Merry Solstice!!

Happy Yule!!

What a wonderful day!

I made a fantastic feast for me and my husband – it was delicious!

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I made home-made mulled wine and decorated our Yule log cake with orange peel.
I forgot to take a picture before hand so you can see it post cut here lol

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I cast my circle  and conducted my first Sabbat ritual which went very well 🙂

I followed the examples from Cunningham and Buckland and it was my most successful ritual to date.

For e.g. I really wanted my winter solstice incense inside my cauldron to actually light on fire – I tried to do this before I started and it didnt light at all. Once I’d cast my circle and called to the Deities, I placed my cauldron onto my pentacle and tried once last time – and not only did it light – it was well light – impressive flames and stayed lit for about 3-4 mins – just enough time to complete my ritual and give thanks to the Gods! I asked the Gods to bless me with the strength for the next year, through challenging and hard times that will lie ahead and the ability to recognise and enjoy times when things are good.

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This was my first casting where I felt really fluid, it all happened organically. I had my plan for this evening and but was going to do it later but after my lil feast I was just lead to continue – and then I was mid cast! it was fantastic!

My favourite part of my ritual today was charging my Yule log. I wanted the heat to burn and send out good and happy vibes to all those who I love, near and far – those still in my life and those who have left it. I charged it with love for those who need love, kindness for the sad and hope for the hopeless. I also charged it with all I wanted to let go of, let the flames burn away my negative past, my poor health and if required, my dreams of things I will never have.

After my indoor casting was complete, I took my red candle outside to light my Yule log. Yesterday, I opened the wrapper of the log, craved a shining sun deep in the wood. Below the circle of the sun, I stuffed many Yule time spices and herbs inside. And anointed it with winter time oils! Ive been looking forward to lighting this since I got it!

I drew a circle with chalk in the garden/patio and cast a quick minimalist circle (no equipment – just me) Light the log and watched the fire, quietly just meditated on the flames. Felt very peaceful and quietly powerful – Wonderful!

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Excellent Visualization-Meditation Exercise

Visualization-Meditation Exercise: Go To Your Room.

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Close your eyes and relax.  Imagine you are walking into an elevator and the doors close.  You are on the 21st floor, and you are on your way down.  See the numbered display above the elevator doors, and notice that the light for the 21st floor is lit.  Now you are going down the elevator, and you see the light for the 20th floor turn on.  Breathe deeply in between floors.  Next you see “19″ and so on.  Feel the motion of the elevator as you go down, see the numbered lights counting down, and count them in your mind as you breathe deeply once or twice in between floors.  When you reach the first floor, the doors open.  Step out.

Now you see a staircase, going down.  There are exactly 21 steps.  Imagine yourself walking down the staircase, but pause for a moment on each step, and take a deep breath before stepping down to the next one.  Count in your mind, and really feel yourself walking down the stairs.  When you reach “1″ you are at the bottom of the staircase.

Now you see a door that is slightly ajar.  You walk up to it, open it, and see a brightly lit corridor with dozens of closed doors along the way.  A guardian is standing there, and you ask him or her to be led to “your room.”  Imagine you are being led down the corridor to your room.  Open the door.

What you see inside as you step into your room is entirely up to you and your imagination.  Explore the room and take note of what you see in there.  Is it cluttered or neat?  Is it sterile or cozy?  Does it look futuristic or antiquated?  Is there furniture or is it bare?  Whatever you see is fine.  Just take note of it.

Find a place to sit down and ask to speak to your subconscious, or your higher self, or even your spirit guides.  See who shows up.  Have a conversation with them and ask them what they want you to know.  Then listen.  When you are through, thank them and exit your room.  Be sure to close the door.  Back track your way to the staircase and climb it, counting up from 1 to 21.  Then step into the elevator and do the same, count up from 1 to 21 and step out.  You’re done.

Now that is the setup.  Later you can go back to your room any time and talk to whomever you find there.

