wiccan wheel of the year

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.

Imbolc Playlist

Admit it.

Sometimes pagan jams are a bit too folksy or ambient for a gathering. I feel you. I love my ambient folk as much as the next witch but as your prepping the food, gathering the herbs, or post rit as the circle opens and it’s time to just hang skyclad with your coven in the hot tub after your group bathing ritual. You want something that hits a wider variety of musical tastes. 

I made this list with the idea that I could listen to it on the lead up to a Sabbat to get pumped and then as the party track list for while we’re doing the stuff before and after circle. Each track is themed for the Sabbat and I tried to hit as many genres as I could. 

That said, I can’t know all music. what else belongs on this playlist?

The Quickening by Spiral Dance 
Florence + The Machine - What the Water Gave Me
Adele - Set Fire to the Rain Lyrics
Princess Chelsea - The Cigarette Duet
Witchy Woman - Eagles
Anaconda - The Educational Version (Nicki Minaj Parody)
Blackmore’s Night - The Circle
Sesame Street Rubber Ducky Song
Medusaby MissNightMare
Rise Up by Spiral Dance
Kerli - Blossom
Inkubus sukkubus - Witches
Cauldron - Into The Cauldron
Cauldron - Empress
Melt The Ice Away
Brighids Kiss, Trinitiy
Deityby KeepMusicPagan
O.Children - Swimby Dan Amariei
Lisa Thiel - Imbolc 
The Gits - A Change Is Gonna Come
Brighid by Kellianna
Cracker - Another Song About the Rain
Bridget’s Song by Celia
Voltaire - Ravens Land 
Incubus & D.J. Greyboy - Familiar
Woman of the Earthby Nika Prusova
Avicii - Feeling Good (feat. Audra Mae)
Witch’s Rune by SJ Tucker 
Puscifer - The Humbling River 
Ibeyi - River
Daughter of the Elements ~ Music by Lisa Thiel
Portishead - Glory Box
Rock the Goddess by Serpentine Arborvitae
The Sword - Maiden, Mother & Crone
Мельница - Река (Ангелофрения. Аудио)
Mystic - Neptune’s Jewels
Cernunnos Rising - Imbolc 
Behold by  Spinner McBride
Goddess by Various Artists
The Gits - Second Skin
Bridget’s Song by RavynStar
Laura Mvula - Sing To The Moonby Hiago de Carvalho
Ibeyi - Oyaby
Mordred’s Lullaby- Lyrics by joanne zeehond
Madonna - Frozen
Ocean Gipsy by Neboola
Phaeleh - Whistling in the Dark feat. Augustus Ghost 
Brighid’s Flame~The Story Of Imbolc by Summer Rose
Tribute to our Goddess Lilith by Worland’s & Wills
O. Children - Oceanside - Apnea 
The Kinks - Better Things (1981)

15 Ideas for your BOS, Grimoire, book of knowledge, path journal or whatever else you want to call it.

Some of us keep them, others don’t, some of us have one passed through generations, and some of us have them on a usb/flash drive instead of a hard copy, however you have your book (if you have one) there are times when you have no idea what to put in it.

1)      A paragraph or page on how you define your path, this could include the laws of your coven/tradition.

2)      The Wiccan rede (if your Wiccan and follow it, I don’t have this in mine, but I’m not Wiccan).

3)      The wheel of the year, sabbats/solstice/equinox, what they mean to you.

4)      Your dedication, if you have made a dedication to a god, goddess or multiple write about it.

5)      Are there any gods and goddess that you follow, ones that resonate with you, write about them or even all within your path. (I have a knowledge book and a personal book, I have a section on gods and goddesses in my knowledge book).

6)      The moon phases and how they affect your path/craft.

7)      The elements, correspondences.

8)      Recipes, these could be ones that you incorporate magic into, or a recipe for black salt or an oil.

9)      Herbs/plants/flowers Correspondences.

10)   Symbols and there correspondences.

11)   Crystals.

12)   Spells/spell workings

13)   Divination, your experiences.

14)   Dreams.

15)   A running list of meanings or words/phrases.

An Imbolc Cleansing Bath

Imbolc is an important time for me. It’s that point during the long, dark, bleak stretch of winter when the turning of the wheel towards the light half of the year becomes evident.

It’s not much. A few buds on the trees, a river’s slow, early thaw, the sound of birds enlivening bare branches. Just the tiniest signs of life returning, as the days begin to lengthen.

It’s new beginnings and the manifestation of the year to come - when the spark licks into flame, and the seeds planted by the Universe begin to germinate. 

During the Sabbat, I like to release, cleanse, and rededicate. It is (auspiciously enough) a three-fold day.

I like to do this bath following a Burnt Offering ceremony - usually the morning after, so I’m fresh and ready for my re-dedication.


This cleansing bath renews and refreshes the spirit, invigorating it for the day to come. 

