The Witches Magickal Journal for Tuesday, October 30th

Samhain Wishes

The Witches Magickal Journal for Tuesday, October 30th

Tips for Samhain #1

Thoroughly clean, dust, tidy up, refreshen, improve, and add appropriate seasonal decorations to your home altar.  This should normally be clean and tidy, however an extra cleaning before the Samhain celebration is a way to express your reverence, create a visible reminder of your thoughts and devotional practices, and to offer hospitality to the nature spirits, ancestors, and Shining Ones. If you don’t have a home altar, read some books and webpages about setting one up in your home or garden, and then establish one this holiday season.

Today Is Tuesday, October 30

Tuesday is dedicated to the powers of the planet Mars, personified in Ares, Tiwaz, Tiw, Tuisco and Tyr. Tuesday rules controlled power, energy and endurance.

Deity: Tiwaz

Zodiac Sign: Aries

Planet: Mars

Tree: Holly

Herb: Plantain

Stone: Agate

Animal: Crab

Element: Fire

Color: White

Number: 2

Rune: Tyr (T)

 

Celtic Tree Month of Ngetal(Reed) – October 28 – November 24

Runic Half-Month of Hagal(constraint) – October 28 – November 12

Goddess of the Month of Hathor – October 3 – October 30

 

Source

The Pagan Book of Days
Nigel Pennick


The Goddess Book of Days for Tuesday, October 30

Third day of the Isia in Egypt, the search for Osiris. In Mexico, the Angelitos, for souls of dead children, dedicated to Death God Xipe Totec and Tonantzin/ Guadualupe Goddess of Mercy. Part of El Dia de las Muertes (Day of the Dead) week.

 

Goddesses Associated With Tuesday

Soorejnaree, Pinga1la, Anna, Aine, Danu, Yngona, Bellona, Aida Wedo, Sun Woman

Source

The Goddess Book of Days
Diane Stein

On Tuesday, October 30, We Celebrate….

Angelitos Day (Mexico)
TONACACIHUATL

Themes: Ghosts; Death; Hope

Symbols: Flowers; All Symbols of Death

About Tonacacihuatl: In Mexico this goddess’s name means “Our Lady of Flesh.” Tonacacihuatl is a creatrix who gives life to all things and to whom the spirits of children return at death.

To Do Today: Part of a weeklong festival for the dead, Angehtos Day is specifically focused on departed children. If there is a child who has passed over and who was special to you somehow, make cakes or foods that feature symbols of death and leave them in a special spot. This invites Tonacacihuatl to release that child’s spirit for the day and welcomes the souls of the departed to the festival.

Put out the child’s picture in a place of honor with a candle nearby to help light their way. Cook and eat the young one’s favorite foods, leave a lamp ht near your threshold, and strew flowers (especially marigolds or dandelions) on the walkway to guide the child’s spirit back home.

According to tradition, eating hen or chicken today ensures a visitation by ghosts, because then the bird can’t crow loudly and frighten away the spirits! In all due caution, however, you might want to keep a little salt, violet petals, sage, or ginseng handy to banish any unwanted ghostly guests.

Source

365 Goddess: A Daily Guide To the Magic and Inspiration of the goddess
Patricia Telesco


Tuesday: Shake the only hand of Tyr

 

Tyr (referred to as Tiw, Tiu or Tew in Old English) was the god of combat. He had just one hand and the story behind it is as follows.

The prophecy of the sybil that three siblings would bring troubles to gods alarmed the pantheon and Odin (see also the section for Wednesday) decided to get rid of them. One of them was Fenrir, a huge mythological wolf. They tried to bound him, but he was too strong and tore any chain they used.

Finally they asked dwarves to make a special, untearable binding called Gleipnir. It consisted of six wondrous ingredients which do not exist any longer because the gods took them from the world for good. These were the sound of a cat’s footfall, the beard of a woman, the breath of a fish, the roots of a mountain, the sinews of a bear (meaning rather sensibilities in this case) and the spittle of a bird.

