Monthly Archives: October 2012

Speaking Out About Halloween

Speaking Out About Halloween

by Dana Corby

Halloween: the time of year that just about everyone associates with Witches, along with ghosts, goblins, and other scary “supernatural” beings. But I’ve been a witch for more than twenty years and I can tell you there is nothing either scary or supernatural about us. And there is nothing more to fear on Halloween night than on any other night of the year.

Each year as October approaches, self styled experts flood the media with dire warnings about the supposed physical and spiritual dangers of celebrating Halloween. They trot out the same tired old rumors of poisons and razor blades in trick or treatcandy. They hint that your neighbors are probably child molesters. Lately they’ve been making the astonishing claim that Witches put curses on the treats they distribute, so that the children who eat them will be “possessed by demons.”

There is no truth to any of it, there never has been!

Witches are actually rather ordinary folks; not a wiggly nose among us. We have jobs and families, we vote and pay taxes, and we want most of the same things you do: Peace, prosperity, a good world to leave our children. Unlike most people, though, we spend part of each autumn faced with open religious discrimination, based on needless ignorance and fear.

Witchcraft, also known as Wicca, is a modern revival of the pre-Christian religions of western Europe. We are pagans, that is, we see divinity in nature rather than in a transcendent spiritual realm or an omnipotent being. We speak of our deity as the Goddess or Mother Nature, although to most of us the godhead is dual – both Goddess and God. As such, our beliefs lie outside mainstream Judeo-Christian concepts.

This does not mean however, that Witches are in any way opposed to Christianity. Like most religions throughout history, we grant that different faiths are right for different people. We oppose only the mistaken belief of some individual Christians that since they posses the only “real” religion, constitutional freedoms of religion do not apply to the rest of us. On the rare occasions that Witches find themselves in conflict with Christians, we see it as a civil rights matter, not a religious dispute. We are not interested in arguing “my Gods better than your God.”

Wicca’s ethic laws are at least as stringent as those of other faiths: Our law says “Harm none,” and that means not our neighbor, not our neighbor’s dog, and certainly not out neighbor’s child. It prohibits not only physical harm but such intangibles as violation of another’s free will. And it means ourselves, as well; a Witch should cultivate both bodily and mental health.

This outlook on morality, because it does not rely on obedience to specific commandments, covers much more behavior: Rather than worrying about sinning, we try to foresee the results of our actions so as to take the wisest course. While we may not share Christianity’s beliefs in heaven and hell, we do believe that all actions have consequences, and that whatever good or evil we do will find it’s way back to us. Our ethos comes from within rather than being imposed from outside or above. It is based on personal honor and responsibility, and by these principals we live and hope to live again on our beloved Mother Earth.

As worshippers of nature, Witches celebrate a wheel of eight Sabbats or sacred days: Ancient festivals marking the round of the seasons. The Christian calendar, as even some Christian writers have noted, borrows heavily from Paganism. This is no doubt because until very recently people of every faith shared the same experience of the land and the passing seasons.

We share Yule, for instance, which is the old name of both the winter solstice and Christmas. Easter, derived from the celebration of the Spring Equinox, is even named after the Saxon fertility Goddess Eostre. And though Protestantism abandoned them long ago, both Imbolc (Lady Day) and Lammas (August Eve) have been retained in the Catholic year, as has All Hallows Eve…Halloween

To witches, Halloween is a religious holiday much like Thanksgiving, a time to feast in praise of nature’s bounty. It is also our New Year’s day, time to let go of the old and look forward into the future. The old name for this festival is Samhain, pronounced approximately “Sow-un.” This is a Celtic (Irish, Scottish) word meaning “summer’s end.” Some writers have claimed that Samhain is the name of a Celtic death god, but Celtic scholars consider this a fabrication. In fact, Samhain is to this day the name in parts of Ireland and Scotland for the month of November.

Samhain is the last of three harvest festivals. August has Lammas, the grain harvest; In September was Mabon, Autumn Equinox and the apple harvest; and on the eve of November is Samhain, the cattle harvest.

The idea of a cattle harvest is strange today. But in ancient times, it was essential. Though the Celts counted their wealth in cattle, they could not keep whole herds alive through the winter. Rather than let all of them starve, they kept the best animals for breeding stock, the rest were blessed, thanked, and butchered. This was not some occult “blood sacrifice” but practical animal husbandry, done with respect – essentially “pagan kosher.”