Then experiment!  When I go to my room, there is a chalkboard.  And on that chalkboard is always a written message from my higher self.  Perhaps in your room there is an answering machine, and you simply need to press play to hear the message.  Or perhaps when you enter your room a phone is ringing, and you answer it and hear your message on the other end.  Come up with a way for your subconscious or higher self to leave you messages that you can check when you don’t want to have a lengthy conversation.

You can use this method to get clarity on a problem by asking a specific question, then going into your room and seeing your answer on the chalkboard, or dry erase board, or hear it on your spiritual answering machine.  Or you can use this method to have a long talk with your higher self or subconscious mind.

I’ve even gone so far as to lay down on the couch in my “room” and proceed to mentally enter another elevator and go down another 21 floors, then 21 steps, then into another corridor with another room!  Talk about a trip!  You could also try asking the corridor guardian to be taken to someone else’s room (perhaps a spouse or family member) and meet their higher self!  See what happens and what their room looks like to you.

You can redecorate or make other changes to your room.  If it’s cluttered, clean it up!  You might find that your life is getting “cleaned up” by doing this.  I’ve also done a room addition on mine so that now there is a cozy, comfortable bedroom for me to sleep in when I don’t feel like going all the way back up the stairs and elevator. :)

The insights on this journey are invaluable.  And the dreams you’ll have after doing this exercise may be a little more clear than usual.  Pay attention to them and what they might be trying to tell you.  And the next time you’re feeling unsettled or unclear about something in your life, just go to your room!

Drawing Down the Moon

Courtesy of Paganwiccan.about.com

Here’s How:

  1. Stand at your altar with your arms crossed over your chest, and feet together. Face towards the full moon. Say:

    Goddess of the Moon,
    You have been known by many names
    in many lands in many times.
    You are universal and constant.

    In the dark of night,
    You shine down upon us
    and bathe us in Your light and love.

    I ask You, O Divine One,
    to honour me by joining with me,
    and allowing me to feel
    Your presence within my heart.

  2. Move your feet apart to about shoulder width, and raise your arms up and out to welcome the Goddess into you. The next part is one that you can memorize and learn, or you can speak spontaneously from the heart. You will begin to feel a surge of energy, a palpable tingle – don’t worry, that’s the Goddess making Herself known to you. Feel free to change these words as you like. You are speaking for Her, in Her voice, so let Her say what She wishes. Say:

    “I am the Mother of all life,
    the One who watches over all.
    I am the wind in the sky,
    the spark in the fire,
    the seedling in the earth,
    the water in the river.
    I am the vessel from which
    All Things spring forth.”

    “Honour Me from within your heart!
    Remember that acts of love and pleasure are My rituals,
    and that there is beauty in all things.”

    “Honour Me on this night of the full moon!
    I have been with you since the moment you were created,
    and shall remain with you always.”

    “Let there be beauty and strength,
    wisdom and honour,
    humility and courage within you.”

    “If you need Me,
    call upon Me and I shall come to you,
    for I am everywhere, always.”

    “Honour Me as you seek knowledge!
    I am the Maiden, the Mother and the Crone,
    and I live within you.”

  3. Feel the power of the Goddess within you. When you are ready, conclude with:

    “I look down upon the sands of the desert,
    I crash the tides upon the shore,
    I shine on the mighty trees of the forests,
    and watch with joy
    as Life continues every cycle.”

    “Be true to Me,
    honouring that which I have created,
    and I shall be true to you in return.
    With harm to none, so it shall be.”

  4. Take a few moments to stand and bask in Her glow, and to meditate upon that which you have just experienced. Once the energy surge has subsided, lower your arms, and proceed with your ceremony as you normally would at the conclusion of a ritual.

Tips:

  1. Drawing Down the Moon is an altered state of consciousness, a ritual possession by the Divine. It is not uncommon to feel the energy of the Goddess for quite some time following Drawing Down the Moon, so don’t be alarmed if you feel a heightened sense of clarity over the next few days. You may also feel extremely emotional — it’s not uncommon to cry or laugh spontaneously during this rite.
  2. The above ritual is one that I created myself, but for more variations on Drawing Down the Moon, there are excellent versions in Wicca For One by Raymond Buckland (pp. 87 – 89 and The Grimoire of Lady Sheba (pp. 167- 168).

