Lughnasadh

From my other blog- Ritual speak for the upcoming holiday

The Writer's Corner

The yeast has risen
The pan overflows
Splatters the oven
Smudges of dough

The yellow ribbon
Long measured and weathered
Wrapped ‘round the maiden
For pleasure ‘twixt the nether

As above the stars
So below the embers of the Earth
Unbind; apart
Separate the heart from the hurt

As sacrifice is crucial to our foundation
So is unity; and shall it not be forsaken

This is the first harvest
Of the ever bountiful land
And we take this quest
Hand in hand

The horned beast bows
The lady plants her kiss upon his brow

Time is enow
To bravely chant amiss our love allows

Lughnasadh
Lammas
Sanctity of light
We are privy to night
But with stars in our eyes

The cicadas cry
As the sun sets
This is not goodbye
Have no regrets

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Fall Tree Planting Ritual

This ritual was written to be performed in September, but due to unfortunate circumstances, I was unable to do so. No worries! This will be performed next year in the appropriate season. Feel free to use this as your own and help to rebuild Mother Nature. The ritual is divided into three parts: consecration, invocation and protection. If you plan to use it, drop a comment and let me know how it goes! I am lucky enough to have a local Pagan Temple, where this would have been performed.

Consecration of the Tree

 

(Each member is given a seedling, soil, temp. transfer pot, pencil and small piece of paper. Write your own personal intent and/or desired symbolism on the piece of paper. Pack the seed into the soil and tuck the paper within the soil as well. Water the seed and chant the following.)

 

I consecrate this seed

In the name of spirit

By water and mead

I bless this conduit

 

As above, so below & in between

Seal this spell, so mote it be

 

(Drink the apple juice.)

 

Invocation of the Tree Spirit (Dryad)

 

(The ritual is circled around the consecrated trees. The ritual members chant the following together to amplify the spell)

 

I call to the Earth Mother

She of many names

Join my sisters and brothers

To calm the forest flames

 

Dryads of the Amazon

Spirits of the trees

We ask you to move on

And join our family

 

Accept our libation

Use this seed as conduit

To flourish in fruition

Mote it be as writ

 

Dryads of the Amazon

Awaken

 

From seed, to sprout, to tree

Bind this spell and tie it to thee

 

 

 

 

Protection Spell for the Amazon

 

(An empty bowl is placed in the center of the room. Each participant is given a cup of water. Together, the following is chanted.)

 

Our intent is to preserve

To conserve and protect

May life return

To the Amazon forest

 

I call to the spirits of water

May you grace us with rain

Accept the gifts we offer

And put out the fire’s flames

 

(Each ritual member takes their cup of water and pours it into the bowl into the center of the room, each giving their individual blessing. At the end of the ritual, the water is returned to the Earth. Each person when offering their blessing, chants the following:)

 

I bless this water in the name of spirit

I lend a hand to the land & free it

Yuletide Modern Practice

What is Yule?

We can’t always trust everything we read online. Even the dictionary can steer is in the wrong direction:

Per Merriam-Webster: the feast of the nativity of Jesus Christ : CHRISTMAS

Yuletide had been more popularly used as synonym for Christmas. While like many other winter holidays, there are plenty of parallels, it is a very different celebration. There is no one definition for Yule, since it has evolved over time and many cultures. We do know that it pre-dates Christmas and that Jesus’s birth was not actually in December. His birth wasn’t even celebrated until A.D. 440.

It was actually the Sun King’s birth that was originally celebrated. He has many names, but we will stay generic. The placement of Christmas was to easily convert Pagans to Christianity. Ironically, the Pagan community follow similar patterns while still celebrating Christmas. Why shouldn’t our kids get Santa too? Many other Christian holidays shadow Pagan rites as well, but here we are focused on winter.

Yule can simply be celebrated only on the Winter Solstice, the entire month of December, or like I do, the twelve days from Solstice until January 1st. These dates recognize the Northern Hemisphere. The Southern Hemisphere may celebrate differently because of the difference in seasons.

glass of milk near open book

Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

Familiar Traditions

Many Christian Christmas traditions were borrowed from Paganism. Many know the story of the Christmas Tree. As a Pagan, it’s okay to have one. We honor the many variations of Pine for the color they bring to our winters, their sturdiness and survival.

Your holly, mistletoe wreaths, fires and carols, all started off very Pagan. All are symbolism to our winter celebration. Even some of our older Christmas carols drop hints at Paganism. The twelve days of Yuletide is expressed in the famous carol, The Twelve Days of Christmas.

St. Nick is our Father Winter. Our presents are from the benevolence of our community, family, friends and the Gifting Stag.

There are the reindeer, which from study were derived from the Gifting Stag. My first encounter with the Stag was through a dream. I had no idea he was associated with Yule whatsoever. This next portion is my own personal gnosis and you won’t find this credited by someone else’s article.

