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The Solar Path - The Sabbats for the Hedge Witch (Part Two)

Samhain

We all know of the modern-day Hallowe’en that falls on the 31st October, but few outside of the Craft know of the origins of this festival. Samhain is a Celtic festival that celebrates the time when the veil between this world and the Otherworld is thin, and we can connect more easily with the unseen, both in the form of the Fair Folk (faeries) as well as the ancestors. The Celts reckoned their days from sunset to sunset, and so Samhain would run from sunset on the 31st October to sunset on the 1st November. The Celts divided the year into two halves, the dark half and the light half, and we see this reflected in much of Modern Witchcraft today. How this is divided depends on the tradition. If you are following on from the Celtic lore, the dark half of the year begins at Samhain, and ends at Beltane, when the light half of the year begins. This is the Celtic beginning of Winter and Summer, for they only considered two seasons in their worldview. Samhain means “summer’s end”. Other traditions of Witchcraft see the dark and light halves of the year commencing at the solstices, with the myth of the Oak King and the Holly King. We will explore this later when we look at the solstices.

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Ostara

Here is a little video that I made regarding the upcoming Sabbat of Ostara. Blessings of the Spring Equinox to you all!

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Deity Profile: Quan Yin

Quan Yin is a powerful archetype of veganism. In the Buddhist legend, the “Complete Tale of Guanyin and the Southern Seas,” she is determined to save every sentient being on earth from their suffering. As she tries to contemplate this suffering, her head shatters into eleven pieces.

The Buddha Amitabha sees her plight and grants her eleven heads so she can continue on her noble work. She goes on to try to reach out to all the suffering, and her arms shatter. She is then granted 1000 arms. There are different variations on this story, and one of Quan Yin’s names is “the goddess of 1000 arms.”

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A conversation with Rommy Cortez-Driks,

author of 

The Trouble with Wanting, 

and Other Not-Quite Faerie Tales

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_RommyCoverSm.jpg 

 

I met Rommy in 2008, when she started studying Faerie shamanism with me. Early on, she showed me some of her writing. I was gobsmacked. Hers was an exceptional gift. She is a true bard.

 

The creative gift can be fragile. Day jobs and family responsibilities can make it near impossible to find the focus to write, let alone the time. That can be so discouraging that a writer throws in the towel, especially since the inevitable naysayers try to shake one’s confidence and destroy one’s spirit. Piled on top of that are inner demons trying to tear down the visions and drive that great art demands. And all the while, editors and writers with hidden agendas dole out bad advice, e.g., praising a writer’s worst writing as their best, so the writer produces mostly their worst. Add in the actual writing process, which is complicated and demanding if the book is going to be original and moving. ... Well, it’s a wonder any good books ever get written. 

 

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The Moon Path Part Two

Last month I began to write about the relationship between the moon and the witch. Let's continue the discussion here. 

There are many different names for the various moons throughout the yearly cycle, and perhaps the most famous of all is the Coligny Calendar, a Gallic lunar calendar dating back to the 2nd century. Indeed, we derive the word “month” from the word “moon”, and so to follow a lunar calendar in our Craft makes perfect sense. In the Coligny calendar, the moons start from the sixth night of the waxing moon, and are described as thus: 

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The Moon Path Part One

The moon is perhaps the most magical draw to the path of Witchcraft. By its silvery light, the world is changed, is made mysterious and beautiful with darkness around its edges. The moon is utterly enchanting, as we watch it move through its phases, from dark to full and back to dark again. Within the cycle of the moon, we can see the cycle of our lives.

Yet, like all things on this planet, the moon does not operate independently. Its light is a reflection of the sun, and it is held in place by the earth’s gravitational pull. The moon pulls as well, causing the high and low tides, and swelling the world’s seas and oceans with its magnetic draw. So too are we pulled by the energy of the moon, from high to low, from dark to light, dancing in its energy.

Witches have always been associated with the moon. They were said to gather under the light of the full moon for their Sabbaths, or honour moon goddesses with devotional rites. The play of darkness and light with the moon’s energy appeals to many a Witch, who honours both the light and the dark in her or his life. There are many deities associated with the moon, and many cycles from various cultures around the world follow a lunar-based schedule, whether it is for planting or reaping crops, or creating a calendar that honours each of the 13 moons in a year’s cycle.

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Living in the Way, Part 4: The Personal Way

 

The Personal Way

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