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Witches Celebrate Mabon Because This is How They Conjure the Most Powerful Magic

Of all the enticing elements of witchcraft, the one thing curious folks always ask is how to conjure powerful magic. Mabon is the second of the three harvest festivals celebrated by pagans and witches alike. This treat filled holy day offers the blessings (and magic) of apples, gathering with loved ones, and the opportunity to collectively harness one of the most powerful aspects of witchcraft…gratitude. I know.. you probably thought I was going to tell you some hidden sequence of words that would instantly grant you access to all the powers of the universe. Well, I actually did just that. Gratitude is one of the most impressive methods of magic anyone can learn.

I’m not talking about your basic “Thank you”. Expressing gratitude should never be reduced to a tiny ‘thx’ in your text window. These abbreviated versions of thanksgiving are casual ways of expressing a surface layer of magic that seldom results in the kind of manifestation we long for. I’m not dismissing the quick responses we give each other, but there’s impressive truth to be told in how we express gratitude.

Mabon has long been held as a festival of thanks giving. Long before the early travelers came upon the eastern shores of what we now call America, people knew the ancient art of gratitude. Our rushed society of instant gratification has nearly lost it’s spark and the art of true manifestation is fizzling out faster than the sands of time. You don’t want to be that one witch trying to work her magic at the eleventh hour.

While Americans look forward to November’s fourth Thursday to sample Grandma’s apple pie and Aunt Betty’s green bean casserole, Witches take deep internal inventory during Mabon. On the surface, we taste the exquisite flaky buttery crust that social gatherings offer us. We decorate with orange pumpkins, crunchy brown leaves, and maroon vines entangle the candlesticks on the table. We craft spells together and bake cornbread mandalas. We anticipate the aromas of harvest and laugh with children crunching on caramel coated apples. The happiness this holy day gives us can’t hold a candle to the joy the deeper magic can bestow upon us. Gratitude is a profound mystery hidden beneath the mantel of our core.

Crystals for Prosperity and Abundance

Working with the magic of gratitude is a significant discipline that requires an earnest level of humility. Mabon isn’t just about feasting on the fruits of our labor. It’s a diligent observance of all the details that yield the magnificent cornucopia of desire. When your truest desires manifest, you unleash untapped power from within.

Mabon isn’t the only season to conjure this magic. You can do so any time of the year. Mabon just happens to be a designated season where we polish and refine our practice. Join us in our Circle of Intuition as we delve deeper this month into the artistry of gratitude. We begin observing Mabon on September 21st and the celebration continues until September 29th.

Season’s Blessings,

Sisterlisa

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There’s No War Between Samhain and Halloween

I grew up in California enjoying Halloween with all my friends. That was back in the day when most neighbors handed out candy and we could safely go ‘trick or treating’ on our own. I loved carving pumpkins and bobbing for apples. My favorite part of Halloween was dressing up and sorting through our candy at the end of the night. While Halloween is very much an American tradition, I didn’t know what Samhain was until I was an adult. Every year we see the debate about “The War on Christmas”, but there’s no war between Samhain and Halloween.

photo source: Font Candy App

I first learned about pagan holy days when I was steeped in fundamentalist Christianity. My only source for ‘truth’ was what Christians told me….until I found Google. (Thanks, Google!)

Once we departed from that commune of belief, I started to see more about pagan tradition, cultures, and history in a way that stimulated my intellect. Now I love observing Samhain with my family! In fact, a lot of our Samhain traditions were traditions I had already practiced in church. In church we honored the Departed one Sunday out of the year and called it ‘Heaven Night’. The church walls were adorned with large photos of our departed loved ones and we spent the evening talking about our memories of them. Samhain is a lot like that!

We set up a sacred space for our departed loved ones and set out their photos. We also include other items they enjoyed while they were on Earth. We light candles and make their favorite foods (or their recipes that we loved too).

In our family we celebrate both Samhain and Halloween. My third daughter once asked me what our culture was. She had been learning about other people’s cultures and she wondered about ours. Very simply, we’re Americans and our culture is Halloween, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Easter, Fourth of July, Memorial Day, and Superbowl Sunday. Funny as that seems, that’s American culture.

