Monthly Archives: July 2010



Blessed Lughasadh

The beginning of August signals the first harvest of the season. Lammas is sacred to the Celtic Sun God Lugh, the man of many skills or jack of all trades. It is a time to enjoy the first fruits of the labors begun at Imbolc.

The first harvest is a special time for celebrations, for traditional games and efforts, and friendly competition. Spend time with friends and family while reaping what you sowed under the warmth of the lingering Summer Sun.

Harvesting is a time of gathering and reflecting on one’s own skills and the culmination of efforts. Lammas is also a time of cutting back on, or sacrificing. What do you need to sacrifice in order to gain?

Prepare your favorite cornbread recipe. Shape the loaf like a man, in the image of the sun god Lugh. Bake it, slice off the head ( a symbol of sacrifice), share it and eat it to signify the duality of a bountiful harvest and the need for sacrifice.

Make corn dolls and get an empty horn of plenty and fill it up with dried seeds, dried orange rinds, or corn and wheat to symbolize the early harvest season bounty. Simmer cider and mead and enjoy with fresh baked bread. Bake apple pie or applesauce. Decorate your altar and kitchen space and say a meaningful prayer to the Goddess and God for them sharing their first fruits with you

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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Full Moon


Merry Meet All,

Soon the Full Moon will be upon us. It is a special full moon, glowing luminously over the waters of the oceans affected by the moon’s ceaseless pull. Nature is in the time between the arrival of the first early harvest of what gardeners and farmers have worked hard for and the last lingering strands of summer. It is known as Blessing Moon to the Dakota Sioux.

I have dried some Wormwood, or Silver Mound Artemisia, from my garden to dry in the time for my Full Moon Ritual. I will use it as incense to burn in my magickal cauldron. I hope you all find a special way to celebrate the Full Moon and honor your first harvest of grains or flowers or herbs from your gardens.

Lammas is a week away. The Wheel of the Year turns again, bringing us to Lammas, the first of the harvest seasons. Following Lammas, is Mabon then Samhain. It is hard to believe that Samhain is 100 days away. I feel the first stirrings of autumn upon us. I see the spiders weaving their webs, plants getting settled or newly blooming, and the times of the sunsets changing.

Blessed Be to all
Enjoy the Full Moon

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Update

Merry Meet All,

It has been raining hard the last few days. I liked it in one sense for the cleansing properties but now I eagerly await the return of sunshine. Remember the heat wave? I do..

I am going to discuss rocks and crystals in our gardens. This applies to those who even grow plants indoors as well as outdoors. This has been on my mind lately and I would love to share my thoughts with you on this subject.

I live up Chocolate Lake. I had an interesting experience a while ago. I have to climb up a steep hill to get to my apartment. For a part of the winter, every time I passed a specific spot, I saw a rock. I sensed the rock wanted me to pick it up and take it to my garden which was a long distance away, but I ignored it. Time went by. Each time I passed, the rock called to me. I ignored the rock, fearing I would be accused of stealing. More time passed. I ignored the rock till finally I took the rock to my garden and it is happily settled there now, as a border to my garden.

What came to my mind was why this particular rock was so significant. A few things came to my mind. I recall reading something once not too long ago about energy fields. A huge energy field covers the earth, our bodies, our plants. Energy is everywhere. I read then about the extension of the energy fields. Our auras extend farther than we think. I read that a cat’s energies could fill an entire arena. That is what stuck in my mind. So perhaps that is why I felt so compelled to pick up that rock to take it to my garden. Its energies extended outward and I received the sense to pick it up.

I am also about to experiment with using clear quartz crystals in my garden. The crystals could heal and encourage positive strong growth in my garden and potentially make my plants grow even better. I can’t wait to try this. I would also like to do reiki in my garden. That makes flowers or vegetables grow much much better and bigger. The possibilities are endless and I encourage all to try or experiment with whatever they are curious about to see what works.

Rocks and crystals are elements of earth and are born of the earth. It makes sense that they could heal the earth and replenish where strength, healing and energy is required for positive growth. I can’t wait to collect five clear quartz crystals for my garden and put them in my garden. One will go in the center of my garden and the other four will be placed in the four quarters or corners.

