Personal Request #1 – Protection Spell for Dogs
Diana, Goddess of the Wild,
Keep of dogs both fierce and mild,
Hold (name of pet, in this case, use these feral dogs) safely in your arms.
And protect these creatures from all harm.
All should the day come that he/she roams
Guide him/her to the path back home.
Bless (these feral dogs) with a joyful life
Free of hardship, stress and strife.
In Your Divine Name,
So Mote It Be.
A Spell to Cast When a Pet Dies
Non-pet owners often find it hard to understand the huge sense of loss that is experienced on the death of a much-loved pet, especially a dog. They simply don’t understand that the unconditional love a pet often displays towards its owner creates a bond that, when it is broken, can never be replaced. If you have been affected by such a loss, don’t try to contain your grief: bottled-up grief grows and grows until it can become quite unbearable. This spell should help ease your sense of loss.
You will need:
Three small brown taper candles
Rosemary essential oil
Something that reminds you of your pet – a lead perhaps, or a collar
Anoint the candles with the oil before lighting them and focusing on the three flickering flames, conjuring up in your mind’s eye some of the happy memories that you have of your dead pet. Now, holding the memento in both hands, say aloud some words of thanks for the companionship and friendship it brought into your life before saying that now is the time to say a final farewell. See the candle flames grow as you say ‘Goodbye!’ Don’t snuff out the candles (that’s why they should be small).Rather, focus on the flames getting smaller and smaller, seeing your grief diminish with them.
And when they die, know that your grief has died with them.
Finish the ritual by saying:
Be at peace,
And blessed be.
And let it be done,
that it harm no one.
And remember that it is your grief that has gone, not your happy memorie
a guide to the Sabbat’s symbolism
by Arwynn MacFeylynnd
Date: October 31.
Alternative names: All Hallows’ Eve, Halloween, the Witches’ New Year, Third Festival of Harvest.
Primary meaning: Samhain, pronounced “sow-en” — not “sam hain” — marks the beginning of the cold months or winter; it is the Day Between the Years. Primary elements to contemplate are endings and beginnings, change, reflection and reincarnation. Celebrations honor the dead, ancestors, the wisdom of the Crone and the death of the God.
Symbols: Cauldrons, jack o’ lanterns, masks, balefires, besoms (brooms), bats, owls, ravens and the ever-present witch and black cat.
Colors: Orange, black, brown, golden yellow and red.
Gemstones: Carnelian, jet, obsidian and onyx.
Herbs: Aborvitae (yellow cedar), acorn, allspice, apple, autumn flowers, catnip, corn, chrysanthemums, dittany of Crete, fall leaves (especially oak), ferns, flax, fumitory, gourds, grains, hazel, heather, mandrake, mugwort, mullein, nightshade, pear, pumpkin, sage, straw, thistle, turnip, wormwood.
Gods and goddesses: Crone goddesses, the Father or dying gods, gods of the underworld or death including Arawn, Cerridwen, Cernunnos, the Dagdha, Dis Pater, Hades, Hecate, Hel, Inanna, Ishtar, Kali, Lilith, Macha, Mari, the Morrigan, Osiris, Pomona, Psyche, Rhiannon, Samana, Sekhmet, Teutates and Taranis.
Customs and myths: In England, it formerly was the custom to go “a-souling” on this night, asking for little “soul cakes” and offering prayers for the dead in return. In the British Isles, lanterns carved out of turnips (in the New World pumpkins) were at one time used to provide light on a night when bale fires were lit, and all households let their fires go out so they could be rekindled from the new fire. Another custom was the Dumb Supper, in which an extra plate was laid for the dead and the meal was eaten in silence. Bobbing for apples, roasting nuts in the fire and baking cakes that contained tokens of luck are ancient methods of telling the future now. Ducking for apples was a divination for marriage. The first person to bite an apple would be the first to marry in the coming year. Apple peeling was a divination to see how long your life would be. The longer the unbroken apple peel, the longer your life was destined to be. In Scotland, people would place stones in the ashes of the hearth before retiring for the night. Anyone whose stone had been disturbed during the night was said to be destined to die during the coming year
|A Samhain Dance
Author: Lady Wolfwind
The wheel turns. I can feel it. The angle of the light in the morning is different, glowing lower in the sky. The air is cooler. The earth is beginning to give up her heat. The cooler air meeting the warm soil has created a low-lying fog in the meadows. Droplets hang from the long grass. It won’t last long this time of year. Slowly, the rising sun will burn it away. For now it is quiet and it is mine to share with the creatures of the earth. I watch as the squirrels scamper, grabbing nuts and noisily run back up the tree. The birds are busy foraging for their share as well. I see a beautiful red cardinal, his beak full of seeds, land on a nearby tree limb. The yard is alive with activity. Even their frenzied activity tells me that a change is upon us.
