Thursday, May 27, 2010
Once April's rains and winds have subsided, the sun begins to warm up the earth and we're able to get the gardens planted. Thus May is the month we begin to sow our crops. Get out in the garden under a Flower Moon and put your hands into the soil. May's Moon brings us energy of love, wisdom and health. Spring is a time of fertility, and May is a fiery month indeed -- full of lust and passion! It's called the month of the Hare's Moon -- and we all know what hares are busy doing in the spring.
- Colors: Red, orange, yellow
- Gemstones: Ruby, garnet, amber, Apache tear
- Trees: Hawthorn, rowan
- Gods: Kali, Priapus, Cernunnos, Flora
- Herbs: Cinnamon, members of the mint family
- Element: Fire
Gems and oils to boost the energy of the Hare's Moon
- Gemstones: Malachite, Jade, Emerald, Peridot or any other green-hued stones. These gems help enhance the energy of the heart chakra, which governs our compassion, generosity, love and harmony. If you need a boost in any of these areas, simply slip a green stone into your pocket, or put on a piece of green-gemmed jewelry.
- Essential Oils: Eucalyptus, Thyme, Sandalwood, Pine, Melissa, Bergamont. These oils will help you connect with your unconscious mind and set the intention of love, wisdom and compassion
The May full moon is a time when we begin to really notice more light in our lives. The days are longer, the grass is green and the flowers are starting to bloom. The energy at this time is playful and light, energetic and buoyant. If you want to really celebrate this moon and the energy it brings, you can do fun things like:
- host a pot-luck with a spring theme
- visit your local elementary school and volunteer during art class
- light a green candle and meditate on your thankfulness for the feeling of renewal and rejuvenation.
Another great way to connect with the Hare's Moon is to bless some seeds, seedlings or garden plants, and then plant them. Doing this involves intentionally adding positive energy to these plants, and then nurturing their growth and health. This is a powerful symbolic exercise that will help you focus your energy on intentionally giving “good vibes” to your environment. Doing this will make you feel empowered, positive and loving.
This is also a good time to work on magic related to careers and jobs. Thinking about switching to a new position, or perhaps trying a new field altogether? Want to take a class or get your degree? Take the seeds you've planted last month, and allow them to bloom and grow in your favor. Do some fire divination this month to help guide you on your way.
In many mythic traditions, rabbits and hares were archetypal symbols of femininity, associated with the lunar cycle, fertility, longevity, and rebirth. But if we dig a little deeper into their stories we find that they are also contradictory, paradoxical creatures: symbols of both cleverness and foolishness, of femininity and androgny, of cowardice and courage, of rampant sexuality and virginal purity. In some lands, Hare is the messenger of the Great Goddess, moving by moonlight between the human world and the realm of the gods; in other lands he is a god himself, wily deceiver and sacred world creator rolled into one.
The association of rabbits, hares, and the moon can be found in numerous cultures the world over — ranging from Japan to Mexico, from Indonesia to the British Isles. Whereas in Western folklore we refer to the "Man in the Moon," the "Hare (or Rabbit) in the Moon" is a more familiar symbol in other societies. In China, for example, the Hare in the Moon is depicted with a mortar and pestle in which he mixes the elixir of immortality; he is the messenger of a female moon deity and the guardian of all wild animals. In Chinese folklore, female hares conceive through the touch of the full moon's light (without the need of impregnation by the male), or by crossing water by moonlight, or licking moonlight from a male hare’s fur. Figures of hares or white rabbits are commonly found at Chinese Moon Festivals, where they represent longevity, fertility, and the feminine power of yin.
In one old Chinese legend, Buddha summoned the animals to him before he departed from the earth, but only twelve representatives of the animal kingdom came to bid him farewell. He rewarded these twelve by naming a year after each one, in repeating cycles through eternity. The animal ruling the year in which a child born is the animal "hiding in the heart," casting a strong influence on personality, spirit, and fate. Rabbit was the fourth animal to arrive, and thus rules over the calendar in the fourth year of every twelve. People born into the Year of the Rabbit are said to be intelligent, intuitive, gracious, kind, loyal, sensitive to beauty, diplomatic and peace-loving, but prone to moodiness and periods of melancholy.
