Blog

 RSS Feed

  1. Samhain approaches and there is an air of excitement. The children are counting down the days, eagerly dragging their parents down to their local stores, adding  to there ever increasing collection of Halloween decorations and costumes. Halloween is more accepted these days, although some Church of England Schools do not allow any practice of Halloween whatsoever. They hold that same fear as they did back in the times of the Witch hunts, but they can never take away the Magic and the Spirit of Samhain.

    The Wheel Of The Year has now turned to the Autumn Equinox, but is now fast approaching the Sabbat of Samhain. This is one of the greater sabbats in the Wiccan calender, its a Fire Festival which marks the end of Summer and the start of Winter, it's the Celts new year!  I do ponder to myself and come to realise that maybe we are going full circle and going back to the these times as our weather pattern seems to be the same now. We seem to have six months of warmth and six months of cold, our Spring seems to come early and our Autumn seems to be late, therefore regressing back to the Winter/Summer. It was a very important time for the Celts as they had to judge just how many Cows to slaughter for the coming Winter months ahead. They could not possibly feed the full herd so only the good breeding stock where kept, the rest were slaughtered and salted. The only way to preserve the meat, hence the use of Salt in Ritual as a disinfectant against Physic or spiritual evil.

    As we walk the dogs through the Fields with our two little boys, we talk of all things nature, listen to the robin as he sings so beautiful. I say to the boys, "listen" a Robin they tell me. They enjoy all that nature has to offer including the blackberries, its then that i turn the conversation to the Pooka! The Pooka? they tell me. Yes i tell them, he is a little Hobgoblin who comes out each Halloween to claim what is rightfully his. There little faces light up with anticipation. I tell them that at Halloween/Samhain its the last day to finish off any harvesting of fruit that still remains, fore after then it all belongs to the Pooka. It is said in Celtic times that the Nocturnal shape-changing Pooka would delight in tormenting humans on the Samhain night, contaminating any of the remaining fruit crops that were not reaped. His favourite disguise was that of an ugly black horse.

    In Ireland to this day they celebrate their Bonfire night on Halloween. Samhain fires were also built on high grounds in Scotland and Wales and the Isle of Man. In Wales once the last spark of the Halloween fire was extinguished, everyone would take to there heels and shout at the top of there voices "The cropped black sow seize the hindmost"! In Welsh mythology the Sow represents the Goddess Cerridwen in her dark aspect. She is the Keeper of the Cauldron, said to have the powers of Prophecy.

    Goddess Cerridwen
    (Click on Images)

    1000x1000 Celtic Cerridewen Goddess

    Samhain is the perfect night for Divination and Contacting the Dead. Weather that be Tarot reading, Scrying or the use of Spirit/Ouija Boards. The veil between the living and the dead is very thin. Halloween nuts and apples still have there divinatory meaning and are a popular tradition. Samhain still has a fertility theme as that of Beltane, its a time of deliberate, sexual freedom. Its reflected in the legends of gods and hero's, that God Angus Mac Og and the hero Cu Chulainn, both had Samhain affairs with women who could shape change into birds, and at Samhain the Dagda (the good god) mated with Morrigan (the dark aspect of the Goddess).

    Morrigan
    (Click on Image)

    Celtic Morrigan War Goddess

    All in all, Halloween is a time of great excitement to be enjoyed by children and adults alike, whatever your purpose for celebrating The Magic Of Samhain, let it be filled with lots of fun and games, laughter, good food and drink. Celebrate our loved ones that have gone before us, let our hearts be free and may the spirit of Samhain live on in all of us.

     Blessed Be.

     

     

  2. The Spring Equinox or Vernal Equinox as it's also known marks the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator which is the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator from south to north.  This happens on March 19th to the 23rd every year and is one of the eight witches sabbats although the equinoxes and solstices were a later addition to the four greater sabbats of the early pastoral Celts. They are a genuine part of pagan tradition as it exists today.

