airwolf

~*~ Elder Airwolf LoP Ministry Founder/Owner~*~

Administrator | Last logged in at

Merry Meet Legionnaires~
I am sixth generation Native Blackfoot and Scottish Celt. My Grandmother was one of my mentors her being a shaman, and my other mentor was my Druid Celtic Aunt. I was raised pagan and my education started at the age
of seven and formally after my first moon lodge ritual at 12. I am also trained as a voodoo priestess.
I am a retired MSW, Psychotherapist/Hypnotherapist, and a Dr of Ministries. I provide individual and family counseling.

Litha Lore's

Celtic Traditions

Druids, the priestly/professional/diplomatic corps in Celtic countries, celebrated Alban Heruin ("Light of the Shore"). It was midway between the spring Equinox (Alban Eiler; "Light of the Earth") and the fall Equinox (Alban Elfed; "Light of the Water"). "This midsummer festival celebrates the apex of Light, sometimes symbolized in the crowning of the Oak King, God of the waxing year. At his crowning, the Oak King falls to his darker aspect, the Holly King, God of the waning year..." The daysfollowing Alban Heruin form the waning part of the year because the days become shorter.

Christian Traditions

After the conversion of Europe to Christianity, the feast day of St. John the Baptist was set as JUN-24. It "is one of the oldest feasts, if not the oldest feast, introduced into both the Greek and Latin liturgies to honor a saint." Curiously, the feast is held on the alleged date of his birth. Other Christian saints' days are observed on the anniversary of their death. The Catholic Encyclopedia explains that St. John was "filled with the Holy Ghost even from his mother's womb...[thus his] birth...should be signalized as a day of triumph." His feast day is offset a few days after the summer solstice, just as Christmas is fixed a few days after the winter solstice. "Just as John was the forerunner to Jesus, midsummer forecasts the eventual arrival of the winter solstice" which is around December 21. 

Wiccan Traditions: 

Midsummer is the time when the sun reaches the peak of its power, the earth is green and holds the promise of a bountiful harvest. The Mother Goddess is viewed as heavily pregnant, and the God is at the apex of his manhood and is honored in his guise as the supreme sun.

 Midsummer Correspondences

Other Names: Summer Solstice, Litha, Alban Hefin, Gathering Day, Feill-Sheathain, Whitsuntide, Vestalia, and St. John's Day

Colors: Red, Gold,Green, Blue, Tan

Symbols: Fire, The Sun, Blades, Mistletoe, Oak Trees, Balefire, Sun Wheels, and Faeries

Ritual Meanings: Honoring of Sun/God at His Power, Saying Farewell to the Waxing Year, Preparation for Harvest, Honoring the Pregnant Goddess, and Beginning of the Waning Year

Key Action: Nurture and Love

Ritual Oils: Heliotrope, Cinnamon, Sandalwood, Lavender, Orange,All Mint Oils, Lemon, and Saffron

Stones: Emerald, Jade, Tiger's Eye, Lapis Lazuli, Diamond

Plants: Mugwort, Vervain, Chamomile, Rose, Honeysuckle, Lily, Oak, Lavender, Ivy, Yarrow, Fern, Elder, Wild Thyme, Daisy, Carnation, Mistletoe, Frankincense, Lemon, Sandalwood, Heliotrope, Copal,Saffron, Galangal, Laurel, and Ylang-Ylang.

Activities: Jumping the Balefire, Gathering Herbs, Clan Gatherings, and Dressing Up

Taboos: Giving Away Fire, Sleeping Away from Home, and Neglecting Animals

Animals:Robin/Wren, Summer Birds, Horses, Cattle

Mythical Creatures:Satyrs, Faeries, Firebird, Dragon, Thunderbird, Manticore

Deities:Father Gods, Mother Goddesses, Pregnant Deities, Sun Gods, Aestas, Athena, Bona Dea, Freya, Hathor-Tiamet, Isis, Juno, Nut, Robigus, Aine, Artemis, Banba, Dana, Eos, Eriu, Grian, Sekhmet, Vesta, Baal, Dagda, Hyperion, Gwydion, Llew, Ra, Thor, Apollo, Balder, Helios, Lugh, Oak/Holly King, Prometheus, Sol, Zeus

Foods:Summer Squash, Lemons, Oranges, Garden fresh fruits and vegetables

Drinks:Wine, Lemonade, Meade, Ales, Herbal Teas.

