The Summer Solstice, also known as Midsummer, or Litha; happens around June 21st When the sun enters Cancer. It is the day that the sun has reached its maximum power and is the longest day of the year. The sun has worked the entirety of Winter and spring to reach its full potential. On this day it will shine powerful and as long as it can before setting into its decline of power. It is as if the sun accepts its own decline but is still proud, as if that very moment is all that matters.
Summer is generally a time for celebration and fun. This Sabbat is no exception. It is a time to celebrate and remember and honor the sun. In the old religion bonfires were built, brooms were set ablaze and were taken about the crops so the smoke and ash would promote good growth and draw out sickness and disease. The broom handles were saved to be stuck in the earth by the gardens to ward off evil spirits.
The sun represents fire, passion, warmth, and masculinity. It is the source of all life, for without it we would simply not exist. We should remember it as the provider, the light, and the god, and we should honor it on the Solstice just as we do the moon when she is full. Take the time on this day to watch either the sunrise or the sunset. Think about what the sun means to you. What does it do for you, how does it make you feel? Take the time to give thanks for what the sun does for you and the rest of the world. Meditate on what you could do to give back or contribute to the energy of the sun.
As always, have a blessed Sabbat,
Photo courtesy of: Derek Byerly of DB Photography
“Oh do not tell the priests of our rites
for they would call it a sin
But we’ll be out in the woods all night
a-conjurin’ summer in.”
The wheel of the year can be roughly divided into two parts; winter months and summer months. Just as Samhain marks the beginning of the winter months, Beltane marks the beginning of the summer months. This is one of Wicca’s greater Sabbats, it is a joyous and open-hearted celebration of love, and for that reason, Beltane is my favorite Sabbat of the year.
Sensuality-getting in touch with your senses- is important to Beltane’s theme. Without our senses we would not be able to experience the world. If the divine is in everything, then all that you see, touch, taste, smell, and hear is a manifestation of the God and Goddess, therefore, should be sacred. We take advantage of our senses because they are things we become used to, Beltane is a day to get in touch with your senses and experience all of them to their fullest ability.
Another major part of Beltane’s focus is centered on sexual union. This union symbolizes many things; the joining of nature with the divine, to the union of male and female to ensure the fertility of the earth, and most importantly, an individual becoming one with the divine or the all. Sexual union carries a very deep and spiritual message: universal divine love, and the love of life itself. The unconditional love of the divine dwells within us and flows through us with the love that is expressed at Beltane. One should enjoy it, never shy away from it.
Whatever you decide to do to celebrate Beltane should be fun, carefree, sensual, and full of love. This is a time to celebrate and really get in touch with your spirit. Let go of your inhibitions and insecurities and experience life as it was meant to be lived. Love as purely and as whole-heartedly as you can, and get in touch with the divine that lies within you.
May the Divine love that flows through all of us on Beltane be so great and pure, that the world feels its joy.
Wishing you all a happy and spiritual Sabbat,
image source: miamitantragoddess.com
Ostara, The spring equinox, is the time of year when day and night are equal in length . This Sabbat signifies action, movement, and the newness of the Earth. Ostara brings the growth of light and balance. Traditionally a time for spring cleaning and chores, Ostara is also a good time to open up to spiritual cleaning , it is a time to start over, to reflect and re-set our lives.
The Earth is renewing itself and blooming with fresh and beautiful life , and in comparison to the previous winter months is becoming much livelier. Spring is a good time to set the balance of things in our lives, renew ourselves, and become more livelier just as the Earth does.
There are several ways to fall out of balance, weather mentally, spiritually, physically, or emotionally. Our actions, our communications, our thoughts and our bodies can become imbalanced as well. Think of something in your life that has become out of balance or something that has never been balanced that you would like to correct. Have you lost focus, have you lost your temper, are your emotions getthing the best of you? I have included below a balancing rite that you can include in your Ostara circle if you like. I hope you enjoy!
Ostara balancing candle right
You will need two white taper candles (I prefer the small 5 inch ones because they take less time to burn out) and some sea salt.
On one candle write the word balance. On the second candle write one word for something in your life that you want to bring balance to, or something that has become imbalanced. For example,I may be having a hard time getting my point across to others , so I would write communication. Or I may feel a little over emotional lately, so I would want to bring balance to my emotions. Once you have written on both candles palce them on your altar about 6 inches apart. The candle that says balance should be on the left side. In between the two candles draw an aarow, with sea salt, that points to the candle that represents your imbalanced trait. See the picture below for an example.
Light the balance candle, then move to the right and light the trait candle. Chant the following “Mother and father of all living things, unto my being your loving balance bring.” Picture balance from the first candle flowing out and through the aarow into your imbalanced trait candle. Allow the candles to burn out on their own and dispose of the salt by burying it in the Earth.
