The Contemporary New England Witch

The Contemporary New England Witch
Ms Faith

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hurricane and its effects in a Witch's Garden

  Good Day to you,

Well, we survived Hurricane Irene in the middle of CT in Southern new England this past August 28th. The hurricane came on my birthday and the energy and excitement was fine up to losing power. I did all the things I suggested during my last post, but after a few days without power one does feel cut off and a bit discombobulated!  But power is back, the Goddess is smiling and I have some photos I took of my witch's gardens right after the storm passed. They are doing o.k. with little damage although things did get blown over a bit. Here, I'll let you see for yourself!










My gardens fared fairly well, how about yours?


Peace and Happiness




© 2010-2011 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website.


If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

What to do in case of a power outage! For the magickally inclined that is . . .



 Good Evening,

Well here in Southern New England we are battening down the hatches and hunkerin' down for a real Nor'Easter called Irene. A hurricane that is threatening all sorts of terrible things and power outages are one.  What to do in case of a power outage? No need to be bored or depressed.  Yes, without electrical power our lives are changed a bit. But think about this. We've had power for a mere 100 years or so about now. Mankind has been around for over a million and civilized for tens of thousands of years. All without electrical power. 

Yes, life was different back then and mankind existed, laughed, loved and lived happy and fulfilling lives.  One thing to do if you're a magickally inclined person is firstly, burn candles! For centuries candles have been the only source of illumination after dark. Also torches were commonly used to light up larger areas, which are like large poles with a burning mass at the end. Lighting was as necessary in ancient times as it is now to see by and read by after dark.  There were different activities to occupy the little free time ancient man found in his day or evening. Different from what is normally done today for relaxation and fun. Or are we so different?

For instance ancient man may have read a 'good' book by the light of tallow candles, rush light or fire light.  As for many years the bible was the only commonly printed and available reading material, and many homes would not be found without one,  it offered much to occupy one's time. Today I recommend reading something that is interesting and stress relieveing. For me it's classic Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson.

In ancient times, chopping ice and keeping it packed wth sawdust helped keep food cold as meats and other foodstuffs were even more perishable than many foods today. To keep food cold today, and have drinking water on hand, freeze several spring water bottles then use them in the compartments of your refrigerator or in ice chests. We also filled zip lock baggies and these can be laid between foods to keep them chiled to a safe temperature.

Bored? Have a ritual and cast some spells! The energy of a storm lends itself nicely to a ritual and can pump up your spell!  Here's a spell to cast for when you've lost power and wish to aid the situation at hand in a harmless beneficial way.  The object of this spell is not specifically to get power turned back on quickly, but more that it comes on in a timely manner and that no one gets injured or worse during the repairs it will take to get the power back on.  So if the power does not come back during or directly after you cast your spell, it does not mean your spell didn't work. You've added your energy and blessings to the universe and the repair efforts for your community struck dark by the storm. And indeed your power may come back quicker and safer with a little help from you.

Power On Spell  (all spells are written and crafted by me for you)  Any colored candle can be used for this spell.

With all lights off, and this spell can be done to aid others suffering power shortages, even if you still have power. Just turn off all lights in room and illuminate entirely with candles. Enough to see your magickal workings by.

Then take a candle and sit comfortably and take a toothpick or small knife and inscribe into your candle the words 'lights on' 'power on' 'an it harm none'  Write small enough to be able to include all the words. If you use a spell sized candle, or chime candle, you will have enough space. Votives are also good for this spell.

While carving your candle, visualize an overhead view of a large city darkened and the sky turning the deep blue that it turns right before dark falls.  'See' the darkened city start to light up with a section at a time 'turning on' and then see the entire city glowing with bright white light.

Outloud petition the Goddess with the following incantation as you ready to light the candle.

'Lovely Lady whose light is shone by the moon,
 bring back our power, our light very soon.
As this candle burns by its light
may our power be returned burning bright.'

