Category Archives: Book of Shadows

Autumn Equinox 2014: Tips and Ideas

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The Autumn Equinox is right around the corner (September 23, 2014 this year), known as Mabon to some groups.It celebrates when day and night are equal- which is where the meaning derives from ‘equinox’, from Latin, meaning ‘equal night’.

This is also Second Harvest, where Lammas celebrating harvest of the grains, Second Harvest celebrates the harvest of the fruits. Apples are predominant this time of year, as well as berries, and tomatoes (which are also a fruit).

This is also a time of balance, between light and dark, but also anticipating the darker months to come. It’s a time to prepare for winter, while celebrating all that you received in bounty.

Some activities:

Share stories. Through the years, my group will enjoy story time from members. We share stories of our year, and I had them once, celebrating a bragging-and-boasting session where they could brag about some marvelous thing they did in the year.

Members can pass an acorn, wand, talking stick, or drinking horn to share their stories.

You can also share myths such as the Persephone myth, or Innana’s Descent.

Feasting. This is always a ‘must’ in my opinion for any harvest. It’s a communal feast, where everyone shares their food, and enjoys one another’s company.

Apple bread recipe

Apple Berry Mulled Wine

Autumn Stew

Work on Autumn Themed Crafts. These are always fun, to make your own décor for the season, but to add a bit of magick in what you do. The following crafts can be done in ritual, or add a chant, infuse with intention, or write runes/wishes.

lammas04Apple Candle Holders. These are incredibly easy to make, and use in Mabon ritual. You can incorporate them into a blessing, where members light a candle to share their blessings from the year.

Leaf Sun Catcher- Add wishes and hang near your threshold.

038Autumn Leaf Bowls- I’ve done this craft, its very easy. You need paper clay, and leaves. I used leaves from my Concord Grape Arbor. Roll out the clay, lay the leaf and roll over it so it leaves an impression. While the leaves remains in the clay, cut out the edges. Peel the leaf away, then lay your shaped clay over a small bowl. You could make this with leaves and modge podge, laid over a small bowl as well.

Hearth Lanterns. My group did this in ritual, decorating our jars, infusing them with hope and energy, and they get set somewhere near your threshold to welcome in good energies. You’ll need a jar, modge podge (it’s a thin glue that dries clear), leaves, or other things you’d like glued to your jar, paint (you can add to the glue to give a tinted glass look, and wire or string to hang it. Infuse with energy/intention, and set at the threshold of your house.

Cinnamon Ornaments- Shape into magical things, and hang around your house for a lovely apple cinnamon scent and added magick.

I also plan for the next season by listing a ‘to-do’ list. For instance, with winter coming, I would add things like crafts to make, books to read, events to attend, projects to do, and goals. Just because it’s the dead of winter doesn’t mean we hibernate.

What things are your favorite things to do for Autumn?

Book Assignment: Paste dried leaves on a page, or use leaves as stamps. You can even make rubbings. Now list blessings and intentions for the coming months.

The Power of the Attitude Change

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After so long of seeing no results or receiving luck, I’ve been experimenting on myself by trying to change my attitude, to improve my idea of self-worth, and that I have the power to change what I feel in various situations. Attitude is everything.

“If you can’t get out of it, get into it”- This quote I found on the Internet. I’m not sure who originally said it, but it struck a chord in me, that it implied I had this super power to change my attitude towards doing something I didn’t really want to do.

In some things, I found this was easy. For instance, I don’t like dishes. Its not something I hate, but I’d rather not do them.  So, while washing dishes, I tend to let my mind wander during the redundant action of cleaning dishes. I will sometimes blast my favorite music. I’ve been known to dance while doing dishes. Other times, my mind wanders to stories, rattling in my head, that want to be written, or perhaps a craft project I want to do someday. It makes the work easier, the time passes quicker, and sometimes I feel I’m putting Order back into my life.

Doing any chore and complaining, or wallowing in the thought of how much you detest it, serves to make the time more miserable. You’re focusing, feeding that bad energy.  If it must be done, why not find some way of getting it done, or better still, enjoying yourself while doing it?

This might be difficult in some jobs, but others can end up being fun. Folding laundry with my son when he was little involved sock puppets, and fun experiments with static electricity. Even shoveling snow provoked games where we pretended to be snow plows. Mopping the floor, and I’m envisioning cleaning not just the dirt (and slaughtering dust bunnies) but cleaning the negativity in my house, removing the bad energies. Its very cathartic.

Studies on the topic of happiness also show that changing one’s attitude, even synthesized happiness, serves the same health benefits, and offer you real happiness.

It might take practice. I’m still a work-in-progress, and catch myself complaining. I’m trying to change that, and I’ll post results in a few months. I do see a shift already starting, where things don’t seem as bad as they are, and Life seems brighter.

Book Of Shadows in Deep Red with Pentagram 3 Ring BinderBook of Shadows Assignment: Journal about what you’re grateful for, what things in your life are blessings. Some things might not be things one would initially appreciate, but I am grateful for even the tough times, for they make me stronger.

Harvests that fail

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Harvests are just around the corner. But not all grains, fruits, and vegetables will be ready to harvest at the same time. and not all harvest will bear fruit…or whatever it was you planted.

Our goals are much the same; bearing nothing but disappointment for our efforts despite the best efforts put out to the Universe. Sometimes these things happen.

The first step is to take stock of one’s actions. Did you do enough, make mistakes, or even pay enough attention to your goals. An example would be to lose weight- did you exercise, keep track of your diet, and do what needed to be done to see results? If not, was there something you could do to adjust your efforts, try harder, for instance, that can help?

The second step is to take stock of the environmental factors. A goal of employment might not bear fruit if the job market is suffering. Perhaps a goal of an herb garden didn’t have the best soil to grow, or not enough sun, or too much sun? You can learn from this, try next year.

The third step is to recognize that some goals need their time to come to harvest. Some goals require more time, more focus, and even more help from others  to bear the fruit of success.

Remember- a failed harvest, or goal, does not make you a failure. You learn from it, and try again, providing the goal is important enough to you.

My own goals this year vary with success. Some goals I recognized I really didn’t want to do the work involved. Other goals required certain elements to succeed that I didn’t have. Other goals show results, but not the abundance I hoped for. I must adjust and move on.

I find myself taking pride in whatever goals I do accomplish, however small. Even goals I didn’t plan on, but spontaneously took up the last minute, earn me self-respect.

Book of Shadows Assignment: Write down the goals you’ve set for yourself this year, and what you should differently to accomplish them. Take note of effort versus yield. Give yourself kudos for successes you didn’t plan for.