Imbolc Returns

Imbolc Returns; an everyday-life pondering of what Imbolc means….

Imbolc is the first Pagan Sabbat to fall after the turn of the calendar new year, usually celebrated on 1st and 2nd of February.  Personally, I celebrate on 1st February every year with so much excitement.

I always instinctively think of Imbolc as a Spring festival, even though it is smack bang in the middle of winter. It brings to my mind images of snow, stillness, pristine white and clear starry skies.  Candle lit rooms and chunky knits, blankets and pets on laps are all perfectly representative of me at Imbolc.  Yet still something deep in my bones whispers “Spring”.  To those of you who walk the winding paths of the Goddesses with me, you will no doubt hear this whispering too … listen for the song of the Goddess as she stirs … Imbolc returns.

I believe that this whisper of nature comes to us from the very Earth itself, from the spirit of the Goddess who is telling us that she is coming, that she will soon be reborn to lay her feet upon the land again to bring life, colour and warmth all that feels her caress.  She is reminding us that although we are in the season of winter, deep in the grasp of the coldest time of the year, the Earth, the seasons and indeed life itself is not stagnant or still.  All are ever moving in an inevitable and endless forward motion that not even She can halt.  Winter will not endure just as it did not endure last year or any year before.  It is moving steadily and constantly towards it’s defeat; the day the first closed green bud creeps out of a branch, the day a ray of glittering winter sun displays a tiny growing snow drop in all its absolute beauty, all magical signs that the reign of the dark cold days is ending.

And if like me, you do thoroughly enjoy the darkening days when they come as the Wheel turns through Autumn and into winter – the festivities, the twinkly lights, the gathering of loved ones, the magic in the air everywhere you turn, the winter scents and delightful tastes and of course dark candle lit nights filled with scary movies and cosy blankets – by the time Imbolc comes around I image you too have things you look forward too with keen anticipation.

So, whilst I usually look at the mystical and ethereal reasons we celebrate a Sabbat, I have a feeling in my mind at the moment that the coming Spring is going to bring me many practical and wellbeing based reasons to be grateful to the Goddess for bringing milder days to us.  So it is these I will base my ramblings on, as we have spoken about Imbolc and Brigid previously.

Psychological Wellbeing

If you are anything like me, in addition to the traditional Imbolc celebrations and symbolisms, you will look for hints of sunny moments and let the corners of your mouth curve into a gentle smile as Imbolc returns, you will crave the feel of the warm rays of the sun on your skin, and the carefree feeling in your soul of long nights spent in gardens, at beaches or wandering through the woods will start to be a yearning deep in your belly.  And it is these things that really pick our psychological wellbeing up in the Spring.

  • Seeing the sun shining, no matter what the temperature is outside, after long weeks of grey days shrouded in clouds and dullness, seems to me to shine straight into my mind and light up the shadows that creep in and take residence by the end of the dark half of the year.  In a mini ritual I will stand and face that sliver of sunlight and close my eyes and let the light fall on my face.  A sense of peace always seeps into my very being and in those few moments.  That feeling, if only for a second or two, is invaluable to my psychological wellbeing and I would bet if you tried it you would agree.
  • In the cold months I miss my garden and generally spending longer periods of time in outdoor spaces.  Yes, I still spend a good amount of time outside; this winter we have still been to some brilliant places out exploring mother nature, but lazy hours spent idling by the fire pit, watching the birds and admiring the many and varied blooms of the Goddess, are not realistic without freezing off a finger or two and chattering a few teeth right out of your mouth.  So for me, the coming of Spring is the coming of spending more time in my favourite place – outside.  The grass is cut, the gazebos go up in the garden, new bulbs and seeds are planted, chairs and tables and parasols are placed, and the outdoor side of life can begin again.  But why is that important you ask – it is important because in our favourite place we feel joy, when we feel joy our brains release happy hormones and when are happy our stress lessens, and our worries diminish.

Physical Wellbeing

You probably don’t need me to tell you too much about this, it pretty much is what it says on the tin.  As Imbolc returns, we get out more, we walk more.  Walks along the beach and through the countryside are much more appealing when they don’t involve so many layers of clothing you can’t move your arms, having to undress in the hallway so you only have one wet and muddy room, and then the clean up of said wet and muddy room.  It feels like there is more time to be active with more hours of daylight to enjoy.  And of course, many of us, including me from time to time (I can’t honesty lay claim to this on a regular basis) eat lighter and healthier meals when the weather is warm and comforting.

Practical Joys of Spring

One of the things I look forward to the most, please prepare to be underwhelmed, is being able to put my laundry on the washing line.  Yep, I told you it was an exciting revelation. 

There is something about the smell and feel of the Spring and Summer air on the laundry that brings the image into my mind of the Goddess walking the Earth, bringing the plants and woodlands to life, waking the animals and imbuing the air with love and grace.

Garden Visitors

Every year my partner and I wait for our Hedgehogs to come back to our garden with such excited anticipation.  They are such an important part of our Spring, Summer and Autumnal rituals – watching their habits as they wander around our garden, putting out food and water for them, teaching the children about them, and knowing that we are doing our small part in helping this incredible and rapidly declining species continue to be a part of our wildlife.  If you have never sat and just watched a Hedgehog on one of it’s wanders, you should definitely add this to your to do list this summer.  They are so entertaining and cute; they are a definite part of the magic brought to our household by the Goddess as she wakes the animals from their winter slumbers.

So remember, on 1st February, when Imbolc returns, when you feel like the winter is never going to end, that this is the day we celebrate the coming of the Spring, the coming of lighter days, the coming of warmth and light, and that we celebrate these things because, whether symbolically or as a living Deity, we celebrate the rebirth of the Goddess.

So I think I’ll leave you with those thoughts, perhaps more of a rambling than usual this time, but isn’t that sometimes the point of a blog; to get thoughts and tangents out of your head, clearing some space for your Muses to whisper into, to start growing whatever will come next out of your thoughts.

Now that you’ve survives tis musing of Imbolc returns, don’t forget to check out all of the items in my Ritual Shop, or continue on to see (the same) items in my Etsy Shop.

I put a lot of my experience and knowledge into practice to bring you magically and ritually charged items in my Ritual Shop, and in my Etsy Store, which stocks identical items. It is better for me if you purchase from my Ritual Shop as it helps me brand and will eventually allow me to sell less on an outside platform.

Stay Wild

Darkest Ginger Blessings

Ginger Witch

Mabon Returns

Mabon.  A word we all know, and a word we all associate with the Autumnal Equinox. As with every seasonal celebration, Mabon returns at the same time every year with its unique blessings and lessons for all who wish to hear them. It is one of my favourite Pagan celebrations and no doubt many of you also celebrate with as much happiness as I do to know we are closing in on one of the most magical times of the year. Celebrations are in the air as Autumn rolls over us.

I would find it all too easy at this point to ramble along, telling you why, to me, every season, every month, every day of the year is truly magical, but as ever, I must force my roaming mind to focus on one magical thought at a time.  Today’s thought is Mabon; Mabon returns.  I have written about Mabon before of course and have written of it as one of the eight Sabbats represented on the Wheel of the Year.  And one of those Sabbats it undoubtably is.  

What Mabon also is, however, is the newest addition to these magical and seasonal Sabbats.  I have written before of the joining of minds between Gerald Gardner and Ross Nichols who together brought us the modern Wheel of the Year most commonly used amongst those Pagans who follow the paths of Wicca and Druidry, but to whom the Wheel is most certainly not exclusive.By way of a very brief recap, Gerald Gardner initially incorporated celebrations into his Wicca for Imbolc, Beltane, Lammas and Samhain; those times of year most anciently used by our ancestors to understand and follow the turning of the earth and changing of the seasons.  Yes, our ancestors still celebrated and observed Yule, Litha and Ostara, however less commonly observed was the autumnal equinox of Mabon.  Even the word Mabon is a recent one, relatively speaking.

I read many Pagan blogs, pages, posts and snippets, and listen to many YouTube channels and lectures.  And it seems to me that a lot of Pagans outside of the Wiccan and Druid paths hold the celebration of Mabon in contempt, finding it to be an outsider and not worthy of inclusion in Pagan festivals and celebrations.  The reason I see cited most often is that it does not fit in with the old ways.  

Our ancestors, especially those in the far North, would not have celebrated Mabon, and possibly not Ostara, as their harsh weather did not, and still does not, have seasons that fade slowly into each other.  They do not see much of transitional phases of the seasons such as autumn and Spring.  Instead, they have and had fiercely cold and brutal winters that stole summer from their skies and lay siege to the lands until the sun regained his strength and fought off the frost for another cycle high above the thaw.  Their harvests were not spread over the three festivals that we in milder climates are lucky to enjoy; their larders had to be full and stocked before the snow started to fall or they would be lucky to survive the grasp of winter.

And this is not wrong.  Mabon was not celebrated everywhere.  It is still not celebrated everywhere.  But why, as people who walk a path of acceptance towards one another, need this celebration fall into discord and arguments.  Let’s all celebrate what we will as we will (legally of course, though I know none of you need to be told that, my wonderful Pagan readers). 

I for one will be celebrating and I will encourage other’s who want to and respect those who don’t.  But HOW will I be celebrating – let’s have a sneak peak at some of the things I have planned for celebrating Mabon. 


Yes I know, Pumpkins are for Halloween (well, in England it was Swede when I was little) but aren’t they just a joy to have as decoration.  A couple of different sized pumpkins and a couple of different sized Mallows make for stunning arrangements on a porch if you’re lucky enough to have one, on your fireplace or at your back door if you use your outdoor space a lot.  Just remember to replenish them if you use real ones or you’ll find yourself wondering what the strange smell is (nope, never done that before – honest).  Then when you’re done with them, don’t just let them go to waste, pop them outside either in your garden or a local wildlife spot and let the wildlife enjoy the fruit. 

Autumnal Wreathes

What fun there is to have making an autumn wreath.  Pretty strings and wools in oranges, reds and browns, real or fabric leaves, pine cones, acorns, conker, and all arrays of rich deep Earthy colours woven into a ring of warmth and hope for the coming colder months.  Hung above your Hearth or on your front door, you are honouring the circle of the seasons, having great fun with your family, friends or by yourself, and you are creating something beautiful to hang in your home. 


