WOTC Extra – Making Your Own Ritual Robe

Witchy Comments & Graphics

WOTC Extra – Making Your Own Ritual Robe

Many Wiccans and Pagans prefer to perform ceremonies and rituals in special robes. If you’re part of a coven or group, your robe might have to be a certain color or style. In some traditions, the color of the robe indicates the level of training a practitioner has. For many people, donning the ritual robe is a way of separating themselves from the mundane business of everyday life — it’s a way of stepping into the ritual mindset, of walking from the mundane world into the magical world. Most people prefer to wear nothing at all under their ritual robe, but do what is comfortable for you.

It’s not uncommon to have robes for the different seasons, symbolizing the turning Wheel of the Year. You can make one in blue for spring, green for summer, brown for fall, and white for winter — or any other colors that symbolize the seasons for you. Do take the time to put some thought into your color selection — it used to be that most Wiccans wore white robes, but many people prefer to use earth tones, because it’s a way of establishing one’s connection with nature. Some people choose to avoid black, because it sometimes has negative connotations, but use the color that feels right for you.

Anyone can make a robe of their own, and it’s not hard to do. If you can sew a straight line, you can make a robe. First of all, for experienced sewers, there are a number of excellent commercially available patterns out there. You can check catalogs at your local fabric store under “Costumes”, which is where most of the good robes are hiding out, especially in the “historical” and “Renaissance” categories. Here are some that look nice and can be made without too much sewing experience:

* Simplicity 4795: Believe it or not, this is a set of patterns for a passion play. There’s an angel design in here that’s fantastic for a ritual robe. You may want to reduce the drop in the sleeves a bit, though, just to keep from setting yourself on fire while lighting candles.
* Simplicity 3623: This pattern is for a Scottish-themed costume, complete with tam. However, it also includes a pattern for a muslin underdress to be worn beneath the bodice and skirt — this makes a great ritual robe, and can be assembled in just a couple of hours.
* Simplicity 3616: Sure, the wizard costume seems campy, but if you eliminate the trim and the long white beard, it makes a version of the ritual robe that is far more masculine than some of the other patterns.
* McCalls 4490: For more advanced sewers, this lovely Renaissance-style dress can easily be adapted for a ritual robe.

To make a basic robe without buying a pattern, you can follow these simple steps. You’ll need the following:

* A piece of material in the color of your choice — make sure you select something that will be easy to sew and comfortable to wear. On the average, you’ll need about three yards, but if you’re heavyset or extra-tall, add in some more. A flat bedsheet is actually the perfect size for this.
* Scissors, thread, tailor’s chalk, and a measuring tape.
* A sewing machine.
* A length of cord or light rope, approximately 6 feet long.

You’ll need some help for this first step, because you need to measure yourself from wrist to wrist with your arms outstretched. Unless you have a third arm, get a friend to do this for you. This measurement will be Measurement A. Next, figure the distance from the nape of your neck to a point even with your ankle — this will be Measurement B. Fold the fabric in half (if the material has a print on it, fold it with the pattern side in). Using your A and B measurements, cut out along the lines indicated in Figure 1, making a sort-of T-shape. Don’t cut out along the top fold — that’s the part that will go along the top of the arms and shoulders.

Next, cut a hole for your head (X) at the center of Measurement A. Don’t make it too big, or your robe will slide off your shoulders! On each side, sew along the underside of the sleeve, leaving an opening at Y for the arms (Figure 2). Then sew from the armpit down to the bottom of the robe. Turn your robe right-side out, try it on, and adjust it for length if needed.

Finally, add a cord around the waist, as shown in Figure 3. In some traditions the cord may be knotted to indicate degrees of training or education. In others, it acts simply as a belt to keep the robe from flapping around during ritual. You can also add trim, beadwork, or magical symbols to your robe. Personalize it, and make it yours. You may also wish to consecrate your robe before wearing it for the first time.

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Today’s Quiz – ‘What Mask Do You Wear?’

What Mask Do You Wear? Quiz

One of the first steps toward creating a life that fills us with joy and  contentment is recognizing the role we play that may be keeping us confined in  unhappy, unsatisfying patterns of behavior. Most of us learned our roles early  in childhood, but after a certain point, those masks we wear stopped helping us.  Which mask do you wear?

Take this quiz to see which role you play. You may recognize the masks your  loved ones wear, too!

