Beltane Blessings

Beltane Blessings

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Beltane is a major Pagan festival called a Sabbat. It is the union of the God and Goddess. The word Beltane means ‘Bright Fire’. It is named after the God Bel and ancient Celtic God. It is a fire festival and it is traditional to build a fire on Beltane night to honor the Sun Gods.

Beltane is also a fertility festival, as it is the height of Spring and the beginning of Summer. Earth’s energy is very strong and potent with new life. Beltane is also the start of the farming calendar.

Fire is believed to have purifying qualities, it cleansed and rejuvenated both the land and the people. The ritual welcoming of the sun and the lighting of the fires was also believed to ensure fertility of the land and the people. Animals were transferred from winter pens to summer pastures, and were driven between the Beltane fires to cleanse them of evil spirits and to bring fertility and a good milk yield.

In Celtic times, it would be traditional to build a big bonfire in the center of the village and have a big feast. Young men and women would dance around the maypole, while many people would marry in a handfasting (wedding). People wishing to find love or conceive would jump over a Belfire for luck in love and fertility.

On Beltane we celebrate the abundance of the earth, it is a happy time when we give thanks for all we have in our lives and look forward to the bright, sunny days ahead. We celebrate the coming together of the God and the Goddess and the gifts they will bestow upon the earth.

May you have a happy and joyous Beltane.

Full written & photo credit goes to Wicca Teachings. I merely edited this. 

Full Strawberry Moon

Full Strawberry Full Moon

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Friday the 13th may be bad luck for some, for witches and Pagans it’s often considered a magical date. After all, Friday is named for Freyja, a Norse goddess of fertility (sometimes called Frigg). The ancient Egyptians associated the number thirteen with immortality, there were twelve steps on the ladder to eternal life and knowledge; the thirteenth step meant going through death into everlasting life. Upper-class Romans required thirteen guests to be present at weddings as did the Norse vikings.

Finally, thirteen has a strong association with the moon for modern Pagans and Wiccans. There are thirteen lunar cycles each year, and many of us celebrate the Full Moons with an Esbat rite. Thirteen is the traditional number of witches in a coven. You will not see another one of these occurrences until 2049.

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Tonight’s Full Moon, called the Strawberry Moon because of the abundance of strawberries around at this time. It is traditional to eat strawberries on this day. If you have a lover or a love interest, give them roses as this Moon is also known as the Rose or the Love Moon. It is the perfect time to patch up relationships, get married, or find a new love. The June Moon is also known as the Honey Moon because it has a slight amber tint to it, and it is also a time when bees are at their most active.

Tonight’s Full Moon also falls on Friday the 13th. This will not be very significant for many, but for the superstitious it can hold a lot of significance and it won’t happen again for another 35 years, so it is very rare.

This Moon is all about balance, as it is exactly the middle of the year. It is a time to ask yourself what you have achieved throughout the year so far and if you are happy with it. Take stock of all you have and all you wish for, and work out a path or a way to achieve your goals in the coming months. This Full Moon is a great time to list what it is you want from life and to work out what you need to do in order to achieve it. Give your message to the universe and let it know what you want. Let your dreams, hopes, and wishes manifest.

The Moon is in the sign of Sagittarius which is a sign of truth, travel, and ambition. Things that were in the dark will now start to come to light, new truths will be revealed. Use the energy of this Full Moon to explore, make travel plans, see people, or talk to people you haven’t seen for a while. Sagittarius Moon asks us to step into a bigger picture, to look at our ambitions and act on them.

This Full Moon will have our emotions on high alert, especially when it comes to matters of the heart. We will be feeling a little fragile at the moment so be kind and gentle with yourself, don’t be to self critical, try to stay positive and think about all the good in your life rather than the bad. There may be emotional desire to pack up and go off on an adventure to distant lands or visit places that bring up sweet memories. The sign of Sagittarius often feels its passion in travel, visiting new lands, and meeting people from other walks of life.

This is the Full Moon just before the Summer Solstice, which is the height of Summer. The earth is full of energy and life. Use these energies to inspire you, be creative and go out into nature for long walks, see the beauty all around you and embrace all life has to offer. Let the Moon heal and energize you.

Have a blessed Full Moon, may the Goddess watch over you.