Now I manage to make everything about having a fire.  Here at Mabon we pause and remember that the nights are now noticeably longer as the sun sets earlier and earlier every day.  We light fires at this time to remind both that the sun will and we will once again bask in it’s warmth, and that there is light to be found in the darkness of the night; that the small lights found in the coldest and darkest times can sometimes be the warmest.  And this is the lesson I love most about Mabon (and the other winter festivals); that sometimes we do more growing in the darkness than we do in the light.  Which leads me on nicely to …

A time for Rituals

At Mabon I take time to reflect on my year so far, and to revisit the goals I set for myself at Imbolc and Ostara.  Have I completed any of them? Are they still relevant?  Have they evolved or have I outgrown them?  Are they still leading me in the direction I want to go it?  Are my intentions what they should be to best serve my spiritual, intellectual, emotional and social growth?  This is no small task and it isn’t to be completed in one sitting.  This is something I take my time over, that I enjoy doing and that I use to make sure I don’t find myself too of course for what I want in my life at that time.  Do not be rigid in your goals – perhaps what was right for you or what you hoped for at Ostara is n longer right for you.  That’s okay.  Just reshuffle your thoughts and intentions to align with what is right for you now.

As I undertake this task one of my overriding intentions is to remain honest and authentic to myself.  Those things in my life that are no longer right for me are things that I will let go of inside of ritual space, thanking them for being with me whilst I needed then, and wishing their blessings on someone who needs them more than me.  I do this in many ways, through the use of spell bags, poetry, meditation, cards and runes.  Sometimes I create art in ritual space to freeze in a moment something that has impacted me but which I must let go.  Or something that I have come to learn over the summer months that has been massively influential on where I am on my path right now. 

I also bring into my ritual space new manifestation hopes to brew over the dark months, either burning spells to send my intentions into the Ether, meditating on them and inviting my Goddesses to assist me if they will, or keeping them in a cauldron of my own ritual magical blends to develop and mature over the winter months, burning or releasing them once the time is right, when Spring comes around again. 

Changing Seasons

As a Witch and Druid, watching the seasons change and tuning into the transformation of the landscape around me is something I find enormous peace and calm in.  The simple practice of sitting in a space of nature and observing the changes; the colours changing in the treetops, leaves floating from their lofty homes to create a soft cover of bedding on the ground to urge hibernating animals to start nesting.  Feeling the chill blowing over your skin with each breath of the wind, listening to the tone change in it’s whistle as it twits through the longest of grasses and bare branches of the ancient trees.  I close my eyes, take a breath, and let all the natural elements around me engulf my senses.  Taking mindful and purposeful breaths, I set no time limit, have no expectations, and allow my mind to immerse into the cycle of the birth and rebirth.  When my meditation is over, I make notes on my thoughts, any manifestations and any creative ideas, whether new, old or altered.  Personally, I like to make these notes with a pen (or pencil) and paper. Usually, I have an array of pretty books and pens and spend time creating my thoughts into words, images, and shapes.  I might find pieces of nature such as the leaves and wildflowers around me to press into the pages of my book. 

Now you may be thinking that doesn’t sound very magical, or very “witchy”, but in fact it could not be more Pagan if I tried.  The very essence of a (or at least my) Pagan path is to be immersed in nature and follow the change in the seasons along with the changes on ourselves.  We care for and notice nature, feel and commune with the energies around us, the energy that surrounds and flows through all living beings, plants and animals alike (sounds a bit like the Force doesn’t it – maybe that’s where the inspiration came from – look at the Jedi Robes 😊).  

So I think I’ll leave you with those thoughts, perhaps more of a rambling than usual this time, but isn’t that sometimes the point of a blog; to get thoughts and tangents out of your head, clearing some space for your Muses to whisper into, to start growing whatever will come next out of your thoughts.

Don’t forget to check out all of the items in my Ritual Shop, or continue on to see (the same) items in my Etsy Shop.

I put a lot of my experience and knowledge into practice to bring you magically and ritually charged items in my Ritual Shop, and in my Etsy Store, which stocks identical items. It is better for me if you purchase from my Ritual Shop as it helps me brand and will eventually allow me to sell less on an outside platform.

Stay Wild

Darkest Ginger Blessings

Ginger Witch

Summer Solstice

Celebrating Litha – Summer Solstice

Celebrating Litha – Summer Solstice – My Long Standing Traditions

I wrote last year on the meaning and symbolism of Litha, and the joys of celebrating Litha, so I’m keen not to repeat myself but also to bring you a fun and lively blog article.

We all love Litha! I don’t deny that is a sweeping statement and that some people may find this their least favourite sabbat, but personally, for me, I don’t see what’s not to love. And I mean that very genuinely.

For more years than I can count, I dreaded the coming of Spring, never mind the coming of summer and the warmest of the weather. I disliked almost everything about it. Hot weather makes me uncomfortable when I am living my every day normal life – working, house work, shopping, other regular chores – all are an utter misery when it is hot and dry outside and stuffy inside. The flowers and trees make me sneeze, there are no pumpkins, cosy dark nights to watch scary films don’t happen as it’s always a little light, and you can’t have a good outdoor fire until it’s so late you’ve fallen asleep anyway. Never my idea of fun.

But then, a good few years ago, I attended a course of Mindfulness sessions. I re-discovered the necessity of meditation. I began slowing down my mind – which took an awful lot of practice, failure and perseverance on my part. The wonders and the joys of Litha and the Summer started to re-awaken in my mind, slowly and gradually, a little more every year.

I began to notice the beauty in the abundance of colours and shapes of the blooms gifted to us by Mother Earth, I reconnected with the soft grass and cool brown dirt beneath my bare feet, and stood frequently to appreciate the warm caress of the Sun God brushing his golden tones over my skin.

This re-connecting with the warmer months forced me to realise how out of sync my mind and practices had become from the Wheel of the Year, how unbalanced my appreciation of Mother Earth had become. It was a joy to feel this balance seeping back into both my conscious and instinctive mind. The journey was a difficult one, and ironically, a walk through darkness to a very specific point when the last notch on the Wheel fell perfectly into place.

Now that I have found this realignment and the freedom to work with it as and how I can and will, the myriad of ideas in my mind and the prevailing of natural instinct is like nothing I have known before. So now that the joys of the summer months is something I have again learned to embrace, here are two of my favourite ways to honour and celebrate Litha – Summer Solstice and two new ideas I will be trying this year.

Flower Crowns

At this time of year flowers of every colour are in such abundance, growing in all of the likely and unlikely places, everywhere the May Queen showered with the grace of her silent steps as she walked lightly through the Earth, her belly swelling as the buds prepared to bloom and flowers began to open petal by petal in the growing warmth in the world.

Chose your favourite flowers, or chose flowers that make you feel close to the May Queen, who is now our pregnant Goddess, or chose the flowers that speak to you at the time you choose them. What’s important is making the choice that FEELS right to you at the time. Work with the flowers to make yourself a beautiful crown in honour of the Goddess and her consort, the Oak King, the Green man. Personally the act of weaving my flowers into a beautiful crown is as vital a part of my Litha rituals as anything else. I feel the blessings of the Goddess as I place flower after flower into my crown. I work mindfully, taking special care of each and every bloom and giving thanks for the gift of these flowers for me to work with. Once the crown is finished I meditate (safely) under the masculine energy of the sun, the beauty and delicacy of the flowers a wonderful contrast to the strength and warmth of the masculine energy of the sun. During this time of meditation I focus my own energy on manifestation and positivity and then allow my mind journey as it will.

In Scandinavia it is believed that herbs and flowers picked on the Summer Solstice will have magical properties so what better time to walk through the woods or the country side, or to prune the herbs in your garden, to bring some extra magic into your life.

The most fiery colours are ones to wear on this Midsummer’s day – red, gold, orange, yellow and deep browns are the colours that I choose to wear during this celebration

Bonfires & Candle Magic

If you have the means, a roaring bonfire with flames high into the air and burning late into the night and early morning is a great way to celebrate the Goddess and the Oak King – the Green Man. We light ritual and symbolic fires, acknowledging that this is the longest day in the turn of the Wheel, and to feel the warmth of the flames that will warm us in the coming months.

It is customary to take embers and remains of the fire over the coming days (only once everything has cooled and it is safe to do so) to use as kindling and ash in the bottom of your fires over the colder months, keeping with you the life and soul of the May Queen and The Oak King.

If you don’t have the means / space / inclination to build a big bonfire that’s in no way makes your celebration of Litha any less meaningful. A candle burning with the intent of the sabbat has as much symbolism and honour for the Goddess and God as a bonfire.

I see a witch riding a broomstick in the flames just above; what do you see? Let me know in the comments below.

Some Pagan gatherings, and gatherings of anyone else celebrating Litha – summer solstice, light high and blazing bonfires into which herbs and magically blessed spell bags and charms are scatted and offered to ensure a full and bountiful harvest in the coming months. Often celebrations go on through the night until dawn, when the now waning sun peeks above the horizon as the Oak King begins to diminish and the Holly King’s strength returns to him. Much merriment is had, dancers skip around the fire, drink deeply and feast on the plenty offered by the Spring time.

Many of these fires are as close as is safe to a home of the majestic Oak to both pay respects to the Oak King who is defeated on this night by the Holly King, who many believe, and I personally believe, to be the opposite side of the Gods personality, the balance to guide us through the dark half of the year.

Again, only if it is safe to do so, another custom is to make a wish whilst jumping over the fire. PLEASE PLEASE take a lot of care and be sensible if you want to try this. CHILDREN DO NOT TRY THIS. You can achieve this with even the smallest of fires – pop some tea lights in jars of step over the hot coals of a BBQ pit once the fire is out and the embers are glowing.

Celebrating Litha – Summer Solstice – New Celebration Ideas

Make a Fairy Garden

Whilst a fairy garden is not a new idea to me, I have never sat and spent the time making a place for our most magical and mischievous friends. So this is one of the new ideas I am going to work on over the Litha period this year.

The Fae are out in all of their glittering glory during the warm months, and most especially at the Summer Solstice which is second only to Beltane for the revelry of the Fae. Leave an offering slightly outside of the light of the fire; cookies, milk or something else sweet to appease and please the Fae as the dance and sparkle with you on Midsummers Night. When you pick your magical herbs and flowers, be sure to pause a moment yo ask permission of the Fae of the garden and take only what you need; do not kill or strip bare any herb or flower, leave at least 70% along with a coin or pretty pebble as thanks to the guardians of that natural space.

