Magickal Connections

Tarot & Witchcraft ~ with author, Amythyst Raine


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Hello, June ~ Here Comes The Summer Solstice!

I’m excited and giddy, because this is one of my most favorite times of year (the other being October).  There is something “new” and “birth-like” about the summer solstice for me.  It’s a time of new beginnings, starting over, beginning a new page, making a new list.  June for me is rife with this kind of energy.  Maybe it’s because my first child was born in this month 43 years ago, and the birth of your first child is a pivotal life-changing point.

With all that said, enjoy the following essay on the Summer Solstice, also known as Midsummer’s Eve, or Litha.  This is an excerpt from my book, “The Spiritual Feminist” (which I regret not titling “The Ultimate Goddess Connection”, but that’s another story).  And be sure to read it to the end, because there are RECIPES!  You’ve gotta’ try my “Fairy Punch”.

The Summer Solstice:  Litha
(June 21)
Mid-summer’s Eve, the longest day of the year.  This holiday, steeped in
fairy lore, is a magickal time filled with the Earth’s bounty.  Gardens, fields, and forests are blooming with productivity, overflowing with abundant fertility and the promise of rich harvests to come.  As the Earth is pregnant with summer’s lush growth, so too is the goddess, pregnant with new energy, infinite possibilities, and the promise of a rich spiritual harvest.

It’s all about the fairies, this celebration, this pagan holiday.  Fairy contact is generally easier to achieve on this day, for those of you who are brave enough to invoke the mischievous little folk, that is. But don’t be surprised if soon after you can’t find your favorite earrings, or the car keys, or any other shiny inviting objects you may have left laying around.  They are fickle, unpredictable, light-fingered creatures, a loaded gun.  If you do decide to invoke the wee folk, you should know that there is a physical reaction you could experience when they appear.  Your skin may feel “crawly”, as though there were ants or bugs walking on you.  This isn’t harmful, and you will be perfectly okay, in spite of the ‘ick’ factor.  It will just be a cue to you that your invocation was successful.

If you prefer to avoid fairies, you should know that they detest iron.  To keep them at bay, lay iron nails in the four corners of your house, or your property, keep iron kettles in your kitchen, witches– keep your cast iron cauldron’s out in the open.  Fairies will avoid you.

And this all being said, know that fairies heal…they heal.  Call upon them when you need them without fear.

This is a popular month for weddings, though few in the Christianized world
realize why.  The Druid’s celebrated the Summer Solstice as the “marriage
between heaven & earth”, and thus the popular belief that June is a “lucky” month for marriage ceremonies.  There will be Pagan spirit gatherings all around the world at this time, the most famous and the most notable at Stone Henge, where large groups of people will light bonfires and stay up all night in order to welcome the dawn.

My Celebration:
For several years, all during my son’s childhood, there has been one very special tradition at our house connected with the celebration of Litha:

When my son was a little boy, he used to like to stay up through the “Witching Hour” and watch for fairies. He’d get comfy in his pj’s and robe.   I’d gather up a lawn chair and place it beneath the large apple tree in our yard; and I’d prepare a special candle, placing it in a fire-proof reseptacle along with some herbs to offer the fairies. It was his time to sit quietly outside in the dark and watch for these magickal creatures, the only light being that of the candle and the moon, if it were out.

Most of the time, these evenings were uneventful, but one Mid-Summer’s Eve, my son’s patience was rewarded.

From across the lawn, he saw what he said looked like three very small blue lights dancing along the top of the fence. Eventually these three tiny lights dropped from the fence to the lawn beneath, where they bounced around in the grass for several seconds, and then they disappeared. My son came back to the house breathless and wide-eyed to tell me what he had seen.

The next morning, we went out to investigate the grass where the lights had been. Overnight, three mushrooms had popped up to create a perfectly formed triangle in this area, and the grass in the middle of this formation was whithered and yellowed.

I can’t tell you with 100% accuracy whether what my son saw were fairies or not, but that really doesn’t matter. All that really matters is that one little boy had a very magickal and memorable night.

Litha Correspondences
Herbs: fennel, lavender, chamomile, cinquefoil, mugwort, thyme
Altar Flowers/Herbs: larkspur, rose, wisteria, St. Johns Wort
Feast Foods: apples, citrus, fruits, ale, mead, honey cakes
Animals: butterflies, frogs, toads, wrens
Incense: ylang ylang, thyme, rose, sandalwood, chamomile
Rituals/Spells: all night fairy vigils, candle magick, dream work, familiar blessings, herb gathering, self-dedication, sun magick

Litha Recipes
Strawberry Shortcake
3 pints fresh strawberries
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening
1 egg
2/3 cup milk
2 cups whipped heavy cream

1.  Slice the strawberries and toss them with 1/2 cup of white sugar. Set aside.
2.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Grease and flour one 8 inch round cake pan.
3.  In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, 2 tablespoons white sugar and the salt. With a pastry blender cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center and add the beaten egg and milk. Stir until just combined.
4.  Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool partially in pan on wire rack.
5. Slice partially cooled cake in half, making two layers. Place half of the strawberries on one layer and top with the other layer. Top with remaining strawberries and cover with the whipped cream.
____________________
Fairy Punch
1 (64 fluid ounce) bottle fruit punch, chilled
1 (64 fluid ounce) bottle unsweetened pineapple juice, chilled
1 (2 liter) bottle ginger ale, chilled
1/2 gallon orange sherbet

In a punch bowl, mix together fruit punch, pineapple juice and ginger ale. Add scoops of sherbet into the punch. Wait for the sherbet to begin melting, approximately 10 minutes, stir gently, and serve.

