Webs of Woven Words, Threads, Stitches and Enchantments

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Twas The Night Before Yuletide

The Snow Queen by Emily Balivet

Twas the Night before Yuletide 

Twas the night before Yuletide and all through the glen,
Not a creature was stirring, not a fox, not a hen.
A mantle of snow shone brightly that night
As it lay on the ground, reflecting moonlight.
The faeries were nestled all snug in their trees,
Unmindful of flurries and a chilly north breeze.
The elves and the gnomes were down in their burrows,
Sleeping like babes in their soft earthen furrows.
When low! The earth moved with a thunderous quake,
Causing chairs to fall over and dishes to break.
The Little Folk scrambled to get on their feet
Then raced to the river where they usually meet.
“What happened?” they wondered, they questioned, they probed, 
As they shivered in night clothes, some bare-armed, some robed. 
“What caused the earth's shudder? 
What caused her to shiver?”
They all spoke at once as they stood by the river.
Then what to their wondering eyes should appear
But a shining gold light in the shape of a sphere.
It blinked and it twinkled, it winked like an eye,
Then it flew straight up and was lost in the sky.
Before they could murmur, before they could bustle,
There emerged from the crowd, with a swish and a rustle,
A stately old crone with her hand on a cane,
Resplendent in green with a flowing white mane.
As she passed by them the old crone's perfume,
Smelling of meadows and flowers abloom,
Made each of the fey folk think of the spring
When the earth wakes from slumber and the birds start to sing.
“My name is Gaia,” the old crone proclaimed
in a voice that at once was both wild and tamed,
“I've come to remind you, for you seem to forget,
that Yule is the time of re-birth, and yet…”
“I see no hearth fires, hear no music, no bells,
The air isn't filled with rich fragrant smells
Of baking and roasting, and simmering stews,
Of cider that's mulled or other hot brews.”
“There aren't any children at play in the snow,
Or houses lit up by candles’ glow.
Have you forgotten, my children, the fun
Of celebrating the rebirth of the sun?”
She looked at the fey folk, her eyes going round,
As they shuffled their feet and stared at the ground.
Then she smiled the smile that brings light to the day,
“Come, my children,” she said, “Let's play.”
They gathered the mistletoe, gathered the holly,
Threw off the drab and drew on the jolly.
They lit a big bonfire, and they danced and they sang.
They brought out the bells and clapped when they rang.
They strung lights on the trees, and bows, oh so merry,
In colors of cranberry, bayberry, cherry.
They built giant snowmen and adorned them with hats,
Then surrounded them with snow birds, and snow cats and bats.
Then just before dawn, at the end of their fest,
Before they went homeward to seek out their rest,
The fey folk they gathered ‘round their favorite oak tree
And welcomed the sun ‘neath the tree's finery.
They were just reaching home when it suddenly came,
The gold light returned like an arrow-shot flame.
It lit on the tree top where they could see from afar
The golden-like sphere turned into a star.
The old crone just smiled at the beautiful sight,
"Happy Yuletide, my children," she whispered. "Good night."

The author is unknown, however 
it may possibly have been written by C.C. Williford.

Blessings dark and deep!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Healing


I jotted this down one day, before I was going to facilitate a Reiki circle in the evening. I shared it with everyone who attended and it seems to be appropriate to share it today. Whoever needs it will find it.


When we are experiencing periods of self-doubt, insecurity, pain, fear, anxiety, depression - whatever challenge it may be - it would serve us to remember that we are releasing aspects of ourselves that were created based on what we have been exposed to in our lives, yet no longer need. All of these feelings are keys to a process of transformation. We can stay in the same place or move through the feelings, acknowledging them, releasing, forgiving, be it ourselves or someone else, then moving on, free. This is healing.

Underneath these experiences of transformation, which can be frightening and difficult sometimes, and at other times easier to work through, we benefit by remembering self-love and self-awareness is where to find relief and a more clear reflection of who we really are. When we see who we truly are through love, the pristine essence that we will find is the Wise One or Higher Self, the one who, while knowing fear, defeat, or suffering, is the one who is Light, Power, Force, and Liberation. Finding that Wise One and allowing ourselves to move through the experiences as part of a learning process, sets us free.