Research first what type of crystal would be appropriate for your garden. Do not put in something that would hinder growth. I hope you find success and enjoyment with this, if you choose to do so.

For more information on this subject, go to http://www.ehow.com/how_6172862_use-quartz-crystals-gardening.html

I put six clear quartz crystals in my garden. At first, I had the idea to use just five. In my garden circle, I placed one in the center of the garden, and the remaining four at the cardinal quarter points. The next day, I was happy to notice that my plants appeared to be stronger and look better than they did before I put in the crystals. I added a sixth crystal to my garden closest to the wall of the house. I intuitively sensed which areas needed healing from crystal energy the most. Tomorrow I will check my garden and see if I can spot a difference there too.

Clear quartz crystals are hardworking crystals. They are batteries of energy. It should be no small surprise that my mallow, tomato plants and the other plants appear much more healthy and sturdy.

I look forward to reading about your own experiments. You could use another crystal in your garden if you so choose.

I added two green moss agate crystals to my tomato plants. The season is hot yet Lammas is near. I hope to see tomatoes growing happily on the plants. I read that moss agate has always been known as the ‘gardener’s stone’. Well if I get lovely sun ripened tomatoes fresh from the vine this year, as I did last year, I will be ecstatic. I am also growing onions. Small stems have sprouted up from the earth. I had to mulch to protect the plants as the slugs and snails and perhaps a few other culprit insects are greedily munching on my plants. Grrrrrrrr!! I added coffee, pinecones and egg shells to my garden. Slugs hate coffee but earthworms love it. Slugs are also deterred by pinecones, which are too sharp for their bodies. Egg shells add nitrogen to the soil.

I’m currently reading a fascinating book! “Plant Spirit Healing‘ by Pam Montgomery. THe title is misleading. The book tells how plants heal us, not the other way around, which I believe to be true. It does not ever hurt to send love to a plant. MY Bay Laurel was wilting. I thought it needed water. The leaves bounced back and the same thing the next day. I moved the plant to a new spot just inches away from where it originally was, slightly out of the hot eye of the sun. Bay Laurel hasn’t wilted and seems to be fine. This is an example of how plants can communicate with us. I believe that wholeheartedly. We have to pay attention to our plants’ needs. Love grows like the plant leaves.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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Faery Magic

Merry Meet All,

I hope you all don’t have trouble finding this site. I have revamped my blog page and hope you find it as interesting as its predecessor.

Summer is a magical time of year. It follows summer and precedes fall. Plants grow and bloom. Bees collect nectar and spiders patiently repair webs. Personally, I am always amazed by the tireless efforts of bees and spiders. Bees begin their busy day of sipping nectar or pollen at 6 a.m., and even nap in flowers. It makes me wish I was that small. Imagine the beautiful scents they smell and the textures of the insides of all the flowers they visit. I am happy to have attracted bees to my garden because they are endangered. We depend on bees more than we can admit. I recently set a mushroom ornament in my garden to attract fairies. If they like it, I haven’t seen one on it yet but I do see the bees.

The plants that grow in our gardens have benefits to our health. I recently discovered that flaxseed tea helped to soothe a sore throat and aid in healing a cough. Organic flaxseed tea, steeped with lemon and honey, aids in relieving one of a persistent cough. It truly works. I have tried it and I know it works. It does not completely cure the cough instantly but may be more healthy and affordable than a small pack of Halls cough drops. I admit to using the cough drops, but now that I have tried flaxseed tea, I am sure there is no comparison.

I purchased a wonderful oracle deck recently. The Enchanted Faerie Oracle It comes with a book and a silver organza bag and a wee faerie pendulum necklace. Jessica Galbreth, whose faery art is on this blog, is an extraordinary artist. There are 36 cards in the deck in total. I have used the cards for a reading for myself lately and they proved to be VERY accurate. The cards are all beautifully illustrated and there is an explanatory message at the bottom of each card. For instance, Silver moon fairy is written at the bottom of the card and that tells what card that is. On the card, there is a picture of the Sliver Moon Fairy. The book will explain the meaning of the card. The reader can interpret their own idea of what that person thinks of the card. Our impressions are usually quite accurate. We should learn to trust them. Trusting our own impressions is a great way to get to know the cards and flex our intuition muscle. If you feel drawn to a card or a message or a deck, trust your feelings to guide you. You are being guided and given a message. All of the cards are wonderfu. There are spells and enchantments to try as well with the cards and pendulum. Let some faery magick enchant you!!

