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Conjuration of the Good Spirits

O you glorious and benevolent angels,Urzla, Zlar, Larzod, Arzal, who are the four angels of the East, I invocate you, adjure and call you forth to visible apparition in and through the great prevalent and divine name of the Most Holy God Erzla, and by the ineffable and efficacious virtues and power thereof, whereby you are governed and called forth, it being therefore absolutely necessary, pre-ordained, appointed and decreed.

Now therefore do I most earnestly entreat and powerfully adjure you, O you benign angels Urzla, Zlar, Larzod, Arzal, in this potent name of your God Erzla to move and appear visibly, and show yourself to me in this crystal stone (or mirror) here before me.

And in and through the same, to transmit your ray to my sight and your voice to my ears that I may audibly hear you and plainly see you and include me in your mysteries wherefore I do most earnestly adjure you, O benevolent and amicable angels, Azla, in the most excellent name of your God, Erzla, and I as a servant of the highest do efficaciously invoke you to appear now perfectly visible to me, O you servants of mercy, come and show yourselves firmly unto me and let me partake of the secret wisdom of your creator.

Amen
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Herbs of Yule

Herbs of Yule
Bayberry, blessed thistle, laurel, pine, sage, yellow cedar.

Evergreens
  • symbolizing: Continuity of Life, Protection, Prosperity
  • types: Pine, Fir, Cedar, Juniper, other evergreens
  • forms: boughs, wreaths, garlands, trees
  • divinities: Green Goddesses & Gods; Hertha; Cybele, Attis, Dionysius (Pine); Woodland Spirits
Holly
  • symbolizing: Protection; Good Luck
  • forms: boughs over portals, wreaths
  • divinities: Holly King; Bacchus; Wood Spirits
Mistletoe
  • {Birdlime, Golden Bough, Holy Wood} - Viscum Album
  • Parts Used - Twig & Leaf
  • Herbal Uses - Infusion, Tea, Tincture
  • CAUTION - Berries should not be used for internal consumption - Large doses of this herb have been known to induce convulsions in children
  • Homeopathic Uses - Epileptic aura, petit mal seizures, heart conditions, asthma connected with gout or rheumatism, rheumatic deafness, chorea, metrorrhagia, left-sided ovarian pain, left-side body complaints
  • Magical Uses - Use to combat despair, herb of protection, child theft by fairies, healing, hunting, conception, to bring beautiful dreams, unlock the secrets of immortality through dreams - used for wands and ritual items or placed around a 'Hand of Glory' to ward off thieves - to protect the bearer from werewolves. {Herb of the Sun & Jupiter}
  • CAUTION - You should take note that this herb is considered by many in the study of herbs, to be extremely toxic. It should not be used for medical complaint, without full and total knowledge of it's usage and dosages.
Oak
  • {Duir} - Quercus Spp.
  • Parts Used - Bark, Leaf, Acorn
  • Herbal Uses - Infusion, Tea, Salves
  • Homeopathic Uses - Edema, splenetic dropsy, liver problems, gout, alcoholic cravings
  • Magical Uses - Abundance, fertility, longevity, protection, spiritual awareness while remaining fully rooted in the earth plane, it's wood is used for staves and wands, use any parts for protective charms which bring healing. Acorns bring fertility and abundance. Plant in the dark of the moon to bring financial prosperity. {Tree of Jupiter}
  • CAUTION - Parts of this tree contain the compound known as tannic acid. Tannic acid in this form is toxic to humans. Oak bark tea can be bought OTC, if you would prefer. Otherwise, if you intend to use this particular herb, make sure that you do a complete study on how to use it.
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Things to Keep in Mind

Ask for what you need
If you don't need it, don't ask for it. The magical power of a spell is driven by a true need; if you're asking for a second yacht, you probably won't get any results that you would like.

Don't fence yourself in
The most likely reason for a spell to fail is if you're asking for something too specific - you want to give yourself and the universe as much room to maneuver as you can. Don't focus on details, focus on the feeling you want to have when things work out right. Close your eyes and try to find that feeling "out there;" if you find it, either move toward it or reach out and bring it toward you.

Pay attention to the tides
The second most likely reason for a spell to fail is if the time is just wrong. Remember that spells work within the bounds of nature, and sometimes the wind and the tides are working against you. When that happens, the best thing you can do is to put a finger to the wind and figure out where you can go, working with the natural flow of things; or just wait it out until the tides shift in your direction.

Give something back
If you're asking for something, it's a good idea to offer something in return, at least as a token gesture - a flower, or a bit of food, or a coin, for instance (no live animals, please).

Remember other people are using magic too, whether they know it or not:
Most people have some natural magical ability, whether they know it or not, and an instinct for taking care of themselves. If you try to cast a spell that is inherently detrimental to another person, you will meet resistance from that person's magical energy. The magical universe is a crowded place, and things will work out best for you if you manage to navigate a path that avoids direct conflict with your fellow beings.

Follow up with mundane action
Another important point about spells is that it's very important to follow up with mundane action. If you cast a spell for money, don't expect a check to just show up in your mailbox the next day; get out and look for a job, or at least buy a lottery ticket (magic doesn't work terribly well with those, by the way, because everybody who buys a lottery ticket throws a bit of magic into it, whether they know what they're doing or not). The idea is to make a point of putting yourself into situations where the magic has a chance of working.

SOURCE
http://gypsymagicspells.blogspot.com/2008/05/things-to-keep-in-mind.html
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True Magic


When people think of the word magic, the average person probably thinks of Samantha in "Bewitched" twitching her nose to turn a cat into a horse, or of Macbeth's three witches standing around the cauldron while chanting, "Eye of newt and toe of frog, wool of bat and tongue of dog..." But magic has nothing to do with the supernatural. True magic comes from within ourselves.

It can only work within the boundaries of natural law, but it can seem to happen miraculously, simply because most people don't understand the extent of the natural laws that we are dealing with. The fundamental idea behind this is that the thoughts you put out into the cosmos are a form of energy, and this attracts other energy in many forms. Your brain is like a radio beacon that is constantly sending out messages...and the universe (or the gods) receive those messages and transmit a reply back to us in one form or another.

Thoughts are energy, and words are powerful. These are two truths that are the basis of spell work. There is a natural law that states that on a metaphysical level, like attracts like. By visualising an object and affirming to yourself that you want this item to manifest in your life, you are sending a clear message to the universe and to your subconscious as to what you want...and the cosmos will listen...and a corresponding image to the one you sent out will soon find its way to you. What we send out in thoughts and words, we attract to ourselves. What you think and what you say has more power than you can imagine. This is a type of magic in itself.

We use this type of "spell" all the time, mostly without realising it. How often do you say to yourself or others, "I'm always broke, there's just never enough money to go around!" And what's the result? That's a form of magic that you are working against yourself every day. Some other examples that I hear people say are: "As soon as I stop dieting, I put weight back on," and "My car is always breaking down." In this article, we will be looking at using this same principle, but we will turn it around so that this form of magic works for us to enhance our lives.