As you recite this, touch flame to candle wick and as you watch the flame grow, see again your visualization of the city burning brightly.  Allow candle to burn completely down, which means if its a votive that it should be supervised for its entire burn. Never leave candles burning unattended, this is especially true during a storm or power outage when more people unaccustomed to burnig candles may become forgetful and leave candles burning unsupervised. Stay Safe for Goddess's Sake! Keep the visualizing up every so often, maybe every hour for a few moments to keep your spell strong.

If you don't have candles home, then for next time re-stock at your local witch shop and help the local economy grow stronger. 

Other things to do? How about some board games? I like to color in some coloring books I have. I have one coloring book of garden herbs and fowers. A more adult coloring book (yes they have adult coloring books!) and it's a fun, creative way to spend some time. 

Whatever you do, have a safe, happy day living for just a few moments,  more like our ancestors did than we normally ever do. Think a bit about what life would be like without electrical power. Find the magick in the moment.  All Hail Irene! A powerful storm Goddess, no doubt!

Peace and Happiness





© 2010-2011 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website.

 If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Birthday Magick, Earthquakes! & Magick from the Old World

 Good Evening,


Birthday Magicks
 
Tonight we'll touch on a few interesting and magickal concepts. Firstly I want to briefly revisit a discussion I had with you on February 22, 2011 called 'Happy Birthday! Birthday Magicks, Legends and Lore'.  The reason? My birthday is in a few days, on the 28th to be exact and I've been thinking about the magickal workings I can do for me, on my birthday. 

One fun thing to do is make a list of what you would like in the upcoming year. No, this is not the time to ask for world peace or happiness for all. Though lovely sentiments, this list is for the material, practical or fun things you want for you. Material? What?! Yes, its O.K. to ask for material things. Come on, really, where would we be without material things? Naked and homeless!

The Goddess has given us everything on this earth, literally everything. It's perfectly fine to ask for things for you. In fact, it's necessary, for how will you ever be able to give to others if you yourself are bereft?

So, on the first full moon after your birthday, for example my birthday is this Sunday the 28th, so the first full moon after falls on September 12, I will write a list of things I would like in the upcoming year. Then dedicate the list under the full moon and then keep the list somewhere safe, don't destroy it.  You can look at it throughout the year or not, as you choose. The magick works that by the next year's birthday these things will come to you.
  
Earthquakes and other 'natural disasters'? 

Now onto Earthquakes!  We just experienced an earthquake on the East Coast today at 2 pm EST.  We often (humans that is) refer to earthquakes, hurricanes and tornadoes as natural disasters. They really aren't you know. Yes, they can be disastrous to humans and our lives, but they are simply nature. No, God is not mad at us, punishing us or any such nonsense.  The are simply nature doing her thing!  We have a hurricane coming up the coast this week and it should be here by the weekend, some cool energy to tap into if you'd like.



Collecting rain water from a storm or hurricane is ideal as the water will have a high level of natural energy within it that can be used as ritual water and in spell work.  I once came across a tree that had been hit by lightening in the woods. The side of the tree was split open and I could see the path of the lightening as it went down the trunk of the tree and through the roots which were exposed from the dirt and one root in particular was laying on the ground split from the rest of the tree from the force of the lightening strike. I gathered that root, a cedar tree root, and have it to this day. It's a highly charged natural wand of mine.


Old World Magicks

I was working in the yard of Enchantments this week and while I was sweeping the front sidewalk, and along the curb (well,doesn't everyone?!) I started to think of some magickal practices I've heard of concerning shop keepers in the old country. In this case Italy. You see, in times past, they never sweep the front steps or doorways of the shops in the mornings and they never sweep from the door to the street. They will sweep from the street to the doorway or across the door. This way they don't 'sweep' away potential customers!



I burn green candles, incense created especially to bring customers into the business, and sprinkle glitter on the sidewalk. I never sweep away from the store but always to or across. Many would call these superstitions, but I firmly believe that the superstitions we have in this country today really are the repository of old world magicks kept alive by tradition.