1. Do you often find yourself thinking, “It should be like THIS” or “They’re  doing it WRONG”?

2. Does your striving for perfection sometimes drive you crazy?

3. Do you feel like you will never be good enough?

4. Do you often tell yourself, “I can’t help it” or “It’s not my fault”?

5. Do you find yourself looking to the past and thinking, “It would have been  alright if only. . .”

6. Do you look to the future and think “Everything will be alright  when. . .”

7. Do you sometimes do things because you think you should or you feel  obligated to, but you really don’t want to?

8. Do you commonly tell yourself that making others happy is more important  than what you need or feel?

9. Do you often say yes when you really want to say no?

10. Do you often rush in to help people and fix it for them?

If you answered “yes” to 1, 2 or 3, you may be wearing the mask of the  Judge. The Judge is the mouthpiece of the Demon of Perfection that says,  no matter how good it gets, it will never be good enough.

 

If you answered “yes” to 4, 5, or 6, you may be wearing the mask of the  Victim. The Victim makes up “poor me” stories and is rarely in a state of  gratitude or in the present moment.

If you answered “yes” to 7, 8, 9, 10, or 11, you may be wearing the mask of  the Prostitute/Rescuer. The Prostitute pretends to be anything you want  her to be, compromising herself to get what she wants–which is usually love and  acceptance. She hides the truth of how she really feels. The Rescuer is the more  respectable face of this mask–the Nurse endlessly mopping the brows of the  wounded, the Hero rushing in to make everything better. The problem with this  mask is that it subtly (or not so subtly!) tells people, “I don’t respect you  enough to believe you can do this yourself.”

There is no shame in having learned to play one of these roles. Most of us  did. But we can all learn how to gently put aside the masks that hide our  authentic selves

 

How The Various Astrology Signs Go Trick-or-Treating

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How The Various Astrology Signs Go Trick-or-Treating

Aries pushes the others aside to get to the door first.

Taurus will only eat the finest of Swiss chocolates.

Gemini goes around the neighborhood once, changes costumes and goes around again.

Cancer stays at home and gives candy to the other trick-or-treaters.

Leos plan their costume for months, then won’t go out because someone else had the same idea.

Virgo wears a neatly-pressed suit and tells everyone they’re a bookkeeper.

Libra is still standing in front of the closet trying to decide on a costume.

Scorpio isn’t in it for the candy.

Sagittarius will manage to wander to the next town.

Capricorn makes a list of all the houses that give good candy and the optimal route to take.

Aquarius builds the costume out of spare flashlights and spends all night tinkering when it shorts.

Pisces skips the whole thing to compose poetry to the Moon.

Funniest Jokes On The Internet

 

Halloween Costumes for the Zodiac

Halloween Costumes for the Zodiac

Spooky, sexy or silly?

Astrology reveals your sign’s best costume

Jeff Kishner     Jeff Kishner on the topics of halloween, astrology

A person’s Sun sign often reflects their inner hopes and dreams. Halloween costumes are an exciting opportunity to bring these fantasy lives to the surface.

Some say the veil to the otherworld is lifted this time of year, so not only can you tap into your insight more easily with a Tarot reading, but you can have a little fun role playing, too.

If you’re stuck for Halloween costume ideas, check out the list below. It could provide you with the perfect outfit to express your inner demons!

Aries (March 21 – April 19)

Your sign is ruled by Mars, the warrior of the zodiac. Dress up as a gladiator or a luchador (a Mexican wrestler). Aries is also the sign of courage, so a police officer, firefighter or military officer uniform would help you express your inner Ram. Superhero costumes are also popular this year, and bold Aries is perfectly suited to take on Superman, Batman or Iron Man.

Taurus (April 20 – May 20)

Your sign is known for earthy beauty, from sensuous curves to brawny muscles. Dress up as Miss America, who made a huge splash this year, or Mr. Universe to show off what you’ve got. You can also dress up as Poison Ivy or a walking tree to channel the Bull’s love for green pastures. Taurus also loves to indulge, so don’t hesitate to dress yourself up like a sweet cupcake!

Gemini (May 21 – June 20)

What better way to dress up than to be Siamese Twins with your best bud or girlfriend? You can literally be joined at the hip! You could also go as famous real-life Twins, such as Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Or a famous real-life Gemini, Angelina Jolie. Gemini is also an androgynous sign, so be a half-man/half-woman creature … or just go in drag!

Cancer (June 21 – July 22)

Your sentimental sign loves the homeland, so express your patriotism as the Statue of Liberty, Uncle Sam or America’s true ancestor, a Native American. Cancer also loves food, so dress up as an oversized banana or a milk carton. You can also pay tribute by dressing up as real-life Cancer Princess Diana, or embrace your sign’s nurturing instincts to dress as a famous mom, like Carol Brady or Octomom!

