Calendar of the Moon for December 11th

Calendar of the Moon
11 Ruis/Poseideion

Day of the Underworld II

Color: Grey
Element: Earth
Altar: The altar should be the same as the night before, with the vinegar water replenished if necessary. Something made of rotting flesh should be placed on the altar, for scent.
Offerings: Whatever the Gods tell you.
Daily Meal: Fasting tonight, until the next morning.

Underworld Invocation II

We are the stricken, dying with death,
Shrouded with weeds, wrapped in our loss,
Silent we wait, clouded by tears,
Torn by the wind, ragged with mist.
Where we are wounded
There is no healing.
Where we decay
Nothing is sound.
Ravaged by night, abandoned by day,
Silent we wait, shadows of grey.
Old in our broken houses of flesh,
Old among ruined pillars of Sun,
Old as the halls to which we descend,
Old as this dark that does not end.
Call: Tonight we go under the ground.
Response: Tonight we are as corpses in the Earth.
Call: On this night, and the next, and the next, we are dead.
Response: On this night, we feel our bodies as they rot.
Call: On this night, we praise the worms and the beetles.
Response: On this night, we learn about the grave.
Call: On this night, we learn that Earth is silence.
Response: On this night, we learn that Earth welcomes us home.
Call: Receive us, Guardians of the Gate!
Response: Receive us, Lords of Death!

(All kneel before the altar for a long time, meditating on rot and decay. The chalice is passed, and all take a sip. Then all rise and leave in silence. That night, each should place under their pillow some dried weeds, or a handful of earth from a graveyard, for a reminder.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

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Celebrating Spirituality 365 Days A Year – Lunantshees

Fantasy Comments & Graphics
 
November 11 and 12

Lunantshees

This day has been set aside to honor the Fairy, an important element in most Irish folklore and mythology. For the Irish, the Fairy is believed to be the decedent of the small, dark, Neolithic people who invaded early Europe. Being small and dark and living close to the land allowed them to quickly hide from their enemies. This ability along with their elusive mannerisms, led people to believe they were capable of magick, shape-shifting and invisibility.

Magickal Activities

Fairy Dust

Grind the following herbs into a fine powder:

1 Tbs. Woodruff

1 Tbs. Rose petal

1 Tbs. Meadowsweet

1 Tbs. Clover

1 Tbs. Jasmine

Place the powder in a dark blue jar. Inscribe the following symbol on the jar:

Hold the jar tightly against your heart as you chant nine times:

Nature spirits and Fairy friends,
Bless this dust to serve my ends.
I place my trust and faith in thee,
To bring me love, wealth and prosperity.
 

Lightly dust the bed with the powder to increase passion and love. Place some of the powder near the threshold of a business to attract new customers, and sprinkle some around the perimeter or your home to create an atmosphere of happiness and good will.

Today’s Tarot Card for November 10 is Temperance

Temperance

Sunday, Nov 10th, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is traditionally known as the Temperance card is a reference to the Soul. Classically female, she is mixing up a blend of subtle energies for the evolution of the personality. One key to interpreting this card can be found in its title, a play on the process of tempering metals in a forge.

Metals must undergo extremes of temperature, folding and pounding, but the end product is infinitely superior to impure ore mined from the earth. In this image, the soul volunteers the ego for a cleansing and healing experience which may turn the personality inside-out, but which brings out the gold hidden within the heart. (This card is entitled “Art” in the Crowley deck.)

Banshee

Banshee 

The Banshee from the Irish bean sí (“woman of the side” or “woman of the faerie mounds”) is a female spirit in Irish mythology, usually seen as an omen of death and a messenger from the Otherworld. Her Scottish counterpart is the bean shith (also spelled bean-shidh) The asos sí (“people of the mounds”, “people of peace”) are variously believed to be the survivals of pre-Christian Gaelic deities, spirits of nature, or the ancestors. Some Theosophists and Celtic Christians have also referred to the aos sí as “fallen angels”. They are commonly referred to in English as “faeries”, and the banshee can also be described as a “fairy woman”.

In Irish legend, a banshee wails around a house if someone in the house is about to die. There are particular families who are believed to have Banshees attached to them, and whose cries herald the death of a member of that family. Traditionally, when a citizen of an Irish village died, a woman would sing a lament (in Irish: caoineadh, [ˈkiːnʲə] or [ˈkiːnʲuː], “caoin” meaning “to weep, to wail”) at their funeral. These women singers are sometimes referred to as “keeners” and the best keeners would be in much in demand. Legend has it that, for five great Gaelic families: the O’Gradys, the O’Neills, the O’Briens, the O’Connors, and the Kavanaghs, the lament would be sung by a fairy woman; having foresight, she would sing the lament when a family member died, even if the person had died far away and news of their death had not yet come, so that the wailing of the banshee was the first warning the household had of the death. In later versions the banshee might appear before the death and warn the family by wailing. When several banshees appeared at once, it indicated the death of someone great or holy. The tales sometimes recounted that the woman, though called a fairy, was a ghost, often of a specific murdered woman, or a woman who died in childbirth.

