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CARMEN - WHITE WITCH - AUSTRALIA

CELEBRATIONS

HAPPY SAINT VALENTINES DAY WHO IS SAINT VALENTINE ?????


HAPPY SAINT VALENTINES DAY     WHO IS SAINT VALENTINE  ?????

Every year, the fourteenth day of the month of February has millions across the world presenting their loved ones with candy, flowers, chocolates and other lovely gifts. In many countries, restaurants and eateries are seen to be filled with couples who are eager to celebrate their relationship and the joy of their togetherness through delicious cuisines. There hardly seems to be a young man or woman who is not keen to make the most of the day.
The reason behind all of this is a kindly cleric named Valentine who died more than a thousand years ago.
It is not exactly known why the 14th of February is known as Valentine's Day or if the noble Valentine really had any relation to this day. The history of Valentine's Day is impossible to be obtained from any archive and the veil of centuries gone by has made the origin behind this day more difficult to trace. It is only some legends that are our source for the history of Valentine's Day.
The modern St. Valentine's Day celebrations are said to have been derived from both ancient Christian and Roman tradition. As per one legend, the holiday has originated from the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalis/Lupercalia, a fertility celebration that used to observed annually on February 15. But the rise of Christianity in Europe saw many pagan holidays being renamed for and dedicated to the early Christian martyrs. Lupercalia was no exception. In 496 AD, Pope Gelasius turned Lupercalia into a Christian feast day and set its observance a day earlier, on February 14. He proclaimed February 14 to be the feast day in honor of Saint Valentine, a Roman martyr who lived in the 3rd century. It is this St. Valentine whom the modern Valentine's Day honors.
According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, there were at least three early Christian saints by the name of Valentine. While one was a priest in Rome, another was a bishop in Terni. Nothing is known about the third St. Valentine except that he met his end in Africa. Surprisingly, all three of them were said to have been martyred on 14th February.
It is clear that Pope Gelasius intended to honor the first of these three aforementioned men. Most scholars believe that this St. Valentine was a priest who lived around 270 AD in Rome and attracted the disfavor of Roman emperor Claudius II who ruled during this time.
The story of St. Valentine has two different versions - the Protestant and the Catholic one. Both versions agree upon Saint Valentine being a bishop who held secret marriage ceremonies of soldiers in opposition to Claudius II who had prohibited marriage for young men and was executed by the latter. During the lifetime of Valentine, the golden era of Roman empire had almost come to an end. Lack of quality administrators led to frequent civil strife. Education declined, taxation increased and trade witnessed a very bad time. The Roman empire faced crisis from all sides, from the Gauls, Slavs, Huns, Turks and Mongolians from Northern Europe and Asia. The empire had grown too large to be shielded from external aggression and internal chaos with existing forces. Naturally, more and more capable men were required to to be recruited as soldiers and officers to protect the nation from takeover. When Claudius became the emperor, he felt that married men were more emotionally attached to their families, and thus, will not make good soldiers. He believed that marriage made the men weak. So he issued an edict forbidding marriage to assure quality soldiers.
The ban on marriage was a great shock for the Romans. But they dared not voice their protest against the mighty emperor. The kindly bishop Valentine also realized the injustice of the decree. He saw the trauma of young lovers who gave up all hopes of being united in marriage. He planned to counter the monarch's orders in secrecy. Whenever lovers thought of marrying, they went to Valentine who met them afterwards in a secret place, and joined them in the sacrament of matrimony. And thus he secretly performed many marriages for young lovers. But such things cannot remain hidden for long. It was only a matter of time before Claudius came to know of this "friend of lovers," and had him arrested.
While awaiting his sentence in prison, Valentine was approached by his jailor, Asterius. It was said that Valentine had some saintly abilities and one of them granted him the power to heal people. Asterius had a blind daughter and knowing of the miraculous powers of Valentine he requested the latter to restore the sight of his blind daughter. The Catholic legend has it that Valentine did this through the vehicle of his strong faith, a phenomenon refuted by the Protestant version which agrees otherwise with the Catholic one. Whatever the fact, it appears that Valentine in some way did succeed to help Asterius' blind daughter.
When Claudius II met Valentine, he was said to have been impressed by the dignity and conviction of the latter. However, Valentine refused to agree with the emperor regarding the ban on marriage. It is also said that the emperor tried to convert Valentine to the Roman gods but was unsuccesful in his efforts. Valentine refused to recognize Roman Gods and even attempted to convert the emperor, knowing the consequences fully. This angered Claudius II who gave the order of execution of Valentine.
Meanwhile, a deep friendship had been formed between Valentine and Asterius' daughter. It caused great grief to the young girl to hear of his friend's imminent death. It is said that just before his execution, Valentine asked for a pen and paper from his jailor, and signed a farewell message to her "From Your Valentine," a phrase that lived ever after. As per another legend, Valentine fell in love with the daughter of his jailer during his imprisonment. However, this legend is not given much importance by historians. The most plausible story surrounding St. Valentine is one not centered on Eros (passionate love) but on agape (Christian love): he was martyred for refusing to renounce his religion. Valentine is believed to have been executed on February 14, 270 AD.
Thus 14th February became a day for all lovers and Valentine became its Patron Saint. It began to be annually observed by young Romans who offered handwritten greetings of affection, known as Valentines, on this day to the women they admired. With the coming of Christianity, the day came to be known as St. Valentine's Day.
But it was only during the 14th century that St. Valentine's Day became definitively associated with love. UCLA medieval scholar Henry Ansgar Kelly, author of "Chaucer and the Cult of Saint Valentine", credits Chaucer as the one who first linked St. Valentine's Day with romance. In medieval France and England it was believed that birds mated on February 14. Hence, Chaucer used the image of birds as the symbol of lovers in poems dedicated to the day. In Chaucer's "The Parliament of Fowls," the royal engagement, the mating season of birds, and St. Valentine's Day are related:
"For this was on St. Valentine's Day, When every fowl cometh there to choose his mate."
By the Middle Ages, Valentine became as popular as to become one of the most popular saints in England and France. Despite attempts by the Christian church to sanctify the holiday, the association of Valentine’s Day with romance and courtship continued through the Middle Ages. The holiday evolved over the centuries. By the 18th century, gift-giving and exchanging hand-made cards on Valentine's Day had become common in England. Hand-made valentine cards made of lace, ribbons, and featuring cupids and hearts began to be created on this day and handed over to the man or woman one loved. This tradition eventually spread to the American colonies. It was not until the 1840s that Valentine's Day greeting cards began to be commercially produced in the U.S. The first American Valentine's Day greeting cards were created by Esther A. Howlanda Mount Holyoke, a graduate and native of Worcester. Mass. Howland, known as the Mother of the Valentine, made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as "scrap". It was when Howland began Valentine's cards in a large scale that the tradition really caught on in the rest of the world. BLESSINGS CARMEN

