Tales of a Southern Pagan Mom

Posts tagged “altars

Simple Full Mon Esbat & Update

The last few months have been pretty chaotic and upsetting, but things feel like they’re finally settling down into some semblance of normal again. Tonight was the first full moon esbast I’ve really been able to sit down and devote some time to since Yule. My mother got sick towards the end of last year, and died in January. Through the last couple of weeks of her life, we knew she was going to die, but we didn’t expect it to happen so quickly. In any case, that has been the source of a lot of rumination, contemplation, questioning and general introspective inquiry for me over the last few months.

It’s also been an interesting time for talking to my children. They’re not little anymore, so discussions about in-dept spiritual concepts have a much different flavor to them now than they used to. It’s interesting to see how their ideas about death, dying, the after;life and spirituality are unfolding and what they think about those concepts. It’s also interesting to me how very different they are from each other with regard to their thought processes and general spiritual ideas.

I have been working on creating a little outdoor space in my yard lately; I repainted some old patio furniture and bought a lovely bright umbrella for the table. It’s been nice to have diner outside, and gives me a pretty, dedicated space to meditate and/or commune with nature, especially when I feel like going outside at night. This evening was one such occasion; I brought my esbat journal and affirmation cards, incense and tea to my little spot and just bathed in the moonlight. Then I took a walk around my yard and mentally mapped out some future plans I’d like to implement for outdoor living spaces. The moon was so pretty and bright – I love walking around outside under the full moon!

I have been meaning to re-plant an herb garden, but haven’t followed through with it for various reasons. After my mom crossed over, it seemed like a good time to make those plans blossom. As part of my grief self-care and healing process, I have been buying plants and herbs. I love green growing things; I’m not super great at keeping them alive past a certain point, but I really love them. It’s been healing, because my mom had quite the green thumb and also loved her plants, so it’s almost like sharing this with her. In addition to garden basics like basil, thyme, oregano, lavender and catnip, I added several variations of common varieties, like lime basil and purple basil; hot & spicy oregano; several varieties of mint (spearmint, sweet mint, peppermint and chocolate mint); and other staples like lemon balm and be balm, succulents, bell and jalapeno peppers, and quite a few greenery plants and flowers as well.

When my mom died, my aunt brought me a cabinet that belonged to my grandmother. She had been keeping it for my mom (who inherited it when my grandmother died). My grandmother collected all kinds of dolls, and the cabinet is where they lived. I re-purposed it into my herbal and apothecary cabinet, with the top housing my living room altar. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a full altar in a public space in my house; my main altar is in my bedroom. Right now, it’s just a generic altar, but I’m planing for it to become more of a family space. I’m sure that with time, it will take on a life of its own as we add to it.

I spent some time the other day making honey incense. It’s been a long time since I’ve made incense; I’d forgotten how much I enjoy the process. It’s really easy, and can basically be customized with either what you have on hand, or for specific purposes. I made a prosperity and protection blend for Beltane. This has a lovely sweet scent, and doesn’t smoke a lot; it just kinda smolders, which is nice if you have allergies.

Homemade Springtime Prosperity & Protection honey incense

1 tsp comfrey leaf
1.5 tsp lavender flowers
1 tsp orange peel
.5 tsp fenugreek seed
2 white sage leaves
.75 tsp. frankincense powder
1 tsp copal tears
honey (aprox 1.5 tsp)

Grind all dry ingredients. I put everything in a mortar and grind with a pestle until the larger bits are about evenly sized, then move to an electric finder and give everything a spin – just enough to get a rough sand-like texture. Then pour into a small bowl and add honey, sparingly. You inky need enough honey to bind the ingredients together so they’ll hold the ball shape. Roll and place on parchment paper to dry in a cool, dark place. You can use them immediately, but the are better when dried and aged. Burn by placing a ball onto a lot charcoal disc.

I’ve also been spending time with my cards. I read with the Medieval Scapini Tarot,  and have been experimenting with different ways to read. This was a year forecast reading, which I’ve never attempted before. It will be interesting to see what unfolds in the coming months.

 

Brightest Blessings,

 


Intent Shrines

CAM03229

A friend of mine recently game me a name for something I’ve been making for a while, but calling something else. I’ve been making art shrines – little boxes full of paint, decoupage, paper, miscellaneous bric-a-brac, shiny and glittery things, handwritten notes, printed bits of paper, old torn up books… all arranged in some way that pleases me, but with a definite thought or concept tying the whole thing together. Her name for them, intent boxes, makes perfect sense, because that’s what they are – not so much ‘spells’ or ‘altars’, but similar to both and yet not quite either.