Fenrir did not believe them that they would set him free again after having tried the binding on him. Tyr had to put his arm in his mouth as the guarantee. That is why one of his arms is missing. And again, when Ragnarok begins, the wolf will free himself from Gleipnir and avenge this deception by devouring Odin.

In Romance languages, this day belongs to Mars, the Roman god of war (martes in Spanish, mardi in French).

Tips for Samhain #2

If children playing “Trick or Treat” from house to house is customary in your neighborhood, then get ready for the event.  Dress in a costume or mask.  Host a Halloween party.  Decorate your home with Jack-0-Lanterns, skeletons, and spooky looking decorations.

The Magick of Tuesday

Magickal Intent:
Courage
Binding
Protection
Achievement
Power
Initiation
Protection
Passion

Planet: Mars

Colors: Red, Orange

Crystal: Garnet, Ruby

Incense: Myrrh, Ginger, Cardamom

Plant: Cardamom

The Magickal Day of Tuesday

Named for the Norse god Tyr, who was a deity of heroism and combat, Tuesday is a very martial sort of day – color associations include bright red and oranges, as well as warrior-like metals such as iron and steel.

The ancient Romans called this day Martis, after the warrior god Mars – other deities associated with Tuesday include Ares, the Morrighan, and other gods of battle and glory. Red gemstones like rubies and garnets come into play on Tuesdays, as do herbs and plants such as thistles, holly, coneflowers and cacti – you’ll notice these are all sharp, prickly plants!

One of the interesting – and more than a little amusing – aspects of Tuesday magic is that in addition to war and conflict against your enemies, this is a day also associated with marriage. You can also use this day of the week for magical workings connected to protection and initiation. Use Tuesday to assert yourself, make a mark and stake your claims

Source

Patti Wigington, Paganism/Wicca Expert
Article originally published on & owned by ThoughtCo.

The Witches Guide To Tuesdays

A god, goddess, or planet governs each day of the week. It is usually easy to spot the ruler of the day by its name. The word Tuesday, however, is not so easy, but if we look at the word in Spanish, Martes, we clearly see its connections to Mars.

Because Tuesday revolves around the energy of Mars, Tuesdays are good for business, mechanical things, buying and selling animals, hunting, beginning studies, gardening, sexual activities, and confrontation. This is a day for sex magick, energy, stamina, and health. As in the old saying, Tuesdays child is full of grace, is also good for success magick and defense against enemies.

Angels of Tuesday are Camael, Samael, Satael, Amabiel, Friagne, and Hyniel. When invoked, Camael takes the form of a leopard. In Druid mythology he is a god of war, which is why we see him associated with Mars. Camael is said to be a member of the “Magnificent Seven” in some circles. Camael is another “terminator” angel.

Samael walks both worlds as a magician and sorcerer. some see him as the angel of death, others as “the bright and poisonous one.” Many consider him more of a demon, and accuse him of being Satan. However, there is reference to the satans (plural) as enforcers of the law, a sort of angelic police, if you will. Supposedly, when Samael is around, dogs howl in the night. On one hand, he is the ruler of the fifth heaven and in charge of two million angels; on the other, he is the one who changed into a serpent and convinced Eve to partake of the forbidden fruit of knowledge.

Satael is an angel of air invoked in magic rites and is the presiding spirit of the planet Mars. Amabiel is another spirit of the planet Mars; however he spends his energy on issues of human sexuality. Friagne, also an angel of this day, is invoked from the east. He is a member of the fifth heaven. Hyniel also belongs to this day and is subject to the east wind.

On Tuesdays the hour of sunrise and every eight hours after that are also ruled by Mars, and that makes these times of the day doubly blessed. These four hours are the strongest ones to do ritual in. Check your local newspaper, astrological calendar, or almanac to determine your local sunrise.

Source

Gypsy Magic

Tuesday’s Witchery

 

Tuesday is the day to work any magick that falls in the category of increasing strength, courage, bravery, and passion. All of these intense emotions are linked to this day’s energies, and spells designed around these themes will have extra punch when performed on this magickal day.

