Webs of Woven Words, Threads, Stitches and Enchantments

Thursday, October 31, 2013

All Hallows Eve

For on Hallowmas Eve the Nighthag shall ride,
And all her nine-fold sweeping on by her side,
Whether the wind sing lowly or loud,
Sailing through moonshine or swathed in a cloud.

- Sir Walter Scott -

Blessing to you on this sacred night.
May you taste the mysteries the Great Mother offers.
May you ride the ghost-roads safely and return
home with the wisdom you seek.
Blessings to you,
Blessings dark and deep.

The Witch of Stitches

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Hallows Everyday 30

Today, a video about Samhain with good music and lovely images, as well as some interesting information. Enjoy!

Blessings dark and deep!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Hallows Everyday 29

Yesterday I did not want to post Hallows Everyday. I learned that Layne Redmond had passed and I wanted to pay tribute to her instead. It occurs to me that since Hallows is about honoring the dead, I did, indeed, do that.

Layne, it seemed from what I read, spent her last months doing what she loved, working on the revision of her book, When The Drummers Were Women. In a video I saw of her, she appeared to be happy, almost joyous. I didn't know her personally, only from her writings, Facebook, and especially, her music. I know she was with people who loved her and took care of her. Really, I thought she would just go on. Instead, at this sacred time, she left. If one can choose, this seems the perfect time.

We are in the Autumn of the year, the quiet time when all that dies lays to rest. So the dead sleep, but come spring, all that dies will be reborn, and in that we, the living, can take comfort.

Samhain Evening Prayer

Lady, You are Prophetess and Queen.
The Final Harvest has been met;
the land lies sleeping, expectant.
In the Winter stillness
You will conceive tomorrow's hope.
Receptive and quiescent, 
Your dream unfolds as a counterpoint
to the Dark Night that will enshroud us all.
Life and Death are balanced.
Endings and beginnings are wrought.
Your blessing weaves all into a holy tapestry,
complete and irrevocable.

by Galen Gillotte,
from Book of Hours, Prayers To The Goddess

Blessings dark and deep.

Monday, October 28, 2013


Layne Redmond

Just heartbroken. Layne Redmond passed away this morning. She was an inspiration and a beautiful person. Blessed journey, Layne, may Hekate guide you. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Hallows Everyday 27

Photo credit: Chris Veverka

Samhain Broom Blessing

Hand to hand, blood to blood, bone to bone,
We gather around this sacred home.
One by one we link our brooms
As we circle during the Waning Moon.
Besom, Besom, blessed be with protection and prosperity.
On Samhain Night we sweep away
the old and bring in the New Year.
A Witch's tool for circle and home,
hang upright at your door.
This spell will keep your threshold safe
as long as it hangs in its place.
And so we will it, so mote it be.

copyright 2002 Betty Banos Prat

Tonight I took one of my apprentices to a ritual with very experienced witches, and we honored the Ancestors for Samhain. This was a group of witches I have known for many years, all experienced, and some brought family members so it was a rather informal, but moving rite. This is not how I generally work my rites, but it seemed perfect for this evening. We created a beautiful ancestor altar, honored and made offerings to those now passed on, and made a little magick.

My friend, and facilitator of this ritual, Betty, created the Samhain Broom Blessing rite some years ago; she gave her consent to share it here. We each brought a new cinnamon broom along with the old one that had been blessed last year. The old brooms were burned in a fire and the new ones blessed with the above prayer. These new brooms, like the old ones last year, will hang near or on our doors to bring prosperity and protection in the coming year.

I had a lovely night and am off into the arms of Morpheus as I have a ritual of my own to finish tomorrow for the coming week's Hallows Rites with apprentices and witch friends. 

Blessings nine!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Hallows Everyday 25

I adore Bette Midler and love the movie Hocus Pocus. I think Bette did a fabulous job as Winnie. Of course, I love her version of this song too! Enjoy!

Blessing nine!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Hallows Everyday 24

All Hallows

Even now this landscape is assembling.
The hills darken.
The oxen sleep in their blue yoke,
The fields have been picked clean,
The sheaves bound evenly
and piled at the roadside
among cinquefoil, as the toothed moon rises.