In another Buddhist legend, from India this time, Lord Buddha was a hare in an early incarnation, traveling in the company of an ape and a fox. The god Indra, disguised as a hungry beggar, decided to test their hospitality. Each animal went in search of food, and only the hare returned empty handed. Determined to be hospitable, the hare built a fire and jumped into it himself, feeding Indra with his own flesh. The god rewarded this sacrifice by transforming him into the Hare in the Moon.
In Egyptian myth, hares were also closely associated with the cycles of the moon, which was viewed as masculine when waxing and feminine when waning. Hares were likewise believed to be androgynous, shifting back and forth between the genders—not only in ancient Egypt but also in European folklore right up to the 18th century. A hare-headed god and goddess can be seen on the Egyptian temple walls of Dendera, where the female is believed to be the goddess Unut (or Wenet), while the male is most likely a representation of Osiris (also called Wepuat or Un-nefer), who was sacrificed to the Nile annually in the form of a hare.
In Greco-Roman myth, the hare represented romantic love, lust, abundance, and fercundity. Pliny the Elder recommended the meat of the hare as a cure for sterility, and wrote that a meal of hare enhanced sexual attraction for a period of nine days. Hares were associated with the Artemis, goddess of wild places and the hunt, and newborn hares were not to be killed but left to her protection. Rabbits were sacred to Aphrodite, the goddess of love, beauty, and marriage—for rabbits had “the gift of Aphrodite” (fertility) in great abundance. In Greece, the gift of a rabbit was a common love token from a man to his male or female lover. In Rome, the gift of a rabbit was intended to help a barren wife conceive. Carvings of rabbits eating grapes and figs appear on both Greek and Roman tombs, where they symbolize the transformative cycle of life, death, and rebirth.
In Teutonic myth, the earth and sky goddess Holda, leader of the Wild Hunt, was followed by a procession of hares bearing torches. Although she descended into a witch–like figure and boogeyman of children’s tales, she was once revered as a beautiful, powerful goddess in charge of weather phenomena. Freyja, the headstrong Norse goddess of love, sensuality, and women’s mysteries, was also served by hare attendants. She traveled with a sacred hare and boar in a chariot drawn by cats. Kaltes, the shape–shifting moon goddess of western Siberia, liked to roam the hills in the form of a hare, and was sometimes pictured in human shape wearing a headdress with hare’s ears. Ostara, the goddess of the moon, fertility, and spring in Anglo–Saxon myth, was often depicted with a hare’s head or ears, and with a white hare standing in attendance. This magical white hare laid brightly colored eggs which were given out to children during spring fertility festivals — an ancient tradition that survives in the form of the Easter Bunny today.
Eostre, the Celtic version of Ostara, was a goddess also associated with the moon, and with mythic stories of death, redemption, and resurrection during the turning of winter to spring. Eostre, too, was a shape–shifter, taking the shape of a hare at each full moon; all hares were sacred to her, and acted as her messengers. Cesaer recorded that rabbits and hares were taboo foods to the Celtic tribes. In Ireland, it was said that eating a hare was like eating one’s own grandmother — perhaps due to the sacred connection between hares and various goddesses, warrior queens, and female faeries, or else due to the belief that old "wise women" could shape–shift into hares by moonlight. The Celts used rabbits and hares for divination and other shamanic practices by studying the patterns of their tracks, the rituals of their mating dances, and mystic signs within their entrails. It was believed that rabbits burrowed underground in order to better commune with the spirit world, and that they could carry messages from the living to the dead and from humankind to the faeries.
As Christianity took hold in western Europe, hares and rabbits, so firmly associated with the Goddess, came to be seen in a less favorable light — viewed suspiciously as the familiars of witches, or as witches themselves in animal form. Numerous folk tales tell of men led astray by hares who are really witches in disguise, or of old women revealed as witches when they are wounded in their animal shape. In one well–known story from Dartmoor, a mighty hunter named Bowerman disturbed a coven of witches practicing their rites, and so one young witch determined to take revenge upon the man. She shape–shifted into a hare, led Bowerman through a deadly bog, then turned the hunter and his hounds into piles of stones, which can still be seen today. (The stone formations are known by the names Hound Tor and Bowerman’s Nose.)