Well, she says ‘boxes’, I say ‘shrines’. Boxes, I would think, are more a home for a collection of things that you may gather and store for a purpose – things you can get out and touch and physically experience while meditating or to re-focus on your path when you may have wandered. I can see the value in creating such a box, with tangible reminders designed to be taken out and savored, or contemplated, on the path towards a goal. I have keepsake and ‘remembrance’ boxes that serve a similar function. Even my kids’ baby books have grown to the point of needing a box to keep them in because there are so many things filling them and falling out. For a tactile person, holding the physical memento or symbol of a goal can be a very powerful tool.

My version is more an art piece with intent built-in. This box, for example, is along the lines of ‘being kind to myself/yourself’. The mirror, with its persistent requirement of looking oneself in the eye (to see the ‘truth’ of yourself) is a prominent addition, with banishing oil in a vial (for banishing negative thoughts); a butterfly for transformation, Stella Maris for mercy and forgiveness, the key to unlock a brighter future… each element has both meaning and adds to the visual whole.

Another aspect of such a creation is the time and energy both spent on and invested in the box, itself. Energy work is a major part of my path, and it’s one of the reasons I choose to try to make most of my own tools – the energy I put into creating the tool literally makes it the tool I need it to be. My focus and intent and will imbue the tool or object with whatever my goal is, and I believe that makes it all that much more effective. There’s also the placement of the tool, whether on my altar or tucked away for use only in Ritual observances; this box, for example, is still tucked away in my art cabinet, because I am not quite ready to have it placed just yet. I’m still waiting for a final bit of inspiration to call it ‘done’ and figure out where it lives.

I have created others; one that I made several years ago still hangs on the wall by my bed. It’s focus is on both unlocking and honoring the creativity that I rediscovered during an art course I took. The shrine was the final project, presented at the end of the class. It is one of the first things I see when I wake up in the morning, and it’s been very inspiring.

Do you create similar ‘boxes’?
Brightest Blessings,
RH_med small

 

 


Simple Rituals – Imbolc 2016

springImbolc is a time to ‘wake the Earth’ from her slumber. For many, it is also seen as the Return of the Goddess from her trip to the Underworld that started at Samhain. Traditionally, Imbolc is the Sabbat celebrating the passing of another winter, and the start of the agricultural year. For Pagans who celebrate the Triple Goddess, Imbolc is the point where She transitions from Crone to Maiden.

A big part of Imbolc for me is the celebration and honoring of the Goddess Brigid. Brigid is a Triple Goddess, and so gets honoured in all of Her aspects. Though technically Imbolc is the beginning of Maiden energies, as a mother, the Goddesses of Fertility, Birth, Midwifery and Motherhood feature prominently in my practice since that’s where I am at this stage in my life. Brigid, being associated with midwifery, would naturally fit, along with Frigg, Hathor, Nephthys, Hera, Artemis, Bast, Diana, Hekate, and Juno, among others. With the birth of the Sun at Yule, I love the imagery of the ‘baby’ Sun nursing from the Goddess’s breast. Now that my kids are older, I sometimes miss the (admittedly sometimes frustrating) nights awake with just my baby to keep me company and Imbolc is a time to honour not only the Goddess and Her Son, but also my own.

Brigid is the Goddess of things you make with your hands, and in the aspect, as an artisan, appeals to me greatly. Imbolc is Her day; a festival and Goddess figure so important to ancient Celtic peoples that is reflected in the Christianization of Her into St. Brigid. The Church couldn’t eradicate Her as they did with other deities, so they adopted her. Craftsmen and women invoked Her in the crafting of everyday items, from clothing to farming or animal husbandry equipment, to poetry and art. I keep a mini Brigid offering dish in my kitchen window in remembrance of how essential and influential She is in daily life, and usually keep my Brigid devotional candle lit while I am crafting.

I am part of a Flamekeeping Cill for Brigid, Cill Willow, and have been for several years now. Every 20 days, each of the 19 people in our Cill takes a ‘shift’ tending the eternal flame, saving the last day for Brigid. Though I participate in the flamekeeping vigil during my appointed shift, Imbolc is also a time for communing with Her and tending Her sacred flame.

