Tag Archives: chants

Midsummer Flower Boat

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Making a Midsummer flower boat is a fun and memorable way to commemorate the Summer Solstice, that kids especially love. For your paper boat, you can use any kind of paper. Why not use something you were going to throw into the recycle bin anyway? Newspaper or what we call “good on one side paper” is fine. A rectangular shape works best.

paper boat instructions

1. Fold paper in half with the fold at the top.

2. Fold the top two corners down to meet in the center.

3. Fold one layer of the bottom strip of paper up.

4. Flip over and fold the back bottom strip of paper up to be even with the front. (Right now you have a hat!)

5. Open it up, turn it on it’s side, and press down flat.

6. Fold bottom point up to meet the top point.

7. Turn over and do the same to the back.

8. Open, turn on it’s side, and flatten again.

9. Open up into a boat!

Decorate the boat and dip the top of the sail and side ends in oil. Fill it with flowers (and prayer slips, if you like). Set it in a stream and light it on fire at the top and sides. Watch it sail it off, blazing like the summer sun, to carry your prayers and wishes to the realm of gods and spirits.

Green is Gold.
Fire is Wet.
Future’s Told.
Dragon’s Met.

Midsummer Flower BoatFor more Summer Solstice fun, see Kids’ Activities for Midsummer / Summer Solstice.

Stovetop Hearth Rites

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Quite a few years ago I came across the idea of having a hearth goddess shrine in the kitchen. I think it was in a book about house magic. The shrine it described was to the Greek hearth goddess Hestia. I liked the idea but didn’t see at the time how I would implement it and I didn’t feel a strong connection to Hestia. I saw a variation on the theme in an article I’ve mentioned before; “Takin’ It All Home” by Kami Landy. I suppose the idea incubated in the back of my mind for a bit, but then it finally occurred to me what form my kitchen shrine would take and the ritual actions that would form around it.

Though I think of her as much more than a hearth goddess, Bríd, as goddess of fire, is my obvious choice of deity to honor at a kitchen shrine. I would decide on a symbol or image to use for her and where to put it. It would need to be small, and something I could place away from splattering oil and steam, but still be right in front of me when I went to cook. I decided against having a lamp or candle to light every time I set out to cook. It would be an extra step that I know I wouldn’t keep doing. I felt that just the imagery should be enough and some simple brief actions surrounding it.

It would be one small object (home-made, of course) to focus on and remind me of Bríd. I’ve collected Pagan and Celtic coloring pages for years, so I searched through my collection to find something I could color in and decoupage. I found a Bríd’s cross superimposed over a sun. I really like the imagery though in the future when this one is worn out, I might go with a depiction of the goddess instead.

So this is how I made it… I cut out three circles from a pizza box lid and glued them together to create a strong disk. I taped the cut edges with small tears of masking tape then painted the entire disk black with craft paint. After this dried, I glued on the picture with a thin layer of white glue and let it dry, then put on a couple layers of Modge Podge. Then I painted the image with craft paints. Originally I was going to put this on the wall above the stove, squeezed in between my spices and cooking utensils. But then it occurred to me that I could stick a magnet strip on the back and place it on the stove’s hood. So that is what I did. It keeps it safer from steam and splatters and easier to reach. I slide it further up onto the stove hood when not being used for my cooking blessing, so it won’t get knocked down.

