Saturday, March 26, 2011

Time for Spring Cleaning!

Ah Spring, the season of growth and rebirth is finally here! This is the time to refresh ourselves and clear out any negativities from our bodies and minds, but also in our homes. It's time to open our windows and let the warm cleansing breeze of Spring come in and clear out any "bad air" so to speak. So I decided to kick off my Spring cleaning this year, by getting out my book, Magical Housekeeping by Tess Whitehurst, and get started on cleaning my house the magical way.

I start off any Spring cleaning ritual by first opening my windows. Refreshing the air in your house can quickly make it feel clean and renewed. Then get your smudge sticks and/or purifying incense out and start cleansing the areas of your house. You can also burn some purifying essential oils in an oil burner, use oils such as eucalyptus, rosemary, lemon, sage and/or frankincense. After you've got your house sufficiently purified, you can try one or both of these Goddess cleansing rituals by Tess Whitehurst.

Hestia Invocation Ritual to Warm the Heart of the Home
Hestia brings a feeling of warmth and security into the home, along with a sense of harmony and well being. Begin by designating your homes hearth, this will either by a fireplace or an oven. Or you can choose the area where people usually congregate as the heart of your home. Once you've designated your hearth, place a large orange or red - orange candle on or near it. Next to the candle place a stick or cone of cinnamon incense. Light both and say this invocation:

Hestia, I call on you! Please heal, open, and warm
the heart of this home and bring it to life. Please
fill this space, our hearts, and this household with
happiness and harmony. Please sustain our spirits
with an abundance of all wonderful things.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. Blessed Be and so it is.

Let the candle burn for at least one hour, and let the incense burn down completely. You might want to keep the candle to use for other home warming and cleansing rituals in the future.

Kali Purification Invocation
Find a sacred space in your home, wherever you feel might need more cleansing. Bring a statue or picture of Kali into your space. Burn some cleansing incense if you like, stand in front of the image, close your eyes, and hold your hands in prayer pose. Focus on the situation, thought pattern, habit, or physical clutter that you'd like to purify or release. Open your eyes and do the expelling mudra forty times : Hold your ring and middle fingers under your thumbs with your index and pinky fingers extended. Repeatedly flick your ring and middle fingers, this is good for removing obstacles and banishing negativity.
Now place your hands in prayer pose once more, gaze at the image and say:

Kali, I call on you. Please destroy, dissolve,
and completely annihilate all conditions
and beliefs that no longer serve me, so that I
may make room for the new. Thank you.

Take down your Kali image or leave it up for a little while as a reminder of what you let go.

I hope you enjoy your Spring cleaning with the Goddess!

Photo courtesy of Religionnerd

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Ostara, Spring Festival of Fertility

Today marks the first day of Spring, when the days start to grow long, and the night's short. This is the time for rebirth and renewal where we celebrate the fertility of the earth. When we sow our seeds of inspiration for our goals and dreams. We've spent time working on our inner selves during the long winter. Now its time to open ourselves up to the abundance of Spring and experience our own form of rebirth.

At Ostara, or the Spring equinox, we honor the Goddess Persephone, and her yearly trip from the underworld back to the earth. When she returns to her mother Demeter and our world is bright and fertile again. We also honor the Goddess Eostre, Germanic Goddess of the dawn. She was celebrated at sunrise to symbolize the suns rebirth.

This is the time of year where we walk the sacred labyrinth to find balance in our lives. The labyrinth helps us to get to our center and the root of any issues we are facing. Since Ostara is a time for balance and regeneration, its a good time to "clean house" so to speak, and clear up any issues that are plaguing you. You can make a labyrinth using many different things, depending on whether or not you want a permanent one. For a non permanent labyrinth, you can use flour, salt, seeds, anything that you can easily clean up afterwards. I made a permanent labyrinth last year, that I painted on a big bed sheet. I've added little things to it over the last year to personalize it. Instructions on how to make a labyrinth are here: How to make a labryinth , I would recommend making the seven circuit labryinth.

Another way to celebrate Ostara, is to make painted eggs which symbolize the fertility of the season. You can paint hard boiled eggs with your children for a kid friendly activity. Bless your eggs during your Ostara ritual, and eat them after to absorb the energy of Spring. You can also start a little herb garden. Bless your seeds during your Ostara ritual and empower them with your goals and dreams. When you plant them, you can watch your plants grow as well as the energies you empowered them with.

On your altar for Ostara, have candle colors in yellows, purples, pinks and greens, crystals of the same color, A representation of the fertility of Spring, such as eggs, seeds, or a small statue of a hare. You could also have a statue of the Goddesses Persephone, Eostre, Blodeuwedd or any other Spring Goddess. Have Spring flowers and Ostara incense as well.

I hope you all have a lovely Ostara and an abundant Spring season!

Photo courtesy of Wendy Andrews beautiful art

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Winner of Persephone Goddess Doll!

Thank you to everyone who participated in this giveaway! And the winner is....Sam Curtin!! Congratulations! I would also like to Thank Nydia for donating her beautifully crafted Persephone Doll! I hope everyone had fun playing. Stay tuned for our April giveaway!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Giveaway! Persephone Goddess Doll from Carioca Witch!

