Just an FYI this site will be going down for maintenance in the next couple of hours. Should be up by tomorrow. I apologize for any incovenience.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Goddess -- Ishtar

Thursday, February 28, 2008

One of the most popular myths of Ishtar is about her descent into the underworld using the Eastern entrance in attempt to obtain Ereshkigal's power over the underworld. In order to reach Ereshkigal, Ishtar needed to pass through the seven gates of the underworld, and was not allowed to pass through unless she removed an article of clothing for each of gate. Her clothes were symbollic of her divine power, thus she was systematically weakened in this fashion. By the time she arrived in the inner palace, she was naked and almost dead, but still determined to complete her task, when Ereshkigal arose from her throne, Ishtar took it. Ereshkigal's counselors, the Anunnaki, sentenced her to death for this action & hung her corpse on a hook.

However, before Ishtar had begun her journey, she had instructed her messenger, Ninshubur, that if she did not return within 3 days and 3 nights, to seek help for that would mean she was dead. Ninshubar first sought help with the gods, Enlil and Nanna, but they refused to aid her believing she deserved to die for her ambition. He then asked Enki, the lord of wisdom who had access to the food and water of life, for aid. Enki created 2 creatures, the kurgarru and the kalaturru, from the dirt of his fingernails & instructed them to carry the food and water of life to Ishtar in order to revive her. Their mission suceeded, but the Anunnaki demanded a substitute for her if she was to leave. A legion of demons accompanied her from the netherworld to search for her replacement. Ishtar refused to allow the demons to take anyone who had wept for her during her confinement as a replacement.

When Ishtar came upon her husband, Dumuzi, she found him adorned in a magnificent robe instead of mourning clothing. She told the demons to take him as her substitute. Dumuzi quickly used his magic to change himself into a reptile, & escaped to his sister, Gestinanna. She took pity on him & agreed to take his position in the underworld for half the year, while he would spend the other half the year in the underworld.

This is one of the many possible stories that led to the Christian Story of Easter. But probably not the only one. There is also the worship of Eostre. But much of the myth surrounding this Germanic Goddess has been lost to history.

Blessed Be!


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wednesday Recipe - Rabbit

Wednesday, February 27, 2008
One Ostara I made the joke about eating the Easter Bunny. Then I decided to go with the idea. It was only later that I found that in addition to lamb, rabbit was a traditional dish for the Sabbat. So my joke, although in bad taste, was actually a good idea.
Now while I do not recommend telling the kids that you are eating the Ostara Bunny, I do recommend cooking rabbit for your traditional meal. It is a low fat dish that is actually good for you. I have located and tweaked some recipes that I have found on the internet. They are included below.

Baked Stuffed Rabbit

SHOPPING LIST: fine bread crumbs, dairy sour cream, flour, margarine, onions, pepper, salt, salt pork, savory, rabbit
INGREDIENTS

1 medium sized rabbit,
4 cups of fine bread crumbs,
2 tbsp. onions,
1/4 cup butter,
three or four thin slices of salt pork,
1/2 tsp. salt,
2 tbsp. savory,
1/4 tsp. pepper.

For the Gravy

2tbsp. flour,
dairy sour cream

INSTRUCTIONS

To make the dressing mix together 4 cups of bread crumbs, 2 tbsp. of chopped onion, 1/4 cup of butter, 1/2 tsp. salt, 2 tbsp. savory, and 1/4 tsp. pepper.

Cooking
Stuff the rabbit with the dressing and fasten with skewers.
Place in roasting pan and lay four or five slices of fat port across the top.
Add a little water and cover the pan
Bake at 350F degrees or until the meat is tender (about 25 minutes per pound.)
Remove from oven and make gravy.

Gravy
Skim fat from cooking liquid, reserving 2 tablespoons.
In a saucepan, heat the 2 tbsp. fat and blend in 2 tbsp. flour.
Gradually stir in 1 cup of the liquid remaining in the roasting pan from the meat.
Cook, stirring until thickened.
Mix in 1 cup of dairy sour cream and heat thoroughly.

