Hekate Devotion: Spring Equinox

The Spring Equinox also known as Ostara or the Vernal Equinox is the day which symbolically marks the first day of spring.  The day and night are of equal length and from this point onwards the days get longer as we head towards Beltane.  The Spring Equinox happens when the sun crosses the celestial equator moving – south in the southern hemisphere and north in the northern hemisphere, which causes the days to lengthen and the temperatures to go up.  Vernal itself means fresh or new like the spring and this time officially marks the time of spring. Ostara is derived from the German goddess Eostre who represents new beginnings in conjunction with spring.

This year in the Southern Hemisphere calendar it falls on Thursday the 23rdst of September at 5.20am. Gods such as Ostara/Eostre, The Green Man, Mother Earth/Gaia, Hekate, Persephone, Demeter, Osiris, Geb, Ver, Flora, Freya, Brigid, Jarylo/Yarylo/Iarilo/Gerovit, Eiar, Ba Jia Jiang, Ashanti, Saraswati, Cybele and Morityema all can be honoured during this time of year.

I have celebrated Spring with groups of people in various magickal settings and the one thing which I found linked them, was the coming together to celebrate the flourishing of the land.  Something which I have experienced often during this festival day is the acknowledgement of the bounty of the earth. 

One of the fondest memories I have during this time of year is celebrating the Spring Equinox through colouring eggs.  It’s something I learned from my mother who would prepare them for Greek Orthodox easter.  When I started observing the Spring Equinox I would make them in September to correlate with the southern hemisphere and would make them exactly like my mother did.  I did this by taking chicken eggs which had been wrapped in panty hose, keeping leaves or flowers in place to make a stencil of them appear on the eggs and using red Greek egg dye and vinegar to boil them. When they had cooled I would buff them with some olive oil to give them a nice shine.  Soon after my first few attempts I started to make eggs in elemental colours for the elemental quarters.  

In my coven and magickal groups thereafter we would occasionally make painted eggs which had been blown out from raw eggs and could be used as magickal symbols of spring.  We would also occasionally make floral or herbal wreaths to adorn ourselves with. 

As an avid herbalist during this time of year I notice that my garden is coming to life.  Plants, herbs and trees which have been dormant over the fallow period of the winter are blossoming, new shoots are being birthed or are regenerating. I like to acknowledge and thank my garden and the Devas of the land and its blessings by leaving herbs, trees or plants, offerings especially those who are decades old or have personal significance.  Such as a fennel plant which was planted by my mother and which is now decades old, plum trees which were part of the original farm which existed way before houses were built in the area, an aloe vera plant which was gifted to me by a coven sister in our youth, succulents gifted by an old friend who is no longer living in the country, a lemon/lime tree which my father created and planted which had stopped fruiting until recent years and a lemon tree I planted which was dying and which has regenerated recently.  Of course I adore and respect all the trees, plants and herbs I haven’t mentioned especially since they bring in local birds, insects and bugs which help pollinate and sustain them due to my garden being biodynamic.

During this time of year I also tend to cook a lot especially with the locally sourced organic produce available and gift items such as bread and biscuits to loved ones.  I also tend to food craft for my patrons (specifically Hekate, A’set and Sekhmet) which I then offer upon their shrines and altars during their devotionals.  

I personally feel that Hekate resonates with this time of the year.  Persephone has come back to her mother Demeter with the guidance and aid of Hekate, after being trapped with Hades during the dark part of the year when the earth lay dormant.  The earth is waking up due to Demeter’s great joy in being reunited with her daughter Persephone.  What this signifies from my perspective is that Hekate can be the enabling force for us to come out of and move on from of the dark and fallow experiences we have endured.  Now we can move onto new beginnings, opportunities and illuminate that which we should focus on to bring the blessings we want and need in our lives. 

