Webs of Woven Words, Threads, Stitches and Enchantments

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Hallows Everyday 8

Joy, Rejoicing in the present
from The Halloween Oracle by Stacey DeMarco

I am standing here, now, in the present.
While my spirit is within, I am in this body now,
I am on this Earth now.
Here is where I belong at this time.
Here is where I can find pleasure, joy, wonder,
Simply if I choose to do it.

Ah, another interesting card today, but then this oracle is always interesting. This subject is a little pet peeve of mine. I listen, most days, to people who are on a serious spiritual path, they are working toward "ascension", being in the Universe. They all seem to forget how important THIS life, THIS planet, THIS time, is for them. I remind them. And so... I will remind you too.

You have no doubt read that sentence, "I am a spiritual being having a human experience." True, we are spiritual beings and that that seems to be everyone's focus, being a spiritual being. The part where we are having a human experience gets lost. A lot of people are way out there, off the planet. Honestly, many times I have no idea where there heads are.

Here's the deal, real simple: you are in this body, here on this earth, at this time, make the most of it. Be here, now, in the present. There is so much to experience, enjoy, learn. Yes, there are tough lessons, bad days, but the truth is, it is up to you, YOU can make the difference about how you experience life. 

Everyday I wake up with two choices, I can be happy or I can be unhappy. I choose happy; not fluffy, out of touch with reality, but just appreciative of what is here, now. You may see a trend with the cards that have been turning up so far in the Hallows Everyday divination. Look outside, there is always something beautiful to see, hear, touch. Look inside, there is plenty there to appreciate and find joy in. Hey... you woke up this morning!  All around us is everything we need.

When this card is presented to us, it heralds a time of more happiness and joy in our lives, a very good omen, indeed! Actively seek out that which gives pleasure, build more of that which gives joy and laughter in our lives.

It isn't complicated. A dear friend brought me a bag of acorns from her trip to New York. Each was perfect with its little cap. They were a bit damp in the plastic bag she put them in, so I put them on a plate and dumped salt over them; in a couple of days they were dry. A couple of the caps fell off so I glued them on. I look at them each day and find such joy in them. They remind me of my childhood in New York when I always collected acorns; the memories of autumn. A simple thing that brings pleasure. Then, I have a glass of apple cider, another very simple pleasure. Sometimes I make mulled cider, other times I drink it straight, but it always brings me joy. A cup of tea in the evening while I stitch or weave or read. A chat with my hubby or a friend, or just listening to music, or the quiet, or the purr of Sterling B. It's all good. I can always find the good even when I am experiencing a bit of depression or anxiety, I work to make it so. And so, my advice to you is... do the same, make your joy.

Blessings dark and deep!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Hallows Everyday 7

Candle divination was widely used for Hallowe'en in the early 20th century. By the 1920s, colored candles were available and this made the various candle divinations and games more interesting.

According to "Halloween, Romantic Art and Customs of Yesteryear" by Diane C. Arkins, candles were designated to represent months of the year then lined up on the floor with ample space between them. Fortune-seekers  would then leap over the lit candles one at a time; whichever candle was extinguished first foretold the month of marriage.

A single candle was leapt over and if the flame was undisturbed, this indicated that the year ahead would be free of anxiety and trouble. Those who knocked over the candle would have troubles in months ahead.

A group of colored candles were set alight on a tabletop. Seekers had to blow toward the candles three times from a predetermined distance. Those extinguished were said to foretell the traits of one's future spouse.

Candle of red denotes that you
Will win a spouse constant and true;
White denotes what e're his station
Your mate will have a fine reputation;
'Tis foretold by candle of yellow
He'll be a very industrious fellow;
By candle pink you are told
That he'll be handsome to behold;
And always, candle of green doth tell,
He will provide for you amply and well;
While blue proclaims with sure discerning,
That he will be a man of learning.

Hallowe'en Hilarity, 1924

You can set up your own candle divination set with birthday candles in various colors. Using birthday candles is an easy way to give each participant a set; the candles that are blown out can be placed in a charm bag to hold the focus. The above meanings need not apply; set your own meanings. For example, green foretells a good year financially; blue for good health; pink for love; red for accomplishing goals; yellow for general positive energy and success, orange denotes creative energy; purple represents growth on one's spiritual path. You get the idea. Just spend some time focusing energy into the candles and the meanings of the various colors for your work.

Remember to use common sense and safety precautions around candles and fire.

Blessings dark and deep!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Hallows Everyday 6

The Witch, Earthly Weaver of the Worlds
from The Halloween Oracle by Stacey DeMarco

A most appropriate card for the season, yes? I don't think I've ever chosen this one, so it is interesting to explore.

