‘THINK on THESE THINGS’ for October 25th

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

To so many, getting up in the morning is the worst way to begin a day. To them every morning is the morning after, a time to feel nervous anxiety and regret in the deepest sense, while to others morning is a new world. Yesterday ceased to be with sleep last night.

How much better off we’d be if only for a few hours we could put out of our minds every painful thought and every unpleasant person until the mind and body could find enough new life to begin again.

“The early morning hath gold in its mouth,” wrote Franklin. But it has things more precious than gold. It has life as fresh and sweet as the shimmering, clinging dewdrops in the first rays of golden sunlight. It has the grace of mimosa leaves rippling in the gentlest breeze. It has the songs of the birds and the love of a new awakening.

And in this breathless creation is something more. A new opportunity, another chance, a challenge to walk on, more strong, more forgiving, more loving.

Sleep deep and rest sweet, but rise glad. Don’t let one joyful second be lost in dead oblivion. This is a vision of newness awaiting even the least to arise and accept the best – a new beginning.

Morning need not be a jury trial for oneself. Dawn and sleep can be a miraculous cleansing to set us out on our feet ready to begin again and in a friendlier atmosphere. We must feel friendly toward ourselves before we can possibly find morning good to anyone else.

An unknown writer once wrote, “Every morning lean thine arms awhile upon the window sill of heaven, and gaze upon thy Lord, then, with the vision in thy heart, turn strong to meet thy day.”

We need to be strong to meet the day with self control, to find out reason and purpose, but, more important, to leave behind us the heavy and darkened thoughts that kept us from seeing the breathtaking beauty of the most important time – this morning.

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Available online! ‘Cherokee Feast of Days’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler.

Visit her web site to purchase the wonderful books by Joyce as gifts for yourself or for loved ones……and also for those who don’t have access to the Internet:

 

http://www.hifler.com
Click Here to Buy her books at Amazon.com

Elder’s Meditation of the Day
By White Bison, Inc., an American Indian-owned nonprofit organization. Order their many products from their web site: http://www.whitebison.org

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – October 25

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – October 25

“We create that bad among ourselves. We create it; then we try to call it devil, Satan, or evil. But man creates it. There is no devil. Man creates the devil.”

–Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA

Inside every human being are the laws and codes by which we should live. These laws and codes are communicated to us through a little voice. When we are still, this voice guides us. If we choose to live out of harmony, our lives become filled with anger, hate, selfishness, dishonesty, etc. When these things appear in our lives, we give up accountability and blame it on something or someone else. If we want to live in harmony, we need to pray our way back to living the principles the Creator gave us.

Grandfather, today let me walk with the principles.

October 25 – Daily Feast

October 25 – Daily Feast

Though summer still lingers in the last of vegetables in the garden, cooler air pushes down from the North and with it the subtle changes that color sumac and woodbine with brilliant reds. Some song birds stay during the winter, but their songs are different. This is the season of tart red apples and wood smoke twirling through the tops of tall evergreen trees. It seems only yesterday that spring broke through with her wild colors and thunderstorms. And it will seem only another day until this season has passed and the woods will green once more. Use this tranquil time to rest and walk and to enjoy seeing nature in her bare bones.

~ The Indian, essentially an outdoor person, has no use for handkerchiefs; he was practically immune to colds, and like the animal, not addicted to spitting. ~

LUTHER STANDING BEAR – LAKOTA

‘A Cherokee Feast of Days, Volume II’ by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Live beyond it

Live beyond it

Don’t live with the disappointment. Live beyond it.

You cannot stop what has already happened. However, you can let it make you  stronger and more determined.

Instead of dwelling on the pain or injustice of what has happened, imagine  the best possible outcome. Then get busy moving yourself steadily and  passionately toward that outcome.

Life has the power to disappoint. Yet you have the power of life, and the  power to move on to bigger and better things.

When you have been disappointed, it means you truly care, and that’s a very  positive thing. Zero in on what you care about, and put your energy into  advancing those things in your life.

Look ahead, and look at all the good and valuable things you can do. Look  ahead, and step confidently forward with a renewed sense of purpose and  determination.

— Ralph Marston

Daily Motivator

Daily OM for October 25th – Big Steps On Life’s Path

Big Steps On Life’s Path

Being Aware is the First Step

by  Madisyn Taylor

There is freedom that comes with awareness, because with it comes the opportunity to make a choice.

Life is a journey comprised of many steps on our personal path that takes us down a winding road of constant evolution. And each day, we are provided with a myriad of opportunities that can allow us to transform into our next best selves. One moment we are presented with an opportunity to react differently when yet another someone in our life rubs us the wrong way; on another day we may find ourselves wanting to walk away from a particular circumstance but are not sure if we can. Eventually, we may find ourselves stuck in a rut that we can never seem to get out of. We may even make the same choices over and over again because we don’t know how to choose otherwise. Rather than moving us forward, our personal paths may take us in a seemingly never-ending circle where our actions and choices lead us nowhere but to where we’ve already been. It is during these moments that awareness can be the first step to change.

