valarltd: (pagan)
Blessed Solstice. It's the last full moon on a summer solstice until 2093. I probably won't see that one. I didn't see the last one, since I was about 4 inches long and trying to grow eyebrows and ears. (yeah, that latter went well)

In the liminel space between the setting of the sun and the rising of the full moon, I went out.
I welcomed the coming dark, as I welcome the growing light at Yule.
I reset the wards.
And I said the oldest moon prayer I know, the one I learned not more than two years after the last full moon Litha.

"I see the Moon
The Moon sees me
Gods bless the Moon
And Gods bless me."

And inside, the little girl who wasn't quite 2 when the moon landing happened yelled, "Anhee want go moom!" as she always does.
valarltd: (pagan)
This was the new moon.

There was a binding to be done. Mother Hera was most receptive to it. I expect interesting times will be coming a certain jerk's way.

And tonight, on the first night of the waxing moon, we did a job and fortune working.
I called in Everyone that seemed necessary. My own pantheon, of course, and the Celtic, Norse and Egyptian ones as well.

It's probably not a good sign when I can't make it through the dismissal of the quarters and collapse after a rit. Or maybe it is. Suffice to say the little living room was crowded and not just with the five humans.

We called in sixteen different deities. Of course it was sixteen. I always work in 16s. (I'm amused because I didn't count when I was writing it.)

I've never worked with Egyptians before, outside of fiction. They're...interesting in the terrifying kind of way.
valarltd: (pagan)

Welcome the growing light.
Hail Sol Invictus!
valarltd: (pagan)
3 parts witch hazel extract, vodka, or gin
1 part distilled water
Fresh, organically grown roses or rose petals

Mix the witch hazel (or vodka or gin) with the distilled water. Place the fresh roses in a quart jar. Completely cover the roses with the alcohol mixture, adding enough extra that the alcohol mixture rises 2 to 3 inches above the flowers. Cover tightly and place in a warm, shaded area. Let the mixture sit for 2 to 3 weeks.

Strain out the roses and rebottle the water for use. Rose water does not need refrigeration, but storing it in a cool place will prolong its shelf life.
valarltd: (pagan)
This is to attract whatever you Desire

6 drops rose oil
6 drops sandalwood
3 drops ylang ylang
3 drops ginger
2 drops patchouli
Read more... )


May. 1st, 2013 08:03 pm
valarltd: (pagan)

Be glad, for Summer is a coming in!

My taste is probably questionable for including this one, but Christopher Lee leading a round of the oldest known song in the English language? I cannot resist.

valarltd: (yule)
The days grow shorter as the Sun stays abed later and retires earlier every day. The dark Holly King sends cold blasts from the north, reveling in the darkness of Mother Night. And we shiver and count our pennies, and assess our stores to last through until summer, when there is food again.

In the midst of this comes Yule. On the Winter Solstice, the night is the longest it will be, and the day is less than eight hours long. But on this night, Mother gives birth to the new Sun, who will grow in strength and power and warm us once again. Many pagans will watch, all the long night through, to see the sun rise on the Solstice.

In technical terms, the Solstice occurs when the Sun reaches its southernmost declension of 23.5 degrees. That means the Earth’s axis is tilted exactly 23.5 degrees away from the Sun. He roams in the Tropic of Capricorn and leaves those of us up north to shiver. This year, it happens at 11:12(GMT) on December 21, which is 06:12 in New York City.

Yule is one of the eight great Sabbats on the pagan Wheel of the Year. Sabbats occur on the Solstices, the Equinoxes and on four Cross-Quarter days in-between. Some traditions believe the year ends on Samhain (Nov 1) and the new one does not begin until Yule. Many traditions celebrate it, usually in the same ways, with somewhat different myths attached to it.

Hellenic Reconstructionists often celebrate the Roman Saturnalia, or Sol Invictus. The former honors Saturn, the latter is the birth of the Unconquerable Sun. This was a time of feasting and revelry, with gifts given and a special market, along with conventional temple sacrifices and rituals. One of the features that is unique to this celebration is the role-reversal, where slaves would be allowed to gamble, to eat with and celebrate with their masters. This later found its way into the Feast of Fools/Lord of Misrule customs.

