Thursday, 31 December 2020

Happy New Year 2021

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1CaMo0XCd_PM0shls018aqINXauS4Fn-U

I don’t even know where to start when it comes to 2020. Aside from the main issue that has hung over us, affecting all our lives in a myriad of ways, this was a great period of self-development and transformation for me. I achieved a lot this year.

Last night I took some time out to celebrate, and to offer my gratitude and thanks. I’m grateful for getting through this year unscathed, and for the many blessings and people in my life. My coven sisters, my husband, my friends, my family, and my Facebook and Instagram families.

Thank you all for being here. Thank you for every interaction, each comment of support, each like, each share, each follow. Thank you for all your inspiring posts and teachings. Thank you for being there for each other, and supporting one another. Love and kindness is the only way.

I’m wishing you all a very happy, healthy and abundant 2021.

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Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Today’s Tarot Reading

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1CcsjEi0wqZxLTkKHoVphvX3PgE4L4eME

This is a great card for the end of the year. Look back at all you have experienced and endured, and take a moment to think about everything you have achieved - I bet there’s a lot to be proud of? Celebrate those victories, no matter how small, and shout them from the rooftops if need be. It’s ok to celebrate achievements, it’s ok to be proud of the things you’ve done well. So give yourself a pat on the back, and get those party balloons and streamers out.

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Deck: Rider Waite Smith Tarot 

Monday, 28 December 2020

Today’s Tarot Reading

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1YfJgwddYD3yRqyDKpZub4-X0n7gLxUhB

Sometimes life has a habit of wearing us down, beating us into submission. We feel battered and bruised, and feel like giving up. We have days where quite honestly all seems lost. If you’re feeling this way my message to you this morning is to keep going. You have tons of fight left in you, and you are getting closer to where you want to be. The things you want to achieve are within sight. Don’t give up now. You haven’t come this far just to come this far.

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Deck: Rider Waite Smith Tarot 

Wednesday, 23 December 2020

Yule Evergreens

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1J5lPh2sCC8rPpcoGgSKfN_OFZBuN9aB9

Bringing evergreens into the home at Midwinter goes back to a time when people were more connected to the cycles of nature, way before the arrival of Christmas. Evergreens represented everlasting life in the darkest part of the year, and therefore brought the hope of returning light. Each European country, and each British county, had their own specific customs related to evergreens, but many involved hanging them around windows and over doorways.

Holly was hung over entrances to peoples’ homes, and was used to make wreaths. It brought good luck and protection, and was still beautiful in the middle of winter, giving the poor a means of decorating their homes at a time of celebration. The Druids revered holly and believed its evergreen nature was sacred; it kept the earth beautiful at a time when other trees shed their leaves.

Evergreen conifers (pine, fir, cedar, juniper, or spruce) became the Yule Tree, which evolved into the Christmas Tree. The Christmas Tree custom flourished in Germany and over time it spread to other European regions, eventually reaching North America. Traditionally the brightly colored decorations and lights symbolised stellar objects, spirits, religious figures, and religious events.

The ancient Greeks, Druids, Celts, and Norse revered mistletoe as sacred, and it was used for protection, blessing, and medicine. The 23rd December is known as The Nameless Day, and is represented by Mistletoe. This day falls outside the lunar calendar and represents the unshaped potential of all things. This is the extra day in a “year and a day” represented by so many folk tales.

This gorgeous display of evergreens is over a doorway in nearby Stamford, Lincolnshire.

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Tuesday, 22 December 2020

Robin Redbreast

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1Cly_Toq4f5VKlTEZU3lorJ3WW9Buw0vD

There are many animals associated with this time of year, but most notably the Robin, who is often pictured perched upon a Yule Log.

Whilst many see the Robin as a symbol of good luck, fortune, and abundance, there is some dark folklore surrounding them, and they are closely associated with death.

Many believe a visit from a Robin is actually a visit from a relative in spirit. They’re seen as messengers for the spirit world, and there are many stories about their comforting presence following the death of a loved one. After my Grandmother died a Robin appeared every time my Mum entered her house. Some say that if a Robin pecks the windows or enters a house it signifies the coming death of a loved one. It is no surprise, then, that it is seen as bad luck to kill or injure one.

