Sunday, April 29, 2012


Beltane (Bell-tain) takes place May 1st.  
 Also known as May Day, Walpurgisnacht/Walpurgis Night, The Fertility Festival, Bealtaine, Bhealtainn, Bealtinne, Festival of Tana-Strega, Giamonios, Rudemass,  Walburga-Teutonic, Fairy Day ,Sacred Thorn Day, Rood Day, Beltain, Floriala-Roman feast of flowers, Fire of Bel/Bright Fire and Fire Festival. Beltane is the second principal Celtic festival  with Samhain being the first. 
Observed on May 1st, festivities usually start on the last night of April. It's a time to welcome the abundance of the fertile earth. There are many different ways you can celebrate Beltane, but the focus is usually on fertility. It's the time when the earth mother opens up to the fertility god, and their union brings about healthy livestock, strong crops, and new life all around.
Beltane traditionally marks the arrival of summer, although summer doesn’t technically start for another month and a half.
Beltane, and its counterpart Samhain, divide the year into its two primary seasons, winter (Dark Part) and summer (Light Part). As Samhain is about honoring Death, Beltane, its counter part, is about honoring Life. It is the time when the sun is fully released from his bondage of winter and able to rule over summer and life once again.
Beltane, like Samhain, is a time of "no time" when the veils between the two worlds are at their thinnest. No time is when the two worlds intermingle and unite and the magic abounds! It is the time when the Faeries return from their winter respite, carefree and full of faery mischief and faery delight.
Love is in the air at Beltane. In our rituals, we celebrate the union between the Great Mother and her young Horned God. Their coupling brings fresh new life on Earth. Some form of this Great Rite is enacted on this sabbat in nearly every modern pagan circle. The Great Rite symbolizes the sacred marriage, or sexual union, of the the Lord and Lady. Often the rite is performed symbolically by a male and female who place a knife (a phallic symbol) into a chalice (a female or yonic symbol). In Old Europe, whole villages would celebrate May Day by slipping away into the woods for indiscriminate sexual encounters.
Songs: Beltane Fires, Beltane Song, Fire Leap, Freedom, Summerisle Song, Like A Prayer, The Worship of Trees, Green and Grey, Witches Reel, The Mummer’s Dance, Invocation, Maypole Dance Chant, Beltane Fire Dance Song.
Activities: Dancing Around A Maypole, Enjoying a Bonfire, Purifying/Cleansing your Space, Do Spells for ‘Prosperity’ ‘Love’ ‘Fertility’ and ‘Protection/Safety’, Jump a Bonfire (carefully) and Make a Wish, Scatter the Ashes of your Bonfire in the garden to ensure Fertility, Look for Fairies, Gather the First Herbs of the Season, Picnic in the Fields, Make Love, Wash your face with the Morning Dew and Decorate your Hair with Ribbons, Walk around your property to check that all is in order, Feasting, Get Handfasted/Jump the Broom, Give a Food Basket to a Food Drive, Have Breakfast foods for Dinner.
Foods: Flaxseeds, Almonds, Spring Soups, Mushrooms, Oatmeal, Dairy Products, Candied Flowers, Oatcakes, Flower Wine, Bread, Cereal, Strawberries, Cherries, Greens, Salads, Honey, Sweets, Eggs, Custards, Vanilla, Ice Cream, May Bowl (Wine/Fruit/Flower Punch), Pancakes/Waffles, Sausage, Cheese.
Crafts: Make/Decorate a Maypole, Make a Flower Wreath, Make an offering plate of fruits and nuts to leave for the Fairies, Make a Flower Garland, Plant Seeds in the Garden or in some Flowerpots, Weave a Basket.
Colors: Green, White, Pale Pink, Yellow, Blue, Brown, Red, Rainbow.
Symbols: Flowers, Bonfires, Doves, Ribbons, Swans, Chalice, Baskets, Cats, Maypole, Rabbits, Eggs, Butterchurns, Honey Bees, Faeries.
Stones: Rose Quartz, Garnet, Emerald, Amber, Tourmaline, Sapphire, Malachite, Beryl, Bloodstone, Orange Carnelian.
Herbs: Fireweed, Dragon’s Blood, Coriander, Marjoram, Fern, Blessed Thistle, Curry, Broom, Ash, Nettle, Flaxseed, Clover, Hawthorn, Radish, Paprika, Snapdragon, Meadowsweet, Woodruff, Elder Leaves, Belladonna, Mint,  St. John’s Wart, Rosemary.
Flowers: Dogwood, Daffodils, Rose, Foxglove, Lilly of the Valley, Ivy, Marigold, Violets, Daisies, Bluebells, Lilac, Primrose.
Incense: Vanilla, Rose, Musk, Jasmine, Ylang Ylang, Peach, Passionflower, Frankincense, Lilac.
Gods: Bel, Apollo, Bacchus, Bel-Belanos, Cernunnos, Pan, Herne, Faunus, Cupid-Eros, Odin, Orion, Frey, Robin Goodfellow, Puck, and The Great Horned God, Artemis.
Goddesses: Arianrhod, Astarte, Ariel, Var, Skadi, Shiela-na-gig, Cybele, Xochiquetzal, Freya, Rhiannon, Aphrodite, Bast, Diana, Flora, Maia, Venus.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day

It's Earth Day here again to remind you to take good care of our planet. Today is as good a day as any to Honor Mother Earth!