Awareness is when we are able to realize what we are doing. We observe ourselves, noticing our reactions, actions, and choices as if we were a detached viewer. Awareness is the first step to change because we can’t make a change unless we are aware that one needs to be made in the first place. We can then begin understanding why we are doing what we are doing. Afterward, it becomes difficult not to change because we are no longer asleep to the truth behind our behaviors. We also begin to realize that, just as much as we are the root source behind the causes for our behaviors, we are also the originator for any changes that we want to happen.

There is a freedom that comes with awareness. Rather than thinking that we are stuck in a repetitive cycle where there is no escape, we begin to see that we very much play a hand in creating our lives. Whether we are aware of them or not, our behaviors and choices are always ours to make. Our past and our present no longer have to dictate our future when we choose to be aware. We are then free to move beyond our old limits, make new choices, and take new actions. With awareness, our paths can’t help but wind us forward in our lives while paving the way for new experiences and new ways of being. It is through awareness that we can continue to consciously evolve.

 

Daily OM

Samhain Solitary Ritual

Samhain Solitary Ritual

By Eden
Decorative Suggestions:
pumpkins, apples, masks, candles, black, red, orange,cauldron, besom

Supplies:
Photos of relatives or friends who have passed
White candle for each relative ( tea lights )
36 inches of yarn ( continuous piece) bright color such as red or orange
13 hazelnuts for tradition Druid method * or candy corn for a modern twist
1 apple (traditional)** or pomegranate, either cut in half
jack o lantern
4 mini pumpkins
4 votive candles for quarters
dried leaves (enough for circle size)
two candles one black one white
long piece of yarn ( this is a separate pc from above pc.)

Prep:
break off stems of mini pumpkins, hollow out big enough place for votive candles in top, cut doesn’t have to be deep,
just enough to keep candles form falling, set at quarters (use care when cutting!)
Outline circle with leaves Visualize jack o lantern as a protective ward (it’s traditional use) and have lit in circle from set up through ritual
Decorate according to taste
Have black and white candles on altar have black candle lit on altar, do not have white candle lit
Have photos with unlit candle in front of each, on altar if there is room or in other designated space

Ritual:

(Cleanse, Cast, Invoke)

” Blessed be the season of Samhain!
The time of the wise Crone!
The time of the last fall harvest
The time of the birth of winter
Night that we remember our loved ones who have passed from this life.
Night when we look on to the new year.
Night that reminds us that death holds the seeds of new life!”

(Prepare to light candles for departed)

” My dear loved ones, tonight as the wheel turns the veil which separates us is thin. On this night hear my words of love and honor”

(Light candles in front of photos one at a time, while lighting candle speak name of loved one and say what
you wish in honor or love, do this for each)

(Prepare to welcome the new year)

(Focus on black candle, while making banishing pentagram towards black candle)

” Farewell old year, take with you the season of summer”

(put out flame of black candle)

(Focus on unlit white candle, while making invoking pentagram)

“Welcome new year, bring with you the season of winter”

(light white candle)

“The wheel has turned yet again. Now at the time of ending that is yet also the time of beginning.
What is to come is, what was will come again, circling on and on throughout the ages.”

(prepare for meditation)

” And what of the past”

(close eyes with the intent to remember aspects of a past life, look at things in this life that you
believe could be related to a past life, focus on these things, see if this focus turns into scenes or
feelings about a past life)

( Prepare for resolutions)

” And what of the year to come”

(Take fruit, hold both halves in hands and visualize the habits you would like to rid yourself of over the next year being poured into it,when done place halves back together and tie halves together with one of the pieces of yarn, put aside to bury later)**

(Prepare for divination)

(Take bright colored yarn and make a circle on ground or altar if room, hold hazelnuts or candy corns in hands,focus on question, toss them into the circle and look for patterns of answer, such as y or n or if they make a shape or initial)*

(Offering, libation, feast)

(prayer for upcoming year)

“The wheel of the year turns on and on, from season to season, age to age. I remember and recognize that all time is here and now. I have paused to watch the wheel turn on this blessed eve, and, I praise the Wise Crone, in this time of Her glory. Blessed be Wise Crone.”

(Close Circle)

* according to Edain McCoy in ‘Sabbats’ pg. 42
** traditional Wittan Samhain practice per Edain
McCoy, ‘Witta’ pg 170 (adapted)

About The Author:  Eden, is a recent level one graduate of the
White Moon School of the Feminine Divine.  She lives in the North
Georgia mountains with her husband and three young children, where she practices eclectic paganism both as a member of a coven and as a solitary.

Witch Works: Spells and Rituals for Every Season

Witch Works: Spells and Rituals for Every Season

By Kelly

Happy Halloween! Is it Bedtime Yet?

After a long night of tricks and treats, many a witch will want to settle down for a long winter’s nap. Why
not work a little dream magick while you’re at it?Homemade dream pillows or sachets make very effective,
and very smelly (in a good way!), forms of magick. See what messages you receive when you try this dream
pillow spell for yourself, on Samhain or any night!