A SAMHAIN BASIC RITUAL FOR ALL HALLOWEEN – ALL HALLOWS EVE

 
A SAMHAIN BASIC RITUAL FOR ALL
HALLOWEEN –
ALL HALLOWS EVE

During Samhain it is sacramented tradition to summon your ancestors and break bread with them asking for the blessing of antiquity to be brought forth. Sundown on Oct.31 is the beginning of Samhain when the veils between the two worlds are the thinnest. Place some bread preferably baked by thine own hand or fruit and 200 ml glass of red wine ANYTHING THAT IS SUITABLE FOR FEASTING IS FINE BUT THESE ARE THE BASIC REQUIREMENT at your Alter in the morning or an appropriate place of peace if an alter is not available. Light an orange Candle and burn some white sage as the sun begins to set.
Recite the following
Through the power Of God the Father of all creation ,Holy Blessed Mother of Heaven and Earth By guidance of Guardians power and the Ancestors will "And so it is , we gather again, The  feast of our dead to begin. Our Ancients, Our Ancestors we invite, Come!!! And follow the setting sun. Whom do we call? We Call them by name  (put some thought into who you are summoning from your family) (Name your Ancestors that you wish or want to welcome) The ancients have come! Here with us stand Where ever the country, where ever the land They leave us not, to travel alone; flesh of our flesh, bone of our bone! Grandmothers, Grandfathers, Great to be their Power ! Past ones and present-at this very hour! Welcome within are the dead who are kin, Feast here with us and rest here within Our hearth is your hearth and welcome to thee; Old tales to tell and new visions to see!" I welcome my ancestors to guide and to teach me Join me in the light of God and Goddess through the Guardians divine SO MOTE IT BE.   Eat and drink what you have prepared if possible share a feast of bread fruit and wine with family and friends Remain in your sacred area till the sun has set. PLEASE NOTE – CANDLE MUST COMPLETE BURNING PRIOR TO COMPLETION   BLESSINGS BE

