Spirit Message of the Moment – Happy New Year 2014

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HAPPY NEW YEAR 2014 Spirit Friends

Thank you so much for all your support, light, and great comments on both my blog and Facebook page this past year! I’ve so enjoyed the last four and a half years writing this blog and sharing readings with you of some of my favorite or405368_10150500037554734_1317162623_nacle systems with you; I am so pleased it resonates with where you find yourself – at that exact moment in time. Here’s to a beautiful new year for you – full of intuition, infinite possibilities, adventures, laughter, abundance, and joy. Unlimited happiness is waiting for us today, we just have to open the door to let it into our lives.

My advice for the new calendar year? Take time to dream – and Dream BIG. Then Dream even Bigger than that! Go ahead and surprise yourself and take the chance; you’re worth it. Life always gives us the opportunity to change, expand, and grow into who we want to be; whether reinventing ourselves and rebuilheartart2ding our lives, or simply being brave enough to let our light shine with others and proudly shine it into the world at large. Here’s to letting your light shine – and Bright! May you find inspiration everywhere you travel, with whomever you meet. May you use your intuition and spiritual instincts to discover new passions (and remember old ones), find ways to help heal hearts (even if it’s only your own), and invent countless ways to add something of good spiritual value to the world. May you live your life with a full heart and your time for learning, change, and growth never end. Wishing you much love and light for a great new year for 2014.
Bright Blessings to You,
Angela 

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MESSAGE FOR YOU – Endurance – Keep Going! 
THE MERMAIDS SING
“When a long journey begins, or when a quest is undertaken, be it a pilgrimage, or an ambition or a desire, or a dream that you wish to create in this earthworld you live within, human one, there is the excitement of the beginning…the unknown still lies before you. And it is a th5391_369223603191483_1899532215_nrill, every moment, to take another step forward. But at some stage, just as we tire, you too tire. The terrain can become unfamiliar. Issues arise, challenges greet you, and at this point, too many of you feel that this must Not be meant for you – for you have told yourself that if it is truly meant to be, it will be simple, it will flow, and it will be…well easy.

We are here to share that for all creatures, and in both the seen and unseen worlds, there are parts of the great journey that require our stamina, our courage and our endurance – our ability to commit, and to stay with the task and dream and promise until we have made it. Do not enter into agreements lightly – enter into them, if at all, wholeheartedly. And be prepar66200_294003430716354_40209912_ned to develop your strength and tenacity, your courage and your honor along the way.

Without what you describe as a challenge, there will be no growth. If you work through and into and with the challenges, you will emerge stronger, and more able to realize the next dream. Flee at the first sign of difficulty, and you will be what we call a shore-hugger – one who never goes deep, who only goes to the places they know. There may be nothing wrong with this. But if this card has come to you, you have sent out the request to the great ocean mother to go on this great journey, to take on a mission. And the time has come for you to build up your endurance. Commit. Practice. Train!

We do, although most often you will only hear tales of our beauty and vanity. How else do we live so well within the great power of the ocean? The answer for us, and for you, is that we develop our power – and we endure, when others would give in or turn away. We are stronger than that. 399864_422942047801829_2145979321_nAnd so are you!

You may believe you are weak, or physically unable to complete a task. You may have committed to believing that there is no way your strength can increase. It is not always about your physicality – so often, it is the amazing endurance of Spirit and your soul and your creative force that requires the ability to go that little bit further, to reach a little harder, to extend yourself, to go well beyond a comfort zone. You may also believe that to become more aligned, powerful and strong physically is to weaken the intuitive self. But this is not the case.

Like these mermaids, you are reaching an important stage of your journey, and it is essential that you continue. There will be times when you feel you have had enough and you wish to suddenly stop moving…to sink, rather than to swim. 1394051_1391520577756380_2015272875_nBut the mermaids are here to ask you to continue to swim, tired though you may be, full of doubt you may be. The second part of your strength is readying itself, and will come through, just at the point you are ready to give up. Keep going. And you will go so much further than you currently believe you can! This is not the time to run back, or to allow the waters to take you! This is the time to continue the journey you committed to – because you are being tested, and you can pass this test. But you must keep going. Eyes forward. Intention focused. Purpose clear! Re-commit! And keep going.”

Oracle of the Mermaids by Lucy Cavendish

 

 

 

Spirit Message of the Moment – Ideas To Celebrate Yule 2013

CELEBRATING THE PAGAN SABBAT: YULE
In many Pagan and Wiccan celebrations, often the cornerstone of a succe205537_450257608364328_1060900443_nssful Sabbat is the food. Yule is a time of rich, delicious cooking for many of us, so start planning your menu ahead of time. Open up your hearth and home for your guests, and once you’re seated at your meal, take a moment to be thankful for all the bounty and blessings you have before you this Yule season!

Food Blessings, Pagan and Wiccan Style
Many religions celebrate the consumption of food with some sort of prayer of thanksgiving. Many Pagans and Wiccans believe that not only should we thank the gods for our food, but also the earth and the food itself. After all, if you’re eating plants or meat, something had to die so that you could have a meal. It seems rude not to thank your food for its sacrifice. Any of the following may be said over a meal, a Cakes and Ale ceremony, or any other event where food is served. Feel free to include the names of the deities of your tradition, of you prefer.

• This Simple Meal Blessing offers thanks to the God and Goddess for a meal.