Dream Pillow/Sachet Spell for Dream Work

Ingredients:

Equal parts of the following herbs (amount will very depending on whether or not you are making pillows or
sachets, and the size of either):

Catnip
Lavender
Peppermint
Hops
Eucalyptus
Chamomile
Rose Petals
Mugwort

Felt/Fabric – Black and orange for Samhain, or any color you like.
Thread/Ribbon – The color of your choice
Essential Oil – Use one of the scents listed above. I recommend Chamomile, Lavender, or Eucalyptus.

Decide ahead of time if you will be making sachets or dream pillows. The pillows require more work and
materials, so choose wisely. If you are making dream pillows, you will want to pre-cut the material and
stitch the sides closed before casting a circle. Pre-cut your sachet material, but no pre-assembly is
required for the sachets.

Combine all of the herbs together in a large ritual bowl and then cast a circle in your normal manner.
Call on any deities/elements/guardians you feel comfortable with. Bless the herbs and empower them
with your intent. Raise energy, if you like, and run your hands lightly through the herb mixture to further
empower the herbs.

Portion out the sachets on the pre-cut squares or fill the pre-sewn dream pillows. Before closing the
sachet/pillow, place 1 drop of essential oil on the herb mixture. For sachets, draw up the sides of the
cloth and tie with a ribbon, or stitch closed if making the pillow.

Empower the finished sachets/pillow. Finish any magickal business you have and then close the circle. Sleep on your new dream pillow or pin a sachet to your bedclothes. Keep a journal next to your bed to record
your dreams upon waking.

Have a blessed Samhain!

About The Author: Kelly, is a solitary practitioner from the Midwest. She is currently a student at The White Moon School, studying to become a High Priestess. Kelly has been a practicing witch for 4 years and performs tarot readings and long distance energy work via the Internet.

Halloween Activities For Children Of Any Age!

Halloween Activities For Children Of Any Age!
By Jade, Order of the White Moon
.
Eyeball Spoon Race.  This is a spin-off of the traditional egg on the spoon race.  You need one Ping-Pong ball for every spoon.  Draw eyes (bloodshot or pretty etc…) on the Ping-Pong balls.  The children then race with the Ping-Pong balls balancing on the spoon.  To make things more difficult, have the free arm behind the back.  Adults can do this blindfolded with their team partner calling their name to give them direction.    The children then get to keep the ping pong eyeballs as a toy.
Fishing for Fortunes.  Another children’s activity.  You need a clear fishbowl (or other bowl) and fill it up with various mini toys (inexpensive ones).  An adult or teen is the fortune teller and the child comes to the table and draws out a prize from the fishbowl.  The fortune teller than tells a fortune based on the prize drawn.  For example, if the child drew out a quarter, they could be told that they will go on to find a buried treasure someday.  Or if they drew out a pencil they could be told that they will become a writer etc……
Mummy Wrap:    This may be difficult for me to explain.  Get one roll of toilet paper.  You also need one prize for each child participating in this game.  (plastic spiders, rings etc…..)  You will unroll the toilet  paper and re-roll it.  As you unroll it, place a prize every once in a while and re-roll the toilet paper so it now contains prizes throughout it.  The children sit in a circle and each person takes a turn wrapping (mummifying) part of their body.  The wrap this body part until they come to the prize.  Then the prize is theirs and they tear the paper off at that point and pass it to the next child.
Pin The Stem On The Pumpkin.  (or any other variation you can come up with….maybe pin the hat on the witch)  You need some markers and a large piece of posterboard.  Draw the Pumpkin on the posterboard and color it in.  Out of a smaller piece of posterboard, make the stem and cut it out.  I just use sticky tack on the back of the stem.  You need a blindfold.  Blindfold the person who is ready to give it a try and give them the stem with the sticky tack on it.  Turn them around three times and make sure they are facing the larger poster to start.  They then try to “pin” the stem on the pumpkin.  (basically this is just pin the tail on the donkey but themed to Halloween)
Ghost In The Air:  You need one (or more to make it challenging) white balloon with ghost eyes drawn on it. (blow up the balloon)  The children have to keep the balloon(s) in the air at all times.
Witches Stew:  You need drinking straws (one for each person) and various construction paper cut outs in Halloween shapes (each shape should  be about the size of a yo-yo).  And a cauldron or bowl. Place the shapes in a pile beside the cauldron.  Using the straw as a vacuum, each child should try to pick up a shape and place  in the cauldron to make the Witches stew.  You can time the players to see who is fastest or have two players compete against each other at the same time. (given equal shapes)  
Just a Little Witch on High
She’ll tell you that
your love is nigh.
Your fortune on Hallowe’en
when told
My secret will the Witch unfold.
(from a early nineteenth-century Halloween postcard) 
About The Author: Jade is a special education teacher turned stay at-home mom.  30-something Mom to six children via birth and special needs adoptions.  Our family resembles a beautiful, diverse, and colorful patchwork quilt.  Witch. Married.  Living near the beautiful Wind River Mountains in Wyoming.  Human to one standard poodle, one Siamese cat, and one cat who is truly my peer, companion, and equal in many ways.  Member of the Order of the White Moon.  Currently trying to connect to my ancestors and learn about our family’s Celtic roots and traditions to pass along to my children. 

