Tag: wicca

Samhain

Samhain

October 31 – November 1 (Northern Hemisphere)
April 30 – May 1 (Southern Hemisphere)

Throughout the world, Samhain is typically known as Halloween or All Hallow’s Eve is celebrated in the Northern Hemisphere. Historically, this was the last day of the calendar year to the Celts. It was a time when grazing days for cattle were over and the herds were either put away for winter or separated in preparation for slaughter. As such, Samhain is closely linked with death. Farmers have taken the last of their crops and gave the excess back to the Mother for the New Year. In Wicca, Samhain is the third and final of the harvest festivals. It is a time of death in the Earth when the final crops have been harvested and saved for the winter.

As the death of the Earth, Samhain is also a time for honoring those who have gone before us. The veil between worlds is thinnest during Samhain, and that allows for communication with the next world and receiving messages from our ancestors. Samhain is also called the Witch’s New Year. It may seem strange to have the beginning of the year in the fall, but it makes sense when you think about it deeper. This is a time of death, not only for the crops and herds but for the days as well. This is the time of the year when our days grow shorter and nights grow longer. It gets colder as well, in most places, and we know change is coming. Things are dying, and with dying comes change and new beginnings. We think about our hopes and dreams for the coming year and allow for our deaths (whether physical, mental, emotional, spiritual or otherwise) to bring us hope for a new beginning.

At Samhain, our beloved Goddess is in her Crone form and begins her descent with God into the underworld. She is the Old One who brings us wisdom from the year that has passed and allows us to let go of the things that are holding us back. Our beloved Lord is in the form of the Ancient One, following the Goddess to the underworld to recuperate and be reborn. The Ancient One, much like the Crone, brings us wisdom beyond our years and a knowledge of life after death.

There are many things you can do this night to honor the gifts that have been given to you by the God and Goddess as well as honoring the lives of those that have come before you. It is typical to celebrate with a feast of some sort and a ritual. However, not everyone knows their ancestors, or not everyone has anyone they know who has passed on. This is ok because even though you may not know who they are, they are still out there. This is a time of the year for them to roam closest to the veil and easily pass on messages to their kin (you!).

Samhain Correspondences and Associations

  • Life Cycle, specifically death
  • Last Harvest
  • Fall Colors (orange, black, red, yellow, etc.)
  • Pumpkins
  • Divination

Samhain Celebration Ideas

  1. Ancestor Altar: Decorate your altar with items passed down from your family, photos of passed on loved ones, and images of things that remind you of your ancestry. Meditate in front of your altar, taking time to be silent and receive messages from the beyond. If you have a Samhain feast, leave a plate of food and some drink on the altar as an offering to the deceased spirits of your ancestors, the God, and the Goddess. If you want, you can also leave an offering outside for the passing spirits who are making their journey to see their own loved ones.
  2. Light a white candle and place it in the window. This is believed to help guide the spirits when the veil is thin, so they can find their way in the darkness.
  3. Dumb Supper: Now, I know this one sounds a bit strange, but hear me out. If you don’t know what a dumb supper is, I’m going to explain it to you. A dumb supper is not a stupid dinner, as it sounds. It is simply a supper prepared and eaten in total silence with an empty place setting (or two, three, etc.). In total silence, the dead, as well as the Lord and Lady, are invited to feast with you for the evening. The meal is made, and places are set, including plate(s) for the physically empty seats. It is a time of reflection and communication between the living and dead and should be eaten in total silence. There should be no talking between guests, as this interrupts the spirits who will join you. As such, it is not a supper for children unless they can maintain total silence throughout the dinner.
  4. Take a nature walk! Experience the cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth for yourself in the beauty that is nature. Take a hike through the hills if you can, or go to a local park, and observe the changing scenery around you. Reflect on the time that has passed since the start of Spring and know in your heart that the death of the plants happens to make way for new life to come forward!
  5. Meditation for Samhain is also a wonderful way to celebrate. Essentially, you hit the “pause” button on life for a second and take the time to reflect on your life so far. Have you accomplished any goals recently? Have you let go of things that were holding you back? Has part of you “died” to make way for something better? Sit in a quiet space and meditate on these questions and any others that may come forward.