Blessing For Samhain


Blessing For Samhain


Blessed Be! Oh God Heavenly Father & Dearest heart Mother of Earth oh Guardians Blessed Be! loved ones and friends Another year's upon us As the wheel has turned again We invite the ancestors one by one . So Mote it Be So be it Done .
Blessings to Thee & Thine

WINTER SOLSTICE 21 JUNE 2012 AUSTRALIA - a task for you to do





WINTER SOLSTICE  21 JUNE 2012  AUSTRALIA
Traditionally celebrated in Europe during Yule December
 
The rituals applicate with subtle differences as Christian Witches of Australia celebrate Winter Solstice In June and Yule in the Summer months.
 
The Winter Solstice is unique among days of the year — the time of the longest night and the shortest day. The dark triumphs but only briefly. For the Solstice is also a turning point. From now on (until the Summer Solstice, at any rate), the nights grow shorter and the days grow longer, the dark wanes and the Sun waxes in power. From the dark womb of the night, the light is born.
Many of the customs associated with the Winter Solstice (and therefore with other midwinter festivals such as St Lucy’s Day, Saturnalia, Hanukkah, New Years and Twelfth Night) derive from stories of a mighty battle between the dark and the light, which is won, naturally, by the light. Other traditions record this as the time a savior (the Sun-Child) is born to a virgin mother.
The Battle Between Old and New, Dark and Light
The Romans celebrated from December 17th to December 24th with a festival called Saturnalia, during which all work was put aside in favor of feasting and gambling. The social order was reversed, with masters waiting on their slaves. The Saturnalia is named after Saturn, who is often depicted with a sickle like the figures of Death or Old Father Time. Astrologically speaking, Saturn is saturnine: gloomy, old, dutiful and heavy. He was the god who ate his own children rather than let them surpass him. For new life to flourish, for the sun to rise again, it is necessary to vanquish this gloomy old fellow. Therefore, the feasting and merriment of the midwinter season are religiously mandated in order to combat the forces of gloom.
The day following the Saturnalia, was the Juvenalia, according to Z Budapest in The Grandmother of Time, a holiday in honor of children who were entertained, feasted and given good luck talismans. The union of a virgin and a supernatural force, like the couplings between Zeus and various nymphs, was shorthand indicating the presence of a miraculous child, a child with the powers of both worlds. Dionysus is such a child, born of a union between Zeus and Semele.
 
 
 
