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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Samhain

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Do our beliefs call us to be unconditional?

Good morning everyone and welcome back! How are you handling the Mercury retrograde? It's been a total pain in the rear for me, so I won't be sad to see it completely dissipate, shadow and all, come Thanksgiving. During these times, we're not supposed to really start anything, but how is that feasible? And in my line of work, helping people find new apartments, which includes preparing and signing leases, there is no such thing as taking a couple months off several times a year. So, I do the best I can with what I have, which is all anyone can ever ask.

I at least find comfort in knowing I'm not the only one who's been going through ups and downs: Misery loves company, doncha know. But at the same time, I don't wish misery on anyone, and boy howdy has there been a lot of that going on. Millions of Americans, which includes the elderly, the disabled and military families, on top of the biggest recipients - children - have seen their monthly food stamp allotments go down by around 5%. The healthcare website still isn't functional to the point some are saying to shut the site down all together until it's fixed. And, on top of everything else, many trick or treaters were rained out last week. Won't somebody please think of the children! Oh and yeah, flu season is back, and I'm wondering if it's going to be a mild one or severe. So really, what can we do? Again, do the best with what you have.

Anyone who knows me knows I'm big on advocating for preparedness, but I'm not talking about the extreme measures the people on TV take. I follow prepper websites and find a wealth of information in the comments; first-hand experiences are great to learn from, especially "what not to do" examples. But unfortunately, I also find a lot of misinformation, paranoia and proselytization, and sadly too, intolerance, bigotry and outright hatred on those very site sites. For example, there is a lady out in Utah who I love for her tried and tested food preservation tips. She's a smart woman who, when it comes to food, truly does make the best of what she has - always outdoing herself. However, I can't stand her extreme black and white views and the way she unapologetically judges people. I see a lot of "those people" comments, and it can be downright infuriating. The way I see it, life isn't black and white: There is a lot of gray area involved on top of a rainbow of colors.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
It Gets Easier. Trust Me on This One.

This morning I packed a basket with Goddesses and Wiccan tools and headed out to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Swannanoa Valley.  I was invited to talk to the young people's RE (religious education) class--they are doing the section on Neighboring Faiths. I sometimes do the sermon at this sweet church and always enjoy the time I spend there.

I began by asking them all how well they'd scored in the Great Pumpkin Candy Berserker Night celebration. Most of the kids know me so it was pretty comfortable for them to talk--since I'm not technically a stranger.  I then read part of the Charge of the Goddess and we launched into an hour's worth of discussion on the Wheel of the Year, European tribes, tools of the trade and the nature of the Divines.  We finished with casting a circle.

It was fun and the kids were attentive and curious. The little red-head who was sitting beside me had even been to Newgrange and whispered to me that it was "awesome."

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  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Thanks. Everything seems best when simplest these days.
  • Shauna Aura Knight
    Shauna Aura Knight says #
    Great post. I really agree with the part about finding your practice getting simpler and deeper.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

 

The 31st of October is traditionally Samhain, and also All Hallows Eve. It has a long tradition as a festival, as do Beltain, Imbolc and Lugnasadh, all popular with modern Pagans. However, Pagans in the Southern hemisphere have long since decided that it makes no sense to celebrate Samhain at the start of what, for them, is the spring. Southen calendars swap the festivals around, putting seasonal relevance before an ancestral connection with dates.

 

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

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All Hallow's Eve, oh holy night....but as my thoughts turn to this post, night hasn't fallen yet. Though Samhain is hours away, it feels as though perhaps the veil is thinning ahead of schedule. A low fog hovers, catching on tree branches,erasing the mountains as if they were mere figments of imagination, drifting around me like one of those ancestral wraiths seeking communion with the living once more. But no spirits come to visit, and instead my mind wanders, nebulous thoughts seeking form and being as evening draws closer. With the passing hours they begin to take shape.

We who walk this path share a gift, one known to a few other spiritual paths/religions--a spiritual new year. There will always be the horn-blowing, ball-dropping, sparkling-toast secular new year, but we're blessed with an extra new beginning, one that invites introspection and inspiration. We also get an extra opportunity to make--and make good on--resolutions, different ones perhaps than vows to reacquaint ourselves with the treadmill or be more organized. And so as the windy gloaming sweeps away one year and blows in the new, I ask myself how I can be--and do--better, how can I deepen my connection with Goddess, continue this journey of healing, nurturing and regrowing that once-fractured relationship. As darkness falls, each answer sparks, flickers and flares into being...a trio of flames lighting this moody, dark, rainy Samhain.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Today is Samhain. Not yet the longest night of the year, but the time when we’re forced to face the reality of the darkness drawing in at dawn and dusk, with less daylight inbetween. Some breathe a sigh of relief, looking forward to the ‘hibernation’ period of quietness and introspection; others gird their loins against inner darkness, SAD and the loneliness of closing the curtains on another day.

