Category Archives: Magic, Ritual, Rites, Alchemy

All articles concerning Magic, Rituals, Rites, Alchemy and so on.

August 1st Lammas, Lughnassadh Sabbath Info, Recipes & Ritual

Those of the Ancient World and Present Day Pagans share an event known as, Lammas, or, Lughnassadh. It is a Sabbath on August 1st, when God enters the Earth, sacrificing his body to become the Grain or Corn. Please note, while I may use “Grain” below, it may also be interpreted as “Corn” for both were very important – then and now.

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It is the first Harvest when the God of the Sun marries the Goddess of the Earth, relinquishing his former existence and essence so that he may rule the Underworld as Lord of Shadow.

Mabon, (Autumn Equinox) will be your second harvest and Samhain, the third. All good things come in threes.

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This belief has survived throughout the Ages from one Culture and Religion to the next. Some, who blend Christianity with Paganism or recognizes the link from one to the other, may think of Christ, when he died upon the cross, giving up his flesh to become something more spiritual, passing from one life to his next. Christ was said to give his blood to wash away sin while the Pagan God gave his to offer life after death and to the grain, blessing a life-giving Harvest.

The grain is represented by the God and vise versa.  It represents the cycle of life – a reflection of us all.

The season has begun it’s coming to an end, as life eventually comes to an end. But while the grain dies in the field, is it lost to us forever?

No. The grain relinquishes it’s seed and when joined with that of Earth, holds a promise of rebirth—renewed life.

As the God dies and joins with the earth, entering her for their sacred marriage, he will one day be reborn from Mother Earth, anew.

So is the same for us all.

Our Ancestors used bread to commemorate this holiday. Present day Pagans, whether they are Practitioners of Rituals or not, may also use bread.

If you are one to use Rituals, I have one listed below. If you are not one for Rituals but want to do something to mark the occasion, then my suggestions is to either make or buy a bread that is made up of grains, cracked wheat – the healthier stuff. You can also use corn, corn bread, etc.

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If white is all you have, I am sure your Deity will be forgiving, but if at all possible, a more natural food would be best.

Incorporate it in a family meal or a supper of one. Simply bow your head asking that the God, Goddess (insert your deity) bless the bread and grain.

This is a time to say thanks for all the blessings in your life and for all the blessings to come.

It is a time to enjoy the fruits of your labors or a time to see your efforts pay off and come to form.

Rituals & Recipes

Dancing is often seen and done in the old world and new. Twirling, spinning, dancing around a fire represents the sun (fire) and the constant orbit we make around it. The sun passing through seasons, moving and changing.

A song or chant to do, whether round a fire or candle flame can be found in a book called, Grimoire for the Green Witch, by Ann Moura. This is just a shortened version…

Clap or ring a bell three times:

I celebrate the Day of the First Harvest, the Festival of Bread and the Marriage of the Sun and the Earth.

Then Sing or Chant while dancing in circles:

Dance, dance, wherever you may be;

When you dance with the Lord, He will dance with thee.

Turn, turn, a Circle then you form;

And the Lord of the Dance is the Lord of the Corn!

Raise arms, sing and chant:

Down, down, into the Earth He’ll go;

Giving life to the grain that in Spring we sow.

He rules the Shadowland till Yule;

When His Sun is reborn and He joins us anew!

My Own Personal Molasses Bread Recipe

 

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Ingredients

1 & 1/2 cups of boiling water

1 cup of rolled oats (If you can’t find “rolled oats” go ahead and use steel cut or rough cut oats. I wouldn’t do instant, though. They won’t hold their texture. )

1/3 cup vegetable shortening (If you have lard that you made, go for it.)

2 packs of active dry yeast (I used a fast yeast and it worked great for me.)

1/2 cup of warm water

1/2 cup of Molasses (The first time I did this, I used homemade Molasses. Was great. Second time, I used store bought. I wasn’t wild about it. You can, however, replace this with Raw Honey if you want.)

2 eggs, beaten

2 teaspoons of salt

Butter (Enough to brush the tops and the inside of your bread pans.)

6 & 1/2 cups of unbleached flour (I used 3 & 1/2 cups of whole wheat/ whole grain flour.)

Directions

+ Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Butter three 8 & 1/2 inch loaf pans.

+ In a large bowl, mix the boiling water, oats and shortening. Set this to the side and allow the shortening to melt.

+ While that’s going on, in a small bowl, mix together your warn water and yeast.

+ Now, go back to the Shortening – Oats- Boiling Water mixture and add your Molasses or honey. Stir in the eggs and salt.

+ Add the yeast mixture and 3 cups of your flour. Beat the batter until its all well blended and smooth.

+ Start adding the rest of the flour, slowly. You may not need all of the left over flour.  So add it little by little. Once it pulls from the sides, throw it onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until the dough becomes elastic and springs back when you poke it. Knead for about 8 or so minutes.

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+ Form it into a ball and put it in a greased bowl. Place plastic wrap and a towel on top and let the dough rise for an hour.

+Once it has risen twice it’s size, throw it back onto a floured surface and punch it down. Divide it into three pieces. Lightly knead and shape each one and place it into the bread pans. Put a towel over them and let them rise again for 45 minutes. When they have risen to the tops of the pans, bake in the oven for about 40 minutes until golden brown. Slide from the pans, brush the tops with butter and then let cool.

Tips:

For easy slicing, wrap the cooled bread loaves with plastic wrap and toss into the fridge. Once the bread is chilled, you can easily slice with a jagged edged knife without the bread bending or squishing.

