Starting with today, here’s a list of some holidays my witchbabies! Feel free to add any more to the list. I don’t personally celebrate all of these and remember you don’t have to! And you can celebrate however you please! Witch tip: write the ones you want to into your phone calendar and let it alert you in time to prepare for it :)
If you have been reading up on Wicca for a while, online and perhaps in books, you have probably read a bit about the eight sabbats. It’s important to note that these sabbats were included in Wicca by Gerald Gardner, and they are borrowed from several different places, from several different traditions. There is not one ancient European religion that celebrated all eight sabbats.
In this post I want to talk about Imbolc on a slightly deeper level, from a different point of view than you might have come across in basic books on Wicca.
To begin with this was the sabbat that I had the most trouble connecting with, but what I am going to share in this post has made it easier for me to feel a connection to this sabbat. Nowadays I am always looking forward to Imbolc and I feel a very strong connection to this beautiful celebration.
Basics About Imbolc
Date: 1st/2nd February (some places say 2nd but I like to celebrate on the Eve of the 1st) Other names: Imbolg, Brigid, Candlemas
For me the biggest issue with Imbolc started when I found Wicca while still living in Sweden. In English books, this sabbat is described as the first spring sabbat. You are to celebrate that the nature is re-awakening, new life is growing. In the Goddess and God mythological cycle, the Goddess is entering Her phase as a young maiden, while the God is a child. There are snowdrops and other flowers too - the books tell you.
And this is probably true in some other places in the northern hemisphere as well (and in the southern hemisphere, this goes completely out the window!)
Right, so it says that now you can see the first signs of spring.
And as a Swedish person you look out through the window at all the snow and wonder where exactly these signs of spring are hiding.
I know I was even thinking that the date for this sabbat should be changed, because it so obviously does ring true with the Swedish climate. Of course you can see Imbolc as a chance to help spring move along, but I never thought this was enough. It was always very frustrating to me, because I felt like I completely missed out on this part of the Wheel of the Year.
It wasn’t until I moved to England, to Devon, that I actually felt I could get a connection to Sweden’s Imbolc. This is a bit ironic, since Devon is known as England’s Riviera. Here crocuses have already started to appear. Though this winter has been cold: the temperature has dropped below zero at least a couple of days. Sometimes we have had to have the heating on in the house all day. One day there was even sleet for an hour or two.
When Imbolc appears there are snowdrops, crocus and often daffodils. There are buds on the trees and I can really see how Imbolc is the first spring sabbat.
But Imbolc is so much more than that, and that is what I have gained a connection to that will also work in Sweden and other colder countries in the Northern Hemisphere.
Because Imbolc is also called Brigid (pronounced ‘Breed), and Brigid is the Goddess of poetry, the forge, fire and creativity. She is also the Goddess of healing and midwifery. This is connected to the Goddess having given birth to the God, but it is also about re-awakening and give life to one’s own creativity and creative force after the winter darkness.
Even in Sweden the light is returning, and people know that they are headed toward spring and they have more energy. So this is a perfect time to honour the fire within ourselves, and its creative flames. That is what has allowed me to make a connection to Imbolc.
For me this is now a celebration of fire, a time to start forming what I want to achieve during the coming year. This is a chance for me to find myself and stand in my own power, just like the Goddess is doing. This is the sabbat when She has the least connection to the God; She is out there celebrating Herself and Her desires, and we have the chance to do the same!
What You Can Focus On
The Goddess is in her forge. She is strong, she surely has soot smeared on her face, her skin is blank with sweat while she is lifting the hammer against the anvil, to form what she is working on. She is forming her own life. She works with what she wants. She decides which one of her ideas she wants to make reality, and then she makes it happen. There is nothing that can stop her.
She is the mistress of her own life.
So take this moment to have a ritual where you are honouring the Goddess’ immense power of creation. It is this very power that will soon melt even the snow. It is this power that makes nature crackle with new life. And this power is present within each and everyone of us.
How can you use this power within a ritual? Here are some of my suggestions =)
Use this creative life force to think about what you want to make in your forge. What do you want to achieve the coming year?
Focus on your own inner creative fire. How does it look? Is it lit? Or do you need to kindle it? What fuel does it need? Think about how the fire used to be the very heart - the hearth - of the home, and how we need this to survive. If yours has gone out it is time to feed the flames!
Do you feel your are stuck in some project and you’re not sure how to move it forward? This is the perfect ritual to find new inspiration.
Do you need healing? Let Brigid’s healing hands help you to heal.
