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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Deity of the Week - Faunus

Wednesday, January 27, 2010
While more associated with the fertile fields of Spring Faunus should be talked about at this time of the year. Because he was the God that was believed to bring fertility to the crops and as Innus to the livestock.

Believed to be originally a king of the Latins, Faunus was also consulted as a god of prophecy in a sacred grove. Later he was called, by the Christian writer Justin Martyr, Lupercus. Which puts his worship on the 15th of February at the Lupercalia. Interestingly this is the date that some Pagans celebrate Imbolc, due to it being astrologically midway between the solstice and the equinox.

The Lupercalia was a pre-Roman pastoral festival dedicated to averting evil spirits and reconsecrating the city, releasing health and fertility. This fits also with the theme of Imbolc as a time to pray for the waking of the Maiden (Earth) and to shake off the constraints of Winter.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Another Question for You All

Monday, January 25, 2010
I ran this by my followers over on Facebook the other day but I wanted to run this by you guys as well. After Imbolc is past I have been thinking about running a Wicca/Paganism 101 series for kids on my blog.

It would run for about three weeks or so. Covering things from who the founders of the religion are to the elements and circle casting. And many other things.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Blessed Be!


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Horned Lord

Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Last week I talked about the Maiden. This week I want to share some info about the Horned One who is the consort to this Aspect of the Goddess.

Below is a poem that I wrote long ago about this particular aspect.

I am the Horned Lord, Cernunnos, guardian of the cycle of birth and rebirth. I am the youth of Spring and exuberant life. My breath is the warming Southern wind. I am the Oak dressed in Brown and Green. I am the protective hunter, King of the animals and I am the wild Pan. Lovemaking, laughter and feasting are all testaments to my power and might. To love is to worship me. I am the Lord of the Greenwood, The Sun King and Heaven's Lord among countless other incarnations. I give to man these gifts; little children of all ages, ecstasy of the spirit and of the body, and I provide the path to self-illumination.

I am the Sun and consort to the Earth Mother and the Star Goddess. I am the priest of the Sun. I am the gnostic upon the throne at the center of all life. And I am the leader of the Wild Rade that leads to the Underworld, which is your inner self.

I am the fire in every beating heart and the waters of the soul, the Earth of the body and the breath of the mind. Call on me as protector and warrior for I am the God of Battles.
I bring the rain, the ultimate promise of life, hear my voice and my laughter in the sound of the falling rain and be joyous.

Blessed Be!



Thursday, January 14, 2010

Brighid's Cross -- Imbolc Craft

Thursday, January 14, 2010
This easy to make item can be used to bless the house and keep it safe for the year ahead.

I find that it is best to use plant material either vine or palm fronds. Just make sure to soak them overnight.
  1. To begin, you'll form a base for your Cross by bending two pieces of vine in their middles to create a pair of loops -- in fact, you'll do this with each piece as you make your Cross. Link the two pieces together at their centers.
  2. Next, turn these two pieces so they lie flat, and at a right angle to one another. This basic two-piece unit is the base for the rest of the Cross, and it's the only time you'll have two pieces hooked together in the middles like this.
  3. Next, bend a third piece of straw in half, and loop it over one of your two base pieces. Both legs of the loop in the new piece will pass over both legs of the base piece. Pull this third piece tight to hold it in place.
  4. Take a fourth piece, and bend it in half as you've done with the others. Loop this one over the legs of the piece you added in. You should now have four pieces, each pointing in a different direction.
  5. Finally, you'll continue looping pieces over one another as you did in the last step, until your cross reaches the size you want. Each piece loops over the previous one. When you're all done, use a piece of string, ribbon, or even another bit of straw to secure the four ends. Trim off excess pieces.
These instructions are courtesy of about.com.



Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Deity of the Week - The Miaden

Wednesday, January 13, 2010
OK so technically this would be Aspect of the Week but it is close enough. Hope you enjoy.


Song of the Maiden
Hear the words of the Maiden:

I who am La Primavera, The Springtime. I who am the promise of Life and the hope for immortality. The one who from beneath my dancing feet spring flowers. I who am the Virgin, untameable. Robed in white, pure and untouched by the world's strife.

I bid you to be merry in all you do. When you make love be sure to think of me for your little deaths are a chance for the beginnings of a little life. And at every birth think of me. For whether boy or girl I am also born there.

Every drop of rain is a blessing falling from my lips, so rejoice in the falling rain. I represent life unbridled, untamed. So I bid thee remember to be unashamed to sing or dance when the mood takes thee.

For every dance and every song is but an expression of the Song of Creation and the Dance of the Creatrix.

Count thy blessings every day and let not sadness take thee for every ending and misfortune leads to a new beginning and greater fortune. There is no room for sadness in the worship of Me.

Also remember not to fear the night for after every night there comes a new dawn. And I promise tht if ye look careful you can see me arrayed in clours wondrous on every morn at the rise of the Sun.
Specific Goddesses

This is the aspect of the Goddess pertaining to Youth and Innocence. She is the Eternal Virgin but not in the patriacharchal sense of a woman before sex or marriage but in the older sense of the word, a woman that belongs only to herself.

The Maiden aspect has many lessons for us. To love without bounds, to view the world through the eyes of innocence and to live in the moment. Through her we learn mercy and compassion. She is also a goddess of passion and gracefulness.