So, let’s add a little passion and conviction into your life! Break out the daring red pieces of your wardrobe, and put a little pizzazz into your day. Work with Lilith, and see what she has to teach you about personal power and sexuality. Meditate on Tiw/Tyr and Mars, and see what those ancient warrior gods will show you about new tactics, strategies, and claiming personal victories in your life. Practice conjuring up that astral weapon from the meditation and use it wisely for protection and for courage.

Create a philter for courage and protection or handcraft your own Witch’s jar to remove negativity from your home. See what other Witch crafts you can conjure up with Tuesday’s magick. Create some kitchen magick on this Tuesday by whipping up a spicy stew-add in a few Mars-associated ingredients such as carrots, peppers, and garlic. Empower the stew for success, and then treat yourself and your family to a good, hearty meal. Try working with a little aromatherapy and burn some spicy or coffee-scented candles to increase your energy level.

Check the sky at night, and see if you can find the reddish planet Mars up in the heavens. Not sure where to look? Check an astronomy magazine or search the Web for more information. Become a magickal warrior and move forward in your life with strength, courage, and compassion. Embrace the side of yourself that loves a good challenge and that is passionate and daring! Banish fear, and face your future with strength and conviction. Believe in yourself and in your dreams, work hard, and you will win every time.

Source

Book of Witchery: Spells, Charms & Correspondences for Every Day of the Week
Ellen Dugan

Tips for Samhain #3

Add some appropriate Samhain, Halloween, October songs, chants, prayers, invocations, or poems to your Neo-Pagan Craft Journal, Book of Shadows, Ritual Handbook, etc..  Write in your personal journal.  Many keep a Neo-Pagan notebook, journal or log as part of their experimental and experiential work.

The Witches Almanac for Tuesday, October 30

John Adams’s birthday

Waning Moon

Moon phase: Third Quarter

Moon Sign: Cancer

Moon enters Leo 10: 42 pm

Incense: Cedar

Color: Red

Moon in Cancer

 

The Moon is traveling through Cancer today. Beware of mood swings. Cook some soul food. Cuddle up with someone.

The restlessness of the Gemini Moon gives way to an instinctive need for peace and quiet. Feelings of belonging and safety are what motivate us under this influence. The Moon feels right at home in the sign of Cancer, as it rules the sign. This Moon position has much healing potential. Although insular by nature, our feelings run deep, making it an ideal time to get in touch with what motivates us.

The Moon in Cancer generally favors the following activities: Domestic activities, those that involve awareness of personal needs. Home decor, family get-togethers.

The Witches Correspondences for Tuesday, October 30

Tuesday (Tiw’s-day)

Planet: Mars

Colors: Red and Autumn Shades

Crystals: Bloodstone, Ruby, Garnet, Flint, Rhodonite, Iron and Steel

Aroma: Basil, Ginger, Black Pepper, Mars Oil, Dragon’s blood and patchouli

Herb: Basil

The day of Mars. This day could only ever symbolize the sheer power of the god of war! The ideal spells to be cast on this day are that of force, power war and protection.

Dedicated to the powers of the planet Mars, personified as Ares, Tiwaz, Tiw, and Tyr.

Magical aspects: controlled power, energy, and endurance, passion, sex, courage, aggression, and protection.

This is the proper day of the week to perform spells and rituals involving courage, physical strength, revenge, military honors, surgery, the breaking of negative spells, dynamic energy, matrimony, war, enemies, prison, hunting, politics, contests, protection, victory, and athletics.

Tuesday is Ruled by Mars

 

Tuesday is a Mars day, and just like the god of war, this is the time to tap into magicks to call for strength and courage. This day of the week is for rebels and warriors. If you are facing a challenge of any kind, need a boost to your courage, or want to enhance your passions, Tuesday is the day of the week for you. Some suggestions for Tuesday enchantments would include:

*Wearing the fiery colors associated with this day: scarlet, red, black, and orange. Don some of the more daring and bewitching colors of your wardrobe on Tuesdays and turn a few heads

*Carrying a bloodstone in your pocket or wearing garnet-studded jewelry to reinforce your convictions

*Working with protective and fire-associated plants such as the snapdragon, thistle, and holly to boost your shields and bravery

*Burning spicy-scented energy-enhancing candles to add a little magical aromatherapy to your home