Don't become too caught up in the journey to "arrive" - remember that all these experiences benefit us in some way by moving us along our path. We may not consciously know exactly what that benefit is, but we have evolved thanks to those experiences. Would we have liked to skip some of them? All of them? Sure, they aren't always pretty or nice, they are frightening. But that's what we are here for, to experience and heal. This process is for our progression - if we allow it to be. 


Winston Churchill said it best, " When you are going through hell, keep on going." In other words, keep going, you will get to the end and make it through.

Blessings dark and deep!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Invocation of the Circle

I love this circle invocation by Doreen Valiente, found in "Witchcraft, A Tradition Renewed" by Doreen and Evan John Jones. I'm always writing, rewriting, and searching out invocations, prayers, quarter calls, for my circles. I like to change it up all the time. This is a favorite.



Invocation of the Circle

By stang and cauldron, cup and knife,
By right of office that I hold,
Ye ancient powers of death and life,
Forgather to the circle's fold.

Kinship to kinship, blood to blood,
By wild night wind and starry sky,
By heathland brown and darkling wood,
To this our circle now draw nigh.

In likeness of a henge of stone,
Stand guard around this circle's rim,
While looming through the dark alone,
Stands in the east the Hele-stone dim.

I summon forth the fairy hounds,
Sharp-fanged, white-coated, red of ear,
To prowl beyond the circle's bounds,
And put intruders' hearts in fear.

Ancestral powers of this our blood,
We are your people, guard us well,
By earth and air, by fire and flood,
By magic mime and spoken spell.

Our craft's own Goddess I invoke,
And Ancient Ones of hill and mound.
With fire aflame and drifting smoke,
I dedicate this circle's bound.

By three times three,
Thus shall it be!


~Doreen Valiente, Witchcraft: a Tradition Renewed~



Monday, November 2, 2015

Is It Still A Mystery Tradition?

There will be many people who will not agree with what I have to say about this subject. Lady knows, some of my own friends, practicing witches, Pagans, and Polytheists, all for many, many years, don't all agree. We simply agree to disagree and go our own ways, down our own paths, because we are friends, and we truly respect each other's right to practice as we see fit.

Respecting others' right to practice as they choose is very important. How I choose to practice is none of anyone's business. However, if you are attending one of my rites, you will not be able to bring your children. I know many who have their children attend rites for sabbats, full moons, and other rituals. I don't attend those rituals. I don't attend large open rituals, especially with people I don't know. If you are invited to attend my rituals you will not be a man, you will be a woman who was born a woman, and you will be expected to be respectful of the Goddesses, Spirits, the Ancestors, the other women, and the way this coven practices. You will be expected to wear simple ritual clothing, not some outlandish, silly costume. You will come with the mindset that this is a mystery tradition for women, it is not open to just anyone; my coven, my choice of who belongs.

Why? Well, there are a few reasons. I see my practice, my artes of magick, communion with the Goddesses, as sacred and private. I feel, and again, this is only my opinion, my way for me, that a very large ritual generally ends up as dead space with many people who do not focus, are not respectful because they think it is a party, a freaky thing to do - not all, but many I have attended in years past. I want to know who I am practicing with and where they are coming from spiritually. I want to know that they are serious about their journey.

I also want to create a place where women are not intimidated or judged by standards that society has chosen. I want them to feel safe to open themselves to the Goddesses, to each other. I want them to find that sacred safe place.

We have sacrificed the Mystery for acceptance and popularity; with that we have lost a great deal. I do not give a rat's patootie  how others' judge what I do. It isn't open for discussion or opinions. And that is a good thing. While I share many things on this blog, there is much more that isn't shared and will never be. However, I want to give women who are searching for something more Goddess-centered, more woman-centered, a safe place for spiritual expression. I want to share a basic foundation for them to build their own practice, away from prying eyes and judgement.

