Webs of Woven Words, Threads, Stitches and Enchantments

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Hallows Everyday - 25

Time is just rushing by and the great night is almost upon us. I will be very busy with old and new friends, and missing a particular friend who is far away. But... celebrating, honoring our beloved Ancestors, the Hidden Company, and most especially the Goddesses, will fill my spirit  to overflowing. On to our oracle card for today.

Skull of Darkness, Blind Spots
The Halloween Oracle by Stacey DeMarco

This deck of oracle cards has been an amazing tool for me since drawing the very first card; I never fail to find the answer in them. Today's card is no exception. We have delved deeply into ourselves through our devotional activities and the energy of the season, searching for what serves us and what no longer does, seeking answers and truth. The Skull of Darkness has important advice for us in that search.

The Skull of Darkness encourages us to look to the part of ourselves that remains hidden or unseen. We may not like or appreciate certain aspects of ourselves, what many may consider to be dark aspects. But our greatest treasures can be hidden in that darkness, waiting for us, unseen only because they are hidden in the blind spots we hold on to, purposely. We think this helps or "saves" us in some way, don't look at it, don't think about it, don't feel it. By keeping those aspects in the "blind spots", refusing to see or feel, we risk a great deal; repeating harmful or painful patterns and behaviors. The underlying and growing need to know, which can occur during this time, is really a knock at the door of our spirits.

The darkness is a soothing place, the womb, the cave deep within the earth. There is comfort to be found there if we will see it that way. We are better for releasing fear of the dark. We are better for releasing the fear of seeing who we truly are, for accepting ourselves, warts and all, darkness and light. There is nothing in the dark that isn't also right there when you turn on the light or turn your head and look to see what is there. 

No one is perfect, all have their secrets, their anxieties, insecurities - so what? We must love those parts too, they are just as much a part of us, perhaps more important, than those parts we see as beautiful. What is beauty for one may be something else for another. The secrets and fears mold us and strengthen us, we get through them everyday, even when we think we don't, even when it has been a horror of a day or night, even when we refuse to acknowledge them. We still wake up the next morning and, in some way, we go on, we just keep going on. Bury something and it becomes a seed, sprouting, growing, and eventually making its way to the surface, ready or not. We need to be ready. 

We need to turn our minds so we can see those blind spots, illuminate the dark places, reveal the secret and scary places that actually can no longer harm us. They are leftovers from another time, we've been there and now we are here. Adjusting our attitudes toward what was, realizing the past really is over, we will be able to focus on today, accomplish what tasks and pleasures we choose, and maintain balance. What if you aren't the most... whatever it is you think you should be, whatever it is you fear not being? You already are getting through life anyway, just as you are. What we may consider to be the negative, the darkness of our beings, is just another part of who we are. Instead of hiding them away, we can use those parts to grow, improve, achieve. We really are just perfectly ourselves.

Light the candle and turn your head. The Crone Goddesses, the Dark Goddesses, They are holding out Their hands, waiting to help. They are the ones who can help light our way.

Blessings dark and deep!

art by Katlyn Breene

Friday, October 24, 2014

Hallows Everyday -24

Apple, Risk and Reward
The Halloween Oracle, y Stacey DeMarco

The apple, symbolic in so many ways, appears today as guidance during our Hallowstide divination, and again, we are given the gift of a most appropriate message.

For me, the apple is a symbol of wisdom and knowledge, magick, the Underworld, and this season. What we have accomplished thus far has been, for some, a risk. You have begun a regular practice of devotional activities and the likelihood is that reward is the result. Of course, you need to attend to this practice regularly, don't just drop it, which would be disrespectful to the Goddesses, Ancestors, and Spirits. 

The lore of the apple tells of of its health giving benefits was well as a potent addition to love magick. Completely opposite of that lore is that the apple tree has a strong connection to the Underworld, a bridge to that realm, and a welcome offering to the dead.

This card speaks to me as a strong suggestion to make offerings of apples on Hallows, and strengthen my connection to the Underworld. Any dealings with the Underworld entail risk, but this card is about risk and reward. I understand it as an important request, perhaps a challenge, a test. I will bury them near the hedge, truly given with love. What is needed is asked for, I have no choice but to listen and heed the request.

Blessings dark and deep! 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Hallows Everyday - 23

Dawn, The light after the dark.
The Halloween Oracle by Stacy DeMarco

This card is so appropriate for the beginning of this divination cycle of Hallows Everyday. The intention was to receive messages related to our devotional activities and this speaks to me on a number of levels.

We took flight when we undertook these activities, even for those who only participated  in a few, it was a step into a new spiritual place of being. We are journeying into and out of the dark, the dark being most important at this time, but we are ultimately traveling toward the time of light. We also gain wisdom with each step, each one of the devotional activities lead toward a light in spirit, a deeper connection to the Goddesses, Ancestors, and other Spirits we may have encountered or connected to. Some may have made a fresh start in their spiritual practice and found how this can change so many things for us.

The main message of this card is about starting again, hope, a fresh start. Change is always with us, for good or bad, but however it comes, we have the option to make it a positive experience and use it to our advantage. We've made a new beginning at this Hallowstide, it will certainly serve us well.

