Ritual tools, Spiritual Toolbox

Ice Ritual for Ostara

Wylde and Green

Wednesday is Ostara, Spring Equinox and Thursday is the full Lenten Moon (the last full moon of winter). You will hear a lot of talk about balance at this time of year, with light and dark being equal, but it never feels balanced to me, it feels like a battle, with bitterly cold days, sandwiched between warm, bright days with one storm rolling in after another, as banks of high and low pressure buffet against each other. The winter was kind this year, so perhaps he is reluctant to leave so soon.

I believe a ritual is a little path you follow, that winds through your own particular internal woods, and what makes it meaningful is how it resonates with you. The path being as important as the destination. We don’t follow the rhythms of nature any more to survive, but that doesn’t mean we don’t feel them…

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Ritual tools, Spiritual Toolbox

Spring Equinox Rituals: Rituals of Looking Back and Looking Forward

The Druid's Garden

Sometimes, when we are hiking on a trail, we are in a hurry to get somewhere–that far off vantage point, that mile marker on the map, or just seeing what is over the next horizon. I remember hiking with some friends who regularly backpacked; they were so intent on speeding through the woods to their goal and putting the miles behind them that they  left me behind at multiple points as I got off the trail to explore something. This “speeding towards a goal” is, perhaps, part of who we are as humans, and certainly, a product of Western Civilization, which is so growth and progress oriented.  Even with our spiritual practice, we can be so intent on focusing on a goal (that next grade or degree, for example) that we forget about the journey itself.  On this trail, the day I took this photo, my intuition told me to…

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Individual, Spiritual Toolbox

The Energies of March

Good Witches Homestead

March promises to be an eventful month energetically, one that is full of potential if we can successfully ride the waves of change and embrace the new beginnings that it will bring forward.

The new moon on March 6th coincided with a big planetary shift of energy created by Uranus leaving Pisces to take up residence in Taurus, where it will remain for the next seven years. This movement of cosmic energy has probably already taken your focus of attention into a new area of your life, possibly revealing where an overhaul or energetic spring clean is going to be required. Uranus is a powerful planetary force that stimulates freedom, liberation, and enlightenment, so do your best to go with the flow of what it brings into focus for you. Following through with the process of change that it has instigated, will help you awaken latent potential needed for the…

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Spiritual Toolbox

Bird Songs and Bird Tribe Shaman Women, their Culture, Art and Soul

Elder Mountain Dreaming

By Phoenix of Elder Mountain Dreaming The cult of the bird women go back to the very beginning of the largest cycle of Soul people on earth, which I estimate at least in this largest cycle (era) to be about 300,000 years ago. The culture of Bird Women (Shaman cultures and Dream cultures) is a birth and rebirth of one’s own symbol, the egg (the womb), when we didn’t have a fleshy body but existed within our own non-fragmented or non-separated astral bodies with both their consciousnesses.

Today these are partially housed in our physical body, with fragments of our astral bodies all over the place including our shadow lives, whats left of our pure astral body (higher selves) our dormant animal selves etc.

When woman ruled the skies, as leader, chief and healer, creating the sacred circle of life through the healing strength of the circle of women…

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Gardens, Herbals, Odds & Ends

Let Spring Begin…

Good Witches Homestead

Spring is a time of new beginnings and fresh starts.  It’s a time to let go of old habits, get rid of old or unwanted things, and give yourself a new start in life. Whether you’re looking to do a deep cleaning of your house or health, we’ve got the natural products to help you do it.

So, what are you waiting for? Take advantage of this time of year to enjoy the simple things in life and take the first steps towards a new you!

Good until 3/04/2019

A Little Something Worth Trying

Forest Fresh Diffuser Blend

Step in to spring and warmer weather with this diffuser blend. It’ll have you wanting to head out to green mountainsides for a spring picnic!

Spring Vernal Equinox

Date When: March 20, 2019; March 20, 2020

Ah, Spring! A time when “a…

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Esoterica

The 13th Moon & The First New Moon of Spring

Elder Mountain Dreaming

By Phoenix of Elder Mountain –Blessings beautiful Moon People, Artful Dreamers, Creative Artists, Soulful Dancers, Witches, Wild Women and Men and everyone inbetween. We begin our 13th Moon & the First New Moon of Spring on Saturday, March 17, 2018 and the Spring Equinox, Tuesday, March 20th! Its the season of endings and new beginnings as ‘endings’ and ‘new beginnings’ are equal in the 13th moon cycle. There are three parts in this writing today: 1. The 13th moon writing & the Black Canoe Mythology; 2. Marzanna’s final Spring Equinox Ritual; and 3. Examples of Intentions for this month.