After the dearth of Winter, Imbolc is a celebration of Light – the return of the Sun and celebration of its returning power. The God may be visualized as a lusty young man, spreading his warmth and attention to the Earth (Gaia), fertilizing and encouraging the growth of the early Spring flowers and vegetation. The connections to fertility are obvious; so fertility rituals and the ‘rekindling’ of everything – activity, agriculture, the birth of animals and babies. The connection to warmth and heat and light and Fire is and important on for me. There are several ‘fire’ associated traditions that appeal to me; the snuffing and re-lighting hearth fires. We don’t have a fireplace, but have found that ritually re-lighting candles symbolizes the same. Other traditions include sweeping out the old and welcoming in the new, filling the house with the smell of baking bread, making corn dollies filled with intentions for the year, and other such ‘Spring Cleaning’ activities that set the tone for the coming season.

With the kids, taking time to celebrate the beginning of the calendar year, recalling seasonal and Sabbat Lore to strengthen their connections to their paths is always a focus. Though I don’t seek to indoctrinate my kids into any particular pathway, offering various Spring seasonal stories, recounting traditions and coming up with ways to honour that passing of season to season is important to me; much more than cementing a particular belief system is just the recognition and honoring of the Turning of the Wheel. Since this is a devotional Sabbat, it re-affirms my own path, and helps me maintain my focus for the coming year, and whatever my children take from that to form their own path works for me.

I have said in the past that I feel a special affinity for cross-quarter days (Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh & Samhain). These ‘in-between’ times are times of change and examination. This is when I evaluate, and make adjustments when needed, to my path or journey towards a goal. I update my journals, Shadow Books, make changes and consolidate information, and occasionally add a new Shadow Book or section in my existing Books if I need to. It’s a time of ‘housekeeping’ and organization in both a literal and symbolic sense.

This year, I am focusing on ‘simplicity’. Though I tend to focus on the Sabbat throughout the month, I have lately felt the need for a simplified ritualistic practice that marks the occasion on the day of. I recently found this Simple Imbolc Rite that really spoke to me, and thought I would share.

Here’s my Imbolc altar and simple ritual:

 

CAM03224

How did you celebrate Imbolc this year?
Brightest Blessings,

RH_med small


Good Witch, Bad Witch

good witch bad witch

I know, I know – totally cliched and overdone, but the question itself just begs for this image, dontcha think? Image links to Zimbio quiz.

Probably every person who admits to being Pagan gets this question at least once. I’ve never addressed it here, so I thought it might be a fun way to kick off the new year. The question of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ is a hard one to answer, in my opinion. Not because what I do or don’t do in my practice is questionable, but because of the very nature of black and white thinking. Categorizing something as either/or leaves out a vast canvas of grey, which I think most things could be said to be. There are a lot of factors that go into determining whether something is good or bad, not the least of which are intention and perspective.

Morticia Addams said it best, ‘What is normal to the spider is chaos to the fly.’

Take healing spells, for example. Most people would say that the intent of a healing spell is to help someone who is ill or feeling poorly. Few would argue that the intent of a healing spell would be classed as ‘good’. But if the person you worked a spell for feels that anything to do with Pagan practices is ‘evil’, and you knowingly violated that person’s belief/preference, would that still be classed as ‘good’?

There are those would would argue that all witches are evil. Quoting the bible, Exodus 22:18 says, ‘Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.’ That’s pretty damning, most would say. But surely all witches aren’t evil? I don’t consider myself to be evil, or even mostly bad. Short of swearing and a little social drinking and smoking every now and then, that’s about the worst of my vile habits. Even in my spiritual practice, I am cautious when it comes to affecting change in a way that might be destructive.

Many people who have an inkling of familiarity with Pagans may think that all Pagans are Wiccan, and as such, follow the Wiccan Rede, which states, ‘An it harm none, do as ye will.’ That’s not so; while Wiccans are Pagan, not all Pagans are Wiccan. Wicca is a specific style/belief/practice set within Paganism, and even though it has different ‘flavors’, that’s only a small part of the larger Pagan community. I’m not actually Wiccan, so I wouldn’t follow Wiccan dictates any more than I would follow Catholic ones (though those two particular religions have practices and ‘rules’ that are remarkably similar to one another, but I digress). That doesn’t mean that I take the idea behind the Rede, or even the Christian sentiment of the Golden Rule, any less seriously. Most cultures and religious or philosophical maxims have some version of it; I think it’s because at their core, most people strive to be good – to do good and be well thought of by others in their community. Even the concept of karma, and ‘the rule of three’ emphasis that what you put out there is what comes back to you.

