The Winter Solstice- December 21st

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Winter Solstice

The Sun Reborn

WinterSolsticeMartineAlexisClairvoyance

The Winter Solstice- on the 21st December in the Northern Hemisphere -is that wonderful time on the Wheel of the Year when The Sun returns to the world. From out of the darkest day of Winter comes the rebirth of the light.

Ancient cultures have always marked the Winter Solstice with rituals and celebrations. On this shortest day of the year our ancestors would gather to light fires and perform rituals to honour The Sun and welcome it’s return to us.
Many of us continue to do so, and at the most famous spiritual sites here on Earth, gatherings will still be held to mark the Winter Solstice.

The 5000 year old Burial Chamber at Newgrange, County Meath, Ireland. The chamber was built so that on the Winter Solstice a beam of light penetrates the roof-box and travels up the 19 metre passage and into the chamber. As the sun rises higher, the beam widens so that the whole chamber is dramatically illuminated.

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stonehenge-collage Greeting the Winter Solstice Sun at Stonehenge, Wiltshire, England.
This time of year has always been celebrated

SATURNALIA

The Romans held the week long festival of Saturnalia around the time of the Winter Solstice. This was held to honour the god Saturn and involved extensive, lavish feasts and gift-giving. Ancient Egyptians honoured the rebirth of Ra, the god of the sun.

The Yule celebrations of Northern Europe also arose from the ancient tale of the eternal battle between the Oak King, who symbolises the warmth and light of the Summer months and the Holly King, who represents the cold darkness of Winter.

Here in The British Isles, celebration of the solstice included Druidic traditions, like the gathering of mistletoe- the symbol of fertility and the seed of life. The ancient Druids believed mistletoe to be an indicator of great sacredness. On The Winter Solstice, the Chief Druid would cut the mistletoe from the sacred oak, using a golden sickle. A cloth would be held below the tree to catch the sprigs of mistletoe as they fell- as it was believed that it would have profaned the mistletoe to fall upon the ground.

Having no roots, and no connection to the earth, it was considered the sacred plant of the sun. A tree that hosted a mistletoe plant was a tree marked as particularly sacred

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The mistletoe was divided and distributed to the people, who then hung them over doorways as protection. With its golden colour, and growing high off the ground without roots, it was naturally associated with the sun.

It was considered to be the semen of the solar deity and carried with it the promise of the rebirth of the Sun God
So mistletoe was considered a fertility symbol – hence the ‘kissing under the mistletoe’ tradition that is carried on right into the present and no doubt will continue far beyond….

Christmas And The Winter Solstice

The birth of Jesus Christ is celebrated on Dec. 25 or Christmas Day all around the world. One theory is that this date was chosen after early Christian scholars debated when it should best be marked to gain widespread attention

Some theories suggest that Christians co opted existing and already powerful times of the year to mark it for their own religious needs.  The Romans were already celebrating the festival of Saturnalia on The Solstice and in Northern Europe, Pagans marked the Winter Solstice itself.  Yule the ancient name for Christmas, comes from the Scandinavian word Jol

Today’s ‘Santa Claus’ is a folk figure with multicultural roots.

He embodies characteristics of Saturn- as I mentioned earlier in connection with the Roman celebration of Saturnalia. He has elements of Cronos – the Greek god, also known as Father Time.

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We also see echoes of

  • The Holly King ( the Celtic god of the dying year),
  • Grandfather Frost ( a Russian winter god),
  • Thor (The Norse sky god who rides the sky in a chariot drawn by goats)
  • Odin/Wotan (The Scandinavian ‘All-Father’ who rides the sky on Sleipnir , his eight-legged horse)
  • The Tomte (a Norse Land Spirit known for giving gifts to children at this time of year)  
  • ‘Santa’s reindeer’ can also be viewed as forms of Herne or Cernnunos, The Celtic Horned God

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So for us in the 21st century, many of these ancient traditions appear and persist- whether we are aware of this or not:

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Evergreen plants are brought into the home in the form of trees, holly and mistletoe, to remind us that life grows and continues.Even a store bought chocolate Yule Log is the modern- and edible- version of the dressed Oak or Birch log. These logs would carried or dragged into the home, with much celebration and then placed on the great fires of our forebears. As the old year burned away -symbolised by the Yule Log- a piece of it was kept to place on the fire of the following year.

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The  Celtic Horned God Cernunnos manifests in images of reindeer. In the festive colours of red, green and gold that are all around us, we can see the elements of earth and fire- and of course – The Sun itself.  We give gifts to one another and hold great feasts while a Father Figure continues to bestow bounty on us from above as he rides high up in the sky…….

Marking The Winter Solstice

candlesWe can all physically mark the Winter Solstice, in our own way- even if we aren’t able to visit sacred sites or follow all the traditions of our ancestors.
Watch the sun rise and light beautiful yellow or white candles in your home to mark it’s the return. Bake your own specially decorated Yule Log and share it with loved ones, along with cinnamon spiced wine or cider.

Winter Solstice celebrations don’t need to be complex. It’s truly a time to celebrate and enjoy the awakening of the world again… remembering that all is birthed anew. Light comes back in the midst of darkness and as we celebrate life we also set our intentions and wishes for the coming year. It’s the perfect time to write out a list of all the things you would most like to manifest in your life.

A Solstice Ritual

This involves your wishes, your desires or your goals for the year ahead. Take some time over this and carefully consider all your reasons for them
Once you’ve finally decided, then write them one by one on very small pieces of paper ( any colour will be fine, but yellow or white is good)
The next part of the ritual will require:
Spring bulbs- preferably snowdrop or crocus bulb
Earth to plant them in – a garden or even just a pot.As you plant your bulbs in the earth, add the very small pieces of paper into the soil, one piece at a time.

snowdropsVisualise your desires as you do so and imagine the warmth of the sun on the flowers as they emerge through the earth and into the light- along with the joy that you feel as your wishes manifest with them!
Wishing you love, as we all celebrate the return of the light.