Peace and Happiness!




© 2010-2011 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. 

If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Come with the witches of Enchantments and me to Salem Mass!




 Hello!,

Oh! I'm so excited!! Tis' that time of year again, our annual trek to Salem, Massachusetts. In past years we have rented a huge bus to travel to the land of witches and all things magickal, but alas, the cost makes it prohibitive to do that, so we all caravan and meet up in Salem for our day. Would you like to come along? Here's the information.

We will be going to Salem on Saturday, September 10th and its important to know that the shop, Enchantments will be closed that day. This way everyone who helps out at the shop can go also. We will be meeting at 11 am at the Old Burying ground just a few blocks south of the Witch Dungeon. Another important note.  I do not bring people to the Witch Dungeon, the Witch hunter's house or any of the 'touristy' expensive spots. Of course, any are free to go to any of the attractions they wish to go to. I focus on the real Salem. The Salem with real witches, real witch shops like Enchantments and you will meet real practicing witches.

At the Burying Ground, in front of the cemetery, is a memorial dedicated in 1992, 300 years after the witch trials and hangings of 1692. This is where my lecture of the events of that fateful summer of 1692 and the subsequent executions will take place.

After we conclude the lecture we will conduct a simple but meaningful memorial service for the victims of 1692 and we will also take time to send blessings out to those who lost their lives, have lost loved ones and have been forever affected by the events of September 11, 2001.

After we conclude the memorial service continue hangin' with the witches by having lunch with us at The Beer Works Micro-Brewery, a fantastic place to eat in Salem or you can choose one of many great eateries in the small village by the sea. 



Afterwards we recommend the oldest continually run candy factory in the United States, Ye' Ol' Pepper Company where you can buy all sorts of old fashioned, delicious candies and chocolates. I always stop by!!  Stop by Michael & Theresa Pendragon's quaint little shop for an amazing tarot card reading and visit Pickering Wharf where you can visit many 'witch' shops run by real witches and magickal practitioners.

There's so much to do, from seeing the Elizabeth Montgomery Statue depicting her role as Samantha Stevens on the television show 'BeWitched', (great for taking pictures), to getting scared witless (if this is your thing!) at 'Dracula's Castle' at the Salem Mall, one of the best 'Haunted House' attractions in the country. So says this witch!!  It's a personal favorite attraction of mine!!



We visit Salem in September rather than October simply because it makes sense. Over twenty years ago when I started going to Salem and learning my way around the village, the Salem Chamber of Commerce told me that the city of Salem would receive 40,000 tourists a year. That was twenty years ago.

A couple of years ago, I re-checked with the Chamber and was told that today Salem receives 400,000 (that's not a typo) tourists in the single month of October!!!  Everyone wants to visit in October but it can be difficult to get into the shops, the eateries or .  .  .  well ..  .  .  anywhere!  It's fun to go in October and I have myself been there, but if you opt for October bring plenty of patience!  Better yet, come with me to Salem this September 10th. We'll have a great time!!   


Peace and Happiness


© 2010-2011 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. 

If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Bats are back!!


 Good Evening,

It's a happy evening indeed! Tonight I was sitting in my back yard, enjoying the gentle breeze and commenting to a friend on the phone on what a beautiful August evening it was. My friend noticed that where they were, in another part of the state that there were many bats flying around in the gathering twilight.  I was happy that they were still in the state although they have been gone from this area for two years now. Then, the most amazing thing happened. A small, brown bat flew right in my field of vision and darted back and forth as if to say "here I am!" " Hellllooooo!" I continued to sit out until full dark and was rewarded with seeing two of the little creatures flitting back and forth consuming their fill of mosquitoes.  I was and am so happy that they are back.