Hekate can be a guiding force for change and movement.  Hekate can help us tap into the potential of this time as she lights up way which allows us to take a more beneficial path on the crossroads we might find ourselves at.  She encourages us to take the first step towards renewal and rebirth and the promise of new beginnings.  Hekate encourages us to engage in this movement onwards and upwards and use it for the power it contains – the promise of shedding the old and embracing the new and the power (internal and external) it contains.

I personally like to honour Hekate during this time and make offerings of  eggs, herbs (mint, sage, iron wort, lavender, wormwood etc – herbs of hers which are growing now), seeds (for planting), lavender flowers, sage flowers, saffron, corn flowers, edible flowers (violet, chive, clover, lilac etc) breadapples, pomegranates, dandelions, wine, grape juice, honey infused tea/milk and substitutes such as oat or almond milk, onions, black garlic, grains such as barley, wheat husks, pomegranate cakes, cheese, legumes, beans and meat (lamb, rabbit and goat).

Vegetables such as beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, capsicum, carrot, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, eggplant, endive, leek, lettuce, onion, parsnip, pak choi, peas, radish, rocket, silverbeet, snow peas, spring onion, strawberry, corn and tomato.

Herbs such as chives, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, sage and thyme.

Flowers such as alyssum, asters, begonias, celostias, chrysanthemums, cinerarias, corn flowers, geraniums, petunias, daisies, carnations, lavender, marigolds, snapdragons, pansies, foxglove, sunflowers, gazanias, impatients and dahlias.

Some things you can do to honour and mark the Spring Equinox in your personal practice (or with a group of likeminded individuals) can be:

  1. Make food usually consumed during this time and partake or share with loved ones, as well as leave as offerings to your gods or gods of the season: meat (lamb/rabbit/goat) or legume and bean stews, egg dishes such as quiches or boiled coloured eggs, cheesecake, yogurt, cakes and anything which can be shared and is seasonal.
  2. Make coloured eggs or decorate wooden/ceramic eggs and leave them as offerings to the earth, seasonal God/dess or your patron/matron.
  3. Rituals, spells and magick for new beginnings, fertility, rebirth, renewal, new opportunities and endeavours (especially at dawn).
  4. Plant seeds for the future whether they be physical or metaphoric.
  5. Clean and refresh your home or ritual/magickal space ie spring clean through cleaning, decluttering and revamping.
  6. Rebirth rituals which can include taking devotional vows for a specific tradition or God/dess.
  7. Get up at sunrise and bask in the first light of the day in nature, whether you do so in your own backyard, local park or nature reserve.
  8. Feed your local wildlife appropriate offerings such as bird specific feed for your local natives.
  9. Take the day off if you can and spend the time in nature ie a picnic or hike.
  10. Light a fire (bonfire or fireplace) or candles to celebrate and honour the light of the sun during this time.
  11. Make wreaths from seasonal herbs and flowers to adorn yourself with.
  12. Craft some items which resonate with the season for you.
  13. Prick some flowers or treat yourself to some from a favourite florist to bring spring into your living area.
  14. Start a new hobby or lifestyle change (such as exercise) you have been wanting to or reconnect to.
  15. At dawn light candles to mark the passage of time from winter to spring and also to honour the Gods of this season (in gold, green, pink, yellow, blue and purple).

So work your magick this Spring Equinox, honour the dawn, nature and new beginnings and opportunities which are available to you and ask for what you want to blossom in your life.


(c) T. Georgitsis 2021

Hekate Devotion: Imbolc

Imbolc, which means “in the belly” or “ewe’s milk”, is the day that marks the incoming Spring.   Symbolically it marks the halfway point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox and celebrates the rebirth of the sun as the days get longer.  Traditionally it is a Northern Hemisphere Gaelic festival which falls on the 1st of February and celebrates the Feast Day of Brigid. It marks the time of the year when spring flowers start to emerge in nature and can be a date to celebrate women.

This year in the Southern Hemisphere calendar it falls on Saturday the 7thst of August at 4.53pm. Gods such as Brigit, Aenghus Og, Cerridwen, Hekate, Persephone, Demeter, Gaia, Hestia, Aphrodite, Eros, Pan, Bast, Aradia, Ceres, Faunus, Venus and Vesta can all be honoured during this time of year.

