What’s New at Moody Moons?

Check out the latest handmade items from Moody Moons.  Click on the picture to go to the product page for a full description.

Get ready for Beltane!

Hand-rolled in herbs, flowers and oils chosen for their sacredness to the holiday of Beltane, this gorgeous pair of ritual candles makes an elegant edition to any Beltane altar or spring ritual.


Also available, Moody Moons signature Beltane incense is back in stock.

 

 

 

Introducing Moody Moons goddess line.

Gorgeous drop earrings with goddess pendants!  Perfect to wear for ritual, festivals, or every day adornment.

Fresh from the workshop!  Goddess candles.


And for all you early planners, Moody Moons already has Litha/Summer Solstice items in stock.  Get yours before they are gone.  Pre-order now and forget about it!

Summer Solstice Incense

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10 Ways to Celebrate Litha

10 ways to celebrate Litha

Make a batch of sun cakes.  If you’re a kitchen-y witch, celebrate this Sabbat by baking!  Sun cakes are perfect for the “cakes and ale” portion of a Litha ritual if you celebrate with a coven, or you can use them for offering.

Make herbal candle rings with your fresh herbs.   For the green witch:  with your herb garden in full swing, it’s time to make some creative use of it.

Try cloud scrying.   Find a warm, grassy spot and look up to see what messages the sky might have for you.

Go on an extended nature walk Pack a picnic or scout out a local natural swimming hole and dive fully into the Mother’s splendor.

Plan a camping trip.  If you’re feeling adventurous, pack up some gear and spend a night under the stars.

Attend a summer festival.  Litha is the week for pagan festivals.  Find one.  Attend it.  You’ll have a blast, I promise.

Go wildflower hunting.   Identify and harvest some wildflowers to use in your summer spell work.  Press them in your Book of Shadows if you have one.

Leave an offering of honey cakes outside.  Preferably somewhere away from your house, as they will attract insects and even wildlife.  Litha is said to be one of the two times of year when the “Veil Between Worlds” is the thinnest (the other being Samhain.)  According to legend, the fairies and forest spirits are especially active on the night of the summer solstice, and honey is favorite treat.

Speaking of honey, visit a honey farm!  If you’re not allergic to bees (or deathly afraid of them!) this is a nice activity.  Be sure to stock up while you’re there.

Read A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  Or better yet, go see a local production of it.  Full of traditional pagan folklore, Shakespeare’s classic comedy is one of my favorites and a common production for local theater companies this time of year.

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Litha at Moody Moons

Order now to cover all your Litha needs!

Click on the picture to view the product page.

Interested in Sun Magick?   This is the perfect time of year to try it and lucky for you, Moody Moons carries a gorgeous sun ritual kit.

sun magick altar kit

Check out Moody Moon’s Midsummer Oil, hand-blended with 100% organic essential oils and steeped in an olive oil base with Litha in mind.

midsummer oil

Long associated with the mythical world of woodland faeries, the Summer Solstice is said to be a time when delightful, mischievous spirits come out to play.

fairy incense

fairy charm

It’s also a great time to work with dreams and meditation.

dream salve

dream pillow

That’s all for now!  Get ready for the longest day of the year and plan your ritual in style.

 

Summer Pagan Festivals: What to Bring (& What NOT to Bring)

Whether you’re packing for a day trip, or a hopping a plane across the world, there are few ways to connect with your global pagan community than to participate in a summer festival.

To get you started on your journey, I’ve assembled a list of things to consider taking with you.  Welcome to: Packing Tips for Your Pagan Summer Festival

We’re assuming here that you have the basics of travel packing down. Hopefully, you haven’t reached this crossroads in life without knowing you need underwear, a toothbrush, clothing and your inhaler.

But there are a few things specific to pagan events that are nice to have along.

Here are six things to bring, and six to leave at home (or at least in the car!)

What to bring.

Tarot Cards. Even if you don’t read them fluently, at least 100 other people will. Tarot cards are a great way to get to know people, start conversations and generally break the ice.

A paper journal or Book of Shadows. Rediscover the lost art of handwritten journal entries.  Press flowers in them, take notes at workshops, draw whatever inspires you and write down spells and recipes you learn in your time there.

A lantern. The soft light of a lantern at night really warms up any outdoor space, encourages others to gather around you, and sets a lovely mood for spontaneous discussions.