Although rabbits, in the Christian era, were still sometimes known as good luck symbols (hence the tradition of carrying a "lucky rabbit’s foot"), they also came to be seen as witch–associated portents of disaster. In Somerset, the appearance of a rabbit in a village street was said to presage a coming fire, while in Dorset, a rabbit crossing one’s path in the morning was an indication of trouble ahead. A remedy from 1875 suggests, "You can easily set matters right by spitting over your left shoulder, and saying, ‘Hare before, Trouble behind: Change ye, Cross, and free me,’ or else by the still more simple charm which consists in touching each shoulder with your forefinger, and saying, ‘Hare, hare, God send thee care.’" Some Cornish fisherman would not let hares or rabbits on their boats, or say the names of these animals aloud, or use a net contaminated by contact with one of them. Hares were also associated with madness due to the wild abandon of their mating rituals. The expression "Mad as a March hare" comes from the leaping and boxing of hares during their mating season.
Despite this suspicious view of rabbits and their association with fertility and sexuality, Renaissance painters used the symbol of a white rabbit to convey a different meaning altogether: one of chastity and purity. It was generally believed that female rabbits could conceive and give birth without contact with the male of the species, and thus virginal white rabbits appear in biblical pictures of the Madonna and Child. The gentle timidity of rabbits also represented unquestioning faith in Christ’s Holy Church in paintings such as Titian’s Madonna with Rabbit (1530).
Rabbits and hares are both good and bad in trickster tales found all the way from Asia and Africa to North America. In the Panchatantra tales of India, for example, Hare is a wily trickster whose cleverness and cunning is pitted against Elephant and Lion, while in Tibetan folktales, quick-thinking Hare outwits the ruses of predatory Tiger. In Japan, the fox is the primary trickster animal, but hares too are clever, tricky characters. Usually depicted as male (whereas fox tricksters are most often female), hares in Japanese folktales tend to be crafty, clownish, mischievous figures — as opposed to fox tricksters (kitsune), who are more seductive, secretive, and dangerous. In West Africa, many tribal cultures, such as the Yoruba of Nigeria and the Wolof of Senegal, have traditional story cycles about an irrepressible hare trickster who is equal parts rascal, clown, and culture hero. In one pan–African story, the Moon sends Hare, her divine messenger, down to earth to give mankind the gift of immortality. "Tell them," she says, "that just as the Moon dies and rises again, so shall you." But Hare, in the role of trickster buffoon, manages to get the message wrong, bestowing mortality instead and bringing death to the human world. The Moon is so angry, she beats Hare with a stick, splitting his nose (as it remains today). It is Hare’s role to lead the dead to the Afterlife in penance for what he’s done.
African hare stories traveled to North America on the slavers’ ships, mixed with rabbit tales of the Cherokee and other tribes, and were transformed into the famous Br’er Rabbit stories of the American South. These stories were passed orally among slaves, for whom Br’er (Brother) Rabbit was a perfect hero, besting more powerful opponents through his superior intelligence and quicker wits. the The Br’er Rabbit stories were written down and published by Joel Chandler Harris in the 19th century in a now classic collection narrarated by the fictional Uncle Remus. At the same time that Chandler Harris was recording Br’er Rabbit stories from the African American oral tradition, folklorist Alcee Fortier was setting down the folk tales of the Cajun (French Creole) culture of southern Louisiana — including delightful stories of a fast–talking rabbit trickster called Compair Lapin. Like Br’er Rabbit, or the hares of West African lore, Compare Lapin is a rascal who manages to get himself into all kinds of trouble — and then smoothly finds his way back out again through cleverness and guile.