Magic is a natural process that can be easily accomplished. It is a wonderful demonstration of the power that we each have to bring about change in our lives, and in our world around us. The life energy within us, and the universal forces that surround us, are energies of specific vibrations. In order to create magic, we simply need to attune with the vibrations of what we desire, and we need to know how to send the message of our needs to our subconscious and the universe.

Spells are practical tools that help us to attune with our desires, and then, in conjunction with our will, we direct this power inwards and outwards to ensure manifestation. As Aleister Crowley said... "Magic is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will." The subconscious mind is the source of the personal power used in magic. And spells are an effective way to convey messages to the subconscious because spells incorporate symbols - and symbolism is the language of the subconscious. Know that words have power. And when words are used in conjunction with symbols, then the results are magical!

In the book "Myth, Religion, and Mother Right", the author J.J. Bachofen eloquently describes the power of symbolism: "Human language is too feeble to convey all the thoughts aroused by the alternation of life and death and the sublime hopes of the initiate. Only the symbol awakens intimations; speech can only explain. The symbol plucks all the strings of the human spirit at once; speech is compelled to take up a single thought at a time. The symbol strikes its roots in the most secret depths of the soul; language skims over the surface of the understanding like a soft breeze. The symbol aims inward; language outward. Only the symbol can combine the most disparate elements into a unitary impression. Language deals in successive particulars; it expresses bit by bit what must be brought home to the soul at a single glance if it is to affect us profoundly. Words make the infinite finite, symbols carry the spirit beyond the finite world of becoming into the realm of infinite being."

From what we have described so far, I'm hoping that you now realise that magic comes from within. And the more energy that you put into creating a spell, the better the result will be. For a spell to be effective, you cannot simply say words from a spell book and hope for the best, you have to know how to put power into the spell.

The spell is not the magic, it is only by putting power into a spell that you create the magic.

Author: Don McLeod
FROM
http://gypsymagicspells.blogspot.com/2010/08/true-magic.html
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Magick and The Creative Process


Each of us creates every moment of his or her entire life by sending out thoughts, feelings, emotions, prayers or declarations into the Matrix, being the energy weavings of the universe. We can send out new thougths that might change the energy patterns, or repeat old thoughts that will (re)create more of the old energy forms, or we may be influenced by the ideas and emotions of others and help so reinforce their energy patterns.

We are not only sending energy, at the same time we are receiving the energy of the thoughts and feelings of others. If their thoughts and feelings contain truth for us, we might incorporate that energy as 'our own', what means that your thoughts don't necessarily have to be your own thoughts!

To understand the creative process we need to understand the basics of it:

The power of belief.
The more you believe that what you think and feel is true, the more certainty you add to the energy you send out, and the bigger the change that it will take form in the physical world. Also the more you think the universe will grant it you, the greater the certainty that you will receive it. Be thankful beforehand, knowing that it is already existing and will appear in the physical world.

The power of united souls.
The more persons think, feel or pray the same thing, the larger the amount of a certain energy capable of causing changes.

The power of repetition.
The more often you think or feel the same thing, the more belief and certainty about it you raise in your mind, so the more powerful your sent out energy becomes. Choose the same thing over and over again.

The power of clarity of mind.
Make sure that you know what to choose; that way you send out equal messages to the universe.

The power of similarity.
Like attracts like! You will attract that what you send out, so if your thoughts contain a lot of fear of disease for instance, you will attract disease as a magnet. If you send out thoughts of love and kindness, you will suddenly notice that unknown people smile at you and greet you.

The power of the basic emotions love and fear.
At the base of every thought or emotion (or behind the conscious thought/emotion) lies one of these two emotions. If the basis is love, you will have ideas like: there is enough for everyone, I am good enough to ask this, the Universe will grant it me, I am thankful for life and its treasures... You will feel self-trust, self-love and self-confidence, inner peace and union with the All. A basic thought of love will add enormous power to your creative force.

If the basis is fear, you will think things like: there is never enough, I won't get it, I don't deserve it, I am not good enough, I have not done enough, I will lose it again, what if it does not work. You will experience fears and worries, doubts and insecurities, and you regard yourself as separate from the infinite Source. A basic thought of fear will severely diminish your power to create.

The power of taking responsibility.
If you take responsibility for your life than you can find the strength to make conscious changes in it. If everybody around you has done it, or fate, and you consider yourself a helpless victim, then how could you even believe that you could influence your own life in a positive way?

Of course you are not personally responsible for big events like wars, earthquakes or tornadoes; these occurrences are often called upon by our group-consciousness. Also many personal issues are often created by more persons than just you. But you surely are responsible for your reactions on and decisions towards all events. Do you try to find a positive solution or do you sit down effortless in self-pity? (Discouragement creates the same thing over and over).

The power of attention.
What you give attention to will be realized. This means that the love you feel for the things you like to realize will attract them to you. This also implies that suppression of 'bad' or 'ugly' parts of our personality only contributes to their existence. After all you have to put quite some energy in the denial of these characteristics by trying to think them away. It is much more beneficial to accept that we all have our 'good' and 'bad' qualities, and that we choose whether we want to live as a sinner or a saint.

Observe 'the horrible you' without judging it, decide what kind of person you want to be, and begin to think and act in a new way. Mind torturers like fears, worries, anger and grief can disappear if you simply let them be, accept them without putting energy in it. The feelings you dare to confront without holding on can pass through you like clouds.

The power of thought control.
If you notice yourself thinking something that you don't wish to think, simply consider how you want to think over that subject or person and. Send out the new thought. It is like copying out a page on a computer!

The power of not accepting no.
Declare your truth completely, friendly, but determinedly. If people argue about it simply agree that you can understand their point of view, but... repeat your truth in a firm friendly way... until you get what you want. This is the famous technique of assertiveness trainings known as the 'broken gramophone record'. In fact the creative process is a big personally adapted mind-control program. Better to control your own mind then having it done by others!

There are three levels in creating:

  1. Think about what you want.
    Speak it out or write it down (not necessarily in the company of others, since they might diminish the belief in yourself by questioning your mental sanity) act as if it is already existing, smell it, taste it,
  2. Visualize it.
    On the more levels you are creating, the greater the materializing force you set into motion. Usually we start the creating process at step 1, but it can also start at step 2 (remember the occasions where you heard yourself say something and realized later how much truth you spoke?) and the quickest way is to start at step 3: act in a new way and afterwards
  3. Think about it.What you think of, you create. And what you create you experience, and your experience is the basis for what you will think of next. Enjoy creating simply for the joy of creating and remain free from expectations. How others react on your creations is their responsibility, not yours. But if you try to create for the highest good of all, you can hardly go wrong. Dare to change your mind if necessary. Don't ask for guarantees.
If life is created over and over again, changing from minute to minute, how can we guarantee anything except that life will be life? If you don't like a certain outcome, know that you are a magician and change it!

Author: Anja Heij
FROM
http://gypsymagicspells.blogspot.com/2010/08/magick-and-creative-process.html
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The Art of Casting Spells

"A spell is a symbolic act
done in an altered state of consciousness
in order to cause a desired change."