For some reason, at this Hallowstide season, I felt the need to share this.

Blessings dark and deep! 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Hallows Everyday 31



Hallows Blessings
to you and yours.
May your Ancestors watch over you always.
May the Goddesses guide and protect you.
May you find the Mysteries you seek.

Abundant and most holy blessings
dark and deep!


Friday, October 30, 2015

Hallows Everyday 30



 Witches' Night Before Halloween


'Twas the night before Halloween and all through the cottages,
The witches were stirring their brews and their pottages.
Their cupboards were bursting with hop-toads and newts,
And they'd shined up their pointy-toed, fancy-dress boots.
The witchlings lay snoring, quite snug in their beds,
With visions of moist, creeping things in their heads.
"Nice night," whispered Mad-Maud to Potbelly-Pat
As she snuffed out the torches and ticked in the cat.
But at the first stroke of midnight, when folks lay asleep,
The whole gang of witches on tiptoes did creep
Out past the cornfields and 'neath the trolls' bridge,
To the crossroads that lay beyond Cemetery Ridge.
"It's time to begin," hissed Elise-With-One-Eye
As the moon reached its peak in the October sky.
On the stump of a tree, with a thump and a creak,
Big-Bree drummed a beat as the witches all shrieked:
"Come goblins! Come ghosties! Come skeleton bones!
Do you really expect us to do this alone?"
They stomped on the ground! They bellowed! (They wheezed.)
They tangoed! And salsa-ed! (On arthritic knees.)
Louder and wilder with each passing verse
They chanted in voices from tuneless to worse.
'Till BANG! the old charnel house doors cracked and broke,
And out flew their pals with a big blast of smoke!
A few drooling ghouls from down underneath,
With cleanly picked bones and half-rotted teeth;
A pale, dark-eyed viscount quite long in the tooth;
Two squadrons of zombies, unkempt and uncouth;
Dark, furry, four-footed, hard-to-see things
That vanish unseen midst a flutter of wings;
Redheaded banshees with ear-splitting wails;
And a rheumy-eyed ghost dressed in neatly pressed tails.
With one boney finger, Maud tested the breeze,
Grabbed hold of her broom and ascended with ease.
"To town!" she commanded. "There's much to be done.
Pack your newts and your spiders. Let's go have some fun!"
They dangled black bats from the City Hall eaves
And festooned each doorway with poisonous leaves.
Cobwebs were stretched from church spire to town square,
And green slime was dribbled down every porch stair.
On each hollow pumpkin they scratched a mad grin,
Set the kitty-cats yowling, and stoked up the wind.
"So much haunting to get done in so little time,"
Mourned a vain, headless countess, a bit past her prime.
"Not to mention the rusty old gates we back-ordered
Are stuck in a truck at the Canadian border."
"Not like the old days," whined Rotten-Tooth-Ruth,
"Is this the example we set for our youth?"
More shadows! More cobwebs!
More monsters! More slime!
More dank, moldy cellars!
More grave dust! More grime!
And when they had finished, thick fog hugged the ground,
So they snapped a few photos, and flew out of town.
"To the hovels! Let's go! Time to wake up the spawn!"
Cried the witches while hobbling back home 'cross the lawn.
They banged pots together, poked the witchlings with sticks,
Till the kiddies woke up and threw terrible fits.
"It's Halloween, you gremlins!" crooned Bubonic-Sue,
"Time to show all the humans what witches can do!"
At that, the wee witchlings leapt straight from their beds,
Tied pointy black caps to their misshapen heads,
Laced up their brat boots, grabbed onto their brooms,
And rode single-file toward the just-risen moon.
"Stay warm! Make good choices!" yelled the parental group,
As the young witches circled above with a whoop,
Shouting loud as they could on this night of all nights:
"Happy Halloween to all and to all a good fright!"

Lesley Bannatyne

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Hallows Everyday 29

Invisibility, authenticity
The Halloween Oracle by Stacey DeMarco

Heart beating we sense
But do not see.
They touch, we chill,
They come unseen.