As far as I know, the scientists have yet to find out the cause or a cure fr the white nose fungus the little brown bat of North America is suffering and dying from in large numbers. But my friend commented on how 'they will adapt' and I think that's what we're seeing. I hope so at least. All through the history of evolution, many diseases and illnesses have come around and the sickest and weakest have succumbed, leaving a stronger and more resilient species. I think this may be the case with the return of the bats. I hope so, and if so, perhaps the bees that are also dying out may be able to rebound, even stronger and more resilient than before. 

I pray to the Goddess that this is true.  In the meantime, spend some time looking for the small, flitting and fluttering brown little creatures in the early night sky and say a blessing for them. Even if bats aren't a favorite of yours they deserve a blessing just for the job they do. A bat can consume up to 10,000 mosquitoes in an evening. That's one little bat in one summer evening. 10,000 mosquitoes! Wow! Now that's a serious job.

I am happy they are back because it speaks a bit to the health of our environment. Like any other living organism, if it can be ill or sicken it can also be healed and become healthy. The return of the brown bat speaks to the better health of our environment, at least in this small part of the world.  


Peace and Happiness 


 © 2010-2011 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website.

If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Friday, August 5, 2011

New at Enchantments - Candles!




 Good Evening,

I love candles! Candle magick is one of my favorite methods of spell casting. My life is happier and healthier, empowered and successful and I credit much of it to effective spell casting due to candle magick. Now the  candle magick doesn't do the hard work for you, but the energies work in your favor to create the needed change and manifestation you desire.

Let me explain a bit.  Everything, according to the quantum physicist is made up of vibrations. Everything. You, me, candles, colors even. Why even a rock is vibrating, although at extremely low frequencies.  I call this vibrational energy.  Working magick is working in this realm of vibrational energy. Some energy syncs up with us and our vibrational level and some energy doesn't.  Ever wonder why it is that some people you just met you automatically like? And some you automatically dislike! Even though they all may be very nice people, some you gravitate towards and some you are repelled from. Why? Your vibrational level can be close to and 'sync up' with others and it seems like you've always been friends whereas others your vibrational level is on a different level with theirs and an instant dislike or disinterest develops.

We even have many phrases in our vernacular today that indicates when two people are on the same vibrational level. They are considered 'in sync', on 'the same page', 'simpatico', 'two bugs in a rug', they're like 'peas in a pod', 'soul mates', just to name a few.  Well take this concept of vibrational energy and apply it to colors and the burning of candles. The color red is thought to attract certain 'magickal properties' to the person using the color. It is known to increase physical energy, attract loving and passionate, romantic energies. It is thought to instill energies of courage, strength and it can be used in combination with candles, of which the burning process puts off energy of a stronger vibrational level.  Combining a red candle, burned on a Friday (which is the day of the week attributed to the Goddess of Love, passion, lust and desire) makes a simple, nifty love spell. 

In addition to colors and candles, herbs, oils, music, incense burned all work on the 'vibrational' level. By using these ingredients properly you can entice certain energies to surround you. Now of course .  .  .  it's important to know that once the energies are around you and circumstances are tweaked in your favor that it's necessary at times to take physical action for you magick to manifest.  For instance take a situation where you wish to ask your boss for a raise. You have done the work, you deserve the raise but you are really concerned that the request will be turned down.  By burning a green candle, carved with magickal symbols, annointed with a mixture of basil, olive and corn oil and rolled in crushed chamomile and burned on a Thursday during the new moon can cause the energies to be more favorable to you.  Now after you burn the candle, you must physically go to and speak with your boss and voice your request! Waiting for your boss to take it upon himself to award you with a raise which may indeed be the result of your spell, but don't wait for that to happen.  You need to do the physical actions that are necessary.

If you burn a red candle on a Friday, carved with hearts and the X rune Gifu, annointed with rose oil, and rolled in sugar (to sweeten your chances of finding a lover) be prepared to go out of the house to actually meet someone!  The Goddess will give you all the help she can, but this is our life, we are the director of the play which is our life. We will get from this life what we take and what we make of it.  Burn a candle, ask the Gods to help you in the areas you need help, and make magick happen. 

