Monday, 10 November 2014


Merry Meet all!

Last time I wrote a blog on a brief look at the Wheel of the Year and this blog I'm going to focus on one of the Sabbats celebrated in it. This blog is about Beltane.

As I hail from the Southern Hemisphere, I not long ago celebrated Beltane (which means bright fire). Beltane is one of eight solar holidays usually celebrated Oct 31 - Nov 1 for we Wiccans in the Southern Hemisphere, which differs quite dramatically from those of you in the Northern Hemisphere's May 1. It is one of the cross quarter days of the Wheel of the Year and as such it falls halfway between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. This is the reason that Beltane is celebrated at this time across these two hemispheres.

Both Beltane and Halloween/Samhain were liminal or threshold days, considered to be outside of normal time. These sacred, mystic days were more important than the solstices in the Celtic world view.

Beltane is at the opposite end of the Wiccan Wheel of the Year, and we see the two holidays as complementary—one celebrates life, the other death.


The Wiccan celebration of Beltane has originated mostly from Celtic celebrations that marked the start of the summer season so it is a festival that welcomes in the summer after a long cold winter, the detachment between the light and the dark halves of the year. Each Sabbat is celebrated beginning and ending each sunset.

Another focus of this Sabbat is fertility and this is exemplified through the sacred union of the God and the Goddess. Celebrations include braiding of one's hair (to honour the union of man and woman and Goddess and God), circling the Maypole for fertility and jumping the Beltane fire for luck. Weaving is a common practice at Beltane as it is symbolic of when separate things are brought together to create a new and more balanced whole.

Fire is still the most important element of most Beltane celebrations and there are many traditions associated with it. The Beltane Bonfires have long been thought to bring fertility to crops, homes and livestock. It is seen to have purifying qualities which cleanse and revitalise. Dance deosil (clockwise) around or between the fires for good luck and protection from sickness. People leap over the Beltane fire to bring good fortune, fertility (of mind, body and spirit) and happiness through the coming year.

Historians believe the first maypole dance originated as part of Germanic pagan fertility rituals. Originally, the dancers danced around a living tree. To dance about the Maypole, dancers perform circle dances around a tall, garland-festooned pole. Dancers may also then move in a circle, each holding a colored ribbon attached to a much smaller pole. As they move around the pole, the dancers intertwine their ribbons either in a web around the pole or to plait it to the pole, itself. To unravel the ribbons, the dancers retrace their steps.

The Maypole is symbolic to fertility for its phallic status and the symbolism of all the young maidens dancing about the pole 

Creiddylad, Welsh Goddess of Flowers and Love, is celebrated at this time. (Her name is pronounced cree-THIL-ahd) 

It is said that at Beltane Gwyn ap Nudd, the King of the faeries of Glastonbury Tor, and god of the underworld, known as the Winter King, battles Gwythr ap Greidawl, the Summer King, over the hand of the maiden goddess Creiddylad. It is recorded that this was decreed by Arthur, but the tale of Gwyn and Gwythr predates Arthur by centuries, and it is one of many versions of the sacred and ritualised struggle between winter and summer.
Creiddylad has been compared to the Greek springtime goddess Persephone, who is similarly abducted by an admirer (the underworld god Hades), rescued by an intervening character (Zeus), and reunited with her family (her mother Demeter), then cursed to repeat the experience every year. Here, the warrior duo's ritual battle for possession of Creiddylad may be understood as a version of the "Holly King" myth, possibly personifying the dynamic power struggle between summer and winter.

This is the point on the Wiccan Wheel of the Year when sexual energy is at its peak. The last, and ultimate, festival of spring, Beltane's Great Rite signals the climax of the intermingling God and Goddess (who may also be referred to as the May Queen and the Forest King). This culminates in the full rebirth of the Earth in summer's abundant blessings.

Beltane celebration is not complete without a proper feast. The best foods you can celebrate with are the ones honoring earth’s fertility. One might also take this chance to decorate their altar specifically with spring fruits, spring flowers, spring colours, red and white, fertility symbols, and fire - candles etc. To participate in weaving activities, floral crowns are a wonderful craft for this festival.


Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Sabbats and the Wheel of the Year? - Overview

Merry Meet!

This week I really wanted to write an in depth entry all about the Wheel of the Year and the Sabbats but I just haven't been able to schedule time into my week to actually flesh out a lovely large article. Instead I thought I'd take this small opportunity to introduce the concept of Sabbats.

