The Sunflower At the height of summer, fields and roads are lined with rows of sunflowers blooming. Their radiant yellows and oranges burst through the landscape bringing cheer and brightness into our hearts. These amazing flowers reach two to eight feet in height as their rays, another word for their petals, stretch towards the sun.
Harkening back to the ancient crone deities that maintain the thread of mortal life, weaving and braiding have been important aspects within magickal craft and ritual. Often overlooked in favor of herbs, crystals, or candle work, adding braiding or weaving to one’s spellbook can diversify one’s magickal knowledge. Both the creation and use of braids can be for ritual or spell work, from the moment one starts braiding to the braid’s use in a separate spell. From Penelope with her meditative weaving and destruction of Laertes’ burial shroud as she waited for Odyssius, to the modern practitioner braiding a basket to hold items on their altar, braids are a central piece of magickal work. The repetitive motion works best at an even pace and lends itself well to rituals and spell work. The modern practitioner is not just limited to yarns for their projects as many different materials can be used. If it is flexible enough that it can be bent quite a bit without breaking, then it can be used for magickal weaving and braiding
In February, the wheel of the year turns once again to Imbolc. Imbolc is a celebration taken from the roots of the ancient Celtic fire festivals and marking the return of the maiden for Wiccans. This Sabbat for Wiccans is time to give thanks for the ever-increasing daylight. The goddess is in her form as the maiden, and the god is coming into his strength and power through puberty. The heat and warmth of the sun from the growing light germinates seeds deep within the earth’s soil, awakening them to sprout forth shoots of new life. In many places, the Crocus flowers have sprung forth and broken through the frozen ground. New life is stirring just underneath the surface of the cold and dark winter. Nature’s rhythms pulse once again from the light of the sun ready to emerge in the coming months.
Since ancient times, humans have watched the earth revolve around the sun. Since the dawn of time, we have traversed this path and watched in awe as the sun has ebbed and flowed throughout the seasons. The longest night of the year is the winter solstice — the pivotal day when the sun shifts and begins to journey back towards the earth. Ancient and modern people honor the sun’s return at the midwinter by celebrating and rejoicing in its return. Warmer days are ahead, and the earth will soon begin to awake as the animals come out of hibernation, and tiny seedlings sprout once again. As the warmth increases, animals will become abundant and lush plant life will cover the ground.
You may think that bylaws are reserved just for not-for-profits and corporations, but covens can benefit from creating their own bylaws. A bylaw is a rule or law established by a group to regulate itself. It provides structure and a deeper understanding of how the group interacts not only with one another but with the community as a whole. Developing coven bylaws ensures that every witch currently in your coven or potential candidates understand how the group operates.