I’ve talked about Samhain as a festival many times in the past – I’d rather not go over that again here. Rather, some personal thoughts about this time, this date, here in 2013.

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(Image ©Tom Brown)

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  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    I am sorry to hear of your bad news. I am inspired by the grace with which you carry it.
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Ms. Treadwell, Thanks for sharing! Your post was very touching. I'll check out your book.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

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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 SageWoman Blogs
Samhain and the Ancestors

What with the rage of the storm St Jude passing over our area on Monday morning, we were without power for a couple of days (as well as being without land line phones -mobile masts were also out).  At this time of year, when the clocks have gone back and the nights are drawing in, the change can be quite dramatic, especially when you are living without power.

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  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Thank you for the timely reminder.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Samhain Salutations from the Fairy Goddess

At this thinnest time of year, Samhain, when the veil between our world and the sidhe is gossamer I want to offer a poem in praise of Danu, our most ancient of goddesses. Danu is the gift giver and it is said that her name is embedded in our English word donation. Her name is embedded in the rivers - the Don in Russia in the east and another in the west in Yorkshire, England and the Danube that runs through the heart of Central Europe.  Some say that her origins are in India. She is undoubedly pan-Celtic and very, very ancient, sort of the great-granny of so many deities. 

 

The first impulse in a divinity is, then, to give. It is said in Ireland that Danu had a husband called Bile. Now that is a word, along with crann, for tree.  In my research I found that Ireland has seven sacred or chieftain trees.  It got me thinking about Danu's husband and this poem, Nemeton, is the result.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs

Magicians don't curse people often enough anymore.

Now now, I know that's a controversial and possibly alarming opinion, but bear with me.

It is early in the morning on the day Samhain begins.  According to my tradition, the Hallows don't actually start until sunset today; from sunset on the 31st of October to morning on November 3rd, the Sabbat possesses the world.

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  • ursula
    ursula says #
    Very well said and well written. I love the perspective as a whole and especially the analogy of Ereshkigal's hook.... this whole

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Welcome to the dark side! Don't worry--we've said it before, and we'll say it again--the dark is not a place of fear, but one filled with magic and mystery. Raven Digitalis is an intrepid explorer of this aspect of the craft. He took time out of his busy schedule to chat with me about his tradition, music, animal rights and all things shadowy...

NZ: You are quite young for a published author. How did you get started, and any advice for young and aspiring writers?

RD: Hello! Thanks for the interview.I was contracted by Llewellyn to publish my first book, Goth Craft: The Magickal Side of Dark Culture just before my 23rd birthday. Writing is a fun and strategic way for me to convey information that's in my mind. I would advise any young writers to keep doing what they're doing, whether it be nonfiction, fiction, poetry or anything else--just keep writing, even if it doesn't feel immediately successful. Art is something that should be channeled and expressed, regardless of how many people may or may not become readers, viewers, listeners or whatnot. As with any art form, if you get the motivation to do it, make the time to make it happen. One must always follow their calling!

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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 SageWoman Blogs
Honoring Our Ancestors

When we lived in Seattle, we hosted a Halloween/Samhain party each year for both pagans and non-pagans. We invited friends of all ages to join us for pumpkin soup, roasted turnips, hot cider, apple bobbing, and seed bread.  The children were gathered for trick-or-treating (real food before the candy), and after we returned and the kids compared (and sometimes traded) loot, we'd begin the real party, starting with the sliced apple to reveal the star, and tales about the history of Samhain.  At this point, non-pagan families who choose not to share in the divination, speaking with the dead, or honoring them, left.  The rest of us joined in quieter work.

Now that we live in a rural town, people are less inclined to make the long drive for a celebration, but there are some traditions we continue.  The kids still trick-or-treat in the neighborhood, and we still come home to do our good work for the holiday. 

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The Hallowmas Woman: On the Threshold

A woman is a shapeshifter, flowing from one life stage to another, just as each season gradually becomes the next. We trace each season of a woman’s life, with all its gifts and challenges, as it resonates with each phase of the Wheel of the Year.

There comes a time in every woman’s life when she embarks on an Underworld journey. Indeed, she will visit the Underworld more than once during the course of her lifetime. This journey may be precipitated by the loss of someone she loves, or by a life-threatening illness, or a grave disappointment in career or craft. When it happens, she feels that all is lost. She is separated from everything she holds dear. She is in shock. She despairs. She grieves. 