• A Prayer to the Earth shows gratitude for the planet’s bounty.

• If you’re eating a meal that once walked around, offer a prayer Celebrating Meat.

Invite the Gods to dine with you.

Make an Offering of a bit of your food.


Basic Wassail Recipe

Hot WassailWassail was originally a word that meant to greet or salute someone — groups would go out Wassailing on cold evenings, and when they approached a door would be offered a mug of warm cider or ale. Over the years, the tradition evolved to include mixing eggs with alcohol and asperging the crops to ensure fertility. While this recipe doesn’t include eggs, it sure is good, and it makes your house smell beautiful for Yule!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours, 15 minutes

Ingredients:
• 1 Gallon apple cider
• 2 C. cranberry juice
• 1/2 C honey
• 1/2 C sugar
• 2 oranges
• Whole cloves
• 1 apple, peeled and diced
• Allspice
• Ginger
• Nutmeg
• 3 cinnamon sticks (or 3 Tbs. ground cinnamon)
• 1/2 C – 1 C brandy (optional)

Preparation: Set your crockpot to its lower setting, and pour apple cider, cranberry juice, honey and sugar in, mixing carefully. As it heats up, stir so that the honey and sugar dissolve. Stud the oranges with the cloves, and place in the pot (they’ll float). Add the diced apple. Add allspice, ginger and nutmeg to taste — usually a couple of tablespoons of each is plenty. Finally, snap the cinnamon sticks in half and add those as well.

Cover your pot and allow to simmer 2 – 4 hours on low heat. About half an hour prior to serving, add the brandy if you choose to use it. Buttered RumButtered rum was a popular recipe in colonial America, and it’s easy to see why — it’s GOOD. You can brew this up in your crockpot, ladle out a nice big mug and sit by the fire on a chilly winter evening. It’s the perfect warm drink for Yule. If you leave out the rum, your kids can enjoy it too (here’s a tip — when your little one wants to have a Harry Potter party, make a rum-free pot of this recipe and call it butter beer).

Ingredients:
• 2 Quarts apple juice
• 2 C firmly packed brown sugar
• 1 stick butter (use the real stuff, not margarine)
• 3 Tbs. cinnamon
• 1 tsp. ground cloves
• 1 tsp. nutmeg
• 2 C. your favorite rum
• Refrigerated whipped dessert topping
• Cinnamon sticks and nutmeg for garnish

Preparation: Warm up the apple juice and brown sugar in a pot. Add the butter (dice up the stick before you put it in there, so it’ll melt faster). Stir until the butter is melted. Add the spices and the rum. Cover the pot, and allow to simmer on low for 2 – 4 hours. Ladle into mugs for serving. Top each with a dollop of whipped topping and a cinnamon stick. Sprinkle with a dash of nutmeg.

3799_10151600879139616_1867875314_nSunshine Skillet
When the sun comes up on Yule morning, there’s nothing quite like it. If your family celebrates with a solar ritual, after you’re done, head to the kitchen for a big breakfast. This sunny skillet dish is full of good stuff — if you’re vegetarian, simply substitute something else for the sausage, or leave the meat out altogether. This is fabulous with some nice warm biscuits and gravy.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:
• 2 Tbs. butter (use the good stuff, not margarine)
• 1 small onion, diced
• 1/2 C shiitake mushrooms, chopped
• 2 C southern-style hashbrown potatoes, thawed
• 6 eggs, beaten
• 2 C sausage, browned
• 2 C cheddar cheese, grated
• Fresh rosemary and sage
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1/2 C Asiago cheese, grated
• 1 green onion, chopped
• 1 small tomato, diced

Preparation: Preheat your oven to 350. Heat the butter in a large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add the mushrooms and onions, sautéing until they are opaque. Add potatoes, and cook until browned, stirring occasionally. In a buttered or greased casserole dish, spread the potato mixture around to evenly cover the bottom. Mix the eggs, sausage, cheese, herbs, salt and pepper together in a small bowl, and then pour over potatoes. Bake in the oven at 350 for about 30 minutes. About ten minutes into the bake time, sprinkle the Asaigo cheese on top. Remove from oven and allow to cool for ten minutes before serving. To serve, dish onto plates and garnish with tomatoes and onions.

Suggested Readings

All Above Excerpts authored by Patti Wigington

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405368_10150500037554734_1317162623_nMESSAGE FROM SPIRITBLOGGER
A warm welcome to December and wish to you for a bright and merry Winter Solstice this year. In my search to find spiritual significance for this Winter Solstice 2013, I kept thinking about the concepts of building and recreating life; which, always seems to give us the opportunity to reinvent ourselves and constantly reshape and refine our lives to best align with our highest soul self. This involves a bit of re-imagining who we are at times and then manifesting who we are meant to be, as we embrace our whole selves. I found an online article called “Winter Solstice – Beauty in the Darkness” by Sara Dawn I wanted to share with you. Perhaps it might resonate with where you’ve either been, or currently find yourself in this day, or in this very moment. Thank you for all your messages this past year, good wishes, and support on both the blog and Facebook page. Bright Wishes To You All for a Meaningful Winter Solstice.
– Angela