Enchantments has just redesigned the sales floor and we have installed a large candle display that offers many varieties of hand dipped tapers, votives, spell candles and every color and many fragrances you could desire for your magickal needs.

Here are some photos of the new display, but I hope you come by in person to check it out! 









Peace and Happiness


© 2010-2011 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. 

If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I found my magickal thrill on a blueberry hill!

 Good Evening,

Tonight's dscussion is about a magickal experience I had early this morning.  A girlfriend of mine told me how she had gone blueberry picking just yesterday and I thought .  .  .   perfect!!  Just perfect! What a great way to celebrate Lughnasa (see yesterday's discussion August 1, 2011) and the first harvest! Picking blueberries. So that's what I decided to do this morning.

A committed witch, once I set my mind on something, I set the alarm at an alarmingly early time for me, 6:30 am. I'm usually wide awake at midnight, so 6:30 is understandably early. .  .  .  Hey! .  .  .   It is! Anyway, I awoke, gathered my work materials for the day and left a couple of hours earlier than usual.  I found myself enjoying the early morning air still wet with the rain from last night and took the country route, rather than the highway, to the berry farm.

I'll tell you a story about when I was a little girl and my one and only experience with picking blueberries in a blueberry field before today.  I had two aunts that showed up one day to visit. They were in their late 50's and I was a little girl of maybe seven years old. They had come to take me blueberry picking! Yea! Yeah?  Well, off I went with my aunts and experienced a couple of hours of misery, that truly seemed like days!  I remember an achingly long, sweltering day in a hot, dry, dusty field,  being allowed to (although it seemed like I had to)  pick blueberries and put those tiny berries into a huge five gallon bucket. "I have to fill that! Oh my goodness! I would never be able to fill that thing!! Is there a bathroom? I'm hot! Sweaty! I'm thirsty! Can we go now? I don't think I like this! Can I get some water?"  There was no water, my aunt's hadn't thought to bring any and I thought for sure I would die from thirst!  I can laugh now, and I recall that my aunts never again invited me to the berry fields! Understandably, I was too young to appreciate such an adventure for what it is, or could have been.  And I have never gone berry picking since .  .  .   well .  .  . until today.



I most likely have avoided, or just haven't given any consideration to something that at first taste was so distasteful. Yet listening to my friend describe the plumpness of the berries, how much nicer they are than those available at the market, the great price at only a couple of dollars a pound!, and I  never need an excuse to be outdoors and surrounded by nature and so I found myself this morning at the crack of eight a.m., riding on the back of a tractor up a hill to a blueberry field.

I wore my work apron as I had decided in my plans to go blueberry picking, that I needed pockets. As I seldom .  .  .  well, actually never, wear jeans or pants (I'm a dressy witch) I seldom have pockets and pockets were needed for my car keys and my cell phone. Yep! I was bringing my cell phone. They didn't have cell phones in the 1960's. Just lets see me get abandoned and left for dead in a blueberry field now! Nope, I had a large coffee with me, as a hedge against thirsting to death and a brave spirit as I held on to the rails while the truck was climbing (isn't this a little steep? Don't we need seat belts?) the hill of blueberries.

At the top, the hill leveled out and I saw there were a half a dozen other people 'pickin' berries.'  I was given a nice, white plastic pail and ushered by a young man with all the appropriate airs of importance to my blueberry bushes. That's right. Mine. Each person was 'given' the right or permission to pick from the bushes they indicated, keeping an orderly flow to the harvesting of the rows.  I soon found myself in an amazing place.  I felt like I was in a church. Then I realized I was. My church has always been in nature.