The Witch symbolizes the ability to weave the changes in our lives that we want or need. It is all there for us, every tool, we simply must learn how to do it. Weaving and magick both require skills, but they are well worth learning. Through those skills, we create beautiful and fulfilling lives.

There are many witches who believe that to use their magick for self-gain is a bad thing. I have always taught that we are given these abilities to make a difference... for ourselves, for others, for the world. There are magickal practitioners and witches who say the world, our Mama Earth, does not need our healing, She may simply destroy us when She is ready. I say, do it anyway, do it for Her, do it for others, do it for the plant kingdom, the earth kingdom, just do it. And there are those who say never cast magick for personal gain. Are they crazy? Why do we have these gifts, learn these techniques? We learn them to make our own lives better, because we are worth it, we must help and love ourselves first before we are able to help anyone else.

Every act of magick, healing, manifesting, is a bit of weaving. We gather our magickal threads and begin to create. Like using a loom and weaving the threads, we create the cloth, interlocking each strand so when we remove it from the loom it stands on its own, whole and useful and beautiful. And so is magick, a creation from the threads of our power and the power of the elements, the stars, the Goddesses and Gods, the Ancestors and other Spirits; all are part of the weaving, the creation.

The gift of the Witch card means that we can weave our own change through life. Magick is real, alive. We each must understand that we have the power, we must know beyond a doubt that this magick and power is real. Go for it, grow! Understand also that as we grow and change, there are some who may not like it, they may feel threatened by our developing personal power and confidence. We must always protect ourselves and never let anyone take our power - I know, not always easy, there are thousands of excuses, relationships are complicated. Toss those excuses and perhaps the people who hold us back, or attempt to. If they truly are the right people, they will adjust and come to love the powerful women we are. Better opportunities and people await our arrival.

At this time, in this world, women MUST stand strong, BE strong, by any means. Take the magick and make what you will.

Blessings dark and deep.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Hallows Everyday 5

A Drink For the Season

Stregalibby's Apple Cider

1 apple, cored
1-2 tsp. butter
1 quart apple cider
1 quart brewed apple cinnamon tea
(Celestial Seasons makes a good one)
¼ cup or to taste of maple syrup
3 cinnamon sticks
13 whole cloves
a good grating of nutmeg

Take a nice fat apple, core it, then carve 9 slits all around the sides, from top to bottom, 
but do not cut the top or bottom of the apple. You want the apple to open but not come 
apart. Bake in a 350 degree oven in a buttered pan for an hour or so, until soft and juicy. 
Save the juices in the pan. Remove apple to a dish. 
Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Pour a bit of the boiling water into the apple pan,
swish carefully to melt any apple dripping then pour into a 1 quart measuring cup.
Add 6 apple-cinnamon tea bags and fill to the 1 quart mark with boiling water.
Brew 10 minutes, remove teabags, and set aside.
In a non-reactive pot, bring 1 quart of apple cider barely to a boil and turn heat to low.
Add the spices and maple syrup as desired. Let simmer for half an hour. Taste and
adjust spices, adding more if you like. turn the heat to warm or transfer to a crock pot
on lowest setting. Add the baked apple. Make a blessing over the cider and enjoy!
This is delicious served chilled over ice too.

A Blessing For the Cider
(adapted from Silver Ravenwolf's book, Halloween)
Use this or any other blessing you like.

From the sun to the root,
From the root to the branch,
From the branch to the fruit,
I bless this brew in Great Hekate's name!
May those who partake never thirst.
So mote it be!

Be sure to leave a cup of the cider on your altar if you like.
This can then be poured as a libation onto the ground as an offering.
Alternatively, you can simply take the cup outside after making the
cider and make your offering.

Blessings dark and deep! 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Hallows Everyday 4

A funny little bit of divination, again to do with knowing who one will marry! Love was a very big concern during Hallowe'en and even Christmas time in Victorian, Edwardian, and early 20th century holiday celebrations.  

The Salt and Water Race

This is a stern test, maidens,
But it will tell your fate;
Fill your mouths with water,
Let the hour be late.
Fill right hands with salt,
Make them tightly lock;
Then at the given signal
Run around the block.
Woe to her who giggles -
Salt or water loses,
But hail the first name listened to -
Twill be the mate she choses.

The Jolly Hollowe'en Book, 1937

Blessings dark and deep!


Saturday, October 3, 2015

Hallows Everyday 3

The Apple Parings

With a sharp knife pare an apple
Round and round and round.
Toss the paring o're your shoulder.
The initial found will be the one you'll marry.
Do not be afraid!
Tis an old prophetic omen good for man or maid.

The Jolly Hallowe'en Book, 1937

Love divination at Halloween was a common practice. You might try the apple paring if you are single and see what comes. But... do it on the Eve of Olde Hallows!

