November 2, 2015

Focus in the Dark

On Samhain (October 31) each year, a practice our group adds to our ritual is that we go into the dark earth labyrinth where a large mirror is propped on a table. In candlelight, we look into the Mirror of Truth and then pull a Tarot card from the table where they are spread in front of the mirror….

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September 16, 2015

A Mabon Ritual

The Mabon ritual welcomes the coming second harvest and gives thanks for the first harvest. A designated leader may say the words that guide the group through the ritual or the speaking portions may be divided among group members. If you enjoy this ritual, you can learn more about the CUSP (Climbing Up the Spiral Pathway) tradition at our…

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July 24, 2015

Weaving the Harvest: A Lammas Poem

<p style=”text-align: center;”>We know that every grain and seed</p> <p style=”text-align: center;”>Is a record of ancient time,</p> <p style=”text-align: center;”>A promise of all that’s yet to be</p> <p style=”text-align: center;”>And what I claim as mine.<!–more–></p> <p style=”text-align: center;”>As the grape shall change to become the wine,</p> <p style=”text-align: center;”>I change in the cauldron of life.</p> <p style=”text-align: center;”>I’ll drink…

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July 23, 2015

A Lammas Ritual

Set Up: The ritual area is decorated with sheaves of wheat, corn on the husks, fresh vegetables, and brooms. The participants make corn dollies ahead of time. Corn dollies are actually, in our limited artistic ability, more often “corn joints” than “corn dollies,” so the aesthetics are not vital to the magic. We use corn husks, purchased in the Hispanic…

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July 15, 2015

Harvest: Bringing In Those Sheaves

For those of us who follow the CUSP (Climbing Up the Spiral Pathway) spiritual tradition, Harvest is a time of reward and celebration when all of our hard work through the year pays off. During this time, the “crops” are tall and strong in the field, heavy with the fruit of the first harvest. Far from a time to rest…

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June 13, 2015

Midsummer: Purge, Protect, & Burn Stuff

Of all of the holidays, it can be argued that most cultures at some time or another celebrated Midsummer. The Sun reigns at its full power and dominates the sky for the longest day of the year on Litha. It is commonly believed that the Faeries are most active during this time and that idea was perpetuated by William Shakespeare’s…

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April 27, 2015

Beltane Then and Now

The word “Beltane” comes from the Irish Gaelic word “Bealtaine” and in the Common Celtic language means “bright fire.” “Bel,” the root word, comes from “bale” which means “white” or “shining.” “Tene” means “fire.” The traditional astrological date for Beltane is the midpoint of the Sun’s movement between Ostara/Spring Equinox and Litha/Summer Solstice. This generally occurs between May 5 –…

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April 23, 2015

All Hail the May Hole

In our circle, we work a strong duality between male and female energies and although we love the traditional celebrations, we always like to put our own spin on things. Beltane is a delicious High Holiday, ribald with innuendo and fun, celebrating the union between the masculine and feminine archetypes. In this blessed time of coming together, we honor…

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March 18, 2015

UnOstara: Celebrating An Unplanting

In my own spiritual practice, CUSP, the time between Imbolc and Spring Equinox is critical to our harvest process and the manifestation of positive life change for the coming year. This is especially true of the final few days before Ostara when we officially plant our goals. At Imbolc, we submit our list of desired outcomes for the harvest…

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March 16, 2015

Ostara, Then and Now

Pagans are big on history and gleaning the ancient origins and practices of our holidays is akin to sifting through piles of sand to find the handful of diamond flecks that might be scattered within. Much of our “history” actually comes from inferences derived from literature and the smattering of observational accounts that managed to survive thousands of years…

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March 12, 2015

On the CUSP

Eighteen years ago, my priest/husband/co-author and I outlined a spiritual path that got to the bare bones of the agricultural sabbat cycle and created a plan for positive life change through magical manifestation. What was born of those long nights of drinking, writing, drinking, researching, drinking, and plotting was CUSP (Climbing Up the Spiral Pathway). Little did we realize…

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