Hiding in Plain Sight

Image from Pixabay

Sometimes, practicing your craft and your faith will require hiding in plain sight. This can be for several reasons, but the most common is safety and professionalism. Now, I’m not talking about kids hiding things from their parents or guardians. That’s a different topic and one I will touch on at a later day. I’m talking about needing to hide your faith for specific job-related reasons, or public related reasons.

Do you work with the public? Do you live in an area that is predominately Christian? Do you have a mental illness that makes certain situations hard for you? There’s nothing wrong with needing to keep certain things to yourself to keep you safe, both mentally and physically. If you’ve grown up in an area that is mostly Christian, you might find this strange. In most Christian faiths, it is frowned upon to hide your faith. They expect you to shout your love for their God from the rooftops at any given moment.

That’s not always the case with Paganism and Wicca. If you have a job that requires discretion, it may be best to hide any jewelry or tattoos you have that might pertain to your faith. If you fear for your safety in any way, do not proclaim your faith just to do it. You should never put your safety on the line for your faith.

So what are some things you can do to hide in plain sight?

  1. Wear inconspicuous jewelry
    • Typically, people don’t pay any mind to random symbols that don’t hold a lot of weight. I have a necklace that has the triangular symbol for the element of water. If you didn’t know what it was, you would just think it was a pretty piece of triangular jewelry. Don’t deck yourself out in pentacles if it isn’t safe to do so.
  2. Meditation
    • Meditation doesn’t have to denote any faith at all, and I’ve found that it tends to be safe in most places. If anyone asks about it, you can say you’re doing it for spiritual or mental health reasons.
  3. Practice glamor magick
    • If you wear makeup, glamor magick is something quick and easy you can do on a regular basis. Your lipstick can be enchanted to help you speak with confidence. Your eyeshadow can be enchanted to help you see through murky situations. And best of all? Everyone will just think you’re wearing makeup!
    • Don’t wear makeup? This can be done with any piece of jewelry, handbags, etc. It doesn’t have to be makeup, it can be anything that you wear on your person regularly that wouldn’t bring any unwanted attention.

Do you practice your faith or craft in hidden ways? Leave your suggestions in the comments or reach out to me via e-mail or social media!

The Inner Mysteries by Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone || Book Review

The Inner Mysteries by Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone || Book Review

The Inner Mysteries: Progressive Witchcraft and Connection with the Divine

” A look into the underlying principles behind modern magic in Witchcraft, this investigation provides an integrated training system for both solitary Witches and coven-based trainees in the form of magical energy practice and cosmology. By fully explaining the values of Witchcraft, this work makes numerous Wiccan practices approachable, including Circle casting, raising energy, elemental work, and drawing down the moon. Illustrating how Wicca is a modern, nondogmatic, and dynamic tradition still in a state of evolution, this book also features a history of the spirituality of Witchcraft. ” – Amazon Description


This book was recommended to me by a fellow Wiccan when I was searching for a book that went deeper than your typical “Wicca 101”. For the most part, it does the job. This book gave me high hopes when, in the introduction, the following quote was written.

“If Wicca is to survive the next millennium, it must now come of age and accept the importance of its core spiritual beliefs in the scheme of things; beliefs that can unite true religions of healing in understanding and tolerance. It must also accept the truth of its origins as a new religion based on old wisdoms rather than a surviving remnant from the Middle Ages, if it is to truly become a spiritual path for a modern world. “

The Inner Mysteries: Progressive Witchcraft and Connection with the Divine (xxii)

This book touts itself as being fully progressive in its teachings. In chapter three, titled “At the Heart of Witchcraft: Spirituality and the Mysteries”, Janet and Gavin go into detail about the connection between modern Wicca and witchcraft with psychology, freemasonry, and the Fellowship of Crotona. They explain quite well that Wicca is a “mystery tradition”, but not in the way that many people think. They reinforce their idea that Wicca is a mystery tradition because the feelings and spirituality that is inherent within Wicca is a mystery to be experienced, not taught through a book.

