cross quarter

I really can’t believe today is the day. Today is the “19 Years Later”. In a few hours the Potters are going to go to King’s Cross where they will meet with the Weasleys as usual. They will say goodbye to their kids. The scar wouldn’t have pained Harry for 19 years. All would be well.
Some of you may feel that Harry Potter has ended all over again. But there’s no need to be sad. As the Queen once said that the stories we love best never really leave us forever. So whether we come back by page, or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome us home. ❤️

The Wheel of the Year

The Wheel of the Year is an annual cycle of seasonal festivals, observed by many modern Pagans. It consists of either four or eight festivals: either the solstices and equinoxes, known as the “quarter days”, or the four midpoints between, known as the “cross quarter days”.

The festivals celebrated by differing sects of modern Paganism can vary considerably in name and date. Observing the cycle of the seasons has been important to many people, both ancient and modern, and many contemporary Pagan festivals are based to varying degrees on folk traditions.

In many traditions of modern Pagan cosmology, all things are considered to be cyclical, with time as a perpetual cycle of growth and retreat tied to the Sun’s annual death and rebirth.

Yule/Winter Solstice: a festival observed by the historical Germanic peoples, later undergoing Christian reformulation resulting in the now better-known Christmastide. A celebration the beginning of longer days, as this is the shortest day of the year in terms of sunlight. 

Imbolc: the first cross-quarter day following Midwinter this day falls on the first of February and traditionally marks the first stirrings of spring. It is time for purification and spring cleaning in anticipation of the year’s new life. 

For Celtic pagans, the festival is dedicated to the goddess Brigid, daughter of The Dagda and one of the Tuatha Dé Danann.

Among witches reclaiming tradition, this is the  time for pledges and dedications for the coming year.

Ostara/Spring Equinox: from this point on, days are longer than the nights. Many mythologies, regard this as the time of rebirth or return for vegetation gods and celebrate the spring equinox as a time of great fertility.

Germanic pagans dedicate the holiday to their fertility goddess, Ostara. She is notably associated with the symbols of the hare and egg. Her Teutonic name may be etymological ancestor of the words east and Easter.

Beltrane: traditionally the first day of summer in Ireland, in Rome the earliest celebrations appeared in pre-Christian times with the festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers, and the Walpurgis Night celebrations of the Germanic countries. 

Since the Christianization of Europe, a more secular version of the festival has continued in Europe and America. In this form, it is well known for maypole dancing and the crowning of the Queen of the May.

Litha/Summer Solstice: one of the four solar holidays, and is considered the turning point at which summer reaches its height and the sun shines longest.

Luchnassad/Lammas: It is marked the holiday by baking a figure of the god in bread and eating it, to symbolize the sanctity and importance of the harvest. Celebrations vary, as not all Pagans are Wiccans.  

The name Lammas (contraction of loaf mass) implies it is an agrarian-based festival and feast of thanksgiving for grain and bread, which symbolizes the first fruits of the harvest. Christian festivals may incorporate elements from the Pagan Ritual.

Mabon/Autumn Equinox: a Pagan ritual of thanksgiving for the fruits of the earth and a recognition of the need to share them to secure the blessings of the Goddess and the God during the coming winter months. The name Mabon was coined by Aidan Kelly around 1970 as a reference to Mabon ap Modron, a character from Welsh mythology. Among the sabbats, it is the second of the three Pagan harvest festivals, preceded by Lammas / Lughnasadh and followed by Samhain.

Samhain: considered by some as a time to celebrate the lives of those who have passed on, and it often involves paying respect to ancestors, family members, elders of the faith, friends, pets, and other loved ones who have died. In some rituals the spirits of the departed are invited to attend the festivities. It is seen as a festival of darkness, which is balanced at the opposite point of the wheel by the festival of Beltane, which is celebrated as a festival of light and fertility.

🌼🔮 A Summary of the Sabbats for Southern Hemisphere Witches 🔮🌼

As a kiwi witchling, sometimes it’s tricky celebrating the opposite sabbat to our Northern hemisphere friends! For example, while (what feels like) everyone is gearing up for Samhain, the days are getting warmer and Beltane is on the way for us!

I’m no expert but I’ve done my best to summarise the sabbats below with dates for us Southern hemisphere babes.