Golden Sweet Cornbread

Recipe By: bluegirl

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Spray or lightly grease a 9 inch round cake pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder. Stir in egg, milk and vegetable oil until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Women, Healing & Lore: Holly

Holly

Since today’s Ancient Calendar marks the season of the Holly King, (Read Here), I thought, what could be a better opportunity than right here and now to delve deeper into the folk medicine and lore of something we are all somewhat familiar with.

Holly actually has quite a few nicknames. For the Celtic Tree Month, we know it by Tinne, but it is also called, Christ’s Thorn, Bat’s Wings, Holm Chaste, Hulver Bush, Aquifolius and Hulm. It’s proper name would be quite the tongue twister, Ilex aquifolium or I. Opaca.

Here in the mountains, we know it as Holly and it’s something that stretches as far as landscaping to the table and wreaths inside our homes. And while today, most of us are oblivious to it’s true history or purpose, not so long ago, those dead and gone from these mountains, knew it all quite well.

While present day Pagans might plant Holly by the front door for protection, it wasn’t much different in times of old. Not only did people believe that Holy warded off evil spirits but they also believed it kept them safe from lightning, dark sorcery and poison.

People used to make something called, Holly Water. Was this the origins of “Holy Water”? They would make Holly Water by infusing water with Holly. This was used to protect babies, especially when they were first born, by sprinkling a few drops of the water upon their heads, much like baptism.

Holly was deemed so powerful, when thrown at wild animals, people believed it made them lie down and grow silent.

It was carried by people for luck – especially by men– and hung around the home at Yule for an extra dose of something special.

According to, Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Herbs, there was even a special ritual surrounding Holly. It had to be done on a Friday after Midnight, but if someone gathered nine Holly Leaves (from a smooth plant) and wrapped them in a white cloth created nine knots, then they could sleep with it under their pillow– making their dreams come true.

Medically, the leaves, berries and bark is used. The berries are actually harmful to people. Animals, however, love the Holly Bush. Deer eat them during winter. Birds feast on the berries and for those who keep rabbits, a stick placed in a rabbit hut, will give them something to gnaw in order to restore their appetites. A tonic, if you will.

In olden times, Holly was used to treat smallpox, pleurisy, fevers, rheumatism, and catarrh. It’s leaves were used in tea and because of it’s tannins, it is known as a good blood purifier, diuretic and was also, highly revered as a diaphoetic (which made it good for fevers and such).

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Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays: June 30th: A Goddess is born

 

Ceres, the Roman Goddess of Agriculture, will hold June’s hand so that the warm month will not have to go alone.

Rome made today sacred to her, BUT, not before the Greeks did, because Ceres was just another version of Demeter. Ceres being born of Rome around the year 496 BCE after  a horrible famine hit. The Sibylline Oracles assured the Fathers of Rome that they needed to adopt the Goddess in order to save them. It must have worked, because Ceres stayed, even though she was mostly worshiped by Women and the mysteries of her rites and rituals were kept between those women and NOT spoken to historians.

Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays: June 27th: Aestas & Arrhephoria

 

In Ancient History, Rome would have had a festival called Aestas, which happened to be their fabulous Summertime Goddess. It seemed fitting enough since today, on their calendar, was the first day of Summer. And the beginning of Summer didn’t lack its own superstitions either. In fact, if it was raining today, then that meant it would be a very wet season.

Rome rarely does anything without Greece adding its own touch. So while Romans do their thing, the Greeks will be having their own festival called Arrhephoria. This was all about their Goddess Athena, who supposedly brought about the dew of night. The observance, though, was really all about whom Athena sent to deliver the dew, which were four young girls of Noble decent called Hersphoroi which meant ‘dew bearers’. Now these ladies didn’t really deliver the dew but they were sent to the temple of Athena in Acropolis to join in during the services of the Goddess.

 

Magical Moon: June 27th, 2016

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On June 27th, 2016, the night shall bring forth the Last Quarter Moon, otherwise known as the Waning Moon.

This, again, is another Crone Moon, which can be used for any magic of decrease.  (Remember, that the New or Waning Moon is used for magics of increase.)

While the New Moon moves from Dark to Full, the Last Quarter moves from Full to Dark.

This is a good time to banish things you no longer need or want in your life. This is also a great time to reverse anything you may need to rework or to end things that need put to an end, like friendships, projects, relationships with those who are toxic or for lovers that are no longer needed in one’s life.

This is a time of retribution and a time to thank the Mother for all that she has given us—gardens, blessings and gifts.

Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays: June25: Ireland’s Beloved Aine

346050um2ybfg0hl.jpgLet’s step back in time and take a peak into Ancient Ireland where the shades of green were as vast as the sloping hills and endless sheets of sky.

On this day, the Irish would celebrate the Goddess Aine, who happened to be the lady of love and fertility. Maybe it is true that love is the most powerful thing of all because Aine was also the restorer of life – eternal life.

There was a Well, named Tobar-Na-Aine. Lore swears that the waters from this Well can bless the unhealthy with good health and give back the youth lost by those who are imprisoned by Age.

Aine takes the form of the leannan sidhe, when she appears to men. When not the Fairy Lover, she shape-shifts into the red mare.

Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays: June24 : Old Midsummers Day and the most Powerful Time to Gather Herbs

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For all those who love to dabble in herbs, it is said that today, plants are the most powerful. In days of old, herbs, plants and flowers were gathered all because many believed their magical powers were at an all time high.


And, if you celebrate Old Midsummers Day, as our Ancestors did, then feel free to light the bonfires on this night to celebrate the peak of the year.

Those who lived in England, Wales and Ireland celebrated Midsummers, which merged comfortably with the Summer Solstice.

Festivals were had all across the land with Pagans dancing and celebrating around huge fires as big as men could make them.


Ancient Egyptians would celebrate the Festival of the Burning of the Lamps on this day at Zau. Zau was a city that was positioned within the Nile Delta.