Imbolc


This year Imbolc fell on one of the days my son goes to preschool.  Great!  I thought, I’ll be able to get my ritual done without him here.  I love my son dearly, but it’s much more relaxing and easier to concentrate on doing rituals and spells without the fear of him waking up or having to accommodate him.

Then it snowed and his school contacted me to say they had to shut the school down.  So I waited for him to go to sleep and did a scaled-down ritual inside.  I normally use nine flames in nine jars with salt and milk, but this time I only used three as the area I have to work with is small.

The ritual went well, even though I’d decided to leave the cat in the room.  She looked settled and would probably have spent the entire ritual miaowing at the door and distracting me if I’d thrown her out.  Thankfully she stayed where she was, as cats seem to have a natural instinct for where magic or ritual is being performed and will happily wander across a circle as they choose.

Afterwards I made my Brigit cross and performed the house protection spell.

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Imbolc Preparation


It seems odd to think of Imbolc preparation so early in the month, but after the secular New Year (which I celebrate because of my husband, but it is not my New Year) I start clearing things out.

I go through my mobile and clear out my contacts, messages and bookmarks.  I also clear out contacts and files on the computer.  I keep bookmarks in an email message on the computer, as I have had repeated problems with my computer account being lost and my bookmarks are suddenly gone. 

I go through my books and give any that are unwanted to charity.  I would do the same for clothing, but I had a clearout last July.  I used to clear out any cupboards, but with a toddler and medical condition I would not be able to complete this before Imbolc.

Hello Again


Apologies for the enforced absence; we had computer problems as the router slowly died of old age and we decided to change providers and get a new router for free.

This took a while and during that time I celebrated the Winter Equinox by wassailing the guardian trees of my neighbourhood. I am sad to say that the one which was my estate’s has been cut down. However, another one has taken its place.

January saw me do my usual clearout; I went through all my documents, letters and files on the computer and stored on CDs. I also cleared out my mobile phone of numbers I hadn’t used for a long time.

I was going to celebrate Imbolc, but my son was sick that day and even though he napped as usual in the afternoon I did not want to be doing a ritual and worrying that he would wake up and throw up in the middle of it. I felt I couldn’t give the proper attention necessary for that ritual, so nixed it.

I did renew my house protections and made a new Brigid’s cross to put over the house door. The old one goes up in the attic to protect from fire and lightning.

Beltane


For once I got my research into the festival finished, but only just before the festival so it didn’t leave me much time to prepare.

I was going to do a May bush which is used to ward off fairies on Beltane and try and catch the May dew to wash my face with it, but were unable to organise these in time.

Instead I did my ritual and took the day off.

I was also going watch Doctor Who and The Daemons as it’s based at Beltane and is pagany, but we didn’t have the episodes on DVD.

This is an example of a festival which just didn’t happen.

Spring Equinox


A couple of weeks ago I celebrated the Spring Equinox.

A lot of Celtic practitioners don’t celebrate the equinoxes and solstices as there is no evidence that the Celts celebrated them. I believe that the stone circles and barrows etc of which the sun strikes them at a certain point on equinox or solstice predate the Celts.

I know of no evidence in myth or folklore of celebrating equinoxes or solstices, so I have to conclude that the Celts didn’t celebrate them.

So why do I celebrate them? It’s because I believe they are an intrinsic part of our lives which denote certain points when the balance of the earth swings towards the summer or winter, or is equally balanced.

Imbolc


I missed last Imbolc, as I was in hospital waiting to start labour and give birth to my son, which seems appropriate for the start of Spring.

This time I did my ritual and thanked Brigit for my son, who will be one year old in a couple of days. As he is now mobile I waited until he was asleep and did the ritual in the bathroom, as my current baby monitor’s range will not stretch to the garden, which is something that needs to be remedied.

Afterwards I made my Brigit cross which is currently hanging over the front door and tried to put the old one up into the loft to ward against fire. Unfortunately I could not get the loft ladder down, which is yet another thing to look at soon.

Samhain


This was the first year in a long time I have not carved turnips for Samhain. I did not get organised in time and as I have a baby son I would have needed LED tealights, which I couldn’t buy in time.

In the morning I did my Samhain ritual and finished writing the ritual to introduce our son to the ancestors. It was appropriate that he is nine months old this Samhain.

I watched the film Ghost. A lot of people watch horror films at Samhain; I don’t like horror movies as I am easily scared but I thought this film was appropriate.

Afterwards I went to a party in the afternoon and we went out for a meal as my husband had just finished an exam.

Then we introduced our son to the ancestors. We first consecrated a candle using his touch, spit and breath. This candle will be put away and used for any rituals involving him. Then we said a short piece telling the ancestors about his names and lastly we asked them to help us bring him up.

Autumn Equinox


It’s a bit late to be writing about this, but last week went mental and I didn’t get time to post.

Unfortunately I also didn’t get to plan out my ritual, but had to do my usual standard one. I have seriously got to start researching the festivals again before I celebrate them, or I risk my celebrations becoming stagnant.

It went well, despite having a baby around. At first I was going to put the baby monitor on and do the ritual outside, with him inside. Then I realised he’d try to roll over in his playpen, get stuck, yell and I’d have to go back inside to sort him out just in case he was yelling for something else e.g. feeding or wanting Mummy cuddles.

So I took him into the circle as he hasn’t yet learnt to crawl and he was as good as gold. He’ll probably be crawling by Samhain, but I’ll worry about that when I get to it.

Lughnasadh


This year, I chose to celebrate Lughnasadh by having lunch with non-pagan friends. This did not work, because since we didn’t talk about Lughnasadh or pagan subjects, it felt like I wasn’t celebrating the festival. I will not be repeating this again.

I did my usual circle and ritual, but had not left myself time for anything else, as meeting up and lunch took six hours out of the day and we were also scheduled to pick the cat up from the cattery in the evening.

All in all, not one of my better celebrations.

Summer Solstice


Yesterday was the Summer Solstice and the first festival I celebrated this year. During Imbolc I was being induced in hospital, while during the Spring Equinox and Beltane I was coping with the demands of a newborn baby. I totally missed the Spring Equinox and didn’t get it together enough to celebrate Beltane, which is a pity as I enjoy Beltane.

This also means that I need to catch up on the house protections I do at Imbolc and the spell for the cat’s health I do at Beltane. Thankfully I don’t have to do these spells then, but it is appropriate and helps me remember.

Sunday evening I got all the equipment I needed by the back door in case my son woke up at four in the morning, when I could feed him, put him back in his cot with my husband sleeping beside him in case anything happened and go and do my ritual. Of course, sod’s law intervened and he slept right through till half past six!

I got up and found it was raining. After feeding my son I gave up all hope of celebrating the festival outside, as it is difficult enough getting him out at the best of times and this certainly wasn’t one of them. I hope to make it outside for a ritual at a later date, but we will see.

I ended up doing it in the bathroom, as that was the only place with a big enough space to draw a circle. I ran three taps to simulate the natural world while doing the ritual.

I cast my usual circle and celebrated the day as the longest day and also Áine’s feast day. Áine is one of the Irish deities connected with love and I asked her for her help. She asked for an offering and I danced for her, as her court would dance on the hill of Knockainey, which seemed to be sufficient.

After that I wound down the circle and when I had done that my son woke up, so it was back to the real world…

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