Clear your distractions away today, take a deep yawn and stretch and shake off last years moons, like a wolf who shakes the water off her wintery coat. Accept that its time to embody the next layer of our Moon-Spirit as the 13th moon cycle releases old…

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Esoterica, Spiritual Toolbox

Romanian Folk Magic at Midnight – Elder Mountain Dreaming

Magical practice at the stroke of Midnight are symbolic practices and are the gifts of our ancient ancestors of the distant worlds and Romanian women have always kept these traditions alive. The older pagan cultures of the Slavic peoples celebrate the New Year on the Spring Equinox (and Ukraine still does). One such magical practice of the spring new year, which you could use at any equinox or solstice eve, is the tradition done the night before the Spring Equinox…

Goddess celebrations of Spring, in many cultures would last an entire week, from the 19th until the 23rd of March, because the energy of the Spring Equinox is at its strongest then. You can still do the rituals here, just make sure you set your intention clearly and simple…

firebird2

At the end of the night light year in-between the old and the new year, at 12:00 midnight before the dawn turning into the Spring Equinox…. go and look at the night sky and count  the new stars you see and what will be your destiny. You can also go in the house, put a ring of gold in a glass of water, place it in front of a candle and behind the candle a mirror. They say the one who looks in the mirror sees an opening of the door of their destiny.

Leave a small night light on or a candle in a lantern all night long when you go to sleep and dream, the gates are open to get luck as the old year leaves and the new returns the next morning on the Spring Equinox. They say, if your soul is clear, the opening of the door of the heavens will give you a glimpse.

Maramureș is a geographical, historical and ethno-cultural region in northern Romania and western Ukraine and these village people at midnight lean wood pieced against the home’s outside wall. Each piece of wood represents every soul in your house until morning and when you go outside in the morning to check on them, if any fell over, that’s considered a tough year for the person it was intended for.

Maramures, Romania

Villagers also read the whole year’s weather with onions – cut an onion in half and set out 12 pieces of papers (one for each month of the year). Salt each of them in equal amounts. Set the onion in the center and circle the paper around the onion. Let them sit overnight and in the morning, depending on the amount of water collected, its said that the moisture or dryness of each paper represents the dry or wet months.

I imagine you can also do this with your moon ritual on the day of the spring equinox, if you want and set the intention of difficult moons (wet) and easy moons (dry) and then keep track of your moon cycles the entire year.

On the spring equinox morning ritual take a bath and wash yourself before sunrise. In the water put a silver penny, some basil and a branch of a tree and wash yourself for lucky year and blessings of abundance.

romanian girl, mihaela noroc, theatlasofbeauty dot com

Enjoy and keep the Magic alive, Phoenix

Sources: Iulia Gorneanu, University of Bucharest; first photo a compilation photo including Romanian grandmothers called Baba Dochia and a selection of an image of one of Douglas Girard, figurative Landscape painter; Maramures, Romania Maiden.

Source: Romanian Folk Magic at Midnight – Elder Mountain Dreaming

Ritual tools

Ukraine Ancient Traditions of the Spring Equinox Rites of Vorotar (Gatekeeping) – Elder Mountain Dreaming

Source: Ukraine Ancient Traditions of the Spring Equinox Rites of Vorotar (Gatekeeping) – Elder Mountain Dreaming

autumn slavic

This article is from http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com with my additions, from my Shaman’s perspective and experiences – The Ukrainian Spring Equinox is one of the earth’s oldest ceremonies and it honors the ancestors as a ritual of the beginning of the new year Velykden, when the “Day” (Spring & Summer seasons were called Fire) overcomes the “Night” (Autumn & Winter seasons called Night). Vesnianky-hahilky is also known in Galicia as haïvky, iahilky, hahulky, halahilky, iaholoiky, maivky, and rohulky. Ritual folk songs sung by maidens in conjunction with ritual dances in ancient times on the Spring Equinox.

When religion came to the Slavs, the tradition of Mara (Polish Marzanna) lost its origin and thus the demonology books of churchmen forever changed the once pure spring rites and traditions. Mara then, is a female figure in Ukrainian and other corrupted Slavic folk demonology,  who was believed to assume various forms—animal, plant, ghostly (older shamanic traditions), and inanimate or monstrous females to cause people harm. The name was occasionally used to refer to the devil or to a house demon known as a domovyk. But most shamans understand clearly, that woman’s shamanic traditions were corrupted and how the church rose in power and control.

