Beltane & The Fairy Folk

For the Northern Hemisphere, the Wheel of the year turns now to Beltane – the first celebration of Summer.  (April 30 – May 1)  In the Southern Hemisphere they will be celebrating Samhain and their Beltane celebration occurs on October 31 – November 1. 

Beltane, or May Day is a joyous celebration of life, fertility and growth.  The crops planted in spring are beginning to bud, flowers are blooming, livestock is mating – it’s all about the creation of life in it’s many forms.  It’s no wonder that this special celebration has close ties to the Fairy kingdom and Elementals – as the workings of the guardians of earth, animals, and plant life are so abundantly clear to us at this time.

Beltane is the celebration of the Union of the broadest aspects of nature – the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine.  Mythology and Archetypical Fairytales tell of the Union between The Maiden Goddess and The Horned One – as the Goddess (Earth) is impregnated by the fertile seed of the God.  Thus, the overwhelming theme of this celebration is Sex, Romance, Fertility, and Union.

With fires lit across the land, a couple leaps whilst hand in hand, to mark their union and this rite, for they know tonight’s the night! As they run into the darkened wood, and find a grassy glade they should, remember well of who’s around, for bands of faeries all surround, the couple as they consummate, the faeries cheer and seal the fate, of plants and flowers, shrubs and trees, whilst the God’s upon his knees, impregnating the mother to be, from sowing deep his natural seed. And so in time the Goddess will birth, the magic that’s nature, on this Earth.’
 
Quote from Way of The Faerie Shaman by Flavia Kate Peters
 
 
Embracing the powerful flow of the Creative nature of the universe is possible at this time, and in allowing ourselves to truly connect with the Turning of the Wheel we must simply look around at all the new growth happening in nature around us; and then recognize that our own spirit is reflecting that fertile creative landscape.  Ask yourself – what Union within my life am I celebrating?  What growth is happening within me – and what can I do to further help that growth?
 
Connecting with the Faerie Realm can help us re-connect with this part of the Natural Cycle.  It’s easy in today’s society to feel disconnected from Nature.  Get outside, tend to your garden, yard, or potted plants, and express joy and fascination with the miracle of life happening all around you.  It is said that at Beltane, the veil between the worlds is thin, allowing us to more clearly see and hear the Faery Folk.  Spells and Magick or rituals involving honoring the Fae, calling them, seeing them, and working in harmony with nature – all are perfect for Beltane!  Make sure as part of your ritual, or before your ritual, you spend time in nature tending the plants or picking up litter; or even joyfully singing and dancing!
 
 
Beltane Eve Fairy Spell
Perform this ritual at Dusk on Beltane Eve (April 30)
 
“Gather together violets, clover, and St. John’s Wort.*  Violets are a fairy favorite, clover is for prosperity and luck, and the St. John’s Wort will protect you from falling under a fairy enchantment (or being Fairy-led).  Gather these plants together and tie them with a green ribbon.  Take the bouquet to the garden or a place in nature.  Blow the Fairies and kiss, and leave the plants as a gift.  Sit for awhile in the garden or place in nature, and meditate.  Breathe in the air.  Notice the scents.  The different plants around you.  The temperature, the breeze.  When you feel you are fully connected with the nature around you, say:
 
Fairies from far and wide,
I offer you a gift.
tied up in green for luck,
and sealed with a kiss.
 
I can sense you,
if I’m pure of heart.
Bless me with luck and Fairy-Sight
to boost my Healing Art.”
 
Blow them another kiss, relax and wait to see if they reveal themselves to you.  Don’t fret if you don’t see them this night – try again in the morning and evening of Beltane.  Listen to any messages the fairies may have for you – sometimes they have a special mission or task for you to complete before they will reward you with a visit!”
 
(Adapted from an article by Ellen Dugan)
*If you can’t find or access the specific plants mentioned here  – substitute something different!  Trust your intuition to guide you to certain plants that you think the Fairies would like – and add any protective plant you can find for good measure!
 
Celtic Legend of Beltane and the Fey
“This was the Celtic beginning of summer, and also marked an important transition for the people of Faerie, for this was the time when the Milesian Celts landed on the shores of south-west Ireland.  With this, the last of the magical peoples (the Tuatha de Danaan) receded from the world of humans into the Hollow Hills and became the people of the Sidhe.  However, they and the other Fairy folk have not gone very far.”  (from The Fairy Bible by Teresa Moorey)  Legend holds that the veil between the land of the Sidhe and the Human world is thin twice a year – at Beltane and again at Samhain – and these are times when it is easy to see and communicate with the realm of Spirit and Elementals.” (from The Fairy Bible by Teresa Moorey)
 
Welsh Legend of Beltane and Rhiannon the Fairy Queen
“Welsh legend tells how the hero Pwll saw the Lady Rhiannon riding past him at Beltane and, after pursuing her, he eventually won her.  Rhiannon is one aspect of the Fairy Queen, riding on her white horse between the worlds.  As you sit quietly outside on a bank in the late spring dusk, listen for the sound of her horse’s hooves and open your eyes to the shimmer of her sea-blue cloack.  When Rhiannon touches your hear, she will fill it with love and inspiration.” (from The Fairy Bible by Teresa Moorey)
 
 

Sunday Magick

Sundays are ruled by The Sun and are associated with Solar energy. On a Sunday you can empower your life and magick by accessing this masculine, fatherly, solar energy in your rituals or meditations.

