Who Was Creiddylad?

Creiddylad (pronounced cree-THIL-ahd) is the Welsh goddess of love and flowers. She is mainly celebrated on May Day (Beltane) as the eternal May Queen, fought over by the Oak King and Holly King.

As the May Queen, Creiddylad is revered as a fertility goddess. Each spring, her love spreads throughout the land as she emerges from the cold, dark winter. Flowers of all colors are in bloom, while trees, plants, and grass grow greener by the day. She bestows upon the world her abundance, and for it, we honor her with our Beltane fires and May Pole dances. 

She symbolizes love for others, for creatures, and for ourselves. She teaches us that self-love is the most important love of all. Creiddylad also symbolizes abundance, stability, trust, and the ability to accept gifts. The goddess helps us to move out of the land of fear and darkness and brings us into a world of light, beauty, and the power of love. 

A Goddess In King Arthur’s Court

Creiddylad is also a part of Arthurian Legend, having lived with her father, Lludd Silver Hand, in King Arthur’s Court. She was considered the most beautiful maiden in all the land and had many suitors fighting for her favor. In the ancient Welsh tale of Culhwch and Olwen, Creiddylad is described as “the most majestic maiden there ever was in the Three Islands of Britain and her Adjacent Three Islands.”

Two of those suitors were Gwythyr and Gwyn. Gwythyr was a knight of King Arthur’s Court, while Gwyn is believed to have been the ruler of Annwn, the underworld. Many different tales of what happened between Gwythyr, Gwyn, and Creiddylad exist. One such tale says that she was kidnapped by Gwythyr, and was then kidnapped from Gwythyr by Gwyn.

However, the most prominent tale, told in Culhwch and Olwen is that Creiddylad, in love with Gwythyr, went away with him willingly. Before they could marry, however, Gwyn kidnaps her and brings her to Annwn. This might give you some Persephone and Hades vibes, and you’d be right. The vibes don’t end there either.

Though it is never explicitly stated, the tale of Culhwch and Olwen leads readers to believe that eventually, whether by consent or by force, Gwyn captures Creiddylad’s maidenhood, and she eventually becomes Queen of Annwn.

Gwythyr gathers forces and rides to the underworld to rescue Creiddylad, where he and his men are captured and some are tortured and killed. Eventually, King Arthur shows up in the underworld and forces Gwyn to release Gwythyr and his men. He also takes Creiddylad home with him and commands that she will reside there with her father (Hermes leading Persephone from the underworld and returning her to Demeter). Arthur also decrees that each year on May Day, Gwyn and Gwythyr will duel for Creiddylad’s hand, but that neither shall win her love until Judgement Day. And until that day, she will remain in the home of her father, Lludd Silver Hand.

The Battle of the Oak King and Holly King for the May Queen

Gwythyr and Gwyn are typical archetypes of the Oak King and Holly King myth.

Gwythyr, being the chivalrous knight of King Arthur’s Court, is personified in the Oak King, the symbol of summer, warmth, growth, fertility, and strength. 

Gwyn, the ruler of Annwn, is the Holly King, the symbol of the cold, dark winters, where the only greenery that survives are those that represent the Holly King himself, the evergreens. 

Creiddylad, the beautiful maiden, the goddess of love and flowers, is personified in the May Queen.

Each year, on May Day, the liminal day between winter and summer, the two kings battle it out for the love of their May Queen, who emerges from the darkness of the cold, long, winter, to shed her warmth upon the land, and wake up the flora and fauna that had slept through the cold months.

The interweaving of the ribbons during Maypole dances represents this intertwining of the masculine forces of the kings with the feminine force of the May Queen, the Goddess Creiddylad.

Feb. 16th’s Full Moon Has An Intense Nickname

There are several names for February 16th’s full moon, most of which are equally dark and icy. February’s full moon is typically called the Snow Moon but also goes by other names that denote cold temperatures and harsh climates – Storm Moon and Hunger Moon. 

February is a time of transition. The weather seems to never be able to make up its mind. Some days, there’s a snowstorm, it’s freezing, and the world is covered in a blanket of ice, while other days, the sun is shining, some early birds are returning to their nests, and under the ground, the first of the year’s buds begin their long ascent to the earth. Will the groundhog see his shadow or not?

The Snow Moon represents these polar opposites. It symbolizes the change that the world, and we as inhabitants in that world, are going through during this often unstable time. Use these longer days and strong sunlight to simply be present and focus on yourself and the new, burgeoning life around you.  

Why is it Called the Hunger Moon?

Think back to older times, before electric heating and lighting, before grocery stores and refrigerators. The winter months for our ancestors were often scary times, filled with food scarcity, long, dark nights, and the bitter cold. 

Autumn, in ancient times, was a time when food was harvested, collected, and stored to help people get through the long, dreary winter months, when things rarely grew, and animals were scarce. Come February, our ancestors could see their stockpiles of food dwindling, and they had to hope that what they had collected would last them through the final cold days of winter.

This is why the Algonquin tribes used the term Hunger Moon to describe February’s moonlight-filled skies. Their fields were empty of animals and crops, their stomachs aching for nourishment, as everyone hunkered down until the first sign of spring meant it was time to start sowing the fields anew. Other Native American tribes called February’s full moon the Quickening Moon, the Out of Food Moon, the Bald Eagle Moon, the Moon of Ice, and the Sucker Moon.

