Candles, Prayer and Magic

A Christian goes into her local Roman Catholic Church. Before worship, she lights a candle for a sick friend and prays to Jesus, asking for healing. She believes her prayer will help to make her friend better…and it does.

A Wiccan stands in front of her home altar. She lights a light blue candle for a sick friend and calls upon the energies of the Ancestors and powers of the elemental spirits to send health to her friend. She believes her candle magic will help to make her friend better…and it does.

What’s the difference? Not a blessed thing as far as I’m concerned. There have been studies by physicians such as Larry Dossey who have documented that prayer/intention is a powerful thing. People who are prayed for do better clinically. Period. Why this is the case is anybody’s guess. I believe we are directing spiritual energy toward the person we are praying for and it helps them to get better.

Some Christians get hung up on the term magic. They’ve read all the Harry Potter books and watched a few movies like The Craft and or Hocus Pocus and think that’s what magic is all about. Nothing could be further from the truth!

Scott Cunningham in Wicca: A Guide For The Solitary Practitioner defines magic as “the projection of natural energies to produce needed effects.” The sources of these energies are a combination of personal, earth/natural, and Divine. I would argue that Christians tap into this same energy only they may not be as intentional about it as their Wiccan friends. Christian prayer unleashes something. Wiccan magic unleashes something. Define it how you will, but I think it’s the same something.

As a Christian, I try to send only positive prayers into the Universe. I may pray for justice, but never for vengeance. I may pray for God to deliver someone from destructive patterns of living, but never to kill them. My guide for prayer is Jesus’ definition of the greatest commandment: Love God. Love your neighbor as yourself. That’s just how I roll!

With the Wiccan Rede as a guide for all works of magic (An it harm none, do what you will), Wiccans try to be forces for good and healing in our world. Many cautions are given to those who try use magic to bend someone’s will or hurt them. Some believe that only positive magic should be practiced in the Craft, which can include binding spells if a person is a harm to themselves or to others. Sounds like the same intent to me.

So, I’m trying to start a conversation here. Maybe what Christians and Wiccans are trying to accomplish is precisely the same thing with different names and rituals for carrying it out. I would be interested in knowing what others think about this.

Copyright ©2022 by David Taliesin, http://www.sabbatsandsabbaths.com

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Home Altars International

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I must admit I’ve watched more than my fair share of HGTV. I love home improvement shows because our houses are sacred places. They become sanctuaries where we should feel safe and secure. The colors we choose and the way we arrange the furniture can leave a home feeling healthy and harmonious or chaotic and cluttered.

I believe it’s important that we create at least a small space in our homes that is peaceful and relaxing; a place where we can focus our thoughts on Sacred things. The solution (Cue the music!) is a home altar! Now, we don’t have to be interior designers to create beautiful home altars. My advice is don’t listen to any author, Christian or Pagan, who says your altar should be set up “exactly like this!” Altars are personal things. Like snowflakes, they reflect the diverse beliefs of the people who construct them.

You can create an altar on top of a table or a small cabinet. Some people even have them in their bathrooms! The choice is yours. If you have kids, might want to construct yours in a place that’s out of reach from curious fingers. (Or create one that is kid-friendly so they can use it as well.) Mine is on top of a chest-high bookcase in my home office. Choose your space carefully because this is the place you will go to meditate, pray and let go of the negative energies you’ve picked up during the day.

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What should you put on your altar? That’s up to you. Both Christians and Pagans will want to place items on their altar that help them to connect with the Divine. Not surprisingly, mine is a hybrid altar that has a cross and several icons but also includes items representing the four elements as well.

For those who are unfamiliar with the Elemental Spirits, they might be a nice way to introduce nature into your home altar. Here’s how mine is oriented:

North (earth): I have rocks I’ve collected from sacred places abroad. Other choices include actual soil, salt or crystals. Whatever works for you.

East (wind): Incense is always a nice choice. The scent creates an atmosphere in the room that is different from the rest of our everyday world. A bell or Tibetan singing bowl can also add an auditory element to your altar.

South (fire): Candles are a must.

West (water): I use either a small stoneware pitcher or a goblet, depending upon my mood. Some people even use those little plug in zen fountains. Again, the choice is yours.

