The Solstice Pact

The clearing in the wood had stood silent all day. Fallen snow deadened any sound there might have been. The sun set in fiery glory, the darkness chasing it away. The temperature dropped and the pool froze. An expectant quietness hung over the rest of the wood and the Longest Night had begun.As the world of Men slept, oblivious to the Wild Wood, the creatures of the land stirred, to follow a tradition as old as time and as hidden as secrets.

The darkness shrouded them as they journeyed from holes and setts, from thickets and fields. The moon broke the horizon and begun her journey across the sky, full and silvered she rose, as the animals travelled.

The fir tree was older than the height would suggest, but still too young to be anything but one of the shortest in the wood. The pool hid an ancient spring that had sustained the woodland creatures for centuries. The tree was a newcomer but the two were linked, the Fir replacing the Holly that once stood there. Under the moon the ice on the Fir sparkled and shone, transforming the tree. The magic was happening, for every few years something took place in this clearing.They gathered, the Wildwood creatures. The deer stalking proudly through the cold of the snow, the fox padding silently, his thick fur warming him as the cold nipped his paws. The Hare hopped, paused, sniffed and hopped again. Others would come, but would not show themselves. Even so, still they were waiting.

The moon cleared the surrounding trees and slowly moved towards the fir. Then they came, the Ancient Ones, the Horse, dappled in moonlight and the red Pony. The two stepping side by side, matching strides. long manes wild, long tails reflecting the moonlight. Ears twitching.. Each silent step echoed out a memory.At the very moment of their arrival the moon settled fully over the tree, her light reflected in the pool below where the creatures had gathered. The Circle was formed, of Tree and Moon and Wildwood. The alignment was complete.

Each of them brought their own purpose that night. Under the full moon an ancient pact was renewed. There were no words, for this was a deeper communion. The Deer promised to keep the Secrets of the Wildwood. The Fox promised to be ever wily and wild, testing boundaries. The Hare promised to be fleet and hidden and watchful of the open land…and the Horse and the Pony? They brought the promise of their alliance with Humankind. For buried deep in the minds of Men was the memory of a time when they lived as one with their surroundings. The memory stirred by echoes of a past that carved horses in the chalk and formed their shapes in clay. The Pony and the Horse’s promise was that of Remembrance. Each time a rider felt the joy of freedom and partnership, the memory would be renewed. Just a little. Each time a child leaned into a pony and breathed the soft scent of mane, they would feel the connection. Each lesson the Horses taught would be a reminder of Partnership.That night, once again, the horses agreed to be the Memory, and every step they took they carried the memories of love from the horses who had gone before, and those who would follow.

The moment passed, the creatures left the clearing, the moon moved on. The Sun would rise, celebrating the Renewal of Life and signifying longer days and better times ahead. Under it’s first beams those humans who remembered the old ways would dance and sing, play flute and drum to welcome the rising Sun, in turn renewing their own vows to the Land. But hidden in the darkness of the Longest Night, the Pact had once again been observed, the ancient magic called up and brought into focus. Memory would return, it would take time, but it would return.

Copyright SDB 2020. Unicorn Image from Peakpx. Other images by Author

Something a bit different this time. Wishing all readers a very Blessed Yule. May the returning light bring peace and hope, and a renewal of your own connections. It’s been another year of uncertainty, with more of the same to come by the looks of things. But while we can make our connections to those around us by whatever means we can, be that face to face or electronic, then we have community. No one is alone. Blessed Be.

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Online Winter Solstice events

Due to Covid, as far as I know there are no local events running (if you know different please let me know )

In the meantime why not ‘attend’ these events.

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Regular link check complete

Just letting everyone know I’ve been through the list of links (if you’re on a mobile you’ll need web view rather than mobile view to see them on the right column) and weeded out those that are no longer working, added a few new gems. The Paganfed ones are currently being transferred to a brand new site, so those will be updated once that is complete. One other site is under reconstruction and I’ll keep an eye on it.

Other than that, click at will!

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Moon Reflections

 

 

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Standing under a bright full moon, in the cold of a december night, under trees stripped bare of leaves. The last full moon for the decade is a time of reflection.

So many changes have taken place in ten years. Standing in the flood tide of the power of this moon, I am reminded of previous moons, previous tides, bringing tears and laughter both. Changes have been both small, and monumental, personal, cultural….the list is endless and far too personal to go into here. What they all have in common is the turning tides of the earth, seasons, hopes and fears. We live in a world that is far, far less sure than the one of ten years ago. We live in an age of social media used for good and ill. We live in a time of political uncertainty, manipulation and constant bombardment with images intended to manipulate our feelings and actions.

Under that silent moon, words came, which I had hoped to repeat here, but try as I might, I cannot recall them – meant only for the rite, and the communion nature and witch, moon and soul. That is as it should be.

We stand, as a World, on the brink of a new Decade, in a time of constant strife, upheaval, hate, anger and distrust. We see neighbour pitted against neighbour, country against country, the human race against the environment, political manipulations and bitterly fought battles where neither side can win. This is a time of flux.

We ask that this become a time of Rebirth, the pangs of labour felt over the world to be transformed into the tide of a new world being born, a world where we find Balance.

