Story, art, magic and creative activities for families to share and do.
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.
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.
Obsidian makes sure you stay put in the world where you belong. Yet, at the same time, obsidian balls, crystals and mirrors are used for scrying (crystal gazing) and allow visions and dreams of the future. If you use an obsidian as a scrying tool, keep it wrapped in a black cloth filled with a good helping of mugwort between uses. The black cloth keeps trivial images from being absorbed by the obsidian, while the mugwort keeps unwanted energies at bay. This way, your scrying tool is always ready to give you clear, meaningful visions. Like most black stones, obsidian is protective, warding off negative energy. (It would be a good idea to carry an obsidian stone in your pocket when you go Trick or Treating on Halloween). It stimulates your intuition, so you can sense things easier, like the intentions of a stranger or the mood of your parents! Finally, it opens up your creativity and allows positive energy to flow.
Enjoy your parties, parades and candy. Since Samhain is the Celtic New Year, my sisters and I will see you next year.
Cleas no’ coir (class noh koh-ir)…Trick or treat!
by Katharine Clark, Art by Robin Ator
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