The Sabbats

Samhain Approaches

samhain18

I was about half asleep this morning, drinking my coffee. I was thinking about Samhain and how I looked forward to it each year. To me, it is the most beautiful time of the year.

The Veil is thinning, the energy is rising, you can feel it coursing through your veins. The magick and excitement is building in the atmosphere. For Witches, this is the most magickal time of the Year. We make plans on how we are going to celebrate. What kind of rituals we are going to do? What time should we start them? Any ancestors going to show up this year? Lots to do and little time left to do it.

I know what I am getting ready to say the Elders in the Craft already know and have heard it a thousand times. I just wanted to talk to the new ones to the Craft about what to expect or not. They come to our Religion so full of joy, eager to learn, wanting to do everything just right. Samhain is exciting for the Elders, can you imagine what it is like for the new ones? That is why I am writing this. I love each of you. I never want you to face discouragement or doubt yourself. I just want you to always be prepared. I know we all talk about our Ancestors and doing rituals to bring them back. You know it is breathtaking to have that kind of power.

I know when I did my first ritual to call my Ancestors back, I got very disappointed. No body showed up! I had been a witch for a long time but it was still a blow to the ego. I guess the reason mine don’t show up is because they stop by for a visit all the time. I went about double checking and checking again, what did I do wrong? I always thought it was me, always. Then it hit me, my ancestors might have reincarnated. It wasn’t that they didn’t love me or want to be with me. They had been reincarnated.

All those years, I felt like it was me and that does effect you. Then I realized how selfish I had been. Instead of feeling disappointed and unloved, I ought to have been rejoicing. They had all been reincarnated and they walk this plane as I do. Don’t do as I did. If, after all your preparation, none of your ancestors appear, don’t be sad. Instead rejoice and be proud for they are here with you on this plane. They were given the opportunity to live again.

Celebrate your ancestors, give them the honor and respect they deserve. But if no one appears, don’t be disappointed, you did nothing wrong. Your ancestors have been reincarnated. Now that is something to celebrate. They were given the opportunity to walk this plane with us. Thank the Goddess for giving them the opportunity to be reborn.

I don’t want to dim your hopes, I just want you to be prepared. No one ever told me and I guess the Goddess was the one who finally revealed to me what had happened. I have years when ancestors show up, then I have years when they don’t. But I go ahead and make all the preparations. I invite my ancestors home to visit with me for a while. When they do show up, that makes up for the year no one showed. The experience is indescribable. You have to experience for yourself. Make your preparations,  prepare your rituals and your spells. But please learn from me, if no one shows up, rejoice for their new body and soul they have been given. Rejoice because our Goddess chose them as being worthy enough to reincarnate. Never stop trying to communicate with them, never. Always make preparations for their coming. You have nothing to lose but everything in this great Universe of our to gain.

Samhain might seem like a dark time of the year. A time when death is all around us. But it is also a time to celebrate new life.

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Samhain Spirit Incense

Samhain Spirit Incense

By , About.com

Spirits In The Smoke

By the time Samhain rolls around, your herb garden is probably looking pretty sad. Now’s the time to take all those goodies you harvested and dried in September, and put them to good use. This incense blend is perfect for a Samhain séance, divination session, or for any other autumn working.

This recipe is for loose incense, but you can adapt it for stick or cone recipes. As you mix and blend your incense, focus on the goal of your work. Do you wish to contact the spirit of a long-dead ancestor? Are you hoping to bring some visions your way in a dream? Or are you maybe looking to enhance your own meditative abilities? Focus your intent as you blend your ingredients.

You’ll need:

 

  • 2 parts Cinnamon
  • 1 part ground cloves
  • 1 part Dragon’s Blood resin
  • 1 part Hyssop
  • 1 part Patchouli
  • 2 parts Rosemary
  • 1 part Sage
  • A dash of sea salt

Add your ingredients to your mixing bowl one at a time. Measure carefully, and if the leaves or blossoms need to be crushed, use your mortar and pestle to do so. As you blend the herbs together, state your intent. You may find it helpful to charge your incense with an incantation. For example, if you were going to use your incense during a seance, you could use this:

The veil has thinned, the moon is bright and I blend this magic on Samhain night. Celebrating life and death and rebirth with these herbs I’ve harvested from the earth. I send my intent by smoke in the air and call on those whose blood I share. I ask my ancestors to guide and watch over me, As I will, so it shall be.