They are all around us now, even those who rarely come through the veil. It is the time. We can feel their presence, grasp a brief flicker of an image from the corner of our vision, feel an occasional touch. It is both exhilarating and disturbing, this Hallows time. It is the natural way of the Unseen to hide themselves and make themselves known. It is not, however, natural for us. 

In our everyday lives, we are sometimes invisible; no one sees us, and we feel separated and alone. However, at times, it is what we need, helping us go about our way without being disturbed, able to create our magick unseen. We need that invisibility to be left to ourselves.

At other times, this separation, being unseen, unnoticed, leaves us feeling as if no one cares. Those  who are more extroverted may find this a cold place, leaving depression and anxiety. We all must learn to use this invisibility wisely and to our advantage.

Being invisible can allow us to gather information, see the truth others project when they think no one sees them. This can be, as Stacey writes, a double-edged sword. While sometimes helpful, other times that invisibility is easily abused, invading privacy, making us privy to information not meant for us. When this happens we may not see the truth; there are always secrets, things held back. We will make mistakes with this information not meant for us, perhaps even taking words out of context, stealing others' ideas and hard work, using the information unethically.

This card presents itself to remind us that while sometimes useful, when hiding ourselves, holding back so we are unnoticed, choosing to be invisible, we must be discerning. There are times this is necessary and helpful, but many times when we use invisibility, we are repressing, not speaking our truth, not expressing who we truly are. Trying to be someone else, cloaking who we really are, is destructive to the true self and never serves us. Instead, it causes energetic and emotional blockages that keep us from being healthy and growing on all levels of our being.

Right now, we are full, like pomegranates, of seeds... seeds rich with new ideas and possibilities. Those seeds will burst forth later and they are meant to journey upward, into the light of day to be seen, to be heard. 

Choose wisely when you decide whether to hide or be your authentic self. The authentic self, when kept hidden, festers in a dark hole. It can be a dead, between place, a place where the living do not belong and the dead will not be part of.

Blessings dark and deep! 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Hallows Everyday 28

Skull of Flowers, Coming Through the Ashes
The Halloween Oracle by Stacey DeMarco

To blossom and bloom
The work must be done.
Through fire and ashes
Our fortune it comes. 

The seed... it always begins with the seed. Nestled in the rich, nourishing earth, it waits. When the time is right, it opens and makes its way through, up, up, around, pushing, no matter what obstacles may be in the way, to to burst into the world and be. This card, the Skull of Flowers, is about that journey and the rough ride of birth.

It is interesting that I was discussing just this journey with one friend and listening to another who is experiencing adversity right now. I also think of what the goddesses do to us when they claim us, tearing us apart and then watching as we put it all back together again... different, more experienced, perhaps better than before, surely? After all that we go through when we hit a rough patch, no matter what the outcome, we do come forth more knowing for the journey.

The Skull of Flowers presents itself today, just a few days away from the great holy day of Hallows/Samhain, because this is where it begins. We will snug down for the winter, reconsidering all that we might need and want to be, just like the seeds. Hallows gives us, energetically, the blank canvas to begin again if we choose, to create, make changes, or to deal with what the Goddesses, Ancestors, and other Spirits may feel we need to rework ourselves.

This Skull card signals blooming into fullness and fruition. What we want in our lives can be ours if we are willing to do the hard work. And it will be hard, a trial with obstacles, but the best is always gained that way. If we really want something it is so much more satisfying to sweat for it, know we, ourselves, did it. Of course there are the things in life that are thrown at us, those events that we could certainly live without; not our choice, but they are opportunities no matter how much it hurts, how difficult the climb.

The Skull of Flowers celebrates success and achievement through adversity, the tough times, the hard climb. Success, nonetheless. Get busy.

