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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

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Have you heard? Apparently, it’s a Super-Duper Blue Blood Moon Leo Lunar Eclipse and we’re all gonna die! Again! While having great sex!

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Horse and Hattock

In 1662 Scottish witch Isobel Gowdie reported using this incantation before riding off to the sabbat:

Horse and hattock, in [Old Hornie's] name!

It is worth noting that this phrase, as it stands, conforms to the standard four-beat line of Old English poetry, its two half-lines bound together by alliteration: the meter, for instance, of Beowulf. This, no doubt, we may ascribe to coincidence.

She also reports a longer version of the same incantation, in the form of a rhymed couplet:

Horse and hattock, horse and go,

horse and pellatis, ho ho!

The Craft has always been characterized by mysteriousness and practicality in equal measures, and we see the same principle in operation here.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Foundations of Incense: Myrrh

It’s true that frankincense is the most famous incense resin, it is almost automatic when you say “frankincense” to want to immediately say “and myrrh”.  In antiquity the two were in nearly equal demand.  Although used more for the making of perfumes, myrrh was frequently burned in the same manner as frankincense.  While frankincense is a fairly simple scent to work with, myrrh presents far more complications.  Frankincense is a sweet, bright scent.  Myrrh is a complex, dark scent that can easily overpower other scents.  If you’ve ever been to one of my workshops you know that I am an advocate of spending time with individual incense ingredients.  Sometimes by listening to your ingredients they will tell you things that they’ve told to no other person.  Myrrh has a lot to say and is worth devoting the time.

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  • Hearth M Rising
    Hearth M Rising says #
    I have never combined myrrh with sandalwood but will try it (over charcoal). I do like the smell of myrrh, but find few spellcast

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

Over the years, I've developed an organic way of reading. Rather than use the Celtic Cross, I now do three card spreads that are meant to develop outward from the question. That's a bit awkward. Let me explain.

Say you ask me, "What do I need to know about February 2018?" I would draw three cards. The first would be the Theme card. This is the energy that is going to resonate with you in February. Going further, I drew a card so we could have a reading to look at.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Lemons Delight for Winter Doldrums

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The Moon, the Tarot, and is it Really Blue?

January 31 brings us a lunar eclipse in Leo. This is quite an enigma in many ways, for this is also the 2nd full Moon in the first month of this year, as well as being a supermoon. What does all of this mean? Is it really something spectacular? 

Well, yes, and no. Let's break it down. First, the supermoon. This doesn't give the Moon any additional magical powers or make its influence any more strong or mysterious. It's an astronomical term, meaning that the Moon is at its perigee—or less than 223,694 miles from the Earth—at the time that it was either new or full. That's it!

The supermoon isn't going to change the Moon's usual gravitational pull on us. There's not going to be any unnatural weather or otherworldly events because of it. The atmospherics may make it appear a bit larger, but that's also got to do with the angle at which you view the Moon; Moon rise always appears larger. It may or may not appear brighter; again, even if the Moon's brilliance is highlighted, just how much it shines is going to depend on atmospherics and the angle from which it is viewed. 

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Imbolc - Welcoming Brighid, welcoming Spring

The word Imbolc stems from the older Celtic Oimelc, which means "of  milk" or "in the belly". Traditionally it was a time when the ewes from the sheep flocks began to lactate, having just given birth. This was an incredibly important time for our ancestors, as the winter's stores would be running low and the fresh milk available would provide nourishment and sustenance to get people through until the first crops began to appear. Fresh butter, cream and cheeses could be made to supplement the restrictive winter diet. Imbolc occurs around the beginning of February, if we are working with the traditional gestation period of the ewes. Nowadays, farmers have the sheep give birth at times that are more convenient; for example, a few villages over, one farmer has his lambing season during the Christmas holidays, as that's when he and the rest of his family are home and can help out.

If we are following the calendar, the dates for Imbolc are 31st January to 1st February. As the Celtic day began at sunset, we start the night before. Imbolc is often confused with the Christian holy day of Candlemas, which occurs on 2nd February. No doubt this was intentional, in order to compete with the beloved Pagan celebration of the lambing season and Spring.

Imbolc is a holiday that is dedicated to the goddess Brighid. She is so entwined with the season and the time, that most traditions honour her in some way during this festival. She is the goddess of poetry, smithcraft and healing, and is also often seen as a goddess of Spring. She is the sacred waters of the wells and springs, and the sacred flame tended first by nineteen priestesses, and then later by nineteen nuns dedicated to her in the guise of St Brighid. In Wales, Brighid is known as Braint, and is connected to the river Afon Braint which floods around this time every year. [1] The name, Brighid, has been adapted all over Britain and Europe, and indeed Britain is named after her, in the form of Briganti (Romanised to Brigantia). There are also myths that link the goddess Brig with the Spring in the form of the maiden, who alternates with the winter goddess the Cailleach. At Imbolc, the Cailleach drinks from a sacred stream, or makes her way to the seashore before dawn, and there transforms into the young maiden, Brigid. Other myths tell of Brigid immersing a white wand into the mouth of winter, which awakens the earth and brings in the thaw.[2] Brighid's name might also come from the Gaelic Breo-Saighead, which means "fiery arrow", and many modern-day devotees of Brighid see this as her aspect in the flow of awen, the fire in the head of the poet and artist as well as the returning light of Spring. For those who celebrate Imbolc by the signs in the vegetation, it is when the first snowdrops appear, pale white and green against the stark greyness of winter.

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