There’s no denying that this is super cute! (

And with so many of the Fae out and enjoying the Summer Solstice frivolities just as much as the rest of us, why not make then a beautiful space to be in. fairy houses, bridges, lights and decorations are all magically enchanting ways to spend some time in your garden or other outdoor space.

Make a Bee Bath

This is the second new idea I will be bringing into my Litha work this year. Like with the fairy gardens above, I have always been aware of the importance of bees, and who can miss the initiatives over the last 5-10 years to educate everyone on how and why our furry winged friends are vital to us.

Recently I have felt a strengthening pull towards going more for these friends of our Mother Earth, and I adored this idea I have seen in a few places. The idea is to provide a place for bees to find a source of fresh water to help them in their endless quest to pollinate our Earth, which leads us to two main questions – why and how.

  • How: fill a shallow dish with fresh still water, add pebbles and stones that come above the surface of the water, and leave for the bees to find and use as they need to. Make sure are high enough so the bees don’t drown, and low enough so they can reach the water.
  • Why: bees collect water for lots of reasons; to keep their hive cool, the feed their babies and to hep dilute the honey they make. And of course, bees need to drink just like the rest of us.

So there we have it, another rambling on Celebrating Litha – Summer Solstice from me. Thank you for reading Celebrating Litha – Summer Solstice and I hope you enjoyed.

Don’t forget to check out all of the items in my Ritual Shop, or continue on to see (the same) items in my Etsy Shop.

I put a lot of my experience and knowledge into practice to bring you magically and ritually charged items in my Ritual Shop, and in my Etsy Store, which stocks identical items. It is better for me if you purchase from my Ritual Shop as it helps me brand and will eventually allow me to sell less on an outside platform.

Stay Wild

Darkest Ginger Blessings

Ginger Witch

I have fallen very much in love with this woman’s work recently –
Ostara Ramblings 2021

Ostara Ramblings 2021

Ostara falls on Saturday 20th March in 2021 and brings to the forefront of our minds the coming of the sun.  Ostara is one of the most beloved festivals for many Pagans, symbolising the return of the Goddess in her flourishing maiden form.  Leaves are back on the trees, the vibrancy of Flora is once again all around us, summer birds and wildlife start to travel back into the open, and you might just be lucky enough to feel the warm rays of the Sun God caress your months long cold skin.

It is most definitely at this time of year that I have had my fill of winter, of being cold, and of being bundled up under various layers of waterproof and woolly clothing.  I want to feel heat on my skin, breathe in the floral scent of the glorious spring air and remember what it feels like to look up at a clear blue sky and see the sun shining down upon the earth.  I start to “nest” in the garden; I begin planning ventures of potting, planting, gazebos, upgrading birdfeeders, preparing for the return of Harry, our Hedgehog etc…  I think about when I will light the first fires in our garden fire pits and the summer constellations that start to move around into our part of the night sky.  This year we are dispensing with movable gazebos and building our own structure near the corner of our garden that has been dubbed “witches corner”. 

Moving on from my back garden though…..

Hanging on my fence in “witches corner” and made from fallen branches found in the woods.

How did Ostara appear on the Wheel of the Year?

So what do we know about Ostara and why do we celebrate it?  I guess we need to take a little look into the history of Paganism to know this.  Many Neo-Pagans consider the wheel of the year to be solely a Wiccan observance.  The truth, however, is much more ancient and interesting.  As ancient as the truth is, let us start a little closer to home, in the 1930’s in fact.  At this time two men met at a naturist retreat in St Albans and whilst talking for many hours, they found they had many similar views about the occult, folk-law, and religion, amongst many other things.  Their friendship held strong throughout their lives, and their enthusiasm for these subjects, along a fascination with ancient mythology and a reverence for the freedom of naturism and female divinity being equally as important as male divinity, did not lessen.  They both wanted to find a way to pursue these passions.

Then, in the UK, in 1951, The Witchcraft Act was repealed in the UK and both men were free to discuss building something solid from their soul deep beliefs.

As one of the most notorious figures in Neo-Paganism, we know that Gerald Gardner fathered Wicca, however, what is often overlooked is that his friend Ross Nichols walked this path with him and agreed with almost all aspects of their self-designed new religion, only splitting off to form his own movement, modern Druidism, when it came to matters of magic, spell work and spirituality; hence the two differing but similar paths; Wicca and Druidry. 

There was no bad feeling between the men when their paths branched off in different directions, and when studied closely their two paths are so intertwined in their core and founding principles that they walk almost hand in hand.  In fact, Gerald Gardner was a member of the Ancient Druid Order from around 1946, eight years before Ross Nichols joined and fathered modern Druidism. 

It could be said, therefore, that Wicca was in fact born from Druidism.

Now onto why we celebrate Ostara and why the coming together of these two pioneers of Neo-Paganism is important. 

When considered carefully there is no evidence that ancient Pagans, from the Celts, Norse and Anglo-Saxons to the first civilisations of Mesopotamia and Egypt, celebrated all the points we now celebrate on the wheel of the year.  When we look back, we see that civilisations such as the Celts celebrated four of the cross spokes on the wheel of the year – those being what we now refer to as Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane and Lammas as these days signified important agricultural times and separated the year in to the light and dark halves.  These civilisations did not have calendars as we do, nor did they have clocks; their following of the seasons and observance of the waxing and waning of the moon, and the coming and going of life in nature was therefore vital to gauging the correct timing for the harvesting of the crops, care of their animals, and in turn their survival.  For this reason, Gerald Gardner only initially incorporated these four dates into the Pagan wheel of the year that is so commonly used in today’s Pagan practices.

It was the Druids who honoured the equinoxes and solstices at this time, and it was Ross Nichols who then went onto include the Solstices and Equinoxes into the wheel of the year, when creating with his friend what would become the two highly influential Neo-Pagan movements with Gerald Gardner.  The solstices and equinoxes would have been more likely observed and celebrated by those in the far North, our Norse Pagan Ancestors, as they would have seen, and of course still do, see more dramatic changes in weather and climate.  Their winters are longer and colder, leading them past Imbolc where frosts still posed a hazard to bulbs, seeds, crops, and new-born animals; it was therefore at the Spring equinox, when the sun and the moon were seen to share the sky as equals and thereafter the sun would begin to prevail and wake up the earth, that these Pagan ancestors would see fit to celebrate. 

And that is where there the term Equinox comes from; the sun and the moon sharing the sky for the same amount of time.

It is important at this point to highlight that not all practicing Pagans today follow either Wicca or Druidry; there are many, many paths following a vast kaleidoscope of Pagan based beliefs, all of which are as valid and as equally important to both the individual and to the modern-day Pagan movement.  I myself do not follow Wicca at all as it simply does not resonate with me, whereas my personal path of Witchcraft incorporates many aspects of Druidism.

Why is Ostara Celebrated?

It is clear to see when we consider our Norse brethren why the Spring equinox was celebrated with such fervour and excitement.  The Earth again begins to bloom, the first seeds and bulbs begin to break through the ground, new-born animals are brought into the world or those already born are let out to feel the sun on their faces; tangible and visible signs of our Mother Earth rising from her long slumber, a maiden once again in full bountiful glory.

The year begins to turn into the light; days are longer, more productive and travel to neighbouring communities is possible again.  Stores of food, wood and other necessities can be replenished.  The worry of cold and long dark nights causing, and worsening illnesses can come to an end.  And in much more basic thinking, the warmth of the sun touching the skin is a happy feeling; spirits are lifted when the sun shines.

This blooming and awakening and coming to life of the Earth is the very core of why we celebrate Ostara.

How do we Celebrate Ostara?

One of the wonderfully enchanting things about following a Pagan path is that the choices are yours.  There are of course many recognised ways Pagans across the world Celebrate the eight Sabbats, however there is nothing that MUST be done, other than making sure your Celebrations, however minimal or extravagant, feel right to you and express your own feelings and what the particular Sabbat means to you.  Some general suggestions of things to incorporate into your Celebrations follow:

Create or refresh your altar: Whether you have your altar already in place, or whether you are creating it from scratch, there are a few things you can add to really make your altar a beautiful and grounding place where you can breathe in the calm and replenishing symbolism of this festival.  One of the most common mistakes I hear of from fellow Pagans is the misimpression that an altar must be a large area in your home; that it must be an entire table or cabinet top, or a room must be dedicated to Pagan pursuits.  Whilst there is nothing wrong with your altar being any of these things, it is, in my own opinion, wrong to believe that your altar is not good enough if it has to be smaller or discrete, or you don’t have enough money to buy extravagant items to keep on it.  What your altar should be is personal to you, an authentic representation of your own celebration of your Pagan journey.  A place that you find comfort, inspiration, and peace.  A simple candle is enough to call your altar if that is all you have or all you would like. 

My altar has some items that I have saved for or been gifted, such as my cauldron, goblet, and Oracle Cards, and then items I have collected along my journey, such as driftwood from our stunning Northumberland coastline, Northumberland Heather from Kielder, pinecones collected from long winter walks in our Northern Woodlands and feathers that have found their way to me on random gusts of snowy air.  My point, which I will finally get to, is that your altar is yours, do not let anyone or any literature tell you how your own altar space should be.

Flowers: At this time year we have seen the first of our Maidens flowers break through the icy and cold ground.  Snowdrops, Daffodils and Tulips are the main suspects, and these are wonderful flowers to add to your living space or altar.  In particular Daffodils bring a sense of sunshine and brightness into any space, their sunny appearance telling of the warmth and sunny days to come, a wonderful representation of how resilient and creative our Mother Earth is.

Crystals: Many Pagans utilise the power of healing and energetic crystals and stones at all times of the year.  Some stones resonate more with the work we do on and around the eight spokes on the wheel of the year; here are a few recommendations for Ostara:

  • Tigers Eye: this stone is wonderful for regeneration and replenishing energy, which makes it in perfect harmony with the regeneration of the Earth at this time of year, when she is starting to rise from her long slumber and bless us with life again.
  • Serpentine: This is a stone I wear every day on a string of stones I created to hang one of my most precious talismans from.  Serpentine assists with transition, of shedding our old, worn skin and emerging reborn with freshness and new eyes to look upon the world with.  Let this stone lead you forward, alive in your new skin, with confidence and total faith in yourself.
  • Carnelian: brings fire back into the spark of your life and gives you the push you need to remember the zest you have in your spirit and the fire you cradle in your belly for your passions and dreams.  Ostara is the time to start looking to new ventures, rejuvenating old projects and dusting off those dreams we forgot to nurture through the long dark days of winter.
  • Moonstone: One of the most feminine stones, moonstone nurtures everything about the feminine; as the tides are pulled and pushed by the moon in perfect regularity, so does Moonstone bring the glowing soothing energy of the Goddess as the Maiden to take our hand and guide us in perfect synchronicity to set our intentions for the rest of the year.  Trust in moonstone to bathe you in the light of the Goddess and fill you with love; to be your muse and to soothe your emotions during the transition into the light half of the year.

