The Wheel of the Year turns again, bringing us to Ostara. Also known as the Spring Equinox, this is a time of equal day and equal night, when the energy of the world comes into balance. Some use this time to bless and plant seeds to be harvested later in the year. Others use it for cleansing and consecration. Still others, use the energy for renewal and rebirth. This Ostara, Coven of Midnight’s Flame decided to use the equinox energy to bless our homes and consecrate items from them. We chose to honor the Egyptian deities Taweret and Bes, both known to be protectors of the household. Prior to ritual, we made sachets filled with herbs and stones and then charged them during ritual so that they might bless all who dwell inside our homes. Additionally, we each brought with us an object we felt was important to our homes and we blessed and consecrated these items as well. Near the end of ritual, Beth led us through a unique divination experience where each covener received an easter egg, which contained a witch’s rune she had personally painted herself. As always, our traditional potluck feast followed. We were blessed to be joined by two new Shadow Sisters, witnessing their first ritual with our coven. We hope this will be the first of many! We continuously extend our gratitude to the Goddess for bringing us all together. May our coven continue to grow in light and in love. Blessed Be!
March All-Coven Meeting
At our March All-Coven meeting, Aislin lead us in the first of three classes on introductory astrology. We all examined our natal (birth) charts and explored the ideas of sun sign, moon sign, ascendant, modality, quadrature, descantes, and houses. It was a lot of new information to take in for most of us, but everyone learned a great deal about themselves through their charts. Future classes will build upon this one, starting with a review of what was covered at the previous class for those who had to miss it. We were joined once again by yet another sister interested in our group, and we all look forward to our futures together as we continue to grow in light and in love. Blessed Be!
February All-Coven Meeting
At our February All-Coven meeting, we worked with the concept of self-love. February is a perfect time for love workings off all kinds, but many people overlook the idea of self-love. We passed a mirror around the room and everyone said something that they loved about their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual selves, respectively. During this exercise, others were free to jump in and tell us about the qualities they love about us as well and I think that some of us were quite surprised and flattered by the things they heard others say about them! We also painted heart-shaped picture frames that could be filled at a later time with a self-portrait or a mirror. We passed the frames around and everyone wrote something that they love about us on our frames. At home, everyone can then look at these frames when they find themselves in that inevitable place of self-doubt…when they need to reaffirm their self-love the most. We were overjoyed to be joined by two new sisters at our meeting and our group continues to grow in light and in love. Blessed Be!
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!