Birthday Witchcraft

Today, the 28th of October is my birthday! So I thought this was the perfect time to share with you all some magical things to do for your birtday. Here are some ideas to add a little bit of witchcraft to your already magical day.

Candle Magic: Light a (birthday) candle, make a wish, blow it out. Simple, yet effective. Traditional birtday magic!

Glamour Magic: Choose your clothes and make up in such a way that they make you feel empowered, happy and confident. Choose happy colours and patterns, draw sigils with your foundation, or wear jewellery enchanted to make this a happy day.

Food Blessing: Get a cookie/cupcake/cake/donut and bless it with happiness and love for the coming year. Think about your flavours: which do I associate with happiness, or love? Will it be a confetti cake, or is a white chocolate and rosewater cupcake better? You could also draw sigils, runes or bindrunes in the icing or frosting for added oomph.

Hot Drink Blessing: get your favourite flavor of coffee/tea/hot chocolate and charge it with warmth and self love. Stir the drink clockwise while concentrating on what you wish to imbue your potion with. Add edible glitter or shimmer (like luster dust) to make it even more magical!

Dance it Out: Have a little party (even just by yourself) and get rid of those things that no longer serve you. Put on some fitting music and think of the things you wish to let go of. Match your music to your intent: releasing anger? Headbang it out to some heavy metal. Releasing lethargy? Jump and bounce to some high-energy pop music. Releasing loneliness? Put on some Bohemean Rhapsody and sing along at the top of your lungs. Do it with friends or do it alone, but know that someone, somewhere, is belting right along with you.

Make a Toast: Make a toast to the year that has gone by. List the highlights for yourself. What are you proud of? What happened that made you laugh the loudest, that made you dance with joy or cry with happiness. Make a toast to the wonderful things that happened the last year.

Kitchen Magic: Cook your favourite food. Think about why it is your favourite? What memories or feelings does it draw up within you? Then think of ways you can enhance that with magic, for example by drawing symbols into piecrust or adding spices with intent.

Practice Divination: Do a tarot or oracle spread to reflect on the past year and see how it rings true. Do a spread for the coming year as well, then next year you can reflect on how accurate it was!

Give Yourself a Gift: Buy or make yourself something pretty. It is your birthday after all and gifts are part of that. Is there something that you’ve wanted but kept finding excuses not to buy it? Now is the time!
Make yourself a gift for next year! Make a little box filled with happy thoughts, herbs, poetry, crystals and all else you want to surprise yourself with next year. Tell future you how proud you are of them. Then next year, either burn or bury them and begin anew!

A Gift for Someone Else: Perhaps you’re not really one for gifts. That’s okay! Perhaps you’d like to give to someone else on your day. Make a donation to a charity that is important to you. Volunteer. Pick up trash in the local park. Share your sparkly tea and confetti cake with your neighbour. Share the love.

Make Plans: Make some plans for the coming year. Is there something you want to study? Break it into steps and write it down. Some practice you want to dive deeper into? Do the same.

Express Gratitude: Thank your ancestors for being here. Their loves and lives made it possible for you to be born. What better day to thank them than on your birthday? Remember that they are proud of you.
Thank your deities for the same thing and for the love and guidance they have shown on the way. (If you honour deities of course)

Practice Self Care: This is your day after all. Take good care of yourself. Protect your boundaries. Surround yourself with people and things that will make you happy. Don’t feel like having certain people over? Don’t! Or at least reschedule to a different day. Birthday celebrations can be stressful and hectic, make sure you use this day to take care of you.

Pamper yourself!: Take a luxuriously long, hot shower. Dress in soft and comfortable clothes. Make only your favourite foods and drinks all day (or order in!). Have a mini spa day. Meditate. Snuggle with your cat and watch something wholesome. Be gentle with yourself. Be kind to yourself. You deserve it.

I hope these ideas have inspired you to make your birthday a bit more magical! What do you do to incorporate some witchcraft into your celebrations?

