Friday, 26 June 2009

The Tree of Life

Be aware that, like a tree, you live a life on three levels.

The roots of your tree are the dark places. These include areas where your mind takes over, undertaking periods of study or quiet reflection and meditation.

The trunk of your tree is the life around you. Use your senses to experience this. It is the stability in your life, the sense of duty. It is the constant force, which allows others to depend on you for nourishment. It is the working part of your life, which itself draws on its roots to provide the strength it needs to grow.

The rowan tree is the mythological Tree of Life. It bears special fruit every month at each quarter of the year. This associates it with both the lunar and solar cycles. The berries of this tree were believed to stave off hunger month by month, to heal the wounded and to add a year to people's lives.

In another ancient myth, the Celtic God Lugh, asked the sons of Tuirenn to acquire for him, the apples, which grow in the Garden of Light over an ocean.

In Western legend, the apple orchards of Paradise were known as 'the Isles of the Blessed.' and they housed the Tree of Knowledge upon which three sacred apples grew. The boughs of this sacred tree pointed to the north, indicating the region traversed by the sun from spring through summer to autumn and also pointed south to the region of the dominion of winter, when the sun is beneath the horizon, the traditional place of the Underworld. The serpent, which guarded the tree and its saved apples, was seen as the goddess Ceridwen, guarding the knowledge of the seasons.

Shellmo has allowed me to use this prayer for the woods. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

The Bach Flower Remedies

Between the years 1930 and 1936, Edward Bach, M.B.,B.S.,M.R.C.S.,L.R.C.P.,D.P.H., found, perfected and put into use, a system of medicine as simple as it is has proved effective. After a successful career in London, He abandoned a lucrative practice to seek and find herbs which would heal the sick, but from which no ill-effects could be derived.

Dr. Bach taught that the basis of disease was to be found in disharmony between the spiritual and mental aspects of a human being. This disharmony, to be found wherever conflicting moods produced unhappiness, mental torture, fear, or lassitude and resignation, lowered the body's vitality and allowed disease to be present. For this reason the remedies he prepared were for the treatment of the mood and temperament of the patient, not for his physical illness; so that each patient becoming more himself, could increase his or her own vitality and so draw from an inward strength and an inward peace, the means to restore health.

Each patient must lead his own life and learn to lead it in freedom. Each was a different type, a different individual, and each must be treated for his personal mood and the need of the moment, not for his physical disease.

Bach wrote in his book, The Twelve Healers and Other Remedies, 'in treating cases with these remedies, no notice is taken of the nature of disease. The individual is treated as as he becomes well, the disease goes, having been cast off by the increase in health. All know that the same disease may have different effects on different people. It is the effects that need treatment, because they guide to the real cause.

The mind, being the most delicate and sensitive part of the body, shows the onset and the course of disease much more definitely than the body, so that the outlook of mind is chosen as the guide as to which remedy or remedies are necessary.'

Dr. Bach stressed that his remedies could be used in conjunction with any other form of treatment, and would not clash or interfere. Equally, they could achieve great results used alone.

My father, D.r F.J. Wheeler; who knew and worked with Dr. Bach from 1928 until his death in 1936, and who has himself achieved many remarkable results with the 38 remedies, which Dr. Bach produced, set out a repertory for the guidance and help of those who use these remedies.

These indications for the use of the remedies should be studied together with The Twelve Healers, to which they are intended to be a supplement. There can be no hard-and-fast rules in treating patients with these remedies, as each patient must be regarded as an individual and helped in the light of his personal and particular circumstances and moods. However, the basic states of mind and the remedies remain constant, and while always bearing in mind the need to retain flexibility and a mind ready to receive fresh inspiration while using these methods of treatment, this repertory should prove of assistance to those seeking to develop their own ability to choose and administer the right remedy either for themselves or for others.

It is the sincere hope of making yet a further contribution to the understanding of the true art of healing that this book was prepared.

Taken from: "Preface to 'The Bach Remedy Reperty Remedies' by Frances M. Wheeler
London 1952"

You can read more about The Bach Flower Remedies here.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Midsummer's Eve

The summer solstice, which starts tonight and continues tomorrow, is the time to weave flowers in your hair and dance the day away.

Now is the time for me to use my holy, spring water, collected in April and blessed at the last full moon, to good effect. The summer has begun and my flowers are ready to be sprinkled. It is also a good time to bless my pets, offering to them, my love and devotion in return for the pleasure they bring to me.

Wiccans can light a fire in their cauldrons, ready for the jumping o'er tonight.

This is a magickal night indeed; a holiday for the faery folk. Watch them dance in their circles on the stroke of midnight and remember to leave them something to take away, a cupcake perhaps, or a new pair of shoes?

