Monday, 8 April 2013

Spring Equinox 2013

Spring Equinox celebrates the renewed life of the Earth that comes with the Spring. It is a solar festival, celebrated when the length of the day and the night are equal (this happens twice a year, at Spring and Autumn Equinox).

The spring equinox is a  time to mark the coming of Spring and the fertility of the land. By watching agricultural changes -- such as the ground becoming warmer, and the emergence of plants from the ground

Fun things to do with children, there are loads of fun things to do with eggs! we are lucky to have pet chickens! so we are abundant in the egg department. Eggs are symbolic at this time of year to celebrate the new beginnings of the greening of the earth!

Dyeing eggs are great fun to do with children (and adults!)

We had great fun, we visited a community farm (lawrence weston community farm) that was running a free event in their woods dyeing free range eggs!
It was brilliant and we had a fab time......the fire was needed due to the freezing weather and falling snow (spring is trying,iam sure)

Turmeric eggs on the stove, carrot tops and spinach, beetroot and red onion skins.

And a huge basket of eggs! chicken,duck and quail.....

you can make patterns on the eggs with white crayons before dyeing or tying elastic bands around the eggs before dyeing.

This is what we did at home.......

we used amongst other things beetroot and turmeric.......

we then put our decorated eggs into a basket that little one decorated, we added gifts, which included a colouring page of the goddess ostara (easily found on google images,along with other ostara colouring pages). We put the basket outside for the goddess ostara and her hares.........

and look what the goddess changed them into by morning!

When the weather warms up , and seeds and shoots are protected by the frost!

A nice thing to do is plant some seeds, children are often fascinated by the seedlings growing.

Last year we planted some seeds in egg shells, these can be planted directly into the earth as the egg shells contain nutrients for the seeds.

using anything that's in season or egg orientated! chocolate nests are always fun to do

anything egg or spring orientated, spring pictures, paper daffodils, egg shaped garlands

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Imbolc 2013

Spring is coming.....

It can feel hard to believe, the weather is harsh, after recent snowfall and frost,the ground is solid,the Sky's are dark sometimes without colour.
The bitter wind still pulls at your coats,creating pink noses and cheeks!
Dark nights,dark early mornings.......and yet the earth has began to stir,all underneath within its cosy dark blanket, the earth has begun to wake.

Small shoots begin to show through the ground,the first signs of spring starts to rear her head.....

We found these amazing snowdrops during a walk we organised with our group Bristol pagan parents
wrap up warm, grab some snacks and head out to see if you can find the first signs of spring, we used some printable downloads by nature detectives,the woodland trust. we had fun trying to find the first signs of spring and having a "spotter sheet" made it more fun for the children to find the clues. we also used "colour bingo" so the children could see how many colours they could find in nature! This one was suprising!

As the weather still has its bitter chill its important to remember the animals outside, we often have our bird feeders outside and is lovely to watch the birds come and go! (educational too)
We wanted to add to our bird feeders, so we recycled a cardboard tube from a toilet roll ! smeared it with peanut butter (very messy) and rolled it in some bird food (also very messy) .We then simply stuck it onto a branch and waited to see how many visitors we would get!


Thursday, 3 January 2013

Winter Solstice

The Pagan celebration of Winter Solstice (also known as Yule) is one of the oldest winter celebrations in the world.
Ancient people were hunters and spent most of their time outdoors. The seasons and weather played a very important part in their lives. Because of this many ancient people had a great reverence for, and even worshipped the sun. The Norsemen of Northern Europe saw the sun as a wheel that changed the seasons. It was from the word for this wheel, houl, that the word yule is thought to have come. At mid-winter the Norsemen lit bonfires, told stories and drank sweet ale.
The ancient Romans also held a festival to celebrate the rebirth of the year. Saturnalia ran for seven days from the 17th of December. It was a time when the ordinary rules were turned upside down. Men dressed as women and masters dressed as servants. The festival also involved decorating houses with greenery, lighting candles, holding processions and giving presents.
The Winter Solstice falls on the shortest day of the year (21st December) and was celebrated in Britain long before the arrival of Christianity. The Druids (Celtic priests) would cut the mistletoe that grew on the oak tree and give it as a blessing. Oaks were seen as sacred and the winter fruit of the mistletoe was a symbol of life in the dark winter months.
It was also the Druids who began the tradition of the yule log. The Celts thought that the sun stood still for twelve days in the middle of winter and during this time a log was lit to conquer the darkness, banish evil spirits and bring luck for the coming year.

