When we dance together, we dissolve

On the morning of Beltane Fire Festival 2016, our community is buzzing with excitement about the event that will begin in a few short hours after months of hard work. This is the perfect time to sh…

Source: When we dance together, we dissolve

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~*Imbolc House Cleansing Ceremony*~

No one really likes to clean, but we all know we feel better when our physical space is tidy. It’s one of life’s necessary chores. Start your spring off with a good thorough cleaning, and then follow that up with a spiritual cleansing. This is a great ritual to perform at Imbolc — remember that for many of our ancestors, washing came only a few times a year, so by February, a house was probably smelling pretty ripe. Pick a bright sunny day to do a clean sweep, and then invite friends and family to join you in a blessing of your home.

Here’s How:

  1. First, do a complete physical cleaning of your house. Put on some music and thoroughly clean every room. Strip sheets off the beds, turn the mattresses, dust every surface, and vaccuum every floor. Sort through those piles of paper on your desk, and get rid of things you don’t need to keep; file everything else. Gather up the kids’ toys and put them in baskets for easy storage. If you need to get rid of things, do it now — set aside a box for charity and put gently used items in it. Set aside another box for trash, and see if you can fill it up!Read more: http://abt.cm/1ybISJP
  2. Once your house is clean — and this assumes you did the kitchen as well — it’s time to have some fun. Call up some friends and invite them over for a potluck. Cook up some Imbolc-themed comfort foods, such as Braided Bread or Beer Battered Fish and Chips, and have a small potluck celebration. Ask each guest to bring a small token to bless your house — pebbles, shells, interesting bits of wood, beads, etc.

    You’ll also need the following”

    • A bowl of water
    • Some sea salt
    • A smudging bundle of sage or sweetgrass
    • A blue candle
    • Some Blessing Oil
    • A bowl or bag
  3. Begin at the front door — it is, after all, where you welcome guests into your home — and go through the house in a sunwise direction (clockwise). Ask your guests to help you by smudging the perimeter of each room with the salt, sage, candle flame and water. You may wish to say some sort of incantation as they do this, something like:With the purifying power of water,
    with the clean breath of air,
    with the passionate heat of fire,
    with the grounding energy of earth
    we cleanse this space.
  4. As you pass from room to room, anoint each door and windowsill with the Blessing Oil by tracing the shape of a pentagram or other symbol of your tradition. This prevents anything negative from crossing into the home. If you like, you can offer a small incantation as you do this, something like:May the goddess bless this home,
    making it sacred and pure,
    so that nothing but love and joy
    shall enter through this door.
  5. Finally, once you’ve gone through the house, ask each of your guests to deposit their blessing token in your bowl or bag. Keep it in a place of honor in your home — on the mantel or in your kitchen is a good idea. Gather around the dinner table, break out the goodies, and enjoy a feast with your friends and family!

Tips:

  1. * If you don’t have Blessing Oil, you can use rosemary oil instead. Make your own by infusing fresh rosemary in grapeseed or flaxseed oil.

What You Need

  • Some sea salt
  • Smudging material such as sage or sweetgrass
  • A blue candle, for purification
  • A bowl of water
  • An empty bowl or bag
  • Blessing Oil

***Imbolc Candle Ritual (for Solitaries)***

Hundreds of years ago, when our ancestors relied upon the sun as their only source of light, the end of winter was met with much celebration. Although it is still cold in February, often the sun shines brightly above us, and the skies are often crisp and clear. As a festival of light, Imbolc came to be called Candlemas. On this evening, when the sun has set once more, call it back by lighting the seven candles of this ritual.

** Note: although this ceremony is written for one, it can easily be adapted for a small group.

Here’s How:

First, set up your altar in a way that makes you happy, and brings to mind the themes of Imbolc. You’ll also want to have on hand the following:
Seven candles, in red and white (tealights are perfect for this)
Something to light your candles with
A large bowl or cauldron big enough to hold the candles
Sand or salt to fill the bottom of the bowl/cauldron

Prior to beginning your ritual, take a warm, cleansing bath. While soaking, meditate on the concept of purification. Once you’re done, dress in your ritual attire, and begin the rite.

If your tradition requires you to cast a circle, do so now.

