December 18th, Three Days Before Yule – Eponalia

Yule Comments & Graphics

Eponalia

(Roman/Celtic)

Eponalia is a day dedicated to the goddess Epona, it falls on the 2nd day of Saturnalia.

Epona is the patron goddess of horses, donkeys, mules and other animals, her name translates as “Divine Mare”. She is a powerful Gallo-Celtic goddess who is also associated with the Earth, fertility, rebirth and abundance, making her a Mother Goddess.

She is often depicted as a young maiden, either riding a horse (which was revered in the Celtic world for it’s beauty, speed and bravery), or standing between 2 horses. She often carries a cornucopia and basket, which further supports her role as a fertility and abundance goddess. People would adorn pictures and statues of her with rose garlands, in the shrines.

Horses were very important to our ancestors and cults worshipping horses was commonplace. They left much evidence to show how significant horses were to them, such as The White Horse of Uffington.

The origins of Epona are thought to have started in the Gallic region of northern France. She has many guises, being worshipped in Wales as Rhiannon and in Ireland as Macha. She is the only Gallo-Celtic goddess that made her way into the Roman Empire and was highly worshipped amongst the Roman cavalry, almost every stable had a shrine for her.

Advertisements

Celebrating Other Spirituality 365 Days A Year – Miracle at Lourdes

February 11th

Miracle at Lourdes (France)

It was on this day in 1858 that the famous apparition of Our Lady at Lourdes was seen by a poor peasant girl, Bernadatte. This was the last manifestation at the gorto which had been known for many centuries as the shrine of the Goddess.

Born Marie Bernarde Soubrious, Bernadatte (1844 – 1879) suffered from asthma, poverty, and a lack of education. At the age of 14, on February 11, Bernadatte experienced a vision of the Virgin Mary while collecting firewood on the bank of the River Gave near Lourdes. During the next six months, she saw a series of 18 visions in which  the Lady identified herself as “the Immaculate Conception” and told Bernadatte to drink from a nearby spring. The Lady also instructed Bernadatte to erect a chapel on the site. Since that time, the spring has produced 27,000 gallons of water each week and has been the site of countless miracles of healing.

 

Magickal Activity

Healing Bath

Items needed:

One white candle

Fresh mint

Fresh lavender

Light the candle and place it next to the tub so the water will reflect its light. As you fill the tub with water, add the mint and lavender leaves. Just before you step into the tub, stir the water with your hand as you chant:

“Elements and herbs lend your power,
Bring me healing from this hour.”
 

Soak in the tub for 15 minutes. At the end of this time, stand in the tub and let the water out. As the water drains from the tub, visualize all your ailments (or problems) leaving your body and flowing away with the water.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Your Animal Spirit for December 9th is The Porcupine

Your Animal Spirit for Today
December 9, 2013

Porcupine

Porcupine has appeared in your reading today to bring a message of innocence and trust. Although Porcupine can throw quills when cornered, he is gentle, loving, and non-aggressive. Is there an area of your life that need Porcupine energy? Have you lost the ability to trust??

Samhain Ancestor Meditation

Samhain Ancestor Meditation

Calling Upon the Ancient Ones

By , About.com

A Time of Darkness

Samhain is known as the night when the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest. It’s a time to sit back and honor the spirit world, and call upon those ancestors who came before us. After all, if not for them, we wouldn’t be here. We owe them something, some gratitude for their ability to survive, their strength, their spirit. Many Wiccans and Pagans choose Samhain as a time to honor their ancestors. If this is something you’d like to do, you can celebrate with a ritual or by hosting a seance or dumb supper in their honor:

In addition to these more formal rituals, you may also want to take some time alone for a quiet meditation. This is a point in the Wheel of the Year when the spirit world is a bit closer than normal, and if you’ve never tried to contact your ancestors before, now is a good time to do it.

When performing an ancestor meditation, people experience different things. You may find yourself meeting a specific person that you are aware of in your family history — maybe you’ve heard the stories about great-uncle Joe who went out west after the Civil War, and now you have the privilege of chatting with him, or perhaps you’ll meet the grandmother who passed away when you were a child. Some people, however, meet their ancestors as archetypes. In other words, it may not be a specific individual you meet, but rather a symbol — instead of adventurous great-uncle Joe, it may be a non-specific Civil War soldier or frontiersman. Either way, understand that meeting these individuals is a gift. Pay attention to what they say and do — it may be that they’re trying to give you a message.

