Category Archives: ritual

Midsummer Magic at Litha

Merry Meet All,

First, I am proud to announce that my essay about Tolkien’s research on Odin is to be published in the upcoming issue of Eternal Haunted Summer Ezine. The link to the Ezine is included in the list of links on the main page. Also, my article about thyme, that wondrous magickal herb, is published in the upcoming issue of Essential Herbal magazine. I love the cover of the new issue.

I have been working hard in my garden. I believe that every square inch of my garden must have a root or bud or flower. I know roots need room but no no, gotta cover every available inch with a plant. Today the soil was damp from rain while I uprooted several large plants and divided them up in my garden. I divided my organic mugwort, the leopard’s bane, canterbury bells and chives. I do have some large spaces in my garden at the back and i replanted the plants that can take shade.

Litha is almost here! Midsummer is a magickal time. Just one glance at my garden and I swoon. So I can attest to the fun one can have at this green beauteous time of year. Litha is the longest day of the year, leaving ample time for fun and frolic in nature. Decorate your garden by using pretty wires and stands to help tall plants grow. Spring is a great time to divide plants and disperse them in the garden. You can grow more plants from one large plant and best of all, it’s free.

Before you do a ritual, clean up your yard and garden. A beautiful garden is a wonder to behold. Maintain the beauty by storing your garden tools in a shed. Clean up the weeds. Use old leaves, grass cuttings, and old roots for mulch in your garden. Water the garden and rake the leaves. Now you are ready to perform a ritual.

Here are some ways to celebrate Litha:

Go for a long walk in the woods. Bring back some findings and include them in the ritual. Hold a drumming circle. Light a bonfire. Litha is a fire festival. Hold a bonfire at night but be aware of the safety of holding a bonfire. Light some sparklers.

Brush up on your pagan fiction. Write for a pagan Ezine. You can get paid to write for the Eternal Haunted Summer ezine. Read books like The Mists of Avalon, “Stonehenge” by Bernard Cornwell, or Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman. The book is very different from the movie. Curl up at the beach with one of these novels for even more fun.

Many blessings upon you.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Filed under bonfire, gardening, Litha, Midsummer, plants, ritual, wonder of nature

Ashes and Healing

Merry Meet All,

I apologize for not posting lately. For a few days, I was out of town. I visited my family in Pleasant Bay. I had the most wonderful and the most sad time. The good news first. Aside from the monumental task of babysitting my niece and nephew. I also returned to my home roots.

The land in the family dates back to my great-great-great-great grandparents. We are keeping the land in the family. The rhubarb in the garden dates back generations, too, no word of lie.

My spirit is refreshed. I was lost in the natural wilds of the northern tip of Cape Breton. Eagles fly, coyotes and foxes roam, mice gnaw on the walls, and whales frolic in the ocean. The mountains hug the shorelines. The black flies are vicious. I had quite an adventure. My Mother fell through the step of the Spinning Jenny cabin. I wandered through the ancient woods. I never saw a moose but we had a resident dog for company. His name is Trooper. Here is his photo:

He’s a cutie! Now the sad part. On Friday night, when the moon waxed and was full, I cast a circle for an Esbat. I traced a circle in the soil in my sister’s garden. I could not light a match because the wind was strong. I was not meant to have fire energy. (I lit my cauldron the next morning.) I welcomed the Elements, which were obviously present, and invoked the Goddess. The point of the ritual was to scatter my grandfather’s ashes. He was born in Pleasant Bay in 1919. It makes sense to scatter his ashes there. He also managed the farm there and used workhorses (we once found the teeth of the workhorses in the field.) It was very emotional and powerful. I cried and literally had to force myself to scatter the ashes. It felt so final. Like I was truly saying goodbye. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I stood on that windy hilltop, and opened the box and the bag. The box had a weird energy. It is done and over with. It was emotional though. I am relieved and accepting of the fact that he is at peace.

The rest of my trip was wonderful. I ventured down to the beach and listened to the ocean waves rumbling over the rocky shore. I watched seagulls dive over the waves. It is all so magickal. I walked through the mystical woods. I am so ready to attack my ghost story now because of the time I spent there. My spirit is renewed. I feel better and happy to have spent time with my family. Everyone needs that.

I am working hard on my garden. It is beautiful and crawling with insects. Every garden does. I will keep you posted about my gardening.

Blessed Be
Lady Spiderwitch )o(

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Filed under ashes, family, full moon, healing, Pleasant Bay, ritual, trip

Yule Log Ritual

Merry Meet All,

Yesterday I was out on a walk on the nature trail. I had wanted a yule log and the first day when I didn’t see anything that would be suitable, I gave up. Yesterday I was on my walk and I saw a log on the ground. Perfect, I thought. I picked it up and took it home. It is sitting in my garden, waiting.

However, I don’t have a fire pit or a fireplace. So I will have to figure out something. That is the tradition. People burn a yule log on Winter Solstice. It is a Scandinavian tradition. That’s great, because I am part Scandinavian, and I have been enjoying learning more of my family background and the ancient traditions.

Join with family and friends for the Yule log burning ritual. Enjoy food and wine and make an offering to the deities. Yule logs bring good luck, so keep a piece of the wood for next year’s Yule log burning ritual. Yule is derived from the Old Norse HJOL, meaning wheel, when the wheel of the year is about to rise again.

ANCIENT YULE TRADITIONS

The tradition began in Scandinavia and predates Christianity by thousands of years. They celebrated the Feasts of the Dead and honored Odin, the god of intoxicating drink and ecstasy, and the god of Death. Their customs varied from region to region. They left offerings after their feasts to appease the Yuletide ghosts. The origins of the Yule log were traced back to the Midwinter festivals when the Norsemen indulged in the revelry of feasting and watching the fire leap around the burning Yule log in the home hearths.

Winter Solstice symbolized the return of the light. The days grew longer and the sun began its return. The Scandinavian lasted for twelve days. That was how the tradition began of the twelve days of Christmas. Some Christmas traditions are steeped in ancient Yule traditions. At Midwinter, the Vikings honored their Asa Gods with much religious rituals and feasting. They sacrificed animals such as boars to Frey, the God of fertility, to ensure a growing season in the coming year. The meat was cooked and enjoyed at the feast.

The first night of Yule, which is celebrated for twelve days, is called The Mothernight, and is when Frigga and the Disir, are honored. The Mothernight is the rebirth of the world from darkness. A vigil is held from dusk to dawn. At Yule, the gods and goddesses are close to Midgard. Their deities were known as ‘Yule-Beings’. Odin is called Jolnir, the “Yule-One” and is where Santa Claus originates from.

They burned a huge sunwheel, which was lit on fire and rolled down a hill to encourage the sun to return. This may be the origin of the Christmas wreath. Another Viking tradition was the decorating of evergreen trees with food and clothing, statues of their beloved deities, and runes to entice the tree spirits to return in the spring. They believed the Mistletoe could resurrect the dead. This belief is based on a legend about the resurrection of Baldur, God of Light and Goodness, who was killed by a mistletoe arrow. Frigga cried for Baldur and her tears turned the red berries white.

I hope you enjoy reading about the origins of many traditions we celebrate today. I hope I do find a way to burn my Yule log. I would be proud to partake in an ancient tradition that was honored by the ancient Vikings and their gods and goddesses.

Blessed be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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Filed under ancestors, gods and goddesess, Odin, ritual, tradition, Yule log