Whatever you decide to place on your altar, be creative. Take time to think about what is Sacred and beautiful to you. If the objects on your altar help establish a sense of the holy and make you feel happy and harmonious, then they are a good choice. Who knows, maybe someday it will be a show on HGTV. I can dream, can’t I?

Copyright ©2022 by David Taliesin, http://www.sabbatsandsabbaths.com

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Connecting With Herbs Ritual

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Here is the ritual we did at Sunday’s Welcoming Circle. Thanks to all who attended. We will take a break for the summer and start back in September.

CONNECTING WITH HERBS RITUAL

CASTING THE CIRCLE—David Taliesin (Ares incense on charcoal burner. Use a feather to spread the smoke in all four directions.)

Aries Incense (adapt. from Cunningham)
2 parts Frankincense (Sun, Fire)
1 part Juniper berries (Sun, Fire)
1 part Cedar leaf tips (Sun, Fire)

Brother Sun and Sister Moon, empower us as we seek a more intimate connection with plants and herbs.

CALLING THE QUARTERS—David Taliesin

We face the East and call upon the energies of plants that correspond with the Powers of Air: Lemon Verbena and Lavender, Pine and Sage. Elecampane and Lemongrass. Lend us your wisdom, optimism and intuition. Hail and welcome!

We face the South and call upon the energies of plants that correspond with the Powers of Fire: Rosemary and Hyssop, Peppermint and Rue. Basil and Juniper. Lend us your courage, enthusiasm and willpower. Hail and welcome!

We face the West and call upon the energies of plants that correspond with the Powers of Water: Violet and Thyme, Chamomile and Yarrow, Lemon Balm and Catnip. Lend us your compassion, flexibility and receptivity. We bid you welcome!

We face the North and call upon the energies of plants that correspond with the Powers of Earth: Mugwort and Vervain, Patchouli and Honeysuckle, Primrose and Fern, Lend us your patience, truth, and dependability. Hail and welcome!

We also call upon our Earth Mother, Gaia, Creator, and ask her to join us in this Circle. You have made all of these plants for us to enjoy. Words cannot express our gratitude for such an extravagant gift. We offer our thanks by learning more about their magical properties and using them to change the world around us for the better. Hail and welcome!

SHARE AT LEAST ONE GOAL WITH THE GROUP TO INCREASE YOUR CONNECTION TO PLANTS AND HERBS

RAISE ENERGY AND SEND IT TO THE PLANTS AROUND US (O-ma chant)
As we raise energy have a visual for the plants and herbs you would like to send our energy to. When we release it, direct it toward these plants.

CLOSING THE CIRCLE—David Taliesin

Earth Mother, Gaia, Creator, we thank you for your presence in our Circle tonight and for your nurture of us each and every day. We leave here challenged to develop a more intimate connection with magical and medicinal plants. Help us to achieve this goal.
Stay if you will, go if you must. We bid you farewell!

Powers of the North and plants that correspond with the element of Earth, We thank you for your presence in our Circle tonight. May your patience, truth, and dependability be reflected in our lives. Stay if you will, go if you must. We bid you farewell!

Powers of the West and plants that correspond with the element of Water, We thank you for your presence in our Circle tonight. May your compassion, flexibility and receptivity be reflected in our lives. Stay if you will, go if you must. We bid you farewell!

Powers of the South and plants that correspond with the element of Fire, We thank you for your presence in our Circle tonight. May your courage, enthusiasm and willpower be reflected in our lives. Stay if you will, go if you must. We bid you farewell!

Powers of the East and plants that correspond with the element of Air, We thank you for your presence in our Circle tonight. May your wisdom, optimism and intuition be reflected in our lives. Stay if you will, go if you must. We bid you farewell!

Our Circle is now open but never unbroken
Because it is a circle woven in love.
Whatever energy is left in this space
We return to the earth with a spirit of gratitude.
Merry meet and merry part, and merry meet again.

Copyright ©2022 by David Taliesin, http://www.sabbatsandsabbaths.com

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Universal Characteristics of Candle Magic

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Ever since the first prehistoric humans learned how to harness fire for warmth, protection and cooking food, we’ve been in awe of the power of the flame.  It doesn’t matter whether it’s a blazing campfire in the woods, prayer candles glowing in a majestic cathedral, or lightning ripping through the sky, fire inspires awe in us.  It’s spiritual, transformative power in our lives cannot be denied.