She descends to the realm of the Old One, the Crone, the Cailleach, the Grandmother, Lady Death, Hecate, Baba Yaga, Erishkegal, La Santa de Muerte. The Old One has a thousand names. 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Creating a Samhain Tarot Ritual

This blog, 78 Magickal Tools, is about using tarot in ritual and magick. I believe that the only limits on what tarot can help us do are the limits we impose ourselves.

 In my posts I like to give ideas of ways to use the cards with the hope that you, the reader, will be inspired to discover and create even more ways to incorporate the cards into your spiritual practice.

The ritual ideas I am going to share with you will work best if you adapt them to your own traditions and beliefs to create a full ritual. Rather than using my ideas as a script, use them as an example and inspiration to help you create a meaningful and powerful Samhain ritual with tarot.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Tending the Tales of Grief

Every so often, I offer a workshop or discussion on Ancestor veneration. I hadn't done one in several years, but felt the urge to do it this year.  Last night was the chosen evening and we drew in together at Mother Grove's little chapel to talk about the Dead and our Dead.

It was informal--more of a conversation than a class.  I started out with some general information about honoring our Beloved Dead through altars or memorial displays. We went on to discuss the layers of the Dead that we may choose to honor--family and friends who have died,  all those folks we find on Ancestrydotcom and those intentionally selected heroes and inspirations who have no blood or cultural tie to us but who have inspired us through their story.

We talked about some artifacts that may be employed in our commemorative process--including memorial candles like the one above.

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  • Kate Laity
    Kate Laity says #
    Beautiful words.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Samhain Approaching...

As I sit here, writing this, the rain taps at the window, the wind howling down the street, carrying with it the scent of winter and the first of the autumn leaves. The sky is fast moving and furious – low dark grey clouds set amidst a backdrop of pure white/grey.  The central heating has been turned on.  The apples are juicy on the trees.  The starlings are flocking together. Welcome, Autumn.

My favourite season – as you may have guessed. From bright, sunny days where the sun shows the last of its strength, to watery, wind-filled days like these, it is a season of change like no other.  Quick, altogether too quickly, it is over, at least the Fall is, when the leaves change and drop to the ground.  After that, it seems Winter is here – only allowing Autumn a brief time of grace to shine in her beauty before all is blanketed under the dreamy cold slumber of Winter.

It is third week of October – and the hectic days of summer leading to the Equinox have long passed.  I feel I can almost catch my breath – almost.  The main bulk of the harvest is done – both agriculturally and in a personal sense.  I have worked hard this year, and the rewards have been great.  There are always disappointments – from the tomatoes that didn’t do well to the vagaries of life.  But Autumn, with her beauty, captures our hearts and our minds, our attention, and causes us to stop, to listen and watch Her before She is gone.

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  • Joanna van der Hoeven
    Joanna van der Hoeven says #
    Thank you, and to you Lizann! x
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    another lovely post - thank you - and blessings to you in this wonderful season of change

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.
Tidying Up and Baking Cornbread for Themselves

Readying for Samhain is a long and delightful process around here. Last week, I tidied the Ancestor Altar at Mother Grove Goddess Temple and poured some wine into the silver chalice on the third shelf.  This morning--in spite of the distinct possibility that we have some temple mice--I added some bread to the little feast.

It's the alarm clock that we usually use to wake them up. That isn't necessary now--as I've written here before, the Veil is so thin these days as to be non-existent. It is a loving, albeit symbolic, gesture.

My home Ancestor altar stays up year-round, too.  I gave it a good cleaning just after Harvest Home and added some corn liquor, and a fresh piece of chocolate.  My morning meditations include a nod and a shout-out to my great-grandmother whose dinner bell sets there, near her daughter's (my grandmother's) clip-on sunglasses.  It brings them all so close, as the world and the days grow darker.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs

Wow, it's been over a month since I last blogged.  *chuckles*  Whoops!

Truthfully, most of my activity has been over at my Tumblr, but even so... lots of life interruptus.  But hey, a busy life means plenty to write about when you have time.

For example, today's focus is on Samhain and Sabbats in general, but also on the concept of Darkness and what it means to people in the magical world.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
We are so grateful for the love visitors, readers and friends have shown to Broomstix, and we want to give a little ♥ back. It's October 1, and Halloween and Samhain are only 30 short days away! It's time for pumpkins and cider, to put on something warm, perhaps put on a guise. How about a GRIZZLY BEAR?

 

 

We love Spirit Hoods for so many reasons (see above!). To win a Grizzly Bear Hood, visit Broomstix's Facebook page. Following us on Facebook will get you one entry (if you were a Facebook follower you get an extra entry!). A random drawing of all entries will be done on Monday, October 14, 2013. If you're not on facebook, no worries, we will be doing more giveaways in the future. 
 
Thank you all, again for your love and support ♥ Bright Blessings for an awesome October!
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