Webs of Woven Words, Threads, Stitches and Enchantments

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Divine Mother

copyright 2008 by E A Kaufman

An excellent article, The Divine Mother and the Holy Child, by Harita Meenee.


Blessings bright and golden!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

21 Days of the Winter Solstice 21

Solstice Blessings
Upon you and yours.
May the Goddess, who is our light,
guide you in all you do!

Blessings bright and golden!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

21 Days of the Winter Solstice 20

Solstice Spirits in the cauldron sing,
Dance your magick and to us bring,
Abundant blessings from your fire bright
We gather the magick in the burning light!

copyright 2016 E A Kaufman 

The spirits showed themselves in the cauldron's fire during our Winter Solstice rite.

Blessings dark and deep!

all photo copyright Michelle Price 2016

Monday, December 19, 2016

21 Days of the Winter Solstice 19

Edmund Dulac

On aching limbs,
She stumbles out upon the snow,
And in the east,
She sees the first
Faint gleamings
Of the new born sun,
Balanced on the world edge.
Which tells the end
Of winters hold

from "Winter Journey" by Martin Pallot

Second night of the Nine Nights ritual last night, lit my bayberry candle and made my devotions to the Winter goddesses.

Blessings dark and deep!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

21 Days of the Winter Solstice 18

Last night my coven celebrated the Winter Solstice, honoring and making offerings to the Winter goddesses and the Golden Maiden. The bayberry candle spell, beautiful invocations, some interesting divination, feasting and gift giving, all made a lovely night.

It was also the first night of the Nine Nights of the Winter Solstice, so the bayberry candles were blessed and lit in circle, then we all took our candles home to finish burning with a coin beneath. We will continue the ritual each night for nine nights, making invocations, offering prayers and other things, as well as trance and meditation, and divination. A wonderful start to this sabbath.

Blessings dark and deep!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

21 Days of the Winter Solstice 17

Wassail! Wassail all over the town!
Our toast it is white and our ale it is brown;
Our bowl it is made of the white maple tree;
With the wassailing-bowl, we'll drink to thee!

And here is to Dobbin and to his right eye!
Pray God send our master a good Christmas pie,
And a good Christmas pie that we may all see;
With our wassailing-bowl, we'll drink to thee!

So here is to Broad May and to her broad horn!
May God send our master a good crop of corn,
And a good crop of corn that we may all see;
With the wassailing-bowl we'll drink to thee!

Then here's to the maid in the lily-white smock
Who tripped to the door and slipped back the lock;
Who tripped to the door and pulled back the pin,
For to let these jolly wassailers in.

from the Gloucestershire Wassail

For many years I have made our own version of wassail. It is a non-alcoholic version, but one can add rum, whiskey, or whatever. 

Sleighride Punch 

1 quart of apple cider
1 quart of Constant Comment tea
2 cups of orange juice
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup real maple syrup
3 cinnamon sticks
1 sliced orange studded with whole cloves
1 sliced apple, core removed, studied with cloves
freshly ground nutmeg to taste
3 slices of buttered, toasted cinnamon bread,
cut into triangles.

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large pot, remove from heat
and add 6 Constant Comment tea bags. Let brew 6 minutes.
Remove the tea bags and return to medium heat. Add the orange
juice, brown sugar, and maple syrup.  Stir well. Bring to a simmer.
Slice an apple, removing core, and  an orange, stud edges with 
whole cloves. Add the fruit to the pot along with the cinnamon sticks
and nutmeg. Allow to simmer for about an hour. 
Keep the pot on the stove, on warm, or transfer to a crock pot.
Just before serving, place the triangles of toast on top.
If you use the crock pot, you can keep the brew warm constantly
to be ready anytime guests appear.

Blessings dark and deep!

