Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Magic of Leap Day

The Magic of Leap Day
(I am posting this today so that people have time to read it and prepare their spells for tomorrow.)
February 29th is a rare day that only comes around once every 4 years, just ask a Leapling (someone born on Leap Day)! February 29, Leap Day, the rarest of days, is tacked on to the end of Valentines month. It makes some hearts will rise and others sink, confused and disoriented. Perhaps you’ve not seen it coming when out and about away from your calendar and date book. Yesterday was February 28 and tomorrow is March 1, but whats in between? Many electronic calendars and perpetual date books miss it totally. This complicates the issue further.
Although it’s rare, there is some interesting lore for Leap Day that comes from hundreds of years ago.
The Leap Year Proposal:

This tradition was started in fifth century Ireland. The right of every women to propose on 29th February each leap year, goes back many hundreds of years to when the leap year day had no recognition in English law (the day was 'lept over' and ignored, hence the term 'leap year').
It was considered, therefore, that as the day had no legal status, it was reasonable to assume that traditions also had no status.
Consequently, women who were concerned about being 'left on the shelf' took advantage of this anomaly and proposed to the man they wished to marry. 
It was also thought that since the leap year day corrected the discrepancy between the calendar year of 365 days and the time taken for the Earth to complete one orbit of the sun (365 days and 6 hours), it was an opportunity for women to correct a tradition that was one-sided and unjust.
The Tradition didn’t stop in Ireland, In 1288, it’s also said, a law was passed in Scotland to allow women to propose to men on February 29th; any man who declined had to pay a fine, which could be a kiss, a pair of gloves, or a silk dress.
The longtime custom of celebrating Leap Day as Bachelors Day: It was the only time when a lady could rightfully propose marriage to a gentleman. In earlier times it was considered a very fortunate day to agree to a proposal for singles of either gender. However if a bachelor did want to refuse he had to gift the rejected lady with a new silk dress to get off the hook.
Year And A Day:

Have you ever wondered if your year and a day ritual would be affected by Leap Year? Well that depends on your view point. The Tear and A Day does not necessarily have to be exactly 366 days unless you want it to. Many people follow year and a day traditions according to what Sabbath they start on. For example, if you start your year and a day ritual on Beltane, then it will end the day after the next Beltane. Some People take longer or shorter to finish their year and a day ritual depending only on how long it takes them to finish.
My personal experience with Leap Year and Year and a Day has to do with my and my fiance's Handfasting. Last year we performed a Year and a Day Handfasting ritual on September 16th, and this year we are getting married on September 16th. I was worried that we would have to perform the Handfasting ceremony on September 15th so that we could still get married on September 16th on this year and still have it be a Year and a day. But then I realized that 2012 is a Leap Year, so the ‘and a day’ was already added in. So between September 16th 2011 and September 16th 2012 it is 366 days. That satisfied me to know that my fiancĂ© and I could get Handfasted and get married on the same calendar date. The date September 16th is so important to me because that is the day we shared our first kiss, and our relationship officially started.
If you are interested to read more about the Handfasting, Please go Here

Astrology of Leap Day:
The fixed star Skaat in Pisces is close enough to impact Leap Day astrologically. A 4th magnitude star in the leg of the Water Bearer, its keywords are intuitive, nervous, visionary and illusionary. In the first decanate of Pisces, this shows a double Neptune, a strong water rulership.
The relevant Sabian symbol for Leap Day is an aviator in the clouds, the keyword is observation and brings the gift of superior perspective. An exploratory and otherworldly quality is present. In the Tarot The High Priestess is linked to Leap Day, further indicating depth, mysterious wisdom and hidden messages.
Unlucky Day?:

In Scotland, Leap year is considered to be unlucky, and Leap Day is especially bad. This has to do with the fact that it was the prophet Job’s birthday. Job supposedly cursed the day he was born. So, luckily Leap Day only comes around once every 4 years.