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“Yes, there is beauty here in the shadows of ourselves. There is great beauty in the darkness. The Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year. Since neolithic times it has been celebrated and honored as a sacred time of renewal and rebirth. As the earth continues on her magical orbit the days now grow longer and nights shorter. The sun is dawning after the increasing darkness of winter.  The Winter Solstice is nature’s physical equivalent of a spiritual awakening and enlightenment.

whitecandleMy wish for you this Winter Solstice is that you awaken to the sheer brilliance of your being, the very essence of Life that you are, your inner most nature. And that with this new-found strength you delve deep into the darkness, deep into your shadows and fears, and shine on them the light of awareness with love and compassion. Nothing is more powerful or bigger than this light and love. Like the sun, the light of awareness and love overcomes any darkness. When we dare to face our deepest, darkest fears and overcome them we can truly experience the ecstasy of life. We become confident and stronger. We discover ourselves and we know who we are. We begin to trust life and know that it is a force that is both for us and within us. The Winter Solstice marks this triumph of our quest for a greater good. It is a journey we all have the opportunity to take, many times in our lives.

If you are stuck in any area of your life or if you are in pain, the invitation and my wish for you here is to take that stuck energy, take that pain and compost it into something beautiful! Like the earth breaks down decaying, useless matter and turns it into fuel for life and growth, take your shadows and darkness and use them to create life and beauty. The Winter Solstice is a great time to realize this.”
– Sara Dawn

scroll2“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
― Marianne Williamson

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Spirit Message of the Moment – Celebrate Thanks & Giving 2013

THANKSGIVING 2013 – A Little History
What’s in a Holiday?: Thanksgiving’s Pagan Roots

12700_10151114149806050_610246345_nIn my previous posts on the origins of our contemporary holidays, we learn how many of them have roots in Paganism. The holiday of Thanksgiving is hardly different and it was certainly not the first feast celebrating the harvest.

In school, we are taught that in the year 1621 the Pilgrims established Thanksgiving to share their abundant harvest with the local Wampanoag tribe (“People of the Dawn”) who were a civilization of hunters, farmers and fisherman. Although the Pilgrims and Wampanoagans celebrated the first actual Thanksgiving itself, the tribe had its’ own feast day in which they gave thanks for their abundant crops as they honored Kiehtan, the Creator. Future Pagan immigrants brought their harvest festivals to America as well.

By the time Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a National holiday in 1861, other Europeans had also settled in America and brought with them their own traditions, The-first-Thanksgivingsome Pagan. Harvest festivals were celebrated by European Romans at Cerelia by giving thanks to Ceres, the Goddess of Harvest. Celtic and Anglo-Saxon Pagans celebrated Lughnasadh and Mabon, which as Wiccans we know, is also the First and Second Harvests of the year. The Greeks honored Demeter during the Thesmohoria and the New Englanders’ Pagan ancestors celebrated Harvest Home (the first reaping of crops in August). This was a time for gratitude and reflection followed by singing and dancing, after which everyone enjoyed a wonderful feast.

A special wish for everyone and their families and a very Happy and healthy Thanksgiving! Blessed Be!

Author – Lady Blogger: Morganna

A MESSAGE FROM SPIRITBLOGGER
405368_10150500037554734_1317162623_nHappy Thanks and Giving! There is always so much abundance that continues to surround us throughout the year. Take a moment to appreciate all that you are, all that you have, all whom you know, and everything that surrounds you. Give thanks in advance for your life that is and will be. Celebrate your life and make every moment count. Wishing you a Bright and Festive Thanksgiving this year – full of Connection, Joy, Love, Smiles, and Warmth. Remember, enjoy the moment by being spiritually present in each moment and give yourself permission and the freedom to create your experience and enjoy it. Many Blessings to You All. Thanks for all your kind words, support, and great comments!
Much Love & Light,
Angela (aka – The Spiritblogger)

Spirit Message of the Moment – A Poem for Samhain 2013

scroll2SAMHAIN

(The Celtic Halloween)255249_211142809012506_579760546_n

In the season leaves should love,
since it gives them leave to move
through the wind, towards the ground
they were watching while they hung,
legend says there is a seam
stitching darkness like a name.

Now when dying grasses veil
earth from the sky in one last pale
wave, as autumn dies to bring
winter back, and then the spring,
we who die ourselves can peel
back another kind of veil
that hangs among us like thick smoke.

Tonight at last I feel it shake.185390_399473976785902_987418826_n
I feel the nights stretching away
thousands long behind the days
till they reach the darkness where
all of me is ancestor.

I move my hand and feel a touch
move with me, and when I brush
my own mind across another,
I am with my mother’s mother.
Sure as footsteps in my waiting
self, I find her, and she brings

arms that carry answers for me,
intimate, a waiting bounty.
“Carry me.” She leaves this trailfbe99e50b9f503832413a11c8ec84faf
through a shudder of the veil,
and leaves, like amber where she stays,
a gift for her perpetual gaze.

- Anne Finch
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Spirit Message of the Moment – Celebrate Mabon 2013

THE PAGAN HOLIDAY MABON – THE AUTUMN EQUINOX – A Spiritual Celebration
“Mabon is the time of harvesting the full yield of nature. What was planted at the spring equinox is nMabon Mickie Muellerow ripe and mature. The card depicts the ritual setting for the Mabon festival, which is marked by the autumn equinox. Statues of the Goddess and God appear behind an altar, with the sun setting, casting shadows upon the ground. here they stand as the Lady of the Harvest and the Lord of the Sheaf.