Happy Winter Solstice from Martine Alexis Clairvoyance!

blessings

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The Wheel Of The Year- Mabon/Autumn Equinox

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Mabon – Celebrating the bounty and reaping the harvest

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In the Northern Hemisphere, the Autumn Equinox occurs when the sun crosses the equator on it’s journey southward, and our day and night are of equal length. Up until the time of  Mabon, the hours of daylight have been longer than the hours of night. From now on, it’s the reverse. On this day, though, nature, light and dark are all in balance.
Mabon is a time which celebrates our being right on this point of balance
 
A time for reflection
On the Wheel of the Year, Mabon is traditionally the time of rest and celebration after the hard work of gathering in the crops. Warm autumn days give way to the cooler nights, as the Sun God fades away. The passing of the Sun God is inevitable and it makes us remember that all things must come to an end. So as the Sun God journeys into the lands of winter we need to celebrate our successes, remember any harder life lessons and give thanks to what and who has helped us. We, too, are part of this eternal balance of life
 
 
 
Mabon is the ‘The Harvest’
This is also our time to  reap what we have sown. This happens literally, by our physical harvesting of the bounty of the land, to eat and to store. We also harvest metaphorically, by giving thanks for all the good things that have happened in our lives so far. This is a time to look back not just on your past year, but on your whole life, and to plan for the future. Mabon is the perfect time to finish up projects and plans and then plant the seeds for new enterprises and changes.
A Mabon Ritual of Letting Go
 
Gather up some leaves that have fallen from the trees. I particularly like to work with Oak Leaves at this time of year. Give thanks to the trees for the gift of these leaves. Take the leaves and place them where they can dry out.
 
mabon2On the morning of Mabon, take out your leaves and as you hold them consider any issues in your life that you wish to discard or heal.
 
Let Go…..
As you think of each thing, select a single leaf to represent it. You can work further in this way by mentally attaching a symbol to the leaf or physically making a mark on it that represents the issue to you.  As you hold each leaf, consider the circumstances around each issue, what led to it, what you could have done differently or how your own behaviour may have contributed to it…
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Now hold each dried leaf in turn, take slow deep breaths and focus on what you can do better to help you avoid these regrets in the  future. Hold  your leaf up to the God and The Goddess and ask that this particular problem be taken from you and healed – for the good of all and with harm to none.
 
Crush each leaf in your hand as you make this invocation.
 
Gather the leaves and cast them away. You can cast them into the water – the sea or a river, as moving water is best for this. You can burn them away in an Autumn Equinox fire or bonfire or you can cast them to the winds, to blow away forever…..
Cleansing your space
 
Depending on your individual path, there are many different and practical ways to celebrate Mabon too. As autumn arrives we know that soon we’re likely to  be spend more time indoors so we can complete an Autumn version of the Spring Equinox cleansing of our homes
 
Use water steeped in oils to clean your home from top to bottom. There are many stores that sell special blends of oils and incense dedicated to each point on the Wheel of The Year. I like to use my own blend of cinnamon and bergamot oil and add this to the water, along with natural sea salt. You can also sweeten all your linens by adding some of this mixture to your laundry rinse or sprinkled in the linen cupboard. After all the surfaces and floors etc have been cleansed, smudge your home. Use sage or sweetgrass smudge sticks a as you go through your home to clear old energy away and bless each room.
 
mabon3Decorate your home with symbols of the harvest season, Autumn leaves, gourds and fallen twigs look really beautiful placed in decorative baskets or containers around the house.
On a practical level- do some maintenance and  repairs! If anything needs to be done, do it now so you don’t have to worry over the coming Winter. Throw out or give away any items that are no longer of use in your life…
Eating and drinking of the Mabon harvest bounty

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Mabon is also such a wonderful time to gather together and enjoy sharing the good foods of this season with your friends and family to celebrate the Harvest. Even if you choose the solitary path of celebration, you can and should enjoy the delicious food of this time of year by preparing a lovely meal for yourself or by displaying colourful food and flora on a Mabon altar.
 Foods
Items to include on your Mabon food altar or at your celebration feast will differ depending on where you live, and when you’re celebrating. Typically, though, the Autumn Equinox here in the Northern Hemisphere is generally  good for any of the following foods:
Fruits- like apples, grapes and berries. Nuts- such as hazelnuts and pecans. Grains like corn, maize, and wheat. Vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, carrots. Pulses and squashes – especially butternut squash and pumpkins.
Decorative Items
mabon5Before you enjoy the delicious Mabon feast you’ve prepared, here’s a prayer you should say as you bless the  food on your table. You can light your Mabon candles as you do this – yellow, orange or red to honour the dying of The Sun, black to welcome the darker nights, green to honour the bounty and prosperity of the harvest and brown to honour The Earth.
 
Gratitude
A Mabon Prayer
Harvest is here
The light dims and the land sleeps once more
We gather to honour the bounty of The Earth
On our table and in our hearts and lives
For this we give eternal thanks to the God and the Goddess
Blessed Be.
 
 
Have a wonderful and bountiful Mabon and wishing you Autumn Equinox blessings!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Wheel Of The Year- Lughnasadh

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Lughnasadh

Feast, celebrate- and give thanks to the Sun God

Blessed Lughnasadh

On the 1st of August in the northern hemisphere, we arrive at the time of Lughnasadh on The Wheel Of The Year.