Friday, December 16, 2016

21 Days of the Winter Solstice 16

For your Winter Solstice ritual place a large red candle in your cauldron, better it have three wicks if you can find one. During the ritual, in darkness with the exception of the altar candles, sit or stand at the cauldron. Peer into its dark depths while contemplating the past year and your dedication to your Arte and the goddesses. When you have finished your contemplations, say these words:

I sorrow not, though the world is wrapped in sleep.
I sorrow not, though the icy winds blast.
I sorrow not, though the snow falls hard and deep.
I sorrow not, this too shall soon be past.

Now light the candle and some Winter Pine or Pinon incense. Gaze briefly into the flames and then above at the night sky. Say these words:

I light this fire in Your honor, Great Crone,
You who watch over all who rest in the Winter's depths.
You welcome the dead and then
You fill the Mother's womb with life.
Warmth to cold to warmth again,
Around and round the cycle of life flows.
We welcome now life and light,
The gifts of the Goddesses.
Hail the Maiden, born this night.
Hail the Mother, who births the light.
Hail to the Great Crone, 
She who guides all through the cycles of life. 
So mote it be!

Now dance, drum, shake rattles, and sing as you circle the cauldron and pay homage to all of the
Goddesses. Chant this while circling until exhausted:

The wheel turns, power burns!

Continue your ritual, feast and make merry!

Adapted from a Yule ritual by Scott Cunningham,
in Wicca, A Guide For the Solitary Practitioner

Blessings dark and deep!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

21 Days of the Winter Solstice 15

Winter Blues Spell

To help melt away the blues of winter that come 
after the holidays and just from being cold. 

Put a black candle in a small candle holder and place 
it in a bowl. Put ice, snow or crushed ice in a bowl 
around the candle, just to cover the candle holder. 
Sprinkle a small amount of white sage and sea salt 
over the ice. Light the candle and say: 

Be gone, be gone, be gone away. 
Let all darkness melt away. 
Return the light as my spirit burns, 
For in this flame my spirit returns.

Allow the candle to burn out. 
Before burying the remains of the spell, 
try foreseeing, read the shapes and designs 
formed within the melted candle wax.

Lady Abigail
Copyright © 02062012

Blessings dark and deep!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

21 Days of the Winter Solstice 13

Pine - hope, loyalty, and warm friendship.

Mistletoe - peace, love, and joy.

Ivy - friendship, fidelity, and marriage.

Holly - foresight, domestic happiness.

Poinsettia - success, celebration, good cheer, and mirth.  

Blessings dark and deep!

Monday, December 12, 2016

21 Days of the Winter Solstice 12

A Visit From the Yule Spirits

'Twas the night before Yule, when all 'cross the hearth,

not a being was stirring; Pagan, faerie, or beast.
Wassail was left out and the altar adorned,
to rejoice that the Sun Child would soon be reborn.

The children lay sleeping by the warmth of the hearth,

their dreams filled with visions of belov'd Mother Earth.
My husband and I beneath blankets piled deep,
had just settled down to our own Solstice sleep.

Then a noise in the night that would leave us no peace,

Awakened us both to the honking of geese.
Eager to see such a boisterous flock,

When we raced to the window, our mouths dropped in shock!

Snow Goose ~ Frau Holda (c) Jackie Rae Hannigan

On the west wind flew a gaggle of geese white and gray,
With Frau Holda behind them in her gift-laden dray.

The figure on her broomstick in the north sky made it clear,
La Befana was approaching to bestow Yuletide cheer.

From the south came a comet more bright than the moon,
And we knew that Lucia would be with us soon.

As these spirits sailed earthward o'er hilltops & trees,
Frau Holda serenaded her feathery steeds:

"Fly Isolde! Fly Tristan! Fly Odin and Freya!

Fly Morgaine! Fly Merlin! Fly Uranus and Gaea!
May the God and the Goddess inside you soar,
From the clouds in the heavens to yon cottage door."

As soft and silent as snowflakes they fell:

Their arrival announced by a faint chiming bell.
They landed like angels, their bodies aglow.
Their feet left no marks in the new fallen snow.

