Living Life as the Magickal Witch – Acceptable Gifts and Offerings to the Gods

Living Life as the Magickal Witch – Acceptable Gifts and Offerings to the Gods

 

It is a common Pagan and Wiccan tradition that, in order to show respect and gratitude for , gifts and offerings are being made. Each deity responds best to a certain type of gift so when making an offering always think about what the god represents. While, in general, offerings such as bread, milk and wine are appropriate for any deity, this question still arises: “What are the acceptable offerings and gifts to offer each deity?”

Based upon the types of gods, here are some suggestions for specific food, drink and herbs offerings you can make:

1. Gods of Hearth and Home

– Offer food such as bread and grains, salt and cooking oil
– Appropriate drinks are milk, wine and cider
– Herb offerings you can go for are rosemary or thyme

2. Love and Passion Gods

– Best food offerings are apples , honey and eggs
– Drink offerings: wine and fruit juice
– Herbs: lavender and sandalwood

3. Prosperity and Abundance Gods. It is recommended that you offer the following:

– Dairy products and grains
– Milk and beer
– Mint, catnip and pennyroyal

4. Nature and Garden Gods

– Bread, fruits, cornmeal
– Milk and water
– Bay

5. Fertility Goddess

– Eggs and baked sweets
– Milk – breast milk too
– Rose, apple blossoms and sandalwood

6. Ancestor Spirits

– Offer any food and drinks from your family’s table and herbs such as sweet grass or sage.

 

 

Reference:
“The Wayward Wiccan”

Daily Feng Shui Tip for Jan. 21 – ‘Dr. Martin Luther King’

Today commemorates the birth date of a modern day martyr, Dr. Martin Luther King. I am forever grateful to Dr. King as I remember the way he attempted to impact people who have long killed the messenger without trying to understand the message. This most special day remembers the birth of the man who dedicated his entire life promoting a message of equality, truth and fairness. Let each of us today promote peace in our own way. One of the ways we can do that is to invite peace into our lives, starting with what should be a most peaceful sanctuary, the bedroom. Using any shade of blue or green in that space is believed to heal both the spirit and the soul. From the paint on the walls to the accessories all around, try a splash of blue. And then go green. Heal you. Heal the planet. In honor of someone who tried to do exactly that. Happy birthday, Dr. King. I share your dream.

By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com

Modern Female Rite Of Passage

Modern Female Rite Of Passage

Note: East – Air; South – Fire, West – Water, North – Earth

Early Preparations

Candles for the ritual will be made that day. Celebrant will make two white candles. Candles will be herbal and scented, and inscribed appropriately. Celebrant and mother will also bring something that symbolically (to them) symbolizes the rite of passage.

Ritual baths will be taken prior to ceremony, with Celebrant’s bath being drawn for her. Salt, herbs and scents appropriate to the occasion will be added to the bath, and it will be blessed prior to use. Mother will help Celebrant to the bath, where she will light a candle and incense, give words of love and comfort and instruction to the Celebrant, and then withdraw to assist in Circle Preparation.

Circle Preparation

Circle area will be cleansed and Circle constructed and consecrated in the usual manner. Altar will sit just West of Center of Circle to symbolize both the emotional aspects of the ritual, as well as the death/ rebirth aspects.

Added to altar arrangement will be the Celebrant’s two white candles. Also on the altar will be a mirror sitting behind and between the two white candles. Symbolic gifts will be placed beside the altar – the mother’s to the North symbolizing steadfastness, grounding, caution, and wisdom of the elder. The Celebrant’s will be to the South of the altar, symbolizing the fire, passion and impetuosity of youth.

Invocations

Guardian of the East Hail to thee, Ancient ones of Air! Blow soft around us this night That the restrictions and pains of childhood Will be but memories in the mind of the adult.

Guardian of the South

Hail to thee, Ancient ones of Fire! Lend to us this night your passion and strength Envelope us in your warmth, That the fires of youth may be tempered within thee.

Guardian of the West

Hail to thee, Ancient ones of Water! Wash over us with thy loving embrace That the sorrows of days long past Can give way to new understanding.

Guardians of the North

Hail to thee, Ancient ones of Earth! Stand firm with us in our purpose this night, That from the youth shall grow the adult Full of purpose and wisdom.

Invocation to the Lady

Blessed Lady of a Thousand Names, You who art Maiden, Mother and Crone. Grant that this night the bindings of childhood will be broken And the bond between mother and daughter be strengthened. For the two, as so reflected throughout all creation, Are but images of thee in thy divine Trinity. Blessed Be. In honor of thee do I pour this toast, and drink this wine.