The old English ballad “Babes in the Wood” tells of the Wren and the Robin working together to cover the unburied bodies of two children who were abandoned and died:

And when they were dead 
The robins so red
     Brought strawberry leaves
And over them spread;
And all the day long,
The green branches among,
     They'd prettily whistle
And this was their song-

“Poor babes in the wood!
Sweet babes in the wood!
     Oh the sad fate of 
The babes in the wood!”

Christian stories suggest that the Robin was originally brown, his chest stained red by the blood of Jesus who was dying on the cross.

The Victorians were a fan of these little birds, and they would appear on Christmas cards, delivering letters like tiny postmen. The Royal Mail’s colour is red as it is linked to royalty, and thus the Victorians nicknamed their posties “Robins”.

We met this little chap last week who is fed by hand, so very friendly.

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Friday, 18 December 2020

Today’s Tarot Reading

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=14EdaWdpyZn1NTxlMyfemyDkoJXiKqkkZ

Exchange, trade, cooperate. Perhaps you want to expand on your creativity, or find a new business partner. The trick is to find someone who resonates with you energetically; a meeting of minds. Someone who is the yin to your yang, someone who will benefit from this connection as much as you will. They are out there, so if this is something you are currently seeking, keep looking.

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Deck: The Wild Unknown Tarot 

Wednesday, 16 December 2020

The Return of the Sun

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1_QIbuVQD8b_5WWBoZU2Gjd0vXDzeovS0

Earlier on in the week @autumncroneapothecary and I were talking about most witches having a strong relationship with the Moon (as it should be), but us feeling much closer to the Sun and solar energy.

As a Cancer 🦀 I put this down to being born in the summer, I just feel so connected to it. There’s also no avoiding the fact that with several conditions related to my muscles and joints I’m relieved when the days get longer and warmer and my bones don’t hurt and click quite so much! 🙈😂

As we approach the Winter Solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere, I have been thinking about all the good things that happened in the warmer half of this year, and I’m really looking forward to what’s to come. A particular highlight this year was driving through a quirky little village near us and spotting this telephone box with tomatoes planted inside.

I’m looking forward to picnics and our annual Beltane celebration, time in the park with the kids, dinner in my parents’ garden, foraging, spending some time near water (typical Cancerian!) and warmth on my face.

What about you? What Sun sign are you? Does it relate to whether you prefer summer or winter? Do you think 2021 is going to be a good year for you?  What are you looking forward to most in 2021?

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Monday, 14 December 2020

Today’s Tarot Reading

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1SULmEoPXomqhD-nkmtTS4mBXxXeL3D4P

It’s time to take your ideas and plans and start to manifest them into reality. You have all the necessary skills and resources to make this happen, and you are becoming aware of the opportunities becoming available to you. It is necessary to grab these opportunities with both hands; they will help broaden your horizons, allowing you to adapt and evolve, ready to progress to the next level. You have the ability to see beyond that which is immediately in front of you; allowing you to see the challenges that lay head. With this foresight and these skills and opportunities you can move mountains. Honestly, it’s time to think BIG.

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Deck: The Sacred Circle Tarot 

Sunday, 13 December 2020

The Holly & Oak King Battle

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1ztqo_LZ4l1ZOyHw14tFAOWhNH-HXKBbA

The rebirth of the Sun is such a huge cause for celebration that many witches mark the occasion by bringing the outside in; to signify the solar turning of the tides, and the return and commencement of the growing season. This is usually in the form of evergreens; plants that retain their green leaves throughout the year. Bay, holly, ivy, mistletoe, photinia, and cedar are all examples of evergreens, and many of them are symbolic in some way.

The holly is one such symbolic plant.

Stemming from Celtic mythology, but common in many folklore traditions, the Oak King and the Holly King - personifications of the winter and summer - are two brothers that rule over the land, sharing their rule. They are, in effect, two parts of the same thing; the waxing and waning of the yearly cycle of Earth.