Items you’ll need:

  • A fresh jar of snow
  • A candle
  • A bath-tub
  • A sachet, bath-bomb, bath oil, or shower tab of refreshing, purifying herbs

Take the time to fill your bathing space with things that give you pleasure, and which allow your mind to focus on your intention. Play music that sparks your soul. light candles around your tub. Fill vases full of your favourite flowers. Lay out your favourite crystals. Whatever makes you smile, brings you joy, and gives you that little trill of magic up your spine, use it.

Drop your refreshing, purifying herbs (in whatever form you so choose) into a full tub of hot water.

Take your jar of fresh snow, and hold it over a candle. As you watch it melt, imbue it with your power, focusing on the nature of flame, and say the words:

I call upon fire, that melts the snow and warms the hearth

I call upon fire, that brings the light and enlivens the earth

repeat these words until you feel the melt water absorb and saturate with fire energy, and then pour the water in a steady stream into the bath water, swirling and mixing them as you say:

I call upon fire to purify me, in Brighid’s name.

Step into the bath and settle in, cupping the water in your hands and washing it down over yourself, envisioning, in your minds eye, that with every wash of the water over you, your impurities, negativities, and the tarnish of life wash away, leaving you fresh and shining, glowing from within - ready for magic-working. As you do so, say

In Imbolc’s thaw, the river flows

In the river, I am awash with magic, aglow.


Stay in the bath for as long as you need to feel cleansed and ready. 


xoxo, Delta

Happy Spring Equinox!

“We kindle this fire today
In presence of the Holy Ones
Without Malice, without jealousy, without envy,
Without fear of aught beneath the Sun
But the High Gods
The we invoke, O Light of Life,
Be Thou a bright flame before us,
Be Thou a guiding star above us,
Be Thou a smooth path beneath us;
Kindle Thou within our hearts
A flame of love for our neighbors,
To our foes, to our friends, to our kindred all,
To all men on the broad earth.
O merciful Son of Cerridwen,
From the lowliest thing that liveth
To the Name which is Highest of all.” ~Adaptation by Doreen Valiente from two Scottish Gaelic blessings

Mabon - A Small Guide

This week is Mabon! For all Witches, and with any sabbath, it’s a fun time to celebrate. So, I figured I’d put together a little guide for Mabon.

Mabon is also known as the Autumnal Equinox, when Night and Day are equal with each other. With Mabon, we all take a moment to pay our respects to the impending darkness. The Druids call this celebration, Mea'n Fo'mhair, and honor the The Green Man, the God of the Forest, by offering libations to trees. Offerings of ciders, wines, herbs and fertilizer are appropriate at this time. Wiccans celebrate the aging Goddess as she passes from Mother to Crone, and her consort the God as he prepares for death and re-birth.

At this festival it is appropriate to wear all of your finery and dine and celebrate in a lavish setting. It is the drawing to and of family as we prepare for the winding down of the year at Samhain. It is a time to finish old business as we ready for a period of rest, relaxation, and reflection.


Symbolism of Mabon:
Second Harvest, the Mysteries, Equality and Balance.

Symbols of Mabon:
wine, gourds, pine cones, acorns, grains, corn, apples, pomegranates, vines such as ivy, dried seeds, and horns of plenty.

Herbs of Maybon:
Acorn, benzoin, ferns, grains, honeysuckle, marigold, milkweed, myrrh, passionflower, rose, sage, solomon’s seal, tobacco, thistle, and vegetables.

Foods of Mabon:
Breads, nuts, apples, pomegranates, and vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, and onions.

Incense of Mabon:
Autumn Blend-benzoin, myrrh, and sage.

Colors of Mabon:
Red, orange, russet, maroon, brown, and gold.

Stones of Mabon:
Sapphire, lapis lazuli, and yellow agates.

Activities of Mabon:
Making wine, gathering dried herbs, plants, seeds and seed pods, walking in the woods, scattering offerings in harvested fields, offering libations to trees, adorning burial sites with leaves, acorns, and pine cones to honor those who have passed over.

Spellworkings of Mabon:
Protection, prosperity, security, and self-confidence. Also those of harmony and balance.

Deities of Mabon:
Goddesses-Modron, Morgan, Epona, Persephone, Pamona and the Muses. Gods-Mabon, Thoth, Thor, Hermes, and The Green Man.

Mabon is considered a time of the Mysteries. It is a time to honor Aging Deities and the Spirit World. Considered a time of balance, it is when we stop and relax and enjoy the fruits of our personal harvests, whether they be from toiling in our gardens, working at our jobs, raising our families, or just coping with the hussle-bussle of everyday life. May your Mabon be memorable, and your hearts and spirits be filled to overflowing!

Last Minute Sabbats: Samhain

Hello everyone! I began this little series with Litha back in June, so it’s now time to continue my last minute sabbats series! As always, before we get started, I just want to note that not all Pagans celebrate the Sabbats, and not all witches celebrate the Sabbats either. I by no means am telling anyone that they need to celebrate the sabbats to have a full or valid practice. If you do celebrate the sabbats, however, here is some information about Samhain, including a prayer that I wrote in honor of the Sabbat:


Samhain

When: October 31st

Other names: Halloween, All Hallows Eve, Hallowmas

What: Samhain marks the last harvest and, for some observers, a spiritual “new year.” It is often seen as a time to honor the dead and/or the cycle of death and rebirth.

