December 20, 2018
Among the frenzy and flurry of Christmas, you’re probably aware that we're also about to arrive at the Winter Solstice - December 21st, the shortest day of the year, also known as Midwinter or The Longest Night. It’s a deeply spiritual time of balance and change, and there are a number of ways you can honour it.
In Celtic and Pagan tradition, Winter Solstice and the traditional ‘Christmas’ are a part of one twelve-day midwinter festival called Yuletide. Yuletide, or Yule, is intended to commemorate the shifting or the ‘reawakening’ of nature, as the longest night falls over the northern half of the world, and the days begin to slowly lengthen.
The honouring of the Winter Solstice actually dates back as far as 3300BC and possibly further. At Newgrange in County Meath in Ireland - an important spiritual site even to this day - an ancient underground cairn is directly illuminated by the sun at sunrise every year on the Winter Solstice, strongly suggesting that our ancestors designed it for this purpose. So when we celebrate this sacred time, we’re continuing a tradition that’s endured for millenia.
Here are a number of ways that you can honour the Winter Solstice today, along with some book recommendations for further reading.
Share the ancient tale of the Holly King and the Oak King
The enduring legend of the Holly King and Oak King has been shared around hearths and bonfires for centuries. In Celtic lore, the Holly King is the nature deity that rules over the winter months, and the Oak King is his summer counterpart. The legends vary, but many of them involve these two kings battling each other all year long, with the Holly King de-throning the Oak during Summer Solstice as the days grow shorter and colder. Conversely, Winter Solstice is when the Oak King wins back his throne and starts to bring back longer, warmer days. While this tale is often one of battle, it’s widely believed that the Holly King and the Oak King are two parts of the same whole, and that neither could exist without the other. Either way, it’s a fun and riveting tale to share this Winter Solstice.
Read more about Celtic wisdom and lore in
Winter nature communion
It’s common for people to lose touch with nature over the winter months, choosing to stay indoors in the warmth away from the ice and frost and snow. Winter Solstice is the perfect time to go out and re-connect with nature. Go for a walk through the stripped-back forest, have a play in the snow, or go ice-skating on a frozen lake. Gather up winter plants, such as holly, heather, thyme, snowberry, winter berry and more. Take time to thank the natural world for providing gifts even in the harsh winter months, and seed spells of hope for a fruitful spring to come.
Read more about gathering plants and herbs in
The Boreal Herbal
Create a Yule altar
Your winter nature communion is the perfect chance to gather items for a seasonal Yule altar. If you’re a practising Wiccan or Pagan, you’ll be familiar with the idea of a magical altar, which we wrote about in a previous post here. It’s common to change your altar depending on the season or relevant Wheel of the Year festival. For Yule, decorate your altar with festive colours of red, green, silver and gold. Gather evergreen plants like pine, fir, juniper and cedar. Let a bowl of snow slowly melt on your altar, symbolising this powerful time of change and transformation. You can even include sun symbols, like sun wheels and yellow candles, to summon back the sun.
Read more about Wiccan practices in
Fire is an important element during Midwinter. It helps to keep us warm and illuminate the long nights, and also symbolises the return of the sun. This is a perfect time to practice candle magic, and how you do so will be up to your personal practice. You might perform a candle spell or ritual to bless the coming warmer longer days. You might perform a gratitude ceremony to thank the powers that be for the year that’s been. This is also a powerful time for cleansing and healing, so you might turn to candle magic to heal any wounds you might have suffered during the year and to clear the path ahead for a new year. Whatever ritual you choose, candle magic will be particularly potent at this time of year.
Read more about candle magic in
A Little Book of Candle Magic
On that note, this is an ideal time for setting intentions. Like many people set New Year Resolutions, Winter Solstice encourages us to pause, reflect and look ahead. Throughout the year, we might have lost track of our goals and intentions, so now is the time to re-direct our energies again. You might choose to write your intentions down into a diary or notebook, or place your notes on your magic altar to imbue them with spiritual energy. You might want to get together with family and friends to share your goals and intentions with each other, and discuss how you might be able to help each other on your spiritual journeys throughout the next year.