I have celebrated Imbolc with groups of people in various magickal settings and the one thing which I found linked them, was the coming together to celebrate the planting of seeds and sharing of food in a communal setting.  Something which I have experienced time and time again during this festival day is the ritualistic act of planting physical and metaphorical seeds which symbolises set intentions for the coming season of Spring and Summer.  Also feasting is highlighted during this time as so many religious festivals tend to celebrate this way.

One of the fondest memories I have during this time of year is celebrating Imbolc through planting seeds or seedling when I was starting out in my first coven.  It’s something I never did before on my own and being able to watch something I planted with my own hands, grow and prosper developed my love of gardening.  When I started studying herbalism a few years later I became obsessed with growing all the medicinal and magickal herbs I could.  I spent years transferring my garden into a large organic one and creating special herb garden spaces dedicated to Hekate and A’set respectfully.

As an avid herbalist who likes to grow my own plants, herbs and trees I can use in my practice, I tend to always focus energy during this time planting organic heirloom seeds or seedlings for the coming season’s use.  I also like to plant my intentions for what I want to grow in my life as I feel this is the perfect time to do so, to align with nature.  Along with this, I also love to spend a lot of time in nature and honouring nature.   From the seas to the mountains, I tend to go on a Imbolc hike coupled with a picnic/bbq if the weather permits.

I also tend to make a lot of candles as I am an avid candle maker and use various methods from set tapers and pillars, rolled wax to poured soy.  I make them for my patrons (specifically Hekate, A’set and Sekhmet) which I then burn regularly on their shrines and altars during their devotionals.  I also make a lot of incense for the same patrons as I find when I blend and grind up all the materials its quite easy to set intention for them as I find it an incredibly meditative and magical act.

Brigit represents the light and so does Hekate and I personally feel Hekate can guide us out of the darkness and into the light, like she did for Persephone.  

I feel that Hekate resonates with this time of the year for various reasons.  Hekate can illuminate what has been hiding in the darkness and ignite the flame within us.   In this time  she encourages and enables us to turn our attention to the presence of the promise of new opportunities to come.  As the time of growth and movement is happening all around us Hekate encourages us to engage in this and use it for the power it contains – the promise of a light at the end of a dark tunnel and the promise of growth after a fallow period.

I personally like to honour Hekate during this time and make offerings of seeds, breadapples, pomegranates, dandelions, primroses, grape juice, honey infused milk, onions, grains such as barley, wine, honey cake, seed cake and preserve cake.

In the garden now is the time to plant:

Vegetables such as  lettuce, spinach, kale, collards, Asian greens, beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, leek, onions, sweeds, parsnip, turnip, peas, radish, rocket, garlic, potatoes, cucumber, eggplant and silver beet.

Herbs such as mustard, horseradish, curry plant, licorice, dandelions, parsley, feverfew, dill, mint, marjoram, oregano, lovage, and chervil.

Flowers such as, primroses, cornflowers, calendula, Siberian wallflower, nasturtiums and cyclamen.

Some things you can do to honour and mark Imbolc in your personal practice (or with a group of likeminded individuals) can be:

  1. Make the food usually consumed during this time: colcannon, sowans, dumplings, barmbrack or bannocks.
  2. Make oak crosses.
  3. Make corn husk or straw dolls.
  4. Visit local wells, rives or streams and collect the water for magick and ritual work.  Use water to bless home, family and garden.
  5. Take a walk sunwise (clockwise) around a well and pray for good health or an ailment ensuring to leave an offering such as a coin.
  6. Hold feasts with loved ones.
  7. Divination such as candle (flame or wax), water and weather divination (cloud, sunset/sunrise).
  8. Sew seeds for the coming spring and plant what you want to grow into your life.
  9. Spring clean (such as home and altar/shrine) as it’s the time of purification which can be used to remove the stagnant energies and bring in cleansing new energies.
  10. Make offerings to the earth and sea.
  11. At sunset light candles to mark the passage of time from winter to spring and also to honour the Gods of this season (in gold, white, yellow and red colours).
  12. Light torches in your Gods names.
  13. Go for a walk in nature and take stock of what is growing and coming in for you.
  14. Initiation and self-initiation rituals can be worked during this time due to apt timing.
  15. A good time for fertilising things such as ideas, projects and even yourself with what you want to grow

So work your magick this Imbolc, honour the light and ask for what you want to manifest in your life.


