This year, Coven of Midnight’s Flame travelled to San Jose, CA for Pantheacon, the largest annual pagan convention in the United States. Hosted each year by the San Jose Doubletree Hotel, pagans from all of over the country gather for a weekend of rituals, lectures, workshops, and fun. I, myself, had never been to the convention, but several of our coven sisters had, and they assured me that I was in for a weekend to remember. We were so fortunate that all six of our Inner Court members were able to attend as well as one of our Shadow Sisters and a couple members of our sister coven, Twilight Spiral. It is difficult to put into words exactly how magickal and transformative our weekend turned out to be. I was able to attend two classes led by my favorite pagan author, Christopher Penczak, and he signed one of his books for me! I also learned an incredible amount from the classes I went to on ritual construction as well as the one on divine love. In between the plethora of classes offered on anything from village witchery to drumming and dance for ritual, convention goers could visit the vending room, where vendors from all over the U.S. were selling all things pagan. I came home with a gorgeous rhodochrosite Ganesha pendant! We are all so thankful to our sister Kehau’s parents for letting us stay at their home, which was close to the convention center. They lovingly took us in and treated us like we were family. The highlight of my trip was the tantric breathing workshop that I took at the very end of my Pantheacon stay. Never in my life have I had such a transformative and intense spiritual experience as I had in that workshop, and I am considering going on a retreat in Mexico later this year hosted by the workshop leader. After such a moving and memorable weekend, it was definitely hard to come back to Los Angeles and reenter “normal” life again. I think I can speak for everyone in our coven when I say that we all learned so much that we have brought back with us, and we can’t wait for next year when we can attend Pantheacon again! May we all continue to grow in light and in love. Blessed Be!
The Wheel of the Year turned once again, bringing us to Imbolc, the fire festival dedicated to the great Celtic goddess Brighid. Imbolc represents that time of the year, that in-between time in the middle of winter and spring. A perfect time to reflect inward while waiting for the new buds to appear on the trees, many Wiccans consider Imbolc a holiday of creativity, rededication, and cleansing and consecrating.
This Imbolc, Coven of Midnight’s Flame honored Brighid and her mighty father, The Dagda. We journeyed inward, making pledges to ourselves, the Goddess, and the universe, vowing those sacred things which we would like to see come to fruition this year. Incorporating the four elements into our Imbolc ritual, we each made four vows, physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional, at the Earth, Air, Fire, and Water elemental altars, respectively.
Keeping with the theme of Imbolc as a fire festival, there was definitely a LOT of fire at our ritual. At one point, during the vows, our giant smudge stick on the Air altar, caught fire! and it took several people to put it out! Luckily, no one was hurt, but we are wise to remember the great power that all of the elements hold. We were overjoyed to be joined by our newest Shadow Sister at ritual, and in Twilight Tradition, a great potluck feast followed at which we dined on delicious Winter comfort food. It was a Blessed Imbolc night indeed! May we all continue to grow in light and in love! Blessed Be!
This Yule, we had the great fortune of co-hosting a “friends and family” ritual with our sister coven, Twilight Spiral. Our circle centered around the rebirth of the waxing part of the year and those things which we wish to leave behind as well as those we wish to bring into the new year with us. With the addition of five new initiates between our two covens in the last 6 months, the total of our combined Inner Courts now reaches 11 women! We were so over-joyed to have all 11 Initiates take part in the planning and performance of this ritual. We were also blessed to be joined by some of our Shadow Sisters. Our ritual center consisted of three parts. In the first, a Yule Log was burned that contained all of those things that we wish to get rid of as we head into the new year. We then spent time contemplating those positive things we wish to replace that which we leave behind. During the second part of our center, we enacted the ritual drama of the Oak King slaying the Holly King at midwinter and the rebirth of the waxing half of the year. Finally, as the third part of our center, we had a toasting circle and went around as everyone toasted their accomplishments of the previous year. As always, our ritual was followed by an epic pot luck dinner. We were thrilled to be joined by family and friends, both new and old, who joined us in our celebration. It was such a gorgeous ritual and we felt bonded with our sister coven as we performed and worshipped together. May our covens continue to grow in light and love. Blessed Be!
For November’s All-Coven Meeting, High Priestess Aislin taught a class on Energy Tapping. Also know as the Emotive Freedom Technique, or EFT, Energy Tapping utilizes acupressure points, the body’s natural energy meridians, and positive affirmations to shift consciousness and release pent-up negative emotions. Energy Tapping can be used to not only remove negative emotions, but also to lessen cravings, reduce or eliminate pain, and implement positive goals. It can also be an effective grounding technique when used before ritual or other magickal workings. Aislin demonstrated the technique and then led the group through a full round of energy tapping. Though very effective when led through it by a guide, Energy Tapping can also be used when you are completely alone. As always, we had a great class and are so filled with joy to see our coven grow in light and love. Blessed Be!