Whichever way you choose to celebrate the Winter Solstice, this is a powerful time to harness the transformative energies of the shifting seasons. Most of all, be sure to relax, enjoy and celebrate the natural world and all her many gifts. From us to you, happy Yule and Midwinter blessings!
December 08, 2018
Yuletide is almost here, that magical, merry time of year! The world feels all the more enchanted during the festive season, and so we thought we'd put a mythical spin on our gift ideas this year.
Most people have a magical creature that they feel most connected to—whether it's the fieriness of the dragon, the earthy energy of the fairy, the playful spirit of the mermaid, or the mystery of the unicorn. We've collated a list of Dragonspace gift ideas based on each of these four magical creature personalities. So read on to find out what to get for your mermaid-sister, unicorn-nephew and all in-between!
FOR THE DRAGONS
Dragons are known for their fiery nature. The dragon-lover in your life will probably be drawn to fire as an element, so celebrate that by gifting them with some distinctive candle-holders or incense to burn. In particular, our Dragon and Sword Candleholder will look perfect in a dragon's lair, and our Dragon's Blood Incense is ideal for protection and banishing negative energy.
Dragons also love treasure. There's sure to be something in our sterling silver jewelry collection that your dragon will want to add to their treasure trove. Our Celtic Band Rings are popular among men and women alike, or perhaps some Dragon Earrings fit for a dragon queen.
Dragons are fierce. Our sword and dagger collection will appeal to dragon-lovers who enjoy tales of battle and glory. We've even got replicas of Game of Thrones swords, such as Jon Snow's "Longclaw" and Ned Stark's "Ice" Dagger.
FOR THE FAIRIES
Fairies are often believed to have magical divinatory powers. Help the fairy in your life divine the future with a divinatory tool like our range of pendulums and runestones. Our Amethyst Pendulums and our Rose Quartz Runestones are always popular.
Fairies are powerful feminine figures. We have a number of books that celebrate magical women in our collection. The Priestess and the Pen takes a look at powerful priestess figures in history and mythology, and Avalon Within explores the mysteries that have inspired women through the ages, such as Arthurian legend.
FOR THE MERMAIDS
Mermaids are creatures of emotion. Mermaid-lovers will likely be highly in touch with their emotions and creativity, so would appreciate a meaningful journal or notebook. This special Mermaid's Mirror Journal features quotes from poets and artists inspired by mermaids, while this vibrant Imagination Journal is perfect for the dreamer.
Mermaids are playful. They'll love rising to the challenge of one of our fantasy-themed jigsaw puzzles, such as the intricate 1500 Piece Flight of the Fablemaker Puzzle or the elegant 550 Piece Gift of Love Puzzle.
Mermaids are known for their self-love, sometimes mistaken for vanity. So a mermaid would have no qualms about having statues of herself in her home! We've got a range of lovely mermaid statues and figurines, like our Mermaid in a Pond and our adorable Mermaid Baby.
FOR THE UNICORNS
Unicorns are mysterious creatures. The unicorn-lover in your life will likely be intrigued by the mysteries of tarot and oracle, and we've got a large range of decks in stock to choose from. The stunning Oracle of the Unicorns and the mystical Shadowscapes Tarot in particular would be a perfect fit.
Unicorns are pure. A gift of sage smudge sticks or resin incense will help your unicorn to cleanse and purify their life and surroundings. Our White Sage and Cedar Stick is perfect for smudging, and this Forest Blend Resin creates a fresh earthy aroma perfect for forest-dwelling unicorns.
Unicorns are legendary. Your unicorn friends will enjoy reading about other myths and fairytales, like this beautifully illustrated Classic Fairy Tales collection by Berlie Doherty. And for the little unicorn in your life, you can't go past the charming tale of Thelma the Unicorn.
So there you go...a little something for every magical creature in your life! Here's hoping you have an enchanted Yuletide with your loved ones and we look forward to supplying you with more mystical and mythical wares in the New Year.