The other pickers were hushed and quietly, almost reverently picking berries and if anyone spoke it was with hushed tones.  No one knew each other, except for those couples that came together, but everyone was cordial, friendly and focused on getting the best berries. As I picked, listening to the 'clunk, clunk, plunk, plunk; sound of the first berries bouncing off the bottom of the plastic buckets, I felt the wetness of the leaves of the bushes from the rain the night before and it felt clean and smelled fresh on the air.  There was a cool, gentle breeze fanning my skin and the sun was bright and brilliant and just starting to warm up.  I was very happy I had set the alarm early, and was very happy I had decided on this adventure.  I was just thinking of my comparison of this place I found myself in and a church and then I heard the choir.  I became aware of several birds singing and making their morning calls across this enormous field, high on a hill, first thing in the morning. Unseen, yet heard above the plunking of the berries, the softly spoken words of the pickers and even above the tractor's purr at it crawled up and down the hill transporting pickers.  The birds were not separate from us, but actually seemed to be a part of us, part of the congregation, the choir in my church.



There's also a sense of accomplishment, a sense of pride of gathering foodstuffs to later feed our loved ones. For me there was an understanding as my fingers grasped at the berries, firmly enough to tug off the plant, yet gently enough to not bruise the tender berries that our ancestors have done this for thousands of years before us today.  I tried to touch into that ancestral energy, which I personally feel surrounds us all.  I felt a beautiful sense of unity with the divine.  Seriously and without making fun, today I went to church and had an incredible spiritual experience.



Bringing home 10lbs of plump, ripe berries made a rewarding, enriching, magickal experience even better as I will freeze the berries and throughout winter when I make a pie,  muffins or blueberry pancakes I'll enjoy a tasty treat and remember an incredible start to a pretty good summer day! 



There's magick around you every day .  .  .  can you sense it? Do you know it's there? 


Peace and Happiness




© 2010-2011 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. 

If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Happy Lughnasa ~ The Original Thanksgiving


 Good Evening,

Happy Lughnasa! Also spelled Lughnasadh, which falls today, August 1st. Today is a Celtic holiday celebrating the first harvest.  In many ways a celebration of thanksgiving.  There are diary accounts of Lughnasa being celebrated in Ireland as long ago as 1000 years.  To understand this much anticipated celebration of Thanksgiving, we need to look a bit at the life lived by the ancient Celts.

Imagine you are living 1000 years ago. Imagine any and all technology non existent. You lit up your nights with candles. You, as well as the majority of people, worked at hard labor jobs all day long, man or woman, from before sunup to after sundown.  Men tending and slaughtering cattle, working farms, mending and making tools and equipment used on the farm,  harvesting in the fields and woods. While women cooked from morning until night, at the same time making candles, clothes, soap, tending to the babies, children and the elderly and often working side by side with the men in the fields and on the farms.

Simply speaking,  there were precious little times of relaxation let alone celebration in these hard times. Times when every waking moment was dedicated to the art of survival. Everything people did at this time in history was in someway to further their very existence and perhaps bring about a bit of comfort to it. Yet these ancient people did celebrate. They celebrated life and abundance.  The wheel of the year has eight major and minor celebrations called Sabbats.  The Solstices and Equinoxes are considered lesser or minor Sabbats.  The cross quarter days (Imbolc February 1st, Beltane May 1st, Lughnasa August 1st and Samhain November 1st) are all considered major or greater Sabbats.

As I understand it, the Druidic thinking was, as to the association of placing major and minor emphasis to the Sabbats, was that since the average person could tell when the Solstices and Equinoxes were upon us they needed no announcement as it were. The ancient peoples lived as a part of nature, not as we do today, in spite of nature. As such, everyone could tell when the longest day of the year was upon us, or the day and evening was of equal length. Remember, these people were living outside all day, working by the light of the sun, waking before sun-up and bedding down long after dark. They knew the length of each day much better than we do today with clocks!


But .  .  .   the cross quarter days, they were a bit more tricky. They each fell approximately 6 weeks between a Solstice and and Equinox and this is where they obtained their greater or major Sabbat designation.  The Druids, the Priesthood of the Celtic people who were really the scientists, the physicians, astronomers and astrologers as well as the religious leaders of this race of people were the ones who found all things 'in-between' to be magickal, sacred and mysterious. They found certain times of the day or night sacred because of it's 'in-between' time, such as twilight or dawn, both times neither fully daytime nor fully nightime, but in-between. Midnight, not today yet not quite tomorrow and noontime which is no longer morning, yet is not 'after-noon' yet.