Not surprisingly, there are number of spiritual paths that practice candle magic.  On a basic level it’s about two things: 1) INTENTION: The candle helps us to focus our intention/prayer concern.  It serves as a meditative device through which we can channel our energies and ask for help from the Divine Presence and the elemental spirits/powers.  2) FLAME: The flame is the “transport device” that sends our intention/prayer concern to its desired recipient. It acts as a bridge between the material and spiritual worlds.

In addition to these two basic characteristics, there are a number of spiritual traditions that have a more “formal” way of doing candle magic.  The goal in these practices it to “turn up the volume” on our intent and increase the ritual’s effectiveness.  While each of these traditions (such as Wicca and the Christian Spiritualists) do specific things that set them apart from the others, there is a lot that is quite similar.  Here are some of the things they hold in common:

CLEANSING: This step is to remove all the negative energies that the candle may have picked up along the way.  Some do this with sea salt, moonlight or sage.  Others literally clean the candles with oil to remove dust and dirt.  They will also take the time to trim the wick, carve away any unwanted wax, and add symbolic carving.

ANOINTING: This is also sometimes called “dressing” while others call the entire process “dressing.”  The idea is to anoint the candle with some kind of special oil and dedicate it for ritual use.  There are lots of different opinions as to how this oil should be applied, and what words should be said, but anointing is in every tradition I’ve studied.

CHARGING: This is the opportunity to attach to the candle your specific request/intention.  Some traditions place a piece of paper under the candle that has the person’s name written on it as well as the intended request.  Others simply charge the candle by prayer/visualization.   Charging is also the opportunity to ask the Divine Presence and elemental spirits to help manifest your request.  This can also be done during the anointing as well.

LIGHTING:  This goes without saying but it is the final step.  Some then continue to focus on the candle as they repeat/visualize their request.

For those of you who practice candle magic out there, I’d love to know what your tradition looks like and whether these step are involved or not.  Whatever the case may be, candle magic can become a powerful part of our spiritual practice no matter what faith tradition we come from.

Copyright ©2022 by David Taliesin, http://www.sabbatsandsabbaths.com

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Sophia: Lady Wisdom

Sophia by Mary Plaster
Sophia, Divine Wisdom by Mary Plaster, http://www.maryplaster.com

Sophia is the Greek word for “wisdom.” She has her roots in Hellenistic philosophy and Platonism, but eventually became a central idea in Gnostic Christianity, Orthodox Christianity and Roman Catholicism, among others. My favorite image of Sophia comes from Proverbs 9:1-18 where she is personified and contrasted with Dame Folly. The first part of the passage is as follows:

Wisdom has built her house, she has hewn her seven pillars.
She has slaughtered her animals, she has mixed her wine,
she has also set her table.
She has sent out her servant-girls, she calls
from the highest places in the town,
“You that are simple, turn in here!”
To those without sense she says,
“Come, eat of my bread
and drink of the wine I have mixed.
Lay aside immaturity, and live,
and walk in the way of insight.” (NRSV)

Some view Sophia as a separate deity apart for God. Some view her as the Bride of Christ. Others see her as a feminine aspect of God or a theological concept regarding God’s wisdom. There are also some NeoPagans and Wiccans who have taken her under their wing as well. Sophia predates Christianity but it is also possible that some Wiccans and NeoPagans adopted her from Christian sources such as Gnosticism. I need to do more research on this subject, but if anyone out there can has information they can share, please let me know.

For some Christians. the idea of including Sophia in their worship is unthinkable. For others Sophia is the aspect of God we’ve been missing from our patriarchal faith for way too long. Not surprisingly, I fall in the second camp and see her as Hagia Sophia which means “Holy Wisdom.” While some see the Holy Trinity as three masculine persona, others, like myself, see Sophia as the Holy Spirit who guides us with her divine wisdom.