Hasenpfeffer - German Rabbit

2 1/2 pounds rabbit (up to 3 lb) -- cut up
2 cups dry red wine
2 tablespoons wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 bay leaves


Place cut-up rabbit in flat refrigerator container. In bowl, combine remaining ingredients; Pour over rabbit. Marinate overnight in refrigerator. Place marinated rabbit in Crock-Pot. Add 1 1/2 cups marinade. cover and cook on Low for 8 to 10 hours. Remove meat to warm platter. Thicken gravy, if desired. Serves 4.

Blessed Be!


Monday, February 25, 2008

Attracting Faeries to your House and Garden

Monday, February 25, 2008

With Spring upon us and warmer weather on its way, or even already here in some places, the Faeries are going to be more active. And it is a fun activity for the children to plant some flowers and decorate a small outside area so to attract the wee folk.

Planting a Faery Garden

Whether you set aside part of your yard or just a corner of your porch or balcony. There are many options for you in what you can choose to plant. In addition to flowers and the such you should also consider adding a small fountain, low bird bath, waterfall or fishpond to attract fairies. Focus on the area around the water garden and work your way out from there. Garden statues of fairies will also help attract the wee ones. In addition you can add shiny wind chimes, gazing globes and colorful garden flags to help to entice gnomes and elves to add their presence.

Don’t forget that the wee ones are nature loving and enjoy their fun. When attracting fairies into your garden make sure to keep it clear of weeds and slugs, although a small patch that is unkempt or planted with wildflowers is fine.
  • BLUEBELLS: Faeries are summoned to their midnight revels and dances by the ringing of these tiny flowers.
  • FERNS: Pixie faeries are especially fond of ferns. One story tells of a young woman who accidentally sat on a fern, and instantly a faery man appeared and forced her to promise to watch over his faery son and remain in Faeryland for a year and a day. Ferns make nice soft beds for the little guys.
  • FOXGLOVE: The name "foxglove" came from the words "folk's glove." Folks referred to little people, or faeries. One legend says that faeries gave the blossoms to foxes to wear as gloves so they would not get caught raiding the chicken coop. According to another legend, if you picked foxglove, you would offend the faeries. And if the faeries stole your baby, the juice of the foxglove would help to get it back. In some stories, foxglove appears as a faery's hat. Foxglove can sometimes heal and sometimes hurt. It is a poisonous plant, but it is also used as medicine to treat heart disease.
  • HEATHER lights the flame of fairy passions and may open the gates between the fairy world and our own.
  • PANSIES: These may be used in fairy love potions.
  • POPPIES: These will bring faeries into your dreams.
  • PRIMROSES: Primroses are one key into faeryland. There is a German legend about a little girl who found a doorway covered in flowers, and when she touched it with a primrose, the door opened up, leading into an enchanted faery castle.
  • RAGWORT, CABBAGE STALKS, GRASS and STRAW: All of these were used by faeries for transportation in the same manner as a witch uses a broom.
  • ROSES: The sweet smell and soft petals of roses attract faeries to your garden. A popular love spell uses roses. Sprinkle rose petals under your feet and dance on them softly while asking the Faery for a blessing on your magic
  • SAFFRON CROCUS: The stamens from this fall flowering crocus constitute the herb saffron. Any food prepared with saffron is a favorite faery food. Saffron used as a dye will turn cloth a royal gold. Such cloth is very valuable to faeries.
  • THYME: Wear a sprig of thyme to increase your ability to see the wee ones. Thyme may also be planted by the doors and windows of your house to invite the fairies to come inside.
  • TULIPS: The faeries like to use the tulip bloom to put their babies to bed.
list from http://www.afaeryhunt.com/fairyfun.htm

Planning a smaller area on your Porch or Patio

The first step is to create an area that is private and shielded from view by the casual passerby. Whether you use an oriental screen or a trellis with climbing flowers such as morning glory or moonflowers growing on it, the idea is just to create seclusion.
You can still plant some flowers such as mugwort or foxglove. And a small vessel of water or a fountain. It may be easier to build the area in a corner with the fountain as the center piece.

Tell your children some of the stories as you plant them and keep them involved in the uptake and care of the flowers. It will help to teach them responsibility.

Blessed Be!


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Ostara Eggs

Sunday, February 24, 2008
One of the most iconic symbols of this Sabbat are colored eggs. But some of us don't want to use the chemical laden dyes. So what are we supposed to do? Well don't worry for there are natural dyes that we can use as concerned parents. Also since these dyeing agents are safe for human consumption you can consume these eggs.