At Lughnasadh, it’s time to celebrate the first harvest of the year, but this is also tinged with the sadness of knowing that the long, hot days of Summer will soon end.

Lughnasadh is a time to honour the Sun God -but also to mark and to mourn his death.

Lugh

Lughnasadh is named for the Celtic god Lugh, a god of light, fire and sun. The ancient ones also passed down the traditional tale of the self sacrifice  or sacrifice by others of a king- whose bloodshed would bless the Lughnasadh harvest, ensure that the land would continue to be fertile and that his people would have plenty for the Winter to come and beyond.

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Origins and Legends

Many of the more ancient traditions of Lughnasadh reference sacrifice- but it has become a more modern conception that this was necessarily a literal sacrifice.

There exists archeological evidence of possible ritual sacrifice or execution- as in the discovery of the amazingly preserved Bog Bodies. There is the Tollund Man in Denmark or Lindow Man in Cheshire, England. An interesting synchronicity is that The Lindow Man’s preserved body – that of a man who may have been ritually killed- was found on August 1st!

However, we have no hard evidence that tribal kings or young males from their communities were selected to literally shed blood over the land to protect it and bless it.

Although……..I did once have a somewhat chilling and very memorable discussion. The theory was proposed that a well known medieval English King was killed on an equally famous 15th century English battlefield – as an August/Lughnasadh ‘King Sacrifi

Celebration

Lammas Food and Flowers

Lughnasadh is also the time for feasting on the bounty of the land. Grains are ready to be harvested and fruits are ripe and ready for picking. At this time, we should and do give thanks for this bounty as the wheat, corn and fruits are cut and gathered for our tables and stores.

Traditional foods at this time include bread, corn, all berries, grapes, blackberries, sloe, crab apples, pears. Many of us give thanks today by decorating our altars with this colourful seasonal produce and then sitting down to break bread and share a delicious Lughnasadh harvest feast with our nearest and dearest. It’s a lovely idea to save and plant the seeds from the fruits consumed during a feast or ritual

Lammas

LAMMAS
As with all the festivals of the Wheel of the Year and the Old Religion, Christianity also adopted and incorporated this time into their calendar and re named it as their ‘Lammas’ which means ‘loaf-mass’. Newly baked loaves of bread were placed on Christian church altars to mark the festival.

Special activities and rituals for Lughnasadh

Firstly- eat, drink and be merry! It’s a wonderful time for being in the kitchen and making lovely things to share. If you can eat outside in the garden or somewhere natural, then all the better. It’s because of nature that we’re enjoying this food.
The feasting part of Lughnasadh is very important – so enjoy planning it! Typical ingredients and dishes would be things like pumpkin soup, or any soups made with seasonal vegetables like spring onions and potatoes. Blackberry pie is a great dessert ( pick your own blackberries if you can) and gorgeous served with fresh or clotted cream. There are plenty of harvest recipes out there- there’s lots of choice..

Creative Cooking

Bake your own bread- it represents the first loaf of harvest and you can use it in ritual or have it as part of your meal. Get creative with ingredient and shapes. Whilst I can’t personally produce a stunning looking wheat sheaf loaf like the one shown above, I do love to make bread and often try out new things to add to the loaves of bread that I make.  At last year’s Lughnasadh it was sultana and cinnamon bread -hot, fragrant and ready to have for breakfast at dawn on August 1st! If you have children, it’s also lovely to let them help you make it along with their own ‘little loaves’
Take time to meditate and pray. Encourage everyone you break bread with to pray or meditate too. We need to give thanks for the abundance and generosity of nature. If you choose to sit in a circle while you eat, you can share this lovely spiritual energy of gratitude with each another.

A Lughnasadh Prayer

On this first day we light a candle to celebrate the harvest.

As the wheel of the year turns we honour the God  and Goddess

We say thanks for the blessings and prosperity they have brought us this year.

We honour our ancestors and we honour all things living on this earth.”

A Lughnasadh Gratitude and Payback Ritual

This is more of a festival for saying thank you and being grateful rather than of trying to manifest things like love or financial abundance. Lughnasadh is about being glad for what we’re already lucky to have!
However- there are ways I like to mark this time and rituals I like to perform. I’m very grateful to the fabulous Kate West for the origin of this ritual.This is a very modern, quite pragmatic ritual that anyone can perform. It doesn’t require you to have lots of magical knowledge or specialist magical tools, except some paper, a pen and two candles!
* Take two candles- you can choose a white candle for the Goddess and black for the God if you like or you can choose to have candles to reflect the more vibrant colours of Lughnasadh/August. Respectfully invite the God and Goddess to be present with you as you light each candle and carry out your ritual

Candle Collage
* Take 3 small pieces of paper. On one side of each piece make a note of something you’re grateful for or have been happy to receive since the last Lughnasadh
* As you go through your ‘blessings’ list, try to focus on the most significant in which you feel that you may have been especially helped by the God and Goddess. Literally ‘counting your blessings’ will also help you to focus on all the positives you actually have in your life and even doing this will greatly raise your own energy and level of positivity
* On the other side of each piece of paper, write an intent or resolution of something you can do to ‘repay’ the energy for the good thing that happened for you
* They can be directly related. For example- you passed an exam with flying colours, so now you’re going to help some else with their studies or revision. But the things don’t have to be directly related. For example you could be so grateful for finding a new home that you in turn cook someone a lovely meal or make them something pretty to have in their own home.
*As you turn to focus on each deed you’ve chosen to pay back your blessings- dedicate the performance of your kind ‘payback’ actions to the God and Goddess. You can do this out loud or in your mind. Put your ‘intentions’ in a place where you can see them and remember to perform them!
* Extinguish your candles. Bid farewell and say a final thanks to the God and Goddess
Remember- thanks and kindness will beget more thanks and kindness!