That means Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle!

The first Earth Day celebration was held in 1970, and sponsored by the Earth Day Network. This annual celebration is a time when people worldwide honor our planet and (hopefully) take a few minutes to try to make a difference in the world.

Although Earth Day isn't an Official Pagan Holiday, many of us in the Pagan community choose to celebrate it as a way of marking our commitment to stewardship of our planet. After all, when I began walking a Pagan path, I realized fairly quickly that if you adhere to the concept of nature being sacred, it's pretty darn important not to treat our planet as your own personal garbage dump. 
“The spirit of Earth Day 1970 did not just happen; its roots could include the gradual stirring of environmental consciousness that accelerated in the 1960s, but that stirring itself had deeper roots in an American consciousness of a special relationship with the land, even if that relationship was often abusive. Still, if there was a year when Wicca (in the broad sense) became “nature religion,” as opposed to the “mystery religion” or “metaphorical fertility religion” labels that it had brought from England, that year was 1970.” - Chas Clifton, Her Hidden Children: The Rise of Wicca and Paganism in America

Everyone must do their part, Regardless of Religious background. We all Share the Planet, and we all have to deal with what happens when we do not take care of the Planet.
Even if it's small, every little effort counts. So please:
  • Shut off lights you aren't using
  • Use reusable shopping bags instead of plastic
  • Plant a Vegetable Garden
  • Bring your lunch in a reusable container
  • Walk or Ride a Bike instead of Driving
  • Don't buy prepackaged snacks and other goods that have a lot of waste (packing your own portion sizes of crackers and snacks using reusable containers instead of plastic baggies)
  • Unplug Electronics when they are not in use
  • Start a Compost Bin
  • Stop Eating Fast Food
  • Shower with your Partner
  • Eat Less Meat
  • Don't let the water run while brushing your teeth
  • Buy Locally when Possible
  • Volunteer 
  • Use Natural Products
  • Try alternative energy sources (Solar, Water, Wind, etc)
  • Etc.

Here is a list of 50 Ways to Help The Planet

And if you don't the Goddess with get fed up with how badly we treat Mother Nature, and she will swallow us whole!


Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday the 13th Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of my Friday the 13th Blog Posts. If you'd like to read Part 1 Please go HERE!
When Friday is combined with the 13th day of the month we have a double dose of pagan symbolism and female significance. Up until the Middle Ages when pagans continued to celebrate symbolic pagan days, Friday the 13th was thought to be especially lucky because it combined the goddess’s sacred day with her sacred number (drawn from the 13 months of the lunar year). As a result, Friday the 13th was a celebration and festival day for many Pagans.
It is a shame that people had to start thinking of Friday the 13th as something to be feared...What seems to appear, after one reviews the history, is that the modern taboo of Friday and 13 (and especially the two together) is the result of the Christian manipulation of earlier pagan beliefs... but this isn't the first Pagan celebration that was changed by the Christians (Easter, Christmas, etc.). The fears of Friday the 13th came about after Jesus was Crucified.  The Last Supper was certainly not the only time Christ gathered with his disciples and there were always 13 of them. No one suggests these earlier events were unlucky. In fact, based on the historical view of thirteen at the time of Christ, all indications show 13 as a lucky number, and this probably played a role in determining how many disciples there should have been. The same goes for the New Testament rationale for the dislike of Fridays. The crucifixion of Christ is the foundation of Christianity. After all this holy day is called Good Friday and is celebrated as a positive day!

If you believe that Friday the 13th is an unlucky day, chances are you will attract negative experiences. But on the other hand, if you believe that Friday the 13th is a lucky day perhaps you will attract positive experiences. We get back what we send out in thoughts, feelings and emotions.
Interesting Facts: 
Australians have one interesting way of looking at this day. Australian lottery ticket sales go through the roof on Friday the 13th.
The pathological fear of Friday 13 is called paraskevidekatriaphobia.
In the United States alone, $800 to $900 million is lost in business each Friday 13th because people will not travel or go to work.
In 1306, the King of France, King Philip had hundreds of Knights Templar arrested on Friday, October 13. He had them tortured and executed.
The name "Friday" is derived from the Norse goddess known either as Frigg - wife of Odin (the goddess of marriage & fertility, the moon & witches) or Freya (goddess of love, beauty, sensuality, war, good fortune, magic & wisdom).
This year were have several Friday the 13ths. Last Friday the 13th was 13 weeks ago, and the next Friday the 13th is 13 weeks away.