Leap Day Spell:

On February 29th we have a once-in-four-years opportunity to do a different kind of spell, one that is very much focused on the world of men rather than the realms of spirits and angels. A good opportunity to make your will known on that level and create a change for the better.
A well known leap year spell or leap year tradition is that "women can ask men to marry them." This has led some to think that February 29th, the leap day, is somehow about role reversals or some kind of topsy turvy spell.
The Leap Year Spells can give us an excellent opportunity to really think about what's real, and what is just some kind of human weirdness which has been put in place by some human, at some point, and ever since then, all the other humans of that society, sect or religion have been trampling down that path without thought, just accepting it as real when in fact, it's just a delusion.
This Leap Year Spell was taken from This Website and there is an example of the spell on that website. I just took the steps from the website but not the example.
  • Think about what kind of thing in your society you would like to change using your Leap Year spell opportunity. Who does your society say you should be? What are the rules for "your kind"? What are the labels that have been stuck onto you by where you were born, or how you were born, or who your parents were, what you look like? What is allowed for you to do or not do depending on your age?
  • The first step is always intention - there has to be a reason for your spell, something you feel strongly about, something that is important to you personally. This is what powers your spell above all else.
  •  Which higher power/s do you want to engage in this?
  • Which words are you going to speak? Words in magic don't have to be clever, but they have to be heartfelt. You need to really mean it. Spend some time writing a letter to your powers-that-be and then you can turn it into a rhyming spell type evocation.
  • How are you going to frame the spell? Or in other words, how do we start, what do we do next, and how do we end the spell? (Ex: the Traditional Circle, a Diamond, 4 Corners, etc.)
  • Are there any ingredients that need to be found/assembled/made ready? This involves whatever you do before a ritual to get ready, such as taking a bath. Also includes any candles or stones or other ritual tools you want to use.
  • Write out the whole leap year spell/ritual step by step, and get ready to preform your spell.
I hope Everyone Has a Happy Leap Day. Enjoy your Extra Day!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Natural Cold Remedies

Well, it's that time of the year when sore throats and coughs are spread though your home or the workplace. I have compiled a few Natural remedies that you can use to help ease your symptoms or ward off a cold. I apologize for not blogging the past few days, I have been fighting off a bad cold myself, but rest assured I took my own advice, and I have been feeling much better! In fact, I am enjoying a nice mug of Echinacea tea as I'm writing this.
Carrots: The Beta-carotene in carrots helps relieve headaches because it reduces inflammation in the brain and lets blood flow naturally.
Celery: Sometimes it's hard to rest and get some sleep when you have a cold. Celery has phthalides that have sedative properties, so munching on some celery can help you to sleep.
Cinnamon: This spice has many benefits, including helping with poor circulation. Cinnamon can also prevent infections, so sprinkle some into your food or tea and enjoy.  
Citrus Fruits: And any other food with a High Vitamin C content (like Strawberries, Kiwi, Bell Peppers, Spinach, Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, and Tomatoes). Eating these foods at the onset of a cold can help shorten the length and severity of the cold.
Echinacea:  This herb can help boost your immune system so your body can fight off the cold a bit easier. Also Echinacea can help prevent colds if you take it regularly. My favorite way to take it is by drinking Echinacea tea.