(c) T. Georgitsis 2021

Hekate Devotion: Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice also known as Yule is the day with the shortest amount of daylight and the longest amount of night. Symbolically it marks the death and rebirth of the sun and it falls between Samhain and the Spring Equinox and due to this manifests as the darkest period of the year yet is also a turning point where the days become longer.  It symbolises the darkest time of year and marks the returning of the light due to its time of seasonal transition.  The winter solstice marks the sun as its lowest elevation in the sky and the reason it contains the longest night of the year.  This year in the Southern Hemisphere calendar it falls on Monday the 21st of June at 1.32pm. Gods such as Hekate, Persephone, Demeter, Dionysus, Helios, Poseidon, Zeus, Hera, Hathor, Sekhmet, Osiris, Horus, Neith, Nephthys, Spider Woman, Ameratasu, Saturn, Odin, Bona Dea, Mithras, Holy King, Hod, Frigga, Frau Holle, Cailleach and Baldurcan all be honoured during this time of year.

I have celebrated Yule with groups of people in a magickal setting such as a working lodge, coven and magickal order.  The one thing which I found which linked them all together was the coming together to celebrate the light and the darkness whilst sharing food and gifts.

One of the fondest memories I have during this time of year is celebrating the winter solstice through creating handmade gifts.  I spend considerable time planning on what to make and then following through by crafting gifts which are unique and special.  The first thing I ever recall making was for my first coven where I sculpted and fired a set of runes and hand sewed an accompanying bag to contain them in.  This took a significant amount of energy and effort and was placed in a sack of gifts to be randomly selected by one coven member in the middle of our coven’s winter solstice ritual.  Imagine my surprise when one of my coven members whom I was closest to (and who has become a lifelong friend) chose it at random and had been wanting a set of runes which turned out to feature her favourite colour (they were coloured green and purple).

I personally like to hand make gifts during this time of year usually involving items which feature divination, light, purification, seeds, woods and herbs harvested and collected.  I also love to cook, bake and prepare food which is consumed, shared or given to loved ones including the following: citrus preserves such as salt preserved lemons and Cointreau marmalade,  soup (lentil/beans/barley and root vegetable, Greek chicken soup), stew (barley, beans, lentil, cholent andcoq au vin), bread (Greek sweetbread, olive loaf and garlic and feta loaf), gingerbread (especially witches houses/cottages), shortbread (various Greek ones), lamb or beef roast, dumplings and baked spiced rice stuffed into vegetables.

Since this time tends to fall on my personal anniversary (we got together on the winter solstice) for me it also involves going out for an intimate meal with my partner and exchanging thoughtful gifts.  

I feel that Hekate resonates with this time of the year for various reasons. One being that this is a liminal time where she has dominion between the darkness and the light.  In this time  she encourages and enables us to turn our attention to the presence of the promise of new things to come.  As the time of growth and movement is before us Hekate beckons us to straddle the in-between time and to use this time for the power it contains.

I personally like to honour Hekate during this time and make offerings of apples, pomegranates, garlic, onions, mead, beer, wine, bread, barley, nuts, lilies, pine, mistletoe, juniper, holly, frankincense, myrrh, cedar, bay, chamomile and roots from dandelions.