What is a Sabbat?
The Pagan calendar is split up into eight seasonal festivals throughout the year. These are times of ritual celebration and coincide with the yearly equinoxes and solstices (quarter days), and the four cross quarter days.

The story of birth, life, death and rebirth is played out across the year and through the seasons, so each Sabbat reflects part of this process. The seasonal cycle is imagined to follow the relationship between the Horned God and the Goddess. The Horned God is born in winter, impregnates the Goddess and then dies during the autumn and winter months and is then reborn by the Goddess at Yule. The relationships between the Goddess and the Horned God are mirrored by Wiccans in seasonal rituals. 

Some good reads that explore this in more depth include:
So now we understand that there are these eight celebrations through the year that are based on the cycle of the seasons. Let's list these Sabbats then, shall we? 
NB: Depending on whether you reside in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere will impact the date each of the Sabbats falls upon because the seasonal cycles are opposite in each.
  • Yule
  • Imbolc
  • Ostara
  • Beltane
  • Litha
  • Lammas
  • Mabon
  • Samhain
Fun fact ;) Some of these names might indeed look familiar and that is due to a lot of these holidays being appropriated as Christian holidays when the early church was converting Pagans to the their faith. The above Wheel of the Year is a display of the Northern Hemisphere dates. Below is an image with the Southern Hemisphere corresponding dates.

Next time I will go into detail about the different festivals and then perhaps split each one into an intensive blog on each? We shall see how we go. I am hoping to have a little bit of time next week for writing.

Until then, Blessed Be <3

Monday, 13 October 2014

Who are the God and Goddess?

This is one of those questions that seemed exceedingly hard to find the answers to when I first started asking it. There is so much to know about this particular topic and there are also a variety of differing viewpoints making it a little overwhelming to know where to start. If you have been looking into Wicca and looking to follow this path then I am sure you’ve heard people speak of the dualistic belief in a God and Goddess. However, nailing down just who these are can be difficult as these deities may vary from Wiccan to Wiccan, coven to coven.

So I just researched as much as I could and asked as many questions as I could. Finally it first made sense when someone explained it to me along these lines:
Within the universe there is energy and there is a divine one energy that is full of creative power and divinity.  Divinity is defined as pertaining to god or a Supreme Being and as Wiccans we call that Supreme Being a creative force or energy, the creative source.  This transcendent power is the combination, the unity (if you will) of the God and Goddess.

In the pagan cosmic view, the supreme creative polarity is that of the Goddess and God principles, for without polarity, from divinity downwards, there can be no manifestation. Our understanding can relate to this vast and nebulous energy form, through the embodiment of the gods and goddesses, and we can see this creative force throughout all nature, in the flora and fauna and throughout humankind. We have made it relatable through male and female form. 

The idea of polarity and duality is an important concept within Wicca. Balance is required and this creative power manifests itself through polarity. The God and Goddess are polar opposites of each other and utter equals with complementary creative difference.
In 1973 – under Carl Llewellyn Weschcke’s leadership, 73 representatives temporarily formed the ’Council of American Witches’ to create a set of unified beliefs held by the many Wiccan traditions in the US at the time.
These were accumulated into the 13 Principles of Wiccan Belief.
For most Wiccans, the Lord and Lady are seen as complementary polarities: male and female, force and form, comprehending all in their union; the tension and interplay between them is the basis of all creation, and this balance is seen in much of nature.

The Horned God and the Great Mother

According to Gerald Gardner who was the father of Wicca, the God and Goddess are the ancient gods of the British Isles: the Horned God and Great Mother. Each have their own attributes that further push the idea of polarity. The God is linked to the Sun, forests, hunting, death and magic while the Goddess is linked to the Moon, seas, regeneration, rebirth and love.
We often view the Goddess with the triple aspects of "Maiden", "Mother" and "Crone" corresponding to the Moon's waxing, full and waning phases, while the God is often seen as the Horned God of the woods. A key belief in Wicca is that the gods are able to manifest in personal form, either through dreams, as physical manifestations, or through the bodies of Priestesses and Priests.
Some Wiccans are both duotheistic and polytheistic, in that they honor diverse pagan deities while reserving their worship for the Wiccan Goddess and Horned God, whom they regard as the supreme deities.
Under this umbrella come the many pantheons of deities and here is where the beliefs and worshipped Gods and Goddesses can tend to differ quite greatly between Wiccans. 