Garlic and Onions: Forget about bad breath, Garlic and Onions are great Anti-virals and can help to get rid of your cold. For best results, crush the garlic, and or eat raw (if you can). Adding to soup can also help since the warm liquid helps ease cold symptoms as well.
Ginger: Not only is ginger great for relieving an upset stomach, but it also helps relieve congestion, sore throats, and sinus pain. 
Honey: Not only can a spoonful of honey help sooth a sore throat, but honey is also an antibacterial agent, and can help get rid of some illnesses. Adding some honey to your tea can be very helpful when you have a cold and can help prevent complications from your cold. Many people get Ear infections, Pneumonia, or Sinus infections after getting a cold, and these are all bacterial. Honey can help prevent these things.
Lemons: Besides the Vitamin C in the lemon, this fruit can also make you sweat, and that can reduce a fever. Also Lemon Juice in your tea can help relieve a sore throat.
Miso: Also Yogurt containing live pro-biotic cultures. Eating these foods regularly can help prevent you from getting sick in the first place. If you already have a cold, I wouldn't suggest eating yogurt because it can cause mucus to become worse. (More about dairy below.)
Oats: Oatmeal is high in Zinc, and it can help reduce the severity and the length of a cold when eaten at the onset of a cold.
Red Meat and Poultry: This is the same as the Oats, Red Meat and Poultry are high in Zinc.
Salt Water: Dissolve salt in a cup of warm water and gargle to help relieve a sore throat.
Sleep: Getting plenty of sleep and rest lets your body use the energy for fighting the cold. If you push yourself while you are sick then your cold will likely last longer or be more severe because you are not letting your body use the energy to heal itself.
Soup: Eating hot soup (not a cream based soup, but a broth based one) can help relieve the symptoms of a cold such as congestion, runny nose, cough, sore throat, and chills.
Spice: Spices like Ginger, Chili Pepper, Curry, and Horseradish can help the symptoms of congestion. Adding a little spice to your soup is a great way to relieve a stuffy nose.
Sunlight: Getting enough Vitamin D every day can help prevent colds. But make sure you do not get too much sunlight because you can get burnt. 
Tea: The warm liquid can help sooth a sore throat as well as congestion. It also has a calming effect and can relax you. Some teas are better for colds then others, but I find just having a warm cup of tea can do wonders for cold symptoms. Also, it sometimes helps relieve a slight headache, but I think that is because of the relaxation factor. I almost always go for Decaf tea, but that is a personal preference.
Thyme: This remedy can help with an irritating cough. Boil water and add dried thyme. After it cools add honey and stir. Taking a tablespoon of this every hour can help with coughs. Make sure you store it in the refrigerator.

Water: Make sure you drink enough water and stay hydrated. Drinking water helps flush the toxins out of your body, and can help you get rid of your cold faster then if you did not drink enough water.

Limit Dairy Products: Dairy can coat your mucus membranes and cause you to feel stuffed up, or make your throat feel worse. Drinking Milk while you have a mucus-y cold is a bad idea.

Cut Back on Sugar and Alcohol: Sugar and Alcohol both reduce the ability of your immune system to fight Viruses and Bacteria, making your body work extra hard to fight. Imbibing in too much of these can make your cold last longer, or feel worse.

Get Well Soon!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Warning about Love Spells

It's close to Valentine's day, and Love is in the air... And unfortunately, there are also a lot of people who attempt Love Spells.
First of all, I would like to say that I AM AGAINST LOVE SPELLS! I do not believe anyone should attempt to do them because Love spells are a type of manipulation of someone's free will, and that can (and most likely will) be harmful. If you follow the Wiccan rede 'Harm None' then I do not think you should try to perform a Love Spell.
That being said, I would like to share my own story:
When I was in high school (about 16 years old) I performed a love spell that I made. I hardly ever follow other people's spells because I follow my intuition and make spells work for me. Other people's spells may work for them, but my spells work for me. Anyway, getting pack to the topic, I was desperate for affection and I thought I would perform a Love spell.
I thought (incorrectly) that since I was performing a generalized love spell to attract someone and not focusing on a specific person, that it was safe and OK.
After I did my spell I had a nagging feeling that I ignored and I focused on being happy and loved. Anyway, I performed the spell and a few months later I was in my first real relationship.
Now this relationship was doomed from the start, but I kept ignoring all the signals because I really wanted to be in a relationship and I really wanted to be loved! The relationship lasted almost 2 years, and those two years were some of the hardest and darkest years of my life. I said and did many things that I am not proud of, and I am still dealing with the damage from this relationship 7 years later. I won't go into detail, but this relationship ended up being very mentally damaging, and a little physically damaging as well.
Anyway, I realized a while ago that I had attracted something dark and dangerous by performing that love spell, and I vowed to never do such a thing again.
I really believe that I have been punished threefold.
Anyway, with all that said, I know many people will still attempt to do Love spells, either because they think they will be protected, or because they do not know what they are getting themselves into, or they think they know more then me. And to those people I urge you to please research and study before you attempt anything like that. Please know what you are getting yourself into before you perform any magic that can be harmful!
Please be careful.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Imbolc (IM-bulk, EM-bowlk, IM-mol'g) takes place February 1st-February 2nd

