Getting Ready for Beltane…

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We have been very busy here at Salem’s Moon getting ready for the Center for Symbolic Studies “Beltane Festival” on May 3rd.

This past month we have  been busy making special Beltane Spell Kits, Beltane Crowns, Magickal Boxes, Adult & Children’s Wands, Brand New Bath Salts and New Spell Candle Kits.

Here are some photos just to give you an idea of what’s in store for Beltane.

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The Stringing of the May Pole.Our new Beltane Spell Kits and Adult Wands with their new hand-crafted boxes are currently available in our SQUARE store.

Our  Beltane Head Wreaths, Children’s Wands, Bath Salts, Spell Candle Kits and  Magic Boxes are not yet in our SQUARE store, but you can see (and purchase) them in person at the Center for Symbolic Studies “Beltane Festival” on Saturday, May 3rd, from 1 – 10 PM on Stone Mountain Farm  at 475 River Road Extension, New Paltz, NY . Rain date – Sunday, May 4th.

Wands…

ironwood clear quartz 2 In Wicca and Ceremonial magic, practitioners use several magical tools including wands for the channeling of energy—they serve a similar purpose to the athame; although the two have their distinct uses. While an athame is generally used to command, a wand is seen as more gentle and is used to invite or encourage.

Though traditionally made of wood, they can also consist of metal or crystal. Practitioners usually prune a branch from an Oak, Hazel, or other tree, or may even buy wood from a hardware store, and then carve it and add decorations to personalize it; however, one can also purchase ready-made wands.

In Wicca the wand usually represents the element air, or sometimes fire, although contemporary wand makers also create wands for the elements of earth and water as well. The wand is most often used by modern Pagans, witches, Shamans and others in rituals, healing and spell casting. – - Wikipedia

Our wands are back…

Now each of our handmade wands comes in its own unique hand-crafted, satin lined box – complete with a parchment scroll that explains the magickal properties of the wood, as well as each adornment.

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The woods include: Oak, Pecan, Poplar, Lilac and Ironwood.  Adornments range from gems to magickal carvings and feathers.

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No tree is ever harmed in the process of making our wands. The wood for our wands is always found and never cut from a living tree.

The Stringing of the May Pole.You can find our wands in our SQUARE store.  And you can also see (and purchase) the wands in person at the Center for Symbolic Studies “Beltane Festival” on Saturday, May 3rd, from 1 – 10 PM on Stone Mountain Farm  at 475 River Road Extension, New Paltz, NY . Rain date – Sunday, May 4th.

New Beltane Spell Kit…

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Beltane honors life. It represents the peak of Spring and the beginning of summer. Earth energies are at their strongest and most active. At this point in the Wheel of the Year, the potential becomes reality. The Maiden goddess has reached her fullness – growth and renewal, Flora, the Goddess of Spring, the May Queen, the May Bride. Beltane is a “spring time festival of optimism”. Yellow flowers such as primrose, rowan, hawthorn, gorse, hazel and marigold are set at doorways and windows. Fairies are thought to be especially active at Beltane.

Imagine the blue of the sky, the green of the earth, the yellow of the sun, the pink blush of love and the white of new beginnings. In this kit we have included 1 each of these candle colors Included, too, is Fairy Magick Oil – made to invite these magical creatures to bless your intentions and Star Goddess Incense to honor the Maiden Goddess of Spring. Lastly, we include a packet of Marigold seeds to plant as growing representations of your wishes and desires.

Beltane Kit Spell Kit

Contents:
1 each – Blue, Green, Oink, White & Yellow 4-inch Candles
1 – 1/2 oz. pkg. Star Goddess Incense
1 – 1 dram bottle Fairy Magic Oil
1 – Packet Marigold Seeds
Instructions

All of our 1 dram bottles of oil and 1/2 oz. incense bags are hand-blended and made with only the highest grade of fragrances and essential oils.
The Fairy Magick Oil contained in this kit is made using only the finest Mimosa, Lily of the Valley, Vanilla & Peach essential oils.
Our hand-blended essential oils can be worn, used in an oil diffuser or used to anoint candles, etc.

The Star Goddess Incense and oil contained in this kit is made using only the finest wood base to which has been a variety of essential oils.

Be sure to burn loose incense in a heat resistant container or cast iron cauldron ONLY! Keep away from children, pets and from flammable objects.

All Salem’s Moon products are For External Use Only!

For Entertainment Purposes Only! The items listed are not potions or spells, but are ingredients that you may or may not use to create your own magical rites.

Must be 18 years and older to purchase!

Click here to purchase.

Myrtle…

imageMyrtle, is an aromatic foliage plant for indoors which originated in Europe.

The plant is an evergreen shrub or small tree, growing to 5 meters (16 ft) tall. However, it takes well to pruning and is used frequently as a topiary plant. The leaf is  3–5 cm long, with a fragrant essential oil.

The star-like flower has five petals and sepals, and numerous stamens. Petals usually are white. The flower is pollinated by insects.

The fruit is a round berry containing several seeds, most commonly blue-black in color. A variety with yellow-amber berries is also present. The seeds are dispersed by birds that eat the berries.

Myrtus_communis Plants & Propagation – Though Myrtle can be started from seed; it is a lengthy process. It is easiest to purchase plants from a reputable nursery. Re-pot into the container of your choice – see below.

Take semi-ripe cuttings in summer as an insurance policy against loss. Look for new growth that has started to firm up and choose non-flowering shoots if possible (otherwise remove the buds). Take off some of the lower leaves and trim below the node with a sharp knife or scissors. Plunge the cuttings into horticultural sand, or a 50 per cent mixture of sand and compost, and place out of direct sunlight.