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Candle Magick

Merry Meet All,

Candle Magick is fun, exciting and with the right steps, can be magickally potent. To add some potency to your spells and rites, or to prepare for Samhain, which is four and a half months away, follow these steps;

Add color to your magickal workings.

White is obvious, being of purity and spirituality. If you have no other candle color, then white is a safe choice. Make a ring of white daisies or white roses around the candle. Anoint with an oil of your choice. Send healing or burn to attract some positive energy into your altar area. Add clear quartz or moonstone for more effect.

Silver lends itself to mysterious lunar magick. Anoint with sandalwood and use the coconut herb.

Gold could be associated with the sun. Invoke Ra or Apollo. Anoint with Frankincense and use clove herbs with it or chamomile.

Purple can be associated with regality and royalty and deeper spirituality. Gather some purple flowers and ring around your candle. Sprinkle lilacs or mugwort around the candle at the base. Anoint with frankincense, or jasmine essential oil. The herb to use is oak.

Pink candles lend well to love and matters of the heart. Pink candles can be burned for healing purposes. Anoint with rose essential oil and use myrtle.

Violet is for spiritual inspiration. Again, use for healing or inspiration. Anoint with lavender essential oil and use valerian herbs.

Indigo candles are good for sleep, fears and spirituality. You can correspond a candle with a certain chakra. Indigo is a candle for the third eye or crown chakra. Anoint with cypress oil and use parsley herb.

Blue candles are good for healing, emotions, water, and intuition. Anoint with jasmine oil and burn sandalwood incense.

Green candles are best for harmony, earth and friendships. Use patchouli oil or thyme oil and vervain herb.

Yellow candles are associated with intellect, air, the east and change. Anoint with lavender oil and the dill herb.

Orange candles rev up creativity and success. Anoint the candle with cinnamon or clove essential oil and ring the candle with marigold or sunflower flowers.

Red candles are for energy, willpower, ambition and protection. Coriander oil would be ideal and bay leaf herbs.

Use your intuition when working your candle magick. Make notes of what worked so you can remember for future spells and rites. Time your sabbats, esbats and rituals with the lunar and solar calendar. Keep a journal of what you did and when to use in the future. Read lots of books to gain more knowledge of how to do candle magick. Best of luck with your magick!! Blessed Be
about a week ago · Delete Post
Also, opt for soy or beeswax candles rather than the lead candles. They burn clearer, help the endangered bees and are better for your lungs.

The color of the candle and the herbs and oils can be a potent blend. Add the energy of the candle to it and you have a spellbound night ahead of you. Watch the way the flame moves. That can tell you about the energies present in the room, the energy of the candle itself, and whether the candle is steady or flickers lots also offers clues. To tell if the room you are in is well balanced, if the flame is steady and strong, that tells you. If the flame dances a lot, a spirit may be present. If the flame grows strong within seconds, the candle is releasing energy too soon and was pent up.

A candle that burns very high could mean that the wick needs to be trimmed or need to release energy. To maintain or bind energies into a candle, extinguish with a candle snuffer. To send energies into the Universe, blow out the candle with your breath. Use safety when burning candles.

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Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice

Merry Meet All,

June 20-21 is a very important day for our planet and its relationship with the sun. June 20-21 is one of two solstices, days when the rays of the sun directly strike one of the two tropical latitude lines. June 21 marks the beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere and simultaneously heralds the beginning of winter in the southern hemisphere. In 2010, the solstice occurs and summer begins in the Northern Hemisphere summer begins early on June 21, at 7:28 a.m. EDT (11:28 UTC1).
The earth spins around its axis, an imaginary line going right through the planet between the north and south poles. The axis is tilted somewhat off the plane of the earth’s revolution around the sun. The tilt of the axis is 23.5 degrees; thanks to this tilt, we enjoy the four seasons. For several months of the year, one half of the earth receives more direct rays of the sun than the other half.