The ancient Druids found mushrooms to be magickal and sacred. You see they knew of the three world concept. They saw three's in many, many things in nature. They knew of the worlds of animal, vegetable and mineral but they knew that fungus didn't fall into any of these worlds so it was of a world in-between and they revered mushrooms and fungus for their magickal properties.  They also found ice to be sacred as it was water but in a solid or earth form as well as steam or vapor which is water in an air form.  See what I mean? Well in regards to the Sabbats, the greater Sabbats are the ones in-between the Solstices and Equinoxes and the ancients gave these celebrations the greatest notice. Many scholars of ancient Celtic history agree that the Solstices and Equinoxes most likely were never celebrated by the ancient Celts.

For Lughnasa, which translates from ancient Gaelic to "The assembly of Lugh" which in modern language  translation could be called "The games of Lugh" is a celebration that included ritual, feasting and games being played. The early celebration were held much as the Olympic games were held in ancient Greece, as 'war-games' designed to keep the men who were home from battle working in the fields harvesting, in battle-ready shape.

You see, all across Europe when the first harvest beckoned, soldiers from every land, regardless of the intensity of the battle or the war being waged, stopped fighting and went home. Why? Because if they didn't, there would be not enough strong people to bring in the harvest and the harvest was in many cases solely responsible for each tribe, village and culture of people surviving the winter. When the harvests went bad, were lost to the elements in the fields, became moldy, infested with vermin and became inedible the majority of the tribe would suffer and many would die from malnourishment before spring.  So, the soldiers came home and turned their swords into plowshares. Sound familiar? This was only done, not as a spiritual quest or enlightenment, but by sheer necessity for self and family survival. 

When we look at the wheel of the year, August 1st is the first food harvest. Remember we discussed Litha, the Summer Solstice as the first medicinal and magickal herb harvest, yet we wait for the first of August to harvest the grains in the fields. In addition to the grains, which made up at least 70 - 80 percent of the food source for the general populace at the time, people would eat a few root vegetables such as turnips and parsnips. No, there were no potatoes, tomatoes, corn or rice yet. At least not in Celtic ruled Western Europe. Cabbage was a big staple and then there would be the fruits of the orchards later in the summer.   Meat would be eaten rarely and usually only at the harvest festivals, because many tribes, clans or villages (many surrounding the castles which protected them) killed off all farm animals before winter because they were competition for the grain the people vied for.

So except for smoked and pickled meats or if a cold spell came early, frozen meats which would continue to be eaten through out the first part of winter, there was precious little meat unless one hunter rabbit, deer or other animals. Wait! That sounds like plenty of food doesn't it? Why the King's forests were always bursting with abundant wildlife. But for thousands of years (remember we're just 1,000 years ago here) many a monarch  kept a stingy and selfish hold on forested lands and many countries had laws forbidding the average man from hunting or living off the forests. Many times the penalty for 'poaching' on the King's land was death, dismemberment or imprisonment.

How was one to get a good meal? Really! Well one patiently survived and waited, if one could, for the first harvest. Talk about a celebration!! Fresh baked breads, cheeses made from the milk from the cattle in the field, who would be slaughtered by the last harvest, Samhain November 1st.  Many times a white bull or two were driven between two bonfires by the Druid Priests at Lughnasa, and then they were slaughtered and their entrails viewed for divinatory purposes and then the rest of the great beasts were consumed by the people. They felt that by eating a scared beast such  as the white bull or the swine (also considered sacred and highly desired by the ancient Celts) would in a way bring that sacredness within the person who consumed the meat.  Yet, without modern refrigeration, there were simply no leftovers because they would spoil.  Ancients did not have any secret against food poisoning and suffered of it much more than we do today, and often died of eating toxic foodstuffs.  Most food, with a few exceptions, which was consumed was by necessity fresh and recently prepared. 