Samha’in Pentacle Spread

Samha’in is, for me, a time to reflect. For some of us it is the witches’ new year, and while I don’t really believe this, I will do an oracle reading every year. I reflect on the reading of the year past and draw new cards for the year to come. In 2017 I made a reading based on the pentagram, and I’d like to share this with you all today!

  1. Me – my year: a general card for how the new year will be for you, especially for your inner world.
  2. Spirit – my spiritual path for the new year: what will happen spiritually? What will I need to focus on and what will I need to change?
  3. Fire – love in the new year: not necessarily romantic love, but relationships in general. What will happen when it comes to love and relationships?
  4. Air – learning and study in the new year: what are areas of knowledge I will need to focus on in the coming year? What will I need to learn?
  5. Water – what needs to be cleansed?: what is it that I need to let go of? What is toxic and/or no longer serving me? What do I need to stop doing or need to cut out of my life?
  6. Earth – career and work in the new year: what will happen career-wise? What do I need to focus on and what needs work when it comes to my working life?

So there it is! I hope it might serve you well at this particular and special Samha’in that we have this year. If you do use it, I’d love to hear about your experiences.

Sigil for honouring the ancestors

Samha’in is creeping ever closer (like autumn fog!) so I thought it would be a nice time to share with you a sigil I made a few years ago. This was made for a ritual me and my coven sisters did in honour of Samha’in, where we honoured our loved ones who had passed through the Veil. The sentence to make the sigil was therefore “Beloved Dead, we honour you.

We drew them on glass candleholders and made spellcandles by adding herbs and crystals to it. What I used was:

🍁 Rosemary – remembrance
🍁 Marjoram – brings spiritual bliss to the souls of the departed, personal connection (my name means marjoram)
🍁 Apple – offering, nourishes the souls of the dead
🍁 Thyme – re-establishes communion with those who have past
🍁 Heather oil – invites the spirits to visit
🍁 Willow oil – sacred to the Gods of the Otherworld
🍁 Marjoram oil – see above
🍁 Calcite – closest in consistency to bone, connects with ancestors
🍁 Hematite – blood, the ancestral bloodline
🍁 Obsidian – connections to spirits, seeing into other realms
🍁 Red, White and Black candle wax for the connection through blood (red), bone (white) and spirit (black)

It was a very powerful candle and ritual that year, so I’m bringing it back and making a new candle this year. There are many who I wish to honour.

(the sigil and candle were first shared on my Tumblr)

Fall fun and a Spoonie blessing

In my post about the Autumn Equinox I showed the lovely card that my friend Chantal made me to celebrate the start of Fall (both our favourite season!) Of course she inspired me, and I just had to make one for her as well. A week or so late, but luckily Fall can be celebrated for a while yet!

I made this lovely box for her. It folds up into a square card that fits into an envelope, and when you take it out it bounces back into it’s box form. It was my first time using it and I am absolutely in love! The possibilities are really endless.

For her it is also the start of a big home renovation, with a new living room and kitchen. It’s a stressful few weeks, so I wanted to add something both as a bit of a pick-me-up, and as something for the new kitchen. They collect fridge magnets, and are planning to install a metal plate in the kitchen to display their lovely collection. So why not make a magnet?

Inspired by this lovely plaque by Caralee Wells. She unfortunately doesn’t ship to the Netherlands, so I had to make something myself. My friend loves coffee, so I wanted to add a bit of patterned paper, as well as using distress oxide to age my paper from white to brown. Of course I am a witch, so I actually worked my blessing into the magnet, so that she always may have enough spoons!

She loved it, for which I am grateful. Also, it was the first time in a long time that I made cards again, which was just a lot of fun and inspiring.

Gender in Witchcraft, pt. 2

In my last post I dove (or well, dipped my toes) into the history of gender in witchcraft, to see where our thoughts and visions on gender come from. When I was thinking and journaling about gender and witchcraft came the question: does it matter? Does it matter in our magic whether we focus on gender?