I really enjoyed that the authors, Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone, made it known that Wicca is progressing and evolving, as it should, to ensure its survival as a modern faith.

“One of the markers of an advanced spiritual practice is that it is never static but is always evolving.”

The Inner Mysteries: Progressive Witchcraft and Connection with the Divine (Preface)

I do have at least one issue with this book, though, and that is the lack of separation between Wicca and witchcraft. Janet and Gavin say this in chapter two.

“We, personally, do not actually believe there is any difference between the words Witch and Wiccan […] The two main traditions refused to accept those from outside their traditions as Wiccan or even as ‘real Witches’. For many years, this divided the Witchcraft movement into two camps and has blurred the meaning of the words Witch and Wiccan purely for the sake of political expediency. This division has been perpetuated with the statement ‘All Wiccans are Witches, but not all Witches are Wiccans.’ Some of us who have been around for a while find this amusing…”

The Inner Mysteries: Progressive Witchcraft and Connection with the Divine (29-30)

Witchcraft is not exclusive to Wicca, and there are many cultures and religious groups around the world that practice some form of witchcraft. This paragraph by Janet and Gavin is misleading because it gives the allusion that you must be Wiccan to practice witchcraft. Just because the two words might have a common etymological root does not make them the same word with the same meaning.

Overall, I highly recommend this book. It has loads of good information and thought-provoking questions and theories. It also has several appendices that contain some “standard” correspondences that can be used as is or to build upon based on your own preferences.

Want to pick up a copy for yourself? Check it out HERE!

This link is an affiliate link. While it will not affect your purchase, I may earn a small commission if you choose to buy using this link.


Self Hatred is Poisoning Us All

Self Hatred is Poisoning Us All

Find the peace in your heart.

Self love and self confidence is a long and often hard road full of shadow work, fear, and stress. The unknown is a scary thing, and in today’s world we are bombarded with words and imagery that make us question our self love. We are taught to hate ourselves, because hate is fuel for the fire of capitalism. If we didn’t hate our bodies, cosmetic surgery wouldn’t be necessary. If we didn’t hate our waist size then diet fads, waist trainers, diet pills, and all those other products that are sold to us to make us love ourselves wouldn’t be necessary.

I don’t believe that you have to learn to love yourself before you can love others. In fact, it could quite possibly be the other way around. I love my boyfriend with every fiber of my heart and soul. I love my child the same. And my friends and other family. But I still struggle with self love on a daily basis. I constantly find myself thinking that I need to be thinner, have longer hair, be softer spoken, be fragile and meak. Because these are the images that we are fed every single day.

So how do we fight that? How can we fight the nagging, meanness, and intrusiveness of our self hatred and self loathing? If we can easily love other people, why is it so hard to love ourselves? I think it all boils down to two things: human nature and our capitalist society.

It’s human nature to want to fit in with the crowd. It was a survival strategy from centuries ago when it was necessary to be like everyone else or risk being shunned, kicked out of the herd, and dying on our own. The same thing happens now. Teens, young children, and even adults have been conditioned to follow the crowd. That it’s detrimental to our survival to stand out from the crowd and be different.

It also has a lot to do with our capitalist society. The images and words we are fed are picked up by the “in” crowd, whomever that may be, and distributed to the world through any influence possible. These things are then seen as what is normal and expected of the “herd” and we feel obligated to follow the crowd.

It can be a hard habit to break if it’s the way you’ve been living your entire life, and at this point it might be something you do on a subconscious level. The first step to breaking this cycle of self hatred is understanding why you believe the things you do about yourself. Is it a legitimate feeling? Or is it something you feel because society has told you that’s how you should feel? Your shadow harbors those answers, and shadow work plays a part in the process of unraveling these ideas.

Take me for example. I have always struggled with my weight and body image, ever since I was in 7th grade. For my non-US readers, that’s about 12 years old. I remember coming back from summer and being told by a classmate, that I still remember her name, “Wow Megan, you got fat”. This has stuck with me since then, and that was 15 years ago!