The God is decorated with the intertwined red, black, and white woven cords of the mystery tradition, from which hang the sacred silver and golden boughs. Red represents the living blood of our ancestors, which flows in our veins. Black represents the deep shadows that contain the enlightenment awaiting the true seeker. White symbolizes what remains behind, a metaphor of the bone, representing the wisdom and knowledge left behind by our ancestors. 

On the God statue appear oak leaves and acorns, representing his divine woodland nature. The Goddess statue holds a lighted candle, which symbolizes her divine presence. At her feet is an empty cauldron with nine white shells set in front. The cauldron represents the gateway to the Underworld through which the Harvest lord must pass. For from the Goddess does all life issue forth, and to her must all life return. The nine white shells symbolize her triformis nature as the three Fates, plus her three aspects as maiden, mothers, and crone, plus her rulership over the three realms of the Overworld, Middleworld, and Underworld.

Between the statues, the altar is set with a reed basket filled with the sacred harvest cakes. The basket is now the tomb of the God (as it had once been his cradle at Yule) and bears the symbol of the sun. Apples, pumpkins, and acorns adorn the altar. The basket is flanksweeped by two white candles representing pillars between which the portal to the Underworld or Otherworld is entered. At the time of Mabon the God dies and journeys to the Underworld, where he waits in the realm of Shadow for his rebirth at Yule.

Behind the altar stands an upright sickle, which represents the harvester. A raven, the messenger of the Otherworld, swoops downward to land upon the sickle. This marks the death of the Harvest Lord, who must willingly fall so that his seed will ensure the renewal of life.”

MESSAGE FOR YOU
“When this card appears the work is done, and the manifestation and realization of your plans is at hand. It is time to celebrate. Three words summarize this season: harvest, completion, and fulfill. The Mabon/Autumn Equinox card reveals the harvest we have reaped from what was sown in an earlier season. In a spiritual sense this is the measure of the soul’s journey through life. It is here that we look at the state of our lives, our condition, our relationships. The harvest is the time to look at what has been sacrificed and what has been gained.”  

TREE IN FALL
“It is time to release what no longer works. The tree in fall symbolizes decline, shefallTreedding, and release, and tells us to shed that which no longer serves the greater good. A tree in fall does not lament waning and loss. It stands as a tree in fall, embracing what is natural to the condition surrounding it while it strips away what cannot be sustained in the coming winter season.  The tree in fall depicts the liberation of fall with a tree casting off its foliage.”

THE SHADOW’S EDGE
“The Tree in Fall takes up the idea of shedding that which no longer serves the successful continuation of our lives. The message of this card is that we must rid ourselves of things that drain our energy and resources or detract from our necessary goals. Holding on to things that no longer serve the common good is to risk future health, prosperity, and vitality.”

All above excerpts are from The Seeker’s Guide to The Hidden Path by Raven Grimassi and Stephanie Taylor with art by Mickie Mueller which I highly recommend purchasing for your tarot/oracle card collection if you haven’t already. 

THE AUTUMN EQUINOX
It is the time of the autumn equinox, and the harvest is winding down. The fields are nearly empty, because the crops have been plucked anMabon Acornd stored for the coming winter. Mabon is the mid-harvest festival, and it is when we take a few moments to honor the changing seasons, and celebrate the second harvest. On or around September 21, for many Pagan and Wiccan traditions it is a time of giving thanks for the things we have, whether it is abundant crops or other blessings. With it being a few weeks away, now is a good time to start decorating your home for the autumn equinox, and planning your fall craft projects! ” 

“Depending on your individual spiritual path, there are many different ways you can celebrate Mabon, but typically the focus is on either the second harvest aspect, or the balance between light and dark. This, after all, is the time when there is an equal amount of day and night. While we celebrate the gifts of the earth, we also accept that the soil is dying. We have food to eat, but the crops are brown and going dormant. Warmth is behind us, cold lies ahead.”

- Patti Wigington

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MESSAGE FROM SPIRITBLOGGER405368_10150500037554734_1317162623_n
Welcome to Fall! This is my absolute favorite time of year; there is change in the sweet smelling air, the nights get a little cooler, and the trees and plants begin to change their color from bright green to beautiful degrees of orange and red. It’s a great time of year to quietly turn inward and focus on your spiritual development and then turn outward, be social, and share feasting and celebration of the change of season with family and friends.

Take a moment for reflection to ponder the life you currently find yourself in. What’s new or different compared with where you were at the spring equinox? Take time to count your blessings, feel the abundance that surrounds your life, take stock, and celebrate all of your hard work and what’s been accomplished to date before moving forward to set goals for the pagan new year (which begins at Samhain on October 31st). Try making a warm apple or mulled cider, or making a special harvest bread to eat with homemade herb butter, or hosting an elegant autumn harvest dinner and serve foods you find most comforting to welcome in the new season.

Wishing You Brightest Autumn Wishes and Warm Blessings, 
Angela

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Spirit Message of the Moment – Look Beneath the Surface

THE DRAGONFAE DRYSTAN SPEAKS
“Don’t be distracted – see behind the act! All my artifice hides only the truth, which at the moment you do not wish to see. I am always telling you the truth: it is simply that you do not wish to hear. I hathe-mask-shop mark bryanve always shown you who I am: you simply choose not to see. The clues have been strewn about you…but you have decided not to notice their presence. I can draw people into actions that reveal their shadows; and for that they condemn me. But I have been their teacher, for they then know the whole of themselves, and thus have compassion for others.”

