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Archive for the ‘Sabbat’ Category

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Many Blessings for a Happy New Year!

I like to begin the year in review of the basic tools and teachings that have served as my foundations as I have progressed along my spiritual path. I usually go back and look in review at some of the staple teachings and simplify my workings  for a few weeks. This provides the space to assess and refine how I will use those foundational tools for the upcoming year. It also gives me the opportunity to re-engage my enthusiasm and see from fresh perspective the work that fed my curiosity and thirst for understanding at the start.

When I was performing as a professional classical ballerina, I never hesitated to take an intermediate class so I could focus on the execution on the technique and revisit these steps anew.  This served me well when those same steps became more intricate and ultimately the language of expression used in a complex piece of choreography.  This approach allowed me to place the technical approach aside and blend fully with the music and the expression. This is the same goal of working magick and spiritual practice.  To become entwined and intrinsically the magick you are working.

In 2010 I wrote an on-line course of study designed to take the participant through a Year and a Day of Learning and practice of the Craft of the Wise. Each year, I review it myself (yeah, I know sounds strange since I wrote it. LOL!); but going back and looking at what your perceptions and level of understanding were at a given point in your development is an amazing tool for assessing how far you have come and what needs deeper exploration.  So, in that spirit and in keeping with a fresh start to the New Year, I’ve posted the link to the course below and the full version of the Wiccan Rede for contemplation and reminder of the simplicity and beauty of this path.

The Wiccan Rede
Full Version

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 its 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”

There is no sign-up or fee to participate. The goal was to offer a month to each section, but as you will see, all of the material is accessible at any time. I welcome comments and suggestions for improvement. Enjoy!

A Year and A Day on the Wiccan Path

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The Promise

Move slowly and
speak not a word
And we may catch
a glimpse of HIM yet.

The night is dark
but I have seen the
icy thread of HER cloak.
Crystal blue eyes and
hair black as the midnight sky
grace a face of pale beauty
poised on a body that is tall and lithe.

She has etched the night sky with
fingers long and fair painting starlight and
holding the breath of new dawn
in HER hands’ cupped embrace.
SHE has embraced the world
in the longest of nights.
HER Promise held deep within.

The forest is hushed and white with snow.
Ice crystals glisten round and all of life
patiently holds strong in stillness
and pause with anticipation of
newly born hope and renewal.

We watch and wait in silence.
The cold penetrating and deep
in its reminder that we are vibrant, alive, aware.
It is for us that this night returns as the
Wheel comes to rest in imbalance.
It is our yearning that calls us from our
warmth and comfort to offer up
adoration and honor to the Light that
sustains and answers with flame.

We watch and wait.
The time is almost near
and our hearts beat in excitement,
attuned to the cycles that are eternal.
Stillness hangs heavy .
Softly, softly…

Crimson lips gently part and
SHE breathes an exhale of gentle release
as sun light stretches from its inner sleep.
The fiery fingers of new child’s grasp
reaching out to experience, explore
and warm all within its reach.
The returning Light of the Solstice
cries out anew, its sounds inaudible
to all but those who have silently
waited in the darkness.

The Mother of Winter’s long cold night
has called forth Her Child as the world
awakens to the Promise of HIS return.

Yule is just around the corner and I have decided to continue as a personal Tradition a posting that was offered last year at Yule.  I made a promise at 2012 Yule to allow more space for rest in the coming year and to listen more deeply to those who I hold dear.  The year took off  like a rocket and the space for rest quickly was overtaken by needs, requests and obligations.  I remembered my promise made to myself and although the quantity of time may not have been present the time I was able to carve out, I spent unplugged and nestled into relaxation and comfort’s embrace.

I did try to listen more deeply to the heart’s call of those I love and although I was not as patient as I could have been at times, the difference was in my recognizing the spaces where deeper listening and connection were needed. And, so I listened to my own heart telling me where to soften and be more gentle with my response.

The promise I make to myself this Yule is to allow myself self-forgiveness for those areas that I need work on but am trying to change.  I promise I will be gentler and kinder to myself and in so doing find the space of gentleness and deeper kindness for others.  I promise myself the space of surrender to cry and allow those tears to heal me.  I promise to look towards the light and embrace the wisdom of the dark.

Blessed Yule !

