My Salem Massachusetts 2 Day Trip Itinerary

So in the last week of June my partner and I will be going on a 10 day vacation and one of our stops is going to be 2 days in Salem. So I thought it would be fun if today I kind of post our itinerary and then the Wednesday after our trip I make a big post about what exactly we did, what we thought of each thing and then some pictures!

Also key to note that any prices I provide are in USD.

Day 1:

So day one will be spent absorbing all the knowledge I can get.

  • First stop will be the Salem witch museum.
    • For your knowledge the pricing is $13 for an adult, $11.50 for seniors, and $10 for kids 6-14. Presumably kids 5 and under are free.
  • Salem witch trials memorial is the second stop
    • I read online that one should do the museum first (as we plan to) to have more context. As long as you aren’t doing a tour this is free to my knowledge.
  • Charter st cemetery is third on the list
    • This cemetery is right beside the Salem witch trials memorial so it is a good spot to head to right after there
    • I would assume it is free as long as it isn’t a guided tour
  • The Howard st cemetery
    • This is said to be the cemetery that Giles Corey was pressed to death
    • And as the rest of the places of rest should be free

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Day 2:

Most of this day will be just appreciating the city for what it is a city. We’ll go and check out local stores and just see other none witchy sites. However if the day end up drawing out a bit I have a couple places we could go to check out.

  • The Witch House
  • Witch History Museum
    • I found the price at one point but can’t seem to find it again
    • I read that this museum focuses more on witchcraft rather than the trials.

One thing that we will be doing later on in the evening is going on a walking tour. The tour we are going to go on is by hocus pocus tours. I’ll leave a link here if you want to know more about it. However if you just want to know the price it is Adults: $17, Seniors (65 & up): $15, Military Service Members: $15, Students: $15, Children (Ages 5-12): $10. Prices change a bit in October.

So that is all for today’s post. Make sure you stay tuned so you can hear about how the trip went and what I think of the various locations. Have you been to Salem? Let me know if you think there’s place I should visit that I haven’t mentioned, along with any other thoughts or questions you may have. Make sure you follow me here and on twitter so you get notifications when I post and when I upload videos to youtube. Until next time, Blessed Be!

 

 

Lammas Ritual

I guess I’m a little behind on this ritual since Lammas was on the 2nd but it’s never too late to do a ritual to honour the gods if this ritual calls out to you. I found this ritual on the website https://www.thoughtco.com and will make any adjustments, which I will highlight, for those of us with lower budgets/inventory/are solitary, as I see fit.

Materials:

  1. Whatever you like to use to cast a circle (I use sage and my athame)
  2.  A loaf of Lammas bread (lammas bread) or just regular homemade bread
  3. A cup of water or wine
  4. pieces of straw or another plant material (enough for each person in the ritual to make a little doll)
  5. yarn
  6. a bonfire or small table top fire in a pot, cauldron, or brazier

The Ritual:

  1. cast your circle, ground, and meditate
  2. The High Priest or High Priestess (or if your solitary, just yourself) says:

    It is the time of the harvest once again.
    Life, growth, death and rebirth,
    all have come full circle.
    The god of the harvest has died once more,
    That we may eat and consume him,
    Giving us strength in the months to come.

  3. The HPs (or if just yourself say this as you pick up the straw) hands each member of the group a sheaf of straw, saying:
  4. We now create dolls in our image.
    These dolls symbolize our selves, in our many aspects,
    and all the things we give up each year,
    so that we may thrive and flourish later on.
  5. Each member of the group constructs a doll to represent themselves (how to make a doll). As each person creates their doll, they should energize the doll with personal qualities. These are the essences of self that each person is bringing to sacrifice, so that they may be reborn as the harvest god is each year. When everyone has completed their dolls, the High Priestess (or yourself) says:

    The god of grain is dying,
    vegetation returns to the earth.
    We call upon the gods of the harvest,
    asking them for their blessings.
    Tammuz and Lugh,
    Adonis, Dumuzi,
    Cernunnos and Attis,
    Mercury, Osiris. (I would just say the one God that I worship at this time, i.e Pan)
    You are born each year,
    and live in our fields
    and are sacrificed as part of the cycle.

  6. Raise energy by circling your fire or altar three times, building speed each time (move counter clockwise, against the pattern of the sun, because it’s the end of the harvest season).
  7. When the raising of energy is complete, each person in the group approaches the fire, one at a time, and casts their doll into the fire. They can either say out loud what their sacrifice will be this year, or speak it only to themselves and the gods. As each doll is placed in the fire, direct leftover energy into the flames as well.
  8. When everyone has made their sacrifice, the HPs (or yourself) holds up the loaf of Lammas bread. Say:

    Months ago, we planted seeds,
    and through the summer watched them grow.
    We have tended the fields in our lives,
    and now we are blessed with abundance.
    The harvest has arrived!
    Thank you, lord of the harvest,
    For the gifts yet to come.
    We eat this bread, grain transformed by fire, in your name,
    and honor you for your sacrifice.