*Cooking up a hearty meal featuring carrots, peppers, and garlic (all Mars foods and spices) to empower yourself for victory and success

The Energy of Mars

Weekday ruled by Mars: Tuesday

Stones:
Bloodstone
Garnet
Carnelian
Pink Tourmaline

Herbs and Plants:
Red Rose
Cock’s comb
Mugwort
Mullien
Nettle
Thistle
Wormwood

Magickal Intention: Courage, physical strength, revenge, military honors, surgery, breaking negative cycles, war, vitality, Assertiveness

Tips for Samhain #4

Samhain is the time when the veils to the Otherworlds are lifted.  It is an excellent time for the practice of divination, scrying, fortune telling, or reading the future.  My first choice for divination is a Tarot deck.  I prefer using the Voyager Tarot by James Wanless or the Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley.   There are many techniques and methods used for fortune telling or divination.

All About Samhain

Celebrating the Witches’ New Year

The fields are bare, the leaves have fallen from the trees, and the skies are going gray and cold. It is the time of year when the earth has died and gone dormant. Every year on October 31 (or May 1, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere) the Sabbat we call Samhain presents us with the opportunity to once more celebrate the cycle of death and rebirth. For many Pagan traditions, Samhain is a time to reconnect with our ancestors, and honor those who have died. This is the time when the veil between our world and the spirit realm is thin, so it’s the perfect time of year to make contact with the dead.

Rituals and Ceremonies

Depending on your individual spiritual path, there are many different ways you can celebrate Samhain, but typically the focus is on either honoring our ancestors, or the cycle of death and rebirth. This is the time of year when the gardens and fields are brown and dead. The nights are getting longer, there’s a chill in the air, and winter is looming. We may choose to honor our arncestors, celebrating those who have died, and even try to communicate with them. Here are a few rituals you may want to think about trying for Samhain–and remember, any of them can be adapted for either a solitary practitioner or a small group, with just a little planning ahead.

Start off by decorating your altar with symbols of the Samhain season, representing symbols of death, the harvest season, and tools of divination. You may also want to incorporate some Samhain prayers into your rituals, or perform a quiet Samhain Ancestor Meditation.

Plan your ritual festivities with ceremonies that celebrate Celebrate the Harvest’s End or honor the ancestors of your family and community. You can also perform a God and Goddess Ritual for Samhain or do a ritual that marks the Cycle of Life and Death.

If you have young Pagans in your family, there are different ways you can celebrate Samhain with kids, including planning a family Samhain Cemetery Visit.

Finally, if you’re involved in your community, consider a ritual to Honor the Forgotten Dead.

 

Samhain Magic, Divination and Spirit Work

For many Pagans, Samhain is a time to do magic that focuses on the spirit world. Learn how to properly conduct a seance, how to do some Samhain divination workings, and the way to figure out what a spirit guide is really up to!

If you’re thinking about holding a seance or a dumb supper, you’ll want to be sure to read about the different types of spirit guides and how to find yours. If you find yourself wondering about whether that spirit guide is something else entirely, you’ll need to know how to get rid of unwanted entities.

Pagans have a view of death and the afterlife that is a little different than our non-Pagan friends. In fact, divination with the spirit world is a popular magical activity around Samhain. You might want to try using a scrying mirror or even a Ouija board.

Last but not least, familiarize yourself with some of the Sacred Plants of the Samhain Sabbat.

 

Traditions and Trends

Interested in learning about some of the traditions behind the celebrations of the late harvest? Find out why Samhain is important, learn why black cats are considered unlucky, how trick-or-treating became so popular and more!

Samhain has a rich history, going back a long time. This is the season of Cailleach Bheur, the Hag in Scottish folklore, and a time when the many gods and goddesses of death and the underworld are recognized. However, keep in mind that Samhain is the name of the holiday, and not a Celtic death god.

Learn about Bat Magic and Legends, as well as some of the spooky traditions surrounding Black Cats, Jack o’Lanterns, and the practice of trick-or-treating. In many cultures, spider magic becomes prevalent around Samhain, and you may notice a lot of owl activity outside.