I would have recurring dreams of running with the Stag in the woods. He was translucent blue and the stars would reflect off of him and fresh blankest of snow. We would run through the woods until we would reach a lake. There he turned into half stag, half man. I later found out this was Cernunnos. He would take the water from the lake, with the moon reflected so beautifully in its ripples, and bless me with it and embrace me. Most people would say this is just a cool dream, but for a Pagan, this is a most gracious blessing!

The tree and the Gifting Stag are connected. Bringing a tree into your home is said to be an invitation to him. If you hear a knock at your door, hail Cernunnos! Though a knock at your door with no no one in sight could also signify the wandering stranger.

The Wandering Stranger is folklore that during Yuletide, you will be visited by someone less fortunate and it is a test for you to invite them in and show you kindness. The wandering stranger is one of the many Yuletide spirits. It is customary to invite the spirit in and share the warmth of your hearth. You could also take this literally and help your local homeless community. Yuletide is more than family and friends; it’s community.

There are many more familiar Pagan traditions that parallel the Christmas tales you are familiar with, but this would be a book if I listed them all and no longer a blog. (:

Yule Stag

How Can I Celebrate Yule?

There are many modern day Pagans that struggle celebrating the sabbats because the relevance to ‘now’ seems to be a fine line that is lost in some. Our ancestors had it rough. They didn’t have the convenience of buying their herbs, candles and trinkets in a store or online. They used what they had. Focus on warmth and family in the hearth was highly celebrated because survival in harsh cold was a feat! Asking for divine interference to survive is a lot different than the reflection Pagans use today. Most of us don’t have to fear for warmth and shelter to get us through winter. Food isn’t scarce. But then, it very much was.

Reflection can be done during any time of course, but during Yule, we use those twelve days to exhibit benevolence. Give to those in need. Offer food. Offer shelter. Offer companionship. Be the gifting stag and give heart-felt gifts that people need and separate that from a want. Maybe all someone needs is help cleaning their house. Maybe they need someone to talk to. Maybe they need a ride. Be selfless and don’t expect anything in return.

Another way to reflect is to ignite a Yule log. A fun family craft is to decorate your own family log and dedicate it to your hearth. I like to think of the hearth as a spirit, and I also honor Hestia, the Greek goddess of the hearth. Some ideas would be to use twine or red ribbon and lace in pine-cones, holly, pine needles and other winter sentiments. I’m a glitter person, so that’s always included! Any log can be utilized that is natural to your region, so I prefer Birch. Birch is a tree of the crossroads and opening up your spiritual gates. I find it the perfect choice to invite those into your hearth, ethereally or physically.

I burn my log on the Winter Solstice, which in my region is on December 21st. Another idea would be to use it as a table centerpiece and light candles around the log if you wish to preserve it. If you’re really crafty, try carving holders into the log for votives so you can re-use year after year! Maybe this could be gift idea for your Pagan friends. -wink wink-

Yule Log

Oh! And don’t forget the good food. The point is not to over-indulge, but to share your abundance with others. Whether your family and friends are Pagan or not, share a nice dinner with them and set aside your differences. ‘Tis the season to kill the hatred.

Aside from feasts, there’s the treats. Don’t want to burn a log? No problem. I got you covered. Holiday log cakes can be found in the frozen desert section of your bakery or grocery store. Funny story, my best friend and our kids celebrated last year by buying this and using birthday candles to sing happy birthday to the Sun King! This was the idea of a 4 & 6 year-old. I never had a more magickal solstice! Improvise. There’s no right or wrong way to celebrate.

If you celebrate Yule, how do you do so? I’d love to hear your stories!

Yule Log Cake

Summer Solstice

What the **** is A Solstice?

Welcome all old and new to the Moonlight Path. Today we are going to be talking about summer solstice. You may be asking, what is a solstice? Well you came to the right place! On a pagan path of any sorts or not, you have heard these terms. You may know how some pagan cultures celebrate. (Which is vastly different from person to person) There are only *2* days each year that a solstice occurs, once in the winter (Hibernal) and once in the summer. (Estival) Now, both northern and southern hemisphere have solstice at the same time, but remember the seasons are inverted!

Here in the northern hemisphere, we just experienced the summer solstice on June 21st, while the southern hemisphere was experiencing their winter solstice. So for summer solstice, the earth’s axis is more so tilted towards the sun than any other day throughout the year, thus marking this the longest day of the year. Bad news bears: Days only get shorter from here.

Of course, this marks the winter solstice on December 21st (Northern Hemisphere) the shortest day of the year. (Us witches tend to get excited over the longest night of the year. ;D)

Then What the **** is An Equinox?

Woah there! Watch the language buddy. Like a solstice, there are only *2* equinoxes per year. Can you guess what seasons there are?