Every community held it’s own Samhain feat, and the people stuffed themselves with all the autumn goodies they would not see for another year, especially that great seasonal luxury, meat. They stored up food for the winter not in a refrigerator, but as fat on their own bodies. (We of course do have refrigerators. Our feasts come mostly from the super market.)

With the dying of the cattle and the seeming dying of the year, it was appropriate also to remember the communities’ human dead. The religious side of the feast of Samhain has always included recalling by name our loved ones who have passed over during the year, with prayers for their safe passage. This is the origin of the secular Halloween’s “spooks”: The spirits of all the beloved dead gathering around one last time for our farewells. For us this formal letting-go is an important aspect of the grief process.

Pagans in general, and Witches especially, do not share the horror of death which pervades mainstream culture. Because we are a joyful people , we hope to avoid death as long as is practical, but we do not particularly fear it. Witches see it as a transition, an alternate reality, which in it’s own manner serves life. Because we love life, Witches are healers and gardeners and artists, cooks and craftspeople and teachers of lore. Because we value balance, Witches honor Death at Samhain.

The part of Halloween that makes it Halloween to most Americans is of course, “trick or treat.” Interestingly, this custom, though ancient, is preserved much more faithfully in North America than in the old countries. Large numbers of Irish and Scots emigrated here just before the old ways began dying out in the British Isles, in the period between Queen Victoria and World War 1. By then the celebration was far different than it had once been.

The house to house begging processions that we now call trick or treat were not originally part of Halloween at all. From the Middle Ages right up through he renaissance such processions were a major part of Advent and Christmas; like most Yule customs, the true origin is lost in Pagan antiquity. Along with other Yule merriment, the processions were suppressed during the Protestant Reformation. But the people would not give them up, and took them underground by simply moving them to Halloween.

One feature of modern Halloween, though, has always been a part of it: disguises…

The ancient Celts believed in fairies, as many modern Celts still do. And they believed that at Samhain the walls between our world and the realm of fairy grew thin, and that the fair folk could come over. The fairies were said to ride the mortal lands then stealing beautiful human children to raise as their own. So, mothers “uglified: their children for the night: dirtied their faces, ratted their hair, dressed them in rags – whatever might make the fairies overlook them. And the children, kids being kids even in the middle ages, thought this was a blast! Eventually, as usually happens with folk customs, the reason for it was forgotten: today any kind of costume can be worn, or none at all.

So, what should a modern parent do? Is it safe to send your children out trick-or-treating? Though not as safe as it used to be, the truth is that it’s fairly safe if you use some common sense.

Those horrifying tales of razor blades and drugs in candy have happily proven to be what is called an urban myth, like the sewer alligators and the ghost hitchhiker: You know someone who says they know someone it happened to, only no one actually does. Hospitals have offered free X-rays of Halloween treats for many years now, and have never found a foreign object. Only one case of Halloween poisoning has ever actually been substantiated by the authorities, and it proved  to have been done by the children’s own father after they came home. It seems they were insured better than they were loved.

Nor are your children likely to have any spells cast on them on Halloween or any other time. While there are a few “wanna-be-Satanists” around who might  like to cast spells on your kids, the truth is, they can’t. Magick has natural laws, just like any other physics and chemistry. One of those laws is that innocence is armor against evil. Another is that magick takes work. The kind of people attracted to “black magick” generally either are just showing off or think they’ve found a way to get what they want without work. Once they realize the enormous amount of effort it takes to violate the free will of even a child, they’re all through.

What the Witches on your children’s route are likely to do to them is make them mad: We tend to give out healthy stuff instead of candy. One Witch I know gives toothpaste!

But real dangers do exist. Every year trick-or-treaters are hit by cars on dark streets,  bitten by dogs, fall down stairs – any number of mishaps. Predatory humans, though mercifully few, are real. And excited, sugar high children are not careful. So the parents must be.

Make sure that your children’s costumes enable them to see and be seen; if you can’t talk them out of going in black as Dracula or a ninja (or despite all I’ve said here, as the “wicked witch.”) Make sure they carry a flashlight so they’re not invisible in the dark.