Before we could ponder what next lay in store,

There came a slow creaking from our threshold door.
We crept from our bedroom and were spellbound to see...
There in our parlor stood the Yule Trinity!

Lucia, the Maiden, with her head wreathed in flame,

Shown with the radiance for which she was named.
The Lightbringer's eyes held the joy of a child,
And she spoke with a voice that was gentle, yet wild:

"May the warmth of this household ne'er fade away."

Then she lit our Yule log which still burns to this day.
Frau Holda in her down cloak stood regal and tall;
The Matron of Solstice, the Mother of all.

Under her gaze we felt safe and secure.

Her voice was commanding, yet almost demure:
"May the love of this family enrich young and old."
And from the folds of her cloak showered coins of pure gold.

Le Befana wore a kerchief on her silvery hair;

The veil of the Crone who has secrets to share.
In her eyes gleamed a wisdom only gained by spent youth.
Her voice was a whisper but her words rung with truth:

"May health, glad tidings, and peace fill these rooms."

And she banished misfortune with a sweep of her broom.
They then left a gift by each sleeping child's head,
Took a drink of our wassail, and away they sped.

While we watched them fly off through the night sky we laughed,

At the wondrous magick we had found in the Craft.
As they departed, the spirits decreed...

Merry Yule To You All and May All Blessed Be!

Copyright (c) by Richard De Angelis

Blessings dark and deep!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

21 Days of the Winter Solstice 11

Invocation to the Old Woman of Winter

Ancient Mother of Midwinter,
Watcher over life and death,
the one who re-births the world,
be with us on this longest night!
See us through the dark hours
and stand with us
as dawn births promise of new life.
So mote it be!

Susan Pesznicker

Blessings dark and deep!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

21 Days of the Winter Solstice 10

Solstice altar  c 2009 E A Kaufman

Silver Wheel At The Winter Solstice

At this cold low of the sun star
so deep in her circle of time
we fold the dark over ourselves,
keep warm in its sky black counterpane.

Zodiac sequins are sparks
of fire that delight us,
telling us stories of chimera and ice,
fire-drakes and wonders ---
this is do-nothing time, being-time
staying cocooned in Her mystery.

there was ending, there was death
beginning is soon, filling with life
Now, we press ourselves into the spaces
between every moment, feel the beauty
of tensions, paradox, unknowing,
Arianrhod's Silver Wheel floats like a cloak
around us, spinning us out to stars that shine
in our deepest selves. Hush now, trust this turn
to the mystery, let fear disappear in her crystal fire:
we come from the stars, stardust to bone,
we are the Universe, this is our home

Rose Flint, 2009

Blessings dark and deep!

Friday, December 9, 2016

21 Days of the Winter Solstice 9

Ron Byrum

Song of the Solstice

The Winter Solstice lingers near.
Come, merrymakers and spread your cheer.
Adorn your homes with evergreen.
So full of face, so fairly seen.
Go wassailing from door to door.

Sing soothing carols evermore.
Surround yourselves with friends akin.
Seek nourishment from well within.
Come, bang your drums and light the fires.
Return the light back to the shires.
May blessings be bestowed on you.
And always to thyself, be true.

 © 2015 Amelia Dashwood
Blessings dark and deep!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

21 Days of the Winter Solstice 8


Winter Solstice Correspondences
and December Goddess Festivals
The festival of the Winter Solstice is celebrated on or about December 21st and is the second Sabbat of the year. It marks the rebirth of the Sun and the shift when the days begin to grow a bit longer. This is a time of deep introspection and looking to the new year ahead. We honor the time of the Crone, the time of the Great Mother who births the Sun, and the Golden Maiden, newly born.
Date: December 21st (approximately)
Other Names: Alban Arthan, Saturnalia, Yule
Activities: Caroling, Decorating the Yule tree, Exchanging of presents, Honoring Winter Goddesses, Honoring the Darkness, Honoring the Return of the Sun, Yule log
Colors: Green, Red, White, Gold, Ice Blue, Orange, Silver, Yellow 
Element: Earth
Foods: Caraway Cakes, Cookies, Eggnog, Fruits, Ginger Tea, Lamb's Wool (ale, sugar, nutmeg, roasted apples), Nuts, Pork, Spiced Cider, Turkey, Wassail
Goddesses: Berchta, Bona Dea, Brighid, Cailleach Bheur, The Crone, Dark Mother, Demeter, Diana, Frau Holda, Gaea, Great Mother, Holda Isis, La Befana, Perchta, Skadi, Spider Woman