Yule itself comes from the Norse and Germanic peoples. Many of the customs associated with this time of year are from here. The feasting was a way to celebrate the returning light. The trees were decorated with tokens to ensure a good harvest, and in some towns they still go out and wake the orchards on Yule. As it became unsafe to do this openly, the decorated trees moved inside. Ornaments became cookies in place of cider soaked bread, or strings of berries instead of little boats holding bits of holy day meals. Evergreens symbolized hope of returning spring, and their boughs were also used in wreathes. Many would weave these on modranect, Mother’s Night, which corresponds to Christmas Eve. They would be made and imbued with wishes and blessings and protection for the families. Mother’s Night was marked into the 19th century, with the mother or grandmother of the house watching the night through and committing the children to the protection of Mother Mary. The Yule log, burned for the twelve nights of the holiday, is also from these parts, where it would be decorated with holly and inscribed with protective runes.

Celts celebrated Mean Geimredh, Mid-Winter. They welcome the rebirth of the Sun on this day when the Year-Wheel stops turning for an instant. It is a time of reflection, of looking backward at the year past, and forward to the new year. The Oak and Holly Kings, nature gods who fight for dominance at the Solstices may be honored as well. The Oak King wins the fight at Yule, and reigns for six months, causing the days to grow longer and the plants to grow. Their rituals are heavily influenced by Norse and Germanic rituals, from the many invasions, but from them, we get the Holly and Mistletoe. This was the time of year when Druid priests harvested it, to be used in medicine and ritual and fertility rites all year long. Holly was used to decorate doors and windows and keep out the evil spirits thought to walk abroad more during the cold winter nights.

So feast and light candles against the darkness. Welcome the returning light and take hope from the green that soon, all will be green again.

This is a repost from Reviews by Jessewave, originally published in 2010. Solstice times have been adjusted.


Mar. 6th, 2012 05:38 pm
valarltd: (pagan)
Talking about magic today.

Magic absolutely works. To understand why, you have to know what magic is. It's applied will. Applying my will to my small corner of the universe changes me and changes that corner. So things change.

It is not bibbity-bobbity-bo, or turning people into frogs (has anyone run the amount of energy needed for that level of matter conversion lately?). It's pretty much, as I practice it, headology.

Headology is not psychology, although it is related. A psychologist tells you there are no monsters. A headologist gives you a bat and a chair to stand on.

One of my best examples of magic:
During my first two pregnancies I got deathly ill. Just sick as could be, insomniac to the point of hallucination. There was no physical cause to these.

For my third and fourth, I wore a fertility rune. It was a piece of clay, the rune made by Sharpie, with nothing supernatural about it. But it let me focus my subconscious psychosomatic problems on it, and I had much easier pregnancies.

That is magic. It's focusing will to create an effect.

It always works, provided you understand what magic is and isn't.
valarltd: (collect lives)
Quote of the Day:
"We've all heard that we have to learn from our mistakes, but I think it's more important to learn from successes. If you learn only from your mistakes, you are inclined to learn only errors."
---Norman Vincent Peale

The best news I got all day:
My mother's blood work for December shows her white blood cells at near normal levels. She hasn't had that in YEARS. She said she though her normally staid dr was going to bounce up and down.

The Writer's Aid Department:

25 things Writers should stop doing. RIGHT NOW! We all do some of them. Some of us do all of them. I'm particularly guilty of 22: overpromising and overshooting. (I don't chase trends, I tend to run a year early)

The "Shape it Up" department:

9 Best fitness moves. Give it a try.

From the Political Desk:

We all know that Romney beat Santorum by 8 votes in Iowa and Ron "The Demented Little Terry Brooks Character With a Gold Card" Paul made a strong third place. And I will maintain my dignity and not get myself into a froth of puns about Santorum surging from behind in Iowa to come out number two. I'm a better person than that. Apparently not.

Alabama considering personhood legislation. These forced birthers will not be happy until 70% of women are in jail for miscarriage, and 40% are on death row for abortions.

Obama appoints Richard Cordray to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Plutocrat Republicans howl. If we're protected from their predation, their profits will be lower!

Republican Pro-Life plank mates with States Rights and takes next logical step: Let states ban birth control!

The "Hard At Work" department:

8 Jobs with Bright Outlooks. Nanoengineering technlogist? It's fun living in the future!

The "Bracing for the Zombie Apocalypse" department:

Top 10 Survival Manuals to Download. Everything from dentistry and field surgery to canning and knitting.

Gardening in January. Come the apoc, we'll have to grow our own, and the Pagan Soccer Mom has some awesome links for everything from planning to containers to seed starting.