The rain, it seems has not ceased, the dark is upon us, entertaining children at this time can be challenging at times........and yet we celebrate the sun, the light and the start of the first stirrings of the earth!
the point of mid winter, the darkest yet! the longest night......sees rise to the will take a few more days yet to notice or even longer.

midwinter is often frantic, busy time with Christmas in between to organise (as most people still celebrate this too, we have two celebrations! ). Taking time out just for solstice day to celebrate the return of the light, to get back to nature with a family can be very rewarding, almost brings you back down to earth away from the commercialism that is now Christmas, to remember what it is all really about , connecting with loved ones.

The simplest things are the best, and if the rain doesn't cease! a puddle walk? to search out those new buds just appearing in the earth and on the trees, to look for the mistletoe in the trees.

Activities on walks can entertain children (and test our knowledge!, its one thing identifying trees when there are leaves.....). Tree identifying from the bark and twigs is great fun. The woodland trust have free downloads to help.

Rising with the sun, we lit candles to coincide with the rising sun and went outside to greet the sun and welcome him back. This can also be done in reverse, lighting candles in the evening to celebrate the longest night, either can be experienced depending on your preference.

younger children like making salt doh, we made suns and stars and painted them accordingly, these were hung on the tree afterwards, but could just as easily hung in the window.

We decorated mini cakes with icing pens, we drew on suns and lit a candle in the middle to represent the sun, making a wish at the same time.

The yule log! the yule log was originally oak and had been saved from the previous winter solstice, it was big and would take days to burn.

If you are able to burn a log than this can be a lovely experience, ribbons can be wrapped around it, simple wishes pinned to it, pictures....
maybe something that is no longer required from you, something holding you back, wishes for the coming seasons.

make sun catchers to celebrate the return of the light, these can be v simple. using "sticky back plastic" (book covering)....children love dropping glitter,confetti,sequins anything you can think of, place the other side of the sticky back plastic together with some clear thread in the middle....and hang in the window to catch the light.

other ideas; eat a special meal ( we have two "Christmas dinners!") , eat the meal by candlelight (small people taken into consideration)

or make some lovely lanterns..........

more ideas and links,especially if you have older children

the very traditional candle crown!

Throw a party! we held our annual solstice party, which was children and adult friendly, we exchanged gifts, ate shared food and generally had a good time!

Stories and books

Tuesday, 11 September 2012


Autumn Equinox (also known as Mabon or Harvest Home) is celebrated when day and night are of equal duration before the descent into increasing darkness and is the final festival of the season of harvest.

In nature, the activity of the summer months slows down to the hibernation for the winter. For many Pagans, now is time to reflect on the past season.

It is also a time to recognise that the balance of the year has changed, the wheel has turned and summer is now over.

Astrologers will recognise this as the date the sun enters the sign of Libra - the Scales of Balance.

Now is the time to gather! in our ancestors time this would have been a very busy period. Gathering what can be from the hedgerows and storing it and making it into jams,chutneys and medicines for the winter.

Following on from the Elderflower collecting at summer solstice, myself and little one collected the elderberries to make into jam and syrup and the blackberries to also make into jam.

Again another brilliant opportunity to to identify plants and understand how flowers turn into berries! not to mention just getting outside!

Amazing craft opportunities arise when the leaves start to fall!

Collect the leaves and place between books to flatten, place in between some sticky back plastic (clear book covering) don't forget to place the clear thread inside also. When the leaves are inside the clear plastic  cut around the leaf shapes and hang onto a twig to make a pretty mobile.
You could also throw in some leaf and tree identifying into the mix!

The above is one of my friends rather creative blogs!! The above picture is one of her and her families creations. The concept is similar to how you do paper mache.


Smudge stick making! grab your herbs,we chose sage,rosemary and thyme........if your stuck for herbs in the garden or you dont have a garden/window box,then supermarkets do them allready in bunches!!
wrap your herbs together and hang to dry. This is another good way of getting children exploring with their hands and nose and identifying the herbs they are using! These smell amazing whilst drying too.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Summer solstice!