I’ve done fad diets, taken diet pills, fasted, spent 3+ hours in the gym at a time. And for what? I was still unhappy because I was being fed the images of thin beautiful women that I never even had a chance to look like because let’s face it, even they don’t look like their pictures.

It wasn’t until I worked on myself recently and switched my mindset from beauty standards to my own health and happiness that I was able to let go of those societal pressures. And guess what? I’m still a work in progress, and that’s ok!

So next time you have those negative thoughts, imagine that instead you were saying those things to the person you love most in the world. Would you say those things to them? No? So then why would you say it to yourself? Practice that, and begin your journey out of self hatred and into self love.

Persephone

Persephone

Persephone – cgaddictworld.deviantart

Persephone – The Poems of Sappho

I saw a tender maiden plucking flowers
Once, long ago, in the bright morning hours;
And then from heaven I saw a sudden cloud
Fall swift and dark, and heard her cry aloud.

Again I looked, but from my open door
My anxious eyes espied the maid no more;
The cloud had vanished, bearing her away
To underlands beyond the smiling day. [1]


Persephone [pər-ˈse-fə-nē] is the Greek Goddess of spring growth and the Goddess Queen of the underworld, married to Pluto (Hades). She is the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, and her myth explains the causes of Spring and Autumn. She was worshiped alongside her mother Demeter in the
Eleusinian Mysteries. She has many names, but the most common are Kore and Persephone. She is referred to as Kore when she is Earth-side, bringing Spring to the land by her return as Demeter rejoices. As Persephone, she is the Queen of the Underworld for the dark half of the year, aiding Hades in the receiving of the dead.

“The cult of Persephone was especially strong in Sicily and southern Italy, and besides the Eleusinian Mysteries at Eleusis there were sanctuaries to the goddess across the Greek world, most notably at Locri Epizephyrii, Mantinea, Megalopolis, and Sparta. Here annual festivities celebrated Persephone’s marriage and her picking of flowers. The Thesmophoria was a Greek-wide celebration of the goddess and her mother. Exclusive to women, it was held annually before the sowing period when sacrifices were made and putrefied pig’s remains were mixed with the seeds. Persephone, in her guise as Queen of the Underworld, was often appealed to in curse tablets and on the inscribed gold leaves buried with the dead followers of Orphism which gave instructions on how to conduct themselves in the after-life.” [2]

Her myth is controversial because of the many interpretations and the name of one of the myths. The Rape of Persephone has been interpreted metaphorically as well as literally, and it is up for personal interpretation as well. I believe that Persephone was at first taken against her will, given to Hades by Zeus to be his wife, but later, when offered the pomegranate seeds, she ate them of her own free will. She did this knowing that once you eat the fruit of the Underworld, you cannot leave.

You can read pieces of the myth below from Homer, and I will link to other sites as well so you can make your own interpretation. There are many ways you can honor Persephone in your life and practice. One of the main things to do to honor Persephone is to leave offerings of fresh flowers on your Altar. According to Theoi.com, asphodel is a sacred flower to Her [3]. If you have this available to you, this would be the recommended offering. Another offering would be anything related to pomegranates. You can also learn her hymns and recite them. One is listed for you below.

[28] XXVIII. TO PROSERPINE [PHERSEPHONE]