10 Survival Skills for a post Collapse world.

The "I totally stole that for my book" department:

8 Gratuitously Violent Horror Movie Scenes (From the Bible). It's, so appropriate warnings. And I used Numero Uno in Power in the Blood.

The Sacred Circle department:
January Correspondences. Two of my goddesses are listed. Also, it's National Hobby Month.

National Hobby Month:

I am making this shawl in an ocean blue. I've finished the middle back triangle.

Today's piece was number one the week I was born

valarltd: (kitchenwitch)
This has been knocking around the Net for years. Me, I'm a cross between the Monster Truck pagan, the Techno-pagan and I am not Spock (at the Moment). I'm aspiring to Faerie Queen.

Field Guide to Neo-Paganism

Bright-Eyed Novice
You just read this cool book about a religion where there’s a Goddess and a God, and they meet outside in nature, instead of some scary old building. They think sex is good not evil, and you want to know where to sign up.
Distinguishing Signs: Mispronounces god/dess names, has to think a moment about which is deosil and which is widdershins. Has a shiny new athame (rhymes with “A-frame”.)
Read more... )
valarltd: (pagan)
So, Students of the Golden Bough had its first official full moon. We'd done an unofficial in November and a Yule celebration, but this was the first one as an official group.

We gathered at one of our number's apartment for a four-fold ritual.

One of ours is pregnant and we did a belly blessing for her.
Then we did a house blessing for the apartment.
Then, Olivia had her Maidening.

For those who are not pagan, a Maidening occurs soon after a girl's first period.

She had a nice warm meditation bath with pink roses, myrtle, maidenhair fern, lady's mantle and her own namesake, olive, in it.

When she came out, she put on her new yellow robe. We all wore masks for the quarters, a color appropriate to it and something red. Except me. I wore black as the Crone.

We welcomed her and Liza, her worn, one-eared, stuffed bunny into our circle. We all had a toy of our own and introduced Olivia to this very special part of our childhood.

Then toys and childhood were set aside, and she was crowned with white, pink and red roses and received a gift from each of the quarters: an incense burner, god and goddess candles, a bowl for water and a pouch with four stones.

Bun took her to the altar and gave her bitter tea (Tension tamer, no sugar), because there will bitterness, sorrow and heartbreak as an adult. Then she had honeycakes, because there is sweetness too.

Everyone had honeycakes, with the words "Remember thou art goddess (now take your cookie)."
My honeycake fell off the plate. I picked it up with the words "And mine decided to ground itself." We knew then that Trudy, Mama Dragon, was watching over the rit and Olivia. So we raised the cookies in honor of Mama Dragon.

The (very!) sweet red wine was a symbol that she had become a woman, bound in blood as sister and daughter, mother and friend to all women.

Then her toy was given back with the admonition to remember to play and keep a childlike heart.
Olivia, Maiden of the Grove!
(Remember thou art goddess, now take your cookie)

Then we consecrated the Grove. There are seven of us in Students of the Golden Bough, five women, two men. It's powerful and I think we'll be around for a while. Now to figure out who is hosting Imbolc.
valarltd: (pagan)
It's Samhain again.

The Sun lies abed until nearly seven, where I am, and he retires earlier each evening. And he'll be lazier and lazier until the Solstice. I think it's because he's not himself, but rather a ghost, haunting us until his rebirth.

The trees are orange and yellow and red. Some are still deep green, others are nearly bare. Rough Brother North Wind shakes and rattles and does his best to strip them bare so he can dance among their nakedness.

The garden is still putting out cherry tomatoes and carrots. I expect we'll see a couple until Thanksgiving, but everything else has died. Time to mow it off and prepare for next year.

The wheel has turned decisively to Night. Mother Night spreads her long hair, all the stars caught in it like cold diamonds. Orion hunts his way across the sky, with his faithful hounds at his heels.

Cernunnos hunts the night sky tonight. Astride his jet black steed, his huntsmen likewise on horses or he-goats, accompanied by black dogs with eyes like saucers, he hunts the souls of the dead that have gone wandering in this last year. None see him pass in safety, and mortals may be taken along to the Land of the Dead.

For tonight, the walls between the worlds are thin. The living cross more easily, and our beloved dead return to remind us that they do not forget us so we should not forgeth them. As a pagan prayer for the dying says "We are here and the beloved dead await. Go from love into love."