Among the many different Native American story traditions, trickster tales featuring Coyote or Raven tend to be best known to non–Native audiences, but there are also a large number of tales that feature a trickster Rabbit or Hare, particularly among the Algonquin–speaking peoples of the central and eastern woodland tribes. Nanabozho (or Manabozho) the Great Hare, for instance, is a powerful figure found in the tales of the Algonquin, Fox, Menoimini, Ottawa, Ojibwa, and Winnebago tribes. In some stories, Nanabozho is a revered culture hero — creator of the earth, benefactor of humankind, the bringer of light and fire, and teacher of sacred rituals. In other tales he’s a clown, a thief, a lecher, or a cunning predator — an ambivalent, amoral figure dancing on the line between right and wrong. In Potawatomi myth, Wabosso is the Great White Hare (and the younger brother of Nanabozho) who travels north to become the greatest of magicians among the supernaturals. The Utes tell the story of Ta–vwots, the Little Rabbit, who shatters the sun and destroys the world, all of which must be created again; and an Omaha rabbit brings the sun down to earth while trying to catch his own shadow. The Cherokee, the Creek, the Biloxi and other tribes tell humorous stories of a mischievous Rabbit who is cousin to Br’er Rabbit and Compair Lapin, outwitting foes and puncturing the pride of friends with his clownish antics.
The jackalope legends of the American Southwest are stories of a more recent vintage, consisting of purported sightings of rabbits or hares with horns like antelopes. The legend may have been brought to North American by German immigrants, derived from the Raurackl (or horned rabbit) of the German folklore tradition. The jackalope legend might also derive from actual horn-like growths found on the heads and faces of rabbits infected with Shope papillomavirus, a rare, disfiguring disease found among the wild rabbit population.
by: Terri Windling
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
As spring arrives, our gardens begin to bud and eventually bloom. For hundreds of years, the plants that we grow have been used in magic. Flowers in particular are often connected with a variety of magical uses. Now that spring is here, keep an eye out for some of these flowers around you, and consider the different magical applications they might have.
•Crocus: This flower is one of the first you'll see in the spring, and it's often associated with newly blooming love. The crocus is also known to enhance visions and bring about intuitive dreams.
•Daffodil: The bright petals of the daffodil are typically found in shades of white, yellow or even pale orange. This flower is associated with love and fertility -- place fresh ones in your home to bring about abundance. Wear this flower close to your heart to draw love and luck.
•Dandelion: The leaf of the dandelion is used for healing, purificaiton, and ritual cleansing. To bring positive change about, plant dandelions in the northwest corner of your property. The bright yellow flowers can be used in divination, or placed in a sachet to draw good energy your way.
•Echinacea: Also called purple coneflower, this garden mainstay adds a little bit of magical "oomph" to charmes and sachets. Use it for prosperity related workings. Burn the dried flowers in incense, and use on your altar during ritual as an offering to deities.
•Goldenseal: This sunny yellow flower is often found growing in the wild, alongside roads and in fields. Use it in money spells, or for business dealings. Work it into charms connected to matters of financial gain or legal issues.
•Hibiscus: This lusty flower incites passion -- use it to attract love or lust, or for prophetic dreams about your lover. Burn in incense, or carry in a sachet to bring love your way.
•Hyacinth: This flower was named for Hyakinthos, a Greek divine hero who was beloved by Apollo, so it's sometimes considered the patron herb of homosexual men. Hyacinth is also known to promote peaceful sleep, and guards against nightmares. Carry in an amulet to help heal a broken heart or to ease grief when a loved one dies.
•Lily: The Easter lily or Tiger lily is associated with all kinds of Spring connections -- fertility, rebirth, renewal and abundance.
•Narcissus: Named for another Greek figure, the Narcissus helps promote polarity and harmony. Its calming vibrations bring about tranquility and inner peace.
•Tulip: The tulip appears in many different colors and varieties, but is typically connected to prosperity. You can use the different colored variations in color magic -- use a dark strain such as Queen of the Night for full moon rituals, or bright red flowers for love magic.
•Violet: In Roman myth, the first violet sprung from the spilled blood of the god Attis, who killed himself for Cybele, the mother goddess. However, today the violet is associated with tranquility and peace. The leaf offers protection from evil, and can be sewn into a pillow or sachet for a new baby. Carry the petals with you to bring about luck and enhance nighttime magic.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Queen of Ghosts,
Images of you on gate posts,
In the darkest dress.
Crowning a mare,
In the underworld Lair,
A hound at your side,
The serpent around your arm in a bind.
As the ghost spirit roams,
With your spirit crown.