Blessings dark and deep! 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Hallows Everyday 27

Midnight - The most magical hour of all.
The Halloween Oracle by Stacey DeMarco

Midnight, the witching hour. Some say 3 AM is the witching hour, but I disagree, I know. This is the deepest, darkest, sweetest time, when one can drift away into the Otherworlds, when one can make special potions and charms, cast spells of special power. Oh yes, I love midnight. Even the Spirits and Ancestors may come through more strongly at this time, especially around Hallows.

When this card appears, Stacey suggests one may be facing the darkest hour in their lives, but should know that the light will return again. For me, this card is about embracing the night, which many are uncomfortable with. Truly, midnight, and the night in general, is the warm cloak, the Mother's blanket, the womb; certainly a place of peace and rest. While magick and spirits are about, it is benevolent, embracing, soothing... if you make it so. Let yourself fall into it and relax. We are darkness and light, there is nothing to hide from, there is nothing to hide.

Blessings dark and deep!


Monday, October 26, 2015

Hallows Everyday 26

Hearth - Happiness in our hearts and homes,
The Halloween Oracle by Stacey DeMarco

The hearth was and still is the heart of the home. This is where the family gathers, where we are drawn to, even if it is the stove in the kitchen. Here is the place that offers us sustenance; we gather around the stove to see what's cooking or baking. Usually it gives a positive feeling. If one is actually lucky enough to have a real hearth, it too is a gathering place. We can't help but sit around or nearby, watching the dancing flames, taking in the aroma of the burning wood, feeling the warmth, listening to the crackle and pop as the fire burns.

For me, my hearth is a place for devotional work, a portal for my Ancestors, a true place of comfort. I live in a condo, Toadstool Condo, and my hearth is a ventless fireplace that uses a natural grain alcohol gel instead of wood which crackles and pops just like a real fire. It is SO soothing. My stove is also an altar, where I take care of my family and friends by preparing meals and goodies. But even if you can't have a real fireplace or a ventless one, a small chiminea, available in many home decor or garden stores, can be used with a candle - voila! Instant hearth. I had one before I purchased my ventless fireplace from Plow & Hearth. It changes the energy in the home, especially when you make it an area for devotions as well as comfort. Don't forget your stove, though, the modern hearth.

When the Hearth card presents itself in divination, we must look to home, family, and Ancestors. Are we remembering those who have passed with regular devotions? Do we need to more fully acknowledge relationships? Is there a conflict within the family that needs work and resolution? This is the time to build up the loving home fire. Even if you live alone, your Ancestors are there, you have relationships and family; take time to care for these. Family, which includes special friends, is a priority, make it so if you have been too busy lately. Nothing is more important than love and being with those we love and live with or spend time with. Remembering those loved ones who have passed is an important part of living, don't forget honoring them.

This card also tells us that our home and family is watched over, by the Goddesses of home, hearth, and family, as well as by our ancestors. Honor them all by making time for them, for saying "I love you" and "I'm grateful you are part of my life." We are protected.

Blessings dark and deep!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Hallows Everyday 25


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~
From Witch in the Kitchen
Magical Cooking for All Seasons

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Hallows Everyday 24


I found this ritual in my BOS. I think I adapted it, but don't have an original source.

Hallows Ritual

You will need: Incense made of Frankincense and Myrrh or Lavender, Basil and Rosemary, 2 black candles, black altar cloth, bell, chalice of milk, dish of barley, 81 black beans for each participant, a bowl of spring water, and a towel.

Cast your circle. Light the candles and say:

"Blessed Be thou, creature of light"

Light the incense. Bless the barley. Say:

"I bless this grain in the names of Demeter and Kore."

Invoke the Goddesses going counterclockwise. Begin with the North:

"I call upon rich-haired Demeter, Mother of Harvest, 
Giver of Eternal Life. 
Bless me with your protection, Mother, 
and aid me in these rites."

Leave an offering of barley for Her. Move to the West. Say:

"I call upon Hekate, Witch-queen, 
She of the crossroads who walks with Death. 
Bless me with your protection, Mother, 
and aid me in these rites."

