Making Mabon your own

There’s been a bit of confusion with some people on where to draw the line between making your craft your own and making it up. The phrase “go with your heart/instinct” is quite popular and well used but also vague. Sometimes people feel their faith is being attacked by misinformation, and some have gone as far as to say that people are just too lazy to do proper research into a subject.

I like the saying “it’s a little wrong to call a tomato a vegetable but it’s a lot wrong to call it a suspension bridge” (nabbed that from Big Bang Theory). In my opinion that’s quite true in Wicca.

I hope to do a little series of posts/videos on the topic of making something your own, without going as far as making it up, maybe to clear it up a little for anyone out there who’s lost, confused or feels that people seem to act unfairly against what their doing but no one seems to send a solution. This is quite important to me as I felt when I first started on this path, without a mentor (or at least without one who had a presence in my life for more than four or five days a year!), that people often criticised you if you got something “wrong” but still said to you “it’s okay to go with your instinct”. I didn’t understand how both of those things could be true simultaneously.

For the first post on this I’ve made a video about what I did for Mabon and made a list of links to other people talking about their beliefs and activities at Mabon. Hope you find something good. 🙂

This is a great video from Feathers And Flight, with a reasonably alternative view of Mabon, I love this video!

Here’s a must see video that really got me thinking about the term Mabon and it’s use, and got me researching deities again. ^.^

If that video interested you, here are a couple of links to what I found about the Mabon the god;

A fairly simple one and a more in depth one.

Here are some blog posts from other bloggers talking about Mabon traditions and what they did. 🙂

Here’s our blog post

And here are some more 🙂

The Hidden Children of the Goddess

Hyacinth Noir

Ayslyn’s Corner

A Year And A Day Wicca

Neferet

And Ayslyn’s Corner again XD

There was one I really wanted to link to and I only read it yesterday but now I can’t find it and I can’t remember who it was by. 😦 Nevermind. 😦

This post is a bit late to be useful for anyone on Mabon, but it’ll still be here next year!

Enjoy

Rowan

x~x

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In Our Time – The Druids

The Druids – In Our Time

I thought I’d recommend this radio broadcast for any British readers who’re interested in the Druids.

It’s really quite interesting and I love how it illustrates just how debatable history can be, when so many of us hold such a definite, prescriptive view of the subject. That’s probably because when we study history in school we only really study what’s almost certain, rather than what can be debatable. I love this side of history, mostly because of my interest in sociology. What did people really believe? How did people really live? What made things the way they are now?

Besides, In Our Time is an excellent program, isn’t it?

Enjoy

Rowan

x~x

Mabon

Mabon, around the 21st of Sepetember (this year it’s the 22nd), is the autumn equinox (when night and day are equal) but also some call it the pagan thanksgiving. It is a time for reflecting on the year and being grateful. For the modern pagan that might be promotions at work, grades in school or college or having good friends and family around you. But, our ancestors, whatever faith they followed, found themselves pinning their hopes on the physical, edible, harvest rather than the intellectual, financial or spiritual harvest that we are grateful today. We may use this day to reflect, but it was a crucial time for them that could mean life or death in the harsh cold.

After this day, the day retreats and leaves us to the cold cloak of the night. The God prepares now for his death, at Samhain, while we prepare for the times when the weather is cruel and the land is baron.

However, don’t mistake the coming months for times of isolation and misery. In this time – the winter time – people somehow are closer; for those who are hemmed in by ice and gale are surely hemmed in together. These were times of storytelling, sharing and drinking.

In the usual pagan paradox, we’re not just looking back but looking forwards.

It may seem hard to keep in touch with the cycle of the seasons when new technology has supplied us with a monotony of bounty after bounty, a constant stream of any food we could wish for and any item we dream of as long as we can pay the cost. But, you don’t have to till acres of land or toil in the kitchen drying meats to make your own winter preparations.

Take stock of your winter coats, gloves and hats and get the thicker curtains out to air, ready. Around this time you could try your hand at brewing herbal or fruit wines and beers, which are drinks that keep longer than others and do not freeze as easily as water (this would have been quite useful for our thirsty ancestors).

Live your craft.

