Beltane Blessings!

posted in: Cloaks, Wheel of the Year | 0
Beltane cloak
The Avalon Cloaks Beltane cloak

Beltane is here!

It is a time when the earth is fertile and full. Can you feel it?

Wonderful Beltane is the Celtic start of summer.

Beltane has been celebrated for thousands of years. It is the time of blossoming in nature, of rapid growth, of nesting birds and animals choosing mates.

We had an amazing time in Glastonbury. A big community celebration takes place every year, and everyone is welcome to attend. People gather at the market cross for poetry, singing and music, then there is a procession up the High Street to the bottom of the Tor where the maypole is erected. Maypole dancing comes from a far more ancient custom: the maypole represents the God, it being a phallic symbol.

Come and join us next year if you can; it’s such a great day.

Many years ago, during Beltane rights the Priestesses and Druids would get together to possibly make a sacred child. It is also a traditional time of handfastings (pagan wedding ceremonies).

The earth’s energy is on the increase – and there is the promise of more to come!

The Beltane bonfire is a tradition that goes back hundreds of years. The fire was more than a big pile of logs and some flame. It was a place where the entire community gathered – a place of music and magic and dancing and lovemaking.

It was customary to light the fire on May Eve (the last night of April) and allow it to burn until the sun went down on May 1st. The bonfire was lit with a bundle made from nine different types of wood and wrapped with colorful ribbons. Once the fire was blazing, a piece of smoldering wood was taken to each home in the village, to ensure fertility throughout the summer.

Beltane Altar

Dress your altar in red and pink to symbolise vitality, passion and love. Decorate with spring blossoms, hearts and rose quartz.

Her is a wonderful chant to the Goddess:

Goddess of Love, sing to me

Open my heart and set me free

Take my body and make me whole

Goddess of Love, fill my soul

Blessings to you for a wonderful Beltane and may the Goddess light your fire!

Wheel of the Year: Ostara Blessings

posted in: Ostara, Wheel of the Year | 0

Easter bunnies

Ostara Blessings!

Spring Equinox is on 21st March, midway between the Winter and Summer Solstice. It is firstly a time of perfect balance, and secondly a time of creativity, new ideas and new projects. Thirdly, it is a time to honour the Goddess Ostara – Goddess of the East – the place of rising sun.

Balance your life

At this time, consider what needs balancing in your life. Is there too much work and not enough fun, for instance? How can you address this lack of balance in your life?

Manifest your dreams

Think about what new projects and ideas you would like to manifest in the coming year. Just like an egg, our plans need nurturing, keeping warm, even loving, for them to grow and be born in the world… to become real. Having an idea or a plan is not enough, it needs to be grounded.

Our thoughts (Air) need the warmth of our will and passion (Fire) to be made manifest in reality (Earth).

How are theses elements balanced in your life?

The beautiful spring Goddess Ostara is also known as Eostre, the Goddess of the dawn, of new beginnings, who rises in the East each day. Oestrogen, the female hormone, derives its name from her.

Christians named this time of the year Easter, a corruption of her name. Eggs, symbolising new beginnings and potential, and hares, represent the Goddess.

At this time of the year, use the energy of Ostara to nurture your plans and ideas so you can take them forward during the coming year. The wheel of the year is always turning, and pagans are always learning and growing and working consciously with the beneficial energies of the seasons. At Ostara, we pause momentarily before the days get longer and we stop and consider what needs to come back into balance and what we need to nurture.

Honour Ostara

Ostara’s colours are spring green, daffodil yellow, pale sky blue and orange – to symbolise the returning warmth of the sun. Her crystals are Citrine and Carnelian, for warmth, energy and prosperity. Decorate your altar with primroses, eggs, hares and pussy willows.

May Ostara bless you with her warmth, energy and balance in the weeks ahead.

Until the wheel turns once more, blessed be.
Suzi x
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Valentine’s Day, Imbolc and Clearing the Clutter!

posted in: Ceremony, Cloaks | 0

Valentine’s Day (February 14th) is very close to Imbolc, the ancient celebration of the first stirrings of Spring.

Now is the time to honour the ones we love and think about being in a couple. We welcome the returning warmth to the earth and the first pale sunny days that are such a relief after the long winter. We are poised midway between Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.

Our Imbolc ceremony

This Imbolc, I took part in an outdoor ceremony in a friend’s woodland with some like-minded folk. It was cold and wet, and I was really grateful for my cloak, my winter one, that is made from a lovely wool fabric and keeps me very warm and dry. This helps me to really focus on the magical work in hand, and not get distracted by the cold. During the ceremoney, we each used the broom to symbolically sweep into the fire anything that we wanted to release.

Declutter and de-stress

At this time of year do you feel you want to make a fresh start? Clean and clear your space and sort out those cupboards, drawers and sheds that are full of ‘stuff’? Well do it! You are connecting with the Maiden Goddess who is sweeping clean the earth and our lives.

Use this energy productively and follow the Maiden – she knows the way. Declutter and make room for the new! Allow the energy of the young spring Goddess to help you release all that it old, outworn and not needed in your life. She loves new ideas and has the enthusiasm and energy for new ventures. Help her to help you, and watch your new life unfold.

Goddess Brigit by Caroline Gully Lir
Goddess Brigit by Caroline Gully Lir

Bridgit the Bright – a Poem

posted in: Cloaks | 0

Crocus flower

I am the Bright one, who comes through the winter’s snow

Breathing the sacred breath of fire aglow,

Calling you to awaken and arise,

To cast your doubts and fears aside.

I am the miraculous divine spark,

The hope of new life after the dark.

 

I am the Maiden, Bridgit the Bright:

The first shafts of sun in the morning light.

Walk with me; I’ll show you the way.

Leave behind your woes; this is a new day.

It’s so simple that you belong

In a bright future singing your song.

So follow my flame of divine seeing,

And dream your future into being.

By Suzi Dale.

Please obtain permission before reproducing these words – or share with an attribution. Thank you!

Silver cloak in winter woodland

Wheel of the Year: What is Imbolc?

posted in: Cloaks, Imbolc, Wheel of the Year | 0

Imbolc (usually celebrated on February 2nd) is a Celtic fire festival that marks the first stirrings of spring.

Known also as Candlemas, Imbolc is the festival of Bridgit. We welcome her as the Triple Goddess and celebrate and acknowledge her as maiden. This is the time of the first stirrings of light, the dawn of spring. The goddess is again young. She banishes all that is outworn.  She sweeps clean the Earth and our lives.

Imbolc is the perfect time to let go of the old and bring in the new!

Imbolc intentions

  • let go of the dross of winter
  • honour Bridgit
  • find inspiration

Think about the darkness of the winter – the time of stillness. What has died in your life? What can you now let go of?

Bridget or Bride carries a staff – Barrach Bride (Birch of Bride) – representing her quickening fire energy. As she strikes the ground with her rod, she awakens the land and our creativity.

I awaken the land with my rod of fire. I am the Lady of the Quickening. As I walk the land at Imbolc I touch the earth with my rod and plants and flowers once again spring to life.

It is a time of cleansing and purification. Spring-cleaning prepares our minds and bodies for resurgence.

You may have noticed increased energy levels recently and a feeling of ‘out with the old, in with the new!’

Not only is it the season of Imbolc, but we have also had two new moons during January – one right at the beginning of the month and one today! It is definitely time for a fresh start. This weekend, why not take advantage of the flow of the seasons and focus on a new direction in your life.

Brightest blessings x