Darkness and Love.
The Wheel Turns.
valarltd: (pagan)
Since I'm not there, I've been doing a little searching and thinking and meditating.

What do I believe?
Why do I believe it?
Where do I go from here?

My Articles of Faith:
We are all part of the universe. We are energy made material for a little while by way of E=mc^2. Which means there's a lot of energy invested in each of us and if we press on our corner of reality right, we can affect the whole.

Gods are the constructs we make to understand the universe (given reality and power by the energy we lend them). Myths are the stories we tell ourselves about the way the world works. Both of these are vital and true, but should not be taken for fact.

The gods only affect us if we allow them to, by believing in them. A few have enough power, lent them by other people in our lives, or previously by us, to affect us if we don't/no longer believe in them.

Truth and fact have very little to do with each other. Facts are usually true. Truth encompasses many things that have no relationship to fact at all. All myths are true, because they fill a need in the hearer and the teller, a need to understand the world around them. Does observed fact bear out the idea of turtles all the way down? No, of course not. But the story is still true.

Now, where do I go from here?
I've been thinking a lot this fall. I'm not entirely happy with my church. One one hand, I see myself as in a position to do something about the problems I see in it. On the other, I keep asking myself if I really have that much time and energy to devote to anything, especially other people.

I am radically selfish. I hoard my time and energy jealously. I get it. My writing gets it. My company gets it. My family gets it. Anything left over goes out to other people. That is NOT a good quality in a spiritual leader.

I resent being made to leave the house these days. Even for work and grocery shopping, I resent it. And I find this deeply troubling. I blow off a lot of things I want to do. "Writer's Group? nah. Church? do I gotta? Chili cook-off and craftfair? Bleh. Gay pride? Whine, please no." (I did go out to Pride yesterday, but I almost didn't) This scares me, because it's a sign of addiction and a sign of budding agorophobia.

It would be easier to go solitary, show up for sabbats and do my own thing otherwise. It'd probably be healthier for me in the long run. BUT.

I'm a woman of a certain age. I grew up with a sense of obligation to the whole universe for simply letting me exist. I want Oli to grow up with a better spiritual connection than I have. Do these outweigh my selfishness, my need to husband my energy so I can make it through another week of work, another deadline, another tutoring session or another band concert? I haven't decided yet.
valarltd: (yule)
(art by [ profile] walkerminion)

Hunting the wren
Oh where are you going, said Milder to Moulder
Oh we may not tell you said Festel to Fose
We´re off to the wood, said John the Red Nose
We´re off to the wood, said John the Red Nose

And what will you do, said Milder to Moulder
For we may not tell you, said Festel to Fose
We´ll shoot the cutty wren, said John the Red Nose
We´ll shoot the cutty wren, said John the Red Nose

Oh how will you cut him up, said Milder to Moulder
Oh we may not tell you, said Festel to Fose
With knives and with forks , said John the Red Nose
With knives and with forks , said John the Red Nose

And who´ll get the spare ribs said Milder to Moulder
Oh we may not tell you, said Festel to Fose
We´ll give them all to the poor, said John the Red Nose
We´ll give them all to the poor, said John the Red Nose

Although this song is often associated with the Peasants Revolt of 1381, it is a relic of a much older ritual. The Wren is the Little King of the Waning Year. He is found hiding in a holly bush by Robin Redbreast, who kills him.

On Yule, the Mother has come fully pregnant. Her time is at hand and as the old Sun dies into the longest night, she births the new one. The Holly King, her lover, is not pleased by this reminder of his brother and rival, the Oak King.

Mother informs the Holly King it is time for him to go.
No king wants to lay down his crown, and he damnds to know why he must leave and who will make him. Life is beautiful. He loves the cold and frosty stars, the icy wind, the way the snow blankets the world.

Mother smiles and tell him all times change and if he does not step down for the child she carries, even he will die forever. Without the light of the Sun, there will be no growth, no plants, only ice and snow forever. Even his green leaves will shed and die. Everything comes and everything goes. And all that dies is reborn. But without the Sun there will be no rebirth.

She lays his hands on her belly and the Holly King feels the life within her. The warmth comes out even through her body and he melts, tears on his face like dripping icicles.

From out of the growing light of the East comes a young and handsome man. He steps to his aged brother and lays a warm hand beside his face. "It is time."

The Holly King nods, knowing that in time all things are reborn, even he. "I do this for the people, that they may have light and harvest again."