Invocation to the Lord

Great Lord, Ancient one of the fields and Consort to our Lady, We ask that thou wouldst give a measure of your love and protection to she who will soon join the battles of this life. Fill her with the knowledge of thee as sanctuary And grant that peace may follow her always. In honor of thee do I pour this toast, and drink this wine.

Chalice is then passed to each of the coveners to share in the toast.

Drawing Down the Moon

Priestess/Mother stands facing the moon with hands upraised and palms turned upwards, cupwise. Drinking in the Lady’s essence, she says,

Come to me and fill me with thy light Enter me, shine in me your fullness That I may use your power for my good, And for the good of All.

When appropriate, she blesses all within the Circle, and the rite that is about to be performed. Then, nodding to the Father of the Celebrant, says:

Bring forth your daughter, that she might, this night, cross the threshold of adulthood.

Father brings the Celebrant to the Eastern Gate.

Mthr:

Is this the daughter I bore so many years before? Nay, it cannot be, for she was but a child when last I held her.

Dtr:

Mother, I am your child. Now grown and ready to throw away the things of childhood. Years it has been since my moonflow began and I became a woman. Now it is time that this is recognized.

Mthr:

Very well, lead the child into the center of the Circle. There to have her sit in silence.

Father leads Celebrant to the center of the Circle, while mother re-closes the Circle. She then joins her daughter in the Circle’s center, saying:

Mthr:

You sit now in the Center of the Circle; that which is known as the Cauldron of Hecate; the point of transformation; the mother’s womb, where beginnings end and endings re-begin. I have heard your words, and weep for them; Tears of both joy and sorrow. It was my body that cried out in pain and joy as you were born. It was my mind that went in circles to provide for us. It was my heart that broke when that which you wanted I could not give you. But always did you have my love…and always shall you carry that love with you. Behold in me the Three-Fold Goddess She who is One in Three – Maid, Mother, and Crone One in Three, as she is in you and all women, And as you and they are in her. Look upon her and know her, That you, too, may be whole. So I ask thee truly, art thou ready to face the woman within thee? To see within thee the light and dark, and fear no more the dark? To accept that which you are, and strive for that which you can become? To leave behind the things of childhood, But to continue to love and nurture the child which lives in all adults?

{Celebrant has answered accordingly to each of the questions, at which time the Mother now exhorts the Celebrant to stand and face the altar.}

Mthr:

Daughter, I ask you now to look deep within the mirror. See yourself reflected there. Look into your eyes and know yourself. Repeat after me: “I come to commune with my Soul.”

Dtr:

I come to commune with my Soul.

Mthr:

Look into the reflection of your eyes, and name one thing about yourself that you love.

{Celebrant and Mother will continue this, alternating between what the Celebrant thinks is both good and bad within her…}

After the last question, the Mother then says:

Mthr:

Daughter, within thee is both light and dark. Know always your shadow side. If something is there which offends thee horrible, give it up. For others to love you as an adult, you must love yourself first. And loving yourself means giving up any self- hatred you’ve carried over from young years. Now is the time to cut these things from thy life. They are the bonds of childhood which have held you limited. Free yourself from them, and know that thy spirit flies free.

Now look again into the mirror. Look at yourself with love. See the Goddess shining within thee. She is strong; no man has dominion over her. She knows herself and loves herself. She will give herself to those who are worthy of her affections, and turn from those who try to debase her. Let the Goddess within thee shine through thee, that the nobility and strength of woman is clear for all to see.

Now, come with me.

Mother embraces daughter and leads her to each of the four quarters. After each challenge, the Celebrant must answer as she sees fit, and asks the Guardian’s Blessing. The Covener at each gate will then bless the Celebrant, and offer a gift for adulthood, such as strength, courage, etc…or a physical gift pertinent to the rite and Gate.

Covener at Eastern Gate:

Hold! I am the wild wind and fury of the storm! That which buffets thee without shelter. How will you survive?

Covener at Southern Gate

Hold! I am fire and passion That which will consume thee with lust. How will you survive?

Covener at Western Gate

Hold! I am floods and weeping and gnashing of teeth. I am loneliness and frustration. How will thee survive?

Covener at Northern Gate

Hold! I am chaos and turmoil Plans gone wrong and dreams that die. How will thee survive?