Because this is a time when many of us honor our dead, it’s a good time to think about how we take care of those who have crossed over, and how many Pagan societies have venerated their ancestors.

Brush up on your Samhain Superstitions, and read some spooky poems… just in case things go bump in the night! In fact, if you like vampire stories, while they’re not part of Paganism or Wicca, they definitely seem to be popular at this time of year.

 

Crafts and Creations

As Samhain approaches, decorate your home (and keep your kids entertained) with a number of easy craft projects. Start celebrating a bit early with these fun and simple ideas that honor the final harvest, and the cycle of life and death.

Bring the season into your home with these 5 Easy Samhain Decorations, or create some Magical Samhain Goodie Bags for Pagan Kids in your life.

 

Feasting and Food

No Pagan celebration is really complete without a meal to go along with it. At Samhain, celebrate with foods that celebrate the final harvest, and the death of the fields by making Soul Cakes, soups, Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake, baked apples, and even ghost poop for dessert

Patti Wigington, Author
Published on ThoughtCo.

The History Behind Samhain

Samhain is known by most folks as Halloween, but for many modern Pagans it’s considered a Sabbat to honor the ancestors who came before us, marking the dark time of the year. It’s a good time to contact the spirit world with a seance, because it’s the time when the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest.

Selena Fox of Circle Sanctuary says, “The timing of contemporary Samhain celebrations varies according to spiritual tradition and geography. Many of us celebrate Samhain over the course of several days and nights, and these extended observances usually include a series of solo rites as well as ceremonies, feasts, and gatherings with family, friends, and spiritual community. In the northern hemisphere, many Pagans celebrate Samhain from sundown on October 31 through November 1. Others hold Samhain celebrations on the nearest weekend or on the Full or New Moon closest to this time. Some Pagans observe Samhain a bit later, or near November 6, to coincide more closely with the astronomical midpoint between Fall Equinox and Winter Solstice.”

Myths and Misconceptions
Contrary to a popular Internet-based (and Chick Tract-encouraged) rumor, Samhain was not the name of some ancient Celtic god of death, or of anything else, for that matter. Religious scholars agree that the word Samhain (pronounced “sow-en”) comes from the Gaelic “Samhuin,” but they’re divided on whether it means the end or beginning of summer. After all, when summer is ending here on earth, it’s just beginning in the Underworld. Samhain actually refers to the daylight portion of the holiday, on November 1st.

All Hallow Mass
Around the eighth century or so, the Catholic Church decided to use November 1st as All Saints Day. This was actually a pretty smart move on their part – the local pagans were already celebrating that day anyway, so it made sense to use it as a church holiday. All Saints’ became the festival to honor any saint who didn’t already have a day of his or her own. The mass which was said on All Saints’ was called Allhallowmas – the mass of all those who are hallowed. The night before naturally became known as All Hallows Eve, and eventually morphed into what we call Halloween.

The Witches’ New Year
Sunset on Samhain is the beginning of the Celtic New Year. The old year has passed, the harvest has been gathered, cattle and sheep have been brought in from the fields, and the leaves have fallen from the trees. The earth slowly begins to die around us.

This is a good time for us to look at wrapping up the old and preparing for the new in our lives. Think about the things you did in the last twelve months. Have you left anything unresolved? If so, now is the time to wrap things up. Once you’ve gotten all that unfinished stuff cleared away, and out of your life, then you can begin looking towards the next year.

Honoring the Ancestors
For some of us, Samhain is when we honor our ancestors who came before us. If you’ve ever done genealogy research, or if you’ve had a loved one die in the past year, this is the perfect night to celebrate their memory. If we’re fortunate, they will return to communicate with us from beyond the veil, and offer advice, protection and guidance for the upcoming year.

If you want to celebrate Samhain in the Celtic tradition, spread the festivities out over three consecutive days. You can hold a ritual and feast each night. Be flexible, though, so you can work around trick-or-treating schedules!