Image: Bankoboev.Russia. Aurora Borealis

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Today is November 1st- All Soul’s Day.  The veils between the worlds of the living and the dead are thinning and we have greater access to our ancestors and loved ones who have passed.  This month has been extraordinarily dense for me this year.  Not only in the amount of work expected, but in the general feeling of the pervasiveness of the atmosphere and energy surrounding.  Now this would not normally be unusual given the season of the year and the opening of the veils, but, this year seems different.  The thinning seemed to begin much earlier and the heaviness of death and whispers of those wishing to be heard by the living once again seems to be deafening at times.

The other point in the year where these veils are thinnest occurs at Beltane.  There is a lightness about that opening heralded in the anticipation and promise of new life crossing into the physical realms brought forth by the quickening and fecundity of what is waiting to burst forth.  The opening of Samhain speaks of loss and the anticipation of opportunity to reconnect to those who have passed in this or previous years. It is a bittersweet sadness that colors the celebration of lives well lived and although it is palpable, thick and dense, the density is one of being wrapped in a heavy warm cloak.

In contrast, the density of this year seems more to be that of unfinished business and the extra weight of what needs to be said; to be heard and to asked. Many I have spoken with agree that this year they are very much in need of the wisdom gifted by their chosen ancestor(s) and those answers to deep and painful questions loom large in the foreground in determining what kind of action will carry them forward  and out of what has been a challenging year for many.

Although, October 31st is the recognized Sabbat for most, the true and astronomical date of Samhain generally occurs somewhere around November 6–9th. This accounts for the lingering aftermath of ancestral energy beyond the Oct. 31st celebrations.  This year the date is November 7th a few days following a potent New Moon in Scorpio and unusual hybrid Solar Eclipse.  So, the astrological energy will be ripe with challenge and potential and Scorpio’s energy will enhance the deep seeking within ourselves and the answers sought out from our Ancestors.

Each year has been different in what I have needed; some years only needing to honor and not to ask. My needs this year are much the same as my friends and the heaviness I have been feeling is as much of my own making as that of the opening of the veils. I set into motion my intent for reaching out to my ancestors last night, drawing on the collective energy that this particular night holds.  Each night I will light the candles on my ancestral altar, paving the way for our meeting.  Each night I will offer up the questions I have and leave offerings of my love and respect for what they gifted in life and what I request from them now.  And, finally on November 7th I will do ritual, celebrate and sit, listening for the answers I seek.

This is my intent as the veils thin and I am reminded of my place in the cycle of life and death, for each must be honored and in those times of union when the two become as one the deeper wisdoms of each may be shared freely in perfect love and perfect trust.

May your Samhain be blessed and fruitful in your intent!

Resources:

If you would like to use a pathworking of meeting the ancestors, please read Parting the Veils and Opening to Ancestral Wisdom on WitchVox. And, a great tool for finding out the true dates of the Solstices, Equinoxes & Cross-Quarters is the Archeoastronomy Site.

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Please enjoy the article, poem and suggested personal ritual from my post on WitchVox this week.

 

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Many celebrate the Summer Solstice with the story of the Oak King and Holly King. The Oak King having been crowned at the Winter Solstice is filled to bursting with the energy and power of solar energy and light; and it is He who draws the sacred seasons toward the bounty of Summer’s fullness. The Holly King has lain silently in his space of renewed slumber and HE waits to rise again at the time of the Summer Solstice. On the sacred day of the Solstice, the Holly King emerges to claim his own and triumphant in the battle for dominance with his brother now reigns as the keeper of death and rebirth. HE stands in command as the harvest is reaped and the silence of the cold and snows fall upon the lands. HE knows that he will only have half of the year to weave His magick before the battle ensues once again and the world will bow to his brother, the Mighty Oak. They are one and the same but each work their will wearing the appropriate face and archetypal energy in accord with the ebb and flow of the seasons, the expansion and contraction of the energetic state and the necessary demise of one so the other may reign supreme.  

Read more at WitchVox

Midsummer calls to you saying
Awaken and revel in the day as
My light stretches long and bright
Before night crowds greedily in.

Draw back the curtains that
Shroud the hidden spaces
Of your mind and heart.

Midsummer’s sun will light
The way before retreat into the dark…..

The accompanying poem can be found here

Blessings of the Solstice!

 

 

 

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