A good bottle of red wine (and a corkscrew!). Here’s one heavier item that’s worth the weight! If you’re traveling from a far away land, bring something local from your home region to share during cakes and ale. Some people like to bring liquor because it’s less bulk, but I’m not a fan of the hard stuff. Red wine is usually served at room temp anyway, so there’s no need to keep it on ice, and you can drink it straight from the bottle like a hobo in a pinch. You will thank me for this.

A sturdy basket. I always bring a basket to carry around my random daytime stuff. You can use a backpack, but the baskets are so much more charming! Just make sure it’s high quality enough to withstand a beating. If you don’t have a good one, odds are there will be at least one artisan basket maker there, so treat yourself to a nice one.

A few of your most used tools. You can’t pack the whole sacred playground. Choose tools that are light, versatile and easy to carry.

Tea candles. Candles are infinitely useful at festivals or any pagan event. Our kind just can’t seem to function without them. But pillars and jar candles are bulky. Tea candles are lightweight. You can bring 50 without much trouble at all.

pagan packing tips

What NOT to bring.

Your smartphone and/or tablet. Just . . . leave it. If you really, absolutely must get online for some reason, someone else will have something you can borrow. You’re here to connect with nature. In our modern world, part of this is disconnecting from the internet. The experience of this alone is its own kind of vision quest. Be present.

Excessive makeup, jewelry and other fluffery. I’m not saying you can’t get all dolled up for the nightly bonfires. But you’ll appreciate the lighter load if you can at least pair down your usual repertoire. A good rule of thumb is to take half your usual cosmetics and toiletries. Simplify, simplify, simplify. Or, try the challenge of bringing only natural personal care items like essential oils, handmade soap and sea salt scrub.

More than one book. Trust me. You won’t read them. One is more than enough, and you probably won’t read that one, either. It’s just extra weight.

Your dieting rules. With all the walking and the physical activity, you’ll really appreciate why our ancestors didn’t have to watch their weight.

Your vice. Pick something. Anything. Then aim to go without it. Kind of like a mini New Year’s resolution.  It’s easier to give up almost anything with the change of scenery and all the other over-stimulation.

Your personal limitations. Take the opportunity to challenge yourself. Go to workshops about things way outside your comfort zone.

Better yet, teach one.

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Celebrate Litha: A Trip to the Lavender Fields

I thought it might be nice to complete our herb and wildflower theme this week by sharing with you our trip to the lavender farm.

Litha at the Lavender Fields

Those of you who have been around for a while know I’m a big fan of taking advantage of local farms. Earlier this year, I went with some friends to pick tulips for Beltane, and last year, we did sunflowers for Lammas.

It’s a wonderful way to stay connected to your community, learn about local plant species, pay homage to the cycling of the seasons and support independent farmers.

Summer Solstice

That said, I have a confession:  I did not actually need any lavender.

I have three of my own lavender plants, which are all thriving and should yield more than enough lavender for the coming year.

Litha Lavender

But it’s pretty hard to have too much of the stuff.  And the good folks at the flower farms are always full of helpful tips for cultivating beautiful flowers.  Not only do they know their specialty plants, they know specifically which varieties grow best in your region, what pests to watch out for and can answer your questions with the experience and knowledge of people who’ve been doing it professionally for years. Besides, the scenery alone was worth the drive.

Midsummer Outing

Plus, the gift shop was a tremendous inspiration for lavender crafting.  Who this lovely little plant was so versatile?  Check out some ideas for how to get the most of your bundles.  Lavender goes way beyond sachets for the drawer!

-Candle makers can make a simple, elegant, lightly scented pillar by adding handful of lavender petals to a white pillar.

-Lavender is edible.  There are loads of recipes for cookies, cakes and icing that include lavender.

-Make smudge sticks from lavender.  No, seriously, they smell amazing, and you can keep them all year.

-Lavender can be brewed into tea.  Have it by itself, or mix it with chamomile and mint for a light, dreaming blend.

Add lavender to a muslin bag and drop it in your bathwater for a soothing bedtime ritual. Enjoy!

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Litha Craft Project

I promised to show you some ideas for your herbs, and this is one of my favorites!  Whether you are planning an elaborate Midsummer ritual, or a simple solitary one, these make a nice addition to the altar.  You can use them as wreaths, but I like them as candle rings, too.

Herb Rings for Candles

Summer Solstice Craft Project

Pick an herb you have a lot of and don’t know what to do with.  This works with almost any green herb, but you can use lavender and roses, too.

This year, for me, I have way more thyme than I need.