Colors: Gold, Yellow, Orange, Red
Deities: Apollo, Ra, Horus, Sol, Atum, Helios, Amaterasu

Archangel Michael

For Meditations or Rituals on a Sun-Day focus on: Fathers, Masculine Energy, Authority Figures, Leaders/Leadership, Power, Prosperity, luck, vitality, energy, money/wealth, growth, protection, courage, strength, self preservation, the self/Ego, fire magick, candle magick, solar magick, life force, willpower.

SUNDAY HOUSEHOLD MAGICK
The Sun is the Ego – or the self that we show outwardly to the world. In terms of the home – this is our front yard, the porch, windows, doorways, and entryway. Sundays are a good day to clean up and bless these areas of the home – like cleaning ourselves up before a date or interview; these outer parts of our home are the “first impression” of the home for visitors, friends, family and even yourself!

The windows are where the sunlight enters the home, so cleaning and blessing these can help us welcome Solar energy into our homes. Clean the windows and windowsills while focusing on the intention of your desire flowing into the home (luck, prosperity, protection, etc – choose your intention from the list above!)

Yard Work or a barbeque (if weather permits) are good ways to honor Fire energy while also blessing the home, yard, and self.

Sun-days are also a good day to honor the ancestors – especially male ancestors or strong leaders, soldiers, and fathers on the family tree. Honor the living male family members too – clean up or bless a part of the home they use the most, or cook them a special meal or help them with a project.

Sun Magick can be done in so many ways around the home. Use the above suggestions to create your own Sun-Day rituals and home blessings.

Sun-Day Shower Spell for Protection

This is a simple shower spell that you can do every week to provide protection through the week.  I choose to do it on Sundays because they are ruled by the Sun – which has powerful energy of protection.

First you’ll want to find a bottle of body wash or shampoo to bless and charge for this purpose.  It can be any brand of shampoo or body wash you want, or even better – a kind you make yourself!  I chose this one because of it’s name and scent!

I drew symbols of the Sun, Leo, Aries, Mars, and Fire on the bottle.  Believe it or not, I designed this as a Fire Element spell!  You can think of it as both a Water element and a Fire element spell because of it’s focus in the shower.  Water for cleansing and blessing, and Fire for protection and energy.

I placed the bottle with symbols drawn on it outside in the sun for a full day.  I surrounded it with some fire element crystals and gemstones, and visualized the sun and the crystals infusing the shampoo with the energy of protection.  I did this on a Sunday and a Tuesday in April – the Sun was in Aries and Tuesday’s are ruled by Mars and Sundays ruled by the Sun.  You don’t have to wait until the sun is in Aries again, but it may be helpful to do this on either a Sunday or a Tuesday, or look for a day when the moon will be in either Leo or Aries.  Just remember, using the moon phase and days of the week can help boost your spell, but they aren’t 100% requirements.  All you really need is a good sunny day and clear intentions!

Once your bottle is blessed, use it every Sunday for a shower!  While you shower, visualize the soap leaving a bright golden light of protection around your body.  Visualize that this light will stay in place all week, protecting you.  I like to say this prayer;

“Mind and Body I do ward;
Protection from the mob and horde.
No spirit or person of baneful sway
May harm me now in any way.”
 
(I wrote it on the bottle so I can remember it while I’m in the shower!)

Ritual For Releasing The Past

The days of the Waning Moon (from right after the Full Moon to the New Moon) is the perfect time to think about releasing anything in your life that is holding you back.  This can be a thought pattern or attitude, an addiction, or even a toxic relationship that has come to an end.  It can be really helpful to symbolically enact the release and removal of this from your life with a ritual.  The more days in a row you can perform the ritual the better – your attachments didn’t form in one day so it will take more than one day to release them!  Here’s a simple ritual that includes candles, visualization, meditation, and affirmations.  I’d say start this at least 7 days before the New Moon, but if you wanted to go for longer than that it will work just as well (I’m feeling that magick number 13 would be perfect – a 13 day ritual for releasing the past sounds very witchy and powerful!)

What you’ll need;
  • 2 candles (one black and one white is preferred, but two white candles will work just as well)
  • a lighter
  • a safe place to burn your candles and meditate (altar space)
  • a paper & pen to write your affirmations

Optional;
You may decide to add a few things, but remember it’s your intention that matters the most!  If you feel like you want to add a few things here’s what I would recommend:

  • Black gemstones to absorb negativity and provide protection
  • A picture or other representations of the person/attitude/activity that you are trying to release.
  • A picture or representation of yourself – ideally something that represents you as being free, healthy, happy!
  • Banishing incense or banishing oil
  • A journal to write down thoughts and feelings as they arise.

On the first night of your ritual, think about what it is you want to release or remove.  Think about how the energy of that experience brings you down, and how you will be more free or happy when it is removed from your life.  Define in your mind very clearly WHY you need to release this.  As I said before – it could be anything from a toxic relationship, an addiction, a negative behavior or a negative thought pattern.  Chances are you already know what it is you want to release if you’re reading this!  Just take some time to define and clarify WHY you need to do this.

Take one candle and hold it as you think of what or whom you are releasing.  Send all of those “yuck” feelings of frustration, fear, anger, etc into that candle.  You can inscribe a word or some initials on the candle if you want to.  (helpful if both your candles are the same color, you don’t want to get them mixed up!)  Will call this the “Past Candle”.  Think of an affirmation that helps empower you to release everything that is represented by that candle.  It should be a positive affirmation.  Something like “I release all desires to smoke”, or “I fully let go of this toxic relationship”.  Give yourself time to think of a good affirmation to affirm that you are letting go of this.  Write it down on a piece of paper and set it on your altar next to the “past” candle.

