Seeking Unity in Diversity

Category: Widdershins (page 1 of 4)

Bright Blessings!! I’m a 46 year old shamanic green witch. My path is a mix of Native American influence and Eclectic Paganism. Lucidfool and I have been married for 15 years. Were both passionate about cats, unity, helping others, photography, vegetarian cooking, and anything to do with nature and the sharing of beliefs and the beauty of diversity. Come share, study, learn, laugh and feel safe here. And occasionally I will share through blog and broadcast. welcome.

A Bit about Ostara

On the equator, at the moment of both the Vernal (Spring) and Autumnal (Autumn or Fall) Equinox, the lengths of night and day are equal. In Latin, that’s what the word equinox means: equal (equi) night (nox). Humans have been aware for thousands of years that light and darkness balance at the Equinoxes; this balance, and, by extension, the balance of other aspects of our lives, have long been a focus of Spring rituals.

Ostara on or around march 21st (sometimes spelled Eostara or Eostre) is named after the Anglo-Saxon goddess of Spring. Her sacred symbols are eggs and hares. Not surprisingly, She’s a Maiden Goddess rather than a Mother or a Crone. she is the namesake of the Christian holiday Easter. pagans celebrate Her festival is celebrated on the Vernal Equinox, the first day of Spring. Her name is thought to mean “to shine”, therefore Eeostre is seen as a goddess of the dawn. However it is also thought that Eastre is the ancient word for “spring”. There are also links to the name Eostre and “east”, the direction of the sky where the sun first rises, which gives Eostre the name “Eastern Star”. Eostre is connected with growth, renewal, abundance, new beginnings and fertility. As symbols of rebirth and fertility, eggs and rabbits are sacred to her, as is the full moon.

Eostre represents the transitional time between childhood innocence and adult passion, and reminds us that life is full of untold possibilities and adventures.

Through her association with dawn, Eostre may be related to the Greek Eos, Roman Aurora, or Indian Ushas. In some Pagan myths, the idea is that the Goddess has been taken, or takes Herself and Her buds and flowers and fruits, into the Earth, to the Underworld for the Winter, and is rescued or returns of her own accord in the Spring, which explains why everything sprouts and buds again.

Most pagans and wiccans acknowledge the role of the Sun (God) in all of this: as the days get warmer from Yule, the Earth thaws, and there’s enough light and warmth and water for things to grow again. Wicca respects the myths that come from other cultures, We tend to see various goddesses as aspects of the Great Goddess, so we’re more likely to speak of the Goddess resuming Her Maiden aspect than of, to borrow a Greek example, Demeter recovering her daughter Persephone from Hades’ arms

though the christian easter was born from the pagan eostre: the dawn goddess of fertility, or ostara, they don’t fall in the same month every year, they share at least one custom every year, and it’s a custom that predates both Wicca and Christianity. We know that the Romans also dyed eggs, using bright colors to encourage the growing Sun to keep growing, to tip the Equinox’s balance from darkness to light.

At Ostara, it’s likely that we need to catch our breath and our balance. (If we look carefully, we see that most Ostara customs are concerned, one way or another, with balance.) We need to take some time to breathe deeply and relax, to reorient ourselves toward the waxing light, to set worries and wish-we-hads aside and think about what we can do with what we have, and how what we do now will affect what we have to work with later on.

Our inner gardens need tending as much as the ones in our yards or on our patios. Our minds need clearing as much as our closets and garages and basements need cleaning; our hearts need encouragement as much as the dining room needs a new coat of paint.

The goddesses of springtime, Persephone, Ishtar, and Ostara, bring us the message of awakening and personal growth. Their gift is the motivation and the energy we need to pursue our dreams. As the tender green buds begin to leaf out around us, our own lives are refilled with vital energy.

Spring is the time to make room in our hearts for a passion for all things new. And it helps to use a little bit of magic and new ideas. Since our own bodies and spirits echo the earth’s changes, spring is an ideal time to head out in new directions.

Has any stagnation or lethargy crept into your life? Let it go! Now is the ideal time to open yourself to all things that facilitate your growth and evolution. whatever you do, don’t let your perception of any “lack of capability” stand in the way of your hopes and dreams.