To cast a spell is to project energy through a symbol. It is important to note that the energy is what is key, not the symbol; too often, the symbols are mistaken for the agent that casts the spell. While props are useful at times, it is the mind that works the magic. Correspondences between colors, planets, metals, numbers, plants and minerals, and musical notes make up a great deal of magical lore, and particular objects, shapes, colors, scents, and images do work better than others to embody certain ideas. The most powerful spells are often improvised from materials that feel right or that simply happen to come to hand, however.

Theory of Spellcasting

Spells are an important aspect of magical training. They require the use of the combined faculties of relaxation, visualization, concentration and projection. The casting of spells provides practice in coordinating these skills and developing them further. Spells are extremely sophisticated psychological tools that have subtle, but important, effects on a person's inner growth. Spells may highlight otherwise hidden complexes of the person casting the spell.

A person who has conflicts about success will find great difficulty in concentrating on a money spell, for example. Many times the practical results of a spell are far less important than the psychological insights that arise during the magical work, for discovering our inner blocks and fears is the first step in overcoming them. Spells also go one step further than most forms of psychotherapy, in that they allow us not only to listen to and interpret the unconscious, but also to speak to it in the language it understands.

Symbols, images, and objects used in spells communicate directly with Younger Self, who is the guardian of our emotions and who is barely affected by the intellect. We often understand our feelings and behavior but find ourselves unable to change them, but through spells, we can attain the most important power - the power to change our lives.

Spellcasting also forces us to come to terms with the material world. Many people attracted to the spiritual path of the Craft find themselves uneasy with using magic for practical or material goals. Somehow it seems wrong to work magic for oneself, to want things and to get things. This is an attitude which is a holdover of the Judeo-Christian world view that sees spirit and matter as separate and that identifies matter with evil and corruption.

In the Craft, flesh, the material world, none of what is commonly thought of as matter is separate from spirit. The universe is made up of the Goddess who is manifest in all things. Union with the Goddess comes through embracing the material world and all the gifts that She has placed in it for us. Our major task on this plane of existence is to become masters of this realm of manifestation. We do not fight self-interest; we follow it, but with an awareness that transmutes it into something sacred.

Mechanics of Spellcasting

Spellcasting is the lesser, not the greater magic; but the greater magic builds on the lesser. The paradox is that in spellcasting we may start out working with the personal self, but in order to work the magic we are forced to expand and recognize the Self that moves through all beings.

Magic involves the deliberate self-identification with other objects and people. For example, to do a healing, we must become the healer, the one who is healed, and the energy that is to do the healing. To attract love, we must be able to love ourselves and to become love its self.

Spells work in two basic ways. The first is through suggestion; symbols and images implant certain ideas in Younger Self, or the subconscious mind, and we are then influenced to actualize those ideas. Spells can also influence the external world.

The theoretical model that witches use to explain the workings of magic is a clear one and coincides in many ways with the "new" physics. It is simply an elaborate but extremely useful metaphor. The metaphor is based on a world view that sees things not as fixed objects, but as vortexes of energy. The physical world is formed by the vortexes of energy, and if we cause a change in the energy patterns they, in turn, cause a change in the physical world. When our own energy is concentrated and channeled, it can move the broader energy currents. The images and objects used in spells are the channels. They are the vessels through which our power is poured, and by which it is shaped.

As energy is directed into the images we visualize, it gradually manifests physical form and takes shape in the material world. Directing energy is not a matter of simply emoting. Emotion can be likened to a strobe light which provides a very inconstant light, while directed energy is more like a laser beam. Even concentrated power is a small stream compared with the vast surges of energy that surround us. The most adept witch cannot be successful in all her spells, for the opposing currents are often too strong.

The craft teaches to first identify the flow of energy and then to decide whether or not it is going where we want it to go. If it is not, then we can try to deflect it, or we may have to change our own course. Sensing the energy climate is a matter of intuition and experience. Some witches make a study of Astrology in an effort to plan their magical workings at the optimal times, while others prefer to work when they feel the time is right.

Of all the planets, the Moon's influence on subtle energies is the strongest. Subtle power increases as the Moon waxes, so the time of the waxing Moon is best for spells involving growth or increase, such as money spells. The power peaks when the Moon is full and that is the best time for workings of culmination and love. During the waning Moon, power subsides and turns inward. The waning Moon's period is used for banishings, bindings, and discovering hidden secrets. The practical witch soon learns to adjust her spells to fit the time of the Moon. If, for example, she needs to do a money spell during the waning Moon, she would put a little 'English' on it and make it a poverty banishing spell.

Energy pursues the path of least resistance. Material results are more easily achieved on this plane of existence through physical actions than through magical workings. For example, it is simpler to lock your door than suffer the constant drain from maintaining psychic seals on your doors and windows while you are away from home. Of course, once you have locked your door, you might feel more reassured by placing seals on it.

No magic spell is going to bring results unless channels are opened into the material world. For example, a job spell is useless if you are not willing to go out and interview for jobs or at least let potential employers know that you are in the market for one. In the same vein, a healing spell is no substitute for medical care.

Most medicine today can be broken down into two broad categories, emergency medicine and that which is not needed for immediate life-threatening situations. Emergency medicine has excelled at stabilizing the body's condition so that it can repair itself at its own pace. Most other forms of medicine consist of treatment through surgery or chemotherapy or a combination of both. The procedures noted above work on the physical body and do not take the other levels into consideration. Psychic healing works at healing the higher levels of the person so that the physical heals itself or allows the person to let go of their physical body if it cannot be repaired. In either case, the choice rests with the person who is being healed and not the healer.

Visualization used in creating a spell should focus on the desired result, not the individual steps leading up to the result. We give the spell free rein in how it goes about achieving the results with the understanding that it is not to bring harm to anyone or any being. For this reason, spells have a habit of working in very unexpected ways.

To assure that the power we have unleashed does not inadvertently cause harm, we bind the spell. This serves to 'set' the form we have created so that the energy becomes fixed in the pattern we desire. The energy we project to others affects us even more strongly than the other person. This is because we have generated the energy, and thus we have become the object at which the energy is directed. If healing energy is sent out, then the health of the person casting the spell is enhanced. By the same token, any hex or curse that is sent out ALWAYS affects the person who sends it no matter whether it affected the person it was sent at or not.

MAGIC IS NOT TO BE USED TO GAIN POWER OVER OTHERS. Magic is a technique used in developing your own 'power from within.' Spells that are directed at gaining power over others weaken the 'power from within.' Aside from the damage done to oneself, it is important for another reason. Many people who do not understand the laws of magic are afraid of being attacked magically and are given to paranoia. The witch's main stock-in-trade used to be removing a competitor's hexes and preparing charms to protect their clients. While true psychic attacks are EXTREMELY RARE, a person's guilt makes up for any lack, and after using 'forbidden' help, their paranoia leads them to seek protection from the same person they just turned to in desperation. Do yourself a favor, and resist the temptation to 'help' these types. Most magical formularies consist of formulae gathered and tested by witches as well as many charms to protect the common man from those same witches who sold them their charms.