Cuttings should root within six to 12 weeks. Pot up individually in gritty compost and overwinter in a sheltered, frost-free place until the following spring. You can either keep the young plants in pots for another year, or plant them out. But they will need both protection from winter squalls and careful nurturing through dry springs.

Container – Be sure to give your Myrtle plant a container with good drainage. It will do better in a plastic or glass container with drainage holes at the bottom, rather than a clay pot, because it likes to stay moist and clay has a tendency to dry out quicker. Be sure to loosely cover the drainage holes with rocks or pebbles. Repot every second year in the spring, the plant may also be cut back at this same time.

Soil You can grow myrtle in a container in soil-based compost.

Watering – Water regularly with soft water from spring to fall, more sparingly during the rest of the year. Avoid letting the soil dry out.  Ease off watering from late August onwards, and then dry off almost completely before over-wintering the container. The shelter of a warm wall under the eaves of the house is a perfect place or a cool pantry.

800px-Blue_myrtle_berries_sardiniaLight Requirements –  Myrtle prefers full sunlight and will tolerate filtered sunlight. The plant prefers a cool position during the winter and will tolerate temperatures down to 41° F. The plant prefers a dormant period during winter when it should be kept in a light, cool position at about 41-50 ° F.

Fertilizer – Water and feed with a potash-rich tomato food during the growing season. The potash will encourage more flower and also harden the wood.

Lore - In the Mediterranean, Myrtle was symbolic of love and immortality.

marc-chagall-the-feast-of-the-tabernacles In Jewish liturgy, it is one of the four sacred plants of Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles representing the different types of personality making up the community – the myrtle having fragrance but not pleasant taste, represents those who have good deeds to their credit despite not having knowledge from Torah study.

Myrtle in a wedding bouquet is a general European custom. A sprig of myrtle from Queen Victoria’s wedding bouquet was planted as a slip, and sprigs from it have continually been included in royal wedding bouquets.

In neo-pagan and wiccan rituals, Myrtle, though not indigenous beyond the Mediterranean Basin, is now commonly associated with and sacred to Beltane (May Day).

il_340x270_511153352_tt93 Associated Deities:
In Greek mythology and ritual the Myrtle was sacred to the goddesses Aphrodite (the Roman goddess, Venus) and also Demeter. At the Roman festival of Veneralia, women bathed wearing crowns woven of myrtle branches.

Magickal Attributes:

Myrtle was sacred to the Greek Goddess Venus and has been used in love charms and spells throughout history. Grow indoors for good luck. Carry or wear Myrtle leaves to attract love, charms made of the wood have special magickal properties. Wear fresh Myrtle leaves while making love charms, potions or during rituals for love.

Veneralia…

Venus_Verticordia-2_thumb[1] The month of April honors the foam-born Roman goddess Venus, just as March honored the war god Mars. (In Greece Venus was known as Aphrodite) The Veneralia was an ancient Roman festival celebrated on April 1  in honor of Venus Verticordia (“Venus the changer of hearts”).

The cult of Venus Verticordia was established in 220 BC. Her statue was dedicated by a young woman, chosen as the most sexually pure in Rome by a committee of Roman matrons.  Venus Verticordia was the aspect of Venus honored at the Veneralia. While Venus/Aphrodite is often associated with lust, as Verticordia, she was in charge of chastity.

In 114 BC Venus Verticordia was given her own temple. She was meant to persuade Romans of both sexes and every class, whether married or unmarried, to cherish the traditional sexual proprieties and morality known to please the gods and benefit the State.

300px-Bust_woman_mosaic_Met_38_11_12During the Veneralia, her cult image was taken from her temple to the men’s baths, where it was  undressed and washed in warm water by her female attendants, then garlanded with myrtle. They poured a libation and drank the potion that Venus drank on her wedding night: pounded poppy with milk and honey; flowers and incense were offered to her.  At the Veneralia, women and men asked Venus Verticordia for her help in affairs of the heart, sex, betrothal and marriage.

Veneralia: Day of Venus
Color: Sea green, golden yellow and pink
Element: Water
Altar: Upon cloth of sea green, golden and pink, set many shells, flowers, beautiful ornaments, pink candles, hearts, doves, incense of rose and violets, and a great chalice of white wine.
Offerings: Hearts and flowers. Giving a gift of love to someone.
Daily Meal: Seafood. Angel hair pasta. Sweet breads, cakes, and desserts.

Invocation to Venus
Hail, Lady of the Morning Star!
You who rose form the sea foam,
Born of the impersonal severed phallus of the sky
Immersed in the impersonal womb of the sea,
You who rode to shore on a shell of pearl
And whose powers no one can resist
Save the virgin goddesses,
You who bring the glow of gold
Into the lives of all whom you touch,
Lady, we revere you as the avatar
Of the love between equals
Who look each other in the eye,
The attraction and pursuit
Between every particle in the universe.
Hail, Lady of the Evening Star!
You who rule the night
With its darker passions,
You who tempt the wistful heart,
You whose hands reach out
To all the world and more,
Lady, we revere you as a force of nature
Far greater than merely the human heart,
For you are the force that binds together
All that dances with another of its kind
In the endless dance of creation.
(The wine is passed around, and poured as a libation to Venus. Each takes a flower and wears it until Hesperis, in honor of Venus.) – http://www.paganbookofhours.org/rituals/veneralia.html