Do you want to get rid of bad habits? Let Brigid’s fire burn them away, and let yourself be born again from the flames.
Ideas For Magic
This is the perfect sabbat to work with healing magic both for yourself and for others.
Candle and fire magic are also great to work with here, to re-connect to the power of the fire.
It’s also a really good time to plant seeds representing that which you want to achieve the coming year. Plant a seed for something you want to grow and charge it with your energy and inention. See how it grows as your project is growing, and take some time each day to connect to your seed (and in time plant!) to deepen your own connection to it and that which you want to achieve.
I hope this have given you some new thoughts about this glittering celebration!
History sometimes gives us a terrible shock, and that is because we don’t quite fully understand. Why should we? After all, we’re too small to realize its final pattern. Therefore, don’t try and judge it from where you stand.
First Doctor, The Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Eve
INFORMATION FOR BEGINNERS SERIES, GLOSSARY OF TERMS COMMONLY USED IN WICCA
Glossary Of Terms Commonly Used In Wicca
Rowan Moonstone And Durwydd Mactara
AKASHA- the spiritual ether (or Aether); the omnipresent fifth occult element which embraces the other four- earth, air, fire, and water; and from which they stem. This is the realm of “pattern” or causality, from which the realm the normally thought of “five senses manifests. Some define it is the "other” of the “two worlds” that the witch or magician walks between.
ARADIA- Daughter of the Goddess Diana, and a name for the Goddess used by Italian Witches or Strega, commonly used in many Wiccan traditions today.
ASPECTING- Any advanced magickal activity in which a practitioner manifests a particular aspect of the Goddess or God, in thought, feelings, behavior, appearance, etc.; Often as a direct result of a “Drawing Down”. Often a minor variation of this phenomena occurs with the selection of a “Magical Name”, of Craft Name.
ASPECTS- Forms, facets, or personas of Deity: for example, Brighid, Iseult,Eos, and Kore are all aspects of the Maiden, and the Maiden is an aspect of the Goddess.
ATHAME- black handled, double edged dagger. Principally used to cast and dissolve the circle, for which purposes it is interchangeable with the magic sword. A tool of the “Element” of Fire in the Georgian Tradition and some others.
BELTANE- May Eve festival. One of the Ancient Celtic “Fire Festivals.” on this night, the cattle were driven between two bonfires to protect them from disease. Couples wishing for fertility would “ jump the fires” on Beltane night. Also the traditional Sabbath where the rule of the “Wheel of the Year” is returned to the Goddess. This Festival also marks the transition point of the threefold Goddess energies from those of Maiden to Mother.
BOOK OF SHADOWS- Traditionally hand copied book of rituals, recipes, training techniques, guidelines, and other materials deemed important to a Witch or a coven. Each tradition has it’s own standard version of the Book and each Witch’s book will be different as he or she adds to it with time from many different sources. Only another Witch can see your book of shadows. Also, traditionally, it may never leave your hands or possession until death, when it should be destroyed, or (in some traditions) returned to the coven to be disposed of.
BURNING TIMES- a term used by some Witches for the period of persecution in the Middle Ages and later. It is in fact a misnomer in some places, as Witches were only burned in Scotland, and on the continent of Europe. In England and the U.S., they were hanged.
CANDLEMAS- Festival held on Feb. 1. One of the 4 Celtic “Fire Festivals. Commemorates the changing of the Goddess from the Crone to the Maiden. Celebrates the first signs of Spring. Also called "Imbolc” (the old Celtic name). This is the seasonal change where the first signs of spring and the return of the sun are noted, i.e. the first sprouting of leaves, the sprouting of the Crocus flowers etc. In other words, it is the festival commemorating the successful passing of winter and the beginning of the agricultural year.This Festival also marks the transition point of the threefold Goddess energies from those of Crone to Maiden.
CARDINAL POINTS- North, South, East, and West, marked in the Georgian Tradition by candles of green, red, yellow, and blue, respectively. The Circle is drawn to connect these four points.
CHALICE- one of the tools of the Witch. Placed on the altar to represent the element of Water.
CHARGE OF THE GODDESS- The Traditional words of the Goddess to her followers, or “hidden children”. Normally declaimed by the HPS at every coven Circle.
CIRCLE- the area in which the magickal worship and spells takes place. Can also be used to designate a particular group of Witches or Pagans such as “Silver Acorn Circle”.
