Webs of Woven Words, Threads, Stitches and Enchantments

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!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Hallows Everyday - 16

Well, we all know this is pumpkin time, especially since there is pumpkin everything available. I love pumpkin so I eat a good amount of it, along with a plentiful variety of squashes. I have a very basic, nothing fancy way to prepare it - spit it in half, scrape out the seeds, and bake cut side down in a little water until nice and soft. Sometimes I'll flip it over, brush with a little butter and roast until it gets a nice and browned. I then mash it up, add plenty of butter, ground cinnamon and cloves, a good splash of maple syrup or brown sugar, and maybe a splash of sherry or rum, just a little for flavor. Yum! 

I also like to add some pumpkin to my coffee or spiced tea. I take about 2 cups of good strong coffee or black tea, add about a cup of mashed pumpkin, canned is just fine; I whip the pumpkin into the coffee, and add some spices to taste. I like a teaspoon of cinnamon, a shake of ground cloves, and a good grating of nutmeg. I warm about 1 ½ cups of whole milk and half and half mixed with some heavy cream, if I have it; if not I use 1 1/2 cups of half and half blended with whole milk - about half of each. You can add a spoonful or two of maple syrup, brown sugar, or other sweetener, but I don't. Warm it until just right, then add your coffee/pumpkin/spice mix and warm a little more, but don't boil. Whip it so it blends nicely. And there you are, a lovely season beverage!

Devotional activity: Get yourself a supply of those little fresh pumpkins that are available; you can even get them by the bagful. Decorate the outside with some colored Sharpie pens or carve if you like. Make a blessing over the pumpkin and let it sit on your altar for a day or so, then take it to some special place: hedge, base of tree, lake, and leave it as an offering after saying the appropriate offering blessing. Do this every week through Hallowstide, or more if you can. Cemeteries are also a good place to leave this offering. 

Blessings dark and deep!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Hallows Everyday - 15

I was speaking to one of my apprentices who described a rather incredible dream. We discussed it a bit and then I shared a dream I had years ago about having to cast a circle in a large church, LOL. That would really be something and I have always wondered where the dream came from and what, if any, special meaning it had. Never have really figured it out, but it is still very clear because I have it in my dream journal so I can refer back to it for further thought. Sometimes a dream is just a dream and at other times, it's a message.

Devotional activity: Every witch knows she ought to keep a dream journal, but we all get a little lazy about this now and then. Try to get back into the habit, especially at this time of year.

Blessing dark and deep!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Hallows Everyday - 14

Since the veil is thinning, thinning, choosing an oracle or tarot card each day can supply answers and advice from the Otherworld when your questions are directed to your Ancestors. This is a good time and way to hone your skills with your cards just because of the ease of communication. Something I find helpful is casting a "yes or no" spread. You must carefully word your question so that the answer can be only yes or no. Avoid using "should I do this or that; instead, word the question "should I lend money to John? Or, is it beneficial to me to do such and such? or asking if this particular ancestor would be open to working you, getting to know each other (whatever you may be considering.)

Choosing a particular ancestor, one you may already have a close connection with is good, but better still would be to choose someone you have not worked with much before. This type of practice will assist you in getting to know them and find out if they are someone you want to continue working with.

Devotional activity: Use a favorite tarot deck and choose a particular ancestor. Consider a question;  in addition to those suggested above, perhaps whether or not they would like a particular offering. Cast a yes or no spread and see what turns up.

Blessings dark and deep!