Mother faces daughter (Priestess mode ON here)…

I am the Lady, thy Mother… I shall be with thee no matter how far thou shalt roam. And when loneliness besets thee, Thou needs only gaze upon the moon, To see my face and my love reflected there to you.

Father approaches daughter and turns her to face him…

I am he who is father to thee now. I shall stand behind and beside thee always. And when loneliness besets thee, Thou needs only to step out into sunlight To feel my warmth and love within thee.

Mother takes daughter by hand and returns to the altar. Daughter picks up her gift of childhood and presents it to the mother, saying…

This I do give you as a symbol of childhood now behind me. Hold it and cherish it as you remember me.

Mother picks up her gift of adulthood and presents it the Celebrant, saying…

This I do give you as a symbol of your adulthood, and my recognition of it. Hold it and cherish it as you remember me.

Draw a pentagram above the celebrant, with an affirmation at each of the five points:

Point one:

In the name of Inanna, Queen of Heaven

Point two:

In the name of Athena, warrior Goddess, but also of Peace

Point three:

In the name of Astarte, warrior Goddess, and protector of young females

Point four:

In the name of Diana, she of the bow and arrow, Goddess of Light

Point five:

Do I bless thee, and call thee “Woman”. May their strength and independence, their love and virtue, be thine all the days of thy life. I recognize the child no more, but she the child who lives in all of us.

Mother stands with a space between her and her daughter and presents the new adult to the coven.

Feasting (and in our case, a birthday celebration) follow.

Quarter Guardians are thanked, and blessings are asked of the Lord and Lady upon the group, as well as the Celebrant.

Blessed Be
 
 
Ritual by:
* Lady Shyra *

The Witches Spell for January 15th – Turquoise Protection Amulet

Witchy Cat Graphics & Comments

TURQUOISE PROTECTION AMULET

The ancients regarded turquoise as a powerful magickal aid to ward off misfortune, illness,
and the evil eye. You can use turquoise to make your own amulet for protection.

To begin, during the waxing Moon take a piece of blue turquoise or an item of blue
turquoise jewelry and hold it in your hand for a moment. In your mind’s eye, picture a
blue light surrounding you. Hold the stone to your heart, and breathe on it to charge it
with your power, saying:

Stone of blue, surround me with protective energy.
I am protected by your soothing blue light.

Carry your turquoise with you or wear it as often as you can.
Handle it frequently to keep the spell active.

When Darkness Falls: Cooking and Heating in Winter as Our Forebears Did

When Darkness Falls: Cooking and Heating in Winter as Our Forebears Did

by Catherine Harper

As I write this, we are in the midst of the false spring that is so often January’s mercurial gift to the Pacific Northwest coast. Around the borders of the garden daffodil bulbs are sending up small green teeth. The days are sunny and mild, and my over-wintering broccoli has started to form heads. Is it just coincidence that just as the season tries to so mislead us the seed catalogs begin to arrive? The sunset through the trees beyond my study window has painted the sky the color of salmon, and it is not yet wholly dark, though it would have been at this time only a few weeks before. It’s an easy time to think of Imbolc ahead.

Imbolc is a celebration of first stirrings, new beginnings, gradual lengthening of days and return of the light. In this green country by the sea, where winter’s sleep is never much more than a nap, it might almost be redundant, the transition from grey, rain and green to more of the same with swelling buds. We prune the apple orchards and light a candle (the more faithfully because Imbolc is also my brother’s birthday). It is a restless season, a gradually accelerating rising toward the lighter portion of the year, and as such it can be a difficult time for reflection. And yet reflection sometimes finds us, though we did not look for it.

Recently, our house was without power for several days, and many of our plans were put on hold for that stretch. I was given ample opportunity to think of the passing of the darkest time — even as winter is still with us — and time to think of the small ways in which the light returns to us. Now, we are well set up for such occurrences, and it is not uncommon for us to heat the house and cook our dinner with the wood-burning brick oven. Similarly, we often eat by candlelight. But to fire the oven every day, banking the coals each night and then stirring them to light the fire the next morning, is something else, as it is to read and work out and clean the garage only by the light of candles and oil lamps or the short hours of daylight. What has been at most ritual, and at least conceit, becomes both drudgery and discipline.