A Hymn.
Daughter of Jove [Zeus], almighty and divine, come, blessed queen, and to these rites incline:
Only-begotten, Pluto’s [Plouton’s] honor’d wife, O venerable Goddess, source of life:
‘Tis thine in earth’s profundities to dwell, fast by the wide and dismal gates of hell:
Jove’s [Zeus’] holy offspring, of a beauteous mien, fatal [Praxidike], with lovely locks, infernal queen:
Source of the furies [Eumenides], whose blest frame proceeds from Jove’s [Zeus’] ineffable and secret seeds: 
Mother of Bacchus [Eubouleos], Sonorous, divine, and many-form’d, the parent of the vine:
The dancing Hours [Horai] attend thee, essence bright, all-ruling virgin, bearing heav’nly light:
Illustrious, horned, of a bounteous mind, alone desir’d by those of mortal kind.
O, vernal queen, whom grassy plains delight, sweet to the smell, and pleasing to the sight:
Whose holy form in budding fruits we view, Earth’s vig’rous offspring of a various hue: 
Espous’d in Autumn: life and death alone to wretched mortals from thy power is known:
For thine the task according to thy will, life to produce, and all that lives to kill.
Hear, blessed Goddess, send a rich increase of various fruits from earth, with lovely Peace;
Send Health with gentle hand, and crown my life with blest abundance, free from noisy strife;
Last in extreme old age the prey of Death, dismiss we willing to the realms beneath, 
To thy fair palace, and the blissful plains where happy spirits dwell, and Pluto [Plouton] reigns. [4]


Orpheus – Myths of the World

“Demeter, knowing that one of the Gods had carried off Persephone against her will, and knowing that what was done had been by the will of Zeus, would go no more into the assemblies of the Olympians. She quenched the torch that she had held in her hands for nine days and nine nights; she put off her robe of Goddess, and she went wandering over the earth, uncomforted for the loss of her child. No longer did she appear as a Goddess gracious to men; no longer did she bless their fields. None of the things that it pleased her once to do would Demeter do any longer.” [5]


Homeric Hymn – The Rape of Persephone – III The Return of Persephone

“Now when all-seeing Zeus the loud-thunderer heard this, he sent Argeiphontes [Hermes] whose wand is of gold to Erebos, so that having won over Aides with soft words, he might lead forth chaste Persephoneia to the light from the misty gloom to join the gods, and that her mother might see her with her eyes and cease from her anger. And Hermes obeyed, and leaving the house of Olympos, straightway sprang down with speed to the hidden places of the earth. And he found the lord Aides in his house seated upon a couch, and his shy mate with him, much reluctant, because she yearned for her mother. But she was afar off, brooding on her fell design becuase of the deeds of the blessed gods. And strong Argeiphontes [Hermes] drew near and said : ‘Dark-haired Aides, ruler over the departed, father Zeus bids me bring noble Persephone forth from Erebos unot the gods, that her mother may see her with her eyes and cease from her dread anger with the immortals; for now she plans an awful deed, to destroy the weakly tribes of earth-born men by keeping seed hidden beneath the earth, and so she makes an end of the honours of the undying gods. For she keeps fearful anger and does not consort with the gods, but sits aloof in her fragrant temple, dwelling in the rocky hold of Eleusis.’
So he said. And Aidoneus, ruler over the dead, smiled grimly and obeyed the behest of Zeus the king. For he straightway urged wise Persephone, saying : ‘Go now, Persephoneia, to your dark-robed mother, go, and feel kindly in your heart towards me : be not so exceedingly cast down; for I shall be no unfitting husband for you among the deathless dods, that am own brother to father Zeus. And while you are here, you shall rule all that lives and moves and shall have the greatest rights among the deathless gods : those who defraud you and do not appease your power with offerings, reverently performing rites and paying fit gifts, shall be punished for evermore.’
When he said this, wise Persephoneia was filled with joy and hastily sprang up for gladness. But he on his part secretly gave her sweet pomegranate seed to eat, taking care for himself that she might not remain continually with grave, dark-robed Demeter. Then Aidoneus Polysemantor (Ruler of Many) openly got ready his deathless horses beneath the golden chariot. And she mounted on the chariot, and strong Argeiphontes [Hermes] took reins and whip in his dear hands and drove forth from the hall, the horses speeding readily. Swiftly they traversed their long course, and neither the sea nor river-waters nor grassy glens nor mountain-peaks checked the career of the immortal horses, but they cleft the deep air above them as they went. And Hermes brought them to the place where rich-crowned Demeter was staying and checked them before her fragrant temple.” [6]


Sources

[1] The Poems of Sappho – Persephone
[2] Ancient History Encyclopedia
[3] Theoi.com – Asphodel and Persephone
[4] Hymn to Persephone
[5] Orpheus – Myths of the World
[6] Rape of Persephone


I will never feel like I do Persephone justice. She is a Goddess that I feel extremely drawn to and it is hard to explain the feeling I get when I think of Her. To me, She is protection and justice as well as innocence and love. Veneration is a word that sticks in my head when I think of Her, and it fits.