How Should I Celebrate as a Witch?

The Snow Moon is a good time to set your intentions for the coming year. It symbolizes new beginnings, creativity, ambition, change, abandonment of bad habits, and internal reflection. The colors you should concentrate on for the month of February are soft pink, blue, purple, and white. Amethyst and rose quartz crystals are great for this month.

Reflective meditation is one of the best ways to celebrate the Snow Moon. The rest of the year is spent trying to achieve goals and push yourself, so use February for some reflection of the past year, or five years, or even ten years. How have you grown? How have you bettered yourself? Have you overcome any challenges? What have you done that’s made you proud of yourself? Did you fail at something you wanted to achieve? If you did, that’s okay, too! Without failure, there are no lessons. Without lessons, we stagnate. Failure is an important part of life, so use the Snow Moon to reflect on those failures too. 

Spend some time doing something creative. February is a great time for journaling. Write about how you’ve grown as a person. Look at old photos and make a list of all the things you’ve accomplished in your life or everything that has led you to become who you are today.

Let’s Learn About The Sabbats – Imbolc

In the Wheel of the Year, there are four Greater Sabbats and four Lesser Sabbats. The Lesser Sabbats are celebrated on the Solstices and Equinoxes of the year, while the Greater Sabbats align with the cross-quarter days – the halfway points between the Solstices and Equinoxes.

In our series, Let’s Learn About The Sabbats, we’re going to learn about the origins of both the Greater and Lesser Sabbats, and at the end of each article, we’ll post a ritual that you can do pertaining to each Sabbat. 

Today, we’ll be discussing Imbolc (also written as Imbolg), which is the first Sabbat of the Gregorian Calendar year. However, it’s the third in the calendar year upheld by Celtic, Wiccan, and many Pagan traditions, as New Year’s Eve is celebrated on Halloween (Samhain, pronounced sow-wen) in those traditions.

The Wheel of the Year

Wiccans and many Pagan and Neopagan traditions follow a calendar we call The Wheel of the Year. It’s divided into eight equidistant spokes, with each spoke representing either a Greater Sabbat (fire festivals), found on the cross-quarter days, or a Lesser Sabbat (sun festivals), found on the quarter days – the Solstices and Equinoxes.

We will delve more into the Wheel of the Year in a later article, but for now, let’s just take a quick look at the Sabbats and the dates they are celebrated.

  • Samhain: October 31st, Greater Sabbat.
  • Yule/Midwinter/Winter Solstice: on or around December 21st, Lesser Sabbat.
  • Imbolc/Imbolg/Oimelc/Candlemas: February 1st, Greater Sabbat.
  • Ostara/Lady Day/Vernal Equinox: on or around March 20th, Lesser Sabbat.
  • Beltane/May Day: May 1st, Greater Sabbat.
  • Litha/Midsummer/Summer Solstice: on or around June 21st, Lesser Sabbat.
  • Lughnasadh/Lammas: August 1st, Greater Sabbat.
  • Mabon/Autumnal Equinox: on or around September 21st, Lesser Sabbat.

The Origins of Imbolc

The exact origins of the celebration of Imbolc are highly debated. Some scholars believe that it’s a newly established holiday within the Wiccan tradition, while others argue that it dates back to the Neolithic age in Ireland. 

Regardless of when exactly Imbolc began as a religious celebration, there is much evidence to suggest that it’s a far older holy day than just a recent addition by Gardnerian Wicca. 

The translation of the Irish word Imbolc is, “In the belly,” while Oimelc translates to “ewe’s milk.” This suggests that Imbolc, held on February first, was a fire festival welcoming in the coming spring, where ewes would begin giving birth (in the belly), and lactating (ewe’s milk).

Symbolizing the halfway mark between the Winter Solstice and Ostara, the Celts celebrated Imbolc as a representation of rebirth. The snow beginning to thaw, livestock giving birth or heavily pregnant, the days getting longer while the nights shortened. After months of battling the cold, hard winter, brighter, warmer days are ahead. We celebrate Imbolc as a rebirth of Mother Earth and a rebirth of ourselves. A breath of fresh, soon-to-be Spring air after harsh winters.

The Celts also celebrated the Goddess Brigid on Imbolc, who represented fire and fertility. Idols were made for Brigid in the form of dolls made from wheat or oat straw. Young girls would take these dolls and visit all the homes in their community, where they were given small gifts from each house as a means of currying favor from Brigid and have her bless the households. Bonfires were also lit in Brigid’s honor on Imbolc.

In post-Christianization Ireland, the celebration of Imbolc became St. Brigid’s Day. The original Celts were having a hard time converting to Christianity, and so the Christian church adopted a number of Pagan holidays in order to ease conversion. St. Brigid’s Day was one of these holidays.  

A Ritual To Celebrate Imbolc

Before you begin your Imbolc ritual, it’s good practice to take a warm, cleansing bath. With this ritual bath, you’re not only cleansing your outward body, but also your mind and soul. Shedding off the winter and making way for the spring.

Dim the lights, light some candles, and pour Epsom salts into the bath. Hang a muslin cloth filled with herbs from the faucet as it runs. Cleansing herbs include sage, lemon balm, chamomile, rosemary, peppermint, sandalwood, cinnamon, and lavender. 

Once the bath is full, get in. Let the warm water surround and soothe you. Close your eyes and visualize all the negative energy you’ve accumulated throughout the year leaving your body. Allow yourself to feel purified by the warm, cleansing waters enveloping you. 