Times and Correspondences

I mentioned earlier that timing and the right props are considered important in spellcasting. Over the years, systems of Correspondences were developed which assigned certain attributes and aspects to the seven ancient planets of Astrology. Each planet was assigned a God or Goddess, who embodies the attributes the ancients wished to invoke. Each of the Gods and Goddesses were assigned an hour of the day, color, incense, metal, number, signature, plant, mineral, musical note, and animal or bird.

General Guidelines for Casting Spells

Set aside a room for your magical work. Decorate it with things that put you in a magical mood. Remember to use things that stimulate all five of your physical senses. Some obvious things would be the use of appropriate colors for sight, incense for scent, music for hearing, wines for taste, and textures for feel.

If you do not have a room you can set aside exclusively for your magical work, then choose a room that can be locked while you do your work. This will allow you to work undisturbed. In any case, you should clean your work area periodically with a purifying powder/floorwash to keep away negative vibrations.

Set up an altar to be used as your worktable. It's size and shape should be those that appeal to you. Placing candles and other items that assist you to concentrate on the work at hand is a good practice. Some people like to cover their altar with a white cloth and place fresh cut flowers on it every day.

Always use the best candles, oils, and incenses that you can afford, or make your own, for scrimping on materials has a negative effect on the subconscious. Don't forget that the subconscious is very good at making do with raw materials that it can shape to its own use.

Never cast a spell until you have a clear and concise picture of what it is you wish to accomplish. This ties in with the saying "Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it."

Always ground out any extra energy you raise for the spell, and bind the spell so that it expires within the pre-determined amount of time. Once you have cast the spell, do not discuss it with any one until after it has worked. Most spells peter out because the person who cast it boasts about it to so many people, that the spell is robbed of power before it has a chance to work. The ancient bond placed on the magician was to dare, to know and to keep silent.

Above all, at all times, remember the Rede: "An ye harm none, do what you will." You do not know all the effects of your spell, therefore, use magick sparingly, if at all.

Authors Details: Unknown
FROM
http://gypsymagicspells.blogspot.com/2010/08/art-of-casting-spells.html
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St Sylvester's Day Lore

St. Sylvester's Day Lore

December 31st is St. Sylvester's Day. Here is some associated folklore:
  • To be born on Sylvester's day gives a love of change that is carried too far.
  • It is a bad day for reconciling enemies.
  • December thirty-first, when Judas hanged himself, is considered by many a very unlucky day.
  • On Sylvester night all water is turned into wine, but only between 12 and 1 o'clock.
  • In Ireland on the last day of the year a cake is thrown at the door by the head of the house to prevent hunger from entering during the coming year.
  • Whoever sees his or her shadow on St. Sylvester's night, without any head to the shadow will die within a year.
  • On the last day of the old year rats are going about everywhere in the house, and if they hear nothing said about them, they will never go there again; but if the word rat is mentioned in their hearing, they will take it as an invitation and will return in great numbers.
It used to be a custom not long since for the inhabitants of St. Pierre on the island of Guernsey to turn out in a body on the 31st of December to bury an effigy representing the old year in the sand of Vazon Bay. This was called burying the "End of the Year." This custom is now extinct, and popular corruption has mixed it up with the burning of Guy Fawke's effigy on the 5th of November, so much so that the figure of Guy is now called "The end of the year" without any reason whatever.

In Germany New Year's eve is called Sylvester's Eve and it is considered ill luck to go to bed before the new year has begun. There is a widespread superstition that if you keep awake on that night and hear a chorus of voices singing hymns, you will have good luck all the year. In many families the children recite verses (New-Year wishes) for their parents, ask their forgiveness for wrong-doings during the past year and promising good behavior for the new year. Great revelries are held on that night in almost every country and many superstitious rites are observed.

In Scotland the last day of the year is considered propitious for almost any undertaking, especially marriage.

Found in:
Encyclopaedia of Superstitions, Folklore, and the Occult Sciences of the World 


SOURCE
GYPSY MAGIC


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Yule Meaning

Yule is a time of the greatest darkness and is the shortest day of the year. Earlier people noticed such phenomena and supplicated the forces of nature to lengthen the days and shorten the nights. Wiccans sometimes celebrate Yule just before dawn, then watch the Sun rise as a fitting finale to their efforts.

After the Norse brought Yule into prominence it nearly replaced Samhain as the date of the New year, and many modern Celtic covens still honor Yule this way. The Nordic-influenced Celts celerbated Yule with  many of the trappings we associate with modern Christians observances: decorated evergreen trees, wreaths, holly, mistleteoe, feasting, and dancing.

They also believed that on this night the Holly King, as the God of the waning year, would battle the Oak King, the God of the waxing year, and lose. Often Yule coven rituals have members reenact this fight.

This is the time of death and rebirth of the Sun God. The days are shortest, the Sun is at its lowest point. The full moon after Yule is considered to be the most powerful moon of the whole year. This ritual is a light festival, with as many candles as possible on or near the altar in welcome of the Sun child.




Thus passes away from thee,
away from thee and thing
the spirit of the last cycle's learning,
Free to move forward into the turning
of this year's cycle of learning
We rejoice
The time of repose has come
let us remember the lessons each has learned,
commit the lesson to heart,
preparing to move beyond.




Queen of the moon, Queen of the sun,
Queen of the heavens, Queen of the stars,
Queen of the waters, Queen of the Earth,
Bring us the Child of Promise!
It is the Great Mother who giveth birth to him,
It is the Lord of Life who is born agai,
Darkness and tears are set aside
when the sun shall come up early!


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Yule is *almost* here!!



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It's beggining to look a lot like.... Oak Moon

November is know as the Oak Moon. As the year turns darker, the nights grow longer, the moon is brighter. A time of reflection upon oneself, inner-searching, meditation. Transform yourself by learning what are your truths and lies. Perform insight spells.

Other names: Beaver Moon, Dark Moon, Fog Moon, Frosty Moon, Moon Before Yule, Owl Moon, Snow Moon, Storm Moon

Herbs: Sage and Chervil

Astrology: Sagittarius


The Oak Moon Esbat

The significance of each of the Esbats draws its influence from the changes in the earth around us. At this point in the wheel of the year, we have seen and accepted the demise in nature. We are taught as we look around the barren and frozen earth, that nothing dies that is not then reborn. We know implicitly that lying just beneath the surface, life waits to spring up around us anew. However, before this can happen the earth must rejuvenate to resurface refreshed and renewed with new purpose and energy. The Mood Goddess at this time is heavy with child – the Sun God, who shall be born at Yule. But before we celebrate the beginning of the return of the light at Yule, or the Winter Solstice (21st December), we celebrate the Oak Moon Esbat (15th December). It is now that we must take our lessons from the earth, accepting we all must rest before a new cycle begins, preparing to grow anew ourselves.