Casting MY Circle

Upon my studies, there are many descriptions of how to cast a circle; from extremely simple words and phrases,  to complicated and long-winded speeches. Buckland (2004) among other authors, has supported the idea that it is essential to find your own way to communicate with the divine and praise the Goddess and God. Therefore, using Buckland, Cunningham and other sources for inspiration;

This it my own personal way of casting the circle and calling the quarters. 

I intend to practice this at all my Sabbats, Esbats and Magick workings, but also in a quick way if I feel I need guidance or want to thank the Goddess and god for my blessings – an all purpose circle casting method!

 )O( Lucina Carmenta )O(

Complete full preparation for whatever the intention of the circle is for;
– Area cleansed using broom –
– Alter set up with lit candle dishes of water and salt –
– Sources of Magick selected –
– Circle marked with cord/sand/chalk/stones –
– Quarters candles/stones placed-
– Ritual bath/cleansing complete –
– Dressed (or undressed appropriately) –

CASTING THE CIRCLE

Ring bell 3 times

Take the either Athame or Wand, holding it high and announce

“Almighty Mother Goddess and Father God,
I alert you to the casting of the scared circle.
All who enter the circle may do so
In perfect love and perfect trust.”

– Starting at the East, relax and prepare to raise and focus energies on the task in hand –
– Point the wand to the circle, visualise, breathe in and feel the positive energies from the deities –
– Direct these energies, like a light force, from the wand to the line of the circle –
– Walking slowly around the circle deosil (clockwise) continuing to project this power into the circle –
-Upon returning to the east, replace the wand onto the alter –

 Ring the bell once.

 – Pick up the dish of salt, put 3 big pinches of salt into the dish of water and stir clockwise with forefinger –
– Ask the Deities to bless this mixture-

“Through the blessings of the Mother Goddess and Father God,
May the life energies of the salt
Join with the life force of the water
To form a sacred union
That will cleanse, guard and protect
In any way I shall use it.”

– Take the sacred water and go to the East –
– Sprinkle the salted sacred water along the length of the circle –
– Concentrate on cleansing the circle and all negativity from within –
– Return the water to the altar –

Ring bell once

– Take the censer/incense and go to the East –
– Concentrate on the smoke cleansing the circle and all negativity from within –
– Return the censer to the altar –

Feel the protective positive sphere of power around you

CALLING THE GUARDIANS OF THE ELEMENTS

 Take the wand from the altar and the lighter for the candles and go to the East
Light the East candle and raise the wand;

“Guardians of the Watchtowers of the East
Ancient ones of Air
I ask that you may guard this Scared Circle and protect it
From any negative forces that may try to enter it.”

Before moving on to the South, Draw a Pentagram using the wand
Repeat to the South (Fire), West (Water) and North (Air)

INVITING THE GODDESS AND GOD

Stand before the altar and raise the wand

“Almighty Mother Goddess and Father God
I invite you to join me in this sacred space
Please unite with me and witness these rites I perform in your honour
Be with me to guide me and guard me in all things I do
So Mote It Be!”

Return the wand to the altar
Pour wine into the chalice and raise it in salute

“Lord and Lady, Mother and Father, She and He”

Pour a little wine into the offerings dish and say

“To the Gods!”

Then drink the wine yourself
[These offerings should be returned to the Earth after the ritual is complete saying “To the Gods!”]

The Circle is now consecrated

)O(

CLOSING THE CIRCLE

Stand in front of the altar facing the East

Ring the bell 3 times

“Hail the Great Mother Goddess and Father God
Mighty Ones!
This Circle is now brought to an end
I thank you for attending and for witnessing these rites.
As we came together in peace and love
so let us leave in peace and love
Merry did we meet
Merry may we part
And Merry may we meet again
So Mote It Be!”

Kiss the end of the wand
Snuff out the candles
Using the wand, “puncture” the sphere of power
The circle is now opened
The Ritual is over