Credit to @myhiddenworldblog for the original post and idea 💞


🎃 Samhain 🎃

April 30th/May 1st

Considered to be the witches new year, Samhain is a cross quarter day; it is situated between the Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice. It is a time to remember lost loved ones, and a time for reflection. Samhain inaugurates Winter and is the last of the three harvesting festivals.


🎄Yule 🎄

June 20th-23rd (on the Winter solstice)

The shortest day of the year marks the turning point in the sun’s descent; from here, the days begin to grow longer. Also known as the Winter Solstice, we celebrate this as a time of renewal and hope.


⛅ Imbolc ⛅

Aug 1st/2nd

Imbolc marks the end of winter and the return of the sun. A celebration of light, hope, and spring being just around the corner. This is a great time to clean and cleanse your home, making way for new things to come.


🌱 Ostara 🌱

Sep 20th-23rd (on the vernal equinox)

Ostara celebrates the coming of fertility and is the time to plant seeds for the year to come. Just the act of planting a garden is a magical act in itself.


🔥 Beltane 🔥

Oct 30th/31st

A celebration of fertility and the season of fire, Beltane is a celebration full of joy. Many rituals contain sexual symbolism and some choose to conceive children at this time.


☀️ Litha ☀️

Dec 20th-23rd (on the summer solstice)

Midsummer or summer solstice, this is a celebration of the sun, the longest day of the year and a reminder of the shorter days to come. Midsummer is also a good time to collect herbs, flowers and other plants.


🌾 Lammas or Lughnassadh 🌾

Feb 1st/2nd

This sabbat is the first of the three harvesting festivals. Celebrations focus on grain, the harvest and being grateful for the food on our tables. Baking bread is a common ritual.


🍁 Mabon 🍁

Mar 20th-23rd (on the autumnal equinox)

The second of the three harvesting festivals, Mabon is the last spoke in the wheel of the year. The days are growing shorter and colder, and witches give thanks and reflect on the year.



Originally posted by thewitchesvoice

(Gif by @thewitchesvoice and isn’t it amazing? 💞)

My favourite thing to remember about the wheel of the year is that these celebrations are not man-made. They are a basic part of how our earth works and they are holidays of nature 🌎🌿

Feel free to share for your Southern hemisphere friends!

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‘SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING’ HAS ALREADY CROSSED $250MILLION WORLDWIDE!

In just four days, ‘Spider-man: Homecoming’ has crossed the quarter of a billion mark at the worldwide box office, with it’s current total at $257million. What’s more impressive is that the movie is still yet to release in several major territories such as France, Spain, Germany, Japan, and China!

Secular Witch Wheel of the Year ideas

So you want to celebrate your own wheel of the year, but you are not Wiccan (or maybe not a Celtic Polytheist or Heathen Polytheist when it comes to the specific Celtic or Heathen holidays)?  Why not try making your own wheel of the year to celebrate nature or your own holidays?

Note:  It’s important that if you do this, you do not try to make your own holiday yet still call it by another name.  For instance: if you make a holiday around February 1st and give your own attributes to it, it’s important to not call it “Imbolc”.  Imbolc is a specific holiday with its own customs used to celebrate Brigid.  If you want to celebrate Imbolc, then celebrate Imbolc.  If you’re not celebrating Imbolc, don’t call it Imbolc.  Make sense?

Second Note: The solstice and equinox holidays will be named as such, and the cross quarter holidays will be referred to as “mid-x”. Note, this is a bit different than what you may be used to since the solstice holidays are sometimes referred to as such. Ex: summer solstice as “mid-summer”. For the purposes of this post, only the cross quarter days will be referred to in that way. Just fyi to avoid confusion. I’m referring to them as “mid” because they are in the middle of the season.

Now, onto the ideas:

⛤ Winter Solstice (Usually somewhere between Dec 20th-22nd): Celebrate family, holiday cheer, resolve any old issues you’ve had this year, look back on the year and what you have done. What have you learned?? You can also celebrate this as a time of new beginnings.  Since the sun is returning and the days will be growing longer: you can view this as your new year.  Make witchy resolutions, or any new year resolutions!! Celebrate winter festivities and the return of the sun

⛤ Mid-winter (Feb. 1st-2nd): I view this holiday as a time for purification.  Get rid of any bad habits.  Cleanse yourself and your house.  Do some spring cleaning. Celebrate the growing strength of the sun, and celebrate the coming spring as well!!