 

 

Hand-Fasting

A marriage ceremony between witches or pagans is known as a Handfasting, from an old custom of formally betrothing couples by binding their hands together with a silken cord. This is where our current term "giving one's hand in marriage" is derived from. Handfasting among modern Witches usually marks the beginning of a formal commitment rather than a betrothal, and may be legally binding if performed by a licensed member of the clergy.

Today's Witches and other Pagans still adhere to many of the ancient handfasting customs. Partners are asked to view their chosen mates as embodiments of the God or Goddess, and often-ritual purification takes place ahead of time so that the couple may align themselves fully with their patron deities. Brides often carry bouquets of flowers or herbs that contain magical or symbolic energies. These might include myrtle or rue for love, wheat for abundance and fertility, ivy for fidelity, primrose for good luck and to garner the blessings of the fairy folk, and rosemary for health and sexual stamina. Both men and women might war circlets of flowers on their heads the way a king or queen en would wear a crown to show their connection. To a higher power and make clear that-at least for now-they are the representatives of the deities on earth.

Extant legal codes from the late Pagan period in Ireland tell us that a couple came into a marriage as equals, each with their own property, which was returned to its original owner if the couple later separated. Token items of value were exchanged as a pledge of faith in a way similar to today's wedding ring. The origins of the simple, round wedding ring are sketchy, but is believed by many to represent the eternity of the union, similar to the Pagan view of the ring as a circle symbolizing, the never-ending cycle of birth, death, and rebirth for the human couple and for the deities in whose image they were wed.

Handfasting were once community events in which the entire clan or village participated. Tokens from the bride were given to unmarried girls as talismans of love in the same way portions of the, wedding cake are taken home today and placed under the pillow to induce prophetic dreams of one's future mate. The earliest wedding cakes were made of grains, symbolic of fertility and abundance. Bread was used in some cultures to bless the couple's home by breaking the loaf. Against the threshold or by burying it near or burning it in the hearth.

A wedding drink popular among the Britons and Celts was mead. Mead is a rich honey-ale combining masculine and feminine elements, and it further underscored the handfasting as a symbolic union of the deities. Our modern term "honeymoon" is believed to derive from a combination of these concepts. The "honey" refers to the principal ingredient of the mead and the "moon" to the approximate period of time that would elapse between Beltane and the time a handfasting could take place.

Midsummer Night's Fire Ritual


 

The Summer Solstice, known to some as Litha, Midsummer, or Alban Heruin, is the longest day of the year. It’s the time when the sun is most powerful, and new life has begun to grow within the earth. After today, the nights will once more begin to grow longer, and the sun will move further away in the sky.

Difficulty: Average

Time Required: Approximately 60 minutes

Here's How:

If your tradition requires you to cast a circle, consecrate a space, or call the quarters, now is the time to do so. This ritual is a great one to perform outside, so if you have the opportunity to do this without scaring the neighbors, take advantage of it.

Begin this ritual by preparing the wood for a fire, without lighting it yet. While the ideal situation would have you setting a huge bonfire alight, realistically not everyone can do that. If you're limited, use a table top brazier or fire-safe pot, and light your fire there instead.

Say either to yourself or out loud:

Today, to celebrate Midsummer, I honor the Earth itself. I am surrounded by tall trees. There is a clear sky above me and cool dirt beneath me, and I am connected to all three. I light this fire as the Ancients did so long ago.

At this point, start your fire.

Say:

The Wheel of the Year has turned once more
The light has grown for six long months
Until today.

Say:

Today is Litha, called Alban Heruin by my ancestors.
A time for celebration. 
Tomorrow the light will begin to fade
As the Wheel of the Year
Turns on and ever on.

Turn to the East, and say:

From the east comes the wind,
Cool and clear.
It brings new seeds to the garden
Bees to the pollen
And birds to the trees.

Turn to Face South, and say:

The sun rises high in the summer sky
And lights our way even into the night
Today the sun casts three rays
The light of fire upon the land, the sea, and the heavens

Turn to face West, saying:

From the west, the mist rolls in
Bringing rain and fog
The life-giving water without which 
We would cease to be.