This is the barrenness of harvest or pestilence,
And the wife leaning out the window
With her hand extended, as in payment,
And the seeds, distinct, gold, calling,
Come here,
Come here, little one.

And the soul creeps out of the tree.

- Louise Gluck -  

Blessings nine!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Hallows Everyday 23

Author and witch, Marion Weinstein

Author and witch, Doreen Valiente

Today, a tribute to a couple of my favorite crones who have passed through the veil.

Season of the Crone
by Gerina Dunwich

Crone of Samhain's spellbound cold,
in Her cauldron of black are told
secrets, ancient, truths and tales:
mystery Her light unveils.

She is wisdom, She is changes:
time and space She rearranges.
In Her hands, the card of Death,
for transformation is Her breath.

Crone of Samhain, Grandmother Wise,
look into Her gargoyle eyes.
Let Her lessons teach you well:
life is but a magic spell.

Blessings nine!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Hallows Everyday 22

A vintage wheel of fortune for Halloween divination, rather a silly one.

Blessings nine!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Hallows Everyday 21

A vintage Halloween game for telling fortunes.

Blessings nine!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Hallows Everyday 20

Threshold Invocation for the Festival of Samhain

Recite this prayer in the evening at your open 
front door on the eve of Samhain, October 31.

Grandmother Wisdom, open the door,
Grandfather Counsel, come you in.
Let their 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
Clarify the souls 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.

- from Celtic Devotional by Caitlin Matthews -

Blessings nine!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Hallows Everyday 19

Witch's Brew

1 quart apple cider
1 quart brewed spiced tea
(I like Constant Comment or Vanilla Chai)
3 cinnamon sticks
13 whole cloves
2 - 3 pieces of crystalized ginger (to taste)
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

Place all the ingredients, except the vanilla extract, into a pot and bring almost to a boil. 
Let simmer, covered, for half and hour or so. Strain into a crock pot and add the vanilla 
extract, then set to low to keep the brew warm.

Blessings nine!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Hallows Everyday 18

There are a lot of Halloween traditions that involve finding out who one's true love will be. Romance is not just for Valentine's Day! In the north of England, Halloween is known as Nut-Crack Night. Nuts, harvested at this time of year, have long been a tool for divination where love is concerned.

For the woman who has several men to choose from, this method will help her find out who is her perfect mate. A hazelnut is chosen for each suitor and tossed into a fire. If one bursts, it indicates that this man will be unfaithful. One that roasts slowly and burns quietly to ash indicates a lover who will be faithful, steady, and true. One that crackles and pops indicates one who is untrustworthy and will be demanding.

Chestnuts can also be used to determine how the course of a romance will proceed. Place two nuts, representing the couple, into the fire. If they burn without incident, this indicates a happy union. Should one or the other burst, the union will likely be a rough one, or will end without marriage. Nuts that remain apart from each other indicate separation or divorce. If one nut bursts out of the fire, the lover will be unfaithful or desert his/her mate. Chestnuts that burn black foreshadow poverty and loneliness, while those that blaze up foretell prosperity and a happy life.

Blessings nine!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Hallows Everyday 17

The Magic Circle
John William Waterhouse

I have found the warm caves in the woods,
filled them will skillets, carvings, shelves,
closets, silk, innumerable goods;
fixed the suppers for the worms and the elves:
whining, rearranging the disaligned.
A woman like that is misunderstood.
I have been her kind.

- from Her Kind, by Anne Sexton -

Blessings nine!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Hallows Everyday 16

Sybil Leek

Dig the stang earthward,
Breathe up the old bones.
Up as blood-sap rising,
Whispering lost, numinous wisdom.

And from a needful longing,
The hidden gate is revealed.

- from The Hidden Gate, by Shivian Balaris

Blessings nine!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Hallows Everyday 15

... find a park or some wild place to go walking. Take three red apples with you, and when you find a spot that draws you, toss the apples out for the local wildlife to receive on behalf of the Fates. Pray:

Red apples to the Weird Sisters I offer,
Red apples They like to eat.
Thanks and honor to the Old Ones,
Through the ears of the wild things They shall hear.

from the book, "Summoning the Fates",
by Zsuzsanna E. Budapest

Blessings nine!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Hallows Everyday 14

The Samhain Vow

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

Make this vow before a Jack-O-Lantern you have carved and placed a candle in.
Burn some cinnamon and clove incense. After making the vow, feast upon some
roasted pumpkin seeds and spiced pumpkin cream tea, being sure to offer some to the spirits.