During the Oak Moon, a transition occurs, we move in this moon from death to birth, life renewed at the time of the Winter Solstice. With this in mind, it is a lovely idea to keep a candle burning from the Esbat to the Solstice, acknowledging the return of the light ahead, as the days begin once again to become longer. It is best, if you decide to keep a candle burning, to use a contained candle such as a votive, which is designed for extended (and safe) burn times, always observing safety, which is especially important if you have small children or pets. As you light the first candle, recite something akin to:

“Fire of the Sun, illuminate the Earth
Bring back life with your rebirth
We await your coming, until your rise
To re-awake the Earth and nourish our lives”

The candle is then extinguished at the Winter Solstice, when the light returns.

At the Esbat of the Oak Moon, there are many relevant rituals. To give candles as gifts at this time of year is a wonderful thing to do – symbolising our individual flames re-igniting at this powerful time of year.



SOURCE
http://brighterblessings.co.uk/articles/esbats.htm
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To Mikuni... with love...

The temperatures are slowly dropping around here. The first sign that the winter is coming abroad is letting itself show as Mikuni, my dear companion, has decided NOT to go out as often as she likes to and rather curl up in bed, the sofa or - as it has been recently stated - next to the heater. 


This morning she gave me the scare of my life when she got out to see me good-bye and off to work and decided to walk with me to the corner, only to cross the street without looking and ALMOST being hit/squashed by a car. I screamed. She stood still and the car flew on top of her. I was crying when she got up and ran towards me. She meowed "It's okay... see? I'm okay!" but still that did not stopped me from taking her in my arms and walking back home to get her inside. When I got home after work, she was waiting for me on the roof and ran to meet me, as she always does.

It has now become so hard to imagine my life without her. Just a couple of years ago, I couldn't see myself sharing my life with a cat, now I cannot see myself not having a cat around -- THIS cat, the one who wakes me up at five in the morning for breakfast, the one who curls-up in my stomach when she's cold at night, the one who sleeps in my shoes, the one who walks me outside and sends me on my way to work, the one who welcomes me back and then goes "now feed me!"... 

I am grateful, that our paths have crossed. Thanks to her, I am finding myself less lonely.... and more understanding of the human heart.



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Blessed be, the rambling of a witch

Samhain. The veil opens to reveal what is on the other side. The Goddess descends to the Summerlands. The witche's New Year. the peak of our magical power. The time when we ask our totem creatures what is expected of us during the next cycle. The time when our skin peals off to reveal just much we have matured, grown... Blessed be, Samhain.

It's always nice to welcome those who have parted onto the Summerlands. But it is also important to remember that, while they are THERE, we are HERE. Let you not forget that while Samhain is a festival of the dead, it is the living that carry on this tradition. We have to rejoice and dance around the bonfire to release our energy in order for the veil to open. We need to laugh and remember our departed ones with joy and glee as they will find the path to us easier this way. True, sometimes we do miss them and wish they are still here with us, but aren't they? They are always with you, if you live.

Live and rejoice. That is my lesson this year. A lot of bad things happen around you, but you don't have to crawl-up into your shell to protect you from them. Make each day count, believe in who you are and allow the magic of this universe to flow with you, within you.

Blessed be, everyone. Have a great Samhain.


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Samhain Kitchen Recipes 2011

Boxty
Boxty, a traditional Irish dish, that when eaten on the night of Samhain has a wedding ring placed into the potatoes just before serving them. Whoever gets the ring will have their destiny decided for them, meaning marriage was not far away. Make sure everyone knows that there is a charm in this dish.


Ingredients
* 1 cup of mashed potatoes
* 1 cup of grated raw potatoes
* 2 cups of self-rising flour
* 1 to 1 ½ cups of milk or buttermilk
* ¼ teaspoon of salt
* ¼ to ½ cup of butter
* Sour cream, optional

Directions
Mix the mashed potatoes with the grated raw potatoes in a large bowl. Stir in the rest of the dry ingredients and 1 cup of liquid. As the batter is mixed, add small amounts of additional milk or buttermilk until the batter is loose enough to work with. Melt two tablespoons of butter over gentle heat. When the butter is melted and the pan heated, ladle small pancakes into the pan. Brown on both sides and serve hot with more butter or sour cream.



Brittany Funeral Fish Soup

 
A region of North Western France, Brittany is known for its simple, but wholesome foods. Easy to make this soup was served out to the guests as a meal of grounding for the living. Some would place a small amount out into a serving dish for the dead.

1 kg white fish, boned and cleaned.
2 Tbsp butter
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
5 potatoes, peeled and chopped
3 bay leaves
1 sprig fresh thyme
3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
Water to cover

Cut fish into bite sized pieces. Melt the butter and fry the onions and garlic until soft. Place all ingredients into a large stockpot, add water to cover and simmer, covered with a lid for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Serve with crusty, French bread.



19 th Century Colcannon
 

For the Ancient Celts, Samhain was held for seven days each Autumn to remember the death of the Sun God and to prepare for his travel into the Otherworld. In Celtic homes, the funeral was designed after some of these Samhain rites. A wake would be held in the deceased´s home for seven days and nights. The body would be washed, wrapped in a special cloth or death shirt and set in the casket or on a platform in the center of the house. Villagers would come by and offer along with their chants, wails and prayers, offerings of food and drink. After about three days of this, the family and mourners, if all satisfied as to how everything went, moved onto the festive stage of party, feasting, games and much merriment. Gold, coins, bowls of food and glasses of ale would be placed alongside the casket and on the chest of the deceased. This usually lasted four days, then the deceased would be taken for burial. One of the dishes prepared and certainly one of my favourites is Colcannon, great for the deceased and the living! This is a simple version whereas Charms can be added , a thimble for spinsterhood, a ring for marriage, a button for bachelorhood and a coin for wealth. Make sure your guests know there are charms in the Colcannon.

½ c butter
1 large onion or leek peeled and finely chopped
2 c cooked and mashed potatoes
2 c chopped and cooked cabbage
½ c cream or milk

On a large griddle, fry the onion or leek in some of the butter. When cooked, add the potatoes, cabbage, milk, remaining butter and seasonings that have been mixed together in a large bowl. Stir well and when the mix begins to go green, turn out onto a dish. Serve hot with butter and plenty of black pepper.




 
Pansperima
 
Pansperima is a traditional Greek dish that consists of boiled wheat. This dish dates back to ancient Pagan times and is symbolically connected with death. Kolyva is an improved version of Pansperima and is eaten on some Saturdays throughout the year to give honour and remembrance to the dead. These days are known as " Soul Sabbaths." Kolyva consists of two pounds of wheat boiled with a good handful of dried fruit and garnished with the seeds from the pomegranate. The wheat represents everlasting life, the fruit is for joy and happiness and the pomegranate seeds are a symbol of plenty, fertility and life.




Blood & Bone Cookies
The cranberries represent the blood and the white chocolate bones. Ideal treats for the Witchlings of Halloween.