Arrange with your neighbors for a “safe house” on each block; make sure your children know where it is and forbid them to enter any other house on their route. This could be a great PTA project. Best of all, of course, is to go with them.

Ration the sweets once they’re brought home. A heavy sugar overdose can trigger hyperactivity, hypoglycemia or in rare cases, even diabetes. In any case it’s bad for their teeth and hard on tummies. But don’t worry about your neighborhood Witches, we’ll be busy celebrating Samhain!

Dana Corby publishes pamphlets and booklets through her publishing company Rantin’ Raven Press.

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Dancing with the Dead

Dancing with the Dead

by Sylvana SilverWitch

I am dreaming, I am in a dark room, I am afraid – but I move through the doorway anyway. Suddenly I am on a freeway, on the center-line, cars speeding past me on both sides. The wind rushes in my ears, whipping my hair around; I feel dizzy, as if I’m going to fall into the path of the traffic.

I see my lover walking down the middle of the other side of the freeway, his long dark curls flying in the wind. He looks far away, but he’s not really. I scream at him, trying to be heard over the sound of the traffic. I scream and scream for him, but he is careening, on first one foot and then the other, dancing in front of the cars.

He looks so pale and beautiful in the moonlight. Some of the cars pass through him, as if he’s not real. I find I am screaming, “But you are real! I love you! Please come to me! Get out of the traffic! Please!” I hear the screech of tires on pavement, as a car swerves to miss him, and it sounds like a phone is ringing somewhere, far away. Oh shit!

Oh, no, it’s my phone. I strive to wake up, reaching for the telephone. It is one of my friends -why is she calling at this hour? “Honey? Are you awake?” She is quiet, not at all her usual self. I instantly sense that something is wrong.

“What’s wrong?” I ask – I am suddenly fully awake. “What’s wrong!” I have a sinking feeling in my chest; I know that something is terribly wrong, and I start to cry as she says, “I guess you haven’t heard….”

“Heard what!?” I am screaming at her while she is speaking ever so slowly and quietly.

“Heard about Bobby…. He was killed last night.”

The room disappears from around me, everything goes black and I fall away from the reality I have been in. I feel as if I am falling forever, down, down, down. Down into an abyss of pain. I come to some semblance of awareness a moment or two later. The only reason I know it is only a few minutes is because she is still on the phone repeating, “Are you there? Are you there? Are you all right? Hello? Hello!”

I reply, “Yes. I have to go now; I’ll talk to you later.” She argues, “Are you sure?” But I hang up. My dream flashes in my mind; I suddenly realize what it was about, and I apprehend that I am sobbing. I take a Valium and go back to bed and close my eyes, hoping to shut out the reality and the pain.

I dream again, except this time I am with him, I am sitting in my living room talking to Bobby, and he is telling me that he is not really dead. I am so relieved! I hug him and feel him solid and large in my arms. I know he is really alive; it must have been a bad dream.

He says that he is sorry that we won’t be together anymore, but it is and will be okay, and not to cry any more. I am upset, and he comforts me. I ask him how I will know that this is not just a dream, and he says he can tell me what happened and why. He tells me details about his accident, which was a freak one. I know that he is telling me the truth, and I tell him how much I love him and will miss him. He smiles and says he knows, him too. And he fades away. I call out to him to ask him to stay, but I hear him saying he’s got to go and he will talk with me again. Later….

Most of us have had people go from our lives, but the most cruel loss is the death of a family member, friend, lover or even a beloved pet.

When this happens, it can be extremely difficult to let go of the intensity of emotion that we have around it; it “haunts” us, and we are sad and depressed – sometimes for months or years.

It is important, in my opinion, to allow the normal changes to happen in life with as little energy “getting stuck” as is humanly possible, because keeping the energy flowing causes the least pain. If you do your best to first feel and then let go the emotions around the demise of someone close, it helps your healing process and theirs too. You must let them go and let go of any extra energy you may have connecting you to them; by energy, I mean sadness, anger, hurt, resentment, longing. All of these are strong emotions and are “energy” that can keep us connected to the dead. If you attempt to grasp or hold tight to them, it just damages you in the long run. It can be especially tough when you haven’t gotten along with the person for a long time, or when there are big unresolved issues between you.