  9. The HPs (or yourself) breaks off a piece of bread for herself, and passes it around the circle, so that everyone can take a piece. Eat the bread, and then pass around the cup of wine or water. If you wish, you can say something as the cup is passed, like: May you reap the blessings of the harvest.
  10. Once everyone has eaten their bread and sipped from the cup, take a moment to reflect on what you have harvested for yourself this season. End the ritual as you normally would or other rites you wish to perform (spellwork, divination, etc)

Did you try this ritual, if so what did you think? If you have any thoughts or questions please leave them in the comments! If you’d like to stock up for this or any other ritual check out the Mystical Moon Online Store here: Mystical Moon Online Store. Merry Meet and Blessed Be.

All About Covens

First of all, what is a Coven?

A coven can be a group of Wiccans or just Witches. If a group of Wiccans, they would gather for every Sabbat and 1-2 times a month for esbats (Sabbats are days we celebrate the sun and esbats are nights we celebrate the moon) to do rituals and magick. If they are solely Witches they would gather likely on full moons and whenever else they deem fit to practice magick together. In this post though I will be talking of Wiccan covens.

Different covens practice different paths of Wicca so if you are going to join a coven it is very important that you find one that meets your beliefs. How you join a coven differs from coven to coven. In some covens you can inquire about joining, in others you have to wait to be invited. In a coven there are usually 1-2 leaders known as the High Priestess or the High Priest. The number of Wiccans in a coven is usually between 3 and 20.

There are pros and cons to working in a coven. Some pros are that you get support and companionship.As a solitary I can vouch in saying working alone can be quite lonely and isolating. Also, when in a coven you have people who you can teach you about the craft. When you are solitary you have to figure out everything for yourself. When you’re in a coven you can study to get higher degrees in the coven and eventually get the status of High Priest(ess). Lastly some people enjoy having a set schedule and a plan for how to learn. It gives them a routine and structure that they work well with.

Despite the pros there are some cons. Although some people love the structure, some people don’t. The coven will make decisions about meeting times and attendance that may not fit your schedule. Certain covens have expectations of it’s members that you may not be comfortable with. For examples how you dress in a meeting (dressed or skyclad). You will also be held accountable for keeping the laws of the tradition of the coven. If said laws are broken the coven can kick you out. If you leave your coven and start a coven of a new tradition you may have to start your training all over again. Lastly, in a coven you will be hanging out with a group of people. If you don’t like a member it’s going to be uncomfortable.

Training in a Coven

Every coven is different but in general this is usually how the process goes. So you’ve told a coven you’re interested, they invite you to attend an open ritual. When you go to the ritual you will get to check out the coven and they get to check you out. If you guys like each other and they decide they want you to join as a dedicant or a witch in training. Then someone will agree to be your teacher. As a dedicant you study the craft for a year and a day before you earn your first degree initiation and acceptance into the coven.

You will get a list of expectations that may include attendance and study requirements, promises to uphold the Wiccan Rede, and an oath to keep the coven a secret.

The coven will have a dedication ritual for you that essentially says you are committing yourself to the Wiccan path. After another year and a days study after your dedication, if the high Priest(ess) deems you ready you will be part of a ritual where you are reborn into the Wiccan path. You then will earn your First Degree Initiation, you gain the title of Priest or Priestess, and you’re officially a member of the coven. Then after another year and a day study from that ritual and the High Priest(ess) deems you ready you will earn your Second Degree Elevation and the title High Priest(ess). You are now qualified to start teaching, writing, and leading ritual. In some traditions you will be able to start your own coven. The last step is at least a year and a day after that ritual if the High Priest(ess) deems you ready you earn your Third Degree Elevation, and the official title of clergy, and the title of Lady or Lord. At this point you can break away from the mother coven, or hive off and form your own coven.

Priests, Priestesses, and Elders

Within a coven there is generally both a High Priestess and a High Priest. The High Priestess is seen as the Goddess incarnate and is the spiritual centre of the coven. The High Priest assists the High Priestess and is seen as the God incarnate. Elders are people who have all their degrees but have chosen not to be a High Priest(ess). They are the mediators and spiritual resources of the coven. They also don’t have to be old but rather just experienced in Wicca and magick.