Saturday, July 31, 2010

Lammas, Great Festival of the Harvest

Lammas, also known as Lughnasadh, is the first of the three harvest festivals of the year. It is the time of great bounty when people would start preparing their stock for the coming winter. Being a festival to honor grain and the harvest, it was traditional to bake bread on Lammas. People would only harvest their grain on the day of Lammas and not a day before. This was because if the crops were left in the fields for too long, or the bread not baked in time, the people could starve.

On Lammas, we honor many different Goddesses , such as Ker the grain Goddess, Madron the mother Goddess, and Demeter Goddess of the harvest. Ker was prayed to while ancient women would bake bread on the day of Lammas. Since she is a grain Goddess, they would ask for her to bless their grain so that it would last through the coming months of winter. Madron is the bountiful mother Goddess who gives birth to all the crops. It is said that Madron was worshiped by Neolithic peoples in the British Isles. They would honor her by building sacred mounds on the earth, these were said to represent the womb of the pregnant mother Goddess.

To celebrate Lammas, honor the harvest and mother Goddesses. Pray for their bounty in your own life. On your altar have either a red, orange or yellow candle, or a combination of all three to represent the colors of fall. If possible, have some grain or corn to represent the harvest. A green crystal would represent the fertility of the earth. You could also bake some bread or make a corn dollie. I found pretty simple instructions for making a corn dollie here : SnowOwl

Enjoy your great festival of the Harvest!

Blessings )O(

For more info on Lammas, check out :

Photo courtesy of:

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sheela Na Gigs

Sheela na gigs, are carvings of naked women exposing their vulva. These have been found mainly in the British Isles. Oddly enough, many of these old representations of Goddess are found on churches, and some castles. There are many theories surrounding the meaning behind the sheela na gig, and the most popular is that she is a survivor of an ancient pagan Goddess. Usually, the sheela has been identified with the Celtic Goddess Callieach. This Goddess is known to be a "hag" like figure of Irish mythology.

The myth of the sheela says, that she appeared as a lustful hag, and most men refused her advances, except one. After this man slept with her, she turned into a beautiful maiden, and granted the man with royalty and blessed his reign.

Before I went to Ireland, I complied a list of sheela na gigs in the places we were going to be visiting. Not knowing how hard or easy it would be to find them, I kept my hopes up. The first place I found one, was at the Hill of Tara. When you arrive at the Hill of Tara, you have to pass through a small cemetery and old church before reaching the actual mounds of Tara. After we checked out the mounds, we walked back through the cemetery where I noticed a single standing stone. As I looked at it, I realized that there was a slightly faded carving at the bottom right corner. As I looked closer, it revealed itself to me, I had found my first sheela na gig! Very exciting indeed! The other two sheela's I found on our trip, were at the Rock of Cashel in the museum, and at the Clonmacnoise monastic site.

If you set out to find them, you will, just keep looking and dont give up! It's very reassuring that these little figures of an ancient Goddess still adorn the walls of churches and castles throughout the British Isles.

For more information on Sheela na Gigs, check out :

Blessings )O(

Photo courtesy of my personal album from Ireland

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Isis, Mother Goddess of the Universe

Today in ancient Egypt, the birthday of the Goddess Isis was celebrated. Also known as "Night of the cradle", this particular festival to Isis was seen as sort of a midsummer festival. The day after the birthday of Isis, a feast was held in honor of Osiris, because he was connected with the annual rising of the Nile river, which gave life to Egypt once again.

Isis was known as a mother Goddess, in Egyptian scriptures it is said "In the beginning there was Isis". She was seen as the oldest of the old, the Goddess from which our world arose. She was wife and sister to the God Osiris, mother to Horus, and sister to Nephthys. She was depicted with wide outstretched wings, and a sun disc crown on her head. In a hieroglyphic hymn to Isis, she was described as, "She who made light with her feathers and wind with her wings".

She had many festivals dedicated to her throughout the year, although perhaps the biggest festival was known as "The mysteries of Isis and Osiris". This was celebrated during the months of fall, and represented the death and rebirth of her brother husband Osiris. Another big festival which was held in March, was known as "Isidis Navigatum". This was a blessing of the fleets, and in the ritual, they would send a crew less boat out to sea filled with spices and herbs as an offering to the Goddess.