Samhain Rituals
Try one—or all—of these rituals to celebrate Samhain and welcome the new year.
Celebrating the End of the Harvest
Samhain Ritual for Animals
Honoring the Ancestors
Hold a Seance at Samhain
Host a Dumb Supper
Honor the God and Goddess at Samhain
Celebrating the Cycle of Life and Death
Ancestor Meditation

Halloween Traditions
Even if you’re celebrating Samhain as a Pagan holiday, you may want to read up on some of the traditions of the secular celebration of Halloween. After all, this is the season of black cats, jack o’lanterns, and trick or treating!

And if you’re worried that somehow you shouldn’t celebrate Halloween because it’s somehow disrespectful to your Pagan belief system, don’t worry – it’s entirely up to you, and you can celebrate if you like… or not! Go ahead and decorate to your heart’s content; you’re even allowed to have silly green-skinned witch decorations.

Patti Wigington, Author
Published on ThoughtCo.

Ritual to Honor the Ancestors at Samhain

For many modern Pagans, there has been a resurgence of interest in our family histories. We want to know where we came from and whose blood runs through our veins. Although ancestor worship has traditionally been found more in Africa and Asia, many Pagans with European heritage are beginning to feel the call of their ancestry. This rite can be performed either by itself, or on the third night of Samhain, following an End of Harvest celebration and a ritual to honor animals.

Decorating Your Altar

First, decorate your altar table — you may have already gotten it set up during the End of Harvest rite or for the Ritual for Animals. Decorate your altar with family photos and heirlooms. If you have a family tree chart, place that on there as well. Add postcards, flags, and other symbols of the country your ancestors came from. If you’re lucky enough to live near where your family members are buried, make a grave rubbing and add that as well. In this case, a cluttered altar is perfectly acceptable — after all, each of us is a blend of many different people and cultures.

Family Meal
Have a meal standing by to eat with the ritual. Include lots of dark bread, apples, fall vegetables, and a jug of cider or wine. Set your dinner table, with a place for each family member, and one extra plate for the ancestors. You may want to bake some Soul Cakes.

If your family has household guardians, include statues or masks of them on your altar.

Finally, if a relative has died this year, place a candle for them on the altar. Light candles for other relatives, and as you do so, say the person’s name aloud. It’s a good idea to use tealights for this, particularly if you have a lot of relatives to honor.

Once all the candles have been lit, the entire family should circle the altar.

The oldest adult present leads the ritual. Say:

This is the night when the gateway between
our world and the spirit world is thinnest.
Tonight is a night to call out those who came before us.
Tonight we honor our ancestors.
Spirits of our ancestors, we call to you,
and we welcome you to join us for this night.
We know you watch over us always,
protecting us and guiding us,
and tonight we thank you.
We invite you to join us and share our meal.

The oldest family member then serves everyone else a helping of whatever dishes have been prepared, except for the wine or cider. A serving of each food goes on the ancestors’ plate before the other family members receive it. During the meal, share stories of ancestors who are no longer among the living — this is the time to remember Grandpa’s war stories he told you as a child, tell about when Aunt Millie used salt instead of sugar in the cake, or reminisce about summers spent at the family homestead in the mountains.

Reciting Your Genealogy
When everyone has finished eating, clear away all the dishes, except for the ancestors’ plate. Pour the cider or wine in a cup, and pass it around the circle (it should end at the ancestor’s place). As each person receives the cup, they recite their genealogy, like so:

I am Susan, daughter of Joyce, the daughter of Malcolm, son of Jonathan…

and so forth. Feel free to add in place names if you like, but be sure to include at least one generation that is deceased. For younger family members, you may wish to have them only recite back to their grandparents, just because otherwise they can get confused.

Go back as many generations as you can, or (in the case of people who have done a lot of genealogy research) as many as you can remember. You may be able to trace your family back to William the Conqueror, but that doesn’t mean you have it memorized. After each person recites their ancestry, they drink from the cider cup and pass it to the next person.

A quick note here — many people are adopted. If you are one them, you are fortunate enough to be able to choose whether you wish to honor your adoptive family, your biological family, or a combination of the two.

If you don’t know the names of your birth parents or their ancestry, there’s nothing wrong with saying, “Daughter of a family unknown.” It’s entirely up to you. The spirits of your ancestors know who you are, even if you don’t know them yet.