When you’re ready, get out of the tub and dry off. Only after you’ve gotten out, release the plug and allow all that negative energy to flow down the drain. 

Candle Ritual

You will need:

  • Four tealights
  • A lighter or matches

Cast your circle and call upon your deities.

Light the first candle and say out loud (or to yourself if you’re more comfortable that way, “Though Winter is still here, I feel new life trembling amid the darkness.”

Next, light the second candle and chant, “I call upon the light of the sun, as it grows larger every day. I call upon its light and flame to breath a spark of new life in the waning darkness.”

Light the third candle and chant, “As with the sun’s light, inspiration, wisdom, and new life shall too always grow. May the sun’s life-giving light stir the reborn flowers of Spring.”

Lastly, light the fourth candle and say, “I call upon these candle flames to purify and cleanse me as I move from the darkness of winter to the light of spring. New life comes to manifest among these purifying flames. Blaze of the sun, fire of the hearth, fill me with your life-giving light.”

Meditate on the candle as they burn. Think about Imbolc and what it symbolizes: healing, rebirth, and inspiration.

Open your circle, take out your grimoire or journal, and write about whatever thoughts are coming to mind after performing the ritual.

Guru Pathik’s Wisdom

Avatar: The Last Airbender (ATLA) aired between 2005 and 2008 in the USA. The cartoon has been heralded as one of the greatest of all time. The story of a young boy discovering who he is and how to wield the power given to him by his ancestors and mentors is one that resonated with the magical community back then and still does to this day.

A specific episode in Book 2, episode 19 to be exact, featured a man named Guru Pathik. He met young Avatar Aang at the Eastern Air Temple to teach him how to cleanse and energize his chakras. At the time, Aang knew absolutely nothing about chakras. What Pathik taught him was actually a very wonderful [basic overview of how our chakra systems work.] https://youtu.be/StrbppmsZJw 

“So chakras are pools of spiralling energy in our bodies?” Aang asks after Pathik shows him an example using pools of water in a river, blocked by moss and other plants. After joyfully confirming the boy’s observation, Pathik clears one of the pools which allows the rest of the water to flow easily. This is an easy way to visualize chakras if you’re having difficulty seeing it. 

In the show, the names of the chakras have been changed but not the basic meanings or the bodily placements. Pathik walks Aang through opening all seven of his, in a style that can easily be copied and applied to real life. No onion and banana juice required!

The Root chakra, Muladhara, is named the Earth chakra in ATLA. It deals with survival, and is blocked by fear. This takes the root chakra down to one of its very base meanings, and although it ignores the connection and community aspects, it’s still technically correct. If you are allowing yourself to be blocked by fear in everything you do, you will never allow yourself to connect to anything. You have to release and overcome your fears in order for your root chakra to truly thrive and activate.

The Sacral chakra has been renamed the Water chakra from Svadhisthana. It deals with pleasure and is blocked by guilt. This is, again, an extremely basic interpretation. Pleasure, emotions, creativity, intimacy, these are all things ruled by the Sacral chakra. Guilt that you have over enjoying or experiencing any of these things will weaken your Sacral chakra and likely cause you to think you don’t deserve any of the nice things that happen to you. Going further down the line, that train of thought will also shadow and sour your relationships. Forgiving yourself for mistakes you’ve made, doing your best to make amends and potentially even repent, will free you from your guilt and allow your sacral chakra to thrive. In doing so, you’ll be more comfortable accepting and enjoying the things that bring you joy and pleasure.

Manipura, the Solar Plexus chakra, is called the Fire chakra in ATLA. It deals with willpower, and is blocked by shame. There isn’t a better word for the solar plexus than willpower, even though it also rules personal power and confidence. If you are ashamed of any aspect of yourself, you’re not allowing your own personal power to shine. You need to accept and love all aspects of what you are to allow this chakra to thrive. This could involve some intense shadow work, therapy, or other psychological help. Whatever you need to do to no longer feel ashamed of yourself will be worth the personal power and confidence you will gain when your solar plexus chakra is activated and energized.

The Heart Chakra, called Anahata in our world, is simply referred to as the Heart chakra in the show. It deals with love, and is blocked by grief. The heart chakra is absolutely the seat of love, in all its forms. Unconditional, platonic, romantic, familial. It’s blocked by so much more than just grief, it can be blocked by hatred or betrayal, or any other type of hurt that targets your love or someone you love. Guru Pathik tells Aang to lay all his grief out in front of him, and reminds him that the love he had for his people is not lost. It is an energy, and energy cannot be created or destroyed, only changed. In this case, it’s a line from WandaVision that makes the most sense. “What is grief if not love persevering?” If you allow yourself to change with the energy running through you, your heart chakra will thrive and energize. Grief just means you still have love to give.

The Throat chakra, Visuddha, is called the Sound chakra. It deals with truth, and is blocked by lies. The Guru specifically points to lies that we tell ourselves or to others. A common epithet that tends to go along with the throat chakra is “speaking your truth.” Releasing your denial about things and allowing yourself to see the truths of yourself and others is how you can activate and energize this chakra. Another way, not mentioned by Pathik, is allowing yourself to speak up when needed. Allow yourself to set boundaries and speak them. Telling people your truth is one of the strongest ways you can nurture your throat chakra.