At this time of year, the sun is at his strongest, but from tomorrow onwards, he will begin to lose his strength as the oak king prepares to give way to the holly king.

This is an excellent time to lay out a summer love garden, using seedlings prepared in the spring. Favourites of mine have to be lavender and rosemary and roses, of course. If you only have room for pots, then make your pots as attractive as possible, choosing pretty colours and decorating them with coloured ribbons and glass jewels.

At the stroke of midnight, go out into your garden, quietly and pick a white rose. Do this in secret. Clasp the rose to your bosom and make a wish for happiness in love. Now take the rose indoors and wrap it up carefully - in white tissue paper. Place it into a white shoe box and keep it til Yule (21st December). When that day comes, pin the rose to your outfit and you may receive a declaration of love before that day is out.

Midsummer is an important time to send prayers for the earth to the Sun. The earth has been planted and is ready to provide. We await the harvest. Light your beacon fires and make offerings to the Sun God, by which ever name is right for you. I will choose Lugh, the Celtic Sun God. Pray for an abundance of love, peace and food over all the earth.

What is your prayer for tomorrow going to be? Let's join hands and make those prayers come true.
Bibliography: Titania's Book of Hours and Titania's Enchanted



Beltane is a Celtic word, which means 'fires of Bel'. Bel was the Celtic fire God. The main element of Beltane is fire. It is a fire festival that celebrates the coming of summer and the fertility of the coming year. Springtime is the start of the farming year and in agricultural communities of long ago, everybody would be hoping for a fruitful year for their families and fields.

The fire when lit, was thought to cleanse and purify, increasing fertility. People, especially young women, would dance around a bonfire and take turns to leap over it. Cattle would be led between two fires with the idea that the fertility of the herd would be increased.

The picture shows Sulis, the Goddess of Beltane, also called Minerva by the Romans.

May 1st – White Rabbits!
To all of you. Saying white rabbits on May 1st is supposed to bring luck for the remainder of the year and it’s worth a try, isn’t it!

May 1st is Mayday or Beltane in the Wicca calendar. It begins the period of enchantment and is a time to win people over. It represents the passage of time from virginal spring to full bodied voluptuous womanhood. Now is the time to draw attention to yourself and attract a suiter.

With the smell of the sacred hawthorn flowers fresh in the air, the Goddess is ready to invite her suiters. Hawthorn flowers or may flowers have a wonderful scent. They are used to adorn the heads of young women during pagan celebrations of returning warmth and sunshine. The blossoms are gathered early in the morning and woven into garlands by the village children, who take great delight in the making of these creations.

Try picking some flowers from your garden as they become more abundant and wear scents such as tuberose, jasmine or gardenia.

If possible, make a maypole to put on your altar table. Festoon it with ribbons of red, white and green to honour the God and his Goddess and Mother Nature. They will thank you for it.

In the old religion, maypoles were used to celebrate the start of spring. The maypole itself is a phallic symbol and usually has a ring of spring flowers placed at the top of it prior to the maypole dance. As the ribbons are intertwined during the dancing, the ring of flowers slips down the maypole, symbolising the creation of new life.

Wicca, as we tend to call the craft today, is a naturistic religion in which there is no other rule than 'and it harm none, do what you will.' There are no priests to obey or churches to maintain and the work can be done alone or with others. Beltane of May Day is the second most important festival in the Wiccan calendar.

Coming as it does at the cusp of Spring, it is an ideal time to get married or become hand-fasted.

Following is a wedding blessing and invocation from Raven Kaldera. It would be used during a handfasting and spoken by the bride and groom to each other in the presence of their guests. Take a few minutes to read it. I can never get through it without a tear or two, it is so beautiful.

Raven’s Blessing Song

May the earth welcome your footsteps
May the wind sing your tale,
May fire dance from your fingertips,
May the ocean speed your sail.
May your courage never fail you,
May your words be blessed with grace;
May the spirit of inspiration light your way.

May you be a friend to your destiny
May you always know your name.
May you learn to dance with lightning,
When life brings storm and rain.
May you never be far from family
Whether kin by blood or heart;
May you never feel completely set apart.

May you walk through life like a balance beam
And never stumble and fall.
May you walk through a hundred angry glares
And may it not matter at all.
May you never cease to teach;
And may you never cease to learn;
May the spark of hope inside you always burn.

May you walk with light through your underworld
May you never fear the dark.
May you learn to love the monsters
That populate your heart.
May you be heeled of your deepest wounds
And wear the scars with pride,
And may your soul never have to hide.

May the earth welcome your footsteps,
May the wind sing your tale,
May fire dance from your fingertips,
May the ocean speed your sail.
May your courage never fail you,
May your words be blessed with grace,
May the spirit of inspiration light your way.