One way to deal with your emotions when attempting to let go of a loved one, is to do a ceremony to say goodbye. It can be helpful in this process, to contact the dead to communicate whatever you need to express to them and they to you. You can voice whatever and say your last good-byes, while at the same time acknowledging that they are still alive, energetically. Especially if they appear very clearly to you, this has made me feel much better about the passing of my loved ones. Performing the ritual aids in the grieving and healing process, if in no other way than achieving closure.

Connecting with the dead always seems scary at first, but it doesn’t have to be, when you are in the right frame of mind.

Why would you want the spirits of those who have passed on to appear to you? You might have incomplete business with them, for example if a parent dies prior to you working your childhood stuff out with him or her. Maybe you have a question that can’t be answered by any living person, or maybe you wish to honor the dead, as at Samhain. These are all valid reasons. Just for the fun of it is not a good reason!

You might want to be cautious and have respect for the departed, as they do have some power over the earthly beings that have put energy into them. If nothing else, they can communicate with you on the astral plane and make your sleep difficult. If you were to screw around with them or convene the wrong ones, there’s no knowing what might happen. There are all kinds of dead, just as there all kinds of living people – some good, some not so good. Use discretion when doing these workings.

I have chiefly communicated with the departed because someone else requested it of me, but at times they have turned up and talked to me on their own, just because they can I guess. When I work for someone else summoning dead kin, it’s always interesting. I usually try to get the departed to tell me something really obscure about the person doing the seeking, so that they will know it’s “for real.” It is something that a lot of people get spooked about.

I have, in years past, done psychic work with law enforcement agencies to help locate missing people. Usually they had several of us psychics working on the same job, they wanted to check out our information for accuracy, I guess.

I went and sat down at the table in the office I was told I would work in. I felt a feeling of dread, like I didn’t want to be there, or like something bad was about to happen. A detective came in and informed me they would be taping the session; I agreed that it was a good idea. He set up the recording equipment and brought out a manila envelope. He said, “This is a missing person; we’d like to have an idea where to look for her, and any other important facts you can tell us.”

With that, he showed me a picture of a young dark-haired girl, maybe 11 or 12. I immediately got what I call a “charge” from the picture, and I told him I’d do my best.

He sat across the table and passed me the remainder of the contents of the envelope. There were various personal effects in it, including a report card, a drawing, a bracelet, a hair brush with hair and a number of pictures.

I immediately knew that the girl was dead, even though the policeman didn’t say so. I also knew that she had been abducted by a stranger, not a person known to her. I knew this because of the terror that I felt from her energy. I closed my eyes and I saw trees all around me, big tall trees. I was very cold, and wet, and alone. I was scared, but happy to make contact finally. (In this process, I often feel as if I am the person I am connecting with.)

I opened my eyes and told the policeman, “She’s dead.”

He jumped. “Are you sure? That was kinda quick, wasn’t it?”

I replied, “No. When I make a good connection, it often happens like this. But it is really strong right now, and I want to get details, so I will talk with my eyes closed and tell you what I see, okay?”

“Uh, okay.” He was unsure about me but didn’t know what to do except agree.

I went on, telling him about the trees and the ravine, and the water and the car. Then as I was describing the scene of the abduction and the man who was the perpetrator, the girl’s energy just started weirding out, and she started calling for her mother.

I realized she didn’t know she was dead. Oh no, this is not good, I thought. She thinks she’s still alive, and I’m helping to rescue her. I tried telepathically to explain to her what had happened, but apparently she had no context for death where she herself was the subject. Plus she was dazed and confused, not thinking straight. I knew I’d have to do some work on releasing her if I were to continue, but then I would be risking the connection.

I had to do something, so I opened my eyes. The cop jumped visibly this time when I opened my eyes and said, “I have to stop; she doesn’t know she’s dead.”

“What do you means she doesn’t know she’s dead?” He was almost yelling at me, and I had to bite my tongue.

How can you solicit and communicate with your dead? A ritual follows, especially for the summoning, communication and making amends with and letting go of dead loved ones.

First, choose a night that the moon is dark, preferably around Samhain or Imbolc, when the veils between the worlds are the thinnest. Find a place where you can be alone, where you won’t be disturbed. Assemble all of your tools and talismans; a list of things you might need follows this article.

