|Posted on January 7, 2016 at 12:10 AM||comments (0)|
Paganism, and all spiritual paths, are meant to be lived. It is wonderful to attend ritual or services and say the words but it is more important to walk the path. This way when you feel a disconnect (and it happens to everyone!) you can pull yourself back to center.
This blog was writen by one of our Elders - you may find it helpful.
|Posted on September 30, 2015 at 3:45 PM||comments (0)|
Most Pagans say that after Mabon, and especially in October, the veil between the worlds is thinning. It is easier for those in the Summerlands, or Otherworld, to make their presence known and to communicate with the living. The reason for this is that Samhain (which begins at sundown on October 31st) is the Celtic New Year. It marks the end of summer and beginning of winter for those following a Celtic tradition. Times such as these are seen as liminal - neither this nor that, not one or the other, yet a bit of both. A time between time. There are many such periods in daily life - dawn, noon, twilight, midnight. In addition, there are certain times of the year that this type of energy is prevalent. There is something about this particular liminal event, however, that stirs the ancient blood.
As the summer faded into winter and the land prepared to slumber, our ancestors saw the cycle of death and rebirth play itself out. It was a natural time to honour those that went before and who now resided in the land of the dead. Most cultures have formal acknowledgments of the deceased. The most famous are the Mexican Day of the Dead (dia de los muertos) and the New Orleans parade. The Christian calendar adapted the Pagan feast of Samhain and call it All Souls Day.
For modern Celtic Pagans, Samhain is a very solemn and sacred day. We reconnect with our Ancestors in a very real way. It is believed that the Ancestors are still around us - guiding us, lending strength and available for sharing wisdom. It is also the third and final harvest - the last chance to make provisions for what may be a harsh winter season. It stands in contrast to the almost giddy energy of Beltane. Stories around the bonfire tell of the descent of the Lord into the Underworld until his rebirth at Yule. It is a time of reserve and introspection.
Many Pagans will leave food out for the Ancestors. They will tell stories of their loved ones and remember them. Many have Ancestral Altars set up as part of or in addition to their usual altar. On the Eve of Samhain, fires are lit and candles are set in windows to guide the Spirits to the hearth. These Spirits are welcomed as honoured guests. The Ancestral connection is felt to the very core of our DNA. If you do not know who your ancestors were, such as in the case of adoption, meditate on the connection. Research the cultures and traditions that call to you. If there is a particular area that fascinates you, follow that thread. Also, remember that family is not always about blood. The Ancestors of an adopted family can be just as connected as blood relatives - or more so. Connect to those of a spiritual ancestry - Ascended Masters and the like.
Whether one is Pagan or not, the energy at this time of the year cannot be denied. It has an ancient feel to it. It sings to us as wind through the pines, calling across the centuries. It connects us. Take some time during this season to connect to that ancient energy. Listen to the call. Reach out and feel for the energy of loved ones (human and non human). They are there and are waiting.
|Posted on August 28, 2015 at 11:25 AM||comments (0)|
The Autumnal Equinox, called Mabon by many traditions, is celebrated on or near September 23rd. This is the second harvest festival and is often considered “The Pagan’s Thanksgiving”. Equinoxes are also times of balance. The day and night are equal. These are times when things can “even out” or regain an equilibrium.
Imagine, if you can, how the Ancestors lived. They marked time by the seasons.They didn’t rely on a calendar, but rather on the changes in nature to guide them. There was the time to prepare, the time to plant, the time to tend and the time to harvest. Each part of the process was important, as it ensured that the crops would be abundant enough to see them through a harsh winter. If any step along the way broke down, it could mean disaster for the community. Therefore, it was important to them to give thanks to their deities. At Lughnassadh, the first Harvest on August 1st, the grain god Lugh was given thanks. At Mabon, a feast was held to give thanks to all of the gods and to the community for their help during the growing season. The third and final harvest, Samhain which is October 31st, is a more solemn feast in which the Ancestors are honoured and given thanks for their assistance through the year.
Mabon gets its popular name from a Welsh tale. Briefly, the tale tells of Mabon, which means “great son”, a youth who is much beloved by this mother Modron, “great mother”. Much like the tale of Demeter and Persephone, Mabon was stolen away away to the underworld where he resided until the light half of the year. At that point, he is found by King Arthur and rescued. This is an old tale, but the term “Mabon” was only applied to this holiday in modern times. Since the similarities to the tale of Demeter and Persephone are so strong, it is understandable why the correlation was made. To our Ancestors, however, it was tied to the wheel of the year.
There are many fun ways to celebrate this time of the year. First off, you could hold a feast featuring local and seasonal foods. If you have a garden, invite friends and family over to share some of your plenty. It is also a good time to tin or preserve foods for storage. Donate food to local food banks or soup kitchens. Hold a gratitude ritual and give thanks for everything, and everyone, in your life. Make crafts using corn husks and sheaths. Corn dollies are popular. Take a sheath and form it until it resembles a human figure. You can paint it or add yarn and fabric for clothing if you would like. Make an apple candle holder by hollowing out an apple and inserting a votive or tea light inside. A fun craft for the kids is making face masks using paper plates and pasting leaves, twigs and other natural items onto it.
This is a good time of year to consider what you have accomplished thus far. Be thankful for each seed which bore fruit. Consider what is needed for the months ahead and plan. Find the areas of your life which need balance. When within the harmony of the seasons as our Ancestors did we find that everything flows and has its time. Plant, reap, sow and plan. Happy Mabon!