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*Most written credit goes to Wicca Teachings. Photo credits to Wicca Teachings.*

Blessed Beltane

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Beltane is a Celtic word which means ‘fires ofBel’ (Bel was a Celtic Sun God). It is a fire festival that celebrates of the coming of summer and the fertility of the coming year.The young horned God who the Goddess gave birth to on Yule has now matured into a man and will marry the maiden Goddess, after months of flirting since the beginning of Spring they will make love for the first time where the Goddess will become pregnant with the harvest to come. Beltane is primarily a fertility celebration. 

On Beltane it is a celebration of the masculine and feminine union, not just male and female, but the masculine and feminine within us all and the balance between them. The light and dark within us. The sky and earth, the sun and moon. Yin and Yang.

It is customary to use a lot of reds and whites today as red represents the fertility of the female aspect and the white the fertility of the male aspect. A maypole is a tradition on Beltane the pole represents the male phallus, while the streams represents the female wrapping around the pole. Fires should be lit to bring a prosperous year and summer, the fire is to worship the Sun Gods. Traditionally people should jump over a small fire to bring luck and fertility, when jumping the fire young unmarried people would wish for marriage; young wives to ensure fertility and couples to strengthen a bond. It is also customary to make flower garlands to wear on your head and daisy chains to wear as a necklace, this will honor the Faerie folk as this is their day of celebration too.

Today we should light red and white candles and place Spring flowers on our altar such as daisies, daffodils, and dandelions. Give thanks for all you have in life and make wishes for the future. If you can get any, burn hawthorn branches to bring you luck and prosperity.

Beltane is a celebration, it is a time to dance, be with friends, have a shared meal with family, drink and be merry. Celebrate life. Beltane is also a time for hand-fasting, which is a Pagan wedding ceremony.

Have a Blessed Beltane. May the God and Goddess watch over you.

*Full written credit goes to Wicca Teachings*

Caturday Came A Day Early…

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Yesterday was my “day off” after a pretty tumultuous week. My pain levels are driving me up the wall, and a few people in my life are choosing now, of all times, to be idiotic, pathetic, childish morons. Do you all wait for me to have PMS and be raring to go after you with a hockey stick or are you really just that stupid?! For the record, I could be talking about a plethora of people, so please, don’t flatter yourself into thinking I’m talking about you unless you actually know you’re a moron and have been behaving in a childish, pathetic manner.

It has been my experience that morons are completely oblivious to the shit that comes out of their mouth, as well as how they act and behave. If you’ve said or done something stupid and I have kept my mouth shut thus far, trust me when I say that I’m being merciful.

Yesterday morning I discovered a black & white kitten in my back yard. I was on my way upstairs and out of the corner of my eye was a kitten in typical cat like predatorial position, seemingly staring at something near the storage shed. I opened the door and called out to her, but she refused to leave her post. After about an hour or so, she slowly started to move around the yard, still watching something that I couldn’t see or hear, and I decided to put some food out for her and see if she’d bite.

She had no collar or visible tags and she kept looking right at me, so I know she’s not afraid of me (and yes, I know she’s actually a she because male cats have a totally different look to them facially and physically.). I’ve seen her in passing for a few months roaming around 4-5 houses close to mine, darting across the street in the early evening hours, but I have no idea if she’s microchipped and belongs to someone, if she’s been abandoned, or if she’s a stray. It’s possible she belongs to someone and is an outdoor cat, but to not have a collar or tags is usually a good indicator that the owner doesn’t really give a shit about their animal, and it pisses me off big time when people do that.

I suspect she’s been sleeping in my yard at night for quite some time because I’ve been hearing some major purring underneath my window pretty much every night. If you’re not a cat owner or cat lover, you have no idea what it’s like to have a purring little being lull you to sleep. I miss that SO MUCH after losing my macaroon in January. I felt like I was cheating a bit calling out to this kitten, I actually looked around as if she might hear me, but it comes down to me simply not being able to allow a kitten to hang out in my yard without feeding it and making sure it’s safe and belongs to someone. I’ll see if we develop trust between us because right now, I don’t want to spook her. She was here for several hours and then walked around the yard and left. She’s beautiful, but young. Maybe a year old, if that. Still a baby. I would take her in, in a New York Minute, and I don’t usually say that about an animal older than 10 weeks. Kittens are my personal preference and are such a joy to raise. I am well aware that older cats need homes too, and plenty of people in my area are adopting them, so I am not about to change my preference unless a situation presents itself. I do not compromise who I am to make other people feel better about themselves.

