Lughnasadh


In  Your Own Words: This time of year is always a bit hard on me, being that it’s near to the anniversary of my mother’s death. One of the reasons why Lughnasadh has always been one of my favorite (well… not quite the right word, but it serves in this case) Sabbats, is that it the time that Lugh bade us celebrate in honor his foster mother Tailtiu, and as such it’s somewhat of a “mother’s day” celebration for me as well. It’s made even more poignantly appropriate by the fact that my mother-in-law and my mother’s best friend (who was like a second mother to me growing up), both also died during the month of August.

So tonight I will raise a glass in honor, tell a few stories, and try not to make it a total cry-fest, because that sort of defeats the purpose of celebrating a life well lived and loved. However even after all these years, it’s sometimes difficult not to break down completely at the thought of just how much the world has been lessened by the loss of these three amazing women. You are remembered, and loved – for now and forever!

On a bit of a lighter note – I did not bake any bread, however I did make pizza… does that count?

Musical Musings:

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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.