Setting the Mood

Before you perform this meditation, it’s not a bad idea to spend some time with the tangible, physical aspects of your family. Bring out the old photo albums, read through wild Aunt Tillie’s diary from the Great Depression, get out your grandfather’s old pocket watch that almost sank with the Titanic. These are the material things that connect us to our family. They link us, magically and spiritually. Spend time with them, absorbing their energies and thinking of the things they’ve seen, the places they’ve been.

You can perform this ritual anywhere, but if you can do it outside at night it’s even more powerful. Decorate your altar (or if you’re outside, use a flat stone or tree stump) with the symbols of your ancestors — the photos, journals, war medals, watches, jewelry, etc. No candles are necessary for this meditation, but if you’d like to light one, do so. You may also want to burn some Samhain spirit incense.

Claiming Your Birthright

Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Think about who you are, and what you are made of, and know that everything within you is the sum of all your ancestors. From thousands of years ago, generations of people have come together over the centuries to create the person you are now. Think about your own strengths — and weaknesses — and remember that they came from somewhere. This is a time to honor the ancestors who formed you.

Recite your genealogy — aloud if you like — as far back as you can go. As you say each name, describe the person and their life. An example might go something like this:

I am the daughter of James, who fought in Vietnam and returned to tell the tale. James was the son of Eldon and Maggie, who met on the battlefields of France, as she nursed him back to health.    Eldon was the son of Alice, who sailed aboard Titanic and survived. Alice was the daughter of Patrick and Molly, who farmed the soil of Ireland, who raised horses and tatted lace to feed the children…

and so forth. Go back as far as you like, elaborating in as much detail as you choose. Once you can go back no further, end with “those whose blood runs in me, whose names I do not yet know”.

If you happened to meet a certain ancestor, or their archetype, during your meditation, take a moment to thank them for stopping by. Take note of any information they may have given you — even if it doesn’t make sense just now, it may later on when you give it some more thought. Think about all the people you come from, whose genes are part of you. Some were great people — some, not so much, but the point is, they all belong to you. They all have helped shape and create you. Appreciate them for what they were, with no expecations or apologies, and know that they are watching over you.

Celebrating Spirituality 365 Days A Year – Oct. 4th, Feast of St. Francis of Assisi

pagan19

4 October

Feast of St. Francis of Assisi

Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) is one of the most revered of the Christian saints. He was distinguished for his joyous piety, asceticism, and compassion that extended to all living creatures. Francis was the son of a prosperous merchant who had him disinherited because of his extravagant gifts to the poor. Soon after this, Francis began to minister to the lepers near Assisi and then rebuilt a ruined chapel for them. In 1209, he received papal permission to begin his own order and established the Franciscan order. He traveled extensively throughout France and Spain, where his compassion for Nature spread. One legend has him preaching a sermon to Sparrows at Alviano, and another tells of him saving bees from freezing to death. On this day, many Christian schools allow the students to bring their pets to class so they can be blessed by the resident priest.

Celebrating Spirituality 365 Days a Year – Pumpkin Festival

mabon_altar_by_el_sharra-d5gi700

September 12th

Pumpkin Festival

In France, the pumpkin festival draws people from far and wide to search the produced markets in search of The Mother of all Pumpkins. Once the great squash has been decided upon, it is decorated and placed upon a throne, where it is allowed to remain for a respectable period of time. At the conclusion of the festivities, the pumpkin is made into bread and soup and sharing among those in attendance.

Calendar of the Sun for August 6

Calendar of the Sun

6 Weodmonath

Wheat Day

Color: Golden
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon a golden cloth place a sheaf of wheat, a sickle, a clay jug of wheat beer, and a loaf of fresh-baked whole wheat bread.
Offering: Give food to the poor.
Daily Meal: Wheat bread, pasta, or pastry.