You might also find it interesting to know that Jesus mentions Sophia in Matthew 11:19: “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet Wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.” (NRSV)

Could it be that Sophia is one of the things that links Pagans and Christian together? I think so. Some Christians see this as heresy, but that’s a label we place on things so we can dismiss them easily. Sophia is part of my personal devotional life. I dine at her table often and am blessed by her many insights. If you also feel a connection to Sophia, I’d love to hear from you!

Copyright©2022 by David Taliesin, http://www.sabbatsandsabbaths.com

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Ritual: Battleground and Blessing

According to the dictionary, the word “ritual” is defined as, “a religious or solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order.” BORING! My definition would be “any action or attitude that helps us to connect with the Divine and with each other.” How does that grab you?

Rituals are as important as the air we breathe, especially those we define as spiritual ones. When I was a teenager, I spent some time in the Assembly of God which is a charismatic Christian denomination. Those who attended worship there prided themselves as having “no rituals” unlike those “other churches who have robes and printed prayers.” But I assure you, I could tell you exactly what was coming next in any given worship service. Like it or not, we are all creatures of habit. We all find power in rituals, whether we admit we use them or not.

The challenge with rituals, however, is that when a particular ritual works for someone, they assume it works for everyone. It’s at this point that the wicked weed of “ritual snobbery” begins to grow in our hearts. This happens in both Pagan and Christian spiritual paths. Suddenly, there is only one way to set up an ancestor altar, celebrate communion, pray. etc. Rituals then become a battleground rather than the spiritual blessing they’re intended to be.

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If we can lay down our athames and processional crosses for a moment, we might find rituals in each other’s traditions that will enhance ours. For example, the first time a Cherokee friend of mine introduced the Prayer to the Four Directions in a worship service I attended, I instantly fell in love with it. The prayer included bold visual images for nature that were associated with the colors of white (north), yellow (east), red (south), and black (west). As each direction and color were invoked, we faced in that direction.   have used this ritual many times in progressive Christian churches and it’s been received very well. This particular prayer is similar to one in the Wiccan tradition that invokes the spirits of the north (earth), east (air), south (fire), and west (water).

Instead of thinking of it as “stealing,” perhaps we can think of it as “borrowing,” with a heart full of gratitude to those who were inspired to create a specific ritual action in the first place. Rituals should never be rigid. They’re  supposed to be creative and powerful. If a particular ritual helps you to connect with the Sacred and feel closer to your gathered community, then it’s the perfect ritual for you. But don’t spoil the ritual party by looking down at someone else’s ritual that has equal power for them.

Copyright ©2012 by David Taliesin, http://www.sabbatsandsabbaths.com

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Walpurgisnacht Fire Ritual

Here is the ritual we did at last Sunday’s Welcoming Circle. Feel free to use/adapt for your own celebration of Walpurgisnacht on April 30.

FIRE EMPOWERMENT RITUAL FOR WALPURGISNACHT

CASTING THE CIRCLE—David Taliesin

On Walpurgisnacht, bonfires burn brightly,
their flames kindle our imagination
and remind us of the creative spark each of us possesses.

Like it’s calendar opposite Samhain,
Walpurgisnacht is a time
when the veil between the worlds is thin.

This allows us easy access
to the voices of our ancestors
who have much wisdom to share
as we face the tumultuous times we live in.

May our ritual tonight fan the embers of creativity
as we shake off the slumber of winter
and enter into a time of growth and rebirth.

May the Ancestors whisper into our ears
all we need to know in order to prosper
and bring about positive change
in our lives and in our world.
So mote it be!

With this incense, we form a protective circle
that will shield us from any negative forces
who seek to hinder the sacred work
we are about to begin.

[Leader goes around the circle, fanning a protective incense such as frankincense or other solar/fire related incense. If you are doing this ritual outside around a bonfire, make sure the smoke reaches everyone in the circle.]

CALLING THE QUARTERS—David Taliesin

Guardians and Ancestors of the East, Spirits of Air,
May our ears be attuned to any messages
You have to give us tonight.
May Heidh, the mistress of magic, weave a web
of creative energy all around us!
Hail and welcome!

Guardians and Ancestors of the South, Spirits of Fire,
Light the way for us in these uncertain times.
May Wodan, the master of magic,
light a fire in our hearts
that will move us from apathy to action.
Hail and welcome!

