Merry Meet Friends
Greetings and Witchy Blessings to you all!
Welcome to our latest newsletter. As the wheel turns to Candlemas - Imbolc, and once again the daylight hours lengthen and the sun's warmth is felt. Spring bulbs and flowers indicating the return of Spring and illustrating the earths fertility.
We all thoroughly enjoyed our Yuletide celebrations at the Witches Ball, which was hosted by Lily of Cauldron Craft in Auckland. As I am such is apparent by the photographic evidence on the site. Check out the photos if you haven't already.
Thanks Lily for the fabulous job in organising and hosting the event. May it be the first of many to come. For those of you in Auckland, look out for notices about future events.
We have recently come across a New Zealand Pagan publication called The Pagan Lantern which is published by I.D.entification Publications in Napier. The Pagan Lantern is a quarterly publication containing a wide range of articles, recipes and craft ideas. Let us know if you are interested in copy of their latest Winter Solstice/ Imbolc/ Spring Equinox edition and we will provide you with the contact details. If you are in Napier you can purchase a copy from Aradia, 14 Hastings Street.
In some exciting news for the Grove, Witchaven has recently become Limited Liability Company in New Zealand. A very exciting step for those of the core grove members.
We have also been working on adding some new pages to the site, some of you have noticed the new Herb lore and recipe pages that we have added. Currently there are pages on Lavender, Rosemary, Sage and Wormwood with more to be added. Another new addition to the site is a page on Crystal Healing Elixirs.
We are continuing to work on adding new and updating existing pages of information. Please let us know if there are particular areas of interest to you. We always welcome your feedback and emails.
Imbolc (Em' bolc - hard, guttural "c")- 1-2 August Southern Hemisphere
Deities: Brigid, Brid, the Maiden, the Spring Goddess, the Young Lord.
Herbs: Angelica; Basil; Bay Leaves; Myrrh.
Stones: Quartz; Opal; Moonstone; Aventurine, Sunstone.
Also known as Candlemas or Groundhog Day, this Sabbat was traditionally keyed to the lactation of the ewes. This is a celebration of the first stirrings of the Earth as she responds to the wake up call of Spring. Although this is a fire festival, the emphasis is on light, rather than warmth.
It marks the recovery of the Goddess after giving birth to the new Sun god, who is growing into a young boy by this time. His power is felt in the lengthening days of sunlight, though that power is fickle in his youthfulness as we wake to warm sun one day and cold, grey skies the next. The Goddess begins to manifest the Maiden aspect, with the first few flowers of the season pushing up through the melting snow.
The most common theme is that of purification. This is symbolised by the sweeping of the circle. It is time to being spring-cleaning. Time to get rid of what's no longer of any use to us - bad habits, old ideas, and preconceived notions. It is time to make way for the new and exciting things to come.
Decorate Altar with White flower (representing snowflake), or snow in crystal container. Orange candle anointed with musk, cinnamon, frankincense, or rosemary oil.
Appropriate Foods include all dairy foods. Sour cream dishes. spicy, full-bodied foods in honour of the Sun. Curries and all dishes made with peppers, onions, leeks, shallots, garlic, or chives. Spiced wines and dishes containing raisins - all foods symbolic of the Sun - are traditional.
Looking for ways to celebrate:
- Turn on all the lights in the house for a few moments to guide the path of spring. Alternatively, burn a votive candle in each room.
- Burn any leftover evergreen decorations from Yule. This ensures good luck in the coming year.
- Tie small bundles of straw together with pieces of black ribbon. Name each bundle for some thing you wish to remove from your life and burn it.
- Have a through 'spring clean' using your broom to sweep out any stale energy that has been building throughout the winter months.
With my broom filled with power, I now sweep away the old and sour,