A note about this oracle deck, The Halloween Oracle by Stacy DeMarco; I hesitated to purchase it initially, thinking it might be a bit silly. I was completely wrong, it is a powerfully intense deck and Stacy's interpretations of the cards are just the beginning. I have found it to be extremely inspiring, very opening to my intuition, and spiritually nourishing.

Blessings dark and deep! 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Hallows Everyday - 22

I have posted many devotional practices through the days of October so far, enough to give you much to contemplate and apply to your own practices. Today, one final suggestion and then tomorrow, nine days of divination from the Halloween Oracle to look at what the Lady, our Ancestors, or any other helpful spirit, may have to advise and suggest. That will be the intention, helpful advice and suggestions.

Before sunrise this morning, I went outside with a flashlight, in my white nightgown, and searched among my hedges for a stone. I thought I wanted something flat, smooth, and plain, but what I found was a rough stone, one with plenty of crevices and bumps, and green mold or something similar. I knew it was the one, so I picked it up from beneath the hedge and took it inside. I washed it, cleansed it spiritually, and then performed my morning devotions. Next I began my early morning task which shall be today's devotional practice.

My little stone which is cleansed and blessed.

Devotional activity: Go outside your home and find a small stone. Take your time, let it call to you. When you find it, say a little prayer of thanks; always be grateful for the gifts of the Earth. Wash your stone, cleansing spiritually as the waters run over it; dry and consecrate it, then let it be for a little while to make sure it is completely dry. When ready, using a Sharpie or other permanent marker, draw a black spiral, beginning in the middle, traveling out and then off to the edge. This is your releasing side.

A very bumpy path, but then releasing can be that way.

Focus on the path that leads away, taking what you do not need on a journey that lets go and travels out of your life.

When ready, turn the stone over. Using a green Sharpie, which I chose for growth, draw another spiral, beginning at the edge of your stone and traveling in to the center. Let the last line connect to the previous circle. This is the drawing in path, that which you need coming to you easily and freely, remaining with you as long as you have need.

A path traveling in, green for growth, 
once again the path a little bumpy.

Make this little blessing, or one of your choice, while holding your stone in your non-dominant hand, covering with you dominant hand:

Awaken, awaken, Old One of the Earth,
Spirit of Stone, Keeper of Strength,
Creation of the Lady,
Be now, I ask, an ally to me.
Release and let go, bring in and let grow,
Release and let go, bring in and let grow,
Release and let go, bring in and let grow!

(copyright 2014, E A Kaufman)

(Now, blow you intention into the stone with your breath.)

Carry your stone with you, keep it on your altar or shrine, or... as I plan to do, keep in on your bedside table. First thing in the morning and last at night, or whenever you have need, hold your stone and recite the blessing, allowing the stone to assist you.

Use any color pens or paint that have meaning for you and any shape or size stone.

Blessings dark and deep!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Hallows Everyday - 21

An apprentice's Ancestor altar.


Re-member us,
you who are living, 
restore us, renew us.
Speak for our silence.
Continue our work.
Bless the breath of life.
Sing of the hidden patterns.
Weave the web of peace.

Judith Anderson, 1990

Another apprentice's altar

Devotional activity: In a pretty bowl, place an apple, clean and polished, sliced into three sections, three hazelnuts in their shells, and three sprigs of fresh rosemary. Pour some red wine over all. Place the bowl on the floor before your Ancestor altar and recite this prayer:

Prayer For An Offering

I make this offering to my Ancestors of Blood and Breed,
I make it to you all so you shall know you are remembered.
As I take the wisdom and assistance you offer,
So I give this offering in return.
Here and below and above,
Within and without and round about,
This offering, a gift I bring,
I give it with this prayer I sing!

(copyright 2012 E A Kaufman)

Take the offering outside to some special place, cemetery, lake, tree, hedge, and empty the offering gently onto the ground, reciting the prayer twice more. Walk away from your offering without looking back.

 One more apprentice's Ancestor altar.

Blessings dark and deep!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Hallows Everyday - 20

Samhain Invocation

Forests misty, dark and deep
the door between the worlds release
loved ones, family, favored pets
to join me in this evenings fest.
The birth of new, the death of old
I will this cycle to unfold.
Each leaf that drifts upon the ground
will bury all that is unsound
and in its place will rise anew
the gift of love the whole year through.
With the harvest gold and autumn sun
I reap the best that I have done.
And as the days grow shorter still
with long nights and winters chill
I'll work to build a better place
for every soul and human race.
Wild autumns wind, and crone's dark voice
speak to me of wisdoms choice
let me hear your words of fate
so I know which path to take!
Those of you who went before
speak to me from crossroads door
whisper words of love and care
let me know that you are there.

(author unknown)

Devotional activity: Light an orange and black tea light or votive candle tonight - or any color you feel is appropriate - and give thanks for what you have achieved, let those things that were not completed go, like the leaves in the wind. Focus only on the positive, and be grateful for that. Recite the above invocation, feel connection with your Ancestors who have gone before, let them know they are not forgotten. Know that the new endeavors ahead, whatever they may be, will bring wisdom, inspiration, and achievement of what is for your highest good. Make it so!