Leo (July 23 – Aug. 22)

What better way to channel your sign’s mascot than as the Lion from The Wizard of Oz, or in a sexy cat costume? And of course, glamorous Leo rules over royalty and stars, so dress up as a king, queen or just wear tons of gold. Or go as an A-list celebrity or movie star, like Marilyn Monroe or Elvis.

Virgo (Aug. 23 – Sept. 22)

This perfectionistic, word-loving sign can express its erotic earthiness as a sexy librarian. Virgo is also associated with Demeter, the grain goddess … so a chaff of wheat may be right up your alley. Virgo is a great pet lover, so you could dress up as an animal — a cat or dog or even a fox costume, which are selling out this year. Or go as a classic Virgo good-girl, like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz — and don’t forget her pet, Toto!

Libra (Sept. 23 – Oct. 22)

What better way to bring balance to this holiday than to dress up as Justice? A scale in each hand would help you make sure everyone gets their equal share of candy, especially if you’re dressed up as Judge Judy. Or put on your best threads and say you’re a fashion guru or interior designer. Libra is also the sign that most loves to shop, so dress up as a shopoholic with tons of boxes and bags and you’ll feel right at home.

Scorpio (Oct. 23 – Nov. 21)

Your sign is the private investigator of the zodiac, so you may want to dress up as Sherlock Holmes, Nancy Drew or Inspector Gadget. Scorpio also rules the underworld — so going all-out as your favorite Mafioso will do, whether it’s Tony Soprano or Al Capone. Scorpio is also perfect for so many dark, creepy Halloween costumes — the Grim Reaper, Darth Vader and the Devil will do. Or you could be a zombie prom queen, a skeleton or a corpse bride!

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 – Dec. 21)

The adventurer of the zodiac may want to dress up as Indiana Jones or Lara Croft. Sagittarians also love to make people laugh, so donning a clown costume or the silliest outfit you can find will be good for a few chuckles. The sign of the Archer is also perfectly suited to play a huntress from The Hunger Games, like Katniss Everdeen — just don’t forget your bow!

Capricorn (Dec. 22 – Jan. 19)

The businessman of the zodiac may want to put on a power suit and a funny hairpiece to look like Donald Trump. Strong women, such as Hillary Clinton or Joan of Ark, are also well-suited to your sign. Capricorn also excels at building, so a construction worker’s outfit — make sure you wear a helmet — will help you blast through any crowd. You could also be a superhero, as Capricorn is known for its nearly superhuman strength of character!

Aquarius (Jan. 20 – Feb. 18)

Aquarius rules outer space, so what better way to celebrate Halloween than as an astronaut … or a space alien? Dress up as a scientist in a lab coat and taped glasses to channel this sign’s intellectual bent, or put on fake tattoos and piercings to show your inner rebel. Robots, like in Dr. Who or Star Wars — think R2D2 and C3P0 — are perfect for your quirky sign!

Pisces (Feb. 19 – March 20)

Your sign’s ruling planet, Neptune, commands the sea. Dress up as a mermaid or King of the Sea (carry your trident, or three-pronged spear!). Artistic Pisces would also love to be a ballerina, painter or poet for Halloween. Or wear soft flowing fabrics to be the Muse. Pisces is also known as the most psychic sign of the zodiac, so a gypsy fortune teller Halloween costume would be perfect!

A Little Humor for Your Day – Trick Or Treat By Your Astrological Sign

Trick Or Treat By Your Astrological Sign

Aries Pushes the others aside to get to the door first.

Taurus Will only eat the finest of Swiss chocolates.

Gemini Goes around the neighborhood once, changes costumes and goes around again.

Cancer Stays at home and gives candy to the other trick-or-treaters.

Leo Plans their costume for months, then won’t go out because someone else had the same idea.

Virgo Wears a neatly-pressed suit and tells everyone they’re a bookkeeper.

Libra Is still standing in front of the closet trying to decide on a costume.

Scorpio Isn’t in it for the candy.

Sagittarius Will manage to wander to the next town.

Capricorn Makes a list of all the houses that give good candy and the optimal route to take.

Aquarius Builds their costume out of spare flashlights and spends all night tinkering when it shorts.

Pisces Skips the whole thing to compose poetry to the Moon.

Turok’s Cabana

A Little Humor for Your Day – Top Reason Trick-or-Treat is Better Than Sex

The Top 10 Reasons Why Trick-or-Treating Is Better Than Sex

10. You are guaranteed to get at least a little something in the sack.

9.  If you get tired, you can wait 10 minutes and go at it again.

8.  The uglier you look, the easier it is to get some.

7.  You don’t have to compliment the person who gives it to you.

6.  It’s OK if the person you’re with fantasizes that you are someone else because, well…, you are.

5.  Forty years from now, you’ll still enjoy candy.

4.  If you don’t like what you get, you can always go next door.

3.  It doesn’t matter if the kids hear ya moaning and groaning.

2.  Less guilt the morning after.

AND THE NUMBER ONE REASON IS….