This Is Halloween! Salem During The Samhain Season

This Is Halloween! Salem During The Samhain Season
By Artemisia, Nicole, Maeve, Phoenix ShadowDancer, and Roisin
Salem, MA was founded by Puritans sailing from England in 1629. The town is notorious for the witch trials that took place in the vicinity in 1692. We know that the Salem “witches” were innocent victims of mass hysteria. The first “witch” was hung in June of that year. In October, 13 executed women and 5 executed men later, the witch-trials were suspended. From then on, witches, the devil, and any vestige of the occult left Salem for over 250 years and Salem reverted to yet another boring, Puritan New England town.
Not until the 1970s did the witches return to Salem… and this time they brought T-shirts.
Salem is Halloween 365 days a year, so you can imagine what events take place during the week of Halloween! A few former-residents of Salem along with some local pagans offer an insiders’ view of Salem during this season.
Fun Things To Do In Salem by Phoenix ShadowDancer
Living close to Salem has always felt like a privilege to me. From the days when I was a child, when my dad would take me to the “witch shop” (Crow Haven Corner) to today, when I go to feel the amazing spiritual and magickal energy, I have always loved the town. There are so many things that a magickal person can do in this beautiful little town, from historical site-seeing to really amazing food. One of my favorite things to do is to walk through the “witch’s memorial” (which isn’t really a memorial to witches at all…since it is most likely that the women and man killed were probably not witches) to the old cemetery, sit on the wall, and write in my journal or just meditate. It’s a beautiful site. Another favorite is to visit all of the occult shops. Of course, many of them carry the same products, but the atmosphere when you walk into these shops creates a warm, fuzzy feeling all over.
There are millions of historical sites to see in Salem. There is the Witch’s Museum (which harbors a bunch of wax figures and tells the story of the Salem Witch Trials), the House of Seven Gables, which was once home to writer Nathaniel Hawthorne, and, of course, the Witch’s Dungeon which I have actually never been to. During the autumn season, Salem hosts a month-long festival called “Haunted Happenings”, which creates an eerie flare for visiting these sites.
Finally, there are numerous groups of pagan men and women in Salem who never feel squeamish about walking around in their cloaks, and “witchy attire”. This was my favorite part about Salem. Usually, a large pagan group called the “Temple of Nine Wells” will put on a public ritual for each pagan holiday, which are inspirational and all-together fun. For Samhain, they often gather at Gallows Hill for a large public ritual (which often consists of hundreds of people) and then process to town from there in memory of those who were executed for their beliefs. No matter what your interest, the autumn season is always a wonderful time to visit the town of Salem. During this season, everyone is a witch .
Avoiding Salem by Roisin
I have never been to Salem for Halloween. I’ve thought about it a few times, but I’ve always decided not to go. I go up to Salem a few times a year, usually on weekends in the summer to check out the Peabody Essex Museum and do a little shopping. You may wonder why, and many people I’ve met, given my religious beliefs and geographic location, are shocked to hear that I avoid Salem from October 1 through November 2. The reason for that is the same reason I avoid all Irish bars on St. Patrick’s Day. It doesn’t have a lot to do with green beer and green beer vomit (but that does count for something). No, I stay away because I celebrate my heritage 365 days a year. I don’t need to be squeezed into an overcrowded bar and have some drunk spill beer on me while singing “Danny Boy” off-key. As for Halloween in Salem, I celebrate my faith in the Goddess every day. I don’t need to freeze my ass off wandering around the streets of Salem while freaky (deliberately freaky) guys and girls try to pick me up, on the assumption that Pagan chicks are poly, easy, and like to f—- anything. I also don’t need to deal with the witchier-than-thou types in Salem, whose own brand of Goddess is the only one acceptable. I also don’t like the overly commercial nature of the holiday up there. Still, Salem is a fun town to visit, but I like to do it on my terms, not everybody else’s.
When You Can’t Get To Salem, Go To Boston!  By Nicole
I have lived in Boston all my life and since Salem on Halloween can be pretty a pretty crowded scene, I usually stay local and keep it simple. Salem is not the only spooky place in New England. A trip to some of the oldest cemeteries in America makes for a “grave” Halloween experience. Mt. Auburn Cemetery, founded in 1831, is the final resting place of thousands of distinguished people including 19th century poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and artist Winslow Homer as well as 20th century visionary Buckminster Fuller. Mt. Auburn commemorates the dead in a tranquil, natural setting “embellished” with ornamental plantings, monuments, fences, fountains and chapels that also makes it a place for the living. You can go, have a picnic on a tomb, write in your journal, and romanticize about the past. Park Street Church, the site of the old town granary (where grain