Below is a list of some of these natural dyes. The trick is to add about 2 tsp of white vinegar to the water before boiling. When the water begins to boil then carefully add the eggs and your coloring materials. To get different shades you will have to experiment with how much material you will add. And how long you boil the eggs and natural dyes together. I recommend to simmer for at least 20 minutes.
  • Red/pink: paprika
  • Purple: concentrated grape juice (Welch's works nicely, about half a can)
  • Yellow: Skins (only) of a half dozen yellow onions
  • Gold: Curry powder or tumeric
  • Light green: frozen chopped spinach (1/3 to 1/2 package)
  • Blue: 1 Cup frozen blueberries (with juice)
If you want to put images or sigils on the eggs you can draw these symbols (before putting them in boiling water) on the eggs with a wax crayon and when you are done the images will show up as white. Here is a small list of suggestions for what symbols to put on your eggs and their meanings;
  • Circles: Protection, everlasting life, continuity, completeness. The Sun, and cycles of life.
  • Suns: The life-giving, all embracing nature of God, especially as the Sun is seen as the God. Fire and warmth, enchantment, prosperity, good fortune.
  • Curls: Protection.
  • Spirals: Mystery of life and death, divinity and immortality.
  • Crosses: These are usually equal-armed crosses, though not always. Represents the four directions, the four ages of man, the four elements, rebirth and eternal life.
  • Eternity Bands: Dividing elements on the eggs such as meanders for harmony, motion, infinity, immortality. Waves for wealth, rain. Lines and ribbons for the thread of life or eternity.
  • Triple Moon for the Goddess
  • The symbol of the Horned One
  • The Triskele
Good Luck and Blessed Be!


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Children's Story -- Ostara Eggs

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The old story teller paused for a moment to collect his thoughts and puff on his pipe. He looked around at the audience before him, all his grandchildren and he smiled. Then he said, "Now the kiss has wakened the sleeping maiden, but the Earth has been sleeping with her too long. So together the God, King of Sun and Oak and his consort the Maiden of Spring prepare to work the magick required to bring about the springtime and the growth of the plants and animals.
"After deep thought the Goddess and God gathered together the Faeries of the land and made plans to gather together all the eggs in the land. Then, the plan was, they would boil and color the eggs to draw upon the magick of the eggs. Which they would then spread among the lands, bringing new life and springtime.
"But as they gathered the eggs and colored them, they didn't realize, until to late, that the Trickster was stealing the eggs a little at a time. So before they knew it that sly fox, the cunning coyote had stolen all the eggs and hidden them all over the land.
"As often happens though, the plans of the Trickster wind up tricking and fooling him in the end. For as he scattered the eggs so did he scatter the magick all over the land. Now as you can guess this made the magick work better than the original plan. For the magick was scattered pure all over the land.
"So you see children this is why we hide the eggs after we color them to take the role of the Trickster. We help the Gods spread and work the magick of Springtime."
"But, grandfather," asked one of the the children at his feet. "Did they ever find the eggs?"
Laughing the grandfather nodded and answered, "Why yes they did. Then they had a great feast. But the strange thing was that the only people in all the land that could find the eggs were the little children and the Faeries themselves. So that is why you children look for the eggs."

Update: I have posted a second article on coloring Ostara eggs and their correspondences.
(Link)


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wednesday Recipe -- Lamb

Wednesday, February 20, 2008
One of the traditional symbols of Ostara was the lamb. It is also a traditional dish for this Sabbat. So here are a few recipes and sites to inspire the cooking of your Ostara Lamb dinner.