Our ancestors lived throughout the region where Samhain was observed. We have ancestors from the wider old Germanic region encompassing Norway, Ireland, and Scandinavia. My husband’s family had ancestors in Italy and The Netherlands. We honor all our ancestors so our children can appreciate their ancient heritage.

The main part of Samhain that we observe is the honoring of our ancestors. We set up a family altar with their photos and trinkets that they loved from a thimble to specific fruits and other baked goods. We also create crafts associated with that. We have a memory catcher (like a dream catcher) that has various colors of ribbons with their photos attached. If you join our Circle of Intuition you can watch the mini class on how to make this.

Along with Samhain, we’ll be carving pumpkins, decorating the home to scare off the ghouls and goblins, and going trick or treating. I think we can have the best of both worlds.

May your ancestors bless you this season,

Sisterlisa

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Building a Mabon Tradition to a Create Community of Magic

We gathered for Mabon and had some fun crafting our magical intentions and feasting on delicious treats. There’s so much fun involved in the planning, cleaning, and preparing for having magical folk over for a night of manifesting together and gazing into sparkly crystals.

I love to share common holidays and celebrations with friends and gathering together is so vital in keeping a healthy perspective on life. Stress abounds in muggle life and magic shakes things up so we can breathe freer again.

A dear friend of mine shared a link with me, to a recipe for cornbread. (Thanks, Sandra!) But this wasn’t just any plain ol’ cornbread. It was a harvest cornbread decorated with nuts. But not just you’re average sprinkling of chopped nuts, this was a mandala design. I used a different recipe for the cornbread part, but still worked with the mandala idea for the design. My daughter, Monica, decorated it for us and I gave it a magical dusting of cinnamon and sugar.

Mabon Cornbread Mandala

Our friends gathered at the table where we had out our favorite herbs, resins, and dried flowers to create witchy jars. We talked about all the magical and medicinal properties of each ingredient and everyone created their own manifesting jars.

A little pinch of this and a sprinkle of that, along with all the good intentions and wishes. We corked the jars and melted wax to seal them. Some tied corresponding colored twine around them and either knotted them or tied bows. Some drew runes on the tops of their corks!

Good Intentions and Well Wishes

Some were layered perfectly while others were combined and shaken up. Everyone works their own magic in their own unique way. It’s all such wizardry fun! Then a little shopping while they were here. Everyone went home with something fun and sparkly!

Magical blessings,

Sisterlisa

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Mabon, the Celebration of Autumn to Cheer our Spirits

This week we honor our deities, ancestors, Mother Nature, and we gather with magical loved ones as we dine together during this festive day! Mabon, the celebration of Autumn, is upon us!

Mabon, the second of three harvest festivals, honors Morgan, Thor, Persephone, the Green Man, and more! Today we feast on apples, squash, root vegetables, and figs! Don’t forget the FIGS!

We bring in branches, leaves, acorns, and pine cones to decorate our home with and prepare ourselves for some ‘sweater weather’ fun with friends and loved ones. Have you wild harvested for these items yet? It’s a fun adventure to hunt for these natural elements. Be sure to only collect what has already naturally fallen to the ground.

photo source: pixabay.com

There’s many ways you can create your own unique celebration and there’s numerous ideas on Pinterest. In years before we’re gathered with friends to have fun and created our very own magic jars to suit each person’s desires. Do you desire to manifest prosperity, create some protection magic, or attract peace for your family?

You can observe Mabon on any day during this week that works best for your schedule.

For some visual fun, swing on over to the Autumn Mabon Pinterest Board my daughter, Monica, and I put together for you.

Magical blessings and blessed Mabon!

Sisterlisa

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Imbolc and the Goddess Brigid

Imbolc is the observance and celebration of mid-winter and the sun has been making its way back into our skies after the dark winter nights. February 1-2 marks this time and for thousands of years we’ve honored the Goddess, Brigid with this special time.