was kept before the Revolution) dates back to 1809. The Church was the first location of Sunday School in 1818. On July 4th, 1829, William Lloyd Garrison gave his first public anti-slavery speech here and two years later “My Country, Tis of Thee” was sung for the first time by the church’s choir. But Park Street Church is best known for its cemetery, where at least 1,600 people are known to be buried, dating from the 1600s. Among those laid to rest are Paul Revere, John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and the victims of the Boston Massacre. Elizabeth Vergoose, buried here in 1690, is believed to be the storyteller later immortalized as Mother Goose. There’s nothing more fall-feeling than crunching through fallen leaves around the Granary graveyard with the smell of roasting peanuts in the air and sipping some hot cider.
A day pensive day spent grave-hopping ends nicely with a night dancing at ManRay Nightclub, home of New England’s underground scene, catering to a variety of alternative cultures. ManRay can guarantee a spooktacular Halloween night! Dance the night away with vampires, dominatrix damsels, and sexy heathens… and those are the regulars! With an annual costume competition cannot be rivaled with awards like “best use of pvc tape in a costume” the night always promises a lot of laughs, dancing, and great people watching.
Disillusionment Of Salem by Maeve
Dis`il*lu”sion*ment, n. The act of freeing from an illusion, or the state of being freed there from. As a child growing up I always thought of Salem of being this real life mystical place. As a teenager I craved to be there on Halloween. The night that was already charged with so much meaning I felt would be that much more powerful there. A couple of years ago I was able to realize that childhood idea but it wasn’t what I expected. The only thing to compare it to is Mardi Gras: streets full of people, outrageous costumes, insane behavior, drinking and a few drugs here and there… not much in the way of mystical experiences. Salem is an old town with a lot of history but it was not the source of a lot of the history we were taught. There was a lot of energy but it was very chaotic and came from the people I was surrounded by not the environment. I think in my head I had pictured bustling activity of like-minded people or some such thing. While I can say that I have experienced Salem at Halloween and there were some positive things; it was an experience that freed me from my childhood illusions.
Living In Salem On Halloween by Artemisia
As someone who can claim to be quite familiar with Salem, once being a local and having much family who lives in the area, I feel that there is definitely something special about Salem. The energy in and around the area is very mystical; perhaps because it is surrounded by the ocean and marshland or perhaps it just cannot be explained. I can say for sure, however, that the endearing qualities of Salem are not due to the Haunted Happenings events each October, but rather, in spite of the hordes of people that go there for Halloween. There is nothing better than walking down the brick-laid streets looking up at the brick buildings, crunching along in the leaves, watching your breath puff in the cool, damp air on a sunny October day. This downtown area has something for everyone: great restaurants, cafes for the college kids, shops full of supplies for the practicing pagans, tourist traps for the visitors, local grocers, museums, unique book stores, plenty of good seafood, great bars full of local characters, antique shops, one of the oldest hotels in America, and great architecture. If you wander a little further off the path, you can walk out to the wharf and see the boats in the harbor, or go down to Winter Island and walk around on the beach, or sit on the benches at Salem Willows and enjoy the beautiful ancient trees overlooking the bay, or even hop in your car or on the bus and head towards Marblehead to visit the hidden treasure of Salem: Forest River Park and enjoy a walk on the waterfront overlooked by gorgeous, friendly trees and many seagulls. Whether you go to experience the beautiful natural sights, to window-shop downtown, or to get some great food, one thing you will be assured of: an eclectic group of people, ranging from the blue-collar “townies”, to the black-caped pagans, to the college students at Salem State, to the old Salem families, and the recently or not so recently immigrated, living and working in harmony and tolerance together in this unique city.
No matter what you do on Halloween… whether it’s to camp it up in Salem, participate in a Samhain ritual outside the beautiful autumn weather and reclaim your freedom of religion, spend a quiet day among the dead, or a loud night dancing—have fun, be safe, and be true to yourself!
About The Authors: Artemisia, Nicole, Maeve, Phoenix ShadowDancer, and Roisin are Keepers of the Moon. We meet twice a month to meet, discuss, act, and do ritual work in a safe, supportive atmosphere. Our goals are to facilitate spiritual growth, be spiritual resources to one another, and enact positive change in our lives and communities. These goals are strengthened through regular meetings, rituals, and celebrations, all which honor the Universal Feminine Divine. We are a group of women who believe in, practice, and foster an egalitarian society that is based on tolerance, wisdom, compassion and respect.