If you have ever felt that you are very close to nature, then you may be surprised to find that you are already a traditional wicce or wicca. If you find yourself and your emotions in tune with the rhythms of the moon and the tides, then you may not be surprised to learn that the waxing period of the moon is a good time to encourage things to happen. It is also a good time to plant seeds and make love potions, to write stories or start new projects.

So Happy Beltane everyone. May your fires burn brightly and your heart glow with happiness forever.

Blessings, Star

Friday, 19 June 2009


Many of us are bought up within a monotheistic religion. We are taught that there is one God and that we should have no other God (let alone a Goddess). The Goddess was held in great esteem by many ancient peoples throughout the world. Alongside her were the Gods, in many forms and with many names, depending on where in the world you lived. Statues and ornaments have been found dating back thousands of years, all showing the existence of religions honouring the male and female.

The concept of Goddesses and Gods in Wicca can be difficult to understand. Some people are very much attracted to a certain deity, in which case, with further reading and investigation about them, you may have found one you wish to work with on a regular basis. Others find that meditation and visualisation, help focus the mind on a particular Goddess/Go.

The Jungian concept states that every soul is composed of Anima (Female Polarity) and Animus (Male Polarity) and should be equally explored by both sexes.

Whereas the Goddess is omnipresent, the God is more dynamic in that he comes and goes and sparks change and movement in the state of things.

Some witches will be wary of invoking Pan at a ritual. His name means 'all' in Greek. He was half man, half goat, but his name also relates to pandemonium, so be careful!

The Great God/Lord unifies everything as he is the Son/Consort/Lover of the Goddess. Witches mostly relate to him as the Horned God, ruler of the forests and animals. He is the link between all living things as they manifest in the physical world and the tie that binds the Goddess/Lady's creations. He provides by hunting and balances the life/death interactions of all life forms.

He is know by many names:

Lugh: Celtic: Sun God and God of the arts. His festival is Lammas.

Apollo: Greek: son of Zeus, the God of sun and light, truth and prophecy.

Dionysis: Roman: The God of wine.

Odin: Germanic: Also known as Woden or Wotan: He was the chief God of Germanic mythology.

Shiva: Asian: Shiva is one of the principle Hindu deities, who together with Vishnu and Brahma, forms the Trimurti, or triad of great Gods.

and many others.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009


So who is The Goddess?

She is Mother Earth in three guises, Maiden, Mother and Crone.

At the beginning of the year, she is a maiden, a virgin, a new life about to start. She is innocent, but not ignorant, bound to no-one. She is associated with Spring, exploring potentials, being resourceful and open to everything without fear.

In summer-time she is the earth mother, nurturing her family, rejoicing in the abundance of life around her. She is fulfilled womanhood. She is the grain made into bread.

In autumn/winter, she is the crone or wise woman. She is exalted as the ultimate symbol of power and feminine authority. Having experienced being the maiden and mother, now she dispenses wisdom to others, assisting them in healing both body and spirit. She has insight into the world beyond life.

"The earth is our mother, we honour her always; always, always, we honour her always..."


Monday, 8 June 2009

Celtic Tree Month Of Oak

The Celtic Tree Calendar is a calendar with thirteen lunar divisions. Most contemporary Pagans use fixed dates for each "month", rather than following the waxing and waning lunar cycle. If this was done, eventually the calendar would fall out of sync with the Gregorian year, because some calendar years have 12 full moons and others have 13. The modern tree calendar is based on a concept that each letter in the ancient Celtic alphabet corresponded to a tree.


  • Birch, 1st Moon of the Celtic Year - (Dec 24 - Jan 21)
  • Rowan, 2nd Moon of the Celtic Year - (Jan 22 - Feb 18)
  • Ash, 3rd Moon of the Celtic Year - (Feb 18 - March 17)
  • Alder, 4th Moon of the Celtic Year - (March 18 - April 14)
  • Willow, 5th Moon of the Celtic Year - (April 15 - May 12)
  • Hawthorn, 6th Moon of the Celtic Year - (May 13 - June 9)
  • Oak, 7th Moon of the Celtic Year - (June 10 - July 7)
  • Holly, 8th Moon of the Celtic Year - (July 8 - Aug 4)
  • Hazel, 9th Moon of the Celtic Year - (Aug 5 - Sept 1)
  • Vine, 10th Moon of the Celtic Year - (Sept 2 - Sept 29)
  • Ivy, 11th Moon of the Celtic Year - (Sept 30 - Oct 27)
  • Reed, 12th Moon of the Celtic Year - (Oct 28 - Nov 24)
  • Elder, 13th Moon of the Celtic Year - (Nov 25 - Dec 23)
  • Furze, Tree of the Spring Equinox (Aprox. March 20)
  • Heather, Tree of the Summer Solstice (Aprox. June 20)
  • Poplar, Tree of the Fall Equinox - (Aprox. September 22)
  • Yew, Tree of the day before the Winter Solstice (Aprox. December 21)
  • Fir, Tree of the day of the Winter Solstice
  • Mistletoe, Tree of the day after the Winter Solstice (Aprox. December 23)
Credit to Sarah, The Swampwitch

Sunday, 7 June 2009

The Mystery of Bees

June 3rd saw the first bee on the lavender I planted underneath my window. There are two bushes, planted in 2007 and I have been watching them grow and flower since the end of March. Now, while I eat my breakfast, I have the pleasure of watching the bees come and go. It is fascinating to watch as the honey bees land on a newly opened lavendcr flower and the stalk bends under its weight.

