Autumn and Spring Equinox Blessings…

March 21, 2015 at 2:01 pm (Magic, Moon phases, Wheel of the Year) (, , , )

Equinox blessings to you!

Today is the day of harmony and balance, when the sun is directly above the equator and there are 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark. In the southern hemisphere it is the autumn equinox, and in Australia the moment of equinox is 8.45am AEST today, Saturday March 20. This means that from this day forward, the nights will be slightly longer than the days, and growing longer. It’s the middle of Autumn, and the crisp chill in the air should return soon, along with the beautiful autumn colours.

In the northern hemisphere today is the Spring equinox, the midpoint of spring, and the start of lengthening days and abundant growth… It’s also the new moon, which holds its own magic within it. Wherever you are in this beautiful world, have an enchanted weekend! xx

Tmabonhe autumn equinox, known as Mabon and celebrated between September 20 and 23 in the northern hemisphere and March 20 and 23 in the south, is characterised, like the spring equinox, by the length of day and night being equal as the sun travels back across the equator to the other hemisphere. From this point on the days will become shorter and the weather will get cooler, but today is the moment of balance in nature and within – a time of harmony and gentle calm.
Mabon is the time to honour your achievements, experiences and wisdom, and to ensure balance in your life by integrating all the parts of your self. On this day, when all is balanced, witches traditionally renewed their magical commitments, and you can renew any vows you’ve made or pledge a new one, be it to do with magic, love, friendship, career or anything else. It’s also a harvest festival, a time to further celebrate your achievements and feel fulfilment from each one, releasing what no longer serves you in order to move forward. In the wild, old growth is cleared. In your life, cut out anything that’s holding you back, draining you or preventing new life and love from flourishing, whether it’s work, people, a belief system, regret or the past.
As the shadows lengthen, it’s also a good time to scry if you want insight into your future. If you can, light a fire and stare into the flames, allowing your mind to go blank and your vision to blur a little. Note any images you see. Or go outside and watch the clouds scuttling across the sky and analyse the shapes you see within them. Without thinking about it too much, write down what they mean to you.
Pyromancy (fire reading) and nephomancy (cloud reading) are forms of divination that have been used for millennia. You should eventually develop your own dictionary of symbols, because you know better than anyone else what each symbol means to you, but you can begin with standard readings, such as a heart indicating new romance, a cat referring to the need to trust your intuition, a tree meaning you’ll make new friends and a plane foreshadowing travel. You can also use oracle cards or any other form of divination, tapping in to your intuitive powers in the most effective way you know how, and letting the truths of your heart and soul reveal themselves to you.

ostaraThe spring or vernal equinox, also known as Ostara, is celebrated between March 20 and 23 in the northern hemisphere and September 20 and 23 in the south. It’s one of only two times in the year when the length of day and night is exactly equal, as the sun sits directly above the equator on its journey north or south, creating equal light and dark in both hemispheres. On a personal level it’s a time of balance and harmony, of union between the physical and spiritual, which can be harnessed to anchor your dreams in reality and enhance your own inner harmony as the balance of universal energies is reflected within. Relationships are harmonious too, making it a good time for weddings and for healing rifts.
It’s also a time of growth and fertility, when crops are sown, the buds on the trees open, birds build nests and lay eggs and new life is celebrated. Thanks was traditionally given to the fertility goddess Ostara, whose symbols were an egg and a hare, and who is still honoured around the world today, albeit unknowingly, in the form of chocolate eggs and the Easter bunny. Energetically it’s also a very fertile time, as the seeds you previously sowed of your goals begin to sprout and gain momentum. Paint some hard-boiled eggs or buy or make the chocolate version, meditating on your own metaphorical fertility and your ability to manifest dreams into reality. Choose an affirmation relating to your desired outcome, write it down and pin it up where you’ll be able to see it every day.
Go outside during the day and breathe in the fresh spring air, filling your heart with new inspiration as you fill your lungs with oxygen. In many ancient cultures, including the Romans whose calendar ours is based on, the spring equinox was the first day of the year, and the sense of new hope and optimism reflected in this time remains today. It’s a celebration of new life, hope, passion, growth and energy.