Solstice, or Litha means a stopping or standing still of the sun. It is the longest day of the year and the time when the sun is at its maximum elevation.
As the sun spirals its longest dance,
Cleanse us
As nature shows bounty and fertility
Bless us
Let all things live with loving intent
And to fulfil their truest destiny
Wiccan blessing for Summer
This date has had spiritual significance for thousands of years as humans have been amazed by the great power of the sun. The Celts celebrated with bonfires that would add to the sun's energy, Christians placed the feast of St John the Baptist towards the end of June and it is also the festival of Li, the Chinese Goddess of light.
Like other religious groups, Pagans are in awe of the incredible strength of the sun and the divine powers that create life. For Pagans this spoke in the Wheel of the Year is a significant point. The Goddess took over the earth from the horned God at the beginning of spring and she is now at the height of her power and fertility. For some Pagans the Summer Solstice marks the marriage of the God and Goddess and see their union as the force that creates the harvest's fruits.
This is a time to celebrate growth and life but for Pagans, who see balance in the world and are deeply aware of the ongoing shifting of the seasons it is also time to acknowledge that the sun will now begin to decline once more towards winter.

Summer Solstice at Stonehenge

Revellers typically gather at Stonehenge, the ancient stone circle in Wiltshire, to see the sun rise. The Heel Stone and Slaughter Stone, set outside the main circle, align with the rising sun.

The time to celebrate the sun in all its beauty and power, as its also the longest day, the daylight hours will slowly decrease about a min a day until we reach winter solstice (the shortest day).

Now the weather is good (we hope) its even more of an excuse to celebrate outdoors and to learn and enjoy outdoor crafts.

Gathering the elderflower!

We have been outside gathering the elderflower heads to make into cordial (and champagne!). This is such a good way to celebrate with children, it enables them to use their skills at identifying the correct plants and those around them (our child is 3 and she did this with ease). Its a great way to see nature, go for a walk and be able to install a understanding of where and what can be used for food and drink. Also a great way to use maths at a basic level.

We used this recipe, it was amazingly simple,quick and easy! you will be hooked and amazed if you try it.

one for the adults!

Fruit picking
again another fantastic way to celebrate solstice is to go fruit picking, there are loads of places around to go and do this and of course the "fruits of your labour" can be made into many recipes/cakes and jams. If you make jam, these of course may be used for presents for Lammas!
Sun catchers
These can be made very simply. you can cut out the shapes you wish, and use coloured tissue paper on them so the sun can shine through. Another method, is to use sticky back plastic, sprinkle what you want on them and then stick the other side down. Tricky sticky, but worth it. Paper mache also looks great as a sun catcher, or pretty bowls etc.

Grow sunflowers!
Always a hit! such pride watching these grow.
Watch the sunrise
If your brave enough to welcome the sun. If you don't want to travel to a big stone circle, may research your area? are there any places of interest? small circles/old stones/ round barrows.....or just a special place to you, the garden maybe.
maybe camp out (even in your garden! ) this will always be great fun to small people, and watch the sun come up. Sunrise is early during the summer months however!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012


Ritual burning of a straw man
Beltane is a Celtic word which means 'fires of Bel' (Bel was a Celtic deity). It is a fire festival that celebrates of the coming of summer and the fertility of the coming year.
Celtic festivals often tied in with the needs of the community. In spring time, at the beginning of the farming calendar, everybody would be hoping for a fruitful year for their families and fields.
Beltane rituals would often include courting: for example, young men and women collecting blossoms in the woods and lighting fires in the evening. These rituals would often lead to matches and marriages, either immediately in the coming summer or autumn.
Other festivities involved fire which was thought to cleanse, purify and increase fertility. Cattle were often passed between two fires and the properties of the flame and the smoke were seen to ensure the fertility of the herd..
Fire is still the most important element of most Beltane celebrations and there are many traditions associated with it. It is seen to have purifying qualities which cleanse and revitalise. People leap over the Beltane fire to bring good fortune, fertility (of mind, body and spirit) and happiness through the coming year.