For myself, I choose to strive to be good. My version of ‘good’ may vary slightly from yours; for example, I enjoy firearms as a sport, and other weaponry. While my interest in them does fall towards ‘sport’ and less towards ‘protection’, if pressed, I wouldn’t have an issue protecting myself or my children with force. I believe that doing so, even should it result in injury or death, would still be ‘good’. That’s more pragmatic than many ‘fluffy goodness and light’ Pagans might like, but I believe that there is more than just black and white; good and bad.

morticia - normal

In light of recent world goings-on, I have had many discussions with my children about how ‘good’ and ‘evil’ develop, particularly within the political realm. While current politics don’t hold my interest the way that history does, I can see alarming correlations between some of the American Presidential candidates’ positions and policies that historical figures that we almost universally categorize as ‘evil’ once held. But to truly avoid repeating those same mistakes, we can’t dehumanize the villains in those accounts. They were men; not monsters from a fictional story. They were men who, through charismatic, enigmatic and persuasive arguments and speech, appealed to fear, a need for safety and an idealized (but unattainable) ‘better’. And people flocked to them. They came running, willing to set aside their personal values and concepts of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ in order to work towards a goal that someone else imposed upon them. And there are those who would unequivocally say that those leaders were ‘good’ men. Chaos for the fly, indeed.

On the flip side, we have examples of non-violent lifestyles taken to extremes. Some might say that inaction in the fact of injustice is ‘bad’, but who could argue that refusing to harm or kill another living being is anything but ‘good’. But if my child were harmed or killed through someone else’s deliberate inaction on their behalf, I’d probably fail to see how they rationalize being a ‘good’ person after that.

My point is that black and white thinking is a form of cognitive distortion (another subject that interests me greatly). When you categorize something, and more importantly, someone as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, you box them, and yourself, into a corner. You tend to put ‘good’ people up on a pedestal, unable or unwilling to see their faults, and have the potential to grossly wrong someone by judging them as ‘bad’ simply because their perspective or worldview is different from yours. We all do it to some degree; it’s natural. But being aware of it is the first step towards questioning our snap judgement and perceptions and getting to the grey.

Then again, according to the quiz, maybe I am just here to tempt you to the Dark Side of the Force.

bad witch

So, are you a good witch, or a bad witch?
Brightest Blessings,
RH_med small


Plans Gone Awry – an Update and Next Steps Toward Sacred Space

plan_b.jpgSo you may have noticed that I made plans and included a time frame that I didn’t stick to. Unfortunately, Life doesn’t always check with my notebook to make sure it’s a good time for a curve ball. Knowing this, I will ever make goals, and just try to remember that it’s okay to be flexible about meeting them. I think the most important part is that my goals aren’t abandoned – just occasionally postponed (at least, that’s how I am choosing to think abut it).

To re-cap, I was on my ‘step 2’ of my ‘Sacred Space‘ plan that I outlined earlier this year. While I didn’t make the deadline for completion, I am happy to say that I have completed not only that step, but also skipped ahead an completed the living room as well (step 4) and bits of the office (step 5)! We some major repair work to do in one of the bedrooms, which was the main thing that threw me off, schedule-wise. Several weeks worth of home improvement really transformed a space that was feeling very negative into one that is just lovely and so peaceful to be in. I’m so glad we were able to finally do the repairs needed, and that it turned out so well. Finishing that space also helped me clear out some of the clutter I was holding on to, including the boxes in my living room. I was also able to clear the hallway. There is a feeling of peace and space now; I was right about thinking that the clutter there was stopping up the energy flows in our home. It felt so good to finally be free of that clutter. I didn’t realize how much it was weighing me (and my kids) down. It’s made me eager to move on to my next steps. I’ve been skipping around a bit, so I really need to refine what needs to be done still.

I definitely still have some work to do on my wardrobe. I have been really drawn to the practicality of the ‘capsule wardrobe‘ idea, and found a style planner and closet organizer app called ‘My Dressing’ that I am going to try to see how the concept works for me. I am working more now, and so my ‘at home’ style isn’t really cutting it anymore. I’m also a larger size than most style bloggers, but have found a few who have created plus-sized capsule wardrobes, like CraftyMinx and FullFigured&Fashionable which helps. I’ve recently bought some pieces that feel more ‘grown up’ (which is funny to see – I didn’t realize that’s how I thought of them until I’d typed it out). I have discovered that I really like dresses, so my plan is to add a few more pieces from Lane Bryant and Torrid to my regular wear over the next few months.

