Spring Equinox – Balance, Renewal & Change in an Uncertain Time

Beltane Grove 2006

You wouldn’t know it with all the snow that fell here yesterday, but we have left the dark nights of winter behind us and have entered into the sunny days of spring.

Starting around the Autumn Equinox, I begin to shift my focus to inner work, past life and ancestor work, and will do a deep dive into learning something new since I will be spending more time indoors throughout the cold winter season.  The universe isn’t always force and action, so I’m OK with slowing things down a bit and being more of an armchair occultist, provided I take what I learn during this time and put it into action when the energies shift, as they do at this time.

Winter can be a hard time for some people.  The lack of sunlight, the inaction and reduced sociability can affect people in negative ways.  It’s easy to go stir crazy when you’re stuck indoors for days on end because of inclement weather, and you feel like you’ve run out of things to do.  That’s why, in my opinion, it’s so important to work on the self and to learn something new.

Firstly, it gives you something to do.  The newness of the thing helps to keep you engaged, and the inner work allows you to check in with yourself on a regular basis.  By paying attention to you helps to avoid falling into a midwinter funk.

Now is the time of balance between light and dark, with light on the increase.  This is the time when we normally begin to come out of hibernation, and take what we have gained over the course of the winter and put it into action.  However, with the current pandemic and related response (social distancing, self-isolation, etc.), the natural balance within our ourselves will be impacted.

Your well being is top priority right now.  It’s one thing to hibernate and slow down as a natural response to seasonal change, it’s quite another when it’s being imposed upon you, especially during a season of action after such a long winter.

Keep up with that inner work, keep learning something new.  If you’ve lamented that you’ve never been able to stick to a daily spiritual practice, now is the time.  Willpower to do a thing doesn’t manifest first.  It comes from the act of doing.  So start that daily practice, and you will quickly discover not only how easy it is to keep up, but how much you want to keep it up.  Eventually when life returns to normal, you will find that you are in fact able to keep it up in a busy world.

Check in with friends and family via the telephone, skype, social media.  Get creative on these platforms with how you interact with others.  Game night can easily be done online.  Binge your favourite shows while skyping with others doing the same.

These engaging activities will assist in your mental well being.

I know that now is a time of selflessness and sacrifice, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of your mental health.  It’s OK to say ‘I need’.  We all need something to help keep us sane, and as long as it can be done under our current social restrictions, and doesn’t pose a threat to the health of others, these needs should be explored.

Oh, and one more thing…it’s totally OK to lock yourself in the bathroom and sit on the toilet and just breathe!

 

Blessed Lughnasadh

And Blessed Imbolc for all of those in the southern hemisphere.  How did you spend your Lughnasadh/Imbolc day?

I did what I always do on each Sabbat; I made a large batch of Lughnasadh Loose Incense and Lughnasadh Anointing Oil.  These I make for the Sabbat Altar Sets available on my website here.  I also spent time working on something new, but I can’t reveal that yet.  Soon, though…

The group that I do rituals with gets together on weekends close to the Sabbats to celebrate, so no group ritual for me tonight.  I will confess, in my shame, that I’ve been so busy I actually forgot about Lughnasadh, so I don’t actually have anything planned with my group this weekend.  I will, however, do something small and private by myself later tonight.

Lughnasadh makes me a bit sad.  I love summer, and I love the heat, so celebrating the first harvest reminds me that summer is coming to an end, even though where I live in Canada, some of our hottest days are still to come in August.  At the beginning of July, we were told that June was the hottest month on record, worldwide.  Today while watching the news, I learned that July was now the hottest month on record.  What will August bring?  It’s scary to think what we’re doing to our planet, and it’s scarier to think that politicians have made this a partisan issue, the end result being that certain segments of the population are against green technologies for no other reason than that they hang on every word of their favoured politicians.  It’s so short-sighted, and quite frankly, so pathetic.  It never fails to amaze me that some people so easily parrot politicians talking-points, and believe whatever it is they say.

OK, back to the topic!

I have a secret.  For all of my love of the sun and heat, autumn is my favourite time of the year.  I feel the most connected to the earth from around September to November.  I really try to take advantage of the harvest season to reap the rewards of a year of hard work.  Being self-employed, I’m always going fullsteam ahead, so it’s around the fall when I can sit back and enjoy my achievements.  Plus, knitwear!!!

Take this Lughnasadh season to look back at the hard work you’ve put into the year, and then look forward to see how you can begin to reap the rewards.

Happy Samhain!

happy samhain

I spent the day of Samhain doing what I always do on a Sabbat.  My mornings are ALWAYS dedicated to coffee, which makes it the best time to do my paperwork and various other administrative things related to owning a business.  The afternoon I dedicated to preparing for the evenings ritual.

As an aside, I run a local pagan group, and like so many groups, we have to plan our group rituals around our lives, which often mean they are not performed on the ‘proper’ day.  So, we had our Samhain ritual on the weekend, and last nights ritual was a solo one.

Besides ritual, one thing I like to do on a Sabbat is a small, three-card tarot spread to give me some insight on what is in store for me between one Sabbat and the next.  So, I decided to use my new Landon Connors Occult Detective Tarot Deck, created by author Bob Freeman.

Tarot Spread

Left card represents the previous six weeks, or so, in this case between the Autumn Equinox and Samhain.  Middle card represents now, and right card represents the upcoming six weeks, or between Samhain and the Winter Solstice.

I wasn’t surprised to find that there were no Major Arcana in this spread.  The Nine of Cups reversed summed up the recent past quite accurately.  I’m still meditating on the Ace of Cups reversed, and the 10 of Pentacles shows a favourable outcome for the near future.

Phew!  Dodged another bullet!

The last thing I do on a Sabbat has become the most important – that would be making batches of my Samhain Loose Incense and Samhain Anointing Oil.  These are for my Sabbat Altar – Loose Incense & Anointing Oil Sets.

Samhain Altar

I make the Loose Incense and Anointing Oil for each Sabbat only on the day of the Sabbat in question, so if I don’t get around to it, it doesn’t get done.  And if I don’t have stock to sell…the tiny home trend is all the rage, but somehow I think living in a cardboard box is stretching it a bit.

I’d like to say that today I get some downtime.  I think I deserve it, this being my favourite time of the year, I do a lot of Halloween activities.  Add all my Samhain activities into the mix, and it makes for a busy few days.  However, a large order from my Canadian distributor beckons, so off I go!