Wheat Invocation

Today, sweet golden king,
My hand belongs to Her
As does your body.
I thank you for your gift of life
And I promise you rebirth next year
With this my very same hand.
And in your turn
Since someday my body will be Hers as well
Promise me
The same hope;
Rebirth me in joy everlasting.

(The sickle is swung in a circle, then the wheat beer is passed around, and the remainder poured out as a libation.)

I sing the praises of Wheat,
First grain of the wagon people of Europe,
You who make the bread rise high,
You who make the soft white dough,
You who are sweet
And can last a thousand years
And still blossom forth in the Earth.
I sing the praises of Wheat.

(The bread is passed around, and the remainder scattered in the garden.)

Song: Corn Rigs

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Warrior Meditation for Lughnasadh

Warrior Meditation for Lughnasadh

By , About.com Guide

At Lammas, the harvest is kicking in. This is a time of year when the masculine energy of the earth is in full swing. For starters, it’s the season of the spirit of grain, and a time to honor Lugh, the craftsman god. Lugh was not only a craftsman, but a gifted smith and swordsman. The season from late summer to the middle of fall is often a season of heightened energy for those who identify with the warrior soul.

Who Is the Warrior?

The warrior in today’s society is someone who understands the idea of right action. He or she follows a code of honor, and abides by that code even when it may be inconvenient or unpopular. The warrior recognizes that the forces of creation and destruction must be balanced. The warrior is empowered because he or she knows his own circumstances, limitations and goals. Perhaps most importantly, the warrior is someone who has made past mistakes, owned up to them, and learned not to repeat them.

A note on women and the concept of warrior: the notion of masculine energy and a warrior soul is not exclusive to men. Many women have powerful warrior spirits. Think of the warrior soul as an archetype of personal empowerment. Indeed, throughout history, many women have been known as mighty warriors. If it helps you get in touch with your inner warrior, envision some of them as you work. Picture Boadicaea of the Iceni, conquering the Roman army, or Penthesilea battling her lover, Achilles. If you lean towards more current history, consider France’s Jeanne d’Arc, or Grainne’ni Mhaille, the Irish pirate. For those who connect best with pop culture, even television’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly‘s Zoe, or Xena make perfectly good warrior woman archetypes.

Setting the Mood

You may wish to prepare your mind and body prior to starting the meditation. Some people like to take a ritual bath as a method of cleansing the body, and clearing the mind. If you wish, you can anoint yourself with Blessing Oil or another oil of your choice before beginning. Since you’re performing a warrior meditation, why not try adding a bit of war paint to your face and body?

Before getting started, make sure you can work undisturbed somewhere for about an hour. Turn off the cell phone, get off the Internet, and send the kids off to play with friends for a while. Perform this meditation outside if at all possible. Set up a small altar that you can sit in front of. Since you’re working outside, consider using a flat stone or a tree stump as a natural altar. On it, place symbols of the warrior spirit: a knife, a drum, an arrow, a shield — anything that helps you connect with your inner warrior. If you have ancestors or loved ones that represent the warrior archetype to you, feel free to include photographs or other heirlooms. Finally, add a purple candle – purple is the color of royalty and power, and of honor.

Although this meditation is designed to be performed solo, it can easily be adapted into a group practice, or turned into a full-fledged ritual.

Welcoming Your Inner Warrior

Sit before your altar, and light the purple candle. Focus on the flame, and visualize the fiery passion of the warrior soul. Think about the things you’ve done in your life, incidents in which you should have taken one path, but instead chose another. Consider mistakes you’ve made, and how they’ve affected not only you, but other people. Think about the consequences of these actions. Did you learn anything from these events?

Take this knowledge of past action, and move it into the present. As a warrior, you have followed a particular path to get to the present, one with many roadblocks, twists, and obstacles in the way. How has this helped to shape the person you are now? Think about the person you have become, and how you have grown during the different experiences you’ve had.

Now, think about the person you wish to be, and how the past and present will influence the future. Understand that for you to follow a principle of right action, there may be times when you make decisions that are unpopular. Are you willing to stand up for your convictions? Are you willing to live in a manner that will earn you the respect and honor of others? To do this, you must first and foremost honor and respect yourself. One way to live rightly and with honor is to make a pledge, both to yourself and to the gods of your tradition.

