Brighid’s Cross at Imbolc

Brighid’s Cross was a symbol derived from ancient solar symbols known from early times in Europe. There were several regional forms but none resemble the classic Christian cross.  The crosses were made from straw, sheaves of grain, rushes, or grass, depending on the region of origin. They were hung in the house and farm buildings as protection against illness and other misfortune.

In the Scottish Highlands, women also made Brighid crosses before a wedding and placed one in the mattress of the marriage bed to ensure fertility.

Making the crosses themselves was a ritual. The exact procedure varied and in some places the crosses were made ahead of time to be distributed as part of the bríde óg procession. But in most places in Ireland, they weaving material was ceremonially brought into the house and laid under the table where the feasting would occur. After the meal, the household created the crosses. A farmer might also make circlets to hang round the necks of lambs as they were born. Any leftover materials were used to create a bed for Brigid or sprinkled in the byre for good luck. The crosses were hung the next day.

To make a Brighid’s Cross, you will need about 28 reed, each approximately 30 cms in length.

Position two reeds across each other so that they make a “+” sign.  Turn the weave 90 degrees and fold the vertical reed down over the top of itself.  Turn the weave 90 degrees again to repeat with the now vertical reed. 
Turn the reeds again 90 degrees and add the third reed, placing it to the right of the vertical folded reed and under the horizontal folded reed.  Fold thee added reed, turning the weave once again to add the fourth and final reed to this round in the same fashion.

Continue to add folded reed.  Avoid letting them bunch up or lie on top of those in a previous round. Build the weave outward, resting the reeds side by side. At first, you may find it difficult to hold the arms together and at right angles, but as the weave gains substance, this will prove easier.  Just remember to watch for gaps and fill them by repositioning and tightening the reeds as necessary.

When all 28 reeds have been incorporated, tie each arm off about 6cms from the centre of the design. Trim the ends of the reeeds and threads.
As the reeds dry, the cross will become loose.  To remedy this, untie the ends, pull the reeds tight again before retying.

Brat Bríde The brat or cloak or mantle of Brigid was a ribbon, piece of cloth, or an article of clothing. They were left outside on the evening before the feast of Imbolc to receive the blessing of Brigid as she passed through the household. After wards, the cloths and ribbons were used as talismans of protection and healing, particularly aiding childbirth. Ribbons and strips of cloth were sewn into clothing or carried in a pocket. Articles of clothing were worn in times of stress and need; for example, a woman might wear a man’s vest while giving birth. Shawls that had been blessed might be laid on ailing human or animal while a prayer of healing was recited.

Críos Bríde The críos or girdle of Brigid was a rope of plaited straw or rope three or four meters long and formed into a circle held vertically aloft while those gathered ritually passed through, reciting a charm. The ceremony appears to have symbolized regeneration.

July Full Moon and Partial Lunar Eclipse

According to Jamie Partridge, next week’s full moon, that is also a partial lunar eclipse, has the potential to be rather harsh by revealing deeply buried memories and psychological trauma, as well as exposing “dirty laundry”, power struggles, abuse of power, manipulation, jealousy, and lies. Save for locking yourself away until these cosmic energies pass, it is a positive side to this.

Being at 24 degrees Capricorn, the full moon lunar eclipse combination is powerful and confrontational due to its close conjunction to Pluto. Intense emotional reactions, compulsive behavior, and power struggles are likely to result in a crisis. But there is more …

The lunar eclipse is also squared with the dwarf planet Eris, named after the Greek goddess of strife and discord. Eris is a powerful warrior female force who challenges patriarchal authority, in particular dominant miss-deeds and acts of misuse of power, especially about male dominance over, or exploitation of, women. Eris discloses and exposes clandestine affairs, or simply what lies hidden behind innocent but naïve assumptions about reality. She opens our eyes to what is covered by lies, often revealing something deceitful, shameful, ugly, or simply what is unacceptable behavior, often driven from greed or inflated pride.

It is important to remember that a lunar eclipse focuses attention on our emotions, intimate relationships, and your home and family. Take an impartial and balanced look at close relationships. This is because you will be in touch with your own needs and intentions, you will clearly see any relationship imbalances causing disharmony.

The Moon conjunct Pluto brings such deep feelings that they can overwhelm you. A personal interaction or event may trigger a memory or emotion buried deeply in your subconscious. You might even become obsessed about your feelings and have trouble focusing on anything else. Dreams, visions, psychic impressions or intuitive insights may have a profound influence on your mood.

Your intuition may be correct but could obscure your rational thought processes and conscious judgment skills. In relationships, you may have to deal with controlling and manipulative behaviors like jealousy, guilt-tripping, threats, intimidation, violence or self-harm. Transcend your own challenging emotions and behaviors through meditation, self-analysis, or other technique to understand your feelings.

Avoid being overly assertive, egotistic, or resistant to change. Challenges are more likely if you stubbornly resist change, or have engaged in some habit that is destructive to yourself or others. Even though you may experience a bruised ego, there is also great potential for positives if you are open to change.

The lunar eclipse on 16 July 2019 will be visible over most of Asia, Australia, Africa, Europe, and most of South America.

To read more about next week’s full moon and partial lunar eclipse, visit Astrology King where the full article can be found.