Colors: Black, red, orange, brown, purple, grey

God/desses: Hekate, The Morrighan, Persephone, Hades, Osiris, Freyja, Anubis, any death/underworld gods or “crone” goddesses

Herbs/plants: Apples, pumpkins, vegetables & fruits of the season, heather, mandrake, thistle, pomegranate, grain, allspice, wormwood, sage, clove, cinnamon

Gems/crystals/stones: Obsidian, onyx, jet, garnet, amethyst, bloodstone, smoky quartz, ruby, hematite

Ideas for celebration: Divination, spiritwork, dumb suppers, graveyard visits (be respectful!!!!), Halloween-y activities (pumpkin carving, trick-or-treating etc.), honoring ancestors or deceased relatives, honoring animals, meditation


A Samhain Prayer:

To the guardians of death, I pray– Hades, Persephone, Anubis, Freyja, and all others– please bring peace to those who have passed. On this night, ease their sufferings and allow them safe passage, that they may finally be at peace. To our ancestors and deceased loved ones, be kind and allow them gentle rest from earthly life. And finally, bring honor to the animals who have died that I may eat, for I look to their strength with respect and honor. I ask that you hold these departed souls in your caring arms and guide them to safety and rest. Thank you for your kindness, and, when my time comes, I shall go willingly to your arms and sleep in your eternal strength.


I hope you have a happy Samhain and that you found this post helpful! Look out for more last minute sabbat posts in the future :) If you have any questions, feel free to send me an ask! To see the previous last minute sabbat post on Mabon, click here.

Livi

Mabon and Earth Magic

Magical Herbs

The herbs of Mabon offer us the perfect chance to share in the joys of this enchanted season and in the bounty of Mother Earth. As the cooler days and nights of autumn arrive, the vivid greens and bright blooms of herbs, flowers and plants begin to fade, changing into darker shades of brown, copper, golden yellow and bronze. An herb should should be used when its magical strength is at its peak. If its roots are to be used, cut it just before the plant is about to die. If its blooms or leaves are to be used, cut it just before it is about to bud. During Mabon the Sun’s energy is being drawn back into the Earth, into the roots of the herb, where most of its magical powers is now stored.

When Witches gather herbs, we cut them with a golden (or bronze) sickle that we have charged in a Magic Circle. As it has been said, the freshly cut herb should never touch the ground. If it does, its magical energy is returned to the Mother. During the autumn season, we save acorns, and all the herbs, grains, and seeds we can find, either for drying and storing, or for cultivating indoors for reseeding in the Spring. Around this time, generally any herb that is dying and is ruled by the Sun is appropriate to use in philtres, potions or brews.

Following is a list of the more common herbs and plants used during Mabon:

  • rue
  • yarrow 
  • rosemary
  • marigold
  • sage
  • walnut leaves and husks
  • mistletoe
  • saffron
  • chamomile
  • almond leaves
  • passionflower
  • frankincense
  • rose hips
  • bittersweet
  • wheat
  • oak leaves
  • dried apples or apple seeds

We often dry herbs at Mabon as well as at Lughnasadh. Witches are always prepared for the cycle of the seasons. The custom of preserving, drying, and pickling is a Witch tradition. Mabon is the time to check your herb closets, cellars and larders. How well you’ve prepared will determine how well you will live during Winter. When the harvest is good, we reap bounty, share our food, and save all that we can for the cooler months ahead or for another time, perhaps next Summer, when the harvest is not so plentiful.

Magical Stones

Stones, especially crystals, are amazing conductors of magical energies. For centuries, spirit healers have recognized the abilities of stone, whether gemstone, crystal, or igneous rock, to protect, heal, communicate, and express love and prosperity. During Mabon, stones ruled by the Sun will help bring the Sun’s energy to you. Mabon stones include the following:

  • clear quartz
  • amber 
  • peridot
  • diamond
  • gold (the metal)
  • citrine
  • yellow topaz
  • cat’s-eye
  • adventurine

These can be worn as jewelry or carried in a philtre. Because colder months lie ahead, Mabon is usually a good time to place crystals at the four corners of your home for protection. Witches also use stoned to create sacred circles in wooded areas or in their backyards. From the enchanted arrangements found in the Celtic countryside of the “Mighty Island” Great Britain, to the medicine wheels of Native American’s found in North America, circles of stones signify places of powerful concentrations of energy. Indeed, Earth itself can be seen as one enormous energy-infused rock upon which we walk and dance and sing and breathe in unison, the rhythm of the whole, once again, becoming the rhythm of each.

(Source: Celebrate the Earth: A Year of Holidays in the Pagan Tradition by Laurie Cabot and Jean Mills)