Cloud


A fluffy, sunset cloud. I’m in love with my little moon 😍 Also love that I spend a good chunk of Beltaine painting this ❤
Did you know you can see all my videos early on just the 1$ USD patreon tier? I elaborate on the ideas, or feelings, or experiences behind my videos over there as well, so you’ll get more behind the scenes.

Hope you’re all having a lovely Sunday, loves. And for those of you who enjoy seeing the kittens in my videos, they definitely made appearances 😹

Pagan Blog Project – L is for Lilac Wine

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I’ve been inspired by the glorious perfumes that fill the air in spring. Where we live, there happens to be a Lilac tree in the back yard, and after a weekend of rain in May, which gives such a fresh, sensuous side to the delicate flowers’ smell, I decided to collect enough fresh flower spikes to make a gallon of wine. Thanks and prayers were offered in return, of course.

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Freshly cut.

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A beautiful meditative task plucking the flowers was.

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Lilac tea steeping.

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Some of the flowers left while straining them out.

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Smelled amazing. Final concoction all in it’s jug, as all my other carboys are in use.

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An ancestor decided she wanted what was left of the lilacs.

Here is the recipe I used to make the wine. If you’re leary of using lilacs, the flavour is quite similar to jasmin.

1 Gallon Lilac Wine
3/4 lb Lilac flowers, no stems/branches/leaves
2 lbs sugar/5 cups
Black tea bag
1 tbsp lemon juice
25 raisins
1 packet Red Star champagne yeast

Remove the flowers from the spikes, ensuring there are no green bits left.

Rinse the flowers.
Add half a gallon boiling water to steep them. That’s about 2 litres.

Steep anywhere from 1/2 hour to overnight. I had made a tea beforehand to gauge the strength of flavour and aroma. The different colours of Lilac have different strengths in aroma.

Start the yeast about 1/2 hour to an hour before pitching it in warm water with sugar and a few raisins.

Strain out, and press as much of the the liquid from the flowers as is possible. Add the sugar to the floral tea, mix until dissolved. Add brewed black tea and lemon juice.

Place in primary fermenter, fill with warm water (about 25°C/75°F). Leave enough room for yeast water and some head space in case it bubbles a lot. Shake or stir the primary fermenter to get lots of oxygen in there.

Add the yeast. Place airlock, and keep an eye on it in case it bubbles a lot. It shouldn’t cause much problem though as there is little solid material in it.

A Fantastic Look At The Power Of Beltaine and Sex

Flower of Life – Georgia O’Keeffe

This is a post from Galina Krasskova’s blog, Gangleri’s Grove… All I can say is YEEEEEEESSSSSS!!!

Women especially are penalized for enjoying their sexuality. Then, what to me seems even worse, I see people who are never touched. I’m not talking sex, i’m talking simple physical contact. I see people every day who haven’t been hugged in a decade. I see people who are starving physically and emotionally for basic human contact. There have been scientific studies done proving that if infants are denied human affection–skin to skin affection–they can die. Why should it be any different for adults? Even if they don’t die in body, they can wither away inside in their hearts and minds and spirits. Moreover,  I see people who have never touched themselves and now I am talking sex and I think it a moral crime to fill someone with guilt and shame for the pleasure their own body can give them. We should love our bodies. We have to live here after all. Let’s take some pleasure in that…in our own bodies and those of our partners’ too.

Read the rest here.

Let’s put the sacred back in sex in all its forms!

The Month of the Willow

Salix_alba_Morton

Latin Name
Salix babylonica (Weeping Willow), Salix alba (White Willow)

Celtic Name
Saille (sail-yeh)

Common Names
Willow, Tree of Enchantment, Sough Tree, Pussy Willow, Witches’ Tree, Tarvos Tree, Sally, Saille, Withy, Withe, Aspirin, Witches’ Aspirin, Osier, Salicyn Willow

Dates
April 15 – May 12

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Parts Used
Bark, wood, twigs, branches, sap

Medicinal Uses
The bark and leaves of the willow has long been used for pain relief as it contains salicin, which the body turns into salicylic acid, which was isolated and synthesized in order to create the pain relieving aspirin many people use today.
Because the bark is quite astringent, it can be used as a diuretic, to ease rheumatic conditions, and combat heartburn.
The sap gathered from a flowering tree aids in skin blemishes and dandruff problems.

Constituents
Phenolic glycosides (which include salicin, salicortin, salireposide, tremulacin), tannins, flavonoids, catechins.