Entering the Crone

Entering the Crone
By Gaya
Samhain is the halfway point between the Fall Equinox and the Winter Solstice. The wheel of the year is turning from light to dark. Our Earth Mother who was so green and vibrant is changing to the dark hues of the Crone. Traditionally this has been a time to honor our ancestors but there is so much more to learn from this time of year.
Crone Card, MotherPeace Deck By Noble and VogelOur ancestors worked diligently throughout the summer and fall months to ensure that they would survive the harsh winters. They planted, nurtured and harvested the crops; slaughtered the livestock; gathered the firewood. They prepared for the dark. At Samhain when the work was finished, they celebrated. They gave thanks for their bounty, they honored those who had passed over in the previous year and they rested. Plans were made for the next year. They took stock of their lives and threw out what was no longer needed. It was a time of quiet solitude, of retreating and going within.
We have been taught to fear the dark. The darkness holds the unknown. It is a dangerous territory without hope, full of despair. If we enter the dark, there is no return. The Crone teaches us something different. She teaches us that all things will be reborn. And to be reborn, we must enter that place of darkness. This is the natural cycle.
Take time to sit quietly with the Crone between Samhain and the Winter Solstice. Listen to what she has to teach you. It is not a time to rush around, caught up in the modern day activities of Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is a time for introspection, meditation and prayer. We have so much to learn from our Mother Earth if we will listen and be aware of her cycles. This is a time of rest.
                 
About The Author: I am a witch on the Wise Woman path, living in the southwestern region of the United States. Ever the student of our Earth Mother, I work with herbs, stones, feathers, twigs whatever She provides. I am honored to walk this path with all my relations; two-legged and four.
Excerpt taken from:

Lady of the Crossroads

Lady of the Crossroads
by
Heathwitch

One on three
which way to go
a second stood
still
faces outcast
Darkness about clasped
with snake and lion and
hound
thin veins under leather
untouched by time
outstretched a
touch
with eyes of heaven.
One on three
take a step
make a
choice
I will be with you
silent when needed
A fury when you
fear
Face the Moon
I will be here.
.
At Samhain, our thoughts turn
toward the memory of our ancestors, the mysteries of death and rebirth, the
practice of divination. We decorate our altars with blacks and oranges,
photographs of those who have passed on, and we commune with the Lords and
Ladies of the Underworld  such as the Greek Goddess Hecate.

Hecate is
the Thracian Goddess of the moon, absorbed as a Titan by the Greeks and
worshipped at crossroads, for She has the ability to see past, present and
future pathways. Though most commonly perceived as a Crone Goddess, Hecate can
also appear as a Maiden, terrible and beautiful to behold.

She is the
dark Goddess, the Lady of the Wild Hunt and keeper of occult knowledge and
wisdom. Known as the “Goddess of Witches” and the “Patroness of Priestesses”,
Hecate stands at the gateway between life and death, such is Her role as Queen
of the Underworld and the Lady of Spirits. She is also the changer, the one who
destroys in order to cause rebirth and regeneration.

Hecate’s roles are
not solely tied to the “darker” aspects of life however. She is also the midwife
who blesses new life in the world, the teacher who guides seekers and the
witness who aides with decision-making and determining truth, the giver of
courage and strength. She is intuition and psychic ability, the Lady of dreams
and nightmares who helps us see the deeper, shadow-side of our psyches. She is
the Wise Woman who sees all and knows all, and who will willingly share Her
knowledge and wisdom with you, if you but ask.

Hecate’s colours are deep
reds, purples and black, and She rules over all wild animals  in particular
dragons, dogs, frogs, horses, reptiles, toads and snakes. Her trees are willow
and yew, most commonly seen in graveyards, and She can be found in the tarot
cards the Hermit, the Moon and the High Priestess.

You can invite Hecate
into your life by mixing an oil for Her (add 10 drops cypress oil, 6 drops
patchouli oil and 4 drops sandalwood oil to 20ml of base oil) and including it
in a ritual or meditation dedicated to Hecate. Alternatively you could make an
incense blend to honour this Goddess  try the following recipe:

½ part
crushed garlic
½ part mandrake root
½ part mugwort
2 parts willow
bark
1 part lavender
4 parts myrrh
A few drops of cypress oil
A few
drops of myrrh oil

You can also work with Hecate in ritual; She can be
invoked to aid in inner exploration, dream-work, divination, healing, spells of
all kinds, banishings and the release of negativity, communicating with the
dead, and meditations and journeys to your inner self.

At Samhain,
Hecate can be called upon to focus your intuition when practicing divination on
this night when the veils between the world are thin. She can be invoked for
help in spell workings and the making of charms, or to help in soul-searching
meditations.

Most often, though, Hecate is invoked at Samhain to aid in
honouring and contacting our Beloved Dead, those who have passed from this
physical life before us:

Decorate the altar with blacks and oranges. Use
flowers of the same colours, and fruits of the season (pumpkins, root
vegetables). Light orange and black candles if possible and use a mixture of
cedarwood and sweetgrass incense — cedarwood for purification, sweetgrass for
your ancestors.

Assemble on your altar pictures of your ancestors and
mementos you may have received from them.

Cast circle in your usual way.
Invoke Hecate:

“Hecate, Goddess of the Realm of Spirits,
She who
stands at the crossroads,
Seer of past, present and future,
Guardian of
all Witches and Lady of the Dark,
I ask you to come forth into my
circle
And stand with me this night
Hail and welcome!”