Herbs: Bayberry, Balsam, Blessed Thistle, Cedar, Evergreens, Frankincense, Ginger, Holly, Ivy, Juniper, Laurel, Mistletoe, Oak, Pine, Rosemary,  Sage (Kitchen)

Oils/Incense: Balsam, Bayberry, Cedar, Cinnamon, Frankincense, Ginger, Myrrh, Pine, Rosemary

Stones: Alexandrite, Blue Topaz, Cats Eye, Citrine, Clear Quartz, Bloodstone, Diamonds, Emeralds, Garnets, Green Tourmaline, Jet, Kunzite, Pearls, Ruby

Spellworkings: Drawing Down the Sun, Earth magick, good health, happiness, harmony, love, money, peace, planning for the coming year, prosperity, renewal, revitalization  

Symbols: Decorated evergreen trees, Gifts,  Longest night of the year, Planning for the Future, Rebirth of the Sun, Winter Solstice, Wreath, Yule log, Yule log, or small Yule log with 3 candles, evergreen boughs or wreaths, holly, mistletoe , gold pillar candles, baskets of clove studded fruit, a simmering pot of wassail, Poinsettias, Christmas cactus.
December Goddess Festivals
December 3  Festival of Bona Dea, Day Sacred to Cybele
December 5  Feast of St. Lucia, Feast of Lucina
December 7  Annual Rite of the Haloia - Demeter
December 8  Festival of Broken Needles - Hari-Kuyo (as celebrated in the Kyoto and Kansai regions)
December 9  Day Sacred to Astraea, a Greek Goddess of Justice; Optalia, Feastival of Ops, a Roman Goddess of the Harvest
December 10  The ancient Roman festival called Lux Mundi (Light of the World) was held annually on this day in honor of the Goddess of Liberty. In France, a similar festival takes place on this same date.

December 11 Sacred to Arianrhod ,the Snow Queen Goddess, and Yuki Onne. On this date, the ancient Roman Goddess of the winter season was honored with an annual festival known as the Day of Bruma.

December 13 The Sementivae, the second festival of Tellus, the Roman earth goddess.
In Sweden and Norway, the Sun Goddess Lucina is still honored with a traditional festival of light on St. Lucia's Day (also known as Little Yule) each year on this date. At daybreak, the first-born daughter of the house wears a candle crown in obvious reference to the Pagan symbols of fire and life giving light, and serves her family cakes. There are processions and treats. Young girls often wear white dresses and many of the men dress as elves, who are known as Lucina's helpers.
Lucia was actually a woman from Italy who was burned as a witch, but the fire did not touch her. She was later sainted by the Catholic Church.

December 14  Celebration of Creation, honoring Spider Woman, who created the Universe and all within it.  

December 15  The Greek Goddess Alcyone, who was symbolized by the kingfisher, is honored beginning on this day with the Halcyon Days festival which begins seven days before and continuing until seven days after. According to legend, these days are a special time of tranquility and calm, due to the magical powers of the Halcyon (a fabled bird much like a kingfisher, who nested on the sea and calmed the wind and waves during Winter Solstice. Interestingly, the kingfisher's eggs hatch at this time of year, but only if tides are low and the sea is calm.