Have a lovely Lughnasadh and I send you lots of love and blessings of my own.

Lughnasadh Blessings

The Wheel of The Year Summer Solstice

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ahenge

Celebrating the Summer Solstice by Martine Alexis

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, the Summer Solstice of June 21st-also known as the Festival of Litha- is on the longest day and the shortest night of the year. On this day the Sun at it’s apex and it’s fullest power.

From the day  of the Summer Solstice and onward, the sunlight will wane. Each day after marks the receding of the Sun- until the time of the Winter Solstice of December 21st, which marks the shortest day and the darkest night.

After the Winter Solstice, the sun is reborn and the days become longer once again. When we mark these points on the Wheel of The Year, we’re embracing death and re birth, the eternal cycle of life and our inclusion in this.

The Battle of the Oak and The Holly Kings
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We also commemorate the ‘battle’ between the Oak and the Holly Kings. The two Kings fight to rule over the seasons as the Wheel of the Year turns.
The Oak King reigns until The Summer Solstice when, once again, the Holly King returns to reign over the darker days to come..until The Winter Solstice when the Oak King will in turn vanquish the Holly King again. This battle symbolises the eternal cycle of life and the duality of Light and Darkness. We are acknowledging and embracing that the Light and Darkness which co exist and battles for our Earth, also co exists and does battle within ourselves…….

We are part of The Wheel of The Year

Marking, observing and paying homage to these changes between the seasons attunes us even more to this eternal cycle-  and reminds us that we are part of it.
I feel that in this particular time, it’s more important than ever that we do this.
 
We face overwhelming technological change and pre- occupations. There are vast changes in society and it’s belief structures and, so often, an overall feeling of disconnection from nature. To me, it’s vital that we realise Earth is not some separate entity from us. We don’t live on The Earth – we live with The Earth.
 
Thus, marking the cycles and the seasons are a vitally important way of recognising and maintaining our connection with nature and our place within it.
 
Everything is interconnected. We’re part of a natural continuum and not insulated from it, despite what many 21st century minds may consider to be the case.  Celebrating these times on the Wheel of the Year helps us to remember that we exist within something bigger than our individual selves-  and not in some sort of vacuum.

Summer Solstice Celebrations

We’ve marked the Summer Solstice with ritual since ancient times and we continue to do so today. The most prominent part of our rituals will focus on the exact point of the sunrise on this day.  Here in The British Isles, we’re very blessed to be able gather together at powerful Sacred Sites to mark and celebrate the Summer Solstice and the other festivals of the Wheel of the Year.

For example, at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England, the heelstone will mark the Midsummer Sunrise from the centre of the stone circle.
Many will gather at this hugely powerful energetic and sacred space which links the Earth, the Moon, the Sun and the Seasons.
What happens at Stonehenge connects us to both our ancestors and our deepest and most visceral connections with the planet’s energy. We can join together there to mark the Solstice, just as our ancestors gathered thousands of years ago .
 https://martinealexisclairvoyance.comsummer-solstice-sunrise
Pilgrims gather to greet the sunrise at Stonehenge

Among some of the wonderful and powerful places of pilgrimage in England there are the stone circles of Avebury and the mysterious Silbury Hill, both in the English county of Wiltshire.

 

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Despite the road that bisects this powerful and beautiful ancient site, the power is tangible to those who seek it! Nearby Silbury Hill is the tallest prehistoric human-made mound in Europe, and one of the largest in the world. It’s size is similar to some of the smaller Egyptian pyramids at Giza. This particular area is also world famous for the amazing crop circles that appear here every Summer

 The powerful and ancient Glastonbury Tor lies in the spiritual heartland of the British Isles. Glastonbury, in the county of Somerset. Also known as The Isle of Avalon to many……..

ribbet-collage
 

 It’s one of the most important spiritual and energetic sites in the world. Legends have grown up around The Tor- such as it being the resting place of The Holy Grail, it’s associations with King Arthur and of being the portal to another dimension. It’s claimed as the home of Gwynn Ap Nudd, who rules the Otherworld of The Fair Folk and who leads The Wild Hunt…….

 

Celebrations

Wherever you choose to spend the Summer Solstice- even if it’s not possible to make a journey to a particular Sacred Site, do try to greet the rising of The Sun outside if you can. Feel the earth beneath your feet  to ground yourself and connect to The Earth as you raise your arms to salute The Sun. Feel and enjoy it’s energy coursing right through you.
 
Remember, you are not just observing this. You are a part of this.
Here are some ways you may wish to mark the Summer Solstice/Litha
In your home:
As mentioned, this day is the height of the Oak King’s power, you may wish to decorate your home or table with Oak Leave to represent him ( please only gather fallen ones- don’t pick them from the living trees!)
You can also light golden and yellow candles around your home or table too . Obviously, don’t leave any candles burning if you do leave the house!
Any candles you light before dawn can be extinguished and re lit later if you’re going out to experience the sunrise
 
I also like to burn the ‘warmer’ essential oils to fragrance my home on this day. Orange, bergamot and benzoin help you to bring the feeling of ‘sun energy’ into your house. You can also burn the more ‘protective’ rosemary or frankincense and ask the Universe to give this protection to you and your home.
 