This Samhain, we hosted our sister coven, Twilight Spiral, and were so fortunate to be blessed with their presence in our ritual. We honored the Lithuanian goddess and god Medeina and her twin brother Giraitus, protectors of sacred animals and the forest. With the veils between the worlds being so thin at this time of year, we raised energy for the animals of the world, both those we take into our homes and call pets and those who sacrifice their lives in order to provide sustenance for human beings as well as other animals. As is Twilight Tradition, we set up an ancestor altar, which we decorated with photographs and mementos of those who have come before us. We also set up an additional altar to honor our beloved pets who have passed over into the Summerland. After ritual, we partook in a magnificent potluck feast featuring many fall-themed dishes and then spent time chatting and catching up with each other. It was both a night of solemn reverence for the dead and fun and merriment with our sisters. We are so joyous to witness our covens as well as the Twilight Tradition grow in light and love. Blessed Be!
Mabon 2013 Ritual: Feast of Avalon – hosted by Twilight Spiral Coven
This Mabon, we were fortunate enough to circle with our sister coven, Twilight Spiral, who hosted a lovely ritual centered around the Isle of Avalon. We honored King Arthur Pendragon as well as Morgan Le Fay, and our sisters led us through songs inspired by the season. At the center of the ritual, we made three offerings at the sacred well, one of water, one of coins, and one of apples. As always, ritual was followed by a potluck feast, this time centered around apples and apple dishes. What a wonderful evening we all shared and we are constantly reminded of how lucky we are to have such fantastic sisters to celebrate the Sabbats with. Blessed Be!
August 2013 All Coven Meeting
For August’s All Coven Meeting, we gathered together at our North Hollywood Covenstead to make Finger Labyrinths. Labyrinths have long been thought to be a form of “meditation in motion,” whereby the repetitive movement of walking through one can lull a person into a light meditative trance. However, not everyone is lucky enough to have a full-sized labyrinth near them in order to utilize this precious technique. An alternative would be to find a walking trail at a nearby state forest or campground. Another option would be to create a finger labyrinth. Finger Labyrinths are easily made out of clay and can be made in any size or shape that you like. For ours, we used air-drying clay in two different colors. It was a real bonding experience to make our finger labyrinths together and we were delighted to be joined by a new interested Shadow Sister and look forward to getting to know her better in the future. It was a lovely late summer night and our finger labyrinths turned out great! We then decided to kick back and watch The Craft, sharing snacks as well as many laughs! May our coven continue to grow in love and light! Blessed Be!
This Lughnassadh, Coven of Midnight’s Flame decided to focus on prosperity drawing. We had a beautiful evening ritual led by our sister Beth. As part of second degree training, each initiate is expected to lead one esbat as well as one sabbat in order to complete the training. Beth did a truly wonderful job! Prior to ritual, we all made Witches’ Ladders out of yarn, feathers, charms, and beads. While working, we focused our intentions and energy into the ladders, our desire to draw the prosperity into our lives that we need right now. During ritual, we honored the Roman goddess and god, Juno and Jupiter. Juno was said to protect the finances of the people of Rome, and Jupiter, her consort, was known to bestow luck and good fortune. Our Witches’ Ladders were charged in the center of the ritual and we released our energy and intentions out into the universe. Our traditional potluck followed ritual, and as always, we had a joyous sabbat celebration with our sisters! Blessed Be!
This Litha, we hosted our sister coven, Twilight Spiral. This was also one of two Friends and Family rituals we host each year, where men, women and children who are not part of the coven are invited to come to ritual and see what we do. We gathered at our North Hollywood covenstead for a noontime ritual, centered around ancient Greece and the power or Midsummer prophesy. Mighty Apollo and his mother, Leto, were evoked and participants were led through the story of Apollo’s life, from his birth on the isle of Delos to the building of his temple at Delphi. As our dedicants donned withes’ hats and danced around the altar, a cauldron full of prophesies was revealed, symbolizing the Oracle of Delphi. One by one, participants were invited to step forward and select a prophesy. We then all took a moment to send blessings back to the Sun and Earth, thanking them for all the good that has been bestowed upon us this year. As always, a potluck meal followed the ritual. Keeping with our Greek theme, we were all encouraged to bring Mediterranean dishes. We were blessed to have such a lovely afternoon for our ritual and were so thrilled that so many of our sister coveners could attend as well! Blessed Be!
On the night of May 18, Coven of Midnight’s Flame joined Twilight Spiral Coven at the La Mirada covenstead for a rune class led by High Priestess Ivy. It was wonderful as always to chat with and connect with our tradition sisters.
Ivy’s class began with the introduction of the handouts. She talked about the history of runes and what they can divine. Her class was well thought out and organized. We learned the break down of runes into three groups and how each rune’s power is affected by the “aett” to which it belongs. Rune meanings were presented not only in lecture form, but a beautiful rune illustration was given to us as a tool to use to write our own notes. As runes are an ancient divinatory tool, the literal meanings do not always translate directly into our modern divination practice. For example, Fehu, in it’s literal translation, means cattle. As cattle were wealth and property in ancient times, this can translate into material wealth, possessions or abundance.
Our mini course in runes ended with rune casting in small groups, and we were each able to divine some answers for ourselves and our sisters.
I myself took away a greater knowledge, a fabulous set of references and a better understanding of how runes can be utilized to harness that which the universe seeks to tell us through divination.
We thank you Ivy for yet another wonderful class!