I’ve been fortunate enough to grow up in a household where we are so close to the elements and so aware of the seasons. When it’s cold, we have to prepare for ice, with snow chains and bottles of water in case the pipes freeze. When it is windy, it roars night and day. When it rains, we have to dig ditches for flood waters to run away from the house. Our winter preparations even include mending our Green Goddesses, in case we’re snowed in again. (They’re good for towing out the post man XD and at one point we were using them to go shopping)

My herb garden harvest has been poor this year – continuous rain meant my strawberries rotted on the plants and a rogue herd of sheep left me with very little of anything except about half my usual mint harvest. 😦 Our most important harvest of all, however, is fire wood. In the winter we might go through over ten chords of wood. Between us in the large house, with between 6 and 8 people living there, our tenants next door and my brother living in the caravan, all depending on wood for hot water and heating, we need a lot! We do most of the processing ourselves, which means we have to band together and work really really hard if any of us intend on having baths at all.

The job is hurried this year; poor weather in the summer and everyone having their own things to do now college has begun again it leaves us with tiny little pockets of time this September for us to prepare and store wood that needs to last us right up until February, when the weather starts to improve again.

Mabon is an important time for me and I think I feel closest to the seasons at this particular time of the year. My gratitude at Mabon is for the sunny days we need for cutting wood and the strength of our family and friends who help us.

Thank you

Rowan

x~x

A personal post (yet another about tea leaf reading! XD)

Hello there!

Another dreadful tea post! XD I’ve been living tea lately; did two videos for youtube recently on tea leaf reading (saying pretty much the same thing only one was waaaaay better), but this post is going to be different. The posts on tea leaf reading I’ve done before might not have been very helpful or taught anything very useful (they’re just things you could easily learn without my help and actually my method is just one of many). Anyway, I know tea leaf reading posts can kinda be quite boring because there’s nothing very thought provoking in them and most people don’t use tea leaf reading but I thought I’d do a reading just to share on the blog.

The reason I haven’t done this before is I view my readings as quite personal things. I’ve done a reading for someone and decided not to share the full extent of my prediction with them (because I felt that what I was about to say would be unethical and horrible… even more so than lying to them… it did come true but me telling them wouldn’t have stopped a single thing and would only have made an enemy of me in this case… sorry, that’s just one reason why it’s quite personal) and a lot of my readings are quite personal just because I just feel within myself that I should keep them secret. That is also why, on my video, I might have seemed very rude and dismissive towards others, because I didn’t really want to discuss the reading itself.

However, here I feel accepted and safe to share one of my readings. So, this morning I decided to do a reading so that I could show you guys one and I didn’t really expect it to be this good. I sometimes get ones that tell me absolutely nothing.

This reading, however is not typical of readings; it is usual to have a collection of several (from just two to twenty!) very small, simple images in the cup but today I have one simple image and two very complicated ones.

My question was “where will I find work?” At the same time, because I was doing this for the blog most of what I was thinking about was the blog – so some things might actually be blog related.

Image

A page in my Book of Shadows

Now the first little symbol I’ll talk about is the hog in there. I looked at it closer and thought it might be a teddy bear, at one point, but my first and strongest instinct was that it was a hog. It might be the Twrch Trwyth, because I’m going to (when I have time) do a little bit about the Mabinogion. Which might mean I’m going to do it within the next few weeks, because that’s about as far as tea leaf predictions extend and it was near the bottom of the cup, but not in it. The bottom of the cup is the future that’s just a little further away. The symbol was also near the handle, which means it was personal. That’s what led me to believe that actually in this case The Twrch Trwyth is a symbol of a small trial or quest, a test of my strength. The symbol’s small and only feels a little significant, so it might be me just overcoming a fear maybe? Maybe learning a life lesson in some way?

Image

The next interesting and significant symbol was the Koi. It was really quite an elaborate image. 🙂 It’s right in the bottom of the cup, meaning it’s about a month to come. The Koi symbolises perseverance in adversity as well as good luck. So this might mean that though it’s hard to find a job right now I’m going to keep trying very hard (which is obvious because I really really need a job) and it might show some good fortune to come. It doesn’t say anything promising about finding a job soon, so I don’t expect that I will this month but maybe next month! 🙂

Image

The most elaborate pattern in the cup was that of what might be some form of shaman(..?). It’s furthest away from the handle, meaning it relates to a person either that I am yet to know or that is distant. It is also about the level in the cup that suggests it will be relevant in perhaps around two weeks. I don’t know if it’s clear the in the pictures to you, but to me it looks like this person’s skirt is a stampede of animals. They’re wearing a crown, have a butterfly wing, have a symbol representing a four legged creature above their head and three dots above that (they just felt like significant dots) and I think this person is female. Butterflies are symbols of transformation. This might be a real person I’m yet to meet, maybe someone distant like someone who reads the blog or perhaps a Spirit Guide who might come into my life slowly.