When the axis tilts towards the sun, as it does between June and September, it is summer in the northern hemisphere but winter in the southern hemisphere. Alternatively, when the axis points away from the sun from December to March, the southern hemisphere enjoys the direct rays of the sun during their summer months.

June 21 is called the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere and simultaneously the winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. Around December 21 the solstices are reversed and winter begins in the northern hemisphere.

On June 21, there are 24 hours of daylight north of the Arctic Circle (66.5° north of the equator) and 24 hours of darkness south of the Antarctic Circle (66.5° south of the equator). The sun’s rays are directly overhead along the Tropic of Cancer (the latitude line at 23.5° north, passing through Mexico, Saharan Africa, and India) on June 21.

Without the tilt of the earth’s axis, we would have no seasons. The sun’s rays would be directly overhead of the equator all year long. Only a slight change would occur as the earth makes its slightly elliptical orbit around the sun. The earth is furthest from the sun about July 3; this point is known as the aphelion and the earth is 94,555,000 miles away from the sun. The perihelion takes place about January 4 when the earth is a mere 91,445,000 miles from the sun.

When summer occurs in a hemisphere, it is due to that hemisphere receiving more direct rays of the sun than the opposite hemisphere where it is winter. In winter, the sun’s energy hits the earth at oblique angles and is thus less concentrated.

During spring and fall, the earth’s axis is pointing sideways so both hemispheres have moderate weather and the rays of the sun are directly overhead the equator. Between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn (23.5° latitude south) there really are no seasons as the sun is never very low in the sky so it stays warm and humid (“tropical”) year-round. Only those people in the upper latitudes north and south of the tropics experience seasons.

(borrowed from about.com, summer solstice_)

It’s Litha!, and that means the sun is at its highest point in the sky. Midsummer is the time when we can celebrate the growing of crops, and take heart in knowing that the seeds we planted in the spring are now in full bloom. It’s a time of celebrating the sun, and spending as much time as you can outdoors. Try to set up your Midsummer altar outside if at all possible. If you can’t, that’s okay — but try to find a spot near a window where the sun will shine in and brighten your altar setup with its rays.

Colors of the Season

This sabbat is all about the sun celebration, so think of solar colors. Yellows, oranges, fiery reds and golds are all appropriate this time of year. Use candles in bright sunny colors, or cover your altar with cloths that represent the solar aspect of the season.

Solar Symbols

Litha is when the sun is at its highest point above us. In some traditions, the sun rolls across the sky like a great wheel – consider using pinwheels or some other disc to represent the sun. Circles and discs are the most basic sun symbol of all, and are seen as far back as the tombs of ancient Egypt. Use equal-armed crosses, such as the Brighid’s Cross2, or even the swastika – remember, it was originally a good luck symbol to both the Hindus and Scandinavians before it became associated with the Nazis.

A Time of Light and Dark

The solstice is also a time seen as a battle between light and dark. Although the sun is strong now, in just six months the days will be short again. Much like the battle between the Oak King and the Holly King3, light and dark must battle for supremacy. At this sabbat, light wins. Decorate your altar with symbols of the triumph of light over darkness – and that includes using other opposites, such as fire and water, night and day, etc.

Other Symbols of Litha

Midsummer fruits and vegetables from your garden
Gods Eyes in sunny colors
Sunflowers, roses
Oak trees and acorns
Sandalwood, saffron, frankincense, laurel

(About.com).

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Differences

We all come from different paths, cultures, backgrounds, walks of life, etc. That is what makes us unique and special. We may speak in different tongues yet I believe our hearts all beat as one. We may all have very different ideas of religion and spirituality.

I grew up near a Buddhist colony in Pleasant Bay, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. It is called Gampo Abbey. It was not my first exposure to religion and spirituality, but it left a huge impression on me. I had attended Sunday school as a child. Now, I am a follower of Wicca and find that resonates with me the most deeply.