Pumpkin Cream Tea

3 cups of strong spiced tea
(I use decaf Constant Comment - choose what you prefer)
1/2 cup of pureed pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup Half-and-Half (or more to taste)
(substitute almond milk if you are dairy free)
sweetener to taste
Whipped cream

Brew the tea and set aside. In a small pot, combine the pumpkin, spices, vanilla, and
half-and-half. If you prefer, add some sweetener to taste, such as honey, maple syrup, or 
molasses. I prefer mine without sweetener. Warm the mixture until just at a simmer; do not boil. Remove from the heat and add the brewed tea, whipping to combine. Warm if necessary. Serve immediately with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon. This is very yummy!

Blessings nine! 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Hallows Everyday 13

May Jack-O-Lanterns burning bright
of soft and golden hue,
Pierce through the future's veil  and show
What fate now holds for you.

Bu goblins of the cornfield stark,
By witches dancing on the green,
By pumpkins grinning in the dark,
I wish you luck on Halloween!

(verse from a vintage postcard)

Blessings nine!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Hallows Everyday 12

By this magic paring I wish to discover,
The first letter of the name of my true lover.
Three times round with movements slow,
Then upon the floor lie low;
Show me, if you know the same,
The letter of my true love's name.

This is an old custom practiced by young, unmarried women seeking to know who their true love was. Skillfully paring the apple and tossing it over the right should would, supposedly, show them the first letter of the man meant for them. If one could not discern an initial, it meant she was destined for spinsterhood. Of course, a smart gal could always see an initial!

Blessings nine!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Hallows Everyday 11

For we are all poor people,
well known to you before,
So give us a cake for charity's sake,
And our blessing we leave at the door!

Soul cakes are traditional at this time of year. Pagans and Polytheists make them to eat at this blessed sabbath, as well as giving them as offerings, to the Blessed Dead, the Goddesses and Gods, and other Spirits. Traditionally made with oats and molasses, you can make and offer whatever feels right for your tradition.

I make cornbread, a sweet version that I first found in the early days of my marriage in the Fanny Farmer Baking Cookbook. The page is easy to find because it is so warped from drips and being opened so much! It is one of my hubby's favorite things. Honey is used in it and I've made a few adjustments to the recipe over the years. For me, cornbread is an important autumn offering, but especially at this time of year. I usually serve and make the offerings along with a slathering of apple butter, also homemade. 

What offerings do you make at Hallows/Samhain?

Blessings nine!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Hallows Everyday 10

Doubles, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron, boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork and blind worm's sting,
Lizard's leg and howlet's wing.
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth, boil and bubble.
Cool it with a a baboon's blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

- William Shakespeare -

Blessings nine!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Hallows Everyday 9

Thirteen Witches
By Connie Jasper

Thirteen Witches made a wish,
Placing candles on a dish,
Then they lit each with a flame,
Thirteen candles burned the same.
As they flickered all night long,
Thirteen Witches sang a song.
They danced around, calling out,
"Thirteen wishes come about!
To the Moon, and to the Sun,
To the Stars, and everyone.
To the mountains, to the sea,
Thirteen wishes all have we.
Thirteen candles melt away,
As we make a wish today.
Thirteen times we sing our plea,
This is our will, make it be!"
The flames burned high, then burned low.
The flames burned fast, then burned slow.
All the candles cast a glow,
Fire made the hot wax flow.
Through the night the candles blazed
With the magic that was raised,
Thirteen candles on a dish
Thirteen Witches made a wish...

Blessings nine!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Hallows Everyday 8

To Autumn

O Autumn, laden with fruit,
and stained with the blood of the grape,
Pass not, but sit beneath my shady roof;
There thou may'st rest,
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe;
And all the daughters of the year shall dance!
Sing now the lusty song of fruit and flowers.