And this is how I use it in ritual… when I’m about to start cooking, I say a short blessing and rub a pinch of the dry ingredients I’m using in my cooking  (usually salt, spices) around the edge of the image as offering. That’s all there is to it. Not hard to keep up a ritual such as that. The brief words of my cooking blessing was inspired from a couple of Bríd prayers I learned years ago:

~~~
“Gentle red-cheeked Bríd
Of flame and honeycomb,
Bless this cooking, bless this home.”
~~~

My Imbolc Playlist

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1. Dante’s Prayer – Loreena Mckennitt

2. Way to the Well – Ruth Barrett

3. The Wild Song – Anuna

4. Hallaig – Martyn Bennett

5. Shepherd Moons – Enya

6. Holy Water, Sacred Flame – Anne Hill

7. Candlemas Song (Bergita) – Lisa Thiel

8. Return to the Mother – Reclaiming and Friends

9. Born of Water – Lindie Lila

10. Shining Water – Anuna

11. The Quickening – Spiral Dance

12. The Hymn to Bridget – Isaac Bonewits Memorial

13. Song to Brighid – Lisa Thiel

14. Brighid – Kellianna

15. Eiri Na Greine – Anuna

16. Imbolc – Lisa Thiel

17. Welcome Brid – Beverly Frederick

18. The Dove’s Return – Aine Minogue

19. Gabhain Molta Bhride – Claire Roche

20. Deeper Well – Wailin’ Jennys

21. Brighid’s Kiss – La Lugh

Imbolc Playlist - Ozark Pagan Mamma

Some Imbolc Chants/Songs

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The following are some songs that I have used for Imbolc rituals.  It is hard to find sound samples for many of these.  The first one, “Way to the Well”, I’ve only heard sung by friends and I don’t know if its available on a CD or MP3.  The song “Bergita, Goddess of the Flame” is from a mixed tape someone gave me a long time ago and I don’t know who sings it.  Bergita is the Swedish name for Bríde, I think.  “Queen of Fire” is an oldie that I have on cassette but to my knowledge was never released on CD.

“Way to the Well” (Words by Starhawk and Rose May Dance, Music adpt. from a S. African Freedom Song.)
We Will Never, Never Lose Our Way To The Well Of Her Memory
And The Power– Of Her Living Flame It Will Rise, It Will Rise Again.(x2)
Like The Grasses, Through The Dark, Through The Soil,
To The Sunlight — We Shall Rise Again. We Are Thirsting — For The Waters Of Life,
We Are Moving — We Shall Live Again. (x2)

“Born of Water” (from “Chants: Ritual Music” by Reclaiming & Friends)
Born of water, cleansing, powerful, healing, changing, we are.

“Return to the Mother” (from “Chants: Ritual Music” by Reclaiming & Friends)
(spoken: All over the world, the waters are breaking. Everywhere, everywhere, the waters are breaking.)
And so return, return return, return to the Mother.

“Holy Water, Sacred Flame” (from “Circle Round & Sing” by Anne Hill)
Holy Water, Sacred Flame, Brighid, we invoke your name.
Bless my hands, my head, my heart, source of healing, song, and art.

“Welcome Brid” (from “Through the Darkness” Reclaiming Chants performed by Beverly Frederick)
Welcome Brid. Oh Brid is come. Brid is welcome.

“Bergita, Goddess of the Flame”
Bergita, Bergita, Priestess of the Flame Bergita, Bergita,
Goddess of the Flame Awaken the flame within my being
Awaken the sacred flame within by being.

“Every Breath is Sacred” (from “Through the Darkness” Reclaiming Chants performed by Beverly Frederick)
We turn the wheel to welcome Her- Every breath is sacred.
Opening we welcome Her- Every breath is sacred.
As we walk this ancient path- Every breath is sacred.
We are stronger than we know- Every breath is sacred.

“Queen of Fire” (from “Mysteries of Earth” by Jennifer Reif)
Her Sacred Flame and Her Holy Fire, Light of Brigit, Light and Power,
Mother of Flame and Queen of Fire, Bring us Your Light and Your Healing Power.
Bring us Your Light and Your Healing Power.
Mother of the Land and Mountain, Mother of the Shining Fountain,
Mother of the Waters that heal me, Mother of the Love that frees me.
Great the night all dancing and singing.
Great the love that the goddess is bringing.
Each beloved, the Sacred Center.
In the fiery circle, the Goddess does enter.
Heart of love has burst with wonder,
Great this love both above and under.
The Starry Sky reclaims Her Voice and the Regal Earth lives to rejoice.
The Starry Sky reclaims Her Voice and the Regal Earth lives to rejoice.
Her Sacred Flame and Her Holy Fire, Light of Brigit, Light and Power,
Mother of Flame and Queen of Fire, Bring us Your Light and Your Healing Power.
Bring us Your Light and Your Healing Power.

