Oct 31, 2009

A Very Blessed Samhain To All

"Every beginning has an ending,
And every ending is a new beginning.
In Life is Death, and in Death is Life.
Watch over me, my loved ones, and all of my
Brothers and Sisters, here and departed,
Who, tonight are joined together again for
Fellowship and celebration.
Bless us all as we light our bonfires, our hearth fires,
And the eternal fires in our hearts.
Guide us and protect us,
Tonight and throughout the coming year.
Blessed Be! Blessed Be!"
Thank you all for your Samhain wishes!

Oct 30, 2009

To Endings And Beginnings...

Samhain Ritual Prayer

In this ritual there are two parts... the first is where you say all the things you want to let go of from the past year and the second is a wish statement stating your hopes and wishes for the coming year.

Divide these into separate pieces of paper and burn just the statement of release ... then burn the wish statement ( releasing your wishes to the universe) using a white candle ..the beginning paragraph is what you say just before and is not burned at all (I keep mine in a decorative wooden Celtic box on my altar and bury it in the earth on the next Samhain)... you can insert what you wish plus you may need to change it to fit your statement better..

On this Samhain Eve I (your name), child of the Goddess and her consort the God, release these needs and wishes to the Universal Energies. May what is needed to be let go of be released in Peace with no harm to myself or anyone else! May what is wished for be heartfelt and fulfilled for the good and free will of all and harm to none

*I let go of ________________and I release it to the universe...
*I let go of any past ______________________and forgive any of the wrongs they may have brought to me or anyone else and I release it to the universe...
*I let go of my fear of_____________ and embrace _____________________, and wherever they may take me I take the experiences and turn them into lessons learned or wisdom gained.

Say this as the ritual prayer then burn the released prayer in your cauldron. Take the wish prayer and using a white candle light  and burn it  or you can bury the wish statement in Mother Earth.

Ritual Prayer

As the Wheel turns
As each year has ended
I except the lessons learned
Each tear becomes newly mended

This is the wish statement:

*For my requests and wishes to My Goddess! I ask the Goddess to bring me _____________________
*I ask the Goddess to give me confidence and strength in whatever I undertake.
*I ask the Goddess to continue to show me her wonders in all of the universe and continue to guide me, ( your name) on my pagan path!
*I ask the Goddess to protect my ____________
*I ask the Goddess to help __________________
*I ask the Goddess to bring my ________________

Blessed Be!
For the highest good of all and harm to none... So mote it be!

Lizzie's Award Of Shame

I've always considered myself a pretty tolerant individual...it usually takes a lot to really tick me off but this was so huge on the scale of ticked off I just had to write a post about it and this is how this little story goes....

I was hanging out on FaceBook yesterday afternoon and one of my favorite podcasters, Feithline Stuart with SpiritsCast  popped in with a status update and link that I truly had to read twice (okay, it was more like four or five times) anyhow, it was so outlandish... so ridiculous that I wasn't really sure that the author was in complete ownership of  all of her marbles...

And I quote...
"...The word "holiday" means "holy day." But there is nothing holy about Halloween. The root word of Halloween is "hallow," which means "holy, consecrated and set apart for service." If this holiday is hallowed, whose service is it set apart for? The answer to that question is very easy—Lucifer's!....

Really now...  Halloween (Samhain) is holy to me and wouldn't that just make it a perspective issue ... but no, she goes on... Kimberly, Kimberly, Kimberly...hun you really have a terrible case of the "I has a dumb"  going on and if you were in the least bit informed you would realize that one can only worship Lucifer (satan, devil, etc...) if one actually believes he exists. To be completely acurate, the devil is a misleading and false christian idea introduced long ago in order to maintain control over the peasantry and people of the "old ways" had absolutely no such concept of this creature in their belief system. 

How sad that many "christians" are running about spouting such  uneducated, misinformed nonsense ...  it's giving their god a bad name. If I were their deity I would surely hang my head in shame for creating such poorly educated folks...yes, ignorance is a choice in my opinion. ( doesn't the good book say  "made in his image")...  is that the sound of  laughter I hear coming from the heavens?

And again I quote
"....During this period demons are assigned against those who participate in the rituals and festivities. These demons are automatically drawn to the fetishes that open doors for them to come into the lives of human beings. For example, most of the candy sold during this season has been dedicated and prayed over by witches..."