Brigid, Goddess of Light and Water

I know there’s a ton of other articles out there about Imbolc and Brigid, so I won’t bore you with more of the same old information. Some of the more unique things about Brigid are her connections with some fascinating legends that many of us are familiar with.

Brigid is known as a smith. She is the Goddess of working with metal to create tools and weapons. She’s also connected to the Arthurian legend and many believe she is the Lady of the Lake who forged Excalibur.

This early spring Goddess is also corresponded to herbs for healing and poetry. For these reasons, I believe she must have been a true witch at heart. Another of her crafts was to be with women in childbearing and welcome new life into the world. And isn’t the upcoming Spring all about new life?

Another legend teaches that Brigid is a special part of the Tuatha de Danaan branch of the Sidhe. A goddess of the fairies. How magical!!

Imbolc means in the belly, as in Mother Earth quickening with new life. Imbolc is one of four great fire festivals and Brigid is a goddess of fire. But in this instance the fire is more about light than heat.

So lets get to the magic of Imbolc and Brigid!!

I won’t bog you down with an never ending list of items to collect, in fact this is super easy and full of deep spiritual meaning.

Crystals for Honoring the Goddess, Brigid

Pyrite- I choose pyrite to work with to honor the smith craft of the goddess Brigid. Pyrite is made of iron and symbolizes strength and success.

Bloodstone– Working with Bloodstone is to honor her midwifery skills. Bloodstone is commonly worked with for all matters pertaining to health and blood. Blood has been known as a symbol of life and everlasting life by numerous spiritual traditions throughout history.

Bloodstone

Citrine– Since the fire of Imbolc is more about light than heat, Citrine is my choice for any altar to honor this season and the Goddess. Citrine is known as the ‘light maker’ and for attracting success. It also symbolizes the gold hair of the Goddess.

Citrine

Green Opal– Opal is made by the water content that grew within the crystal during its formation. It embodies the water element of the Goddess Brigid.

Green Opal

Staurolite (Fairy Cross)– These fantastic twinning crystals appear to look like fairy wings, surrounded in their sparkling matrix. It’s often held as a talisman and believed to bring the luck of the fairies to those who care for them. You know the time just as the sun peeks over the horizon? That’s when the dew on the plants begins to sparkle, just like the sparkle on a Staurolite (Stauro means ‘cross’ in Greek) crystal. That’s when you might get a glimpse of the Fae before they hide their delicate wings from the heat of the sun.

Fairy Crosses

You can place your Fairy Cross on your altar to the Fae to show honor and respect for their hidden ways. Don’t miss the chance to summon the fairies with our Little Bag O’ Fairy Magic to complete your altar set up.

My favorite activity for honoring Imbolc, after building my altar, is to do some early Spring cleaning. A lot of dust settles during the dark winter months and that dust serves as a metaphor, reminding us to clear out anything that no longer serves us. Use your broom to sweep away the past and welcome new life and new birth to your home.

I do hope you’ll join us in our online community for more discussions and free classes about our magical days and working with spiritual tools to bless your home and manifest miracles.

Magical blessings,

Sisterlisa

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When Lughnasadh Changed My Life

After being deeply engulfed in a cult for fifteen years, I vowed to avoid all rituals and organized religion. I had to get my brain straightened out and figure out which part of my spiritual path was due to programming and which part was birthed from a true spiritual awakening. I knew my relationship with Jesus wasn’t going to be hindered, but my relationship with religion had come to a screeching halt.

It was early one summer when I began looking for an outdoor activity for my family to participate in. We had already been avid recycling fanatics and volunteered several times a year for community clean-ups. Our next step was to find a way to not only clean up, but invest our time and energy into the land. We discovered an organized event for native plant restoration and signed up!

We arrived at Bidwell Park and met a woman who was fully prepared to dig into the land. She had the proper clothing for being out in the hot sun, gloves to protect her hands, and a hat to protect from the sun. We made the introductions and she handed us tools to get started. We spent a couple of hours pulling invasive plants and touring through the park as she taught us what needed to be pulled and what was to remain. During all of the hard work, we shared our stories. She too, had left an abusive religious community.