For witchcraft and paganism in general I would say yes and no. Yes because we are a path that stands up for the marginalized, and being yourself and being true to yourself is something we value a lot. To know yourself, to truly and fully know who you are as a person, can hold great power. Exploring gender and what this means to you can be a (big) part of that. It can also reveal shadows; suppressed parts of ourselves that often have to do with trauma or pain, that we often have to work through. Standing in your own power with confidence and pride can spring powerful magic. Acknowledging and owning your truths can be super empowering!
So therefore I do think it’s important for women (and I mean all women) to have a space where they can be themselves without the pressure of what society expects from them. A space to talk about the things that concern us, as women. The problems that we run in to and the worries and sorrows that we have. To find the strength and power of being a woman without the weight of the patriarchy on our shoulders.
I also think it’s important that men (and I mean all men) have a space where they can be themselves without the pressure of what society expects from them. A space to talk about the things they run into, in this society that portrays them as “the bad guy”. To explore a version of masculinity that isn’t toxic. A place to connect to others in an emotional and deep, meaningful way. To form a brotherhood that is not about being a warrior and being aggressive, but instead is gentle and soft in the same way we feminists see our sisterhood. That is what I wish for them.
And for all of us who fall outside of that binary, I wish the same thing. A space to explore what gender means, what falling outside of the norm entails and the troubles that we face because of that. To explore how that influences spirituality, connection, life in general. To find power and strength in being who we are, openly.
So yes, it can be very important to focus on gender, even (or perhaps especially) in spirituality.

Photo by Anna Shvets through Pexels

However, there is another side of this coin. Discrimination is, unfortunately, also found in our community and has been there since the very beginning. Gardner was a misogynist and a homophobe. He created a “sacred” rite which hinged on him, and other High Priests, to have sexual intercourse with young women. Gay and lesbian people were not allowed into Wiccan covens for many years under the guise of the Wiccan Laws.
In 2011 on PantheaCon a group of Dianic Wiccans refused entrance to Transwomen who wished to participate in a women’s only ritual, stating that only women born with a womb were allowed to enter. Budapest, the founder of Dianic Wicca, came out with a statement which was, frankly, hurtful and outrageous. Claiming that “transies” (her word, not mine) were just men trying to encroach on women’s spaces again. This incident, which was in no way the first, sparked a lot of (trans)people speaking out against gender discrimination in our traditions.
Then there are those who take the “divine feminine” and “divine masculine” so far that it becomes toxic. An example of this is the phenomenon of the “twin flame”. Like many spiritual beliefs, it has been ripped out of context and is now to many an idea where every woman, a.k.a. the Divine Feminine, has a perfect soulmate somewhere out there, their man, a.k.a. the Divine Masculine. They claim it is our divine duty as women to heal men, so they can step into their power as true divine masculine. With lovely ripped-out-of-context poetry like: “If you want to change the world, love a man; really love him” and “Because you have a womb, a sweet, deep gateway to wash and renew old wounds.” That last one is because we (supposedly) should see the “ancestral burden” of all the confused, angry warrior-men who came before him and we, as women, can heal that with the magical power of our wombs. Right.
The idea that “feminine” means that you have to heal others, that you have to be “of service” to those in need (not just men), that you have to use your “divine gifts” of gentleness, and patience, and true love to better the world is extremely toxic! Just like the idea that all men (yes, all men, apparently) are these wounded little boys stuck in a violent rampage of fear and ancestral aggression is. Does that sound healthy to you?
Then there are the women’s movements who believe, like the Dianics mentioned above, that you can only truly connect with the inner feminine goddess if you have a womb. After all, life is created from the womb, it is the source of all living things (or so they believe). So if you don’t have one, either because you weren’t born biologically female or because of medical procedures like a hysterectomy, because of, say, cancer, you aren’t a woman (anymore). And some take it even further. Since life comes from the womb, you are only truly a woman if you’ve given birth. So anyone who can’t, for whatever reason, or anyone who doesn’t want children, is no longer a woman. Which is of course insane, hurtful and extremely toxic.
Also, I don’t know about you, but I find it extremely offensive to be reduced to a single body part. The only value I have, according to some of these feminist fringe “goddess” movements, is a womb. And sometimes a vagina. Aren’t we always accusing men of reducing us to that? Now we’re doing it to ourselves as well, but it’s in the name of spirituality so it’s okay? Hell no! I am more than a womb. You are more than a womb, or a penis, or boobs, or a vagina. We’re people! Our body parts don’t define us.