 Ace of Cups,
Ghosts & Spirits Tarot by Lisa Hunt

This is a very interesting deck and, for me, assists me in speaking directly to the Spirits and my Ancestors, hearing their wisdom so clearly. I have received good advice. This deck would seem to be a bit morbid, but for those who wish to make contact with the Spirits, it really isn't about the morbid at all, and very helpful.

Today's card is about... love and goes well with the apple paring spell above. The illustration for this version of the Ace of Cups depicts the ballet, Giselle, a tale very much about love, heartbreak, and forgiveness. 

If you are not familiar with the story, the simple version is Giselle, a peasant girl, meets and is wooed by a nobleman, Albrecht, who disguises himself as a commoner. Giselle falls deeply in love, but then learns who Albrecht really is and that he is engaged to a duke's daughter. There can be no future for them and she, heartbroken, drifts into madness and dies of her grief. Because of the nature of her death, Giselle becomes one of the female ghosts known as the Wilis. The Wilis have all died of the same fate and therefore condemn men to die by dancing to their deaths with these beautiful ghosts. Albrecht is remorseful and so Giselle saves him from the deadly punishment of dancing all night to his death by assisting him until the dawn summons the Wilis back to their graves. She forgives him and they proclaim their eternal love, attempting to reach through the veil and touch, a gesture of love that transcends the material. She holds a red rose in her ghostly hand symbolizing her everlasting love.

When this card is chosen, it is a message of love's energies directing your desires and the fulfillment of them. It is a card that represents joy and new beginnings; a new romantic relationship or friendship, a renewal of love in a long established relationship, perhaps even a new life such as a baby, an animal companion. A new spiritual path could be opening before you. Or... if you have been betrayed, the stirrings of healing and the renewal of trust, which is really most appropriate with this particular deck.

This time, while a time of dying things, is also a time of going within, becoming the seed, and preparing for rebirth and renewal. It is a time of rest, regeneration, preparation, restoration. Be careful who you chose to trust again, but remember, we all make mistakes, life is a series of them. Take your rest now, contemplate and begin the healing.

Blessings dark and deep!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Hallows Everyday 2

Winter from the Halloween Oracle
by Stacy DeMarco

Today I asked the Ancestors for a message and they give me the oracle card, Winter. Most appropriate at this time as we begin our descent into the quiet of the year.

We are living in a time of dying now, plants are dying back, leaves drifting from trees, the Earth has given all She can give for now. The days are becoming shorter, and the beautiful, velvet night longer. Life is slowing its pace. We enter the time of metaphoric and literal death as Winter comes. Death, for most, is frightening despite the fact that we will all face it. Winter is the dead of the year, life slows almost to stillness. 

I remember as a child sitting in our back yard or walking through the woods nearby in Autumn. It was a special time; the scent of the air, the falling leaves, the crackle of the dying plants and grasses beneath my feet, the scarcity of animal life. I remember the utter stillness though, that is what stays in my mind, everything but the wind, halting, dying away.

The Ancestors have given us this card to remind us of what lies ahead, what is inevitable, and that we do not have all the time in the world. We need to look at ourselves, our lives, the way we live. Are these things, are we what we take satisfaction in? Do we appreciate what we have? Do we look at all the good there really is or do we focus on what we don't have, what we can't have, and the negatives? This is the time to let go of what stops us from living fully, what really doesn't serve us. It is natural and right and part of the cycle of our lives to move on, let things drift away, especially when they no longer benefit us. Too many live in a state of wanting what cannot be.

It is time to reassess our lives, let the past that holds us back die away and take the necessary action to make ourselves as happy and fulfilled as we can be. The burdensome past is over and cannot be changed. Let it go. Make the choice each day to see the beauty in our lives, and there truly is so much. This does not mean living in a fantasy world, but getting out of the fantasy. You have what you have, you are what you are, move forward with appreciation and make the best of your life.

Sit back for a bit as Winter moves in, contemplate and consider, plan and be what you wish to be within the bounds of reality. Appreciate every day you are given.

Blessings dark and deep!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Hallows Everyday 1

Well kick up your heels, October has arrived and the countdown to Hallows/Samhain begins in ernest. This year Hallows Everyday will be a hodgepodge of divination, spells, lore, recipes, poetry, devotional practices, and vintage images. I hope you enjoy it.

To begin, choose a candle of good size, better a pillar, and of a color related to the season. Cleanse in your usual manner, then dedicate for Hallows by saying this or anything else you choose:

This candle I dedicate to the Hallows Season.
Let its magick and light burn with purpose and reason.
To the Goddesses, Spirits, and Ancestors near me,
Let this candle light the way so I may see You clearly.
Brightness in darkness at this time is the way.
I make it so, and so I do say!

Each day of this month, light your candles for a bit, then either perform a devotional practice or divination while it burns.  Extinguish by snuffing or pinching out.

Blessings dark and deep!