Tag Archives: season

Time to celebrate: Ostara!

Spring has just arrived, hurray!  Goodbye to my cold, and goodbye to the long dark hours at night.  She is my officially most favourite season of the year.  Everything is fresh, everything is lively.  Even my favourite cologne has her name on it:

  
Ostara (around 21st March every year), is the Spring Equinox.  It is the time when the Sun enters the zodiacal sign Aries.  On Ostara the hours of day and night are equal.  Light is overtaking darkness, our Mother Earth impels the live creatures to reproduce.  It is time to rejoice as it marks the first day of true Spring!  The energies of nature subtly shift from the sluggishness of winter to the beautiful expansion of spring.

It is time to delight ourselves in the abundance of nature.  Walk the green fields.  Buy some flowers.  Touch some plants.  Connect with their energy and through it, all nature.  Visualise yourself travel inside its leaves and stems – from your crown through your arms and fingers into the plant itself.  Sense the miraculous processes of life at work within it. Feel the emergence of energies around you and show your gratitude to the wonders of nature.

This is a time of beginnings, of actions, of planting spells for future gains, and of tending your garden.

Time to celebrate: Yule!

This is the day of winter solstice (22nd December, 2015), the time when we have the longest night and the shortest day in the Northern Hemisphere.  Good news is from now on the day is getting longer and longer.  Welcome, ever-returning God of the Sun!  May you shine brightly upon the earth, and bless this fertile land once again.

The winter solstice has long been viewed as a time of divine birth.  In a time of greatest darkness people prayed to the forces of nature to lengthen the days and shorten the nights.  Wiccans sometimes celebrate Yule just before dawn, then watch the sunrise as a fitting finale to their efforts.  Since the God is also the Sun, this marks the point of the year when the Sun God is reborn again.  On this night I light a candle to celerate the Sun’s returning light.

In this special moment of time, I suggest to say a prayer to your deity with the 5 principles of Reiki:

Just for today, I will

Let go of anger

Let go of worry

Show gratitude & give thanks for my blessings

Work conscientiously

Be compassionate & honour all living things

So mote it be.

I believe in reincarnation, and many other things. Just in case there isn’t, that’s why I have been living to the edge in this life, making the most of it. I hope you do. Have a very blessed Yule.

Time to celebrate: Samhain!

Samhain is known by most people as Halloween.  In pagan story, the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest during this day.  Our plants are darken, leaves are fallen.  The fields are barren.  It is a Sabbat to remember, honour, or perhaps contact our ancestors – those who have crossed the river into the land of shadows.  It is also the most potent night of the year for meaningful dreaming and divination.

Samhain, also known as Feast of the Dead, Feast of Hallows, November Eve, once marked the time of sacrifice.  In some places this was time when animals were slaughtered to ensure food was sufficient throughout the depths of winter.  

Indeed all the pegan festivals are very much food related.  They are agriculture based and built on nature’s cycle.  The pegan wheel of the year is masked by magical stories for people to remember the wonders of the Universe.  This myth cycle speaks of the mysteries of birth, death, and rebirth.  It also points out our real dependence on the earth, the sun, the moon and the effects of seasons in our daily lives.

At Samhain (31st October), the Wicca say farewell to the God.  This is a temporary farewell, and then he will be reborn from the Goddess at Yule.  Why is God the son, and then the lover of the Goddess?  This is not incest, this is symbolism of an agricultural story that the fertility of the earth is a cycle.

Samhain is a time of reflection, of looking back over the past year.  It is a time to come to term that we have no control of death, hence we should live a forgiving life and more importantly make the most of life.

Time to celebrate: Mabon!

Goodbye summer, we will see you next year!  With our open arms we welcome Mabon, or the autumn equinox.  On this day (23rd September) the length of the day and night are equal again, the power of the Sun God is growing weaker as he is going into the resting cycle towards the adventure into the unseen. We are readying for winter and it is time to rest.

