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Archive for the ‘The Magickal Cottage’ Category

Our coven celebrated Midsummer on the traditional date of June 23rd. In the old days folks didn’t have an astrological ephemeris to know the exact moment of the summer solstice, so they agreed on the date of June 23rd. Nowadays, many neopagans are into being EXACT, and so follow the ephemeris date for the solstice. Our group is a bit more fluid in our approach to the seasons, feeling there’s more of an orb of energy around a holiday, and so meet when most convenient.

Our Litha celebration took place at Sycamore Hill, and a magickal evening it was! Only four of us witches were there, however, many astral beings showed up as well.

We met up at the Magickal Cottage for crafting. A number of potential wand -sized pieces of wood from various trees were presented: oak, willow, walnut, sycamore, birch and acacia.

We each selected a piece that felt right for creating a magick wand, and then we all hiked down past the hedge to the Oak and Willow Glen.

A circle was cast, we called the quarters and then, with wands in hand, we sat down and prepared for a meditation as we listened to the drumbeat.

In this guided mediation we left our physical bodies and traveled to a “tweeny” place where we met up with our own personal spirit guides. Our guides then took us to the giant oak where we entered a portal in it’s trunk and descended to the underworld. We followed a crystal pathway and saw wondrous sights and spoke with magickal beings. With the help of our spirit guides we chose the path that would lead us to a cast off, unwanted part of a magickal being, such as a dragon scale or a unicorn hair, that would be inserted energetically into our wands. This would serve to enchant our wands and empower them to serve us in our magick.

After finding our items and achieving our goal, we returned with the help of our guides to the physical realm.

On returning, our circle energy felt very mystical. The solar lights had lit themselves while we were “away” and flickered and changed colors.

One by one, we walked the labyrinth just beyond the Fairy Portal, offered some incense, and asked for insights and energy at the stone cairn by the fairy oak.

We returned to the altar, requested healing and safety for family, friends and planet, and raised some energy to send our petitions into the cosmos.

We celebrated the cakes and ale. I had earlier in the day had some fun creating a special “solar cake” for the occasion.

We dismissed the quarters, took down the circle and got in some cardio hiking back up the hill.

We sat around the fire pit and snacked on salad, wine and a midsummer zucchini cake.

May you all be blessed by the solstice energy as we now begin the slow journey to the dark half of the wheel.

Midsummer Blessings,

Sarina 🧚‍♂️

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Horse Time Moon

In the Celtic Witan Church we honor the Coligny Calendar of the ancient Celts. Here is info on the Coligny Calendar

This month of June we based our full moon ritual on Horse Time Moon. Up until relatively recently in human history the horse was valued for its use in human survival. It was an important mode of transportation as well as a crucial partner in daily work. A horse was considered a prized possession, and buying, selling and trading of horses was often done at markets and fairs at this time of year.

Several of our covens have adapted this time to holding a market where we barter and trade personal items amongst our group members. This is always a lot of fun, and over the years some items get passed back and forth between coveners as an inside joke. We always look forward to this traders’ market each year!

This year after casting the circle and calling the quarters and center, we participated in a guided meditation. We envisioned ourselves upon our horses (mine was a white mare) traveling across fields and through forests to the meeting place where our ancient Celtic market was taking place.

The tables were laden with baskets of wares we had brought to trade. So many tempting items!

The trades were made and all acquired new treasures to take home. We returned to our seats and ended the enchanted meditation with our horses returning us back home.

This full moon during the time of Fire was a great time to observe all the summery things that bombarded our senses: kids shouting at a birthday party, premature fireworks explosions, warmer temperatures and the verdant circle of greenery.

We raised some energy for those that needed it and released it to the universe. Then we partook of cakes and ale.

The ritual was closed, the quarters and center thanked and dismissed and the circle released. We sat around and snacked as we did a few tarot readings: an enjoyable evening, indeed!

I hope you are able to take some time to observe and honor the full moon in your own way. Maybe charge some crystals or send energy to friends and family?

A blessed Horse Time Moon to you all!

High Priestess Sarina 🌝

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Are you a green witch living in or near the San Fernando Valley, California? Have you been solitary and wondering what coven life might be like? Consider coming to meet us at one of our monthly Seekers’ Circles by sending us a private message through the Witchvox link below:

http://www.witchvox.com/vn/vn_detail/dt_gr.html?a=usca&id=37482

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Most people north of the equator think of summer as beginning in June. In the Celtic pagan calendar, however, summer begins at the beginning of May with the sabbat of Bealtaine. The date in June that corresponds with the summer solstice is the time of Mid-summer or Litha.

Bealtaine is the time of fertile growth that we witness all around us during this season. Even the Maypole dance is an ancient fertility dance. We send up wishes for a healthy growing season in all areas of our lives. Some ask for romance, some for financial prosperity, but I like to ask for blessings of health in myself and in my home. I guess I’m just a homebody!

Over the years I have used oils and herbs to make all kinds of magickal concoctions. I’ve made soap, incense, bath fizzies, 4 Thieves Vinegar, magickal oil and herb blends, bath salts, etc., etc., but until now I have never made a salve. I was amazed at how easy making a salve can be! I am now on the path to becoming obsessed with salve making. Watch out!

The calendula flower, aka pot marigold, seems so solar in its form and color. What could be more summer than the sun? I have known that the calendula blossom is wonderful for the skin and was happy to learn that these little easy to grow plants possess anti-viral, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Magically they are very healing, so the calendula seemed a perfect ingredient for adding to a magickal Bealtaine salve.

The most time consuming part of making a salve is infusing the oil with the herb you are using.

First you have to pick your herb and dry it completely. Pull the petals off flowers and expose as many surfaces of the leaves as possible by tearing them.