Either way, before I put the painting in my book of shadows I’m going to stick it in the North West corner of my wall. This corner, in Feng Shui, is a good corner for attracting a new mentor, which is really important for me right now. (We’ve been doing quite a bit of Feng Shui lately and that’s another excuse for why we haven’t been blogging XD We’re writing up some posts and might put it up as a big project!)

Thank you for letting me share this with you guys.

Love and Light

Rowan

x~x

Calling ourselves Witches

I don’t want to get stuck discussing labels (whether we should call ourselves witches, wiccans, pagans or magi I have explored but really I don’t think it should cloud what we are). However I’ll discuss the word “witch”. Yes, this topic is a little overdone but who cares! XD

I’ve been reading a lot lately, taking my books over to my boyfriend’s house, and in the first section of every book on witchcraft (almost every) there’s a big chapter on history. In some books the history used to go in depth about the “burning times” and sometimes these were quite fictional accounts of history. But most books these days talk about the times that the Witch seemed to be very important.

I’m not talking about the Medicine Women, the Wise Ones or the Cunning Folk, and I’m not talking about the Priests and Priestesses, the Druids or Shamans. I’m talking about Witches. A witch was a person who used supernatural forces to cause harm to others, whether it’s diseases in cattle or crops or infertility or whatever.

A witch wasn’t a person who gave medicine (everyone was happy to take the medicine); it wasn’t someone who divined the future or talked to spirits (these were people sometimes also used to track down witches!). Whether anyone was actually a Witch back then I have no idea! Whether anyone actually intentionally or successfully used magic to cause death, disease or misery I don’t know, and I’m very doubtful. Everyone knew how to perform curses. Nails in bottles, etched copper plates and poppets are methods carried on and still used today (not always for curses, but to cause an effect).

Believe it or not I’m actually neutral on the use of “Witch” as a name. I use it all the time, sometimes I use other names. We all know what they mean to us. 🙂 What I actually find most interesting is the times that they lived in, in the UK. There was a great big cultural scramble. They had generations of invasion and conquest. They’d seen so many cultures come and go and no real stabilising periods so naturally the cultures mixed and didn’t have anything cohesive or coherent to say it was a religion or faith, or even what it was. There were still people who put horse shoes in their houses. There were still people who hung elder and honey suckle above their doors. There were still people who left dishes of milk for spirits. And that was part of the culture, regardless of religion.

Why it’s interesting to me is that we call ourselves, right now, Witches. Right now, we live in a world of globalisation (in a sociological perspective, whether globalisation is good or bad I will not explore but to us it seems to be quite good). This makes our society as multicultural as before, if not even more. We can Feng Shui our houses, balance our Chakras, prey to Indian gods et c. And the fact that the Witch has returned in a similar cultural climate really gets me thinking.

 

Anyway, just a thought put into a lot of words!

Hope you enjoyed

Rowan

x~x

 

(ps, here’s an interesting video I found that really got me thinking about this stuff)

Paganism and God :)

Sorry we haven’t posted for a while. As you know we’ve been preoccupied. Silversun with work and me with finding work (it might not sound like a good excuse but living in the countryside and being unable to drive means that to effectively be looking for work I need to stay over someone’s house in town. I’ve barely had time to read any posts, especially without my glasses lol, let alone post any… which is why there’s been quite a streak of videos – they take less time and concentration XD)… (anyhoo, enough excuses).

 

I read a post on Witchy Rambles this morning and it got me thinking about how growing up with a more secular faith or liberal attitude makes some of us more likely to accept rather than lash out against Christianity, despite our embrace of Paganism. Many people I’ve spoken to, who turned to paganism after growing up with strong and unyielding christian upbringings, hold hatreds for anything close to christianity… to a point it’s quite easy to find articles on the web that are almost like manuals on how to insult a Christian, or how to deconstruct their faith before their eyes…

 

I grew up in a household where God was barely ever mentioned and went to a school where we preyed three times a day (in the morning, before lunch and for a safe journey home). I was frequently told about the spirits in the woods, faery circles and old Celtic stories – not in a religious context, but in a folk culture context. It wasn’t something we “worshipped” but we were definitely all aware of and open to it.

 

I’m pagan, not Christian now. But the God of my childhood is still around, because I never even had to turn away to become what I am now. This means that when I consider my pantheon of gods there’s that extra god of mercy. This is why I accept angel magic and I’ve grown out of my aversion to crosses (but not my fear of churches… though it’s not always the churches, just the dead people outside).

 

BB

Rowan

x~x

 

 

First Video Blog

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NouJXjidLYI

Here’s a link to our first video blog!!! Please watch

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