For the third eye chakra, Ajna, it is given the name of the Light Chakra. It deals with insight, and is blocked by illusion. The key is allowing illusions that you’ve let stay fade away. Similar to the throat chakra, a common epithet with this one is “knowing your truth.” Peeling back learned behaviors and coping mechanisms that are the result of other people’s treatment of you will allow you to see your own true self. Knowing who you are and what you stand for is a prime habitat for a strong third eye chakra. Once you have that, insight will flow. In the witch community, this chakra is strongly tied to psychic abilities and divination. Second guessing yourself is another form of illusion. Trusting your instincts and whatever you think of first while doing a tarot or other divinatory reading is you relying on your third eye chakra. 

The Crown Chakra, Sahasrara, is named the Thought chakra. It deals with pure cosmic energy and is blocked by earthly attachments. With this specific wording, it sounds a bit more like we’re dealing with The Force and its Jedis from Star Wars. Allowing yourself to release attachments sounds like you have to live without friends and family at first glance, as Aang thought when told to release his. However, what’s more likely is that we are being told to release the idea of who we are in relation to our earthly attachments. Labels such as spouse, partner, sibling, child, parent, these are all things we use to describe ourselves in relation to our earthly attachments. To allow ourselves to think differently, to think of ourselves as a whole person without those types of labels, allows us to release the earthly attachments. We are all whole beings on our own, and recognizing that will help activate our crown chakras and open up the direct line to the universe, to spirit, to whatever form of divinity you work with. 

Aang wasn’t able to release his earthly attachments, and therefore didn’t properly activate his crown chakra. This was a lesson he had to deal with for the majority of the series, as he was then cut off from his very powerful Avatar State. We may not have our own avatar states, not in the same way at least, but we can unlock the untapped power and energy inside of us and harness it in a similar fashion. Clearing your chakras allows healthy energy to flow between them. Think of it as a river with small pools, like the demonstration Guru Pathik gave. Fresh, running water is some of the safest to drink. Why wouldn’t fresh, running energy be the safest as well? (This does not apply to electricity, of course.) Keeping our chakras and the pathways between them open and clear can help us learn to balance our emotions in a healthy manner, keeping us tapped into our own great potential. 

A basic outline of the chakras and how they’re represented in the show

– Root/Earth Chakra
Deals with survival, blocked by fear.
Let your fears flow down the creek.

Sacral/Water Chakra
Deals with pleasure, blocked by guilt.
Accept the reality that things happened, but don’t let them poison your energy. Forgive yourself.

Solar Plexus/Fire Chakra
Deals with willpower, blocked by shame.
Accept and love all aspects of what you are

Heart Chakra
Deals with love, blocked by grief.
Lay all your grief out in front of you (what is grief if not love persevering?)

Throat/Sound Chakra
Deals with truth, blocked by lies.
Release your denial and accept the truths about yourself/others.

– Third Eye/Light Chakra
Deals with insight, blocked by illusion.
Step through the fog and allow yourself to see clearly.

Crown/Thought Chakra
Deals with pure cosmic energy, blocked by earthly attachments.
Let your attachments go, let them flow down the river.

Written by Divinaytion

Digital Altar Options

Altars are regarded as a key part of witchcraft. We use them as focal points for deity or ancestor worship, elemental connections, even connections to ourselves. They have a near-endless amount of uses. However, the altars you see on TikTok or Instagram can be intimidating.

“Where do I find bones and crystals and deity-specific candles?” Questions such as that are often in the comments of those posts.

Here’s the trick, though. You don’t actually need those fancy candles you saw on so-and-so’s post. You don’t even need a real, physical altar if you don’t have the space or funds for it. Some of us are even still in the broom closet, and it wouldn’t be safe for us to have a physical altar. Thankfully, there are very easy ways around this.

Most everyone has access to the internet in some way these days. In fact, it’s been officially considered a basic human right by the UN in 2016. The fact you’re reading this article is proof of that. Taking advantage of this worldwide connection we share, there are three very easy ways to have your own digital altar, and even keep it on the down-low if you need to do that.

  • The easiest and cheapest way to have a secret/digital altar is to use Pinterest, Tumblr, or Instagram. Any free social media that you can use to collect photos and ideas in a single area can count as an altar. This type is especially good for Deity and ancestor altars. On Pinterest, you can make a board dedicated to your specific deity or ancestor, and then browse around to find images and links that you feel relate to that deity or ancestor. For Tumblr, the ability to create sideblogs comes pre-packaged into the website. You can come up with a silly or graceful username that’s connected to whomever you’re planning to honor, and then scroll through the hundreds of aesthetic blogs and tags to find relevant things to reblog to your new dedicated sideblog. Instagram is much the same, you can either create an entirely separate account (private or not) and keep a collection of photos and sayings there, or you can save a relevant post and add it to a collection named after your chosen one. All three of these websites are free to use and easy to browse and have privacy settings. There’s also no limit to how many things you can add to your board, blog, or collection, so show your deity or ancestor all the love you have for them in the form of dedicated pixels. 
  • A mid-tier option requires a single purchase and a bit of a learning curve. Minecraft, the sandbox video game composed entirely of blocks, costs about $30 and can take a moment to figure out. But if you’re already entrenched in the playstyle or can pick things up easily, you’ll be more than capable of building the most beautiful altars you can in-game. A bonus of this option is that you can also reskin your avatar to look like yourself, or really anything you like. Minecraft is available on the PC, Mac, Nintendo Switch, Xbox, Playstation, and Mobile/Tablet. All of the options work about the same way with the exception of the controller (or lack thereof, in the mobile version).