Symbolism: The most iconic symbols of Ostara are the Hare and the Egg. 

  • The egg of course is the ultimate symbol of new life and virility.  Many Pagans decorate or paint eggs to add to their altar at this time of year, and others chose to add healing crystals in the shape of eggs.  If you have a creative side, which I tend to find a great deal of Pagans do, a drawing or painting of an egg is a wonderful addition to any space.  Be as true to an egg or as outrageously creative as you like with your artwork; it is a reflection of yourself, tune into your muse and let the designs flow from you.  
  • The Hare is also symbolic of Ostara, telling us the age-old tale of animals returning to the wild and their young taking their first steps into the earth, looking into the sunlit skies for the first time.  There is a wonderful Ostara tale about the Hare which I very much hope there is space at the end of this article to tell you about. 
  • You would be forgiven for thinking that this sounds very much like Easter Egg hunting, rolling decorated eggs down hills and the Easter Bunny; and these ancient Pagan symbols are exactly the ones that the Christian Church incorporated into Christianity, in their attempts to convert those still practicing the old ways into their indoctrinated patriarchy. 

Deities: Many of us have Deities that we work with long term rather than choosing a seasonal Deity, however to pay tribute or leave an offering for another Deity that we may feel an affinity with at one of the Sabbats is both completely acceptable and, I have found, pretty common. 

Ostara is a time when the Maiden form of the Triple Goddess is revered, our mother Goddesses (and some of our father Gods) – Gaia, Astarte, Dianna, Demeter, Eostre, The Green Man, The Oak King, Osiris and Zeus are all held in high honour with blessings and prayers spoken, written, danced and drawn in their honour and added to altars. 

I could joyfully write all night on this topic and recount tales of these wonderful Deities, however I would urge you to not only read about them from mythological and historical sources (and to really feel the stories speak to you as you do) but to meditate on which, if any of these Goddesses or Gods, speak to you.  Perhaps I will focus on Deities in a separate post, however there is not the space herein to do so.

Colours: It is important to some Pagans to incorporate colours into their practice, their rituals, their altars and their spell work.  Others don’t put any relevance on colours at all.  Neither approach is right or wrong, as like always, your work must always feel right to you.  If you do work with colours in your spell work or on your altar, colours I incorporate into my Ostara rituals and on my Ostara altar are white, all variations of greens, pastel colours such as pink, blue and purple, and yellows and golds to represent the sun rising again higher in the sky.

Set intentions:  this is the perfect time of year to set your intentions for the year ahead. 

The dark days left you with time to think, mull, and ponder what you have achieved during the last cycle of the Earth, what you would like to bring forward with you and what new endeavours you would like to begin in this new turn into the light.  Don’t rush into setting your intentions for the year though, if you aren’t ready on the exact date of Ostara that is fine. It is better to take a little extra time to get things right than to rush and make mistakes or be disappointed later, wishing you had set your intentions differently.  Think about what you would really like to bring into your life and work on manifestation of this during the Ostara period.  The new moon is also a perfect monthly time for this kind of magical work, so if you want to supercharge your manifestation try working your magic, sitting for meditations or writing in your Book of Shadows or journal during the new moon closest to the period of 20th – 22nd March (in the Northern Hemisphere – September in the Southern Hemisphere). 

My own manifestation spell work during this time is where I not only think about what I would like to bring into my life, but how I would like it to come into my life, as this can be just as important as the end result.  Maybe you would like to manifest more money into your life, however wouldn’t you rather receive a promotion or win a lottery than inherit money from a loved one who passes away?  This is one of the joys of magical manifestation; it brings a sense of mindfulness into our lives and forces us to think kindly and fully about what we would like, and the overall consequences for more than just ourselves of our actions and desires. 

Kindness is something I believe should be an overall factor in MOST magic and spell work.  Of course, however, there must be balance and work in the dark and in the shadow is necessary to maintain this balance both in the world and within ourselves.  In our Ostara rituals however I feel we benefit more from working with the light.

So how do we set these intentions?  What must we do?  That same old line again – you must do what feels right for you?  Sometimes I write my intentions for the year into a poem, a wonderful weaving of words, other times I write in my Book of Shadows and let the words come freely, a little like automatic writing.  Other times I draw.  Sometimes I speak the words into the night around a roaring Ostara fire, telling my hopes for the year to come to the stars above, asking the Goddess to hear me and bring life to and to manifest my hopes just as she does the Earth beneath her feet.  Sometimes I do a combination.  Sometimes I keep what I have written in my Book of Shadows, and other times I let my Ostara fire burn them and send their words up to the stars with the sparks and ash, taking them into the ether to be read by the universe.

What I do want to stress to you, however, when you work with intention setting and manifestation, is that you must be patient. Just because you ask for something this Ostara does not mean it will come to you within this turn of the wheel; this may not be the right time for what you have asked for to come to you. Perhaps, as a fanciful example, you wish for a Rugged Viking to sweep you off to sea on his ship, however that very Viking, the one who is perfect for you, may not yet be back from his latest sea-bound adventure so he cannot yet steal you away. Or perhaps you dream of meeting a wondrously wise crone to teach and guide you, and to cackle into the night at your jokes; but maybe your perfect teacher is still too young to be the wise Crone you need.

And I think it is here that I will end my ramblings tonight as I have bent your ear for far too long and it is well past my reasonable bed time, my cheese is gone and my wine glass is empty. 

Don’t forget to have a read through my other posts and to take a look through my Ritual Shop.

Blessed Be & Stay Wild

Ginger Witch

Imbolc - Winter Goddess


Imbolc is a joyous and much celebrated date on the Pagan Wheel of the Year.   Celebrated across the 1st and 2nd February; primarily for many on the 1st February, nature based religions honour this midpoint of winter and the last, usually coldest and most bleak stretch of the journey through the biting dark months towards the Spring time and the rebirth of the Earth.

Instagram: @ladytor — Etsy:

Imbolc is a marker on our journey through the Earths endless realms of darkness and light, a marker pointing us towards the increasing light of the sun and bringing us a renewed lightness in our souls, as soon the Maiden, now renewed and born from the ashes of the Crone, will awaken and bury her toes in the dirt of our Earth once again, her footfalls bringing blooms and new life with their every touch upon the Earth.

Imbolc Rituals

At Imbolc the seasons are readying themselves to reset; more drastic and sudden is the onset of Spring when it arrives than the transition between any other seasons.  In the summer flowers and plants change subtly, in the autumn trees slowly change colour and in lose their leaves until they are bare in the winter.  Yet as Spring closes in, the first flowers fight through the frosts and snow to lap up what sunlight they can, not caring to take their growth or emergence slowly.  This is a time for the very first signs and steps of new beginnings.

Source unknown; if you do know the source please let me know so I can add a credit to this.

Many Imbolc rituals are ones that many people do every year without even realising their everyday actions are in fact a small ritual, either for the home or for themselves, physically or emotionally.  My mantra for Imbolc and the weeks ushering us through the snow towards those sunny Daffodils, is to ask myself “does it still speak of who I am, what I do, and what I intend?”, as this is the time of year to clear out the old and set our thoughts to what we want to achieve throughout the next spin of the wheel. 

For as long as it has been known, the ritual of the “spring clean” has been carried out, essentially clearing out the old, that which is of no use, stored dust and clutter from the long months inside sheltering from the bitterness of the air.  The spaces we spend our time in, and the body and soul in which we live, are purified and regenerated.  Snow drops twinkle at us from flower beds and are brought into the home, still very much a winter flower, but the first symbol of new life and the abundance to come of the year.  New year’s resolutions set at the beginning of the year are now whittled down to the one or two realistic ambitions and hopes we have for ourselves this year; we cast aside those that we have realised were not right and we begin to work on how we begin manifesting our goals for the year.

Imbolc is one of the Pagan fire festivals seeing some celebrations of this sabbat carried out around bonfires and blazes both reaching for the sky or crackling gently as chants, songs and tales are enjoyed by their warmth.  A warmth that is created and honoured in reverence to the returning sun who is now turning the tide and winning the battle to dominate the sky above us.


Brigid, a Celtic Pagan Goddess, and a Triple Goddess, is honoured, worshipped and loved fiercely on this day of change.  Worshipped long before the (relatively) recent birth of Christianity and other repressive religions dominated by patriarchal “leaders”, the symbolism and continued reverence and importance of Bridge could not be eradicated by the Christian church.  With no other options available to them to procure conformity, Brigid was taken into the Christian Church and slightly renamed as St Bridget, a Patrol Saint of Ireland who watches over midwifery and manual crafts.

Brigid, the Pagan Goddess, has long been known to be the Goddess to pray to, meditate with and leave offerings for, for those wishing for wisdom and guidance with, amongst other things, Smithcraft and Midwifery.  A startling coincidence, however what remains important is her time spent as the maiden, inciting lust within the newly risen Oak King, who will quickly learn of both his abundant virility and his love for the maiden.

Brigid takes our hand at this time and leads us away from the darkness it feels we have endlessly endured and gently urges us towards the brightness and kaleidoscope of colours offered to us by the Earth throughout its’ Spring and Summer months.

Celebrating Imbolc

Set your intentions by a fire

As a fire festival, my first go-to is to wrap up in as many layers I can whilst retaining the ability to move my limbs, and then to build and light a not too small fire in one of my home-made stone fire pits at the bottom of my garden.  I will have pre-written my intentions and hopes for the year to come in a journaling entry in my Book of Shadows, and I will copy this onto a piece of paper to smudge around the fire in the frosty air, then burn in the Imbolc flames whilst focussing on the image of my intentions.  I ask Brigid and the Goddesses I work with to guide me in my journey through the year, to bring me wisdom and integrity as I work to manifest my goals for the coming months.