Store your incense in a tightly sealed jar. Make sure you label it with its intent and name, as well as the date you created it. Use within three months, so that it remains charged and fresh.

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Samhain Ancestor Meditation

Samhain Ancestor Meditation

Calling Upon the Ancient Ones

By , About.com

A Time of Darkness

Samhain is known as the night when the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest. It’s a time to sit back and honor the spirit world, and call upon those ancestors who came before us. After all, if not for them, we wouldn’t be here. We owe them something, some gratitude for their ability to survive, their strength, their spirit. Many Wiccans and Pagans choose Samhain as a time to honor their ancestors. If this is something you’d like to do, you can celebrate with a ritual or by hosting a seance or dumb supper in their honor:

In addition to these more formal rituals, you may also want to take some time alone for a quiet meditation. This is a point in the Wheel of the Year when the spirit world is a bit closer than normal, and if you’ve never tried to contact your ancestors before, now is a good time to do it.

When performing an ancestor meditation, people experience different things. You may find yourself meeting a specific person that you are aware of in your family history — maybe you’ve heard the stories about great-uncle Joe who went out west after the Civil War, and now you have the privilege of chatting with him, or perhaps you’ll meet the grandmother who passed away when you were a child. Some people, however, meet their ancestors as archetypes. In other words, it may not be a specific individual you meet, but rather a symbol — instead of adventurous great-uncle Joe, it may be a non-specific Civil War soldier or frontiersman. Either way, understand that meeting these individuals is a gift. Pay attention to what they say and do — it may be that they’re trying to give you a message.

Setting the Mood

Before you perform this meditation, it’s not a bad idea to spend some time with the tangible, physical aspects of your family. Bring out the old photo albums, read through wild Aunt Tillie’s diary from the Great Depression, get out your grandfather’s old pocket watch that almost sank with the Titanic. These are the material things that connect us to our family. They link us, magically and spiritually. Spend time with them, absorbing their energies and thinking of the things they’ve seen, the places they’ve been.

You can perform this ritual anywhere, but if you can do it outside at night it’s even more powerful. Decorate your altar (or if you’re outside, use a flat stone or tree stump) with the symbols of your ancestors — the photos, journals, war medals, watches, jewelry, etc. No candles are necessary for this meditation, but if you’d like to light one, do so. You may also want to burn some Samhain spirit incense.

Claiming Your Birthright

Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Think about who you are, and what you are made of, and know that everything within you is the sum of all your ancestors. From thousands of years ago, generations of people have come together over the centuries to create the person you are now. Think about your own strengths — and weaknesses — and remember that they came from somewhere. This is a time to honor the ancestors who formed you.

Recite your genealogy — aloud if you like — as far back as you can go. As you say each name, describe the person and their life. An example might go something like this:

I am the daughter of James, who fought in Vietnam and returned to tell the tale. James was the son of Eldon and Maggie, who met on the battlefields of France, as she nursed him back to health.    Eldon was the son of Alice, who sailed aboard Titanic and survived. Alice was the daughter of Patrick and Molly, who farmed the soil of Ireland, who raised horses and tatted lace to feed the children…

and so forth. Go back as far as you like, elaborating in as much detail as you choose. Once you can go back no further, end with “those whose blood runs in me, whose names I do not yet know”.

If you happened to meet a certain ancestor, or their archetype, during your meditation, take a moment to thank them for stopping by. Take note of any information they may have given you — even if it doesn’t make sense just now, it may later on when you give it some more thought. Think about all the people you come from, whose genes are part of you. Some were great people — some, not so much, but the point is, they all belong to you. They all have helped shape and create you. Appreciate them for what they were, with no expecations or apologies, and know that they are watching over you.

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Samhain Cemetery Visit

Samhain Cemetery Visit

Honoring the Dead in the Midst of Life

By , About.com

In many cultures, the late fall is a time in which the dead are honored with great ceremony. A wonderful example of this is in Mexico, where Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) celebrations are a joyful and festive part of the season. Rather than being sad and mournful, families go to cemeteries where they honor their loved ones with picnics, colorful altars, and even parades.

You don’t have to be part of the Hispanic community to celebrate the season in this manner, though. Many non-Hispanic Pagans see Samhain as a time to honor their dead with happy remembrance. There are a number of ways you can do this, and incorporate a visit at your family’s cemetery into your Samhain festivities.

