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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in halloween

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_gypsywoman.jpg

Today I remember who I am, and who my ancestors were. I stand at the crossroads and reflect on the past spiritual year. Have I been Witch enough? No, there is always room for improvements. Have I faced darkness and survived? Yes, and I most likely will again. I am indestructible. Have I gained allies and made commitments to my Gods? Yes, I seek to deepen our relationships. Having Virgo on my midheaven spurs me to always strive. I am Witch, I am pledged to the Gods and am blessed to feel Their Presence. I am the living incarnation of my great-grandmother's blood, of my grandmother's blood, of my mother's blood. I am Witch, who brings light upon the world. I am Witch, who seeks to understand and integrate the shadow. I am Witch, I am Witch, I am Witch.

Blessed Samhain, all, and a Happy Halloween! Hail Isis!

Photo © 2013 Kalyca Schultz.

Photo of Kalyca for blog by Tolley Photo.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Halloween Masks and Invocation

Halloween is the first cosplay convention that ever was, and the longest running one, but Halloween is more than just that. It's a time for people to connect with the pop culture they love and embody that pop culture. For example, the recent Verizon commercial shows a family dressed up as characters (and more) from Star Wars. What strikes me about that commercial is that for that family Star Wars is real that night and in a way they get to become those characters while they trick and treat (though they do seem more obsessed with Candy than anything else).

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, and it's also one of the inspirations for my approach to pop culture magic. This isn't surprising because its during Halloween that pop culture comes out in force. People dress up as the characters they love and for an evening embody those characters in one form or another. This occurs across ages, with little children dressing up to go trick and treat, while adults dress up to have fun at a costume party. Now not all of these people intentionally set out to work magic, but Halloween is a night of masks, and as such it can be useful for magical work to explore the idea of taking on a mask.

A mask allows a person to become something else, to invoke a different presence into his/her life. The mask isn't a permanent change in identity, but rather is a temporary change that allows the person to access what the mask represents. And what the mask represents is a chance to let go and allow yourself to connect with something that isn't you, that is different from your usual identity. Of course there are potential dangers when you do this without the right constraints, and I think that one of the constraints that is present in Halloween is the idea that it's all make believe. It's a useful constraint for people who aren't magicians, but for someone who practices magic, putting on the mask is never make believe. Putting on the mask is a connection with the character, entity, deity, etc that the mask represents.

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  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Great post, thanks!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Stonie Rivera and a Samhain Supper

For this Halloween blog entry of mine, I would like to give our kind attention to a truly fascinating interview subject, Stonie Rivera. Rivera has been a a local legend on the Milwaukee music scene for some time. Her punk bands Dummy Club and the Psycho Bunnies were well-loved and the former performed memorably at last year's, "Lest We Forget" concert at Turner Hall Ballroom, which also highlighted the talents of Die Kreuzen. The following are some of Rivera's thoughts on music, the arts, and running an underground art gallery which also houses a pleasant collection of occult supplies. And oh yes, she is a practicing witch.

 

On her musical influences Rivera had this to share: "My musical background came as a child, my dad was a musician and we always had music on in the house– everything from classical to jazz, Motown, opera, R&B, Soul. Mom was a huge fan of Little Richard & Fats Domino. Growing up in the sixties was an excellent time to really appreciate music. Music became a part of the civil rights and anti-war movements and we grew up in a really intense time of change. My biggest influences were groups like the Ronettes, the Marvelettes, Tina Turner, Ketty Lester, Billie Holiday, and The Rolling Stones."

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Ah, Samhain-tide: a time when life and death balance on a razor sharp edge as we welcome in the Season of the Winter God. Rua, Fin and I will be tucked safely into our stalls this evening, away from those things that walk between the worlds. It’s a time to stay firmly rooted in this world, while seeking predictions from the next. Your best tools on Samhain are sharp wits and clear vision. It reminds me of a stone we find here at the dairy. It’s usually shiny and black (although it can be green, grey and even “rainbow”), and made from volcanic glass. It’s called obsidian.