Chunky Lamb Stew recipe

Chunky Lamb Stew ingredients list:

2 large Celery stalks, chopped.
1 large Onion, chopped.
3 Medium Carrots.
3 large Potatoes.
3 Medium Turnips.
1 lb Lean lamb for stew, cut into 1" cubes.
1 tablespoon of Veg. oil.
1 tablespoon of Soy sauce.
1 teaspoon of Sugar.
½ teaspoon of Salt.
¾ teaspoon of Gravy Powder.
2 tablespoons of All Purpose flour.
2 tablespoons of grated Lemon peel.
1 tablespoon of chopped Parsley.
1 can Stewed tomatoes.
1 can Beef broth.
1 packet of Frozen Peas(10 oz.).
Instructions for Chunky Lamb Stew:

* Cut carrots diagonally into 3/4" chunks. Peel and cut potatoes and turnips into 1 1/2" chunks. Remove any fat from the lamb.
* In 5 quart. Dutch oven over a med-high heat, cook the lamb in a small amount of hot oil, sprinkled with salt, until lamb is browned on all sides. With a slotted spoon, remove lamb to bowl.
* Cook the celery and onion in the remaining juices until lightly browned. Return lamb to Dutch oven; stir in the can of stewed tomatoes, beef broth, and 1 cup water. Over a high heat, bring to the boil.
* Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 25 minutes.
* After the lamb has cooked 25 min., add the potatoes, carrots, turnips, soy sauce, sugar and Gravy Powder; over high heat, heat until boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 20 min or until meat and vegetables are tender.
* In cup mix the flour and 2 tbs. water until mixed. Stir the flour mixture into meat and vegetables; cook over med-high heat until mixture boils and thickens. Stir in the peas; heat through. Sprinkle with lemon peel and chopped parsley to serve.

Greek Roast Lamb recipe

Greek Roast Lamb ingredients list:

4 lb leg of lamb.
18 small white potatoes.
2 cloves garlic, halved and peeled.
1 onion, chopped finely.
Juice of half a lemon.
1 cup of dry white wine.
½ cup of water.
½ cup of vegetable oil.
3 tablespoons of butter, melted.
1 tablespoon of salt.
Pinch of pepper.
Instructions for Greek Roast Lamb:

Wash the leg of lamb thoroughly.

Slit the lamb in 4 places and insert garlic into the slits; then season with salt and pepper.

Combine the melted butter and lemon juice and brush over the lamb. Place in a roasting pan with a lid. Add the white wine, onion, and water. Cover and bake at 325°F (160°C) for 2 hours.

Remove the lid and increase heat to 375°F (190°C) and bake for another 1 hour, basting every 15 minutes.

Transfer to platter and keep warm.

In a skillet, heat vegetable oil to sizzling and fry the potatoes until golden brown.

Skim fat from the meat pan and add the potatoes to the meat drippings.

Bake, uncovered, at 375°F (190°C) for 30 minutes or until cooked through.

recipes courtesy of http://www.lambrecipes.org/

You can also check out allrecipes.com for great recipes.


Friday, February 15, 2008

Spring is Coming - Collecting Rainwater

Friday, February 15, 2008
Now I know many of you are probably scratching your heads right now. Asking, "Collect Rainwater? What is he, crazy?"
Well I'm not. I promise. I suggest collecting rainwater (as long as you don't live in a very bad area, you know acid rain and the such) to make magickal waters. I have found it useful in my magickal workings to make moon and sun waters for various workings.
To make the waters all you need is a piece of moonstone, a piece of obsidian and a piece of sunstone. To collect rainwater all you need is a large container and a rain storm. I have found it better and easier to use mason jars or to recycle other glass jars from in your house. Just please remember not to use any containers that held non edible materials, for safety's sake
For full moon water you would use the moonstone. For new moon water you would use the obsidian. And for the sun water you would use the sunstone.
Take the stone and set it in the water and set the container outside. For the moon waters, you will need to set the jar outside after darkness falls on the nights before, of and after the corresponding moon. Then bring them in before dawn. I have found that to make sun water, the easiest way is to set it out at dawn at each of the Sabbats and bring it in after sunset.
Occasionally you will want to repeat the above steps to recharge the waters.
Now what use are these things? I have used them for things from personal magick, dream working, helping children to get over a fear of the dark. Use your imagination, the waters embody the aspects present at the times of their creation. Think of them as liquid moon or sun.
Use them wisely and good luck.

Blessed Be!