Next, take the other candle, the one that will represent you being free.  Hold the candle and think about all the positives that can come from releasing the past.  The health from releasing an addiction, or the freedom from releasing a toxic relationship, and the happiness from embracing a more positive thought pattern or attitude. You can write a word or your initials on this candle as well.  We’ll call this the “Free Self” candle. Think of another affirmation that empowers you to embrace this new energy.  Something like “I Am Free”, or “My positive attitude carries me forward”.  Place this paper on the altar next to the Free Self candle on your altar. 

All of this is just done the first night.  After the first night you will already have your affirmations and the candles infused with your intentions

Now you’re ready to move forward.  Place both candles side by side on the altar.  Your “Free Self” candle should be on the dominant side (your right side if you’re right handed) and the “Past” candle on the non-dominant side.  Place the affirmations next to or in front of the candles where you can read them.  If you have other representations, place them on the altar too, on the side that goes with the candle of what they represent.  (example; the picture that represents your free/happy/healthy self goes on the side with the “Free Self” candle)

When you are ready, light both the candles.  Sit and meditate again on what you are releasing and why. Light any incense you might have.

Carefully move the Past candle about 1/2 an inch away from the Free Self candle.  As you move it, read the affirmation you wrote out loud.  Focus on the feeling of relief that should occur as you move the candle away and say the affirmation.  Breathe and repeat the affirmation as many times as you feel necessary.

Next, move the Free Self candle 1/2 inch in the opposite direction, away from the Past candle and read that affirmation out loud.  Again, focus on the feeling of relief as you move the candle and speak the affirmation.  Repeat the affirmation as many times as you feel necessary. 
If you want to, and you have them, you can place one or two black gemstones between the two candles, creating a barrier between the two. 

Meditate for a couple minutes on your desired outcome – the relief, the freedom, the positivity.  Inhale the positivity, and when you exhale focus on letting go of the negativity.  You may journal your thoughts and feelings at this time.

When you feel you are done, say a simple prayer.  Ask God/Goddess, or your Guardian Angels, your Spirit Guides, or your Ancestors to support and protect you.  Ask that this releasing of the past harm none, and affirm that this is for the best for all people involved.  Extinguish the candles, but ask that they remain burning on the Astral plane until you return.  Leave everything as it is on the altar.  The next night, you will return and repeat this exercise.  (Light the candles, move the Past candle 1/2 inch away and say the affirmation, move the Free Self candle the opposite direction 1/2 inch and say the affirmation)  Don’t forget to visualize, and focus on the feeling of relief!

Repeat every night until the New Moon.  It should take about 10 to 15 minutes each night, just a bit longer on the first night to prepare.  On the last night, take the affirmation you used with the  “Past” candle, and burn it.  Say the affirmation one last time and extinguish the candle.  Take the ashes of the burned paper, and the extinguished Past candle outside.  Bury them both in the earth,  preferably at a crossroads where their energy will be scattered and carried away from you.  Imagine this like a funeral, and say your final goodbyes to the Past!

Remaining on your altar is the “Free Self” candle and affirmation.  You may continue to meditate with this candle and affirmation after the New Moon, but now you can surround it with flowers, brightly colored gemstones, and representations of your freedom and new beginnings.

Detox Bath and Meditation with Yemaya

A warm bath can be the perfect place to unwind, relax, and meditate.  Combining the physical benefits of a detox bath with the intention and focus of cleansing and healing can be quite a spiritual experience.  I love taking a bath every week for a time of pampering, self love, and purification.

This week I have been working with Yemaya, a Santerian Goddess of the Ocean.  I thought that my bath would be a great way to connect with her without actually going to the beach or creek.  It’s winter and cold outside!  With the Sea Salt in this detoxifying bath recipe, it’s as if you are enjoying the blessings of ocean water, from the comfort of your own home!

Basic Recipe For A Detox Bath:

1/2 cup Baking Soda
1 cup Sea Salt
1 cup Epsom Salt
optional; 2 – 3 drops of essential oil of your choice

Mix well in warm bath water and soak for about 30 minutes.  The combination of Sea Salt, Epsom Salt, and Baking Soda helps to relax your muscles and open the pores of your skin to draw out toxins.  Drink a full glass (8 – 10 oz) of cool water after your bath to help continue the detox and prevent muscle soreness and dehydration.

Setting the Mood

Here are some ways you can make your bathroom a scared space to call upon Yemaya for her healing and nurturing.  All of these are optional; do what feels right to you based on what you already have or can easily get.

* Sea Shells – arrange around the edge of the bathtub or near the tub
* Candles – White, Blue, Sea-Foam type colors would be best
* Figurines of Dolphins or Mermaids – arranged near the bath or around the edges.  Be careful not to knock them into the tub or onto the floor!
* Your Yemaya Mojo bag
* Prayer Beads / Mala Necklace
* A cd player or mp3 player with speakers (Kept away from the water, of course!)
* Sounds of the ocean or flowing water.  Many meditation CDs have tracks with sounds of ocean waves or rain.

Set your bathroom up however you like.  Make sure you have clean towels and fresh clothes for when you get out.  Run your bath and add the Bath Detox ingredients. 

Light the candles, turn on the music.  If there is enough candle light and/or a night light, you may want to turn off the lights in the bathroom.  Just be sure you can see well enough to get in and out of the tub safely!

Sit or kneel by the tub and swirl the water with your hand.  Call on Yemaya and ask her to enter your sacred space, to be with you.  When you feel ready, you may get in your bath.

Relax!  Enjoy!

While you are enjoying your bath, you may choose to meditate, pray, or chant.  Ask Yemaya to bless you and cleanse you, she will help boost the detoxifying energy of the bath.  If you wish, you may visualize yourself with Yemaya on a beach.  She holds you gently and lovingly, the way a mother holds a child, and she slowly lowers you into the ocean, where you feel safe and loved. 