But as much as the Maiden lives in the now, she does not forget her duties. Nor does she let her innocence allow her to be taken advantage of. She is the Huntress, the Warrior Queen as much as she is the Midwife and the Gardener.

There are many Goddesses that fall into this aspect. One example is Artemis who was born after a short and painless labor. After her birth she then turned around and became midwife and nurturer to her Mother, Leto, and helped her mother to give birth to her own twin brother Apollo. Because of this Artemis became the Goddess of childbirth, the protector of children, and the goddess who listened most closely to the appeals of women. This Goddess' association with the wilderness around us, symbolized her own untamed nature. Because of her independence she became the best huntress of the Gods. She was also often depicted carrying a torch to light the way for others, leading them through territories yet uncharted.

There is also the Goddess Kuan Yin who's story best tells us about her. In her youth she was Miao Shan a maiden that wanted to become a Buddhist nun but was forbidden to do so by her Father. He tried to have her married off and when she refused he sent soldiers to kill her. She was saved by a tiger but then descended into the Land of the Dead and freed the souls in bondage there. Rose again and was greeted by Buddha himself who sent her into hiding on the isle of P'u T'o Shan where she reached enlightenment. Yet her suffering had taught her mercy and compassion so that she stopped short and turned back with the pledge to save mankind. That she would not reach enlightenment until everyone else before her reached there.

Blessed Be!



Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Imbolc Recipes -- Meat

Tuesday, January 12, 2010
There were many traditional foods for Imbolc. Some of these included those made with seeds, representing growth. Since this was also a festival of light, marking the halfway point through the dark of winter, fried foods were also important. So I hope that you enjoy these recipes.

Imbolc Feast Lamb Stew

Ingredients
  • 2- 1/2 lb. lamb neck chops
  • 1 tbs. lamb fat
  • 4 medium onions
  • 1 tbs. butter/margarine
  • 4 medium carrots
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 1 tbs. parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp. each salt & pepper
  • 1 tbs. chives, chopped
Preparation:

Don't let the butcher trim the fat off of the lamb chops. Shred some of the excess fat and cook it down in a large pot or Dutch-oven. Peel the onions, carrots, and potatoes. Cut the onions and carrots into quarters, and put all the vegetables aside. Cut the meat into eight pieces, and trim away the rest of the excess fat. The bones need not be removed. Place the meat in the hot fat and brown. Repeat with the onions and carrots. Add water, salt, and pepper carefully. Put whole potatoes on top. Cover pot and simmer gently until meat is cooked, approx. 2 hours. Remove from heat. Pour off the cooking liquid into a separate sauce pan, allow to cool for a few minutes, skim off grease, and reheat. Add butter, chives, and parsley to the reheated liquid in the sauce pan. Pour heated liquid back over the stew. Serve hot. Makes 4-6 servings.


Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs your favorite white fish: tilapia, haddock, flounder
  • 4 large russett potatoes
  • Kosher salt
  • Rosemary
  • 2 C flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
  • A dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1 bottle of dark beer, cold
  • Oil for frying
  • Cornstarch for dredging
Preparation:
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Heat the oil in a large pot until it reaches about 375.
  2. Wedge the potatoes, leaving the skin on, and drop then in a large bowl with cold water.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, Old Bay seasoning, and cayenne pepper. Finally, pour in the beer and whisk until the batter is smooth. To help batter adhere to the fish, try chilling the batter in the fridge for about half an hour.
  4. Drain the potatoes, and submerge them in the oil. Work in small batches so the oil doesn't cool off too much, and cook them until they're crisp and golden brown. Remove from oil, drain on a rack, and season with rosemary and kosher salt. Place them in the oven to stay warm while you cook the fish.
  5. Reduce the heat of the oil to about 350. Lightly dredge your fish fillets in cornstarch, and then dip in the batter. Place in the hot oil, and allow to cook until the batter sets. Turn fish over, and cook until they're a golden brown color. Remove from oil, drain on rack, and serve with potato fries.
  6. For maximum flavor, sprinkle with malt vinegar and salt.



Thursday, January 7, 2010

Brigid's Crown -- Imbolc Craft

Thursday, January 7, 2010
One of the more traditional props for this Sabbat is a crown of light. This craft combines the Goddess Brighid's aspects of firekeeper and fertility Goddess. Although this was traditionally worn on the head, I do not recommend this. Because I have seen people set themselves on fire. I would put it on the altar.

Supplies Needed:
  • A circular wreath frame, either of straw or grapevine
  • Winter evergreens, such as pine, fir or holly
  • Spring flowers, such as forsythia, dandelions, crocus, snowbulbs
  • Red, silver and white ribbons
  • Candles at least 4" long -- tapers are perfect for this
  • A hot glue gun
Instructions:
  1. Place the wreath form on a flat surface. Using the hot glue gun, attach the candles around the circle.
  2. Next, attach a mixture of winter greenery and spring flowers to the wreath. Blend them together to represent the transition between winter and spring. Make it as thick and lush as you can, weaving in and around the candles.
  3. Wrap the ribbons around the wreath, weaving between the candles. Leave some excess ribbons hanging off, if you plan to hang this on your door or a wall, and then braid it or tie in a bow. If you're using it on an altar, light the candles during rituals to honor Brighid.
courtesy of about.com