⛤ Spring Equinox (Typically between March 19th-21st): I view this time of year as a time for growth.  This corresponds with the growing signs of spring in the environment.  The days getting warmer, etc.  Take the time to do spells that correspond with your growth as witch or just as a human being.  This time is heavily associated with fertility. But this could be fertility of many things - talents, the mind, imagination, projects, etc! Try out new things, practice the things you love to do, etc. Maybe even grow a garden as well.  Remember the new years resolution you made at the Winter Solstice? Now would be the time to make sure you’re bringing the list to fruition! Also, celebrate spring festivities!

⛤ Mid-Spring (May 1st-2nd):  For me, this time of year is about life and love. Celebrate life by helping others around you: donate food, money, or your time. This holiday can be a time for charity and giving to others. I specifically view this time as a celebration of life and the living because the opposite cross quarter day would be Mid-Autumn (Halloween), which is a day to celebrate the dead. You can also spend this holiday appreciating the life of nature by spending time outside, building a bonfire, going for a walk, or tending/creating a garden. You can also celebrate this holiday as a holiday for love - spend time with your loved ones! Do something special for them. For other’s, this time of year may also correspond with sex as well. Oh, and celebrate the coming of summer time!!

⛤ Summer Solstice (Typically between June 20th-22nd):  For me, this is a time for power.  Celebrate your power and magic as a witch.  I personally believe this is the day of the year when the power of the earth is strongest.  Some view this time as a day when the veil between worlds thins. Especially in regards to the Fae. So you could take advantage of that. Also, celebrate summer!  Woohoo Summer!!! Spend your days at the pool, hanging out outside….or inside where there’s air conditioning. Whatever works for you.

⛤ Mid-Summer (August 1st-2nd): First harvest.  Time for feasting.  Reap what you have sown so far throughout the year.  I correspond this holiday with food - specifically grain. Celebrate the earth and the food that it provides you. Also, celebrate the coming of Fall!! (My favorite season of the year)

⛤ Autumn Equinox (Typically between Sept 21st-24th): Second Harvest. Witchy Thanksgiving.  List all the things you are thankful for, and celebrate them! Do some Autumn festivities, and celebrate Autumn (arguably the best time of the year ;)

⛤ Mid-Autumn/Halloween (October 31st-November 2nd): The final harvest. The opposite of Mid-Spring which celebrates life, Mid-Autumn celebrates the dead/our ancestors. Do something nice to remember those who have past. Also, celebrate the coming of winter!

Feel free to use my ideas for your celebrations :)

15th November 1839 - Victoria’s Letters - Prince Albert’s First Love Letter

From their first meeting at 16-years-old, Victoria and Albert exchanged many, many letters (especially during their engagement), between England and Germany. Here is a transcription of the first letter Albert sent to Victoria during his journey home from England where they had just become engaged.

15th November 1839

Dearest, deeply loved Victoria,

According to your wish, and by the urging of my heart to talk to you and open my heart to you, I send these lines. We arrived safely at Calais, and Lord Alfred Paget is to re-cross in a quarter of an hour, and will arrive at Windsor early tomorrow. The state of the tide and strong wind forced us to start at 2.30 in the morning, and we reached here at about 6 o’clock. Even then the Firebrand could not approach the quay, so that we decided to go ashore in a smaller boat. We both, Schenk, and all the servants were fearfully ill; I have hardly recovered yet. I need not tell you that since we left, all my thoughts have been with you at Windsor, and that your image fills my whole soul. Even in my dreams I never imagined that I should find so much love on earth. How that moment shines for me when I was close to you, but with your hand in mine! Those days flew by so quickly, but our separation will fly equally so. Ernest wishes me to say a thousand nice things to you. With promises of unchanging love and devotion, your ever true Albert.