    Once you’ve created your first world and gathered materials, you can build your altar as tiny or as huge as you like. There’s even a brewing stand and cauldron in-game if you want to really lean into the classic witch aesthetic. A lot of items in the game are also elementally themed, making it easy to build an altar for each element. Since it’s a sandbox game, your options are very nearly unlimited, you just may have to watch a few tutorials on YouTube to figure out how to make the truly aesthetic options. With Minecraft, you could also build as many altars as you like, so if you’re working with the entire Greek pantheon, go ahead and rebuild the Parthenon or even your interpretation of Mount Olympus. Or if you’re feeling a bit like a lazy witch, browse through pre-built maps that are available for download (this option works on PC). Either way, you’ll have a beautiful altar to sit your avatar at and focus your energy with. For those who are disinclined to spend hours mining, the creative mode is an absolutely amazing option.

  • In a similar vein, but possibly more expensive depending on your Nintendo-Switch-owning status, is Animal Crossing: New Horizons. With thousands of items in game and plenty of them being customizable, it’s incredibly easy to build lovely altars for any purpose on your own personal deserted island. This game is exclusive to the Switch, so if you don’t already have the system it may be a no-go. There’s even a beautiful Zodiac-themed set of items that can be created, and plenty of candles, incense, and even a magic circle floor as of the 2.0 update! (It’s actually really amazing, check it out. It’s similar to Minecraft in that you can dress up your avatar as you please, there’s even adorable witch and mage outfits in a bunch of different colors! The community is also incredibly talented and creates a lot of beautiful custom clothing for you to download and wear. This is personally my favorite option just because of all the amazing items that are perfectly themed to my deities, but I also have over 400 hours put into the game. So take my opinion with as many grains of salt as needed! 
  • This next option could potentially run up a longer receipt than Animal Crossing, but due to its high level of customization and large userbase constantly churning out really lovely custom content, I believe it deserves a spot on the list. The current iteration of the Sims games, Sims 4, is available on multiple consoles but is most customizable on PC. The base game sits prettily at the price of $40, but the expansion and stuff packs are where the true nickel and diming comes in. They range from $5-$25. You don’t need them to play and build, but the options in the Magic School pack will definitely tickle your fancy if you’re going for the blatant witch aesthetic. There’s also a full-on usable Seance table in the Paranormal pack, which honestly? Main reason I bought that pack. It’s super cool. The intense high-level customization of the Sims themselves also allows you to create yourself as you are or how you want to be (manifestation, anyone?) or even create your deities and ancestors or your spirit guides! If you go this route, better make sure you’re taking care of your Sims.
  • Terraria, which is available on PC, Mac, Mobile, Tablet, Playstation, and Xbox, is another sandbox game similar to Minecraft in which you can build your own worlds and create to your heart’s content. There are pre-made worlds to explore as well, so you’ll have plenty to do while you’re out gathering materials for your own personal worship or work space. 

Overall, the need to have an altar depends on the practitioner. If you’re feeling fine being altar-less, that’s alright! Nothing is necessary when it comes to the Craft besides your own intentions and will. (Well perhaps also an open and curious mind…). But if you’ve been itching to build something for the deity or ancestor or element or anything else that you adore with your entire heart, there are far easier and cheaper ways to do so than what you see on social media. Don’t let what you see online intimidate you into thinking your altars aren’t “good enough.” As long as it’s created with your heart, and from a place of love and reverence, that’s all that matters. Even if it’s just a bunch of photos saved to a Pinterest board. It counts. So go and poke around! Create to your heart’s content.

Written by Divinaytion

Fire Safety for Witches

It’s become common for people to record their cord-cutting ceremonies and post them on TikTok, letting others try to decipher the meaning behind whose candle burnt out first, which way the flame leaned, which flame burnt the cord, etc etc. However there’s been a worrisome trend within this trend – people keep putting their candles on paper plates!

In witchcraft, we use a lot of fire. Lighting candles and incense, burning sigils and petition papers, even bay leaves. There are so many ways we incorporate fire into our practices. However, we all need to remember to do it safely. What follows is a list of basic fire safety rules you might already know, but some you might not have thought of. Either way, not a bad idea to read it over.

1. Don’t put candles or other burning things on a flammable surface. Having a beautiful altar cloth is definitely aesthetic, and can make your space feel more complete, but consider what would happen if one of your candles were to tip over, or your incense fell just a little too fast? That lovely cloth will be gone, and if you’re lucky you won’t burn down your entire altar with it. Whenever you’re using a candle that isn’t in a jar, remember to use a ceramic, metal, or glass holder with it. (Wooden is usually fine but you’ll have to keep a closer eye on it.) Even tealights can get hot enough to leave scorch marks, so put something underneath those as well. This DEFINITELY means don’t use a paper plate to stage your cord cutting ritual on. Use that pie plate in the back of the cabinet that never gets touched, or even a cookie sheet if that’s all you have. 

2. Never burn sigils, incense, or anything similar outside of a fire-proof dish. Those little cast iron cauldrons you see in every metaphysical shop were MADE for these purposes. If you’re the type of witch who enjoys loose incense, your charcoal tablets will fit right in. The ones with little feet are a bonus, as it keeps the hot bottom of the cauldron from touching whatever surface you’re working on. Remember to use long metal tweezers or tongs if you’re burning paper or bay leaves, you can drop it right into the cauldron. Can’t get a cauldron? Use an old saucepan from the thrift store, and set it on top of a silicone or metal trivet. 

