Seed Blessing

One of my favorite things to do for Ostara is bless the seeds that I will plant at Beltane.  Ostara is celebrated at the Spring Equinox, which falls around March 20th of every year.  It is a time of renewal and rebirth – and a time for preparing for the upcoming agricultural season.

Even you’re not a farmer, you can tune into the rhythms of the Earth’s cycles by planting just a few seeds in a simple pot on your porch or on your kitchen counter and tending to them while they grow.  It is truly magical to witness a tiny seed emerge from the dirt, rise to reach toward the sky, and produce flowers, fruit, or vegetables to harvest in the later months of the year.  By the time Mabon and Samhain roll around, seeds from the plant you grew can be stored for use the during the following growing season, starting the turn of the wheel all over again.  So, pick up a packet of non-GMO seeds, and get ready to watch the Earth to burst into life this Spring!

Place your seeds on your altar.  If you have several seed packets, you may wish to use a decorative basket to hold them all.

Light an Ostara ritual candle.  Alternatively, a green candle (for fertility) will do just fine.

Draw a pentagram on each seed packet, which represents the Elements.  Your seeds will need the support of each of the Elements to grow.

Call upon your deity of choice for fertility/creation, if you have one.  I personally call upon Cernunnos for this ritual, but work with a deity you have a relationship with.  If you don’t work with any particular deities, feel free to modify the wording of your blessing to generally call upon the Earth or the Universe or whatever feels right to you.

Bless the seeds by stating:

Lord Cernunnos,
The Mighty Horned One,
Protector of the Forest,
Master of the Hunt –
I ask for your blessing upon these seeds.
May they be awakened by your virility
And stir with life, ready for planting at Beltane.
By your power over the land and all things wild
May they rise to meet the Sun,
Yield an abundant harvest,
And peacefully rest when
Light and Dark are equal again.
As I will it, so mote it be, and so it is.

Give thanks to Cernunnos and make an appropriate offering, such as drumming, wine, or naturally fallen pine cones or leaves.

Leave your seeds on your altar until it is time to plant them at Beltane.

Ostara Blessings,
M.

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A Prayer to Brigid to End Human Trafficking

An estimated 40 million victims around the globe are enslaved through human trafficking.  Although the number is staggering, we are not powerless.  The greatest threat to any establishment is when we come together as one voice and say: “Enough!”  Please join me in calling upon the Great Goddess Brigid, a protector and healer of women and children, to assist us in bringing this nightmare to an end.

I encourage you to dedicate a white candle on your altar to this endeavor.  Light it and recite this prayer as often as you feel inspired to do so.  From the bottom of my heart, I truly thank you! – M.

Brigid of Sacred Wells,
Lady of the Fiery Arrow,
Protector of Women and Children –
Please teach us, with your power over
The Element of Water,
To be more connected to one another,
As the currents of your streams and tributaries
Connect all Life on the Planet.

Grant us the patience of the Tides.
Help us to see each other with compassion –
To set aside our differences,
And to heal one another’s suffering
By knowing when to be silent
And when to rise.

Bestow us with wisdom
As deep as the Oceans.
Allow what has been kept in darkness
To be brought to the Surface
In your divine and perfect timing.

Inspire us to act justly when action is needed,
And calm us to stillness when listening is required.
Set our course on these troubled Waters
With compass and stone –
With our Intuition as our guide,
And our Senses to ground us.

May you watch over those in trouble.
Give us Sight that they may be found,
And show them the way to safety.
Bathe their wounds in your Holy Wells.
Touch them where they need Healing,
And bring Peace to us all.

We thank you, Great Goddess.
We thank you.

 

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Love Potion (Ritual Oil)

Ritual oils are a staple in any witch’s cupboard.  They’re basically oils infused with botanicals and charged with magical intent.  Use this one for self-love or to invite romance into your life.  Va-va-voom!

Use a mini slow cooker to speed up the process of making infused oils.

Ingredients:

1 oz. dried rose buds (approximately 1 cup)
2 vanilla beans
1 oz. rose hip oil
1 cup olive oil

Directions:

Place the herbs in a slow cooker. Mix both oils together and pour over the herbs. Set the slow cooker to warm and steep for 3 to 5 hours. Strain.  Store in a glass bottle. ❤

 

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Holiday Wassail (Non-Alcoholic)

Wassail is often made with ale or brandy, but this non-alcoholic version can be shared with the whole family!  Huzzah!

8 cups (64 oz.) apple cider
1/3 cup honey
1 cup cranberries
1 orange, sliced
4 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon whole cloves
2 teaspoons whole allspice

Place the apple cider into a large saucepan or stock pot.  Dissolve the honey in the apple cider over medium heat.  Reduce heat to low or transfer to a slow-cooker.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer over low heat for 1 to 4 hours.  Strain out cranberries, oranges, and spices.  Serve warm.