You will only need a few simple tools for this project.  It’s easy enough that I think a 10-year-old or up would enjoy it.  But I’m like, waaaay older than 10 and I had fun!

Gather:
-an embroidery hoop (or small wreath base)
-your chosen herb(s)
-scissors
-thread

Forgive the poor lighting conditions in these.  I was working at night.

Getting Creative on Litha

Simply gather the thyme in small bundles and bind it in sections around the wreath by winding the thread around the hoop and the herbs.  Chose a green colored thread so it doesn’t show too much.

Craft with Fresh Herbs

You can add ribbon or whatever you want to embellish it, but I like the simple elegance of the plain ones.  These are also nice to save for the Yule altar later in the year, particularly if you use an evergreen like rosemary or cedar.  Of course, the fresh herb will dry up and shrink, but it should still look cool if you let it dry in the open air so it doesn’t mold.

IMG_8082

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Celebrate Midsummer: A Walk in the Wildflowers

Welcome to Herb and Flower Week at Moody Moons!

Now that the longer daylight hours begin to turn our focus away from the home and into the outdoors, I’m going to spend the next few posts talking about how to take advantage of the weather to expand your magical practice.

We will pay special attention in the coming week to flowers and herbs, their uses and how to seize the season to its full advantage.

First things first.  If you haven’t yet, go flower picking!  And take the dog.  The dog really, really wants to go with you.  Lets explore:

Witchcraft with Wildflowers

We are lucky to live near some beautiful natural scenery, so I packed my dog, my flower picking basket, a pair of scissors and a camera, and off we went.

I tried to pick fairly common wildflowers that you shouldn’t have any trouble finding and are not generally protected as rare or endangered.  In fact, for farmers and gardeners, these flowers are mostly pests—ask first, but people are usually pretty happy to let you take as much as you want.  These flowers are in season all over the US right now, so get out there and get some for yourself.

Here’s what we found.

If any of these are misidentified, speak up, but I think this is all pretty accurate.

Field Thistle, or Common Thistle.  This lovely purple bloom is beautiful but poisonous, so handle with care!  You can use it in reversing spells, spell breaking, for protection or grow it in the garden to drive away dark spirits from the home.  It’s super spiky, so wear gloves if you’re going to pick it.  It’s easy to find in wastelands, along highways and in open fields.

Witchcraft with Common Thistle

Viper’s Bugloss, or Devil’s Weed.  Also sometimes called snakeflower, this pretty (but prickly!) wildflower can be used to work with serpent energies, the Kundalini, or snake rituals.  Incorporated into sun festivals or placed in mojo bags for protection.  For the (experienced!) herbalist, this flower can be made into an alcohol tincture to treat bug bites topically.

Magick with Viper's Bugloss

Black Eyed Susan.  Incorporate into court case spells, use to loosen emotional blockages, work with gentle spirits, place on the altar as a symbol of solar energy, and to lift depression.  The roots and the juice from the roots are used for medicinal purposes, including for the treatment of earaches, cold and sinus infections, and to boost the immune system.

Wiccan Uses for Black Eyed Susan

Queen Anne’s Lace.  With such a regal name, one might expect an equally elegant set of uses.  I like to call this one Lady Night.  Adorn your moon altar with these to encourage “brightened” lunar energy, work into fertility spells, lust spells and passion magic.

The Magick of Queen Anne's Lace
Daisies.  If you’re planning a Midsummer ritual, gather some of these on the morning of.   They make beautiful flower crowns and altar decorations, as a goddess offering, in love spells and in hand fasting ceremonies to bless marriage.

Love Spells with Daisies

And whatever else you find on your journeys, here’s a handy link for identifying wildflower species.  It has served me well:

Wildflower Identification Tool

A note on bees: 
This is an easy way to celebrate Litha, and everyone should go wildflower picking at least once.  Your only excuse not to is severe allergies.   Particularly if you allergic to bee stings, this may not be the best activity.  But if you’re not, or you’re comfortable being near them with an epi pen, here’s a tip:  Wear muted clothing.  Bright colors look like flowers and attract bees.  And let the bees be!  Even if one lands on you, it probably won’t sting you unless you freak out and start flailing your arms and legs about like a crazed maniac.  Chill out.  Don’t panic.  Most bees have no more interest in you than you do them.  Look!  I got this close to one with a wide angle lens, and he sooooo didn’t care.

bee on lavender

Sources:

Herbal Riot

Nefaeria

Wiccan Together

My Wildflowers

Witchipedia

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