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

The Wheel Of The Year- Mabon/Autumn Equinox

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Mabon – Celebrating the bounty and reaping the harvest

mabon

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

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 always tinged with the sadness of knowing that the long, hot days of Summer will soon end.  In this year of 2020 we may feel a much deeper and more visceral grief,just as Summer prepares to depart from the Northern Hemisphere. The Covid 19 pandemic has swept through our world and has left us still reeling. 

Lughnasadh is a time to honour the Sun God -but also to mark and to mourn his death. This year we’re also mourning the departures in our own world and have to come to terms with huge changes to the way we live. However- humans are a resilient species. We endure. We can still find joy and pleasure marking and celebrating things that are important to us.  The Wheel Of The Year will still turn…..

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 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 this was literal sacrifice. Archaeological evidence does exist of possible ritual sacrifice or execution- as in the discovery of the amazingly preserved Bog Bodies.

There is the Tollund Man in Jutland, 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….

Lammas

As with all the festivals of the Wheel of the Year and of the Old Religion, Christianity also adopted and incorporated this time into their calendar

It was re named it as ‘Lammas’ which means ‘loaf-mass’. Newly baked loaves of bread were placed on Christian church altars to mark the festival.

LAMMAS

Celebration

Lammas Food and Flowers

Lughnasadh is a 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 particular time, we should give extra thanks for our food and our bounty to the wonderful people who have worked so hard on the farms and in the whole food supply chain to get these to our shelves and our tables. We must never, ever take them for granted!

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

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. Especially at this time.
The feasting part of Lughnasadh is very important – so enjoy planning it! Even if we can’t have all our loved ones with us to share a feast or gather in a group we can still have the joy of cooking and eating.

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 so much 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. Home bread baking has seen a really huge increase during the pandemic. It’s been one of the lighter things to see people showing and sharing their results! So many people are getting creative with ingredients and types of bread….

Try baking some special Lughnasasdh Bread….

Whilst I can’t personally produce stunning looking loaves like the ones shown above, I do love to make bake and often try out new things to add to the bread that I make. 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- literally and virtually- to pray or meditate too. We need to give extra special thanks this year for the food on our tables and the loved ones around us. If you choose to sit in a circle while you eat, you can share this lovely spiritual energy of gratitude with each other.

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
A Lughnasadh gratitude ritual
  • 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 positivitity
  • 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! I send lots of love and blessings from Martine Alexis Clairvoyance
Lughnasadh Blessings

The Wheel of The Year Summer Solstice

This is my WordPress blog. To contact me or book your reading please go to my website https://martinealexisclairvoyance.com
ahenge

Celebrating the Summer Solstice by Martine Alexis

As this day arrives, the world is still facing a huge challenge and will be forever changed. Humanity is always resilient and resourceful though, so even in the frightening face of Covid -19 we can continue to seek out joy and do things to honour the earth and mark the energies at each point on the Wheel Of The Year.

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, the Summer Solstice of June 21st-also known as the Festival of Litha- is the longest day and the shortest night of the year. On this day the Sun is at it’s apex and it’s fullest power! From this day onward, the sunlight will wane. Each day after this Solstice marks the receding of the Sun- until the time of it’s rebirth after the Winter Solstice of December 21st, which marks the shortest day and the longest night.

The Battle of the Oak and The Holly Kings
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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.We also commemorate the legendary ‘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 acknowledge and embrace that the Light and Darkness co exists and battles for our Earth, We also acknowledge that it co exists and does battle within ourselves.

This year, that battle may be harder and more profound for us than it has for many years…..

We Are All 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 acknowledge that life on earth is a cycle.  Whilst illnesses and events shape our world, the rhythms of nature are eternal

As I write, we face overwhelming challenges and so many of us are afraid. Coronavirus has already made vast changes in society. Something huge that has awakened and come into focus in this time is our dual- and so often sadly conflicted-  relationship with nature. During this period of having to shelter at home our deep, deep desire to be out, breathing in nature has never been so obvious! However, it’s also brought into sharp focus that nature herself has been given some breathing space from us! 

We really need to wake up now and try our absolute best make something positive happen from this terrible time. We simply have to realise The Earth is not some separate entity from us.

We don’t  just live on The Earth – we live with The Earth.

Summer Solstice Celebrations

We’ve marked the Summer Solstice with ritual since ancient times and we continue to do so today. Traditionally, the most prominent part of Solstice rituals focus on the exact point of the sunrise on this day.

Here in The British Isles, we’ve always been very blessed to be able gather at our powerful sacred sites to mark and celebrate the Summer Solstice and the other festivals of the Wheel of the Year. This year will be different in that there will be no mass gathering of worshipers at Stonehenge. Even at an empty Solstice Stonehenge, The Sun will still rise between the ancient pillars though and the energy will be changed and felt deeply in the land as it always has….

Stonehengecollage

The same will happen at one of our other most special and  sacred places, Glastonbury Tor in Somerset, England. No doubt there will be a safely distanced and very respectful gathering of people who love the land but The Wheel Of The Year will turn anyway…..

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….

Celebrating Summer Solstice 

Even if it’s not possible to be at sacred sites or to gather in groups together at the moment, 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 just as you raise your arms to salute The Sun. Feel and the energy of The Sun and The Earth connecting with you at the same time

Remember, you’re not observing this. You’re part of this

Things You Can Do At Home

As mentioned, this day is the height of the Oak King’s power, Even if you can’t leave your home,you may want to decorate. You can light golden or yellow candles around your home or table  to represent The Sun. Any candles you light before dawn can be extinguished and re lit later if you’re able to go outside for 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.

A Summer Solstice Ritual For You

As this is is a festival of Sun and Fire, I like to work with the fire at Litha to ‘let go’ of what’s no longer needed or wanted in my life. I take small pieces of paper and write on them exactly what  I’m asking the Universe to help me with. These can be things like life lessons I’ve completed or things that have now run their course in my life. All of 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 flames at all times.

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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’ve written down and offered to the flames will also fade from your life ..

I wish you Summer Solstice Blessings, health and happiness!

NEWBANNER2

The Wheel Of The Year Turns To Beltane

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Beltane Blessings

beltaneblessings

 May 1st 2020. The Wheel of the Year turns to Beltane

As this day arrives, the world is still facing a huge challenge and will be forever changed. However, humanity is resilient and resourceful . Even in the face of  Covid -19  we can continue to seek out joy and still do things that honour the earth and mark the energies at each point on the Wheel Of The Year.

Even if we can’t currently go outside to gather around the Bel Fires, hold outdoor handfasting ceremonies or dance in groups around the Maypole, this day will still represent the very zenith of Spring and the start of Summer. With that in mind, at the end of this article are my details for a Beltane love ritual that you can enjoy performing indoors and individually. 

On the Pagan Wheel Of The Year, Beltane is our time to celebrate life force, sexuality, fertility and partnership. It’ll always be a very powerful time for us and for Earth. We can still do this! 

The Bel Fire

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The word Beltane has it’s name origins from from the Celtic God Bel- known as  ‘The 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 also seen as a protection from disease. 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 Beltane tradition is ‘jumping the broomstick’.

This predates Christian wedding ceremonies and then later in time when two people who either didn’t want or couldn’t afford a church ceremony, would literally jump together over a broom laid on the ground. The community would then see them as joined.

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.

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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….

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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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