Monotheism: Some Wiccans believe that a single creative force exists in the universe, which is sometimes called "The One" or "The All". Little can be known of this force. Other Wiccans -- typically feminists -- worship the Goddess by herself.

Bitheism (a.k.a. Duotheism): Many regard the Goddess and the God as representing the female and male aspects of the All. These deities are not "out there somewhere;" they are immanent in the world. Others regard the God and Goddess as two separate deities, representing the male and female principles.

Polytheism: Many regard the thousand of ancient pagan Gods and Goddesses (Athena, Brigit, Diana, Fergus, Odin, Pan, Zeus, etc.) as representing various aspects of the God and Goddess. The term "Wicca" normally implies that the person's religion is based upon Celtic spiritual concepts, its pantheon of deities, and seasonal days of celebration. Other Neopagans include deities, beliefs, practices and symbols from ancient Pagan religions (e.g. Egyptian, Greek, various mystery religions, Roman, Sumerian) or upon Aboriginal religions (Native American Spirituality, Shamanism).

Pantheism: Some Wiccans believe that the universe is divine and should be revered. Pantheism identifies the universe with God but denies any personality or transcendence of such a God.

Agnosticism: Some Wiccans are actually Agnostics, who take no position on the existence of a supreme being or beings. They often look upon the Goddess and the God as archetypes, based on myth.

Strong Atheism: Some Wiccans are strong Atheists and maintain that no deity exists. They often view the God and Goddess as concepts or principles, not as living entities.

Now this blog post is simply a brief look into an extremely vast topic and I am more than certain that many of my future blogs will come back to discussions, thoughts and information on the God and Goddess.
I really hope that this helps any of you out there who were as overwhelmed as I was when I first began reading into this topic!! Below are a couple of book titles that cover this topic really well and I would encourage you to go and check them out.

Books to look at:
Gerald Gardner – Witchcraft Today
Scott Cunningham – Living Wicca
Janet and Stewart Farrar
-       The Witches God
-       The Witches Goddess 

The Witches' God explores the archetypal gods common to Wicca, and most other Pagan religions, focuses on specific Gods you are very likely to find in Wiccan rituals, and introduces Gods from around the world and throughout time.

The Witches’ Goddess covers the myriad faces of the Goddess revealed, including: Her presence throughout history; Her Earth and Moon symbolism; Her Madonna and Magdalene disguises; Her revelation within the psyche; Her relationship with women; Her influence today; ritual invocations of the Goddess in 13 guises: from Ishtar to Isis, from Hecate to Aphrodite, from Epona to Ma'at, introduces goddesses from around the world including a brief history and the main correspondences of each.

Blessed Be,

Sunday, 12 October 2014

13 Goals for a Witch

Merry Meet all!

Now I can't remember where I first heard or saw this list of 13 goals but I remember thinking at the time that they were something worthwhile to hang onto. Just as the Rede acts as a guideline to Wicca, these goals act as things to aspire to on your path. At least that's how I feel.

13 Goals for a Witch
  1. Know yourself
  2. Know your Craft
  3. Learn and grow
  4. Apply knowledge with wisdom
  5. Achieve balance
  6. Keep your words in good order
  7. Keep your thoughts in good order
  8. Celebrate life
  9. Attune with the cycles of the earth
  10. Breathe and eat correctly
  11. Exercise the body
  12. Meditate
  13. Honour the Goddess and the God
I believe that this blog I am keeping is serving to help with the first goal on this list. It's about taking time to get to know yourself, stripping away the layers and getting to the real core of who you are as a person. 

I've heard the advice that stepping back and assessing your goals, aspirations, your life can be helpful to approach through journal keeping. I personally have been keeping a dream journal and notes on thoughts and feelings I have whilst meditating. Another bit of advice I found useful on this topic is to strip back to the most bare and basic version of yourself. Ways of doing this include spending time au naturale, sans makeup etc.

The second goal relates to studying and practicing the Craft by educating yourself and exploring new things. There are many different theories and aspects to learn about and there is a vast amount of knowledge available online, in books, through members of the community and if you can find one, through a physical teacher. Many workshops are held by teachers within the community and these are a good way to expand your knowledge. All in all, practice makes perfect so don't stop learning and refining your skills.