Cast your circle, drawing the circle in the air and visualizing it to be a sphere, taking you outside of the mundane reality of the time and space that we all normally inhabit. Next, conjure the elementals, and-or the directions, whichever you prefer, asking for their aid and protection, and light the candles. Next, invoke the God and Goddess into the circle, lighting their respective candles. You might ask a particular god or goddess who is associated with the dead, like Rhiannon, to attend your circle. You might also like to invoke the aide of the fey, who are the traditional go-betweens connecting the realms of the living and the dead.

Light some incense that is associated with either the dead in general or the person you wish to speak with. For example, if it’s your grandmother who always wore lavender perfume, burn lavender. Put a picture of the person, if you have one, on the altar, or any of her or his possessions or clothing.

State your intention for all to hear and take notice. This is important. Then invoke the person you wish to communicate with. Saying something like: “I invoke you ; please draw near and converse with me; please attend and illuminate this space with your presence. Kindly appear and assist me in my time of need. Please come; please come!

Speak their name aloud several times, then sit down, close your eyes and wait. This is a very interesting part of the rite, because you must listen quietly. Spirits don’t always appear á là Hollywood, in a superficial display of smoke and lightening. It is sometimes more like someone speaking softly to you inside your head, or a feeling of someone being with you. Listen and be open to them appearing to you. Hear what they say; don’t dismiss it as imagination. You can ask them for a sign if you are really skeptical. Say what you will to them, and know that they have heard you.

When you are finished or when they are done talking to you, thank them, tell them how much you love and appreciate them and then…say goodbye and let them go! Know that if you ever really want or need to talk to them, you can and they will hear you.

Lastly, ground your energy through the earth, making sure there is no residual energy from any other beings left in you. Then pull some energy up from the earth, let it bathe your heart in cleansing, healing energy. Dismiss your gods and the elementals and close the circle.

Afterward, take a cleansing bath or eat a small meal in honor of your rite. This is a good time to clean out the departed persons room, give their belongings to a deserving charity, or put their pictures or effects away. Keep some special mementos, but use the energy to really let go of them, you will find it makes you feel much better.

Some people like to use a Ouija board to talk to discarnate beings, I don’t like the Ouija board – I believe anything can come through it, not just the spirit you are specifically invoking. So use it at your discretion. You could also try a seance, in which you gather a number of people around a table and invoke the dead to communicate through one of you. This works best if one person is the designated medium and has experience “channeling” the dead.

However, being a medium for the dead can be quite traumatic, and I don’t recommend doing it unless you have some training. I used to do this with some regularity, and even though I am trained in the psychic arts, it was very hard on me to maintain my own energy throughout.

It is a still and quiet night. The room is dark and hazy-looking to you, even though there is no mist. Everyone is seated around a large, old, round oak table. There are candles flickering in the mist. Everything begins to fade away from sight, everything except the table directly in front of you, a narrow tunnel of reality.

Then you get a chill down your spine. The hair on the back of your necks prickles with electricity. “The spirits have arrived,” says the high priestess. About that time you feel something brush up to you, into you, and then you are above your body and to the side, looking at yourself smiling at everyone.

The high priestess turns to you and addresses you as if she doesn’t know you, “Who comes there?” she asks. “Who is it who joins our circle of love and light?” You see your mouth move and hear words falling from it, but they are not your words. You recognize the energy a moment later as a departed friend of one of your circle-mates. You sigh and relax, and decide to travel around while you are out of your body. Hmmmm – where to go?

I am fully aware that in writing this I might be summoning up the people who have been long gone from my life, and I accept that possibility.

Items for a ritual for the dead

Anything that reminds you of the person

Black altar cloth

Black candles

Black mirror

Crystal ball

Elemental candles

Essential oil

Flowers

Incense

Jewelry

Music

Paper and pen

Personal belongings

Pictures

Red wine

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“The Veil Is Getting Thinner”

“As I went out walking this fall afternoon,
I heard a whisper whispering.
I heard a whisper whispering,
Upon this fine fall day…

As I went out walking this fall afternoon,
I heard a laugh a’ laughing.
I heard a laugh a’ laughing,
Upon this fine fall day…

I heard this whisper and I wondered,
I heard this laugh and then I knew.
The time is getting near my friends,
The time that I hold dear my friends,
The veil is getting thin my friends,
And strange things will pass through.”