The bee moves from flower to flower, collecting pollen and delighting me, at the same time. Occasionally, the bee bumps heavily against the window pane, unaware of the presence of the glass. He cares nothing for the Sweet Williams, gloriously rich in hues, from dark red to purple, pink and right through to the purest white. It is the lavender he wants, in its luminous splendour.

I reflected on the bee, content to go about his daily work, content to be what he is, a collector of pollen. If only we could be content with the simple things in life and not desire to be better than we are. I wonder where my bee goes when he has collected all the pollen from my lavender flowers? If pollen means happiness for him, then he must surely be satiated and drunk with the pleasure of life.

Maybe tomorrow, I will see two bees on my lavender?

Interesting post on Mead here.


Friday, 5 June 2009

A full moon in June!

Sunday 7th June is a full moon - the strong sun moon of June. Perhaps I will get to charge up my spring water this time! Last time I didn't see the moon because she hid her beauty behind a cloud all evening. I got so tired from waiting that I fell asleep and missed my chance. June is a wonderful month, offering a brief respite from planting and harvesting. It is a time to enjoy the better weather and get out and about.

When the full moon comes up on Sunday, find some time to worship her beauty, seeing in what she represents, the loving, caring mother figure, someone who will watch over you. Someone you can tell your troubles to; someone who is consistent in your life.

On this lovely summer evening, take a dark bowl of water out into the moonlight, if you can and watch the moon's reflection in it. Why not think up a magic circle around yourself as you do it. This will protect you from any unwelcome forces and fill your mind with happy thoughts.

If you felt like it, you could put on a dark cloak for protection and to help you to raise some power, assisting you to blend into the night. Witches do not draw attention to themselves when working.

June is a good time for weddings to take place. If you know of anyone who is getting married at this time, it would be appropriate to give voice to your best wishes for them.

You could say the following words, whilst standing in the moonlight:

In this night and at this hour
I call upon the moon's great power.
Great Goddess of the Moon
Queen of every realm
Lady of infinite destiny,
Protectress and Mother of Witches
I call upon your wisdom
To pierce through the night
Cast upon me, your servant,
Your loving grace.
The enchantment has begun
From the heavens the power will come.

Credit: Llewelyn's Datebook for 2009

Monday, 1 June 2009

Why Wicca?

I was brought up as a Christian and taught to believe that there is only one God and Jesus Christ is his son. Fair enough, but what about before that, what did people believe? They got along well enough worshiping the sun and the moon and whatever else had significance in their world. I have always felt very in tune with nature. I think many of us do feel that way and as I get older, I fell more and more protective of the earth and all its beautiful mysteries.

Wicca offers the opportunity to worship both a God and a Goddess and is more of a maternal religion, allowing us to be as one with mother Earth. There are no priests to tell us what to do and no expensive buildings to keep up. There are few rules to follow. We can worship alone or with others. Wicca is very much a religion that puts you at the centre. We are working with very powerful forces for change and therefore we need to be very careful about our methods.

'Aye, it harm none, do what you will.'

If you follow this rule, then you will have a lot of freedom. So long as what you are doing does no harm to anyone else, be it a person or an animal or society in general, then all will be well, or will it?

Let's examine that for a moment... Suppose you are offered a wonderful new job, just what you have been waiting for, but there is a snag. The job is hundreds of miles away and it will mean uprooting your family and all the chaos that will cause. What do you do? If you are a Christian, then you will probably pray about it, asking God to help you to make a decision, which will benefit the whole family, not just you. If you are a pagan, you will meditate on it, asking the God or Goddess to help you find the way. Witches pray too but we are not submitting to a fiery God who will throw us into hell if we don't do what we are told is right. Our God is the God of the forest. He manifests in different guises. He and his Goddess are within us, not in some distant heaven, far removed from the world.

What we need to understand is that what we seek has been there all along. We are back to being on our own. We and only we are responsible for our actions. There is no one else to blame if 'it all goes wrong'. It is a very powerful place to be, accepting that not everything is someone else's fault.

We can choose to see the beauty in our world, live in harmony with the natural world and take full responsibility for our actions.