This month we are proud to announce our giveaway in honor of Spring and the coming sabbat, a Persephone Goddess Doll from Carioca Witch! Thanks to the lovely Nydia, she has donated one of her beautiful handmade Goddesses from her shop. We had the chance to speak with Nydia, here's what she had to say:

1. How long have you been crafting your magical Goddesses?
I opened my Etsy shop in November, 2008, when I started creating my Goddesses and my other witchy pieces. I was inspired by Kelli Lincoln, from Dancing Goddess Dolls, a wonderful lady that ended up becoming my friend. Our dolls are completely different, though. I'm humbly proud to say that my goddesses became recognizable for their exclusive patterns and hand-embroideries created by me, as well as for being stuffed with related herbs, something all pagans love to have, including me, to add to the deities representation.

2.Do you have a particular favorite Goddess that you make?

All my "babies" are a favorite, seriously! Every time I create a deity, it becomes dear to my soul. Hecate and Persephone are the ones I sell most, so I'm quite comfortable at making them as they chose to be in my hands more often. ;)

3. Please describe the item you are giving away.

I would love to donate Persephone. Prefect for the Spring to come in the Northern Hemisphere [while here we're heading to Autumn...] As I posted at my shop:

**Persephone, daughter of Demeter and Zeus, is the Queen of Spring growth and of the Underworld. Abducted by Hades, she spends half year in the Underworld with her consort, and the other half with her mother in her world. In Greek mythology she, goddess of the soul, is the possessor of its dark and frightening wisdom. But is also the harbinger of spring and a reminder of all the growth and hope that it brings.**

The Goddess comes hand sewn in light green color felt and dark green & black cotton thread, with flowers, the sun and a bird representing her Spring side, and a pomegranate, pomegranate seeds, a waning moon and black pentagrams representing her dark side embellishing her tummy. Slightly stuffed with polyfil and a pinch of dried pomegranate, with a light green silk ribbon for hanging, plus a red decorative bead.
It measures approximately 9 x 5.5 inches.

Ok so the rules for entering are as follows: Go to Nydia's shop, find a few items that you like and come back here to comment on them. For an extra credit entry, follow Nydia's blog or twitter page, and for even more extra credit, start following this blog. Make sure you list which ones your doing so I can give you the extra credit! The giveaway will last for one week, at which time I will choose the winner. Thanks again to Nydia for donating her lovely Persephone Goddess! Have fun playing!

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Goddess and the Sun

For long has the Goddess been associated with the moon. Although in many cultures in the ancient world, she was also associated with the sun. With the start of patriarchal society, much of the old wisdom of the Goddess was repressed along with her. Any ancient power sources she claimed for herself, were stripped away and given to the newer more "powerful" Gods. She was relegated to being just a Goddess of the moon. No longer was she given the representation of the power of the sun. Not that being a Goddess of the moon is a downgrade by any means. It shows us just how much patriarchal societies actually took from our ancient Mother.

It makes sense that the Goddess would be associated with the sun due to it's life giving properties. Ancient people worshiped the sun because they knew how important it was for their survival. It's great power gave life to their crops and warmed their bodies. Every winter people in cultures all over the world would hold great festivals celebrating the power of the returning sun, when life would be abundant on the earth once again. The female aspect comes to us by those life giving properties the sun is known for. Women and the Goddess give birth to new life. So connecting the Goddess to the sun would make perfect sense to the ancient people.

There are many Goddesses associated with the sun, such as Brigid, Aine, Bast, Isis and Amaterasu to name a few. Brigid and Aine are both Celtic Goddesses associated with the warmth and life giving power of the sun. Bast, the cat Goddess of Egypt, symbolized the fertilizing rays of the sun. Isis is the Great Mother Goddess of Ancient Egypt. She wears a sun disc on her crown. Lastly Amaterasu is the Japanese Shinto Goddess whose name means great shining heaven. Her symbol is the rising sun which appears on the Japanese flag.

If you have ever watched the sunrise, I'm sure you will find it easy to connect it with female energy. I've actually seen many beautiful sunrises, in which I have felt the strong energy of the Goddess. As the sun creeps over the horizon, with her colors of oranges and yellows, pinks and reds, she is so majestic in her beauty. It literally stops you in your tracks, and you can not tear your eyes away. That big ball of fire rising, has a primal energy, ancient energy. Connecting you with the same ancient people who looked upon her same great face. The primordial connection to the earth and all of her beautiful creatures is what you will feel when you connect with the power of the rising sun.

She is reborn each and everyday to give the rest of the world a chance to be reborn. Her fertile light makes us as humans feel whole and connected. If you haven't seen a sunrise, please do yourself the favor. While watching it rise meditate, listen to the sounds of the birds and the other animals rising for the day. Connect with that ancient energy of life, we used to be so in tune with. After your sunrise meditation, record any thoughts that came to you.

During one of my special sunrise experiences, I recorded this quote from my thoughts:

I imagine that She is Isis awaking from her slumber, Stretching her golden wings far and wide, To reach the depths of our souls...

I hope you enjoy working with the ancient female power of the sun!

Picture courtesy of : The name of the artist is Jody Hewgill
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