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Tips on a Frugal Valentines Day

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Yes, that day is only tomorrow. If you have nothing planned then you still have time. Not much but some. Now it is probably to late for flowers and ordering stuff, but there are alternatives.
Here are some examples of things to do, that cost very little money;

  1. Take a day off - Now don't do this if your job is hanging in the balance, but a day away from work with your loved one, will oftentimes mean more than any flowers you can buy.
  2. Look for ambiance in out of the way places - Most major restaurants are probably booked, but that doesn't mean that you can't go to a smaller place or a coffee house after a great dinner at the house.
  3. Make a coupon book - Put together little coupons that your loved one can redeem for special things. Try a back rub, or foot rub, or dinner. Be creative.
  4. In tandem with number two, wait until the kids go to bed, or if you don't have kids just surprise her with picnic in the living room or outside if the weather is nice.
  5. Write a love letter.
  6. Burn a compilation music CD with her favorite music.
  7. Don't just buy the standard gifts, you know chocolate, flowers, or jewelry. So spend the time to think about what she really wants. Surprise her with something thoughtful.
  8. If you do buy flowers or the such, don't just give it to her. Be different, deliver flowers to her job. Think a little and you will undoubtedly make her very happy.
  9. But whatever you do just be creative. Don't be old and boring, be new and exciting. She will thank you for it.
Good luck and Blessed Be!


Monday, February 11, 2008

Creed of Life -- Power and Blessings

Monday, February 11, 2008
I have talked about the importance of living in love and walking in the light. That we must learn to love if we are ever able to be complete. To embrace selflessness. I have also covered the necessity of facing and incorporating the shadow aspect of yourself into a complete personality.
Next I covered taking responsibility for yourself and your actions, especially since your increase of strength after incorporating the shadow. I spoke on truth and on building a moral code of ethics.
And today I will be talking about the last line in the creed. 'And as I receive power and blessings, so do I offer up thanksgiving'. Following this creed will, in the long term, see you granted power. But not if you seek it. For true power is given to those who do not wish for it.
But again responsibility comes into play. As your strength matures into power so will the number of people that look up to you. Along with the people that will continually turn to you for aid and comfort.
Blessings is the second thing that will be given to you. If you follow this creed and subsequently the will of the Creator, you will never have to do without. Now of course this does not mean that we can sit around at home and live good lives and expect the bills to be paid. The real world just does not work that way. But with hard work and good deeds, the universe will smile on you and give you those things that you really need.
But as you receive these blessings you can not just let them sit, you cannot hoard them. For if you are truly living in love then you would aid those that are truly deserving. Like the old saying; pay it forward.
So spend time thinking on these things. How much of this do you incorporate into your life? How much of this do I strive to teach to my children? We should teach them love and not abuse them and mistreat them. This betrayal of their trust leads to adults with issues. A cycle that leads to our children having, to at some point, to face the shadow themselves.
We should teach them honor and responsibility so that as they receive strength they will know how to act. They should learn, from us, what the truth is and how to tell it. Teach them generosity and that others are not as well off as they are. Teach them charity and the power in the act of giving.
The children are our future and if we don't succeed in raising them well, then our future is messed up as well. Our jobs as parents, are not to be our child's best friend, but rather to be their parent, their leader, their guide. We need to quit blaming others for our children's mistakes and foibles and take responsibility.
So make the resolution to guide your children in love and light. Guide them to truth and raise them to take responsibility for themselves. Remember our future depends on it.

Blessed Be!





Friday, February 8, 2008

Creed of Life -- Strength and Truth

Friday, February 8, 2008
What does it mean to have strength? Strength can be physical, mental or even spiritual. Yet in this case I am referring to individual strength. The strength and power that comes from integrating the shadow and light aspects of your personality into a complete whole.
But (I know - bad over done cliche) with great strength comes great responsibility. The biggest problem of the world is people that grasp power by force of will alone without; one, being a whole and complete persona and; two, without realizing the responsibility the new position requires.
The mirror side of this part of the line is Truth and without it strength will abaddon us in the end. So how exactly are we to live in truth? What does this actually mean? Well first it means to live in love and to walk in the light. Second it means to adopt an ethical code and to adhere to it religiously. Third it means to strive to live a life of honor, one that is worthy of respect.
The first I have covered. the second can be covered in two simple words - Harm None. The restof a moral and/or ethical code is merely the fluffy filling. And the third can be summed up with "Tell the truth" and to do nothing that you feel that you must lie about.
I encourage you to read sme of my other posts on ethics and work to establish your own moral code. For in the end us being truthful is required for our continuing strength.
Blessed Be!