    The spring equinox is also a celebration to the Teutonic Goddess Eostre or as is known today as Easter which falls anytime just after the spring equinox to - just before Beltane depending on the moon. Christians celebrate Easter on the first sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox. Its funny to me how the christians Easter is depicted by the moons cycle (the Pagan Goddess), which is the very thing they have tried to stamp out over the years, even banning the celebration of halloween in many church of england junior schools. Back to the spring equinox and the Goddess Eostre, whose name is probably another variant of Ishtar, Astarte and Aset (the correct Egyptian name 'Isis' being the greek form). Here we find the brightest star in the sky 'Sirius' who is 'Isis' which descends from our skyline on the spring equinoxes and then she rises again on the Autumn equinox in the northern hemisphere. My own destiny with Isis has come in many forms and synchronicity and has been like a big jigsaw puzzle which i have been putting together over the years, i give thanks to Isis & Osiris everyday.

    The main focus on the spring equinox is the balance of night and daylight hours, where we have twelve hours of daylight and twelve hours of night. The emphasis is on the light, as from now the daylight hours will begin to grow. It is said that on the equinoxes it can be a time of hauntings as we are in neither one dimension or the other (day or night) where restless spirits can slip into the veil between the two.

    The first green shoots of plants and trees are visible now as they push up towards the light, new life is breaking out all around, where as at Imbolc everything was still in the belly, under the earth. The first stirrings of spring are so magical as even on the duller days the light is still more intense. The birds are starting to mate and lay eggs, the song of the blackbird is so beautiful as is the song thrush whose song is one of the first to be heard. The bee's are emerging and life seems to be kick started again.

    Hare's have long been associated with Eostre as are snakes and dragon's. Here the dragon's energy of the earth and within ourselves is 'Awakening' at the spring equinox. The young Goddess which gave her name to words such as oestrous and oestrogen, which are associated with female sexuallity in both animals and humans, carries with her an egg, the symbol of fertility and new life and is accompanied by a hare. There are many legends to explain the Goddess's association with the hare and some can be found in Viking origin. Another symbol of the Goddess that we recognise at this time of the year is the snake, which comes out of hibernation in March to bask in the growing sun. It sheds its skin which is  an ancient symbol of new life coming out of the old. A snake coiled in a circle with its tail in its mouth symbolizes everlasting life and a snake wrapped around an egg was called 'world egg' laid by the snake as a symbol of the Goddess. Every spring the serpent helped the world to hatch out from this egg. Hence the connection with Eostre.

    Celebrate the spring equinox with one of our lovely moongazing hares. Click on Image.

    Moongazing Hare

    In Witchcraft the altar and the room is filled with yellow flowers of the spring such as daffodils, primroses and gorse and other spring blossoms.  There would also be a wheel symbol on the altar, anything that is suitable, you could cut out a disk as long as you paint it yellow or gold and decorated with yellow flowers. A bouquet and a chaplet of spring flowers is put aside for the crowning of the 'Spring Queen'. A younger women of the coven would be appointed for this. She would be crowned with the chaplet and then given the fivefold kiss from the High priest and from each male member of the coven in turn. The altar would also have a bowl of hard boiled eggs which would have already been painted and then saved for the feast afterwards, along with the cakes and wine.

    Here is a recipe for some Ostara cakes as follows which have long been traditionally made throughout England at Easter time.

    Ostara Cakes

    4oz/125g wholemeal flower
    4oz/125g butter
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon ground mixed spice
    2oz/50g currants
    1oz/25g chopped mixed peel (lemon)
    4oz/125g soft brown sugar
    Juice of half of lemon
    1 egg
    1 tablespoon of milk or brandy

    Heat the oven to 180c/gas 4. Put the flower and spices into a bowl and rub in the butter. With your hands, mix in the currents,peel and sugar. Make a well in the centre. Beat together the lemon juice, egg and brandy and pour them into the well. Mix everything to a stiff dough and nead it lightly. Roll the dough to a thickness of about 6mm. Stamp it into rounds with a 6-7cm biscuit cutter. Lay the rounds on a floured baking sheet. Bake them for 20 mins, or until they are firm and beguinning to brown, lift them onto a wire rack to cool.

    Lemon, Honey and Barley water. 

    A pure fresh, non alcoholic drink to give health and zest for the new season.

    2oz/50g barley 3 lemons 2 1/2 pints/1.4 litres of water 2oz/50g honey.