3. Don’t hang flammable items above your candles. Bunches of dried herbs are gorgeous, and usually smell amazing as well. But they’re also SUPER flammable. Hang them to the side of your altar instead of directly over it. This goes for photos, posters, or anything else you might want right above or behind a candle. 

4. Trim your candle wicks! You can use a normal pair of scissors for this or even fingernail clippers. If you have a wick trimmer, even better! (They’re about $10 on Amazon if you’re in the market for one) It’s so cool to see your candle light up with a giant flame, but that giant flame also produces more soot and is more of a danger than a neatly trimmed wick. Wicks should be about 1/8th of an inch in length before lighting. The top rim of your jar candle will thank you by not turning black. 

5. Don’t overdress your candles. Personally, I never dress my candles out of fear of fire. The herbs and oils you see people adding to candles on social media make them feel more reverent and more powerful, more devoted to whatever specific deity. But here’s a secret: You can put the same ingredients around the candle on a plate or large candle holder, the magic will be the same, and your deities will still receive the offering. If you truly want to dress your candles, less is more in this case. Use just a pinch of herbs instead of a handful, and don’t drown the candle in oil. And the number one tip – keep it all away from the wick! 

6. Do your best not to wear long flowing sleeves around candles, and keep your hair back. It’s so easy to reach across your altar space absentmindedly, and run the sleeve of your gorgeous ritual gown or shirt through a flame. You lean over to read a tarot card more clearly and your hair falls forward against the tealight you’re using. Keep track of your clothes and hair, and try to move mindfully around fire. If you’re alright sacrificing the aesthetic, tight sleeves and hair pulled back are definitely the way to go. 

These are all very simple precautions you can take to keep yourself and your tools safe. No one wants to call the fire department because a candle tipped over, or a flame got tangled up in the beautiful ribbons and scarves you have draped over your altar. A trip to your local thrift store can yield you a treasure trove of old saucers, mugs, teacups, baking dishes, and even actual candle holders to use. A lot of the time, you can even find sets of matching dishes if you want your altar to have a certain aesthetic. There’s also plenty of shops on Etsy that create specific candle holders for deities, which are worth a look. 

In the end, we all want to do magic, and be safe. So why not make sure we’re safe while we do magic?

Written by Divinaytion 

Simple Ways To Leave 2021 Behind

It’s likely that at some point in your life, you’ve uttered the words “new year, new me” on December 31st or January 1st. It’s the time of year where we try to reinvent ourselves, incorporate new habits, become better versions of ourselves. It’s also the time of year where we try to leave the entirety of the past calendar year behind. With the current status of the world, no one could really blame you on that one. 

However, that doesn’t mean you need to completely toss away all of your clothes, shoes, and accessories and buy a new wardrobe, or suddenly become a fitness person out of nowhere. You are allowed to take smaller, more manageable steps to help get your resolutions to stick. Below is a list of ways you can help yourself prepare for the new habits and thought patterns you’re trying to introduce into your life, and even help you tidy up a bit. 

Clean your hairbrush out. Imagine all the thoughts you want to leave behind are in your hair, and all the ones that get pulled out when you brush it hold those thoughts. They’re away from you now. You can toss them. You don’t have to think about them anymore!

Take out the trash. That’s literally trash! You definitely don’t need it! Walk around your living space. Look around and see the things you’ve missed. Collect all the bits of wrapping paper from Christmas, the receipts you don’t need, and all the junk mail. Toss all of that in there too. Get the clutter and junk out of the way, so you have room to welcome things you want. If you have the time and/or energy, you can also go through that filing cabinet and lose everything except the most important documents and records from the last three years. 

Sweep the floor. This one ties in with the above. Step into a new year with no crumbs under your feet or cat hair in the corners. Clear the space, allowing room for goodness and light to come in.

Wash your bedsheets. Those sheets are holding all your nightmares and worries. So is your pillowcase. Wash them out! If you have a bit of borax, even better. They don’t use it to kill demons on Supernatural for nothing. As an aside, washing your sheets in hot water is the best way to break down all the oils your skin leaves on them. Even if you don’t wash your sheets often, try washing your pillowcase every time you do laundry to help with acne.

Do the dishes. You need clean things to eat on in the new year. Get rid of the old crusty food. Rinse it away along with any bad habits about food and negative thoughts towards eating. If your new year’s resolution is a diet, this is a great way to visualize yourself making room for healthy habits. 

Clean the dead parts off your plants. They’ll thrive once they’re not trying to support something that isn’t there. Mentally tie something you’re trying to let go of to each leaf or flower you need to prune and toss it in the compost or trash. You don’t need it. It no longer serves a purpose.

Put the clothes you no longer want in a box or trash bag to donate later. The ones that don’t fit, are torn up, or give you a negative image of yourself need to go. No exceptions! (Except perhaps work uniforms). You can pass them on to another person who will appreciate them if they’re in good condition. If they’re not, go ahead and cut them up for cleaning rags or to make a t-shirt quilt. You don’t have to take the pile to Goodwill right this moment, but get them out of your dresser and closet. 