This directly relates to the third goal. Never stop learning and never limit yourself to the things you know. There is always more to be found if you seek hard enough.

The fourth goal says that we should apply all knowledge we gain with wisdom. Use it to guide your decisions and remember that knowledge is power but without wisdom there is no control over it. It's pretty self explanatory really, use the wisdom you have gained to make informed decisions and apply your knowledge well.

The fifth goal speaks of balance and it is important to note here that Wicca is very much based on duality and balance. The Wiccan belief system follows the belief of a creative power that manifests itself through polarity i.e. the God and the Goddess, the masculine and the feminine, the light and the dark. We attempt to reach balance in all aspects of our lives because a balanced life is harmonious.

The sixth and seventh goals are directly related to one another. According to The Wiccan Way "As a witch your thoughts manifest reality in accordance with your will. Once you have reached a level of magical development you can set events in motion without even realising it. A disciplined mine reduces that occurrences and aids in magical works. Your thoughts manifest before words are even formed.... As thoughts manifest reality in conformity to your will, so do words. Words are the verbalisation of your thoughts and therefore carry power. To not mind your words is the same as spreading chaos magically. Discipline in minding your words adds meaning to what you speak and enhances their effectiveness in magical workings as well as the mundane

When it comes to the eighth goal, I believe this is also rather self explanatory. Life's short so live your life to your fullest potential, live with no holds barred and no regrets.  

I'll eventually come to talking in depth about the attuning to the cycles of the earth as it relates to an important Wiccan concept. That is the Wheel of the Year which is what the Wiccan holidays or Sabbats are based upon. The Wheel is based on the Earth's cycles including solstices and equinoxes. Lunar phases are also something that are prominent within Wicca and celebrated by our Esbats.

Goals ten and eleven explain themselves. We all know to remain healthy we must eat well and exercise.. all in all we must look after our bodies as they are the only one we have this lifetime. Breathing is very important to life, and to proper magick, to energy raising, not to mention, your health. Breathing deeply from the diaphragm should be mastered. Also breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth, especially during meditation, or other forms of energy control and consciousness control.

The topic of meditation is something I still have much to learn about but according to The White Goddess, "Meditation is one of the basic tenets of Wicca, in order to be effective in magickal work, you will need to learn to enter a state of deep relaxation, a place of calm and balance to align yourself with the natural forces around you. As you learn to still your mind and enter this state of relaxation, you are learning to focus your mind, becoming centered, balanced and calm, you are learning mental discipline. It is here in your inner self that you will meet your Spirit self and your guide through your journey.
To reach a truly meditative state requires a lot of practice, and it is important to be patient and take your time. By using a meditation device repeatedly, such as incense, candles, chanting or drumming, you can condition your mind to enter a meditative state."

Finally and arguably the most importantly, we must honour the Goddess and God. This is a huge topic and a rather important one in my opinion. I am sure I will end up dedicating multiple blogs to the Lord and the Lady but for the moment I will keep it short and sweet.
We of the Wicca believe in the polarity of the Deity. Therefore, the Goddess and God are revered. In regards to the Goddess I have some notes stating the following, "Understanding the tradition of the Goddess within helps us to appreciate our own power, skill, heritage and beauty. Honouring the Goddess teaches us to celebrate all stages of life, listen to our knowledge, honour female power of creation and appreciate women."

We should honor the God and Goddess in everything we do. They are a part of us as we are a part of them. We are all connected. By honoring them we honor ourselves and our fellow humans. We also honor our gods through rituals and celebrations. We do this because we love them and we desire to not because we fear them. - The Wiccan Way

Well, I truly hope this has been interesting and useful. This is one of the things that I first put in my BoS and is one of the inspiring little gems I've come across.

Blessed Be,

Saturday, 11 October 2014

The Wiccan Rede and Law of Threefold Return

Bright blessings all,

So I'm going to split these blogs into topics of research and learning that I have come across or will come across in the future and try to keep topics focused that way. 
In this entry I'll be chatting about some of the rules or guides I've come across that those who choose to follow a Wiccan path are encouraged to abide by.

The first is known as the Wiccan Rede which acts as a moral system for those of this path to follow. In it we are introduced to a number of themes that are widely seen in the Wiccan faith including ritual circle, moon phases and sabbats. In its best known form as the "eight words" couplet, the Rede was first publicly recorded in a 1964 speech by Doreen Valiente:
Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill, An it harm none do what ye will.