Guardians and Ancestors of the West, Spirits of Water,
Revive our weary souls with your hope,
peace, compassion and empathy.
Wash away any feelings of pessimism and despair
we carry with us tonight.
Hail and welcome!

Guardians and Ancestors of the North, Spirits of Earth,
may the greening of spring rub off on us,
helping us to grow in ways that enable us
to reach our fullest potential!
Hail and welcome!

Great Spirit, who works in our midst
in ways both seen and unseen,
we ask you to bless our ritual tonight.
We are honored by your presence,
And treasure your wisdom.
Hail and welcome!

FIRE EMPOWERMENT SPELL—David Taliesin

Strips of paper, pen
Caudron
Red or white candle
Yarrow
Dragon's Blood or Rue Oil

Light the candle and anoint it with the Dragon’s Blood or Rue Oil. Place it in the cauldron. Sprinkle a pinch of yarrow in its flames as a symbol of courage. Write on strips of paper the things that are currently keeping you from reaching your fullest potential. Then, one by one, place each strip in the flame and let it burn as you verbally state the opposite of what’s on the paper, i.e. what you would like to see come into your life. Let it burn out in the cauldron. Ex. If you write “feeling overwhelmed” on the paper, say something like “I will be calm and peaceful.”

[If you are doing this outside with a bonfire, sprinkle the yarrow into its flames and, one by one, throw your pieces of paper into the bonfire.]

BLESSING FOR SETTING INTENTIONS—David Taliesin

Heidh and Wodan, mistress and master of magic,
we’ve set fire to the roadblocks
that are preventing us from moving forward,
and stated our intentions for the future.
Bless and empower our work tonight.
Guide us in the days ahead that we might
change the world for the better!
So mote it be!

CLOSING THE CIRCLE—David Taliesin

Guardians and Ancestors of the North, Spirits of Earth,
We thank you for your presence in our circle tonight.
May your stability and strength travel with us
As we leave this place.
Stay if you will. go if you must!
We bid you farewell!

Guardians and Ancestors of the West, Spirits of Water,
We thank you for your presence in our circle tonight.
May your compassion and peace travel with us
As we leave this place.
Stay if you will, go if you must.
We bid you farewell!

Guardians and Ancestors of the South, Spirits of Fire,
We thank you for your presence in our circle tonight.
May your guidance and clarity travel with us
As we leave this place.
Stay if you will, go if you must.
We bid you farewell!

Guardians and Ancestors of the East, Spirits of Air,
We thank you for your presence in our circle tonight.
May your wisdom and insight travel with us
As we leave this place.
Stay if you will, go if you must.
We bid you farewell!

Great Spirit, who is known to us by many names.
We thank you for your presence in our circle tonight.
Stay if you will, go if you must.
We bid you farewell!

The circle is open but never unbroken
Because it is a circle woven in love.
Whatever energy is left in this space
We return to the earth with a spirit of gratitude.
Merry meet and merry part, and merry meet again.

Copyright ©2022 by David Taliesin, http://www.sabbatsandsabbaths.com

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The Easter Witch?

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The Easter Witch? Yes, that’s what I said! There was an interesting AP article by Matti Huuhtanen that I found a few years back entitled “Little Witches in Finland Cast Good Spells Before Easter.” Needless to say, it got my attention.

I did a little digging in cyberspace and this is what I found. Apparently there is an unique and unusual tradition in Finland that involves little girls dressing up as witches and going door to door on either Palm Sunday (by children from Orthodox families in Southeast Finland), or Holy Saturday (by kids from the Lutheran families of Western Finland).

Children’s culture expert Reeli Karimäki of the Pessi Children’s Art Centre in Vantaa, had this to say abut the tradition: “In the most popular family tradition, young children (especially girls) dress up as Easter witches, donning colorful old clothes and painting freckles on their faces. “The little witches then go from door to door, bringing willow twigs decorated with colorful feathers and crepe paper as blessings to drive away evil spirits, in return for treats.”

Later, she adds “This Finnish children’s custom interestingly mixes two older traditions – a Russian Orthodox ritual where birch twigs originally represented the palms laid down when Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday; and a Swedish and Western Finnish tradition in which children made fun of earlier fears that evil witches could be about on Easter Saturday.”