The Holly King reigns from midsummer to midwinter - a waning period of increasing darkness - and represents darkness, destruction, and decay.

At Yule, the Oak King, Lord of the Summer, representing expansion, light, and growth, is reborn, ready to take the throne for the period of increasing light.

At the solstices the brothers collide; light and dark battling to decide who will win the Crown of the Year, and reign over the coming months.

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Sun Biscuits for Yule

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1Rm0DdxsYyRCsGK7Z7hKNadq_aPJEdgEI

✨✨ Witchology Magazine - New Issue! ✨✨

Perfect for a little bit of Solstice Magick, find the recipe for my warming Sun Biscuits in the latest issue of Witchology Magazine, print copies now available.

The “Transformation” edition, celebrating new beginnings, is packed full of spells, interviews, rituals, recipes and other festive ramblings for the period Yule to Imbolc.

Digital copies coming soon!

Head over to @witchologymag on Instagram to stay up to date with all the latest news and updates, and go to www.witchologmagazine.com to order your copy.

Friday, 11 December 2020

Today’s Tarot Reading

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1lR3Uje3YwXhQUwh_o0FWeVKq8BEyLKQX

Sometimes, and usually when you’re least expecting it, someone’s words or actions can pierce you, like a dagger to the heart. The lesson here is not getting angry and lashing out, but taking a step back, and considering why they have acted the way they have. What is it they’re holding to make them behave this way? What burdens of the heart do they carry? Whilst our own hurt is undeniable, sometimes it’s best to do nothing. The clouds will clear and sunny skies will shine again. Compassion is everything.

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Wednesday, 9 December 2020

Yule

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1IDS-MAQ0b6I5rx3e-Gqqa-7Xrst4j4uH

Yule comes from the Norwegian word Jul, meaning “wheel”, and our ancestors believed that this mystic wheel actually stopped turning briefly at this point. Indeed, from the point of the Winter Solstice there is a moment of standstill for a few days before the days start to increase in length and light again. The Christian Church adopted this time to celebrate the birth of the Son (Sun) of God, but this time has always been celebrated by ancient people, long before the Christian story.

The solstice occurs twice a year, when one of the Earth’s poles has its maximum tilt away from the Sun, and as such, the Winter Solstice heralds the shortest day, and the longest night. As the solstice is an astronomical event, the date changes from year to year, although many pagans and witches celebrate on the 21st December regardless. In many temperate regions of the world, the Winter Solstice is seen as the middle of winter, but today, many see it as the start. In Meteorology, winter is seen as starting about three weeks before the solstice.

Energetically speaking, the balance of power has been tipped at the solstice, and we emerge from the darkness; the days getting longer, brighter, and warmer. This is a huge moment of celebration for many pagans and witches, and many choose to mark the rebirth of the Sun by observing the Winter Solstice sunrise. Whilst it is usually very cold, it is much easier to catch the sunrise at Winter Solstice than at Summer Solstice, because the Sun rises relatively late. For many people, pagan or otherwise, it is a relief to know that the dark days and depths of winter are behind them, and that lighter days will follow. Light and dark are not euphemisms for good and bad here; but there is no doubt that the returning light brings increased energy, and renewed feelings of joy and hope.

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Monday, 7 December 2020

The Yule Tree

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1UTDZXoi6s-eLjxPIJ7DRUtfZFZbGIh1a

The festivities have started on the Cemetery; the Spirit of Yuletide has been invited into our space. The tree is up!

Evergreen plants and trees have always had a special meaning for people in winter; they represent eternal life. Ancient peoples hung evergreen boughs over their doors and windows, and many folk believed they would also keep away witches, ghosts, evil spirits, and illness.

Gradually, sacred tree imagery was absorbed by the Christian church, and Germany is credited with starting the Christmas tree tradition that we know now; in the 16th century devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes.