Headstone Cleanup

Start by cleaning up headstones. Pluck or trim any overgrown grass or weeds from around the gravesite or sites. To clean a headstone, you should be sure to check with the cemetery operators (if you can find them) about any cleaning policies. In general, a good guideline is that if a headstone is made of marble, limestone or or sandstone, you can use water (bring a couple of gallon jugs along) and a SOFT nylon bristle brush.

For older headstones, which may crumble from age when you clean them, water alone may be your best bet. A headstone that is cracked or damaged shouldn’t be cleaned at all, at the risk of causing more damage. Do the best you can with what you’ve got – but for more detail on how conservationists suggest you clean an old stone, read here: Association for Gravestone Studies..

If you’d like to make a grave rubbing of a headstone, read here: How to Make a Grave Rubbing. Keep in mind that you should always follow the rules of the cemetery. Remember that while doing a rubbing usually doesn’t cause damage to headstones, particularly newer ones, there are certain precautions that should be taken. If a stone is worn or crumbling, pass on it. Rubbing an already-damaged stone can cause it to flake and chip to the point where it’s irreparable. Instead, choose stones which are in good condition – the best results come from either polished granite stones or solid slate markers. If there’s any doubt about the condition of the stone, don’t use it for a rubbing.

 

Ancestor Altar

Many people like to have an ancestor altar in their homes during the Samhain season, but you can set one up at the cemetery as well. It can be as simple as a few candles, a photo, and some flowers, or more complex. If the grave is an older cemetery, you may want to bring a small flat object to use as an altar – bed trays work well for this – so as not to damage the headstone. Be sure to check with the cemetery for guidelines, if you choose to leave your altar in place after you’ve left. If you do take it with you when you go, be careful to pick up any stray bits and pieces that may have scattered around. Don’t leave a mess behind.

Flowers and colorful ribbons are also a popular addition to headstones during this season – if you have wreaths, feel free to add those as well. In Mexico, another offering is travel items – razors, a bowl of water, and soap are a great addition, because your deceased loved ones can use these items to clean up after their journey.

For more about how different cultures venerate their ancestors, read here: Ancestor Worship. The concept of ancestor worship is not a new one for many Pagans today. Ancient cultures often venerated those who came before them, and even now, in our contemporary society, it’s not uncommon at all to find celebrations that honor the ancestors in a variety of different ways.

 

Sugar Skulls and Candy Coffins

You can make a batch of Sugar Skulls, which are confectionaries traditionally made at Day of the Dead celebrations. If you’re not sure about how to make them – or don’t feel confident in your own candy-making skills – check at your local Hispanic marketa – they almost always have them in stock in the fall. Another popular item is the candy or chocolate coffin – again, if you aren’t able to make them, an alternative is to use small boxes made of cardstock or lightweight cardboard to create coffins, and fill them with candy, trinkets, and tiny skeletons.

 

Cemetery Supper

For many people who celebrate Day of the Dead, a huge part of the day involves a meal. You can pack up a picnic supper, and visit your family at the cemetery while you eat. Some ideas you might try:

  • Bring loaves of sweet, dessert breads, which are traditional in many cultures, as a Samhain offering.
  • If you know a particular family member really loved a favorite dish, include that as part of your picnic supper.
  • Be sure to bring an extra plate for each of your beloved dead – they are with you in spirit, and should be offered a seat at the table (or picnic blanket).
  • You can either make your picnic formal and serious, like the Dumb Supper, or joyous and fun – it’s up to you.
  • Consider singing songs – if you have drums or a guitar, bring them along, and after you’ve eaten, sing your family’s favorite tunes to serenade your ancestors. If you know the traditional folk songs of your family’s culture, this is a great time to share them – and if you don’t know them, now is a good time to learn and pass on the traditions.

 

Saying Farewell… For Now

Finally, before you leave, be sure to say a last farewell to your ancestors, thanking them for joining you, and letting them know you will honor them all year long. If your celebrations have spilled over onto other gravesites, you may want to leave a small offering of thanks for those residents as well – broken pieces of bread are a good symbolic offering. Spend a day visiting with those who came before you, remember them well, and let them know that someday, you will see them again.
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How To Celebrate the Cycle of Life and Death At Samhain

How To Celebrate the Cycle of Life and Death

By

Samhain is a time like no other, in that we can watch as the earth literally dies for the season. Leaves fall from the trees, the crops have gone brown, and the land once more becomes a desolate place. However, at Samhain, when we take the time to remember the dead, we can take time to contemplate this endless cycle of life, death, and eventual rebirth.

