(S) Sabbat: Fall Equinox


While I don’t have a whole lot that I do on a regular basis, the Sabbats are something that I do make a point of acknowledging, even if it’s only briefly. Being Eclectic I do tend to sort of do my own thing – and while I do honor my God and Goddess, there are other aspects of the Sabbats that I honor as well.

I’m clearly a child of Fall, I relish in the crisp weather, the bright oranges and yellows as the leaves start to turn – that smoky smell in the air, of wood stoves or fireplaces that have been lit… and everything else that comes along with it. Spring runs a close second, but my true love is Fall. For quite a while I never quite knew what to do with myself on Mabon, and in truth I rarely call it that – preferring simply the Fall Equinox. At first glance it’s a sort of in between day – you’ve already celebrated one harvest, and if you really need to, there’s another one coming up… but that is the sort of beauty of it, when one takes a closer look (or at least there is for me).

Both Lughnasadh and Samhain have other components to them, that often overshadow their “harvest festival” aspect. So much so that I’ve really come to appreciate this particular day, as my actual day to celebrate the “harvests” of the year, and leave the other days to their other aspects. I rarely cook – it’s not something that I enjoy all that much and hubby is so much better at it than I am. He has that special gift of being able to throw things in a pot and no matter what it is, it almost always comes out amazing. A gift that I sorely lack. However on the Equinox, I usually will put forth the effort, and make it a true “thanksgiving” feast for the family.

This year, celebrations will be slightly tempered though – while I am thankful for a lot (and some things are a lot better than they were the last couple of years, so I am thankful), it’s been a pretty bad month so far. Even though it’s been almost 15 years, events earlier in the month brought the reality of my mother’s death crashing back down on me. Then – while I was still dealing with that, got a call from my dad that he likely has skin cancer, and (in his words) “hope for the best, but prepare for the worst”. He’s not the type to be overly melodramatic, so needless to say, I’m a bit worried. All of which is bad enough, but then came the worst part (yes… something worse than cancer), confirmation that one of my son’s teacher assistants was more than likely physically and verbally abusing him off and on last year. He’s autistic and completely non-verbal, so had no way to tell us what was going on, and we had absolutely no idea. This was someone we thought of as a friend, and needless to say we are devastated.

So… clearly not really in a festive, or thankful mood at the moment, but it’s still important for me to mark the turning of the Wheel. So I’m looking forward to cooking a bit of something good later on, and hopefully regaining some of the inner-balance that this day is good for.

Hope you and yours have a wonderful Sabbat!!

P.S… if anyone is in need of a good balancing ritual this is one I wrote several years back, feel free to use/modify as needed (please credit me though if you are posting it elsewhere). 🙂

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Spring Has Sprung


I woke up this morning, in complete darkness to the sound of thunder that was  loud enough to shake the whole house, and as much as I actually love thunder storms, there is always just a bit of tension and nervousness when things are that spectacular, due to the occasional tornadoes and other bad weather that we get from time to time. However after a brief jump out of bed to check the weather report, I was able to snuggle back down under the covers and enjoy listening to the sounds of the early morning storm.

Considering my wake up call, I was pleasantly surprised an hour or so later when I got the kids up for school to find that the rain had passed, and though there were some lingering dark clouds towering across the sky, it was shaping up to be an absolutely glorious Spring day, and appropriately so, today being the Equinox, and the “official” First Day of Spring. While I’m a true child of Autumn, Spring is always a close second. I love the still chilly mornings, the dew on the grass and leaves, how the grass starts to turn that perfect shade of green after being dead all winter. The tiny purple and white flowers gently poking up though the grass, and all the birds, and squirrels rushing around after being cooped up all winter. (which ok, let’s face it Winter here in central NC is often pretty lame at best, but we do what we can with it…lol).

I have to say that this morning Mother Nature out-did herself. The early rain was deep and cleansing, and even with the clouds, the air was crisp and fresh, and patches of blue and sunshine were poking out all over. I dropped my oldest off at school, turned right out of the parking lot, and beheld the most amazing rainbow I’ve seen in a very long time (a double one at that). Perfectly clear and bright, a complete 180° arc in the sky. Reminding me that this was truly a blessed day, and one that should be celebrated. Being the conscientiousness driver that I am, I pulled over into the nearest parking lot, to snap some pics and just soak up the stunning view. It’s really good to know I’m not the only crazy one in my town though, because when I was finally ready to move on, I saw there were at least 2 other cars in the lot who were busy taking pics as well. It was nice to see others appreciating such beauty.

On the way home I was treated to another rainbow as well, and by the time I got to the house the birds were out in force, and serenading the whole neighborhood. Taking a few extra moments, I captured a bit of their lovely music to remind me of this wonderful Spring day – which lucky you, I’m sharing below!! The pic doesn’t do the rainbow justice, but considering it was taken on a cell phone that is approximately 6+ years old, it could have turned out a lot worse.  I also learned some new things today, such as how to put a video together and edit audio files. Definitely a banner day!!

Hope yours goes just as well!!

Righting the Balance


I’ve not posted in a while, and truthfully I’ve been apathetic in my practices for the last few months. There are a lot of really stressful things going on in my life and to say that it has gotten me down would be an understatement to say the least.

I had made plans in August to celebrate Lughnasadh (as it is one of the Sabbats that has the most meaning to me personally), however those plans fell through at the last minute, so other than a quick “moment of silence” type thing, there really wasn’t much to write home about.

