Season and Spirit: Magickal Adventures Around the Wheel of the Year

The Wheel of the Year is the engine that drives NeoPagan practice. Explore thw magick of the season beyond the Eight Great Sabbats.

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Leni Hester

Leni Hester

Leni Hester is a Witch and writer from Denver, Colorado. Her work appears in the Immanion anthologies "Pop Culture Grimoire," "Women's Voices in Magick" and "Manifesting Prosperity". She is a frequent contributor to Witches and Pagans and Sagewoman Magazines.

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Sacrifice means to Make Sacred

To get what you never had, you have to do what you have never done.

                The Harvest sabbats—Lammas, Mabon and Samhain—bring us deep understanding of balance and reciprocity. These are the moments of greatest abundance coming in, therefore they are the moments when we are called upon most, to be grateful, to give back, and to sacrifice.

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Balance and the Leap Into Spring

Balance is something so many of us strive for-- we talk about ‘work-life balance’ or a balanced diet or balancing the budget. We try to find that place where all things come to rest, where all the ends meet and there is nothing lacking, nothing superfluous. A place of moderation, of poise, where struggle ends and we simply land on our toes, and are suspended, as if in thin air. Many of us strive for this place of balance and call that perfection.

                But that moment is brief and elusive, because that balance is an illusion.  The moment passes and things are no longer in balance, things no longer hang perfectly between one extreme and the other. IT evaporates so fast as we tip, towards one side or the other, back towards one extreme or the other. At the Spring Equinox, night and day are of equal length. For one brief moment, it is said that one can stand an egg on one end and it will stay there perfectly balanced…for a moment.  We stand with one foot in the Winter that’s ending, and one foot in the Spring that’s blossoming in front of our eyes. And whatever late season storm may come, every moment in Spring beings us farther away from balance, farther away from that moment of repose before big changes come.

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The Hearth and The Well: Finding Our Way in the Dead of Winter

This is the story I like to tell at Imbolc:

            Months into the winter of her grief, Demeter, distraught and exhausted, rested by a well. When the king’s daughters discovered her, disguised as an old woman, they brought her back to the palace to feed her. She soon became nurse to their infant brother.  The king’s family grew to care for the old woman, who was often mournful for her lost daughter. To cheer her up, young Iambe offers her a glass of kykeon (an alcoholic and psychoactive brew), and when Demeter refuses, Iambe lifts her skirt up in an “irreverent manner” which surprises Demeter into laughter.

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The Winter of Our Discontent

A long December, and there’s reason to believe

Maybe this year will be better than the last

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New Moon in Scorpio: Monsters and Ghosts

Samhain calls us to honor our Dead, to confront our Shadow, all those things that scare and shame us, to face our choices. We can, then, shore ourselves up to descend into the dark time of the year. Halloween, when the collective total of our cultural boogiemen get put on gory graphic display, is long over, but the fears have not left, because the monsters are still around.

                Halloween is over but the monsters still come out, in daylight or not, to the school or the church or the theatre. The monsters are armed, and hav a long string of victims, often family, often women or children. They come with frightening regularity now, and everyone seems paralyzed by them. There are new names to say, more silent moments for thoughts and prayers, quickly followed by another spate of names.

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Butterflies on Radar

The Autumn started early here, with a sudden snap of cold, rainy, foggy weather hovering right on top of us for a few weeks.  It was an abrupt shift away from the warm, sunny weather we usually get. After the weather warmed back up, flocks of painted lady butterflies (Vanessa cardui) began their fall migrations. These small brown spotted butterflies migrate through the West just as the Summer fades into the Fall. Because of elevated temperatures, the breeding season was extended, resulting in huge swarms of butterflies, thousands and thousands more than usual, flitting through the remnants of the gardens, tiny clouds of them hosting in the crowns of trees.

                Clouds of painted ladies so dense, they could be seen on weather radar.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Leni Hester
    Leni Hester says #
    I love them!
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    I've been seeing a lot of Painted Ladies here in southern Nevada.
Fire and Flood, Wind and Rain: Balance at the Equinox

The Autumn started this morning, and I went looking for balance.

                Is there balance in between the fires that charred California, Oregon, and Montana, and the floods that drowned Houston?

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    There was balance n the earthquake in Japan, for sure. Usually when there is one on one side of the world, here is one on the othe

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