125g butter
1/2 c sugar
1 c flour
1/2 c cornflour
1/4 c chopped white chocolate
1/4 c dried cranberries

Cream butter, sugar and syrup until fluffy. Sift in flours, mix together. Stir in chocolate & cranberries. Gently knead together then place in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Take out of fridge and knead together, don't worry if it is crumbly, it will come together. Roll dough out to a 1/4 inch thickness on a lightly floured board. Cut into shapes such as moons, bats, witches hats,tombstones, cats and so on. Place on baking tray and refrigerate for another 30 minutes.
Bake cookies at 180C for approximately 12-15 minutes or until golden, depending on cookie size. Leave to cool, these cookies can also be iced if you choose.


Samhain Cider
Double, double, toil and trouble,
Cauldron boil and cauldron bubble...

1 litre apple and orange juice
1 clove studded orange
1 clove studded apple or pear
1 inch cinnamon stick, broken
3 allspice berries
3 juniper berries
3 black peppercorns
1 litre lemonade or soda water
750 ml apple cider

Gently heat the first seven ingredients together for 13 minutes. Pour into a punch bowl, add lemonade and cider, stir in gently. Serve warm or cold.



Lollipop Ghosts
Simple to make and great treats to throw into the kids lunch boxes.
Chuppa chup lollipops
White serviettes
Cotton
Marker pen

Place a serviette over a lollipop and secure around the neck with cotton to resemble a ghost. Draw on two black eyes with the marker pen. These make great Halloween treats for all ages.



Quiche of Pumpkin
This is a good stand-by quiche that can be served hot or cold.

Pastry
1 ½ c wholemeal or Spelt flour, (fertility)
100g butter, (spirituality)
Salt, (protection)
¼ tsp paprika, (warmth)
Iced water, (cleansing)

Rub butter into flour, salt and paprika. Add water to make a stiff dough, knead lightly then chill for 30 minutes. Roll out to fit a 10" flan dish, pour in filling and bake at 180°C for approx 45 minutes or until filling has set.

Filling
1 Tbsp olive oil, (peace)
5 rashers bacon, finely chopped, (ancestral energies)
1 onion, finely chopped, (protection)
1 large cup of cooked, mashed pumpkin, (abundance)
1 c grated tasty cheese, (visualization)
4 eggs, beaten, (fertility)
½ c sour cream, (love)
¼ tsp nutmeg, (visions)
¼ tsp allspice, healing
pinch chilli powder, (protection)
extra grated cheeses, (visualization)

Cook bacon and onion in oil until soft. Place all ingredients into a large bowl including bacon and onion, season and mix well. Top with extra grated cheese.




The Halloween Tree
Easy treats for young and old.
Black and orange gumdrops or soft jubes
Toothpicks
1 orange, cut in half

Place orange flat side down onto a serving dish. Skewer the lollies onto toothpicks on one end, stick the other end securely into the orange. Repeat with remaining lollies until the orange is full of "trees."



Halloween Crowdie
A large bowl of whipped cream sweetened with spiced apples and sugar has 3 charms placed into it. A coin, ring and a marble. Feasters dip their spoons into the dish and find a charm if they are lucky enough. The coin for wealth, ring for marriage and a marble for a single life. Spooning up nothing means a life path uncertain. (Make sure your guests know there are charms in the Crowdie if you are going to make it for them!)
 


 Source
http://www.wycksted.co.nz/
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Samhain

Samhain marks one of the two great doorways of the Celtic year, for the Celts divided the year into two seasons: the light and the dark, at Beltane on May 1st and Samhain on November 1st. Some believe that Samhain was the more important festival, marking the beginning of a whole new cycle, just as the Celtic day began at night. For it was understood that in dark silence comes whisperings of new beginnings, the stirring of the seed below the ground. Whereas Beltane welcomes in the summer with joyous celebrations at dawn, the most magically potent time of this festival is November Eve, the night of October 31st, known today of course, as Halloween.

Samhain (Scots Gaelic: Samhuinn) literally means “summer's end.” In Scotland and Ireland, Halloween is known as O�che Shamhna, while in Wales it is Nos Calan Gaeaf, the eve of the winter's calend, or first. With the rise of Christianity, Samhain was changed to Hallowmas, or All Saints' Day, to commemorate the souls of the blessed dead who had been canonized that year, so the night before became popularly known as Halloween, All Hallows Eve, or Hollantide. November 2nd became All Souls Day, when prayers were to be offered to the souls of all who the departed and those who were waiting in Purgatory for entry into Heaven. Throughout the centuries, pagan and Christian beliefs intertwine in a gallimaufry of celebrations from Oct 31st through November 5th, all of which appear both to challenge the ascendancy of the dark and to revel in its mystery.

In the country year, Samhain marked the first day of winter, when the herders led the cattle and sheep down from their summer hillside pastures to the shelter of stable and byre. The hay that would feed them during the winter must be stored in sturdy thatched ricks, tied down securely against storms. Those destined for the table were slaughtered, after being ritually devoted to the gods in pagan times. All the harvest must be gathered in -- barley, oats, wheat, turnips, and apples -- for come November, the faeries would blast every growing plant with their breath, blighting any nuts and berries remaining on the hedgerows. Peat and wood for winter fires were stacked high by the hearth. It was a joyous time of family reunion, when all members of the household worked together baking, salting meat, and making preserves for the winter feasts to come. The endless horizons of summer gave way to a warm, dim and often smoky room; the symphony of summer sounds was replaced by a counterpoint of voices, young and old, human and animal.

In early Ireland, people gathered at the ritual centers of the tribes, for Samhain was the principal calendar feast of the year.   The greatest assembly was the 'Feast of Tara,' focusing on the royal seat of the High King as the heart of the sacred land, the point of conception for the new year. In every household throughout the country, hearth-fires were extinguished. All waited for the Druids to light the new fire of the year -- not at Tara, but at Tlachtga, a hill twelve miles to the north-west. It marked the burial-place of Tlachtga, daughter of the great druid Mogh Ruith, who may once have been a goddess in her own right in a former age.

At at all the turning points of the Celtic year, the gods drew near to Earth at Samhain, so many sacrifices and gifts were offered up in thanksgiving for the harvest. Personal prayers in the form of objects symbolizing the wishes of supplicants or ailments to be healed were cast into the fire,  and at the end of the ceremonies, brands were lit from the great fire of Tara to re-kindle all the home fires of the tribe, as at Beltane. As they received the flame that marked this time of beginnings, people surely felt a sense of the kindling of new dreams, projects and hopes for the year to come.

The Samhain fires continued to blaze down the centuries.  In the 1860s the Halloween bonfires were still so popular in Scotland that one traveler reported seeing thirty fires lighting up the hillsides all on one night, each surrounded by rings of dancing figures, a practice which continued up to the first World War. Young people and servants lit brands from the fire and ran around the fields and hedges of house and farm, while community leaders surrounded parish boundaries with a magic circle of light. Afterwards, ashes from the fires were sprinkled over the fields to protect them during the winter months -- and of course, they also improved the soil. The bonfire provided an island of light within the oncoming tide of winter darkness, keeping away cold, discomfort, and evil spirits long before electricity illumined our nights. When the last flame sank down, it was time to run as fast as you could for home, raising the cry, “The black sow without a tail take the hindmost!”