    Put the barley into a saucepan with the water. Bring to the boil. cover and simmer for 20 mins. Meanwhile, grate the rinds from the lemons into a large jug or bowl. Cut away all the white pith from the lemons. Thinly slice the flesh and add it to the grated rind. Strain the hot liquid from the barley over the lemons and rind, stir in the honey. Leave the drink until it's completely cold and pour straight into your chalice without straining.

    I do hope you enjoyed my blog and it's somewhat complexity. Enjoy the cakes and lemon barley and most of all enjoy the energy that this beautiful time of the year brings.

    Blessed Be.

  3. So....with the spring equinox just around the corner maybe now’s a good time to have a spring clean, why not cleanse your house of old energies.  Why you ask? Well, sometimes the energy in our home needs "awakening".  For instance, take a spare room or a room in your house that doesnt get used much, the energy in there can become still and somewhat stagnant, so why not wake it up!  Its not just spare rooms that need an awakening, even our main living room needs some attention like in the corners of the room were the energy is still. 

    We can all bring our home back to life, and this can be done with the whole family, we all can join in the cleansing ceromony including the kids who will enjoy it tremendously!!  So here’s some things you will need:

    Hand Held Musical Instruments - Let the children pick there own, it will add to there experience, or better still they could make a shaker out of a plastic bottle filled with pasta or dried peas (thanks to nanny Karen :)) and they could always decorate the bottle to make it even more fun for them.  They could also use a tambourine or bell instead or anything that makes a noise. Kids love whistles and a drum is good for awakening the energies aswell but anything musical is fine.  

    Water - Next, we use the four elements for part of our cleanse. You will need some water which represents the West - maybe some water from a sacred stream would be great, it's a chance to get out into the fresh air and collect some. There are some beautiful villages where streams run freely with fresh water from our hillsides, a beautiful energy within itself. If not you can use tap water and bless it yourself - p
    ut one hand over the water and repeat the following prayer to the God and Goddess:  "Divine Father, Mother Goddess, Purify this water with your Divine powers, Bless it with your light".  You can pour the water you have collected or the tap water into a chalice, if you don't want to use a chalice then a simple cup is ok, the chalice just adds to the experience and can be used again in other different rituals and also used for ornamental use as well as for the altar purposes.  We have some lovely chalices from beautifully illustrated witchcraft to fairy and angel chalices.

    375x295

    Salt - Next, You will need some salt which represents the element of earth - the North.  This can be any type of salt, table salt, sea salt. Use a small bowl for this as you will need to get your finger tips to it for scattering.  

    Smudge Stick - Next, we use the element of the East which is represented by Air, here we can use some incense or better still a smudge stick. We have various smudge sticks available.  

    375x295

    Candle - Last but not least, you will need the element of the south which is represented by Fire, here we use a candle. So now we have everything  we need to start, ideally this could be done at Imbolg which is an ideal time to cleanse as we celebrate the coming back of the light whilst calling upon the goddess Bridgid. We have a magnificent statue figurine of Bridgid on order, she will not be with us until early April, but can be pre-ordered ready for next years Imbolg were she can decorate  your altar or sacred space, weather that be your altar table or sideboard or mantle, she is adorable!!

    500x500

    I will blog more about imbolg in detail as the wheel of the year turns nearer the time.  Back to our "Awakening Energies" , this can be done at anytime, Imbolg to the Spring Equinox is best. This year the Vernal (spring) equinox falls on March the 20th.  Ok, so let the fun begin!

    We are now going to clear the rooms of any negative and unwanted energies or spirits. For the first part its for the adults to do,  its only the clapping and singing and music playing where the children join in after the initial clearing is done. Its ok in my opinion for the children to observe at this point.  Before you start your cleansing you must keep this in mind, the water and incense (smudge stick) are for purification. This should also be clear as an intention in our hearts and minds, for without that, no amount of incense will help!  Now first of all we walk the room deosil (clockwise) with a lighted candle, if possible use a white candle as we are doing this with the intent of purifying, using the four elements as mentioned earlier.  Next take the salt and again walk the room deosil and sprinkle the salt around the room, just a sprinkle is fine remembering to reach the corners.  We are now going to walk the room deosil with the water that we have already blessed, again just a sprinkle is suffice. Next using our lit Smudge Stick walk the room deosil using a bowl or if you have one an Abalone shell to catch the embers as you walk. Smudge and go round the room opening all the doors and windows to let the negative energy out, making a lot of noise to release the negative energy and spirits and place a bunch of fresh flowers at the window when you close it.

