Moon Magic: Samhain & October, When the Gopher Looks Back…

Obviously, October is particularly special because of Samhain (Hallowmas/All Hallows) at the end of the month. It is a period between times. The leaves are changing and the air is crisp and clear as the dark nights begin to draw in.

The veil between the worlds is said to be thinner at this time. Remember those that have gone before you and honour your ancestors.

October lends itself to drama and atmosphere. It is a good excuse to make the most of this time by overloading on the witchy decorations.

Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/beneaththemoon/2017/09/moon-magic-samhain-october-when-the-gopher-looks-back/#UC0i9sFllqakvh8M.99

Imbolc in the Southern Hemisphere

Imbolc will soon be here in the southern hemisphere. I put this first article together for the latest edition of the Axis Mundi and have also included a second Imbolc article from the August 2008 edition of the AM.

Imbolc ~ 1st August

by Jenwytch

Imbolc is a cross-quarter day midway between the winter solstice (Yule) and the spring equinox (Ostara) and is the celebration of the banishing of winter, the imminent arrival of Spring and the stirring of new life in the earth. Imbolc recognizes the maiden aspect of the triple goddess – the fresh, the young, the naïve, the new – and is strongly connected with the Goddess Brigid. It is associated with and also known as the festivals of Oimelc, Imbolg, Imbolic (Irish), Candlemas (British), Feast of Torches, Lupercalia (Italian/Latin), Brigid’s Day, and Brigantia (Scottish).

Here in the southern hemisphere, in 21st century Australia,

To read the rest please click on this link: Imbolc

Your Pagan Work Matters – Don’t Get Distracted

I started to title this post YOUR Pagan Work Matters. But all caps looks awful, so I didn’t.
This post isn’t about prioritizing your Pagan work in relation to your professional work, family work, and other work. Rather, it’s about valuing the Pagan work you do in relation to the Pagan work I do, your friends do, and all our other co-religionists do. What your Gods and ancestors have called you to do is important. It matters – don’t get distracted from it.

Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnbeckett/2017/09/pagan-work-matters-dont-get-distracted.html#ik7h4ZaS3wMQdki1.99

Irish-American Witchcraft: Honoring the Álfar on the Equinox

“It appears even that to these black elves in particular, i.e., mountain spirits, who in various ways came into contact with man, a distinct reverence was paid, a species of worship, traces of which lasted down to recent times. The clearest evidence of this is found in the Kormakssaga p. 216-8. The hill of the elves, like the altar of a god, is to be reddened with the blood of a slaughtered bull, and of the animal’s flesh a feast prepared for the elves….An actual âlfabôt. With this I connect the superstitious custom of cooking food for angels, and setting it for them. So there is a table covered and a pot of food placed for home-smiths and kobolds; meat and drink for domina Abundia; money or bread deposited in the caves of subterraneans, in going past”
– Grimm, Teutonic Mythology
Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/agora/2017/09/irish-american-witchcraft-honoring-alfar-equinox/#TL9X0dXksu5CKI5t.99

What an Interesting Week I Had

First, let me start by saying a huge and heartfelt thank you to Tharem for all his great posts and going above and beyond with the posts for Mabon and Ostara!

I started the week off watching my youngest 2 grandsons for a day and a half, then went to work to come home to no internet besides it being down at my daughters’. Wednesday came still no internet and I got sent home early from work because I almost passed out. Nothing serious just a little dehydrated..so the bad is on me. Thursday my internet decided to sort of work when it wanted to and I could get nothing posted and the reason for that was something is seriously wrong with it. As I was watching a video the screen went blue and then it shut itself off and refused to re-boot. This is the computer I use all the time so it has many things for the website, students and my book saved on it. Luckily I have a small netbook computer,  that I have to get used to using again, I just had the screen replaced in (hubby accidentally broke it last year while sweeping). So at least I can post and answer emails at home again. Plus when I find the flash drive I just upload the adept lessons on before I went on vacation those students can get their next lesson. So, all in all, a technically challenging week and I am already technically challenged.

I hope you had a blessed and happy Mabon or Ostara. May the peace of the new season be with you!

Reimagining Ostara

As a Nature-centered Pagan, I enjoy celebrating Ostara, the Spring Equinox. It’s one of only two times of the year when the sun rises exactly in the east and sets exactly in the west. It’s a moment of transition – the dark half of the year ends and the light half begins. The promise of Spring that began at Imbolc is now well on its way to being fulfilled.
Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnbeckett/2017/03/reimagining-ostara.html#uE5CIiW5jo17TJEM.99

A Brief History of Ostara

Perhaps the most misunderstood holiday of the Neo-Pagan Wheel of the Year is Ostara. Many Pagans would be surprised to learn that the popular notions of its history and imagery are based upon Nineteenth Century conjecture and the scantest of historical evidence. This shouldn’t matter in terms of actual spiritual practice; just because something isn’t historical doesn’t preclude it from being the basis for meaningful spirituality. But understanding the development of the holiday should matter, if only to dispel commonly-held misconceptions about its’ history.
Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/naturespath/2016/03/a-brief-history-of-ostara/#tp7hK9rYfQIDyAhJ.99

Ostara The Goddess of Spring

Areas of Influence: Ostara the Germanic Goddess heralds the beginning of spring. She is the Maiden Goddess, full of potential, representing the opportunity of growth and rebirth after the stagnation of winter.

There are several different translations of the meaning of her name:- East, dawn and morning light indicating the returning warmth of the sun’s rays and the lengthening days.

http://www.goddess-guide.com/ostara.html

8 Ways to Celebrate Ostara

Ostara doesn’t quite have the cachet of Beltane or Samhain, but for many of us it’s still a very big holiday. Much of this is because Ostara (the Spring Equinox) truly marks the end of Winter in many places. My formative Pagan years were spent living in the American Midwest where it often snowed into April. However by March 20 or so it was obvious that better weather was right around the corner, heck we usually got some sixty degree days in March which is sandals and shorts weather when you’ve been cooped up in the house for four months.

Depending on where you live Ostara is a holiday that can be many different things. For some it’s Spring in all of her glory (the jasmine just started blooming in my neighborhood) and for others a triumphant end to Winter. Whatever it is in your neck of the woods it’s worth celebrating in a big way. Here are some ideas for your Ostara Ritual or gathering.

Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/panmankey/2015/03/8-ways-to-celebrate-ostara/#1exjEtULMUc0rBSE.99

Ostara Ritual

This is the spring equinox. Night and day are equal length, as the sun begins to win out over the dark of winter. It is a time of exuberance and fertility, a celebration of the abundance of nature. In fact, a time for the celebration of just about everything. Winter is over! We’ve made it! Huzzah!
Tools: Candles for the quarters, and one each for Goddess and God. Nothing else out of the ordinary. Set your altar according to custom.

http://home.earthlink.net/~josquin88/ostara.html