This is my favorite time of year. I have anxiously waited for the harvest season. The changing light patterns signal changes in my body. I feel as though I need to prepare for something. Maybe it is an ancestral need to put up supplies for the winter. I feel as though I can take a deep breath, as if the time for rest is near.
Later, in the evening, I return to the yard and it is alive once more. As I sit under the moon, very gradually a vision appears before me. I can see the spirits of my ancestors celebrating around the balefire and they are beckoning for me to join them. The harvest festivals have begun. I hear the drumming and the laughter. I hear the whispered conversations. I see their faces glowing in the firelight. They’re strong, determined faces of people who have know joy and sorrow, of people who have worked hard and the struggle shows in the lines of those faces. I feel their eyes gaze upon me from time to time. They feel my presence as well. They know who I am and they are happy I am here.
Tonight, I sit and I watch. I feel as if I’m an intruder, watching something I shouldn’t. At times I don’t feel it is normal, these glimpses of the past that I am granted. I don’t speak of these things to many people for fear they would think me insane, not even my family. I quietly say a blessing and thank the Goddess for the gifts of insight She has bestowed upon me. I wonder how many people think of their ancestors and all they owe to them.
I sit and contemplate as I watch the dancers celebrate, as I listen to the music quietly suspended in time, meant for my ears to hear. I silently communicate and ask them to tell me about their life as they lived it. I hear snatches quietly whispered in my ear. They tell me of living by the wheel of life. They explain how babies are born and die too soon. They tell me that some years the crops are good and others the crops they rely upon don’t fill the pantries and the cellars. They tell me how it is to be hungry.
Others whisper about good fortunes and fertile cows that they’ve sold for some gold pieces that have increased the family’s standing, about buying more land, and building bigger, better homes for their families. They talk mainly about the harvest and the dark half of the year, of the cold and the boredom and the fear of disease. There is always talk of fear of the dark.
I sit for a while longer and watch. I promise them that I will return on Samhain. I will be ready and we (my children and I) will participate. I’ve always favored Samhain, even before I knew it by its real name or true reason of existence. We will be prepared.
In our home Samhain is a truly special time of year. My daughter and I cook a great assortment of foods. I tell them stories of my family and encourage my husband to do the same. Samhain is a day of feasting and of celebration. Not so much a celebration of the last harvest, but a celebration of our ancestors. I want these people to be remembered, even if it is not by name, but by the fact that they are the reason we are all here today. We build a bonfire and we invite people to our home. They usually are here to celebrate Halloween as they know it, but to us it is nice to have the energy of the living mingling in our midst.
My daughter and I have prepared the names of people who have passed this year and we have woven a grapevine wreath on which to put these names. As the clock tolls midnight we cast the wreath upon the fire and wish those no longer with us safe journeys on the continuation of their paths. We light candles and place them around the yard and the house and invite the wandering souls a quiet, safe place to rest for the night. The quiet, lost souls are always welcome here. I feel them and my daughter sees them from time to time. We both acknowledge their presence and say a welcome to them as long as they don’t cause any trouble.
After all the guests have left, we, as a family, gather together and talk about all we wish to see in the coming year. Samhain is truly the end of this one. I think this year I will speak of my vision and of the departed ones desire for us to participate in their festivities. I think we will throw another log on the fire and dance. We will dance a celebration of life and all that it brings. We will dance to the joys and the sorrows we have faced. We will dance in thankfulness for all that we have and stop longing for all that we think will make our lives better. Most of all, we will dance with all those who have crossed over, one more time. We will not mourn their loss but celebrate all that they have taught us. We will dance in celebration of lives well lived and the gratefulness of having had the opportunity to have crossed paths with these truly special people.
At dawn we will lie in the cool grass and say our farewells and feel overjoyed by the delightful time we have shared with those others have forgotten. The sun will begin to rise and the fire will only be small wisps of smoke. The children and I will look at each other and know that we share a secret, a magical one. We will be hesitant to leave and return to our mundane lives. I think my children have a deeper appreciation of all that it means to be Pagan. We’ve spoken of the Sabbats and we have honored the Goddess at the full moon, but they have never truly been blessed with the presence of the Old Ones reaching out to them. I believe that their lives will be forever changed starting with this new year.