As of right now, I am supposed to attend a kitten/cat adoption event the day of my birthday in a few weeks. Initially I was really looking forward to this, I was so excited at the possibility of coming home with “little people”. It’s in the Main Line (outside of Philly), so it’s still close enough that if I don’t find a kitten or two to take home I can always attend their November event, but I’m honestly just going to wing it. If I wake up that morning and I’m feeling good, then I’ll go. If I wake up and I don’t feel it, then I will wait until next Spring and give myself that much more time to heal because in all honesty, I have a feeling that’s what I really need.

This has been a year that has shown me who I am. It has brought out a deeper strength I did not know I possessed, a fighting spirit that is so much fiercer than she used to be, and a person who sees things and people in a much clearer fashion. I will no longer hold on to things, relationships/friendships, or anything that doesn’t give me a sense of peace and happiness. I will not change to make others feel better, but I will change if I see something within me that needs fixing, for me. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being yourself. I now fully realize that some people don’t know how to take that, and that some people simply want to run and hide from it because they’re really running and hiding from themselves. That’s not my issue. If you ask me to be a part of your life in any way, shape, or form, then I am going to be myself. If you ask me for advice, help, honesty, or to listen, then I will do exactly that. If I extend the hand of friendship, fully consider it before smacking it away as if you’re two years old.

I’m going to spend my weekend writing, reading, resting, and healing. I will squeeze some cleaning, laundry, and cooking into the fray, and I will try to catch the Pirates game tomorrow as well. Beyond that, I really just want to be left alone with my own thoughts. What next week holds is a whole other story, but I already know it’ll be challenging. I will make it through, and so will you.

Water & Humanit…

Water & Humanity

“Anger is like flowing water; there’s nothing wrong with it as long as you let it flow. Hate is like stagnant water; anger that you denied yourself the freedom to feel, the freedom to flow; water that you gathered in one place and left to forget. Stagnant water becomes dirty, stinky, disease-ridden, poisonous, deadly; that is your hate. On flowing water travels little paper boats; paper boats of forgiveness. Allow yourself to feel anger, allow your waters to flow, along with all the paper boats of forgiveness. Be human.”  ―C. JoyBell C.

*I’m a highly elemental person. Water being my primary element, with Fire, Spirit, and Air coming in to close ranks (I’m not a fan of Earth as an element, sorry.). I wanted to find a softer, less harsh quote, but this one speaks to me right now and it really stands out. I hope it rings true for some of you as well.*

The Fire In My Life

Two years & 8 months ago one of my closest friends in the world, Stefanie, called from Australia, where she & her husband Patrick were living at the time, to tell me she was pregnant. She hadn’t told her husband yet, nor had she told her mother, and she wouldn’t tell either of them until she officially was on day one of her third month. I was the first one to know after a doctor told her “You don’t have food poisoning.” We whispered the entire conversation like eleven year olds trying to keep a secret from their parents, and we continued whispering like that until I finally told her that she HAD to at least tell Patrick. We’re both crazy stubborn Scorpios and we were arguing over it for weeks, but she held firm. Yeah, she actually managed to out-stubborn me.

Once everyone was finally clued in, I received an extremely fancy heart pendant necklace along with an official request to be their child’s Godmother. I felt like she was proposing (That’s how fancy the pendant is. Sometimes I’m a little hesitant to wear it.), but I appreciated the beauty of the gesture in the way it was intended.

Asking someone to be a Godparent is a big deal, and I was asked because after much deliberation, she & her husband could not think of a stronger, smarter, more capable, more inspirational woman to be a part of their child’s life. I was so taken aback by that, because those were the very words they used when asking. I don’t see myself the way other people do, so I was very moved and of course, I accepted. To me, it’s no big deal, to be a part of a child’s life is a blessing in any capacity, but to them it’s an immense gift and a relief that their child has someone else to go to if ever said child needs a neutral party, so to speak. It also provides them with the peace of mind that I’ll be there no matter what. They wanted someone who would always be the epitome of a role model to their child, who we soon found out was a girl.

