Magic done when the moon and sun are both visible in the sky can have potent effects for certain desired outcomes. Look it up!
When in a circle, I always had problems with disruption within the circle, and people talking about ritual after it has been finished (which I can’t stand).
So I wrote an incantation to recite while casting a circle that helps to fix that. As always I walk the circle three times to seal it.
“Milk and shadow, bane and brew
Court our hallows, two by two.
Enter thus, encircled here,
Do so free of hate and fear.
For in this circle, none shall pause
With doubt and so disrupt our cause,
Or otherwise make ill at ease
Those who try to others please.
Let no one in who dare defy
The laws that we have casted by.
Those who journey in, they must
In perfect love and perfect trust.
Silence is the witch’s key
To let their deep desires be.
So silence of the circle keep
Outside its walls, for others seek
To cast their doubt upon us all.
And offer only aid, or fall
To laws wrote by the circle’s pow’r
Cast upon this witching hour.
The circle now cast thrice about
Shall keep all harmful power out.
The circle now cast three by three
Protect within: so mote it be!”
Happy casting, happy crafting.
**All words property of TheLivingWiccan — feel free to share WITH CREDIT. Do not remove source**
Here’s an old one!
Yes. Yes, this is exactly what I needed. Now to just get some bones on there!
Jeez, tonight has been a crazy Question Answering Night! 1 hour, 20 questions in, and still going strong.
Tonight on TheLivingWiccan: Dichotomy in neo-Paganism and how it alienates its non-binary followers, its inherent heteronormativity, canning tinctures whilst preventing botulism, the destruction of white sage, and cats!
Question Answering Day! My inbox has been filling up and I think now seems like a pretty good time to empty it.
Friday, May 10th! Question Answering Day.
Although this blog is called TheLivingWiccan, any of a multitude of subjects get approached on this blog: from general spirituality to strict organized religion, from Wicca to Odinism, from Satanism to Reconstructionist Hellenism, from crystals and herbs to poppets and candles, from curses to spells, and from religious to secular witchcraft.
If you have sent a message some time in the past 2 weeks, expect it to be answered tomorrow. If you haven’t yet asked a question, send them in, but please read this first.
It feels so wonderful to get some new spells in there. Hopefully when it gets passed on, my descendants will feel the same.
Hello there EHC!
First of all, it’s good to narrow down the use of the world “Paganism”, because it is so vague in both its religious and historical context. There are Indigenous Pagan traditions from all around the world, from Canada to Africa to Australia. There are also the Greco-Roman Pagan traditions, and the European Pagan traditions, as well. They were the traditions that most influenced Christianity throughout its development, so I think we’ll focus more on these traditions than the others.
It’s also important to note that Christianity actually developed first mostly in the southern Roman Empire, so you see more correlation between the Greco-Roman Pagan traditions than the British-Irish-etc Pagan traditions (hereby referred to as “European Paganism”, for lack of a better word).
Historical context aside, let’s get cracking.
There’s a huge flurry of debate on this topic, really. It seems like for every person crying out: “They stole our holidays!” there are two more people saying “Shut it, that’s not true.” Today the debate on who “stole” what is pretty moot, for reasons that we’ll get to at the end. There is, however a “happy medium”.
It’s no secret that a lot of modern Christian beliefs come from early (EARLY) Pagan holidays. It’s no secret that earlier Christians moved dates to correspond with Pagan holidays in order to convert more Pagans to Christianity.
Easter is most commonly thought to have derived from the “European” Pagan holiday of Ostara, or Eostre. In fact, the name Easter comes from the Goddess after which Eostre is named. Many of the traditions – collecting eggs and – yes – even the Easter bunny, come from the Pagan festival of Ostara/Eostre, due to their significance as fertility symbols. This celebration comes on the 21st of March, give or take a day or two, on the Vernal Equinox. Pretty close to Easter, no?
Yule, another “European” Pagan Holiday, mirrors Christianity in Christmas. During Yule, trees are decorated, gifts given, and offerings placed for the rebirth/return of the “King”: of the Holly King/Horned God/Green Man. This holiday takes place on December 21st, give or take a day or two, on the winter solstice. Pretty close to Christmas, no?
Saturnalia, a Greco-Roman (more Hellenistic, really) holiday season, was also very close to Yule, and lasted anywhere from 4-7 days, usually between the 17th and the 21st (I’m seeing a pattern here). There are very similar aspects to Saturnalia in regards to Christianity (and even “European” Paganism) as well: red and green and gold, lots of flowers and trees, the promise of a returning King (Saturnus) and His bringing of prosperity and the Golden Age. An image of Saturnus was bound with cord and released during Saturnalia, offerings were given, and for a week, social roles and relationships were reversed.
