Practical Magick

We usually save red hearth candles for winter (cinnamon, peppermint, etc), but hubby to be just called to remind me that red poppies are sacred to Demeter and the we actually have a red poppy candle. It was gifted to me a year ago and I hadn’t been able to figure out what to do with it. It’s always nice when the universe solves my dilemma with a single piece of trivia!

A blessed sabbat to all who celebrate today!

Whether you celebrate Imbolc or Lughnasadh/Lammas today, the time of changing seasons begins. As a Hellenically minded person, I ascribe to the idea that one should honor the land and seasons where you live. In fact, Greek colonists often added new holidays for their new home and would, if needed, alter the dates of seasonal holidays to match the seasons of their new home (though I doubt it often differed dramatically). Personally, of all the seasonal cycles I’ve researched, I think the Irish matches the closest (i.e. Lughnasadh is the first day of Autumn, Samhain the first day winter, etc). The Irish cycle pays no attention to the equinoxes or solstices, which in the northern Midwest (where I live) rarely match our seasons. Some years “summer” weather begins as early as March, or never comes at all (I remember summers that barely got warmer than 75 and I wore long sleeves most days), in the same vein, some years Winter comes as early as October and some years it never gets cold enough for snow. But local agricultural seasons are less varied. Greenhouses plant the first seeds in early February (or our Imbolc), and the first plantlings outside can often be seen by early March, depending on the weather. Gardens and fields are often planted in May (Beltane) and the leaves return to the trees, some years not till June, but always long before the solstice. The beginning of August brings the local harvest. Corn and hay are being cut, county fairs and renaissance festivals abound to show off wares and produce. Our local ren faire actually has a small field where each weekend it has a more seasonal market (cider sellers, pig roasts, pies, etc). It also brings the official start to the back to school season. I’m some areas, the leaves will already have begun changing before September ever arrived, sometimes they’re green almost till Halloween. I’ve seen both occur at the same time in the same neighborhood! Mabon lines up nicely to our apple and pumpkin harvests. And Samhain, marking the beginning of winter as the end of harvest is likewise apt. If it hasn’t been picked by November, it’s probably not going to be picked. Also, it lines up to the time when most people remember their dead. If you don’t get out to grave sites in early November to put out wreaths and grave blankets, the ground might be too frozen to work with.
So today I honor the beginning of the harvest, especially the grain harvest. Think corn bead, pasta, corn on the cob, toast, beer. I’ll pray for a good harvest and give thanks to the gods of the field. Demeter holds a very special place in my rites today, as a goddess of the harvest and a corn mother (my neo-Wicca background is showing isn’t it?). We’ll ceremonially change out our green “summer” hearth candle, to a golden “autumn” candle (though it officially won’t take place for a few days. Hubby to be forgot to buy it as it’s been a hectic week). Tomorrow brings the start autumn cleaning, the changing of the seasonal scents, colors, and decorations around the home (generally, the coconut and mango is replaced by apple and pomegranate; blues and greens by reds and golds; seashells, flip flops, and dragonflies by dried herbs, brooms, apples, gourds, goodies from fairs, and, gradually, Halloween decorations). I’ll begin praying for students, including myself, to get what they need for school and for them to have a fulfilling school year. I also begin my preparations for winter. Herb harvesting, candle and soap making, the making of cold remedies and mouth repellents, mending and airing out autumn and winter clothes, sewing, knitting, crocheting (scarves, hats, and gloves before the autumn chill arrives, then on to Halloween costumes which need to be done before October for my job, then on to next treat’s ren fair garb). Canning with my mother and grandmothers. Wine and mead making with my sisters (autumn is the best time to make rose hips wine). I think you get the picture :) the leisurely days of summer are past and the hurried preparations for winter have begun. I wish you all a blessed harvest, and or southerly friends a blessed spring!

Pagan Celebrities?

So there’s a screen image of a list of supposedly openly pagan celebrities going around. I rather doubt many of the names on the list so have tried to research them. 

Alyson Hannigan — As far as I can tell it’s just a rumor tied to her being Willow on Buffy

Avril Lavigne — She apparently declared herself openly as a wiccan in an interview a few years ago but I was unable to find it. It’s also been cited that she’s a Roman Catholic. (Could she possible be a Christopagan??). So, she’s either Wiccan or Catholic. 

Fairuza Balk — She’s the only one on the list that’s a “maybe” that I believe to be pagan. She was openly pagan after The Craft, and owned at least for awhile an occult shop. 

Fred Durst — He was apparently raised a Wiccan, but I was unable to find this cited anywhere reliable. 

George Lucas — He’s also a pretty likely maybe. But most listed him solely for “the Force”. 

George Takei — Can’t figure out why he’s listed. I found absolutely no reference to him being pagan. 

Tamora Pierce — Yeah, she’s seems to only be listed because most of her books use made up pagan religions. 

Vanessa Carlton — again, nothing reliable. She apparently uses pagan imagery in her music, though I’ve never heard it in any of the songs I’ve listened to of hers and that’s a lot. 

Virgina Woolf — She’s likely a neo-pagan, which is what she apparently claims to be. I couldn’t find any reference to this at all tho. 

Yoko Ono— As far as I can tell she was only listed because she was into tarot and psychics. 

The entire list can be seen at www.angelfire.com/ia/Geoff/famous.html but the site seems to have been inactive since about 2006. I was going to contact the author to hear his references for my own personal knowledge, but he has absolutely no contact information on the site, not even an email address, instructing visitors to sign his guestbook in order to contact him. The guestbook has been disabled. 

Do you know anything that could solve this debate?

If you do, please include the source or information to find it. Thank you. 

As someone who actively studied the French language and culture for 3 years in high school and had a hell of a time trying to translate pagan related sentences/paragraphs due to lack of accurate vocabulary, this is fascinating!

I actually cried reading this. I’ve never understood how anyone claiming to be religious or a devout practitioner of any religion could be so cruel and kill someone for practicing another religion, especially if the the religion in question (the one doing the persecuting) has actual laws against murder!

This is written for catholics who are having a hard time finding the proper colored candles for Advent wreaths, but I though it could be useful to pagans and witches who are having trouble finding the right color for their workings as well. Or anyone who can’t find THE candle they want!

The Practical Magick Shoppe!

Hey everyone!

A few friends and I will be opening a shop soon and will be offering prayer beads, magickal and mundane jewelry, dream catchers, spell kits, seasonal products, natural remedies and cosmetics, soaps, teas, handmade ritual tools, and more! 

For now the shop will be online based and news will come to my followers first. 

What items would you be interested in seeing in the shop first?