You can do the whole neighborhood!

 

Turok’s Cabana

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.

Halloween: The Past in the Present

Halloween: The Past in the Present
by Elspeth Sapphire

The days are shortening and dark comes early.  There is a certain crispness to the air as we stroll the streets.  Before long, the leaves are turning bright colors, only to slowly drift down to cover yards and streets.

Yes, autumn is here.

And with autumn comes a holiday enjoyed by both old and young…Halloween.

What is the appeal of this night?  Why do we find people ranging from infants to grandparents donning costumes and for one night forgetting the mundane?

Halloween, or Samhain to the Pagans, has caught the imagination of people throughout the ages.  From the ancient rituals honoring the dead to our modern custom of trick or treating, this one night is our time to put aside any fear of the dark and embrace any that walk there as welcome. Halloween costumes have become a huge part of the tradition of Halloween now as well to remind people what we used to fear and to have a little fun with it.

The ancients chose this time of year to celebrate the dead. The harvests were done and the fields laid empty.  The days of sun were at a end and the days of dark were beginning.  What better time to celebrate the powers of darkness.

This was not a celebration of fear; not always has darkness equaled fear.  Instead for those who believed in rebirth, it was a time to reach and touch those beliefs.  Just as the fields now laid bare, they would flower again in the spring.  And so it was with us, dying only to be reborn.

So many of our Halloween customs can be traced to the past and the habits of our ancestors.  Each time I look at the jack-o- lanterns shining with devilish grins, I can picture the original lanterns.  Turnips were hollowed out and candles placed inside to protect them from the wind.  These lanterns were placed on window sills to guide the dead back to their kin.

Since the apple harvest was celebrated at this same time, apples often played an important place in the festivals.  When you bob for apples or dangle apples on strings, you are walking in the footsteps of other people and other times.

What would Halloween be without costumes and masks?  Yet, have many of us wondered why we so enjoying the wearing of costumes? Dressing up frees us from the ties of our everyday life.  For a brief moment of time, we become a princess or an Indian or a cartoon character.  This gives us a freedom of action that we normally wouldn’t have.

Masks have also long been associated with death and the gods. Was early man trying to understand death when he put on a mask of a dead one? Perhaps, donning a mask could put us in touch with the gods themselves.

The black cat, familiar to many a storybook witch, was priced because cats could sense the dead.  They could be used as a kind of early warning system.  Why black cats?  What better color for this time when the darkness rules?

Every where I look, I come face to face with the stereotyped image of the witch.  Wicked or not, they all looked alike: greenish skin, a wart, misshapened face, dressed all in black. In these days of striving for the politically correct, many are trying to remove this image from Halloween celebrations.  I guess they don’t see what I do.  I look at the Halloween witches and remember pictures of the dark Goddess, dressed in black and with her high pointed hat.  She would wait at the crossroads to guide the dead to their rest until the time of rebirth.  Evil?  I don’t believe so, anymore than I believe death is evil.  Instead it is one more symbol that has passed down through the years to spice October 31st.

Just look around.  We are surrounded by symbols of the past that we take for granted.  The brooms the witches rode.  The cauldrons that bubbled with potions vile.  Even trick or treating could be traced back to Celts who went house to house collecting treats of apples.

It has been truly said that there is nothing new under the sun. However, this doesn’t have to hinder our enjoyment.  On Halloween night, you can find me walking the night.  Without fear, I will travel, listening to the laughter of the children, as I go back to another time and place.

Halloween Costumes for the Zodiac

Halloween Costumes for the Zodiac

Spooky, sexy or silly? Astrology reveals your sign’s best costume

Jeff Kishner   Jeff Kishner on the topics of halloween, astrology

A person’s Sun sign often reflects their inner hopes and dreams. Halloween costumes are an exciting opportunity to bring these fantasy lives to the surface.

Some say the veil to the otherworld is lifted this time of year, so not only can you tap into your insight more easily with a Tarot reading, but you can have a little fun role playing, too.

If you’re stuck for Halloween costume ideas, check out the list below. It could provide you with the perfect outfit to express your inner demons!

Aries (March 21 – April 19)

Your sign is ruled by Mars, the warrior of the zodiac. Dress up as a gladiator or a luchador (a Mexican wrestler). Aries is also the sign of courage, so a police officer, firefighter or military officer uniform would help you express your inner Ram. Superhero costumes are also popular this year, and bold Aries is perfectly suited to take on Superman, Batman or Iron Man.