800px-Young-catkin

 

Associations
Water, Moon, silver, Hekate, Athena, Artemis, Demeter, Persephone, Hera, Mercury, Circe, Orpheus, Selene, Luna, Brigid, Cerridwen, Arianrhod, Rhiannon, Audhumla (the great Cow in Norse mythology), Hel, Idunna, Loki, Nanna, Nerthus, Ran, Sif, Sigyn, Sjofna, Skadi, the Feyfolk, moonstone, hawk, snowy owl, Beltaine

Magical Properties
Dark moon magic, magic associated with water: creativity, emotion, love, divination, female energies/rights of passage, inspiration, binding, protection, healing, death, wishes, peace, joy.

When willow is placed in a home, it protects against malicious energies/witchcraft, and evil; if a willow is grown near your home, it protects it. The tree is also welcome in graveyards.

If you carry a bit of willow in your pocket (a twig or the like), it will bring you courage and help you to overcome the fear of death.

You can tell your biggest secrets to a willow tree, as it will trap the secret inside itself.

They will also grant your wishes, if you ask properly.

Willow and sandalwood burned together during the waning phase of the moon encourages spirits to more easily be conjured.

In love magic, the leaves are commonly used, as well as to forge friendships, alliances, pacts, and loyalty. If you’ve been spurned by your lover, wear a willow charm, and they should find their way back to you. At the end of the year, to discover whether you’ll be married in the new year, throw your shoe up into the willow’s branches:
”Throw your shoe high up
into the branches of a Willow tree;
If the branches catch and hold the shoe,
you soon will married be.”

 

The Merry Month Of May

Cernunnos The Golden King Stag – by Sapphire Blackrose

What a busy month it has been! My trad had their Beltaine celebrations on the first weekend in May, which was wonderful! The old Stag King died to regenerate into our new Stag King; the May Queen’s crown was passed on to the renewed May Queen. On this same weekend, a friend of mine said she was in town for the night before my trad’s Beltaine, and the day of our celebrations, so we were very busy having fun with her, perusing our huge mall, lol, eating good food…

Then it was my birthday on the Monday after that weekend, I went and hung out with my HPs while my man was at work. What a lovely day it was! It’s so nice to be somewhere far away from your family, but have people here that feel so much like family. I am feeling the love 😉

Then this past weekend was a camping trip with a local pagan group for Beltaine! What a weekend! I am so lucky that a coven member of mine put on the rituals for the weekend, and how absolutely beautiful they were! The Friday night, we all walked out into the night darkened woods, cast our circle and enjoyed a very sensual ritual 😉 Then there was much merry-making and couples walking away from the light of the sacred fire to go a Maying 🙂 On the Saturday, they held another ritual to charge two new gifts that my coven-mate had made as gifts for the May Queen and Stag King. The energy pulsing through all of our bodies and through our held hands to our neighbours was powerful, warm, strong. The energy raising definitely took much of my energy out to be imbued in the items!

Venus Verticordia – Dante Gabriel Rossetti

A half hour after that ritual was done, it was time for the men and women to separate to experience each sex’s mysteries and to choose the May Queen and Stag King for the year. I enjoyed a small group of the women having a meditative time making something to wear by the fires that night; we chanted and raised more energy while the Goddess was choosing who would represent Her for the coming year. It was such a beautiful afternoon, very trance-like, and very much full of love.

When the time came, the men came back, the God within them all, the fire of the season all in their eyes. The new Stag King came forth to combat the other men, then finally to combat the Old Stag King who was to be sacrificed. When the battle was won, He came towards us women who were protecting our Queen, pushing his way through until they finally came together. A passionate kiss was shared, and all were rejoicing! Hail the King! Hail the Queen! Hail! Hail! Hail!

Image from Wikipedia

The May Pole was picked up by the men and the Stag King, raised and penetrated the earth. We chose our ribbons to dance the May Pole dance. We skipped and twirled, laughed and flirted, made a horrible of the weave until our Queen stopped us to begin doing it the right way 🙂 As we danced, we got closer to each other, there were winks and sexy propositions, warmth and touch.

Dancing and singing continued by the fire, and before the sun went down, we un-danced the May Pole, it becoming a veiled phallus in the night while couples came and went from the fire again.

After this weekend of ritual, magic, love, friendship, kisses, and sex, I am feeling very much connected with the Gods… the energy still courses through me. I am in bliss.

Hail the King! Hail the Queen!

Sumer Is Icumin In

This weekend has been absolutely gorgeous. Our internet went down on Saturday, which I don’t mind so much except that I was planning on calling family, and it interrupts my work (which requires me to send and receive files). So I am currently writing this post on my man’s phone, which for some silly reason is making me have to press shift to make every letter the proper case, lol. I think that this break is a good thing, I spend entirely too much time in front of a screen, albeit, mostly from working. 