Here’s How:

  1. For this ritual, you’ll want to decorate your altar with symbols of life and death. You’ll want to have on hand a white candle and a black one, as well as black, red, and white ribbon in equal lengths (one set for each participant). Finally, you’ll need a few sprigs of rosemary.

    Perform this rite outside if at all possible. If you normally cast a circle, do so now.

  2. Say:

    Samhain is here, and it is a time of transitions. The winter approaches, and the summer dies. This is the time of the Dark Mother, a time of death and of dying. This is the night of our ancestors and of the Ancient Ones.

    Place the rosemary on the altar. If you are doing this as a group ceremony, pass it around the circle before placing on the altar. Say:

    Rosemary is for remembrance, and tonight we remember those who have lived and died before us, those who have crossed through the veil, those who are no longer with us. We will remember.

  3. Turn to the north, and say:

    The north is a place of cold, and the earth is silent and dark. Spirits of the earth, we welcome you, knowing you will envelope us in death.

    Turn to face the east, and say:

    The east is a land of new beginnings, the place where breath begins. Spirits of air, we call upon you, knowing you will be with us as we depart life.

  4. Face south, saying:

    The south is a land of sunlight and fire, and your flames guide us through the cycles of life. Spirits of fire, we welcome you, knowing you will transform us in death.

    Finally, turn to face the west, and say:

    The west is a place of underground rivers, and the sea is a never-ending, rolling tide. Spirits of water, we welcome you, knowing you will carry us through the ebbs and flows of our life. 

  5. Light the black candle, saying:

    The Wheel of the Year turns once more, and we cycle into darkness.

    Next, light the white candle, and say:

    At the end of that darkness comes light. And when it arrives, we will celebrate once more.

  6. Each person takes a set of ribbons — one white, one black, and one red. Say:

    White for life, black for death, red for rebirth. We bind these strands together remembering those we have lost.

    Each person should then braid or knot their three ribbons together. As you do so, focus on the memories of those you have lost in your life.

  7. While everyone is braiding or knotting, say:

    Please join me in chanting as you work your energy and love into your cords:

As the corn will come from grain,
All that dies will rise again.
As the seeds grow from the earth,
We celebrate life, death and rebirth.

When everyone has finished braiding and chanting, take a moment to meditate on the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. Is there someone you know who reminds you of a person you’ve lost? Have you ever looked into a baby’s eyes and seen your late grandfather looking back?

Finally, ask everyone to take their knotted ribbons home with them and place them on their personal altar if they have one. That way, they can be reminded of their loved ones each time they pass by.

  1. Finally, ask everyone to take their knotted ribbons home with them and place them on their personal altar if they have one. That way, they can be reminded of their loved ones each time they pass by.

Tips:

  1. Rosemary is used in this rite because although it seems to go dormant over the winter, if you keep it in a pot you’ll get new growth in the spring. If there’s another plant you’d rather use, feel free.

What You Need

  • Ribbon in black, red and white
  • A white candle and a black one
  • Rosemary
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The Celtic Origins of Samhain

The Celtic Origins of Samhain

Author: Josie

As Samhain approaches, my mind turns to childhood memories of costumes, candy and trick-or-treating. Even in our modern world, the rules are set aside on Halloween day. We ask for candy from strangers. We disguise ourselves and walk around both familiar and strange neighborhoods.

From where did this bizarre holiday come? What are the origins of the themes of death, the macabre and merry-making?

Modern Pagans celebrate Samhain as the third of three harvest festivals. Considered the Pagan New Year’s Day, Neo-Pagans also use this day to honor the ancestors. We often set food on our altars for loved ones who recently passed away. In the Wiccan year-long dance of the Goddess and God, Samhain celebrates the time when the God is in the underworld before His rebirth at Yule.

This festival originated as one of the four Celtic fire festivals; the other three being Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasadh – the four days we currently call Cross-Quarter days, Greater Sabbats or Greater High Days. In ancient Celtic times many local tribes gathered together in centralized locations, ritual centers (Jones and Pennick 90) or regional capitals for celebration, games, feasting (Rees 8) , markets, fairs and horse races.