Banshees are frequently described as dressed in white or grey, and often having long, fair hair which they brush with a silver comb, a detail scholar Patricia Lysaght attributes to confusion with local mermaid myths. This comb detail is also related to the centuries-old traditional romantic Irish story that, if you ever see a comb lying on the ground in Ireland, you must never pick it up, or the banshees (or mermaids – stories vary), having placed it there to lure unsuspecting humans, will spirit such gullible humans away. Other stories portray banshees as dressed in green, red or black with a grey cloak.

Today’s Tarot Card for Nov. 9th is The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man

Saturday, Nov 9th, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Traditionally, the card known as the Hanged Man usually indicates a lack of ability to help oneself through independent action. This energy is arrested and awaiting judgment. With this card, there is no avenue for the will to regain control until the situation has passed.

This represents a good time to be philosophical, to study and meditate upon the position you find yourself in, and form resolutions for the moment you become free again. Only those who possess wisdom, patience and optimism will be able to see through limitations, including possible humiliation, to grasp the inspiring lesson one can gain from such an experience.

Daily OM for November 1st – The Death and Rebirth of Self

The Death and Rebirth of Self
Life Transitions

 

by Madisyn Taylor

 

Sometimes a part of us must die before another part can come to life.

 

Sometimes a part of us must die before another part can come to life. Even though this is a natural and necessary part of our growth, it is often painful or, if we don’t realize what’s happening, confusing and disorienting. In fact, confusion and disorientation are often the messengers that tell us a shift is taking place within us. These shifts happen throughout the lives of all humans, as we move from infancy to childhood to adolescence and beyond. With each transition from one phase to another, we find ourselves saying good-bye to an old friend, the identity that we formed in order to move through that particular time.

Sometimes we form these identities in relationships or jobs, and when we shift those areas of our life become unsettled. Usually, if we take the time to look into the changing surface of things, we will find that a shift is taking place within us. For example, we may go through one whole chapter of our lives creating a protective shell around ourselves because we need it in order to heal from some early trauma. One day, though, we may find ourselves feeling confined and restless, wanting to move outside the shelter we needed for so long; the new part of ourselves cannot be born within the confines of the shell our old self needed to survive.

We may feel a strange mixture of exhilaration and sadness as we say good-bye to a part of ourselves that is dying and make way for a whole new identity to emerge in its place. We may find inspiration in working with the image of an animal who molts or sheds in order to make way for new skin, fur, or feathers to emerge. For example, keeping a duck feather, or some other symbol of transformation, can remind us that death and rebirth are simply nature’s way of evolving. We can surrender to this process, letting go of our past self with great love and gratitude, and welcoming the new with an open mind and heart, ready for our next phase of life.

Daily OM

 

 

 

Your Deck of Ancient Symbols Card for Oct. 28th is Solitude

Your Ancient Symbol Card for Today

Solitude

Solitude is represented by a  single person standing at the end of a boardwalk staring out at a vast, empty panorama. They are truly alone, but may not feel loneliness. They are at a place in their life where the need to withdraw from the our secular world is strong, because their focus should be on their inner self, their morality, and their dreams. The view before them is empty, but it is a canvas on which they may paint their future–a future restricted only by the size of their imagination and courage. For them Solitude is a choice. They chose to take the walkway that distances them from the rest of us. It is also a choice that can be undone. Just as they chose to take a path that leads them away from us, they may choose to turn around and come back at anytime.

As a daily card, Solitude suggest a period in which you need to distance yourself from those around you and explore your inner-self, what is driving your day to day life and decide if you are really on the life path that is best for you. This is a time to revitalize your spirit, and draw your dreams for the future

Preparing for Summerland During Samhain

Preparing for Summerland During Samhain

Author:   Crystal T.  

During the Sabbat of Samhain, many of us think it is the time when we need to remember our ancestors. Many of us set out photos of our relatives, friends and other loved ones that have passed. Some of us may set the table one night this month for a “Dumb Supper”. The veil is considered to be at its thinnest, and yet during this time one topic is rarely ever discussed:
Death. Yes, you read it correctly, death. More importantly, this is about your death!