“Some have wanted me to be an angel, when i have never been of the heavens, and never claimed to be. I am illusions: but most of all, I am your illusion. Look beyond, take off my mask, and decide to acknowledge the truth about the circumstances which you find yourself within. And know that although you may say I have done you wrong, I have taught you to follow your guidance.”

ABOUT DRYSTAN
“This Dragonfae being is the bad boy, the cheat, the hustler, and the fool who charms his way into your world, and then lets you down in spectacular fashion. A Lord of the Court, he is political, charming, clever, majestic, and in many ways, a rogue. And the truth is: you always knew there was something dodgy about this situation, or this promise, because he is being so very truthfudrystanl when he said he has told you all along. So while he is manipulative and deceitful; strangely, he’s honest about it.”

“And there is a glamour here that is nearly irresistible. He is showbiz and glittering lies that cast a spell, then leave us without anything of substance. And yet, he does not leave us empty-handed, for there is a lesson here that once headed, need never be experienced again. And he need not be blamed either: for he is the fantasy that we all seek; the illusory nature of our desires.”

MESSAGE FOR YOU
“Use your judgement and place your own needs and desires first. Believe it when someone says they are not to be trusted, even when that is said not with words but with actions, or when there are too many contradictions. Enjoy the show, but do not live the act. Begin to explore your truths, your story, and begin to look beneath the surface.”

“This is the card of the person or being who makes no claims to virtue; their every word and deed reveals their intent. However, if you are drawn in by their charm or charisma, you may find yourself wishing and hoping they were indeed your hero (only in disguise!). It is likely when this card is present that you have persuaded yourself that someone will change, thmagician-hands-pulling-rabbit-out-of-top-hatat patterns will melt away and that what has gone wrong in the past has nothing to do with you. If you believe someone whose words are contradicted by their behavior and you choose to put your faith in one who has already let you down, you must acknowledge your own ability to put yourself in emotional and professional danger. “

“In order to move forward, contemplate appreciating the charmer for what they are, but refuse to be involved at a level where you are endangered. This card often indicates that you may have a tendency to fall in love with those who are unavailable; their glamour is attractive to you. This card draws attention to a desire to live artificially. There may be a belief of iconic glamour; the cult of the superstar or celebrity. Sometimes undercover dealings, sleight of hand and affairs come up when Drystan comes forward to speak with you. Look below the surface: don’t be deceived by appearances.”

Today’s guidance is from Oracle of the Dragonfae by Lucy Cavendish

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Spirit Message of the Moment – Celebrate Lammas 2013 – Live With Gentle Grace and Gratitude

LAMMAS SABBAT BLESSINGS TO YOU AND YOURS

“On August 1, it’s time to celebrate Lammas, or Lughnasadh, depending on which one you prefer, if you live in the Northern Hemisphere. This summer sabbat marks the season of the grain harvest, and is a time when many people are gathering their crops so they can start preparing for later on. In some traditions, it’s a time to 303911_228507967198413_773530948_nhonor the Celtic craftsman god, Lugh, by celebrating your skills and talents.

If you’re one of our Southern Hemisphere readers, that means you’re gearing up for Imbolc, the season of Brighid, and a celebration of light and fire. Be sure to read the links in the sidebar on the right for Imbolc information and ideas. No matter which of these you may be observing, may you and your family have a beautiful and blessed Sabbat! 

PAGAN LAMMAS HOLIDAY HISTORY:
Welcoming The Harvest
The Beginning of the Harvest
At Lammas, also called Lughnasadh, the hot days of August are upon us, much of the earth is dry and parched, but we still know that the bright reds and yellows of the harvest season are just around the corner. Apples are beginning to ripen in the trees, our summer vegetables have been picked, corn is tall and green, waiting for us to come gather the bounty of the crop fields. Now is the time to begin reaping what we have sown, and gathering up the first harvests of grain, wheat, oats, and more. This holiday can be celebrated either as a way to honor the god Lugh, or as a celebration of the harvest.

Celebrating Grain in Ancient Cultures
Grain has held a place of importance in civilization back nearly to the beginning of time. Grain became associated with the cycle of death and rebirth. The Sumerian god Tammuz was slain and his lover Ishtar grieved so heartily that nature stopped producing. Ishtar mWheat bread offeringourned Tammuz, and followed him to the Underworld to bring him back, similar to the story of Demeter and Persephone. In Greek legend, the grain god was Adonis. Two goddesses, Aphrodite and Persephone, battled for his love. To end the fighting, Zeus ordered Adonis to spend six months with Persephone in the Underworld, and the rest with Aphrodite.

A Feast of Bread
In early Ireland, it was a bad idea to harvest your grain any time before Lammas — it meant that the previous year’s harvest had run out early, and that was a serious failing in agricultural communities. However, on August 1, the first sheafs of grain were cut by the farmer, and by nightfall his wife had made the first loaves of bread of the season. The word Lammas derives from the Old English phrase hlaf-maesse, which translates to loaf mass. In early Christian times, the first loaves of the season were blessed by the Church.