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Dark Moon blessings…

February 18, 2015 at 11:23 am (Magic, Moon phases, Wheel of the Year) (, , , )

Wishing everyone much love, and blessings of the dark moon, as we approach tomorrow’s new moon and Chinese New Year. Now is a time to reflect, and to be brave and look within, before embracing the new energy and the passion and inspiration of tomorrow. May you journey within with love and wisdom, and find the strength and courage to look into the shadows at this potent time – made even more powerful with the introspective energy of New Year’s Eve. Bright blessings, and the most magical month and year ahead, filled with love, inspiration, creativity, passion and joy…

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Lughnasadh Blessings… and an enchanted Imbolc to those in the north…

February 4, 2015 at 10:00 am (Moon phases, Wheel of the Year, With thanks) (, , , )

bloglughnsdToday is Lughnasadh – in the southern hemisphere anyway – the first day of autumn and the first harvest festival, a day of celebrating the things we have metaphorically harvested, the things we’ve achieved, the gifts we’ve received, the experiences we’ve had, the talents we’ve developed and the things we’ve learned…

I am so grateful for all the many blessings in my life. For my beautiful husband, my loving family, my dear friends who mean so much to me. For the blessings of my health and the strength of my body, for a job that pays the bills and still allows me time to write my books… For the opportunity to help others who need it through time, money and/or awareness…

It’s also the full moon today, a time of magic and potential, so I’m wishing everyone a wonderful, magic-filled night. May all the wishes you whisper to the moon come true, and you be blessed with love and inspiration…

* Lughnasadh, or Lammas, which is celebrated in the first week of February in the southern hemisphere and August in the north, is a cross-quarter day marking the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. It’s the first harvest festival, traditionally a time of feasting and of thanksgiving for the life-giving properties of the grain, as well as a recognition of the cycle of sowing and reaping of the crops – and of the symbolic things you grow and create in your life.
It’s a day of harvesting the fruits of your labours and acknowledging your successes and what you’ve achieved in the past year. Celebrate the goals you’ve reached and have your own festival of gratitude, in whatever form that takes. Toast your success, throw a party or do something special to mark the occasion. Make a list of all the things you’ve gained over the past year – the gifts you’ve been given, the new talents you’ve developed, the friends you’ve made, the experiences you’ve had, the healings you’ve received – and give thanks for it all. Then, out of gratitude and in the spirit of the ancestors who shared the bounty of their harvest with those less well off, pass on some of your good fortune. Make a donation to a local charity, lend money to a business in the developing world or give your time to help someone, ensuring the energy of abundance continues and is strengthened. Give out of grace and for joy, not with the expectation of receiving anything in return. Work out small ways you can make a difference to the world and the people around you all year.
As well as a time of feasting and thanksgiving for the harvesting of the crops, and recognition of the eternal cycle of sowing and reaping, Lughnasadh is also about the symbolic things you grow and create in your life. It’s a day to harvest what you planted earlier in the year and celebrate your successes. Make a list of all the things you’ve gained – the goals you reached, the gifts you’ve been given, the new talents you’ve developed, the friends you’ve made, the experiences you’ve had, the healings you’ve received, the opportunities you’ve pursued – and how you have developed and changed as a result of them.
Create a ritual of appreciation that is meaningful for you. You may want to journal about it, exploring in depth the things you’ve learned and the ways in which you’ve grown, send thank you cards to people who have helped you work towards your goals, start a gratitude diary or write a poem that outlines all that you’re grateful for. We may no longer be so connected to the production of our food, as in days gone by, or believe that our prayers or sacrifices influence the success of a crop, but appreciating what we have and giving thanks for it is still a beautiful way to live, and can increase our own attitude of abundance.
Also acknowledge all the things you’ve achieved so you can share your successes with others. Don’t be modest or downplay how far you’ve come, because you’ll inspire other people with stories of your breakthroughs, your dedication and details of how you overcame the obstacles you faced. Your successes will help them realise they can also pursue their dreams, and will hopefully give them the motivation they need to get started on their own journey.
Don’t ever diminish yourself or your achievements, or let anyone else do so. Be proud of your light, your talents and all your accomplishments, and always allow yourself to shine brightly and illuminate the darkness for others. As American author Marianne Williamson says: “Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, and as we let our own light shine, we give other people permission to do the same.”
Now too, as the energy begins to subtly slow, it’s a time to be patient and to trust that everything is as it should be, because there are still harvests to come. Not everything has to be achieved right now – some things take longer to manifest. The lesson of the Wheel of the Year is that everything continues, everything happens when it should and everything is eternal.

