Webs of Woven Words, Threads, Stitches and Enchantments

Thursday, December 26, 2013

And A Lovely Day Was Had By All...

My Solstice shrine 2013

Christmas Eve and Christmas day... quiet, just the two of us at Toadstool Condo, a lovely holiday. We ate lasagna for dinner and it was SO good, followed by some sweets and eggnog. We took a portion of the lasagna to a friend who isn't feeling well and that was the only time we left the apartment. Just lazed around and enjoyed the day.

I had a private little ritual for Mother Night on Christmas Eve, lighting candles and making offerings of incense, shortbread, and spiced wine. I recited invocations and prayers to various mother goddesses. It was a lovely little ritual.

Some goodies, including a bunch of Krampus stuff and a beautiful quartz crystal, from friends. Looking forward to browsing through the Krampus collection. 

More goodies, including a new teapot for my collection! My favorite perfume from my consort, which I wore for the first time on our very first date; I've been wearing it ever since.

Also from my DH, a lovely little citrine heart and a natural citrine pendant, which matches a pair of earrings I have. I don't think one can have too much citrine, it is such a positive energy crystal. All citrine that has that lovely golden yellow color is heated after mining, but the natural citrine is not, it is left as it comes out of Mama Earth. It is not golden, but has a very intense energy.

We shall indulge in the left over lasagna for a couple of days along with the other goodies. It is also time to consider goals for 2014 - no resolutions, just some ideas for improvement of... whatever that may be, and plans for the apprentices and Divine Feminine group as well as my personal workings.

I hope your Christmas was grand!

Blessings dark and deep!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry, Merry!

Blessings of the season.
May all you need be yours!

The Witch of Stitches

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Preparing for the Winter Solstice

My goddess shrine is decorated for the Winter Solstice, photos to come in a day or so. In the meantime, other preparations. Tonight I will facilitate my Divine Feminine Meditation and Discussion group. We will discuss winter goddesses, participate in a guided journey/meditation, and then prepare our bayberry candles for the longest night.

The bayberry candle spell is something I have been doing (and have written about) for many years. The burning of these candles brings prosperity, good health, and a good life. Sometimes I burn the candles over nine nights, other years I have only done this for three nights.

I also scatter a blend of herbs around my candle. The candle is burned in a votive cup holder, because one year I placed three candles in a terra cotta dish, anointed them with bayberry oil, and scattered the herbs in the dish with the candles. I lit all three and a while later I had a freaking torch - no kidding, the herbs, oil, and candle wax ignited and sent up a three foot flame. We used a large lid from one of my pots to snuff it out. I received a lecture from my darling hubby about fire safety. He was very stern because not long before this I had set a very tiny portion of our carpet on fire when a candle fell over. It was a very small burn and was immediately extinguished. What can I say - Leo Sun, Leo Moon, it is beyond my control. And actually, I haven't had any fire mishaps in years... well, except for that candle spell I was doing for a friend earlier this year; it sort of exploded, but... no harm, no fire; it flared up and then went out. That was a good omen. ; )

I have real bayberry wax candles for my ritual, nine of them this year. I got them at Cape Candle, you can take a look here. For the gals in my Div. Fem. group, they will choose a Crystal Journey bayberry or a bayberry/Dragon's Blood votive. I think the combination of bayberry and Dragon's Blood, while not traditional, is a fabulous combination; definitely kicking up the magick! We will cleanse, consecrate, and then empower the candles so they will be ready to burn on the Solstice.

Most of the gals in the core group, those who always attend, have become close friends, some are apprentices. They are all very dear to my heart and I feel very lucky to have met them. The goddesses certainly blessed me.

Do you follow the old tradition of burning a bayberry candle on the Winter Solstice?

Blessings dark and deep!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Dream of Winter

I am enjoying the dark nights coming early as they do at this time of year. Many people find it uncomfortable, they don't like the sun setting early, the darkness closing over us like a cloak. I do, oh how I do. It is a soothing comfort, the feeling of being truly home. Winter, the time of introspection, curling up and surrounding ourselves with the warmth and blessings of the season. If they would only allow themselves to feel that.

I light the candles on my Winter Solstice shrine and the fire in the fireplace most nights. From my aromatherapy pot, a blend of winter scents drifts through the air. I have been meditating, as usual, but allowing the journeying to go where it will. With the addition of some Solfeggio music, which includes different frequencies that are a sort of drone in the background of the music, I have had some interesting meditations, as well as significant changes in my self-healing work.

Last night, I drifted off into a journey or dream, not sure which. It was intensely real; I felt transported. I found myself walking through a forest in winter, the sky dark gray as if twilight were about to arrive. I was wrapped in a cloak and hood of animal skins. I felt warm and toasty despite the wind and gently falling snow. Nearby, keeping pace with me, an owl drifted from branch to branch as we traveled. Behind me, as if keeping guard, a large black dog. One of Hekate's hounds? I don't know, but I did know the hound was there to assist me, as was the owl.

The air, cold and crisp as winter air is, felt as if it were cleansing me with every breath, its icy winds reaching in and moving through me. Yet, still, I did not feel cold, just a bright cleansing. The branches of the trees overhead as I looked up, were like a tapestry woven together. Here and there, I bent to pick up a twig, a pine cone, a stone peeking from beneath the snow. All were placed in a fur pouch beneath my cloak. What use they would be, I didn't know, but they were important.

Now and then I stopped and placed my hands on the trees, feeling their spirits. The ground beneath my feet spoke to me, encouraging me to move on, all the while holding me in its embrace. And so I walked, my companions nearby. As I walked, the light became dimmer, twilight came and flowed into night. Moonlight was the only light that kept me on my path, but soon even that began to dim. Dimmer and dimmer, gray to black, slowly, slowly I drifted. No fear, no worry, I let myself go...

And then my eyes fluttered open, the scent of pine, the flickering of candle and fire light welcomed me. Home again.

Blessings dark and deep.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Bona Dea, December Rites

Today is one of two days each year when the temple of the Roman goddess, Bona Dea, was dedicated with special rites. These rites were strictly for women and facilitated by the Vestal Virgins. The other day was May1st.

Bona Dea watches over women, bestowing protection, healing, and fertility of all types, upon us and the Earth. Depictions of Her usually show Her with a cornucopia, representing plenty and fertility, as well as a serpent, representing renewal.

Men were forbidden to attend  or even glimpse these rites. Cicero wrote that any male discovered observing the rites could be punished by blinding or even death. In the year 62 BCE, the rites were hosted by Pompeia, the wife of Julius Caesar. The politician, Publius Clodius Pulcher, was caught, dressed as a woman, violating the rites and, purportedly, attempting to seduce Pompeia. This led to Caesar divorcing her, for "Caesar's wife must be above suspicion". The rites had to be repeated and Clodius was eventually acquitted due to his political affiliations.

More can be read here including how to conduct a modern rite, as well as an invocation and a bit more information:
Witch of Stitches/Bona Dea

The truth is, we know very little about these rites so we improvise, which is what I do, honoring Bona Dea, The Good Goddess, to the best my heart has to offer.

Blessings Dark and Light!