The second point of balance within the year is reached, in a mirror image of the spring equinox.  At this time the forces of darkness have risen to the equality with the declining light, and will very soon overwhelm it.  During the next 6 months, the hours of darkness will outnumber the hours of daylight. From here on we need to make conscious preparations for the winter by looking beyond ourselves to our relationships with the people around us and the society at large.  Our survival through the dark times may very much depend on this.

Dried leaves remind me of Mabon.  I pick them up on my way to work, and put them down to the earth just before I arrive at the office. Holding them I pray with The Blessing Chant inspired by Scott Cunningham:

May the powers of The One,

the source of all creation;

all-pervasive, omnipotent, eternal:

may the Goddess, the lady of the moon;

and the God, horned hunter of the sun;

may the power of the spirit of the stones,

rulers of the eternal realms;

may the power of the stars above and the earth below,

bless this place, and this time, and I who am with you.

A traditional practice is on that day to take a walk in the park, gather autumn colour leaves and plants to decorate the home.  You can make sachets by adding a few drops of your favourite essential oils.  The food of Mabon consists of grains, fruit, beans and corn.  My favourite is chocolate baked alaska, a sumptuous dessert of opposites.  A little indulgence is fine.

  

Summer Solstice: Time to Celebrate!

The Solstice this year comes on the 21st of June, it is time of the greatest daylight and the shortest night in the Northern hemisphere.  The triumph of the light!  To many cultures, the Solstice represents a turning of the year, a culmination of something.  I am intrigued to study the ancient Celtic culture and what the ancestral footprints tried to teach us in the turn of the season’s cycle.

Using The Celtic Wisdom Oracle to offer a general reading for the season ahead, the mythic Lord of Light overseas this creative cycle.  The Lord of Light helps us to see with clear vision, enabling us to be strong and resourceful.  Think of him as Manawyddan in Welsh mythology.  He is the second husband of Rhiannon.  He opens up skilful ways of surviving when he and his family are removed from his own land.  He creates goods that can be traded, uses his skills to release his wife from enchantment.  He comes to pose questions to you for this season: for what are you most grateful?  How can you serve the common good?

The clan cards depict some of the commonly shared human ancestors of our bloodlines.  In the Celtic world the 4 clans are farmers (Clan of Truth), warriors (Clan of Honour), rulers (Clan of Sovereign) and ‘the people of the art’ like druids, poets and healers (Clan of Wisdom).  Overseeing summer are all young adults of the clans, representing a robust and growing energy of the time.

  
The Tracker from the Clan of Truth:  he is exemplified by the young British hero, Culhwch, who is set 39 impossible tasks before he dare to claim Olwen, the giant’s daughter, as his wife.  He reminds us the virtue of perseverence and to seek assistance from those who support you.

The Hunter from the Clan of Honour: he is exemplified by Diarmuid, a trusted warior of old Irish war leader Fionn mac Cumhail, yet he eloped with his beautiful wife Grainne.  He is thus torn between his Lord and the woman he loves.  Because the couple are living in the wild he has to hunt daily for their food.  He reminds us summer is not the time to hold back because of fear of breaking conventions.  Stepping outside the boundaries may give you new freedom to operate.

The Tanaiste from the Clan of Sovereignty: he is the heir-apparent elected by the tribe’s elders to avoid disputed succession in time of war.  Naturally his duty is to serve the will of the tribe and the need of the land.  He reminds us that summer is the time of service when your gifts can be used at last! 

The Poet from the Clan of Wisdom: with his songs he awakens and sustains memory as well as bring inspirations to the clans.  His wisdom comes from his initiation by the Welsh enchantress Ceridwen with her famous cauldron of knowledge.  He advises us the importance to nourish our soul, mind and heart with whatever brings us inspirations. 

Learning from the Celtic wisdom, summer is a time to move forward with perseverence and without fear.  Use your gifts to bring harmony where imbalance has ruled over too long.  Connect yourself with whatever feeds your soul, so that your heart will be refreshed with inspirations. 

Make good use of time.  Have a wonderful and vibrant summer!