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Beltane honours Life. It represents the peak of Spring and the beginning of Summer. Earth energies are at their strongest and most active. All of life is bursting with potent fertility and at this point in the Wheel of the Year, the potential becomes conception. On May Eve the sexuality of life and the earth is at its peak. Abundant fertility, on all levels, is the central theme. The Maiden goddess has reached her fullness. She is the manifestation of growth and renewal, Flora, the Goddess of Spring, the May Queen, the May Bride. The Young Oak King, as Jack-In-The-Green, as the Green Man, falls in love with her and wins her hand. The union is consummated and the May Queen becomes pregnant. Together the May Queen and the May King are symbols of the Sacred Marriage (or Heiros Gamos), the union of Earth and Sky, and this union has merrily been re-enacted by humans throughout the centuries. For this is the night of the Greenwood Marriage. It is about sexuality and sensuality, passion, vitality and joy. And about conception. A brilliant moment in the Wheel of the Year to bring ideas, hopes and dreams into action. And have some fun…..
Traditions of Beltane
Beltane is a Fire Festival. The word ‘Beltane’ originates from the Celtic God ‘Bel’, meaning ‘the bright one’ and the Gaelic word ‘teine’ meaning fire. Together they make ‘Bright Fire’, or ‘Goodly Fire’ and traditionally bonfires were lit to honour the Sun and encourage the support of Bel and the Sun’s light to nurture the emerging future harvest and protect the community. Bel had to be won over through human effort. Traditionally all fires in the community were put out and a special fire was kindled for Beltane. “This was the Tein-eigen, the need fire. People jumped the fire to purify, cleanse and to bring fertility. Couples jumped the fire together to pledge themselves to each other. Cattle and other animals were driven through the smoke as a protection from disease and to bring fertility. At the end of the evening, the villagers would take some of the Teineigen to start their fires anew.” (From Sacred Celebrations by Glennie Kindred) Green Man – Beltane
Our present lives are formed by all who came before us. We are in-formed by them, whether conscious or not. In PaGaian Samhain ceremony as it has been done traditionally, participants are invited to remember the ancestors in this way: Let us remember our ancestors, those who have gone before, whose lives have been harvested, […]
There are threads of gold in the compost, if one has the vision for it. And we may take the golden thread, exclaim the strongest natural fibre known – our creative selves, our imaginations – for the building of a new world made sacred, of our conceiving: yet beyond our knowings, across the vast Darkness between […]
By Patti WigingtonUpdated April 25, 2019
The Book of Shadows, or BOS, is used to store information you’ll need in your magical tradition, whatever it may be. Many Pagans feel a BOS should be handwritten, but as technology progresses, some use their computer to store information as well. Don’t let anyone tell you there’s only one way to make your BOS, because you should use what works best for you.
Bear in mind that a BOS is considered a sacred tool, which means it is an item of power that should be consecrated with all of your other magical tools. In many traditions, it is believed you should copy spells and rituals into your BOS by hand; this not only transfers energy to the writer, but it also helps you to memorize the contents. Make sure you write legibly enough that you’ll be able to read your notes during a ritual.
To make your Book of Shadows, begin with a blank notebook. A popular method is to use a three-ring binder so items can be added and rearranged as needed. If you use this style of BOS, you can use sheet protectors as well, which is great for preventing candle wax and other ritual drippings from getting on the pages. Whatever you select, your title page should include your name. Make it fancy or simple, depending on your preference, but remember that the BOS is a magical object and should be treated accordingly. Many witches simply write, “The Book of Shadows of [your name]” on the front page.
What format should you use? Some witches are known to create elaborate Books of Shadows in secret, magical alphabets. Unless you’re fluent enough in one of these systems that you can read it without having to check notes or a chart, stick with your native language. While a spell looks beautiful written out in flowing Elvish script or Klingon lettering, the fact is that it’s just hard to read unless you’re an Elf or a Klingon.
The biggest dilemma with any Book of Shadows is how to keep it organized. You can use tabbed dividers, create an index at the back, or if you’re really super-organized, a table of contents in the front. As you study and learn more, you’ll have more information to include, which is why the three-ring binder is such a practical idea. Some people choose instead to use a simple bound notebook, and just add to the back of it as they discover new items.
If you find a rite, spell or piece of information somewhere else, be sure to note down the source. It will help you keep things straight in the future, and you’ll start to recognize patterns in authors’ works. You may also want to add a section that includes books you’ve read, as well as what you thought of them. This way, when you get a chance to share information with others, you’ll remember what you’ve read.
Keep in mind that as our technology is constantly changing, the way we use it does too. There are plenty of people who keep their BOS completely digitally on a flash drive, their laptop, or even stored virtually to be accessed by their favorite mobile device. A BOS pulled up on a smartphone is no less valid than one copied by hand in ink onto parchment.
You may want to use one notebook for information copied from books or downloaded off the Internet, and another for original creations. Regardless, find the method that works best for you, and take good care of your Book of Shadows. After all, it’s a sacred object and should be treated accordingly.
When it comes to the contents of your personal BOS, there are a few sections that are nearly universally included.
READ MORE HERE: https://www.learnreligions.com/make-a-book-of-shadows-2562826
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