Isis was a widely worshiped Goddess, not only prayed to in Egypt, but all over ancient Europe. She was loved by many, it is said mainly because she was seen as one with the people. The people of the ancient world easily connected to the Goddess because she could relate to them. Her temples have been found in Rome, Greece and Pompeii among other places.

To honor Isis on the day of her birth, here is a quick altar set up: amethyst crystal, silver or white candle, myrrh or musk incense, and a wand. Recite this poem:

Because of Isis, there is a heaven,
Because of Isis, there is an earth,

Because of Isis, winds blow on the desert,

Because of Isis, the sweet sun shines,
Because of Isis, the river floods in spring,

Because of Isis, plants bear fruits,

Because of Isis, we live and grow strong,

Because of Isis, we have breath to give thanks.

Blessings )O(

For more info On Isis, check out : The order of the White Moon

Photo courtesy of :

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Ancient Symbol of the Spiral

The spiral is an ancient symbol that has been used since the beginning of time in many different cultures around the world. Different variations of the spiral, have been found in the British Isles, Europe, Scandinavia, Greece and even in the America's. The meaning of this ancient symbol has been up for debate, and while each definition is a little different, the core meaning of this symbol remains the same. Basically representing the spiral of life, the cycles of nature, the cycles of life, and so on.

The triple spiral pictured here, was found carved on the stones of Newgrange, a neolithic passage tomb in Ireland. This particular spiral is said to represent the threefold Goddess and the cycles of life. Another similar triple spiral called the triskele, was used in Europe as well as in the America's by the Hopi Indians. This spiral represents the cycles of life within the three fold, or the three spheres of the material world, such as land, sky and sea.

While in Ireland, I got the pleasure of seeing these beautiful triple spirals carved on the walls of Newgrange. At the entrance to this massive passage tomb, lie three huge smoothed rocks, each of these have triple spirals carved all over them. Some of these carvings are starting to fade sadly. Inside the tomb, they are carved randomly throughout, there are not as many inside as there are on the rocks out front. I also saw some spirals carved in a few other ancient places throughout Ireland.

What I find most interesting about this sacred symbol, is that many different cultures around the world used it. How did all of these ancient cultures use a very similar symbol with almost the same meaning? Could it be possible that the Hopi Indians in North American came into contact with the neolitic Europeans? I would tend to think not, but anything is ultimately possible. I guess we will leave that up to the archaeologists and anthropologists among us to figure out.

For more information about the ancient symbol of the spiral, check out :

Blessings )O(

Photo courtesy of: Wikimedia

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Charging a Protective Pentagram for your Home

The pentagram, often misunderstood, is an ancient symbol of protection. Part of being a witch and practicing magic, involves protecting yourself. It will help keep away negative energy from you and your home. I have this great book titled : The Witches Craft by Raven Grimassi, and there is a little pentagram protection spell, to protect your home in it that I thought I would share.
To prepare a home protection pentagram, begin in the night of the full moon, place the pentagram on your altar along with a cup of water. Light a small white candle*, now suspend your pentagram over the candle* with a chain. Take your athame or wand, and trace the star pattern, then trace the circle. Next, dip the pentagram into the cup of water, then hold the amulet in your left hand, and with the tip of the athame point at the center of the pentagram say:

I call upon the source of all power to empower this
pentagram as
a protection against all
that is evil, negative or unbalanced.

Again suspend the pentagram over the flame and say:

I call upon the guardians of the north, east, south and west,

to empower this pentagram, lending your force against
all that
is evil, negative or unbalanced.

Dip the pentagram in the cup of water again, and then lay it upon the altar. Complete the charge by placing the tip of the athame on the center of the pentagram and say:

I bind here, by all of these powers and forces, this unyielding
pentagram of protection, that in the presence of this pentagram,
no evil thing may approach or enter in.

No you may hang your pentagram over the door to your house, or bedroom, or wherever you see fit. Check out the rest of this book for other spells and ideas.

*In the book, instead of a small white candle it calls for a metal cup with flammable liquid, thought I should mention that, but I dont necessarily agree with it, so I changed it to fit my needs.

Blessings )O(

Photo courtesy of :
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...