- The Veil is Getting Thinner

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The Simple Facts About Samhain

The Simple Facts About Samhain

Shadowfest (Strega), Martinmas (Celtic/Scottish) Samhain, popularly known as Halloween, is the Witches’ New Year. This is the last of the three harvest Sabbats marking the end of the growing seasons. Celtic custom decreed that all crops must be gathered by sundown on April 31st. It is a time when the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest. Deceased ancestors and other friendly spirits are invited to join in Sabbat festivities and be reunited with loved ones. In Ireland it is still custom to leave candles in the windows and plates of food for the visiting spirits. Keep a fire lit or a candle burning all night to honour and welcome the dead. If clothes are left outside overnight, they will take on bewitching powers for all who wear them. Darkness increases and the Goddess reigns as the Crone, part of the three-in-one that also includes the Maiden and Mother. The God, the Dark Lord, passes into the underworld to become the seed of his own rebirth (which will occur again at Yule). Many Pagans prepare a Feast for the Dead on Samhain night, where they leave offerings of food and drink for the spirits. Divination is heightened this night. Jack-o-lanterns, gourds, cider, fall foliage can be used as altar decorations.

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WOTC Cartoon of the Day: ‘Good Old Housewarming’

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Laugh-A-Day: Why Do Pagans Make New Year’s Resolutions?

Why Do Pagans Make New Year’s Resolutions?


Alexandrian/Gardnerian

To reveal this would be to break my oath of secrecy. I can say, though, that it really is an ancient rite, dating far back in time, back even before 1951, and I have learned it from an unbroken lineage. As Gerald said, it takes a resolution to make a new year.

Asatru

First, we don’t believe in a “Resolution” or a “List of Resolutions.” We believe in many lists. Second, “Making New Year’s Resolutions” is part of the three levels, or worlds, and the resolution maker simply rises from one level to another. Hail to the New Year!

British Traditional

The word “Resolution” comes from a very specific Old English word (“resolvere”), and it only properly applies to certain acts or processes of list making by those of East Anglia or those descended therefrom. As for the rest, I suppose they are doing something remotely similar to making resolutions, but you must remember that traditional resolutions are not to be confused with the modern resolutions…

Celtic

In County Hunghover on New Year’s day, they still observe Lady Resolutia’s Scribbling, which is a survival of the old pagan List Making petitionary rite. Today, modern pagans are reviving the practice, dedicated to the Tipsy Lady and the Green Scribe.

Ceremonial

“Making a List” is a phrase that summarizes many magical structures erected and timed by the practitioner to produce the energy necessary for the intention of making resolutions for the new year. For example, the astrological correspondences have to be correct, the moon has to be waxing (if the practitioner intends to follow the resolutions) or waning (if the practitioner merely wishes to keep the resolutions for reference), and the practitioner has to prepare herself through fasting and proper incantations. Note: Certain forms of invocation (summoning a list of resolutions inside your mind) can produce abnormal or even dangerous results and should only be constructed within a properly erected circle…

Chaos

Thinking in terms of “listing” and “resolutions” is simply looking at the formal, typically perceived structure of resolution making space-time. We, instead, focus on the possibility of the resolution making itself; what appears to be a random act is thus actually the norm — it is The List which is the freak of chance. Indeed, quantum mechanics now demonstrates what we knew all along: Two or more lists can simultaneously exist in the same place at the same time. Thus, by attuning ourselves to the dynamic energy (called “listing”), we can manifest the resolution. Of course, to the unknowledgeable, this appears as making a list of resolutions.

Dianic

The Lyst Mayker (“list maker” is a term of patriarchal oppression) seeks to reclaim for herself the right to make Resolutions, after it had been denied to her for centuries. By doing so, she reawakens the power of the Resolution within herself.

Discordian

You’ve got to be kidding!

Druid

Resolutions are made to arrive at the Truth, of course! Keep in mind that 99% of everything written about Making-New-Year’s-Resolutions is pure hogwash, based on biased sources. Yes, there were a few unfortunate sacrifices of list makers in the past, but that is over now…

Eclectic

Because it seems right to us at the time. We use some Egyptian-style paper and Celtic-sounding words for the Resolutions and incorporate some Native American elements into our Pen-names, like, Scribe-Who-Waffles-and-Runs-from-the-Wolves.

