Litha Ritual (solitary) 2015

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I’m a child of the night. Even as a tiny tot I liked staying up late and hated being woken up early. Hated it. HATED IT. My mom used to stand in the doorway of my room and throw rolled up socks at my head to wake me up for school because if she got too close I punched and kicked and then rolled up tighter in my blanket.

But I also love summer. Not as much as fall or spring, but I love it. I love the smell of sunscreen and coconut and the salty ocean air. I love the sun as long as I’m wearing 100000+ proof sunscreen (because I’m Irish. I just sunburn, peel, and I’m still white. Ooops.). It’s a time to spend with friends and family, to laze about on the porch or couch, or go off adventuring. It’s a time to just enjoy life.

since I’m celebrating this Solstice alone this year, I thought well, if I have to do it alone, I may as well share it with my pagan community! Because the internet means you’re never really alone! Right? So for all you wonderful pagans and open minded people, here’s my ritual that I did today/tonight! Enjoy guys!

LITHA RITUAL

Some practices say to take a ritual bath–and I decided to add a twist on it! It’s a bit hot out to be taking a hot bath, and I’m pretty sure the local pool wouldn’t be too happy if I went around sprinkling it with oil and herbs, so instead I drew a cold bath, added a few drops of lavender oil, and some quartz stones. After cooling off and soaking in that wonderful energy, off I went to work!

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my alter, mid-working!

In Wicca (and other practices) people create circles and call the four corners. A friend of mine once said, “I don’t cast circles most of the time, I feel like I’m locking out energy.” And you know what? It made sense to me! I now only draw circles and call quarters for very intense workings–otherwise I assume having a big bad God and Goddess  summoned is enough to repel most things! So no circle was cast. I called upon Lugh of the Long Hand (Celtic pantheon, though I’ll get into that pet peeve in a later entry), since he’s considered a sun god, and it was his day to shine (literally!).

After cleansing my space and calling on Lugh, I then made an incense with the herbs that corisponed with this day! Here is the recipe, feel free to use it! I used it by literal pinches, as I ground it up in my mortar and pestal, but if you wanted to make it in bulk, just replace pinches for tablespoons or cups! 🙂 Also, if I had it on hand, I’d have added 2 drops myrrh!

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Litha Incense 

part pine needles 

part rose petals

part lavender 

*2 drops myrrh (optional)

directions: Grind together with mortar and pestel. Imagining the suns’ energy infusing it with each crush. Or infuse it with love! 

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After that, I blessed it over the yellow candle I had lit (it had three wicks, which I thought fitting!) and then got ready for my next fun activity of the day: A Litha Tarot reading! And what a day for it! There was a light breeze, but it was still hot and humid. Ah summer. How I both love and dislike thee.

The tarot reading is great for seeing where you are at the height of summer! Now, traditionally I know that this is seen as the last day of summer. But I always feel like this is the start of summer, and my life always seems to really get put into action around this time. Something major always shifts, so I suppose that’s why I always see the whole season of June-August as a free for all, and Litha as the start!

This is any easy spread to do, especially if you’re just learning! First, light the incense you just made by putting it in on charcoal!

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Then, do your tarot reading!

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 After that, I had to wait a bit for evening to come for doing one of my favorite things: Making candles! The sun may have set, but that doesn’t mean the magic has to stop! Yesterday I had posted I went to the beach with friends. After asking permission and giving some energy in return, I took sand with which to make sand candles! When melting and stirring the wax I imagined the sun’s strength in it, for when the nights grow cold and the wind nips bitterly, I’ll light the candle and once again the sun’s warmth will be in my room!

I’ll post the tutorial for Litha Sand Candles tomorrow, as this post is getting way too long!

I hope you all had a wonderful Litha/Summer Solstice!

The Universe Is Calling

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San Clemente Pier, one of the many beaches of my youth!

Yesterday was the day before the Summer Solstice and since all of my friends were busy on the actual day, I celebrated it on the 20th with them by going to one of the beautiful local beaches in Southern California (born and raised!). It was an interesting time, a fun time–and not as magical as I’d hoped it would be. Though it was pleasant and nice!