Seriously folks, I'm not sure about you... but I'm usually way too busy scarfing down said candy to be letting it go to waste ...while trying to come up with an astoundingly good ditty that'll really put a whammy on those christian kids...(now their parents are another story... ah-hem, just kidding folks)  Anyway, I've put the article link below and I hope it will at least inspire fits of humor among my readers. I'm not sure if this will be a regular part of my blog because I really hate to think this type of mindset really exists out there!

The Dangers Of Celebrating Halloween

*If you would like to host your own Award of Shame, please feel free to grab the nun!*

(UPDATE- strangely enough the article I was referring to has magically disappeared, I cannot find just where they "moved" it to but I'm sure it could not have been it's inflammatory content...)

Oct 29, 2009

Tarot Shadow Work- Coping Skills

Continuing "Into the light..." we eventually come to coping skills. Now this is a subject not so near and dear to my heart because it seems like I've developed quite a few of them over the years and it's very difficult to examine just how they came about. At one time in my life I had thought that I come to a sense of peace with my childhood issues but those pesky coping skills rear their ugly heads sometimes and I must then admit that they exist and dig deep into my memories in order to understand just "why."

Basically all coping skills are,  a set of defense mechanisms we set up in order to protect ourselves from the harshness of our reality at a given moment. Most will begin in the psyche without even so much as a concious thought on our part and really never come to our attention until a situation reminds us of the traumas we endured. Take for example myself...as a child my father was a very loud, raging alcoholic and my mom and I never really knew what might send him into a tangent or even when this rage would happen.

I learned to make myself invisible and draw as little attention to myself as possible but on more than a few occasions in my twenties, when around someone who had been drinking and getting loud and obnoxious, I would suddenly find myself turning into that terrified, shy little girl who would do anything just to melt into the walls. I used to berate myself for that feeling but now, working through this book, I am able to see the past clearly and understand the root of my reactions.

Emotional pain is a strange creature and many of us in this world, count ourselves  very lucky to have had survived such childhoods... but on the same token, we must never let those traumas and resulting defense mechanisms that made us the survivors, define who we are today. That in itself seems to be a real challenge somedays but then I realize although  I AM a survivor... it doesn't control who I am as a person. 

Next week I will explain the first of several coping skills and how they became Shadows, effecting us in our rational, adult lives.

Oct 28, 2009

"What Is...?" Wednesday

The Witching Hour  
Mwah, ha, ha, ha...!*
( *spooky laugh attempt in honor of Halloween)

The "Witching Hour" is  said to be the  time of night when supernatural creatures are believed to be particularly active.. therefore making it a prime time of night for witchcraft. Many people think of midnight specifically as the witching hour while others more generally associate it with the dead of night or dark hours when few people are awake and about. (The term "witching hour" can also refer to the period from midnight to 3am, while "devils hour" refers to the time around 3am.)

The association of darkness and supernatural activity is quite ancient but the term “the witching hour” itself only dates back to around the early 1800s... terms like “the witching time of night” were used prior to this era. Historically, many truly believed  that the witching hour and it's supposed period of greater activity by witches, demons, ghouls and other creatures were very real and to this day in some regions of the world, people still try to avoid going out at night during the witching hour.

Some  folks have been known to comment that the depths of the night do sometimes feel a bit eerie and mysterious, especially during a New Moon (or Dark Moon as I call it).. and even Shakespeare refers to it in his famous work "Hamlet."

"Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world: now could I drink hot blood,
And do such bitter business as the day
Would quake to look on."
[Act III, sc. ii]

Oct 27, 2009

Tarot Tuesday

This morning, I drew an excellent card to represent this week with all the activities and preparations leading up to Samhain or Halloween. The World card tells us of completion, of everything coming together in fruitation. It represents reaching the goal, completing the journey..we have come to the end of one cycle and we are now ready for the next cycle.

The World represents  balance.. where all is right with the world... all is as it should be and everything has come together, in the right place.. doing the right thing... completing what we have envisioned and feeling fulfilled and complete. 

In this sense the World card also heralds new beginnings that naturally emerge out of the completion cycle. The "Old" date for Samhain occurs when the sun has reached 15 degrees Scorpio but most of us celebrate  Samhain (the witches New Year) on October 31st. This is a good time for us to look at wrapping up the old and preparing for the new in our lives. Think about the things we have done in the last twelve months.