December 16
In ancient Rome on this day, the festival of the Goddess of wisdom, Sapientia was held annually on the eve of Saturnalia, a day when wisdom may not be the ruling quality. She was also known as Sophia In Greece, and Sapientia-Sophia in medieval times.
The Yule Child is honored on this day in Mexico, by a religious festival known as Posadas , which begins annually on this day. It is celebrated until the twenty-fourth of December.
The Native American tribe of the Hopi in the southwestern United States celebrate the Soyal ceremony annually on this date (approximately). The rites of the Soyal celebrate the return of the Sun (Life) and commemorate the creation and rebirth of Spider Woman and Hawk Maiden .
This day is also sacred to these wisdom-Goddessess: Athena, Kista, Maat, Minerva, and the Shekinah.

December 18  ancient Romans celebrated the Eponalia; a feast dedicated to Epona, the Celtic Mother-Goddess and a patroness of horses.
Feast of Our Lady of Solitude - celebrate your Matron Goddess on this day

December 19  The Romans celebrated the Opalia , a feast dedicated to Ops (Abundance), the harvest Goddess of fertility and success, and consort of Saturn, on this, the third day of the Saturnalia.

December 20  The Mother Night, Yule Eve
On this night (approximately), a Germanic/Scandinavian Midwinter festival known as The Mother Night (or Modresnach) was observed. It was believed that dreams on this night foretold events in the upcoming year. Many of its traditions live on modern Christmas celebrations. The decorated evergreen tree was a symbol of the Tree of Life, or World Tree. The star atop the tree represented the pole star of the Star Goddess. The dinners and gifts were in honor of the food and prosperity given by the Mother Goddesses to their human children. The elves connected with our current Santa Claus are remnants of the supernatural Nature folk of the Old Religion. The reindeer are symbols of old shamanic abilities used by the people. The mistletoe is said to have first been picked and used to collect kisses by the Goddess Frigg, before it became a weapon to kill her son.

Dedicated to Psyche - a day to honor your own accomplishments, who and what you have achieved.

December 21   The festival of Angerona, the Roman goddess of secrecy.
Winter Solstice, known as Yule. The shortest day and longest night of the year. Yule is widely celebrated by many varieties of modern pagan.
It is also known as Winter Rite, Midwinter, and Alban Arthan. Yule is derived from the Anglo-Saxon Yula, which means Wheel of the Year.
In many cultures it is symbolized in religion by a Virgin mother giving birth to sacred offspring such as Rhiannon to Pryderi; Isis to Horus; Demeter to Persephone.
It is the festival of the Sun's rebirth.
An old tradition many pagans still observe in this season is bringing in the Yule Log, wishing on it, and lighting it from the remains of last year's log. Once, the Yule log was the center of the celebration. It was lit on the eve of the solstice (it should light on the first try) and kept burning for twelve hours, for good luck. Riddles are posed and answered, magic and rituals are practiced.
In the past, wild boars were sacrificed and consumed along with large quantities of liquor. Corn dollies were carried from house to house while carolling. Fertility rites were practiced (girls standing under a sprig of mistletoe were subject to a bit more than a kiss in these times), and divinations were cast for the coming Spring. Many of these customs, in have been adapted and are celebrated in the mainstream Christian Christmas celebration, though most celebrants do not realize their origins.

In ancient Greece the winter solstice ritual was called Lenaea, the Festival of the Wild Women. In very ancient times, a man representing the harvest god Dionysos was torn to pieces and eaten by a gang of women on this day. Later in the ritual, Dionysos would be reborn as a baby. By classical times, the human sacrifice had been replaced by the killing of a goat. The women's role had changed to that of funeral mourners and observers of the birth.

In Slavonic cultures, the festival of Koleda began at Winter Solstice and lasted for ten days. In Russia, this festival was called Kutuja, which was later applied to Christmas Eve. Although the Slavonic name comes from the God Kolyada, it was in honor of Lada, the Goddess of love, Spring, youth and fertility. She was said to be reborn each year at this time. Each family burned a Yule log and invited their personal household Gods to join in the festivities. Groups of children went from house to house singing; as a reward, they were given little gifts.

December 22   Birth of the Goddess, Rhiannon. Celebrate by reading Her myth.