Honoring Lugh, the Skillful God
In some Wiccan and modern Pagan traditions, Lammas is also a day 582226_424037830971840_139721484_nof honoring Lugh, the Celtic craftsman god. He is a god of many skills, and was honored in various aspects by societies both in the British Isles and in Europe. Lughnasadh (pronounced Loo-NAS-ah) is still celebrated in many parts of the world today. Lugh’s influence appears in the names of several European towns.

Celebrating Lammas Today
Honoring the Past
In our modern world, it’s often easy to forget the trials and tribulations our ancestors had to endure. For us, if we need a loaf of bread, we simply drive over to the local grocery store and buy a few bags of prepackaged bread. If we run out, it’s no big deal, we just go and get more. When our ancestors lived, hundreds and thousands of years ago, the harvesting and processing of grain was crucial. If crops were left in the fields too long, or the bread not baked in time, families could starve. Taking care of one’s crops meant the difference between life and death.

By celebrating Lammas as a harvest holiday, we honor our ancestors and the hard work they must have had to do in order to survive. This is Lughnasaa good time to give thanks for the abundance we have in our lives, and to be grateful for the food on our tables. Lammas is a time of transformation, of rebirth and new beginnings.

Symbols of the Season
The Wheel of the Year has turned once more, and you may feel like decorating your house accordingly. While you probably can’t find too many items marked as “Lammas decor” in your local discount store, there are a number of items you can use as decoration for this harvest holiday.

  • Sickles and scythes, as well as other symbols of harvesting
  • Grapes and vines
  • Dried grains — sheafs of wheat, bowls of oats, etc.
  • Corn dolls — you can make these easily using dried husks
  • Early fall vegetables, such as squashes and pumpkins
  • Late summer fruits, like apples, plums and peaches

Crafts, Song and Celebration
Because of its association with Lugh, the skilled god, Lamm73500_479290198797840_338698118_nas (Lughnasadh) is also a time to celebrate talents and craftsmanship. It’s a traditional time of year for craft festivals, and for skilled artisans to peddle their wares. In medieval Europe, guilds would arrange for their members to set up booths around a village green, festooned with bright ribbons and fall colors. Perhaps this is why so many modern Renaissance Festivals begin around this time of year!

Lugh is also known in some traditions as the patron of bards and magicians. Now is a great time of year to work on honing your own talents. Learn a new craft, or get better at an old one. Put on a play, write a story or poem, take up a musical instrument, or sing a song. Whatever you choose to do, this is the right season for rebirth and renewal, so set August 1 as the day to share your new skill with your friends and family.”

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All Excerpts Above from Author Patti Wigington

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MESSAGE FROM SPIRITBLOGGER
405368_10150500037554734_1317162623_nHappy Lammas 2013 Friends! August is a great month (and precursor to the coming Fall Season; a time for deep spiritual work) to begin our process of self-reflection. Where do we find ourselves? What is our daily reality look like? What experiences have we created for ourselves? It’s an important time to take stock of what we’ve accomplished to date, our goals and aspirations to best determine next steps and needed actions in order to best nurture the life we’ve created for ourselves. It’s a spiritual time of year that gives us the opportunity to integrate our physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental self into one holistic state of being for authentic living.  

Is there one aspect out of synch? Is there opportunity for us to deeper align our inner self with the outer self and world? Take some time to relax, breathe deeply, and close your eyes this month. What is missing; what changes can we make; what is working perfectly in alignment with our highest self, vision, and life purpose? How can we bring more joy, happiness, love, and abundance into our lives? How can we best embody these qualities with our friends, family, career, and the world at large?

MESSAGE FOR YOU
You have a beautiful gift of light, high vibrational energy truth, and essence to share; it’s always available to you if you look within. Allow yourself to make good, positive, and healthy choice601525_10151036368761771_386707568_ns and move forward to create the life you’ve always dreamed of living. What will you next create for yourself? Each moment offers us countless choices and opportunities if we are aware and living consciously with deliberate joy.

Live with gentle grace and gratitude. Live and act with positive intention. Take responsibility for your happiness. Take charge of your life and move forward embracing seasonal changes. Live with Purpose. Choose Life. Choose this moment. Choose to live your life from Love. Bright Lammas Blessings to You & Best Wishes for living a life full of intention and unique purpose.
~Angela

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Article on Spiritual Significance of the Pagan Holiday Lammas
Lammas and the August Moons
“The month of August begins with the new moon July 31st and Lammas or Lughnasadh the first harvest festival, usually celebrated Aug 1st. The Celtic festival called Lughnasadh honoured Lugh, the Celtic god of light; Lammas celebrates the grain and marks the time when summer harvest season gets underway. It’s also a day to celebratelughceltic things that are coming into being in our physical, mental and spiritual lives – it’s a time to look at the progress that we have made since planting seeds of intent in spring.

August new moon is about adjusting to changes. Even positive changes provide stress in our lives. Are you stronger, healthier, more understanding, or compassionate than you were in spring? What has happened to the seeds you planted? Have some kernels of potential flourished while others perhaps didn’t even sprout? Are there some things growing that you’ve forgotten to nourish lately? Or perhaps you have an abundant garden full of thriving fruitful promise. This new moon the chant “She changes everything she touches, and everything she touches changes” is very appropriate.