Of course not everyone has the space or the inclination to light a fire outside, in the cold, in the middle of winter.  If this sounds like you, remember there is no hard and fast rule on fire festival, flames do not have to reach the clouds and roar like Dragons breath above you.  Take from the traditional colours of Imbolc and light some candles or one candle in a safe place and either (again safely) burn your intention paper in your candles or simply sit before them and visualise or chant your intentions, asking Brigid and your Deities, if you work with any, to guide you.

Colour Choices                         

White, though a good all round colour candle to use an any and all rituals, using a while candle at Imbolc represents the Maiden, Brigit, in her young and innocent state.  It represents the twinkling frost on the ground beneath our feet and covering our Mother Earth in the most precious of beautiful blankets.  It represents each unique and fluffy snowflake to fall from the sky, landing around us on the ground, atop our homes and gardens, and sometimes on the end of our nose.  It represents the plain, empty and barren nature of the harsh winter months and the ethereal glow of the moon and her moonbeams as she shines down upon us, unaffected by the seasons.  A feminine choice of colour if you are looking to work with the duality of the masculine and feminine.

Orange, Red and Gold are perfect choices to represent the return of the sun, of warmth and to represent the fire, the spark of new life and to sit in place as the masculine element to your ritual or altar. 

Green is also a good choice for Imbolc, a neutral and calming colour, grounding you in the earth and in your mind.  Symbolising the return of green to the trees and the earth when Spring arrives, green will represent hope for new beginnings and of fresh starts to come, when used at Imbolc.


Imbolc is also a time to bring the celebration of warmth and fire into our foods, enjoying a feast of warming foods in our celebrations.  Dishes such as curry, chilli and broths made with onions and spices, following with wonderfully aromatic and comforting mulled wine or cider all remind us of the warmth we look forward to in the coming months.

If these dishes don’t get your moth watering, try baking a ginger loaf or spicy ginger cookies.  Enjoy (if you’re old enough) a spiced rum or whiskey, add some ginger beer or ale to a favourite tipple or enjoy it on its’ own.

The winter is halfway done today, provisions have lasted, lambing will start again soon along with all other agricultural work to bring new supplies and stocks.  Enjoy this celebratory feast day and give thanks and gratitude to the earth for sustaining us through her slumber.

Brigids Cross

Possibly the most popular ritual for Imbolc is to make a Brigid’s Cross, which is an ancient symbol of a powerful fire wheel.  Usually made from reeds or other strong grasses, the cross is hung at the doorways and hearths of homes as a symbol of protection for the home over the coming year.  Some prefer to carve the cross into a hearth or into wood or stone at the entrance to their home.  It is usual to make a new Brigid’s cross every year at Imbolc.

So there you have it, a little more of my ramblings, this time on Imbolc.  I hope you’ve enjoyed them and will come back to read more next time.

You can chose from more of my ramblings at my Journey and you can find ritual goodies and various ritually crafted items from my Cauldron at my Ritual Shop.

Stay Wild

Blessed Be

Ginger Witch

Witch, getting ready for Samhain celebrations and traditions

Samhain Celebrations and Traditions

The Wheel of the Year Stops again … Samhain Celebrations and Traditions

Samhain falls on 31st October every year and marks one of the four cross spokes on the Wheel of the Year.  It is not one of the four major Pagan Sabbats, however it sits part way between the Mabon, the Autumn Equinox, and Yule, the Winter Solstice, on the Wheel of the Year.  Samhain is equally as important as the four major Sabbats, and is just magical as any other Pagan celebration and holiday. To many Pagans, it is the most important day of the magical calendar. In this blog I will take you on my ramblings of Samhain Celebrations and Traditions.

Artwork by my absolute favourite @ladytor – – this is currently my favourite piece of art in existence.

At this point in the year, we are starting to add decorations for Samhain in our homes; some of them traditional to honour the thinning of the veil, the “other” worlds and those ancestors who came long before us and those who we still remember with a happy pain in our hearts, and others more modern and fun to entertain the children, those amongst us who don’t have the bone deep and instinctual awareness of the true meaning and value of this day, and to entertain ourselves. After all, we Pagans have the most fun of all on All Hallows Eve, right?! Those Samhain celebrations and traditions are a part of what we are all about.

The nights are most definitely longer now, throwing their blanket of star studded inky blue over the ever-greying days earlier and earlier with each click forward on the wheel.  We feel a real difference as we walk closer to Samhain.  The shadows seen out of the corner of our eyes are seen earlier in the day as the meek light fades; they stretch longer and seem blacker, more vacuous and sinister, than they ever did during the summer months.  And as we walk inevitably towards Samhain, and the veil between worlds thins, how do we know these shadows seen in our peripheral vision, in the corners of rooms and skulking under beds and stairs, are really shadows at all.  Who know what lurks in the tween places as we steadily and unfalteringly approach All Hallows Eve.  For there are many reasons to celebrate this most wondrous of days, not least the spooky tales and scary not quite believed things you see and feel while the dead, the Fae, the beasties and the creepers walk amongst us.  Can you see them?  Are they behind you, watching you, following you?  Or standing so much in plain sight that your eyes do not see them staring at you from a spot to close for comfort?

@esther_remmington_art — – woodland fairy enjoying Samhain celebrations and traditions.

Devilish Décor

Personally, my home already sports pumpkins and red apples, both decoratively and on my alter to remind me that Samhain spins ever closer. Vases of flowers in my living space are decorated with wooden bats amongst them to remind me of the fun and commercial side of Samhain that I enjoy with the children in my life, and I have started to add a true autumnal and Samhain inspired area to the bottom of my back garden, near the place Harry the Hedgehog has made his home.  I have a mobile made of wooden pumpkins for no other reason than I wanted to make it. I liked the little wooden pieces and have a burning need to constantly craft or write.  At this time of year creativity seeps from me and I seem to be constantly sticking my fingers together, sticking pins in my fingers, dropping beads or loosing endless fights with balls of yarn.

However, none of that is actually about Samhain or Samhain celebrations and traditions. So, let’s creep onto things more generally about Halloween.

Seasonal Spell Bottles
Spell Bottles – available to by at my shop from 31st October 2020 –

A little introduction to Samhain

So the first thing to know is that Samhain is not pronounced Sam-hain.  The correct pronunciation is Sou-win and spellings differ ever so slightly, being passed down from the many Celtic settlements of the UK and Europe for many hundreds of years. Thousands of years ago ancient Pagans celebrated their new year on the 1st November, their celebrations beginning at sun down on 31st October and ending at sundown on 1st November. 

This was the rebirth of their year.  Samhain, Halloween, All Hallows Eve – the day before their New Year, became a day of death; the death of the old year and days been and gone. 

Our initial instinct at the thought of a day of death is to recoil, to shun and to perhaps burry our heads in the heady autumn earth until such a day has passed.  However this is not a day to be feared or avoided.  Death is the inevitability of all things and is the passing from the old and tired to the new, vibrant and virile.  From death comes rebirth, renewal and the circle of life on our blessed Mother Earth.  At this time, seeds fallen from harvested crops are now deep in the ground and lie dormant, sleeping and resting until it is time for them to begin blooming with new life in the Spring. 

Our Mother Earth at this time is spent; after a long and enduring year of growing and nurturing, she has provided the life upon her with sustenance to survive the dark cold winter; she has been harvested until she is stripped bare, she has provided shelter and protection for animals beginning their hibernation, and she is ready for her own slumber.  Falling into her own stage of death on this day of Samhain, she begins to regenerate for her own rebirth, to flourish with life again when the times comes to awaken.

The Holly King remains strong during this time, and although he wanders with the May Queen, the Maiden, who is now the wise and venerated Crone, he perceives his drowsy and sleeping world with pride, knowing that retreat and rest are vital to the never ending cyclical nature of the ground his hooves sink into as he stands watching all.  Hand in withered hand they walk through their cold and barren lands, his evergreen boughs of Holly and Fir boasting themselves resplendent, reminding us that life, whilst still and lifeless in appearance, remains defiant and strong.  The Crone will fall at this time, shrink and sink back into the very Earth that birthed her, back into the earth she crawled out of naked and screaming, to reclaim her fertile womanhood as she ascends back to the light.  The wisdom she has bottled and brewed throughout her wanderings with the Oak King and the Holly King, far and wide across her Earth, will seep into the very soil beneath and around her to be reborn within her swelling belly when she arises once again to create new life as the Maiden. – solitary witch observing Samhain celebrations and traditions of being at one with the earth and the darkness.

So many people, most especially in this modern day of Samhain being the “holiday of Halloween” use this night as one to perform séances, dress up as creepy characters, eat too much candy and generally celebrate all things evil, gory and spooky.  Now I could write endlessly on the way in which patriarchal religion and repression has twisted and contorted Samhain to represent evil and ill intent, however I will refrain.  Essentially the veil between worlds being at one of its thinnest points is the very reason people experience more spooky happenings on Samhain.  Teenagers play with Ouija boards at Halloween sleepovers on this night and wonder why they receive responses from the “game” they bought at their local toy store.  Well, that, my spooky teenage friends, is because today, more than almost any other day, the dead walk among us.  They commune with us with more ease and, in some traditions, even return from the beyond to visit their loved ones and walk amongst their kin.  With the veil between words at its’ thinnest, other creatures and beings are more easily able to visit us and our Earthy plane. You may think yourself too full of sugary treats when you see a Fae in your garden, a Nymph dancing in the woods, glimpse ancient Pagan Goddesses and Gods fornicating around their effigies in forests or hear what you’re sure were dragon wings in the sky above you.  Maybe you are too full of sugar and hallucinated it all, or perhaps, just perhaps, there really was something there in the night, just beyond your sight, grinning at you with wide eyes as you pass it by without a glance.

Speaking with Spooks

There are many ways, both traditional and modern to celebrate Samhain.  For me, the celebration or ritual that sings within me is to connect with ancestors.  This tradition of communing with the dead at the thinning of the veil is found across the world in to the deepest and darkest places of our Mother Earth.  Some will practice divination by way of Talking Boards, Divining Rods, Cards, Stones or Runes.  Some will read messages in nature; water, leaves, smoke and flames.  Others will use pendulums, meditation, Shamanic Journeying or their own innate psychic abilities.

What is important at this time, for me, is for my message to be pure, to know who is welcome to come forward to speak and what energies, entities and spirits are not welcome in my space.