Ostara and the Dance of the Bunnies

In the dawn of the age of man, when the tribes of men were new formed, and taking their first halting steps upon Midgard, Ostara was often seen bringing the springtime to field, forest and fen. The tribes of men watched with amazement as Ostara would walk upon the earth, and it would rouse to wakefulness behind her. As she walked did the first shoots push aside the snowmelt rubble and greet sweet Sunna’s sunshine, as she smiled the first flowers would blossom, and the air turn sweet and fresh. At her side flew a white bird, graceful and joyous. Always the song of her companion bird would call the spring birds from the far south, to return again to the northlands, and with them bring the ocean breezes that fire the hearts of young men.

The tribes of men were thankful to Ostara, and wished to give thanks to her in a way that was pleasing to her, and for this, they watched the rabbits. All winter long, Ostara sleeps, for she cannot abide the touch of Ymir’s get, and flees the coming of the snow. When Sunna turns her face again to the world, and the snows and Frost Giants retreat back to their mountain fastness, the rabbits call Ostara to wake. In the spring, the rabbits dance. Upon the earth in wild abandon, the rabbits wassail hard, and in their joyous measure stir the sleeping Ostara, for her return brings the spring.

Year on year Ostara waked to the dancing of the rabbits, year on year her graceful companion bird would watch the dancing rabbits, and hunger to join their measure. In a year known only in song as the year of the rabbit, came the great change. In that year was grown a rabbit of heroic proportions, a champion of his breed who scoffed at foxes, and defied falcons in his strength. His eye was taken with the gentle bird of Ostara, for her grace and beauty called to him as no she rabbits could. Come the spring in the year of change, he danced for her. He danced with the wild abandon of his breed, he danced with the fire that Freya grants to lovers, and the rage Odin grants the doomed.

It was a dance of dances, from a champion fired by a love that could not be, and it cast a spell more powerful than any spaewitch’s rune. While Ostara laughed at the display, her companion watched transfixed; her bird eyes fixed like a hunting falcons, her head bobbing with the measure. No longer able to contain herself, she flew from Ostara’s shoulder and lit upon the ground. At first stately in feathered grace, then swiftly in wing fluffing abandon she danced with her feathered suitor. Round and round they danced, as wild as any Alfar circle, as lit by Freya’s fire.

No longer smiling, Ostara watched her companion dance with her furred lord. It was clear her bird had lost its heart to this rabbit prince. Striding forward to the circle, Ostara halted the dancers with a glance. The rabbits trembled before the gaze of the goddess, but the champion stood forth fearless in his love, the white bird at his side. Ostara smiled softly, and the bird bowed deeply and sang a song of love; love for a friend of long centuries, love of a woman for a man; love that would trade eternity for fulfillment. Ostara heard the song, and her heart was moved. She knelt and kissed her companion, and when she rose again, there was only a shining she-rabbit in a pile of soft feathers.

When Ostara walked away, the rabbit champion took his new won love into the warren, and her new home.

As the snow retreated, the rabbits began to dance again, to wake Ostara. In the wake of the Year of Change, Ostara woke sadly. She walked upon the world alone, and her coming brought no life; for her heart was heavy. The tribes of man were worried, for the spring brought no life, and the priests and wise woman said to watch the rabbits, for they held the secret of this dire spring. The fastest and best hunters coursed the land, not to kill, but to watch the rabbits for the secret of the dire spring.

When Ostara reached the lands of the champion, and her lost companion, she beheld all of the rabbits in a dancing circle, and in the center two rabbits stood before a mound of feathers. As Ostara neared, the dancing rabbits parted, bowing her in. As she gazed with sadness on the aging of her now mortal former companion, the two rabbits stood aside showing Ostara the secret they concealed. Inside the nest of feathers were a dozen eggs, one of which was busy trying to hatch a wiggling little bunny.

As the bunny burst forth with a triumphant cheep! Ostara’s heart melted like the departing snow, and she began to laugh, picking up this flop eared chick, she danced a merry measure with her rabbit folk. As she danced the spring burst forth, the field erupted with flowers, the trees grew bright with new growth, and the sky full of song from the returning birds.

The hunters carried word of this back to the several tribes of men, and it was whispered amongst the wise how not only the dance, but an offering of eggs won Ostara’s heart and brought forth the spring.

Henceforth Ostara was honoured by the tribes of man with offerings of eggs in spring time. Here ends our tale for today.