CONE OF POWER- power raised in the circle by the Witches assembled, and sent out into the world to work magick, is usually visualized as being retained and built in the form of a “cone” prior to release.
COVEN- an organized group of Witches, led by a High priestess and/or a High Priest who meet regularly for worship and fellowship. The traditional membership is 13, but in fact most covens number considerably less. 3 is the minimum in the Georgian Tradition. In Middle English, “Covin” a group of confederates; In Old French “Covine” a band or group with a single purpose; Latin “Com”-together, “Venire”-to come or move.
COVENSTEAD- regular meeting place for a coven. Usually the home of the High Priestess or High Priest.
COWAN- a non-Witch. Formerly used in a very derogatory manner. Still used in Masonic Ritual to indicate the non initiate and/or pretender to “real craft”. Not often used today among most Witches.
COYOTE ENERGY- trickster energies. Named for the American Indian Trickster, Coyote, who tricks man into learning what he needs to learn. Applies to one who constantly jokes and clowns. Also applies to the concept of “Holy Fool” in many traditions.
CROSS QUARTER DAYS- The modern name for the Celtic Fire Festivals of Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane, and Lammas.
DEOSIL- clockwise, or sunwise. Traditional direction for working “building” magick.
DRAWING DOWN THE MOON- Ritual invocation of the spirit of the Goddess into the body of the High Priestess by the High Priest.
DIVINATION- magical method of exploration or inquiry into a situation via such methods as Tarot cards, runestones, I- Ching, etc.
ELEMENTS- Earth, air, fire, and water, plus spirit, which includes them all. These are regarded as realms or categories of nature (both material and non-material) and are not to be confused with the physicists table of elements, which the modern witch, of course, accepts.
ESBAT- weekly or biweekly meeting of a coven. Traditionally held either on the full moon or the new moon.
FAMILIARS- Either a Witch’s pet animal which has been trained to be a magickal helper, or an artificially created “elemental” which performs the same functions as the animal friend.
FIVEFOLD KISS, FIVEFOLD SALUTE- The Witches’ ritual salute, with kisses; (1) on each foot, (2) on each knee, (3) above the pubic hair, (4) on each breast, and (5) on the lips- really 8 kisses in all. It is only used within the Circle, but the words that go with it are the origin of “Blessed Be.”
GARDNERIANS- Tradition of Witchcraft descended from the teachings of Gerald Gardner.
GNOMES- an “entity” or “elemental” that dwells in the plane of Earth or is associated with the EARTH Element.
GREAT RITE- The rite which is the main feature of the third degree initiation, and which is also laid down for certain festivals. It is sexual in nature, but may be `actual’ (and private to the couples concerned) or symbolic, as the participants wish.
HALLOWS- name used by some traditions for Samhain, or Halloween
HANDFASTING- Wiccan equivalent of a wedding. It can be made legal if the Priestess and/or Priest are registered as clergy with the local authorities, or it may only be considered binding within the coven.
HIGH PRIEST/ESS- Technically speaking, a Witch who has received the 3rd. degree initiation. More usually, the male and female leaders of a coven.
IMBOLC- Celtic name for Candlemas.
INVOCATION- The ritual “calling-in” of an entity (or energies) higher than human, either for communication with the caller through a medium or by visible manifestation or else to enter into a human body as in the Drawing Down the Moon. In some traditions, a Prayer.
LAMMAS- August 1st. Witch Festival. The Old Celtic name for this festival is Lughnassadh. It is the Festival of the First Fruits, and is the first of the 3 harvests. This festival also marks the change of the Threefold Goddess energies from that of Mother to Crone.
MAIDEN- An appointment held by one of the women of the coven. She is virtually the assistant High Priestess. This term is also the descriptive term used to describe the first of the aspects of the Threefold Goddess Energies (Maiden, Mother, and Crone). It is traditionally associated with the Waxing Moon, and the period from Imbolc (Candlemas) to Beltane (May eve) where the energies are those of initiating, beginning, and creation.
OLD RELIGION- another name for the Craft.
PAGANING- Presentation of an infant to the Circle and to the Gods.
PENTACLE- a disc shaped talisman; in particular, the metal disc which represents the earth element among the witch’s working tools.
PENTAGRAM- The five-pointed star. With a single point uppermost, it represents the human being. Inverted, with two points uppermost, it can have Satanist associations; but not necessarily. Some traditions of Wicca use the inverted pentagram to signify an initiate of the second degree.
QUARTERS- The North, East, South, and West parts of a magickal circle or other ritual area. (See also “Watchtowers”)
REDE- rule or law.