December 23  The Larentalia (Larentinalia), festival of Acca Larentia the Roman goddess who gave the early Romans their land.

December 24  Night of the Mothers. Honor all Mother Goddesses and celebrate the ability of women to create and nurture - not just as mothers of children and the ability to conceive and give birth to children, but also creative endeavors and life in general.

December 25  Christmas day, a Christian religious observance celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, a character in their mythology which they believe to be the son of their god..The practice of celebrating Christmas on December 25th began in the early 4th century. It was a Christian substitute for the pagan festival held on that date to celebrate the birth of the unconquered Sun. Christmas customs such as Christmas trees, holy and mistletoe have pagan origins - such as celebrating the midwinter festival of Yule. The term Xmas refers to the first letter (chi) of the Greek word, Christos.

December 27  Birth of Freya. In Her honor, burn amber incense and wear amber jewelry. 

December 28  Day of the Weaver Grandmothers. Celebrates those goddesses associated with the Fates and cycles of our lives.

December 29  Day of the Nymphs. (Greek)

December 31  Night of Hekate - celebrated by some dedicants.

Blessings dark and deep!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

21 Days of the Winter Solstice 7

‘Demeter Mourning for Persephone’ by Evelyn De Morgan

December 7th is the annual rite of the Haloia of Demeter. It was performed in ancient Greece each year to honor the Goddess Demeter, who in mourning for the loss of Her daughter, Persephone, wanders the earth searching for Her. Demeter, in Her sorrow, refuses to bless the Earth with fertility therefore bringing Winter to the world. All crops, trees, and plants cease to bloom without those blessings and the world becomes still and mourns with Her. We also remember that Winter will pass and Persephone will return to Her mother in the Spring. In Her joy, Demeter will once again bestow Her blessings of earthly fertility and abundance upon the earth. The wheel turns and the cycle of life goes on.

I honor Demeter Melaina and Her Haloia with a simple ritual. I begin by lighting a bayberry tealight or votive candle and some incense, usually a blend of balsam, pomegranate, and pine in honor of the season. I spend some time feeling Demeter's loss and considering my own loses from the past year, acknowledging them and letting them go as best I can, knowing life goes on, the feelings these engender will pass. Yes, life will indeed go on. When my contemplations are finished, I recite the following invocation, then make offerings at my hedge of bread and honey, and a libation of a spiced and sweetened herbal brew. I allow the candle to burn itself out.

Invocation to Demeter Melaina*

The Land lies barren as You search, dark and sorrowing. 
Your great powers of creation draw inward. 
Field and meadow lie fallow. You mourn. 
For She who was born from Your womb has descended. 
She is no longer by Your side. 
But from Thee, Melaina, and Thy Shadows shall compassion arise! 
In the darkness, in solitude, alone in Your fragrant temple, 
Life gives birth to understanding, to the cycle of life,  
To change and transformation, birth, youth, maturity. 
In compassion You descend into the Underworld, 
Your blessings, healing all realms, are bestowed upon Your Daughter. 
O Blessed art Thou, Holy One, 
Great praises to both the fallow and the dark, the womb and tomb. 
All honor to You Mother of Bounty, 
Hear me, know my name, be with me!

* adapted from the Prayer for Demeter Melaina found in
The Mysteries of Demeter: Rebirth of the Pagan Way by Jennifer Reif.

Blessings dark and deep!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

21 Days of the Winter Solstice 6

Saule by Lisa Hunt

There are many sun goddesses to call upon, Saule is a Latvian goddess of the sun and fertility and is one who speaks to me. Her name translates to "sun." 

A devotional practice that I maintain through December is to invoke a sun goddess once a week, beginning in early December. I like this invocation which I adapted for the Winter Solstice. The original is from Stephanie Woodfield's book, Drawing Down the Sun.

I begin by lighting a yellow, orange, or gold candle.

