Night of the Black Mirror

Hold up the crystal.

See who will die this winter.

Catch a floating apple.

See who will die this winter.

Cut the moneyed cake.

See who dies this winter.

This is the night of games.

This is the night when the curtain

lifts briefly in the wind of stars.

This is the night when the veil

shreds in the wine’s shards.

This is the night when we gaze

Into the face of the black mirror.

This is the night of prophecies.

The black mirror is a glass

Veil over a deep well.

This black mirror is a glass.

Eye from an old skull.

The black mirror is a glass

Jewel in the ring of time.

This is the night the glass breaks.

From the book Seasons of the Witch by Patricia Monaghan 2004, page 138

A Joyous and Blessed Samhain

May your dance be one of joy with your ancestors and friends who have crossed the veil. Please kind in mind when honoring ancestors they do not necessarily have to be related by blood or family ties, an ancestor can be anyone who at some point in your life made a difference in it.

An example of a none blood/family ancestor – About a year and a half after my father crossed into the Summerlands I started taking oil painting lessons I was about 13 years old. My teacher was in her Crone years but her love and patience she embraced me with, plus her time spent teaching me, along with others in my class, instilled in me the real beauty of creating something going from my imagination out on to a canvas that I could see. Her warmth and love of art made a big difference in my life when I needed to become a child again instead of an adult taking care of my mother because her grief was almost completely oppressing her.

Last Harvest of the Year for Northern Hemisphere

According to legend and some pagan path gradations the last day to harvest all fruits and vegetables this year is Tuesday, October 30th. After this date we are to leave anything still growing on trees, plants, shrubs, and vines for three main reasons. First reason. Is as an offering to the Gods, Goddesses, and Elements that helped the fruits and vegetables to mature from the seedlings in the spring until their fruition in the fall. The second reason is to allow the Fae Folk (if you are blessed with them in your yard or close, that help us tend our gardens, trees, shrubs, and flower beds. The third reason is so our wildlife brother and sisters can eat them where they are or bring them into their place of waiting out the cold, rainy, and snowy days ahead.

So think upon these things are you finish harvesting what you have grown and leave a few of whatever you do not have to have to feed your family there to honor the Gods, Goddesses, Elements and to help feed the Fea Folk, animals, and birds.

This is another way for us to honor the energy that contacts all things be the part of Mother Earth and/or a deity.

Also when you are done with your harvesting do a short ritual to thank everything and everyone for what you have been able to gather through out the growing season. Give the part of Mother Earth you used as a home vegetable garden a good sprinkling with water, add your homemade or if you have to buy compost make sure it is organic.

Do not forget to gather and dry your cooking, medicinal, and ritual herbs that are grown outdoors by this date also. For indoor growing herbs just snip some off and sprinkle it in your yard as a thanks and offering.

COVEN LIFE STUDENTS ONLY; Write to me if you are not sure how to do a thankfulness ritual. We have chat this Sarurday from 5:00 to 8:00 PM CT where we can discuss this topic further.

 

Magic During Samhain: What Types Of Magic Are Best To Do?

 

Samhain is the time of year when the veils are thinnest, and consequently the spirit world and our world are closer together and communication is more readily and frequently available to us. It’s also a time of year when some of us who are already psychically sensitive to spirits and daimons find that our senses are heightened.

So how we do best take advantage of this time of year? What types of magic are best to practice during this period?

First type that readily comes to mind: divination. Divination is one of those talents which lies both in the psychic and magical realms, and while there are certain forms of divination which fall under one versus the other, either way this is a great thing to practice right now. This especially goes for those who regularly work with a particular daimon or deity when they perform divinations. Deities and daimons associated with divinations, oracles, dreams, omens, and prophecy include ApolloZeusHekateHermesPanBrigidthe MorriganHorusThoth, and Gabriel.

To continue reading…..

The Wonder and Joy of Children Trick-or-Treating and Other Stuff

A warning I do get off the topic of the title of this post here and there…lol

I work at a small family owned carryout restaurant and Saturday was the day for children to trick or treat at all the business in the downtown area of the village I live in. Our downtown is about 3 to 4 blocks long. So even though it was my day off I said I would “dress up” and come in to handle the candy giving. Any guesses of what I “dressed up” as?…..

A more or less stereotypical witch but I use this day and when children trick or treat at my home on Samhain to educate people that witches are not some green wart faced horrible creature but that we look just like any person does. To teach them we live in their neighborhoods if we have younger children they go to school or make play dates or well basically we do everything the way they do except our religion is thought to be dark and evil instead of loving and forgiving.