SABBAT- one of the Eight festivals or high holy days of Wicca.
SALAMANDER- an entity that dwells in the realm of Fire.
SAMHAIN- The festival of remembrance for the dead, held on the eve of Nov. 1st. It is the last of the three harvests. This festival also marks the transition of rulership of the “Wheel of the Year from that of the Goddess to that of the God.
SCRYING- divination, usually using such methods as crystal gazing, or divination via incense smoke, or water as opposed to tarot or other manipulative means.
SPELL- a prayer, or verbal direction of magickal energies toward the accomplishment of some goal.
SUMMONER- The male officer of the coven who corresponds to the Maiden. He is the assistant High Priest.
SYLPH- an "entity” or “elemental” that dwells in the plane of Air or is associated with the AIR Element.
TRADITIONS- any of the various “sects” of Wicca such as Gardnerian, Alexandrian, Georgian, Seax, etc.
UNDINE- an “entity” or “elemental” that dwells in the plane of Water or is associated with the WATER Element.
WAND- A rod or staff that is prepared so that it may be used for magickal or psychic purposes, usually to project some form of power.
WARLOCK- a term coined in the Burning Times. It was used to denote a traitor to the Craft, or one who had betrayed the followers of the Old Religion. It’s origin is Scottish. Because of the negative connotations, it is not used by most Wiccans today.
WATCH TOWERS- Originally from the Enochian branch of Ceremonial Magick, now incorporated into many “Traditions” of Wicca, these are the four elemental “directions” or “quarters” (corresponding to the appropriate points on the compass) called to protect the Circle during its establishment. Each of them have a correspondence between the compass point, an element, and (varying amongst different traditions) color associated with them.
WICCA- the name most modern day Witches use for the Craft. It comes from the Anglo-Saxon word Wicce, meaning to bend or to shape. This is the root word from which we get wicker.
WIDDERSHINS- counter clock wise. Used for “tearing down” OR BANISHING magick.
WHITE HANDLED KNIFE- the working knife of a Witch. It is used to carve candles, and for fashioning the other tools. Traditionally, it can only be used in a Circle.
Copyright 1991 by Rowan Moonstone and Durwydd MacTara.
Permission to reprint for educational purposes at no cost is hereby granted to all and sundry, provided the text is not altered in any way.
hello, so i honestly don’t know what this is… it starts from when they first met until now. it’s just pictures, instagram screenshots, tweets, etc. basically anything involving zayn and perrie, including both families and some friends. it’s extremely long, but i think reading it from start to finish might help people appreciate their relationship.
i’ll add to it whenever something happens. xoxo :)
First off, before I start my list, usually when people request this, they don’t actually know what they are asking, but with further examination they actually mean: books that aren’t about: casting circles call guardians of the four directions with classical elements, the eight sabbats, harm none and rule of three ethics, god and goddess consort pairings, maiden mother crone, and/or attention to moon phases. Some of these things are not actually unique to Wicca, and some are not even really a part of or a significant part of Wicca. A few things that are uniquely Wiccan, or created for Wicca of that list: the 8 Sabbats (a blending of Celestial Observances (Solstices and Equinoxes) and Celtic Fire Festivals (November Eve-Samhain/Halloween, February 1s/2nd-Imbolc/Candlemas, May Eve/May Day-Beltane, August Eve/August 1st-Lughnassadh/Lammas). Not all lines of Initiatory Wicca use the directional elemental callings. Maiden Mother Crone was pretty much an add on, as White Goddess wasn’t put out until after Gardner really got things going. The God and Goddess pairings appear in other kinds of witchcraft–for example, Gospel of Aradia. Although Harm none and the rule of 3 are in Wicca to some extent, they come from Theosophic and other philosophical traditions and aren’t actually central to the ethic. Other witchcraft traditions have varying degrees of attention to ethics and philosophical ideas about blow-back (or lack there of)–a witchcraft having ethics does not make it Wiccan. Attention to Moon-phases and celebrating on Full Moons is in Gospel of Aradia too.
So, that being said, the combination of all those things, does dominate the popular witchcraft press and it was derived from what at least people thought Wicca was, even if it was an inaccurate potrayal.
All that said, here are some non-wiccan witchcraft books. They do not contain all the above in combination, usually only one or two of the points.