Feel Hecate
come into your circle. Sit with your altar and slowly focus on each of your
ancestors. Speak aloud of their life and their impact on you. Ask Hecate to
acknowledge your reverence of those who have gone before, and ask that your
ancestors know of your love and thoughts.

Take your time and do not be
afraid of the emotions which may come to you; embrace them and welcome them into
your circle. As you speak of your ancestors you may feel them draw near from the
Summerlands; do not be afraid — instead, feel touched by their presence and
thank them for all they mean to you.

Thank Hecate and your ancestors for
their presence and say goodbye. Blow out the candles and take up
circle.

Have a Blessed Samhain!

Sources:
———-
Ann,
Martha, and Dorothy Myers Imel. Goddesses in World Mythology: A Biographical
Dictionary. Oxford University Press: New York (1995).
Ardinger, Barbara.
Goddess Meditations. Llewellyn: Minnesota (1998).
Conway, D. J. The Ancient
and Shining Ones. Llewellyn: Minnesota (1993).
Franklin, Anna. Magical
Incenses and Oils. Capall Bann: Berkshire (2000).
Marashinsky, Amy Sophia.
The Goddess Oracle: A Way to Wholeness through the Goddess and Ritual. Element:
Boston (1997).
Sjöö, Monica & Mor, Barbara. The Great Cosmic Mother:
Rediscovering The Religion of the Earth. HarperCollins: San Francisco (1991).

Zell, Morning Glory. “Manifesting Hecate”, SageWoman # 60 (Winter 2003).
Blessed Bee: California (2003).
.
About The Author: Heathwitch is a
Witch, teacher and author. She runs courses and workshops on energy work,
healing, Witchcraft and magic. High Priestess of the Circle of the Moon coven, Heathwitch lives in Cheshire, England.

Excerpt taken from:

Seasons of the Moon E-zine

Where Gods Dwell – Creating Altars and Shrines

Where Gods Dwell

Creating Altars and Shrines

by Amanda Silvers

An altar is, customarily, an area set aside for meditation or worship, or for working magick. A shrine is ordinarily an altar, specifically dedicated to a particular energy or deity. What is the purpose of an altar or shrine, besides creating a special place for your ritual or worship to take place? There are many answers, and I offer this as a guide for beginners and more experienced people as well.

When you transform a physical area or location to focus on a divine spirit, it is then possible for that spirit to manifest in the material world. Whether it is a god or goddess, an elemental or one of the fey, it has a space and energy to create from. The idea is to cause this to be a special and sacred place of honor and adoration of the deity or spirit, so put plenty of desire and effort into your creation.

To build an altar or shrine, begin on the correct day and hour for your chosen purpose. You may determine the day and hour by looking it up in a table of correspondences, in one of Scott Cunningham’s books or in The Spiral Dance. Start fashioning a place by contemplating how much space you have to devote, where you might like it, how accessible the area is to you and how secluded it is. Importantly, if you do not wish people to ask a bazillion questions, situate your shrines where they will be private. When you think about the purpose of the altar or shrine, the deity will help guide you where best to build it; just follow your feeling or instinct.

Next, clean the space, both physically and energetically. Do a clearing or banishing with water, incense or whatever you usually use, and at the same time clean the area well. Wipe it down and take away anything that was there before. (If you wish to replace an item on the altar, cleanse and bless it first.) Once you have accomplished this, purify and bless each item for the altar and place it in its correct position. Each piece is like an ingredient in a dish; it adds to the final product. There is a distinctive energy that is produced by an altar once it is blessed, and you will come to enjoy sharing the energy there.

If what you want to create is a shrine, say a prayer of dedication to the specific deity, and with your intention and desire affect the space to be sacred to that deity. Also, as you bring in each item you may anoint and dedicate them one by one, for more power, or you may wait until the whole shrine is set up and dedicate it at the end, as a whole. Chant, sing, play appropriate background music, burn incense, do whatever helps you be in the energy of the deity you wish to venerate. Put as much energy into anointing, placing and praying over the items as you can to make the shrine very powerful indeed.

Once you have accomplished this, it’s time to invoke the deity and ask that deity to lend his or her presence and power to your shrine. Be respectful, be sincere, be reverent, but do not forget that the gods do have a sense of humor. So do not be totally surprised if something unusual happens. When you are finished, spend some time communing with your chosen deity, and hearken to the small (or not so small) voice that will speak to you.

You might try creating small altars or shrines around your house and yard. Even the workplace can become an area of worship if you are discreet and use your symbology wisely.

I have a main altar that contains my ritual working tools, a couple statues of the god and goddess I traditionally work with, offerings and some other magickal items that are special to me. I create other shrines depending on what energies I am currently working with. I have had in the past and know several people who have a shrine blessed to each god or goddess they work with. A shrine can be a nice focus for bringing in more of the energy of a specific deity.

It’s a valuable idea to keep a journal of your communications with the gods, so that over time you can look back and see how you have grown and changed in your approach. Be conscientious; keep your altars and shrines clean and well-organized (unless they’re to Eris!). Spend time engaged at your shrines every day, and you will come to have a very close relationship with the gods. Raise energy for them, and offer gifts…. remember the gods and they will remember you!