Finally, turn to the North, and say:

Beneath my feet is the Earth,
Soil dark and fertile
The womb in which life begins
And will later die, then return anew.

Build up the fire even more, so that you have a good strong blaze going.

If you wish to make an offering to the gods, now is the time to do it.

Say:

Alban Heruin is a time of rededication
To the gods.

The triple goddess watches over me.
She is known by many names.
She is the Morrighan, Brighid, and Cerridwen.
She is the washer at the ford,
She is the guardian of the hearth,
She is the one who stirs the cauldron of inspiration.

I give honor to You, O mighty ones,
By all your names, known and unknown.
Bless me with Your wisdom
And give life and abundance to me
As the sun gives life and abundance to the Earth.

Say:

I make this offering to you
To show my allegiance
To show my honor
To show my dedication
To You.

Cast your offering into fire.

Conclude the ritual by saying:

Today, at Litha, I celebrate the life
And love of the gods 
And of the Earth and Sun.

Take a few moments to reflect upon what you have offered, and what the gifts of the gods mean to you. When you are ready, if you have cast a circle, dismantle it or dismiss the quarters at this time.

Allow your fire to go out on its own.

What You Need

A place to build a fire

An offering to the gods (optional)

Blessed Litha Pagans!

 

Honoring the Elder Pine

Pit progress smile emoticon

A work of beauty as we honor the 300 year old ponderosa pine that lost it's life in the hands of a rude landowner before us. We pay tribute to the old pine this Litha as pieces of it has a place around our sacred fire pit. My son will use the remainder pieces to make benches to also honor the grand ole pine! Blessed Be!

How To Consecrate Your Magical Tools

In many modern Pagan traditions, magical tools are consecrated before use. This achieves a couple of things -- one, it purifies the item before it is used to interact with the Divine. Secondly, it removes any negative energies from the tool. This is particularly handy if you aren't sure of a tool's past history or who owned it before it came to you. This ritual is a simple one that can be used to consecrate any magical tools, clothing or jewelry, or even the altar itself.

By offering the tool to the powers of the four elements, it is consecrated and blessed from all directions.

You'll need a white candle, a cup of water, a small bowl of salt, and incense. Each corresponds to one of the cardinal elements and directions:

North/Earth: salt
East/Air: incense
South/Fire: candle
West/Water: water

If your tradition requires you to cast a circle, do so now. Light the candle and the incense. Take the tool or other item you wish to consecrate in your hands, and face north. Pass it over the salt and say:

Powers of the North,
Guardians of the Earth,
I consecrate this wand of willow (or knife of steel, amulet of crystal, etc)
and charge it with your energies.
I purify it this night, and make this tool sacred.
 

Now, turn to the east and, holding the tool in the smoke of the incense, say:

Powers of the East,
Guardians of the Air,
I consecrate this wand of willow
and charge it with your energies.
I purify it this night, and make this tool sacred.
 

Next, face the south and pass the tool over the flame of the candle -- be careful if it's a flammable material like Tarot cards or a robe!

-- and repeat the process, saying:

Powers of the South,
Guardians of Fire,
I consecrate this wand of willow
and charge it with your energies.
I purify it this night, and make this tool sacred.
 

Finally, turn to the west, and pass your ritual tool over the cup of water. Say:

Powers of the West,
Guardians of Water,
I consecrate this wand of willow [or knife of steel, amulet of crystal, etc]
and charge it with your energies.
I purify it this night, and make this tool sacred.
 

Face your altar, hold the wand (athame/chalice/amulet/whatever) to the sky, and say:

I charge this wand in the name of Old Ones,
the Ancients, the Sun and the Moon and the Stars.
By the powers of the Earth, of Air, of Fire and of Water
I banish the energies of any previous owners,
and make it new and fresh.
I consecrate this wand,
and it is mine.

Now you've not only consecrated the tool, you've claimed ownership. In many Pagan traditions, including some forms of Wicca, it's considered a good idea to put the item to use immediately to bind the consecration and strengthen the energy of the tool. If you've consecrated a wand, athame, or chalice, you can use those in a ceremony to consecrate another tool. If you've consecrated something that is worn, such as an article of clothing (for example, a ritual robe) or a piece of jewelry, begin wearing it now.