Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Autumn Equinox and Mabon

It’s hard to believe, but summer has already passed as we are now approaching the Autumnal Equinox. The weather begins to get cool and crisp in the evening, leaves turn to reds and golds, and the sun sets earlier in the evening. Our bodies naturally react to these changes, as we begin to collect of summer’s harvest and enjoy the last few weeks of comfortable outdoor weather. On the Autumnal Equinox, the day and night are equal in length, and until Yule the nights will continue to grow longer. For Pagans and witches, Mabon is a Sabbat of giving thanks, preparing to move indoors, and turning inwards.

In England, the Autumn Equinox was known as the feast Harvest Home, in Ireland is it known as Michaelmas. In West Scotland, Cornwall and Ireland, people visited burial mounds. It is believed that Mabon was a time when wands were harvested by druids. Elsewhere in the world, grapes were harvested and wine was drunk in celebration of the holiday. Regardless of location, the Autumn Equinox is a day for harvest and preparation for colder months ahead as well as a time to give thanks for all that has been collected.

The name Mabon was given to this holiday by Aidan Kelly around 1971, and since then many Pagans and witches have embraced it. Mabon is a Welsh God of Harvest, whose tale is featured in the Medieval Welsh book the Mabinogion. The Mabinogion manuscripts date to the 14th century; however, “The Tale of Culhwch and Olwen” where Mabon’s story is told, could possibly date to the 11th century. Mabon’s mother, Modron, is an early Mother Goddess and Mabon is known as her divine son. In “The Tale of Culhwch and Olwen,” Mabon is abducted from his mother when he is three days old. It is Culhwch and his first cousin King Arthur who rescue Mabon from this imprisonment. Mabon then helps the two heroes hunt the magical boar Twrch Trwyth, thus confirming his role as hunter.

On Mabon, many Pagans like to gather for a Thanksgiving-like feast. For some, rituals of abundance and gratitude are performed, while others use magick to bring in more success and growth. Keeping the theme of harvest in mind, ask yourself: what has blossomed and grown over the last year? Have you had successful projects completed? What goals have you completed? Pause for some time to thank the Gods and Goddesses for all the growth and prosperity in your life.

Works Cited
Green, Miranda. Dictionary of Celtic Myth and Legend. London: Thames & Hudson,
McCoy, Edain. Sabbats- A Witches Approach to Living the Old Ways. Woodbury, MN:
Llewellyn, 2004.
The Mabinogion, trans. Gwyn Jones and Thomas Jones. London: Everyman Library,
Zell-Ravenheart, Oberon. “Summer’s End.” Llewellyn’s Sabbats Almanac: Samhain
2009 to Mabon 2010. Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn, 2009.

Please visit Kiki's Cauldron for more information on Mabon correspondences. How do you plan to spend Mabon. Thanks for reading, and many blessings!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Discovering your Animal Totem

For many of us witches, discovering and working with our animal totems is a very important part of our magical lives. We all have them, but some of us might not know what they are yet. As followers of the Goddess we need to be connected to nature to truly feel her special power. Connecting with animals is a great way to do that! There are many different ways of finding out what your animal totem is. I found mine in a dream years ago, when I simply asked the Goddess before I fell asleep to "show me my animal totem". The dream I proceeded to have will forever be etched in my mind, and so will the beauty of the black leopard.

While reading my 2011 Magical Almanac, I came across a great ritual for finding your animal totem, and I thought I would share it here!

On your altar have the elements represented, as well as the colors of nature such as green and brown, and a white candle to represent your higher self. On your candle, carve either your name or astrological sign, and dress it with sandalwood oil. Make sure you cleanse yourself and your space with a smudge stick, and make your sacred circle. Now that you are ready to start, you may call on the elements, any deities you like to work with, and your higher self. Recite your statement of purpose:

On this night, I seek a meeting or communion with my true Animal totem. I enter this circle with pure heart, mind, body, and soul. I ask for your assistance and guidance. Please bestow your wisdom and guidance upon me, so that I can be true to myself and to others and pay homage to the earth and all it's creatures. Hail to the elements who keep the balance. Hail to my higher self who watches over me! Hail to (name of deity you chose) who assists me in my communication with my totem! So mote it be!

Now it's time for the meditation:

Focus on imagery regarding a pathway through nature of whatever kind suits you or feels right. Notice any creatures that come forward. Concentrate on just being, dont think too much or ask too many questions. Don't disregard any creature just because you'd prefer a different one. Take note of what happens, what creature (or creatures) you see, colors, shapes, textures and sensations. What memories are being evoked? Whatever creature reveals itself to you, commune with it. Observe it, what it's doing, if it's saying anything to you, or gesturing in a particular manner. Now thank the animal for it's presence and ask that they guide you in your life and dreams. Now thank any deities, the elements and your higher self and close your circle. Write down your experience and all details.

Once you find out what your animal totem is, you can call upon it or them when doing magical workings, or just to guide you through life. Sometimes a particular animal will show up at a certain time in your life, because it's trying to tell you something, or teach you a lesson.

I hope you enjoy working with your animal totems! There are many great books on this subject if you would like to research it further. I happen to like Ted Andrews Animal Speak

Blessings )O(

Find this post on the original blog at LoveoftheGoddess

Photo courtesy of Sodahead.com

Monday, September 13, 2010

Spell to Brigid for Inspiration

This is a great spell to try when you have a project that you need a little inspiration for.

You will need:
*Sunflower Seeds
*Small Flower Pot
*Yellow Paint & Paint Brush
*Yellow Candle (votive or tea light preferable)
*Crystals for adornment- consider citrine, orange or honey calcite, tiger’s eye, or crystal quartz (optional)

To amplify the spell try to:
*complete it on a Wednesday
*or, try to complete it during the first hour after sunrise on a Wednesday.

Begin by thinking about the goal at hand. Do you wish to study for an exam? Do you need to write an essay, or research an entire book? Decide what the goal is, and take a moment to imagine yourself completing the project.

This is a fun project that involves a little painting! On the flower pot, paint symbols associated with study, inspiration and communication. Try using the Ansuz-rune, the symbol for Mercury, or perhaps writing meaningful words, such as “concentration,” “creativity,” “inspiration,” “motivation,” and so on.

Mix the almonds and sunflower seeds together. While doing this, imagine yourself completing the study project you have at hand. Imagine yourself studying, reading, writing, and getting wonderful grades. Imagine the almonds and sunflower seeds glowing yellow, then place them into the pot.

Put the candle into the pot, making sure that it is securely standing in the seeds and almonds. Adorn with crystals around the pot (if you would like).

Light the candle and say,
“Dearest Brighid, Goddess of Inspiration,
Help me find creativity and motivation.
Allow me to be aware and energized,
to be full of knowledge and be wise.
I am a student of yours, kind goddess:
Let this creative spell be blessed!
As I mote to, so will it be!”