In the AP article, Matti Huuhtanen wrote “Ethnologists say Finland’s Easter practices came from the eastern region of Karelia, where Russian traditions were strong even when it was a part of Finland. Farmers in Karelia for centuries have taken pussy willows in lieu of palm leaves to their neighbors on Palm Sunday as a gesture of blessing.”

The candy of choice is chocolate foil wrapped Easter eggs which are placed in a copper pot the “little witches” carry with them. They also sometimes receive money, in the form of coins, as the treat. Those who make a donation are given a blessed willow branch in return.

I find this activity delightful and quite unique. The Pagan and Christian elements of this tradition live happily side by side and no one in Finland seems to bat an eye. It gives me hope that we can appreciate one another’s spring equinox celebrations, no matter what they may be!

Copyright ©2022 by David Taliesin, http://www.sabbatsandsabbaths.com

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Ostara Intention Setting Ritual

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Here is the ritual we used at Welcoming Circle this past Sunday:

OSTARA INTENTION SETTING RITUAL

CASTING THE CIRCLE—David Taliesin

Light the green candle and say:

Ostara is behind us, Easter is before us,
And spring has just begun.
Baby plants are emerging from winter’s soil.
Dandelion, chickweed and nettle
Provide nourishment for our bodies.

Spring is a season to consider
What things we would like to grow
In the garden of our lives.
It’s a time to plant and nurture
New projects and new goals.

May the greening of spring
Be our source of inspiration tonight!

Light the yellow candle and say:

Spring is a season where the days grow longer
And the sun feels warm against our skin.
Our focus shifts from indoors to outdoors
As we awake from winter’s hibernation.

We garden. We hike in the woods.
The little child that lives in us
Asks us to come out and play…
And we accept the invitation.

May the sun’s golden rays
Be our source of inspiration tonight!

Light the purple candle and say:

Spring is a season where the Divine
Breathes new life into us,
Waking us up from winter doldrums,
And filling us with creative energy.

We awaken to wonder, miracle, and mystery.
We see bold visions and dream dreams of new adventures
That fill us with vitality and purpose.
May the Divine’s energetic presence
Be our source of inspiration tonight!

Take the crystal athame and cast the circle, while saying:

We cast this circle and create
a sacred space for us to dwell.
May it protect us from all spirits and powers
that seek to do us harm. So mote it be!

CALLING THE QUARTERS—David Taliesin

Guardians and Ancestors of the East,
Spirits of Air,
You blow through our lives like a warm spring breeze
Whispering into our ears the mysteries of the universe.
Lend your wisdom and insight to us tonight.
Hail and welcome!

Guardians and Ancestors of the South,
Spirits of Fire,
You illumine our path like the rays of the sun,
Showing us the way forward.
Lend your guidance and clarity to us tonight.
Hail and welcome!

Guardians and Ancestors of the West,
Spirits of Water,
You nourish our spirits like a gentle rain,
Filling us with peace, love and gratitude.
Lend your compassion and shalom to us tonight.
Hail and welcome!

Guardians and Ancestors of the North,
Spirits of Earth,
You cause new growth to germinate in us,
And give us a firm foundation to stand upon.
Lend your stability and strength to us tonight.
Hail and welcome!

Great Spirit, Divine Presence,
Who is known to us by many names,
You are the power of rebirth and regeneration
You are the promise that spring will come
After the winter seasons of our lives.
Bless us and be with us tonight.
We are honored by your presence.
Hail and welcome!

SETTING SPRING INTENTIONS—David Taliesin

The egg is a symbol of fertility and new life which were decorated in days of old to honor the Goddess. Tonight I ask that you take one of the plastic eggs in the basket and hold it in your hands. Take some time in silence to think about the things you would like to give birth to this spring. In order to birth something new, part of your intention may be to let something go. When your vision for what you would like to accomplish is clear, take a pen and as many strips of paper as you need. Write your intentions on theses strips of paper and place them in the egg. (Pause until everyone is done.)

Now we will raise energy to empower the intentions that are contained in our eggs. We’ll use the Om-ah…..Now direct the energy into your egg. One, two, three, release.

After our ritual is over, I ask that you take these home with you and place them in a prominent place in your home such as an altar. Periodically open the egg and take a look at the intentions you’ve made tonight. See how well you are doing in fulfilling them.