Leave an offering of barley for Her. Move to the South. Say:

"I call upon Vesta, sacred Hearth and Flame, 
Guardian Goddess of home and nations. 
Bless me with your protection, Mother, 
and aid me in these rites."

Leave an offering of barley for Her. Move to the East. Say:

"I call upon Isis, Black Madonna, 
compassionate Queen, 
whom our fore-mothers worshipped 
from Asia to the Atlantic. 
Bless me with your protection, Mother, 
and aid me in these rites."

Leave an offering of barley for Her. Return to the altar. Say:

"Hail Persephone! 
Queen of Earth and the underworld. 
In this fading time renew our 
hearts, and purify our homes."

Toss a handful of barley onto the altar, say:

"I offer this grain in thanksgiving to 
Persephone, Conductor of Souls. 
I ask you to lead my departed kindred 
into your realms of peace."

Lay your hands over the chalice of milk and bless it by saying:

"I bless this cup in the name of Persephone, 
Queen of the Dead. 
Shades of my ancestors, 
known and unknown, 
I offer this cup in thanks, 
for all your care, 
and all your gifts. 
Depart in peace to 
your abodes in the Earth, 
knowing that all is well."

Place your hands in the sign of the Yoni (a upside down triangle). Rinse your hands in the water 3 times in the water and dry. Take 9 beans into your mouth. Make the sign of the Yoni again, turn around counterclockwise, spit the beans out through the opening in your hands. This a symbolic rebirth for spirits. Say:

"These I send forth. 
With these beans, I redeem myself and mine."

Do this 9 times. When you have used all the beans, turn away from them and avert your eyes, giving the spirits a chance to pick them up. Keep still for the space of 13 heartbeats. Take up the bell and 
ring or strike it 9 times, say after each strike:

"Shades of my ancestors depart."

Then say:

"It is done! Blessed Be!"

Thank the Goddesses and open your circle. Bury the milk and candles. Walk away without looking back.

Blessings dark and deep!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Hallows Everyday 23


Here is a story from a book I recently obtained, "North Carolina Legends" which tells of the fear of witches even in later times, probably the 19th century. Of course, this is a story and we can hope the ending is just that, only a story.

Sop, Doll, Sop

Once upon a time, up in the North Carolina mountains, Jack was down on his luck, and he asked a miller for work. "Maybe you don't want this job," said the man, "because all my millers seem to die when they work here." Jack said, "I'd just as soon be dead than hungry and out of a job." The miller said alright, but that Jack would have to sleep and cook at the mill. That was fine with Jack.

That night he made a fire, baked some bread, fried some meat, and put his tin plate on the floor beside him to  start eating. All of a sudden the room got dark as pitch, and Jack went over to build up the fire. He sat down again and looked around. The room was filled with twelve black cats. The biggest one put out its doll (paw), and said, "Sop, doll, sop," then started sopping up the bread and meat in Jack's plate.

"You do that again and I'll cut your doll off," said Jack. The big cat did it again, and so Jack grabbed his knife and cut its right doll off. With that, all twelve black animals turned and scattered out of the mill in a hurry. The fire blazed up and Jack saw that the cutoff paw had turned into a woman's hand with a ring on it.

The next morning the miller was late coming by because his wife was sick and he had been to eleven neighbors houses to get women to come and nurse her. "Did you sleep well and get enough to eat last night?" said the miller. "Yes," said Jack, "except for one thing." And he told the miller what had happened and showed him the woman's hand. "Why, that's my wife's hand, and the ring is one I gave her yesterday."

With Jack tagging along, he went up to the house, glared at the eleven women, and told his wife to show him her hand. She pulled her left hand from the covers. "No, it's your right hand I want to see." She said she didn't have one.

"Why did you go down there last night?" he shouted at her. She said, "I didn't want you to have a miller. I wanted you to keep the mill yourself. And I got my friends and witched them into cats and went down there to put poison in his sop." The miller turned to Jack. "I've been thinking my old woman was in with a gang of witches, but I didn't know she was the leader of them."