Remembering the past is indeed a beautiful thing, but what about a topic that not a lot of people think about during this time… how would YOU want to be remembered when your time comes?

No matter if you want to be buried, cremated, or otherwise, one thing will most likely happen: An obituary will be written in your name. In some cases, someone who has never met you writes it. Your local newspaper editor is simply putting together words about you from a standardized form that was supplied to them by the funeral home that handled the processing of your physical body. I don’t mean to seem cold; it is something I don’t want to happen to me. I want to be remembered for what I accomplished in my lifetime, the things I loved, as well as the people I loved. Granted, the paper may not always honor final your wishes, but there are some things you can do to insure that your directives are followed.

Back in 2008, my father passed away. This motivated me to start researching on what I wanted when my time came. I began to research various things from “Pagan funeral” to “Green Burial”. I met a wonderful woman and Death Midwife, Nora Cedarwind Young as a result of my research. Throughout the past few years, she has become a mentor and friend. I have also learned from Nora to be pro-active in planning what I want to happen when my time comes to return to Gaia. Nora has taught me that there are six essential documents a person should have prepared and ready for when their time comes. They are:

1. A Will: A will is a legal document that states what you want to happen after you die. It includes naming a person or persons in charge of handling your estate, distribution of any property, and naming care for any minor children such as guardianship.

2. A Living Will: A Living Will is the document that will distinguish your wishes regarding medical treatments in prolonging your life when you are unable to do so for yourself. This may also be called a Health Care Directive or Advance Directive. A Living Will is also only good when your medical prognosis is deemed unrecoverable such in cases of a terminal illness.

3. Power of Attorney – Health: This paper names a person who would be in charge of your health and make decisions for you in the case you are not able to make them for yourself. This is also known as a Health Care Proxy.

4. Power of Attorney – Finance: This is the document where you would name someone to take charge of your finances when you are unable to do so yourself. Normally it will be your spouse, parent, adult child, or person you deem worthy of the responsibility.

5.Disposition of Body: This is the paper where you state your desire for burial, cremation, organ donation, etc. Please note that in some states, your spouse or next of kin has more rights to determine what is done with your body after you die more so than you do. This is where communication of your desires and wishes are discussed with your family.

6.HIPAA: This form is not to be confused with a HIPPA, which is something else. For a HIPAA you will need to complete and sign a HIPAA Privacy Authorization Form if you want a person beside yourself to have access to your medical records while you are competent.

If you are financially able, prepare these forms as soon as you can. I personally update my records every Samhain just in case something has changed. If you are not able to prepare these forms with a lawyer, there are some computer software applications available for a small amount available at your local office supply store, Best Buy, or available on the internet. Dependent on which state you live in, you might need to determine if the computer software “do it yourself” versions are legal.

Recently this past year, I was diagnosed with kidney disease. This began a journey for me into the many cases of “what if”. I am in no way ready to use any of these six essential documents, but I do however want my husband to be prepared on what I want to happen should something happen to me. I have everything written down in a notebook. We are in the process of drafting paperwork with a lawyer after saving up to prepare it for the welfare of our children should something happen to the both of us for guardianship of our minor children. I want him to know what I want as regarding funeral rites right down to the articles of clothing I want to wear. I have certain items that I wish passed on to (or returned to original person that gifted them to me) others that I have purchased or received over the years.

All these items are very important. One last thing you might want to consider writing during this time of year is your own obituary. Now your version may not make it to the newspapers, but it could be a valuable gift to those you love. This document would be the story of your life.

What do you want to be remembered for? What accomplishments did you achieve over your lifetime? What were your favorite foods, songs, television show, movies, etc? Give them the details that you want them to have. Throw in a fact or two they may not even know. Make them laugh; make them cry.

They will be glad that you gave them this last gift. In essence, this would be writing your own biography. Give them a piece of your history with this document. By simply writing the story of your life and then updating it each and every Samhain as our lives change and grow, it will make it easier on your family in the long run… knowing what your final wishes are and how you want to be remembered.

If you need more information about any of these things, I urge you pay a visit to Nora Cedarwind Young’s website. It is called Thresholds of Life (www.thresholdsoflife.org) and contains much valuable information.

I wish each and every one of you a “Spellbound Samhain”!

Sincerely,
Crystal LunaRouge

_____________________________________

Footnotes:
http://www.thresholdsoflife.org

Samhain Cemetery Visit

Samhain Cemetery Visit

Honoring the Dead in the Midst of Life

By , About.com

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

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

Headstone Cleanup

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

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

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

 

Ancestor Altar

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

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

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

 

Sugar Skulls and Candy Coffins

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

 

Cemetery Supper

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

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

 

Saying Farewell… For Now

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