This blog post is courtesy of “The Spiritual Feminist”, your ultimate Goddess Connection, be sure to follow THIS LINK to order your copy.

June and the summer solstice (Midsummer’s Eve) are coming up.  I view this time as a “new beginning”, and I created a tarot spread just for June that mirrors and celebrates this idea:
Tarot Spread Featured for JUNE ~
Midsummer Delight
1.  This is what I desire.
2.  This is what makes me happy.
3.  This is what I really need.
4.  This is what’s blocking my success.
5.  This is the solution
To purchase June’s featured audio reading, follow this link:
http://tarotreadingswithamythystraine.blogspot.com/p/featured-readingt.html

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7 Magickal Questions

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How did you “discover” Wicca/Witchcraft/Neo-Paganism?

I’m  not so sure that I discovered Witchcraft, it’s more like Witchcraft discovered me.

I’m sure most people who’ve known me for any length of time have heard the story of the first spell I cast, as a teen-ager, in the basement of my Grandmother’s house.  The fact that, somehow– by instinct or higher power, or both– I managed to get so many of the magickal correspondences right is somewhat of a marvel.  Actually, the idea that a teen-ager living in South Dakota in the 70s, who had never been exposed to witchcraft, would even think of such a thing in the first place gives pause for thought.

Do you grow herbs?

Yes– mostly in the garden.  I tend to have a very black thumb when it comes to house plants.  I’m not sure if their untimely demise is totally dependent on my lack of indoor gardening skills, or my very dark very plant unfriendly house.

Are you “in the broom closet”?  If not, share your coming out experience.

I don’t think I’ve ever been in the broom closet.  I’m too open an individual, the closet would have been too confining and stuffy for me.  The phrase “My Life is an Open Book”– I think it was written for me.

I am what I am.  It is what it is.

What tradition do you follow, if any?

I’m eclectic– a mixture of practices.

Actually, over the years, I’ve developed a new religion, a new practice, or spiritual path, if you will.  I dubbed it “Gray Magerium”.  It’s a combination of Wicca, Green Witchcraft, and Hoodoo.  (I feel another book coming on.)

For more information on “Gray Magerium”, follow this link: My Path/About Me

Do you consider yourself a Witch, Wiccan or Pagan (or maybe something else)?

Witch…most definitely.  The word is all-encompassing.

I also love the sound of Hag, Crone, Wise-Woman, Priestess, and Conjure Woman.

How much of Witchcraft/Wicca are you able to incorporate into your everyday life?

Witchcraft, and being a witch, are an integral part of my life.  It defines how I look at the world, how I relate to the people around me, how I set my moral compass, and the direction my life takes.

But on the other hand– just because my spiritual path is outside of the mainstream, mysterious, ancient, intriguing, interesting, exciting, or any other adjectives you can think of– this does not mean that my every waking moment is riveted on the fact that I’m a witch and practice witchcraft.  I’m the mother of a large brood.  I have groceries to pickup, laundry to do, toilets to scrub, meals to cook; I have pets to take to the vet, kids to take to the dentist, and a million other everyday ordinary things to do.

My spirituality is a large part of who I am, as I plod through regular life, just like everyone else.

Do you have a familiar? If you do, tell us how you met him/her, and how she/he takes part in your practice (if at all).

Yes, I do…Salem.  He’s a beautiful black American Short Hair cat with a small white spot on his chest (called a ‘button’, by the way).  He is elusive, prefers to live downstairs (away from the dog and visitors).  My husband has lived in this house almost two years and has only seen him once.  Various people have been to this house and have never seen him.  I wouldn’t blame anyone for thinking he is a figment of my imagination.  But he is extraordinarily loving, and sweet with me.  He looks deeply into my eyes and communicates quite clearly.  He is my Sweet Boy.

Does he take part in rituals or spell casting?…only in so far as eating all the catnip that I left out one evening; rolling through the black circle of stones which I had so carefully laid on the floor; tipping over a bottle of open oil; or trying to push his way into my lap as I sit in a cast circle trying to be all mystical and witchy and serious.


I nominate the following blogs for “The Witchy Blog Award”:

1. Writing the Witchy Way

2. The Witch Of Howling Creek

3. Witches of the Craft

4. A Witchy Life

5. Cauldron & Brew: A Witch’s Blog