It’s important to realise that to commune with those we have lost draws energy from us, and we must therefore be prepared and have reserves of energy available to us.  We must have protections in place, boundaries set against the unwelcome drawing energy from us.  The dead walk freely amongst us tonight.  Do not speak to the dead if you do not want them to respond.


Yes, I know, I can hear you all saying that bonfires belong on bonfire night.  Well, actually, none of my sister withes would even bat an eyelid if I lit a random bonfire at any time of the year or on any day of the week, however my point is that bonfires were an integral part of Samhain celebrations long before our Mr Fawkes tried to blow up the country’s least desirables those hundreds of years ago.  Tall, wide and blazing fires were lit on Samhain night.  Bonfires are lit as a gift to the Sun God, honouring him and letting him know that we await his return when the days again begin to grow longer and the tide in his battle against the darkness turns in his favour at Yule.  Bonfires also provide(d) a wondrously warm heat source for communities to celebrate the end of Harvest around, and for youngsters playing traditional “tricks” on each other to retreat to, warm themselves through before continuing their mischief.  The bonfire represents a light and warmth in the darkness

Knitted Pumpkins for sale - all proceeds to
Knitted Pumpkins for sale by a sister witch – all proceeds to

Tricks, Treats and Sweets

Trick or treating is one of the first things that springs to many a mind at Samhain, a tradition largely made popular in America.  However, as mentioned above, the practice of tricks and mischief at Samhain is an old one.  Children and adults alike would wear masks and costumes while celebrating the end of the Harvest.  Tricks would be played, merriment would be had and games would be played.  Food would be shared for a good trick or piece of mischief.  Of course, there has to be balance in all things, and what better night would there be to carry out any darker deeds you had up your sleeve?  I have no stories to share of any such deadly deeds, but you just know many an unsolved murder took place amongst the roaring fires and raucous merriment.  This tradition was taken to America with immigration, markedly of the Irish Celts, and evolved into the mainstream commercial hullabaloo we see today, sadly losing the important and poignant relevance of this night of the dead.  The playing of tricks and sharing of food has become what we now know as trick or treating, the bigger the bag of sweets brought home the better.  Don’t forget though, the sharing of food and excitement of this night once was a last night of fun and abundance before villages, hamlets and communities hunkered down for the harshness of the coming months.

Turnips and Pumpkins

Who doesn’t love to carve a pumpkin into a scary face, a witch on a broomstick or a creepy cat?  Originally, the carving of a face and lighting this up with a candle was done using a turnip (or more accurately a Swede – actual turnips are pretty small), generally as they were more readily available.  When I was a little girl I remember carving out a turnip (or rather, watching while a parent or grandparent carved it) and lighting it with a candle then adding some string to carry it with.  It filled me with pure delight when that creepy face lit up and I popped the top back on.  I suppose the use of pumpkins after the migration of Samhain to America is again a resource thing, and in America pumpkins were just more readily available.  And let’s face it, they’re significantly easier to carve than turnips (Swedes).  But why do we do it?  Sure, it’s fun, it looks cool, and the flesh makes delicious soup, but other than that, what’s the point?  Well, these creepy lanterns, or Jack-a-Lanterns, were placed at front doors to invite in friendly spirits but ward off evil spirits.  So when you’re done wreaking candy havoc on your neighbourhood, summoning Great Aunty Melinda and burning your back garden down with an outrageous, remember to put your lantern out on your doorstep to stop the uninvited dead, the monsters and other beasties who live in the shadows following you home.

An Alter

If you’re anything like me, you’ll chop and change your alter a fair bit, following the Luna cycles, the seasons and the constant new finds out on walks and adventures (I mean, you can’t have too many pinecones or sticks – can you?).  Ultimately your choice of what to put on your alter is yours alone.  Your altar is a deeply personal and spiritual space where you visually personify your craft, your beliefs and the magic bubbling inside of you.  Personally, I have been putting items in honour of Samhain on my altar for a while now, and they reflect what the autumn and Samhain mean to me.  I have mini pumpkins, red apples, pine cones, wild heather collected from the border forests, citrine, clear quartz and wooden runes.  I have Ivy, succulents, fresh lavender and moonstone.  And (obviously) a black glittery skull.  If you aren’t sure what to put on your altar, try meditating on what this time of year means to you.  Do you feel drawn to natural items, to crystals, cards, runes?  Which elements are speaking to you?  Do you want to add divination tools, candles or incense?  My advice is to select items that reflect the meaning of mid-autumn and Samhain to you.  You cannot get your altar wrong as long as it is authentic to you and what your gut is telling you to include.

So I’ve talked enough.  Go enjoy your traditional Samhain, your fun Halloween and your general creepy times.  Try to take a moment, though, amongst the frivolities, to give a nod to our amazing mother Earth, and thank her for the blessings she has given to you these last months, as she has given her all to us, her very last shoot and seed, see us over the chilly winter months.

So don’t forget to enjoy and relish in some Samhain celebrations and traditions.

Stay Wild.

Blessed Be.

Ginger Witch.

It's me, Ginger Witch
It’s me, Ginger Witch, getting ready to enjoy Samhain celebrations and traditions.

Mabon, Autumn Equinox, Fall Equinox, Pagan wheel of the Year, Pagan Sabbat

Mabon: 22nd September 2020

Mabon Magic

This year, in 2020, Mabon falls on Tuesday 22nd September, and I for one cannot wait.  I have a definite passion for this time of year; the cooler days and longer nights that are on the horizon completely resonate with my soul and fill me with an overwhelming sense of peace and calm.

Autumnal Altar for Mabon / Autumnal Equinox / Fall Equinox
Autumnal Altar for Mabon / Autumnal Equinox / Fall Equinox

What is Mabon?

Mabon is the autumnal equinox and marks the official start of the season of Autumn.  As with Ostara, the vernal equinox in March, Mabon is one of two points in the year when the hours of light and dark are equal; the day and night are perfectly balanced at Mabon and allows us time to pause and recognise that same balance within ourselves.

From the summer solstice the in June, the days begin to shorten, and by the time we reach Mabon here in the middle of September, the increased hours of darkness are noticeable and the coolness is starting to creep back into the night air.  The Earths natural endless cycle is approaching it’s time of slumber as that which grows has matured and we give our gratitude for the plenty we are provided with.

Image by Sanja Kolenko - & @sanja_art.jpg
Image by Sanja Kolenko – & @sanja_art.jpg

For our ancestors the Autumnal Equinox was one of four points in the year (the Vernal and Autumnal Equinoxes and the Summer and Winter Solstices) and four cross points (Imbolc, Beltane, Lammas and Samhain) representing the cycle of seasons, all of which marked an important point in the cycle of nature and foretold the changing of the weather.  To our ancestors these markers in the year were essential as they kept (and keep to this day) the wheel of agriculture, planting and harvest in motion.

In this seasonal and agricultural respect, which was of course the most important part of life for our ancestors, Mabon marks the middle of the harvest; the full moon closest to Mabon is named the Harvest Moon, and crops, fruits and vegetables were all brought into stores to see communities through the cold and dark months ahead.

But Mabon is more than just a marker in the days of the harvest, it is a time for deep reflection and appreciation of the darker side of life and the slow and restful days to come.  Look back witches, at your book of shadows, look back, pagans, at the practices, rituals and manifestations of Ostara, and remember the goals you set for yourself, the spells you cast and the intentions you put out into the ether.  For Ostara is the opposite of Mabon, the other side of this spoke on our ever turning wheel, and the work we set out on then is perfectly considered at it’s universal opposite. 

Image by Ginger Witch

I’m not saying everything should have been achieved, not at all, as whilst the Ether, the Wyrd, the stardust and sunbeams make up who we are and run through our veins and into our very bones, we are only human.  If you have made a plan to achieve a goal, if you have written the first line of a spell, if you have decided you need to take a course of action, if you have started anything at all towards any of your Ostara intentions, Mabon is the time to sit with your progress and remind yourself that what you have done is exactly what you should have done.  You have accomplished.  Let it simmer within you, write down your progress in a book of shadows, a journal to hibernate it over the dark months.  Or maybe these are the months when your progress and intentions will manifest and come to life; if so, write significant words on a spell candle or write whatever feels right to you on a piece of paper to burn, to bring light to your intent and diffuse your progress so far in to the universe and realms around you.

Mabon Luxuries

As with all things in nature, animals and plants alike, this is a time of year to wind down your pace and bring peace and rest into your heart and mind. 

Image by one of my absolute favourite artists, Lady Viktoria who you can find at & @ladytor

We see the trees become bare, plants and flowers return to bulb and seed to sleep, and animals build warmer dens and burrow, or migrate to warmer shores. 

If, like me, your spirit feels malnourished without plants around you inside of your home and in your garden, this is the time to start bringing evergreens into these areas.  My personal affiliations are with Ivy and Succulents, Rosemary and Fir.

Fill your hearth, light your candles and slow down.  Take deep breaths, breathe in the ever chillier ait outside of your front door.  Take moments to hear the sound of vibrant fallen leaves crunch beneath your feet and enjoy the feeling of warm soft fabrics and the closeness of loved ones and familiars.  Immerse yourself in magical, ghostly and heart warming stories.  Make sumptuous broths and stews, toast marshmallows by burning fires and drink decadent hot drinks to warm your hands and soul.

Image taken and wreath made by Ginger Witch

One of my favourite things to start doing at Mabon is taking a basket to the woods to collect fallen acorns, pinecones, vines and wood to make autumnal and Yule decorations for my home and for friends.  Mother nature has so many wonderful gifts for us if we take the time to look and to give thanks.

Celebrating Mabon

Decorate your Alter

One of the first preparations most pagans make to honour any of the eight points on the wheel of the year is to prepare their alter.  An alter doesn’t need to be anything expensive or big, it is simply a space of your own that you adorn and decorate with the items you use in your craft, to honour your chosen deities (if any) and with items to recognise, give thanks for and honour the sabbat.  Some Pagans have large chests or tables, others have outdoor spaces and some will  decorate a window sill or mantle.  It may be simply lighting a particular coloured candle.    

Being the start of autumn, Mabon brings with it a kaleidoscope of warming colours, comforting foods and cosy clothes.  We can start to look forward to dusting off snuggly jumpers, slipping into fur lined boots and lighting fires and candles to tell enchanting tales around. 

And amongst this cacophony of colourful change in the earth around us we see alters adorned to reflect this time of transition into autumn.  Ivy, rosemary, pine cones, red and green apples, seeds and pomegranates, along with grains and corn all represent the abundance of the harvest.  Set some or all of these on your alter to show reverence for the plenty the Earth has provided us with.