Pour the sand or salt into the bowl or cauldron. Place the seven candles into the sand so they won’t slide around. Light the first candle. As you do so, say:

Although it is now dark, I come seeking light.
In the chill of winter, I come seeking life.

Light the second candle, saying:

I call upon fire, that melts the snow and warms the hearth.
I call upon fire, that brings the light and makes new life.
I call upon fire to purify me with your flames.

Light the third candle. Say:

This light is a boundary, between positive and negative.
That which is outside, shall stay without.
That which is inside, shall stay within.

Light the fourth candle. Say:

I call upon fire, that melts the snow and warms the hearth.
I call upon fire, that brings the light and makes new life.
I call upon fire to purify me with your flames.

Light the fifth candle, saying:

Like fire, light and love will always grow.
Like fire, wisdom and inspiration will always grow.

Light the sixth candle, and say:

I call upon fire, that melts the snow and warms the hearth.
I call upon fire, that brings the light and makes new life.
I call upon fire to purify me with your flames.

Finally, light the last candle. As you do so, visualize the seven flames coming together as one. As the light builds, see the energy growing in a purifying glow.

Fire of the hearth, blaze of the sun,
cover me in your shining light.
I am awash in your glow, and tonight I am
made pure.

Take a few moments and meditate on the light of your candles. Think about this Sabbat, a time of healing and inspiration and purification. Do you have something damaged that needs to be healed? Are you feeling stagnant, for lack of inspiration? Is there some part of your life that feels toxic or tainted? Visualize the light as a warm, enveloping energy that wraps itself around you, healing your ailments, igniting the spark of creativity, and purifying that which is damanged.

When you are ready, end the ritual. You may choose to follow up with healing magic, or with a Cakes and Ale ceremony.

What You Need

Seven candles, white and red, and something to light them with
A bowl or cauldron with sand in the bottom

With kind thanks to http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/imbolcfebruary2/ht/CandleRite_Sol.htm

If you would like to learn more about the celebration of Imbolc please visit us here The Secret Moon Garden

~Celebrating Imbolc with your kids~

Crafts and Creations

As Imbolc rolls in, you can decorate your home (and keep your kids entertained) with a number of easy craft projects. Start celebrating a bit early with a Brighid’s Cross or a Corn Doll.

I hope you enjoy exploring these links with your children…..

Kindly supplied by Patti Wigington, About.com guide

~Recipes to celebrate Imbolc~

Feasting and Food

No Pagan celebration is really complete without a meal to go along with it. For Imbolc, celebrate with foods that honour the hearth and home — breads, grains, and vegetables stored from the Autumn harvest such as onions and potatoes — as well as dairy items.

~Come and join us to celebrate Mabon~

The Mabon season has a long and rich history of legends and folklore. This time of year is associated with the cycle of life, death and rebirth thanks to its harvest connections. It’s also a season of balance and power, because there are equal hours of darkness and light on the day of the autumn equinox. From the myths of Persephone and Demeter to the gods of the vineyards, Mabon is a time to celebrate the magic and power of the second harvest.

Come along and join in the fun and celebrations here at: All About Mabon

We look forward to seeing you there, Mabon Blessings to all!

Lammas – A Time to Improve in Health, Wealth and Happiness

Lammas – A Time to Improve in Health, Wealth and Happiness
by Alison Yates

Lammas is normally celebrated on August 1st in the Northern Hemisphere and is one of the eight Sabbats celebrated by Wiccans, Pagans and Druids.

Also known as Lughnassadh, Lammas is commemorated and celebrated as a time of abundance, prosperity and success. It is believed that during the period of Lughnassadh it is possible to make manifest immense positive changes in health, wealth and happiness.

Casting Spells during Lammas for drawing healing, abundance, prosperity and material wealth are said to be most successful.

Lammas is also considered to be the perfect time for lovers to commit to one another. Handfasting Ceremonies are always popular at Lammas. Handfasting is where couples are gently bound by a cord around their wrists which is then knotted to symbolise their commitment to each other. The lovers commit themselves to each other for “a year and a day,” “a lifetime,” “for all of eternity” or “for as long as love shall last,” by ritually “tying the knot.”

With love in the air around Lammas day any Love Spells that are cast on and around this day are said to manifest swiftly and successfully.

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