Category Archives: wicca

Prep for Winter

While walking the other day, I see the animals making their preparations for winter. Here are some tips to help you do the same;

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On the blog,  onegoodthingbyjillee.com, she shares some neat tips on how to put your garden to bed.

heaterTrying to stay warm can be an issue if your power goes out, but BE CAREFUL with heaters and anything warmed with candles. This project offers an inexpensive means for heat, but DO NOT LEAVE UNATTENDED.

I have fingerless gloves to help keep my hands warm, as well as wrists. My husband made me another pair from an old sweat shirt. This makes a huge difference for me in staying warm when our house is kept at a lower temperature.

This lends to my next tip- Programmable Thermostat. We got one a few years ago, and it can lower the temperature in the evenings, when we’re toasty under blankets. It turns the heat up by the time we get out of bed. This helps tremendously to cut our electric bill without freezing us through the winter.

I love my electric blanket for sleeping, but I also have a electric blanket that’s heated as well. My son uses that at his desk, or we use it to watch TV on colder evenings. You can also find USB heated blankets, or car charger blankets for your vehicle.

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And here is a helpful article from Women’s Day that shares House Prep Tips, that includes gardens.

This includes weatherization, and caring for patio furniture.

Preparing for winter in an emotional or spiritual sense involves some planning as well.

- Make a list of fun things you want to do through the winter. This might include skating, sledding, building a snow man, or watching movies, sipping cocoa, or learning new things (language, herbalism, or knitting as suggestions).

- Keep a journal. Journaling offers catharsis for those who might deal with depression or negative thinking. Promise yourself you won’t ‘feed your depression’, but practice happy thoughts, focusing on the positive, and adjusting the attitude to reflect a healthier outlook on Life.

- Use the winter for learning. It’s the best time to stay indoors and master new skills. I already started my ‘learning list’ which includes crochet, handmade cards, jewelry making, and even some projects around the house. Keeping busy will keep the doldrums at bay.

Are you ready for winter yet? Post in comments to share your ideas.

Ritual Etiquette Rant

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I organize a group via the Meetup.com site, welcoming pagans who wish to join in workshops, social outings, and occasional rituals. It’s a handy site, including message boards but more importantly, online tools to organize events.

I can add venues, add map directions, limit members, and get automatic alerts when people change their RSVP, even at the least minute.

So Mabon I had seven members signed up. We were going to have ritual and potluck. Only three members bothered to list what they’d bring, one added an activity, while everyone else didn’t want to plan the Mabon ritual. Two backed out the day of the ritual, one messaged she couldn’t make it due to traffic, while three others didn’t bother showing up at all.

So I wanted to share a few things about attending rituals that I think people need to understand about the etiquette.

If you’ve given your RSVP as yes, show up! Just not showing up is one of the biggest peeves of mine. I will wait a bit for late arrivals, but when members don’t arrive at all, it can seriously impact the energy in the sacred space. I even give my cell phone numbers for them to call, but also have the meetup app so if they change their RSVP, I get the alert immediately.

If you say you’re coming, arrive on time. No one was late…this time. But this was worth mentioning. Being late interferes with rituals, or forces groups to wait for your arrival, or ‘open a door’ when you get there. I often wait 15 minutes for late arrivals, but rituals that require meditations or power raising are affected by such disruptions.

Do not bring uninvited/unexpected guests. This didn’t happen for Mabon, but its happened in the past before. It is very rude to bring a guest, (sometimes who isn’t even pagan) to rituals, unless its understood to be an ‘open ritual’. Even then, some pagans feel uncomfortable being open to the scrutiny of strangers. Always ask before bringing a guest.

ASK QUESTIONS. When in doubt, talk to the organizer about what is expected.  Leaders should be approachable, but as a member, you have a responsibility to yourself to speak up if you’re confused or don’t understand something. Some of us take things for granted (or make mistakes), so letting us know is appreciated.

If it’s a potluck- BRING SOMETHING. Don’t let everyone else carry the load of food and drink. It helps even to bring utensils, napkins, plates, etc. You don’t have to make something. You can buy something, or if you’re really poor, let the organizer know. I’ve been open to letting members help with setup or breakdown instead of food.

If you didn’t go, send an apology! It bothers me when people don’t show up but it shows a deep inconsideration to not apologize for the inconvenience. It lets the host know that you didn’t just forget them, and more importantly, that you’re not taking them for granted.

I was so disgruntled after Mabon, I’m not keen on having any more rituals this year.

What are your thoughts? Are you part of a group that has rules to deal with this? Have any suggestions? I’d love to hear from my readers.

 

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.