Photo by Ava Sol on Unsplash

Does it matter in our magic whether we focus on gender? No, because gender is something earthly, something of our societal world, and witchcraft is from the fringes, from outside polite society. We work in the liminal, in the in-between. In both the realm of spirit and the mundane. We work in the shadows. With a lot of our workings, we go beyond the physical.
I spoke about the Gods in my first post. There are a lot of Gods who are shapeshifters, some of whom can also change between genders: Zeus, Loki, Dionysus. There are also Gods who are neither man nor woman, or a combination of both: Hermaphroditus, Hapi, the Christian God. There are Gods who were known to have both a male and female form: Fosta, Aphrodite, Shiva. There are Gods who could upon request change the sex of mortals: Inanna, Isis. In myth gender is a very fluid thing. Sometimes it matters a lot, usually in stories about humiliation or love, but mostly it doesn’t matter at all. We, as pagans and sometimes as witches, take a lot of inspiration from our Gods. We see (part of) ourselves reflected in what they stand for, or in their stories. So if for them gender is something fluid, something that could change one way or another, or glide along something of a spectrum, then why would ours be one or the other? If we work with them in our space, in our world between worlds, then wouldn’t we then also be granted  to be something else? To rise above the expectations that modern society holds for us? Not to mention the many cultures whose shamans, spirit helpers, guides, witch doctors, clergy and magical practitioners were not man ór woman.
To become rigid in your magical focus, on any subject, is to limit yourself. It’s important to keep an open mind. To keep yourself acceptive of change, or you’ll grow stagnant. This is true for any part of witchcraft and paganism, so also with gender. It’s okay, and perhaps sometimes good, to focus on what it means to you. But don’t let this focus limit yourself and your magic.

Up next: let’s get personal!

Expanding my daily practice

For most of my pagan life I’ve struggled with building a consistent spiritual practice. The thing that I struggled with most was that “wanting” would quickly turn to “having to”, and all of the guilt and uneasy feelings that came with it. So last year I decided to do one tiny thing: I would end my day at my altar. That’s it. And if I didn’t have the time or the energy or the spoons, that was okay. What I do at my altar has changed over time, but mostly consists of lighting a few candles and connecting with my deities. Simple, short, but meaningful.

Lately I’ve been feeling called to expand on my daily practice. I was unsure how, but through a series of videos and posts I came up with something that, so far, works for me. First I watched a video by Dawn Michelle of Boho Tarot about her daily tarot practice. Her day is just filled with cards! I knew that was too much for me, but I do have all these lovely decks that I would love to use more often. So something simple and not too deep. One card draw, interpret the card intuitively and reflect on how and if it had an influence on my day.

Secondly, Eris Elizabeth’s video talked about her journey towards a daily practice, and what did and did not work for her. She goes to her altars in the morning, grounds, lights a candle, and then drinks her tea outdoors. A similar small yet effective practice like I had in the evenings. Now, I’m a morning person, but I’m not one to get up super early. Yet like this: grounding, altar and go, it wouldn’t take up a whole lot of precious morning time. So that was something else to think about.

Lastly I came upon a post on Tumblr (and I really need to start saving those things somewhere) which talked about the idea to make a book, inspired by Death Note, but then the complete opposite. Where in Death Note whenever the main character writes a name in his magical book, that person dies, this idea was an opposite, where the person whose name was written down got a blessing for their day. I loved this idea! Now, how to implement this?