While I was visualizing this and feeling her loving presence close to me, I found myself chanting;

“Mother, Mother, Mother, Yemaya
Mother, Mother, Mother, Yemaya
Bless me, bless me, bless me, Yemaya
Mother, Mother, Morther, Yemaya.”

and then I found myself singing;

“We all come from The Goddess,
and unto Her we shall return.
Like a drop of water,
flowing to the Ocean.”

As you pray and meditate, ask for the Great Mother’s guidance.  She may give you a message pertaining to your healing, or how to rebalance some aspect of your life.  This guidance may come in the form of a thought, idea, or an urge to do something differently or change some aspect of your life.  Notice that this guidance does not come with judgment, but with the love of a Mother who truly wants what is best for you.

Spend as long as you like in the bath, praying, singing, meditating.  30 minutes is the recommended time for the Detox bath to have full effect, but listen to your body and if you need longer or less time, honor yourself and do what is best for you. 

When you are done;

Carefully get out of the bath, dry yourself.  Thank Yemaya for her blessings, healing, and guidance.  Turn on the lights and blow out the candles, but let them cool before moving them.  You may wish to dress yourself in blues or sea-green colors for the rest of the day to continue feeling Yemaya’s ocean presence with you.  Take a small step to do something to improve your life or your health – even if it is just making a to-do list or writing down the things you were guided to work on.

May your days be blessed! 

For your enjoyment, here are some slightly different Detox Bath recipes I found online.  Enjoy and use whichever recipe you want!

Yemaya Mojo Bag

This week I have felt the call of Yemaya, Mother Goddess of the ocean.  She’s calling me – sweetly, patiently.  I’ve heard her call before.  The first time I found her, I was looking for rituals or prayers to help ease a painful menstrual cycle.  She’s associated with the tides, therefore: the moon and natural cycles. I have a deck of tarot cards – The Goddess Tarot – with the image of Yemaya as the Temperance card.  I have drawn this card in readings for myself several times – most often it is when I am on my moon cycle!  It’s like she is gently reminding me to call on her during the time of my monthly cycle.  She reminds me of moderation, of self-care and nurturing, and that this time of the month can and should be remembered as a sacred time to reflect on the power of woman and mother.  You can read my previous blog post to learn more about Yemaya.

 

I have a plan formulating in my mind to create a mala necklace for meditation and healing during my moon cycle.  It will be a Yemaya Prayer Necklace. . . and it will come together when the time is right.  But for now, I have created a Yemaya Mojo bag to wear and carry when I need to be reminded of her presence in my life.  As I was sitting here contemplating the dream of the prayer necklace, my eyes were drawn to this blue mojo bag I have hanging on my wall. . . empty and waiting to be used.  It’s a beautiful blue color with a sacred spiral.  I attached a small silver Goddess pendant and a dolphin ring to the outside of it.

 

I found several things to add inside of the bag to connect it with the energy of Yemaya.
* Seven pennies because seven is the number sacred to Yemaya, and it is customary to leave seven coins as an offering to her.
* Two sea shells I collected from the ocean
* Clear quartz – clear like the water and added for it’s power of healing, cleansing, balancing, and to give clarity of mind and heart.
* Green-blue Amazonite – the color makes me think of the ocean, and it’s energy brings strength and discernment.
* Green sea-glass.  A piece of glass that has been made smooth by the ocean waves and sand.  I also collected this at the ocean.  It is here to remind me that even something sharp and harsh can be made smooth and beautiful by the waves and tides.
* Bloodstone.  I added this dark green bloodstone for it’s energy properties that help with women’s issues such as menstrual cycles, anemia, fertility, healing.  It is not necessarily associated with the ocean or Yemaya, but it fits with the reason that I call on Her.

I placed each item in the bag, stating my reason for adding it, praying for Yemaya to bless each item, and to remain close to me when I wear it.  I sprinkled some salt water over the bag and quietly chanted;

Mother, Mother, Mother, Yemaya
Mother, Mother, Mother, Yemaya
Bless me, bless me, bless me Yemaya
Mother, Mother, Mother, Yemaya

I plan to wear this bag each time I am on my Moon Cycle, for healing and comforting.  I may wear it at other times when I hear the call of Yemaya, or when I want to call upon her for balance, protection, or guidance.  You can make a mojo bag to honor and connect with Yemaya too; you don’t need the same kinds of crystals I have added.  The coins and sea shells are a good start, and then just add anything else you have that reminds you of the ocean and has properties similar to the lessons and blessings of Yemaya; for whatever reasons you feel you need her in your life!

Vesta – Hearth Flame Purification Ritual



Vesta of the Hearth Flame Purification Ritual
(Red Candle, purifying incense)

Cast your circle.  Kneel before the altar until you feel recognized by The Goddess, then say

 “May I be cleansed outwardly and inwardly, body and soul,
that all things in my life may be made new.”

Light the red candle and meditate on it’s cleansing and purifying energies, and think about the myth of Vesta, the Deity of both domestic and ceremonial fires.  Keeper of the Hearth flame she was considered very pure, and if a condemned man were to happen upon one of her priestesses, his trespasses would be forgiven and he would be set free.  Come before Vesta in your heart and mind, knowing that she will help cleanse you of any negative patterns you may be repeating, and ask her for purification and renewal with the following prayer;

 “Vesta of the Sacred Flame,
Goddess of purification and renewal,
lady who sets the imprisoned free,

Pour your cleansing fires upon my heart and soul
That my life may be made new, my spirit receptive.
Awaken my mind to new opportunities.

