Lughnasadh 2015

Published August 5, 2015 by Aislin

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Lughnasadh 2015

The wheel of the year turns once again and we find ourselves at Lughnasadh, first harvest festival. Our ancestors looked to this time of year as a celebration of the reaping of the first crops, such as wheat and other grains, that would provide sustenance throughout the fall and winter months. In Coven of Midnight’s Flame, we traditionally perform a prosperity ritual at Lughnassadh, weaving and blessing Witches’ Ladders, to be hung in our homes to bless it with prosperity for the coming year. We honored the Roman deities Ceres, a grain goddess, and Jupiter, god of luck and expansion. Our ritual was followed by a potluck, this time featuring breads and other harvest grains and dishes. We were so blessed, as always, to take part in a beautiful and moving ritual shared with our dearest sisters. May our coven continue to grow in light and in love! Blessed Be!

July 2015 All-Coven Meeting – Root Chakra

Published August 5, 2015 by Aislin

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July 2015 All-Coven Meeting – Root Chakra

At our July All-Coven Meeting, Aislin led us in a discussion of the root chakra. This was the first part of a seven-part series where we will be exploring the seven chakras, one by one. The root chakra relates to our sense of groundedness, security, and our physical bodies. It encompasses fully awakening to our right to be here, in and of this earth. Our coven believes that our physical and psychological health is just as important as our spiritual work and that, through an in-depth study of the chakras, we can find a profound balance in our lives. We were joined by several new women interested in our group, and hope to see them at many more meetings and ritual to come. May our coven continue to grow in light and in love! Blessed Be!

Litha 2015 – Friends and Family Ritual

Published August 5, 2015 by Aislin

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Litha 2015 – Friends and Family Ritual

This Litha, in the tradition of our coven, was a Friends and Family ritual and we were joined by several loved ones who had never experienced one of our rituals before. Litha, at the height of the sun’s energy and falling on the Summer Solstice, is a time of great merriment and pleasure. We honored the Hindu deities Lakshmi and her consort Vishnu, and we focused on cutting the fetters that hold us back from experiencing true joy in our lives. Our ritual was followed by a festive potluck, this time featuring Indian-inspired dishes. We were so delighted to be joined by our friends and family as we celebrated and reveled in the euphoric energy of this holiday. May our coven continue to grow in light and in love! Blessed Be!

Beltane 2015

Published June 9, 2015 by Aislin

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Beltane 2015

This Beltane, we honored the Celtic deities Arianrhod and her brother Gwydion. Our ritual focused on weaving that which we desire into our lives. Just as Ariahrhod weaves the tapestry of life, so, too, can we weave what we desire. Prior to ritual, each of us braided ribbons together while focusing our energy on our intention, that which we wish to weave. The individual braids were then tied together end to end. During the ritual, we wove this single braid around us to form a circle. And by sharing in this experience together, we grew more bonded as a group. It was a truly magickal ritual and we were blessed to be joined by one of our newest sisters in her first experience of ritual with our coven. As always, our traditional potluck followed circle and we dined and chatted late into the night. May our coven continue to grow in light and in love. Blessed Be!

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Ostara 2015

Published April 5, 2015 by Aislin

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Ostara 2015

Taking place on the first day of Spring, or the Vernal Equinox, the festival of Ostara has ancient pagan roots. The goddess Eostre, the maiden Teutonic goddess of change, life, and rebirth, lends her name to this sacred holiday. This is a great time of year for spring cleaning, both physical as well as mental and emotional. Coven of Midnight’s Flame met to perform our Ostara ritual, honoring Eoestre and The Green Man. Our ritual centered around transformation and growth for both our coven as well as each of us as individuals. Raising energy, we charged a strawberry plant, representing our coven, which we then planted on the covenstead property, so that as it takes roots and grows, so, too, may our group. In order to be ready for transformation, we also wrote those things which we wished to give up on sugar eggs, which we then dropped into warm water. As the eggs dissolved away, we leant our energy toward our causes. Ritual was followed by our traditional sabbat potluck. We were so blessed to be able to spend such a sacred day with our sisters. May our coven continue to grow in light and in love! Blessed Be!

Imbolc 2015

Published February 9, 2015 by Aislin

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Imbolc 2015

The Wheel of the Year turns once again, and we find ourselves at Imbolic. Sacred to the Celtic goddess Brighid, Imbolc is a great time for dedications, initiations, cleansings, and consecrations. It is also a day sacred to artists and the inspiration of creativity. This Imbolc, Coven of Midnight’s Flame honored Brighid and her father, The Dagda. Our ritual centered around the purification of emotions, using the four elements. Sometimes, in our busy day-to-day lives, it helps to stop moving for a second and purify ourselves, so that we might be the best canvas or clay, to be shaped, molded, painted upon by The Goddess. And Imbolic is the perfect time for this. Our ritual was followed, as always, by our traditional potluck. We dined on hearty winter foods and wine and chatted late into the night with our sisters. May we continue to grow in light and in love! Blessed Be!

January 2015 All-Coven Meeting – Herb Pillows

Published February 6, 2015 by Aislin

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January 2015 All-Coven Meeting

For our January meeting, one of our Initiates, Kait, led us all in an Herb Pillow-Making class. Kait taught us how to fill the small pillows with rice and various herbs connected with relaxation as well as health and healing. These pillows can then be microwaved and placed on a sore or troubled part of the body or can be refrigerated and used as a cool compress on an aching head. Everyone had a great time learning about the different uses of herbs and making their individual pillows. After class, we stayed up late into the night chatting and catching up with our coven sisters. May we all continue to grow in light and in love! Blessed Be!

Yule 2014 Friends and Family Ritual

Published February 6, 2015 by Aislin

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Yule 2014

This Yule, Coven of Midnight’s Flame hosted a double event. Our traditional Friends and Family Open Yule Ritual was preceded by the Handfasting of one of our coven sisters and her fiancé. The gods blessed us with perfect weather that night, and between the two events, we had over 50 guests, including men, women, and children! This year, our Yule ritual honored the Norse deities Freya and Odin and focused on the manifestation of hopes and wishes for the coming year. Ritual participants tied ribbons, representing their wishes, on small rosemary shrubs, which were later planted on the covenstead property, so that, as the plants take root, so may our dreams. The ritual also featured a dramatic portrayal of the epic battle between the Oak and Holly Kings, who symbolically fight for control of the waning and waxing parts of the year at Yule as well as at Litha. Our traditional potluck followed the ritual and we all had a great time seeing familiar faces as well as meeting new people! As the Wheel of the Year continues to turn, may we all continue to grow in light and in love! Blessed Be!

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