IMG_2456         IMG_2458After giving an offering to the sea (see above!) my friends and I fired up the BBQ and enjoyed the oh so traditional food of our people: Hotdogs. If you’re not eating a burger on the beach, it’s always a hot dog. Always. That’s how we can tell the natives from the tourists. And it always tastes better for some reason!

It was then the sun began to set, and one of my friends and I left our married friends to have a nice quiet moment together, as we went off to do some magic.

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The Summer Solstice is about celebrating the warmth of the sun, of new beginnings and the changing of the seasons. And to cast aside the shadows that try to hold you down. Or perhaps to rejoice in the light that has shown so much in your life this year. Both my friend and I had felt tied down. Stuck. So we stood with our feet in the now warm waters and breathed in deeply the salty, humid air.

We let in the good and exhaled the un-needed. And then, on our and in our own time, we asked our own deities to take away from us the things that blocked us from acheveing our goals or holdings us back. Things that we were doing to ourselves and things that we couldn’t see. We asked the ocean, in all its infinite depth and kindness to take away those blocks with each wave that swept around our feet and dug them further into the sand.

Afterwards we compared notes. What did you see? What did you feel? We both saw and felt different things. I actually didn’t feel much when it came to my blocks being ‘swept away’. At least not at first. I heard a voice say in my head with a brisk business like tone, “this will take time.” After that I didn’t feel even an inkling of anything being lifted.

And then.

Quite suddenly when I was standing in my apartment doing nothing, I felt a pull. I literally felt water rushing around my feet and pulling. It was the weirdest sensation. But then I realized. The ocean was still working. It was still pulling blocks away from my path. And then another thought hit me. I had blocks in my home and it was removing them. I don’t question how the gods do what they do, or how energy does what it does. It just does.

Now, every time I stand on my feet I feel the water rushing around them and then pull away, and slowly, bit by bit, I’m feeling calmer. Lighter. And at one point I felt compelled to stare at the clock. The time read 2:22. Wondering why I felt compelled to look at the time, I went and looked up what it meant when you saw three 2’s. And this is what I found (sourced several places, and they all pretty much said the same thing)

“It signals a time of change on your path. It means a new beginning, a breath of fresh air. If you are seeing repeating numbers, consider yourself fortunate to have realized that you do. (…) if you have thought about quitting your job and are daydreaming about what you would really prefer to do instead, you will receive 222 as confirmation of the ideas you have align with your soul’s purpose in this lifetime.”

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It’s a Mara caught in one of her natural habitats!

So I wish to thank the Powers That Be. Thank you for helping me, thank you for guiding me, and thank you for encouraging me time and again even when I want to give up on myself. Your patience astounds and humbles me. I only hope I can live up to my soul’s purpose, because it’s a doozy.

Happy Litha/Summer Solstice every one!

Thursday Meditation: Action!

Today I wasn’t able to do a real meditation as life took over! I didn’t even have time to recall what influences were today, so busy was I! But when I got home late this evening and looked it up in my BOS, low and behold, one of the influences of today was ‘desire’. And you know what? Without even trying I had actual put that in action–I even wore one of the colors associated with today! How’s that for magical!?

So today is about action. Have the intents you’ve put forth this week made an impact in your every day life? I know they have for me! For the first time in months I had the desire and the focus (oh universe, you’re so funny!) to sit down and start fixing and finishing the novel I’m working on. I didn’t even need to mediate apparently! Tomorrow I’ll definitely mediate–and send a little thank you and love to the powers that be upstairs!


Since I still had time, I burned some cinnamon on some charcoal and continued to write! Because I have to keep this desire up! Blessed be everyone!

Day: Thursday

Planet: Jupiter

Colors: blue, indigo, purple

Herbs/Oils: cinnamon, cinquefoil, musk, nutmeg, sage

Influences: health, honor, luck, riches, clothing, money, legal maters, desires

Meditation: None!