Call my soul to greater spiritual knowledge.
Reveal to me your Inner Mysteries
that I may experience initiation anew.
Purify and bless me, O Vesta!”

 Remain in front of the altar in meditation until you feel the blessing of the Goddess.  How you feel it will be different for every person… a tingle, a warm or cold sensation… anything!  Listen and wait for the blessing of the Goddess.  Once you feel you have been blessed, Thank Vesta and close your circle.  Your purification may be received in different ways.  Within a couple days you may have a change in attitude, a desire to change your eating habits, or otherwise experience changes… embrace your purification as being personally meant for you from the Goddess for your Highest Good!

This is from “Moon Magick” by D.J. Conway and it is the suggested ritual for the energy of the New Moon in May. (Although it can be performed any time of year!) I haven’t included all of the details here, just the basics and the prayer.  This was originally posted as part of a blog post at my original blog, you can see that whole blog post HERE

Hestia and Headcovering as a Pagan Practice

I’m in the process of moving some of my favorite blog posts from my old blog, Tarot Mom, over here to my new blog.  I’m starting with any blog that has mention of Hestia, as that is this blog’s namesake! 

Hestia and Headcovering
April 11, 2011
Original post
A couple weeks ago, I was cleaning my bedroom and found this scarf that I have never worn as a scarf.  I have used it for a small altar cloth from time to time, or to wrap a deck of tarot cards in… but it had been stuffed in a drawer for awhile, unseen and forgotten.  When I found it, I paused, and felt that gentle urging of Hestia, saying “keep this out”.  So instead of putting it back in the drawer, I put it on my altar, folded neatly next to my Hestia Statue.  I didn’t know what on earth I was going to use it for, but I figured it’s purpose would come to me if I just listened.
Maybe only one, or two days later, I stumbled upon a facebook conversation about Pagan Headcovering.  I was intrigued, I had never heard of or considered that headcovering, or veiling would be a pagan thing to do… except for in cases of the people who like to dress up in robes and hoods for ceremonial magick and rituals.  I learned that a lot of Pagan / Witchy women feel drawn to headcovering or veiling in their daily lives as a way of honoring and connecting to their deity.  And guess what Goddess kept popping up in articles, blogs, and conversations about Headcovering?  Hestia, of course!  The bells are going off in my head at this point, as I had just placed that scarf next to Hestia on my altar, trusting that she would let me know how she wanted me to use it…
I joined the facebook group called Covered In Light and met a wide variety of women who choose to veil, or cover their hair as a spiritual practice.  I started asking questions and reading discussions and learned that for each woman, there was a very different and very personal reason for choosing to cover.  Some find it very comforting.  As empathic people, wearing a headcovering can help you feel more grounded, and more protected from the unwanted energies of other people.  Some women commented that they felt more intuitive when covered; and spoke of wearing a headcovering when doing tarot or oracle readings or for going to ritual.  Some women felt it was a call to modesty, and a practice of declaring their status as either a married woman or as someone devoted to the Goddess.  Not all the women here were called by Hestia or Vesta, but there is quite a wide variety of deities and pantheons that seem to have brought these women to the practice of veiling.  Many women commented that once they started headcovering, they felt more connected to their Goddess, more feminine, sexier, more powerful, and more comfortable in their roles at home.  Some feel drawn to cover their hair/heads in public, while others feel drawn only to do it while at home.  The wonderful thing about the group Covered In Light is that through this diversity, all the women are supportive and tolerant of each other.  No one says, “This is how or why you should cover”, but it is all about learning about eachothers’ reasons and experiences, learning from each other, and supporting one another.
So I began that very day to experiment with headcovering and find out exactly what it meant for me.  I have discovered that if I put on a headcovering when I say my morning prayers to Hestia, I stay more focused on my housework through the day.  Feeling the scarf on my head reminds me that my daily tasks are a reflection of my devotion to the Goddess, to myself, and my family.  In other words, the headcovering keeps me mindful, living in the present moment.  It is very much like an active meditation.  I also feel more intuitive about what housework needs to be done.  Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start in a home with three children where the messes abound.  But when I am covered – instead of feeling overwhelmed and frustrated, I tend to feel more peaceful and less worried about everything that needs to get done.  I’m easier on myself, easier on the kids, and happier with the progress I make.  It becomes less about how much I get done, and more about the loving attitude I come to each small task with.  Mostly I feel very comfortable with my head covered, but if I start to feel uncomfortable, I take that as a cue from the Goddess that my “work” is done.  I take the headcovering off and take a break to do something for myself – like read a book or play on the internet… so in this sense I feel that headcovering has made me more aware of how I take care of myself as well.  I’m overdoing things less, taking more time for myself, and feeling overall more connected with Goddess than ever before.