Long ago these songs and dances were performed in the meadows, highlands, along the rivers, but in modern times they are danced and sung in village streets, churchyard and cemetery. Originally their purpose was to give thanks to the mysterious spirit and forces of mother earth (nature) to provide good relations in the shamanic cultures of women, later in pagan times they were to honor nature who would supply people food and a happy life.

The magical functions of the songs was eventually forgotten but in peoples hearts, even though the magical rites are not performed by the grandmothers and mothers, the maidens still perform the dances and songs. As more female Slavic shamans reawaken to their ancient medicines and rites before paganism the more the magic will return.

ukraine eggs 3The vesnianky season in ancient times opened as a rule with a farewell to winter on the spring equinox, but once the churchmen got involved it took place on Candlemas or at the first sighting of migrating birds. A straw or wooden image of winter called Smert (Death), Mara (Specter), or Kostrub (Slob) was burned or drowned to the singing of vesnianky, and then spring, sometimes personified by a girl in a flower and herb wreath, was welcomed with ritual dances, such as Mosty ‘Bridges’ and Vorotar ‘Gatekeeper’. In prepagan times it would have been the Mothers, not maidens who welcomed spring and the grandmothers were the gatekeepers, always have been and always will be regardless of religions.

The dialogue, ‘O Beautiful Spring, what have you brought us?’ ‘I have brought you summer, a pink flower, winter wheat, and all sorts of fragrant things,’ was sung. In some localities bird-shaped bread was baked and tossed by children into the air to represent birds in flight. Many vesnianky were addressed to birds, groves and forests and trees and flowers, asking them to assist the coming of spring.

The oldest vesnianky are those associated with ritual portrayal of plant growth Mak ‘Poppy’, Proso ‘Millet’, Ohirochky ‘Cucumbers’, Khmil’ ‘Hops’, Khrin ‘Horseradish’, Hrushka ‘Pear’, L’on ‘Flax’) and the behavior of birds (Horobchyk ‘Sparrow’, Soloveiko ‘Nightingale’, Husky ‘Geese’, Kachky ‘Ducks’, Kachuryk ‘Drake’), animals (Vovk ‘Wolf’, Lysytsia ‘Fox’, Zaichyk ‘Bunny’), domestic animals (Baran ‘Ram’, Kozel ‘Goat’), and insects (Zhuk ‘Beetle’).

The simple but moving melodies have a deep rhythmic structure punctuated with frequent exclamations. Ryndzivky, a form of vesnianky, were sung at Easter by young men in the Yavoriv area in Galicia.  In Soviet times, the vesnianky began to disappear after the Revolution of 1917 and all original folk traditions that were passed down by village grandmothers for thousands of years by oral traditions, were completely gone by the end of the regimes of the Nazis and the Soviets including the Genocide of Famine to starve the Ukraine people to death in 1932-33.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4wXgG0P3to

Source: Mykola Muchynka is still alive and in 1988 Czechoslovak television filmed Lety mii vinochku (Fly, My Wreath), with screenplay by Mykola Mushynka, based on the Ukrainian vesnianky of the Presov Region of Ukraine. He was born the 20th of February 1936 in Kuriv, Bardejov and is a Ukrainian folklorist. After graduating from Prague University (1959) he completed his graduate studies at Kyiv University and again in Prague in 1967. He worked in the department of Ukrainian studies at the Presov campus of Kosice University (1966–71) and founded and edited Naukovyi zbirnyk Muzeiu ukraïns’koï kul’tury u Svydnyku (1965–70) for the Svydnyk Museum of Ukrainian Culture.

Because of his contacts with Ukrainian dissidents and Ukrainian émigrés he was expelled from his job and forbidden to publish. He was not reinstated in a research position until 1990. He has written over 300 studies, articles, and reviews, mainly on folklore and the culture of Ukrainians in Czechoslovakia. He compiled two anthologies of Ukrainian folklore in Eastern Slovakia (1963 and 1967) and a collection of Folk Songs sung by A. Yabur (1970). Besides a study of the folklore of the Ruthenians of Vojvodina (1976) and biographies of Orest Zilynsky (1983) and Stepan Klochurak (1995).

In Ukraine today most songs and dances are performed by professional and amateur ensembles, but to return the magic, the prehistory ways, the shamanic traditions of Ukraine can be returned by those of true female shaman paths of our birth rite initiations, lead by women in great circles again. Much of this tradition is celebrated in modern times as Kupala at the Summer Solstice which is much more popular for the main stream.

Source: http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com