Getting Rid of Anger (The Pagan Way!)

We all have a person (or persons) that knows exactly how to push our buttons. You know, the one that makes you go zero to sixty on the ‘I’ve-turned-into-a-person-scarier-than-a-mega-volcano’ scale. And as we sit in our now destroyed rooms breathing fire and brimstone like Pele on a rampage, we think to ourselves ‘why do I let this person get to me!?’

It’s a good question that you really should look at. Why DO you let this person get to you? Anger is one of the emotions we use more than anything else. People (witches included!) even use it to relate to others, like being angry at a movie plot, or talking about a rude comment you both overheard someone make. The point is, often times we let anger be our driving force, or help keep it going by saying negative comments about a person or situation.

what I do behind people's backs when they make stupid comments
what I do behind people’s backs when they make stupid comments

 As a pagan we are taught to release anger when a person makes a snide comment about you, but often times it involves meditations, or spells, or groundings, and things that don’t seem very conductive to douse the fires of anger right away. Holding a rock in your hand to take in your anger just doesn’t seem to do it either (in fact, you probably crushed that rock to smithereens). So how do you get rid of your anger effectively? I come to you with three simple words to combat your anger:

Love and Light

That’s it. Those three words will save you time and energy. I, for instance, was angry that someone tried to drag me into a situation that wasn’t my own, I didn’t know what to do with myself or my misplaced anger. So after a pep talk from friends I went and sat and mediated on the anger. I didn’t WANT to be angry. I didn’t even want to be mad. And three words fell into my lap. Love and Light.

The moment I said it I felt a calmness come over me. I said it again and again. And the more I said it, the more at peace I felt. It helped me put things immediately into perspective. Why spend time being angry, when I could be spending it loving things and sending light out into the world? Anger is nasty, it makes other people angry, and I’m sure you’ve all been in a tense and uncomfortable room where two people are obviously seething with rage at each other. Not a fun place to be is it?

But say it out loud. Or in your head. Love and Light. For me, it helped me realize that when I say those words and MEAN them, I’m doing more good in the world than the people raging and casting around bitterness and anger. And those people who say or do awful things are doing it because they’re hurt or in pain. Or maybe they were even told horrible things about themselves by people like their family. The point is, they’re hurt. And rather than turning it around and making something positive (or perhaps don’t know how to), they allow the hurt, anger, fear, or whatever else they have going on to take control of them instead.

So the next time someone makes you mad, pushes your button, or lashes out, just say to yourself (Or maybe even to them, in a serene and now much calmer voice):

Love And Light

This may not be the way for every one, and I don’t claim it is, but I encourage you to say the words out loud and really think about their meaning, because you might find that its exactly what you needed to say. Blessed Be everyone!

Wednesday Intent: Self Improvement

This morning as I was making tea I was thinking about what Intent to focus (ha!) on today. Skimming through my daily influences in my BOS the words that jumped out to me were ‘Self-Improvement’. As pagans–as people–we are always trying to better ourselves. But rather than looking yourself in the mirror and saying “there’s so much I need to improve though!” pick one thing. One thing today that you should work on. One thing you’d like to embrace about yourself.

Slight as it may be, the moon is in Waxing mode (meaning it’s getting bigger), so bringing in energy rather than banishing things, is the way to go! And changing something isn’t banishing! Today’s meditation isn’t exactly a ‘shut your eyes and be the next guru’ one. A Wednesday is also a good day for divination! So without further adieu, here is Wednesday Intent! Feel free to do this as well, or pick whatever you need in your life today!

Day: Wednesday

Planet: Mercury

Colors: Gray, iridescent, opal, violet, yellow

Herbs/Oils: Jasmine, Lavender

Influences: communication, teaching, reason, divination, skill, debt, fear, self improvement, loss

Intent: Self-Improvement.

After lighting a yellow candle and lavender incense I did my breathing exercise (you can find it the previous post), stared into the candle for a minute to get myself focused and the picked up my tarot cards. I put my Intent into asking the cards this simple question and doing a 1 card draw:

What do I need to improve about myself today?