Example Mabon Ritual

First cleanse yourself (bathing, smudging ect)

cleansing the space:

Using your besom sweeping deosil around your intented space sing or say

father of sun
mother of night
bathe me in your
protective light
from quarter to quarter
and round about,
the Good stays in
and the bad stays out.
safe in this circle
so mote it be,
by earth and air,
Fire and sea.

Open with a grounding meditation for the season-

Then, cast your circle.

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Autumn Equinox is the second in the trilogy of harvest festivals. Mabon marks the completion of the grain harvest begun during Lughnasadh.

At Mabon, The Mother of the Harvest becomes the Old One, the wise grandmother who teaches us to rest after our labors.

Celebrations revolve around the gathering of crops and thanksgiving, and rituals to insure the success of next year’s harvest .The making of corn dollies from the last sheaf of corn that is harvested is a typical custom. The dolly is kept until the spring – keeping the spirit of the corn, when she is ploughed back into the field to breath the life of the corn back into the soil.

A harvest supper, also known as a harvest home, a dinner of thanksgiving and celebration, is also traditional

It is a time of great joy and great sorrow, it is the time of great change. Mabon is as much about life as it is about death, it is the reminder that within life there is death and within death there is life. It is about the dance that partners life with death.
Mabon is a time when we are poised between the worlds of life and death, of light and dark, of day and night. We mourn that which is passing, celebrate that which is bountiful and are reminded that the Mother will hold the seed of Light in Her womb until the time of rebirth. Once more the realization that the Wheel of Year has turned, as it always has and always will: as our time is circular not linear, there is no end without new beginnings, it is the cycle of life eternal.

For the second time in the year, day and night are once again equal, creating for us the time to look at our own scales, the bounty of our own personal harvest weighed against our life’s experience.
Its a  time to take the gifts given from experience hard wrought, make them apart of who and what we are. These past experiences, regenerate into wisdom. By doing so we honor these events, people, and experiences that have so impacted our journey, our being, and in honoring these we make them sacred and their passage one of distinction and consequence.

For we can not know what we have not experienced. The journey of life is one of knowledge, and through that knowledge, growth.

As the sun crosses the equator and heads south, he signals the end of summer’s impassioned days and the beginning of the journey into the quiet winter months. We celebrate the story of Mabon an Modron, ” the son of the mother”, the Divine Youth, the Son of Light.

Mabon, who is the son of modron was stolen away when he was 3 days old to prevent his light from shining on the earth. He dwells in the Earth Mother’s womb, the Otherworld. It is a place of challenge, a place of cultivation, a place where one is renewed and regenerated, a place of new life. So that He maybe reborn, the source of Light and Joy, the champion of His Mother. Just as Life is being drawn into the earth as seed, accumulating strength and wisdom, to become the new harvest, Mabon has returned to his Mother’s womb. For as the winter begins, the earth incubates the tender seeds, throughout the winter, the seeds are kept deep within Her womb so that they may be reborn and bring forth new life.

It is during Mabon that we are reminded of the necessity for fallow periods, for it is the fallow periods which allow us to assimilate, regenerate, and incorporate that which we have progressed through. Just as fields need to lay fallow to better support new growth so do we.

For in life events happen, choices are made, and actions generated, we cannot go back and change that which has passed, but we can reap the harvest of wisdom these have brought us.

A blessed Mabon to you all

Spirit Animal Series – Lizard

P9143509_edited-1_1.previewLizard. it’s often barely noticed. A flicker out of the corner of your eye. A small shape slipping out of sight on a warm sunny rock. The lizard is a subtle animal. Often appearing to just lounge and stare off into the sky.
Lizard can run like the wind though. And he’s smart.

Most lizards have long tails which help them maintain balance and can also serve as a defense mechanism, as you will learn later. Most also have a crested back, ruffs, or spines. These serve as protection but they are also very symbolic. Some have ruffs about the neck.

The neck is an area that bridges the higher and the lower, and lizards with them are those that can teach you how to bridge the subconscious with the conscious-dreaming with waking. They can stimulate lucid dreaming.