Items that you might want to place on your altar or shrine

For a working altar, you will want a number of magickal tools including, but not limited to:

  • Athamé (sacred to the God)
  • Bell (air)
  • Bowl of water (water)
  • Candles (fire)
  • Cauldron (earth)
  • Chalice (Goddess)
  • Incense burner and incense (air)
  • Oil lamp (fire)
  • Representations of the God and Goddess
  • Rocks or crystals (earth)
  • Salt (earth)
  • Shells (water)
  • Wand (air)

For a shrine, you will want:

  • Representations of the deity; these may be pictures, statues or other things that represent the god or goddess in question to you
  • Altar cloth
  • Anointing oil
  • Athamé
  • Bells
  • Candles
  • Crystals
  • Earth
  • Feathers
  • Flowers (alive or dead)
  • Fruit
  • Herbs or greens
  • Incense and burner (the fire of consumption)
  • Meat or animal parts
  • Metal
  • Money
  • Oil lamp (the fire of illumination)
  • Poetry
  • Salt or sand
  • Shells
  • Stones
  • Wand
  • Water
  • Wine
  • Other offerings as appropriate

The suggestions following, regarding shrines to specific deities, will aid you in starting shrines, but use your personal preferences and the colors and items associated with your particular deities.

For Aphrodite, I recommend a rose-colored altar cloth, rose quartz, a statue or picture of a beautiful woman or sexually explicit photos, some Aphrodite incense, red candles, shells, pink or red flowers, water and a condom or two. Her colors are rose, red, orange, white and pink.

For Pan, think green! Provide a green or brown altar cloth. Pinecones, greenery, wildflowers, phallic-shaped stones, statues or pictures of the god, goats or a beautiful man are good, as well as animal skins (especially goatskins), Pan incense, green or brown candles, earth, mushrooms and phalluses (dildos). His  colors are brown, tan, forest green, leaf green and teal blue.

For Hecate, remember she is the goddess of magick and witches as well as the goddess of death and transformation (destruction). For her, I have a black altar cloth, a crystal ball, Tarot cards, crystals, dead and living flowers, animal skulls and bones, Hecate oil and incense, black candles, an oil lamp and a threefold statue of Hecate. She likes her devotees to write poetry and songs to her, and she is somewhat jealous. Her color is black.

I Have A Question

I would like to ask you a question. I don’t know what your opinion of me is but I do not wish to offend anyone. I am very easy going till made mad. I am a nice person, honest.

I would like to know if the joke I just put on here offends you. Material like that I find funny. I know others might find it offensive. I don’t know how far I can go with you is my point. I don’t want to cross the line. I want to keep the material were you enjoy it. Do you mind just a little adult humor? Nothing nasty like the “f” word, I mean like ass and mild words like that.

The site we use for our jokes had a cute joke I started to use. Then I stopped because I didn’t know how you would feel about it. It showed how to make different butts with your computer keys. Then it had what the butts meant beside them. One of them was a kiss my a** butt and that is what it said out beside it. But I didn’t use it because I want to know how you feel about such material.

I would appreciate your comments about this topic. Do you like strictly clean jokes or do you mind a little mild adult humor every now and then?

Thank you,

Annie

Laugh-A-Day for 10/25: How Not To Get Invited Back To A Circle

How Not To Get Invited Back To A Circle


  1. Take the ritual sword from the altar and make sounds like Darth Vader — “Luke, I am your father!” — and start making light saber noises.
  2. Start skat-singing when chanting.
  3. Take the ritual athame from the altar and start cleaning your nails with it.
  4. When taking a sip of the ritual wine, act like a wine snob and comment on it.
  5. When doing the spiral dance, make it a Conga line.
  6. Call down the Goddess with “Get your ass down here, Big Momma!”
  7. Call down the God with “Our father, who art in heaven …”
  8. When chanting the names of the Goddess, randomly include Pokemon names.
  9. When being smudged, complain vehemently about second-hand smoke.
  10. In a drumming circle, laugh insanely and start drumming the beat to Wipe Out!
  11. Ask the people in the circle “When are we all gonna git nekked?”
  12. When in a skyclad circle, randomly point and laugh.
  13. When the ritual wine goblet is passed to you, chug it and ask for more.
  14. Invoke Satan.
  15. Take out a Bible and start evangelizing.
  16. Light-up a cigar.
  17. Bring a cute furry creature and offer it as a blood sacrifice.
  18. Talk a lot about casting spells for revenge against people who have offended you.
  19. At a handfasting say “Thank God! Maybe now i’ll get some grandchildren!”
  20. When in circle, answer your cell phone.
  21. Respond to “So Mote it Be!” with “Amen!”
  22. Invite people to “Come to the dark side.”
  23. Bring you kids and ask the group to invoke the baby sitting Goddess.

     

concept by Azriel LittleHawk, with edits and ammendments by Turok and contributors

 

Turok Cabana