William Blake, 1793

Blessings nine!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Hallows Everyday 7

On such a day each road is planned
To lead to some enchanted land;
Each turning meets expectancy.
The signs I read on every hand.
I know by autumn's wizardry,
On such a day the world can be
Only a great glad dream for me...
Only a great glad dream for me.

from "An Autumn Day"
by Eleanor Myers Jewett

Blessings nine!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Hallows Everyday 6

Stitched by The Witch of Stitches, 2013

Season of the Witch

Crone of Samhain's spell-bound cold,
in Her cauldron of black are told
secrets ancient, truths and tales,
mystery Her light unveils.

She is wisdom, She is changes,
time and space, she rearranges,
In Her hands, the card of Death,
for transformation is Her breath.

Crone of Samhain, Grandmother Wise,
look into Her gargoyle eyes.
Let Her lessons teach you well,
life is but a magick spell!

Gerina Dunwitch

Blessings nine!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Hallows Everyday 5

They summoned forth the Night
and the deities of the Night from the nether world,
praying to Hecate in plaintive, howling cries:
You, Trivia, potent goddess of the triple crossroad, come,
You who know all our plans,
aiding and abetting our incantations
and the arts of the magician.

from Ovid, Metamorphoses, translation by Ronald Basto 

Blessings nine!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Hallows Everyday 4

A Magic Potion Just For You

Find a very tall black hat;
Fill it with a squeaky bat.
Catch a clever shiny crow;
Gather up the pumpkin's glow.
Call your black cat home to you;
Summon up a ghost or two.
Throw in lots of special treats,
Like candy corn and lizard feets!
Simmer, bubble, stew and wait...
Then it's time to celebrate!

Laura J. Perin, needlework designer

Blessings nine!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Hallows Everyday 3

Evocation of the Witch

I am one with the Universe.
I am nothing and I am everything.
I am the stars and the moon,
The seas and the storms,
The breath of life,
The alchemical change,
The living and the dead,
I am!
I am the power and the joy,
I am the spirit that dances,
I am the magick and the priestess,
The witch and the sorceress,
The angels and the Elements,
Omnipotent, Omnipresent,
I am!
I am the past, the present, and the future.
I am the void.
And I am the manifestation of all my desire,
I am!
So Blessed Be.

(- author unknown -)

Blessings nine!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Hallows Everyday 2


A gentle breeze rustling the dry cornstalks.
A sound is heard, a goblin walks.
A harvest moon suffers a black cat's cry.
Oh' do the witches fly!
Bonfire catches a pumpkin's gleam.
Rejoice, it's Halloween!

- Richard Anderson -

Began stitching on my Spooky Countdown, now... just to keep up! 

Blessings nine!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Happy October!

The Veil Is Getting Thinner

As I went out walking this fall afternoon,
I heard a whisper whispering.
I heard a whisper whispering,
Upon this fine fall day...

As I went out walking this fall afternoon,
I heard a laugh a' laughing.
I heard a laugh a' laughing
Upon this fine fall day.

I heard this whisper and I wondered,
I heard this laugh and then I knew.
The time is getting near, my friends,
The time that I hold dear, my friends,
The veil is getting thin, my friends,
And strange things will pass through.

(author unknown)

Once again Autumn is here and we prepare for the most sacred of times. I was so pleased to have celebrated the Autumn Equinox with 13 other women, most just beginning their journey along the path of the witch. Some will stay, some will leave; all, including myself, have been enriched by the experience of Autumn celebrated in the old way.

This is the time when we draw inwards; searching, healing, experiencing that which hides deep, down, and within. We prepare ourselves for that deeper journeying while celebrating the change of season, this glorious time of year. Ancestor altars, for those who do not have them all year, are prepared. My ancestor altar is tended all year, but I give it an especial cleaning and decorate it for the season. As I do so, I remember. I remember those who have passed, what they mean to me, and know they are never far if I need them.

This year will be a time of intense, personal devotional activity, even more so than my usual daily devotions. I will, as usual, honor my ancestors of blood and breed, but, in addition, will add special ancestor workings for this season. They are calling and so I must answer. My usual practices are changing a bit too; all for the good. I know I am not the only one experiencing this, so I assume something is happening energetically to move us along down the paths of our practice. 

Last year I posted something I called Hallows Everyday. This year, again, I will post something each day to remind us of the season, a way to celebrate, a prayer, a poem, a picture. Enjoy!

Blessings nine!