The Lenaia occurred on the twelfth day of the Greek lunar month, Gamelion, which falls in early winter. The twelfth day of a lunar month (which begins with the new moon) always falls on a full moon night. If we move this lunar festival to the solar calendar and count from the winter solstice, the festival would occur on January 5th or 6th.
Until the fourth century, Christ’s birthday was celebrated on January 6th, on the same date when the Virgin Kore gave birth to the year God celebrated in Alexandria with a festival called the Koreion. St. Epiphanius complains about the hideous mockery of this rite but it preceded the story of Christ’s birth. In the original ritual, the image of the goddess, decorated with gold stars, was carried seven times around her temple as the priests cried, “The Virgin has brought forth the new Aeon!”
Although Aeon, or Eon, is now defined as “an indefinitely long period of time; an age, eternity,” its Indo-European root aiw conveyed “vital force, life, long life, eternity,” and the Greek form Aion meant specifically “vital force.” [Farias]
This description recalls the Egyptian ceremony re-enacting the birth of Horus, the sun-god to Isis. All lights in the city were doused while Isis circled the sarcophagus seven times, then brought forth Horus who was called “the Light of the World.” Statues of Isis holding the newly born sun God on her lap, presenting him to the world, are similar to pose to later statues representing Mary and Jesus.
The Solstice candle, a large candle of red or orange or some other bright color decorated with holly or other evergreens type plants, was at one time a popular custom throughout Great Britain, Ireland and Scandinavia. One person, usually the eldest or the head of the household, is designated as the lightbringer. lights the candle for the first time on the Eve  of Solsticebefore the festive supper and during each of the remaining evenings of the Twelve Days of Solstice. To extinguish the candle, You snuff it with tongs rather than blowing it out, since that would blow the luck away. The candle sheds a blessing on the household and so is protected from accidental quenching. It seems likely that the candle also represented the coming year, just as the weather of each of the twelve days of Solstice foretell the weather of the corresponding month. It had protective or fertilizing powers and was kept as a charm. In Denmark, during a lightning storm, the remnant would be brought out and lit to protect the household.

Similar customs once surrounded the Yule log. The Yule log must never be bought but should be received as a gift, found or taken from you own property. Often the log to be burned at midwinter was chosen early in the year and set aside.
Tradition varies about the type of wood to be used. Oak logs were popular in the north of England, birch in Scotland and ash in Cornwall and Devon. Ash is the only wood that burns freely when green and the world-tree, Yggdrasil, in the Nordic tradition was an ash-tree. It is important that the Yule log be the biggest and greenest log available since the Christmas festivities will last only as long as the Yule log burns.
In some parts of the Scottish highlands, the head of the household finds a withered stump and carves it into the likeness of an old woman, the Cailleach Nollaich or Old Winter Wife, a sinister being representing the evils of winter and death. She's the goddess of winter, the hag of night, the old one who brings death. Burning her drives away the winter and protects the occupants of the household from death.
The Yule log is first brought into the house with great ceremony on Christmas Eve (or the eve of solstice, if one prefers). Usually it is decorated with holly and ivy and other evergreens of the season. Some people prefer to use the Yule log as a decoration and place candles on it instead, thus transforming it into a candleabra like the menorah or the kinara. It is lit with a piece of last year's log as described in Herrick’s poem, “Hesperides:”
In Italy, the Yule log is called the Ceppo. Boccaccio in the fourteenth century described a Florentine family gathering about the hearth and pouring a libation of wine upon the glowing wood, then sharing the remaining wine, thus linking the Yule log with the custom of wassailing, pouring out libations to the trees in the orchard.
The Yule log is left to burn all night, and, if possible, through the next twelve without going out, although it may be extinguished with water. The ashes are kept for good luck. They have magical properties and can be scattered in the field to fertilize the soil or sprinkled around the house for protection.
 
The Solstice Evergreen
Another ancient midwinter custom is decorating with greens. The Romans decorated with rosemary, bay, laurel, holly, ivy and mistletoe. The holly and ivy were both important midwinter plants in Great Britain and Ireland, as seen in the mysterious medieval carol which mentions the rivalry between them. Matthews in The Winter Solstice provides the lyrics of a 15th century carol which refers to an ancient battle between the two, with the Ivy representing the cold gloominess of winter and the Holly King, the jolly spirit of the season.
Sitting in the Dark
Earlier traditions focused on the battle between the dark and the light, but we know both are valuable. Honor the dark before calling in the light. This is the season when animals hibernate and nature sleeps and we can turn inward too. Perhaps some of the depression people feel during the holidays comes from not providing a space for feeling the sadness associated with this season. Set aside time (hard to do amidst the frenzy of the holidays) for sitting in the dark and quiet. I like to spend the entire day of the Winter Solstice in silence and reflection.