Master of Magic,
Your death tragic,
Patron of Witches,
At your side two bitches,
Protecting from spirits,
When pleased you grant it,
Your priestess Medicean.
This is a film of Sorita d'Este performing the The Rite of Her Sacred Fires - a number of these films will be uploaded over the next few days at Her Sacred Fires channel on YouTube to show different expressions of the same ceremony by different contributors. If you are interested in participating, or want to learn more about it, visit the facebook page at HEKATE: Her Sacred Fires or read about the event here.
Monday, May 17, 2010
A ceremony with instructions written by Sorita d"Este will be made available in the days leading up to the date. This is the first ceremony of it's kind being organisedfor Hekate - the same words being spoken, candles and fires being lit - all over the world on one day for the Goddess Hekate!
Join us in making this a very special event! Some participants are organising group ceremonies, others will be doing it by themselves - from Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Chile, Mexico, USA, Canada, England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Holland, Sweden ... and many other locations!
Details of this special ceremony will be made available on the facebook page, and here at Gypsy magic we'll try to keep you updated. You will need no special equipment to join in - all we ask is that you do so with sincerity and clarity of purpose.
The goal is to find at least 1000 people to light a flame on the 27th of May with ceremony which will be made public in the days leading up to the date - so please help us by inviting friends to celebrate with you, each of you lighting a flame, or by inviting others to this event.
who spins the web of the stars and governs the spiral of life
Guide me through towards pathways of understanding,
From Crossroad to Crossroad,
The Torchbearers and the Keybearers of your mysteries,
will always find one another..."
~From the Rite of Her Sacred Flames
We invite you all to post photographs of your altars, shrines and flames - and even youtube videos if you want to film it - on and after the 27th.
The Ceremony will be published on the 20th of May - make sure to keep an eye out for it so that you can prepare! It will take only 5-10 mins of your time to be part of this special rite! Here's a link to the event: The Rite of Her Sacred Fires at Facebook
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Lover of solitude,
Bull-faced and Bull-headed One” and
“bull-eyed, horned, mother of gods and men.”
~from the Greek Magical Papyri
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Find a quiet place, light a candle if you wish, and then begin the following chant. Chant until you begin to feel a deep connection to the Goddess. Then be silent. Your guidance will come.
Earth Mother, we sing to your bones,
Earth Mother, we honor your spirit,
Earth Mother, we honor your stones.
Download and listen to the MP3:
By the sea surrounding us
By the sky above us
We come unto the gods
To hear this chant, download the MP3:
we will kindle a fire
spirits of fire come to us
we will kindle a fire
we will kindle a fire
dance the magic circle round
we will kindle a fire
we will kindle a fire
You can download and listen to the MP3 here:
Monday, May 10, 2010
The Gypsies say that the power of magick lies in four simple ingredients. The first of these is the desire/need of the practitioner. The stronger your desire for something to happen and the stronger your need for a thing, then the stronger is the power that you generate towards that goal. We can say, then, that the first ingredient (indeed the first necessity) for successful magick is will.
Along with the will for something to happen must go a certain amount of concentration, the second ingredient. It is no good doing anything, least of all magick, in a halfhearted manner. You must concentrate on what you are doing so that you can put that necessary will power into it.
There is no magick wand as described in children's fairy tales. There is no way you can wave a wand or utter a chant or spell, and FLASH! the thing is done. No; even magick takes time. Some spells can have effect within 24 hours, but most take longer. Some can take weeks, months, or even more. So the third ingredient is patience. Do the spell with the necessary will power, give it the required concentration; then be content to sit back and wait for it to have effect... and it will take effect.
The final ingredient is simply secrecy. Gypsies don't announce when they are doing magick, nor what exactly they are doing. They do it quietly, within the privacy of their vardos. So you, too, should keep secret what you are doing. By running around telling - perhaps bragging to - your friends, you are only weakening the power of what you have done.
Sunday, May 09, 2010
In the Julian calendar the three days of the feast were 9, 11, and 13 May. The myth of origin of this ancient festival, according to Ovid, who derives Lemuria from a supposed Remuria was that it had been instituted by Romulus to appease the spirit of Remus.
