So let's look at some pictures while we have our pie and coffee. Some of these
photos are not the most up-to-date of our home, but essentially everything is
the same. I'll tell you about
them...and through them you will see that you don't have to have fancy tools or even much
space to honour the gods and goddesses and the Turning of the Wheel. This is just one kitchen witch's
way of doing things...and those ways are ever-evolving! (For more complete explanations of
the Eight Sabbats of the Year and other basics of Pagan/Wiccan/Witchcraft beliefs, see the
Pagan Links page and Helpful Pagan
By the way, something that has sometimes bothered me a little, being a
21st-century witch, is that we know more about Why Things Work than our ancestors did.
I've sometimes wondered how we, with scientific knowledge, could continue to believe in
the old reasons for various seasonal happenings. Here is an insight that came to me (from Brighid, I believe) while I was writing up a little ritual for Imbolc one year:
Even though we know the science behind
the changing of the seasons, it's still important that people observe their festivals, to
turn the Wheel with their own hands and minds. Because who is to say that the mythical and
mystical do not affect the scientific, keeping the Earth going? Perhaps there is a
mind-body connection on a global level. This is probably part of "frontier
Now on to (most of) the Sabbats (I
haven't written up Litha and Mabon yet):
Now some traditions and paths
consider the end of the old year and the beginning of the
new to be Samhain; other traditions consider Yule to be so. For ease
of using this listing, I am using the civic calendar (USA).
Imbolc (Feb. 2d). This is lambing time in many places, a time of quickening.
It is the promise of Springtime, the end of winter in sight. The days begin to lengthen.
It is also Brighid's Day. She is the Goddess of fire, inspiration, healing, and fertility.
We light a special candle to honour her, giving her thanks and asking her blessing upon
our household. Here is the Brighid's cross that
I made a few years ago. It was blessed in ritual and hung above our (modern-day)
hearth. See "Around The House" below.
Ostara (around Mar. 21st). A time of fertility (rabbits, eggs, etc.!), the
fresh light colours of Springtime! Here is a picture
of pastel candles the night of the Spring equinox 1997, when we also celebrated a birthday! Here is a close-up of the bunny faerie candleholders on the
morning of Easter Sunday, when Harold and the Lavender Lagomorph League left lots of luscious goodies for us all!
Beltane (May 1st): A time of everything bursting forth into blossom,
the joyous celebration of the wedding of the Goddess and the God and the promise of their
union: the fruits of the Earth and sustenance for all. I don't have any photos from this
Sabbat...One year, as is suggested in Scott Cunningham's "Wicca:
A Guide For the Solitary Practitioner", I made a simple necklace of pretty beads.
As we held our small ritual outside, in a wooded area behind our apartment house, we
placed it in the branches of a favourite tree as a wedding token for the Lady and her Lord
of the Greenwood. This is a good time to bring wildflowers and blooms into the home, to
celebrate this lovely time of year--here where we live, even in an apartment complex,
violets seem to grow all over the lawns!
Lammas Day (Aug. 1st). Here we thank the Goddess
and the God for their bounties of
grain and the fruit of the vine. This is the first of the three harvest Sabbats.
These are pictures from two different years. One year we
had whole-grain muffins and grapes; the next we
had a loaf of freshly-baked white bread and
wine. The decoration on the candle is the Triple
Goddess symbol, representing the Lady in her Maiden, Mother, and Crone aspects.
Samhain (Oct. 31st). The third and last harvest Sabbat. We remember and honour those who have gone on before us,
especially family members and any others who have been important in our lives.
In the first two pictures are a little
jack o' lantern candle and a memorial candle (which
burns from sunset until midnight--it would be all night, but for safety's
sake, it continues to burn on the astral plane *only*, after midnight). In the
living room we have a basket of gourds,
two black-cat candles, and a votive candle in a black holder (we enjoy
varying the decorations from year to year). The colour orange symbolizes the
harvest and the blazing autumn leaves; the colour black reminds us this is a
time of thinking upon death and rebirth.
The next picture shows the table we have set with foods
for those who may be passing through this night: apples, cookies and candies,
and beverages (this also varies from year to year: one year we set out wine and
ale; one year we set out apple juice and Hawaiian Punch). It is said that
otherside people favour red foods. :-) Here are some poems relating to this Sabbat: Halloween,
Halloween for Young and Older.
Yule (around Dec. 21st). A time of lighting up the darkness in the shortest days
of the year, of helping the new-born-of-the-Goddess Sun grow stronger with sympathetic magick! Here are
pictures of our little apartment-version of a
Yule log, Here is a second view from
the year we used red candles (red symbolizing fire and renewal). We light the
Yule log for the first time on the night of the Winter Solstice, to keep watch
with the Goddess as she gives birth to the Sun and to give the Sun strength and
courage. We don't have a lot of room in our little apartment, so we have
a ceramic Yule tree, representing the real evergreens that keep their leaves
all year 'round. Here is a second view of it.
Here is the Yule log from another year,
this time using red (fire and renewal), white (purity and spirit), and green
(plants, trees, all green growing things) candles.
Our tree again, along with the White Stag (The Horned One), Santa (the Holly
King), and Yule mice! And a view of it in dim
lighting, with presents all around. Here is
our little shrine to the Lady, along with our principal household guardian,
with offerings of wine and brandy made at this festive time. Lastly there is
a little candle I decorated with holly leaves and berries.
||Step this way to see the
Wicca Pixies celebrating
the various Sabbats of the Wheel of the Year!
Another birthday! Did you know that when
you make a wish and blow out the birthday candles, you are performing candle magick? You
don't tell the wish because "power shared is power diminished" (your wish won't
Around The House
Two views of the Brighid's
cross above our (modern-day) hearth. I made this
solar cross with thin strips of construction paper, as I had no straw available. It
was placed there in an Imbolc ritual (1997) inviting this Maiden Goddess into our home,
asking that she bring in the Spring, that she inspire us, that she bless and protect us,
our home, and our hearth all year long. She and Hestia are joint guardians of our hearth
Part of my kitchen, showing my
iron pentacle trivet, a sweet grass braid, a smaller dragon protector, etc. In this close-up is my iron pentacle trivet. Iron is
an earth element. The pentacle represents earth. Black is often the colour that
corresponds to earth. This trivet is made up of a five-petaled flower (the traditional
pentacle's five points represent the four elements, plus the element of spirit) and lots
of hearts and stands on three feet
(which represents the Triple Goddess). To the left is the sweet-grass braid, given to us
by a friend to bring blessings upon our house. Below that is a storm candle I made.
Did you know that apples are
sacred to Aphrodite? And if you slice open an apple crosswise, you can see Mother Nature's
pentacle inside :-)
Two recent additions to the kitchen
table area: a bust of the Goddess and a picture of a bear family. The Bear is
protective, a VERY good mother, and a powerful healer.
Two views of our front door. Iron bells act as a protection, letting only good
faeries and other folk in. Above that is a medal I am loathe to take down; and above that
is a sachet of protective herbs.
Another view in the living room. The
White Stag (The Horned One), 3 little mice, and a castle for the faerie folk to play
around in. Here is a close-up of the White Stag.
Grandmother Witch (also in the
living room). She carries a pouch of spices that promote good health and prosperity in our
home. She represents the wisdom of the elders and the ancestors.
One view of CM's
(old) computer, with
witchy bumper stickers, stuffed animals, various helpful animals' pictures, and a
Tamagotchi baseball cap! The second picture
looks in the other direction and shows a crescent moon image on the wall and a graceful
witch figure made of corn husks. The third picture
is a close-up of the witch figurine.