Blessings dark and deep!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Hallows Everyday - 19

The Samhain Vow

On the Wheel of the Year does the Winter begin;
the world is austere and we all turn within.
I vow there to face the shadows I find
and work to unlace their powers that bind.
I vow to invoke my Ancestors relief
and release in the smoke all my fear and my grief.
This task I do claim as I mark this Samhain,
and swear by the flame behind Jack's cheery grin.

-Ashleen O'Gaea-
Celebrations for the Seasons of Life: Samhain To Ostara

At this time of year, when death is very much a theme of the season, so to speak, it can be easy to forget the joy of this season, the fun stuff: carving pumpkins, costumes and Halloween parties, harvest feasts, and autumn foods like big pots of hot soup waiting for us at home, oh... and all the other good Halloween fun rituals. The remembrances can be sad, but we can focus on the joy in remembering, the happiness and excitement that we experience at this time. Don't forget that part of it too - the fun.

I read an article about how to keep your carved pumpkin from getting moldy so I'll share it here. Cut the the top or bottom off, which ever you do, clean out the seeds and stingy fiber, then wipe away any dirt. Soak the pumpkin in a bleach solution - a teaspoon of bleach to a gallon of water - for about 5 minutes, stirring it around and keeping it submerged. Invert on a cloth to drain, wipe dry completely and allow to air dry for an hour. When completely dry, coat the inside with a thin layer of petroleum jelly and wipe the excess. This seals the pumpkin, but I would only use a tea light in a glass container in my pumpkin if I did this, I would worry about it possibly catching fire, so WARNING!

Here is the link for instructions using a spray bottle of bleach water and the petroleum jelly.  

Click here for some instructions, a bit different, by the Clorox bleach company.   

Devotional activity: take a walk outside and pick up some fallen branches, leaves, stones, pine cones, twigs, whatever you find, and add these as decorations to your altar. Remember to leave some sunflower or pumpkins seeds, or bird seed, as an offering and a way to give thanks for the treasures you are given.

Blessings dark and deep!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Hallows Everyday - 18

Song of the Samhain Goddess

Deep night in the forest,
Deep night on the hill.
The Old Wise One opens Her cloak -
Inside, bitter smoke coils like a snake.
Heaped at Her feet, orange pumpkins grin.
The bones of Her hand shine through the skin.

Breath of Mystery rides the wind:
Honor me.
Breath of death cold on the back of your neck:
Honor me.
Breath of magic whirls around you:
Honor me.
Breath of endings and beginnings, always new.
Honor me now.

~Cait Johnson~

Devotional activity: Remember the Crones, those elderly woman who have touched your life, living or past. Light a candle for them, purple for they are powerful and purple is a good, funky colors for them. Pour a libation of tea with a pinch of brandy or whiskey added. And... if you are a crone, honor yourself; laugh, dance, and know how powerful and wise you are.

Blessings dark and deep!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Hallows Everyday - 17

Broom Lore

A new broom should sweep dirt out of a house only after it has swept something in.

Never sweep after sunset or you will chase away happiness.

A broom laid across a doorway will keep out ill will, bad luck, anything bad.

Never walk on a broom.

If you feel you are being haunted by an unfriendly spirit, 
step over a broomstick and the spirit will be 
unable to bother you.

If a wife sweeps a circle around her husband, he will remain true.

If you want to marry, jump over a broom nine times and
you shall be married within the year.

Every witch must have her broom and I certainly have a collection, hung all around the house. There is just something about a handmade broom with a twisty or otherwise interesting broomstick! There is a great deal of folklore about them too. I like all sorts of brooms, large and small, made of various materials, I seem to find them wherever I go.

Cinnamon brooms, not actually made of cinnamon, are found in grocery and craft stores at this time of year. They smell heavenly and are a nice to have at the door, their scent greeting guests! Each year, at this time, I purchase a new cinnamon broom. I love the fragrance, of course, but the main purpose is to make my Hallows broom to reside by my front door, bristles up. This charm protects our home, our health, and brings prosperity and blessings. The old one, from the previous year, will be burned at Hallows, in my large cauldron or in a bonfire. 

In preparation for the broom blessing, I decorate my new cinnamon broom with strands of beautiful yarns and threads, strips of lace, as well as a three cinnamon sticks, dried apple and orange slices I have studded with cloves, and a little pouch containing various items and herbs for purpose.

Devotional activity: In preparation for the broom blessing on Hallows purchase your cinnamon broom and give it a good smudging before bringing it into your home. Decorate as you like, but be sure to add a charm bag that includes items for protection, good health, happiness, and prosperity.  Set the broom, bristles up, at your altar to await the blessed night.

With the sweeping of my broom,
I sweep out sadness, sweep out gloom,
Clearing air and clearing space,
With magick's power and magick's grace.
Negativity I sweep away
Leaving good to have its sway. 
Sweeping all the bad things out,
As my broom sweeps round about!

from the book, The Witch's Broom by Deborah Blake
(click here to see the book at Amazon)

Blessings dark and deep!