We all have our own god/ goddess/ deity we revere or honor. It is crucial to remember that at even the most difficult times, we have to respect each other’s differences. That is where we grow and where we are the strongest. Some people like Buddha, some like Christianity. Whatever works for you. As long as people can be courteous of the deity we honor in our own way, then peace is established. I speak from recent experience.

BB
Spiderwitch

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Sensitive Souls and Learning Disabilities

Sensitive Psychic Souls and Learning Disabilities

People who are psychically sensitive are often erroneously diagnosed with learning disabilities or other forms of illness. They are simply sensitive souls that have a natural psychic ability. Psychic ability is inherent in everyone. It is a natural talent that when developed properly, leads to a better self-awareness and enhanced sixth sense. It is as normal as our other five senses. Some people are not aware of their sixth sense, some are aware and don’t develop it to its full extent. Some develop it fully and flourish. They are all usually known as sensitives, psychics or mediums.
A person can have a learning disability and psychic or mediumistic abilities simultaneously. We are all psychic or intuitive to a degree. There are a significant percentage of children with learning disabilities in America today. It may be harder to calculate how many of those children have psychic abilities.
The term psychic is used to describe all the metaphysical abilities: intuitive, psychic and mediumistic. Intuition is defined as knowing something without outside knowledge. It is a subtle way of reaching into energy fields unconsciously to know information. Children are strongly tied to this ability as their talents are highly tuned.
Psychic is the next level of development beyond intuition. It is an awareness of intuitive information and eagerness to work with it. They can access magnetic energy from human fields and energy fields, known as auras. Psychics connect by sensing energy fields and the life energies of the past lives of people.
Mediums channel through spirit and a lighter frequency than the earth plane. Mediumship is an awareness of the vibrations of spirit beings and receiving messages from them. It is the communication of a deceased loved one through a conduit-the medium. The purpose of sending the messages from spirit to a loved one is to offer a comfort to the loved one. A medium connects to the crown chakra (or seventh energy level) at the top of the head; a connection is made to the higher plane of existence.
Some young children who display their talents at a young age are taught to shun their gifts by society, schools, and parents. Unfortunately, in today’s society, it is still viewed negatively. It cannot be defined in the science world. There is a growing number of psychically gifted youth and adults emerging today. However, tradition or science still frowns on those blessed with an above average psychic gift. One person I know had a six-year battle with a doctor to get her daughter off the prescribed medications for treatment for a supposed mental illness. The girl had nothing wrong with her. She had simply inherited her mother’s psychic abilities. This is an indication of the way that psychic ability is viewed so negatively in the health or science world. It is a natural ability that can be developed much like a muscle can be strengthened.
Often psychic ability is viewed as strange or that there is something mentally wrong with the person. To some doctors, it is viewed critically and regarded with suspicion. Sadly, this means that those gifted with psychic abilities are often given medications that are unnecessary and expensive. Parents send their children to the nurse’s room in schools to give them their daily dose of Ritalin. The children develop addictions to other worse drugs. The drugs are used as a type of ‘control’ over the child, which significantly diminishes their behaviour or energy levels and psychic abilities. Six million children take Ritalin in schools today in America.
There are classes that an individual can participate in. Workshops and psychic fairs offer an opportunity for people to meet other like-minded people. This bolsters one’s confidence in one’s own talents. The support system also leads to friendships, networks and opportunities to do psychic readings at fairs.
Being a sensitive psychic soul requires practice and positive self-care. Epsom salts clear the aura and etheric body of any negativity. The etheric body is made up of Chi and forms a structure of meridians throughout the body. These meridians run through all the major organs, glands, nerves and energy centers. This system of etheric energy permeates the physical body, supporting and sustaining it. Plants and animals have an etheric body. The etheric body feeds the physical body with energy which is vital to its survival.