Back to the beautiful weather… Amazing, warm, sunny, in bloom, smelling like delicious flowers, cut grass, childhood, and impending summer. The young God is growing ever stronger, the maiden becoming more enticing as Beltaine drawing nearer. I’m feeling excitement growing as the summer becomes more apparent. 

I hope your days are filling with anticipation and excitement… unless you’re south of the equator, preparing for the feast for the Great Dead, or preparing for air conditioning if the warm part of the year is when your body and mind tends towards rest.

The End

The end of the semester from hell has come and passed! Yay! I now only have a week and a half off just before I go back for more classes during the summer. Thankfully, I’m only taking two courses – Studies in Poetry and History from 1900-1945. They’re the courses that are required on top of my music courses, but I decided to take them during the summer because I can, and I’m glad I chose to do it that way, let me tell you!

So some interesting news, my school choir, and some previous members to fill it out, were asked to perform for Video Games Live! It was pretty awesome. And to show how awesome our group is… lol… we had to sing a completely new piece we’d never seen before the day of the first performance! Go us… we totally rocked it, so it ended well, that’s for sure 🙂 They asked us to perform again with them on the 18th of May, so woot! More singing moneys 🙂

Anywho… Beltaine is on its way! I’m incredibly excited, this is one of my favourite holidays, and not just because of the obvious 😉 It’s crazy that I’ve been writing this blog for just about a year now! Eek! And that means it’s almost my birthday too 🙂 I’m quite excited for the coming summer, all sorts of prospects… and rest, much needed rest. Thank goodness I’m only going to school two days a week 🙂

Offerings

After having done some magic(k)al work on Beltaine, I needed to make an offering to the gods. I had to wait until we got groceries to be able to do it, but I got the ingredients to make salt dough so that I could sculpt some things to offer. While working on these items, I took the time to be mindful of what they were thanks for, and to put my intent of love and gratefulness into the pieces for the gods.

I did a flower for the goddess, and an oak leaf for the god. Now, I wasn’t really using specific gods for my little ritual, just the energies that make the world go round, masculine/feminine, sun god/lunar goddess.


While salt dough is pretty easy to make (recipe will follow), it’s definitely not something you can make really elaborate images out of. It’s kind of got the consistency of play-dough, though slightly different.

Recipe
3/4 cup water
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1 1/4 cup salt
paint & varnish

Watercolour or gouache needs to be varnished (a pva glue will do). Acrylic paint doesn’t need varnished but can be for extra durability.

-preheat oven to 180c/350f
-mix all ingredients to form a soft dough, it should feel velvety and pliable
-knead the dough thoroughly on a floured surface until it is soft and stretchy

** make sure the dough is kneaded thoroughly or it will bubble and distort you chosen form when it’s baking

-model the dough – use hands and any kitchen implements you want to make patterns and forms
-bake on a sheet pan for 20 minutes or until the dough is hard
-paint when completely cool

** If the dough is not completely hard when it has cooled (check the underside) then pop it back in the oven for a further 10 minutes. Allow to cool again before painting.

I got it from the #mce_temp_url#, which is, by the way, a fabulous pagan forum.

Anywho, I will be placing these little creations out in a huge weeping willow tree near my house, and saying a few quiet words of thanks. 🙂

Beltane

Beltane Reunion - Emily Balivet

Beltane Reunion – Emily Balivet

Blessed greetings to one and all! I thought I would write up some thoughts and history on Beltane here, as this will be a blog for me to present my findings of research and practice, and personal discoveries. So Beltane! And here we go “a-maying!” 🙂 Beltane Belenos (amongst many different spellings) is a generic Celtic god of the Sun and simultaneously of the crops. Belenos literally means “Fire of the Gods”. Balefires were lit in honor of the sun and it’s return, people would usher their herds between fires to purify and ensure fertility before loosing them out to pastures for the summer season. The fires are quite restorative, in energy and symbolically. Symbolically, they were lit and danced around to usher in the sun and summer, bringing the Belenos/The Oak King/The Horned God/The Green Man to his full power and virility in this light part of the year. May poles are erected with flowers and long ribbons for the people to dance around and create beautiful patterns as they move around the pole. The May pole is obviously a phallus placed within the earth symbolizing the union between god and goddess, the land and the sun. People would traditionally make love in fields where crops were to transfer a sort of sympathetic magic to the land, enforcing its fertility, ensuring a bountiful harvest the entire month of May. Beltane does not necessarily need to be celebrated by making love, or focusing on sexual energies, although that part is quite fun 😉 No, Beltane can be celebrated alone, by loving oneself and finding unity within; by walking in the park and witnessing the change of the land, the fertility and growth in plants trees and animals around; by ushering in new ideas, big changes, and cleaning out one’s mind and body for new things to grow and bear fruit.