Ovid notes that at this festival it was the custom to appease or expel the evil spirits by walking barefoot and throwing black beans over the shoulder at night. It was the head of the household who was responsible for getting up at midnight and walking around the house with bare feet throwing out black beans and repeating the incantation, "I send these; with these beans I redeem me and mine (haec ego mitto; his redimo meque meosque fabis.)." nine times. The household would then clash bronze pots while repeating, "Ghosts of my fathers and ancestors, be gone!" nine times.
Because of this annual exorcism of the noxious spirits of the dead, the whole month of May was rendered unlucky for marriages, whence the proverb Mense Maio malae nubent ("They wed ill who wed in May").
On the culminating day of the Lemuralia, May 13 in 609 or 610 (the day being recorded as more significant than the year), Pope Boniface IV consecrated the Pantheon at Rome to the Blessed Virgin and all the martyrs, and the feast of that dedicatio Sanctae Mariae ad Martyres has been celebrated at Rome ever since.
According to cultural historians, this ancient custom was Christianized in the feast of All Saints' Day, established in Rome first on May 13, in order to de-paganize the Roman Lemuria. In the eighth century, as the popular observance of the Lemuria had faded over time, the feast of All Saints was shifted to November 1, coinciding with the similar Celtic propitiation of the spirits at Samhain.
Salt was used for purification, and also for making mola salsa, a purified cake made with a mixture of flour, water and salt. To make mola salsa, mix a small portion of spelt flour with a small amount of water until it becomes a paste. Add some salt and 'knead' it a bit with your fingers. Flatten it into small, round wafer-like cakes, the thinner the better. The cakes can be burned as an offering to the gods.
In ancient Rome, mola salsa was a common offering to the household hearth, and offered to Vesta both at home and also by the Vestal Virgins on behalf of Rome itself. Traditionally, the cakes were made by Vestal Virgins on holy days, notably the Festival of Lemuralia, May 9,11, and 13, and also during Vestalia, the chief festival of Vesta which was celebrated from June 7 until June 15.
Wednesday, May 05, 2010
The study of magic is not a science, it is not an art, and it is not a religion. Magic is a craft. When we do magic, we do not wish and we don't pray. We rely upon our will and our knowledge and our skill to make a specific change to the world.
~The Magicians' by Lev Grossman
Here's a great quote from a book, "The Magicians" by Lev Grossman.
"You cannot study magic. You can not learn it. You must ingest it. Digest it. You must merge with it. And it with you.
When a Magician casts a spell, he does not first mentally review the Major, Minor Tertiary, and Quaternary Circumstances. He does not search his soul to determine the phase of the moon and the nearest body of water, and the last time he wiped his ass. When he wishes to cast a spell he simply casts it. When he wishes to fly, he simply flies. When he wants the dishes done, they simply are...
You need to do more than memorize Quentin. You must learn the principles of magic with more than your head. You must learn them with your bones, with your blood, your liver, your heart, your dick. We are going to submerge the language of spell casting deep into who your are, so that you have it always, wherever you are, whenever you need it. Not just when you have studied for a test."
Tuesday, May 04, 2010
Bide within the Law you must,
in perfect Love and perfect Trust.
Live you must and let to live,
fairly take and fairly give.
For tread the Circle thrice about
to keep unwelcome spirits out.
To bind the spell well every time,
let the spell be said in rhyme.
Light of eye and soft of touch,
speak you little, listen much.
Honor the Old Ones in deed and name,
let love and light be our guides again.
Deosil go by the waxing moon,
chanting out the joyful tune.
Widdershins go when the moon doth wane,
and the werewolf howls by the dread wolfsbane.
When the Lady's moon is new,
kiss the hand to Her times two.
When the moon rides at Her peak
then your heart's desire seek.
Heed the North winds mighty gale,
lock the door and trim the sail.
When the Wind blows from the East,
expect the new and set the feast.
When the wind comes from the South,
love will kiss you on the mouth.
When the wind whispers from the West,
all hearts will find peace and rest.
Nine woods in the Cauldron go,
burn them fast and burn them slow.
Birch in the fire goes
to represent what the Lady knows.