Thoughtful Thursday

If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?

I’ve thought about this before, but I don’t think I have one solid answer because there’s so much that I want to know. We know that history is written by the victor, and most often, the victor tainted the story of how things happen. I’d like to go back in time to witness the building of Stonehenge. It has always been a mystical place to me that one day I hope to visit. Seeing images of Stonehenge during the Solstices gives me a strange sense of nostalgia.

It would make my scientific brain happy to see how they managed to build such a great monument. The physics and mechanics that had to go into standing the stones upright and stacking the stones on top have to have been phenomenal for their time.

It would make my spiritual heart happy to speak with the ancient peoples and ask why it was built. What was their purpose in building such a beautiful monument that aligns perfectly with the Solstices? Was their a greater purpose? Were they called upon by a local spirit or deity? My heart just yearns to know, even though I know I never will.


What is thoughtful Thursday? This is something I created to give everyone a chance to dig deep into their spiritual selves and answer some questions that require a bit of thought. How do you participate? Well, you can comment here, post about it on Instagram, or use the question as a prompt for your own blog post! Whatever you write, drop me a link in the comments! I would love to read it!



Next week’s question: How do you define your faith? Be as specific or vague as you’d like!


The Wiccan Rede: Things to Remember

The Wiccan Rede is one of the core tenants that Wiccans follow. It states “An’ it harm none, do what ye will”, and is open for interpretation depending on your path and tradition. Just because it is a core tenant, though, doesn’t mean there isn’t some confusion about it. Here are some things to consider.

  • Rede does not mean law.
    • The word “rede” comes from the Old English word
       ræd, which means counsel or advice [1]. When you quote the Rede to someone, which you should only do if you are 100% positive that person also follows the Rede, remember that the Wiccan Rede is not a law in Wicca. The Rede is a guideline that Wiccans follow, and for that reason, is up for interpretation.

  • Sometimes doing nothing is worse than doing something.
    • If you’re applying the Wiccan Rede to every aspect of your life, and not just the magickal part, you need to take into consideration the fact that your inaction can be just as harmful as your action. I’m going to use an extreme example here, because I think it makes the point a little easier. Keep in mind that sometimes situations in life are not this black and white.
    • Say you’re driving along the highway and you witness an accident. The car that crashed looks pretty bad and rolls at least once. And you keep driving. You don’t dial the emergency number and you don’t stop to see if the driver and/or passengers are ok. In this situation, your lack of action can lead to devastating consequences for the people in the car that crashed. This example is extreme, and I would hope no one would do this.
    • The Rede can also lead to some ethical dilemmas. For example, say you notice that a coworker whom you get along with is stealing supplies from work. You’ve tried speaking with them, but they deny what they’re doing even though you’ve witnessed it first hand. You don’t want this coworker to get into trouble or get fired, but you know that what they are doing is wrong. So, do you inform your superiors and, in the process, potentially hurt the employee in one way or another? Or do you let the coworker continue what they’re doing and possibly hurt the employer? And, if you let it continue and the superiors find out anyway, will that also affect you if they find out you knew? Does your answer change depending on the workplace? It is an international corporation? Is it a “mom and pop” store? Does your answer change depending on what the coworker is taking? Are they taking pens and paper? Or are they taking toilet paper and extra food left in the fridge?

  • The Rede is only eight words.
    • Despite popular belief, the Wiccan Rede is not a long, many-lined piece of prose. There are several works published that include the Wiccan Rede in a longer form, most of them adaptations of The Rede of the Wiccae by Gwynne Thompson, who founded the New England Coven of Traditional Witches in 1972 [2]. The only part of the prose that is the Rede itself is this: “An’ it harm none, Do what ye will”.