*UPDATE: I have found soundclips or entire MP3’s for some of these songs that I previously couldn’t find:

Way to the Well by Ruth Barrett (soundclip)

Born of Water (sung by Lindie Lila)

Holy Water, Sacred Flame (soundclip)

(I also found out that Lisa Thiel sung “Bergita”, but i couldn’t find a clip for it.)

See “My Imbolc Playlist” for links to more Imbolc songs.

Samhain Songs and Chants

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My Samhain “play list”:
Let It Begin Now,
Set Sail,
Opening the Gates, and
No End to the Circle,  all from  “Let it Begin Now” by Reclaiming & Friends
Blood of the Ancients, and
Calling on the Spirits, both from “Canticles of Light” by Charlie Murphy & Jami Sieber
When We Are Gone, and
Hecate, Cerridwen, both from “Second Chants” by Reclaiming & Friends,
Samhain Revels from “A Dream Whose Time is Coming” by Assembly of the Sacred Wheel, and
Breaths performed by a local group called Harmonia
~~~
If you happen to come across the recording “Mother Earth We Sing to You” by Squirrel, you will find a treasure trove of Pagan holiday songs for kids.  As far as I can tell the recording is out of print.  But it has this cute little song that appears to be designed to teach kids that there is meaning behind the costumes they choose for Halloween/Samhain:

“Spirit Come to Me” by Squirrel
Chorus:
Spirits fly ooo-ooo, on Sahmain night ooo-ooo.
You call them through your costume
So choose one carefully, choose one carefully, ooo-ooo ooo-ooo
I’m trick or treating as a princess with a crown of gold,
Gown of white against the night, a beauty to behold.
A princess is the Goddess, young and strong and free.
Sacred little maiden princess, spirit come to me.  ooo-ooo ooo-ooo
Chorus
I’m trick or treating as a reindeer- brown fur coat so fine,
Antlered head, a nose so red, the first in Santa’s line.
A reindeer is the symbol of creature energy.
Horned God full of power, reindeer spirit come to me.  ooo-ooo ooo-ooo
Chorus
I’m trick or treating as a witch, a black robe in the cold-
Broomstick tall, and crystal ball, a pentacle of gold.
A witch pulls up the power of earth, air, fire, and sea,
Ancient earthly healer witch’s spirit come to me.  ooo-ooo ooo-ooo

More Autumn Equinox Activities for Kids

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leaf stained glass
Lay down several layers of newspaper on a flat surface.  On a large sheet of wax paper, let you child arrange pressed leaves in a design or pattern.  Place another sheet of wax paper over this.  Iron the layers together with an iron set on low.  Trim the edges and hang in a window.

Here’s three rhyming games for younger kids:
Autumn
Autumn winds begin to blow (blow)
Colored leaves fall fast and slow (make fast and slow motions with hands)
Twirling, whirling around in mirth(twirl around)
‘Til at last, they touch our Mother Earth (touch ground)

This is the Way We
This is the way we rake the leaves rake the leaves, rake the leaves
This is the way we rake the leaves in the middle of Autumn.
This is the way we jump on the leaves, jump on the leaves, jump on the leaves
This is the way we jump on the leaves in the middle of Autumn.
This is the way we throw the leaves Throw the leaves, throw the leaves
This is the way we throw the leaves in the middle of Autumn.
This is the way we rake the leaves rake the leaves, rake the leaves
This is the way we rake the leaves in the middle of autumn.

Leaves
Little leaves fall gently down
Red and yellow, orange and brown. (flutter hands like leaves falling)
Whirling, whirling around and around. (turn around)
Quietly, without a sound. (put finger to lips)
Falling softly to the ground (begin to fall slowly)
Down and down and down and down. (lie on ground)