In Britain, the tradition of decorating churches and homes with evergreens at Christmas was long established, but the custom of decorating an entire small tree was unknown until roughly two centuries ago. Queen Victoria had been familiar with the Christmas tree tradition as a child; and after her marriage to her German cousin Prince Albert, the custom became even more widespread. In 1846 they were sketched in the Illustrated London News standing with their children around a Christmas tree. Being very popular royals what was done at court immediately became fashionable; and wealthy British middle-class families immediately followed suit, with this fashion spreading overseas to the United States.

Personally, for me, the tree is not only a reminder of the season and the fact that the Sun will soon return at the Solstice; but it is a symbol of unity - many different belief systems hold a festival of light at this time of year.

Do you have a Yule or Christmas tree? What colour are your decorations? Are your decorations up yet? Do you have any special family traditions?

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The Spells Bible

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1tbLFUQ9upMSDQB1JZnnSfY5n_Qk78zmM

I’ve been sorting through some books this week and stumbled across this book from many moons ago. I always feel like books are old friends so it’s lovely to be reacquainted with this one!

It’s jam-packed full of information and unusual spells, and the opening chapters on spell work and working with magick are fabulous.

I especially like the Garland Spell to Keep Love Evergreen, which creates an anniversary gift for a couple who have been together for some time, and uses the ancient meanings and magickal associations of ivy, yew, and holly - perfect for this time of year.

This is such a lovely book that I highly recommend, even if it’s just for inspiration for creating your own spells.

Witch With Books Yule Tag Challenge: Grimoires & Spellbooks

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Friday, 4 December 2020

Mince Pie Folklore

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1dPEXEuYQJhk-l3y9I1hBv4XU6T5y0rCn

A favourite food of Father Christmas, mince pies are a sweet pie of English origin.

First served in the Middle Ages, and appearing in English cookbooks A Forme of Cury (1390) and The English Huswife (1615), mince pies were bigger, oblong shaped, and the “mincemeat” was actually meat; mutton, pork, beef, rabbit or game.

Having been around for so many years, the humble mince pie has gone by many different names; Christmas pyes, crib cakes, mutton pies, wayfarer’s pies, and shrid pies.

English tradition states that when making mice pies the mincemeat should always be stirred clockwise for fear of provoking 12 months’ bad luck, and every member of the family should stir, making a wish.

The first mince pie of the season should also be wished upon, and mince pies should always be eaten in silence; the taster risks heaping several curses upon himself if he doesn’t comply.

It is said that a mince pie should be eaten every day for the Twelve Days of Christmas; from Christmas Eve until the 5th January for good health and happiness. Anyone who refuses one of their twelve pies will suffer a year of misfortune.

Do you like mince pies? Do you have them in your country? Do you follow the 12 pie rule?

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Today’s Tarot Reading

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1WmSuqNosPD8xHkmieOG5HgZrg5gFFBpc

Sometimes conflict can be constructive. Think about debate - you get to hear several different viewpoints at once, and your own ideas can be tested and challenged by others. Use a situation like this to your advantage; set up a working group, committee, or brain storming session with others to help you think outside the box, and move those plans forward.

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Deck: Rider Waite Smith 

Thursday, 3 December 2020

Today’s Tarot Reading

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1PC0er4T8g-6YTDqLkDZOnqVnHb1CdaDW

Trust your instincts. Got a feeling that something isn’t right? Then it probably isn’t. Getting bad vibes from someone you just met? Pay attention to that. Listen to your inner voice, and that feeling in your body - these instincts are there to protect you and keep you safe. Listen to your inner knowing, it’s there to guide you.

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Deck: Angels & Ancestors Oracle 

Today’s Tarot Reading

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1PC0er4T8g-6YTDqLkDZOnqVnHb1CdaDW

Trust your instincts. Got a feeling that something isn’t right? Then it probably isn’t. Getting bad vibes from someone you just met? Pay attention to that. Listen to your inner voice, and that feeling in your body - these instincts are there to protect you and keep you safe. Listen to your inner knowing, it’s there to guide you.

© Original content; repost with clear, written credits. @the_cemetery_witch

Deck: Angels & Ancestors Oracle