Samhain 2014

Published December 8, 2014 by Aislin

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Samhain 2014

The Wheel of the Year continues to turn and we are graced with darker and shorter days as well as a chill in the air. We begin to turn ourselves inward and contemplate our connection to the “other world.” This Samhain, Coven of Midnight’s Flame gathered together to honor those who have passed across the veil. Though they are no longer of this world, their presence can be especially felt at Samhain. Prior to ritual., we made Dia de Los Muertes Skull Rattles, using ribbons, yarn, and felt. We also set up our traditional family altars, displaying pictures and mementos of our dearly beloved family, friends, and pets. During ritual, we had a tolling of the bells, as each member called out the names of those who have passed on in the previous year. We then shook our rattles to raise energy for those who are no longer walking physically among us. Our traditional potluck followed ritual, and keeping with the theme of Dia de Los Muertes, we sampled savory foods from Latin America. As always, we enjoyed spending time with our sisters, chatting late into the night. Though this is often thought of as a somber time of the year, we still reveled in the company of those we love so dearly. May our coven continue to grow in light and in love. Blessed Be!

The Wiccan Rede – Open to Interpretation?

Published December 2, 2014 by Aislin

This was a discussion question from the LA Pagan Alliance Page, and I thought it would make an interesting blog…

The Wiccan Rede says “An it harm none, do as ye will.”

Wicca is a unique religion in that there is no “official” book that all adherents of the religion look to as a divine source of scripture, such as the Christians’ Holy Bible. However, most Wiccans that you talk to follow certain shared beliefs such as the Wiccan Rede. But can the Rede be left open to interpretation?

Our question this week: What does the Wiccan Rede mean to you, specifically?

This is one of my favorite questions because I think that it can be answered in so many different ways and I think its answer draws upon so many different fields, among them religion, philosophy, and psychology (my favorites) :)

The definition of the word “rede” is interesting. For those of you who don’t know, the word “rede” means
“advice or counsel given by one person to another” when it is used as a noun and “to advise (someone)” or to interpret (a riddle or dream)” when it is used as a verb.

I think the second verbal definition is particularly intriguing…a “rede” contains within it an element of interpretation. From the noun definition, it is “advice;” it is not a “law” as some have mistakenly thought.

I believe the rede is open to interpretation. I also think that it can be looked at from at least two different perspectives when one is a practicing wiccan/pagan/magician…there is both a magickal way to look at it and a mundane way. From both perspectives, I can only speak for my own interpretation, and I accept that others will have interpretations that vary from my own.

From a magickal perspective, I interpret the rede to mean that as long as I perform magick that does not intentionally hurt another, then I can perform whatever spells I like. I stress the word intentionally because I believe that intention is at the heart of what we do. There are some who say they would not perform a job spell because that could mean that someone else did not get the job. I say – it was not my intention to hurt that other being…my intention was to better my life. That being said, I would not perform a spell to bind someone to me or cause someone to lose money or a job or possessions because that would be causing harm to another being. In my Wiccan practice, I come from a very deep Buddhist perspective, and so I always try to think of spell blowback that could occur and divert it before it does as well as always trying to come from an open and loving place in my heart when I perform any kind of magick.

From a mundane perspective, I have been a vegetarian for the past 20 years. I do “personally” take the rede to mean that I should not consume or use the products of animals that were killed or raised in an inhumane way. However, I do not expect everyone to interpret the rede in that way. And at the same time, it is virtually impossible to escape the cruelty of this world. I am certain that I buy clothing and other products from companies that, if I researched them, I would discover some kind of harm that they cause to the environment or to humanity. Still, we live in this world and we have to choose our battles and be okay with what we choose. For me, that means not consuming animal products and eliminating as many products from my home as I can that contribute to the cruelty of the world. But I know I’m not perfect, and I know that I can’t eliminate everything.