As always, Blessed Be and a very merry Ostara,
When the sun enters the sign of Capricorn, sometime between December 19th and December 23rd, winter has officially begun. Yule, or the Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year and marks the re-birth of the sun. The rites of our ancestors were often aimed at “coaxing” the sun to return to end the fear of darkness and the dead season. They longed for light and life to be returned to the world.
From out of the longest and darkest night of the year comes a brilliant new-born sun. With this new light comes promise of warmer and longer days. This should remind us that light will always come from darkness, The chaos, hurt, stress, loneliness, and pain that we sometimes experience will end. Yule is about endings as well as promises for a better future. Life and energy go on eternally just as the wheel of the sun does.
The winter solstice also reminds us that in our darkest hour, there is still a ray of light, a spark. Our objective as witches is to always search for that spark within ourselves. It is important to constantly feed and nurture that spark and help it grow, to “coax” the light of the spark to overcome the darkness within ourselves.
I have included below an idea for your Yule Ritual. Feel free to use it if you like. Happy Solstice friends!
Banishing darkness candle rite:
You will need a white or yellow votive candle and votive holder.
Sit in a meditative position and close your eyes. Imagine that you are gazing upon the vast night sky. You can see the stars and the moon, but focus your energy on the big emptiness of space. Now allow your mind to think of a negative or destructive situation in your life. Take the time to completely feel all of the emotions associated with this. When you arrive at the peak of your emotions, begin to breathe deeply. Imagine that with each exhalation, you expel the darkness and negativity up into the vastness of space and out of you completely. Continue this until you are completely drained of all negative feelings.
Once you are drained of all negativity begin to breathe normally and relax . Sense the emptiness inside. Take the time to really feel the spacious void that now exists within you. Now open your eyes and light the candle. Focus all of your attention on the flame and imagine the warm light filling up the empty space inside of you. The light becomes larger and fills not only the void, but your entire being re-igniting the spark within. Allow this light to heal you completly and to re-allign your consciousness. Allow the candle to burn out on its own or pinch off the flame and use it any time you face darkness or destructive situiations.
Love and Light,
I hope that everyone had a very magical Samhain! Mine was busy, away from home, and in un-familiar territory, but it was the most spiritual and powerful ritual and weekend that I have ever had. It is something that I will never forget and in a few ways, is too personal to go into a lot of detail. I was able to focus a lot on me, and was able to come to a few realizations and let go of a few things that were holding me back. Never have I experienced so much clarity and realization.
The air was thick with power Sunday evening, so much so that I remember feeling strange and I did not realize that what I was feeling was energy from Samhain rituals and witches and spirits of ancestors from around the world. Looking back on that puts the world into a different perspective for me and I realized through the almost tangible power, who I need to be and what I need to do to be that person. It was absolutely amazing to feel the connection to the all.
It amazes me to look back at all the previous new years resolutions I’ve made and know that not one of them have ever manifested. This new year (my first witches new year) is already noticeably different. Weather it is by my own personal power, or by the power and help of my ancestors, I can already notice a change in me. I only hope the same for all of you. Weather you need to change something so big that it will change your life forever, or something so small that it will go un-noticed, I honestly hope that it works for you. I wish you all the best for the next turn of the wheel. I feel that this is our year, may it be the best one yet!
With the brightest blessings,
It’s that time of year again when the weather starts to change like spring time, only instead of a hint of warmth in the air there is a hint of chill. The leaves are not sprouting, instead they are turning shades of red, orange, yellow, and brown. The harvest is almost done and soon the cold of winter will be upon us. It is time to say our final goodbyes to the sun and welcome the winter and a rest for the hard work and hot days of summer.
Samhain, October 31st, more widely known as Halloween, is the annual festival of death, it is also the day that the veil between our world and the spirit world is the thinnest and communication with spirits is very possible. It is also a good time to practice divination. Although, you must remember that the energy you have on this day will be the energy you are most likely to attract. Honor your ancestors for the things you have learned from them and the gift of life they have given you, but I do not recommend that you hold a seance or try to contact the dead unless you know what you are doing.
Build and altar or give an offering to your ancestors on this night, light a candle for a loved one, think of all your ancestors, not just in your immediate family but as far back as you can imagine and give thanks and honor for all they have done to make sure you have what you have today.
This is also the witches new year. The sun has provided the ultimate sacrifice and given all of its energy so that the earth can provide for us to eat throughout the winter. The crops are all harvested and the winter months are on their way. The moon will be dominant in the skies as the days are short now, but they are beginning to grow longer bringing with them the promise that the return of our beloved sun lies just around the corner.