blogimbolcIn the northern hemisphere it is Imbolc, the festival that marks the beginning of spring, and celebrates the fact that the days are lengthening and the light is returning, illuminating the land and our own hearts.
Mythologically, this was when the goddess transformed into the maiden and waiting bride, signified by the new blossoms and the quickening energy within the earth, and the infant god continued to grow in power, represented by the longer days and increasing strength of the sun. Astronomically, the cross-quarter day of Imbolc falls midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. In the southern hemisphere the sun is in the middle of its journey back from the lowest latitudes to the equator, and rises in the same position as it did at Samhain, when it was heading south from the equator towards its Midwinter point.
Energetically it’s a time of awakening, renewal and re-emergence, as nature fills with life force and begins to quiver with the energy to grow again, and we too start to emerge from the chill of winter, shaking off our inertia and lack of motivation and beginning to re-engage with the world. It’s also a time of purification and cleansing after the long dark of the winter months, of stripping away the old so the new can emerge. Imbolc is one of the four fire festivals of the year, and great bonfires would be lit not only in celebration but also for purification, so cleansing has always been an important aspect of the day.
Imbolc remains a day to honour the fertility of the land and our own selves. As the first signs of spring start to manifest, and the earth quickens with an energy that can be tangibly felt, it’s a powerful time to do healing work of any kind, and send energy to friends around the world. You can also increase your knowledge in an area you’re interested in, expand your creativity and tend to activities that are overlooked in the busy months of summer – making candles, sewing dream pillows, grinding herbs and blessing the seeds you’ll plant in spring…

* From Seven Sacred Sites: Magical Journeys That Will Change Your Life.

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Solstice blessings…

December 22, 2014 at 7:18 pm (Magic, Moon phases, Wheel of the Year) (, , , , , )

Today is the summer solstice, the longest day of the year and the shortest night, and the moment that the sun halts its journey southward and stands still, before turning back and heading towards the north. (Of course it’s not really the sun doing the moving, it’s us and our position relative to the sun, but that’s how it appears to us because of our belief that everything revolves around us 🙂 ) It’s a time of magic and enchantment, of late sunsets, blue skies, and immense potential and promise…

Of course in the northern hemisphere it is Yule, the winter solstice, a time of new beginnings and new light…

Adding to the magic of the seasonal wheel, it’s also a new moon today, which brings new energy and inspiration – it’s the perfect time to start thinking about what you want to achieve in the coming month, and the coming year…

Wishing you much love and happiness on this enchanted day, and a wonderful festive season, however you celebrate it!

bloglithaLIn the southern hemisphere today is Litha, the summer solstice. It’s the longest day of the year, and the shortest night, and a time of energy, reawakening, passion and hope. It’s a time to celebrate all you have achieved, to soak up the fruits of your labours and bask in the abundance of your life and the joy you find in your friends and family. That’s why so many pagans still celebrate the traditional idea of Christmas at this time of year, in addition to their Litha rituals. It’s a time to be close to loved ones, to feast and celebrate and honour your own wisdom and how far you have come in the past year, to celebrate power, joy, and the courage to walk boldly into the new year. It’s a bountiful, abundant, fertile time, a time of flowers and ripeness and heat. Breathe in the scent of red, gold and orange blooms, of herbs like chamomile, honeysuckle, lavender, yarrow, thyme and elder, light an oil burner with inspiring, activating, energising oils like orange, lemon, rosemary and jasmine. Breathe in the power of the sunshine, the warmth of the land, the energy of the universe that you can attune yourself to in order to motivate you to move forward. Litha also brings the magical, mystical, enchanted Midsummer Night’s Eve, the famous time of fairies and fun and mischievous sprites who dance through the air, and through your heart, and encourage you to enjoy the beauty of the world, and the magic of your life.

