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

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!