A Crones Book of Words and a Crones book of Charms by Valerie Worth
Call of the Horned Piper by Nigel Jackson
Treading the Mill by Nigel Pearson
Black Toad and Traditional Witchcraft by Gemma Gary
Traditional Witchcraft for— (anything from the series) by Mesuline Draco
Gospel of Aradia by Charles Leland
Jambalya by Luisah Teish
Teachings of an Outlaw Witch by Kali Tara (She is technically Wiccan, but really looking outside the box a lot–and we need more WOC on this list).
Faerie Mysticism by Ari Devi
Irish Witchcraft from an Irish Witch by Lora O'Brien
Imbolc is the holiday when we see the first signs of spring,
at this point winter is by no means completely over but we can see the first
signs of spring with the first leaves/plants sprouting and often snowdrops
coming through. This is the day we honour the rebirth of the sun and celebrate
the goddess Brigid (a Celtic goddess) If you can make it, with your hands
Brigid rules it, and Imbolc is the time to communicate and honour her by
lighting multiple white candles along with yellow and red candles for to remind
us of the passing winter and transition into spring. Imbolc can also be known as
‘candlemass’ or ‘Brigids’ (said breeds) day.
Ostara is the spring equinox along with being the pagan Easter,
it is a day in which is nether harsh like winter but does not have the warmth
of summer. Ostara is usually a time of wonder (often children) eggs are painted
and used as decoration and spring flowers are placed in baskets.
This is often a good time to perform self-banishing spells
or rituals to help with productivity, along with performing rituals to gain
things we have recently lost or even gain quality’s we wish to have in the
Incense/herbs: rose, jasmine.
Decorations: coloured eggs, spring flowers.
Colours: yellow, light green and pale colours.
Beltane- May eve – April 30th/may
Beltane is the union between the goddess and gods, so hand fasting
and vows of commitment are quite popular around Beltane, it is also a time for
fertility and the harvest a time for gaining wealth from the seeds that have
been sown. Celebrations include, circling the maypole for fertility, braiding
hair and jumping the Beltane fire for luck.
Incense/herbs: frankincense, lilac.
Decorations: maypole, ribbons, flowers.
Litha – summer solstice (mid
summer) - June 21st/22nd:
The summer solstice is said to be the most powerful day of
the year for the sun god, and because this is honouring the sun god fire plays
a role in litha, fire is very easily seen and has a number of other uses such
as; cook, consume, shed light and purify. As it is the longest day of the year
this represents the god in full power, since this sabbat revolved around the
sun and fire a candle should be lit for the full day, especially if its gloomy
Incense/herbs: sage, mint, basil, lavender, st johns wort,
Lammas is a festival celebrating the results of the
harvest, it is a time for baking bread and making corn dollies. Some people
during Lammas go for a walk in nature (in the woods/park/fields/country side)
and meditate to connect with nature and take in the beautiful soundings.
Mabon is in the middle of the harvest, and is on the day
when the day and night are of equal length of time. Mabon is a time for giving
thanks for what the earth has provided, and for finishing up on going projects
and plans. This is a time to reflect on your life and make plans for the
future, along with being a time for resting and celebration. Warm autumn days
and cold nights, as the sun god moves back into the embrace of the goddess.
Incense/herbs: Nutmeg, Cloves, Cinnamon, juniper, oak moss,
Decorations: corn/maize, pumpkin, herbs, apples. (Items
that have been harvested, and will last a few weeks).
Colours: Red, Bronze, Orange, Yellow, Rust.
Samhain – all hallows eve-
Samhain is pronounced sow-en/sow-een not sam-hayne. Also
known as Halloween.
Samhain is one of the highest holy days for witches, it is
one of the last times to dry herbs for the winter, and it is also a day in
which fairies are said to be afoot causing mischief.
Samhain is also a ‘day of the dead’ and is a time to honour
and remember ancestors and loved ones that have passed, this time of year the
veil between the two worlds is at the thinnest so spirits and souls of loved
ones have the energy to come and visit us in our world at this time food and
wine is often left out for the spirits.
The winter solstice is the rebirth of the sun, and is quite
important as it marks the shortest day of the year, it will also start the
increase of the day time until the summer solstice when the darkness becomes
ascendant once more. Yule is a celebration, and a time for a family to come together
and celebrate. Yule logs are traditionally served along with wassail. A
large red, green or blue candle is burned, the candle is decorated with sprigs
of holly and/or evergreen sprigs. The candle is lit every night for 12 days.
Incense/herbs: bay, cinnamon, frankincense, birch, pine,
Decorations: nuts, pinecones, acorns, yule log (wooden not
cake for decoration), candles.