By the third day, the eyestrain from the dimmer light even of many candles was feeling ingrained. I had learned to take a hot water bottle to bed with me every night because, while the oven could heat most of the house, the master bedroom is too far, and the bed itself bitterly cold when I first entered it. We swept and washed dishes as much as possible while we still had daylight to see our work by, and brought in wood before going to bed so that it would be there to start the morning fire. Beyond the work itself, which wasn’t excessive, the routine was exhausting — some combination of the cold and the dark and the tedium of normally simple tasks leaving me stumbling with fatigue each night. And yet, in its way, it was deeply satisfying.

In my magical work in and beyond the kitchen, much of what I do is creating a web of connections. I buy the food that is in season to make another link between myself and the turning of the year. I buy from local farmers to strengthen my connection to the land, and from people I know to strengthen my connection with the community. But we all live in and amongst many such webs, if not all of them so deliberately chosen. The pieces of our world — every aspect of our lives — is vastly interdependent, and the electrical networks are one such tangible example of the ways in which we are connected.

If there is something to be learned from building and choosing to put our energy into certain connections and so reinforce them, so is there something very basic and primal about stepping aside from some of the default connections in our lives. The break from my routine, the rhythm of tending the house and heating and lighting it by our own labors, became an opportunity to step back and consider the interconnections of our lives and the routines we had taken for granted. And, of course, a chance to consider a little the lives we might be living had we been given fewer technological blessings. I think for those who are plunged into darkness less frequently by the vagaries of the weather and the electric companies, spending the occasional stretch of time without power, perhaps the length of a meal, can still be a useful exercise.

It is generally assumed that those who are in the magickal community are well equipped with candles, but our uses of them do not necessarily emphasize the efficiency of lighting, so here are a few suggestions:

Most people know that a candle backed by a mirror or other reflector will shed more light. A candle near a white wall will also reflect its light better than one near a dark surface.

Candles much more than two inches in diameter will tend to use up the wax at the center of the candle without melting the wax on the outside, so gradually the wick and flame will drop down below the level of the outer rim of wax. This is pretty and atmospheric, but does not provide especially efficient light. On the other hand, candles of much less than one inch in diameter will burn down quite quickly, which can be useful in spell work, but is annoying for lighting purposes.

Most grocery stores carry large boxes (usually of 72 candles) of Shabbos candles in their Kosher food section. These are plain white four-inch candles that are usually quite cheap, and they are less likely to be sold out during power outages.

I have often seen candle jars used in outdoor rituals, but seldom seen them used indoors in the manner in which we employ them. These are versatile lanterns that can be comfortably carried or set down, provide light in all directions and are fairly kid and cat safe because they can be tipped over without ill effect. To make one, wash and remove the label from a large spaghetti sauce jar or other large glass jar. (Hot water will soften the glue that holds on the label.) Find two candles that are not taller than the jar. Light one candle, pour a few drops of its hot wax into the jar and then quickly stick the bottom of the other candle to the jar bottom with the hot wax. The jar, being glass, allows light to shine all around, and is far enough from the flame that it doesn’t get hot enough to burn your hands when carried.

Oil lamps are a convenient light source, but only the lamps with properly ventilated chimneys are able to provide especially bright light. In my experience the lamps burn best when the wick is at least occasionally trimmed, and the end of the wick is roughened or frayed a bit by rubbing a knife-edge across it. Oil lamps also provide much better light when their reservoirs are full than when they are near empty.

Cooking

I should have known when we bought a house already equipped with a fireplace, woodstove and the built-in barbeque that was later converted into my brick oven that we lived in an area where power supply could be a bit uncertain. Instead, to my surprise, six weeks later we were treated to three days in the dark with a woodstove I hadn’t entirely made friends with and a foot of icy slush on the roads. But the corollary to our frequent outages is that we are well set up to deal with them, with wood stove and brick ovens, lamps, sconces and chandeliers. Most houses, and apartments even more so, are not so well prepared.

Now, I assume people who already have woodstoves, brick ovens, grills, barbeques, masonry cookers and other such relatively expensive fixtures are already fairly well acquainted with their use, but a few tips anyway: If you haven’t cooked over your woodstove, it’s good to keep in mind that most of them that are not built specifically for cooking will provide only the equivalent of low heat from a standard burner unless you fire them very hot. You’ll have better luck simmering a stew than frying an egg on them, and you might want to put a pot of water on top right off so you don’t have to wait later on for it to warm. Barbeques and grills can be used year round in our mild climate, but they should be used outside if you are fond of breathing. (Though one can often use a hibachi or other small grill in one’s fireplace, assuming that the fireplace is large enough to accommodate it and that the draw is strong enough.)