blogyuleLIn the northern hemisphere however today is Yule, the winter solstice, the day of magic that celebrates the rebirth of the sun, and which the traditions of Christmas are all based on. Pagans in the northern hemisphere celebrated the winter solstice – the longest night of the year, and the shortest day, which indicated the return of the sun – for centuries before the coming of Christ. For them it was symbolic of the goddess giving birth to the god, of the turning of the wheel of life from the barrenness and death in the fields to the rebirth promised by the lengthening of the days. It was the time of the great feast, when the last of the winter’s stores would be used up, knowing the sun was on its way back to bring new life, and of gift giving and celebration.
On the same day, the ancient Egyptians celebrated the birth of the son of the goddess Isis, the Arabs the birth of the moon, and the Romans the winter festival of Saturnalia, focused on Saturn, the god of the harvest. Feasting, celebration, partying and gift giving were common to all of them.
(For the first three hundred years AD, there was no festivity of the birth of Jesus, and from the biblical description it’s highly unlikely he was born in December. But in 350AD, Pope Julius I declared that Christ’s birth would be celebrated on December 25, to make it as painless as possible for pagan Romans to convert to Christianity. The new religion went down a bit easier, knowing their festivals would not be taken away from them. At the end of the fourth century the Bishop of Constantinople wrote: “On this day the Birthday of Christ was lately fixed at Rome in order that while the heathen were busy with their profane ceremonies, the Christians might perform their sacred rites undisturbed. They call this the Birthday of the Invincible One (Mithras); but who is so invincible as the Lord?”)

Some of the pagan traditions of modern Christmas
The tree: Live evergreen trees were brought into homes during the harsh winters as a reminder that their crops would soon grow again. Evergreen boughs were carried as totems of good luck and were present at weddings, representing fertility. The druids used the tree as a religious symbol, holding their sacred ceremonies around them. Trees were first decorated for Christmas in Germany, with candies, fruit and paper roses.
The Yule log: Magic, with its tenent of “As above, so below,” meant pagans believed that to have a blazing fire on earth would encourage the sun to grow stronger. The winter solstice is a fire festival, with bonfires being lit to help the sun grow stronger. The Yule log also served a more practical purpose of warming the home during a cold night in which many people stayed awake for longer than usual. The word Yule means wheel, the wheel being a pagan symbol for the sun. Armenians make a wish on the Yule log when it’s ignited and sometimes make divinations by the cinder patterns left over.
Mistletoe: This is an old pagan symbol of regeneration and eternal life, and is associated with healing. Mistletoe was considered a sacred plant by the druids, and the custom of kissing under the mistletoe began as a fertility ritual. The Romans valued it as a symbol of peace, which led to its use as one of the common symbols of Christmas. In Scandinavia, it is associated with Frigga, their goddess of love.
Holly: Pagans placed holly leaves around homes in winter to provide shelter for fairies, and holly berries were thought to be a food of the gods. In ancient Rome holly was associated with Saturn, the god of the harvest. Early Christians probably adopted this tradition to avoid persecution. It was later reinterpreted with Christian symbolism – the pointy edges are said to represent the crown of thorns and the red berries Christ’s blood.
Candles: For pagans, it was customary to light a candle to encourage the sun god, and the sun, to reappear next year. Candles are also for protection. Later, in Victorian times, candles were placed in windows of homes to let the poor know there was shelter available for them there.
Christmas carols: People used to dance and sing to celebrate the shortest day of the year, and this evolved into the singing of Christmas carols. In ancient Rome, their winter holiday Saturnalia was marked by much merrymaking. It is there that the tradition of the Mummers was born, groups of costumed singers and dancers who travelled from house to house entertaining their neighbors. From this, the Christmas tradition of caroling was born.

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Full moon blessings

August 2, 2012 at 3:02 pm (Magic, Moon phases) (, , , )

Wishing you an enchanted full moon, and a month to come full of magic, inspiration and passion. For me, this month will be filled with finishing up the new book – editing, writing those last little bits, checking images, all that kind of stuff. Can’t wait for it to finally be ready to send out into the world!

Harnessing the energy of the phases of the moon can add magic to your life and help bring a goal to fruition. These phases are determined by the moon’s position in relation to the earth and the sun, as it orbits our planet every 29.5 days. The moon has no light of its own – it’s illuminated by the light of the sun reflecting off its surface, and its phases are created by the amount of the illuminated side we can see. The full moon occurs when the moon is on the other side of the earth from the sun, with the earth in between. The whole of the side that is visible to us is reflecting back sunlight, so we see a round moon in all its shining, golden glory.