Jack and the miller shut all the doors and windows in the house, and went out the front door, and locked it, and set the house on fire, leaving the women inside.

"Them twelve witches," says the story, "started crackin' and poppin', and ever' one of them was burnt plumb up." From then on, Jack and the miller didn't have any more trouble down at the mill.

- from "North Carolina Legends" by Richard Walser -

Blessings dark and deep!      

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Hallows Everyday 22

Death, The eternal cycle begins here.
from The Halloween Oracle by Stacy DeMarco

The Death card; people are generally very uncomfortable with this card and the Death card in the tarot. In fact, it terrifies them. While death frightens most people, it also fascinates them; they want to know what happens, not just on a spiritual level, but physically - it disgusts and fascinates.

Death truly is what this card says - the eternal cycle. Without it there would be no life. I feel death feeds life - think of compost - it nourishes all life. We eat dead things; don't let the vegetarians, vegans, and raw food enthusiasts fool you, once you cut that plant, pick that fruit or nut, it is dead. Our meat comes from slaughtered animals, dead animals. I don't know of anyone who eats live animals, but I suppose they could be out there. My point is, the dead feed us so we can live.

And so the cycle begins with death. Hallows/Samhain is a celebration of death. We honor the dead, hope for messages from them. This is very much a time of release and renewal. The leaves that fall, the plants that die, the Earth Herself stills and quiets. All life returns to the womb - the beginning.

While celebrating and honoring your beloved Dead, do not forget to let go, release whatever is no longer valid in your life. Quiet yourself, let your inner self begin again, growing outward over the Winter. The real message of this card is to let go, clear away, just as our planet does. Clearing is a process that has great power, it brings us to the place where we can begin again.

Winter is the womb time, curl up and  let the initiation of new things happen.

Blessings dark and deep.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Hallows Everyday 21


Threshold Invocation For 
The Festival of Samhain

Stand at the open front door of your home
on Hallows/Samhain Eve, October 31,
after sunset, holding a lit candle dedicated
to the season. Recite this invocation:

Grandmother Wisdom, open the door,
Grandfather Council, come You in.
Let there be welcome to the ancient lore,
Let there be welcome to the Winter of the Year.
In cold and darkness, You are traveling,
Under crystal skies You will arrive.
May  the blessed time of Samhain (Hallows)
Clarify the soul of all beings,
Bringing joy and wisdom to revelation.
From the depths to the heights,
From the heights to the depths,
In the cave of every soul.

(invocation by Caitlin Matthews,
from Celtic Devotional, Daily Prayers & Blessings)

Make a libation of spiced, sweet apple cider
and an offering of apple cake to the Spirits of
the Land, your Ancestors, and the Goddesses.

Blessings dark and deep!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Hallows Everyday 20


Pixie, kobold, elf, and sprite
All are on their rounds tonight,
In the wan moon's silver ray
Thrives there helter-skelter play.
Fond of cellar, barn, or stack
True unto the almanac,
They present to credulous eyes
Strange hobgoblin mysteries.
Cabbage, stumps, straws wet with dew,
Apple skins, and chestnuts too,
And a mirror for some lass
Show what wonders come to pass.
Doors they move, and gates they hide
Mischiefs that on moonbeams ride.
And their deeds, and by their spells,
Love records its oracles.
Don't we all, of long ago,
By the ruddy fireplace glow,
In the kitchen and the hall,
Those queer, coof-like pranks recall.
Eery shadows were they then,
But tonight they come again;
Were we once more but sixteen
Precious would be Hallowe'en.

Joel Benton
Harper's Weekly, October 31, 1896

Blessings dark and deep! 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Hallows Everyday 19


The following invocation was adapted by me from one written by Rev. Judith Lewis. She wrote it for invoking the God at Samhain. I have it in my Book of Shadows and when I reread it I thought it would make a wonderful ancestor invocation after a few changes.