You can ‘charge’ water by pouring some into bowls or clear bottles and placing them outside at sunrise to receive and hold The Sun’s energy at this point on the Summer Solstice.  I like to leave the water out until midnight of the same day,  if possible. The charged water can be used to cleanse and energise yourself-  as drops added to baths and in drinks or put into a spray to cleanse your energetic aura or space. You can also use it to cleanse and charge all your crystals or sacred objects

A Summer Solstice Ritual For You

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As this is is a festival of Sun and Fire, I like to work with the fire at Litha to ‘let go’.
I take  small pieces of paper and write down on them anything that I feel is no longer needed. These can be things like life lessons I’ve done with or things that have now run their course in my life.  All these are to be consigned to the flames at dawn in order to let them go…..
Some of you may be at places where there are larger communal fires, some of you may be at home and have a fireplace, or you may only have a small bowl of flame or some golden candles. Whichever of these you have around you, please always be very careful and sensible with the flames at all times. 
As you cast your pieces of paper into the fire, focus on the power of the Sun and of the transformation of the seasons. Be aware that as the Oak King’s power fades into the darker days toward The Winter Solstice and the growing power of the Holly King- so the things you have written down and offered to the flames will also fade from your life.
 
              I wish you a truly magical Summer Solstice and Lovely Litha!
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The Wheel Of The Year turns to Beltane

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Beltane Blessings

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On the first day of May, the Wheel of the Year turns to Beltane

This day represents the very zenith of Spring and the start of Summer. It’s a very powerful time for us and The Earth.

Beltane is also known as May Day and is still marked around the world in many different ways. On the Pagan Wheel Of The Year, Beltane is primarily  a time when we celebrate sexuality, fertility and partnership

The Bel Fire

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The word Beltane has it’s name origins from from the Celtic God Bel- known as ‘Bright One’ combined with the Gaelic word ‘teine’ meaning fire.

One of the deepest and most profound ways that people would honour the ‘Bright Fire’ would be to light bonfires and pay tribute to the Sun, so that there would be light and nurture for the harvest.

The ring of fire would give light and protection for the rest of the year to those gathered together. People would- and still do-  jump the fire to cleanse, purify and and encourage fertility.Couples would join together and jump the fire as a pledge to one another.The smoke from the fire was seen as a protection from disease and to encourage fertility. All the livestock of a community was also driven through the smoke in a smudging and protection ritual.

  The Great Marriage

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Beltane marks the ‘Great Marriage’ of the Goddess and the God, the masculine and the feminine energies combining to bring forth fertility to the land.
The crowned May Queen and the May King are symbols of this Great Marriage. This union has merrily been celebrated and adopted by humans throughout time.This is the night of the ‘Greenwood Marriage’ a joyful celebration of sexuality sensuality, passion, vitality – and conception.

Handfasting

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Beltane is the most popular time for pagan weddings or Handfastings. This is the ancient and traditional way of betrothal in which a couple make vows to each other for ‘a year and a day’- after which they can choose to stay together or to part without any blame.
This way of joining together predates the notion of Christian weddings with their ‘death do us part’ energy and philosophy by many thousands of years. Nowadays, the length of commitment after a Handfasting is a matter of choice for the couple.
Handfasting involves tying the hands of the two people involved in a figure of eight during the ceremony and then later unbinding
handfast2Tying the hands together symbolises that the two people have come together and the unbinding means that they choose to remain together of their own free will.
Another tradition is ‘jumping the broomstick’ which goes back to time when two people who did not want or could not afford a church ceremony, would literally jump over a broom laid on the floor and their community then saw them as joined.The broom itself marks the ‘threshold’ to cross from an old life into a new one.

Dancing Around The May Pole

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People still love to wear May Day Crowns made of flowers on this day and the tradition continues of ‘maidens’ dancing in a circle around the Maypole.

The  flower crowns and the circle represent  the divine feminine/ female sexuality and join with the masculine phallic symbol of the pole to symbolise and celebrate fertility

A Beltane Ritual

To mark Beltane and show you a way to bring it’s joyful energy into your love life, I’m going to focus on manifesting  love into our lives by showing you a simple colour candle ritual.

It’s essential to remember that when we’re working to reinforce or attract love energy we must  never  attempt to subvert the free will of others. Any energetic work we do which tries to manipulate others should not be attempted. This kind of intent is never going to end in success and can backfire.
What our intent needs to be here is one of to co-creating a strong love energy around us in a loving and positive way. This colour candle ritual can be used to truly help us attract the right person into our lives or to strengthen the love energy of an existing situation.
 
This is a ritual that is perfect to carry out on Beltane, this most powerful point on the Wheel of the Year for love, sensuality and fertility.
Here we’re using the power of the colour pink- the colour of the Heart Chakra and the traditional colour historically and culturally associated with love. By lighting candles we’re also bringing in the flame aspect of the Beltane Fire.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED

A calm space and time where there are not likely to be any interruptions at all

beltane120A pair of pink candles. These can be any type that you feel comfortable with, for example dinner candles, smaller pillar candles or even tealights.

The most essential thing is that the candles are a matched pair. You can  use Rose Oil to ‘dress’ your candles – or you can purchase rose scented candles.

Rose Quartz Crystals- they will need to be a pair but don’t have to match in size and shape. They can be any form- tumbled, polished or raw, placed next to your candle

If you enjoy or connect energetically to The Tarot, you can place ‘The Lovers’ or ‘Two of Cups’ cards next to your pair of pink candles during the ritual.

Lovers3

If you wish to strengthen an existing relationship it’s a powerful addition to have a picture of the two of you to place next to your candles -preferably one taken at a happy time or in a loving situation.
 
If you’re working to invite or attract the right person into your life- make a list of all the qualities you feel that your ideal person would posses to be truly compatible with your wishes and your life. Be very detailed about their personality, appearance etc. The Universe loves specifics!
 