Don’t go all crazy and try to do a 12 card spread about all the changes you need to make about yourself followed by an in depth analysis of past issues as to why you have them in the first place. That isn’t the point. Small changes every day equal to big changes later on, just like everything in life!

Litha is this weekend, so remember to laugh! Remember to embrace the sun and warmth and summer! Enjoy yourself, because gods know we’re gloomy about ourselves half the year anyway!

Tuesday: Bringing in Focus for the Present

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Hello everyone! Today is Tuesday and as part of my “get back into the swing of the universe” I’m starting daily mini blogs of intentions set for the day, using (as close as I can) the correspondences for that. I used to do it when I lived on my own and found my days tended to be more centered and magical, so I hope this helps you as well!

As an aside: I took this idea of ‘setting intentions for the day’ from my Yoga class. I thought it was such a lovely practice that I wanted to use it for my daily life as well. Having an intention to help set the tone of your day is helpful, I think! Now onward to the mini blog!

tuesdayalter1Day: Tuesday 

Planet: Mars

Colors: Red, Orange

Herbs/Oils: Patchouli, Dragons Blood, Basil

Influence: dynamic energy, matrimony, war, enemies, hunting, surgery, courage, politics, contests

Intent of the Day: Focus

Lately I’ve been having problems focusing on things. My future. My projects. Even just focusing on being in the moment! Sometimes we get so wrapped up thinking about the past or the future (like me!) that we don’t stop to appreciate the now. So today I decided to use the ‘dynamic energy’ of this day to do that! I lit  my orange candle, lighted my Dragons Blood incense, and anointed myself with the ‘Helping Hand’ oil blend I bought from The Eye of the Cat. I needed all the help I could I get with this!

Here is the little meditation I created! I hope it helps you as much as it did for me! It’s easy peasy because honestly? I really suck at hard core meditating. This is perfect for a ten minute breather! Enjoy!


Breath in deeply and fill your lungs with clean air(if you’re by a window like I was, this is easy!), imagine it rushing through your whole body and brightening it. Hold that breath for three seconds. When you hold your breath, build up any emotions you don’t need, any that aren’t serving your purpose, into that hold. Then exhale. Let those emotions leave your body with your breath. Anger, fear, worries….let it go with your exhale. Do this as many times as you need until you feel relatively calm.

Next, stare into your lighted candle for a moment and set your intention to Focus on the Present. Or whatever it is you need for that day. For this practice, it’s focus on the present. Stare into the light for a minute or two before closing your eyes. (don’t stare longer than 10 minutes!) Don’t worry about your breathing. Just keep yourself in the present.

If you’re like me when you close your eyes thoughts will drift by. Don’t worry, that’s okay! Let them have a place in your mind for a moment and then gently move them on. Today your intent is Focusing on being present. Experiencing the moment and joy of now. In this meditation its actually okay for you to be aware of things outside your body as well, because you’re focusing on the ‘now’. Feel your toes, feel the ground beneath you. you are here. You exist in this moment and place. You are part of the earth and the day and the time.

Think about that for a few minutes, then open your eyes. Do you feel ready to focus on your day and not let thoughts of the past distract you? Or the worries of the future rule you? No? Then you did great!

Today I felt more more in myself and in my head and grounded than I have in a few weeks! I can’t wait to see what tomorrows Intention will be!

Are You Pagan, Wiccan, Or……?

We’ve all heard it, or at least been asked it, whether by other pagans or by individuals.

Are you Pagan or Wiccan?”

Now if you’re new to this, these words might be confusing. Aren’t they the same thing? You ask yourself. In fact, your pretty sure that there ISN’T a difference. This assumption might or might not annoy more ‘seasoned’ witches—who having made the exact same mistake as you when they were younger—and cause them to give you a long list of the differences. And it won’t be just about being Pagan or Wiccan, they might even delve into the more complex system that is the make up of the term ‘Pagan’. Words like Asatru, Dianic, Druid, and Hedge Witch will also come into play. Woah. You say. Woah, woah WOAH. How can there be so many!? What the heck is the difference!?