Death walks among us as you pass your way.
Your time has come and gone, the wheel turns.
You have been the spring, the rejoicing summer,
the dying autumn, the still, deep winter.
You are the sorrow, the sadness,
and the coming of death to us all.
Back to the Mother who gave you birth
and nurtured you upon this earth.
Back to the womb of the darkest night,
Back to the chamber of rebirth.
And in that sleep which so restores,
You pass once more, as do we all,
to the Mother to be reborn.
Join us now, before you leave us,
Join us in rejoicing in life.
For without it, there is no death and rebirth.
And so is the cycle and the Lady's way.
Blessed be you, our Ancestors.


Blessings darks and deep!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Hallows Everyday 18



Round of silver shining bright,
As the moon at still midnight,
Shadows show of life and luck.
By this rune be now enchanted,
And the second site be granted.

- Doreen Valiente -

Blessings dark and deep!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Hallows Everyday 17


Song of Samhain

I am the Hallowtide of all souls passing,
I am the bright releaser of all souls pain,
I am the quickener of the fallen seed case,
I am the glance of snow, the strike of rain.
I am the hollow of winter twilight,
I am the hearth fire and the welcome bread,
I am the curtained awning of the pillow,
I am unending wisdom's golden thread.

from "Celtic Devotional,
Daily Prayers and Blessings"
by Caitlin Matthews

Blessings dark and deep! 


Friday, October 16, 2015

Hallows Everyday 16


An Herbal Ritual For Remembering the Dead

This ritual may be performed on or near Hallows/Samhain or when
someone you know passes. I found this on the internet years ago, but
no author was listed; I have made a few adaptations. 
If you cannot obtain some of the herbs, simply use 
another with similar properties and make the 
change in the prayer.

Gather the following for the ritual:

A tea light for each person to be remembered
rose petals, bay, oregano, parsley, elder,
rosemary, basil

Cast your circle using rose petals and rosemary to define it.
Be sure to clear the space well beforehand. 
Arrange the tea lights on your altar along with photos
or other remembrances of the dead.
Light a tea light and call the name of the person 
you are honoring.
Stand at your altar and  recite this prayer:

The wheel of life turns,
The cycle of life continues.
Those beyond life, beyond the veil,
You are remembered today.
Gifts of love and hope
are offered with love and honor.
To those I remember,
To those I do not,
to all those I have lost.
Hekate, guide them home with Your torches.
Persephone, take them in Your gentle embrace.
My dead You have taken,
The Fates have cut their threads,
And now spin and weave the threads anew.
May the wheel turn and begin again.
I give freely these herbal offerings,
May they be acceptable and assist you.
(as you recite, scatter the herb to the wind)
Rose petals for love,
Elder to guide your journey,
Bay for strength,
Parsley for honor,
Basil for peace,
Oregano for happiness,
and Rosemary for remembrance.
So mote it be!

Sit now and remember your beloved dead.
Let the peace of the ritual embrace you. Perhaps
perform some divination to receive a message.
Let the candles burn out. Open your circle.

(adapted from a ritual found on the internet, author unknown)

Blessings dark and deep!


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Hallows Everyday 15

http://simplesue.tumblr.com/post/565006803/fortune-telling-tea-cup-i-need-one

Dink a cup of tea and consider your question. Finish the tea and 
peer into the cup, observe...

One leaf alone, alone you'll be,
Two together, the altar you''ll see;
Three in groups, your wish you'll gain,
Four, a letter from a loving swain; 
Five, good news a letter will bring,
Six in a row, an engagement ring;
Seven together, great fortune awaits
For you, so say the Tea-cup Fates;
Bring you company, great and small;
Tea leaves many and dotted fine
Are of bad luck the surest sign;
Tea leaves few and clean the rim,
Your cup with joy o'erflows the brim.

Hallowe'en Hilarity, 1924

Blessings dark and deep!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Hallows Everyday 14


Go to the garden where the beet patch grows full
on Hallowe'en night and begin to pull.
At the stroke of twelve if a beet is straggly,
sad lot for thee.
But if smooth and round, a happy life thine will be.

(verse from a vintage Halloween postcard)

Blessings dark and deep!