 
 

Another thing I have noticed when I am covered; I feel a lot more in-tune to not only The Goddess and Divine, but to messages from my family.  First of all, when I am covered and cleaning, I am having a lot more of those inspired moments when something I have been thinking about suddenly makes sense, or I get inspired ideas for art and craft projects, blog and journaling ideas, etc.  Today for example, I put on my headcovering and said my devotional prayers to Hestia, intending to get as much housework done as possible.  I got a little cleaning done, but the one thing that kept coming to mind was this blog post.  Different points I wanted to make, different thoughts of what to write…. finally I stopped resisting and just came to sit down and write!  I am feeling like wearing the headcovering takes that energetic flow from The Divine and my Higher Self that flows through the crown chakra, and instead of that energy flowing away from me; being covered helps pull those energies down into my third eye, throat, and heart chakras to be assimilated from there.  Before experiencing this, I would have assumed that wearing something on my head might block this flow from the Crown Chakra, but now I am experiencing quite the opposite.  It comes right back to the way that Covering just keeps me in a higher state of awareness; fully in the here and now.  I’m a lot more aware of what my children and husband are saying to me, what they need from me, and what they feel… but without their feelings overwhelming me.  As if the covering works as a kind of filter, I can understand my children’s feelings without getting wrapped up in the emotion and frustrated by my empathy.  I’m becoming a better listener, and I’m also much more aware of the words I say and how I treat others when I am covered.
I’m personally not drawn to wearing the covering outside of my home or in public.  I don’t feel like Hestia is calling me to cover at all times, but just when I want to feel more connected to my role as a housewife and mother.  For me, it is something that keeps me more centered and grounded while at home… although I have kept my scarf on to make a couple quick trips to the grocery store. 
When I first started veiling, I drew an Angel card from the “Daily Guidance From Your Angels” oracle card deck by Doreen Virtue.  This is the card I got; (This was the day after joining Covered in Light and only my second day covering)

I had been asking myself if this was really right for me, really something I needed to do or wanted to do.  This angel is Covered!  I looked through the deck and there is not a single other angel card that depicts artwork of an angel with it’s head covered in any way!  Later that day I felt an urge to go to the mall and just walk around.  I didn’t really have money to spend, but I just kept feeling that nudge to “Go!”  So I went, and found another beautiful scarf, on sale!  I knew it was my gift from the Goddess and the Angels for listening to my heart, so I bought it for myself.

Here is a wonderful prayer to Hestia that was written by another member of Covered in Light and I have been using it when I veil before going about my household duties;

“Hestia,
Keeper of the flame
Goddess of the Hearth
Gentle Hestia,
Eternal Virgin,
Sister, Daughter,
Veiled one
Bless this the hearth
Of Thy sister,
She who comes
Veiled before you
May the flame
Never be extinguished
May your blessing and spirit
Always abide here”

  ~ ZedralZ/Nar

UPDATE – Current thoughts on Headcovering
Dec. 26, 2014

I still like to wear scarves and practice veiling or headcovering often!  My collection of scarves has grown in number and color, and I’ve learned some great techniques for tying them!  (I don’t have a recent picture, but I will try to add some soon!) 
The color of my headcovering has come to be an important part of my practice.  If I feel like I need some protection, my black scarves come in handy.  Feeling homey and earthy?  Browns.  Needing some power, energy or fire?  Reds, of course!  Wanting to connect with Water energy. . . blue shades are the way to go.  I love combining the magickal attributes of colors in choosing what I am going to wear as my head covering. 
I don’t cover every day, but it’s still something I do often.  Some days it’s just for fashion, and other days it’s because I feel I need the extra spiritual support and focus.  Depending on my intention when I put it on, it may bring me comfort, focus, energy, strength, or determination. 

Hestia

For many years I wasn’t particularly drawn to any one Goddess, God, or Pantheon.  I was content just calling The Divine, or Great Mother/Father, or “Lord and Lady”.  Then my studies of astrology led me obviously to Greek Mythology and I really resonated with the stories of the Greek Pantheon.  At some point I stumbled upon Hestia, Goddess of the Hearth.  For the first time, I really felt connected to a specific Goddess.  I felt Her call me, I heard Her spirit from somewhere deep inside me and I finally knew what it meant to be called upon by a specific Goddess… something I had heard other Pagans, Wiccans, and Heathens talk about but had never fully understood.
Since then, I have heard the call of other Gods and Goddesses, they come to me at different times to teach me in their unique ways.  I may work with a different Deity from time to time, but in the end, Hestia is always there.  She is my Flame, she opened the door for me to understand that it is possible to work with specific aspects of The Divine – and through that understanding I have found myself working more and more with The Goddesses in all aspects of my life.  Following is some basic information about Hestia and her counterparts. 

HESTIA
Hestia was the first born of the Olympians, her sisters are Hera and Demeter, and her brothers are Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades.  When her father, Cronus was told that he would be overthrown by one of his children, he swallowed all of them (except for Zeus… he thought he swallowed Zeus but only swallowed a swaddled rock).  Eventually, Zeus overcame Cronus and forced him to spit out his siblings… they were all “released” in the reverse order of their birth, so Hestia was last.  She is often referred to as “The First and the Last” because of this.  She refused to marry either Poseidon or Apollo, and eventually swore herself to perpetual virginity, becoming the domestic opposite of Aphrodite.  Zeus assigned Hestia the role of maintaining and keeping the fires of the Olympian Hearth.  Some stories make reference that Hestia could have gone to join her brothers and sisters on Mount Olympus and become one of the Olympians, but she didn’t take up the offer and instead let Dionysus take the place as the 12th Olympian God, again attesting to her attitude of service and a degree of passiveness.
Hestia’s name means “Home and Hearth” and she is The Goddess of The Hearth-fire, or Goddess of the Home.  Prayers and offerings were made to Hestia to keep the home fires burning, to keep the household strong, healthy, and warm.   The people responsible for honoring Hestia were usually the head women of the household, and it is believed that Honoring Hestia “both first and last” before every hearth fire was lit or each meal was prepared was probably a very common practice.