I have learned that I have to be okay with what I do right now. And maybe someday, I’ll do more. But for all people, I think that we have to be okay with how we live, and if we ever decide that we’re not, that’s the time to revisit the “rede” and maybe try to reinterpret it for ourselves. Of course, there seem to be certain things that most Wiccans would agree were against the “rede,” such as the killing of another human being outside of mercy or self-defense. But apart from that and other extreme cases, I do believe that the rede is open to individual interpretation and is fluid, in that it can change for any individual at any time. This “advice” gives us a framework for which to live by, and it’s up to us to interpret what that means.

Just my 2 cents. Would love to hear your opinions!

–Aislin

Los Angeles Pagan Alliance (LAPA)

Published December 1, 2014 by Aislin

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We would like to announce a new group that is forming!

The Los Angeles Pagan Alliance (LAPA) is a group created to serve the pagan community of the Los Angeles area. Based on the Boston Pagan Alliance (which one LAPA moderator was in for many years), the Los Angeles Pagan Alliance is designed to be a group with an online community as well as regular in-person meetings at least once a month. Members may join and participate in the online portion of this group only or may choose to come to our in-person meetings as well. It is totally up to the member to decide their level of participation.

This group is open to all men and women 21 and over who consider themselves pagan or pagan-friendly.

Initially, this group will meet once a month in the North Hollywood area, but our goal is to eventually have offshoots of this group develop, such as Book Circle, Men’s Group, Women’s Mysteries Group, Herbal Wisecraft Group, Pagan Night Out, etc. These groups could meet at other private residences or public places as members join the Los Angeles Pagan Alliance and decide to help host some of these groups.

The three co-moderators of this group, Aislin, Raven, and Beth are also members of Coven of Midnight’s Flame (CMF), a coven in the Twilight Tradition of Wicca. Members of Los Angeles Pagan Alliance may also be invited to CMF open rituals.

If you are interested in joining our online group and receiving invites to future events, please go to:

www.facebook.com/groups/losangelespaganalliance

AND/OR like our page on facebook:

www.facebook.com/lapaganalliance

October 2014 All-Coven Meeting – Magickal Names

Published October 21, 2014 by Aislin

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October All-Coven Meeting 2014 – Magickal Names

For our October All-Coven meeting, Jessidora and Bethany, two of our 1st degree initiates, led the group in a class designed to help participants choose a Magickal Name. The class was very intriguing and inspiring, and everyone went home with a Gem Elixer especially made to aid those in search of a new name. This is the first of a two-part class, the second of which will take place at our November meeting, when Jessidora and Bethany will lead us all in a Naming Ceremony. We were joined by our three newest friends of the coven as well as an Anthropology student, who was writing a paper on Wicca. Bethany and Jessidora did a fabulous job teaching the class, which is part of their 2nd degree training. I think I can speak for all those present when I say that everyone left with a lot to ponder and think about! May our coven continue to grow in light and in love. Blessed Be!

Pagan Pride Day Los Angeles 2014

Published October 21, 2014 by Aislin

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Pagan Pride Day Los Angeles 2014

For the past three years, Coven of Midnight’s Flame has vended at Pagan Pride Day Los Angeles at Rainbow Lagoon in Long Beach, CA to help raise funds for our coven as well as educate people about our coven and Wicca in general. We were joined by our sister coven, Twilight Spiral, who had two booths next to us. It was a hot and hazy day, but being at Pagan Pride among all of those like-minded folks made it all worth it. The highlights of the day were Twilight Spiral’s public ritual, which they led to help foster a sense of community in the Pagan World , as well as the debut of the Shadow Sisters, a new folk rock duo, who perform music centered around Pagan and Wiccan themes. All who attended the festival had a fabulous time, and we look forward to Pagan Pride Day 2015 next year! May our coven continue to grow in love and in light. Blessed Be!