Spells / wishes / hopes and intentions can be laid on your alter, written in colours of the season such as oranges, yellows, browns, reads and dark greens.  Let your instincts take over and decorate your writings with your own patterns and in colours that speak to you.

Beautiful image by Kat Fedora who you can find at & @katfedora

Candle Spells

Burn a candle in one of these Mabon colours and carve a Sigel or Rune that you are working with into it (if you work with either), or carve a word to represent your hopes and spells for the coming season.  Be sure to use a candle that you will continue to burn until it is completely finished if you carve into it; small spell candles are best.  I never blow out a candle adorned with a spell, however you can snuff the candle if you need to, just be sure not to blow your intention away.


If you feel a connection with scents and aromatherapy you will enjoy anointing your candle with a dreamy autumnal scent.  Either make your own with some of your favourites or chose something that fills you with feelings of warmth and cosiness.  At this time of year I enjoy the captivating smells of spiced apple, pumpkin, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, frankincense and lavender.

If you don’t want to anoint your candle its nice to have an oil burner sending out these autumnal feels or to have some incense burning in these comforting undertones.  There’s no reason why you can’t mix and match these uses of scent or use all three at once.

Scented candles are another great way to bring autumnal feels to your altar and home.

Scent can be a real mood setter, can trigger memories and can help to heal our bodies, minds and souls.  If you can work the wonderful gifts that nature gives to our sense of smell, you should absolutely work it one way or another into your alters, rituals, spells and every day witchy life.

Healing Crystals & Stones

If you work with healing crystals, Mabon is a good time to add Lapis Lazuli, Topaz, Magnetite and Shamanic Dream Stone to your alter.

Lapis Lazuli is a stone I work with and wear all year round.  It is very much associated with balance and embracing the darkness and the light in life; placing this crystal on your alter will bring balancing energies into your alter space, into your meditations and into your life.

Lapis Lazuli surrounded by Rose Quartz and Citrine, soaking up the energy of the forest.

Topaz is a stone that vibrates with energies of healing and abundance, both of which are very relevant at Mabon as we are very aware of the abundance of the earth, and, as the harvest begins to come to an end, we can find time to rest and rejuvenate during the coming darkness.

To add Magnetite to your alter also brings balance into your space, but with that balance you will also find a sense of grounding and connection to the earth.

The last stone I would add to my alter is Shamanic Dream Stone which, again, has energies working to balance our bodies and minds.  It promotes introspection and during this time of rest guides us in our journeys within, assisting us in Chakra balancing and completion of tasks and manifestations set at Imbolc and Ostara.

I love to sit with my stones under the moon and by the fire to charge and feel them.


I don’t want to say too much about deities as all pagans follow different paths and all honour different (or no) deities for different reasons.

What I will tell you, is that for me, Mabon is the time I feel the connection with my Goddesses deepen.  I work with the dark goddesses Inanna, Persephone and Ereshkigal, all of whom have their journeys rooted in not only living and surviving in, but flourishing in the underworld, in the darkness, in rising from deathly situations to be wiser and more divine than they had previously been.  Stripped of themselves and violated, both Inanna and Persephone rise to become the ultimate in feminine divinity and to be more whole and balanced than their former selves.  They were stolen away into the darkness, yet embraced that darkness, walked through it, descended into it, let it engulf them and became sisters with it; and the darkness did not kill them.  Whilst they missed the light, there was healing and rest to be had in their dark days.  Their descents into their underworlds gave them time to see into the blackness and understand that without it, there cannot be light.  In order to see the day, we must make friends with the night.  Without the night, we cannot see the stars or our Luna Goddess high above us.  Without descent there is no ascent.   I will tell their stories fully in later posts, however for now my pagan sisters and brothers, I wish you a very Happy Mabon 2020 and hope that your rest and journey through our coming darkening days is a filled with magic, plenty and laughter.

It’s me, Ginger Witch, wishing you a Merry and Blessed Mabon.

As with all of my posts, I have included the work of some amazing artists whose work I very much admire and covet. Below are links to their online spaces.

Stay Wild & Blessed Be.

Ginger Witch.

Lammas 2020 …

… is celebrated on 1st August every year. Lammas is an ancient Gaelic festival, with festivities on this day stretching as far back as the first Anglo Saxon settlements in the 6th Century AD, and is known as Lunghnasadh in the Gaelic tongue. Literally translated it means Lugh’s Gathering and Loaf Mass and is the time of year when we see the first harvests of fruits and grains and give thanks to our life gifting May Queen, now our Mother Earth Goddess, for blessing us with the crops to make enough food to last us around the next spin of the wheel of the year.

Crops are abundant and ready for harvest
Crops are abundant and ready for harvest

Whilst many consider this to be a Christian festival, the honouring and celebrating of the earth and the fruits of nature in all it’s colourful and cyclical glory is very much reminiscent of the practices of pagan earth based religions rather than the omnipotent patriarchy of Christianity. The Lammas festival is incorporated into the pagan wheel of the year for this very reason; the honouring of the earth and the bountiful sustenance’s she provides to us year in and year out.

Grounding amongst and offering respect to the crops gifted to u by the Earth Goddess, our matured May Queen.
Grounding amongst and offering respect to the crops gifted to u by the Earth Goddess, our matured May Queen.

This day is also called High Summer by many; granted the days have started to noticeably shorten by 1st August, the sky is darker on a night showing us more of his stars for us to wish upon, but the days and nights remain warm and we are only at the half way point between the beginning of summer on 21st June and the beginning of autumn on 21st September.

So, as Pagans, how do we celebrate this day and give thanks an honour to our mother earth, our goddess? It is customary to bake (or buy if you don’t have the time or inclination) beautiful breads from grains and fruits. Communal celebrations see pagans from all paths forming friendships in magical circles, sharing breads and other earthy foods with each other. Songs are sung, drums beat in time with the heartbeat of the goddess and folks dance and tell stories amidst their own. There is laughter, merriment and happiness, this is a time to spend outdoors with a heart filled with joy, gratitude and community.

A beautiful image of a witch collecting apples by Lady Viktoria, who you can find at and @ladytor
A beautiful image of a witch collecting apples by Lady Viktoria, who you can find at and @ladytor

I celebrated exactly like this last year in the most wonderful surroundings of the Spirit of Awen Camp in Gloucestershire. This week long pagan camp is one of the most wonderful places I have ever had the privilege to spend time. The community welcomed me with open arms, I made deep and profound lifelong friends and everything in my life changed for the better from the moment I set foot on the camp site. The Lammas picnic was a wonderful day filled with everything I hold dear about being a pagan; honouring the earth, forming friendships based with genuinely good people, spending time in and with nature, singing with the Goddess, dancing to the beating of drums and drinking good cider and mead round a roaring camp fire.

Making a Lammas Corn Doll
Making a Lammas Corn Doll

This years celebrations were very different but equally as wonderful. COVID-19 meant it was not safe for the Spirit of Awen Camp to go ahead but that didn’t mean we couldn’t come together as a family at home to give our offerings of thanks to the Mother Earth Goddess.

In another of the most widely practised customs of Litha, we, as a family, made corn dolls to throw into our ritual fire along with our wishes or intentions for the future. We made a fun game of this for the children and hid them around the garden for them to find, before putting magic fire packets on fire to make beautifully colourful flames and throwing our corn dolls into the fire to ask who or whatever we personally believe in or work with to guide us down the right path to see our wishes, hopes and dreams come to pass.

Beautifully Colourful Flames to burn our Lammas Corn Dolls in
Beautifully Colourful Flames to burn our Lammas Corn Dolls in

Of course, we can’t tell what our wishes are, as to speak a wish made is to ensure it will evade us. But keep reading the unravelling ramblings, rituals, practices and adventured of Ginger Witch to see more of this pagan path and more of the unrivalled stunning diversity of Northumberland.

A basket of Lammas Corn Dolls made for our family wish making time around our fire pit.
A basket of Lammas Corn Dolls made for our family wish making time around our fire pit.

Stay Wild & Blessed Be

Ginger Witch.

Litha 2020…..

….. came to us during lockdown in a warm haze of sunshine, flowers, garden games and cider.

A drink in honour of the Lord & Lady of the lands.

When the wheel of the year reaches Litha, summer is finally here and the longest day of the year is upon us.

Most of us find joy in the summer months, even if we don’t like the heat, the biting insects, the buzzing insects or the need to cut our grass again after every inevitable rain shower we can find beauty in the pretty summer clothes or the smell of sunscreen reminding us of happy summer get-a-ways, we can enjoy the smell of that grass when it’s freshly cut and whilst avoiding wasps at all costs we can enjoy watching a honey bee harvest our gardens or watch a bumblebee fly impossibly, on those thinnest of wings, on its merry way.

Flower Crown.

We can watch butterflies in all of their beauty floating from flower to flower like delicate fairies, enjoy the array of scents from an abundant choice of flowers, and drink cool wine/beer/cocktails/cider at pretty much at any time after noon when we’re not working because it’s that rarest of things outside (for us UK dwellers, and especially us Northern UK dwellers) – hot and sunny. We set up paddling pools in our gardens and laugh whilst our children splash and jump chase each other, and then we put down our summer read to tend to them when they hurt themselves. We apply cream, plasters and cuddles then watch them repeat the proceeds. We get nettle stings, we have picnics and we are determined to have a day at the beach, all because it’s now summer. That longest day of our earth year.

Beautiful Bumblebee by the incredibly talented Kat Fedora, whose work you can find at and @katfedora.

But what really IS Litha. Yes, it’s the coming of summer, but why would that be a cause for celebration? I’ll tell you why.

At Beltane we celebrated the coming together and marriage of the May Queen and the Green Man and rejoiced at the fertility and blooming life all around us.

Now, at Litha, the May Queen, a Goddess of the Earth in her own right, is swollen in her belly and has embraced her new role as Earth Mother. She is ready to bring new life to the earth and is the embodiment of the Mother figure in the Maiden-Mother-Crone trinity. She walks the soft grasses of meadows, the shadows of the woodlands and the earthy ground of crop fields, bringing life and vitality to all she touches, blessing us with bountiful and full harvests in the months to come. As she feels her footfalls on the earth beneath her she knows that now she is birthing new life she will move towards her transition to the wise and welcoming Crone over the coming darkening days between Litha and Yule.