~~~

apple crafts
The first weekend of October is apple festival time in Lincoln, Arkansas!  Though apples are usually in season for us here by Autumn Equinox, apple crafts are great for either an Autumn Equinox or Samhain activity.
Apple prints- cut open an apple horizontally to reveal the star pattern made by the seeds.  This can be dipped in paint and used as an art stamp.  Dried apple garlands/wreaths- slice apples ¼ inch wide, soak in 1 cup of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon salt for 2 hours.  Dry on a cookie rack in a 200 degree oven for 2 or three hours.  Let cool.  Poke a hole in the edge of each to string onto ribbon to make a garland, or glue onto a cardboard circle to make a wreath.  You could even try making apple dolls with the instructions at appledolls.org.

Cornhusk Shuttlecock Games
To play this game, you will need a pokean- a shuttlecock made of corn husks and feathers.  Gather together a few corn husks, some twine, and three large feathers.  Lay two large husks on a flat surface in the shape of a sun cross.  Fold a third husk into a square and place it in the center of the cross.  Fold the ends of the husks up over the center and tie with the twine.  Stick the ends of the feathers into the top of the pokean.  One simple way to play is to see who can toss the pokean into the air the most times in a row with the palm of the hand.  More games and an illustration on the pokean can be found on the nativetech website.

Here are some nice picture books about the Autumn Equinox and harvest celebrations around the world.  (I found them at my local library.)
We Gather Together by Wendy Pfeffer
The Autumn Equinox by Ellen Jackson

Another fun little thing is this autumn kaleidoscope.

See my previous Autumn Equinox activites page for more.

More Autumn Equinox Activities for Kids - Ozark Pagan Mamma

Ozark Moon Customs

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In Ozark lore there is the belief that if you see the moon ‘clear of brush’ for the first time in that moon cycle, you should kiss your hand 3 times and you will receive money before the moon changes phases.  Perhaps this is a remnant of a widespread ancient Pagan moon ritual, because  the Bible forbids “kissing one’s hand to the moon” (Job 31:26-27) and there probably wouldn‘t be a prohibition against it if it wasn‘t a Pagan custom. 

Another Ozark belief is that a woman who happens to get her first glimpse of the new moon clear of brush is lucky.  To see the new moon through the leafy branches of a tree is bad luck for the entire month.  Clearly, this is a remnant of Pagan tradition- the importance of the moon was preserved in this folk belief so that the custom of greeting the moon without obstacle could be carried on.
There is also a bit of Ozark lore concerning the moon and silver coins- when you first glimpse the waxing crescent moon, turn over a coin in your pocket for good luck.  Also, touch a silver coin, or wear silver coin jewelry while looking at the moon, for prosperity.  I think this may also be a clue to the earlier moon rites of pagan times. 

These customs are like ‘mini rituals’, but can also be combined and elaborated on to form a more fleshed-out moon ceremony.  These customs could be combined with folkways from an older ancestry, like song prayers from by the Carmina Gadelica, for example.   Or this song, inspired by the Carmina Gadelica, by Lisa Thiel:

“Jewel of the Night”

Hail to thee o Jewel of the Night- Hail to thee o Lady of the Heavens
Hail to thee o Jewel of the Night- Hail to thee o Queen of the Stars
Hail to thee o Jewel of the Night- Hail to thee o Mother of the Worlds
Hail to thee.

O thou fair Moon of the Heavens
O thou luminous lamp of grace
She who made thee created me likewise
Thou Queen-maiden of loveliness.
O thou Queen-maiden of virtue
Thou Queen-maiden of radiance
Thou glorious jewel that shines through the ages
Though glorious jewel that shines through all.