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Spellcraft and EarthMagick
- Blessed Samhain
- Me, Myself, and I
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Wicca generally teaches that the individual controls their own destiny and does not teach the need for intercession between the practicioner and the fulfillment of their will. There is therefore no confession or exorcism. This is a very significant differentiator between Wicca and all mainstream religions which have priests whose status is more than mere expertise as is the case in Wiccans. The situation is slightly more complex in initiatory traditions, but being initiated is not required (or the norm) for British Wiccans. For most Wiccans there is no action that cannot be carried out by one Wiccan that cannot be carried out by any other Wiccan, even sharing of bread and wine. Beginners or unknown individuals also often play central roles in the casting of circles without anyone being particularly concerned whether they are even Wiccans. Everything is constrained by the credibility of the individual. This can cause complications. This website for example cannot be a definitive definition of Wicca, it takes its place alongside all other material and it is the sysnthesis of that material that defines Wicca. It cannot however be declared definitively as not Wiccan no matter what it says becuase no individual has the power to define this - everything depends on credibility.
The Four Branches of the Mabinogi are the best known tales from the medieval Welsh prose collection known as the Mabinogion. The word "Mabinogi" originally designated only these four tales, which are really parts or "branches" of a single work, rather than the whole collection. The tales contain most of what is recorded of Welsh mythology.
The most mythological stories contained in the Mabinogion collection are the four interrelated tales, by a single author or storyteller, titled The Mabinogi in the manuscripts, or often "The Four Branches of the Mabinogi". The use of characters' names as titles for each branch is also a modern practice; they are not so named in the original manuscripts. One figure, Pryderi appears in all four branches, though not always as a central character.
First Branch: Pwyll, Prince of Dyfed; which tells of Pryderi's parents and his birth, loss and recovery.
Second Branch: Branwen, Daughter of Llŷr; which is mostly about events following Branwen's marriage to the King of Ireland. Pryderi is named but does not play a part in the tale.
Third Branch: Manawydan, son of Llŷr; Pryderi returns home with Manawydan, brother of Branwen. Misfortunes follow them there.
Fourth Branch: Math, son of Mathonwy; about Math and Gwydion, who come into conflict with Pryderi.
It has been suggested that originally these tales were all part of a tradition surrounding the life of Pryderi, and that later additions of material have since come to dominate the stories. It is unclear whether this is indeed the case, or if, alternatively, Pryderi himself was introduced to link legends of separate origins.
First branch - Pwyll, Prince of Dyfed
The first branch tells of how Pwyll, the prince of Dyfed, exchanges places for a year with Arawn, the ruler of Annwn (the underworld), defeats Arawn's enemy Hafgan, and on his return encounters Rhiannon, a beautiful maiden whose ambling horse cannot be caught up with. He manages to win her hand at the expense of Gwawl, to whom she is betrothed. He does so by using a magic bag that can never be filled which he traps Gwawl in. His men proceed to beat Gwawl while he is in the bag. Rhiannon bears Pwyll a son, but the child disappears the night after he is born. Rhiannon is accused of killing him and forced to carry guests on her back as punishment. The child has been taken by a monster, and is rescued by Teyrnon and his wife, who bring him up as their own, calling him Gwri Golden Hair, until his resemblance to Pwyll becomes apparent. They return him to his real parents, Rhiannon is released from her punishment, and the boy is renamed Pryderi.
Second branch - Branwen, Daughter of Llŷr
In the second branch, Branwen, sister of Bendigeidfran (meaning Bran the Blessed), king of Britain, is given in marriage to Matholwch, king of Ireland. Branwen's half-brother Efnisien, angry that he was not consulted, insults Matholwch by mutilating his horses, but Bendigeidfran gives him compensation in the form of new horses and treasure, including a magical cauldron which can restore the dead to life. After returning to Ireland, Matholwch and Branwen have a son, Gwern, but Efnisien's insult continues to rankle among the Irish and Branwen is banished to the kitchen and beaten every day. Branwen trains a starling to take a message to Bendigeidfran, who goes to war against Matholwch. His army crosses the Irish Sea in ships, but Bendigeidfran is so huge he wades across. The Irish offer to make peace, and build a house big enough to entertain Bendigeidfran, but inside they hang a hundred bags supposedly containing flour but actually containing armed warriors. Efnisien, suspecting a trick, reconnoitres the hall and kills the warriors by crushing their heads inside the bags. Later, at the feast, Efnisien, again feeling insulted, throws Gwern on the fire and fighting breaks out. Seeing that the Irish are using the cauldron to revive their dead, E
0 Comments 263 weeks
I read this today - I like the way she explained this with some nice fresh ideas Smile
I'm Pagan - - Can I Still Have a Holiday Tree?
The short answer to that question is: it's your house, you can decorate it any way you like.
The slightly longer answer is that a lot of modern Pagans find a way to blend the Christmas traditions of their childhood with the Wiccan or Pagan beliefs they've come to embrace as adults. So yes, you can have a family Yule celebration and still have a holiday tree, and hang stockings with care by the fire.