Thursday, February 7, 2008

Creed of Life -- Light

Thursday, February 7, 2008
Learning to love does you no good if you cannot learn to live in its light. And if you have that light shining from withing then you must share it . Not to be a light on a hilltop but rather a light into and unto the world around you.
But to do this you must face the Shadow within and integrate it into yourself through love. Instead of letting the Shadow self dominate your life and your personality you must face it and relive individually the many events that together led to the creation of this Shadow self.
So what is it that creates the Shadow self? The Shadow self is a cumulation of all the trauma in your life, and all the acts you have done that you lie about, sometimes even to yourselves, the things we are ashamed of. This is also a tough step and may take years to accomplish this.
But when you do you will be amazed at the growth in personal power. For while some of us may see and realize how much of our energy is wasted in the darkness, few of us realize how much energy we expend in keeping the Shadows at bay.
We fight and fight, when we should really just accept, forgive and move on. But we must be careful to during this process not to let the Shadow take mastery over us.
In some cases, I have found that it may be easier to write a letter to the person who wronged us and then rather then send it to that person, read it again to ourselves. And when you are ready to, light the paper and watch it burn, while practicing all appropriate safety measures of course.
Now while most of this post doesn't really, or at least shouldn't, apply to children, there is a point to it. For we must improve ourselves to make us better people and better parents. And if we can recognize these things in ourselves then we can hopefully work to prevent the worst of these Shadows from taking up residence in our children's psyche.

So Learn to Live in Love so that you may Walk in the Light

Blessed Be!


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Creed of Life -- Love

Wednesday, February 6, 2008
What is love? Are there different kinds of love? Most of us would, I think, consider ourselves to be loving people. But does that include everyone that you meet and have ever met? It has been my personal experience that we as rule tend to be very bitter. Holding grudges long past their due, refusing to forgive and to move one.
The love I speak of is not just passionate love, or even brotherly love. The term for this love is Agape. Defined as the selfless love of one person for another without sexual implications (especially love that is spiritual in nature).
This is what love truly is to me. It is completely selfless and totally forgiving. It is also the toughest thing that we as humans can ever learn how to do. Note please that I did not say forget I only said forgive. The longer we hold on to grudges and the longer that we refuse to let go and forgive, the longer that person who may have wronged us has power over us.
I learned long ago and I seek to tell others whenever I have a chance that no one has power over you as an inividual, except for that power that you give them over you. This is one of the central tenets of paganism and the core principle of conservatism. If you are unhappy with something in your life, then the advice that was given to me, is to Fix it or Get Rid of it.
And when you can truly say that you have grasped and implemented this concept of Divine Love, then teach it to your children. Hell why wait, start now. Teach your children to love and to forgive. Show them love in all your actions and they will grow up to be good people.
If you feel that you missed out on love during your childhood, stop the cycle. Don't let your children grow up without love. It will make them cold and heartless. And if you grew up with love then take those lessons and pass them onto your children.
I have included below two videos, part 1 and part 2, from a friend of mine who has managed with great success to realize this and to incorporate it completely into his life. I have known him for ten years and have seen him go through monstrous amounts of change. He has truly come to realize the true message of Divine Love and has fully incorporated it into his life.


Freedom part 1 by PaganMale81





Freedom part 2 by PaganMale81





Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Creed of Life

Tuesday, February 5, 2008
I have written a few posts on what ethics I teach my children. I have covered the Nine Noble Virtues(part 1 and part 2) along with the lessons from a Father to his children. But I haven't touched on the center of my religious values. In my coven we have a creed that goes as follows:

May we learn to live in love and light
So that we may have strength and truth
And that we may receive power and blessings

