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

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.

The Full Corn Moon September 2nd 2020

The Full Corn Moon 2020 …..

….. falls on 2nd September. And if you’re anything like me you’ll be thinking thank goodness it’s September.

I’m sure you’ve all noticed the days getting shorter and the nights getting cooler as the wheels spins us rapidly towards the dark half of the year.  That is why right now, I can be found in the back garden, on a clear night, on the very last day of August, enjoying one of the few nights left this summer where it is practical to sit outside and write.

It is very much in my nature to be outside whatever the weather; waterproof Gazebos and sheltered fire pits are my friends. However even I won’t sit and shiver my way through writing a blog post in the very coldest and darkest of days. 

I relish the crackling of the fires, the lights adorning houses and gardens, the celebrations of All Hallows Eve, Bonfire Night and Yule.  My dark goddesses come into their own and remind me in furtive whispers of the lessons they have taught me and make their promises that they will  continue to walk with me just as I promise to continue honouring them.

But let’s leave these tales of darkness here for now; we will continue talking about this in my upcoming Mabon blog post.  For now, we turn our attention to our beautiful lady of the sky in all of her bright and full glory. & @joncarraherart

The ceaseless and unforgiving spin of the wheel is the reason our September full moon is either named The Full Corn Moon or The Harvest Moon.  The Harvest Moon falls in September two in every three years, and is always the full moon closest to the Autumnal Equinox.  This year, in 2020, it is the full moon on 1st October which is closest to the Autumnal Equinox, making our September Full Moon the Full Corn Moon instead of the Harvest Moon. This happens every third year.

This year the Autumnal Equinox falls on 22nd September at 14.30 in the UK.

Our ancient ancestors tracked their time and seasons using the night sky; both the stars and the moon, and they named the monthly full moons to guide them through the practical activities they relied upon, such the dawning of the time of year to harvest their crops, and on what they saw in the natural world around them (for example the Sturgeon Moon or the Buck Moon are named after significant activities of these animals at particular points in the year).

This is the time of year to harvest and fill up on stores to last through the harsh winter months. Our ancestors saw more brutal and unforgiving winters than we do. They did not have the home luxuries that we have such as central heating to keep them warm and safe against the frosts. They did no have shops to provide them with all of their needs. Instead communities relied upon not only successful harvests of grains, fruits and vegetables to last them many months, but on gathering wood for fires and straw for roofs. The coming of the Corn Moon (or Harvest Moon) was an important marker, a vital indicator of this notch on the spinning wheel.

Harvesting apples is a practice as old as the memories of witches. Beautiful image by @fraukruber

And whilst the coming days and months are filled with preparations for winter, it is also delightfully true that the days leading to winter are days for the warmth of flames, cosy blankets and heart warming tales; these are my favourite times of the year.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the changing seasons and find joy in the Spring and Summer, walking with the May Queen and Oak King along their path of virility to their place of slumber, however the darker days are my domain.

Civilisations across the globe have had many names for the full moons, and, through the ages, the name The Full Corn Moon has been generally accepted as the name for this particular September Moon, with alternatives being The Barley Moon, the Fruit Moon and the Honey Moon. The name comes to us from wise tribes of Native Americans, who recognised many moos ago that this was the time of year to begin thinking about harvesting the crops, bringing in the grains, and making stores for the colder months ahead.  This year our Full Corn Moon is the last full moon of the summer, a reminder to us that colder days are close on our tails.

This image by @garlandsandgravestones depict this full moon perfectly. Visit them at

As we journey into the coming annual darkness we find ourselves with more time to reflect and to complete the thoughts of where we want our path to lead us though the next few months and of the things we would like to bring into our lives. These many faceted thoughts that come to us in fragments through the excitements and adventures of the long summer days never seem to feel fully formed.  The Full Corn Moon is the perfect time to sit with these thoughts and allow them to complete their transformation into plans and goals. 

During the Full Corn Moon, when you’re sitting with these thoughts, focus on your emotions, on healing your body and mind, on bringing balance into your life. These are the areas that will reap the most benefit from soaking in the moonbeams, whether real if you’re outside or metaphorical if you’re inside, of the homely and generous Full Corn Moon.

This Full Corn Moon with help you to see those around you and inside of yourself clearly. Stunning image by @syri_water &

Don’t forget that all full moons are of course magical times to recharge healing crystals, to make moon water, to cast spells and set manifestations for abundance and healing. Just remember that it is during the Full Corn Moon, when the focus of the natural cycles of our Mother Earth is to harvest, to store, to bring into life and home the things needed to survive the coming winter, that that your wishes and intentions for abundance are in perfect symmetry with the flow of the year and are particularly strong.

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.