When the plant material is completely dry, place it in a jar and cover it with oil. I used jojoba oil because it keeps a long time, but many people use olive oil. I placed my jar on a sunny window sill, but some people like to gently heat the oil to warm to start the infusion process.

After about a month you are ready to strain the oil.

I ended up with 1/2 cup of calendula oil. To that I added 2 Tb beeswax beads. You could also just shred some beeswax to make 2Tb. If you end up with more infused oil then add more beeswax proportionately. I also added a few drops of vitamin E oil and placed the mixture in the top of a double boiler.

I heated the mixture until the beeswax had melted, added about 20 drops of lavender oil (you can add your essential oil of choice as long as you know it is safe to apply to skin), and I poured the melted salve into some nifty tins I bought on Amazon.

Easy peasy! A lot simpler than making soap from scratch. Lye can be scary!

In what seemed like no time at all, the salve had solidified and was ready to use.

Of course, to make this salve truly magickal I had to charge it up with some witchy energy, right?

I lit some Bealtaine incense, cast a circle around my altar, lit a healing oil anointed candle, and asked Cerridwen to help me charge the salves with healing energy.

So mote it be!

I’m anxious to try other salves using other magickal herbs. I’ve found several recipes on Pinterest! I’d love to hear about your salve making experiences, so feel free to share in the comments section.

May your summer be joyous and your blessings be many! Blessed Bealtaine!

HPs Sarina

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Blessed Imbolc!

The time around Imbolc has been so eventful the past couple of years! This is the time when new dedicants go through the ritual to begin their year and a day. It’s also the time for elevation rituals and this year, I’m joyous to say, I will, barring any unforeseen events, attain my high priestess 3rd degree. It’s been three years of growth and learning, and I think the thing that has been impressed on me the most is that there is so much more to learn. Always.

The elevation rituals will be tomorrow, February 1st and on Saturday the 2nd, our coven will join together to celebrate Imbolc, the beginning of spring on the Celtic pagan calendar.

Even though it may seem the dead of winter in many places, underneath the earth things are stirring. Seeds and bulbs are thinking about sprouting. In the US we ceremoniously wake up a poor groundhog to see if he will be frightened by his shadow. So hibernating animals are sacred to this time. This is the time when the lambs are born and so all the newborns are sacred to Brighde, the great mid-wife.

We enjoy following the custom of crafting Brighde’s crosses at Imbolc. Even though the goddess, Brighde was canonized as St. Bridget by the Catholic Church, her cross is not, to pagans, representative of the Christian cross, but rather an equal armed cross representing the wheel of the year with its four quarters. Traditionally in Ireland the crosses are made from freshly cut rushes. Since rushes can be scarce in Southern California, we have had to improvise. I discovered that a common plant in my yard, dietes or fortnight lily, has leaves that work because they don’t break when you bend them. Well, a Witch has to think on her feet sometimes! Maybe eventually I’ll discover a source for some rushes but for now we will use our garden plant leaves. Here’s how they turn out:

The top cross is a simple pattern with a more complex pattern on the bottom. The crafting requires concentration but that can be a good thing! When you put your energy into creating an object and then have it blessed and charged by your coven, you have an object for protection magick that can’t be beat! I have been known to scatter these crosses about the house, especially near the front door. There are some excellent videos on YouTube for constructing Brighde’s crosses that you might like to study. Here are some of my favorites:

https://youtu.be/29ZbwPRXwis

https://youtu.be/zRi89vnzF5w

https://youtu.be/bq0ci42PnLc

So, make you some Brighde’s crosses, bake some bannock https://gathervictoria.com/2018/01/15/rosemary-oat-bannock-for-imbolc/, and stir up some colcannon https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/colcannon/ to celebrate the sabbat of spring’s return!

Light a white candle and as you gaze at the flame welcome any messages from our Lady Brighde.

Blessed Brighde, inspire me with your solar energy!

You are the midwife who births new light and new ideas!

You are the poet who tells our story in a beauteous way!

You are the smith who works the alchemy of magick!

Teach me, Lady, your ways!

May your Imbolc be filled with light and love!

Brightest Blessings,

Sarina

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If you will be in Southern California tomorrow, October 14, 2018, come visit The Celtic Witan Church at our booth at Pagan Pride LA/OC

http://www.paganpridela.org/future/futuremain.html

Find out who we are, peruse our corn dollies and other crafts for sale and get a tarot reading from me, The Green Witch!

We will also be leading a peace and healing ritual at 11 am.

See you there!

Blessings,

Sarina, The Green Witch

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Since I associate the Apple with the month of September and Mabon, I decided to stir up a little apple kitchen witchery for our Mabon ritual this evening. I made a Spiced Applesauce Cake.

You can get the recipe here: Spiced Applesauce Cake

Apples have the magickal properties of enhancing love, wisdom, divination and access to the other world .

An old charm instructed one to pare the skin from an apple in one long piece all the while (or 3 times) chanting:

I pare this apple round and again

My sweetheart’s name to flourish plain

I fling the paring o’er my head

My sweetheart’s letter on the ground be read

When your apple peel is as long as you can get it, throw it over your shoulder and see if you see the peel landing in the shape of a letter. Your love’s initial may be revealed in this manner.

The pentacle revealed in the center of an apple also indicates the protective qualities of the apple. Slice an apple around its middle and you should see the star formed by the center area that holds the seeds. People have used the seeds in divination for love and fertility. What ways can you come up with to divine answers through the seeds?

You could assign “yes” and “no” answers to even or odd numbers of seeds. I’d love to hear what you come up with for divining with apple seeds in the comments below.

Just remember to use your own creativity when doing any kind of magick, and enjoy the magickal energy of this amazingly mystical fruit!

Bright Blessings,

Sarina

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