 

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House Cleansing & Blessing

When moving into a new space, or perhaps annually as a part of your Imbolc rites, you may wish to perform a cleansing and blessing of your home.  To do so, the day of Imbolc and the following weeks can be spent physically cleaning the home, ridding it of unnecessary clutter and starting the earliest of spring cleaning.  A sage & citrus candle can be burned as a working candle during this process.  Once the house is sufficiently tidy, a spiritual cleansing and home blessing may be performed.  This ritual is best performed during a wanning moon on a Saturday to banish negative energies, but can really be done at any time it suits you.

Supplies for House Cleansing:

  • Salt
  • Water
  • Sage smudge or incense stick
  • White candle
  • 2 bowls
  • Matches

Place the salt and water in separate bowls.  Light the sage and the white candle.  You may place all of these items on a tray for easier carrying from room to room.

Starting and ending with the door of each room and working in a counter-clockwise direction, smudge with the water, sage, candle flame, and salt while reciting:

     With the purifying power of water,
     with the clean breath of air,
     with the passionate heat of fire, and
     with the grounding energy of earth,
     I/we cleanse this space.

This ritual should be concluded by opening all of the windows and doors to let the negative energies out.

Supplies for Home Blessing:

  • Home Blessing Oil or Incense

After the home has been cleansed, go through each room and anoint the door frames and windowsills with home blessing oil or smudge with home blessing incense (working in a clockwise direction) while reciting:

     May Brighid bless this home, making it sacred and pure,
     so that nothing but love and joy may enter and dwell here.

You may also choose to anoint and charge amulets or crystals and place them around or within the home to ward off negative energies.  For Imbolc, you may choose to anoint and charge a Brighid’s Cross and place it on the front door for protection.

 

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Reverse Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are my favorite treat to make for Beltane!  Best shared with someone you love, of course. 😉

Ingredients:
* 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
* 1 cup white sugar
* 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
* 2 eggs
* 1 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
* 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons baking soda
* 2 cups white chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare baking sheets by lining with parchment paper.

With an electric mixer, cream together the butter and the white and brown sugars, until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  In a separate bowl, combine the cocoa powder, flour, and baking soda; then incorporate into the butter mixture.  Fold in the chocolate chips.

Drop rounded spoonfuls of the mixture onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches of space between dollops.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.  Allow the cookies to set on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

 

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Lighting of the Hearth

Supplies:
*  Matches                            *  Kindling, wood, fire starters, paper, etc.
*  Fireplace                          *  Imbolc casting herbs (or other suitable offering that can be burned)

This ritual is best performed on Imbolc between dawn and midday, to honor the sun, which is now growing in the sky.

Prepare the fireplace with kindling, fire starters and paper.

Recite:

On this Imbolc, in the cold of the midwinter, we light the hearth fire to restore light to our earth and home.

Light the fire, and once it is going, continue reciting:

We call to Brighid, the flame of the hearth, to bless us with her presence.
Patroness of Bards, Protector of Mothers:
We ask you to bless our home with your warmth and shelter.
We ask for your gifts of abundant prosperity, peace, and love.
May we be healed and purified by the power of your sacred flame.
We cast these herbs as an offering and in thanks for hearing our petition.
May their fragrance be pleasing to you, beloved goddess, whom we honor this day.

Scatter a handful of casting herbs into the fire.  Once they have burned down, ignite a match in the flames of Brighid’s Fire and use that same match to light the Imbolc ritual candle and other Candlemas candles, which should be left to burn throughout the day on the altar, on the fireplace mantel, or around the home.

 

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Self-Love Ritual Bath

You will need:

*  Bath tub & hot water
*  Towel, robe
*  White & pink candles (vanilla or rose scented are great)
*  Matches
*  Herbs associated with love, such as rose petals or apple blossoms
*  Meditation music
*  A natural, organic body lotion

Run hot water into the bath tub.  Meanwhile, place and light the white and pink candles around the tub, positioning them however you like.  (It is preferable to dim or turn off the electrical lighting in the room and bathe by the candlelight.)  Cast your herbs into the hot water in the tub and turn on your meditation music.

When the water is to the height and temperature you prefer, undress and sit down into the tub.  Lay back and relax.

While listening to the meditation music, reflect upon all of the fears and insecurities you have about yourself.  Once firmly fixed in your mind, imagine these worries seeping out of your body into the bath water.  Wash these troubles away with body soap, if you like, while visualizing all of the negative thoughts about yourself going out of you and into the bath water.  Then let the bath water drain, taking all of your insecurities down the pipes.

Towel off and put on your robe.  Grab the body lotion and hold it in your hands while thinking about your personal strengths, imaging the lotion becoming charged with these affirmations.  Then slather the lotion on your body and allow your skin to soak up all of the beautiful, positive energy.

 

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