TASK -   Welcoming the Light
Light 12 candles for 12 days say a prayer blessing for each candle use 1 candle for each day


 This is a natural time for letting go and saying farewell. Release your resentments and regrets into the darkness, knowing they will be transformed. Write about them in your journal or write them on slips of paper which you can burn in a fire. Use old cards or letters to make amends to people you've hurt or neglected or people you need to let go of this is a time for peace and release. Throw the ashes to the wind while saying "that which seek it be in love and light so mote it be"


Blessings

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY

Happy Mothers Day to All



BLESSINGS OF SAMHAIN - HALLOWEEN

An Irish Blessing for Halloween
At all Hallow's Tide, may God Goddess keep you safe
From goblin and pooka and black-hearted stranger,
From harm of the water and hurt of the fire,
From thorns of the bramble, from all other danger,
From Will O' The Wisp haunting the mire;
From stumbles and tumbles
and tricksters to vex you,
May God & Goddess in mercy,
bless protect you. xxxxxx

BLESSINGS FOR WINTER SOLSTICE


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BLESSINGS FOR WINTER SOLSTICE AUSTRALIA


This year winter solstice, which is the time the Sun is at its furthest north for the year, occurs at 4:06 am Australian Eastern Standard Time on Friday 22 June 2007. That means that Friday is the shortest day. Since the solstice occurs during the night of 21/22 June that is the longest night.
As most of the world apart from New Zealand is behind Australian time, in the time zones of countries like the UK and the USA the solstice occurs the day before that in Australia. Hence there is confusion for some people who have calendars with information sourced from overseas and who consequently think that the solstice and the shortest day are today. I should also point out that though from Friday onwards the days will start to get longer, the differences initially from day to day are only a few seconds and hence not noticeable.
 
An auspicious event
Midwinter is nigh and the shortest sojourn of the Sun will be marked and celebrated across the land. The sacred event of the Winter Solstice sings of a hope that the path of the Sun will soon grow strong; that life will burst forth and flourish once more. It reflects an ancient wisdom of vast faith and joy in the great forces of nature and divinity. Bright, colourful candles and bonfires will burn through the night to herald the rebirth of the light after this time of darkness is complete.
The Winter Solstice is known as a Lesser Sabbat in the pagan calendar and is celebrated each year between June 20 and 23 (southern hemisphere) and December 20 and 23 (northern hemisphere). hemisphere). The Winter Solstice foretells an auspicious event: it celebrates the birth of the new solar year and the beginning of winter. It acknowledges that, from this day, the days will again increase in length and growth of new life will be assured. In the coming months, the seeds sown will break through the darkened earth and draw energy from the life-sustaining rays of the Sun.
The ancient and globally celebrated rites attending the Winter Solstice symbolise the innate creative powers of nature that lie just below the surface at this time of year. This festival of inner renewal intimates potential and suggests we often sow the seeds of our life well before we see the outcome. The Winter Solstice offers a wonderful opportunity to come together with friends or spend time alone and take a moment to refocus; to put dreams into place for spring; to contemplate the seeds we plant within our heart and the blessed Earth; to reflect on and be grateful for all that has come to pass. While winter has a profound effect on the world outside, the inner human journey similarly quietens and slows as the energy of the season supports introspection.
 
Sacred knowledge of life
White Christian Witchcraft, has its roots in ancient understanding. The cycle of the Sun and its effects on the bountiful Earth are the wonderful synergy on which this ancient belief system is based; Father God caresses Mother Earth in an ancient celestial dance, magically weaving in all who participate.
Without science to explain the mysteries of the world around them, many primal indigenous tribes across the world arrived at similar beliefs. The Celts, American Indians, Persians, African tribes and Bon tribes of Tibet all knew survival was based on understanding the cycles of life. The land, rain, animals, plant life, warm Sun and cold winter were all revered because each played an essential role in the whole scheme. Mother Earth possessed the sacred knowledge of life, and in watching and working in rhythm with her patterns and the daily cycle of the Sun, populations flourished by learning to live in harmony with the forces of nature.


BLESSINGS BE


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