THIS IS A BEAUTIFULLY SIMPLE RITUAL
Once you have your candles and any other objects together in the calm physical space you’ve chosen, it really only needs your own power to visualise in order to activate the energy. The Beltane colour candle ritual can be worked at any time you feel happy – day or night.
 
You can sit down or stand to work this ritual, the most important thing to is to be calm and relaxed. Take several deep cleansing breaths as you feel and visualise your feet connecting to the Earth below you. This will help you to remain grounded throughout your ritual. According to whichever way you wish to manifest love into your life here are some suggestions about the kind of visualisation that would work well.
   ATTRACTING LOVE
You’ve made your list and you’ve been specific- so you’ve done the hard work!
As you light your candles ‘see’ yourself in enjoyable and loving situations with this perfect partner. They don’t have to be overly romantic or dramatic. They can be as elaborate or as simple as you like. The really important thing is to feel this happy blissful energy – that of being with the person you love and who loves you in return as if they are already in your life.
 
Enjoy this visualization for as long as you feel comfortable- the important thing is that you have focused on what you wish to manifest. By the list you’ve made, the use of the colour candles and the energetic intent you’ve put out to the Universe you’ve made a shift in your reality.
 
When you feel ready, take the list you’ve made, roll up the paper into a scroll and put it in a place where it can stay undisturbed.
You can clear away your candles etc when ready or put them in a place where you can see them permanently as a reminder of the love you have manifested into your life.
 
TO IMPROVE AN EXISTING RELATIONSHIP

Hands

This is basically exactly as above, except that you already know the other person concerned, As suggested previously in this article, include a picture of the two of you in happier times.

Again, visualise those romantic, loving times between you – remembering past situations you’ve been in together and seeing those yet to come!

When you feel ready, take the happy picture of the two of you and put it in a place where it will be undisturbed. Extinguish your candles, knowing that your colour candle ritual is complete and that you’ve ‘refreshed’ and manifested a more loving energy into your existing relationship
 

Wishing you all a truly Beautiful Beltane- full of love and passion !

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The Wheel Of The Year-Ostara

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Celebrating Ostara and Rebirth

The Wheel of the Year now turns to Ostara- the celebration of rebirth, where we honour the Goddess Eostre. This is also known as the Spring or Vernal Equinox

Ostara

 Tradition

As we turn to this time  in the Western Hemisphere, we joyfully embrace the return of life to the Earth after the long darkness of the Winter months. There is, of course, the connection of the name  Ostara and the Goddess Eostre to the Christian festival of Easter.

We can also trace the European name of the Goddess Eostre back to her names of Ishtar and Astarte, in earlier cultures.

All the times on the Wheel of the Year have their profound connection to the eternal life cycle and to the progression of our own soul journey. For me, Ostara is always the one that lifts my soul and my spirits the most.

 Renewal….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It uplifts us all to see the bursting forth of new life. Glowing daffodils suddenly appear and the birds begin to sing as dawn arrives earlier. The trees bring forth their buds and blossom.

Ostara is that wonderful reminder that rebirth will always happen, even after the darkest of times.

 Rebirth….

Spring

The traditional symbols and images of The Goddess and fertility are visible everywhere at the moment –  in nature and in wider culture. Eggs, new born chicks, March hares and rabbits being the most obvious and visible examples.

Remembrance…..

Shop Display

If this reads as too Pagan or arcane, then pay a visit to any supermarket or shopping mall at this time on the Wheel of the Year.

See for yourselves the abundance of Ostara and Goddess symbols on display in the ‘Easter’ section of all the stores.

Our ancient roots in the Old Religion are far more deeply planted in our modern world than we realise

Ways we can embrace the energy of Ostara

One of the most traditional of course, is the Spring Cleanse. At this time I love to de-clutter my home and to give a thorough cleanse with water steeped in fresh rosemary and lemon.

Rosemary is one of the most powerful natural plants used for psychic protection for yourself and your home. It’s traditionally placed in and around doorways to dispel or ward off bad energy. Lemon oil is one of the best aromatherapy scents for lifting your mood and your spirits.

The use of natural beeswax on furniture will also add the most delicious scent, along with the gorgeous natural sheen it will give. We can bring the energy of nature right into our homes with these ways to Spring Cleanse.

Refresh….

Smudging

I always like to make an energetic ritual of the Spring Cleanse by completing it with a thorough smudging of all the rooms with white sage, to dispel any old, stale energy that is no longer needed in my home or my life.

Open your windows after you’ve smudged each room and focus your thoughts on old patterns of behaviour, circumstance or any situations you wish to release. As you then invite in the Spring energy to assist you in birthing the new, you can speak or chant your wishes and affirmations

Revitalize….

yellow candles

It’s a lovely energetic touch to light yellow or orange candles around your home. These help to embed the energy of Spring into your newly revitalized surroundings and will also connect to the energy of the solar plexus and sacral chakras of the physical body.

Do remember to make sure that sage sticks and candles are extinguished when you’ve finished your Spring Cleanse

 Reactivate….

If being a domestic Goddess or God isn’t your thing, then there many other ways we can embrace the Spring equinox

It’s a great time to ‘birth’ new ideas. For example, if you’re in business, try out new approaches, maybe in your advertising or with your business image. In your job, consider asking for that feedback- or even the pay rise-  you wish to manifest from a boss or colleague.

This is a very powerful energetic time to focus on creating more abundance around you. We can also make this a time to clean up our health and bodies as well as our homes. A far more appealing prospect than in the cold dark January days! Simply getting out into nature and walking is great for you, or maybe going even further and finally getting back to the gym or the pool.

 Embrace….