Faery

In twilight times and under sparkling stars, those properly trained can still see the writers making their lists. Reconnecting with these “fey-scribblers” as they write is crucial to restoring the balance between the energies of modern development and living with the earth.

Family Traditional

Growing up, we didn’t think much about “making resolutions.” A list was a list. It was made because that was what worked to get the New Year started. We focused on what worked, and we worked more with the elders of the list makers and less with all this “guardians of the New Year” business. We didn’t get our concepts of “Lists” or “Resolutions for the New Year” from Gardner, either. You can choose not to believe us since we did not “write down” on paper what was listed to us orally (which, at certain times in history, was the only way to avoid becoming New Year’s fireworks!), but that doesn’t change the facts: There were real list makers, and they really did make resolutions!

Kitchen Witch

The writers make their lists to lose weight, get a job and move away from home because they have mothers like me who are always testing new recipes on them!

Left-Hand Path

Earnest, dedicated pagans resolving to improve themselves! Do you think that is all there is to writing lists? Do you dare to know the dark side of making resolutions and the other path to self-development?

New Age

We make lists of resolutions because we chose this as one of our lessons to learn in this life. Besides, there is so much incense and bright, white paper to cover in the New Year.

Newbie

Well, ’cause I read in this really kewl book that said, like, we are supposed to make New Year’s Resolutions, right?

Posting On An Online Discussion Group

What do you mean why should we make New Year’s Resolutions????!!!??? Haven’t you read **any** of the previous posts? We’ve been [expletive deleted] debating every word of that question, painstakingly trying to come to some kind of answer. I know you wrote “all i wnted to know was why should we make a list of resolutions, im not looking for any Resolution spells” but I’m fed up with newbies who can’t even bother to REEEEEEEEAAADDD the posts on that very topic! No, this is *not* a flame. But, I and several others here have the *maturity* to properly explore and respond to this question, and we were properly trained; we *didn’t* just read a book and think we were full-fledged list writers. (phew, feeling much better after ranting.)

Solitaire

The list makers don’t want to be part of a coven.

Shaman

Making a list is a way to reconnect with the healing, visionary lifeways of the past. Wise Women have long known this, but increasingly the Wise Guy’s Movement is adding more men to the list making too.

Snert

Hey, are you guys really making New Year’s Resolutions? Can you give me a spell that will make me a list of resolutions?

Wiccan

The list maker makes a list because she feels like she is finally “coming home.” She can do it alone or with others, but she has to call to the Guardians of the Watchtowers of the New Year first … uh, after casting the circle, of course.

Source: PaganPortal.com

Turok’s Cabana

Categories: Daily Posts | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

“Lore Of The Door”

“Between the heavens and the earth
The way now opens to bring forth
The Hosts of those who went on before;
Hail! We see them now come through the Open Door.

Now the veils of worlds are thin;
To move out you must move in.
Let the Balefires now be made,
Mine the spark within them laid.

Move beyond the fiery screen,
Between the seen and the unseen;
Shed your anger and your fear,
Live anew in a new year!”
-

Lore of the Door

Categories: The Sabbats | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Daily Feng Shui Tip for October 31 ~ ‘BOO!’

BOO! I hope I didn’t scare you, but it is Halloween, after all. This ancient religious festival holds that on this night the veil between the realms of ghosts and humans is so thin that both can enter the other’s side. For this reason many people leave food and drink outside to feed the spirits of the deceased. It is also ancient custom on this date to bury apples in the garden to nourish the souls that have transitioned in the past year. But by far my favorite Halloween tradition is this next one. Anytime after sunset on this night, stand before a mirror and make a secret and sincere wish. Then visualize your wish coming true. After this night whenever you are in the same room with a mirror stare deeply into your own eyes and once again ‘see’ that your wish has already come true. This tale tells that sometime before the next All Hallow’s Eve, or even the following ‘Day of the Dead,’ your wish will have come to life! Forget Halloween candy, this promise is really very sweet!

By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com

Categories: Book of Spells, Feng Shui Tip | Leave a comment

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