Thursday, March 22, 2012

Happy (posted belatedly) Ostara!

I wanted to light a bonfire this morning to greet the dawn but it has been snowing lightly off and on for the past few days and my kindling is too damp.  I was able to set up a mini altar outside and my candles are staying lit - green for the life returning to the earth, yellow for the sun shining longer in the sky and purple for the goddess.  A bunny and lamb, symbols of spring, are there as well. Earlier I poured a bowl of milk and honey in my yard as an offering to the garden fairies and gnomes.  Apparently one of the neighbors' cats left her own offering - a little dead sparrow. 
Life is returning to the garden.  Shoots are coming up for daffodils, tulips and crocuses.  Some of my herbs are turning green again, most noticeably the wormwood.

It's time for spring cleaning and for psychically cleansing your home by walking through each room with incense or salt or even scented water to banish all negativity. If you wish you can use this time as a fresh start. I'm intent on bringing more r&r into my life - sleeping more, playing more and carving out time for the things that are important to me instead of making them wait til everything else is crossed off my to do list!
May the growing days bring you health, wealth and joy.  And if you're below the equator, may the growing nights bring you the same!

Blessed be!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Pagan Blog Project - Fawn

My Wiccan name is Fawn.  For months I tried to come up with a cool name.  Raven is a popular Wiccan name and I love crows anyway, what with their being guides through the underworld and all.  But it didn’t quite fit.  I tried variations, such as Bran (Welsh for crow).  Still not right. I moved on to the relatives: magpie, rook, blue jay – you get the idea.  No click.  Then one day during meditation, a name just came to me…Fawn.  I wasn’t happy.  I was going for wings and coolness and I get a timid, helpless little creature?  But there was no denying it fit my nature.  So I tried it out - fawns are cute, they’re gentle, sweet, playful and even kind of mysterious if you count that elusive factor.  OK, Fawn it was.  I found a tiny raffia fawn at Pier 1 and it lives on my altar.

And of course, it can also mean Faun – that mischievous half-human, half-goat creature featured in myth and Shakespeare.  Being a Capricorn, I have an affinity for Pan and Puck.  It seems to have been a pretty inspired name after all!

So don’t despair if you’re having trouble naming yourself.  Give the gods and goddesses some time, listen and they’ll whisper it to you!

Pagan Blog Project - Esbats

Every 28 days (or so) we get to celebrate the moon in all her glory.  It’s a time for working spells for growing, expanding awareness, celebrating.  Thirteen mini feastdays a year – what’s not to love?
Every moon cycle has her own name and intentions.  Here’s a short list, but there are many variations – find one that speaks to you.
Wolf Moon
Ice Moon
Storm Moon
Growing Moon
Hare Moon
Mead Moon
Hay Moon
Corn Moon
Harvest Moon
Blood Moon
Hunter’s Moon
Snow Moon
Cold Moon

A generous friend of mine recently gave me Moon Magick by D.J. Conway.  It has history and myths, correspondences, rituals, crafts and recipes for each moon.  Thanks, Cyndi!
I think what I like best is that every 28 days (or so) we get the chance to rededicate ourselves to this path, to be grateful for the life and love the Goddess bestows on us and to work magic!

For cakes and ale, try this recipe.  It makes little round cookie “moons”. 
Simple Sabbat Cakes:
·        3/4 cup soft butter
·        2 cups brown sugar
·        2 eggs
·        1 Tbsp. lemon juice
·        2 tsp. grated lemon rind
·        2 cups flour
·        1 cup finely chopped walnuts (optional)

Cream the butter in a large mixing bowl. Gradually add the brown sugar and mix well. Add eggs, lemon juice and rind. Mix until well-blended.
Stir in flour and walnuts. Cover and refrigerate overnight. When chilled, shape dough into one-inch balls and place 3" apart on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 8 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.
Serve with beverage of your choice.  Mead, tea or apple cider would all be good!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Springing into Oestara

A few weeks ago I pruned a branch from the fruit tree in my front yard.  I stuck it in a vase of water and this week it bloomed!

My family is likewise blooming.  My son and daughter-in-law are expecting their first baby in April.  I just finished knitting them this baby blanket, appropriately named the baby tree of life throw.  The pattern can be found here:Baby tree of life throw at  Here's a close up of the tree:

As we set our clocks ahead next week and return to darker mornings for a while, remember, Spring is on its way!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Pagan Blog Project - Elementals

I wrote about dwarves in one of my "d" blogs but now I would like to expand to include all four - or five - elementals.  When I first set up my altar, I chose something to represent each of the four elements:  sea salt for Earth, incense for Air, a candle for Fire and a goblet for Water. Later, I read about elementals and liked the idea of a "creature" to represent each.  Now I envision them when I call on the four quarters.
I begin by welcoming the dwarves of the earth as I face north and use my athame to draw a pentragram in the dish of sea salt.

Next, I welcome the sylphs of the air as I face east and light incense. 

Thirdly, I welcome the salamanders of fire as I face south and light a candle. 
And I welcome the undines of water as I face west and sprinkle sea salt into the water.   
You may find yourself drawn to one elemental in particular. For instance, if you're an earth sign or close to nature, hearth and home, you may be attracted to gnomes.
Intellectual, creative and "windy" or talkative types may find sylphs or fairies attractive.
If you possess a passionate and volatile personality, salamanders may fire your imagination.
And if your emotions run deep, you may have an affinity for undines or water creatures.
(Of course, you can always use candles to represent all four quarters: green for earth, yellow for air, red for fire and blue for water.) 
Lastly, the pentacle in the center of my altar represents Akasha, or the 5th element of spirit that binds all energies together.

Pagan Blog Project - Drumming and Dancing

Probably my favorite tool for meditation and magick work is drumming.  I find the right rhythm lifts my spirits, raises my energy, makes me want to dance, or induces a trance state that helps with meditation.
While having a bodhran (Celtic drum) to beat on is ideal, you can create your own drum out of any old empty popcorn or cookie tin. (Yes, I know it’s difficult, but you have to eat the snack first.)  Try different patterns while walking around your altar or just spinning, going faster as you feel the energy rise.

To see what I mean, watch this video:
and see if you don’t find yourself wanting to join in like the whirling dervishes of Sufi.  (Even the puppy gets caught up in the energy!)

To raise energy for everything from a workout to working a spell, give this a listen:

Try surfing for a sound that works for you – everyone dances to the beat of a different drummer!