The full moon is the high tide of power and energy in a lunar cycle, and is the perfect time for any kind of magic. Cast spells for completion, for things you want to achieve, and for anything that requires an extra boost of intensity, such as healing work, job hunting and love. You can also invoke mother goddesses such as Arianrhod, Isis, Selene, Diana, Lakshmi, Quan Yin, Demeter, Epona, Ishtar, Mama Quilla, Chang-O, Gaia, or simply the Great Goddess or Mother Earth, who all represent the full moon, motherhood, fertility, the earth and creation.

Midnight is the most powerful time for magical work, as the full moon is directly overhead. Stand beneath the golden orb and give thanks for what you’ve achieved so far, and breathe in the energy and power so you can harness it for self-expression and inner strength. Perform a Drawing Down the Moon ritual, bringing the energy of the moon, and the moon goddess, into your heart and soul. This is a great time to charge crystals and amulets with the moon’s energy, and cleanse your own physical and etheric bodies. Psychic abilities are also at their strongest, so practise any divination methods you are drawn to, looking within to find answers to your questions and clues to your future.

The full moon rises as the sun sets, which is why it’s so obvious and clearly seen, because it sails across the sky all night, contrasting with the velvety blackness, before setting around dawn, just as the sun is rising. The three days of the full moon – the day of, the day before and the day after – can be used to boost any intention or project. It represents achievement, culmination and abundance. The world is filled with energy and potential, so it’s a great time for healing and manifestation.

 Lunar phases are printed in newspapers, moon diaries and websites like Sunrise Sunset, which is great because you can type your city in and get the correct time zones. You can also determine the phase of the moon by its shape, as well as the time it rises, which occurs about 50 minutes later each day. It can be remembered by the old adage: “The new moon rises at sunrise, and the first quarter at noon. The full moon rises at sunset, and the last quarter at midnight.”

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With thanks… Monday January 23… New moon blessings, and Happy Chinese New Year!

January 23, 2012 at 1:40 pm (Magic, Moon phases, With thanks) (, , , )

Today I wish everyone a magical new moon and an enchanted Chinese New Year, and a year to come full of love, joy and inspiration. It’s the perfect time to make a wish – new moon, new year – then take steps to make it come true. Wishes focus our attention and our intention, and make the path forward and the way to manifest them clearer – then it is up to us to make them happen. A book won’t write itself, a record won’t record itself, your artistic expression requires time carved out of your day to allow it to go from your heart to the canvas or the crafting… Place value on your dreams, and give yourself the gift of time to make them come true…

Today I am also a little surprised – it was on Chinese New Year 2009 that I began writing these daily gratitude notes, so it’s been three years of taking the time to gather my thoughts each night and think of all the things I was grateful for that day. Some days it was easier than others, but part of me thinks that it’s those days that are the most important, the ones where I had to dig deep and look hard for the good things. Because they are always there, if you look. Always something to be grateful for, even when you’re sad or disappointed or in pain. My bad migraine days are always a challenge, but I can always find something to be glad of – painkillers (ha ha), sympathy and healing pats from my beloved, cool breeze on my hot cheeks, the beauty of a jacaranda tree in bloom, the scent of frangipanis, a particularly delicious cup of tea, a letter from a friend, someone telling me they loved my book…

And even when I’m frantically snowed under at the magazines (like today), I am grateful that I got lots done, that I finished several pages, that something I was waiting on finally arrived. Yes I’m feeling swamped, with three magazines going to print on Friday, but I was grateful for watermelon, grateful I’d brought a salad so I didn’t have to waste time leaving the office, grateful for the luxury of time on the bus to read a little…

I am also grateful that Cutes met me after work so we could walk home together, grateful two packages he’d been waiting on had arrived, grateful I could do some work for Juz when we got home – plotting and planning and dreaming and scheming J

I am grateful to author Felicity Pulman for her mention of Seven Sacred Sites on her page, and that someone ordered four copies of A Magical Journey…

I’m grateful for a beautiful necklace from Mum and Dad, as a thank you for the photo book I made for our friends, and I’m grateful to my sister for dropping off a box of books to a store in Mandurah for me, especially as it ended up being a bit trickier than anticipated.

So, even though I didn’t get to spend any time on my book writing today, I am grateful that I fitted so much else in, grateful for my wonderful family and friends, and grateful to my beloved for our magical life together… (And to think this started as a very brief note!)

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