I also like to make items for Hekate which resonate with the season mostly wands collected from wood during the summer, candle anointing oil blends, herb pouches for dreaming, health and wealth, candles which illuminate, soap which cleanses, incense using dried herbs from the summer, book and journal covers with locally sourced materials or upcycled materials, various art pieces with paints, ink, photography and/or several thread types (in recent years its been all about the land, sea and sky) and beaded jewellery such as ethically sourced crystal necklaces which can also be used as meditation or manifestation beads.

In the garden now is the time to plant:

Vegetables such as artichoke, asparagus, beans, beetroot, broad beans, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, capsicum, carrot, cauliflower, celery, chillies, corn, cucumber, endive, kale, leek, lettuce, melons, okra, onion, parsnip, peas, pumpkins, radish, rhubarb, shallots, silver beet, snow peas, spinach, tomatoes, turnip and zucchinis

Herbs such as garlic, basil, chives, cress, curry, dill, mint, parsley, sage and thyme.

Flowers such as aquilegia, calendula, cineraria, cyclamen, delphinium, foxglove, nemesia, pansy, primula, polyanthus poppy and viola. 

Some things you can do to honour and mark the winter solstice in your personal practice (or with a group of likeminded individuals) can be:

  1. Hold a ritual signifying the balance of darkness and light and/or liminality.
  2. Work spells and magick which involve igniting a flame, balance or brining the light into a situation, .
  3. Create and light a bonfire or light a special candle carved with symbols which signify the time of year.
  4. Inscribe and light a Yule log in a firepit or fireplace.
  5. Take a walk at dusk holding a lantern.
  6. Bake a seasonal pie, cook a roast and make mulled wine or any other food or drink which to you symbolises the winter solstice .
  7. In the evening go out star gazing and seek out your local constellations.
  8. Honour the Gods which signify this time of year by creating a shrine or altar in their name or tending to an existing one and make offerings to them.
  9. Create an ice wreath in the freezer filled with flowers and herbs of the season (use a bunt cake tin) and once set place a candle in the middle of the wreath and light it to signify the winter moving out and the spring coming in.
  10. Use this time to cleanse your magickal tools and spaces such as shrines and altars.
  11. Rituals and spells involving transitions and movement.
  12. Reflect on your inner world and take some time to just be with yourself and listen to your inner self such as meditation, yoga, going for a walk in nature or just sitting in a space which is sacred to you and just being present.
  13. Use this time to recharge yourself through honouring yourself and do what you need to, to enable that reset.
  14. Host a feast with family or friends which can include music and dancing.
  15. Light black and white candles to signify the diminishing darkness and the increasing light.
  16. Decorate a tree (such as a xmas tree) with decorations which signify the winter solstice.
  17. Exchange gifts with loved ones.
  18. Donate to charities involving the displaced such as the homeless and refugees.
  19. Do something kind for someone who is alone, in pain or suffering.
  20. Volunteer for a charity which assists the natural world or the less fortunate.
  21. Divination such as rune, tarot, dice, candle wax, crystal, magick mirror or ink scrying.  

So work your magick this midwinter, honour the light and the darkness within you and all around you and contemplate and manifest balance in your life.


(c) T. Georgitsis 2021

Resolutions 2021

Many create resolutions at the beginning of the new year.  These resolutions can include getting rid of a bad habits or introducing a good one.  Resolutions tend to be created and promises made – which usually (if not always) fall by the wayside.

This is why I as I have described before I personally do not create resolutions.  What I like to do is set intentions of what I want to undergo for the year with the focus being on what new “experience” I want to learn or immerse myself in.

Last year what quite an intense one and as such most of my time was spent on survival and self-care.

My focus for the year is listed below in bold, whilst my achievements are listed beneath with supporting lists, links or photographs.

Read and re-read books which inspire and/or move me:

GoodRead List 2020

I didn’t read as many books as I usually do due to spending a lot of time reading academic papers on Academia as well as subscribing to Medium and reading various articles there by independent writers.