Oak in the forest towers with might,
in the fire it brings the God's insight.
Rowan is a tree of power
causing life and magick to flower.
Willows at the waterside stand
ready to help us to the Summerland.
Hawthorn is burned to purify
and to draw faerie to your eye.
Hazel-the tree of wisdom and learning
adds its strength to the bright fire burning.
White are the flowers of Apple tree
that brings us fruits of fertility.
Grapes grow upon the vine
giving us both joy and wine.
Fir does mark the evergreen
to represent immortality seen.
Elder is the Lady's tree
burn it not or cursed you'll be.
Four times the Major Sabbats mark
in the light and in the dark.
As the old year starts to wane
the new begins, it's now Samhain.
When the time for Imbolc shows
watch for flowers through the snows.
When the wheel begins to turn
soon the Beltane fires will burn.
As the wheel turns to Lamas night
power is brought to magick rite.
Four times the Minor Sabbats fall
use the Sun to mark them all.
When the wheel has turned to Yule
light the log the Horned One rules.
In the spring, when night equals day
time for Ostara to come our way.
When the Sun has reached it's height
time for Oak and Holly to fight.
Harvesting comes to one and all
when the Autumn Equinox does fall.
Heed the flower, bush, and tree
by the Lady blessed you'll be.
Where the rippling waters go
cast a stone, the truth you'll know.
When you have and hold a need,
harken not to others greed.
With a fool no season spend
or be counted as his friend.
Merry Meet and Merry Part
bright the cheeks and warm the heart.
Mind the Three-fold Laws you should
three times bad and three times good.
When misfortune is enow
wear the star upon your brow.
Be true in love this you must do
unless your love is false to you.
These Eight words the Rede fulfill:
"An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will"
Sunday, May 02, 2010
– Stephen Graham
Saturday, May 01, 2010
Big Leaf Moon ~Mohawk
Blossom Moon ~Anishnaabe
Bright Moon ~Celtic
Corn Planting Moon ~Taos, Algonquin
Corn Weed Moon ~Agonquin
Dyad Moon ~other
Fat Horses Moon ~Cheyenne
Field Maker Moon ~Abernaki
Flower Moon ~other
Frog Moon ~Cree
Frogs Return Moon ~other
Grass Moon ~Neo Pagan
Green Leaf Moon ~Apache
Green Leaves Moon ~Dakota
Hare Moon ~Medieval English
Hoeing Corn Moon ~Winnebago
Idle Moon ~Assiniboine
Joy Moon ~other
Leaf Tender Moon ~San Juan
Little Corn Moon ~Natchez
Merry Moon ~other
Milk Moon ~Colonial American, Algonquin
Mothers Moon ~Janic (full)
Mulberry Moon ~Greek
Ninth Moon ~Wishram, Janic (dark)
Panther Moon ~Choctaw
Planting Moon ~Cherokee
Ponies Shed Moon ~Sioux
Shaggy Hair Moon ~Arapaho
Sproutkale Moon ~other
Strawberry Moon ~Potawatomi
Waiting Moon ~Hopi
May is the time of fertility and new beginnings after a long winter. The Faeries are afoot! They dance in the hills and roll in the grass, reveling in the joy of warm May breezes. Our spirits are high with the lust and heartiness of spring. New life is stirring and appetites are keen.
Beltane is the time when fairies return from their winter rest, carefree and full of mischief and delight. On the night before Beltane, in times past, folks would place rowan branches at their windows and doors for protection. If you do not wish the fairies to visit, do the same! This is also a perfect time for night or predawn rituals to draw down power to promote fertility in body and mind.
At Beltane, the Pleiades star cluster rises just before sunrise on the morning horizon. The Pleiades is known as the seven sisters, and resembles a tiny dipper-shaped pattern of six moderately bright stars in the constellation of Taurus, near the shoulder. Watch for it low in the east-northeast sky, just a few minutes before sunrise.
There are many lovely old customs associated with this time. Here are some simple ideas for celebrating this wild red time of year:
- Make a garland or wreath of freshly picked flowers and wear it in your hair.
- Dress in bright colors, especially hot pink or crimson, the traditional colors of Beltane, or wear green all day (and nothing all night!)