Hallowe’en: this is not a Christian holiday, but it does deserve some attention. In the recent years, more and more people have been taking note of the Pagan origins of Hallowe’en such as jack o lanterns: lights to guide the spirits home (funny story, actually, because early Pagans actually filled large turnips instead of pumpkins). Dressing up in costumes was to ward off evil spirits, and it was believed that the veil between our world and the spirit world was thinnest on the cross quarter day of Samhain (October 31st-November 1st). The day that does deserve attention in this debate is actually All Saint’s Day, which was moved to much earlier in the year in order to combat the Pagan rituals that occurred on the 1st of November.
There are many more parallels between Paganism of all kinds and Christianity, but instead of listing every one of them (don’t have all year, I have a ritual to attend to tonight), I’ve put down links for further reading at the bottom of this post.
In terms of correlation in values, that all depends on which Pagan religions you are talking about. There are hundreds, if not thousands, all with unique values and traditions. And not just Paganism, either – many forms of Christianity also seem to display this difference – sometimes a total dichotomy – in morals and ethics between sects: you can see this most prominently in the difference between, say, the United Church tradition and the Westboro Baptist Church.
However, in most forms of both traditions (which are, remember, umbrella terms for the hundreds of faiths underneath them), the general consensus seems to be: do not harm one another. It seems like a pretty solid rule.
In conclusion, what we’ve seen today is not a “stealing” of tradition; at least, not in today’s context. The parallels between Christianity and Paganism were formed so long ago that they’ve now developed into two different branches of holidays entirely. You can yell about how there are evergreen trees, the colour red, rabbits, and jack-o-lanterns in both versions of the holiday seasons all you want, but in the end, it’s just a tree, just an egg, and just a rabbit, and they’ve adapted it to their own needs quite well, over hundreds of years.
And the fact is: modern Pagans have changed the old traditions just as much (unless, of course, you are Reconstructionist, in which case, you’re the closest you’re ever going to get to Ancient Paganism without time travel). Most Pagans don’t celebrate Beltane by sacrificing stags anymore. Most Pagans don’t sacrifice Pigs to Saturnus. Most Pagans don’t burn offerings to the Holly King by dancing around a fire in the middle of a snowstorm.
Traditions change, and in the end, correlation becomes just that: correlation, a nice little parallel to bond over.
I hope this helps!
EDIT: If you’re going to reblog this, please keep the text.
That’s kind of the point of the whole picture.
Hello there! I’ve been getting a lot of questions like these recently, and I feel it’s best to just address them all at once.
First of all, let’s start with the basics.
Wicca — along with some (some!) other modern Pagan religions — follow a cycle that embodies the wheel of the year. Most commonly there are 4 major holidays, or Sababts, that correspond with the cross-quarter days (that is, the days that are in between each solstice and each equinox (2 of each)), and 4 quarter days that fall on the solstices and equinoxes.
Let’s start with the cross-quarter days. These holidays, Sabbats, include:
- Imbolc/Imbolg/Candlemas — 1st or 2nd of February.
- Beltane/Beltaine/Beltine/Bealtaine/Bealltainn/Boaltinn/Boaldyn (so many names!) — May 1st. The astrological date for Beltane is actually closer to the 5th or 6th or 7th, but this can vary from year to year and most people like to rely on tradition.
- Lammas/Lughnasadh/Calan Awst— August 1st
- Samhain — October 31st through till November 1st
The reason the names are so different is because of the different traditions of the British, Welsh, Irish, etc.
Now for the 4 quarter Sababts, or rather, the days that correspond with the 2 solstices and the 2 equinoxes. In British and Irish tradition, these were also the days each year on which servants were hired, and rents were due (Wikipedia).
- Yule — December 21st
- Ostara — March 21st
- Litha — June 21st
- Mabon — September 21st
Of course, these dates change nearly every year. Because the calendar isn’t exactly 365 days each year (more like 364.8 or something crazy like that), the dates of the equinoxes shift from anywhere from half a day to 2 days. On any given year, Litha could be on the 19th June, the 20th June, the 21st June, or even the 22nd June.
This, in turn, changes the astrological times and dates of the midpoints — or rather, the cross-quarter days: Imbolc, Beltane, Lammas, and Samhain. However, most modern Pagans don’t bother with the date changes (most, not all!) and prefer to stick to traditional dates.
As for the Esbats:
Esbats are days of service performed by Wiccans. Every full moon, as stated in the Rede, Wiccans are supposed to meet by the light of the full moon and perform ritual. Esbats are used to reconnect with the Goddess, and to give thanks and place offerings, to dance and sing, and appreciate all that the Goddess gives to them.
I really hope this has helped. It’s a pretty general overview, and of course doesn’t nearly go into detail of the Sabbats and Esbats themselves. Here are some links from my Answered Questions Page„ in the Ritual/Sabbat/Esbat specific page. You should always keep looking at the Answered Questions page, because it gets updated nearly every single week.
I spent a good part of today writing my invocations to God and Goddess. I’ve been working on a few prayers that people at large can use, and I think it’s coming along well.
Tonight I will be writing one down in my Book of Shadows. I highly encourage some of my followers to write one and do the same! :)
Beautiful little altar.
A small dish for the Goddess. Filled with shells, sea glass, white dried flowers, a mirror and a small candle.