The August full moon is also known as the Barley Moon as the first grain harvest begins. Each crop that has sprouted and grown now holds the food for harvest and the potential of the next generation within each seed. During the harvest, the seeds that fall into the soil and become buried begin their resting time, knowing that when the last harvest is done, the time for sleep arrives. The first Harvest Moon is time to think about connections in life, to remember all the cycles of life that have gone before and will continue after our personal joLughnasadh 06aurney on this planet. This is a moon to remember the endless connections between all lives here, in all forms.

The first humans birthed the first children, and it continues all the way down to us, to our children, their children, and eons into the future. Each person on earth is related to all the others. Yes, there are many wonderful variations of human beings – how lucky we are to be individuals AND connected! This moon is a time to think about extended family and relationships of all kinds. It’s also a good time to think about the legacy you are creating that will live on after this life cycle is over. It’s a good time to think about business, partnerships, legal matters, what mementos you have and what they represent. It’s about abundance, reward for efforts, celebrating the fullness of summer, personal and spiritual prosperity.

SOME CIRCLE IDEAS

• Wear tan, gold or yellow shades of clothing to celebrate the harvest. You could use altar cloths in these colors too

• Include ears of corn, wheat sheaves, or other grain on the altar

• Burn gold or yellow candles

• Decorate the altar with fresh local flowers

• Use a wheat sheaf, or corn husks to asperge the circle

• Cast the circle with barley, leave it for the wildlife when you finish.

• Serve oatmeal, wheat or other grain crackers, cookies or bread for cakes

• Hold a story circle as an activity, one person begins, the next adds on, and so on around the circle.

• Bring a picture of an ancestor and each person shares what the connection to the person means.

• Make a paper chain, three links per person; write something you are thankful for on each link

• Make a wheat wheel. Make a circle of braided wheat, tie it together and put it in the middle of the circle or on the altar. Give every person a small bundle of wheat, and then ask each individual to put a blessing into their stalks, dance around in a circle each person chanting their blessing. After the energy is released, tie all the strands of wheat onto the circle. Someone can keep the wheat wheel until it gets offered to the fire at Samhain.

• Make bracelets from 2 strands of red, 2 strands of yellow and 1 strand of black and 1 strand of white braided together, it symbolizes the cycles of life.”

Article Author – Dawne Skeye

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Spirit Message of the Moment – Love Springs Eternal

LOVE SPRINGS ETERNAL
“The foundation of a solid relationship is one of the joys of a happy life. In the beginning of love, lovers see the best, unflawed version of each other. They are focused on the intense emotion and exhilaration of bein644540_481956661858873_1710478935_ng in love. As love matures, lovers see each other with their eyes wide open. They see the other’s strengths and weaknesses. They let each other’s strengths shine and grow; they provide help and guidance in areas of weakness. They stand in amazement to see how they really do fit together.”

“While in romantic love, we are sometimes worried about it ending, about falling out of love, about becoming bored. As true love grows, it becomes more confident. Through the ups and downs of daily life, love becomes familiar and dependable, giving us strength. And as time goes by, it never loses its luster. You get a twinkle in your eye as a smile is shared; your heart jumps when you catch an unexpected glimpse of your lover; a scent in the air brings back a memory, and your insides turn to jelly.”

“Two fairies stand confidently before each other, holding each other, as if promising eternal support. The sun shines on them, illuminatinfairy_journal_love_springs_eternal_eap3857g their world and each other. They can see each other clearly; nothing is hidden. Even knowing the other’s weaknesses or faults, they love each other more than ever. They stand on a bridge, showing how their relationship has joined two lives. The trees behind them form a heart, surrounding them in a deeply rooted love. The white flowers show the purity of their love that has stood the test of time. The glittering jewels on her dress represent the sparkle of passion that binds them still.”

MESSAGE FOR YOU
“This love can only be the result of time. This is a love with roots that go deeply into the earth and branches that reach toward the sun, always seeking truth and opportunities to grow. This is a love that focuses on being the best partner you can – that allows you to be the best you can be and provides a safe place for you to grow. Is that where you are at? Is it where you want to be? If you are in a relationship that isn’t quite there yet, this card indicates that it is possible, but it may need a little attention and nurturing.”

Today’s message is from Enchanted Oracle by Jessica Galbreth and Barbara Moore.

MESSAGE FROM SPIRITBLOGGER
405368_10150500037554734_1317162623_nA friend recently reminded me – Happiness is a choice, not a result. Nothing will make you happy until you choose to be happy. No person will make you happy unless you decide to be happy. Your happiness will not come to you. It can only come from you. To me, this means a good relationship is not only about being with the right person, but more importantly being the right person. A person can only love another if they first love themselves. They can only give to another if their cup is already full of life, joy, laughter, abundance, and light. A great and significant partner can only add to your current life and happiness, not create it for you.

A great quote on creating love I recently came across:
“We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. this is a precious moment, but it is transient. It is a little parenthesis in eternity. If we share with caring, lightheartedness, and love, we will create abundance and joy for each other. And then, then moment will have been worthwhile.” – Deepak Chopra

Wishing you all the best.
With light and love,
Angela

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Spirit Message of the Moment – Your Life Purpose, Intention, and Intuition

FINDING YOUR DIVINE LIFE PURPOSE
– Infinite Abundance Surrounds You

“You’re full supported as you devote yourself to your Divine life purpose.”