Rock salt candles release negative ions in the air, purifying the air. Candles, like tea lights, can soothe the mind and spirit. Herbal teas can also be relaxing. Essential oils can fragrance a room when burned in oil burners or added to a hot bath. These items are available at most health and wellness stores, farmers markets and psychic fairs and are relatively inexpensive. Meditation also aids in reaching higher awareness and improving one’s gifts.
Lavender and chamomile are gentle herbs and oils that soothe when the world is overwhelming. Often, psychics feel bombarded by the manic media and world issues on our planet today. They require some quiet time to regroup and meditate, until they feel refreshed.
Crystals can play a role in aiding a person’s psychic abilities. Clear quartz is a crystal of power and it is like a battery for spiritual communication, healing, protection and balancing. Rose quartz is a healing gentle crystal. Smoky quartz is grounding and protective. Hematite is protective, and aligns the spiritual world with the physical. Amethyst is purple quartz and is a healing and calming stone.
There is a current phenomenon occurring in our world today. There is a new type of child, known as the Indigo child that is a good example of a child misdiagnosed with a learning disability. Not all children with learning disabilities are Indigo children and not all Indigo children have learning disabilities. The Indigo child is special and unique. It is highly common that Indigo children are gifted with above average psychic gifts. “An Indigo child is one who displays a new and unusual set of psychological attributes and shows a pattern of behaviour generally undocumented before.” (Nicole Humphrey). Even autistic or young or older people classified as having Aspergers are diagnosed with that instead of the doctor looking at the psychic gifts they possess. People believe these children have higher levels of spiritual consciousness and awareness.
Characteristics of an Indigo child:
Very intelligent
feel greatly misunderstood by their family
Very creative and enjoy making things
Always want to know WHY
hate repetitive work
are rebellious in school
experience depression
hate service-oriented jobs
prefer to be a leader or work alone
are empathic
can cry at the drop of a hat
may have trouble with Rage
have trouble with systems
feel alienated
frustrated with American dream
have a burning desire to change the world
have psychic or spiritual experiences at young age
have strong intuition
may have ADD
have psychic experiences, seeing angels, ghosts, OBE
awareness of other dimensions and parallel realities
are very sexually expressive
seek meaning in life
73% have learning disabilities
Indigo children have a sense of a ‘deserving to be here’ and are confused when others don’t share that. They have high self-esteem and confidence. Indigo children have issues with authority and get easily bored or frustrated by ritual-oriented boring mundane systems or tasks. They try to do the tasks but always want to know ‘why’. They get frustrated with rigid systems and are known as the rebellious ones. Sometimes, Indigo children are seen as ‘loners’, and have difficulty in relations with other children in schools. They relate better with their own kind.
Indigo children can show new and better ways of doing things, if teachers and parents take the time and patience to listen. If they don’t listen to or ignore the child, the child will get frustrated. They are highly creative and intelligent.
The signs that a child may be an Indigo child are as follows: The reading or study of a child’s aura should indicate an indigo color or shade. The aura is composed of many colors. Indigo is the color for a higher spiritual awareness. The aura is the energy field that emanates from a person or object. Everyone has an aura. An Indigo child’s aura would show indigo color in their aura.
Kirlian photography is a type of photography that can scan the aura. It takes a picture of the energy field around the human body, but not the human body itself. It was discovered in 1939 by Semyon Kirlian in Russia. The hand is placed on a machine that gently reads the reflexology points of the hand. From that, the computer supplies three graphs that reveal the levels of stress in a person’s body, the level of harmony of the chakras and a person’s emotional and spiritual wellbeing.
This shows a need for compassion and patience in our world today. Let the children take the reins and show new and better ways of doing things. Fortunately, with the advances in medicine and a slow acceptance of psychic and mediumistic abilities, the future for these gifted children appears brighter. Helping children develop their psychic or mediumistic abilities combined with helping them with their learning disabilities in a nurturing and positive manner can bring out the best in a child. This will help them lead fuller, productive lives. This would erase the need for a drug or form of control.

