Middle Earth Magic: Inspired Ideas and Seasonal Spells for Your Enchanted Life

I grew up on a farm in West Virginia and learned much about herbs, trees, animals, gardening, foraging  and so much about nature. I incorporate this wisdom I learned from elders in my family into my spellwork. When I finally left the farm, I majored in Medieval Studies, my attempt to emulate my idol, J.R.R. Tolkien. All these influences led me to my own blended brew which I call "middle earth magic," containing a mix of the modern and the time-tested "old ways." 

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Celebrating the Wheel of the Year: Winter Solstice

Winter solstice rituals traditionally celebrate the rebirth of the sun. In a safe and socially distanced setting outdoors, build a bonfire and create a solstice altar to the east of it. Place a small cauldron with a candle in it on the altar, and surround it with mistletoe, ivy, and holly. Participants should wear masks and  also wear crowns woven from these evergreens. Begin the ritual by gathering around the fire. Hum softly, gradually building the hum to a one shout. This shout represents the cries of the Goddess giving birth once again to the sun, and to the new year. The ritual leader says:


All bow to the East! Hail to the newborn Sun, and to the Great Goddess who has brought him forth!


Everyone bows to honor the Sun God and the Mother Goddess. The ritual leader chants:





Heaven’s Queen,

By the light of this moon

In this dark night,

Teach us the mystery of rebirth.

 The ritual leader lights the candle in the cauldron while everyone else remains perfectly still. Now is the time when the Goddess will reveal herself privately to each participant. Listen and look carefully for a sign. Traditional omens are a sudden wind, shooting stars, the screeching of an owl, and the appearance of a deer. Even if you are indoors by the fire, the Goddess will still make herself known in your heart. When the time feels right, the ritual leader says:


Queen of the Stars,

Queen of the Moon,

Queen of the Earth,

Bringer of Fire,

The Great Mother gives birth to this new year

And we are her witnesses.


Everyone shouts:

Blessed be!


Pass the lit cauldron to each participant so they can speak a blessing for the new year and the new sun. Place the cauldron with the candle back on the altar. The ritual leader closes the ritual with this final expression of gratitude to the Goddess:

Blessed be to the Mother Goddess

Thank you for the sun that gives us life

Without beginning and without end

Everlasting in Eternity.

This ritual is now done!


A toast to the new sun should take place with hot cider or mead, and warm festive foods.


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    Cerridwen Greenleaf has worked with many of the leading lights of the spirituality world including Starhawk, Z Budapest, John Michael Greer, Christopher Penczak, Raymond Buckland, Luisah Teish, and many more. She gives herbal, crystal and candle magic workshops throughout North America. Greenleaf's graduate work in medieval studies has given her deep knowledge she utilizes in her work, making her work unique in the field. A bestselling author, her books include Moon Spell Magic, The Book of Kitchen Witchery, The Magic of Gems and Crystals and the Witch’s Spell Book series.  She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.  


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