        Also known as Imbolg, Caldlemas, Bride's Day, Oimelc, Brid's Day, or St Brigid’s Day is a festival marking the beginning of Spring. It is most commonly celebrated on February 1st or 2nd, and falls halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.
        Imbolg means ‘in the belly/womb’ or ‘ewe’s milk’ and it is referring to the pregnant ewes (sheep) starting to milk. The holiday is a festival of the hearth and home, and a celebration of the lengthening days and the early signs of spring.
        Imbolc is the Sabbat which honors the Goddess as the waiting bride of the returning sun God. Before the Nordic influence, it was also the Sabbat in which the Celts saw the sun as being born anew. In Ireland it is a special day to honor the Goddess Brid in her guise of bride.
        People would often make grain dollies and dress them as brides. They would place these dollies in a honored place in their home, usually a special crib or bed called Bride’s Bed. These beds were decorated with flowers and nuts (and other symbols of male fertility).
         Candles are also lit on this day, usually in a wreath (A symbol of the Wheel of the Year) and the candles represent the heat and light of the returning sun.
         Many people celebrate Groundhog Day on February 2nd. This holiday came about from the Gaelic tradition about the hag called the Cailleach. The hag of Gaelic tradition gathers her firewood for the rest of the winter on this day. Legend has it that if she intends to make the winter last a good while longer, she will make sure the weather on Imbolc is bright and sunny, so she can gather plenty of firewood. Therefore, people are generally relieved if Imbolc is a day of foul weather, as it means the Cailleach is asleep and winter is almost over. This is where the tradition of seeing if the groundhog sees his shadow comes from. If the day is sunny and bright the groundhog will see his shadow and there will be 6 more weeks of winter.
        For many Wiccans, Imbolc is the traditional time for initiations. Many consider Imbolc to be a Woman’s festival because Imbolc is associated with the Wiccan Goddess Brigid.
Songs: Brighids Kiss, Gabhain Molta Bhride, Shepherd Moons, The Dark Night of the Soul, The Two Trees, As I Lay Me Down to Sleep, Raise Your Spirits, Goddess is Bringing Good Cheer.
Activities: Burning Candles, Burning the Greens from Yule (to symbolize sending winter on its way), The night before Place buttered bread outside for the traveling fairies, Cleanse yourself and your ritual space, Divination, Cleanse your house, Fire Scrying, Stone Gatherings, Snow Hiking and Searching for Signs of Spring, Feasting, Lighting Bonfires.
Foods: Breads, Grains, Onions, Potatoes, Milk, Lamb, Cabbage, Seeds, Cheese, Squash, Beets, Butter, Nuts, Ham, Rabbit, Goose, Poultry, Crab, Venison, Mussels, Sausage, Bread Pudding, Scallops, Cream, Custard, Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Poppyseed Cakes, Peppers, Muffins, Scones, Raisins, Garlic, Spiced Wine, Herbal Tea.
Crafts: Make dream pillows, Make Brigid’s cross out of palm fronds, Make and decorate a Bride’s bed and place the corn doll you made at Lughnassadh into the bed dressed as Bride.
Colors: White, Silver, Pink, Pale Yellow, Red, Yellow, Light Green, Brown.
Symbols: Candles, Brides, Grain Dolly, Burrowing Animals, Ewes (Sheep), Plough, Purity, Growth, Re-Newal, Re-Union of the Goddess and the God, Fertility, Besoms, White Flowers, Candle Wheels, Brighid's Crosses, Priapic Wands.
Stones: Amethyst, Garnet, Bloodstone, Ruby, Turquoise, Onyx.
Herbs: Basil, Blackberry, Bay, Benzoin, Celandine, Angelica, Myrrh, Bay Laurel, Coltsfoot, Heather, Iris, Tansy, Violets, all White Flowers, all Yellow Flowers.
Basil, Cinnamon, Bay, Wisteria, Violet, Myrrh, Vanilla.
Gods: Gods of Love and Fertility, Eros, Aengus Og, Februus.
Goddesses: All Virgin/Maiden Goddesses, Brigid/ Brighid, Aradia, Inanna, Athena, Gaia, Februa.
If you'd like to see the bento I made for Imbolc, please check out m other blog.