Let me make this as easy a transition as possible for you. “Pagan”  is derived from the noun ‘paganus’, which means country dweller, and is an umbrella term that clumps together all who are non Judeo-Christian (this includes Buddhists, Taoists, and even Shinto). Under this umbrella are people who might follow traditions/religions from their heritage (like the Irish or Greek),  things they feel more compelled to (like Egyptian or even Babylonian), or simply believe in a ‘great all’ and worship the earth and the elementals within them instead. At the bottom of this page I will give you some definitions to the other traditions. Needless to say, if someone says “I’m Pagan” That could mean anything from ‘I don’t believe in any one god/goddess, just elementals’, to a specific tradition “I’m Asatru!”.

Now, Wicca. It derives from the term “wicce”, a Norse word meaning “wise one”. Wicca is a bit more structured, with levels and degrees. In fact, to be considered a ‘true wiccan’ you must be initiated by a high priestess who in turn, had been initiated by a high priestess, and so forth (traditionally, it must be a priestess, not a priest.) There are also those who are solitary practitioners who dedicate themselves. There is a lot of controversy surrounding this, and I’m not here to get into that. Those who are wiccan have a clear belief in either both the goddess and god, or simply the goddess, and celebrate the Sabbats and Esbats. (Note: while both pagans—of the European descent—and wiccans celebrate the same wheel of the year, they might do it different ways. For instance, ‘pagans’ might simply give water and their first harvest of fruit/veggies/grains to the earth/gods, wiccans will do a ritual and create a sacred space, honoring the god and goddess and phase of life they’re in at that moment)

I hope this has cleared some things up for you, and believe me, I know the lines can be very blurry sometimes. For instance, for a very long time I used the terms ‘pagan’ and ‘wiccan’ interchangeably when I first started out, but as the years went by I realized there WAS a difference. Wicca is very structured, methodical, and highly secretive when it comes to what you’ve learned through your mentor. It’s not for everyone. ‘Paganism’ is where I more or less found myself leaning, because I could create my own rituals and place an alter the way I wanted to place it (yes, there IS a correct way to set an alter, I’m sure you’ve seen them in beginners books), and because my way of worshiping the gods was a bit different than the Wiccan’s set traditional rites.

Hopefully somewhere in these words you’ve found some sense of peace, so that when the next time you meet someone and they ask you what you are you can proudly say “I’m _____.” If you’re at a point in your life where you’re still learning, or are still trying to find a tradition that calls to you, I’ve made a list of some traditions you might want to look up. There is of course, Egyptian gods and magic, Santeria (which comes from Mexican traditions), and you might want to take a look into the Order of the Golden Dawn, which I BELIEVE was created during the Victorian era.

Now for a list of some of the traditions in the ‘Pagan Umbrella’

Asatru: This is the practice and traditions of the Norse. Odin, Freya, etc.

Dianic: Greek/Roman. This is the tradition that is almost strictly goddess only. The god is either non-existent or plays a very minor role.

Druid: (or more likely, ‘Neo-Druid’, as druidism was an oral tradition, and most of it was lost when Christianity came along) The practice of the old ways of Irish, English, and Scottish rituals and beliefs.

Hedge Witch: A witch who might or might not worship a god/goddess. More earth based in nature. They might be recognized for working with earth such as gardening, healing, divinations, and even craft making. They can also be a Kitchen Witch (one who practices magic with food. Very often they grow their own garden, and so could have both titles)

Gardenerian: The man who brought forth Wicca from a secreted Coven in England.  

Stregha: Italian witchcraft. You may hear people of this tradition mention Aradia. She is not a goddess, she is a woman who preached the old ways to the people of Italy and formed covens.   

Here are two links that I found super helpful and informative, if you want to read them.

On Wiccan: http://blessedbe.sugarbane.com/wicca.htm

On Stregha: http://www.paganlibrary.com/reference/on_hereditary_italian_witchcraft.php