Go back through your planner and note down any lessons you feel you’ve learned. This counts if you have a diary or desk calendar as well. Anything you’ve been consistently writing on or in for the entire year. Take note of any repeating patterns or thoughts, and make a list of them to take with you into 2022 so you don’t have to re-learn them. 

Wash your emotional support water bottle (you should be doing this regularly anyway). This is not only going to help keep you healthy, but it’s also a sign you’re really committed to staying hydrated. Those things can gum up with all sorts of bacteria, even if you only ever put water in them. You backwash every time you take a sip, right? So whatever else you put in your mouth that day ends up in your water bottle. Get rid of the gunk and do your best to keep this habit in the new year. Your immune system will absolutely thank you. (We won’t tell anyone if you give up on your old one and just buy a new one, but try to keep the new one clean).

This is a gathering of suggestions and is far from being a checklist of “Things You MUST Do in the New Year.” So don’t take it as that! You can pick one, or two, or none. Anything you feel comfortable doing. Since it’s mostly cleaning, even those of us who are still in the broom closet can do them. Whoever you’re living with might be pleasantly surprised!

If all you can manage this new year is sitting with yourself and going through your old paperwork, you’ve done great. If all you can do is sit there and have a talk with yourself about your habits, you’ve still done great! Daily and domestic witchcraft consist of making the things we already do magical, even if it’s just the little conversations we have with ourselves.

No matter how you choose to step into 2022, doing it with the idea of clearing out the old to make room for the new can serve you well. So try a little cleaning and see what happens. A little goes a long way. 

Written by @mylifeforthelore


Though Coventina is widely regarded as a goddess of great importance to the ancient Celts and the Romano-British culture, there is very little known about her or her origins.

What we do know is that Coventina was a goddess of wells and springs and that quite a few inscriptions were discovered to and of her in Northumberland near Hadrian’s Wall. On the Northumberland moors, there is a temple or shrine dedicated to Coventina, where a well had been built over the spring, now called Coventina’s Well.

A short story about Coventina can be found in Stories From the Northern Frontier by Newcastle University’s Museum of Antiquities, and it goes like this: 

“A long time ago in the wild and peaty moors of Northumberland, there lived Coventina, a beautiful goddess of a spring where the native people and animals visited her and drank the cool, refreshing water. One day Roman engineers arrived and ordered soldiers to build a wall stretching from the horizon where the sun rose to that where the sun set. The soldiers needed freshwater, and they constructed a square wall around Coventina’s spring to make a well. They piped the water to their fort and the soldiers and their families visited offering gifts in return for the goddess’ help. 

Years later the new Christian religion spread throughout the Roman world. Emperor Constantine commanded that the temples and shrines to Roman gods be demolished. People carefully took down Coventina’s altars and incense burners and placed them gently in the well. In time the Roman army marched away and was never seen again. For centuries, Coventina and her treasures remained unnoticed and unloved.”

There is some truth to this story, as when the well and surrounding areas were excavated in 1876, more than 13,000 coins, as well as incense burners, jewelry, and carved stones, were discovered. 

Some believe it wasn’t soldiers who constructed the well, but rather Coventina’s worshippers. It is believed that they covered the spring with stones and building blocks in an attempt to conceal it, after Emperor Theodosius I ordered the destruction of all temples and shrines dedicated to the old gods and goddesses in AD 391.

The Wishing Well

Have you ever tossed coins into a fountain or well, closed your eyes and made a wish? We all have. But have you ever stopped to think about where that tradition originated?

There is a reason that when excavated, 13,000 coins were found in Coventina’s Well. That’s because it’s believed that her well was the origin of the Wishing Well lore. 

For the Celts, water was always believed to have magic properties. It was life-giving and healing. And all bodies of water, be it an ocean or a small spring, were inhabited by deities. Coventina was believed to be a goddess of sympathetic magick – like attracts like. So her devotees, in the hopes that she would grant them some form of sympathetic magick, would toss coins into her well and say a prayer to her, asking for help. 

And thus, the tradition of the Wishing Well was born.

Depictions of Coventina

Being a water goddess (sometimes called the Queen of River Goddesses), Coventina represented abundance, prophecy, inspiration, and sometimes (depending on who you speak to) healing. 

Though there were no artifacts excavated at Coventina’s Well to suggest that she was worshipped as a goddess of healing, the fact that she was a water goddess is why she’s often also depicted as a healer. As mentioned earlier, especially to the ancient Celts, water equaled healing. 

In statues and bas relief excavated both at her site in the Northumberland moors, as well as other places around Europe, like Gaul, France, Coventina is depicted as a water nymph. Often laying on a water lily or reclining in water. In one particular Roman-style bas relief found at Carrawburgh, where her well is located, she is portrayed as a triune. A triple goddess taking the form of three water nymphs pouring water from amphorae.  

Though she is not as well known as other ancient deities these days, in her time, Coventina was held in high regard by her devotees and was given high ranking titles such as Sancta, which means holy, and Augusta, which means revered. 

To learn more about Coventina as well as other ancient gods and goddesses, visit us at Coven Cloud. Welcome home.

January’s Full Moon Blog

The Wolf Moon – the first full moon of the new year!

When the calendar flips over to January, we welcome a brand new year, and what better way to do it than by watching the skies? The Wolf Moon, the first full moon of the new year, makes its appearance on Monday, January 17th at 6:48 p.m., Eastern Time. It’s a bright one that should be easy to spot in the night sky. While the days are still short and dark, we snuggle up in our houses, under the bright light of the Full Wolf Moon, and dream of the year to come, with all its optimism for new beginnings.