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Obsidian was highly prized by Native Americans because of its use as a blade. It could be honed to the thinnest edge, and still be deadly sharp, so it was a perfect material for arrowheads. Even today, obsidian blades are used in surgery because they are many times sharper than steel blades, and have nice, smooth edges--and smooth blades mean less scaring. Obsidian has other properties that are especially useful this time of year. Wearing or holding the stone not only releases healing energy, but also keeps you grounded and balanced. That’s especially important during a season when the worlds of the living and the dead touch.

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  • Natalie Zaman
    Natalie Zaman says #
    Thanks so much for visiting!
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you. You reminded me of my fascination with obsidian as a child. Now it all makes sense.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

October 30, 2011.The night before Samhain, and I was getting into bed: exhausted, restless and ungrounded. Thinking about the next day was stressing me out even further. I realized I was starting to dislike Halloween in the same the way many devout Christians dislike the “holiday season” of Christmas. Yup: Halloween was starting to interfere with my Samhain.

Hallowe’en has always been my favorite holiday. But these days Halloween has become hectic and hyper-commercial. Throughout late October, I was so busy I could barely stop for breath: taking my kids to parties, decorating the house, and preparing my altar. I was also reading Tarot cards at a local haunted house, which meant that I was spending my weekends listening to screaming teenagers and a constant loop of ghastly sound effects. On top of work and family responsibilities, Hallowe’en was getting to be pretty tiring, even before Samhain Eve itself rolled around.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Simple Samhain Rites

I love this time of year. Where I live, here in upstate New York, the summer’s heat has given way to autumn’s chill, the leaves are shifting into colorful hues of yellow, orange, and red, and the farmer’s markets are filled with pumpkins ready to be carved.

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  • Deborah Blake
    Deborah Blake says #
    Thanks! It's a great idea...and then you get to eat it, too!
  • Hunter Liguore
    Hunter Liguore says #
    Insightful... love cooking those ancestor dishes!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Leaves of Samhain

  Over the years I have noticed a natural rhythm, an ebb and flow of activity and attendance to annual celebrations of the Wheel of the Year. Many seem to skip Imbolc, perhaps it the weather or perhaps we're still shaking off the winter hibernation. Still some confess not really being sure how to celebrate Imbolc, regardless, we usually seem to warm up by Ostara and are always in full swing for the Maypole Dance at Beltane. We cruise along through the wheel at a steady even pace until Samhain when we turn up the juice full throttle for everyone's favorite holiday. 

   It's really no surprise the Samhain is arguably the most popular of the Sabbats, it perhaps one of the most fun and memorable social events of our childhood. It is not a far stretch to assume the positive experiences of dressing up like our favorite hero or villain and canvassing the neighborhood collecting candy found a comfortable place to nest in the psyche of our young minds. It can be a dream come true for many who grow up, come to Paganism and discover one of their favorite childhood holidays has deep cultural and spiritual roots which complements their religious beliefs and practices.

   I had a good childhood, great parents and a close, strong family ties. My childhood experiences have always had a significant influence on my personal spiritual beliefs and practices. The most significant influence was from my Grandmother, from whom I learned how to cast my Circles and how to celebrate Samhain.

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  • Editor B
    Editor B says #
    A very moving account. Your grandma sounds awesome. Thank you for sharing.

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The season of death

Ear (Ground) is loathsome to all men,
yet certainly the body will be set upon there,
the corpse grows cold, the soil accepts its pale bedfellow;
leaves fall, pleasures depart, men cease to be. 

 - Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem

I will be posting a follow-up to my thoughts on establishing a hearth, as promised, but in the meantime life has intervened and supplied a subject matter that has to take precedence, since it's all I can spare any degree of deep thought for right now.  That subject, of course, is (as my title indicates) the one that naturally trumps all others: death.

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  • Beth Lynch
    Beth Lynch says #
    Er, and in my comment above, I meant to type "he."
  • Beth Lynch
    Beth Lynch says #
    Theresa and Rose, thank you both so much for your condolences! And Rose, thank you for sharing the pics of Sunshine; what a pret
  • Rose
    Rose says #
    Here's a link to my FB album for Sunshine. In case you want to see him. I've even got bitty kitten pics! https://www.facebook.co

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