I have a confession to make. I love looking at bullet journals, but I hate maintaining one. I tried, I really did, but I hated having to set time apart to work weeks or months ahead, and it added to my pile of “to do” things that I then also had to write down. They gave me anxiety, I wish I was kidding. However, the idea of a small journal or planner for my daily practice like this was perfect. I could write down my daily draw, write down those names to get an extra boost for the day, as well as write down what I am grateful for. The last bit was already part of my evening practice, but usually I simply list in my head the things I did, saw or received that I am grateful for. I thought about buying a planner, and simply using the ready made pages (like Alysa Marie of the Great Lakes Witch shows here beautifully). However, I had this gorgeous A6 bullet journal from the dollar store that I did nothing with. It would be a bit more work, but I would be able to make the pages exactly as I wanted them to.

Now how to make the daily “blessing”. I had the idea of making a sigil, that I could draw in a lighter colour and then write the names on top. So what did I want to give these people for their day? Joy, love and (more or rising) energy. Then I needed a symbol that signified the time allotment: a day. After brainstorming this is the end result!

So now my daily practice consists of both a morning and an evening routine. In the morning I go to my altar, ground and spent a moment just breathing. Then I either set up my daily page in the bujo if I haven’t done that the night before, or fill in my left page. I draw a card and interpret it. I’ve been working with a deck that I’ve had for the longest time (I think it was the second deck I’ve ever bought) but hadn’t touched in years. The Fey Tarot! It is such a nice, colourful and wholesome deck to start my day with, and it’s a “hug deck” as Dawn Michelle would say. I then write the names of those who I wish to give an extra boost today over my sigil. Besides people I know and love personally, I will also write down others, like people hurt in the BLM protests, or people on the forum who’ve asked to be sent energy.

In the evening I still light my candles and pray to my deities. I now reflect on the card I have drawn and make a few notes about it. Next is writing down the things I am grateful for. I have an extra section “notes” to make short extra notes in, like: new moon ritual, mabon, or: received new oracle deck!

So far it really works for me. I have the “luxury” of still being stuck at home due to illness, so I have the time to get used to the new routine. We’ll see how it survives when everything goes back to normal, but I’m confident I will work something out!

Drawing myself

I’ve been on a self love journey for over a year now. One of the parts I am focussing on is learning to love my body. When I was younger I’ve been bullied because of my weight. When I became older I was still often judged for it. It came to the point where I wouldn’t wear the clothes that I loved anymore (vintage ’50s dresses) out of fear of being too fat or too old. I got over that, but there was still a lot of work to do about accepting my body. Accepting myself as I am.

I came across a wonderful artist Sara Tisdale (Sergle Art) who has soft and wonderful art of full figured women. Adorable and gently coloured, just very cozy looking. And I fell in love with her style and with the ladies that she shares. So this inspired me to make a self portrait of sorts. Drawing myself as I am, full figured, wearing the clothing that I love, in a soft and loving way.

As I made this drawing I focussed on that feeling of self acceptance and -love. I truly went about it as if it was a ritual for myself. Art magic!

After I finished this self portrait I made another one, this time nude, which was a very confronting and intense magical working. She will become part of a self love altar that I am planning to set up. My work around self love and -acceptance is not done yet, but I am loving the progress I am making.

Gender in Witchcraft, pt. 1

Last year I read a post (which I can’t find anymore) about devotional tips to Frigg. The writer wrote a note at the top of the post stating that they would be referring to Frigg as “They”, since the Gods don’t adhere to our human binary of “male” and “female”. It was such a simple sentence, but it was such an impactful thing for me. I’d never thought of it that way. But to me, it made perfect sense. So I accepted it, and then never looked any deeper into it. Never thought further about what that would mean for me, or my craft.

That changed earlier this year. I was feeling a call to deepen the relation I have with the deities I am devoted to. Which led to me researching and redefining my bond with whom I then still called Horned One. As I wrote in an earlier post, I still very much saw Him as an archetype of the divine masculine. The God to complement the Goddess, which was a paradigm left over from my earlier wiccan-adjacent roots. It didn’t mesh with my earlier found beliefs that Gods are outside of our human gender structures. I couldn’t wrap my hear around it. Which meant one thing: research.