I am thankful for the wisdom I now see in their eyes, wisdom I could never have imparted. They have both been securely set upon their path and I am so ever grateful for this. It gives me a sense of peace that I no longer need to worry about this area of their life. As Pagans I know they will live as kind and compassionate human beings.
Now it is time to look to the future and of the coming year. My children and I will grasp each other’s hands and head into our home to rest. It’s funny how our ancestors have helped strengthen the bond between us. How many people can say something like that? We’ve allowed the long line of family to help build the future. Not only have they helped build our future but also they have helped build it in a positive way.
I hope everyone out there is enjoying this harvest season. It is time to reap what you have sown, may it all be pleasant. If it is not, now is the time to set aside the negativity and allow the positive to flow into your life. A new year and a new start are upon us. You have the power to make this coming year into anything you dream of; you can reach goals you never thought attainable. Take the opportunity of the dark half of the wheel to plan and build your energies, to rest and to prepare yourself to put your plans in place.
I wish you all the greatest Samhain.
Love to all my fellow witches,
Full Moon Energy-Cleansing Carpet Powder
Approximate Hands-on Time: 10 minutes
I hate to admit this, but I only clean my home about three times a year. Energy cleaning, that is! Being a Pagan in modern day can sometimes get a little tricky. With eight Sabbats and twelve full moons a year (thirteen on a Blue Moon year!), plus grounding, chakra balancing, and various other spells, a witch gets pretty busy! (Because, you know, life!) Unfortunately, this means the important practice of cleansing a home’s energy often gets put on the back burner. Who has time for smudging when we barely have time to shower?!
So, how does a witch keep a home physically and energetically clean while still making it to tarot class on time? Full Moon Energy-Cleansing Carpet Powder!
The beauty of this fragrant moon-blessed carpet powder is that it not only dispels negative energy and invokes positive energy, but it does so while you’re vacuuming! Who doesn’t love a double duty task? Another added benefit? Your home will smell fresh and flowery without any toxic chemicals! And since you only need to use a light sprinkle per room, one batch will last several months!
What You’ll Need:
-A jar or plastic container
-2 cups baking soda
-1/2 cup dried lavender
-1/2 cup dried sage
-1/2 cup dried chamomile
-2 Tablespoons sandalwood powder
How to Conjure:
★Put the lavender, sage, and chamomile in a pestle and grind into powder. You may also use a spice/coffee grinder or a plastic bag and rolling pin. It doesn’t have to be ultra-fine powder, just broken up.
★Thoroughly mix the herb blend with the baking soda and sandalwood. Pour the mixture into your container.
★Take your mixture outside (or by a moonlit window) and say:
Moon above, earth below;
Bless and cleanse my loving home.
In every pinch of this powder blend;
Positivity granted, negativity cleansed.
★Leave the covered jar outside or on a windowsill overnight. Use your Energy Cleansing Powder by lightly sprinkling it over your carpet or rug and giving it a few minutes to work its magick before vacuuming it up. Please use with caution around animals. Because they lick their feet (and baking soda is high in sodium!!), you’ll want to keep them out of the room until you’ve had a chance to vacuum.
This spell makes a great new-home present! And since it easily doubles (or triples. Or quadruples, etc, etc) you can keep a batch on hand for a last minute holiday or just-because gift. Put it in a recycled jar or pretty mason jar, tie a ribbon or raffia around the top, and you’ll have a beautiful, thoughtful gift that will delight any domestic goddess (and make you look like the Pagan Martha Stewart!).
–By the Light of the Moon: 13 Simple & Affordable Pagan Spells & Rituals for a Year of Full Moon Celebrations
We praise thee
That seed springeth
That flower openeth
That grass groweth.
We praise thee
For winds that whisper
Through the shining Birch
Through the lively Pines
Through the mighty Oak.
We praise thee
For all things
Oh, Earth-Mother, who gives all life.”
– Beltane Rite by Shadow Weaver Grove ADF
Beltane History – Celebrating May Day
The Fires of Tara
Beltane kicks off the merry month of May, and has a long history. This fire festival is celebrated on May 1 with bonfires, Maypoles, dancing, and lots of good old fashioned sexual energy. The Celts honored the fertility of the gods with gifts and offerings, sometimes including animal or human sacrifice. Cattle were driven through the smoke of the balefires, and blessed with health and fertility for the coming year. In Ireland, the fires of Tara were the first ones lit every year at Beltane, and all other fires were lit with a flame from Tara.