Couple

In love, we only have to observe the behaviour of the birds and animals around us to know that this is the most fertile time! If you’re single, maybe it’s time to think about getting out there and meeting potential partners, perhaps in ways you haven’t tried before

If you’re partnered up, it’s the perfect time to rediscover things about each other or to try new things together that make you see your partner in a different light.Rebirth your relationship!

Whichever way you choose to embrace the energy of Ostara, remember to look around you on these lighter mornings and observe~ even for just a few minutes. The world is waking up again, reminding us that life is a cycle and there is always the opportunity to embrace rebirth in some aspect of our lives.

Happy Ostara/Spring Equinox. Have a wonderful and blessed time, wherever you are and may the arrival of Spring bring you

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What’s Your Number? Life Path Numbers and You

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  What your Life Path Number can reveal about you.

 life-path2
In numerology, numbers are given their own energetic vibration. Knowing this energetic vibration and what it means can help us grow as individuals, teach us important life lessons and enlighten us about our spiritual path through life. Our Life Path Number vibration is ours from the date we are born.
 
 

Your Number

The Life Path Number you are associated with can be calculated by using the formula of adding together the single digits of your birth date until they can be broken down to one number.
There are various ways of calculating, but I like this simple method best of all.
 
For example a person born on:
2 Oct 1869 /  2.10.1869 can be added as   2+1+0+1+8+6+9 = 27
The 27 can then be broken down to 2+7, which = 9
The person therefore has a Life Path Number of 9
 
Another example is a person born on
18 July 1918  / 18.7.1918 can be added as 1+8+7+1+9+1+8 = 35
The 35 can be broken down to 3+5, which = 8
The person therefore has a Life Path Number of 8
 
One last example:
17 August 1980 / 17.8.1980 can be added as 1+7+8+1+9+8+0= 34
3+4, which = 7
The person therefore has a Life Path Number of 7
 

Life Path Number Resonance

Below are my core definitions of how your Life Path number has resonance and meaning for you. Generally the odd numbers resonate at a more masculine energy (creation) and the even numbers at a more feminine (intuition).

As The Tarot is also one of my spiritual passions, I very much enjoy the extra layer of energy that’s added by incorporating the corresponding Major Arcana Tarot card to the Life Path Number.
 
Life Path Number 1
The Creator – Making things happen.

1

You are creative, courageous and will always try to see situations through to the end. You have strong survival skills and these can lead you to be adventurous and go where many fear to tread. You tend to be an iconoclastic figure, often asked to be the centre of your social, familial or professional groups, but you prefer being left alone if you need to formulate and make plans. This gives you the space that your highly creative and sometimes mercurial mind needs to come up with ingenious solutions and ideas. Life Path 1 people often excel at inventions and physically creative endeavours- especially in the visual sphere.

 
Your life path is one that puts you front and centre, as a leader and innovator. You can be consumed by a passion for what you do- sometimes to the exclusion of others. So, your life path is one of creation- but your lesson is that you must incorporate others and share this, rather than always try to go it alone.
Major Arcana Tarot Card – The Magician
 
2Life Path Number 2
The Communicator – Giving empathy and advice.
Relationships are of vital importance to you in the sense that you have great empathy with others and love to help those around you. You tend to have very strong intuitive skills and you provide great insight and advice to all. Your innate desire to communicate with and assist everyone can make it hard for you to set aside time for your own needs. You are often drawn to professions that provide direct help, advice and comfort to others but which can also be very demanding of your mental energy.
 
Those with a Life Path Number of 2 really do need to withdraw from others at times, allowing them to recoup their sensitive mental and spiritual energies. This paradox is what the life lesson is for you- to learn to temper your empathy and enormous compassion for others with some healthy detachment. Your highly intuitive mind works best when it takes regular rest from solving the difficulties of others.
Major Arcana Tarot Card – The High Priestess
 

3Life Path Number 3

The Nurturer- Abundance in all things
You have a strong need for harmony, beauty and even luxury in your life. Your real enjoyment of these aspects of the physical world makes you rather pragmatic with a strong work ethic. You are very aware that you need to put the effort in and be pro active in order to gain the abundance you so enjoy.
A generous soul, you are also one of life’s great sharers- your enjoyment of all the aforementioned things means much more for you if you can give them to others as well.
 
Your personality tends to be that of leader rather than follower, but your leadership style is warm and you tend to be nurturing or more ‘parental’ in the way you interact with others. This has a flip side for many Life Path 3 people, as you can sometimes veer into being a tad over protective and controlling with those close to you. You are very much one who stays firmly grounded in ‘reality’ and one of your lessons is to allow the more spiritual and mystical into your life.
Major Arcana Tarot Card – The Empress
 

4Life Path Number 4

The Structured One – Standing strong

You prefer to have stability and structure all around you. If you don’t have this, you tend to feel vulnerable and will expend enormous energy- and sometimes take a whole lifetime- until you do. You like tangibles and prefer the permanent- in your career and at home. The comfort of knowing there is always something set aside for tough times is also preferable for a Life Path 4 soul. This isn’t just in financial terms, even though you may tend to be a saver rather than a spender. This ‘rainy day’ security that you like to have also applies to people – your friendships are long term and loyal rather than many and fleeting.

 
To many who see you, you are the ultimate organiser. Strong reasoning skills and logic make you sought after as a friend and colleague. Your strength draws people to you. Your challenge in life is your reluctance to sometimes allow in more spontaneity and variety.
Major Arcana Tarot Card – The Emperor
 

5Life Path Number 5

The Centred One- Managing change
You like to see life from all angles before you make major decisions. You are open to receiving a wide spectrum of views and wisdom but will not bow down to the opinions of others. Conversely, many people seek you out for advice as you have an aura of authority and calm. One of the things that generates this energy around Life Path 5 people is their ability to remain calm and on an even keel, even in the midst of change and turmoil. This is because many Life Path 5 souls can actually thrive on the aforementioned change.
 