Lughnasa has another name. For after the early Christians religiously dominated Europe, Lughnasa became a Christianized holiday called Lammas, or 'Loaf Mass'. This was a harvest holiday where the early Christians took the story of Jesus and the fishes and the loaves and neatly blended it with the existing ancient holiday of Lughnasa. However you look at it, this holiday or 'Holy day' was and still is an opportunity for people to celebrate the abundance we find in our lives and to give thanks to the divine for this abundance.




  Many people today, though not religious, perhaps not even what they would call spiritual look for ways to give thanks when things go well. Like 'knocking on wood' when you say something good or fortuitous, or take notice of good things in your life, the same is true for the way of the witch. We celebrate eight Sabbats a year where our entire focus, for many who celebrate, maybe not all, is of giving thanks to God, Goddess, the Universe, hey .  .  .   name your Deity! It's all good!

Well, back to ancient times when foodstuffs were plentiful at this time of year, the earth was warm and life as difficult as it was, was nonetheless easier now,  than at other times of the year.

Many times the Maypole which was hoisted and decorated during Beltane, May 1st, is now decorated with one glove in honor of the harvest. The glove is a scared symbol of the harvest because until the glove was invented, for protection of soft human hands against harsh, sharp blades of grasses or other grain crops, harvesting was a difficult and dangerous process which could lead to infected hands.  For an ancient who relied on their hands for their very survival,  this was a crucial invention that without, in my opinion, such things as the wheel, the automobile and the light bulb would never have been invented because human kind would again not have survived. My research into early human survival on this planet leads me to credit the glove as one of, if not the greatest invention ever. The invention of agricultural science for sustained cultural survival and the glove which made it possible for humans to benefit greatly from harvesting their foodstuffs, whereas before they subsisted on hunting and gathering. 

We celebrate Lughnasa with a traditional American Thanksgiving feast, eaten outdoors on long tables.  We first hold a Lughnasa ritual, and Sabbats are a time to focus gratitude on God/Goddess for the abundance we have in our life. I always thank the Goddess for life and for love. Seems to cover the gamut for me! Afterwards we feast and then follow up the feasting with a modern version of the ancient Celtic games. No! We do not do stone throwing, caber tossing or log cutting!

We're more cerebral and fun oriented. We have games such as "Race to be High Priestess' which is a race between two marks and each person wears a robe, with cords (not easy to maneuver in on a good day!) while balancing a small plastic cauldron half filled with water on their head. They are holding a wand and that's all their allowed to use to keep the cauldron on top of their head!  About what it feels like to be a high priestess sometimes!

We have a game where each participant takes a piece of paper out of a cauldron and on each piece is a magickal word. They then have 60 seconds to create an effective incantation using the word,  that follows the rules of writing a good incantation. This is called 'Flying Incantations'.  In addition we have sidewalk chalk design, spell juggling (keeping several balloons aloft without dropping one) as well as others.  The idea in this day and age is not so much about survival as it is about having fun, sharing community with other like minded people and giving thanks to Goddess/God for all life has to offer us today.  There are small prizes for the winners of each contest and fun and camaraderie is enjoyed by all this day.

No worries, my dear, if you want to celebrate and just found out about this fun holiday today. We're celebrating next weekend and so can you or anytime this month. For I believe that truly the Gods care not what we mere human do in their playground, as long as we live and love. So plan a harvest celebration for sometime this August, find a stray glove to honor as a special token of the day, plan a feast, set up tables outside surrounded by nature and invite your friends.  Celebrate and give thanks for the abundance in your life while surrounded by the abundance in nature. It feels so right!


And that my dear witchling, is how I describe Lughnasa!  I hope you have a happy and blessed harvest season. Happy Lughnasa to you and yours!


Peace and Happiness




 © 2010-2011 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website.   If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.