  • The Rede is not as old as you think it is.
    • The first recorded use of the Wiccan Rede that I can find in any research is that of a speech given by Doreen Valiente in 1964. I can’t for the life of me find a copy of this speech because I’m interested in it for several reasons, but many people believe that the Rede is based on more than one other person’s writing. It is even believed that Doreen Valiente took words from Gardner and made them more, archaic sounding, for lack of a better word [3].

  • The Rede is not for everyone.
    • This is something that I see all the time and it bothers me as much as the people that are on the receiving end of it. As Wiccans, we know that other Wiccans should follow the Rede. It is part of our practice and faith. However, there are others out there who practice witchcraft who are not Wiccan, and therefore do not have to follow the Rede or any tenants of Wiccan faith. Witchcraft has been around far longer than the faith of Wicca, and we cannot expect, nor should we, that every other witch out there will be Wiccan. Do not, under any circumstances, throw the Wiccan Rede at people when they talk about hexing, cursing, jinxing, or any other form of magick that would be frowned upon in Wicca. It is rude, disrespectful, and extremely ignorant to do so. You can disagree with their path, that’s fine, but do not pass judgement on someone else because their practice and faith are different than yours.

Sources
[1] https://www.etymonline.com/word/rede
[2] http://www.nectw.org/
[3] http://www.waningmoon.com/ethics/rede3.shtml

What makes an altar?

I was sitting at my altar this morning, just for a few minutes, taking a quiet moment to myself before I left for work. It occurred to me that my altar doesn’t look how I wished it would, but that’s ok. There’s a lot of extenuating circumstances around my altar and why it looks the way it does.

I don’t have candles or incense on my altar. There’s a few reasons for this, mainly allergies to fragrances and the fact that I have a cat. My mother, whom we share a house with, has an extra sensitive nose and extreme allergies to a lot of fragrances and botanicals. I don’t have candles because, frankly, I don’t have enough room for more than what I have there.

Instead, I simply focus on the fact that I’ve got my cloth calendar handing on the wall, my Goddess figure, my tarot cards, and a few crystals. The things on my altar are things that mean a lot to me and remind me of who I am and what I believe.

We see a lot of intricate and beautiful altars on social media. You know the ones. They *scream* aesthetic, with their beautiful flowers, many colors, and all the tools. I guess I made this post here to remind you that, no matter how long you’ve been practicing, your altar is personal to you and your deities. It can be as elaborate as you want or as simple as you want. This is your reminder to not chase the aesthetic of an intricate altar and, instead, do what feels right between you and your Gods.


Yule 2018 – Finding our Tree

This past weekend, we went on an adventure. Here in Central Oregon you have the ability to purchase a permit to go cut your own tree down rather than paying the $50-ish dollars for the ones they bring in specifically to sell. So, that’s what we did!

With my dad in the driver seat, we drove up through Sisters, OR, to the national forest. We took one of the forest roads up to the top of one of the mountains with the forest roads covered in snow. The dog had an amazing time running around in the snow, sniffing all the things. The child had fun too, running around in the snow and looking at all the trees. She shook a tree covered in snow and had a good laugh when the snow on the branches landed all over her head. 

Eventually we found the tree that we thought would be perfect for us. My dad and my boyfriend spotted it first, so we pulled over to the side of the forest road while they got out of the truck and made sure the tree was acceptable and didn’t break any of the rules. They said it was good, and we got out and helped them get it down and into the back of the truck. 

The rest of the evening was spent trimming it to get it into the house, eating chili made from a family recipe, and decorating the tree. My family celebrates Christmas while I celebrate Yule, but that doesn’t stop us all from enjoying the season and holidays together! 

Do you have any plans for Yule or the Winter Solstice?

Also, stay tuned for the Yule Special podcast episode, coming to Patreon next week for the patrons, and December 17th for everyone else!

Theme: Overlay by Kaira All content (C) Megan Black
Currently in Oregon