After we completed our tasks for the day, she invited us to a public gathering of her grove. This kind Druid woman extended her hand of friendship and we gladly accepted. “Could be a good cultural experience for our kids!” I thought.

We arrived at a quaint outdoor amphitheater in the park with a fire pit, next to a tall tree. We sat in the outer area for observing and the participants stood within their sacred circle. As we watched the ritual unfold, each part of their ceremony reminded me of my intimate moments with Jesus. I thought my heart had been frozen in time, paralyzed by the pain and confusion of the cult we had been drowning in for years. My soul, that felt like it was gasping for air, had finally broke through a barrier and I gulped a lung full of life giving oxygen. For months I felt as though my soul couldn’t breathe and here I was, coming up to the surface again.

Lughnasadh, the festival of first harvest. The day we break bread and make offerings of gratitude. It’s the time of the season that marks the joy of first fruits and the bittersweet reality that dark days are ahead as Fall guides us into the winter months. For me it was the day of joy that my soul could still receive what Source had for me. I was finally able to realize that my soul’s journey did not need to rely on organized religion. Nature had taken a hold of me and embraced me with warmth, love, and offered me hope. The summer Sun was taking my religious wounds to the depths of the cold winter where it could be transformed by Mother Earth. I didn’t need to worry about the darkness, because I knew the Light was already working on my behalf. I looked forward to the journey from Lughnasadh, the first of the Harvest festivals, to Imbolc, the first of the Spring festivals. My heart sang of healing and hope, the hope that a new spiritual life was ahead.

Observing and celebrating Lughnasadh doesn’t require expensive items that are sure to break your bank. It’s a simple ritual of gratitude performed by you and your offerings are humble scatterings of oats, wheat, or seeds. Though this simple ritual seems meager on the surface, it’s meaning is deep and rich.

What do we have to be thankful for?

What seeds did we plant and how have they manifested this year?

Every gardener knows the excitement of seeing that first green bean, or that first plump strawberry. I’m reminded of the decision we make in that moment.

Do we gobble up that first gift from the earth or do we share with those closest to us?

Do we think to share with those in need?

Here is that tipping point where we either grow as a spiritual being or we create disease of the soul through greed.

Lughnasadh teaches me to grow from a thankful heart and share with others.

This first harvest is not to be confused with the final harvest. We still have work to do. Our garden still needs nourishment and we need to be careful to keep the beds clear of weeds that would like none other than to choke our vines and steal our fruit. Take only what’s needed, share from our abundance, and keep tending to the work.

While I am not a Druid in any organized fashion, my soul is fed from the beautiful ceremonies and traditions of my Celtic ancestors. As with many of us, our DNA has trickled down through multiple ancestors of our past. We are a melting pot of vibrant ancestral paths and I honor each path of my historical lineage. In the Celtic tradition of my great grandmother’s ancestry, I honor this path with Lugh. Lugh is the patron deity of this festival. He is the patron of scholars, craftsmen, warriors and magicians. I take this into consideration as I choose my offerings for this holy day.

I honor the scholars who have held our history and traditions in sacred space for our generations to learn from. I take my craft of aromatherapy and anoint candles with the aromas that correspond with Lughnasadh. I include the use of my blade and cut the diseased portions of my soul and cauterize the wounds with the blade heated by this month’s hot summer sun. I’m working my magic into my ritual with faith and hope that in the Spring there will be bounties of blessings awaiting me.

My altar of honor for Lugh and my ancestors include the traditional elements of wheat grain, oats, and seeds. Included are the fruits and vegetables of the season (in my region) are strawberries, tomatoes, pomegranate, and carrots. I bake a corn bread and offer honey butter to sweeten the ritual. Lets not forget a chalice for refreshment, sweet pomegranate juice!

I’m not a literalist in my practice. I follow my Guides and allow my intuition to guide me in my artistic placement of the elements on my altar. I encourage you to do the same.

Every portion of my ritual is a layer of magic that keeps me grounded in my practice. To learn more about layering your magic in personal practice consider joining my group on Facebook.

Magical blessings,

Sisterlisa