donderdag 21 juni 2012

Midsummer mischief

Well, not really mischief actually, just the circle, a bottle of mead and a box of strawberries. We had a lot of fun last night, toasting for prosperity and good things that are to come. I toasted to my anscestors and to the Gods to give them my thanks on the longest day of the year.

Alignment by MsLionking

What I really want is to celebrate another feast with ritual again. It's been too long... The thing is, when you're in a tiny apartment with two cats, you really have no room to perform a ritual indoors. We're in the Netherlands, so weather is always a tricky thing here and you need to have a back up plan for when it's raining cats and dogs (like yesterday). And lastly the problem you always have when you want to work with others. Trying to find a moment in time where everybody is available both mentally and physically.

The next turn of the wheel brings us to Lughnasadh, which we will be celebrating on Castlefest like we do every year. Perhaps Mabon will be a chance to try to celebrate with a group again. We'll see!

I did finally charge, bless and annoint the magical candle I had made a while back, but was waiting for the right moon-phase and the right mindset. So on midsummer it was still new moon and midsummer is a festival that is all about power being at its height. Yesterday at noon (the height of the day) I set my candle aflame. Now, as to not to overwhelm, it will burn a little each day until it is all burned out. Can't wait to see what the magic will bring!

Candle ritual by Janna Prosvirina
With the candle yesterday, I tried something a bit different, and loved it! In our tradition we're taught to bless the candle with the four elements and then annoint it. Which elements you pick in which order is all up to you, but the blessings go like this; you sprinkle the candle with salt and say something like 'I bless this candle with the element earth' or, if you're a bit more theatrical like me; 'I bless this candle with the element of earth to give it a solid base on which the magic can grow.' Then you pass the candle through the smoke of the incense and say; 'I bless this candle with the element of air so that it may carry my wishes to the heavens', next you turn the candle through a flame, swiftly and carefully, leaving thick black marks of soot on it. You say; 'I bless this candle with the element of fire so that it may burn bright and steady'.  You then sprinkle some water on the candle and say; 'I bless this candle with the element of water, may the magic flow smoothly, like a river, towards me'.

Now you have a candle that is wet, black with soot and sprinkled with salt. It's time to get out the oil. Putting a few drops of oil in the palm of your hand you start annointing your candle. Start in the middle and stroke upwards, grip the candle back in the middle again and stroke downwards. Do this is a multitude of threes (magical number). While annointing the candle. you also stroke the soot into the carved symbols, making them stand out more. It's a real messy and complicated way to annoint your candles, although it is quite beautiful.

For the candle I made yesterday, I did something a bit different. I got out my herbs, spices, flowers and oils. From them I selected a few that would compliment my goal and put them in the palm of my hand. By chance, or not of course ;), I had three herbs, three oils and one gum. This is what I used to annoint my candle. A lot less messy and it felt a lot more natural. I suppose I've found a way which works better for me. I then placed the candle on top of a small shelf I usually use as an improvised altar and surrounded it by the elements. That way I had a mini altar and a place where the candle was blessed by the elements without actively having to do so.

Litha by Supersyndrome
So there you have it, a small peak into a practice I use, hope you liked it and I hope that you have all had a wonderful Midsummer!

Love and Leaves,
Marjolijn Ashara

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