BLESSING FOR SETTING INTENTIONS—adapted. LLewellyn’s Sabbat Essentials

Great Spirit, Divine Presence,
Giver of life and Creator of all things,
life has many twists and turns
and now we embark on a new path
We are afraid to travel alone.

We ask for your guidance,
and your loving helping hand
to support us along the way.

We ask that when needed
you will lead us in the right direction
and steer us away from wrong turns.

Help us to keep on the path
and to not stray away even when we’re tempted.
Assist us in moving forward, and not in reverse.
Comfort us when needed.

Bless our paths and the journeys we undertake.
Encourage us in times of self-doubt.
Protect us from those willing to harm us,
even if it is ourselves.

Embrace us in your loving arms, to give us peace
and surround us in perfect love and perfect trust.
So mote it be! Amen!

CLOSING THE CIRCLE—David Taliesin

Great Spirit, Divine Presence,
We thank you for your presence in our circle tonight.
We thank you that you walk with us
Every step fo the way as we leave this place
And go out into a world that is sometimes
Cruel and unforgiving.
Stay if you will. go if you must.
We bid you farewell!

Guardians and Ancestors of the North,
Spirits of Earth,
We thank you for your presence in our circle tonight.
May your stability and strength travel with us
As we leave this place.
Stay if you will. go if you must!
We bid you farewell!

Guardians and Ancestors of the West,
Spirits of Water,
We thank you for your presence in our circle tonight.
May your compassion and shalom travel with us
As we leave this place.
Stay if you will, go if you must.
We bid you farewell!

Guardians and Ancestors of the South,
Spirits of Fire,
We thank you for your presence in our circle tonight.
May your guidance and clarity travel with us
As we leave this place.
Stay if you will, go if you must.
We bid you farewell!

Guardians and Ancestors of the East,
Spirits of Air,
We thank you for your presence in our circle tonight.
May your wisdom and insight travel with us
As we leave this place.
Stay if you will, go if you must.
We bid you farewell!

The circle is open but never unbroken
Because it is a circle woven in love.
Whatever energy is left in this space
We return to the earth with a spirit of gratitude.
Merry meet and merry part, and merry meet again.

Copyright ©2022 David Taliesin, http://www.sabbatsandsabbaths.com

Posted in Easter, Magic, Meditation, Ostara, Spirituality, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ostara: Balance and Growth

This coming Sunday is the Pagan Sabbat of Ostara which is always celebrated on the vernal equinox. Since we have equal hours of sunlight and moonlight on Ostara, it’s an opportunity to celebrate the balance of all things: male and female, physical and spiritual, life and death, thought and action, etc. It’s also an opportunity to take a critical look at ourselves and ask the question “What in my life is out of balance?” If you can’t think of something, you’re not thinking hard enough! Everyone has something in their lives that’s “not quite right.” Ostara is the perfect opportunity to plant “seeds of intention” that will help us to grow and draw closer to the Divine.

I think Jesus had this in mind when he said, “Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.” (Mt 7:7, Lk 11:9) Many Christians misunderstand the intention of this saying. It’s often interpreted as “God will give me what I want…if I pray hard enough and believe it will happen,” That’s ridiculous! It makes us sound like whiny children who throw a temper tantrum until we get what we want. It also make the Divine look like an over-indulgent Santa Claus who will do anything for us, as long as we stop crying! Talk about being out of balance!

Thankfully, if we read a little farther, Jesus clarifies the meaning of this saying, “Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake?” (Mt 7:9-10, Lk 11:11-13) In other words, the Divine desires to give us what we “need,” not what we “want.” The Holy One wants to place in our hands the tools we need to help us to mature and be more in harmony with nature, others and the Sacred. If we ask and search for this kind of Truth and Knowledge, it will be given to us. Guaranteed!

So Happy Ostara to my Pagan friends. May the seeds of intention we plant this Holy Season, sprout from the earth of our lives, and grow into beautiful spiritual herbs, gorgeous emotional flowers, and a more balanced life. So mote it be and Amen!

Copyright ©2022 by David Taliesin, http://www.sabbatsandsabbaths.com

Posted in Creation Spirituality, Ostara | 2 Comments