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Fires of Beltaine

Fire: the spark of life, the flame of inspiration, and the source of divine warmth for humanity. Since the dawn of time, bonfires have been an honored tradition for special celebrations and ensuring the security of crops and food.
The word bonfire derives from Middle English, “banefire,” or “fire of bones,” and from late Middle English, as “bonefire,” i.e., using bones for fuel. It also has a Celtic origin: the word “banefire” evolved into the word bonfire over time.
Druids, pagans and ancient Celts collected bones gathered from animal hunts throughout the year to burn in large fires to ward away evil spirits that could impede the hunts of animals in the following year.
The ancient Druid priests of the Celts honored oak trees, which were regarded as sacred. Huge bonfires of oak branches were lit on hilltops to give strength to the sun god Bel to bless their fields with bountiful crops. The Druids worshipped Bel in the spring and Samhain in the fall by sacrificing crops, animals and sometimes humans. The fire built of dead animals and oak trees were known as bone fires. The bones lingered after the fires had faded. They worshipped the solar energy of the sun for its life giving forces.
Bel was the Celtic god of the sun and purification. Bel is associated with fertility, crops and success. He symbolizes the elements of fire and health. He is closely connected to the Druids. Bel is also associated with Beltane and is known as Belenus, Belinos, or Beli Maur (Wales.)
The Crone goddess Hel, from Norse Germanic culture and the daughter of Loki, was the queen of the Underworld. Odin gave Hel the Underworld to rule. She received the dead, except for those who died in battle. The realm of the underworld was a place of rebirth and regeneration. A spirit entered the cauldron of regeneration and emerged as a new person or animal. Shrines were built for Hel and shaped as uterine-like caves, associated with rebirth. The Christians later turned the cauldron of rebirth into a place of fear and torment. The symbolism of power given to women, like the goddess Hel, demonstrates their high regard for women.
The Celts held bonfires during the major Sabbats of Imbolc, Beltaine, Lammas and Samhain. Imbolc was held during the beginning of February, the first of the three spring festivals and is a time of new beginnings, when spring emerged from the snowy fields. Food was scarce and the ewes lactated milk for their young. The Celts honored the goddess Brighid by burning candles and holding bonfires if it was not too cold outside.
Wiccans, pagans, neopagans and common folk still use bonfires to honor the Sabbat of Midsummer. Bonfires were significant then because the Sun is at its strongest. They also represented the strength of love between the Goddess and God. Building bonfires involved whole communities to ensure the bonfires were well maintained and safe.
In Poittou, the townspeople participated in a bonfire ceremony. At sunset, each person brought a firewood to the square. The piled firewood was shaped like a pyramid, which the priest then solemnly lit up. The townspeople passed through a thick clump of mullein plants and walnut tree branches, which were hung above a doorframe before the dawn came. This welcomed in good new energy into their homes. When the ceremony ended, the townspeople joined hands, singing and dancing around the fire.
Samhain is the New Year according to the Celts and most other pagan traditions. In some areas of Scotland and Ireland, they observed Samhain by kindling fires on hilltops and plains. The young people knew Samhain as “Halloween Bleeze” as part of the holiday ritual. A round trench was dug that surrounded the sacred bonfires, symbolic of the sun. The young people kindled the faggot, comprised of heath, broom and flax, woven into the faggots and tied to the pole. The faggots were brought to the village to rekindle old hearths with new fires. This also ensured positive energy in the homes. If the faggot was burned out along the way, a second faggot was relit and brought to the village bonfire.
In Norway, during one of the longest days of the year, at winter solstice, they hearken to their ancestors’ ways of honoring the winter season. They strive to enjoy the darkness by lighting bonfires on the beaches. It is a magical time full of trolls, talking trees, goblins and the “little people” who enjoy playing pranks on the merry mortals. An unwary mortal enjoying the warmth of the fire may meet the huldra, a legendary beauty who lures men away into the mountains. The bonfires can be spotted from far out at sea. Even in modern times, otherworldly creatures share in the spirit of the event.
The Celts honored May Day, or Beltane, and the preceding evening known as Walpurgis Night. Beltane is one of the fire festivals that most honors the fertility power that is in all life. Both night and day were associated with witchcraft, spells and success with fertility rites. The ancient Romans marked the festival of Ceres, spirit of Earth’s bounty. The tradition was originally brought to the Isles by invading Germanic tribes.
The Beltane bonfire tradition stretches back hundreds of years. Entire communities gathered for the bonfire. Magic, music and romance was alive in the air. A popular custom was to light a fire on May Eve and allow it to burn until sundown. Once the fire was blazing, a piece of soldering wood was carried to the homes in the village, offering prosperity for the coming months.
Cows and sheep were led from the barns to graze in the fields. Two bonfires were lit and they were led between the fires. The belief was that the fires would purify the cows and sheep of any illnesses and humors and increase their fertility and health.
Some newlywed couples of the villages would leap over smaller bonfires or dance to encourage fertility for the newlyweds.
Bonfires are created in large open areas by the piling of branches of certain trees. Nine different types of wood are used for the bonfires-birch, oak, hazel, rowan, common hawthorn, willow, fir, apple and vine. Colorful ribbons wrapped around the woods decorated the bonfires.

