Episode 8 – Celtic Harvest Ritual with the Corn King – Time to Settle Debts

 

Giant bale of hay is evidence of hard work. Photo by Erik Witsoe of Unsplash

Make hay when the sun shines. That’s the mantra for the harvest season. It’s time to work hard, celebrate community, settle debts, and honor the sacrifice of the Corn King who gives his life for that of the community. That’s the subject of Episode 8 of Ritual Recipes, a podcast full of practical magic to nourish your inner life.

Centuries ago, July was called the hungry month because it was unlucky to gather fruits, dig potatoes, or in any other way begin the harvest until August 1st when the harvest season officially began. There was a lot to consider. The first reaping wouldn’t begin until the moon was in a waning phase, for that withdrawing energy would help dry the corn and grain, making it easier to cut and safer to store. Corn and grain, that’s what the first harvest of the season was all about. Continue reading

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Prayer Flags for a Wedding Ceremony

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YouTube – Zita Interviews Photographer Carrie (Draghi) Patterson

CT Photographer says family portraits still important

Engaged couples, magazines, corporations, professionals seeking headshots, and parents of newborns all rave about Connecticut photographer Carrie Patterson of Carrie Draghi Photography.  I interviewed Carrie on a recent episode of Weddings with Zita. You can watch it on Youtube.com/ZitaTVNetwork. It's episode 27.    Here are a few take-aways.

There's a certain intimacy that is created when you work with your wedding photographer. He or she will spend a lot of time with you in various stages of undress and, equally important, various expressions of emotion. You need to trust your photographer. Continue reading

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YouTube – Zita Interviews Bridal Seamstress Mollie Frish

Bridal Seamstress Mollie Frish talks about bustles

Navigating the world of bridal gown alterations can be mysterious, not to mention expensive. In episode 28 of Weddings with Zita, Connecticut bridal seamstress Mollie Frish shares stories, photos, advice, and inspiration. Watch it on Youtube.com/ZitaTVNetwork. 

Do you have a bridal alteration story to share? Let me know. I'm putting together questions for another interview with Mollie. Thanks.

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Episode 7 – Prayer Flags for Wedding Rituals and Children’s Projects

 

Tibetan prayer flags / Photo by Andreas Berger at Unsplash

Movies about climbing Mount Everest always show prayer flags – five pieces of solid colored fabric strung together, blowing in the wind.  The meaning behind them is ancient and honors the individual, the family, the community, and the earth.  Continue reading

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Episode 6 – Gifts from the Trees Ritual for Weddings and More

Did you know that unicorns like ash trees?  That the locust tree represents strength and the will to live? That planting a juniper by the front door is said to protect the home from thieves?  What magical gifts do the trees in your neighborhood offer?

Autumn splendor in New England forest

Gifts from the Trees is a ritual I created from myths, legends, and facts  surrounding trees. It’s a good ritual for fairy– or woodland-themed weddings, milestone birthdays, retirement celebrations, or croning ceremonies.

Continue reading

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Want love in your life? Be like an apple tree!

Have you listened to Episode 6 of Ritual Recipes – a podcast full of practical magic to nourish your inner life?  This little video enhances the message and offers a simple ritual to attract love, deepen love, or celebrate self-love. The power comes from your intent and an apple!

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Episode 5 – Spirit Spoons and Garden Gifts Rituals

Do you need protection? Eat basil.

Do you seek abundance? Have some mint.

Do you want to help your family find peace? Serve coriander.

Herbs and spices are full of magical properties and lend themselves to rituals.

 Spirit Spoons

I believe food tastes best when the chef works while holding loving thoughts for those who will eat the food. That’s the idea behind spirit spoons. The spoon itself can be made of any material. The spirit is added by the cook. Continue reading

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Episode 4 – Oathing Stones and Ritual Rocks for Personal Goals and Wedding Vows

Layered, piled, buried, jutting up from the ground, stones weave the tapestry of the earth. They symbolize the old, the everlasting…the ancestors. What does it mean to make a oath on a stone connected to the realm of the departed? A lot!

Hearken back now to a time long ago when the land was always viewed as the home of the ancestors. Everyone knew that the spirits of loved ones who had died now guided and protected those still walking the earth. Everyone understood that physical survival in this world depended on spiritual connections to the Other World.

A full moon caught in the bare branches of a tree

A stone that came from the land bridged the worlds of here and beyond. To swear an oath with your hand on a sacred stone forged an invisible link to your ancestors. Break your oath and you break your connection. You risk survival in this world and the next. If your clan knew you’d broken your vow, their support would also be in jeopardy. At best, you’d be shunned. At worst, you’d be driven from the village. If you didn’t honor a commitment to your ancestors, how could you be trusted? Continue reading

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Episode 3 – Baby Blessings Intergenerational Ceremony for the Unchurched

Have you seen Walt Disney’s The Lion King?  One of my favorite scenes is when the witch, Rafiki, presents the newborn cub, Simba, to the gods while Simba’s parents beam with pride. That scene is what inspired a baby blessing I created.

 

Owls for Baby Blessing

In my work as a ritualist, I create rituals to help individuals, couples, families, and communities navigate rites of passage – weddings, new home blessings, baby blessings, as well as funerals, memorial services, and other milestones along the way. Most of the people who work with me are not members of a church. That no longer presents an obstacle for couples getting married since there are several legal alternatives for someone to perform the ceremony. Couples might choose a justice of the peace, a generic officiant, or a specialist in family and community rituals – a Life-Cycle Celebrant. That’s what I am.

Baby Blessing Ritual for the Unchurched

Not being a member of a church or other organized spiritual community can present a challenge when the couple has a baby. Continue reading

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