In Ireland, the people assembled at the 5 main provinces (Green 55) , and it was a day of peace and amity, where disagreements were set aside, fighting put on hold, and even debts temporarily forgiven (Koch 147) .

Despite the fun and festivities, there was a dark side. As death features so highly in modern Halloween, Dia De Los Muertos, and even our modern Neo-Pagan Samhain, it featured just as much back them. Samhain was a harvest festival, yet it was not crops that were harvested, but animals. Samhain marked the end of the grazing season and a time when the herds were brought in from the fields. To feed all of the animals through winter used up precious food that the people needed, therefore the breeding stock was set aside, and all other animals were slaughtered (Jones and Pennick 90) .

I doubt that the ancients were any less callous about this massive slaughter of animals than we would be. Death on that scale would have affected them, and we see this effect in the other aspects of this holy day.

Custom has it that on Samhain Eve, the souls of the dead returned to visit those they knew in life. Food for the spirits of the dead was left outside or at an empty place setting at the dinner table. Doors were left open and the hearth was prepared to welcome them (Rees 90) . Even modern jack-o-lanterns started out as hollowed out turnips and gourds filled with a candle or coals – not to scare away ghost or goblins, but to welcome departed loved ones and show them the way back home.

Another way that Samhain celebrated death was that it was also a ritual mourning for the death of summer (Green 55) . The Celts thought of the year as being divided into two seasons: Winter and Summer. To the Celts, time occurred in pairs, such as Winter and Summer, night and day, and the dark half of the month and the light half of the month. Dark comes first, just as the darkness of gestation precedes birth. Thus sunset was the start of the new day, and Samhain the start of the new year (a tradition us modern Witches still hold) .

The Celts viewed these pairs of time as microcosms of the universe and time itself (Rees 88-90) . Within these pairs, the laws of time, space and the universe were held. On cusp moments (sunset and sunrise, the nights of the waning and waxing quarter moons, Samhain and Beltane) , the time when one time period has not quite ended and another has not quite begun, the normal laws of time, space and the universe were suspended.

One effect of this suspension was that the barriers between the worlds were broken. The expression one often hears is that the veils between the worlds become thin, due to it being a “boundary time.” This suspension of the “Laws of the Universe” is why the spirits of the dead can visit us (Green 55) and the living can visit the lands of the dead.

These transition periods or moments had the propensity for good or evil. It was neither lucky nor unlucky, but both. Certain acts were forbidden or thought to be unlucky if performed at sunset or sunrise, such as marriages. Yet the morning dew was thought to be restorative and cures were thought to be more potent at sunset.

This contradiction may have stemmed from the thought that these transition times held the potential for renewal and rebirth. This effect is also seen in the twice yearly extinguishing of house or hearth fires, which are then relit on Beltaine and Samhain as a symbolic cleansing.

Predictions and fortune telling were also possible on Samhain because the suspension of the laws of time allowed the boundaries between the present and the future to disappear. Again, we come back to the idea that the laws of the universe are suspended during the cusp time. Although, most predictions were concerned with figuring out whom you would marry and who would die in the coming year.

The realms of the living and dead and the past, present and future were not the only realms to mingle during boundary times. Samhain, as well as Beltane and Midsummer, saw a mingling of the worlds of fairies and humans. On Samhain night, Síd (pronounced shee) mounds were open and lost their glamour (Rees 88-90) , that protection that prevents us from seeing into them.

We can see these phenomena in the story of Finn mac Cumaill and the fairy maiden. In Síd Breg Ele, a beautiful fairy maiden lived. Only on Samhain night could she be wooed, because only then did the Síd mound open and the glamour fall away. Each time a suitor came to woo her, one person of the suitor’s party would be killed, yet no one knew how he was killed.

Finn mac Cumaill was determined to solve this mystery. He sought advice and was told to sit between that fairy mound and the neighboring one on Samhain eve. As he sat there, he saw the two hills open, saw great bonfires in each one and heard the residents in each discussing an exchange of gifts. As one man came out of the hill of the fairy maiden, Finn threw a spear into him. The faerie Finn killed was the one who was killing the suitors’ men (Rees 251) .