"We thank you for keeping the land safe during the time of Darkness." The Oak King draws forth a sickle and decapitates his brother.

Mother picks up the severed head of her lover and kisses it. "Go into the west. It is the Oak King's time. The wheel always turns."

She covers his body with a blanket of snow and steps into the dawning light of the newborn Sun with her lover, the Oak King.
In this, the darkest season of the year, we are hard pressed to remember things change, they always change. The warm days of summer seem far away. The garden is dead and brown. Even here, in the south, we picked the last tomatoes a month ago. The sun, on days he decides to come out, is pale and weak and far away. He lays abed long and retires early, and we want to do the same.

But now, he has been reborn. The days will grow longer. Night will come later and day will come earlier. We may not see immediate life and growth, but soon. In six weeks, early green shoot will start to appear. The trees will bud out, in ghostly haloes of yellow and red and orange and green.

The wheel always turns. Light goes but it always returns. Carry the light with you today and into the fading darkness.

The holly and the ivy,
When they are both full grown
Of all the trees that are in the wood
The holly bears the crown

The rising of the Sun
And the running of the deer
The playing of the merry pipes
As we all sing with cheer.

The holly bears a berry
As red as any blood
The Goddess bears the Solstice Sun
To allow our hopes to bud

The rising of the sun
And the running of the deer
The Green Man and the Holly King
Are always welcome here.
valarltd: (zoo)
Dollface is 8

She brought home a flier from school. It came from the Assembly of God church family fest. "Meet the Real Iron Man! Jesus!" "Trunk or Treat! Sun Nov 2" etc etc.

She said "it's only for Christians, right?" as she carried it to the wastebasket.

I said "No, they want nonchristian kids to come so they'll learn about Jesus and become Christian."

She dropped it in the trash. "Well, I'm not falling for THAT trick."
valarltd: (pagan)
It took longer to buy the candles than to perform the ritual.

Bun wrote the ritual and we performed it in the back yard to endless barking. The neighbor dogs were offended that people were out, in a different yard, after dark.

We called the Quarters, invited the Goddess (it being an all-female Moon Ritual) and spoke a bit about the full. We had cakes and ale (fig newtons and tea), offering a corner of the cake to the Earth. (Next month I make triangle cakes) We dismissed the Guardians, and opened the circle.

Short and simple. The power will grow as we grow.
valarltd: (pagan)
I have GOT to be more careful what I say when the Universe is listening!

On Saturday, we went to Pagan Pride and participated in the Mabon ritual. We bound negatives in our lives and replaced them with positives. I bound the household clutter.

Today, I returned the call from DHS. They're trying to close out files. Our lady is an intense drill-master who thinks we can be done in three weeks. But the place has to be clean.

Thank you, Mother, for goading me so.

Today, I sent a note pleading editing responsibilities on TWO novels as a reason to not do two short stories (I was not under contract yet). Tonight, the next set of edits for Glad Hands turns up!

I gotta watch my mouth.


Sep. 22nd, 2008 04:56 pm
valarltd: (politics--gilead)
Sarah Palin received the blessing of Kenyan witch-hunter and exorcist, Thomas Muthee.

She apparently forgot, and Muthee never told her, was that to witch-hunters there are only two types of women: Witches. And those who don't yet know they are witches.
valarltd: (pagan)
Or maybe I'm just on a wheel. The apple tarts and apple crisp are baking, the pork pie is done and my shirt is in the dryer. (Bun made the pie and sang "worst pies in London" the whole time)

We're almost ready to go.

It's been a busy day.


Aug. 2nd, 2008 09:26 pm
valarltd: (zoo)
It's 90 degrees at 9:30 PM
It was around 110 today. Extreme Heat Warning.

Uh yeah, no outdoor church for us. We're crazy pagans, but not THAT crazy. We'll make Mabon.

I took the girls school clothes shopping. We hit a ritzy Goodwill and an enormous thrift store and Family Dollar for the supplies.

I spent about $200. Bun has a complete wardrobe. Of course, it looks like she raided the closets of Marsha Brady and Stevie Nicks. Dollface is in very good shape. A couple of bras and some sneakers will finish her.

Obi needs everything, including shoes. The boy wears a bigger size than I do! Jonner needs pants and shoes. I have a 50% off your order coupon, valid tomorrow only, at the enormous thrift store. We're talking jeans with the $25 price tags still in for $3.

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