a pagan place

Ways to Celebrate Pretty Much Every Pagan Holiday

(And most of these work no matter how discreet you have to be!)

  • Food- No holiday is complete without a feast! Have a potluck, try a new recipe in the kitchen, or just contemplate your usual dinner and be thankful that you have food. Lots of sabbats have popular recipes or ingredients that you could try making, or incorporate those types of foods into your meals.
  • Spend Time Outdoors- Have a picnic, go on a walk, or just sit on a chair and observe nature for a little while. Feel the air and observe how the seasons have changed.
  • Pay it Forward- Celebrate family, do something nice for your friends, or volunteer in your community.  Go out and help people. ‘Tis the season!
  • Clean and Cleanse- A lot of holidays focus on some type of new beginnings. Clean your space and cleanse yourself of any residual energies you may be holding onto. Getting everything tidy and organized is a great way to give yourself a foundation for the coming year, no matter when that year begins!
  • Self Reflect- Think about where you were 365 days ago. How much you’ve grown, what you’ve gained and lost, what lessons you have been taught. What are your goals for the future? What is your next step?
  • Regular Worship- If you have any deities that you regularly interact with, consider giving them an offering and thanking them for just being a part of your life.
Getting to know the spirits of place

A few days ago I wrote about how the life of everything sings together to make the spirit of a place. As a druid and animist, I like to learn as much as I can about the place and the beings that give it its special spirit.

There are two kinds of knowledge. One is the kind that you can find in books and on the internet. The second is the knowledge in your bones, the knowing you arrive at by using all of your senses.

I like to combine both of these kinds of knowledge to make closer connections to the spirits that surround me.

Try this experiment.

Pick a being that lives near you. It can be a tree, a plant, or a rock – it’s good to start with something that won’t run away. Sit with it for a while, opening all your senses to it. (Only use your sense of taste if you are absolutely certain it’s not poisonous!) See what you can learn by just sharing space with this being.

Then go home and look the plant or stone up in a book or on the web. Look for its characteristics and its uses. To what extent does your intuition agree with what’s in the book?

When I try this, I am invariably surprised about how much I can learn from just being with a natural thing. It would seem that humans are quite capable of using their intuition for all kinds of things.

Why don’t you have a go and see for yourself?

Spirit of place - who do you share your space with?

According to a common definition, animism is the belief that ‘everything has spirit’. You hear people talk about 'the spirit of the tree’ or 'the spirit of the river’.

This might make it sound as though animists believe that there is a spirit entity attached to, say, a tree, that is somehow separate. An inhabitant of the spirit world that looks after the tree.

That’s not how I see it. The spirit of a tree is the deepest reality of the tree itself. It reveals itself in the shape of its branches, in its flowers and fruits. It is the tree in all its aliveness, connected to the soil that holds it and the air that feeds it.

The spirit of the tree is also part of the spirit of the place where it grows. Each locality is filled with spirit, which is made up of the life and presence of everything there.

If the tree is old, if it has shared in the life of that place for a long time, it may have become a guardian. Its spirit will be very noticeable as part of the spirit of place, like a repeating melody in a piece of music, or a dominant colour in a painting.

But everything there, from the tiniest pebble to the quality of the light, contributes to the spirit of the place. It all sings together of the magic of life as it expresses itself in that particular place.

The room you are in right now has its own spirit. If it is your room, your own spirit will have created much of it, choosing objects and furniture according to your taste and personality.

Each of those objects, the materials they are made of, the fabric of the building and its history also contribute to the spirit of your room.

I am writing this in the tiny flat we have made in our house while it is being renovated. Fire is burning in the wood stove. Some washing is drying next to it. The oven is cooking our dinner. My husband is doing something on his own laptop. This is the house he grew up in, and we are still living with some of the furnishings his parents left behind. The spirit of this room has many stories to tell.

What spirits are sharing your space right now? How do they combine to make up the spirit of the place? How can you acknowledge them?

(picture from pixabay.com)

4

The Druids Temple, Inverness

One of the most beautiful places I’ve had the fortune to visit. Sites like this are so much more special for their isolation and solitude….it was just us, the standing stones and the autumn light filtering through the trees.

21.10.2015

Guide to Mabon

Just to let you all know, on Sunday the 23rd of September, Mabon is happening!

Now, that’s great, but… what is Mabon?

  • Mabon is a pagan holiday that takes place on the annual Autumnal Equinox (which this year is on Sunday, September 23rd).
  • Also called Harvest Home, it is a time for celebration and for reaping what you have sewn.
  • It is a time to give thanks to Gaea, our Mother Earth.
  • Mabon is also the name of the welsh god of light and the son of the Earth Mother, Modron.

How do you celebrate Mabon?

  • Witches celebrate Mabon in a number of different ways. Typically, witches will incorporate the symbols of the harvest holiday into their day.
  • These symbols include items such as horns of plenty, ivy, and pine cones; foods such as pomegranates, pumpkins, dried seed, and apples; colours such as orange, gold, maroon, brown, and red.
  • Many wiccans have a large feast on this night, filled with the foods of the holiday such as potatoes, carrots, squash, pomegranates, apples, and onions. It is sometimes seasoned with the herbs of the god Mabon (rose, honeysuckle, acorns, thistle, and ferns) but make sure they’re edible!
  • Some witches build an altar for Mabon and decorate it with the symbols of the harvest holiday, as well as with tools (such as hand trowels, baskets or scythes), and a yellow or orange candle. When the candle is lit, many witches offer a prayer to the Goddess Mother or the Green Man.

What are other things to do on the holiday?

  • There are many things to do! Here are just a few suggestions.
  • Practice apple magic, go on a long walk in the woods, listen to music, do arts and crafts, and spend time with your family and friends!
  • Mabon is a time of balance. Meditation for harmony is great to do on this holiday. Maybe even meditate outside if it’s not too cold!
  • Celebrate the hearth and the home and cleanse your home by burning sage or using consecrated water. Decorate your home with symbols of the harvest season!
  • Leave an offering of thanks to the gods of the vine. Whether that is Dionysus, Bacchus, the Green Man, or other gods! Leaving an offering of wine, honey, apples, frankincense, etc.

I hope you all have a wonderful harvest season and a great Mabon! Feel free to leave a comment of how you’re celebrating this year. Blessed be to all!

Guys,

OK, so I was doing my normal thing, scrolling my tumblr feed, listening to music, ignoring my class, and I found this;

There’s literally an almost pentagram in the trees. Don’t see it?

I outlined it in white (and connected the one missing line)

Now it’s a pentacle

SEE! Pentagram. That tree is magical.