The next major part of my plan is my kitchen. As a Pagan, the kitchen is the Hearth – the center of family togetherness, and I am really looking forward to getting that space in order. What’s funny is that it’s not necessarily ‘out’ of order if you’re judging my looks. Our kitchen is rather small and plain – nothing fancy; perfectly serviceable in every way… and yet something’s missing; rather, it feels ‘overstuffed’ to me. While I’d love to do a complete overhaul, that’s not in our budget. My original thoughts, with planned changes include:

Step 3: Kitchen – What’s my goal here? The kitchen is the main entertaining space in our house. We have a rather small house and the living room is oddly shaped, so the kitchen has become the ‘hearth’ of our home. I like the overall feel of our kitchen; Hestia’s presence there is strong. But like many spaces in small houses, the kitchen does double-duty. We have tools in there that are better suited to the hall closet, so I’d like to re-organize so that everything in the kitchen is dedicated to family, togetherness, well-being and health, and entertaining. Practically speaking, I need to make better use of the spaces I have (limited though they are).

  • clear pantry & organize (with labels)
  • clear cabinet under pantry of tools & declutter/reorganize
  • junk drawer
  • under oven cabinets
  • under stove cabinets
  • under sink
  • drawers
  • add art

I’ve removed the ‘time frame’, as it’s somewhat irrelevant. We recently did some deep cleaning, so everything ‘feels’ fresh right now, which is nice. Now, it’s time to tackle the unseen spaces!

Something else that’s come about as a result of some of the purging I’ve done around the house is the creation of small devotional spaces. I have always had my main altar in my bedroom, with smaller (mostly unnoticeable unless you knew what you were looking at) altars in the kitchen window and on my desk. I’ve added to the kitchen altar and created altar space in the living room as well.Not only is it a reflection of my personal beliefs, but an assertion of them in my home. I’ve been hesitant to have outward symbols of my convictions visible in the past, but as I get older it’s become more important to be visibly more ‘me’ rather than try to conform or preserve someone else’s sensibilities (when in my own home). That probably seems like old news to many, but it’s been a discovery process for me.

In other news, tonight New Moon, so I am working on setting intentions for the coming cycle. Last cycle, my intention was with my mental health in mind. I’ve re-established my meditative practice as a priority (rather than ‘fitting it in’), and started working on creating a deck of affirmation cards for myself. Art is part of my path, so that’s been very fulfilling for me. This cycle, I am working on my physical health. I recently discovered the mandala dance and found it to be a beautiful (peaceful, welcome, grounding, centering) addition to my morning routine.

new moon prayer

 

Wishing you a Blessed Esbat Celebration tonight,

RH_med small


Finding Balance

I’ve been thinking a lot about to concept of balance in my life lately. I realize that at some point over the last 6 months or so, my balance has been off, and I’ve been taking steps to bring my focus back to center. Losing balance is so easy – one thing slides, then another, and before you know it, you look up and discover that everything is off kilter. Finding that even keel again takes work, but it’s a worthy endeavor.

Since middle school, I’ve known that art is central to my personal happiness and fulfillment in general. Without that creative outlet, an essential component is missing from my sense of wholeness. It’s not necessarily ‘good’ art, but it’s a means of expression that I find incredibly satisfying. Over the past few years, I have also found that my spiritual side can be nourished through artistic creation.

I’ve mentioned before that I favor creating my own tools, rather than purchasing them. That’s one way that I’ve found to satisfy both the need to create and fan the fires of my spirituality at the same time. I’ve also started several art journals that are inspired by my personal beliefs and interest in and connection to specific deities and aspects of paganism that I find sustenance in.

But lately, things have been so hectic that I’ve spent more time ‘living’ and not nearly enough time ‘being’. It’s been months of hurrying through one task simply to get to the next. Taking the time to appreciate where I am in life and at this moment is one of the facets of pagan belief that I love – stopping to smell the flowers, being one with nature, connecting with the ebb and flow of the Wheel, reveling in the cycles of the moon, observing and celebrating feast and festival days (even if it’s only in token) – these are concepts and practices that keep me connected and grounded and aware of the passing of time that I have discovered that without them, I lose track of the days and end up disconnected.

To get back to that centered place, I have really been focusing on getting back to tending my spiritual side. I posted about my new Shadow Book a few days ago, and I’ve been working on it this week as well, adding new bits of information I’ve collected and creatingCAM00770 more attractive pages with textures that I find appealing. Again, art is food for me, and my SB is no different – I have a physical need for it to be a thing of beauty and interest – there’s magic in that!