Luckily, the lack of such amenities doesn’t put you out of the running. If you would like to cook over flame, don’t have wood-burning appliances and don’t want to invest in expensive equipment, there are a number of low-cost options. The simplest is the tried-and-true can of Sterno or similar canned heat product. These are readily available at grocery stores and fairly safe for indoor use, unlike most camping stoves, which need a lot of ventilation and should only be used outside. For a few bucks more you can buy a collapsible Sterno “stove” from your local army surplus or camping supplies store, which will shelter the flame and support a cooking pot.

The collapsible Sterno “stoves” or other similar trivets can also be used above tea lights (which are good for warming tinned soup, if less good for more serious cooking, though you can do a bit when you use more than one at a time), alcohol burners or other simple flames. We have been using our fondue burner, which is essentially a small adjustable alcohol burner with a heavy iron trivet, as a general-purpose stove, and it boils water quite readily. Fondue burners can be found at culinary stores, and other types of alcohol burners can be purchased through chemistry supply companies.

Most of these improvised burners will not give you as evenly distributed heat as will most stoves, so you must either use them with thick-bottomed pots that distribute heat well on their own or make soups, sauces and other largely liquid things that will not mind the uneven heat so much. Another good standby is couscous. You can add one part couscous to two parts boiling water and then cover it and let it cook away from the flame entirely (this also makes for fairly fuel-efficient food, which is why couscous is a backpacking favorite).

If you are fortunate enough to have a fireplace, more options are available to you (though if you have attempted to cook over a fireplace without appropriate equipment you already know that other than hotdogs and marshmallows, your options can be rather limited). An open fire is romantic, but to cook over it effectively requires some preparation. First of all, for most things it is much more effective to cook over hot coals than open flame. So you’re often best off building a fairly large, hot fire and letting it burn down before you attempt to cook over it. (For a similar effect you can use charcoal briquettes in your fireplace or add them to your wood fire.)

Next, of course, you need some way of supporting your food over the fire. A spit can be improvised, but is often fairly difficult to manage, especially in modern fireplaces. For the least expensive route, one can rely on the camper’s favorite of wrapping food in tinfoil and setting it among the coals and ashes (not directly in the hottest part of the fire) to cook. “Hobo stew” is a combination of meat and vegetables cooked by this method, a bit of a chancy proposition, but fun, simple, and potentially tasty. Or, most camping supplies stores sell inexpensive lightweight collapsible grills that can fit in your fireplace. These can hold pots and pans as well as grill meat and vegetables.

Of course, if you want to get at all serious about cooking in your fireplace, you should at least look at what is often considered the most flexible of fireside cooking tools, the Dutch oven. It has been claimed, and to a great extent demonstrated, that pretty much any dish from the Western European tradition, and a great many others from elsewhere, can be made in a Dutch oven. The Dutch oven is a heavy cast iron pot with feet that will hold it above burning coals and a rimmed lid that will allow you to place additional coals on top of it. They come in a variety of sizes, and can be used to make anything from wedding cakes to stews to omlettes. Dutch oven cooking is a subject one could write a book about, and indeed many people have.

In the end, there is the eating. Almost by definition it is a dinner by candlelight, but it need not be a formal one. We hand out one bowl, spoon, and fork apiece, because bowls are harder to spill food from and more amenable to being held in one’s lap while you sit in front of the fire or curl up with a blanket in the living room. Fewer dishes are a blessing when light and hot water are limited, too. Like the food we make camping, a meal cooked at home over fire is fully realized in its simplicity. Even tinned soup and crackers becomes delicious as our labors give us a more intimate connection to the food and its preparation. Fire, food and hunger are primal things.

Today’s Feng Shui Tip for Jan. 9th – ‘Balloon Ascension Day’

Our energies are going up, up and away on ‘Balloon Ascension Day’ and our wishes should be heading in that same direction as well. Feng Shui says that you can make a wish come true simply by sending it skyward on a balloon. Take any red helium filled balloon and with a black marker write your wish on the balloon. Be specific, concise and clear. Then, on any clear and sunny day, let the balloon go. Follow it with your eyes and your intention and once it begins to get close to the horizon visualize it as a small, round and golden orb. As the balloon disappears imagine that it is being gobbled up by the Sky Dragon, a mythical creature who holds the power to make your dreams materialize. Once this dragon swallows your wish it is said that it will soon come true. Forget the pie in the sky, put your delicious wish there instead and watch it unfold!

By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com