My best respects to the aunt and Baroness Lehzen

source - Queen Victoria’s Journals

Beltane/Spring CrossQuarter Personal Correspondances

This sabbat for me falls in the middle-end of spring. Blossoms on trees are starting to fall on the ground, yet vines and bushes of flowers of early summer are blooming such as hydrangeas and roses. It’s a very flowery period of the year.
Beltane is a fertility festival but I see it mostly as representing the fertility of the earth and the time to grow things again. This would be a great time to begin working in your garden, and placing the sprouting plants you grew in your eggshells for Ostara into a bigger flower pot. If you don’t have a garden and have mostly house plants its a fantastic time to repot house plants with fresh soil. It’s also a powerful time for magic and fairy activity which can cause mischief. I associate fairies with spring, trees blooming and especially Beltane so I like to decorate with butterflies and fairies and leave sweet offerings in the corner of my garden where the tulips and roses grow. Sometimes I like to make edibles with marijuana in the form of sweet earthy floral fairy cakes for my friends in my circle and I call it ‘fairy food’.

Beltane

May 1st


Colors:

  • Magenta
    The color of many local flowers, scenery and vegetables in season. It’s also probably because I’m surrounded by a lot of magnolia trees. 
  • Pink, Indigo, Periwinkle, Lavender-Blue, Purple color spectrum
    represents flowers that bloom around me at this time of year like magnolia and dark plum blossoms. Any colors that range from pink, purple and blues are great like the colors of hydrangea, bluebells, magnolia, plum blossoms, violets etc 
  • Leaf Green
    The soft green color of the first leaves sprouting from trees after the petals fall. 


Crystals:

Anything to attract love or create a sensual or an alluring power such as:

  • Rose Quartz
  • Carnelian
  • Garnet 


Herbs and Plants:

  • Violets
  • Roses, 
  • Hydrangea
  • Blue Bell
  • Muscari
  • Dandelions
  • Cherry Blossoms
  • Dogwood
  • Tulips
  • Lavender
  • Lilac
  • Pansies
  • Forsythia
  • Magnolia


Animals:

  • Butterflies
    Beltane is a time of transformation and maturity and also it’s midspring when Butterflies start to appear. 

  • Earthworms
    They help churn the soil and are friends to the garden. 

  • Swans
    Same as Butterflies as they represent transformation, maturity and sensuality along with love. 

  • Fairies
    It’s their time of the year


Decorations:

  • large flowers
  • flower pots
    Also make great may baskets since they’re practical to use after you give gifts in them. 
  • butterflies
  • blossom garland
  • huge ribbon garland or even a Maypole
  • think enchanted spring garden party


Food:

  • In season there are a variety of foods that are delicious and colorful and even pink and magenta (another reason why I associate these colors with this sabbat) such as red beets, red cabbage and radishes. 

  • There are also Endives and flowery looking foods like asparagus, white asparagus, ferns and artichokes. 

  • Also to celebrate the blossoming trees you could make cauliflower or make pink/purple cauliflower. I believe naturally pink and purple cauliflower might only be in season in the later summer, so you can make it though steaming cauliflower with beet juice to get a bright pink version. 

  • Also this sabbat celebrates the fertility of the earth and the beginning of the growing season or gardening so earthy flavors like green tea, matcha, spinach are welcomed. 

  • For desserts flavors for cream cookies, macarons (I’m sure make great offering to fairies), whipped cream cakes and more, you can stick to floral flavors in season like lavender, violet, rose, (if you can find it) cherry blossom, jasmine. There are other edible flowers like dandelions, lilac and pansies that you could experiment with. 

  • I also love the idea of having flower pot cakes with cookie crumble on top to represent the soil. For something more floral/creamy and less chocolatey/nutty you can make a floral jello cake that is light and refreshing.

  • I also have a list of snacks and candy treats I like to give to friends or serve at gatherings. To celebrate the blooming trees I like to fairy floss. Also pixie sticks are fun and you can call it fairy dust. Also since earth worms help the soil for growth you can serve gummy worms. Also if you like the sex fertility aspect this sabbat, worms are pretty phallic but if you are uninterested in that aspect, you can just celebrate the fertility/growth of the earth and garden. I like to think of this as an enchanted garden party before a sex festival. I’m also going to try to make meringue mushrooms this year. 

Instruments/Music:
Harps
captures the sounds of enchantment, falling petals and graciousness

Fragrances/Incense:
Fig, Blossom, Lavender, Rose, Honey, Violets, Nectar, Earth, Rain