, many people are unsure of its origins, what it means, and what it’s truly all about.

The Halloween that is celebrated today by the costume companies, greeting card companies, and film industry is really a mixture of ancient Celtic practices, European folk traditions, and even some Christian beliefs. They are all continuously combined with modern pop culture, of course. You might have even noticed that the Halloween that you celebrated as a child is a little different than the Halloween that is celebrated today. That’s because it’s a holiday that tends to change with the times-and almost always has!

Halloween is tied to the Celtic festival of Samhain the most. Samhain loosely translates into “summer’s end.” The Celts themselves lived around 2,000 years ago in what is now Northern France, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. They celebrated Samhain, and you pronounce it “sow-in,” as their New Year holiday and it fell on November 1st. It was a natural time of the year to celebrate the coming of a new year because the summer had definitely ended, the harvest was being completed, and the weather was getting colder.

Because the weather was getting colder and vegetables were being harvested, it was also associated with death. The actual holiday was November 1st, so in fact, Halloween was really Hallow’s Eve, or the night before the big day. On this day, it was thought that the line between the worlds that held the dead and living became a little more transparent. It was even possible for the dead to come back to life on this night!

When the spirits came back on this evening, they were thought to cause mischief, such as damaging crops, but they could also come back as relatives or loved ones that had passed on and these were welcomed spirits. In addition, the blurry line between the worlds made it simpler for the Druids to cast predictions about future developments. The prophecies were important, of course, especially since the weather was starting to get colder and the nights were getting longer. Large fires were often built and there were sacrifices made to the different deities. During these ceremonies, costumes were worn more often than not. Sometimes, evil looking costumes were worn in order to ward off evil spirits.

Once the Romans arrived, Samhain was merged with two other Roman festivals-Feralia and Pomona. Feralia was already a celebration in October and during this time the Romans observed the dead’s passing. Pomona, on the other hand, was the Roman goddess of trees and fruit. In fact, the apple is Pomona’s symbol and might even be where we got the idea for bobbing from apples from.

Once Christianity came around in the 800’s, November 1st was declared All Saints’ Day by the Pope. Some people believe that the Pope was trying to keep the original Celtic Festival of honoring the dead but replacing it with a holiday that was sanctioned by the church. It was at this time that the day was called All Hallow’s which is from the Middle Eastern term “Alholowmesse” which means “All Saints’ Day.” The night before it, or October 31st was called All Hallow’s Eve and late shortened to “Halloween.”

In 1000 AD November 2nd was designated as All Souls’ Day. On this day, the dead were also honored and it was often celebrated with costumes, large fires, and parades. When they were combined together, the three days were sometimes referred to as “Hallowmas.”

So what about those jack-o-lanterns?

Candle lanterns were sometimes carved from vegetables such as turnips and later pumpkins. These were designed in order to help observe the souls that were trapped in purgatory. It might have changed from turnips to pumpkins simply because pumpkins were larger and easier to carve.

Today, you can find that many countries celebrate Halloween differently. In the United States, for example, there is a mix of the various European ethnic groups and their interpretation of the holiday, combined with rituals and ceremonies that the Native Americans recognized.

Of course, we’re only human and therefore products of our own culture so the way that we celebrate has a lot to do with the way that we were raised and what we were brought up around, although many people find that as they get older they are able to discover the rituals and ceremonies that are more appropriate and rewarding for their own belief systems.

Here is hoping that your Halloween, or Samhain, is full of wonder, excitement, and love.

Brightest Blessings,

Rose Ariadne
Your Warm and Caring “Resident Witch In Charge”


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Posted by Rose | Comments (3)

Dear Friends,

I’d like to share today’s post with a short personal story. Somewhat of a humorous prelude to the message I would like to share with you all today.

Earlier this week I was working in my yard, beginning to get my plants ready for the coming winter months. In one section of my yard, I have a beautiful, small shrub. This shrub has been there for years and being a hardy little plant, it has never required any real care from me. With the exception of raking some leaves from it’s base a few times a year, I’ve never really done much more to tend to the plant.

However, while raking in that general area the other day I noticed that a section of the shrub had died off and the branches needed to be pruned. So I went to grab my trusty pruning saw and shears, deciding that after I removed the dead branch I would shape the bush a little. Now let me tell you my friends. I have admired this little shrub many, many times over the years. I have touched it, examined it, etc. It is uniquely colored and beautiful…a true masterpiece of Gaia’s art.
But do you know what else this little shrub is my friends? It is painful! Yes, painful. Imagine my shock when I reached down to snip a branch away and had to quickly pull back a stinging, bleeding hand because that beautiful little plant had unleashed it’s prickly fury upon me. You see, unbeknownst to me (though as I said I have examined this plant on multiple occasions) beneath each little leaf on the plant there is a very sharp little thorn just waiting to attack those that attempt to violate it. The wonders of Gaia can not only be beautiful, but dangerous or even deadly as well.

After my little adventure with the shrub (I did manage to carefully get it pruned) I started thinking about the dark side of Mother Nature and how it can affect us in our lives and magick. Yes, it is true that our Mother Earth has provided so much for us that can benefit our lives, health and magick. But it is also true that there are plants, animals and other forces of nature that can be very dangerous and should be approached with caution.

Plants are a very important part of our magickal spells and are also used in traditional, holistic medicine for healing. I cannot stress to you enough how important it is when using plants for anything at all, that you know exactly what plant you are using and how to use it. Many plants can easily be mistaken for one another, and some may be safe when used in one manner but deadly when used in another. Even if you purchase specific plant species to grow yourself for use in magick or healing, it can be dangerous to consume or apply these herbs to your skin if they are not grown properly. Plants that have been contaminated by chemicals or even animal urine or feces can have extremely negative side effects on the body. If you are unsure of whether a plant is safe for use or not, do not take a chance. Do not use it. Instead, purchase the plant from a quality supplier that guarantees safe, organic products.

This level of safety should extend to all items you obtain from nature. Use care and safety when burning woods or plant materials, as some plants can create fumes that can make you very sick. Some plants or wood pieces can even create a topical allergic reaction in some individuals. If you know that you are going to prefer harvesting your own natural materials from nature, I urge you to take the time to properly study plant life so that you can properly identify a plant and understand it’s dangers as well as it’s benefits. Mother Nature is a loving, caring mother that has provided us with everything we need to survive. But you must also always remember, she has a dark side as well that can be dangerous or deadly to those that do not take heed.

Rose Ariadne
Your Warm and Caring “Resident Witch in Charge”


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Posted by Rose | Comments (4)