Let’s take a minute to look at the way we approach our spiritual path compared to those who follow a mainstream dogma. We do not have a set “in stone” way to practice our spiritual path we are free to choose what feels right for ourself, even if you are in a coven. The only thing almost all witches and pagans follow is “Do as ye will, less it harm none.” Our pagan ways take us down a path the honors Mother Earth instead of trying to rape and destroy her. Our “Earth Day” is not just Aprill 22nd our “Earth Day” is every day! We do not condemn someone for being different we embrace being different in our actions and words. We do not have a son of god to pray to ask for forgiveness of the wrongs or sins we do to others. We take responsibility or at least we should for wrongs we do to others in words or actions and try to make amends for them besides asking the person to forgive us and forgive yourself. If it is a wrong we have done to ourself we also need to be able to forgive yourself.

OK time to get off my soapbox and back to the topic I started with. So I had a medium size Besom with me that my mother had hanging on the wall with pictures of our family and some friends on it. She had asked me to charm it to keep anyone in the pictures safe. I had this and my staff sitting next to me. A little girl about 4 or 5 years old got her candy and then just stood there staring at my Besom, finally, I asked her if she was ok as mom was talking with another mom. She said she was fine but asked, “Can I please have a ride on your broom?” Trying hard not to laugh because the way she looked and how she asked was so cute I asked her, “Do you have a broom drivers license?” Of course, she said no so I had to tell her she had to wait until she had one before she could ride my broom.

I also had grownups come up to me to tell me that I had the most authentic witches “costume” they ever saw. Let me explain what I was wearing – I had on my cloak, dress, different amulets, my pentacle, different rings, and a necklaces of many types of stones and crystals in other words almost everything I would wear to a face to face gathering. I would thank them and let them know except for the pointy black “witch’s hat” that this what I wore to coven gatherings and I was a real witch not just dressed up in a costume. Most of them then asked if they could take a picture of me with their children to which I let them. Some even asked for this website address.

I figure if I can change the way people think about witches and pagans, even if it is one at a time, maybe someday soon it will be safe in every country in the world for witches to come out of their broom closet. Just think of the changes we could make in the way most people treat our sacred Mother Earth, her waterways, and air. Even as far as doing something about all the garbage that circles our plant in the outer atmosphere.

I ask myself daily I how can I make a difference in the way I and my fellow witches are seen? My usual answer just be myself. If you are out of the broom closet ask yourself the same thing. If you are still in the broom closet how can I be of help to bring you out?

May the Lord and Lady bless you this day and always with good things in your lives.

Blessed be sisters and brothers.

Salem & The Magick of Halloween Costumes

There is perhaps no other holiday so closely tied to wearing costumes as Samhain or Halloween. In Mickie Mueller’s Little Book of Halloween, she traces the tradition of costume wearing and trick-or-treating and how they were introduced by Pagans and kept alive despite the Christian Church’s transformation of Samhain into All Souls’ Day in an attempt to divert the people’s attention from pagan practices of honoring the deceased ancestors. She writes that:

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Writing Beltane

There are certain sabbats on the calendar that are just bigger than the rest. Obviously Samhain is one of those. For many Pagans it’s the annual “reset” button, and its associations with death and the final harvest give it an extra degree of gravitas that most sabbats just don’t have. Add in its overlap with the secular Halloween and you’ve got the makings of very big holiday. The other “big” sabbat is generally Beltane for a variety of reasons. In colder climes it’s a “coming out” party, plus there are all the goings on about new life, the first planting, and of course sex. Sex is always a big seller.

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8 Things To Do For Beltane As a Solitary Pagan

Many Pagans are solitary practitioners, either by choice or by necessity. But most traditional activities for Beltane are designed for either large groups or for couples (and straight couples at that). In 2014 and 2015 I wrote a series of rituals for those working alone on the Wheel of the Year. Every year they’re near the top of the list of most popular posts – especially the Beltane ritual.

But what if you’d like to celebrate Beltane with something other than a ritual? Maybe you’re part of a group that holds its rituals on the Saturday nearest the holiday and you don’t want to do a second ritual. Or maybe you’re just feel the need to do something other than a ritual this time.

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Individualistic Witchcraft: Is the Craft Atheistic?  

Putting the “I” in W(I)tchcraft

Witchcraft is highly individualistic.  Is it more practitioner centered than we give ourselves credit for?  Pagan devotional practices are centered around the gods, and are closely aligned with magical practices, one often being called the other.  However, the actual craft and art of sorcery is a skill unique to the practitioner like any other artform.  This is the individualistic witchcraft that I am talking about.  Of course there are those practices that call upon the aid of spirits, deities and other non-physical entities, but are they in fact the real power behind these rituals? I’m not so sure.

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