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,
It is that time of year when we feel as if we have been surrounded in winter for far too long. The cold temperatures keep us indoors, and the ice and snow seem to linger on and on forever. Something that we tend to forget about the ice and snow is that they carry some very powerful spirits who work to help the earth rest in preparation for the spring.
Imbolc is the official beginning of the end of winter. The earth begins to quicken beneath the soil and life is stirring. Soon, the first signs of spring will begin to sprout and the sun will warm us and allow the world to bloom in the beautiful colors of springtime.
Imbolc is about the awakening of the earth’s energies, and should also be about your own personal awakening. Winter allows us to grow lazy at times and forget about things that are important to us. We tend to tread gloomily along day-to-day, just doing what we need to do to get by and nothing more. Without the vitamin D and the energy from the sun, “boring” can set in before we know it.
This Imbolc think of a soul nurturing interest or desire or talent that you may have put on hold and would like to awaken. Have you left your interest in art, music, writing, etc. behind to focus on your career, school, or have you just put what you love to do on the list of “I’ll do it later”? It is important for us to feed our souls with the things that we are good at and love to do. We cannot be complete if we repress our talents and our souls desires.
Here is something that you can include in your Imbolc rite to help with your own personal awakening.
You will need; a small piece of paper, a pen, a small flower-pot, some potting soil, and some seeds (an herb such as sage or chamomile would work well).
Write the interest or talent that you would like to awaken on the piece of paper. If you thought of more than one, that’s ok, write them all, but make sure the piece of paper is not too big. Fill the flower-pot halfway with soil. Fold the piece of paper 3 times and place into the pot, the fill the remainder of the pot with soil. Sow your plant seeds into the soil. Take care of this new magical plant, as it grows, the roots will entwine with your interest or talent and it will grow just as the plant does.
Wishing you a very merry Imbolc and the brightest blessings,
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,
First of all, I want you to think of what the word “sacred” means. Don’t go look it up in a dictionary, think of what it means to you. Is sacred safe? Is it something divine? Is it treasured and secret? Can you share it? If something is sacred to you, what does that mean?
Every witch needs a sacred space, whether it be permanent or temporary. Wherever it is that you choose to practice the craft, that space needs to be sacred to you. You need to feel safe and secure and you need to have trust and feel very comfortable in your space. After all, the energy that you are letting out of yourself is the energy that is going to go into your spells and worship. If you are constantly looking over your shoulder worried that someone will see you or that the boogey man will get you, then chances are your efforts in that circle will fail.
If you are like a lot of other solitary witches then most likely your sacred space is somewhere in your home. Maybe you have a permanent altar set up or maybe you have to set one up each time you cast a circle. Either is acceptable, but when you do cast your circle, make sure it is in an area that you feel safe, secure, at peace and are undistracted. Make it sacred to you somehow.
Since my sacred space is right in the center of my living room, something I do to keep the space sacred to me is a monthly “temple space” purification ritual. I do this on the new moon. It is nothing fancy, it just helps me keep the place clean, free of negativity, and happy. That way, when I am in a circle, my rites get 100% of my attention 100% of the time.
If you do get the chance to practice outdoors, lucky you! There are tons of places outside that are sacred to me, unfortunately, they are all usually surrounded by onlookers and are not 100% safe, so I reserve the outside spaces for meditation or just plain old quiet time. If this applies to you, then you can do what I do and just create a small salt circle around where you will be sitting, this will keep you protected and allow you to focus more on the craft and less on over-the-shoulder-looking.
Just remember, wherever you decide to practice the craft needs to be a happy, clean, safe, and private environment. The more free you feel in your sacred space, the closer you will be to the divine, and the more powerful your magic and worship will be.
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,