Support more artists creating hand-made/self-published items born from their hard work, research, study and/or imagination:

Miss Marley Art

The Woodpecker

TitchyYosies

MUMA

LeRoux Manor

The Quirky Cup Collective

Luna Noire Creations

Rapt n Hide

B Inspired Art

Woodspinning

Fiona Ariva

Reclaimed Red Gum Eucalyptus Floating Ledges (c) The Woodpecker

Support a charity I resonate with:

Share the Dignity

Guide Dog Australia

Run For Refugees

Sister Works

STEPtember

Meow Rescue

Cotton On Foundation

Nefertiti & Ramesses (c) T. Georgitsis

Visit somewhere I haven’t been before which has a spirit of place:

Dromana Beach (been there as a child but not as an adult).

Mornington peninsular (visited various places of the area).

Healesville Sanctuary

Dromana Beach 12/2020 (c) T. Georgitsis

Dromana Beach 12/2020 (c) T. Georgitsis

Complete a workshop/course which is connected to my interests, passions and causes I like to support:

Handwriting Course (Cursive)

Caligraphy Course 

Self Publishing Workshop

Librarian Course 

Create something magical which feeds and inspires my practice:

Painting with acrylics – submitted and accepted to Gallery Exhibit 5 x 9 (painting sold)

Photography of Spirit of Place – submitted and accepted to Optica 2020 Exhibit

Card Making with Kemetic, Hellenic, Magical and Witch Themes

Letter Writing by Hand

Typewriter Poetry

Journalling which included a pandemic diary, magical spell book, magical grimoire and poetic journal with mixed media, watercolour, acrylic and ink drawings.

Blogging – Occult/Magical and Creative Writing 

Craft Making (candles, soap, anointing oils, incense blends, herb bundles)

Cooking various new meals which includes celebratory offerings 

Created new spells utilising Greek Folk Magic practises 

Planted more herbs and focused on cultivating and preserving ones used in Greek and Egyptian magic.

“Blue” 9×5 Exhibition (C) T. Georigitsis

“Diva Connection” Optika20 (c) T. Georgitsis

Attended Conference with a Magical/Spiritual Slant :

AWC 2020

HoN End of Year Festivities – Epagomenial Days & Wep Ronpet 

LIFE is about experiences and the way I feel when I – create, visit or support something which inspires and uplifts me.  I find its easier to get energised and complete set objectives if I find personal purpose within the task before me.

Therefore my suggestion for those wanting to set resolutions who then struggle to fulfil them, is to instead write a wish list of intentions, of things you would like to do – to feed your soul and go from there.  That way there is less pressure as the focus is more pleasure in your life.

(C) T Georgitsis – all images and text 2020

Dumb Supper

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Although Samhain is celebrated in the Southern Hemisphere on the 1st of May, in the Northern Hemisphere its celebrated on the 31st of October, and some here chose to connect to those energies.  Therefore, I thought I would post something I wrote a few years back on Samhain and the practice of the Dumb Supper .

Samhain is also known as the last harvest.  It’s the time of year when the land’s fertility withdraws in preparation for the dormancy of winter.  Since Samhain is when the veil between the living world and that of the spirit world is the thinnest, I use this occasion to make offerings in the form of a Dumb Supper to my ancestors in thanks for the connections to my blood history.  Samhain is also a time of endings and beginnings for the witch, as its the start of the witch’s new year.   Along with ancestor veneration, acknowledging and honoring the Gods of this time – the turning of the seasonal wheel is also of importance.

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A Dumb Supper is a meal, which can include drink created in honor of the dead.  This supper cannot only be for your ancestors but also for friends who have passed or those whom you have a connection to and are no longer in the realm of the living.  Dumb Suppers are a time of silent remembrance so when offering a meal to them, it is traditional to commune with them silently or you can write a note to them and leave it with the meal.  Dumb Suppers can be offered in sacred space, like part of a Samhain ritual or they can be offered at a place at the set table of your Samhain meal you prepare (usually at the head of the table and served first).  Dumb Suppers can be covered in a shroud to symbolize its for the blessed dead, have a candle lit before it so its easy for them to find it on the astral, as well as saying a silent prayer in honor of them.

