Sunday, January 26, 2014

Imbolc: The Next Pagan Holiday

 

Happy Imbolc!

If you’re not pagan, you may recognize this holiday as ‘Candlemas’ (February 2), a holiday celebrating the purification of the Virgin Mary, according to Jewish law, and a presentation of the infant Jesus in the temple, also according to Jewish law. However, long before Judaism & Christianity arrived on the scene, pagans in the old world celebrated this day as ‘Imbolc’, a celebration of birth and lactation, as their herds of sheep began to grow with the birth of lambs. The celebration of Imbolc is in honor of the Old Woman of winter who is magickally reborn as the Young Maiden of spring.

This was also a festival to celebrate the Celtic goddess Bride, a goddess of fire/flame, poetry, craftsmanship, and healing. This goddess is invoked when survival is an issue, whether physical, emotional, financial, or spiritual. When the Roman church invaded the British Isles, they discovered that the people’s devotion to Bride was so strong it could not be eradicated. To solve this dilemma, the Roman Catholic Church renamed the Celtic goddess ‘Brighid’ and made her a saint.

The following is a list of corresponding herbs, flowers, animals, feast foods, etc., that are used in the festivals of Imbolc for symbology, as decorations, and for the magick performed at this time:

Herbs: basil, bay, celandine, benzoic
Altar Flowers/Herbs: angelica, myrrh, flowers that are yellow/white/or blue
Feast Foods: bread, cakes, dairy products, seeds
Animals: burrowing animals, ewes, deer, goats, lambs
Incense: jasmine, myrrh, neroli
Rituals/Spells: candle magick, initiation, hearth/home blessings, fertility magick, healing magick, cleansing rituals



Pagans today celebrate the Wheel of the Year, eight sabbats (holidays) which recognize and acknowledge the changing of seasons, the earth, and nature. This celebration of and homage to the natural world, and the practices that accompany this spiritual path, is called “Witchcraft”.

For more information, including videos, go to: http://ladyamythyst.webs.com/wheeloftheyear.htm

About Private Tarot Readings

About Private Readings: To all the cool people I’ve previously given free tarot readings to, because of the economy & all the time invested in this practice, I can no longer afford to give free readings– so sorry. If you need a reading, I still give personal readings: by phone, email, Skype, video, or in person (locally, in Fremont). I also give readings publicly at shops, bookstores, parties, & corporate events in the Omaha/Metro Area.

Follow this link: http://tarotreadingswithamythystraine.blogspot.com/

tarot

*Note:  the photo is courtesy of Pinterest

Justice: She Tells on You

When the major arcana card “Justice” comes up in my readings, 95% of the time it’s because the person I’m reading for is involved in some way with the judicial system.  They’re either going through a divorce, or involved in some sort of litigation or other legal issues.  Always.  This never fails.  But getting someone to admit it, or getting them to see the connection, isn’t so easy.

When I was doing readings at Ameristar, two very common looking middle-aged mid-western women sat down across from me, all giggly and twittery from the nervousness of having their cards read for the first time.  As I guessed, from their very mundane appearance and demeanor (and energy), there wasn’t anything earth-shattering going on in their lives.  It was really kind of boring, actually, though I wouldn’t say this.  But “Justice” popped up, and it popped up in a significant way that sort of tapped me on the cheek– there’s a connection here, it said, shhhhh….listen.

I looked into the round face, the eager eyes, the lady bent expectantly over the cards, and I asked, “Do you have anything going on with the judicial system right now?”

Her eyes glanced up into mine (we were very close), and she said, “Ahhh….no, nothing that I can think of.”

“Yes,” I insisted.  “You have some connection with the judicial system.”

She turns to her friend sitting in the chair beside her, “Agnes, I can’t think of anything, can you?”

Agnes squints as she thinks, wracking her brain, “Noooo…”, she starts to say, drawing the word out as she was still thinking, then suddenly…“Well, your sister is a Clerk of Courts.”

I had all I could do to keep from laughing.

Justice

Friday, January 17, 2014

What do you do?

What do you do?  I’m asked this question all the time, in respect to my spiritual path, in respect to religious practices and routine, in respect to practicing witchcraft.  People think in conventional terms of what they are familiar with– you have to attend a church service once a week, you have to follow this rule, you have to obey that rule, you have to undergo certain ceremonies (rites of passage) at particular set intervals, you have to follow a leader, etc.  Paganism, and especially witchcraft, is not like that, it’s not like that at all.  I keep trying to tell people, to explain to them, but I don’t think they understand.

Truth is, I don’t do a damn thing unless the urge hits me.  I might go for days, or weeks, or months without lifting one magickal finger to cast one crummy spell.  Then– Pow!– something comes up, something comes up that actually needs to be taken care of, there is a reason, there is a rhyme behind it.  Something comes up in life that needs my attention, so I take care of it with a spell, with a candle, with herbs, with a poppet, with other magickal twists and turns, whatever needs doing.

And that’s what I do.  There’s no law in my book that says I have to run around interneting people Happy this, or Blessed that– if I choose not to observe ‘traditional’ pagan holidays, that’s my choice, that’s my decision.  The sky isn’t going to fall, and  my magickal little soul will be just fine.

And that’s what I do…just exactly what I want to do.

This is the spirit of the witch…it wreaks of freedom.

witch 10

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Hit n' Miss

I really wasn’t sure which blog this post belonged in, whether it be here, or at my “Other Blog”, so I opted for the “Other Blog”, and here’s a link:

click  Here



Saturday, January 11, 2014

My "Other" Blog

There's a new blog post at my personal blog spot (Every Cat Has a Tale).  The topic-- Favorite Books & Authors.

click  Here