Taurus (April 20 – May 20)

Your sign is known for earthy beauty, from sensuous curves to brawny muscles. Dress up as Miss America, who made a huge splash this year, or Mr. Universe to show off what you’ve got. You can also dress up as Poison Ivy or a walking tree to channel the Bull’s love for green pastures. Taurus also loves to indulge, so don’t hesitate to dress yourself up like a sweet cupcake!

Gemini (May 21 – June 20)

What better way to dress up than to be Siamese Twins with your best bud or girlfriend? You can literally be joined at the hip! You could also go as famous real-life Twins, such as Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Or a famous real-life Gemini, Angelina Jolie. Gemini is also an androgynous sign, so be a half-man/half-woman creature … or just go in drag!

Cancer (June 21 – July 22)

Your sentimental sign loves the homeland, so express your patriotism as the Statue of Liberty, Uncle Sam or America’s true ancestor, a Native American. Cancer also loves food, so dress up as an oversized banana or a milk carton. You can also pay tribute by dressing up as real-life Cancer Princess Diana, or embrace your sign’s nurturing instincts to dress as a famous mom, like Carol Brady or Octomom!

Leo (July 23 – Aug. 22)

What better way to channel your sign’s mascot than as the Lion from The Wizard of Oz, or in a sexy cat costume? And of course, glamorous Leo rules over royalty and stars, so dress up as a king, queen or just wear tons of gold. Or go as an A-list celebrity or movie star, like Marilyn Monroe or Elvis.

Virgo (Aug. 23 – Sept. 22)

This perfectionistic, word-loving sign can express its erotic earthiness as a sexy librarian. Virgo is also associated with Demeter, the grain goddess … so a chaff of wheat may be right up your alley. Virgo is a great pet lover, so you could dress up as an animal — a cat or dog or even a fox costume, which are selling out this year. Or go as a classic Virgo good-girl, like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz — and don’t forget her pet, Toto!

Libra (Sept. 23 – Oct. 22)

What better way to bring balance to this holiday than to dress up as Justice? A scale in each hand would help you make sure everyone gets their equal share of candy, especially if you’re dressed up as Judge Judy. Or put on your best threads and say you’re a fashion guru or interior designer. Libra is also the sign that most loves to shop, so dress up as a shopoholic with tons of boxes and bags and you’ll feel right at home.

Scorpio (Oct. 23 – Nov. 21)

Your sign is the private investigator of the zodiac, so you may want to dress up as Sherlock Holmes, Nancy Drew or Inspector Gadget. Scorpio also rules the underworld — so going all-out as your favorite Mafioso will do, whether it’s Tony Soprano or Al Capone. Scorpio is also perfect for so many dark, creepy Halloween costumes — the Grim Reaper, Darth Vader and the Devil will do. Or you could be a zombie prom queen, a skeleton or a corpse bride!

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 – Dec. 21)

The adventurer of the zodiac may want to dress up as Indiana Jones or Lara Croft. Sagittarians also love to make people laugh, so donning a clown costume or the silliest outfit you can find will be good for a few chuckles. The sign of the Archer is also perfectly suited to play a huntress from The Hunger Games, like Katniss Everdeen — just don’t forget your bow!

Capricorn (Dec. 22 – Jan. 19)

The businessman of the zodiac may want to put on a power suit and a funny hairpiece to look like Donald Trump. Strong women, such as Hillary Clinton or Joan of Ark, are also well-suited to your sign. Capricorn also excels at building, so a construction worker’s outfit — make sure you wear a helmet — will help you blast through any crowd. You could also be a superhero, as Capricorn is known for its nearly superhuman strength of character!

Aquarius (Jan. 20 – Feb. 18)

Aquarius rules outer space, so what better way to celebrate Halloween than as an astronaut … or a space alien? Dress up as a scientist in a lab coat and taped glasses to channel this sign’s intellectual bent, or put on fake tattoos and piercings to show your inner rebel. Robots, like in Dr. Who or Star Wars — think R2D2 and C3P0 — are perfect for your quirky sign!

Pisces (Feb. 19 – March 20)

Your sign’s ruling planet, Neptune, commands the sea. Dress up as a mermaid or King of the Sea (carry your trident, or three-pronged spear!). Artistic Pisces would also love to be a ballerina, painter or poet for Halloween. Or wear soft flowing fabrics to be the Muse. Pisces is also known as the most psychic sign of the zodiac, so a gypsy fortune teller Halloween costume would be perfect!