I like to create a Dumb Supper with things my blessed dead liked to eat in life. I personally include my supper as part of my Samhain ritual, which I use to communicate with them and thank them for their blessings of giving me life. Since candles were used to help spirits find their way home, I place a candle with images of my ancestors, a personal item of theirs and a plate consisting of their food in the North West of my cast circle.  I place a note I have written to them underneath the offering plate ensuring this plate is never used by the living (lest death take those who partake of it).  During my Samhain ritual I also burn the note of correspondence I wrote for them in a cauldron or fire pit so its released to the ether of spirit.

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Whatever you decide to create for your Dumb Supper, ensure you use what’s in season, and connect to the energies of Samhain.  Foodstuff in season can consisting of apples, pumpkins, corn, mushrooms, turnips, pomegranates, garlic, onions, potatoes, wine/mead, meat, nuts, within your meal offering for the ancestors.  Herbs which can be infused in your food and drink which resonate with the energies of Samhain are rosemary, mugwort, rue, tarragon, sage, wormwood, bay, nettle, mandrake, nutmeg, fennel (please note some of these herbs can be toxic with overuse or be incompatible with pregnant women so please refer to a material medica for further detailed information on the herbs you use).

If you would like some recipes check out my food blog:

https://madammagick.wordpress.com/recipes/

(c) T. Georgitsis 2014

Spirit of Place: My Back Garden

The wheel turns as we head into winter with Samhain just days away (5th of May at 11.34am EST Southern Hemisphere) and yet my garden is showing signs of life not dormancy as expected…got to love nature!

 

All images (c) T. Georgitsis

 

Seasonal Changes (A View From My Garden)

On the last day of April I share with you this poem I wrote about my garden last year…

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Seasonal Changes (A View From My Garden)

When the trees show their fruits heavy on the bough 
I feel its Lugh, 
When the leaves and acorns turn and fall
I feel its Autumn Equinox, 
When the earth sleeps and it turns dark
I feel its Samhain, 
When the hearth is full and the bulbs sprout
I feel its Yule, 
When the trees blossom and the light creeps in
I feel its Imbolc 
When the seedlings come up and the air is fresh
I feel its Spring Equinox
When the bees kiss the flowers and plants
I feel its Beltaine
When the insects chatter and the sun shines bright
I feel its Summer solstice

© T. Georgitsis 2015

Spirit of Place: Mummymania Exhibit

The Ian Potter Museum currently has a “Mummymania” Exhibition happening right now until the 17th of April in Melbourne for free…taken from the exhibit website:

Mummymania focuses on the figure of the Egyptian mummy and its role within the themes of life, death, resurrection and immortality. Ranging from the mummy’s original role in ancient Egyptian funerary practices to its importance in early scientific investigations into ancient disease and medicine, and its popular reception as a malevolent Hollywood monster-figure, the exhibition looks at the changing perception of the mummy over time.

Mummymania includes a small number of mummified objects that reveal the mummification process in ancient Egypt and its relationship to Egyptian afterlife beliefs. The history of the exploration of Egypt by Europeans and the export of ancient Egyptian antiquities including mummies also features, including the public mummy-unrolling spectacles that were popular in the nineteenth century. The pivotal use of mummies in medicine, and the scientific analysis of tissue including the use of CAT scanning in order to understand ancient disease, is an important aspect of the legacy that is not widely known. This lesser known history is explored alongside the mummy’s well-known role as a Hollywood horror film star.

I have taken some images I would like to share with you from the exhibition which were my favourite items displayed (no images of remains were taken due to the nature of the images being something I personally don’t feel comfortable with):

 

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Ptah holding a Was Sceptre Ptolemaic period

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Sekhmet statue in bronze Ptolemaic period

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Limestone Stela of Female Late Roman Period

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Sandstone T shaped offering Table Late Period

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Faïence pendants of New to Late Period

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Limestone Stela Ptolemaic Period

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Ushabti Late Period

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Terracotta lamps Coptic period

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Death mask of a woman Roman Period

 

All images (C) T. Georgitsis 2016

 

 

 

Organic Chinese Tea Appreciation: Glenferrie Tea House

Last year I found out the Glenferrie Tea House started to offer organic chinese tea appreciation sessions so I booked myself in as I have an obsession with tea.

