Tag Archives: Turning of the years wheel

Beltane Blessings

Yippee! It’s that time of year. A time for the lovers, a time for family celebrations in the great outdoors, a time to dance around the May pole, jump fires, and roll around naked in the morning dew. Wait, what?

Beltane begins at dusk on the eve of May 1st and celebrations last all night long into the following day. As I mentioned it is the time of the lovers. The Goddess sheds her youthful robes and takes on the role of the Mother. The God, in turn, becomes her consort, and the two settle down in marital bliss.

This, by the way, is our anniversary! “So, happy anniversary oh husband mine.

“Now, I’m not especially a romantic kind of gal. Not personally. But, I do still believe in happy-ever-after, and that love-conquers-all, and this time of year makes me all gooey and girly and for young love.

 

 

It is a time for fertility magic. A May King and Queen were selected in celebrations on this day, to honour the Goddess and God. All unattached men and women would spend the night in the woods, choosing their partners and hence the saying “Gathering in May”.

Young women would dance around the May pole in the hope of weaving love into their lives. Plus, the May pole is kind of a phallic symbol!

It is considered favourable for those women who wish to conceive to roll in the May day morning dew, anointing their body in the lovers tonic, children born 9 months later were considered to be blessed by the Goddess and God. How lovely!

Another thing that I simply adore about Beltane are the little gifts of flowers and posies left for neighbours and friends as a blessing. Traditionally, a posy was made and left at a neighbours doorstep, with the gift giver remaining silent and secret. No one knows where or whom the gift is from. This to me, presents a wonderful lesson in gratitude, in giving, in humility, and also in the lesson of to stay silent (which is what we do after crafting spells to add to the potency of the magic).

Not only are all these wonderful celebrations happening at this festival, but also, we have the thinning of the veil. Beltane is the opposite to Samhain on the year’s wheel. The worlds collide once more on this night – only this time it’s the naughty and mischievous spirits: Loki, Puck, and Pan could visit, and they love to cause chaos, so be very wary about your wishes and spells!

I’m going to be very busy!

What ever your celebrations are for this May day bank holiday weekend, try to enjoy the spirit of Beltane. Love will be in the air, but also a little bit of chaos – those Gods and spirits do like to have fun; I wished for a rich man, I got a man called Rich!

Brightest Blessings to you all. x

Links:

Make a May Day Door Hanger

Make a May Pole

The God and Goddess Print


Happy, Happy. Wait. What?

Imbolc.

Ah, Imbolc.

I love it. I loathe it.

This is where we start to notice the first signs of spring. The earth begins to stir. Awakening. The crone sheds her robes for those of the maiden, and all of nature shows the promise of new life and rebirth.

I celebrate Imbolc on the 2nd February, not all witches share this date, some will celebrate on the first, some on the closest full moon – which, this year, is on the 3rd.

In our house, we share Imbolc with my eldest sons birthday. Plenty of festivities revolving around him, the family, and lots of cake!

I do always set aside a little time for my own personal ritual, sometimes one that is shared with friends, but mostly it’s my own.

For me, Imbolc begins the week before. I have a huge spring clean: I open all of the windows, regardless of the weather, I scrub and polish and sweep and mop. Once the physical act of cleaning is done, I will then cleanse the house. I sweep again, usually with my besom, I polish the light bulbs with lemon juice, I drum, and finally I go through each room with some healing, before closing all the windows again.

I will also spend time out in the garden.This is the time of year that I will potter around the garden, get some general tidying up done, and make a list of things I will need to do. This year, I’ve made my list early! Plans are afoot for a mosaic path, seeds have been purchased for ground cover; Thyme, Lobelia, Allyssum, and Chamomile. I can already see the signs of growth and new life showing. My roses are budding, the catkins on my hazel are gently nosing their way out, the crocus plants are pushing through! Even the birds are becoming more vocal.

By the time the day arrives, I will be buzzing with anticipation. Jakes birthday always rushes by in a haze. After the crazy, and the cake, I usually find myself lighting the candles, enjoying the moment, meditating, and relaxing into the flow of my ritual.

And then…

Boom! Snow, and frost, and ice, and cold, and the misery of wet socks!

I hate this time of year!

I am a complete grouch.

I am the bitch with the attitude of the wicked witch of the west – hell, I’m the wicked witch of everywhere…

Because I’m cold, I’m fed up, I grow weary of this wintery hell.

Woe. Woe. Woe. What is it with this holiday?

Hubby will, of course, be grinning at this point, he knows what’s about to happen. He has seen me getting excited about Imbolc, year upon year. We will have planned the birthday. He’ll watch me chase around and make lists, and delve into my house cleaning frenzy.

He also knows what will happen next: I’ll get my wellies on, my big coat, gloves, hat, etc, I’ll run outside with the dogs and enjoy the crisp air on my face, I’ll laugh at the dogs as they jump around like lambs, and I’ll go check the jobs on my list, surveying the situation. I might even at this point begin with clearing the ground. Then I’ll stand in the middle of the lawn and begin to cry. It’s true. Every damn year. It’s not a real “I’m so sad” cry. It’s frustration. My wellies aren’t keeping my feet warm, my coat is too bulky, my hands are useless in the gloves and my hat is, well actually, my hat is fine. I will then slam back indoors, crank up the heating and throw myself onto the sofa. Every year.

candle flame

Can I be different this year? I’ll let you know.

For now, whenever and however you celebrate Imbolc, I do wish you a happy one, and hope that the holiday brings you much light and warmth.

(Just please let it be soon!)


Lammas

As the wheel continues to turn we find ourselves nearing that time of year that is referred to in our house as my youngest sons birthday! However, most pagans celebrate it for what it represents; the first harvest.

Much celebration and gathering of the first crops as the whole community would take place at this time of year. Which brings me to thoughts regarding my writing.

I set about this project with high expectations of myself and with several goals in place. While the goal posts have changed somewhat, and continue to do so! The expectations I have placed upon myself have remained. I think this is something all writers are guilty of – punishing the self for not living up to other writers’ standards.

I have heard so many people say that they finished their novel in three months! How? I started this blog specifically aimed at The Way of Wytch, back in March, at the Equinox. I had a brief idea, that can only be loosely described as an outline, and told myself that the first draft would be written by July. What? I know, laughable, right!

I signed up to the A-Z challenge in the naive hope that the challenge would somehow carry me along on a wave of inspiration and graft. It did not! It tired me out. It left me feeling confused and flustered, so by the time Beltane (my wedding anniversary) came around, I was in no mood to celebrate by dancing around a May pole. I was ready to throw in the towel.

However, I had some wonderful comments and encouragement from you guys, and some friends, family included, and I chose to regroup.

Midsummer danced itself merrily into June, as the Green Man fought his way clear to rule once more, my posts here became less as my writing became more intense.

Here we are, at Lammas, ready for the first harvest. This is a time for me to check back on my writing, go through my scene beats and make sure they all follow on from one another, make changes where they are needed and tighten up some of the more magical aspects of Wytch. It’s not an edit – as I have no first draft yet. It’s more a pre-emptive strike, a harvest, to protect against possible bad weather…

What ever you are doing over the festival of lugnasad (or July 31st-August 2nd) make sure you eat and drink well, whilst being merry with friends and family.

*Be sure to check out the beer bread recipe on “EAT” under the Wytch Recipes pages.


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