Because why does everything in western witchcraft practices have to adhere to a binary gender system? Why do we have a “divine feminine” and a “divine masculine” when it comes to our inner worlds? And further than that, why does seemingly everything in western witchcraft need to be gendered? Open any book on modern witchcraft and you’ll see gender assigned to everything. To the elements, to the days of the week, to crystals, to herbs, to planets, to runes, everything has a gender or gendered “energy” attached to it. I’ve found, especially in witchcraft and paganism, that when we want to figure out “why?” we need to ask: “where does it come from?”

It seems to start with the Greek philosopher Empedocles. He is the one who gave us the four elements that make up all matter: earth, air, fire and water. The elements are a big part of modern witchcraft, especially the wiccan traditions, or the traditions which have their roots in wicca. We call upon the elements to protect us when we cast a circle. We use the elements to bless and consecrate items. Just to name a few. Empedocles not only posited that all matter was made up out of these four elements, but he also linked them to the Gods Zeus, Hera, Nestis (Persephone) and Aidoneus (Hades). So we have two elements tied to a God, and two to a Goddess. This is where the belief that the elements are either “feminine” or “masculine” probably originates. It’s not a strange thought that this could have easily been stretched: if the elements are “feminine” or “masculine”, and things like crystals or herbs are associated with the elements, then they are also “feminine” or “masculine”.

Of course the influence of monotheistic religions can not be ignored. Our western society gets a lot of its views from Christianity. In the Christian bible God created Adam and Eve, one man and one woman. A strong binary where there is no room for deviation. It is also seen as an ideal to strive towards: a husband and wife, standing in the light of God, who together can create new life. This monotheistic view has been part of our western culture for millennia, which has influenced a lot of scholars, philosophers, artist, etc. Which in turn influences the information that we have access to now. Everything we know about our ancestors is written later, often by Christian scholars or even monks, who wrote from their (gender-binary and patriarchal) worldview.

Then of course we have the beginnings of our contemporary witchcraft: wicca and Gerald Gardner. In the wiccan faith a God and a Goddess are worshipped. Some believe them to be source of all life, others believe they are facets or avatars of a bigger force (Spirit, the All, etc.). The Triple Goddess stands for the phases of a woman’s life: the maiden, the mother and the crone. She also embodies the “feminine energies” such as nurturing, giving, sensual, loving, and wise. The Horned God is the masculine aspects, such as providing, protecting, strengthening, sexual, and also wise.
Covens are led by a High Priest (HP) and a High Priestess (HPs), where in Gardner’s days they took part in a ritual called “the Hieros Gamos” or “the Great Rite”, where the HP and HPs engaged in sexual intercourse to raise power, or as part of an initiation rite. Because, as our tradition’s wiccan inspired ritual states:  “where the masculine and feminine are joined, spirit is born.” Nowadays this is mostly done symbolically with a chalice and an athame, luckily, since Gardner is known to have “asked” High Priestesses to step aside when they were no longer young and beautiful in his eyes, which… ew.
The God and Goddess also complete a life cycle in the Wheel of the Year. The God impregnates the Goddess, after which he travels to the underworld and is born again from Her womb. Because of this, life will begin anew and nature will grow once more. Heterosexual procreation and that bond between man and woman is very important in the wiccan faith. The duality of male and female; and together they create life, is very ingrained into our modern, contemporary paganism because of this.

Then, we need to talk about Jung. In the first big wiccan revival in the ‘70s many prominent witches, like Janet and Steward Farrar, stepped back a bit from the ideas that the Gods were indeed outside of us, but instead incorporated Jungian philosophy into their faith. The Gods are then archetypes living deep in our subconsciousness, which we contact through prayer, spells and ritual. In that first revival this was a pretty common view of the world, which in turn, influenced a lot of books that were written in that time.
One of Jung’s theories is about the Anima and the Animus. Jung stated that, much like the yin-yang symbol, every woman had a bit of masculinity in her unconscious, called the Animus. And that the man had a bit of femininity in his unconscious, called the Anima. If the Animus or Anima was not recognized properly, it could have negative repercussions for the person in question. That part of the subconscious would then dictate the way the person would react in certain situations. For example, a woman acting in a way we would normally “expect” (back then) from a man, so through means of violence and aggression. So an integration, a joining from both the feminine and the masculine inside us is needed to become whole and to become a complete, spiritual being (sounds familiar, no?)