The appreciation session lasted for about 2 hours and was set in the master tea makers home complete with traditional tea table and chairs.

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The different types of teas we tried were white tea (top near the small tea cups) and in order from left to right (bottom near prosperity pigs) were oolong also known as red tea, green tea and black tea.

My favourite was the Green tea which was the Green Puerh and the Oolong tea known as Red Puerh was perfect for my constitution (love it when my natural medicine knowledge can be used).  I found the Black Tea known as Hei Cha was the longest fermented we had at 10 years old which had an interesting flavour, since I’d never had black tea before.  All teas were from the same region in China – Yunnan Province and other than the loose non fermented White and Green were packed as disks.

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I learned so much about Traditional Chinese Tea I never knew before.  The things which stood out for me was the first brew of any tea is the tea wash to remove any impurities from the processing of the herbs and should not be drunk.  Also white tea and green teas only make about 5 good brews whilst red and black can make up to 10-15 and the notes change drastically with each brew.  Lastly White and Green tea shouldn’t be kept past 1 year after its been exposed to the air as its worthless unlike black or red tea which can last longer due to the fermentation (similar to wine).

The great thing is I have confirmation that my palette is still delicate as I could definitely taste the notes in the various teas (flowers in the green, chocolate in the black etc) and asked about them which impressed the tea master even though that was not my intention – just wanted to make sure I was tasting it right.

white tea trying

 

All images (C) T. Georgitsis 2016

 

 

 

Spirit of Place: Bali

I’ve been to Bali quite a few times in my life due to the beauty I’ve witnessed. Most times there I havent taken images but others have and here are some of my favorite memories.

The stunning sunset view from the Potato Head beach:

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The lush rice fields seen all through rural Bali:

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The active volcano Mount Batur:

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Temple of Death in Monkey Forest:

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This temple was dedicated to Rangda – the witch in Balinese Hinduism  who is the one whom presides over the temple of death which is also known as the destruction temple.  She is shown in the pillars above with big curves, long hair and petruding tongue. Apparently she is a very beautiful woman when she is in a good mood and turns into an ugly bitch when pissed off. This temple was near the end of the complex and was fairly deserted but it resonated with so much power and I felt Hekate there too.

Sari Restaurant Temple overlooking active volcano:

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The shrine above was attached to a restaurant that sat on one of the edges/tops of another volcano across from the active one.  We were so high up the views were spectacular.  There was nothing much else to see this high up except for the farm land on the way up and down the volcano but you could definitely feel the power of the place.

Local village temple:

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This is the first temple we visited in a local village not frequented by tourists at all.  Its their creation temple and in the Balinese Hindu traditions each village has 3 temples.  A creation temple (birth presided over by Brahma) and a protection temple ( to preserve existance/life presided over by Vishnu) which are localed on the NE corner of the village and then a death temple (destruction presided over by Shiva or Rangda) which is located outside the village and also serves as a cemetary as villages have a cremation ceremony once every 15 years due to cost.

Coolman (our driver and guide) was a practising Hindu so he told us in depth about his practice and what the symbolism of certain things meant and answered all my questions.  He was surprised about how much I knew about his faith but I explained that I’d grown up with a Hindu friend  and I’d been to Bali several times before as well as researching the Hindu faith out of curiosity.

The minute we crossed over the thresshold to the temple above Coolman said that we were in a place of power and said that he knew that as his hair stood on his arms and he had goosebumps (its his sign that he is in a liminal place).  My finace and I both felt it as well and it was quite magickal.

After that we ended up having a quite interesting coversation on Kharma and the rest of the day which followed was probably the best tour I’ve done in Bali 😀

All images (C) S. Altman 2011