I love Beltane, its one of my favourite festivals. (its my birthday festival,so even more reason to celebrate!)
I love the earth emerging from spring, the greenery, everything flowering! and that's what its about the fertility of the land. There is usually a lot to do within communities that can be celebrated with children.
 There are carnivals and "may queen" parades, flower festivals country fairs. Its all happening now summer is emerging!
we went to see "jack in the green" Jack is a mischievous  figure who is led throughout our home town to celebrate the coming of summer. if you are brave enough you can do the whole route, we did the start and the end! (with a little sleep inbetween!).
The children are able to remove the foliage at the end from jack, and there is music too which is great!

Green man masks

decorate paper plates (with eye holes cut out) with leaves. Either use string for either side to make a mask or some ribbon to hang it on.

Tissue paper flowers

using as many colours as you like make flowers out of tissue paper. fold layers in a concertina fold and secure in the centre with green pipe cleaners. Add some leaves to add effect. Either decorate the house or attach to some string as a garland.

If your great at DIY try making a "hobby horse" or a mobile maypole!

The Faeries!

An ancient custom is to go out beltaine morning before dawn (or the sun has fully risen) and wash your face in the dew. The dew is said to hold the faeries blessings! The blessing is said to "make you as beautiful on the outside as you are on the inside"
A good reminder that true beauty lies within.

Daisy chains
 a simple daisy chain always looks pretty! if you would like it more exotic use different flowers, to make it sturdier use some florists wire twisted through the chain.

some more links of things i found!

Monday, 2 April 2012

Spring is here!

Budding tree
Spring Equinox celebrates the renewed life of the Earth that comes with the Spring. It is a solar festival, celebrated when the length of the day and the night are equal (this happens twice a year, at Spring and Autumn Equinox).
This turn in the seasons has been celebrated by cultures throughout history who held festivals for their gods and goddesses at this time of year. Aphrodite from Cyprus, Hathor from Egypt and Ostara of Scandinavia. The Celts continued the tradition with festivities at this time of year.
 Pagans continue to celebrate the coming of Spring. They attribute the changes that are going on in the world to an increase in the powers of their God and Goddess (the personifications of the great force that is at work in the world). At the time of Spring Equinox the God and the Goddess are ofter portrayed as The Green Man and Mother Earth. The Green Man is said to be born of Mother Earth in the depths of winter and to live through the rest of the year until he dies at Samhain.

The weather is becoming warmer and spring is apparent everywhere! time to celebrate outside!

My daughter has started to sing a song from the animated childrens programme "charlie and lola", lola's and Lotta's renditition of "spring is here"

How to celebrate with children? ......Go outside ! the weather is warmer so its ideal to explore outside.
we recently celebrated the equinox with fellow pagans and children at a local park, we went on a hunt to see what we could find in the way of flowers etc. We collected fallen flowers and sticks and made pretty pentegrams to further decorate at home. We made pictures with what we found and we had an equinox egg hunt (with chocolate eggs!), this went down well! and the egg is an amazing symbol of the new life that spring has brung.

Celebrating the birds!

to celebrate the birds returning home, go outside with a fieldguide(maybe one aimed at children) and see how many birds can be spotted, make a game of it, see if nests can be spotted.
make or reuse bird feeders and put out hair from hair brushes for their nests.

Dawn watching

if your brave enough get up early to watch the dawn, spring is about new life, the earth's waking.
the children will be able to see and hear the early birds as well as the sun rising.
make a toast to the sun with juice or whatever is appropriate in your family

Egg balancing

find out the exact time of the equinox, rumour has it you can balance an egg on its end at this exact moment!?
fun trying.......or messy!

 using anything thats in season or egg orientated! chocolate nests are always fun to do

anything egg or spring orientated, spring pictures, paper daffodils, egg shaped garlands


Our daughter has enjoyed this the most , as have we. Now is the time to plant almost anything. Now anyone who knows me knows iam not v good with plants!, but it seem our little person is! we have been planting food, lettuces. Great to encourage fussy eaters. Good things to plant that children love are the classics, cress on the windowsill, this takes about a week and the process can be seen on an almost bi daily basis and sunflowers!, these seem quite a sturdy breed and of course the fun is to see how tall they can be grown.

For older children that are interested there are many guided meditations suitable on youtube

Craft ideas and other links
worth a look some really good ideas!

Goddess bless.xx