These three lines, while seeming simple on the surface, are in fact very deep and far reaching. There is first love and that is the love that transcends all things. It is the love between us and the Lady and Lord. It is forgiveness and redemption tied together.
Then there is light, and this is where my other posts on ethics fall into. When you learn to live in love the ethics fall into line, usually without guidance. But it is a tough road to follow.
Next in the poem comes strength. This is not physical strength but the strength that comes from surety and confidence in yourself. But it is also the strength that comes from being recognized by your peers as a good role-model. As a loving and honorable person. The strength that means that you are respected and your words and advice are trusted.
Which leads us right into truth. You must continue to strive to live in love and light. To portray yourself truthfully; to always tell the truth, even to yourself. The strength given us by the people around us will quickly fade away if we stop living honorably. Our own personal strength will abandon us if we do things that cause doubt in ourselves.
At the end is power and blessings. If you can learn to live in love and light and to not abuse your strength and to always be truthful, then you will be given power to influence the world for the better. But again all of this will fade if you fail to realize any of the other values.
The blessings come when you line up with the will of the universe and the Gods. While this may seem hard to understand and hard to accomplish. For who really knows what the will of the Gods is. But I have found that if you follow this creed, then you will unconsciously line up with that will. You will be achieving the will of the Gods for your life.
And when this happens you will find that all things will fall into your life that you need. Now this is not to say that you will not fall into hard times, for that is just part of life. But you will receive all things that you truly need with a little work. Because in real life there are no handouts without cost.
Over the next week I will be covering each of these aspects in greater detail. So please tune back in and comment your agreements or disagreements and suggestions.
Blessed Be!


Monday, February 4, 2008

Decorating for the Wheel of the Year -- Floral Wreath

Monday, February 4, 2008
Hope all finds you well after Imbolc and that you all had a great Sabbat. I have at time decorated a grapevine wreath for decorations in my house. Decorating it for the different Sabbats and seasons. Now that Imbolc is past and I regretfully have not changed it since Yule, I think that I am going to take the initiative and make a resolution to change the decorations regularly and faithfully.
You can use real flowers for decorations but they may need to be changed more often. I personally use plastic and silk flowers and decorations. The flowers for Ostara that you can use are lillies and tulips. Dandelions and wild flowers. I tend to let my intuition guide me. At this time of the year there is usually a wide selection of Spring flowers. Pastel hues of yellow and pink and blue are also good choices.
Now that you have picked out the flowers that you want to use, the next step is probably the easiest. Since I use plastic flowers for mine, I cut them down to size and weave the stems into the wreath. You may use wire or even zip ties to hold things into place. There is not set rule on how to decorate it, as long as you are happy with it then you did great.

Here is a picture of my wreath, decorated for the Spring season. I will probably leave it this way until Ostara and then change it again for Litha.
Blessed Be!


Friday, February 1, 2008

Imbolc Family Ritual

Friday, February 1, 2008
With Imbolc being tomorrow, I figured that it is time to actually post a ritual that you can involve the children in.

Supplies:

Three small votive candles - I use white, yellow and green
And Bells for each participant

Have one of the kids ring their bell three times and say the following;

I ring the bell To cast the circle So Mote it Be!

Then an Adult casts the circle, saying the following;

I weave around us a circle With love and light Where we can Honor the Lady and Lord

Tell the kids to imagine a silvery-blue light surrounding them in a large circle. Explain that this "Circle of Light" means that we want to make this a sacred place to honor the Goddess and God.

Next you can pick up the white candle and talk about Winter. If you don't live in a warmer climate, like I do, then you can have snow in a bowl to represent Winter. Light the candle and say;

The world still sleeps in Winter Covered in snow and ice

Have the kids ring their bells to represent the snow that has been falling for so many weeks.
Then you can light the yellow candle and say;
The Sun is growing stronger And Spring is coming closer

Tell the children you chose yellow to represent The Sun, the radiant power of God.

Have the kids ring their bells again. This time tell them they are the warm, fresh breezes of spring, coming to melt the snow. Let them have fun with it. Remember you want your children to look at ritual as the happy, fun celebration it was to our ancestors!

Then pick up the green candle and tell the children that it represents the Earth. Light it and say;

Mother Earth we call you Awake and let all things grow

One last time, have the kids give their bells a good shake. Tell them they are the voice of Mother Earth, nature's alarm clock, waking the frozen ground and sleeping plants from their winter slumber.

Now you can close the circle. Let the child who rung the bell first, ring their bell and say;

I ring the bell To close the circle So Mote It Be!

If you wish then you can make a Brigid's Cross and bless it in ritual. If you make one for the house, you can hang it over the stove, which is the modern hearth. And if you have made more than one then you let the kids hang them in their rooms. This will bring good luck and prosperity to your house.
Here is a link for making a Brigid's Cross.