Even today, bonfires light up the skies in many parts of the British Isles and Ireland at this season, although in many areas of Britain their significance has been co-opted by Guy Fawkes Day, which falls on November 5th, and commemorates an unsuccessful attempt to blow up the English Houses of Parliament in the 17th century. In one Devonshire village, the extraordinary sight of both men and women running through the streets with blazing tar barrels on their backs can still be seen! Whatever the reason, there will probably always be a human need to make fires against the winter’s dark.

Source
http://www.chalicecentre.net/samhain.htm
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'Twas the Night Before Samhain

Twas the evening of Samhain,
and all through the place
Were Pagans preparing the ritual space.
The candles were set in the corners with care,
In hopes that the Watchtowers soon would be there.
We all had our robes on,
as is habitual and had just settled down
and were starting our ritual.
When out on the porch there arose such a chorus,
that we went to the door,
and waiting there for us were children in costumes of various kinds,
with visions of chocolate bright in their minds.
In all of our workings,
we'd almost forgot,
but we had purchased candy,
we'd purchased a LOT!
And so, as they flocked from all over the street,
they all got some chocolate or something else sweet.
We didn't think twice of delaying our rite,
kids just don't have this much fun every night.
For hours they came,
with the time-honored schtick,
of giving a choice: a treat or a trick.
As is proper, the parents were there for the games,
watching the children and calling their names.
"On Vader, On Lia
On Dexter, On DeeDee
On Xena, On Buffy
On Casper, On Tweety!
To the block of apartments on the neighboring road,
You'll get so much candy,
you'll have to be towed!
The volume of children eventually dropped,
and as it grew darker, it finally stopped.
But as we prepared to return to our rite,
One child more stepped out of the night.
She couldn't have been more than twelve or thirteen.
Her hair was deep red,
and her robe, forest green,
with a simple gold cord tying off at the waist.
No make-up, nor mask, or accompanying kitsch,
so we asked who she was; she replied, "A Witch!"
And no, I don't fly through the sky on my broom,
I only use that thing for cleaning my room.
My magical owers aren't really that neat,
and I won't threaten tricks;
just I'll just ask for a treat."
We found it refreshing, so we gave incense cones,
a candle, a crystal, a few other stones,
and the rest of the candy which might fill a van.
She turned to her father, a man dressed as Pan and laughed,
"Yes, I know, Dad, it's past time for bed,"
and started to leave,
but she first turned and said,
"I'm sorry for further delaying your rite,
Blessed Samhain to all,
and a Magical Night"




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Kitchen Witch: Mabon Recipes

This is a post I did back in 2010. They say to Recycle.. so.. Here it is!

FOR MORE RECIPES FOR MABON, CLICK ON THE FOLLOWING RECIPE'S TITLE. :D

All Things Harvested Pot Roast

4-5lb pot roast
1 stick butter
1 large onion sliced
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
¼ tsp. dried thyme
¼ tsp. dried parsley
1 bay leaf
1/8 tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. salt
2-10oz cans French onion soup
4 large potatoes, quartered
1-8oz package raw baby carrots
1-16oz pkg. frozen broccoli/cauliflower mix

In dutch oven or oven safe pot w/lid brown both side of the roast, using half the butter. Set the roast aside. With remaining butter, saute' the onion, garlic, and celery until onions are tender and beginning to brown. Add the the thyme, parsley, bay leaf, and pepper. Mix well and then return the pot roast to the pan. Sprinkle salt over the roast and add the french onion soup. Cook at 325 degrees for 4 hours. Baste meat as needed. Add potatoes and carrots and salt to taste. Cook for another 45 minutes. Add broccoli/cauliflower mix and cook for 20 more minutes. Serve with hot bread.

Makes 8 servings
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Mabon Activities and Correspondences

SOURCE

Symbolism of Mabon: The completion of the Harvest begun. Day and night are equal and the God prepares to leave His physical body and begin the great adventure into the unseen.

Symbols of Mabon: all harvest symbols, corn, autumn flowers, red poppies,nuts, grains, leaves, acorns, pine and cypress cones, oak sprigs, wreaths, vine, grapes, cornucopia, horns of plenty, burial cairns, apples, marigolds, harvested crops. wine, gourds

Colors : Orange, Dark Red, Yellow, Indigo, Maroon and Brown.

Goddesses: Modron(Welsh), Bona Dea, Harvest Dieties, Persephone, Demeter/Ceres, Morgan(Welsh- Cornish), Snake Woman(Aboriginal), Epona (Celtic-Gaulish), Pamona(Roman), the Muses(Greek).

Gods: Mabon, Modron(Welsh), Sky Father, John Barleycorn , the Wicker-Man, the Corn Man, Thoth(Egyptian), Hermes, Hotei(Japanese), Thor, Dionysus(Roman), Bacchus(Greek) and all wine Deities.

Tarot Cards
: Judgment and The World

Altar Decorations: acorns, pinecones, autumn leaves, pomegranate, statue of the Triple Goddess in her Mother phase.

Mabon Herbs: Rue, yarrow, rosemary, marigold, sage, walnut leaves and husks, mistletoe, saffron, chamomile, almond leaves, passionflower, frankincense, rose hips, bittersweet, sunflower, wheat, oak leaves, dried apple or apple seeds.

Foods of Mabon: cornbread, wheat products, bread, grains, berries, nuts, grapes, acorns, seeds, dried fruits, corn, beans, squash, roots (ie onions, carrots, potatoes, etc), hops, apples, pomegranates, carrots, onions, potatoes, roast goose or mutton, wine, ale and ciders, breads, apples, pomegranates

Animals: dogs, wolves, stag, blackbird, owl, eagle, birds of prey, salmon & goat, Gnomes, Sphinx, Minotaur, Cyclops, Andamans and Gulons.

Element: water.

Incense : pine, sweetgrass, apple blossom, benzoin, myrrh, frankincense, jasmine, sage wood aloes, black pepper, patchouly, cinnamon, clove, oak moss

Mabon Stones : During Mabon, stones ruled by the Sun will help bring the Sun's energy to you.clear quartz, amber, peridot, diamond, gold, citrine, yellow topaz, cat's-eye, adventurine.

Customs: offerings to land, preparing for cold weather by bringing in harvest, cutting willow wands( Druidic), leaving apples upon burial cairns & graves as a token of honor, walks in forests, gather seed pods & dried plants, fermenting grapes to make wine,picking ripe produce, stalk bundling

Spellworkings of Mabon: Protection, prosperity, security, and self- confidence. Also those of harmony and balance. Taboos:It was considered unlucky to cut down the very last of the Harvest, and so was also left to stand in the field by some traditions.

Activities of Mabon


1. Select the best of each vegetable, herb, fruit, nut, and other food you have harvested or purchased and give it back to Mother Earth with prayers of thanksgiving.