Balance between countries, environment, politics, cultures and love. May the young not blame the old, and the old not despair of the young. May we remember that Love is at the basis of all things, and even if we, as a nation, a world feel that we are ‘too small to make a difference’ let us remember that one small act of kindness makes all the difference to the being who receives it, and those small acts can ripple out, until the ripples become waves, and the waves become tides of change.

No matter how hard things become, we, as Witches, need to observe, to be the calm in the storm, to work our magic for Good, or to provide Healing, or comfort or whatever our talents are. We need to use them to full advantage, and in full love of our communities, for those communities are the microcosm to the macrocosm that is the World. Let us move forward into a new decade with hope, with determination, with strength and compassion, honour, humility and, above all, with Love.

Hail to the Old Ones. Merry Meet, Merry Part, and Merry Meet Again!

moon and cup

 

Blessed Be

 

 

 

 

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Professor Ronald Hutton at Milton Keynes Open University

Professor Ronald Hutton is coming to Milton Keynes to give a talk on The Concept of Pagan Survivals Revisited. Tickets are free on the following link.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-concept-of-pagan-survivals-revisited-a-seminar-by-prof-ronald-hutton-tickets-72497713613

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Glitch

Somehow the Diary rolled back to a previous incarnation – I have no idea either <glares in general direction of Mercury>

It is now restored back to how it should be.

 

Happy Mercury Retrograde, all!

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Blessed Samhain

As the dark nights lengthen, and the land cools down, the frosts become harder and the leaves on the trees turn to gold, the time of Samhain arrives. It is a time of polarisation, from the commercialised Halloween, with it’s ready brought costumes, carved pumpkins and screams of children out trick or treating, emphasising the stark contrast to the deep introspection that this time triggers within us. It is a liminal time, a time of wraiths and spirits, of respect for the dead and for honouring those who have come before us. Of quiet time alone, to think, to reconnect, to remember where we came from and what and who we are.

We create Altars to the Ancestors, spend time in meditation, maybe even set them a place at our feast. Many of the modern traditions such as carving pumpkins have their roots in ancient practices, turnips were traditionally carved in frightening faces and placed in windows to scare away the spirits said to return on this night.

I’ve always wanted to try carving a turnip, alas I still haven’t managed it, as there weren’t any to be had, so a swede it is! They aren’t so different.

Wild hunt turnip

 

The picture says it all. Whatever you are doing (this year is a busy one, with a divination night tonight and a vigil for the Dead tomorrow) If you’re out there with the kids making the absolute most of the joyful time of Halloween (because who doesn’t love it, even if it is overdone) or just sitting at home lighting a candle,  I wish you a the peace that comes from innner contentment. May your Ancestors look kindly upon you and the Wild Hunt leaves you alone!

 

Blessed Be

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A Blessed Lughnasadh

Or Lammas, Loafmas or whatever your chosen name is to use.

This year Lughnasadh falls on a New moon, adding extra opportunity for your workings and Rites. I’ve not come across the term much in relation to this, but allagedly a ‘Black Moon’ (second new moon in a month) is also today – I know a Black Moon as something different, and related to the Dark Moon, but in the spirit of sharing knowledge….

Lughnasadh, a bittersweet time, for while we rejoice in the First Harvest of grain, it’s the beginning of the end of summer. From now there is a slow turn towards seeding and harvest, dying off and ‘going over’ as the land, warmed still by the sun, begins the long preparation for Winter. We humans, making the most of the long days and warm weather, gather the harvest, either literal or metaphorical, and assess how this year has panned out. Making our plans for the remainder of the year as well as the following one. An aspect often forgotten, Sacrifice, is a big part, traditionally within Wicca Lughnasadh is the time of the sacrifice of the God represented in the harvest of the crops, and held within the kernels which protect life in the form of seed, or are given for food to sustain us. year’s seeds. Known as the Corn King, the last sheaf in a field is ceremoniously cut, and metaphorically cut down by his Goddess, the Corn King’s Sacrifice given willingly so all can live. He descends to the Underworld to await his Goddess. We honour his spirit in the bread and foods made from the crops, in the careful saving of seeds for the garden or vegetable patch, and in our taking stock and contemplation for the future. This particular Lughnasadh falls on a New moon, making any workings and rites more powerful if you utilize that energy. 🌾

 

The following passage is poignant to me, I’m aware of the Sacrifice of the male aspect at this time of year, but this swings it around to the fememine, and it’s a powerful piece of writing.

LUGHS GRIEF

I weep, I grieve for my Foster Mother,

Let my tears water the precious earth she gave her last breath to cultivate

so that we may live.

She gave her very life so that we may gain the knowledge of growth,

Growth within the soil her bare hands touched,

Growth within Spirit and the meaning of sacrifice.

When in the darkest of Winter we have food to feed our children and elders,

Let us think of Tailtiu and give her thanks.

Written by Barbara Ney Ni Saomhair 2016.

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Full Moon

A very Blessed Full Moon to all. This may moon is a Blue moon, there are two definitions for this, this particular one is the third full moon in a season. ( the other is a second Full moon in a calendar month)

Hoping the energies of this beautiful moon renew and empower you for the coming season.

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Blessed Beltane Eve

Wishing everyone a very Blessed Beltane Eve. The chaplet is made, the sky is clear, and the Fae dance their magic while the Veil is thin. Fires are lit, dancing and merriment abound!

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