November 19, 2018
Scent is a powerful thing. It has the ability to conjure vivid memories—like the scent of your grandmother’s baking or the perfume of someone you miss. It can can evoke a sense of time or place, like how pine and cinnamon make us think of Christmas, and coconut and ocean air make us think of summer days. And it also has the ability to soothe and heal, which is the basis for aromatherapy.
There are a number of different ways to welcome the healing magic of scent into your life, whether it’s lighting a stick of incense, burning a scented candle, or working with essential oils. Here are a few of the common aromas you’ll find here at Dragonspace, and the magical properties associated with them.
Lavender is a scent of calmness and relaxation, and is commonly used to combat anxiety and sleep issues. Whether it’s in the form of a lavender-scented heat pillow or a lavender oil massage, using this soothing scent will do wonders for your stress levels. Lavender is also connected to the intuitive and psychic parts of your brain, so can be used to open up those faculties to higher forms of communication. In natural medicine, lavender has also been known to relieve headaches and back pains.
Peppermint is a powerful healer of the respiratory system, and is often used to fight off coughs, colds and asthma. Taking a deep inhale of sharp soothing peppermint will clear your airways and leave you feeling fresh and revitalised. Peppermint also conjures feelings of new life, springtime and vibrancy, and will perk you up when you’re feeling flat. It’s a zesty powerful scent that packs a definite punch.
Patchouli has a long history of being used for medicinal and spiritual purposes. It’s strongly connected to the earth and primal energy, and will help you to feel grounded when you might be feeling lost. It’s the perfect scent to help bring you back to reality, remember your roots, and harmonise your spiritual self with your physical self. It’s also been known to alleviate symptoms of depression and other mental health issues.
Many people know frankincense as one of the gifts the Three Wise Men brought to Jesus in the Biblical nativity story, and it’s certainly worthy of its impressive history. Frankincense brings with it a sense of age, wisdom and royalty. It was used in ancient times as a multi-purpose treatment for beautifying the skin, soothing wounds and perfuming the body, making it a much sought after gift. It’s an aroma of overall wellness and vitality, and you’ll feel like a king or a queen when you work with this powerful scent.
Sandalwood is a commonly used scent for religious ceremonies, as it helps to focus and balance. It’s the perfect incense or oil to burn when you’re meditating, as it has a high frequency that help you tune into your inner vibrations. Sandalwood is also a scent of mental clarity, and will be useful when your judgment is feeling clouded, or when you need to make an important decision or work through a difficult problem. Sandalwood will help put you back on the right path and see things clearly and with perspective.
Rose is a soft romantic aroma that’s used commonly in beauty therapy. It’s wonderful for the skin and has also been known to help with heart problems. Rose is a particularly beneficial scent for women, and may help with fertility issues or to alleviate negative side effects of the menstrual cycle. It also promotes feelings of love, affection and self-empowerment.
Vanilla is a familiar scent, and is therefore a comforting one. For many people, vanilla reminds them of sweet cooking and the domestic sphere, which helps create a sense of homeliness in times of stress. Vanilla can also be used as an antioxidant, clearing toxins from both the body and the mind. It’s also got a reputation as an aphrodisiac and as a scent of pleasure.
Sage is perhaps the most powerful cleansing aroma. Smudging sage is an ancient practice that helps to rid a space of negative energies and start anew. On an individual level, sage can also be used to rid your body and mind of negative energies, if you’ve been feeling under the weather or have been suffering with mental illness. It’s the perfect aroma to use when you need to wipe the slate clean and forge positive beginnings.
Eucalyptus is a powerful antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, and is commonly used as a topical treatment. Like peppermint, it has a sharp fresh scent that will help to clear the airways and alleviate symptoms of the cold or flu. Eucalyptus brings with it a sense of fresh energy, and can be used when life is feeling slow or stagnant and you need a bit of a pick-me-up. It can also help you to move on from the pains of the past and into a brighter future.
Whether you're seeking calm, comfort, healing, invigoration or spiritual clarity, there's an aroma out there that will help you achieve your goal. We've got a number of aromatic products here at Dragonspace to help you explore the magical world of scent, from incense sticks and cones, to essential oils and perfumes. Have a browse of our full collection below!