The ancient Druids and Celts of the past shared a profound acceptance of birth, death and rebirth. Bones of animals were burned in the fires to ensure good crops. The cauldron of Hel in her underworld realm symbolized the cup of knowledge gained after being led through the veil of life and death. Fire creates, destroys and regenerates life: the continual cycle of birth, death and rebirth.
The element of Fire corresponds with the color red and the direction South. The runes used by the Norsemen were commonly painted red. Fire represents the Sun (life-giving,) ambition, inspiration and destruction of what is no longer necessary. The elemental creature of Fire is the salamander, the mythical lizard that lives within Fire. The astrological signs that are associated with Fire are Aries, Leo and Sagittarius.
Bonfires were and remain an integral part of the honoring of our ancestors’ traditions and festivals. The magic lives on with the same enthusiasm experienced by our ancestors long ago.

** From the article I wrote published in Circle Magazine.

Blessed Be
Lady Spiderwitch

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Spiritual and Psychic Development

Spiritual and Psychic Development

Since November, I have been studying with Willow in the course listed above. I have had a wonderful, life changing time. Sadly, the courses are soon to draw to a close and I will miss the weekly gatherings, the support and the spirit shared by everyone in the group. A lot can happen in six months.

I am a student in Willow’s class, Spiritual and Psychic Development, which began in November 2009 and has continued to April 2010. I did not know what to expect from the class. In that time, I have gained a lot of experience and knowledge. I have always been psychic yet it is in Willow’s classes that I finally gained a comfortable level of control of my mediumistic abilities.

I remember the morning of the second day of my Level One workshop. Leaving early for the class, I felt light as air as I walked to the bus stop. My chakras were cleared, my consciousness was already expanded and I felt light and cleansed.

Level 2 and Level 3 introduced me to new challenges I had to meet. It was done in a group setting, which was an adjustment for me, which proved most beneficial. I had previous knowledge of divination and scrying. The information Willow shared was above and beyond what I already knew. I experienced a higher better level of myself.

Tomorrow night is a culmination of the classes. The Psychic mini tea will be done that night and I am very nervous and almost want the experience to be over. I am afraid that I won’t do well there. I know I will be supported and that I will do fine.

I was on the bus once not too long ago and felt compelled to write something down: “If you set ego aside, you will hear your intuition. Think of your ego as resembling muck and your intuition as resembling white light. Trust your inner guidance.” We all may strive for the better and higher good for our higher selves. That’s where we grow.

It is normal to be nervous before a big event. Fear is ego and that can be controlling. It is optional to do a reading and I shall try my best. There is no pass or fail as there is no right or wrong. I am proud to have grown and been able to accomplish so much and to have come this far. I still have a long way to go.

I practiced my readings last night. Setting up my silky orange cloth, I set down my cauldron for water scrying, candles, and incense. I also set a treasured crystal (the north element of earth). I put out my pendulums and asked my pendulums questions. The answers were varied and a little vague. I shall practice tonight again. It is only through practice one can hope to improve. I have to strive also to trust my impressions, no matter what they may be.

I hope to do well at the mini tea and will be happy to share the evening with Willow and friends.

Blessed Be ♥ )0(
Lady Spiderwitch

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