2. Hang dried ears of corn around your home in appreciation of the harvest season. 

3. Do meditations and chanting as you store away food for the Winter.

4. Do a thanksgiving circle, offering thanks as you face each direction - - for home, finances, and physical health (North); for gifts of knowledge (East); for accomplishments in career and hobbies (South); for relationships (West); and for spiritual insights and messages (Center). 

5. Decorate the table with colorful autumn leaves in a basket. 

6. Display the fruits of the harvest - corn, gourds, nuts, grapes, apples - preferably in a cornucopia. Or decorate with wildflowers, acorns, nuts, berries, cocoons, anything that represents the harvest to you. 

7. Like its sister equinox, halfway across the Wheel of the Year, the Autumn Equinox is a good occasion for a ritual feast. 

8. Plan a meal that uses seasonal and symbolic fruits and vegetables. You can serve bread, squash, corn, apples, cider and wine. 

9. Make some homemade wine or cordial gather and dry herbs, plants, seeds and seed pods. Make grapevine wreaths using dried bitter-sweet herb for protection. Use ribbons of gold and yellow to bring in the energy of the Sun, and decorate with sprigs of dried yarrowor cinnamon sticks. 

10. Make a protection charm of hazelnuts (filberts) strung on red thread. Make a witch's broom. 

11. Tie dried corn husks or herbs (broom, cedar, fennel, lavender, peppermint, rosemary) around a strong, relatively straight branch of your choice. 

12. Make magic Apple Dolls Gifts of the Harvest can be used to make tools and emblems that will remind us of their bounty all year round. 

13. Look for colored leaves. Collect fallen leaves and make a centerpiece or bouquet for your home. Save the leaves to burn in your Yule fire. Vist an apple orchard and, if possible, pick your own apples. 

14. Hang apples on a tree near your home. Watch the birds and other small animals who will enjoy your gift. This is also the time for replacing your old broom with a new one. As the broom corn is ripe now, besom making is traditional and magickal this time of year. 

15. Begin the festival with a vineyard or orchard harvest. You might check the farm lands in your area to see if there's an orchard or pumpkin patch that allows customers to harvest produce for themselves. 

16. Traditionally Sabbat festivals begin at sun set on the eve of the Holiday. You can use the daytime hours of this holiday eve to prepare baskets for harvesting the next day. Baking a pumpkin pie (from scratch if possible) is a wonderful way to bring in the fragrance of the holiday season.
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Mabon..Balance and Reflection


Author: Morbek
Posted: September 26th. 2010


Close your eyes and picture this: You are sitting outside on a late summer evening. The very warm air is suddenly heavy with humidity and it’s not moving at all. The leaves on the trees don’t move, not a blade of grass stirs and there is no break in the quiet of the evening. The birds are still, the crickets and frogs suddenly have become quiet and you realize the thick, impenetrable lack of sound. Looking to the sky, you see that the sun has just set but it is still daylight enough to read by. This is twilight, the balance between day and night. It is the world in a perfect, relaxed state of being. And so it is with Mabon.

Mabon is the balance between summer and winter. The harsh heat of the latest season is gone and the bitter cold of winter hasn’t arrived. The earth is stopping her hectic cycles to take a deep breath and relax. Our ancestors celebrated this Sabbat as the second harvest. It was a time of apples, grapes, grain, wine and merriment. The God is preparing to die and the Goddess is moving from mother to crone…more on that later as it plays significantly in our perception of this Sabbat. Mabon is the autumnal equinox when day and night are equal spans of time. We tend to notice it more acutely than we do the vernal equinox because light and warmth are going away, not moving toward us.

So, what does yet another harvest festival have to do with our daily lives in the twenty first century? LOTS! Mabon is also known as harvest home and is celebrated in an “all out” fashion. The largest feasts, the most wine and beer, the best clothes on our backs and the best entertainment available are all facets of this holiday. Does that sound familiar? It does if you are at all familiar with October-fest in any of its incarnations. Once again, remnants of the old religions have survived into modern times and, I believe, that is wonderful.

The stags of the forests are bearing their crowns of antlers telling us that, with dignity, there will be another generation of wild animals willing to help us survive. If you look at a majestic stag, you can see the balance of male and female symbols as, more often than not, his antlers form a crescent moon shape. Although, it is only in the rutting season that this is obvious. You have the juxtaposition of the virile male who is ready to mate with anything against the sweet softness of the moon that shines forth her beauty freely. These symbols are in balance and that is one of the major themes of Mabon.

Balance is so important because the earth is about to make an abrupt change in the seasons. Just as summer can arrive quickly (though we appreciate that change) , it seems winter arrives with a sudden crash. Our lives change in response to the waning days, children return to school, which gives us a whole new schedule, the times we leave for work may change because of weather conditions and even our wardrobe changes in response to the lessening light. Mabon is a moment in which we can allow ourselves to become ready for the changes by becoming spiritually balanced. Just as the leaves on the trees change from green to reds and gold, our day-to-day lives will drastically change. If we achieve balance before the changes then we will allow them to flow around us with ease.

Just as the darkness begins to overtake the light, the goddess moves to the final stage of her life, that of the Crone. She is no longer responsible for her offspring and is achieving a momentary freedom from that responsibility. This freedom only lasts a moment, however, because she realizes that she is now among ‘the wise women” and her responsibility is to the community as a whole. She is also entering into the final days of her life. Just as the light is leaving, so is she.

Mabon is a time of mysteries. The Goddess has stopped her fertility cycle. Look at the fact that, to the ancients, this whole thing was very confusing in most cultures. How can women appear to bleed that often and not die? How does she bring forth life? Why does she stop bearing children when sexual activity doesn’t stop? I do not assume that pre-agrarian cultures were not intelligent enough to recognize these cycles as normal but imagine contemplating these mysteries without our benefit of extensive knowledge of biology! It must have blown minds. The mystery aspects of Mabon are ancient and probably have been passed down from peoples that weren’t even breeding animals yet so they were dealing with a zero knowledge base! No wonder that the first deities were Goddesses!

The earth moves from very fertile to totally barren…so does the Goddess. We can be thankful though, that she is the loving Crone that watches over her children and grandchildren with tenderness and patience as she waits to become fertile once again so she can bear fruit. We must realize that there are times in our lives that are barren and learn from her to be patient, kind, understanding and loving while we wait for fruitfulness to arrive again so that we can go forth and be the agents of change instead of letting those changes just happen to us! There are many times in our lives that we must wait. The time of Mabon is a point at which we can meditate on the mysteries of life and come to understand ourselves so when it is time for us to wait, we understand it as normal and natural.

At this balance point in the year, one of the mysteries we can focus on is the equilibrium and the pause it can give us. We have much left to harvest in our lives. There is still a lot of work to be done. We are granted a time in the year to celebrate our hard work and what it has given us as well as to recognize that we need to stop and get ready for the coming changes…after life without change is, well, boring!


SOURCE
http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=ustx&c=holidays&id=14176
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