Have you left anything unresolved...? What blessings have you harvested..?What do you need to thresh (leave behind) and start fresh...?. Once we've  gotten that  cleared away and out of our lives then we can begin to focus on  the next year and what we want to accomplish.

Oct 26, 2009

Grandma's Apple Cider Recipe

 Apple Cider

* 12 or so small-medium apples (I prefer Gala apples for their taste)
* 1 small orange
* 1/2 to 1 cup brown sugar (white if you prefer or  1/4 cup whole Stevia leaf for a sugar substitute)
* 3-4 cinnamon sticks
* 1 tbsp. nutmeg
* 1 tbsp whole cloves
* water to cover apples

1.) Wash and roughly chop apples and orange-do not worry about removing peels, seeds, or stems. Toss into a large stock pot.

2.) Add sugar (I start with 1/2 cup, you can always add more later or  1/4 cup whole  Stevia leaf).

3.) Add spices and cover with water.

4.) Bring to a boil and boil uncovered for at least an hour.

5.) Cover and reduce to a simmer. Allow juice to simmer for at least two hours.

6.) Uncover and use a potato masher to roughly mash content of pot. To further reduce: continue simmering until cider is dark and tastes sweet and spicy.

7.)When cider is ready allow to cool then strain apple pieces and whole spices into a clean pitcher or pot.  ( my grandmother's trick was to use a brand new, clean knee high nylon over a large mouth  funnel.)

8.) Serve hot. Store in the fridge and reheat as desired. I have found it makes about a 1/2 gallon.

Oct 25, 2009

Serenity Sunday

According to the Celtic mythology, Samhain or Celtic New Year was a gap in time. During this gap period, 'Our World' and 'Otherworld' came together and thought that the dead could return to warm themselves at the places they lived.  Some other names are also associated with the Celtic New Year: The Third Harvest; All Hollows Eve; The Day of the Dead and the famous Halloweens Day.

The Celtic New Year has an important feature of "divination of events." They use hazel nuts and symbols of wisdom for fortune telling. There were also some other Samhain traditions which referred to the Celtic Emhain Abhlach (Paradise of Apples) where the dead ate the scared fruit and became immortal.

Celts practice many rituals for their ancestors at this time. They put food and drinks for the dead and let their house doors opened to give the dead a free passage to enter their house. But all the spirits from the Otherworld were not good. To stop the evil spirits, villagers carved images of spirit guardians onto turnips and kept these "jack o'lanterns" in front of their doors. What are some of your favorite Samhain traditions? 

My List:

1.) My kids

2.) Carmel apples

3.) Falling leaves

4.) Roasted pumpkin seeds

5.) Warm blankets

6.) Orange candles

7.) Crisp afternoon walks

8.) Homemade apple cider

9.) Scary movies

10.) Lemongrass incense

Oct 24, 2009

To Drool For...

I've been looking for a fresh, new dessert recipe (other than my tired old pumpkin pie) and I found this sinfully delicious looking recipe that I'm going to try out fort his season's festivities...This has got to be the best time of year, I get to celebrate Halloween and Samhain!

Double Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes

* 1 1/2 C. cake flour

* 2/3 C. cocoa powder
* 2 t. baking powder
* 1 t. baking soda
* 1/2 t. salt
* 1 C. plain lowfat yogurt
* 1 3/4 C. canned pumpkin (15 oz. can)
* 1 t. white vinegar
* 2 t. vanilla extract
* 1/2 C. unsalted butter, softened
* 1 1/2 C. lightly-packed light brown sugar
* 3 large eggs
*1 cup mini chocolate chips

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners.
2.) Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt together; set aside. In a separate bowl, stir together the yogurt, pumpkin, vinegar, and vanilla extract, set aside.
3.) In a large mixing bowl, and using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Alternately beat in the flour and pumpkin mixtures in thirds (for example, beat in 1/3 flour mixture followed by 1/3 pumpkin mixture and repeat until everything is combined). Fold in the mini chocolate chips.
4.) Working quickly, spoon batter into cupcake cups, filling each about 3/4 full. Place cupcake pans in the center of the preheated 350 degree oven and bake approximately 25 minutes. Cupcakes are done when they spring back when lightly touched or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool pans on wire racks for 10 minutes then remove cupcakes from pans and let cool completely on the wire racks.
5.) While cupcakes are cooling, prepare cream cheese frosting (recipe follows). When cupcakes are completely cool, spread with frosting.

Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

* 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
* 1/4 C. unsalted butter, softened
* 2 C. powdered sugar
* 1/4. t. vanilla extract
* 1/8 t. ground cinnamon
* 1/8 t. fresh ground nutmeg

In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. If frosting is too soft, chill in fridge for 15-20 minutes.

Oct 23, 2009

Honestly Speaking...

I am very honored to receive the Honest Scrap Award from Debra  at She Who Seeks, this award is in recognition of pursuing honesty in every aspect of living my life ( those closest to me just call me a real pain in the backside).
Thank you Debra!

Here's the official guidelines of this award:

1. Share 10 honest things about myself.
2. Present this award to 7 others who have encouraged me or whose blogs I find brilliant in content and/or design.
3. Let them know of the award and the guidelines.

Hmm... well, here it goes

1.) I believe one can never have too many cats.

2.) I detest discrimination in any form.

3.) Ask me and I will be glad to oblige, tell me and I'll show you where to go. ( with drawings too if you need)

4.) I suffer from post-traumatic stress.

5.) My youngest son has Aspergers Syndrome .

6.) My mother has not spoken to me in several years. (I've come to peace with that)

7.) My favorite perfume is "White Shoulders" by Este Lauder.

8.) I had a rare illness at age seventeen called "Kawasaki's Syndrome" (nothing to do with motorcycles...)

9.) I must go barefoot when I can.

10.) I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up.

Now for 7 fellow bloggers who inspired me or show brilliance in content and/or design......

1.) MXTODIS123 at Finding Fairyland

2.) Nydia at Bring Up Salamanders

3.) Suzie at Cat In The Moon

4.) Mrs. B at Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom

5.) Two Feathers at Gypsy Magic

6.) One Pink Fish

7.) Annette at The Ward House

Oct 22, 2009

Tarot Shadow Work- Into The Light

In the Star of Discovery and the Star of Recovery, I was able to identify my Shadow qualities and therefore become acquainted with them, delving further into where they came from and how through the years they had grown. My journey now, as I work through Tarot Shadow Work, using the dark symbols to heal, has brought me to learning how to communicate between my intellect (my conscious mind) and my non-rational Shadow side (my unconscious mind) in order to bring them out of the shadows and into the light.

The personal Shadow resides in the unconscious mind and can  be accessed by dreams, artistic expression, fairy tales and myth...in my case.. writing is my form of creativity to which I express myself (and you have all come with me on my journey each time you have read my posts). We all dream each night but not all of us remember these dreams... a terrific idea is a dream journal. I am going to be keeping a dream journal beside my bed so that I may jot down my dreams  (that I remember) in the morning while they are still fresh in my mind.

Our conscious self (or ego as identified by  Carl Jung) is the gatekeeper and most of the time our rational mind prevents any communication with our non-rational mind. We develop defenses or coping skills in order to help us survive painful emotional traumas and events... they serve to protect us from fears and anxieties and when we try to bury these uncomfortable emotions they can often emerge as depression. The Shadow will never be deceitful about itself but the ego (or acceptable parts of our conscious self) will falsify it's true motives.

The intellectual side will refuse insight and actually contribute more to it's unhappy state than the very Shadow it tries to  repress. These repressed parts hold a great amount of energy and potential for growth but we must travel the path through the darkness into healing and freedom...all that is required is honesty on our part.

Oct 21, 2009

"What Is....?" Wednesday

When the moon is Void Of Course.....

The term VOID OF COURSE refers to the condition of the Moon between the moment it performed the last major aspect with another planet in its current sign and the moment of stepping into the next sign. *Not to be confused with Mercury In Retrograde which turns things upside down with snafus... technical crashes.. delays....and general widespread confusion.* 

Why is this important....?

When someone starts working with Lunar energies, they start with maybe following the Moon as she moves from sign to sign and learning about the influences which change as she changes signs every few days. Then they may then start planning activities according to the phase of the Moon... starting projects at or after the New Moon, watching them come to fruition at full and using the waning phases to evaluate and wrap up and finally ending the project as the Moon becomes dark again.

Eventually, they will come across the term, Void-of-course Moon or the indicator v/c or VOC. This is a special condition of the Moon which occurs for varying amounts of time as the Moon moves from one sign to the next and makes aspects to the other planets and if used can be a very effective way to get the cosmic energies to make life go more in your favor.

So... Now what...?