Hekate’s Feast

The true origins of Hekate appear to be lost amongst the mists of time however She is believed to have been a popular chthonian Goddess attested in early Mycenaean Greece as well as in Thace. Later, the Hellenic Greeks adapted Her into their pantheon where, although not considered a part of the Olympians, She had retained dominion over sky, earth and the Underworld making Her the bestower of wealth and the blessings of life.
In modern times, this Goddess is said rule over the moon, magick and wytchcraft, and even necromancy, with the crossroads being a special place to find Her shrines.

In modern times 13 August has become associated with the Goddesses Hekate and Artemis as a day/night to honour the Goddess and propitiate Her appropriately to ward off storms that could potentially destroy crops. While the observance of this day survives to present day, the origin and sources to back it up are not apparent. There is a believe however that the modern Feast of Hecate held on 13 August comes from the Nemoralia, the festival of Diana held in the groves at Nemi.

Regardless of its origins, on 10 August 2019 (the Saturday closest to the 13 August), the Temple of the Dark Moon will be holding a special rite, followed by a feast, in honour of Hekate, the Goddess of the Crossroads.


Strictly limited places available.

All participants will need to bring a personal offering for the Goddess Hekate (suggestions provided upon registration).

Limited active roles in the rite will also be available.

Cost: $30 (includes donation to the Animal Welfare League)

Please contact the Temple of the Dark Moon for more information and a registration form.

Bookings close 27 July (unless sold out prior).

It is the Autumn Equinox and NOT “Mabon”

It is that time of the year again that despite the ever lingering daylight savings, a definite change can be felt as the earth’s wobbling rotation pulls away from the sun here in the Southern Hemisphere.  The mornings are distinctively darker and the sun lingers longer below the horizon, and there is an ever slight chill in the air.  Yes, the time of the Autumn Equinox draws near (21st of March to be exact for this year).

As such, it appears time again to point out an erroneous association that first appeared in the 1970s and which, despite numerous attempts to rectify over the years, still perpetuates itself within modern Paganism – that being the usage of the term “Mabon” as an alleged alternative name for the Autumn Equinox.

Yemaya Blessing of the Waters

Yemaya Blessing of the Waters, Grange Beach, Adelaide

For over ten years, around the first full moon of the year, I have lead a special beach side rite that honours the Yorùbá Orisha or Goddess of the living ocean, Yemaya (also spelt Yemoja and Iemoja). This is year is no different, with the Yemaya Blessing of the Waters rite being held this evening at Grange Beach.

Originally from West Africa where her name means “Mother whose children are like fish”, Yemaya is the owner of the Ogun River and a lake named for her.  As the African diaspora occurred, Yemaya traveled with her children to the Americas and Caribbean, where the Mother of Waters became known as Mother of Oceans.

The Time of Janus is Upon Us

New yeare forth looking out of Janus gate,
Doth seeme to promise hope of new delight:
And bidding th’old Adieu, his pass’d date
Bids all old thoughts to die in dumpish spright
And calling forth out of sad Winters night,
Fresh love, that long hath slept in cheerlesse bower:
Wils him awake, and soone about him dight
His wanton wings and darts of deadly power.

To the ancient Romans, the dual faced God, Janus, was the God of beginnings and transitions, and as such, he was also perceived to be the God who ruled over gates and doors, doorways and passages, as well as also endings.  With one face looking back into the past, and the other into the future, it is little wonder that as we approach New Year’s Eve, Janus can easily come to mind. 

Honoring Hekate of the Underworld and Ourselves: A Death Walking Ritual of Transformation | Night of Hekate of the Underworld (Cyndi Brannen)

Night of Hekate of the Underworld is November 16. Celebrate her chthonic side and honor your own darkness with a solitary ritual sacrificing what longs to die within you to Hekate.  We hold within us all the energy of the Underworld. There are parts of us that long to die and others that call to be retrieved. On Hekate’s Night, offer to her the parts of you that need to die, thus creating the space for your soul to return.

Transformative Death Walking

Death walking refers to forms of witchcraft that explore the Underworld side of magick, including communicating with spirits and spiritual death. As witches, we are forever walking on the other side of the veil, whether through mediumship or personal development work. Offering to Hekate an emotional sacrifice of that which longs to die within us is part of our Witches’ Journey. Keeping the past and our pain on life support while we attempt to transform ourselves inevitably yields poor results. What is it that longs to die within you? A past hurt? A dysfunctional way of thinking? Perhaps ideas or practices relating to your witchery?

Continue reading “Honoring Hekate of the Underworld and Ourselves: A Death Walking Ritual of Transformation | Night of Hekate of the Underworld (Cyndi Brannen)”

Yemaya Blessing of the Waters annual event

Yemoja/Yemaya is considered to be the mother of all orishas found within the Yoruba religion of western Africa, having given birth to the 14 Yoruba gods and goddesses.  Here she is also the patron deity of the Ogun River and is worshipped at various waterways including streams, creeks, and springs.

Her name is contraction of the Yoruba words Yeye (meaning “mother”); ọmọ (“child”), and ẹja (“fish”).  Together her name is roughly translated as meaning “Mother whose children are like fish, which reflects the vastness of her motherhood, her fecundity, and her reign over all living things.  Yemaya governs everything pertaining women; childbirth, conception, parenting, child safety, love, and healing.  She also oversees deep secrets, ancient wisdom, the moon, sea shells, and the collective unconscious.

Continue reading “Yemaya Blessing of the Waters annual event”