Litha Alter

Her husband, the strong and steadfast Green Man, also known as The Oak King, has grown older since his triumph over the Holly King at Yule (this story is circular, please follow me through the entire turning of the Wheel of the Year). After reaching maturity at Beltane as he weds the May Queen, he has now grown older after giving his all to his new bride, our constant mother earth, and the full and alive earth they have protected and nourished to maturity.

It is at this time, on this night, that the Holly King, who has licked his wounds and who is now at his full strength, takes the Oak Kings / The Green Mans triumph from him and re-starts his rule over the lands once again to lead us away from the long lazy days of summer.

Relaxing in the sun is a gift from our mother earth at this wonderful time of year.

So as the May Queen finishes her walk across the lands spreading her blessings on the coming harvests, she diminishes with her conquered husband to rest by his side. The May Queen, now our Earth Mother and Goddess does not sleep along side him straight away though, she spends time getting to know her slow transition into the Crone, embraces her changed form and sends whispers of her gathered and growing wisdom out onto the winds for the trees, plants, grasses, animals and spirits to hear and embed into their own psyches of knowledge and intuition. Eventually she will sleep, she will rejuvenate, and be reborn once the darkness has come, has shrouded us, and has started to once again lose it’s fight with the Sun God.

At this moment, however, it is the Sun God and the Oak King who have lost this never ending battle. From the very moment of climbing to his highest point in the sky and bringing about the shortest night of the year, the Sun Gods power begins to wain and day by day the darkness of the night becomes longer, the warmth starts to slowly leave the night, and then as the May Queen falls into slumber and the Holly King walks abroad, tall and proud, the warmth leaves sunlit hours too, frosts and chills surround us and the Holly King stands truly victorious in his cold dark world.

To paint such a picture gives chills and you could be forgiven for feeling that the Holly King is a dark God, an evil God and one of malcontent. This is not the case. What the Holly King brings us is balance and rest. Contrast and rejuvenation.

Litha Alter

To me, this is one of the most important lessons and reminders of Litha, that we all must have balance and rest, just as the natural world around us does. Crops are planted, grow, are cut down for harvest, then the cycle repeats. The trees lose their leaves in darker months and burst back to life with greenery as the lighter months again prevail. Just as the Wheel of the Year spins without pause, Litha teaches us that we must hand back over to the darkness to appreciate the light when it comes back to us.

The Holly King brings us warm fires, pretty lights and family time in warm cosy rooms. He brings us celebrations of light and merriment. Without his dark days, how could we find true happiness in the lighter days? And without the biting frosts of winter how could we appreciate the warm touch of the Sun God on our bare skin at Litha? Without the frosts and chill on the grounds, how would our flowers know when to grow or animals know when to retreat into burrows and hibernation? Balance is key to everything on our magical earth and we must remember to honour it.

So what do we do to celebrate Litha? This year for me was about lots of fire, flower crowns, telling stories of the summertime and fairies to the little ones, and giving thanks for the blessed life we have together.

If you have the means, a roaring bonfire with flames high into the air and burning late into the night and early morning is a great way to celebrate the Sun God, to be worn this longest day where it doesn’t quite get completely dark, and to feel the warmth of the flames that will warm you in the coming months. It is customary to take embers and remains of the fire over the coming days (only once everything has cooled and it is safe to do so) to use as kindling and ash in the bottom of your fires over the colder months, keeping with you the life and soul of the May Queen and The Oak King.

If you don’t have the means / space / inclination to build a big bonfire that’s in no way makes your celebration of Litha any less meaningful. A candle burning with the intent of the sabbat has as much symbolism and honour for the Gods and Goddesses as a bonfire.

Again, only if it is safe to do so, another custom is to make a wish whilst jumping over the fire. PLEASE PLEASE take a lot of care and be sensible if you want to try this. CHILDREN DO NOT TRY THIS. You can achieve this with even the smallest of fires – pop some tea lights in jars of step over the hot coals of a BBQ pit once the fire is out and the embers are glowing.

Make your own flower crowns from vibrant summer blooms and dance in bright and comfortable clothes around and beside your Litha fire. The most firey colours are ones to wear on this Midsummer’s day – red, gold, orange, yellow and deep browns are the colours that I choose to wear during this celebration.


The final brief point I want to make about Litha, as I think this post is long enough, is that it is a wonderful time to spend time working with the Fae. I will create another blog post about the Fae as there is so much to talk about and I want to make sure I do the subject justice.

Stay Wild & Blessed Be.

Beltane 2020

Flower Crown – image by Ginger Witch (c) 2020

Beltane is a pagan Springtime festival traditionally celebrated on 1st May, however many Beltane celebrations take place from sunset on 30th April until sunset on 1st May, to honour and mark the point midway through the Spring season and the continuing lengthening of the days and the presence of the sun becoming ever brighter and higher in the sky above us. The stability of the light and warmth gifted to us by our mother earth at this special time see flowers bloom brighter, crops grow abundantly and young animals start to take a few step further from their mothers looking for their own journeys and adventures.

Charm Bowls – image by Ginger Witch (c) 2020

The wheel of the year has spun through the frosts and chills to bring us to this fiery celebration of Beltane when we rejoice in this fertility of the earth being at its peak and feel the reach of the sun’s rays warm on our skin from its lofty throne.

Beltane Sun – image by Ginger Witch (c) 2020

At this time we tells stories of and think about the May Queen who has reached womanhood and whose fertility is ripe and waiting to bring new life. The Green Man has grown fully into his own and triumphs over the Holly King who resides in our lands over the hard cold months, to marry the May Queen so that together they may bring life and abundance to the earth from their union.

Spring Daisies – image by Ginger Witch (c) 2020

Celebrations of this fire festival are about feelings of joy, sensuality, sexuality, abundance and manifestation, with many long standing traditional customs. Probably the most commonly known is dancing around the May-Pole. Enjoyed by young and old alike, dancing around the May-Pole, weaving beautifully coloured ribbons and fabrics was once something to watch or take part in every year on village greens and town commons. The pole is generally made from a birch branch and secured into the ground to symbolise the strength and virility of the Green Man. The crown of flowers atop the May-Pole represents the beautiful May Queen, smiling down with all of her blooming radiance at her new consort, The Green Man. Weaving and entwining the vibrant chords around the birch pole bring the two together amidst song, dance and laughter, wishes and hopes for plentiful crops falling onto their revered spirits.

Beltane Blessing Bowl. Image by Ginger Witch (c) 2020

Naturally many couples chose to have their hand-fasting ceremonies during these celebrations as the air is filled with love, hope and the chants and incantations of new beginnings, of success and of bright days to come. Flowers and perfumes adorn houses, communal spaces and those taking part in these mid-spring frivolities. Flower crowns are worn sending the heady fragrances of spring and the coming summer through an air already bursting with fire and glee.

Beltane Celebrations – image by Ginger Witch (c) 2020

A hand-fasting is a promise of love between two people; hands are loosely tied with red ribbon the seamless shape of a figure eight representing the endless flow of love between the couple and the unwavering course their souls will journey as they continually bind together. Once upon a time the pledge of the couple was to spend a year and a day together; however now couples choose their own commitments, usually having a hand-fasting as their spiritual wedding ceremony after arranging legal formalities elsewhere. At the end of the ceremony the red ribbon untied, showing the couples choice to remain together without any material ties; the couple are bound together through their pledges to one another in the presence of their own Gods and Goddesses. Once a hand fasting ceremony completed a couple jump over a decorated broomstick, one side, their old lives, their old selves, the other, the new life they are jumping into together.

Making Spell Bags for offerings to the May Queen. Image by Ginger Witch (c) 2020

Following nicely from hand-fasting ceremonies, the least known traditional Beltane Cerebration is to go A-Maying, which is most definitely an adults only part of the merriment. On this most firey of evenings couples retreat into the forests and fields to spend the night frolicking and love making under the stars, collecting blossoms to decorate their homes with as the wheel spins towards summer and giving thanks for the bounties provided by our beautiful Mother Earth.

Beltane Dire burning brightly long into the night. Image by Ginger Witch (c) 2020

Many pagans like to mark each of the eight stops on the wheel of the year with a dedicated alter to that particular sabbat.

How a Pagan decorates their alter for Beltane is completely personal and I would say only to use the symbolism, effigies and representations of Beltane as a guide and then decorate your alter based on your own feelings, what your intuition tells you, what you find yourself drawn to, and items that you like. Don’t ever let another tell you that your alter is wrong. It is not. It is your representation of your thanks, your interpretation and your spirituality. It is your mind and soul and your vision of the gods and/or goddesses you work with.

Rosemary stems – image by Ginger Witch (c) 2020

Traditional flowers used for Beltane are bright; think yellows and oranges, whites and greens. Daisies and dandelions are very popular and making hair crowns from daisy chains is simple, free and ever so pretty. I used chrysanthemums and carnations because they are special to me as flowers my grandmother always had in her home, the choice of flower is yours.

Beltane is a fire festival of warmth and light. Image by Ginger Witch (c) 2020

Herbs are also a popular choice, grown and gifted to us by the earth they are a perfect representation of the goodness and magic provided to us by our eternal mother. This year I used Rosemary to invite protection into my new home and mint to cleanse the house we are making into our new space to create into a safe family home.

Much like the mysterious moon when she is new and hidden from our sights, Beltane is tbh e perfect time of year to start new projects, clear clutter from your life, home, mind and broom closet, and do think about what you want the next turns of the wheel to bring to you; be empowered at this time of the year and ask the gods / goddesses / elementals / fairies or whatever else you work with, for what you want. Remember your offerings and thanks though, especially when you’re working with the Fae.

Original artwork by Kat Fedora.

If you don’t have a deity you work with closely on a regular basis, this is a good time tome to work with Aphrodite, Venus and Dianna, goddesses of love and sexuality. Crystals to bring into your celebrations either as jewellery, on your alter or placed around your home are Emeralds, Sapphires, Malachite, Blood Stone and Rose Quartz.

Rose Quartz – image by Ginger Witch (c) 2020

To finish, some of the most common themes of Beltane are: brightly coloured ribbons, brooms, flowers, butterflies, fairies, fire, a maypole, herbs, newly planted seeds and bulbs coming into their own, fertility and seeds. Eat cakes and breads laced with herbs and seeds, spices and fruits.

Stay Wild, Howl Loud & Blessed Be

Ginger Witch