Spring and Fall! In March and September, the mark of our two favorite seasons, night equals day. They are referred to as the Vernal (Spring) Autumnal (Fall) Equinox respectively. Depending at witch point the sun hits the equator determines what season it is. Both days are highly important on my path as we emphasize on balance of all things. As opposed to a solstice when we are out of sorts, and celebration prioritizes over any serious ritual.

How Do I Celebrate the Summer Solstice?

Depending on what type of pagan you are answers this question. Sorry- not just one answer. There are so many different holidays associated between the season changes, I couldn’t list them all. A long time ago, people relied on their gods to ensure a safe season whether it be safety in winter, fertile soil in spring or good harvest in the fall. Modern day relevance may leave you with questions. You will not lose a few of your family members to a harsh winter anymore like in old times. You will not be reliant on a crop to feed your family for the season. You are going to hop in your car and go to a supermarket. But that doesn’t take away the magic of the seasons themselves.

What do you look forward to in the summer? Perhaps it’s a family vacation, your garden to bloom, or to go camping. Celebrating an old holiday doesn’t mean you have to stick to old rules. Spend your summer solstice in the sun, go to an outdoor concert, art fair, carnival, beach, hiking trails. End your day in a feast and thank the god/gods of your pantheon for a good summer ahead! There is no ultimate book telling you to do ritual at high noon skyclad at Stonehenge. Before technology was even a thought, imagine how witches of the past made do. Improvise.

empty wooden pathway in between trees

Photo by Andrew Haimerl on Pexels.com

…Isn’t There Some Spell I’m Supposed To Do?

First off, the majority of your spell-work should be unique to you. Ask for something only when you need it. Offer blessings whenever you have them. The solstice is not an excuse to take our your grocery list of problems to your deities. You need to respect them if you want them to respect you.

Create a balance of prayer, libation, celebration and meditation. Prayers I consider a vent or request. Libation would be the offering. Don’t show up to a pot-luck without a dish so to speak. Celebrate the coordinating holidays to your pantheon/culture. Focus on the sacrifices made, the ancient stories, and feast, dance and rejoice in their honor. Lastly, there’s mediation. Take god-form and try to be one with your deity. Or focus on yourself and your inner power between shifts of the seasons. Recharge and release!

woman sitting on brown stone near green leaf trees at daytime

Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

 

 

Morning Heart Cleanse

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So WordPress wouldn’t let me  upload the video, so be sure to follow The Crooked Path  on Facebook groups if you want more detail!

Just a morning cleanse of the heart and Tarot cards

Offerings consist of rose petals, rosewater, licorice root and orris root.

The candle is dressed for Aphrodite and then the written desire is put upon Birch,  and burned.

After the spell has been completed and the candles are burnt out completely, I take the fresh rosewater and use it in a ritual bath as an afterwards cleanse.  Afterwards, your skin will feel exfoliated and you will feel pure and desirable.  Do this to cleanse yourself of heartbreak, to love yourself, to help you make choices from your heart  or as devotional to Aphrodite or another deity of love!~ ❤

Happy crafting, everyone. Have a blessed day.

 

 

Path of Shadow – Path of Light

Hello! Welcome to Moonlight Path. I made this blog in hopes to one day tell my story and my journey in the craft. Like most people who delve into the world of magick, I started off researching Wicca. My issue with Wicca is that it is a faith of translated research. It derives from original and traditional ways and puts them into a modern framework.

There are lots of things I do like about Wicca. Paganism wouldn’t be as booming as it is today without our founders. Though with Wicca, it has turned into solely white magic or those on the right-hand path. I understand why it happened this way. For generations witchcraft was outlawed, people killed over it, exiled, shunned. We were labeled as heathens and heretics in a derogatory sense. Pagans all around the world are starting to reclaim those words as well as the controversial title of “witch.” Witches are not necessarily Pagan and Pagans aren’t necessarily witches. Witches practice magic in one of its many forms or they choose an eclectic approach and study the various methods.

I think the age of Wicca has turned into the common practice of eclectic witchcraft. Light does not always equate to good as shadow does not always equate to evil. I have studied the craft for over twelve years and during that time I have read many books and witnessed many perspectives. While learning, it is important to respect the culture behind the magic and to not use it recklessly. I think everyone who practices has had to learn a lesson or two, whether you believe in Karma or not.

In this place, I hope to teach about balance. I have studied other people for years, been a student, collecting pieces of a never-ending puzzle. Here, I hope to spread my knowledge and gnosis so you can share my experience with me. I will share rites with you that I have written, provide credible sources for traditional craft, show you how to make spells work, etc. This is a community with no bias for white magic or black magic. We are the craft. We are grey witches. We are eclectic, ever-seeking knowledge. And within our knowledge, we will have power.