After the cup has made its way around the table, place it in front of the ancestors’ plate. This time, a younger person in the family takes over, saying:

This is the cup of remembrance.
We remember all of you.
You are dead but never forgotten,
and you live on within us.

Tips
If you didn’t do a separate ritual for animals, you can add photos and candles for deceased pets to your family altar.
If you like, you may wish to follow this ritual with a Seance.
If your children are younger, and you’d like to include them in a short ritual, consider holding an Ancestor Ritual for Families With Children instead.

Patti Wigington, Author
Published on ThoughtCo.

Samhain Ancestor Meditation

Calling Upon the Ancient Ones

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 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, or 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 — as well as your 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, probably 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 expectations or apologies, and know that they are watching over you.

Patti Wigington, Author
Published on ThoughtCo.

Samhain Ritual to Honor the Animals

This ceremony is designed to honor the spirits of the animals, both wild and domestic. Man’s relationship with animals goes back thousands and thousands of years. They have been a source of food and clothing. They have protected us from the things that lurk in the darkness. They have provided comfort and warmth. In some cases, they have even raised and nurtured our discarded children, as in the case of Romulus and Remus.

If you have animals in your home–pets or livestock–this is their night. Feed them before you feed the humans in your family. Put some food out for any wild animals that may happen by as well. If you have a pet that has passed away during this last year, you may want to include a photo or keepsake of them on your table during this rite.

Prepare a stew for your family that includes small amounts of as many different meats as you may have available–beef, pork, game, chicken, etc.–after all, most animals are carnivores. If your family is vegetarian or vegan, designate a non-meat ingredient to represent each animal and adapt the ritual as needed, eliminating lines that reference the eating of animals. When your stew is ready, gather the family around the altar table.

Place the stew pot in the center of the table, with a large serving spoon or ladle. Make sure you have some good dark bread to eat as well. Each member of the family should have a bowl and spoon handy. Say:

Samhain has come, and it is the end of the Harvest.
The crops are in from the fields,
And the animals are preparing for the coming winter.
Tonight, we honor the animals in our lives.
Some have died that we may eat.
Some have provided us with love.
Some have protected us from that which would do us harm.
Tonight, we thank them all.

Go around the family in a circle. Each person should take a scoop of stew from the pot and place it in their bowl. Younger children may need an adult’s help with this. As each person gets their helping, say:

Blessed are the animals,
Those who die that we may eat.
Blessed are the animals,
Those we love and who love us in return.

As the Wheel of the Year continues to turn,
The harvest has ended, and the grain has been threshed.
The animals sleep for the winter.
We thank them for their gifts.

Take your time finishing your meal. If you have pets, don’t be surprised if they come visit while you’re eating your stew tonight–animals tend to be very aware of the spiritual plane! If there is any stew left over, leave some out for the spirits. Any extra bread can be thrown outside for the wild animals and birds.

Patti Wigington, Author
Published on ThoughtCo.

The classic colors of the holiday are orange and black. As Witches, what doe these colors mean to us? We have orange to symbolize the sun as it sets, the magick of the Samhain bonfire flames, brilliant fall foliage and the color pumpkins.

Orange is a color that magickally brings energy and vibrancy to any spell. It is also linked to communication and restoring energy and bringing abundance. What better color than pumpkin orange, at this time of year, to work magick with and for communicating with the spirits of those who have passed on before?

Now, the color black symbolizes the Crone, midnight, bindings, banishings, and protection magick. This is a power color and a popular one with all magick users. On a practical note, being dressed in an ebony cape or cloak allowed practitioners in the old days to blend into thenight and not be seen. This came in handy for traveling about, whether they were gathering components for a spell or traveling to a coven meeting.

The color black actually absorbs energy (which makes it popular for protection work) and it is all colors combined. Black is a potent shade to incorporate into your sabbat spells and charms. There is something mysterious and magickal about the midnight hue. From a dark night sky to the deepest, richest soils to the classic cast-iron cauldron, the color black is a powerful tool.

Seasons of Witchery: Celebrating the Sabbats with the Garden Witch
Ellen Dugan

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