rituals, Sabbats, tarot

IMBOLC/LUPERCUS & TAROT & RITUALS OH MY!

On February 2nd, the Pagan holiday of IMBOLC will be over-shadowed by Groundhog Day… unless you are a “witch” of course.

Imbolc is the Pagan celebration of the first signs of spring. Like those little daffodils or buds that manage to spring up through the snow. Sadly, with the state of the environment today, I’m not sure Imbolc is as relavent as it once was in terms of timing. Maybe in late March this year for us North East coasters anyway. Brrr!

In Italian Witchcraft, Lupercus (Festa di Lupercus or Lupercalia) is observed on the 2nd as a celebration of purification and fertility, and the last cycle of winter. Embracing one’s sexual energy is also a key element in this celebration. This was also most likely appropriated, as it’s very similar to the ancient Roman celebration called Februalia, where the god Faunus and the goddess Juno are the the key deities. Faunus is the wild and sexual male energy, and Juno is a protector of female energy, which keeps this celebration nice and balanced. (Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras… anyone?)

The tarot card that rules this time, in my opinion, is the Star. The Star symbolizes rebirth and renewal, and is represented by the zodiac sign of Aquarius.

As far as rituals go, cleaning, decluttering (I know a lot of you are watching Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up, so now is literally the time!) and planting (if you can) are in order. Instead of planting literal seeds, you can also plant ideas and other metaphorical “plants” that will enhance your growth this year. You can also take a nod from Aquarius and do something completely “out there” and unexpected. Take a risk!

Some other ideas:
warm baths with candles
make a vegan nut cheese (or regular milk cheese)
make your own candles (be careful!)

I know it’s cold for some of us right now, but it’s time to start waking up. Take your time. Ease into it.

Happy Imbolc!

 

 

rituals

Ostara & Rituals for the Spring Equinox

Ever wonder what bunnies and eggs have to do with Easter? The Spring Equinox (on March 20th), also known as Ostara, has quite a few similarities to Easter – like bunnies and eggs, and over time, the two traditions have shared some lore, messages, and rituals.

Ostara celebrates the seasons changing from dark to light, from winter to spring. Ostara (aka Eostra) is the Goddess who oversees nature’s bounty springing into action. Bunnies and eggs come into the picture, because they are a symbol of fertility, which directly correlates with the start of spring, seeds sprouting, and life beginning again.

The history books are very murky on this Pagan/Wiccan holiday (probably because it was stolen). I actually had a hard time finding concrete references that said the same thing, without also saying the history was murky. There is a “what came first, the chicken or the egg” debate. The chicken being Easter, the egg being Ostara. Or was it the other way around? Anyway! Without going too far down the rabbit hole that is the patriarchy (I had to), I’ll just share some of my favorite ways to ring in Spring! If you want to take a deeper dive in the history of it all, just google “Ostara”!

Ostara Rituals you can easily do at home:

Declutter: Spring Cleaning is a very popular way to start fresh in this season. Think of it like weeding the garden before planting. You’ve got to clean up in order to make room for new things to grow. To make things a little witchy, add new (or old because you just found them under the bed or in a box) candles, crystals, incense, flowers, plants and other decor that creates beautiful balance and positive energy in your newly fresh and clean space.

Extra Credit: Follow the Bagua map in Feng Shui to place your items.
For design inspiration, check out @daradubinet on instagram!

Plant Seeds: Literally and figuratively, this is the PERFECT time to start building your garden. A fun way to bring gardening and your other projects together, is to set intentions while you plant. For example, if finding love in your life is something that you want to work on, try planting roses, daisies, basil, cat nip, or lavender. There are many other herbs and flowers that symbolize love, these are just a few. When you go to germinate the seeds, set your intentions. As you care for your plant and watch it grow, imagine your openness to love getting stronger. It may sound hokey, but in the end you’ll have a beautiful garden to show for it. Something to love, eh?

If career is on your list, try planting: Chamomile, clover, sunflowers, or bay leaf.

If you do not have a green thumb, or you don’t have the space to plant, consider buying flowers for the week that correlate to what you are looking to accomplish. Or, consider creating your own artwork, or buy artwork that reflects what you desire.

I personally see this magic as something that keeps your desires in your sights. Out of sight out of mind as they say, but if you have your beautiful bouquet of sunflowers, it might remind you to post that article, or catch up with a former colleague. This is how “Practical Magick” works, and a big part of that is actually doing the work. Another part is the priviledge you have, and another part is luck. So it might work, it might not. I have to be honest here.

Green Cooking: Have some fun in the kitchen with beautiful greens. Seriously, just add kale to some mac n’ cheese and you’ve done it. However, if you want to get fancier with Spring foods, here are some recipes that are healthy, delicious, and green!

RAWfredo Pasta

photo 1

Sauce:

1 1/2 cup soaked/rinsed RAW cashews (soak overnight at the most)

Enough water to cover the cashews in a blender (have extra so you can add for desired thickness, this is YOUR call!)

1/2 lemon, juiced

2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

Sprinkle of dried sage and nutmeg

salt and pepper to taste

*if you like spice you can add some red pepper flakes

After you’ve soaked the raw cashews in water overnight, drain and rinse them. Add to a high-speed blender. I used a nutri-bullet. Cover the cashews with water. The water can exceed a bit above for now. You can always add more later to get desired thickness of sauce. Add in the remaining ingredients for the sauce. Blend until super creamy. Try and keep it on the thicker side because when you add this to the zucchini pasta below, the water from the zucchini will thin it out anyway. So thicker is better! Taste to see if you want more spices. Do what you want!

Pasta:

2 medium-large zucchini’s spiralized.

I use this model but you can also use a julienne peeler.

Mix the sauce into the pasta until all is covered. Then top the pasta with fresh or dried herbs. I used fresh basil and dried oregano. Truffle salt also tastes amazing on top of this dish.

This took all of 10 minutes to make. You just have to remember to soak the cashews!

Some other spring favorites of mine include adding Fiddleheads and Spring Onion Sprouts to sautes!

 

And here’s a video for a super fresh Cucumber Alfredo!

Happy Ostara!

Insects, rituals, Spells

Manifesting with Bugs

We can pull from nature in many places to enhance our magic. Many insects get a bad rap, but they are actually great resources for spiritual work. Bugs are resilient creatures that contribute daily to our ecosystem. Let’s show them some appreciation.

Here are just a few SIMPLE ways that you can incorporate bugs into your daily practice:

Draw them
Wear them with no harm (jewelry designs, clothing designs, etc)
Research
Conservation efforts
Visualize them doing their thang, to inspire you to do yours

Pair bugs with what you are specifically working on. Here are some graphics that showcase what each bug can represent for you.

Please note that this is meant to be a fun post. When you see one of these bugs in nature, you can marvel at their symbolism and beauty. I am NOT saying that if you see a ladybug, all of your dreams will come true, just like that! That is horseshit! Which reminds me, I should have done a graphic for flies! :o)