“This card provides the reassurance that as you focus upon being of service and following your inner guidance, your needs are taken care of. The more you can let go of worry and trust in the univerCornucopia_of_fruit_and_vegetables_wedding_banquet_(cropped)se’s infinite abundance, the faster your flow of abundance comes to you. Always remember that prayer and positive feelings improve situations, while worry worsens everything. You can give any concerns over to the Universe, God, Goddess, and the Angels for healing and change.”

MESSAGE FOR YOU
“The Abundance comes to you in unexpected ways, so you needn’t waste time or energy trying to guess how your needs will be met. Instead, devote your th298080_281878188495957_4326101_noughts and actions to following the voice within you. This is your career partner and manager, as it’s the voice of your answered prayer. All prayers are heard and answered; listen especially to the response that comes to you in the form of intuition.”

“Hold positive visions and feelings of being financially secure. Affirm that this is your truth, right now. See and feel yourself completely supported…and it is so! You will be given specific directions as to how to enact the answers to your prayers. It’s essential that you create quiet time to listen to this inner guidance, and then act upon it without delay or hesitation.”

Today’s guidance is from Life Purpose Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue. 

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Spirit Message of the Moment – Time to Celebrate Litha 2013

Pagan Holiday Litha History – Celebrating the Summer Solstice 2013

An Ancient Solar Celebration
“Nearly every agricultural society has marked the high point of summer in some way, shape or form. On this date – usually around June 21 or 22 (or December 21/22 in the southern hemisphstonehenge1ere) – the sun reaches its zenith in the sky. It is the longest day of the year, and the point at which the sun seems to just hang there without moving – in fact, the word “solstice” is from the Latin word solstitium, which literally translates to “sun stands still.” The travels of the sun were marked and recorded. Stone circles such as Stonehenge were oriented to highlight the rising of the sun on the day of the summer solstice.

Traveling the Heavens
Although few primary sources are available detailing the practices of the ancient Celts, some information can be found in the chronicles kept by early Christian monks. Some of these writings, combined with surviving folklore, indicate that Midsummer was celebrated with hilltop bonfires and that it was a time to honor the space between earth and the heavens.

Fire and Water
In addition to the polarity between land and sky, Litha is a time to find a balance between fire and water. According to Ceisiwr Serith, in his book The Pagan Family, European traditions celebrated this time of year by setting large wheels on fire and then rolling them down a hill into a body of water. He 935935_513514102030876_2146289176_nsuggests that this may be because this is when the sun is at its strongest yet also the day at which it begins to weaken. Another possibility is that the water mitigates the heat of the sun, and subordinating the sun wheel to water may prevent drought.

Saxon Traditions
When they arrived in the British Isles, the Saxon invaders brought with them the tradition of calling the month of June Aerra Litha. They marked Midsummer with huge bonfires that celebrated the power of the sun over darkness. For people in Scandinavian countries and in the farther reaches of the Northern hemisphere, Midsummer was very important. The nearly endless hours of light in June are a happy contrast to the constant darkness found six months later in the middle of winter.

Roman Festivals
The Romans, who had a festival for anything and everything, celebrated this time as sacred to Juno, the wife of Jupiter and goddess of women and childbirth. She is also called Juno Luna and blesses women with the privilege of menstruation. The month of June was named for her, and because Juno was the patroness of marriage, her month remains an ever-popular time for weddings. This time of year was also sacred to Vesta, goddess of the hearth. The matrons of Rome entered her temple on Midsummer and made offerings of salted meal for eight days, in hopes that she would confer her blessings upon their homes.

Midsummer for Modern Pagans
Litha has often been a source of contention among modern Pagan and Wiccan groups, because there’s always been a question about whether or not Midsummer was truly celebrated by the ancients. While there’s scholarly evidence to indicate that it was indeed observed, there were suggestions made by Gerald Gardner, the founder of modern Wicca, that the solar festivals (the solstices and equinoxes) were actually added later and imported from the Middle East. 0029-Arch-Druid-in-his-full-Judicial-Costume-q75-356x500Regardless of the origins, many modern Wiccans and Pagans do choose to celebrate Litha every year in June.

In some traditions, Litha is a time at which there is a battle between light and dark. The Oak King is seen as the ruler of the year between winter solstice and summer solstice, and the Holly King from summer to winter. At each solstice they battle for power, and while the Oak King may be in charge of things at the beginning of June, by the end of Midsummer he is defeated by the Holly King. This is a time of year of brightness and warmth. Crops are growing in their fields with the heat of the sun, but may require water to keep them alive. The power of the sun at Midsummer is at its most potent, and the earth is fertile with the bounty of growing life.

For contemporary Wiccans and Pagans, this is a day of inner power and brightness. Find yourself a quiet spot and meditate on the darkness and the light both in the world and in your personal life. Celebrate the turning of the Wheel of the Year with fire and water, night and day, a155207_1553836443019_1476986_nnd other symbols of the triumph of light over darkness.

Litha is a great time to celebrate outdoors if you have children. Take them swimming or just turn on the sprinkler to run through, and then have a bonfire or barbeque at the end of the day. Let them stay up late to say goodnight to the sun, and celebrate nightfall with sparklers, storytelling, and music. This is also an ideal Sabbat to do some love magic or celebrate a handfasting, since June is the month of marriages and family.”

Excerpts from Patti Wigington

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