Mabon 2014

Published October 21, 2014 by Aislin

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Mabon 2014

Mabon, also known as the Autumnal Equinox, is a time when the balance between day and night is equal. This is also the second of the three harvest festivals. Many witches choose to celebrate Thanksgiving at this time, and Coven of Midnight’s Flame is no exception. This Mabon, we chose to honor the Celtic Goddess Epona and the Horned One, as he appears in the form of the god Cernunnos. Prior to ritual, we made Thanksgiving wreaths, weaving ribbons into them to represent all of those things that we feel thankful for. We decided to theme our traditional after-ritual potluck a Thanksgiving feast, and we dined on vegan turkey, mashed potatoes, and various other delectable Thanksgiving dishes. This was also the first ritual to take place at our new covenstead. We are all grateful for the expanded space that we now have to gather and ritual at. We are also immensely thankful for our sisterhood and the deep bond that we all share. May our coven continue to grow in light and in love. Blessed Be!

Lughnassadh 2014

Published October 21, 2014 by Aislin

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Lughnassadh 2014

The Wheel of the Year turns once again and we find ourselves at Lughnassadh. At the height of the summer, Lughnassadh is considered the first of the three harvest festivals, this one dedicated to the harvest of grains and wheat. This Lughnassadh, Coven of Midnight’s Flame decided to honor Lugh and his foster mother Tailtu, for whom the holiday was originally created. Because Lughnassadh is traditionally a time when we reap that which we’ve sown, prior to ritual, we created Witches’ Ladders, weaving into them our intentions to draw prosperity toward us as the year begins to come to a close. Additionally, Bethany led us in a weather spell, to draw some much needed rain during this southern California drought. As always, our ritual was followed by our traditional potluck feast, and we enjoyed each other’s company late into the night. May our coven continue to grow in love and in light. Blessed Be!

Litha 2014

Published June 29, 2014 by Aislin

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Litha 2014 – Friends and Family Ritual

This Litha, we celebrated the Summer Solstice with our traditional Friends and Family ritual. Usually, our Sabbats are closed to our coven-members only, but twice a year, we open up our ritual to interested friends and family, both male and female, who want to celebrate with us. This year, we had 27 men, women, and children at our Litha ritual, including two new Shadow Sisters! The children had a fun time coloring pictures of the sun and going on a summer scavenger hunt in the neighborhood, while the adults honored the longest day in a ritual focused on Self-Empowerment and celebrating the Norse deities Frey and Freya. Our traditional potluck followed the ritual and everyone had a great time chatting and hanging out afterwards. We look forward to our next Friends and Family ritual at the Winter Solstice in December and expect there will be even more in attendance as our coven continues to grow in light and in love. Blessed Be!

June 2014 All-Coven Meeting

Published June 12, 2014 by Aislin

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June 2014 All-Coven Meeting

We decided to do a “social meet” for our June All-Coven meeting. At our monthly meetings, we try to alternate between serious classes related to Wicca and fun arts/crafts. But occasionally, we like to just kick back and have fun just hanging out. Because we had a new Shadow Sister attending, we played some fun ice-breaker games. This helped us get to know her better, and at the same time, deepened and strengthened the bonds that we all share. I think that everyone came away from the meeting learning something new about all of their fellow sisters, whether they had previously know them a long time or only a short few months. After the ice-breakers, some sisters read tarot cards for each other or just sat around chatting late into the night. As always, a wonderful night of bonding was had by all. We look forward to many more magickal evenings together as our coven continues to grow in light and in love. Blessed Be!

May 2014 All-Coven Meeting

Published June 12, 2014 by Aislin

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May All-Coven Meeting

For our May All-Coven meeting, we continued our Astrology 101 class led by Lady Aislin. As we are all learning, astrology is a fascinating topic and is much more than just Sun Sign horoscopes as many people in the general public believe. At this class, we began to look at the placement of the planets within houses and discussed the astrological house-sign-planet structure. Our next class will build upon all that we have previously learned and will delve further into the astrological chart, in particular planetary angles. As always, we had a great evening spending time with our sisters and getting to know everyone even more as we looked deeper into our astrological charts. May our coven continue to grow in light and in love! Blessed Be!