During the Roman festival of Saturnalia, celebrants often decorated their homes with clippings of shrubs, and hung metal ornaments outside on trees. Typically, the ornaments represented a god -- either Saturn, or the family's patron deity. The laurel wreath was a popular decoration as well. The ancient Egyptians didn't have evergreen trees, but they had palms -- and the palm tree was the symbol of resurrection and rebirth.
They often brought the fronds into their homes during the time of the winter solstice. Early Germanic tribes decorated trees with fruit and candles in honour of Odin for the solstice. These are the folks who brought us the words Yule and wassail, as well as the tradition of the Yule Log!
In other words, if you want to have a decorated tree for the holiday, don't let anyone tell you it doesn't have Pagan origins. Obviously, you probably won't want to hang a little baby Jesus or a bunch of crosses on it like your Christian neighbours, but there are a ton of other things out there you can use.
Suns and solar ornaments - raid the craft stores and find stars to turn into suns
Gods Eyes - make then out of cinnamon sticks and seasonal coloured yarn or ribbons
Pipecleaner pentacles -- make them out of shiny chenille stems, bent into stars with circles around them
Natural objects like acorns, feathers, holly, mistletoe or pine cones
Lights, lights, and more lights
Magical items -- cups, wands, or daggers
Fertility symbols -- eggs, antlers, horns
So what about a tree topper? Usually, they're found pre-made as angels, but you could substitute a star, a Santa Claus, or some other item that strikes you as appropriate -- one of the best tree toppers I ever saw was actually a tin Green Man wall hanging.
The bottom line is, if you want to have a holiday tree for Yule, then go right ahead and have one. Decorate it in the way that speaks to you, and enjoy your holiday -- after all, the Winter Solstice only comes once a year!
From Patti Wigington,
Your Guide to Paganism / Wiccan.
0 Comments 278 weeks
The number of participants at the Last Supper.
According to Matthew 10:2-5 there were twelve apostles, not thirteen.
Thirteen was once associated with the Epiphany by Christians, the child Jesus having received the Magi on his thirteenth day of life.
In Judaism, 13 signifies the age at which a boy or girl matures and becomes a bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah.
The number of principles of Jewish faith according to Maimonides
According to the Torah, God has 13 Attributes of Mercy
A Significant Number
For various reasons 13 is considered a number carrying a special significance in many cultures.
Thirteen is regarded as an unlucky number in many cultures. Fear of the number 13 is termed triskaidekaphobia. The thirteenth of a month is likewise ominous, particularly when it falls on a Friday in some English-speaking cultures, Russia and Germany (see Friday the 13th) or a Tuesday in the Greek and Spanish-speaking world. The number 13 also is very unlucky at hotels. In some hotels the 13th floor and the room number 13 are excluded. There is also a superstition that should thirteen sit at a table to dine, one will die in the next year, a superstition that prompted the formation of The Thirteen Club to debunk it.
Thirteen may be considered a "bad" number simply because when a group of 13 objects or people is divided into two, three, four or six equal groups, there is always one leftover, or "unlucky", object or person.
It was suggested by Charles A. Platt writing in 1925 that the reason 13 is considered unlucky is that a person can count from 1-12 with their 8 fingers, two thumbs and 2 feet, but not beyond that, so the number 13 is unknown, hence frightening, hence unlucky. This idea discounts the use of toes or other body parts in counting.
Some Christian traditions have it that at the Last Supper, Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed Jesus, was the 13th to sit at the table.
According to another interpretation, the number 13 is unlucky because it is the number of full moons in a contemporary year, but two full moons in a single calendar month (mistakenly referred to as a blue moon in a magazine article of the 1940s) only happens about every 2.5 years.
Early nursery rhymes stated there were thirteen months in a year because of the natural moon cycle that was used to count the lunar year. In England, a calendar of thirteen months of 28 days each, plus one extra day, known as "a year and a day" was still in use up to Tudor times. The lunar year was the easiest to count for cultures before scientific methods existed to observe the movement of the earth around the sun, so it was associated with worship of the pagan Great Goddess for thousands of years, which may be another reason for 13 becoming a taboo number. Taboo often is misunderstood when only half of the totem and taboo relationship is recognized. Among religions having totem and taboo characteristics, that which is taboo on a regular basis may become quite sacred on special occasions.
In Tarot decks, the 13th card of the Major Arcana is Death. While Death is rarely interpreted literally, it is possible that this furthered the perception of 13 as an unlucky number.
Another hypothesis about the origin of Friday the 13th as an unlucky day is attributed to this being the day that the Knights Templar were slaughtered in a collaboration between King Philip IV of France and Pope Clement V finishing with the burning at the stake of Jacques De Molay.
The legion with which Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon was the Legio XIII Gemina or the 13th legion.
13 is the 6th prime number. 6 is sometimes considered an unlucky number due to its association with 666.
In Scotland, there is no gate 13 in any airport, instead there is a gate 12B.
Some airplanes skip a row 13, going straight from 12 to 14.
Some tall bui
1 Comment 283 weeks
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Hi everyone0 Replies 238 weeks
just reading a few messages on this site and have recently become a member
I am a reiki practitioner and slowly developing my spiritual sense of self since I have developed my page on bebo i have received lovely messages from lots of different people a beautiful world of lively living individuals occupy our world and it is a great privilege to get to know you all through this bebo bebo thing
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