Confidence in your own decisions and ability to be flexible means that you are often sought out for or reach positions of authority. One of the main lessons that seem to present themselves to Life Path 5 souls is to be objective and understand that not everyone shares your views and opinions
Major Arcana Tarot Card – The High Priest

6Life Path Number 6

The Truthseeker – Looking for balance and meaning
You seek truth and deeper meaning in all aspects of your life. This may often result in you taking a more spiritual path. This can manifest itself in devotion to an established religion or more esoteric teachings and beliefs.You may also seek out professions which develop your innate need to impart meaning or reveal truth. You have the skills that can be used well in teaching, healing, law or in any profession which can lead people to understanding. You care for family and your fellow man and seek to improve life for people, especially if you reach a position of influence or authority.
 
You are diligent and your desire to strive for truth and ideals can leave you with a feeling of imbalance and frustration that not everyone shares your high ethical standards. You also have a gregarious side to your nature that leads you to befriend people and to shine socially. Your lesson is to find the balance between idealism and pragmatism in life.
Major Arcana Tarot Card – The Lovers
 

7Life Path Number 7

The Voyager- Seeking learning experiences
Your number is that of the seeker. When an interest captures your imagination it can be very difficult to keep you from becoming totally immersed in it. Your desire to seek knowledge and experiences can take you into fascinating situations and locations, both socially and geographically. You may take your searches for experiences and learning beyond that which many people would dare- but you do possess a fearlessness that accompanies your curiosity. This may also extend to your professional preferences, you may be drawn to the type of jobs or hobbies which keep you physically on the move or base you in varied places.
 
Your life preference will likely be one that is varied in terms of friends and living arrangements. Your challenge in life is that you should allow in some stability regarding people and places. This will ground you, otherwise you can find yourself a little ‘rootless’.
Major Arcana Tarot Card- The Chariot
 

8Life Path Number 8

The Leader- Knowledge is power
You can see how knowledge leads to power but your instinct will always be to firstly seek power over yourself. Your willpower is strong and there is something of the autodidact or self taught about you. You prefer to look within for answers or seek out older wisdom rather than the ‘popular’ opinions of the masses. You are drawn to the philosophical side of learning and research, that which may help you to understand deep and universal human truths. If this seems rather too idealistic or intense, then it is counterbalanced by your desire to put this ‘truth’ out into the real world.
Your stubborn and determined streak assists you in this. You are the kind of person who will stick to their hard won beliefs and strong principles and your ability to provide answers may lead to you being very sought out by others. One of your challenges may be to ‘ration’ your energy and focus on one thing at a time. Over involvement in too many causes or projects is often a trait of a Life Path 8 and they must learn to conserve their physical and mental energy.
Major Arcana Tarot Card – Strength

9Life Path Number 9

The Wise One- Showing the way
The Life Path of the 9 is that of the wise old soul. You have an inner knowledge that shines through and people turn to you for comfort and solace. However you have the gift of detachment and encourage people to find their own answers. You are a great teacher in that you do not teach by rote or by confrontation but by example and gentle guidance. Your calm nature can be mistaken for reserve and your lack of aggression as indecision.This is far from the reality of your nature- you keep things in check but you have great wisdom, advice and determination that will come out when needed.
You tend to conduct your life in a strongly ethical manner, being true to your beliefs but without the desire to tell others to do the same. Your main challenge in life can come at the times when you are asked to take a more public stance or be involved in activity which draws too much attention to you as an individual.
Major Arcana Tarot Card – The Hermit

10Life Path Number 10

The Individual- Moving forward
Life Path 10 individuals are energetic, optimistic souls who thrive best when they have a sense that their lives are a ‘work in progress’ rather than a finished product. You love to manifest projects and ideas into reality and your enthusiasm encourages others to believe in you and join you. You are actually something of a powerhouse who dislikes delay or negativity. You respond rapidly to change and are actually stimulated by it, rather than becoming overwhelmed. Success and recognition motivate you and you like to be rewarded for your efforts with either praise or more worldly offerings.
You may need to guard against a tendency to rush forward and jump into situations without sufficient planning or consideration . Whilst you are very able to enthuse others, you may sometimes forget to explain your plans or motivations enough to others. However, you bring change and energy into a world that is sometimes in great need of it.
Major Arcana Tarot Card- The Wheel of Fortune.
 

11Life Path Number 11

The Illuminator- Enlightening others
The highly evolved energy of a soul with the Life Path Number of 11 is that which seeks to bring light and justice into the world. You not only abhor injustice but will often take direct action against it. You love to inspire others to take action and have great skills as an orator or speaker to persuade people and to appeal to their higher natures. You may find that you use this great skill in the public arena such as in politics, law, or the media. You love learning and are keen to pass on any new knowledge to others immediately.
The main challenge that you may meet on your path is that you set incredibly high standards for yourself and striving very hard to meet them can exhaust or deplete you. When you are fully charged and meeting your aspirations you are on top of the world, but can become very depressed or discouraged if you feel you are ‘failing’. Your lesson is to be a little gentler with yourself and give as much time to you as you do to others.
Major Arcana Tarot Card- Justice
To underline the message of this article, here are two amazing individuals who- in my opinion- truly represent the meaning of their Life Path Number energies!
ghandi2nd October 1869 with a Life Path Number 9. The Wise One ~ Mahatma Gandhi

 18th July 1918 with a Life Path Number 8. The Leader ~ Nelson Mandela mandela
 
 
 
 
 
 
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