The Romans, always known for celebrating holidays in a big way, spent the first day of May paying tribute to their Lares, the gods of their household. They also celebrated the Floralia, or festival of flowers, which consisted of three days of unbridled sexual activity. Participants wore flowers in their hair (much like May Day celebrants later on), and there were plays, songs, and dances.
At the end of the festivities, animals were set loose inside the Circus Maximus, and beans were scattered around to ensure fertility. The fire festival of Bona Dea was also celebrated on May 2nd.
A Pagan Martyr
May 6 is the day of Eyvind Kelda, or Eyvind Kelve, in Norse celebrations. Eyvind Kelda was a Norwegian martyr who was tortured and drowned on the orders of King Olaf Tryggvason for refusing to give up his Pagan beliefs. A week later, Norwegians celebrate the Festival of the Midnight Sun, which pays tribute to the Norse sun goddess. This festival marks the beginning of ten straight weeks without darkness.
The Greeks and Plynteria
Also in May, the Greeks celebrated the Plynteria in honor of Athena, the goddess of wisdom and battle, and the patroness of the city of Athens (which was named after her). The Plynteria includes the ritual cleansing of Athena’s statue, along with feasting and prayers in the Parthenon. On the 24th, homage is paid to the Greek moon-goddess Artemis (goddess of the hunt and of wild animals). Artemis is a lunar goddess, equivalent to the Roman moon-goddess Diana – she is also identified with Luna, and Hecate.
The Green Man Emerges
A number of pre-Christian figures are associated with the month of May, and subsequently Beltane. The entity known as the Green Man, strongly related to Cernunnos, is often found in the legends and lore of the British Isles, and is a masculine face covered in leaves and shrubbery. In some parts of England, a Green Man is carried through town in a wicker cage as the townsfolk welcome the beginning of summer. Impressions of the Green Man’s face can be found in the ornamentation of many of Europe’s older cathedrals, despite edicts from local bishops forbidding stonemasons from including such pagan imagery.
A related character is Jack-in-the-Green, a spirit of the greenwood. References to Jack appear in British literature back as far as the late sixteenth century. Sir James Frazer associates the figure with mummers and the celebration of the life force of trees. Jack-in-the-Green was seen even in the Victorian era, when he was associated with soot-faced chimney sweeps. At this time, Jack was framed in a structure of wicker and covered with leaves, and surrounded by Morris dancers. Some scholars suggest that Jack may have been a ancestor to the legend of Robin Hood.
Ancient Symbols, Modern Rites
Today’s Pagans celebrate Beltane much like their ancestors did. A Beltane ritual usually involves lots of fertility symbols, including the obviously-phallic Maypole dance. The Maypole is a tall pole decorated with flowers and hanging ribbons, which are woven into intricate pattern by a group of dancers. Weaving in and out, the ribbons are eventually knotted together by the time the dancers reach the end.
In some Wiccan traditions, Beltane is a day in which the May Queen and the Queen of Winter battle one another for supremacy. In this rite, borrowed from practices on the Isle of Man, each queen has a band of supporters. On the morning of May 1, the two companies battle it out, ultimately trying to win victory for their queen. If the May Queen is captured by her enemies, she must be ransomed before her followers can get her back.
There are some who believe Beltane is a time for the faeries — the appearance of flowers around this time of year heralds the beginning of summer and shows us that the fae are hard at work. In early folklore, to enter the realm of faeries is a dangerous step — and yet the more helpful deeds of the fae should always be acknowledged and appreciated. If you believe in faeries, Beltane is a good time to leave out food and other treats for them in your garden or yard.
For many contemporary Pagans, Beltane is a time for planting and sowing of seeds — again, the fertility theme appears. The buds and flowers of early May bring to mind the endless cycle of birth, growth, death and rebirth that we see in the earth. Certain trees are associated with May Day, such as the Ash, Oak and Hawthorn. In Norse legend, the god Odin hung from an Ash tree for nine days, and it later became known as the World Tree, Yggdrasil.
If you’ve been wanting to bring abundance and fertility of any sort into your life — whether you’re looking to conceive a child, enjoy fruitfulness in your career or creative endeavors, or just see your garden bloom — Beltane is the perfect time for magical workings related to any type of prosperity.