The interaction between men and the Síd was not limited to their mounds. In the Fionn Cycle, we hear about Tara, one of the regional capitols, which were often plagued by Síd and Fomoire attacks. During Samhain, warriors from the tribes would gather to offer protection during a time when Tara was more vulnerable. A particular goblin, Aillen mac Midhna, tried every Samhain to set fire to Tara, until Finn magicked him away (Green 20) (Rees 156) .

When placed in the context of Celtic beliefs, much of our Samhain (and Halloween) rituals make perfect sense. Death came from the slaughter of herd animals, whose spilt blood reminded us of mortality. The cusp moment when Summer has ended, but Winter has not yet begun, allowed the veils between the realms of Fairies, Man and the Dead to lift. The transition period also allowed time to stand still and the past, present and future to overlap. Added up we get costume disguises to hide from Fairies, Jack-o-lanterns to guide our dearly departed back to our door, dumb suppers and fortune telling.

But I don’t understand where the candy came from.

________________________

Footnotes:
Green, Miranda J. Celtic Myths. Austin: University of Texas P, 1993.
Jones, Prudence and Nigel Pennick. A History of Pagan Europe. London: Routledge, 1995.
Koch, John. The Celtic Heroic Age. Andover: Celtic Studies, 2000.
Rees, Alwyn and Brinley Rees. Celtic Heritage. London: Thames and Hudson, 1961.

 

 

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HALLOWS BLESSING

Samhain Comments & Graphics

HALLOWS BLESSING

To those whose feet are stilled
And those who laugh with us no more
To you we say, our love was with you here
And goes with you hence
To that place where you rest and revel.
 
May the dark Lord and sweet Lady
Guide your feet along the rocky paths
To the place where all is fresh and green
And lover, friends and ancestors wait
With open arms to greet you.
Go in peace, and with our blessing
Be rested and return when the Lady deems it fit
With the countless turns of the Great Wheel
We shall miss you
We shall meet you again in the green places of Her domain.
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October Lore — the Dumb Supper

October Lore

The Dumb Supper

Samhain is a celebration of death, and as such it is marked by several traditions.  One of these is the Feast of the Dead, sometimes called the Dumb Supper.  This has many variations — from a complete meal shared by the living, with places set at the table for the dead, to the simple leaving of cakes and wine, or any similar combination, by the fireside on Samhain Night.  And this is the most traditional time for communication with the dead.  For this reason, after welcoming them into your Samhain Circle through the Western Gate, the direction of death, you can allow the spirits of the deceased to communicate with you if they so desire.  One method is the wineglass.

Similar to a ouija board but without the undeserved sinister reputation, the wineglass is just that, an inverted wineglass (the champagne type is better than the wine type, as t is less likely to tip).  The glass is surrounded by a circle of letters.  An alphabet in Gothic style drawn on squares of white paper helps to create an appropriate atmosphere.

It must be mentioned here that many occultists turn up their noses at such devices as the ouija board, the pendulum board, and, no doubt, the wineglass, preferring instead personal mediumship, or channeling, as it is currently being called.  But we believe that entities willing to take control of the body or voice of another individual cannot be of the highest calibre.  Nor is every scene that passes before the inner eye psychic or spiritual, or the motivations that created them always spiritually pure.  This is not to say that we do not believe in either channeled information or that which is received psychically.  We most certainly do, but we have seen many instances of self-delusion, which is one of the greatest barriers to true spiritual development.

The wineglass, on the other hand, has several built-in safety devices. It cannot be easily operated alone, so spiritual possession is less likely, and since two or more people are operating it, self-delusion is not so easy.  It is interesting to note, too, that the wineglass brings with it some intrinsic symbolism.  It is a vessel or container for wine, itself a symbol for spiritual awareness, so the wineglass is a container for spiritual knowledge.

The wineglass can be used within the Samhain Circle.  The four quarters of the Circle may be marked with candles in jack-o’-lanterns, and an extra candle, an indigo blue one (the colour symbolizing the higher spiritual planes), should also be lit.  This candle might be anointed with oil and marked with a rune such as û` that describes the travel between the planes.  After a moment of meditation each person present places a fingertip on the upturned base of the wineglass and the traditional “Is anyone here that wishes to give us a message?” is asked. Then as the glass slides from one letter to the next, rapidly spelling out messages, read the words.  You may find it easier to use a tape recorder because it can get confusing.  At this, the most solemn of Pagan festivals, the messages are often personal and profound.

from: “Wheel of the Year” by Pauline Campanelli

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