VESTA
Hestia’s Roman counterpart is Vesta* – the Virgin Goddess of the Hearth, Home, and Family.  Vesta’s presence was symbolized by the burning of sacred fires in homes and temples.  Vesta was particularly important to women, since the home fire (hearth fire) was the central source of Food and heat for the home… therefore Vesta / Hestia is the center of a Housewives’ focus and gratitude. 
Although neither Hestia or Vesta had any children, their role in the Home and the household is very similar to that of a Mother Goddess.  She was seen as the great nurturer… as Fire represented not only the means to survive, but also represented wisdom, inspiration, focus, community, purity, power, and even divination.  In ancient Rome, some women would devote themselves to become keeper’s of Vesta’s temple and become “Vestal Virgins”.  They would take a vow of celibacy and commit part of their lives to keeping Vesta’s temple flame lit and tending to her temple.  Legend has it that if a convicted person crossed paths with a Vestal Virgin, he would be released from his penance.  The Vestal Virgins were known for being kind and graceful. After their time of devotion, a Vestal Virgin could choose to marry, it did not necessarily mean a lifetime of celibacy and devotion, though many probably chose to continue their life of service to Vesta even after their time had been fulfilled.  (*note – by pointing out Vesta as Hestia’s Roman counterpart, I’m not saying she IS end all/be all the same Goddess.  Some people get kinda touchy about this.  I’m saying that in each culture there are similar stories that blend the lines between Goddesses, Gods, myths, folklore, etc… because regardless of distance and time, the Human Experience is essentially the same…and I find that many different cultures and pantheons have “crossovers” and “Counterparts” who share very similar attributes and in some ways teach us the same things about our human nature.  Personally I see all Goddesses as different aspects and faces of The Divine Feminine, so I do see Hestia and Vesta as one in the same, but this is not to say that this is what others should see or feel also.  And this leads right into my next point, which may be controversial)

The Virgin Mother Mary (?)
Personally, I see a connection between Hestia and Vesta and the Hebrew Mother Mary.  Hestia and Vesta are both usually depicted as veiled or wearing some kind of head covering, as is the Virgin Mother Mary.  They are all virgins, although Mary did bear a child but the stories still depict her as a virgin anyways.  Vesta is represented in historical drawings and carvings with an Ass (donkey/mule), and the Mother Mary is also associated riding an ass from when she rode pregnant into Bethlehem.  Catholic nuns who devote their lives to service of God, wear headcoverings, and take vows of celibacy bring to mind the Roman Vestal Virgins. I recently found a votive prayer candle in the religious candle section of my local grocery store that depicts “The Sacred Heart of Mary”, with a picture of Mary and the glowing heart within her chest is burning with a bright orange fire. Hmmm.  The connection seems obvious to me and even though I know most pagans are probably not comfortable working within the “Christian Pantheon”, it’s something worth considering.

As long as I am making broad associations, I could also mention that Hestia/Vesta/Mary have also come to me in the form of the Celtic Goddess Brigid.  It has happened a couple times, while sitting at my altar in meditation, looking at my small statue of Hestia, her image seemed to shift and suddenly appear to me as Brigid!  Another Fire Goddess with associations of Compassion, Caretaking, Home and Hearth. . . well . . . yes!

Me and Hestia, hangin’ out at home. My personal relationship with Hestia comes from my own position as the “head woman” of my household.  As the housewife, mother, and wife, it is part of my daily life and responsibility to run the household.  My house (and many modern homes today) doesn’t have a central hearth fire, or even a fire place.  The Greeks paid honor to Hestia with offerings of the fat from animals, which served as oil to keep the fire lit.  (Pretty simple and straight forward, yes?  Make an offering of Oil to the Fire and it keeps burning.)Today, we don’t need to literally keep a fire lit in our home, but we do have certain things we need to do to “keep the home fires burning”… cleaning, cooking, paying the bills.  So I honor Hestia by attempting to keep my home running as smoothly as possible.  I like to re-create the “First and Last” concept of honoring Hestia by praying to her first thing in the morning and again at night.  Simply saying “Good Morning and thank you for this day.” and maybe asking for help or blessings for the day ahead; and then saying a prayer of gratitude at bedtime.  I like to light an orange candle to do this, but it’s not necessary – if I’m rushed for time or low on candles, just pausing to honor Her is enough.  If I really need an extra boost during the day, to tackle some household chore or for focus and motivation to clean house when I really don’t want to clean, I might go to Hestia again… spend some time meditating with her, talking to her, praying to her.  She is pretty good at reminding me that my home is my sacred place in this world, and that in taking care of my home I am taking care of my spirit, my family, myself, and… as a bonus, honoring Her.  She is also pretty good at reminding me that serving others (namely my family) is a respectable and beautiful thing.  As a person who is “Domestically Disabled”; allergic to housework, NOT born organized, and easily distracted, Hestia has become my “Go-To” Goddess for motivation and support in all things household-related.  She is a big supporter of the FlyLady program and I think the FlyLady concepts of breaking down housework into Morning and Evening routines is something that Hestia is particularly fond of (which reminds me, I need to get back on my routines!)

Here is a wonderful prayer to Hestia that was written by a member of a facebook group; Covered in Light and I have been using it when I veil before going about my household duties;

“Hestia,
Keeper of the flame
Goddess of the Hearth
Gentle Hestia,
Eternal Virgin,
Sister, Daughter,
Veiled one
Bless this the hearth
Of Thy sister,
She who comes
Veiled before you
May the flame
Never be extinguished
May your blessing and spirit
Always abide here”

  ~ ZedralZ/Nar

And this is my own prayer that I wrote that I use to connect with Hestia each morning and night;

Oh beautiful Hestia, you who are both First and Last, Goddess of the Home and Keeper of the Hearth Fire, may your Love and Light continuously burn in this home.  Show us each how to live in unity, peace and love.  Guide us each to bring blessings upon this home through the service of our own unique gifts.  Thank you, Hestia, for your lasting blessings and presence here!”

