Spirit Message of the Moment – Celebrate Summer Solstice

TIME TO CELEBRATE LITHA – MidSummer

“Also known as Summer Solstice, Litha, Alban Hefin, Sun Blessing, Gathering Day, Feill-Sheath246Fairy_Song-main, Whit Sunday, Whitsuntide, Vestalia, Thing-tide, St. John’s Day. In addition to the four great festivals of the Pagan Celtic year, there are four lesser holidays as well: the two solstices, and the two equinoxes. In folklore, these are referred to as the four ‘quarter-days’ of the year, and modern Witches call them the four ‘Lesser Sabbats’, or the four ‘Low Holidays’. The Summer Solstice is one of them.

Litha is usually celebrated on June 21st, but varies somewhat from the 20th to the 23rd, dependent upon the Earth’s rotation around the Sun. According to the old folklore calendar, Summer begins on Beltane (May 1st) and ends on Lughnassadh (August 1st), with the Summer Solstice midway between the two, marking MID-Summer. This makes more logical sense than suggesting that Summer begins on the day when the Sun’s power begins to wane and the days grow shorter. The most common other names for this holiday are the Summer Solstice or Midsummer, and it celebrates the arrival of Su481857_555874064427104_2129480533_nmmer, when the hours of daylight are longest. The Sun is now at the highest point before beginning its slide into darkness.

Humanity has been celebrating Litha and the triumph of light since ancient times. On the Wheel of the Year Litha lies directly across from Yule, the shortest day of the calendar year, that cold and dark winter turning when days begin to lengthen and humanity looks wistfully toward warmth, sunlight and growing things. Although Litha and Yule are low holidays or lesser sabbats in the ancient parlance, they are celebrated with more revel and merriment than any other day on the wheel except perhaps Samhain (my own favourite). The joyous rituals of Litha celebrate the verdant Earth in high summer, abundance, fertility, and all th208409_412438415499113_911770147_ne riches of Nature in full bloom. This is a madcap time of strong magic and empowerment, traditionally the time for handfasting or weddings and for communication with the spirits of Nature. At Litha, the veils between the worlds are thin; the portals between “the fields we know” and the worlds beyond stand open. This is an excellent time for rites of divination.

Those who celebrated Litha did so wearing garlands or crowns of flowers, and of course, their millinery always included the yellow blossoms of St. John’s Wort. The Litha rites of the ancients were boisterous communal festivities with morris dancing, singing, storytelling, pageantry and feasting taking place by the village bonfire and torch lit processions through the villages after dark. People believed that the Litha fires possessed great power, and that prospernahimaity and protection for oneself and one’s clan could be earned merely by jumping over the Litha bonfire. It was also common for courting couples joined hands and jump over the embers of the Litha fire three times to ensure a long and happy marriage, financial prosperity and many children. Even the charred embers from the Litha bonfire possessed protective powers – they were charms against injury and bad weather in harvest time, and embers were commonly placed around fields of grain and orchards to protect the crops and ensure an abundant reaping. Other Litha customs included carrying an ember of the Litha fire home and placing it on one’s hearth and decking one’s home with birch, fennel, St. John’s Wort, orpScreen-shot-2013-08-10-at-8.12.55-AMin, and white lilies for blessing and protection.

The Litha Sabbat is a time to celebrate both work and leisure, it is a time for children and childlike play. It is a time to celebrate the ending of the waxing year and the beginning of the waning year, in preparation for the harvest to come. Midsummer is a time to absorb the Sun’s warming rays and it is another fertility Sabbat, not only for humans, but also for crops and animals. Wiccans consider the Goddess to be heavy with pregnancy from the mating at Beltane – honor is given to Her. The Sun God is celebrated as the Sun is at its peak in the sky and we celebrate His approaching fatherhood – honor is also given to Him. The faeries abound at this time and it is customary to leave offerings – such as food or herbs – for them in the evening.

Although Litha may seem at first glance to be a masculine observance and one which focuses on Lugh, the day is also dedicated to the Goddess, and Her flowers are the white blossoms of the elder.”

Today’s excerpts are from twopagans.com

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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 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 – 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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