This honors the great freedom that each individual has to ascertain truth, to experience the divine directly, and to determine how to best live her or his own life. Wiccans practice magic and cast spells using a form of ritual and meditation similar to prayer, except that, instead of beseeching the aid or intervention of an external deity, the indwelling divine energy is drawn outward into manifestation in the world through harmonious interaction with the divine presence already present. 

As I have been doing my research and study, this is something that I've come across in many places. In fact, when beginning my Book of Shadows it is one of the things that is frequently recommended grace the first few pages.  

Here is the full version as found on The Celtic Connection:

The Wiccan Rede

Bide within the Law you must, in perfect Love and perfect Trust.
Live you must and let to live, fairly take and fairly give.

For tread the Circle thrice about to keep unwelcome spirits out.
To bind the spell well every time, let the spell be said in rhyme.

Light of eye and soft of touch, speak you little, listen much.
Honor the Old Ones in deed and name,
let love and light be our guides again.

Deosil go by the waxing moon, chanting out the joyful tune.
Widdershins go when the moon doth wane,
and the werewolf howls by the dread wolfsbane.

When the Lady's moon is new, kiss the hand to Her times two.
When the moon rides at Her peak then your heart's desire seek.

Heed the North winds mighty gale, lock the door and trim the sail.
When the Wind blows from the East, expect the new and set the feast.

When the wind comes from the South, love will kiss you on the mouth.
When the wind whispers from the West, all hearts will find peace and rest.

Nine woods in the Cauldron go, burn them fast and burn them slow.
Birch in the fire goes to represent what the Lady knows.

Oak in the forest towers with might, in the fire it brings the God's
insight.   Rowan is a tree of power causing life and magick to flower.

Willows at the waterside stand ready to help us to the Summerland.
Hawthorn is burned to purify and to draw faerie to your eye.

Hazel-the tree of wisdom and learning adds its strength to the bright fire burning.
White are the flowers of Apple tree that brings us fruits of fertility.

Grapes grow upon the vine giving us both joy and wine.
Fir does mark the evergreen to represent immortality seen.

Elder is the Lady's tree burn it not or cursed you'll be.
Four times the Major Sabbats mark in the light and in the dark.

As the old year starts to wane the new begins, it's now Samhain.
When the time for Imbolc shows watch for flowers through the snows.

When the wheel begins to turn soon the Beltane fires will burn.
As the wheel turns to Lamas night power is brought to magick rite.

Four times the Minor Sabbats fall use the Sun to mark them all.
When the wheel has turned to Yule light the log the Horned One rules.

In the spring, when night equals day time for Ostara to come our way.
When the Sun has reached it's height time for Oak and Holly to fight.

Harvesting comes to one and all when the Autumn Equinox does fall.
Heed the flower, bush, and tree by the Lady blessed you'll be.

Where the rippling waters go cast a stone, the truth you'll know.
When you have and hold a need, harken not to others greed.

With a fool no season spend or be counted as his friend.
Merry Meet and Merry Part bright the cheeks and warm the heart.

Mind the Three-fold Laws you should three times bad and three times good.
When misfortune is enow wear the star upon your brow.

Be true in love this you must do unless your love is false to you.

These Eight words the Rede fulfill:

"An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will"

The second is the Law of Threefold Return or the Rule of Three. This rule relates to the idea of karma and that the energy one puts out into the world will inevitably come back upon us times three.  One of the earliest versions of the Rule of Three appeared in Gerald Gardner's book, High Magic's Aid.

Patti Wigington at PaganWiccan - states, 'Although the Law of Three sounds prohibitive, many Wiccans see it instead as a useful standard to live by. It allows one to set boundaries for oneself by saying, "Am I prepared to accept the consequences -- be they good or bad -- for my deeds, both magical and mundane?"'

Rule of Three

What ye send forth comes back to thee,
So ever mind the rule of three.
Follow this with mind and heart,
Merry Meet and Merry Part.

There is an abundance of information about these two laws and it's one of the first thing I ever became aware of in relation to following this path. I personally believe it's a nice moral compass to have as a guide in all we choose to do and a good thing to find out more about. 

Some interesting links and articles to check out on this topic include: 
I hope this was somewhat interesting and perhaps a tad informative. It's good from my perspective to be able to go over this and really think about the concepts :)
Blessed Be,