Beltane!

Beltane is one of the most interesting holidays of the calendar. Shrouded in misinformation and somewhat odd fallacies, it has been known as a sex-festival. This is incorrect. While some sects of Paganism whom follow the holy sabbats do elicit sexual tendencies during this time, it is not the reason for the season, so to speak. This is a time to celebrate fertility, new life, love, spring! It is a wonderful time to bring family and friends together for a celebration of a fresh beginning.

This holiday usually happens on May 1st, but some sects do celebrate it at sundown on April 30th and the celebration continues through sundown on the following day. Lythia Pagans actually follow this celebratory format of sundown to sundown.

Following the same tradition as many of the Sabbats, there is a feast! So! Form a potluck where each person selects a dish of their choice to bring to the festivities and enjoy each other’s company and add some prayer.

If you have ever heard of the May Pole then you have a head start on the festivities! Erect a pole and tie ribbon to the top of the pole. Each person takes a ribbon and then weaves around the pole until the whole pillar is decorated in ribbon.

However you choose to celebrate this beautiful Sabbat, spend the day with friends and family if possible! It is a day that love is celebrated. SO! Celebrate!

If you are looking to set up a fun altar to have present for your friends and family to add libation, say a short prayer, or simply have out for people to admire, go ahead and decorate it! I love having an altar out for people to either observe or participate in a bit of prayer. The God and Goddess are always there to bring forth love and protect us, why not share that light with those coming to celebrate the sabbat?

I like to decorate my altar with bright colours and some gold silky material. You can add flowers and other trinkets to show off more of a natural aspect of your altar. A fun activity to have available on your altar is a prayer basket. Have little slips of paper and a pen next to a basket/box or whatever you wish and instruct the guests to (if they want to) to write a request of prayer or a offering of thanks and to put it in the basket. Later that night you can either pull them out and pray as a group, or you can wait for your solitary/family prayer time. Simply read the slips of paper and prayer for relief of what was placed. These slips of paper are anonymous, so if you do wish to have a group prayer, then people can write what they truly need help for without the pressures of being “outed.”

Many blessings my friends….

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Lughnasadh/Lammas Celebration

Lughnasadh or Lammas in some circles is the first harvest celebration. It is celebrated on August 30 or July 1, but I know many people celebrate it on both days because their ritual and commemoration of the Sabbat lasts for more than a day. Apples and grains are almost ready to be harvested and people are now seeing how much yield this year has for them. This is around the time when wheat is being harvested, and therefore bread is a very big part of this Sabbat because it is a celebration of this life sustaining food.

The most common form of celebration is to have a feast where people come together and each person lights a candle and these candles become a symbol of the fire within each person’s soul. For farmers, this fire is what ignites the passion and the energy to harvest the items they have sewn months before. It simply keeps them motivated throughout the harvest. It lights the spark to work.

During this celebration you can ask for a blessing or you can invoke fire by asking for alleviation of a burden in your life. How will you make it through the harvest with a chip on your shoulder? To do this simple ritual you will need a red or white candle and a small piece of paper.

 

Write what you want to be alleviated from your life, (Depression, judgmental attitude, etc) Then pray over the paper and burn it. After you have burned it, take the ashes and bury them so that the earth will take care of your problem.

You can also do this as a blessing ritual, where you write a blessing or a change you wish to occur in your life (Acceptance of self, to find peace within, etc) Simply write the blessing, pray over it, and when you light it allow the power of the fire to ignite your blessing and make it happen. Intent is what causes a blessing to occur, or alleviation of a stress to flee.

If you would like to make a certain type of food there are many things you can make to celebrate this wonderful holiday.

Bread, grains, autumn vegetables and other fall fruits would be wonderful.

Blackberries and squash are definitely Lammas-appropriate.

 

Apple PIe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a tasty recipe that you should try for your feast!

Apple Pie:

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 8 Granny Smith apples – peeled, cored and sliced

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.
  2. Place the bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Cover with a lattice work crust. Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust. Pour slowly so that it does not run off.
  3. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft.

Recipe provided by: http://www.allrecipes.com

I hope you have a wonderful Lughnasadh/ Lammas celebration.

Have a great day!

Blessed Be!

Sheldon

 

Celebration

Hello all!

Today is Litha, as many of you already know, it is the celebration of the God. This is also known as the Summer Solstice, where the sun is celebrated for its beautiful light and warmth.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Litha!

I am celebrating by having a great barbeque dinner with some close friends. After I will be lighting three red candles and praying to the God and thanking him for his guiding light and help through this year.

I want to use this time to do one of the traditions of this holiday. Thanking the friends and my family for being around me. Their love warms my heart and soul and they help me get through the day and they strengthen my faith quite often.

Make sure to thank the people in your life, let it be known that you love them.

Have a wonderful holiday and enjoy the wonderful sunlight today!

Blessed Be!

Litha – The Summer Solstice

Tomorrow is the 2012 Summer Solstice, June 20.

This is also known as Litha, it is the longest day of the year. With all of those hours of sunlight, what better way to celebrate this blessed day than to be outside with friends and family? Soak in as much Vitamin D as you can today! The sun has warmed up and is loud and proud!

This is a celebration of the God. Therefore any ritual you choose to do, will most likely involve fire to represent the sun. Have a party with close friends and family. A barbeque would be very appropriate, what is more “mid-summer” than a barbeque feast? If you are a vegetarian, don’t sweat it! There are plenty of barbeque items that sport a non-meat menu (Grilled corn on the cob, potato salad, squash, Fruit). Also, since you are trying to symbolize the God and the fire of the Sun, try and spice up your food (if you can tolerate it!)

Items for your alter will be very simple, Seasonal items such as fruit would be a great adornment or sacrifice. Candles are a must because it represents the sun and the God.

Having a fire ritual would be great. This does not have to be extravagent, simply have a pit fire, or large bon-fire if you wish, and pray around it with your hands held. Feel the power of the flame enter your body and let it warm your soul. Meditate on the God and the blessings he has bestowed. Pray a group prayer celebrating faith, power, and love.

Here is a group prayer that would be great to use:

God of the afterlife, ruler of the day

We call you near us, in pure love and harmony

Be near our souls, and warm us through and through

This family and flame is a symbol of You

Link us now in faith and power

We say blessed be, in this beautiful hour

Blessed Be, and by the God we so mote it be!

Today is a day of love, life, and the God. Feel the ancient power of the sun, get out and PLAY! The sun is for us to enjoy, don’t spend this Litha 2012 inside like a hermit.

Love to all,

Blessed be! Sheldon