As you focus on the burning flames, say:

I am a warrior.
I am one who lives with honor and pride,
in my deeds, words, and actions.
I am a warrior,
and I pay tribute to myself, my family, and my gods,
by living rightly.
Honor is found not in the sword and the first,
but in wisdom, and courage, and strength.
I will make the changes I need to make,
that I may live in an honorable way
and follow the code of the warrior.
I am a warrior,
and I have control over my mind, my thoughts, and my sword.
I pledge to hold truth in my heart,
to hold strength in my hands,
to be honest in my words,
and to stand on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves.
This is the way of the warrior,

and I shall live with honor.

While you do this, envision the warrior archetypes that you wish to emulate. Who are some warriors you look up to and hold in high regard? Think about them, and draw their energy into you. When you are ready to end the ritual, put the candle out.

Samhain Ancestor Meditation

Samhain Ancestor Meditation

Calling Upon the Ancient Ones

By , About.com Guide

 

When performing an ancestor meditation, people experience different things. You may find yourself meeting a specific person that you are aware of in your family history — maybe you’ve heard the stories about great-uncle Joe who went out west after the Civil War, and now you have the privilege of chatting with him, or perhaps you’ll meet the grandmother who passed away when you were a child. Some people, however, meet their ancestors as archetypes. In other words, it may not be a specific individual you meet, but rather a symbol — instead of adventurous great-uncle Joe, it may be a non-specific Civil War soldier or frontiersman. Either way, understand that meeting these individuals is a gift. Pay attention to what they say and do — it may be that they’re trying to give you a message.

Setting the Mood

 

Before you perform this meditation, it’s not a bad idea to spend some time with the tangible, physical aspects of your family. Bring out the old photo albums, read through wild Aunt Tillie’s diary from the Great Depression, get out your grandfather’s old pocket watch that almost sank with the Titanic. These are the material things that connect us to our family. They link us, magically and spiritually. Spend time with them, absorbing their energies and thinking of the things they’ve seen, the places they’ve been.

You can perform this ritual anywhere, but if you can do it outside at night it’s even more powerful. Decorate your altar (or if you’re outside, use a flat stone or tree stump) with the symbols of your ancestors — the photos, journals, war medals, watches, jewelry, etc. No candles are necessary for this meditation, but if you’d like to light one, do so. You may also want to burn some Samhain spirit incense.

Claiming Your Birthright

 

Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Think about who you are, and what you are made of, and know that everything within you is the sum of all your ancestors. From thousands of years ago, generations of people have come together over the centuries to create the person you are now. Think about your own strengths — and weaknesses — and remember that they came from somewhere. This is a time to honor the ancestors who formed you.

Recite your genealogy — aloud if you like — as far back as you can go. As you say each name, describe the person and their life. An example might go something like this:

I am the daughter of James, who fought in Vietnam and returned to tell the tale. James was the son of Eldon and Maggie, who met on the battlefields of France, as she nursed him back to health.    Eldon was the son of Alice, who sailed aboard Titanic and survived. Alice was the daughter of Patrick and Molly, who farmed the soil of Ireland, who raised horses and tatted lace to feed the children…

 

and so forth. Go back as far as you like, elaborating in as much detail as you choose. Once you can go back no further, end with “those whose blood runs in me, whose names I do not yet know”.

If you happened to meet a certain ancestor, or their archetype, during your meditation, take a moment to thank them for stopping by. Take note of any information they may have given you — even if it doesn’t make sense just now, it may later on when you give it some more thought. Think about all the people you come from, whose genes are part of you. Some were great people — some, not so much, but the point is, they all belong to you. They all have helped shape and create you. Appreciate them for what they were, with no expectations or apologies, and know that they are watching over you.

Deity of the Day for August 14 is Ogmios

Ogmios

by Micha F. Lindemans
The Celtic patron god of scholars and personification of eloquence and persuasiveness. It is he who invented the runic language of the Druids. Ogmius escorts souls on their journey to the after-live. He is represented as an old man, with a bald head, and dressed in a lion skin. His attributes are a bow and stick. He was worshipped in Gaul (Celtic France). His Irish counterpart is Ogma.