Calendar of the Sun for Wednesday, Feb. 8th

Calendar of the Sun

Ancestor Day

Color: Black and grey
Element: Earth
Altar: Spread a black cloth, and lay it with photographs, paintings, and other depictions of our ancestors. Add also symbols of their old tools, and statues of ancestral deities, a bowl of seeds for the future garden, pots of soil, a pitcher of water, and many candles of black and white and grey.
Offerings: Things they would have liked to eat, drink, smoke, or smell. Tend a cemetery and clean up the graves.
Daily Meal: Food from an earlier era, using authentic recipes.

Invocation to the Ancestors

Our ancestors got up at dawn,
Slaved in the dirt,
Sweated in the sun,
Chilled in the cold,
Numbed in the snow,
Scattering each seed with a prayer:
Pray that there be enough,
That no one starve this winter.
Pray that no bird nor beast
Steal the food I have struggled for.
And most of all,
Pray that each seed I save
Of this harvest
Shall next year
Bring forth a hundred more.
We live today
Because they worked
Because they sowed
Because they harvested
Because they prayed.

Chant:
Those who came before
We are your children
Those who came before
We honor your names

(Each person takes seeds from the bowl and plants them in the pots of soil, speaking the name of one of their ancestors as they do so, as in: “In honor of _______.” The pots are watered, and the candles put out one by one.)

Calendar of the Sun for Tuesday, February 7th

Calendar of the Sun

Ancestor Day

Color: Black and grey
Element: Earth
Altar: Spread a black cloth, and lay it with photographs, paintings, and other depictions of our ancestors. Add also symbols of their old tools, and statues of ancestral deities, a bowl of seeds for the future garden, pots of soil, a pitcher of water, and many candles of black and white and grey.
Offerings: Things they would have liked to eat, drink, smoke, or smell. Tend a cemetery and clean up the graves.
Daily Meal: Food from an earlier era, using authentic recipes.

Invocation to the Ancestors

Our ancestors got up at dawn,
Slaved in the dirt,
Sweated in the sun,
Chilled in the cold,
Numbed in the snow,
Scattering each seed with a prayer:
Pray that there be enough,
That no one starve this winter.
Pray that no bird nor beast
Steal the food I have struggled for.
And most of all,
Pray that each seed I save
Of this harvest
Shall next year
Bring forth a hundred more.
We live today
Because they worked
Because they sowed
Because they harvested
Because they prayed.

Chant:
Those who came before
We are your children
Those who came before
We honor your names

(Each person takes seeds from the bowl and plants them in the pots of soil, speaking the name of one of their ancestors as they do so, as in: “In honor of _______.” The pots are watered, and the candles put out one by one.)

Casting Spells Using Dried Herbs

The most prevalent ingredient of magick spells are processed herbs, especially dried plants and oils. Drying plants preserves them for extended use, allowing you to work with  plants out of season and those that cannot be grown in your personal region. Dried herbs from all over the world, representing many magical traditions, may be purchased from herbal suppliers.

Dried herbs are frequently sold already chopped up, cut or powdered. As this frequently needs to be done before spellcasting purchasing herbs in this form can be a real-time and effort saver–with one caveat. Leaves and blossoms, even chopped, other remain easily distinguishable. Peppermint doesn’t smell like vervain or hibiscus, for instance. Roots on the other hand,  other the most magickally potent part of a plant,  once chopped or powdered, are fairly indistinguishable from  each other. It is not uncommon for unethical or ignorant vendors to substitute one  root for another. If you are looking for a distinct root, say High John the Conqueror, for whom this is a common problem, buy the whole root and ground and powder it yourself, even though this can be difficult.  It is the only way to guarantee that you are receiving what you want, the only way to maintain control over what may be a pivotal ingredient. Familiarize yourself with herbs. Know what they should look like and what they should smell like, and you will be less likely to be fooled.

If you grow plants or have access to fresh plants, it’s extremely easy, virtually child’s play, to dry them yourself.