Even though it is difficult at best to find anything to be thankful for at this moment, as Mabon approached, I felt called to celebrate it. I usually do my balancing ritual at this time as well, and that is something I am in sore need of, so it was definitely appropriate that I heed the call.

I can honestly say things didn’t start out so well, my celebration actually spanned 2 days (not by choice). I spent about 2 hours on Monday cooking a most awesome (if I do say so myself) feast, only to realize at the very last minute that I was mistaken about the date. That hubby fell asleep before it was done cooking should have been a sign that “something” was not quite right, but yeah… it was a definitely ‘Doh moment. But I ate it anyways and it was really good.

Last night I held my ritual and for one who hasn’t done much recently, it went fairly well. Hubby sort of interrupted once, which threw my energy off just a bit, but it all worked out well in the end. I feel a lot better today than I have. I faced a few things, things that I have known, but have not really ever spoken out loud, and in saying them have hopefully begun to heal. I’ve been broken for awhile now, and trying to fix me has been difficult, but I am determined to get myself out of this hole I am in… and last night was a good first step. We’ll have to see how things go from here, but at least now there is shiny ray of light, whereas before there was only darkness.

Ostara


Well…unfortunately…this year my Ostara celebration consisted of a hasty communication with the Lord and Lady, while walking my dog. While it was also my oldest son’s b-day, my dad was also up for a visit, which pretty much ruled out any kind of actual ritual, since I am still more or less in the “broom closet” when it comes to the rest of my family, though at this point he may have more of a clue than he did. We spent the whole 4 days that he was here antiquing, and in one particular shop I found a little mini-book on Witchcraft from 1984 – very awesome!!! What wasn’t quite so awesome, was that as I was checking out, my dad comes up behind me and notices what I am buying. Other than making some crack about “arts and crafts”, he didn’t really say anything…I of course mumbled something stupid, and then let the whole thing drop (wishing desperately that I could sink into a dark hole somewhere). 35 years old, you think I wouldn’t care…

For those of you who are interested…here is a Balancing Ritual that I wrote last Mabon. The plan was to do it twice a year on the Equinoxes, though I obviously wasn’t able to do it this time.

BALANCING RITUAL

The Equinox…day and night are equal, so what better time is there for balancing the elements within ourselves.

What you need:

* 4 candles…green for earth, yellow for air, red for fire, and blue for water.
* Representations of the Elements… earth (the ground if you are outside or a bowl of dirt), air (incense or a breezy day), fire (already present if you have the candles), and a bowl of water, you can also use symbolic representations if you need to.

Note: if you do not have any of the above items that is fine, while they are helpful, they are not necessary (and of course if something else works better for you in terms of symbolism, you are welcome to use whatever works best for you as well). You can always simply visualize the elements when the time comes, if you don’t have actual representations of them.

How:

Find an quiet spot where you won’t be disturbed. Around your circle, make a small elements altar at each of the cardinal points, place a candle and the items at each one. The circle should be big enough that you can sit/stand comfortably in the center without disturbing the altars. When you have everything set up and are ready, ground and center, and then cast your circle. If you usually call the corners/guardians and invoke the Goddess, please feel free to do so. Once your circle is cast you can begin .

Stand in the center of your circle (if you feel called to do so raise your arms towards the sky) and say:

Spirit within me, Spirit without
Unbalance within me, unbalance without
Spirit within me, Spirit without
Bring balance within me, balance without

Take a few moments, meditate on the Spirit within us and the Spirit all around us. What are some things in your life that are making you feel unbalanced, spiritually mentally and physically?

When you are ready, turn to the East and say:

Air within me, Air without
Unbalanced within me, unbalanced without
Air within me, Air without
Bring balance within me, balance without

Take a few moments, take several deep cleansing breaths…feel the air as it enters your body and becomes a part of you, feel the air around you, take a few moments and meditate on the air that moves us. What do you need to move in your life, that will help to bring balance?

When you are ready, turn to the South and say:

Fire within me, Fire without
Unbalance within me, unbalance without
Fire within me, Fire without
Bring balance within me, balance without

Take a few moments, watch the candle flames as they dance and flicker, feel the warmth, look deep into the flame and take a few moments to meditate on the Fire that transforms us. What do you need to transform in your life, that will help to bring you balance?

When you are ready turn West and say:

Water within me, Water without
Unbalance within me, unbalance without
Water within me, Water without
Bring balance within me, balance without

Take a few moments and look into the water, see the ripples and reflections in its surface. Take a few moments and meditate on the Water that shapes us. What needs shaping in your life, that will help to bring you balance?

When you are ready turn North and say:

Earth within me, Earth without
Unbalance within me, unbalance without
Earth within me, Earth without
Bring balance within me, balance without

Take a few moments and feel the earth with your hands, feel the strong foundation it gives you, the security you feel as the earth cradles you in her arms. Take a moment and meditate on the Earth that heals us. What needs healing in your life, that will help to bring you balance?

Sit/stand quietly in the center for a few moments, reflect on the lessons of each elements. Feel each one connecting and flowing within, and without. When you are ready say:

Elements within me , Elements without
Now balanced within me, now balanced without
Spirit within me, Spirit without
Now balanced within me, now balanced without

When you are done, be sure to thank the God/ess and guardians (if you called on them), and then open your circle.