- Hang fruits and baked goodies from trees and bushes for later feasting
- Build a Beltane fire: leap over it to cleanse yourself, or state your desires and let the fire carry them upward
- Leap over your garden rows (or house plants), sharing joyous energy
- Make a 'May gad': peel a willow-wand and twine cowslips or other flowers around it
- Throw a May Day party and feast on May wine and food till the dawn. Turn a broomstick into a maypole and see how many people you can get to dance round it.
- Make love in the woods, in your garden, outside - at night.
- Watch the sunrise. Pack a picnic breakfast, a blanket, and some sweaters; and head out before dawn. Unpack your picnic on a hill with an unobstructed view and enjoy the early morning rays as the sun peaks over the horizon.
- Make a flower feast! Freeze edible flowers in your ice cubes. Add edible flowers to your salad. Candy flowers to decorate your dessert.
- Make a May basket. Fill it with flowers, food, ribbons, and fun. Leave it on a doorstep of a lover or friend, or someone who cannot get outside, such as an invalid or elderly person.
- Make a daisy chain and cast it into one of the lakes to please the water spirits
- Rise at dawn on May Day and wash in the morning dew: The woman who washes her face in it will be beautiful, the man who washes his hands will be skilled at knots and nets (always a useful skill for students).
- Twist a Rowan sprig into a ring and look through it- tonight is one of the three in the year when the uninitiated can see the faeries.
- Create a May Day altar with a mirror, a small maypole, a phallic shaped candle, a daisy chain and springtime flowers.
- Light a fire or candle on the top of a hill and make a wish as you jump over it (for authenticity, you can try this sky clad, it would also be amusing for any passing late-night dog walkers!)
- Perfume your house with delicate scent of woodruff, a tiny, star-like flower that blooms around this time in the Northern Hemisphere.
- Embrace the ones you love. Hugs and kisses all around.
Make an offering of a floral crown, or a libation of honey and milk, to the Queen of the May during your Beltane prayers.
on the ash and oak and hawthorn trees.
Magic rises around us in the forest
and the hedges are filled with laughter and love.
Dear lady, we offer you a gift,
a gathering of flowers picked by our hands,
woven into the circle of endless life.
The bright colors of nature herself
blend together to honor you,
Queen of spring,
as we give you honor this day.
Spring is here and the land is fertile,
ready to offer up gifts in your name.
we pay you tribute, our lady,
daughter of the Fae,
and ask your blessing this Beltane.
Bless, O threefold true and bountiful,
Myself, my spouse, my children.
Bless everything within my dwelling and in my possession,
Bless the kine and crops, the flocks and corn,
From Samhain Eve to Beltane Eve,
With goodly progress and gentle blessing,
From sea to sea, and every river mouth,
From wave to wave, and base of waterfall.
Be the Maiden, Mother, and Crone,
Taking possession of all to me belonging.
Be the Horned God, the Wild Spirit of the Forest,
Protecting me in truth and honor.
Satisfy my soul and shield my loved ones,
Blessing every thing and every one,
All my land and my surroundings.
Great gods who create and bring life to all,
I ask for your blessings on this day of fire.
Invite a group of friends, and ask each one to bring a 2 inch by 20 foot length of brightly colored ribbon (or whatever the length of your pole). Alternatively, you could provide ribbons of various colors. At the top of the pole affix the different colored ribbons - one for each person.
When your guests have assembled, have them each choose a ribbon and make a wish upon it.(For example, "I choose this red ribbon for more passion in my life.") Everyone grabs their ribbon, and the dancing begins. (Make sure to have extra ribbons just in case!) Dance around the Maypole entwining your ribbons together. And then feast on May wine and food till the dawn.
- 1 bottle white wine
The day before serving: make four dozen ice cubes by placing rose petals in the compartments before adding water. Freeze until solid.
Hull and wash the strawberries. Slice. Mix peaches and strawberries. Add sugar and rum. Marinate overnight.
An hour before serving: Strain woodruff out of wine and discard leaves. Mix champagne, all remaining wine, lemon-lime soda, and fruit in a large bowl. Stir.
Add ice cubes 15 minutes before serving. Serves 20.