Last but not least, we have feminism. Contemporary witchcraft and paganism gained a lot of popularity in those same ‘70s, as well as the ‘60s, by being more Goddess oriented. Many of us, even now, come from the monotheistic religions which heavily centre on the divine masculine, without giving a female counterpart in that. Many of those religions are also often oppressive and discriminatory when it comes to the treatment of women. For many women witchcraft and paganism gives therefore a sense of freedom and equality not experienced before.
Witchcraft is also the craft of the marginalized, protects those who aren’t in a position to protect themselves and are an enormous source of empowerment for many.
With the arrival of Dianic wicca, a branch of wicca focussed solely on the Goddess, the Goddess movement within wicca and later witchcraft grew. Many were drawn to a path that celebrated women, and all that this entailed. This meant that the “divine feminine” became more and more important. The womb being the source of all creative power in the universe. The yoni being something not to be ashamed of, but instead something to be proud of and to take pride in. (I will talk about my views on all of this in a later post) An emphasis on sisterhood and the sacred bond we all share through the ancient mothers.

I believe all of this influenced and shaped the way we see gender when it comes to witchcraft and paganism. This all contributed in gender having the heavy influence that we see now. So now we know where it comes from… now what? Well, join me next time as I try to figure that out.

A misty autumn equinox

Mabon or the autumn equinox usually isn’t really my festival. Which is weird, because I adore fall and everything that has to do with it, but I never really connected. Wow is this year different!
The weekend before the equinox is usually reserved for the Nehalennia festival here in Zeeland. A day filled with workshops and ritual. This year, because of the pandemic, this is one of the things that is, unfortunately but understandably, cancelled. So I wanted to do something in my own way. Last weekend that was a picnic at the water front, a picnic in the park, and making devotional ritual oils for my deities. And then today, the autumn equinox itself.

Since I had the day off and I wanted to take that day for myself, the plan was to sleep in. However, since my partner had to work early and I am a morning person, sleeping in meant seven o’clock in the morning. *sigh* Then partner came back into the bedroom saying the world had dissapeared, and indeed, there was so much mist, we couldn’t even see the parked cars. I thought to myself “man, I would love to take a walk in this.” Then I remembered that I had the day off and no-one was stopping me! So I made breakfast and took it to the tiny park in front of our house!

After breakfast and meandering for a while I even found that the park was a bit bigger than I thought it was, and I discovered this amazing tunnel of hazels. Beautiful. I also discovered that we have walnut trees, and I ate a freshly foraged walnut for the first time in my life!

By then the sun had risen more and the mist was slowly fading, creating this beautiful light in the trees. In Dutch we call this a Zonneharp, which means Sun-harp.
Back home I took a nice, cleansing shower and had lunch with a bowl of delicious, harvest-y pumpkin and carrot soup. I’d had the plan to do a ritual indoors, but the weather was so nice, I decided to instead grab my witchy journal and head back outside.

I journaled about what I am harvesting this year, and what I would like to “seed” for next year’s harvest. For the first time I also drew oracle cards in public, not really caring what others thought of me (growth!). I made contact with the land spirits and foraged some sweet chestnuts which I am hoping to turn into a rune set! I also ate my first freshly harvested blackberry ever. It was also delicious.
Another nice surprise was waiting for me when I came home, a home-made card by my lovely friend Chantal, to wish me a happy fall!

I adore it, and it was such a nice suprise on this already surprising Mabon day! And as such, a festival that I normally don’t really recognize, just became an entire day of witchiness and festivities. Next year, I’ll know better and hopefully have another amazing autumn equinox.