    We can now let the children join in with there home made shakers or whichever musical instrument they have chosen, or simply joining in with the singing, clapping or dancing. Walk the room again or dance the room deosil with your shakers, drums, bells and bring the whole place to life and love, for music is the food of love.  Druids tend to use music or noise to drive away evil spirits and call upon benevolent ones. You can call upon which ever god or goddess that you feel a connection with, or you may just want to call upon the gods and goddesses to protect and bless the home you live in. Make the whole event as much fun as possible and remember to clap in the corners of the rooms and "Awake those Energies". I hope you found this article interesting and of some use, I have enjoyed writing it and i send it out with love & blessings.

    Blessed Be.

     

  4. Namaste,

    Hi everybody and welcome to our website The Mystical Gift Shop. This is our first blog, as we launch our new website which as been a long time in the making. Theres a lot of work involved in the whole process of website building, very time consuming but very rewarding at the end of it. We aim to bring you as much variety of all things mystical that we can,  and that includes our blogs!! :) We will update our blogs regually and try and bring you as many interesting and different blogs as we possibly can regarding all walks of life and paths that people choose aswell as my own insights which i hope you will enjoy reading and leave as much feed back and comments as you would like to. I will try to incorporate as many items we sell to the relevant subjects.

    This should be alot of fun as its the start of a new journey in life for us and i am really looking forward to blogging as its so nice to communicate with our customers. I think engaging with customers is as important as selling our products as its the energy that i hope the blogs will create between ourselves to enlighten and move the shift forward into the golden age which im sure we are already starting to embrace.  Maybe with that in mind i could introduce some of our products that we have regarding keeping ourselfs happy and enlightend, remember these are all from my own perspective and yours may and will differ from mine or we maybe singing from the same songbook so to speak.  Whichever way we are all connected and are a strand upon this wonderful web of life which connects us all together and to the universe.

    We have so much more to bring to you on this website, this is only the first phase and the next phase we will be introducing Books, Jewellery, CDs, Healing stones, Aromatherapy , and lots more candles and incense.

    So to the things that can keep us happy and enlightened in life, for me its a walk in the countryside breathing in the fresh air, the trees, the fields, woods and all the beauty that nature has to bring.

    Although you dont need to be in the countryside, a nice park or your own back garden or balcony were you can embrace nature, breathe in the fresh air and open yourself upto the universe connect and embrace and give thanks to all that is.  I give thanks to Isis and Osiris aswell as Aradia and Cernunnos. I relate to them as guardians, some people will have Angels or Buddha as a guide. What im getting at is, there is no right or wrong deity its different for us all, but the one thing they all have in common is that they come from source, they are all one, and maybe thats a clue in itself. The way forward i think in life is to take a little from all and every way and path in life and fill ourselves with wonder and wisdom from all walks and not be blinked by one particular path.

    So here on our site are some wonderful figurines and plaques of different Deities which can be placed in a special place in the home were even just their presence brings you a lift of energy, enlightenment and happiness!! :)  

    So why not bring the Celtic god of nature and fertility himself into your home "Cernunnos" . This beautiful wall plaque of Cernunnos is very detailed indeed with so much symbolism, a truly magnificent work of art!

    d1467d5

    The horned God comes in so many different forms from different ages through out the world from differnt cultures, but another favourite of mine is the Greek Horned God "Pan" .

    c1991f6

    This amazing bronze effect figurine is new out today! I have orderd one for myself, and carnt wait for him to arrive. There are numerous Pan figurines on the market but this really does capture his essence and would be a great addition for anyones Alter or mantelpiece. I will blog more about the Horned God and give you an amazing invocation for the Horned God in a near future blog aswell as some beautiful Goddess figurines.

    I do hope you have enjoyed our first blog and i look forward to any comments, by the way its my first ever blog, I have enjoyed it and im sending it with love and blessings to all.

    Blessed Be.