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The Shadowself

me_and_my_shadow_by_latoday-d2ymrhuCarl Jung was a swiss psychiatrist and a pioneer in the field of psychotherapy and the study of the unconscious he died in 1961 but the wisdom and theories have influenced, mystics, physicians, and occult scholars for generations. and he plays a part today in out topic of the shadow self,

Even as a boy, Jung found himself drawn to the occult. This would become the root of his break with Freud. Unlike Freud, Jung was interested in aspects of the unconscious that could not be attributed to an individual’s personal development but derived from the deeper non-personal realms common to humankind – the collective unconscious, whose contents he called “archetypes”. Jung came to realise that understanding the collective unconscious involved using images and symbols from alchemy and myth. Carl Jung was a “spiritual thinker” a man “who offered Western culture a way back to religion that places no shame on being human.” Spiritual teacher, codependency therapist and author, Robert Burney, agrees with Jung: “We are not sinful, shameful human creatures who have to somehow earn Spirituality. We are Spiritual Beings having a human experience.

Jung identified four major archetypes, but also believed that there was no limit to the number that may exist. Continue reading

Basic Herb Preperation

downloadHerbs are magical and medicinal substances, infused with the energy of the Earth. these instructions on collection procedures are like your path, only guidelines and the reasons behind how one pagan does it. we can read biology texts to confirm that the varying magnetic effects of the moon on living things actually does draw active chemistry into upper and lower parts of plants. Our ancestors knew much without the scientific research we have used to verify these truths.

The Moon waxes and wanes, pulling with her the seas of the Earth and producing its tides. So, too, does this influence manifest in all living things, including herbs. During the waxing of the Moon, vital energies flow upward into the leaves and stalks and flowers of the plant. As the Moon wanes these energies flow like a receding tide- down to the roots.

To obtain herbs that are highly energized, pick them according to the Moon’s phases. Leaves, flowers, and seeds should be picked during a waxing Moon, when has grown from well past Dark, to Full. All root crops should be picked during a waning Moon, from well past Full, to Dark.

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Prayer to PachaMama

frida-kahloPachamama….. Earth Mother ….Mother Earth…. in grateful silence, I breathe with you. I pray…then, through your ears, I am listening, listening….to pigeon coo and wind…. whistling through dry leaves…. to sandstone, re-forming.

through your ears, I am listening
I seek to merge with the Love, the Knowledge that you are. Breathe it in. The pathways through the expanded heart we are, together, lets me see you clearly – brushing back strands of your hair – the rippling, cracking, freezing, melting. The rivers and creeks across you, matched, within arteries, and veins. In my eyes the depth of your lakes and oceans, an expansion of consciousness like swelling schools of fish, along with a desire to breech – and leap – then merge back, into the waves.

I see you – brush back strands of your hair
I sense your history, through the rocks of which you are made. There is so much written, which has gone, long before us: what has gone before.  Such a mystery, these stories lingering through time. Connections made, discoveries charted. Sacredness kept strong. How your stories linger.

And I feel the future, too, stirring, beneath the rock, the underground aquifers, into your core, your Fire — as I breathe, with you, Pachamama, spirit of this world. Like a child nearing it’s birthing hour, the present draws the next breath beyond the security of the past!

stirring beneath the rock, the underground aquifers…

I Feel, inside of me – your movements, Pachamama, into the days ahead– filling me with a quiet joy. A strength to move beyond my small preoccupations and fear. Letting that fear unwind, Pachamama, as you move, swinging boldly across the sky, again and again, wheeling through the glittering throngs of constellations, on that incredible cycle of your life. I pray for you. I pray human perceptions shift. It is not what we can get out of you, what we can build on top of you, what we can obtain, how much we can own, but how we can co-exist with you as our support, Pachamama. I seek to live in a good way, honoring you. Opening to what that means, at this time of my life, to me.

let my words, be said in a good way

Let my offerings to you, be accepted along with the love with which they’re sent

Let my offerings to you, be accepted along with the love with which they’re sent. In communion with you, Pachamama, wherever I am.

In communion with you, Pachamama, where ever I am

Let my prayers be heard, far beyond the place where my body stands. Let them resonate, far below my feet. Let them reflect back, in Love

A Tale of Two Witches

Two_WitchesOnce upon a time, there were two Witches. One was a Feminist Witch and the other was a Traditionalist Witch. And, although both of them were deeply religious, they had rather different ideas about what their religion meant. The Feminist Witch tended to believe that Witchcraft was a religion especially suited to women because the image of the Goddess was empowering and a strong weapon against patriarchal tyranny. And there was distrust in the heart of the Feminist Witch for the Traditionalist Witch because, from the Feminist perspective, the Traditionalist Witch seemed subversive and a threat to “the Cause”.

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