Hail O Mother Sun! (or deity's name)
Help my inner light to burn in these days
of the waning Sun.
In the Underworld, Your golden rays 
bring warmth to the dead.
Shine upon me in the darkest hours of Winter.
Instill me, Mother Sun, with Your wisdom
And fill me with Your radiant healing.
Let me shine as does Your light.

I now burn incense as an offering. Use whatever you think is suitable. I like this recipe from "Pagan Christmas, The Plants, Spirits, and Rituals at the Origins of Yuletide" by Christian Ratsch and Claudia Muller-Ebeling, it smells divine!

Sun Incense

3 parts Frankincense
1 part cinnamon bark or cassia
1 part cardamon seed

Grind ingredients in a mortar and pestle. Place by spoonfuls on a hot charcoal disk.

(Based on a recipe from Seidir - the pseudonym of Yvon de Loup, 1871-1926, a French occultist of the Martinist Order.. The recipe comes from his studies of occult botany (Belledame 1990, 117).

If you are invoking Saule, pronounced Sow-lay, this incense adapted from Drawing Down the Moon is lovely.

Saule Incense

2 tbsp amber resin
1 tbsp myrrh
1 tbsp dried apple bits, finely minced
1 tbsp rose petals

This incense can be mixed together and placed onto the hot coal.

Beginning on the day after the Winter Solstice, I recite this invocation, also from Drawing Down the Sun:

Hail to the dawning sun,
Sun Maiden of new life and healing.
Hail to the noon day sun,
Mother of all life,
All seeing immortal eye.
Hail to the setting sun,
Lady who journeys through
the realm of shades and spirits.
You who overcome every darkness,
Radiant goddess of rebirth.

During the recitation of this prayer, you can anoint yourself with an appropriate solar oil, beginning with the forehead for the Maiden, the heart for the Mother, and the feet for the Dark Goddess. Oils that I like to use: pomegranate, frankincense, and Dragon's Blood.*

Blessings dark and deep!

* Do a patch test after diluting oils for use on the skin.

Follow proper safety precautions when using candles, fire, and charcoal. Open a window to insure that there is proper ventilation. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

21 Days of the Winter Solstice 5


White are the far-off fields, 
and white The fading forests grow;

The wind dies out along the heights, 
And denser still the snow
A gathering weight on roof and tree, 
Falls down scarce audibly
The meadows and far-sheeted streams 
Lie still without a sound;

Like some soft minister of dreams 
The snow-fall hoods me around;
In wood and water, earth and air 
Silence is everywhere
Save when at lonely spells

Some farmer's sleigh, urged on,

With rustling runners and sharp bells 
Swings by me and is gone;

From the empty space I hear

A sound remote and clear

The barking of a dog,

To cattle, is sharply pealed,

Borne echoing from some wayside stall 
Or barnyard far afield;

Then all is silent and the snow falls 
Settling soft and slow
The evening deepens and the grey 
Folds closer round the sky

The world seems so shrouded,
 so far away.
Its noises sleep, and I as secret as 
Yon buried stream plod dumbly on and dream.
I dream....

Lyric: Archibald Lampman (1861-1899)
Music: Loreena McKennitt

Blessings dark and deep!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

21 Days of the Winter Solstice 4

An Appeal For Protection
Through Winter's Long Nights

As you prepare for bed, turn off all the lights in your home
except the one in your bedroom. Alternatively, you can light 
a white candle, then proceed with extinguishing the other 
lights. Relax and release all cares of the day, then say:

As we approach the year's longest night,
I ask you, Great Mother Goddesses,
to be with me and my loved ones
and safeguard us through the hours
from dusk until dawn.
May you bless us with an abundance
of all good things: love and happiness,
loving family and good friends,
good heath and prosperity,
as we welcome the return of the light.
So mote it be!

Extinguish your candle or shut off the light.
Sweet dreams and restoring rest.

adapted from
"Yule, Rituals, Recipes, and Lore for
the Winter Solstice"
by Susan Pesznicker, Llewellyn Publications 

Blessings dark and deep!