I also cleared off my altar and started from scratch decorating for Samhain. Fall has arrived, and as it is my favorite season, some ‘fall cleaning’ has been in order. Additionally, our Circle has started meeting again, and we’re considering the possibility of creating a formal Coven. I don’t know if we will or not, but it’s a fun thought-exercise for now. We’re working through a new book as a group, Raven Grimassi’s Old World Witchcraft, and seeing where that takes us. As a group of eclectics practicing together, it’s pretty neat that we’ve found some common ground to cover.

It feels very good to be focusing on this aspect of my life again!

Brightest Blessings,

RH_med small

 


Beltane 2012

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Pagan Blog Prompts post, so I wanted to jump back in. This week is asking about Beltane and I wanted to share my Beltane celebration with you.

Our local group hosted our Beltane Ritual last weekend. It was *amazing*, and I am not just saying that because I was one of the hostesses. It truly was beautiful and joyous and just full of energy and love.

We have a lovely outdoor ritual space that we use for our rituals. It’s been home to several pagan groups in this area over the years, but for the past 5 years or so has been largely neglected. One of the areas just outside of the main ritual circle was a 15′ tall Maypole circle. The area around the maypole was completely grown up and over the last year or so, we’ve gradually cleared the space. We had a goal of Beltane in mind and I am so happy we reached it!

 My friend and co-hostess, Bridey from Forge and Flame (who also wrote about this ritual here) and I spent weeks on the prep and planning for this ritual. We both dressed in solid white and decided to use lots of ribbons and flowers for decorating. The entire circle was so alive and welcoming by the time we started – we greeted everyone with a kiss and symbolic ‘ritual bath’ with magnolia/jasmine/sweetgum leaf water and orange/Calendula blessing oil.

We had beautiful music and a couple of awesome drummers to accompany the tune as we danced around both circle spaces to raise energy, then used some non-traditional methods for calling the quarters and casting the circle. Bridey found several interesting alternatives to the quarter call that most people think of. We used a meditation call from The Path of Druidry, and used a suggestion from Ritualcraft on invoking the elements with sound rather than words.

It was interesting – and effective. I lovelovelove that this group is that we are not afraid to try new things. The energy in our circle is vivid and alive with ingenuity and inspiration. Since we don;t have a coven structure, no one feels inhibited or shys away from stepping outside of their comfort zone. Not everything goes exactly according to plan, but it’s always fun and fresh. None of us are so ‘snooty’ that we lose sight of why we’re in ritual together. It’s serious, yes, but it’s also a joyful occasion. That’s a two-way street, I think – those who have prepared ritual take time to make sure that it’s representative of the occasion (with all appropriate seriousness and solemnity when appropriate), but we’re all fallible, and so technological flubs, tongue-ties or losing your place in reading is looked at with an indulgent smile rather than a sneer. As one who frequently loses her place when reading aloud, I appreciate that.

We also did a couple of crafts – we made witch’s ladders; we provided a triple cord and a basket of beads in many colors and asked everyone to choose beads that represent the things they’re looking for or working towards this Beltane. I chose blue in a gradient  – from white to dark blue.

One of my favorite aspects from this ritual was our incense-making. We’ve done this at a couple of different rituals. We decide what blend to use, then put the ingredients into a mortar and pass it around the circle several times. Everyone present takes a turn grinding the pestle into the herbs and resins and oils, infusing the mixture with their intentions and love. This time, we made two blends; a Beltane blend (rose, rosemary, frankincense, cinnamon & sandalwood oil)  and a fertility blend (Dragons Blood resin, rose, holly, pine, & crushed (dried) Juniper berries).

We also performed the Chalice and the Blade ceremony. I’ve never gotten to do participate in that before, and it was a very powerful experience! Bridey was the Maiden and I played the role of the Young Lord; it was truly awesome.

All in all, this was such a great experience! Beltane is one of my favorite times of year, and so being privileged to host this ritual was very special to me. We also decorated the house for Beltane; I have a bouquet of the nine sacred woods on the front door, and fresh flowers on my altar. We ‘shook out the house’ (used a besom sprinkled with peppermint oil to dispel negative energy and freshen up the house) and have incense burning… it’s perfect for warm summery nights!

I hope that your Beltane celebration has also been full of love and prosperity!

Brightest Blessings!