Why is it Called the Wolf Moon?

It is widely believed that the first full moon of the year came to be called the Wolf Moon owing to Indigenous tribes hearing the howling of wolves outside their villages during this month. Though it was originally thought that the wolves were howling due to starvation, it’s now known that wolves howl for many different reasons, including alerting their pack to danger, communicating with other members of their pack, defining their territory, and coordinating hunting. 

Though we all know the myth behind wolves howling at the full moon, there’s actually no scientific basis for the claim that the phases of the moon have an effect on the canids. The mating season for the wolf also tends to fall between January and March, which would account for their increased vocalizations during the first month of the year, leading to its name.

Different indigenous tribes gave January’s full moon other names. The Cree called it the Cold Moon or the Frost Exploding Moon, the Algonquin tribe called it the Freeze Up Moon, and the Dakota called it the Hard Moon or the Severe Moon. It was also sometimes called the Moon After Yule. 

Wolf Moon Symbolism

The first full moon of the year is all about new beginnings, optimism, and rest. While you’re cozying up protecting yourself from the cold outside, this time of the year is also a great time for self-reflection, rumination, imagination, inspiration, and gratitude. Be thankful for and reflect on everything the Earth provided you last year, and find inspiration in the new beginnings to come this year. 

Dress yourself and your altar in blues, dark greens, silvers, blacks, and whites. Lay some pine or other evergreen boughs on your altar, and make some moon water on the night when the moon is full. And, of course, when you have a free moment, unleash your primal self and make like a wolf and howl at the beautiful, big Wolf Moon overhead. 

Ritual for the Full Wolf Moon

January is a great time to perform a ritual to ring out the old, and bring in the new. Below is a ritual to help you manifest the strength and courage of the wolf during the cold winter’s darkest days. 

You’ll need:

  • An orange candle
  • A piece of paper and pen
  • Sunflower, olive, palm, or vegetable oil
  • An image of a symbol of a wolf

Before you start the ritual, set your intention. Perhaps you want to increase your emotional strength so you can set boundaries with some coworkers or friends, or maybe you’re seeking protection from negative influences and energies for your home and family. Whatever it is you’re seeking to manifest with this ritual, ensure you have it in your mind prior to beginning. 

Cast your circle and invite your deities, guardians, or spirits to join your ritual.

On the night of the full moon, dress your candle with the oil while you visualize your intentions. 

Take the image or symbol of a wolf in your hand and think about how wolves cooperate with their packs. They are both leaders and team players. Visualize the strength of the wolf. How it fears nothing, and howls to set its territorial boundaries. 

Once done, place the image or symbol on your altar next to the candle.

Light your candle. 

Meditate on the idea of the wolf. Visualize yourself becoming part of the pack. Chant the following:

“Oh, great wolf spirit, heed my call.
Grant me your strength for the good of all.
The blessed moon empowers me.
Negative energies melting away.
The strength of the wolf flows through me.”

Once your meditation is done, you can either burn the candle through the night, or blow it out and continue burning it for the rest of the week until it’s burned completely. Keep your image or symbol of the wolf with you so that the great wolf’s spirit is with you always when you need it.

January Giveaway Blog 

Merry Meet, Coven members!

We hope everyone had an amazing Yuletide and Winter Solstice season, however you chose to celebrate it. We would love to hear all about it on Coven Cloud, so why not head there now and craft an awesome post telling all the coven members about it?

Speaking of crafting posts, have you heard about our amazing giveaway to ring in the New Year? We’ve put together a cauldron full of amazing prizes for the Coven member who earns the most gems by the end of January.

Earning Gems

Before we get into what you can win, let’s talk a bit about earning gems. They are actually really easy to earn. 

Anytime you interact with, or on, our website, you can earn gems. And at the end of January, the member who has interacted the most will win some incredible prizes. 

You can earn 10 gems each time you do the following:

  • Creating a post
  • Commenting on someone else’s post
  • Liking someone else’s post
  • Sending a message
  • Accepting a friend request
  • Sending a friend request

You can earn a further 10 gems when you:

  • Update your profile header
  • Update your profile avatar
  • Update a group cover picture
  • Update a group avatar

The possibilities for earning gems are endless. So go out there and start earning! You have until January 31st to become the member with the most gems and get your paws on some wonderful witchy winnings.

What Can I Win?!

And now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for. What kind of prizes have we been cooking up for you? Hold onto your broomsticks, friends, because you’re about to be blown away.

The Coven member who has interacted the most with the site, and thus earned the most gems by the end of January will win a giant prize pack delivered right to their email inbox. 

Here’s what you’ll get:

  • 10+ books on witchcraft and spirituality
  • 10 spell cards
  • Our very own Moon Calendar
  • A one-of-a-kind badge to display right on your Coven Cloud profile

What more could you possibly ask for? We know we’re super excited to give away such an amazing prize to our top Coven member at the end of the month, and we hope you’re excited at the possibility of winning!

What do you think about our giveaway? Let us know in the comments below. We can’t wait until the end of the month. Who’s going to win it all? 

So now that you know everything you need to know about our New Year giveaway, it’s time for you to head over to coven.cloud, and start collecting those gems! Merry Part, witches, and welcome home.