Many people feel scattered or without direction during the void period. It is a good time for introspection/reflection and getting centered and focused. Often, purchases made during this time turn out to be poorly made, left unused, plagued with mechanical problems, or generally a bad investment.

Mostly I just try to keep in mind when doing magickal workings, to always check my  calendar and work around the Void.  In my experience with spells and rituals is that basically  I am just  wasting my  time if I do any kind of magic when the moon is void of course.

( Note To Self: Check the Mercury in Retrograde chart...because this has to be the umpteenth time I have tried to save and post this!)

Oct 20, 2009

Tarot Tuesday

There's  a new  podcast in town and I really encourage you to listen, it's called SpiritsCast by Feithline Stuart....and I quote  " It is the mission of this show to bring you information and education about a wide range of spiritual practices and beliefs, including but not limited to divination, devotion, ritual, spellcrafting, personal empowerment, meditation, and healing. There are plans in the works to create a series of thirteen special supplementary shows that will help you build your own foundational spiritual practice. I hope to interview emerging and established pagan and spiritual authors, practitioners, and musicians, too!"  Great show Fey, I can't say enough!

 On this podcast she does a tarot section and after listening to the very first pocast, I was inspired to try her method of pulling a card each morning. I usually do something similar but in the evening and I pull three cards. I have been doing this the last two mornings and disturbingly enough on both mornings I pulled the Eight of Cups. 

Hmm, the cards are really trying to get my attention! It's always difficult to read for myself because objectivity can be lost. Anyhow, I'm going to set aside my apprehension and talk about the eight of Cups as if I were reading for someone.

In this card we can see a figure who is walking away from eight golden cups behind him. He has crossed a stream and is headed to an unknown destination. This card has always bothered me because Cups  are  associated with emotions and matters of the heart and to get this card two days in a row symbolizes to me a message of  urgency. I notice that there is an empty spot in the top row of cups suggesting that there is "something missing."

Perhaps despite the golden cups that are present, he has gone off to find the the cup that contains something that he requires...maybe although he has eight golden cups, they mean nothing without that Ninth Cup...(keeping in mind the Nine of Cups is called the "wish card").  The Eight of Cups is about disappointment, abandonment issues, weariness and searching for a deeper meaning.

On this level, I can agree with the Eight of Cups as I sometimes feel like there is a key component of my spirituality that had been lacking and I indeed I had been searching for a deeper meaning, especially in light of my recent move and the reasons I had for cutting all ties with someone I once considered family. It left me very disappointed, feeling extremely weary and more than a bit sad and now as I type this all out, I can see that this card is telling me to move on as the Eight of Cups is sending me the message that this situation was long overdue for a change ( my daily practice had started to suffer over the last few months) and not to hang on to outdated ways of being.... but to forge on and continue building my spirituality.

I apologize for the rambling tone in this post but sometimes if I reason things out, I can finally get the whole picture. I used the Universal Waite Tarot because I prefer it's colors as opposed to the strong use of yellows in the original Rider Wait deck.

Oct 19, 2009


Selket was the goddess of scorpians and magic. She was depicted in the form of a woman with a scorpian on her head. Her roles in Egyptian mythology were many, mostly as a beneficial goddess. She watched over Qebehsenuef one of the four sons of Horus, who in turn protected the intestines of the deceased. Other connections with the afterlife include her epithet, "Lady of the Beautiful Tent" which referred to her as a protector of the embalmer's tent.

In the Afterlife she was said to watch over a dangerous twist in a pathway. She was also credited with guarding the snake, following his imprisonment in the Underworld. Selket was also associated with childbirth and nursing. Contrary to her typical benficial characterization, she was also related to the sun's scorching heat. In the Book of the Dead, she is a protector of the deceased and his teeth are identified with hers.

Magically, Selket was a protector from venomous bites. She was the patroness of magicians who dealt with poisoness bites. Suprisingly though, it was usually who was invoked in spells against scorpion stings. Egypt was a land of snakes and scorpions, so it is only natural that the worship of this goddess spread through Egypt. The people worshiped her for her protection against these dangerous creatures, and revered her for her power and protective qualities.

She guarded all of the people, including the pharaoh, mothers and children. Her followers were priestly doctors, healing the people affected by venom. She extended her protection from life into the land of the dead, not only helping to revive the dead, but to introduce them with the afterlife. She even protected the other gods from the serpent-demon, Apep. Although having no temples, she was worshiped throughout the land of Egypt.