And I also wanted to share this one with you…. an Invocation to Vesta by Doreen Virtue;

“Beloved Vesta, please bring your flame of Divine Love into this household and light the fire of kindness, compassion, and understanding within everyone who lives in and visits this home.  Help us burn away any fears concerning love, and to feel warm and secure.”

So I understand this has been an incredibly long blog post, and I truly thank and appreciate those of you who have actually read the whole thing!  This is a post that contains many things near and dear to my heart and I have been inspired to share with others!

In Love and Light,
Lady Josephine

(I should mention this blog post has been moved, from my old blog; Tarot Mom.  Slightly edited and shortened.  You can see the original blog post HERE)

Wind Chime Magick

WIND CHIME MAGICK

Hanging wind chimes around your home and garden is considered very good Feng-Shui, as the sounds of the chimes help clear the energy of negative vibrations and attract positive energy to your home environment.  You can bless and enchant a set of wind chimes to hang outside and transform the energy of the wind into whatever you need!  Look for a set of wind chimes that has a pleasing sound to you, place it on your Air Element Altar, light a few candles and visualize and/or meditate on your desire.  You can bless your set of wind chimes for home protection, communication, clear-thinking, good luck, prosperity, or to invite faeries and sylphs to your home and garden.  If you can find a set of wind chimes with birds, butterflies, dragonflies, or fairies, this can be even better for inviting air-element types of energies (renewal, spring, fresh beginnings, clear thinking and communication, music, divination, etc) but any set of wind chimes will do.  The ringing of the bells from the chimes is a music created by the movement of the winds… which can clear, purify, and transform the energy in and around your home with it’s gentle frequency and vibration.  Below are a few ideas for spells and blessings for wind chimes around your home:


Wind Chime Spell for Home Blessing
Here is a Wind Chime spell by Ellen Dugan from the book “Elements of Witchcraft“.  Say this prayer as you hang your wind chimes outside after you have blessed them and empowered them with your intentions for home protection and good luck;

“Magickal wind chimes, now be for me
a charm for good luck and prosperity.
As the chimes ring out, a spell they’ll weave,
all dread and negativity now must leave!
By the power of the sylphs and faeries,
as I do will it, so now it shall be

Spell to Attract a Wind Sprite
This is a spell to attract a Wind Sprite to visit your home and garden, from the book “The Fairy Bible” by Teresa Moorey.
“Wind Sprites are the carefree gypsies of fairyland.  Storm-riders, whisperers, and mischief-makers, they bring the balm of the fragrant breeze and the rousing blast of the tempest.  They teach that all is light and changeable, yet they also bring clarity and sharpness of mind.  You may invite Wind Sprites into your life, but do not attempt to bind them to you — that would destroy the gifts they bring.  You will need wind chimes and a length of ribbon.  Wind chimes of bamboo will invite a gentle, thoughtful sprite who will encourage reflection.  Crystal chimes will attract a highly evolved sprite to help you achieve greater detachment.  Metal chimes will attract a creative sprite who will help you achieve change.  Choose a windy day and hang your wind chimes securely in a tree or near a window.  Close your eyes and visualize the gifts you would like to receive from your sprite.  Feel the breeze blow on your face and say;

Wind-Sprite flying light and high,
I call to you, draw nigh, draw nigh
My chimes a home for you shall be,
Ever welcome, ever free

Listen for your chimes to ring to alert you that your sprite has arrived.  Welcome the sprite by tying the ribbon to the upper string of the chimes, being careful not to restrict their swaying and ringing.  Thank your sprite for being present.  Whenever you feel the need  of the gifts of the wind-sprites, stir the chimes with your hand or sit near them and listen to them blowing in the breeze, let them refresh your spirit and mind with their breeze and music”.

Wind Chime Spell for Bringing Good News to Your Door

From “Magical Spells For Your Home” by Ann-Marie Gallagher.  For this spell, you will bless your Wind Chimes at your altar, calling upon Athena – Goddess of Communication and then hang them outside your front door.   You will need three feathers, some yellow ribbon, lavender oil and a yellow candle. 

Put some lavender scented essential oil in an oil burner with some water, light a yellow candle and say;
Athena, Goddess of Communication, 
Empower and bless my spell
to bring good news to my door,
with the swiftness of a bird in flight, 
Good fortune to ensure.

Using one length of ribbon, tie the first feather securely to any thread of the wind chime and say;
Happy news, find your way
to my home, begin today!

Tie the second feather to another thread of the chime with ribbon and say;
Bright music, sacred sound
Evil here is never found

Tie the third feather to another thread of the chime with ribbon and say;
Lucky Breeze, happy din
Summon light to flow within

Hang your wind chime over your front door or on your front porch near the door where breeze or wind will frequently stir it to action.

_——————————
Wind Chimes for Good Dreams
I found a set of wind chimes made with dream-catchers.  I bought them to hang outside my children’s bedroom window and I wrote this blessing prayer to empower the chimes and dream-catchers to help my children sleep soundly and keep away the bad dreams, and keep them safe at night.
All through the night,
help us sleep tight.
Chimes that ring,
sweet dreams now bring.
Winds that stir,
bring blessings here.
Good Dreams through the night,
until Morning’s Light!
* note * All of this was posted at my previous blog, Tarot Mom. I’ve forgotten the password and started this new blog here… And may move some of my old posts from there to this one from time to time! You can see the original post here 

http://tarotmom.blogspot.com/2013/05/wind-chime-magick.html?m=1

This post made for Letter W of the Pagan Blog Project! www.paganblogproject.com