It is VERY important for girls to have strong role models in their lives, both male and female. She is blessed with an extremely beautiful, talented mother and a father who would go to hell and back for her. Stefanie doesn’t have any sisters, she is the youngest of six siblings and the only girl in the family. Maybe that explains why we’ve been friends for so long, because we share a very loyal, very private sisterhood. I give Patrick a lot of credit because he has always told her how special and important our friendship is, has always encouraged her to fly out to see me if too much time has gone by without “girl time”, and has never, not once in the 15 years they’ve been married, behaved negatively toward me or acted as though there was no longer a place for me in her life simply because they are married. I respect that so much about him. Believe me when I say this is a big thing to me, because pretty much every friend I’ve ever had dropped me like a pile of shit the second they found a boyfriend, leave alone a husband. Not Stefanie. It’s not beneath her to tell Patrick to leave the room so we can talk, and it’s not beneath her to tell him to go and play golf because she needs me and only me. He never takes it personally and he is never offended or annoyed by my presence. Again, that tells you she’s truly got a good guy in her life and I am thankful for that because she deserves it. He knows what Stefanie and I both know, that there isn’t one single person in this world that can be every single thing you need at all times. Sometimes you need your life partner, sometimes you need a parent or a sibling, and sometimes you need the person who has known you before your growth spurts (be it physical, emotional, professional, as well as all the others), who knows your family, who knows what breaks your heart, who’s always known your middle name, who knows things no one else knows because that person has been present for so long, and they get it. As much as I could ever love a man and work hard every single day to be the best partner in life that I can be, I could never walk away from the people in my life that have helped shape who I am and the person I have become. In fact, I worry about the people that develop instant amnesia and then wonder why they’re all alone when that person turns out to be something they didn’t see coming barreling toward them like an Acela train, but I digress.

I’m partially responsible for my Goddaughter’s name, which will always make me smile because it’s as gorgeous as she is. I’ve loved this particular name for probably ten years or so. I knew I wouldn’t be using the name for my own children (I name to honor the dead, never the living.), so I gave one of the lead characters in my urban fantasy series this name. She ended up being Stefanie’s favorite character that I casually mentioned in passing when I first talked about “maybe writing my own urban fantasy novel some day”.

One day she finally asked me if it would be ok to use for the baby’s name. Not because she had no ideas of her own, but because she & Patrick were madly in love with what it meant and how strong a name it is. Did I want it for my own daughter?, was her first question, because if I did, they’d keep looking. Yeah, we’re still girls and we both know that sort of thing can become an issue with friends at times. I’ve seen people get into war-like fights over this sort of thing (the naming of children), friends and family alike stop speaking if one person “steals a name” from the other, especially if one had confided to the other while pregnant that this was the name that had been chosen. I had my ex-fiancee’ do this when he got married. He systematically chose two of the most important names I had picked out that he knew about, not just for his first child, but for both of them. It doesn’t just take lack of creativity to do something like that, it’s also a calculated, borderline evil thing to do to someone you once claimed to love. Any way, I told her I didn’t have anyone to name for with that initial, and that if she wanted it, she could have it. Yes, it is still the name of the character in my book(s).

In Hebrew the name translates to “God Is My Candle” and “Burning Light Of God”. She then asked me about naming for her brother who had passed away suddenly a few years prior, who was one of the kindest, most “shirt off your back” guys in the world, someone whom I miss dearly, and if I miss him, I can only imagine how much she misses him. We looked for middle names that started with his first initial, and came up with something truly fitting, and quite frankly, beautiful.

On March 10th 2011, Neriah Blaze officially entered all of our lives. They say “all babies are born with blue eyes”, but Neriah’s eyes have been the same color as her mother’s, a true grey, from day one. Her blonde, blue eyed Dad’s genes don’t stand a chance, she’s a little replica of Mommy from head to toe (Black hair, fair skin, and those sparkly grey eyes.), and both of her parents are extremely tall, so by the time she’s ten I fully expect she’ll be towering over me.

The little Pisces princess is smart, intuitive, empathetic, sweet, and kind. She’s also demanding, as I previously mentioned in my “Girl On Fire’ post back in December. She’s a Water Sign with two names that make reference to fire and light, so it’s interesting how she relates to that song, not knowing what her names mean just yet, or why they were chosen. And thankfully, she’s at that age where you’re not using her full name EVER, because she’s still sweet and chatty and not the least bit troublesome, but the terrible 2’s and terrible 3’s that people (parents, Grandparents, and child care professionals) talk about are surely around the corner as her personality continues to develop. I hope it’s a relatively smooth transition because she’s such a joy, and I long for the days when I can provide her with a satchel of baby cousins to play with.

On your 2nd birthday and always Neri, Aunt Li-Li loves you to pieces. One day you will read this and know why it’s important to acknowledge every birthday and milestone.

Happy Birthday my little flame.